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metallimuse

[FM20] When the 'Well runs dry

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Authoring my first ever career thread on here and decided to do so at Motherwell.

Decided on the Scottish leagues as I am Scottish and narrowed it down to Motherwell as they have a couple of players of real quality for the Scottish league.

Started with a profile which is as follows, based on the club I manage as the game advises...

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The game specifics are as follows….

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Expectations are as follows...

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So this is the start of my virgin career thread. 

I've been struggling the past few months to commit to a long term save so hopefully documenting my progress will inspire me to commit.

I have no rules per say with the save other than I am hoping to try to stay at Motherwell and not be sacked, if this does happen then I will take another job within Scotland possibly but the goal is to remain at Motherwell, challenge the Old Firm, try to usurp them and then hopefully do something in Europe.

I generally try to sign players from the nation I'm competing in so expect a strong Scottish core to the squad and also for me to heavily rely on youth and look to my youth intake each year.

Edited by metallimuse

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I'm off the next two days so expect updates over the next 48 hours but just now off to watch the Rangers game before coming back to go through my squad and the backroom staff.

Edited by metallimuse

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So here is the first team squad.

I've included ALL keepers at the club for this.

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Here's the defence...

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Central Midfield...

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Wingers...

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And up top...

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Edited by metallimuse

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The tactics I am choosing to adopt is a very expansive Bielsa press style:

 

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Edited by metallimuse

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Good luck with this, man!

I remember Shaun McSkimming and RKC legend Mitchell van der Gaag

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So this is how the match day squad is shaping up after preseason...

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With the rest of the squad as follows:

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Carroll would be my starting left back but was injured during preseason.

Turnbull is out for a large part of the season (5 months) but once back I will have plenty of options in midfield.

I don't have much quality up front but I have no funds and I can't shift Carson who is the only player I want to sell so no chance of raising funds.

There has been no transfer's and I have not been able to upgrade any of my backroom staff.

 

 

 

 

Edited by metallimuse

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Betfred Cup navigated via utter domination...

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Although it did come at a price with lengthy injuries to Charles Dunne...

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...and the on loan Mark O'Hara

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Our reward for our strong showing is a second round game against Scottish Championship side Dundee which I'm confident of seeing off.

 

The start of the SPFL is upon us and I'm looking forward to it. 

I feel I have a good squad available to me and eager to see how we fare. My only fear is our flanks, they might need a step up in class up top in the attacking half.

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August Round Up

 

Well, that optimism I had disappeared quickly :(

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A great start to the season on the opening day then stuttered against St Johnstone after being 1 up through a goal from James Scott in the 54th minute we then conceded not much later in the 63rd minute and hung on to a 1-1 draw.

We then got thumped by Rangers in a game we didn't expect to get much from but the manner of the defeat along with the score line was horrendous.

Hibs have started the season well and currently sit 2nd behind Celtic after 4 games but again, it was a bit of a toothless defeat.

 

 

We can take some conciliation in the fact that we are through to the Betfred Cup Quarter Final after a victory against Dundee as expected.

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Next up in the quarters is Hearts away which could be anyones.

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September 2019/20

 

Well lets start with the good news...

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We needed penalties to see of Hearts at home to advance to the semi finals in the Betfred Cup. Possible opponents were Celtic, Rangers or St Johnstone, so naturally we drew the reigning, defending champions Celtic.

 

 

So, onto the league...

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A mixed month ended with our first victory since the opening day of the season which I was delighted with!

I had former Motherwell great James McFadden moaning to the press about how my stewardship of the club was going and I was starting to fear that my first ever foray into a career thread was going to end all to briefly with a sacking.

A draw with Killie in a game which I easily played the better football and had the more chances and another draw with 11th placed Ross County in which I led from the 8th minute only to have Richard Foster at right back pop up for them in the 84th minute to back his first goal for them was demoralising.

But we picked ourselves up and played our cup game and buoyed by that victory and booking a trip to Hampden we went on to end our league hoodoo and beat Livi at home thanks to goals from Allan Campbell and a Liam Donnelly penalty to round out the month with the league looking like this...

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A mixed bag so far with my only consolation that we aren't too far off 4th.

Celtic, Aberdeen, Hearts coming next in the league though so that could really start to shape my expectations for the season.

Edited by metallimuse

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October 2019/20

 

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A decent month in the league to be fair with 2 home wins against the Jambos and the Buddies, a narrow loss to Celtic and a draw, both away, with Aberdeen.

Not much to really right up about his much. No players really standing out at the moment. I'd love to be able to bring in a new striker as Scott and Long are not proving to be reliable and, as I said earlier, a prolific winger who can provide would make life easier but with zero funds available either in my transfer budget or wage budget I will just have to try and make it to the end of the season and hope for prize money to boost the coffers. If I somehow manage to get into Europe this would also be of great benefit.

 

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November 2019/20

 

First up this month was our Betfred Cup semi-final against the green half of the Old Firm and it ended in tragedy.

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A goal by Jullien against us again and another 1-nil loss just like in the league last month.

"I'm not too disappointed as success was never on the cards in this competition."

 

On the flip side our league form keeps going from strength to strength...

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A 100% league record this month, granted only two games but stats are stats :brock:

First game of the season for Turnbull after his return from injury in the game against the Accies and what a way to return by getting himself on the scoresheet within the first half hour. Further goals by Grimshaw and Polworth round out my scorers.

After 11 hours without a goal my number 9, James Scott, finally bagged himself a goal against St Johnstone with Allan Campbell also getting on the scoresheet.

 

December will be a busy month as you can see from the fixture list above.

 

Here's how the league is shaping up...

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Nice :)

Doing (mother)well in the league, european qualification is a real possibility! Celtic having a bad season :D Keep up the good form!

Edited by Carambau

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December 2019/20

 

We head into the winter break after a busy, tough month in December.

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A loss at home to Rangers started the month but we weren't expecting much from that game despite it being on our own turf as the Gers are on course to win the title this year.

Next up was a tough slog away to the Hibees and then what has to go down as 2 points dropped when we went to Dingwall and drew with bottom club Ross County.

A win on the road against Livi with a goal from my outgoing winger Ilic, my strikers at this point can't buy a goal!

It was no wonder then that we could only manage another draw at home to Kilmarnock with a goal courtesy of midfielder Allan Campbell, a player who is fast becoming the shining light in this team.

A home draw with Celtic was a great result as it's the first time we've avoided defeat to either of the Old Firm and this was followed up by two wins on the road, again with no goals from my strikers.

 

So at the half way point the league is looking like this...

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It's shaping up to be me challenging the two Edinburgh giants for a shot at the cash rich European places.

I would like to think at this point I will definitely be achieving a top 6 finish which is what the board wanted at the start.

 

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January 2019/20

 

Just the two games in the SPFL this month which went as follows:

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Chris Long, a striker, finally gets on the scoresheet! :applause:

 

It's sad news with regards to silverware this season though as after a reply we go out of the Scottish Cup at the first time of asking.

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Chris Long again on the score sheet though. Let's hope this is a sign of becoming more prolific.

 

It's January so that means winter transfer window.

I allowed Devante Cole's loan contract to run down and did not renew and also terminated Mark O'Hara's loan to save on the wages and that was all I had planned seeing as I was out of the cup so wouldn't have much fixture congestion but then on deadline day this happened...

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So as a result I decided to loan in this fella...

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Not sure where I will use him more, right wing or striker but it's good to have options.

The squad complained about the sale of Donnelly but I told them I was going to look to youth, which I will as 21 year old academy graduate Barry Maguire will be stepping up and getting more game time.

 

The sale really helped the bank balance as I'm currently running at a loss so the finances are looking like this...

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I will still have around £1.5m to come in for prize money for the league so despite running at a loss at the moment I'm not too concerned.

Biggest expenditure is wages but a few players will be leaving at the end of season with their contracts running out and I am hoping to look to my academy to help me out which will reduce costs.

 

Speaking of youth, here's what my Head Of Youth is saying about the next crop...

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February 2019/20

 

Another unbeaten month in the league!

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A scoreless bore draw at home to Hibs kicked off the month with neither team having more than 10 shots in total let alone on target.

This was followed up with a nil nil away at Ibrox which we took some pride from but despite a 52-48 percentage game we failed to really create many chances and hung on for the most part.

A 2-1 win at home to bottom placed Accies followed with BOTH of my strikers, James Scott and Chris Long, getting on the score sheet. For a second I thought the game had glitched as I don't think that has happened all season so far! :lol:

A draw at home to bogey team Ross County next before a 2-1 away win against Killie with neither game featuring a goal from my strikers, normal service resumed :(

 

With 10 games to go the race for Europe is on! There's even a chance I could finish third with a bit of luck.

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Youth Intake 2019/20 (part1)

It's every FM players fave day of the season, youth intake!

Here's what my HOYD, Motherwell legend Stevie Hammell, is saying...

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And here's how they actually look...

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All the players with a 'YP19' after their name I have offered contracts to.

Here's a more in depth look at the new lads...

 

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A fantastic prospect, hopefully I can bring him along and sell Chris Long in a season or two.

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Another great prospect who hopefully can kick on and be challenging the first team in a few seasons.

Edited by metallimuse

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Youth Intake 2019/20 (part2)

 

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This lad depending on my summer transfer window might actually be going straight in at the deep end for next season as I don't have many options for right wing.

The other lads I'm attempting to sign will be there to make up numbers and give some depth.

Edited by metallimuse

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March 2019/20 (plus last game before the split)

 

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What a way to end before the split!

Four wins and one loss to Celtic this month and I can't believe the change in fortunes since the start of the season!

Chris Long managed to get himself on the score sheet a few times this month and we are starting to look right up for it at the moment.

Here's the league as we head into the split with the Hibees away first...

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Can we manage to bag ourselves European football for next season?

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Top 6 Split

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We did it! European football is coming to North Lanarkshire next season!

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Final 5 games and we in fact secured a 3rd place finish with two games to spare.

Victories over the Edinburgh big boys of Hearts and Hibs in Edinburgh coupled with a first win over Celtic at Fir Park sealed an appearance in the Europa League next season.

I then decided to give the kids a run for the last two games rather than chase a record points haul as this seasons points total will have to be beaten if we ever win a title so more important to give the kids some game time.

 

The final league table...

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Edited by metallimuse

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End of Season Review

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No surprise to see Allan Campbell picking up the fans Player of the Year award but I was very shocked to see Chris Long finish third.

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A steady climb up the league table over the season which was remarkable considering how many draws we picked up. Not too many defeats though especially in the second half of the season which was very pleasing.

Our defence was pretty mean actually with only a couple of goals more lost than the Old Firm but our attack is what really cost us with Rangers and Celtic scoring TWICE as many as us over the course of the season.

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Player Review 2019/20

 

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I have listed the players in order of average ratings for the season.

Allan Campbell, the fans Player of the Year is right up there along with Liam Grimshaw, Turnbull and Polworth. All of these players are players who coming into the save I planned on building the team around.

I've been very pleased with Eric Gill and David Devine performance in defence this year as both are teenage academy graduates. They seem like the will be the beating heart of my defence for many a season to come until a big teams comes knocking.

James Scott and Chris Long up front have done okay but not enough for me and my standards. If we are to kick on I need someone who can be more prolific. Scott can double up as a right winger though.

Seedorf on the left wing, much like the strikers, did okay and has bags of potential but I think I need someone better and keep him as an understudy or if he protests at game time I will sell him.

 

Players leaving on an end of season freebie this season are Richard Tait, who did well as a squad player, Peter Hartley, who was dependable when called upon and Trevor Carson who was also impeccable when called upon. These players are leaving due to their age and my need to bring the wage bill down.

 

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Congrats on reaching Europe with Motherwell! You even beat Celtic in the last game :)

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Season 2020/21

Europa League Qualifying and Transfers

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The qualifiers so far have been kind to us pairing us with relative minnows in Petrocub from Moldova and AIK from Sweden.

We've sailed through with little effort and I was able to rotate the squad about to bring up fitness levels ahead of the start of the domestic season.

Next up is Levski Sofia from Bulgaria in a double header I have confidence of seeing off.

 

I didn't expect to be busy in the transfer window but then, as I feared, the vultures swarmed around one of my star academy prospects.

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Aston Villa came in for David Devine and after turning them down he came and complained. With only 12 months remaining on his contract I had to then acquiesce when they came back with an offer that smashed our previous record fee received.

I also made a rookie error and young academy prospect George Fahey left to Celtic as he was only on a youth contract and I was powerless to keep him. We got just over £500k in compensation for him but I must hold my hands and say I made an error there as I'm sure I could have got more in the future for him.

A few others left who weren't going to play a big role and I brought a few veterans in on the cheap to bulk out the squad.

This left my finances looking like this as we prepare to start the season proper...

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Edited by metallimuse

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Closer Look At The New Boys

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Welshman MJ came to the club for £250k and offers some versatility and depth for DM (predominantly) and CB (backup).

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I felt with our European assault this year I need a bit more ready made quality in defence rather then relying on the potential I have at the club. McCart came in on the cheap and may be a bit slow but the pool of players willing to come to North Lanarkshire was incredibly small so I went with what I could get hold of.

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Cover at RB was a must as there is no one in the reserves or under 18's who can step up and can do a job. Again, the pool available in the transfer market was limited and the only other player I looked at (Jaime Brandon from Hearts) failed his medical so Millen got the job.

 

The veterans Charlie Adam and Stevie Fletcher I won't go into detail with but they are a marked improvement on what we have but despite that I will not be using them as regular starters due to their age. I'm a big believer in youth and potential and the further I get into the save and improve our reputation these type of older signings will stop. 

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Club Vision & Expectations 2020/21

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I'm comfortable working with these objectives this year although obviously drawing either of the Old Firm early in the domestic cups could really hamper me.

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So here we go.

Season 2020/21 is about to get under way.

I'm generally happy with the squad and the club as a whole. I'd like to be able to improve my staff, facilities and step up my scouting package to cover the whole of the UK but I'm going to wait until the end of the season and see how our finances pan out.

As Stevie G said when he took over at Rangers "Bring it on, lets go!"

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Europa League Qualifiers

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Aaaaaaaaaaaand...we are through to the group stage!

Fantastic run highlighted by the first game away to Rosenborg when both strikers managed to bag a goal.

I've been playing Scott out on the right wing with Long up top and I'm reaping the rewards.

 

Reaching the group stage will really help the clubs reputation and will make it a lot easier with contract renewals with the current squad.

 

The draw has been made:

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Ooft!

Group of death. Can't see me picking up many points in this one folks.

Edited by metallimuse

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League Cup

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A decisive victory as we march on in a quest for our first piece of silverware.

Great to see Chris Long on target as he makes it 5 goals in 7 games.

 

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August 2020/21

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Three out of four victories is a great start to our league campaign. Currently sat second in the league with no complaints as of yet. 

I honestly don't expect us to be making a title challenge as of yet so if we keep on like this then hopefully we can bag another third place finish.

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September 2020/21

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Fantastic month sees us go top of the league for the first time ever! Early days obviously but a very exciting time for the fans with the possibilities of what may lay ahead.

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Undefeated all month including a BIG win at home to Celtic to knock them off the top. We went 1 down within the first 5 minutes but a goal from Seedorf and a penalty from Fletcher gave us the win.

We needed penalties to see off Hearts in the cup and a respectable 1-1 draw with Betis at home has done wonders for confidence.

We've had an incredible run since the start of the season really with only the one defeat to Hibs last month. That could all change though with a trip to Italy to face Atalanta coming up next.

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3 minutes ago, deltablue said:

Are you imagining a title challenge or is it a bit early? 

I don't think I'll come out on top but I am resting my important players in the European games as I focus more on the league.

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October 2020/21

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Well Septembers form couldn't last forever and as I said in the last update, I thought Atalanta would be stiff competition.

Next up was last season's bogey team and I worried that I would come unstuck again but goals from Chris Long and James Scott (I'm almost at the point of calling them prolific) and a man of the match from Allan Campbell saw us through.

Scott bagged himself a brace against the Dons but our defence were the real stars all showing north of 7.2 in their ratings.

I was top of the league at this point and as I said in my reply to @deltablue I decided to rest the majority of my stars for the CSKA game and it showed as we went down in Moscow with a truly dreadful performance managing only 1 shot (off target) the entire game. :ackter:

But I would argue it was worth it at the time as we went to Edinburgh and turned Hearts over after going 1 down early doors.

Then came a double header of Rangers in which we got spanked.

After a slow start to the season for the Gers, under the stewardship of Pavel Vrba after Gerrard left for White Hart Lane, but they've come roaring back recently and just dominated me sadly and I lost top spot in the league.

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A couple of new additions to our coaching team, one for the under 18's and one for the main squad.

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Doing 'Well'... ;)

Good to see a Motherwell save and you are doing better than the AI did in my current save. Motherwell sank to League One for a couple of years at one point, they have bounced back to the SPL and just this year made Europe.

 

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November 2020/21

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November started with further European misery at home to CSKA before a trip to Rugby Park restored our pride. 

Next was a home game against new boys Dundee and goals from Polworth and Scott saw them off.

A quick trip to Spain to face off against Real Betis in which we managed a draw so got some extra cash monies in the coffers which was great.

What wasn't great was our slip at home to the Buddies as I played a weakened to try to give some recovery to the main team ahead of the Lanarkshire derby.

That meant that after regaining top spot during the month we again relinquished it to the green half of Glasgow.

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Busy month ahead with games coming thick and fast. Hopefully we can navigate it and remain in contention.

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4 minutes ago, bestbrother said:

Doing 'Well'... ;)

Good to see a Motherwell save and you are doing better than the AI did in my current save. Motherwell sank to League One for a couple of years at one point, they have bounced back to the SPL and just this year made Europe.

 

LEAGUE ONE?!?! :eek:

Hopefully that won't happen to me.

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December 2020/21

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A strong showing over the festive month has seen us regain our place at the top of the tree.

Resting my stars at the end of last month proved to be futile as we went to Hamilton and could only muster a 2-2 draw but a 3 nil when at home to Hibs meant we were merry again.

I then decided to rest my stars again for the dead rubber game at home to Atalanta ahead of the trip to Parkhead but the squad players came good and produced a great victory.

Then came the trip to Parkhead.

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We did well to avoid defeat and keep ourselves in contention.

A slip up at home to Livi was made bearable as the Celts lost to Hearts.

Three victories on the spin before we travelled to Ibrox and got bullied and dominated by Rangers and lost 2-1.

 

Top of the league but Celtic do have a game in hand so we'll be hoping for some luck.

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January 2020/21

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I mean, how unlucky do you have to be to draw one of the Old Firm in the first round of the Cup?

Gutted. I don't think we will win the league so that's silverware gone for the season. 

Silly dropped points to bottom team Dundee and victories over Killie and Hamilton have kept us top of the league but Celtic still have a game in hand as we head into the business end of the season.

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In other news Seedorf and Carroll have both left the club during the winter transfer window with nobody coming in.

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I'm keen to promote from the academy and give others more game time.

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February 2020/21

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Well, any hope we had for winning the league evaporated this month as defeat at home to Celtic and a draw with Livi means we'd need a miracle or a Newcastle like implosion for us to get our hands on the trophy.

This was preceded with good wins away at the Hibees and the Buddies.

My thoughts are now starting to turn to what will pop up in my youth intake and from there I will start to analyse and formulate a plan for next season. The Old Firm will most certainly throw money around and enhance their already strong squads. Despite being comfortable with finances I don't see this as something I'll be doing and will be looking to promote from the academy.

I just hope none of my star players hand in transfer requests.

 

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Youth Intake 2020/21

So here's what Stevie Hammell thinks...

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...and here's how they look. Again, the players with a "YP" after their name are being offered contracts.

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No one to really get excited about and I'm definitely going to have some thinking to do come the end of season. Do I go to the transfer market to push on aggressively or do I consolidate and take my time and wait for another youth intake next year?

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