Football Manager Series Catch-All

Prederick wrote:

Almost got through a full season with Notts County but......

.......I'm a Fulham fan. And as good as Scott Parker has been, I still want to see them go up and start taking f**king names. Guess I'm restarting.

Good luck with Fulham! They have a place in my heart because our family went to see them play at Craven Cottage before they got promoted to the Premier League. I'll be rooting for you!

Paul Lambert somehow kept Ipswich up in The Championship - mainly thanks to Wigan's season falling apart even worse - but then Ipswich fired him in the off-season anyway. I applied for the job (which annoyed my board), and got an interview, but then they decided to give the job to Nuno Espirito santo.

Boo-urns.

The end to my season was bonkers. I managed to get Blyth back into top spot with six games to play, but then my players' collective sphincter went. We lost 1-0 away to the 23rd placed team and then 4-0 at home to seventh-placed Billericay and slumped down to third, but apparently no one wanted to win the division because we still had a shot at the title on the final day.

We won that game 2-1, but everyone else got a result too, so we finished third, sealing a bye into the playoff semi-final. That game turned out to be at home to Wrexham.

The Welsh team were the big guys in the division having come down from League Two the year before and had been bookies favourites to go straight back up at the beginning of the season. We'd beaten them twice during the year and were playing at home, but they were still listed as favourites for our semi-final in a game that turned into some version of Thunderdome.

In the first half Wrexham put eleven shots on target and we managed eight, but both Goalies played out of their minds and so the score at the break was 1-1. Clearly someone put something in the tea at halftime though, because there were almost no scoring opportunities after the break, but there were twelve yellow cards. Twelve!

The split was seven-five to Wrexham, meaning they'd won the first half shot count and the second half fight. Then we went to extra time to decide things...

Things went my way quite quickly as Wrexham had two players sent off in the first four minutes of the extra period. The first for a second yellow card and the second a straight red for a wild two-footed challenge in the rain that started about 35 yards from the person who was eventually clattered.

The dude slid so far my player looked like someone getting wiped out standing on an Olympic luge run.

With a two man advantage and Wrexham's players all on the verge of exhaustion due to covering extra ground I kept turning up my attacking intent and the tempo of my play, but couldn't find a goal until the 120th minute when Ryan Lloyd ran around three defenders who could barely move to slot home.

Immediately from the kick off we took the ball back off Wrexham's statues, ran into their box and Dan Maguire was fouled. It looked like a red to me, but another sending off would have caused Wrexham to forfeit the game, so the ref just gave us a penalty and then blew his whistle as soon as we scored it.

Then we got Leyton Orient at Wembley in the final. They'd cruised through their semi-final while I was taking part in a re-enactment of the First Day of the Somme, so I could hardly get a team together.

After eighty minutes they were absolutely crushing us, but the score was only 1-0 and then Emmanuel Dieseruvwe scored for the first time in six games to make it 1-1.

So we went to extra time again but that wasn't going to work out with our energy levels and Orient scored early then shut up shop and took the win.

I came second in Manager of the Year voting, but the board were scared that I'd applied for the Ipswich job, so they agreed to buff our youth academy, increase our scouting capacity and relay the pitch. I didn't ask for a pony, but I sense I could have.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:
Prederick wrote:

Almost got through a full season with Notts County but......

.......I'm a Fulham fan. And as good as Scott Parker has been, I still want to see them go up and start taking f**king names. Guess I'm restarting.

Good luck with Fulham! They have a place in my heart because our family went to see them play at Craven Cottage before they got promoted to the Premier League. I'll be rooting for you!

I lied and went back to Notts Co.

So we got bounced immediately from the FA Trophy by a team from the National League South, but then have since gone on a miraculous FA Cup run, although to be fair, the "miracle" was beating a League One team that was in the relegation places and a middling League Two team. Still though!

So we get to the 5th Round, where our reward is a game, on the road, against ManU.

We got outshot 27-5. They hit the woodwork 4 times, had 4 clear-cut chances, 4 half-chances, and 68% possession.

We won 1-0 when Sergio Romero dropped a shot from our left-back and my 37-year-old winger poked it home.

If the roles were reversed, and I'd lost that game, I'd be absolutely incandescent.

Prederick wrote:

So we get to the 5th Round, where our reward is a game, on the road, against ManU.

We got outshot 27-5. They hit the woodwork 4 times, had 4 clear-cut chances, 4 half-chances, and 68% possession.

We won 1-0 when Sergio Romero dropped a shot from our left-back and my 37-year-old winger poked it home.

If the roles were reversed, and I'd lost that game, I'd be absolutely incandescent.

That's the magic of the cup! That sort of run can make a serious difference to a club's finances for years to come, so I hope you get to enjoy a spending spree soon. And yes, if I was the Man Utd manager in that situation I'd have rage quit and reloaded I'm afraid!

As for me, after 35 hours, season one with Eastleigh is done. After a shaky start we found some form and managed to scrape into the playoffs on goal difference. We were knocked out in the semi's, which was probably for the best - we'd be slaughtered in a higher division I think.

We relied heavily on the six loanees I added - The players who were top goalscorer and most assists have returned to their parent clubs. Plus, almost all of the first team were on one year contracts, so I'm letting almost all of them go! It was an aging squad, declining in quality, so it's time to shake it up. To that end...I've signed TEN youngsters rejected by premier league clubs.

Next season is going to be interesting...

Nice win, Prederick! I had a league match with FM19 a couple of months ago where we got outshot 20-1 and won, 1-0. It's certainly fun with you can FM FM.

And nice work with Eastleigh, Blackice. It sounds like we had somewhat similar paths in our first seasons.

This off season I've started to look at Premier League castoffs as well, but I think I'm only going to end up with two or three of them. Many of them want a lot more than I can pay, and competition for their services is high. I've noticed that many of them have interesting flaws, as well. Lots of low determination, or awful technique, or "inconsistent performer," etc.

One of the things I don't know yet is to what degree one bad attribute can ruin an otherwise excellent player. I almost signed a studly looking centerback with good heading, jumping, and height, but he had bravery of 2 and low determination. I passed on him because that 2 combined with low determination made me nervous.

He's generally not a particularly demonstrative person, but I can absolutely imagine him going on a homicidal rampage from the gap in technical talent between Barcelona and the USL.

I imagine him doing some thousand-yard stare after he smacks another absolutely perfect 25-yard through-ball that his striker shins into the stands for the 8th time that day (or never even had the foresight to be in position to shoot it at all).

Obviously, we must make this happen in real life.

Reminiscent of Kinkladze the season City went down into League One. Watching him play inch-perfect throughballs, then look up and the intended target is still stood in the same place was heartbreaking.

Until it started happening every week, and then I began to think.."why don't you just pass it to them, it's Craig Russell for heaven's sake".

The start to the new season has gone... better than anticipated.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/GODuLRd.png)

The annoying part of the early season was that 3-1 win over Wrexham, as the "1" actually bothered me more than the dropped points away to Port Vale because I was hoping to get through the whole month without allowing a goal after I opened with five clean sheets.

Wrexham and Port Vale are both interesting tales this year too. Vale had a female manager at the end of last year and then fired her after one game this season. For some reason Steve Bruce was floated around the Vale job and they also offered me an interview, which I declined.

They then brought in some guy I'd never heard of and eight games later fired him as well. So they're on their third manager of the year, 15 games into the season.

Meanwhile Wrexham were the heavy favourites to win the division last year, but slumped on the run-in and ended up losing in the playoffs to my Blyth team. They spent a lot of money (relatively), in the off-season and then tripped and fell on their face right out of the gate.

Right now they're three spots above the relegation positions and just fired their manager.

We're top, as you'd expect from a 14-game undefeated run, but only by three points from Fylde who are the next team I play.

The game keeps referring to us as "relegation candidates" - demonstrating a continuing weakenss with the game and the speed with which it corrects its narrative. We finished third last year and were top for a while and although we didn't add any new players, all of our younger guys have a season more experience and we've covered a third of the season without losing a game.

The standout of those younger guys has been RB Jordan Cropper. He split time last season with Alex Nicholson, because I didn't want to play 19 year old Cropper next to 19 year old Di'Shon Bernard, but I don't think I could drop Cropper this year.

Not only does he have a high rating from good defensive performances, he also leads the team in assists thanks to these long swinging crosses he hits to the back post that get headed home by the redwood we play at Target Man, or tapped in by the opposite winger.

Game of the season was the away match with Barnet. We scored first, but then missed a penalty and promptly collapsed to 3-1 behind. I kept cranking up the attacking intent in response to that but didn't find a breakthrough... until the 88th and 91st minutes to tie the game up. That was a real air-punch moment.

If we win the game against Fylde to take an early six point lead then "relegation candidates" are going to be in a real good place to win the division.

Prederick wrote:

I lied and went back to Notts Co.

Things got sillier.

So we had a match in the FA Cup QFs with Chelsea, who, as opposed to United, did not fill half of their squad with U-23 and U-18 players. We play, and get annihilated 4-0. I'm fine with this because, y'know, it's Chelsea, we're Notts County.

So I go ahead from there, and play the next three league games, including a super-important 1st vs. 2nd game against the league leaders that sees us win in a 4-1 romp on the road and retake top spot in the National League for the first time since December with just 8 games left in the season.

.............and then the game crashes. I lose everything, the Chelsea game, the table-topping win, everything.

Annoyed, I nevertheless restart and play again. this time, I change our formation into a comically defensive one, 3 CBs, 2 WBs, 2 DMs, a MC and 2 strikers.

It kind of works. We are still absolutely, positively getting drubbed, but we are putting such an absurd amount of bodies between ourselves and the net that we're blocking shot after shot after shot after shot. Chelsea are trying to break down 8 men in defense at any given time, who, despite the fact that our wingbacks are getting absolutely roasted, are winning headers from poor crosses, or at least pressuring Chelsea players enough that the shots they do take keep on going wayward.

This lasts until the 62nd minute, when Mateo Kovačić absolutely larrups one in from about 25 yards. I figure, whatever, damage limitation, we lost 4-0 last time anyway. I make a few minor tactical tweaks and continue hoping for the best.

Then, on 81 minutes, on what was by my count our fifth sortie into the opposing third, a we lump one into the box and Andreas Christensen decides to execute a MMA move on one of my strikers in the air, and lo and behold, we get a penalty. Said penalty is then converted, and we go into extra-time.

At this point, I give up any pretense of offense, and settle into what could fairly be described as a 5-5-0 formation. Chelsea are coming at us like we've stolen money from them, and we're somewhere on the line of defense that falls between "Paul McGrath Ireland '94" and "naked, flailing desperation".

Chelsea hit the post twice in extra time and VAR rules out a goal that, frankly, they probably should've gotten (I have no idea if FM has programmed in ref f*ck-ups but the lines were right on top of each other. If they were off, it was by literal molecules).

But we get through all 120 minutes, and end up in penalties against Chelsea. And somehow, Mason Mount hits the post and Tammy Abraham has his shot saved, and we win 4-2 on penalties. Notts County are going to Wembley to face Crystal Palace in the FA Cup Semi-finals. Absurdity.

As if to punish me, for my favor, however, instead of winning the next three games as we had before I lost the save, we lost, drew with the top team, and won, leaving us four points back from top spot with eight games to play. But, y'know, we're going to Wembley!

EDIT: Oh, did I mention I'm only getting a B- from the board because their expectation is for us to go up as champions?

Awesome write-up, Prederick! That sounds like an amazing game! Grats, and good luck in the semis!

Prederick wrote:

EDIT: Oh, did I mention I'm only getting a B- from the board because their expectation is for us to go up as champions?

Same here. We've been holding onto 1st place in the league and have been pummeling opponents on the whole, but the board is "satisfied" with our results on the pitch. What more could I do? Seriously demanding board, they are.

Mr Bismarck wrote:

If we win the game against Fylde to take an early six point lead...

Narrator Voice...

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/aiUoWFp.png)

Damn it damn it damn it. My team is falling apart.

Finally have a long break due to Christmas, so I stayed up way too late last night playing FM, and it's almost all good news.

Five games left in the season, and we go 2-1-1 in the next four games, while out opposition goes 1-1-2. We're now a point back going into the final game of the season, away to Fylde. I don't think I've ever had a finish this exciting before, we have to win and hope that Aldershot draw or lose.

I want to finish the season, but I will admit, i'm having a bit of a wobble. I've enjoyed this game, but I also want to, y'know, play in Europe and stuff, and in the absolute best-case scenario, Notts Co. is five seasons (four promotions and a top-four finish) away from the Champions League and I might not finish that until FM 21 is out.

Plus, I could afford to play in another nation again. Hm.

B L Y T H S P A R T A N S

I'm doing quite well in the league, yadda yadda... three points clear of second placed Barnet with 33 of 46 games played... but let's talk about the FA Cup.

Because I'm small I had to play in the fourth qualifying round against amateurs Ashton United and that was a game we completely dominated, where we just couldn't break through. We had six times as many shots as Ashton, but the score was still 0-0 after ninety minutes.

Then we scored in 90+1 and 90+3 to win 2-0. Phew.

This put us into the first round proper, where we came up against League 1 Bradford City. This time instead of two late goals we scored two early ones - the 15th and 16th minutes - and then grimly hung on as Bradford turned up the screws and we won 2-1.

This means now there's just one round between us and the arrival of the big boys and a potential monster payday... in round two we draw League Two's Aldershot.

Aldershot go ahead 2-0 in just 22 minutes, but I make some changes and we stem the tide, scoring a goal in the 26th to make things tight again and then adding a second right out of halftime.

This game was at home, so I really thought it was a great chance to get into the third round, but we can't find a winner, so we head to Aldershot for a replay.... which we win 2-1, thanks to Defender Nathan Buddle's first goal of the season.

Now... Now we're in the third round... here come the big boys.

We draw Northampton Town. Away... Ffffffuuuuuuu...

Northampton have 20 shots, we have 2. We win 1-0, because of course we do. The goal comes in the 86th minute from substitute Adam Evans, who'd I sent on in the 85th minute. I take a bow.

Ok... fourth round... BIG BOYS...

We get drawn away to Fulham. That's not exactly what I was aiming for, but it's big..ish.

They get 11,000 fans in for the game, which isn't much more than we draw at home.

Fulham (and their fans) are so disinterested that they play a largely reserve side and after battling back to 1-1 from a surprise early goal, (Adam Evans again), they show exactly how little they care for the competition when Fulham's Craig Dawson turns under pressure and tonks a 25 yard shot past his own keeper to give us the win.

Ok... Fifth round... BIG BOYS....

We get Liverpool. At Anfield.

This is a lesson from the "be careful what you wish for" department, because Liverpool score on 46 seconds and then again and again and again. On 28 minutes they miss a penalty that would have put them 5-0 ahead.

That miss proves to be crucial, because it means the final score is only 9-0. When they put up a score like that on the TV they always spell out the number so you know it's not an error.

9(nine)-0.

Ouch.

On the plus side..

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/zrGX6IF.png)

That's a million quid in gate receipts after Liverpool pay us. That's half our entire income for last year in one game.

I need to spend most of it on bandaids and burn cream after the 9-0, but whatevs. Think how many free players I can sign for that!

question: How many of you handle training personally?

Heck of a Cup run, Mr. Bismark! And that's a nice pile of cash to work with.

Prederick wrote:

question: How many of you handle training personally?

I'm still in the semi-pro levels, so we only train twice a week. I've assigned training to the assistant manager because it's pretty simple at this level. Then I go in and tweak quite a bit to get sessions to what I want.

I'm looking forward to reaching professional status sometime so I can run the training full time. When I get there, I'm pretty sure that I'll just set everything up myself. It's a lot less complicated than it looks once you get it set up, and I think it will allow me to influence how players develop and how the team plays significantly.

Prederick wrote:

question: How many of you handle training personally?

It's the first thing I delegate when I take over a new club. All of it. The only thing I do is to check the stats of my Assistant Manager, and if he's garbage, then bin him, get a new one and then delegate.

Ah yes, my favorite frustration in FM.

I'm getting a string of games where we dominate, totally outshoot the opposition, and due to either a goalie blinder/blocked shots and poor finishing we end up drawing or losing.

A 0-0 draw with Leeds after we outshot them 31-3 (with 3 CCCs and 3 HCs!), except they blocked 9 shots, 12 were off target, and the GK made amazing saves on the remaining 10. Like, unbelievable, scrambling across-the-net ended-the-game-with-a-8.1-rating saves. I am spitting, reload the game mad.

Prederick wrote:

A 0-0 draw with Leeds after we outshot them 31-3 (with 3 CCCs and 3 HCs!), except they blocked 9 shots, 12 were off target, and the GK made amazing saves on the remaining 10. Like, unbelievable, scrambling across-the-net ended-the-game-with-a-8.1-rating saves. I am spitting, reload the game mad.

This is the type of thing where I think "Chance Conversion" training sessions might help. I've noticed an immediate difference in my strikers' finishing now that I've started doing that type of training.

When it's not your day...

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/XGq5xq8.png)

Mr Bismarck wrote:

When it's not your day...

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/XGq5xq8.png)

Haha! Poor Andy.

Somehow I had failed to post this earlier when it first came across my radar, but figured this could be of interest to folks in the thread: our local team, Forward Madison, (who I've mentioned previously) has done a Football Manager challenge. If you win the American first division with our team, you'll get a personal letter from our actual, real-world manager.

Love this club.

I've not tried playing in the US - but I've had a look in FM20 and can't see Madison. Do I need to download something from the workshop to get them playable ?

I believe the mod you'll need for the challenge is here.

This challenge may be enough of a kick in the rear for me to pick up FM20 (I haven't been playing anything that's not on the Switch for a while, though I miss Football Manager).

For US management, there is also a hypothetical 9-level database that simulates promotion and relegation. FMGolden reviewed it in his video:

And the creator of the database is playing a couple of careers with it as well. Here's one of them:

Dimmerswitch wrote:

I believe the mod you'll need for the challenge is here.

This challenge may be enough of a kick in the rear for me to pick up FM20 (I haven't been playing anything that's not on the Switch for a while, though I miss Football Manager).

I might give this a shot too. I just read through their posts on Reddit. What a cool club! I'll have to come down and check them out!

You definitely should come down - it's a fun time.

Dimmerswitch wrote:

You definitely should come down - it's a fun time.

I installed the database and loaded it up over lunch. I might start another mini-series with this. It's only one jump to the top division, so it wouldn't be a five-jump odyssey like starting in the National League North is. Just take it slow and play a little bit each week. If I do that, I'd most definitely have to come down and catch a match.