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FM20: The English Football League thread

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Plymouth: season 1, December

sZkqJ8Ch.png?1

We continued to perform well into September, racking up our biggest win of the season by putting 4 past Oldham. And then we wobbled - four consecutive games without a win. But we recovered pretty well, and only the 3-0 home defeat to Grimsby rankles, although they were 3rd at the time so no pushovers. Sadly, my planned exit from the Loosing.com trophy failed to materialise - despite some good opposition in Peterborough, L2 leaders Newport County, and Bournemouth u23s, we won all three games. Next up is Arsenal u23s, so they might do me a favour.

Player performances have been mixed. I was going to say we've struggled for goals, but that isn't strictly true. We're second-top scorers in the league behind Newport - more accurate to say my strikers have struggled for goals: Telford has just 5 in 18 starts, and his rotation partner Rudden has 3 in 11. AML Danny Mayor continues to lead the way but added just three 3 more in an additional 14 games for 10 in 19. Stars of the show are centre-mids Jose Baxter and Conor Grant who have 10 goals between them and 13 assists. Worthy mentions to fullbacks Joe Riley and Gary Sawyer who have been great all season.

The problem we have is the lack of squad depth - with the first-choice 11 we can beat anybody, but we've not been able to field them very often. The wide AM spots have been problematic because Mayor can't play every game, and loanee Gwargis has had two spells of injury. So ahead of the FA Cup tie against Macclesfield (and following the humiliation against Grimsby) I switched to a 4132. This allows me to play Mayor as a Mez in central midfield, and eliminates the other problems out wide. AMR Byron Moore and AML Joel Grant have been poor all season and are now both transfer-listed. AMC Billy Clarke was out of contract at the end of December and he will join Irish outfit Dundalk on a free. Gwargis has been good but since he's on loan, he's a sacrifice I'm prepared to make. If we can move on Moore and Grant that should free up enough wages to bring in a much-needed DM for backup.

rMXjvECh.png?1

Overall, I'm very happy with the season so far, and if the new tactical system keeps on working, we should do well.

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Good progress @warlock and well placed to kick on from there. I don't like hardly any of the Plymouth players (except Mayor and the youngster Jephcott who should get a boost on the next database after his form since coming back from loan) and actually haven't for years now. It's a bit of a shame because it's a club I always wanted to take on. What I am saying is, I fully support your plan to discard as many of them as possible! 

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Is Jose Baxter still a baller? @warlock

I know he’s had his troubles but he was extremely talented. 

You’re doing a great job though. Tactics this year are up and down for me too so I understand you chopping and changing. 

I think a few years ago I got Colchester promoted from League One by literally changing my formation to suit whoever it was I was playing. :D Then I went and spoilt it all by spending over a million on Tom Hopper. (Remember that one, @Jogo Bonito?) :lol:

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2 minutes ago, Gunner 101 said:

Is Jose Baxter still a baller? @warlock

I know he’s had his troubles but he was extremely talented. 

You’re doing a great job though. Tactics this year are up and down for me too so I understand you chopping and changing. 

I think a few years ago I got Colchester promoted from League One by literally changing my formation to suit whoever it was I was playing. :D Then I went and spoilt it all by spending over a million on Tom Hopper. (Remember that one, @Jogo Bonito?) :lol:

I remember that! The tactics were based on the opposition strengths and weaknesses and it was all written in diary style IIRC?  Sadly for you, I do remember the Tom Hopper moment too :lol:

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2 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

I fully support your plan to discard as many of them as possible!

 

1 hour ago, Gunner 101 said:

Is Jose Baxter still a baller?

Of the top performers mentioned, Joe Riley and Gary Sawyer have been very good, although Sawyer is now 34 and surely in his last season. Conor Grant (I have three Grants in the first team, which has been utterly confusing) has been exceptional - one of those players who outperforms his stats on a regular basis. Mayor is frustrating - first month of the season he played a blinder but has been hit and miss since then. And Baxter is a solid option, and I've just extended his contract. But they're about the only ones I'm bothered about keeping.

Jephcott is doing well on loan, but it's only Truro and his stats would need a significant upgrade to win me over. One youngster I do like the look of is Adam Randell, who I just promoted to the first team - only one start so far, but he didn't embarrass himself.

A bit premature to be worrying yet, but we'll need a major restructuring job if we get promoted, and I don't see the necessary money being forthcoming. I'll be hoping that the big clubs release a lot of young talent!

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Anyone know of any good players in league 2?? Mainly looking for young cheap centre midfield and a striker

thanks I’m advance  

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5 minutes ago, Rollin93 said:

Anyone know of any good players in league 2?? Mainly looking for young cheap centre midfield and a striker

thanks I’m advance  

Thomas Oulembo on a free as a striker, will bang a few goals for you,

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I've decided on a whim (while watching a Netflix documentary) to switch clubs in my game dropping down a league in the process. Trying to stay out of the premiership as long as possible :lol:

Update up soon! 

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13 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

I remember that! The tactics were based on the opposition strengths and weaknesses and it was all written in diary style IIRC?  Sadly for you, I do remember the Tom Hopper moment too :lol:

Yep, exactly that! And it worked. I still try and do that now sometimes. It definitely works but the fans aren’t happy with the changing of formations used! 

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6 minutes ago, Gunner 101 said:

Yep, exactly that! And it worked. I still try and do that now sometimes. It definitely works but the fans aren’t happy with the changing of formations used! 

I'm more of the Arsene Wenger school of thought (and I really hate saying that). I never pay attention to the opposition and just pick my team based on how I want us to play regardless of what the other team may be doing.

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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5 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

I've decided on a whim (while watching a Netflix documentary) to switch clubs in my game dropping down a league in the process. Trying to stay out of the premiership as long as possible :lol:

Update up soon! 

An interesting career choice but I can understand why! Intrigued where you will end up. By the way, am not done with the thread and apart from Brentford there are a couple of clubs capturing my attention for a new career in here.

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7 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

I'm more of the Arsene Wenger school of thought (and I really hate saying that). I never pay attention to the opposition and just pick my team based on how I want us to play regardless of what the other team may be doing.

Who better to follow? ;)
 

If only we could turn back time. Saying that, very happy with Arteta and the direction he seems to be taking the team. 

Edited by Gunner 101

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Funny how a player's season goes. George Lapslie, on loan from Charlton, was bang average for the first half of the season, then in his last 7 games:

4y79oQN.png?1

That's four consecutive PoM awards in his last four games - not sure I've ever seen that before :applause:

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1 hour ago, Catley94 said:

So, how is everyone finding the new public beta patch... :seagull:

:D To be honest, I'm not seeing a lot of difference - I have noticed my FBs can't cross anymore. But we've scored 2 out of 3 pens since the update.

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4 minutes ago, Catley94 said:

I have played 5 games so far on it over two different files, 5 0-0's!

Sorry to hear that. Not to be a swanker, but I've done this since the patch:

2FMucWJh.png?1

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1 hour ago, warlock said:

Sorry to hear that. Not to be a swanker, but I've done this since the patch:

2FMucWJh.png?1

Love that form! Mine has picked up recently, just had this game...

image.thumb.png.1fce22f04d1d64fa4e9227f9169f76cc.png

6 goals from 72 mins onward! Lovely blunder from my keeper to end the game :) But I'm glad the goals have started to come (sadly at both ends)

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7 minutes ago, Gunner 101 said:

What’s the new patch? Is it save game compatible? 

Public beta and yes.

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On 15/01/2020 at 20:57, warlock said:

Annoying when your form just drops off the cliff, but when you're done, you're done :). Plenty of other prospects are available.

 

On 15/01/2020 at 21:58, Jogo Bonito said:

@CityAndColour Much to admire about your spell there, it's refreshing to see stories that don't just see success after success. At that level in the pyramid it's hard to lose your best players and improve at the same time, but hoping to see you back at a new club soon.

The board didn't really have any other option after 22 games without a win but fair play to you for battling on until then!

I've actually formed a bit of an attachment to Tonbridge and it feels a bit like unfinished business, so I have started with them again on the latest patch!

This time around the board is allowing me to offer two-year contracts, which is handy as last time I had a lot of issues with retaining good prospects as I could only offer them one year, and then they wouldn't renew.

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I am really enjoying my Brenford save but the next team I am thinking of being is Portsmouth as I want to try replicate or better how they were under Harry Redknapp, I even thinking of having Harry as my DOF.

Just trying to think of a catchy headline for the team guide thread.

Can anyone think of a funny or decent headline for a Pompey team guide thread.

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2 hours ago, CityAndColour said:

 

I've actually formed a bit of an attachment to Tonbridge and it feels a bit like unfinished business, so I have started with them again on the latest patch!

This time around the board is allowing me to offer two-year contracts, which is handy as last time I had a lot of issues with retaining good prospects as I could only offer them one year, and then they wouldn't renew.

Take two! Good luck and hopefully it will work out well for you. I trial tested York and one day will do it properly.

@Ronaldo Beckham If you manage them why not post  your updates in here? Brentford was good for a separate guide as a number of people were expressing interest in them. Portsmouth hasn't had any other mentions so would suggest here is a better place for updates on them. 

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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17 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Take two! Good luck and hopefully it will work out well for you. I trial tested York and one day will do it properly.

@Ronaldo Beckham If you manage them why not post  your updates in here? Brentford was good for a separate guide as a number of people were expressing interest in them. Portsmouth hasn't had any other mentions so would suggest here is a better place for updates on them. 

Yeah I could do, I actually enjoyed doing the separate team guides though as I like to put the effort in but as you want EFL clubs to stay in here I will post it in here or I might do a team guide for a club not in England as I just enjoy picking teams with a bit of history or a unique way of doing things to do a team guide.

Also we used to have a lot more interest in the good players/team guides section but that has died off a bit lately so I am thinking of ways to get people interested in posting in here again.

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15 minutes ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

Yeah I could do, I actually enjoyed doing the separate team guides though as I like to put the effort in but as you want EFL clubs to stay in here I will post it in here or I might do a team guide for a club not in England as I just enjoy picking teams with a bit of history or a unique way of doing things to do a team guide.

Also we used to have a lot more interest in the good players/team guides section but that has died off a bit lately so I am thinking of ways to get people interested in posting in here again.

I don’t think there’s the interest or people just don’t have the same time that they used to have a few years ago. 

I know when I started posting in here in 2006 I was only 14 years old and obviously didn’t have a job, girlfriend and many other commitments you have as an adult. I used to race through saves but have such little time now in comparison it takes me a while to even get through a season. 

Also as we get older there’s probably not as many “youngsters” joining and posting like there was years ago. Social media is now a much bigger presence and time is being spent elsewhere I guess. 

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7 minutes ago, Gunner 101 said:

I don’t think there’s the interest or people just don’t have the same time that they used to have a few years ago. 

I know when I started posting in here in 2006 I was only 14 years old and obviously didn’t have a job, girlfriend and many other commitments you have as an adult. I used to race through saves but have such little time now in comparison it takes me a while to even get through a season. 

Also as we get older there’s probably not as many “youngsters” joining and posting like there was years ago. Social media is now a much bigger presence and time is being spent elsewhere I guess. 

Yeah that is part of the reason for it, there are probably a lot of factors, this thread is actually my favourite thread as I do prefer having super threads for different leagues like the Italian leagues thread etc.

I am just nostalgic for the good old days where it was booming in here. It is still an awesome forum and I probably spend time on here then dating websites/apps lol.

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Completely forgot to do a mid season update, so I'll do a brief one and concentrate more on the end of season review hopefully later this evening.

image.thumb.png.19b49c1f318aff007db509cce7f2d2f3.png

Currently in a bit of a bad patch of form, typical around the winter time. Somehow still top of the league! Was concerned I wouldn't even hit the boards aim of top half so this is a nice surprise. Little concerned if I get promoted though as my squad, budget and reputation would struggle big time in the Championship. But we will deal with that if and when we get there.

Performances overall have been good, been a little weak in defence recently and few tactical tweaks will hopefully tighten that up in the run on towards the end of the season.

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3 departures in January. Rawson frustrated me no end, and with my Belgian regen coming on leaps and bounds I decided to cash in and free up a place in the team. The other two were seldom used and with their contracts expiring in the summer I jumped at the chance to sell them.

Central midfield has been my weak area this season, thinking it might be my tactics as I have some well rounded players. Either way I jumped at the chance to get Tom Bayliss. He was transfer listed by Preston (also in league 1) for £0. Bit hefty wages but at the age of 22, versatile in roles and some potential still, couldn't say no!

image.thumb.png.44da6459cd98120e2d5dcdb82f81470f.png

Not found many targets ahead for the summer, so been spending some time sorting out my scouting assignments.

That's all for now, looking forward to the end of season review and some tactical analysis. 

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3 hours ago, Gunner 101 said:

Also as we get older there’s probably not as many “youngsters” joining and posting like there was years ago. Social media is now a much bigger presence and time is being spent elsewhere I guess.

I think social media is the thing. I'm still a member of lots of these 'old-fashioned' forums for lots of different interests, and they're all seeing a reduction in numbers as people move to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Discord. But I still like the forum style - seems to encourage more discussion and interaction than the other formats.

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38 minutes ago, Catley94 said:

Little concerned if I get promoted though as my squad, budget and reputation would struggle big time in the Championship. But we will deal with that if and when we get there.

Comes to all of us... the pain of success :D

Going well, though, and I'm sure you'll shake off the midwinter blues.

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@Catley94 Going very well there, good luck with the rest of your season. I really like Bayliss and think that's a fantastic signing for you.

Agree with the comments about the forum, age and social media habits. But this thread always seems to thrive as it's bringing together lots of different EFL followers (and some from below). Personally I wouldn't have a clue about making video, but then I probably only have a face for radio (and forums) :lol:

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Long term lurker, first time poster. 

 

Just entering into my final pre-season game as Blackburn manager. Life long fan so know the team well. Using an updated database so we have Mulgrew (set-piece king) back from his loan at Wigan. Gone for a 3-4-3 system with Dack and Holtby playing off either Armstrong or Gallagher, depending on opposition and match situation.

Only get 10% of transfer fees back though so I really need to keep hold of Dack. That's priority one. Aiming for a top 10 finish this season. Going to need a keeper next summer though, can anyone suggest a good, young one that can, hopefully, step up to the Prem sooner rather than later?

Cheers.

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Well, that was tense..

Just finished my second regular season with Forest Green Rovers, and we've done it again!

image.thumb.png.bc9a16bcec29126b1f639a558ee70dc1.png

With a mixed bag of results in the final few months, we found ourselves in 2nd going into the final game. An early 1-0 setback vs mid table Bolton caused a bit of pressure as both Rotherham and Chesterfield took early leads. We managed to turn it around and ended with a 5-2 victory!

Seen as though the board weren't expecting us to reach the Championship for another few years, they have been very generous with our finances. We have around £1 million to spend, and 98k wage budget (current wage bill only 48k, so nearly doubled it for us!). There will be some issues with our low reputation in trying to get players, but hopefully being able to further out scouting reaches we will find a couple of bargains along the way.

In terms of team performance, I'd say we did well as an all round team. 

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4 Players finished with 10+ goals, the 3 main strikers all contributing to 15 each in the league. Playing with 1 up top it was good to know if one wasn't performing too well, a bit of rotation wouldn't lower the standards of the team. 

I also hit my goal of conceding less than a goal a game, with 42 conceded in the league. We were top scorers by a fair bit which was unexpected but nice. Looking forward to next season the defence will definitely need some additions. 

The additions we made this season, all but Bayliss coming in in the summer performed great. Joe Morrell from Bristol City was the only slight disappointment, but I feel that was partially down to the way I played him, so hoping he will push on next season. My favourite player by far was Danny Broadbent from Cardiff Met. Nothing incredible in terms of performances, but Mr. Consistent in the DM slot and has progressed at an incredible rate for his first season in the main team.

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No surprise that a fair few of my players have become targets for teams after their overachieving season. The biggest concern is that my Ivorian / English fullback Bamba is being looked at by 9 Premier League clubs. He has been good cover throughout the back line this season, but if a high bid comes in for him I will most likely take it!

Not much else to report on, the staff at FGR  are exceptional as I have been recruiting throughout the season, constantly asking the board for more scouts and coaches. We have built a very good team behind the doors!

Time for some squad analysis and a lot of scouting!

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image.thumb.png.3ae065e1f32d95d7c8fb9be6191d3ae8.png

Well that didn't take long to happen. Ended up being like 20 odd clubs interested, but Brighton being the only ones to pay big money. Great 50% next fee too. Sad to see him go, but this massively helps the club build, plus I get a decent chunk straight into the transfer budget to reinvest!

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That's a great transfer! Can you put up a screenshot of him? Gotta love the 'tache as well 

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3 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

That's a great transfer! Can you put up a screenshot of him? Gotta love the 'tache as well 

image.thumb.png.86ba8ed50d2e63b0f14daf0aaabd78a6.png

He was potential wise the best of my 3 regens that I had last season (hint, lots more now ;)) but I actually played him the least. Couldn't decide whether to have him as a CB or FB, so I jumped at the price I got really. Invested it in some facilities and a lot of signings. Will do an update later just before the season starts, a lot of exciting players!

Edited by Catley94

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Started up with Carlisle, my nearest professional team.

Target was a mid table finish, a slow start saw us in the bottom third, then went on a tear.

End of season Carlisle were champions by a clear margin.

tdbs3XP.png

Had to rely on loan strikers during the season, Carlisle start with a number of loanees and terminated some early.

Sorenson (Newcastle) played well until he got himself injured for 4/5 months, brought in Scrimshaw from Bournemouth and he scored 12 in 14 games.

Brought in midfielder Mathias Nicolaisen (from Mjolner) who convinced us to sign him for the 2020/2021 season.

Loan star of the season was Nathan Thomas (Sheffield Utd) who was superb but frequently injured!

RxzeeTM.png

So onto League 1, not expecting much (neither is the board).

Edited by PLD3009

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2 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

 

@StePratt Welcome and good luck with Blackburn. How about David Raya? :brock:

Not sure I've heard of him, I'll look him up :)

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On 18/01/2020 at 02:52, StePratt said:

Long term lurker, first time poster. 

 

Just entering into my final pre-season game as Blackburn manager. Life long fan so know the team well. Using an updated database so we have Mulgrew (set-piece king) back from his loan at Wigan. Gone for a 3-4-3 system with Dack and Holtby playing off either Armstrong or Gallagher, depending on opposition and match situation.

Only get 10% of transfer fees back though so I really need to keep hold of Dack. That's priority one. Aiming for a top 10 finish this season. Going to need a keeper next summer though, can anyone suggest a good, young one that can, hopefully, step up to the Prem sooner rather than later?

Cheers.

For Rochdale I managed to get in Woodman on a free transfer at 7k a week, well worth it and was valued at 4 million soon after. Newcastle usually don't extend his contract so keep an eye out. 

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11 hours ago, Catley94 said:

image.thumb.png.86ba8ed50d2e63b0f14daf0aaabd78a6.png

He was potential wise the best of my 3 regens that I had last season (hint, lots more now ;)) but I actually played him the least. Couldn't decide whether to have him as a CB or FB, so I jumped at the price I got really. Invested it in some facilities and a lot of signings. Will do an update later just before the season starts, a lot of exciting players!

Looks decent but that's a lot of money for him! Guess he must have good potential ability 

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I can see it. His physicals are elite and a lot of his lesser attributes are still in the 8-9 range. Still only 19 so I could see him becoming a beast in a top flight environment.

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Hey everyone. There are some cracking saves in here, and I've just about managed to keep track on most. I'm really looking forward to getting involved with you all. I've played these games since way back on CM3, and used to be active on a forum very similar to this, discussing our saves and the like. In recent years I've stayed away though, as the one I used collapsed.

I've struggled with the last few editions of this game that we all love, finding them more advanced and difficult and just floating from save to save with minimal success. I did finish FM19 on a high though. A career that begun at Charlton Athletic, took in Preston North End, Leeds United and Liverpool, before ending with a ten year spell in charge of Tottenham Hotspur (painful as a gooner). The trophy filled spell in charge of Tottenham (winning every available competition) culminating with back-to-back Premier League titles, my first since FM12. I've never been particularly successful, and also never managed to forge a long term career save like that either. I played that game for about six months (in real life), and it gave me the buzz to get back into sharing my progress.

This years game has been a bit of a struggle for me so far, with few saves grabbing me. Using the preset tactics I've failed time and time again with numerous different clubs in different leagues. Only a brief two season game with Leeds (play-off winners in the first season) really gripped me. Looking to recreate my success from last year I've finally settled on my long-term career, and that is what's brought me to these pages. I've played through the first couple of seasons and will update in due course. My chosen team has already made an appearance on these pages, albeit more successfully than I've managed. But i'm looking forward to sharing my game with you and partaking in the conversations and discussions.

Coventry.png.8b360252107e04305d78cd39d3b

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2 hours ago, goonergez said:

Hey everyone. There are some cracking saves in here, and I've just about managed to keep track on most. I'm really looking forward to getting involved with you all. I've played these games since way back on CM3, and used to be active on a forum very similar to this, discussing our saves and the like. In recent years I've stayed away though, as the one I used collapsed.

I've struggled with the last few editions of this game that we all love, finding them more advanced and difficult and just floating from save to save with minimal success. I did finish FM19 on a high though. A career that begun at Charlton Athletic, took in Preston North End, Leeds United and Liverpool, before ending with a ten year spell in charge of Tottenham Hotspur (painful as a gooner). The trophy filled spell in charge of Tottenham (winning every available competition) culminating with back-to-back Premier League titles, my first since FM12. I've never been particularly successful, and also never managed to forge a long term career save like that either. I played that game for about six months (in real life), and it gave me the buzz to get back into sharing my progress.

This years game has been a bit of a struggle for me so far, with few saves grabbing me. Using the preset tactics I've failed time and time again with numerous different clubs in different leagues. Only a brief two season game with Leeds (play-off winners in the first season) really gripped me. Looking to recreate my success from last year I've finally settled on my long-term career, and that is what's brought me to these pages. I've played through the first couple of seasons and will update in due course. My chosen team has already made an appearance on these pages, albeit more successfully than I've managed. But i'm looking forward to sharing my game with you and partaking in the conversations and discussions.

Coventry.png.8b360252107e04305d78cd39d3b

Nice post, welcome and good luck. Coventry have some great young players and others that will come through nicely. It will be good to read about it in due course.

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Anyone managing in league two or League one need a consistent leader/man mountain this is your guy. Make him captain immediately, sorts out any issues out I have when players start moaning.

Screenshot 2020-01-19 at 12.47.03.png

Screenshot 2020-01-19 at 12.47.16.png

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On 16/01/2020 at 09:45, Ronaldo Beckham said:

Thomas Oulembo on a free as a striker, will bang a few goals for you,

Was great for me! Had to sell him to Ipswich on the cheap as he was going too leave on a free in the summer.

Screenshot 2020-01-19 at 12.50.39.png

Screenshot 2020-01-19 at 12.50.54.png

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18 hours ago, PLD3009 said:

 

How do I put screenshots into my posts?

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Coventry.png.8b360252107e04305d78cd39d3b

Initial Takeover Report 2019/20 Season

Coventry City FC are a rather intriguing club within English league football. As a kid I remember watching them in the Premier League, with player such as Darren Huckerby and Dion Dublin pulling on the shirt. Fast forward twenty years or so, and they find themselves hovering in the play-off spots within England's third tier. Financial difficulties still affect the club, and a year of ground sharing at St Andrews with Birmingham awaits me upon my arrival. A two-year deal on the table, there was no hesitation as I looked to be the man to change the fortunes of the Sky Blues.

The club laid out a five-year plan, ending with the club establishing itself as a consistent side within the Championship. For me that didn't seem ridiculously ambitious, giving me a bit of time to settle in, and lay the foundations for the longer term future. I set myself the goal of pushing towards a play-off spot, but would be happy just to match the boards ambition and finish within the top-half of the table. I also want to help improve the long-term finances of this club, and plan to make money in order to spend. Especially until the financial position of the club improves.

Initially the squad looked decent enough for this to be achievable. Financial restraints meant a lack of money available to put my stamp on the team. At best I could hope to bring in a loan or two. Before that I set about improving the backroom staff. A simple enough task, and one completed quickly after my arrival. Next up I set the board the task of setting us up with a parent club, in order to help us bring in promising youngsters on loan deals without having to pay money in wages. They didn't disappoint, linking us with Premier League champions Manhester City. I couldn't see anybody worth bringing in immediately, but going forwards that should prove a very fruitful link. They also pay us an annual fee of £100,000 to help our coffers.

After some deliberation I saw a couple of areas that I wanted to strengthen. I planned to play a high energy, pressing 4-2-3-1 formation. Working hard to win the ball quickly and then counte attacking with quick, short passing when we do win it. Up top I felt we lacked a little quality, and identified Rhian Brewster as somebody I'd like to bring in. With Championship sides queuing up for him, I decided to try and raise some funds in order to finance the deal. Maxime Biamou was a man I wanted to replace with Brewster, and he was shipped on to RC Lens in a £140,000 deal. We also sold on Sam McCallum to Rotherham in a deal worth £68,000. He would've been my third choice left back, so to clear some wage budget room and bring in some cash was an absolute no brainer.

The extra money did indeed enable us to bring in Brewster, paying £3,000 for 50% of his weekly wage. I also added Tyreece John-Jules on a season long loan deal from Arsenal. He can play up top or out wide, and so offered a little versatility for us. Permanent deals done, we shipped a number of young players on loan deals in order to get them some valuable game time and help aid development.

Pre-season arrived and departed in quick time, but I was happy to get my squad shaped and ready to hit the ground running. I was confident we could push towards the play-off spots and looked forward to taking my spot in the dugout and hopefully hitting the ground running.

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The SWFC thread is fairly dead so I'll post here. So I'm just at Christmas in 10th place and have to say this SWFC save is the hardest game I've had in years.

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I've chopped/changed personel and tactics alot, but really have struggled alot to get any consistency. I initially thought a 4231 with loan signing Alena in the number 8/10 role but that was a catastrophy as I've let the 6th most goals in the league ... I reverted back to 41221 without much success. Hutchinson is the squads only starting CDM, but as a BWM he's a liability as he goes running into nowhere alot. I've ended up playing Bannan as CDM to try and stem the flow, but it just seems every team scores against me in every game. Both FB's have been exposed, but with no personal to play a flat 4 in midfield my options are limited, so I tried 5atb and let in even more goals! Has anyone managed to get 5atb working this year? On the otherhand, Forestieri and loan signing Kishna have been awesome. In past FM's I've struggled to get Nando scoring but he's got 11 in 17 games and Kishna has contributed 10 in 16 games. With Kishna having this injury record, I'm really surprised that this gamble has paid off:

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