I used to play Championship Manager/ Football Manager a lot back in the days in the 90’s and early 2000, but then stopped for a lack of time. Back then, I usually managed lower league teams as well as all-time favourite Liverpool to the top. A couple of weeks ago, I wanted to try my hands at management again in FM12. So, I bought it off steam and decided to start by managing an nPower League 2 team. My choice went to Crewe Alexandra because Anfield hero Danny Murphy came from Crewe!
This story is at first going to be quite different since I did not pay attention that there was a manager story section. Also, since my early years on Championship Manager, it was always a joy to relate among friends playing the game like me what we did the previous night on CM! And so, this story will start on my third season with Crewe Alexandra with a summary of the two previous seasons and then follow the third season as it goes along with regular updates hopefully.
I used League England on large database with players from European top division clubs and South American top clubs.
On appointment as a Mauritian Head Coach in place of the Crewe Alexandra legend Dario Gradi, I realized my task was not going to be easy. Unlike some other clubs in the division, here I was with no money available for transfers. So I would have to rely on getting players in for free or on loan and my initial analysis of the squad at my disposal revealed shortage of players in several positions. My first match against the reserve side confirmed this. Only a 1-0 victory.
Defense was short; I had only 3 senior central defenders and no backup on the left. Midfield was ok but required reinforcement for the long season ahead as well as up front, where I felt I had only one recognized striker, Shaun Miller. Also, apart from one or two players, this was a very young squad.
I had to act quickly and get people in! That’s where the FM Scout best free agents came in handy. However, many of them were not interested in coming to Crewe (with an unknown Mauritian Head Coach at the helm)/had too high wage demands for my limited wage budget or others like Souhaieb El Amari, who impressed me in midfield, could not get a work permit after trial.
My first transfer was to sign Quinton Fortune at the age of 34. I was hoping his versatility on the left side and midfield to be an asset for my young team short of experienced players.
My second free transfer was to get an unknown Italian forward, Daniele Conti, aged 22, to Crewe. Though wanted by some lower league Italian team, I managed to get him and I’m lucky I did since he is today my Captain!
My third transfer was to get a midfield player and when the Al Amari transfer collapsed, I brought in Ali Benomar on trial and signed him afterwards as I felt he had a good mixture of passing and technical ability that was a bit better than actual players at the club.
Zeki Fryers came in at left back on a season loan from Man U and did very well.
Aaron Martin came into central defence on a season loan from Southampton and did very well.
Matt Doherty came in January on a three months loan at right back and had a great impact at right back. Unfortunately, I could not extend his loan. Ntambwe came in for 3 months as well in January but only as backup.
On the tactics side, I opted to train my players on 3 tactics, the trusted 4-4-2, a defensive 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1, though I mostly used 4-4-2 at home and 4-3-3 away.
I decided to keep the actual captain, Lee Bell, and vice-captain so as not to disrupt harmony in my first season in charge.
Since my players were mostly young, 18-21, I opted to play at a less than normal tempo since their stamina are still quite low. Passing style was direct. At home with 4-4-2, I started with an attacking strategy whereas away with 4-3-3 and depending on the opposition, I started with a control or counter strategy.
This post was edited by Webslinger (2012-03-03 08:13, 2 years ago)