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FM19: The English Football League thread

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Posted (edited)

@Jogo Bonito Don’t know how you are managing simultaneous saves! However will be great to see you back at Charlton. 

BTW Lisbon is fantastic, was there last year and fortunately was able to attend Sporting vs Benfica too. 

Edited by karanhsingh

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1 minute ago, karanhsingh said:

@Jogo Bonito I’m losing track of the number of games you have running! However will be great to see you back at Charlton. 

It's not that bad, I'm only active with Charlton & Benfica at the moment :lol:

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6 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

It's not that bad, I'm only active with Charlton & Benfica at the moment :lol:

Lol I realised that. I got confused and thought you were doing United as well but that was @warlock

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, karanhsingh said:

Lol I realised that. I got confused and thought you were doing United as well but that was @warlock

No worries! You were lucky to witness the Lisbon derby, must have been fun! It won't be the last time I am in Lisbon, so I will hopefully fit some games in another time.

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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I feel like I have well and truly given up with getting into a save on this football manager!! 

1 last attempt I recon 😂 any recommendations or any tips on how other people have managed to stay in a save are welcome 😂

championship club preferably bit of money

reasonable squad but also need some work donE

i thank you in advance  

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1 hour ago, Rollin93 said:

championship club preferably bit of money

Villa, Norwich, Swansea, WBA, Sheff Utd, Stoke probably. Plenty of candidates.

As for tips on sticking with a save, I'm probably not your man. But you need to get through a few key stages, I think:

1. Pre-season and the friendlies usually go well, and then the first competitive month feels like a brick wall. You need to stick with it and give your team time to gel, and your tactic time to work.

2. The next few months usually go well, but eventually you'll hit a drop in form - sometimes quite a severe drop. You have to figure out why - AI playing more cautiously, players over-confident, injuries to important players... whatever the reason, you have to either figure it out or ride it out.

3. You have to manage expectations. Don't expect the moon and stars first season. Unlike me.

4. If you get promoted, you really have to manage your expectations. Relegation is likely; anything else is a brilliant success.

5. Go to 1.

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10 hours ago, warlock said:

Villa, Norwich, Swansea, WBA, Sheff Utd, Stoke probably. Plenty of candidates.

As for tips on sticking with a save, I'm probably not your man. But you need to get through a few key stages, I think:

1. Pre-season and the friendlies usually go well, and then the first competitive month feels like a brick wall. You need to stick with it and give your team time to gel, and your tactic time to work.

2. The next few months usually go well, but eventually you'll hit a drop in form - sometimes quite a severe drop. You have to figure out why - AI playing more cautiously, players over-confident, injuries to important players... whatever the reason, you have to either figure it out or ride it out.

3. You have to manage expectations. Don't expect the moon and stars first season. Unlike me.

4. If you get promoted, you really have to manage your expectations. Relegation is likely; anything else is a brilliant success.

5. Go to 1.

Love this response thanks mate!! It’s normally I get bored when it gets too easy!

and then 2nd season I loose interest but will defo have look at these clubs 

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Right.

 

I'm back.

 

Doing a Forest save with a slight difference.

I'll go into it in a bit.

ZNFt43CQI8.thumb.png.263a00f880c771f2aba15addd8055696.png

Leagues loaded

 

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This time round, I’m taking Nottingham Forest, a team I know pretty well in FM (I research them, and have done for years, does this count as cheating??), and applying a few rules, using a ‘Club DNA’ statement, that seems to be the sort of en-vogue thing now.

So. Here it is.

Club DNA Statement

Club: Nottingham Forest
Division: Skybet Championship

Vision:
At Forest, the vision is one for developing technically and tactically intelligent players, hopefully leading towards a bright future for the individual, whether this be domestically or internationally. Promotion of a great work ethic within the playing squad and the coaching staff will allow the team to progress, and achieve success.

Mission:
First and foremost, the aim is to return to top flight football, and become a regular feature in the top half. Using our academy setup to develop the youth system, and bring as many of them into first team football.

Scouting Policy:
Nottingham Forest has always had a reputation of being an important club in developing young talents, both domestic, and elsewhere. 
The aim is to attract home grown players from the UK and Ireland, younger than the age of 21. Firstly, the aim is to scout the UK, the divisions (in all the constituent nations with active leagues) and the respective youth tournaments of these leagues. 
The scouting team should be have the ability to judge the current ability of a player, and predict their future level to an accurate level.

Recruitment Models (Players & Staff):
As with the mission statement, and scouting policy, we will mainly look to promote from within the club. Players nearing retirement will be encouraged to take a coaching badge, and those that have retired and still have ties to the club will also be encouraged to do the same. 
The U19s shall mainly consist of Academy players, brought to the club as part of the annual youth intake.
The U23s shall consist of players older than academy age, who have not reached first team level, and those players who have not gone out on loan. The U23 side shall mainly be used to bring those recovering from injury, or those lacking match time

These players should fit the following criteria.

Versatile, and quick off the mark.

Good technical abilities, and creative players to fit the style of play required

Good decision making skills and composure under pressure.

Coaches with skills to educate the youngsters in the technical and mental sides of the game.

Transfer Policy:
Nottingham Forest aim to attract and sign mainly British Under 21 talents, and those that come through the youth system. Foreign players are an option, but only if they are better than current squad members, or domestic transfer options.
Youngsters (U23s), will be signed for the first team, or, where applicable, the advantage of loaning promising talents from bigger (Premier League Clubs)

Player / Youth Development:
From the First Team to the Academy, the approach towards developing players must be clear, consistent and have the commitment of everyone, in order to be successful in the long
term goals. We must train the way we want to play, and as such, these sessions must show the relationships between practice and the real game.
Training will focus on encouraging creative players, with an independence in decision making, as well as displaying a vision and anticipation to be ahead of any situation they find
themselves in.
U17 (Academy) Training Philosophy:- Development of skills required with the ball (Under 19s within FM)
U19s Training Philosophy:- Technical and Tactical Abilities, those which would be used in match situations (U23/Reserves)
U21s Training Philosophy:- Development of skills required for the style of play. Player traits and further expertise on weak areas of the game (Part of 1st Team Setup)

Future Goals / Achievements:
Promotion to Premier League within 3 seasons.
Win a Cup Competition within 5 seasons.
Qualify for an International (European) Competition within 6 seasons.
Sell a youngster for a minimum fee of £10m within 3 seasons.

Principles of Play – 
Playing Philosophy:
Formation:

The Club at all levels must play with a 4-3-3 or 3-4-3 formation, depending on the opposition
and playing staff.

Style of Play:
Possession based play, along the lines of the setup used by Pep Guardiola, positive mentality, progressing into the final third with creativity, passing with purpose and creating goalscoring opportunities
In Possession

Passing Style:
Build from the back, using the goalkeeper and defenders to build a platform. The defenders need to have the confidence to use the ball and make the correct decisions to set the tempo for the rest of the team.
Width:
Look to use the width of the pitch, overlapping fullbacks/wingbacks, getting forward
and creating overloads.

Out of Possession
Pressing Style:

From the front as a collective unit. Required to be comfortable to cope with 1 v 1 situations when they arise. Pace and composure within the back 4 in order for the back line to be pressed up. When not pressing, the team drop back and are compact.

In Transition :
When possession is lost, the aim is to regain the ball as quickly as possible.
Taking advantage of any turnover is a priority, and as such, we must look to counter attack when available, using pace and intelligence wisely.

Thats the ‘DNA’ statement. Next up, a look at the team, and potential talents.

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5 hours ago, robterrace said:

I'm back.

Excellent... you've been missed!

Great post to re-open business. 

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Great post @robterrace looking forward to see how you get on!

After a month or so away from the game due to work commitments, I'm back in with a new save. I've started with a club that doesn't seem to have been mentioned much on here, one that normally underachieves on my saves and on plenty of other people's too from the pics you all upload. So wish me luck :thup:

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@robterrace Good luck with Forest and I hope you can implement your ideas to make it a bit different and challenging.

@smplfc123 Welcome back again. Curious to see who you have chosen :)

 

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So.

The first thing that comes to mind is for me to look at the makeup of the squad, along with the staff.

The scouting department is somewhat lacking, with only a Director of Football, Chief Scout and two scouts. This needs to change, and the two scouts are disposed of in order to completely reimagine the scouting, to fit with the DNA discussed in the last post.

Also departing, are the Goalkeeping coach, Seamus McDonagh, and Assistant Manager, Roy Keane. This may seem somewhat controversial, but, I feel that Keanes apparent lack of tactical knowledge, and his tendency not to use youth players, makes him a poor fit for the DNA. As for McDonagh, he is a fantastic coach, but, doesn’t have the man management skills or the skills where working with younger players.

A cursory look through the squad highlights several loan players in the Under 23s and First Team squads.

The two in the Under 23 squad, Kostas Panagou and Kostas Megaritis, are on loan from partner club Olympiakos (owned in reality, by Forest owner, Evangelos Marinakis), and will probably not trouble the first team.

In the first team squad, can be found 7 loan players, of which, two are right sided full backs.

Also within the squad, it is apparent that there is an overwhelming amount of defensive minded midfielders, of which, only 1 (youngster, Ryan Yates), is classed as home grown at Forest, it is obvious that in order to make space within the side, some of these players will need to be moved on.

The glaringly obvious area in which we are missing someone, is left back. Jack Robinson, who joined from QPR in the summer, is the only natural full back, with midfielders Ben Osborn and Jack Colback able to play there. The nearest natural LB in the setup is Danny Preston, who is in the U23s, and at 17 years old, is a player that we will look to develop to fill that role in the coming seasons.

Across the back, there are numerous centre backs, with the standouts being Michael Dawson, Tobias Figueiredo and Alex Milosevic. Again, there are a large number of centre backs, and these need to be looked at in order to prioritise the future.

Attacking wise, there are several attacking minded midfield players, the standouts being Joe Lolley and Joao Carvalho, the Portuguese being the clubs record signing. The lack of an efficient ‘water carrying’ midfielder in the centre is apparent, although, there are players within the squad who can be earmarked to fill this with a bit of training work.

Leading the line will be one of Lewis Grabban, Hilal Soudani or Karim Ansarifard. There is a loanee in the area, with Leo Bonatini from Wolves being there, but, he doesn’t fit the criteria I want to use.

Lastly, in goal, Costel Pantilimon will go up against Luke Steele for the starting spot. This is something that will definitely change in coming seasons, as Jordan Smith (on loan at Mansfield), and U19s George Shelvey and Nykah Liburd-Hines will be pushing them in the future.

At this point in time, the weak area of the squad is the left back area, which means that for the first part of the season, at least, a 3-4-3 formation may be the way forward.

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3 hours ago, robterrace said:

I feel that Keane's apparent lack of tactical knowledge, and his tendency not to use youth players, makes him a poor fit for the DNA

He's a poor fit. Period. So applause for your bold approach - I chickened out because he's at the start of a 3-year contract on ridiculous money; even on mutual termination, it was expensive to get rid of him.

And I'm sure you know, but you can terminate a lot of the loans after 30 days, so you can make substantial savings on wages and loan fees. I restarted my Forest save when I realised how much money was being wasted in that department.

Following with interest :thup:

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I’ve started a Brentford save again!

decided I’m going to try and do what they have done and only buy young players and sell for big money 

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1 hour ago, Rollin93 said:

I’ve started a Brentford save again!

decided I’m going to try and do what they have done and only buy young players and sell for big money 

Brentford came up to the prem with me in my Leeds save, they seem to have a decent squad. They beat Aston Villa 2 - 0 in the play off final! Preston finished 2nd which was an interesting finish.

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21 hours ago, weebob88 said:

Brentford came up to the prem with me in my Leeds save, they seem to have a decent squad. They beat Aston Villa 2 - 0 in the play off final! Preston finished 2nd which was an interesting finish.

I really like some of there players just struggling to find a formation 

I want to play 3 at the back

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Posted (edited)

boro.png.618e2d4c499357ded01cf26a04ff41f7.png

 

So the biggest mystery of the year so far has been solved, 'who will smplfc123 finally settle with?'

After about a month of frustratingly trying out numerous teams, I've finally settled on a team not too far from me, Middlesbrough FC.

As I've stated before, I haven't seen many people in the group playing with the Boro and from my previous saves in the Championship, they've always flattered to deceive, so reviving the Teesiders seemed like a good idea.

I started with transfers on as I felt there was just too much work needed to start with them turned off. Pulis had assembled a squad more befitting of a rugby club, with hardly any flair players and a severe lack of pace. My aim is to work over the next few windows to bring in a more attacking style of football, with exciting players to watch. However, with some of this squad, It could take more than just a few windows....

I started with about £4m in the transfer budget, but had to use some of that to subsidise the wage budget. I knew I would have to offload one or two in order to free up enough funds to bring in players for the positions I felt we needed. I targeted a LB, RB, a left-footed centre back, an advanced playmaker and a winger. Here's what happened:

image.thumb.png.72d8b56cae8c90058f206e4be23d2312.png

LB - Friend is a fan favourite and a solid player, so I wasn't looking to oust him in the first window, so a cheap cover option was all I was looking for. For this reason, Simen Mikalsen was brought in for £100k

RB - With Shotton the only player who could really play there (A scary thought), RB was a position I was looking to find someone good enough for a starting spot. Julien Dacosta looks like a cheap option, but with excellent physical attributes and 14 crossing, he's been a good attacking outlet down the right hand side for us.

LCB - I had a few lined up for this role. Pinnock, Lindsay, Amiot and Perotta were all considered, but I eventually plumped for Diego Gonzalez from Malaga. Excellent defensive attributes, with good starting mental and physical numbers, at 23 years old and a deal little over £1m, I felt that it was a very good deal.

AP - Now for those who are strange enough to have followed my previous saves and even by looking at my transfers above, you'll be able to see I'm definitely one who likes to find new players. I love searching for and scouting new prospects. I don't download any shortlists or use these forums to look for wonderkids, I find it takes the fun out of the game for me. However, whilst reading through a few of the foreign league threads, I came across a player who seemed to perfectly suit the role I was looking for, was willing to join us and wouldn't cost the world. I went ahead with the deal and welcomed Xadas to the riverside. 

WGR - Last but not least, the position that I dallied over the most. Ntep was all set to join on loan from the Bundesliga, but I pulled the plug on the deal to pursue a permanent transfer for Andre Green from Villa. The price was decent and I agreed a decent contract, but I pulled that plug at the last second too, citing the 40% percentage of next sale that Villa had insisted on during negotiations, the main reason that put me off. I flirted with Sergi Canos of Brentford, even declaring interest in him (something I rarely do) however he went and injured himself in pre-season, meaning he was to be out for 3 months. I finally settled on a cheap loan deal for Moses Simon. At £3k a week, I felt it was a good deal.

Leaving the Riverside was Rudy Gestede, with Stoke going back to their old ways by snapping up the target man for £3.4m I'm still paying £8.5k a week for 2 years, something I hate doing, but with him on £30k+ a week with us, I had to make the deal. Dimi was shipped out to the US and after sulking about lack of first team appearances, local favourite Stewart Downing has a agreed a deal with Notts Forest. In January, I'll receive £600k for him, but again with him on £35k a week, I had to subsidise the wages. Mikel looks to be following suit, but thankfully Celta Vigo were happy to offer £3m upfront for him and cover his wages. I just hope that deal goes through.

 

So, how have we done:

image.thumb.png.277ee41bfc68c8215637cb42c61b1644.pngimage.thumb.png.dd66925f15d0c7e5fe307b735d4f94a8.png

A good solid start to the season. Apart from the most recent result where Potter did a number on me tactically, our defence has been really solid, with the pairing of Fry and Gonzalez standing strong in front of the reliant Randolph. Going forward, Xadas and Tavernier have been excellent. 4 goals and 3 assists from the young winger has already attracted the attention of numerous Prem clubs, with Xadas hitting the ground running in the North East, bagging 4 goals and 5 assists in all competitions. Playing a 4-1-4-1 DM wide, I'm struggling to get the best out of Assombalonga, He's netted 3 times in 8 games, which isn't exactly horrendous, but I'm still working out how to get the best out of him.

Before the start of the season, my aim was to be in and around the play-offs come May, meaning that I should still have a job next season, which in turn will give me more chance to mould the squad to how I want it, with the aim of seriously fighting for promotion in 2020.

Wish me luck 

Edited by smplfc123

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@smplfc123 The suspense has been killing us all! Great start so far and a nice transfer strategy update too. Welcome back and best of luck. 

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Thanks @Jogo Bonito, it's been too long since I had a proper save going. I'm still not settled on my tactical approach despite the good results, but that will come with time I hope.

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image.thumb.png.b8f361d012981e3faec14c32abb84c3b.png

Looks like I won't be changing anything to get the best out of Assombalonga after all....

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3 hours ago, smplfc123 said:

A good solid start to the season

Absolutely :thup:.

Glad you've finally found a save to get into, with some early success to help you on your way.

I've always found Assombalonga a bit of a waste of space, but it's a blow given the lack of options.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, smplfc123 said:

image.thumb.png.b8f361d012981e3faec14c32abb84c3b.png

Looks like I won't be changing anything to get the best out of Assombalonga after all....

Ouch! By the way, I forgot to say I was quite an admirer of Moses Simon a few seasons ago at Gent (and he did well for me there in FM). Haven't seen anything of him at Levante so not quite sure how good he is these days. I'll be interested to see how he does for you.

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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3 hours ago, smplfc123 said:

image.thumb.png.b8f361d012981e3faec14c32abb84c3b.png

Looks like I won't be changing anything to get the best out of Assombalonga after all....

Yeah, he has that sort of issue from time to time

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HS60fNhx9W.thumb.png.2a484a0fc00ae2087fde89d452664ccd.png

So.. My first game went OK.. Need to do some tweaking though.

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Thanks chaps, I think a first choice striker has definitely jumped to the top of 'needed' pile for January.

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So far, one signing and a couple of departures..

In comes 23 year old left back, Sam McQueen from Southampton on loan until the end of the season. It allows me a bit of time to explore alternatives, and also allows Danny Preston to develop in the U23s.

Departing are Jack Robinson, to Middlesbrough for £1m, and Daryl Murphy to Portland Timbers for £80k, it frees up about £40k in wages, so, makes some difference financially.

 

The new Assistant Manager is former Manchester United U18 manager, Paul McGuinness. He has proven experience with youth, and is what I want in an assistant, being good technically, and a good man manager.
image.thumb.png.870be96cde14dd91dcfaaff8518178de.png

Also coming in are German scouts, Bernd Schneider and Lars Mrosko, with Welshman Tom Williams, and former Crewe scout Chris Johnson coming in.
 

Ex Birmingham coach, Kevin Hitchcock joins as goalkeeper coach, again, great technically, and is good across all 3 coaching elements for Goalkeepers.

 

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Great to see @robterrace and @smplfc123 back here! 

Unfortunately, I will be taking a break from English football for a bit. I have played too much of these leagues on FM19 so decided to explore some other leagues around Europe and have a journey-man type save before the new game comes out. 

Have created a new thread over at the Career Updates forum for this, sorry for the shameless plug :D but if anyone is interested 

 

Shall keep checking back in here, till then KUTGW everyone!

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The restructure of things at Forest is well underway.

After the departure of Roy Keane, Seamus McDonagh, and two scouts, the aim was to recruit some quality into the coaching and recruitment setups.

The first of these to come in, was the German scout, Lars Mrosko, who, as well as having experience in his homeland, also has experience in the UK, having spent a season at Bradford.
Also coming in was Goalkeeping coach, Kevin Hitchcock. The former Chelsea goalkeeper having experience at a high level with Man City, Fulham, QPR, and Birmingham, as well as in Qatar. He is proficient in all goalkeeper coaching areas.

After that, former Manchester United youth coach, Paul McGuinness joined as assistant manager. His experience of working with youngsters will be invaluable, as we aim to blood some youngsters.
Former Crewe scout, Chris Johnson, and ex German international Bernd Schneider joined to boost the scouting department, with Tom Williams joining them to complete the team.



Edgar Davids, Mark Chamberlain and Danny Elliott join as U23 coaches, with Chris Cohen stepping up to assist Jimmy Gilligan in the management structure.

  • fm_KxPQpAj71P-1024x603.png
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  • fm_UU3CHn1Kor-1024x601.png
  • fm_35FBYqeUkM-1024x603.png
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  • fm_ax71y7MLqq-1024x604.png
  • fm_DoS3ibrWlA-1024x603.png
  • fm_QYHuVWbGUb-1024x603.png

On the playing side, offers came in for Jack Robinson from Middlesbrough, and Daryl Murphy from Portland and DC United.

Both players left, which lead to about £40k p/w in wages being recouped. Next to leave was Liam Bridcutt, on a free to Wigan, with youngsters Liam Bossin (Queen of The South) and Jordan Gabriel (Wrexham) leaving on loan for first team football.

With Robinson leaving, this left us short of a first choice left back, especially if we were to play 4 at the back as mentioned earlier.
The scout reports that had already come back had identified a player in the Premier League who fit our requirements (talented, fringe player and young), and 23 year old Sam McQueen came in on loan from Southampton for the season, spending only £9k p/w of the budget we had regained.

Another signing came in just over a fortnight later, and a very highly rated one at that. Although our priority is to bring British/English youngsters through into the first team setup, if we find special talents, we can bring them in, as long as they are better than what we have.
Enter Sigurd Grønli. The 17 year old has come through the youth system at Tromso in Norway, and although he is a bit slight (only 5'8"), he will have more than enough time to develop, with the aim of moving him on within a couple of seasons for a large profit. At £550k, he may have been slightly more than I'm comfortable paying, but, if he goes for 8 figures in the future, its a risk worth taking.

The only other transfer news was the termination of several loans, which now sees only Diego Goncalves and Sam McQueen as the only loanees. This allows us to focus on player development and bringing more youngsters in.

  • fm_XuZE1vwUdE-1024x284.png
  • fm_hmorSajTuR-1024x282.png

The first game is in a few days, a trip to Bristol City, and with that, the transfer window will close.

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Little addendum, showing the sort of football I want to play..

fm_hy1V6iRWhM.thumb.png.ea958d48021ae5da1dc870e8c65a5b50.png

fm_nGO0attK6q.thumb.png.eb528117d4edf7fdb81bcdcc71d257a0.png

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23 games in. This is how the Championship looks.
 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-1024x323.png
 
Sitting in 8th, as we are, I'm satisfied. We've scored well, played some excellent football (we top the Average Possession charts with 63%, Pass Completion with 89% and the Passes Completed with 15389, which is 4000 more than the second team in that list.,

I feel we're conceding too many goals, and a lot of these have come via rebounds from the keeper, which is something that needs exploring (Pantilimon, being 6'8", and somewhat slow doesn't help), although, 7 clean sheets in the first half does help a bit.

Defensively, my centre back pairings have coped well. The current one of Tobias Figueiredo and Alex Milosevic seem to have an excellent understanding of each other, and Michael Dawson, along with Michael Hefele have been very dependable when covering

 

Sam McQueen and Tendayi Darikwa have been near ever present at the full back positions, but, Jayden Richardson has seen time at right back coving for suspension and injury

In midfield, Claudio Yacob, Ryan Yates and Ben Osborn have formed a dependable team in the engine room, with Osborn being everpresent. Carvalho, Lolley and Goncalves have rotated through the winger roles, with Arvin Appiah getting some match time.

Up front, Karim Ansarifard has disappointed, along with Hilal Soudani, and this has led to Lewis Grabban topping the scoring charts (along with Lolley and Yates) with 5

In terms of transfer activity, Adlene Guedioura and Yohan Benalouane will leave the club during the next transfer window, to Portland Timbers and Basaksehir respectively

Several young talents have been brought in, the most notable of which is 17 year old Scottish striker, Jamie Christie, who has shown remarkable improvements in all areas, and has already been called up to the Scotland U19 squad.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-1-1024x342.png

Joining the club on Jan 1st, from Greek side AEK, is Foivos Botos. The 18 year old attacking midfielder can play in any of the 3 roles, and will mainly be developed to play on the left side, so he can cut in and cross with his right foot.
At £400k and a sell on clause, the aim is to bring him through potentially at the end of this season, and look to get him in the first team squad next season for a potential sale.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-2-1024x339.png

In terms of home grown players, Arvin Appiah is attracting interest from 10 Premier League clubs, and if anyone makes a move on him, I intend to make them pay handsomely for him, as he is a player I rate very highly.

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Matty Cash has been linked with moves away, Middlesbrough the latest side mentioned, and the midfield pairing of Osborn and Yates are beginning to attract Premier League attention, something which, I don't like, as I feel Yates needs a season to develop in the Championship before moving on.

Theres irons in the fire for potential strengthening, but, that will come at a later time.

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Great update @robterrace hopefully you can keep pushing for that play-off place and i'm looking forward to see who you bring in as part of your revamp. Hopefully you can hold off interest in those good youngsters too, or at get a very healthy sum for them :thup:

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@smplfc123, thanks. Post transfer window update coming shortly.

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Lots of work has gone on through the course of the window, trying to find deals for incoming players.

The first of these were completed on New Years Day 2019, with Foivos Botos, previously mentioned, joining from AEK. The next piece of business, however, is one I really liked, with Portuguese right back, Costinha, joining for £150k from Rio Ave.

Already on the fringes of the Portuguese U20 squad, he fits the profile I want, and at 18, has plenty of time to develop.

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Next in, again, from Portugal, was 19 year old midfielder, Nuno Moreira. A natural playmaker, the deal originally was for him to join on a free from Sporting CP, however, for a fee of £28k, it was made permanent, and he comes in on a 5 year deal, with scope to improve.

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Several of the U23s left on loan, but, throughout, I was having to field bids for Arvin Appiah.

The majority of the clubs interested, just showed a tentative interest, but Newcastle came in, offering £2m. However, through several periods of negotiation, this worked up to £7m, and, 20% of any future fee. Hopefully, he develops like I hope he will, and that future fee will be big.

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At the same time as the deal for Appiah was being agreed, we managed to secure a left back, and another highly rated player at that.

Sergio Reguilón was a player who had appeared on my scout reports several times, and, I had shown a passing interest. However, his agent approached and said that he may be available, and was more than interested in a move to England.

An offer of £700k was made, and he joined on a deal until 2021.

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The downside of some deals, however, is it leaves you a bit short at times, and after the departure of Arvin Appiah, we were short up front. Karim Ansarifard was unsettled, and requested a transfer (he left for PAOK on deadline day for a fee of £750k). This was made worse when Lewis Grabban injured his hip in training, and was out for anything up to 3 months.

This meant pushing into the loan market, something I didn’t really want to do, but, Czech target man Tomas Chory, and Finnish centre forward Joel Pohjanpalo came in on loan, mainly to provide a bit of competition for Hilal Soudani, who, at this point, was the only senior striker fit.

Throughout the window, we had also agreed 5 future transfers, of players who would add something to the side.

These were:-

17 year old Dutch winger Elayis Tavsan, from Sparta Rotterdam.

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20 year old Scottish striker, Oli Shaw, from Hibernian.

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18 year old Portuguese goalkeeper, Tiago Silva, from Vitoria Guimaraes.

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18 year old Spanish midfielder, David Dacoba, from U.D. Ourense

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And lastly, 21 year old, Czech international centre back, Matej Chalus, from Mladá Boleslav.

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Chalus is a signing that really surprised me, I’d watched a couple of FORTUNA:Liga matches that he’d played in, and he came out OK, and I managed to nip in and get a deal agreed before Boleslav even offered a new contract.

He has the potential to be a solid, ballplaying defender with a bit of work, and will also add a bit of physicality to the back line.

There is one more deal potentially in the offing, that being for German centre back, Maxim Leitsch of VfL Bochum, for a total of £1.4m, but, theres still work to do on that one.

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9 hours ago, robterrace said:

Lots of work has gone on through the course of the window, trying to find deals for incoming players.

A masterful window, as always! I never fail to be impressed by your wheeling and dealing. And by the way you turn up these obscure prospects. Hope they perform for you :thup:

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1 hour ago, warlock said:

A masterful window, as always! I never fail to be impressed by your wheeling and dealing. And by the way you turn up these obscure prospects. Hope they perform for you :thup:

Thanks, a lot of the time, the risk with the obscure prospects is not as big as if I were to go after a more well known one, and, a lot of the time they're keener to come to us.

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Great window @robterrace whilst it's never nice to lose your best prospects, that's an excellent deal you've got there for Appiah.

I'm looking to do similar in the January transfer window with Boro, with more of a turnover happening in the first season than expected, but something that is needed to get us out of the Pulis mentality. I didn't realise and would be surprised if others did, just how poor and lacking this Boro squad is compared to the general expectations that they'll be one of the teams challenging. But i'm loving the challenge of renovating this club!

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1 hour ago, smplfc123 said:

Great window @robterrace whilst it's never nice to lose your best prospects, that's an excellent deal you've got there for Appiah.

I'm looking to do similar in the January transfer window with Boro, with more of a turnover happening in the first season than expected, but something that is needed to get us out of the Pulis mentality. I didn't realise and would be surprised if others did, just how poor and lacking this Boro squad is compared to the general expectations that they'll be one of the teams challenging. But i'm loving the challenge of renovating this club!

The Appiah deal is the first time in ages that I've tried to push an AI club for as much money as I can get out of them. 

Newcastle are sniffing around my replacement for Appiah, as well as Joe Lolley and Ben Osborn.

I think I may have to start looking for more players.

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5 hours ago, smplfc123 said:

I didn't realise and would be surprised if others did, just how poor and lacking this Boro squad is compared to the general expectations

You could easily have missed it (or forgotten), but Boro were my first save on FM19 back in November. Documented starting here:

I discovered many of the same problems as you - and I think they actually weakened the squad in the January window, so more problems now. Makes for a good challenge, though :D.

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Just doing some work for some youth prospect stuff within my save, and I've got a couple, who fit the DNA of the club perfectly, but, are well down on the other attributes I need.

They are -

Xabi Saizar, a 16 year old, Spanish/Basque CD, who will be getting retrained to play full back in the near future.

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Bas Helsen, a 17 year old Belgian DM, who will be getting some technical training next season.

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Stefanos Georgiou, a 16 year old English/Cypriot AMR, who is really highly rated by my staff. Again, will probably end up with some technique training.
He was the highest rated player of my season 1 intake, so, hopefully, he'll turn out OK, especially with the positive personality.

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Jamie Christie, who, at 17, will probably become my first choice striker in the next few years.

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Jaroslav Hynek, a 16 year old Czech, who has shown a lot of improvement physically. He'll probably end up in Europe in the next couple of seasons.

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and lastly, Charlie Le Fondre, who, was found on a free transfer on a scouting run in November.

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Even better is this bit..

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Derby: Season 2, halfway

When we last left Derby (apologies for the lack of updates - life!) we had just recorded a sterling win against Chelsea and were looking forward to the coming months. Unfortunately, while we continued to do well against Top Half teams, we had a bad habit of stumbling against lesser opponents:

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The results against Cardiff and Fulham - both mired at the foot of the table at the time - were particularly disappointing. The game against fellow-promoted Villa should was a winnable match, too. On the other hand, a win against high-flying Bournemouth (ending a run of five games without a win) and the incredibly narrow loss to Man Utd in the Carabao Cup quarter-final were great results. De Gea in the penalty shootout was the key difference.

But there are clouds on the horizon. In our next 9 league games we face Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool, Man Utd, Tottenham and Chelsea! We'll do well to earn more than 7 or 8 points from the next 27.

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So while we sit pretty comfortably in 14th place, we're only 9pts from the relegation spots and the season could get ugly in a hurry. The team stats show the problem: defensively we're sound, with the 8th best defence, but we're struggling for goals. Marriott is our leading scorer with 6 goals in 16 starts. And we're not getting them from anywhere else: Isak has 4, and Mount, Kipre and Lawrence have 3 each. I've been experimenting with a 4231 in recent games to try to improve our attacking thrust, but it hasn't made a lot of difference.

Bright spots include the performances of Kipre, who has taken to the PL like the proverbial duck. And Aribo continues to confound his lukewarm endorsements from fellow managers as our highest-rated player of the season with a goal and 2 assists from 12 appearances. Bogle continues to do well, The biggest disappointments have been Malone at LB, who was brilliant in the Championship but has been nothing short of shocking this season, and Svanberg, the CM I had great hopes for but has been underwhelming so far... I'm hoping that's just first-season syndrome and he'll eventually find his feet in England. Keogh at CB and Bryson at CM both look done at 33 years old.

Going into the January window I have only £8m available and that seems unlikely to make a big difference. And, to be honest, I don't know where to spend it. I'd like a 20-goals-a-season striker but that seems unlikely. I'd like more production from the wide attacking positions. But the simple fact is that we'll probably have to rely on our defence, and hope it's enough to see us to safety. Anything beyond a relegation battle would be brilliant... I just hope we have enough to pull it off.

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Theres all sorts of clichés in football, some even make sense.

However, the way the season ended in NG2 was disappointing.

We found ourselves, sitting in 5th place, going into the last game of the season, despite the fact, that since February, our form had been horrendous.

All we needed was to better the results of Blackburn and Leeds.

This didn’t come off, and we lost 2-0 to Bolton, whilst the other teams won, condemning us to a 9th place finish.

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On the other side, there were positives to take. At times, we played some truly excellent football, topping the possession charts with 63% (over 7% more than Leeds in 2nd place), making over 30500 passes in the season at an accuracy of 89% (I may try to decrease the number of passes a bit to try and make us more cutting), which, was nearly 10000 passes more than the 2nd best team. This works out at nearly 700 passes a match.

Away from the pitch, the salary per annum dropped from £25m, to just over £14m, this is mainly due to getting rid of the likes of Murphy, Guedioura and Benalouane, and replacing them with players on far less, making the club a bit sustainable.

In terms of the players on the pitch, heres my review.

Goalkeepers –

Costel Pantilimon – 32 – ROM – 46 League Apps, 44 conceded, 18 clean sheets. Avg 6.92.

Decent season for the big Romanian, however, his distribution and decision making was somewhat lacking at times, and his lack of speed didn’t help at reacting to rebounds.

Luke Steele – 34 – ENG – 0 League Apps.

Solid backup for Pantilimon, however, beginning to show signs of decline agility wise. May find his chances limited when Tiago Silva comes in this summer.

Full Backs

Left Back –

Sam McQueen – 24 – ENG – 31 League Apps – Avg 7.12

Came in on loan from Southampton, and provided a more than dependable option on the left side.

Sergio Reguilón – 22 – ESP – 18 League Apps – Avg 7.03

Signed for £700k from Real Madrid in January. Will only get better as he gets used to the style of football we play. Quick, determined and has the stamina to go up and down all day.

Right Back –

Tendayi Darikwa – 27 – ZIM/ENG – 30 League Apps, 1 goal – Avg 6.94

Responsible for nearly 20% of the teams bookings on his own (9/50), he is quick, and can go up and down all day, however, he lacks the positioning and technique to play the way we want (which explains the bookings).

Costinha – 19 – POR – 10 League Apps – Avg 6.99

Came in for £150k from Rio Ave in Portugal during January, and will become the first choice right back next season. Not as quick as Darikwa, but, makes up for it in his positioning and technique, which allow him to get to where he needs to be.

Jayden Richardson – 18 – ENG – 7 League Apps, 1 goal – Avg 7.29

Was brought into the first team as cover for Darikwa due to injury. Played well in his first experience of senior football, even if he needs developing on the technical side. Spent the second half of the season on loan at Woking, and will hopefully spend next season at a higher level on loan as well.

Centre Backs –

Alex Milosevic – 27 – SWE – 41 League Apps, 3 goals (2 Pen) – Avg 7.06

The on field captain of the side for most of the season. Lead from the front. Decent in all areas, although, I may have to put him on some individual training to try and improve his technique a point or two.

Tobias Figueiredo – 25 – POR – 40 League Apps, 3 goals – Avg 7.10

A decent counterpart to Milosevic, he is a better tackler than the Swede, albeit, not as quick, something which has been discovered a few times dew to him being caught out of position due to long balls over the back line and strikers running on.

Michael Dawson – 35 – ENG – 6 League Apps – Avg 6.98

Now at the backend of his career, and doing his coaching badges. His pace has dropped off altogether (6), and some other physical attributes are doing the same. Mentally a master though. Will go into coaching at Forest this season.

Michael Hefele – 28 – GER – 14 League Apps – Avg 7.25

Not had a lot of appearances this season, mainly covering Milosevic and Figueiredo during injuries. Lacks in pace, and this is probably why I’ll try and move him on this summer.

Midfield –

Claudio Yacob – 31 – ARG – 32 League Apps – 2 Goals – Avg 6.97

The metronome at the base of midfield. Hard working, hard tackling, and whilst, not the most technical, was the start of most of our attacking moves. At 31, and with his pace dropping a couple of points, it may be worth taking advantage of the interest in him.

Ben Watson – 33 – ENG – 19 League Apps – Avg 6.86

Used off the bench at the base of midfield. Like Yacob, hard working, hard tackling, but, has very low pace, and due to this, I will look to move him on. Could still do a job at Championship level, but, not in my style of football.

Sigurd Gronli – 18 – NOR – 22 League Apps – 4 Goals – Avg 7.02

First season in England for the young Norwegian, and one to be proud of. Used at times as an option off the bench to change things up, and his technical prowess helped him make an impact. Will get more exposure to first team football.

Ryan Yates – 21 – ENG – 44 League Apps – 6 Goals – Avg 7.14

One half of the near everpresent centre midfield pairing, and his first season at this level. Homegrown and only going to get better, can run all day, and is the prototypical box to box midfielder. Has a habit of scoring from 30 yards though.

Ben Osborn – 24 – ENG – 46 League Apps – 4 Goals – Avg 7.16

The other half of the centre midfield pairing. Not the strongest, but, is a perfect foil for Yates. Will also run all day, and will chase down any lost cause in midfield. Player of the season, and attracting Premier League interest.

Joao Carvalho – 22 – POR – 43 League Apps – 5 goals – Avg 6.90

Not the most consistent of players, but, the most likely to pull a rabbit out of the hat and make something happen. Suffered a broken leg in the 2nd last game of the season, and, as a result, his bravery attribute dived off a cliff. Picked up yellow cards, mainly due to his poor positioning.

Joe Lolley – 26 – ENG – 43 League Apps – 6 goals (2 pen) – Avg 6.84

Another player who has been consistent throughout the season, chipping in with goals and being very direct. His positioning is a little poor, and his strength has dropped off a bit in recent weeks, mainly due to him playing with a broken arm. Some top flight interest in him though.

Strikers –

Lewis Grabban – 31 – ENG – 26 League Apps – 7 goals (1 pen) – Avg 6.83

Missed a big portion of the season due to a hip injury. Bit of a fox in the box at times, but, also went a long time without even troubling the keeper. His decision making and positioning sometimes left a bit to be desired. Currently the top earner at the club.

There are several other players who made appearances and chipped in from time to time, however, these were the main contributors.

Summer Transfer Dealings

In addition to the 5 mentioned in the previous post, Maxim Leitsch agreed to his move from Bochum. On top of that, young Greek centre back, Leftiris Tzovaras joins from NPS Volos of the Greek Stoixman League (2nd Division).

Also coming in, will be Portuguese left back, Yuri Ribeiro, from Benfica, who will provide back up to Reguilón, having made a few appearances for Benfica B this season.

The last transfer, for the moment, coming in, will be 21 year old Portuguese midfielder Xadas. At this time, where he will be used depends on how I want to look tactically, but, he will probably end up in the #10 role.

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I've just won back to back promotions with Barnsley in my first two seasons (2nd in league 1 and winning championship). Can upload any screenshots people would like. I've stuck to a principle of signing young and british players and taking advantage of the loan market. A big help was selling a Mason Holgate clause in the 2019 summer for £4.8m. A few of my key signings have been Joe Aribo (free from Charlton), Kyle Magennis (1.3m from St.Mirren), Mallik Wilks (loan to perm from Leeds), Sam Hart (400k Blackburn), Oliver Burke (loan WBA) and Frankie Kent (250k Colchester). Key performers for me include Adam Davies, Liam Lindsay, Cameron McGeehan, Cauley Woodrow, Kyle Magennis and Oliver Burke, all been brilliant in my championship winning season.

 

My question now is can anyone advise me on signings that stick to my mentioned principles in preparation for Premier League football? I've already agreed deals with Matt Clarke, Todd Cantwell, Eberechi Eze and Famara Diedhiou. Harry Cochrane from Hearts has impressed me in a few appearances after I signed him in Jan, very excited about him. 

 

I think I'll need a quality right back and left back, possibly a centre half with a bit of experiences. I've around 20m left to spend so waiting on the loan market to open.

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3 minutes ago, Jackson Mourinho said:

I've just won back to back promotions with Barnsley in my first two seasons (2nd in league 1 and winning championship). Can upload any screenshots people would like. I've stuck to a principle of signing young and british players and taking advantage of the loan market. A big help was selling a Mason Holgate clause in the 2019 summer for £4.8m. A few of my key signings have been Joe Aribo (free from Charlton), Kyle Magennis (1.3m from St.Mirren), Mallik Wilks (loan to perm from Leeds), Sam Hart (400k Blackburn), Oliver Burke (loan WBA) and Frankie Kent (250k Colchester). Key performers for me include Adam Davies, Liam Lindsay, Cameron McGeehan, Cauley Woodrow, Kyle Magennis and Oliver Burke, all been brilliant in my championship winning season.

 

My question now is can anyone advise me on signings that stick to my mentioned principles in preparation for Premier League football? I've already agreed deals with Matt Clarke, Todd Cantwell, Eberechi Eze and Famara Diedhiou. Harry Cochrane from Hearts has impressed me in a few appearances after I signed him in Jan, very excited about him. 

 

I think I'll need a quality right back and left back, possibly a centre half with a bit of experiences. I've around 20m left to spend so waiting on the loan market to open.

I’ve used ezri konsa a few times for Brentford he has always done well as a centre back 

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5 hours ago, Rollin93 said:

I’ve used ezri konsa a few times for Brentford he has always done well as a centre back 

Cheers Rollin. Brentford actually have just been relegated from the Prem and I had a look at a few of there squad - Rico Henry and Neal Maupay. They want silly money though!

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On 01/07/2019 at 19:25, warlock said:

You could easily have missed it (or forgotten), but Boro were my first save on FM19 back in November. Documented starting here:

I discovered many of the same problems as you - and I think they actually weakened the squad in the January window, so more problems now. Makes for a good challenge, though :D.

Excuse my ignorance @warlock you're right I had missed it. Still think there's not many more than you that have documented their time with the Boro though and with Braithwaite out on loan and with me being unable to recall him or terminate Hugill's for some reason, our lack of goal-scoring options is really hurting us!

I'll give your attempt with them a read, see if I can get some inspiration! Just assumed naturally that being a Darlo fan you'd have no interest in managing the Teesiders. I'm really loving it though.

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2 hours ago, smplfc123 said:

Just assumed naturally that being a Darlo fan you'd have no interest in managing the Teesiders

Since Darlington were never within touching distance of Boro, I don't think there's ever been any real rivalry :lol:. And as an in-game Darlington manager, I have to say Boro have always been willing to loan me players for free, which is always appreciated.

But you're right - they've received very little attention this year. From scratch they can put out a decent (ish) first team, but they're threadbare in so many departments. As said, a good challenge. Wish you luck!

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17 hours ago, Jackson Mourinho said:

Cheers Rollin. Brentford actually have just been relegated from the Prem and I had a look at a few of there squad - Rico Henry and Neal Maupay. They want silly money though!

Rico Henry done really well for me beak maupay become my 2nd choice

ive now started a save with Swansea and hoping to nick a few of there players 

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