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The Sir Alex Ferguson Challenge FM20

Started on 26 May 2020 by Emprex
Latest Reply on 10 July 2020 by Emprex
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A pretty tough month of games is followed by yet another. Rough.
2020-06-08 19:12#273609 ScottT : A pretty tough month of games is followed by yet another. Rough.

indeed, I thought the early games would have carried me through this month but looks like we have crashed back to earth. If I can stay in the top 10 following the next 3 games I will be very pleased.

Its also worth noting that Tottenham have really struggled so far this season.

1st December

Tottenham (A) Predicted Points 1

Lazaro and Almiron and back in training but are not match fit for the game despite this they will both start the game. Lascelles has a slight knock for the game so will be replaced by Schar.

Only 10 minutes to break the deadlock in this game and it from Dele Alli Farinez is unable to collect the ball from the cross. 1 - 0.

21 minutes in and Pepe has a chance that hits the goalkeeper Almiron pounces on the defection to make it 1 - 1.

Batshuayi had a great chance to score but could not beat Loris to the near post.

Harry winks makes it 2 - 1 on the 29th minutes from a great effort from outside the area.

Against the run of play the ball falls to Longstaff from around 30 yards out who hits it into the top corner. 2 - 2.

The ball is cleared out of a dangerous area from Tottenham but Pepe picks the ball up outside of the area. He strikes it goalbound. 2 - 3. 78 minutes played.

Still not quite sure how we managed to win that one. Tottenham by far were the better team.

Arsenal (H) Predicted Points 1

Unchanged squad from the Tottenham match.

ASM finds Jolinton in the box who strikes it first time to make it 1 - 0 on the 22nd minute.

Well quite extraordinary we managed to hold on for the 1 - 0 win, Farinez was excellent in keeping a clean sheet. He managed to save at least 7 good attempts on goal.

Man Utd (A) Predicted Points 1

No changes made to the squad from the Arsenal game.

We have really missed ASM 11 minutes as he whipps the ball into the box. Jolinton gets a head to it. 0 - 1.

Equalizer in the closing stages of the 1st half where a corner comes in from Gomez. Pogba manges to bring it down and direct it goalward. 1 - 1.

2 - 1 thanks to Cavani who slots it in for an easy goal thanks to the individual play from Martial.

86th minute and Cavani makes it 3 - 1 from a through ball into the box from Greenwood.

FA Cup 3rd Round

We have a home tie against Grimsby Town. Will be a chance for me to rotate the squad and give some of the younger players a chance in the first team.

December 1st Table

I'm quite surprised we have managed to hold onto 6th place considering the teams that i played.

December Schedule

Packed schedule for December. The games against West Ham, Crystal Palace & Cardiff should be wins for us. Wolves I'm hoping for a draw considering we struggled against them in the reverse fixture. Everton & Man City have to be losses.

10 / 15 points.
A lot better than I expected. Spurs continue to really struggle. Wow. They do look in real trouble at the moment. Meanwhile you continue to excel in the European spots. A sixth-place finish wouldn't go amiss! Congrats on a couple of fantastic results.
Wow! Very nice results again! Next month brings difficult matches but I'm sure you can hold onto a European place!

1st January 2021

West Ham (H) Predicted Points 3

ASM is forced off with another injury, Despodov replaces him in the 29th minute. Despodov makes an immediate impact scoring from a corner 1 - 0. Longstaff scored from long range to make it 2 - 0 in the 36th minute. Penalty to Newcastle in the 89th minute which Pepe converts into a goal. 3 - 0.

European qualification may be on the cards this season. 28 points from 15 games.

Everton (A) Predicted Point 0

James Justin is suspended for this game and will be replaced by Nuno Tavares. ASM is out injured again due to a twisted ankle and will be out for another 3 weeks. Despodov will replace him.

Pretty poor first half for both sides, best chance of the game was just before the whistle. Despodov had a freekick near the center of the park, the ball drilled into the box towards the back post where Batshuayi forced a save from Pickford. Jolinton followed up with a shot towards the near post but somehow Pickford managed to save that too. 0 - 0.

Everton really improved in the 2nd half. Sandro attempted a volley but only managed to find the crossbar. But in the 62nd minute Sandro on the counter picked out Dennis Man who managed to beat Farinez to the near post. 1 - 0.

Crystal Palace (H) Predicted Points 3

James Justing returns to the first team for this game after serving his 1 match ban.

It's a straight red card for Kouyate for a dangerous challenge on Pepe. Crystal Palace are down to 10 men with only 7 minutes of the game played. Despodov makes it 1 - 0 with a brilliant strike on the edge of the area.

Batshuayi scores from a Lazaro cross to make it 2 - 0. Within 5 minutes he adds another from a pass from Despodov. 36 minutes played.

The second half and Almiron gets the ball from a poor cross but hits it first time on the volley to make it 4 - 0.

Crystal Palace pulled 1 back thanks to Schlupp who was closing down defenders and adding pressure. 4 - 1. 70 minutes.

James Justin puts the game beyond doubt on the 84th minute he picks up the loose ball on the edge of the area and hits the target.

Man City (A) Predicted Points 0

I was considering making a few changes for this game however we are in good form and there is a 7 day gap between this game and the next. Unchanged squad again.

Jolinton 1 v 1 with the goalkeeper thanks to a long range pass from Almiron, it's in 0 - 1 2nd minute of the game.

Sterling levels the game in the 15th minute from a tight angle. 1 - 1. He later adds his 2nd in the 35th minute from a cross out wide. 2 - 1.

The lead did not last long however the next attack for Newcastle saw Batshuayi get onto the score sheet from a header. 2 - 2.

Sterling thought he added his 3rd of the game but was ruled out via VAR for offside on the 48th minute.

86th Minute and Batshuayi’s goal was ruled off for offside. 2 - 2.

Cardiff (A) Predicted Points 3

I had a difficult decision to make regarding this game as the Wolves one was 48 hours after, so I decided to rotate the squad slightly to give some players a rest for the Wolves game.

The 4 players rested are Almiron, Lazaro, Pepe and Batshuayi.

Jolinton broke the deadlock with a header on the near post in the first 20 minute. 0 - 1. Newcastle in the first half had a total of 10 shots on target. Hopefully we do not get punished like we have done in the past with our lack of clinical finishing.

It was proved right as in the 57th minute against the run of play, Cardiff levelled it from a fine long range strike from Ralls.

The 3rd goal of the game came from a swift counter attack which ended up to Okaka who was calm on the ball and slotted it in for Cardiff. 2 - 1.

I made 3 changes after this bringing Almiron, Lazaro and Pepe to hopefully win the game for us or at least get the draw.

Finally in the 83rd minute Toure was the saviour who levelled the game 2 - 2.

This match decides for me that we need more attacking power in the January transfer market. Even just a backup as I don't think that Toure is going to be good enough despite him scoring today.

Wolves (H) Predicted Points 1

After the last game the wolves game has become much more important we are currently in 6th place with 1 point behind Man City, more importantly Man Utd & Norwich are not far behind us needing only 4 to catch up.

We line up a more familiar 1st 11 here, With Dubravka back in goal, ASM, Almiron, Lazaro and Batshuayi also return.

Gibbs-White scores the opening goal for Wolves in the 11th minute.

Justin equalises the game on the 77th minute after no one really made any effort to close him down. 1 - 1.

Freekick for Wolves, it strikes the corner of the goal, the ball is cleared out wide to Almiron who drives down the wing on the counter, he is brought down inside of the box by Conor Coady and VAR confirms the penalty. Shelvey steps up to take it and it's saved. 1 - 1.

Great team possession from Wolves finds Otto with loads of space out wide, drives into the 18 yard box and finds Raul who moves the ball fast to Adama the ball it's placed into the back of the net 1 - 2.

January 1st 2021 Table

We hold onto 6th place but are only 3 points from 8th. Form needs to improve especially since the Man City game we have failed to win in the last 3 games.

I predicted 10 points from 18 this month however we were only able to get 8. I really had the Wolves game down as a minimum of a draw with the hopes of winning it but we have performed really poor for the last few games.

January Schedule

We start the new year in the FA cup which will be a chance to rest a lot of first team players. We are really feeling the fatigue at the moment so more rotation will be needed throughout the month.

Winnable games include Fulham, Cardiff and Sheffield Wednesday. I think we may be able to snatch a draw against Leicester considering their league position. But I still think we are too far away to get anything from the Chelsea game.

Predicted 10 / 15.
2020-06-08 21:15#273617 ScottT : A lot better than I expected. Spurs continue to really struggle. Wow. They do look in real trouble at the moment. Meanwhile you continue to excel in the European spots. A sixth-place finish wouldn't go amiss! Congrats on a couple of fantastic results.

You and me both, The team has done really well towards the end of the year.
Tottenham are really struggling I cant see them getting relegated mind they have more than enough to survive the drop. 6th would be magnificent and looking more and more likely every match.
2020-06-09 10:25#273646 Zed : Wow! Very nice results again! Next month brings difficult matches but I'm sure you can hold onto a European place!

couldn't agree more, really needed to dig the heels in this month to protect the league position, we never really recovered from the Man City game.
Not as good as you would have liked but hopefully this is just a slight blip and you can regain your form in the New Year.
2020-06-14 15:16#274185 ScottT : Not as good as you would have liked but hopefully this is just a slight blip and you can regain your form in the New Year.

Not the best month but we are still in a good position to qualify for Europe.
Still looking good for EL qualification, and next month only really has one very difficult game, though Leicester-away could also be challenging.

1st February 2021

Transfers In

Jose Juan Macias	17M 		Chivas				48k

Macias was not my first choice, I was trying to get Edouard from Celtic however they were wanting over 40M for him and I was not prepared to blow my entire transfer budget on 1 player.

Transfers Out

Yannick Toure		400k		Sion				5k

Grimsby (H) FA Cup 3rd Round

Only Rodon and Pepe retains there place in the 1st team today against Grimsby

The first half just seems to backup the need for forward reinforcement 17 shots taken and still no goals 0 - 0.

57th minute and Falkingham was sent off with a straight red card. Grimsby down to 10 men now.

A very disappointing result today. Even with only 10 men on the field we were still unable to break the deadlock.

After the game the 4th round draw took place in which we have drawn Burnley away. We just need a win against Grimsby first.

Fulham (H) Predicted Points 3

Back to the usual lineup today, Farinez does however keep his place in goal.

ASM opens the scoring in the 6th minute thanks to good teamwork with Lazaro with a give and go on the edge of the area. 1 - 0. 15 minutes James takes a freekick inside of his own area and launchest the ball upfield for Jolintion who has nobody else to beat beside the keeper. 2 - 0.

17 minutes Sessegnon hits it first time from long range, Farnez unable to save it 2 - 1.

35 minutes and it's a chance for Fulham to get level here with a Penalty thanks to Justin with the sliding tackle inside the area. Mitrovic takes and levels it 2 - 2.

40 minutes played and ASM has a freekick wide that is swung into the back post for Batshuayi who gets a head to the ball. 3 - 2.

Right at the end of the first half again on the counter Fulham found themselves level thanks to a long range effort from Mitrovic. 3 - 3.

51st minute and Batshuayi got Newcastle ahead again 4 - 3.

78th minute and Batshuayi manages to get his third of the game 5 - 3.

Grimsby FA Cup 3rd Round Replay

Dubravka returns between the sticks for this one. ASM and Almiron will be on the bench and are replaced by Despodov and Tavares. James will also be rested for this game and will be replaced by Dummett. New Signing Macias will be on the bench today.

Pepe converted the early chance to make it 0 - 1 thanks to a penalty in the first minute of the game.

10 minutes Lascelles scores from a header as a result of Despodov freekick out wide. 0 - 2.

Another freekick by Despodov this time from deep connected with Jolintion to make it 3 - 0. 12 minutes.

Despodov again with the assists this time from open play he crosses low to the feet of Jolinton who taps it in near post to make it 4 - 0 on 20 minutes.

52nd minute and Schar comes on to replace Rodon who is currently looking a little fatigued.
66th minute another change this time Lazaro is replaced with Manea.
Final change in the 77th minute Sean Longstaff is replaced by Hayden.

the 83rd minute and the Newcastle players looked disinterested. A lapse in concentration allowed James Tilley to score 1 - 4.

Chelsea (A) Predicted Points 0

James Justin replaces Dummett and Almiron returns on the AML instead of Tavares. I have decided to keep Despodov in the first team considering he had 3 assists in the last game.

I thought we may have held on until half time but Pulisic had other ideas he scores from a tight angle to make it 1 - 0. 38 minutes played. We are also playing with cautious mentatility. Now that we have conceded it will be changed to Attacking until the end of the half where it will revert back to the usual positive.

Just before the half time whistle and we have gone level the ball is whipped in from an attacking through jolinton managed to rise and head it backwards towards goal but its been ruled out for offside.

Trying a tactical change here Despodov has been playing well on the right side so I am bringing off Batshuayi and replacing him with ASM. I have also given ASM a free role.

90th minute and Almiron lobs the ball into a dangerous area Despodova is there to hit it on the half volley. 1 - 1.

92nd minute and Chealsea are struggling to clear the pressure, the ball has been back and forward into the box 3 times now. This time it's hit towards the back post where Despodov taps it into the empty net. 1 - 2.

Cardiff (H) Predicted Points 3

I am going to try the same tactic in this match as I did in the 2nd half against Chelsea. Despodov is playing too well to replace at the moment. Rodon will also be rested for this game as is struggling with fatigue at the moment. Schar to play.

Not the start I had in mind Josh Murphy strikes from way out and opens the score 0 - 1. Terrible first half, ASM played well and came close 2 times, so i'm going to stick with playing him in a free role.

What an absolutely terrible game, I'm getting the feeling that my tactic does not work against teams that sit back and allow us to attack. It seems to work well against the teams you'd expect us to draw/lose but in the games where we are expected to win we seem to struggle or lose. I will look at a second tactic for these games.

Burnley (A) FA Cup 4th Round

I have been creating a new tactic and I will be using it today against Burnley and will be amending it as the game goes on. I think by doing this we will lose the game however I need to be doing something else against the teams that are more defensive.

I have gone for a 4 - 3 -3 wide AM but with focus down the middle and narrow mentality with only 1 player up top.

We were leading at the break but we still looked vulnerable on the counter attack, I changed the defensive width to wide and also changed the mentality to cautious around the 70th minute. Around that time we conceded a penalty and the game ended 1 - 1.

Macias also managed to score on his debut which is a bonus.

I will continue to develop this tactic against teams around the bottom half of the table. We will revert back to a more familiar tactic against Leicester.

We have been drawn against either Sheffield United or Liverpool in the 5th round as long as we can get past Burnley that is.

Leicester (A) Predicted Points 1

Back to the 4 - 2 - 2 - 2 (4 - 2 - 4) formation Macias will start instead of Jolinton which is the only change from the game against Cardiff.

ASM opens the score 0 -1 in the 8th minute. Almiron gets the 2nd of the game as he is quickest to react to the deflected ball 0 - 2. 39 minutes. Just before the break Adrien on the volley outside of the area to pull one back. 1 - 2.

At the break it's evident that we are still struggling with fatigue, Rodon may be able to see out the match but Almiron and Macias may not. Almiron comes off at the start of the second half.

ASM wins the ball from a wide position and runs with it all the way down the line and picks out Tavares at the edge of the area. He brings it down and scores to make it 1 - 3. 58th minute.

Great patient possession play from the Newcastle CB’s waiting for an opportunity they see Justin running into space. He then plays the ball into the 6yard box where Batshuayi is able to stick a leg out to make it 1 - 4. 66th minute.

Lascelles picks out the same pass again to James this time he is a little further up the pitch so crosses into Jolinton to make it 1 - 5. 71th minute.

Poor decision to go backwards by ASM where Chilwell is there to react to the pass and instead gives it to Vardy to pull 1 back. 2 - 5. 91st minute. Another chance for Leicester here this time from out wide. It's Vardy that gets it in the box and plays it to Chilwell who scores this time. 3 - 5.

Sheffield Wednesday (A) Predicted Points 3

Back to the 4-3-3 formation for this one and another chance to experiment with it.

Rodon is still suffering from fatigue so will not feature in this game or the next game against Burnley. Pepe will also be rested for this game giving the opportunity to Matty Longstaff and Hayden. Macias is injured for this one and is out for at least a week so Batshuayi will start.

Justin with the first attacking chance of the game whips it into ASM in the box who puts it in the back of the net 0 - 1. Sheffield Wednesday with the instant reaction to tie the game thanks to Hiroki Abe equaliser 1 - 1. Sheffield Wednesday with only their 2nd chance of the game managed to pull themselves ahead to lead 2 - 1 on the 26th minute.

Batshuayi gets his first of the game and gets Newcastle back in the game on the 42nd minute thanks to an Almiron cross.

League Table 1st February 2021

Move up 1 place to 5th. We have however been swapping with Man City a few times but mostly due to different game dates/times.

A real difficult month for us: 3 wins and 1 draw with 1 defeat. That's 10 points from a possible 15. On paper that looks ok however the Cardiff and the Sheffield Wednesday game to me is 5 points dropped as we lost 1 and drew the other.

February 2021 Schedule

Big games against Liverpool and Man City this month and then to end the month is Crystal Palace. This is the only game that I am expecting anything. So prediction is 3 / 9 points
Quite a mental month in all honesty! Beginning with Grimsby somehow holding out before you demolished them in the replay, two absolute thrillers against Fulham and Leicester, a fantastic victory against Chelsea with Despodov thanking you for your faith in him and a few tactical tweaks due to results against Cardiff and Sheffield Wednesday.

Some month that was!
2020-06-15 18:26#274268 ScottT : Quite a mental month in all honesty! Beginning with Grimsby somehow holding out before you demolished them in the replay, two absolute thrillers against Fulham and Leicester, a fantastic victory against Chelsea with Despodov thanking you for your faith in him and a few tactical tweaks due to results against Cardiff and Sheffield Wednesday.

Some month that was!

absolutely, I honestly do think that even with the tactical tweaks we would not have bettered the result, we just do not like playing against teams in the bottom half of the table.

Despodov is an amazing player so chuffed with him, the only downside is that ASM plays in the same position if not for him he would be in the team every game.
Bit of a mixed month but in the end you can happy with the amount of points you picked up. Next month looks very difficult in terms of opposition but the fact they're both home games will at least make it a bit easier !

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