Wigan and the EPL - A short stay?
Greetings fans. This is the continuing chronicle of Christopher Engles. Christopher started his career in Harrogate at the tender age of 29.
In my first season, I struggled to survive at Harrogate, but we started turning it around by the end of the season. In our second season, Harrogate and I began our ascendcy together. In our third season we continued our meteoric rise and advanced from the English Conference National into League Two. In our fourth season, we continued to fly to the top as we won the English League Two title and earned advancement. In my fifth season, I made the hard choice to leave Harrogate in the middle of the season to take an opportunity at Wigan. I didn't do that well at Wigan but I managed to make sure we avoided relegation and I arranged to have many Bosman players come join us. This was key, as we acquired many good players. In my sixth season as a manager, I managed to forge these Bosman players into a cohesive unit with the group that was already there. I had my most impressive season yet, and we won the English Championship.
This is a link to the entire sixth season. The first post in this thread has links to all of the previous seasons as well: http://dynamic2.gamespy.com/%7Efof/f...ad.php?t=36645
So, now I'm in my 7th season. This could be a short stay. It could be a short stay for me at Wigan, because the media thinks Manchester United is interested in my services as manager. I'm only 35, so they may think I'm too young. However, I'm also reportedly viewed as a World Class Manager right now. However, we'll see in the next few days/weeks if Manchester United wants me as manager or not. If they offer me the job, I'd be sad to leave Wigan, but I know I could not pass that opportunity up. They have been my favorite club since I was a young lad.
However, if they pass me up, it could be a short stay in the EPL. The talent in this League is so top notch and it is very competitive. We lost Stuart Elliott one of our best veterans, but we brought in a young talented left winger named Fode Mansare. We have a good core of older veterans. If they can keep their level of play up, I think we can avoid relegation. I hope we can. The 24.5 million dollars we received in EPL TV rights is very nice, and I'd really like to see us get that again next year. It has certainly solved our budgetary problems for the short term.
My first friendly has already occurred, and I would refer you to the previous thread which covered that (as well as the World Cup 2010.)
Thank you for reading my account of my adventures as a football manager.
July 14, 2010 -
Today we have a friendly with Zeleznicar. This should be an easy friendly for us to win.
1st minute Mansare passes to Begeorgi in the left corner of the pitch.. he crosses to Paulista in the center of the box.. Paulista heads it into the lower left corner of the goal. GOAL! 1-0 lead.
3 minute mark: Mansare turns on the speed.. races down the left sideline.. crosses to Paulista.. he shoots.. wide left.
9 minute mark: Mansare with a nifty pass into the box for Benayoun.. he shoots.. the keeper saves it.
Halftime: 1-0 lead. They have over 5,000 fans at their stadium.
75 minute mark: Gerken has made quite a few good saves in the last 5 minutes as the backup defense is giving up some good shots.
Game over. 1-0 win for us.
We outshot them 17-5 (7-3 on target)
Their keeper won MoM. Gerken played really well this match. Mansare looked good this match too.
July 18, 2010 -
Today we play Vojvodina in a friendly match. Again, I will be starting the same lineup.
1st minute: Paddy with a great save.
7 minute mark: Mansare with a good dribble down the left sideline.. his cross is blocked by the defender.
30 minute mark: Mansare crosses to Benayoun in the box.. he heads it.. the keeper saves it.
Halftime: A very blah first half. 0-0 tie.
I bring in the second team.
50 minute mark: Melara passes down the right sideline.. Paulo gets it.. dribbles between two defenders.. hard shot.. the keeper blocks it.
Game over. Everyone played ok, but no one really excelled.
We outshot them 8-7 (3-1 on target)
Their keeper won MoM.
July 21, 2010 -
Liverpool has spent 33 million dollars to get Gael Clichy, a 24 year old left fullback, from Arsenal. I wonder who Arsenal is going to spend that money on.
Alright, I'd be willing to part with Clichy for a nice 33 large. I can forgive that type of sale. :D
Did you get your financial reward from the Championship title?
Will you include a brief preview (maybe break-down in categerios, "Elite (teams fighting for the title), 'Solid", "Avoiding Regelation") of the EPL?
Wow, the United finished 5th last year? Are they slidding (like Liverpool is in real-life), or just had an off-year? See Newcastle has come back strong after just nearly avoiding regulation the last few years. Also, is Southampton for real?
Bumping to show the active thread.
I'm almost 100% certain that I didn't get the reward for winning the Championship. My total prize money last season was under 500,000 dollars, and I think the Championship prize alone would be worth more than that. However, I know that my FA cup total was all that was included. So, I'm wondering if anyone else is seeing this bug?
That being said, that 24.5 million for EPL TV rights was very nice :)
I'll definitely do a preview of the EPL. Of course, I'm not sure how accurate it will be :)
Clichy looks very good in 2010, but I still think Arsenal made out great on that transfer. Clichy was "valued" at 12 million dollars ;)
July 21, 2010 -
Today we have a friendly at Obilic, another team from Serbia & Mont.
We are using our same starting lineup and I'll probably play them for 60 minutes today.
13 minute mark: Mansare passes a through ball for Begeorgi.. he fakes out a defender.. fakes out the keeper.. only another defender between him and the goal.. the defender tackles him and clears the ball.
18 minute mark: Osorio is called for tripping a player.. Mansare is mad at the ref.. he argues.. gets in the ref's face.. yellow card.. Mansare continues to argue.. he is lucky to only have a warning.
25 minute mark: Begeorgi just had one of the most amazing dribbles I've ever seen.. he received the ball deep in our end after Jarzebowski headed it to him. He faked out at least 5 defenders (some of them twice) as he dribbled it all the way down the pitch before passing to Benayoun in the box.. Benayoun shoots.. over the bar.
40 minute mark: Mansare with a nasty dribble down the left sideline that fakes out two defenders.. then he cuts inside the box.. strong dribble.. crosses to Paulista by the far post.. he heads it... into the crossbar!
Halftime: 0-0 tie.
49 minute mark: Mansare dribbles up the left sideline.. passes to Benayoun in the box.. hard shot.. lower left corner.. the keeper dives.. saves it with a clean catch.
50 minute mark: Begeorgi gets a pass from Rolfes just outside the box.. passes between two defenders to the center of the box.. Paulista gets to it.. shoots.. GO.. offside call on Paulista.
61 minute mark: Second team is subbed in.
91 minute mark: Spiller passes to Paulo just outside the box.. fakes out a defender.. shoots.. wide left.
Game over. 0-0 tie.
Begeorgi looked very impressive this game.
July 24, 2010 -
Arsenal is reportedly trying to buy Newcastle's Daniel Jensen, an attacking midfielder. It will reportedly cost in the region of 14 million to pry him away from Newcastle.
A list of Wigan matches picked for Television were released today:
Sun Aug. 29, 2010 - Fulham v Wigan.
Monday Sep 13, 2010 - Wigan v Sunderland
Sunday Sep 26, 2010 - Wigan v Manchester Utd.
Sunday Nov. 21, 2010 - Wigan v Newcastle.
Monday Dec. 6, 2010 - Wigan v Man City
Sun Dec 12, 2010 - Bolton v Wigan.
This makes me wonder, when is Manchester United going to make a decision about a manager? Will I be managing against my old team on national TV?
July 25, 2010 -
Today we travel to play Harrogate Town in our final friendly before the EPL seasons starts!
I'm moving Stewart out of the starting lineup and putting Spiller in. Otherwise I'm leaving my starting lineup in to play 60 minutes (since we have over 2 weeks til the season starts.)
Harrogate is now playing an interesting 3-4-3. In this game they have the following lineup:
GK: Richard O'Connor
DC: Joe Barnett
DC: Trent McClenahan
DC: Craig Morgan
ML: Andrew Wright
MC: Sammy Moore
MC: Steven Brogan, a good young Scotish player
MR: Stephen Cooke
FL: Andy Farrell
FC: Jermaine Palmer
FR: Jamie clarke
It is gratifying to see so many of my acquisitions are still with the club.
5 minute mark: Teale passes into the box to Begeorgi.. he shoots.. upper right corner.. nice save by O'Connor.
14 minute mark: Paulista crosses to Benayoun who hits it on the half volley.. O'Connor dives.. blocks the shot.
22 minute mark: Morgan with a good defensive play against Begeorgi.
25 minute mark: Benayoun passes to Teale who dribbles down the pitch.. into the box.. shoots.. wide left by inches.
28 minute mark: Benayoun passes it to Paulista just outside the box.. he shoots.. hard curving shot.. nice save by O'Connor.
40 minute mark: Teale passes to Mansare just outside the box.. good shot.. O'Connor punches it over the bar.
44 minute mark: Mansare with a great dribble down the left sideline.. crosses to Paulista in the box.. he heads it.. into the crossbar.
Halftime: 0-0 tie. Harrogate has a full house with 3795 fans here today.
50 minute mark: Mansare burns two defenders.. dribbles in towards the box.. then crosses for Benayoun in the box.. he heads it.. upper left corner.. GOAL!! 1-0.
65 minute mark: Morgan passes long to Jermain Palmer.. he burns my defenders.. into the box.. shoots.. Paddy with the save.
I sub in the second team a bit later than planned.
71 minute mark: Lunt is tackled hard by Cooke.. Lunt is hurt. I have to put Hudell on for him.
Game over. 1-0 win.
Benayoun looked particularly good today.
We outshot them 21-4 (9-1 on target)
Richard O'Connor had a 9 for form and won MoM.
July 28, 2010 -
CRAP! Manchester United just sold Brazilian striker Porcellis to Middlesbrough for 4.8 million and they are looking at selling a few other players too. I liked the look of Porcellis and if they are going to bring me in, I want to decide who goes and who stays.
maybe you should apply for the job?
July 29, 2010 -
My assistant has reminded me that the following players have contracts expiring within the next 12 months:
I definitely would like to resign Gerken, Kelly, Osorio.
I'll be on the fence about Paz. It depends upon his demands. I'm unlikely to resign Ambourouet.
I contact Gerken first: He is requesting 3,800/week for the next 3 years. He is currently paid 3,800/week. He is a good 2nd or 3rd keeper, and I agree to his request.
Greg Kelly - He is currently making 3,200/week. He wants 8,200/week for 3 years. My AM feels that he is a good rotation player and that we should keep our offer under 9,000/week. I decide to offer him the 8,200/week that he is asking for.
Georges Ambourouet is currently making 15,500/week. His agent has told me that he isn't interested in re-signing with us, since he isn't getting any PT. He is already transfer listed by request. I'll continue to hope that someone makes a bid on him.
Abraham Paz is currently making 6,800/week. He wants 19,000/week. That is much more than I'm willing to pay for this guy who is essentially a backup. I pass on making an offer.
Ricardo Osorio is currently making 29,500/week. He wants 44,000/week to sign a 2 year extension! My AM doesn't believe I should pay more than 35,500/week and I agree with him. This guy is getting older and he might start slipping soon. I offer him a 2 year deal at 35,500/week.
I've strongly considered that. I've never applied for a job in any version. They have always come to me. My fear is that if I apply and don't get it, Wigan will be upset with me. However, I'm considering breaking my general practice by applying for this job.
July 31, 2010 -
Greg Kelly has signed a new deal with Wigan.
Gerken signed the new deal.
Ricardo Osorio rejected my offer, but is willing to negotiate. I decide to offer him 38,000/week. That will be my final offer.
Aug 2, 2010 -
Lazio have signed Christian Daniel Ledesma from Newcastle for 32 million dollars!
Southampton signed Giovanni van Bronckhorst from Barcelona on a free transfer.
Wigan's Ricardo Osorio has put pen to paper on a new 2 year deal.
August 2, 2010 (Later that night) -
WOW! It has happened. Manchester United chairman David Gill has just contacted me because he believes "I will be the ideal person to replace ex-manager Ruud Gullit." I wonder if I was really their first choice? Why did it take them so long to offer me a job?
In any case, Gill indicates that the board would give me a transfer budget in the region of 94 million dollars to fund the purchase of new players!
The current wage bill is about 1.7 million dollars/week and the board indicates that I will be able to increase the wage budget some!
I feel bad leaving Wigan, but I knew they were a stepping stone going into this job. I will take the Manchester United job. I don't plan on ever voluntarily leaving this job.
mazel tov :)
I have never had the time and energy to play a LLM game long enough to get hired by one of the big boys... I typically start with Spurs and try to get them to the Champions League Title...
August 4, 2010 -
I woke to this newspaper article as I made it official last night:
"Wigan Athletic Boss Christopher Engles has decided to end his reign at JJB Stadium by resigning from his position as manager.
As yet the media seem unwilling to speculate as to who will replace Engles at JJB Stadium."
There was also this article:
"Managerial legend Christopher Engles has today been named as the man to succeed Ruud Gullit at Manchester United. The highly-respected manager, who turns thirty-six next birthday, replaces Ruud Gullit in the hot seat at Old Trafford.
with the club harbouring expectations of winning the Premier Division this season, the pressure will be on Engles to use his welath of managerial experience to build a title-winning side.
Wigan will now be looking for a new manager."
I'm a managerial legend? When did I become that? Cool :)
I also had a personal meeting with David Gill. He welcomed me to Old Trafford. He assured me that I can rely on the full backing of the club's board and that we will be expected to win the EPL this season. He reiterated that I will have the extravagent transfer budget of 94 million dollars to spend on players.
I also woke to find the announcement of the official odds for the EPL title. Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool are all 7-4 co-favourites to win the EPL title this year. The rest of the main contenders are Manchester United at 2-1, Aston Villa at 20-1, and Southampton at 33-1.
I can't help but wonder what Wigan's odds are.
Also, there was a reporter from the Daily Star knocking on my door this morning. He wants a brief interview. I know that getting along with the media will be an important part of my job as manager. Still I need to get a new place to live. However, I decide to grant this interview. His main question is: The bookies are tipping you to win the title this season. Do you think you will win the title? I respond, "We have a chance of winning the title, but the players must stay focused and give their best every match."
Thanks guys :)
weehee!!!! Congrats!!! :)
The first thing I decide to do is look at the finances.
The club lost 7 million dollars last season. Despite that, they still have 167 million dollars in the bank.
As promised, I have a transfer budget of 94 million dollars.
The current wage budget is 1.6 million. The board is allowing me to have a wage budget of up to 3.2 million dollars/week!
We can expect money from quite a few big name transfer items when they get sold again:
We will get 30% of Cristiano Ronaldo's next sale (I really wish the club hadn't moved him.)
We will get 40% of Lee Lawrence's next sale.
We will get 40% of Giuseppe Rossi's next sale.
We will get 30% of Charlie Wilson's next sale.
We will get 40% of Phillip Bardsley's next sale.
We will get 30% of Michael Armstrong's next sale.
The club recently sold Hatem Ben Arfa for 16.5 million dollars to Club Atletico de Madrid, Hatem was/is a very talented 23 year old french midfielder, but he wasn't getting along with his teammates. As a result, the club sold him last week at significantly below his value which was 25 million dollars.
The club also recently sold a talented striker in Porcellis for 4.8 million. This kid lacked foot speed, but was otherwise a very good striker. In looking at his scouting file some more, I'm not as disappointed by his sale. He is too slow to be a great striker in my opinion.
The club does not have any current future transfers in scheduled. I need to look at the roster immediately, and decide where we need to fortify. I also need to get to know my staff and look at who we need to bring in, if anyone.
I will take Arsenal down ;)
Thanks and thanks FrogMan :)
Bah, Humbug :)
Grats and all, but.. Bah.. :D
A Look at the Staff:
Hmm this is interesting. I'm positive that the Debug Mode worked at the start of this career and I could see Bill Fotherby's ratings, but I can't see Gill or anyone else's ratings at Manchester United. I didn't really want to see anything other than how old they are, but that is interesting.
Wow! I just looked at my new contract. I go from making 7,000 dollars/week at Wigan to 47,000 dollars/week here! I definitely have to buy a new house.
My new assistant manager is Carlos Queiroz. He has been an assistant manager here for several years, and I wonder if he is upset that I leaped into this job and he didn't get it? Carlos is 57 years old, and he is known in the football world as a great assistant manager with excellent tactical abilities, great at coaching outfielders, excellent with youngsters, excellent at judging ability and potential of players. Basically, he has everything I look for in an AM and he is signed for 3 more years. I hope he serves out that contract. He could be a very valuable ally in deciding who to play and who to sit, particularly on my U18 team.
Dave Ryan is a long time coach with the club who is currently making 4,200/week. He is known as an excellent teacher who is particularly good at working with youngsters. He is best at working with outfield players. He is also quite good at judging player's ability.
John Cooke is a long term coach with the team who is currently making 3,800/week. He is known as an excellent teacher of outfield players who is also particularly good with youngsters. He will be a valuable asset. He is only 49 years old and I hope we can keep him for a long time. His contract expires after this season. I decide to offer him a raise to 4,200/week on a new 3 year deal.
Arthur Albiston is a 53 year old Scotish coach who is also an outfield coach that is superb at working with young players. He is also signed only through this year. He currently makes 6,400/week. I hope to renew his contract. He is asking for 6,400/week on a new deal. I offer him that on a new 4 year deal.
Tony Coton s a 49 year old coach who is a very good keeper coach. He isn't that good at working with youngsters. He is currently making 5,600/week. He is signed for 3 more years.
I plan on pursuing one more keeper coach who is among the best in the world if I can find one. I also plan on pursuing one more good outfield coach.
The club only has 2 physios!
Garry Armer is a 45 year old physio who is excellent at treating patients. He is currently signed for 2 years at 1,750/week.
Neil Hough is a long time Manchester Utd Physio who is currently making 4,800/week. He has a great reputation as an excellent physio.
I plan on hiring 2 more physios.
We currently have 4 scouts:
Derek Langley is a 50 year old long time scout. He is very good at judging current ability, and excellent at judging future potential. He currently makes 1,450/week.
David Bushell is a 51 year old long time scout. He is excellent at judging current ability, and even better at judging potential. He makes 2,000/week for the next 2 years. I hope we can keep him around for a long time.
Mick Brown is a 59 year old long time sout who is considered superb at judging current and future ability. He is signed for 3 years at 1,250/week.
Roy Keane is a former player who became a sout last year. He is very good at judging current ability and excellent at judging potential. He was one of my favorite Manchester players. He is signed for 2 years at 1,200/week. I look forward to working with him.
I don't think we need any more scouts at this moment, unless there is a top notch scout out there just looking for work.
August 4, 2010 -
In looking at excellent keeper coaches, there is one name that stands out. Brad Friedel has retired from playing and is viewed as having the potential to be an excellent keeper coach. However, he is not known as working well with youngsters. If he was at least a little better at this, I would probably hire him, but he is viewed as horrible at working with youngsters. I keep looking.
Fabien Barthez is a 39 year old keeper/coach who is well known to the Manchester faithful. He still has decent playing skills, and everyone agrees that he has the potential to be an excellent coach. After looking at our squad and seeing that Thomas Heaton is a good, but not excellent backup, I decide to approach Marseille about acquiring Barthez to be a player/coach. Marseille wants 340,000 dollars for Barthez. I decide to make that offer.
In looking for Outfield coaches, Paul Thompson is the only name that sticks out as a potentially good hire. He is a 31 year old coach from New Zealand who has a reputation as an excellent outfield coach. He only wants 700/week to come work here. I agree to that amount.
In regards to Physios, I decide to offer Paul Underwood the 550/week that he is looking for. He is regarded as a very good physio.
I also offer 550/week to Ivo Ulich.
Can't wait to see the squad
Wayne Rooney > everyone else
August 4, 2010 -
Time to look at the roster of the current top squad:
Tim Howard is a 31 year old Amerian keeper. He has excellent reflexes, great aerial ability, excellent ommand of the area, great communication. His handling, Kicking and One on one ability are all a little below par for this level of play. He has excellent mental and physical attributes. He is our clear #1 keeper at this point. Last year he had 24 clean sheet and 61 goals total conceded in 61 appearances.
Thomas Heaton is a 24 year old English Keeper who is currently the #2 keeper. He has above average aerial abilities. He has above average command of the keeper area. However, he is slightly below average in handling, one on ones, rushing out. He has terrible kicking and throwing ability. He has poor reflexes. He is valued at 2.6 million dollars. I won't transfer list him immediately, but I don't think he has what it takes to be a top notch EPL keeper. I will be looking to move him in the future.
Mikael Silvester is a 32 year old French player who has been with Manchester United for a long time. He can play the sweeper position, left fullback, or centreback. He is very fast and still has excellent physical abilities. He has good mental attributes. He is good at marking, tackling, and ok at heading. His positioning isn't as good or consistent as I would like.
Zdenek Grygera is a 30 year old Czech Republic player who was recently acquired by the club before I was hired as a Bosman signing. He can play sweeper, centerback or right back. He has very good all around skills. His positioning, composure, decision making ability, tackling, passing, and first touch ability are what really stand out as exceptional in this player, but he isn't weak at anything. He looks like he will be a good first team player.
Wes Brown is a 30 year old English player who is one of my favorites from following the club over the years. He is a fast right back/centerback who has superb physical abilities. He is a relentless tackler. He is good at marking and heading. He generally has excellent positioning. He has been used as a rotator in the past, but I'll likely give him a chance to start quite a bit.
Frederic Forunier is an 18 year old French left fullback who has potential but is very raw. I'll certainly move him to the reserve squad to get some experience.
OOC: Ahh, finally a patient shows up at the clinic. I'll continue the roster breakdown later.
This is an exciting time!
Do you think any wigan players have the potential to come to you?
Are you going to take the "big splash" approach to buying players, or "jigsaw puzzle" approach bringing a bunch of good or very good players in?
Thanks condors. I definitely agree that Rooney has impressed me in the World Cup matches I watched. I'll be looking forward to seeing him on a daily basis.
Thanks for the great look back Daedalus. I really think those humble beginnings make me appreciate what I have at Manchester United now.
FM, I'll be reading that post in just a minute :)
I definitely agree Barkeep. I had a meeting with my boss from 5-6 PM and it was a good meeting, but in the back of my mind I was trying to think of what I'm going to do with the squad. It was tricky, because I definitely had to pay attention to what he was saying too ;)
nfg, I think Begeorgi might have the potential, but I doubt it. I'm not considering any of the other players at least at this time. Wall is good, but I don't think he is EPL top tier good. I already have my favorite DC in mind that I plan on acquiring if we need a DC and he isn't too old (Lucio.)
RPI-Fan, thanks! I'm not sure yet. I'll have a better idea once I look at my squad. In the past, I've had to go with a jigsaw approach, and in CM 03/04, I went with the jigsaw approach in my Manchester Dynasty. I suspect that is the way I'll go. However, if once I'm done viewing the team I see that we have most of the pieces already in place, I'll go for one or two big splash players.
FM, I read that post and really did laugh hard (and posted a quick reply in your thread) :)
Continuing with the defenders:
Cristian Chivu is a 29 year old Romanian Legend who is an excellent left back/centerback. He does everything well. I think he will be a top notch defender for at least a few more years. His contract is over 110,000/week and he is valued at over 22 million dollars.
John O'Shea is a 29 year old left back/centerback who is very solid. He particularly excels at positioning. He has excellent physical attributes. He is currently making 41,000/week and is "worth" 10 million dollars.
Rio Ferdinand is a 31 year old centreback who is a top notch defender. He does everything correctly. He has superb heading ability, excellent marking, tackling, positioning. He is "worth" 15 million dollars and is making 140,000/week.
Finally, Phil Neville is a 33 year old right fullback/defensive midfielder. Time hasn't caught up with Neville yet and he is still someone who very good tackling, marking, positioning. His foot speed is starting to decrease slightly.
As a group, I think we are very strong along the defensive line. I still think Lucio might be a great addition if he isn't too expensive or too old (of course I know he will be expensive.)
just one warning with you being at Manchester United your first season is very important as it can be your last. If you make a large splash you may want to avoid a player who doesn't speak english. Usually its not an issue but if you spend 40 million on that wonderkid winger and he dosen't settle or is homesick and never performs. That can be devastating. I am not saying don't get any talent from overseas. Just if you make a huge record signing be very carefull. I am really enjoying your dynasty and would hate to see it end soon.
Use your wealth of mangerial experience to raise many trophies at the theatre of dreams!
Looking at the numbers, this might be my biggest area of concern.
Although we might not have the depth, we have great quality at the top.
Eric Djemba Djemba is a 29 year old Cameroon midfielder. He has excellent physical skills, great mental skills (except or flair which is low) and excellent dribbling, passing, first touch, long shots, tackling, and technique. He is currently valued at 11.5 million dollars. He is currently making 74,000/week.
Darren Fletcher is a 26 year old Scottish player who has been with Manchester for a while now. He doesn't have the best foot speed or strength, but he has absolutely superb mental attributes. He is a top notch technician who is a superb passer with great first touch. He has really developed in the last few years. He is making 47,000/week and he is valued at 30 million dollars!
Souleymane Mamam is a 25 year old attacking midfielder/right winger who is good, but not great. His best attributes are his high work rate and technique. He has a good first touch, good finishing ability, and good pace. He currently is valued at 6.2 million and is making 22,500/week. If I'm going to use an attacking midfielder, I think Benayoun might be better than this guy.
Christopher Eagles is a 24 year old English attacking midfielder/right winger. He is definitely better than Benayoun. This guy has superb crossing ability, great technique, great first touch, excellent mental attributes, and good physical attributes (but his pace is only average at best.) He is making 58,000/week and is valued at 10.5 million.
Damien Duff is a 31 year old Irish left winger who is very fast, has great acceleration, balance, agility and stamina. He has excellent mental attributes including outstanding creativity and flair. He has good dribbling and passing ability. He is not much of a shooter, but he could do a great job of setting his teammates up.
Jamie cook is an 18 year old attacking midfielder. He is already developing into an excellent player. He has great passing ability, great off the ball play, excellent crossing and passing ability. He is a superb penalty shooter. He doesn't jump well though and he lacks good natural fitness. I'll be cautious with this talented 18 year old to try to foster his development. He is already valued at 13 million dollars and he is making 4,200/week.
I see the usefulness of acquiring one great player in the midfield, perhaps for the right wing? I'll think about this more.
Agreed. I made this mistake in CM 03/04 and it almost cost me my job in the first season.
I'll definitely be looking for English speakers only. I couldn't afford to be that selective with Wigan, but I can afford to be much more focused here.
Thanks for visiting/posting. I had a good laugh too when it happened :)
Finally we wind up with forward/striker.
I think this position has top notch quality and depth.
Alan Smith is a 29 year old right forward/centre forward who has excellent physical attributes with extremely good acceleration and balance. His pace is very good. He has top notch mental attributes acrosss the board and has absolutely superb anticipation and he is very aggressive. His finishing skill is just good, but he has excellent first touch. He has very good heading skill, good passing, and good technique. His creativity and flair are both very good. He is currently valued at 25 million dollars and he is making 83,000/week.
Akin Serhat is a 29 year old right forward/centre forward from Turkey who lacks the top notch foot speed that I would like. However, all of his other physical attributes are good. He has excellent physical attributes, except for his teamwork which is poor. He also shows poor concentration according to my AM. He is a very good finisher, who has fair first touch. He is an excellent passer. He is currently valued at 20 million dollars and he makes 93,000/week. I think that he might be a good transfer candidate.
James McFadden is a 27 year old Scottish player who plays left forward and centre forward. He has very good physical attributes. He has very good mental attributes accorss the board. He has excellent dribbling, first touch, passing, and technique. He has excellent creativity and flair. His finishing is just average. He is left footed which is important in the offense I plan on using, and he could be my first or second string striker on the left side of the box. He currently makes 45,000/week and he is valued at 14 million dollars.
Wayne Rooney is a 24 year old(!) striker who already has 73 caps and 31 goals for England. He can use either foot and he plays centre forward. He has across the board excellent physical attributes. He has top notch creativity and flair. He has excellent mental attributes. He has top notch first touch, dribbling, passing, technique, long shots, and good finishing. He is currently valued at 74 million dollars! He is making 160,000/week. He is clearly a first string starter. He is the only unhappy player right now as he feels he isn't completely fit and ready for football.
Ernesto Marino is a 24 year old Italian Striker who is currently on loan at Millwall. Marino is a good striker who has decent pace, above average physical attributes. He has good mental attributes except or his work rate which is low. He has good dribbling ability, average finishing, average first touch, good heading and passing. I don't see him as being a regular contributor, but he could play in a pinch.
Ruud van Nistelrooy is a 34 year old Dutch legend who has very good physical attributes even at his advanced age. He has excellent mental attributes. He has good penalty taking skill, excellent finishing, and good first touch. His heading ability appears to have deteriorated. He used to be a star, but he is still a good rotation player. He is in the last year of a contract that pays him 190,000/week. He is valued at 2.2 million dollars. There is talk that he might retire after the season.
Louis Saha is a 31 year old French striker who used to be a mainstay starter. He has excellent physical attributes including outstanding pace. He has above average mental attributes particularly strong flair in his play. His dribbling and finishing are average at best. His first touch ability is good. His penalty taking is excellent. He is currently making 100,000/week. He is valued at 4.2 million dollars.
Right now, I think McFadden, Rooney, and Smith are the top 3 strikers with Saha and Ruud van Nistelrooy also getting a good share of PT.
I'm just going to hit the high points on our reserve squad (of which there are quite a few.):
Alfonso is a 19 year spanish left winger who has very good physical attributes, good mental attributes (but poor flair), very good passing. He has good heading, long shots, and dribbling. If he continues to develop, he could be a regular contributor in 2 years. He could play in a pinch now.
Jimmy Murphy is an 17 year old centreback who is already showing flairs of potential. He has average passing, marking, heading, determination, and bravery. If he develops, he might be a regular contributor down the road.
Also looking for standouts on the U18 squad:
Lee Rose is a 16 year old keeper who is already developing nicely. He'll be one to keep an eye on.
Mark Watson is a 15 year old midfielder who shows promise.
That is the entire squad.
It is going to be a tough decision on where to bolster the squad.
Aug 4, 2010 -
Considering who I should pursue, I check out a few possibilities:
Cristiano Ronaldo - My scouts feel this 25 year striker/midfielder has truly blossomed. He is a superb dribbler who has great technique, good creativity, top notch flait, top notch agility and balance. He has excellent skills except for his teamwork which isn't so good. He is currently valued at 68 million dollars. I wish they had never sold him, but I don't see myself reacquiring him at this time.
Joaquin is a possibility - His age is a little concerning, 29, but he is still a world class right winger. He has excellent speed, great acceleration, top notch dribbling, great crossing, and passing, great frist touch, mostly top notch mental attributes. He has superb flair and creativity. He is a very tempting choice. He is currently with Real Madrid and he is valued at 34.5 million dollars. He speaks fluent English as well as Spanish.
Bastian Schweinsteiger is a 26 year old German player who has good pace, excellent physical abilities. He has very good mental attributes accorss the board. He is a very good passer, an excellent dribbler, and good crossing. He is currently starting for Milan.
Andres D'Alessandro - IF I go to a 3-5-2 like I was running at Wigan, I would definitely want this 29 year attacking midfielder. He is a top notch finisher who has excellent dribbling, flair, creativity, technique, and pace. He has top notch physical skills. However, if I keep running a 4-4-2 (which I'm considering) I wouldn't really be taking advantage of D'Alessandro's abilities.
Landon Donovan - 28 year old USA player whose versatility intrigues me. He has excellent physical abilities. He has great creativity and flair. He has excellent mental attributes. He has very good dribbling, finishing, first touch. He is an excellent passer. He can play and forward position or either wing. He can use either foot well. He is valued at 30 million and is playing for Milan currently (as are quite a few of these possibilities.)
Freddy Adu - Only 21 years old and already a very good player. He has good pace, excellent balance and stamina. Very good mental attributes. Excellent technique, passing, first touch, dribbling, and finishing. He is currently with Barcelona and he is worth 27.5 million currently.
Phillip Lahm - A 26 year old right winger who can also play right fullback, left fullback or left wing. He has excellent pace, physical attributes, mental attributes, and good passing ability. He has superb crossing ability. He is currently with Inter and he is valued at 23 million dollars.
Jermaine Jenas - This 27 year old right winger/attacking midfielder is a skilled player who has good physical attributes, very good mental attributes, excellent passing, good crossing, and excellent heading.
These are my top few choices at the moment. I need to decide if I'm going to run a 3-5-2 here. If I am, I will likely go after D'Allesandro. If I don't, I am leaning towards Adu particularly as I see him still having room to grow in talent since he is only 21.
Aug 4, 2010 -
I really do need to make a decision about our tactics. They are currently running an attacking 4-4-2 with both wings pushing up some. I like the formation for the current players. I don't think I would need to acquire too many players and it would be just a matter of slotting in one or two new guys. Even though, I usually like to bring my own tactic to a club, it seems that the 4-4-2 would likely be best here.
I anticipate a starting lineup as follows for the top team:
GK: Howard (if he doesn't do well early, I will be looking to acquire a better keeper.)
DL: Silvestre or John O'Shea
DC: Cristian Chivu
DC: Rio Ferdinand
DR: tossup between Zdenek Grygera and Wes Brown
ML: Damien Duff
MC: Eric Djemba Djemba
MC: Darren Fletcher
MR: Christopher Eagles (although I'd like to get an even better right winger and let Eagles play in the middle some. You think I would give him more of a chance to be a star with his name being so similar to mine.)
FC: James McFadden or Alan Smith
FC: Wayne Rooney
Again, I think midfield would be the only significant area to add depth on this team.
I ask my Mr. Quieroz what he thinks we need to improve on. He believes that we need to improve the depth in the midfield and among the attackers. He believes Ruud van Nistelrooy is too old to be an effective striker any longer. He thinks Jamie Cook is a weak midfielder. He also thinks Jamie Cook has the best chance to become a star in our midfield. I agree with both of his assessments.
So, after careful consideration, I'm going to try to keep the 4-4-2. I'm going to pursue someone who can play right wing at a very high level. I'm also going to pursue a young left fullback at some point to develop behind O'Shea and Silvestre.
Giving this some more consideration:
I'll need a left winger in the next season or so as Duff is starting to decline. Christopher Eagles looks good at right wing on the tape, but not great. I'd like to get someone who could play either wing if possible. If I don't, I'll get a right winger this year and a left winger next year. I've also takena look at Lucio. He is 32, but he is still a top notch defender. He is currently valued at 15 million. That would be kind of pricey for a 32 year old defender. As much as I want to manage him, I'll have to pass as Milan isn't willing to let him go for less. Despite this, I decide to make them an offer of 15 million to see if they will let him go for this price.
Now, I need to figure out who is going to be my big ticket item. I'm not going to offer more than 15 million for Lucio.
Looking at my previous list:
Cristiano Ronaldo - I'd really like to have him back on the club. 67 million is so expensive. If I could get him a bit cheaper, I'd really like to reacquire him. Of course, with the next sale clause I will get back 30% of my purchase price. The fact that he can play either wing is a big plus. Also, he is only 25 and would have several more years of quality play. The biggest drawback is the reputation that he lacks team work at times.
Joaquin - His speed is so tempting. He might be the fastest guy I'm considering. He doesn't have any significant weaknesses except his relative lack of natural fitness. He is 29 so this in combination with his poor fitness might make him suspectible to injury. Otherwise, he might be a top choice.
Schweinsteiger - No weaknesses, but isn't truly the best at anything. However, he is really very good at everything. Milan considers him an irreplaceable player and are unlikely to let him go for any reasonable price.
D'Allesandro - He doesn't fit my needs since I will continue to run the 4-4-2.
Donovan - Superb speed and acceleration. He might be the quickest guy I'm considering. His relative lack of crossing is a downer. He does everything else good. Also a poor tackler.
Adu - Not great at crossing the ball either. More of a central midfielder or striker. I'd love to acquire him at some point because I think he has the potential to keep getting better since he is only 21. I think he could be a great investment. He'd also be an ideal central midfielder/striker. I might pursue him if I have a decent amount of money left over after my first acquisition (I don't want to use all 93 million this year.)
Lahm - This 26 year old is so good at crossing. Has everything I'm looking for. Inter is quite attached to him. He can play both wings. If I can convince Inter to let him go, this might be my top choice. My biggest concern is that fullback is his favored position.
Jenas - Not a superb crosser like I want.
I also will add Shaun Wright-Phillips to my list of possibilities. He is playing very well for Germany and he has very good crossing, dribbling, physical skills, etc.
So, trying to narrow it down to a top 3...
1. Lahm - I'm worried that Inter won't let him go for a reasonable price. I'm even more worried that he will be upset he isn't playing fullback, but he has great skills.
2. Joaquin - Close to #1. His natural fitness worries me. He could be a very expensive bust if I sign him to a big deal and he gets hurt.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo - If his teamwork was better, and he wasn't so expensive he would be my top choice.
I bite the bullet and make a 23 million dollar offer to Inter for Philipp Lahm.
I'll wait to see what happens with this offer and the offer for Lucio before I make any further offers.
August 5, 2010 -
Gimnastic has made an offer of 400,000 dollars for Santi. Santi is a 19 year old keeper in my youth system that I forgot to mention. the previous administration put him on the transfer list and made his asking price 400,000. I'm not sure why they did that. At 19, he looks like he has the makings of a potentially good keeper. He is valued at 1.8 million. I hate to change asking price at the last minute as I think it is unprofessional, but I just took over. I raise my counter offer to 1.2 million. If they want to pay that, I'll let him go.
Darn it! Inter wants to buy away a few of my best players. I'm glad Manchester United hired me before they sold these guys. Specifically, Inter is offering 19 million for Cristian Chivu. I rejected the offer.
Also Inter has made an offer of 110 million dollars for Wayne Rooney!!! They are offering 20 million up front, 62 million over 2 years, 28 million after 50 league games, and 30% of next sale. I reject that offer as well.
James McFadden has publicly complained that he wants a better contract. I wish he had come to me privately, but I must admit that he is worth more than the 45,000/week he is currently paid. I contact his agent to see how much they want. His agent is requesting a deal worth 73,000/week for 3 years with a signing bonus of 1.4 million. Mr. Quieroz thinks that McFadden is a useful first team member. He thinks we should offer up to 67,000/week as well as the requested signing bonus. I decide to split the difference and offer him 70,000/week, but I make it for 4 years instead of 3.
Aug 7, 2010 -
Alan Smith injured his neck in training today. He will miss 2 weeks approximately (including our season opener.)
Ivo Ulich has agreed to come work for us as a physio.
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