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That There Phil

[FM20] Sheffield Steel - An FM Personality Experiment

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Posted (edited)

A Strange Obsession


It's probably a bit sad, but I find player personalities in FM fascinating. I'm sure we've all experienced the seemingly random changes in personality, fluctuations in determination, and the dreaded message that 'the squad's less desirable characteristics have had an effect lately'. There's nothing more frustrating than recruiting a young player with great determination and a positive personality, only for all that to be eroded by the time he's ready for first team action, as the rest of the squad drag him down to their level. I spent the final few months of FM19 wondering if it's possible to harness the power of personality changes through recruitment, squad management and mentoring to build a group of players with close to perfect personalities, who will then in turn help mentor the next generation of players thus creating a self sustaining production line of positive personalities. My dream is to have a squad full of model citizens, and despite having doubts about how realistic that is, this thread will document my attempt to do just that!

 

With that in mind, let's look at what I think I know about player personalities in FM (if anyone can provide evidence to prove/disprove any of them I'd be delighted to see it):

  • Personalities are decided by a combination of determination and hidden attributes - Definitely true.
  • A young player can have his personality influenced by other players in the same playing squad as him - Definitely true.

  • The cutoff for these changes is around the age of 23 - This is an educated guess based on past experience. I've certainly never seen changes from 24 onwards.

  • A player's determination and hidden attributes are influenced by other players within the squad - I think they're more likely to be influenced by players higher up in the hierarchy, but I'm not 100% sure.

  • Mentoring is a way to target/speed up the process in order to pass positive personalities on to younger players - Definitely true.

  • The personality of the head of youth development can influence the personalities of youth players produced by the club - I'm 99% certain this is true based on what I've read, but the effect seems to be very limited in my experience.

 

I'll be playing as Sheffield United for several reasons:

  • I'm a fan. When things inevitably start going pear shaped at various points during the experiment, this should help keep me invested and motivated.
  • They're a Premier League club, and the money and reputation that come along with that should help with attracting players.
  • They're predicted to finish in the relegation zone meaning there is very little pressure in terms of success on the pitch, giving me time to rebuild the squad to my liking.

 

The Plan

I'll be breaking down the long term plan into 3 stages:

 

Stage 1 (3-4 seasons)

If I'm looking to create a production line of players, the first thing I need is a squad full of players with great personalities to act as positive influences on younger players coming through. So stage 1 will be focused entirely on recruiting for the first team squad based on personality (as well as ability of course). It's worth remembering that mentoring can also pass on player traits, so I need to make sure I'm not recruiting mentors with unwanted traits that they may pass on. If we get newgens through who have great personalities then that's a bonus, but I won't be spending resources filling out our youth squads during this period and I'll be releasing any youth players that come through and don't fit the long term plan. I will however be putting resources into improving our facilities and youth recruitment/junior coaching in order to prepare us for the future. I'll also be expanding the scouting network during this period so that we can start identifying talent further down the line.

I'll be aiming for 2 players per position plus maybe a utility player or two, giving me a first team squad of between 22 and 24. Admittedly it's a bit of a risk with no U23 or U18 players, and a few injuries could really derail our season, but it's a risk I'm willing to take in order to implement the plan in the longer term. Any player that reaches the age of 24 during stage 1 and doesn't have the kind of personality that I'm looking for will be sold and replaced.

During stage 1 I will be recruiting 2 types of player:

Mentor

  • Can perform in the first team
  • Determination 16+
  • Has a positive personality - ideally a model citizen, but if that's not possible then other positive personalities will be considered in the short term.
  • Ideally 24 or over

Mentee

  • Maximum age of 22
  • Determination 14+
  • Must be at least a backup first team player
  • Positive personality

 

Stage 2 (1-2 seasons)

During stage 2 I'l be looking to recruit a '3rd 11' into the U23 squad who will provide cover for injuries and replacements as anyone leaves the first team squad, and will then be replaced themselves. We should have built up an excellent scouting network by now, so should have plenty of players to choose from. The team will ideally all be under 21, and I'll rotate them in and out of the first team squad in groups of 2 or 3 (while still making them available for the U23s) so that they can be mentored. I'll also be looking to set up a network of feeder clubs during this stage, especially for loaning out players in order for them to get work permits.

Obviously I'll still be looking to improve the tutors in the first team, but the main type of player I'll be looking to recruit in stage 2 will be:

  • Maximum age of 21
  • Determination 13+
  • Potential to become a first team player
  • Neutral or better personality

 

Stage 3 (Ongoing)

Stage 3 will be ongoing for as long as the save lasts, and will involve recruiting the best youth from around the world and bringing them into the club so that they can be mentored and brought through to the U23 squad and ultimately into the first team. the level of determination and personality type will be more flexible for younger players, as I have longer to work on them, but in general I'll be looking for:

  • Maximum age of 18
  • Determination 12+
  • Potential to become a first team player
  • Neutral or better personality

Brexit may have a serious impact on stage 3 as non British/Irish players will be harder to sign and won't be able to join until they are 18, and so these conditions may have to be revised depending on what type of Brexit I get.

Edited by That There Phil

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Posted (edited)

Slash and Burn

 

The accepted FM wisdom is that it's a terrible idea to make huge sweeping changes to the playing squad at any club, but to implement the long term plan I have to do it here. I can't risk the youngsters I'm bringing in being influenced by players with less than ideal personalities, so I have to get rid of as many of them as I can immediately. Out went the following 11(!) first team players:

Osb.thumb.png.8a853ce879eb93dc7909ec99d2a5ce87.pngDidzy.thumb.png.b7c8314cb6be31112fd71624b7008fe5.pngLeon.thumb.png.c51f5da2e9907fff0d64fb7814ee0771.pngMoose.thumb.png.5b5c414e66497c386443671676a2ea9e.png

Enda.thumb.png.538849bf75a5a53ecf5b27d65adbd960.pngLunny.thumb.png.9e4897807121eb9d4a6d1b77a6feb6c5.pngKfreem.thumb.png.f26a3388643e69d6deee1054bc892307.pngMoore.thumb.png.d3cf1f41648acb501968aa0d36a90d57.png

These 8 were easy choices. None of them have anywhere near the personalities that I'm looking for and between them they brought in a whopping £70 million, giving me lots of room to operate in the transfer market. The following 3 were less straightforward:

JOC.thumb.png.573e6dcdff6bc7a4d54bc5a99add2e32.pngBill.thumb.png.2c15f881383d61ad21381617f0b00cad.pngBash.thumb.png.98e0d95570f5bd6dbd58ce216c9e9e91.png

In any normal save these 3 would be easy choices to keep. Jack O'Connell is easily one of the top 3 players at the club and the others have determination 15 and resolute personalities. However, in this save they have to be sacrificed for the long term goal, even if it means weakening the team in the short term. After a bit of haggling we ended up with £25 million for the three, so with a heavy heart I moved them on.

I also moved out a few U23 players, and loaned out a few more with a view to releasing/selling them at the end of the season, but none of them brought in any significant money

Edited by That There Phil

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You know that you can set up mentoring groups in all of the teams. U-23's and U-19's as well.

This should be interesting.

I generally set up two groups per team the Professionals and the Resolute.  With the appropriate players as tutors.

Each group needs at least 3 players to work.

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Posted (edited)

Spending Spree!

With £95 million now burning a hole in my pocket it was time to bring in some new faces.

Mentors

jh.thumb.png.765d4e5e06229ef09f07cb18b4294e68.png

First through the door is Jorrit Hendrix from PSV. He's immediately classed as one of the best players at the club, and with determination 17 and a model citizen personality he'll be a perfect tutor for our youngsters. Add to that his versatility and the fact that he's only 24 and £10.25 million seems like an absolute steal!

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Next up is Rodrigo Palacio. Very much in the twilight of his career at 37, but with his physical attributes holding up remarkably well he's still capable of doing a job for the first team, More importantly in this save he's a model citizen with determination 17, and therefore a great tutor. At £800k he was an absolute no-brainer of a signing!


df.thumb.png.820cc0757a0afa8e3961a6a20a6accbd.png
 

A third model citizen you say? Step forward ex Man Utd star Darren Fletcher. With his advanced age and rapidly  declining physical attributes he's unlikely to get any pitch time, but as a model citizen with 18 determination he'll make an amazing mentor. Signed on a free and with low wages he's a zero risk signing.

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These two certainly aren't in the same class as the first three when it comes to mentoring. Cunningham is a model citizen but only has determination 14, while Meling is 'only' professional. They may have a mentoring role to play going forward, but they certainly won't be key mentors.

 

Mentees

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First up are 2 players plucked from the Poland U21 setup. I know some people are a bit squeamish about using player knowledge from previous saves, but I'm happy to admit that I've signed them purely based on the fact that I've managed them before, and tutored them both into model citizens. They're unlikely to ever be world beaters, but will provide good backup in their respective positions.

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Next up we have 2 young Italian Defenders. Laurenzi doesn't have the best personality, so may never reach model citizen, but he's young so has a lot of time to develop, has bags of potential and was dirt cheap at £300k. Armini on the other hand has determination 17 and a resolute personality at just 18, so I have high hopes for his personality development. Signed for compensation from Lazio, he will end up costing us around £2 million in total, which is a bargain if he fulfils his potential.

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Finally we have our two marquee signings. I have a bit of a man crush on Fedor Chalov, having signed him in 2 previous saves. I probably overpaid for him at £22 million, but love does crazy things to people, and he is a mentoring dream with determination 17 and a resolute personality at the age of 21. He'll go straight into the first team and I'm hoping he'll be our main source of goals. Zaracho on the other hand might not make the grade personality wise, having determination 15 and only a fairly determined personality, but he's probably the best player at the club and at only £7.5 million I'm guaranteed to make a profit on him if i do end up moving him on in the future.

Edited by That There Phil

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Tactics

 

I'm not going to go into too much tactical detail in this thread, but for my main tactic I'll be using my approximation of Sheffield United's real life 3-5-2 tactic as shown below, which also shows my expected first eleven.

 

1972384117_Tactic1.thumb.png.86b1afae2368e97bd661bd37e92b4295.png

 

I also have a more attacking and a more defensive version as shown below.

175240712_Tactic2.thumb.png.a78879a954bc8636803d21cb3c1ca33d.png43665071_Tactic3.thumb.png.0f1dbc2f82949fd64c6b5d626905aec8.png

 

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This will be an interesting one to follow! I've struggled with mentoring when trying a similar approach with Santos FC and I hope that you will have better results! The big problem with bringing in "new" mentors/tutors is that the efficiency of mentoring is at least in part determined by the difference in first team appearances between the mentor and mentee. Therefore longterm servants are more likely to do a good mentoring job than a new guy. I had a really hard time finding Model Citizens/Perfectionists that were good and/or young enough to play enough games for the first team to become good mentors. You look like you are on the right path though!

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Loving the write up with this :thup: Remind me of Cleon's writing style :applause: Will be interesting to see how this goes!

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29 minutes ago, Mikaelinho said:

This will be an interesting one to follow! I've struggled with mentoring when trying a similar approach with Santos FC and I hope that you will have better results! The big problem with bringing in "new" mentors/tutors is that the efficiency of mentoring is at least in part determined by the difference in first team appearances between the mentor and mentee. Therefore longterm servants are more likely to do a good mentoring job than a new guy. I had a really hard time finding Model Citizens/Perfectionists that were good and/or young enough to play enough games for the first team to become good mentors. You look like you are on the right path though!

I think it's career appearances though rather than appearances for the club. As you'll see in the next post both Palacio and Fletcher immediately have a significant influence in mentoring despite having only just joined.

 

24 minutes ago, john1 said:

Loving the write up with this :thup: Remind me of Cleon's writing style :applause: Will be interesting to see how this goes!

That's quite the compliment! Thank you. 

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1 minute ago, That There Phil said:

I think it's career appearances though rather than appearances for the club. As you'll see in the next post both Palacio and Fletcher immediately have a significant influence in mentoring despite having only just joined.

Ok. I hope that this is true, but my experience so far points towards the latter. I also brought in Palacios as a mentor in my Santos save, but he didn't have much of an impact. That may very well be down to the fact that I'm absolutely ***** at mentoring though...

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Posted (edited)

The Squad

 

So after my Harry Redknapp-esque wheeling and dealing in the transfer market, this is what we're left with.

squad.thumb.png.225b56579c8f7cde90e245a4cd0af01f.png

It's not perfect by any means, and there are still several players which I'd love to move on. Fleck, Freeman, Robinson and Verrips being obvious candidates with their low determination, but injury, having no one interesting in buying them, or not being able to find a replacement means they will be staying until at least January. I'm pretty happy with the business I've done for the first window though, and i still have funds available if targets become available later on.

There is one issue which may throw a spanner in the works though, and you can see it here:

hier.thumb.png.61f3b8d4fbe4e8612fb4b6de00bd778a.png

After selling some of our more influential players, John Fleck with his determination of 12 and balanced personality has been bumped up the hierarchy to a team leader. That means he's in serious danger of dragging our youngsters down to his level and undoing any good work that out mentoring groups do. I can't sell him at the moment because he's injured, so all I can do is hope that I get away without him influencing many players between now and January, and make it a priority to move him on when the window opens. In more positive news both Palacio and Fletcher are immediately highly influential, and I've made Hendrix our captain which should quickly push him up the hierarchy.

Edited by That There Phil

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Mentoring

This is my initial mentoring setup. There are so many variables and such a large random element involved in mentoring that it would take a lifetime to do any sort of useful test to establish exactly what the best setup is, but in the past I've had much more success with small mentoring groups over large ones, so I tend to favour groups of 3 or 4 with one mentor and 2-3 mentees. I'm not overly concerned by matching up playing positions or social groups, as I've had plenty of success mixing them up in the past.

ment.thumb.png.11a00a1bd9a06e507ffe58584d404daf.png

Hendrix only has average influence at the moment, but the fact that I've made him the captain means that it should increase to significant pretty quickly.

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Preseason and Last Minute Transfers

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Our preseason went pretty well other than one slightly dodgy result in China. it did throw up a couple of tactical issues which I had to address.

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Firstly there was too much space in our DM area, giving opposition attacking midfielders too much space to operate in. I didn't want to drop the DLP down to the DM slot, so instead I changed both the BPD to a stopper duty, meaning they step up into midfield more to challenge players in that area. Secondly, the advanced forward was very isolated as the DLF is asked to roam from position and often isn't supporting him. I changed the advanced forward to a pressing forward (attack) to bring him slightly closer to the rest of the team, and I've started training the Mezzala in the MCR slot with the 'gets into opposition area' trait to encourage him to get further forward more often.

 

I also made a couple of last minute signings on deadline day - a couple more youngsters ready for tutoring.

 

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Pietro Rovaglia is a cheap, low risk signing he'll provide backup for Chalov, but has the potential to be a first team player depending on his development and how he reacts to mentoring. I didn't really expect to sign Riccardi. I put in a speculative offer on deadline day, expecting Roma to come back asking 60 or 70 million, and was amazed when I was able to negotiate down to £9.25 million His wages are slightly higher than I'd like for a squad player, but he has a great personality and potential, so I was happy to bring him in.

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2 weeks into our mentoring regime and we have our first improvement


imp.png.a5d2951ad161045cff6a3065a8bafd57.png

 

I'll reveal who in the first monthly update. :)
 

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Posted (edited)

August 2019

Results
 

aug2019.thumb.png.7625ce7aecd256ec16f7541432435c62.png

A disappointing if not unexpected start with a 3-1 loss away at Man Utd, was followed by a fantastic run of results. Wilfried Zaha very obligingly got himself sent off after 40 minutes in the Crystal Palace match, which allowed us to score 5 without reply in the 2nd half. An 84th minute winner from central defender Jack Robinson was enough to give us the points against Southampton, before our 2nd string stepped up for a comfortable 3-1 win in the Carabao Cup. We rounded out the month with a 3-0 win away at Burnley, a scoreline which flattered us somewhat in a tight game.

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So all in all a magnificent start to the season topped off by some magnificent performances from our big money signing Fedor Chalov, who bagged 5 goals in 4 appearances. obviously the league table is pretty meaningless at this stage, but it sure feels good to see us sitting in 2nd place. Long may it continue!

 

Mentoring

I teased this a couple of posts ago, and I can now reveal that it's my darling boy Fedor Chalov who has been the first to respond positively to mentoring. Mentored by Darren Fletcher, he's gained a point of determination and his personality has gone from resolute to model citizen! It's a huge step forward and it's happened much sooner than I expected, so let's hope it's the first of many for the squad!

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There weren't any other gains from mentoring this month, but as expected club captain Jorrit Hendrix's level of influence has gone from Average to significant, which can only be a positive.

jm.thumb.png.91f84564040dd77720790ad816a050d1.png

Edited by That There Phil

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@That There Phil Just about to read your thread.

I'm also paying more attention to player personality than ever, maybe its a Sheffield thing!!! Your interest maybe stems from Wilder's ability to find players with great mental strength, mine from Wednesdays ability to find players with next to none. :lol:

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, janrzm said:

@That There Phil Just about to read your thread.

I'm also paying more attention to player personality than ever, maybe its a Sheffield thing!!! Your interest maybe stems from Wilder's ability to find players with great mental strength, mine from Wednesdays ability to find players with next to none. :lol:

I hope you find it interesting.

I've definitely been inspired by Wilder's approach, it's clear to see just how much he values personality when you look at the incomings and outgoings since he arrived (other than the slightly leftfield signing of Ravel Morrison that is!)

A Wilder type character would turn Wednesday around pretty quickly, but I'm not sure Tuna Man would appoint anyone like him, he's too interested in throwing money at 'big names' from what I can see.

Edited by That There Phil

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I had to share this goal because it shows so much that I love about this tactic.  The press from the DLF wins back the ball, then a fantastic one-two with his strike partner sets up a tap in at the near post. You can keep your 20 pass tiki taka build ups, I'll take a goal based on working hard and breaking forward quickly any day of the week.

 

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Posted (edited)

September 2019

Results

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We started the month where we left off in August with a comfortable 2-0 win against Norwich, and all seemed well as we went 3-0 up on Everton after half an hour. We were brought back down to earth with a bump though, as a shocker of a second half saw us pegged back to finish 3-3. Our second string stepped up again in the cup, although the 1-0 win was somewhat laboured, and we finished the month strongly with a 3-1 home win over Aston Villa in a game which we dominated.

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So after an remarkable start to the season we find ourselves sitting top of the table! As expected, Fedor Chalov is our main source of goals with 7 in 7 so far, but I'm pleased that we've had 9 different goalscorers in our opening 7 games, with goals coming from all over the pitch, meaning we aren't totally reliant on the boy wonder for our scoring output.

 

Mentoring

There were no changes due to mentoring this month, and while it was nice to get some immediate results in August, months like this will be much more common. Mentoring is a long term process, and I'm not going to start worrying about any lack of progress in the short term. I do want to talk about the club hierarchy though. As I'm sure many of you are aware, the personalities of younger players can be influenced outside of mentoring, and as I understand it, the higher up the hierarchy a player is, the more likely they are to be the influencer. Whether a player moves up or down the hierarchy is based on a number of factors, including player reputation, the length of time at the club, and playing time. In a 'normal' save it might not be a huge issue if a player with a less than ideal personality becomes a team leader, but with the long term goals in this save it's important to make sure we have the best players possible up there, which is why I was so concerned when John Fleck jumped up at the start of the season. There's no reliable way to move a player down the hierarchy, so Fleck will simply have to be sold in January, but there is a way you can influence a player's rise up the hierarchy, and that's with the captaincy and vice-captaincy.

hier.thumb.png.d4b5b8359963cd62f87ccf33d7dec88d.pngHier2.thumb.png.9b09960b337796dd59294fa16eb38b51.png

If we compare the hierarchy at the start of the season on the left, to the current one on the right, we can see that both our captain (Hendrix) and vice-captain (Palacio) have moved up in the pecking order, with Palacio now being a team leader. Whilst they weren't the best choices for captain based on the traditional measures, I knew they would both be playing regularly, and that having them move up the hierarchy would benefit the squad in the longer term. When playing a save with a specific goal in mind like this one, it's important to think about exactly why you're making choices, rather than just being on autopilot and doing things the way you've always done them.

 

Transfers

Although the window is currently closed, I've already done my first bit of business in preparation for January, with the signing of Chris Mepham from Bournemouth.

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With great mental and technical attributes for his age, and superb determination, if we can improve his physicals a little bit then he could be a first choice BPD for years to come. He wasn't cheap at £18.5 million, and he will be the highest paid player at the club when he arrives, but he definitely improves the team, so I'm happy to shell out for him.

Edited by That There Phil

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October - November 2019

Results

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Just as things were looking like they might be a bit too easy we were given a healthy dose of reality with 3 straight defeats at the start of October. We were very unlucky in the Chelsea game, but were thoroughly outplayed in the other two. Our second string turned things around with a 2-0 win against a much weakened Liverpool in the Carabao Cup, before a run of 3 straight 1-0 wins got us back on track in the league. We almost shithoused a point away at Man City after scoring with our only 2 shots on target, but an 84th minute goal gave City a deserved 3 points.

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So we're down to 5th, but compared to our preseason prediction of 19th I'm delighted with how things are going.

 

 

Mentoring

Unfortunately there is no positive mentoring news to report, quite the opposite in fact.

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As I feared, someone (and I'm obviously blaming John Fleck) has had a negative effect on Retsos. The only positive is that he's only on loan with us, and having seen his wage demands, I won't be paying to make his stay a permanent one. It does however make it even more obvious how important it is to get rid of any less than stellar personalities as soon as possible.

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2020 Youth Intake Preview

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Not a huge amount to look forward to, but there's a bit of hope for a decent wingback. 

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Just now, That There Phil said:

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:):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

 

noice

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Very interesting and thoroughly enjoyable. I was going to have to ask you to lose a few games as that league table was unbearable for me......fortunately you've slipped a little so I'm coping again!! :lol:

 

 

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December 2019

Results

results.thumb.png.606826d5ebd9ecad961e41d69a3ccd44.png

A big win against West Ham was a great start to the month, but unfortunately we followed it up with a very disappointing 1-0 loss to 19th placed Brighton. A routine 2-0 win against bottom of the table followed, before our second string impressed yet again in the Carabao Cup with a fantastic defensive performance and penalty shootout win against a full strength Arsenal team to send us into the semi finals, where a Yorkshire derby with Leeds awaits. A couple of draws rounded out the month, neither of  which I was particularly thrilled with, but it's 2 more points on the board.

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So we drop another place down the table into 6th, and I have a horrible feeling that we're slipping towards mid-table mediocrity. Not that I'd be worried by that, if you'd offered it to me at the start of the season then I would have snatched your hand off, it's just that our start to the season really made me think we could do something special. Time to get my head out of the clouds and be a bit more realistic I think!

 

Mentoring

We have another success, and we can chalk another one up for Darren 'Super Mentor' Fletcher!

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This time it's Armini, and a second 'first increase model citizen' in a row. I'd not signed him before, so didn't realise how close to a model citizen his personality was. He'll definitely go on the must sign list for future saves though! I also wanted to talk about the mechanics of mentoring and the message talking about Armini collecting some positive influences as well as some negative ones. When there is an effect from mentoring it affects determination, as well as the following hidden attributes; professionalism, ambition, sportsmanship, loyalty, temperament, pressure and controversy. Each attribute is compared between the mentor and mentee, and if the mentor is higher it will increase by a point, whereas if the mentee is higher it will be reduced by a point. So in this case, Armini had an increase in determination which we can see on his profile, plus increases in enough of his hidden attributes to turn him into a model citizen, however the fact that the mentoring message talks about the fact that he picked up some negative influences means that at least one of his hidden attributes was reduced (or increased in the case of controversy where lower is better).

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Transfer Window - January 2020

The main focus of the window was to keep clearing out players with less than desirable personalities, and I think we had a pretty successful window in that regard. Out went the following players:

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I'm particularly pleased to get rid of Fleck who had become a team leader, and although we had to sell a few of them at knockdown prices, we still added £34 million to the coffers.

 

In terms of arrivals we just had 2 new faces:

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Mepham I've already shown when I agreed to sign him, and he'll go straight into the team as one of our first choice central defenders. Ramos was great value at £9.5 million, and comes in as a backup DLF initially. He looks a great prospect, but the main attraction was that he's already a model citizen. He still needs to be mentored to increase his determination, but it's great to be 100% sure that he doesn't have any low hidden attributes to hold back his development.

So this is our squad currently:

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The only player over the age of 24 that I'd still like to move on in the short term is Oli Norwood, but I've already left myself slightly short in midfield after failing to secure a couple of signings, so I couldn't afford to move him on just yet. Other than that, once we get rid of Zivkovic and Retsos when their loan deals expire at the end of the season the squad will be in great shape going forward.

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January 2020

Results

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A busy January saw a mixed bag of results. We started the month with an unsurprising loss to Liverpool, before our second string continued their impressive cup form with a 4-0 win against Plymouth in the FA cup. I kept faith with them for the semi final of the Carabao Cup against Leeds, but they couldn't get a result, going down 1-0. Back in the league, a visit to Aston Villa looked to be heading for a stalemate until Jorrit Hendrix popped up with an 88th minute winner from a long throw, but our inconsistent for continued as we went down 4-2 in an entertaining game against Chelsea. A dominant performance against Watford resulted in a 3-1 win, and we put out a full strength side in the FA cup to secure a comfortable 2-0 win against Birmingham. That left our 2nd string fully rested for the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi final, but unfortunately they put in our worst performance of the season to lose 1-0 on the night and 2-0 on aggregate. Perhaps the pressure of a semi final was just to much for the very young side.

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So we maintain 6th place, and with a game in hand on the teams above us we still aren't out of contention for the top 4.

 

Mentoring

Nothing to report on the mentoring front this month. There have been no personality changes, either positive or negative.

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Posted (edited)

February 2020

Results

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If January was mixed, February was anything but! We began the month by putting 5 past Crystal Palace for the second time this season, before we Hosted Wolves and comfortably beat them 3-1. Next up was what I thought would be the best result of the month, a fantastic 1-1 draw with Manchester United. That was soon eclipsed however, as we beat 2nd placed Liverpool 2-1, despite playing a slightly weakened side due to a few niggling injuries. We rounded out the month with a comfortable 3-0 win over bottom of the table Newcastle. I'm hoping that this is a sign that the 19 new players that have been signed this season are finally starting to gel.

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Our fantastic run of results this month has taken us back up into 5th place, and we find ourselves tantalisingly placed just 1 win away from a Champions League spot. I still think it will be tough to maintain this position, but with only 10 games remaining it's a more realistic proposition that at any other time in the season so far.

 

Mentoring

We have our third mentoring success of the season, and this time it's our captain Jorrit Hendrix providing the success.

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Lorenzi has gained a point in determination, but his hidden attributes haven't increased enough to change his personality just yet. It's a step in the right direction though, and at 18 he still has a huge amount of time for further increases.

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Goncalo Ramos started out as a model citizen, which hasn't changed, but he has gained a point of determination. I didn't get any notifications about this, but I'm guessing it was from the welcoming period when he first joined the club. I'll do a full post about that later on, but for now I'll say that if you have a player with good personality and you can welcome new players to the club with them, do it every time. It's a great way to get bonus personality improvements. (Edit: This was a 'squad's general character' improvement, not from the welcoming period)

Edited by That There Phil

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Posted (edited)

great thread, currently doing this on a larger scale with the united squad, however its seen me get rid of some big names just because I didn't like their personalities (Pogba, De Gea), I've noticed that model citizen is the OG and resolute for fullbacks is out of this world, if you look at Trent and Robertson for Liverpool they both also have resolute and personally one of the main reasons why Liverpool are dominant, I tried switching up the squad, cost me a lot of money, but in the second season, I've bagged the Carabao cup and the Premier League Title in a tight league race with no other than Liverpool, not this time Liverpool... 

Edited by Nani_Is_Messi_On_A_Good_Day

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Hi bro,

Im managing Sheffield United also. I just want you to show you my first season finish without any tranfsers. 

I used 5:3:2 tactic

 

sheffield united.jpg

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On 01/06/2020 at 14:32, Bobek said:

Hi bro,

Im managing Sheffield United also. I just want you to show you my first season finish without any tranfsers. 

I used 5:3:2 tactic

 

sheffield united.jpg

That's seriously impressive. Maybe i need some tactical tips! :D

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This is great to follow! I also aim to have model citizens in my squads so this'll be very interesting. Tiago Dantas and Florentino Luis would be obvious choices, should they want to join Sheffield eventually!

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I've really enjoyed following this - lovely work!

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Youth Intake 2020

**Warning - Long Post Alert**

Our first youth intake just arrived, and I thought I'd use it to go through how i assess a youth intake. The first thing we see is the youth candidates view in the development centre.

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This view is pretty useless, because you have 2 options; a view with some useful information which you can't add attribute columns to, or an attributes view which you can't add some useful information to. So instead I go to my U18 squad and use the filter (in the top right corner on my skin) to hide my U18 players and instead show the youth candidates.

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I then use the custom view below to show me all the info I need to get a good overview of the youth players:

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Lets take a look at the information that we have:

Name and D.O.B. - Name is pretty self explanatory I hope, and I choose D.O.B. rather than age because it give the players age more accurately. There's a big difference in potential development time between a player who has just turned 16 and one that is almost 18.

Nationality and second nationality - These show up any potential issues with work permits or squad registration depending on which league you're in, and also whether the player has the potential to miss games in the future due to non European tournaments such as the Africa Cup of Nations.

Position and preferred foot - Position is hopefully obvious, and preferred foot helps me to see if there are any players ripe for retraining, for example left footed right wingbacks or vice versa.

Determination - Obviously a key attribute, particularly in this save

Natural fitness - One of the hardest attributes to improve, so if it starts low, it will generally stay low. It affects injuries, how quickly a player recovers fitness between matches and the speed at which a player's physical attributes fall as they get older. If you want to get the most out of a player during his career, a decent level of natural fitness is crucial.

Bravery - Another attribute that's difficult to improve significantly, and for me personally, a key attribute in defenders and midfielders. I never want to see players in those positions shirking a challenge due to low bravery.

Jumping reach - This is mainly for central defenders, although I do like to have at least 1 midfielder who is decent in the air too. I don't want to waste time assessing a central defender, only to discover that he has jumping reach of 3.

Personality and media handling style - For this save these are key, as they are what give us information about the hidden attributes which make up a player's personality. There's no way of getting a complete picture, so there will always be an element of risk when signing a player, but I want to be armed with all the information I can before making a decision.

Current and potential ability - We finally get to the thing that most people probably look a first! Potential is obviously important, but I will keep around low star potential players if they have great determination and personality, purely because there is a chance that they will influence players around them. They will likely be released once they're too old for the U18s, but if I can take advantage of a model citizen for a couple of years, I absolutely will.

Injury susceptibility and recurring injuries - Obviously the lower the better, and I won't be unduly influenced by anything up to above average. A player has to be something very special to get signed if he has high injury proneness however, and I'm unlikely to ever sign anyone with very high or with a serious recurring injury.

Once I've used the information above to weed out unsuitable players, I'll look at the remaining players in more detail, checking their full attributes to make sure they can play in the positions that I want, or making decisions on whether I can retrain them. Any players that make the cut from that stage will then be offered a contract.

 

With all that in mind, lets take a look at a couple of players to see how it works in practice:

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By the tradition method of assessing youth, these 2 might look quite similar - both 4 star potential central defenders. But we can immediately see that for our purposes, they are very different indeed.

Cavan Llewellyn - A pretty easy decision. Determination 6 and an unambitious personality makes releasing him a no brainer. For the purposes of this save at least, he could be the next bobby Moore and he'd still be out. Personality trumps everything else.

Mark White - A right footed central defender, he has fantastic determination, and double figures in bravery, natural fitness and jumping reach. I'd prefer a central defender to have slightly higher bravery, but 11 isn't a deal breaker at this stage. His personality and media handling style tell us he has ambition 12+, professionalism 13+ and loyalty 12+ - not the most information, but there are no negatives there. He has a good 4 star potential, so is a possible future first team player, and although above average injury susceptibility isn't ideal, it's not a deal breaker.

So let's look in more detail:

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Straight away we can see he's never going to be a ball playing defender, so that leaves the option of developing him as our middle central defender on cover. He has decent pace, jumping reach, positioning and tackling, all of which make for a solid base, but a couple of areas of weakness stand out, especially his strength and concentration, which will need immediate work. Overall he's the kind of player that doesn't excite me massively, but could potentially be developed into a player capable of making first team appearances, and for that reason he'll be offered a contract.

After assessing all of the players, the only other player that made the cut was Mike Young, and that was purely for personality reasons - he's unlikely to ever progress beyond the U18 squad.

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10 hours ago, ShaunG95 said:

This is great to follow! I also aim to have model citizens in my squads so this'll be very interesting. Tiago Dantas and Florentino Luis would be obvious choices, should they want to join Sheffield eventually!

Thanks. I agreed a fee for Luis in January, but he wanted £120k p/w wages, and I just couldn't justify it for a player that age when my next highest earner is on £51k. I'm hoping that if we qualify for Europe he might be a bit more reasonable with his demands in the summer.

4 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

I've really enjoyed following this - lovely work!

Thanks.

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Posted (edited)

The Power of The Welcoming Period

Whenever you sign a new player, hidden away in the bottom right hand corner of the screen is one of the most powerful tools for changing personality; the welcome button. Sometimes it's only one player, and others it's a drop down menu with several options, and if it doesn't offer the option of the player that you'd like to do the welcoming, then you can go to the individual player's profile and click on Interaction > Ambassadorial Duties > New Signings and click on the player you'd like him to welcome.

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You'll then see one of the following two screens, the first if you've asked the captain or vice-captain, and the second if you've asked any other player.

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I always choose the 2nd option on both screens. I've never tested the others because I always seem to get results from those.

Then after 6-8 weeks or so, you should basically get the effect of a successful month of mentoring for free. You can tell it's happened if you click on the development tab and see the message that the welcoming period has had an effect on character. It can also combine with mentoring or the squad's character having effect for effectively a double effect in a month.

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Just like mentoring it can have a mixture of positive and negative effects depending on the attributes of the player doing the welcoming, but if you use someone who is a model citizen then you can be confident that things are heading in the right direction. You'll be able to see the effect it had on Chris Mepham in the March update.

Edited by That There Phil

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March 2020

Results

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We started the month by giving our second string yet another chance to impress in the FA cup, but unfortunately they let us down, losing to Aston Villa in extra time. We cam roaring back with 2 regulation wins against Brighton and West Ham, both of who are struggling at the wrong end of the table, before rounding out the month with a decent point away at Spurs after they scored a 90th minute equaliser.

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So, we find ourselves back in the champions league spots, although we're likely to drop back down to 5th when Chelsea play their game in hand. Qualifying for the Champions League may still be out of reach, but for the first time this season I'm starting to think Europa League qualification might be a realistic aim.

 

Mentoring

We didn't have any mentoring successes this month, but we did have some personality improvements from another source. Both of our January signings benefited from their welcoming period with Jorrit Hendrix, leading to Chris Mepham becoming our 9th model citizen!

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On 04/06/2020 at 01:20, That There Phil said:

That's seriously impressive. Maybe i need some tactical tips! :D

Hi, your doing really fine. 

For your club vision I strongly recommend you Marco Kana. Bought him for 25 mln in 2021. 

He looks now image.thumb.png.9207bcccc88ca295be643c4ade94a33d.png

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12 hours ago, Bobek said:

Hi, your doing really fine. 

For your club vision I strongly recommend you Marco Kana. Bought him for 25 mln in 2021. 

He looks now image.thumb.png.9207bcccc88ca295be643c4ade94a33d.png

He looks great! I scouted him in my save but my scouts said he was very injury prone, so I decided not to go for him.

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Posted (edited)

My scouts that has 20/20 says he aint injury prone. 

Here is his injury history once 7 weeks was max :P 

image.thumb.png.c7eecaea482a377d4a3313925564f021.png

Edited by Bobek

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2 hours ago, Bobek said:

My scouts that has 20/20 says he aint injury prone. 

Here is his injury history once 7 weeks was max :P 

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Injury proneness is often not fixed for young players. He could have 1 on your save and 20 on mine.

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I've made my own save like this with Everton, should be interesting!

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April - May 2020 & Season Review

Results

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We finished the season off in fantastic style. Team cohesion finally got into the green as the 21(!) players we signed this season finally started to gel on the pitch. April began with a respectable 1-1 draw with Arsenal,  Matias Zaracho popping up with a 92nd minute equaliser in an even game. A win against Leicester followed, in a game which should have been wrapped up much earlier than it was, before a brilliant defensive performance provided the platform for Fedor Chalov to nick a 91st minute winner against 1st placed Manchester City. We rounded out the month with a comfortable 2-0 win at home to Burnley. May began with Fedor Chalov in fine form, scoring both goals in a regulation 2-0 win away at Southampton, and he was on the scoresheet again the following week, scoring the final goal in an entertaining 4-2 win against Everton. The final game of the season at Norwich looked to be petering out into a dull 1-1 draw before Chalov again sealed the points with a late strike. Chalov scored 6 goals in the last 7 games, a slight tactical rethink at the end of March really did the trick in pulling him out of his midseason goalscoring drought.

Final League Table

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An unbelievable run of form in the last few months of the season (we won 13 and drew 3 of our last 16 league games) meant that not only did we hold on to a Champions League spot, but we actually managed to sneak into 3rd place! We were some way behind the top 2, but I really couldn't be more happy with our season. Champions League football will put pressure on what is a very small squad, but the pulling power of being involved will allow us to bring in players that otherwise might have been beyond our reach. The extra cash won't be unwelcome either!

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We were never in any serious danger of winning a cup, having played our very young second string in every match, but we did have a very entertaining run to the Carabao Cup semi finals. Cups won't be a priority next season either, but as our youngsters mature there may be an outside chance of a cup win in the next couple of seasons.

Team Stats

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We finished the season with the 3rd most goals scored, which I'm delighted with, and our corners proved very effective, scoring the most in the league from them. Defensively we were slightly less impressive, finishing joint 5th, but if you'd offered me that at the start of the season I'd have snatched your hand off. I'm particularly proud of our defensive corners, having only conceded once from a corner all season. I feel like defending free kicks still needs work, and I was surprised to see that we only conceded 4 from indirect free kicks - it certainly felt like we were vulnerable from them when I played the matches. We had the best cross completion in the league, which I'm not surprised by, our wingbacks provided absolutely shedloads of goalscoring chances all season long.

Player Stats

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Fedor Chalov ended the season as second top scorer in he league, 5 goals behind the freak of nature that is Sergio Aguero. Ten games in I honestly thought he was in with a real shout of finishing as top scorer, but his struggles in the middle part of the season ended up costing him any chance of that. Our first choice wingbacks finished 2nd and 3rd on the assists chart, with a whopping 27 between them. They also finished 1st and 3rd in terms of distance covered per 90, showing just how much work they get through for the team.

Mentoring

No mentoring successes over the final two months of the season, but we did have a 'squad's general personality' increase:

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Zaracho gained a point of determination, but his personality is still only fairly determined. With less than 2 years until he hits 24, he may end up being the first player we have to let go because his personality doesn't make the grade by 24. He does still have a bit of time yet though, and as one of our better performers this season, I won't be making any hasty decisions just yet.

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And this is where we stand with model citizens right now. It looks pretty good until you  realise that 2 of our significant influence mentors, Jagielka and Fletcher, are about to retire, leaving us a little bit short in that department. Chalov and Armini will eventually make great tutors once they get older, but for now we'll have to make do.

Close Season Priorities

I'll be looking to continue moving on and replacing more players that are over 24 and aren't model citizens, making sure we have fewer and fewer players that can negatively influence the youngsters. Outside of that, my main priority in the transfer market will be a quick central defender to play the cover role at the centre of our back three, along with a central midfielder to play in the Mez(s) role on the left of the midfield three. The board have given me a generous £59 million transfer fund, plus 100% of any sales, so there's plenty of room to manoeuvre.

 

 

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I guess you will need to buy GK too since Henderson is on loan :P 

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10 minutes ago, Bobek said:

I guess you will need to buy GK too since Henderson is on loan :P 

You're right of course. I forgot to mention that as I already have a deal in place to bring in a new first choice goalkeeper who is also an amazing mentor. You'll see him soon!

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Lovely to see the results you're having. I'm lurking in the bushes, eagerly taking notes...

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Loving your experiment and congratulations on the excellent season! It does however pain me greatly the way you dismantled the current (real life) team (poor Jack O’Connell!) haha

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27 minutes ago, Mikaelinho said:

Lovely to see the results you're having. I'm lurking in the bushes, eagerly taking notes...

Thanks. I'm not sure if personality has more of an effect on the pitch than I thought, but we certainly seem to be overperforming, and the amount of late goals we score is crazy - we scored after the 80th minute in six of the seven matches in April/May!

9 minutes ago, BuryBlade said:

Loving your experiment and congratulations on the excellent season! It does however pain me greatly the way you dismantled the current (real life) team (poor Jack O’Connell!) haha

Cheers. It pained me too, but I guess I was already on my way to Blades hell for the cardinal sin of stealing Wilder's job, so dismantling his team was just the icing on the cake. I do think a lot of the United players are a bit short changed when it comes to determination and personality to be honest. Anyone that can watch Enda play and think he has determination 11 must be mad.

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Posted (edited)

Transfer Window - Summer 2020

 

As I mentioned in the last post this window was about clearing out more of the players who didn't fit the long term goal, and we were certainly busy on that front.

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Bryan and Robinson spent last season out on loan, and both clearly didn't fit our vision, so out they went. In any normal save, Baldock, Egan and Norwood would have been easy decisions to keep, especially as they all performed very well last season, but they were creeping up the club hierarchy, and I didn't want to risk them undoing the good mentoring work we've done, so out they went. Cunningham was a tough decision, being a model citizen, but he only has determination 14, making him of limited use for mentoring, so I made the tough decision to ship him out. It does leave me with only a 17 year old as a backup left wingback, so I may live to regret it, but this is very much a save where I want to push things to the extreme, so I have to stick to what I think is the right thing for the long term. All told we brought in £70 million in transfer funds, swelling our transfer pot and giving me lots of room to manoeuvre in the market.

I now had only 16 players in the first team squad, so it was time to get busy spending some of that filthy lucre!

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With Dean Henderson returning to Manchester United at the end of his loan spell, a new first choice keeper was top of my priorities, and I did a £9.25 million deal to bring in Jeroen Zoet from PSV. He's a perfectly solid Premier League goalkeeper, but more importantly he's a model citizen with determination 18, so will make a fantastic tutor - especially as he doesn't have any player traits to accidentally pass on. I'll be making him my vice captain to try and increase his influence in his mentoring group as soon as possible.

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I'd been struggling for a first choice left footed central defender since letting Jack O'Connell leave at the very start of the save (sorry @BuryBlade), and  Max Wöber fits the bill perfectly. An absolute steal at £15.25 million, he's already first team material at 22, and we have a couple of years to try and improve his personality. I'll also try to train his player traits out of him too, as I'm not a fan of either of them in my central defenders. 

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The transfer for Filippo Melegoni from Atalanta was agreed way back near the start of the save, but we had to wait for his season long loan to end before we could bring him in. He has lost a point of determination during that time, but he's kept his resolute personality, so is still a great candidate for mentoring. A snip at £7.5 million and on very reasonable wages, he'll provide backup for Sander Berge in the DLP role.

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Tomás Tavares comes in as a direct replacement for the outgoing George Baldock, and will be our first choice right wingback this season. His determination and personality need a bit of work, but at just 19 we have plenty of time to influence that. I do have a slight concern over his bravery of 8, and if i start to see him shirking challenges and putting us in trouble defensively, then I won't hesitate to move him on in a season or two. I shelled out £9.25 million for him.

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One of my main aims for this transfer window was to find a pacy central defender to play in the middle of our back three, and in Davide Bettella I found exactly that. Perfectly suited to the role in question, and first team ready, he also has bags of potential to improve in the future too. Because of that I obviously had to spend heavily for him, and at £31.5 million he becomes the club's new record signing. He's also out biggest earner on £70k a week, although he did accept a 5 year contract with a 3 year optional extension.

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I've had my eye on Eduardo Camavinga since the very start of the save to play on the left of my midfield three, and actually tried to sign him in January, but his wage demand were crazy at the time. Since then, Rennes very kindly got themselves relegated, and I was able to do a cut price deal for him at £24 million, and sign him to a £56k a week contract, although he would only accept a 3 year deal, so we could have some very expensive contract negotiations in a couple of years time! He'll rotate with Jorrit Hendrix this season, with a view to him becoming first choice if he develops well.

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Finally we have Jude Bellingham. Like Rennes, Birmingham were relegated, so I made a £17.5 million swoop. I wasn't expecting a league 1 player to demand quite the wages he did, but I had money in the bank so we agreed on £54k a week. Despite that he'll mainly be a substitute this season, having agreed to be an impact sub, but I expect him to be a first team regular in the not too distant future.

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I've also agreed a future transfer for 17 year old Gastón Chávez, who will join us next summer. Argentinian with a Spanish second nationality, meaning no work permit issues, he looks a real prospect. He has attributes in all the right areas and is also two footed as a bonus. If he responds well to mentoring and develops well he could be a future star.

Edited by That There Phil

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Never saw your topic till now. i posted a few things and i'm testing stuff concerning personalties (and media handling).

I hope i find some identical thoughts and answers to my questions in your topic , great stuff !

 

This is my current split of personalities and MH that i'm using in my Paris FC save Postive Pers. - Average Pers- Negative Pers.

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