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Daniel Evensen

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  1. Yantai Yintai I wish I could tell you that this was a close, dramatic game. It wasn’t. We didn’t just beat Yantai. We pulverized them. We won every single way we could. We dominated this match, playing as if the other team weren’t even there. Zhu Bin wound up with 4 goals in this match, the last of which was an emphatic shot from range that I doubt anybody could stop. He’s only 16, and yet he looks like an absolute machine. What a player! We won this one 8-0 in the end. Mueanta had two goals, Andrija Kolundzic piped in with one, and Lee Jin-Yong, who has been the talk of Yanji all season, scored an early goal as well. Yantai didn’t have a single shot on goal. This wasn’t our largest margin of victory all season long, but it was certainly our most impressive win. These boys want to win. You can feel it. Awards With the end of the season comes the conferring of awards. Luciano Parra wound up just 3 goals short of the top goalscorer award. Jing Wenbo of Beijing University won that with 36, with Xiao Jinqing came in second place with 35. Parra only had 33. I actually haven’t started him lately because of his sudden scoring drought; hopefully he’ll remember how to score during the summer. As we predicted, Paul Wade wound up winning Young Player of the Year. It wasn’t even close. He was arguably the best player on our squad, with an amazing 83% pass completion percentage. Oh yeah — and I wound up with the Best Manager award. Now, that’s not Best Manager for all of China, mind you. It only includes all managers in the Chinese National Second Division North. However, it’s a good start. Foul Play? Jacob Dicko Eng has apparently been upset. If you’ve been following along, you know that I’ve been starting Zhu Bin on the left wing. Dicko Eng was purchased to play in that position. Jacob is only 18 years old, and should be on the club for years to come. Zhu Bin is a better player, though. He’s Chinese, and he’s only 16. I simply couldn’t find a way to get Dicko Eng back on the squad. Anyway, Jacob threw a fit, as you would expect. I had a hard time trying to talk him down. His agent was in a huff, and I was worried that he was going to start getting the rest of the squad riled up. That didn’t quite happen, though. We were able to calm him down eventually. And then Charlotte got the brilliant idea of having him over for dinner. I didn’t see anything wrong with the meal. We had “Cherry Shaped Pork” (櫻桃肉), a famous Suzhou dish with quite a history. Everybody seemed fine afterwards, and I certainly felt fine the next day. I don’t know what Charlotte did, but whatever she did worked well. Dicko Eng has food poisoning, and will wind up missing the Chinese FA Cup final after all. You know, it would have been nice to have him as a substitute. But I should probably refrain from tempting fate. The Cup Final Well, here we are. Nobody expected us to get this far. We’re playing in the final of the Chinese FA Cup against Shenzhen FC. The media have us picked as favorites to win, which is insane. We’re missing numerous players due to various ailments. George Hall and Jung In-Gyom are both away on international duty. Plus, Shenzhen is in 4th place in the Chinese Super League. I mean, if we do pull this off, you’ve got to think that we should storm through our schedule next season as well. We’ll see what happens. I’m nervous.
  2. The Home Finale It’s not going to surprise you to hear that we absolutely destroyed Shanxi Longjin in our final home match. We won, 7-0. Mueanta had a hat trick, Rovaglia almost had a hat trick, and everybody played well. Zhu Bin set the pace by scoring inside the first 15 seconds, though it was brought back for being offside. Yes, that’s right: we could have scored even more if we had a bit more luck. We’ve only got one more league match now. The perfect season dream is alive. Injury Crisis We really have an injury crisis brewing. It has me worried about the Chinese FA Cup Final in a week and a half. Paul Wade is the latest to be injured. He’s been excellent in that defensive midfielder role. I’m not sure what we’re going to do without him. Without Wade and Pak Myong-Song, the anchors of our defense are going to be missing. None of these injuries were caused in matches, either. They’re all training related. This is surprising, as we’ve been relatively injury free all season. Perhaps the football gods are angry with us. Or maybe somebody else will step up. Season Finale Our final game in the Chinese Second Division North is a road match against Yantai Yintai. Yantai Yintai are the worst team in the league, and have somehow only managed 12 points in 45 matches. This one should be a breeze. The big question is that Chinese FA Cup Final match.
  3. Some of these already exist in the game. For example, rivalries with certain clubs will develop over time as you continually play against them. Players do get upset if you don't start them, and some players will be upset if you buy another player who plays the same position. And the press will always ask you for your opinion about the board right after the board failed to do something that you asked it to do; if you say the wrong thing, you might get the board upset. The most extreme example of that is asking for a new stadium, being denied, and then leaking it to the press right away: this is how you can be fired in less than one day, lol. Having said all that, I think you're on the right general track. I think we'd have to be careful about giving a massive boost to a player you arbitrarily choose as the player of the game, but I would really like to see these press conferences actually mean something in game. One reason why it's so easy to skip past them and just choose the second choice from the left every time is because there is absolutely no repercussion for doing so. It might be better to treat the press conferences and other player interactions as a sort of choose-your-own-adventure book that slowly unfolds. Your answers, actions, and responses from the start have a large influence on the issues that come up later in the game. Consistency might reward you from time to time, or it might result in you trapping yourself in a tough spot if you're not careful. On a similar note, it would be nice if interactions with players weren't completely tied to static events, such as a pat on the head after a good week of training, or a verbal spat after the player feels he hasn't played frequently enough. I've got a ton of players on my squad who apparently have a "very close" relationship with me according to the game. However, all of my interactions with them have been completely pro forma and mechanical, and they have been completely identical regardless of the player's personality. It would be nice if the player interaction world unfolded slowly and was more at the discretion of the manager than random events that take place. If I really have a close relationship with a player, it should be obvious to me: I should be talking with him constantly about upcoming opponents, tactics, training suggestions, the team atmosphere, and so on. To put it simply, Football Manager is far too tied to the inbox. These NPC interactions need to be rethought, and need to exist outside of static events that are easy to recreate on paper. I want to be able to move around the training ground, to move around the office, and to be outgoing in my interaction with players. Right now it feels like you only get to talk with somebody when there is a problem, or when you've completed a match, or when it's time for the weekly pat on the head.
  4. Great suggestions - all common sense in my opinion. It's amazing that this suggestion is almost 3 years old now.
  5. Another Victory We beat Tai’an, but it wasn’t pretty. We went up 3-0 early, after goals from Zhu Bin, Jacob Dicko Eng, and Pietro Rovaglia. That was it from our end, however. Tai’an also got one back with a goal from a corner early in the second half, and looked like they might score another one to make it close. Our offense completely broke down, and we looked pretty poor. It’s a win, but we’ve got problems. I can’t get Luciano Parra to score again, and I’m not quite sure what his problem is. He went from scoring hat tricks every other game to getting basically no chances in any of his matches. I figure the other teams are keying him, but he needs to figure out a plan of action. It’s not going to get any easier from here on out, after all. We’ve got two more matches left, and then the cup final. I just hope we don’t start screwing it up. North Korean Drama The North Korean football press (whatever that actually amounts to be) is calling for Kim Yong-Il to be dropped from the national team due to his lack of games for us. He’s played okay for us this season. He’s had 7 goals and 5 assists in 15 appearances. It’s not bad, but we’ve got two other strikers with over 30 goals each in just a few more appearances. I’ve got a feeling that we’re going to look to move Kim Yong-Il on during the offseason. We clearly don’t need him. The other sad news is that Pak Myong-Song suffered a training injury that will have him out for 3 months. That means that he will miss our upcoming Chinese FA Cup Final match, which is a real downer for me. Pak Myong-Song is easily our best right back, and is probably the best right back currently playing in China. We’ll win our remaining two league matches without him, but I worry that his absence will kill our chances in the cup final. Home Finale We’re hosting Shanxi Longjin in our final home match this time around. We’re going to win, of course. I just hope we get a good crowd this time.
  6. Thanks, Neil! I do realize that there are tons of text strings in the game. Honestly, even with the hundreds of thousands of different strings handling all sorts of different events, I still wish there were more. Press conferences are still extremely predictable. It's a pretty well known secret that you can succeed at all press conferences by simply choosing the second choice from the left for every question you've been asked, regardless of what the context is. In many cases, the difference between answer choices is so subtle as to be extremely frustrating. As strange as this might sound, it might be worth it to look into the NPC interaction systems that leading modern RPGs have for ideas on how to improve the process and shake it up a bit. As it currently stands, the interactions we have with NPCs feel scripted and come at predictable times and in predictable cadences. It feels like cardboard, and it becomes especially frustrating when we wind up with no good options to deal with players who are upset about some perceived slight or supposedly unfulfilled promise. It's not the existence of upset players that gets me frustrated as much as the lack of satisfying options to deal with them. Anyway, sorry for the extremely general thoughts on the subject. I haven't seriously played RPGs (well, except for Football Manager, lol) in over 20 years now, and am behind the times on what the modern trends are. I'm sure there are others on these forums who have some more concrete ideas for what could be done.
  7. Qingdao FC Another day, another victory. We hammered Qingdao FC in this one, 8-0. It wasn’t really close. Pietro Rovaglia scored 4 goals, making me wonder whether he’s going to give Luciano Parra a run for the most goals in the league. Suphanat Mueanta actually won the man of the match award, however. He powered through 2 goals of his own, and made 2 excellent assists to boot. It’s getting hard to decide which of the strikers to start each game. Delfi seems unstoppable from the attacking right wing, and I want to give Zhu Bin as much game time as I can on the attacking left wing. That means that Rovaglia, Parra, and Mueanta are all fighting for two striker spots. It’s not an easy choice to make — but it is a good problem to have. At the moment, Mueanta seems to have the upper hand. I’ve been toying with the idea of moving Rovaliga on, but he keeps improving. Parra, who was my favorite to begin with, has been playing poorly in his most recent matches, and I’m afraid that he’s starting to look like our third choice striker. We’ve also got Cheng Binbin, a Chinese striker who was recently out with injury. He hasn’t played much for us, but still happens to be among the most proficient attacking players in the league. And he’s only 25. The future is going to be mighty interesting. Month In Review We’re now into May, and things are winding up. There are 3 league games remaining, two of which will be on the road. We’ve also got our Chinese FA Cup Final match coming up. There isn’t too much surprise in our month in review documents. We’re still rich, of course. We’ve lost money this season, but it hasn’t been as extreme as it could have been. In fact, the board has been a bit too generous with our budgets for next season. They’ve given me a 381 million RMB transfer budget, despite the fact that we’ve still got about 90 million left of last year’s budget. The wage budget is also going to be around the 17 million RMB level, even though we’re not close to the 12 million level that our budget was at originally. I guess Chairman Guo really does like throwing the money around. The board have given me an A for my overall performance, though only a C+ for the matches. The board seems most impress with the culture around the squad. It thinks that my transfer activity has been subpar. The supporters have given me an A-, but have only given me a D for my transfers. They’re really frustrated with my habit of buying unproven 15 and 16 year old Chinese players in the hopes of turning them into something in the future. We’ll see who will have the last laugh there. Our dynamics remain good, and Pak Myong-Song has turned into a highly influential player. This might prove crucial, as I’m secretly planning to move Ye Jie on this summer (assuming he’ll agree to a transfer). We gave Pak Myong-Song a 3-year contract extension not long ago, even though he’ll be turning 29 soon. He’s a much better player than Ye Jie, and is far more consistent, which I value very highly. That also keeps a strong Korean cultural presence on the squad, another thing I consider quite important. This summer should be interesting. Tai’an We’re heading to Tai’an for our next match, in another one that we should win pretty easily. Our goal differential currently stands at 206, which is extremely high. I think the trick now is to simply win our three remaining leauge matches and hope for the best in our upcoming cup final. Meanwhile, Jiangsu FC are one win away from securing promotion to the next level for themselves. I was hoping a few weeks ago that they would miss out, but it seems that we’ll have to play them even more next season. I sense a rivalry brewing.
  8. Apologies for bringing up an old post, but I've really got to disagree with you about the OOTP sounds. OOTP's out of the box sounds are extremely annoying (particularly the "let's go" chant), and user modifications keep resetting with each update. I found myself turning them off completely in the end. OOTP's user created stadiums are also problematic. The Astrodome model has natural grass for some strange reason, and the 1977-1984 version of the Kingdome in Seattle was programmed to be an open air stadium with natural grass. Modifying those ballparks is anything but easy: I can attest to that. I hope that Football Manager can develop a stadium editor that is actually simple to use, and not something like what OOTP has created. You should also know that OOTP's history with the modding community is completely different. Remember that OOTP was 100% reliant on modders for real life and historic statistics up until it finally got the MLB and MLBPA licenses a few years back. OOTP actually did a huge disservice to the community by removing the ability to modify the database altogether once it got those licenses, which eventually rendered interesting experiments like the Spritze high school database completely useless. The embarrassing end result for OOTP was having to extend a general ban on all NPB (Japanese) teams a few months ago when it realized that it didn't have official licenses: those teams and logos were largely a holdover from the old days of user-created mods. I would hate to see SI eventually go down that road in the future. I've got a funny story about this one. I had FM loaded up to the start screen yesterday while I was getting ready to play another game. My 12-year-old daughter looked at my avatar and started laughing. She told me that it looks really strange. I guess I'm glad that Miles is so excited about the manager's face. I think it looks horrendous. Man, those stadiums look absolutely beautiful. Yes, I also wonder why we can't have things like that. And why can't we have skins that change depending on where you are managing in the world? I'd like to see more immersion, something that actually takes me to China when I manage there, or to Egypt when I manage there. If I can't speak the language, I should see the impact of that in my interaction with players or the local media. If I do a hexagon challenge save and wind up managing in Ethiopia again after spending a season in Kiribati, I shouldn't be able to come out gaining the trust of all my players and winning right away. I should be a complete unknown who has difficulty adapting to the language, who can't really digest the food properly, and who has to figure out how to wrest control of the club away from the most influential players. I've said this before, but the truth is that Football Manager is an RPG in disguise. SI needs to acknowledge this and pay much more attention to NPC interactions and immersion. I shouldn't be able to dominate press conferences by choosing the second option from the left every time, nor should I be able to convince my players to do better in team meetings by just repeating whatever the board told me to do. I should also have more options for dealing with upset players: most of the time I can't even talk with them about whatever makes them upset, nor can I ask my captain to go have a talk with the upset player again. It's not necessarily game breaking, and there are ways to work around grumpy players and their stupid issues, but it really would be nice to have more choice and more immersion options. And I'm not talking about throwing the water bottle during halftime, lol.
  9. Yeah, SI really needs to improve the NPC interactions in Football Manager. I've found that the easiest way to make it through the press conferences is to always choose the second option from the left. Works every time, win or lose.
  10. Yeah, I agree with you. I love the newgens. I'm actually looking forward to a long save with the Around The Globe Megapack once my current save ends, trying to play only with newgens for the duration...
  11. Apologies for the recent short posts. We've had a bad cold going around here at home: it's been kind of hard to concentrate.
  12. Zhu Bin’s Breakout Zhu Bin had the best game of his young career in this one. We demolished Zibo Qisheng at home, 6-1. Zhu Bin finished up with 3 goals and an assist, becoming the anchor of our offense. After our previous poor performance, it was good to see the boys playing like I knew they could. We didn’t have much of a crowd there, unfortunately, but at least we were able to produce a convincing win. There are only 4 more games left this season. Before long, we’ll be worrying about transfers and getting through the summer again. Qingdao FC We host Qingdao FC next, in another match we should win easily. Once again, we’re looking at a potential crowd of under 12,000. I guess this is what happens once promotion is no longer in doubt.
  13. 46 at this level - there are 24 teams. Unfortunately, even the fans are giving up at this point, lol.
  14. Awful Performance This was our worst match all season. We beat Dalian Shide, but it wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination. Jacob Dicko Eng scored in the 18th minute, and that was all the scoring. The 1-0 victory came together with a large number of fouls by our defenders, who were beaten time and time again. Now, Dalian is a good team. However, we are so much better than them that we should have dominated this match. And we didn’t put out a second rate team, either. I’ve got a bad feeling about the final 5 matches of the season. Low Turnout We’re playing Zibo Qisheng at home in our next match. I received a message telling me that we’re expecting only a little over 10,000 fans for this one. I know that we’ve already won everything — but where are our loyal supporters?
  15. 200 Goals Well, we did it. We hit 200 goals for the season. This one came pretty quickly. Younes Delfi scored in the 3rd minute to make it 1-0. He then scored again in the 10th minute, goal number 201 on the season for us, to make it 2-0. Zhu Bin added in his first goal of the season to put us up 3-0 in the 14th minute. And we basically coasted from there. 3-0 wasn’t a great scoreline, though I can forgive the players after the drama of that Chinese FA Cup game. Now we have some time to rest and reflect on our accomplishments. The next goal is to get our goal differential up to 200. Finally, I’m hoping we can wind up winning every single competitive match this season. That one might be tricky, though: I don’t think we’re going to be favorites for the cup final at the end of the season. But you never know. One That Got Away? The press made a huge deal about a very young centerback named Du Kai who started for the Qingdao Red Lions in our 3-0 win. Apparently he had been a Yanbian player at one point in time. I did a bit of research, and realized that he was one of the young players I was quick to get rid of right after I arrived. Du Kai has a good personality and clearly has a lot of potential. He’s only 16 years old, and yet has started 9 games for the Qingdao Red Lions first team already. Still, my scouts reminded me that he’s not a particularly consistent player, and that he’s had problems with injuries in the past. I don’t feel quite that bad about letting this one get away. Plus, his team lost. Take that. Li Changyi There’s another player I should introduce to you. His name is Li Changyi, and he’s got the role of backup goalkeeper for us. He started that game against Qingdao, and managed to keep a clean sheet in the process. We brought him in during that January transfer window, as one of the 100+ players that I managed to slip into the doors. He’s got an okay personality, but has great skill and excellent potential. We purchased him from San Fernando in Spain for 480,000 RMB. They got him off Brea, who in turn purchased him from Huesca. That’s quite a bit of traveling for a kid who is only 19 years old. He’s not as good as Liu Shaoziyang, who is arguably the best young Chinese goalkeeper in the world (and who recently earned his first full international start). Both are 19. Both are excellent assets, though. It will be interesting to see who develops faster. We’ll probably start Li Changyi in cup matches next year. Young Player of the Year 22-year-old Frenchman Paul Wade might wind up winning the young player of the year award. When the season started, I thought Kwon Hyeok-Kyu was clearly our best defensive midfielder. Wade has been nothing short of sensational, though, and winds up earning the starting role week in, week out. None of our other players are in the running, which I consider a bit strange. Luciano Parra is 2 years younger and is currently leading the league in scoring. I guess that’s why I don’t make these decisions. Dalian Shide We go off to Dalian for our next match. We’re going to win this one without any problems at all. At least we should. I worry about complacency.
  16. Thank you to everybody for the links! This has turned into an excellent thread.
  17. The tactics should work. You're looking at editor data files here. They need to be rechecked against the new database before they can work.
  18. Undeserved Victory Man, we played poorly. This was the worst match I’ve seen yet. Everybody played badly. We went down 1-0 in the 33rd minute after giving up a penalty on a ridiculous defensive play. I don’t even want to think about it. Everybody was playing poorly, and our defense looked ridiculously bad. The offense was doing okay, but we couldn’t find the goal. I think we had 5 shots hit the woodwork. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I mean, the goal isn’t that small. A miracle happened in the 2nd half. I put Rovaglia on after Luciano Parra had the worst game of his career in the 1st half. Rovaglia tumbled over in the penalty area in the 81st minute, after I had given up completely, and the referee mysteriously awarded a penalty to us. I’ve been back to watch the clip, and I simply don’t see it. Pietro fooled him. That’s all there is to it. Anyway, Mueanta tied it up, and we held on through an uneventful extra time period. We then won the shootout, 4-3. Yan Kun, of all people, scored the final goal. This is the same Yan Kun that we bought from Jiangsu FC at the beginning of the season and stuck in the under-21s. This is the Yan Kun who I took no notice of until our coaches started pointing him out in training. This is the same Yan Kun whose debut was delayed because of an injury that took him out for over 2 months. He’s only 20 years old, and he’s on top of the world. We have a final match to look forward to. We’ll play against Shenzhen FC, who are 4th in the Chinese Super League. That game will take place right after the end of the regular season. Qingdao Red Lions We do have a regular season to finish up here. I’ll keep going through it game by game. We should win this next one easily, even if we don’t play any of our regular starters. The Qingdao Red Lions are bad, and we look like sure favorites. The next big question is whether we will hit 200 goals for the season. We’ve scored 199 so far. After that, we’ll see if we can get our goal differential in the league up to 200. I’ll have to think of some other goals once we hit that one.
  19. I suppose this means we won't see a Red Bull franchise in East Germany in the Iron Curtain project, then?
  20. Lol, you can't do it this quickly, I'm not even halfway done with my current project! Thank you for all of your hard work, man! I'm looking forward to managing in Kiribati again, which is where I belong.
  21. This is great stuff! I'll put a save with Red Bull Tokyo on my list of future projects.
  22. Lol, what a nightmare this would be in real life. But very well done! Do the teams have sugar daddy owners or access to tons of money?
  23. A professionalism rating of 2 for me would be far too realistic for comfort...
  24. I tend to go for personality only and not worry too much about the attributes. Regardless of who you go with, take another look in the next transfer window to see if you can't find a model citizen. Chances are one will pop up.
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