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FM20: The English Football League thread

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3 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

we will now definitely be staying at the Rovers and looking to make another promotion push this season!

I'm looking forward to watching that. Unlucky first season in charge, but a full season should see a better result!

26 minutes ago, smplfc123 said:

it's not looking good

Um... no, it isn't great. It's the kind of situation where two early wins would set you up for a good run, but two wins are really hard to find off the back of that run - especially from those next three games. I think I mentioned that goals were hard to find with the Owls and it looks like that is still the case. But I really hope you can pull it off.

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@warlock :lol::seagull::lol:

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7 points out of 9 when least expected. I can't tell if I hate or love this game haha! Of course both wins were just by the 1 goal margin though! Still in the relegation zone but boy have we given ourselves a chance (and me a chance of staying until the end of the season at least).

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1 hour ago, smplfc123 said:

7 points out of 9 when least expected

That's the way to do it! Keep it up :thup:

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3 hours ago, smplfc123 said:

@warlock :lol::seagull::lol:

7 points out of 9 when least expected. I can't tell if I hate or love this game haha! Of course both wins were just by the 1 goal margin though! Still in the relegation zone but boy have we given ourselves a chance (and me a chance of staying until the end of the season at least).

Some good results there! How many points off safety are you now? 

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4 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Some good results there! How many points off safety are you now? 

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This is how it's looking @karanhsingh with 6 games to go. Just hope i'm still in with a shout when Middlesbrough come to us on the final day of the season.

How's the window shaping for you at FGR? Really interested to see what changes you make after that heartbreaking play off defeat.

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1 hour ago, smplfc123 said:

This is how it's looking @karanhsingh with 6 games to go. Just hope i'm still in with a shout when Middlesbrough come to us on the final day of the season.

How's the window shaping for you at FGR? Really interested to see what changes you make after that heartbreaking play off defeat.

It's very tight! Your better GD than Boro may also help. Interesting how you have conceded less goals than 6th placed Leeds.

Just wrapped up my transfers, fairly happy with the business done. Should have the update up later today!

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1 hour ago, karanhsingh said:

It's very tight! Your better GD than Boro may also help. Interesting how you have conceded less goals than 6th placed Leeds.

Just wrapped up my transfers, fairly happy with the business done. Should have the update up later today!

We've conceded just 28 goals in 31 games in all competitions since I took over. For my first attempt at a rigid, hard-working 4-4-2, I couldn't be happier in that sense. Down to the final 2 games now. Plenty of drama!

Good to hear, really looking forward to see what you've done.

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image.thumb.png.6f177d40247641cb4c41dfbcdccd6b0e.png

So it's all down to the final day of the season! 

We're at home to Boro, knowing a draw or a win keeps us up. They are in confident mood mind after beating Cardiff 3-0 in their penultimate game. If we lose, then we are relying on both Derby and Charlton failing to get points from their games. 

The finances are sitting at -£11m and we're officially 'In Debt'. What an end to the season!

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image.thumb.png.26714048147fd433860068a0479c2086.png

Just the added pressure I needed....

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image.thumb.png.616a98fd80f78de0e792646e5c4b9095.png

WE DID IT! WE ARE STAYING UP SAY WE ARE STAYING UP!

My nerves are shot! Great way to end the season, with our win and results elsewhere leaving the final table looking like this:

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2 big clubs dropping in to League 1 in Derby and Boro, but for us Owls, it's another season in The Championship.

The board have set us a transfer budget of £84k with £1k p/w left in the wage budget and are expecting a top half finish (What planet are they on?). With no money to spend and the club in some serious debt, I'm going to have to offload a lot of players to build the squad I want and accept It's not going to be pretty, but i'm up for the challenge!

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12 minutes ago, smplfc123 said:

for us Owls, it's another season in The Championship

Well played :applause:

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Great stuff - love a bit of last day drama and survival! 

Do you have a few of the big contracts up this summer, that could be crucial to getting the finances in shape and freeing up room on the wage budget. 

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37 minutes ago, warlock said:

Well played :applause:

Thanks @warlock

24 minutes ago, karanhsingh said:

Great stuff - love a bit of last day drama and survival! 

Do you have a few of the big contracts up this summer, that could be crucial to getting the finances in shape and freeing up room on the wage budget. 

Cheers @karanhsingh.

Yes there's a few on big wages due to expire. Fletcher, Lee, Rhodes, Hutchinson, Winnall have all been set for release. Reach will be on his way for a decent fee and i'm hoping to offload Westwood and his massive wages too. In some good news, Forestieri found some form right at the end of the season and was willing to accept a new contract on £17k p/w less. I was going to set him for release too, but with me already needing to bring in a load of players, an experienced Owl like him on £8k a week was a good deal for me.

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1 hour ago, smplfc123 said:

Thanks @warlock

Cheers @karanhsingh.

Yes there's a few on big wages due to expire. Fletcher, Lee, Rhodes, Hutchinson, Winnall have all been set for release. Reach will be on his way for a decent fee and i'm hoping to offload Westwood and his massive wages too. In some good news, Forestieri found some form right at the end of the season and was willing to accept a new contract on £17k p/w less. I was going to set him for release too, but with me already needing to bring in a load of players, an experienced Owl like him on £8k a week was a good deal for me.

Well that should definitely help! Gonna be a busy summer then.

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Forest Green Rovers - summer of 2022

It was a busy summer as predicted. The transfers first (what is missing is a few older first team players released at the end of their contracts).

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We as expected didn't have any money to spend and had to rely on freebies. Our midfield is heavily reinforced with the arrivals of Jordan Rossiter and Zain Westbrooke, along with young Zac Chand (who I imagine from his name is of Indian heritage :cool:). These transfers will also see a change from 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3 system which should hopefully make us more solid and hard to beat.

The biggest regret is that the two Chelsea boys who really helped us last season, Livramento (RB) and Adrian King (CB) for some reason did not want to come back. I think they felt that they had out-grown this level. However we have still made good use of our affiliation by signing young Norwegian winger Bryan Fiabema on loan, and Levi Colwill on a free transfer.

Ryan Giles comes in as a pacy attacking option at left-back, while young Leigh Edge joins to hopefully take King's central defensive spot in the side. The final transfer is ex-Rovers academy graduate Jordan Stevens who re-joins the club, primarily because at times last season we struggled to fulfill the requirement of having 1 academy player in the squad.

Screenshots of the 3 "new-gen" players in the spoiler below!

Spoiler

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And so that leaves our squad looking like this. Really hoping that we can make a proper push for promotion this year, although the board thinks another play-off place would be a fine achievement. However I think if we don't get promoted, I will put myself back on the job market with hopefully an enhanced reputation from my time here. We shall see.

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Financially we are back in the black (just) but the projections show us slipping further. Due to this I am unable to get the board to sanction any improvements across the board, or even so much as hire a data analyst at the club. I guess with a tiny fan base and being in League One, the revenues that are flowing in are just too low. We are well under the wage budget at 54k per week, but we would actually need to be operating at less than half that to not be losing money each month! Which is nigh on impossible...

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4 hours ago, smplfc123 said:

WE DID IT! WE ARE STAYING UP SAY WE ARE STAYING UP!

My nerves are shot! Great way to end the season, with our win and results elsewhere leaving the final table looking like this:

The board have set us a transfer budget of £84k with £1k p/w left in the wage budget and are expecting a top half finish (What planet are they on?). With no money to spend and the club in some serious debt, I'm going to have to offload a lot of players to build the squad I want and accept It's not going to be pretty, but i'm up for the challenge!

Great stuff, well done indeed. Next season should be nice with all those overpaid OOC players no longer draining the budget.

@karanhsingh A decent squad there. I had several seasons with FGR a couple of versions ago and enjoyed it. The HGC issue was a big problem even then!

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Next season (or via any database updates created) will produce some very interesting challenges.

Sheff Wed may not be the last team starting on -12 points and then there is the undoubted financial impact of this terrible virus which will affect EFL clubs and most others globally.

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On 31/07/2020 at 08:33, smplfc123 said:

image.thumb.png.616a98fd80f78de0e792646e5c4b9095.png

WE DID IT! WE ARE STAYING UP SAY WE ARE STAYING UP!

My nerves are shot! Great way to end the season, with our win and results elsewhere leaving the final table looking like this:

image.thumb.png.412ce3e2098e4d6b15a4cae73254df90.png

2 big clubs dropping in to League 1 in Derby and Boro, but for us Owls, it's another season in The Championship.

The board have set us a transfer budget of £84k with £1k p/w left in the wage budget and are expecting a top half finish (What planet are they on?). With no money to spend and the club in some serious debt, I'm going to have to offload a lot of players to build the squad I want and accept It's not going to be pretty, but i'm up for the challenge!

Do you have a parent club? You can probably take a few guys from there on a free loan...

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SUMMER 2020 TRANSFER WINDOW UPDATE

With the window closing just a few days before our first game of the season, I thought this would be the perfect time to tell you how our summer unfolded at Hillsborough. With hardly anything to work with in both the transfer and wage budgets, It was always going to be hard work. I'm really not one for buying/loaning the 'usual' players and I aimed this recruitment window on buying players to suit my rigid, hard-working 4-4-2.

Outs:

Adam Reach - Derby  £7.25m - Actually wasn't that fussed to let him go. Seems to be considered as one of their best players, but didn't always start for me as I struggled to find his best position/role. I was surprised that League 1 Derby could afford it, but I wasn't complaining. This deal helped massively with the clubs finances.

Liam Palmer - Hull - £2m - I wasn't planning on selling him initially, but when he came to me for a new challenge, it made sense. He was on a decent wage and there was no way he was outing Iorfa in the RB slot. 

Joost Van Aken - Swansea - £1.6m - The Dutchman had spent last season out on loan and was earning £20k p/w. With Borner and Lees nailing down the starting CB slots, he was earning too much to just be on the bench. 

Jack Stobbs - Portsmouth - £300k - Never played under me, didn't seem good enough. 

Steven Fletcher, Jordan Rhodes, Sam Hutchinson, Kieran Lee and Sam Winnall were all released, saving us over £100k p/w on the wage bill. 

Ins:

Marcos Andre - Valladolid - £1.1m - The Brazilain forward comes in to club as the main purchase of the summer. With Forestieri the last striker standing from the previous season and with our lack of goals, bringing in attacking players was the main priority. Possessing some good all round stats, his 16 determination stood out for me and I'm hoping he can replicate his form from last season, where he bagged 14 goals on loan at Mirandes.

Andre Claro - Leixoes - £700K - The 29 year old was admittedlty a bit of a last minute panic bu as cover for the left side of midfield. He does possesses some good all round mental and physical stats.

Rodrigo Martins - Sp. Covilha - £300k - The younger wide Portuguese star has been brought in to replace Jacob Murphy who produced some good performances on loan last year. 18 determination, 15 work rate and some good physical stats, i'm hoping this kid could be a steal.

Diego Coelho - Nacional De Madeira - £275k - Brought in as a back up CB, hopefully to help his fellow Portuguese players settle. Again some good all round mental and physical stats.

Ryan Edmondson - Leeds - £140k - Really happy with this one. A big, strong, determined local lad who I nabbed off local rivals Leeds. Will probably be 4th choice starting off but gives a target man option.

Rhian Brewster - Liverpool - Loan - I know i've mentioned about not signing the 'usual players' but this is actually this first time I've brought Brewster in (I think). Hoping he can help add the goals we so desperately lacked last season.

Sam McCallum - Norwich- Loan - The youngster has been brought in to start at LB. Morgan Fox is decent, but isn't good enough to start week in week out for me.

And that's that! With player sales and new sponsorship deals etc we now have a positive balance of £20m. The club are happy that i've achieved the target of 'Turn finances around' which was set for 2 years time. We still have nearly £100m in debts to pay off, but it's a start. We are now down from 5th to 14th in the wage budget list too.

My aims for this season are to try and finish 17th or above without really being involved with those at the bottom. I want us to continue to develop our Simeone-esque 4-4-2 style, keeping up a solid defence and hopefully this season adding some goals. Saints, Watford and West Ham were the surprise relegated teams from the Premier League, with big clubs Ipswich and Sunderland coming up from League 1 (along with Accrington), so it's going to be very tough.

Wish me luck and UP THE OWLS!

 

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44 minutes ago, Jean0987654321 said:

Do you have a parent club? You can probably take a few guys from there on a free loan...

Unfortunately not and with the owner constantly seeming to be in the middle of a boardroom takeover, it's impossible to request anything from him!

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Darlington: Season 1, halfway

The Quakers are deemed to have a pretty strong squad in this FM, with the bookies/media predicting a finish in 5th place, while the board expectation is that we achieve a playoff position. At first glance, this seemed optimistic in the extreme. The first-team squad had just 17 players, and of those  no fewer than four had long-term (3-4 months) injuries, and another two who will miss pretty much the entire season. Problem areas include just one RB, one LB, three CBs, and one natural striker, although there are another two AMs who can play a striker role. Adding to the challenge is the lack of funds, with just £5,000 to be allocated between transfers and wages. Veteran LLM managers will recognise that it all went into wages, giving me enough room for a couple of extra players. To fill the remaining holes, I had no alternative but to promote a number of bodies from the u23 squad (none of whom were older than 18).

To be fair, there are some good prospects in the reserves and u18s, but they're some way short of first-team quality. However, between them, a couple of loan signings, and a couple of free signings, I managed to put together a squad of (very) mixed ability.

The next challenge was to decide on a tactical approach. I like a 442 for non-league football, but with a lack of strikers in the early part of the season that didn't seem to be an option. Next choice, the 433dm - but I had only 2 competent DMs and both were on the injury list for months. So we began the season in a  4411, while I tried to bring in the necessary players.

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We started pretty well, going unbeaten for 8 games, and only losing one match in the first two months of the season. But October arrived and we couldn't buy a win... we weren't conceding many, but we couldn't score either. In desperation I turned to an ex-Darlington prospect in Harvey Saunders, now under contract at Fleetwood. I've managed him in several Darlington saves over the years and he never lived up to his potential but Fleetwood were willing to loan him out, and for no wage contribution. I'm not convinced it was the right move, but it did allow me to make the switch to a 442. Better business was done with the loan of George Waring, a handy target man who was transfer listed at Chester. He's costing us an extravagant £500 a week in loan wages, but he has scored a couple in various cup appearances. The tactical switch paid dividends in December with a much better run of form.

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The week before Christmas we sit in 3rd place, neck and neck with local rivals Spennymoor and 6pts behind the leaders. If we can carry our recent good form into the new year I'm optimistic we can at least challenge for promotion. Some rationalising of the u23 squad, and the termination of a couple of loans in place before I arrived mean I've freed up another £500 a week in wage budget so we might be able to bring in an upgrade or two. I might see if the board are open to a change of senior affiliate, too - Sunderland are worth nothing to us right now.

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A nice Christmas present:

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Hard-fought win in a top-of-the-table six-pointer :cool:

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1 hour ago, warlock said:

A nice Christmas present:

Hard-fought win in a top-of-the-table six-pointer :cool:

If you can get 6 points for every win then you should be right in the shake-up by the end of the season :thup:

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2 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

If you can get 6 points for every win

When I rule the world, Darlington will get 6 points for every win :lol:

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Nice updates guys 

@warlock seems to be going well. Is it 3 teams that get automatic promotion?

@smplfc123 some good transfers there and you seem to be building something of a Portuguese contingent. I am guessing you must have done some serious scouting there! I definitely am on board with bringing in players who aren't the usual faces and trying something new tactically as well. 

Best of luck guys. 

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3 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

@smplfc123 some good transfers there and you seem to be building something of a Portuguese contingent. I am guessing you must have done some serious scouting there! I definitely am on board with bringing in players who aren't the usual faces and trying something new tactically as well. 

Best of luck guys. 

@smplfc123 I missed your transfer update but yes it looks like you have been busy searching out some obscure names. Hopefully Andre will prove worthwhile, and Brewster should pretty much guarantee you goals. Great to have that debt down, the only way is up now!

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13 hours ago, Jean0987654321 said:

Do you have a parent club? You can probably take a few guys from there on a free loan...

This has helped me massively already - Chelsea have been phenomenal. Two quality players on loan each season, right now the norwegian Fiabema is doing a great job on the right wing.

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4 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

This has helped me massively already - Chelsea have been phenomenal. Two quality players on loan each season

Lucky you! As noted, Sunderland have been unhelpful for me. I asked the board for another affiliate - "No, we don't want to rely on loan players", they said :seagull:

8 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Is it 3 teams that get automatic promotion?

If only :lol:. Champions get the only automatic promotion; places 2 to 7 fight for one additional spot. It's a hard league to get out of.

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8 hours ago, warlock said:

Lucky you! As noted, Sunderland have been unhelpful for me. I asked the board for another affiliate - "No, we don't want to rely on loan players", they said :seagull:

If only :lol:. Champions get the only automatic promotion; places 2 to 7 fight for one additional spot. It's a hard league to get out of.

Should've used the "garner extra income" option then :D

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On 02/08/2020 at 04:40, karanhsingh said:

 some good transfers there and you seem to be building something of a Portuguese contingent. I am guessing you must have done some serious scouting there! I definitely am on board with bringing in players who aren't the usual faces and trying something new tactically as well.

Yeah Coelho and Martins were 2 I had sounded out, so as I was desperate for LM cover, I thought another cheap Portuguese player might help them all settle. It took hours of scouting.

On 02/08/2020 at 08:07, Jogo Bonito said:

@smplfc123 I missed your transfer update but yes it looks like you have been busy searching out some obscure names. Hopefully Andre will prove worthwhile, and Brewster should pretty much guarantee you goals. Great to have that debt down, the only way is up now!

I do love finding obscure names haha! 

 

Hope my local team Spennymoor don't get in the way of your promotion bid @warlock;)

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, smplfc123 said:

Hope my local team Spennymoor don't get in the way of your promotion bid

Had no idea you were from that neck of the woods! I may have mentioned it here before, but the first 'proper' football match I ever saw was Spennymoor v Bishop Auckland circa 1964 - I'm guessing you missed that one :lol:. Quakers are still ahead* in the league, but I'm into March now and we've been struggling... still in the playoff places but I think my defenders have called it quits for the season.

Edit to clarify: Ahead of Spennymoor who are currently in the last of the playoff spots in 7th.

Edited by warlock

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Sorry, I should say 'Adopted local team' as I only settled here in the north east 4 or so years ago. Good to see them going well in real life too. But no, I wasn't around in any capacity for that game haha! :lol: I believe the great Bob Paisley started his playing career over in Bishop.

Hopefully you can get across the line with Darlo, fingers crossed for you :thup:

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Forest Green Rovers 2022-23 early season update

Here are the fixtures so far.

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And the early season league table - hopefully we can keep this up!

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The young Nigerian Solomon Obi bought for the princely sum of 250 quid has started off very well, have high hopes for the lad!

Finally we are all caught up - thanks for reading. Will be doing monthly or bi-monthly updates here on out.

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January 2023 update

It's a bumper update with 3 months and a whole load of fixtures.

The games have been coming thick & fast, with no break for the World Cup even, which was won by Italy as they triumphed over England in the final.

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It's been a fantastic run in all honesty, the only downside being we crashed out of the Leasing trophy but not too bothered about that.

THIS is definitely the highlight of the season so far.

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We are rewarded with a 5th round tie against Everton at home. That should definitely see a sell-out!

The league table looks like this - we should be odds on now to get promoted however would like to see us hold off Swansea and win the league as well.

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The Jan window also saw us bring in another 2 loanees from parent club Chelsea, honestly this affiliation has been a game-changer and a huge reason for our promotion push. And the best part is getting paid for it :D

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So close... we go down to a 121st minute winner by Everton after having two goals disallowed!

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@karanhsingh It's not normally a good thing to say the Forest is on fire, but in this case it's exceptionally good news. Start planning for the second tier :cool:

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2 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

It's been a fantastic run

Amazing promotion season. Even allowing for some Chelsea loans, you're getting the whole team performing at a very high level. With games in hand, you have to favourites for the title :applause:

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Darlington, season 1, second half

In the first half of the season we started well, endured a poor spell, and then recovered strongly around Christmas. Going into the new year I was hopeful of a smoother passage but fearful of another collapse. But January provided cause for optimism as the 442 tactic continued to deliver:

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However, with the benefit of hindsight I can see cracks beginning to appear. We should have put away a struggling Bradford, and having to score 4 to scrape a home win against Farsley shows we were far from convincing in that game too.  So February should have come as little suprise:

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In the two opening games of the month we scored 7 goals and conceded 6. And then the goals dried up :eek:. After the defeat to Gloucester I decided my nerves couldn't stand the strain of the 442, and decided to switch back to the 433dm to offer better protection to a porous defence.  In truth, the shift was also somewhat forced because we lost our key striker, Gary Martin, who was on loan from Icelandic outfit IBV. His loan ended ahead of the start of the Icelandic season and his club declined an extension. But the change had the desired effect:

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Our poor form in February cost us any chance of the title as eventual winners Kidderminster maintained a 6pt lead through the run-in. But it was enough to secure the runners-up spot, which in turn gave us a bye in the first playoff round, and home advantage in the semi-final, where we faced local rivals Gateshead in a game for the ages:

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The playoff final produced a complication I wasn't expecting. After the departure of Martin, we were down to two strikers: our own Adam Campbell, and another loanee, Chester's George Waring. So when we faced Chester in the last match of the season, we were down to just the one striker, but - luckily - Campbell survived the match without injury (and bagged himself a goal into the bargain):

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Job done, promotion secured!

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Campbell finished as our top scorer but was ably supported by Martin who bagged 16, and Waring who added 17. Wingers Justin Donawa and Jake Hackett scored another 14 and 11, respectively. Not suprisingly, those five topped our average rating chart. Equally unsurprising is the fact that the bottom of that rating chart featured almost all of our defenders, who were average-to-poor all season. An honourable exception is veteran CB Terry Galbraith who shares the assist record by virtue of his deadball prowess, and his corners and free kicks were invaluable. We led the league for goals scored, with 91, and also had the best possession stats, but we were 17th for goals conceded.

Looking ahead there's a massive rebuild required. As noted, two of our best strikers are no longer with us. Even though Waring's contract was expiring. he turned down the opportunity to make his stay permanent (we're not good enough, apparently). Donawa wanted way more wages than we could afford and was snapped up on a free. In better news, Sunderland agreed to renew Hackett's loan (although we're paying his full wage). Elsewhere, I need a first-choice LB, at least one good CB, backups on both wings, and at least one good striker. An upgrade at GK would be cake.

In other news, we're far from rich but financially sound, and a ground expansion is underway that will take Blackwell Meadows up to nearly 4,000 capacity. Onwards and upwards :thup:

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9 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

@karanhsingh It's not normally a good thing to say the Forest is on fire, but in this case it's exceptionally good news. Start planning for the second tier :cool:

 

8 hours ago, warlock said:

Amazing promotion season. Even allowing for some Chelsea loans, you're getting the whole team performing at a very high level. With games in hand, you have to favourites for the title :applause:

Thanks guys! 

@warlock congratulations on the well deserved promotion. Would have been quite unfair if Chester had got it having finished so far behind. 

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owls.thumb.jpg.237d631f4787c637de2be252d447b923.jpg

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I decided to take the plunge and move to Sheffield Wednesday. Forest Green will definitely be getting promoted this season, so I leave them as a Championship side with a good young squad and highly profitable affiliation with Chelsea. Wednesday of course are a massive club with a proud history - they have a great stadium in Hillsborough which has a capacity of almost 40k and are averaging 27k per game which puts them 4th in the Championship. More on the Owls and their current status in-game in the next post.

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So, this is actually a very interesting challenge. The previous manager Marco Silva was sacked despite the club doing decently well in the top half and 7 points shy of the play-offs. During the interview I realized why.

The owner is very ambitious and has a LOT of money stuck in the club (reflective of IRL). So his plan is to basically go for broke. He wants promotion, and then he wants to sell the club.

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That is the club vision, or rather his vision. As you can see the club is running a huge debt most of which is payable on promotion to the top flight.

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The finances are a huge challenge and going to be very interesting to manage during my time here. We are projecting HUGE losses and already have a very high wage bill of 450k per week. Bringing that down while at the same time maintaining a promotion push - well let's see how we get on!

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Here is the table one game after my appointment (3-0 home win against Birmingham).

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There is a VERY slim chance of making the play-offs this season but it is doubtful. And finally, our squad below.

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A pretty ageing and unbalanced squad, with quite a few loan players scattered across. A lot of work will be required over the summer. However the first matter is to finish the season on a high.

PS @smplfc123 apologies for taking on the same club as you but I figured with my save already being 4 seasons in it's a very different looking Wednesday and indeed Championship now, as you can see.

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1 hour ago, karanhsingh said:

PS @smplfc123 apologies for taking on the same club as you but I figured with my save already being 4 seasons in it's a very different looking Wednesday and indeed Championship now, as you can see.

Don't be silly i'm thrilled to see someone else take on the challenge at Hillsborough (As long as you don't make me look too bad). Good to see you still have Iorfa, he's excellent for me. Well done on a great season with FGR that led to you getting the Owls job.

And well done @warlock on the promotion. I remember Adam Campbell being an absolute gem on FM quite a few years ago when he was at Newcastle as a kid. I just hope the expansion of Blackwell Meadows is more legitimate than the one at your previous stadium.... ;)

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Sheffield Wednesday - March & April update

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It's been a great start to life at Hillsborough, here are the results since I joined in mid-March. Been a perfect run but for the home defeat to Watford.

In a thrilling end to the season, we just about managed to sneak into the play-offs at the expense of West Brom.

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We will be taking on Derby County in the semi-finals. Potentially a steel city derby at Wembley awaits but one step at a time!

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Congratulations @karanhsingh (I told you not to make me look bad! :lol:)

Hopefully a win against Derby over 2 legs will set up a steel city final, with the ultimate bragging rights firmly on the line then. 

Any players(s) standing out for you in particular?

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1 hour ago, smplfc123 said:

Congratulations @karanhsingh (I told you not to make me look bad! :lol:)

Hopefully a win against Derby over 2 legs will set up a steel city final, with the ultimate bragging rights firmly on the line then. 

Any players(s) standing out for you in particular?

No such thing! You are doing a fine job as well. 

So far the best player is probably our RW who is a newgen Florian Abrokat on loan from Man City (screenshot below), luckily I already managed to extend his loan for next season.

Matt Penney has been fantastic, he was a back-up earlier but I installed him at LB and put him on set pieces, he has 8 assists and 2 goals since I joined. Iorfa is solid and dependable on the other side. Mengi seems to be a good young defender (as a United supporter have also heard good things about him IRL). 

Reach is playing well in a BBM role while Connor Ronan is doing a decent job as our AP. All in all it is a pretty solid team with no glaring weaknesses except maybe up top.

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Posted (edited)

WINTER UPDATE - FEBRUARY 2021

So after saving The Owls from relegation last season whilst being horrendously in debt, here's how we've got on so far in my first full season in charge:

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The aim this season was to consolidate our recovery by finishing mid table whilst integrating a fair few new members to the squad. We've had some great results, some average results and 1 or 2 bad ones, but in general, we've done well. Only twice have we conceded more than 2 goals so far in the league, which in The Championship is pretty good going. Our 4-4-2 hard-working system is going well again defensively, with us sitting in 7th for fewest goals conceded. Our attack has improved, we've scored 30 goals in as many games, comparing that to the 35 netted for the whole of last season.

Here's how the table looks:

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As you can see, we can't really get more solid than that. 11 wins and 10 draws from 30 games has sitting in the top half, just 3 points shy of our season total from last season. Barring a monumental collapse in the 2nd half of the season, we're on target to improve our finish. 

Player wise we've struggled to get a tune from our attackers. I can't seem to find the right balance at the moment between the players upfront. Brewster, surprisingly, has just 4 in 22 starts. Andre has 5 in 24 and Edmondson has 8 in 21. After deciding he wasn't happy on his renewed £8k a week, Forestieri engineered a move away to Red Star Belgrade for £4.8m (Rising to £5.75m), a good deal if you ask me for someone who was injury prone and erratic. The fans were devastated. In a last minute attempt to get goals off the bench, I went for a Fergie special 4th choice experienced striker, one hopefully capable of nabbing a goal in the final 10 minutes. With Rangers paying him £10k a week and us the same, Jermaine Defoe signed a 5 month contract at Hillsborough. 

Morgan Fox was lured in to handing in a transfer request by the onlooking Blackburn boss, so he left for £1.5m and was replaced by Koln LB Jannes Horn for £1.4m. An upgrade in my opinion and his 6.96 average rating in his first 4 games is proving that so far.

Never without drama, after losing his place to Coelho, Broner decided he wanted to move to the interested Derby. I agreed should they put an acceptable bid in for him. Expecting this to happen once I had offered him out, I agreed a loan deal with Brentford to bring in Transfer-Listed Ethan Pinnock. Of course, Broner then doesn't agree a deal with Derby and I'm left having to farm him out on loan to the MLS.

So going in to the final 16 games, the aim is to finish in the top half. I've pleased the board on numerous objectives, but my Simeone-style 4-4-2 is clashing with their quest for attacking football and I'm wondering if that's the reason I'm yet to receive a contract offer with mine having less than 6 months to run now. Either way i'm still loving it here and hopefully we can finish the season strong.

Wish me luck and UP THE OWLS!

Edited by smplfc123

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Life looking good at Hillsborough. Good luck to you both :thup:

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Good going @smplfc123. Surprised by the return from Brewster but sometimes the young players take some time to get going. I remember on a previous save having Idah from Norwich and he was rubbish for a few months then went on a run where he couldn't stop scoring. 

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The 2023 Championship Play-off Final - Sheffield Wednesday vs Sheffield United

This is how the two teams lined up.

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Both playing a similar and familiar 4-2-3-1 formation. Both of our wingers Sims & Abrokat were actually carrying injuries but there was no way I was dropping either of them.

We got off to a perfect start with our top scorer Abrokat scored after just 4 minutes, nodding in a rebound from a van Aken header which came off a well floated free kick by Penney.

I had decided to watch this game in "comprehensive" which I never do due to lack of time, and it was actually an amazing experience. I think I will do this for important games from now on. It makes you appreciate the game a lot more and also see what is working and what is not working live.

Sheff Utd actually responded very well and I noticed they kept finding their attacking RB in space down the flank. We got lucky with a couple of his crosses. I asked my LW Sims to man-mark him, and I also switched to a 4-3-3 formation dropping Luongo back into the DM role and asking him to mark Eze (their best player) out of the game.

This seemed to be working but they were still getting too much joy down the right. However we managed to get to half time with the score intact at 1-0.

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Sims was having a poor game so at HT I subbed him off for Masauku who is quick & strong and slotted in at LB. Penney was pushed further forward to AML - we needed to keep him on the pitch for set pieces. That seemed to be our main threat so I also asked the team to win set pieces at every opportunity.

I also further slowed down the tempo and asked the team to hold the ball. Abrokat was exhausted so off he went, Reach was put on the right flank and Hiljemark came in to hold the ball more in midfield. We were happy to look for chances on the break but the main plan was to frustrate them and keep the ball as much as possible. Both full-backs were also put on defend duty.

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We rode our luck at times it has to be said, but we managed to hold on!! For a famous win in the most important Steel City derby of all time!

van Aken was a rock at the back and deservedly MOTM, the irony is before he made a come-back into the team he had already agreed a free transfer to Heracles in his native Holland. Anyhoo.

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There you have it. Somehow I have (effectively) managed two promotions in one season - that's definitely a first 

:hammer:

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