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|Football Manager 2020|
at 16:41 17 Mar 2020
In short, is it worth it?
Following on from the gaming thread elsewhere (not posting this on there so not to disrupt it), I was thinking of returning to FM after a few years' absence given that, like a lot of people, I now have more time when I'm at a bit of a loose end.
£40 on steam is quite a bit and whilst I've found it enjoyable in the past, I've heard/read lots of mixed reviews for this one but hard to judge some comments as they could just be people taking it too seriously getting mad that not everything falls their way.
|“The adversity might make us stronger”|
at 18:02 22 Feb 2020
3rd in the trilogy after “playing away from home might help” and “being hunters rather than hunted might help”. Utterly clueless if it wasn’t dazzlingly obvious already. The subs and switch of formation today summed him up.
Gave it large when a youth team beat Peterborough’s youth team to hit back at what he saw as ‘ridiculous negativity’. Did the same last week when we put Burton away. He’s an arrogant, pig-headed man well out of his depth sitting on a comfy contract because he successfully pulled the wool over an incompetent owner’s eyes.
At least Jewell had the dignity to go and tell Evans he needed to go and be replaced by someone who could do a better job.
|"Just look at Leeds, Sunderland, the Sheffield teams"...|
at 15:39 14 Feb 2020
Ok Paul, I will.
*shout out Dubbers in another thread who made this point and prompted me to confirm what I thought he was saying was correct*
When Leeds were relegated to League 1 they had a 15 points deduction so promotion attempts were handicapped. They still finished in the play-offs and had they not had the deduction they'd have been Champions. Gary McAllister replaced Dennis Wise half-way through then he was replaced the following season by Simon Grayson who got them up the season after. This was all 2007-2010.
Sunderland sacked their manager this season after play-off failure and are now in there again. TBC on that one.
Sheffield Wednesday, controversially, sacked forum favourite Gary Megson when 3rd in the table in their 2nd season down since relegation in 2010. They ended up in 2nd.
Sheffield Utd changed manager a few times before Wilder took them up. They were in League 1 from 2011-2017. Worth mentioning they changed owner as well and actually know what they're doing as a club but that's a separate point.
So, whilst there are always nuances, Lambert's point that big clubs have had it bad down here before comes with the caveat that making things better again involved a change in manager. A large plate of hobnobs for Phil if he makes that point in the next presser.
Plus of course most of the above was several years ago where the fast-changing nature of the game makes it almost incomparable. Sh!tters like Rotherham and Millwall have come down and bounced back up straight away or very quickly in more recent years anyway. We all knew that his 'big clubs have struggled' line was a way of avoiding scrutiny but it lays it out pretty clearly that it's certainly not an excuse for his own shortcomings.
|We could put ourselves in a bad situation...|
at 22:07 28 Jan 2020
Not looking strong enough to hold onto a top 2 spot, and can't beat a top 8 team for love nor money which doesn't bode well for the playoffs.
Vital we get through these next 8 weeks or whatever with a decent amount of points then put the dross we have in our run in to the sword which we do at least look like doing on occasion.
|Brenner asks Stuart Taylor whether winless run is a 'concern'|
at 17:47 4 Jan 2020
'Not at all' was the reply.
I know a lot of managerial press stuff is bluster not worth paying much attention to and they sort of have a duty to keep positive but you do get the feeling the management level of the club isn't really in tune with the reality of the situation.
|W3, D3, L2 from 8 league games since start of October|
at 17:24 7 Dec 2019
Those 3 draws in a row now. Think the rotation is catching up with us already - side never settled so when teams really come at us or put themselves about well we become too disjointed. A shame today as sounded like we should have had that wrapped up by HT but struggled with a strong 2nd half from Coventry and were fortunate to come away with a point (have to give them credit for changing at HT and are clearly a decent side but we shouldn't have let the 2nd half happen as it did).
Line ups just chucked together from game to game is likely to lead to games like this as the quality of players could turn out a good performance but struggle to make it last. Doubt Lambert will change that though so have to hope a run of league games coming up will help us get some consistency back.
Not all negative as we're still top 2 but last couple of months were a great opportunity to put a gap between us and 3rd but we haven't capitalised on it and if we're not careful we're going to make this more difficult for ourselves than we need to. As above, we've been disrupted somewhat by several cup matches which makes it a bit difficult to build momentum but we didn't need to swap out so many players during that run so our 'first teamers' (if anyone is in this side) didn't have such a stop/start schedule.
We've gone from average-to-good performances with good results to average performances with average results, and changing a formation plus around 3, 4 or so personnel changes a game isn't helping.
At this rate come the end of the season we'll be dealing with fatigue better than recent years but still no style/patterns of play or much confidence that we know what we're doing.
|What are we?|
at 20:46 5 Nov 2019
We could end up winning this and this post would still be relevant. Don’t want it to seem like a knee-jerk reaction to a poor half.
At the start of the season we looked like we enjoyed counter-attacking but as teams sat in we had less success and started to rely on moments of quality which has got us results. However, tonight’s another example of there being seemingly no real plan in how to play. Doesn’t help having two wide men playing poorly but Rochdale are schooling us at the minute and would probably be ahead if they had a bit more composure/more quality in our box. The midfield aren’t getting the ball into the front two and we’re creating nothing. Downes missing doesn’t help but we shouldn’t be missing him *this* much. It’s lots of passing about in the middle third with no-one brave enough to go for an incisive one, or if they are it’s poor quality and we lose possession.
We may still win this as we’ve come close from a couple of corners but even so it’s another game where we’ve looked far from convincing. I’m still fairly confident we’ll go up as we’re too strong not to but playing this aimless way we’ll come thumping straight back down.
|Thoughts on today - bright for the future but a cloud still looms|
at 18:48 10 Aug 2019
Frustrating to come away feeling like Town threw that away somewhat, but perhaps it's more pertinent because it showed us that we are our own worst enemy and that the reasons we went down last year are still lingering in the background which leaves one feeling a tad uncomfortable.
Far from doom and gloom though, we played well in the first half, never fully in control but comfortable with some great individual performances from Skuse and Downes in particular. Having those two keep things steady with calm passing, solid tackles, winning 50/50s, neat interceptions etc. to allow the other 4 attacking players to go at it will see us do alright for now at least if we keep up the 442.
Still we struggle to really create many good clear chances with decision making either a little hesitant or rushed with no-one able to find the sweet spot in the middle. Norwood was unlucky with the ball not quite falling right or Sunderland putting a good block in whilst Garbutt had too much time to think with our best chance from their error.
I hope Jackson was genuinely fouled for his booking otherwise he wasted a perfectly good opportunity to shoot, not that it affected the game hugely, and Garbutt did well to make the most of some limp leg waving to finish (whether he meant it to find the corner or Jackson mattereth not).
Lambert got the subs all wrong today and the first one was a bigger error than most could have anticipated when Alan Judge, pretty much unanimously agreed to be in the upper echelons of the division in terms of ability, came on for Garbutt. If we can't put him in behind the striker with every other position filled and balanced then he shouldn't be in the team. Obviously rusty, he drifts inside too much, clogging up the space and isn't sharp enough to pick out the right pass. As much as he's not really up to much, Roberts would have been a better like-for-like switch to keep that energy and tenacity on the left side if nothing else.
The second half was neither team's game but we were at least looking relatively comfortable and Sunderland looking like they could play all weekend and not score. The error from Chambers was woeful from a man who had played well and knows better than to try and let a slowing ball trickle out when under pressure. Everyone gets caught out and it's an absolute gift.
Goals change games and all that but the worrying part for me was the reaction to it. Heads dropped, players looked de-energised and a little bit of belief was being lost by us and gained by Sunderland, who, whilst still looking pretty poor, started to wake up.
Dozzell seemed like the wrong choice if he was coming on in a proper position, let alone stuck out on the right. Since Judge had come on, and particularly after the equaliser, we looked misshapen and awkward, Norwood, Jackson and Judge playing sort of up front and everyone else sort of behind but with no cohesion. Bringing Roberts on too late to do anything was a waste as well.
Holy had little to do although his handling was a bit suspect, although being very generous the wind could have had an impact there. His kicks, wind assisted or not, will be an asset, even if they only mean the play gets shunted all the way into the opposition final third.
Donacien was so-so - solid enough though looked like he was particularly spooked by the equaliser, looking a bit more wobbly afterwards. Needs to attack with more conviction. Kenlock looks like a League 1 full back - was getting away with things he wouldn't have done against better opposition last season. Didn't see enough from him going forwards today either. Chambers was having a good game up to the horror mistake which is a shame for all involved, whilst Woolfenden looked a player - misjudged a couple of long balls but some assured big chests and passes with a few good recovery challenges when needed.
Garbutt looks better than I thought he'd be - good energy, confident, looks a well-balanced LM so a shame to see him leave injured which rather exposed our lack of depth there. Rowe quietly had a good game, one Mick McCarthy would have enjoyed but he didn't quite get it right when he had the chance to create something. Skuse and Downes had great games, other than the obvious numerical difference you wouldn't have thought they were up against more players in midfield. Downes probably pips his senior partner to MOTM but a special shout out to Skuse for the sublime outside of the foot pass to Norwood in the second who should have done better (although was put off by Jackson trying to challenge for the same ball).
Jackson really put himself about well for most of the game though isn't the best in the air and is someone who really needs to sort that decision making out, especially as his pace means he's often the one who picks up a pass in time and space to do something useful with it. Norwood is brilliant off the ball and it was a case of not quite for him with it today - he's clearly trying just a bit too hard as he snatched at a few things that a player with a few goals under his belt wouldn't have done.
4 from 6 isn't all that bad in reality but difficult not to inspect the negatives after that because for all the positives, and there certainly were some on display, it'll be those things that stop us really pushing on to where we want to be, and no amount of 'well we played well before that' is going to change anything.
Lots of comments afterwards along the lines of 'if that's the best League 1 has to offer we'll be fine', but I rather fear Sunderland aren't that, and they missed their chance to get promoted when it was there for them to grab hold of last time around. We need to make sure we don't do the same.
|Our 1st League 1 goal:|
at 15:34 3 Aug 2019
Nice from Downes and Norwood, good to see someone brave enough to have a go - might even have come of Rowe in the end.
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