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FM19: The English Football League thread

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39 minutes ago, siLKEAPE said:

what has happened with Coventry

Not much! I'm currently in December 2019 (season and a half in). First season, they finished in 14th place; this season they're predicted to finish 13th and that's exactly where they are. According to the club landmarks, there was a change of chairman in April 2019 but that's noted as 'internal promotion' so not an external takeover. Club finances  are now marked 'okay', so they may have stabilised a bit but I doubt there was a cash windfall. In the summer transfer window they spent precisely nothing, signing two free transfers and five loans.

Edit: Check out Bergbatov's report here:

Looks like his experience mirrors what's happened in my save.

Edited by warlock

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1 hour ago, siLKEAPE said:

Hello.

I am contemplating starting a new save with Coventry City. As you probably already know the club is struggling financially. My question is: what has happened with Coventry in your save?
Did they change owners and manage to become a stable club, or did they end up being bankrupt and relegated? A screenshot of their history of owners would be much appreciated.

Thanks.

No screenshots now as it's a save I deleted. I started with Coventry as one of my first saves. They did have new ownership in my 2nd season but it wasn't a tycoon or anything. They just came in a restructured the debts. If it wasn't for getting premier league football I don't think I would have been able to cope. Upon getting promoted in the first season to the championship, they actually lowered my wage budget.

I would say you probably have a window of 3-4 seasons to try get to the premier league and bolster the finances or be very savy in the transfer market and make a lot on player sales. No easy task though either way.

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Mansfield Town: Season 2 - L1 mid-season

Had a long post written, but lost it somehow, so a couple of images will have to tell the story:

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Hoping not to do any business in January - ie, hope I don't have to fend off bids for several players who are currently attracting attention.

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@warlock: Glad to see your form is still very much strong and you sit in first. A dream season so far and if you can keep everyone in January, there is a strong chance that you could be on for back-to-back promotions. No pressure! ;) 

On a personal level I started a save with Yeovil, but ultimately grew tired as nearly everyone in the first-team ended up suffering long-term injuries. With the winter update out soon, I have a few saves planned but I'm currently looking at getting something going before then. We'll see, I guess! 

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2 minutes ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

On a personal level I started a save with Yeovil, but ultimately grew tired as nearly everyone in the first-team ended up suffering long-term injuries

Yeah, that's done it for me every time I've tried to get a Brentford save going. Hope you find something to get stuck into :thup:.

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Long time no see. I've been enjoying a mixture of revision and a Man Utd save.

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Wow! Unbelievable, the win against Shrewsbury pot us top for the first time this season. We've been flying somewhat under the radar gradually catching up the big boys of the league. MK Dons are really playing well, the best team we've played this season and the only team to outplay us.

I wonder whether this form will continue through the rest of the season, we are definitely overachieving but the additions we made in the summer look to have been very smart ones.

@ellzo Farrugia has been brilliant for me so far, although he keeps going off on international duty :thdn:

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Billy Kee top scorer in the division again! With 14 goals.

Oh and anyone wanting a cheap loan player Nishan Burkart is quality.

Hopefully we continue this form and who knows is the impossible possible? 

 

Edited by Jamesbfc1887

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26 minutes ago, Jamesbfc1887 said:

Hopefully we continue this form and who knows is the impossible possible?

Considering the situation off the pitch too, you have done absolutely fantastic so far. :D 

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12 hours ago, Jamesbfc1887 said:

I've been enjoying a mixture of revision and a Man Utd save.

I've been following your high-spending adventure with United, but have to say that your achievements with Stanley are probably more impressive :thup:. Interesting to see Burkart at that level, and I just lost to Fleetwood who were helped on their way by a Mason Greenwood goal.

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Here's a look at my Forest squad at this point of the season (2022-23). We finally put three games together without a loss, 2-1 wins over Aston Villa and Newcastle, and a 2-2 draw with Cardiff. You'll see we've used rotation a good bit with the heavy fixture congestion before the World Cup mid-season break. But now it's one match per week almost always so the team basically picks itself. I've got the one major injury, the left back McQueen who broke his leg after wanting away to Blackburn. Blackburn?!?!?! Serves him right.

image.thumb.png.5d38dcfd7b09ea89ecc461409fdb03ca.png

 

Starting to feel a little safe in the table. Despite being well under the payroll budget, the club is increasingly referred to as being debt-ridden and the board keeps reducing the amount of transfer revenue I can use on player signings. Means I'm less likely to sell anyone at this point,even thought this group of players seem a bit edgy with one another (supposedly they love me, but I can't get much of a rise from them whereas my Port Vale players would walk barefoot through broken glass for me.

 

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1 hour ago, IndyManager said:

Here's a look at my Forest squad

Robson-Kanu, Bridcutt and Batth must be nearing pension age in that save! But 14th in April must surely be safe :thup:.

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Wembley.
 

For a period of about 15 years, from the late 1970s, to the early 90s, it was a second home for Nottingham Forest, and the fans, having played in 6 League Cup finals, winning 4 of them, 1 FA Cup final, and countless 'Members' Trophies, as well as a Charity Shield, where Ipswich were despatched 4-0.

We'd experienced it three times last season, the FA Cup Semi against Brentford, before losing in the final of the FA Cup against Manchester City, then into the Playoffs, and winning the final against Middlesbrough.

An unwritten target I've set myself, is to try and resurrect the annual Forest pilgrimage to North West London.

This season, we've been there twice. Thanks in particular, to the newest member of our academy to break into our first team.

16 year old Jack Andrew came to light on the Youth Intake day, on the 7th March. A natural left sided player, able to play on either wing, and up front, he was ready for the first team, and more.

fm_puL2X7HmvU-1024x336.png

He made his debut, shortly after coming into the youth setup, and, after signing a long term deal, became a fixture on the left wing.

He chose perhaps the biggest stage of English football, Wembley, to make his first impact on the senior game.

9 minutes into the FA Cup Semi Final against a very strong Arsenal team, he broke into the box and made a beeline for the far post, knowing that Lewie Coyles cross would be coming across. He met it with the sort of header that Cristiano Ronaldo had made his trademark scoring, and left David Ospina grasping at air.

Despite Wilfried Zaha scoring an equaliser, the youngster found himself free on the left side of the box following a swift counter attack. The sliderule pass from Patrick Cutrone was met with a hammer like left foot, the ball flying past Ospina, who didn't even move.

In playing the full 90 minutes, he had more than shown his potential, and had also secured a place in a second successive FA Cup final.

Just over 6 weeks after that fixture, the League campaign had drawn to a disappointing end, with essential players collecting injuries, saw a run of 2 wins in the last 7 Premier League games ensure us dropping to 5th place. The highest finish for Forest since the 1994/95 season, and the Stan Collymore / Bryan Roy inspired team.

As disappointing as the falloff was, finishing 5th was far beyond the targets set. I wanted a lower mid table finish, to consolidate for the coming seasons, and when I finally implement the style and recruitment policy the way I want it.

image-14-1024x317.png

Which, brings us back to where I started this recap.

Wembley.

Its just after 5:15pm on the 15th May, 2021. The final has been over for about 20 minutes, and the presentations are about to start.

As manager of Forest, and a supporter, these days should be great, but, for the last 95 minutes of football, I've been a bundle of nerves. Especially after a first half showing which saw Domingos Quina curl a free kick into the top corner from 20 yards, and Pontus Dahlberg playing like Petr Cech in his prime.

A slight change of formation at half time, and the introduction of Ryan Gauld saw the pendulum swing in our favour.

4 minutes into the half, Jack Andrew, who was now being earmarked as the hottest property in England, after scoring 4 goals in his 7 league appearances, found himself unmarked at the back post, as Lewie Coyle drilled a cross in, and met it on the volley to put it past Dahlberg.

It took 16 minutes for the next goal to come, and this one was going to end up on highlight reels all over.

Dennis Man, who had found himself going through a slight loss of form in recent weeks, drifted in from the right wing, collected a loose ball, and getting towards the edge of the box, and not being closed down by Liam Moore and Marc Cucurella, hit the shot across the face of goal, and into the far bottom corner. 2-1, and hopefully, the Watford team would lose their way in trying to get back in the game.

With Watford trying to push forward, and attempting to get the equaliser, it was only fitting that we hit on the break, although, the scorer of our 3rd goal was somewhat surprising.

Finding the ball at his feet following a breakdown, Lewie Coyle drove forward, and hit a ball into the box, where 3 red shirts were waiting to score. Cutrone and Andrew were unable to connect, as left back, Josh Tymon came screaming forward, putting his left foot through the ball, and drilling an unstoppable effort from the penalty spot past Dahlberg.

Mason Greenwood came on shortly after this, with the aim of using his pace to counter.

This paid off, as the Manchester United loanee put the game beyond reach, with a pair of identical goals, breaking forward and scoring on the counter attack.

5-1.

The full time whistle came, with one half of the stadium celebrating, and the other half already mostly empty.

Lewie Coyle picked up the man of the match, and it was left to the home grown captain, Ryan Yates, to collect the FA Cup for the first time in 62 years.

There was going to be a party in NG2 tonight.

After that was done, it would be time to sit down with the board to sort out the targets for next season.

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1 hour ago, robterrace said:

Hmmmm...

Looks like your board needs some sorting out! Congrats on the silverware :applause:

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3 minutes ago, warlock said:

Looks like your board needs some sorting out! Congrats on the silverware :applause:

Well, I did also get this a few weeks back...

image.thumb.png.db71c9adc796e7858c7d778b9855456a.png

 

image.thumb.png.b428ece261a60b739aa412a8186a0768.png

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Just now, robterrace said:

Well, I did also get this a few weeks back...

Ah, the double-edged sword! A new stadium is a good thing to have, but - in my limited experience - it usually comes with massive pressure on other parts of the budget. Realistic, I suppose - as Arsenal and Tottenham would no doubt confirm.

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2 hours ago, warlock said:

Robson-Kanu, Bridcutt and Batth must be nearing pension age in that save! But 14th in April must surely be safe :thup:.

Arghhh, copied the table screen shot and forgot to paste. We're not so far clear of 22nd that we couldn't still bottle it, but it would take some doing. Batth is still doing a job for me but R-K and Liam are usually in the stand at kickoff (edit: at this point of the season and after loan signing Aloese for the back and Guessand up front).

Edited by IndyManager

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Mansfield Town: Season 2 - L1, the crunch

So we're down to the last two games of the season and the teams in the top three have been swapping places on a weekly basis. In the last month we have been 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 2nd and now we're top again. On goal difference. Our nemesis has been Portsmouth, when they've dropped points so have we and we haven't been able to shake them off. Barnsley and Peterborough are also pushing hard, so a 2-0 win against Barnsley last week was significant for us.

Unfortunately, our penultimate game is against... Portsmouth. So that's likely to be a winner-take-all title decider. Our last game will be away at Yeovil, who - theoretically - have nothing to play for as they are out of the play-off spots and out of the relegation battle. That might give us the chance for a final win, but Portsmouth's last game is at home to mid-table Exeter, which looks like a safe 3 points.

Two games to go and - whatever happens - I'm going to need to lie down in a quiet room!

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And the day before the big game I lose both my right-wingers to injury. Both out for the rest of the season :seagull:

Edit: All the media hype and hysteria came to nought - we managed a scruffy 1-1 draw, thanks to a second-half penalty after going a goal down. We were rubbish.

And now I'm laughing hysterically, because two days before the last match of the season, with everything to play for, my two best centrebacks join the injury list. Why is there no option to lock the squad in a padded room for 48 hours!

Edited by warlock

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Final day and ourselves, Portsmouth and Barnsley go into it level on points and separated only by goal difference...

We did this:

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A thoroughly depressing performance, and I was contemplating the playoffs.

Portsmouth and Barnsley did this:

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Resulting in this:

Lmm0N0sh.png?1

My nerves are completely shredded. I'll do a season roundup when I've recovered :idiot:

 

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3 hours ago, warlock said:

Final day and ourselves, Portsmouth and Barnsley go into it level on points and separated only by goal difference...

We did this:

yhze6dr.png?1

A thoroughly depressing performance, and I was contemplating the playoffs.

Portsmouth and Barnsley did this:

m6rAdW3.png?1

dmwJitb.png?1

Resulting in this:

Lmm0N0sh.png?1

My nerves are completely shredded. I'll do a season roundup when I've recovered :idiot:

 

@warlock - congrats on winning league one.

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image.thumb.png.b9b9c14ea4e0bcc12ad11c02abc70abf.png

Purely for the mentoring of my midfielders, although, he may retire before he gets to me..

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10 hours ago, IndyManager said:

Here's a look at my Forest squad at this point of the season (2022-23).

There's some decent players in the mix, I'm a big fan of Matty Cash irl. Definitely a few areas that need to be improved if you want to push on. However, with the situation you've described, it seems like that will require some clever business. Best of luck with that. 

8 hours ago, robterrace said:

The full time whistle came, with one half of the stadium celebrating, and the other half already mostly empty.

That completes a vastly successful season. You simply can't sniff at that, I don't think. :D 

5 hours ago, warlock said:

My nerves are completely shredded. I'll do a season roundup when I've recovered :idiot:

That's probably one of the most anti-climatic title victories ever, but I'm sure you're not complaining! Back-to-back promotions is a fantastic achievement. Very much deserved considering how strong you've been all season, from what your previous posts suggest anyway. Next season should be a challenge but given your first two seasons, the clubs in the Championship can't afford to underestimate you. I wouldn't be shocked to see you upset the apple cart a little and push into mid-table, rather comfortably. Although, simply surviving is by far good enough and will still be viewed as a success in my eyes!

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Here is the table I failed to paste in this morning.  As you can see, we don't have as much separation as you might thing for being 14th. Hopefully a couple more good results tonight will put me in the safety zone.

 

image.thumb.png.bd8c35204146fdebc843d286f5009961.png

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I call this a bit of an upgrade.

image.thumb.png.433a0cb8f52721d075d701b382239acc.png

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Sorry for the long wait chaps, I had a little rest from FM but now my Northampton save is ready to go here with a season preview. 

Northampton 2018/19 Season Preview

Transfers IN - Corey Jordan (Loan), Matty Foulds (Loan), Callum Slattery (Loan), Reo Griffiths (Loan)

Transfer OUT - N/A

SKS - Ward/Coddington/Cornell
WBS - Facey/Odoffin
BPD - Jordan/Turnbull
CDD - Taylor/Pierre/Barnett
WBS - Buchanan/Foulds
CMS - O'Toole/Foley/McWilliams/Bridge
BWMD - Crooks/Kasim
WING - Powell/Whaler
APS - Slattery
IFS - Bowditch/Roberts
DLFA - Van Veen/Griffiths/Iaciofano/Williams/Waters/Hoskins/Morais

Right so 4-2-3-1 control possession again with 4-1-4-1 DM Wide and 5-2-3 WB also being trained. 2 each used in pre-season friendlies against local sides and affiliates, P6 W6. I didn't wanna sign the same loans as i did with MK Dons so that is the reasoning behind that. As you can see i have too many players and without an U23 squad but keeping them around for now see if i can fit any square pegs in round holes. I am going to have to make and break some promises between now and January but i will have to find a balance between dynamics contract types form and philosophy, that being said i would like to develop youth products Whaler, Roberts and Iaciofano.

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14 hours ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

probably one of the most anti-climatic title victories ever

It certainly was... no on-pitch celebration, no trophy presentation (I think they sent it round in a mincab on Sunday morning).

12 hours ago, IndyManager said:

we don't have as much separation as you might think for being 14th

Yeah, it's a bit tight down there. But I'm sure you'll be able to avoid getting dragged into the mudfight.

1 hour ago, robterrace said:

I call this a bit of an upgrade.

I'm surprised he's still there at that date, but definitely a top signing!

1 hour ago, TottenhamBoi90 said:

my Northampton save is ready to go

I'm a fan of Slattery's - used him several times last year - so will watch with interest to see how he does for you (especially in the 4231, a formation I've never had much success with).

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49 minutes ago, warlock said:

I'm surprised he's still there at that date, but definitely a top signing!

Massively so.

I had Josh Tymon out there, so Tierney is a big upgrade, even if he only spends a season with me.

 

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On 14/02/2019 at 10:03, warlock said:

I've been following your high-spending adventure with United, but have to say that your achievements with Stanley are probably more impressive :thup:. Interesting to see Burkart at that level, and I just lost to Fleetwood who were helped on their way by a Mason Greenwood goal.

Yeah the contrast between the two saves is great, certainly makes it interesting.

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Wow! what a run :D

Top of the league, wins against some real big teams in their as well. The highlight being the 5-0 demolition of QPR at home. Another massive win came against, promotion rivals (I guess that's where we are now) Ipswich.

Farrugia and Burkart have really stepped it up another level recently. January looks like it will come and go considering that we're still in the thick of a transfer window.

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:eek:

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Now that my nerves have somewhat recovered, here's the second half of Mansfield Town's second season:

6NSPJXah.png?1

Having got through a long and tough January with only a single defeat, and that in the FA Cup against Everton, we were well-placed at the top of the league. Then came February and the team fell apart, registering only a single victory in the month. At that point I feared one of those long-term collapses that have marked several of my saves this year.

Instead, our good form returned as mysteriously as it had disappeared and we went unbeaten for the remainder of the season. There were a few more draws than I would have liked and those dropped points meant we were struggling to make up the ground we'd lost to Portsmouth. But the lads were relentless, driven by the return to goal-scoring form of Jack Clarke who ended the season as L1's top scorer with 23 goals. At the other end of the pitch, Ryan Sweeney was named Supporters' player of the year, and won L1 Player of the Year. Pretty much the entire squad were fantastic, but special mention to GK Jack Bonham who kept a huge number of clean sheets and secured us a lot of points.

Ahead of our return to the second tier - for the first time since 1978 - I'll be sticking with the first-choice 11 who got us here, and I've managed to renew the loans of Elsnik, Clarke and DM Liam Coyle (from Liverpool). I do need a couple of rotation midfielders, and someone who can lighten the load on Clarke up front. I also need a backup/rotation GK since there are none outside the first team and last year's option ran out his contract.

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Perhaps I paid a bit too much here, but, he counts as home grown.

image.thumb.png.9735373dff92c2badec65388d0164db7.png

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So, at the end of season 2, Forest won their first FA Cup since 1959, and their first silverware since the 1990 defeat of Oldham in the League Cup final.

The way certain things were going at the club in this save, meant that only one or two of the players within the squad were even born when that happened.

With the transfer window coming fast and strong, a lot of time was dedicated to where we could make improvements, and defensively, a lot was brought up.

Out went Tobias Figueiredo, to Inter for £25m + add ons, which would finance some incomings. Also departing was central midfielder, Ivaylo Chochev, who had found chances hard to come by with the arrival of Jordan Henderson on the midfield scene alongside Ryan Yates and Ryan Gauld. Goalkeeper Jordan Smith departed for a nominal fee to Chelsea, who signed him to cover their home grown player obligations.

Along with the £50m allocated by the board, the £35m that had been raised in player sales was available to spend.

The first arrival was an 18 year old goalkeeper who I'd been watching since he appeared on my radar when I was at Wigan.

A current Portuguese U21 international, and with 45 appearances in the top flight in his homeland, José Cunha had a lot of the attributes that would make him the perfect sweeper keeper, but, would need a little bit of work.
For £7.5m, and on a 3 year contract, its a slight risk, but, learning from Pereira and Rajkovic, he'll develop quickly, and will probably get some game time in cup competitions.

image-15-1024x339.png


Next through the door was a prearranged deal. Fernando Velasco had appeared on the radar, once more, when I was at Wigan, recommended by an analyst as one to watch, and a dual national.

Playing in the youth setup at Lanús, in Argentina, a bid of £2m was enough to convince him to come to England, and ply his trade. Labelled as the next Diego Simeone, he has a lot of potential, and will only get better. He heads out on loan immediately to Lincoln in League Two to acclimatise to the English game.
 

image-16-1024x339.png

Another area where I'm slightly oversubscribed at the moment, is striker. With Karlan Grant joining from Charlton, and Stiepan Jukic returning from his loan at Dinamo, we didn't really need another striker.
However, the scout reports on 17 year old Mamadouba Diallo, playing at Montpellier in France were very positive, and for £1m, he could be flipped for a profit pretty quickly if needed. He heads out on loan to Scunthorpe.
 

image-17-1024x340.png

The next transfer to come in, was in an area that I'd highlighted, and would be one of 3 transfers that would break our old transfer record of £13m.

Kieran Tierney is one of the most highly rated full backs in European Football, and has been for the last few seasons. However, he was still at Celtic, winning the SPL for the last 6 seasons, making over 150 appearances in the process.

It appeared possible that we could get a deal, and with no other clubs paying close attention, a fee of £20m was agreed, and he signed on a 4 year deal. Tierney has a definite resale value, as does Josh Tymon, who will drop to cover him.

 

image-18-1024x337.png

Next up, is 17 year old Dutch right back, Piter Rosadi. Signed for £5m from Heerenveen, he returns there on loan for the season, as Lewie Coyle is more than capable. One for the future.

image-19-1024x336.png

Next in is centre back, Jonathan Panzo, who joins from Club Brugge for £14.25m. The former Chelsea youngster is home grown, and has experience in both France and Belgium. He'll be backup to Alvarez and Mepham.
 

image-20-1024x337.png

A group of free transfers are next on the list, with former Chelsea and Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas coming in on a 1 year deal. The 34 year old will be a backup, and will be involved in a mentoring group.

Also coming in, is 20 year old Spanish midfielder, Sergio Gómez. The former Barcelona youth had spent the last few seasons in Germany, at Koln and Dortmund, and the latter had let his contract expire.

image-21-1024x336.png

Last of the signings for the midfield was 24 year old former Tottenham player, Joshua Onomah. Solid, strong, and a model professional, he will be on the fringes of the first team.
 

image-22-1024x341.png

Last signing so far, for £16m, is Jack O'Connell. The former Sheffield United and Brentford defender had been at Benfica, who had paid £11m for him in August 2020, making £5m profit. Hes homegrown, and another solid addition to the backline, which seemed to misfire a bit when Alvarez was added.
 

image-23-1024x337.png

Lots of fringe players headed out on loan, making a total of about £1m in monthly fees, with the potential to increase.

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I'll post a full update in Jan, but my first year in the premier league is sad at times. I've done pretty well against a number of teams, top 6 has all been comprehensive losses but after going 2-nil up vs city this happened...

image.thumb.png.36d9140c7beb5238a522f5e4eb6e4b73.png

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@warlock I prefer Callum Gribbin because of his set pieces at this level but Callum Slattery P32 4 Goals, 9 assists, 7,03 AVR, not bad.

Northampton 2018/19 Mid-Season Review:

August was an absolute disaster, lost the first 2 games and the League Cup game before beating Cambridge but 2 further losses had me 21st in League 2. It was embarrassing at times some of the goals i was conceding especially Facey at RB getting caught on the ball and gifting goals, Ward was taking 3 attempts to catch the ball bouncing of his own posts i was in shock how badly i started. I couldn't score or create chances because my foundations were so wobbly. My youthful subs were also not match fit and we couldn't change a game with them if anything we got worse when they come on.

September at least, shown some improvement. only 1 defeat, 2 wins 2 draws and a Checkatrade Cup win. I had to rotate the side because we were on such bad form and it paid off. Van Veen banged in 5 goals and the subs now getting some match sharpness really starting to help the teams legs when seeing games out. I did have a big problem as the players rebelled lead by Ash Taylor as the club was underachieving and i just agreed but it split the squad, it was odd timing as our last game of September was a 4-3 win over Mansfield with the winner coming from Sean Whaler in stoppage time. 

October was exactly what i needed. 6 wins out of 6 in league 2 and a penalty defeat in the Checkatrade Cup. By now the subs are everything. Whaler scores 2 more, Iaciofano scored a brace against Bury and Morgan Roberts also got his first goal. We move from 18th to 4th in the space of a month, fantastic. Manager of the month in the bag as well and all the drama of underachieving is forgotten about and a united squad. 

November was all about keeping it going and 3 draws in the league before losing the final game of the month kind of did that with a draw against Torquay in the FA Cup, I eventually won the replay and also a Checkatrade Cup win which advanced us out of the group stage, I was happy enough that we hadn't collapsed. Starting to get a few knocks out wide so i decided to give Waters and Morais some games and pleasantly surprised they look to be able to cover the wide areas quite well. The Lyon manager is also furious at my game time for Griffiths at this stage.

December is just more rotation, more keeping it going. I keep threatening to get into the automatic promotion spots. I manage 2 wins 2 draws and a defeat to MK in the final game of the year but i was pleased again as we beat Scunthorpe in a replay to get a plum tie in the FA Cup 3rd Round to look forward to at home to Bournemouth. We also progressed in the Checkatrade beating Forest Green to land Luton away in round 3. 

Overall i am so pleased i have been able to turn the awful start around. We are 8th, 11W 7D 7L 6 points off top so right in the mix where i want to be. I have to do some business in Jan as i have promised to sell Williams without playing a game and we are nearly half a million in debt but we soldier on, loads of contracts expiring, a couple i promised to loan out as well. I do still need plenty in the transfers in column because we are still not even near playing like how i want. Its still a bit of a slog to win games, we don't score enough but we do now have the 2nd best defence in the league which i put down to the possession system, i love it for that. 

Edited by TottenhamBoi90

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8d70a03d2e1bbcb26a9e08475964bcc88c188d97

 

Well, what a run this has been :D Unbelievable. I won't bother boring you with the January window as we obviously couldn't do anything. 

On 14/02/2019 at 10:03, warlock said:

Interesting to see Burkart at that level

Well you might have noticed a certain name popping up quite a lot on that results list :lol:, just in time really as Billy Kee's goals have well and truly dried up.

So this is where we are now.

 e01a5f7269843d629e157af254ddce6f7b785243

The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed the little "P" next to Accrington

68cee9c25eaea2b8581ef88afa1a7eb674524870

Yay! Unbelievable really, I never thought in a million years we'd have a chance of promotion.

fbdd0809ce8a5ba23ef3381c3af1a0ca4a4596f7

Board loving it as well a budget of £2m and £60k a week is huge considering we are paying £30k a week atm. Still failing FFP though mind! :seagull:

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So after taking Gillingham to the dizzy heights of Europe in 2025 I have become a bit bored with the save and want a new challenge. 

Toyed with the idea of Norwich (my local team) but decided instead to start unemployed.

Got to October and with Norwich sat 24th I’ve taken over the reigns after all. Squad looks good so I’m hopeful of getting us out of the current predicament. First game is away at Nottingham Forest who are currently sat 23rd...

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Ignore

Edited by Dong21

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@warlock: I bet you were very nervous when your form slipped in February like that. Fantastic way to come back in March and finish it out strongly in the remaining games though - the stuff of champions! :D 

@robterrace: Some great signings there, with real focus on the future with lots of young talent being brought in. The future looks bright! 

@jonathan44: Only City would have the character to do that. Christ, I sound like Brendan Rodgers :lol:.

@TottenhamBoi90: Quite a mix of form over the first few months of the season. Form seems to be a little more consistent as of late and that will be key if you want to force your way into the top seven. An immediate return to League One would be fantastic if you could force yourselves up the table - although it's a tough ask, as League Two can be a tricky division. Good luck in the second half of the campaign!

@Jamesbfc1887: That form is stunning! :eek: Truly remarkable achievement to get Accrington promoted, with all the problems with FFP to think about too. Hopefully that can be addressed soon, but for now, celebrate! :D

@Gilbo88: Wow, well done on your achievements with Gillingham, first of all. Best of luck with the Canaries, it was almost fate for you to take control of them! If you can get the goals from Teemu Pukki, like they have in real life, you'll be sorted.

 

Speaking of Teemu Pukki, I went to Bolton vs Norwich yesterday and sat with the Norwich supporters - since I couldn't get to our game vs Sutton. My god, they play some brilliant football and Pukki is some player. I'll be surprised if they don't go up! 

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@DefinitelyTaylor don't go all Rodgers on me now!

So I'm 24 games in and I'm on 29 points, my form has been indifferent. Managed to pull together a 5 match winning streak (QPR, Leeds, Cardiff, WestHam and Brighton) to then draw vs Watford (I was very happy with this!) to then lose 5 out of my next 6 games. I think with the frankly terrible performance by Leeds (what a shame...) and Cardiff in the league theres only 1 relegation spot left.

image.thumb.png.f169dc374eaba0f4bb3209caea719de6.png

 

In January I lost both my LB's Thorniley (5 months - Broken leg) and Penny (2 months - Ankle) so I pleaded to the board for money and thankfully they gave around 5 million to play with. Upto this point I had been playing Thorniley and Penny (LCB and LB) so I was aiming for both a LB and CB, when Rob Holding was transfer listed I paid 2 million upfront and the rest in installments. I haven't receieved any Brexit news but I think that was a steal for an English CB. No-one else on the transfer list took my fancy, but I found Vagnoman unhappy at Hamburger after relegation, so I offered for him and eventually would settle for 4.5 mil upfront and 9 mil over 2 years. I was 4 million short, but when Pohjanpalo received an offer from Hoffenheim which I negotiated upto 8.75 mil this was the answer. I had every faith in Pohjanpalo, he was my star last year and my first choice, but with one goal in 12 starts it was time for him to move on. Vagno will be used as a RB next year when Walker-Peters returns to Spurs, but until then he's a good LB.

image.thumb.png.b72da93624175d5d6c5df60f289abc3f.png

Other leavers were Fletcher out on loan, Pelupessy who was in his final 6 months of contract and Gaudino who spent the first half of the season injured. This freed up enough salary to bring in Lato, who joined us on a cheap deal as another body in defence.
 

In terms of who's impressing, my star man is Bonatini. At the start of the season I didn't expect him to be my first choice he was bang out of form and even asked to discuss his future due to a lack of game time, but now he's my top scorer on 11 goals in 18 starts. Lee Jae-Sung has outshone my other midfielders and won Asian player of the year, I've never heard of him IRL but he's a real star in my team.

image.thumb.png.4a6525773fbf9e7384ba94cff7bf186b.png

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So actually I secured survival in  The Championship with Forest just one match after m;y previous post, with a draw. Something about the cominbations of matchups with the teams between mine and  22nd position made it mathematically possible. I was relieved of course, and we ended up 16th overall which was fine with the board.

One thing I've probably been guilty of a lot as an FM player is being in too big of a rush  between seasons. I made a point this time to take a long look at the squad, at options for staff, training, tactics down to set pieces routines, and of course, player recruitment. I want season six of my save, and season two with this club, to be a bit of a breakthrough.

I was given a little bit of money to spend, and combined with the conclusion of Hal Robson-Kanu's million-plus contract, it gave me some real flexibility because, while the board is looking for a top-half finish, I'm looking for the playoffs. For the first time in forever I skipped the welcome back team meeting and so far, with no ramifications.

I had made four signings in the second half of last season, with the players coming in at the beginning of the June transfer window. I brought in Neco Williams, the right wingback who was on loan with me from Liverpool last season. I signed Elijah Dixon-Bonner, also an ex Liverpool youth, Anthony Hortigan, formerly of AFC Wimbledon but wasting away at  Blackburn Rovers in the save, and Jack Clarke, the in-demand Leeds player (IRL) who was out of contract in the save following loan spells at Luton Town and Portsmouth.

But in my quest to have two reliable players at each position, I knew I needed to make some decent loan signing still. I also knew I didn't want more than five as that is the  matchday squad limit and I've been tripped up by that in the past. I ended with deals to bring a couple of players back who had helped last year, including West Ham defender Ajibola Alese, Everton left wingback Lloyd Spooner and Crystal Palace utility player Sean Robertson. For new loan signings, I brought in 18-year old Arsenal defender Matthew Bevis and the one I'm most excited about 20-year old Liverpool midfielder Jake Pitman.

image.thumb.png.553791954336a4d11aeb9e110c4159eb.png

 

The board or someone was nice enough to schedule a training camp in Switzerland, and it seemed like I had a longer preseason than normal. Between new players and a youth squad that was starting to look pretty impressive, I was able to put together three separate starting XI groups and schedule 13 friendlies, rotating the lineups so nobody played in more than six matches. Also during the preseason, I was able to:

1) Bring in four trialists, two of which I signed; 2) confirm I had two first team players from my youth ranks, midfielder George Yeboah and striker Daryl Adams, and 3) jettison my two biggest moaners from the previous season, Kadeem Harris and Sam McQueen.

With those two gone and suitably replaced in the team, I had a much better cohesion and locker room atmosphere. 

I'm still working on one more incoming, a center back from Belgium named Axl Buyse.  We opened at home against league favorites Swansea City and striker James Wilson scored a brace to give us a 2-1 win. Morale is doing well and I feel we will be in the promotion fight with a shout.

But then, team leader and starting center back Diego Polenta, was the subject of a transfer bid from recently-relegated Southampton. I rejected it despite the puke-face agent's warning that his client would become unsettled. When the player approached me afterward I was glad to see the dialogue option that showed the exact reason why - I'm not selling him to a club in my save division and help them while hurting my team. He said that was unfair.

Now, pardon the editorial comment here because I'm on record as saying I like this version of the game and appreciate that in the end,  there is no perfect simulation of IRL situations, but still:

This is a 32-year old player, my captain, team leader and all that.  He's one of my highest paid players and as a group we are finally getting somewhere. Would he really be that likely to have his head turned by a club that just got relegated, AFTER the transfer window has closed and the season has started? So far his  Morale is only down to "Okay" but after what happened last season with the other two, I'm expecting a  built-in meltdown that is going to hijack what we've tried to do. (Editorial comment over)

So I've got 29 in the squad, with  a handful permanently set on U23 duty. I'm hoping we can put together a decent League Cup run to go with league fixture congestion to keep everyone happy re playing time until January when I should loan a few players out. Here is my squad and I'm looking forward to spending this rainy afternoon beginning the 2023-24 campaign in earnest.

image.thumb.png.8f8b068ec46abf436b5b908696ff15e8.png

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I’m so envious of all you guys.. I can’t find a team that I want to stick with.. I’m not sure whether to just start in December and take over a struggling team or kee persisting with searching for the perfect team... ideas??

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Hey a quick bit of advice for me please. I mentioned about my center back wanting away to Southampton. As it turns out, the squad are supporting ME in this. He's now listed as having no social group and before matches, feedback tells me some of the players are having trouble being motivated because he is the captain. (actually he is vice captain but the captain has become kind of a fringe player for me). I know all about the problems with changing a captain, especially mid-season, but I wonder if this scenario means it would be worse to NOT change him. There is literally nobody supporting  him in this and I've seen my support level grow overall in the team to Excellent.

Should I give him the hook as vice captain (he's still just about my best defender)?

Edited by IndyManager

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4 hours ago, IndyManager said:

while the board is looking for a top-half finish, I'm looking for the playoffs.

Good going in securing survival in the Championship with Forest. I'm looking forward to seeing how you manage the squad in a first full season together. It seems you have clear objectives and have worked out a base of the squad, with suitable players being brought in to replace those that you wished to get rid of. Cementing your own squad is key to improving the club, personally. Being able to have your personal stamp on the club is beneficial, as you can play to your strengths in that sense. I can emphasise with your comments about Polenta and can understand them too. Hopefully he'll get his head down now that he's here to stay.

2 hours ago, Corndog69 said:

I’m so envious of all you guys.. I can’t find a team that I want to stick with.. I’m not sure whether to just start in December and take over a struggling team or kee persisting with searching for the perfect team... ideas??

I have been in a similar boat to you for a while, in truth. I think I've finally found a team to settle down with and that's after much doubt after taking them. I've had them in my mind for some time, but have always been put off going with them. If you have a team like that, I strongly recommend you give in and go with them. Otherwise, the winter update is released in a few weeks time and it could be worth waiting until then. If you can't wait, then perhaps read the OP of all the brief guides on the teams and see if that provides any help. Another thing I suggest is looking at the league tables irl and comparing them to the media predictions of the clubs - are there any clubs that are particularly underachieving that you may fancy helping in-game?

Selecting a team is difficult, especially at times like now when the update is so close. I hope you find the team your looking for soon, but be sure to post in here if you have a set guideline of team you're looking for and we could try to help.

 

Edited by DefinitelyTaylor

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4 hours ago, robterrace said:

Deadline day.. :(

image.thumb.png.a988802a7509e849d18ec1ac340df101.png

 

image.thumb.png.b7c4596eaa0180c61382ed2cad7ebb0e.png

To top this off, I've had an offer of £30m, which I've negotiated up to £44m for one of my CB.. This is getting a bit silly.

Time to go shopping.

EDIT

Alvarez refused the deal.. :P

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I have no idea why this post appeared..

 

Ignore.

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January update...

Things got off to a pretty good start. Some very frustrating results, but in general good performances have seen me move up to mid table since taking over before the Nottingham Forest game.

415523373_SkyBetChampionship_OverviewStages-3.thumb.png.bc8347103025901d46918c1539d4353a.png

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My aim is a top half finish, although I've told the board mid table. The squad in general is good, but lacks strength in depth in the fullbacks and attacking options. So I've dipped into the loan market - Solanke, Lookman, Zinchenko and Foden have come in towards the start of January (Lookman scoring on his debut). Pukki is my top scorer but is frustratingly inconsistent. Jordan Rhodes asked to terminate his loan which I was more than happy to do. I've also signed Iorfa for £900k who served me very well on my previous save and should be adequate backup to Passlack (and 1st choice once his loan finishes and he goes back to Dortmund.

796571532_NorwichvBirmingham_MatchReview.thumb.png.b812625595976dc93bef5b1a2cf94eae.png

My most recent game.... an absolute domination of 10 man Birmingham needing a 95th minute Grant Hanley header from a Foden free kick

 

Edited by Gilbo88

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image.thumb.png.2822ed61d91804c7fa79dfd0293ef703.png

Due to enjoying my previous saves, I've decided to go with the same set up and holiday to the mid-way point of the season. After applying for a few Championship Jobs and being unsuccessful, I've ended up replacing Joey Barton (Shame) at Fleetwood. Whilst the end of this season is dead, I feel they have a decent base of a squad to do much better than the position I find them in and feel like it could be good challenge next season for me. Wish me luck!

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6 hours ago, Gilbo88 said:

Things got off to a pretty good start. Some very frustrating results, but in general good performances have seen me move up to mid table since taking over before the Nottingham Forest game.

Looking good so far! Some good business in the loan market too, bringing in some high quality there - which should boost your chances of achieving your aims of top-half. I think you could even aim higher than that, truthfully. You're not too far off of the playoffs and the quality you've brought in, along with the existing squad, definitely has the ability to do so. Good luck! 

1 hour ago, smplfc123 said:

I've ended up replacing Joey Barton (Shame) at Fleetwood. Whilst the end of this season is dead, I feel they have a decent base of a squad to do much better than the position I find them in and feel like it could be good challenge next season for me. Wish me luck!

Good luck with Fleetwood. I dislike them, honestly, but I can put that aside for you, I suppose. :p They've got some great players in the likes of Kyle Dempsey and Alex Cairns, with a striker who knows where the net is in Paddy Madden. Looking forward to seeing how you fair! 

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Well I never would have predicted this after 10 league matches:

image.thumb.png.ed318c8e8917732aad091e38bfc1f381.png

As you see on the left we just had  great comeback win at home, the third time that has happened thus far. Our only loss was a heavy one to Brentford away with most of our 2nd choice players in midweek. We also lost 1-0 to Liverpool in the 3rd round of the League Cup. Oh, and @DefinitelyTaylor, Polenta has decided he likes us after all now that we're winning. He's playing well too, but part of me still wants to sell him to some team in Uruguay...

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