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warlock

FM20: The English Football League thread

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Been keeping an eye on this thread and some really good saves and updates. Look forward to seeing more of them.

I have started up with Forest Green as I do most years. First update below. Happy New Year to all!

 

Forest Green Rovers - Season 1 (1st Half of the season)

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Transfers - Pre-season

Out -

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Leaving the club on permanent deals were 3 of the higher earners that were not in my plans from the start. For James, we managed to also get a fee and he also went up a league, which made me question slightly if i was doing the right thing, but in the end I decided the money saved and gained was worth letting him go. McCoulsky and Dawson were just never going to play for me, so after trying to get a fee for both I just offered them out for free to enable me to bring in an extra player that I would actually use.

In -

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Whilst it looks like we were quite active, there were only really 3 major signing for the first team. The rest (Osbourne, Brown, Boote, McKenna & Ferguson) were the 5 out of around the 80 players my Head of Youth development tried to bring in that I thought might have a chance of making it with us and are all on low wages.

Joe Ledley was the first signing brought in to come straight into the first team. Bringing a wealth of experience in the Prem & Championship, I thought this would be extremely useful in what is a fairly young side. On top of that, ability wise he is still comfortably one of the best in the league so I was very happy to bring in for at least a year.

Luka Racic came in on loan. I've been playing with 3 at the back so was very keen to expand in the centre backs department. Quite pacy and and some decent stats with a £150 P/w wage contributions saw this as a no brainer.

Gabe Osho was the other centre back i signed. I paid money on him as I felt he could contribute straight away and hoepfully also develop quite nicely as well and should keep developing if we do manage to go up the leagues. Reading didn't want him and I hope he can make them regret that decision.

 

Fixtures

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We had a really strong start, conceding very few goals, only conceding one in the first six games. Form then went slightly patchy up until December, with a very mixed set of results. But from there we have been on a 9 games unbeaten run in the league which has really cemented us in a decent position in the table. We've actually been really good against our direct rivals, picking up wins against Crewe and Mansfield (twice) but have dropped some silly points against teams really struggling. But I suppose that is what makes the EFL so good.

The highlight for me though has been the FA Cup run. We made it into the third round were we made the trip to the Madejski. A huge 3-1 win against a near full strength side was brilliant. Jack Aitchison really making his name with a hat-trick. We were then given an away tie at Southampton. Unfortunately one step too far, but we gave them a good game. The run itself was really, really helpful in terms of finances.

 

January Transfers

Out

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One main outgoing. We let Dayle Grubb go. He wasn't featuring and with his contract up in the summer, I was never going to renew and was able to pick up a fee, so again, money saved on wages and a boost to the balance.

In

326936922_JanuaryTransfers.thumb.png.fdec9521799b36111bd0bd2e1f08f349.png

We were quite active in the January window.

Robbie Benson was the first signing. We made it in the summer on a pre-contract agreement. He was one of the best players in the league of Ireland, also playing in the Champions League, then Europa earlier on in the season. A very good ball playing midfielder that should give us a real boost in the second half of the season.

Marcus Olsson was another experienced player. We also lost Elliot Frear in January. His contract was up and he wanted double wages. Olsson fitted the bill erfectly as a an LWB in the 3/5 man defence.

Colin Odutayo was just a an extra body. No wages and we needed a fourth winger. He can play both sides, so will be a handy addition.

 

League Table

League.thumb.png.1531d48cbb2e8e18ad8c90afc2f82c1b.png

So we sit comfortably in the automatic spots with a decent chance of winning the league with the game in hand. Anything can happen though and a bad run of results might see us drop out. If we were to miss out on the play-offs from here though I might have to resign. Hopefully the extra January signings can keep us ticking over and get us over the line.

 

Squad

Squad.thumb.png.805efea226dc394ab0c3798c11406206.png

This is the squad for the remainder of the season. I actually terminated all of the original loan signings (Morton, Wollacott & Taylor) except Aitchison at the earliest opportunity on Jan 1st. Morton played a bit and did well, but with Ledley coming in there was no point paying his wages. Collins is the leagues top scorer, but hes very hit and miss. He's probably only actually scored in about 8 games. Lot's of hat-tricks and braces paired with lots of blanks. Aitchison come into his own when Williams got injured around Dec/Jan and has given me a bit of a slection headache, he's probably now first choice on the wing. Ledley is looking good and all of the defenders have been pretty solid. Managed to renew Shepherd, McGinley & Williams contracts which was vital for me.

All but Matt Mills. I cannot wait to see the back of him in the summer. He is on close to double my highest earner! He offers me very little in terms of playing or coaching, so I'm looking forward to getting those £3.3k p/w wages back in a few months.

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@TottenhamBoi90 Really good 1st season you've had there with Salford. GL in L1.

@Parmie Unlucky on the play off defeat to Forest fella. Could be worse, looking at that table you could have got 92 points and not gone up (makes it better being the Vile as well! :lol:) Not sure what Odubeko is doing on your save at West Ham but he's the reason why I dominated L1 and the Championship. By far the best goal scoring striker I've had this FM, my County save could go downhill without him this season.

 

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Notts County 2023/24

Life without Odubeko....

So here we are, 5 years on and the mighty Magpies are going into their first ever season in the Premiership. This is either going to be an incredible season for us, or a utter hiding to nothing, we'll have to wait and see...

Lots of business needing doing in the summer (I must have spent like 6 hours scouting players over New Year) and I'm hoping it's going to pay off.

The Transfers...

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With a transfer budget of 30m I set about trying to strength the core of the side here with mostly promising Newgens (thinking long term really). If we go down this season at least I'll make profit off them (I hope).

We did, however, manage to bring in some experience as well in the likes of Regan Booty (welcome home), Matteo Gabbia, Sergio Diaz, Sheyi Ojo and Mika Marmol. All in all I've think it's 22m well spent (we still have money left for Jan just In case).

Also, we have by far the smallest wage budget in the division again, no surprise there though really.

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Key players this season...

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Steve Grant has been with us since L1. The game time he's picked up in the last 2 season has made for some impressive development. Had to offer him a new contract in the summer as well to fend off the interest from bigger clubs.

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Could prove to be a very shrewd free signing this lad. As good as Tyler Blackman and Francisco both are they are very young still. So felt we needed some more experience in defence for this season.

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Our new record signing. A host of big clubs wanted Rosa this summer and so I felt we had to make him our number 1 transfer target. Only 17 and has plenty of room to grow. Also potential future club captain material.

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Gronli came in on a free in Jan and hit the ground running for us last season. Hopefully his set piece delivery will be as good this year as last.

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Marcelo Henry has big boots to fill this season as we prepare for life without Ademipo Odubeko. Again, City, Arsenal and Chelsea were after him so happy we managed to get him here. Struggled in pre season, hopefully he'll come good in time.

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That's our start to life in the top tier. Honestly not sure what to make of it, suppose you have to just accept it and move forward. Media have us as 2-1 fav's to go down this season, they said that last year as well though and we stormed the Championship! ;)

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20 hours ago, Parmie said:

@TottenhamBoi90 certainly satisfying to bring on a lower league club, well done. Sounds like you're going for a team of giants, get those set pieces trained and preferred reliance :)

 

20 hours ago, warlock said:

Well played, a job well done :applause:

Thanks for your support lads, Really enjoying this save, Season 2 update below:

Season 2020/21

9th in League 1

The fairytale almost continued, As you can see i only needed to draw John Terry's Rotherham on the last day for a place in the play-offs, Tottenham's Jack Clarke did his best to help me out but i fell at the last hurdle. It might not be a bad thing as i can continue to build the squad and the club. The first half of the season was pleasantly surprising but i noticed everytime i got near the play-off i started dropping points and falling away again so i got Joe Garner on a great no wage loan deal to try and take me to that next level and it worked as i spent most of the last months in the play-off spots until the last day unfortunately. As i said before it's still a very good season because i am way off Championship level. The board has announced stadium expansion costing 3m. With some massive clubs in League 1 i was expecting a much lower finish so im very happy. 

Transfers were quite slow moving. I signed up Hughes and Baldwin on permanent deals after their loan spells and renewed Kitolano and Tyreece John-Jules then i didn't really know where to buy and where to stay loyal. Players like Ravel Morrison were interested but i couldn't stretch the wage budget enough to accommodate them. Aaron Phillips a playmaker chose Burton in the Championship and i was trying my best to get hold of Freddie Woodman but couldn't get deals over the line. Aidan O'Niell was another player but i had work permit issues. Burgess went back to Scunthorpe and no transfer/loan deal seemed viable. Next update ill show my staff so far, The Head of Youth loves signing players lol.

Ryan Loft became the new target man but i couldn't get rid of Ranger so he sat in U23s. 

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson was a long drawn out deal but i really wanted him to replace Dan Jones. CBJ did break his ankle early season so Jones got a few games before he left for a small sum.

Peter Gwargis replaced Thomas-Asante whom i placed on the development list with Kian Yari but there were no takers so U23 football for them. 

Josh Bowler replaced Lloyd who left. Bowler was sensational in spells but my first choice options Buckley-Ricketts and Dearnley in particular was sensational with 10 goals and both now natural in their deeper wing roles. I do love a double barrel name. 

Demeaco Duhaney replaced Spence who again couldn't get rid of. He's a proper attacking option as i felt Spence and Threlkeld were too similar. 

Alfie Whiteman came in to be a 3rd keeper but only played 1 cup game. 

My targets for next season is promotion and i think i can achieve this with some smart additions. Hughes and Streete have ball playing capabilities but i think a more natural option is whats needed. Upfront replacing Rooney with another poacher if possible will be key. Keeping hold of the loans especially Garner as well will also be massive. 

 

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@TottenhamBoi90 Damn, only 4 points separated 3rd from 10th as well, really unlucky there bud. Hopefully You can push on next season and get at least a play off spot.

 

On another note, just made our Premier League debut...

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Mark Johnstone, who's also been with us since L1, gave poor old Guga a torrid time down the left flank when he came on. He eventually had enough after only 4 mins of being on the pitch and hooked him down when clean through on goal for a straight red. Kronborg on the other flank hit a screamer on his debut and Gabbia also scored from a corner on his. I'm secretly hoping I haven't bought a dud in Marcelo Henry, I'm hoping it's just because he needs to settle but he's been very poor in every game he's played in pre season and now this one.

 

VERY!! long way to go but I'm really loving the squad I've built here over the years. Our average age is well below 25 and all of our Newgen's have plenty of (possible) potential to fill. Exciting times are afoot at Meadow Lane it seems! 

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I find it impossible to keep up with you all but you’re all doing smashing jobs. Long may it continue. 

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Well, this is what happens when you massively over achieve on FM!....

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Board are at least being patient with me but I can't see this run ending if I'm being honest. Can't score goals and the individual errors are killing us. As soon as we concede one goal heads drop and we implode!

If we some how manage to stay up (and that's a massive IF!!) then it might just be my biggest achievement on any CM/FM I've ever played. If I do get sacked I have my eye on another FL club I'd like to manage this year. Or, I might just carry on this save and apply for jobs lower down the leagues and rebuild teams.

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22 hours ago, Fubz said:

@TottenhamBoi90 Damn, only 4 points separated 3rd from 10th as well, really unlucky there bud. Hopefully You can push on next season and get at least a play off spot.

Yeah, i kicked off the last game in 4th and ended up 9th so gutted. I also forgot to mention after i got promoted i rejected 500k for Tom Walker from Hull and now start of this season rejected 150k for Jakob Haugaard from Tenerife. It's so good the chairmen are actually allowing me to reject bids because the core group of players i have i absolutely love. 

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1 hour ago, Fubz said:

Well, this is what happens when you massively over achieve on FM!....

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Board are at least being patient with me but I can't see this run ending if I'm being honest. Can't score goals and the individual errors are killing us. As soon as we concede one goal heads drop and we implode!

If we some how manage to stay up (and that's a massive IF!!) then it might just be my biggest achievement on any CM/FM I've ever played. If I do get sacked I have my eye on another FL club I'd like to manage this year. Or, I might just carry on this save and apply for jobs lower down the leagues and rebuild teams.

Wow, that's brutal! Every team I ever get promoted to the PL the same thing happens. In fact one of my big successes was keeping Fulham up just on goals scored a couple of versions ago.

The gap to the PL is realistically massive for a promoted team. Other than that, my three FM20 efforts have all been easier than they should have been with Bristol Rovers in demo easily winning League 1 and Ipswich being promoted and riding fairly high in the Championship before I lost all my files. Meanwhile, I probably only have myself to blame for making Bolton too strong in my create a club mode, I might have to try that again some time with the actual squad...

 

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Bolton - Season 1

In timely manner, the new decade recently began and both January and February have been extremely good months for my side

Despite a couple of losses, it's been pretty much all positive and I'm also in the Pointless Cup Final soon against Coventry despite always playing my squad players 

The transfer window was quiet with Billy Bodin (loan from Preston) and Mikkel Pedersen (£5.5k from IK Hobro) coming in

I wasn't able to offload Luke Murphy or Ben Heneghan so the only players leaving were Bashkim Kadrii (£1.3m to Sunderland) and James Weir (£35k to Oxford)

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The run of results in the last few months has taken my side to the summit of League 1, which is very unrealistic to be fair

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So the board are more than happy, apart from the results on the pitch of course!

Sorry Sharon, I must try to improve...

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@Jogo Bonito I only have myself to blame though really. I trusted the players that came up with me from L1 and they've struggled massively (as too be expected I suppose) to adjust to life in this league. Even the promoted teams we battered last season are turning us over (and we've actually strengthened more than them) so I can see the sack looming very soon. Marcelo Henry, despite his attributes and potential is a donkey, hate to say it but he is. Missed 4 pens this season, sitters, averaging a 6.2 and yet he moans when I fined him blaming team mates! :lol:

 

I might stand a chance if I can get to Jan and reshuffle the team. have to get to the window first though, and with 0 wins, 2 draws and 9 defeats in our last 11 I can't see it happening! 

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@Fubz Rough start to life at the top but fairly typical, I think. If you can hang in for a while, the players start to find their feet and you'll start picking up results. But, as @Jogo Bonito says, it can be utterly devoid of pleasure.

13 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

January and February have been extremely good months

Very well done - board expectations are truly weird this year. Commiserations on the Pointless Cup final, but I suppose you should probably go on and win it now :thup:

If I can stick with a save I started yesterday I'll post an update later. I did find something that held my interest for a couple of days - started unemployed, holidayed to December first season, applied to all of the EFL clubs who had already sacked their managers, and ended up at Rochdale who were firmly bottom of L1 (Bolton had already overcome their 12pt handicap to overtake them). So, started in December, sacked in March as the board had no confidence in my ability to avoid relegation. And to be fair, neither did I :lol:.

Happy New Year, everyone :cool:

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1 hour ago, Fubz said:

I might stand a chance if I can get to Jan and reshuffle the team. have to get to the window first though, and with 0 wins, 2 draws and 9 defeats in our last 11 I can't see it happening! 

Good luck.

@warlock That was a short one at Spotland! Better luck next time. Happy New Year :cool:

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Posted (edited)

Forest Green Rovers 2019/20 - End of Season update

1231871268_FGRBadge.thumb.jpg.a8e69b280f7056c901641edf6b7c996d.jpg

 

League Table

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In the end we were crowned Champions, with quite a bit of ease. 11 points ahead of Crewe and 13 points ahead of automatic promotion. We had the best defence and the league, and were not too far off being the highest scoring team either.

 

Fixtures

 

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Our second half of the season was one of the best runs of form I think I've had on any FM. We went around 23 games unbeaten from December until the final day. Unfortunately we lost the last game, but at this point I was experimenting with younger options to see if they might be able to offer something next season. We did the double over Crewe, our closest rivals, but the most enjoyable result was absolutely smashing Cheltenham in the 'El Glossico'.

 

Squad

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Aaron Collins ended the season as top scorer in the league and also won player of the year. He spread his goals out across more games in the second half of the season, rather combining hat-tricks with goal droughts. Joe Ledley's class shone through as the season went on, he was running games regularly. McGinley is developing into a really good defender, as is Kitching. Benson and Olsson were both very useful winter additions. They settled in well and should be comfortable playing in the higher divisions. Mondal and Aitchison were the two best performing wide men.

Annoyingly I may lose both next year after getting 20+ goals combined from them. Aitchison will return to Celtic and Mondal has interest from Charlton. I may have to sell as I didn't realise how much of a loss the club makes, even with my attempts at cutting down the wage budget. It doesn't help that I didn't take into account promotion wage rises when making a few pre-contract signings, so I think it's going to be a really tough window with FFP. Even though I have a nice wage budget available to spend, it looks like I probably wont be able to...

 

Edited by 10Sammo10

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Thanks @Jogo Bonito. Second season is looking tough. 
 

Has anybody had trouble with FFP before ? My wages went over the threshold with the promotion clauses etc. So picked up an embargo. Squad is down to 17 now after cutting the wage bill to comply. 
 

But it doesn’t seem like I’m going to be able to sign anyone else as I’ll more than likely go straight back over despite having £20k still available from the board and £1.5m+ in the balance from player sales. Anyone know the exact rules for it as I can’t seem to find them anywhere. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, 10Sammo10 said:

Thanks @Jogo Bonito. Second season is looking tough. 
 

Has anybody had trouble with FFP before ? My wages went over the threshold with the promotion clauses etc. So picked up an embargo. Squad is down to 17 now after cutting the wage bill to comply. 
 

But it doesn’t seem like I’m going to be able to sign anyone else as I’ll more than likely go straight back over despite having £20k still available from the board and £1.5m+ in the balance from player sales. Anyone know the exact rules for it as I can’t seem to find them anywhere. 

That's very tough on you. A few versions ago I was about to fail FFP with Reading but I don't think I got as far as the next season so don't have any experience of it in FM. Maybe there is a way the board can put some money in to avoid FFP sanctions as I have seen that happen before. Any options in the talk to board section for you?

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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575051882_BWFCheader.thumb.jpg.382d6a9c03ff75574d886a683479e875.jpg

Bolton - Season 1

So the end of season saw a four way scrap at the top with Fleetwood, Lincoln, Shrewsbury and my Bolton side all challenging for promotion

A second loss of the season to Peterborough kept the pressure on as the first of three massive fixtures took my team (2nd) to Fleetwood (1st) on 24th March

By this time I had gone from having a virtually injury-free squad to one that had eight players injured and two away on international duty

The 10 players out included all four of my strikers so I was delighted to come away with a point having paired a winger & attacking midfielder as the front two in my 442

Only one player had returned by the time of the trip to Wembley (still no strikers) so all that effort came to nothing in a meek 2-0 surrender to Coventry in the Pointless Cup final

Next up was a home clash with Lincoln, who were by now 2nd to Fleetwood, but my 3rd placed team scraped a narrow but deserved 1-0 win over The Imps

A further win at mid-table Ipswich followed as more players began to return to the squad

A stoppage time 30-yard screamer gained me another valuable but undeserved point at home to lowly Gillingham, as the last two games awaited

Rotherham were brushed away comfortably 3-0, and this saw me sit 2nd behind new leaders Shrewsbury with one game to go

Luckily, Fleetwood had a blank final day as they would have played Bury - and so I just need a point to claim 2nd on GD even if Lincoln won their game

In the end a gritty 0-0 was enough to see me over the line, which was just as well because Lincoln scored two very late goals to beat bottom club Rochdale 2-1

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A really strong late surge saw Shrewsbury come from nowhere to win the league

Lincoln beat faltering Fleetwood 1-0 in the play Off Final to claim the third promotion spot

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Here is a summary of the season

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And here are the squad stats which saw Ben Marshall win the vote from the Bolton fans ahead of Harry Brockbank and Jimmy Dunne

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My players featured well in the League 1 top scorer & team of the year results

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And the final word should go to my U23 side who finished 2nd in their league (to Leeds) and generated some very impressive stats too - particularly Eddie Brown

1750068632_BWU23stats1.0.thumb.png.47e64c955336f9bbb70b2e7f1bfb61aa.png

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5 hours ago, 10Sammo10 said:

we were crowned Champions

Excellent! Sorry to hear you're struggling with FFP, though - I've never had a problem on any of my saves in recent years. But those promotion wage increases are always a killer.

1 hour ago, Jogo Bonito said:

In the end a gritty 0-0 was enough to see me over the line

Fantastic achievement... without the 12pt handicap you'd have won the league at a canter!

Shame about the Pointless Trophy, though - irritating to go all the way to the final and not have a Tin Pot to stick at the back of the trophy cabinet.

Interesting to see Ipswich do so badly under AI management... I guess we're not so bad at this management lark after all :D.

I take it you'll be sticking with the Trotters in the Championship?

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Thanks @warlock. I'm not sure if I will continue. I like lots of aspects in create a club mode, but I appear to have made them too strong as a first season promotion from -12 points should not have even been a consideration. I'm looking around at a few clubs so will more than likely start somewhere else. How about you?

P.S. Leicester got relegated from the PL in my game, quite an amazing situation.

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50 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

How about you?

I've been futzing around with a number of clubs - currently just playing through pre-season with Stoke. I had a look at them a couple of weeks ago with a view to trying a narrow diamond tactic and it didn't look promising, but after looking again I'm thinking some kind of 442/4231 is a possibility.

Basically, I'm struggling with the ME - not particularly the issues that everyone is banging on about in the GD forum; more the fact that all my basic tactics that have worked for years (without particularly overperforming) just don't seem to work this year. Tried a save with Derby because they're not expected to do much - lost six out of the first seven games!! Tried a basic 433 with Plymouth - couldn't buy a win for months. It's as if everything I thought I knew about FM in the last 10 years has been thrown away. Right now, I'm just looking for a save that will last more than a day or two. But I think I'm also second-guessing everything :seagull:

Anyway... in your case I wouldn't worry about the create-a-club issues with a new season in the Championship on the horizon. I can't see that you've done anything that is going to give you an unfair advantage in the higher division. I certainly understand the urge to go somewhere else, but I think you could certainly run the Bolton save for another season or two.

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23 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

 P.S. Leicester got relegated from the PL in my game, quite an amazing situation.

They got relegated 2nd season on a Man Utd save i had so i brought Chilwell Ndidi and Maddison for 110m lol.

Onto my Salford update ...

We are going up, say we going up, We are going up, say we going up !!! Eieieio Up the football league we go. 

I love the drama this save is giving me. Pre-Season was an actual nightmare, My assistant manager Chris Lucketti decides to start pre-season just after my final game and has done the same this season as well, Is this a bug or is he just rubbish? Adding to that nightmare was my player CA stars which all seemed very low like across the board 2.5 stars but with abit of form i got most of them back up again. I also couldn't find pretty much know body to sign and James Garner couldn't be reloaned. All i did was loan Callum Gribbin and sign Callum Hulme on a free from Leicester. I couldn't decide on Daniel Kemp, Anthony Giorgiou so they accepted but then i cancelled. Beni Baningime wouldn't coming on loan deciding to move for 8m to Napoli who then listed him for loan to anyone but me. I also had Stadium expansion meaning we moved to Salford City Stadium which i believe is where the Rugby league team play until March.

Despite only 2 signings and a bunch of signings from my head of youth who all sat in my youth squads and nothing special i actually had my best start to a season so far. The table quickly took shape with Preston 8 pts clear and me in 2nd 5 pts ahead of Bristol Rovers around october/november time.

With Haugaard unhappy Alfie Whiteman was now in goal until a hip injury forced me to put big Jakob back in goal. Eventually just before january after some solid displays he decided Salford was his home he wanted to stay and i gave him a new deal. A happy ending meaning i now know i have 2 solid keepers with Camm still my HGC sub. 

I had wanted a more natural ball playing defender but could only really achieve Ed Francis who was left footed as well, great, but i didn't against it. Baldwin and Oconnor took a more back seat rule as there touch passing n vision is very bad. Previously i had been rotating my hole squad so every gets sameish minutes but the CAs where scaring me so Hughes and Streete played nearly all year. I am also suffering a lot of injuries at FB/WB so Osei-Tutu arrived in jan who ended up being LB until he got sent off with a game to go.

Midfield is where i like to play. My wingers are development pride. Buckley-Ricketts and Dearnley had spells upfront to rest JJ and i saw enough in Gwargis and Bowler last season to keep them another year on loan but what my signings of Hulme and Gribbin did was allow me to have 2 right footed playmakers and 2 left with Charsley and Walker and also had Gribbin IW and Walker Winger at times to play Hulme and Thorpe in the middle in a creation overload for JJ. I had written off Thorpe and a number of my players last season and pre-season but they all came into their own this year. I know the squad so well now, i know where i can move players in game to get me a goal or who can make an impact off the bench when i need it most and once i got on role i looked unstoppable. Pozo come in in January to rest Thorpe mainly, he was rubbish.

Upfront with Rooney gone JJ doubled up in games and won the golden boot in a very clinical improvement but he also signed a new deal at Arsenal meaning another loan is a must. Sinclair janaury signing was ok, mainly penalties. Overall i'm pretty happy with everyones goals and assists but this team has no chance staying in the Championship. 

The run in was a tired mix of disaster and injuries. Massive february and moving back to the Penenisula was awful. Needing a draw and Charlton to lose last day was a real nail biter with morale absolutely shot and the last 3 all away from home i thought i wasn't going to do it but i think i got a bit lucky. I was top in spells but Preston centurions deserve the title. 

Target next season is to make a start on breaking up this team. Ball playing defenders, Ball winner, New playmakers and wingers, new strikers, i still haven't tested my 4231. The contracts are all renewed so it will be a case of signing what i can and ditching these heroic players. 1.67m transfer budget is nice as i have spent 0 money yet. 117k wages is a 33k boost. I can adjust it to 4m but i think i'm going to stick with free's and loans for next season. 

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3 minutes ago, TottenhamBoi90 said:

We are going up, say we going up

Brilliant :applause:. Good to see someone doing well!!

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2 minutes ago, warlock said:

Brilliant :applause:. Good to see someone doing well!!

Thanks man, I don't suppose you know why my players do not go on holidays at the end of the season?

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14 minutes ago, TottenhamBoi90 said:

I don't suppose you know why my players do not go on holidays at the end of the season?

Sorry, no. I've seen it a couple of times in the last few years but I have no idea why. Unless you're in 2022, in which case I think it's something to do with the winter world cup.

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16 minutes ago, warlock said:

Sorry, no. I've seen it a couple of times in the last few years but I have no idea why. Unless you're in 2022, in which case I think it's something to do with the winter world cup.

Yeah, that was my first thought but as it happened last season as well i thought my ass man was a moron so i have signed Sam Vokes as my new number 2 now lol. June 2022 i am in now.

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Posted (edited)

@10Sammo10 Congratz on promotion with FGR. They're actually one of two teams I'm looking to manage next if/when my Notts County save comes to an end. Nice to see some one else is having success with them.

@Jogo Bonito Looks like that -12 point deduction only spurred you lads on to promotion. Can see why you feel it's a little unrealistic and I have to admit, I found L1 was pretty easy myself on this save.

@TottenhamBoi90 Another great season and another promotion. GL next season in the Championship, hopefully you can stay up and build towards the Prem.

 

Little update from Meadow Lane, we're battling away in the Prem and finally managed to find a little bit of form.

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As you can see, we managed to stop the rot and steady the ship. Those 4 wins came against sides in and around us and leaves the table looking like this heading into the Christmas period.

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We have 3 very tough games coming up though, which makes that away game at Huddersfield a six pointer. If we can go into the new year outside the bottom 3 we might just have a chance of pulling this off!

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Don't think I've every enjoyed a game as much as this one on FM! Proper backs to the wall job after going 2-0 up and having a man sent off. It's took us a while to adjust but now I'm seeing the grit and determination in this young squad and feel like a proud father watching them give every thing every game! :D

 

 

Edited by Fubz

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18 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

That's very tough on you. A few versions ago I was about to fail FFP with Reading but I don't think I got as far as the next season so don't have any experience of it in FM. Maybe there is a way the board can put some money in to avoid FFP sanctions as I have seen that happen before. Any options in the talk to board section for you?

Yeah, unfortunately the board won’t put anything extra in as my balance is quite comfortably in the green thanks to player sales. Think I saw somewhere something about player wages either not being able to go above a certain % of projected expenditure or rise by more than a certain % each year. It might be one of those or it might be neither and I’m talking rubbish. 
 

Just a bit frustrating having a decent balance and a nice wage budget that I’m not allowed use. Some really good players available on a free that would come if I could offer them more than £180 p/w. Makes it a nice challenge though! 
 

@warlock thanks. They are indeed a killer. At least I’ll know for next time! 
 

Thanks @Fubz . You look like you’ve worked wonders with Notts County. Great result against City!

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@Jogo Bonito That's always how FM goes, isn't it? One day your squad is the healthiest on earth and the next half of them are in the amputation ward. Wonderful finish though, that league position chart is downright awing in its rise. The Championship will be a real test, but if nothing else you'll have a bit more financial flexibility to be able to continue the overhaul. 

Those Shrews though... pretty good team there! ;) 

@TottenhamBoi90 I remember signing Gribbin for a save over in Portugal a couple years ago, real class player back then. Seems like you're in the same boat as one or two others with a loan striker being your talisman, so hopefully you can keep renewing him as long as it takes while you rebuild the core squad. Good luck in the Championship! 

@Fubz Can't tell you how relieved I am to see your squad get their form back. That City match looks downright insane too, what a statement win! Apparently they're good to hand out one of those a season, between you here and Norwich IRL. Just now noticing you've got Duhaney too, I've got massive remorse from not picking him up for pennies upon promotion to the Championship myself. Looks like a real hidden gem for these kinds of saves. 

Seeing your group not just be cut adrift so early is heartening, too, because I’ll have to look to Notts for inspiration…

----------------------------

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Shrewsbury Town F.C. ~ 2020/21 Recap

Last time I posted, we were in 4th after the winter window, 6 points adrift of Stoke in 2nd and 4 points clear of 7th. All we had in front of us were 16 Championship matches plus a FA Cup tie at Tottenham. Let's start with that real quick: Ryan Sessegnon scored in the 26th to lead their B team's vanguard. Natural. What wasn't natural was that with the last touch of the first half, CB and vice-captain Omar Beckles headed in a beautifully swerving Sean Goss free kick from the far post, and improbably, we went into the break knotted up. Impossibly, we were inseparable through 90 minutes, not just in scoreline but in the 50/50 possession split. It took a flukey pinball own goal off loanee Ben Johnson for Spurs to wheel away as winners, a result that would be more gutting if I didn't have two more matches to play that week, including hosting the league leaders in Brighton. After dispatching of them, a string of soulless draws saw us slip a hair down the table and made me fear I'd been found out. After that, though, we won three of our last four, which put us in a solid enough spot...

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to get promoted! The highest Shrewsbury had ever finished before this season was 8th in the second-tier, which they achieved back to back in the 80s. Somehow, this team that was tipped for relegation (and made it as high as 20th in the season preview later) made Huddersfield's run look like nothing. Jason Cummings once again torched everyone, and in the process torched his release clause to teams in a higher division (though Celtic are sniffing at him now). Sean Goss and Bruno Costa each had double digit assists, our no-name starting GK made the Championship's TOTY along with Cummings, while captain BBM Ollie Norburn somehow came up with 11 goals, half of which came in the clutchest moments or from 30 yards out. And thank god for the offensive fireworks, because Ro-Shaun Williams' departure made me feel preeeeetty shabby at the back. His replacement hasn't grown at all, and any ball over the top inevitably finds its man with our CBs running in molasses behind the striker. No surprise that pace will be my main target in the transfer window, though my first transfer talks are seeing me dining with the £1.3m-rated Emre Mor, who's not so much pacey as just downright slippery. Whatever works!

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This is an entire team in need of a facelift. Cummings is entrenched up top and in Shrews lore, while my central midfield is set other than maybe a cheap BBM. But I'll need a new winger (one could say I need one Mor winger...), practically an entirely new starting crew at the back, and hell, even the physical infrastructure needs some work:

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It's exciting and terrifying times in Shropshire, for sure. Rather than setting up training camp down the road, we're headed to Andalusia this summer (as a Bético I selfishly jumped at the chance when it came up as an option), and we have just under £30m in the transfer budget before possibly offloading a couple players, but this is a massive leap for a club with probably just 3 legitimately PL-caliber players and a less-than-towering reputation (or wage structure) to attract new talent. All I can do is try to set us up right for the future and hope the 4-3-3 that has clicked so well up to this point keeps on chugging, but it won't be enough to just find budget youngsters now. Not gonna lie, this upcoming season will be the greatest challenge I've ever undertaken in FM to date, and I'm fully expecting the worst. At least the board just wants me to fight bravely. If nothing else, we've definitely done that thus far.

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55 minutes ago, HaphazardHawlucha said:

It's exciting and terrifying times

I can see that! But PL football is not to be sneezed at... sieze the opportunity, carpe the diem etc. And a hearty congatulations :applause:

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Posted (edited)

@HaphazardHawlucha Massive congratz on reaching the Prem with Shrewsbury fella, nice to see another local team in the top flight (albeit on FM :lol:). As for Duhaney I grabbed him on a free when I was in L1 and he's still my RB in the Prem. Solid enough defensively and really good going forward on the overlap as well. Can't recommend him enough for those that are around L1/Champ level.

Currently I'm sitting 9 points above 18th after 21 games but just got hammered 5-0 at Chelsea (who've spent 631m!! this season)  and 4-0 at home to Liverpool to end our good run of form. I'm just secretly hoping that when I continue this save today we don't fall into another losing streak. Only bit of advice I'd give you (if you start off like I did) is don't panic. If your board are like mine they won't mind too much towards start of season. Once your players adjust you can turn things around, oh, and don't sign a donkey upfront like I did! At least I managed to offload him to PSG for profit though! :lol:

PSG loaned me this young lad to help us out as well...

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So I now have 2 wonderkids in my starting XI, should stay up easily then, right?! (that's how FM works is it not! ;))

Edited by Fubz

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Great work with Salford, Notts County, Forest Green and Shrewsbury chaps. I'll decide this weekend whether to continue with Bolton or whether to try somewhere else. It might be time to take York City on as that has been on my mind for months now.

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Stoke: season 1, September

After hunting for a save that offered a reasonable prospect of success while employing a tactic I had confidence in, I eventually settled on Stoke who are pretty well suited to a positive, possession-based 442. Both the board and the media expect us to finish in a playoff spot - but the board don't expect promotion this season - and I felt that was reasonable. The squad had few obvious weaknesses - a backup LB was the most pressing, while I prefer to have four strikers for rotation and injury cover and the squad starts with just three. The LB position was filled with the loan of BMG's Andreas Poulsen, while the shortage up front was solved by cancelling the loan of Benik Afobe. Stoke start the season with a transfer budget of £5m, which I increased by £500k from the sale of Mame Diouf while spending none of it. It gives us options in January should we need it - although I'm more likely to try to move some players out as we're carrying a large 26-man squad.

Early form

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We started the season strongly in a busy month that produced 8 fixtures against some tough opponents - Derby, Leeds and Preston all occupied second position when we played them. Book-ending that run were solid performances in the Carabao Cup, notably in a home tie against PL Leicester. So I was expecting the final game against a Birmingham side who were firmly in the bottom half of the division to be one of the easier games. Instead we found ourselves 2-0 down before half-time, clawed our way back to 2-2 - and then switched off in added time to suffer our first loss :mad:.

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Happily, we have held on to our lead at the top of the league, our strikers are finding the net regularly, and Jack Butland has been stellar in goal. Here's hoping the Birmingham result was a mere blip.

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23 minutes ago, warlock said:

Stoke: season 1, September

After hunting for a save that offered a reasonable prospect of success while employing a tactic I had confidence in, I eventually settled on Stoke who are pretty well suited to a positive, possession-based 442. Both the board and the media expect us to finish in a playoff spot - but the board don't expect promotion this season - and I felt that was reasonable.

Welcome back and good luck with Stoke. That's a great start you have made and it looks like a smart move to recall Afobe.

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Just now, Jogo Bonito said:

Welcome back and good luck with Stoke

Thank you, my friend! I'm cautiously optimistic about this save, and happy with the tactic.

What about you? Any decision yet on Bolton or pastures new?

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On 28/11/2019 at 17:23, DefinitelyTaylor said:

I've managed to narrow my search down to two teams

And yet here we are, in a new year :herman:. I insist you change your username to PossiblyTaylor :lol:.

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12 minutes ago, warlock said:

Thank you, my friend! I'm cautiously optimistic about this save, and happy with the tactic.

What about you? Any decision yet on Bolton or pastures new?

Too many ideas, too few decisions! This 'DT syndrome' must be catching!

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1 minute ago, Jogo Bonito said:

This 'DT syndrome' must be catching!

Nasty condition, difficult to treat :p

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2 minutes ago, renato. said:

Anyone playing with Sunderland?

Not seen many Sunderland saves this year. Because of the club vision thing, it's likely to be a high-pressure save - if you're not top of the division at Christmas you're likely to be sacked. Anything less than automatic promotion won't be good enough.

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16 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Great work with Salford, Notts County, Forest Green and Shrewsbury chaps. I'll decide this weekend whether to continue with Bolton or whether to try somewhere else. It might be time to take York City on as that has been on my mind for months now.

If you take on York, it would be cool if this thread just became a place to update on all English saves outside the top flight, given the lessened activity in this forum and the lack of a non league thread.

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ffa46bf4ff83421e58ac1aed09028c5c.png

Mission complete :brock:

One of the most enjoyable, and frustrating, seasons I've every had on FM. Had every thing, throwing away 3 goals leads, bottling last minute goals to cost us a point, hissy fits (and subsequent transfer listing of players), putting in youngsters and having them become heroes (17 year old striker our saviour) and much more. It's been a roller coaster ride here at Notts County and I'm not sure how much further I can take them. 

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Great work @Fubz. Seasons like that makes FM wonderful to play. All the emotions and passion really comes forward at those moments. How was your tactical approach in PL? 

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36 minutes ago, Bergbatov said:

Great work @Fubz. Seasons like that makes FM wonderful to play. All the emotions and passion really comes forward at those moments. How was your tactical approach in PL? 

Still played the same formation and style that got us up through the leagues for most part of the season. Did switch to a back 5 in tough away games and against the big 6, apart from that my squad wasn't built to tinker that much :lol:

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The 5-2-2-1 wasn't the best going forward but it allowed us to pick up vital points at Arsenal, Southampton, Fulham and Watford. Also, 7 of that starting XI are between 17 and 20, Lukic is 21 and Gabbia, Diaz and Oriol are all 24-26, so a very young team.

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That's how the league ended. Chelsea (who spent 631m on Mbappe, Dembele and Under) won the league beating Liverpool on final day. West Ham were awful despite spending 82m in the summer and Danny Cowley couldn't help them out when he joined in December. We also had a net spend of ZERO! this season, 27m worth of players in and out and now have a balance just shy of 100m with 40+m to spend in summer. 

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Monumental achievement to stay up with the squad we have. Remember, most of my team were with me in L1 (5 of starting XI started in L1). Unfortunately Demeaco Duhaney had his head turned just as the Jan window ticked over and joins Basel for 20m in the summer, will be a big loss to us that. 

So, with that, we go into the summer needing to strengthen massively, our top scorer was a striker from our youth team with 6, he only started to play first team football in Feb :lol: Have managed to pick up this young lad for 4.9m so hopefully he can do the business for us next season.

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On that note I'll end this adventure here (unless you want me to keep posting updates in here?!). Either way, been one heck of a ride from non-league to the top flight, and we some how managed to stay there as well. :D

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 04/01/2020 at 10:46, Jogo Bonito said:

I'll decide this weekend whether to continue with Bolton or whether to try somewhere else.

I'd be interested to see how you get on in the Championship @Jogo Bonito, if you were to continue, but totally understand if you've lost the desire to continue the save. Nothing worse than persevering with a save  you just know you're not into!

12 hours ago, warlock said:

Happily, we have held on to our lead at the top of the league, our strikers are finding the net regularly, and Jack Butland has been stellar in goal.

Great work @warlock! The Stoke side looks quite bland on paper, so pleased to see you are managing to get them playing and are enjoying it.

11 hours ago, warlock said:

I insist you change your username to PossiblyTaylor :lol:.

This tickled me :applause:Where is the elusive @DefinitelyTaylor?!

Enjoying all the updates on this thread, (such as the ones from @Fubz and @HaphazardHawlucha - keep up the good work!) great to see it so active.

Edited by Dong21

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Posted (edited)

Cheers @Dong21 still thinking things over on that. Having made them too strong unintentionally and seeing how promising the young players are, I might take them on again in the future, either with the proper team or with a much-scaled down create a club mode. If that is the case, I will take somebody else on in the meantime to get a break from them. Current considerations include:

  • Derby -  A big transfer budget & lower expectations combined with lots of promising HGC players (depends if it's possible to sign Bowen from Hull and get rid of Rooney)
  • Brentford - I've never managed them & would look to put my own spin on their transfer policy and make it less reliant on Denmark & Europe
  • Middlesbrough - I don't remember ever managing them, it's not a great squad but hopefully lower expectations & lots of HGC potential 
  • Reading - good infrastructure (stadium & youth), good squad that is finally threatening to perform at a level they should be capable of
  • Blackpool, Tranmere, Bradford, Carlisle (and there are quite a few others from all three divisions...)

Poor @DefinitelyTaylor gets so much light-hearted stick, but he seems to have lots of study pressure and still adds a lot to the thread even when he isn't playing FM.

@CityAndColour I understand exactly what you're saying but that call is down to @warlock really as the guide was designed for the EFL clubs originally. It wouldn't stop me taking York on if it wasn't posted in here, sometimes it's nice to play FM without the need to do updates. Having said that, your previous National League thread was always a strong one and has been missed.

@Fubz Congrats on a great recovery, you certainly pulled a rabbit out of a hat there!

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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20 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

@CityAndColour I understand exactly what you're saying but that call is down to @warlock

I'm not against it, but I can assure you I won't be writing previews for 120-odd Vanarama clubs :stop:

But yeah, anyone fancying a non-league save have at it and post your updates. I'll probably do it myself with Darlington at some point.

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13 horas atrás, warlock disse:

Not seen many Sunderland saves this year. Because of the club vision thing, it's likely to be a high-pressure save - if you're not top of the division at Christmas you're likely to be sacked. Anything less than automatic promotion won't be good enough.

Yeah, I know that :lol:

Wanted to know if someone had success with them, ask some tactical advices... All I know is that, in a short period, the team gives you a good amount of cash to spend

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29 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Poor @DefinitelyTaylor gets so much light-hearted stick, but he seems to have lots of study pressure and still adds a lot to the thread even when he isn't playing FM.

It does make me laugh in all honesty. :lol: The pressure of studying is most certainly my fault though... I decided to pick three of the most difficult A-Level's to take and most definitely three of the most written-work required A-Level's possible, (Politics, History and English Language, in case anyone was interested). :rolleyes: I'm always following the thread, even if I'm not contributing though. 

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13 hours ago, warlock said:

Not seen many Sunderland saves this year. Because of the club vision thing, it's likely to be a high-pressure save - if you're not top of the division at Christmas you're likely to be sacked. Anything less than automatic promotion won't be good enough.

Like managing Ipswich with money (and much much much worse players).

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1 minute ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

It does make me laugh in all honesty. :lol: The pressure of studying is most certainly my fault though... I decided to pick three of the most difficult A-Level's to take and most definitely three of the most written-work required A-Level's possible, (Politics, History and English Language, in case anyone was interested). :rolleyes: I'm always following the thread, even if I'm not contributing though. 

Best of luck. BTW which team did you temporarily take on a few weeks back? Just curious...

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