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Building a City...

Started on 24 October 2014 by Jamesg237
Latest Reply on 7 April 2015 by Jamesg237
  • POSTS352
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2015-03-14 20:04#210522 MisterLister : Some great wins in this update and very good finish in seventh place. Good luck next season.

The last month did go very well and I think we did really well to finish off so high after a poor start to the season for the club. I hope we can build on this success next season!

A Summer at Stoke City

Writing the transfer window update is one of my most favourite to write as I always look forward to reading your reactions to my decisions, whether negative or positive. Unfortunately, even if you react negatively to my decisions on which players I allow to leave or sign, I will remain stubborn and have continued faith in myself. Going with my instinct has paid off for me in the past at other clubs in this save and on other Football Manager games so I do have a good track record. However, I will be first to admit later in this update that I may have made a couple of bad decisions.

Before signing any players, I felt it necessary to empty the squad slightly and get rid of some players who were on inflated wages which would free up extra funds to invest in the squad. Jordan Ibe’s development had been hindered since the beginning of the save with the club’s responsible for him not giving him time to shine and show off what he was potential of; I am included in that statement unfortunately. The best bit of business I have done in terms of players leaving the club is Ibe as we have paid a healthy £300k profit after one season where he only featured six times and finished with a poor average rating of 6.54. My first mistake of this transfer window was the deal involving Diafra Sakho leaving the club for Ipswich Town. The transfer window before I joined the club, Stoke had forked out £3million for his services; I allowed him to leave for a fee of £575k. That is one almighty loss which will damage the club’s finances greatly. I should have been a lot more patient and waited for a club to come in and pay a greater amount for him. Unfortunately, I was desperate to empty the club of the players I didn’t want before preseason started so I was willing to accept any amount. What an idiot! He is not a loss in terms of ability and he only featured eleven times scoring one goal last season. He is a loss in terms of finances only. The rest of the players to leave were youngsters and were no great loss to the club.

The departure of Arnautovic was disappointing but he decided that his future lied away from the club and felt he was bigger and better than us. You know from my past disagreement with Dominic Poleon, who incidentally is no clubless (haha), that I don’t want any players who have that mindset to stay at the club. They are shown the door quickly!

The second mistake I made this transfer window is a double header and one that I might regret. It is simple; I have overpaid for my two signings!

Jack Rodwell is a quality player with a lot of experience but with him not getting any younger, I do think I should have tried to sign him for a much lower transfer fee which could have allowed me to sign one or two other players. My thoughts behind his signing is that our key player, who amazingly is Marouane Fellaini, is coming towards the end of his career and can’t be expected to play ninety minutes every week. With the potential of having to play more games this season due to the participation in the Europa League, it is important that we have a player in the squad who can replace Fellaini who needs to be saved for the Premier League. Rodwell is an ideal replacement but he is someone who I overpaid for as a result of my desire to have him at the club.

The second part of the mistake was again, I feel, paying over the odds for Jaka Ceh. The signing of Ceh is one that involved me having one eye on the future. He is a great young player who had a great season last time around for Fulham having scored twenty-one goals in forty appearances. That record was only five behind the Championship’s golden boot winner who scored twenty-six for Fleetwood Town who are loving life in the dizzy heights of the Championship. Ceh is definitely going to be one of the first names on the team sheet as I want to help him develop even more to help him become a great player. I am sure he will slot straight into the squad and find it easy to adapt his preferred style of play to my preferred tactics and he will find it easy to strike up a lethal partnership with whoever else I decide to play alongside him. I firmly believe he could be the player to guide the club to success on many fronts this coming season. An exciting young player! An exciting season ahead!
Nice update, Jaka Ceh looks like a great player!
2015-03-16 20:46#210604 Zap : Nice update, Jaka Ceh looks like a great player!

He does look like he could do a lot of damage this coming season but I still do think I overpaid for him. As long as he contributes enough goals to justify the hefty transfer fee, I don't think anyone, myself included, will be bothered.

August: European progress...

I already have the feeling that it is going to be one long season and it is near on impossible to predict how we are going to do in any of the competitions that we are a part of. In terms of priority, my aim is to finish as high as we can in the Premier League and try and retain a European position for the next season. My reason for this is because the income of money will help the club with its mounting debts; after this month we are over £20 million in the red and there is no sign of this changing. Fortunately this mounting debt did not impact on me during the summer transfer window and I managed to bring in the players I wanted while freeing up some funds with several highly paid players being shown the door. Of course we could retain a European spot for next season by winning the Europa League but I think that is a step too far for us this season and instead should head into each game positively and just try our best. I do think we could get past the group stage which we will now be taking part in as a result of us beating former Champions League side CFR Cluj but to get through the knockout phases is a bit beyond us at the moment.

This Premier League side has started in a decent way with us winning the game we were expected to and losing the ones we were expected to but not without putting in a good showing against Manchester City. If we put in a performance like we did against City in future matches against the “bigger” clubs, I do think we could come out with points which would help us push for that European spot. It was important to get the win against Everton in amongst the European success and defeats to City and Liverpool as it got us some points on the league table. I do think we should be winning games like that a lot more comfortably but I am still yet to decide on my final striking partnership; when this has been decided I am confident they will form a good partnership and get us the goals needed to continue our good start to the season.

The only poor moment of the season so far (I know its early doors) but one player is already having rumblings about not having much game time. Rasmus Falk has decided that he should be playing every game and be one of the first names on the team sheet; as this isn’t the case in my opinion, he has asked to be allowed to leave the club. Unfortunately for him, I will need him to stay at the club unless I can sign a replacement right winger which could mean he could be allowed to leave. At the moment there are a couple of youngsters in the reserves who could step up and put in a shift. They don’t possess the best attributes but with game time they would quickly improve as a player. The squad is quite thin in terms of depth so it will be important that the youngsters do perform when given the chance as we are going to have played a lot of games by the time May comes around.

Player of the Month – Lewis Baker

September: Striking partnerships...

What a brilliant month with continued European success, domestic cup progress and more points on the board in the Premier League. Ipswich Town were reminded of how difficult it is going to be for them to stay in the top flight for more than this season. Unfortunately for the strikers they don’t know whether they are coming or going and are being brought into the squad before being dropped for the next game. They aren’t being given chance to prove that they should be allowed to stay in the team for more than one game, which is not doing them any favours. The game against Ipswich is proof enough that none of them are always going to be on the team sheet seen as Marouane Fellaini started up front with the one player who is the first name on the team sheet at the moment, Jaka Ceh.

Jaka has not taken long at all to get his scoring account open for Stoke City and already has a tally of seven goals in thirteen games. If he continues to perform like he has this month, we will do well and be able to compete on all different fronts. His hat trick against Ipswich showed the fans and any remaining doubters that he is a player with quality which can be developed further over time. He is young and is eager to play every game but as the season goes on, we won’t be able to rely on him as he will need to be rested whether he wants to be or not. He is the player who I will want refreshed for more important fixtures when compared to games against the likes of Ipswich and Norwich City (no disrespect intended). He seems able to link up with any player who is placed alongside him. So far he has played with Fellaini, Ngoy, Diouf, Machis and Perischetti (on loan from Inter Milan). I think as the next month gets underway, I will look to pair Jaka with one other player and give them the chance to form an understanding on the pitch. At the moment it looks like that player will be Julien Nogy who is another great youngster that we are lucky to have. Between them they don’t have much experience so the likes of Lewis Baker, Marouane Fellaini and Jack Rodwell in midfield will need to bring their experience to the pitch and support the front men, whoever they may be.

Player of the Month – Jaka Ceh

Despite this story getting a March Story of the Month nomination, and subsequently, two votes, and regular views, I have decided to put the writing of this story on hold. I haven't posted an update in two weeks due to other commitments but I have also lost interest in the save just to the at times tedious nature of the writing of the updates. I am therefore going to continue to play the save, store the images I may need in the future if I decide to pick up the story from where I have left off.

Many thanks to all that have read the story and I hope that if I do decide to go back on my decision, that you will come back and follow me on my journey!

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