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scott92507

Barnet: How High Can They Go?

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I wanted to manage a team in London, but I also wanted a humble team to see what I could do with it. So I started a career save with Barnet, who was demoted to the Vanarama National League just before FM 19 came out. 

The challenges for the first season were many.

1. I inherited a roster filled with injured veteran players. Some of them never saw the pitch with the first team because they kept getting re-injured during their rehabilitation.

2. Many players were in the last year of their contracts, so I was going to be trying to re-sign a bunch of players on a limited budget. 

3. My transfer budget was 10,000 pounds. So essentially zero. Any new players were going to be loans or free agents. Loans were challenging because Premier teams didn't want to send their players to my level. 

4. The average attendance was perhaps 1,500, so my ticket sales were not going to generate much money. 

There also was the challenge of getting to know a team and learning the best tactics and rotations for them -- when I could keep them healthy. I eventually found that liquid counter attack in 4-4-2, 4-1-4-1 and a custom 4-2-4 worked best. By the end of the season, I was playing Control Possession about half the time. I have found that an aggressive offense is the best defense. I alternate between "Positive" and "Attacking" most of the time. I switch to "Defensive" only when I have a lead and there are fewer than 10 minutes left in the game.

I had very little depth on my roster -- perhaps that is common at this level -- so my starters played LOTS of games, and that increased the chances of injury. 

My first-team striker, Shaquile Coulthirst, ended the season with 28 goals and a Golden Boot for the National League. I managed to re-sign him, thank goodness. I assume his nickname is Cool Thirsty. I like that. He was thirsty for goals. 

I inherited one loaned player who was a regular starter. He was from West Brom. Late in the season I grabbed another loan from West Brom, a goalkeeper -- but I grabbed him mostly to keep a competitor from getting his loan, and it turned out well for us. He was a regular starter and we signed him when his contract ended at the end of the season.

We won automatic promotion, ending the season more than 10 points clear of Leyton Orient, which won the promotion playoff.

I started with a salary of 46,000 pounds an a one-year contract. IRL I snooped around on a real estate website and found a studio apartment I could afford in Edgware, the neighborhood where Barnet is located. I could walk to the stadium, so I wouldn't need to buy the car I could not afford. (Do other people do this? Do you imagine the life of your in-game persona?) Before the season was over, the board offered me a contract renewal for 49,000 pounds, but I walked away from negotiations. I was going to see what they offered once I secured promotion.  When that happened, they came back to me and offered a one-year contract for 76,000 pounds. I figure I can afford a one-bedroom apartment now. But I still plan on walking to the stadium. 

Off season: I re-signed the players I wanted, thanks to a doubled salary budget for Barnet's return to League Two. My transfer budget remained 10,000 pounds, though. I released a bunch of older players and always-injured players. I transfer-listed others, but I have had no takers. My youth intake signed one potential star, a striker. And I signed a youth player released by West Brom (they should make our relationship official) who has the potential to be a four-star player. I have tried to improve my staff. My assistant coach is not very useful. My scout is not very skilled. But I cannot find anyone willing to work for my lowly team. Perhaps after I have increased Barnet's reputation.

In 18 seasons of a Ross County (Scotland) save, I managed to win promotion and eventually take the team to the European Champions League finals a few times (winning once). I started with a stadium seating about 6,000 and eventually had a new stadium that seats 46,000. I started with a salary budget of about 1 million pounds and grew that to 62 million pounds. I am curious to see how far up Barnet can climb the football ladder in England. The stadium seats about 6,000 now. Can I make the team profitable enough and popular enough to get a new stadium in suburban London?

 

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Sounds great. I have a save with Barnet on FMT on my switch, got promoted in the first season as well, but then it got hard and I am stuck in league 2 now for 3 seasons... can´t really progress much, as money´s too tight to mention and players keep getting unsettled. Got one academy product though who seems promising.

Let´s see what you can achieve with them :) I will be following.

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Thanks, Carambau! Did you have a big roster change from season 2 to 3? The fullbacks that you and I started with are good for the National League, but not League Two. I know that I will need new fullbacks on both sides if I get promoted. (I am about 10 games into my first League Two season and I am in third place.) We also inherited no depth for attacking midfielders.

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Interesting save scott92507.

As for Fullbacks: How about retraining a correct side midfielder backup? 

I do it in almost all my saves since the regens are never have the crossing ability or pace I like for the position. It might take awhile but Double role training and positioning training and the occasional game experience can work wonders.

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Good suggestion, Hootieleece. I had not thought about making a fullback for myself.

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14 hours ago, scott92507 said:

Thanks, Carambau! Did you have a big roster change from season 2 to 3? The fullbacks that you and I started with are good for the National League, but not League Two. I know that I will need new fullbacks on both sides if I get promoted. (I am about 10 games into my first League Two season and I am in third place.) We also inherited no depth for attacking midfielders.

Managed to keep most of the main players. The left back Elliot Johnson is very capable I think, but he was injured very often so I had to bring in a backup for him. On the right its Cheye Alexander still, mostly did his job. 

Of course you always can do better but i found it hard to get an improvement on both sides after promotion if you only have so much money...

I´m excited to see how you will tackle this :)

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In the off season, I sold Johnson for 50,000 pounds. I have Jack Williams on a free transfer from QPR, and then Loic Hernandez as a backup. I signed Gold Omotayo (free transfer from Bury) as a striker partner/backup for Shaquile Coulthirst. He has worked very well so far. He and Shaq are the leading scorers for the league.

I am about a quarter way through my first season in League Two. Everything is going well so far, but the season is really long and I am waiting for the injury parade start. My roster is not very deep, and I expect to start having trouble soon.

 

 

FM 19 Barnet Table October 2020.jpg

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I made an offer to the Halifax assistant coach. He is rated 3 stars vs my current AC at 2. Too many times the game time advice from my current AC is absent.... Also, made an error earlier.  I have Tutonda as my first LB, then Williams and Hernandez.

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Assistant Coaches only really need JPA and JPP and high training attributes for me. I use them for Assman reports and setting up training...which I then add my own touches to. I almost never pay attention to their tactical advice.

 

Your Current Assman has a better personality...

also do you need a goalkeeping coach?

Hughes does have better stats.

Does Hughes prefer your tactical formation....otherwise his advice will usually be bad.

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Posted (edited)

I'm a Barnet fan in real life so I know a fair bit about them. Surprised that you let EJ go. 

The Facilities at the Hive are excellent so you should get some decent quality through the Youth Intake. 

There are a number of players with on-going injury issues, (although EJ historically isn't one of them). 

Shaq should probably be playing at a higher level but has had some family issues that means he was more inclined to stay local rather than chase the money further afield. 

Brothers Jack & Harry Taylor are excellent, but if I remember correctly I think Harry was under-cooked in FM19 and Jack will also be much higher rated in FM20. 

Cousins an adequate if unspectacular GK.

Santos is an absolute beast but does have issues with injury. 

Little depth at right back. 

Amaluzor has since left but is decent. 

Mauro is a legend. 

Good luck. :thup:

Edited by Jimbokav1971

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Hootie: My current assistant coach makes no tactical suggestions before the game starts. He offers a little at half time. His JPA and JPP seem really low, although they have gone up a point since the season began. I am stuck with him for now, as Hughes decided to stay with Halifax Town.

Jim: Cool that you are a Barnet fan IRL. The Hive looks like a nice place to watch a game. Jack Taylor plays very well for me. His brother is stuck on the reserve squad. Injuries? This roster is riddled with injury-prone players! Santos looks good "on paper," but he has played horribly for me. And now he is complaining about not starting. I don't put up with that for long; I send whiners out on loan or sell them. Cousins has been replaced as my starting GK with Alex Palmer. I have been giving Rihard Matrevics some time as the backup GK.

The injury parade that I mentioned has started. Perhaps that is a good thing. Perhaps I can drop in the standings. I fear that if I get promoted this season, I will get eaten alive in League One and immediately relegated. My goal was to avoid relegation. Then in the second season of League Two finish in the top half. Then in the third season make the playoffs. (I have been smashed by the League One teams I have played in cup competitions.)

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Almost forgot. I managed Barnet for a short while with the FM19 Beta and managed to get Cousins to score a hat-trick. :cool:

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Hired a new GM.

I will need help restocking the team in the off-season. I have pissed off a bunch of players by not playing them enough, and they need replacing because they are not very good. Especially if we get promoted.

 

 

 

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Edited by scott92507

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GK Cousins wants to renew his contract for next year, but only if he is a player/scout.  (In FM 19 Touch, there is just staff member for scouting, Chief Scout.)

Why would I hire someone as chief scout when I cannot see any of their scouting attributes?  Barnet seems to be headed to League One, and that makes hiring a rookie scout even less likely.

Does anyone have experience hiring former players as scouts?

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On 01/09/2019 at 23:09, scott92507 said:

Hired a new GM.

I will need help restocking the team in the off-season. I have pissed off a bunch of players by not playing them enough, and they need replacing because they are not very good. Especially if we get promoted.

 

 

 

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What is a General Manager? 

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5 minutes ago, scott92507 said:

Does anyone have experience hiring former players as scouts?

I try to bring former youth products back to the club as staff even if they are not very good. 

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I play FM Touch. It simplifies many of the options available for FM. It has fewer staff positions. I imagine a General Manager is like a Director of Football Operations?

 

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The next season is going to be tough. We do not belong on League One yet. Our roster is not competitive for that level. I predict a struggle to avoid relegation.

The board has raised my salary budget by 1 million pounds, to more than 3 million. But it initially is giving me 35,000 pounds for transfers. Blerg. I am requesting that be raised to 350,000 pounds.

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First, congrats on promotion! :)

Secondly ... the curse of too early promotion... but you can still survive I am sure as I guess League One isn´t as hard as the Championship in terms of quality difference.

Good luck for the next season :thup:

 

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Thanks! In the preseason odds for winning the league, Barnet is last at 750-1. I would put a fiver on that just for grins.

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Congrats on Promotion! 

I agree with @Carambau about the two early promotion.

 

But just play defensive and try to win Set Pieces. In other words play like Burnley.

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The first transfer window is about to close, we lost our opener against Wimbledon AFC (another promoted team) 1-0, and I have bought, borrowed, or sold 12 players. My starting roster has an average value of 89K pounds. Meanwhile, a team such as Shrewsbury Town has a first 11 worth 184K pounds each. I have a couple more deals to make. I may get my starter average above 90K. Maybe.

My board’s expectation is to “bravely fight against relegation.” I don’t like the sound of that.

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For reference, Barnet started the previous season with starters worth an average of 62.5K. I thought I had made a bigger difference with my transfer activity.

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I finished the transfer window with help from Aston Villa. I borrowed a center back valued at 175K and a right winger valued at 300K. I lost to Shrewsbury 2-1 on the day the transfer window closed. With the help of my Aston Villa Duo, we smashed Coventry City 5-0 away. We then hosted recently relegated Milwall, who were in the top 5. Expecting to lose, I played backups and players needing to improve their match sharpness in a defensive 5-2-3 — and won 2-1 in front our first sell out crowd of the season. I expected to lose the next home game against Southend, but I put a stronger team on the pitch, in my more usual 4-2-3-1 (which my scout said they were vulnerable to) — and tied. From last place to 9th. If only it could last.

I have one headache player, Fonguck. He wants to play for a bigger club. I transfer listed him to see if anyone from a higher league were interested. I got one bid from Accrington; since they are in League One, I turned them down. If he does not give up on his dream of playing for a bigger club by January I will sell him off. By then the midfielders I brought in will have improved and he won’t be essential.

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Edited by scott92507

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Also, I learned something today. I saw that GK Mark Cousins' profile had a tab for "Staff Attributes." His contract renewal request had been for him to be a player/scout, but I turned him down on that because I could not his qualifications. It turns out his JPP and JPA are higher than my current scout's, so I may go with him. His Presenting Data and Analyzing Data are lower, but I do know how much they impact a scout's performance in FM Touch. I assume that is something a guy can learn.

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Had exactly the same issues with Fonguck. He thought he was way bigger than the rest of the team and wanted to move. I at least could convince him to sign another 1 year contract by promising him promotion (which never happened).

Then he left. On a free.

Oh and Coulthirst is soo good! Keep hold of him as long as you can!

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We win some and we lose some. Got knocked out of the second round of the Carabao Cup, but I didn’t expect to win and played backups and guys needing some workouts. The board was happy we made it past the first round. The board doesn’t seem to care how we perform in the Checkatrade Trophy competition, but I do because we get 10K for each win. Turned a slight profit last year, and profitable so far this year.

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Edited by scott92507

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I received a mid-season raise last year to 90K/year. So I moved out of the studio apartment and leased a one-bedroom flat, but still within walking distance of Canons Park and The Hive.

We won a game that put us, however briefly, into a playoff spot!

 

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But we came back down to Earth by getting drummed by Fleetwood. It was a very frustrating game. It seemed that I could not get the ball beyond midfield. I switched up formations a couple of times, pushed players forward, etc. Nothing made a difference. Afterward I simmed the match a bunch of times looking for a formation and tactic that could beat them. Managed to win just once. We are back in the middle of the table.

 

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Edited by scott92507

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  •  

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I received a mid-season raise last year to 90K/year. So I moved out of the studio apartment and leased a one-bedroom flat, but still within walking distance of Canons Park and The Hive.

 

Glad to see you moving up in the world!

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The staff and I recently have spent a lot of time at this pub, which is not far from The Hive. Crying into our beers, cursing our good luck at getting promoted, and trying to figure out how to win games again.

We had a string of games against the top of the table, and the difference in class was evident. For instance, the first team for Barnet averages about 100K in value (after those late additions from Aston Villa), but the first team for Fleetwood, for example, starts at 200K in value and goes up from there. And at least one team among the leaders has players worth 1M. So we spent 3 weeks looking helpless. Or hapless as the headline writer put it. Thanks, Florence. That news article was real inspiring.

 

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Charlton leads the league, and somehow we managed a tie against them. Portsmouth sat just below us on the table, so that was a hard-fought match too.

We spent the past two seasons outshooting our opponents 2-1, but these past few games were frustrating because we were getting outshot so badly. Losing to the top teams should not be surprising, but it does turn the little mood arrows on the players from north to south and from green to yellow. My plan coming in to the season was to field my best 11 against teams below us on the table and to use games against those above us for rotation, conditioning, and development. To avoid relegation, we just need to consistently beat those below us. Even if we could make the playoffs, I don’t want to. My tab at The Three Wishes is big enough already.

We turned things around against the Bournemouth Reserves in the Checkatrade Trophy group stage and earned another 10K in prize money.

 

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But then the first half against relegation-zone Walsall looked like the bad stuff all over again, despite fielding my best players. We were down 1-0 at the half, and we were getting very few shots — other than Coulthirst hitting the post in a breakaway one-on-one. So I moved our wingers into the box as strikers, switching our 4-2-3-1 to a 4-2-1-3, and they then scored a goal each. Three Wishes indeed!

 

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Finally, look who decided that Liverpool was not knocking on his door and that he wanted to stay at Barnet.

 

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Edited by scott92507

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In league play, we beat Blackpool, lost to Scunthorpe, and tied Luton. Despite my previously stated strategy of playing for the win against teams below us and using games against teams above us for conditioning and development — my best players lost to bottom-dwellers Scunthorpe and my backups (and a rookie) tied playoff-zone Luton.

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I have not done a good job with this team of developing players from my academy. I have a winger that saw some action last season. I promoted a striker to the senior squad last season, but he is just an occasional backup. I gave academy member Ward a spot with the first team against Luton. Perhaps by next season he will be on the senior squad. In the meantime, I have started scouting the reserve players of other teams, looking for some raw players with good potential to purchase for my reserves. I am especially looking for players with a lot of leadership potential. We are short of that on the senior squad.

We beat Bury in the FA Cup first round — more prize money! — and drew Port Vale from League Two in the next round. More prize money?

Then Coulthirst scored three times against Plymouth for the final group stage match of the Checkatrade Trophy competition — more prize money!

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Nearly half way through the season, Barnet sits in 12th place, 8 wins, 4 draws, 8 losses. Pretty good, I think. Good enough to get a job offer from Accrington Stanley, who are in the relegation zone.

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I said “no, thanks.” After my promotion raise, I make 108K.

The struggling teams in the game seem to churn through managers, hiring and firing frequently. Is that true IRL?

Edited by scott92507

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Good to hear that about Fonguck :)

And it looks like youre in for a nice cup run this season.

Regarding the league - be patient, it will work out i am sure. Throw in the odd youngster here and there and it will beneficial.

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For what it's worth: I will not buy FM 20 when it first comes out -- I will wait to see if they have fixed the crossing glitch in the match engine. You know, the habit players have of waiting until they are marked before attempting to cross the ball, and then banging the ball off the shins of the defender for a corner kick. Again and again and again. (I also think something is messed up with the throw-in aspect of the ME. Each throw-in seems to go the same way -- the ball is thrown either to a well-marked player or directly to an opponent; then the ball is headed back (by the teammate or the opponent) to the player who threw the ball. Again and again and again.)

I wonder if we will be able to transfer save files from FM19 to FM20? If buying FM20 means abandoning the long-term saves we have going, people would be reluctant to buy.

And by the way, has anyone ever seen a chip shot in FM? I have never seen a player dink the ball over the goalkeeper.

 

Edited by scott92507

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The holidays in Edgware.

I believe we are just beyond the halfway point of the season, and Barnet has maintained its place at mid-table.

 

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We had a good run at the end, winning more than we lost. Though I am concerned at our inconsistency on offense and defense. The production from our strikers has dropped way off. 

 

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The board offered a two-year contract at the same salary, 108K, and I accepted. We might be ready for promotion in that third year, and I can make a stronger case for a raise then.

No big acquisitions planned as the transfer window opens. We picked up a hot prospect attacking midfielder from Solihull Moors (National League) that will take a season or two to develop, and a hot prospect left winger from Leyton Orient (League Two) that may be ready for the first team next year. My concern with him is the general manager negotiated his contract and promised him to be in rotation, but he is not ready for that. How mad is he going to get this season? Can I send him out on loan immediately?

Edited by scott92507

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As long as the GM didn't offer him first team or Key Player you should be okay as long as you get him First Team minutes with a loan. (preferably First Team or Key Player in a lower league)

Just don't stick him in your Reserves and forget him. Unless you have a high leadership Captain...

 

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Thanks for the tip, Hootie. I listed him for loan immediately, and he did not complain. I will be sure to watch the terms of the loan, if we get any offers.

And...

Gadzooks! We beat Sheffield United in the FA Cup competition!

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We did this with a squad of backups and a couple of youngsters. Granted, Sheffield didn’t field their best 11 either. They had some key injuries and kept a couple of their best players on the bench. We saved all of our offense for the final 10 minutes. And Mr. Darcy, on loan not from a Jane Austen novel but from Bolton, was a dervish, scoring twice in six minutes. 

Barnet received 67K in prize money!

We drew West Ham United in the next round. We play them at home, so even though we will almost certainly lose, the fans will get to see a Premier club and we will have a sellout.

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Edited by scott92507

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Good Cup runs are critical to improving Lower League Clubs' finances. Remember 67K is only worth a little over 1K/week in wages.

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Do you still have Mauro Vilhete? I was at the Hive when they beat Gateshead in 2015 to get promoted from the conference. He scored both goals. My friends and I then went to the Nandos in Edgware, where Vilhete and family also ate at. The guy's a hero!

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Dothestrand -- He is on my team, but he is usually my third option for right wing. He is versatile, since he can play as a defensive wingback as well as an attacking winger. I have watched some Barnet highlights from this season, and I have not seen him. Simeon Akinola seems to be scoring many of their goals, but in my game he left when we got promoted to League One. He went back home to play in Nigeria.

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On 08/09/2019 at 16:29, scott92507 said:

Finally, look who decided that Liverpool was not knocking on his door and that he wanted to stay at Barnet.

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FM mirroring real life. Wes left the club during the close season when his agent decided to play hardball during contract negotiations. He was going to move to either Scotland or Scandinavia on a free to avoid an English club paying compensation, with the idea that he would then move back to England on a free again shortly after. Things did not work out as his agent hoped and he has now re-signed for Barnet and will hopefully be in the squad at the weekend. Good player and home produced by the Academy. 

Speaking of the Academy, I know you are playing FMT, but have you had anyone decent through the Youth Intakes? 

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On 10/09/2019 at 19:37, scott92507 said:

For what it's worth: I will not buy FM 20 when it first comes out -- I will wait to see if they have fixed the crossing glitch in the match engine. You know, the habit players have of waiting until they are marked before attempting to cross the ball, and then banging the ball off the shins of the defender for a corner kick. Again and again and again. (I also think something is messed up with the throw-in aspect of the ME. Each throw-in seems to go the same way -- the ball is thrown either to a well-marked player or directly to an opponent; then the ball is headed back (by the teammate or the opponent) to the player who threw the ball. Again and again and again.)

I wonder if we will be able to transfer save files from FM19 to FM20? If buying FM20 means abandoning the long-term saves we have going, people would be reluctant to buy.

And by the way, has anyone ever seen a chip shot in FM? I have never seen a player dink the ball over the goalkeeper.

I score LOADS of goals from throw-ins. 

Yes I have seen a chip. Have you got any players with the PPM "likes to lob keeper"?

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Jimbo— I almost posted the online report of Fonguck re-signing with Barnet when I posted that message about my save.

Academy players. I have one potential 4-star winger that has been drawing a lot of attention from teams in higher leagues. So I locked him down to a three-year contract recently. I have a decent center back that I have been slipping into games to develop him. I have a potential 4-star striker in the academy. He will start getting first-team minutes next season. What I need is a new goal keeper. My first-team and backup GKs have really low determination ratings, and I prefer to have GKs with 12 or higher for that stat. I don’t know that this actually makes a difference in the match engine, but I feel like it does. My GKs will stop trying when things get jammy in the box. I want someone who will keep fighting.

Edited by scott92507

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397717D3-30E5-4AA6-9723-4664F24BE9D9.jpeg

Sunderland came knocking with a big fat contract offer.

I delayed them a week and then requested a new contract from Barnet. In the real world, a young manager would probably have taken the offer, but I want to see how far I can go with Barnet.

Besides, do I really want to manage a club with all the “Sunderland Til I Die” camera crews under foot?

I turned them down and then the Barnet directors offered me a new contract with a modest raise. I am happy with that.

D3EBD518-3BBE-4127-893F-1F1C52B93369.jpeg

Edited by scott92507

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Monty Python must be a "Barnet fan till he dies" type to turn a $300K+ raise even if it was Sunderland.

One Team saves are fun if you see progress up the ranks and you are doing it at Barnet.

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Hootie -- Or Monty is not very bright. I will be posting later about the epic meltdown the team had at the end of the season -- nearly falling into the relegation zone after becoming unable to score or defend. Perhaps he will be regret his decision. (He even turned down a later offer from Barnsley.)

I don't know that Barnet can stay in League One. I don't know that a team with a 6,000-seat stadium (that rarely fills) can provide the budget required to stay in League One or attempt promotion into the Championship. The directors again are giving me less than 40K for the transfer budget; I cannot buy League One talent with that. I supplement that by taking money from my player salary budget. I signed three young cast-offs from Premier League teams on free transfers, trying to get some talent on a tight budget. We shall see if I can grow them into first-team players before we get relegated at the end of my fourth season in Barnet.

Edited by scott92507

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Speaking about Academy products... I had a 4,5 star potential shadow striker called Curtis Sutton come through after the 1st season. Gave him a 4 year contract and blocked all the attempts of championship sides trying to lure him away for small money. He had a great first season with us, easily our best player. Then Kleanthous decided "to take the matter into his own hands because the offer is too good to refuse" when Wolves showed up. He was sold for 100K which was mostly appearance fees (after 50 games etc.). So much for that...

Dont let your head drop! Surely there are some young prospects and old warhorses who can strengthen the squad somewhere. Maybe check the U teams of Scotland, Ireland etc. as well

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Carambau -- I haven't had that experience of being overruled by the president, but I have heard of it happening to people. I do check the Scottish leagues (since I know them better from following Ross County IRL and playing the Staggies in FM); I haven't found anyone yet that I can poach. Scottish Premier teams can pay more than I can afford... My GM kept trying to sign a striker during the off-season, even though we don't need another striker and even though this guy was too old. I canceled the deal. Then he tried to sign the striker again. I canceled. He signed again. I canceled. I think it happened four times. Perhaps the old striker was blackmailing my GM? A lot of the original Barnet roster will be gone by the start of season 4. As their contracts have expired, I am repeatedly told to not offer a contract because "he just isn't good enough." A couple of times I have signed them anyway, but others will be let go to sign with League Two or National League teams. Dothestrand will be saddened to learn that Mauro Vilhete may be leaving us.

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