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FM12 Crystal Palace Story- Fly like an Eagle!

Started on 21 July 2012 by joesmithy
Latest Reply on 19 August 2012 by joesmithy
  • POSTS65
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he did well the year before on loan somewhere in italy and got a fair few for them, and he was transfer listed so he was a real bargain!
So i am currently in pre season and in negotiations for a few players in the transfer market. To be honest, although I have a fair bit of money, I am not going to be making big changes in the first team squad because I think that they are reasonably capable of pushing for continental places. However, I have told the board that I can achieve a top half finish because I do not want to put too much pressure on the team or myself.

I am also still doing kits, and I am toying with the idea of doing a few badges etc, so if anybody wants any doing or anything, give me a shout.

Pre Season 2013


Hearts 1-2 Crystal Palace: Patrick Zwaanswijk OG, MBaye Niang
Crystal Palace 3-1 PSG: Robert Acquafresca X2, Craig Dawson
Derby 2-1 Crystal Palace: Orlando Sa
Internazionale 0-4 Crystal Palace: Robert Acquafresca, Michu, Wilfried Zaha, Mohamed Diame
Crystal Palace 7-1 Anderlecht: Bongani Khumalo X2, Robert Acquafresca X3, Wilfried Zaha, Craig Dawson

So throughout pre season, I do like having a few friendlies against big teams, whether they be massive clubs or just teams with good histories, so against PSG, Inter and Anderlecht, I got three fixtures of the calibre I like- and we won them all very well! Acquafresca has done very well so far, but none of my signings have scored- possibly because nobody has been brought in to bolster the front line.

4-0 Win versus Inter

7-1 Win versus Anderlecht

Expectations for 2013/14 Season
Board Expectations Mid Table Finish
My Expectations Higher than 8th
Transfer Budget£30m

I think the team I have assembled is more than good enough to improve on our 8th placed finish of last year, and I will post my new signings shortly.
joesmithy's avatar Group joesmithy
10 yearsEdited



Danny Wilson

Transfer listed at Liverpool, Wilson joined in a £3m deal on a long term contract. I hope that, along with club captain Craig Dawson, he can form a solid centre back partnership over the next few years.

Yannick Sagbo

A free transfer after his contract expired, I just felt like bringing in another striker as back up after Pedroza headed for Scotland on loan. I doubt he will get much game time, but who knows.

Matt Phillips

Another winger to give me even more pace on the flanks, Phillips came in from Blackpool for £5.2m. I am not sure who out of all of my wingers will be playing on a regular basis and I may have to enforce a rotation policy for these positions. Nevertheless, I am glad Phillips joined as I think he is a class player and I need lots of them if I am to be challenging on all fronts this year.

Walter Gargano

One of the most underated players going in my opinion, maybe because Napoli have the likes of Cavani and Lavezzi, but Gargano is quality. He came in for £775k as he was also on the transfer list, and he will provide competition for Diame in my defensive midfielder role. Very happy with his signing.

Niko Kranjcar

Adding a bit more creativity and skill into my central midfield, Kranjcar came in for £4m from Spurs and I think he will be getting a fair bit of game time at the MIGHTY PALACE!

Seamus Coleman

I needed a back up full back, and Coleman fits the bill. He is of a high quality and could be pushing for a regular starting berth on either side of defence should Clyne or Parr not perform. He came in for £4.5m.

Alessandro Gamberini, Torino, £1.8m
Lewis McGugan, Blackburn, loan fee £625k
Marc Wilson, Hull, £1.3m
Kagisho Dikgacoi, Free Transfer

Pretty happy with the transfer dealings, let's kick this season off! First game Sunderland at home, but I can't do anything with it as I am serving my touchline ban for an outburst after the last game of last season.
joesmithy's avatar Group joesmithy
10 yearsEdited

USA Manager: Soccer to the Top

I was offered the job of managing the USA national team, and I fancied a bit of a different challenge to managing Crystal Palace. Next summer (2014) is the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro (I believe), and we are currently top of our qualification group. I would hope to, first, qualify comfortably for the tournament and, second, perform well and reach the second round at least of the tournament.

I have appointed my Crystal Palace assistant manager, Kit Symons, as my assistant for the USA and I am going to use the same tactics I have used for Palace because, let's be honest, they aren't doing top shabbily!

Here is the squad I have picked for my first competitive match in charge of the US:

Goalkeepers: Tim Howard (Everton), Stefan Frei (Toronto FC), Diego Restrepo (Deportivo Tachira)
Defenders: Daniel Williams (Hoffenheim), Sean Franklin (Basel), Jonathan Spector (Wolves), Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), AJ Soares (New England)
Midfielders: Michael Bradley (Palermo), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Bradley Johnson (Norwich), Mikkel Diskerud (FC Twente), Eddie Gaven (DC United), Clint Dempsey (Aston Villa), Joe Corona (Xolos Tijuana
Forwards: Kenny Cooper (New York), Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Bobby Shou Wood (1860 Munich)

The first match is against Curacao, the second is against Mexico, and I will post those when I have played them. A look at the August fixtures for Crystal Palace will follow shortly.

August 2013

Crystal Palace Results

Game 1: Crystal Palace 2-0 Sunderland: Matt Phillips, Robert Acquafresca
Game 2: Liverpool 2-0 Crystal Palace
Game 3: Dagenham & Redbridge 1-4 Crystal Palace: Damien McCreary OG, Orlando Sa X2, Wilfried Zaha
Game 4: Crystal Palace 2-2 Bolton: MBaye Niang, Walter Gargano
Game 5: Manchester City 3-1 Crystal Palace: Yannick Sagbo

Another shocking start to the season and we sit 14th after four league matches. Nobody has yet caught my eye for performing particularly well- but transfer deadline day signing Morten Gamst Pedersen has gone straight into my bad books after getting sent off on debut against Manchester City- when we were 1-0 up after an hour! I feel I may have to change my tactics, maybe teams are working us out- who knows, I will have a dabble with a couple of others.


Morten Gamst Pedersen

I wanted a bit more experience on the flanks and Pedersen can also play a central midfield role if need be, which is handy. I am not expecting him to be around for long (maybe two years) as I want him to essentially hold fort before I feel I can unleash Talbot on the Premier League. Signed for £4.5m.

Andreu Fontas

Signed from Barcelona, Fontas is the fourth centre half I have in my squad and, although he has made two calamitous mistakes so far, I hope he will settle down and turn into the top quality centre half he can be. £1.3m.

Alberto Aquilani

Signed initially on loan, I felt I needed another attacking central midfielder and the Liverpool reject fit the bill.

I am not so impressed with a few of my signings so far as I felt I have jumped into a few that I didn't need or won't fit in, but let's see what happens...

USA Results

Game 1: USA 3-1 Curacao: Landon Donovan, Shelton Martis OG, Bradley Johnson
Game 2: USA 3-4 Mexico: Bobby Shou Wood X2, Michael Bradley

We have not performed well. Full stop. The tactics might be the problem, or there may be something else that I do not know of- we will see, but I will try some others. Maybe the 4-2-4 is not proving as good this year. Anyway, after the win against Curacao, we qualified for the World Cup, which is good. So yeah, will update as this goes on I suppose as I stray into my first job in international coaching.

Hope you feel like commenting if you have anything to say, cheers for reading.

October and November 2013

(Getting carried away again)

Crystal Palace Results

Game 6: Crystal Palace 2-0 Norwich: MBaye Niang, Alberto Aquilani
Game 7: Crystal Palace 0-2 Manchester City (LC)
Game 8: Swansea 2-3 Crystal Palace: Niko Kranjcar, Alberto Aquilani, Wilfried Zaha
Game 9: Crystal Palace 1-0 Reading: Niko Kranjcar
Game 10: Arsenal 3-1 Crystal Palace: Bongani Khumalo
Game 11: Crystal Palace 4-3 Wolves: Robert Acquafresca, Matt Phillips X2, Bongani Khumalo
Game 12: Newcastle 1-0 Crystal Palace
Game 13: Crystal Palace 1-1 Everton: Jack Rodwell OG

A bit of an iffy couple of months there to be honest, tried from the start with my two back up tactics in a couple of games to see if we got anything different, but no. Matt Phillips won Player of the Month for October and has been pretty good when he has played. Gamst Pedersen and Fontas have been abysmal but I have had to play Fontas because Dawson has just returned from injury, and Parr is still out. Oh well, I say ill post again after November, but knowing me it will be more February haha.

USA Results

Game 3: Honduras 0-1 USA: Omar Gonzalez
Game 4: USA 1-1 Panama: Omar Gonzalez

Again, poor. Laboured to a victory against Honduras, struggled against the apalling Panama. Got two games coming up shortly which will be the last of the 2013 year for the US. Rumours are circling that Smith is having second thoughts as US boss...
very similair to one i done with doncaster,quality story!

November 2013-Mid January 2014

(told you!)

Crystal Palace Results

Game 14: Wigan 0-4 Crystal Palace: Robert Acquafresca, Alberto Aquilani, MBaye Niang, Morten Gamst Pedersen
Game 15: Crystal Palace 2-2 Manchester United: Robert Acquafresca, Alberto Aquilani
Game 16: Blackpool 0-2 Crystal Palace: MBaye Niang X2
Game 17: Crystal Palace 1-1 Chelsea: Bongani Khumalo
Game 18: Stoke 3-3 Crystal Palace: Alberto Aquilani, Robert Acquafresca X2
Game 19: Aston Villa 1-4 Crystal Palace: MBaye Niang X2, Robert Acquafresca, Mohamed Diame
Game 20: Crystal Palace 2-4 Tottenham: Matt Phillips, Robert Acquafresca
Game 21: West Brom 5-2 Crystal Palace: Robert Acquafresca X2
Game 22: Sunderland 0-4 Crystal Palace: MBaye Niang X4
Game 23: Crystal Palace 2-1 Wolves (FAC R3): Robert Acquafresca, Matt Phillips
Game 24: Crystal Palace 0-3 Liverpool

Another horrifically mixed bag and I am simply getting fed up of losing stupid games eg west brom away. Niang is doing well, but I wish he would score a few more because he is my top scorer but i wouldn't suggest he was prolific, and I want to be winning/drawing more against good teams. So, if anybody can recommend any good tactics for this, please do let me know and i will have a go at them because the team really isn't working brilliantly to be honest.

USA News

Drawn in the World Cup Group Stage with African team Senegal, England and Slovakia. It may be tricky to get out of. Lined up some friendlies against Cameroon, Slovakia, Italy and Brazil before the tournament as well.

USA Results

Game 5: USA 4-0 Cayman Islands: Clint Dempsey X2, Jozy Altidore, Bobby Shou Wood
Game 6: USA 3-3 Ivory Coast: Jozy Altidore X2, Omar Gonzalez

January- April 2014

Crystal Palace Results

Game 25: Bolton 1-7 Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha, MBaye Niang X2, Bongani Khumalo X2, Danny Wilson, Robert Acquafresca
Game 26: Crystal Palace 4-0 Manchester City: Robert Acquafresca X3, MBaye Niang
Game 27: Crystal Palace 0-0 Manchester United (FAC R4)
Game 28: Norwich 0-2 Crystal Palace: Robert Acquafresca, John Ruddy OG
Game 29: Reading 0-2 Crystal Palace: Jonathan Parr, MBaye Niang
Game 30: Manchester United 1-2 Crystal Palace (FAC R4R): MBaye Niang, Danny Wilson
Game 31: Crystal Palace 2-1 Swansea: MBaye Niang
Game 32: Derby 1-2 Crystal Palace (FAC R6): Wilfried Zaha X2
Game 33: Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal: MBaye Niang
Game 34: Wolves 2-3 Crystal Palace: Bongani Khumalo, Ryan Bennett, Wayne Hennessey OG
Game 35: Crystal Palace 2-0 Newcastle: MBaye Niang X2
Game 36: Crystal Palace 0-3 Manchester City (FAC R6)
Game 37: Everton 0-3 Crystal Palace: Robert Acquafresca X3
Game 38: Crystal Palace 2-1 Wigan: Robert Acquafresca, MBaye Niang
Game 39: Manchester United 4-0 Crystal Palace

We have started to win more games, and this is since I have returned to exactly the same tactics used last year as well as (as near as possible) the same starting line up etc. Acquafresca and Niang are simply prolific and seem to score at least one goal in every single game. We currently sit 5th in the Premier League, 8 points behind Manchester City in 4th, and 1 point ahead of Liverpool in 6th, and 4 ahead of Chelsea in 7th. Arsenal are top at the moment with 79 points, 10 clear of Tottenham in 2nd and Manchester United are one point further back. RVP has got an incredible 42 league goals so far this season, and that is with 6 games left, which is 2 more than what Niang and Acquafresca have got combined, with 21 and 19 respectively.

I am sorry for not updating this often enough, I promise I will try to be more regular with it next season, and please give me some ideas on how else to improve this folks.



Ross Turnbull

After Giefer decided he wanted to leave, I needed another back up goalkeeper, so in came Chelsea's Turnbull on loan until the end of the season.

Ryan Bennett

A couple of players left this window who I will write about in a moment, so it was necessary to bring in another centre half, and Bennett was that man. I am now going to try to use a different approach in the transfer market, where I only buy British players 23 or younger or youth players of any nationality, to try to make it that bit more enjoyable.


I know this contradicts what I have just said, but Bennett came in after this bloke. He had good stats, but has been dire when I have played him so far. Oh well.

Fabian Griefer, £1.3m to Ipswich
Yannich Sagbo, £5.5m to Lazio
Andreu Fontas, £2.2m to Hercules

Griefer wanted to leave, Sagbo didn't score, Fontas was not liked by the fans and was simply a shambles. Nuff said.

I will now post again at the end of the season.

As I said, give any suggestions you feel I need to hear.

April 2014- End of Season

Crystal Palace Results

Game 40: Chelsea 2-1 Crystal Palace: Victor Moses
Game 41: Crystal Palace 1-0 Blackpool: Michu
Game 42: Crystal Palace 4-2 Stoke: Robert Acquafresca X3, MBaye Niang
Game 43: Crystal Palace 5-3 Aston Villa: MBaye Niang X2, Danny Wilson, Matt Phillips, Victor Moses
Game 44: Tottenham 2-2 Crystal Palace: Matt Phillips, MBaye Niang
Game 45: Crystal Palace 3- 1 West Brom: MBaye Niang, Robert Acquafresca X2

So that is the end of my third season in charge at Crystal Palace, and it has been an incredible transformation- from a team expected to finish in the bottom half of the Championship, to a team qualifying for the Europa League in three seasons. The success caught the eye of the USA national football federation who then offered me the job of managing them through the World Cup. Undoubtedly the best two signings I have made have been Niang and Acquafresca who were good in my second year, and incredible in my third, when they got 50 goals between them.

A superb year, and the Europa League will be an interesting journey. I have already been active in the transfer market, as I am now in July, and I will shortly post an end of season review (which won't be great as the new leagues etc have been revealed so I can't get stats so easily etc), but I will still do one for you.

Cheers to those of you have read this, even more so to those who have commented.

USA: World Cup

Game 1: Senegal 3-0 USA
Game 2: USA 3-1 England: Bobby Shou Wood, Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey
Game 3: Slovakia 2-0 USA

Shocking, dire, abysmal, apalling, hideous... take your pick really. Poor tournament, gave my resignation very quickly after it had finished after my ill fated reign as boss never really saw the team produce anything brilliant. I will think twice about getting another national job in the future.

In the past season, I have applied for managerial roles at Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Leverkusen, all to no avail- but the Palace board continue to back the manager who has been so successful for them.

End of Season Review

First thing I shall do is to let you know who manages who nowadays, as there have been many changes, more than I can keep track of. I shall do the current Premier League teams for the 2014/15 season. Here goes:

Arsenal Ian Holloway
Aston Villa David Moyes
Blackpool Brendan Rodgers
Chelsea Andre Villas-Boas
Crystal Palace Joe Smith
Everton Huub Stevens
Ipswich Keith Hill
Liverpool Vincenzo Montella
Manchester City Carlo Ancelotti
Manchester United Luciano Spalletti
Newcastle United Ron Jans
Southampton Nigel Adkins
Stoke Alan Pardew
Sunderland Kevin Bond
Swansea Terry Connor
Tottenham Owen Coyle
West Bromwich Albion Eddie Newton
West Ham Darren Ferguson
Wigan John Carver
Wolves Martin Jol

Amazingly, only myself and Nigel Adkins of Southampton have been at the same clubs since the start of the game- AVB rejoined Chelsea only a couple of weeks ago so he does not count.

Premier League 2013/14

Top Scorer
Robin van Persie, Arsenal, 44
MBaye Niang, Crystal Palace, 26
Robert Acquafresca, Crystal Palace, 24

Golden Glove- Clean Sheets
Fernando Muslera, Arsenal, 18
David de Gea, Manchester United, 15
Joe Hart, Manchester City, 15

Mananger of the Year
Ian Holloway, Arsenal
Carlo Ancelotti, Manchester City
John Carver, Wigan

PFA Player of the Year
Edin Dzeko, Manchester City
Juan Mata, Chelsea
Marek Hamsik, Manchester United

PFA Young Player of the Year
Matt Phillips, Crystal Palace
Salomon Rondon, Tottenham
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Aston Villa

Champions League Qualification
Manchester United
Manchester City

Europa League Qualification
Crystal Palace
Aston Villa (runner up FA Cup 2014)
West Ham United (won Carling Cup 2014)


La Liga Winner, Champions League, Europa League
Real Madrid, Barcelona- Sevilla- Valencia, Bilbao- At Madrid

Serie A Winner, Champions League, Europa League
Inter, Napoli- Juventus- Catania, Palermo, Sampdoria

Bundesliga Winner, Champions League, Europa League
FC Bayern, Dortmund- Stuttgart- Werder Bremen, Schalke- Leverkusn

Ligue 1 Winner, Champions League, Europa League
Lyon, Marseille- PSG, Lille

Pre Season 2014

Crystal Palace 1-0 Rangers: Michu
Evian 1-3 Crystal Palace: Artem Milevskyi, MBaye Niang, Bongani Khumalo
Porto 1-2 Crystal Palace: MBaye Niang
Southampton 0-3 Crystal Palace: Bongani Khumalo, Max Talbot, Wilfried Zaha
Crystal Palace 3-0 Valencia: Matt Phillips, MBaye Niang X2
Scunthorpe 0-2 Crystal Palace: Max Talbot, Victor Moses
Crystal Palace 2-3 Inter: MBaye Niang
Crystal Palace 6-0 SK Rapid Wien: Connor Wickham X2, Jacob Butterfield, Ryan Bennett X2, MBaye Niang

A very very very good pre season, with very good wins. Niang has been very good, as has Butterfield since he has returned from loan at Birmingham. Also, after his performances in pre season, Max Talbot has proved he is more than ready to be unleashed on the Premier League- hopefully to great success!

I will update with more transfers at the end of the window, but I am sure if you read the scorers you will see a couple of those I have brought in.

August 2014



Jack Butland

Agreed this deal last summer, and England keeper Butland joined for £1.9m on a wage of 8.5k per week. He will, at least this year, be a back up to Westwood, but I will try to give him a fair bit of game time anyway as he did pretty well when he played in pre season.

Fraser Fyvie

Fyvie joined for £1.3m and has slotted straight in. He seems a very similar player to Diame, so he will probably be functioning as his back up this season, but again he is a player I want to be giving game time to a fair bit. Another player who fits with my basic transfer ethos of buying young british talent.

Jack Robinson

My coaches said Parr wouldn't improve past 2.5 stars and that isn't as good as I would hope for. Robinson had handed in a transfer request as he wanted regular first team football, something which he wasn't getting at Liverpool. So I offloaded Parr to Celtic for £4.2m, and in came Robinson for £6.1m, and (touchwood) he will keep doing well for me at left back. Another young brit.

Artem Milevskyi

He was a free agent and I brought him in on trial initially, and after getting a few assists and my coaches saying that he is a good player, I brought him in as a back up to Niang and Acquafresca and the chap who I will tell you about next. I know he isn't young. Or a brit. But he was cheap, and scored a few last year.

Connor Wickham

Transfer listed at Aston Villa, Wickham came in for £9.5m and has been alright so far. Another young brit who will be back up to Niang and Acquafresca, but I have Europe to worry about this year as well so he may well get a lot of game time.

As well as these, Butterfield has returned from loan with Birmingham to be another option in central midfield.

Niko Kranjcar, Koln, £3.4m
Morten Gamst Pedersen, Wigan, £5m
Orlando Sa, Bolton, £1.3m
Martin Kopecky (REGEN), Chelsea, £4.2m
Sean Scannell, Southamption, £1.9m
Walter Gargano, Ipswich, £2.5m

I was given a £30m transfer budget, and I have spent nowhere near that, especially if you look at the value of the players I have sold, which is (if my maths is right) about £18.5m, which isn't too bad at all.

I still have enough left in the budget to bring in players if I need to come January, but my squad is now sorted until then. Lets rock and roll...


Game 1:Newcastle 2-0 Crystal Palace
Game 2: Eskisehrispor 1-3 Crystal Palace: Matt Phillips, MBaye Niang, Bongani Khumalo
Game 3: Crystal Palace 5-1 Aston Villa: Matt Phillips X2, Ryan Donk OG, Craig Dawson, Wilfried Zaha
Game 4: Crystal Palace 2-1 Eskisehrispor: MBaye Niang, Robert Acquafresca
Game 5: West Brom 0-1 Crystal Palace: Matt Phillips

A pretty solid start to the season, apart from the poor start at Newcastle. Other than that, a 100% record in all competitions.

Elsewhere in the transfer window, Liverpool have spent big on Eden Hazard, Axel Witsel, Willy Boly and Reto Ziegler for a combined fee of £58m. Clint Dempsey, Ross McCormack, Aaron Lennon and Moussa Sow have all joined Newcastle, who had a total transfer spend of £27.5m and Chelsea spent £21.5m on Yann M'Vila and £10m on Hugo Rodallega.

September 2014


Game 6: Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool: Craig Dawson
Game 7: SK Rapid Wien 1-4 Crystal Palace (EL): Robert Acquafresca, Victor Moses X2, MBaye Niang
Game 8: Everton 2-2 Crystal Palace: Matt Phillips, Danny Wilson
Game 9: Crystal Palce 2-2 Manchester United (on pens) (LC): Robert Acquafresca X2
Game 10: Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham
Game 11: Crystal Palace 0-1 Werder Bremen
Game 12: Crystal Palace 1-1 Manchester City: Robert Acquafresca

SHOCKING. 15th in the league, and out of the cup. I will say no more.

This may be my last post on this story, because I am getting very little feedback from people at all so there is no point in going on guys.

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