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Razortooth

[FM18] FC United of Manchester

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Posted (edited)

Introduction

I have read santy001 and oliscots great Harrogate and Salford story and wanted to try out lower league management again in FM18 to see how quickly I can promote to the Premier League.

To make it a real challenge I didn't want to take over any of the best teams teams in Vanarama North and a semi-professional one.

Since I'm a Manchester United fan, I choose FC Manchester of United and my goal is to one day be the best team i Manchester :)
 

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Initial analysis

-Because we are semi-professional and has poor trainings facilities, training won't develop the players much. So to develop players so that they can stay in the team a few promotions, I have to focus on buying youngsters (age 17-22) who develops more than older players and can be tutored. Tutoring will increase their determination, which I think is very important for players in the lower leagues.

-With a team with many young players it's important to have good leaders, so I need to sign good captains and vice-captains.

-Poor youth facilities, minimal junior coaching and basic youth recruitment means that I can't expect any youth candidates to ever play for the first team before the facilities are upgraded a lot. So all youngsters, before the facilities are upgraded, must be signed after they are released from other teams or found in a National U18/19/20/21-team. (many regens from smaller nations appears in National teams before they are signed by a club)

-We have only £ 8,722 in the bank and wage- and transfer budgets of £3,917 and £8,372, so many players must be loaned to save some money and players must be signed on a free transfer.

 

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-The team comparison shows that the team are worst in many important attributes: str, com, off, dri, pas... So most of the existing team has to be sold, loaned out or released.

Of the existing squad only Allinson and Irwin seems to be good enough to secure promotion to Vanarama National.

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Exciting news so, Glory, glory united Man, I guess.

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Edited by Razortooth

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Season 1 - 2017/18

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The media prediction was that we were going to finish 18th, but that was with a completely different squad.

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Hone, Brown and Shuker were older players signed on non-contracts to tutor the younger players. Only Brown played one game as a sub, during an injury crisis. Apart from them, Doyle was the oldest player signed. He was 22 when I signed him, and teams average age is 20,76 years. Everest (8->15), Hancocks (13->15) and Juanma (10->14) all increased determination, before Hone, Brown and Shuker started to complain about lack of first team football or had to low reputation to tutor. So more tutors have to be signed for the next season.

There is not much of a difference between Vanarama North and National, so most of the players will keep their place in the team. Malowiejski will improve our options in attack when he turns 17 and can sign. I found him playing for Poland U19 and at 16 he is almost as good as my best forward Cregan.

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Cregan must be one of the best signings I have ever had. 47 goals and 15 assists in 42 games in his first season. 

Everest, Thomas and my captain Lawton has been great too. The board turned down my request to turn the club professional, but agreed to improve facilities. So I hope they are able to show some progress next season.

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Posted (edited)

Season 2 - 2018/19

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In season 2 we were predicted to finish 20th and most of the team were at the club at the beginning of the season. So it should have been easy to predict.

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Signing of the season have to be Simen Møller from Biggleswade Utd. 26 Goals and 14 assists in 36 (2) games and avg. rating 7,48. Graham was my best defender for the first two seasons, but he wouldn't have made it in League 2 and it saved a lot of money sell him and loan a DC instead. 

Unfortunately Cregan has started to slow down after a fantastic first season. At the end of the season, he have only scored one goal in his last 10 games. He had ratings of 6,2-6,4 in 5 of them and hasn't improved determination or work rate after warnings or fines lately. The board decided to turn the club professional (also expanded the stadium) after we were promoted, but I don't think Cregans development will help him keep a place in the squad for the next season. Malowiejski has already taken Cregans place in the first 11, and it is more expensive to give Cregan a new contract, than loaning a forward. By the way, the board also accepted my requests to improve facilities.

Goodman, Winnard and Nolan didn't play for the first team, but helped Hancocks (15->16), Wassi (8->11), Booker (7->12) and Doyle (14->15) to improve determination and our average determination are highest in both V. National and League 2. Apart from increased determination and work rate after disciplinary actions, Booker and Doyle hasn't improved a whole point in any important attributes. Too bad I didn't sign more non-contract players before we turned professional.

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I wouldn't expect to see my 4th best striker in the best eleven, but McAtee has been starting a lot of games against weaker teams in the league and cups and have been brought on late in games we already had won. Cregan should have been alongside Møller. Another back up in the first eleven is Wassi with 16 (15) games. Booker 48 (5) have mostly been playing as a fullback and Graham 28 (0) should have been DC as he has played more and better than Wassi. I don't know how they are calculation this, but something is wrong.

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I haven't been adapting my tactics to my squad this season and most players are not getting more familiar after training. Only two players are a perfect fit and many players have not improved at all. So next season the tactics will be adapted more. 

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Allinson was my last player from the original squad and just left for Crystal Palace. He might be my first player to play in the Premier League, as he is their 3rd best goalkeeper and their 2nd are injured. I also had a chance to be in Premier League soon, as I were offered job interviews with Cardiff and Millwall in Championship (I can't remember which, but I think it was one from Premier League too). Of course I turned them down. Just have to wait a few more seasons to beat City and United.

Edited by Razortooth

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Posted (edited)

Season 3 update

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We are knocked out of all cups and are leading League 2 by a lot, so the rest of this season will be all about developing youngsters and saving money.

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In our first three seasons all our players have either been signed on free transfer or loaned. Apart from Allinson (45 k), who have played in five Premier League games so far, we haven't collected any real fees from selling our star players. No one were willing to pay anything to sign Cregan, who scored 73 goals in 81 games. To compete with clubs in Championship in a few years time, with their huge parachute payments from their last season in Premier League, we have to make a lot more money. After expanding our stadium we have sold out all 5 998 seats in most games, but we don't have enough money at the moment to expand further. So I can't see any other way of making money than selling players. 

But the way, I forgot that we can only use five loan players in a League 2 game, so a lot of loan deals have been terminated early (Brewitt, Close, Folami and Agyei) and some players will not play too many games.

Diaz and Caser have been great this season and I hope to sell them one day for at least 1 mill. each.

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We signed a new captain before Lawton was sold. Raglan also played for the club five years ago and have played for us both in Northern Premier League and League Two. I really don't like to use players with extremely low values in important attributes, but Raglan (aggression 4) seems to play well in a cover role. Gribbin's (on loan/det 4) determination could increase a lot if I'am able to sign him in 1,5 years time and tutor him. Might make a lot of money on him to, as he seems to have a great potensial.

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Our tactics are now fitting our players a lot better, but Møller, who is a target man are now out of the first 11. It is not that he is playing bad, Møller has been one of our best players since he joined the club, but he has retired from professional football. So I can't renew his contract and no team wants to buy him, either because they are professional or because they can't afford his wage (he is paid £1,600 per week and is our best paid player). It's just not worth it to pay him bonuses for playing or scoring and Caser needs time on the pitch to develop. 

Since we are not going to use a target man, the loan of our back up TM Folami were terminated. But before he left I had a look at his last game for Australia U20 and found a player named Cashman. (just what we needed, right :))

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Cashman will join us when he turns 18 and high values in attributes which does not change much over time (bra, det, fit, wor) indicates a great potensial. His club FFA COE have superb training facilities, excellent youth facilities, good junior coaching and extensive youth recruitment. They have a lot of current and former players in the Australian U-teams, but they are an amateur club so all players can leave on free transfer. What a waste for them, but it would make them a perfect affiliate for us. 

Unfortunately the rest of FFA COE's players are either not interested or demands a min. fee release clause of 40-60 k, so it's not worth developing them.

Also found this guy in Georgia U21, but he won't sign at the moment. Could make a lot of money on him, even though his bra and jr are not exactly impressing.

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Allinson have played in five Premier League games already, just two years after he played in Vanarama North. But with that 6,2 average, it shouldn't happen again...

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Edited by Razortooth
grammar

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Well, it might seem easy when the season is over, but it takes a lot of time to find the right players, motivate them before and during matches, speak to them after matches about what they did right and wrong… And it is important to really know if a player "needs to work harder to get into positions" or if his "passing in the last game was not good enough". If not, a players morale will decrease and that might outweigh te potential benefit.

Anyway, I should be focusing more on playing faster than trying to do everything "perfect". 

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Posted (edited)

Season 3 - 2019/20

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We haven't bought or sold any players since January, but both Caser and Malowiejski have drawn attention from a number of clubs. I hope to receive some decent bids, but Malowiejski will be very hard to replace. I think Caser is our signing of the season, but he can't really be compared to Cregan or Møller from season 1 and 2. 

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I still can't understad why Booker isn't in the best eleven, he still plays more and better than Wassi. Malowiejski has improved a lot and he is our best player. It is not often you see a player who are to stay in the first eleven after consecutive promotions. He is now playing for Germany and not Poland and that slows down his progression as he does not play as many games because of more competition in their U-teams. 

It's fun to play against a real Premier League legend, but with 4 or 5 in most physical attributes Rooney should have retired a while ago. All 4 goals scored were scored on pens, must be the only way to score when you can't move that much. 

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York doesn't seem to find out where they belong. They have three relegations and two promotions in the last five years and with their insecure finances I'm sure they will be relegated again next season.

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The board agreed to upgrade both youth and training facilities. They also expanded the stadium, but 750 more seats will not be enough to satisfy demand in League One.

I haven't been able to buy any more promising youngsters, but this guy could be our GK for the next decade, if he ever would be interested. Even at his age he would be our first choice GK and a player with attributes like that could be of of the best players in the world at twenty.

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Chelsea replaced Peterborough as our affiliate. This means £50 k more each year  and maybe some extra money from that annual friendly. I hope to loan players who can improve our team, as we were not able to loan anyone who made an impact from Peterborough.

Edited by Razortooth

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Season 4 update

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We have been reached far in the cups this year. Too bad most games have been away as we really needed the extra money from home games.

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Lazio made a bid for Caser on the last day of the transfer window and I rejected it. Of course my "favourite" general manager accepted a lower bid from Lazio just a few hours later and I couldn't find a new striker before the window closed. I hope to see him replaced in the election next October...

It might look like we made some money when Moore-Taylor, Raglan, Hedges and Wassi were sold. But it didn't help our finances much because the first three were paid about 15 % in sell on fees, £133 k were instalments and we have to pay Hedges 900 p/w until his contract would have ended next year. Can't be too happy with our outgoing transfers this year.

We still need to sell some players at a huge profit to be able to reinvest in players, who can bring us to Premier League next season. So I signed Ricci, Drazic, D'Urso and Batth on free transfer. At the moment they are worth £8,7M, but their value might decrease when I try to sell them this summer.

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We have not paid any fee to sign any player or contributed to any wages for players on loan, before García was bought from Atlético Nacional. Apart from his heading, he looks like a first team player already. 

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I have noticed that we are effectively playing with one more player in a lot of games this season. Just like these games against Leeds and Charlton. At half time against Leeds our total condition were 924 and they had 821 in total. That's 103 more than them, when their average was 75 %. At the beginning of the game against Charlton we had a total condition of 1037 against their 954. That's 83 more and their average was 86.

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And we had higher morale in both games, even though I don't know how to measure the difference in morale, so we won both games. It is just too easy when the ai aren't even able to field a team with acceptable condition or manage morale.

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Season 4 2020/21

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Another promotion this year, but it will be more difficult to secure promotion next year when we compete against a lot richer clubs who have been relegated from Premier League.

We have one of the strongest squads in League One so our promotion should have been expected.

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Players on loan have been essential to our success this year, with 55 goals and 54 assists in 233 (47) games divided among eleven players on loan. Sanchez and Macdonald were signed after one season on loan and I don't think they would have been interested if they hadn't been here a season on loan first.

Loaning players are saving us a lot of money on wages. Because some loans have been terminated when a player starts to complain about lack of time on the pitch, it seems like we on average have had eight players on loan this season. If we would have paid an average wage (wage, bonuses and fees) of £2,500 pw that's saving us £1million this year. We should have loan more players during our first two seasons, even though it is hard some times to select a match squad of eighteen players and only include five players on loan:)

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The board are planning to expand our stadium (3rd year in a row), but i don't think it will be enough to satisfy demand in Championship. They seem to reject all requests until our balance could have financed the whole expansion. Then the board usually will finance 50 % with a bank loan and a grant covers the rest. I just can't see the logic in that. 

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For the first time a player from our youth intake have been given a contract, and Phil Pell looks like a really good player already. I haven't seen many 15-year-old players with 19 attributes of 10 or higher. 

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Season 5 update

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It's really a close race in league this year. Hull started the season with 15 games unbeaten, but we just have managed to take the lead after Hull have had a bad period.

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I have sold Ricci, Drazic, D'Urso and Batth (and a few more players) and that brought in £9,5m. Unfortunately we can't use all that money because it's impossible to find more expensive players who are interested. (Might be caused by our low reputation) The players we have bought are young and it will take a few years to develop them, before we can sell them at a profitt.

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Nkoudou, Cardozo, Valdivia, Lausenísio and Rojas are very promising, but they all need tutoring and we only have three players who can do it: Damian, D'Urso and Inler. Inler has complained a lot about lack of first team football, so we will have to let him go. At least he helped Gribbin increase his determination from 4 to 9 (the first increase happened right after he signed and the graph does not show), so Gribbin might still be able to reach his potensial. That is if I'm able to increase his determination further by warning/fining him after bad performances and work on his off the ball.

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Both Billericay and Middlesbrough have seen some interesting developments in recent years. Middlesbrough have been promoted three times to Premier League and relegated three times in their last six seasons. Billericay have seen three promotions in their last four seasons and can still reach playoffs this season. 

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Billericay were actually just one point (or a better playoff) away from three consecutive promotions.

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Edited by Razortooth

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