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FM19: The English Football League thread

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, warlock said:

The wally with the brolly...

FA Cup R3 saw us drawn against Championship side QPR and manager Steve McLaren was mouthing off to the press about what an easy game it was for them. You can imagine my delight when we held them to a 1-1 draw. For the replay at Loftus Road he was at it again. Then this...

Q7h9syah.png?1

The injury to Smodics is a blow - he'll be out for 6-8 weeks. On the upside, we have a visit to Leicester in the next round - hoping for a decent payday from that one!

Great progress @warlock

Really going well in the league and goals from Norris. Great win in the FA Cup against 'Schteeve's' QPR team, incredible to do that away from home! Szmodics has been a disappointment to me as I expected him to be one of my best players. What was his best role for you, and in what formation did he contribute most?

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Szmodics has been a disappointment to me as I expected him to be one of my best players

Well, I was originally playing him as a mez-att in the 433dm where he did OK but not living up to his potential. With the switch to the 4231, he's in his natural position at AMC. Although his best role is shadow striker, I'm playing him as an AMC-att.

I wouldn't say he's been amazing, but in 14 appearances as an AMC, he has 3 goals and 5 assists for an average rating of 7.2. Had a couple of Championship sides sniffing around in early January, but his injury put paid to any interest.

The Leicester game looks to have netted us over £500k, with total income for the month just shy of £1m - compared to our average of around £300k. A big help!

Edit: Forgot to add that, unsurprisingly, we lost to the Foxes, but came away with heads held high after a narrow 1-2 defeat - Vardy got the winner in the 80th minute!

Edited by warlock

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Posted (edited)

@warlock Thanks. I've been using him as AMC shadow striker and not had much joy at all, so much so that he's now on the bench as I've gone to a 433 with wide attackers/wingers and he wasn't justifying his starting place. Great news on your finances!

I also noticed my personal assistant has been consistently sending me messages about things at Bolton throughout this season. I don't know how he does it, but he must be moonlighting between roles in Essex and Lancashire. Anyone else seen or experienced this?

 

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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2 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

I also noticed my personal assistant has been consistently sending me messages about things at Bolton throughout this season. I don't know how he does it, but he must be moonlighting between roles in Essex and Lancashire. Anyone else seen or experienced this?

Can't say I've seen that (or similar). Could you have accidentally subscribed to something in the news or social media screens?

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I'm pretty sure I haven't as I always just accept the defaults. How can you check what subscriptions you have?

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On 16/03/2019 at 23:52, warlock said:

Seem to have misplaced my mojo. In the last week or so I've started saves with Southampton (twice), Sunderland, Cambridge, Carlisle and Bury. In desperation, I went back to clubs I'd really enjoyed last year - Bristol City and Peterborough - and didn't get much past pre-season in any of them.

Even when I decide I need a break, I can't leave it alone and the next day I'm firing up another save. It's a sickness :idiot:

But I've been here before... pretty much every year, in fact. Something will click eventually.

I’m the same fire saves up left right and centre 😩 can’t seem to find a team to settle on

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1 hour ago, Jogo Bonito said:

How can you check what subscriptions you have?

If you go to the 'social' page, down in the bottom-right corner there's a 'manage' button, which brings up a list of everyone (and everything) you're following with tabs from the dropdown menu for players, competitions, teams, etc.

The only thing that comes to mind is whether you've ever set Bolton as a favourite team... the game remembers favourites and adds them to your feed.

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1 hour ago, warlock said:

If you go to the 'social' page, down in the bottom-right corner there's a 'manage' button, which brings up a list of everyone (and everything) you're following with tabs from the dropdown menu for players, competitions, teams, etc.

The only thing that comes to mind is whether you've ever set Bolton as a favourite team... the game remembers favourites and adds them to your feed.

Thanks. Checked that, nothing on there for Bolton and nothing in favourite clubs (thankfully). Never mind.

Now mid-March in game, update to follow when I take a break.

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2 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Now mid-March in game, update to follow when I take a break.

Hope you're doing as well as I am :D.

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Colchester: Season 1, 2nd half

Let's start with this...

Jv9dDQUh.png?1

Bit of a spoiler, but worth the prominent position, I think :lol:.

So, cue Scooby-Do flashback effect and rewind to January.

I was looking to bring in better cover for Norris upfront, and to replace the under-performing loan signings out wide, but there were slim pickings. I did sign Carlton Morris on loan from Norwich, but since he'd missed the whole of the first half of the season through injury it was a bit of a gamble. But beggars can't be choosers...

Out wide, I solved one problem by deciding to keep Eisa - he'd started to show signs of his ability and, thankfully, as the season progressed he repaid my faith. On the other side, I solved the problem by not signing a direct replacement. I had been rotating Smodics at AMC with Courtney Senior who was also my best right-winger. So I signed Will Smallbone on loan from Southampton to cover the AMC slot, allowing me to move Senior back to the wing. Good theory, somewhat spoiled when Smodics went out for nearly two months with injury, by which time I'd already terminated the loan of AMR Callum Roberts :rolleyes:.

Our form in January wasn't bad, and February was better. By March, the combination of injuries and fatigue started to take their toll and we ended up with a run of draws that cost us a boatload of points. This coincided with a spell of patchy form from Norris who scored just 6 goals from his last 20 appearances, and most of those from the penalty spot. Morris, sadly, didn't pick up the load - he managed just 2 goals and 1 assist. Fortunately, Lincoln were doing no better and they ended up trading second and third places with a resurgent Oldham, flourishing under Paul Scholes's management and who put together a string of 20 unbeaten games.

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Our lead of 8pts at the top in early March was cut to just 4pts by the end of the month. Happily, we found a return to winning form In April and secured automatic promotion by the middle of the month. But we would have to wait until the penultimate game to secure the title; even better, we did it at home against a strong MK Dons side, and did it in style with a 3-0 victory.

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We ended the season with the 2nd best goalscoring record - only Lincoln did better - and the meanest defence. In fact, four of our defenders - LB Kane Vincent-Young, and CBs Frankie Kent, Tom Eastman and Oliver Kensdale - were the top four highest-rated players in L2. My own personal Player of the Year Award, however, goes to Tom Glover in goal. The young Spurs prospect conceded the fewest goals of any 'keeper in the division, and kept a remarkable 22 clean sheets in 44 appearances. They say a good GK is worth 10pts a season; Glover earned us way more than that.

So we look ahead to life in L1. With the £25,000 for winning the title safely in the bank, the board have reached down the back of every sofa in the clubhouse and given me a transfer budget of... £14,300. I'll try not to go mad with that!

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Posted (edited)

@warlock Never in doubt! Brilliant stuff though, and hopefully I can get close enough to those achievements...

I see no mention of the Checkatrade Trophy Final? I thought everybody who wanted to fail in that ended up getting to Wembley. No?

Pleased to hear Kensdale was a regular, I'm keen to have him as one of my four centre backs next season, but opted to promote Cameron James for the role this season ahead of the younger candidate. Not so pleased to see your transfer budget of £14,300 for next season. Maybe I will hang around in L2 a bit longer.

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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10 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

I see no mention of the Checkatrade Trophy Final?

We went out to Coventry in the first knockout round in December! I'm obviously not as good at failing as you :p.

I'm honestly astounded by how good we were in defence. Kensdale was brilliant, winning 4 PoM awards in 32 starts. He obviously has potential but he delivered from the off. Eastman is much more experienced and did well all season, but he came out slightly second-best to Kensdale. My coaches rate Frankie Kent as the best of my CBs, and he did really well, but just couldn't match the performances of the other two.

21 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Not so pleased to see your transfer budget of £14,300

I know, right? I hope the board weren't expecting me to throw myself at their feet in gratitude! Think I'll be spending the weekend searching for expiring contracts. Speaking of which, I'm really ticked off with this rule that means English clubs can't approach English players until the last month of their contract, but 'foreign' clubs can go in at 6 months. Connor Randall, who has been one of the better players, was snapped up on a free by Hibs in January :seagull:

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Posted (edited)

I've been using Kent as main starter, alongside Prosser or Osborne. James hasn't started too many, but has been decent when he has. I'm looking forward to using Kensdale soon too. I had to get rid of Eastman as he was too slow for my liking (and I have Prosser for that), he had an expiring contract, and there was a club willing to pay £100k for him.

Couldn't you get anyone from Scotland or Ireland (or USA) with expiring contracts to balance that out? Shankland from Ayr, perhaps? Expiring contract options I have on my watch list are Forster-Caskey, Ogilvie, Lua Lua (perhaps to emulate his brother's work at the club), possibly Josh Parker and James Norwood. It probably all depends what league I'm in though...

Colchester United - Season 1 (January, February & March)

A New Year, but no new signings. I didn't even look at one player (but sold Comley for £100k to Fleetwood)

Results in January were great, especially overturning a 0-2 deficit to beat Everton in the FA Cup

That journey ended in Round 4 against Southampton, but the money had been useful

Unfortunately it wasn't enough to buy a defeat in the Checkatrade Trophy and I kept stumbling along towards Wembley

The league form was much more enjoyable though, and my 433 was being switched with a 4321 (two attackers in behind the striker)

February saw me take some advice from a Colchester legend about the best role for the disappointing Szmodics

After being bombed out of the team due to consistently poor performances as a shadow striker, I dumbed down his role

And look at how he flourished as an attacking midfielder (attack) with a stream of goals and excellent performances since February

The league form saw me reach the summit, and I've managed to stay there despite my cup 'adventure' taking me to Wembley

Due to that and postponements (international call ups), I also have two games in hand as April approaches

As you can see, my last outing finally brought a failure in the Checkatrade final, so at least I won't have to see my team's name etched on the trophy 

I've got eight league games left, and if I screw this up I can only blame myself for that

1757093681_ColchesterFixtures1.4.thumb.png.e80f715572a89e2ecb002625a447c44f.png

639024901_Colchesterprogress1.3.thumb.png.adde236e5ae8a3a5637df572fc4d24d4.png

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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24 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Couldn't you get anyone from Scotland or Ireland (or USA) with expiring contracts to balance that out? Shankland from Ayr, perhaps?

Shankland isn't a bad shout, actually - I signed him a couple of saves ago and he didn't perform but I think he had an upgrade in the last update. (Not sure I have the best approach to scouting at lower league levels; I don't currently have access to Scotland!)

And it looks like you're getting even better performances out of Smodics than I did. Certainly, Pell and Nouble are doing better for you than me... I love how 'identical' saves in FM produce such different results.

Also a bit miffed about international postponements. I was never given the option of postponing a game, even though I often had four first-team players out because of call-ups. Unfair!!!

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, warlock said:

Shankland isn't a bad shout, actually - I signed him a couple of saves ago and he didn't perform but I think he had an upgrade in the last update. (Not sure I have the best approach to scouting at lower league levels; I don't currently have access to Scotland!)

And it looks like you're getting even better performances out of Smodics than I did. Certainly, Pell and Nouble are doing better for you than me... I love how 'identical' saves in FM produce such different results.

Also a bit miffed about international postponements. I was never given the option of postponing a game, even though I often had four first-team players out because of call-ups. Unfair!!!

You can go and manually look at the SPL/Championship sides and see what players have expiring contracts. But not many would be L1 quality.

Szmodics is still only rating 6.77 so far, and recently it's been much better including an 8.3 and a 9.0. That shows how poor he was before. Pell has mainly been a bench and rotation player, Nouble was best as an inside forward on the left in my abandoned 433. Since he got injured he hasn't won his place back in the starting X1.

I don't know why you weren't offered the options to postpone. I've had 4 or 5 away at any one time since the sale of Comley, maybe it's the English U21 numbers that helped me?

Do you have your player stats for the season, I'd be interested to see who played most games, who you didn't use, average ratings, goals and assists etc. Also I'd be interested to see who impressed in your U23 or U18 squads, and who else got elevated to the senior squad (in addition to Kenslade).

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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11 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Do you have your player stats for the season

MWVA0YM.png?1

Apart from Kensdale, none of the youngsters impressed me in pre-season and the u23s had a poor season finishing 8th out 10 in their division and winning just three games out of 28. I also must admit I'm pretty poor at developing young players. Louis Dunne and Ryan Clampin look the best prospects and they should get some cup games next season. In the u18s, Reuben Mudd and Oliver Sims were the standouts and might have some potential but both have really poor mental attributes.

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@warlock I see Jake Vokins seems to have had a great season for you. He's quality for that division and hopefully you can loan him up through the divisions with you. 

 

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@warlock Congrats on winning League Two! That 16 game three month undefeated spell is particularly impressive. I fully expect you to build on your momentum and perform well in League One next season.

@Jogo Bonito Good results there, particularly that 4-3 win against Everton! I'm sure it won't be long before you join warlock in announcing your promotion.

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@Jamesbfc1887 Yeah, Vokins was brilliant. I was crushed when Southampton initially refused to extend the loan for another season, but once we'd rolled over into L1 status, they agreed.

@Dong21 Thanks :thup:. I have just been dismayed by the board announcing they want a top-half finish (with essentially no transfer budget). When I passed that on in the first team meeting, half the squad were appalled. We'll see how it plays out.

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Accrington Season 3

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Well then, you join me just after a quite remarkable victory against top of the league Sunderland!

It's fair to say this season hasn't gone exactly how I thought it would.

We've carried on exactly as we finished last season, the start to the season against Norwich and Birmingham were real eye openers, I was sat thinking "We haven't got anywhere near the quality for this league" etc.... But then....

A slow but steady improvement has lead to us being one of the form teams in the division.

 fd2ff2bc7447e60b5aa0ac44c57d53ca3d50243a

This is the contribution of our players this season.

@DefinitelyTaylor With the genius prediction about Jimmy Dunne :D.

Jake Vokins has been fantastic and @warlock will be pleased to see he can more than step up to the Championship. :applause:

The only problem I can see going forward is a lack of goals from our strikers, a lot of our goals seem to come from the midfield particularly Farrugia.

 

 edfa06cbd2adefcfd193c529011ad91892a9bfc5

Wow! That's definitely put a spanner in the works!!!

So what do we think stay or go?

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Thanks for the squad view @warlock interesting to see.

@Dong21 Thanks for feedback. Yes the Everton game was the best one of the season, although very surprising!

@Jamesbfc1887 Wow, excellent work. Tempting offer, but I'd say you have unfinished business there!

 

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Colchester United - Season 1 (April & May)

Promotion was (as expected) clinched at Yeovil, and I needed a point at home to MK Dons to win the title

1780887133_ColchesterFixtures1.5.thumb.png.fdf8f7d9a369c023da76c5ee45739dd2.png

So of course it made sense to try an experiment for that one, right?

Yes, at home to 5th placed side MK Dons, I decided to pick a team of players with Home Grown at Club status

I couldn't get the full X1 because of the GK, but all 10 outfield players and two of the three subs used qualified under that category

Several debuts were included, and I think that was a cracking result against very good opponents

And a fitting way to celebrate lifting the trophy on home turf

993379048_CUvMK.thumb.png.73338d1fd90fc412b0f4b4faf75049df.png

Here is the final table. Not as good as @warlock but a very satisfactory season indeed

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With the end of season competition payments and left over transfer budget, the finances were returned to decent order at last

And I've been allowed to keep my unused transfer budget, allowing £239k to be spent in League 1

Sorry to my fellow manager, but that's how my sales rewarded me

1723264433_Colchesterprogress1.4.thumb.png.2545021b14f0f5264ba460a9e479e4b2.png

Here is the season review of performances

2111332942_Colchesterseason1review.thumb.png.3e1642f3ec13c39ee09112c4f9c6a3c7.png

And my six representatives in the League 2 Team of the Year (Dickenson won the club player of the year vote from my fans)

838312954_League2Team.thumb.png.ce4463f04b377b76ed679cfff078323b.png

And here are the player performances in all competitions across the season

1941318633_ColchesterPlayers1.1.thumb.png.a3090328f1736e3737e488c8333bfc65.png

444100699_ColchesterPlayers1.2.thumb.png.228787ce6a54397b38e507148410e8d4.png

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2 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Promotion was (as expected) clinched at Yeovil, and I needed a point at home to MK Dons to win the title

Never in doubt :applause:

Absolutely fascinating to see the differences in player performance, but I guess we'll diverge  a little from now (unless we sign the same players).

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2 hours ago, Jamesbfc1887 said:

you join me just after a quite remarkable victory against top of the league Sunderland!

Going very well there! Some great results, and good to see Vokins performing at that level. As for the West Ham job, I can see the appeal of financial security but like Jogo I think you need to see the project to an end.

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9 minutes ago, warlock said:

Never in doubt :applause:

Absolutely fascinating to see the differences in player performance, but I guess we'll diverge  a little from now (unless we sign the same players).

Cheers. There's been some interesting relegations from each league, three such teams are tempting me in to a rare job switch (Watford, Sheffield Wednesday and Doncaster). Decisions to be made.

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Posted (edited)

Charlton Athletic - Season 6 - Part 3

Going into February we had just lost goalkeeper Henderson and midfielder Fran to serious injuries that would see them both ruled out for 2-3 months. We had a tough run of fixtures ahead, so this would be a real test for my side.

4791752_Schedule1.thumb.png.20d0ecdfeef2eb4bd1faebe7752713d1.png

Our undefeated run immediately came to an end at the hands of our rivals Crystal Palace - it seems however good our form is, Pochettino always seems to have our number. A heavy defeat to West Ham had me fearing that our season was about to capitulate, however we followed this up with a huge victory against AC Milan which filled me with hope once again. We were on course to progress to the next round on away goals in the second leg, until Milan scored in the 89th minute to end our hopes. Milan went on to win the Europa League, so there was no shame in losing to them by such fine margins. We had two more significant victories during our busy month, winning away at Arsenal in the FA Cup and bettering eventual league champions Man Utd.

643392994_Schedule2.thumb.png.9637c12d47a4f5f151043fc260da56c3.png

From January onwards we were battling back and forth with Everton as to who was going to finish in 7th position in the league. Victory over Leicester and a battling draw with Everton themselves, courtesy of a brace from Charlton stalwart Aribo, were important results in the battle for 7th. Our most disappointing result of the season was a 4-0 defeat against Tottenham. I was placed in a difficult and infuriating position whereby I had to play a limited 19 year old goalkeeper as 'keeper Abdel Latif was called up for international duty during the season by Egypt, and Henderson was still injured. Adding to the frustration, forward Cannavo also went off injured and was ruled out for 2-3 months, putting an end to his run of good form. In more positive news, we thrashed both Fulham and Hull to make our way to the FA Cup Final.

We had a really good run of form in April, picking up 10 points in the league. Diogo went off injured against Fulham (luckily he was only out for two weeks rather than months like the other injuries I had to key players) so the wins against Newcastle and Bournemouth came without our two first choice strikers. Calvin Stengs, operating in the inside forward position, stepped up with two man of the match performances. I was pleased with a clean sheet and draw at Anfield, however the two defeats that followed were not how I wished to finish the league campaign. We achieved what we had been battling for in the second half of the season by finishing above Everton, albeit on goal difference.

The season ended on a huge high though as we pulled off an underdog victory beating Liverpool in the FA Cup Final. 18 year old forward Diogo was the man of the match as he provided a quality finish, his 18th of the season, to give us the lead. Substitute Schurrle confirmed the victory with a stoppage time penalty.

Table.thumb.png.23ee8a73694e164dff742eee70e718cd.png290350722_FACup.thumb.png.3ea6b45c7da5c45a47723d47a6ed72cd.png

Overall I was delighted with our season - we achieved our highest league finish under my management, with 13 points more than the season before, and lifted the FA Cup for the second time. The cup victory means we have qualified for the Europa League for the third successive season. I was quite amused by the fact that City missed out on Europe after Everton and ourselves both won domestic trophies.

Summary.thumb.png.575737e4da82123c15af3b26ca54d0ba.png

One of my focuses at the start of the season was to shore up my defence and the addition of Jemerson certainly helped me achieve that. The experienced centre-back was ever present in my side and consistently put in assured performances. Another signing who made an immediate impact was Will Hughes who dictated the tempo in my team and even contributed 13 goals from a deep lying playmaker position. Had it not been for a series of knocks, Frydek would have contributed even more than his impressive 11 assists and 5 goals from attacking mid. Special mention should be also made to Andre Schurrle who, despite being a squad player, contributed 10 important goals over the course of the season.

The younger recruits lived up to the adage "If you're good enough, you're old enough". Had it not been for his injury then Fran could have also been a contender forour player of the season - he barely put a food wrong in the 30 matches he started. Winger Tasdelen had a terrific first season, providing 14 assists and scoring 6 goals. Diogo and Cannavo were joint top goalscorers with 18 goals each.

After winning five trophies in six seasons, I have just received a news item declaring me a club icon at Charlton. I have taken advantage of this goodwill by persuading the club to invest in improving our youth academy to Level 1 and also to commence work on increasing our stadium capacity to nearly 29,000.

Edited by Dong21

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2 hours ago, Dong21 said:

I have just received a news item declaring me a club icon at Charlton

Quite right :). That's a remarkably good finish to the season given the injury problems you faced. Keep it up and you'll be a club legend before long!

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A lot to catch up on! Well, here we go... 

@warlock: Firstly, your mentioning of Scooby Doo has made me want to watch it! God sake. :lol: Glad to read that despite a number of draws, you managed to get the victories when they were needed the most. At the end of the day, a point is better than none and over time the points have added up. Like mentioned by @Jogo Bonito, I'm glad to see you put faith in Kensdale. He's someone I'm familiar with due to previous LLM outings and even a brief stint at Colchester. To have such a great record defensively and offensively is fantastic. Lots of positives to take and for your 'keeper to get a clean-sheet in half of his matches inbetween the sticks is equally fantastic. Don't go mad with that huge amount of money! :p 

@Jogo Bonito: A nice run to the fourth round which is sure to boost the coffers. You can't complain with that, really. I love the fact you hate the Checkatrade Trophy as much as I do. I try to intentionally lose! Congratulations on winning the title, similarly to @warlock. At least neither of you can say you outdid the other, YET! Plenty of rivalry to go as the seasons go on, in that case. ;) A much more generous budget, but I assume a large proportion of that stems from the sale of Comley. Good luck to you both in League One next season.

@Jamesbfc1887: Stop doing so well! :lol: You're performing far beyond what anyone could have excepted, which is fantastic. I had full faith in Jimmy to perform, as he always wore his heart on his sleeve whilst at Barrow and he seems to be putting in a shift for you, which I thought he would do. Hopefully the strikers kick on, as a reliance on the midfield to provide the goals can only last for so long, I believe. The offer from West Ham only shows how well you have done at Accrington. I suspect you have ambitions to take them further, so I would remain firmly at the Wham Stadium.

@Dong21: Congratulations on a fantastic finish in the league, as well as collecting the FA Cup! The only disappointment is perhaps the exit in the Europa League, but to topple Milan is always a difficult ask. Great to read that your additions performed to your expectations, which shows some good business in the window has paid off. Hopefully next summer can prove to be equally as rewarding, with further suitable additions being made to strengthen the side. The next step is very much to see if you can break into the top six, which is probably your biggest challenge yet. If you can impress like you did this season, though, even if that results in a similar or slightly lower finish, I wouldn't be too disheartened. Good luck mate.

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21 minutes ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

your mentioning of Scooby Doo has made me want to watch it! God sake. :lol:

Wasn't sure how many of you youngsters would remember... 50 years ago this year that it first broadcast in the US and probably nearly that long since I first watched it here in the UK :kriss:

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@Dong21 Really great work there! Europa League qualification and an FA Cup win shows just how well you have done again. Dilly Ding, Dilly Dong as Claudio would say :applause:

@DefinitelyTaylor Thanks for the kind words, yes very satisfying. I've now got to decide whether to revive one of those relegated clubs, or try to crack on with Colchester. I think the transfer budget would go on wages and agent fees, so happy that I could assemble a decent enough squad. I'll also look to cut back on the number of loan players (four last year). The other major aim is to keep bringing the youth players through, it's a great club for this strategy.

@warlock I'm possibly not too many years behind you (or is that ahead of you) with Scooby Doo. You'll probably enjoy the BBC4 programme today 8pm-9pm about old children's TV shows.

 

 

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I'm continuing with Colchester, although pre-season friendlies are not yet upon me.

It turns out that Shankland has a massive compensation fee due even after his Ayr contract expired, which was way above my budget.

My four loan players have all gone back to their parent clubs, but I've signed a new goalkeeper (initially on loan but will be made permanent), two defenders on free transfers (one of mine from last year is probably on the way out), and a Championship side central midfielder on loan. With one exception, all signings are players with South East connections, as I want to build on the local theme.

My choice is which striker do I blow all my transfer budget on - John Marquis or Fejiri Okenabirhie?

I've also culled the staff, but improved the quality considerably (again keeping the South East theme going, with ex-Colchester men considered wherever possible). 

How are you getting on @warlock

 

 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

How are you getting on @warlock

Gonna be a long season :onmehead:

In terms of recruitment I did not do well. With pretty much no transfer budget I was looking to expiring contract players, but suffered the usual issue of not being recognised as a L1 team until late in the window, by which time many of my targets had been signed up by others. As noted last season, Hibs had already snaffled RB Connor Randall on a free in January. Star GK Thomas Glover was available but he (or rather his agent) wanted the sun, moon and stars in one of those contract negotiations that rapidly escalated out of hand. To begin, he asked for key player status; no problem. When that was agreed he wanted promises of promotion in 2020, strengthen the coaching team, strengthen the defence, promise of a big pay rise, silly low release clause... When I tried to temper those expectations, they flounced off into the sunset.

Instead, I turned to Brentford's Jack Bonham, who had done well for me in my Mansfield save. He was duly signed on a free. Abo Eisa's contract at Shrewsbury was also expiring, and though I expected his club to trigger a one-year extension after he played so well in the last 6 months, they didn't so I grabbed him. Eventually, I was also able to renew the loans of Jake Vokins and Carlton Morris.

So far, so good. I had a problem at fullback, though. Kane Vincent-Young is good-to-excellent on either flank, but if I played him at RB I needed a backup to Vokins; if I played him LB I needed a first choice RB ahead of backup Ryan Jackson. Myles Kenlock at Ipswich was available on a free - a contract was agreed and then he signed for St Johnstone at the last minute. Mal Benning at Mansfield was coming to the end of his contract, but then Mansfield renewed and he stayed. Tom Edwards at Stoke was available for loan, a contract was agreed, and then Stoke got mired in a takeover bid and a transfer freeze was imposed - loan cancelled. There were similar stories with other targets so that problem remains unsolved.

I had also hoped to reinforce central defence and central midfield, but had no luck there. I'm hoping there might be some prospects when the transfer window closes and more players become available for loan.

Pre-season was OK. To measure up against the division, I setup a friendly against Portsmouth and we duly won that 5-0, but we then struggled to a 1-1 draw with L2 Stevenage. Other friendlies against non-league opponents didn't really tell me much. According the squad comparison screen, we're below average for the league in just about every category except off-the-ball and pace. So I'm expecting a struggle and a top-half finish looks very optimistic right now.

Never say die, eh?

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Posted (edited)

@warlock That does indeed sound like a tough transfer window! I could have gone for Vokins/Kenlock myself but signed a new LB on a free transfer instead. I'm happy using Jackson as well as the versatile Vincent-Young so just have three (plus Dickenson) able to fill those FB/WB roles. I also could have signed Bonham but found somebody a touch better (close call) in the end and cancelled the deal. You must have some doubts about your striking strength? There's always brother Mo from Bristol City, or take a punt on James Norwood/Josh Parker who are probably out of contract. I sold Jamie Thomas (free last summer) for £200k and still don't have the funds to bring in the striker I want due to low percentage of fee income being made available. John or Fejiri, though, any thoughts anyone? I've also been tasked with a top-half finish by the board by the way. 

Edit: Forgot to say that I had a deal for Jordan Obita lined up on loan (£16k per month total cost) but pulled the plug after signing my other LB. Money needed more elsewhere, sadly.

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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2 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

You must have some doubts about your striking strength?

Actually, I have no doubts :lol:. Norris hasn't got any better but the opposition is tougher. Morris is one of those strikers that looks great on paper but simply doesn't deliver - I only renewed his loan because I couldn't find anyone better. The elder Eisa went on a big-money loan to the Middle East, and Norwood is still at Tranmere. I'm OK with Nouble up front in a crisis.

It's a bit funny, actually. I know what I'm looking for at every position on the pitch - except striker. The problem is that I've had players with what I thought were good attributes who rarely scored, and players who looked rather muppet-like who banged them in for fun. It leaves me looking for strikers with a proven record and, of course, they're in high demand and usually go for big money.

As for your dilemma, Marquis looks the better player to me... but we've just established that I haven't a clue :lol:.

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1 hour ago, warlock said:

Actually, I have no doubts :lol:. Norris hasn't got any better but the opposition is tougher. Morris is one of those strikers that looks great on paper but simply doesn't deliver - I only renewed his loan because I couldn't find anyone better. The elder Eisa went on a big-money loan to the Middle East, and Norwood is still at Tranmere. I'm OK with Nouble up front in a crisis.

As for your dilemma, Marquis looks the better player to me... but we've just established that I haven't a clue :lol:.

Sorry to hear of your transfer woes, especially that brother Mo isn't available. Any of us that ever allowed our careers to take us to the Middle East only did it for big money. Actually, that's harsh on Bahrain which shouldn't be lumped in with most of the others (but I'm pretty confident that's not where he has gone). Hopefully you'll get one or two more in, I would be interested to see your squad for the start of the season.

I think you may be right about Marquis, but I've managed him before a couple of years ago and like to try different players. Okenabirhie has that 'power and pace' which I like (and feel I need) whereas Marquis is more proven and has a better aerial threat and work rate. As it stands, both are about to hit their third 'delay transfer' deadline so I might still end up with neither. If that happens, I'll only have three strikers including the underwhelming Norris and Nouble :lol:

 

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Posted (edited)
On 24/03/2019 at 13:43, warlock said:

Keep it up and you'll be a club legend before long!

Thanks @warlock! However, as much as I am enjoying this save, the temptation to manage another team is starting to creep in! I don't think I've owned a version of FM this long without managing more than one side :lol:

@DefinitelyTaylor Thanks for the kind words!

On 24/03/2019 at 14:34, DefinitelyTaylor said:

Hopefully next summer can prove to be equally as rewarding, with further suitable additions being made to strengthen the side.

Making additions is already proving difficult, despite having a £60m transfer budget! I had to offer greatly improved contracts to many of my young players who had played important roles last season, to reflect their contributions and to fend off the bigger clubs that were circling. This meant the wage budget went under water but the board will only let me move a small proportion of the transfer budget over to the wage budget. This means that after I get transfer bids accepted for players I can't offer them any wages and so have to just walk away. May just have a rare quiet transfer window or may resort to player sales, however I'm hesitant to do so as I'm enjoying developing these players.

23 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Dilly Ding, Dilly Dong as Claudio would say :applause:

Thanks @Jogo Bonito! May have to take after the great man and buy all the team pizza to celebrate :D

Edited by Dong21

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1 hour ago, Dong21 said:

the temptation to manage another team is starting to creep in!

As Jogo says, I think we all understand the attraction of a new save. Nothing to be ashamed of, especially as you say you've only done one save for FM19. Not sure how many I've done but I think I'm around 15-20 - although, I think around half of those have been promiscuous flings of a few months :eek:.

Think this is the first FM ever where I have not done a proper Man Utd save of at least two seasons - might sneak one in as an antidote to the penny-pinching grind of Colchester.

4 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

I would be interested to see your squad for the start of the season

You know that screenshot I posted earlier of my squad and stats for last season? Switch Bonham for Glover and that's my squad for this season. To be honest, I'm just back from dinner with friends and some drink was taken... I'll do a proper update tomorrow - I'm about 10-12 games into the season and after a poor start we've put a few results together, although we're drawing too many games. If I can sort out the tactics I now think this squad can, in fact, get us to a top half finish (if you're prepared to allow 11-13 as top half!) 

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4 minutes ago, warlock said:

You know that screenshot I posted earlier of my squad and stats for last season? Switch Bonham for Glover and that's my squad for this season. To be honest, I'm just back from dinner with friends and some drink was taken... I'll do a proper update tomorrow - I'm about 10-12 games into the season and after a poor start we've put a few results together, although we're drawing too many games. If I can sort out the tactics I now think this squad can, in fact, get us to a top half finish (if you're prepared to allow 11-13 as top half!) 

Drinking this close to team training tomorrow? Shameful :lol:

I didn't realise that was the only actual change to your squad! But you're doing well, and progressing faster than me (half way through pre-season here).

I missed out on both my strikers, couldn't get the funds together (it was going to be Marquis by the way). I almost took Eisa back again on loan, but aborted on that and signed another one on a free transfer. That's a squad of 22 I have now, and probably a weaker group than last year. But at least there are only two on loan, both of whom I will hope to sign permanently. That top half finish might be unlikely though.

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1 minute ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Drinking this close to team training tomorrow? Shameful :lol:

:p

2 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

probably a weaker group than last year

I can sympathise with that. Of course, in my case, it's pretty much exactly the same group as last year, but the opposition is that bit tougher so 'same' isn't as good. Even so, I don't think either of us will be struggling at the bottom, even if neither of us is likely to be challenging for automatic promotion to the Championship. Actually, right now promotion to the Championship looks terrifying 'cos I think we'd get annihilated. I also think that even if, by some miracle, I finished Top 6, there'd be no more money next season. But sufficient unto the day... let's see how this season goes and not burn any bridges until the chickens are in the basket. Or something :idiot:.

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@warlock Despite the drinking, that's spot on what you are saying. Here's to two tough seasons for us in Essex! I'll pick this up again tomorrow evening.

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I'm just days away from kicking off season 2 at Colchester, so it's nearly time to see what League 1 holds in store

Pre-season has gone quite well, but that can be misleading sometimes

1121289305_Colchester2.0pre-seasonfixtures.png.bc3c34dd1b479fb1325d2cc2b826bbe3.png

I'm hoping to sell Frank Nouble for £100k (moaning all summer). If that goes through, I can blow my transfer budget on a replacement

Deals for Marquis and Okenabirhie had already fallen through once due to lack of funds, but new offers have been made

Assuming Nouble leaves, I can bring one of these three in, but which one should it be?

James Collins has been transfer listed by Luton, and can be signed for an initial £300k (wages of £3.8k per week)

Marquis will cost a touch more and wants a higher wage, whilst Okenabirhie is a much cheaper buy and the wage will be 50% less

The rest of the squad is pretty much set, with hopes of re-signing George Moncur (loan) & adding Kazenga LuaLua (free) looking beyond me

Should other options come up in those roles, perhaps I will act (if affordable) but otherwise the youngsters will support the 22-man squad

Any more thoughts on the striker choice?

1835375933_Colchesterseason2strikerchase.thumb.png.63d94a26105e30163f65d617ede55ff6.png

 

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1 hour ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Any more thoughts on the striker choice?

I would go for Marquis, personally. He is a proven striker at that level and I see him as more reliable than the other two options. Slightly older, yes, but will get the job done for you in L1 and imo, is the best equipped for the step-up to the Championship if you do indeed make that step.

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Hey guys!

Apologies for my absence, I've been caught up in an Aberdeen save recently and I'm now heading back to the promise land!

I'm loading up a new save with transfers turned off, so looking for an EFL save where the squad isn't too depleted at the start and can at least survive until January.

Not too fussed on which of the 3 divisions I start in, I just want a new, fun challenge and I don't want to start as a team expected to be in the top 6 of their league, as I don't want the expectations of the board to put me under instant pressure.

Any recommendations?

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2 hours ago, smplfc123 said:

Hey guys!

Apologies for my absence, I've been caught up in an Aberdeen save recently and I'm now heading back to the promise land!

I'm loading up a new save with transfers turned off, so looking for an EFL save where the squad isn't too depleted at the start and can at least survive until January.

Not too fussed on which of the 3 divisions I start in, I just want a new, fun challenge and I don't want to start as a team expected to be in the top 6 of their league, as I don't want the expectations of the board to put me under instant pressure.

Any recommendations?

Welcome back mate. Glad to hear you've been enjoying a save. How did you do with Aberdeen? I haven't managed in Scotland for a while now.

Some rather random shouts here: Bristol City, Ipswich, Preston, Bristol Rovers, Walsall, Wycombe, Crewe, Newport, Yeovil.

Good luck with whoever you choose! :D 

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3 hours ago, smplfc123 said:

Hey guys!

Apologies for my absence, I've been caught up in an Aberdeen save recently and I'm now heading back to the promise land!

I'm loading up a new save with transfers turned off, so looking for an EFL save where the squad isn't too depleted at the start and can at least survive until January.

Not too fussed on which of the 3 divisions I start in, I just want a new, fun challenge and I don't want to start as a team expected to be in the top 6 of their league, as I don't want the expectations of the board to put me under instant pressure.

Any recommendations?

Welcome back. Newport sounds like a good one to me, as suggested above. It would be your last chance to manage Fraser Franks in FM.

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16 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Welcome back. Newport sounds like a good one to me, as suggested above. It would be your last chance to manage Fraser Franks in FM.

Indeed. I didn't think of that! He was forced to retire early due to a heart problem, I believe.

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17 minutes ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

Indeed. I didn't think of that! He was forced to retire early due to a heart problem, I believe.

Yeah. Sad for him, but on the other hand it's much better to know about it and adapt your lifestyle accordingly.

I think Newport have a decent squad in many areas. Board expectations would be low, and you could even turn it in to an all-Welsh side after a couple of seasons.

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