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FM19: The English Football League thread

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2 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

I wanted captain James McKeown between the sticks... McKeown saves again. His fourth of the shootout and fifth of the match

Tactical genius, mate. No question! Never doubted you'd bring silverware home :applause:

15 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

be careful about where you attend your meetings :herman:

:eek: :lol:

18 minutes ago, karanhsingh said:

Jamaal Lewis or Rico Henry?

I'd say it depends on what you want from the role - Henry looks marginally better in attack, Lewis marginally better in defence.

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2 minutes ago, warlock said:

Tactical genius, mate. No question! Never doubted you'd bring silverware home :applause:

 

Cheers, you expected more than me then!

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Aston Villa Season 1 Review

Having completed an eventful first season it is time for a quick review before Premier League dominance begins :)

I won't dwell on the transfer activity, as to be honest there really wasn't much. With only Jedinak leaving permanently and a handful of loans coming and going.

There wasn't much between the top 4 for much of the season and a shocking February should have seen us drop off the pace. This was my own fault as for some unknow reason I decided to try out different tactis :seagull:

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Fortunately none of our rivals faired much better and an unbeaten run, from the start of March to the end of the season (W10 & D2), saw us wrap up both promotion and the title with two games to spare. The final table looks more comfortable than the reality.

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The end of season awards rewarded our eventual dominance, with our players picking up pretty much everything going and also dominating the EFL Championship Team of the Season.

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With a budget of £44m to ensure Premium League survival there will be plenty of comings and goings. I have already been able to bring back Abraham and Tuanzebe on loan for another season, and have snapped up Jack Butland who was transfer listed by Stoke.

That is already a promising start :)

Edited by Spike

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Congratulations on promotion @Spike. A very healthy budget for you to bring in suitable players to look towards building a team to keep you up too. Interested to see how Grealish continues to develop, especially after a fantastic season in the Championship.

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I seem to have encountered a bug where I can't advance through with my Posh save so I'll be starting again :(

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1 hour ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

Congratulations on promotion @Spike. A very healthy budget for you to bring in suitable players to look towards building a team to keep you up too. Interested to see how Grealish continues to develop, especially after a fantastic season in the Championship.

Yeah Grealish had a great season tbf & will hopefully push on.

Not sure how he beat Abraham to Player of the Year though when you compare the stats???

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3 hours ago, MaxeyN17 said:

I seem to have encountered a bug where I can't advance through with my Posh save so I'll be starting again :(

Hope I'm not too late, but is this the contract agreement bug where you can't continue? If so, use Ctrl-S to save your game, then reload it. I think you can also go on holiday for a day or two, but the save and reload routine seems quicker to me.

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I'm not sure if I'm the only person, but the write-ups on each club has really helped me narrow down my options. The amount of times I change my mind on teams before starting is ridiculous, but reading each in-depth has allowed me to stick down a few names and then work on narrowing them down one-by-one. Hopefully I'll be contributing more meaningfully by FM20. :lol:

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1 minute ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

I'm not sure if I'm the only person, but the write-ups on each club has really helped me narrow down my options. The amount of times I change my mind on teams before starting is ridiculous, but reading each in-depth has allowed me to stick down a few names and then work on narrowing them down one-by-one. Hopefully I'll be contributing more meaningfully by FM20. :lol:

I must admit, I'm the same and take forever to choose. And picking an overseas club takes me even longer, in fact I talk myself out of them all too much and hardly ever get one started in other countries these days :lol:

In the meantime, my end of season report at Grimsby will follow later. I've even lined up a pre-season friendly at Barrow just for you DefinitelyTaylor. See you there?

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9 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

In the meantime, my end of season report at Grimsby will follow later. I've even lined up a pre-season friendly at Barrow just for you DefinitelyTaylor. See you there?

100% I'll be there. Hopefully they play a bit better than we have in recent weeks, in real life!:lol: 12 hour round trip to Aldershot this weekend to look forward to after six straight defeats. :rolleyes:

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Ill post a full end of season update over the next few days but still top of League 1 with Sunderland after 37 games on 91 points, im 24 points clear of Charlton in 2nd and 25 points clear of 3rd place Walsall. We have won 28, drawn 7 and lost 2.

We have also had a tremendous run in the FA Cup, beating Man City 2-0 at the Stadium of Light in the 5th round before eventually losing to Bournemouth in extra time in the Quarter Finals.

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1396991789_Grimsbyspy.thumb.jpg.a07ee26660442bbee0f706ec5098fd97.jpg

It's time to take a closer look at the run-in to my first season at Grimsby Town

Fresh from a somewhat fortunate win at Wembley in the Checkatrade Trophy, it was time to see if April and May would go so well

Despite the lack of goals from top scorer Wes Thomas (the penalty at Morecambe was his first in 10 hours), April went great

Luckily Kyle McFarlane also ended a barren spell and started delivering goals on a regular level

And I was grateful that Tottenham loan striker Rodel Richards returned from injury just as Thomas was ruled out for the season

The loss at Colchester was the only blip, but they were 2nd at the time and eventually took the League 2 title

Winning at Meadow Lane was also a big result, as Notts County put aside real life woes and somehow managed to win automatic promotion 

It looks comfortable here, but with just two games left to play my team could finish anywhere from 5th to 9th

But by the time Crewe were put to the sword by a Richards hat-trick on the last day, only a GD miracle could see me miss the play-offs

A fifth place finish was probably 10 or more places above where I expected to end the first season, but there was still a challenge ahead

A narrow 1-0 away win in the first leg of the semi final at Northampton calmed the nerves, but I had to see it through at home

After going a goal down at Blundell Park, I wondered if the season was going to end on a disappointment

But McFarlane levelled on the night, and then added a second to ease my team through to another Wembley final

Meeting me there would be Mansfield, who finished 4th in the regular season

I'll admit it wasn't a particularly exciting final, both teams were resolute and there was little to choose between the sides on the day

But McFarlane came to the rescue again, and his fine strike secured a narrow 1-0 win and a place back in League 1

648218739_GrimsbyTownFixtures1.6.thumb.png.03cdacbe0b685b105999135601dea41b.png

Here are the details from those last three tight fixtures

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And here is the final table, which wasn't good reading for Swindon or Macclesfield fans

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The wins at Wembley had contributed massively to the financial status of the club

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This performance graph shows the journey through the season

Thomas managed to end top scorer in all competitions thanks to his excellent efforts in the earlier part of the season

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McFarlane's late flurry of goals saw him finish as top scorer in League 2, more than justifying his £50k transfer fee in the summer

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The player stats are as shown below, obviously excluding a handful of appearances made by the veterans discarded in the winter

And JJ Hooper scored all those goals on a loan spell with Billericay, he didn't register a goal for me at all

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I didn't take the image before Ben Pringle's impressive loan ended on 31st May, so can only show his league appearance details

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And this is how the end of season club awards looked

I should also add that I was chosen as League 2 manager of the year, which I think demonstrates the over-achievement

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Here's an overall summary of competition performances

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I'm happy with this, especially with the fairly serious injury problems encountered during the season

I recall at the start how the defence was ravaged and weak, but I battled through that, and managed to absorb the later ones slightly easier

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The board have given me a transfer budget of £197k for the second season, with a wage budget of £41k per week

Expectations will be fairly simple. Avoid relegation back to League 2

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Edited by Jogo Bonito

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1 hour ago, karanhsingh said:

@sedge11 - did you get an u23 team at Pompey in the premier league? Doesn’t look like I am getting one which is quite annoying tbh 

I did yea but it didn’t appear until after the season started, and had no players in, and they only played in the checkatrade trophy or whatever it’s called.

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@Jogo Bonito Congrats on the Checkatrade Trophy win, and of course on promotion! That's a decent budget for League One - coupled with the momentum and positive morale I'm sure your squad has, I can see you achieving much more than your expectations.

@karanhsingh Well done on achieving promotion to the Premier League. I enjoy your staffing recruits - besides their novelty factor, what are the former internationals staff attributes like?

@warlock Good choice of Sheffield United. I will be interested to see how Henderson and McTominay get on for you.

@Spike Good work restoring Aston Villa to the Premier League. I would be interested to see screenshots of Tuanzabe and Grealish to see how they have developed.

So many great updates on here at the moment - hard to keep up with everyone!

I have just reached the mid-point of my first season with Charlton, so update to follow...

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2 hours ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

@Jogo Bonito: Great achievement to win promotions with the Mariners! A decent budget to bring in players; can we expect a shake-up or will you be keeping the majority of your side?

Cheers. To be honest I would have liked another year in League 2, but we got momentum and I guess that counts for a lot. I'm wondering if FM19 is a little easier, maybe the pre-set tactic choices help us all make better decisions?

Transfer plans start with reducing the number of loans. I could have continued four of the six loans without any contribution, but delayed several times on them all and then cancelled. As for the other two, Burnley wouldn't let Dwight McNeil come back (he was probably the one I would have taken again), and Ben Pringle is out of contract after his loan from Preston, but signing a player over 30 doesn't fit my ethos so I've not pursued him.

I've done some deals already, but with a few leaving on frees (including Wes Thomas), one out on loan, and one sale, I'm down to 21 senior players at the moment. I do have a couple of positions to fill - another right-back and centre-back, a winger able to play left and right wing, and one more 'L1 starting level' central midfielder - but I don't want more than 24 in the squad, and a self-imposed wage cap of £2k per week isn't attracting too much quality.

The new signings to date are an experienced League 1 centre-back for £16k, a free transfer left back taken from a League 1 club, a raw but promising teenage striker released from a PL club, a free transfer left midfielder from non-league, a young central defender on loan from a PL club's U23 ranks, and then a retraction on what I wrote earlier as I brought back Richards from Tottenham in the end. I don't really want more than 2-3 loans this year (and now have two already) which doesn't really help me to finish off my squad. I've got stacks of targets so don't need suggestions (and I like finding my own men), but even most free agents I like turn me down on wage and/or reputation. I'm sure I'll get a couple more in, but it won't be too much.

Having said that, I've actually got a £200k bid in for a central defender at the moment, he's a current U21 international and wages have been agreed, but whether I'll blow the whole budget on him depends on what else I'll do. I've got some interest in Ryan Giles from Wolves on a no-contribution loan for the left wing. I do like him a lot, but he wouldn't really work well as a supplementary right sided option. This aspect sees me considering a somewhat expensive £55k deal for Danny Rowe of Ipswich, but I could pick up Giles and somebody like Agard (on a free) for less outlay instead, so I'm undecided,

Although I don't particularly need to, I wanted to bring in a 'marquee' signing in attack, but despite pursuing out-of-contract Ayr striker Lawrence Shankland for months, he wants way more than I can pay on wages. I also tried to get Omar Bogle back as he did great at Grimsby before, but I can't get that done either so might just give up on these two and run with those I have.

@Dong21 Thanks. I think you hit the nail on the head with momentum. Maybe I'll do better but I'm setting the bar low, especially when I look at my squad for this season.

I agree so many updates and I hardly have the time to congratulate everyone on their successes, but it's all impressive stuff and enjoyable reading.

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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5 hours ago, sedge11 said:

I did yea but it didn’t appear until after the season started, and had no players in, and they only played in the checkatrade trophy or whatever it’s called.

Thanks - so still some hope! I just got done with my transfer activity so will post an update soon. 

However I have exhausted my entire kitty, am 40m in the red financially and 30k/week over my wage budget. Think I may have gone a tad overboard :D

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@Spike - great work with Villa. I hope you can make Grealish a proper premier league legend at the club, that would be a good story. 

@Jogo Bonito - excellent season and enjoyed reading about it. I say go for the England u21 defender if the rest of your squad is looking good. Anxious to find out who it is! 

@Dong21 - thanks for the kind words! Yes the ex players are all good staff I’ll post up screenshots soon. If it was just for the banter I’d have gone in for recently retired Pompey legends Peter crouch and Lassana Diarra as well! 

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Also, euro 2020 just got done in my game and I applied for a host of international jobs. To my surprise, they have all come back and want me! That’s Belgium, France, Spain, Croatia, wales, etc. I’ve done a decent job in two years but this seems very unlikely! Almost like a bug... 

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8 hours ago, Dong21 said:

@Spike Good work restoring Aston Villa to the Premier League. I would be interested to see screenshots of Tuanzabe and Grealish to see how they have developed.

@Dong21 I will try and remember to post when I am on later :thup:

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On 03/11/2018 at 08:52, shakey.bridge said:

Good job warlock :brock:  excellent summaries, I am a masochist and am managing Bolton Wanderers, god help me !

Gave up with this then? lol

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2019/20 Brentford update. 

First half of the season we were holding our own in mid table, which was precisely in line with expectations. In the January window, we took advantage of Palace's interest in Daniel Bentley to sell him on and replace him with Christian Walton for less than half the price. With a settled side, we gradually made more progress and rose the table. Tavernier/Henry (highest average across the league)/Konza/Mepham was a strong back four. Yennaris/Reed/Towell was a match for most sides in midfield, and Watkins and Bowen offered real threat out wide. And Eddie Nketiah, on loan from Arsenal, was scoring at a rate of one every two. From March to May, this progress accelerated hugely - the last 11 games saw 7 wins, 3 draws and just 1 defeat, which left us in 5th place and in the play offs. Well ahead of expectations and with a challenging tie against West Brom, we thought we'd enjoy the experience, bank the extra cash and build on for next year. Certainly when we lost the home tie 2-1, that's what we thought. But then....a 2-0 away win in the second leg came out of left field. This left us with a final against Aston Villa, who we completely dominated, hammering them 4-1. So this means Brentford are in the Premier League!

Strange season really as Wigan were the frontrunners, though they ultimately finished 2nd behind Cardiff. Palace and Huddersfield, who'd also been relegated in 18/19 were nowhere to be seen. Leicester, Fulham and Middlesbrough have come down, so there may be scope to pinch a player or two. Swansea, Burley and Stoke hovered around relegation, so there are sides we'd hope to finish above if we recruit well. So with 35m for transfers, we will need half a dozen players good enough for the top flight. Come on you Bees!!!

 

Screen Shot 2018-11-21 at 18.17.56.png

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Blackburn Rovers – End of season 18/19 - Champions!

So we did it! We won the championship! To be honest I have some mixed feelings about this. I'm really happy to have gained promotion to the PL, but on the other hand I was planning (and sort of lokkings forward to) at least two season in championship. Also, I'm a little bit disappointed on how we ended the season. In the last three fixtures we only managed to get two points, but the others were not good enough to catch us.

So whats next?

Well the PL is waiting, and we are not even close to having a good enough squad. So in other words: A really busy transfer window is waiting! We have around 35 million to spend. I will ofc look to sell some players, especially those that have not lived up to my expectations (yes, I'm looking at you, Bradely Dack!).

The plan is to try to build a low-block 442 and see if we can survive in the PL with it. Focus will be on counters and set pieces, so basically I'm trying to rebuild Leicester ;) First of I will try to get a really good-in-the-air CB, and also try to find a good striker with some speed in him.

 

Champions:
2018_19_season_review_champs.thumb.png.d21ce2433c5769497da3de1add90a17a.png
 

Leauge table:
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Top players:
2018_19_season_review_players.thumb.png.d2ee835184e8005e2b6bf80bf9def4f6.png

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Charlton Athletic - Season 1 - Part 2

1942944406_Fixtures1.thumb.png.3944c6117562ccc745be75e399064042.png

September began as August had finished, plenty of goals but not many clean sheets. This was a strong period, which saw us achieve nine victories in ten games. The highlight was a victory in the League Cup against Championship opponents Preston.

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We then suffered a disappointing defeat to Barnsley, despite having 70% possession and 18 shots to their 5. At this point Barnsley, Accrington, Sunderland and ourselves were closely contesting leadership and this result sent Barnsley top. What followed was our most difficult period. Along with dropping points against Oxford and Doncaster, we lost to Everton in the League Cup (although our performance was greater than the scoreline may suggest) and exited the FA Cup in a replay against our rivals Barnsley.

During this difficult period we continued to dominate possession but were wasteful in attack and were often caught out at the back. I decided that a tactical shake up was needed.

1484720569_Formation1.thumb.png.935a717abbbf1e007b694ebbf4176ac6.png1747576623_Formation2.thumb.png.0bb53950f64a32fb0f41e27853d40fe9.png

For the entirety of the season thus far I had employed a 4-2-3-1 formation (pictured above left) and had favoured a control possession approach. I decided to switch to a more traditional 4-4-2 (example picture above right) and changed our approach to a direct counter attacking style.

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The tactical change has seemed to pay off as we have been much more free scoring. The change to a two man attack has allowed me to get both Taylor and Grant into the team and it paid off - the strike partnership enabled Taylor to deliver 10 goals in 6 games, which saw him win the League One Player of the Month. This change has also given my wingers Fosu and Leko more space in which we can exploit their pace.

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The table at January 1st looks as follows. Due to our recent form we have pulled away from our fellow promotion contenders. There is still a lot of football to be played so we will need to maintain our composure and push on.

Jamie Ward's loan expires January 1st and I have decided not to renew him for the rest of the season. He has contributed well, scoring 3 and getting 4 assists in 14 starts, however he is on £4k a week and is behind Leko in the pecking order so I have decided to apply my funds elsewhere.

Throughout the first six months of the season I have been locked in a contract dispute with Karlan Grant, made all the more difficult with a series of Premier League managers sniffing around. Due to our financial position we repeatedly weren't able to match the fairly reasonable terms that he requested and this lead to much frustration for both parties. I am delighted to say that on the eve of December 31st, just before he could have agreed to leave me on a Bosman, Grant finally agreed to a new four year contract!

Edited by Dong21

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@Mindtrick_42 Congratulations - that's an excellent season. Be interesting to see what you manage in the transfer window.

@Dong21 Brilliant tactical switch - some really good results in a packed December schedule. Hope that continues into the new year.

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18 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Thanks - so still some hope! I just got done with my transfer activity so will post an update soon. 

However I have exhausted my entire kitty, am 40m in the red financially and 30k/week over my wage budget. Think I may have gone a tad overboard :D

Haha yea sounds like you went slightly overboard, but be interesting to see who you got and how good your Pompey team looks, ready for the challenge of the prem.

I've just done the summer ready for the 6th season so can share my transfers soon as well.

Edited by sedge11

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@dothestrand: Congratulations on a great season and promotion to the Premier League. I'm quite surprised to hear you sold Bentley, but Walton is certainly a credible replacement and you've made a profit as a result; so all-in-all it's very good business. The playoffs are a real lottery but I'm glad to see you overcome them and seal a historic promotion. Surprised to see Wigan will be joining you. Best of luck in recruitment over the Summer - but what a perfect way to begin life in your new stadium, as I believe that occurs from next? :)

@Mindtrick_42: Again, congratulations on a fantastic season and promotion back to the Premiership. A very generous budget has been given to you in order to improve the team, which I'm sure will be used to great effect. Players such as Ben Brereton will be really interesting to see in the top flight and I'm looking forward to seeing how he adapts after a good season in the Championship at a young age. There are a few players I can see making the step up, but I look forward to seeing that take action.

@Dong21: A real back-to-front mix of results there! Glad to see a bit of consistency has started to occur in recent weeks and hopefully that will continue over the remainder of the season. Great to hear that Grant has agreed to remain at the club, losing him on a free would have been a real heartache, I could imagine; especially when the financial situation isn't the best. Fingers crossed you can keep it up and guide Charlton back into the Championship!

 

On a personal note, I have finally settled on a save! I can almost hear the party poppers going... :lol:. I will look to update you tomorrow, as I've played the opening month of the save already. Massive thanks to @warlock for his write-ups on each club that has really helped me make a decision! 

 

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@dothestrand Sorry - meant to congratulate you earlier... too many updates coming thick and fast. Brentford have done well in both my saves so far, and in others', but it's still a great achievement to get them over the line.

6 minutes ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

Massive thanks to @warlock for his write-ups on each club that has really helped me make a decision! 

Happy to have helped, but it doesn't seem to have helped me much :lol: - about 20 days since I made the OP and I've spent about half of that time deciding on my two candidates. I'm sure I'm not the only one waiting expectantly for your big reveal!

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1 minute ago, warlock said:

Happy to have helped, but it doesn't seem to have helped me much :lol: - about 20 days since I made the OP and I've spent about half of that time deciding on my two candidates.

Glad to hear I'm not the only one who struggles to make decisions. :lol:

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Sheffield United: Season 1, December

Was going to post an update at Christmas, but I thought I'd bask in the glory ('cos I'm not convinced I'll have grounds for basking in a few weeks!)

woXHJsYh.png?1

We got off to a flying start, going unbeaten in the first ten league games. Had a bit of a wobble in October before getting back to business. We are unbeaten at home, and have drawn just the one, against Stoke. Away is a different story - away games are like pulling teeth. Until the first week in December we hadn't been able to secure a single win away. I thought our visit to Rotherham might be the one - they were (and still are) mired at the foot of the table, so I was somewhat dismayed when we went two down in five minutes. We managed to level the score with two quick goals of our own, but conceded again early in the second half and it took an 89th minute equaliser from Conor Washington to snatch a point.

It was after that game that I decided a slight change of tactic was required. We're still using the 442 diamond, but while we played a conservative possession-based system earlier, I've now switched to a fluid counter-attacking approach that seems to have worked. We came within five minutes of an away win against Brentford, and finally secured the first away victory at Reading.

We've also had to overcome some obstacles on the way. Significant injuries of up to three and four months have left us with just two CBs and two strikers at times. Even worse is our situation regarding homegrown club players  - only Billy Sharp qualifies and when he missed a month with broken ribs I had to play with just six substitutes for five games.

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Our good form early in the season saw us rise to the top of the table and, despite the blip in October, we've never been outside the top four. Back-to-back wins in our two most recent matches have put us back on top on goal difference but next up is a table-topping clash with West Brom.

The strikers are sharing the goalscoring duties with 21 goals between them, our CBs have a few from set-pieces, and most of the midfielders have chipped in with a goal apiece. Washington looks the best prospect going forward and I expect he'd be leading the chart had he not missed the first three months of the season with a hip injury. Defensively we've been sound and lead the division with the fewest goals conceded. 

So Christmas came early, and if Santa can gift us a few more away wins I'll be delighted. Ho ho ho!

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8 hours ago, warlock said:

@dothestrand Sorry - meant to congratulate you earlier... too many updates coming thick and fast. Brentford have done well in both my saves so far, and in others', but it's still a great achievement to get them over the line.

Happy to have helped, but it doesn't seem to have helped me much :lol: - about 20 days since I made the OP and I've spent about half of that time deciding on my two candidates. I'm sure I'm not the only one waiting expectantly for your big reveal!

That's OK. Yes we've moved into the new ground. 17000 capacity so going to Old Trafford is going to seem like a huge step up. Only small transfers for now on guys who were out of contract like Freddie Woodman. I burned my loans on Walker-Peters from Spurs and Harrison from Man City when I really should've gone for Solanke as we are very, very weak up front. I'd like Kasey Palmer, who is for sale, but Chelsea want 30+m. I'm hoping they will change that fee. I've bid for Patrick Roberts on a free for 70k per week. Can you imagine Brentford getting to that stage?

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9 hours ago, sedge11 said:

Haha yea sounds like you went slightly overboard, but be interesting to see who you got and how good your Pompey team looks, ready for the challenge of the prem.

I've just done the summer ready for the 6th season so can share my transfers soon as well.

Yes planning to do the update today. Just had our first Premier League game, a hard fought 2-1 win away against Everton! For some reason, the fixture computer has given us a less than 48 hour gap between first two league games though.

By the way, season has started but no U23 squad for me yet :(

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@warlock I like that you run with 442 diamond. This was my favourite formation some years ago,  but I haven't used it in recent FMs. Will be interesting to see how it develops for you! How are the wingbacks doing for you? Always felt that they are key to the diamond :)

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@dothestrand - congratulations on the promotion & new stadium! I think you have a super CB partnership in Konsa & Mepham, when I look at how they are both progressing in my save, each valued at over 15m. 

@Mindtrick_42 - great stuff too. Surprised to see Dack didnt perform though and it looks like Rankin-Costello has been downgraded a lot this year. But seems like Brereton is doing very well for you. I almost just bought him but he chose to move to Fulham instead. He seems to have well-rounded attributes for a two-footed player.

@Dong21 - good going with the Addicks, if you have two good pacy strikers yes I would definitely recommend playing with 2 up front in the lower leagues. I am attempting to persist with a 4-4-2 shape now in the Premiership too. Well done on the Grant contract, went down to the wire it seems!

and finally @warlock - great going with Sheffield Utd, KUTGW. Happy to see you making this shape & formation work, something I haven't managed in the last few FMs! 

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Here we go then, Pompey 2020-21 season preview

We are back in the big time, and with money to spend. So we went ahead and spent all of it, and then some more :lol:

In the Premiership, my aim is to mainly bring in English/ British players that fit the following profiles - players doing well in the Championship or lower leagues, give them a platform to build their talents. And also bring in players who have good ability from bigger clubs but not getting enough game time.

So with that, in came the following:

442665360_transfersprem.thumb.jpg.a4d92d2335b377cef47242831be77e9a.jpg

Jason Cummings - no brainer to activate the clause in his loan deal, given he was our top scorer last season in the promotion push.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek - excited about this one, he was transfer listed at Chelsea. I play 4-4-2 and already have 4 CMs in the squad, but the thinking is to actually play RLC as a DLP or F9. Believe he has good stats for that with excellent physicals plus good composure, technique and creativity. Also if my 4-4-2 plans don't pan out, having him gives us an easy option to switch our shape to 4-3-3 at any time.

Simon Shuttleworth - exciting looking newgen spotted by my HOYD, a number of other Premiership clubs were also interested so I offered him 3k/ week to get it done.

Britt Assombalonga - our record signing (for about 10 days). He is the replacement for Kamara who's loan deal expired and I didn't renew. Assombalonga was 3rd top scorer in the Championship last season with 20 goals, 4 behind Cummings, so will be good to see how they play together. 

Jamal Lewis - replacement for the outgoing Ruben Vinaigre who was also on loan with us, will compete with Lee Brown for the LB spot. But Brown has been player of the season 2 years running so will not be giving up his spot easy!

Ezri Konsa - I initially had planned to bring back Adam Webster to Pompey, but with Brentford relegated Konsa had an 11m clause that could get activated. He looks like a beast now and his attributes have developed a lot. It seemed too good an opportunity to pass up, although I don't know which of Clarke & Whatmough is going to drop out. I suppose between the 3 of them they will all play enough games.

Patrick Roberts - so with no money left to spend, we were looking out for a loan signing to rotate on the wings. Then suddenly I see that Roberts has been released from Man City. Immediately went in but he was asking 60k/week. Fulham & Watford made an offer too. After my first negotiation broke down, we managed to convince him at 35k/ week which is our max, along with a whole host of bonuses & clauses incl. 15k per appearance, goal, intl. cap and a whopping 50% of the fee if we ever sell him. Let's hope he is worth it. 

And all of that leaves our squad like this - 

GK - Craig MacGillivray / Luke McGee
DR - Dominic Iorfa / Nathan Thompson
DL - Jamal Lewis / Lee Brown
DC - Ezri Konsa / Jack Whatmough
DC - Matt Clarke / Christian Burgess
MC - Andre Dozzell / Ben Close
MC - Josh Vela / Tom Naylor
AMR - Jamal Lowe / Patrick Roberts
AML - Danny Loader / Angel Gomes
FC - Britt Assombalonga / Ruben Loftus-Cheek
FC - Jason Cummings / RLC / Lowe

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55 minutes ago, Mindtrick_42 said:

@warlock I like that you run with 442 diamond... How are the wingbacks doing?

 

35 minutes ago, karanhsingh said:

great going with Sheffield Utd, KUTGW. Happy to see you making this shape & formation work

Cheers! So far so good. Wingbacks are doing well, particularly on the right where they're a bit more attacking. Freeman and Baldock have 6 and 3 assists, respectively; on the other side Stevens and Johnson have 2 and 3 assists. Freeman in particular - and especially in light of the documented issues in this ME - has the uncanny knack of finding a yard of space and getting his cross in, while Baldock does that irritating thing of checking his run and making a tame pass back to the midfield. Johnson - a natural winger and being played out of position - has done well but I need to reinforce that position in January. He's good going forward but a bit suspect in defence.

Edited by warlock

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Aston Villa Season 2 pre-season

Hope you don't mind if I continue to post in here following promotion to the Prem, but there is no dedicated Villa thread as far as I can see.

So immediately our promotion was confirmed the board provided a transfer budget of £44m to avoid relegation. The first order of business was getting Abraham (35 goals & 13 assists) and Tuanzebe back on loan for a second season having performed so well in the Championship winning season, then it was a case of strengthening the spine of the team. All players signed permanently were transfer listed and therefore picked up for well below their true value.

uvyfzj3.png?1

This leaves the team going into the Premium League season as;

GK - Butland / Nyland

DR - Sturaro / Bree

DCR - Wober / Bedeau

DCL - Tuanzebe / Chester

DL - Lato / Taylor

MR - Jese / Green

MCR - Demme / Bjaranason

MCL - McGinn / Hourihane

ML - Grealish / El Ghazi

STCR - Kodija / Davis

STCL - Abraham / Hogan

Pre-season went extremely well with the team continuing where they left off last season.

3ePAuzh.png?1

This was followed up by a great start to life in the Prem, with a good win away at Everton.

JDJLa7B.png?1

Annoyingly Wober was injured during the game and is out for 5-6 weeks. But more annoyingly apparently Tuanzebe was also injured and will miss a similar period, despite there being no indication in the screenshot above that he picked up any kind of knock (bug???). We are therefore down to our third and fourth choice centrebacks, with the next two games being against Spurs & Liverpool. 

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13 minutes ago, Spike said:

Hope you don't mind if I continue to post in here following promotion to the Prem

Not at all... promotion and on-going success is what we're all aiming for. The only limitation on the thread is that our teams start in the EFL. I guess Tuanzebe might have tripped going in to the dressing room!? :lol:

 

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29 minutes ago, warlock said:

 

Cheers! So far so good. Wingbacks are doing well, particularly on the right where they're a bit more attacking. Freeman and Baldock have 6 and 3 assists, respectively; on the other side Stevens and Johnson have 2 and 3 assists. Freeman in particular - and especially in light of the documented issues in this ME - has the uncanny knack of finding a yard of space and getting his cross in, while Baldock does that irritating thing of checking his run and making a tame pass back to the midfield. Johnson - a natural winger and being played out of position - has done well but I need to reinforce that position in January. He's good going forward but a bit suspect in defence.

What's the ME issue?

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Just now, karanhsingh said:

What's the ME issue?

An issue with crossing, which was apparently toned down after some vocal complaints during the beta that it was overpowered. The result is that many/most wide players will get into a good position and then hesitate before delivering the cross, the AI then closes them down (often in double coverage) and the wideman either loses the ball or hits it against the defender and then it often goes for a corner or throw-in. As I said, Freeman is a bit of a freak in that he'll often beat the defender and deliver the cross. What I can't figure out is why. His attributes are bang-average, not very quick or agile, and only 13s for crossing and dribbling. But of the 7 or 8 wide players I've used so far in FM19 he's head-and-shoulders above everyone for cross delivery.

It's a definite issue but - contrary to the hysteria in some quarters - far from game-breaking. But I'm afraid that now I've pointed it out you'll see it all the time :D

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18 minutes ago, warlock said:

An issue with crossing, which was apparently toned down after some vocal complaints during the beta that it was overpowered. The result is that many/most wide players will get into a good position and then hesitate before delivering the cross, the AI then closes them down (often in double coverage) and the wideman either loses the ball or hits it against the defender and then it often goes for a corner or throw-in. As I said, Freeman is a bit of a freak in that he'll often beat the defender and deliver the cross. What I can't figure out is why. His attributes are bang-average, not very quick or agile, and only 13s for crossing and dribbling. But of the 7 or 8 wide players I've used so far in FM19 he's head-and-shoulders above everyone for cross delivery.

 It's a definite issue but - contrary to the hysteria in some quarters - far from game-breaking. But I'm afraid that now I've pointed it out you'll see it all the time :D

I have seen it before as well, I was just wondering if it was the same! I figured it must be because I play wing backs on Support duty and not Attack.

The first beta save that I had which was with Newcastle, Yedlin was fantastic at beating his man and putting a cross in. So maybe acceleration is the important attribute game wise.

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7 minutes ago, karanhsingh said:

I figured it must be because I play wing backs on Support duty and not Attack.

I definitely think this is part of the issue - my right-sided players are typically on FB-attack, on the left we're usually WB-support and the right side is far more productive. On the other hand, we concede most from the right, so typical swings and roundabouts :rolleyes:.

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37 minutes ago, warlock said:

I definitely think this is part of the issue - my right-sided players are typically on FB-attack, on the left we're usually WB-support and the right side is far more productive. On the other hand, we concede most from the right, so typical swings and roundabouts :rolleyes:.

Haha that's how it goes I guess! 

I am now playing with WBa on the left, and WBs on the right, because the right side also has an SV on attack 

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Hello all,

I took control of Aston Villa because of the great squad they seem to have.   

I started out by selling Elmohandy to Angers for 3.3 million pounds

Then I sold Richards to Bournemouth for 5 million pounds

Kodjia was sold to Angers in the french league for 4.8 million pounds

Bjarnson was sold as well for 2.5 million pounds to Shakhtar

My first buy was Antonio Marin for 2.1 million pounds

The I got Sandro Tonali from Brescia for 5.5 million pounds + Futures

I brought in as a free transfer Benoit Tremoulinas and Jan Kirchoff

I sent Tuanzebe back to Man United and asked for Dalot on loan and got him

I also sent El Ghazi back home from loan and got Foden from Man City on loan

I also signed Hannes Delcroix from Anderlecht for 2 million pounds and Davide Merola from Inter for 925k

We played a 4-2-3-1 Setup with Tammy Abraham up front.

Started the season flying with 5 straight wins.   Tammy getting 9 goals in his first 5 games.   Defense was solid with Chester/Kirchoff/Zagadou rotating.   

At the start of the 2nd transfer window we were 1 point behind Norwich for first.   

Levante came sniffing around for Tremoulinas who was playing fantastic.   I rejected a bid but Benoit wanted to go so I eventually accepted a 5,9 million pound bid for him

Couldn't find a replacement for him but Neil Taylor played fine for him for the rest of the year eventhough he was going on a transfer at the end of the season to Sassulo.   

We continued our fine form and were relatively injury free and finished a clear 13 points on top the league to become champions and get promotion.   

 

The board was extremely happy and wanted to secure a mid table finish in the premiership which I agreed to.  I was given a 48 million dollar transfer fund.    

My scouts found a striker they rated highly Roberto Inglese from Napoli who I was able to sign on a free transfer. 

I also signed Nicolas Cozza  a 20 year old defender from Montpellier on a free transfer.   

I was able to get  Foden to come back as a loan player but Abraham decided against coming back and went to Franfurt instead.  

Kirchoff while good in the championship was just going to be an ok player in the premiership I decided to strengthen the backend and signed John Souttar for a 13.5 million pounds from Hearts.  I also signed Jayden Bogle from Derby for 9 million pounds.  

My Scouts found Adrien Bongiovanni from AS Monaco and highly recommended him and I was able to get him for 8.25 million pounds and he can play all three Attacking mid positions.

After failiing to get Dalot back on a loan and several other high end english kids like Woodburn and Mount refused to sign and went elsewhere both to the Bundesliga which seems to be a destination of alot of the younger talented palyers from the good english sides in my 2nd season for some reason.  I was able to get the services of Renato Sanches on loan from Bayern

 

Several of my kids have gone on to become Wonderkids.   Zagadou and Tonalli both started the premier season as Wonderkids along with Foden.   Bongiovanni after the 5th game became a Wonderkid as well.   After 5 games we have 3 wins  and 2 draws including a 4 to 1 away win against Liverpool.

 

Roberto Inglese has 8 goals in 5 games and got his first callup to Italy were he scored 5 goals against Gibraltor!   His first cap!

 

More later.....

 

Edited by rbird2012

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@warlock: Great start to the season with Sheffield. That home form is very impressive; a shame that the away form can't match that - as you'd be well clear at the top of the league if so. Hopefully the away form will improve and you can continue to impress at home to achieve a surprise promotion! Sheffield United interested me this year too, I may have a stab with them later on in the game.

@karanhsingh: An interesting dynamic to see you going with a HG squad in the Premier League. Best of luck in surviving this season; but I'd love to see you do so. Some good signings made, with players like Jamal Lewis brought in. I'm looking forward to seeing how everyone develops, in particular Lewis as he's somebody I've wanted to use for a while now.

@Spike: Very impressed with those signings. You've made use of your budget very well over the Summer and the loan signing of Stefano Sturaro stands out to me in particular. You have depth in areas and definitely should have enough to survive this season. Good start to the season with a win too over a well-established side in Everton

@rbird2012: Welcome to the thread. It seems you have made some good business and have been getting the best out of your players. Keep it up! :D 

 

 

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1 hour ago, rbird2012 said:

I took control of Aston Villa because of the great squad they seem to have.

You liked the squad but shipped out six players!? :lol:  Not saying you're wrong, and it's obviously working for you, but I'd hate to see what you'd do with a squad you didn't like!

@DefinitelyTaylor Thanks, and I'm certainly hoping for improved away form.

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Large

Carlisle United - Introduction

After much debating, I decided I would start my save with Carlisle United for a number of reasons:

- They are located in Cumbria, similar to my club (Barrow). Ourselves and Carlisle are the only two Cumbrian clubs to ever play in the Football League.

- They have two individuals who have been associated with Barrow in the past few years. Richie Bennett signed for Carlisle from Barrow after an impressive season with us in 2016/17. Darren Edmondson (Carlisle's HOYD) led us to the National League North title as a manager in 2014/15.

- The club seemed to be in disarray over the Summer, with doubts over where the club would go. Leading to an interesting dynamic for a Football Manager save.

- There is a good mix of players within the squad, with young talents such as Macauley Gillesphey and more experienced heads in the first-team squad.

- There isn't immediate expectation. The board are looking for a mid-table finish this season, although the players expect a top-half finish at a minimum.

- Finally, the Cumbrians have been in League Two since 2014/15 and it's time to get them back in League One and beyond. They haven't played in the second tier since 1986.

 

Squad

bad2f9f296a0f6eb7c1c6ceeaca7330e.png
 

There are two noticeable absentees in this image. We will get to one shortly, but I can tell you that Jason Kennedy is a part of the first-team, but due to a six month injury I have simply just moved him out of the team for this screenshot. 

We have a strong option in goal with Adam Collin and a suitable back-up in Joe Fryer, who is on loan from Middlesbrough.

The defence is strongly centrally, but does need some improvement - especially on the right. We currently only have Gary Miller in that position and it's vital we find a suitable option to provide depth and challenge him for that position. However, in the centre we have plenty of competition with Gillesphey and Gerrard (cousin to Steven), likely to be the first-choice pairing. Tom Parkes will likely rotate in and out of the side, depending on the performances and fitness of those two. Danny Grainger will be the starting full-back.

It's a similar story in midfield, with the centre of the park looking strong whilst the wings seem to lack depth. In the middle, we have a couple of loanees in the form of Regan Slater and Jack Sowerby. Mike Jones, George Glendon, and Gary Liddle complete the field. It's likely that the starting two in the heart of the middle will be Sowerby and Glendon, the current and ex-Fleetwood duo. However, we are blessed with real quality here with Slater being more than capable of coming into the side; whilst Jones and Liddle have experience and quality. We currently have no out and out left-winger, with Regan Slater being the best option thus far and this is something that needs to be addressed. Whereas on the right we are currently have Jamie Devitt as our main man.

Now, we have four strikers at the club and each definitely have a case for starting this season. Each provide a different strength to their game that will help us over the course of the campaign. Ashley Nadesen has a poacher's instinct and will certainly be someone to potentially bring on off of the bench when we need a goal. Richie Bennett is an out-an-out target man and will work alongside someone like Nadesan; who he can knock the ball down to. Hallam Hope is an all-round striker and is likely to be one of the first names on the team-sheet, whereas Jerry Yates displays a similar vibe to Nadesen.

Transfers

346540bd275fa678e713e7acc6330323.png
 

I, personally, brought in two players. Those were right-back Frank van der Struijk and left-winger Danny Rowe. Both were neccessary signings, who needed to brought in to add quality and depth to their positions. Rowe in particular will be key this season, given the lack of ability on his side of the pitch but certainly has the attributes to do well for us over the course of his season-long-loan spell. Dutch defender 'Frank' joins on a free transfer following his release from Dundee United and will be our first-choice right-back for the season. The 33-year-old brings a sense of experience to the back line, but quality also.

Our only main departure was Kelvin Etuhu to League One side Rochdale. I spoke about how strong our central midfield area was and personally, I deemed Kelvin to be the weakest of the lot and therefore deemed him surplus to requirements. I was surprised to see a club of a higher level bring him in, however we receive a fee for a player we don't want so it's a win-win situation for me. It's much better than losing him on a free next Summer. Our other two departures were to young players to give them experience.

Results

6d01ba33b5f41b17c83032eefbbee874.png
 

An unbeaten start to the season! :D I am quite surprised by how well the season has gone so far. We opened the season with a long-trip to Exeter in a rather dull affair, before earning a 1-1 draw with Northampton after going behind. We managed our first win of the season in an exciting, but tense game over Yeovil in the Carabao Cup. We led 3-1, but surrendered our lead later on, before Hallam Hope completed his hat-trick in stoppage time to send us through. This was followed with our first league win, in a 1-0 win over Cheltenham and then a second in another 4-3 win to Port Vale. We seem to enjoy high-scoring games! Our fixtures in the league concluded with a 2-2 draw with Crewe, in a game we can feel disappointed in as we just lacked that extra something to see off a rather average side. Finally, we booked our place in the 3rd round of the Carabao Cup by beating another League Two side in MK Dons, 3-1.

I have been particularly impressed with Barbadian forward Hallam Hope, who has scored seven goals in seven games so far this season. His efforts have been vital in our strong start to the season, securing wins in both the Carabao Cup but also in the league. Jamie Devitt has also enjoyed a good start to the season, averaging a rating of 7.08 at the moment after playing six of the seven games in August. George Glendon has also played well in the games he has started, scoring once and averaging 7.04 from four starts and one substitute appearance.

This has seen us start the season in eighth-position.

4702008fcade275912c9fbd255e20fff.png
 

Tactics

335aae5793765fe6f00d01efe553206c.png
 

This is the system we deploy. Admittedly, the only change I usually make is changing the mentality of the team from either positive or cautious. At home, we using go with a positive mentality, whereas away we look to be more cautious - however this can depend on the opposition. We also, again, depending on the opposition, look to play a more short-passing game to utilise our midfield duo (usually Sowerby and Glendon). Hope's role also changes in the team depending on if Bennett starts. If Bennett plays, then we play Hope as an advanced forward alongside Bennett as a target-man; but otherwise he is usually played as a deep-lying-forward alongside an advanced forward or poacher.

The full-backs will always remain as NFB's simply because of their age and therefore they look the physical stats needed to play in a more attacking nature. If we bring in younger full-backs, we may potentially look at allowing them to play further forward but this isn't possible at the moment; but it's getting results, so there's no need to make changes to a winning formula.

I will aim to update you as frequently as possible.

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Some really great updates in here, really good to see and read them all. Sorry not to comment on them all, but just too many!

The most unbelievable post? Nope, not the back-to-back promotion kings or other great performing managers. For me, it's seeing that @DefinitelyTaylor has chosen his team at last! A really good overview of your team and approach, which I like, and it's a very good pick in Carlisle too. I managed them a few years ago and really enjoyed it, so will be backing you all the way. By the way, I had a free transfer deal for Glendon awaiting my confirmation at Grimsby ahead of season 2. I couldn't get better for free, he was willing to join and the wages were modest. Then I looked in to him in more detail to see how prominent he was over the last season or so, and realised that bringing him back to the Cleethorpes area wouldn't be the smartest move. Deal cancelled.

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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