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Thread: Sunderland ODB with restrictions

  1. #1

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    Sunderland ODB with restrictions

    This first post is basicly cope pasted from my thread in the general section: https://champman0102.co.uk/showthread.php?t=12080

    I thought I might as well write about my current save here in the Story section. Will probably be infrequent updates, could easily be weeks or even 1-2 months between each update. We'll see. Anyway, here it goes.

    --------------

    I play the game with quite a few restrictions. Otherwise, for my personal taste, the game becomes both too easy and too unrealistic.

    The biggest recent change I made to my gameplay (before this current Sunderland-save) was to stop using the 'Player Search' function. So I only look at potential signings if they pop up with a 5 star recommendation on my regional scout reports (possibly 4 star for young players), and the player also gets a 5 star scout recommendation on a follow up individual scout report (possibly 3-4 star rating for young players).

    I love playing this way. The save progresses much quicker without spending time on extensive and frequent player search. And now that I've probably signed half or more of the CM 'legends' in earlier saves - not by cheating, but through finding them via extensive player search etc. - I no long feel like I miss out on much. Even if by playing this way I get hardly any of the star bargains/legends that are available early on. Such as Taribo West, Panucci, Mark Kerr, Selakovic etc.

    I recently started a new save with my favourite club Sunderland. Luckily they were not as shit back in 2001 as they are today. Am halfway through season one. Have signed around 8-9 players so far, which is quite a low number for me. Most are young squad players. Most of my signed players I think were found via the scout assigned to 'scout next opponent' - many cheap players on PL teams who are disgruntled by lack of first team football. I signed three players from Everton cheaply, Tony Hibbert, McLeod and Cadamarteri. None of them are particularly good, but decent young rotational/back up options. Also bought Svetoslav Todorov from West Ham (F RC), good back up striker and decent right winger. Bought Charlie Ejerholm and play him as an AMC (I play 4-5-1: GK - DL DC DC DR - DMC - ML MC MR - AMC - SC). Ejerholm is not that good, but decent and I didn't have anyone decent at the AMC position. Bought Bo Hansen from Bolton, decent first choice AMC or MR for now. Think that's about if for purchases for now.

    Saved the most interesting purchase for last, though. My first purchase (late August 2001 I think) was To Madeira. I've never had him in my saves before, since I don't buy cheat players unless they pop up in normal/good scout reports etc. And he never did pop up for me untill this save. Lucky that a scout rated him and I had time to put in a bid when he was on the verge of signing for another club. Anyway, he hardly played untill October since Kevin Phillips and Todorov looked like better strikers better on paper and I don't want to 'cheat' when choosing my starting XI. But wow, I understand why he is a legend. He has now played around 9 games (October-December 2001), avg. rating around 8.00, around 9-10 goals in those 9 games. Just got injured for 3 weeks but what the heck, not that long.

    Other players doing well for me are:
    - Julio Arca, avg. rating around 7.40, playing mainly ML
    - Nicolas Medina, DMC or MC, avg. rating around 7.40
    - Stefan Schwarz, DMC or MC, also avg. rating around 7.40
    - Thomas Sørensen GK, avg. rating around 7.45. He 'is homesick' unfortunately so I might have to sell him at some point? But luckily so far he plays very well, so no current problem. By the way, I had to sell my other keeper Jürgen Macho because he had arthritis, faith healers didn't seem to work. Bought a young Belgian keeper as rotation/backup, Bourdon from Westerlo. He hasn't played yet, probably decent backup.
    - Tom Peeters, MC, avg. rating around 7.25 (he looks pretty bad on paper but has played surprisingly well so far, scored 3-4 goals)
    - Kevin Phillips SC, decent backup for To Madeira, avg. rating around 7.45
    - Michael Gray, DL. avg. rating around 7.25
    - Emerson Thome DC, avg. rating around 7.15-7.20
    - Jody Craddock DC, avg. rating around 7.10
    - Bernt Haas DR, avg. rating around 7.05

    I am currenly 3rd in the Premier League with 21 games played. Have 39 points, after 11 wins, 6 draws and 4 losses. League form was relatively worse in the beginning of the season, pre-To Madeira I guess. Think I had 3 wins, 3 draws and 3 losses from the first 9 games.

    Anyway, 1st and 2nd are out of reach, Arsenal and Man Utd have 49 points each. And 7th placed Tottenham are only 2 points behind me, so I will most likely finish somewhere between 3rd and 7th.

    On the way in (probable upcoming signings) are Carlos Gamarra and Raio Piiroja, DC's who await possible work permit, contracts agreed. Probably a bit uncertain though whether Piiroja can get a work permit. I was lucky with Gamarra. He had a agreed a transfer with some Spanish club (ditched me for them) and he was to make the switch on December 15th when the Spanish transfer window opens, but the didn't have the cash to complete the deal. Good for me.

    I'll probably also spend some money on 'random' players before April 1st so I empty my coffers before then. My experience is that in a Ltd-club like Sunderland (and Man Utd and many others I guess), if coffers are empty by April 1st, one most likely get a huge cash injection from the shareholders, 20m extra to spend or something, which would be nice. For now one of the more likely looking signings in this 'pre april 1st' bracket is Steve Finnan who I should be able to get for around 2.5m. He should be a decent first choice or rotational MR.

    Training facilities are being upgraded to the 'top level with youth academy' thing or whatever it is called. Will probably be complete around the summer I think. I also think I will get board approval to expand the Stadium to around 55,000 seats next summer, it usually goes like that with Sunderland since they fill more than 90% of their stadium in their first season. Would probably be done latest summer 2003 if construction starts summer 2002.

    So all in all a bright future for the club, even with many game restrictions. Fun to play like this, miss out on most legends/bargains so the game is not too easy.

    Also I find it quite entertaining that it is quite unpredictable which players I end up buying. Quite the lottery who pops up in the scout reports. I really enjoy playing like this.

  2. #2

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    New update for the save (the first post was basicly written a few weeks ago, copy-pasted in here).

    The current save date is March 1st 2002. I am down to 7th in the Premier League unfortunately. Form has been poor. Think I got like 7 points from the last 8 league games or so. Played 27 or 28 league games, so 10 or 11 still to go. The team can't play without To Madeira He was injured the 3 weeks but has been back for the last couple of games, by far my best player. Liverpool in 3rd are also realisticly out of reach now. 4rd spot and thus a possible Champions League spot is still not out of reach. As I recall it Leeds currently are 4th with 50 points, I am 7th with 45 points. 5th and 6th are Newcastle With 48 points and Chelsea With 45 points. So still a good chance of UEFA cup football next year, even if I might not get a CL spot.

    I am also still in the FA Cup. Beat West Ham at home in the 4th round. Beat Preston in the 5th round after a replay. Have Aston Villa at home in the quarter finals, not a bad draw. As I recall it, Man Utd, Liverpool and Leeds are the biggest teams still left in the competition, think Arsenal are out. Guess the FA Cup is not that important even if it would be fun to win it. Unlikely that I'll win it, and probably wouldn't make much of a difference since I have a good chance of a UEFA cup spot via the league anyway. I love cup games though, fun to compete on many fronts.

    By the way, should probably summarize sales so far (the ones I recall, can supplement later), don't think I have mentioned that yet.

    At around the start of the game I sold the following (summer/fall 2001):
    Lillian Laslandes to Frankfurt for 1.4m
    Paul Thirlwell to Nottingham Forest for 12k. Yes 12k, not 12m
    David Bellion to Metz for 1.9m in installments over 18 or 24 months. He was a decent youth prospect, but had 9.5k in weekly wages. No fun in keeping a youth prospect around if he is on that kind of wage.
    I sold at least one other guy, but don't remember who it was right now.

    Recently (January/February 2002) I sold/gave away these:
    - Gavin McCann to Celtic for 3.7m
    - Butler (young AM LC) to Colchester for free

    Recently I bought these:
    - Carlos Gamarra from some Brazilian club (were at loan at AEK) for 1.6m
    - Eirik Bakke from Leeds for 3.1m. It only took a few weeks before he was transfer listed on his own request. I gave him a disciplinary warning for being late and unfit for training, he didn't like that. Unfortunately noone is interested in buying him.
    The work permit for Piiroja fell through unfortunately.

    Cadamarteri who I bought from Everton last fall is also already transfer listed again (not as rapidly as Eirik Bakke though). He doesn't play too well (avg. rating) and is on too much wages to keep around as a youth prospect (14k a week).

    Will be an interesting end to the season. Possible if unlikely FA Cup glory, probable semi final spot in any case. League finish will in all likelyhood be 4th-7th, so possible Champions League spot or UEFA Cup spot or nothing at all. Or, I guess Inter-toto cup spot or whatever it is called will be achieved worst case.

    It is fun to play like this without too many signings and only signing few or next to none really good players, depending on who pop up in my scout reports. Fun to play with many players from the original squad.

    By the way, I plan to buy buy at least 1-2 players before April 1st. To empty my coffers and increase likelyhood of a cash injection from the shareholders and decrease likelyhood of the opposite, that the shareholders steal some of my money. The most likely signings will be Steve Finnan (around 2.5 m) and possibly... hm, who was it again, I forget... Perhaps some Hungarian right back at a Dutch club. Think the player was called Feher or something like that. I would be massively overpaying for him, costs around 4.5-5m, valued only at 700k. But why not, knowing about the April 1st thing for clubs that are owned by shareholders, best to just spend all my money before April 1st I guess. I wanted to buy Joe Cole and had a 6.5m fee agreed, but unfortunately he wants to wait untill the summer before deciding upon the future of his career.
    Last edited by dane; 10-05-19 at 01:52 PM.

  3. #3

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    So, what happened since the last update. Current time is June 5th 2001. So season 1 is done.

    One of the first matches since my last update was the big North East local derby, a league match away against Newcastle. Oh boy was that a crazy match. Not the sort of crazyness I would have preferred, although memorable. My recent signing Eirik Bakke got a straight red in the 3rd minute for a two-footed lunge. I lost the match 4-2. Keeper Thomas Sørensen played terrible, got a rating of 4 or 5, i substituted him after half an hour.

    Eirik Bakke has for me been a 'legend' of Anelka-esque proportions. For a while Bakke had been transfer listed by his own request because he was unhappy that I gave him a warning for not bothering to turn up for training. Weirdly enough, immediately after the crazy Newcastle-match, his stupid red card and another generally poor perfomance, he withdrew his transfer request, stating that he was now once again happy to stay at the club. My immediate response was to fine him two weeks wages for his red card and transfer list him. I had enough of this Anelka-sort of character in my squad.

    Also immediately after the Newcastle-loss I gave Thomas Sørensen a warning for his poor performance. He then handed in a transfer request. Not because he felt it was unfair, but citing homesickness. If that was the case, then it was a weird timing to hand in a transfer request...

    Crazy day at the office. Anyway, the two sagas (Bakke and Sørensen) ended like this:
    - Bakke later developed 'personal problems' (what a shock). I was nice to him and gave him two weeks off. His response was to go AWOL. When I subsequently fined him, he thought that was unfair. He turned up for traning after a full 4 weeks AWOL, on top of the two weeks granted vacation. What a moron. He is still at the club unfortunately, noone has declared any interested in him yet. As I usually do with transfer listed players, I graduately lower his asking price untill it will eventually be zero if necessary. So someone should take him off my hands sooner or later. What a waste of the 3.1 million I paid for him just a few months earlier. Think I bought him around November. He has given me nothing but drama and terrible performances. Like Anelka with no skill. Eirik Bakke is probably my worst signing ever in this game, quite an achievement.
    - Thomas Sørensen was sold to Tottenham shortly after for £4m. Strange choice of club since he claimed to be homesick, wanting to find a Danish Club. Glad to see the back of him. Hope Spurs come back for Bakke later. By the way, Sørensen played for Spurs as their 1st choiced keeper for the last 9 games of the season. Got an avg. rating of 6.44. Hahahahaha.

    My form was poor for the next 5 matches or so. I dropped to 7th in the League, not far from 11th or so. Champions League spots were pretty much of of sight.

    Form was better the rest of the season, so I finished 5th, but far from Leeds in 4th place. Arsenal won the league, Man Utd second (they also lost the CL final 1-0 to Lazio), Liverpool third.

    My FA Cup final against Man Utd... My keeper Bourdon was sent off after conceding a penalty in the 22nd minute. Goal and 2-0 Utd. Goodbye trophy. Lost 5-0. I would probably had lost the game even without the red card, Utd played so well and were dominant. Unlucky with the red card though, Bourdon has played quite well in all matches except this one. He has luckily proven to be an upgrade to the more unstable Thomas Sørensen, doesn't cause squad unrest either. Up untill April or May, the club didn't have a good dressing room athomsphere. Within a few weeks after the sale of Sørensen that changed.

    Major early summer transfers so far:
    - Sold Michael Gray to Leeds for £7m. He played well, avg. rating 7.32. But would have been my third fhoice left back next season, Arca is much better, young McAnespie is already slightly better
    - Bought Joe Cole from West Ham for £6.5m
    - An arranged transfer for Assane N'Diaye fell through. Strange that he didn't get a work permit, he has 37 caps... Same goes for Raio Piiroja whose work permit has repeatedly been denied although he has 23 caps. I don't understand that.
    - Bought Vladislav Vaschuk from Dinamo Kiev for £1.1 Should become my first choice right back and a big upgrade in that position.
    - Bought Milen Petkov from AEK Athens for £5.75m. Great squad player, 1st or 2nd choice at both DMC, MC and ML.
    - Sold Kevin Phillips to Werder Bremen for £5.75m in 6 month installments. Phillips is effectively my 3rd choiced striker after To Madeira and Todorov, he has barely played since November/December. Although Phillips seems my best striker star rating-/attribute wise, he just hasn't performed. Average rating of just 7.33 in 15 matches, quite poor for a 'star' striker I think. So off he goes, that transfer goes through at July 1st.
    - Sold Ian Pearce to Championship / Division 1 club Walsall for £1.6m. Pearce looks really good on paper, but has a terrible avg. rating at both DR and DC. Nice to at least have made a profit on him, bought him from West Ham for £700 around October.

    When revenue from TV rights and season ticket sales comes in this month, I should have another £20m to spend on players. Nice. I guess I can already buy any player I want, if he costs less than £8m or so. Not bad.

    One player I will likely buy later in the summer is Karagounis, rotational/backup AMC for around £6.5m. My scouts found me several nice players that are on my shortlist, but they are currently much too expensive and/or I can't get a work permit for them. My current shortlist includes Bramble, Gareth Barry, Mido, Assane N'Diaye, Piiroja, Landon Donovan, Riggott, Feher (Hungarian right back from some Dutch club), Ofori-Quaye, Sean Davis.

    By the way, it is a problem that my scouts haven't found me many good and decently priced players with EU nationality. I already have 4 non-EU players in my squad (Todorov, Gamarra, Vaschuk and Petkov). Guess it is worthless to have more than four or five in my squad. Unfortunately.

    Anyway, how do you think next season will go? I think I will finish somewhere between 3rd and 6th. The squad is significantly stronger now due to the signings of Joe Cole, Milen Petkov and Vladislav Vaschuk. On the other hand, the gap to the top clubs is big (Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool, Leeds) and they have such quality in their squads, so who knows when I might catch up with some of them.

    Guess the UEFA Cup is hard to predict. I guess I could win it if I am lucky with the draws and the matches themselves. Or could go out early if the opposite is the case.

    Current Squad: The strongest players in each position are listed below. As mentioned in an earlier post, I use a 4-5-1 tactics like this: GK - DL DC DC DR - DMC - ML MC MR - AMC - SC

    GK: Bourdon, Macho, Ingham. GK is probably my worst position. Luckily young Bourdon seems like a decent keeper though. Macho cannot be more than a backup since he has arthritis in this save, got injured in the one game he played.

    DL: Arca, McAnespie
    DC: Gamarra, Vaschuk, McCartney, Craddock, Thome
    DR: Vaschuk, Williams (D/DM RC, original player), McCartney

    DMC: Milen Petkov, Stefan Schwartz, Medina

    ML: Joe Cole, Petkov, Arca, Finnan
    MC: Medina, Petkov, Schwartz, Eierholm
    MR: Finnan, Todorov, Bo Hansen

    AMC: Joe Cole, Bo Hansen, Eierholm

    SC: To Madeira, Todorov, Bo Hansen
    Last edited by dane; 22-05-19 at 10:49 AM.

  4. #4

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    You are building a good team. Seems like scouts aren't so useless after all. Nice to see they recomended To Madeira and Gamarra, great players

  5. You did well getting Joe Cole in season 2, he is going to be great for you and if he can link up well with To Madeira you could be an exciting team to watch for the fans!

  6. #6

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    Actually Gamarra has played terribly for me so far. Average rating of 6.45 for 9 matches. I moved him to the reserves after that.

    Usually I transfer list such a player (players who just don't perform). However, since he doesn't even speak basic English yet I will make an exception and give him a run of games again next season.

  7. Always give overseas players a second season as some take time to settle

  8. #8

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    Now June 30th 2002. Bought a new keeper, Eleftheropoulos from a Greek club, price 6.5m. He looks really good, also got the message that fans gathered outside the club ground when the signing was confirmed, hailing the ambition of the club. He is on quite high wages by the way, 55k a week. By far the highest paid player at the club currently. Think I only have two players who earn more than around 20k a week, Joe Cole on 38k a week and Gamarra on 31k a week. Guess it is fine though, Eleftheropoulos seems pretty much a world class keeper.

    The upgrade on the training facilities has now been completed. Status of the facilities is now the top one, 'top facilities with youth academy' or whatever it is called.

    I also just got the board to expand the stadium after many attempts. I assume the expansion will be finished in around a years time. The new capacity would probably be around 55,000 seats I imagine, with current capacity being at 48,300 seats. Would be cool to then probably have the second largest stadium in the country after Man Utd. If I remember correctly, currently the stadium is the 3rd largest in the country. After Man Utd and with local rivals Newcastle in 2nd place, their stadium holding around 52,000 seats. Would be nice to overtake them on that front.

    I had an offer of £6.5 for Karagounis accepted (AMC, playing at some Greek club, probably PAOK IIRC). Have also agreed terms with him, the deal ready to get finalized. I am still not sure whether I want to complete the deal though. A decent enough deal and his wages are only 8k per week. But he will only be my 2nd choice-ish AMC. Both Bo Hansen and Joe Cole are better than Karagounis in that position, although both of them could sometimes be needed in other positions, Joe Cole might be playing on the left wing most of the time. Think I currently have around £19-20m left to spend, so that would drop to £13 if I buy Karagounis. Don't know if that is clever. It is a while untill next summer and the next upturn in cash flows. The bank account will probably be marginally dropping from now on and untill next summer. Although my central defender Emerson Thome is currently transfer listed and it looks like I will get around £3m for him, so that helps. Plenty of clubs interested in Thome, but I failed in my attempts to negotiate bids up to £4-5m. Now that I think of it, I will also get £5.75m for Kevin Phillips in installments over the next 6 months. So perhaps I should worry too much about the potential outlay for Karagounis.

    Anyway, looks like next season will most likely be a rather succesful one. The squad has had some major upgrades during the summer - Joe Cole, Vladislav Vaschuk, Milen Petkov, Eleftheropoulos as major new signings. And no sales that weakened the team, only unimportant fringe players leaving. Although a little sad to acknowledge that club legend Kevin Phillips unfortunately was in that category and had to be binned off. Anyway, I find it unlikely that I will finish lower than 5th or 6th, perhaps higher. Guess anywhere between 1st and 6th is realistic, will perhaps most likely finish 3rd-5th.

    What do you think, should I buy Karagounis or not? Why?


    Edit: On a secondary note I sold Bernt Haas (DR) to Division One side Rotherham for £1.1m. Not so bad. He was valued at £2.2m after a decent 01/02 season, but understandable that clubs were uinterested in such a very average players as long as he was transfer listed at a price near his valuation (as mentioned earlier, I gradually lower the asking price as long as there is no interest in a transfer listed player).
    Last edited by dane; 27-05-19 at 08:22 AM.

  9. #9

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    What a name of this new goalkeeper just imagine the match narrator calling his name on a fantastic save

    I wouldnt buy karagounis if just second choice in squad, better wait till your scout finds someone better

  10. #10

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    Update. Have barely played the game since my last update because of IRL-stuff. Still only early July 2002.

    I ended up buying Karagounis (see above). Not that he was essential, but decent 2nd-ish choice AMC and not that expensive. I have a good economy so might as well spend. Unlikely that I will make a huge loss on him at a later sale I guess.

    I have also more or less decide to go for DC Mario Yepes, although he will be my 5th non-EU player. Guess having 5 or 6 non-EU players is ok. Lots of matches where rotation is needed, not least when also playing UEFA cup games in the upcoming season. Also believe I can field an unlimited number of non-EU players in European matches.

    Anyway, assuming I finalise the signing of Yepes which seems > 95% likely, my current strongest squad looks like this (below). The strongest players in each position are listed below, the first one mentioned is first choice etc. As mentioned earlier, I use a 4-5-1 tactics like this: GK - DL DC DC DR - DMC - ML MC MR - AMC - SC

    GK: Eleftheropoulos, Bourdon, Macho, Ingham. Macho is transfer listed, will probably be sold soon.

    DL: Arca, McAnespie, McCartney
    DC: Yepes, Duberry, Gamarra, Vaschuk, McCartney. DC's Thome and Craddock are transfer listed, will probably be sold soon.
    DR: Vaschuk, Darren Williams (D/DM RC, original player), McCartney

    DMC: Milen Petkov, Stefan Schwarz, Medina

    ML: Joe Cole, Petkov, Arca, Finnan
    MC: Medina, Petkov, Cole, Karagounis
    MR: Finnan, Todorov, Bo Hansen

    AMC: Cole, Hansen, Karagounis

    SC: To Madeira, Todorov, Hansen

    Not a bad team I think. At least not given the save restrictions (see OP), the major one being that I don't use player search, only consider buying players that are heavily recommended by my scouts etc.

    I still very much enjoy playing like this. Don't think I will ever go back to more extensive player search. Feels boring and monotonous to end up signing a lot of the known CM legends in most saves. More fun like this where it is more unpredictable who you will end up signing. Guess most saves will be quite succesful sooner or later even with these restrictions. For my personal taste, a save starts boring me once I have a dominant team. So no point in getting a dominant team quite predictably and quickly.


    Edit: Forgot Duberry in my list with my strongest players in each position, added.
    Last edited by dane; 29-05-19 at 09:42 AM.

  11. #11

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    Played the game briefly last night, now July 13th 2002.

    An interesting sale happened. Luton (now in Division 2) came in with a bid of 775k for John Oster. I managed to negiotiate the bid up to 1.6m. Luckily he agreed terms with them and off he went. Felt quite lucky to get that sort of money for him. He had been transfer listed for almost a year with just sporadic interest and no bids coming in.

    Currently have around 20m to spend, so will still have a healthy 13m after the expected signing of Mario Yepes within the next few weeks. I am currently awaiting Yepes' work permit. I don't expect any problems with that since he has a lot of caps and seems an international regular, believe he played all or most of Colombia's games in the recent World Cup where my scouts happened to find him. Sending a scout to the World Cup is fun by the way, don't think any other scouting mission has ever given me a bigger list of recommended/highly recommended players.

    No other possible in- or outgoings at the moment. Quiet times at the club for the first time during the summer so far. Things seem to have slowed down after the World Cup scouting mission finished and I finished signing players from my pre-summer drawn up shortlist. Which is fine, am quite happy with my current squad. Seems quite competetive even for the Premier League to have players like Eleftheropoulos, Yepes, Arca, Vaschuk, Petkov, Medina, Finnan, Joe Cole, Bo Hansen, Karagounis and To Madeira in the squad. Bo Hansen may seem like a strange player to put in my 'star' list. But after all he had an avg. rating of 7.75 in 16 games as AMC last season. Not bad for a £2.2m signing of a Bolton cast off. He has been surprisingly good.

    Really looking forward to next season. Will also be fun to play in the UEFA Cup, don't think I have ever tried that before.

    Julio Arca won the World Cup with Argentina by the way. He played as a starter in 6 of their 7 matches, avg. rating of 8.00, playing as left wing back. Quite the luck to have had a player like that in the original squad. The CM gods were kind to Sunderland back in 2001.
    Last edited by dane; 29-05-19 at 09:40 AM.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by dane View Post
    Bo Hansen may seem like a strange player to put in my 'star' list. But after all he had an avg. rating of 7.75 in 16 games as AMC last season. Not bad for a £2.2m signing of a Bolton cast off. He has been surprisingly good
    sometimes the scouts see things we don't see

    Quote Originally Posted by dane View Post
    Julio Arca won the World Cup with Argentina by the way. He played as a starter in 6 of their 7 matches, avg. rating of 8.00, playing as left wing back. Quite the luck to have had a player like that in the original squad. The CM gods were kind to Sunderland back in 2001.
    nice one

  13. #13

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    Played a bit last night, now August 17th 2002. Played the first Premier League game of the new season as well.

    Correction to my last post: I forgot that I signed Michael Duberry from Leeds this summer. He seems one of my best central defenders and should have been on the list with my best players in each position.

    News:
    Darren Williams is now transfer listed. Although he is a decent squad player/utility player (plays decently at DR, DC and DMC) I've now got several other and better players in all those positions. Wrexham and Ajax Capetown are interested in him. Guess that indicates that transfer listing him was a sound decision. It has been nice to play with players like Williams; play with many players from the original squad for a while, due to my restrictions only signing players that are heavily recommended by scouts etc. But it is also nice to now have progressed as a club so that I no longer need to rely on mediocre players like Williams.

    Still no interest in my very own Anelka-character, Eirik Bakke. At least he doesn't seem to upset the squad now that he is firmly in the reserves where he will definitely stay untill I sell or release him. Don't think I have ever in my CM-career disliked one of my players as much as Bakke. Adds to the entertainment and the enjoyment of this save though.

    I sold MC Gavin McCann to Celtic for £3.6m back in January. Nice sale, in the end he barely got any game time and was quite mediocre.

    I sold Danny Cadamarteri to Sheffield Wednesday for 400k in June. So took a slight loss on him. He just wasnt very good and was 22/23 years old, so limited potential. And was on 14k a week, so no sense in keeping him around another season as a youth prospect. Lucky that someone wanted to take him and his wages off my hands.

    Tom Peeters (MC) was sold to Ipswich for £1m also in June. Same situation as Gavin McCann basically. Decent player, but no more than that. And that doesn't cut it anymore now that I have a much stronger squad.

    Jody Craddock (DC) was sold to Barnsley (Division One) for £2.5m on July 29th. Same as McCann and Peeters. Nice sale, good money for a mediocre player who couldn't get into the team anymore.

    Emerson Thome (DC) wast just sold to Brazilian side Santos a few days ago. The fee ended up being £3.3m in 18 month installments. Thome looked good on paper but just didn't perform. Nice to get such a fee and get rid of his 20k per week wages when he was barely going to play any way.

    Also just sold youth player Michael Reddy (22), sold to Swansea for 700k. Again, nice enough fee for a mediocre player to say the least; a player who got a couple of games at the start of the save when I had pretty much only crap players for the MR, AMC and SC positions. No where near enough potential or ability now, better options everywhere. Lucky to get such a fee when he had been transfer listed for many months, don't remember excactly how much but at least 4 months I think. Suddenly three lower league teams became interested in him at the same time, no prior interest. Summer transfer windows are often nice in that regard it seems, often more interest in transfer listed players during the summer.


    Still £13-14m in the bank account with almost no potential transfer targets in sight, except for ones that would cost at least 10-15m a piece and who would be pretty bad value for money. Nice. Seems like I will have anough cash left for potential upcoming bargains untill the next major cash injection next summer.

    First game of the season was amazing. Away vs. newly promoted Sheffield Wednesday, admittedly one of the worst teams in the league I assume. In any case it was a quite dominant perfomance, a 4-0 win, with a hattrick from To Madeira, Milen Petkov scoring one as well. Arca and Finnan had at least one assist each. I remember that Finnan (playing on the right wing) and To Madeira (lone striker) got a 10-rating each, and Arca (left back) and Petkov (started as DMC but played as left winger from the 43rd minute because of injury to Joe Cole) got a 9 each. Debutant in central defence Mario Yepes almost managed a 9-rating as well, but dipped to 8 just before the game finished. New goalkeeper Eleftheropoulos got an 8. Everyone else got at least a 7. Highly encouraging start and top of the league.

    My starting lineup was like this, also my preferred starting XI right now:

    GK: Eleftheropoulos

    DR: Vaschuk
    DC's: Yepes, Duberry
    DL: Arca

    DMC: Milen Petkov (he could be moved to ML in the future, players much better after he was switched to the ML position)

    MR: Finnan
    MC: Medina
    ML: Joe Cole

    AMC: Karagounis (Bo Hansen is probably better in this position, but I will give Karagounis a run of games to check him out)

    SC: To Madeira

    Bench:
    McNamara (mainly right back)
    Bourdon (GK)
    McAnespie (DL, Arca could move up to ML)
    Stefan Schwarz (DMC, MC)
    Bo Hansen (AMC, MR, SC)

    Gamarra (DC) and Todorov (MR, SC) would probably have made the bench if it wasn't for the non-EU restrictions. Nice squad players in any case. I hope that Gamarra can come back stronger once he learns some English, but we will see. He was surprisingly poor last season.

    Generally have nice strength in depth now, also including George McCartney (D RLC) and Trevor Benjamin (F RLC).

    Potential upcoming signing: There is a fair chance that I will go for Jean-Alain Boumsong from Auxerre (D/DM RC). Awaiting final scouting on him. He seems quite good. He 'wants to move to a bigger club' so I assume they won't demand a crazy fee for him, but we'll see.
    Last edited by dane; 29-05-19 at 10:33 AM.

  14. #14

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    Now August 24th 2002.

    Think I forgot to mention a recent signing. A couple of weeks ago I bought right back Jackie McNamara from Celtic for £1.6m. Seems like a bargain price, he seems pretty good, him and Vaschuk will be 1st/2nd choice for right back and will battle it out for the starting spot.

    Played the second Premier League game of the season. A 3-0 win away vs. Fulham. Dominant performance, easy win. The future looks even brighter now than after the first match. Sheffield Wednesday who I played in the first match are probably a very poor team, so hard to tell what a 4-0 win against them could mean. Fulham on the other are a good side, they finished 8th in the league last season. So I guess the chances for a top 3-4 position are pretty decent. To Madeira scored one of the goals in the Fulham game, so he now has four goals from the first two league matches. He and Steve Finnan at right wing have been particularly excellent at the start of the new season, both have avg. rating of 9.50 after the first two matches.
    Last edited by dane; 31-05-19 at 10:21 AM.

  15. #15

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    November 10th 2002.

    Bought a couple of players since last time:
    - Left back Stelios Venetidis joined from Olympiakos for £3m. He will be given a run-out as first choice left back, have only played a couple of games so far. I think that most likely he will end up as 2nd choice left back behind Arca who is difficult to oust from that position. Arca excels both as DL and ML, even more so at ML actually, but I also have other good options at the ML spot, think Joe Cole will often play there. In any case nice to have improved depth for that DL and ML positions in the form of Arca, Venetidis, Joe Cole, Petkov and McAnespie as DL.
    - DC Marlon Broomes bought for 975k from Blackburn. A decent 4th-ish choice DC. Worth a punt as he was looking for first team football and was cheap.

    Some nice sales since last:
    - Darren Williams to some Division One team, think it was Rotherham, for £2.5m. Around double his valuation so that was nice.
    - Kevin McLeod to Bradford (Division One) for £2m. Slightly above his £1.9m valuation and much more than the 650k i paid for him less than a year earlier. I am not entirely sure whether it was wise to let him go. He averaged 7.25 for his four apperances this season. And still only 22 years old. Generally he just seemed like having slightly to little potential, and he is not that young anymore either. Takes a lot to compete with the likes of Arca, Joe Cole and Petkov for the ML spot. McLeod also was on 6k a week wages, a bit much for a youth prospect, at least for many seasons.

    Still looking good financially, currently have around £17m in the bank.

    Possible signings coming in (bidding/negotations ongoing):
    - Dorsin on the cheap from Swedish club Djurgården. Good hot prospect and perhaps even rotational option for both full back slots.
    - Mikael Antonsson on the cheap fom Swedish club IFK Göteborg. Similar to Dorsin, good prospect and possible rotational option as DC.
    - Jean-Alain Boumsong. I might be able to get him for around £5-6m but we will see. Auxerre have been extremely slow to respond to my bids so far and have rejected all my bid up untill now, current bid at around £4.5-5m The bidding process for this guy has been going on for 2-3 months because Auxerre is being so unbelievably slow. Understandable I guess. Why would they be in a haste to give up one of their best players for a possible £5-7m fee. The signing of Boumsong seems more uncertain than the two Swedish bargains. It is possible that Auxerre will end up demanding more for Boumsong than I am willing to pay. Don't think I want to pay more than around £5-7m for him, perhaps not even that, haven't decided yet.

    The season has been very interesting so far. A bit of a roller coaster experience. I was consistently top of the league for the first eight rounds, although only because Arsenal had a game in hand on me most of the time (Arsenal has topped the table ever since by the way, winning all 10 of their 10 played matches so far). I got seven wins and one loss from the first eight games. The only point loss being a disappointing 3-1 away defeat vs. Tottenham. All other matches were won pretty easily.

    However, I didn't play a single top team during those first eight matches. In my next five matches I would play Man Utd, Newcastle, Chelsea, Leeds and Liverpool. And I only got one point from those five games... Extremely unlucky actually. On the whole, those matches were very even, I was even slightly superior in several of them. But a poor output at the end of the day.

    So now I sit 8th in the league. Have 22 points after 13 games. 7 wins, 1 draw and 5 losses. I now have a loooong run of easy games untill the next 5-top-teams-in-a-row streak closer to the end of the season. Bar that I play Arsenal three games from now. So I could get a huge points return for the next 7-9 games or so.

    The league is interesting. Many strong teams. Pretty much the same top 7-8 as last season, and almost the same order as well. Current standing: Arsenal 1st, Man Utd 2nd, Liverpool 3rd, Chelsea 4th, Newcastle 5th, Leeds 6th, Leicester 7th, Sunderland 8th.

    Guess I will most likely finish somewhere between 3rd and 8th. So it seems like the rest of the season will be exciting as well. Up for for grabs whether I will get a Champions League spot, UEFA Cup spot or Inter-Toto spot (worse than that seems unlikely).

    I am a bit surprised that the season have been a bit disappointing so far. More or less the excact same points output as last season. Even though I think my squad is much much stronger than last season. Since I have signed many strong players since the end of last season(at least players who are significantly stronger on paper than the players I played last season): Finnan, Joe Cole, Karagounis, Eleftheropoulos, Venetidis, Yepes, Vaschuk, Petkov, McNamara, Duberry, Broomes.

    So I am quite disappointed actually that so far results have totally stagnated compared to last season, not even a minor improvement. It puzzles me. Any suggestion why this is the case?

    I assume injuries are part of the explanation (as well as being extremely unlucky in the last five matches as mentioned above). Last season I had very few injury problems as far as I recall. This season Gamarra broke his leg and has been unavailable all season, will be out for another 2 months. Also Finnan, McNamara and Petkov have been out for a total of 3-5 weeks each. Especially Petkov and Finnan are key players for me, and are two of the players that I struggle the most to replace. Petkov is for far by far my best DMC player and Finnan is vastly superior to anyone else in the MR slot.

    Speaking of this, a quick resume of player performances so far: Some players have been very very strong indeed:
    - To Madeira, avg. rating around 7.95, 9 league goals so far, current Premier League top scorer one goal ahead of Henry
    - Bo Hansen, brilliant in both the SC and AM slot, around 8.00 avg. rating in both positions
    - Karagounis, avg. rating around 7.75 in the AMC slot
    - Finnan avg. rating around 7.5-7.8 in the MR slot
    - Arca, brilliant in the ML slot, avg. rating around 7.75. Probably also brilliant as DL but hasn't played much there so far this season. He had avg. rating of 7.68 as DL last season.
    - Joe Cole, Medina and Charlie Ejerholm have all been brilliant in the MC slot with avg. rating around 7.75-8.00
    - Petkov, avg. rating close to 8.00 in the DMC slot
    - Yepes has been solid as DC, avg. rating around 7.35
    - McNamara and Vaschuk have been solid as DR, avg. rating around 7.3-7.5

    My other players have been relatively disappointing so far. My keepers Eleftheropoulos and Bourdon both have avg. rating around 7-7.1 which is much worse than expected and for Bourdon also much worse than his 7.31 rating from last season. Guess that poor goalkeeping performances during my horrendous streak with 1 point in the last 5 league games is part of my poor recent results and somewhat disappointing season so far.

    Anyway, DC's Duberry and Broomes have also been unimpressive, avg. rating slightly below 7.00 so far. McAnespie has been decent if unspectacular as rotational DL, avg rating around 7.2. Decent, but worse than his 7.4 from last season.

    Things have gone well in the cups which is always fun. Through to the 4th round (round of 16) in the League Cup where I face Leeds at home. In the UEFA cup I dispatched AB (Danish team) and IFK Göteborg in earlier rounds. Now I have a tough draw, face Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna in the... 3rd? 4th? round. 3rd round I think it is. In any case it is the round of 32. On paper Deportivo seem slight favourites, they have several players valued at £7-12m which is a higher valuation than I have on any of my players. Seems like a 50-50 battle.
    Last edited by dane; 05-06-19 at 11:59 AM.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by dane View Post
    I am a bit surprised that the season have been a bit disappointing so far. More or less the excact same points output as last season. Even though I think my squad is much much stronger than last season. Since I have signed many strong players since the end of last season(at least players who are significantly stronger on paper than the players I played last season): Finnan, Joe Cole, Karagounis, Eleftheropoulos, Venetidis, Yepes, Vaschuk, Petkov, McNamara, Duberry, Broomes.

    So I am quite disappointed actually that so far results have totally stagnated compared to last season, not even a minor improvement. It puzzles me. Any suggestion why this is the case?

    My other players have been relatively disappointing so far. My keepers Eleftheropoulos and Bourdon both have avg. rating around 7-7.1 which is much worse than expected and for Bourdon also much worse than his 7.31 rating from last season. Guess that poor goalkeeping performances during my horrendous streak with 1 point in the last 5 league games is part of my poor recent results and somewhat disappointing season so far.

    Anyway, DC's Duberry and Broomes have also been unimpressive, avg. rating slightly below 7.00 so far. McAnespie has been decent if unspectacular as rotational DL, avg rating around 7.2. Decent, but worse than his 7.4 from last season.
    Sometimes good players on paper are worse than expected, and vice-versa. The average match ratings is a better indicator of who should play more and who should play less. As you are buying players suggested by scouts, maybe the scouts see some things you can't see, so they can play well but look bad on paper (that was the case with Tó Madeira at least).

    But Goalkeeper avg ratting works differently. Above 7 is actually good for a goalkeeper. 7.31 is very very good for a GK. You will hardly get better avg for a GK than that.

  17. #17

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    November 22th 2002. Played a couple of games since last time:

    2-1 home win in the league vs. West Bromwich. We were the dominant team according to chances but still a nervy game, substitute To Madeira scoring the winning goal in the 88th minute. Nice start to the easier fixture list after the mention 1 point in 5 games drought against top sides. Nice to break to terrible run, hopefully the team has better morale and confidence now, the start of a good run.

    3-0 home win in the UEFA Cup round of 32 first leg vs. Deportivo La Coruna. Surprisingly dominant performance against what looked to be a very strong opponent on paper. They didn't play very well though, luckily for me. Perhaps in part due to their tactics, they lined up in a strange defensive setup, 4-5-1 with three DMC's and a defensive mentality. Perhaps that was just too defensive, inviting pressure onto them, they should perhaps at least have had a normal mentality? Nice win in any case. So I should be the strong favourite to reach the round of 16.

    Overtook Leicester and am 7th in the league. Top 2 out of reach (Arsenal and Man Utd). 3rd spot almost out of reach (Liverpool). 4th-6th spot around 3-5 points ahead of me currently. 25 points after 14 games, 8 wins, 1 draw, 5 losses.

    I have scored by far the most goals in the league by the way, also several more than Arsenal and Man Utd. Leaky defense though. Entertaining football all the way.

    The potential deal for DC Mikael Antonsson is off (see the previous post). He would cost £2m and 6k per week in wages as hot prospect. Thanks, but no thanks. Not paying that kind of money for a player that would be no more than 5th-ish choice future prospect DC, even if a quite strong one. Not worth it, I think I would likely make a loss on him at a possible future sale.

    DC Gamarra has now learned basic English It will be nice to see how he performs when he returns from his broken leg injury in a couple of months.

    Speaking of languages... I googled a bit to find theories regarding why my current season has been somewhat disappointing (same results as last season even though the squad is now much stronger). I found out that a possible explanation might be that team performances can temporarily dip when you buy new goalkeepers/defenders who don't even speak the local language at a basic level. That would hold some truth in my case. Vaschuk and Yepes are new signings this season and have been regulars in my defence. None of them speak basic English yet. They will likely learn basic English pretty soon I think, so will be interesting to see whether that might correspond with improved team performances.

    What do you think - might this theory be true, or is it merely speculation?

    Sold a player since my last post: Eirik Bakke Sooooo nice to get rid of that asshole (see earlier posts). He went to Scottish side Ayr for £1.3m. Might seem like a low fee since I paid £3.1 for him to Leeds one year ago. But actually getting a fee like that was a bonus. Interest in him was extremely sparse and fledging, and he had been transfer listed for free for a while. It seemed likely that I would end up giving him away for nothing. But then all of a sudden four clubs became interested in him at the same time, and two of them made a bid the same day. So I felt confident to negotiate a higher fee which luckily worked out.

    Have a nice career at Ayr Erik, you got what you deserved.

    Strange by the way how it seems to happen quite often that there can be no interested in a transfer listed player for ages, and then suddenly several clubs become interested at the excact same day. Quite entertaining though this part of the transfer lottery.

    Correction: Darren Williams was sold for £1.2m, not £2.5 million as mentioned in an earlier post. I didn't remember it correctly. Still a nice fee though, around his valuation.

    By the way, I am probably going to make one or more overpriced signings before April 1st 2003. I currently have around £19-20m in the bank and have very few semi-bargainish players available as possible spending options. Should probably just splash most of the cash on whatever come March 2002, if no new interesting potential value signings have emerged before than. If I remember correctly, having a lot of cash at around April 1st means that the club shareholders are likely to take some money out of the club as dividends, and/or less likely to give me extra money via a shareholder cash injection. Seems foolish to save money just to see the shareholders steal more and give less, greedy bastards.
    Last edited by dane; 06-06-19 at 02:10 PM.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by dane View Post
    Speaking of languages... I googled a bit to find theories regarding why my current season has been somewhat disappointing (same results as last season even though the squad is now much stronger). I found out that a possible explanation might be that team performances can temporarily dip when you buy new goalkeepers/defenders who don't even speak the local language at a basic level. That would hold some truth in my case. Vaschuk and Yepes are new signings this season and have been regulars in my defence. None of them speak basic English yet. They will likely learn basic English pretty soon I think, so will be interesting to see whether that might correspond with improved team performances.

    What do you think - might this theory be true, or is it merely speculation?
    Some of the game manuals mention not speaking local language affects training. And they mention the 'influence' attribute is important for all players (not only captain). So, it makes sense that language may affect match performance as well, like players not able to communicate or influence. It may be one of the many things not yet discovered about this game. Anyway, I don't think that was the only explanation in your case, as there are a lot of other factors and variables in this game, so its normally more than one factor that causes performance below expected.
    Last edited by MadScientist; 06-06-19 at 03:47 PM.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by MadScientist View Post
    Some of the game manuals mention not speaking local language affects training. And they mention the 'influence' attribute is important for all players (not only captain). So, it makes sense that language may affect match performance as well, like players not able to communicate or influence. It may be one of the many things not yet discovered about this game. Anyway, I don't think that was the only explanation in your case, as there are a lot of other factors and variables in this game, so its normally more than one factor that causes performance below expected.
    I think you are right. I think there are several factors have possibly contributed to the somewhat disappointing season so far:
    - The lack of language skills among some regular defensive players
    - More injuries than last season
    - Bad luck (many games that I lost even though I deserved a draw or perhaps even a win at times
    - Perhaps bad morale affecting performances once I went on a small losing streak

  20. #20

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    November 30th 2002. Played a couple of matches since the last update:

    2-2 away vs. newly promoted Coventry in the league. They seem a decent team actually, are around 9th in the league. In any case it was a very frustrating game. Another one where I really should have gotten a better result. I was very superior in chances created, 13 vs. 5. Medina got sent off at around the 50th minute after two very thin yellow cards (referee Uriah Rennie is by far the worst referee in the Premier League, he gives cards for everything, hate that guy). One of their goals was an own goal, a deflected free kick that hit the wall. Their other goal was when my goalkeeper got injured in the 87th minute where I didn't have any substitutes left, so I put Joe Cole in goal, they scored on their first and only chance after that event. By the way, that goal was for 2-1. Karagounis equalized for me just afterwards, dribbling past a couple of players in the process. So I equalized 9 players vs. 11. Entertaining match for sure. But frustrating that 3rd-6th spot just seem to slip further and further away. Champions League football next season doesn't seem too likely at the moment.

    League Cup 4th round/round of 16 at home vs. Leeds: 1-1 after 90 minutes and extra time. I won 4-2 on penalties, scored all of mine. Very nice win. I played a pretty rotated team because this match was TWO days after the league game vs. Coventry (thanks FA). Leeds had had plenty of rest since their last game and played their best side at maximum fitness. So nice that I could play an even match against them under such circumstances. Just a shame that it was in the unimportant League Cup.

    In the League Cup quarterfinal I have drawn West Bromwich away, nice winnable draw, even if they are newly promoted to the Premier League, currently placed around 14th. Likely semifinalists currently seem to be Man Utd, Chelsea or Liverpool (they meet), and Everton. Would be nice to draw Everton in a potential semifinal.

    Yepes also learned basic English now, hopefully that helps the team. Just need Vaschuk to learn the language now of my regular defensive players.

    The next match is in the league at home against Arsenal who are top of the league with 37 Points after 14 matches. So I probably won't be climbing the league table next round either. However, after that I have an 11 match streak vs. only poor sides, none of the top 7. Will be interesting to see what the table looks like after that.

    The possible Boumsong deal fell through. Auxerre want at least £8m for him, perhaps much more, so I gave up bidding for him. He could be one of the players I might buy before April 1st just to avoid having the shareholders stealing cash from the club, but we'll see.

    My current strongest 11/16:
    GK: Eleftheropoulos or Bourdon (very close call, they seem at the excact same Level currently)
    DL: Arca or Venetidis (Arca probably better, but he also seems my strongest player at ML)
    DR: McNamara
    DC: Yepes; Vaschuk/Gamarra (close call between the latter two)
    DMC: Petkov
    ML: Arca (Joe Cole, Petkov and Finnan can play there if needed)
    MR: Finnan
    MC: Medina/Joe Cole/Karagounis/Ejerholm (close call between all four, they have all played brilliantly in that position, avg. rating 7.7-7.9; Medina probably gets the nod by a small margin currently)
    AMC: Hansen (Karagounis almost as good though)
    SC: To Madeira (Hansen pretty much as good though)

    Bench:
    Bourdon or Eleftheropoulos (GK)
    Vaschuk og Gamarra (whoever of them that doesn't start)
    Joe Cole
    Karagounis
    Ejerholm

    Perhaps a bit surprising that Joe Cole hasn't nailed down a regular starting spot? Mostly due to the fact that many others are also playing brilliantly I guess. There are one or more other playes who average a rating of at least 7.7 in all his positions (MC, AMC, ML).

    In any case, this seems a very very strong squad I think. Much stronger than 7th in the league. Guess results will pick up sooner of later. And it won't hurt either that I have plenty of cash to spend both now and again summer. Perhaps next summer I have enough cash to begin buying a few of the most expensive players, those that come in at £10-20m a piece. Would be nice to one time begin buying some of the top players on my short list, players that at the very least will make a clear improvement in strength of depth, and possibly also strenghtening the starting XI. Sean Davis, Boumsong, Ofori-Quaye, Bramble, Chris Perry are potential summer targets. Will probably be an interesting summer transfer window when the time comes.

    I recently released Niall Quinn on a free by the way. He has been transfer listed for one and a half years, since the start of the saves. Has been listed for zero for most of that time. Nobody wants him, probably because of his 13k a week wages I suspect. Now I had the chance for release him on a cut price deal just having to pay him 100k for buying out the rest of his contract. He finally got fed up, wanted first team football which seems to have lowered his demands for an exit fee. Nice to get rid of his wages even if sad to see a real life Sunderland legend go.
    Last edited by dane; 11-06-19 at 10:26 AM.

  21. #21

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    January 11th 2003.

    Played 6 league games since the last update. As mentioned earlier, now was the start of a supposedly easy fixture list, 11 games in a row without meeting any teams in the top 7. I won the first three matches easily, 2-0, 2-0 and 3-0, totally in control in all of them. Then I lost two away games in a row, vs. Blackburn and Aston Villa who were 14th and 18 respectively. Very disappointing. More bad Luck in those matches, I deserved around 4 points from those games but it was not to be. Won the final league game I played before this update.

    A bit surprisingly I am up to 4th in the league table. Nice to see that Champions League football next season isn't out of the question. The top teams have played each other a lot in recent rounds and also lost a few other points. Nice change after more or less every top 7 team winning almost every match for the past couple of months, so it has felt at least. Seems like a league finish somewhere between 3rd and 8th, Arsenal and Man Utd are out of reach as usual.

    Current league stats: Played 21 matches. 12 wins, 2 draws, 7 losses. 38 points.

    Player news:
    - I signed Martijn Reuser (AM/F RLC) from Ipswich for £2.8m. Great price for a strong utility player/squad player. He is among my 2-4 strongest options at both MR, ML and AMC, and he is also decent at MC and SC (see formation in an earlier post). Great price for such a decent player. Will be nice not least with someone who seems like a decent right winger since I only have Steve Finnan who plays well there, and he is injury prone.

    - I will most likely sign Lee Hendrie (M LC) from Aston Villa very soon. Have a £2.3m offer accepted and he seems eager to come, reasonable wage demands etc. I don't remember how good he is at the ML spot. But he is a decent rotation option at MC in any case, possibly in both positions. Again a good price for a decent squad player. Seems unlikely that I will make a major loss on him if I need to sell him later down the road, same goes for Reuser. And nice to have decent rotation options so I won't have to resort to pretty poor player like Trevor Benjamin and Svetoslav Todorov who are now transfer listed, with noone interested in them unfortunately.

    - One of my own youth players have made a somewhat surprising breakthrough. Namely Kevin Kyle (S C). He is an original Sunderland player in the game, now 21 years old. Generally his star rating comparison and his attributes don't look too good. But some key striker attributes are excellent: 20 in finishing, jumping and strength. He has scored 3 goals and got 1 assist in his first 4 league games, pulling a 8.25 avg. rating. I actually had him transfer listed for a long time, also listed for free for months. Lucky for me that there was no interest in him. Then he suddenly played brilliantly in a couple of reserve games, which gave him the chance in the first team. Nice to suddenly have what seems like an extra star striker out of nowhere. Seems similar to To Madeira: Relatively poor attributes etc., but good in key areas and he just performs. I use Kyle as a 'hold up' striker when i play him by the way, whereas I give To Madeira the 'run with ball' instruction when I play him instead, since they have different skills. Speaking of strikers, I have also played Bo Hansen quite a bit as a striker lately, he is brilliant there as well as at AMC. Currently I would say the striker pecking order is like this: 1) Kyle, 2) Hansen (but he often plays as AMC), 3) To Madeira. The latter has been a bit poor lately and his avg. rating has dropped to around 7.65-7.7. Unlucky for To Madeira to suddenly have such fierce competition. He will start my next game vs. 20th placed Everton though, since the others are a bit tired. So perhaps that will reignite To Madeira.

    - Carlos Gamarra (DC) is finally fit after being out 5 months with a broken leg. He has also learned basic English as mentioned earlier. He will be on the bench for my next game. Excited to see whether he will be as terrible as last season, or whether he will play well now that he knows the language or for whatever reason. He will definitely be transfer listed if he plays just half as poorly as last season. I will probably give him 5-7 games at the least to prove himself.

    I've been looking at possible players to buy before my dreaded April 1st-ish deadline (as mentioned, I hate risking the club's shareholders stealing my cash and/or less chance of a fresh cash injection; currently have around £20m in the bank). There seems to be a fair chance that I might buy Boumsong (D/DM RC from Auxerre, seems a great right back, would be 1st Choice) and/or Chris Perry (DC from Tottenham, currently England regular). They seem like the best value for money options on my shortlist. I would be overpaying for both, Boumsong would be around £11m and Perry would cost around £7-8m for a 29 year old. But I might as well spend my money on something, given the April 1st mechanics. Unless better playes pop up via the scout report in the meantime. And other better players on my shortlist are all ludicrously expensive at the moment, clearly worse value for money options than Boumsong and Perry.

    Oh, and I progressed in the cups and/or got draws for the next round:
    FA Cup: Won away vs. West Bromwich (now in the PL). Face Bradford (Division One) in the 5th round, don't remember if it is at home or away.
    League Cup: Drawn against Chelsea in the two-legged semifinal. Man Utd vs. Everton in the other semifinal, so little doubt regarding who I would face and lose against in a potential final (as you might remember, I lost 5-0 vs. Man Utd in the FA Cup final last season).
    UEFA Cup: Drawn against Atalanta in the round of 16. Those matches will be played in late February and early March if I remember correctly.

    Current pecking order tactically (playing 4-5-1: GK - DL, 2 DC's, DR - DMC - ML, MC, MR - AMC - SC):
    GK: Bourdon, Eleftheropoulos, Ingham (close call between the first two, but Bourdon currently gets the nod; Ingham is pretty poor, but so far my scouts haven't found me a better 3rd choice youth goalkeeper)
    DL: Venetidis, Arca, McAnespie (Venetidis has been brilliant, avg. rating of around 7.8 after his first 10 or so matches)
    DC's: Yepes, Vaschuk, Gamarra, Duberry
    DR: McNamara, Vaschuk, Hibbert (McCartney actually 3rd choice, but he is transfer listed, don't want to pay 6k a week in wages for a 3rd choice right back)
    DMC: Petkov, Medina, Stefan Schwarz
    ML: Joe Cole, Arca, Petkov, Finnan, Reuser, Hendrie
    MC: Medina, Cole, Karagounis, Hendrie, Reuser, Ejerholm, Schwarz
    MR: Finnan, Reuser, Bo Hansen
    AMC: Hansen, Karagounis, Cole, Reuser, Ejerholm
    SC: Kevin Kyle, Hansen, To Madeira, Reuser

    By the way, anyone who knows why To Madeira has played so relatively poorly lately? I haven't had him in games before. Thought he was supposed to be unreal, one of the best players in the game. He is fine and I am happy with him, am just still surprised the he doesn't seem quite the legend he is made up to be.
    Last edited by dane; 12-06-19 at 09:50 AM.

  22. #22

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    great results there and hope gamarra will show his value.

    Quote Originally Posted by dane View Post
    - One of my own youth players have made a somewhat surprising breakthrough. Namely Kevin Kyle (S C). He is an original Sunderland player in the game, now 21 years old. Generally his star rating comparison and his attributes don't look too good. But some key striker attributes are excellent: 20 in finishing, jumping and strength. He has scored 3 goals and got 1 assist in his first 4 league games, pulling a 8.25 avg. rating. I actually had him transfer listed for a long time, also listed for free for months. Lucky for me that there was no interest in him. Then he suddenly played brilliantly in a couple of reserve games, which gave him the chance in the first team. Nice to suddenly have what seems like an extra star striker out of nowhere. Seems similar to To Madeira: Relatively poor attributes etc., but good in key areas and he just performs.
    Sometimes the good players come from where we less expect, specially when we are playing with restrictions.

    Quote Originally Posted by dane View Post
    I use Kyle as a 'hold up' striker when i play him by the way, whereas I give To Madeira the 'run with ball' instruction when I play him instead, since they have different skills.
    Nice, I also really like to have strikers for hold up instruction, i use it a lot, sometimes I even prefer that than the traditional dribbler and goalscorer striker.

    Quote Originally Posted by dane View Post
    By the way, anyone who knows why To Madeira has played so relatively poorly lately? I haven't had him in games before. Thought he was supposed to be unreal, one of the best players in the game. He is fine and I am happy with him, am just still surprised the he doesn't seem quite the legend he is made up to be.
    Did you change your tactic recently? This type of specialist player is very sensitive to small tactic changes. Or maybe his training regime is doing bad to him?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MadScientist View Post
    Did you change your tactic recently? This type of specialist player is very sensitive to small tactic changes. Or maybe his training regime is doing bad to him?
    No, I have used the same tactics for the entire save. The mentioned 4-5-1 with some preset instructions (no wibwob). I only do some very minor tweaks from game to game:
    - Decide whether my (lone) striker players with 'hold up' instruction, 'run with ball' instruction or no instruction depending on the player. To Madeira has played with 'run with ball' instruction every single game and I plan to continue doing that. He has good attributes for that, at least in this save, good dribbling and pace.
    - When I play away against top sides (Arsenal, Man Utd, Liverpool, Leeds) I use 'normal' team mentally, otherwise 'attacking' every time.
    - My fullbacks and wide midfielders may or may not have an arrow one step forward depending on their wingback/winger ability, how far up the pitch that seems to suit them best. So for example Julio Arca has an arrow as fullback and no arrow as winger/wide midfielder since his wingback ability seems better than both his fullback and winger ability.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by MadScientist View Post
    Or maybe his training regime is doing bad to him?
    Forgot to reply to this part I see. No, I think it is extremely unlikely that the training regime has a negative impact. I have some preset training regimes after position, in the following categories: Keepers, Defenders/Defensive Midfielders, Central midfielders/Attacking midfielders/Wingers, Strikers (also have more intensive regimes, on for keepers and one for outfield players, youth players out of the first team switch between normal and intensive training according to their fitness level because the intensive regime slowly wears them down so they can't be on that one for more than a few weeks). To Madeira of course goes in the latter category, regular striker training. All of my players develop quite well with attributes etc. so I think the training regimed is pretty proven and doesn not have major flaws. To Madeira himself has also developed quite nicely attribute wise.

    I think his slight dip in form might be just a coincidence. It isn't a huge dip, a few games saw his avg. rating go from around 8.00 to around 7.70. Still quite good, if it wasn't for Kyle and Bo Hansen who are now outstanding competition and who currently seem to average at least 7.9 in the SC position. Fortune could soon change again though. To Madeira got a 9 in the last game he played, cup game vs. a lower league. He will get more chances soon.

    If I remember correctly, To Madeira also played most games of the horrific run of 1 point in 5 games vs. top teams. This could be an example where avg. rating in the short run can suffer from playing against tough teams. Easier to play well against Northampton than Man Utd.

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    January 18th 2003. Played a couple of games since the last update, both in the Premier League. Both games were comfortable wins, under no real risk of dropping points. End results were 3-0 away vs. Everton and 2-0 at home vs. Middlesbrough.

    Everton are having a horrific season, zero wins, 6 draws and 18 losses so far. Strange since they got a new board around January 2002, so have had money to spend since then. And they basicly have a decent squad. Have the same squad that brought them to a mid table finish 01/02. Perhaps things just spiraled out of control for them, hen and egg, defeats affects morale and vice versa? Don't know. Interesting though, that is some exceptional season they are having, have never seen anything like it, and not least for a club that actually has decent players.

    Nice to get an easy win vs. Middlesbrough. Should on paper be an easy win at home against a mid table side. Both since it is a local derby... those are often quite tricky I think. Like my earlier mentioned Newcastle game around February 2002 where I got two red cards and whatever else happened in that circus of a match.

    Anyway, the league table looks like this after 24 rounds played:

    (Position/club/points)
    1. Man Utd 54 (23 games played)
    2. Arsenal 52 (23 games played)
    3. Leeds 49
    4. Sunderland 45
    5. Newcastle 44 (23 games played)
    6. Chelsea 40
    7. Tottenham 39
    8. Liverpool 38
    9. Leicester 34
    10. Derby 34
    11. Fulham 30

    Exciting season right now. 1st and 2nd place seem out of reach, hardly a surprise given the strength of Man Utd and Arsenal. Arsenal bought Mark Kerr right at the start of the game by the way, cheaters. Kerr and Vieira seem like a decent midfield pairing, no need to deviate from the 4-4-2 then.

    In with a shout for a Champions League spot though, will be interesting to see how the rest of the season pans out.

    Player news:
    - Completed the mentioned signing of Lee Hendrie from Aston Villa.
    - Sold Baki Mercimek (DC) to Leicester for around 500-600k, don't remember the excact fee. Mediocre youth prospect, highly unlikely that he would ever become good enough for my first team.

    Upcoming matches:
    - 25th Jan, Ipswich (away), FA Cup 4th round
    - 29th Jan, Chelsea (home), League Cup semifinal 1st leg
    - 1st Feb, Tottenham (home), Premier League
    - 5th Feb, Leicester (away), Premier League
    - 8th Feb, Derby (away), Premier League
    - 15th Feb, possible FA Cup 5th round?
    - 19th Feb, Chelsea (away), League Cup semifinal 2nd leg
    - 22nd Feb, Chelsea (home), Premier League - this is the start of the five games in a row vs. top teams. Hope this batch will yield more than one point.
    - 27th Feb, Atalanta, first leg of the UEFA Cup round of 16

    Interesting that local rivals Newcastle are doing very well. Although I support Sunderland, I am not a hardcore fan. I like the northeast in general and like to see the northeast sides like Newcastle and Middlesbrough doing well. The people there deserve a succes story, too bad that the sides struggle in real life. Anyway, during the in-game 01/02 season they sold Alan Shearer to Celtic as they often to, strangely enough. But during the summer of 2002 they brought in brilliant replacements: Jardel and Guayre. Unsurprisingly, both are among the best players and strikers in the league this season and are no doubt a vital part of their team. Good for them. I wish them the best, although I hope to finish above them of course, not least if it could mean the difference between getting a Champions League spot and not.

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