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Tottenham - Wonderkids shall set you free

Can you win with wonderkids? Chapter 1: #intro
Started on 21 November 2019 by silentjay / First Post
Latest Reply on 27 December 2019 by silentjay / Last Post
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Absolutely no words to describe the business you've conducted in this window. Fair play!
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silentjay's avatar Group silentjay
4 monthsEdited
Now that all our business is done, let’s begin our season. Let’s remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint.

Welcome to chapter 6 - #thegrind


We begin a quick month where we need to start strong to get some confidence going quickly. The worst that can happen is lose some of these "winnable" games (though we know such a term isn't quite accurate in FM now do we?)



As you see, the fixture Gods have been kind to us, playing against lesser teams with 2 home games. Wolves have a sneaky good team (with a now disgruntled Diogo Jota), so I expect that to be the true task. Let’s get it!

Game 1 vs Southampton – Starting XI:
Audero; Aarons, Dias, Sanchez, Rose; Florentino; N’dombele, Dani; Mo, Fede, Harry


We dominated this one from beginning to end. Soton didn’t make themselves any favor when Pierre-Emile got sent off with a double booking in less than 5 minutes.
What to look out for: only one goal came from direct build up and possessions. The others came from a set piece and a mistake by Ward-Prowse. I made certain in game adjustments in terms of player roles that I’ll be keeping for our upcoming game and see how it takes us! We took a chance on Mo who scored a great goal, repaying our faith immediately. He’s still not ready for top flight football, but what a start. Remember, Dele’s’ still injured and Son is still suspended for 3 games, so now’s a great time to use the kids.

POM: Dias. An absolute rock and also managed to score on his debut. Magical start.


Game 2: @ Villa
Not necessarily a tougher opponent, but away from home we need more experience, so I went with Lloris instead of Audero and Olmo instead Mo, leaving Maddy at MC duties this time around.




Nice!
This actually could’ve gotten out of hand for us quickly if it wasn’t for a 1 on 1 (thanks FM) Lloris saved when there was still 40 minutes to go. We pulled it off from very consistent performances from everyone up top. Best of all, after this match we get back Son and Dele should be available for some minutes as a substitute as we slowly bring him back to shape!


POM: Fede (8.0). First of many I believe for Chiesa, who walks away with one goal and 2 assists!

Game 3: vs Wolves - Starting XI: Audero, Aarons, Dias, Mukiale, Rose; Tonalli, N'Dombele, Maddy; Chiesa, Olmo, Kane



We were total sh*t. Really. It was painful to see. Possession means nothing if it doesn't have purpose. Ndombele and Olmo looked like Sunday League amateur players, Mukiele, who made his debut, made Pepe look like f**** Piqué, KWP had to come in due to a Danny Rose injury -he’ll be out for 2 weeks-, and looked below average on that LWB role (hello Benji). Not only did I tell them aggressively they were rubbish, but I called them back to the training grounds at 6am the next day for two endurance sets to really work that sh!t off their bodies (Marcelo Bielsa style). They need to know: if you’re not going to work on the pitch, you’re going to sweat it off in practice. Son made his season debut with what I call a casper performance -he was invisible. We might as well have been playing with 10. Didn’t have space for Dele, but after a strong week with the u23 team, he’s likely to be our first impact sub.

POM: Maddy (8.6). His heroics and a wondershot that will appear in the season highlight reels saved us from embarrassment at home. More than deserved award.

That's AUGUST people!

In house awards:


Player of the month: Harry Kane. Even though Maddy had the highest rating (7.5), it was only through 2 games. Harry had a 7.43 average rating with 1 goal and 2 assists. We’ll make a few adjustments as our players get used to the tactics because we need Harry to be that “0.9 goal per game player”. The DLF in support duty seems to be doing a good job, but we need to create more for him.

Disappointment of the month (DOM): Florentino Luis. With a 6.83 rating over 3 games this just isn’t what we’re looking for him. He’s not controlling the tempo, he’s not pushing the tempo, and he’s not creating chances. As opposed to playing “south to north”, he’s playing “east to west”, and that won’t do on a team that’s trying to control the tempo with quick movement up the pitch. Tonalli (now a lesser player) ended up taking his role in the starting XI, and rightfully so. For the money we paid for him, we need to see better. We expect more, but at his age, we must also be patient.

Honorable mention: Chiesa. As I said, he would be key to our future, and with a 7.37 avg rating, 2 assists and 1 goal, he didn't disappoint.


That brings August to an end. All our games really were games a top tier team “should” be winning, but with all these changes, youngsters, and new faces, we’re bound to hit a few road bumps. Wolves was the tougher competition and we barely survived. There’s much work to do. On a positive note, both Dele and Son should be in game shape very soon, and they’ll be very useful.



Looking ahead, September’s looking tough. Just one home game and Champions League football begins, which means we’re going to start rotating players early on.

Stay tuned as #thegrind continues. Coming up shortly – Champions League draw, registration, tough away games, rotations, and a lot more. Stick around!
A momentous transfer window there! Only good things can happen from now on.
2019-11-23 20:24#263121 ScottT : Absolutely no words to describe the business you've conducted in this window. Fair play!
We're going all in!
wow. I caught up with this and I must say you haven't left a stone unturned! Cleared out a side who had been together for years and completely revamped it! I like the way this is looking and with three wins from three to start the season the crazy window seems to be worthwhile!
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2019-11-25 11:08#263168 TheLFCFan : wow. I caught up with this and I must say you haven't left a stone unturned! Cleared out a side who had been together for years and completely revamped it! I like the way this is looking and with three wins from three to start the season the crazy window seems to be worthwhile!

Thanks! I think really that was the downfall for Spurs. They had little to no turnover and their players (who Pch really developed) grew tired from the lack of silverware. Man U was successful for so long because they knew they needed to revamp their roster every once in a while and because they understood that lifting a trophy, no matter which trophy, always keeps a players' spirits up!
I'll be posting September shortly!
silentjay's avatar Group silentjay
4 monthsEdited
*Sorry for the late post, it's been a rough few days!



A new month comes along, which means we begin another edition of #thegrind – September version!
Of course the new month begins with immediate and very important news:



The 3rd round of the Carabao Carton Cup has been very kind to us. That said, and even though many yougnsters will play, it is a priority for us. I said it from the beginning. If you want to have a winning culture, you need to know what it’s like to lift trophies, and Tottenham doesn’t know how to do this. Winning the CC would be a nice lift to start emedding a winning culture in this club.

24 hours later….


Of course I had to get Neymar and Mbappe. Obviously they’ the favorites to come out 1st out of this group, but I have faith in this squad. Obviously ZEE GERMANS are out to get me since I tried to steal his team during the summer, and hopefully Olympiakos don’t get too cheeky with us! I’ve got nothing but faith

Other groups to look out for:



Chelsea's certainly got a tough group handed to them. It'll be interesting to see how they manage it.


Liverpoo, Atletico, Red Bull? Never count them out. They're the typical team that can give you fits if you treat it properly.



Likely the most interesting group to look out for. Pep's main debt right now is international football. Will he finally break through? Has to go through this group first....

Meanwhile...



“I wanna thank the academy, my parents, and everyone who made this possible”.
So it's always nice to get these things, but not the priority. The priority is the next game.



Not the most prolific of football games, but we were pretty much in control. Ndombele got himself in scoresheet with a screamer from like 60 meters, while Kane finished off a nice play by Aarons. An own goal with 20 minutes to go sealed the game when it could’ve gone sideways for us. Benji debuted as a LWB and was pretty awful. A mistake from him led to Sheff’s 1st goal, and Ruben Dias had his first mediocre game as a Spur (6.4). Dier came in to have a subpar game (6.5). Saka didn’t do much danger in over 65 minutes, but Dele wasn’t much better either. Chiesa also decided to have an average game, but between Maddy, Tanguy, and Kane they really took care of business. Off to the next one!

POM: Maddy (8.6)

Moving on!


[color=#204A87]We’re playing ZEE GERMANS a couple of days from now, so I wanted to rest a few players:
Starting XI: Audero, Aarons, Dias, Sanchez, Bard; Flore, Ndombele, Maddy; Saka, Son, Kane.



Our first half was as poor as they come. We went into the locker room one down at home and looking likr sh!t. I’m not to mess around so I aggressively told them that if they didn’t get their heads out of their collective @ssess, there would be no tomorrow. They came out strong in the 2nd and got 3. I tinkered yet again with roles in order to be more direct. Sandro got his first ever goal for us toward the end of the game, showing glimpses of the great quality he has. Fellow wonderkid Melvin Bard had the nod for his first start and assisted on yet another Maddy goal, who’s quickly becoming a crowd favorite. We weren’t sharp with the ball and if we’re being honest, I think we got by this one by the quality of our players moreso than our collective play. Much work is ahead and much tinkering has to be done. Despite that, we remain at 100%, which was my goal given our “easy” schedule early on. It’s gonna get a lot tougher an we need to pile up on wins as soon as possible.

POM: Maddy, yet again (8.2)


And now....


Champions League football begins!

Oh and if anyone wasn't sure:



HAHAHAHAHAHAHA (evil laughter)

We knew our group wasn’t easy, but a first game at home, with the chance to add 3 points early definitely became a priority. But at the same time I just didn’t see ZEE GERMANS as THAT much of threat, specially at Tottenham Stadium, where we go strong. Given that we play Norwich away 2 days later, I decided to make a couple of changes.

Starting XI: Lloris; KWP, Dier, Dias, Rose; N’dombele, Winks, Olmo; Chiesa, Sigurosson, Kane.



This one wasn’t easy. 2 goals from set pieces. They tied up immediately, and it took us a while to crack the game wide open. A great play from Fede ended up closing the game for us and he later capped off his wonderful game with a second goal. We made new adjustments in order to be more direct once we get the ball back, and it helped, though it hurt our possession a bit. We gambled and went with a few debuts in a starting XI, such as KWP, Winks, and Sigurosson (this one was really a gamble as he’s not quite ready for 1st team football, but experience really pays off). Florentino Luis didn’t get in the starting XI because I’m not happy with his performances. Against Norwich he’ll get a chance at redemption. Kane and Fede were great for us and our win streak continues!

POM: Chiesa (9.0)


48 hours later and it’s back to work! Tough away game so I brought a few players back in. Starting XI: Lloris; Aarons, Dias, Sánchez, Rose; Florentino, Maddy, N’Dombele; Chiesa, Son Kane.


Not a pretty game. Lloris was terrific on a day where my back 4 was very poor -rare for Dias. Florentino once again failed to really put his stamp on the game. Kane scored on an early penalty conceded, but it was Son who ultimately saved us when Norwich was the better side with a towering shot just at the edge off the box off a bad clearance by a Norwich defender. Given the circumstances, we’re very satisfied with the way things are going!

POM: Son (8.3)


No rest for the wicked as the Carabao Cup begins


Lleyton Orient should not pose much of a threat (we assume), but to avoid a potential ColchesterGate we’re gonna have a couple of veterans out there to provide some balance and maturity. On top of that, we’re not where we want to be tactically, so heavy changes might not be the best, but we’re going for the gamble anyway. It’s worked thus far.

Starting XI: Audero; Trincao, ABK, Sanchez (Dier), Bard; Tonali, Winks, Dommo; Vignato, Sigurosson (Saka) Gouiri



Friggin. Demolition.

Did I expect a rough time? No, not really. Did I think we’d be this effective in front of goal? No, specially considering we went with our B team. Gouiri, Vignato, and Saka all got their goals. Winks just dominated the center (1 assists and 1 goal to his name as well) of the pitch for us. My wingbacks destroyed their flanks -project WB aka Trincao was unstoppable (got a goal in the process)- and were the main focus of danger throughout the match. For the past 4-5 editions of FM I’ve ended turning wingers into world class wingbacks. I’m going for it again with Trincao. We move forward in the CC and were able to provide rest to pretty much all our starters. Great result all things considered.

POM: Winksy. Killed it with an almost perfect rating.


Not much time to celebrate as we go to Goodison Park for a nice away fixture against an Everton team that’s looking suspiciously good!

Starting XI: Lloris; Aarons, Dias, Sánchez, Rose; Florentino, N’Dombele, Maddy; Son, Chiesa, Kane

Oh and just before the game got going I got these news:



Well, you always want to play against lesser competition -see lower division teams-, but I’ll take playing at home always. It’ll be interesting to see how the fixtures are looking when I decides who plays that game. We all know I’m placing a particularly strong amount of importance where I shouldn’t because I believe willing should be ingrained in this team’s DNA as soon as possible. It may lead us to unnecessary risks. But hey, I didn’t get into the manager biz for the money, but for the stress.

Anyways...




As close to perfect as a game can get. Everton started strong but we were able to withstand the early blitzkrieg. After that, it was about making plays, and our front line was brilliant, specially in the last 3 goals. The 3rd goal came from a brilliant piece of play by Audero when he caught a corner kick, found Chiesa ALL ALONE in the flank with Kane waiting up top, which led to an immediate 2 on 1 break. Just brilliant by our future GK. A little later Dele came in as a MC (Mezzala role) and placed a beautiful assist for Harry’s 2nd goal. The team really shined in the 2nd half and our tactics are really starting to come together. Our 5th goal should our genius pressing and “counter counter” once Chiesa won the ball back early on their side of the pitch (with Everyone having shifted everything on attack) and ran all the way to Pickford before sliding it over to Harry for his hattrick. It feels Chiesa’s either assisting (got 3 today) or scoring all our goals. Him and Harry will be friends for a long time. Great game all around. Unexpected of course.

POM: Harry (9.6)



We really can’t complain about the past 30 days. We maintain our perfect record. We've had the chance to make a few tweaks to our offense that have been providing results, and we've managed to give a lot of the young players nice minutes and you have to be impressed. I've been surprised that we've managed to stay with such a good record, but we must keep our feet on the ground, we're going in for a very rough stretch.



Gotta Stay ready!



Stay tuned for our next episode of #thegrind
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silentjay's avatar Group silentjay
4 monthsEdited
As we come off a very successful 2 months, the season is now in full gear and the focus, more than ever, is to keep the high levels, be careful about how other teams adjust to our approach, and of course, keep rotating so our younger players keep getting minutes.
Oh, and since there’s little cash in the bank, I just might go for a winter addition to strengthen our wonderkid project!!


#thegrind continues!


We start off October immediately with a tough away game in Greece, against Panathinaikos:
But before, a little report from my ASS MAN…



These millennials are very susceptible it would seem. It’ll be my job to keep them in a righteous path.


Oh just to keep up:



Kane went on beast mode. Right now he’s the League’s leading scorer and this award is more than deserved.


Jurgen got the best of the Britpop awards this month, with his Liverpool side climbing up the table and looking like the mythical beast they truly are.


Meanwhile, a bunch of old men sitting on a very long table decided to speak...



A B?!?!? A B!?!?!?!
I’m practically miracle worker in London and these tossers give me a B? If I wasn’t fully committed to my project or needed money I’d quit.





Never underestimate your opponent. That’s what my kids did in that 1st half where we ended tied purely out of luck and genius by a play crafted by Dele and later finished beautifully by N’Dombele. Low IQ play all around, you’d think the group had never played together. Half time speech seemed like a war cry, and the team responded early, with a great play by Henrichs which later Dele finished. Nonetheless, Olympiakos tied up -once again showing how poor our back 4 was (I’M LOOKING AT YOU ERIC DIER)-. But later Fede made a poacheresque type effort off a deflection of a Dele shot that didn’t go in. And even though we won, I told the lads that they had to be better. They responded like the spoiled brats they are, but I don’t care. Something called a “Daniel Podence” made us look like children, and I won’t stand for that.
The other negative? we lost Max “Frodo” Aarons 3 weeks with a pulled calf muscle.


Up next is a home game against Burnley. Time for some rotation, perhaps some minutes to younger players?

But just some action pre game…



I just had to pull the trigger here. I feel we overloaded upfront but didn’t do the same with our back 4 and midfield. Carmavinga goes on to become an absolute monster, so just in case Tonali, N’Dombele,etc., get sold, a player like Carmavinga would be more than good enough to take over. On top of everything, Winksy already is on my list of potential targets to sell once the season ends, so there’s that.
Now on to the match (finally)

Should be one we’re winning. Burnley are truly in awful form and it shouldn’t even be a contest. Let’s see if the changes I made hurt our chances.





Well that was pathetic. That’s what you get in these types of projects. Tonali was sh!t. Henrichs was sh!t. KWP was sh!t. Mukiele was sh!t. SHIRT FOR EVERYONE. Don’t even get me started on the atrocity that was Dele. If I could still fine players, I’d fine him without 2 months pay. That’s how pathetic that was. Maddy, who’s really come down to earth since his hot start, played, ironically, like hot poop. Olmo wasn’t much better either. Really no one was good today. We even went into a very attacking flat 4-3-3 the last 30 minutes with 2 shots being cleared off the line. This is what you get when you gamble with your rotations and younger players, and at the end of the season these are the results that really kill you. If it was me I’d fine every single one of these idiots. They’re getting a full day’s physical work tomorrow, I don’t care. And in the press conference I went off script, Mourinhoed all over the media with a few “expletive deleted” ALL DIRECTED at my players. I want the media to see and feel my wrath.
Bloody. Hell.



So, thanks to our stupidity, now there’s only 3 pts different between City and Chelsea. And to be honest, given how they’re playing, I don’t know if we’ll able to take 3 pts from them, even if we’re playing in our house.

On to the next bloody game. I’m not a happy manager right now.

After 2 week break we’re up against a Crystal Palace team that’s doing great work (standing 6th right now -by the way, it’d be very interesting to do a series with either CP or Norwich, they have interesting rosters with a lot of different playing styles options-. At home they’ve been impressive, but I have some soul searching to do because just 3 days later I’ll be playing Mbappé and Oscar Neymar (as in “The Oscar goes to) IN FRANCE. I don’t know whether it’s wise to field my classic starting eleven, but after tying against a very poor Burnley side at home, I’m very hesitant as to who to trust…

Just as I have all these metaphysical questions I happen to get this message from my chief scout…



As it so happens, I agree with him. Ruben is not at star level yet. Florentino’s been rather disappointing, and KWP lost his minutes to Bilbo (Aarons), so this new role seems appropriate. Moving on...

Starting XI: I went almost with my premiere starting team – Lloris; Aarons, Dier, Dánchez, Rose; Florentino; N’Dombele, Maddy; Saka, Chiesa Kane.


DISCLAIMER* I’m not gonna lie: we won the game 2-0 while City and Chelsea tied, leaving 5 points clear….. BUT…. The f!cking game crashed and I had to play the game again. Now I’m a big believer in karma, so after this SNAFU I better win EVERYTHING. Let’s see how it went the 2nd time around.


Well, it wasn’t as clean as a 2-0 result, but I guess it’ll do. Chiesa put the Superman outfit on today. Team was sh!t and showed some disturbingly weak character allowing Palace to come back from a 2-0 deficit, which is why even when we won they got an earful. We don’t do that in Spursville. Dias was sh!t btw, and oh did he suffer. This time around City won at Stanford Bridge and keep sniffing up my rear end now in the table leaving Chelsea 6 points behind. Not the best scenario given how it went before, but like I said before, karma will be my savior. At least I hope so. We got the 3 points which is all that matters and the focus now shifts to Paris.


PS: I’ve grown sick of Eric Dier. Even though he’s a natural at many positions, he just doesn’t excel. The Sissoko of the back really. Depending no how our finances are looking I’ll try to get rid of him in the winter window and replace him with one of my targets, who will remain a mystery for now (muah ha ha ha). On a positive note, Sessegnon’s back, which allows me to leave out of rotation a KWP that’s underperformed for 2 straight months now while project WB (aka Trincao) has been working wonders in against U23 and U18 teams. He might just be the odd man out once it’s all said and done.



Mother. Forker.

Dias officially’s made it to the bench and he will remain there for a while Sanchez is making a very strong case as well. Dias conceded a penalty early that Lloris managed to save -he’s just not doing his job well enough and I won’t have it. His role has been reduced and now his minutes will be as well until he understands that you don’t mess around my team. I’m a no bullshirt manager, and Dias is giving me bullshirt when he’s supposed to be the anchor of my back four. Thankfully his ego isn’t an issue and our relationship is rock solid. I think he views me in a mentor/father sort of way.

That being said, his sh!ttyness was evident throughout the game, from his side came a low cross that ended in a goal and Oscar Neymar later killed us with a great free kick. Gotta hate the French. Youth means inconsistency, but I’m questioning players at this specific point in time and changes are on the way. When your keeper is the only stand out you know you have problems.

We’ve made massive downgrade in playing roles after this one to deliver multiple messages. Olmo and Dele go on to impact sub roles, Dias to a squad player, and Bilbo as a squad player as well. I honestly don’t care about their reactions, they’ll deal with it. The team is more important. They’ll get over it. As a matter of fact, only Bilbo’s gonna be even in the 18 called up for the next game against Brighton, and just 2 days later we face S’oton for the CC, a priority for us.
Tough decisions will have to be made. In the meantime, everyone else can play the U23 game while enjoying a nice set of 2 a days of endurance and resistance. God knows they deserve it.

F!ck it, on to the next one. I must say, I’m not a happy camper. I’m a dark place right now.


After Paris St. Gate, like I said before, I went with massive changes:
Auder; Henrichs, Mukiele, Dier, Sessegnon; Tonali, N’Dombele, Maddy; Saka, Ihattaren, Gouiri



I also made a few tweaks, in this case to retain a bit more possession while keeping an attacking mentality. Granted, Brighton’s been playing like shirt, but given the B team we put out there, we certainly achieved what we were looking for: leave out the forkers that were the main culprits of Paris St Gate while giving minutes to our youngsters. Thankfully the 3 pts provide fresh air after a rather inconsistent form.
POM: Tonali (7.9)


Now we gotta quickly turn the page for Carabao Cup fixture that’s less than 48 hours away. Will we see our main players back? I’ll talk to my staff about it (SAID NO ONE EVER!!)


Starting eleven :Lloris; Henrichs; Mukiele; Dier; Rose; N'Dombele, Florentino, Maddison; Chiesa, Sigurosson, Gouiri




As you can see, we kept away all the forkers from the Paris debacle. No Son, Dele, Kane, Dias, Sánchez, Frodo. The scoreboard reflects this a bit of course, as our defending was less than stellar. Unfortunately Maddy played like dog shirt (yet again -will be taking drastic measures with him soon enough) and Olmo didn’t do much better, but the rest of my midfield did a great job keeping possession. Those 2 goals against were more of an indictment of how bad Dier is -he’s as good as gone, really-. Sessegnon got his first goal for us, Gouiri and Ihattaren got on the sheet yet again, so our youngsters have responded the call. Our back four allowed a buttload of shots, but thankfully Southampton is rubbish so they couldn’t capitalize. I’m regretting not strengthening the back line. I have a few targets in mind, but I'm not sure whether it'll be possible or not. Let’s see how it goes.



So this is how a chaotic month of October ends. We had our first lost of my tenure and the first time we dropped points at home…against MOTHERFORKING BURNLEY NO LESS. We dropped points at home and in the Champions League, and we showed signs of inconsistency that I’m keeping an eye on. Our player rotation certainly sent a message as our key guys weren't in the roster sheets for 2 straight games. They’re bound to feel the pressure. I’m a bit concerned by the shirtshow certain players were -Dias, Son, Dele, Frodo-, but I’m hoping their time watching games from the stands helps them understand: no one is above the team. The colors always come first.

On a side note, we lose Rose for 3 key weeks of November, oh Jesus kill me now! We’ll have to decide whether Sessegnon gets the nod or if Henrichs plays on the left flank.




Ohhh mooommmaa!

As you can see, November will be extremely tough -to put it mildly- and it’s hard to predict how moreale will be in December… I’m not getting ahead of myself but this next month just might determine our entire season! I can literally feel my pressure rising....

Stay tuned, #thegrind continues!
silentjay's avatar Group silentjay
4 monthsEdited
Let's get to it.
#thegrind continues!



After a rather disappointing month of October I sat down with the team and told them to remember to keep their heads up, understand that we’re one of the youngest teams in the league and in all European competition, so growing pains are a part of the process.
We begin November finding out who we’re going to be facing in the Carabao Cup Qtr finals…





Can’t complain at all. While the draw was kind to us, it pitted Arsenal, City, Liverpool, and Chelsea against each other. It seems the silverware Gods are on my side. At least for now.
I also had individual sit downs with the forkers from Paris Saint Gate and really tore a new one to all of them, which basically went something like:
Me: “You either get your head out of your forking rear or it’s gonna stay nailed for the bench for a long time”
Forkers: “You’re right, gaffer, as usual. It’s time I get my shirt together”.
So it was pretty productive.

Just a tidbit of the teams really helping out.



And of course, the old farts speak again…


I just can’t…. That tie against Burnley really affected them it would seem. I’ll hunt them down. You just watch.

We already know October’s coming in rough, so let’s get to it:


We dominated but just couldn’t finish. Kane was extremely poor finishing with a 6.2 rating and it was N’Dombele and Chiesa who ran the show for us. Fede was actually the one that got himself in the scoresheet with a header from a Heinrichs cross. Harry and the goal are going through a bit of a rough patch and the silly forker actually got snippy with me when I told him he was sh!t during the game. At least we’re defending WITH possession which is something I’ve been aiming for.
That said, we really need to pick it up because we need vengeance for Paris Saint Gate up next and two days later we go into the Etihad!
Dramatic 5 days coming in Spursland.




What’s worse, Leipzig won their match, leaving them at the top of the table. If we lose there’s a very real chance we might miss out on the 2nd round, which would be a massive, massive failure.



We were pretty awful. A counter allowed Chiesa to leave Kane all alone to tie the game, but in all honesty we didn’t deserve anything at all. We’re playing some awful football and it’s clear something’s not working. Olmo and Maddy just can’t play good football and we need them to step up. Son has been an absolute disaster (averaging a 6.4 in Champions League football), and Saka unfortunately just hasn’t been the impact sub he was supposed to be. A lot of questions and not enough answers. Luckily for us, and even though we far from deserved it, qualification is still in our hands, given that we receive Olimpiakos and play away against Leipzig. If we play like I know we can play, we can go through. But things aren’t looking up.

Even worse, now we have to go to the Etihad and try to get a result against City. And to be honest, I just don’t trust our talent, specially given how they’re performing. One of the downfalls of trusting young players.


On a side note: I’ve decided both Son and Dier will be leaving as soon as good offers come in. They’ve been God awful, can’t contribute at all and just aren’t helping. As soon as I decide who they’re replacements will be I will unload them. I’ve no patience for such pathetic play. There’s hungry kids who are willing to leave it all out there. Those two ain’t it. He may be smashing them for Mourinho, but he’s just not what we need.

Anyway, on to City. Before the game, I’m very much struggling to adjust my tactics to help my players be in the best position they possibly can. The inverted diamond in the middle has tremendous ups and downs while I find myself having the same problem this time around as in FM19 – how to really get the most out of that lone striker. Given that I don’t see much of a chance for us in this game, I’m gonna experiment a bit.



Awful. Flat out awful. I knew we were gonna lose. But I didn’t expect us to be this bad. Just so many players not perfoming well. Frodo (6.2), Chiesa (6.3), Sessegnon (6.4), Maddison (6.4 -again), Sanchez (6.4). Just very disappointing. We had just one really dangerous chance that Olmo couldn’t finish. Might as well stayed at home after that awful performance. Of course, tomorrow they’re gonna have nice 3 sets of endurance and resistance to marinate just how awful they were.
November has not been good to us thus far. And Chelsea´s up next. We need radical improvements and we’re running out of ideas as to how to get them. Like I said before, this is where the ambition of our project really takes it’s toll. Son and Dier have about one month to convince to let them stay, though I doubt what sort of wizardry they’ll have to do to convince me other wise. Let’s remember, Dele’s still out but he’ll be available for CHE so we’re more than likely to insert him in that starting XI, and I’m seriously considering a massive tactical overhaul from a 4-1-4-1 to a 4-2-3-1. I’ll seek the advice of my staff (lol yeah right). I’ve found that a pretty good indicator of your tactics can be seen if you have your U18 and U23 teams playing with the same tactics, so we’ll make some tweaks and see how the kids do.
In any case, for morale purposes, the Chelsea game just became a must win for us. And we’ll be focusing all out on offense during the upcoming 2 week break.


As the days go by…


BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM
As you well know, Dier’s been sh!t and he’s soon to be on the “for sale” category, and of course, wonderkids is what we’re all about. Remember that Nik had become increasingly upset that he wasn’t allowed to move? Well, he was so pissed off that he requested an out and his price just plummeted. I can only assume he had become the biggest locker room cancer since Hazard at Chelsea. In any case, it fits all our criterias and we manage to upgrade immediately over both Dier and Sanches, both who have been hoot shirt (Dias hasn’t been much to look at either). I’ll welcome him with open arms and hopefully I can get him acclimated soon because I need the strongest back 4 possible.
Oh yeah, I forgot I had Mukiele in there as well lolololo (that’s how subpar he’s been). Maybe it’s loan time for him I haven’t decided.
But very good news nonetheless. Now I’ll be gauging the market for that tree trunk that Dier is. Too bad Mourinho still doesn’t have a job in the game, I know he’d take him in a second. The next few weeks are key for Son as well. He very well might be changing his living arrangements if he doesn’t improve.
10 days later….
Game time! All hands on deck, balls to the wall boys, take no prisoners!!



Likely the most complete game we’ve played since applied a Animality on Everton about a month back.
Kane got us off to an early lead after going a with a nice poacher’s effort after a shot from Son rattled the post. A couple of minutes later Chiesa finished a nice in the box pass by Tanguy. Not 20 minutes later, The Son Master had a great play down the flank for a nice cross that Chiesa finished (is it possible that he wants to stay?). After 31 minutes of football we were up 3-0. After that really it was clock and game management from there. Even then, 2 header set piece allowed Olmo to score a 4th goal before heading into the locker room. Mount’s goal didn’t really change much and Son, just to show off, managed to get on the score sheet for a soul crushing 5-1 for Frankie and his boys. As a side note, Tonali has officially taken over the starting DM role over star signing Florentino Luis. Football really works in mysterious ways. Thankfully City tied, leaving them 4 pts behind. In many ways, everything worked out for us.
So take notes boys. Berating and threatening your players truly does work.

But the wicked neve rest and up ahead we might just play THE biggest game of our season thus far: ZEE GERMANS. To me it’s quite simple: we win, we go through. We lose, and it’s Europa League football for us. And it’s not an option.

OT: Let’s check in on our loan prospects.


Gomes is absolutely killing it. He’s definitely making most out of his minutes. Skipp’s doing a fine job, but Maldini hasn’t played nearly as much as I’d like. A much needed manager-to-manager convo will be held, with a strong “I’m going to recall him NOW” tone to it.
On the flip side:


Other prospects I view very highly aren’t doing well and are getting regular minutes.

We talk to them constantly, but I can’t play for them. Let’s hope they can do the most with the minutes they get.



Heeereee weee gooo



Holy potato.
Don’t be fooled by the score. Zee Germans were the far better team, but we lucked out early and did our best to manage the game from there. Lloris was absolutely massive, making save after save. We lost Rose early to injury and KWP has shown yet again why not only is he NOT ready for first team football, he might not be Spurs material after all. I was right to follow my instinct in getting Frodo and Benji, because KWP just isn’t the answer. Another sale candidate. Master Son came back to his usual sh!t form. We’re having a bit of consistency crisis. Results are all well and good, but if our key players just can’t play well on a regular basis, we won’t get far, and the schedule still has some very tough teams coming up.
And this won’t make it any easier




As it stands, we have no true LB and KWP keeps underperforming. We can only hope Benji plays up to par because if he doesn’t we’re in deep shirt. It appears we’ll be recalling Davies from loan because Rose won’t be back any time soon. Massive hit for us.
After that Leipzig game, the media’s loving us



My feet are kept firmly on the ground. We’ve won games because we’ve managed to pick up and place key talent in certain areas, but we are very much a work in progress. We’re inconsistent with our play and our tactics. My staff and I realize that it’s only a matter of time before results catch up to us, but in the meantime we have to find a way to some tactical consistency. Let’s remember, I’m here to establish a culture of attacking, entertaining, and possession based football, and in my humble opinion, we’ve had that only in spurts. Call me perfectionist if you will, but this is why we’re in this business.
Now let’s close the month strong



Solid game. We didn’t get a chance really to impose our attacking brand, but we kept possession well enough thanks to what I hope is the, dare I say, breakout performance from LUCHO -aka Florention Lui-. I know, perhaps it’s too early, or perhaps he saw Tonali taking his place and decided it was time to live up to his price tag? In any case, a beautiful pass from Lucho allowed Kane to finish strong while Sanchez converted on a set piece. We chose to go with Sessegnon to cover for Rose, and he did an adequate job. I expect him to do better once he settles on.

On a positive note we end what was a tremendously difficult month. Obviously results went our way, thankfully. We could’ve easily been knocked out of the Champions League but a couple of lucky bounces (luck of Champions?) helped us through. We couldn’t against City, but destroyed Chelsea.



How are we looking table wise?

Given how ambitious our project is, to be sitting at 1st after two+ months is quite an accomplishment and something I'm quite proud of, because even though it might not look lite it, we have a lot of things to figure out.

But mind you, December doesn’t look any easier:



And that's all for this month! Thanks for sticking around with #thegrind
December coming up, stay tuned!
Emergency chapter guys and gals!



As we enter December, as you all know we had certain doubts about some players and maybe making room and money to bring some players in.

Yet somehow, out of nowhere....



That's why I've come to call this emergency chapter: #WTF

Who is this man? Has anybody seen Danny? We’re so good that he’s giving me close to 70 mil to work with in the winter transfer window -which with the wonders of installments could actually be double that. Poch is somewhere out there right now extremely pissed off.
So we’re VERY excited.


Early targets:
  • Eerling Haaland. I don’t think there’s any FM player out there who wouldn’t want to buy this kid. His price is a mystery, but we’ll make our due diligence

  • Declan Rice: Camavinga is a prospect for the future. Deke could step in right away to either start or provide quality minutes to a midfield that, aside from N’Dombele, has been wildly inconsistent.

  • Ben Chilwell: As I’ve said before, Rose isn’t my long term plans and Ben seems to be the natural replacement. A more balanced player than Rose, at 22 he’s an immediate starter on a winning team. If we add to that Leicester’s poor form and that he’s coming off a long term injury his price tag might be super low.

  • Bé (regen). Kid seems like an absolute monster. I have scouts in Brazil and Argentina with ongoing assignments to find star talent. This ST stands at 188 and even though his finishing isn’t stellar for a 17 year old, my scouts and early stats indicate he’s going to be a monster. Once I’m finished scouting him I’ll attach SS.

  • Thiago Almada: The Bobby Firmino pseudo clone. Doesn’t have the work rate Bobby has, but has all the other attributes that make him a perfect F9 or a SS. He’s also quite natural at the MC and AML. If his wages aren’t too high he just might be our best investment.

  • Fati: I tried going after him 6 months ago and had no luck -no way I was going to pay that 80 mil asking fee-. Perhaps this time around it’s changed a bit.

  • I will explore Hudson-Odoi’s value to see what’s what.

  • Mason Greenwood. In the beta I was able to get him quite cheap because he requested for a transfer. This time around things aren’t like that, but we will explore his value.

  • Jamal Lewis: the 2nd option should Chilwell be too expensive (likely case). The 21 year old has great physical stats and balanced technical attributes. We’ll see if Norwich’s ready to sell me yet another FB.

  • Tobido: we’re going back to the charge of the most technically gifted CD-DM of the entire game, in my humble opinion.

  • Ben Godfrey: another Norwich talent. Earlier in my story I called him “Declan Rice lite” but still much better than Dier. My prior enquiry ended in a 55 mil fee which I was not willing to pay.


    • Ryan Gravenberch: a known commodity in the wonderkid business. I’m waiting for my scouts to tell at what level he’s at right now. If he can play at a Premier League leavel, I’m going for it.

    • Agustín Almendra: The Boca Juniors midfielder is already super complete and balanced throughout his attributes.

    Of course I have more targets but these are the ones I’ll be focusing on and we’ll see what’s what!

    Stay tuned! If you have any recommendations I'm all ears!

    Meanwhile, #thegrind continues!
What a surprising boost to the finances. Hopefully you can use the money wisely and bring in some talented wonderkids as mentioned in the update!
silentjay's avatar Group silentjay
4 monthsEdited
All right folks, #thegrind continues!


December must start with the old farts’ review


I’m in search of that A still. Let me know what I have to get there!

Little before our first game we get the FA Cup draw


Obviously one would rather have an easier draw, perhaps a team from the Championship or what not. Instead we have to go to to KP to try and get a result. Oh well.

And our very first game is killer: @Liverpool in Anfield. Could not ask for a tougher matchup really. We already went to the Etihad and mades assess of ourselves… Let’s hope we have better all around performances even though Liverpool haven’t been playing up to expectations League wise.


Forking. Dele. That’s what this game came down to. He killed us.
2 opportunities at goal line I sh!t you not and the tosser was not able to knock them in. Motherforker. We have now placed him as a fringe player. May he suffer with that status. We will NOT back down. We should’ve gone 2-0 to the locker rooms if it wasn’t for this moron’s ineptitude and somehow they go up 1-0 from a set piece. Dele’s a disaster and if he wasn’t English I would’ve sold him long ago. He’s a f!cking disaster I just could not be more angry that he’s on my team. I doubt he’ll play again any time soon.
There’s a reason he got dropped from the England squad: he’s been absolute rubbish. The second half was more of the first. Failure to convert which later turned into a cross from Hendo after a broken play that Mané power headed home. Disappointing.


It truly is decision time for 3 specific players that have been completely awful: Dele, Son, Dier. Should I sell them? What do you guys think?

Of course the entire team will come back, first thing in the morning for resistance and endurance work. Enjoy with my staff while I sleep in!


Oh, and Sessegnon left with an injury. We’re down to 1 pure LB who’s not even up to Championship material.


For the upcoming game at home against Newcastle I’m going for a lot of rotation. No Kane, of course no Dele, no Dias, Sanchez, Aarons, Maddison, Lloris, etc. Remember what happened the last time we did that? The team responded. Let’s hope they do that.


It was truly an awful game. Can’t say enough BAD things about the way we played. Granted, we had a lot of youngsters, you’d expect the vets to step up, but of course Son and Dier were once again awful. Tonali had a fine game running things from the DM spot and Olmo saved us with a nice effort during the game’s last stretch, but beyond that we just couldn’t make things happen.
My mind is set, they will be gone shortly. Now the question comes down to how much and when?

Just before an Olympiakos game we really should be winning I’m handing these piece of wonderful news….




Jesus H. Christ. Even though his performances have been up and down, he’s a constant element in my starting XI, and now he’s going to rest next to Rose until likey March. Huge loss for us. We just have to hope Olmo is up for the challenge because the spot is pretty much his forever, but this actually opens up space for….guess who… Dele. My God. He’s been so bad this season. If can’t perform as a midfielder (we’re going for that Lampard role), then he really doesn’t belong in high level football. Things have gotten so bad for him that now I have teams from the MLS looking to loan him out. YES. IT’S THAT BAD.



Now please no more news and let’s finish out strong against the Turkish side.


This one was way too close to call. I can only really say we’ve been EFFF EMMED. Look at all those shots, look at possession. Yet we only managed to win barely in the last 2 minutes. We were THIS close of actually missing out.

And LOOK AT OUR SAVIOR. DELE. AS A MEZZALA. Perhaps Olmo’s job as a starter isn’t so safe. I do feel though that Gouiri -even though he’s improved- isn’t really ready to be Kane’s legitimate replacement (hence my interest in Haaland). I am very glad to get this one out of the way. The boys did receive a very aggressive speech and I think we need to do much better. But bear in mind, there was no Chiesa at all. No Kane until the 2nd. No Rose or Sessegnon. No Dias. No N’Dombele either. I’m extremely disappointed in Saka though. He’s been given plenty of opportunities in many different roles and he just can’t play well. Perhaps a loan move would be wise because he’s been thoroughly disappointing.

Since the transfer window’s coming up, we’ve decided to unload players that we know aren’t in our plans:


There’s wasn’t too much money to be made here, but anything to add to our cash machine is very welcome.
Up next, “the fallen one”’s previous team (Saka) – Arsenal at the Emirates. Now let’s take a look at the players unavailable: Tonali and Lucho out due to 1 match ban. Maddison = out. Rose = out. Sessegnon = out. This means Son will make his way back to the matchday sheet, but will he play. This also means Dele will get another chance as a MEZ to shine. We have a 5 point cushion I hope to somehow retain. We’ll see.



F1ck you, Davinson Sanchez. Seriously.
HARD. I hate you.
We had the lead 3 different times even though Arsenal just kept on taking shot after shot at a an exceptional Lloris. When we had the match controlled and with less than 5 minutes to guy, this f!cking idiot decides he’s Pique and wants to come out dribbling high up the pitch, only to lose it to Laca who obviously finished with ease. Just a crushing tie. With all the injuries, I would’ve signed up for a tie immediately, but given how this game went, this tie is absolutely crushing, and really, the main culprit’s name is Davinson Sanchez.
I NEED TO FINE HIM. But I can’t. And what's worse, he's a surefire starter, but I hate him.
Motherforker.


Oh, I forgot…

Bye byeeee….. I get to dump your salary and make close to 30 mil for a player that not only wasn’t in my plans, but that didn’t do ANYTHING with all the time he had gotten. We welcome the chance at having extra flow and cash to work with. Good riddance.

Anyway…. On to the next one.
But just before we had an event to attend:



I can’t be mad about this. Obviously there are no “easy” matches at this stage, but seeing some of the other fixtures I’d say we have a good chance if we execute properly.


We’ve had an eye on this kid for a while. He wasn’t on the list I showed you guys earlier because I didn’t expect to sell Dier for 28 mil, so that extra cash allowed me to make a couple of extra moves. Jack of all trades really. Well suited for just about any MC role out there. And he’s going to be TWICE as valuable once Brexit arrives and has everyone going ape sh1t.


Now this kid WAS on the list. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a WP for him, so I’ll be loaning him out the second he sets foot in London. With any luck, he’ll be ready by 2020. As I’ve said before, he’s got all the potential and talent to become a very similar player to Bob Firmino, and we’ll be looking to do just that. A bargain at that price really, specially consider what he goes on to become.



Back to Carabao Cup action against a Preston side we should be able to defeat. But I still want to make changes, specifically that motherforking Davinson Sanchez. I want him away from my team.


Dele played hero once again with a great hattrick-two penalty goals though. Tonali played the role of moron and right after he got fined from the code of conduct for stacking up on yellow cards he managed to see a red early in the second. We had to live 30 minutes with one less player thanks to his stupidity. Our superiority wasn’t really reflected in play, but at this point we just need to start playing the way I think this team can play.
We were also surprised by the CC draw:



I actually went public saying I wanted Watford, and the football Gods made it happen. Obviously not an easy task, but one I think we’re ready for.

Coincidentally, Watford was up in the Prem as well…




This was a great game for us. Saka FINALLY played decently. Bard, our WB of the future got the POM and got himself an assist -hopefully the beginning of many. I gave Son a chance off the bench and he repaid my faith by missing a one on one. Patience just isn’t there with this guy. At the same time, AKB also came off the bench (as you might remember, Davinson Sanchez right now is MY purgatory) and got himself in the scoresheet, showing good things as Dias’ partner. Obviously this won’t be a constant, but more time is due, and we still hate Sanchez for what he did to us in that Arsenal game.
As we approach the dreaded Xmas-New Year-1st week of January- period, we’re looking strong, reinforcements are in the way, and I’m starting to find a lot of positives that weren’t there before.


Dier’s money might be enough to help us bring BIG fish. Stay alert

  • Dele seems to be finding his way as the MC of this team, which now gives the difficult task to have Olmo (and later on), Maddy to play on the wings. It’ll be interesting to see.

  • Is Saka finding his way?

  • Will Mo or Sigurosson establish first team presence? The former has definitely made a strong case, but we will see.

Meanwhile, far away from London…


David was one of my targets in the summer and we made a bid around October, but his crazy bosses wanted around 30 mil, and although I’ve seen David become a monster in many saves, we have to be careful because we have bigger targets in mind.


Remember how we were destroying locker rooms left and right during the summer…well…


I placed a monster 40 mil offer for Greenwood which they rejected, which of course I didn’t counter, and now I’m causing all sorts of trouble between the wundekind and Ole. If I can make make Grenwood get even madder, perhaps we can get a nice discount for him!

Suddenly, out of nowhere…


BOOOOOOMMMM

I was back in forth between offers for about a month. Once they I accepted one that would only take about 15 mil off my budget I jumped on it. This is the type of signing the changes a team forever. If we don’t win big soon, it’s likely Kane leaves, and if we do, a huge offer is likely to be made that we can’t refuse. If that happens, There’s no shame in having a 19 year old wonderkid of his talents take over. We’re very excited about this as it opens up opportunities for different tactics, like a 4-2-4, or a 4-2-3-1 with Kane as a SS. Very interesting indeed.

Meanwhile, we lost our 1st spot in the Prem due to City winning earlier in the week, but if we beat Man United we have a chance of taking our spot back. No easy task of course. I’m insisting on Dele as a mezzala and see how he responds against a better team.


I have NEVER. NEVER. IN ALL MY YEARS. SEEN A GK HAVE THE GAME DE GEA DID. He was EVERYWHERE. This game was the very DEFINITION of “EFF EMMMED”. I was 5 minutes away from somehow losing this game I had completely controlled. Like I said above De Gea was absolutely monstrous. Incredible. A mistake from Kane allowed Man U’s goal on a counter, but he made it up by scoring a penalty to tie things up, even though he overall had a very average game. With the game winding down it was our set pieces that allowed the forker Sanchez to have the goal all to himself, only to hit it like the moron he is but thankfully it bounced off Mata straight into the net.

Key win for us as we go back to 1st place and take points away from a direct rival for Champions League football.


Oh, and our guys might’ve gotten “stuck in”


Now we gotta close the month and year strong


These are one of those games you really want to “unwatch”. Once again we had something like 409850354 shots with no luck. FM is EFF EEMMING us quite a lot. Mo got minutes and he delivered with a goal. Melvin Bard keeps providing quality minutes when given the opportunity and Mukiele’s slowly establishing his role as one of the up and coming CB’s of the Prem. Kane had a very quiet game, I believe these was one of the few games he actually didn’t play those 90 minutes, and his replacement, Gouiri, didn’t do much better. Now that Haaland’s coming in, a couple of these youngsters are going on loan because they’re just not cutting it. Sigurosson and Gouiri are likely heading out on loan, but Mo will stick around because he’s responded beautifully.

Transfer window opens up shortly, which means key players are coming in!

Let's take a look December Fixtures overall.


We really wanted that Arsenal game and more could've been gotten out of that Liverpool match, but all in all, I can't complain. Tough decisions are ahead, but that only means exciting times!


But let’s also look ahead at Jan


Thankfully we close December on a high note!

Super excited! #thgrind continues
A great month in terms of results despite that first loss to Liverpool. Always seems to be whenever you sell a player they come back and play incredibly against you! Unfortunate to draw Leicester so early in the cup but it should be a game you win.

Some huge transfers there as well! 21 million on a 16 year old is incredibly risky, hopefully it pays off for you. Also Haaland at 50 mil is a massive deal, but as I think every FM player knows, he turns out alright ;) From experience you have got a right bargain in for Almada and if he turns out half the player he did in my beta save, you can be pleased. Greenwood would be a massive coup, as like Haaland he turns out incredible this year!
1
2019-12-02 21:00#263451 TheLFCFan : A great month in terms of results despite that first loss to Liverpool. Always seems to be whenever you sell a player they come back and play incredibly against you! Unfortunate to draw Leicester so early in the cup but it should be a game you win.

Some huge transfers there as well! 21 million on a 16 year old is incredibly risky, hopefully it pays off for you. Also Haaland at 50 mil is a massive deal, but as I think every FM player knows, he turns out alright ;) From experience you have got a right bargain in for Almada and if he turns out half the player he did in my beta save, you can be pleased. Greenwood would be a massive coup, as like Haaland he turns out incredible this year!

If the player's a proven wonderkid, I'm not afraid to pull the trigger with bigger money (like in Haaland's case). I agree that Jude's contract is a bit much, but that's also due to being British, which will be useful for us moving forward. By default English players are at least 60% more expensive than others. Definitely some risks there but we gotta take them!
silentjay's avatar Group silentjay
4 monthsEdited
We're back for a lengthy and very busy month of January folks.

#TheGrind moves forward! Enjoy!


Obviously some awards are in place, but given the ups and downs of my young squad it seems like a longshot that anyone will be considered for anything….but even so….


I don’t mean to sound ignorant, but this is something Son should win relatively easy every year if he’s in form, right? The fact that he hasn’t tells you a lot about his past 6-7 months, making my state of moving him even stronger.

At the same time we’ve been updated on Brexit:

All I can say is: Thank you Jesus. For the longest time I always ended up getting hard Brexit and it really hurt my long term saves. This time around it’ll be like nothing happened and that could not be better news. And even so, thanks to our business we’ve been able to pile up on nice British talent, so things are looking very good in that aspect.

We begin January with our fresh signings coming in! Now obviously the beast that Haaland is could be ready to play immediately, but seeing as how we’re playing Leicester in FA Cup football, perhaps it’s best if I bring him slow into the scene. Milenkovic’s another monster that should be ready to go right away, but for chemistry purposes perhaps he’s better off the bench as well. We’re playing Watford not too long from now, so maybe that’ll be the day they make their statement.




Also, due to Rose’s injury and Sessegnon’s shaky play -and even though he’s healthy again-, we’ve decided to bring Ben Davies back to start immediately and we’re likely to loan Sessegnon out so he logs some much needed minutes.


As with any new month, you get a new set of old farts judging from their ivory towers…

Still looking for that elusive A. I figure that if we keep track with the great work we’ve done thus far we can get there!


Leicester at King Power. Not an easy game by any means of the imagination. Due to a brutal cold going around, we lost Davinson forking Sanchez, forcing Nik to make his debut immedately.

Really could not have asked for a better game. Everyone played well. We dominated and cared more about possession instead of really going all in on attack, and within that flow we managed to score at ease in that 1st half. Haaland made his debut playing a full 45 minutes with a rather poor performance (seen in a 6.4 average). Nik had a solid game. Ben Davies came back with a bang to get POM with 1 assist and 1 goal. The team’s really starting to come together. Olmo as an AMR with Dele as a MC really is providing creative football in the last third of the pitch. Dele’s case for staying is looking very good.
On to the next round! An on that note
:

Once again we play away from home, but unlike Leicester, Palace are a much tougher opponent having a solid season, standing strong in 8th place. We’ll have to be at our best.
And right before the game, we found out….



We had to get this one done. Even though he wasn’t a top 10 target, once we learned he requested to leave we knew we could get him easily for 40% less than his original value. And viola. At one point a 60 mil offer was turned down by Roma, so to get him for 35 mil was an absolute steal. Ironically enough, Olmo has really found his way lately at that AMR/AML position, but hey, you gotta welcome a player of this class coming in. Son’s money still on the books. Should we sell him? For how much?
Oh and look at the report….”FRINGE PLAYER?” Seriously FM….you’ve hyped this prospect up for the past 5 years and your assessment is “FRINGE PLAYER”. Well you know what? I’ll take YOU FRINGE PLAYER.


Next up: Watford at Vicarage Road for the Carabao Cup Semi Final’s first leg.


Tremendous result. The “fringe player” had a 2 goal debut (“fringe” my arse), while Chiesa had a tremendous solo effort pretty much running the entire pitch by himlsef while Olmo got himself on the scoresheet yet again. We went with the same lineup as our FA Cup match except that we subbed in Tonali for Lucho. Kane and Haaland were quiet once again, but this result allows to play a bit more relaxed, and likely a B team for the home game. Great result.
Still, there’s much to do.



Nice to get almost 10 mil for a player that wasn’t in our plans, which translates to an extra 8 to work with in transfers. Unfortunately, our targets’ price tag is just way too high and we’re gonna have to be creative in order to keep building an organization full of wonderkids while keeping strong financial balance.
Looking ahead, we have Everton at home. Since we’re playing an extra tournament, the rest of the Prem have played their games, and knowing the results, if I beat Everton I can create a 9 point gap between ourselves and City and United, both tied in points. It’s a great chance to create a cushion at a crucial time, because our fixtures only get tougher from now on.



This one went our way in every single possible way. Haaland had a monster game -with a solo effort that included a 40 yard run and later going round the keeper. The “fringe player” got a goal and an assist. And my most expensive signing ever, Fede, got himself 3 assists. Just complete domination. We rested Harry -though it was more of a “get rest because you’ve been sh!t lately- sort of “rest”, and boy did Haaland respond. Great result as we stay ahead in the table with one less game than our closest pursuers.

Meanwhile:

Obviouus no? Kid doesn’t have a WP and we need him to get one. Exposure in Chine -while getting a U23 call up- certainly helps his case. We’ll be keeping a close eye on Tiago.

I thought I’d play him more, but Mo and Sigurosson were the ones that really played better. It only makes sense to get him more minutes. I wanted a team to cover his entire salary while give him starter’s minutes, and this was the closest I could get.

It only made sense. Henrichs had played better in his absence. Davies has been recalled, and Rose will be back in a month. Sessegnon was not gonna see much time here. Along with his hefty salary and fee, we make a good deal here.


Sidebar: our tactic has found the proper familiarity and there’s a strong level of chemistry as well, and the results are beginning to be seen. But I find myself wondering, should we venture into 4-2-3-1 territory or even 4-2-4 land? Or should be play out the season with a tactic that’s providing results for now? We’ve constructed a team versatile enough to really play any of these tactics, so that’s a positive for us, but going away from something that’s working seems risky. At least we’ll work on them as alternatives so the lads get used to them (who knows if they’re any good lolol!).

Anyway, now we go on the road to face a struggling Burnley needing some points desperately to get away from relegation spots.

And then...



Remember when we destroyed Wolves’ locker room when we rejected their counter offer for Jota? Well, apparently he’s had enough, has barely played over the season, and has finally requested a transfer. It’s gotten so bad that Wolves are happy with a 17.5 mil offer! I was told by my scouting team it’d take around 50 mil to acquire his services at some earlier in the season. We won’t be making a move for him at this point, even though it’d be a tremendous bargain. We have a couple of regens we’re interested in and will look to bring them in if the finances are right.

Anyway…

F!ck you, Davinson Sanchez. I think I say this a lot.
I don’t think there’s a manager in the world that holds so much hatred for a player. This last performance took my patience to the limit, and I’ve found my threshold. Seeing red after 6 minutes WHILE having the lead is something only morons and low IQ players do. There’s no room for that here. So after the game I’ll be getting on the phone to whoever has the bad luck of representing you and I will be selling you, I don’t care the price. I’ll find a young wonderkid to replace your sorry arse. Anything over 20 mil will suffice. I will not tolerate this level of stupidity. Mukiele’s due for more time as well, and we have a couple of interesting prospect we want to look at.


We went to an asymmetrical strikerless 4-2-2-1 to try and hold them off and make some damage in the counter and hopefully regain possession with 2 DM’s. We certainly did that. And from a set piece we even managed to extend our lead thanks to Nik, who bagged his first ever Tottenham goal. They clawed one bag in the 91st minute and we were quite about to sh!t ourselves, but the lads managed to hang on. Very proud of them for hanging on for basically 90 minutes with 10 players. By the way, Davies has been nothing short of stupendous. We really hit it on the head bringing him back. And honestly, if he keeps performing this way, maybe it’s best to move on from Rose? Another interesting dilemma to have.

We manage to get an important result that we must now defend at home against a Crystal Palace team that now stands 7th in the Prem, though quite far away from European football. This marks the beginning of the “no more Davinson Sanchez” era so we are very happy about that.

We keep our wheeling and dealing:

With Haaland’s arrival and the decision to keep Son (at least for now), the space for Amine was minimal at best. For now going to Fiorentina at a good role, while them taking on his salary is a good development move in my opinion.


Off a missed Haaland penalty the 1st goal of the game arrived thanks to a nice play by Chiesa and Under. Before that, Bard and N’Dombele got hurt so I was forced to make 2 changes at halftime so as to avoid further injury. This game marked the first awful performance by Haaland, reflected on a disgusting 6.1 rating. The youngster’s missed penalty was the icing on a sour game where he couldn’t shoot, pass, and probably walk. By the 2nd half CP had tied the game and we didn’t have many answers. We tried everything and the missed chances by our forwards was just FM’s way of EFF EMMING us. The first truly mediocre game we’ve had in a long, long time. Really bad timing considering we play Man U in just about 2 days. We had the chance to get 9 points of separation between the 2nd place and we lost it. Just a lack of class by our young team, which is to be expected when your team is so young. Still, these are the points that completely kill you at the end of any season.
Now comes a really tough one…


As it has been the case against big teams, we just can’t manage leads. Twice we were ahead and twice allowed them to tie. One through a -granted- great play form those forkers and one thanks to Lloris coming down with a sudden case of butter fingers. Another sub par game from Kane, and a set piece allowed them to score the winning goal. Very disappointing once again. The lack of character to win these games are becoming quite apparent and disturbing. I wouldn’t have minded a tie, but the team even lacked the character to win. Just a bad loss overall. And on top of that Sissoko scored their winning goal while Deulofeu scored a screamer... Just awful and pathetic and embarrassing. First truly bad loss of the season. Awful game from my back 4, specially Dias and Nik. Just bad really. I’m still super mad that I can’t fine over performance.
I do say I miss when the press picked up on the fact that I completely destroyed my team in my locker room talk.



Now we go back to facing CP again, away again, this time in FA Cup fooball. 2 games have passed since we last won and now we have this really tough match ahead of us… And…


First off: Yeiiii we can players again for sh!t play!!! I very much missed that. As you can probably tell by now I’m a no bullsj!t manager, and that implies scolding, extra training hours, and fining.
This game was far from pretty, but a goal from the “fringe player” saved us with about 5 minutes to go. We weren’t very solid, but in these tournaments, away games are tougher than ever, and the group managed to pull it off quite well. (sigh of relief - phew).
So now we must continue.



Buuh byeeee. Granted, I could’ve gotten more if I’d waited for the offseason, but I’d lost trust in him and I have his replacement already there in Nik along with Mukiele, ABK, and another kid I’m looking at. Our project and his stupidity just didn’t mesh well. It was a doomed arrangement from the beginning of time.

Next up, the 2nd leg against Watford (we won the 1st leg 4-0) for the CC semi finals. I feel this is a great chance to go with an entirealy new starting XI, have our new MC’s debut – Camavinga and Jude, have Project WB (Trincao) start a full top flight game in that position, Haaland of course up top, with Mo and Sigurosson on each wing.

By the way, there’s 5 days left for the transfer window to close. Will we be conducting any business? You never know!!! There are some targets!


Stick around, next update will have 1 last January game and our last actions in the transer window
#TheGrind moves on!

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