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[FM16] England Expects (1991)


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I'm using my 91-92 DB on FM16 to start and England career. I'm also going to manage the U21s and U19s. As it stands we're well placed to qualify for Euro 92:



My first job is to put some staff in place. Bolton manager, Phil Neal, is my assistant, and I don't think I'll change that at the minute:


My next update will show my staff and first squad selections.

If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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So I have named my first England squad:



Paul Gascoigne refused the call up as he feels his fitness isn't good enough. I'm of the opinion that his fitness is fine, so I'm not happy. The biggest surprise in the squad is probably Leeds striker, Lee Chapman, but I feel he deserves international recognition for some fine goalscoring form.

I've also named the the U21 squad for their Euro Qualifiers:




I'm thinking it won't be too long before Alan Shearer is in the main squad. I nearly called him up this time.

The U19s also have a couple of friendlies:



I think we can all agree there is a LOT of potential in that squad.

If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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Forgot to name my staff. I've brought in two coaches - Man Utd's Eric Harrison and Liverpool's Ronnie Moran:



I've appointed Tottenham's Ray Clemence as goalkeeper coach:


And Leeds' Geoff Ladley as physio:


If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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Although there were U21 and U19 games that took place before the senior games, I'm going to focus on the senior games first, then the U21s and then the U19s.


For the first match, a Euro '92 qualifier at home to Lithuania, I've gone 4-4-2. I've given the captaincy to Stuart Pearce, and I've opted for a classic Target Man-Poacher partnership up front. John Barnes and Paul Merson will provide the ammunition, while David Batty and Bryan Robson offer plenty of steel in midfield. It was a toss of a coin between Nigel Martyn and David Seaman for goalkeeper, but I opted for Martyn.



My career as England manager couldn't have gotten off to a worse start as we fell behind after barely more than a minute. Thankfully, Alan Smith was in deadly form, but what should have been a comfortable victory ended quite nervy as we were reduced to ten men when Bryan Robson was injured and all three substitutions had been made. A winning start is always welcome though. I've called Nottingham Forest forward, Teddy Sheringham, into the squad to replace the stricken Robson. There were first caps for Martyn, Keown, Merson, and Chapman.



A couple of changes as we head to San Marino - Trevor Steven comes in for Merson on the right side of midfield, and Des Walker replaces Keown in defence. David Platt starts in midfield in place of the injured Robson.



Pretty standard. There was a first cap, and goal, for Sheringham. Chapman also bagged his first goal. We have qualified for Euro '92 with games to spare:


We have home games against Estonia and Slovenia next month.

If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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The first U21 match was a Euro Qualifier in Norway. Before the match, Rob Jones pulled out with an injury. Leeds defender, David Wetherall, was called up.


I've gone for an unconventional double Target Man front two. The plan is to get balls delivered to them early and often.



Unfortunately Alan Shearer was injured almost immediately, but his replacement, Andy Cole, opened the scoring. Leicester forward, Paul Kitson, has been called into the squad to replace Shearer.



For the visit of Switzerland, Cole came into the starting line up in place of Shearer.



A nice start to the group:


There were also a couple of friendlies for the U19s:


That is a strong team with a lot of bright futures ahead (touch wood). Steve McManaman has a bit of a free role and hopefully he can make a bit of magic happen. I have high hopes for my front two.



A bad start and a poor first half. but a half-time rocket inspired a comfortable victory in the end. It was nice to see my front two bag a goal apiece.


Unchanged for Hungary.



Very comfortable.

If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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I've made a somewhat controversial move for the Euro '92 Qualifier games against Estonia and Slovenia - since we're already qualified I've decided to call up a squad of players that are on the periphery of my plans:






And the U19s kick of their Euro Qualifiers:



I also forgot to mention that the World Cup Qualifying Groups have been drawn:


Quite an easy group I think, with tasty fixtures against Scotland.

If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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So the dead rubber Euro '92 qualifier matches went well. First up was Estonia:


Definitely an experimental line-up, I like the idea of both Le Tissier and Beardsley working their magic in the same team.



Ian Wright bagged his first England goal after just 14 seconds. Tony Dorigo also scored his first England goal. I like Sterland and Dorigo on the flanks at wing back, performing similar roles as they do for their club. David Rocastle also had a great game.


Ahead of the Slovenia match, Gary Pallister pulled out injured so I drafted in Sheffield Wednesday's Carlton Palmer. I rang the changes and went back to 4-4-2. Mark Bright and Tony Cottee are very much on the periphery of my thinking - they have a lot of forwards ahead of them in the pecking order, but I wanted to have a look at them. Tony Daly and John Salako are traditional wingers, while Nigel Winterburn is probably third choice left-back at the minute, but a very good one in his own right. Tim Flowers is one of a number of excellent goalkeepers I have available to me.



Tony Daley did his chances no harm at all, turning in a scintillating performance, scoring a goal and providing an assist. I like an old fashioned winger and he fits the mould. Carlton Palmer had a debut to forget, coming off the bench and picking up two yellow cards. He was on the very outside of my thinking as it was, now he will probably go down as the most infamous one cap wonder in history.


So there you go, qualified at a canter.

If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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That's a strong line-up. I've handed first U21 caps to Arsenal's Ray Parlour, Leeds' David Wetherall, and Blackburn's Jason Wilcox.



An excellent performance. Wilcox and Parlour couldn't have had better debuts.


Unfortunately ahead of the Gibraltar match, Jason Wilcox pulled out injured. I drafted in Steve McManaman. I think Gareth Southgate and David Wetherall could make an excellent centre-back pairing. I'm having a look at Crystal Palace's Dean Gordan and Swindon's Nicky Summerbee in the wing-back positions. Tottenham's Ian Walker takes over in goal from Watford's David James, two very promising young 'keepers.



Not quite the emphatic scoreline I was inspecting, although we certainly squandered enough chances.


Sitting pretty.

If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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Euro Qualifier time for the U19s:


The first match is against my own home country, Northern Ireland. I'm very confident in that line-up.



Uh oh. Although we had a lot of chances, it was a deserved defeat.




We kind of needed a win there. We're in big trouble.




That was a little more like it, but unfortunately it wasn't enough:


We've failed to qualify for the European Championships, which with a crop of youngsters as strong as ours, feels like an unmitigated disaster.

If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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We have a friendly at home to France:



I've decided to bring Alan Shearer into the squad. Lets face it - he's going to be integral to my team going forward and he's already scoring regularly for Southampton in the First Division. I've also called up Wolves striker Steve Bull, a rare inclusion for a player plying his trade outside the top flight. Gascoigne was again hesitant about joining up with the squad but I talked him into it. I especially wanted him involved since David Platt is injured. Tony Daley and David Rocastle have retained their places on the squad after impressing in the last fixtures.




Goalkeeper Simon Royce has been impressing at Southend. Striker Chris Armstrong has been impressing at Millwall. Craig Hignett at Crewe has been playing to a level that suggests he won't be there very long.




Pacey striker Dean Sturridge has been tearing up the Second Division for Derby County.

If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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The friendly with France went well:


Unfortunately Alan Shearer pulled out injured before the match. I had planned on starting him up front with Teddy Sheringham, but Gary Lineker came in and scored the only goal of the game. I decided to keep Tony Daley on the right wing.



I was very pleased with the performance, and felt we should have won more comfortably against a strong outfit. I was pleased with the minutes I managed to give to players, and Mel Sterland continues to justify my faith in him.

There were two more Euro Qualifier games for the U21s:


A new look centre midfield, as well as Andy Impey at left-back.



I hope Steve McManaman gets more regular game time for Liverpool soon, because I feel he is almost good enough to be involving with the senior squad.


A change for the visit of Norway - Gareth Southgate is fatigued, so in come David Wetherall.



Very frustrating. We were the better team, and once we got our noses in front I was confident we would press home the advantage, but some sloppy defending leaves qualification all of a sudden looking quite perilous:


The U19s had a friendly against Bulgaria:


A few new faces in the group, and it was good to get a win after the Euro Qualification disappointment.



If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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Each team has a friendly match:



With the Euros in mind I've come to a tough decision. I like to have two players for each position, but I feel like this bloats the squad with defenders I'm less likely to use than if I had more attacking options. I've decided to go with Mel Sterland at right-back and Tony Dorigo at left-back. This means Lee Dixon is out of the squad for the time being, as David Batty can cover at right-back if needs be. Stuart Pearce is a left-back that can cover at centre-back, so I'll be calling up one less centre-back. Arsenal duo Alan Smith and Paul Merson are back in the squad, and I'm taking a look at Rangers striker Mark Hateley who has had a great season. Chris Waddle gets a chance as well.



Unfortunately Steve McManaman is injured.



If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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FFS. Well, that's Hateley's chance pretty much gone. There is a real dearth of left-wingers in the England ranks. I've called up Ian Woan, but with John Barnes I'm thinking I might change formation.

If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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Israel Friendly:


Trying something different with Barnes out. I finally get to give Shearer his debut. Paul Merson pulled out injured so David Platt is in the squad.



A nice run out. Sterland and Dorigo continue to impress in the wing-back positions.



I;m glad to have Wilcox back.






Gary Neville and Michael Duberry pulled out, so Richard Edghill and Sol Campbell have been called up.



A thoroughly pleasing performance and result.

If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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I've named my preliminary 30 man squad for the Euros:






Unfortunately David Seaman and Chris Waddle are injured and unavailable. Very frustrating because Seaman would definitely have made the cut, and Waddle had a good chance.

If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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So I've made the cuts:



The players who didn't make the cut are Chris Woods, Gary Pallister, Lee Dixon, David Rocastle, Matt Le Tissier, Tony Daley, and Les Ferdinand. The toss up between Ferdinand and Mark Hateley was tough, but I'm just a little bit more intrigued by what Hateley has to offer at the moment. Time is still on Ferdinand's side. I've already explained my thinking in cutting back on defenders and loading up on attackers. Here's the squad:





With David Seaman unavailable, Nigel Martyn is the clear number one in my mind. I'm happy with the backup, but it would be incredible to have both Seaman and Martyn available.








Tony Adams and Martin are an excellent centre-back pairing, while Des Walker is top quality backup. Stuart Pearce is naturally a left-back, but can cover at CB if needed. Mel Sterland and Tony Dorigo have been excellent as wing-backs for me. David Batty can also cover at right-back.








We're lacking in left sided players - if Barnes is unavailable I'll go three across the middle and play an extra attacker. David Batty and Paul Ince offer plenty of steel, and there is no lack of creativity in the squad. Paul Merson and Peter Beardsley can also slot into midfield positions.










I;m thrilled with my attacking options. In fact there are strikers I'd love to have taken but didn't have room for. We have all kinds of forwards - big target men, quick poachers, deep lying forwards with great vision. Overall I'm very pleased with the squad. I wish we had Seaman and Waddle available, and I wish I had another top left-wing option, but overall I feel we have a good chance with what we have.

If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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For our warm up match before the Euros I wanted a challenge, so I opted for the old enemy of Argentina, who will provide a first class terms in terms of quality, as well as the added spice of rivalry:


Unfortunately Tony Adams, John Barnes, and Paul Ince all have knocks, but nothing too serious.



An excellent performance all round. It's a major confidence booster, with the added bonus of three of my forwards getting on the score sheet.

If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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First up is Belgium, on paper the toughest of our three group games:


Unfortunately Gazza is lacking fitness. Hopefully I can give him some minutes.



I'm delighted. We got off to the perfect start - Paul Merson scored after just 25 seconds. A good performance followed, but we couldn't get the second goal, and by the time Luc Nilis equalised it felt inevitable. Ian Wright won it deep into injury time and I couldn't be happier. A point wouldn't have been dreadful, it's a massive three points. I was disappointed not to be able to give Gazza any minutes, but it was a case of needs must. I was disappointed by Mel Sterland's leggy performance and decided to take him off and move David Batty to right-back.


Up next is Serbia who beat Bosnia & Herzegovina 1-0.

If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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David Platt and Tony Adams are struggling for fitness, so I've drafted in Paul Ince and Des Walker.



And we've qualified for the second round with a game to spare. The first half was lacklustre, but I gave them a rocket at half-time and they duly responded. Our full-backs, Sterland and Dorigo, are integral to us playing well, and it was nice to see them back on form. It was nice to be able to get some minutes into Gazza's legs as well.

Belgium and Bosnia & Herzegovia drew,


If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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Bosnia & Herzegovina:


I'm able to give a much needed rest to most players. I also intend to give Gazza the full 90 minutes. Hopefully it will build up his match fitness, otherwise he will be useless to us for the rest of the tournament.



A pretty disappointing performance, but we managed to avoid defeat, and it hardly matters. Gazza completed the 90 and put in a decent performance. My major concern is right-back. Both Sterland and Batty need a rest so I tried to give them both a break.

If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

Here's the final group standings:



We've been drawn against Turkey in the second round, a tough game but very winnable if we play like we can:


If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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Turkey, Euro 92 Second Round:


Mark Hateley has a knock and is unavailable.



That man Lineker! His second hat-trick of the tournament. Full credit to Nigel Martyn who made an outstanding save just before our third goal to deny Turkey an equaliser. Unfortunately both Paul Merson and John Barnes picked up injuries. Merson's tournament is definitely over, Barnes' might well be.

A very tough draw from the quarter-finals:


If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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3 minutes ago, Johnny Ace said:

This is great! I'd never heard of Mel Sterland, bit before my time him but what could have been

I'll be following, keep it up! 

Well I'm a Leeds fan so I'm biased, but he was a great right-back who's career was cut short by injury.

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Germany, Euro 92 Quarter-Final:


There's some tired legs, mainly in defence. Perhaps I didn't bring enough defenders.



Get in! We were thoroughly outclassed in the first-half, but I said I felt that having options up front would pay off and so it is proving so far. Great result. I had to make the strange decision to replace my two centre-backs on the hour mark, but both were dead on their feet. Unfortunately David Batty's yellow card means he is suspended for the semi-final.

It's Croatia in the semis. The other semi is Holland and shockingly enough, Wales:


If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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Croatia, Euro 92 Semi-Final:


Awful news - Nigel Martyn and Mel Sterland are injured. With Batty suspended, I had to draft Des Walker in at right-back. At least John Barnes is back on the bench.



England and penalty shoot out misery - name a more iconic duo. I'm gutted. We should have won it in the 90 minutes, we were so wasteful. It was so frustrating to take the lead so early and squander it so soon.

To make matters worse, Wales won the whole thing:


If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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1 hour ago, Syze said:

Well I'm a Leeds fan so I'm biased, but he was a great right-back who's career was cut short by injury.

Let's be honest he was an okay right back, solid enough and team player but no x-factor, still there were a few better than him in the league back then. Do understand that Leeds and Sheff Wed supporters liked him as he gave it all for the shirt he wore.

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1 minute ago, Number seven said:

Let's be honest he was an okay right back, solid enough and team player but no x-factor, still there were a few better than him in the league back then. Do understand that Leeds and Sheff Wed supporters liked him as he gave it all for the shirt he wore.

Well I mean how many right-backs were an x-factor? Sterland was top drawer, his engine on the overlap was unreal and with a target man to hit he provided plenty of assists. He chipped in with goals too. Him and Dorigo on the flanks for Leeds were superb.

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Might be that my memory has been blurred over the years, but I remember I always thought, when I watched Leeds in the years he was there, that Leeds could do better in that position. Dorigo was class though. Anyway since you probably seen Leeds more than me you would know better than me, His goalscoring record for Leeds is prety amazing considered he was a right back.

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Some fixtures coming up, a friendly and the start of World Cup qualification:



I've left out some senior players that I feel will probably be too old by the time the World Cup rolls around. I need to get Alan Shearer scoring, and I'm keen to have a look at Les Ferdinand.




Steve McManaman has moved to Man City, and if he gets regular football he will soon be in my thinking for the senior squad. Steve Stone, recently transferred to Leeds, was unlucky to miss out on the senior squad, ditto for Gareth Southgate.




If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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Friendly v Finland:




Three players got their first England goals, most importantly Alan Shearer. Les Ferdinand scored on his debut. Tony Dorigo continues to excel.

Onto our first World Cup Qualifier:


Tony Adams and Martin Keown are tired, so Stuart Pearce and Des Walker come into the centre of defence.



No upsets here. Ian Wright stepped off the bench to bag a hat-trick.

If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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9 hours ago, johnloch said:

As a Leeds fan I trust you need a better pic of Geoff Ladley! I can do this if you wish to!

Would be much appreciated as well as any old pictures that I've struggled to get, if you have them.

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The U21s had a couple more Euro Qualifiers:


Jason Wilcox pulled out injured, so Steve Froggatt was called into the squad.



Comprehensive. Darren Anderton came straight in and had a major impact.

Finland were next:


A couple of changes - Le Sharpe is injured so Gary Flitcorft is called up, and its a chance to take a look at Craig Hignett on the left hand side of midfield. I'm surprised he never got a move from Crewe in the summer.



Another excellent win. For me, Steve McManaman is on the cusp of a senior call up.

Unfortunately Norway keep winning so qualification is still in the balance:


The U19s had a couple of friendlies against Turkey and Ireland:






Sol Campbell and Ray Parlour pulled out injured, so Chris Perry and Lee Makel were called up.



Annoying to take the lead so late and let it slip.

The U19 Euro Qualifying groups have been drawn:


If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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  • 3 weeks later...

Squad announcements:



I've called up striker Dion Dublin who has stepped up well to top flight football with Southampton. He can also fill in at centre-back if needed. I've also called up Mark Walters, a winger I've always liked, but he didn't see enough football at Liverpool last season to earn a call up. He's found a new lease of life at Tottenham Hotspur. I've recalled Tony Daley on the other wing.







Some players have aged out of the 19s (Chris Sutton and Trevor Sinclair for example), leaving the squad looking decidedly weaker than previously.

If you want to try my FM 91-92 DB you can download it for free HERE

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