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Neo_Geo last won the day on April 18 2023

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1,628 "That'll do Pig, that'll do"

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    Crewe United (Youth Challenge)

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  1. EURO ADVENTURE AND CLOSE TITLE RACE IN SEASON 10 A highly enjoyable season to manage as Crewe United made it into the Europa Conference League group stage and then managing to gain enough points to qualify for the Knock Out Play Offs and domestically pushed Linfield to the very last game but ultimately fell short. This is now the 4th season in a row that we have finished second (and Cliftonville third) but it is also the closest we have come to winning it and the most points accumulated. For much of the season we were actually top but Linfield had at one point 4 games in hand due to their crazy schedule (As an example if I had won every game this season we would have played 75 games and ended the season in early May). In the head to head matches against Linfield we just weren't good enough and whilst Linfield did drop a number of points this year we didn't beat them and only managed 2 draws and 2 defeats. We didn't do that well in the cups due to the fixture congestion in the first half of the season. I purposely fielded an incredibly weakened side in the SPFL Trust Trophy to go out at the round of entry once again and in the Clearer Water Cup second round it was a trip to Windsor Park to play Linfield who once again beat us. The Mid Ulster cup was retained fairly comfortably and we did make the League Cup Final (Bet McLean Cup) but lost to.......yup you've guessed it, Linfield. Finances are going really strongly after the European run and from a national perspective everything is on an upward trajectory at the moment so I am really pleased with the save and for 10 seasons in I think I have some really strong foundations in place to at least achieve the first part of the challenge by winning the Premiership, quite when that will be will depend on how good or bad my intakes have really been up until now (seeing some really good development from a few players this year), how good my intakes will be in the future and of course whether Linfield can keep their strong squad together. League Domestic Cups Europe Club News Youth Intake Admin Former Player Watch Next Season
  2. Ask the Scotland manager Steve Clarke, that's the next logical step for him after last night
  3. genuine question here, how are some players getting through seasons so quickly? I struggle to fit in playing the game with work and home commitments and when I do play I maybe get through a few months at best, a season a week is about as much as I can manage. Do players use instant matches or each game at full speed?
  4. Oh well, always next season: On the final day I beat Glentoran 3-2 away from home and with a red card at 50 mins (had been 2-0 up before then) but Linfield crushed Cliftonville 4-1 at home to win their 6th title in a row. I drew 1-1 with them in my match and drew with Cliftonville when Linfield drew with Larne (even if I had won that I would have lost on goal difference anyway). That was the first season of being professional so I'm hoping with another year's development of my players we might just be able to start beating them and pip them to title.
  5. League Two in 3 seasons is good going @darren1983 The legend that is Danny Mills cannot be allowed to retire Green 26A looks like a really decent prospect, pretty well rounded striker (provided you play low crosses given he's 5'5" and has 5 jumping!)
  6. So in my tenth season I am pushing Linfield all the way this time, they had 3 games in hand and were 7 points behind thanks to them progressing in Europe and domestic cups but somehow they just kept winning (apart from a loss to Larne recently) and find themselves back on top after the split. I have 3 away matches in the split but crucially I am at home to Linfield on the second last day. As you can see though they are better at attacking and defending so I just have to hope that they get injuries or just have a bad game or two and I have to make sure I push them all the way.
  7. Excellent season there @Daddy, great to see you were able to stem the outward flow and it’s now got you the second champions league spot Now it’s just a case of building towards overthrowing Sparta, pretty much where I am in Northern Ireland now trying to do the same with Linfield 10 seasons in. Do you get beaten consistently by Sparta or are you managing to take points off them?
  8. That sucks @Padders I don't know where you find the will to continue after that many seasons (I struggle to get into double figures at times), its truly remarkable. Seeing how your save is going is one of the reasons I've never stuck with an English save, super long seasons and if things don't quite go your way you get stuck in this rut. If you don't have the players to be able to stay up in the Premiership then there is little you can do unless you are a tactical wizard.
  9. You think you’re done with this challenge then it just pulls you back in @OlivierL , welcome back and good luck.
  10. If they are going out of contract it may be better just to hold onto them and gatekeeper that season to phase in their replacements, sometimes they will talk again other times they’ll just leave but unless you are being offered significant sums of money you’d be best retaining them. In my latest season my best AML wanted to go (first considered options then wanted listed) I looked at my options for replacing like for like and ended up fielding a striker as an inside forward at first then changed my formation to remove the AML altogether. He left for nothing but having him that last season gave me the time to work out what I wanted to do next. Not much you can do about the chairman unless you have 20 determination but even then it’s probably not going to change their mind.
  11. Are you choosing to sell these players, is it minimum fee or is the chairman accepting them as they are too good like the infamous Cowdenbeath chairman for libbyshuss save? My personal experience with my save in FM23 with Vitkovice saw me sell my best players continuously to Sparta Prague, then letting my better players move to clubs outside of Czech Republic. I ended up getting sacked when the team got too weakened and I started a horrid losing streak. I've found since then that its sometimes beneficial to just stand your ground on a few players and maybe upset them as sometimes the club that wanted them lose interest and the player then backtracks saying they are now happy to stay at the club as there is no interest in them. The trick is always to try and ensure you don't lose the rest of the squad by treating them badly. It will always come down to individual circumstances but you can't stay competitive on the pitch if you let your best players go if you can avoid it.
  12. It’s got to be a bug, would be forgiven for thinking it’s just an unambitious chairman for the player sales but two identical promises and both failing despite very good evidence that you have played youth….it has to be a bug which really sucks because it’s ended a save you were presumably enjoying before all of this nonsense kicked off.
  13. CUP DOUBLE FOR CREWE UNITED AS IMPORTANT MILESTONE REACHED After 9 seasons and 6 trophies with 3 second place finishes in the Sports Direct Premiership Crewe United have finally turned professional. After winning the national cup the board approached me for a change about turning pro after I decided to keep the European prize money in the bank rather than look to improve the facilities and that approach paid off. Unfortunately a year too late for signing Curtis Graham Y6-A on a professional deal before his move to Newcastle however the key players have now already been signed up on a full time contract. Once again Linfield are just miles ahead of the rest and look unstoppable at this moment in time but turning pro will definitely help the players realise their potential more effectively and hopefully quicker. This year I played around with a few different formations with a 4-1-4-1 DM Asymmetric trying to get more joy out of the games against Linfield by stretching them vertically and horizontally but I just feel the quality isn't quite good enough to pull it off. After realising that Harry McDermott Y4-A (my best AML) was not going to stay the club (considered options then demanded to be sold) and seeing a really good quality AMC coming through the intake I decided to try one of the formations I had been using in another save, the 4-2-2-2 DM AM Narrow. It will take a bit of time and a bit of tweaking to get this formation working but turning professional should really help with the increased training sessions. On another positive note the coefficients placement moved up 5 places to 30th meaning 2 teams now enter the Europa Conference qualifiers at the second round, so if I only manage a 3rd place finish this coming season it won't have an impact in terms of the European games. On the topic of Europe we crashed out at the third qualifying round this year to Brondby after losing on penalties despite dominating the return leg and just being unable to find a winner. The Clearer Water Irish Cup final saw an absolute epic of a match. 2-0 up against Cliftonville after 26 minutes and looking comfortable before Aaron Morris Y8-A (my first choice keeper) was injured in the 34th minute, no big deal right? WRONG! Since the patch that sorted out keeper injuries I have opted the slightly risky approach of having more outfield options on the bench at the expense of my backup keeper, so in the 34th minute Geoff Armstrong Y4-A (3rd choice DC) dons the goalkeepers top and a pair of gloves...... I really thought it wasn't going to happen yet again in this competition but I just kept a higher line and a more aggressive press to try and keep the ball in their half as much as possible and luckily we won (as you can see from the xG they scored 4 from 1.62 whilst I scored 5 from 4.63 showing that their hopeful efforts were going in past my centreback!) League Domestic Cups Europe Club News Youth Intake Admin Former Player Watch Next Season
  14. Ouch, lost 2-0 away and went all out for this, dominated the match and just couldn't get the third and my record appearance holder misses the 5th penalty
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