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[FM20] Derby County - Why manage the Rams? / How are you getting on?

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[FM20] Derby County - Why manage the Rams? / How are you getting on?

I thought I'd start a thread to provide reasons why you might consider managing Derby County for a save on FM20. 

As a headline, Derby County will make an interesting save for any FM manager interested in:

* A fun, challenging save
* Bringing the glory days back
* Youth challenge
* Managing a Super Star

Let's take each one in turn.

 

*** A fun, challenging save ***

Derby County play in the Championship (Tier 2) of English Football and the 2019/20 season will be the 12th outside the Premier League for the Rams. In recent seasons, Derby County have gone close to a return to the promised land, finishing in the play-off places four times in the last six seasons, ultimately losing in the Play-off Final twice during that time - last season 2018/19 and also in 2013/14.

Can you be the manager to lead Derby County back to the Premier League?

In real-life, as of Monday 18th November 2019, the Rams sit 16th in the Championship League Table, seven points off the play-offs and eight points above the relegation zone.

With Phillip Cocu taking over from Frank Lampard as manager late in the summer, Derby County are very much a football club in transition in 2019/20, and that has been seen in the results and with Cocu looking to continue the work Lampard started by lowering the average age of the playing squad.

Gone are three loan players who were key players in Derby's success last season - Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori, who have both not only established themselves in Chelsea's first-team, but in the England Senior squad as well; whilst Harry Wilson was already a full Wales international and he's now playing for AFC Bournemouth on loan from Liverpool.

Those three loanees, now established Premier League players, were always going to be incredibly difficult to replace in terms of quality and the replacement loan players the Rams have brought in this season are not of the same quality.

The squad you'll manage, if you choose a Derby County save, are very much of a muchness, lacking the star quality the Rams had last season (see the Managing a Super Star section) but with an impressive number of youth players coming through (see the Youth Challenge section).

 

*** Bringing the glory days back ***

Even as a life-long Rams fan, I'll admit Derby County aren't the biggest of sleeping giants out there, but I still think they fall into the category of bringing the glory days back.

One of the 12 founder members of the Football League in 1888, Derby County were twice crowned Football League Champions by winning the old First Division in 1971/72 (managed by Brian Clough) and 1975/76 (Dave Mackay). During the 1970s, the Rams competed in major European competitions in four separate seasons, reaching the European Cup semi-finals in 1972/73 (Brian Clough).

Derby County won the F.A. Cup in 1946 (Stuart McMillan).

Derby County rank 15th for most seasons playing in the English top-flight all-time and 16th in most points won in the English top-flight all-time.

Can you be the manager to bring the glory days back to Derby County?

 

*** Youth challenge ***

For those of you who love a Youth Challenge, Derby County have some very good young players breaking through. Derby County U23s are currently 2nd in the U23 Premier Division 1, one of only two Championship sides competing in the top-flight U23 league. The Rams U23s will compete in the Premier League International Cup this season.

At U18 level, Derby County were crowned National Champions last season (2018/19) after winning the U18 Division 1 North and then going on to defeat the U18 Division 1 South Champions Arsenal in the final, qualifying as England's domestic league representatives in the UEFA Youth League for this season.

In 2018/19, Jayden Bogle (18) broke into the first-team and established himself as the regular right-back. Also breaking through into the first-team squad and making their debuts recently are: Max Bird (18), Lee Buchanan (18), Jason Knight (18), Jayden Mitchell-Lawson (19), Louie Sibley (17) and Morgan Whittaker (18). Young goalkeeper, Henrich Ravas (21) also made the first-team bench last season.

At international level, Krystian Bielik (21) made his full debut for Poland this season. Youth internationals include Jayden Bogle (England), Lee Buchanan (England), Jaden Charles (Ireland), Festy Ebosole (Ireland), Harry Halwax (Ireland), Jason Knight (Ireland), Henrich Ravas (Slovakia), Louie Sibley (England), Morgan Whittaker (England).

If you like a Youth Challenge, or enjoy developing young players, then Derby County have a number of young players with potential for you to take under your wing.

 

*** Managing a Super Star ***

And, as if the above isn't enough to whet your appetite, in January 2020 Wayne Rooney, England's all-time record goal scorer, joins Derby County as player-coach.

--

If you decide to manage Derby County on FM20, I hope you have an enjoyble, fun save.

Let us know how you get on.

Good luck 🍀 !

P.S. @Tee2 is writing a fantastic Blog about his current FM20 Derby County save which you can find here:

http://greyhairedgamer.co.uk/wp/derby-chapters/ 

Edited by Stuniverse

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Hey 

I just started a save with a friend he plays with leeds.

I never played with derby before 

 

Want defender do you recommend? 

The best youth player in the team??

Edited by Fausto

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Hi @Fausto.

In terms of defenders from the youth players, I’d go for Jayden Bogle at RB who became a first-team regular last season and is the first-choice at RB this season.

At LB, Max Lowe had a full season on loan at Aberdeen last season, where he did very well (Aberdeen wanted to sign him in the summer) but has yet to establish himself as a regular starter for Derby. Lee Buchanan came up through the Academy as a CB but has played LB for the first-team this season.

At CB, apart from Buchanan, Max Hunt is probably the best youngster in the U23s. He’s out on loan at Aldershot in real-life (not included in game as a short-term loan between transfer windows) from 4th September to 31st December, where he’s getting rave reviews.

As for best young player at the club, Bogle aside, I’d say one of two midfielders Jason Knight or Louie Sibley, although Jahmal Hector-Ingram (released by West Ham) is scoring goals for fun in the U23s.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Thanks i was planning of making all does youth player in the first team.

Probably buy a top defender, a midfilder box to  box and a striker.

My tactics are 433 posession and a 442 as a back up.

the 3 right backs are injure for at least 2 month so i bought abate on a free transfer.

Ill come back in mid season to se how it goes i am still in preseason.

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I am playing a Derby save a have to say it has been the most frustrating but enjoyable save for a while first season was a real challenge but this second season with some inspired youth signings and loans we are 3rd and look really good. You need to rebuild the defence though and need more speed.

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@Stuniverse that's a great introduction to the club! 

I am actually managing the Rams. Started out unemployed and then was offered the job in end November. 

20191114015113_1f786c458ad5e9104.jpg

Dream team to be re-united soon ;) 

Club was struggling a bit when we took over, akin to real life I guess. 

20191114015127_1e48a22f0cbf319f0.jpg

The board was only asking us to stay clear of relegation, I committed to a mid-table place at least and managed to get some wiggle room in the wage & transfer budget. Which would come into good use very soon...

Edited by karanhsingh

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We actually went on an incredible run of form, due mainly to the form of Jack Marriott who was absolutely playing out of his skin since I took charge. He scored consecutive hat-tricks, the first I have ever had in any series of FM. And hit a total of 12 goals in our first 8 league games to take us up the league. 

20191117013219_1d7ad35542693164e.jpg

Also I wasn't actually planning on it, but we ended up making a couple of major moves in the Jan window. 

20191116235723_11e39669e3f954e85.jpg

My German scout found out that Nubel's contract was running out and he was somehow willing to sign with us. I jumped at the chance since we needed an upgrade in the keeping department anyway, and after he accepted we got presented the option to buy him immediately for 2.4 million. @Stuniverse correct me if I am wrong but didn't you also get him in your DOF save on FM19? 

Here is the other transfer activity, the other two major moves in were Tuanzebe on loan from Man Utd and Success on loan from Watford with an option to buy for 7 million as he was transfer listed at the time. 

20191120004329_11fad1dda5183d7ff.jpg

This significantly improved the team because Nubel was a major upgrade on Roos, Tuanzebe similarly on Keogh and Paterson wasn't performing at all so I started playing Success as an IF on the left flank and moved Lawrence over to the right.

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We didn't quite manage to continue winning every game, but we found ourselves entering the final stretch with a shot at automatic promotion. 

20191118013138_1c978b641fe1e7c99.jpg

20191118112835_193d28649b07c33a3.jpg

We proceeded to drop points at home against Brentford & Forest (the latter was particularly annoying as we absolutely battered them and hit the woodwork three times), but thankfully it didn't matter ultimately because Fulham shat the bed picking up a grand total of 5 points from their final 6 games :D

20191118122406_1b07ebb41ba3d488b.jpg

Rooney scored some absolutely crucial goals including the winner against Birmingham on the final day of the season. 

Here are the team stats:

20191120004350_1bee417daa622b3a2.jpg

Notable mentions -

Marriott finished league top scorer even as his form tailed off a bit towards the end.

Lawrence had the most assists in the league and was deadly from set pieces.

Rooney as I said scored some key goals for us.

Bogle & Lowe both the home-grown talents probably the best pair of wing backs in the league (although Lowe's progress got a bit affected by consecutive 2 month long lay-offs at the end of the season). 

And finally from the other youngsters Jason Knight was an inspiration, making the BBM spot in the team his own with some amazing displays. Finishes the season with 5 goals and 9 assists which is a superb return. 

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Finally will post our summer transfers to bring you up to date with where we are in-game

20191119131938_1b4687934936881d9.jpg

Only one missing above is Tuanzebe who's loan got extended. 

Matt Clarke rejoins after a good spell with us last year. Could have probably got him cheaper mind. 

Sessegnon should be a good option to provide competition to both the wing-backs.

We took up the option to sign Isaac Success after he impressed with 8 goals in the latter half of the season. Ebere Eze joins on loan with an option to buy at 10m from struggling QPR.

and finally the most exciting transfer in is one of the Championship's best players in Jarrod Bowen who will slot straight into the first team, the only downside here being that his agent insisted on a release clause of 21m in his deal. 

This leaves our team looking like this for our first crack at the Premier league -

GK - Nubel/ Roos
DR - Bogle/ Sessegnon
DL - Lowe/ Sessegnon/ Shinnie
DC - Tuanzebe/ Bielik
DC - Clark/ Keogh
MCd - Bielik/ Bird/ Huddlestone
MC - Knight/ Shinnie/ Rooney
AMC - Rooney/ Eze
AMR - Bowen/ Lawrence/ Waghorn
AML - Lawrence/ Success/ Eze
SC - Marriott/ Waghorn/ Success

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On 19/11/2019 at 18:11, Paggioram said:

I am playing a Derby save a have to say it has been the most frustrating but enjoyable save for a while first season was a real challenge but this second season with some inspired youth signings and loans we are 3rd and look really good. You need to rebuild the defence though and need more speed.

Glad you’re enjoying managing the Rams, @Paggioram, even if it has been a bit frustrating.

Out of interest, what tactics / system / formation are you using and who have you signed?

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2 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

@Stuniverse that's a great introduction to the club

Thank you, @karanhsingh, and many thanks for sharing about your Derby save in such detail. I’m not surprised Derby we’re 17th in November and sacked Phillip Cocu as that tallies with what happens (most of the time) when I let the AI loose with the Rams.

Since taking over though, you made a dramatic impact and really turned things around, with some amazing signings - Alexander Nubel played for me at Derby on FM19 and was a really good goalkeeper. Great pick-up and a definite upgrade on Kelle Roos.

2 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

The board was only asking us to stay clear of relegation, I committed to a mid-table place at least and managed to get some wiggle room in the wage & transfer budget. Which would come into good use very soon...

That looks like being a huge decision that worked out well. I’m often not that brave in FM, particularly if I’m enjoying my time at a club and want to minimise the chances of being sacked. I’m impressed.

1 hour ago, karanhsingh said:

Here is the other transfer activity, the other two major moves in were Tuanzebe on loan from Man Utd and Success on loan from Watford with an option to buy for 7 million as he was transfer listed at the time. 

Two more great signings. Out of interest, did Derby’s scouting team naturally pick these up or was it more down to you being proactive?

1 hour ago, karanhsingh said:

We didn't quite manage to continue winning every game, but we found ourselves entering the final stretch with a shot at automatic promotion. 

From 17th November to a shot at automatic promotion is a fantastic turnaround. Do you want the job in real-life lol ?

1 hour ago, karanhsingh said:

We proceeded to drop points at home against Brentford & Forest (the latter was particularly annoying as we absolutely battered them and hit the woodwork three times), but thankfully it didn't matter ultimately because Fulham shat the bed picking up a grand total of 5 points from their final 6 games :D

Amazing. Congratulations 🍾 on lifting the Championship Trophy on the last day.

That does sound like a frustrating game against Forest. Annoyingly my FM record as Derby against Forest isn’t as good as I would've liked. 

1 hour ago, karanhsingh said:

Notable mentions -

Marriott finished league top scorer even as his form tailed off a bit towards the end.

Lawrence had the most assists in the league and was deadly from set pieces.

Rooney as I said scored some key goals for us.

Bogle & Lowe both the home-grown talents probably the best pair of wing backs in the league (although Lowe's progress got a bit affected by consecutive 2 month long lay-offs at the end of the season). 

And finally from the other youngsters Jason Knight was an inspiration, making the BBM spot in the team his own with some amazing displays. Finishes the season with 5 goals and 9 assists which is a superb return. 

I’m liking the sound of all of that. Marriott can be a hot and cold striker but once you get him on a goal scoring run momentum tends to kick-in and he can be very hot. Good to see some of the young prospects developing well too.

1 hour ago, karanhsingh said:

This leaves our team looking like this for our first crack at the Premier league -

GK - Nubel/ Roos
DR - Bogle/ Sessegnon
DL - Lowe/ Sessegnon/ Shinnie
DC - Tuanzebe/ Bielik
DC - Clark/ Keogh
MCd - Bielik/ Bird/ Huddlestone
MC - Knight/ Shinnie/ Rooney
AMC - Rooney/ Eze
AMR - Bowen/ Lawrence/ Waghorn
AML - Lawrence/ Success/ Eze
SC - Marriott/ Waghorn/ Success

Wow! Looks like a really good Summer 2020 transfer window as well.

Good luck 🍀 in your first season in the PL.

Come on you 🐏s!

Edited by Stuniverse

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Dimitri Foulquier
I’ve noticed in my save since full release that the AI Phillip Cocu signs Watford’s 26 year-old Dimitri Foulquier D(RL) on loan in the summer transfer window.

Given both Jayden Bogle and Andre Wisdom are injured at start of game, getting a RB in on loan isn’t such a bad idea. I’ve been able to sign on loan:

* 25 year-old Javi Manquillo D/WB(R) from Newcastle, and

* 26 year-old Cyrus Christie D(R) from Fulham (ex-Ram, played for Derby 2014-17)

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22 hours ago, Stuniverse said:

Thank you, @karanhsingh, and many thanks for sharing about your Derby save in such detail. I’m not surprised Derby we’re 17th in November and sacked Phillip Cocu as that tallies with what happens (most of the time) when I let the AI loose with the Rams.

Since taking over though, you made a dramatic impact and really turned things around, with some amazing signings - Alexander Nubel played for me at Derby on FM19 and was a really good goalkeeper. Great pick-up and a definite upgrade on Kelle Roos.

That looks like being a huge decision that worked out well. I’m often not that brave in FM, particularly if I’m enjoying my time at a club and want to minimise the chances of being sacked. I’m impressed.

Two more great signings. Out of interest, did Derby’s scouting team naturally pick these up or was it more down to you being proactive?

From 17th November to a shot at automatic promotion is a fantastic turnaround. Do you want the job in real-life lol ?

Amazing. Congratulations 🍾 on lifting the Championship Trophy on the last day.

That does sound like a frustrating game against Forest. Annoyingly my FM record as Derby against Forest isn’t as good as I would've liked. 

I’m liking the sound of all of that. Marriott can be a hot and cold striker but once you get him on a goal scoring run momentum tends to kick-in and he can be very hot. Good to see some of the young prospects developing well too.

Wow! Looks like a really good Summer 2020 transfer window as well.

Good luck 🍀 in your first season in the PL.

Come on you 🐏s!

Thank you! 

I can't remember precisely but both Tuanzebe & Success showed up in the scouting reports, however I feel like Success was being pitched around by his agent because he got transfer listed. 

Of the youngsters, Bogle, Lowe and Knight have all been amazing. Can see them being main-stays in the team for a very long time. This season trying to develop Bird as well and integrate him more. I feel like Sibley's attributes are not too great or in line with his overall ability, maybe because he is two-footed? So he seems a way off first team football for us. Currently him and Buchanan are both out on loan at League one clubs. 

Will post another update soon! 

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I have just started a save but one thing catched my attention. Derby has 19m worth of sponsorship deal and transfer budget of 11m is that realistic? Did Rams got cash injections irl? I always thought that they are a bit poor financially compared to top championship sides. 

spons.png

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17 hours ago, dubaRA7 said:

I have just started a save but one thing catched my attention. Derby has 19m worth of sponsorship deal and transfer budget of 11m is that realistic? Did Rams got cash injections irl? I always thought that they are a bit poor financially compared to top championship sides. 

So I'm not 100% sure but BET 365 gave them a new sponsorship deal that helped bring in Rooney so it might be because of that. 

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On 22/12/2019 at 11:18, dubaRA7 said:

I have just started a save but one thing catched my attention. Derby has 19m worth of sponsorship deal and transfer budget of 11m is that realistic? Did Rams got cash injections irl? I always thought that they are a bit poor financially compared to top championship sides. 

We’ve primarily gone off the latest available accounts but updating based on the following which are assumed based on limited information known as the most up-to-date accounts are not out yet.

1) The transfer budget reflects the sale of Pride Park Stadium which resulted in a profit in the accounts, plus working through ins and outs since then. My numbers would’ve allowed for an even higher transfer budget so we did err on the side of caution with the figures we used in FM20.

2) The commercial income has been increased from the latest published accounts to reflect the widely-reported view that Rooney’s salary is being paid by the main sponsor, as well as increased sponsorship from other sponsors.

Based on my numbers, I believe the finances give a fair reflection of the club but we have to make sensible, educated guesses as individual player salaries, bonuses, etc. are not in the public domain, and the amount of the increased sponsorship has not been disclosed.

It is also worth remembering FM is a football manager simulation and not a financial accounting simulation.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Yeah  of course, i was just curious  was it maybe chairman investments or something else since my knowledge of most championship sides is fairly limited. I didn't know that Pride Park Stadium was sold for example :)  for 80m pounds wow! 

It's also very nice to learn a bit more about the club from supporters and club researchers.

Thanks for the response.

Edited by dubaRA7

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I started a Derby save a few days a go.

I managed to get promoted through the play offs in my first season.

Rooney is rubbish, not worth his wages, only 2 goals in 20 games for me and a rubbish average rating.

I would try get rid of Rooney as soon as you can, I tried offloading him in 2nd season but no takers, I will try again in January.

Stand out players for me were Jack Marriot who scored 22 goals in 36 games, Jason Knight was amazing for me, his value is now 16m and is a full Ireland international, the spine of my team is Bogle, Lowe, Buchanon, Bielik, Bird and Tom Lawrence from the original squad and plan to keep it that way for a long time as I always like to bring young players through and keep them there.

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Started up a Derby save tonight (if you can say started being as I've not pressed continue yet) after a few weeks away after my laptop went bust but I've got it back up and running now.

As a massive real life supporter I tend to get too passionate and let my real life views on certain individuals (definitely not Tom Lawrence) cloud my judgement, as I'm sure @Stuniverse can relate to. In real life I don't rate Marriott, Lawrence, Roos, Hamer, Waghorn (as a lone striker), Jozefzoon and Bennett and thus this influences how I'd like to set up. In my head I've got this as a rough plan based off ideas I've had while I've been away, whilst I've been watching us over the last few seasons and also from other threads on the forum.20191224_000253.thumb.jpg.bdde7def282e87fa45dc4df570960b7a.jpg20191230_005159.thumb.jpg.276812697864438daf24e615ac7265ae.jpgAlthough it is worth noting that in some early scouting I've struggled to find a few signing options so Ive toyed with the idea of moving Bielik back to my middle centre back (as a Connor Coady-esque role) and signing a tough tackling player to play in midfield or moving Shinnie over and signing a more attacking dynamic midfielder in the Bryson mould. Its still early days and ideas are much appreciated.

So basically I want to ask how people have got on with us and who you've rated and you have had less positive views on, who you've sold and signed (particular recommendations for a mobile strong physical hold up striker and some mobile centre backs would be appreciated, although general advice is most definitely needed) and also how you've got something/anything out of Rooney. Also side note the fact that on Thursday Ill probably get to see factually the best ever player to play for England play for my club is unreal, like its still all abit surreal. Wayne Rooney at Derby. Wow.

Anyway good luck with us guys and any tips and pointers you've all got are very much appreciated. Cheers

Up the Rams

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Struggled to get into this years FM, been playing for years and this forum used to be booming, so many team guides etc, seems to of died off over the years unfortunately :(

Anyway, I intended to stick to this save as I’ve fractured my foot and have a lot of time on my hands at the moment! I started Unemployed and got the Derby job in Feb 2020! Just in the relegation zone the board set no targets! I managed to stay up on the last day of the season.

Im planning a major overhaul and have already sold Lawrence (don’t intend to play with wingers), Huddlestone, Waghorn, Malone and a few others I plan to get rid of. Want to blood the youngsters and freshen the squad with the aim of getting promoted within the next 2 years!

Any tips for a non Rams fan?

Edited by robbie_start

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1 hour ago, robbie_start said:

this forum used to be booming, so many team guides etc, seems to of died off over the years unfortunately :(

Seems to be the way of the Internet, unfortunately - all the cool kids are on Twitter/Instagram/Whateversinthismonth. Us old fogies are hanging on...

1 hour ago, robbie_start said:

Any tips for a non Rams fan?

Well, start by getting rid of Huddlestone, Waghorn, Malone and a few others :lol:. Quite a few others, actually. Lowe, Bogle and Bird (and Marriott) are not exactly a spine of a team, but they're a good starting point... if you can add more like them you'll be off to a good start. But don't try and do it all at once - you'll need three or four transfer windows to make the changes. With no board demands you're in a good place right now, but the Championship is a tough division to get out of (at the right end!). Good luck :thup:

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14 hours ago, robbie_start said:

Any tips for a non Rams fan?

Well I've failed with us a few times so we're most definitely not an easy side as we have been in recent years. I'd say our sides not really set up to play in any particular way more than another so I'd say recruit and sell to try and play your way. Knight, Bird, Bogle and Lowe have potential to be squad players and help with home grown regulations as you go along. Although I've got an incredible amount of time for you selling Lawrence, can't stand him personally.

So basically I'd say we're pretty well shaped to mold into any style of football (perhaps baring an intense pressing game - that might be a bit more difficult to build for) so sign and sell accordingly. Good luck!

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Hi all, not playing a Derby save but a question about a derby player - Bielik!

In my Palace save as part of the takeover, Bielik was signed. what i want to know is where are you all playing him and in what role? In my formation i play BPD and a DLP in the holding midfielder role and he is accomplished fyi.

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4 hours ago, WI5ARD said:

Hi all, not playing a Derby save but a question about a derby player - Bielik!

In my Palace save as part of the takeover, Bielik was signed. what i want to know is where are you all playing him and in what role? In my formation i play BPD and a DLP in the holding midfielder role and he is accomplished fyi.

I usually play a 4-1-2-3 or a 4-2-3-1 with Bielik as a DLP in midfield as either the ‘1’ or one of the ‘2’.

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Bought Federici GK for £2m

Bought Shurrs CB for £4m

Bought Kishna AML for £1.7m

i play a back four of Lowe, Bielik, Shurrs, Bogle

Rooney DM

Shinnie and Knight CM

Kishna/Lawrence LW

Holmes/Waghorn RW

peñaranda/Marriott  ST

 

won first 3 out of 3. Post winter update save

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Started a Derby save recently, mainly because I was interested in how a team built around old Rooney would do.

Managed to finish 5th on 79 points- 21 wins, 16 draws, 9 losses.  Decent enough I suppose.

In the playoffs, beat Fulham on penalties and then QPR in extra time. Lucky!

Rooney was my start performer, loads man of the match awards by running the show from the middle of the pitch. Jack Marriot also banged in a lot of goals, with Tom Lawrence also. contributing a lot of goals and assists. Angel Gomes was a really useful loan signing. And Jayden Bogle and Jason Knight are also developing into good players.

The team is going to need a lot of improvement though if i'm stay in the Premier League next season. But hey, even if do get relegated straight back down, i've still exceeded expections and made the club a lot of £££
 

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Congratulations, @causticgrip, that’s a brilliant performance.

What formation / tactic did you use?

Glad to hear Knight and Bogle are developing well and, yes, Rooney really is a star player at this level.

Other than Angel Gomes, did you make any other signings?

Good luck in the Premier League 🍀. Let us know how you get on.

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I'm in December 2019 with my Derby save and currently 4th, which I'm blogging about here - http://greyhairedgamer.co.uk/wp/ - it's a long-winded affair!

Falling in love a bit with this team, even though like others above have mentioned I would hope for the best a playoff finish and staying in the Championship for another season's rebuild. Derby just don't feel quite ready for the big league as I see it, but signing players with potential and improving them to that standard looks like a viable option. 

Players signed - Lorenzo Montipo (£3.6m), Lewis Baker (£3.2m), Bakery Jatta (£3m), Alexander Milosevic (free), with Troy Parrott and Perrs Schuurs brought in on loan, the latter with a £6m optional future fee.

Players sold - Curtis Davies (£300k), Kelle Roos (£600k), Craig Forsyth (3750k), with Chris Martin and Florian Jozefzoon out on loan ahead of end of contract release/being sold.

Best formation - Montipo (GK), Bogle (DR), Lowe (DL), Clarke (DC), Bielik (DC), Rooney (DM, and captain), Shinne (MC), Baker (MC), Jatta (AMR), Waghorn (AML), Parrott (SC).

Overall it's a fascinating team to manage. I don't normally coach anyone beyond the bigger clubs these days out of sheer laziness on my part, but I can tell they are a squad that has been assembled by many previous hands, some positions over-stacked, others really weak, and they don't start off in that good a position. Lots of potential, plenty of young players coming through, but also some relics from past regimes that are drawing big wages and contributing very little. I'm selling Ikechi Anya in January, because there's no reason why someone so weak (the coaches say he's at a point of 'total collapse as a footballer', which I haven't seen before and doesn't suggest he's a thumbs up player) should still be here and earning £28k per week.

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7 hours ago, Tee2 said:

I'm in December 2019 with my Derby save and currently 4th, which I'm blogging about here - http://greyhairedgamer.co.uk/wp/ - it's a long-winded affair!

You’re doing really well in your first season with, as you say, a very unbalanced squad. I had a quick look at your Blog and have some questions I’ll message you about if you don’t mind.

7 hours ago, Tee2 said:

Falling in love a bit with this team, even though like others above have mentioned I would hope for the best a playoff finish and staying in the Championship for another season's rebuild. Derby just don't feel quite ready for the big league as I see it, but signing players with potential and improving them to that standard looks like a viable option. 

I’m biased because I’m a lifelong Derby County fan and long-standing season ticket holder, plus I’m the FM assistant researcher for the Rams, but as I explained when I started this thread I do think the 2019/20 Rams squad has a lot to offer the FM player, particularly if you start with the Winter Update database does that you have Wayne Rooney from the start of the season.

7 hours ago, Tee2 said:

Players signed - Lorenzo Montipo (£3.6m), Lewis Baker (£3.2m), Bakery Jatta (£3m), Alexander Milosevic (free), with Troy Parrott and Perrs Schuurs brought in on loan, the latter with a £6m optional future fee.

Players sold - Curtis Davies (£300k), Kelle Roos (£600k), Craig Forsyth (3750k), with Chris Martin and Florian Jozefzoon out on loan ahead of end of contract release/being sold.

Some very good signings there, @Tee2, and I can’t argue with your outgoings either.

7 hours ago, Tee2 said:

Best formation - Montipo (GK), Bogle (DR), Lowe (DL), Clarke (DC), Bielik (DC), Rooney (DM, and captain), Shinne (MC), Baker (MC), Jatta (AMR), Waghorn (AML), Parrott (SC).

Looks like 4-1-4-1 or a 4-1-2-3 type formation, both of which I think would be pretty solid with those players. In real-life, Phillip Cocu has steadfastly used a 4-2-3-1.

7 hours ago, Tee2 said:

Overall it's a fascinating team to manage. I don't normally coach anyone beyond the bigger clubs these days out of sheer laziness on my part, but I can tell they are a squad that has been assembled by many previous hands, some positions over-stacked, others really weak, and they don't start off in that good a position.

That’s a very good summary of what Derby County are looking like in real-life and your observation about a squad having been assembled by many previous hands is spot on - Nigel Clough, Steve McClaren (twice), Paul Clement, Nigel Pearson, Gary Rowett, Frank Lampard and Phillip Cocu to be precise.

7 hours ago, Tee2 said:

Lots of potential, plenty of young players coming through

How are Jayden Bogle, Jason Kinight and Max Bird doing for you or is it too early to say?
 

7 hours ago, Tee2 said:

but also some relics from past regimes that are drawing big wages and contributing very little. I'm selling Ikechi Anya in January, because there's no reason why someone so weak (the coaches say he's at a point of 'total collapse as a footballer', which I haven't seen before and doesn't suggest he's a thumbs up player) should still be here and earning £28k per week.

And there in lies the debris of having a squad built by many different managers, over a number of seasons, on ridiculous wages. I’ve never seen FM refer to a player on the point of total collapse as a footballer either.

Good luck 🍀 with your 🐏 save... and please do keep us updated.

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18 hours ago, Stuniverse said:

You’re doing really well in your first season with, as you say, a very unbalanced squad. I had a quick look at your Blog and have some questions I’ll message you about if you don’t mind.

I’m biased because I’m a lifelong Derby County fan and long-standing season ticket holder, plus I’m the FM assistant researcher for the Rams, but as I explained when I started this thread I do think the 2019/20 Rams squad has a lot to offer the FM player, particularly if you start with the Winter Update database does that you have Wayne Rooney from the start of the season.

Some very good signings there, @Tee2, and I can’t argue with your outgoings either.

Looks like 4-1-4-1 or a 4-1-2-3 type formation, both of which I think would be pretty solid with those players. In real-life, Phillip Cocu has steadfastly used a 4-2-3-1.

That’s a very good summary of what Derby County are looking like in real-life and your observation about a squad having been assembled by many previous hands is spot on - Nigel Clough, Steve McClaren (twice), Paul Clement, Nigel Pearson, Gary Rowett, Frank Lampard and Phillip Cocu to be precise.

How are Jayden Bogle, Jason Kinight and Max Bird doing for you or is it too early to say?
 

And there in lies the debris of having a squad built by many different managers, over a number of seasons, on ridiculous wages. I’ve never seen FM refer to a player on the point of total collapse as a footballer either.

Good luck 🍀 with your 🐏 save... and please do keep us updated.

Thanks @Stuniverse, especially for taking the time to read my blog. I think it's a really interesting team to take on - on the one hand not a massive challenge because they aren't expecting the earth (I think the target for the season is to avoid relegation, which I negotiated up to a mid-table finish in order to get a bit more in the budget) and they have quite a generous kitty for transfers so it should be possible to meet their requirements and develop the team... On the other hand the squad needs a lot of work. They are where they are for a reason, after all, and as I see it the job is one of a steady overhaul that may take two or three years to make them promotion-ready. As the fan of a Championship club (Middlesbrough) I know all about what it's like to go up when the side isn't ready yet, and I think Derby would really struggle if they did so at the first time of asking. 

To answer some questions... Yes I'm using the winter update. Rooney is great to have on hand as a veteran great to make those first couple of seasons easier.

You're right about the formation - 4-1-2-3 is preferred, with Rooney in the defensive midfield quarterback/general's position. I see this as the most important role on the pitch, so it makes sense to use our best player in that position. 

Jayden Bogle is progressing nicely following his injury (I prefer him to Wisdom; he's younger and is clearly improving, whereas the Jamaican doesn't look as though he will get much better than he is right now). I've used Max Bird sparingly, I'll confess, and would have had him out on loan if there'd been any takers. Still, the midfield to me is Derby's weak spot (after the build job I've done) and he will be getting more time once he recovers from the torn abdominal muscle injury that's had him out for a long period. Jason Knight is fighting his way into the side increasingly. I'm beginning to prefer him over Huddlestone (old, on the wane) and even Shinnie (doesn't seem to be a comfortable fit with the formation, not enough good games). 

Of the others Max Lowe is an absolute star at left-back and has even weighed in with a few goals. He seemed to have a good relationship with Tom Lawrence, before the winger suffered an injury. His three-month layoff is giving more time to Morgan Whitaker, who I'm enjoying a lot. Leicester want him - they can do one. 

If I can persuade Mr Morris to keep his sacking finger under control then I hope to be a position to get Derby promoted in 2021 or 2022. I'm ahead of the curve in being 3rd at the time of writing, but any position in the top six would do as I would at least like to equal what they achieved under Frank Lampard, however it's a delicate balancing act as we are so far from being ready for the challenge of the Premier League as it stands. 

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Just caught up on your blog, its a really good read, I'll definitely be following the save!

And an interesting team you've got going too. I've been a huge fan for many years, if I'm honest it could be described as a borderline obsession at times, and my saves tend to reflect that with daft decisions based off real life opinions. For example, I don't have Tom Lawrence around anymore - I've never been his greatest fan in real life and a certain early season incident that roughly coincided with my save beginning was never going to end well for him! I'm in season 3 in my save and my side looks like this:20200416_141405.thumb.jpg.7ba77c27f76fdc1c939413514ccb3bd0.jpg

We've bottled the play offs in both the previous seasons, against Leeds in the semis in season one and Stoke in the final (on penalties, Ferreira was the first player to miss in the entire shootout in round 10!). It's not a real Derby save til you've bottle jobbed it a few times, I'm sure @Stuniverse will second that!

Much like yourself Bogle and Rooney have been immense. However one thing to watch with Rooney - I took the optional one year extension at the end of the season 2, only for him to decide to retire a week later from playing and stay on as a coach. For me his coaching attributes are diabolical but the board wont terminate his deal as it'd cost roughly 4 million in compensation. So thats good news...

Also a few things peaked my interest from your posts:

1 hour ago, Tee2 said:

Morgan Whitaker, who I'm enjoying a lot. Leicester want him - they can do one. 

I've not given him a minute (literally) in my entire save. He seemed to show no promise to me, clearly a mistake! Would you recommend giving him a chance? Archie Brown's excelled for me on the left and up front when hes had a chance, has he done anything for you?

Actually on youngsters you've not mentioned, how's Lee Buchanan doing for you?

1 hour ago, Tee2 said:

I've used Max Bird sparingly, I'll confess, and would have had him out on loan if there'd been any takers

I have to second this too. He's underwhelmed me too, especially compared to his real life performances. I'm thinking going into season 3 he could be my utility man in abit of a last chance saloon situation. One things for sure is he's criminally underrated on the game, obviously I'm slightly biased but in my opinion his performances have been on par with Bielik in real life.

On 15/04/2020 at 10:08, Tee2 said:

Montipo (GK), Bogle (DR), Lowe (DL), Clarke (DC), Bielik (DC), Rooney (DM, and captain), Shinne (MC), Baker (MC), Jatta (AMR), Waghorn (AML), Parrott (SC).

One final thing, how has Bielik done at centre back? His lack of mobility has always put me off playing him there as I like to play a higher defensive line and instead I've utilised him in my midfield initially as a HB-D then a CM-D and now a DLP-D.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Tee2 said:

Thanks @Stuniverse, especially for taking the time to read my blog. I think it's a really interesting team to take on - on the one hand not a massive challenge because they aren't expecting the earth (I think the target for the season is to avoid relegation, which I negotiated up to a mid-table finish in order to get a bit more in the budget)

Yes, @Tee2, you’re correct. I lowered the Club Vision first season expectation in the Winter Update as Derby were languishing around 15th / 16th at the time and the owner Mel Morris seemed quite content with this, given the exposure to the first-team that the younger academy graduates were getting. In real-life Mel Morris has set a target of 50% of the first-team 11 to be from the academy next season and the manager also has part of his remuneration package based on youth development into the first team. Two or three years ago, Morris also set Darren Wassall an average age target for the U23s and U18s of 19 and 16.5 respectively. I tried to reflect all of this as best I could in the Club Vision and Philosophies.

5 hours ago, Tee2 said:

they have quite a generous kitty for transfers

Yes. We still have to wait and see what will happen regarding the FFP / P&S charge from the EFL but, when I did my calculations, there was money left from the sale of Pride Park and I was comfortably within how much potentially was available with the transfer budget I set. It also tallied with the FM value of players we were trying to sign on deadline day of the summer transfer window.

5 hours ago, Tee2 said:

Jayden Bogle is progressing nicely following his injury (I prefer him to Wisdom; he's younger and is clearly improving, whereas the Jamaican doesn't look as though he will get much better than he is right now). I've used Max Bird sparingly, I'll confess, and would have had him out on loan if there'd been any takers. Still, the midfield to me is Derby's weak spot (after the build job I've done) and he will be getting more time once he recovers from the torn abdominal muscle injury that's had him out for a long period. Jason Knight is fighting his way into the side increasingly. I'm beginning to prefer him over Huddlestone (old, on the wane) and even Shinnie (doesn't seem to be a comfortable fit with the formation, not enough good games). 

Of the others Max Lowe is an absolute star at left-back and has even weighed in with a few goals. He seemed to have a good relationship with Tom Lawrence, before the winger suffered an injury. His three-month layoff is giving more time to Morgan Whitaker, who I'm enjoying a lot. Leicester want him - they can do one. 

That’s about what I would expect from the youngsters you’ve mentioned there. I’ll comment a bit more on Max Bird in my reply to @OJ403, which will follow next.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, OJ403 said:

I've been a huge fan for many years, if I'm honest it could be described as a borderline obsession at times, and my saves tend to reflect that with daft decisions based off real life opinions.

I can empathise with that, @OJ403.

4 hours ago, OJ403 said:

I'm in season 3 in my save and my side looks like this:

Interesting mix of new players and players in the current real-life squad. Shinnie aside, you appear to have got rid of all the older players.

4 hours ago, OJ403 said:

We've bottled the play offs in both the previous seasons, against Leeds in the semis in season one and Stoke in the final (on penalties, Ferreira was the first player to miss in the entire shootout in round 10!). It's not a real Derby save til you've bottle jobbed it a few times, I'm sure @Stuniverse will second that!

That’s unlucky... but yes, you’re right, bottling the playoffs does seem to be The Derby Way.

4 hours ago, OJ403 said:

However one thing to watch with Rooney - I took the optional one year extension at the end of the season 2, only for him to decide to retire a week later from playing and stay on as a coach. For me his coaching attributes are diabolical but the board wont terminate his deal as it'd cost roughly 4 million in compensation. So thats good news...

I was unable to contribute to the coaching attributes of Rooney as he was still on the files of the DC United assistant researcher at the time of Winter Update data lockdown. I’m not sure how many actual coaching attributes he has set or whether they are randomly allocated at the start of the save. Something I’ll have to take a look at ahead of FM21.

4 hours ago, OJ403 said:

Also a few things peaked my interest from your posts:

6 hours ago, Tee2 said:

Morgan Whitaker, who I'm enjoying a lot. Leicester want him - they can do one. 

I've not given him a minute (literally) in my entire save. He seemed to show no promise to me, clearly a mistake! Would you recommend giving him a chance? Archie Brown's excelled for me on the left and up front when hes had a chance, has he done anything for you?

Morgan Whittaker is a tough one to rate at the moment because he impressed at U23 / U18, but has struggled to impress in his limited first-team cameos. He’s still young and Phillip Cocu (manager) clearly rates him. I’ve tried to represent Whittaker as best I can but he’s very much a work in progress.

I’m pleased to hear Archie Brown is doing well for you.

4 hours ago, OJ403 said:

Actually on youngsters you've not mentioned, how's Lee Buchanan doing for you?

I gave Lee Buchanan a boost for FM20 release based on him breaking into the first-team squad in pre-season but he hasn’t really kicked on since then partly, but not entirely, due to injuries.

4 hours ago, OJ403 said:
6 hours ago, Tee2 said:

I've used Max Bird sparingly, I'll confess, and would have had him out on loan if there'd been any takers

I have to second this too. He's underwhelmed me too, especially compared to his real life performances. I'm thinking going into season 3 he could be my utility man in abit of a last chance saloon situation. One things for sure is he's criminally underrated on the game, obviously I'm slightly biased but in my opinion his performances have been on par with Bielik in real life

 

I’d probably agree with you that Max Bird is underrated in game, but ‘criminally underrated’ is a tad harsh. Bird has been in or around the first-team squad for two or three seasons now and he’s never really taken his limited opportunities. He only really stepped up in February this year when he got a run of consecutive first-team starts alongside Rooney but, by then, the data was locked down for FM20 Winter Update. If I was reviewing Bird now, I’d give him a further boost, but he needs to show he can sustain the level he reached in February for a longer period before I can give him a big boost and increase his PA. I believe how I’ve rated him he will develop nicely if given playing time but you’ll need to be patient with him.

Edited by Stuniverse

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49 minutes ago, Stuniverse said:

Interesting mix of new players and players in the current real-life squad. Shinnie aside, you appear to have got rid of all the older players.

Tbh this was intended. In terms of in game on the whole they lacked the pace and general mobility and other key attributes I look for and they were on larger deals that didnt warrant renewals. And on non-FM logic I'm fed up of these big wage back end of their career players and want to see a change. Shinnies mainly stayed around for leadership purposes and is mainly a utility player of sorts. Ideally I'd have liked Rooney around still too but he had other ideas! A few of the more long standing squad members (e.g. Roos) weren't happy being backups so had to go too, which in some cases is a shame.

This has given us abit of a leadership void, but we'll see how it goes. My hopes are that this younger squad should be able to grow into Premier League football, whereas many of the old guard wouldn't have been able to. Mel wants promotion this season, so we'll see...

49 minutes ago, Stuniverse said:

I’ve tried to represent Whittaker as best I can but he’s very much a work in progress.

Tbh on Whittaker I feel you've got him spot on really. He could go either way in the future and I've always had better depth in his position and others like Archie Brown have deserved a go more based off U23 stats.

50 minutes ago, Stuniverse said:

I’d probably agree with you that Max Bird is underrated in game, but ‘criminally underrated’ is a tad harsh

Your probably right in this. He's definitely a solid Championship midfielder though in my opinion but as you say his performances came too little too late for the winter update. I'll definitely be giving him more time this year though, possibly in place of Shinnie as backup for Bielik.

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Just happened to stumble upon this thread by accident, thought I’d share my Derby experience as I’m now 8 seasons deep. As a Derby fan myself I have a decent understanding of our players and how far they could possibly progress, but this is the first year I've ever played FM, so it was very stressful at first.

Season History:

Championship (2019 - 2021): 15th, 1st. 

Premier League (2021 - Present): 9th, 11th, 10th, 4th, 2nd, 3rd.

Notable Cup Performances: Carabao Cup runner up (2023), Champions League Winners (2027)

Philosophy:

Tiki-taka, buying young players.

I got through the early seasons using multiple loanees and one main signing. Said Benrahma was the first player I bought (£12m), and with 51 goals and 42 assists in 214 appearances he's now a Derby legend in my eyes. I also took advantage of buying players who were coming to the ends of theirs contracts (1 year or less): I signed Victor Osimhen from LOSC for £4.2m, and he's scored 107 goals in 220 games.

Formations:

In my first season I really struggled to settle into the same set up and nothing worked - 15th in the Championship. My second year, however, was split between a 4-2-3-1 and a 4-1-2-3. Both worked like a charm, and we claimed the top spot in the championship on the last day of the season. I used these formations in my first couple of years in the PL too, but when using a 4-2-3-1 I would drop one of the two midfielders into a half back role.

'Young' Players at Derby in 2019/20:

Both Max Lowe and Jayden Bogle played until my third season in the PL. They were good enough for the bottom half of the league, but didn't progress well enough to play at higher levels, and were sold for £5m and £14m respectively. I don't rate Tom Lawrence in real life and his ability was equally reflected in FM20. 2 goals in 36 games in my first season meant that he was loaned out before being sold for £1m. Krystian Bielik was still captain in my fourth season in the PL. He progressed into a good defender, but was injured far too often and wasn't mobile enough to fit my new style of play - sold for £15m in 2026/27. I kept Jason Knight until 2024/24 when his contract ran out. He is incredibly versatile and I played him in all sorts of different roles, and in hindsight I should have kept him. Morgan Whittaker was phenomenal in my Championship winning season, with 14 goals and 5 assists from the right wing. He made no impact in the PL though, and was sold for £2.5m. Max Bird never got a fair look in - Rooney and Shinnie were my first choice in midfield. Academy players like Sibley, Buchanan, Ebosele, Brown and Bennett were all used sporadically but never looked like progressing enough.

Recents seasons:

Money comes with success, and so the last few seasons have allowed me to dip into the more expensive side of the market, even though my transfer budgets have never been particularly high: £11m, £14m, £34m, £46m, £54m, (consortium takeover) £84m, £76m. Strangely enough, winning the Champions League has garnered me one of my lowest transfer budgets yet: £11.96m! But with this success means that regretfully the Derby team of 2019/20 have since made way for better players. Bielik was the last player from the current side, and he departed over a year ago. 

I now alternate between an attacking 4-2-3-1, and a slightly more conservative (but still positive) 4-4-1-1. I only started using the 4-4-1-1 in the last third of the 2027/28 season - it worked absolute wonders, and was the formation I used in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Once I've won the PL I think I'll start a new save, but given the tight budgets and lack of depth in my squad I can't see that being for a good while yet. I don't have much experience with Football Manager, but I feel like Derby are definitely an interesting club to start a save with!

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5 hours ago, ForrestGrump said:

Just happened to stumble upon this thread by accident, thought I’d share my Derby experience as I’m now 8 seasons deep. As a Derby fan myself I have a decent understanding of our players and how far they could possibly progress, but this is the first year I've ever played FM, so it was very stressful at first.

Welcome @ForrestGrump and thanks for sharing your FM20 experience managing Derby County. Eight seasons in is good going - are you playing with the FM20 release version or the winter update?

5 hours ago, ForrestGrump said:

Season History:

Championship (2019 - 2021): 15th, 1st. 

Premier League (2021 - Present): 9th, 11th, 10th, 4th, 2nd, 3rd.

Notable Cup Performances: Carabao Cup runner up (2023), Champions League Winners (2027)

That’s very impressive. Congratulations. A big jump from 15th to 1st in the Championship and good, steady progress in the Premier League.

5 hours ago, ForrestGrump said:

Formations:

In my first season I really struggled to settle into the same set up and nothing worked - 15th in the Championship. My second year, however, was split between a 4-2-3-1 and a 4-1-2-3. Both worked like a charm, and we claimed the top spot in the championship on the last day of the season. I used these formations in my first couple of years in the PL too, but when using a 4-2-3-1 I would drop one of the two midfielders into a half back role.

Yes. As others have mentioned, the Rams squad you take over at the start of the 2019/20 season is a disjointed, unbalanced mixed bag of a squad. Looks like you got things sorted by season two though.

5 hours ago, ForrestGrump said:

Young' Players at Derby in 2019/20:

Both Max Lowe and Jayden Bogle played until my third season in the PL. They were good enough for the bottom half of the league, but didn't progress well enough to play at higher levels, and were sold for £5m and £14m respectively. I don't rate Tom Lawrence in real life and his ability was equally reflected in FM20. 2 goals in 36 games in my first season meant that he was loaned out before being sold for £1m. Krystian Bielik was still captain in my fourth season in the PL. He progressed into a good defender, but was injured far too often and wasn't mobile enough to fit my new style of play - sold for £15m in 2026/27. I kept Jason Knight until 2024/24 when his contract ran out. He is incredibly versatile and I played him in all sorts of different roles, and in hindsight I should have kept him. Morgan Whittaker was phenomenal in my Championship winning season, with 14 goals and 5 assists from the right wing. He made no impact in the PL though, and was sold for £2.5m. Max Bird never got a fair look in - Rooney and Shinnie were my first choice in midfield. Academy players like Sibley, Buchanan, Ebosele, Brown and Bennett were all used sporadically but never looked like progressing enough.

Good summary of the young players and how they did or didn’t develop during your save. Good to hear Bogle, Lowe and Knight did well. 

If you’ve got Bennett at the start of your save (not out on loan at Millwall) then I assume you’re playing the FM20 release version. Sibley, Ebosole and both Brown’s all got boosts in the Winter Update and I added more attributes so they had less randomised zeros. On previous saves of mine, Sibley and Bird do develop into good players if you give them enough playing time.

Bielik came onto my Derby files with a fairly high injury proneness. Given that he has been injured more often than he’s been fit at Pride Park, I saw no reason to change that.

5 hours ago, ForrestGrump said:

Recents seasons:

Money comes with success, and so the last few seasons have allowed me to dip into the more expensive side of the market, even though my transfer budgets have never been particularly high: £11m, £14m, £34m, £46m, £54m, (consortium takeover) £84m, £76m. Strangely enough, winning the Champions League has garnered me one of my lowest transfer budgets yet: £11.96m! But with this success means that regretfully the Derby team of 2019/20 have since made way for better players. Bielik was the last player from the current side, and he departed over a year ago. 

I now alternate between an attacking 4-2-3-1, and a slightly more conservative (but still positive) 4-4-1-1. I only started using the 4-4-1-1 in the last third of the 2027/28 season - it worked absolute wonders, and was the formation I used in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Very impressive. Congratulations.

5 hours ago, ForrestGrump said:

I feel like Derby are definitely an interesting club to start a save with!

I would echo that.

Come on you, 🐏s!

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20 hours ago, OJ403 said:

I've not given him a minute (literally) in my entire save. He seemed to show no promise to me, clearly a mistake! Would you recommend giving him a chance? Archie Brown's excelled for me on the left and up front when hes had a chance, has he done anything for you?

Actually on youngsters you've not mentioned, how's Lee Buchanan doing for you?

Whitaker was lifted from the reserves once Lawrence was ruled out for three months. Nothing spectacular so far, but he doesn't look overawed and the coaches are telling me that his playing time is resulting in big improvements. To me he seems to be on the verge - perhaps just one goal away - from being pretty good. as for Buchanan he's out on loan this season, but the plan is to get rid of Scott Malone (who has asked to go on the transfer list) and use Buchanan as his back-up. He's played well with Fleetwood. 

20 hours ago, OJ403 said:

One final thing, how has Bielik done at centre back? His lack of mobility has always put me off playing him there as I like to play a higher defensive line and instead I've utilised him in my midfield initially as a HB-D then a CM-D and now a DLP-D.

He's been absolutely fine, and I have high hopes for him. I have four centre backs and rotate them regularly - none of them are letting me down and we have the best record for goals conceded in the Championship. Only Leeds have embarrassed us so far as they just overran our midfield, but a lot of that I put down to them essentially being a Premier League club that is slumming it in the Championship. 

That looks like a really neat squad by the way - I'm a bit surprised to see Holmes still listed as starter (seems to be lacking an essential 'spark' for me and has shown little robustness over such a long season), and Shinnie in there as a member of the squad. He's probably someone I will look to sell before too long.

16 hours ago, ForrestGrump said:

Just happened to stumble upon this thread by accident, thought I’d share my Derby experience as I’m now 8 seasons deep. As a Derby fan myself I have a decent understanding of our players and how far they could possibly progress, but this is the first year I've ever played FM, so it was very stressful at first.

Season History:

Championship (2019 - 2021): 15th, 1st. 

Premier League (2021 - Present): 9th, 11th, 10th, 4th, 2nd, 3rd.

Notable Cup Performances: Carabao Cup runner up (2023), Champions League Winners (2027)

This is astonishing work! I would be very proud to be able to raise Derby to such heights, and while I can see us going up your guidance of the Rams into the table's upper reaches is excellent work. The Champions League - incredible! You obviously didn't come across any Italian clubs that are on friendly terms with the officials, unlike in previous European campaigns...

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13 hours ago, Stuniverse said:

Welcome @ForrestGrump and thanks for sharing your FM20 experience managing Derby County. Eight seasons in is good going - are you playing with the FM20 release version or the winter update?

I assume it's the winter update as I downloaded the game when it was made free, and I've just been smashing it out since then as I can't work from home! What I did find odd is that when the season started, players had the injuries they currently have as of March 2020, regardless of whether they were fit in August 2019. If I can remember correctly there were at least 5 lengthy injuries to contenders for the starting XI. Duane Holmes was one of these players which was a real shame as I had planned for him to be a first team regular. 

14 hours ago, Stuniverse said:

If you’ve got Bennett at the start of your save (not out on loan at Millwall) then I assume you’re playing the FM20 release version. Sibley, Ebosole and both Brown’s all got boosts in the Winter Update and I added more attributes so they had less randomised zeros. On previous saves of mine, Sibley and Bird do develop into good players if you give them enough playing time.

I'm not familiar with attributing altering or randomised zeros, but Archie Brown still had some very handy stats for both a winger and a striker. I probably used him the most out of the currently academy side, he even scored a couple of handy goals in the PL for me. Bennett came back from his loan with stats better than I expected, so I used him as a rotational play in the second Championship season. Ebosele is a weird one, I don't think I've come across another player on the game who's natural as a RB and a striker!

3 hours ago, Tee2 said:

You obviously didn't come across any Italian clubs that are on friendly terms with the officials, unlike in previous European campaigns...

Haha! Funnily enough when I was playing Inter in the semi finals I had two goals ruled out for offside in the space of about 10 minutes!

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Posted (edited)
On 14/04/2020 at 07:14, Stuniverse said:

Congratulations, @causticgrip, that’s a brilliant performance.

What formation / tactic did you use?

Glad to hear Knight and Bogle are developing well and, yes, Rooney really is a star player at this level.

Other than Angel Gomes, did you make any other signings?

Good luck in the Premier League 🍀. Let us know how you get on.

I used a 5-2-3, with Huddlestone or Bielik as a libero. 

For signings, just Yaya Toure and Alan Hutton as frees. Toure would step in for Rooney and Hutton was useful before Wisdom and Bogle came back from injury.

Finished my second season, finishing 16th- above the predictions and board expectations- 20th and "battle bravely against relegation"

leaguetable.thumb.png.7d5d5e04872515242a57181df1e9dd74.png

First team signings: (cut out random youth transfers)

signings.thumb.png.34c0d31106524ff1bc8784ade619f3aa.png

First choice match squad at the end of the season:

matchdaysquad.thumb.png.a93674cace55c9c4395980b8ccd0d1eb.png

 

I was generally 6th-10th place before the new year, when it then suddenly went..bad:

poorform.thumb.png.fd004609bcf47cca5ef4d806e7ace41d.png

No matter what I did, I couldn't get it right. My players were getting sent off or injured in the first 10 mins, i'd score and the opponent would score straight back and loads of my goals particularly from set-pieces were ruled off-side. I felt like the game was cheating me a bit hah! Oh well I did enough to stay up but gonna need a major rethink for next season.

Edited by causticgrip

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, ForrestGrump said:

I assume it's the winter update as I downloaded the game when it was made free, and I've just been smashing it out since then as I can't work from home! What I did find odd is that when the season started, players had the injuries they currently have as of March 2020, regardless of whether they were fit in August 2019. If I can remember correctly there were at least 5 lengthy injuries to contenders for the starting XI. Duane Holmes was one of these players which was a real shame as I had planned for him to be a first team regular. 

Hmmmmn, I’m a bit confused on injuries. These are the injuries that should be set-up at the start of the game (although I would’ve extended Anya’s injury return date in the Winter Update):

Injuries - 2019/20 **To be included at start of FM20**

10/11/18 Craig Forsyth (ACL) - 10/08/19

20/04/19 Andre Wisdom (knee) - 29/08/19

14/06/19 Duane Holmes (thigh) - 08/08/19

12/07/19 Jack Marriott (thigh) - 30/07/19

28/07/19 Ikechi Anya (calf) - estimated 8 to 12 weeks approx return 01/10/19

10/08/19 Jayden Bogle (ankle) - 19/09/19

14 minutes ago, ForrestGrump said:

I'm not familiar with attributing altering or randomised zeros, but Archie Brown still had some very handy stats for both a winger and a striker. I probably used him the most out of the currently academy side, he even scored a couple of handy goals in the PL for me. Bennett came back from his loan with stats better than I expected, so I used him as a rotational play in the second Championship season. Ebosele is a weird one, I don't think I've come across another player on the game who's natural as a RB and a striker!

You won’t see the zeros in the game, but you will see them in the pre-game Editor. At the start of a save, any attributes with a zero get randomly assigned a value.

I guess Rowett must’ve played Bennett a lot at Millwall during his loan spell in that case. I did put in an option for Millwall to buy Bennett permanently which it looks like Millwall didn’t act on.

Ebosele is a weird one. He was a winger / striker when Derby signed him, but in the U18s and U23s, he’s being used as a full-back / wing-back which is kind of why he’s like he is in FM at the moment. Ahead of FM21, I’ll probably play up his FB / WB positions and reduce his SC and possibly wing positions. 

Edited by Stuniverse

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Interesting on Whittaker, maybe he'd have turned into something if I'd given him a chance

4 hours ago, Tee2 said:

That looks like a really neat squad by the way - I'm a bit surprised to see Holmes still listed as starter (seems to be lacking an essential 'spark' for me and has shown little robustness over such a long season), and Shinnie in there as a member of the squad. He's probably someone I will look to sell before too long.

On Shinnie, initially I played a narrow diamond with him as the left sided central midfielder and he disappointed. When Rooney arrived I changed to a flat 4-4-2 and haven't looked back, with Shinnie lacking the technical abilities to play in either role hes been a bench warmer really. Weirdly he doesn't complain about it and can play LB too. His leaderships useful too and if nothing else hes given me no reason to sell.

And on Holmes, I was uninspired looking at his attributes when I started the save but when we switched 4-4-2 it was him or Jozefzoon as a W-A and that was an easy decision to make! Ever since then hes far out performed his attributes. Hes chipped in with goals and assists and has kept better players out of the 11 too. His pace is also handy too as Batista Meier doesn't really have this. Cruz (if he agrees the deal I've offered) is a right back who can't really defend too well but is comfortable further forward and as good attribute wise as Holmes too so hopefully he'll provide competition all the way down the right.

4 hours ago, Tee2 said:

as for Buchanan he's out on loan this season, but the plan is to get rid of Scott Malone (who has asked to go on the transfer list) and use Buchanan as his back-up. He's played well with Fleetwood. 

With hindsight I'd say you've probably done better than I did for Buchanan too! Hes been back up to Lowe since day one for me, such that hes not played loads and often misses out on the bench too as Shinnie's versatility tends to win me over, hence he's growth has stunted abit unfortunately.

 

And great work @ForrestGrump!

20 hours ago, ForrestGrump said:

I don't rate Tom Lawrence in real life and his ability was equally reflected in FM20

I think this is my favourite thing you've said! I seemed to accidentally start an Anti-Tom Lawrence Club in my area of Pride Park the last few years 🤣🤣

20 hours ago, ForrestGrump said:

Season History:

Championship (2019 - 2021): 15th, 1st. 

Premier League (2021 - Present): 9th, 11th, 10th, 4th, 2nd, 3rd.

Notable Cup Performances: Carabao Cup runner up (2023), Champions League Winners (2027)

And this is also exceptional too. Really impressive work! Out of curiosity how did Jack Marriott adapt to the Premier League for you? In real life he frustrates me to no end, but in FM he's been a goal machine in the Championship for me

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2 hours ago, Stuniverse said:

Hmmmmn, I’m a bit confused on injuries. These are the injuries that should be set-up at the start of the game (although I would’ve extended Anya’s injury return date in the Winter Update):

They all look familiar actually, maybe I'm confusing it with some of my players in FM who were injured very early in the season. The lack of football has exploded my brain, it seems I've forgotten everything that's happened in the real world.

2 hours ago, OJ403 said:

I think this is my favourite thing you've said! I seemed to accidentally start an Anti-Tom Lawrence Club in my area of Pride Park the last few years 🤣🤣

 

Haha! He's just not consistent enough. He only has a handful of good games per year, and we should have cashed in on him after he used one of those good game tokens against Huddersfield on the opening day of the season. The only thing that annoys me more than watching Lawrence put his laces through every shot he takes, is the fact that pundits always talk about how much 'promise' he has. It's been three years and I haven't seen it yet!

2 hours ago, OJ403 said:

Out of curiosity how did Jack Marriott adapt to the Premier League for you? In real life he frustrates me to no end, but in FM he's been a goal machine in the Championship for me

In my first championship season he scored 2 goals in 25 games, so I go rid of him in the summer of 2020. I imagine a lot of those were appearances off the bench, but I had defenders who were outscoring him. I had Adalberto Penaranda on loan from Watford in my first season (16 goals), and a very poorly developing Moise Kean on loan in my championship winning season (18 goals). I used Victor Osimhen in my first season of the Premier League (22 goals). Bought for £4.5m, and 6 seasons later has 107 goals to his name - pretty good business I think!

I adore Marriott in real life, but he just hasn't been able to settle in and I share your frustration. I don't think injuries have helped, and the murmurings of a lack of effort in training have probably had an affect too. But the biggest issue will always be that, in the system Cocu is trying to implement, he simply isn't good enough with the ball at his feet or his back to goal.

While I share many fans' feelings about Waghorn's finishing and Martin's lack of movement, they are both far better options for us right now. I actually think Waghorn is a little under-appreciated. Yes, he misses too many chances, but his movement off the ball and his ability to link play between the midfield and attack should not be overlooked.

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I really like playing with the Rams. 

First season came in second in the Championship, first season Premier league finished in 6th place.

I have players like Bellingham, Butland, Breel Embolo, Ben Wilmot.

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6 minutes ago, Derby man said:

I really like playing with the Rams. 

First season came in second in the Championship, first season Premier league finished in 6th place.

I have players like Bellingham, Butland, Breel Embolo, Ben Wilmot.

That's impressive, @Derby man. I'm glad you enjoy managing the Rams on FM.

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If anybody wants to know my transfers over the first seasons, just let me know

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3 minutes ago, Derby man said:

If anybody wants to know my transfers over the first seasons, just let me know

Yes please, @Derby man. And also what formation / tactics / system you used and your main starting line-up would be appreciated.

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15 hours ago, ForrestGrump said:

They all look familiar actually, maybe I'm confusing it with some of my players in FM who were injured very early in the season. The lack of football has exploded my brain, it seems I've forgotten everything that's happened in the real world.

Haha! He's just not consistent enough. He only has a handful of good games per year, and we should have cashed in on him after he used one of those good game tokens against Huddersfield on the opening day of the season. The only thing that annoys me more than watching Lawrence put his laces through every shot he takes, is the fact that pundits always talk about how much 'promise' he has. It's been three years and I haven't seen it yet!

In my first championship season he scored 2 goals in 25 games, so I go rid of him in the summer of 2020. I imagine a lot of those were appearances off the bench, but I had defenders who were outscoring him. I had Adalberto Penaranda on loan from Watford in my first season (16 goals), and a very poorly developing Moise Kean on loan in my championship winning season (18 goals). I used Victor Osimhen in my first season of the Premier League (22 goals). Bought for £4.5m, and 6 seasons later has 107 goals to his name - pretty good business I think!

I adore Marriott in real life, but he just hasn't been able to settle in and I share your frustration. I don't think injuries have helped, and the murmurings of a lack of effort in training have probably had an affect too. But the biggest issue will always be that, in the system Cocu is trying to implement, he simply isn't good enough with the ball at his feet or his back to goal.

While I share many fans' feelings about Waghorn's finishing and Martin's lack of movement, they are both far better options for us right now. I actually think Waghorn is a little under-appreciated. Yes, he misses too many chances, but his movement off the ball and his ability to link play between the midfield and attack should not be overlooked.

Marriot was in my first season in the Premier league the top goal scorer with 22 goals

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44 minutes ago, Stuniverse said:

Yes please, @Derby man. And also what formation / tactics / system you used and your main starting line-up would be appreciated.

Will let you this evening . 

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