Category Archives: Football Manager

1st Quarter of Everton Season Complete in FM16

I figured the quarter-point of the Premiere League season was as good a point as any to put up an update post on my latest Everton season in FM16.

My season overall has gone reasonably well as the below shot of the table would indicate: (notice where current league leader Leicester sits)

BPL Standings
Standings through 10 games of the BPL 2015/2016 Season

I have been going through a ton of injuries so far, and will most likely need to drop training intensity as I’m consistently having to cycle through players, so I haven’t really settled on my top 11 yet.  I’m got a couple key positions to decide on as I know both Coleman and Mirallas would bring in some nice fees, but without the right people to back fill I can’t really cash in on them.

I did end up making a couple more moves that while not making a huge windfall of profits, the reduction of salary and transfer fees made sense for these moves since the players were never going to find the pitch.  Now that my wingers are getting back to reasonable health and was able to bring some young players, both Kone and McGeady became expendable.  Both of these were high wage players that were just not going to see the pitch, so I figured to get stronger I needed to reduce the team.  The addition of Hjulsager was one of those scouting whims that I took a flyer on since he was cheap and incredibly versatile.  You’ll see that I did loan him out, but included the recall option such that if I get into trouble I can bring him back into the squad.

Final Transfers
Final Transfers for 2015/2016 season

As for the results themselves, I feel like we’re finally starting to get on a bit of a roll.  I lost 3 out of the first 5 matches to start the season, but now have a 5 game un-beaten streak going which includes wins at both Arsenal and Southhampton.  Following the Manchester City game, that West Brom result was very painful but I think I was pushing too hard to get a big away win to right the ship as opposed to playing a more controlled effort.  The Capitol One Cup game was a nice way to shake things up a bit and get some other players a run.  It also was a chance to play some decent football as the scoreline really doesn’t tell the whole story of that game in which I dominated.

But from the onset of the season, I looked at the back to back away games at Chelsea followed by a trip to Arsenal as a good test for the team.  Chelsea proceeded to blow my doors off to start the game, and I feared we’d be blown out.  However, the boys rallied and came back to within 1 goal with loads of pressure to finish the game.  A draw really wouldn’t have been out of the question and probably the fairer result.  But that trip to the Emirates might have been the turning point as my defense held solid and I was able to get that winning goal on a counter.  It also wasn’t a totally lopsided effort, while I was out shot and out possessed, I still put 4 shots on target to Arsenal’s 6.

1st Quarter Results
Results through the first quarter of the 2015/2016 season.

Hopefully by the start of the next window, I’ll have a better feel for where my top 11 is and what players can be let go.  I have roughly 23 million in loan buyout clauses that I’d really like to make happen but will have to move players out most likely to do it.  I’ve been lucky so far in that at this point in the Everton season, I don’t have anyone standing out as performing horribly as well as a decent goal distribution as you’ll see from the stats below:

Stats_Top_1
1st Quarter Stats, top half of team
Stats_Bottom_1
1st Quarter Stats, bottom half of team

For the most part, I feel good about how the team is playing but my starting trio on defense of Jagielka, Stones, and Galloway are clearly under-performing and I’ll be curious how it changes when Baines gets back healthy.  My midfield and attackers are providing pretty decent play and I’m finding quite a few options.  Come January I will have a good problem to solve as I’ll have some nice selling options as opposed to needing to bring someone in.

As for the next quarter of my Everton season, which will conveniently take me to the start of the winter transfer period, there’s a pretty decent mix of challenging games and what should be easier games for me to rotate some players in.  Away fixtures with Man. United and Tottenham along with the Merseyside Darby against Liverpool will all be challenging but I also have both tilts against Leicester which could also prove very dangerous.  The other thing that should be in my favor is a lack of match congestion, so I should be able to get a better feel for my top 11.

Upcoming 2nd Quarter
Upcoming 2nd Quarter of the 2015 /2016 Season

One aspect I’m starting to dive a bit deeper into this season are the analysis tools FM16 provides and I’m going to talk about those in my next post as I try to implement some of the things I’ve learned in this next set of fixtures.

New FM16 Season With Everton

After a couple of games since the launch of Football Manager 16 (FM16), although not quite as much as I’ve played in previous versions of Football Manager, I’m started up a new save with my favorite team Everton.  Sadly some of my tactics that worked well in FM15 are not working so well this year, so I’m going back to some trusted oldies but goodies.  So far I’m only 2 games into the actual season, but for anyone who’s played this game before can attest to, the hard work starts well before that opening kickoff.

That first “day” I take over the reigns of a new club takes forever as there’s just so much to do.  Luckily you do have a couple of days before the players arrive to prioritize things a bit but it all happens pretty quick.  I usually want to get my staff figured out that first day, or at least my initial coaching targets and people let go.  Trimming the staff is usually pretty easy, and since it counts against your transfer budget can be quite handy.  I usually try to stick to less than what the board recommends such that I can bring in someone else if something changes.  Here’s a couple of shots of not only my staff movements but how I have things broken up for training:

Transfers Coaches
Coaches I’ve removed and who I’ve brought in.
coaches training
Coaches Scheduling

I’ll probably do some more work on my scouting staff to try and widen my scouting net, but for now I’m ok.

As for tactics and transfers, I usually lump these together as without the right players, it doesn’t matter what tactic you run.  This initial season I’m basically running with 2 flavors of a 4-5-1, one with the Defensive Midfielder, and the other with an Attacking Midfielder.  Hopefully its pretty obvious how I’ll split those :)  So with that in mind, I knew I needed to make some changes as well as the changes I like to make.  I’m a big fan of bringing in youth so I usually figure out what older players are ready to make their way out.  There still is time left in the opening window, but I only have 2 bites on people to move out with Naismith and Barry finding the exits, and both fit the mold of moving out the older to bring in some better youth.  Oviedo was a random incoming request that while not as high as I’d like, he’s never been a player I’ve featured or worked with so I figured I might as well get rid of him now.  I do have a few others transfer listed so hopefully towards the end of the window I’ll get some bites.  Here’s who else I’d love to move on from:

  • Aaron Lennon
  • Arouna Kone
  • Steven Pienarr (starts season hurt)
  • Derron Gibson  (starts season hurt)
  • Aiden McGeady  (starts season hurt)

It will probably be toughest to move Gibson this window but all three who start hurt will be hard to get healthy in time to ship out as most teams don’t want damaged goods.

In looking over the team, I found 3 areas I wanted to build:

  • Defensive depth
  • more midfield options
  • Finding someone else (preferably 2) to fill in if Lukaku gets hurt, which he already has been.

Here’s who all I brought in this season with some on loan which I’ll come back to that: (some I did find through the folks over at FM Stories Site, so their profiles will be linked)

Transfers

Player Transfers

Defensive Tactic
Defensive 4-3-3 with a Defensive Midfielder
Offensive Tactic
More offensive tactic – 4-5-1.

 

  • Defense
    • Balanta – Central/Left Defender – FM legend for how strong and cheap he is
    • Alex Meret –  Goalie – long term replacement for Howard
    • Borja San Emeterio – DL/DR – flexible outside back mainly for backup since I start the season with Baines not only hurt but not getting any younger
    • Rick Karsdorp – ridiculously flexible, can play almost anywhere on the pitch.  I picked him up when Coleman went down for an extended period.
  • Midfield – these are all central middies, and most can play at least 2 if not all 3 of the central positions
    • John Hou Saeter – cheap option with good upside.  I’ve had him in numerous games.
    • Andre Dozzell – An unknown to me that one of my scouts dug up, seemed cheap enough and worth a shot.
    • Lucas Romero – Another famous name for FM’ers out there, and I was shocked that not only was he cheap but he’s actually sign with me.
    • Andres Cubas – loads of upside, and reasonable loan.
  • Wingers/Strikers
    • Carlos – He’ll primarily be used as a Left winger, but probably as a backup striker too.
    • Jonathan Calleri – he’s going to fill in as a backup Striker but also chip in on the right wing as needed, especially while I’m dealing with early injuries.

So this was the first year I’ve tried loans, so we’ll see how it works out.  But for each of the loans, I was able to work out a more reasonable buy-back fee and one that should be attainable next season, or at least that’s the hope.  But the 3 on loan are only a total of 23 million in next years budget, so I should be able to do that even without selling anyone.  And depending on how this window closes and certainly January, I might have enough to pull the trigger sooner.

As for my results so far, I’m pretty pleased.  I always try to get in a lot of pre-season games and usually play then away as that seems to generate not only more money but better merchandise sales.  Both of my actual games were very close, and while I was able to pull out the victory at Swansea, a late Aguero goal sealed that game up for Cityy.  But they were both fair results, although I was hoping I could hold off City for at least a draw.

Results so far
Results so far

My goals for this season are ambitious in that I want to finish in the Top 4 to get that Champions League spot, although I only told the Board top half.  I’m just not sure that with this team and having to bring in a lot of your, I’ll be able to handle any big injuries that will happen.

It should be a fun year and I’ll have some updates sprinkled in before another big post in between the 2016 and 2017 season.