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FM19: The English Football League thread

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57 minutes ago, Jamesbfc1887 said:

Well 5 at the back is going well at Derby :(

Commiserations, mate. I've had a similar experience at Sheff Utd, so much so that I've already binned that one. I just can't make the back three work this year - the AI is ruthless at exploiting those gaps in the FB areas. I've seen a handful of people on the forums say they've got it to work, but so far I haven't seen much evidence to that effect. To be fair, I'm pretty sure the failings are mine - I'm just far more comfortable with a flat back four... I know how it works, what job everyone is supposed to do, what the strengths and weaknesses are.

I'm back to staring at squad lists, looking for inspiration (and a squad that doesn't have 10 or 12 holes in it!)

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, warlock said:

Commiserations, mate. I've had a similar experience at Sheff Utd, so much so that I've already binned that one. I just can't make the back three work this year - the AI is ruthless at exploiting those gaps in the FB areas. I've seen a handful of people on the forums say they've got it to work, but so far I haven't seen much evidence to that effect. To be fair, I'm pretty sure the failings are mine - I'm just far more comfortable with a flat back four... I know how it works, what job everyone is supposed to do, what the strengths and weaknesses are.

I'm back to staring at squad lists, looking for inspiration (and a squad that doesn't have 10 or 12 holes in it!)

Exactly how I feel. Although this evening, 1 game away from the sack and board confidence down to 35%, I've had a bit of a break through :D

Edited by Jamesbfc1887

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Good to catch up on all the activity, although most seem to have been engaged in some club-hopping during my absence!

Anyway, I'm ready to pick up on Swansea in season 1 now so will update in due course.

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17 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

I'm ready to pick up on Swansea in season 1 now so will update in due course

Looking forward to it :thup:

17 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

most seem to have been engaged in some club-hopping during my absence!

To be fair, I did complete a whole season with Forest while you've been dilly-dallying :p :lol:. While I'm waiting for inspiration to strike for the next EFL adventure, I'm enjoying my slow save with Man Utd. Quality players, money to spend... it's a rather different experience!

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@warlock Haha, fair comment. In my defence, I didn't have any time to continue with Swansea whilst I was away but it's time to pick it up again now.

My OL game gave similar respite to yours with Man Utd (brought in some great young players in the first window and spent a fortune), but I haven't been back to it in a while.

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5 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

My OL game gave similar respite to yours with Man Utd

OL are not on my Christmas card list... they had the audacity to turn up at Old Trafford and deny me a 100% record in CL group qualifying, nicking a cheeky winner in the last 10 minutes.

It's interesting from a tactical point of view. I'm playing a hybrid 442 with the ML pushed up to AML, which FM insists on calling an assymetrical 433! It's doing fantastically well and I'm trying to figure out whether it would work with a lower-league squad or whether it's the quality at United that's carrying it. Only one way to find out... :onmehead:

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1 minute ago, warlock said:

OL are not on my Christmas card list... they had the audacity to turn up at Old Trafford and deny me a 100% record in CL group qualifying, nicking a cheeky winner in the last 10 minutes.

It's interesting from a tactical point of view. I'm playing a hybrid 442 with the ML pushed up to AML, which FM insists on calling an assymetrical 433! It's doing fantastically well and I'm trying to figure out whether it would work with a lower-league squad or whether it's the quality at United that's carrying it. Only one way to find out... :onmehead:

I know the score, I was in the OL dugout wasn't I? :lol:

Yeah, try that formation and see how  it goes. You can always switch to a back three if it's not going well...:stop:

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6 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Yeah, try that formation and see how  it goes

Hmmm... just need to find the right squad. I'll be back!

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, warlock said:

@Jogo Bonito Um... at first glance, they appear to be 3 strikers short of the necessary :lol:

Yeah, they have one striker. I have no idea how they have managed this season IRL, it must be some sort of magic from Potter...

However, you can use James as AML and then all you need to do is add one striker.

Only the best managers take on this challenge with that kind of board expectation :brock:

Although personally I think you should try a second season at Forest. Be creative, use the HG players, free transfers and loans to help you rebuild a fine traditional club.

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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Wow!!! :eek: What a difference a month or so makes! 8 games undefeated.

After a loss against Rotherham United I was incredibly close to the sack, so a tactical rethink was needed. Here's what I came up with:

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Jack Marriott has really begun to fire on all cylinders for us along with the return of Martyn Waghorn to the fray. 3 straight 2-0 wins got the board back on side, the highlight being the win against top of the league Brentford. A tough test against Norwich awaited us but in all honesty we breezed through the game thanks to Marriott.

The improved defensive output of the team was really pleasing to see and has contributed brilliantly to the upturn in form, justifying my outlay of cash on Liam Lindsay.

The QPR game left me overjoyed, we went 1-0 down and the fact my players showed the courage to come back and deservedly take all 3 points. So that left us with the battle of the 5-2-1-2's against Sheffield Utd. And there was decidedly a victor in the shape of Derby, 2 goals from Tom Lawrence- who's finally starting to show the quality he has.

The West Brom game was an unbelievable one!!! Martyn Waghorn gave us the lead after 14 minutes with our first shot of the game, much against the run of play it has to be said. We were pegged back by Josh Murphy and Dwight Gayle doubled our misery. Bradley Johnson was then sent off for a horrific 2 footed lung in the 52nd minute. In all honesty I thought that was game over, you just can't go to quality sides like West Brom and expect to take anything from the game at the best of times, never mind if you have ten men!!! But not be deterred the lads rallied round and David Nugent looked as though he'd stolen a point for us until Mason Mount found the net in added time to send us home to Derby with 3 points. Get in!!!! Two tough away trips ended with a trip to Teeside to face Tony Pulis' free flowing side- Middlesbrough. A 1-1 draw ended a fantastic 7 game winning streak but was by now means a disappointment. 

A few little tweaks was all it took, I still don't think we're playing that well and our results are perhaps flattering us. The quality of our individual players is probably dragging us up the table, but I'm much happier with where we are heading now. Hopefully we can find our way into the play offs and I can continue to learn about 5 at the back.

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So Andre Wisdom left the club pretty promptly, thanks to interest from Stoke- Cheers for the £3.7m- you mugs. Ikechi Anya who is still only 30- seems to have been around for years will come up from the u23's to cover Jayden Bogle.

Liam Lindsay, someone I've seen a great deal of over the last few years came in on a cut price deal- as ever from Barnsley :rolleyes:. This lad is destined for great things I'll tell you that, how he isn't in the Scotland squad irl is beyond me.

Another Liam came in through the door, Liam Sercombe a cheap deal, he'll be rotated in if we need him but otherwise he'll be unused.

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3 hours ago, Jamesbfc1887 said:

Wow!!! :eek: What a difference a month or so makes! 8 games undefeated.

Great stuff, and applause for your perseverance :applause:

4 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Although personally I think you should try a second season at Forest

Well, you talked me into it! Not convinced I can make it work yet... just had the board refuse to let me sign Connor Randall on a free because we couldn't meet his wage demands of £500 a week! 

I managed to sell Grabban to Norwich for £2.3m, and Lolley to Villa for £3m rising to a guaranteed £4.5m, and cancelled all of the loans that were costing us money. Despite that, and putting the resulting £1m into the wage budget, I'm still £15k a week over. I'm not currently able to terminate the loans of Janko and Goncalves, but they'll be gone by the end of the month to save another £10k a week. Ansarifard will also leave at the end of the month, which should allow us to break even, and if I can shift a bit more of the u23 deadwood we might come out of the month with a small surplus :rolleyes:.

But no-one will be getting a pay rise this year :stop:

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Started up a save with Shrewsbury Town and so far so good...

Table.png

Just over the halfway mark and we're sitting top of the table! Hopefully we can continue our push for promotion but it wasn't really on the cards this season so I'll take anything.

Transfer wise there wasn't much activity in the summer Kazenga LuaLua, Freddie Woodman and Callum Burton came in on loan for the season. Then Gabby Agbonlahor was brought in on a free. I'm currently in the January transfer window and there's been more outs than ins. Lenell John-Lewis, Steve Arnold and Sam Jones all left for nothing to free up some wages. Lifumpa Mwandwe was sold to Forest for £200k. Then Swansea offered £950k for Omar Beckles and I ummed and ahed over this one for quite a while as I couldn't find any decent replacements until Preston decided to transfer list Josh Earl. So I put a bid in which was accepted...

Josh-Earl.png

In came Earl for £400k rising to £500k (breaking our previous transfer record) and out went Beckles for £950k. His sale did upset a couple of players but the vast majority of the squad are with me and we've improved with the addition of Earl in my opinion.

Omar-Beckles-v-Josh-Earl.png

Now Earl is actually a left-sided fullback but I intend to play him as a centre-back. Sure some of his physicals aren't as good as Beckles but he's only 20 so I'm sure they'll improve over time. The only downside to the deal is that Earl signed on a two-year deal and he's got those annoying release clauses in his contract, but he wouldn't have signed without them so my hands were tied. Apart from Earl the only other addition has been the big target man himself Matt Smith from QPR on loan for the season.

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On 22/04/2019 at 23:00, warlock said:

Also think QPR is a really tough challenge this year - they're currently in 23rd spot in my save, with six defeats in their first 8 games.

So after scouring this thread for inspiration for a new save, this line from @warlock has inspired me!

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6 hours ago, Chelski Shogun said:

Started up a save with Shrewsbury Town and so far so good...

Good to see a new face joining in, and an excellent start to your campaign :thup:

7 minutes ago, smplfc123 said:

So after scouring this thread for inspiration for a new save, this line from @warlock has inspired me!

Ouch! You're a glutton for punishment :lol: But I wish you well with it... someone ought to be able to save them.

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Sunderland Update

We had a bit of a disappointing October, with three defeats in six and a red card in two of those games.

image.thumb.png.a3cd2ba3fb362ba2e1bac2ea2d9718ee.png

I decided we needed to change how we were playing (again) and decided to lose the attacking midfielder behind the striker for a defensive midfielder. This has caused us an upturn in form winning all matches in November.

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We're currently sitting top of the table by five points, with two games in hand over second place, which would give us an eleven point lead at the top of the table at this stage of the season. We're about to play our FA Cup Second Round match vs Carlisle, and hopefully if we can get through that game we will get a big side in the third round for a boost to the funds. 

I've got a couple more players set to leave in January, with second choice keeper Ruiter leaving for Wigan for £215k. WIth him and McGlaughlin (first choice) both being 31yrs old, I think it is a good opportunity to bring in a younger keeper who might have the ability to take over from McGlaughlin in the next year or so.

I was looking at Christy Pym from Exeter, but he's only got 8 for one on ones and would cost £525k (release clause), so I was put off a bit.

image.thumb.png.73363d5839c2c46669434ee164c40138.png

I've got scouts out looking for a GK, centre back and a striker that I'm hopeful I'll be able to bring in in January. 

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, warlock said:

Well, you talked me into it! Not convinced I can make it work yet...

Certainly you have the odds stacked against you there at Forest, but it's good to face some challenges! Not being able to sign somebody on £500 per week at that level is incredible though. Best of luck, although I would understand if you do again decide that you're not really 'feeling it'.

7 hours ago, Chelski Shogun said:

Started up a save with Shrewsbury Town and so far so good...

A very good start indeed, good luck with Shrewsbury. The profile of our old friend @DefinitelyTaylor says he is still managing them, although general consensus is that it was probably some years ago!

 

1716616751_Swanseafixturesandresults.thumb.jpg.4c6afa42c47047877168884c1a3331b9.jpg

 

I've now hit the end of the January transfer window in my first season with Swansea, so it's time for an update

I can't say that the counter-attacking tactics were working great, but I was able to grind out enough results to stay in or around the top six

The lack of goals wasn't very encouraging, with strikers McBurnie and Obafemi flattering to deceive (actually without any flattering) 

A whole host of formations have been used and then binned, but ahead of the Sheffield United match I made a bigger change

That was when I went in to a 'control possession' 4231 tactic

So far, that's looked more suited to my ideas, although a second striker is likely to feature now (you'll see why a bit later) 

1266526308_SwanseaFixtures1.2.thumb.png.a28a2b71af3488a671ca7fd315119410.png

Here is the league position as January ends (7th) and the progress chart and financial position (healthy)

I'm quite satisfied, although there is definitely room for improvement

613317267_Swanseaprogress1.2.thumb.png.3bb99a8c5b17203d741e53cc69c28dac.png

But going back to December, it was financial matters that seemed to be at the top of the board's agenda

The following four items all came up on 1st December 2018, and I didn't know if I was coming or going...

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And on 29th December I was able to relieve some pressure the board had put on me a few days earlier

I thought they had been quite harsh to be fair, as I was sat in 7th or 8th at the time, within a point of the top six

But anyway, they seemed happy that I was now ready to continue the job I had been given

108408773_Swanseaboardpressure29_12_18.thumb.png.66f001322e7a26a25e49ec359bf50784.png

The transfer window was quiet, with a couple of sales (Olsson and Mulder were earning £40k per week between them)

I also cancelled the loan of Cameron Carter-Vickers to save myself a further £20k per week (he only played nine times to that point)

Unfortunately, the agent of Jarrod Bowen at Hull continued to be ridiculous in his demands (over £30k per week in wages)

In addition to that he wanted a further £3m in agent fees and player bonuses, so I still couldn't land him despite agreeing a fee of £10m

However on deadline day, I finally decided to boost my attack with the expensive £9m signing of Che Adams instead

By that point the financial status of the club had become very strong, and I'm hoping the new man will pay me back in goals

642455289_SwanseaTransferHistory1.2.thumb.png.473fa52b7d5d82ea21a3ae757b346c09.png

1190617117_SwanseasignAdams31_01_19.thumb.png.0a940c642ea2f83afab6c9c8313a79b2.png

 

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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48 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

general consensus is that it was probably some years ago!

:lol:

I'm guessing the board were a bit nervous about 7th in January, but your results since New Year look OK and just a couple of wins off the playoff places. Keep it up!

Meanwhile at Forest, I gave it a good go (he pleaded pitifully). By the end of the transfer window, I'd managed to sort the finances such that I had £600k in the transfer budget and a wage surplus of £40K a week. And looking at the squad I was really happy... Reguilon and Vokins renewed their loans, and we looked solid in every department. Pre-season was the usual walk in the park, but when the competitive games started it all went south. The biggest disappointment was the performance of last year's top players... Reguillon was awful (although Vokins was great); Matty Cash suddenly couldn't play, Osborn was poor week in and week out, and Hefele - the rock in my defence - was just a mistake waiting to happen. We kept scoring first, then collapsing. I had a stream of requests for improved contracts, and even though they weren't playing well all of the first-teamers were being pimped by bigger clubs - I was even fending off interest for makeweights like Darikwa. We went out of the Carabao at the first round. It all just feels like pushing a boulder uphill.

But - masochistically - I'm kind of drawn to restarting with Forest at the beginning of season 1. I have a feeling that if I was even more ruthless about clearing out the troublemakers I could make a strong run at the title :idiot:

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Gutted, I'd found the centre back I was after, Jack Whatmough, but his agent only negotiated twice with the contract and that was it, offer rejected.

I'd successfully unsettled him from Portsmouth as well and was about to pick him up for just over £1.5m.

 

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1 minute ago, torquayfmer said:

Gutted, I'd found the centre back I was after, Jack Whatmough, but his agent only negotiated twice with the contract and that was it, offer rejected.

I'd successfully unsettled him from Portsmouth as well and was about to pick him up for just over £1.5m.

 

Four clean sheets out of the last five, and clear at the top - sounds like you're doing alright to me anyway!

@smplfc123 Tough one at QPR, best of luck.

@warlock Sorry it didn't work out again, but you gave it a go so should have no regrets. It sounds like you're feeling there is unfinished business though...

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4 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Four clean sheets out of the last five, and clear at the top - sounds like you're doing alright to me anyway!

True, think I may hold off in the hope he will stick around at Pompey until the summer and look for the back up goalkeeper in January. 

Hopefully find someone to bring in and if it the only deal I make in January I'll be happy with that :thup:

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Thanks @Jogo Bonito great update from you as always! Really like the Adams signing, think he'll definitely get you the goals to get you safely in to those play off spots.

Cheers @warlock I've spent a while on this first day alone, it is going to be a tough slog! Good luck with Forest should you decide to try it again!

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1 hour ago, smplfc123 said:

Good luck with Forest should you decide to try it again!

 

2 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

It sounds like you're feeling there is unfinished business though

Thanks, chaps! Not sure it's unfinished business so much as a lack of alternatives. I'm reluctant to repeat saves from last year, but I keep thinking, why? Those teams are a year further on, somewhat different squads, different expectations. Tonight I'm relishing the slaughter of Total War: Medieval 2 (and probably tomorrow as well!) After that, I'll see what captures my imagination!

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19 hours ago, warlock said:

Good to see a new face joining in, and an excellent start to your campaign :thup:

 

18 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

A very good start indeed, good luck with Shrewsbury. The profile of our old friend @DefinitelyTaylor says he is still managing them, although general consensus is that it was probably some years ago!

Thanks guys! Unfortunately my save in Italy got corrupted so I needed a new team and I had an itch to manage in England again. I'm hoping to set a few hours aside tonight to finish of the season. But one thing's for sure... if we can continue our good run then Charlton are going to push us all the way. They currently have the two top goalscorers in the league and regularly demolish teams.

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

A very good start indeed, good luck with Shrewsbury. The profile of our old friend @DefinitelyTaylor says he is still managing them, although general consensus is that it was probably some years ago.

:rolleyes::lol:. Actually, I have been playing a network save with a group of four friends and we decided to start in League One as our best saves have always come in either L1 or 2. I was randomly drawn Southend from a name generator of teams outside of Luton, Barnsley, Sunderland, Portsmouth and Charlton. I would recommend a Southend save if you fancy a challenge, as the financial situation, as well as the squad you have to begin with, is a real challenge. You are limited to who you can bring in with only a small wage budget and no transfer budget and the starting squad starts with plenty of injuries. It's been a challenge but one I am very much enjoying! :D 

Edited by DefinitelyTaylor

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Still on the hunt for a new keeper, starting as back up to McGlaughlin but probably becoming first choice next season. I've got the opportunity to sign Bailey Peacock Farrell for £2m upfront, with another £2.5m over the next three years and another £1m if he makes 20 international appearances. 

This will take up all of the transfer budget I've got, so I'm not sure if it is really worth the money or not. Ruitter (back up keeper currently) will be leaving 1st of Jan, so I definitely need to bring a keeper in, but I don't know whether to wait until the summer and just sign a loanee until the end of the season, or go with one of my youth keepers as back up. Bit risky :/ 

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Not sure if you've made the decision yet @torquayfmer but speaking from the one experience I had with BPF, i'd stay clear. Wasn't very commanding and was very prone to a wild mistake. But again that's going on just one save I had with the lad.

Maybe have a look at the likes of Lumley, Coleman, Norris, Woodman or MacGivallry if you are looking for younger HG GK's.

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Posted (edited)

Shrewsbury Town Update

Well we managed to maintain our good run of form...

League-One-30th-to-45th-Match-Day-Fixtur

Those are the results from matchday 30 through to 45. As you can see we picked up 10 wins, 5 draws and one disappointing loss away to now relegated Bristol Rovers. It was a real grind from February onward, teams sat deep and defended in numbers but we would somehow find a way through. A prime example of this being our results from March. But those four draws in a row made the league a lot tighter than it should've been. After matchday 45 we were still top of the table on 94pts going into the final game of the season, however we were only one point above 2nd placed Charlton. So although automatic promotion was assured the league title wasn't. So into the final match we go...

League-One-46th-Matchday-Fixture.png

We won thanks to an own goal and here's how the league table ended up looking...

League-One-Final-Table.png

Charlton lost 3-2 away at Rochdale on the final day of the season and we were crowned as champions of League One! What I'm particularly chuffed about is the fact that we ended up with the meanest defence in the league, conceding 32 goals and we only lost two games at home all season. Now no surprises as on-loan striker Stefan Payne finished as our top goalscorer on 20 goals but that wasn't enough to win the leagues top goalscorer award, as Charlton's Lyle Taylor narrowly beat him by two goals.

So we won the league and we're in the Championship but my focus is now on attempting to essentially build an entire new squad as the current crop just aren't good enough for the Championship (that's the problem with achieving an unexpected promotion). There's a few that'll do a job but our key players from this campaign are either loan signings or older players who are on the decline with their contracts expiring. So heavy recruitment is needed this summer but fortunately the board have given me a transfer budget of £3m to play with and a wage budget of £80k for the upcoming season.

Edited by Chelski Shogun

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Congratulations @Chelski Shogun on a great season. Board have been quite generous there with that budget so hopefully you can get the squad up to scratch ready for the next season. Lyle Taylor has  been a goal machine for Charlton on every save i've had this year and he's always on my shortlist.

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15 hours ago, smplfc123 said:

Not sure if you've made the decision yet @torquayfmer but speaking from the one experience I had with BPF, i'd stay clear. Wasn't very commanding and was very prone to a wild mistake. But again that's going on just one save I had with the lad.

Maybe have a look at the likes of Lumley, Coleman, Norris, Woodman or MacGivallry if you are looking for younger HG GK's.

I decided not to sign him in the end, I felt it was a lot of money for someone my scouts thought only had potential for the Championship, and I don't plan on being in that league for too long!

I've got your recommendations being scouted, and may well look to sign one.

Great performance @Chelski Shogun, looks a decent transfer budget to play with in the summer and hopefully some good signings and you'll be away in the Championship.

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Sunderland

We've got a bit further through the first season since the last update. We've made it to the 5th round of the FA Cup where we are facing either Man City or Crystal Palace and made two signings that I feel will bolster the squad this season and be players that will grow further in the future.

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Lots of games in December, and some fantastic results. The squad did really well to cope with the amount of games in short succession and to have only conceded two goals in all those games was great. 

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January was again full of games, with a slight dip in form at the start which we soon turned around. 

We've had some notable performances so far this season, and our defense has been great, but as I've said earlier in the thread I was still looking for a new centre back, a striker and a goalkeeper. Once into January I stepped up the hunt and made two signings. 

Firstly, the centre back I had been after earlier in the season and hadn't managed to sign, Jack Whatmough. He's got a fantastic future and although he wasn't necessarily needed, I think he'll become a key player for us. I decided that with Whatmough signed, I sent back Jimmy Dunne to Burnley as he wasn't needed and he wasn't getting the game time he deserved.

image.thumb.png.1973f17f679f13090a152da73a8630ee.png

Jack fits in with our style of play and gives us a great option at the back.

Our second signing was one I wasn't expecting to make, but following Grant Leadbitter coming to me and saying he felt like he wasn't getting enough game time, I quickly shipped him out to the MLS. This left us short of options in the middle of midfield, with Bali Mumba currently starting most games at only 17yrs old. I scrapped plans to sign a goalkeeper or a striker and moved for Cameron Brannagan from Oxford. My scouts think he's got potential to play Premier League football and again, he fits in with how we like to play. I think he'll make a really good addition to the squad and he'll fit in nicely.

image.thumb.png.98a94cb53de4d27fdb47bdb27e3a69eb.png

 

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Posted (edited)

QPR UPDATE

So after trying a few different saves , I decided to take some inspiration in a quote from thread legend @warlock who stated that a QPR save looked to be very difficult this season and see how well I could do.

 

Having seen the squad, I decided to go against my normal policy of starting with transfers off, in order to give me some chance of helping this squad to stay in the division. And before we begin, that is mine and the boards aim for this season, to stay up. With £2m in the budget but no room to manoeuvre in on the wage side, I had to transfer money over, leaving with about £1m to work with and about 3/4 positions identified that needed cover.

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With only 2 fit, natural centre backs in Lynch and Liestner, the latter being brought in along with Rangel before I took over, I decided that with these 2 and the injury prone Hall likely to be 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice, I would bring in some cheap back up. Keen on bringing in players I've not worked with before, Gregoire Amiot and Kristopher Da Graca came were brought in to the club. With not much left in the bank and a lack of quality available on the transfer market, I turned to loan options. Luca Paganini and Adryan were brought in to give us a bit more flair and depth in the attacking areas. That was the end of my build for this summer, until Josh Scowen broke his leg putting him out for the best part of 6 months and Cousins picked up a 2 month injury, one he's suffered previously. I quickly snapped up Ryan Yates on a 5 month loan deal to complete the summer window.

Going in to the start of the season, I knew it was going to be tough and I told myself that I'm really going to have just bare it through some rough patches. I've tried keeping my tactics simple, one based on high pressing and intensity, not allowing the opposition time on the ball, mainly used at home. The other sitting back more and looking to press hard in deeper areas and hit on the counter. Here's how we fared in the first month or so:

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As you can see it's gone much better than I could have hoped for so far, with 4 wins and 2 defeats in 6 league games. A tricky start with an away defeat at Preston was squashed with a great victory at home to Sheff Utd in the 2nd game, although I nearly blew a 3-0 lead. With confidence brimming from that game and the penalty shoot out win against Wimbledon in the Carabao Cup, we went to early pace setters WBA and hammered them, with Wells getting a hat trick. They scored a pen and a lucky deflected Chris Brunt strike late on. That excellent victory was followed with 2 thoroughly enjoyable hard-fought 1-0 home wins over Bristol City and Wigan, before falling to our second defeat of the season away to Birmingham.

In terms of performances, Wells is no more than a goalscorer. He's had 6.2 in most games, not getting a touch or offering much, but then can pop up with a hat trick away to WBA. Wszolek and Manning have been excellent so far and joining them has been new unknown signing Amiot, who is keeping Lynch out of the first team!

An excellent start to aid us in our fight to stay in the division, but there's a long way to go! Wish me luck!

 

Edited by smplfc123

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After City beat Crystal Palace in their replay, I faced them in the 5th round of the FA Cup and fully expected to get heavily beaten.

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What a result! Angel Gomes put us 1-0 up, Rodrigo equalised for City in the 82nd minute before Gomes created a brilliant goal in the 118th minute and Will Grigg who has hardly played this season finished brilliantly.

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3 hours ago, smplfc123 said:

a QPR save looked to be very difficult this season

Happy to see you proving me wrong! Some good early results there. Hopefully, Yates can do a job for you - being young he's prone to an error or two but I was pretty happy with him at Forest.

53 minutes ago, torquayfmer said:

After City beat Crystal Palace

Well played! Always a particular pleasure in beating Premiership teams in the cups.

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Thanks @warlock really happy with that home form. Hopefully can turn Loftus Road in to a hard place for teams to come. I've liked Yates since my short spell at Forest too, covers a a lot of roles in that midfield area so was a no brainier on a short deal.

 

Congratulations on knocking City out of the cup @torquayfmer, great result.

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On ‎01‎/‎05‎/‎2019 at 16:08, DefinitelyTaylor said:

:rolleyes::lol:. Actually, I have been playing a network save with a group of four friends and we decided to start in League One as our best saves have always come in either L1 or 2. I was randomly drawn Southend from a name generator of teams outside of Luton, Barnsley, Sunderland, Portsmouth and Charlton. I would recommend a Southend save if you fancy a challenge, as the financial situation, as well as the squad you have to begin with, is a real challenge. You are limited to who you can bring in with only a small wage budget and no transfer budget and the starting squad starts with plenty of injuries. It's been a challenge but one I am very much enjoying! :D 

Excellent, good luck at Southend. How is Yearwood getting on?

@torquayfmer Doing a fine job with Sunderland and a great win over Man City :thup:

@Chelski Shogun Amazing success with Shrewsbury, that's a massive achievement. Next season may not be as bad as you feel, and your budget is not bad.

@smplfc123 Wow, a superb start with QPR. Anything above the drop zone will be a good effort, but you've started in fine fashion. Absolutely fabulous, as Joe Lumley might say :lol:

I've virtually finished my first season with Swansea, no doubt a long update will follow soon!

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Posted (edited)

1222767540_Swanseafixturesandresults.thumb.jpg.1fa66f53fb46ebf2daca0dcb4819fce0.jpg

Season 1 - February & March

With the £9m arrival of Che Adams on transfer deadline day, I felt I now had the firepower to challenge the teams above

A goal on his debut at the start of February gave me even more optimism, but four consecutive draws saw my team unable to push on 

In truth, Bristol City, Leeds (top) and Brentford (2nd) were all tough opponents so the results weren't as bad as they appear

And I followed that up with three impressive wins before West Brom (2nd) and Derby (4th) halted my progress

The month ended with a comfortable win over Nottingham Forest and by this point I felt a Play Off spot was there for the taking

1895818483_SwanseaFixtures1.3.thumb.png.49f3d6a60741a680cf024c542384109d.png

Season 1 - April & May

April started poorly with a narrow loss at another play-off challenger Middlesbrough, and a dismal show away to QPR

Sandwiched in between that was a comfortable win over Stoke, and then I rounded the month of with three straight wins

It was probably good timing to be facing Rotherham and Ipswich (both later relegated), and the win over Hull cemented a top-six spot

The regular campaign ended with a fourth consecutive win, and enabled me to overtake Derby at the very last moment to take 4th on GD

All this did was change the order of the home and away legs, as I began preparations to face Frank Lampard's Derby

Play-Off  Semi Finals

 The first leg of the PO semi final at Pride Park saw my side outplayed and 2-0 down after just seven minutes

But some sharp words from the dugout inspired the boys to get their act together, and it was all square again at 2-2 after 15 minutes

Even when Welshman Tom Lawrence put The Rams 3-2 up, I was thinking that wasn't a bad outcome if I kept it at that

But Championship top scorer Jack Marriott added another towards the end, and by then I was planning for another year in tier two

Unbelievably, the return leg at The Liberty Stadium was even more dramatic, and I was 3-0 up after just 19 minutes

The third of those from Adams was a big moment, as he had gone over 10 hours without a goal since his debut effort

At this stage my side was in the driving seat over two legs, and those two away goals in the bank were worth a small fortune too

The icing on the cake came as Obafemi made it 4-0 late on, and the stoppage time consolation for Derby was irrelevant to my 6-5 aggregate win

Play Off Final

Bristol City overcame Brentford to meet me at Wembley, and I had no idea what to expect next

In truth, it turned out to be a fairly comfortable win after McBurnie's penalty put my side ahead after 31 minutes

The striker had ended the season in fine fashion so it was fitting that he got the opener on such a big occasion

The second from Mike van der Hoorn before the break made the game safe at 2-0, and from then on there was little threat from the Bristolians

The big Dutch defender slapped in a transfer request after a falling out with me back in the autumn, when I rejected a stack of bids from PSV 

The transfer request was also rejected, and I played him week in and week out to win him over, so this was a very satisfying outcome for us both 

1417419857_SwanseaFixtures1.4.thumb.png.57a6b74efea97694d26812a08668b1c9.png

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Here is the performance graph, which after a fair bit of movement early on, became much more static towards the end

The majority of the last few months was spent in 5th until overtaking Derby on the last day to claim 4th spot

Everything else looks fine, and even the financial situation is much better than it looks as the club is in healthy shape

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Here is the final league table, with Leeds and West Brom promoted automatically

The bottom end has a realistic look with Bolton, Rotherham and Ipswich all going down and Wigan, Millwall and QPR just above the drop zone

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Below is a quick recap on the team performance in the various competitions

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And here are the player stats for the season across all competitions

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The club Player of the Season award went to central defender Joe Rodon, who not only defended well but grabbed a number of goals too

And the impressive Welshman also won the EFL award for 'Young Player of the Season'

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So, Swansea are back in the Premier League - and have a reasonable transfer budget of £42m available for the following season

In addition to that, I have been massively under the wage budget this year so there is good scope to do some sensible recruitment

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Edited by Jogo Bonito

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8 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Excellent, good luck at Southend. How is Yearwood getting on?

He's only just returned from injury, around 11/12 games in. He's had a fairly limited impact so far, but I think that's due to our performances being poor lately. He's just signed a new four-year-deal though, which is a massive boost (if I manage to survive the season!)

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Thanks @smplfc123 I'm not surprised Taylor bangs them in. I've been scouting him for a while but due to Charlton being promoted along with us I doubt I'll be able to prize him away. Best of luck with QPR. They've just been relegated in my save, but you've made a fantastic start and hopefully you can keep up the good run of form.

Cheers @torquayfmer I didn't think the board would be so generous with the budget but the sale of Beckles earlier on in the season definitely helped with our financial situation. It looks like things are going well for you at Sunderland. Some excellent wins in the league and the Man City result is just the icing on the cake for you. Also those are some great signings in Whatmough and Brannagan. I've actually been looking at Brannagan myself and I've had him in a previous save, he's a decent little player.

Thanks @Jogo Bonito I've made a lot of the signings needed already and although there's a lot of signings I'm confident we'll beat the drop. Congratulations on the promotion! I always hate the playoffs but you did very well to pull things back (as comfortably as you did) after the away defeat to Derby. It looks as though Daniel James performed well for you, and you've got a good foundation to build from with the partnership of Rodon and van der Hoorn (well done on keeping him by the way). Plus with that transfer/wage budget it gives you plenty of options in the market to upgrade your squad for the upcoming season in the Premier League. I look forward to the next update.

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Posted (edited)
On ‎04‎/‎05‎/‎2019 at 17:54, DefinitelyTaylor said:

He's only just returned from injury, around 11/12 games in. He's had a fairly limited impact so far, but I think that's due to our performances being poor lately. He's just signed a new four-year-deal though, which is a massive boost (if I manage to survive the season!)

Hopefully he justifies the new long term deal.

@Chelski Shogun Thanks. James was good, even better now I use him as an inside forward on the left rather than as a left winger. I'm hoping Rodon and van der Hoorn will be capable at the higher level, but I've added a couple more options just in case. Most of my signings have been Welsh, with a sprinkling of others. I hope my preference to do that won't come back to haunt me.

Pre-season transfers are almost done now, and I am undefeated with just one friendly left to play. I think I have just got the striker to land, which I feel is where the big bucks have to be spent. Options there are quite limited though as a newly-promoted side and I seem to have ended up with a choice of Tosun, Mitrovic, Abraham (loan) and one other. The Tosun deal at £13m and £33k p/w (which I think equals my highest earner) is just waiting to be finished off, as I am trying to see if my main target will agree to the loan with future fee offer his club has accepted. Fortunately, I do have  most of my budget left to land one or both of these strikers, as I'm not sure McBurnie and Adams are going to scare too many PL defences.

@smplfc123 Thanks mate. As you know, I'm not really a fan of managing in the PL but it feels as though I owe the Swans at least one season there. KUTGW with QPR :thup:

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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Posted (edited)

 

Derby Season 1

Update 2

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Our unbelievable run continued at Birmingham, with even Richard Keogh getting on the score sheet!

We then a real tough test against 2nd placed Aston Villa and in a game we largely dominated we ended up scraping a draw. A trip to Hillsborough to face struggling Sheffield Wednesday and we just couldn't break them down.

November ended in style with a trip to Stoke (oh the joys) and a return to form for Martyn Waghorn.

The 1st of December served up a real treat against Swansea, genuinely zero highlights in that game. The term "I'm gonna proper Nugent a goal" is a phrase I heard recently in my own footballing exploits and that really comes to mind with this game. We really struggled and shouldn't have had anything from the Wigan game but the man hinslef David Nugent stepped up from 12 yards to give us all 3, a vital 3 points at that.

The big game! Derby vs Forest, the East Midlands derby. 

We absolutely battered Forest in the 1st half and Waghorn fired us into the lead on the hour mark, a manic 3 minutes saw 3 goals, Derby lad Mason Bennett looked to have secured us all 3 points in the derby nut Lewis Grabban had other ideas and a nervy 5 minutes surely awaited us but the Scottish Maldini was right on hand to ease the nerves and send the Derby fans into pandemonium, with a bullet header 3 minutes from time.

The visit of struggling of Bristol City would provide another stress-fully earned 3 points.

All of a sudden our rock solid defence was completely flustered, 6 goals conceded in two games, conceding that many to Norwich is probably not the worst thing that's ever happened but the loss to Sheff Utd really hurts, they scored two freak goals and it was a massive chance missed.

The New Year, was greeted with a 4-0 demolition of Middlesbrough thanks to a hat-trick from Jack Marriott, we were taken back down to reality with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Leeds thanks to an intercepted back pass :seagull: but we were completely outplayed on the day, so we can't and won't complain. Waghorn and Marriott did all the damage necessary against Reading as we strolled to success, with our defence seemingly having found it's feet.

340e077a04b07f22f94f9ff72fe2dccbde56d216

So that leaves 3 points outside the play offs but with a crucial game in hand to come! Top 6 looks achievable but the top 2 looks beyond our grasp, I just don't think the players and me are ready to be a real threat to the top 2.

But you never know.

Transfer Update to follow. 

 

Edited by Jamesbfc1887

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@Jamesbfc1887 Good update, very well placed there after your abysmal start and you should be confident for the rest of the season. Who are you using as the wing-backs? I assume Bogle is one of them, is he doing a good job? Marriott was league top scorer (for Derby) in my first season at Swansea so must have the tools to score well even if Waghorn and Nugent are favoured.

I've finished pre-season and just one week ahead of the PL opener for Swansea. All transfers are done unless I can get this last striker in (proving almost impossible).

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46 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Who are you using as the wing-backs?

Yeah, Bogle has been rotated in the right wing-back role with Anya of all people, he's only 2 stars bless him but he's more than held his own this season. On the left it's been Forsyth or Malone rotated together, neither of them are natural there but they'll do.

Marriott has really started to hit form and Mason Bennett chips in with the odd goal as well.

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4 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

it feels as though I owe the Swans at least one season there

Good man! I think you're right, having done brilliantly to get them up in the first place.

1 hour ago, Jamesbfc1887 said:

Top 6 looks achievable but the top 2 looks beyond our grasp

I'd probably agree with that, but I've seen enough Championship run-ins to keep a flicker of hope alive, especially with so many games still to play.

Just got back from a weekend away, and I'll probably be at Mrs W's beck and call for holiday Monday. Hope to get back to the game after that, but still looking for another EFL save. Might have to let FM pick the club for me!

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