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Relegation battle turned into title challenge

By Updated on May 12, 2008   5392 views   6 comments
Giving a go at Newcastle on an online game with a friend a couple of weeks ago, it was very weird for me having so much money for transfers (77M if you choose title challenge + more from adjusting budget). Having too many choices has a negative effect on me. I even bought Aguero for 50M, and this actually ruined 2-3 other good transfers I wanted to make.

So, we quit that game, and I begin one alone in Premiership again. This time I select a team that media expect to fight for relegation. I pick Derby County. Media prediction is to finish the season at 19th place. President is giving me 9,5M (in euro) for transfers and I go for the "stay clear of relegation" choice, which makes that 13M.

My team sucks of course, but I got a couple of decent players. Giles Barnes is one of them, and I'm holding on to him forever. Board will let use 75% of money from players I sell. So, I'm trying to sell all crap I got to raise my budget. First thing I do is release on a free all youngsters I consider to have no future.

While dealing with the transfers I let my assistant to play the first friendly matches for me. Here are the results:
5-0 MK Dons (Away)
2-1 West Brom (Home)
4-0 Burton (Away)
0-0 Crewe (Away)
5-0 Coventry (Away)
1-1 Coleraine (Away)

Then, the Premier League begins in the middle of August. Before transfer window ends, I play 4 matches, without the assistant this time.
0-0 Everton (Away)
1-3 Tottenham (Away)
0-0 Man Utd (Home)
2-1 Tranmere (Away, League Cup 2nd Rnd)

Transfer window ends, and here is what I manage to buy and sell:
In
Loan - Benoit Costil > Stade Malherbe de Caen
2,1M - Leandro Gioda > Independiente
Loan - Wendell > Goias
2,4M - Matt Hill > Preston
2,6M - Per Cijan Skjelbred > Rosenborg
4,2M - Abubakari Yakubu > Vitesse
75K - Rocco Quinn > Celtic (sold him immediately)
150K - Gabriel Raimondi > Pisa (sold him immediately)
4,3M - Manuel Iturra > Universidad de Chile
Loan - Benedikt Howedes > Schalke
Loan - Miso Brecko > HSV
80K - Antonio Rosati > Lecce
160K - Jamie Adams > Kilmarnock
1,8M - Denis Kovba > Krylja Sovetov
325K - Jean-Joel Perrier-Doumbe > Celtic
2,3M - Vladimir Koryt'ko > Chornomorets
2,2M - Kikin Fonseca > Tigres
9,5M - Andrey Arshavin > Zenit Peterburg
Free - Seyfo Soley
Out
140K - Mitchell Hanson > Swansea
1,1M - Craig Fagan > Preston
600K - Miles Addison > Swansea
1K - Ben Hinchliffe > Blackpool
2M - James McEveley > Hull
95K - Jason Beardsley > Hull
6M - Emanuel Villa > West Brom
350K - Darren Moore > Crystal Palace
1K - Marc Edworthy > Southend
1,7M - Benny Feilhaber > Burnley
1,5M - Rocco Quinn > Scunthorpe
2M - Gabriel Raimondi > Q.P.R.
4M - David Jones > Q.P.R.

I snatched a couple more free ones during November, with the intention to re-sell them...
Free - Chris Wijnterp
Free - Max Lohy
Free - Gyorgy Korsos

So, it begins. My next games are against Man City and Arsenal. I get a draw with City and I beat Arsenal... those results get me thinking I can achieve something more than just staying clear of relegation. Until then, I didn't cheat at all, but after I had this thought, I cheated a little. When I say cheated, I mean I re-played some games and that's all there is to it.

Results until January:
1-1 Man City (Away)
2-1 Arsenal (Home)
3-1 Birmingham (Home)
0-1 Aston Villa (Away)
3-1 Southampton (Home, Leage Cup 3rd Rnd)
1-0 Chelsea (Home)
2-0 Wigan (Away)
1-0 Fulham (Away)
1-0 Bolton (Home)
1-0 Liverpool (Away, League Cup 4th Rnd)
1-0 Reading (Home)
2-0 Blackburn (Away)
2-0 West Ham (Home)
1-0 Middlesbrough (Away)
2-1 Arsenal (Home, League Cup Qtr Final)
1-0 Sunderland (Home)
2-2 Newcastle (Away)
1-0 Portsmouth (Home)
0-0 Liverpool (Home)
1-0 Everton (Home)

And we reach January transfer window. This is what I buy and sell:
In
Loan - Justin Hoyte > Arsenal
425K - Yuval Shpungin > M. Tel-Aviv (sold him immediately)
45K - Calin Cristea > Unirea
1,4M - Aquino > Murcia
Loan - Claudio Pizarro > Chelsea
375K - Toni Wachsmuth > Cottbus
180K - Cristian Sarghi > Otelul (sold him immediately)
Out
2,2M - Dead Leacock > Ipswich
2M - Gary Teale > Sheff Utd
250K - Roy Carroll > Wigan
150K - Max Lohy > Southend
4M - Yuval Shpungin > Stade Rennais FC
30K - Chris Wijnterp > Wrexham
30K - Gyorgy Korsos > Tranmere
300K - Andy Todd > Preston
500K - Matt Richards > Barnsley
4,1M - Cristian Sarghi > CSKA (Sofia)

OK, apart from signing Arshavin during the summer transfer window that ruined my budget, while I could have snatched 2-3 good players instead, I think I handled the signings fine. But I still couldn't get rid of some players, and they are Claude Davis, Alan Stubbs, Soley Seyfo, Tyrone Mears, Robbie Savage, Mile Sterjovski, Eddie Lewis, Stephen Pearson, Robert Earnshaw and Kenny Miller.
Well, to be honest I used some of them during the year because I had injuries of major players, but not much. I only used Tyrone Mears, Robbie Savage, Mile Sterjovski, Robert Earnshaw and Kenny Miller in 10 games maybe all in all. Still, I can't find a bloody team to sell them to lol.

January transfers ended, I managed to get 2 very useful players for the next of the season. Justin Hoyte and Claudio Pizarro. If I was a little more careful I could have signed Pizarro for 800K, but after my bid for 700K, Chelsea started to want more and more. Both players helped a lot actually. Pizarro scored 12 times in 10 games, some very important goals that won me difficult games and Hoyte was used almost as first team player for the right wing of defense, being very consistent. Fair play to the lads.

So, we continue with the rest of the results, until the end of the season:
0-0 Arsenal (Away)
1-1 West Ham (Away, FA Cup 3rd Rnd)
2-0 Wigan (Home, League Cup Semi Final Leg 1)
1-1 Tottenham (Home)
2-0 West Ham (Home, FA Cup 3rd Rnd, Rep)
1-1 Man Utd (Away)
2-1 Wigan (Away, League Cup Semi Final Leg 2)
2-0 Sheff Utd (Home, FA Cup 4th Rnd)
4-1 Birmingham (Away)
2-1 Man City Home)
4-1 Aston Villa (Home)
1-0 Bolton (FA Cup 5th Rnd)
3-2 Man City (Neutral, League Cup Final)

First trophy of the season is mine!!! OK, moving on now :p

2-2 Chelsea (Away)
1-0 Fulham (Home)
0-0 Watford (Away, FA Cup 6th Rnd)
1-0 Wigan (Home)
1-0 Watford (Home, FA Cup 6th Rnd, Rep)
5-2 Reading (Away)
1-0 Blackburn (Home)
1-0 Bolton (Away)
3-0 Arsenal (Neutral, FA Cup Semi Final)
2-0 West Ham (Away)
3-1 Middlesbrough (Home)
2-0 Sunderland (Away)
3-1 Newcastle (Home)
2-1 Portsmouth (Away)

That's it! I'm champion!! I did the double! :yes Final standings below. But there are 2 more matches to be played.

4-4 Liverpool (Away)
1-0 Liverpool (Neutral, FA Cup Final)

I couldn't have reached so far and not take the last trophy of the season hehe. Tremble for Derby!!!

Here are the final standings, I will include top 6 teams only.
Derby -- 88 pts [won:26 - drn:10 - lst:2 - for:62 - ag:25 - g.d.:+37]
Chelsea -- 85 pts [won:25 - drn:10 - lst:3 - for:77 - ag:25 - g.d.:+52]
Man Utd -- 83 pts [won:25 - drn:8 - lst:5 - for:81 - ag:25 - g.d.:+56]
Liverpool -- 80 pts [won:22 - drn:14 - lst:2 - for:75 - ag:33 - g.d.:+42]
Arsenal -- 66 pts [won:19 - drn:9 - lst:10 - for:58 - ag:30 - g.d.:+28]
Newcastle -- 62 pts [won:18 - drn:8 - lst:12 - for:67 - ag:55 - g.d.:+12]

To sum up the season regarding my players:
Kikin Fonseca did very well with 25 goals, 8 assists and 12 times MoM in 44 games with average rating of 7.34.
Andrey Arshavin did also very good with 14 goals, 11 assists and 5 MoM in 39 games with average rating of 7.41.
Per Cijan Skjelbred was amazing (considering he's still 20 years old). By the end of the season he became Wonderkid and contributed 5 goals, 9 assists and got 2 MoM in 40 games with average rating of 7.13.
Vladimir Koryt'ko was good, but nothing special. 4 goals, 9 assists and 1 MoM in 35 games and average rating of 6.89.
Giles Barnes was great. 5 goals, 2 assists and 4 MoM in 42 games where he played only the left side because I didn't have anyone else to play there lol. Average rating of 7.10.
Denis Kovba was very useful, the lad contributed 5 goals, 6 assists and got 2 MoM in 47 games with average rating of 7.04.
Manuel Iturra did OK, I expected more to be honest, but I played him in several different positions during the season, so I guess it's good. 3 goals, 1 assist and 1 MoM in 37 games with average rating of 6.95.
Matt Hill wasn't that good for the money I gave for him, but still acceptable. 3 assists in 39 games and average rating of 6.85.
Abubakari Yakubu was amazing considering I was playing him as DC all the time lol. 3 assists in 43 games and average rating of 7.09.
And now my favourite of the season and very first signing as well. I remembered him from FM2007 and he proved to be golden transfer. Leandro Gioda ... 1 MoM... and only 4 yellow cards in 53 (!!) games with average rating of 7.25. He actually played every single game he could. He became strong centre-back by the end of season and his price over 6M and wanted by Premiership teams.
Finally, Benoit Costil. He was very impressive for a GK of his age. 20 years old only and he had 29 clean sheets and conceded 29 goals as well. 1 MoM and 7.06 average rating in 50 games.

I think it was a very successful season, now I will wait and see what president has for me for the next season. I hope I can finally sell those crap players I got from the beginning.

And besides the "cheating" in 6-7 games that I had to replay, you have to admit that my team still won Arsenal 3-0 for the cup in semi final. 8)

Stam's avatar
About Stam

I started FM Scout for fun in the distant 2004. I'm proud of how this place has grown into a vibrant community and I try my best to improve it every year. Husband and father of two.

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