Nice to see you had a chance to get Ennis to your club, I'll scout him in my game!
S3E4 – November-December 2022
(Leamington FC, League Two)
I started November with another Job offer, this time from Leyton Orient, who sit last in League Two. Most of the job offers I get nowadays fall into this rather insulting category, being clubs doing considerably worse in the rankings than Leamington expecting me to up sticks from a promotion prospect and rescue them. Yet, I did hesitate on this one, because I do have an affinity for Leyton Orient due to a long FIFA06 playthrough I had with them back in the day. I also recently fired up LMA Manager 2006 and started a save with them, beating a Premiership top six side, Newcastle United, 3-0 in the friendlies. Of course, here, I said no, but I wouldn’t mind managing Leyton Orient if I suddenly find myself jobless – which I won’t any time soon, because we’re on fire.
(2 – 0) Burton Albion (H) L2 – M Fernandes (1), D Happe (1)
(3 – 0) Dover Athletic (H) FA1 – S Mengi (1), J Jones (1), J Tucker (1)
(1 – 3) Blackpool (H) PJG – C Urwin (1)
(4 – 0) Dagenham & Redbridge (A) L2 – N Ennis (2), R Griffiths (1), A Babos (1)
(3 – 0) Forest Green Rovers (H) L2 – N Ennis (1), L Gabidon (1), C Urwin (1)
(1 – 1) Barnet (A) L2 – S Mengi (1)
(3 – 0) Chesterfield (A) FA2 – L Gabidon (1), N Ennis(1)
Continuing our transfer policy of the last 18 months, I agreed some early January deals for 4 young lower league and non-league players, each costing exactly £5’000 each and adding depth at right-back and central, defensive and attacking midfield respectively. Given that our total squad numbers are now eking rapidly towards 40 plus, my plan is to start these players off with some training and mentoring in the Reserves team, using their performances, development and attitudes to assess their future first-team viability.
(4 – 2) Tranmere Rovers (H) L2 – C Urwin (1), N Ennis (2), R Griffiths (1)
(3 – 1) Wigan Athletic (A) PJ2 – M Fernandes (1), J Jones (1), R Griffiths (1)
(4 – 0) Northampton Town (A) L2 – L Urey (1), S Mengi (1), C Urwin (1), R Griffiths (1)
(2 – 0) Oldham Athletic (H) L2 – N Ennis (2)
(2 – 0) Leyton Orient (H) L2 – N Ennis (1), R Griffiths (1)
(2 – 0) Morecambe (A) L2 – S Mengi (1), R Drench (1)
(0 – 2) Leeds United (A) FA3 –
All in all, November and December were months marked by a tonne of goals, a solid defensive record, and some respectable progress in the various cups. Niall Ennis continues to outperform the standard of this league, and pacey young striker Russ Griffiths is starting to become a real impact player during his frequent substitute appearances. We reached the third round of the FA Cup for the second season in a row, and were subsequently dumped out of it by late goals from a Premier League side for the second season in a row too. Yet our performances are encouraging and our results in the league are putting the rest to the sword. I’m confident we can continue our healthy record.
In other news, England, naturally, went out to Holland in the quarter finals of the Qatari winter World Cup. I have decided I want to try my hand in international football, but I may have to build my reputation more after my first international application got rejected by Guinea-Bissau, a half-star African nation. Sobering.
@Wolf, indeed. You could argue that if I didn't sell Ellison, I wouldn't need Ennis, but I don't think keeping Ellison was really sensible given what the club could do with a sum of that size. I'm glad Ennis has been firing.
@Justice, it's quite amazing what he's been able to achieve so quickly, both in goals but also a reasonable amount of assists.
@Tango, I figured out a little while ago that a good centre forward, whether that's an ST or AM (shadow striker), is worth even neglecting the other positions to get the right person in. Maybe it's a quirk of the game or something, but if you have a 20-30 goal striker, he's still gonna find a way to get 15-25 even with a sh*t squad.