Back in the big time - Middlesbrough FC

Redders

Get in the Van.
Sep 15, 2005
5,976
0
36
www.fmstories.co.uk
Not going to dance it up with loads of images, press conferences etc. Keep it simple. I'm Middlesbrough FC, a team I always start as on FM, yet always manage to fail and end up starting another game as Man Utd to make things easy. 8-|

-----

I know this game is new, and I played these friendlies before any patches came out but this was quite easily the worst pre-season I've ever had on any football manager game (and i've played them all since '05, and CM's since 97/98 before that)


My first game was your bog standard friendly against the reserve team. A good game to get a morale boosting victory and a look at any reserves you might have overlooked whilst assessing your squads as you started the game.

After a terrible first half (in which I realised I'd left Kevin Thomson, Grant Leadbitter, Luke Williams and Andre Bikey in the reserves) the first thing to happen was a given - Jonathan Woodgate hobbling off with an injury (6 weeks out with a fractured wrist). That was quickly followed by the opening goal, from Rhys Williams 1-0 to the first team squda. At this point I presumed the floodgates were about to open.

How wrong I was! Goals from Jason Steele (og) and Charlie Wyke in the last 10 ish minutes led me to my first defeat of the season (1-2). Here's the lowlights!

[video=youtube;V2elBj0ehxY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2elBj0ehxY&feature=player_embedded[/video]

What followed in for the rest of pre-season was pretty much a disaster. Inbetween signing a few players I managed to lose 3, draw 2 and win just 1 friendly against Aberdeen (3-2).


 

Redders

Get in the Van.
Sep 15, 2005
5,976
0
36
www.fmstories.co.uk
A quick look at who I've brought in and who i've let go at Middlesbrough in my first summer in charge.


With only Scott McDonald (who I would try and sell), Marvin Emnes (Not particularly prolific in front of goal) and Lukas Jutkiewicz (Injury prone?) upfront (alongside a couple of youngsters) I made the attack my initial priority.

For that reason I brought in aged pro Mikael Forssell on a free transfer after his release from Leeds. He is old (31) but I reckon he still has it in him to bag a few goals in the Championship.

I followed that up by signing former Mackem and Geordie superstar, Michael Chopra on a season long loan from Ipswich with a small fee, completing his tour of the North East top three clubs.

5 more loans followed, defender Eric Lichaj from Villa, Kagisho Dikgacoi from Palace, David Meyler from Sunderland, Ryan Tunnicliffe from Man Utd and finally Maxime Barthelme from Lorient.

In the meantime I managed to get the two biggest wage eaters off the books, loaning Scott McDonald to Hull for the season (enjoy) and releasing Steve McManus on a free.

I think Maxime has been a great buy so far;

 

Redders

Get in the Van.
Sep 15, 2005
5,976
0
36
www.fmstories.co.uk
After a dreadful pre-season the season kicked off properly with a home game against league 2 side York City in the Capital One cup first round.


Opting not to change my formation (a 4-2-4 adaptation which served me so well during FM2012) I named a strong line up to try boost morale amongst the players that I would consider regulars for the season ahead.



Completely controlled the first half, as you might expect. Went in at HT 2-0 up with goals from Chopra and Bailey (p). Haroun made it 3-0 after 47mins before York hit back with a goal from Oli Johnson after 57mins. Rhys Williams wrapped it up with a 4th on the 80 minute mark before a sensational late strike in stoppage time from Michael Coulson made it 4-2. Do you think he meant it?

Haroun got man of the match. Got plenty of CMs in the squad (Haroun, Bailey, Leadbitter, Thomson, McEachran, Arca, Williams) so it's unlikely he'll actually start most games, but he had a great passing performance.



It's not a competition i'm particularly bothered about, though a decent cup run can only help financially and for team morale/consistency.

The Championship Begins

I had a pretty tough start to the championship, with away games at Birmingham and Brighton, with a home game against Leicester stuffed in between. I was therefore reasonably happy to escape the treble with an unbeaten record, and 5 points from 9.

I still hadn't settled on a regular starting line up, plus I had just found the "pick rotated squad" button within tactics. Halliday, Bailey, Haroun and Parnaby made way for Zemmama, Smallwood, Hoyte and Hines against Birmingham Things were looking pretty bleak at half time, 1 nil down to a Marlon King strike. King doubled the lead 4 minutes into the second half. I sent Halliday and Leadbitter on after 68 minutes (Smallwood and Chopra) and it had an immediate effect.

Emnes scored on 68 from a long punt upfield from Hoyte and again on 77 minutes following a poor clearance from Brum keeper Jack Butland, to earn a 2-2 draw.



A decent result, which was followed up with my first competetive FM2013 victory, at home to Leicester City. A solitary goal from Haroun won the game, following some good work down the wing from Emnes. It's quite a nice strike actually.




This win was foowed up by a Birmingham style performance against Brighton at the AMEX. Arca and Park made their first starts of he season with loanee Chopra and Scottish youngster Andy Halliday upfront. It took a 92nd minute penalty from Nicky Bailey to rescue a point after falling 2-0 behind.



A very steady start to FM2013 following a horrific pre-season performance. Still yet to settle on a starting 11, far too many midfield players to choose from and no real wingers (Ledesma, Zemmama and Carayol is what i'm working with). Strikeforce firing blanks mostly (Emnes chipped in a couple).

Happy with my tactic though. Plenty of posession and shots but maybe conceeding too many. Not yet settled on a back 4 (especially with Woodgate still out injured), hoping to have Friend, Woodgate/Hines, Bikey and Hoyte there regularly, infront of Steele.

http://www.fmstories.co.uk/testsite
 
Last edited:

Redders

Get in the Van.
Sep 15, 2005
5,976
0
36
www.fmstories.co.uk
A Good start to September

An unbeaten August was wrapped up with a visit from Bristol City in the 2nd round of the Capital One cup.

A good start to September | FM Story Blog



I was expecting a fairly easy game, but Bristol ended up taking me to penalties. Things we're looking good when Zemmama gave me the lead after just 7 minutes, after some nice passing. However I couldn't extend that lead and Sam Baldock equalised around the hour mark, courtesy of some pretty horrific defending. Extra time was uneventful, apart from a 120th minute red card for Bristol, so the game wen to penalties. We managed to score each one we took, where as Jason Steele played a blinder and saved penalties 1 and 4 from Bristol, allowing Josh McEachran the chance to put us into the 3rd round, which he did.


Haroun picked up a slight knock, nothing to worry about.




September kicked off with a Championship game at home to Notts Forest and we had the best possible start to the game, with Julio Arca, playing at LB scoring twice in the first twenty minutes. The first goal, not so sure he meant it and not quite sure what Camp was doing in the Forest net. The second was an absolute belter. See what you think;


Simon *** pulled one back shortly before HT before second half sub Andy Halliday made it 3-1. Billy Sharp pulled one back from the spot, with 2 minutes left but we weren't really threatened in the time remaining.




Decent amount of posession, 18 shots, 7 on target (Chopra and Emnes up front!) and a decent win. Not too happy about the goals conceeded but as long as we outscore the opposition, that's fine.


Next up was Palace away, a game I expected to be tough but we ended up walking it. Jukebox kicked it off after just a minute and we added three more through Chopra and a Maxime Barthelme double before Palace struck back with a late consolation goal through David Goodwillie. More posession, 17 shots, 12 on target was great for an away game. Barthelme had a great game, getting two goals and two assists - not bad for his second start for us.




Let's hope Barthelme and the teams form carries on like this, still unbeaten for the season.

A good start to September | FM Story Blog
 
Top