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FM20: The English Football League thread

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@goonergez Some very nice wheeler-dealing there. As JB said, hopefully this will be your year.

@Jogo Bonito Going nicely there, but more than a bit nervy into the last 5 games. I think I can hear the screams of rage from Mansfield :D

As for me, I've reluctantly called time on the Ipswich save. Here's why:

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I was determined to hang on until the January window in the hope of finding a couple of loans that might help, and it was a long miserable run - the worst I've ever had in any FM. Just when I thought we might have turned a corner, we immediately slumped back. So going into January we were just above the relegation zone but by a single point. And then in the transfer window there was no-one available who looked better than what I had. The big problem was at WB on both sides, where my new signings were consistently poor, but were matched by the alarming decline of established options Kenlock on the left, and Vincent-Young on the right. Both looked completely out of their depth in the Championship.

At the other end, Norwood and Jackson also failed to make the step up. Both were capable of bagging a couple of goals in a game but then going literally 9 or 10 games without scoring again. They were, at least, better than Keane who simply never scored at all.

Although my job didn't seem to be under threat, it seemed clear that the best I could hope for was to narrowly avoid relegation, but there seemed to be no chance of money becoming available in the summer to start a rebuild - our monthly losses meant we were facing a deficit of £5m or £6m by the end of the season.

I'm now looking forward to the major FM update and a proper crack at Brentford, but at the moment I'm not sure what to do between now and then. Maybe another go at Forest after my aborted save a few weeks ago.

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Thanks @warlock but sorry to see you ending your spell at Portman Road. No durability like @goonergez :lol:

It's tough when you have form like that over a long period of time, but if the love has gone, then it has gone. Why don't you try an overseas club for a bit of a change before the new winter update? It could refresh the mind. I try to break up the EFL by doing so, as it helps me feel better when relaunching. Having said that, I really didn't want to get Grimsby promoted at the first attempt, I was after a slow burner that could improve year on year. How I will feel if we do make it up, I'm not sure. Especially if a takeover happens. Other than the unrealistic success, I have really enjoyed my time here so far (as I did at Hull).

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End of Season 2020-2021 SWFC:

image.thumb.png.21cd8dd6a7c7d96432c3af76ed041ac0.png

So in February I was 6 points clear of 3rd and finished 7 points clear, Southampton managed to completely screw up the last 3 months with Middlesborough leapfrogging them into 3rd. In the playoffs, despite being way adrift of 3rd and 4th QPR beat both teams to get promoted. I quickly checked and they sold Eze to Sevilla last year, so massive praise must go to Mark 'AI' Warburton. Burnley were awesome, smashing the 100 point barrier.

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In terms of my squad, the team of the season accurately represented my best squad. Nketiah was my man of the season, hitting 31 goals in 45(5) apperances but the fans went for Gomez who was a steal at £1.2 million on £20k a week wages. Barcelona and Arsenal have allowed me to extend Nketiah's and Alenas loan so my main scorer/assisters will carry into the Premier League! Big re-building required, I'd love to keep some of the spine together but in reality, I think I need critically need a new GK, LB, CB, RW and LW, with more depth required in all positions. Due to the loan rules Rhian Brewster, Herbie Kane, Jacob Murphy and probably Martinelli will return to their parent clubs. I'm not sure if anyone else has loaned Martinelli but he's a class act, but his injury record is terrible with 7 injuries over the season. If it wasn't for this, I'd sign him as my second Premier League loan without doubt. For next season the board has given me £40 million, so far this is my transfers costing me just over £4 million.

image.thumb.png.ccc518fd56b2e964073982cbd103325c.png

The only sour note in all this is that at the moment 25th of May the board still haven't offered me a contract to continue past June...

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@Jogo Bonito I definitely have durability 😂😂😂

@jonathan44 great season there! Something for me to aspire to myself!

@warlock sad to hear the end of the save. This game seems to have a habit of throwing through shocking runs of form. I’d be intrigued to see how a Brentford save would go. I’ve seen them on tv a few times and really enjoyed watching them!

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1 hour ago, Jogo Bonito said:

No durability like @goonergez :lol:

Undoubtedly true. I'm a fairweather manager :D

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2 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Having said that, I really didn't want to get Grimsby promoted at the first attempt, I was after a slow burner that could improve year on year. How I will feel if we do make it up, I'm not sure.

I have to admit I do laugh when I see posts like this, as 90% of updates in this thread seem to be a promotion!

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I just like realism and don't think it's the case to have Bristol Rovers, Bolton (with a penalty deduction), Hull and now potentially Grimsby all promoted in my first season. I'm beginning to think I'm the new 'Special One' although hopefully (a) less of an ass and a little bit more likeable (b) not going to be yesterday's man quite so soon as him.

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7 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

I just like realism and don't think it's the case to have Bristol Rovers, Bolton (with a penalty deduction), Hull and now potentially Grimsby all promoted in my first season. I'm beginning to think I'm the new 'Special One' although hopefully (a) less of an ass and a little bit more likeable (b) not going to be yesterday's man quite so soon as him.

I wish I was like the special one. My game has simply too much realism 😂😂😂

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Speaking of not getting promoted...

Tonbridge Angels - 2020/21

Tonbrdige_angels_fc.png

After finishing second and choking in the playoff semis, we went again...

Transfers:

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Plenty of activity again. Burley was the marquee man, signing from Reading along with team mate Lawless, while Kiangebeni and Hyde both came from Colchester. Dudzinski was the new man between the sticks and Waldren, one of my all time favourite FM lower league guys, joined as captain.

The screen shot doesn't show the loans of Morgan Roberts, Owen James and Richard Taylor as they were all renewed before the season re-set date, however the former made a permanent switch just before the deadline, using the funds generated by Hall's move to Chesterfield.

Season Review:

qwofHkSh.jpg

We were magnificent for the first two-thirds of the season, and a 19-match unbeaten run had us equal top after 30 matches. A frustrating loss to 20th place Hungerford kicking off a bit of a rot however, and while we still kept our points total ticking over enough to finish a clear second, Havant just kept on winning, eventually breaking the 100-point mark to win the title with ease.

We saw off Bath in the semis, but lost our talisman Roberts with a gashed leg for the final and subsequently lacked any spark in losing 0-1 to rivals Maidstone.

I scooped the manager of the season award for our efforts, but they were somewhat in vain.

Performances:

Nv5RzWMh.jpgubRZEXIl.jpg

Really it was all Roberts, who sparkled no matter where he was used and provided 23 assists to go along with 12 goals and 12 man of the match awards. He was so dominant that he created 21 more chances than the next player in the entire division, and he deservedly clean swept the club awards night while also being added to the club's favoured personnel.

Williams looked great on paper but really was symptomatic of our declining form - he scored 29, but got 20 of them by October. Loanee James also hit double figures with 17 and academy prospect James Donkin scored 10.

Hyde was very promising in the DLP role as a placement for Hall, leading the division in key passes, while Burley was magnificent in the heart of defence. He had 51 more interceptions than any other player in the league, while also winning the most key tackles and the second most key headers. And, as if that wasn't enough, he also ventured forward and scored eight goals from set pieces.

Next season:

I want to say promotion, but both Burley and Lawless will be leaving at the end of their current contracts. Donkin will get a chance to make the AMC spot his own, however Burley will be an enormous loss. We had the best defensive record in the division and he was the primary reason why.
 

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@CityAndColour that’s truly gutting. But to get Tonbridge even that close to promotion is a pretty exceptional achievement. I’m from there so that’s a save I’ll be attempting at some point. I’ll be keeping an eye on your future progress for sure

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14 hours ago, goonergez said:

@Jogo Bonito I definitely have durability 😂😂😂

@jonathan44 great season there! Something for me to aspire to myself!

@warlock sad to hear the end of the save. This game seems to have a habit of throwing through shocking runs of form. I’d be intrigued to see how a Brentford save would go. I’ve seen them on tv a few times and really enjoyed watching them!

If you do a Brentford save could you possibly post in the Brentford thread I created please just to keep interest in the thread, no worries if you would rather post in here though.

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13 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

I'm beginning to think I'm the new 'Special One'

No arguments here :lol:

3 hours ago, CityAndColour said:

Speaking of not getting promoted...

Ah man, that's tough. And frustrating - hope the next attempt is successful!

47 minutes ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

could you possibly post in the Brentford thread

Sure - easy enough to C&P between the two. I'd guess we're still 3 or 4 weeks away from the update, though.

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1 minute ago, warlock said:

No arguments here :lol:

Ah man, that's tough. And frustrating - hope the next attempt is successful!

Sure - easy enough to C&P between the two. I'd guess we're still 3 or 4 weeks away from the update, though.

Ok cool thank you.

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@warlock I'm really not special. I must just be very lucky, which ironically makes me quite unlucky. The end of season Grimsby update should follow tonight.

@CityAndColour Great effort and very unlucky in the end. Quite some drop off in form by Jason Williams there. Burley is rated highly at Reading and gets some minutes in Cup games this season. Lawless may also forge some sort of career for himself. Best of luck next season, I admire you and @goonergez for your patience in achieving things in exactly the same way i would like to myself.

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23 hours ago, CityAndColour said:

I have to admit I do laugh when I see posts like this, as 90% of updates in this thread seem to be a promotion!

I think in the first season unless your squad is top 6 and ready for a step up, getting promoted is more often than not goes badly as you don't have enough time to clear high earners/deadwood from the squad. I actually found the first season with Wednesday one of my most frustrating games in FM, overly reliant on one player and loads of injuries.

I also find second season a bit easier because you have a better choice of players who were locked into loan deals for the first season.

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Blackburn Rovers season 2 

 

Been away from this save for a week, actually forgot how much fun I was having!

I'm normally quite stubborn with tactics but I wasn't happy with how we were conceding too many attempts in every game. You can't do that in the Premier League, the strikers are too good. Changed to a 4-4-2. Old school. We've been brilliant since in the four or five games. 

Started off with a solid win away at Newcastle, Brereton with a brace. He's been impressive in making the step up 6 goals in 10 appearances is testament to that. Defeats to Man United, Arsenal and Leicester were disappointing, but expected. Then came the turnaround. Massive win at Villa, controlled the game against Wolves, dominated Everton from the first minute to the last. Cherry on the cake was the win at Turf Moor, got to love a win against your biggest rivals at their home. Adam Armstrong with the decisive goal. 

Jarrod Bowen and Bradley Dack as part of a midfield 3 was just too lightweight in this league. Bowen has moved into the AMR position as an Inverted WInger, Dack taking up a deeper play making role. Bowen's 7 assists and 4 goals, including 2 in the win against Southampton, have gone a long way to paying back his club record fee. 

Going to push on to the January window and see where we end up. So far, so good. 

 

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20200211215315_1.jpg

Edited by StePratt

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15 hours ago, goonergez said:

@CityAndColour that’s truly gutting. But to get Tonbridge even that close to promotion is a pretty exceptional achievement. I’m from there so that’s a save I’ll be attempting at some point. I’ll be keeping an eye on your future progress for sure

It's tough because you can basically only sign promising players for a single season, unless you get promoted. It will be hard to keep the squad at the same strength for another promotion challenge.

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I'm trying to narrow down my options for starting a save in the Championship.. 

Any advice? I fancy developing some decent youth and living on a buy to sell kind of ethos? Was looking at Derby or Birmingham..

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Derby could be an exciting one. On my Coventry save they kind of yo-yo between the Chanpionship and the Premier League.

speaking of my save I think it may have run its time. After about fifteen games were stranded in 11th and I can’t see a push for promotion coming anytime soon. I’ve got an easy work day so will be back early afternoon. I’ll have a little go but if form doesn’t change quickly I think I’ll be moving on. I’m still itching for a save as Bradford, and hopefully that may be more successful than I’ve managed with Coventry.

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6 hours ago, Hoarau said:

I'm trying to narrow down my options for starting a save in the Championship.. 

Any advice? I fancy developing some decent youth and living on a buy to sell kind of ethos? Was looking at Derby or Birmingham..

Derby is good cos of the good young players you have but it gets very easy very quickly like it did for me when I managed them.

Birmingham would be a better choice or maybe Reading.

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Im just starting a long term save with Gateshead, take them from the Conference North through the leagues.  Is it ok to post updates in here, or would rather not as its a Conference team at the start?

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6 minutes ago, Major Raver said:

Im just starting a long term save with Gateshead...Is it ok to post updates in here

Go for it - rules have been bent before (not that we have any rules :D). I had an enjoyable save with Gateshead a couple of versions ago, but it looks like a much tougher challenge now.

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2 minutes ago, warlock said:

Go for it - rules have been bent before (not that we have any rules :D). I had an enjoyable save with Gateshead a couple of versions ago, but it looks like a much tougher challenge now.

Could be a good idea to amend the thread next year. I would happily help contribute to the Non-League side of things, if so! 

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Just now, DefinitelyTaylor said:

Could be a good idea to amend the thread next year. I would happily help contribute to the Non-League side of things, if so! 

Consider it done (anything to hook you in :lol:).

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5 minutes ago, warlock said:

Go for it - rules have been bent before (not that we have any rules :D). I had an enjoyable save with Gateshead a couple of versions ago, but it looks like a much tougher challenge now.

Cheers :)  It is going to be hard, the expectation is to avoid a relegation battle.  Team is very under strength with little movement in wages for quality.

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1 minute ago, Major Raver said:

Team is very under strength with little movement in wages

Sounds familiar. I normally try a Darlington save every year (got them up to L2 last year), but when I looked at them in detail this year I bailed. Half the first-team squad will miss half the season through injury, and even using u18s (none of whom is any good) it's a struggle to put out 16 players on match day. So, no thanks! I like a challenge but not Mission: Impossible. Might give York a go - they nick all of Darlington's best players anyway :lol:

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In my last game on FM19, I took Torquay from the Conference South to the Prem League in consecutive seasons, no ME exploits used.  Have a feeling with the temperamental ME in FM20, this will prove a lot harder.

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2 minutes ago, Major Raver said:

Have a feeling with the temperamental ME in FM20, this will prove a lot harder.

I think the ME is in a pretty good place right now. There are still issues - set pieces overpowered, lack of central play in the final third - but most of the buzzkill problems have been fixed or toned down. At least for me. If you have a skim through this admittedly long thread, you'll see that many of us have managed to overachieve consistently this year. 

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1206547001_ClubCrest.png.2c98a0c922ae03cd7680cd9abf983820.png

Bradford City FC: Takeover Report

As I said previously, my Coventry save died a bit of a death and a lack of progress has meant I felt the need for a change up. I may return to it at some point, but for no my focus goes elsewhere. I did thoroughly enjoy that save, but in the end my persistence did not pay off. I put the laptop down yesterday feeling like i'd hit a bit of a dead end, and thinking about new challenges instead. My chosen team in of a pretty similar mould really, in Bradford City. I like to take charge of teams with a bit of history, in the hope of returning them to better times under my leadership. I also don't like to splash money around, hence my avoidance of the top flight. I can remember watching Bradford play in the Premier League, and obviously that's my long term aim for this save. If i'm honest i'm not particularly good at this game though, so that may remain a distant dream.

Bradford City are a professional club currently plying their trade in League Two, the fourth tier of English football. They're based in Yorkshire, near to fierce rivals Huddersfield Town and Leeds United. They are the only club in the country to play in the colours of amber and claret, which I thought was quite a nice quirk. The club were founded in 1903 and have only one major honour to their name so far, winning the 1911 FA Cup. They did rather famously make the final of the League Cup in 2013 though, whilst playing in the third tier. They play at Valley Parade, built on the site of the old ground, which famously caught fire in 1985 and unfortunately killed 56. The stadium has a capacity of 25,136, which is a very impressive size for this level of football.

Bradford spent one season in the Premier League back in 2000/01 season, before suffering somewhat of a decline. Financial difficulties have cost the club, and twice they entered into administration. They were relegated to League Two at the end of the 2018/19 season, which is where this journey begins for me. My arrival brings with it clear targets. The media expect the club to finish 2nd in the league, and unsurprisingly the board want promotion. That was somewhat expected seeing as they finished rock bottom and were relegated last season. There is also a club vision to work towards making the cub self sustainable, which fits in perfectly with my style of management. I'll be bringing my wheeling and dealing self, looking to salvage profit each season within the transfer market. Looking forward the board want the club to become an established team within League One. If I can achieve the targets during the first season, then those ambitions definitely aren't too unrealistic in order for me to make a real go of it here longer term.

With no money in the bank, bringing in my own transfer targets is going to be somewhat difficult. Thankfully the squad I inherit looks pretty good. Its a well rounded set of players, with cover across basically every area of the field. I'll be looking to bring a similar style to that I used at Coventry City. A 4-2-3-1 formation focused on counter attacking quickly with the ball and working hard to win it when out of possession. I'm confident that the players within the squad should be more than capable of playing in this way.

There are some recognisable names in the squad too. Clayton Donaldson, Zeli Ismail, and club captain James Vaughan to name a few. 30-year old Vaughan has been around for quite a while now, and looks like being a strong performer at this level. I'm also excited to manage 21-year old centre back Paudie O'Connor who looks promising. He is injured upon my arrival, but I am sure he will become a key component within my defensive unit here. My only real worry is the number of loan players already on the books. With the aforementioned lack of funds, the loan market is going to prove very useful. I may have to send a few of the guy already here back to there clubs, if I find my own targets. It's also irritating that striker Eoin Doyle is away on loan for the season. He is a proven goal scorer, not only will we miss him, but he will be banging them in for Swindon Town who should be a promotion rival.

That's about it for an introduction to my new task really. I'll update more once I've got stuck in and got through some of the season. It's a bit strange not looking at the sky blue of Coventry all over my screen, but i'm excited to embark on this new challenge. Up the Bantams!!!!!!!!

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1 hour ago, goonergez said:

It's also irritating that striker Eoin Doyle is away on loan for the season

There's a minimum loan period (I think around 28 days?) but after that you can terminate a loan, so you could bring him back before the end of August. Always provided that there are no loan clauses to the contrary, and with a wary eye on your wage budget.

Good luck!

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1206547001_ClubCrest.png.2c98a0c922ae03cd7680cd9abf983820.png

Bradford City FC: 2019/20 Preview

My arrival to the club brought plenty of excitement, but for me it was a bit of a step into the unknown. Pre-season was to be all about hard work, as I wanted to lay the groundwork for a long term future at this football club. There were a number of things I wanted to achieve off of the field of play, and I also wanted to bring in a couple of new signings jus to put my own stamp on the team I had inherited.

My first task was to get my backroom staff sorted out. I didn't make drastic changes, but moved to bring in a couple of new faces to the club and make it my own backroom team. Former Premier League winner Robert Huth was bought in as a first team coach, and Dan Micciche came in as my new assistant manager. He was an England youth coach from 2013 to 2017 and also had a brief spell as manager of the MK Dons back in 2018, albeit for only three months. We also strengthened our scouting team with a new arrival, and nearly added a new physio to our ranks as well. I'll be making regular changes to our backroom staff season by season, trying to ensure I have a strong and positive team around me. With limited money available, I felt a senior affiliation would be a really good move to make. It would enable us to bring in some promising youth players on loan from a bigger club, as well as a nice cash payment each season. After the board granted my request I was delighted that we formed a partnership with Arsenal. As a lifelong Arsenal supporter I am aware of the strength within the youth setup there, and I had already targeted one of their prospects before we clinched this network.

Squad wise I didn't feel that we needed very much, instead planning to try and shift some players who didn't figure in my plans. With a tight wage budget and no money for any transfer fees, I would have to shift players on if any new additions were to come to us here at Valley Parade. Shifting players did prove a lot more difficult than I had hoped though, and in the end it was loan deals that went through. Firstly we allowed a couple of promising youngsters to head away. Centre back Tyler French (Bromley Town) and winger Jordan Gibson (Harrogate Town) probably the most promising of them. Left back Connor Wood was somebody I wanted to shift from the club permanently, but I didn't manage it. He ended up going away to Wrexham for the season, with them paying the entirety of his wages throughout.

I did manage to bring in two new faces during the summer, although both of them on season long loan deals. Firstly came a defensive player, from Derby County. All the existing deals upon my arrival were for players higher up the pitch, but I wanted somebody for the back line. 20-year old centre back Lee Buchanan comes in for the season, and is also capable of playing at left back. I can see him becoming a really integral part of our defence, and I am very excited to get him involved. The other arrival was that of Tyrese John-Jules from Arsenal. Our link up with them meaning we avoid paying anything towards his weekly wage. He can play up front, but I brought him in as I felt we lacked options on the flanks. He can play on either side, and should prove a very positive addition for us.

1520408766_LeeBuchanan.thumb.png.62f095b5cc2b1a3f32b143bf253bc83c.png973900268_TyreeceJohn-Jules.thumb.png.9894036b06384f88557b837b35696b7f.png

The transfer activity means my first choice team may be something similar to what's included below. With a long season ahead injuries and suspensions are sure to play a part, but i'm happy. I'll also look to make use of the strong depth within our first team squad, and rotate in order to keep players fit and fresh.

522886315_TopXI.thumb.png.bc0ead69b98e437e6c9394d33b8e2f71.png

On the field we performed really well throughout the pre-season period. We were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw against Guiseley, but recorded victories over Larne, Dumbarton, Partick Thistle and AFC Hornchurch. Most satisfyingly we went through all of those games without conceding a goal. Hopefully we can take that into the league season with us, as a solid defensive unit will stand us in very good stead.

I'm delighted with the squad we have here, and after the summer business I am left feeling quietly confident about having a solid campaign. We've got some great depth within our ranks, especially up top. James Vaughan and Clayton Donaldson will fight it out for our lone striker position, and both look a little above this level if i'm honest. My only fear is the fact we have so many players in the squad that are on loan. We have a total of seven, but we're only allowed to name five within a matchday squad. I'm going to have to do a juggling act with them. Ideally I would've sent a couple of them back, but that would take away a little of our depth, and the option isn't available to me.

We're 2-1 to with the bookmakers to win the league, and second favourites only to Mansfield Town. There's a number of teams who I am sure will be fighting it out at the top, of which i'm sure we can be one of them. Fortunately there are three automatic promotion places up for grabs, and a further four for the play-offs. I'm confident that we can clinch a top seven finish at worst, although I want to be competing for a top three finish and automatic promotion. I suffered play-off heartbreak twice with Coventry City, I don't know if I could handle going through that hurt again. We've got a pretty straightforward start to our league season, so I am hopeful that we can start off strong and build upon that as the season wears on.

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2 hours ago, goonergez said:

1206547001_ClubCrest.png.2c98a0c922ae03cd7680cd9abf983820.png

Bradford City FC: Takeover Report

As I said previously, my Coventry save died a bit of a death and a lack of progress has meant I felt the need for a change up. I may return to it at some point, but for no my focus goes elsewhere. I did thoroughly enjoy that save, but in the end my persistence did not pay off. I put the laptop down yesterday feeling like i'd hit a bit of a dead end, and thinking about new challenges instead. My chosen team in of a pretty similar mould really, in Bradford City. I like to take charge of teams with a bit of history, in the hope of returning them to better times under my leadership. I also don't like to splash money around, hence my avoidance of the top flight. I can remember watching Bradford play in the Premier League, and obviously that's my long term aim for this save. If i'm honest i'm not particularly good at this game though, so that may remain a distant dream. Up the Bantams!!!!!!!!

Great choice of a new club, this will be an epic and if it's anything like your Coventry effort it will be very enjoyable to follow.

@warlock is right about the loans. Getting Doyle back and cutting some of the existing loans could be crucial. Hopefully you can do all this at the end of the 28 days (I believe you can). On the loans, my advice would be to keep those in positions you really need them (personally I would keep Palmer and try to send the other four back). I would also try to remove some of the older high earners that command chunky wages and have a contract ending in 2020 (Donaldson would be top of my list to leave) and I would suggest keeping Devine at all costs due to him being the best of your HGC players (Sykes-Kenworthy  being your second best option if you want a GK on the bench each week). Positive news - stadium, facilities, fan base, reputation etc - you should be able to attract free transfers and loan players easier than your rivals due to the club reputation being higher, and there are plenty on the market that can do a good job in League 2. And just to help you feel up for it, I have this for you...feel free to use

1961269193_images(2).jpg.1a8dddc830e15588b8a06f49b1655dcb.jpg

Edit: You posted just as I did so you may have moved past this, sorry if you have.

Edit 2: Yes you have, please ignore all of the above and good luck.

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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I definitely won’t be ignoring what you said. There’s some really key points there. I’ll be honest I didn’t know anything about being able to terminate loans after a certain time. I did pack one player away, and it cleared up £5k per week on the wage bill.

ill definitely be using Devine too. He’s quite talented. Donaldson looks decent but I’ll almost certainly not renew his contract at the end of season one.

i love that badge as well. May have to use that if it’s ok with you to do so

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11 minutes ago, goonergez said:

my first choice team may be something similar to what's included below

Always nice to see the tactical setups we're using around here, but if you don't mind me sticking my oar in...

John-Jules has poor passing and crossing but good pace and finishing so he looks a better bet for an IF role than IW. Also, having three playmakers alongside each other in centre midfield makes me itch. I expect you'll see endless Chuckle Brothers passing - to me, to you, to me... As a general rule, I like my midfield to include a sitter/destroyer, a creator and a runner. Something to think about...

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14 minutes ago, goonergez said:

I definitely won’t be ignoring what you said. There’s some really key points there. I’ll be honest I didn’t know anything about being able to terminate loans after a certain time. I did pack one player away, and it cleared up £5k per week on the wage bill.

ill definitely be using Devine too. He’s quite talented. Donaldson looks decent but I’ll almost certainly not renew his contract at the end of season one.

i love that badge as well. May have to use that if it’s ok with you to do so

Please do feel free to use the vintage badge (it's not mine but as you may have guessed, I seriously looked at Bradford myself hence finding that online). Give some thought to free transfers too, there are good players available for most positions and I can suggest one or two if you need any).

12 minutes ago, warlock said:

Always nice to see the tactical setups we're using around here, but if you don't mind me sticking my oar in...

John-Jules has poor passing and crossing but good pace and finishing so he looks a better bet for an IF role than IW. Also, having three playmakers alongside each other in centre midfield makes me itch. I expect you'll see endless Chuckle Brothers passing - to me, to you, to me... As a general rule, I like my midfield to include a sitter/destroyer, a creator and a runner. Something to think about...

Sound advice in every aspect. I chuckled at the CB reference, although that's only 50% possible now and better suited to a Rotherham manager :lol:

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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1 minute ago, Jogo Bonito said:

I chuckled at the CB reference

I'm glad someone got it :D

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Us oldies, eh....

 

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Season 1

April arrived and all we had to do was win a couple of games, steady form would do the job and see us over the line

What wasn't expected was what followed - a horrific run of games that yielded just two points from the first 12 available

Remarkably, other than Cambridge, the other challengers were doing no better and at one point we actually climbed a place to 2nd

However, by the final fixture at home to a mediocre Oldham side, we still needed a result

Despite the rewards on offer, we didn't raise our game - trailing and heading for a fifth game without a goal (and sixth winless)

Luckily, and out of nowhere, right-back Luke Hendrie smashed in a 77th minute equaliser and that solitary goal and point saw us scramble to promotion

Cheltenham won their last fixture and finished 2nd to deserved champions Cambridge as Mansfield missed out (and Forest Green won the PO final)

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The player stats for the season are as shown below

Central defender Luke Waterfall won the fans award for best player, which happened because of the decline in form of our two star men Anene and Ogbu

Ogbu went nearly three months without a goal at the same time as Anene went on a two month drought himself

Ogbu was possibly affected by our refusal to let him leave in January despite knowing he would not get a new WP issued

Injuries towards the end of the campaign for Habergham (set piece expert) and Pollock also didn't help us pick up better closing results

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The club takeover finally happened and the previous men in power including all directors have been moved out by the new owners

The board are happy with their promotion-achieving manager, but without Ogbu and the old regime time will be taken to consider the future

Should another season be accepted, we will make minimal changes to the squad (the lads reacted very positively to this promise)

There is a clear plan to make just three specific signings - and more than that will be exiting the club to in order to keep a tight knit group involved

The transfer budget for next season has been set at £247,000 with a little bit of room in the wage budget too

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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@Jogo Bonito great season with Grimsby! Promotion is always a nice feeling!

@warlock I’ll definitely take a look. It’s worked so far but I’ll definitely be taking the advice on John-Jules.

 

my Bradford career has started well enough. A shock League Cup win over Leeds the highlight, and a 4-1-0 record in the league so far. We’ve only conceded one goal in all competitions so far so I’m rather chuffed.

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57 minutes ago, goonergez said:

@Jogo Bonito great season with Grimsby! Promotion is always a nice feeling!

my Bradford career has started well enough. A shock League Cup win over Leeds the highlight, and a 4-1-0 record in the league so far. We’ve only conceded one goal in all competitions so far so I’m rather chuffed.

Thanks, we stuttered over the line!

You're the new Special One. Or Stuart McCall Mk. IV at least.

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2 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Thanks, we stuttered over the line!

You're the new Special One. Or Stuart McCall Mk. IV at least.

Nothing wrong with stuttering over the line. That’s almost entirely how I’ve achieved my FM successes.

I certainly wouldn’t call myself the special one 😂😂😂 I feel like I’ve achieved more in five games as Bradford manager than I did in the majority of my Coventry save! I didn’t get to play any more today but I’ll be thrashing out some more tomorrow I’m sure.

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4 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

that solitary goal and point saw us scramble to promotion

Oof! That was a close thing. And it's amazing how often you can actually *see* mental pressure on the pitch :eek: - I'm sure I've had a couple of seasons where we just cruised serenely to the title on the back of a brilliant season, but I honestly can't remember when that was.

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Burton Season 3 Review

A season of massive progress with Burton, I managed to achieve an 7th place in the Championship.

I was only 2 points away from the play offs as well.

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My stand out players were Devante Cole with 16 goals for the season and 4 assists, 5 man of the match awards and an average rating of 7.03. I am hoping for a Prem team to go for him in the summer as he is rated at £9.75 million and would be nice to get a profit from him as he was a freebie 2 seasons a go.

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Other standout players were Flippo Ranocchia who had the best overal average rating of 7.33 and 4 assists.

Walim Lgharbi got the most assists with 9.

My aim is to get into the play offs and try balance the finances more as I usually end up in the red by the end of every season.

My youth intake was shocking this season as well, I didn't sign anyone up from the intake.

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I just managed to sell Ranacchia for £7 million and Luke Barry for £3 million, they were 2 very good players but the aim is to turn a profit each year and I now have £12 million in the bank.

My DOF signed Shandon Baptiste who does look like a good player and a bargain for £1.2 million.

Edited by Ronaldo Beckham

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2 hours ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

I just managed to sell Ranacchia for £7 million and Luke Barry for £3 million, they were 2 very good players but the aim is to turn a profit each year and I now have £12 million in the bank.

My DOF signed Sheldon Baptiste who does look like a good player and a bargain for £1.2 million.

A very good season, and Baptiste is a cracking signing for just £1.2 million

14 hours ago, warlock said:

Oof! That was a close thing. And it's amazing how often you can actually *see* mental pressure on the pitch :eek: - I'm sure I've had a couple of seasons where we just cruised serenely to the title on the back of a brilliant season, but I honestly can't remember when that was.

Very close! I'll have another look at things later and decide what to do.

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Nottingham Forest: Season 1, December

Every year, I take on Forest in an attempt to restore them to the lofty heights of their illustrious history. My most recent attempt ended in ignominy after I rage-quit (in the face extreme ME provocation). So here we go again...

You inherit a large squad, albeit with a great many long-term injuries forcing Forest to a very busy summer of 15 new signings. Some of these are of very questionable quality signed on free, cheap or loan deals, yet the club is carrying one of the highest wage bills in the league, currently running at more than £400k a week. Without the injuries, the squad is well-set for a back-three tactic, but we start without the services of two CBs so a back-four is required. The squad also features just two decent strikers in the ageing Grabban and loan-signing Rafa Mir (Wolves), so a lone-striker formation is also a necessity I exclude Zach Clough from the discussion of decent strikers. Other key personnel include star man Joe Lolley at AMR, so the 4123-wide system pretty much picks itself.

In an attempt to reduced the wage bill somewhat, I tried to move on a number of older players but with limited success. CB Michael Dawson was eventually signed to a season-long loan by Swansea who are at least paying his £15k a week wage. DM Claudio Yacob raised £1.3m in a move to Saudi Arabia, and when he eventually returned from injury in November, CB Yohan Benalouane opted to move to Azerbaijan with Qarabag paying £875k for his services. Clough eventually joined Bolton on loan, with his £10k weekly wage covered.

In return I added two loan signings of my own. Attacking midfielder Jota joined us from affiliate SLB with no wage contribution necessary and while he lacks consistency, he has contributed with 4 goals and an assist. Young utility defender Per Schuurs joined from Ajax - equally comfortable at CB, RB or DM, he has consistently filled in where needed.

Early form

We couldn't have started the season much better, with just two league defeats in the first three months, and a good run in the Carabao Cup that tooks us to a quarter-final tie at Manchester City.

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That form also carried us to the top of the league. But winter was coming...

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And suddenly things didn't look so great. This kind of sudden collapse is one of the great mysteries of FM. Another one is player performance. In my first attempt with Forest this year, Grabban was brilliant while Mir was rubbish. This time, Mir is scoring for fun and Grabban hasn't found the net once in 11 league games, and only once - from the penalty spot - against L1 Ipswich in the Carabao Cup. Despite our collapse in form, we're clinging on to 2nd place, but we need to find a way back to our early season performances.

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@warlock that’s a good first half to the season there! Good luck keeping it going!

ive hit about fifteen games in on my Bradford season. We’re sat comfortably in the top three, but have just begun to stutter a bit. Hopefully we can return to the good form we started with. Should have a full day on it tomorrow so hopefully will have an update for you!

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Well I got home from work earlier than I thought I would today and rattled through a host more matches at Bradford. Fair to say that the save has died on me. After opening up with ten unbeaten games I then didn’t win in the next ten. Dropped right down the league and my interest for it just disappeared. Now got to figure out where to go next. Plymouth is grabbing me so it may be there where I head to as my next destination.

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7 minutes ago, goonergez said:

the save has died on me.

These things happen... onwards and upwards :thup:

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