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[FM18] A FM Journey Starts in Bath

Discussion in 'Offline Dynasties' started by goblue96, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. goblue96

    goblue96 Disney and Curling Expert

    Posts:
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    Location:
    Clifton Park, NY
    Team:
    Michigan
    Football Manager 2018 6_4_2018 7_33_31 PM.png

    Going to spend the summer playing a Journeyman Football Manager save. I'm starting out in the shit league of the Vanarama National South League which a 22-team league of semi-professional clubs. A random number generator assigned me to Bath for the starting point of this career as a German-American manager with a National B Coaching License and a Sunday League Football playing background.

    Bath play their matches at the 8,840 capacity Twerton Park but only 1,006 of this capacity is seated. We have 250 season ticket holders. One of the first things that I had to do was build the scouting department because the club had no scouts. Since I'm a German-American, I have no knowledge of the English players. As a result, I have players approaching me stating that they could help the club but my scouting knowledge of them is 0% so I can't see any of their attributes. This leads to many of the players being told to "get lost." I've only got three scouts and I've got 20+ players approaching me every week. My scouts are scouting the Vanarama National North and South Divisions as well as the Vanarama National League which is the league above us.

    Football Manager 2018 6_4_2018 7_43_11 PM.png

    The club has a lot of trophies from lower leagues but it's a fuller trophy case than the one at Tottenham. :thumbsup: Bath has won the Southern League Premier Division three times (1960, 1978, and 2007). The Southern League Cup in 1979 and the Western League Premier Division in 1934.

    Football Manager 2018 6_5_2018 4_15_43 PM.png

    Our friendly season went very well. Our only loss was when we traveled to Blackburn for a pay day as we got our shit pushed in. Stevenage is a League Two team and we beat them 3-1. Newport County is in the Vanarama National League and we drew at their place. Torquay are also in the National League and we beat them too. But I've been fooled by friendlies before and we get our ass handed to us when the competitive season starts.

    The media think we have a chance for the league title.

    Football Manager 2018 6_5_2018 4_34_47 PM.png

    3-1 odds is a nice place to be. Playoffs are well within reach. Only the league champion gets automatically promoted with the 2nd-5th place finishers playing off for the second promotion place.



    Football Manager 2018 6_5_2018 6_53_20 PM.png

    I'm going with a very basic 4-4-2 formation with this team. Since we are semi-pro, we don't have a lot of practice so we are keeping it simple. Direct football. Press the other team and force them into quick decisions which will hopefully lead to a lot of turnovers. Almost everyone can play multiple positions which is good since we have a wage budget of less than 5,000 squiggles per week. Compton on the right wing is a natural left winger. However, Thomas is a more dynamic player on the left side (faster, better dribbler, crosser, etc.). So, I moved Compton to the right side where he can also play but as an inverted winger that plays more in-field. He'll play in front our shit-kicking midfielder in Tom Smith with Ryan Case overlapping from the full back position to give us the width on the right side. Everything else is a basic formation that you would in lower levels of football where the quality of play isn't very good.

    The goal is get Bath City promoted within two seasons and then set off for a new club to continue the journey. If we get promoted in year one, then I'll stay at Bath and try to keep them up in the Vanarama National League where there is a mix of professional and semi-professional teams.
     
  2. Yankee151

    Yankee151 Tankee Stadium

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    Not picking the GOAT name Braintree smh
     
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  3. goblue96

    goblue96 Disney and Curling Expert

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    SUCK IT BRAINTREE!

    Football Manager 2018 6_6_2018 9_13_33 PM.png
     
  4. goblue96

    goblue96 Disney and Curling Expert

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    However, this is not encouraging.

    Football Manager 2018 6_6_2018 10_34_25 PM.png

    Seven of our nine loses have been by one goal including six 0-1 losses and sit in 19th place. We had a nice FA Cup run though.

    Football Manager 2018 6_6_2018 10_40_08 PM.png
     
  5. sayo

    sayo Well-Known Member

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    Thought this was a dynasty about killing hisself.
     
  6. goblue96

    goblue96 Disney and Curling Expert

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    2017-18 Mid-Season Review
    The first half of my season at Bath has been about survival. We got off to an awful start which saw us down in the relegation battle for most of the first half of the season. The media dubbed our game against last place East Thurrock as "El Sackico" with the losing manager, most likely, getting the sack.

    [​IMG]

    We jumped out to an early lead thanks to loaned centre back Kenneth Yao. East Thurrock did not give up and scored late to tie the game. Centre forward Lee Ndlovu scored in stoppage time to give us the 2-1 win. And as the media predicted, the East Thurrock manager got sacked after the match.

    The next thing we had to survive was a change in the chairmanship of the club.

    [​IMG]

    No new investment. Great. Apparently, you missed the part about the club being in the red, Mr. Chairman. But they didn't sack me and look for their own manager which is a nice thing.

    [​IMG]

    The victory in "El Sackico" spurred into a four-game winning streak which has been our best stretch of form thus far in the season. We have been awful in one-goal games as I've mentioned before. Six 0-1 defeats and one 1-2 defeat. The only games that we have truly out of were a 0-2 loss to Poole and a 1-3 defeat against Chelmsford. Everything else, we have been in the game. At some point, those one-goal games have to start going our way either as a 1-1 draws or we score the first goal and hold on for a 1-0 win.

    [​IMG]

    Our luck has been much better in the cups where we have played five home games and our scheduled for a sixth home cup tie. These home games propelled us to the 1st round proper of the FA Cup against Barnet. We scored first only to watch Barnet get pissed off and run us off the field, 3-1. Now, we are in the FA Trophy for teams in level 5-8 of the English Football League Pyramid. We beat fellow Vanarama National South team Wealdstone in the 3rd qualifying round and will play Folkestone, who play one level below us, in the 1st round proper.

    [​IMG]

    I was mistaken in my initial post about which teams qualify for the playoffs. I thought it was the 2nd through 5th place teams in the playoffs. It is, actually, the 2nd through 7th place teams that advance to the playoffs. 2nd and 3rd place receive a bye to the semifinals while 4th place plays 7th place and 5th place faces 6th place in the quarterfinals. Halfway through the season, we are in 11th place with a record of 9 wins, 3 draws, and 9 losses. The encouraging stat is our goal differential is +6 which, to me, means we are playing below what our league standing is. In other words, we should move up the table as the season progresses and "things balance out." Even better news, we are only three points behind 7th place Bognor Regis for the last spot in the playoffs. The board expects us to reach playoffs which are now easily within our grasp. East Thurrock and Weston-super-Mare are looking like relegation candidates while Welling, St. Albans, and Dartford will battle for the league title and automatic promotion spot.

    [​IMG]

    Bronze Medal Performance of the Half: CF Sean Rigg - This centre forward is retiring at only 28 for some reason but he still has a lot of quality to his game. He is tied for the team lead in goals with 11 while chipping in three assists. I'd like to him to reconsider his retirement but it is unlikely. I'll probably need to dip into the loan market to replace for the remainder of the season after his retirement.

    Silver Medal Performance of the Half: LW Luke Thomas - The pacy left winger was discovered by my scouts at the national trail day. He leads the team with eight assists and constantly stretches the defense wide on the left side with his running and dribbling ability. A great find by my scouts.

    Gold Medal Performance of the Half: LW/RW Jack Compton - Started the season on the left wing and then moved to the right side in order to make room for Thomas. Second on the team with six assists. He could have a lot more if he was able to play his natural position but our best lineup has Thomas on the left and Compton on the right so it's the right where he will play. He has done so without complain.

    Disappointment of the Half: CF Frazer Murdoch - Murdoch was signed to be the strike partner for Lee Ndlovu. However, he does not have the ability to constantly find the net. He is third on the team with five goals but it is his secondary stats that are not good. He is our worst centre forward when it comes to shots on target percentage at 33%. He averages only 1 dribble per game. Just not producing when it matters. He is very good at shooting high and/or wide when presented with a breakaway chance.

     
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  7. goblue96

    goblue96 Disney and Curling Expert

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    Michigan
    2017-18 Bath Season Review
    How did the second half of the season unfold for The Romans of Bath City FC?

    [​IMG]

    The second half of the season started on a strong note. The offense was clicking. The defense was humming. We were finally coming out on the positive end of the 1-0 result. We were moving up the table and into the playoff fight. Then, it all started to slowly fall apart. The defense got leaky. The strikers went back to missing everything high and wide. Wins turned into draws. Draws turned into losses. The defense reverted back to giving up late penalties. All things that went wrong in the first half came back to bite us in the ass late in the season. We took only four points from our final four games. Did this cost us a playoff spot?

    [​IMG]

    Our tenuous grip on the playoffs finally slipped on the last day of the season. Hampton & Richmond won their 42nd match. We drew against St. Albans. That was enough to see us fall from 7th to 8th place and the players got to watch the playoffs from their day jobs. Effing slackers. Though, we did sweep Braintree and finish above them in the standings @Yankee151

    Welling moves on the Vanarama National League as champions. Truro, East Thurrock, and Concord Rangers all fall down into the regional leagues. Dartford joins Welling in the National League as the playoff winner.

    [​IMG]

    Everything went according to form. 4th place St. Albans beat 7th place Hampton & Richmond. 5th place Poole beat 6th place Gloucester in the first round. 2nd place Dartford beat St. Albans while 3rd place Whitehawk beat Poole in the semifinals with Dartford beating Whitehawk in the finals.

    [​IMG]

    Bronze Medal Performance of the Season - CM Frankie Artus - Artus commanded the central midfield for us. Playing as just a boring old center fielder, he did a great job all season that largely went un-noticed by a lot of people until the end of the season and he was near the top of the charts in a lot of categories. Key passes/90 minutes: 2.70 (1st), Pass attempts/90: 79.92 (1st), Assists: 7 (4th). A good solid season.

    Silver Medal Performance of the Season - LW Luke Thomas - Our terror on the left wing. Could beat the fullback down the line with pace. Could stop his run short and ping in a cross to a centre forward in the box for a goal. Definitely a player would could be playing for a Vanarama National League side or even a League Two side. Third on the team with 10 goals and tied for the team lead with 10 assists. Led the team with 2.99 dribbles/90 too.

    Gold Medal Performance of the Season - CF Sean Rigg - I thought Rigg was going to retire on February 1st of the season and lined up a loan player to fill his role. However, he retired from Professional Football. We are Semi-Professional football so he stayed with us for the season. And it was a good thing too, he led the team with 24 goals and 10 assists. Was second on the team with a 78% pass completion rate. Thank goodness he stayed for the whole season.

    Disappointment of the Second Half - CF Lee Ndolvu - He started the second half strong but then his form tailed off as the season wrapped up. You could say his dip in form cost us the playoffs. I won't because a lot of things went wrong during the season which cost us the one point we needed. Poor defense. Lack of scoring. Inability to build on or hold a lead. But his play disappointed me as the season hit the final stage

    Disappointment of the Season - CF Frazer Murdoch - His form disappointed me all season. He could never find the net or any semblance of form which kept him on the bench for most of the season. If he had developed into a consistent third centre forward off the bench, our goal woes could have been mitigated to some degree.

    The season ended on this note for me.

    [​IMG]

    The board and I could not come an agreement on a contract extension for the 2018-19 season so I decided to resign at the end of the season. I've got my second club already lined up. That will be my next post.

    2017-18 English Season in Review

    Premier League: Manchester United (Champions), Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City (Champions League), Tottenham, Liverpool, Leicester (Europa League), Stoke, Brighton, Newcastle (Relegated)

    Championship: Aston Villa (Champions), Wolves (2nd place - promoted), Brentford (4th place - playoff promotion), Birmingham, Bolton, Burton (Relegated)

    League One: Blackburn (Champions), Charlton (2nd place - promoted), Wigan (5th place - playoff promotion), Bury, AFC Wimbledon, Bristol Rovers, Plymouth (Relegated)

    League Two: Luton (Champions), Coventry (2nd place - promoted), Notts County (3rd place - promoted), Lincoln (5th place - playoff promotion), Chesterfield, Port Vale (Relegated)

    Vanarama National League: Sutton (Champions), Gateshead (6th place - playoff promotion), Halifax, Bromley, AFC Flyde, Chesterfield (Relegated)

    Vanarama League North: Southport (Champions), York (2nd place - playoff promotion), Darlington, Curzon Ashton, North Ferriby (Relegated)

    Vanarama League South: Welling (Champions), Dartford (2nd place - playoff promotion), Truro, East Thurrock, Concord Rangers (Relegated)

    FA Cup: Tottenham 1-0 over Birmingham (must be a glitch because Tottenham doesn't win silverware)

    Carabao Cup: Manchester United 1-0 over Bournemouth

    Checkatrade Trophy: Blackpool 1-0 over Peterborough

    FA Trophy: Boston United 2-1 (et) over Leyton Orient

    Champions League: Bayern Munich 3-0 over Liverpool

    Europa League: PSG 3-2 (et) over Arsenal




     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
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  8. goblue96

    goblue96 Disney and Curling Expert

    Posts:
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    Location:
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    Team:
    Michigan
    As the calendar rolled into June and then July, I applied for a bunch of jobs around the UK. I was offered the job at three clubs:

    Bangor City - a semi-professional club in the Welsh Premier League - this job while in a Premier League, it is a league that has a lower rep than even Vanarama North/South. It has the short-term allure of playing in the early rounds of the Europa League. However, the team is picked to finish 10th in the 12-term Welsh Premier League

    Ards - a semi-professional club in the Northern Ireland Premier League - a league that is a slight step up from the Vanarama North/South. There is even less money available in Northern Ireland than in the Vanarama North/South. Ards is picked to finish last in the Northern Ireland Premier League

    Kettering Town - a professional club newly promoted into the Vanarama North League. A chance to take over a professional team and work with the players every day of the week and sign some youngsters who are willing to dedicate themselves to the game instead of working a furniture mover on the side. But it is a newly promoted team and those are always risky options.

    I decided on taking the risky option and the professional club in Kettering Town:

    [​IMG]

    I get to switch divisions moving from the north to the south. Their facilities are a higher standard than what I had at Bath. They are willing to put some money into the U18 and U23 teams. And finally, there is this aspect:

    [​IMG]

    The backroom is a complete blank slate. There are no shitty coaches on shitty contracts that I have to either buyout or wait until they expire. It's a club that I can put my stamp on right away.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The club is rolling in cash by Vanarama North/South standards with lots of sponsorship deals.

    More on the club once I get some players signed and a squad built.
     
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  9. goblue96

    goblue96 Disney and Curling Expert

    Posts:
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    Location:
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    The Five Month Kettering Experiment
    My time at Kettering lasted only five months. I entered the job full of optimism. I left as a failure. My grand plans for a team that could compete in the middle of the Vanarama League North. I missed on scouting the nationwide trial day given when I took the job in July. As a result, I held my own local trial day and signed a bunch of talent from that event.

    [​IMG]

    These kids joined a handful of players who were on month-to-month contracts as my 2018-19 Kettering Town squad.

    [​IMG]

    The board gave us very low expectations. Avoid relegation - a target that I felt should be easily reached. Fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup - another easy target given the early qualifying rounds are filled with teams from the lower divisions of English football. 1st round of the FA Trophy - win one game and this target is met.

    Then, we got on the field and played the games.

    [​IMG]

    Our friendly season was good. We beat all teams that would should beat and lost all the games that were "pay days." I moved away from the 4-4-2 which worked so well last year to a 4-2-3-1 to take advantage of the versatility of my forwards and midfielders. This formation has done well for me in previous saves. The season started well with a 3-2 win over Chester on opening day. Combined with another win and a draw, we took seven points out of our first 12 available. Then, things went all pear-shaped. We leaked goals like a sieve.



    Teams developed an easy strategy to beat us. Let our midfield and forwards have the ball and wait for us to make a bad pass or a bad touch which creates a turnover. Then, hit a direct ball over everybody and create a 1v1 against the goalie. I tried switching to a formation with a defensive midfielder to better support the center backs. That helped some but it was against weaker competition and it only earned us draws. Finally, I decided to go back a basic 4-4-2. Nope, that formation didn't help us either. We, now, couldn't score. We stopped chasing after balls in space. Our first touch somehow got even worse. Our passing was poor. Finishing non-existent. After 1-0 loss to Nuneaton, we fell into the league basement. At this point, I turned in my resignation. My grand vision was a failure.

    [​IMG]

    Why did it fail? Ultimately, it came to the players. They just weren't cut out for the level. This is where the star rating can give you a false sense of security. All of these players are rated 3.5* or higher. Yet, they all underperformed except for the one player who joined us on loan. Everybody sucked. It didn't matter formation. It didn't matter whether we attacked or defended for our mentality. It just didn't matter because they couldn't get the job done. Does it sound like I'm throwing them under the bus? It sure does. They were bad. Just bad.

    [​IMG]

    So what now? I'm a manager who only has 70 matches under his belt with a win percentage of 40% and only a National A License. Who would take on a manager with such little experience and low qualifications?

    [​IMG]

    A team in the Vanarama National League of course. Don't get too excited now. This club has one big flaw. They are over 600k squiggles in debt and on pace to be 1.5 million squiggles in debt by the end of the season. They were more than willing to take an unqualified manager because they can underpay me to "help keep costs down." With the debt, however, comes so high expectations.

    [​IMG]

    The board expects to reach the playoffs in the league which like the North/South divisions involves the 2nd through 7th place teams. They also want a semi-final appearance in the FA Trophy. So, I'll need to battle on two fronts schedule-wise in order to keep the board happy. I plan on going back to the 4-4-2 which gave me success at Bath and away from the 4-2-3-1.

     
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  10. NML

    NML Well-Known Member

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    Okay Jurgen
     
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  11. goblue96

    goblue96 Disney and Curling Expert

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    With four games to go, Kettering are still in last place and on their third manager of the season. Jurgen, who?
     
  12. goblue96

    goblue96 Disney and Curling Expert

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    2018-19 Eastleigh Season Review
    I took over at Eastleigh on December 27, 2018 and my first match was just a few days after that. I kept everything basic. A simple 4-4-2 formation with very few team instructions (just prevent short GK distribution). I added a lot of pressing instructions to the forwards and the wingers. The goal here is the force the opposition defense to play quickly and lump balls forward into my waiting central midfielders and defensive line. I didn't customize training. Kept it simple and let the players play. What were the results?

    [​IMG]

    I took over with the team in 11th place. We moved into the playoff positions and never gave up those positions. We kept pushing and we finished the season in 3rd place which gave us a bye into the semifinals.

    [​IMG]

    We really didn't have a bad stretch of form during the second half of the season. The closest thing was a two-game losing streak when we lost to Port Vale and then league champion Chesterfield just three days later. We bounced back from that losing streak into an eight-game winning streak which pushed us into 3rd place. From there, we almost let the finals slip away. We jumped out to a 3-0 lead against Ebbsfleet only to watch Ebbsfleet score three goals of their own to force extra time. Fraser Preston scored the only goal in extra time and we advanced to final, at Wembley, to face 2nd place Tranmere. The final was a romp. Loanee Jacob Brown scored two goals in less than a minute to give us a 2-0 lead then finished the hat-trick in the 74th minute. Preston tacked on another goal to give us the 4-0 final victory over Tranmere.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Because the club, at the time of promotion, was over 700,000 squiggles in the red, I was not given a large transfer budget. My wage budget increased from 30k per week to 42.5k . As of right now, I'm only spending 21k. My plan is to scour the League One U23 teams and see if they letting any prospects go on expiring contracts and scoop them up. Also keeping my eye on the Championship and Premiership club for any U23 castoffs. I'll probably have to wait until June 30th until their contract actually expire and I don't have to pay any transfer compensation back to their parent club. I'll have a pretty big shortlist by the end of June so I can keep tabs on all of these players. Also, plan to hit the loan market to fill in any roster gaps.

    [​IMG]

    Two goals by Fraser Preston prevented Chesterfield from completing the Vanarama National League-FA Trophy double which is the English non-league football equivalent of the Premiership-FA Cup double. We had to play a lot of games and a lot of replays because I was a dick and would not agree to extra time when we were the road team. We had a lot of draws in those roads which forced us to play three extra games. But they were three extra home games which generated some much needed cash for the club and helped us reach the final where we got around a 200k squiggle pay day for playing at Wembley.

    [​IMG]

    Bronze Medal Performance of the Season: CM Max Sanders - Sanders came to us on loan from Brighton. He is a play-making midfielder who likes to dribble through the middle of the park and attack the defensive line and either taking a shot himself or passing to an open teammate. He was third on the team with nine assists. His pass completion rate was on the low side at 72% but he led the team with 2.72 key passes per 90 which led the team. He will need to improve his pass completion rate for next season as I have already signed him to another year-long loan.

    Silver Medal Performance of the Season: CF/RW Fraser Preston - Preston is another loaned player this time from Sheffield Wednesday. He can play both center forward and right wing and played both during the season depending on form and injuries within the squad. As the season came to a close, he spent more time at center forward than at right wing. Second on the team in goals (12) and fourth in assists (8). He will also be returning next season.

    Gold Medal Performance of the Season (loan division): CF Jacob Brown - Brown was the one signing that I made during my first five months at Easteigh. Brown did not disappoint. He scored 12 goals in just 16 appearances which led the team in goals/90 minutes. He also added seven assists from his False Nine position. I attempted to bring him back for a full season. Barnsley accepted the loan offer but Brown refused the assignment.

    Gold Medal Performance of the Season (permanent player division): CF Ben Williamson - Williamson overachieved for a large portion of the season. This player with great pace (13) but poor finishing (4) finished the season as our leading goal-scorer with 24 goals and another seven assists. He projected to be a back-up but over-played his role and his rating for the season. It is for those reasons that he earned the Gold Medal Performance of the Season.

    Disappointment of the Season: GK Craig McDowell - Quickly became the back-up goalkeeper when I took over. He just couldn't stop the ball and when you are the goalie that's your job. He finished the season with a goals against average of 1.60/per game while making only 1.80 saves per game. That's not a good split for a goalkeeper at any level.

    [​IMG]

    We signed a "fat" sponsorship contract for our first season in League Two. This injection of cash still leaves us 108k squiggles in the red. I smell a big money friendly tour to try to balance the books this summer. I'll need to schedule a couple of cupcakes at the end of tour so our morale isn't trash to start the season.

    2018-19 England Year in Review

    Premiership: Manchester United (Champions); Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City (Champions League); Tottenham, Liverpool, Bournemouth (Europa League); West Brom, West Ham, Aston Villa (relegated)

    Championship: Stoke (Champions); Newcastle (2nd place - promoted); Leeds (6th place - playoff promotion); Barnsley, Nottingham Forest, Charlton (Relegated)

    League One: Birmingham (Champions); Bolton (2nd place - promoted); Oldham (6th place - promotion); Coventry, Lincoln, Notts County, Gillingham (relegated)

    League Two: Colchester (Champions); Yeovil (2nd place - promoted); Bristol Rovers (3rd place - promoted); Cheltenham (5th place - playoff promotion); Forest Green, Sutton (relegated)

    Vanarama National League: Chesterfield (Champions); Eastleigh (3rd place - playoff promotion); Maidstone, Woking, Welling, Dartford (relegated)

    Vanarama National North: FC Halifax (Champions); Kidderminister (2nd place - playoff promotion); Spennymoor, Chorley, Ashton United (relegated); Manager #3 got Kettering to an 18th place finish

    Vanarama National South: Billericay (Champions); Hemel Hempstead (2nd place - playoff promotion); Bognor Regis, Weston-super-mare, Hungerford (relegated)

    FA Cup: Chelsea 2-0 over Burnley

    Carabao Cup: Chelsea 1-1 (3-2 on penalties) over Bournemouth

    Checkatrade Trophy: Chelsea U23s 2-0 over Wolves U23s

    FA Trophy: Eastleigh 2-0 over Chesterfield


    Champions League: Manchester City 1-1 (4-3 on penalties) over Chelsea

    Europa League: PSG 1-0 over Sporting CP

    2018 World Cup Final: Germany 2-1 (et) over Croatia; USA finished 3rd in Group C behind Germany and Cameroon but ahead of Holland; USA 3-1 over Holland; Germany 2-0 over USA; Cameroon 2-1 over USA

    Football Manager 2018 6_14_2018 11_37_54 AM.png
     
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  13. Schauwn

    Schauwn Well-Known Member

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    Just copped FM 18 after getting to know and understand FM 17. Think I'll start my own dynasty here as well...
     
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  14. goblue96

    goblue96 Disney and Curling Expert

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    Team:
    Michigan
    2019-20 Eastleigh First Half Review
    We enter our first season of league football in Eastleigh's history with low expectations from the board.

    [​IMG]

    It doesn't get any lower than that. Avoid a relegation battle means the board will be happy with something like a 19th or 20th place finish. Be competitive in the FA Cup means "we don't care how far we go just don't get blown out." Carabao Cup's target is "Reach 1st Round" well we enter in the first round so that target has already been reached.

    [​IMG]

    We brought a bunch of new faces while maintaining a semblance of a core that earned us the promotion to League 2. We have a good mix of loan players and players from League One and League Two that were willing to join us on a permanent basis. The biggest catch was Joe Tompkins from Fulham who is listed as a "promising striker." He's already a League 1 talent that Fulham agreed to come down and play in League 2. Our biggest free signing was center forward Luke James. On the whole, I tried to make signings and loan deals that would help us this season not three seasons down the road. That was the one mistake I made with Kettering. I thought I was building something for the longer term and forgot about the short term. I did not want to make that mistake again. We sold our first player in right back Josh Lelan was bitching about not getting playing time when we was worse than our backup let alone our starter. Little did I know that I made history when I sold him.

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    The wonders of non-league football when a 14,000 squiggle sale becomes the club's record sale. WOW!

    The media had higher expectations for us and picked us to finish 12th after the transfer window closed on September 2nd. Whose expectations did we met? As the transfer window closed, I had a roster that looked like this.

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    Solid in most positions but weakest at the centre back position which could hurt as the season goes on or we have injuries.

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    We had a great August scoring 10 points from a possible 15. We slipped a little in September and October as we were juggling a lot of games between the league and the Checkatrade Trophy for League 1, League 2, and Under 23 teams. We had another good run of form at the end of October/beginning of November when we claimed 11 points from 15. We also closed the first half on a high after smashing Barnet, 6-1, on their field and beating Exeter, 2-1. If only we hadn't stumbled against 23rd place Chesterfield in between those games. We also had some long gaps in between some games around the international breaks. We have three internationals on the team. All of them contribute so when I was asked if I wanted to delay the fixture while they were gone on break, I agreed. This combined with the cup games made our fixture congestion even worse.

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    We had very short stays in both the Carabao Cup where we were eliminated by Bristol City and in the FA Cup when Burton knocked us out in the 1st round. The Checkatrade Trophy: we had a little longer stay. Two of our three group stage games went to penalty kicks. We beat Bristol Rovers from League One on penalties which earned us two group stage points and lost to League One Northampton which earned us only one group stage point. We beat up on Swansea's Under 23 team to move into second place and advance to the regional knockout stages when we drew another League One team, MK Dons. The Dons took 2-0 and 3-1 leads. We battled to close the gap to one goal but could never tie the game and the Dons advanced to the South Quarterfinal round.

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    We have exceeded both the board's (avoid relegation battle) and media's (12th place finish) expectations and currently sit just outside the playoff spots in 8th place. If we can stabilize our shaky centre-back pairing, we could make a serious push for the playoff spots. Chesterfield, who promoted with us, are struggling down in 23th place and look like potential relegation candidates. We are battling with teams that have much larger resources than we do: Swindon (large stadium), Crewe (great youth academy), Coventry (fantastic history) for those playoff spots. It's going to be a tough fight if we are to qualify.

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    Bronze Medal Performance of the First Half - CM Max Sanders - Our struggles in September and October were tied to when Sanders was out of the lineup with an injury. He has the dribbling and the pace that none of our other midfielders have. He's not the best passers in terms of completion percentage but he can spot the pass which can unlock the opposition defense. He leads the team with 2.69 key passes/90. He is also the master of the "hockey 2nd assist." He only has one assist to his name but usually makes the pass that sets up the assist to set up the goal.

    Silver Medal Performance of the First Half - CF Luke James - Our free signing center forward has done a great job in the False Nine role. He drops deeps into the space vacated by the defensive ball winning midfielder and stretches the opposition's center back pairing creating space for the attacking right winger to run into. As a result, he ranks in the top two in both goals (12, 2nd) and assists (7, 2nd). He's creating over a chance/90. He has been a great signing for us this season.

    Gold Medal Performance of the First Half - CF Joe Tompkins - Thank you, Fulham, for allowing this player to join us on loan. He has quickly stepped into the "lead centre forward" role and knows exactly where the net is. Leads the team with 16 goals in all competitions while also leading the team with 11 assists. He is way too good for this level. He should be playing for a League One club somewhere but instead he is playing for us and we are reaping the benefits of his quality play.

    Disappointment of the First Half - CB Reda Johnson - Our captain has found his way out of the lineup with his poor play. That's not to say any of our centre backs have good but as a captain I expect good play out of you and I expect to accept any criticism I give you over your poor play. Johnson has both played poorly and doesn't think he's playing poorly. Others have been worse this season but the combination of poor play and poor attitude put Johnson in this position.

     
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  15. worst2first

    worst2first FDT

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    7,137
    This is making me want to give FM a go but I'm still pretty intimidated by it.
     
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  16. Yankee151

    Yankee151 Tankee Stadium

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    Location:
    Tallahassee and Tampa
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    There are a lot of automation options so you can jump in, but there is definitely a learning period to go through

    I learned playing the mobile version and I found that helped a lot. I think it's now FM Touch but you're better off getting the main game from what I've heard
     
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  17. goblue96

    goblue96 Disney and Curling Expert

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    Michigan
    They’ve got a 66% off promotion during the World Cup too.
     
  18. Yankee151

    Yankee151 Tankee Stadium

    Posts:
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    Tallahassee and Tampa
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    Damn I may want to upgrade from 14, was going to wait for 19 for Venezia/Italy c&c redemption run
     
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