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FM20: The English Football League thread

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1 minute ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Best of luck. BTW which team did you temporarily take on a few weeks back? Just curious...

Thanks, much appreciated. I actually managed Schalke - a team I follow with a bit of interest, personally. Always wanted to visit Gelsenkirchen and the Veltins Arena, especially. Played a couple of seasons, but was unfortunately unable to tackle Bayern and then Dortmund :rolleyes:.

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12 minutes ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

It does make me laugh in all honesty. :lol:

Good to know :). On the bright side, you're only about 50 years from retirement and you'll have loads of free time then :kriss:

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

Thanks, much appreciated. I actually managed Schalke - a team I follow with a bit of interest, personally. Always wanted to visit Gelsenkirchen and the Veltins Arena, especially. Played a couple of seasons, but was unfortunately unable to tackle Bayern and then Dortmund :rolleyes:.

Nice, Schalke are a solid pick especially if you follow them anyway. I had a good spell at Bayer Neverkusen on FM19 but haven't yet headed to Germany in this version. There are so many clubs in Europe I think I should take on, but often don't get to it.

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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@Jogo Bonito Some great options there, I look forward to seeing which one you settle upon.

Bolton Wanderers - Season 2 - Part 2

Season Update: The kids are alright

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After an August that exceeded expectations, things seemed to be going from strength-to-strength in the League as we commenced September with a 4-1 thrashing of Gillingham. Optimism turned to frustration though, as we then lost 1-0 to Sunderland despite having 64% possession and 9 shots on target. I thought this may have been 'one of those games', however the frustration grew as we dropped 5 points in three games, all due to injury time goals from our opposition. We were winning 2-1 against Accrington and Coventry before conceding in the 91st and 92nd minutes respectively, and were drawing with Fleetwood going into injury time and then conceded in the 93rd minute to lose the game. This lack of concentration could be attributed to the fact we had the second lowest average age of a squad in League One, at just 23.5 years old.

There was one big highlight in September though, as we took another Premier League scalp by beating Norwich in the 3rd round of the Carabao Cup.

Many of us agree that the Leasing.com Cup is somewhat of a waste of time, however our fixture against Blackpool in the tournament turned out to be quite pivotal. I had been playing a 4-4-2 formation up until that point, but I decided to use the Cup as an opportunity to experiment and switched to a 4-4-1-1. This gave me the chance to bring Darcy back into the team as AM, supporting the young Brown as the lone striker. This worked really well, so I decided to continue on with 4-4-1-1 and with Darcy becoming a first choice pick, as had been intended at the beginning of the season prior to his injury. Darcy rewarded my faith in him with 3 goals in 4 games.

Our giant killings of Leicester and Norwich earnt us a visit from Manchester United in the 4th round of the Carabao Cup. Unfortunately this proved to be a stretch too far and they were comfortable winners.

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So after a bumpy period, things certainly picked up in November. Admittedly the teams drawn in the FA Cup were favourable, however we secured some very satisfying results against good league opposition. Since his purple patch in August, Rhodes had only scored one goal and that had come in the Leasing.com Cup. Fed up with his lack of contributions, I dropped him for the game against Charlton, switching Woodburn up top (instead of right wing). Eddie Brown scored from the bench, so I decided to start him in the next game against Doncaster - this paid off massively as he bagged a brace. This led to a spell of 5 goals in 4 games. Brown won League One Player of the Month and Young Player of the Month for November, with Darcy also coming second for both awards.

A big disappointment came on December 1st when Darcy once again got injured; this time a fractured cheekbone that would see him ruled out for the month. Woodburn was switched to AM, but he was not as effective as Darcy. Due to this, and a few other injuries, I was lacking in wingers so called up 19 year old Connor Stanley (who I had previously signed on a free from Man Utd) to play right wing for a couple of games. The young lad has done well, delivering an average rating of 7.22 over his 8 games and bagging a goal against league leaders Barnsley.

I should also note that we won our Leasing.com group and also beat Scunthorpe to progress to the Northern 3rd Round.

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Going into the New Year we sit 3rd in the table, outperforming the clubs expectation of a top-half finish. Budget restrictions and the youthful nature of our side considered, I will be delighted if we are still in the Playoffs at the end of the season. He's only started 9 games due to injury (5 goals and 4 assists), but Darcy is clearly my best player. The problem is that Premier League clubs are circling, and I have already had to reject a bid of £3.2m from Brighton on January 1st. Due to the club's precarious financial position (£32m of debt) I may have to give in and sell him if a really big offer arrives, however I would really like to continue to develop him. Garner and Williams have once again been great, but I am particularly pleased with our own youth - Brown is our top goalscorer with 8, and King-Harmes already has 7 assists from the wing.

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Posted (edited)

@Jogo Bonito Stay away from Carlisle. I’m already manager there, thank you very much. :stop:

Go with Blackpool. No more Oyston, challenge to get back into the Championship and then the Premier League. 

Edited by Gunner 101

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@Dong21 Nice season you're having there at Bolton, I tried to sign Darcy myself numerous times but Bolton wanted nearly 15m for him! :lol:

Looking through the leagues on my save and just noticed Bradford City have been relegated to the National League North :eek:

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Might be tempted to make a separate save file and take on the challenge of bringing them back up the leagues, could be fun.

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1 hour ago, Dong21 said:

Going into the New Year we sit 3rd in the table

Well done that man! Keep up the good work :thup:

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Great progress @Dong21 and I am really impressed with those results considering the youngsters who are featuring regularly for you. Brown was lethal for me at U23 level but neither he or Darcy shone too much in the first team. Joe White on the other hand was excellent at LB.

@Gunner 101 I know, I know.  How are you getting on by the way? I managed Carlisle a couple of years ago and enjoyed it. However, I will try to leave them alone as I really want to see how you do with them. Blackpool is definitely one I want to try as I like their kits and colours, and there is no more Oyston involvement. Also, it's not often I would get the chance to manage a Tanzanian striker in the EFL. I'd need to have words with his Panenka-loving strike partner before accepting the job though!

On that note, I opened up my Bolton file again to see how the transfer window might play out, and I've gone through to 1st July so there is a chance I could play another season there.

 

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Forest Green Rovers Season 2020/21 - First half

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Transfers

Things in this area looked really promising in early June, when I was spending the healthy wage budget given to me by the board, signing a few really decent players early in the window. This was until I encountered the FFP issues I've mentioned previously, not letting me spend over a certain amount p/w on player wages, meaning I was only able to spend 1/3rd of what the board wanted to give me. Very frustrating considering we have a good balance. Even more frustratingly was that the transfer fees I have received make no difference at all as the players that departed weren't really high earners.

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Outs -

Junior Mondal - Was a very good performer last year and I wanted to play him, but a decent fee offered from Charlton tempted me to let him go reluctantly. But he was likely to be backup so I couldn't afford to pass up on a fee and getting the wages down a bit.

Liam Kitching - Another good performer last year and a player with quite a bit of potential. I was surprised though when there was Premier League interest. I was even more surprised when Newcastle accepted my negotiation of £1.1m+bonuses. He was not interested in extending his deal either so we had to let him go or risk losing him for free.

Carl Winchester - Another that was a relatively high earner and low down in the pecking order. Clearing the wage bill and a fee. Couldn't say no.

The rest were loans or young players that were never really going to make it.

In -

My first three signings were when I was allowed to spend money, everything afterwards was loan deals with the parent club paying 100% wages or me paying a monthly fee instead of wages as this did not affect FFP.

Jack Byrne - Signed on a free from the Irish league, like Benson last year. Really, really good player at this level, who had interest from higher leagues. Pacy and skillful winger that ill be a key player.

Alex Woodyard - A good league one player. Experienced at this level and a natural leader. Box-to-box player that was needed and really pleased to be able to get him.

Alfie Jones - The last of the players I signed that were part of my initial plans. A very promising centre back that can also help out in CDM/CM if needed. More than ready to be a regular at this level but should end up being a prem player IMO.

When it was clear I wouldn't be able to pay wages on any other players I searched for a parent club to enable me to borrow players for no cost. Chelsea were that club. They have given me Juan Castillo who is a Left wing back that fits perfectly into my 3 at the back formation. I also took Ike Ugbo as backup to Aaron Collins, he's barely featured at all as I managed to get in another player below that made me quite happy.

West Ham were the only other club willing to loan players with no wage contribution. Nathan Holland and Arnouar El Mhaassani came in. Nathan Holland was originally signed as a backup Left sided inside forward, but has really impressed and become a key player. El Mhaassani is there in case Byrne gets exhausted or injured.

I then realised towards the end of the window a small loophole around not being able to add to wage bill was to take some transfer listed players on loan deals, paying a monthly fee instead of wages and inserting an optional future fee if they turned out well. This enable me to bring in Cole Da Silva as backup to Liam Shepherd as a RWB.

And finally one that gave me a lot of satisfaction as someone that takes quite a bit of interest in FGR IRL. Bringing the legend that is Christian Doidge back home. Delighted to have him back with the club and after a slow start he's starting to get his name back on the scoresheet.

 

Results -

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The first three games gave me great hope, winning all of them and only conceding one goal. We then went on a 7 game run without a win, but this turned into an unbeaten run as the last 5 of those 7 were draws, including 3 back to back 0-0's!! Since then we've found some good form, turning those draws into wins, with the occasional loss, but overall I couldn't have asked for a better start, considering. We made it through the EFL trophy playing our youth squad, which says a lot about the trophy, but eventually went out to Southend. Wasn't devastated. Went out the Caraboa to prem opposition. Unfortunately losing to Sunderland in the first round with a replay I could have done without. Hereford was the second round tie, so I was pretty gutted to miss out on that. 

 

Table -

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We currently sit in a very healthy second position, looking good for at least a play off spot and maybe even something more. I do fear that a few injuries might curtail things, but if we manage to avoid them our first 14/15 players are very good for this league. Beyond that, we are struggling a bit.

 

Squad -

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Like last year, the defenders have performed really well, taking the step up with ease. Woodyard and Benson have formed a really nice partnership in midfield. Unfortunately Woodyard is out for a little while, but Joe Ledley has deputised nicely. Byrne and Williams have excelled on the wings and Collins has notched a few as well since making the step up.

 

@Dong21 Nice work with Bolton. Barnsley came down on mine as well, but struggling with League one life a lot more than they are on yours! Hope you keep hold of Darcy until at least the end of the season.

@warlock - Good to see you back in the game. Stoke should be a fun save. Great move terminating Afobe's loan. Can you believe Diouf's wages :eek:

@Fubz Congrats on staying in the Prem quite comfortably in the end! Great job!

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Nice work @10Sammo10 considering the FFP (P&S) problems. I like the signings of Jones, Holland and Doidge in particular.

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@Jogo Bonito I’ve just reached the start of September so will post an update once I reach the end of the year. Hopefully get through it a little quicker now the window is shut! 

@10Sammo10 Shame about the financial challenges but must make it even more satisfying that you’re doing so well. 

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1 hour ago, 10Sammo10 said:

Can you believe Diouf's wages :eek:

I know, which was I moved him on as a priority. We still have the highest wage bill in the championship - including the likes of Sam Clucas and Sam Vokes (both fringe players, both 2.5 stars) on £35k a week. Mad!!

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Well. anyone who wants to preserve the sanctity of the Football League thread, please feel free to put me on ignore...

---

Tonbridge Angels - 2019/20

Tonbrdige_angels_fc.png

Decided to take over newly promoted Tonbridge, in what would be their second stint at this level after being relegated in 2015. We were predicted 21st and had the smallest wage budget in the division, meaning the board were happy for me to just avoid relegation and establish ourselves as a Conference South club over time.

Transfers:

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Aransibia is the big fish here, and Parker and Roberts also go straight into the stating XI.

Season Review:

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Despite the media's lowly predictions, we started well and sat comfortably in the playoff spots for basically the whole season, before bowing out at the first playoff hurdle to Billericay. Attack was the best form of defence as we plundered 81 goals, 12 ahead of the next best, behind 40 alone (30 in the league) from former Southend youth striker Jason Williams.

As expected, Aransibia was too good for this level and his 17 goals and 11 assists earned him a move to Bromley in the league above. Northampton loanee Roberts notched an amazing 24 assists, while Woking loanee Christ Tiéhi was shortlisted for the league player of the season award as a DLP.

 

---

 

Tonbridge Angels - 2020/21

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After the heroics of the previous season, the board decided a top half finish was required, despite the losses of key players Aransibia and Tiéhi.

Transfers:

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A bit more activity this time around as I tried to fill key roles. Duncan lasted three months before his underwhelming displays in midfield had me offering him around to whoever would take him. Roberts came for a second season on loan, while Olowu joined after his Arsenal contract expired and looks a fine prospect at centre half.

Season Review:

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Put simply, we couldn't put the ball in the net, which led to a patchy first half of the season in which we hovered around 12th, only just meeting the board's requirements. A strong Jan/Feb pushed us into the playoffs and we hung onto 7th, before getting bounced at Torquay, who ended up promoted. Williams took a while to get going but scored 23 by season's end, while Roberts was excellent throughout with 12 goals and 17 assists playing right across the AMC line.

Next season:

Next season promises to be challenging again, as we have lost two more key defenders in Olowu (Billericay) and Packham (Chesterfield), and could realistically do with strengthening right across the squad if we are to truly push the bigger clubs in the division. Attracting that quality is the issue though.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

After playing with both Liverpool and Leverkusen for the first two months after the game was released, i decided i wanted a long term challenge. I usually don't go further down then Chamionship, but this year i wanted to try something different, and choose to start with Oxford United. They have a really interesting team, with a lot of them also capable to come on the journey further up the divisions. 

Didn't want to do that many transfers, but strengthen the squad with Rhian Brewster on loan from Liverpool and Brandon Fleming on loan from Hull. Only transfer out was Jamie Mackie, who returned to Scotland and Patrick Thistle.

Had a very good Pre Season, specially pleased with the win against Charlton. One draw against Dag & Red, they had one shot on target (!)

 

Skjermbilde 2020-01-06 kl. 11.35.30.png

Edited by matsnor21

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After about 2 weeks of thought nd starting saves to decide who I will be taking on I have made my decision!

i will start a save with AFC Wimbledon 

the tactic they play suits what I want to play 3-5-2 and also they have some good youth prospects in the starting line up

my aim will be to hopefully be around mid table in the first season (think this is wishful thinking) and try nd build a strong young team to push for the play offs in the 2nd season 

anyone recommend and cheap youth players to target? not that I expect to be able to get anyone in😂

 

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2 hours ago, CityAndColour said:

Decided to take over newly promoted Tonbridge

Dafuge-ish! Likely to be a long haul (as I'm sure you know). Good luck!

1 hour ago, matsnor21 said:

choose to start with Oxford United

I'm sure Brewster will do a good job for you in season 1, and I've had an eye on Shandon Baptiste for a while.

1 hour ago, Rollin93 said:

anyone recommend and cheap youth players to target?

Not specifically, I'm afraid. But as a strategy, go through all of the PL and Championship sides and identify any youngsters whose contracts expire at the end of the season; scout those and shortlist the best prospects. In non-league saves around London, I've usually managed to pick up some talent from the likes of Spurs, Arsenal, Fulham, Palace and Brentford.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, warlock said:

I've had an eye on Shandon Baptiste for a while.

Me too, cracking player and the goal at the weekend won't have done his chances of a move any harm. Potential transfer target for me if I take on Brentford or Reading (HGC there as they let him leave a few years ago).

Two good seasons there @CityAndColour. It's very hard to get out of those leagues, especially as keeping your better players is always difficult. 

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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1513195901_BWFCstadium.thumb.jpg.f8920566e13bd3c1802d971e103ae58a.jpg

Bolton - Season 2

The season so far is split very clearly in to three categories

Pre-season was poor, with only a narrow late win over Grimsby preventing preparations being really awful

Then when the competitive action started, we survived a bit of pressure against Cardiff before emerging clear victors

That confidence saw a storming comeback from a goal down at relegated Brighton to claim another three points

And Sheffield Wednesday were brushed aside in the Carabao Cup as things continued to go remarkably well

Unfortunately ace striker Kolbeinn Sigþórsson then suffered a damaged achilles tendon in training which would rule him out for 4/5 months

Despite that, and having captain Jason Lowe red-carded just before HT when 0-0 against Luton (three game ban) Jonathan Kodjia came up trumps to take us top of the table

Unfortunately without our top scorer and captain things have gone horribly wrong since then, with a poor run of results and lack of goals seeing a big slump 

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In fairness the actual league position is better than I would have expected, but there is already much cause for concern

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The transfer window saw the departure of Luke Murphy, Ben Heneghan, and a calculated decision to cash-in on right-back Daniel Anyembe

The loans of Billy Bodin and Herbie Kane were not renewed so a few new faces have come in (not all for the first team squad)

Arriving for small outlays were Mathias Fjørtoft Løvik (U18 defender), Alfons Sampsted (DR understudy) and Josh Vela (MC) who has HGC status here at Bolton

Another ex-Bolton player Luca Connell (ML/MC) also returned home on loan from Celtic for the season

Free transfers incoming were Benny Ashley-Seal (U23 striker), Stephen Kingsley (DL), Kieran O'Hara (GK understudy), Jonathan Kodjia (STC) and Chey Dunkley (DC) 

All of this saw a small profit made in the transfer window, but half the squad seemed to want new contracts and there is still a massive £500k per month loan repayment

The highest earner is now goalkeeper Jeppe Højbjerg on £8k per week but several others have been given raises due to constant demands and moaning

650333994_BWtransfers2.1.thumb.png.673aae169897efc16de5885327c9fa47.png

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@Jogo Bonito Good start but no goals in the last three must be a concern. What's Ashley-Seal like? Noticed he got his first start for Wolves over the weekend.

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1 hour ago, Jogo Bonito said:

there is already much cause for concern

Hmm... distressing how much impact a couple of key injuries can have. Hopefully, you'll ride out a spell of poor results and recover some form.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Gunner 101 said:

@Jogo Bonito Good start but no goals in the last three must be a concern. What's Ashley-Seal like? Noticed he got his first start for Wolves over the weekend.

Nothing crazy from Seal yet. He's in the U23 squad with 3 goals from 4 (3) appearances and an average rating of 7.33. I've demoted Colby Bishop to the U23 squad after failing to sell him as I wanted to give young Eddie Brown and Joe Gelhardt some chances alongside Kodjia with my talisman out injured.

If he can get it together and show a killer instinct this could be heaven and a change is gonna come. It's only the beginning of his Bolton career and I haven't lost my faith. Part of my vision is that he will show a good touch in and around the box and post some amazing returns in the U23 squad. Basically if his record is singing I am your man, bring it on I don't want to be burdened by the weight of my mistakes, and I will tell him I am waiting for you. OK that's 14 Seal song titles squeezed in to that reply, but he looked raw and semi-decent at the weekend and hopefully will be of some use to my squad.

36 minutes ago, warlock said:

Hmm... distressing how much impact a couple of key injuries can have. Hopefully, you'll ride out a spell of poor results and recover some form.

Yeah it was going so well, now I'm really needing to find some solutions and this may mean going away from 442 and trying a 4411 or something. Time will tell.

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Gunner 101 said:

@Jogo Bonito 14 songs and no mention of Fly Like An Eagle. :rolleyes: Good luck for the rest of the season. 

Blimey, tough crowd in here! Couldn't really fit that one in easily but just had to have a listen, decent tune to be fair. Lost my next game 3-0 at Sheffield United with two of their goals after 90 minutes :lol:

Seal got another goal & MOM 8.2 rating in the U23 side's 2-0 win over Bournemouth. He's beginning to fly like an eagle...

Talking of players appearing in the FA Cup this weekend, I tried to sign Nathan Phillips as a centre-back instead of Dunkley. He was born in Bolton and has HGC status plus his dad Jimmy is my HOYD. He accepted my offer and then went and signed for Charlton instead :herman:

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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19 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Blimey, tough crowd in here! Couldn't really fit that one in easily but just had to have a listen, decent tune to be fair. Lost my next game 3-0 at Sheffield United with two of their goals after 90 minutes :lol:

Seal got another goal & MOM 8.2 rating in the U23 side's 2-0 win over Bournemouth. He's beginning to fly like an eagle...

Talking of players appearing in the FA Cup this weekend, I tried to sign Nathan Phillips as a centre-back instead of Dunkley. He was born in Bolton and has HGC status plus his dad Jimmy is my HOYD. He accepted my offer and then went and signed for Charlton instead :herman:

Great song. Remember it well from my childhood and watching Space Jam. :cool:

That’s just darn rude! How dare he turn down Mr Bonito? 

Definitely think Seal needs a call up to the first team. 

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1 hour ago, Jogo Bonito said:

I'm really needing to find some solutions

Never gonna survive unless... :lol:

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22 hours ago, 10Sammo10 said:

@Dong21 Nice work with Bolton. Barnsley came down on mine as well, but struggling with League one life a lot more than they are on yours! Hope you keep hold of Darcy until at least the end of the season.

Yeah Barnsley are flying on mine, although there not doing quite as well as Bristol City appear to be doing on yours! Looks like you're having a great season @10Sammo10, good work.

Unfortunately I've had to cash in on Darcy - I've put the best interests of the club above my own as a Watford put together a deal that will rise to £10m for him. Searching for replacements now.

5 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Unfortunately ace striker Kolbeinn Sigþórsson then suffered a damaged achilles tendon in training which would rule him out for 4/5 months

Unlucky with the injury there mate @Jogo Bonito - Kodjia is a decent player though, so hopefully he will step up for you. Great to see Brown get a couple of goals in the Championship too!

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Posted (edited)

Coventry.png.459f1c2985632337c9a75ba8675d04f8.png

 

Coventry City FC - Sky Blues back on track?

From The Guardian:

Quote

 

"Twenty years ago Coventry were a Premier League side. They were managed by Gordon Strachan, had David Burrows in defence, Gary McAllister in midfield and up front the deadly duo of Dion Dublin and Darren Huckerby. Ten years ago Coventry were in the Championship, their long run in the top flight finally at an end and with the costs of a new stadium, the Ricoh Arena, hanging around their neck. At the end of 2007, the club were bought by the hedge fund Sisu Capital.

Now it is fair to say the club are in a state of absolute distress. Sitting at the bottom of League One with one victory in 11 games, Tony Mowbray resigned as manager on 29 September, leaving behind a group of players he called “babies in a man’s league”. Their last league match at the 32,609-seat Ricoh Arena was watched by a crowd of only 8,030. “Gates are 25% down on last season already,” says Jan Mokrzycki of the Sky Blue Trust, Coventry City’s supporters’ group. “People are either angry or just don’t care any more.”

 

 

Coventry is now playing in League One and got some decent home grown players to build around and a great history, which always motivates me on FM. So my vision was to build up the club without doing anything crazy that would jeopardize the finances. My goal is to play attractive football on our own permissions and deliver entertainment back to our fans.

 

Season 1

I had my eyes on Playoff before the season and wow, the players really didn't disappoint.

269665430_Skjermbilde2020-01-06kl_21_22_37.thumb.png.c74027eb6d4699bec67dce45f97b6cf6.png1675459634_Skjermbilde2020-01-06kl_21_30_14.thumb.png.4ecd37d6fc9b56800919699aced4e734.png

I did very little on the transfer front, with only Aaron Connolly joining from Brighton as I felt we needed some quality up front. We got knocked out early from both of the cups, so we could focus 100% on our mission in the league. To be fair, I was trying in the FA Cup but Wycombe absolutely destroyed us 4-0. The loan soldier Liam Walsh was just on another level with his 12 assists and 8 POM. Aaron Connolly proved to be a great addition.. When I saw that we were competing among the top in December I decided to add some more young quality and depth to the midfield and at center back, because I really felt that we had a chance if we could stay fit and get some more depth in case of injuries. We manage to add some great additions that made a great effort to securing the title.

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James Garner had an average rating of 7.42 with 13 caps and Max Kilman 7.19. Couldn't ask for more.. 

 

Season 2

We got no money to spend on with the new transfer budget and just under £100k a week on wages, so couldn't exactly go crazy. But it was fine, I want to build slowly and build up the economy to be healthy. At the same time I was a bit unsure if my style of play would be a little overambitious in Championship. I'm pretty happy with our transfers and got some great young players that is adding some quality to our side. Unfortunately we didn't manage to get Liam Walsh on free, he went to Bristol City. Tried to get a couple of other guys but they all chose other clubs that could pay them better. So now our highest earner is Jordy Hiwula on £6.5k a week and highest paid loan player is Østigård and Kane on £10.25k, a little high but that quality is worth it. We also manage to sell some players to get some money in the bank, so all in all, great window. Our goal this season is to avoid relegation. Can we compete in Championship? Well, I kinda think so after that start! 

211877266_Skjermbilde2020-01-06kl_21_21_32.thumb.png.cd1dc018bd915b66d145198cf279e990.png1953463002_Skjermbilde2020-01-06kl_21_21_07.thumb.png.8bd6225953ff6082f6d8f4e60664af74.png

What a start.. Demolishing Cardiff 6-1 at home and beating Newcastle at St. James' Park, wow! Kinda frustrating that we lost a game against Swansea that we should have won. Can't wait to see what we can achieve this season, I have no big ambitions so all over relegation is a bonus. The Sky Blues are back on track!

 

Edited by Bergbatov

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Posted (edited)

So my Birmingham City save was going well! Got promoted 2nd season having finished 2nd in the league.

The off season has gone well making some decent signings which I was satisfied would help me battle relegation.

Get to the 25th June and season expectations.........qualify for the champions cup through the league. WHAT ON EARTH!

Is this some kind of bug as that is just ridiculous!?

Edited by Jonthedon26

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18 minutes ago, Jonthedon26 said:

So my Birmingham City save was going well! Got promoted 2nd season having finished 2nd in the league.

The off season has gone well making some decent signings which I was satisfied would help me battle relegation.

Get to the 25th June and season expectations.........qualify for the champions cup through the league. WHAT ON EARTH!

Is this some kind of bug as that is just ridiculous!?

😳😳what the hell! It’s got to be surely 

that’s one way of killing a save football manager 

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Just now, Rollin93 said:

😳😳what the hell! It’s got to be surely 

that’s one way of killing a save football manager 

I was thinking the same!

Gutted as well as Birmingham City is always my first save given they are the team I support. I was really looking forward to seeing how I would do with them, plus I had signed some exciting young players. Guess I will give it my best shot but seems the sack is inevitable

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Bergbatov said:

the players really didn't disappoint

Excellent. Hope you can keep it going at the higher level.

44 minutes ago, Jonthedon26 said:

Guess I will give it my best shot but seems the sack is inevitable

looks buggy to me - when I took Birmingham up to the PL the only expectation was to fight against relegation, so it's not happening all the time. If @Jonthedon26 has a save during the close season, I'd reload and run it up to the expectations announcement and see what happens.

Edited by warlock

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2 hours ago, warlock said:

Excellent. Hope you can keep it going at the higher level.

looks buggy to me - when I took Birmingham up to the PL the only expectation was to fight against relegation, so it's not happening all the time. If @Jonthedon26 has a save during the close season, I'd reload and run it up to the expectations announcement and see what happens.

Cheers mate, good idea, I'll see what I can do!

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Stoke: season 1, January

After the last update at the end of August, here's how our season has progressed.

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A loss to Brentford was not surprising as they were then - and still are - running away with the division. Less acceptable were the dropped points at home against Forest and Huddersfield, although our good form largely continued throughout October. Going out of the Carbao Cup against Preston was a big disappointment and that seemed to signal a loss of confidence. From that point we struggled for consistency and goals, rarely finding the net more than once and failing to keep them out at our end.

Back-to-back wins against Blackburn and Hull suggested we might have turned it around, but our first consecutive losses of the season in the week before Christmas disproved that notion. So for the visit of Wednesday on Boxing Day I unveiled a shiny new tactic, a 4132. It paid immediate dividends and did even better three days later as we stole all three points from Fulham at Craven Cottage.

UZn1NvSh.png?1

Which leaves us in 3rd spot in the division, 12pts behind Brentford but well within the chasing pack. Afobe has been the standout performer with 14 goals from 23 starts. Of our other strikers, only Lee Gregory has made much of an impression with 5 from 11 (6), but he's been injured more than he's been fit. On-loan Scott Hogan started well but has been awful for weeks, and Sam Vokes has been worse. They've been so unreliable, I've promoted Julien Ngoy from the u23s and he's scored twice in 4 starts. McClean has provided the most assists with 7, but he's another who has spent more time in the sickroom than on the pitch. And Tom Ince is an odd one - he's scored 3 and created another 4, but he's horribly inconsistent... brilliant on his day, but those days are few and far between. A tip 'o' the hat to Jack Butland, who has kept 10 clean sheets in 24 games and generally performed heroically behind a suspect backline.

On the eve of the transfer window I have some changes planned. First up, the termination of Hogan's loan - the man is costing us £24k a week in wages, and another £28k a month loan fee. Another easy decision will see 34-year-old Mark Duffy returned to Sheffield United, saving us another £8k a week. And Cameron Carter-Vickers will be shipped back to Spurs - he's costing us an eye-watering £136k a month in fees and wages.

Other changes are not so clear. The new tactic does not get the best from Ince, or have room for McClean (although he's injured for another month). But equally, we have no real backups for those two in the wide positions. Ince can play at AMC if I occasionally switch to a more attacking 4312. But we'll definitely need another striker - I'm happy with Ngoy and Afobe, but if the latter gets injured we'll be in trouble.

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@warlock That’s a hell of savings you’ve made there with regards to player wages! Assuming you have a bit to play with now though? 

Seems like Brentford are flying but I’m sure they will drop off eventually. Just got to be there to take advantage. :brock:

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Is it me or are all Boltons youngsters overrated, nearly all their youth team in my save are at least league two level. Is this because they were all playing for the first team when they had no players at the start of the season?

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So I’m 13 games into my Wimbledon save and I’m 2nd 7 wins 4 draws and 2 losses 

I only brought in 2 players on loan first to arrive was Robbie Gotts from Leeds who I have been playing CM he has been very good but the stand out player so far is my 2nd arrival in joe rankin-Costello from Blackburn currently has a league rating of 7.37 he has a 91% tackles won and a 85%pass rate 

marcus forss on loan from Brentford also gets a worthy mention 

 

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@matsnor Look forward to seeing your progress with Oxford. Fosu is someone ive always liked in previous versions of FM so hopefully he’s still good on this one. 
 

@Jogo Bonito nice pre-season update. What’s Kodjia like ? Did he want big wages or did you get him for a reasonable amount ?  And Great progress with Cov @Bergbatov . Really good start to Championship life!

@warlock nice spot to be in in the league. You planning on using any of that money saved in Jan ? Must have quite a good sun left having not spent much in Pre-season. 

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1 hour ago, 10Sammo10 said:

@warlock nice spot to be in in the league. You planning on using any of that money saved in Jan ?

It made for an interesting puzzle. Things to consider included: a) the need to buy (hopefully) for the PL and not just the championship; b) the lack of good value targets in January; and c) the fact that I have several decent players out on loan who'll return in the summer. They include Verlinden out on the right, Imbula at DM, Wimmer at CB, Tymon at LB, and Bauer at RB. Not coincidentally, those are most of the areas that needed reinforcements. So, by and large, I decided to keep my powder dry and brought in a couple of loans to shore up the most urgent areas. The one purchase I made was to replace LB Stephen Ward - at 34, with six months left on his contract (and he wasn't getting a renewal) so when Hull offered £250k I snatched their hand off. It leaves me with around £6.5m in the transfer budget, and £50k a week in wage surplus.

 

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Posted (edited)

Great update @warlock and  you're well in contention for another promotion. How will you feel about managing Stoke in the PL if you get promoted?

@10Sammo10 Kodjia is very hit and miss. Scored a brace then was awful when I needed him to step up as the main striker. Then he had a goal blitz which may only last one or two games. Wages were very fair at £7000 per week.

@Bergbatov Welcome and well done with Coventry. Good luck on your Championship season.

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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1 minute ago, Jogo Bonito said:

How will you feel about managing Stoke in the PL if you get promoted?

Well, I'm hoping to get through at least one promoted season this year :lol:. Haven't managed one yet. And if I can hang on to Ngoy I'll definitely stick around - he's scored 11 in 11 starts and 6 sub appearances since I promoted him to the senior squad. If he keeps that up he might be my favourite FM striker ever!

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7 minutes ago, warlock said:

Well, I'm hoping to get through at least one promoted season this year :lol:. Haven't managed one yet. And if I can hang on to Ngoy I'll definitely stick around - he's scored 11 in 11 starts and 6 sub appearances since I promoted him to the senior squad. If he keeps that up he might be my favourite FM striker ever!

Well whatever happens, it will be good to see you have a second season. Funnily enough it was a few encouraging comments on here and a desire to see how my Icelandic striker got on that made me start season 2 with Bolton. His long-term injury after just two games was a big blow that I'm trying to put behind me as the motivation dipped a little after that and the hammerings I was receiving as a result. 

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15 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

motivation dipped a little after that and the hammerings I was receiving as a result.

Funny how the game is much more "interesting" when we're winning :lol:. Seems like every save has at least one bad month and I have to resist the temptation to chuck it and look for the greener grass elsewhere. Someone around here once pointed out that the highs are better after you've been through the lows. You, I think!

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Posted (edited)

Thanks @warlock, @Gunner 101, @10Sammo10 and @Jogo Bonito . 

I'm now 26 games into the season and I'm mind-blown. We had a little struggle recently with 5 games without a win in the league with 4 draws, 1 loss and lost 2-0 to Crewe in FA Cup(with reserves), so I thought we might have landed the ship after our space trip. But no, we actually managed to beat Fulham 2-0 on Craven Cottage and whoops..top of the league again. I had no imagination of promotion when we started this season, now we actually got a chance. Zain Westbrooke and Fankaty Dato have been amazing for us so far. It's January now and we got some space in our wage budget so I might get another player on loan. Haven't decided if we're going for a center back or a right wing yet, probably center back. 

 

2037102957_Skjermbilde2020-01-08kl_00_31_57.thumb.png.51b2769b8c379a67c0f5950fc7d2f907.png

Edited by Bergbatov

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56 minutes ago, warlock said:

Funny how the game is much more "interesting" when we're winning :lol:. Seems like every save has at least one bad month and I have to resist the temptation to chuck it and look for the greener grass elsewhere. Someone around here once pointed out that the highs are better after you've been through the lows. You, I think!

What a wise man that person was. Note the past tense :kriss:

I'm hanging in there for the time being. It's more the injury to The Iceman than the defeats that is making me question my continuation.

@Bergbatov Going great there. Sorry if I missed it, but where are home games being played in your second season?

 

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Posted (edited)

We are back at The Ricoh Arena @Jogo Bonito. Probably why we're overachieving, players are so happy to be back from Birmingham :lol:

Good luck with the rest of the season @warlock, Stoke is an interesting rebuilding project. I had Ngoy on FM18 and yeah, wow what a player. That speed...

Edited by Bergbatov

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1 hour ago, Jogo Bonito said:

What a wise man that person was. Note the past tense :kriss:

Oh, you're still wise. Ernie, perhaps, but Wise nonetheless :lol:

1 hour ago, Bergbatov said:

I had Ngoy on FM18 and yeah, wow what a player. That speed...

Yeah, he's a nippy fellow! Of course, I cursed him with my last post - hasn't scored or assisted in the last four games now. Things going well at the Ricoh, though. Keep it going :thup:

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Hi everyone! Was just reading up on this thread, glad to see it's up there with the best on the forum again this year :) And that most of the regulars are back again.

I have been struggling a bit to get into the game this year (mainly because I think the ME & tactics are a bit all over the place), but wanted to start off on a new challenging project to take a club up the leagues. Planning to begin in League One and I have narrowed it down to Rochdale and Southend. Any suggestions or feedback between the two? Will hopefully kick things off tonight! 

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27 minutes ago, karanhsingh said:

wanted to start off on a new challenging project

Welcome back! Between Southend and Rochdale I'd say the fomer is a better prospect, the latter a tougher challenge. At Southend you have Stephen Humphrys as a dependable goalscorer (he's leading the division in my current save), whereas Rochdale have struggled for goals (and points) in every save I've played - and I'm pretty sure they've sacked their manager by January every time, too. Good luck whatever you decide :thup:

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52 minutes ago, karanhsingh said:

Planning to begin in League One and I have narrowed it down to Rochdale and Southend. Any suggestions or feedback between the two? Will hopefully kick things off tonight! 

I would have gone for Rochdale. It's so many young prospects to build the club around, Rathbone, Matheson, Camps, Morley +. Actually a pretty decent squad with a lot of potential.

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