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FM20: The English Football League thread

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31 minutes ago, karanhsingh said:

I think I am convinced for the Dale! thanks guys

Welcome back and good luck. Rochdale have never made the second tier so perhaps you can be the first to achieve it. Slightly more likeable than Southend probably, but both would be challenging.

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Just started a Wigan Athletic save and was wondering if anyone else is managing the Latics? Still assessing in Pre Season and they seem to have a well balanced squad, I'm looking forward to see how young Joe Gelhardt develops. 

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Posted (edited)

Stoke: season 1, 2020

When we last left our heroic Potters we were comfortably established in the playoff positions, but quite some distance behind runaway leaders Brentford. I had gifted the team a shiny new 4132 tactic that quickly produced two good results on the eve of the new year. The January tranfer window saw us end the loans of Hogan, Duffy and Carter-Vickers and I could have left it there since there was adequate cover at every position.

But apart from Afobe and Ngoy I had little confidence in my other strikers, who had seriously underperformed when called on. As a result, I brought in Rhian Brewster on loan from Liverpool, and he would go on to bag 7 goals in 12 starts. Next up was another Liverpool loanee, DM Pedro Chirivella. Although I have Joe Allen and Ryan Woods who can play at the position, neither is entirely comfortable and both are defensively suspect. Chirivella had neither weakness, played brilliantly for us and since his contract was expiring in June, I hoped to make the move permanent. I talked him up in the media, declared him a top target... and he accepted a contract from New York Red Bulls :rolleyes:.

Our final signing was forced when Hull made an unexpected offer for LB Stephen Ward. With an expiring contract and no chance of a renewal at 34, his move represented free money. In return I found Romanian international Cristian Ganea languishing in the Bilbao B-team. He's a solid option in the role, something of a deadball specialist and a bargain at £800k. He scored on his debut, and scored another and created 4 in 12 appearances. I'm happy with that!

epp5s2Zh.png?1

The loss to Huddersfield made me question the new tactic, but we pushed Spurs all the way to a narrow defeat in the FA Cup. And then the tactic took off after a blip against Derby as we stormed to 10 wins and a draw in our next 11 games, a run that saw us cut Brentford's lead to 5pts as we climbed to 2nd with what looked like a comfortable lead over Bristol City in 3rd. But then...

sYhQveOh.png?1

I simply can't explain what happened at Elland Road. Leeds set up in a defensive flat 4141 that seemed to offer little threat, while we played our now-usual balanced style. And they tore us apart - they were 2-0 up at halftime, added another before the 60th minute and then rubbed salt in our wounds with a 4th in the 92nd minute. Worse, a win against Birmingham at home would have secured automatic promotion, and the players bottled it again. That left us 7pts clear of Bristol with 9 to play for, and our next two games were away at Bristol and at home to Brentford.

I had no great expectations of the Bristol game - our confidence seemed shot, most of the squad were nervous or anxious as soon as we took to the pitch, and Bristol came at us hammer and tongs. Probably they were too attacking, blazing away from all angles, and we managed to hold them off until a minute before halftime. Then we hit them with a long ball over the top, Afobe collected and fired it home for an unlikely 1-0 lead. Second half was more of the same as they tried everything to score and we tried everything to thwart them - hoofing it long, shoot-on-sight attempts into the back row, a PoM performance from Jack Butland. Not our greatest performance, but it got the job done.

S0t0LxJh.png?1

So the PL awaits. The board have added the usual £30-odd million to the cash I didn't spend this year, so we have a warchest of £40m and I'd hope to increase that a little because there are several players who need to be moved on. Normally I treat promotion with more trepidation than hope, but I'm cautiously optimistic this time :onmehead:

Edited by warlock

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Fantastic @warlock! Good luck for the off season. Hopefully you can spend that money wisely and prepare your team for the next challenge! 

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3 minutes ago, Gunner 101 said:

Hopefully you can spend that money wisely and prepare your team for the next challenge!

Cheers! Those last two games of the season hold little interest now... I'll be spending some time working the scouting team :D

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Nice one @warlock never in doubt :)

At least Stoke have a squad that contains some players who on paper would be PL quality. On the pitch has been different but with you at the wheel you got them playing to their potential.

From my experience £40 million doesn't go too far towards making a second tier team capable of surviving the perils of the PL, but Stoke might have a better reputation for attracting what you need.

@shakey.bridge Wigan came in to my thoughts recently. Some decent players in there, and should have easily enough to avoid the drop as you clear out the sub-standard ones.

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3 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

From my experience £40 million doesn't go too far towards making a second tier team capable of surviving the perils of the PL

You're right, but also correct in that we do have some decent players, and we're much better positioned than many of the mid-table Championship teams I've taken up in the past. The only real problem areas are that DM spot, and a PL-quality striker. Could probably do with another CB, but I'll have to re-assess when Wimmer comes back from loan. Tymon has had a good season in Portugal and is now rated PL-quality by my scouts and coaches. Of course, I'd love to upgrade everywhere, but baby-steps :lol:

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@warlock The  spine - striker, central midfield, central defender and keeper are probably the key positions to be strong in. Hopefully Butland is capable so that's a positive. I was about to write some names for the other positions but I'm sure you would prefer to find your own targets.

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4 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

I'm sure you would prefer to find your own targets.

Oh, fire away... I'm not proud :lol:

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, warlock said:

Oh, fire away... I'm not proud :lol:

I'd be thinking of Haaland, Samatta, Mitrovic or perhaps Batshuayi for striker. Or see the teams that got relegated and whether options like Ings, Wesley or C Wilson are attainable.

For central defence & midfield perhaps check the top clubs in Holland, Belgium and France. Not particularly a DM but Donny van de Beek at Ajax may be possible. Otherwise Nampalys Mendy from Leicester maybe.

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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Why is that every bit-part player wants a new contract as soon as  you win promotion? :mad:

Anyway, this season is in the books. We held Brentford to a goalless draw in a dead rubber, and beat Forest away 2-1 to deny them a playoff place. We've set new club records for wins in a season and total points earned. Afobe was second in the scoring chart with 24 behind Jack Marriott's 26, while Jack Butland shared the GK honours with Brentford's David Raya with 22 clean sheets. Onwards and upwards...

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4 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

I'd be thinking

Some good ideas there... don't know Samatta, I'll have a look. Of the PL relegation clubs, Sheff Utd are definitely down, and it'll be two from Everton, Brighton and Watford, so some possibilities there, I think. And I love de Beek, but with a current value of £31.5m I think he's out of my budget. Watch this space!

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1 minute ago, warlock said:

Some good ideas there... don't know Samatta, I'll have a look. Of the PL relegation clubs, Sheff Utd are definitely down, and it'll be two from Everton, Brighton and Watford, so some possibilities there, I think. And I love de Beek, but with a current value of £31.5m I think he's out of my budget. Watch this space!

I just thought about Nampalys Mendy too. Sheffield United or Brighton defenders like O'Connell, Dunk etc. Midfield perhaps Doucoure from Watford?

Samatta may struggle on the WP front.

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1 minute ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Samatta may struggle on the WP front.

Yeah, just looked and that was my first thought. Looks a beast, though. I'm setting scouts on likely targets from the bottom four and I'm sure we'll be able to do some business there.

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Posted (edited)

Congrats on promotion @warlock. Looking forward to see who you bring in. BTW, how do you get your screenshot that big in the forum?

Edited by Bergbatov

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2 hours ago, Gunner 101 said:

Argh, what it would be like to have a transfer budget! :rolleyes:

Adds to the fun factor :)#

52 minutes ago, 10Sammo10 said:

Hopefully you manage to get rid of some of those unwanted high earners as well

That would be nice, but it certainly makes them harder to shift. Fingers crossed.

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1 minute ago, Bergbatov said:

how do you get your screenshot that big in the forum?

Upload the grabs to imgur, then they give a bunch of options for size from 'original' to 'small thumbnail' and everything in between. I usually choose the large or huge thumbnails and then just copy and paste the link. HTH.

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Looks like boardroom nonsense might screw me out of another promotion season :(

xG5oyTPh.png?1

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29 minutes ago, warlock said:

Looks like boardroom nonsense might screw me out of another promotion season :(

xG5oyTPh.png?1

:herman::idiot::seagull:

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It's all a bit up in the air at the moment. Mr Potts has told me they'll let me know when they make a decision on my future. In the meantime, they've offered £39m for Vigo's Fran Beltran :rolleyes:. I mean, the money's not coming out of my transfer budget, and he looks like he'll solve my DM-DLP problem, but £39m??

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Well, there's good news and there's bad news... The good news is they've allowed me to keep my job for the time being but will make a final decision after my first game - which is away at Chelsea :eek:. The bad news is that I was wrong about the Beltran transfer - it did come out of my transfer budget, of which there is now none left. Worse, they made another £10m offer for a Croatian midfielder I've never heard of and if that goes through we'll really be in a hole. The badder news is that some out-going transfers were blocked during the takeover and that interest has now melted away, so we're currently £12k a week in the red on wages. That doesn't include the mystery Croatian's wage, nor does it allow for the extra £150k a week we're about to be hit with when some current loans end.

On balance, I'm not sure I care about the good news if I'm going to plod through pre-season and get sacked after a spanking at Chelsea. We start the season in the red, and there's no budget to do anything. Meanwhile, I'm overrun with midfielders but haven't been able to reinforce central defence. I renewed the loan of Rhian Brewster but I'm not convinced we have enough up front to cope with the PL. I think, yet again, I'm looking for a new club :onmehead:

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I like the feature of a new board making offers for players, but you really need the option to discuss with them and potentially reject.

For example, you could raise concerns that they may not fit into your tactic, or the financials may prevent you from strengthening elsewhere, or you could promise to sufficiently strengthen the squad yourself etc. They may still buy the player over your head but at least you'd feel involved in the process.

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@Warlock1792 That's a really disappointing scenario for you, quite ridiculous. 

I agree with @CityAndColour there should be a way to put your opinions forward. It may not change the outcome but you deserve to participate in the discussion surely.

I also find it unreasonable that even with 30% uplift in wages after promotion, it never prevents half the squad demanding a new contract when it happens. I had it with Bolton and it takes a lot of fun out of the pre-season preparations. Either have the clause and tone down the whining or don't have the clause and come talk to us after promotion. This needs tweaking on the next update.

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@Bergbatov @CityAndColour @Jogo Bonito Thanks for your supportive words. I think it's fairly realistic that new owners want to make a marquee signing, but agree that we should at least have the option to discuss it. But it is what it is. Onwards and upwards.

 

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Coventry.png.8b360252107e04305d78cd39d3b9408a.png

 

Season 2:

After our promotion to Championship we hoped that we managed to avoid relegation. Which is pretty accurate if you look at our wage budget after the transfer window closed, we had the second lowest wages in the league. And we kept most of the League One squad that helped us climb the ladder. I had no imagination of promotion because I felt we lacked some quality in some areas and we didn't have much depth everywhere. But wow, what a sick season. 

IPtLtCmh.png

I think our good start of the season was the key when we smashed Cardiff 6-1 at home in the first game and Newcastle 4-0 at St. James'Park a couple of games later. We came to the quarter finals in the EFL Cup after beating Cambridge, Newcastle, Tottenham, Southampton before we lost to Reading on penalties. In the FA cup we lost to some railway workers called Crewe in the 3rd round.. 

lu5ijRlh.png

We didn't have much money to spend in the transfer market, but we had some space in our wage budget so I once again tried to get young quality players that would fit our play style. Pretty damn happy to get Gavin Bazunu from City for a very small amount and we added some experience in the German, Mark Boland. We also managed to cash in on some players that I wanted gone, so it was a pretty good window. I felt like I had a squad that would avoid relegation with a good margin. 

cfhTG26h.png

Herbie Kane(7.50 avg) and Fankaty Dabo(7.35 avg) above everyone else this season, another huge asset was Zain Westbrooke who scored 10 goals. Our loan soldiers, Brewster, Connolly, Østigård also played a key part to our success. The whole team went massive. 

iABNvcWh.png

It's going to be a massive job to survive in Premier League, we need to add some quality and I don't wanna go crazy on wages. It' all hands on deck at the club to find transfer prospects, we already have our first player signed. It's the former Coventry player Tom Bayliss who is on board for only £105k. But our second signing is the sickest transfer I've made in terms of value for money and such a big name to a little club like Coventry. What a day for Coventry City! Frustrating that we had to accept £34.5m release fee to clubs in Champions League..

6cocXKT.png

Sun is shining in Coventry City and we are working non stop to secure more deals before the whistle blows again.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Bergbatov said:

Coventry.png.8b360252107e04305d78cd39d3b9408a.png

 

Season 2:

After our promotion to Championship we hoped that we managed to avoid relegation. Which is pretty accurate if you look at our wage budget after the transfer window closed, we had the second lowest wages in the league. And we kept most of the League One squad that helped us climb the ladder. I had no imagination of promotion because I felt we lacked some quality in some areas and we didn't have much depth everywhere. But wow, what a sick season. 

IPtLtCmh.png

I think our good start of the season was the key when we smashed Cardiff 6-1 at home in the first game and Newcastle 4-0 at St. James'Park a couple of games later. We came to the quarter finals in the EFL Cup after beating Cambridge, Newcastle, Tottenham, Southampton before we lost to Reading on penalties. In the FA cup we lost to some railway workers called Crewe in the 3rd round.. 

lu5ijRlh.png

We didn't have much money to spend in the transfer market, but we had some space in our wage budget so I once again tried to get young quality players that would fit our play style. Pretty damn happy to get Gavin Bazunu from City for a very small amount and we added some experience in the German, Mark Boland. We also managed to cash in on some players that I wanted gone, so it was a pretty good window. I felt like I had a squad that would avoid relegation with a good margin. 

cfhTG26h.png

Herbie Kane(7.50 avg) and Fankaty Dabo(7.35 avg) above everyone else this season, another huge asset was Zain Westbrooke who scored 10 goals. Our loan soldiers, Brewster, Connolly, Østigård also played a key part to our success. The whole team went massive. 

iABNvcWh.png

It's going to be a massive job to survive in Premier League, we need to add some quality and I don't wanna go crazy on wages. It' all hands on deck at the club to find transfer prospects, we already have our first player signed. It's the former Coventry player Tom Bayliss who is on board for only £105k. But our second signing is the sickest transfer I've made in terms of value for money and such a big name to a little club like Coventry. What a day for Coventry City! Frustrating that we had to accept £34.5m release fee to clubs in Champions League..

6cocXKT.png

Sun is shining in Coventry City and we are working non stop to secure more deals before the whistle blows again.

 

 

That’s a crazy signing for so little!!! 
 

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2 minutes ago, Rollin93 said:

That’s a crazy signing for so little!!! 
 

Yeah, I couldn't belive my own eyes when I saw him on the transfer list and interested to join Coventry City. :lock:

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18 minutes ago, Bergbatov said:

Yeah, I couldn't belive my own eyes when I saw him on the transfer list and interested to join Coventry City. :lock:

A great season and yes Fati is a really exciting signing for you!

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36 minutes ago, Rollin93 said:

But wow, what a sick season. 

That's a fantastic performance. Back-to-back promotions into the PL is a major accomplishment :applause:

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Posted (edited)

@warlock That's a killer. As mentioned above, there definitely should be the option to contest those decisions.

@Bergbatov Brilliant job on double promotion. What a signing that is!

 

Forest Green Rovers 2020/21 - End of Season 2

829457047_FGRBadge.thumb.jpg.45008f66caa5d8d20a1dd7f143de6478.jpg

 

In the January window there was next to no business. Obviously with the FFP restrictions I wasn't able to bring anyone in. The only outgoing was Ebou Adams, who I got a small fee for and freed up a little bit more room on the wage bill.

 

Fixtures

1845058141_EOSFixtures.thumb.png.0272772bceead9f06e9665dbe504768b.png

The 2nd half season was fairly mixed and we struggled to put together a really good run of results, rarely putting together consecutive wins. However towards the end of the season, we absolutely melted. It was a tough set of fixtures to end the season, but 4 points from 15 was not ideal and cost us an automatic spot. We went into the final day needing a win against Champions Bristol City. We went one nil down in the 89th min, but equalized in the 1st min of stoppage time. Dan Bentley then made an incredible save in the 94th minute to deny us automatic promotion....

This meant we had to face Ipswich in the Play off semi finals.

We played okay in the 1st leg and I was quite happy to take a draw back the New Lawn. Unfortunately the took the lead late on to give them the advantage.

1495840914_PO1stLeg.thumb.png.d7ac3129d55d362bdf0754356be471e1.png

The Second leg was one of the most ridiculous games of FM I have ever experienced. After getting off to a flyer, we went down to ten men with 77 minutes (or so I thought) still to play. Ipswich fired back quite shortly after, but then Doidge put us back level on aggregate just before half time. 3 minutes later I was in disbelief as my other Irishman got himself a red, leaving us with at least a half to try and salvage something with 9 men. Somehow we managed to get through the whole of the second half and most of the 1st half of ET clinging onto a potential penalty shoot out. That was until Juan Castillo (who came on for Extra time) decided he fancied making it even harder and saw red too. That made it impossible and after heroically  sticking it out, the 8 remaining men on the pitch could not keep out two late Ipswich goals. I only had 1 red card for the 46 league games and managed to pick up 3 in the biggest game of the season!!

717586965_PO2ndLeg.thumb.png.de8e8ca0a607556caf0fcb110f3a5a1d.png

 

Table -

It was Doncaster who went up (probably because they kept 11 men on the pitch), Ipswich struggled against 10 and then 9 so I wasn't shocked by this. I did beat Doncaster both games though in the league, so I fancied our chances had we got there.

League.thumb.png.d500d588871c8db06371a4ea5748d6c1.png

Frustrating season in the end, but I would definitely have taken it at the start.

 

Squad

Squad.thumb.png.c00f2bb3f252ce02cd9eb0a2da21dcb0.png

Mcginley won the fans player of the year, deservedly. He was great. George Williams was the main man going forward, contributing to the most goals and assists. Aaron Collins went a bit off the boil and lost his place once Doidge started firing. He wants quite a wage rise, so I am considering letting him go on a free.

Think there will be quite a few changes to the squad with the departing loans and a few contracts expiring.

Going into next season, the board have announced a stadium expansion that will see our home games played at Ashton Gate. The wage budget I am allowed to comply with FFP has now doubled which means I'll be able to work with the whole budget the board have given me, not a quarter!

 

Edited by 10Sammo10

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AFC Wimbledon

So after missing out on promotion with a play off lose to Doncaster I have been offered 2 jobs both are soo tempting both teams got relegated from the championship first is QPR I feel like this could be very hard and the other team was a shock Blackburn! I feel these could be interesting in league one as I’m sure most players will want to leave and I will have to rebuild the team 

I think I’ll take the night to decide what I’ll do 

stay at Wimbledon
leave for QPR 

leave for Blackburn

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2 hours ago, 10Sammo10 said:

Frustrating season in the end

A fair summary, and a hideous way to lose in the playoffs. Good luck with the rebuild.

53 minutes ago, Rollin93 said:

leave for Blackburn

That would be my choice, but it'll be interesting whichever way you decide.

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@warlock That so nearly happened to me at Notts County when we got promoted to the Prem. Luckily for me it didn't go through though, so can feel your pain

@Bergbatov Back to back promotions with Coventry (that's 3 local teams near me promoted to Prem in this thread, love it!). That Fati signing though, have to say, looking at him in my save I'm more than a little jealous! :lol:

@10Sammo10 Heart breaker in play offs, don't think I could keep my cool with Byrne and the other 2 if that was my save, lol. Plus side I suppose is the fact with 8 men it took until last 5 mins for them to break you down, which probs hurts more than any thing else.

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After last night's disappointment, this afternoon took a turn for the worse - turned on the laptop and the hard disk is deader than a dead thing. On the upside, the lovely MrsW has said I should just buy a new laptop, no point spending money on a four-year-old system. Love that woman :D. But it does mean no FM for a few days :(. I'd just about settled on a new save with Plymouth, too.

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19 minutes ago, warlock said:

After last night's disappointment, this afternoon took a turn for the worse - turned on the laptop and the hard disk is deader than a dead thing. On the upside, the lovely MrsW has said I should just buy a new laptop, no point spending money on a four-year-old system. Love that woman :D. But it does mean no FM for a few days :(. I'd just about settled on a new save with Plymouth, too.

Gutted for ya had this problem last year In my 3rd season at Luton I was distraught 

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On 08/01/2020 at 16:58, Jogo Bonito said:

Welcome back and good luck. Rochdale have never made the second tier so perhaps you can be the first to achieve it. Slightly more likeable than Southend probably, but both would be challenging.

Thank you, have gone with the Dale. Update coming up soon.

@warlock - that really blows!! I have never seen a board do something quite so drastic. Anyway, hope you get a new machine soon and get back into the game! 

@Bergbatov - super work with Coventry, look forward to seeing your other signings.

@10Sammo10 - great work as well, keep plugging away! Play-offs are always a bit of a lottery.

@Rollin93 - I would definitely go for Blackburn as well. Would be a very logical move too,

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Rochdale season 1 - New Year update

So the first step after taking over was to analyse the squad. It was pretty exciting in certain areas, particularly the young talents like Matheson, Camps and Rathbone. I was also excited about having perhaps the fastest player on the game Tyler Magliore at the club, if only for a season. There were really only a couple of signings required to set us up for the new season, which also depended on the shape we want to play.

Another thought of mine on this save is to go in a new direction tactically from anything I have done before. This coupled with the lack of wingers in the team (and wanted to make the most out of my wing-backs) convinced me to go with a 3-5-2 shape. I have also seen lot of people on the forums using this shape on FM20 successfully. For this, we needed to bring in a couple of players for numbers, and most crucially some much needed pace up-front.

20200110140001_1.thumb.jpg.357440fe90e7c7b3a88502ea41341f1a.jpg

We got rid of some players who weren't in our plans, getting about 150k in as well.

Coming in on a free were -

Remie Streete (who has been fantastic at the back, I think he's a top signing at the start of the game for any league one club)
Tom Thorpe - to provide an extra midfield option however I am now beginning to think he is blocking Morley's progress
Paul Caddis - to provide cover for Matheson while McLaughlin has been out injured

And on loan the two pacy strikers - Adam Idah from Norwich and Rayhaan Tulloch from WBA 

This is the shape we have settled on:

20200110135953_1.thumb.jpg.54298b53c3dfd394093406effacda1ea.jpg

Up front we rotate between the two loanees and Ian Henderson who has also been good. Allows us to play both Camps & Rathbone as Mezzellas looking to get forward and make a contribution. And the wide threat from the wing-backs who are usually Matheson & Norrington-Davies. 

20200110135940_1.thumb.jpg.336133caec35b0d5d140ed0d508b2ce4.jpg

So with half the season gone we are sitting at the top of the pile, thanks to a run of 7 straight wins at the time of writing. We had a blip in the middle getting 1 point from 4 games, but the team bounced back to put together a really solid run. The goals and assists are also well spread out which is nice to see. We lost to Hull in the Carabao cup, but we are still in the Leasing trophy and FA Cup. 

20200110135935_1.thumb.jpg.fd2f28078d589af1c56fba23ab64dffa.jpg

In terms of player performances, Adam Idah leads the scoring charts with 11 goals even after a slow start. Henderson & Tulloch should also hit double figures soon. Rathbone already has 5 from midfield whereas Camps has been an assist machine. Both wing-backs have been superb and Matheson already has 7 assists as well as Norwich sniffing around him. At the back, Magliore & Streete have been particularly impressive. 

Hopefully we should be able to keep up the form and win promotion to the Championship. Not expecting too many changes in the Jan window.

 

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1 hour ago, karanhsingh said:

Hopefully we should be able to keep up the form and win promotion to the Championship.

Amazing start - making it look easy :cool:

My new laptop should arrive tomorrow (Sat) so with a bit of luck I'll be back in the game by tomorrow night :onmehead:

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So after a night thinking I think I will be taking over blackburn

 and after a few of my Wimbledon players served me so well I think I’ll target a few of them younger players 

and after having joe rankin costelo on loan he will definitely be my replacement for Bradley Dack who I fully expect to be moving on 

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2 minutes ago, Rollin93 said:

So after a night thinking I think I will be taking over blackburn

Sounds like a plan!

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@karanhsingh Nice start with Dale. As you say some good young talents there, that will either be very good for you or make you a lot of money. Idah is a great signing.
 

Is there a player called Kwadwo Baah floating around your dev teams ? Read an article about him the other day giving him a lot of praise and just wondered if FM rate him as highly ? 

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Tonbridge Angels - 2021/22

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A third season in the Conference South, after consecutive playoff first round exits. The board expected a top half finish (although later conceded they expected us to get sucked into a relegation battle) and the media had us 20th...

Transfers:

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You'll notice the majority of my transfers in were loans - not because there were outstanding players on offer, but because I couldn't find much quality willing to sign permanently. Northampton's Roberts joins for a third consecutive loan spell and Colchester's Wright looks very good for the DLP role, while I couldn't knock back the fee for Packham nor deny him the opportunity for him to go full-time with the Spireites.

I also had to go hunting for a new 'keeper after Brexit meant I couldn't get a work permit for Alexis André Jr, despite being born in France and having signed a new deal the previous February. So he is sitting in my squad collecting a decent wage, his place taken by King on loan from relegated Oxford City.

Seasonal beginnings:

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I felt some dread after the Eastbourne game, especially after losing the final three games of last season, and this dread worsened after we blew an early lead at Dorking. However, since then we have been superb, winning five on the trot and re-establishing ourselves as the league's top scorers. This is in no small part thanks to the talismanic Williams who has already scored 10 times, while Wright is absolutely running the show in midfield with 26 key passes and a 7.54 average rating.

So after eight games we sit 4th, a point off top. I'm not really one for altering my overall tactic or first XI to any great extent, so morale, fitness and in-game adjustments will dictate whether we can sustain this sort of form. It's exactly the sort of save I love though - give me 10 seasons slogging away in the lower leagues over a bunch of quickfire promotions.

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2 hours ago, Rollin93 said:

So after a night thinking I think I will be taking over blackburn

 and after a few of my Wimbledon players served me so well I think I’ll target a few of them younger players 

and after having joe rankin costelo on loan he will definitely be my replacement for Bradley Dack who I fully expect to be moving on 

Dack is superb as an SS! I would definitely keep him around. Also JRC doesn't seem to be as highly rated as FM18 IIRC where he was excellent. Good luck though! Make the Venkys proud :D (the Indian owners)

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1 hour ago, 10Sammo10 said:

@karanhsingh Nice start with Dale. As you say some good young talents there, that will either be very good for you or make you a lot of money. Idah is a great signing.
Is there a player called Kwadwo Baah floating around your dev teams ? Read an article about him the other day giving him a lot of praise and just wondered if FM rate him as highly ? 

Thank you - yes Idah caught my attention when he scored a hat-trick recently IRL in the FA Cup! 

And yes Baah is there and he looks alright but not very highly rated in-game it would seem. Long way off the first team as it stands.

I had to agree a 1.5m release clause for Camps when he renewed his contract so he may go. I have decided to play Morley more during the 2nd half of the season to hopefully develop him - he just scored his first goal for us.

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Good updates from Forest Green (but so desperately unlucky), Rochdale and Tonbridge Angels. Good reads all of them.

I see you copied me in the grand hard drive loss & new laptop idea @warlock and well done Mrs W for being so sensible! Luckliy  Mrs Bonito (that would make her Bomita surely) was too busy asking for a new mobile to object to my new laptop purchase.

 

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Bolton - Season 2

With August ending on a significant slump, I faced a massive challenge to turn around my season

A trip to Bramall Lane to take on relegated Sheffield United was certainly not the fixture I would have picked to start September though

As can be seen, a 3-0 loss was not a surprise - but truth be told the team battled well until conceding two goals in stoppage time 

As I contemplated whether to change formation, the answer was provided next time out as Middlesbrough were thumped 5-1 using my usual 442 system 

That win was remarkable and in no small part down to the performance of Kodjia, who finally came good with four goals in the match

The same man got another in a decent 1-1 draw at his old club Bristol City before his brace saw off Nottingham Forest 2-0

The Forest win was achieved despite a red card for captain Jason Lowe after 58 minutes when the score was 1-0 

Meanwhile, my Ivorian striker was rewarded for his fine form with the Player of the Month award for September

October saw us scrape past promoted Lincoln 1-0 despite defender Jimmy Dunne seeing red after 13 minutes when 0-0

Lowe and Dunne were serving three game bans and Dunkley was suspended for yellow accumulation for the trip to Millwall

Jarrad Branthwaite was drafted in for his Bolton debut, and a 2-2 draw was more than reasonable in the circumstances

Unfortunately, the positives were far outweighed by another massive injury blow sustained in that fixture

With my leading striker already sidelined long-term after just two fixtures, the last thing I needed was to lose Kodjia for up to three months due to a hip injury

My striker resources were now limited to youngsters Brown, Gelhardt and Bishop as I had omitted to register Benny Ashley-Seal (oops)

To my surprise, I scraped past Preston thanks to midfielder Josh Vela, before youngster Eddie Brown grabbed a couple in a fine 2-2 draw at Reading

Next up was a trip to runaway leaders Leicester, and a narrow 2-1 loss (Brown again) was a really decent effort against Vardy, Maddison & co

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The season has been a bit of a roller-coaster ride so far, but sitting 7th after 15 games is very satisfactory from my point of view

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The rest of the season could depend on exactly how quickly these two strikers return to full fitness

Whilst Brown is doing OK, I feel that he and the other pair will struggle to fulfil the burden of goals placed upon them in the short-term

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Edited by Jogo Bonito

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2 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Dack is superb as an SS! I would definitely keep him around. Also JRC doesn't seem to be as highly rated as FM18 IIRC where he was excellent. Good luck though! Make the Venkys proud :D (the Indian owners)

Thanks mate 

will definitely try and keep Dack I just don’t expect to be able to 

im going to make sure I have another option just incase JRC struggles rothwell is another one I’m currently debating keeping or selling 

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