The players I bought in lacked adaptability and did not Gel together at all causing a lot of players to be unhappy. Also telling the board that I expected to win promotion in my first season was a little ambitous for a team that the media predict to come 17th.
I wasn;t happy with the coaching staff I had or the assistant manager so my first thing was to terminate contracts and go for staff that I wanted, I immedietly hit a rather horrible hurdle! After getting rid of my head coach and fitness coach, upon trying to sign new coaches the board decided that I didn't need anymore coaching staff so i've now made my training very weak (Any ideas how I can get the board to grant me access to sign a few coaches! Having already restarted the game once I didn't fancy doing it again so i'm going to stick it out and make a few board requests at the end of the season.
I often don't like to rehaul large amounts of the team, but it was evident that with the squad I have pushing for promotion really wasn't an option.
CB x 2
CM x 2
Yeah thats a lot of positions, so my main ambition were to find players that would Gel together quickly.
I also ended the two players I have on loan as they are rather average and would rather play MKs squad players in those positions to keep squad players happy. This would limit me to only three loan players, but I was happy with that decision, although Kristian Nemeth was bagging lots of goals for me in my last saved game I decided not to sign him in order to take a look at some other players.
I went after a number of different loan players, a lot of which were not happy to come to the MK Dons so my choice was actually quite limited, but saying that I am happy with the three I brought in.
Lee Sawyer - CM from chelsea
Mark Randall - CM from arsenal
Kevin Etuhu - RW /ST from Man City
Lee Sawyer and Mark Randall should compliemt each other well in the centre of midfield and then Etuhu gives me the option to play him at right mid or up front, where as Nemeth only gave me the ST option.
Once again i signed Ian Walker on a free to do me a job between the sticks.
Last time I brought in quite a few spanish players, I noticed that they needed a fair amount of adapting to life in England, I focused on trying to get some british blood in, but struggled to find players that I thought were value for money, whereas I found a number of french players with high adaptability.
LB - Laurent Montoya - Free (French)
CB - Albert-Michael Yobo - Free (Nigeria)
GK - Ian Walker - Free
RB - Julien Outrebon - 16k (French)
CB - Vincent di Bartlomeo - 20k (French)
LW - Pierre Planus - 12k (French)
CB - Swaile - 20k
LB - ______ - 4k
Total Spend: 24k
Leaving me with 200k to bring in possibly a player in January. there were a couple of targets who just didn't seem happy to come to MK Dons, so really I'm not sure I can sign the calibre of player I want until I get promoted or establish the club in this league.
So i'm 12 league games into my campaign an it's going far better this time around, the defensive unit looks solid and my forwards have had good supply to put away the chances. I kept with a 442 formation as my squad suits this style of play with a slightly holding midfield and one to look to go forward providing some killer passes.
I have a good target striker so I am looking to send balls into him for him to hold up play or flick balls on for players to run onto.
League performance so far:
Rather than going through all of the results i'm going to highlight a few of my better performances. One in paticular was a 4 - 1 thrashing of Leeds Utd when they came to stadium MK. The other a strong 3 - 1 away vistory against Hartlepool.
I thought it would take my team a lot longer to gel, but my defense have come in and played really well along with my big target forward Aaran Wilbraham playing superbly picking up the player of the month award bagging 8 goals already in this campaign.
1st round I was drawn against championship side Southampton at home, I thought that with a bit of luck and if my team played well I had a chance of a result at home. Half time I found myself 2 -1 down, but the Dons were not discracing themselves and had been playing some good football. After a rousing half time team talk (not my words one of the players hehe ) we went on to a 3-2 victory.
The 2nd round draw pitted Mk Dons at home against an in form Wolves team, both teams created chances, but unfortunatly we wer eunable to convert our chances and suffered a 1-0 loss.
I was happy to get through to the second round of the league cup, but it will enable us to concentrate on our league performances.
Johnston Paint Trophy
We were drawn against Brighton away for the first round, a tough ground to go and get a result, but we battled hard and after extra time nothing could seperate the sides at 2-2 and it was to come down to the lottery of penalties. Alas the Mk Dons did not quite have the composure that Brighton showed from the spot and we went out of the competition at the first hurdle.
This was slightly dissapointing as I do like a good cup run, but again it will allow us to focus on our league games and seeking promotion to the championship.
Induvidual Team Performances.
Firstly Keven Etuhu has been the pick of the bunch providing a great outlet on the right wing using his pace and power to beat oponents and get the ball in the box. Randall has found himself as the holding midfielder holding onto the ball playing the short passes and building momentum in attacks and also to break up the play, although his stats do not suit this role perfectly he is doing a good job there.
I was not convinced when i first got Lee Sawyer on loan from Chelsea, but he has been instrumental in many moves and has shown a real eye for the killer ball.
Julien Outrebon has been great at right back for the Dons, solid in defense and really useful when coming forward he has picked up a number of assits when linking up with right winger Etuhu and then getting the ball in the middle for Wilbraham to power home.
Bart (as i like to call him) and Yobo have created a good partnership in the centre of defense and I can only see this getting stronger throughout the season, they complient each other well.
Pierre Planus has done well when selected, he is fighting well for the place on the left wing and has picked up 3 goals arriving late on the far post. (This position is picking up goals for me coming in late at the far post)
Laurent Montoya has been solid for me, I rotate him with Lewington and they both seem to slot in well and do a good job.
Ian Walker doing a solid job in goal for me although he has struggled a little when trying to collect corners leading to a few soft goals, cannot fault him on shot stopping and one on one's.
Now im only going to mention a few of the key players who have done well.
Aaron Wilbraham i mentioned him earlier, but he has been key for me playing the role of target man brilliantly I am a little concerned that my season could go down hill should he get injured as Tore andre Flo is not really an adequate replacement. (May look to bring someone in January if this happens, but I do not want to push him out of the starting line up as he has really performaned and deserves his place.)
Jemal Johnson plays usually as a right winger, but Etuhu has made his position his so has had to fill in at left wing competing with new signing Planus. He has competed very well getting on the score sheet 5 times, he has had a run around upfront also replacing the inconsistant Sam Baldock.
Sam Baldock has been very hit or miss playing as the out and out striker, often showing moments of class, but not enough consitancy for me really and Ali Gerba does not look like an adequate replacement, I will be looking very closely at this position in January although Etuhu may be able to step in or Johnson.
So that's about it for this update, I hope you have enjoyed it and I will fill you in a little bit more as the season progresses, if you have any aspects of the blog you think are not good or how I can improve it please leave feedback.
Ok so I got a bit lazy with updating the blog during the season so i'm going to give you my end of season review.
Final League Record
Scored For: 77
Scored Against: 49
Goal Difference: +28
I had finished 4th in the league and was looking forward to the playoffs although my form had taken a bit of a slump just before the end of the season, with my midfield being ravaged by a few injuries.
I was drawn against Milwall
Our previous meetings this season I had beaten them 2 - 0 Away from home, but they had beaten me 1-0 at home a few weeks ago quite convincingly so I was a little nervous.
The first leg was to be played at The Den and after 33 minutes my promotion hopes seemed to be lying in tatters the MK Dons were 3 - 0 down, but the MK Dons started reigning down chances on Millwall, but we still went in at half time 3 - 0 down with a mountain to climb!
The boys came out at half time and continued to pile the pressure on, they managed to hold out until the 75th minute when a long throw in flicked on by wilbers was put in the net by Wright. We had pulled one back and the team were lifted by this 5 minutes later a deep cross picked out Wright who again burried it. 3 - 2 was looking like a decent result and perhaps with a bit of luck at the centre mk stadium we could win it, but all of a sudden on the 88th minute Wilbers powers home a header and the game finished 3 - 3
The second leg was on home ground MK Dons took the lead on the 32nd minute through Wilbers again, but they pulled one back 5 minutes later. The game turned into a rather cagey affair until Wilbers powered one home from the edge of the box in the 100th minute to avoid penalties We were going to wembley!
Peterbrough were to meet us in the final the game was a very dull 0 - 0 draw with neither team willing to risk too much and it went down to the lottery of penlties, which i'm happy to say MK Dons came out on top, we were into the Championship.