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2020/2021 Preston North End Midseason Update:

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We are doing ok....but we have had an up and down ride. Played well against good teams and inexplicable losses against Relegation-Fodder...Playing us and winning couldn't save Tony Pulis at Cardiff!

Edited by Hootieleece
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23 minutes ago, smplfc123 said:

Looking forward to see who you bring in to shape that midfield in a 4-3-3

Cheers, mate! I'm just about through the transfer window so barring any last-minute offers I can't refuse, our business is about done. One of my signings is a player I'm sure you're very familiar with :)

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@warlock Well done on survival, April came out of nowhere and just in time! Best of luck for what lies ahead.

@Hootieleece Very good progress, nice to see you doing it with the original players as you're good at getting the best out of what you have. I can see these images much clearer now too :thup:

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@warlock It’s games like that United one which are why we love this game! 

Some tough periods in that season (that I can certainly relate to at Bolton!) but a great achievement to stay in the Premier League for another year.

Good luck with your summer recruitment and your tactical shift.

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2 hours ago, Dong21 said:

It’s games like that United one which are why we love this game!

Yes, it's good to be reminded of just how great FM can be. Despite some - minor - shortcomings in the ME, I've enjoyed FM20 enormously.

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STOKE CITY - 2020 UPDATE

So as we're about 1/4 of the way through my first full season in charge of Stoke City and with us entering an international break, I thought it would be a good time to do an early season update. Here's our opening results:

 image.thumb.png.4b0c231b8440b6a9b3643358d9705f7c.png

As you can see we've had some great results, with us sitting on 7 wins and 4 draws from our first 11 games. Our defence has been great again so far, with only 3rd placed Brentford conceding less than us.

Nick Powell, Martins-Indi, Tymon and Van Den Boomen top the average rating list, with 11 others all averaging over 7.00! I really couldn't have asked for a better start. I really feel keeping the core of the squad together and adding 2 bits of quality has paid off so far. It's great to see Powell working for me, someone I held no hope for when I took over, but retraining him as an AP at AML has been a stroke of genius (if I may say so) with Tymon overlapping him beautifully. 

Here's how the table looks:

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Really couldn't be happier with the start. The aim was top half and whilst it'll always be wat I'm judged on, I must admit with the settled team and run of form, I'm hoping we can carry on through the winter months and give ourselves a real chance at a play-off spot.

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23 minutes ago, smplfc123 said:

Really couldn't be happier with the start

Rightly so! The impending game against The Blades will be a good test, but if you can keep that kind of form going you'll be well-placed :thup:

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Preston North End 2020/2021:

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It has been quite an adventure this season. Strong start in September and then a disastrous run of form around Christmas had me planning on next season in the Championship. Sold our DLP-D and the Goalie whined that I was wrecking the team....

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As you can see not much to work with budget wise. I am going to have to save most of that Transfer money so that the Team can be on solid financial footing.

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As you can see we broke my rule of thumb of 2 points per game gets you promoted or win the League! 92 would have done it, but we came in with 94. There was No chance of catching the Wolves....

PAUBQ8.jpg

We played magnificently after the Transfer Window even though our new signings only played bit roles in the run. The loss to Huddersfield was a bad day at the office for the backups getting game time. The only other loss was to Chelsea on the Quarterfinals of the FA Cup. We played them tough until our new Centerback got sent off for a second yellow in the 61 minute while giving away a penalty. Then they started scoring at will almost!

We finished the season with a 9 game winning streak that Leeds matched until we played them in the penultimate match of the season.

I have no illusions about the step up in quality in the Premier League our play against Chelsea gave us a glimpse of what is ahead.

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Nottingham Forest, September 2022

Before we get into the new season, there were a couple of changes in personnel back in the January window that I forgot to mention. I noted that we were definitely shaky in defence, with the FB roles a particular problem. Unfortunately, there wasn't much available to sign to remedy the situation. Our biggest issue was at LB where Andreas Poulsen had been particularly error-prone so he was sent on loan to FC Nantes. In central midfield Josh Cullen had struggled all season so when Chinese outfit Jiangsu offered £16.5m it was easy to say yes. Simillarly, at AML Joao Carvalho wasn't living up to his potential so I offered him out and TSG Hoffenheim hoffered £18.5m for his services so he departed.

As for in-coming signings, Watford's Ben Wilmot who had been signed on loan for the season never looked comfortable so he was returned to his club and Arsenal's transfer-listed Rob Holding was a like-for-like replacement (and a major upgrade) for £11.75m. To replace Poulsen I had the notion that because I didn't need anyone to provide attacking width, I might re-purpose a left-sided CB for the job. Bournemouth's Jack Simpson looked a likely candidate for retraining from BPD so he was signed for £4.9m. For the remainder of the season Holding was great, Simpson less so.

To the summer window then. The main requirements were to reshape the squad for a 433dm formation, with several CMs required. First in was Manchester United's James Garner, and after three seasons on loan he was finally signed on a permanent deal for £16.75m. Next in was another young English prospect, Leeds United's Jamie Shackleton - £12.5m was enough to secure his signature. With an eye on Garner as first-choice DM I needed rotation/cover and identified Derby County's Krystian Bielik and Vitesse Arnhem's Riechedly Bazoer as likely candidates. Bielik was definitely stronger at DM, but Bazoer gave us some additional flexibility further forward. In the end I signed both, the former for £10m, the latter for £8.75m.

The final change was at striker. The new formation definitely did not need four players competing for the single position and Eric Botheim, who had the annoying habit of starting the season strongly before fading into anonymity, was identified as the weakest link. He eventually made the move to Celtic for £12.5m - less than his value but a decent profit on the £3.3m we paid for him.

With everything in place, it was time to get the season underway...

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And the new tactic paid immediate dividends. The win against Arsenal was particularly pleasing with young Brennan Johnson securing the victory with a late, late winner. The defeat against Villa was annoying, but they have spent a lot of money in recent seasons and, now managed by one Steven Gerrard, have become a better proposition than previously. But we had a similar start to last season, so no chickens are being counted just yet.

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9 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

Preston North End 2020/2021:

Hhm3Zd.jpg

It has been quite an adventure this season. Strong start in September and then a disastrous run of form around Christmas had me planning on next season in the Championship. Sold our DLP-D and the Goalie whined that I was wrecking the team....

dclcvj.jpg

As you can see not much to work with budget wise. I am going to have to save most of that Transfer money so that the Team can be on solid financial footing.

ZvrUv5.jpg

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As you can see we broke my rule of thumb of 2 points per game gets you promoted or win the League! 92 would have done it, but we came in with 94. There was No chance of catching the Wolves....

PAUBQ8.jpg

We played magnificently after the Transfer Window even though our new signings only played bit roles in the run. The loss to Huddersfield was a bad day at the office for the backups getting game time. The only other loss was to Chelsea on the Quarterfinals of the FA Cup. We played them tough until our new Centerback got sent off for a second yellow in the 61 minute while giving away a penalty. Then they started scoring at will almost!

We finished the season with a 9 game winning streak that Leeds matched until we played them in the penultimate match of the season.

I have no illusions about the step up in quality in the Premier League our play against Chelsea gave us a glimpse of what is ahead.

Congrats getting promoted mate. I hope your first season in the Prem goes well.

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Congratulations on promotion @Hootieleece and good luck in the PL.

Great update as well @warlock. Some good signings there. Bielik was always a man-mountain in CDM for me, so hopefully he proves to be a good acquisition. Garner is someone I've never tried, but I know is a personal favourite of yours and Shackleton adds to the quality youth you have in that midfield. Best of luck for the rest of the season.

 

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Preston North End 2021 Summer Transfers:

I told the team I wouldn't make too many additions and we would fight to stay in the Premier League. I let some more "deadwood" go. Most of the signings are for when we are back in the Championship because I can't see us staying up.

I thought about changing to a 3-5-2 WB formation, but couldn't sell any of my "old" Wingers including Leading scorer Sinclair.

I signed another CB...because I can't seem to have enough! Creating congestion in that I have 5 CB's for two places.

I will keep the 4-2-3-1 Wide Formation because of my Wingers....

Biggest Signing Asimir Begovic as our new GK! Because I didn't think Declan Rudd eventhough he had 21 shutouts would be good enough to start in the Premier League.

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Not a bad pickup for a newly promoted team and his contract means he will be on the team next season as well.

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an absolute steal that should create competition up front and will also be with us when we inevitably get relegated.

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the fourth best of 5 CB's fighting for Playing time. Could become a sale, but will only let go for a good price.

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The best player of the bunch if he lives up to potential. I see him becoming our DLP-D in the future as well as our Set-Piece Specialist....for only 93K!

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The Team as rated by the ASSMAN! 

Jordan Storey is the Best Player at the Club and is a Star. We probably won't be able to keep him but we will be able to profit from his sale....He was already at the Club at start of 2019!

 

As for plans, We will play hard and probably get relegated and we are planning on it.

Goals: Stay in Premier League and Beat Burnley (it would be a local derby)

 

Any players readers would like screenshots for just ask.

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Preston North End Update 2021/2022:

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As you can see not a bad start to the season. I tweaked the tactics again after the ties and loss to Man U. I actually lowered the tempo. My slow team is actually playing better at this new tempo and it works well with Tiki-Taka.

I wasn't expecting to win against Liverpool....and this was the team they sent out.

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and this was the result!

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Leicester had quite at team also....

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but we won....and it was a nail biter....We scored early and had to hang on late.

This is the Premier League Table so far...

Y9H7wB.jpg

The Next Update will be midseason:

 

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8 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

Preston North End Update 2021/2022:

fbJevS.jpg

As you can see not a bad start to the season. I tweaked the tactics again after the ties and loss to Man U. I actually lowered the tempo. My slow team is actually playing better at this new tempo and it works well with Tiki-Taka.

I wasn't expecting to win against Liverpool....and this was the team they sent out.

kA3Ur3.jpg

and this was the result!

WjGylD.jpg

Leicester had quite at team also....

msGGcy.jpg

but we won....and it was a nail biter....We scored early and had to hang on late.

This is the Premier League Table so far...

Y9H7wB.jpg

The Next Update will be midseason:

 

Good start mate. Good luck for the rest of the season.

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MK Dons Season 8 Youth Intake

A decent youth intake. Not as good as the last 2 seasons but decent enough. I even get a Brazilian newgen called Eduardo.

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Eduardo - 16 year old Brazilian Ball Winning Midfielder

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Callum Jenkinson - 17 year old English Deep Lying Forward

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Mick Thompson - 16 year old English Sweeper Keeper

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Enoch Kyere - 17 year old English/Ghanian Poacher

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I am currently 4th in the league with 6 games to go. I am neck and neck on points with 2nd place Watford and 3rd place Sheff Weds. Its going to be an interesting end of season.

image.thumb.png.bc611e50d40f627aaffbf14bfc8e9a31.png

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Well with 1 game to go this is where the league stands with me 3rd but neck and neck on points with Watford. I have Millwall last game of the season and Watford have Notts Forest.

Millwall are 23rd and relegated where as Notts Forest are 10th so I assume I should beat Millwall at least and Notts Forest should make it hard for Watford. 

Lets see how the season ends lol.

image.thumb.png.43f5e64fbb09a292106d7b22ed450560.png

 

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Well the dream is over with a 2-1 loss to Stoke in the 2nd leg 

image.thumb.png.60ab5d89a4f6a5243a8247291283862a.png

Where does that leave me then?

Well the answer is I am going to leave the MK Dons save as I am burnt out and I am just going to carry on with my Leeds save for now until FM2021 comes out.

Will speak to you in a few weeks guys.

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Great start to Premier League life there for you @Hootieleece!

And hard lines on the play-offs defeat @Ronaldo Beckhama valiant effort nonetheless.

Stoke City - January 2021 Update

So after a good start, the aim was to get through to January still sitting in the play-off spots if I was going to be near them come the end of the season. 

Here's how the table looks:

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I'm extremely happy to be where we are going in to 2021. We didn't lose until our 19th game where we lost 1-0 away to Crystal Palace. Unfortunately since that game, our form has been great, with 4 wins and 3 losses from the following 7 games. The drop in form also coincided with long term injuries to Joe Allen and Bado Ndiaye who had both been excellent in CM. Not only would I say both are above Championship level, but the drop to Clucas, Cousins and Oakley-Boothe is a big one and our lack of control in centre midfield as shown as much.

I don't envisage anyone leaving in January unless a ridiculous bid comes in. Shawcross will return from his loan spell in Korea and is already in negotiations for a pre-contract deal back out in Asia.

Allen will be up to speed soon, but Nidaye is out for at least another 6 weeks, so I may look at strengthening CM should the right player become available. McClean and Ince haven't had the same impact this season as I was hoping for, with our goals for tally showing that we're the lowest scorers in the top 8. I may see if I can bring a bit more quality in out wide to help Verlinden 8 goals and 4 assists in 16 starts, leading the young Belgian to draw interest from Aston Villa.

The aim is to be plucky and stay in and around the play-offs until the end of the season. I see Watford and Palace eventually running away with having held on to most of their Premier League players, but If I can hold on to a top 6 spot then who knows what might happen. 

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Preston North End Midseason Report 2021/2022:

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As you can see we are overachieving but I think it is truly an ME oversight. I am playing as a TIKI-TAKA Team and basically playing Keep away with the ball. This is something I figured out by accident during my Clermont save this summer. 

That being said Begovic has been huge upgrade in the Goalkeeper position. He hasn't kept many clean sheets, but has made many game winning saves that his backup Declan Rudd would have let in even though he kept 18 clean sheets in the Championship least season.

A lot of players will be headed out of the team IF we stay in the Premier League. We are in good shape but need to keep winning against the lower half of the League and play creditable against the BIG SIX!

We did beat Chelsea at home!

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As you can see it has been a team effort but we have been lucky to not go on a real losing streak.

Edited by Hootieleece
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13 hours ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

I am burnt out and I am just going to carry on with my Leeds save for now until FM2021 comes out

Sympathies - I'm in much the same frame of mind - but a brave effort :thup:

1 hour ago, smplfc123 said:

I'm extremely happy to be where we are going in to 2021

Yes, going well there. The drop-off in ability between your first choice players and their backups is something I've had thumped into me again and again in the Forest save.

57 minutes ago, Hootieleece said:

As you can see we are overachieving

Another manager doing well :thup:. Top 10 in January is always a good achievement. 

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Stoke City - 2021 Update

So we went in to January sitting in a play-off spot, giving us the confidence to think that we could still be up there come the end of the season Here's how the following 2 months panned out:

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An almost flawless January was destroyed by a horrendous February.

We really lacked quality up top and out wide for quite a few games, but we finished the month strongly, with draws against 1st and 3rd place. In fact, we battered Palace and I could only see us going on and getting a late winner, until Van Den Boomen got himself sent off.

No signings were made in the end in Jan, which I'm hoping doesn't come back to haunt us as we are starting to look stale in attack on times. This is how the table looks going in to the final 10 games:

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March really will make or break our play-off dreams. We have two winnable home games against 20th and 21st placed Ipswich and Rotherham, with away games in between and either side against our closest Play-Off rivals, Preston and Leeds. A good month here and we should be nailed on for a top 6 spot.

Our January form saw interviews with Premier League sides Newcastle and West Brom come my way, but both decided I wasn't the right man for the job, not that I would have definitely left anyway. 

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7 minutes ago, Nottingham Forest said:

Waiting for FM21 to come out. Seriously want to get a Forest save going. Think I’ve got the tactic. Just hope things actually work.

When FM2021 comes out it will be a bit dodgy as usual when the game first comes out. I would just say you might get the type of save you want until they work the kinks out.

Also are you the guy who used recommend Notts Forest to anyone who asked for a team to manage in the team to manage thread that is on here lol.

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8 minutes ago, Nottingham Forest said:

More that I’m never successful with a Forest. Hoping I can be successful this time.

There is no Notts Forest. I used to recommend Nottingham Forest.

Same thing though isn't it. I follow Man Utd but I wouldn't go out of my way to correct someone and say I follow Manchester United but each to their own.

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53 minutes ago, Nottingham Forest said:

No, it really isn’t. Nottingham Forest has never been shortened to Notts Forest. It’s always Nottm Forest.

So unfortunately you’re wrong.

Manchester United has always been shortened to Man United.

Lol is all I got to say. Good night to you.

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I was going to take a break from FM until the new demo comes out.

Then I downloaded a data update to get an idea of new squads (until a week or two ago) and to help me decide which teams to shortlist for FM21. 

Having done that, I might be ready for one more EFL mini adventure to pass away the last few weeks. I can't actually remember the last EFL club I managed, but I think it was West Bromwich and that was absolutely months ago (before Lorient & APOEL).

So, it will need to be a club I never managed before, and won't manage in FM21. Which leads me to...

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4 hours ago, smplfc123 said:

An almost flawless January was destroyed by a horrendous February

Oh I know. I've had those Februaries :lol:. But watch out for those games against Ipswich and Rotherham - teams fighting for survival are often the toughest opponents. 12 games remaining should give you a decent shot at a playoff place though. Good luck!

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1 minute ago, Jogo Bonito said:

So, it will need to be a club I never managed before, and won't manage in FM21. Which leads me to...

Yes, yes... go on!

I haven't quite quit my Forest save but I had to take a break this weekend - it was doing my head in. Every season in the PL has been the same: a great start, then we get stuffed by a couple of the big boys, morale takes a hit and the downward spiral begins. Not helped by the fact that it's a constant struggle to attract the kind of players that would really make a difference. Either they simply don't want to join, or they want the kind of wages that the board won't sanction. Even in our third year in the premiership my squad is still largely made up of 'decent' or 'good' Championship players.

And, yes, you've often told me so :p

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5 minutes ago, warlock said:

Yes, yes... go on!

I haven't quite quit my Forest save but I had to take a break this weekend - it was doing my head in. Every season in the PL has been the same: a great start, then we get stuffed by a couple of the big boys, morale takes a hit and the downward spiral begins. Not helped by the fact that it's a constant struggle to attract the kind of players that would really make a difference. Either they simply don't want to join, or they want the kind of wages that the board won't sanction. Even in our third year in the premiership my squad is still largely made up of 'decent' or 'good' Championship players.

And, yes, you've often told me so :p

Well, they say it's tough at the top.. It's even tougher being near the bottom of the top :rolleyes:

Each to their own really, there's no right or wrong way to get fun from the game. Some of you guys have had good careers taking teams in to the top flight, with the durability to stay up, then build on it - I just don't really enjoy that myself. It's not all about the winning or losing though as I have started many League 1 and League 2 careers where I wanted to take two or three years to earn promotion and it happened in season 1.

As for my new side, I'll sleep on it and then if it still appeals after a day at work, I'll reveal the club. Feel free to guess in the meantime (League 2).

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image.thumb.png.22824e44255126e70d3c1c4989d8e318.png

As predicted, the 2 home wins were a big boost for us against struggling Ipswich and Rotherham as we failed to really hurt our play-off rivals away from home. If you had offered me a 0-0 at Deepdale at the start of the month I would have taken it, but after our 4-1 defeat at Elland Road, I would have been in a much more comfortable position had we taken all 3 points at Preston. The game at Elland Road wasn't as bad as it looks. They scored to make it 2-1 late on and then added their 3rd and 4th in injury time after I went all out for an equaliser. All this means this is how the table looks with 6 games to go:

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Considering where we were when I took over last season, I can't complain about being 4 points clear in a play-off position going in to the final 6 games. We've been without Allen, Ndiaye and Butland for parts of the season too which I do believe caused our poor run of form, but they're all back now and hopefully will help see us over the line in the final 6 games.

The club have offered me a new contract, but I've decided not to start any negotiations until the season is over and I can take stock of what's going on.

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11 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

@Jogo Bonito  Oldham Athletic

I’ve already decided Oldham will be my long-term project for FM21 (just counting down till the games out!). Arguably the most consistently poor performing team in the country over the last ten years, with no top half finishes.  Would be interested to see @Jogo Bonito give them a crack. 
 

@smplfc123 Good luck for the final run-in! 
 

Quick update on my Bolton save, had a heart-in-mouth moment last night as the save file (which I’ve been playing on and off for almost a year) would not load and was corrupted. Luckily one of the auto-save backups still worked so I only lost a few hours of game time...

Edited by Dong21
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STOKE CITY 2021 - END OF SEASON UPDATE

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A solid end to the season saw us pick up 3 wins and 2 draws from the final 6 games, which was enough for us to finish in 5th place. This meant that a play-off semi final against 4th placed Hull awaited us.

Two excellent defensive performances, accompanied by a Nick Powell penalty sent us through to Wembley, where we would meet recently relegated Crystal Palace....

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I really am lost for words. I've finally achieved success in FM20. I feared the worst when Milivojevic gave them an early lead, but we held firm and were by far the better team and we were duly rewarded with Verlinden's 14th league goal of the season.

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Verlinden and Van Den Boomen have taken most of the plaudits, but Sutalo has been outstanding at CB too.

I've been given initial budgets of £41m and £200k p/w available, but I am yet to sign a new contract with mine expiring at the end of June. I think I'm going to take a little while to see what jobs are available and then decide what I want to do next.

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51 minutes ago, smplfc123 said:

I've finally achieved success in FM20

Well done - took the scenic route but they all count :applause:

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Is it acceptable to intentionally bottle promotion?

I'm currently managing Preston, took over midway through the first season after starting unemployed. We're now into the second season and the league looks like the below image, surprisingly. Loanees Rhian Brewster and Morgan Gibbs-White aside, we're not ready for the top flight, at all.

image.png.e572ad4b39fe847fa8b67966e8e0d683.png

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18 minutes ago, Adamm90 said:

Is it acceptable to intentionally bottle promotion?

I don't think that's the first time the question has been asked :). As much as anything, it depends on you and whether you'll relish the challenge. First season in the PL is always a struggle and it can be... disheartening... to get thumped every week. But your squad might surprise you - you'll probably get £30-40m for transfers and a couple of key players can make a big difference. In the end, you only have to be better than 3 other teams and the money starts rolling in.

There are a few of us around who rarely or never take on the PL challenge, but there are others who have found themselves competing in Europe after a season or two after promotion. All that said, I'd never deliberately bottle it; that would just feel wrong :herman:

Edit to add: Even if you go up and straight back down, you'll be far better equipped to improve the team than if you just spend another year in the Championship.

Edited by warlock
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Great job @smplfc123 congrats on your promotion. Promoted sides are always up against it, but you can definitely keep them up if you stay.

@Adamm90Tough one, but I'd say you're better going up unless doing so would end your spell managing them. I've tried to throw lots of Leasing.com games before, it's harder than you think!

@HootieleeceVery good guess! @Dong21 You want me to show you how not to do it so you can look great in FM21 :lol:

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I have been passing trough a rough time choosing a save, bouncing between France and England, but I’m definitely choosing an Italy Side (already chosen) and a parallel save in England But between Bolton-Blackpool-Barnsley i can’t decide which one, so I would appreciate if u help me choosing a side (if u could explain why I should manage them would be awesome)

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Well, I didn't do it on purpose, I gave it my best shot, but we stayed down. Lost 1-0 against Watford, so QPR pipped us to 2nd place on the final day.

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We comfortably beat Forest over two legs (4-1) to get to the play-off final. The final didn't go as well - we took the lead and then threw it away in extra-time.

Every cloud has a sliver lining, an all that..

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