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Ipswich Town - The Tractor Boys

Started on 26 October 2021 by Aaron
Latest Reply on 1 November 2021 by FMBlake
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  • VIEWS7278

Ipswich Town - The Tractor Boys

So then, it looks like I've been enticed by the pleasures of potential in what looks to be yet another wonderful year of Football Manager. With the new beta release comes fresh ideas and opportunities for myself and many others alike to implement in their very own footballing universe. With the fate of World Football in your hands, who will you be setting your sights on taking to the top?

Myself? Ipswich Town.

A typically traditional English side with a fairly successful history (albeit not so recently) who for the last few years have really begun to fall off into the deep dark abyss that is the English football league. Having suffered the cruel realities of relegation from the Premier League at the end of the 2002 season, Ipswich have failed to make any inroads on their journey back to the top flight. Since then, they've established themselves as a Championship level club, and we even relegated three seasons ago down to League One.

My job? Take them back to the top. It's as simple as it gets. With the ghost of Obi-W - Sorry I mean Bobby Robson on my shoulder I shall face the daunting task of making the clubs way back into the Championship and beyond.

I've many goals for this save, I shall list them all down below and we can talk about the realism behind each target.

Short Term:
Promotion to the Championship via winning the league
Materialize the leagues best backroom staff
Implement a possession based philosophy on the pitch

Long Term:
Promotion from the Championship
Establish selves as Premier League regulars
Push for European spots
Win the League Cup
Win the FA Cup
Achieve a top 4 finish
Win the Premier League
Win the Europa League
Qualify from Champions League Group stages
Win the Champions League
Win the Club World Cup
Execute the countries/worlds best youth system

These are all the goals I'm setting out to achieve during this save. To bring home just a selection of these accolades would be incredible in itself but I have lofty ambitions and believe we can go far here.

For the course of this save which will hopefully run for the life length of football manager 22 provided I don't get the sack, I shall be taking a class of 92 approach. Now this doesn't mean I won't be signing players - I will. Though the majority of them will be young and talented whilst I may decide to make a few more experienced signings every so often just to keep the hierarchy balanced.

So this does also mean I will be relying heavily on youth. This does obviously depend on the quality of intakes as well. If they're not good enough, I won't sacrifice the teams performances for a vanarama level player that MIGHT one day be good. However should I have a decent young player with potential who plays in a position I need then he will get the nod to the first team before I think about signing anyone.

Should the intakes start poorly, I'll look far and wide over the UK for the best talent and try to bring them over to the club in a bid to progress or even sell for profit.

The absolute dream here is to win everything with a squad built by our youth academy in majority.

I haven't decided how I will update here yet. To start with I think I shall do as follows.

Pre-Season & Transfers
Half Way Mark
Youth intake preview
End of season review

This is mainly to condense the pressure on myself to update - I don't enjoy playing 3 games and feeling like I desperately need to write updates so I think 4 updates a season is ample at least for the first few years! Things may change on this front in the future but we'll cross that bridge when it comes to it.


Ipswich Town - 2021/22 Pre-Season Review

I've been so excited to finally get this save off to a start, I'm currently making my way through October as I write this update for you but for now we'll just be talking about our plans for the coming season, our tactical philosophy and we'll be welcoming 2 new players at the club before we kick off our League one campaign against newly promoted Morecambe!

So first of all we'll have to talk about how I plan to get Ipswich playing this season and beyond. I'm sure tactics will change over the course of the save whether this is due to a poor run of results or just trying to freshen the system up to keep the save even more interesting on my part.

This is the primary tactic I'll be using for this season. Now the set up in terms of formation is purely based off of how I feel the teams strengths line up to the best of their ability. Our wingers are notably awful, also few and far between so it makes no sense to play wide.

Our strikers leave a lot to be desired in all honesty and Pigott is the only one of any real quality so with a signing or two we'll be strengthening up there. The rest of the team is fairly solid and in my opinion capable of promotion already so I think my job now is to get some good loan signings in to guarantee that - and then sit back and enjoy what will be a brilliant season.

as for our instructions, this is a condensed version of what I often use higher up the leagues. It's how I believe a traditional English side should play. High intensity, High pressing, keeping the ball on the ground and creating lots of chances. So that is pretty much how we'll play throughout the save barring any disaster.

As for signings we've not much money, but a decent wage bill so I've delved into the market for a couple of players - One you'll all be very familiar with - and I believe him alone will help us to achieve our goals this year.

We all know Hannibal from Manchester United and to pick such a quality player up for a season in League One is absolutely incredible and I snapped their hand off at the opportunity.

I believe his creativity and energy will set us a cut above the rest now and he'll slot nicely into that box to box midfield role, right next to Tom Carroll.

The not so exciting transfer now. Bradshaw is ok, not what I'd have preferred to get but there wasn't much else available to us so in he comes from Millwall to help out in our front line. Hopefully next to Pigott he'll start banging in the goals and see us on our way to the championship.

The rest of the team looks good in general however we start off the save with 5 loans already. All of which are either pointless or just not up to scratch so I couldn't go any further in the market. My plan is to see how they do and if it comes to it I shall be terminating loans in January and strengthening with much better loan players.

I've already cancelled 2 for Hannibal and Bradshaw and I didn't want to have to keep cutting out the signings made prior to arrival just for the sake of realism. So as I said, we see what the score is in January.

In other news, the worst possible start to managing a club relying on youth - Bryan Klug our HOYD has left for Wolves. There was absolutely no stopping him and I'm bitterly disappointed as he's one of the best in the game...So I've had to hire a replacement. Still good, though not quite Klug.

That's all for now but stay tuned as I'll be back roughly around the 1st January to update on how we've been getting on.

Ipswich Town - The Half Way Mark

We have gotten off to an absolute flyer in this save. With the task ahead looking monstrous, it would always be important to get off to the best start possible in our first season and i think its safe to say we're currently well on our way to ending our first season with just the right amount of success we were all expecting.

It did get off to a tricky start with a couple of losses but as time went on we seemed to gel to our tactics and begun playing some electric football. With Hladky in between the sticks we were keeping clean sheets left right and centre and as they say, attack wins you games, defence wins you titles. We've conceded the least amount of goals out of anyone so far which has been hugely important.

With everything going swimmingly it's hard to see at this point how we could possibly fail to gain promotion but who knows what could happen?

The only real negative is that we are out of the League Cup to the hands of Bristol Rovers which really is very disappointing. Had it been a couple of games later I reckon we would have been alright but Bartons boys progress instead and good luck to them.

At the moment I can't see us losing. We go into every game wanting to win and pushing for every possible 3 points.

As for transfers we have changed things up. 3 more loans have been terminated as we were not using them, and in their place we bring in some monster deals and I'm now so so excited for the second half of this season.

As you can see I've held absolutely no punches in the transfer window. Our strikers this season have not been anywhere near good enough which may come as a surprise considering our results. So in comes Joe and Folarin to take over up top and see us over the line and into the Championship.

In other transfer news, Hannibal extends his loan into next season and Wes Burns leaves the club for 300K hence the signing of Yerson who comes in as a much better option than the Englishman.

As for everything else, there's not much to talk about. We've won so much that in some sense it's almost gotten boring because well...We've not really anything else except the league to play for. Although we do face Everton in the FA Cup 3rd round so a big performance is needed at Goodison!

Always nice to see traditional clubs being able to bounce back like this. At least you'll be back into the Championship sooner rather than later

Ipswich Town - Youth Intake

It's now time for every football managers favourite time of year. The very day each and every one of us awaits anxiously in anticipation of the newest, most talented young players arriving at whichever club they have chosen to manage.

Here at Ipswich we take today especially important as this area of the game is the one we are looking to try and improve, to catapult the rest of the club into the stratosphere of the footballing world. Clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool and Southampton all fit the same bill when looking at great English youth academies. We want Ipswich to reach the levels of Ajax and Barcelona's La Masia.

We'll be taking our first look at the young players to arrive at the club in 2022, and although at first glance we haven't got tons to be excited about, I still think we have positives to take from this years intake.

So below average according to our Head of Youth Development and I can't help but feel this might have been a little better with Bryan Klug at the helm but not to worry.

It's not the best I've had in the past but for a current League One team with our reputation it's probably the best we're going to get at the moment so with that I'm happy and we do still have a few players with some half decent potential.

Now these two probably weren't the best looking in terms of potential but in terms of current ability they're probably further along than the rest so i thought maybe it best to showcase these guys before anyone else.

We signed approximately 8 new players to our youth squad so we're by no means short of new faces. They've all been placed on personalised training regimes based on where I see their strengths and how I'd like them to fit into the team in the future.

Overall I'm hoping for better next year. It's not brilliant but it will do. Should we arrive in the Championship next season our reputation should boost back up a little and with any luck better players will want to join us!

That's all for now until the end of the season...

Ipswich Town - End of Season Review 2021/22

The old days are back! With our first trophy win since 1992, Portman Road is bouncing once more. A mammoth effort in the run in has seen us back into the Championship at the first time of asking (Third time for the club).

We begun the new year a little wobbly, it felt as though a hard knock to Everton saw a slip in confidence going into the remainder of January but as soon as we hit Feb, that all proved to just be exactly what I'd hoped. A mid season blip in the road.

Crashing out of the FA Cup meant we'd failed another part of our boards club vision as they expected us to reach the 4th round but in my defence...Everton? I'll take it.

None of that would matter in the end really though as the Tractor boys would be heading back to the Championship after a huge 23 unbeaten streak in the league. Not such a bad way to gain promotion, and also the league title.

In the end we finished as centurions on exactly 100 points in what would be a very memorable season. It's not exactly a major trophy but it's the first of what we all hope is many.

Looking to next year, we've to fight for our right to stay in the Championship. I'm by no means going to kid myself and expect back to back promotions like most of you FM wizards. I'm just simply not that good.

My general plan for the team is to stick with the same tactic and formation, whilst giving the opportunity to those who impressed me this season to keep their place in the team. Players will be coming in through the door to sure things up as we'll have a lot of outgoings at the end of contracts - It's always nice to get shot of the deadwood and freeloaders.

Joe Gelhardt, Balogun and Hannibal have all signed with us for another year on loan so they're here to stay and with any luck will push us towards even more success. Our two January signings weren't brilliant this second half of the season but with 6 months at the club under their belt I'm hoping by the time the new fixture list splutters out they'll have bled in comfortably.

Next time I see you all will be in preparation for a new season...See you all then!


Ipswich Town - Pre-Season 2022/23

On the back of a marvellous league winning season, myself and the lads were now heading into our next big challenge. The Sky Bet Championship. Widely regarded as the most competitive league in Europe, here...Anyone can beat anyone and I feel like that's exactly the situation we'll thrive on this year and I can't wait to see how things go.

We made a few signings going into the season, 2 joining Gelhardt, Balogun and Hannibal on loan and 2 more on permanent deals.

As I said before in the last update I'm a fan of continuity and I fully believe most of the team we had last year plus some youth academy graduates will be able to put up a good fight here.

First of all we needed to sure up our defence so in came Nathan Collins on loan from Burnley and Jack Robinson on a free after his fairly unsuccessful stint at Sheffield. Both players represent solid options in our back line and both will play in a pairing of 2 at the back switching around with Woolfenden. Robinson is a renowned left back so it's good to know we have the option of playing him there should Penney suffer an injury or suspension.

We then had to focus on the other side of the pitch. I'm planning on sticking with Vincent-Young as my starting right back same as Penney but we were desperate for back-up and Wolves were happy to oblige by accepting our offer for Luke Matheson.

Finally, journeyman goalkeeper Scott Carson joined on a free transfer after his spell at City and acts as back-up to Hladky who is of course our first choice. Not much more to say on that one. He does what it says on the tin.

We had a couple of outgoing transfers too. Wes Burns was no longer happy at the club and asked to leave and as in this save I'm trying my very best to keep players and dressing room happy I was comfortable accepting his wishes and accepting a 300K bid for our second choice left back.

Then Kyle Edwards left to Derby for around 425K. A decent young player though primarily a winger he never looked like he'd get a proper chance here at least for the time being so I felt it best to get rid before he became unhappy with my management.

So we've raised some funds in the summer and spent next to nothing which I'm happy with, especially considering we look a much stronger side now.

As you can see we look like much stronger outfits in contrast to our fellow promoted clubs Portsmouth and Wigan. Mid-Table is the expectation from the league and the board so mid table is what we will aim for. I'm again not expecting promotion - Just happy to solidify a spot in the Championship, see where we stand come the end of the season and fingers crossed if we're still here...Look to develop and progress on what we will have achieved.

In other good news over the break I managed to fill out the entire backroom staff. The youth sides are now all up together and looking good but most notably I've already done what I set out to do short term and formed the leagues best coaching team.

As for the squad taking us into our first game, this is what we currently stand with. Every player here represents either a new signing, an academy graduate, or a player that's earned their right to be here which is something I fully believe in. Take your chances, and I shall pick you.

That's all for now. We actually start off our campaign away to Wigan so I'm really hoping for a good start to the year with a win, and then we draw Birmingham in the League Cup so fingers crossed we can put some points on the board and make our way through the rounds in the cup!

Till next time...
Aaron's avatar Group Aaron
1 yearEdited

Ipswich Town - The Halfway Mark

It's been an extremely difficult start to life in the Championship as you can see. It's true what they say, it really is extremely competitive and we're having to fight tooth and nail at the moment for any win. The story of our winter run in was almost looking told on the first day as we were held to a draw against Wigan Athletic. An 84th minute equaliser won us our first point but a lack luster performance was leaving me shaking my head.

It was out of the League Cup in the first round once again for us against Birmingham. We completely dominated the game and peppered their goal with shots but unfortunately couldn't find a way through.

Our first win of the season was in another late comeback against Coventry and we were all hoping this would be where our fortunes turned.

We were wrong.

A massive problem for us this season has been scoring goals. We haven't been too bad in defence, it just looks even worse because Balogun and Gelhardt can't hit a cows arse with a banjo...and our other options are absolutely terrible as it stands.

We've had so many shots, all the possession, some of these games I can't quite believe we haven't won because the rest of our team is fantastic every game. I was looking for back up up front...

On boxing day Balogun scored a hattrick, and up till new years he went and bagged another 3 in 2. Having hit form I decided to keep him as I had planned on terminating both his and Joe's contracts. I decided to keep Joe as well purely as back up from then on.

Step up...Jonathon Leko

My new favourite player! Jonathon joins on loan from Birmingham for the rest of the season and I can't quite begin to contain my excitement at the prospect of finally scoring goals!! With Jonathon up top and Balogun now in form and partnering him I'm hoping now is the point at which we push on for more wins!

Ipswich Town - Youth Intake 2023

Another year passes by and my did it go quick. It seems like just yesterday we were receiving our first inta...Oh, it was.

Well anyway here we are again in March in the midst of a league struggle and finally we've got some really good news that brings potential and much to look forward to. In December my head of Youth Development came to me and informed me that we'd be receiving what he believed to be a pretty decent influx of young men to our youth academy.

I'm proud to say that it came to be even better than that.

As you can see we're in for a lot of promise. Something I'm confused about is I was told there would be an A grade goalkeeper which I was extremely excited about as I look to earn profit from Hladky and fill his space with someone younger. We did get a keeper, though just not what I had hoped.

The two main stars coming through though...Both occupy the same position. Frustrating.

So first we have Kian Ramsbottom who plays on the left as a right footed inverted winger of course as you well know we don't play with wingers but mid season we have switched to a 4-4-2 to try and grab some results.

I'm really excited about Kian and I'm hoping he can develop into a star for us on the right hand side as a winger. Any changes to tactics in the future may see him take his favoured left hand side but for now the 16 year old sits in our u18s and come end of the season provided we're safe may get some game time.

Our other potential star is Dale Aguilar. Again pretty much the same player as Kian though he prefers to play up front as an advanced forward. We do play with an advanced forward so it's certainly possible for him to play there. It all just depends on how well he improves in the finishing department. As it currently stands it's not great.

Can't see this guy getting much game time yet as for some reason I'm just favouring Kian for now but depending on how they both get on in the youth systems who knows what the future holds.

Really pleased with this intake. It embodies everything we set out to do in developing our own players and hopefully this is just a small sign of what is to come in the future. All I ask for next time is maybe just a bit more variety in terms of positioning.

Ipswich Town - Season Review 2022/23

Well to begin with it really was not the season we were hoping for but luckily with a formation change we soon started to turn things around in the second half of the season with a nice little section of wins in March/April which really helped to fire us up the table.

It was just about time we needed someone to start scoring goals and after many months of begging and pleading with Balogun and Gelhardt to sort it out, one of them eventually did. Balogun started absolutely banging in the goals next to Leko who begun to do just the same thing.

Joe saw his place in the first team taken away and rightly so as he continued to put in poor performances week after week. I get he's young but really mate, 2 goals all season? Not good enough.

We still weren't in any kind of form to shout about and mid table really was exactly where we were going to end up come the end of the season but for a first year back in the Championship that was our aims and I guess for now I have to be happy with that.

We now know just what it takes in this league. I feel like had the goals come sooner we may have finished a lot higher but I'll take that one on the chin. Lots of development made this year. Our academy players Albie Armin And Cameron Humphreys have come on leaps and bounds this year and look set to keep improving year on year.

Next season my goals will be to rely a lot less on loans. I think the direction of progress we need to move in is to bring in a couple of marquee signings hopefully on free contracts and tie them down to the club - Getting us into a position where we have assets we can later cash in on for much more.

I think if we stick to that sort of plan the money will start to flow which will enable us to invest more in our academy and in the transfer window.

I won't lie either...I know exactly what will happen if we get to the Premier League too soon and it's not pretty. So a couple of seasons in the Championship will do me just fine.

Ipswich Town - Season Preview 2023/24

Here we go then...Our second season in the Championship and I cannot be more excited to show you all who we've signed and sold in the lead up to our first game against Portsmouth. I said in my last update I was hoping to rely a lot less on loans this year and whilst we have filled the squad up with 4 of them, they're more for squad depth than strengthening the first team.

So first we'll start off with who will be joining us permanently and then we'll get to our loan players. After that we can talk a bit about sales and our aims for the season.

First up it's my new favourite player on this years FM so far!! Jonathon Leko is back for another season but not just one...4 years he'll be staying as the right winger has agreed to join Ipswich at the end of his contract with Birmingham.

Really surprised they were willing to let him go but after his loan stint with us it was an opportunity I simply couldn't pass up on.

25K a week to seal his services in our front line which makes him our highest paid player. I have no qualms about that though. An investment that could be massive, on and off the pitch.

You probably weren't expecting this and in all fairness neither was I but when Joshua Zirkzee became available at the end of his contract I was again met with a deal I couldn't say no to.

Desperately in need of strikers I snapped Bayern Munich's arms off for this deal and I can't quite believe I'm saying this but Zirkzee is now an Ipswich Town striker for the next 3 years. This deal wasn't quite as expensive as Leko. Zirkzee took a pay cut to join us on 10K a week and I shall be repaying him with regular game time this year and hopefully if he can help us get to the Premier League...A bumper contract extension.

Now a man from across the pond! Cameron Carter Vickers links up with the team this summer to become our new and improved starting centre back for the foreseeable future. I was screaming out for centre backs this summer and Cameron fit the bill perfectly despite their being a number of options available to us.

Cameron will be starting ahead of Woolfenden who despite his loyalty will now only be a squad player. A good option to have but he just didn't do it for me last year.

Another end of contract signing which I'm over the moon about.

Now this one would end up being the only player we actually spent money on. 170K for the talented Jamie Shackleton from Leeds. A cut price for a brilliant central midfielder which I was once again desperate for as we lost a lot of our depth on June 30th.

Shackleton now lines up for us in the centre of the field and can pretty much play any role asked of him so I'm even more delighted at that. Ball winner, box to box, playmaker. You name it Jamie does it.

Then in came a second player from Bayern. Clearly not bothered about letting their future prospects go Bayern were having a summer clear out this year and I was making absolutely no complaints.

Our new starting right back is Josip Stanisic and I'm delighted to say he's a huge upgrade on what we had last season.

I'm looking into employing a new tactical system this year and I think Josip fits how I'm aiming to play very well. A defensively solid right back with the availability to move forward and help out when needed in attack.

On the other side of the pitch starting for us is Celtics ex left back Greg Taylor. The Scotsman just like the others joins on a free for less than 10K pw which I was surprised about. Represents great defensive work and has a bit about him in the offense department.

A very well balanced player that strengthens the side tenfold and will be so so important to our game this season. I hope for end of contract signings like this every year...

The final player to join permanently now. Nathan Bishop comes as our new back up in goal due to the departure of Scott Carson who decided to hang up his boots this year. A decent back up option but I've more to say about this one later on in the sales section, so continue reading to find out more!

Thought we were done? Oh I'm just getting started. This is where our loanees start to come in and first we have Aston Villa man Carney Chukwuemeka who to be honest I'm hoping doesn't play much this year purely for the fact I have to search his name whenever I type it.

A little bit like Shackleton he can play as a playmaker and box to box midfielder so in my opinion a great option in the squad when others are injured. Not the most exciting transfer but I'm happy to have him.

Another midfielder on loan from Hull. I was looking to purchase Greg but deemed his price tag of 2M well overpriced and out of our reach so I was more than happy to loan him in for a season and sure up the centre of the pitch.

He'll more than likely start for us next to Shackleton and I'm hoping the two can form a solid partnership between them and create lots of opportunities for the not 1, not 2, but 3 players ahead of them.

To finish off the frontline we have Jamie Bynoe-Gittens! A player I became very familiar with last year on FM and this year he's head and shoulders better so when I saw he was available from Dortmund for absolute peanuts I just had to get him.

We now have Zirkzee, Leko and Gittens as our front 3 in attack and I'm like a kid at Christmas. I cannot contain my excitement for this trio and I'm absolutely buzzing to get them on the field and hopefully tear some teams apart.

What a signing! Joe Gelhardt who?

Last but not least it's Jamie Donley from Spurs on loan as backup to our main man Zirkzee. Not much to say about this one, he's young and talented but will only provide cover for us this season as next I'll be looking for young and talented permanent options. And there's no way Spurs let him go. Here's hoping he can help us out.

Player Sales:
I won't speak loads about player sales as I feel there's not much need. We're only interested in how much is made I think so I'll go through the most notable and perhaps screenshot the transfer history.

Hladky has officially left the club for Seattle Sounders. Around 3M the fee but he will be staying at the club until the 1st January 2024 so we have 6 months to find a replacement. Though I think that may just be Nathan Bishop who is more than capable of seeing out half a season for us in goal. Like I said...I had more on him later. The new starter maybe?

By deadline day Derby were clearly in a rush for players spending 4.4M on Rakeem Harper, 3.9M on our left back Penney, and 1.9M on our right back Vincent young. Nearly 10M made in sales on just 3 players who were all back up individuals anyway. Unbelievable stuff really.

As for our new system we're going for a 4-3-3 or whatever you like to call it I know it varies from person to person. Much more possession based, looking for an opening patiently whilst also patiently waiting for a mistake to grab the ball back rather than pressing teams into losing the ball.

I feel like this will keep our thread bare squad in tact when it comes to fitness and offers the biggest chance to go out and dominate opposition teams. It's a system we all know can work well if implemented correctly but how will it go for us?

Season Preview:
Overall we're looking pretty solid. We don't have a lot of depth but I quite like a small team as it leaves less opportunity for players to whinge about game time which I can't stand. Any huge injuries and I plan on using some of the players from our youth set up so we can give opportunities for them to develop.

I think I've found the right balance in squad size now and I'm very happy with what we've got. This has all the makings of a fantastic season. The bookies have us once again in 13th place for the end of the season but I think this time we'll shock everyone!

Mate you are flying through the seasons! Love your philosophy and even though last season was tougher than the first, I think in the long run you will do well. Some cracking permanent signings this season, good luck in season 3!

You are reading "Ipswich Town - The Tractor Boys".

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