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Earnie is God!

[FM20] Bringing Her Home

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Big game for me at Southampton, which we won 1-0 :)
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Our own transfer spending was actually quite minimal. I just didn't find the right players out there for the right prices. We sold a lot though and made a lot of money
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And one already due to come in in January when he turns 18
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Possible 5* potential there caught my eye and very few weaknesses

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New contract for me, a nice 4yr one which I was very happy to sign
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We have started the season superbly well. Our only defeat was this one and we were much the better side, it was quite frustrating.
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And the Villa loss was the last time we have used that tactic/formation. I couldn't quite put my finger on it but we made too many defensive mistakes.
Our best result so far was a thumping win at Newcastle and that's where I have saved it and am off to bed, work tomorrow.
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Aim is still a top half finish but with the signings of Saita and Pantic at CB and Paqueta as an AM, we could achieve more than that :)

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Our good start to the season continued...

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But it was never going to last that long
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That defeat to Everton, followed by another at home to Arsenal made me notice a pattern emerging and that was our lack of ability to win our home games and rarely scoring either.
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Sure, we've played some really good teams in Liverpool and Chelsea and earned draws but we were also 2-0 v WBA before conceding twice and weren't creating much.
Whereas away from home with the same tactic, we were doing unbelievably well
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Therefore, I'm definitely sticking with our formation in the away games and it's this one 20200627043151_1.thumb.jpg.4efd9f89e43ac3b9ee6b60000506cd1b.jpg it suits Paqueta in the AM role even though he's not done that great there just yet

He has been injured for a bit though so hoping he improves now that he's back
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I have changed the formation for our home games to this 20200627043212_1.thumb.jpg.af710ac0f5e61442bcab486575f2268d.jpg

Will it create enough? I'm not sure and I will probably tweak it further as it's not been tested properly yet but we are currently in the top 4 and I'd really like it to stay that way :)
My young striker is doing the business right now too, keeping better and more experienced players out of the lineup

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Further planned upgrades
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This is nice to see 20200626215304_1.thumb.jpg.0421b511224efaed3c8c2c977a8b330d.jpg but this is not, keep your thieving mitts off my player! 20200627035114_1.thumb.jpg.8101bce0a751eb133a12528d4eac4acf.jpg

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Looks like just the one decent youthie but he's from our home town here at Dronfield so I hope he's a bit special
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At the halfway stage of the season, we have earned almost as many points as we managed in the whole of last.

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This of course has meant our players are in the limelight and other clubs are interested

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That's a heck of a price but I want to hold onto all our stars if I can.

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Wooo, £212 20200628022021_1.thumb.jpg.9fb366d7e156c348437735242fda6132.jpg🙄

Jonesy doing well and still going strong. Have to get him to 200+ by next season
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Murray on course to have his best season yet, no wonder dirty Leeds want him
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We won our next two matches, both 2-1 away from home at Everton and league leaders Chelsea.
We are currently in 2nd spot now as Chelsea drop to 3rd and Man U go top.

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♫ We Are Top Of The League, I Say We Are Top Of The League ♫

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Desperately trying to keep our best players but it's not going to be easy
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I'm confident of turning down Brighton and WBA but not sure Murray is going to be happy if we knock back Liverpool too.
I'll have to be really careful should a bid materialise from them.
In the meantime, though, who cares? We are top of the league!

Cup results have been mixed so far. Disappointed to go out of the League Cup at Villa but looking to make our mark in the FA Cup.
I think the 5th round might be the furthest we've every been tbh, will have to go back and check.
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Yup, the 4th round is as far as we have been before in the FA Cup. Fulham are 17th in the EPL so I'm hopeful we can keep on going.
As for the League Cup, we've not had much luck there either. The 4th round has been our limit before now and no change this season.

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The sign of champions?
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We battered Palace but missed a penalty and then went not one but two-nil down.
But we never gave up and scored in the 89th min to give us a glimmer of hope. Then, deep into stoppage time we grabbed the equaliser that kept us top of the pile.
Next up? Man U at home 😨

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Yes, of course we would be favourites against 31-match unbeaten Man U 🙄
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I Must Be Going alMADa

The time is 9:15am and it's Friday, January 31st 2030. That's right, folks, it's transfer deadline day (TDD). I wasn't going to buy anyone at all in this window, really I wasn't, honest guv 🦝
Then, on the eve of our top of the table clash with Man U, I thought it might be a good idea to have a decent backup to Paqueta in the AM role, especially as my home tactic now employs two AMs and the other I've been using is a youngster who's not quite ready.
So, on the morning of the TDD, I asked my DoF for a recommendation as I really didn't have time to search myself and, as is he wont, he came up with three players.
Surprisingly, they were all very, very good...
1) a 22yo who plays for Barcelona but his price is way out of reach as they wanted £100m!
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We'll rule him out then and move onto our next option:
2) a 23yo called Ortiz who was playing in the MLS and he looks very promising with just a £12.25m release clause
3) Thiago Almada who has been at Bournemouth for more than 8yrs but wants to leave them due to relegation back to the Championship

A lot of you who have played FM this year will know how good Almada is. In 2030 he is still only 29yo and in the prime of his career.
I don't think his attributes have developed quite as much as they should but he's still quality and I'd love to bring him in.
There are two issues however: first, they want £44.5m for him and second, he's already on £170k a week and bound to want more. By comparison, Paqueta is on £100k and currently our top earner by some way.
There is also a third issue actually and that is we already have 25 players registered so someone would have to give way and they aren't going to be happy about it.

As I have left this incredibly late in the window, although I do have almost all day to get any deal over the line, my fear is that if I go for Almada and it turns out he wants £300k a week there may not be time to complete a deal for Ortiz because he's in the USA.
But if I bring in Ortiz instead, will he actually end up being that good? With no scout report and no time to get one, I have no idea.
1) The sensible decision would probably be to forget both of them. Leave Almada alone because of the cost and then send the scouts out for reports on Ortiz and maybe go for him in the summer if the scouts are impressed.
2) The slightly less sensible decision would be to gamble on Ortiz. He's available for £12.25m and already has very good attributes, does it really matter that much if he's not going to improve further?
3) The rash decision would be to sign Almada. Yes, we all know he is excellent but don't forget we are Dronfield Town, still a tiny club only in our 2nd season in the EPL. Our transfer record fee up until now was £9m. In our TEN previous seasons, we have spent a TOTAL of £39.25m yet I'm considering paying out more than all of that in just one transfer. That doesn't sound like good business.
Of course the right thing to do here would be to step away, give it some proper consideration and then probably forget about Almada and just scout Ortiz as a possible addition in the summer.
Yes, that has to be the correct decision. Yes, for sure, take a deep breath and continue with what we have in the squad. They've somehow got us to the top of the table when relegation was apparently a certainty. I'd be mad to change things now.
Hmm, do I go for option 1, 2 or 3... 1, 2 or 3... 1, 2 or 3...... or...

 

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Posted (edited)

Out of nowhere, I somehow convince myself that the best strategy is to create a whole new option number 4 and bid for both 😲
Perhaps our success has gone to my head but, for what it's worth, my 'logic' is that if Almada wants too much of a wage, which he surely will, there will still be time to complete a deal with Ortiz instead.
Our offer for Almada is accepted first, now to see what he wants...

Eek, he's after £215k with a £7.5m signing fee and all sorts of bonuses. I take that down to £150k with £6m and also trim the bonus options.
His agent comes back with £185k, a decent drop, and we finally settle on £170k, £6.5m and a landmark goals bonus. As this is better than what I thought we could get him to agree to, I'm in a bit of a quandary now.
Do I really want to pay anyone that much? Apparently I do
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Right, that's our AM position sorted then, thank God that's over. I don't imagine the chairman will be happy with the financial side of the deal but he's not blocked it. Time to relax...
*ring ring, ring ring* "Erm yes, hello? Oh hello, Janice [secretary]. What do you mean you have George Lewis in reception? Who the frig is George Lewis?... What? He's here to sign for the club? Has Brian [HoYD] been trying to sign more kids again without asking?
Yes, I know I said he could search and bid for young talent. Yes, I'm fully aware I set that out in the responsibilities. All I'm saying is he knows how busy I am on TDD, can't he sort this out himself? You don't know where Brian is? Fine, I'll do it myself."
Turns out it wasn't quite George Lewis, it was Jorge Luis Ortiz, the other AM I was after. In the magic world of FM, it doesn't take 10hrs to fly from America to England, he's already here to thrash out a deal and have his medical.
I don't really know what to say but I invite him, his agent, the interpreter and apparently Jorge's girlfriend into the office for a chat and a cup of tea.

After a few minutes of pleasantries, his agent starts to talk business and it turns out he 'only' wants £75k a week. I see no harm in haggling and, before I know it, we've agreed a £65k 3½yr contract. We hug, shake hands and Janice arranges accommodation and a tour of the city.
I'm quite happy with the two signings tbh but then I remember we have the full 25 players registered already so something has to give. Thankfully, this is the easiest part of my day as we have Matheson, an Australian CB who was asking to go out on loan to get more games, and Palermo, a young playmaker who signed for us in the summer and was part of my 25; he too could do with the minutes. We hastily arrange loans for the pair of them and they go to Anderlecht and New York Red Bulls respectively.

Out they go and in come Almada and Ortiz. Great, job done! And it's only lunchtime. Now to fully prepare for Man U tomorrow and forget about the rest of TDD.
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Wait, what's this?...
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Nooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!

Edited by Earnie is God!

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Murray didn't respond to my chat as I had hoped and he was unhappy I demanded £120m up front from Liverpool which they baulked at
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Ah well, hopefully he'll calm down soon.

Our new signings
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Ortiz has had some excellent ratings season upon season. Admittedly, it was only the MLS but still.
My coaches seem to think he's already better than Almada, with more to come too, and that makes me a bit happier about signing both of them.

We also signed another player and then instantly loaned him out, just in time
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At one point we had spent the most in this window
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I knew the board wouldn't be happy with the Almada deal. We also lost £85m this past month 😲
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:( 20200629030855_1.thumb.jpg.52585b75a001de620267182feffcee33.jpg Every cloud though... 20200629030936_1.thumb.jpg.33c5306ca79a0e7932c8e1c15b78684c.jpg

Top Six is still looking good and I'd be happy with that but if we could sneak into the CL that would be unbelievable. Man U with 17 clean sheets in 26 games, far too good for us on the day
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No win in four but we then stopped the rot with victory over Spuds
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Two goals for new boy Ortiz aka George Lewis ;)

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Yes, it's been great thanks.
Had a couple of days off and it's going to be a busy time at work with reopening this week and the sales start on Thursday so I will play a bit on Wednesday but then probably very little until Sun/Mon.
We have some big games coming up and am hoping the AI adjustment during this 2nd half of the season now that we are doing well won't go too much against us.
I may have to change tactic/mentality for it, will see.

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Still upgrading facilities although they haven't allowed me to ask for an increase in the junior coaching budget for 2-3 seasons now. Will keep trying
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Hmmm, maybe we shouldn't have spent so much on Almada
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I know it's early days but he has failed to impress so far. We have Leeds, Watford and Fulham coming up, an ideal opportunity for him to show what he can do and why he's 33yo Paqueta's replacement.
Otherwise, I'm going back top the old man ;)

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Not too difficult when this is only our 2nd season in the EPL but progress isn't to be sniffed at. Targeting a top 4 finish now but would settle for top 6 and a place in Europe next season
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Let me be the one that you turn to, someone you can rely on... Closer each day...
Yes that's right, here are our Home and Away records 👀
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And our remaining fixtures don't look too bad. Still a bit to go but it looks like it may well be a battle to see if we finish in the top four or just miss out and end up 5th
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That win over Arsenal means we have a 12pt lead over them in 5th place with just 6 games to go.
I think we can start planning for a Champions League adventure next season :)

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Still in the cup too and an away tie in the QF at Naarich awaits

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For some reason, we just can't beat Norwich. They were relegated last season but we couldn't get past them in the FA Cup after Almada missed a late penalty and we needed a replay
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The SF draw has been made and if we can end our hoodoo against the Canaries, we'll face Man City at Wembley
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Things started great in the replay. We were 1-0 up at HT and then made it 2-0 just before the hour mark.
Norwich pulled one back shortly after before an injury time penalty drew them level and that's how it ended.
Onto the dreaded penalty shootout then and Coulibaly missed one for us, they scored all 5 and we were out of the cup, our winless run against them continuing :(
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Not happy, not happy at all.

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Still making a profit despite our small support, a £1m wage budget and spending £45m on Almada.
Will be even more next season with European matches :)
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Youth Intake and there really is only one to talk about and it's the Dronfield born lad that was mentioned in the preview earlier in the thread.
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Showing a lot of promise, hope to see him in the first team in a few seasons or so.

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Ah, Chelsea are in the CL Semis so that's why we've not been given a CL place for next season yet.
Should they fall out of the top four and go on to win the competition then they would get in, possibly at the expense of the team who finishes 4th? I think*
Shouldn't really affect us though but, for now, we've only just been guaranteed a Europa League place.
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Bonus that the local lad in our youth intake has signed a pro deal with us now, that'll stop others trying to pinch him
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*Ah no, it's because the winner of the Europa League qualifies for the CL. Semi Final stage right now and Villa, Spuds and Palace are still in it!
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So we are going to have to finish 3rd to get in the CL.

Edited by Earnie is God!

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Good luck in the CL next season. I started with baffins Milton rovers in the Wessex premier league thanks for the tip on player contacts that a big help :)

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@Crackers786no problem, it does help loads especially when semi-pro.

Been busy at work last few days and will spend probably most of today in pre-season, planning for Europe :)

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