If you read my previous post on my job at Boreham Wood, I’ll first give you a quick explanation of how things ended there. The board and I agreed upon a respectable finish and we started the season very well and were comfortably in the play-offs spots by five points after around 20 games. The wins dried up though and I lost my head, releasing numerous players on frees after bad games. I think this contributed to a mediocre last 2/3s of the season and we ended up 12th out of 22. A smidgen below halfway I thought it was a respectable league position and despite the board being content with every other aspect of my performance and happy with the atmosphere in the dressing room they decided to call a meeting with me in which they threatened to sack me unless my performance quickly improved. HARSH. I can’t say I wasn’t warned though as the previous manager was sacked after not reaching the board’s high standards. So I decided to save my game and reload a game from a year earlier where I was managing Weston Super Mare before Boreham Wood approached me.
Wikipedia: “Weston-super-Mare /ˈwɛstən ˌsuːpə ˈmɛər/ is a seaside resort, town and civil parish in the unitary authority of North Somerset, which is within theceremonial county of Somerset, England. It is located on the Bristol Channel coast, 18 miles (29 km) south west of Bristol, spanning the coast between the bounding high ground of Worlebury Hill and Bleadon Hill. It includes the suburbs of Oldmixon, West Wick and Worle. Its population according to the 2011 census was 76,143. Since 1983, Weston has been twinned with Hildesheim, Germany.”
So here we are at The Seasiders. Seeing as I’ve not had a lot of success on FM14 so far and I’ve played more than 15 seasons I’m not afraid of taking risks – what can I lose hey? So my strategy with WSM is a bold one.
No signings: we’ll have to see if this lasts but I plan to not sign anyone from outside of the club (loan signings might come in desperate times though). I’ll stick with what’s in the first team and rely on youth intakes for new blood. It might not work but I’ve found putting your faith in players can reap dividends even if they initially look below-par with weak attributes. I must admit I don’t completely understand the effect of every attribute on a player’s performance so it’s best for me just to play players and see how they do before choosing a regular eleven.
We only have 26k in the bank so I’m going to reduce our spending on player and coach wages by steadily weeding out players I think are earning more than they deserve and too much for our level (Skrill South). I won’t have any prima donnas in my squad, it’s about the love of the club and the game not money bags (are you reading, Wayne Rooney?).
1st season: I’ll be happy if we can comfortably stay in the division. The first year is all about laying the foundations for a successful future, working out who our best players are and choosing and developing an effective tactic.
2nd season: Finish comfortable mid-table (maybe even play-offs). The success of the second season is dependent on our progress in the first. If I’m still in the job and have achieved what I set out to I hope to see clear signs of improvement in my players and the way we play. I also hope the club is in a stronger financial position and the board have total faith in my (hmmm).
3rd season: Get promoted to Skrill Premier and see the club improving at double the speed. Youth players will hopefully be at a much higher standard than the first year and several will become key first teamers. Playing style will be familiar to the fans and everyone in our league as attractive, hard to defend against and hard to score against.
Weston Super Mare’s motto, like Everton’s ‘nils satis nisi optimum’ is ‘ever forward’ so that has to be something I bear in mind when creating a playing style.
I did fine at Boreham Wood with an attacking, fluid style and it made FM more exciting so I’m sticking with it. We’ll see if it’s naive though. After seasons of struggling with tactics like I’ve never done in previous FMs I’m stripping things back so will use the fewest instructions possible and stick to the same formation 95% of the time.
I’m using inside forwards as I believe faults with the match engine make it difficult to use wingers effectively. Most wingers look like Antonion Valencia/ Luis Nani and can’t beat the first defender with crosses so I want my wide players to cut inside and shoot or at least play in a less predictable way – I think this could work really well.
One of my best players, 37-year-old Richie Baker, should do well as an enganche and as I haven’t experimented with this role much so far as I expected it was a bit of a gimmick role in which a player wouldn’t contribute much, I thought it was time to give it a go!
It looks like my two ‘stars’ are also my two oldest players.
Hopefully we can achieve what we set out to. I’ll aim to play a season before I write anything else. Hopefully I don’t get sacked before!