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Thread: Sunderland ODB with restrictions

  1. #26
    Join Date
    01-01-19
    Posts
    90
    January 31st 2003. Played a couple of matches since the last update:

    3-0 win away vs. Ipswich in the FA Cup 4th round. Easy win. Drew Premier League side Coventry at home in the 5th round, good draw.

    2-0 win at home vs. Chelsea in the League Cup semifinal 1st leg. Comfortable win. Not extremely dominant but quite a bit, and a two-goal win was a fair result. Perhaps form is picking up? Nice to be able to win comfortably against a semi-top side, one that beat us last time, around November in the league. Although that was away and I probably deserved a draw in that game. Anyway, Man Utd won 4-2 at home in their 1st leg vs. bottom of the league Everton. So I am in line to get my ass kicked against Man Utd at Wembley once again.

    Player news:

    Finalised a summer Bosman transfer of DC Darren Moore from West Bromwich. He looks quite good, is on paper (star ratings) my 2nd best defender after Yepes. Slightly better than Gamarra, Vaschuk and Duberry. Not bad for a free transfer. He will arrive around June 4th I guess.

    I also launched a new attempt to get Assane N'Diaye. He played another international game since my last attempt, so perhaps this could be the time he could get a work permit? Most likely not I would guess though. But why not try.

    Speaking of possibly signing non-EU players, I probably won't get his Shakhtar teammate Isaak Okoronkwo whom I've had shortlisted for quite a while. Work permit applications have been denied 2-3 times. And Okoronkwo now has quite a lot of suitors. Will probably go to a French club or something quite soon, probably within the month. I think it would be cheating to try and block such a move by bidding in a situation where nothing has changed recently (no extra caps) and I therefore have now realistic chance of getting a work permit for him at the moment. If he gets sold, I hope it will a least be to some second rate club like the French clubs. So that I have a good chance of buying him 1-2 years from now, when he would probably be willing to switch clubs again. He probably wouldn't cost a fortune at that point either. Guess in such a scenario his price could jump from, say, £1m to £5m. That would still be an attractive price range for such a player.

    Although I guess within a few seasons from now I will most likely have enough money to buy anyone I want, no matter the price? Have actually hardly played a long save before, so I can't really judge that from personal experience. But as things are going so far, I would assume that I'll have practically unlimited money in 2-4 seasons from now. At least when I intend to keep my first team squad at a normal, semi-slim size. Probably 21-24 players tops, and only youth players on very low wages on top of that.

    All the postponed Premier League games got played since my last update. All teams in the league have now played 24 games. Newcastle won their game in hand, so they overtook me and are 4th in the table. Exciting season. Hope to finish in the top 4 which gives a Champions League spot.

    League status (position/club/points):
    1. Man Utd, 55
    2. Arsenal, 55
    3. Leeds, 49
    4. Newcastle, 47
    5. Sunderland, 45
    6. Chelsea, 40
    7. Tottenham, 39
    8. Liverpool, 38
    9. Leicester, 34
    10. Derby, 34
    11. Blackburn, 31

    Nice that Liverpool are pretty far behind, since they should be the most dangerous team of the teams below me.

    Think I will most likely finish will be 3rd-5th, feel that form is perhaps picking up a bit now.

    I have a vastly superior goal difference to anyone except Man Utd and Arsenal. Have scored more goals than anyone else in the league. 50 goals scored, Man Utd second With 45 goals scored.

    The tough run of five games in a row vs. top teams should be at round 28-32. So hope to get some wins in the next three matches before that run. Although that might not be easy, round 26-27 are against Leicester and Derby who sit 9th and 10th. Will be a tough run of games now. The last 6 rounds are easy on paper with the exception of Arsenal in round 34.

    I guess it could be a tough season. Unlike the other top teams, I have had a very easy fixture list in the beginning of the second half of the season (round 20-24), so from here on in I guess I am at a disadvantage. Hope the team is strong enough to cope.
    Last edited by dane; 13-06-19 at 11:59 AM.

  2. #27
    Join Date
    01-01-19
    Posts
    90
    March 18th 2003. Regarding recent matches played, let me first mention part of an unsual run that started at the turn of the calendar year. Starting with a match on January 1st, I went on a run with 13 consecutive wins. With ZERO goals conceded in those 13 matches. No crazy wins, mostly 1-0's and 2-0's, a couple of 3-0's and one 4-0 against Northampton in an early FA Cup round. Still, if I remember correctly we were at least fairly superior in all of those matches, and deserved all the wins. Amazing run no matter what, don't think I have ever experienced a streak like that before.

    The last win + clean sheet in that 13 match run came on February 27th. The streak included seven straight wins in the league, the other matches being various cup games: Progressing through the 3rd-5th round of the FA Cup. Defeating Chelsea convincingly in the two legged League Cup semi final (4-0 on aggregate, 2-0 both away and home). And a 1-0 win in the UEFA Cup 4th round 1st leg at home vs. Atalanta.

    The streak ended with a 0-2 league defeat away vs. Leeds. Not that disappointing I guess, since Leeds has such an amazing team. Although it did not help that that Yepes got a red card after 20 minutes.

    The UEFA Cup 4th round 2nd leg was nerve wrecking. 0-0 at half time which was fine. Then I went 2-0 down, conceding around the 50th and 65th minute. Thought I was likely to exit since Atalanta had been the slightly better side in the return leg up to that point. But To Madeira snatched a goal in the 71th minute. Pretty uneventful end to the match luckily, and I went through on away goals.

    Speaking of To Madeira, his form has improved slightly lately. His avg. rating gone from around 7.7 to 7.85 in spite of an atrocious 5-rating along the way, he's had a few 9's lately. He is now once again my first choice striker. Or more accurately, he and Bo Hansen are quite equal in their battle for being 1st choice striker, but Hansen is often needed at AMC or MR, so To Madeira starts more often than not. Kevin Kyle is now behind To Madeira and Hansen in the SC pecking order, since Kyle's form dipped to around 7.45 avg. rating. But Kyle is still a more than decent backup/rotation option. To Madeira is 3rd in the running for being top scorer in the league by the way, has 15 goals in 15 starts + 4 sub appearances. 1st and 2nd on the top scorer list are Thierry Henry (17) and Newcastle's Jardel (16), they both have played around 28 league matches, so To Madeira has a much better goals per match return. Nice to have him back, my trust in him has pretty much been restored. He is also now the most valuable player in my squad, his value being £8m.

    Speaking of goal scorers, Bo Hansen has 12 league goals to his name so far, so he is also up there on the top scorers list, at 10th spot.

    While I remember it: Medina 'would like to negotiate a new contracts'. No a problem in itself, I would gladly give him a hefty payrise. But he insists on getting a £5.25 minimum fee release clause. Which is totally out of question, I'm sure he would go for at least £10m if I were to sell him. And more importantly, I'll do everything in my power to keep him at the club since he is one of my best midfielders. My current plan is to just ignore the whole contract situation for the rest of the season. I am hoping that I get Champions League football next season and the club gets a reputation bump or something. Then he might forget about his minimum fee release clause demands over the summer? We'll see. I would really hate to be forced into selling one of my best players for a paltry fee of £10m or something. Getting a suitable placement is most likely impossible. Few top players want to come to me, not least great young players with immense potential like Medina. And in any case, such potential replacement are likely to be much more expensive than £10m.

    Anyway, back to recent games... next game was in FA Cup, quarter final away vs. Man Utd (great draw, thanks CM). I got away with a slightly lucky 0-0 draw, they had 10/3 shots (/on target) vs. my 4/4. The rematch at the Stadium of Light hasn't been played yet, is next match up (March 18th). Great result and performance, not least since I was forced into fielding a total B string, because the match was just 48 hours after my previous match (thanks FA).

    Next match was the 1st leg of the UEFA Cup quarter final vs. Inter. Another terrible Draw by the way, Inter looks like the stongest team left in the competition along with Lazio. And not ideal having to playing away in the 2nd leg either. But, I got a superior 4-1 win. Hope that is enough to get me through the upcoming 2nd leg and into the semi final. Two of the three upcoming semifinalists will almost surely be AEK Athens and Lazio who also won by a margin at home in the first leg, 4-1 and 6-1 respectively. The last semifinalist is more of an open question, Newcastle winning 2-1 at home in their first leg vs. Schalke (would be fun to face Newcastle in the semi final or final). By the way, in the 1st leg vs. Inter my most recent signing, rotation player Lee Hendrie, got a 10-rating playing as MC. So he's in line for more chances there, he scored 2 goals in that match.

    The last match played before this update was league game at home vs. Man Utd. I was the slightly better team and got a deserved 1-0 win. Brilliant performance vs. such a stong team. The performance was even more amazing since I played a somewhat rotated team vs. their full strength, full fitness lineup.

    Extremely hectic match schedule currently. Recent/upcoming match dates: Feb 15th 19th 22nd 27th, March 2nd, 6th, 8th (thanks FA), 13th, 16th, 18th (thanks again FA, they refuse to move any matches), 20th. So that is 11 matches in 4.5 weeks. Not ideal. Great that the squad is coping admirably so far, and even in spite of quite a few injuries with the following players being injured for 2-3 weeks or just returning from such injuries and suspensions in recent weeks: Vaschuk and McNamara (my only two decent right backs), Finnan and Reuser (my only two decent right wingers), Yepes, Petkov, Medina (unreliable since he wants a new contract). I have been down to the bare bones much of the times in recent weeks, fielding a few pretty poor and transfer listed fringe players in many matches. Just adds to the current excitement of this save, very intense period.

    Anyway, up next is the FA Cup quarter final rematch vs. Man Utd. This time at the Stadium of Light. Needless to say, both Man Utd and ourselves are a bit below full strength since this match is just 48 hours since our last meeting, my 1-0 win in the league. Unfortunately we seem even more battered than them, since we have had an even more hectic schedule than them and I have 3-4 injuried first team regulars whereas they have no such injuries. Still reason for optimism though, due to our brilliant recent performances. And at home we are often handful for even the strongest of teams, at least since form has picked up in January.

    It is probably a bit lucky that there has been little interest in some of my mentioned transfer listed fringe players. Since I have had to play those players quite a lot, because of the mentioned injuries and the packed schedule. Players like McCartney (D RLC), Hibbert (DR, listed for loan), Ejerholm (AMC, listed for loan), Trevor Benjamin (AM/F RLC), Svetoslav Todorow (F RC). Don't think I would sell anyone but Todorov right now in any case, due to the schedule (Todorov is the worst pick of that bunch, even now he barely plays).

    Current league table with 30 rounds played (position, team, points):
    1. Arsenal, 65
    2. Leeds, 64
    3. Man Utd, 63 (have a game in hand)
    4. Sunderland, 60
    5. Newcastle, 59
    6. Liverpool, 53
    7. Chelsea, 52
    8. Tottenham, 46

    Exciting end to the season. The top 5 just keeps winning, so a Champions League spot is far from certain.

    Interesting that the Premier League title is no longer totally out of question, given Our brilliant points haul lately. Even if the title is unlikely.

    At the bottom, Everton got a few wins lately. They now have 16 points with a game in hand. Seems too little to late though, they are still 10 points from 17th spot.

    As mentioned in earlier updates, I might buy a couple of players before April 1st. We'll see how that goes.

    Upcoming matches:

    March 18th, the FA Cup quarter final replay vs. Man Utd

    March 20th, UEFA Cup quarter final 2nd leg away vs. Inter. Hope my 4-1 lead will be enough. But far from certain since the home advantage often seems huge in the European games.

    March 30th, League Cup final vs. Man Utd. That will be our 4th meeting in 3 weeks! Including a league match and the two FA Cup clashes. It gives a bit of hope that I have performed surprisingly well against them lately, not least with rotated sides.

    April 2nd, away vs. Newcaste (league)

    April 7th, home vs. Liverpool (league)

    After that I have six league games left. All of them looking relatively easy, except for Arsenal away in round 35. Will be interesting to see how I am placed in the league after the next couple of key league games vs. Newcastle and Liverpool.

    First and foremost I just hope for a top 4 spot and Champions League football. So I hope that my top 4 rivals will finish the season poorly. Not least the main rivals Newcastle, with whom we are side by side at 4th/5th spot in the league. Great rivalry with them this season.

    DC Gamarra is back by the way. He has played decently, not more, not less. Avg. rating of around 7.05 after 10 games. Yepes and Vaschuk are by far my best DC's at the moment, Vaschuk is sometimes needed at DR though, my only other decent DR McNamara often out injured. At the moment, Gamarra just about edges Duberry for being my 3rd choice DC. But that could easily change, they are quite close, Duberry having around 6.95-7.00 avg. rating. So a few disappointing performances from Gamarra and I might sell him. Overall I think Gamarra has been disappointing so far. Not the player he could have been, judging from positive descriptions of him online as a semi sort of CM legend. Not that I complain though, just adds to the thrill of the saves to work with disappointmens imperfections. I find boring to be utterly dominant, usually lose interested in the save and end if that starts to happen.

    All in all, things have been going surprisingly well lately, exceeding expections. Nice to have been much more competetive against top sides lately, quite the contrast to the first half of the season.

    Current pecking order tactically (playing 4-5-1: GK - DL, 2 DC's, DR - DMC - ML, MC, MR - AMC - SC):
    GK: Eleftheropoulos, Bourdon, Ingham (Eleftheropoulos edging Bourdon with good recent performances)
    DL: Venetidis, Arca, McAnespie
    DC's: Yepes, Vaschuk, Gamarra, Duberry, McCartney, Broomes
    DR: Vaschuk, McNamara, McCartney, Hibbert
    DMC: Milen Petkov, Medina, Stefan Schwarz
    ML: Arca, Petkov, Finnan, Joe Cole, Reuser, Hendrie
    MC: Cole, Karagounis, Hendrie, Medina, Reuser, Ejerholm, Schwarz (unsure about Medina's current standing in the pecking order; he would probably be my 1st choice MC if it wasn't for his contract issues and potential bad morale and possible proneness to poor performances due to that)
    MR: Finnan, Reuser, Bo Hansen, Trevor Benjamin, Todorov
    AMC: Hansen, Karagounis, Cole, Reuser, Todorov, Ejerholm
    SC: To Madeira, Hansen, Kevin Kyle, Reuser, Benjamin

    My starting XI for the next match, today's FA Cup replay vs. Man Utd: Eleftheropoulos (GK); McAnespie (DL), McCartney (DC), Broomes (DC), Hibbert (DR); Schwarz (DMC); Joe Cole (ML), Medina (MC), Trevor Benjamin (MR); Ejerholm (AMC); Kyle (SC). This formation probably says it all about being down to the bare bones. At least Man Utd are also in a not excactly ideal sitation. Even if their situation is better than mine. They will either field their best players at around 94-95% match fitness, and/or their backup players. Speaking of that, I would probably field a lot more of my best players who are also at around 94-95% fitness level, if my current schedule was not so hectic. But that would be too short sighted I think. Since I have the UEFA Cup return leg vs. Inter just two days from now, on March 20th. Probably better to rotate and at least have players pretty fit and ready for the Inter game.

    About player valuations: I guess I am a little surprised that my player valuations are generally quite low. Apart from To Madeira (£8m) and Joe Cole (around £6.75m), no few midfielders/strikers are valued above £5-6m. And only a few of them even have that level of valuation: Petkov, Medina, Arca and Karagounis. The rest of the youngish regular midfielders/strikers, whom are all very good players, are all valued at £4.5m or lower: Hansen (£4.5m), Finnan (£3.5), Hendrie (£3m), Reuser (£4m). The defenders also generally have a low value, the highest being (approximately) Yepes (£3.7m), Vaschuk (£3m), Gamarra (£3m), McNamara (£2.8m), Venetidis (£2.8m), Duberry (£2.4m). Eleftheropoulos have a decent valuation being a GK, £5.25. Good Young rotational GK Bourdon is valued at only (£1.8m).

    I guess players have to play well for at least a couple of season before their values really soar, think I remember it being so from earlier saves. Most of my players are pretty new at the club and have typically only been here for 1-1.5 seasons, so perhaps that explains many seemingly being undervalued.

    Luckily, of my current players only Joe Cole currently have a minimum fee release clause which currently stands at £9.75m. I guess there is a real risk I could lose Cole at any time. Unless I sometime manage to remove the clause with a new contract. The only possibility of that assumingly being to secure Champions League football and getting a club reputation bump. Hope I won't start to lose my best players for low fees due to minimum fee release clause and/or low club reputation, players wanting to leave. Would be a shame to lose world class players such as Joe Cole and Medina, without realisticly being able to bring in a like for like replacement.
    Last edited by dane; 17-06-19 at 11:25 AM.

  3. #28
    Join Date
    01-01-19
    Posts
    90
    March 20th 2003. Just two days since the last update, yet an eventful couple of days. I played two matches since the last update:

    - March 18th. FA Cup quarter final replay at home vs. Man Utd. I basically fielded my worst team possible as mentioned. Very few players fit and ready to play, due to the hectic schedule. To call it a B side would be an understatement (see the starting lineup in the previous post). Anyway, I performed surprisingly well. Tense match, very few chances. I was the slightly superior side for the first 60 minutes or so (0-0). The tide slowly turned and Man Utd grew gradually stronger. The match became more even. Still 0-0 after 90 minutes, extra time. Man Utd were the better side in extra time. Still no goals though. But then they scored the decisive 1-0 winner after 119 minutes. A bit unlucky. A draw and a penalty shootout would have been fair. On the other hand I was a bit lucky to get a replay to begin with, so not too much to complain about. I guess there are also positives about not having to play a potential FA Cup semi final and final. My battered players could use a break, and it is still up in the air whether I can achieve a top 4 Champions League spot in the league or not.

    - March 20th. UEFA Cup quarter final 2nd leg away vs. Inter. I brought a 4-1 lead from the 1st leg. Once again I fielded a terrible team. Due to the 120 minutes played two days earlier, more players than expected had bad fitness. I even played without a right back, since most were injured and noone was remotely fit, played with an extra DMC instead. So lined up like this: GK - DL DC DC - DMC DMC - ML MC MR - AMC - SC. I still thought I would most likely make it through to the semi finals, 4-1 seemed like a good lead. The beginning of the match was a disaster though. DMC Petkov got a red card after 5 minutes for a 'reckless challenge'. So now I was back the the usual 4-5-1 lineup, just without a right back. And without one of my few top players who were fit (Petkov), think the only other good players I now had left on the pitch were To Madeira, Joe Cole and keeper Eleftheropoulos. Inter scored on the following freekick, so 1-0 for them after 6 minutes. Then followed an endless barrage of Inter attacks. Think they had 13 shots the first half hour, around 8 on target. Only a string of great saves from GK Eleftheropoulos prevented them from scoring more goals. Then, totally against the run of play, To Madeira dribbled past a couple of players in a counter attack-looking move, and equalized in the 35th minute. Inter was still the better side for the rest of the match, but they weren't as completely dominant as they were in the first 30 minutes. The intensity of the game luckily faded out a bit. In the end there were no further goals, and the 2nd leg ended 1-1. 5-2 for me on aggregate.

    The draw for the semi finals has not yet been made. The other semifinalists are:
    - Lazio. Think they got a 1-1 draw in their 2nd leg match away. Did not matter much though, since they had won the 1st leg 6-1. They definitely seem like the strongest team left in the tournament.
    - Paris SG who somewhat surprisingly came back from a 1-4 loss in the 1st leg. Won 3-0 vs. AEK Athens at home and went through on away goals.
    - Schalke 04 who beat Newcastle 4-1 at home and won 5-3 on aggregate. That is a shame, it would have been fun to meet Newcastle in the semi final or final. At least we have the excitement of being toe to toe with them in the important battle for a top 4 spot in the league (see league table in the previous post).

    Not surprisingly I hope to get Paris SG in the semifinals. 2nd choice being Schalke. Hope to avoid Lazio. In any case there is hope since I just beat Inter. Inter and Lazio seem equally strong and were probably the best teams left for the quarter finals. So it does not seem impossible to win the whole tournament. We will see. Perhaps a UEFA Cup win could make Medina more sensible in his contract demands (the ridiculous minimum fee release clause).

    Now there is luckily a 10 day break due to international football. Hope my battered players won't be utilized too much by their national teams. Otherwise I have a big problem. At least Vaschuk and Finnan should be just about back from injuries in time to play either on March 30th or the following match on April 2nd, so that is a big help no matter what.

    Next match is the League Cup final vs. Man Utd on March 30th. After that it will be quite strange to start playing someone else than Man Utd or Inter. By now it seems like they are the only two teams I can possibly face in this footballing world.
    Last edited by dane; 18-06-19 at 10:24 AM.

  4. #29
    Join Date
    01-01-19
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    90
    March 30th 2003. Played the League Cup final vs. Man Utd. For a change both teams were pretty much at full strength and full fitness due to the recent international break. They did not have a single unavailable player whereas I unfortunately had a two key players out (Yepes and Finnan), and another regular (Joe Cole) out injured. As well as another key player basically useless and therefore cut out of the match day squad since he has played terrible after wanting a contract, making a ridiculously low minimum fee release clause demand that I can't possibly give him (Medina). So my odds weren't the best before the match.

    Nevertheless, I was the better team throughout the match. Think I led 8-2 in the shots statistics. But hard to score against them. Their erratic goalkeeper Barthez had one of his good days and would eventually be man of the match with a 9. 0-0 after 90 minutes. Extra time was pretty uneventful, they had no shots on target, I had a couple.

    Luckily my last shot on target was a goal! To Madeira in the 118th minute. 1-0 victory and we won the League Cup. Sweet payback from their 119th minute winner in the recent FA Cup quarter final replay at the Stadium of Light.

    I got Schalke 04 in the UEFA Cup semifinal. Decent enough draw. Would have preferred Paris SG, but very nice to avoid Lazio. Schalke is up in my next game on April 3rd. Unfortunately I once again play at home in the 1st leg, so hope I can get an aggregate win before the 2nd leg might go to extra time.

    I decided to not buy players and spend money before April 1st. I found out that only a potential cash injection happens on that date, and that doesn't seem dependent on the current cash balance in any cash. Plus all potential transfer targets are heavily overpriced at the moment anyway. So I might as well postpone making new signings untill early June. The plan is to just get it done before potential shareholder dividends, which seem to happen around June 15th-June 25th and not April 1st like I thought.

    Not that any stars want to join me at the moment anyway. Noone available that would significantly strengthen my starting XI, best available transfer targets are decent rotational options. No need to rush a signing of such a player for £10-15m. Perhaps new and better transfer targets pop up within the next couple of months, who knows.
    Last edited by dane; 21-06-19 at 10:07 AM.

  5. #30
    Join Date
    01-01-19
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    Haven't played since the last update, but I realized I forgot an important detail: In the League Cup final, Man Utd's central defender Mickael Silvestre got sent off after 20 minutes. Due to that, and great AI, Dwight Yorke played at MC most of the match.

    I guess that is an important part of the explanation as to why we were clearly the better performing team in the final. Although my squad seems pretty good now, I would still expect the likes of Man Utd and Arsenal to be at least our equals and probably better.

  6. #31
    Join Date
    01-01-19
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    May 5th 2003. Matches since the last update:

    UEFA Cup semi final 1st leg at home vs. Schalke 04: 2-1 win

    Premier League at home vs. Liverpool: 1-1

    Premier League away vs. West Bromwich: 0-0. Gamarra was sent off early. He will most likely be sold in the summer by the way. Has been quite disappointing and topped it off with a 4 rating in this match. He just doesn't perform according to his attributes in this save.

    UEFA Cup semi final 2nd leg away vs. Schalke 04: When To Madeira scored for a 2-1 lead in around the 78th minute I thought the game was done. Schalke would need to score at least 3 goals to go through. So I made what in hindsight seems like a big mistake and subbed my best player in the match to rest him (Joe Cole on the left wing, replaced him with some poor player like Trevor Benjamin), and put tackling to 'easy'. Then Schalke equalized in around the 82nd minute. I put tackling back on medium, my default setting. But Schalke kept coming. They missed a sitter ('xxx can't miss') in the 84nd minute. They then scored on their next attack, 3-2 for Schalke in the 85th minute. One more goal for them and I would be out. Luckily nothing happened for the rest of the match, in spite of 4 minutes added time. So I scraped through on away goals. In the final I will meet Lazio. They are reigning Champions League winners I discovered, beat Man Utd 1-0 in the final. Not the best of luck to meet such a team in this tournament, but at least I avoided them before the final. Guess they will be the favourites. But I feel like my team is decent now and that I have a reasonable chance against anybody. Except perhaps Roma whom I think is really scary in CM 01/02, by far the best team IMO. Hmm... Just remembered that the final will be played at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Lazio's home venue. The fixture list also has them as playing at home and me away, not the usual N for Neutral listing. So I guess they will be heavy favourites with home advantage on top. We shall see.

    Premier League away vs. Arsenal: 2-1 WIN! Amazing result. Who would have thought that beforehand. A bit lucky though, think they slightly won the shots/on target contest by around 8/2 vs. 6/2.

    Premier League at home vs. Ipswich: 3-0 win. Comfortable.

    Premier League away vs. Newcastle: 1-3 loss. I was the better team, led the shots/on target statistics with around 11/8 vs. 8/6. But Shay Given was great in their goal, whereas my keeper Eleftheropoulos was dreadful and got a 4 rating. Yepes was sent off late in the match. Another eventful derby.

    Premier League away vs. West Ham: 2-2. Yepes was sent off early.

    League standing with 37 rounds played, just one round left (position/team/points/comment):
    1. Man Utd, 78 (two games in hand)
    2. Leeds, 77
    3. Arsenal, 76
    4. Sunderland, 69 (a game in hand)
    5. Newcastle, 68
    6. Liverpool, 67
    7. Chelsea, 65
    8. Tottenham, 54

    Newcastle have dropped a lot of points recently. So I seem the clear favourite for 4th spot. Especially since they only have one match left, away vs. Leeds. Whereas I have a game in hand and play two poor teams at home, Coventry and Aston Villa. And I have a much better goal difference than Newcastle and Liverpool. Too bad I slipped up a lot myself in recent matches, otherwise I might have challenged for the title or at least 2nd/3rd spot so I could have avoided 1-2 dangerous qualifying rounds for the Champions League group stages next season.

    To Madeira is joint top scorer in the Premier League along with Newcastle's Jardel who is by the way the best player in the league according to avg. rating. Nice buy Newcastle made at Sporting Lisboa there. Due to remaining fixtures To Madeira seems to be the favourite for becoming the top scorer. Although several players have a chance if they score 2-3 goals in the last round.

    My last fixtures of the season:
    May 7th, at home vs. Coventry, Premier League (the game in hand)
    May 14th, UEFA Cup final vs. Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome
    May 18th, at home vs. Aston Villa, Premier League

    DC Mario Yepes got two red cards in recent Premier League matches, so he starts a 5 match suspension on the last day of the season. He is also suspended for the UEFA Cup final due to too many yellows.

    I have a few incoming summer transfers arranged. Am still not sure whether I will let them go through, or whether I will cancel one or more of them, but here they are in any case:

    DC Darren Moore from West Bromwich on a Bosman. This one I will finalize for sure, he will be me best DC along with Yepes and much better than any other DC I have at the club. Splendid free transfer.

    AM RC Cesareo Victorino, 24 y/o Mexican from Cruz Azul. 50-70% likely I will let this one go through. Looks good as MR and AMC, would be one of my 2-3 best options in both positions. A little pricy though, £6.5.

    D/DM L Grigoris Georgatos, 30 y/o Greek from Inter, prize £2.5m. Will most likely complete the deal. Decent price. Would be my 2nd-3rd choice left back behind Venetidis, although the other left back option, Arca, is often needed at ML where he plays very well. Georgatos himself seems decent as ML backup as well.

    AM/F L Neri Alberto Castillo, 18 y/o Uruguayan from Olympiakos, priced at £3.3 plus £1.4 if he reeches 10 international caps. He is an EU citizen, also has... Spanish nationality I think it is. Some EU dual nationality at least. Not a regen in spite of his age. Perhaps a little expensive since his valuation is just 300k. Think I will most likely let the deal go through though. Would be my 1st-3rd choice ML, battling it out with Arca and Joe Cole, and Arca and Cole are often needed at other positions. He has great attributes, just one star worse than Joe Cole in the winger star rating comparison. So guess I would be a fool not to complete this deal for such an amazing talent, even if perhaps slightly expensive.

    If I complete all these deals I should also avoid paying shareholder dividends in June.

    If I complete all the deals, the pecking order for next season should look like this (playing 4-5-1: GK - DL, 2 DC's, DR - DMC - ML, MC, MR - AMC - SC):
    GK: Eleftheropoulos, Bourdon, Ingham
    DL: Venetidis, Georgatos, Arca, McAnespie
    DC's: Yepes, Moore, Vaschuk, Duberry, McCartney
    DR: Vaschuk, McNamara, McCartney, Hibbert
    DMC: Milen Petkov, Medina, Stefan Schwarz
    ML: Arca, Petkov, Finnan, Joe Cole, Castillo, Reuser, Hendrie, Georgatos
    MC: Cole, Petkov, Medina, Karagounis, Hendrie, Victorino, Reuser, Ejerholm, Schwarz (unsure about Medina's current standing in the pecking order; he would probably be my 1st choice MC if it wasn't for his contract issues and potential bad morale and possible proneness to poor erformances due to that)
    MR: Victorino, Finnan, Reuser, Bo Hansen, Trevor Benjamin
    AMC: Victorino, Hansen, Karagounis, Cole, Reuser, Todorov, Ejerholm
    SC: To Madeira, Hansen, Reuser, Benjamin, Kevin Kyle

    Players that I will most likely transer list when the season is over (or after the UEFA Cup final if 4th spot if the last Premier League game is unimportant):

    DL McAnespie. Actually a good player and on cheap player. But if I sign Georgatos, McAnespie will only be my 3rd/4th best left back. And he turns 24 soon, so I can't keep him on a cheap youth contracts. So seems like the most sensible thing to cash in on him. I assume his valuation would also drop next season since he is unlikely to play much.

    M LC Lee Hendrie. The same situation. A couple of incoming players for the midfield/forward positions. For 6 outfield positions (DMC, MC, ML, MR, AMC, SC), I seem to have 11 senior players who are better than Hendrie (+ a few on cheap youth contracts as backups). It seems unwise to have more than 11 senior players for 6 outfield spots I think, Probably better to sell 12th man Hendrie instead of having to much competition for the spots, potentially more unhappy players because of lack of game time and valuations dropping for the same reason. Hendrie got a rating of 10 in one of the UEFA Cup quarter finals vs. Inter, he got us through to the semifinals with his performance and two goals in that match. But in hindsight it seems like a fluke. He has played around 9-10 matches as MC and has an avg. rating slightly below 7 if you disregard that one game. Far from good enough and much worse than his competitors. Even backup youth prospect Charlie Ejerholm does much better than that in the MC position, avg. rating of around 7.30 in that spot this season.

    Speaking of potential sales, I have long sort of wanted to sell DMC Stefan Schwarz. He is clearly my 3rd choice DMC behind Petkov and Medina, and he is 9th choice for the MC position. However, it seems unwise to sell him as long as my scouts haven't found me at least a decent youth prospect who could be 3rd choice DMC. So unfortunately I need him and his 20k per week wages, would be too vulnerable with just two DMC's, not least when Petkov and Medina could often be useful options in the MC and ML spots (Medina just MC). A bit annoying to pay wages of 20k a week for a fading 34 year old, but currently better than selling him I believe.
    Last edited by dane; 25-06-19 at 02:23 PM.

  7. #32
    Join Date
    01-01-19
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    90
    May 19th 2003. Season is over. The last fixtures went like this:

    May 7th, at home vs. Coventry, Premier League (the game in hand): 3-0 win. Easy. 4th spot and Champions League football secured! The last Premier League match is now totally unimportant, I can't finish any higher or lower than 5th no matter the result.

    May 14th, UEFA Cup final vs. Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome: Tense and pretty even match. Lazio was the slightly better team from the start. Throughout the match we would get ourselves more into the match, catching up on some of the difference in the shots statistics. I think the score was 1-1 after 90 minutes, certainly a draw since the match went to extra time. I was the slightly better team in extra time. After 120 minutes it was very even in the shots/on target statistics, think Lazio had 8/4 vs. my 7/4. Anyway, no goals in extra time, so the match went to penalties. Luckily I won 4-2! Scored all my four taken penalties whereas they missed two. What an achievent! Beating a world class team, and reigning Champions League winners on their own turf in the UEFA Cup final. Doesn't get much bigger than that. We are the masters of second rate tournaments. I got the nice message afterwards that the fans were singing my name in the streets. Incredibl performance to play an even match with Lazio on their turf. Anyway, this secured a great double this season. UEFA Cup winners and League Cup winners in 02/03.

    May 18th, at home vs. Aston Villa, Premier League. I am not actually quite sure how this match went. Think I won it, most likely a 2-0 win if I remember correctly. Played a full reserve side since the match didn't matter.

    To Madeira scored a hattrick in the match vs. Coventry. So he became Premier League top scorer for the season.

    Ipswich and West Ham got relegated. I hope that improves my chances of getting some targets at reasonable prices: Titus Bramble from Ipswich, and Jermaine Defoe (would be great to sign him here as well), Michael Carrick and Thomas Repka from West Ham.

    I did a test run of the save to around mid July, to check how things work with shareholder dividends. In this test run (which I deleted and went back to May 19th) I paid out £6m to shareholders on June 18th. That is in line with something I read here on the forum, that the shareholders take half of the profit from the current season. Currently I think I have around £7-8m in profits for the season. Add to that that season tickets sales begin early June. I did not check it, but think season tickets sales meant the season profits at 18th of June were up to around £12m.

    In other words I think I want to make sure that I spend at least £11-12m on players before June 18. That probably means that I will complete all the lined up signings I mentioned earlier:
    AM RC Cesareo Victorino for £6.5m
    D/DM L Grigoris Georgatos for £2.5m
    AM/F L Neri Alberto Castillo for £3.3m (plus £1.4 if he reaches 10 international caps).
    This all fits together quite well, total price up front £12.3 m. Plus 800k for Farnerud (see below). Then the shareholders can wave goodbye to the dididends they thought they were going to get. Mission accomplished. I must be any shareholder's dream of a CEO.

    Speaking of incoming transfers, there is also the lined up deal Darren Moore (DC), but he is a free transfer and doesn't arrive untill July 1st. So he doesn't really count in this avoid-paying-dividends context, although I am extremely happy with this signing and look forward to him coming in as a very strong DC.

    I have also just finalized a deal that will take DC Mikael Antonsson to the club on a Bosman transfer when his contract with IFK Göteborg expires in November. Am very happy with this signing. Currently he would be my 4th choice DC, and even if I sign better DC's in the meantime, he would be an amazing youth prospect and backup no matter what (got him on a cheap youth contract on 8k a week. Not low wages, but not high either and fine for a very talented player like Antonsson arriving on a free).

    I am currently negotiating with Chelsea to buy AM RLC Alexander Farnerud (yes, Chelsea bought him in Sweden before my scouts found). Surprisingly they are willing to sell him for 800k, half his current valuation. And he is willing to come and a cheap youth contract on just 1.6k per week. So seems almost certain that I will bring him in when the transfer window reopens on June 3rd. Great deal. And nice that I, due my Champions League spot finish, seem to have a much better club reputation than Chelsea now.

    Players that I transfer listed after the UEFA Cup final on may 14th (still no decent bids for any of them) are listed here. They are decent players but surplus to requirements due to incoming players and keeping them would mean the squad being too big:
    Carlos Gamarra (DC)
    Lee Hendrie (M LC)
    Trevor Benjamin (AM/F RLC, turned 24 y/o so couldn't keep him on a youth contract)
    McAnespie (DL), turns 24 in September so might as well sell him now that I can't keep him on a youth contract much longer. Besides, with Georgatos coming in, McAnespie probably would hardly get any game time next season.

    From before, other players were transfer listed: Broomes (DC), Todorov (F RC), Macho (GK), as well as some terrible original youth players, many whom luckily have contracts that will expire this summer.

    Now that I think about it, there is a good chance that I will also buy some or most of the players below during the summer. Since I guess I have a lot of fresh money coming in through TV revenue and season ticket sales. If I remember correctly, I currently have around £25m in the bank. So even if that goes down to £12m with the lined up signings early June, I guess the fresh cash could take my bank account to around £25-30m. And, the players below all seem fairly reasonably priced. I still don't have the economy to just buy top players for £15-30m a piece (like I would love to buy Jesper Grønkjær from Chelsea, but they want £30m for him). But I seem to be closing in on the point where I can at least buy most or all interesting transfer targets in the price range below £10m. Anyway, here is the list of possible additional signings this summer as things stand (amount is expected price):

    Chris Perry, 30 y/o DC from Tottenham, £6.5m

    Zubiarre, 20-21 y/o right back from Real Sociedad, £5.75m + £2.5m if he gets 10 international caps

    Sean Davis 23 y/o DM RC from Fulham, £8.5m

    Chris Coleman, 32 y/o (33 y/o at June 10th) D LC from Fulham (looks the best at left back). Am not sure about the price. Would probably be around £1.5-2.5m after he turns 33.

    Jermaine Defoe, 20 y/o SC from relegated West Ham, £8.75m. Should probably sign him just for the link to real life, what a club legend he has been. Yesterday a club fan site picked him as the 3rd best player at the club during the past 25 years, behind only Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips.


    Edit: Guess I most likely won't have enough cash to buy all the mentioned players, at least not if I also want a decent cash reserve of at least £10-15m. But I should be able to buy some of them. Will have to dwell more on my priorities here.
    Last edited by dane; 27-06-19 at 11:53 AM.

  8. #33
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    26-09-18
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    Great season and congrats for the uefa cup

    Lots of tense matches in those cups in your season

    great to madeira top goalscorer

    Are you going to sign new scouts or are you happy with current ones?

  9. #34
    Join Date
    01-01-19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadScientist View Post
    Great season and congrats for the uefa cup

    Lots of tense matches in those cups in your season
    Thanks Yeah, it was a very tense end to the season actually, you are spot on. So many tense games in both the league (great battle with local rivals Newcastle for 4th spot), the FA Cup (the tense match + replay vs. Man Utd), the League Cup final (penalty shootout again vs. Man Utd) and not least the UEFA Cup (I was pretty much out in the quarter final vs. Inter and in the semi final vs. Schalke 04 but clung on; and in the end the dramatic final "neutral" (= away) win vs. world class team Lazio on penalties at the Stadio Olimpico. It doesn't get much more tense than that, fierce competition on four fronts. This is probably the most tense and enjoyable season I have ever had in any CM 01/02 save. Also fun that it wasn't just Complete dominance (that is so easy to achieve if you play without restrictions), but that the season was unpredictable with ups and downs. More realistisc and more fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadScientist View Post
    Are you going to sign new scouts or are you happy with current ones?
    With coaches and staff in general I continously upgrad when an opportunity presents itself. So I have had pretty good scouts for a while, everyone has at least 18-19 for judging ability and potential.

    Now that you mention it... I really interesting restriction for future saves could be to stick with your original scouts and hold onto them as long as possible, only bringing in new scouts when you have to. And perhaps also have some sort of system so you don't necessarily hire top class scouts. And perhaps having similar systems for the rest of the staff. Very interesting idea I think. Although progress is a little slow with the restrictions I use in this save, I guess it is already evident that my Sunderland team will most likely become the best team in the world within, say, 3-6 season, given the progress that has already been made. So sooner or later player like this might become boring and too easy. Could be interesting with even harsher restrictions, not least regarding the quality of the scouts. I certainly do like my current restrictions, not using player search etc. scout recommendation being the single most important factor regarding which players I sign. Nice that it then becomes more unpredicable which players I end up signing, since I miss out on most well known legends and bargains.
    Last edited by dane; 28-06-19 at 12:18 PM.

  10. #35
    Join Date
    01-01-19
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    June 5th 2003. Pre season and summer transfers underway.

    Players in:
    - I cancelled the lined up deal for Victorino (AM RC). In the ended I decided that he was barely, if at all, better than what I already had. Also a negative that he is a non-EU player and not really a bargain either (would have cost £6.5m, current valuation at Cruz Azul is around £2.5m I think).
    - I completed all the other transfers mentioned in the previous post: Alexander Farnerud, Castillo and Georgatos. For the mentioned fees. Plus the mentioned Mikael Antonsson joining on a free in November.
    - Have also signed one of the mentioned possible signings: Zubiarre, DR from Real Soicieded. The fee was £5.75m plus £2.5m if he reaches 10 international caps. A little expensive, and his valuation even after he arrived here is only £1.8m. But I think he is better than that. Already looks as good star rating wise as my best right backs Vaschuk and McNamara, and he should end up much better since he is just 20 years old.

    Players out:
    - Sold Lee Hendrie to Fenerbahce for no less than £8.5m. Great fee, his valuation was £4.6m. At least five clubs were interested in him, so that made it more viable to be demanding in the negotiations. I bought him from Aston Villa for £2.2-2.3m in January. Nice profit, classic Champ Man-trading. By the way, I never plan to trade my players (one of my self imposed restrictions). But Hendrie was disappointing. Got a 7.22 avg. rating in his 9 games at MC, and apart from his 10-rating in a match vs. Inter his avg. rating for the other 8 matches was below 6.90. Not good enough, even youth prospect Ejerholm is much better than that, averaging 7.40 in the MC position last season. So a great fee for what turned out to be a disappointing and mediocre player.

    Not least due to the profitable sale of Hendrie, I still plan to spend around £15m before June 18th. In order to wipe out the profits before the potential payment of shareholder dividends. Thus, these two signings are most likely imminent (pending offers which should be accepted):
    - Chris Perry, 30 y/o DC from Tottenham and current England regular, £6.5m
    - Sean Davis, 23 y/o DM RC from Fulham, £8.5. The price might go up to around £9.5m, a bit uncertain whether they will accept the £8.5m.
    Wages should not be a problem with any other them, Perry should want around 25k and Davis 14k.

    Think there is a fair chance that I will sign Jermain Defoe later in the summer but we will see how the cash situation looks. Would be fun to sign a real life Sunderland legend. Have never had him in CM 01/02 before either, he looks like he could be, or end up being, world class in this save.
    Last edited by dane; 28-06-19 at 12:16 PM.

  11. #36
    Join Date
    01-01-19
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    June 30th. News are limited to players in/out.

    Ins:
    1) I finalized the deals mentioned in the earlier post (DC Chris Perry and DM RC Sean Davis).

    2) Bosman signing Darren Moore (DC) is arriving tomorrow, July 1st.

    Potential ins:
    1) I dropped the idea of signing Defoe for now. Uncertain whether he is better than what I have. Probably worse than To Madeira, and I also have Bo Hansen who has been excellent when playing the SC role, and Reuser and Kevin Kyle also look decent there. Even if Defoe seems to have a lot of potential, his price is decent but not excactly a bargain at the £8.75 that West Ham want. Don't think he's worth that for me at the moment. I will probably find someone better and/or cheaper later on.

    2) I will probably buy a new right back. Most likely Hungarian international Feher from Dutch side NAC Breda, price £5.5m. If the work permit doesn't go through, I might go for Thomas Repka from newly promoted West Ham instead, have made an offer for him as well just in case, price for Repka would be £5.75m.

    3) I might sign 33 y/o D LC Chris Coleman from Fulham for £2.8m, the deal is just about finalized. He would probably be one of my two best left backs along with Venetidis. I am still not sure whether I want to finalize the deal though. He ended up being more expensive than I expected, thought he would only cost around £1.5m. I don't know if it is sensible to pay almost £3m for a 33 y/o even if he looks good right now.

    Outs: I sold reserve keeper Jürgen Macho to Rapid Vienne for £1.1m in 6 month installments. I might have kept him around if he didn't have seemingly incurable arthritis, he is a decent keeper (sent him to physio a zillion times with no effect). Released some terrible original youngsters who have been transfer listed for the last 2 years for free with no interest in them, and whose contracts were finally up.

    Potential outs: I transfer listed DC Michael Duberry and DM C Stefan Schwarz due to the signings of Perry and Davis. Both have lots of suitors so will probably be sold soon. Schwarz won't be expensive unfortunately, only valuated at 800k. Duberry: Hard to say what I can get for him. Anywere between £3-6.5m I think. Tried a couple of times to negotiate bids up to £7.75m and £6.5m respectively, only for the bidders to bail. Plenty of interest though.

    I currently have £25m in the bank, so feels fine to buy a couple of players as mentioned above. Either Feher or Repka, and possibly Coleman as well.

    My stadium expansion is complete! 11,000 extra seats. So the Stadium of Light now has a 59,300 capacity. I now have the second biggest stadium in the Premier League by a distance, behind Man Utd. I will probably surpass Newcastle and also have the 2nd biggest avg. attendance.

    The pecking order for next season looks like this (playing 4-5-1: GK - DL, 2 DC's, DR - DMC - ML, MC, MR - AMC - SC):
    GK: Eleftheropoulos, Bourdon, Ingham
    DL: Venetidis, Coleman, Georgatos, Arca, McCartney (if I sign Coleman, still uncertain. If so, I will probably regret the purchase of Georgatos and sell him in a few months once he would no longer be pissed because of being brought to the club under false pretences)
    DC's: Vaschuk, Yepes, Perry, Moore, Antonsson, McCartney (Antonsson arriving on a Bosman i November)
    DR: Feher, Vaschuk, McNamara, Zubiarre, McCartney, Hibbert (I will probably sell McNamara when I most likely sign Feher, or alternatively Repka)
    DMC: Milen Petkov, Medina, Sean Davis
    ML: Arca, Petkov, Finnan, Joe Cole, Castillo, Reuser, Georgatos, Alexander Farnerud
    MC: Medina, Cole, Petkov, Davis, Karagounis, Reuser, Ejerholm, Farnerud
    MR: Finnan, Reuser, Bo Hansen, Davis, Farnerud
    AMC: Hansen, Karagounis, Cole, Reuser, Ejerholm, Farnerud
    SC: To Madeira, Hansen, Reuser, Kevin Kyle

    From here on forward it seems like the biggest transfer related bottleneck is the lack of world class players that my scouts manage to find me. Even if I had unlimited money, there is currently only a single available player who is willing to come to my club and who would probably walk straight into my starting XI clearly strengthening my team, AM RL Jesper Grønkjær from Chelsea, I would use him on the right wing. Chelsea currently want £30m for him. Apart from Grønkjær, the other players on my shortlist are no more than squad players who improve strength in depth. It seems like my restrictions in this save gives me problems, since many world class targets are only available for brief periods of time, either early summer or if they fall out with their current club (like DC Henchoz who was just sold from Liverpool to Chelsea, I could certainly have used him). And that therefore my scouts don't have time to find them for me before they are sold to another club or they are once again uninterested in joining me. I like these problems though, the game would be too easy and boring without them, this save is going more than well enough as it is. Dominance is extremely boring I think.

    By the way, the board are expecting European qualification the for upcoming season. Seems very straightforward, I don't know how I should manage to finish outside the top 6 or so, and think I will most likely finish in the top 3-4, my team should be better than last season.

    It will be very interesting to see who I will draw in the final qualification round for the Champions League group stages. Perhaps the most important matches of the season, gateway matches. Could be a few weeks untill the draw though, think I enter in the 3rd and final qualification round which I believe is being played mid or late August.
    Last edited by dane; 01-07-19 at 10:28 AM.

  12. #37
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    26-09-18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dane View Post
    From here on forward it seems like the biggest transfer related bottleneck is the lack of world class players that my scouts manage to find me. Even if I had unlimited money, there is currently only a single available player who is willing to come to my club and who would probably walk straight into my starting XI clearly strengthening my team, AM RL Jesper Grønkjær from Chelsea, I would use him on the right wing. Chelsea currently want £30m for him. Apart from Grønkjær, the other players on my shortlist are no more than squad players who improve strength in depth. It seems like my restrictions in this save gives me problems, since many world class targets are only available for brief periods of time, either early summer or if they fall out with their current club (like DC Henchoz who was just sold from Liverpool to Chelsea, I could certainly have used him). And that therefore my scouts don't have time to find them for me before they are sold to another club or they are once again uninterested in joining me. I like these problems though, the game would be too easy and boring without them, this save is going more than well enough as it is. Dominance is extremely boring I think.
    What about the stars ratting the scouts give to players (5 stars, 4 stars, 3 stars, ...), do you take that into account or not relying on that?

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadScientist View Post
    What about the stars ratting the scouts give to players (5 stars, 4 stars, 3 stars, ...), do you take that into account or not relying on that?
    I only might buy a certain player if they come up with a 5 star recommendation via my regional scouting missions (+ 4 star for players 24 y/o or younger). Afterwards, a follow up individualized scout report ('scout player') would have to give at least a 4 star recommendation (3 star for players 24 y/o or younger).

    I think these would be the minimum limitations, otherwise I would contradict my own restrictions. I would no doubt sign a lot more wonderkids and/or world class bargains if I also looked at players with 1-4 star initial recommendations.

    Anyway, after the two scout reports (regional + individual), the potentially incoming player also has to look relatively good in player comparisons with my benchmark players. In other words they will need to look better than what I already have.

    Speaking of this: I am a bit surprised of how many players are given 5 star recommendations by the scouts. Most of those players are terrible, even with top level scouts. Not very logical. Think I only end up signing a few percent of them, would think I get at least 100-200 5-star recommended players over a season.
    Last edited by dane; 02-07-19 at 10:51 AM.

  14. #39
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    01-01-19
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    July 9th 2003. Not many news since yesterdays update.

    I signed Chris Coleman. Probably a bit expensive paying £2.8 for a 33 y/o. His current valuation is 850k. But ended up thinking I might as well, I have a good cash balance and don't have much else to spend it on.

    I currently have £22m in the bank even after signing Coleman and after paying around £11m for the stadium expansion.

    My potential right back signing Feher from NAC Breda has agreed terms, awaiting the decision whether he will get a work permit. He didn't last time I tried, but he has players four more international caps since then and is a Hungarian regular. So I would think he would most likely get a work permit now. He certainly should. The fee would be £5.5m. If I buy him, I will sell McNamara.

    I changed my mind about Gamarra. Will give him one last run of games to see if he will finally impressed. I noticed that I think he only spoke basic English in his last run of games. He now speaks English fluently so I guess he deserves one last chance since he looks good on paper. He is still transfer listed since I don't want to move players in and out of the transfer list more than necessary, and he might very well end up transfer listed again if he disappoints in his run of games. But I will most likely keep a high asking price and decline any bids for him for now.

    Still no draw for the Champions League qualification round. Am very excited about that. Guess the draw could be as late as August though, don't think the matches will be played before August.

  15. #40
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    01-01-19
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    July 23rd 2003. I got the draw for the 3rd and final Champions League qualification round. I will meet the winner of the 2nd round clash Maribor vs. FC København (Copenhagen). FC København just won the first leg 2-1 away so they should be my opponent.

    Decent enough draw it seems. They have some very good players. They bought Kennedy Bakircioglü and have Sibosisa Zuma up front, also bought a few other good Swedish players. Overall they should have far more weak links in their team than I have though. So it seems that only extreme differences in goalkeeping performances and/or red cards can prevent me from reaching the stages. Although those things happen on a regular basis in this game, so I guess I still have a 10-20% chance of crashing out of the competition right away. Really hope I make it to the group stages, would be frustrating to miss out on that.

    The 1st leg is played August 7th, return leg at August 21st.

    IRL comment: By the way, funny coincidence that my last signing Chris Coleman was managing Sunderland for half of the 2017/18 season, where they got relegated from the Championship to League One. Therefore he was also a star in the Netflix show "Sunderland 'Till I Die". Really great show by the way, I recommend it whole heartedly. He did a good figure on the show and from other things I read about him while he was managing Sunderland. It wasn't his fault that he got relegated with an, at them time being, unmanageable club with a hopeless owner and a rotten core that had totally infested the whole club, with a bunch of heavily overpaid, unmotivated, terrible players, Jack Rodwell being the prime, and very entertaining, example. Following Sunderland IRL sure bears with it an own sort of humour and Entertainment. Whatever it is, it is never boring. I like that. Speaking of this, nice to see how the owners (have been there for a year now) seem to have really stabilized the club, both financially and generally. The rotten core luckily seems history. I think there is no doubt that the club will be in the Championship and possibly the Premier League within the next 5 years or so, now that the club seems to once again have a sound foundation. Also nice to see players on the pitch who actually seem to care about the club and not only their paycheck.

    There is a great trailer of the Netflix show here, Chris Coleman features as well. I feel better about signing him in game now. They are all coming home.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLU7aNFp65M

    Back to my save, I cancelled the lined up signing of right back Feher by the way. I rescouted all players on my shortlist, and now he just got a 4 star recommendation. I am not paying £5.5m for that.
    Last edited by dane; 04-07-19 at 08:14 AM.

  16. #41
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    July 31st 2003. FC København it is in the CL qualification round. First leg will be played in Copenhagen August 6th, 2nd leg two weeks later.

    It seems like I will most likely bring in Jean-Alain Boumsong (D/DM RC) from Auxerre. Transfer fee of £5.75m agreed, he will most likely accept personal terms. I am still not entirely sure that I will finalize the deal. But most likely so. I noticed that his valuation was suddenly much lower than a couple of months ago, so put in a £5m bid which was negiotiated slightly higher. A couple of months ago they wanted around £11m for him. Seems like a good signing at 23 y/o, he and Zubiarre seem my best right backs on paper. They are already as good as Vaschuk and McNamara (personal comparisons) and will probably end up better due to their age. So I will probably finalize the deal and then transfer list McNamara. Unfortunately I will probably get him in just too late for him to be registered for the Champions League squad. But guess it will be okay, he can be included in the updated CL squad mid season (if I am still playing in Europe by then), and Zubiarre and Vaschuk + young Hibbert should be good enough cover at right back.


    It is tempting to buy Defoe by the way. Class act and real life club legend. His relationship with Bradley Lowery was amazing:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiK5hwYCS9w

  17. #42
    Join Date
    01-01-19
    Posts
    90
    August 6th 2003.

    Players in/out:

    I completed the signing of Boumsong. As expected too late for him to be part of the squad for European games, at least for the first half of the season.

    Transfer listed McNamara as planned.

    Sold Michael Duberry to Bolton (now in Division 1) for £3.7m. I had hoped to get a higher fee due to lots of interest in him, but settled for this in the end. Not the worst deal, bought him from Leeds for £3.1m, think it was around 9-12 months ago. He was a decent enough DC, but only 5th or 6th choice now behind Yepes, Vaschuk (who did surprisingly well at DC when he got the chance there in the end of last season, Vaschuk was actually bought as a right back although he is a D RC) and the new signings Perry and Moore. Possibly also now worse than Gamarra who will as mentioned get one last run out since he has now learned fluent English. Last chance saloon for Gamarra who has been consitently terrible so far, strangely enough given his attributes and that he seems a semi-CM legend online.

    Speaking of bad deals: Once I will get rid of Todorov he would probably be my worst deal ever. Signed him for £2.8m from West Ham around September 2001. He is now transfer listed for free, still no interest in him... So he is a candidate to take Eirik Bakke's title as my worst ever signing.

    I also bought another player alongside by the way. 22 y/o MC Martin Eriksson was brought in from IFK Göteborg for £1.1m. Decent youth prospect.

    Played the first leg in the final Champions League qualification round. Away vs. FC København. Won it 2-1. I was lucky. They had 5/4 shots/shots on target vs. my 2/2. My keeper Eleftheropoulos got a rating of 9 and was man of the match. In any case a really good result and I should be the clear favourite for progressing even though FC København was the better team on their turf. Surprisingly enough, on paper I think I have a much better team than theirs. Perhaps a matter of it being a huge advantage playing at home in European matches, and an even bigger advantage than in domestic games. That is my impression at least.
    Last edited by dane; 05-07-19 at 11:45 AM.

  18. #43
    Join Date
    01-01-19
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    The current pecking order (the usual 4-5-1 formation: GK - DL, 2 DC's, DR - DMC - ML, MC, MR - AMC - SC):
    GK: Eleftheropoulos, Bourdon, Ingham
    DL: Venetidis, Coleman, Georgatos, Arca, (I will probably transfer list either Coleman or Georgatos within the next few months; Coleman's player comparison star rating already dropped a notch since I bought him so it is now a toss up between him and Georgatos whom I would end up transfer listing; whoever I think is the worse of the two and the expendable one)
    DC's: Vaschuk, Yepes, Perry, Gamarra, Darren Moore, Coleman, Boumsong, Antonsson, Colin, (Antonsson arriving on a Bosman i November; will transfer list a DC within the next few months, but haven't decided who; either Gamarra if he once again disappoints, otherwise whoever performs the worst, could be Moore)
    DR: Vaschuk, Boumsong, McNamara, Zubiarre, Hibbert (McNamara transfer listed)
    DMC: Milen Petkov, Medina, Sean Davis, Boumsong
    ML: Arca, Petkov, Finnan, Joe Cole, Castillo, Reuser, Georgatos, Alexander Farnerud
    MC: Medina, Cole, Petkov, Davis, Karagounis, Reuser, Eriksson, Ejerholm, Farnerud
    MR: Finnan, Bo Hansen, Reuser, Davis, Farnerud
    AMC: Hansen, Karagounis, Cole, Reuser, Ejerholm, Farnerud
    SC: To Madeira, Hansen, Reuser, Kevin Kyle

    DC Bruno Colin is a 18 y/o French youth prospect I recently signed from Sheffield Wednesday (in the Premier League now) for around 500k. Forgot about him. Good prospect, he has potential to become at least as good as my best DC's. Possibly a regen, am not sure, he has only played at Sheffield Wed, was there since the 01/02 season.

  19. #44
    Join Date
    01-01-19
    Posts
    90
    So my current outfield 1st team squad looks pretty much like this:

    1. Venetidis
    2. Coleman/Georgatos (the worse of these two will probably be sold within a few months)
    3. Vaschuk
    4. Yepes
    5. Perry
    6. Gamarra/Moore (the worse of these two will probably be sold within a few months, could also be Perry though)
    7. Boumsong
    8. Zubiarre
    9. Milen Petkov
    10. Medina
    11. Sean Davis
    12. Arca
    13. Finnan
    14. Joe Cole
    15. Castillo
    16. Reuser
    17. Karagounis
    18. Bo Hansen
    19. To Madeira

    Youth backups:
    Hibbert (D R)
    Bruno Colin (D C)
    Eriksson (M C)
    Ejerholm (AM C)
    Farnerud (AM RLC)
    Kyle (S C)

    Ejerholm and Kyle could be considered a full first team squad members, but they are also on a cheap youth contracts which is nice; so I will probably keep them around even if I sign better MC's / SC's in the future and they drop futher down the pecking order, at least untill they are 24 y/o; Kyle is currently 22 y/o, Ejerholm 21-22 y/o).

    I guess I could transfer list one more player, think an outfield squad doesn't need to be any bigger than 18 players, plus a few youth contract backup players. Just don't know who to transfer list at the moment, such a close call between various players. Think I prefer to wait and see, transfer list someone if anyone clearly disappoints and stands out in a negative manner.

    I have a few transfer listed decent players at the moment. Hope to sell many of them soon and hopefully for a decent fee:
    Broomes (D C)
    McCartney (D RLC)
    McAnespie /D/DM L)
    McNamara (D/DM R)
    Stefan Schwarz (DM C)
    Trevor Benjamin (F RLC)
    Svetoslav Todorov (F RC)
    Plus some others who are terrible and unlikely to be sold for a decent fee, if any.

    Edit: I guess Bo Hansen is a possible candidate for the transfer list later this season. As long as he keeps up his brilliant performances I certainly want to keep him. For the past couple of years he has been one of my best players, perhaps the best. But he is 31 y/o now. Who knows how long he can keep his act together. Every season could be his last at top level.
    Last edited by dane; 05-07-19 at 02:25 PM.

  20. #45
    Join Date
    19-05-19
    Posts
    299
    Really good thread dude i Use to skim read before but actually had a chance to have a proper read and get a much better feel for the journey was just listening to music and read alot of the previous posts you made and boy do you like a transfer haha

    I Bet you are on all the player agents xmas card lists :-)

    Amazing result against Lazio to lift the Uefa cup dude

    p.s don't sell bo if he has a dip at his age sometimes the oldies come through it and surprise you when you need them the most !

  21. #46
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    01-01-19
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    90
    Quote Originally Posted by leo37 View Post
    Really good thread dude i Use to skim read before but actually had a chance to have a proper read and get a much better feel for the journey was just listening to music and read alot of the previous posts you made and boy do you like a transfer haha

    I Bet you are on all the player agents xmas card lists :-)

    Amazing result against Lazio to lift the Uefa cup dude

    p.s don't sell bo if he has a dip at his age sometimes the oldies come through it and surprise you when you need them the most !

    Thanks a lot Glad you appreciate the story.

    Yeah, I really love transfers! My favourite part of the game. Guess my way of writing reveals it, hehe. Actually I have bought much fewer players in this save than my usual saves due to the self imposed restrictions. Usually I struggle to keep vacant spots in the squad, have 50 players most of the time, a lot of bargain youth prospects. I like my current play stile (the one in this story) much better actually, more fun to miss out on most bargains and just buy a few of the players recommended by scouts. Also less demanding way to play, not spending so much time being a perfectionist in the transfer market. Plus it is nicer like this to not have a dominant team early which makes the save boring I think.

    Yeah, that UEFA Cup win was intense! Great moment at the Stadio Olimpico.

  22. #47
    Join Date
    01-01-19
    Posts
    90
    August 27th 2003. Played three matches since the last update:

    Premier League, at home vs. West Bromwich. 2-2 draw. Bad luck, we got a man sent off in the 7th minute. Completely unwarranted by the way, just a standard foul, a trip and nothing more. The ban was revoked when I appealed it and the FA agreed that the referee was poor when I complained against him.

    Champions League, final qualification round, 2nd leg, at home vs. FC København. Easy 4-1 win, 6-2 on aggregate. Through to the 1st group stage The draw was made immediately afterwards, I got Dortmund, Besiktas and Rangers. Good draw I think, we should be favourites to finish 1st or 2nd in that group, I would expect us most likely finish above Besiktas and Rangers, bar West Bromwich sort of luck.

    European Super Cup vs. Man Utd who won the Champions League last season. Man Utd had rebough Jaap Stam from Lazio this summer. He was sent off after 12 minutes, so things looking good. However, an even game ended 0-0 after 90 minutes and after 120 minutes as well. Not surprising I guess, Man Utd have such a strong team and they should be better than us in most matches, at least 11 vs. 11. Anyway, the penalty shootout was 4-4 after the first 5 shots. Then they scored. My goalkeeper Eleftheropoulos took the 6th penalty and missed. Game over, loss. Guess it was my time to lose a penalty shoot out. Am glad I lost this one instead of the UEFA Cup final or League Cup final shootouts last season.

  23. #48
    Join Date
    01-01-19
    Posts
    90
    October 18th 2003.

    Player news:
    Arranged a sale of youth reserve Tony Hibbert to Miami for 375k. The deal will go though January 1st. 375k was the excact same fee that I paid for him myself by the way, bought him at Everton in the fall of 2001. Disappionting fee but little interest in him so felt I had to take it, he has been transfer listed for a long time. His valuation is around £1.5m.

    I am excited about two possible Bosmans next summer. Mido (F LC) from Ajax and Marco Di Vaio (S C or something like that, SC is certainly his best position) from Parma. They are interested in joining me. They probably won't sign a new contract at their current clubs since they both want to go to a bigger club. Which would of course be Sunderland, hehe. Anyway, December 11th I can start talking to Mido regarding a Bosman 6 months later, around December 30th in Di Vaio's case.

    I am also likely to bid for Jose Antonio Reyes, great left winger from Sevilla. Don't know what he would cost. If they want a lot for him (more than £3-4m I think), I'll probably wait to bid for him untill next spring, will probably prefer to keep my cash for new and thus some flexibility, you never now what other opportunities arise. I currently have £21.5m in the bank by the way, have been pretty stable for a while. I probably have to spend around £25m on new players before mid June next summer in order to avoid financial profits and thus shareholder dividends, so Reyes could be part of a planned spending spree.

    On field:
    I have had a great start in the Champions League group stage. 10 points after the first 4 matches. I have qualified for the second group stage, will most likely win my group as well. Dortmund is the only team that can catch me, currently two points behind me and I play them at home in the next round.

    I am 1st in the Premier league with 5 wins and 3 draws in my first 8 matches. All the other teams except Liverpool (who are 7th) have played 9 or 10 matches, so topping the league in this situation is great. A bit surpring that none of the typical top teams have been their usual consitent selves (Man Utd, Arsenal, Leeds, Liverpool). Arsenal in particular are worth describing. They didn't sell any good players, still have Vieira etc., and they still have Mark Kerr whom they bough right at the start of the save. Anyway, they only got 3 points from their first 5 matches (3 draws). They have won their last 4 matches, but are still only 8th. Good for me.

    I am not excactly impressing myself, at least less than one would imagine since I am currently 1st in the league. Narrow victories almost every time, my goal score is 11-5. Although I am usually the somewhat better team in the shot statistics.

    I must also be mentioned that I have had a kind schedule so far. Weirdly enough I will play the best 6 teams in the last 6 rounds (Man Utd, Arsenal, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Chelsea). So I haven't played any of them yet and won't for a few more rounds. So let's see how the league table looks after about 19 matches played, would be more telling at that point.

  24. #49
    Join Date
    01-01-19
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    90
    October 22nd 2003. I lost 1-0 at home to Dortmund in the mentioned penultimate Champions League 1st group stage match. Unlucky, we were slightly the better team, shot statistics 6/4 vs. their 3/3. Their goalkeeper was man of the match. That happens on a regular basis in CM, huh? The opponent's keeper getting man of the match award.

    Anyway, this makes the Champions League prognosis a bit more gloomy I guess. We are now unlikely to finish 1st in our group. For that to happen we would need to get more points than Dortmund in the last round. And they have Rangers at home...

    A cool detail: Dortmund's match winner was Jardel. They bough him from Newcastle this summer for £18m (Newcastle bought him from Sporting Lisboa for £3.8m a year earlier). Jardel terrorized the Premier League in his lone season at Newcastle, scoring 18 league goals and 29 goals in all competitions from 52 starts. Now he continues to be loyal to Newcastle and bug their fiercest rivals. Nice one.

  25. #50
    Join Date
    01-01-19
    Posts
    90
    October 25th 2003. Just played a single match today. Generally don't have much time to play because of small twins. And spent most of my limited time today going through my squad, ponding which players to sell. I think my squad is too big and I should in principle sell around 4-5 players. I didn't come up with any answers though. I find it impossible at the moment to pick further players to transfer list, hard to tell which ones should go and who should stay. It will sort it self out sooner of later though. Perhaps not the worst thing in the world either to have a large squad while also playing a lot of matches in Europe.

    Anyway, I played a single match. Premier league match at home vs. rock bottom side Crewe. Puzzling match, it was worth a mention. At 0-0, To Madeira got sent off after 15 minutes. It should have been a yellow I think, he pushed a player without them being close to the ball, but still, it was just a push. In any case I won 3-0 very easily. At 3-0 up, Chris Coleman who for the first time played as DC got sent off as well, in the 83rd minute or so, so no worries. He played decent by the way, got a 7 in spite of his red card, so I will try him again in that position. Anyway, nice to see a dominant win a man down most of the match. Poor Crewe, I don't see them having any chance of avoiding relegation.

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