On FM Scout you can chat about Football Manager in real time since 2011. Here are 10 reasons to join!

My Crewe story - The Railwaymen on track to the top…

Managing Crewe Alexandra from the nPower League 2 to the Premier Division and European glory....
Started on 2 March 2012 by Webslinger
Latest Reply on 15 October 2012 by Webslinger
  • POSTS151
  • VIEWS186514
Crewe stars of the last league campaign:
Devlin and Catalano were named in the team of the year as the best defensive partnership. Svensson only managed the bench.
Svensson came third in the Footballer of the year.
Goikoetxea came third as well young player of the year
Oliveira was second in Golden Gloves behind De Gea, with De Gea winning because he achieved the same number of clean sheets in less matches than Oliveira
And I got the manager of the year

An excellent news followed when the board informed me that we have been granted permission to build a new stadium! Hoorah! Capacity will be around 26,000

Crewe players called up for the World Cup are
Denmark: Svensson and Gernsoe
England: Devlin, Townsend and Foster
France: Goikoetxea
Germany: Gro
Italy: Catalano and Tirloni
Holland: Gommers
Portugal: Oliveira

Lyon has won the Champions Cup after beating FC Porto 1 – 0. Could have been us :(

Now it’s time to look forward to next season, and as well to the World Cup, since I am managing Nigeria as well. Coming to this, I’m not sure for how long I want to carry on with international management. Should I resign after the World Cup or compete in another African Nations Cup and try to win the final for 2 consecutive times?

With Crewe, my target for next season is to get a more creative midfielder in the team. I am planning to change the way we have been playing, from a more direct approach to a more Barcelona way, with short passes, the 'tiki taka' way!
With the World Cup on the horizon, I need to get the Nigerian team ready and get in some players for Crewe as well. But first the World Cup, where now I need to see who I am going to drop from the 30 players called up to make my final 23-men squad!

First friendly against England!
Going to play against some of my own club players!

International Friendly
Nigeria – England: 0 – 1
It was an even match overall but Townsend managed to score at the end of the first half when he got at the end of a cross by Henderson.

International Friendly
Nigeria – Norway: 1 – 3
Goal: Babatunde
Harsh defeat but it gave me a chance to see some new faces in action and try them in the formations I am going to use in the tournament. Babatunde played well and on this display, it will be hard to drop him from the final squad!

International Friendly
Nigeria – Austria: 1 – 1
Goal: Ighalo

With my selection finalised, it's time for the tournament and see what this bunch of players is made of, since it is quite a young squad, with many new players replacing the old ones since I took them over.

We have been drawn with France, Sweden and Iran. I think we should be able to qualify from this group as I see France as the only major threat. Sweden without Ibrahimovic should be easier.

World Cup 2018
Nigeria – Sweden: 5 – 2
Goals: Ighalo(2), Ideye(2), Babatunde
Ighalo scored in the first minute to give us a great start when Ideye’s shot was blocked by the keeper and fell to Ighalo to shoot in an empty net. Sweden pegged us back when Eliasson scored 2 minutes later. We regained the lead when Amadi found Ideye in the area who scored a powerful shot at the nar post. Ideye turned provider again just before half time and his pass found Ighalo with plenty of space to hit a swerving shot for the third goal. Sweden got another back on the 63rd minute, but we restored our 2 goal lead two minutes later Obi’s freekick from the left was met at the far post by Ideye’s header for the goal. Obi hit the post on the 69th minute with a long range shot. Substitute Babatunde got a 5th goal in a scramble in the box. We have shown that we were a team not to take lightly here!
Great story mate, how many seasons can you do on FM?
#54526 bennlufc97 : Great story mate, how many seasons can you do on FM?
I've never thought about that! The longest i've played was back when FM was still Championship Manager and that was about 8 seasons. I guess the story will continue for some 3/4, maybe 5 seasons, until Crewe is number one in the world in consecutive seasons!
World Cup 2018
France – Nigeria: 1 – 1
Goal: Ighalo
Ighalo had to replace the injured Ideye on the 11th minute and on the 24th minute, with our first shot, we scored after a great run and shot in the area by Ighalo, having kept France quiet up till then. France equalized though on the 37th minute and we managed to hold on to draw with the current world champions!
Ideye is out of the tournament with a torn hamstring :(

World Cup 2018
Nigeria – Iran: 4 – 0
Goals: A.Odita, Bala, Amadi, Babatunde
A good win that allowed us to finish first in the group ahead of France on goal difference.

Coming back to Crewe, I have identified a few midfield targets, Suso from Liverpool, Mezut Ozil from Real who is transfer listed by request, Lidor Janach, a 20-year old wonderkid from Ajax and Ashley Kennedy, a 22-year old Australian from Caen.

World Cup 2018 2nd round
Turkey – Nigeria: 1 – 2
Goals: Babatunde, Ujah
Turkey scored first in the 18th minute but Batatunde equalized on the 32nd minute. The score did not evolve so it went to extra time. On the 99th minute, substitute Ujah produced an outstanding lob to score and we manage to repel Turkey’s attack. We had the chance to kill the match but Batatunde hit the post on the 120th minute.

We will play Uruguay in the quarter final.
I have bid for Suso and Lidor Janach.
Suso is asking for 140K per week so I cancelled negociations. I cannot afford that much!

World Cup 2018 quarter final
Uruguay – Nigeria: 1 – 1P 2 - 4

Goal: Babatunde
I switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation with 2 defensive midfielders from the normal 4-2-4 to try to cope with Suarez and Cavani. Babatunde scored with a powerful shot after a great run from the half way line into the box. Switched to counter attacking after the goal. Ujah missed a couple of great chances to increase our lead in the first half. After missing a third one, I replaced him by Ighalo but Suarez equalized at the other end in the same minute I made the substitution. In added time, Babatunde was sent off for 2 yellow cards so had to play extra time with 10 men!

When Suarez missed the first penalty, my belief that we could qualify returned. We did not miss any and on the 4th, Christian Rodriguez missed for Uruguay to send us in the semis!
Other quarter final results as follows:
Italy – Serbia: 1 – 0
Holland – Spain: 0 – 2
Germany – France: 1 – 1p

We will play Italy in the semis. So, I will be coming up against my Crewe players in Catalano and Tirloni!

For info, in the 2nd round knockout stage, Brazil was beaten by Spain 0 – 1 in extra time whereas Argentina was beaten by France 1 – 2 in extra time.

Real Madrid is asking for 40 million for Ozil… Too much… will not pursue…
Season 2018/2019

Board expectations

Back to Crewe, and the board wants to know my expectations for the season…

I reserved my judgement again here, telling the board we can achieve Champions League qualifications again, due partly to making fundamentals changes to tactics and the way I now want the team to play!

Janach transfer delayed due to need to grant work permit…

Friendly matches arranged:
Puebla – Crewe:
Notts Co – Crewe:
Maritimo – Crewe:
Portsmouth – Crewe:
Crewe – Sporting:
Grimsby – Crewe:
Buyuksehir Bld – Crewe:

Now, back again to our World Cup adventure! And it's time for the semifinals! I think we were the first African team ever to reach a World Cup semifinal!

World Cup 2018 Semifinal
Italy – Nigeria: 4 – 3
Goals: Ighalo(2), Bala
With some tired legs after 2 games requiring extra time and Babatunde’s suspension, I had to change the team a bit and we had a bad start with De Montis scoring for Italy in the 1st minute. But Ighalo equalized 8 minutes later. Italy regained the lead on the 18th minute through Rossi after a bad clearance and 4 minutes later, De Montis added a third. Victor Moses had 2 chances but shot weakly at the keeper. Rossi got a fourth just before halftime. Italy’s short passing game was tearing us apart as well my players’ inability to make chances count. In the second half, Bala missed a chance after a delightful through ball by Amadi who had replaced the ineffective Moses. But he made amends 2 minutes later after Ighalo’s shot was blocked in his path by the keeper. Ighalo made it 4-3 in the 77th minute after being set up by Amadi.
Great effort, but a place in the final was not to be against a very strong Italian team. I am happy though that we performed admirably and pushed them to the end as well as reaching a stage where no one was expecting us!

Spain has beaten France 2 – 0
Final will be Italy against Spain and we will play France for 3rd place.
Janach’s permit has been turned down :( . I’ve appealed. The guy is a new full international, has 5 caps, so how come???

World Cup 2018 3rd place
Nigeria – France: 3 – 2
Goals: Ighalo(2), Uzochukwu
Uzochukwu opened the scoring for us on the 34th minute with a curling shot from just outside the area on the left. Ighalo added a second 5 minutes later after a one-two with Babatunde and then unleashing a powerful shot in the top tight corner of the net. In the second half, on the 49th minute, Ighalo got his second goal with a low shot after dispossessing Varane and the loose ball was played back to him by Bala. With Sakho off on the 55th minute for a professional foul, I made some substitution with around 10 minutes to go and France took advantage to reduce the score twice, first by Goikoetxea, then a Kenneth Odita own goal. We held on for the win though! Great achievement for an African team!

Spain have won the World Cup with an own goal by Catalano. They were the better team however, with 56% possession, 2 from 15 shots on goal. Italy had 4 shots, none on target.

With 7 goals, Ighalo is joint top scorer with Rokvic of Serbia, but he is second in Golden Boot having taken more matches to score those goals.

Babatunde won best young player of the tournament.
Mattia Tirloni, Babatunde has been named in the World Cup dream team, with Gro, Ighalo, Amadi on the bench.

Relief…! Janach has been granted a conditional British work permit. Krisztian Adorjan has gone the other way as part of the deal.

Friendly results:
Puebla – Crewe: 0 – 9
Notts Co – Crewe: 1 – 5

Turkey, Russia and Mexico have offered me a job to manage their national team. I guess they have been impressed with how far I’ve managed to take Nigeria at the World Cup! I have refused all of them.

Maritimo – Crewe: 3 – 1
Portsmouth – Crewe: 0 – 1
Crewe – Sporting: 2 – 2
Grimsby – Crewe: 0 – 7
Buyuksehir Bld – Crewe: 0 – 7

5 wins, 1 draw and 1 lost in pre-season, not bad, though I have preferred not to lose. It is understandable since we are still getting accustomed to my change in playing philosophies.
August 2018

Community Shield
Crewe – Man City: 2 – 0

Jonker scored in the 11th minute and it was almost one way traffic from then on as we threatened Man City time and time again but could not wrap up the game. It was only in the 96th minute that captain Tirloni received a pass from Foster in the area, turned and shot, the ball hitting the far post into the net. A deserved win for us. Some minor injuries noted though I hope all of them will be available by the start of the season.

The season is finally under way. The pressure will be on us to try and retain the title.
Main results week 1:
Bristol City – Liverpool: 0 – 4
Aston Villa – Arsenal: 4 – 2
Chelsea – Wigan: 0 – 1
Blackpool – Man City: 0 – 3
Man Utd – Blackburn: 3 – 0

Premier Division
West Brom – Crewe: 0 – 2
Goals: Hettich, Catalano
Hettich gave us the lead right after the restart when he got on the end of a cross from Redsted to strike home. Catalano scored a header on the 78th minute when Gernsoe’s corner was headed by Devlin to him at the far post.

Premier Division
Crewe – Bristol City: 3 – 4
We made a flying start to the match when Novotny scored on the 25th second, heading in after the ball rebounded off the bar. I thought this was going to be a walkover after Bristol City’s heavy defeat against Liverpool. How wrong I was! Bristol City fought back and equalized from a corner on the 9th minute then went ahead on the 18th minute. Gernsoe equalized on the 34th minute. But in the second half, Scannell gave City the lead again on the 50th minute. Then controversy happened in the 76th minute when Scannell fouled Catalano to take the ball from him and score but the referee allowed the goal. Townsend got one back on the 89th minute but it was too late. Some players underperformed badly today! I may be dropping some players after this match or give them a chance to redeem themselves and then make a decision on underperforming players!

Liverpool – Blackpool: 5 – 0
Arsenal – Chelsea: 1 – 0
Wigan – Man Utd: 1 – 3
Man City – Ipswich: 2 – 2

League table end of August

We have been drawn with holders Lyon, Schalke and Fiorentina in the Champions Cup

September 2018
Premier Division
Blackpool – Crewe: 0 – 8

Switched to a 4-3-3/4-1-2-2-1 formation with Konig coming in central defence and Catalano moved up to the defensive midfield role. Konig scored in the 2nd minute and Goikoetxea doubled the lead on the 12th minute with a header from Svensson’s cross. Goikoetxea got a second one following a quick counter, racing clear on the left and hitting a hard low shot into the right corner of the net. Goikoetxea got his hat trick 6 minutes later when he pounced on a cross from Svensson to score a low shot. Svensson scored on the 42nd minute after Goikoetxea dispossessed a defender on the half way line and Svensson got onto the ball, raced clear with only the keeper to beat and hit a low shot. Devlin added a 6th with a header from Tirloni’s freekick. Konig got his double on the 81st minute from a Gernsoe’s corner. Gernsoe got on the scoresheet on the 92nd minute when he pounced on Svensson’s cross to direct the ball into net following an excellent counter. This was a great response to our previous defeat and our biggest win ever, the previous record being the away win at Fulham 7 – 0.

Other results:
Newcastle – Man City: 0 – 0
Ipswich – Liverpool: 1 – 1
Tottenham – Fulham: 0 – 1
Man Utd – Arsenal: 4 – 1

African Nations Quals Grp D
Nigeria – Comoros: 3 – 0
Goals: Babatunde(2), Temile

I have put Nigeria as the 5th team in the world rankings following recent results and success.

African Nations Quals Grp D
Nigeria – Botswana: 3 – 0
Goals: Babatunde(3)
Babatunde scored 2 in the space of 3 minutes in the second half, then got his hat trick 13 minutes later after Godwin Ejike’s shot was deflected into his path.

I forgot to list the transfer dealings for the past window. Here it is
Premier Division
Crewe – Ipswich: 4 – 1
Goals: Townsend, Goikoetxea(2), Catalano
Townsend opened the score in the 10th minute following a good team move involving himself, Svensson and Goikoetxea who set him through. Goikoetxea doubled the lead on a counter when put clear by Jonker. Catalano got the third from a Svensson freekick from the right. Goikoetxea got his double in the 68th minute after Jonker regained possession on the left. Andy King scored a consolation for Ipswich in the 81st minute.

Other results:
Man City – Tottenham: 1 – 0
Arsenal – Everton: 0 – 1
Aston Villa – Man Utd: 0 – 1
Liverpool – Newcastle: 2 – 0

Champions Cup Grp G
Crewe – Fiorentina: 5 – 0

Novotny opened the score in the 27th minute following a one-two with Jonker. Catalano got the second from a Svensson corner on the 39th minute. Catalano headed home his second from a Svensson freekick from the left. Novotny got his second on the 69th minute after Goikoetxea’s shot was blocked by the keeper into his path to send into the empty net. Novotny got his hat-trick on the 83rd minute following a turn to evade his marker and hit a curling shot from the edge of the area. Fiorentina did not even manage one shot on us!

Premier Division
Newcastle – Crewe: 1 – 2
Goals: Goikoetxea(2)
We should have scored in the 15th minute but Newcastle managed to clear the ball off the line from a Goikoetxea shot with the keeper beaten and out of position. We then had a goal ruled out for an alleged foul by Lebourg following a corner. We broke the deadlock after a great layoff from Goikoetxea to Svensson who went wide to cross for Goikoetxea to tap in. Newcastle was awarded a penalty in the 62nd minute for a Lebourg foul on Cabaye and Lebourg sent off for the foul. Fortunately, Donker ballooned the ball high into the stands. However, tactics had to be changed now since we were down to 10 men and I changed formation to 4-1-1-2-1. With Konig having already replaced the injured Foster on the left side of defense, I opted to move Novotny out of position to the left of defense for his decision-making qualities and move Konig inside. 7 minutes later, Newcastle missed the chance to level when they hit the post and we managed to clear. In the 71st minute, Gernsoe played a great ball to Goikoetxea who brushed off a defender’s challenge inside the area and hit a low shot to double our lead. In added time, Newcastle clawed one back from a corner but it was a little too late.

Barrie Foster is out for 5-6 weeks with strained knee ligaments.

Other results;
Birmingham – Man City: 1 – 4
Tottenham – Liverpool: 3 – 1
Man Utd – Chelsea: 3 – 1
So, it is still Man Utd at the top, with us in second due to the game we lost against Bristol City.

League Cup 3rd rnd
Crewe – Cardiff: 2 – 0
Goals: Janach, Vince
We opened the scoring at the start of the second half through a great 25 metres shot into the bottom left corner by Janach. Ollivier’s header hit the bar on the 67th minute following a Gommers corner. We made sure of the win on the 83rd minute when Townsend’s headed flick on found Vince and he did not make any mistake to send the ball into the corner of the net. Though the score was just 2 in our favour, it did not reflect the game as Cardiff did not manage any shot on us. A good performance from Ollivier on his debut.
Gernsoe out for 2-3 weeks with a groin strain.

Premier Division
Crewe – Tottenham: 0 – 0
We played better but could not find the breakthrough, with Novotny and Goikoetxea misfiring badly today.

Man Utd still top and unbeaten, winning 1 – 3 at Watford

League table end of September 2018

October 2018
Champions Cup Grp G
Schalke – Crewe: 0 – 4
Goals: Goikoetxea(2), Afellay own goal, Devlin
We scored early in the 2nd minute after a great run and shot by Goikoetxea. On the 35th minute, a Devlin shot blocked by the keeper deflected off Afellay and into the net to increase our lead. Goikoetxea got his second in the 58th minute. Devlin added his name to the scoresheet late on with a header from a Hettich corner.

Premier Division
Birmingham – Crewe: 0 – 3
Goals: Townsend, Janach, Tirloni
Good performance. Townsend scored in the 9th minute from a Gommers cross from the left. It was Gommers again that provided the assist for Janach to score from close range in the 28th minute. Slick passing resulted in the third goal in the 39th minute when Goikoetxea found Townsend in the area who immediately squared the ball for Tirloni to score.

African Nations Quals Grp D
Cape Verde – Nigeria: 2 – 2
Goals: Babatunde, Ighalo
This story is excellent! Well done!
I've got a save with Woking at the minute and and in the Championship in 2017. Having read your story I am feeling more interested/motivated in carrying on my save to see how far I can get with it.

Its good to see you have been able to compete more often than not in the transfer market even tho you have had such a small ground - wages or lack of have been my biggest point of pain!

Keep up the good posts!
#56057 bunji : This story is excellent! Well done!
I've got a save with Woking at the minute and and in the Championship in 2017. Having read your story I am feeling more interested/motivated in carrying on my save to see how far I can get with it.

Its good to see you have been able to compete more often than not in the transfer market even tho you have had such a small ground - wages or lack of have been my biggest point of pain!

Keep up the good posts!
I managed to compete by extending the payments for 24/48 months and more importantly, by buying cheap, promising players on a free at first. Novotny and Janach have been my most expensive buys and they have come after 5/6 seasons. Gernsoe, Svensson, Jonker, Townsend, Gro, Tirloni, Konig, Catalano, Lebourg have all been free or very cheap buys! When you start winning major trophies, the money will come though you still have to be careful not to exceed wage cap!
Premier Division
Crewe – Fulham: 2 – 2
Goals: Novotny, Goikoetxea
We had a really bad start, going 2 down within 5 minutes with goals from Sissoko and Sterling. We had a good goal disallowed on the 35th minute. Made 2 changes at half time with Goikoetxea coming on for the ineffectual Gro and Lebourg replacing O’Brien at right back, Sterling having made a fool of him there. Novotny pulled one back on the 55th minute. 2 minutes later, it was 2-2 with Goikoetxea scoring. The game could have gone either way from there, with us missing some clear chances and Cleverley missing at the end as well for Fulham. My decision to rest a couple of players may have backfired on me and we are now 7 points behind Man Utd ?. Could prove costly! I’m getting the impression as well that 4-3-3/4-1-2-2-1 is better suited for this team now since our only lost and 2 draws came with the classic 4-4-2!

Liverpool – Man City: 0 – 0
Arsenal – Ipswich: 0 – 2
Man Utd – West Brom: 6 – 0
Chelsea – Bristol City: 0 – 2

Champions Cup Grp G
Crewe – Lyon: 4 – 0

Starting with this match, I brought a little change in my 4-4-2 tactics after my previous observations. We started brightly and in the 4th minute, a one-two between Janach and Novotny saw Janach hit a fierce shot from the edge of the area that gave Lloris no chance, 1 – 0! Novotny added a second when a defensive tackle on Svensson saw the ball fell to Novotny in the area who just had to place his shot into the left corner. Catalano got the third from a Svensson corner after the header by Devlin was spilled by Lloris back to Devlin who squared the ball for Catalano to score. Another Svensson corner minutes later saw Catalano rise highest to power a downward header past Lloris. We were cruising and good value for it too. Lyon came out blazing in the second half but we were strong and organized and controlled the game from then on without adding to the score. We’ve beaten the Cup holders!

Premier Division
Crewe – Liverpool: 1 – 0

Pavel Novotny broke the deadlock on the 43rd minute when he dived into Svensson’s low corner to head the ball into the net. Hettich missed a golden chance to further our lead on the 52nd minute when his downward header from Goikoetxea’s cross was cleared off the line by Lucas. Reina made a couple of important saves to keep us at bay. Then it was Oliveira’s turn to make 2 saves to keep the score in our favour from Leuci and Lucas shots.

League Cup 3rd rnd
Crewe – Leicester: 2 – 0
Goals: Gommers, Gernsoe
I made wholesome changes for this match which arrives just 2 days after facing Liverpool and with a difficult trip to Man City in 4 days. Gommers opened the scoring on the 2nd minute with a beautifully curled free-kick from outside the area into the top left corner. Gernsoe doubled the lead after Vince’s shot was blocked and fell into his path. We had chances to increase our lead but did not take them, though a comfortable win overall.

We will play Man City in the League Cup quarter final

League table at end of October
Wow Webslinger this is an amazing story much admiration for you. On FM13 (When it comes out) I am going to have a go with Fleetwood and hopefully I can acheive great things like you have... How have you acheived getting into the prem?
Webslinger's avatar Group Webslinger
10 yearsEdited
#56414 fm12lfc : Wow Webslinger this is an amazing story much admiration for you. On FM13 (When it comes out) I am going to have a go with Fleetwood and hopefully I can acheive great things like you have... How have you acheived getting into the prem?
Thanks a lot! Bargain buys, with the help of Genie Scout! There is no other way at first than signing on a free and here, there will be failures at times! Sign some experienced players on free transfer. And give chance to youth! I gave a chance to Devlin and Foster and they are now internationals! Siadankay and Powell also served me well though are no longer in the first team now.
Depending on the squad initially at your disposal, you have to decide whether one formation will be enough for the season or having one for home and one for away! Get players that will fit in your system, in the formations you want the team to play.
And I use shouts as well in tactics!
That's the short summary of it!

You are reading "My Crewe story - The Railwaymen on track to the top…".

FMS Chat

hey, just wanted to let you know that we have a fb style chat for our members. login or sign up to start chatting.