The Unknown Manager: Cruising Toward Somewhere

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Dankse Bank Premier League
January – April 2018

There’s a strange scent you can catch on the winds of fortune these days. Despite going through what I consider easily our worst patch of the season, we find ourselves four points clear in first place with two matches remaining.The first of those two matches is yet another derby against Linfield at the Oval. This season-defining moment will come in the next post, but for now let’s examine what’s happened the past few months. Continue reading “The Unknown Manager: Cruising Toward Somewhere”

The Unknown Manager: Two Derbies Won, Time For A Third

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November 2017 – January 2018
Transfers

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Right, well I haven’t done very much. I was looking to add depth up front and in central defense, and none of the players I’ve signed fill either need. I asked for an increased wage budget in November, as both Croskery and Birney wanted new contracts, and I had a bit left over. We also had the chance to adjust our season expectations at the start of the transfer window and that got us a bit more room in the budget.

Continue reading “The Unknown Manager: Two Derbies Won, Time For A Third”

The Unknown Manager: Belfast Big Who?

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 July – October 2017
Danske Bank Premier League

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We’ve had a much better start to the season than I could have anticipated. Ten points from the first five matches isn’t bad but in truth it looks better than it was. Institute and Ards are bottom half teams and we scraped both of those wins. The loss to Crusaders was a wake up call that made me switch from an initial 4-5-1 to the 4-4-1-1 that we’ve settled on. The 3-0 win over Dungannon Swifts is really when everything started clicking and it kicked off a nice little six match unbeaten run.  Continue reading “The Unknown Manager: Belfast Big Who?”

The Unknown Manager: The First Club

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Our first stop on the journey is Belfast, Northern Ireland. Glentoran FC is a club with quite a lot of history. They’ve won the Northern Ireland Premier League, the Northern Irish Cup, and the Northern Irish League cup over 20 times each. The last league win came back in the 08/09 season and the club has been steady in the middle of the table ever since. Glentoran make up half of the “Belfast Big Two” along with Linfield, who are odds on favorites to win the league. At least we don’t have any added pressure in the derby. Continue reading “The Unknown Manager: The First Club”

The Unknown Manager: An FM17 Pentagon Journey

I’ve been a long time away from FM, and even longer away from blogging. It seems like every blog I make starts this way. Here’s to breaking the cycle.

Welcome to my journey through Football Manager 17.

The Premise

This is going to be a journeyman type save with a Pentagon Challenge as sort of an overarching goal. That means we’re going to start off unemployed, with no badges and the lowest possible experience. Moving from league to league, country to country, we’ll build our reputation with the ultimate goal of winning all five of the major continental Champion’s League competitions. There’s no real rules I’m imposing on myself, other than to try to avoid England for as long as I can. It’s an overly familiar safety net, and it’s a place where a most of us have spent too much time. If it’s the best job on the table, I may reluctantly take it. We’ll just have to see what happens.

The best part of any journeyman save is that you never know what’s going to happen. I’ve had improbable cup wins with lower tier sides and shocking sackings with preseason favorites. There’s famous players getting old, world class regens, and one time a father two years younger than his son. The hair is great, the names are even better. Don’t even get me started about the sideburns.

Continue reading “The Unknown Manager: An FM17 Pentagon Journey”

FM16 Pentagon: Hopefully It’s Our Time Up Here, Too

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The friendlies are a little misleading, as the first three matches were against generally close opposition (two teams from the division we just came up from, and one from our current division) while the rest were against lower-than-playable teams. The wins and goals are still good for morale, especially since several of the players have been nervous with all the transfer activity.  Continue reading “FM16 Pentagon: Hopefully It’s Our Time Up Here, Too”

FM16 Pentagon: Down Here, It’s Our Time

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Three matches. That’s all that stands between an unqualified German lad and the immortal greatness of being champion of the South African second tier. First, home to Witbank Spurs who sit three points above the drop zone. In a cruel twist of fate, not only do we play away to Chippa on the final day, the remaining match in between is away to the other team in the top three.

There’s still plenty of hope. We beat both Chippa and Ga-Rankuwa earlier in the season, and were unlucky to draw with a poor Spurs. Closing out the season with back to back away matches to 2nd and 3rd is about as tough as it gets.

Continue reading “FM16 Pentagon: Down Here, It’s Our Time”

FM16 Pentagon: Hey Now, You’re A Cape Town All Star

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We pick up the story with three matches left to play in the season. Ngobeni’s brace grabbed us the easy three points from Highlands Park before we welcomed Baroka FC, the team who had so cheerfully just knocked us out of the cub. We struggled with them again, but the biggest news of the match is that Nangombe picked up another injury and is out of action for six to seven weeks. (Un?)Fortunately I wasn’t able to unload any players during the window, with the exception of a reserve central mid agreeing to a contract elsewhere at the end of the season. Having two of last season’s league leaders in scoring to step in hardly counts as a tragedy.  Continue reading “FM16 Pentagon: Hey Now, You’re A Cape Town All Star”

FM16 Pentagon: Expect…The Unexpected

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While not quite as dominant as our preseason, the first part of our season has gone about as well as I could have possibly hoped. Chippa United came out of the gates completely on fire and shot to the top immediately. I’m not even sure that “on fire” is a strong enough phrase. Over the offseason, I had managed to pull together a squad that went the first ten matches of the season unbeaten and only once gave up more than one goal. Only twice did we drop points, and even then only in goalless draws. Those were points that we had given up on our own; both matches featured plenty of wasted chances from our forwards.

Continue reading “FM16 Pentagon: Expect…The Unexpected”

FM16 Pentagon: Forward, Unto the South African Second Tier!

Cape Town All Stars 2016/17

South African National First Division

Preseason

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As you can see, I’ve been quite the busy little (Africanized killer)bee this summer. The club really was in a state when I arrived, with some positions four or five players deep and some (ahem, like DM, which is vital to the tactics I want to use) with no one even remotely capable of performing.

Continue reading “FM16 Pentagon: Forward, Unto the South African Second Tier!”