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FM19: The English Football League thread

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@warlock Congratulations! It may have been tight, but with the hand they dealt you, that's superb work. Such a shame that the budgets are so low for next season, very harsh. Whatever you decide, I am happy you've enjoyed the two seasons :applause: 

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1 hour ago, warlock said:

So for me that means a 442 (I have little experience of 3-at-the-back formations). Starting at the top, I like to play with a holder/creator and a finisher and there are plenty of combinations that work. For the former, a PFs, DLFs or TMs work well. For the latter, I usually go for an AF or P. The widemen can be either standard wingers or inverted, but preferably one of each. In the middle, I usually go for a DLPd and a B2B, but you can use a CMd or BWMd instead of the DLP, and a CMs instead of the B2B. If I'm playing an IW then I want him on the same side as the more defensive midfielder. If possible, I also want one of the widemen to attack, and he should be on the opposite side of the B2B. It's all about balance - someone to hold, someone to arrive late in the box, one wide player cutting in, one staying wide.

In defence, I tend to be quite cautious - two CBs, or NCBs if that's a better fit with your players, and I rarely play anyone more adventurous than a WBs. Ideally, if I have an IW I like a WB behind him but usually I just play my FBs in their best role and duty.

Typical TIs would be one of shorter passing or lower tempo, and I often switch them in games, depending on how we're doing for possession/penetration. Standard width or wider in possession. I prefer to use 'play out of defence' but if the AI is pressing us hard and high I'll turn it off and distribute to flanks instead. I usually play quite a cautious defence so standard defensive line and standard or lower line of engagement. At our level, I rarely if ever use intensive pressing, particularly in the 442 where I like to drop back into two solid lines of four and challenge the AI to break us down.

For Luton, I think you'd be good enough to start most home and easier away games on 'positive', dropping to 'balanced' for the tougher matches. I rarely drop lower than 'cautious' because it invites too much pressure unless defending a lead in the last five minutes, in which case 'defensive' usually sees the game out. Similarly, I only go to 'attacking' if I'm desperate for a goal in the last 15 minutes. 

This is the kind of setup that allowed me to take Darlington to L2, Mansfield to L1 and Barnsley to the Championship (at which point I find a 433 or 4141dm a better approach). The keys, for me, are balance in attack vs defence, across the midfield and defence, and not being overly aggressive with limited players. But as the thread shows, I've had success by prioritising defence, JogoBonito and JamesBFC1887 have probably prioritised attack over defence. Always more than one way to skin the cat.

If I can help with anything more specific, just shout.

I will definitely look to try this when I’m back on tomorrow I really appreciate it and will let you know how I get on!

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1 minute ago, Rollin93 said:

I will definitely look to try this when I’m back on tomorrow I really appreciate it and will let you know how I get on!

No problem! I thought I'd be able to load up a bunch of tactics screens and give you a screenshot but I think I change things too often over the course of a save. Hope it helps anyway, and I'm happy to answer any questions :thup:

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25 minutes ago, Jamesbfc1887 said:

@warlock Phew, that was closer than I thought it would be, congrats on promotion :applause:

Thanks, wasn't sure we'd make it. Might be a good time to spend some money at Old Trafford while I figure out what to do :D

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Posted (edited)

@Jamesbfc1887: Wow :eek: What an incredible season you've had, hats off to you! Really pleased to see that Jimmy Dunne was one of your best players over the season, too. He's now been a part of two Accrington title winning seasons! Best of luck in the Premier League. It's going to be a huge fight to preserve your place there, but one that I think you're suited to given how well you've performed season-in-season-out so far. A modest budget (in comparison to others!), but more than enough if you're savvy enough in the market and find the right players to improve the squad. Keeping the backbone of it will be key. A few of those players have been very important from the get-go, so it'd be nice to see them stick around. I love the new stadium too, fantastic name given how well Coleman has performed at Accrington.

@warlock: All that matters in the end is that you did enough to go up and get the job done. Given the circumstances, similarly to @Jamesbfc1887, you've worked well on a shoe-string budget to overachieve. There's no reason you can't do that again. You've demonstrated that you're confident enough to find the right players in the free and loan market to get success and albeit at a higher level again, with a real step-up in quality, I believe you could do that again. I personally think it'd be a shame to move on now and not at least give it a go in the Championship, something which you may regret at a later date given how well you've done with Colchester. :) 

 

Edited by DefinitelyTaylor

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Em 30/03/2019 em 11:55, warlock disse:

Welcome to the fun, and major congratulations for winning promotion to the Championship. Looks like you managed to get the best out of a decent-but-not-exceptional squad. What was the tactical setup, if you don't mind me asking? Always looking for ways to get more out of my wide players.

 

I use the 4-3-3 gegenpress with 3cm's. Which I since discovered that it's a bit overpowered. I also have two tactics (counter-attack and possession based) that I use often. I started the save with a 3-5-2 based in controlling the possession, it was pretty good for the first two seasons but totally stopped working on season 3.

Congrats for promotion with Colchester!

Em 31/03/2019 em 12:27, DefinitelyTaylor disse:

@JR_Junior: Glad to have you on board! Pleased to hear of your recent promotion to the Championship, in which is a great achievement with a club like Grimsby. Sometimes having that year of consolidation like you had in season two can allow you to build sufficiently for the next step. Perhaps this can also help you build accordingly for life in the Championship too. I guess we'll soon see! Best of luck.

Thanks! It really did help getting a little bit more of money and scouting the league for League 1 level players.

Em 30/03/2019 em 14:51, Jogo Bonito disse:

Welcome and congratulations, good luck in the new season!

Thanks! Good luck with Colchester!

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I've now completed the summer window but it feels like it all got a bit out of hand really,  I've signed 18 players and most of the promotion squad is gone which is real shame.

Most of the players I've brought in are regens and although most of them are fantastic it just feels wrong seeing Accrington with Colombian wonderkids starting for them! Luckily as I always do I saved the game after the last game of season on another save file, so I might have another go at the summer window and keep some of the promotion squad together.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

I personally think it'd be a shame to move on now and not at least give it a go in the Championship

You are, of course, absolutely correct! I'm already scouring the "expiring contracts" list looking for free signings and have a few targets in mind (as long as their clubs don't offer renewals!) I've also sold the underperforming Luke Norris to Wimbledon for close to £100k - of which my board, generous to a fault, have added £18k to my transfer budget.

I like to think my key character traits include patience and perseverance - my wife tells me I'm actually stubborn and mule-like :lol:.

Edit: So committed am I that I just turned down invitations to interview at Hibs and Premiership Swansea :herman:

Edited by warlock

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On 25/03/2019 at 21:39, Jogo Bonito said:

 @Dong21 I can understand if you fancy a new challenge, anybody in mind?

Every year I always do a Man Utd save and also an Oldham one too, so I will need to get round to that eventually! I would also like to manage outside of the UK soon, although I have not decided on a specific team yet. Also just starting from scratch again with another random EFL side appeals to me!

That said, I am still enjoying this Charlton save so it is going to be hard to give it up...

On 25/03/2019 at 22:49, warlock said:

Not sure how many I've done but I think I'm around 15-20

@warlock I wish I had the time mate! :lol:

Congrats on your successive promotion by the way - good luck in the Championship!

I've just had an interesting development at Charlton:

625834864_EnglandOffer.thumb.png.d5010968d4f2625d7885d4de6e6dc47a.png

They have a decent side as they've only just lost the European Championship Final (to the Germans of course) - so I'm taking this as a decent compliment to how I'm getting on at The Valley!

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Been a while since I have been around on these forums. Not played too much FM lately, but recently got sucked back into my old save game with Salford City. We are in 2027 right now and had 1 incredible season, which I never thought that would happen after the 3-0 loss to Arsenal early in the year. Shame of the extra time loss against Man City for the European Super Cup, but otherwise it would have made a perfect season. Got completely outplayed away at Barcelona as well, never expected to turn that around at home as we did not create a single chance. Went very attacking from the start, had some goals to make up for and  were all over them at home. :)

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Transfers

Season 4

So I've decided just to go with my first summer run through.

This might be a long post with a fair few screenshots, it's fair to say you've missed quite a lot in the "off season" (ugh what a horrible Americanised phrase that is) but here goes anyway :p.

The Outs:

1224b659b9a7eef92bbbc3899066cc7c100dae92

Rory Feely is the only casualty of the summer leaving us for Hearts in Scotland.

11 players left us on loan in a bid to get more game time including several new signings. Billy Boyce, Marc Weatherson, Rafael Acevedo and Kevin McDonald joined and swiftly left us.

Many of the mainstays of last season have moved on. And unfortunately for @DefinitelyTaylor Jimmy Dunne is currently in contract talks with Aberdeen for a £1.4m. The fact he and many others were so good for us last season and still had to leave really hurts me, they've earned the right to give the Premier League a go but sadly most of them just weren't good enough to compete in the Prem. It's a real shame, I'd have loved to have given them all a go.

The Ins:

Warning anybody interested in realism look away now.

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As you can see we made quite a few additions to the squad. Quantity over quality seemed to be the order of the day.

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Our most expensive transfer of the season was Paul Smith from Notts County. And he doesn't look half bad.

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Rasmus Mygind a bit better than Billy Kee. Not often you get such a mobile striker whose also quality in the air.

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The Portuguese Paul Smith

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Not a regen!, the poor guy must feel lost around all these people that don't exist. Decent attacking right back, not a starter though, you'll see why.

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Here's why, what a player this guy is going to be! If he learns to cross we've got a World beater!

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Japanese international Yohei Nishimura joins us, he's a bit of a nutter as well. As I'll get on to soon.

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Acevedo is on loan at AC Milan for the season. I'm not sure how much he'll play there though, at least he can enjoy their somewhat better facilities.

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Wow! Charles Diabate, an amazing attacking midfielder already Premier League ready, his technicals need some work but mentally and physically his quality is undeniable.

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Meza looks like another great player, a great dribbler and if he can improve his finishing and passing he'll be a great player for the future.

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Our main striker for the season and another Colombian (and a bargain at that).

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Mendez, I'll be hoping to improve his defensive stats so he can be the rock of our midfield for a few years to come. Unfortunately he has the mercenary personality which is a real disappointment.

  911634d2ad7c2980cc447135bd6a6eb4b627dcf4

A 5'11" centre back! Not the greatest idea in England but at the very least we'll make some decent money on him.

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Another great young centre back, this guy will probably be first choice for us this season.

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A solid keeper who'll play under study to O'Malley and hopefully one day overtake him.

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A good young English left back, he'll spend the season at Southend, who knows maybe he'll be the next Ashley Cole?

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We've got a huge stockpile of young keepers, it feels like suddenly Accrington are turning into Chelsea.

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I don't know what Sunderland were doing when they transfer listed Marc Weatherson tbh.

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A young Ally McCoist perhaps?

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What a free transfer this man is. The only problem is that he's 5'11", has 11 heading and jumping reach which doesn't inspire me at all.

 

So a completely mental summer window with 18 players joining and countless heading in the over direction. A massive squad overhaul like this is a massive gamble with all the momentum we've had over the last 2 seasons but needs must.

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Also Nishimura, what are you doing?

Nishimura61a4dd6d4b59c550.png

The night before the first game of the season in possibly the clubs biggest ever game and he's out on the lash in Accrington :mad:. I've brought him to the biggest league in the world to be our star midfielder and this is how he repays me :seagull: 

I've genuinely never seen this before in FM as well seems bizarre.

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Just started a new save with Charlton. They have a decent squad for League One, I want to bring the good times back to them and do it as cheaply as possible.

I am going to bring Alan Cubblishley back to the club as my DOF as well.

Anyone played with Charlton recently, any tips ?

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On 04/04/2019 at 18:38, Jamesbfc1887 said:

I've genuinely never seen this before in FM as well seems bizarre.

Thankfully it's rare but I've seen it in previous FMs.

1 hour ago, smplfc123 said:

Could always join me at Portman Road....?

Well, I'm sticking with Colchester for now and have played through September. Need to post an update, but I've been distracted by the community formation challenge in the tactics forum - a really enjoyable diversion last year and one I was keen to repeat. But good luck with the Tractor Boys :thup:

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@warlock Just been reading that now. Might have a go myself before I get in to an Ispwich save. Have also loaded up a Boro one as I feel the club should be doing better and I feel it's a decent challenge trying to get promotion with the rugby team that Pulis has built! 

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Colchester: Season 3, Championship

As previously noted, the club's finances are in such dire straits that there was not much in the budget for rebuilding, and a chunk of what was available had to be moved into wages. So as is often the case, we turned to the free transfer and loan market and tried to pick up whatever quality we could.

Before the transfer window opened, I had already renewed the loans of Southampton LB Jake Vokins and Rotherham CM Matt Crooks, two of our better performers last year. Elsewhere, I was hoping we might find good options as permenent signings, but in the end I also turned to the loan market for Swansea LB Matt Blake, and West Brom RB Kane Wilson. I had better luck in other positions, notably at CB, where I was able to snap up Paudie O'Connor from Leeds and Jimmy Dunne from Burnley, both on expiring contracts. There was also good news in midfield, where Bournemouth's Matt Butcher and Wolves' Jordan Graham were also signed on free deals. And I turned to Brentford again for a GK as Luke Daniels came in on a free as backup to his former teammate Jack Bonham.

The biggest need was upfront. I managed to sell the misfiring Luke Norris to Wimbledon for £92k and hoped this might give us enough to bring in someone to share Mo Eisa's burden. Unfortunately, all of my targets either declined to discuss contracts, wanted wages far in excess of what was available, or simply accepted better offers. Eventually, I turned to Forest's Tyler Walker who had the attributes and the backing of my scouts but without a solid record of goalscoring. A record he has continued at Colchester where has found the net just once in 7 appearances. He's costing us £6k a week on loan and unless his form picks up dramatically he'll be returned to sender as unfit for purpose.

Early form

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'Mixed' would be the obvious verdict, but actually I'm delighted. We're way out of our depth in this division - a squad of players largely rated L1 or L2 level, predicted to finish dead last, odds-on favourites for relegation, smallest budget of £4.4m a year compared with £21m at Sunderland or £18.8m at Bristol City, let alone the £48m of newly-relegated West Ham! But so far, we have not been embarrassed and we've delivered a firm rebuke to the teams that have underestimated us. Our defence continues to overperform, even while our strikers are badly underperforming. A couple of good results in the Carabao Cup have delivered us a moneyspinning tie away at Chelsea at the end of September, money that could make a big difference here.

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10 games played, 10th in the table. Gotta be happy with that!

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On ‎04‎/‎04‎/‎2019 at 18:38, Jamesbfc1887 said:

Also Nishimura, what are you doing?

Nishimura61a4dd6d4b59c550.png

The night before the first game of the season in possibly the clubs biggest ever game and he's out on the lash in Accrington :mad:. I've brought him to the biggest league in the world to be our star midfielder and this is  how he repays me :seagull: 

I've genuinely never seen this before in FM as well seems bizarre.

Haha, how unprofessional. He obviously thinks he's a big enough star to do it. Luckily, if you get him banned from that one night spot, that's probably his partying days in Accrington over for good.

@warlock Great update and a really solid start. 10th is very impressive, and the defence is more than making up for your lack of goals. Keep up the good work!

I'm only in December of season 2 so will get an update done in the next day or so.

 

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OMG :eek:

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Ignore that media nonsense about fouls - we committed 11 to their 9, but they had 2 yellows to our 1. We got lucky with the goal from a corner, and then defended like heroes. Magnificent!!!

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Grimsby - 4th season - 21/22 - Championship - Squad

Finish: 3rd - 85 points - Promoted via Playoffs

Transfers: We didn't have a lot of money, but we could get four key players. Andre Dozzell was an absolut bargain from the recently relegated Ipswich. Dodi Lukebakio was the winger we needed even if was not getting many games at Watford. Newgen Emmanuel Basit came on loan from Arsenal to be an option for our three spots in attack. Lastly, we got free agent Yan Dhanda, that played for us on loan in my first season in League 1. It was a fun narrative as I failed to sign my top target, Tarique Fosu, and had to settle with Dhanda and then he was our most consistent player in the season. I also bought Embleton just because I like him, as his performances dropped every season.

Best Players:

Carlton Morris - 48 apps 24 goals 3 ast 7.09avg - He was my biggest signing yet when I got him in my second season, but he failed to impress until the second half of last season. This season he was really regular. An dependable 1 in 2 man.

Yan Dhanda - 45 apps 15 goals 12 ast 7.29avg - He was great in League 1 but I had doubts that he would perfom well in the Championship. He did great! Let's see how he does in the top flight.

Emmanuel Basit - 44 apps 11 goals 12 ast 7.18avg - He saved our season. His first half of the season was quiet, but he shined in the second and led us to promotion. Hopefully he stays next year.

And we got the promotion for second year straight! I can really separate the season and two halves. The First one was between july-december. We were dominating and beating teams way above our level for fun!

image.thumb.png.86978277b604eb81ce87aa0ce88be37c.png

But you know when Wile E. Coyote runs off a cliff but he only falls when he looks down? So...yeah, we noticed we weren't that good and lacked depth, with only two or three good players to come from the bench.

After winning 16 matches in 2021, we won only 9 in 2022. And mostly really tight wins that we really had to grind the results out. Luckily we didn't have any long term injury, so we were able to use the first team often. After slipping from automatic promotion spots, we actually had a turn around at the end and got the promotion after a great win against the powerful Leicester.

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5th season - 22/23 - Premier League - Projection:  Grimsby is back to the elite for the first in 74 years! I just want to survive. We were weak for Championship and still got there in the end, but Premier League is a huge step up and I'll probably have to play a more defensive football. We have £28m for transfers and £1,5m per month for wages.

We're also getting a new stadium for the 23/24 season. We are going from 8,993(we sold out every league game last season) capacity to 14,378. Until then we'll be playing in KCOM Stadium along the recently relegated to League 1 Hull City.

Talking about relegation, Bolton surprisingly got relegated to League 2.

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@JR_Junior Amazing performance! And you're getting more out of Carlton Morris than I ever have :applause:. Good luck in the Big League!

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On 06/04/2019 at 17:47, warlock said:

Jimmy Dunne from Burnley

 

On 06/04/2019 at 17:47, warlock said:

Wolves' Jordan Graham

:applause: Great signings and once again great minds think alike, how much are they both on? Can't imagine your spending two much on wages with Colchester. Great start to life in the Championship and an amazing result in the cup.

I've loved Jordan Graham for Accrington, half way through my season in the Premier League and he's got 6 goals in 16 games which is not half bad if you ask me. He can definitely go far for you :D

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be68df8d1c73896827d35c979fd6f838a17169dc

What is wrong with this kid? 4 times now! He's been pretty good for me as well which is the annoying thing because I'd love to just sell him but I just can't with him playing so well.

I really don't understand why he keeps doing it, he's got a balanced personality and I've fined him 2 weeks wages 3 times already and now a 4th, we basically don't pay him anymore :lol:. He's now forfeited £264,000.

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28 minutes ago, Jamesbfc1887 said:

how much are they both on? Can't imagine your spending two much on wages with Colchester

You'd be right :D. Jordan is my highest-paid player on £7.5k a week; Jimmy is in 7th position on £4.2k a week. Jordan is currently our top goalscorer, leading provider of assists, and winner of most PoM awards.

Nishimura looks a complete pain. I've had a couple of players go off rails in previous FMs (famously Wayne Rooney in FM16 or 17) but never had the same player do it more than once. Don't know what to tell you except to get rid ASAP. But I bet you've thought of that :lol:

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32 minutes ago, warlock said:

You'd be right :D. Jordan is my highest-paid player on £7.5k a week; Jimmy is in 7th position on £4.2k a week. Jordan is currently our top goalscorer, leading provider of assists, and winner of most PoM awards.

Nishimura looks a complete pain. I've had a couple of players go off rails in previous FMs (famously Wayne Rooney in FM16 or 17) but never had the same player do it more than once. Don't know what to tell you except to get rid ASAP. But I bet you've thought of that :lol:

The problem is that, he's really good and I don't want to lose that good of a player. But maybe I just have to bite the bullet on this one.

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Posted (edited)

Colchester United - Season 2

It's taken a while, but I've finally managed to get through a few more months of season 2

And I have to be very pleased with my progress in all competitions

October & November saw good progress in all three Cup competitions

Well, good progress in two. Sadly I just don't seem to be able to lose in the Checkatrade Trophy

More importantly, the league form was excellent, keeping me right in the promotion mix

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December saw slightly inconsistent league results, but two fantastic cup wins

The pick of those was a really spirited 2-1 win over West Ham in the Carabao Cup quarter final

To do that in front of 55,000 spectators at their London Stadium home was especially satisfying

January was also a massive month with no less than 10 fixtures crammed in to my heavy schedule

The league form at the start of the year was great, with four wins and a draw from five League 1 matches

Progress was made in the Checkatrade Trophy (11-10 on penalties after drawing with Oxford)

And I also sailed in to the 4th Round of the FA Cup after favourable draws

Unfortunately I managed to lose 3-0 in Round 4 away to Aston Villa, but the biggest disappointment was the fixture before

My team had incredibly won the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi final against Newcastle, with a Shankland hat-trick earning a 3-1 home lead

But the Geordies came back strong in the return on Tyneside, and defeated me 3-0

That sounds unlucky enough, but the all-important clincher came after 92 minutes and 48 seconds (just 12 seconds from time)

I confess I don't know whether it would have been extra time or penalties, or if I was going out on away goals 

Anyway, the unlikely Wembley dream was over. And there's always the Checkatrade Trophy to think about!

I have a feeling that the Newcastle loss may be partly to blame for the thrashing at Villa Park

But I got back on track with a narrow win over Sheffield Wednesday last time out, and that might be a big moment for the club  

1840194434_ColchesterFixtures2.3.thumb.png.4e62932f0d7c7bfcbbfa7957112942bd.png

All of that sees my side sitting 3rd in League 1 at the end of January

And as you can see, the Cup runs and TV money have both helped to boost the coffers significantly

1694064975_Colchesterprogress2.2.thumb.png.c60c053626aef82a46859bd752a20434.png

The transfer window has now closed, and there was little need to do much business

I converted the loan of goalkeeper Sam Walker in to a permanent £63k deal

And young West Ham winger Nathan Holland joined on loan after I'd been following his progress since the summer

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The only outgoing player was a 16 year old right back from my first year youth intake

£750k upfront and 50% of his next transfer fee seems like a good bit of business for somebody still in my U18 group 

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So after a mammoth 47 competitive fixtures to the end of January, I now need to see if my young squad will have the legs to last the distance

Or will the promotion party go flat as my side falls at the last fence?

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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1 hour ago, Jamesbfc1887 said:

be68df8d1c73896827d35c979fd6f838a17169dc

What is wrong with this kid? 4 times now! He's been pretty good for me as well which is the annoying thing because I'd love to just sell him but I just can't with him playing so well.

I really don't understand why he keeps doing it, he's got a balanced personality and I've fined him 2 weeks wages 3 times already and now a 4th, we basically don't pay him anymore :lol:. He's now forfeited £264,000.

Incredible. The guy is a complete maverick and I'd have sold, loaned or banished him by now however good he is.

@JR_Junior Superb stuff, amazing achievement with Grimsby. Parabens! :applause:

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48 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

I now need to see if my young squad will have the legs to last the distance

Fingers crossed. Impressive so far, but that Newcastle loss was cruel. Finances looking healthy, too. Barnsley may be out of reach, but Peterborough look eminently catchable. I have every faith you can pull it off - young legs notwithstanding :thup:

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@Jogo Bonito Going well so far, hopefully you get stronger as the season goes on and don't fade away. That youth player looks like a great deal, I wonder what happens if you buy him back for £1.5m do you get 50% of that back? And end up paying £750K for him? Imagine if that happened :lol: I wouldn't have thought that's happened very often before.

 

Your probably right, just look at what he's doing to my team!!! Everyone hates him!!! :seagull:

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4691758f21e90a9362f6fc731529c81be9527754

152c28cf7de92780425d4c45d9083e44e579608d

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9 minutes ago, Jamesbfc1887 said:

just look at what he's doing to my team!!! Everyone hates him!!! :seagull:

Don't blame them... I hate him!

If it were me, I'd shove him in the reserves, transfer list him, offer him out for whatever I could get. He's got to go :thdn:

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Posted (edited)
On 04/04/2019 at 21:31, Ronaldo Beckham said:

Anyone played with Charlton recently, any tips ?

Welcome @Ronaldo Beckham! 🙋🏼‍♂️ I am about to start my seventh season with Charlton and absolutely loving this save. Feel free to look through this thread where I have been posting regular updates.

The starting squad is strong, the core of which was sufficient to get me from League One to the Premier League. Lyle Taylor’s goals were a key factor in my promotions. One thing I would recommend is that I managed to renew Bielik and Cullen’s loans until their contracts ran out at their respective clubs and I was then able to bring them in on free transfers. As you will probably know, finances aren’t great so shrewd free transfers and loans were essential to me in the early days. 

When I got to the Premier League I did have to make wholesale changes to the squad to ensure safety. At first I looked for ready made players, who could come in and make an immediate impact, however now we are more established in the League I have turned my attention to high potential regens. The only player who now remains, and plays, from the first season is Joe Aribo who has been a stalwart for me. Bielik is also still at the club, however I think this is finally the season I move him on. 

Premier League finishes have been solid if unspectacular (9th, 11th, 7th) however we have found real success in the Cups winning the FA Cup twice, the League Cup once and reaching the Europa League Semi Final in the last three seasons.

Enjoy your save and interested to hear how you get on! 

Edited by Dong21

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5 hours ago, Dong21 said:

Welcome @Ronaldo Beckham! 🙋🏼‍♂️ I am about to start my seventh season with Charlton and absolutely loving this save. Feel free to look through this thread where I have been posting regular updates.

The starting squad is strong, the core of which was sufficient to get me from League One to the Premier League. Lyle Taylor’s goals were a key factor in my promotions. One thing I would recommend is that I managed to renew Bielik and Cullen’s loans until their contracts ran out at their respective clubs and I was then able to bring them in on free transfers. As you will probably know, finances aren’t great so shrewd free transfers and loans were essential to me in the early days. 

When I got to the Premier League I did have to make wholesale changes to the squad to ensure safety. At first I looked for ready made players, who could come in and make an immediate impact, however now we are more established in the League I have turned my attention to high potential regens. The only player who now remains, and plays, from the first season is Joe Aribo who has been a stalwart for me. Bielik is also still at the club, however I think this is finally the season I move him on. 

Premier League finishes have been solid if unspectacular (9th, 11th, 7th) however we have found real success in the Cups winning the FA Cup twice, the League Cup once and reaching the Europa League Semi Final in the last three seasons.

Enjoy your save and interested to hear how you get on! 

I finished 2nd in my first season with them to get them into the Championship, but didn't make a huge deal of progress in the second season. We finished something like 19th. Basically there's no transfer budget and not a huge amount for wages. I held onto the squad I had more or less, but it was a struggle to even sell players. In the off-season going into the third, we've picked up some of the City/Utd's youth cast-offs, who will hopefully develop and are only picking up small wages. Again, it's picking up Championship rejects on short(ish) deals and resigning your existing squad. Aribo had a year left on his deal and wouldn't sign another so I did well to get 5m for him. 10% of that came back to me - but we're in the black at least. Nathan Wood, who's a very promising young defender at 'boro was transfer listed for next to nothing so we picked him up. On the other hand, I have been offered the jobs at Brentford (promoted to the Premier League) and Burnley (midtable). I obviously saved those offers in other games but have declined them. I'd like to think we'll be bottom half but not at risk of relegation this season, but it's a medium term job to really kick on - without any room for manoeuvre with contracts/transfers it's rough!

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7 hours ago, Dong21 said:

Welcome @Ronaldo Beckham! 🙋🏼‍♂️ I am about to start my seventh season with Charlton and absolutely loving this save. Feel free to look through this thread where I have been posting regular updates.

The starting squad is strong, the core of which was sufficient to get me from League One to the Premier League. Lyle Taylor’s goals were a key factor in my promotions. One thing I would recommend is that I managed to renew Bielik and Cullen’s loans until their contracts ran out at their respective clubs and I was then able to bring them in on free transfers. As you will probably know, finances aren’t great so shrewd free transfers and loans were essential to me in the early days. 

When I got to the Premier League I did have to make wholesale changes to the squad to ensure safety. At first I looked for ready made players, who could come in and make an immediate impact, however now we are more established in the League I have turned my attention to high potential regens. The only player who now remains, and plays, from the first season is Joe Aribo who has been a stalwart for me. Bielik is also still at the club, however I think this is finally the season I move him on. 

Premier League finishes have been solid if unspectacular (9th, 11th, 7th) however we have found real success in the Cups winning the FA Cup twice, the League Cup once and reaching the Europa League Semi Final in the last three seasons.

Enjoy your save and interested to hear how you get on! 

Cheers mate I managed to get back to back promotions with Charlton and currently 11th in the Prem at the start of February.

Sigurd Gronli was a great signing for me in my first 2 seasons, Tarique Fosu was great for me in my season in the Championship. 

Cullen wouldn't agree to come back but I have Bielek still on loan, hopefully will sign him soon.

I bought in a few good players when I got into the Prem as I knew my current squad would struggle, I signed Noah Okafor from Basel who is immense for me. I could do with some more cash to get some decent defenders and a striker or 2 so that is the aim for next season.

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Hey guys,

After toying a with a few new saves with Ipswich and Betis and not quite settling in to them at the minute, I've decided I wanted an EFL challenge where over the first season or so the club will need a bit of clear out and and turning around. Whether it's financially or due to the age of the playing squad, I feel like that's the kind of challenge I want right now. Even if it means scraping through 1st season expectations with a bigger picture in mind.

I thought Sheff Weds could be first on the list, with Abdi, Pudil, Jones, Fletcher, Lee, Hooper and Boyd all being outfield players over 30, with all of them earning anything between £12.k a week to £30k a week.

I also noticed Derby County have 10 players in the first squad who are 30+, most on big contracts, with their best young players being loanees.... 

Does anyone else have any suggestions along a similar line?

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Posted (edited)

@Jamesbfc1887: This is the problem with the Premier League. You've done excellently up to this point and now you're at the top, you're having to deal with players with clear attitude problems. I can imagine this is a real issue and fingers crossed it isn't affecting results as much as I fear it could be. As much as you say he's been good, when he has played, I think it would be better to get rid and reinvest in players that will dedicate themselves to the team. I feel that would be better for squad harmony and could help on the pitch, too - more invested players have a better chance of getting a result, at least in theory. :lol:

@warlock: Glad to see you have signed Jimmy Dunne, as you may have seen when @Jamesbfc1887 signed him, I am a real fan of his (he was excellent at Barrow last season and his progression has been great to see). Vokins and Crooks returning is another nice piece of business, as they contributed to the success of last season and so retaining the core of your squad is an excellent move. The start to the season is fantastic and considering you're lacking a goalscorer, due to Walker's failures in front of goal, you're doing enough to get the points you need. I feel the defence will, again, be vital in your success this season. Hopefully when the January window comes around, a goalscorer can be found so you don't have to be too reliant on the form of your defence. Keep up the good work, though!

Oh and well done on beating Chelsea! :D 

@JR_Junior: Congratulations on promotion to the Premier League! The performances of Morris, Dhanda and Basit sound like they've really impacted on your season. It'll be a tough battle to survive next season, but if you invest correctly, there's no reason as to why you can't defy the odds to do so. You've demonstrated your abilities as a manager well by getting Town to the Premiership in such a short amount of time, so I believe in you! 

The move to the KCOM isn't ideal, but needs must, I suppose.

@Jogo Bonito: Good work, both in the league and in the FA Cup. We'll ignore the Checkash*te Trophy, as I know we're both not fans :lol:... The difference between yours and @warlock's finances are clear to see, so I put you in good stead to follow in the footsteps of him and secure promotion. You're in a good position to do so, hopefully with no interruptions in the FA Cup now, you can focus your attention to the league and push on. Your signings of Parker, LuaLua and Forster-Caskey seem to have paid off, which is pleasing to see. Walker's permanent arrival should be a boost, as well as Holland joining to improve the squad. The sale of Richardson is interesting, but I don't blame you for taking the money and running. Good luck on your promotion push, fingers crossed the demanding schedule doesn't ruin you!

 

 

 

Edited by DefinitelyTaylor

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44 minutes ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

Hopefully when the January window comes around, a goalscorer can be found so you don't have to be too reliant on the form of your defence

Well, you know what they say about hope! :seagull: I'm nearly at the January window and our form remains good, but Walker and Eisa continue their miserable performances in front of goal. I'll post an update at the end of January and we'll see if I manage to find a striker. Even someone who could score a goal every three or four games would be a big improvement.

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So FA Cup, lower league opposition but, by god, I'll take it.

And I have a loan lined up for Middlesbrough's Stephen Walker as the best of a truly bad bunch available for loan. He doesn't look like much but if he can bag a handful of goals for us I'll consider him a huge success!

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9 hours ago, smplfc123 said:

I wanted an EFL challenge where over the first season or so the club will need a bit of clear out and and turning around... Does anyone else have any suggestions along a similar line?

I think Sheff Utd have quite a few oldies, but looking at Transfermarkt's stats, Bolton have the highest average age with around 13 players over 30, followed by Middlesbrough, Forest and Sheff Utd (Derby are around the middle of the pack).

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Accrington Stanley

Season 4

06f55d6e996fc059ce180a98326f2ed7b163f8a2

7c3304a2fc56bc20f1b54c11b1ac3df5a85fb3cb

63a29cb62f701d1a60357d9f3f9373f870e90e4a

Into January now and what a great 1st half (or so) to the season.

Our season began with the short trip west to Goodison Park, buoyed by our promotion and the clubs Premier League debut 3,000 Stanley fans packed the away end in good voice for one of the games of the season. The pre-game news had been marred by a certain incident involving a certain someone drinking a bit too much :mad:, leaving us with only 2 fit central midfielders! In the game we were largely dominated thanks to the excellent Mattias Svanberg, who looks like a great find for Everton. After 9 minutes Neil Farrugia struck to gives us an unlikely lead and for all of 2 minutes we were in dreamland! Sadly our celebrations were cut short by the before mentioned Svanberg. Thanks to the excellent efforts of David Rivas we only found ourselves 3-1 down, we could have been slaughtered in truth, our 4-2-4 League 1/Championship tactic had been well and truly exposed by the Premier League big boys and their fancy 4-2-3-1. But this side has shown a fair bit fight during my 3 seasons here and they just don't know when they're beaten! And with 3 minutes left of the 90 Neil Farrugia gave us an unlikely route back into the game with a lovely headed goal and within 30 minutes of his debut Rasmus Mygind made himself an instant fans favourite with a last gasp equaliser!!! :applause:Despite the result the stats did concern me a fair bit, we seemed to concede a shed load of chances despite having more of the ball and if it wasn't for poor finishing and equally good goalkeeping the result would have been very different.

So after that there was a great deal to be pleased with but there was also a great deal to ponder, could we play our 4-2-4 in the Prem or do we have to be a little bit more defensive.

 e518612ddc76b20d8ce356b436871055fb4d191d

As you can see our first 4 games went well enough and they were certainly entertaining. 6 points from 4 games left us in a great position after 4 games, but the fixtures were probably a tad favourable and greater tests were certainly to come.

September and October provided a huge reality check, wins against Watford and Fulham surrounded a real baron run despite some 2 of our losses coming against the 2 Manchester clubs. The loss against City was a real tough one to take, we battled hard and managed to claw ourselves back into the game at 1-1 but a late John Stones header from a corner had me flashing back to the World Cup, why John? Why? Martin Rojas was probably the only positive to take, he'd really started to kick on and score goals in spite of our poor form.

November was a horrible month, the fixture list had not been kind to us and if we could have picked up 2 or maybe 3 points I would have been delighted and it started just right until Heung-Min Son decided to stick his nose in, in the last minute and steal a point for Spurs. Not to be deterred I was hopeful that perhaps the next two games would go similarly. But no, we were swept aside convincingly twice, around this October, November period I'd started to be a little too smart with the tactics, I was trying to let teams over commit and hit them on the break, thinking I was some sort of tactical genius. Despite what it seems for the last 3 years I've basically played "hit and run" football. The Premier League was demanding some real thought. And after a sleepless night I had it, 4-2-3-1 was the answer, I thought about using a 4-3-3 variant but we just don't have the right players or enough of them to play that system, we'd been pretty useless defensively so I decided if we just kept the ball we wouldn't have to defend for as long, seemed like sound enough logic to me anyway. So at the end of November we found ourselves 16th in the table just 2 points above the relegation spots.

And with that change came a massive change in fortunes, 4 wins and a draw eased many of our relegation fears lifting us 15 points clear and just 11 points from the magic 40 points! I'd like to take full credit for this upturn in form but we've certainly had a nice run of fixtures to help us along nicely. The 6-2 and 4-2 against Cardiff and Bournemouth were unbelievable in truth, Jordan Graham being the one to really step up beyond his potential, Robinson Meza cutting inside from the right has been an incredible find but in particular the goal scoring form of Martin Rojas, who after netting against Everton has 16 Premier League goals in 22  games, which is unbelievable for his first season in England.

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There's a few new faces which you haven't met yet, I'm currently half way through January and I'll update you once the month is out.

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14 minutes ago, Jamesbfc1887 said:

what a great 1st half (or so) to the season.

I'd say so :thup:! Looks like you're only really losing the games you'd expect to lose against the big boys, but those draws against Spurs and Liverpool should give you cause for optimism. I'm sure you'll rack up those needed points before too long - there surely must be four or five winnable games in the remaining fixtures, and room for a few more cheeky draws.

How are your finances now? Better, I hope!

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@Jamesbfc1887: What an incredible start! Rojas has been a revelation for you and your recent results are extremely pleasing. To be at the halfway point with 29 points to your name is something which I'm sure you'd have taken at the start of the season. Some very impressive results against Liverpool and Spurs mixed in with the wins, to be taking points away from the big boys shows real promise.

You continue to amaze me with how well you've excelled with this Accrington side. There are truly some brilliant managers in this thread! :D 

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Colchester: The Championship, January

Suddenly seems like a long time since the last update, but our season continues to go well and despite our endless woes in front of goal we continue to overperform.

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October and November saw some good results, although we lacked consistency. But our form was good enough to propel us to 2nd in the table behind a high-flying Middlesbrough. December, however, saw us find that consistency - and it was pretty bad. We couldn't buy a win all month and the dropped points saw us slip back to 6th position. A good win in the FA Cup against L1 Shrewsbury helped us to recover confidence - helped by Mo Eisa scoring his first goal in 20 games. He scored again three days later as we saw off struggling Barnsley, and we pulled off two excellent results against promotion contenders with an away win at West Brom and a home draw against the millionaires of West Ham. A narrow defeat at home to Hull was a setback, and going out of the FA Cup to Cardiff put an end to our hopes of another money-spinning cup run. Ending the month with an away win against QPR was a positive.

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We head into the final stages of the campaign well-placed in the playoff positions. If we could just find some goal-scoring form from somebody I'd be a lot more confident of holding on to that achievement. Unfortunately, Eisa has failed to build on his two goals at the beginning of January, and new loan signing Stephen Walker has not yet found the net - or rather, he found the net twice but both were (correctly) ruled out for offside. Top scorer Jordan Graham has increased his tally to 9, so you can see we're feeding on scraps.

But regardless of what happens in the remaining games, the season has to go down as a huge success. I think it would take an astonishing collapse now to see us finish worse than top-half with a squad that really should be battling against relegation.

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Just now, Jamesbfc1887 said:

A fair bit better now. :D

Excellent! Colchester are just about to dive into the red again :(.

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4 hours ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

@Jamesbfc1887: What an incredible start! Rojas has been a revelation for you and your recent results are extremely pleasing. To be at the halfway point with 29 points to your name is something which I'm sure you'd have taken at the start of the season. Some very impressive results against Liverpool and Spurs mixed in with the wins, to be taking points away from the big boys shows real promise.

You continue to amaze me with how well you've excelled with this Accrington side. There are truly some brilliant managers in this thread! :D 

Thanks :), I've just been able to tie him down to a new contract. He had a release fee of £10m, so getting rid of that is a relief.

 5ae67dd4590598a99693135aabca41aa84b1c7bf

Unfortunately there's still a clause there but I'm a lot happier with it. 

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