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FM19: The English Football League thread

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Well, I've been following this thread - by far the best on the forum - since the beginning and have finally decided to leave my usual haunts at the top of the premiership and have a go in the EFL.

I've decided to have a go with Forest Green Rovers.   Now I am aware what a great job sammo10 has done with them and have no expectation of emulating him.  My objective is to see if I can get a club with the smallest ground in the division, and the least promising fan catchment area, into League 1 and stay there.   I will try and get the crowds up and see if the ground can be expanded at the same time.   No time scale has been set, but I am looking for sustainable organic growth (as befits the self-styled greenest team in the world).

Due to my technical inadequacies this will be a screenshot free zone.

The only addition I made to the squad is to buy Cameron Healey from Mansfield for £14k - given the testimonials on here I couldn't resist, and we seemed a bit short of midfield cover.   The squad seems ok mostly but I am worried about quality up front.   Hoping Doidge may return in January, is it possible?  Anyway too late to change my mind as season has started.

First competitive game did not end well with a 2-1 defeat at Grimsby.   Not too upset with the lads as we outplayed them with 57% possession and 32 shots to 6.  Grimsby scored a 35 yard screamer and a penalty - fancy being FMed in my very first game in charge.   Anyway only committed to a top half finish this year she we will see if I can survive.

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9 hours ago, IndyManager said:

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...

:lol: I can understand that, although if he's playing well, then you have to keep him around! Great start so far though and hopefully that can continue.

1 hour ago, Clifton said:

Well, I've been following this thread - by far the best on the forum - since the beginning and have finally decided to leave my usual haunts at the top of the premiership and have a go in the EFL.

I've decided to have a go with Forest Green Rovers.   Now I am aware what a great job sammo10 has done with them and have no expectation of emulating him.  My objective is to see if I can get a club with the smallest ground in the division, and the least promising fan catchment area, into League 1 and stay there.   I will try and get the crowds up and see if the ground can be expanded at the same time.   No time scale has been set, but I am looking for sustainable organic growth (as befits the self-styled greenest team in the world).

Due to my technical inadequacies this will be a screenshot free zone.

The only addition I made to the squad is to buy Cameron Healey from Mansfield for £14k - given the testimonials on here I couldn't resist, and we seemed a bit short of midfield cover.   The squad seems ok mostly but I am worried about quality up front.   Hoping Doidge may return in January, is it possible?  Anyway too late to change my mind as season has started.

First competitive game did not end well with a 2-1 defeat at Grimsby.   Not too upset with the lads as we outplayed them with 57% possession and 32 shots to 6.  Grimsby scored a 35 yard screamer and a penalty - fancy being FMed in my very first game in charge.   Anyway only committed to a top half finish this year she we will see if I can survive.

I totally agree with you, this is by far the best thread on these forums. I'm glad you've been tempted to join in because of it! Good luck with Forest Green, they're a team that certainly have the quality to do well and just need to be improved in a few areas to get to that 'next level.' I'm pleased to see you've brought in Healey, as he's a bit of a legend in the lower league market, I'm sure @warlock will agree! Doidge won't return as the loan will be made permanent in January. Many sides did this in the EFL as the market closed early, so any deals made after this point often agreed that a deal would be made permanent (examples being Max Power to Sunderland, Lee Evans to Wigan, Ryan Leonard to Millwall). Not the best of starts, but those stats suggest you're creating chances and that should allow you to pick up points on the most part. Good luck!

3 minutes ago, smplfc123 said:

Haha, cheers @DefinitelyTaylor, how are you getting on with your save?

Not too bad. I'm planning on writing a post about a new save I'm starting soon. It'll be a rather short term save, as I didn't want to start anything long-term since I have plans to start a save with one/two clubs when the winter update is released late Feb/early March. But, I can't not play FM haha. :) 

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1 hour ago, Clifton said:

Well, I've been following this thread - by far the best on the forum - since the beginning and have finally decided to leave my usual haunts at the top of the premiership and have a go in the EFL.

Good man :thup:. Hope young Healey does the business for you. As for Doidge, it depends entirely on the terms of his loan - the default seems to include clauses for 'can't be recalled' and 'loan can't be terminated' but I've often been able to recall a player in the January window.

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2 minutes ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

Healey, as he's a bit of a legend in the lower league market

Absolutely!!

2 minutes ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

Doidge won't return as the loan will be made permanent in January

Ah, wasn't aware there was a transfer involved, but there should be some decent loan strikers available in January.

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2 hours ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

:lol: I can understand that, although if he's playing well, then you have to keep him around! Great start so far though and hopefully that can continue.

@DefinitelyTaylor that's the thing. I use 3 center backs and he's definitely in the top three. Game memories are shorter than mine though, so maybe it will be OK.

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2 hours ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

Doidge won't return as the loan will be made permanent in January.

He will be doing on the new patch IIRC, due to Boltons mismanagement of the loan/transfer.

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1 minute ago, robterrace said:

He will be doing on the new patch IIRC, due to Boltons mismanagement of the loan/transfer.

Shambles of a club and that whole ordeal proved it. That's how I remembered that it was a deal that was due to turn permanent in January, though. 

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Great to catch up on everyone's stories, and to see you all having EFL fun. Well, apart from those that got sacked (mentioning no names).

A special good luck message to the new boss of Forest Green Rovers. I had a great time with them in FM18, but it's a shame you won't get Doidge back (unless you wait until the next database update).

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Thanks Jogo Bonito.   Will update later - if I'm still in a job!   Have already started so will miss out on Doidge, and will have to wait until the new year to try and get the striker I need.

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This is my squad after 12 league matches and 3 in the League Cup:

 

image.thumb.png.925c28cd9c58e8c1723b8f458dceca34.png

 

and the lower half:

image.thumb.png.768cf117514959529ad3534b3f1a3c3e.png

 

So far, I've been able to use four players promoted from my youth team last last season or this season, and sign a number of young players either on loan or ( most) by transfer. Those are the two philosophies that I've promised to keep, and as the table in the mid-October international break (season 6 of the Save, 2nd with Forest) shows it's working  out alright:

image.thumb.png.e419b16fead8b464107f0bd4893906d8.png

 

We went to the break following a 4-0 pasting of Derby (is it called the Derby Derby?) That youth team promotee George Yeboah scored twice with free kicks and it's a high point of my time with Forest.

Potential concerns: Sunderland have begun sniffing around my defender, DIego Polenta. He's happy playing for us at the moment, and back into the core social group and as a team leader (I stripped him of the vice captaincy during his hissy fit and nobody said a word about it), but I'm keeping a close eye on this one with January approaching.. Another concern is that I have the classic FM glut of strikers, with yet another coming in on Jan. 1. I may loan two out in January, probably Swan and the 18-year old Daryl Adams, whose finishing #s don't indicate he would be effective, but he's had some good moments in front of goal already for us, scoring in his debut last season, scoring 24 for the U18s last year and 7 in the preseason for the first team this season. But it's hard to get him games at the moment so I may loan him, having already tied him up with a long-term contract.

I realize I'm just a quarter of a way through the season, but it's shaping  up to be an interesting ride.

 

 

Edited by IndyManager

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Well we are about a quarter way through the season so time for an update.

First the cups.   I welcome the cups as an opportunity to make some money or (in the case of the Chekatrade) give some game time to backup players.   We exceeded Board expectations in the Carabao by getting to the second round, courtesy of a comfortable 1-0 away win at Cambridge.   Drew Frank Lampard's Derby at home and lost 1-0 to a strong team who now lead the Championship.   We were outplayed, but my biggest disappointment was a crowd of only 3600, of whom a thousand came from Derby.   In the Chekatrade we won our first game away at Gillingham after penalties and pocketed a useful £10,000 in prize money - don't understand why some of the EFL managers on here are so sniffy about this completion :).   Maybe their clubs have more money than they need?!  In the second match we lost 2-0 at home to Chelsea Under 23s, the only difference between the teams being a goal and an assist from a certain Mr Loftus-Cheek.

The best way to describe our league form is stuttering.   We one three of our first four, the highlight of which was two goals on his league debut against Stevenage from young Cameron Healey.   Four defeats on the trot followed including one at home to a poor Swindon side in front of our largest gate of the season.   The people of Nailsworth have not forgotten or forgiven this yet.

One of the reasons for the poor form was that our team cohesion was abysmal and no amount of paint balling seemed to make any difference.   Eventually got a win at home against lowly Crawley in front of only 2048 people and have gone on to get two more wins and a draw.   Now sit 9th in the division with 19 points from 12 games, two points off the play off places.  Attendances usually around the 3000 mark which is unlikely to produce the money we need to really move on as a club.   We shall see.

Our biggest problem has been scoring goals.   We have the highest average possession in the division as well as pass completion.   We routinely have more shots on target than our opponents, but don't put the chances in the net.   Is it tactics or personnel?   Probably both, but I really regret not replacing Christian Doidge in the mistaken hope that he would return in January.  Will have to see if I can hold on in the upper half of the table until January comes and I can look for an upgrade on what I have.   The other problem is that I have failed to get the best out of my best player George Williams.  His three goals and two assists in 13 games have all come in the last 5 when I tweaked my tactics and his role.   Hopefully there is more to come.

 

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So after being given the Fleetwood job with 7 games to go and us sitting in 14th on 54 points, this is how we finished up:

image.thumb.png.06e7a4a5d88ded1eeb5e935c78fb15bd.pngimage.thumb.png.ced5a1aff162f1c19197d83f2cc07b06.png

Now despite dropping down a space to finish in 15th, I feel like I've done a decent job to end the season there. 2 Wins, 4 Draws and 1 Defeat in the final 7 games meant that we ended the season on 64 points. Now i'll have to go back and check other peoples saves, but that seems like a large point haul for a team in 15th to me?

Joey Barton had run up some poor finances within the club, with us currently sitting on a balance of over -£2.75m, so I can't see me having much to work with in the summer.

Spurr, Sandler, Walker-Peters, Beningine, Holt and Evans will all head back to their parent clubs, with Holt being the only one who stood out in my short stint so far, so I may explore the option of bringing him back.

There will be a few leaving at the end of their contracts and I have a feeling a couple of bigger clubs might come knocking for one or two players, so this could prove to be a tricky summer. My aim going forward is to finish in a higher position than this season, although I still feel that points total is very high for 15th!

Wish me luck.
 

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Cheers @Clifton but I have been given £0 to work with for transfers, £9k to work with on wages and only allowed 10% of any transfer revenue :( Stabilising the club is my first priority i think.

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21 hours ago, Gilbo88 said:

@DefinitelyTaylor maybe you're right....!!!

559595164_MatGilbert_Inbox-2.thumb.png.450da955d067ac9e75ccaa6333aa6ba5.png

I'm always right. ;) You're doing fantastically well - keep it going! 

2 hours ago, IndyManager said:

So far, I've been able to use four players promoted from my youth team last last season or this season, and sign a number of young players either on loan or ( most) by transfer. Those are the two philosophies that I've promised to keep.

It's clearly working for you and it's a highly rewarding method. Producing young players can often lead to you reaping in a lot of money from selling them on, when they are ready, also. Every season seems to have been a success when you consider different factors, with both Vale and now Forest, fair play on that! 

1 hour ago, Clifton said:

don't understand why some of the EFL managers on here are so sniffy about this completion :).  Maybe their clubs have more money than they need?!    Now sit 9th in the division with 19 points from 12 games, two points off the play off places.

The CheckaTrade Trophy is widely disliked by supporters' irl, for a number of reasons. So I believe people's attitudes stem from that, as it does for myself. For example, the FA set up the new format as a way to develop young players for the Premier League teams involved. However, this has been abused and has seen a number of senior players feature for these sides in the competition as a way to build up match fitness. The old system was much preferred as it gave an opportunity for L1 and 2 sides to compete for silverware. Many just see it as the FA simply catering for the Premier League clubs and ignoring the EFL. This is reflected by the boycotting - where crowds are extremely low. This aside though...

To be in 9th position at this point is certainly nothing to be sniffed at. There are ways to improve and you've recognised this by mentioning the lack of goals. When the January window comes around, you will have the financial power (I'm guessing, judging by the money FGR begin with) to spend and replace Doidge, hopefully providing the goals you need to propel yourselves up into the playoffs and potentially beyond. The club are extremely small, due to the geographical location - so you have a lot to deal with, but with players such as Williams, you have the quality. Good luck in the coming months and hopefully you can return with positive news.

1 hour ago, smplfc123 said:

Now despite dropping down a space to finish in 15th, I feel like I've done a decent job to end the season there. 2 Wins, 4 Draws and 1 Defeat in the final 7 games meant that we ended the season on 64 points.

Joey Barton had run up some poor finances within the club, with us currently sitting on a balance of over -£2.75m, so I can't see me having much to work with in the summer.

One defeat in seven games is a great record, especially when you're taking over a team in which you have no control over, i.e. it's not your squad that you've constructed. A highly respectable points tally is reflected in your results, due to this and yes, I agree, 64 points for 15th does seem a high amount. Usually, I would expect this to get you a top half finish. It just seems to be one of those seasons where everyone picked up points, I think that's demonstrated by the small gap between Bradford and the bottom six.

That's a lot of debt, so it could be a season of loanees and freebies - so I'm keen to see how you manage in that respect. Good luck! 

Edited by DefinitelyTaylor

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Well done so far with FGR @Clifton and hopefully you'll get stronger as the season goes on. James Norwood might be an affordable option in the transfer window if Tranmere haven't tied him down to a new contract. Otherwise, there are always loan strikers available. Don't even get me started on the Checkatrade Trophy though :herman:

@smplfc123 I agree that's a good points tally and very respectable finish. That budget isn't going to make it an easy summer, but I always enjoy your struggles through adversity as you usually do a decent job. Best of luck :thup: 

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Thanks Jogo Bonito (how do I get the blue @name up?).   I am also looking at Danny Rose who is transfer listed by Mansfield, especially because of his high determination which is severely lacking in my squad.   Hoping the forum's resident Mansfield expert :) might help with the scouting.

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Danny Rose would also be excellent in L2. To get the @ name in blue just type the @ and then the name you want. A pop up with options should appear and just click on the name you want to highlight 

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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Well we have reached the beginning of December and this report is coming to you from the newly announced Manager of the Month for November :).  Pleased to report that we are unbeaten since the last update.

Firstly to the cups.   In the Checkatrade we won away at Colchester to make it through to the South 2nd Round. This seems to have pleased not only the Board, but also our supporters - perhaps we have more plumbers, carpenters and bricklayers in our fanbase than normal?   Have drawn local rivals Swindon away in a couple of weeks time.

In the FA Cup we drew Stockport at home in the first round and secured an easy 3-0 win.  Next was Peterborough in front of the cameras at the New Lawn and the 2-1 victory was more comfortable than the score suggests.   £54k television fee was a bonus. We have again been drawn at home in the third round with a tough assignment against Sheffield United.   Would rather have had a lucrative away draw, but the Board is pleased we have made it this far.

Our league form has been ok.   Highlights were a home win over fierce rivals Cheltenham and away wins at then leaders Carlisle and Lincoln.   We are now up to seventh in the league with 34 points from 19 games.   We are only 3 points behind current leaders Crewe.   Lots of Boards have been panicking with Mansfield, Crawley, Exeter, Swindon and Stevenage among those to sack their manager.   One name that keeps featuring as a bookies favourite is Harry Redknapp, but sadly he has not yet been appointed.

Having consulted leading experts @Ronaldo Beckham, @Joga Bonito, and @DefinitelyTaylor as well as my scouts, I have emptied the piggy bank and Danny Rose will be joining us at the beginning of January.  The fee was £230k, but Danny has taken a pay cut to come here, so must fancy the vegan beer.  I hope this works out as I have no money left for the rest of the squad, and my job could be on the line.

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Sorry to be a pain guys could someone please send me a screenshot of the following players 3 seasons into their save (attributes and stats ie history):

Grealish, Saiz, Klich, Mount, Bjarnason, McBurnie and McGinn.

Thanks in advance.

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19 minutes ago, Clifton said:

We are now up to seventh in the league with 34 points from 19 games.   We are only 3 points behind current leaders Crewe.  

Having consulted leading experts @Ronaldo Beckham, @Joga Bonito, and @DefinitelyTaylor as well as my scouts, I have emptied the piggy bank and Danny Rose will be joining us at the beginning of January.  The fee was £230k, but Danny has taken a pay cut to come here, so must fancy the vegan beer.  I hope this works out as I have no money left for the rest of the squad, and my job could be on the line.

Good work! It seems incredibly close, given you're just three points behind top in seventh position. A steady run of form could do a lot for you.

Glad to see you've managed to recruit Rose and hopefully our expertise come to fruition. If not, I'll be getting to boot, won't I. :D 

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1407441964_MatGilbert_Inbox-5.thumb.png.ed634aeec0cb90d5f5094d204a62f6ce.png

Potentially a difficult run in against teams aiming for the playoffs/promotion. Not sure the squad is ready for Premier League football, but that's what we're aiming for!

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After almost two years at Boston, i've got an offer i couldn't refuse. The Seasiders came calling and i answered.

9417642ad0eafd40b279f2726b7421ab.png

Relegated from League 1 in first season, finally free from Oyston family claws, they just beg for rebuilding. And that what i intend to do.

Squad is thinner than i would've liked, players are meh at best, board are expecting promotion... This will be fun.

6afc0559765630480662e52dc4b57e29.png

6603f77a33ce7af411dae83a56b014b5.png

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7 hours ago, Gilbo88 said:

Potentially a difficult run in against teams aiming for the playoffs/promotion. Not sure the squad is ready for Premier League football, but that's what we're aiming for!

Not the easiest, but six points or so and you're up. Hope it goes well! :D 

5 hours ago, Constantine said:

After almost two years at Boston, i've got an offer i couldn't refuse. The Seasiders came calling and i answered.

Glad to welcome you to the EFL. A rather thin squad as you say, but glimpses of quality - especially in Jay Spearing. Hopefully you can meet the boards high ambitions, there's no reason as to why you can't, given you're not all that far away from the playoffs. A good run of form and you'll build the morale needed to succeed, if you do make them. Good luck!

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Happy New Year from the Forest Green suburb of Nailsworth.

December was an eventful month.

After a routine win at Yeovil a weakened team went to rivals Swindon in the Chekatrade and lost on penalties, so our Chekatrade dream is over for another year.   The next league game was at home to lowly Mansfield and was a disaster as we lost 3-0.   Two of their goals were freak shots and one a penalty, and we had a perfectly good goal disallowed for offside.  First loss in the League for three months. I feared the curse of Manager of the Month was striking!   Next up were games against two of the top three and I feared the worst.

At Northampton our on loan goalkeeper Robert Sanchez from Brighton dropped an early shot to concede a soft goal and we were two down within 25 minutes.   The boys fought back to 2-2 and then an inspired substitution saw Tahvon Campbell score with his first touch of the game to secure a vital 3-2 win. Third place Crewe were the next team at The New Lawn and we won 2-1 despite another mistake from the previously reliable Sanchez.  The next game at rivals Cheltenham saw Sanchez rested and James Montgomery given the chance to cement a place in the team.   A 5-2 win away was a very satisfying way to finish the year.   Cheltenham responded by sacking their manager!   We now sit second in the league level on points with leaders Carlisle but with an inferior goal difference.   It's close though as only six points separate the top eight teams.

Two days before Christmas the Chairman contacted me to start discussions about a new contract.   I told him I was too busy wrapping presents to spare time for this - I expect he will be in touch again in the new year.  On Christmas Day MKDons sacked their manager!   Class.  Bury are also looking for a new manager so I am fast becoming a relative veteran amongst managers in this league.

Danny Rose has joined and we are all looking forward to what he can do.   Good reliable performances by Dayle Grubb and Ferrend Rawson have seen them rewarded with new 18 month contracts, but Scott Laird is heading back home to Scotland to join Queen of the South at the end of the season.   He's never let me down but at 30 with pace of only 8 he wasn't going to do it for me next year.  Reece Brown won't talk to me about a new contract, the prospect of a move to Burton seems to have unsettled him.   In the wake of a hat-trick against Cheltenham I offered Tahvon Campbell a new contract but walked away when his agent wanted silly money for himself.   Can't afford to pay these people over the top.   Extended the loan of young midfielder Matthew Worthington from Bournemouth until the end of the season.   Not sure what to do about the remaining players whose contract expires at the end of the season so will wait.

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And we're back to the League 1. All it took was few more players on loan. Our attack got firepower it needed with Bobby Duncan and Kun Temenuzhkov and it showed, as we went flying past the competition. I was really afraid we wouldn't make it despite our phenomenal performances, since at time Forest Green turned on god mode, beating everyone left and right but they couldn't keep up and just fell apart at the end.

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But now, real fun begin. And i mean fun ironically. Squad is literally paper thin. When all loanees goes back to their clubs (whom now want them playing with higher quality players), contract expires, we're left with 5 players. I really want to keep Mark Howard, Curtis Tilt, Jay Spearing and Callum Guy but they're unhappy at the club and won't budge entering contract negotiations. On top of that, money is really, really, really an issue.

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It was worse, as we were over 2 mill in the red. Board added cash injection, prize money helped a bit but things still look dire. I'll have to get truckload of players and i don't know how we'll pay for them.

Oh well... I've complained enough. Bring on next season!!

 

 

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@Constantine Congratulations on your promotion - but at what a price!   Looking forward to seeing how you manage this!

In my Forest Green save I tend to try and use and develop my own players and use loanees more to provide backup and rotation.   I think it might be more sustainable in the long run rather than acting as a training ground for other clubs.   I started my save quite ready to take a few years to get promoted whilst trying to develop the club (presuming my Chairman will tolerate that) and players.   As it happens (spoiler alert) things are going much better than I expected. :)

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Been away for a few days and - as usual - there's far too much updating to comment on individually. Suffice it to say it's great to see so much active involvement in the forum's greatest thread. But a special shoutout to @Constantine for a remarkable achievement with Blackpool. Not sure where you'll go from there, given the financial mire, but enjoy a moment of well-deserved satisfaction.

@Clifton @Gilbo88 Hope you guys can keep on keeping on!

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A New Year at The New Lawn.

New year's day saw a good start to the new year with a comfortable home win against Northampton.   The 2-0 win marked the long-awaited debut for big signing Danny Rose who's Forest Green career got off to a rather nervous start.  It also spelt the end of Keith Curle's tenure as manager - the second game in a row we have seen of a rival manager!  Defeat for Carlisle meant that we went top of the league for the first time with 49 points from 25 games.

Four days later we were back down to earth after a 3-0 home defeat to Sheffield Utd in the 3rd round of the cup.   We matched them pretty well but clinical finishing from Mark Duffy and (inevitably) Billy Sharp was the difference between the sides.

We bounced back with a 4-0 thrashing of Grimsby.   The rest of January saw three wins and a goaless draw at Stevenage.   

The last four games have been a bit of a struggle as I think teams have started to work us out.   Will have to improve security at the training ground!  I can't put my finger on it yet, but Danny Rose's form has been underwhelming (1goal and 1 assist in six games) as I try and remould him as a poacher.   I can't bring myself to play him as a 5'8" target man at this level.

Still we have no more cup distractions, just sixteen games to go.  We are top with 62 points from 30 games, ten points ahead of Northampton in second.   Team cohesion is good, the dressing room atmosphere is excellent as is support for me.   Haven't heard any more about a contract renewal.   Reece Brown has changed his mind and signed a contract extension to the end of 2020.

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January Manager of the Month inevitably leads to the wheels coming off.....

Three of our four games are against sides that have already beaten us this year.  Swindon away we are deservedly leading until the 88th minute when they get a penalty and another goal in 90th minute from a 30 yard screamer.. No time to respond.   Notts County at home, outplaying them throughout but lose 3-2, then lose by odd goal at home to Yeovil and away to Mansfield when again they both get penalties.   Not sure what to do about this as I am not playing aggressive football.   Only light moment of the month was the news that Ashley Cole had joined Exeter!

Lead now down to 4 points over Port Vale and my nemesis Swindon (managed by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink).

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I'm enjoying the FGR and Blackpool stories, good luck to both of you.

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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On 14/02/2019 at 18:27, DefinitelyTaylor said:

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. 

T

@DefinitelyTaylor - I have become a big fan of Cash as well. He's a big part of why we were able to move top of the table just past the halfway point of the season. But in a vital 4-1 in over Middlesborough, this happened:

image.thumb.png.2b696491c34726617f32686cbf4bf88d.png

 

Makes me wish I wasn't committed to not reloading saves.... Wish us well Matty - we're going to need all the help we can get to make the playoffs now (and if we don't make it, I'm  going to have some "splaining to do to about five guys I talked into joining us at Forest.

 

Edited by IndyManager

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March at Forest Green, such hard work.....

After the disaster that was February came the struggle that was March.

A scruffy home win (1-0) over Lincoln was followed by advice from my Assistant Manager to drop Danny Rose.   My Board also suggested that the problem was my lack of tactical flexibility - i.e. using a tactic all season that had brought Forest Green unprecedented success.   So I decided to try a change of tactic to bring an improvement in fortunes and bring the best out of Rose.   Given my meagre attacking resources I decided to move from my trusty 4-1-4-1 (as FM calls it) or 4-1-2-2-1 as I know it, to a narrow diamond 4-1-2-1-2 to see if a two striker approach would work for the team and for Rose.

First up we outplayed Morecombe away but had to settle for a draw.   Second game with the new formation saw us win 3-2 away at third placed Colchester with two goals for Reuben Reid.  Promising.

Next up a home draw with Carlisle and Reid (my second striker) breaks an ankle and is out for the rest of the season, and George Williams (my only viable AM) injured and out for two weeks.   So much for a change of tactics.

Revert to original tactics for even draws at second place Port Vale and at home to MK Dons.   

At one stage had five out injured.   Most of the season has been fairly good for injuries, but then I don't have intense training or high pressing and regularly rotate so that it is very rare to have someone playing when less than 95% fit.   These injuries just came when I didn't need them.   Can't understand what has happened to the team as Team Cohesion is Very Good, Dressing Room atmosphere remains Excellent as is support from the players for me.   Squad body language is 'motivated' or 'fired up".   We remain top with 72 points from 40 games, four points ahead of second place Port Vale, eight points ahead of fourth placed Crewe and ten points ahead of eight place Swindon, so still in contention.

Danny Rose has now hurt his shoulder in training and is out for three weeks.   Following Reid's injury this ought to be a disaster but with 3 goals and 1 assist in 15 games and the lowest Average Rating in the whole squad I am not sure.   I am currently consulting my lawyers with a view to suing the advisors who recommended him to me for gross incompetence, mischief or worse.

My Chairman has been in touch again about a new contract.   Given that my objective is to build the club as much as the team I asked that they improve the training facilities (as we are only getting 60% capacity at the moment, and worse when the 63 bus isn't running, I decided not to ask for ground improvements), but he said no.   Contract talks stopped at that point.

Edited by Clifton
Omission

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59 minutes ago, Clifton said:

I am currently consulting my lawyers with a view to suing the advisors who recommended him to me for gross incompetence, mischief or worse.

:ackter:I did not play a part in this...

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2019/20 - Brutal

After my last update, I spoke about doing fairly well in patches, well the second half the season was dire.

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In 2020, I won 3, drew 4 and lost 11, including a terrible 6 game losing streak. In January, i was quite clear that I wasn't going down, but the way my team just gave up at times was embarassing. The 5-nil lost to Everton was a real low point, as at the time they were 2 places below me. In the end I finished 15th, 6 points clear of relegation and thoroughly unhappy after an excellent first half the season.

 

My board and my fans 'disliked' my 4-3-1-2 narrow formation, so in the final few games I tried some alternatives, but with few wingers I didn't have a huge selection of wide formations and players to pick from. My POTY was probably Jordan Thorniley who didn't play after christmas due to a broken leg, but I think if I had to pick a player who played the majority of the season I'd go with Bonatini or Vavro.

 

Massive improvements required.

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Climax of Forest Green Rovers Season.....

The last six games of the season were mostly to be against teams towards the bottom of the table.   No problems there then?

An away win against Crawley saw young striker Tahvon Campbell end an eight match goal drought.   He then added a further two in a comfortable 2-0 defeat of Macclesfield which took us to the brink of promotion.   A 1-1 draw at Tranmere saw us guaranteed promotion but we lost Mathew Worthington to a season-ending injury.

With the pressure off we secured  top spot with a commanding 3-0 home win over Cambridge in front of a disappointing crowd of only 3490.   Good to see Ferrand Rawson, one of our players of the season, get a rare goal.   Next off we won 2-0 at Crewe ending their hopes of automatic promotion, and finally, in front of a packed The New Lawn we saw the season off with a 2-0 win over Exeter.

We ended up with 88 points from the 46 games thirteen points ahead of Colchester with Mansfield a further point back also guaranteed promotion.   Notts County, Swindon, Oldham and Port Vale will contest the dreaded playoffs.   Tranmere and Macclesfield were relegated.

The Board have been in touch again about renewing my contract.   I was disappointed with attendances at The New Lawn, especially when we were going for the title, but the main problem is the Board again refused to improve the training facilities.   They expect me to get a top half finish next year with a transfer budget of £12.5k!

I have been a bit surprised that with all the teams in the division that changed manager (some more than once) no-one sounded me out, and I must confess I am close to handing the keys in on my company Nissan Leaf and walking away.   Will have one more chat with the Board to see if they will show any ambition at all.

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On 21/02/2019 at 12:36, Eug04 said:

Sorry to be a pain guys could someone please send me a screenshot of the following players 3 seasons into their save (attributes and stats ie history):

Grealish, Saiz, Klich, Mount, Bjarnason, McBurnie and McGinn.

Thanks in advance.

Anyone? :(

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I can send screen shots to you later, but what ends up as a very improbably scenario (to me) has played out and this Nottingham Forest team has won promotion to the Premier League with five matches to spare. From the time Cash was injured, I was able to add two key members of the starting XI, a left back from Man United U23s and Bobby Carroll from Everton. Both have been absolute stalwarts for me, although Devine is a bit of a prat when it comes to his attitude (he’s still upset with me that I didn’t strengthen the squad enough during the January window, one of my promises to him. I thought between him, Carroll and Nico Williams, a striker from Athletic Bilbao who I brought in on loan, I had done plenty, but he still says he wants out even though we achieved the objective). He needs to come around. Anyway, we went on an incredible run of form from January on and I can’t really explain it. I did take advice of someone on here to tweak the roles and duties of your players to maximize their suitability, so that may be part of the reason but I’m still very surprised at my success.

The real strength of this team has been guys who were signed or loaned in from Premier League team. Here is my typical starting 11:

GK: Jack O’Rourke top young GK who I convinced to stay as long as we won promotion this year – other teams were coming in for him. He was on the roster when I took over

Right Center Back: Alese – a loan signing from West Ham.

Center Back: Diego Polenta – on the squad when I took the job. Previously want-away but when we clinched the elevator ride to the top he was signing my praises in the press.

Left Center Back: Matthew Bevis – a loan signing from Arsenal with terrific numbers.

Right Wingback: Neco Williams – Signed from Liverpool U23s after a loan stint with us last season (not to be confused with NICO Williams, the striker

Left Wingback: Reese Devine of Man United, twice as good as the previous left back I was using until January.

Central Midfielder: Pangio Tachtsidis – no way I’m getting that name right without looking it up. He is a holdover from real life I believe. 33 but still going strong…except when he’s injured.

CM: Bobby Carroll – my personal MVP. Never seems to have a bad game.

CM: Jake Pitman – Loan signing from Liverpool, or George Yeboah, promote from the youth squad who has been quite good. Another holdover named Brennan Johnson has also been good but he was injured shortly after Cash went on the shelf.

Forwards – I rotate among four of them, Nico Williams, Jack Clarke, signed as he was out of contract at Leeds; James Wilson – holdover from the squad I inherited; Evan Guessand – a good purchase from France last season.

 

I think the key for me has been to use my scouting to aggregate new players better than what the AI does for my competition, and to have decent team depth for when guys take knocks, such as cheap transfers from Belgium and Scandinavia on my back line (plus ancient Danny Baath (also aging well like Polenta and Tachstidis.

 

I was promoted after midnight last night, but now I want to spend some time looking for new buysd. The board has doubled my payroll for next season and given me a 40 million pound transfer budget, so I’m guessing I will need to buy smart from abroad. I have signed a couple of stinkers at strikers, one from Spain and one from Germany. I didn’t pay much for either but still, I hate that they were almost total duds.

I’m going to have to break some bad news to a few squad players (or more than a few) about not going with us to the Premiership. The pattern for me in this save is to fight relegation and finish respectably in season one of a division, and then excel in the 2nd year. I’m under no such illusion about being anywhere close to doing this for next season in the Premier League. My Cup exits  (3-0 to Liverpool in Carabao and 4-0 to Arsenal in the FA) were proof enough that I’m light years behind. We’ll see what the future brings, but for now I guess I should try to pip Southampton for the Championship title.

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21 minutes ago, IndyManager said:

this Nottingham Forest team has won promotion to the Premier League

Well played mate :applause:

24 minutes ago, IndyManager said:

I want to spend some time looking for new buys

I think that's wise - the temptation is to buy a couple of headline players, but I think it's better to spread the money around to upgrade as many positions as you can.

After a week's break from the Mansfield Town save, I've been playing through the early fixtures in the Championship and we're way out of our depth now - too much success too soon. Most of the squad are still rated at L2 level, and more than a few have actually declined and my coaches rate them as no better than VNL level. The transfer window was a serious struggle and it was all I could do to put together a 22-man squad, let alone improve on quality. I think I'm going to take the opportunity of managing someone with a bit of money (might be time for a crack at my annual Man Utd save!) until the next FM update before returning to the EFL for the second half.

In the meantime, I'll be following everyone's progress here. KUTGW guys!

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22 hours ago, Eug04 said:

Anyone? :(

I'm scouting them right now. Can't get you Klich though, since he went to Standard and is out of my scouting range. When my scouts are done, i'll post you screnshots here.

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33 minutes ago, Constantine said:

I'm scouting them right now. Can't get you Klich though, since he went to Standard and is out of my scouting range. When my scouts are done, i'll post you screnshots here.

That is perfect thanks a lot :D

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4 minutes ago, Constantine said:

390bde3e0940b1cd6eeeda512aa28cd9.png

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It's going to take a bit longer to scout Grealish and John McGinn for some reason...

Perfect thanks, I look forward to seeing the others aswell :D

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16 hours ago, warlock said:

Well played mate :applause:

I think that's wise - the temptation is to buy a couple of headline players, but I think it's better to spread the money around to upgrade as many positions as you can.

After a week's break from the Mansfield Town save, I've been playing through the early fixtures in the Championship and we're way out of our depth now - too much success too soon. Most of the squad are still rated at L2 level, and more than a few have actually declined and my coaches rate them as no better than VNL level. The transfer window was a serious struggle and it was all I could do to put together a 22-man squad, let alone improve on quality. I think I'm going to take the opportunity of managing someone with a bit of money (might be time for a crack at my annual Man Utd save!) until the next FM update before returning to the EFL for the second half.

In the meantime, I'll be following everyone's progress here. KUTGW guys!

While there is plenty of room in the budget, the whole team seems to realize this as well as they are all coming to me in search of a new deal. I have been able to land Jake Pitman on a permanent deal, and re-signed a few others. Holiday is just beginning following our championship win (oh by the way...), So we will see about any incomings. There's transfer money as I said, but now I start to feel attachment to the team that on promotion. One thing for sure: Staying up will take heavy lifting.

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@Eug04 Sorry for waiting on the remaining two, had to go and help out my neighbor. That and my scouts took their sweet time scouting McGinn. It was like he was playing in South America or something :D

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Apologies, I've been away for a week or so and haven't been able to keep up to date with everyone's progress.

I loaded my Fleetwood save up today and couldn't get the feel for it having been away for a while. So I decided to load up my unemployed save again and began to apply for struggling EFL teams. Unfortunately, apart from a couple of interesting offers from European biggies Hamburg and Deportivo La Coruna, I wasn't really getting anywhere. Then, with the season closing, I've been given a 1 year contract at the KCOM. 

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I have 6 games to save them from relegation. Could be a short save, but wish me luck!

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