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[FM20] I LOVE THIS GAME! | The Diary of Patrice Evra

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6 December 2019 

The Start

Dear Diary,

 “Patrice, two people are going to be great managers in this team,” Sir Alex Ferguson is reported as saying once. “You and Ryan Giggs. You understand football, you know how to talk to people, you've got the leadership. Forget tactics and everything; you know how to pass on your passion. You can easily pass on your inspiration, your leadership. Trust me - do your badges.”

The boss was right.

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Since retirement, I have been working on my badges while waiting for the right opportunity to come along. Today could be the start of something. I applied for two managerial positions a couple of days ago and they both came back with invitations for job interviews. 

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Birmingham sacked Pep Clotet after a disastrous start to the season. The Blues now sit rock bottom of the Championship.  

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Blackburn is manager-less too after Tony Mowbray opted to take the Middlesbrough job after they sacked Jonathan Woodgate. The Rovers are now 17th in the table.

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Which job will you take?

Quote

 Game Status

Current Version: 20.0.2-1305244 (m.e v2000)

Database Size: Large

Selected Nations (Leagues)

England (Sky Bet Championship And Above)

Germany (Bundesliga Only)

Italy (Serie A Only)

Spain (First Division Only)

 

Edited by DavidBeckham

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9 December 2019 

The Decision

Dear Diary,

The decision has been made..

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..St Andrew's will be my new home! Despite them being in the worst possible position in the league, the Club Vision swayed the decision their way.

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The board placed huge emphasis on developing young players and playing entertaining/attacking football. That's exactly why I love this game!  

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To be very frank, we don't have the best-looking squad in the Championship. Our number one is ageing and declining in ability. Our back four is capable but we don't have capable back-ups. We have the Garner brothers in central midfield but one is 33 and the other is one of the slowest players at the club. There are only three wide attacking players but two of them are above 30 and the youngest is the slowest of them three. We only have one decent striker in Jutkiewicz but he's a Target Man and I prefer to play with someone quick up top. 

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The only positive is that we have a fantastic prospect in Jude Bellingham. The 16-year-old will get lots of game time this campaign and I want to progress all way to the top with this kid. 

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The new tenure begins!

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12 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Good luck! Bellingham looks amazing 

Villalba as well is a good talent 

Bellingham is perfect for the system we want to play! Villalba is not natural in the MC position and we are not planning to play with an AMC! Hope the retraining works :D

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29 December 2019 

The First Month

Dear Diary,

We have had so much to do in our first month.

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Today, we finally climbed out of the relegation places after beating a strong Leeds United side at home. It was an even game but we managed to nick it on 84 mins when Leeds pushed forward in search of the winner. Kerim was the hero \o/

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The boys have been doing well since I came into the club and we started like a house on fire in our first game against QPR with a superb 5-0 victory. We kept up our good form and hung on to a narrow 1-0 win against West Brom via another Maikel screamer. Two disappointing away results followed as we lost to Hull and drew at Blackburn. Today, we got back to winning ways against United.

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This man has been absolutely brilliant for us. He plays in the Box To Box Midfielder role for me and has somehow managed to bag 5 goals and 2 assists in 5 starts. I call him 'Scholsey' as his name is impossible to pronounce. 

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I have also been busy putting together a new set of staff and I was delighted to see this man join us despite my Man United links..

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.. and I wouldn't be too surprised if Man United fans start to turn against me.

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As an avid BCFC fan, I can confirm Bellingham is a top, top talent, getting regular football this season and has already bagged a couple of goals IRL. Are you playing him up top or in midfield alongside Kieftenbeld? 

Btw, Maikel's pronunciation is 'Keef-ten-beld', no need to call him Scholsey any more ;) 

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16 hours ago, danmcconnell1 said:

As an avid BCFC fan, I can confirm Bellingham is a top, top talent, getting regular football this season and has already bagged a couple of goals IRL. Are you playing him up top or in midfield alongside Kieftenbeld? 

Btw, Maikel's pronunciation is 'Keef-ten-beld', no need to call him Scholsey any more ;) 

Great to have an avid fan here! I can get all the advice I need :D

Bellingham has gone straight into the starting 11 for me, playing in the Mezzala/Roaming Playmaker roles alongside Kieftenbeld. With Sunjic behind them, we have a really strong-looking midfield three. 

And cheers for the pronunciation mate! I have a feeling calling him 'Scholesy' has inspired him to score all those goals ;) 

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12 January 2020 

The Youngest

Dear Diary,

So proud of the boy :**)

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And we've been making good use of our senior affiliate..

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..back to working on transfers & loan deals!

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On 10/11/2019 at 07:23, Rikulec said:

Good start, I'll be following. Best of luck!

5 hours ago, kidthekid said:

Looking forward to this, especially the development of Bellingham.

Cheers lads! Bellingham is in our starting 11 week in week out and is developing along nicely :D

 

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2 February 2020 

Busy January

Dear Diary,

January has been crazy.

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It has been satisfying though. The boys continued to improve their level of performances in the league, winning 5 out of our last 5 and progressing up the table. Things weren't perfect though. I took all the blame for our FA Cup exit as I opted to start all eleven players who have been struggling for game time. I had to do it though, or we would've played the same 11 for 4 matches in 10 days. 

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We managed to cut our league position by half after two months and the lads are now sitting in 12th place after 8 wins and one draw in 10 games. We will keep going!

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We have also been incredibly busy in the transfer window, bringing in a grand total of 11 players to add some much needed depth in our squad.

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I also chose to let go of a few in an attempt to trim the squad. Medina, McEachran, Gary Gardner, Gimenez and Maghoma were sent out on loan as no clubs were interested to sign them permanently. 

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Our senior affiliate has been fantastic for us in the window. We needed to add another dimension to our attack and Rhian is an absolute bargain with no money paid for his services. He will add some much needed pace to our attacking transitions and hopefully boost our goals total in the remaining games of this campaign.

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Good stuff come in pairs as Liverpool agreed to send Jones over on loan to continue his development. I started the ageing Maghoma in every game since I took over but he has had no goals and assists. We needed someone to replace him down our left flank and Jones was the ideal candidate. He bagged two goals on his first start!

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Roberts and Dean look great but they are not getting any younger and we needed to freshen up our central defense. Chumi was performing capably in Barca's B team and we jumped at the chance to sign the Spaniard when he became available on the market. We are all hopeful that he can develop into a capable center-back for us in one or two years' time \o/

The incredibly busy month ended with a meeting with the board..

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..and it went decent.

Edited by DavidBeckham

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Got rid of a lot of the deadwood in our squad so well done for that! Exciting to see so many youngsters in and around the squad. From what I can make out from the outgoings, you've got rid of 4 keepers there, who's in goal for you now? Stockdale or Real Madrid loanee Ramos?

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11 hours ago, danmcconnell1 said:

Got rid of a lot of the deadwood in our squad so well done for that! Exciting to see so many youngsters in and around the squad. From what I can make out from the outgoings, you've got rid of 4 keepers there, who's in goal for you now? Stockdale or Real Madrid loanee Ramos?

Cheers mate! Apart from Bellingham, Lakin looks like a decent Box To Box Midfielder prospect too!

Stockdale has started every league game for me so far. But he's not getting any younger and the goalkeeping position will be one of our top priorities to strengthen in the summer. Ramos isn't good enough in the air for me but we couldn't terminate his loan in January!   

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Haven't properly looked at Blues yet on the Beta so appreciate the feedback regarding Lakin, he got a few games towards the beginning of last season when there were injuries around but hasn't really played since.

I agree that position needs looking at urgently, in real life too haha!

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2 hours ago, danmcconnell1 said:

Haven't properly looked at Blues yet on the Beta so appreciate the feedback regarding Lakin, he got a few games towards the beginning of last season when there were injuries around but hasn't really played since.

I agree that position needs looking at urgently, in real life too haha!

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This is how he looks like at the end of season 1. I'm considering using him as back-up to Kieftenbeld in the upcoming season :D

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We are quite sure that we won't be renewing Stockdale's contract so yes, it's likely that we will have a new number one in season 2!

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10 June 2020 

End of Season 19/20

Dear Diary,

We are done with season one. 

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We did well to finish 9th after a disastrous first half of the season. I took over while the club was in 24th place and the boys responded well to climb into the top half after an upturn in form. The young players will get another season of regular football and that will certainly help to build a foundation for us to go for those promotion places. 

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A good example is my beloved 16-year-old academy graduate. Bellingham has started most of our games since I came in and he has progressed along steadily through the second half of our campaign. We are all hopeful that he will be of Premier League quality when we reach the promised land eventually. *fingers crossed*

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The best-performing player by a distance is Schols.. Kieftenbeld! He scored 10 and created a couple in the Box To Box Midfielder role and it's a pity that he's turning 30 this year. The Dutch maestro is both a good goalscorer and a scorer of great goals. Here's my favorite..

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    Bring on the new season!

Edited by DavidBeckham

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Kief doesn't score too many IRL but when he does it's usually a screamer. If you're interested, take a look at his volley away to Derby a few years back, absolute peach of a goal. Back on topic, great progress following the plight you walked into, no reason why you can't push for the play offs next season. Keep up the good work and keep right on! :) 

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20 hours ago, danmcconnell1 said:

Kief doesn't score too many IRL but when he does it's usually a screamer. If you're interested, take a look at his volley away to Derby a few years back, absolute peach of a goal. Back on topic, great progress following the plight you walked into, no reason why you can't push for the play offs next season. Keep up the good work and keep right on! :) 

Does he shoot often IRL? He should do if he doesn't because he's such a clean striker of the ball on the game. Just seen the goal, it's perfect!

Cheers mate! The summer has been tough with a couple of players wanting to leave but we will keep going \o/

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1 hour ago, DavidBeckham said:

Does he shoot often IRL? He should do if he doesn't because he's such a clean striker of the ball on the game. Just seen the goal, it's perfect!

Cheers mate! The summer has been tough with a couple of players wanting to leave but we will keep going \o/

Not as often as he should I agree, but it's all down to being in the right position etc and how the ball falls. Either way though, that goal was a stunner.

Looking forward to the next update!

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8 August 2020 

The 1st Summer

Dear Diary,

Summer has been a struggle..

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A number of players moaned for moves to bigger clubs and we had no choice but to move them on. Villalba & Mrabti both handed in transfer requests after I rejected bids from Premier League clubs and I couldn't keep them as they weren't committed to the cause. We trimmed the squad further and managed to add funds to our negligible transfer budget. 

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However, we hardly spent the cash which we brought in from the departures. I was adamant to only sign players who have potential Premier League quality. Furthermore, the players who were available on loan were of much higher quality than those who were available as permanent signings. As a result, we made full use of the loan market to bring in 8 players to plug the holes in our squad. 

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Stockdale was simply not good enough and we chose not to renew his contract in the summer. We found Marco, who was available on a free and we snapped him up immediately. The Italian shot-stopper has had full seasons in the Serie A with Fiorentina and Atalanta and he will bring some much needed experience to our defense in the upcoming campaign. 

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Our second permanent signing was a promising left-back from Barcelona's youth academy. Mika has well-rounded stats for an 18-year-old and we will look to tailor his development so that he can be ready for the Premier League when we reach there as a team.    

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We have also played two games at the start of this season and the kid has scored a stunner \o/

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7 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

How will you manage the loan limit in match-day squads lol?

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This is my typical match day squad :D The loan signings were mainly brought in as cover!

 

Edited by DavidBeckham

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1 October 2020 

Good Start

Dear Diary,

We have had two good months so far.

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I don't quite know how we managed to stay unbeaten thus far but we have to give credit to the boys for the incredible start. We also managed to progress into the 4th round of the Carabao Cup after overcoming the likes of MK Dons, Coventry and Notts County in the opening rounds. 

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The table looks amazing at this stage but there's still a long way to go and it's important that we don't get too carried away. We aren't the best goal scorers in the league but the team is looking decent defensively as we conceded 3 in 10 thus far. 

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We don't really have a standout performer in our opening two months of the campaign but if we really have to pick one, Kieftenbeld is my man. He has 3 goals in 10 so far and..

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..this is the best of the lot :D

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1 hour ago, DavidBeckham said:

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..this is the best of the lot :D

Always better when it goes in off the underside of the bar :eek:. Brilliant start! Hope the youngsters you've brought in can plug the gaps as it's a long season!

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18 hours ago, danmcconnell1 said:

Always better when it goes in off the underside of the bar :eek:. Brilliant start! Hope the youngsters you've brought in can plug the gaps as it's a long season!

Cheers mate! Our good start is indeed helped by our good injury record so far. Let's hope our key players can steer clear of injuries for the rest of the campaign :D

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19 December 2020 

The Halfway Mark

Dear Diary,

Unsurprisingly, we are no longer unbeaten..

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The media were toying with the idea that we can stay unbeaten after an excellent October. Things came crashing back down when we lost thrice in two months in our away games against Sheff Wed, West Ham and Bristol City. The fringe players were excellent in the Carabao Cup though, eliminating both Brentford and Bolton to reach the semi-finals where we will be facing a tough Spurs outfit.

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We fell off the summit after our two consecutive defeats in December but the boys did well to climb back up after a hard-fought 1-0 away win against Ipswich. I foresee Watford overtaking us soon as they have a stronger squad and are second favorites to win the Championship behind West Ham. Our main priority is still to keep a safe distance above the third-placed team. I want that Premier League cash. 

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Colin has been solid for us at right-back in the past two months and he has 2 goals and 5 assists so far this campaign. I don't think I mentioned this but he turned down a move to Premier League outfit Brighton after our board accepted a bid on my behalf. I love this guy <3

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And here is my favorite goal of his.. intentional or not :D

Edited by DavidBeckham

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6 February 2021 

Dropping my Left-back

Dear Diary,

I have made a long-overdue decision..

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..and I'm dropping my left-back. He has made so many mistakes leading to goals in consecutive matches.

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He has conceded so many penalties this campaign..

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.. and made clearances directly to the opposition which led to goals.

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His own goal against Norwich was the final nail in the coffin.

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Mika will be my man for the rest of the season.

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On a brighter note, here are some nice goals..

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..and Kieftenbeld bagged another goal of the month \o/

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15 more to go!

  

 

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12 month gap between you and third place. Hopefully this is enough to get you to the EPL.

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12 hours ago, kidthekid said:

12 month gap between you and third place. Hopefully this is enough to get you to the EPL.

Cheers mate! Barring injury crisis and major dip in form, we should be able to get there :D

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7 hours ago, SRL88 said:

Love the aspect of the series. Looking forward to reading more

Thanks mate! I wanted to try something new for this version and I'm glad that you are enjoying this too :) See you around!

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2 April 2021 

WE ARE GOING UP, SAY WE ARE GOING UP!

Dear Diary,

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We have done it!

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We secured promotion after sealing the runners-up spot with an away draw at West Brom \o/

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The board has been quick to set the budgets for our upcoming campaign in the top flight. I don't know what to feel about this though..

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3 hours ago, DavidBeckham said:

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The board has been quick to set the budgets for our upcoming campaign in the top flight. I don't know what to feel about this though..

I wouldn't grumble too much my friend, it's a lot more money than we're going to be spending any time soon IRL!

Congrats on the promotion though, looking forward to seeing the season round up :) 

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Congrats on the promotion.

 

Also, does Evra focus a lot on the left back position? You can't be a terrible left back playing for a great one.

Edited by kidthekid

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14 hours ago, SRL88 said:

Great work on promotion :thup:

Cheers mate! :D

10 hours ago, danmcconnell1 said:

I wouldn't grumble too much my friend, it's a lot more money than we're going to be spending any time soon IRL!

Congrats on the promotion though, looking forward to seeing the season round up :) 

Thanks for making me feel better mate! I was expecting more given the Premier League cash which are coming in ;)

We still have four games to go and season roundup will be up soon after :D

10 hours ago, kidthekid said:

Congrats on the promotion.

 

Also, does Evra focus a lot on the left back position? You can't be a terrible left back playing for a great one.

Cheers mate! I'm not focusing too much on Pedersen but he had cost us lots of points!

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Just look at our run of results before.. 

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..and after I dropped him :eek:

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Interesting regarding Pedersen, he's one of our best players IRL and I did a couple of saves with Blues on FM19 and he was vital, hope he can make his way back into your plans!

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Interesting run of results. At least you managed to find a way to get your system working.

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3 hours ago, danmcconnell1 said:

Interesting regarding Pedersen, he's one of our best players IRL and I did a couple of saves with Blues on FM19 and he was vital, hope he can make his way back into your plans!

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Pedersen was our weakest link while he was still 1st choice at left-back and I believe his poor agility had cost us a couple of penalties and goals!

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15 minutes ago, DavidBeckham said:

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Pedersen was our weakest link while he was still 1st choice at left-back and I believe his poor agility had cost us a couple of penalties and goals!

Fair enough mate, you clearly made the right decision for your save after the upturn in results so keep up the good work :)

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21 May 2021

End of Season 20/21

Dear Diary,

We were so close to winning the Championship but Watford came out top eventually, lifting the trophy on goal difference as we both finished on 101 points. We exchanged positions on numerous occasions but the Hornets took top spot at the right time.

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Despite losing out by such a narrow margin, the table doesn’t lie and Watford were more convincing throughout the campaign. They were winning a lot of matches by more than two goals while we were parking buses towards the end of matches where we were leading by a solitary goal. Nevertheless, we were never among the favourites and the lads did brilliantly to achieve automatic promotion \o/

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We had a good cup run too. With the help of decent cup draws, our fringe players managed to progress all the way to the Carabao Cup semi-finals where we were halted by a rampant Spurs side. In the FA Cup, Watford proved to be our nemesis again as we were knocked out by the Championship winners in the 4th round.

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The squad had performed admirably throughout the campaign and we certainly overachieved after finishing second with the 11th highest salary per annum in the Championship.

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Our new number one came in not knowing English and we waited for him to achieve a basic level of understanding before we played him in the league. The Italian came into the team in our 11th league game and managed to break the club’s clean sheet record. I was very happy with the free transfer.

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Sportiello had a decent defence in front of him and we ended the season with the second best defensive record, conceding 28 in 46. Colin, Mavropanos and Chumi were the regular starters and they performed capably, showing good levels of consistency by achieving 7s in most matches. Colin is the best offensive right wing-back in the league IMO, starting all of our league matches and bagging 3 goals + 11 assists.

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Mika was a 1.1 million pounds signing from Barcelona in the summer and he replaced Pedersen at left-back after his predecessor made mistakes directly leading to goals in consecutive matches. We stopped leaking goals instantaneously and results improved. The Spaniard is still only 18 and with considerable room for development, I will be starting him in most of our games in the top flight next season to hopefully mould him into a Premier League left-back.

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Sunjic, Kieftenbeld and Bellingham formed a solid midfield triangle and our success this campaign was largely due to their ability to control games. With Sunjic’s energy and bite, Kieftenbeld’s passing ability and long-range shooting, plus Bellingham’s pace and work rate, we had a perfect midfield trio in the Championship.

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However, Bellingham’s development this campaign has concerned me a litte. As the youth academy graduate is a regular starter in our team, we adjusted his training intensity to normal to avoid burn out. Despite playing in most of our games, his level of ability has not progressed as much as I expected him to. I adjusted his training to double intensity in mid-February and hopefully, we will see more progress in the upcoming Premier League campaign.

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De la Fuente has progressed well though. The American is one of our better performing attacking players and he has achieved double figures in both assists and goals. He started the season at right-wing and moved to the left when loan signing Jack Clarke forced his way into our starting 11. That did not limit his productivity and DLF (I like to call him that) will most certainly be starting for us in the top flight.

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I’m most concerned about the strikers’ situation at the club. I started Zirkzee at the start of the season in hope that he could develop into a Premier League striker when we reach there eventually. Disappointingly, the Dutch striker just wasn’t consistent enough as he managed a mere 2 goals in 21 appearances. I turned to Jutkiewicz as he is a solid striker at this level and we needed goals to move up the table. The Irish Target Man managed to bag 15 goals and propel us into the automatic promotion spot. However, he is already 32 and I don’t think he can get enough goals to keep us in the Premier League. We will have to find a solution in the summer.   

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...

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26 May 2021

Awards Night

Dear Diary,

Here's the Players' Team of the Year in the Championship.

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5 of our players are in the team while Watford has 4. We have finally beaten them at something this season ;)

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\o/

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Kieftenbeld is a beast!

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Goal of the Season!

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I prefer the third-placed goal personally. What about you?

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25 June 2021

Spanish Offer

Dear Diary,

Today, I received the 1st interview offer since I've been at St Andrew's..

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..and I rejected it of course. 

I want to go all the way with the Blues.

 

Edited by DavidBeckham

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Morning and Good Luck with our most charismatic Left Back ever.

Cheers,
Bitner 

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8 August 2020 

Busy Summer

Dear Diary,

What a busy summer we've had..

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We brought in 8 and let 7 go in a very busy summer. Here are 3 of our most important signings.

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I was pleased to see the Spaniard sign for us despite transfer interest from Chelsea and Spurs. The 20-year-old is very determined to succeed at this level and has impressive tackling and acceleration for his age. Juan will compete with Colin for the right wing-back spot and hopefully replace him when the 30-year-old declines. 

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We have to give our scouting team all the credit for finding a player of Brian's quality in the MLS. The tricky winger is quick and very agile and he will compete with loanee Jack Clarke for the right-wing spot. 

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Alena was brought in on loan from Barcelona and he is potentially our most important signing as he is going straight into our starting 11 with Kieftenbeld suspended. (That i**** got himself sent off in our last Championship game.) The Spaniard is very gifted technically and he will start the season with Sunjic and Bellingham in our midfield triangle. 

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Guess who scored our 1st premier league goal?

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We lost though :(

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15 hours ago, danmcconnell1 said:

Interesting business in the window, great to see Blues back in the big time! Good luck!

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Thanks mate! It has been a roller coaster ride in our 1st month back in the Premier League!

Edited by DavidBeckham

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