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Northernpilgrim

[FM20] Last Tango in Plymouth

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Hello, and welcome to another Northernpilgrim career save.

The Manager

As with the majority of my saves recently, I'm playing as myself, but in a slight twist, I have tried to get my attributes as close as possible to a former Plymouth Argyle manager (I'm not going to reveal who, but many of you will probably work it out quite quickly). Here I am

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and it should be fairly obvious from the title, but I am going to be managing

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The Challenge

Fun Trivia Fact: Since Hull City gained promotion to the Premier League, Plymouth is the largest city to have never had a top flight football club. The challenge here is to put that right. Yes, I'm going to try and get them promoted from the fourth tier to the first. I know Ryan Lowe secured promotion IRL this season, but for some reason, FM has us down to finish seventh. That is enough for a League 2 playoff spot, but any team that finishes seventh is probably not going to win the playoffs, so I want to do better than that.

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Preseason results were encouraging, as we won all except one match, and didn't concede more than one in any of the games

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We were quite busy in the transfer market, although much of the action happened before my arrival

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My signings were:

Right back Shaun Cummings

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and these three youngsters were signed by my DoF, who had responsibility for youth transfers when I arrived, but I have since taken control. We begin with Meite, a striker

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Josh Williams is a left back

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and Jordan Clarke is a left sided midfielder. 

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This is the squad I will take into my first season at Home Park

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We started the season with two draws, which was frustrating, but we went the whole month unbeaten

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and that left us just outside the automatic promotion spots, in fourth place

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September was another decent month, although we were poor in defeat at home to Cheltenham

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and we remain just outside the top three

466473460_Sep2019table.thumb.PNG.38783ec2468587943d53179f64ff6d91.PNG

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What a response in October, although there was to be bitter disappointment in the Devon Derby. The only consolation was that it wasn't as bad as the real life version, as we only went down 1-0

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and that saw us climb into the promotion spots, and we are top of the table. Now to try and stay there

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We struggled a bit in November, although there were only three league games, and we did win two of them

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and would probably have got at least a point against Bradford with 11 men. The red card proved costly as they scored a late winner

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but we remained top of the table, 9 points clear of fourth placed Cambridge

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and the board decided to offer me a new contract, which I've of course signed

1730994919_Contract2019.thumb.PNG.e89af90bfc2dfa9495d5e2187e2eba40.PNG

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December started well enough, but there was another wobble

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although the 3-0 win over Stevenage saw us end the month back on top of the table, but the gap to fourth place, now filled by Mansfield, is just four points

500591028_Dec2019table.thumb.PNG.b2afa47117f6a94d7726d17e3dddf030.PNG

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For anyone who is interested, I'm using my own tactic. I started with the Gegenpressing 4-1-2-3, but changed a few of the roles to end up with this tactic. 

Tactics.thumb.PNG.85c9a5d1182eea7f8dd100168b715708.PNG

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Northernpilgrim said:

For anyone who is interested, I'm using my own tactic. I started with the Gegenpressing 4-1-2-3, but changed a few of the roles to end up with this tactic. 

Tactics.thumb.PNG.85c9a5d1182eea7f8dd100168b715708.PNG

Neat, I think I was using a 4312 system (3 midfielders, 1 attacking midfielder, 2 strikers), and it was tika taka. Though, general advice I've received is not to use two DLPs etc in the same system. Don't know if that's still what should be done, though. Following, by the way.

Edited by xray1324

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The arrangements for Brexit have been announced. I won't have a problem complying with this for several more years yet

Brexit.thumb.PNG.20f9a59137a30e2ab3b5edcc622b622d.PNG

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January wasn't bad either, with four wins and two draws from 6 league games, even if a draw with Crawley was disappointing

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and that leaves us still top, and we're four points clear

613694903_Jan2020table.thumb.PNG.76ea5e03c89191d34bcbf7534f618b2f.PNG

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Good luck buddy. 

Cheers,
Bitner

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27 minutes ago, Bitner said:

Good luck buddy. 

Cheers,
Bitner

Thanks Bitner. So far, so good. 

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I've seen. Hope this doesn't jinx you ahhaa.

Cheers,
Bitner 

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I knew you wouldn't be inactive for long.

Started very well at Plymouth. As expected. :D

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10 points from 6 games in February, but it could have been worse if we hadn't battled back from 2-0 down to get a point at Bradford

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and that was enough to keep us top, 2 points ahead of Mansfield, 8 ahead of 4th placed Swindon.

1017944431_Feb2020table.thumb.PNG.a25dbeab29098aba4e6263404e4ea052.PNG

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An unbeaten, but frustrating March, although a draw from 3-1 down at Grimsby ranks as a point gained

114249232_mAR2020.thumb.PNG.8fede24d613346f2c47ad4a082e3e94d.PNG

and that sees us fall off top spot, but still on track for promotion

1925850842_Mar2020table.thumb.PNG.057b837b4b4a9fcb97dc10acb3d0808a.PNG

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Keep on going. Promotion is the goal, and you're pretty good  by now.

Cheers,
Bitner

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Unbeaten in April, but there were two draws

1825009039_Apr2020.thumb.PNG.a8c2a2e9f38a566166ba516f6c20e7ab.PNG

Oldham deserved a draw against us, but Northampton were very fortunate, a point their manager readily conceded after the match

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but what would that mean for the final table? We got promotion, but the two draws cost us the title

218538423_Apr2020table.thumb.PNG.cece13a33a3496043c756285ffba6b38.PNG

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2 minutes ago, Northernpilgrim said:

Unbeaten in April, but there were two draws

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Oldham deserved a draw against us, but Northampton were very fortunate, a point their manager readily conceded after the match

1023590130_PlyvNor2020.thumb.PNG.c08ae2e5ce748fcfe6c82c1fc8d51088.PNG

but what would that mean for the final table? We got promotion, but the two draws cost us the title

218538423_Apr2020table.thumb.PNG.cece13a33a3496043c756285ffba6b38.PNG

That sucks, but congrats on promotion! Any targets to try to make sure you don't come straight back from League One to Two?

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1 minute ago, xray1324 said:

That sucks, but congrats on promotion! Any targets to try to make sure you don't come straight back from League One to Two?

I've signed Alex Palmer and Ryan Hardie permanently following their loan spells. I've extended Josh Grant, Tyreeq Bakinson and George Cooper's loan spells for another season. I've promoted Adam Randell from the U23s (he's been around the first team squad IRL this season too). I'll be looking to give Mike Cooper a few more games in goal. I'll be looking to say goodbye to Gary Sawyer and Ryan Taylor (they are both on too much money for their ability), so clearly a left back and a striker are areas I will look to bring players in. I also need a right back, but other than that, I think we're well set to avoid getting involved at the wrong end of League 1.

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15 hours ago, Bitner said:

Keep on going. Promotion is the goal, and you're pretty good  by now.

Cheers,
Bitner

Job done. Thanks Bitner :)

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Time to round up the season, beginning with our club awards night winners

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and our season stats

777217727_Stats2020.thumb.PNG.93d297b79f58a2c401399d86e71ffdf0.PNG

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The review of a successful season, which for some reason shows us climbing to 1st place on the final day, which of course we did not.

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George Cooper set a new Argyle record for assists this season

410172504_Assists2020.thumb.PNG.9ebfe9eb88edecdacd3a85800f24e22a.PNG

Callum McFadzean set a club record for man of the match awards

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and Alex Palmer broke our clean sheet record

353465254_CS2020.thumb.PNG.e4de57dc1ff48cf62528f7394ee97e2f.PNG

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We will be joined in League 1 by our Devon rivals after they overcame Bradford in the playoff final

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Well and truly promoted. That's the goal.  Hope you  have a  nice second season also, which is generally harder than the first

Cheers,
Bitner 

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One piece of financial good news over the summer

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and one very bad. 

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It's things like this that make FFP irritating and irrelevant. How can we fail FFP when we have millions in the bank, we're under our wage budget, and we're profitable?

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Off it, Ryan Taylor was released at the end of his contract. I couldn't justify £2100 p/w wages on a bench warmer with our FFP issues leading to a transfer ban

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We did manage to make four signings before we were put under a transfer embargo

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Ryan Hardie's loan becomes a permanent transfer

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as does Alex Palmer's

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Myles Kenlock replaces the departed Gary Sawyer

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and Santos-Clase is a young striker who I hope will get a lot of game time off the bench, and sign permanently when his loan ends

NSC.thumb.PNG.c4cb80da7ebb2a5855c3e32ab76f6f90.PNG

 

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All of which leaves the squad looking like this ahead of the new season

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A decent start to the season, despite a disappointing first couple of games

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and after 7 matches, we're in a playoff place that would represent a massive over-achievement if we can stay there

570915481_Aug2020table.thumb.PNG.0dce63b7f5fb339552baccc395d5c41d.PNG

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11 minutes ago, Northernpilgrim said:

A decent start to the season, despite a disappointing first couple of games

409270623_Aug2020.thumb.PNG.705f8c6740cb8acf35890ca657987d18.PNG

and after 7 matches, we're in a playoff place that would represent a massive over-achievement if we can stay there

570915481_Aug2020table.thumb.PNG.0dce63b7f5fb339552baccc395d5c41d.PNG

good stuff, looking like you're not getting trounced too much here my friend

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Just now, xray1324 said:

good stuff, looking like you're not getting trounced too much here my friend

We're not, but we do have the worst defence in League 1 (as well as the best attack), which is weird, because we got promoted on the back of a solid defence and didn't score that many last season.

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September was a frustrating month. No complaints as we were second best against Wigan and deserved to be beaten,

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but we absolutely battered Southend

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Burton

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and Mansfield

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and those draws mean we drop away from the playoff places into mid table. We need to get a bit closer to the top six, but I would be happier finishing just outside the playoffs than in them, as I think we need quite a few squad changes before we're ready to be a Championship club

886204748_Sep2020table.thumb.PNG.382ab9a9bf912750ae4ae9fe66f1c0f5.PNG

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Unbeaten in October

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and no complaints with the draws against Coventry or Accrington, but we deserved better against Lincoln

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and we remain just outside the playoffs

1814353315_Oct2020table.thumb.PNG.31f1ac6bf7c0df2ff249362302700c4c.PNG

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Good season so far. Avoiding defeats should guarantee you L1 status!

Cheers,
Bitner

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Tony Pulis is Welsh so it's not him.

Paul Sturrock is Scottish so it's not him. 

Carl Fletcher is Welsh so it's not him. 

John Sheridan is Irish so it's not him. 

Derek Adams is Scottish so it's not him. 

39 years old.... 

Ian Holloway is too old. 

Paul Mariner is too old. 

Peter Reid is too old. 

Have you really taken over from Ryan Lowe, pretending to be Ryan Lowe? :lol:

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On 15/07/2020 at 00:55, Northernpilgrim said:

One piece of financial good news over the summer

1254437638_JackStephens.thumb.PNG.9b72a50cccee90d072d05c2d696c36b8.PNG

and one very bad. 

FFP.thumb.PNG.d286bdb7f78e52cb51a7c47bead234ff.PNG

It's things like this that make FFP irritating and irrelevant. How can we fail FFP when we have millions in the bank, we're under our wage budget, and we're profitable?

Is it based on & of turnover? 

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3 hours ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

Is it based on & of turnover? 

Nope, it's to do with wages. We can easily afford our current wage bill, but because of a ludicrous rule about wage increases, we are now under a transfer embargo. They are literally trying to sabotage us for being successful with a smaller wage bill last season

2140307521_FFP2020.thumb.PNG.72c911835740d5c5d6042fcf79b6c747.PNG

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1 minute ago, Northernpilgrim said:

Nope, it's to do with wages. We can easily afford our current wage bill, but because of a ludicrous rule about wage increases, we are now under a transfer embargo. They are literally trying to sabotage us for being successful with a smaller wage bill last season

2140307521_FFP2020.thumb.PNG.72c911835740d5c5d6042fcf79b6c747.PNG

that's silly, but what's your projection on next season's balance? More or less, or around the same level?

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4 minutes ago, xray1324 said:

that's silly, but what's your projection on next season's balance? More or less, or around the same level?

They're projecting us to lose £1.5m per season for the next two seasons, despite profits last season of £1m and a profit of £800k so far this season.

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6 hours ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

Tony Pulis is Welsh so it's not him.

Paul Sturrock is Scottish so it's not him. 

Carl Fletcher is Welsh so it's not him. 

John Sheridan is Irish so it's not him. 

Derek Adams is Scottish so it's not him. 

39 years old.... 

Ian Holloway is too old. 

Paul Mariner is too old. 

Peter Reid is too old. 

Have you really taken over from Ryan Lowe, pretending to be Ryan Lowe? :lol:

No. It's only the attributes that are copied, not the nation / place of birth / age of manager. But it isn't any of the managers you've suggested so far.

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Only two league games in November, but we're out of the FA Cup already

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and we really should have put 10 man Luton away

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but we're only 2 points off a playoff spot, which is absolutely where we want to be

336556072_Nov2020table.thumb.PNG.141c7f89f0dbf3269ceacc298a012c32.PNG

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In mid-December, I was offered an interview, despite not applying for the job. I'm nowhere near finished at Argyle, so won't be attending

243254661_OUInterview.thumb.PNG.e05e0dcb5a4589f0d7c73a0475d77b2a.PNG

 

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Northernpilgrim said:

In mid-December, I was offered an interview, despite not applying for the job. I'm nowhere near finished at Argyle, so won't be attending

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I had a lot of job offers in my save with Fleetwood, so I know how annoying this is lol (It was a 1 club save, too)

Edited by xray1324

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1 minute ago, xray1324 said:

I had a lot of job offers in my save with Fleetwood, so I know how annoying this is lol (It was a 1 club save, too)

I don't think it's annoying, not in this case anyway. Oxford are a Championship club (promoted last season), so they do represent a step up from where I am now. They just don't know that I can't leave Argyle until I get them to the Premier League.

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A perfect December, six league wins and cup progress, and no goals conceded

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and that sees us in the playoffs, right on the coat tails of the top two. This isn't how it was supposed to go

1614131871_Dec2020table.thumb.PNG.79793cf3abf4ae46274c298d1058829a.PNG

 

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You might want to start throwing some games if you don't want to be in the playoffs

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