The Unknown Manager: Five Games To Glory


Championship Group – The Final Five Matches



The final five matches of the season in Northern Ireland take place after the league splits in half. Each team in the top half plays each other once, and same for the bottom half. Three of our five are away, with Crusaders and Coleraine having a history of giving us trouble on their own grounds. As far as the table goes, it’s down to a two horse race as we enter the split; we can’t finish lower than second. Ten points guarantees the title for us regardless of Coleraine’s results.I feel like the league has scheduled this for maximum drama, as the chance for us to get the tenth point and secure the title is in fact the match against second place. They want a show? Let’s give ’em a show. Continue reading “The Unknown Manager: Five Games To Glory”


The Unknown Manager: I’ve Gone Too Far In Quite A Few Places


You know you’ve got a good save going when you’re so into it you totally blow by the stopping point you’d pick to make the next post. It started off with “Well, the Champions League starts right during pre-season, so I’ll just go past these matches…” and now we’re at the start of the January window. I may have to split this into two posts. Times they are a-changing. Continue reading “The Unknown Manager: I’ve Gone Too Far In Quite A Few Places”

The Unknown Manager: To All The Clubs That Laughed Me Off


Danske Bank Premier League
April 21, 2018

Here we are. Linfield have come to the Oval for our fourth meeting of the season. They’ve brought over 1,200 supporters with them, helping to set our season high attendance of nearly 4,700. There’s a light drizzle falling as the players take the pitch. All we need is a draw to secure our first league championship since 2009. We fought the first half of the season to keep up with Linfield as jump them in the table and the second half to stay ahead of them. The season series stands at two wins for us and a draw. It’s time. Continue reading “The Unknown Manager: To All The Clubs That Laughed Me Off”

The Unknown Manager: Cruising Toward Somewhere


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


November 2017 – January 2018


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?


 July – October 2017
Danske Bank Premier League



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



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


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”