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FM20: The English Football League thread

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, smogfart said:

Any standout cm's to buy with boro in the championship? Managed to gather around 4m in fees upfront and could use some installments also

What sort of midfielder are you after? :thup: 

Defensive or a playmaker type?

Edited by Jamesbfc1887

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Just got the Youth Intake preview thingy and it looks like a possible Golden Generation. Board have slashed my wage budget from £240k to £180k a week due to the finance situation. Managed to terminate Hugil's loan and brought in Sam Winnall and Curtis Jones on loans. Geoff Cameron has been sold to Nashville for £60k. I'm really hoping i'm not forced into selling Eze. 

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45 minutes ago, Jamesbfc1887 said:

What sort of midfielder are you after? :thup: 

Defensive or a playmaker type?

More creative I would say 

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44 minutes ago, smogfart said:

More creative I would say 

Well the guy I signed Efkan Befiroglu is a great play but I wouldn't say he was a top championship player.

He's really cheap though. I'll have a further think

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Posted (edited)

1097194336_WBAheader.thumb.png.be711ca3fb304a649de44f1575b58406.png

With the end of season 21/22 fast approaching, my Albion side had created a comfortable lead at the top of the Championship table and only a disaster in March and April could prevent me meeting the board's expectations of back-to-back promotions. 10 games were left of the regular 46 game season, and I also had an FA Cup Round 5 tie at Barnsley to look forward to. So let's see how the final two months played out.

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March started with a diversion from league business, as I took my side to Barnsley for what I saw as a very winnable FA Cup Round 5 tie. Despite a late scare, the result justified the performance of my team, and a 2-1 win was enough to take us to the Quarter Finals. Putting that aside, it was back to league action and two late goals saw us kill off a dogged Sheffield Wednesday with a 3-1 victory maintaining our healthy lead at the top of the table. Less impressive was our next trip, and a 3-1 defeat at Huddersfield saw me reminding the boys that no let up would be tolerated. The advice was heeded, and two more league triumphs saw out the month in good style.

Sandwiched between those wins was an even bigger occasion though, which came in the form of an FA Cup Quarter Final clash with Arsenal at The Hawthorns. Holding a good Premier League side to a 1-1 draw was satisfying enough for me, but the boys also held their nerve to emerge victorious in the tense penalty shoot out that followed, with Arthur Zagre firing home the winning effort. An FA Cup run is always a nice bonus, but it was pretty unbelievable to see my side heading to Wembley for a Semi Final that would be against either Norwich, Chelsea or Liverpool. 

With that to look forward to, an injury for striker Rhian Brewster wasn't what I wanted heading in to April, especially when his understudy Dwight Gayle got a four week injury in the first game of the month. However his goal - and another from Jayson Molumby - that delivered a 2-0 win at Millwall, also saw my side officially clinch promotion to the top flight. I resorted to fielding young loan forward Morgan Rogers in attack due to the double injury blow after that, and he rewarded me with the winner against Stoke and added another in a 2-1 win at city neighbours Birmingham that confirmed our status as title winners. That was a great way to do it, and although it wasn't at home, doing it in your own city in front of your local rivals fans was sweet enough.

And then it was off to Wembley. By now the draw had been made, which saw Chelsea and Norwich being paired together. Unfortunately, this left us with the enviable task of taking on the mighty Liverpool for the honour of reaching the FA Cup Final in May. Luckily, Brewster was ready to return from injury to lead the line against his former side, but alas it wasn't to be, and a header from Mo Salah just before the break broke our determined resistance. The Reds added a second late on from the spot when Fabinho converted to seal a 2-0 win and end our unlikely dreams. The remaining three league fixtures had nothing riding on them, but a win over Cardiff and draws with QPR and Reading took me to exactly 100 points. That final day fixture also secured Reading a play-off spot too, and given that this adventure had started for me with them in 2019/20, it was a fitting end to the campaign on a personal level.

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Below you can see the summary and league table. You're not going far wrong when you are top league scorers and boasting the best defence. No red cards was a pleasing statistic too, showing that you don't have to play like a dirty Leeds side of the 1970's to be successful. The healthy financial status of the club also shows you don't have to break the bank either. Unsurprisingly, Crystal Palace were promoted as runners-up, but interestingly Derby also secured promotion by winning the Play-Off Final. Having been relegated with Albion to League 1 in 19/20, The Rams came up with us in 20/21 so they can be rightly pleased with their efforts in matching our back-to-back promotions. 

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The player stats are shown below, across all competitions. I started the season with 21 first team players, and added one new player for the first team in the January transfer window. In all, 24 players were used, with two of my successful Under 23 squad being promoted when injuries saw numbers dwindle in the New Year.

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Medals were handed out to 24 players, with exactly half of those (12) being home grown at the club. The stats below are interesting because this just shows the league appearance numbers, goals, assists and ratings. - as opposed to the overall stats in all competitions.

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The end of season awards described, with some degree of accuracy, that this was indeed a Golden Generation. The fans voted captain Romaine Sawyers as the best player, with last year's winner Ben Osborn in second, and top scorer Brewster third. Eight of my players were named in the divisional Team of the Year too, a quite incredible achievement.

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Due to my own preferences, I don't intend to continue managing West Brom next year in the Premier League. But with the squad possessing many young players, I feel sure that they can avoid the drop if the new man makes the right additions. And below that, my Under 23 squad (who didn't lose a single game the year before) are also well primed to deliver more home grown talents in to the first team squad over the next year or two. Here is how they got on last season in the Under 23 Division 3 North, with just one loss in 30 (making that one defeat in two seasons) being a notable achievement considering that I kept promoting the best of them to my first team squad. Boing Boing Baggies!

269925193_EnglishU23Division3North.thumb.png.8d370a8bbb714544b432a57496b7cc3f.png

 

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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Posted (edited)

3G4DCPE.jpg

 

We finished comfortably off the playoffs with horrific end of season form but as mentioned previously I didn't really want promotion yet as the squad needed some changes before we can even begin to think about the Premier League. We lost far too many games and we struggled to find the back of the net. Hugil on loan from West Ham was terrible and he was sent back in January. My only other senior backup was Remi Oteh and Lewis Walker but neither of them was great. Sam Winnall did ok but not great. It remains to be seen if I will bring him back on a free or not. Osayi-Samuel was our top scorer but still pretty frustrating as he seemed to miss alot of chances. His value is pretty high and I would consider cashing in if the right offer comes in. Eze is moaning about a contract renewal with more wages but I can't afford that right now. We did get taken over but all the new owner did was help the balance from -£4m to £1.7m in the black. I've managed to get Liverpool as a senior affiliate so I am hoping for some decent loans for no wages to help us push on. 

New owner has boosted the wage budget a little bit but not much room. £155k transfer budget so going to have to sell to buy. Most likely going to look at free's and loans though. Board only want a top half finish next season and then to push for promotion the season after so might have to try and raise some much needed funds. 

Edited by RageMaster

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@RageMaster A solid season given the lack of a natural scorer. However, with the board not putting much pressure on you, I'd try to resist the urge to sell your key players like Eze, Manning and Osayi-Samuel. Keep it tight defensively, add a striker and take your time preparing for any step up.  Perhaps take a look at strikers with a contract expiring in June (e.g. Klauss at Hoffenheim) to see if anybody comes up. Otherwise, your best chance of getting quality that you can't afford would be from loaning a Premier League youngster for a season. In your case, Brewster might be an option (if somewhat boring that we all took him).

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Thanks @Jogo Bonito, Surprisingly i've had no offers for the players I want to keep although it's still only 23rd July, I am pretty much done transfer wise. I did bring a couple of the more 'obvious' faces in such as Brewster, Jones and Neco Williams all from Liverpool but I did decide to spend some money on some experienced players who will hopefully compliment my young squad. 

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This leaves me with a the following squad which is a little light on club homegrown players (Lumley, Gubbins and Hamalainen) but we should be ok. I'm happy with the signings and happy to keep the wage bill under control. Balance is sitting at a healthy £9m but we are paying around £1m a month in salary and debt repayments so this money won't last long. I have some room in the wage budget and transfer budget in case we need a signing in January although my next aim is to get Eze tied down to a longer term deal. 

CuUFQkP.jpg

We are predicted to finish 7th in the season preview, I am hoping to make the playoff places though. Watford, West Ham and Newcastle got relegated and still have strong looking squads so will be a tough ask for automatic promotion. 

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@RageMaster That looks like a good window for you and the squad looks stronger than last year to me. Good luck :thup:

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Great update and finish to your save @Jogo Bonito Interested to see where you go next.

So despite my initial outlines in my post for a preference of L1 or L2, Bristol Rovers board wanting a top half, play offs and promotion within 3 seasons put me off and there was no one else really pulling me in. Then I read @RageMaster's update and decided QPR were the perfect fit. Avoid a relegation battle first season and then look to build.

I've gone for transfers off to start, hopefully I can replicate @RageMaster's solid first season. 

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Good luck @smplfc123! It's deffo a challenge, I struggled to get the best out of some players so hopefully you have better luck than me! Annoyingly there is some decent players on loan who would help out squad wise in the 1st season! I brought in Pickering from Crewe and Fraser from Burton. Pickering was good but Fraser not so good! 

I'd recommend bringing in some kind of striker as Hugil was pretty crap for me lol. 

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, smplfc123 said:

Great update and finish to your save @Jogo Bonito Interested to see where you go next.

So despite my initial outlines in my post for a preference of L1 or L2, Bristol Rovers board wanting a top half, play offs and promotion within 3 seasons put me off and there was no one else really pulling me in. Then I read @RageMaster's update and decided QPR were the perfect fit. Avoid a relegation battle first season and then look to build.

I've gone for transfers off to start, hopefully I can replicate @RageMaster's solid first season. 

Wow, the Bristol Rovers board have gone mad since my save then - sorry for the wrong steer! QPR would have been my suggestion for a higher tier team, I think that's a great pick for you and actually I'm a little envious of all you guys taking them on :lol:

I think I'll have to go for a lower team, perhaps even non-league as I've been unusually busy with Championship sides so far in FM20. Current contenders are as follows:

  • Create A Club - replacing Plymouth in League 2 with nicer kit colours and making a young 'Devon County' side. It's a shame I don't have the skills to make Ambrosia their kit sponsor though
  • Take over Derby County in League 1 for the 20/21 season after they were relegated, and concentrate on the Academy players to take me back up (the presence of Rooney puts me off a little)
  • Dulwich Hamlet in National South, with a squad focus on players with London connections (born there or played there) or young French players where no fees are required
  • Somewhere else in Level 5 or 6 like York or Notts County (possibly via CAC mode) 
  • A club from Level 7 like Haringey or Taunton, or a North West side in Level 8 who I think have a fantastic base for a long-term low expectation career 

Dulwich is looking very likely for the next one.

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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Great updates guys, thread is moving along fast!!

@Jogo Bonito - excellent season with WBA, and very impressed about the 12 HG players in the squad. I love that sort of thing. Would be great to see you give it a go in the Premiership. 

@smogfart - check out Tom Lowery from Crewe. I was scouting him but he moved to Cardiff in my save. Also Ronan Darcy from Bolton, and Tom Bayliss is usually available too. Maybe Harry Cochrane at Hearts.

@Dong21 - excellent stuff with Bolton, I had such a fun save with them last year. And amazing to see Benzema there :lol:

@smplfc123 - did you decide on which club? Have a look at Bradford City too if you don't mind going down to L2. 

Good updates from Barnsley & QPR too! I am just about to post up one myself.

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Long post coming up! Here is the SUNDERLAND 2020-21 SEASON REVIEW

First for the Transfers (I will speak about some of these players later)

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The Board actually gave us 9 million to spend but I didn't want to spend the money. I am trying to run this save in a realistic way and it was clear that we would still be losing money this season. Hence I wanted to look for bargain buys only to strengthen the team. We actually ended up with a positive net spend thanks mainly to Leicester coming in with a big offer for youngster Ian Rich who had just entered the academy. Ian looked like a hell of a player for a 16 year old and I would have ideally wanted to keep him but the Board went ahead & accepted the offer. That said, since he is a DM and we were well-stacked in that area I ultimately wasn't too bothered.

In terms of the players coming in, I make it a point to try and not repeat players from previous saves. Makes it interesting to bring in and experience new players all the time. So all the guys coming in were first-timers for me, and happy to say that they have all proved to be successful buys! More on the best ones later. 

Results:

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We had an excellent start to the season, followed by the worst month I think I have ever had on an FM save with 5 consecutive defeats in September. After that though we began slowly climbing up the table.

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The holiday period was absolutely fantastic and some huge results saw us climb to the top of the league. Now the challenge would be to stay there.

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Predictably, the last few months were not as good, as it often seems to be the case in FM. We surrendered our top spot in the league to Stoke when we lost to them away from home. After that it was all about keeping Preston & West Ham at bay for the second automatic spot. 

A win against Derby in the penultimate game would seal promotion for us, and despite taking the lead we ended up playing most of the game with 10 men, and conceding a 94th minute equalizer. This meant going into the last home game against Charlton again needing a win to guarantee promotion. Despite banging down the door the entire 90 minutes it was one of those FM days where a combination of great goalkeeping, hitting the woodwork and missing huge chances keeps you from scoring. I thought we had bottled it, but somehow both West Ham & Preston failed to win their games. Which meant consecutive promotions for us!! Back to the Premier League we go! 

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Will talk about player performances & the future in the next post!

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Here are the player performances for the season:

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We used a total of 22 players only in the league, with 4 of them home-grown including Honeyman who was brought back to the club by me. The stand out performers have been: 

Harry Pickering - this guy is the Kolarov of the English lower leagues. Not blessed with great pace but amazing on the ball and technically, also deadly from set pieces. Turned out to be our best creative outlet and contributed 4 goals and 7 assists from LB! Would hugely recommend this guy to everyone. 

Mohamed Eisa - I know he has been a favorite for some folks on here but this was my first time managing him. While he started slow he soon hit his stride and ousted Wyke from the first team. Finished 2nd top scorer in the league, although I felt like he could have scored a few more. But will be interesting to see if he can keep it up in the EPL. 

Tarique Fosu - we brought him on permanently after a decent loan spell last season. He is quick, an excellent dribbler, capable on both flanks and has a lot of flair. Really happy with his performances and he would have hit double figures for both goals & assists if not for a season ending injury in April. 

George Dobson - he was already at the club from the start, our box to box midfielder and surely future captain. Dominated proceedings for us in the middle of the park and also chipped in with 7 goals & 7 assists. Just signed a new contract with an improved 15 million release clause.  

Jordan Willis - again was already at the club, definitely our best defender and has come on leaps & bounds. Formed a solid & dependable partnership with Tommy Smith at the back. 

These were probably our top 5 players for the season. Now looking forward to next season already, obviously we were given a ton of money to spend, but again I wasn't very keen to go about spending the big bucks. I feel that Sunderland would tread with caution in this situation given the recent history, so wanted to make only calculated & bargain transfers.

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We have spent money but judiciously I would say. I am hugely excited about some of the transfers and waiting to see how these guys will get on in the Premier League!

Bellingham was transfer listed at Birmingham who went up in the first season and then came back down. We moved fast to snap him up and he will play in the AMC role for us replacing Josh Harrop who was on loan with us last season but never really set the world alight. The other exciting transfer is Danny Loader who seems to have come on leaps & bounds in this save and will rotate between the LW and SC positions. We managed a cut-price deal for Adarabioyo who should be a good upgrade in the back-line and will probably slowly take over from Tommy Smith. Finally we also splashed some cash on Darnell Furlong who was the best RB in the Championship so again should be a good upgrade in that position. 

The summer has also been about renewing a lot of player contracts and we have kept the same core of personnel who got us promoted, with a few significant additions as above. And so here is the squad as we prepare to take on the big sharks in the Premier League! 

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Wish me luck - will update again soon. Just about to start the pre-season friendlies.

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So, got 4 games left, and have this run in... :P

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Kishna is out for the rest of the season, and I may have to throw a 16 year old from my academy in on the left wing :D

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Playing at the moment with 2 up front, and Grabban has 21 for the season, Kishna the next with 12.. 

Other news, Brennan Johnson is the subject of a £2.5m offer from LA Galaxy, with a 40% sell on, which, may work really well for me.

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@karanhsingh Great work on your double promotion with Sunderland. I'm always happy to see Mo Eisa doing well for any side, even Sunderland. Picking up Bellingham looks to be an exciting capture too. Hopefully you will enjoy your PL experience and that the Black Cats get lucky!

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Can definitely echo @karanhsingh in regards to Pickering! I've loved using him in my QPR save. 

Good luck to @robterrace in the promotion hunt.

@Jogo Bonito Derby went down on my save which I was very shocked about. They've got the foundations to be a Premier League club (I know you don't like managing there) but could be a fun save trying to get them back there before embarking on your next mission :D 

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32 minutes ago, RageMaster said:

Derby went down on my save which I was very shocked about. They've got the foundations to be a Premier League club (I know you don't like managing there) but could be a fun save trying to get them back there before embarking on your next mission :D 

It's definitely an option, just not sure whether to head there now or try something a bit lower down the pyramid first. It seems odd to me to see them relegated so frequently (and West Brom a couple of times is even more odd) but I guess anything can happen in football (manager). I've not seen QPR relegated in Season 1 of anybody's game that I can recall, that would be a nice challenge.

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23 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

It's definitely an option, just not sure whether to head there now or try something a bit lower down the pyramid first. It seems odd to me to see them relegated so frequently (and West Brom a couple of times is even more odd) but I guess anything can happen in football (manager). I've not seen QPR relegated in Season 1 of anybody's game that I can recall, that would be a nice challenge.

Financially it would cripple them really bad, I wouldn't be shocked if they went down to League 2 straightaway if it happened on the game.

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44 minutes ago, RageMaster said:

Financially it would cripple them really bad, I wouldn't be shocked if they went down to League 2 straightaway if it happened on the game.

As long as Sir Les was still there (and Eze) either of those challenges would be fine for me!

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3 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Here are the player performances for the season:

20200425120820_1.thumb.jpg.06e12c1cfeb629eee2c1e485f6b00b25.jpg

We used a total of 22 players only in the league, with 4 of them home-grown including Honeyman who was brought back to the club by me. The stand out performers have been: 

Harry Pickering - this guy is the Kolarov of the English lower leagues. Not blessed with great pace but amazing on the ball and technically, also deadly from set pieces. Turned out to be our best creative outlet and contributed 4 goals and 7 assists from LB! Would hugely recommend this guy to everyone. 

 

I see you've been following my updates. Harry Pickering is certainly a gem to have in the lower leagues. Deadball specialist :D

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Sitting in 6th at the season half way stage. Had a really bad first 2 months of the season, lost 3 and drew 1 of our first 4 in the league! This seems to have been down to team cohesion and bringing in a fair few players in the window that needed to gel and get used to my tactics. I'm hoping we can sneak into the Automatic spots if we hit top form but will be a tough ask. Newcastle being so low down the table seems a bit of a shock to me, they've got Lee Bowyer as manager.

UwkhvF0.jpg

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Slowly getting back into my Grimsby save.

I see a few people are using Ronan Darcy, but how are you using him? Maybe I'm setting my expectations too high when I want a minimum of 10 assists from him. He hasn't had an assist or goal so far this season after playing 10(1) games...

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So... Managed to finish the season, here's how we finished:

Spoiler

 

yO1F6zQ.jpg

I am absolutely delighted to go up automatically. We had a really poor start to the season and was a bit inconsistent here and there but we managed to pull off a fantastic sequence of results in the 2nd half of the season and I am delighted with promotion. The loanee's all did brilliantly and I am keeping Gilmour and Brewster for another season. I would've loved to have kept Neco Williams too but I've managed to sign 2 very good right backs who I will reveal in my transfer update ahead of the new season. 

Player Stats:

r9DgQJn.jpg

 

I've been handed £34m and a 500k a week wage budget to try and fight against relegation so on the lookout now for some bargains. 

 

 

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I think I might hold off trying to take on Derby, and will instead try to emulate the success of @goonergez in taking Dulwich Hamlet out of National League South and perhaps even as far as the EFL.

It's been a few years since I managed at semi-pro level so it might not go too well. The plan is to sign only players and staff with London connections (but I might extend that to neighbouring counties like Essex, Kent, Hertfordshire, Surrey). I also want to spend less in transfers than I receive at least until I reach the EFL.

I'd decided who I wanted to get rid of and who I wanted to bring in, but making those moves isn't actually easy even in the free transfer market and offering a higher level of football than where they are playing. Mostly, this was down to 'has only just joined new club' rejections, but with no transfer windows I hope I can eventually get those targets during the course of the first season.

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So.

We messed up automatic. 

Losing away at Preston and an already relegated Barnsley wasn't in the plan, and both matches, we deserved to lose.

A 3-1 win at home to Swansea, and a 2-0 win against Stoke, saw us set up a playoff semi against Middlesbrough.

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A 2-1 defeat in the first leg, was overturned with a 2-0 victory at the Riverside, thanks to Joe Lolley and a man of the match performance from Joe Worrall. 

This set up a final at Wembley against Leeds.

A really tense match was settled with a 61st minute winner from Ryan Edmondson for Leeds. It sees them go up, and leaves us to build for another season.

------

 

Brennan Johnson turned down his move to LA, unable to agree on a contract. However, interest came in from Atlanta of the MLS for Yuri Ribeiro, and a £5m fee was agreed, of which 50% would go to Benfica.

A move to replace Ribeiro was made, with OL's 18 year old Héritier Deyonge on the shopping list, and, a fee of £3m over 3 seasons was agreed for him. He has plenty of room to improve, and will be first choice at NG2 next season.

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As we look to the future, another raid was made on Portugal, as we agreed a fee with Sporting for attacking midfielder Francisco Geraldes. The number 10 arrives for a fee of £1.1m on a 3 year deal, and provides us with an out and out creative outlet in that role, as opposed to Carvalho, who has been a bit spotty at times.

image.thumb.png.32560fa72bcdca700d14f0ddd2c60f65.png

Also arriving, to go into the U23 setup, will be Spanish striker, Edorta Cabieces, from the Sociedad academy system. The 20 year old has some promising areas to work on, and may be one for the future.

Hopefully, the final signing, one from leftfield, pays off.

Spotted by a scout watching another player in Argentina, young striker Tadeo Ortiz comes in for £7m (£2.5m up front) from Racing. He has a Spanish passport, so won't need a work permit.

image.thumb.png.e03fc76738fd247905fa01560a2c0ee7.png

Ben Watson signed on for another season, the veteran midfielder agreeing a weekly wage less than half of what he was currently on.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Bolton Wanderers - Season 4 - Part 4

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Positives for March were that we went undefeated and beat a good Brentford side. Negatives were that we didn't score more than one goal in each game and conceding an 89th minute equaliser against Wigan was tough. In April we fell to defeats against Sheff Utd and Fulham, but continued the narrative that ran deep throughout this season, comfortably beating three teams that would go on to finish below us. Rogers got three in three, in these important fixtures. We ended the season with a battling draw against Burnley. I was particularly pleased with this result as our season could be considered over whereas Burnley were fighting for automatic promotion, however we were resilient to the end. The draw meant Burnley finished 3rd and missed out on promotion to the Premier League, as Leeds went on to win the Playoffs.

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We finished 14th, which I was very pleased with as at the beginning of the season I genuinely thought we would be involved in a relegation battle that would likely see me sacked. We were only four points off 9th place in the end, which tells me if we had an in-form marksman we could have finished even higher. We got 52 goals, spread across the team, which isn't too bad - but when you consider the joint top goalscorers with 6 goals were Wallem, Mbenza and Rogers, it's clear that we were lacking up top. Perhaps if Rogers was with us all season that might have made a difference.

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Garner was once again our standout player, shining in his new role as a defensive deep lying playmaker. Brownhill was our most creative player with 7 assists and 4 goals. Right back Laird was only with us for 16 games, therefore I was very impressed he also provided 7 assists. Bella-Kotchap and Lockyer formed a strong partnership at the back, but the German Bella-Kotchap was the star of the pair. Boon and Doyle-Hayes developed well over the season, helped by an increase in playing time. Conversely Brown really under-performed, only delivering 3 goals despite being involved all season. As he is an academy graduate who continues to have potential, I intend to persevere with him, in the hope he comes good.

Season 5 Preview

I have signed a new two year contract, so the Bolton adventure seems to be rolling on.

Due to the club's troublesome financial position, caused primarily by the large directors loan that drains the club on a monthly basis, I have been fixing the squad with many short term solutions. This has included bringing in some players of advancing years on short term contracts. These signings have added valuable experience but just briefly cover over gaps in the squad. Due to my net player sells totaling £39m over the past four seasons and our relative success on the pitch, the club is in a much healthier financial position, setting me up for a summer where I can look to build on my squad.

Karim Benzema, Jamie Vardy and Joe Hart are all retiring and I plan to release squad players Remi Streete and Matty Palmer. Goalkeeper Marko Maric had a stellar season, including 17 league clean sheets, but he refused to entertain signing a new contract in his final year and agreed a deal to join German side Wiesbaden at the end of his contract. I won't be looking to renew the loans of Stuparevic, Burke and Ajayi, plus Borges, who did well, is joining Bordeaux on a free and therefore won't be available.

With all these departures there is lots of scope to bring in new faces, and finally we have a transfer budget (£2m) with which I am positive I can use economically to improve the side. I have an early piece of good news on the transfer front; Man United have allowed me to take Garner on loan for the fifth season in a row. I really thought this would be the year they finally said no to me. He has a new £27.5k per week contract (of which we continue to pay 0%) and is valued at £17.75m.

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I would consider looking to bring Laird and Rogers back on loan to the club, but I intend to look for permanent recruits in the first instance. The likes of Bella-Kotchap, Boon, Brownhill, Garner, Wallem, Brown and Doyle-Hayes are a talented and youthful core group. If I can add some touches of class, and primarily a goalscorer, hopefully we can push on for a top half finish next season.

Edited by Dong21

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Couple of little updates..

Firstly, Matty Cash has departed, heading to Crystal Palace for £13m, and looking like he may be first choice fullback there as well. Offers have gone in to replace him, with the likely option looking at being 23 year old Matthais Bader from Darmstadt in Bundesliga II.

Second to depart, was Joe Lolley. Burnley came in with an offer of £13.5m, and this was enough to see him depart for pastures new. With the impending arrival of Fran Feuillassier and Alex Mighten from within the club showing promise, the cost of replacing him, isn't as great as some.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

@Dong21 Another good season from you and a comfortable mid-table finish. Hopefully you will be able to make the right additions and edge a little closer next season. Quite a coup to have Garner on loan for five seasons, especially for free given the wage & value he has risen to. Finding a quality striker is always tough, but good luck for the season ahead.

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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@Jogo Bonito that sounds like a great idea. I’ll be keeping a keen eye on how differently you do things. My main advice would be to keep Jarvis Edobor at all costs. I’ll probably revisit my Dulwich game at some point, it just got a bit stale having a season of solidarity in league two.

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Posted (edited)

@Jogo Bonito Good luck on the new save!

 

@Dong21 Great consolidation season there! Comfortably in mid-table and given yourself a solid platform to build on.

 

@robterrace Unlucky on the play-off final defeat. Good luck with that rebuild!

 

Excellent work there @RageMaster will definitely be looking back through your posts for tips! Interested to see how you spend that £34m.

 

And finally @karanhsingh Congratulations on the promotions with Sunderland. Living up in the North East, I can tell you the old cliche is true, the football club means everything to the city. I love that you have quite a few of the original squad still there and brought back local lad Honeyman. 

Edited by smplfc123

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3 hours ago, goonergez said:

@Jogo Bonito that sounds like a great idea. I’ll be keeping a keen eye on how differently you do things. My main advice would be to keep Jarvis Edobor at all costs. I’ll probably revisit my Dulwich game at some point, it just got a bit stale having a season of solidarity in league two.

Thanks, isn't that kit great to watch in 3D matches!

Edobor is very reliable so far and it's great to have a left-footed player there. I've also just managed to land the centre back partner I had been trying to sign since I started. That pair should form a fantastic partnership at the heart of the defence, and I'm still able to call upon two decent back-up players from the original squad if one of them is unavailable. I sent Debrah back to Millwall as he wasn't going to be good enough to make the squad, and I am trying to move the unwanted Orlu to a new home.

At left-back it's one in and one out, having been able to sell Smith for £20k and bring in a better, younger player in his place. I've got another young right-back in and I'm trying to offload one of the seniors, as three is one too many. The man to go will hopefully be McCoy, who is capable for sure but  also the highest paid member of the squad and no better than Barnes. I would like a better second GK at some point, but that can wait until it becomes more important. Other than that, and the desire to reduce numbers by two, the defence is now sorted,

Having also just signed the striker I wanted since pre-season, my attack is now as I want it too. I had to bring another striker during the summer, so now I have four after releasing White.  I'm playing 442 so having two to start and one good bench alternative is absolutely necessary.

The midfield definitely needs some finishing touches. I want shot of one of the three right-wingers (Ainsworth) and would like an alternative to play on the left as Hunte is the only natural there. The central midfield is underwhelming and needs most of my attention. I have the numbers there, but other than Chapman, not really the quality. I've gone for a short-term solution at the moment (and against my usual transfer policy) by recruiting an experienced pro of 31 to help out in the first season as the three players I had identified were all unwilling to join yet. Tajbakhsh was released and would have been even without his injury status.

All of the signings have been on free transfers, so transfer wise I am £20,000 in credit (by October).

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The preseason started, with a friendly tournament in Bulgaria, however, a couple more deals were completed, with the intention of solidifying the side.

First to come in from Lazio, was Cristiano Lombardi, the 24 year old winger arriving on a free transfer.

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Also joining, on a free, from Wolves, was Max Kilman. The versatile defender coming in on a 3 year deal.

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5 friendlies to play, and we're going for promotion.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for all the replies...great to be a part of this thread for once as I've always followed it closely without always posting in it (even back on the FM18 and FM19 threads). I've put my transfers dealings below in a spoiler so as to not take up too much space on this page. 

Spoiler

 

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First of, Jude Bellingham was available on a free but chose to go to the MLS for some strange reason. He has a £6.5m release clause so I will try to activate that ASAP as I would love to sign him. Secondly when I do squad building for a team that is not considered as one of the top teams in the country I try to maximize the selling profit by buying young players and developing them to sell later on, or I try to look for value players (either free's or transfer listed for below market value), hopefully you will notice this theme with the majority of my signings. 

Brewster and Gilmour (season long loans) renewed for this season as they was both fantastic. In an ideal world I would brought back all of last seasons loans but this wasn't possible due to loan rules in the PL being different to the Championship. 

Allan Campbell and Jason Kerr was brought in relatively cheap from Scotland and they will provide some depth to our squad and I should be able to profit on these 2 in a few seasons. 

I think I overpaid for Bogle slightly considering Derby are in League One but decent English homegrown players are at a premium. once again I should be able to make a profit on him a few seasons in.

Hickey was just too good to not bring in when you consider his fee. He's a player I know a lot of you love and I've used him before and managed to profit off him considerably. He can cover both full back positions too. 

Zagadou was brought in on loan and I can make this permanent for £13m. His heading is a little low for my liking but his other stats look very reasonable. 

Ryan Haywood is a young striker my scouts spotted, he abit raw and will spend the season in the U23's and a possibly loan move from January. 

Zirkzee is a player I've never managed before but on previous saves he always looks a very good players and I've seen him sold for a lot of money previously. If he can adapt to the PL he could fire us to Premier League safety on his own pretty much. 

Pellegri was brought in on Loan with option to buy for £8m. Scouts reckon he is injury prone, I am going to see how he is this season before deciding whether to sign him permanently. I remember him being a beast on the last couple of FM's

Gonalons and Passlack on free's are just no brainers really. Gonalons has a driven personality and is cheap wages. He should be good for a season or 2 before we can add some real quality to the squad. Passlack will be my 1st choice at RB, stats wise he looks great, scout reports was great, once again I should be able to make a big profit on him in the future. 

Button was signed as a cheap 3rd choice backup and to be honest is probably better than my 2nd choice! I didn't have any decent depth besides O'Hara and Lumley and I have been stung before in other saves only having 2 senior GK's and ending up with a 16yo in goal!

Another signing not in the screenshot is Felice D'Amico on a loan deal, I have some early season injuries to Osayi-Samuel and Eze to deal with so need some extra depth. Most likely nothing more than a cheap squad filler unless he impresses me. 

The rest of the signings was to bulk up my U23's a bit as the quality in there was pretty lackluster. Our Youth Level was dropped down to 3 the previous summer and I haven't yet got enough bank balance to improve any of the facilities so I will need to manage this in the medium term by scouting and signing youth from outside the club. I don't expect to use any of them in the 1st team but if I did, then they are atleast of better quality to what I had in there before. 

 

In terms of outgoings, Kelly was my No1 for most of the 1st season but he never really convinced me, he spent last season at Derby in League One and they wanted to keep him so no complaints from me. Todd Kane had to be sold to make room for Bogle and Passlack. Dwight Gayle was poor last season and nobody would buy him off me, luckily he will spend a season out on loan before I release him at the end of his contract. I didn't use Samuel much and made £200k transfer profit on him in a year so not bad business. Hamalainen was worth about £6m when I sold him but no one was interested until I put the asking price at £1.5m, he just isn't PL quality. A few other U23's and U18's either left on loan or was released. 

 

Overall I am pretty happy with the business. A net spend of £23.5m is a bit risky given our finances but we should have enough to kick on and stay up. By next summer the TV money and PL money should have improved our balance alot and allow me to develop the facilities and other club infrastructure. I did revamp my staffing teams a bit this summer, I won't go through it all by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is my U23 Manager randomly :D and Michael Dawson is my new AM after Derek Fazackerley's contract came up. I almost lost Sir Les as DoF as he wouldn't agree a new deal due to him wanting a wage rise I couldn't afford (I did have Steve Gallen lined up in case he did leave) but I managed to get him to sign on July 1st!. 

 

If anyone wants to see any screenshots or has any questions please do fire away! We start the PL season at home to Palace before a trip to City (who are the current Champions) and then back to Loftus Road to host Tottenham. My main aim and the boards aim this season is to survive and stay in the league. I've got £16m left in the budget in case it's needed for January. Hopefully the loan signings impress me enough to make them permanent. And as mentioned at the start I am going to be actively trying to sign Bellingham. 

 

 

 

Edited by RageMaster

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So, when I said I was making no more signings, I was wrong.

Jota, of Benfica, had come out in the media saying he wanted a new challenge. I managed to get an offer accepted (£2,5m + £6m) and hes on his way to Forest.,

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With him down one side, and Kishna down the other, its going to be entertaining.

We had departures on deadline day, with Joao Carvalho going to West Brom for a fee that would reach £11m, Gaetan Bong to QPR for £2.8m and Tobias Figueredo to RB Salzburg for £4.8m, and heading in, on loan from Sporting, was Daniel Braganca, the holding midfielder, who would start in front of the back 4.

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October:

Barnsley vs Swansea

Well after the international break we bounced backed, Jordan Williams certainly had an interesting game, scoring the winning goal then getting sent off with 10 minutes to go, just to keep his teammates on his toes I'd have thought :lol: 

 

West Brom vs Barnsley

Next we faced arguably the strongest squad in the league, at the Hawthorns. It really was a dull game, I'm not sure there was a single highlight all game. But I'll take it!!!  

 

Huddersfield vs Barnsley 

An absolute heart-breaker at Huddersfield, in the 5th minute of 4 added minutes (not that I'm salty or anything :seagull:) Huddersfield equalised to keep are feat on the ground and really hurt our hopes of a play off push!!!

 

November:

 

Barnsley vs Bristol City

A really good little run starting to form here, a last gasp winner from Luke Thomas gives us all 3 points to erase the sour memories of the previous week!!!!

 

Stoke vs Barnsley

A howler from Sami Radlinger gave Stoke a much undeserved 3 points, we were much the better team, even whilst down to 10 men! But alas it was not meant to be. A bad injury for Jordan Williams will keep him out for the foreseeable, meaning we'll have to look to strengthen in January  because Ludewig is just not up to it I'm afraid.

 

Blackburn vs Barnsley

A really poor performance, another good performance from Luke Thomas once again off the bench, maybe it's time to start him.

 

Middlesborough vs Barnsley

Well I genuinely don't know how this happened! We weren't particularly good but boy were we clinical!!! 

 

Barnsley vs Hull City

Another fantastic win for us. Another close game that perhaps we didn't fully deserve to win but I'll take it, Woodrow at the double once again and picking up the player of the month award, with 5 goals this month!

 

December:

 

Cardiff vs Barnsley

Purely and simply outclassed by a much better side

 

Barnsley vs Reading

A bad injury for George Evans was the main talking point of this game, he's been great for us this season but these kind of injuries may well mean we decide not to purchase him in the summer.

A good result when you look at where Reading are in the league, the kind of point which I'm sure will ensure our survival this season.

 

Barnsley vs QPR 

We were absolutely battered as our dry goal scoring January continues! It really should have been more than 1, a worrying performance.

 

Millwall vs Barnsley

Another blank fired, the strikers simply aren't doing their job, it's a good job we're decent defensively because the goals have dried up so quickly.

 

Barnsley vs West Brom

A promising performance but yet another 0-0, Woodrow has stopped scoring which true to life means the team has stopped scoring, I have to address this issue in January otherwise we could be in trouble. This can't go on all month can it?

 

Swansea vs Barnsley

Yep you guessed it 3 0-0s in a row!!! We didn't score 1 goal throughout December, not 1!!!!!!!! It's testament to our defence that we gained 4 points this month but I must seem like the footballing Anti-Christ right now :lol:

 

 

 

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The table is good reading for us, 12 points clear of the relegation zone, I'd certainly have taken that at the start of the season!

The lack of goals is becoming a huge worry, we have to improve that and I'll certainly be looking to do that with some new recruits.

 

There have been some good performers in the squad in fairness, have a look here:

 

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Fair to say we've handled the step up in divisions fairly well...

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It's mainly been down to our attacking double act of Victor Fundi (20 goals and six assists) and Devonte Aransibia (15 goals and five assists), the latter now attracting interest from Football League clubs. Midfield playmakers Antonio Diaz and Kane Thompson-Sommers have also made sure the aforementioned two get plenty of chances to score.

Another promotion will put me in my old stomping ground of the Conference South.

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On 22/11/2019 at 21:57, warlock said:

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Welcome to the EFL in FM2020

Below you'll find brief introductions to the 71 clubs in the EFL, in order of their predicted finishing positions in game, together with information for ground capacity, and initial transfer budgets to help you make your choice. Please note that budgets are often different in FM Touch, but these should at least put you in the ballpark. If you spot anything wildly inaccurate, let me know.

Let's get this party started...

@warlock   

I'm a big fan of your EFL thread, but I wish you would make one with league 5 + 6.

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7 minutes ago, germandutch45 said:

@warlock   

I'm a big fan of your EFL thread, but I wish you would make one with league 5 + 6.

I used to but it's a lot of work, especially as well as the 90-odd FL clubs. Just post your English lower league updates in here.

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@Jogo Bonito Great to see that you picked The Hamlet. I'm currently in Championship after 4 straight promotions. Danny Mills was immense at top for me the first season, scored 37 goals on 32 appearances. I made three signings the first season Brad Watkins(GK), Tobias Hayles-Docherty and Devonte Aransiba. Hayles-Docherty was so good, worth keeping an eye on. Edobor are still going and contribute in Championship. Haven't spend any money on transfers before the Championship season, but I'm pretty happy that we managed to build up our youth system quite a bit. Looking forward to see more from your save.

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@Jamesbfc1887 Looks a good start to the season there and i'm sure you'll make it out the rocky patch, I had a similar issue with the lack of goals in my first season at QPR and I literally tried everything including playing academy strikers in good form, changing formation, trying to get more support runs into the box etc etc, it could be worth trying to setup some set piece routines or long throws etc to make use of your big center backs if you haven't already done so of course. 

I am not going to make a big post but I managed to survive and finished 14th in the PL. Made some good signings going into the summer and the aim again will be to survive. Board are planning to move to a new stadium and I'm trying to get Training and Youth Facilities improved. With the stadium coming it looks like I will need to be careful financially around transfers, wages and bonuses. If I can survive this season then I am going to try and implement a 'Phase 2' of this save to try and get us into the top half of the league and challenging for European qualification and domestic silverware. 

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On 26/04/2020 at 02:34, Jogo Bonito said:

@karanhsingh Great work on your double promotion with Sunderland. I'm always happy to see Mo Eisa doing well for any side, even Sunderland. Picking up Bellingham looks to be an exciting capture too. Hopefully you will enjoy your PL experience and that the Black Cats get lucky!

Thank you! Even sunderland lol 

Bellingham has started a bit slow but happy to be patient with him. Good luck with your new adventure at the Hamlet! P

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@RageMaster and @Jean0987654321 good to see others have enjoyed the unique talents of Pickering! I hadn't seen him mentioned here much.

Excellent work with QPR and some solid transfers there. Good luck in the big time! I tried to get Bogle on my save too but he moved to derby for twice that money. 

@robterrace Jota should be a lot of fun to watch in the championship! Also like that you're keeping the Portuguese connection alive.

@smplfc123 thanks for the kind words mate. And yes that's definitely something I saw in the documentary and made me want to manage them. We have 5 HG players this season and hope we can keep that going. Honeyman has sure been a good addition.

@Dong21 just caught up on your Bolton updates some excellent work there. Hope you can start pushing on next season. By the way how did Darcy Boon and Senior turn out. They all seem to have some good potential on my save.

Good updates also from Barnsley, Dulwich, Slimbridge. KUTGW folks. I should hopefully have another update up in a couple days. 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the comments @Jogo Bonito, @smplfc123 and @karanhsingh. Loving how interactive this forum is at the moment! 

On 29/04/2020 at 16:10, karanhsingh said:

By the way how did Darcy Boon and Senior turn out. They all seem to have some good potential on my save.

Boon is my first choice left back, has played 76 league games for Bolton and is progressing well.

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I sold Darcy to Watford in January 2021 for £8m and he spent the season after back on loan with us. Last season, however, he didn’t go on loan and he didn’t feature for Watford, so that may have effected his development. Several Championship sides are currently looking to take him on loan for the upcoming season.

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Adam Senior never seemed to have much potential on my save. Maybe his attributes are variable or he got upgraded after the patch (I’ve been playing this save a while!). Released him in 2022 and he joined Yeovil who have since been relegated to the National League.

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Edited by Dong21
Screenshots added

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4 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

 

@robterrace Jota should be a lot of fun to watch in the championship! Also like that you're keeping the Portuguese connection alive.

Thanks.

I'm actually enjoying watching the difference in game between a winger/forward like Jota, and some of the players in the Championship, just the way in which the ball moves looks different when it reaches him. The same can be said for Braganca. Proper Rolls Royce players, especially at this level.

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9 hours ago, Bergbatov said:

@Jogo Bonito Great to see that you picked The Hamlet. I'm currently in Championship after 4 straight promotions. Danny Mills was immense at top for me the first season, scored 37 goals on 32 appearances. I made three signings the first season Brad Watkins(GK), Tobias Hayles-Docherty and Devonte Aransiba. Hayles-Docherty was so good, worth keeping an eye on. Edobor are still going and contribute in Championship. Haven't spend any money on transfers before the Championship season, but I'm pretty happy that we managed to build up our youth system quite a bit. Looking forward to see more from your save.

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That's a high bar set, no way will I achieve that in four seasons. I made quite a few signings as I wanted to have most of my squad ready for season 2 when the unwanted are off the books.

@robterrace I had Jota at Benfica in FM19, he was a decent performer there for me so should be great for you. Braganca, I think I managed him at Sporting last year too, another good young player.

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First month of the new season up, Kishna has gone out on loan, as he fell out with me.

Its not made much difference to how we've performed though.

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Stars of the first month, Tadeo Ortiz, with 6 goals, including a hat trick against Blackpool and Chumi, who also got 3 against Blackpool.

Braganca is getting better as he gets gametime, with 3 assists in his 6 matches.

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This lads currently in my setup as backup to Jota. Came through my first intake, and has Everton sniffing around him.

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I also have a young AMC in the U23s from my first intake who will do things too, although, he has just had a couple of weeks out with injury.

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Having waited a long time for my first promotion on FM20, a second has come along straight away...

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It was evident at the halfway point that it was between us a pre-season favourites Hereford, and we stayed within a few points of each other the whole way, often replacing each other at the top. Going into the final match we just needed to match Hereford's result, however they lost 0-1 at home to Daventry, giving us the title by three points. Over 42 games, we amazingly had two unbeaten runs of 20 games, with our two losses coming in matches 21 and 22.

Fundi scored 34 times to again lead the line with aplomb and take out the club player of the season award. He is now listed as a club icon.

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2 hours ago, CityAndColour said:

Having waited a long time for my first promotion on FM20, a second has come along straight away...

It was evident at the halfway point that it was between us a pre-season favourites Hereford, and we stayed within a few points of each other the whole way, often replacing each other at the top. Going into the final match we just needed to match Hereford's result, however they lost 0-1 at home to Daventry, giving us the title by three points. Over 42 games, we amazingly had two unbeaten runs of 20 games, with our two losses coming in matches 21 and 22.

Fundi scored 34 times to again lead the line with aplomb and take out the club player of the season award. He is now listed as a club icon.

Congratulations! Ironically the only time I managed Fundi before this version was when I took him from Palace to Hereford two or three years ago. I seem to recall Slimbridge were one of my opponents back then (extended database at the time). I should have my first season with Dulwich completed tonight - quite a pace from me (although down to lack of press conferences rather than lockdown I feel).

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