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Everything posted by Parmie

  1. So, I'm Bradford City in the Championship, looking for loans from my senior affiliate Manchester United to help us survive our first season. Shea Lacey fills one of the many holes in our squad and joins on a 6 month loan. We're out performing expectations and Shea is doing really well. 11 goals, 7 assists and an average rating of 7.02 for his first ever set of senior appearances. January window comes around and whoops, he disappears on expiry but I think no problem, United have him listed for loan, he even has me as favoured personnel from his first stint. United are happy to loan him back with no wage contribution. Does he want to rejoin us? no way! There is no other interest in him, he even hopes his loan listing will give him the opportunity to get first team experience. I guess just not with the only club that wants him, where he likes the manager and has already been playing quite well? This seems as strange as where the club refuses on the basis of wanting to test the player in a new environment although they usually relent on deadline day. I guess there's no real explanation other than a mechanical thing to try to prevent abuse of the loan system in game.
  2. FC Andorra Season 4 (2026/2027) Following on from our 12th position in our first La Liga season, it's time to consolidate on the consolidation. On the previous season transfer history is right back Dembo Sylla for £1.1m from F.C. Lorient and an Ecuardorian newgen for £650k. It's then a record breaking deal for Fallou Diouf who looks very promising. We're then back to deadline loan deals as usual to bolster squad numbers and I'm steadily picking away at recruiting promising newgens who I hope can develop into first teamers/turn a profit eventually. Saul was doing well, but I decided to cash in on him as he attributes started crashing. Mallo, didn't have La Liga ability and started asking for a new contract, so I moved him on. Season Performance I do more switching between our original gegenpress tactic and the counter attacking one from last season, but it's an inverted set of results from last season, while it's not bad, our first half season form is as many losses as wins and draws, but safely in mid-table. Come the new year, we turn around things dramatically, going 12 unbeaten and rocketing up into European competition qualification places. Although we're way off the Champions League, I'm very happy with a 5th place finish. I recruit Marbella as an affiliate, they have better training facilities than we do, so I think they should make a good option to turbo charge EU status for our growing U21 foreign legion of recruits. Finances are a little concerning, £4,2m loss going into June but we still have £14m in the bank. European football should help improve financials, but I'd quite like a big player sale at this stage to help reinvestment into the team. Theres some interest in the usual suspects who I would be less willing to sell, the additional profile from the good season has spread to more of the squad like Jadsom and Obrador. National Team Andorra comfortably qualified for the next Euro qualification stage winning all 4 games vs San Marino and Malta, but are unsurprisingly bottom of the group with 2 losses from 2 games. Some concern is the penchant for Andorran youngsters to obtain Spanish nationality and I'm not clear what triggers some Spanish players to go the other way either, keeper Dani Martin took Andorran nationality and seems a better option than the current national first choice but he's never been called up. Neither does anyone from abroad get an eligibility timer countdown for Andorran nationality, so I appear to be stuck on 3 non-EUs which is why Marbella may turn out to be crucial for long term squad building. Another good prospect this year, but his work rate is too low for our pressing forward tactics.
  3. FC Andorra Season Three (2025/2026): It's our first season in La Liga so the real churn of the squad needs to happen with who in the current squad will never be up to standard. The transfers of my 2nd season update included some early deals, with Obrador coming in at left back, Lucas Camilo for a new DM role and Ayman Kari from PSG on loan. Camilo is very demanding on contract negotiation, wanting someone to help settle, so for somewhat of a bargain, Jadsom is unhappy at Sporting and fulfils that promise. I'm still relying on the loan market, Omorodion did so well and developed into a La Liga player, I wait until Atletico are willing to let him sign on deadline day, along with 4 more deadline day loanees. Saul appeared on scout reports late season on a free and only demanded £8.75k/week wages, with his experience and ability, I couldn't say no. Tactical Change: Retaining the same formation (4-3-3 DM) as we're largely built for it, I add a fluid counter-attack formation as the primary tactic. Trying to gegen-press with a positive slant with an inferior team isn't going to work I feel. I also try to maintain transfer discipline for these tactics, so the focus is on higher work rate and stamina players, including up front. Season Performance: I was expecting a tough start to the season given the deadline day strengthening strategy leave us under powered in August. but once everyone is in place, we go on a 6 game winning streak in September, picking up those 'famous victories' against Atletico Madrid 1-0, and Barcelona 3-1 at home. Surprisingly relegation is never a concern and we threaten European qualification until the new year, when form becomes much worse but we have pretty much already secured safety and finish a respectable 12th. I'm poking away at the facilities with a rating of good across the training and youth infrastructure. The board in their wisdom, decided that our brand new stadium of 6,000 capacity wasn't big enough and have commissioned another new stadium. 15,000 capacity that we're due to move into in 2028, this loads some debt onto the club with a £14.75m mortgage and another £20m bank loan. Although we've yet to see any significant player sales, my staff are desired and I don't try to prevent them leaving to help bring in compensation of about £1m over the season. Andorra National Side I have no intention of managing the national side still, but as an update on the Andorra team, 13 of our U18 squad were called up to the senior team, they're in the European League Division D up against Malta and San Marino this season. Our youngsters helping to win the first two games in the group. We might have our first genuine Andorran prospect through this season's intake.
  4. FC Andorra Season Two (2024/2025): Building on the play-off loss is an interesting challenge with the lack of funds. The financial performance was decent last season, making a small profit, but with crowds averaging 1,000, merchandise sales minimal, we're completely reliant on trickle down TV money. With the limited appeal of the club, I decide I can't voluntarily sell the superstars as there's little chance of being able to significantly improve the overall team. While being aware of the cap of 2 non-EU players, I rely on the loan market to give us what we need. Pre-season, I trim the squad of some of the lower ability players, Hacen, not even being able to be registered and not helping Abdelkader settle, leaves without making a single appearance. The April 2024 youth academy is entirely Andorran, several potentially good enough as future prospects for a Segunda Division side but realistically, aren't going to be La Liga level for a long term future. We'll try to keep them around to help the national side for as long as possible though, the B team system may help there. The real life move to the new 6,000 capacity stadium is hard coded in, the board making the announcement and taking out an £8m loan to pay for it but with a light £80k/month repayment plan. We have a great season, our only losing streak is 2 games in October, and otherwise string long chains of wins and draws together, battling with Valladolid all the way with the title and improve on last season with a 2nd place automatic promotion to La Liga, 10 points clear of the 3rd place team. Abdelkader, still unsettled due to the broken promise, won't be extending his contract so has to be sold in January. Mallo, a Uruguayan available on a free transfer, is a good centre back at this level and helps us maintain our position. To end this season, work is completed on the new stadium, so we head into the first ever La Liga season with a new home and a mix of hope and trepidation on our chances of staying up. The transfer strategy already decided to try to get some cheap deals done, and once again rely on loans, but leaving it as late as deadline day to get the fees and wage amounts as low as possible.
  5. I shall sneak into this with something I experimented a little with during FM23. FC Andorra. I'd like to see if we can facilitate a long term rise of the Andorran national team by building up the club and hopefully producing quality youngsters, much like Ter's old San Marino challenge. Club Overview A professional club based in Andorra la Vella, Andorra, that currently competes in Segunda Division. The club was founded in 1942 and currently plays it's home fixtures at Estadi Nacional, with a 3,306 capacity. In August 2022, the club announced plans for a new 6,000 capacity stadium. Bought by Gerard Pique's Kosmos Holding Group in 2018, the club achieved promotion to Tercera Division in the 2019/2020 season, however, due to CF Reus Deportiu failing to pay it's players, FC Andorra was able to pay a fee to replace them in Segunda Division B, with Reus replacing them them in the Tercera Division. In May 2021, team was promoted to Segunda Division for the first time in their history. In the 2022/2023 season FC Andorra finished 7th in Segunda Division, and it's at this point I take over management of the club with a board expectation to avoid relegation. Season One (2023/2024): I like to keep things simple in the first season, and with a team that looks very capable of exceeding expectations, transfer business is not an urgent need. Diego Pampin however, becomes unhappy in his last year of contract, states his intention to leave for nothing so is a deadline day exit. It's not until the January window that I bring in my first signings, Hacen, also being an Arabic speaker, is my attempt to help Abdelkader settle after being unable to find a suitable fellow Egyptian (this does not satisfy the promise I had no option on when signing Abdelkader). I set the team up in a Gegenpress 4-3-3 with some minor adjustments to roles and mentalities. We're an all or nothing side, not many draws through the season but enough wins over losses to finish 5th in the play-offs, sadly missing out in the first round against Elche. There are some real stars at this level in the team, courtesy of Barcelona's youth system. Jose Marsa at centre back looks like he can play in La Liga, as does Jandro Orellana. We seem overloaded with 3 first team level goalkeepers with another out on loan but going into the next season, our best two striker options were both loanees, so we need some solutions and also a bit more depth to see if we can push on.
  6. You can use the scouting assignments tab to prioritise which player is being scouted first and bump up anyone you want urgently reported on. Also the scouting report news item comes with a list option, so you don't have to handle every card that is reported, you can use the list to sort and filter by different things then simply ignore the ones you don't want to look at.
  7. Might be worth checking the Risk Assessment view on the squad page. Sometimes I swing from thinking too many injuries and back again, maybe theres a pattern where several players become high risk at the same time and therefore all get injured when in real life, individuals 'natural fitness' attribute spreads these out much more.
  8. As general feedback. FM23 has been difficult for me to maintain interest in. When I've given thought to why this is: the match engine is annoying and I've felt the need to just turn off FM and go do something else. I like the more random nature of interactions but new issues emerged whic are documented elsewhere scouting. In general terms I like the change, but with lower league clubs, you can burn through your budget scouting players at neighbouring clubs. e.g. If I'm Bradford and I want to send my scout to Leeds U21s, theres not even a valid expenses claim other than maybe the half time pie he buys when watching their games. Senior affiliates: I no longer gain knowledge of a senior affiliate youth teams. So I'm either forced into scouting players to loan, or taking a guess on them B teams: I tried a Barca save to clear the debt, but turned that off when I'm under constant barrage from B team players whining about their contracts, and then my underlings failed to get the contract renewal done on a 5* potential who did a pre-contract Staff searches are bad. Despite saying what role you want, quite often you get people who will never want the role you're offering, typically you get DoFs when trying to find scouts Staff negotiations are bad. I'm looking for an Assistant, a good young coach is on the list. He presumes I want to offer him a coach job and opens up with £2.5/week, I change the role to Assistant and offer £12.5k/week. He's outraged by this and wouldn't consider less than £15k/week which I don't have the budget for. He's so insulted by my offer of a promotion and 500% salary increase that he won't even speak to me about the coach role he would've been happy to take Custom tactics: I never wanted to create these exploitative custom tactics that people come up with every year, but in previous versions I could create a decent tactic from scratch, in FM22 my favourite was 3 strikers. In FM23, I can't get any other than a standard tactic to work which I can only value add to by tweaking some roles around. Top players going on and on. I don't know if this is just SI thinking people want superstars to play deep into their late 30s, or have gone over the top because of Ronaldo and Zlatan sticking around for a while in real life. Too many top older players show hardly any degradation in their physicals Pressure/complacency. When I'm managing in lower leagues and I threaten with promotion. Previous good form just stops, and nearly every run in seems to create a struggle to get over the line. There are indications of the rallying team talks etc that there are concepts of players feeling pressure, but theres no way see at what level it's at. Media/team talks. Dull and repetitive. Particularly media questions are often the same ones over and over with irrelevance creeping in. Like being asked about signing a player I've never heard of.
  9. This is one area, amongst a few others, that routinely frustrates me while playing FM, especially when I see something like the 'players feel the pressure ease'. when there is no in-game prompts to view how pressured they feel going into the talk. The more amazon series that come out, the better view we get, like Arteta and his motivation experiments with the players what talks look like. How I'd like to see this improved...... Match engine prompts/reactions: There are events that occur during the game which should impact on the players mental state at half/full time. An individual mistake. e.g. a defender missing a header, a striker missing a sitter The scoreline and general performance vs the opposition The crowd's perception of the team and their performance Performing a task/duty they are unfamiliar with/don't want to do e.g. player out of position, low work rate player asked to press Players' perceptions of other individuals or sections of the team performance/decisions, e.g. strikers view of their defence, is another player annoyed/sympathetic with the one who made a mistake, "you should have passed to me!" And then the environmental aspects of the team at the time. Are they playing home/away, is it a derby game The league position/performance Off the field issues e.g. A board takeover, bad club finances Delivering the team talk: I see this as merging the above noted events/influences into what you want to get out of the talk, i.e. Preparation phase. This isn't a manager sitting down and writing notes between the bench and changing room, this is getting it straight in your head what you need to achieve from your talk, even if emotionally driven "I'm going to go in there and give them what for", is still some kind of prep. This brings to mind an immersion point, being able to pick who is on your bench, big clubs with a dozen coaches can't all fit on the bench, so who is actually with the manager? Assistant, tactics coach etc. someone with high rated people management/motivating to help with the below items? Staff advice Their opinion of the team's mental state and what they need. "I think the team look pretty down after that half, I think you need to try to pick them up" Raising up individual player items for you to consider. "Player x looks really up for the fight, but he's on a yellow". This should be by exception and not commentary on everyone out there Player to player interaction Particularly with a bad performance the players could be arguing or attempting to blame one another The Captain/Senior players may be making their own attempts at motivating the team, either successfully or with an adverse effect Delivery Phase: Lets say the game has presented the above points to you in some way before you start pushing team talk buttons. The current one-gesture, one message delivery would be hysterically weird in real life, I hope SI staff meetings aren't like that. What Result Do You Want to Achieve? I see this as options to select from on the desired outcome of the talk and how to react to the events of the match. Change to the players' morale Adherence or change to the tactical mentality being used Change or continuation of current performance levels Set an objective for the next half/game e.g. keep the clean sheet, get a goal How to Deliver the Message This should not be the specific text you would say, but an overview with options like: What is your mental state to project to the team. e.g. happy, pleased, calm, neutral, disappointed, angry Your reaction to our performance, the current match status. e.g. focus on the scoreline, focus on the match statistics (maybe be able to specify a statistic), disciplinary such as yellow/red cards Your reaction to the opposition performance. same examples as our performance Focus on individual players/sections of the team e.g. negative towards mistake, positive towards mistake Being able to address or ignore issues in the preparation phase. e.g. allow or close down the Captain's chatter/player arguments So what would this look like in-game? I'll add a nuance that when I've watched inexperienced players stream FM, they completely trust AI advice, perceiving this is 'the game' rather than a representation of your staff, who might be giving you poor advice. Outcome Phase: Visible or discernible reactions to team talks should be exceptional to something significant. The outcome should really be seen in the next half or match. An average reaction should be the couple of claps and come-on's and is not report worthy to the manager players showing a variation to that should be reported, e.g. "players quietly left the dressing room", "players gave a loud cheer as they left the dressing room" individuals addressed might react, "I won't let you down boss" How could all this be presented in game? At the end of a half or match, clicking the Team Talk button takes you to the Preparation Phase screen, the left hand with staff advice prompts. (I would prefer low attribute staff to offer nothing rather than incorrect observations). If the players are feeling pressure or complacent, this is the place to being to give us some visibility of that please. The right side could be match statistics to save the manager have to click away to find those We then click through to the Delivery Phase screen. Set your objective(s). Pick your 'how to deliver' option(s), probably the mental state one is compulsory and at least one other The Outcome is presented as response to your talk The premise being that assuming every match played is different, the options you'd select will provide the variation as can things like derby games, result streaks etc. It's inferred you're 'outstretching your arms' and saying something like 'that's as comprehensive as it gets' for the 100th time by not giving you those literal basic options to select. An example could be: Set objectives: improve players morale, improve performance level Delivery: Disappointed. Our performance. Focus Shots on Target. Allow players argument. Select player x - positive reaction to mistake Outcome: Player x 'thanks you as he leaves the dressing room' Actual result: shown via the match engine, some staff hints, post-match reaction to team talk It's then up to the players imaginations to fill in the words being used. It can be humanised via looking at post-match reactions perhaps. I think how to generate a positive/negative reaction is really a separate post. Potentially using a managers style/personality in combination with player personalities, how influential you are on players based on the relationship. time at club and so on. Ultimately I'd like to see much more realistic and better player interactions too.
  10. Anecdotally having gone 8 seasons deep into a lower league save. There appears to be many players in their early-mid twenties that my scouts report as low CA and still high PA. e.g. Vanarama CA but still with Championship/Premiership PA. When I have reviewed why this is, a theme I noticed is the lack of competitive games. So the potential problems: if I believe the scout assessments, a league club would never loan a Vanarama CA level player to give them games for development The U23 league/Papa John's is insufficient to develop the players to a lower league standard The high PA encourages Prem teams to retain the player for longer So the causes can be across, bad scouts in the lower league get the CA wrong, so they are good enough but the AI doesn't think so U23 competitions need to give more development benefits the gap between PA and CA is too wide. I wonder myself at how a coach or scout could realistically think someone only showing non-league ability at 18 would be a premier league player. I watched Frank Lampard at 17 playing at Swansea and everyone could see how good he was (current ability at that age), to then give you the potential view he might reach as he got older.
  11. You'd still meet with some restrictions lower down the ladder in any country but generally speaking I'd say Germany is one to consider for this.
  12. Season 3: 2024/2025 Summer Transfers: Spoiler from last season's post that Tyreece John-Jules has arrived on a free transfer from Arsenal. He should be a step up in quality for the pressing forward role. Otherwise it's a struggle to get good enough players in, I put this down to the reputation boost from promotion lagging behind as it always does. However, Ayoub Assal didn't get any games at Watford and following his £525k purchase by them in the winter window of season one, he rejoins us at end of contract. I ask Preston to loan us Mabaya again and they agree. Lower league save stalwart Brendon Galloway arrives after his release from Wycombe, Mohammed Sangare, also a free, gives us some cover across midfield and full backs. I still struggle to find target forwards, and loan in Bartosz Cybulski from Derby and Leon Chiwome from Wolves, neither good enough for League One but there seems no other options. I did take @kopfan1977up on his suggestion later in my save as at the time he made it I was already past this update. A key signing in goal is Alexandre Letellier from PSG. I've taken to looking at who some of the big clubs releases on 1st July and offering out trials to suitable players. It's fairly quiet on the outbound transfers, Alex Pearce went to Derry City on a free and our only transfer revenue is from Nik Tzanev's £55k deal to Tranmere. Sorry no screenshots of new signings as I forgot to take them at the time, and several have left and retired or I've lost knowledge of as they went back on loan. 2024 Results and Performances: 2 wins and a draw from the first 5 fixtures gives hope of a consolidation season but we then go on to lose the next 9 games. I bring out the morale big guns with a team meeting which results in a good November, picking up results again with only 1 loss. The better form continues into December but we lose the last 2 games before the new year. We're hovering around the relegation spots, that losing streak putting us at peril. We're drawn against Coventry in the 1st round. They're the better side but we perform well to get a 2-2 draw at full time. Unfortunately, they win on penalties and we're already out. We get through both the 1st and 2nd rounds, beating Grimsby 3-0 at home and then 1-0 at home against Stockport. This sets us up for a 3rd round tie against Leyton Orient. With a bigger squad we can use rotated first teamers with some prospects. This helps get us through the group with 2 draws (1 winning draw and 1 losing draw) against Spurs U21s and Shrewsbury, and a win against Forest Green. I still don't attach much importance to this competition, so a similarly 2nd string goes out to Cheltenham on penalties in the first knockout round. Transfer Window: The loanee target forwards have some sporadic good games but aren't really up to this level, so Aaron Pressley, out of contract since released by Brentford helps to improve us there, although probably not a true target forward, he should give us a bit more up front. 2025 Results and Performances: We draw our 3rd round tie away to Leyton Orient, but overcome them in a decisive 2-0 win at home. The 4th round sees us once again travelling away to West Ham, and we go out with a brave 4-2 loss. The 2 games lost at the end of 2024 extend into a terrible run, we only manage 2 draws in January and February, despite rallying back with 4 wins from 6 games in March, 1 win and 3 losses at the end of the season see us consigned back to League Two. Plans for next season: Neither the board nor fans seem greatly upset with me for the relegation, so job security doesn't seem an issue as long as we do well next season. I really put this down to one of the lower league management issues with FM that's been there for a while, the reputation boost from promotion is too delayed, and good enough players aren't interested even on loan. The boost subsequently arrives as part of the end of season round-up and I'm confident that despite the irony of being more attractive to players following a relegation. we should be able to bounce back again. I'm still very much targeting released players and loans with a view to moneyballing up the leagues. With no major sales since Assal's first departure, finances aren't looking anything great but we're still secure.
  13. I have not, but also like the youth development side of the game. I created a database of every professional club in FM22 with their facilities noted so I can use that to potentially choose feeder clubs, where to focus scouting on to pick up on potentially the newest spawn newgens. I think the detail is still good for FM23 from what I have checked so far. Took me about 40 hours to eyeball all the teams
  14. I don't dislike it but feels a tad unrealistic. I remember watching the Spurs 'All or Nothing' where Mourinho asks a coach if any of the kids are ready, clearly not having any knowledge of them at all - Spurs is a big club so is it realistic to expect 1st team coaches to be that interested in individual players in the academy? I think academies look to produce the best players they can, rather than players who can best fit the first team tactic. You might have the best version of Harry Maguire the world has ever seen and you should change tactic to accommodate him. The old Barca system did try to use the same tactics as the first team so maybe they released a few players that didn't fit but have gone on to good things elsewhere. Maybe an option similar to scouting focus where you tell your academy to focus on may be more like it? e.g. youth academy to focus youth central defender training to produce ball playing defenders, which still might mean they won't always, but lets you shape it more.
  15. My problem statement: When the scouting centre news item arrives in my inbox, often with 30+ items, I look through all of them looking for players of interest but I discard the vast majority because they are not what I consider of value. In the most extreme case, I had 99 reports arrive in one scouting centre update. I know the list option can help shorten the review stage but in the main I don't use that as I still find it unwieldy scrolling through players. While not specifically a lower league problem, the lower leagues have a wider pool of players that scouts may think are suitable, so is worse for lower league managers. It's also made worse by the Borg collective approach the AI takes i.e. all AI managers seem to transfer list, set to release or loan list players en masse at the same time. Specific example: I was about half way through the latest scouting centre update, when this occurred to me. I have 18 loan list notifications left to look at, despite them all being highly recommended by the scouts, I found only 1 of interest and even then, still took no action. I'd term the 17 discarded reports as false positives, and the 1 interesting as a true positive. Context: League one, high up the table, with playoffs probable and automatic promotion possible. This is a false positive example of a report I dismissed with the others very similar to it. I'm taking this as a loan list notification as an inference I should be interested in loaning this player. As a loan signing, I have zero interest here, presuming his current ability is even just reasonably accurate (let's assume they underestimate and he's a good league two player). His current ability is not high enough for the league, and he doesn't improve my senior squad, based on that current ability, I might as well use a youth team prospect. On a permanent basis it makes a bit more sense on his potential, but still, that assumes I fail at promotion and keep failing at promotion to when he'd reach his potential to be useful in league one, and he's already 22 years old. I would more rate him as a C, certainly not an A-. The one report I was interested in, the current ability was ready for league one. Solution: At a higher level, some basic settings could be set on notification types. For example, a loan notification could be current ability >= current league (or >= 3* current ability as a comparison to the current team). This should be configurable again for example, a newly promoted team might be significantly improved by a 'leading' level player at the league below and be interested in them. In my example that would eliminate all the 17 reports I found not of interest. At a lower level, the FM manager should be able to influence what the scout rates highly, and this might mean different types of ratings required. An example of a manager interested in youth prospects. High importance for rating: potential ability desirable hidden attributes (consistency etc.) personality types to be defined age Low importance for rating: interest value/cost Do not consider for rating: current ability work permit probability A manager wanting a first team player is probably more interested in the inverse, current ability paramount, value/cost, willing to move and work permit all being very important. This might create a scenario where extensive knowledge is required to generate a scouting centre notification, but if I can tune that to get the rate of false positives I desire, that's good. It's also important to keep this flexible, if people are happy with default settings, they shouldn't be forced down a more detailed setting path. I'm overlapping into what feels quite like what we can define in a scouting focus, but even with proactive scouting, I'd still like to specifically tell scouts what I find important, rather than what they think I find important. I can't tell them 'don't recommend injury prone, inconsistent players who don't like big matches'. The balancing effect would be setting tighter and tighter parameters would mean longer and longer to get recommendations back.
  16. Season 2: 2023/2024 Summer Transfers In/Out: We get busy starting to reshape the team and improve as planned. Jaziah Linton is released by Spurs as is Isaac Mabaya by Liverpool, while we get Linton, Preston are more attractive to Mabaya, however they put him up for loan immediately which we take advantage of. Unfortunately, Huddersfield are unsure about loaning us Kyle Hudlin again, League Two competitors Salford make the mistake of loaning us Marcus Dackers, a 6'7'' monster. We also need improvement and cover in the wide midfield positions. In comes Stephen Duke-Mckenna from QPR and another loan from Stoke for Edwin Andersson. (Some of the players I forgot to take screenies at the time for, so are older than when I signed them and have also moved on) Josh Davison leaves us for Morecambe for £35.5k, Courtney Senior's contract is not renewed and Lee Brown heads to Plymouth for £18.5k. Overall it's a good summer window for us to add quality and bolster the squad with loans. 2023 Results and Performances: We only lose 3 games before January, all of the losses coming before November, so we head into the new year on an 11 game unbeaten run and are sitting nicely in an automatic promotion spot. Barnsley seem to be pulling up trees this season and seem virtually untouchable at the top, so my main focus is on the results below us. We have a respectable run in the Carabao, defeating Colchester 2-1 and Millwall 3-1 in home ties. This gives us an away trip to West Ham, which is decent for the bank balance, but we go down 3-1. The same can't be said for the FA Cup. Falling at the first hurdle away to Swindon 0-1. Despite at opening loss to Cheltenham in the group stage, wins against Wycombe and the Arsenal U21s see us through again to the knockout stage. We face out nemesis, MK Dons who are in League One. It's a tight 0-0 affair and they win the penalty shootout. Transfer Window: Other than some low potential youths being allowed to leave on frees, we keep things quiet in January. 2024 Results and Performances: The end of year run extends all the way into February to a total of 18 games unbeaten. There's the usual FM pressure effect from April onwards leaving us with a poor run of losses as the season closes but our automatic promotion was never under realistic threat and Barnsley disappeared off into the distance above us. Plans for Next Season: The aim will be consolidation into League One. The team feels potentially a little short at least from a permanent signing perspective. A key position is the target forward and we've loaned that in for the last two seasons with the scouts not unearthing any suitable signings for the new level. We're also not far off paying off the original debt when I joined the club which is always nice, but still financially too early to think about facility improvements and anything other than frees and loans again. Tyreece is a next season signing which I accidently included in this season, but theres a bug where I can't get rid of the screenshot from the post.
  17. Season 1: 2022/2023 Summer Transfer In/Out: As on my starting post, we make no early signings, real life already having made several movements. 2022 Results and performances: A promising start for the 'Anti-Pep' tactic with a special mention for Harry Pell for getting sent off in our very first match against Gillingham (0-0), we go unbeaten in the first 5 games before suffering a narrow defeat to Barrow. From the 25 games played up until January, we're in the top half of the table, potentially threatening the play-offs. With 'get stuck in' permanently on, we're picking up probably between 4-7 yellows per game. 11W, 7D, 7L. It's a short Carabao Cup for us this season, we draw Coventry of the Championship and they ease past us 1-4. We take revenge on Barrow winning the 1st round tie 2-0 at home. However, we draw a superior Peterborough side in the 2nd round and lose heavily 3-0 at home. We're drawn in a group with Chelsea U21s, Walsall and Ipswich. Winning all 3 group games we easily secure passage to the knockout rounds where we fall at the first hurdle, receiving a 1-4 hammering at the hands of Arsenal's U21s. Transfer Window: Ayob Assal draws the attention of Watford. We initially reject a starting bid, agreeing with Ayob that if they meet our valuation of £525k he can leave. They subsequently meet that so we honour the promise and accept the sale, they offer to loan him back with no wages, so with half a million in the bank and still holding onto the player for the rest of the season, it's not even a disruption. 3rd choice keeper Will Jaaskelainen leaves on a free to HIFK. Otherwise, that's our only business. 2023 Results and Performances: Form turns quite patchy in the 2nd half the season, there are simply a lot of games in the English lower leagues in the first half of the season, leaving many players needing rests constantly. We go unbeaten for 2-3 games to losing a couple as a cycle for the rest of the season. Although not terrible, we're slightly under the expectations. At one point I'm called into the board room, where I point at the injuries we've had. This is accepted and we move on, my job safe but not secure for the time being. Plans for next season: Main man up front, Kyle Hudlin, who made it a specialism to head in far post corners, returns to his parent club. We either need to try to get him back or another target forward. Similarly, Assal will return to Watford permanently, leaving us short in the wide positions. And of course, as a lower league club, there should be opportunities to generally improve the team as players get released, and I want to try to align the team towards the original Crazy Gang plan. Both full backs need upgrading as priorities.
  18. Let's get this party started. A departure from the perennial Bradford City save, an idea occurred to me during FM22 to recreate an 80s classic. The Crazy Gang. The Crazy Gang is a nickname coined by the English media in reference to the Wimbledon F.C. teams of the 1980s and '90s. The name, originally that of a well-known group of comedy entertainers popular in the late 1930s, became commonly associated with Wimbledon as a result of the often cheeky and boisterously macho behaviour of their players, who were in the habit of playing frequent and outrageous practical jokes on each other and on the club's managers Dave Bassett, Bobby Gould and Joe Kinnear, as well as many of their players' highly aggressive, physical style of play and reputation for a lack of discipline on the pitch. Tactics: It's not going to be an 80s recreation without using a traditional tactic from the era. I dubbed mine the 'Anti-Pep'. Long ball is just too random during friendlies so I toned that down a little. Get stuck in also worries me with the modern officiating but we'll see if that can be successfully retained as high up the leagues as possible. I've also given myself a little licence on the absolute 442 as this should have wingers on both flanks, but to fit with the match engine expectations and a slightly more up-to-date approach, I'm using an inverted winger on the left. Team selection and transfer policy: I've given myself a soft cap of three normal people to have in the first eleven, these will be a fairly typical modern footballer, and likely to be the two wide midfielders and the advanced forward. The remainder should be physical high aggression, high work rate players. If they have indications of a high dirtiness attribute, then ideal, if they have arguing with officials or winding-up opponents preferred moves then perfection. With a limited scouting range, I'll have to see how well I can stick to that. WIth the game's release in November, real life transfer business is already done, so I've always tended to keep the current squad in the first season. Starting squad highlights: The obvious one with a target forward tactic is Kyle Hudlin, 6'9'' on loan from Huddersfield. Ayoub Assal, who I'll use as the inverted winger, is touted as premier league potential by the coaching staff, although in previous seasons I've never seen him develop that well. Initial board expectations: We're targeted with a mid-table finish in the first season. There's a strange importance attached to the Papa John's and we need to reach the group stage. Remaining vision targets are fairly standard for the English lower league, sign players based in England, 1 year contracts for over 32 year old players, use the youth academy. I get the feeling I may get sacked, but here we go.
  19. So I can pass on one of my own mistakes which might help others. In my lower league save I ran out of scouting budget. This reverts the scouting range to 'No Scouting' which means you rely totally on your own scouts knowledge, effectively they already tell you who they know about on the player search screen, and therefore return zero results from any assignment. Even following a new scouting budget provided at some point, or you tweaking budgets to give yourself some, you have to manually move it to a higher level to get scouting assignments working again. I could certainly do with some prompt news item at the point it happens and/or when I have budget to put it back up as a reminder. I ignore recruitment meetings if we're told in there
  20. Yes, it is unrealistic and you've only picked up half of my original point. A different scenario from real life doesn't disprove the experience. What I experience in FM is getting promoted, players at that level, not wanting to even negotiate, I then get relegated, and players at that previous level will start speaking to me. Even in my current save, following a relegation back to league two, Jude Soonsup-Bell, signed no problem on a free, last season in league one, he wouldn't touch my team with a bargepole even for a loan. I haven't established myself in the higher division, quite the reverse. It's even noted in the end of season round ups when you see the reputation news item, my reputation boost is applied at the end of the season not the start, and the relegation reputation nerf isn't applied until the end of the next, directly resulting in being able to recruit better players in a lower division.
  21. I think the match engine hates defensively minded tactics against weaker sides. Mirandes are probably so bad it didn't matter, but I'd expect you to go after Espanyol and Vigo. You may need a more offensive mindset across some players and the team even if you don't want to change formation. I've done something similar with my own team and got on a clean sheet run since supposedly becoming more attacking.
  22. My experience so far is that the difficulty is about right. I've taken a lower league team, didn't sign anyone in the first season, narrowly missed board expectations. I sold and bought a few players to shape the team into my tactic, got promoted. In the higher division my team compared with everyone else was bad, I got relegated. Early signs in the next season on is I will probably be promoted again. I'd say the original poster needs to understand some aspect of the game well, not necessarily tactics, to perform well. By that I mean if you are good in the transfer market to get better players, your tactics will matter less, if you can motivate your players through press conferences, team talks, etc. they'll do better in a match. You can use training to improve tactical awareness, cohesion between players so they do better in your tactic. While it's easy to isolate the tactics side of the game and say it's hard, most other aspects of the game impact on the pitch performance, so if you do spend some time building a tactic that feels like it should work and fits your players, it could be something else you are or are not doing that effecting match performances.
  23. As a lower league manager I see some repeating issues throughout the last few versions of the game. A delayed reputation reaction to promotion and relegations. I struggle to recruit adequate quality players in the season following a promotion, but even when relegated the next season, better players will sign for me in the lower division Following a promotion with a team that will struggle, discipline goes out the window. Yellows, reds and penalties all become significantly higher in volume as ways for the game to 'help' you lose games. This isn't a conspiracy theory that the game is designed to make me concede penalties, rather a view that the game doesn't seem able to effectively represent being outclassed e.g. a defender gives away a penalty rather than gets done by a piece of skill Underdog cup runs. I can't say I've observed this so early in FM23 yet, but in FM22 the higher up the leagues I went, the earlier I went out of cups. The underdog boost you can experience for and against you was unrealistic. I had a Bradford save spending something like 8 seasons up to the Championship and got to quarter finals in either the FA or Carabao cups in half of them.
  24. Oldham Athletic Season 15 (2035/2036) We've got burgeoning potential in the squad coming ready for the Premiership season ahead, although we need to strengthen into current ability to survive. Claudemir is our main attacking threat, arriving from SPAL for £8.5m Rinaldo Altenhofen strengthens right back but could also cover on the left, and at 27, one of our oldest signings ever from ATP at £9,25m. Neither of our young keepers are quite ready so Juan Dominguez signs from Pumas for just £3,7m on a release clause. Lautro Tasso is reported as potentially a leading Premier level player and is already good enough to upgrade in central defence, seems a good buy for £10.75m from Velez. Unfortunately Barcelona activated young South African Thabo Metete's release clause of £20m, and as he's not developed into the finished article, Andreas Norstrand left for Hoffenheim for £8.25m to largely balance the books. Season Review: In the Premier League, we have a couple of threatening weeks but stay clear of relegation, not with a huge points total but there are 4 worse teams than us. You may have noticed the EC beside our league position, and yes, we qualified for Europe through the FA Cup. It was no lucky result, we scored through the first half and were the better team, United scoring in the dying minutes to force extra time. Vitor Manoel, filling in up front for an injured Claudemir scored a deserved winner on the 115th minute. A great achievement for us relative minnows. End Of Save Unfortunately I have not had an option to make the final upgrade of youth facilities for several seasons, being stuck at Excellent, I really like getting graduates through the academy. There seems no justifiable reason for this in game so I think it's a bug. I've also had another long term bug with a player we sold to Derby still showing on the transfer outs page permanently for his entire contract. It's been fun Oldham, and we finally won something (my only major trophy in FM22). I might have one more save in me for FM22.
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