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FM20: The English Football League thread

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Plymouth: season 1 completed

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A mixed second half to the season. Transfer business in January - as discussed last time - revolved around sorting the squad for the new narrow system, so loan signing Peter Gwargis was returned to Brighton, and Byron Moore saw out his contract on loan at Burton. That freed up a bit of wage budget to reinforce the midfield and Hull's Daniel Batty was loaned in. Up front I added Portsmouth's Ollie Hawkins, but he suffered an early injury that saw him struggle to settle into the squad and the jury is still out - but I'm sceptical he's good enough. Finally, I was forced back to the loan market when both backup GKs suffered injuries that would have left us with just one fit keeper for 10-12 matches, so Brentford's Simon Anderson was signed.

February turned into a gruelling month and several players battled for fitness, leading to some inconsistency. Our biggest loss was midfield creator Conor Grant, who missed the whole of the month and much of March, followed by George Lapslie with a muscle tear in March that kept him out for the remainder of the season. But despite the medical issues, March was a stunning month as we took 10 points from 12 (and won the DispLeasing.com trophy). So April was a huge disappointment - we couldn't buy a win and our automatic promotion spot came under severe threat. The string of draws were just enough to keep us in position, and finally the win against Oldham secured promotion and the runners-up position behind a relentless Cheltenham.

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This image shows the cause of our troubles: Grant and Danny Mayor carried the team all season, while 'star' striker Dominic Telford managed just 12 goals from 41 starts. He was outshone by 20-year-old Alex Fletcher, promoted from the u23s, who scored 9 in half of Telford's appearances.

So begins the rebuilding for life in L1. About half the squad are in the final weeks of their contracts and will be allowed to leave, and I'll be looking for a first-choice GK, at least one CB, two LBs, two CMs, an AMC and at least one striker. I do, at least, have around £750k to do it, I have my sights on three or four PL youngsters whose contracts are expiring, and the loan market will have to fill the gaps. On the bright side, Conor Grant declined a new contract in January as Championship clubs were circling but his injury killed that interest and he has now signed a three-year deal. Mayor also renewed, so the heart of our midfield is intact :cool:.

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With the lack of a English non league thread, thought i'd post here..

 

Anyone know of any particularly interesting teams to try and bring up from the lower non leagues tier 7,8,9,10?  Any rich clubs? phoenix clubs? any with history or wonderkids? basically looking for a reason to pick one over another..

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11 minutes ago, Welshace said:

Anyone know of any particularly interesting teams to try and bring up from the lower non leagues tier 7,8,9,10?

Can't think of many down at that level. Perhaps some of our resident non-league specialists can help?

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44 minutes ago, Welshace said:

With the lack of a English non league thread, thought i'd post here..

 

Anyone know of any particularly interesting teams to try and bring up from the lower non leagues tier 7,8,9,10?  Any rich clubs? phoenix clubs? any with history or wonderkids? basically looking for a reason to pick one over another..

I think Romford FC are trying to spend money to get up the leagues, their manager has bought in a lot of players recently from what I read.

Either them or Stoneclough FC would be a good shout as they just signed Ben Marshall but you might have to find a special file for that or use the editor.

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1 minute ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

I think Romford FC are trying to spend money to get up the leagues, their manager has bought in a lot of players recently from what I read.

Either them or Stoneclough FC would be a good shout as they just signed Ben Marshall but you might have to find a special file for that or use the editor.

Actually, the reason behinfd me asking this question was Romford... saw someone say they had 1.2million transfer budget.. must have been a previous update or something as they certainly don't now ... would have been a decent save.. might have to go into make believe territory and take over a local team to me and give them a transfer kitty maybe..

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6 minutes ago, Welshace said:

Actually, the reason behinfd me asking this question was Romford... saw someone say they had 1.2million transfer budget.. must have been a previous update or something as they certainly don't now ... would have been a decent save.. might have to go into make believe territory and take over a local team to me and give them a transfer kitty maybe..

You could always use the editor and change their transfer budget.

I would really like to see you do a save with a non league team just to see the obscure players you would sign.

Whichever team you decide to be you should try sign Thomas Oulembo or however you spell his name. Will scores for you.

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1 minute ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

You could always use the editor and change their transfer budget.

I would really like to see you do a save with a non league team just to see the obscure players you would sign.

Whichever team you decide to be you should try sign Thomas Oulembo or however you spell his name. Will scores for you.

Oualembo, yeah i had him for my Wrexham save, ridiculously good player for that level.

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2 minutes ago, Welshace said:

Oualembo, yeah i had him for my Wrexham save, ridiculously good player for that level.

Can I suggest you manage Kidderminster Harriers as that is where I am from originally and also they had a great FA Cup in the 1990's but finances aint that good.

Either them or if you want to manage a Level 10 team then try Bewdley Town or Dudley Sports as I live 5 minute walk from Dudley Sports lol.

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Just now, Ronaldo Beckham said:

Can I suggest you manage Kidderminster Harriers as that is where I am from originally and also they had a great FA Cup in the 1990's but finances aint that good.

Either them or if you want to manage a Level 10 team then try Bewdley Town or Dudley Sports as I live 5 minute walk from Dudley Sports lol.

Haha i'll have a look... was thinking Oswestry fc .. phoenix club , welsh team in the english leagues from the same town as TNS (the biggest side in the welsh prem) and also 2 miles from where i am haha.

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8 minutes ago, Welshace said:

Haha i'll have a look... was thinking Oswestry fc .. phoenix club , welsh team in the english leagues from the same town as TNS (the biggest side in the welsh prem) and also 2 miles from where i am haha.

Whomever you pick make sure you sign players from obscure nations like Honduras, Guatemala etc lol.

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1 minute ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

Whomever you pick make sure you sign players from obscure nations like Honduras, Guatemala etc lol.

Haha , i'll try my best

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@warlock Nice update, it's good to endure some challenges and you certainly did. Finishing 2nd with a club like Plymouth isn't at all unrealistic, but the squad is quite mediocre so on the pitch (screen?) is quite different. It should be an exciting off-season for you with the ability to release a lot of dross and get some very good L1 quality with that budget. The cashed-in transfer clause has given you a great chance to assemble a good group for the next season and I'll enjoy your transfer update.

Sorry, massive congratulations on winning the Leasing.Com Trophy, something we all aspire to!

@jonathan44 Nice update with Sheffield Wednesday, I missed it on the previous page. I've always liked Forestieri, genuinely surprised his career has never taken him further than it has. Pleased to see him doing well for you, presumably the financial position of the club is restricting you but that gives it an extra edge.

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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2 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

It should be an exciting off-season for you with the ability to release a lot of dross and get some very good L1 quality with that budget

Cheers, mate. I'm quite happy with the business so far with one exception - proving difficult to find a decent striker. And I seem to be falling foul of the FFP regs discussed up-thread. I have around £32k a week available in the wage budget but the board won't let me pay £1.3k a week to loan in Adam Idah. :seagull:

Edited by warlock

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Have you gone past the point of selecting low/medium/high bonus? That might help if you pick low.

Otherwise, is there anyone you can move out to make the finances stack up? Or can you pay no wages but a monthly fee to Norwich for the same amount?

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1 minute ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Or can you pay no wages but a monthly fee to Norwich for the same amount?

Great minds, eh? Just had an offer accepted on that basis, so fingers crossed. But at the same time, the board just cancelled the appointment of a new HoYD because of the strain on "the already bloated wage budget". I'm £30k a week under the wage budget, and I have £343k in the transfer budget - which they won't let me change!?! I'm sure there's method in the madness but I'm at a loss to understand what it is :idiot:

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Nice one! Idah will be fun to manage at League 1 level. It's good that they are keen to pass the FFP assessment, hopefully you won't be affected by it.

On another note, I've taken on a second Championship club (separate game with Brentford, which I will also continue). It's much more challenging and a club I have never managed in the past. Board expectations are low as is the club's annual budget (about 25% of the budget given at Middlesbrough who I was looking to take on). When I say budget, I mean actual operating budget rather than just transfer budget as this is how 'create a club' mode applies it.

The original club had one good player, maybe two maximum. Transfers made by me were modest but I'm very satisfied and now have a main squad of 24 including two that are injured. Arriving were two strikers (one on loan), and as I'm playing 4123 DM Wide it's OK that I only have an 18 year old and a player I'm trying to offload as other striking choices for the season. I've signed a rotation winger capable of playing left & right wing (so that gives me three wide players in total), a right back because the main and only other one is injured, and a third/fourth choice centre back. I've done pre-season already and really looking forward to this one. Who will be first to guess the club?

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10 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Who will be first to guess the club?

That's a pretty specific set of criteria. Luton, maybe?

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4 minutes ago, warlock said:

That's a pretty specific set of criteria. Luton, maybe?

Right league, wrong club. When I log on tomorrow I will see who guesses it first. No prize, just for fun :cool:

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7 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Right league

Well, I spotted the subtle clue:

33 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

I've taken on a second Championship club

:lol:

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1 minute ago, warlock said:

Well, I spotted the subtle clue:

:lol:

No fooling you sir! :lol:

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Just reading an article on Saido Berahino and was wondering if anyone has brought him in from the cold (Zulte Waregem) to see if he can crack it again. Not sure what his stats are currently like but will check after work.

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10 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Wigan is my guess 

Not quite, but fairly close.

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43 minutes ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

Is it Hull then Jogo

Actually I think you got it spot on having read through the description again

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Last time I posted I was 2/3 of the way through my second season with Cambridge. 

We managed to come 3rd but lost to 6th place Luton in the playoff semi finals, a game particularly devastating as they are our rivals. The team needed much more depth and a better attack to go for automatic promotion the next season.

Season 3 2021-22 League 1)

  • Transfers In: josh Laurent CM  (free) - terrible, on transfer list in Jan but sadly unwanted
  • ndjoli AML (26k) - 15 goals and fairly decent
  • eddie brown ST (120k) - great until injured in feb which meant he missed the rest of the season. 16 goals and top goal scorer 
  • simon power RW (free) good but injured for large portions of season
  • Gotts RW (loan). Signed on free at end of season after good performances
  • reece Cole CM (130k) did well at end of season. Signed in jan and gave some good passing quality
  • i also got Matt blake on loan, Reagan Riley who I loaned out, el abhd for backup CB/leadership, Cirjian on loan.

transfers out: Hannant (76k), Andy Dallas (37k)

Consistently in the playoffs throughout the season but incredibly reliant on set pieces, as shown by Kevin O’Connor, a LB who my coaches say is league 2 level, winning L1 player of season and racking up 15 assists. Tried tinkering with the tactic a little more this year and suffered a couple of dips as a result. Better squad depth helped us as injuries were worse this year than last. Defence were superb and much settled. Ended the league in 3rd place, just 3 points off Lincoln. If it wasn’t for 2 disappointing draws in the last 3 games of the season we’d have pipped them to second. After last years disaster in the playoffs I was apprehensive as we were drawn Rotherham, a team I’d never beaten. Sure enough in the first game away we lost 1-0 and looked abject. I tinkered heavily with a tactic I occasionally used for teams who we were better than to give us different shape and we won the second leg 2-0. The playoff final was a typically bitty affair with few chances for either team, but Connor Hall seized on a mistake and we were promoted to the championship! I was also disgusted to see that for the second season in a row I’d been snubbed for manager of the year. 

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Season 4 2022-23 Championship
Wage budget went up to 97k with a little for transfers which was nice but I am very much in the land of the big dogs in the championship with teams like Leicester just relegated. My wage structure which had 4.4k as the limit for star player Ben Sheaf was smashed to bring in a number of players as soon as I could on frees. A huge number of players had been on 2 year contracts and were released with all key players so far retained. I’ve signed Gotts, Callum Elder, C Gallagher (9.5k p/w), L McCormick, N Holland (9.5k p/w), Tom Flanagan and a couple of regens on loan from arsenal up front and in goal have been signed. I’m hopeful to stay up considering how well we did in L1 but there does seem to be some incredible quality in the championship. I think we could be here for a few seasons. In other news, Cambridge moved into new training facilities which had been on the cards since the game’s launch bringing our training up to 3* and I’m now allowed to scout Europe! I did get an offer from Brentford who came 4th in Championship last season that would triple my money but I’ve decided to stick with Cambridge at least for the first season. 
 

This is now the season of the World Cup and the fixture list looks disgusting. I’ve got a small squad of about 19 useable players. I’m exhausted just looking at the number of games. How is this season and are there any tips to deal with fixture congestion?

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Coventry.png.8b360252107e04305d78cd39d3b

Coventry City 2019/20 Season Review

My first season in charge of Coventry was an exciting prospect, especially with the expectations of the board not being ridiculously over the top. This meant I was free to take a little bit of time to get my side sorted, and as long as results weren't catastrophic then my job should remain safe for a while. This enabled me to take a slightly longer term view regarding the club.

I was very excited that my first competitive game as manager was at home, and 13,620 fans flocked to St Andrews to watch us play host to Southend United. The first game was exciting, and more so when my first recruit as manager, Rhian Brewster gave us the lead just 18 minutes in. Just 14 minutes later it was 2-0, as Jordy Hiwula converted a penalty. That was how it stayed though, and we walked away with an extremely comfortable victory. 

That was a nice little taster of what was to come. My first away game in charge was away against Bolton Wanderers, and a great comeback saw us take victory 2-1. We then saw off Bristol Rovers and Portsmouth, and a run of seven wins in our first eight league matches gave us the perfect start. We sat atop the League One table, and excitement was brewing. September proved to be a more challenging month though, as we suffered our first two league defeats of my reign, and we were dragged back to reality. Blackpool handed us our first defeat, and it saw them join us at the top. We bounced back from the setbacks well though, stringing form together and remaining unbeaten through October and November, before finally losing again just before Christmas. The league table was beginning to take its shape, and it looked like being a three way battle for the two automatic promotion spots. We hit the New Year on top, but with Blackpool and Fleetwood Town very closely behind.

January proved a tough month for us, as form deserted us and we suffered from throwing away winning positions, and picked up to many draws. Both Blackpool and Fleetwood overtook us, and we found ourselves nestled within the play-off places. As winter turned to spring, and spring headed towards summer, we made strides. Form came back and suddenly those irritating 1-1 draws were turning into victories. A run of six wins in seven matches through April saw us jump top of the table, and clinch promotion to the Championship with a game to spare. Our final match was against AFC Wimbledon, and we knew that victory would see us win the league ahead of Blackpool. However after half an hour that looked unlikely, as a quick fire double meant we trailed 0-2. Fortunately we were to produce one of the best periods of my reign late on in the game. Jordy Hiwula scored on 66 minutes to put us back in the game, before Rhian Brewster popped up in the 81st minute to level up. With time ticking away, and Blackpool winning, Brewster saved our blushes with a 95th minute winner to clinch the league crown.

image.thumb.png.978aa4f5c554e88cb8b4e13bf8c1bca0.png

Rhian Brewster was our standout performer, scoring 23 goals In 41 appearances. He picked up the golden boot, and seemed to pop up whenever we needed a goal. I was impressed with how solid we were defensively, for the most part at least. Michael Rose and Dominic Hyam forged a very good partnership in central defence, and Marko Marosi proved more than capable between the sticks. We conceded just 50 in the league, and although another ten less would've been nice I was happy enough with that.

The cup competitions also proved fairly fruitful for us. The FA Cup saw us exceed expectations and bring some much needed funds. We beat Doncaster Rovers 1-0 away in the First Round, and Shrewsbury Town 2-0 at home to advance to Round Three. We didn't manage to draw one of the big Premier League teams, but comfortably saw off Cheltenham Town 2-0 to book a spot in the Fourth Round. This time we did get lucky, drawing Manchester United at home. A full house packed in to help financially, and we avoided embarrassment. Eventually exiting the competition after a 2-4 defeat, in a very entertaining game.

Before the FA Cup had even kicked in we managed to give a very good account of ourselves in the League Cup. Championship side Luton Town were dispatched 3-0 in Round one, even with a much changed side. We went even better in the Second Round, as again a much changed side impressed. This time we thanked a 78th minute goal from Rhian Brewster to give us a 1-0 victory over Watford, of the Premier League. Next up was West Ham, and that was where our run ended. We put in a very good performance, but were narrowly beaten 0-1 to exit the competition.

The only real blot on our season was in the Leasing Trophy. I used the competition to rest our key names, and initially it didn't derail us. We lost to Colchester on penalties in our opening game, but progressed from our route after victories over Crystal Palace under 23s and Crawley Town. Forest Green were beaten on penalties in the first knockout round before we crashed out with defeat to Cheltenham Town on penalties.

Overall I can be nothing but delighted with how our campaign wen. We managed to improve the clubs finances with some good cup runs, and topped it off with promotion and a league title. I wasn't exaggerating when I said I'd be happy to just scramble into the play-off places, and so to win my first trophy just feels incredible. I hadn't expected us to perform quite as well as we did, and now just feel completely excited for next season. The summer may prove difficult for us though. The finances may have improved, but not enough to even consider being to flush in the transfer market. We need reinforcements but will probably have to rely on the loan market again. More worryingly is the players that we may lose though. Callum O'Hare was brilliant for us on loan from Aston Villa and Rhian Brewster our star man. Central midfielder Liam Walsh was probably our most consistent performer, but Bristol City have already declined our approaches. His fine form meaning his club think he can feature for them on a regular basis next season.

Its going to be important to get this side right over the summer. We've got a good core squad, and I don't want it disrupted too much. Marko Marosi proved more than able in goal, Rose and Hyam were brilliant at centre back, and Liam Kelly was solid in central midfield. We need some options, but not too much. Hopefully I can drag Rhian Brewster back again next season, as his goals were pivotal to our successes. Its perhaps going to be more important to try and keep our current loan players rather than hunting around too much for new faces. On the plus side we also get to move back into the Ricoh Arena for next season, something im very much looking forward to.

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Coventry.png.8b360252107e04305d78cd39d3b

Coventry City: 2020/21 Season Preview

And so, with the successes of last season still ringing true, it was an exciting summer for all involved with Coventry City FC. The financial situation at the club had improved significantly, and there was the move back to the clubs home, the Ricoh Arena. Despite of this it was still to be a summer of trepidation however. My approach would be to stick to cheap deals, free transfers and loans ideally. I'd also try to sell on some of the more fringe players in order to raise some funds and further improve the financial status. When I took over the club one of their visions was to look to sell before buying players, a philosophy I was going to try and stick to anyway. It would work out that way as I prepared a squad to challenge my second season at the helm.

Unsurprisingly the bookmakers didn't fancy us at all ahead of our return to the Championship. They warned for a season of struggle and predicted a finish of 23rd, only above fellow new boys Blackpool. Assessing the squad it would be hard to argue. Callum O'Hare and Liam Walsh had both departed after there loan deals ended, and a number of players were released at the expiration of their contracts. Zain Westbrook and Amadou Bakayoko being the most notable of them.

There was further squad trimming, as I set about raising funds and freeing up some room in our wage budget. Reiss Allassani returned from a loan with Dulwich Hamlet, but was then sent straight to AFC Fylde on a free transfer. Winger Jodi Jones who made only a handful of league appearances last season was also shipped away, joining Plymouth. Sunderland did my best pieces of business though, parting with just shy of £1,000,000 to sign centre back Josh Pask and striker Matt Godden. The former made just eight league apparenaces, and Godden even less. To bring in that much made me very happy indeed. The final cash sale was that of winger Gervane Kastaneer to Lincoln City. After just five league apparances and just the one goal, he departed in a deal that brought in a further £300,000.

We welcomed a total of seven new players to the club, as I set about strengthening our chances of avoiding relegation and staying in the Championship. First in the door as young full back George Tanner after his release by Manchester United. He can play on both the left and right side of defence, but was packed away to Exeter City on a season long loan deal to aid his development with more regular game time. Still slightly worried by our options at full back, a one year contract was handed to a former Premier League winner. Danny Simpson was released at the end of his deal by Huddersfield, and joined on a rather expensive £9,000 per week deal. There was a further defensive reinforcement though. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson signed on the eve of the new season on a long term contract. He seems to have been around forever, but still has plenty of time to improve his abilities. A definite upgrade at left back.

In the more offensive roles there were two new permanent members of our squad. Sunderland hero Duncan Watmore joined on a free at the expiration of his Black Cats deal. I was delighted having kept an eye on him due to his ability to play on both flanks, or if needed even up top. Thierry Ambrose was also picked up at the end of his Manchester City deal. Similarly to Watmore he offered versatility, and was a little step up in class too. Both of them were sure to feature prominently in our side.

Finally we made use of our link to Manchester City. Centre back Phillipe Sandler joined for the season but more excitingly so did Claudio Gomes. The central midfielder is also with us for the season, and looks like he will play a key role at the heart of our midfield.

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@goonergez Great stuff with Coventry and a really enjoyable read. I hope you enjoy the new season!

@Nodge Well done on a very nice promotion season and good luck as you look to make the step up.

@Ronaldo Beckham Spot on, Hull City it is.

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36 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

@goonergez Great stuff with Coventry and a really enjoyable read. I hope you enjoy the new season!

@Nodge Well done on a very nice promotion season and good luck as you look to make the step up.

@Ronaldo Beckham Spot on, Hull City it is.

What do I win lol.

I always had a soft spot for Hull after they won in the play offs when Frazier Campbell and Dean Windass was there.

It will definitely be a challenge for you.

I always do a Hull save every year so looking forward to seeing what you do with them.

 

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Thanks. It's my first time ever managing them and I don't think I even considered them until now. I wanted to manage Bowen and this was the easiest way to do it in the EFL. When I saw how low their operating budget was, things kind of fell in to place. I'll be hopping between this and Brentford and maybe a couple overseas but I'm enjoying it so far.

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18 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Thanks. It's my first time ever managing them and I don't think I even considered them until now. I wanted to manage Bowen and this was the easiest way to do it in the EFL. When I saw how low their operating budget was, things kind of fell in to place. I'll be hopping between this and Brentford and maybe a couple overseas but I'm enjoying it so far.

I bet you got like 10 saved games on the go at the same time lol.

Edited by Ronaldo Beckham

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2 hours ago, MaxeyN17 said:

About time I started my annual Posh save I think. 

Agreed :D

3 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

I wanted to manage Bowen

He looks a proper player this year, but way too expensive for the kinds of clubs I've been managing :(, so I certainly see the appeal.

7 hours ago, Nodge said:

we were promoted to the championship!

Excellent performance, and good luck in the tough division

7 hours ago, goonergez said:

Brewster saved our blushes with a 95th minute winner to clinch the league crown.

Much excitement and a good season. (Glad to see you've sorted out the screenshot business :thup:)

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Guys! Great catching up on everyone's saves. 

@Jogo Bonito - same question, how many saves do you have going on!? I can sympathize though, I keep getting attracted to new clubs as well. I played a season and a bit with Hull when FM20 first came out, and it was great fun. Although interestingly Grosicki outperformed Bowen for me. FYI I found it impossible to get Bowen to renew his contract, so triggered the one year extension option, then after the first season sold him to Everton for 15 million but with a loan back for one year. This way, managed to get two full seasons out of him. 

@goonergez - really enjoying your updates and the style of writing. KUTGW!

@Nodge - again excellent update, and well-done in the Oxbridge (?) derby winning the play-offs! 

@warlock - good updates as well and I can tell you from recent experience that Adam Idah is absolutely lethal even in the Championship where he comfortably finished league top scorer for me. 

As for my game, as I had mentioned earlier I left Rochdale towards the end of the second season to actually drop a league down and take over at Sunderland (inspired by their Netflix documentary). Had a strong end of season run to make the play-offs, and then we comfortably dispatched Wigan to go into the final at Wembley against Lincoln. Went down to a penalty in the 3rd minute and we feared the worst but the team responded brilliantly to come back and win 3-1 thanks to a brace from Will Grigg (who was on fire it has to be said :D). This was actually my first play-off win on FM and it was a LOT of fun, nail-biting action. Definitely the best way to go up!

However, after this came the new patch which I am a big fan of, the ME now actually feels like real life football. New patch means new game - on some level I felt like the tactic I used at Rochdale exploited the earlier ME a bit by using pacy strikers with direct football over the top. This time around the attempt is to do things differently, more realistic and maybe even slower progress. Hence I have put a lot of thought into the new club, which is coming up in the next post.

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@karanhsingh Yes I will face dilemmas on my two best players Bowen and Grosicki. I triggered the extension on Bowen but might well do what you did. Grosicki is a big financial asset so dont want to see him walk away for free, but is a big player that I need in season one. 

I only have Hull, Brentford and Hammarby in progress. There are other players and clubs I want to manage though.

Well done with Sunderland. Is the new ME that good then and is it save compatible?

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Without further ado, here is (hopefully) my long-term save for FM20. 

mkd.jpg.a0af762418299e8fed38920dbbcf2b74.jpg

Why MK Dons? 

1. I wanted a League One club with good potential to be in the Premiership in a few seasons

2. The fact that they have no history actually appealed to me, which means you can write your own history at the club

3. Ambitious board & management which is reflected in the game, they want continued progress

4. Modern stadium that fits 30k with an average attendance of 10k so lot of potential, room for improvement in other facilities as well 

5. They have a history of really favouring their academy and developing home-grown players 

Seemed like the ideal mix to me of a club with a lot of potential, but also one where a lot of consistent works needs to be done to realize it. I think I will enjoy the various rivalries they have too. 

In-game the board has a positive 5 year plan including reaching the play-offs by year 2 and back in the Championship by year 3. I would like to be in the Premiership in 3-4 seasons ideally and then take it from there. Consistent progress will be key! 

Transfers - I am going to try to stay away from loans as much as possible, which I have found is the easiest way to move up through the lower leagues. Ideally loans only with a realistic buy-out clause would work, because the idea is to build assets at the club. Which brings us to the next point.

Finances - the club starts with a positive balance but rapidly depleting each month. In this save I want to make a conscious effort to manage the club finances as well by developing players and selling them for large profits to keep boosting the balance now & again. 

Tactics - will be going with a 3-5-2 formation again which actually suits the squad with the lack of wingers, however a slightly more cultured outlook with shorter passing across the board. 

Next post has an update on our start at the Dons! 

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7 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

@karanhsingh Yes I will face dilemmas on my two best players Bowen and Grosicki. I triggered the extension on Bowen but might well do what you did. Grosicki is a big financial asset so dont want to see him walk away for free, but is a big player that I need in season one. 

I only have Hull, Brentford and Hammarby in progress. There are other players and clubs I want to manage though.

Well done with Sunderland. Is the new ME that good then and is it save compatible?

I had to let Grosicki go for free (he moved to Qatar on some 50k per week), however he was instrumental in the first season I remember. 

Yes the new ME is much, much better I think, and yes it is save compatible.

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This is me - started with lesser experience & coaching badges than usual. During this save the idea is also to develop the manager profile & attributes over the years.

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Transfers - I actually studied the squad and found that we had numbers in almost all areas. Changes will definitely be needed but we will first give a chance to those already at the club. My first signing was fittingly an Indian player (well, partially) in Mal Benning, I think the first Indian I have signed in all my years of FM! As the only weak spot we needed to fill in was the LWB for the new formation. The only other relevant transfer was McKenzie on loan from Hull with an option to buy, the rest youth players brought in by my HOYD.

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Squad with stats (at the end of December, as I forgot to screenshot at the start of the season)

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Here's how the League looks at the turn of the year:

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Finances unfortunately don't look as great, I will be looking to offload some wages in January to bring us back in line hopefully

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Progress towards club vision - they surprisingly agreed to improve both training & youth facilities which will be another 2 million cost over the next year or so. We are going to have to figure out a solution to the finances soon, maybe one or two big sales in the summer.

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In terms of the cups, we are in the Leasing trophy semi-finals and the FA Cup 5th round so that's all fairly exciting so far. Will do a proper update in a few days once we complete the first season!

Edited by karanhsingh

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Has anyone played with QPR? Went there for a match in 14 or 15, but have actually never managed them on FM.

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We are on an absolutely shocking run of form right now with 1 draw and 5 defeats in the last 6 games. Not even playing too badly, just undeserved defeat one after another. The worst was a 4-1 reverse at home against bottom of the league Bolton. Somehow still hanging on at the top of the league but won't be for too long. Anyone have any tips for turning it around? I think this is the worst run I have experienced on FM...

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43 minutes ago, Mr_Demus said:

Has anyone played with QPR? Went there for a match in 14 or 15, but have actually never managed them on FM.

I done a save with them I found it enjoyable have some really good youngsters 

I found it hard in the 2nd season as they wanted me to fight for playoffs mush of been a glitch because I only just survived relegation 

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3 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Is the new ME that good then and is it save compatible?

Has been save-game compatible for me, but I'm not convinced about the ME itself. Yes, it significantly reduces the number of long balls resulting in 1v1 chances, but against that I've seen a big downgrade to crossing (back to constant attempts hitting the first defender) and if a cross does get through the attacking header is usually wildly inaccurate. Except from setpieces - IFKs seem to be OP. So, swings and roundabouts, as always, but definitely worth trying - the opt-in and download are quick and painless, and it's easy to opt back out if you don't like it.

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1 hour ago, karanhsingh said:

Anyone have any tips for turning it around?

February is the cruelest month, for me. December and January is a long grind and that takes a toll on fitness and availability, and then Feb just piles on more fixtures. The only approach that has worked for me  is to play for the draw - if you can stop the losing streak, pick up a couple of draws, then be more adventurous in your first winnable home game, things can turn around.

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Has anyone managed Middlesbrough? Looking at there team they have some good youngsters coming through? 
once again looking at who to be 

thinking long term plan with good youth prospects 

happy to progress youngsters from the youth 

championship or league one? 
Any ideas 

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23 minutes ago, Rollin93 said:

Has anyone managed Middlesbrough? Looking at there team they have some good youngsters coming through? 
once again looking at who to be 

thinking long term plan with good youth prospects 

happy to progress youngsters from the youth 

championship or league one? 
Any ideas 

Yes they have Nathan Wood, Fry, Tavernier, etc.

In League one, Ipswich seem to be popular and have good youth too.

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So a third of my first season has gone. Thought I would post an update. Home form good, away form less than good. Need to tweak my tactics a bit. 

 

Screenshots show current tactic, league table and my one signing Léo Lacroix on loan from AS Saint-Étienne. 

 

Nyambe and Bell have been outstanding in the wing back roles. 

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1 hour ago, StePratt said:

Home form good, away form less than good

Not a bad start, though. You're holding your own against the usual suspects at the top there :thup:

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Coventry.png.8b360252107e04305d78cd39d3b

Coventry City: 2020/21 Season Review

For me this season was all about consolidation. We hadn't spent money and in all fairness we weren't being fancied to avoid the drop straight back down to League One. I was pleased with our activities during pre-season, but was also cautious that this would be a season of struggle. That would very much prove to be the case.

We actually started our league campaign pretty well. In a carbon copy of my very first league game last season, Rhian Brewster scored a first half strike, before a Jordy Hiwula penalty in the second secured us a 2-0 victory, this time over Leeds United. Our first game back at the Ricoh Arena also went fairly well, as we held promotion hopefuls Brentford to a 0-0 draw. Next up was Wigan Athletic away, and we walked away with a 3-1 win and unbeaten in our first three games. After that our form began to take a more expectant shape though. One victory from the end of August through until mid October didn't help our cause at all. We were scoring plenty of goals (led by Liverpool loanee Rhian Brewster), but shipping in far to many at the other end.

A mixed run through November, and a winless December saw us hit the turn of the year just a point outside of the relegation places. The second half was sure to be tough, and I felt like I needed to act in the market to give the players and the fans a little excitement. After a season and a half in the job, it finally felt like time to spend some cash, albeit not too much. Winger slash striker Ashley Hunter was the chosen man. We paid £80,000 for his services from League One side Fleetwood Town.  Part of the reason for making the move, was that it was to be financed by a departure. summer arrival Thierry Ambrose had been awful since joining, and I cashed in on him with no hesitation. FC Lorient tabling a £3,000,000 bid for his services. A very good piece of business seeing as we picked him up on a free transfer in the summer.

After starting the new year with victories over Wigan Athletic and Derby County (courtesy of a 93rd minute winner from Liam Kelly), Ashley Hunter scored a debut winner to end January, helping us to beat Charlton Athletic 1-0 at the Valley. A victory that saw us climb up to a three month high of 15th in the table. If I had thought that would be a turning point in our campaign though, I would've been very wrong. February and March were disastrous, and by the beginning of April we were left just four points clear of relegation, and with games beginning to run out. One victory in ten matches had severely hindered our survival hopes, and hit a head during a truly woeful 1-8 defeat to Ipswich Town. A team who had come up with us after victory over Fleetwood in the play-off final.

April managed to save us though, and over the space of one long weekend. A 4-0 win over relegation struggling Blackpool on the Friday night, followed by a 3-0 defeat of play-off chasing Nottingham Forest on the Monday evening. This moved us comfortably clear of the relegation zone with just four games remaining. We would go on to lose all four of those, but safety was secured, and Coventry City would play for at least one more season in the Championship.

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We can thank our survival mainly on one man. After proving our hero last season, Rhian Brewster yet again impressed. He came second in the leagues golden boot race, with is return of 22 goals. He finished just one strike behind the award winner. Winger Wesley Jobello was another who stood out again. He consistently performed well for us, as did season long loanee Claudio Gomes, who excelled in the holding midfield role. The biggest disappointment though was January arrival Ashley Hunter. He scored a debut winner, but wouldn't find the net again until the very final league match of the season, despite being a regular in our side. Defensively we will have to bring in some reinforcements for next season. 63 goals is a pretty decent return for a newly promoted side, but we let in a league high 91 at the other end, and that will have to improve for next season.

After last season, its disappointing to report that the cup competitions didn't give us very much joy. Unfortunately a much changed side crashed out of the League Cup in the First Round, losing 0-1 away to Queens Park Rangers. We went one better in the FA Cup though. A Jordan Shipley goal saw off Middlesbrough, before Manchester United knocked us out 0-3 at Old Trafford. On the plus side some good funds came in from the trip away to Manchester though.

And so a season in which we achieved our pre-season aim of staying in the Championship for another season. For me next season will all be about progress. We haven't got the funds, nor the reputation to attract any significantly big names in, and I don't expect anything more than safety again next time around. I think the next two or three seasons are going to be about trying to stay in this division. Luckily the board are on my side in that regard and so hopefully I'll be afforded the time to help take this club forward. I'm not anticipating a wave of activity over the summer, but we definitely need some new faces to add some depth to the squad. It'll be interesting to see if we can bring in some Championship ready players, as most of this squad is the same as I had in League One. I'm not anticipating that though, and will probably have to continue trying to get the best out of some less calibre names.

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