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)
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.