Hello, this is my first proper blog story for a long time. On the dawn of FM13 I will be managing Stoke for a season of two and I am happy with how the first few months have gone. I have managed to have some decent results, a good transfer window and a great staff re-shuffle. We had a marvellous pre-season and are still in the cup, I will kick off with my targets;
(Also i am using a somewhat up to date database, so some of the real transfers are there and the league is up to date too)
Targets season 2011/12 (budget=£8.5M)
- Finish top half of the league
- Reach a cup quarter final
- Establish a successful youth set up
Any reader of my legendary Northampton Blog will now I am one to spend spend spend and not really sell for a lot of money. But this time I sold the same amount of players I bought and for a similar sum. I still have about £600K and plenty of wage money for January. Only a couple of my signings used the 48 month payment to fill in the remaining sum, but I kept selling and continually had more funds. However a lot of my sales had part of the fee over 48 months, so I didn’t get as much as portrayed. It turned out really well, as at the very start I was having trouble getting my first two players and it seems kind of silly now. I started by improving the low standard of full backs, although my new full backs aren’t amazing. I also brought in new wingers and depth to the squad. There were some good players getting sold, but none were in my plans so I am a very happy manager at this point.
This is my team, listed in order of competitive form (if you want their recent it is on the posts below this). Many of my players are average players, about 3 stars. But we do have a lot of decent potential and quite a few star players, for instance; Huth, Crouch, Jarvis, Palacios, Shawcross and Huddlestone. I have also brought in some experience which I hope will inspire and provide excellent depth over the season. Also a lot of my players are very versatile as you will see below.
I sold my old second choice Sorrenson, who was pretty good and I didn’t want two class keepers at once. So I sold him and brought in an even older keeper on a free for back-up. Meanwhile, Begovic has good potential and is currently playing to a level on par with our best players. At some point I want to bring in a good young english third choice keeper.
Huth is my main defender and plays centre back along side Shawcross, they are both very strong centre backs and I hope we concide little this season, because at our level being able to hold a clean sheet in a big game is vital. My full backs are good, but not as strong, in the form of Neil Taylor and Luke Wilkshire. I have managed to build good depth and shouldn’t be too damaged by injury.
You’ll notice a few of my players cross over into a few area’s, most notably Cameron, who can play every outfield position to some extent. These mids are all central mids as I play a 4-2-4 and only need two at once. However lots of them can attack too, so the play can be changed without too many changes in the line-up. Huddlestone and Palacios are my best mids, but Walters is a good all round back up.
I mentioned walters being a good back, he is even more so here, although he is very good he is not the best at his main positions, but I will make good use of him this season I’m sure. English players Jarvis and Pennant are my main wingers and french youngster Grandin is also going to get involved throughout the season.
Crouch and Jones are my best strikers and are amongst the best players at the club. Jerome is also very good and has shown exciting signs in the pre-season, all have been scoring goals.
I use this formation, because it has worked for me on my later FM12 games and must be one of the ones to use this edition of the game. I means I still have a pretty standard mid, but can launch a four pronged attack. I play standard and fluid, but against lower league teams I play attacking.
Luckily one of my key wingers Jarvis will be back soon, but sadly be star player Huth will be out longer and his scoring from corners will be missed, along with his defending prowess. McNaughton won’t be debuting for a month or so, but once he does he can be a strong backup to my full backs.
Our pre-season was great, I quickly worked out the most efficient use of tactics after a disappointing Nottingham Forest game. Huth also proved to be amazing scoring in quite a few games, all from corners. I hope he can replicate this form in the league. Overall these high goal games are very promising, along with the low conceding count. The Liverpool game could have easily been 2-1 as Huth scored a dissallowed goal from a corner, but it was still a good game. We then improved upon this and won. Despite losing I am happy we scored against tottenham and kept a positive goal difference.
It’s early days, so i wont go into much detail (I would if we were winning), but basically we are close to our target and the results are, in my opinion, going our way.
I only kept on three staff, and I found some reall gems, but this is too good to squeeze in now, so be ready for next time
I had to rush a bit, but there you go,
Thanks for reading!
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