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The Ultimate World Football Manager Game

On Boxing Day 2020 I decided to embark upon the ultimate save on Football Manager 2021. I switched on my laptop, loaded up every single country's leagues and let fate decide which club in the world I manage.,,,
Started on 4 March 2021 by JR82
Latest Reply on 12 May 2021 by JR82
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Getting Our Feet Wet

International News

I start this post with some International News on how Cambodia fared in the South East Asian Championships.

Cambodia were slightly unlucky to miss out on qualification for the knockout stages of the tournament after finishing in third place. They managed to beat Laos and Brunei 1-0, but lost out to the same score against Myanmar and Singapore, who qualified from the group. Unfortunately for my sole representative in the Cambodian national side, Sok Chanraksmey he failed to get on the pitch and warmed the bench for the entire campaign. Never mind at least he will be nice and fresh for ours.

Match 7 – EDC v Svay Rieng 1st May 2021

First of all nobody gives us a cat in hell’s chance, but it was nice to be described as a ‘Talented manager!’

On paper Svay Rieng have a better team than us, but they are in 7th, while we are having nosebleeds in 2nd. We have had some easier fixtures of late and Svay Rieng’s visit is our biggest test since the opening day against Vishaka. They are packed with quality, including the Brazilian Pinheiro pulling the strings in midfield and American Jonathan Campbell, who is probably the best left back in the league. But, never say never, we are a better team this season, on the whole better organised in defence (famous last words) and more potent in attack. This is no gimme though, but if we are to compete with the bigger teams in the league then we should be trying to get a positive result here. Sok Chanraksmey is back from international duty and will start. Sedsody comes in for Sung Rot in midfield.

Team: 4-2-3-1 Um Channou, Channerouen, Daravon, Khemarin, Ratana, Raksa, Sedsody, O.Udom, Fasal, Veasna, Chanraksmey

EDC 0-2 Svay Rieng

Pinheiro 56

Sopheaktra 92

For most of the game we did OK, held our opposition and even created a little bit ourselves. Then we needlessly gave the ball away Sopheakta broke down the left and squared it to Pinheiro who hit an unstoppable shot low into the corner of the net – 0-1

We then had a decent spell, with Chanraksmey and Udom both going close. From a quickly taken free kick, Sopheaktra caught our defence napping to volley home for 2-0. Game over. We had 68% possession, but they were the more streetwise of the two teams and their finishing was clinical when it mattered. That was about the difference between the two sides. No shame in this defeat.

Match 8- EDC v Beoung Ket Angkhor FC – 8th May 2021

Not sure about this one. They may be 9th in the table and we may be 3rd, but they have too much quality in their ranks to be that low in the table. A South African on the wing, a Brazilian upfont and god knows what else. I line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Sophina coming in for the suspended Daravon at the heart of the defence and Sung Rot is preferred to Ouch Udom in midfield.

Team: 4-2-3-1 Channou, Channeroun, Sophina, Daravon, Ratana, Raksa, Sedsody, Saray, Sung Rot, Veasna, Chanraksmey

EDC 3-2 Beoung Ket Angkhor FC

O.Udom 60, Paiva 14,21

Saray 62,

K.Udom 88

Absolutely buzzing! We were 2-0 down at half time with them looking like they could score with every attack, to putting on a superb second half performance of which we were brilliant in every department.

The first goal was a really annoying. Fasal could have started a counter attack but his lazy ball was intercepted, the ball was bunted forward to the Brazilian Paiva who spun past Sophana and drilled it into the bottom corner.

Then after a flowing move, Ivanoldo crossed from the right, Paiva nutted the ball home for 2-0. After a dressing down at half time we started the second half, but they could have been 3-0 up easily. Then, against the run of play and out of nowhere Ouch Udom received the ball and ran past the defender before slotting home, 2-1. Two minutes later Fasal’s corner was met by the head of Tum Saray with a thunderous header 2-2. It was end to end stuff as both sides went for it.

The winning goal came when Fasal played a beautiful instant low cross and Keo Udom poked past the onrushing keeper 3-2. What a comeback from EDC, electrifying stuff! Well done boys!

New Faces

After 20 Games at EDC. Here’s the analysis of my performance so far. I needed to bring in new faces, otherwise we would have been struggling. Keo Udom has been fantastic with his dribbling and finishing and currently has 9 league and cup goals this season. The other signings have done Ok, but I need to get more out of Sung Rot and Chouem Channeroun, the right back.

Game 9 Kampong Chhnang v EDC (Prime Minister’s Cup (Second Qualifying Round)


While we were huddled around the wireless for the Second Round Qualifying Round draw there was a few knowing looks from my players and staff when the draw pitted us against Second Division outfit, Kampong Chhnang away.

'Might need your wellies for this one boss,' piped up Suon Veasna.

'More like a pair of flippers,' joked Keo Udom.

'Water and electricity don't mix boys' laughed Tum Saray.

When I enquired about this, it became apparent that Kampong Chhnang, a place just north of Phnom Penh, was also home to a floating village, which is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Cambodia.

Picture Credit: Gonzo Gooner wikipedia creative commons

Now back home in the FA Cup I'd known of cup ties played at grounds with a slope, or a plastic pitch, or freezing cold dressing rooms, but in the middle of a floating village? This beat the lot! I envisaged us having to access the ground by boat!

Pre-Match Thoughts

We are in cup action against 2nd Division opposition, Kampong Chhnang. I’ve rung the changes in light of our heroics in the last game and an important League game against National Police at the weekend, who are top of the table. I fancy a cup run this year and the Prime Minister's Cup is our best chance of silverware. I have faith in my second XI and kids to come up trumps in this one and enable us to qualify for the first round proper.

Team: 4-4-2 Kong Rafat, Theara, Makara, Nara, Sophahon, Punlock, Suhana, Rakasmey, Mol, Rotha, Chanraksmey

Kampong Chhnang 2-3 EDC

Ouch Tony 62,88 //// Nara 2, Chanraksmey 10, Rotha 53

What the players didn’t tell me was that the floating village was only one small part of Kampong Chnnang by the river Tonle Sap, which flows into a huge lake in Central Cambodia. There was a much larger city of Kampng Chnnang a couple of miles to the west, which is where the football stadium was and firmly on solid ground. In the end I didn’t need the wellies I had packed just in case, much to the amusenent of the players and coaching staff. This cup tie though nearly turned out to be a very slippery banana skin, which in the end we were lucky to come out with a win.

Things started well for us when Suhana’s free kick found Moun Nara in the box who half volleyed home- 1-0 EDC. Then the dangerous Suhana was upended in the box, Chanraksmy did the rest 2-0. Suhana then found young Rakasmey whose clever first time ball found Rotha who placed a lovely shot into the corner 3-0. Then it was the Ouch Tony show… Who? Well after half time he emerged from nowhere and decided to do his best Lionel Messi impressions. Every time this kid touched the ball he looked like scoring. We are not sure where he’d been for the first hour of the game but this guy knew how to make an impact. He frightened the living daylights out of us whenever he got the ball, which was often presented to him on a plate by our players. He ran through from his own half for the first goal, then rounded off a team breakaway goal for his second and then went close twice on top of that. Things could have got very messy indeed had he converted those chances. Ouch Tony almost made it a painful exit from The Prime Minister’s Cup for EDC. His pace is a 6-12 and Acceleration 10-15, but should be 20. Thankfully he didn’t and we held on. Into the 1st Round Proper of The Prime Minister’s Cup we go!

Next Time: A top of the table clash against The National Police, but can EDC steal top spot in the C-League from them?

Read the next part, 'It's A Steal'
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1 dayEdited

16. It's A Steal!

We've had a good start to the season and currently lie in 2nd place in the C-League, with only one team above us, everybody's favourite team and next opponents, The National Police. I do wonder in any country which has a police force football team who actually supports them? It's not exactly cool for people to be cheering the police on for anything. You couldn't imagine a crowd of normal fans shouting, 'Come on National Police! Yeeeaaahhh!!' Maybe criminals do to try and hide their crimes or to avoid a speeding fine. Who knows? The nearest we have in England to this are the Met Police who play in the non-leagues and have made the odd appearance in the FA Cup First Round.

In this part of the world football teams have developed through institutions rather than through towns and cities like in Europe for example, which means we have in Asia, leagues full of army teams, police forces and indeed the National Grid as EDC are. In fact in nearby Laos there is also an Electricity Football team. I tried to arrange a pre-season friendly with them, but this was kyboshed by both chairmen from the respective clubs, as apparently it was too far to travel, even though Laos does border Cambodia in the North. I thought it would be cool to pair the two Electricity Companies together in a friendly and then the players could maybe talk about the best way to re-wire a house in the bar afterwards.. Anyway I digress..

Match 10 – EDC v National[ Police 15.5.21

Whoop Whoop This is the sound of the Police! The National Police Commisiary FC are at the top of the C-League, so a big match today. We are buoyant after two straight wins and I know we can compete in this league and on our day can beat anyone.

Team: 4-2-2-2 Channou, Sophahon, Daravon, Khemarin, Ratana Raksa, Sedsody, Saray, Fasal, K.Udom, Chanraksmey

National Police 0-1 EDC

Sung Rot 86

What a steal! This was a smash and grab raid of the highest order, so much so our players should be thrown in prison for the theft of three points from the Cambodian Police! This game was awful and despite it being a top of the table clash, deserved to be shown last on Cambodian Match of The Day. That said we defended superbly throughout, Daravon and Khemarin were rocks while Ratana and Leng Sophohan kept their wide players quiet. Yes we rode our luck, especially when they hit the underside of the bar midway through the first half. We had no shots on target at half time, but that did not worry me. I introduced a more attacking option in Sung Rot and reverted to a diamond formation in midfield to try and have a bit more ambition going forward. We controlled the second half and had a few attacks of our own. From their corner the ball was cleared straight into the path of Sung Rot, who ran from the halfway line and slotted past their keeper on 86 minutes. Call me Jonathan Mourinho! To the top of the table we go!

Match 11- EDC v Kirivong 22/05/21

The scary thing about this one is we go into this game as strong favourites. Kirivong are down near the bottom, but looking at their squad they really shouldn’t be. They are a talented bunch and whatsmore last time we met last season we beat them 7-3 in a crazy game! Expect goals. I’m going to go with an old fashioned 4-4-2 with Veasna returning from injury on the right and Keo Udom with Sok Chanraksmey up front.

Team: 4-4-2 Channou, Sopahon, Khemarin, Daravon, Ratana, Raksa, Sung Rot, Fasal, Veasna, K.Udom, Chanraksmey

EDC 5-2 Kirivong

Chanraksmy 15,45 /// Wiang In 62
Veasna 19, 25 Lelouma 92

K.Udom 56

The scoreline rather flattered us today and on another day could have been very different. They had several one on ones which resulted in saves from Channou, or were hit wide, which on another day could have punished us. I feel a bit sorry for Kirivong, as everything seemed to go for us, which resulted in five goals and looking like we could score with every attack. A good win yes, but concerns about the defence as at times Sakasi and Lelouma cut our defence to shreds. They just couldn’t finish and we could, that was the difference. Another steal.

Goal Rundown

From their goalkick Ratana won the header which freed Chanraksmy who galloped into the box, before slotting home pat the keeper 1-0
From a corner, Chanraksmy flicked on and Veasna fired in from close range.

Fasal’s far post corner is met by the head of Veasna – 3-0

Ratana volleyed hopefully into the box. Chanraksmey ran onto it and volleyed home superbly 4-0

Fasal crossed for Ouch Udom whose fierce shot was parried only for Keo Udom to fire in the rebound – 5-0

Wiang In broke away and fired into the top corner – 5-1

Missed header Lelouma broke clear 5-2

Mid-Season Transfer Window

The mid-season transfer window started on 15th May 2021 and runs until 14th June.

Players In

Math Rotanak (Free Transfer)

I’ve snapped up this promising young striker on a free transfer. I think he has some potential and look forward to working with him.

Players Out

Nan Punlock - Free Transfer to Kampot

I’ve offloaded my back up DMC, Nan Punlok to Kampot of the Second League. He did OK for me in the first season, but had limited opportunities this term and so I decided to put him out of his misery, He will do well in the Second Division and wish him the best of luck.

Nhem Theara - Free Transfer To Banteay Meanchey

Nhem Theara has also left the club. The 17 year old DRC played a lot last season, but really was not up to the job. His performances were so bad I even had his mother in my office begging for me to drop him from the team. He has been moseying about in the reserves since then and when an offer came in I decided to let him go to Second Division Group C outfit, Banteay Meanchey, where I am sure he will be more at home. Perhaps in time, he could have improved but when an offer came in and he was keen to leave, who am I to stand in his way? It does however leave us with a lack of depth at right back, with Channroeun and Ratana the only two who can play there, plus a kid in the U21s, Mom Veasna, who is nowhere near up to the standard.

Ouch Panhaseth – on loan to Chhlam Samuth

A back-up left back who is being outgunned by a 16 year old and Leng Sophaon, which tells it's own story, I let him get some first team football at Second Division side, Chlam Samuth.

Savy Sedsody Free Transfer to Phuchung Neak

I had high hopes of Sedsody becoming a rock in our midfield for years to come, but he annoyed me this transfer window by handing in a transfer request and generally being a little sod. There’s no point having unhappy players in the squad and one that is a threat to the positive atmosphere at the club underpinned by our excellent start to the season. He’s gone to play for a club called Phuchung Neak, which currently lie in 12th in the Cambodian Second League Group C. Good luck with that...Your loss mate…

Moun Nara Free Transfer to Chhma Kamou

Nara has never quite done it for me and quite a few bids came in for him. Finally I relented and have let him go to the 2nd Division where he may be more at home.

Board Confidence Update

The board are absolutely delighted with my performance as manager and according to our chairman, being three points clear at the top of the league is beyond his wildest dreams! My expectations are to beat relegation, so whatever happens I should barring a complete disaster achieve that and more..

So far so good for EDC as they race to a three point lead at the top of the table, but can they keep it going? As the old saying goes though, it's a marathon, not a sprint...

Read the next part here: Could we do a Leicester?

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