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3 minutes ago, goonergez said:

we achieved our pre-season aim of staying in the Championship

Job done! Can't ask for more than that first time back.

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6 minutes ago, warlock said:

Job done! Can't ask for more than that first time back.

I didn't really expect it. I've never managed to last so long with a team with financial struggles. Its actually a lot of fun trying to balance improving the squad whilst ensuring the finances remain in good growing shape. Really enjoying this save.

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Coventry.png.8b360252107e04305d78cd39d3b

Coventry City: 2021/22 Season Preview

So after narrowly avoiding the drop last season, my expectations have not changed for this one. There are a lot of big clubs stuck in the Championship and its sure to be fiercely competitive. In terms of stature, finance or quality we really don't match up. Yet here we are, and I would be happy to avoid relegation again and begin to establish ourselves as a solid Championship side. Again we are not fancied to do it. The bookmakers named us as one of the favourites to go down, and the media predicted us a finish of 20th place. For me its simply about progress. Safety in the league, and a higher finish than last season would leave me absolutely delighted.

I was given some funds to spend, but not much. More was raised with the sales of players, but I didn't plan on splashing too much cash around anyways. We managed to raise just shy of half a million pounds on the sales of a couple of prospects from our youth system. After interest starting circling we sold full back Agon Selaci to Barnsley for £200,000 and striker Phil Bishop to Brentford for £250,000. Good money coming in for two players who were nowhere near my first team plans and had never featured in a matchday squad for us.

Backup goalkeeper was sold to Brighton for £22,000 and Jordan Shipley left for Doncaster Rovers for £34,000 in two much smaller deals, after featuring rarely for us last season. The biggest deal was somewhat of a surprise one. Michael Rose had been a solid performer since I arrived at the club, but after complaining about wanting a new challenge, he was sold to Wigan Athletic in a deal that brought us £875,000.

A number of players were released at the end of their contracts (nobody of note), and Danny Simpson retired after a rather unremarkable one year spell. He featured fairly regularly for us, but was average at best and wouldn't be missed. We also allowed a number of players to leave the club on loan. Young goalkeeper Shaun Hall went to FC Halifax (in League Two), and ill definitely be keeping an eye on his progress. Last years arrival George Tanner also went away again, this time to Barrow. After a disappointing sell for us last season Duncan Watmore also departed on loan. He joined Charlton Athletic for the season, and they're also paying us 50% of his wages throughout the deal.

All in all there were nine new arrivals to the club, although one was sent straight back out on loan. That was 18-year old goalkeeper Jakub Ojrzynski, who joined after his release by Liverpool and was then packed straight to Gateshead on a season long loan. Speaking of goalkeepers it was a position I wanted to replace in the short term too, as Marko Marosi was extremely disappointing last season. Veteran stopper Wayne Hennessy was picked up on a free a backup, but my new first choice is somebody I'm extremely excited to bring in. 21-year old Mile Svilar joined us on a season long loan move from Benfica and will slot straight in between the sticks.

We signed another player on loan from Benfica too. 20-year old centre back Sebastian Picco was signed and is a perfect ready made replacement for the departing Michael Rose. We further strengthened the defence with another free agent too. Centre back Joel Latibeaudiere was picked up as a prospect for the future after being released by our parent club Manchester City. He'll be on the fringes of our first team this season, but I have high hopes for him going forward.

I also have high hopes for 18-year old Albanian striker Armando Broja who we picked up at the expiration of his contract with Chelsea. Also for 17-year old central midfielder Erwann David. We forked out a hefty £700,000to Stade Caen on deadline day, but he is a huge prospect for us. He's another who will be on the fringes this season, but somebody who should prove to be an influential part of the longer term. We also strengthened our options on the wings with two versatile signings. Firstly young Liam McCarron was signed from Ayr United of Scotland on a free transfer, and then the loan deal for Sezgin Aleksiev from Barnsley. Both are sure to be regulars in our side.

I am very pleased with our activities in the transfer maker again, and feel we've done a really good job at strengthening our squad. Both in depth and in quality. We've also began to build for the longer term future with some of our new arrivals. Losing Michael Rose could've been a big blow, but we've brought in a more than able replacement in Picco, as well as a significant sum of money. As mentioned previously, I don't expect anything more than what we achieved last season. Anything that involves us remaining as a Championship club after forty six matches will leave me absolutely delighted.

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@goonergez Again, I really enjoyed your update and I'm very pleased on your survival. It's a big achievement and you did exactly what was needed even if it was scary at times! Hopefully your new team will come together for next season. I like your new GK, he was my first choice at Benfica for two seasons on FM19 and should be easily good enough for you.

@StePratt A solid start with Blackburn, doing more than adequately so far.

@karanhsingh Really nice post about your plans at MK Dons and a cracking start. Great facilities to build that club again, but of course always a sour taste with them even if they're not quite the villains they have been made out to be. I'd still prefer another club though :lol:

To the question about Middlesbrough, I set up a game with them before going with Hull. I really like the opportunities they present and will probably take them on myself soon.

Thanks for comments about Hull & thoughts on the new ME above. I'll decide on that later.

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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1 hour ago, Jogo Bonito said:

 

@karanhsingh Really nice post about your plans at MK Dons and a cracking start. Great facilities to build that club again, but of course always a sour taste with them even if they're not quite the villains they have been made out to be. I'd still prefer another club though :lol:

Thanks! I agree with your comment, same applies to say an RB Liepzig in Germany. They seem to have actually built up a decent fan-base in the past few years. Anyway, end of season update coming up below.

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MK DONS - season 1 update

It has to be said that we tried our best to throw it away, and we almost did sh*t the bed, with a horrid run of just SIX wins out of 18 games from February onwards. I for the life of me cannot understand what happened to my team. 

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The Leasing trophy was another disappointment as we went out on penalties at home against League Two Cambridge, who went on to win the tournament. Would have been nice to get in a trip to Wembley.

Fortunately, the chasing pack proved to be as bad, and we managed to win the league without ever coming close to an average of 2+ points per game, something I have always achieved with all league wins in the past.

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Our 3 best players were Rhys Healey who finished with 28 goals, Ben Reeves who got 16 goals and 13 assists from the AM position, and my fellow countryman Malvind Singh Benning who notched up an incredible 6 goals and 14 assists from LWB. 

However, major improvement will be required to be able to compete in the Championship. We have been given a transfer budget of 888k, which isn't a whole lot, and a wage budget of 112k per week, which at least is a decent step up from the current 75k. 

Financially things have not got much better, and we are currently almost a million in the red, which has sadly led to this: (again a first for me on FM). 

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So despite the promotion, it's been a tough couple of months at the MK Dons. We will need to do some good business in the summer!

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@karanhsingh I'd call that a double (winning the league and celebrating an early exit from the Pointless Cup). Surprising to win the league comfortably with that form and points tally, but they say the table never lies so obviously deserved. Nice to see Benning doing well for your personal reasons, and I'm really not surprised to see Healey do what he did. He's been a goal machine at L1/L2 level for the last few seasons. Good luck sorting the finances and assembling a competitive squad.

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2 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

we managed to win the league without ever coming close to an average of 2+ points per game

A title is a title - no-one will remember how many points you got. Looks like a tough year ahead in the Championship, though. It will likely take some time to sort out the finances. Wish you well with it :thup:

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On 20/01/2020 at 19:45, Jogo Bonito said:

@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.

The finances make the season expectations alot more realistic. You start the season with what looks a well rounded squad, but most of them are hugely overpaid, on the wrong side of 30 and alot of the players are impossible to get rid of (imagine the championship version of Sanchez and Ozil). I brought in 4 players in January, and the 4 combined earn less than Steven Fletcher who I managed to move on before his contract finishing in the summer of 2020. I like the look of this Christian Conteh who I managed to sign from St Pauli for 175k.

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Also signed Emanuel Insua for 400k, who adds alot of bite (19 aggression) and is a huge improvement on Fox and Thorniley (who's left on loan for the second half of the season).

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Just played Barnsley and have just scraped into a playoff spot for the first time this season, I doubt we'll managed to stay there as my form is very patchy.

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Plymouth: season 2, September

As noted earlier, my biggest problem in shaping up for life after promotion was the FFP rules. Despite having surplus cash in both wage and transfer budgets, I was only allowed to spend £48.3k a week on wages, which made it difficult to recruit the necessary quality. Despite that, I was quite happy with the business we did, although early indications are that I picked a couple of duffers.

First requirement was for a first-choice GK, and I opted for last season's first-choice GK, West Brom's Alex Palmer who was permanently signed on a free after setting a club record with 20 clean sheets. Next up was the need for not one but two LBs after star man Gary Sawyer reached his 35th birthday and backup Callum McFadzean struggled even at L2 level. First signing was an easy choice as Brentford's Tom Field was released. Finding a backup was somewhat harder but I eventually opted for former Southend man Stephen Hendrie, also on a free and probably worth what I paid for him.

Better bets were two new CBs, also free. Southampton's Alfie Jones and Sunderland's Jack Baldwin represent significant upgrades on Niall Canavan and Scott Wooten. There's another new face in central midfield, where Aston VIlla's promising youngster Jack Clarke was signed to a permanent contract, joining Hull's Daniel Batty who impressed me last year sufficiently to renew his loan. 

Finally, as mentioned above, young Norwich striker Adam Idah was eventually signed on a year's loan after some finagling with the finances. So I managed to move out a lot of deadwood, added some promising potential front to back, and substantially lowered the average age of the squad while spending almost nothing - just £30k in various signing bonuses and agents' fees. The big question, of course, is: is it enough?

Well, the jury's still out. We got off to a great start before finishing the month in pretty poor form.

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Opened with three games undefeated, ended the month with three games without a win. And an early exit from the Carabao Cup. Our major issue is finding the net consistently - Telford is the most frustrating player, equally capable of a hat-trick or a 10-game goalless streak, while Idah appears to have left his shooting boots in Norwich. I'm sure he'll come good eventually but I hope it won't take too long. Defensively we've been OK, rarely conceding more than a single goal but if we can't score, we can't win. The prime suspects defensively have been Hendrie, and CB Will Aimson, and the latter is likely to be first out of the door if I can find some way of losing him.

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All said, we're doing better than I feared. Everyone at the club expects a battle against relegation, although the bookies reckon we're good enough for a finish around 14th. Time will tell...

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1 hour ago, warlock said:

Plymouth: season 2, September

All said, we're doing better than I feared. Everyone at the club expects a battle against relegation, although the bookies reckon we're good enough for a finish around 14th. Time will tell...

A more than reasonable start, anything mid-table or upwards would be a success. Still lots of improvements to be made on some of your players but it can't all be done in one window. Ooooh, I just saw Hull had been relegated in your game and you're above them in the table :eek:

My Hull career can now be deemed long-term as I've reached the start of October in the first season. Very enjoyable so far :cool:

 

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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57 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Ooooh, I just saw Hull had been relegated in your game and you're above them in the table :eek:

Well, that didn't last long - we're now down in 12th and Hull are 3rd with a game in hand that could take them to 2nd. I'm not sure he's quite good enough for you in the Championship but I'm a big fan of Daniel Batty - an excellent DLP-d at my level, and he's developed really well after his loan spell with us. One to keep an eye on?

1 hour ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Still lots of improvements to be made on some of your players

Indeed... hopefully we can claw our way out of this FFP hole we're in.

1 hour ago, Jogo Bonito said:

My Hull career can now be deemed long-term as I've reached the start of October in the first season

:lol: Hope it remains as enjoyable :thup:

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13 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

@karanhsingh I'd call that a double (winning the league and celebrating an early exit from the Pointless Cup). Surprising to win the league comfortably with that form and points tally, but they say the table never lies so obviously deserved. Nice to see Benning doing well for your personal reasons, and I'm really not surprised to see Healey do what he did. He's been a goal machine at L1/L2 level for the last few seasons. Good luck sorting the finances and assembling a competitive squad.

Thank you. I actually quite wanted to win the pointless cup :lol: even played my best team!

I don't actually think I will make too many changes over the summer, priority will be a strike partner for Healy as Agard moves to more of a sub role. However since I don't want to get in players I have managed on previous saves that rules out the obvious options like Brewster and Idah.

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11 hours ago, warlock said:

A title is a title - no-one will remember how many points you got. Looks like a tough year ahead in the Championship, though. It will likely take some time to sort out the finances. Wish you well with it :thup:

Thank you. And yes a season of mid-table obscurity would do us just fine :)

EDIT - good start to the new season at Plymouth. FWIW, Batty did well for me too on a previous save, and Idah had a REALLY slow start to League One life at Rochdale before absolutely taking the league by storm and finishing as the division's top scorer eventually.

Edited by karanhsingh

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1 hour ago, karanhsingh said:

Idah had a REALLY slow start to League One life at Rochdale before absolutely taking the league by storm

Good to know, thanks :thup:

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@warlock Cheers, I hope it will remain enjoyable too.

@jonathan44 Good progress with The Owls, hopefully you can maintain the momentum but another season wouldn't be a bad thing.

@karanhsingh I agree with trying to sign different players, I do that too. Good luck assembling your squad. You must already be in the frame for a stadium statue after the big cup win! Or they could move the concrete cows I suppose...

Hopefully I can do a first Hull update tonight if things go to plan (they rarely do). I've got Batty in the squad but he's really only a fringe player at Championship level from the start. I didn't sign any midfielders though, so his progress hasn't been blocked. I'm willing to let the two central defenders signed by me in the summer move on in the winter window. There are some youngsters in the U23 squad who can provide the cover if needed. Other than that, I'll probably try to move out more than I bring in when I get to that point (still at the start of October as we speak).

 

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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Half way through the season now. I was originally aiming for top 10 but after winning 8 in a row, I might have to adjust my targets. We picked up some incredible wins and I have turned down a job interview at Watford, with them appointing Gerrard! 

Really enjoying this save so far, see what the next 23 games bring.

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Hull City Season 1

Club background, history, facilities and stadium

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Squad Registration

This is on 'create a club' mode because I have limited time to play and it's the easiest way for me to remove the players I don't want to be managing

The first new signing was right-back Moses Odubajo (former Hull player) as Eric Lichaj was the only one I had and he was injured when I took over

I also signed central defenders Caca from Cruzeiro and Noel Soumah from Westerlo (after the squad numbers were allocated) as there were only two senior ones fit

Bristol City winger Niclas Eliasson was recruited to provide rotation cover on both flanks from the bench

And the most important two signings were strikers Ayoub El Kaabi on a permanent deal and Rhian Brewster (on loan from Liverpool)

Obviously a large number of players were shipped out, and both Caca and Soumah are going to be offered to other clubs in the winter transfer window

Henriksen would have been an important player but having been frozen out in real life I decided he can move in January (Swansea will be paying £900,000 for his services)

Magennis is also free to find a new club if any reasonable offer comes in for him, but he can be kept as 4th choice if that doesn't happen

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Early form has been beyond my wildest expectations, and I really have enjoyed the football being served up

Pre-season results were very encouraging and that has continued in competitive games

As you will see, only a narrow loss at Brentford saw my side walk away without some sort of result during August

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My fringe players did get dumped out of the Carabao Cup at Burton, but otherwise September and October were extremely successful months

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Thanks to this impressive start, the club currently sit 2nd in the table after 14 league games, which is far above the predicted relegation battle 

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My formation is set in stone and has not been changed once yet this season

My wide attackers are probably the key players, the central striking role is rotated between Brewster and El Kaabi who are both a constant threat

Eliason is a great substitute to bring off the bench if either of the wide players tire, and the only other big battle is between Kingsley and Elder at left-back

That said, all of the squad players are more than capable of coming in and doing a job

The first team squad size is 25 at the moment and it's 18th in the weekly wage bill of the division

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Edited by Jogo Bonito

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1 hour ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Thanks to this impressive start, the club currently sit 2nd in the table

An impressive start, indeed! I see Bowen is rewarding your enthusiasm :thup:

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Plymouth: season 2, November

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After a mixed opening month of the season, which started well and ended poorly, we carried that unhappy form into September. The loss in the DispLeasing trophy seems to have upset the board considerably, and they haven't shut up about it since. I was more upset by the defeat at Wimbledon where, despite coming from behind twice, we eventually succumbed to a 79th minute winner for the Dons in what should have been a winnable game. Some tactical tinkering gradually saw us improve culminating in the win at Oxford. They were runaway league leaders at the time, undefeated to that point, and manager Karl Robinson dissed us in his pre-match press conference. So I was delighted when youngster Adam Fletcher put us ahead after 26 minutes and we held them off for the win.

Against Blackburn, they came at us like rabid dogs and we were 3-0 down before the 10th minute :mad:, and despite two second-half goals we couldn't find an equaliser. But we picked up three good wins from our next four games, only Hull proving to be too good for us.

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That good run has put us within touching distance of the playoff places, just a point behind the leaders (although Charlton have a game in hand that could let them leapfrog us). Not only are we hugely overperforming pre-season expectations, we've done it in the face of some difficult injuries. First, we lost Conor Grant for the whole of September to a twisted ankle, then later in September Danny Mayor suffered a back fracture that will see him miss more than two months. Finally, CB Jack Baldwin was missing for five weeks with an ankle injury and is just returning to fitness. Compounding these problems, we've also lost young striker Adam Idah for several games on international duty.

Standout performers include Mr Reliable, RB Joe Riley, and young striker Adam Fletcher who is putting his elders and (so-called) betters to shame with 8 goals in 16 starts - Idah and Telford have 4 each from 10 starts apiece.

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Good work all around fellas!

@StePratt - excellent progress, I see your formation is quite similar to mine. Are you playing Dack up front?

@Jogo Bonito - again a great start, hope you can see it through. Bowen seems to be on fire! I somehow couldn't get him to perform as well. 

@warlock - solid couple of months there, and I just noticed that we have a common player in Alfie Jones. how is he getting on?

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Also an update from Milton Keynes, as we have now played through the summer and are ready to have a crack at the Championship! 

Transfers, first:

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I have to be pleased with the business we have done. We raised some much needed money for the club by selling our #1 Lee Nicholls to relegated Derby for 3 million. He wasn't very keen to move but I persuaded him. And we then had a terrible reaction from fans & media alike, but it was a necessary move to keep the coffers rolling. I am also happy with the sale of McGrandles for 600k as he was out on loan last season and never looked like breaking into the team. 

In terms of the Transfers IN, I will just focus on the first team players. There are also a number of youngsters who have come in and been promptly shipped off on loan as you can see. 

Cameron Dawson - straight replacement for Nicholls, he has great goalkeeper stats but a bit weak mentally. Let's hope he fills the shoes. 

Okyere Wriedt - a player I have often scouted but never bought so far. It was between him and Sam Vokes on loan for a year. He will go into the first team as the Pressing Forward alongside Healey.

Liam Lindsay - comes in on a free after not playing much for Stoke. My staff now rates him as the best CB at the club already. Interestingly I now have 3 left footed CBs as well. 

Adam Lewis - our only paid transfer is a good young left wing-back who will provide competition for Benning. 

Alfie Jones - seems like a good, young, ball-playing defender, who will provide competition at the back for us.

Kaylen Hinds - another young, hungry squad player, to provide cover up top.

Which leaves the squad looking like this.

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One good thing to note is that we have NO Loan players, which is a first for me while managing in the English football leagues.

Finances are in much better shape thankfully.

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While we have the second lowest wage bill in the division.

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In other news with the positive bank balance, the board has now finally sanctioned an improvement in the training facilities which is underway. 

We had a good pre-season and have just beaten Blackburn 2-0 in our first league game. I am quietly confident of a solid season of consolidation.

Edited by karanhsingh

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32 minutes ago, karanhsingh said:

Good work all around fellas!

@StePratt - excellent progress, I see your formation is quite similar to mine. Are you playing Dack up front?

 

I've been using him as a Mezzala on attack. He's not got as many goals or assists but he often plays the ball to Bell or Nyambe. I'm trying to sign Maitland-Niles on loan so if he comes in Dack might get a go upfront. 

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Coventry City: Season 2021/22 Review

We started the season well with three unbeaten matches. winning the third of them 4-3 at home against Preston North End. We then lost back to back games before beating Queens Park Rangers 2-0 and then Wigan Athletic 3-2 to sit in the play-off positions. The rest of September went badly, before we were better in October. Two wins and three defeats later, we sat comfortably in mid-table, clear of the drop zone but dropping away from competing for promotion. Segzin Aleksiev and Wesley Jobello then both scored in a surprise win over league leaders Nottingham Forest, before our form completely dropped off a cliff.

We went through the whole of November and December without a victory, before then going through half of January still hunting an elusive victory. The run had seen us slip right down the table, and we looked as good as down. Seven points adrift of the team above us, and rock bottom of the league table. With eight points separating us from safety, I was struggling to see how we could get out of the mess we were in. I had almost resigned myself to the fact we were basically already gearing up to be relegated, and back in League One next season.

At this stage I felt we needed to make some change. We moved to sign Fin Back (a central midfielder) from Manchester City on loan, and also confirmed the permanent signing of goalkeeper Mile Svilar from Benfica. He'd performed much better on loan than Marko Marosi did last season, and £400,000 was paid to secure his future was at the Ricoh Arena. Annoyingly captain Fankaty Dabo wanted to leave, and despite my best efforts I couldn't persuade him to stay. He left for Nottingham Forest in a £1,000,000 deal, which also included 34-year old striker Lewis Grabban joining us on loan until the summer. That ended up being pointless though, as he made just four appearances for us and didn't find the net once. 

Finally after bringing in recruits and playing a meaningless confidence boosting friendly, we won. A first victory after 14 matches without one. A Segzin Aleksiev winner beating Preston North End 1-0. The next two games brought the same result. Captain Fankaty Dabo scored a 75th minute winner from the spot against Cardiff, before a 95th minute winner from Segzin Aleksiev completed the same scoreline against Queens Park Rangers. This result moved us out of the relegation zone, albeit only on goal difference.

Our good form continued throughout February and march, as we won more matches than we had through the whole of the season before our form had dipped. April started with a sublime 3-2 victory away at 2nd placed Bristol City. In what was by far our best performance of the season we had raced into a 3-0 lead in the first half. Only a poor last ten minutes of the game, allowing a couple of goals. We then lost to Aston Villa and Stoke City, before clinching our safety in the next match. A superb 2-1 turnaround win over play-off chasing Sheffield Wednesday seeing us survive with two matches left to play. Rhian Brewster scoring both of our goals.

We finished the league season in 19th place, on 52 points. I was delighted that we managed to pick up more victories than last season, and also more points. Seeing as we looked dead and buried at one stage it was delightful to eventually secure safety, to secure another season in the Championship. Although not a huge improvement, we also conceded less goals, mainly due to better performances in goal from Mile Svilar.

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Player wise we didn't perform as great as we have over the past couple of years. Rhian Brewster had a quieter season, scoring just 16 goals in 37 league appearances. Our main man ended up being young winger Segzin Aleksiev, who was on loan from Barnsley. He joined after a handful of appearances for them during their relegation campaign, but really stepped up for us. He managed 13 league goals for us as well as a further 9 assists, and played his way into our setup. I will definitely be trying to bring him in on a permanent deal over the summer, especially as Barnsley only managed a mid-table finish in League One. Jordy Hiwula had a disappointing campaign for us, also managing to miss four out of five penalties. I may look to move him on in the summer.

Again the cup competitions were nothing to write home about. West Brom thumped us 1-4 in the League Cup. The FA Cup was fractionally better. We drew Manchester United (again?!) and gained a very creditable 1-1 draw with them at the Ricoh, courtesy of a 93rd minute equaliser from Aleksiev. The replay was much harder though, and we went down 4-2 at Old Trafford.

I'm absolutely delighted we managed to complete the great escape, but next season has to be about progress. We've managed to clinch another season long loan for Sebastian Picco from Benfica, as well as keeping hold of Rhian Brewster too. I may finally be given some decent amount of funds too, although will still look at selling in order to buy. I feel like next season is a huge season for us, and its now time to make some progress.

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2 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

we have a common player in Alfie Jones. how is he getting on?

I like him a  lot. My coaches rate him as a 4-star 'star' player with room to improve, and he's been solid in defence while nicking one goal from a corner up front.

Looks like you've managed some good business there. Like you, I've watched but not signed Wriedt, and Lindsay should be great - he struggled a little in my Stoke save in the Championship but he looks a great choice in L1.

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1 hour ago, goonergez said:

Our good form continued throughout February and march

That's a great turnaround to secure survival. Hopefully you'll be able to kick on next season.

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First big cup draw of the save! Here's hoping for a repeat of the last time United came to Stadium MK in the cup IRL :cool:

20200124184300_1.thumb.jpg.0b93b2b5b20c9a970991de14487afd7f.jpg

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@karanhsingh Great stuff, and I also like the transfers of Wriedt and Lindsay. I've signed Wriedt on FM19 & FM20 and rate him highly, especially at your level.

@goonergez Once again, a great update. I really like how you battle away and your perseverance has paid dividends. It's really nice to see a club being built up over a number of years, keep up the good work.

@warlock Doing very nicely there, well positioned for a challenge but again it's not going to harm you to consolidate for another season.

To all, yes Bowen has performed exactly as I hoped and better than expected. Him being the primary reason for managing Hull, this is satisfying indeed. I was expecting more of a challenge than this, having not really strengthened the squad too much. That actually would have been a nice test, but it's still proving very enjoyable. 

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31 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

it's not going to harm you to consolidate for another season.

Frankly, the prospect of promotion is terrifying. We're definitely over-performing (currently up to 5th, although only goal difference separates 5 from 7) and I'm completely uncertain about FFP and whether I'll be able to strengthen the squad next summer, regardless of promotion or not. This is the first time I've come up against FFP so I'm in uncharted waters.

In other news, I've just turned down an interview at Brentford - they sacked Thomas Frank in November '19 and a year later they're mired in the Championship relegation zone.

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I'm certainly popular right now - in the space of the next week I've been offered interviews with Cardiff, Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday. Declined them all :herman::)

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3 hours ago, warlock said:

Frankly, the prospect of promotion is terrifying. We're definitely over-performing (currently up to 5th, although only goal difference separates 5 from 7) and I'm completely uncertain about FFP and whether I'll be able to strengthen the squad next summer, regardless of promotion or not. This is the first time I've come up against FFP so I'm in uncharted waters.

In other news, I've just turned down an interview at Brentford - they sacked Thomas Frank in November '19 and a year later they're mired in the Championship relegation zone.

I heard Brentford have far too many managers already :lol:

You're right, another season in League 1 would be much better so that you're ready when the time comes. I'm hoping I don't get promoted with Hull for two reasons (one is realism, the second being that I want more than a one season wonder save). 

FFP is an interesting one, but I think you will avoid failing that by hook or by crook.

 

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13 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

another season in League 1 would be much better so that you're ready when the time comes

Might have to start throwing some games... we're currently up to 3rd :eek:

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Bolton Wanderers - Season 2 - Part 4

Season Update: Upwards and Onwards

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Going into the final months of the season, the Playoffs looked likely (but not guaranteed), however automatic promotion seemed unattainable. The goal, therefore, was to finish the season in as best form as possible to give us momentum if our participation in the Playoffs was confirmed. Things started poorly, with two disappointing draws. We were much the better team against MK Dons but conceded late on to throw away the three points. By comparison the Gills outplayed us and the draw was a fair result in the end. Business picked up though, and we secured three wins in four games, all of which featured goals from striker Stuparevic, who found form at just the right time. The loss to Barnsley was a frustrating one as we had 65% possession but lost to a long distance direct free kick scored by Cauley Woodrow, which at this point was his 34th goal of the season. Woodburn went off injured against Barnsley which presented an opportunity in the inside forward position on the left-hand side - I played 20 year old Conrad Wallem and he put in a MOTM performance and got on the scoresheet. Wallem has great potential but has been perennially injured, I hoped this could be the kick start his career required. There was little pressure on the final day of the season as we would finish 4th in the League, whatever our result.

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At the end of my last update I stated that I didn't think I would be able to catch Barnsley or Sheff Wed at the top of the table, it was therefore somewhat of a big shock to me when it turned out to be Bristol Rovers who won the league! The Gas won every single one of their last eight games, including victories over Barnsley and Lincoln. Barnsley, by comparison lost four of their last eight and fell out of the Playoffs. Considering we were hoping to finish mid-table, I was absolutely delighted to finish 4th in the League. The Playoffs awaited and although I was hopeful to go up, it certainly wasn't a given.

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Wallem was lacking match fitness going into the first leg of the League One Playoff Semi Finals so I decided to play Eddie Brown in the left wing inside forward role - this tactical decision paid dividends as it was young Brown who stepped up to score the winner. I brought Wallem back in to the team for the second leg and he put on a wonderful performance, getting an assist and scoring twice. This meant we won 4-0 on aggregate, much more comprehensive than I'd have expected. There was a fourteen day wait until the Playoff Final, in which we'd play Lincoln who knocked out Barnsley who had well and truly lost their way. I did something I had done in the past, and see as somewhat of a positive superstition, I arranged a friendly against a lower league opponent to maintain confidence and fitness. We thrashed Bamber Bridge with Wallem, Stuparevic and Brown maintaining their runs of form. We won the Playoff Final in a way that if we'd have lost I'd be still pulling my hair out now - a 121st minute penalty! That said, we had 73% possession and ten more shots on target than our opponents, so it wasn't like it was a robbery.

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Wallem only started seven games all season, but his three goals and four assists came just at the right time. The first thing I did after the Playoff win was renew his contract, partially to reward him and partially to ward off interest from other clubs. Reflecting back on the season, for me James Garner was once again my most important player, a metronome in the middle of the pitch. I was surprised to see Remi Streete win the fans' Player of the Season. Streete had a good season playing fifty times, but interestingly my staff would always suggest dropping him when I asked for selection advice and they even advocated not renewing his contract that was up at the end of the season. I have of course chosen to ignore that and have given him a new deal, albeit on lesser terms.

I was proud to see Eddie Brown finish top scorer with 14 goals. Stuparevic got 12 goals and I think he would have likely have doubled that if I'd have had him for the entire season. Woodburn had a good season getting 11 goals and 8 assists. By comparison Jordan Rhodes was very underwhelming. It was another academy graduate who was the top assistor, with King-Harmes achieving 10 assists, even with limited game time. No player played more than my 'keeper Maric, starting 55 games and delivering 20 clean sheets. It would be remiss not to mention Bailey Wright and Brandon Williams who were ever present in front of him, as well as Streete. The right back position, by comparison was rotated throughout the season between Jonathan Clauss and George Williams.

So up next is the Championship - an exciting but daunting prospect with so many huge clubs in the division. Our finances will continue to be a challenge, but I look forward to seeing what I can do and what additions I can make to the squad.

Edited by Dong21

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@Dong21 Excellent stuff and as usual a great update. Nice to see you achieving this with a fair sprinkling of youngsters in your side, especially Brown and King-Harmes. A good contribution from the Norwegian youngster Conrad Wallem too, well done. Good luck over the summer, I will enjoy reading your next report!

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54 minutes ago, Dong21 said:

next is the Championship

Brilliant season! I'm sure finances will be tight, but hopefully you can find a way to strengthen during the summer. Wish you luck :thup:

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My second attempt with Tonbridge is going a bit better, with 11 to play...

YQ4MuYs.jpg

Next five games:

Dulwich (H)

Braintree (A)

Welling (A)

Maidstone (H)

Weymouth (A)

So I could easily win or lose the title in that run.

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Hull City Season 1

After early season form that way exceeded all original expectations, November was a difficult month which included three losses

The defeats to promotion-chasing Fulham and West Brom were understandable, but the 4-1 hammering at 23rd-place Barnsley was not acceptable at all

December was much better after a late leveller in the Stoke home game at the start of the month

The away form in particular was outstanding, none more so than in a 4-0 win at Elland Road over runaway leaders Leeds (11 points clear of us in 2nd at the time)

191950299_HullCity_Fixtures1.2.thumb.png.1679a879f03b5a533c675dee3153001b.png

The performance graph shows a fairly consistent standing in the table, but West Brom, Brentford and Fulham are amongst the good clubs hot on our heels

1751928193_Hullprogress1.2.thumb.png.90db2ed5bfa4992b9fba59746a9c59a5.png

I've endured a bit of an injury crisis, but finding just enough to get through games

Apart from those flagged below, Long and Stewart have both been out for weeks but are now fit to return

Lichaj missed the first few months too, but Odubajo was a great acquisition and so his loss wasn't really significant

Bowen has been sensational as an inside forward on the right, scoring relentlessly and also creating a fair few goals too

The two central lone strikers Brewster and El Kaabi are racking up goals and giving great returns, especially as I rotate them every one or two games

I've moved on Caca (£850,000 to Bragantino) and Henriksen (£900,000 to Swansea) at the start of the window as the pair only played four times each

Caca is a good young defender, but I want to promote some of my U23 defenders and he was rarely used with that in mind

The sale of Henriksen caused me some contrasting emotions as I would have definitely used him, but he was frozen out in real life and therefore I needed to ship him out

I'm not expecting to do much incoming business, perhaps a central midfielder or two and maybe a starting standard central defender if I sell on Soumah 

Toral (again barely used in real life) and Magennis may also be moved on, and if they are I will decide whether to bring anyone in to replace them

1488899795_HullCity_Players1.1.thumb.png.45b3e1643e808ec0d7ad6eb24d423e46.png

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On 28th November there was a board takeover with ex-Nuneaton chief Lee Thorn somehow finding the money to acquire ownership of the club

The new man hasn't done anything, but I don't mind there being no investment as he has just let me get on with my own business

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Edited by Jogo Bonito

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@CityAndColour Doing very well, although still tight at the top. When i looked through North & South squads before, Dulwich Hamlet seemed to have a very strong one so they will definitely be the team to fear.

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@Jogo Bonito Looks like things are going well. Leeds have collapsed in every Championship save I've played so if you can stay ahead of the rest you'll be good.

I think I've hit the buffers on this Plymouth save because of the FFP rules. At the beginning of the January window I was around £1k a week under the limit. With no changes to personnel or wages, by the end of the month I was £1k a week over the limit, who know why*. Because the last day of the window was February 1 I was hit with a transfer embargo without warning. Hopes of a couple of last-minute loans disappeared. Oh well... live and learn. What makes it particularly frustrating is there's no way to know this stuff before you pick a club, and even afterwards the game does a poor job of explaining/warning when things are changing.

*I think it's because FFP is based on projected turnover, and our turnover was expected to decline in February.

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SWFC end of season 1:

image.thumb.png.b04293c519273aa58a04f0e0882889fe.png

With no expectations (or realistic chance) of promotion I didn't feel pressured going into the final game of the season in 7th needing a win to either get 5th or 6th. I beat Middlesborough to set up the playoff semi's vs Reading (who beat me both times during the season). Despite beating them 2-1 at home, I slumped and lost 3 nil after chasing a goal at 2 nil down. Nevermind.

Next season looks bleak, wage budget is -25k of what I'm currently spending, no transfer budget and only 10% of the any outgoing player sales. This being said, I've managed to renew loans for both Brewster and Murphy both of whom have played well at times this season.

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As for player of the season, I'll leave that for people to guess.

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@jonathan44 Unlucky in the end but a very good season and probably a blessing in disguise to have another crack next season.

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Just now, Jogo Bonito said:

@jonathan44 Unlucky in the end but a very good season and probably a blessing in disguise to have another crack next season.

I agree 100%, I would be fired if I made the premier league with the average squad I had. In the end, it took me too long to find a tactics and a formation that suited me. Free signings and loans again, 30th of June is going to be a busy day.

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38 minutes ago, jonathan44 said:

As for player of the season

No question about his performances, but I do wonder about the rest of your team if he was doing all that scoring and assisting and *still* completing the most passes :D

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4 hours ago, warlock said:

@Jogo Bonito Looks like things are going well. Leeds have collapsed in every Championship save I've played so if you can stay ahead of the rest you'll be good.

I think I've hit the buffers on this Plymouth save because of the FFP rules. At the beginning of the January window I was around £1k a week under the limit. With no changes to personnel or wages, by the end of the month I was £1k a week over the limit, who know why*. Because the last day of the window was February 1 I was hit with a transfer embargo without warning. Hopes of a couple of last-minute loans disappeared. Oh well... live and learn. What makes it particularly frustrating is there's no way to know this stuff before you pick a club, and even afterwards the game does a poor job of explaining/warning when things are changing.

*I think it's because FFP is based on projected turnover, and our turnover was expected to decline in February.

No prediction that you would be likely to fail FFP? That's a bit tough to take. Hopefully you can find a way to battle on, but if you don't fancy it then see you at your new club soon :thup:

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4 hours ago, warlock said:

No question about his performances, but I do wonder about the rest of your team if he was doing all that scoring and assisting and *still* completing the most passes :D

I assume it's because my two best players (Bannan and Alena) were injured most of the year but overal pretty poor form from the squad. Has anyone had any luck signing any non-EU players? Just been going after Tomas Belmonte who is really interested and it says if I offer more than £15k per week in wages you'll get the permit, but it hasn't worked? My computer then died so I'm after advice whether there is anything I can do?

Edited by jonathan44

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2 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

No prediction that you would be likely to fail FFP?

No... at the start of the month we were complying with FFP; by the end of the month we'd failed. It's possible I missed a news item but I don't think so. Anyway, that all happened late last night - after wasting far too much time on it this afternoon (and spending a rather pleasant evening at dinner) I've decided to carry on with the save. Either we'll get promoted, in which case Championship FFP rules are far more lenient*, or we'll miss out and I'll bid this save a fond farewell.

* Basically, don't lose more than £15m in three years, but the board can sink £24m into the club in the same period. No wonder English football is in the state it's in :idiot:

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Decided to put the Posh save on hold until the transfer update as I'd like to build a team around Taylor (assuming he's upgraded) and Szmodics. 

In the meantime, I may start something with a Championship team.

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Hull City Season 1

The New Year didn't kick off in the best fashion with a heavy 4-1 defeat at a Sheffield Wednesday side just outside the relegation places

An FA Cup exit at Aston Villa was no disgrace, and a fine 3-0 home win over promotion candidates Fulham seemed to have seen a corner turned

But an up and down month ended with a third straight away defeat at Derby before a calming and comfortable home win over Huddersfield

With that came the close of the transfer window, and as expected incoming business was light

Stockport central defender Festus Arthur (a real life target) was first to come in for a fee of £5,000 and he joined the U23 group

Next in was central midfielder Herbie Kane on loan from Liverpool (a replica of the exact move the club made in real life)

Injuries to Brewster and Magennis of several weeks each then prompted me to pay £50,000 for Bayern Munich striker Okyere Wriedt

And the final signing was another replica of the club's real life transfer business with Martin Samuelsen arriving from West Ham for a fee of £300,000

The £355,000 outlay was dwarfed by the £2.85 million received from three player sales though

Defender Caca and midfielder Marcus Henriksen had been talked about before, but I also cashed-in on Jon Toral with Wigan paying £1.1 million for his services

I also had a really tough call to make on Grosicki, finally deciding to trigger his extension clause rather than let him move to Qatar for £2.2 million

February started with high-flying Brentford snatching a 2-2 draw with a 90th minute point-saver and a 1-0 loss at Reading with a 77th minute goal against us

But since then, the team has found some good form with three wins and two draws from the next five

The last encounter was a particularly pleasing triumph over runaway leaders Leeds, doing the double over them and cutting their lead to just 8 points

I don't have any expectations of catching Leeds (now managed by Carlos Corberan) who have been streets ahead of everyone all season

Instead, the real challenge will be holding off  the three West London clubs just behind me - and the considerable threat of West Brom and Reading too

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When everybody is fit the starting line-up would be something like this, but back-up options are plentiful (Brewster & El Kaabi rotate most weeks in attack)

lineup.thumb.png.9b18f458373fc94d7ddac54df7780bbb.png

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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Blackburn Rovers season 1

20200126212210_1.jpg

So I wanted to finish in the top 10 this season and slowly build towards getting into the Premier League. The board had a 3 year vision on this. Only went and won the league first season! 

Two loan signings and an 18 year old keeper added to the team and a few loans out of deadwood or prospects. 

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After a 19 game unbeaten run we were falling further and further behind. Armstrong and Gallagher seemed to forget that they have to score. Walton couldn't keep a clean sheet and the defence played like strangers. February seemed to go on for a year. We then snatched a 2-1 win against Bristol City in the 89th minute after being behind. That was the spark. I didn't want promotion until it was nearly taken away. Another brilliant run followed and the others fell away. At one point just 3 points separated the top 5, it was nail biting stuff.

Now I need to check out the hidden gems page and the bargain bucket bin because, currently, the club is struggling for money. 

20200126212108_1.jpg20200126212152_1.jpg20200126212115_1.jpg

Edited by StePratt

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