Nov 11, 2014
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So the time has finally come to start my final save on FM18 before the highly anticipated arrival of FM19.

Now, admittedly I haven't played FM for a few months, so may be a bit rusty on the tactical side of things, but with the start of the new season, it's been near impossible not to get the laptop out and take control of my own side's destiny!

So that being said, I've downloaded the latest transfer update, taken over my beloved foxes and set about my final managerial tenure.


I had expected the board to be a little more ambitious than settling for a mid-table finish, with the heroics of the 2015/16 season still fresh in the memory. However, with dust still covering my keyboard, I quickly accepted and settled in to my lightly simmering hot seat.

The board have also entrusted a sizeable £27 Million to further strengthen Mr Claude Puel's summer signings. Now I haven't set myself any rules for the save, I do like to sign young, future prospects and am going to try emphasise HG talent as much as possible throughout the save.

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The Squad

Overall I've inherited a pretty well balanced squad, with new signings, Jonny Evans and Ricardo Pereira looking set to be great additions.

At the minute I have a 26 player strong senior squad, so am certainly going to be looking to offload some players whom I deem to be expendable. However, am going to give the players a chance to prove there worth before jumping to any finite decisions.

In terms of strengthening, an additional striker and winger could be useful acquisitions, but again I don't feel there to be any immediate urgency to address these areas and will give the current squad a fair look in.

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Next up Pre-Season....

A rather random, disjointed set of fixtures were thrown together spanning from Portugal to our USA training camp, before a stop off in Spain on our return home. That being said, it was far from a load of disjointed performances, as we cruised past all our opposition in emphatic style.

Despite the illuminating green scoreboard, Ive always taken pre-season with a pinch of salt due to the lack of competitiveness in the matches. It's usually a chance to just build fitness, tactical familiarity and identify a starting XI ready for opening day. However, the comfortable 2-0 away victory over Porto is hard to ignore as being anything but a very pleasing result and performance.

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The bookies predictions are largely in line with what you'd expect to see at the start of the season. A 9th place prediction for us seems fair, but we are a club renowned for defying expectations ;)

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Following a rather injury free pre season, I lose my 2 starting full-backs on the eve of the new Premier League season. Not ideal, but we have depth who have also performed well throughout pre-season.

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The FM Gods have decided against, gently easing me back into the world of footballing management and have instead thrown together a rather eye watering set of fixtures for my debut month in the Premier League. At least the expectations from the fans and board alike should be low..... I hope.

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That is a ****** tough start! Good luck!

With the start of the new 2017/18 Premier League season beckoning, all eyes were glued to the Emirates on Friday night to watch us take on Arsenal in the opening game of the season. A sell-out stadium and Millions watching around the globe. Not the time for any pre-game jitters!

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MOTM: Wilfred Ndidi - 1 Assist, 8.1 Rating

Fortunately for me the team handled the occasion much more professionally than my frantic pacing up and down the touchline (or my front room). We matched in every department and some clinical finishing from Vardy and Albrighton bagged us our first 3 points of the season and a seat at the top of the table... only 37 games left to hang on for ;)

The only negative was the injury to Gray, but it was his replacement, Marc Albrighton that secured us the win... Silver linings and all.

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MOTM: Adrien Silva - 2 Assists, 9.0 Rating

My first competitive appearance in the King Power dug out, produced another emphatic performance. We controlled the game and frustrated Chelsea into committing foul after foul as they tried to get a hold on the game. A brace for Vardy, once again highlighting his importance for us in front of goal, whilst Madders also got on the scoresheet after coming off the bench for his club debut.

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MOTM: Kelechi Iheanacho - 1 Goal, 3 Assists, 9.4 Rating

I made 10 changes to the starting line-up from the Chelsea game, giving the rest of a squad a chance to shine, and shine they did! We opened up our League One opposition almost at will and should really have added a couple more to the scoresheet. A few headaches for next weeks selection I feel.

Matty James takes his usual place on the sidelines. Guy just cant catch a break!

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I was hoping for a kind 3rd Round draw, but we have been put up against the defending Champions. We do have home advantage and am yet to decide how strong a side i'm going to field for the fixture, as the draw of some potential silverware is pretty **** strong!

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MOTM: Dele Alli - 2 Goals, 2 Assists, 9.6 Rating

Spurs send us crashing back down to reality, hammering us in front of a sell-out hime crowd. I made a potential error in adjusting my tactics to try and accommodate both Vardy and Iheanacho in a 4-4-2 formation and were ruthlessly picked apart by a formidable Spurs strike force. That being said it wasn't a horrendous performance as the scoreline suggests, more just a case of taking your chances.

Despite our humbling loss, I would have bitten your hand off had you offered me 6 points from our opening 3 games at the start of the season! Still a lot of work to do but a very pleasing opening month.

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So the difficult fixtures just keep on coming, with City and Liverpool up next in the League before our Cup game against United. At least the fixture list can only get easier...

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Summer Transfers

In hindsight I probably should have disabled the first transfer window as the summer signings have already been made my retrospective real life managers. That being said it did give me a chance to thin out our rather large squad, as well as bring a couple of players in.

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I needed another winger and sticking to my preference for HG talent, Jack Grealish seemed to be a rather obvious selection. He can play on both wings and will be able to slot comfortable into all 3 of my formations. He hasn't been signed as player who will walk straight into my starting XI, but am confident he will get a number of appearances under his belt this season, albeit mainly off the bench I'd assume.

I also signed a young, 17 year old German striker who has been loaned back to Hamburger for the season. Another future star in the making I hope.

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It seemed all the clubs were pretty content with the real life summer signings, as it was a rather uneventful transfer window. City continued to flash the cash and strengthen a squad that is already bursting with talent.

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The reining Champions are the latest top side to add to our tally. Again, we managed to take control of the game and much to the surprise of myself and fans alike we made City look like a pretty average side. Confidence of another successful campaign is starting to grow, although I know there is a long, long way to go in the season.

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Well we couldn't pull off back to back upsets at the King Power and were outclassed by a strong Liverpool outfit. They looked in control for the majority of the game, and we failed struggled to get a handle on it. A poor tackle from Maguire gifted them an early penalty and we were on the back foot from then on.

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We nearly managed to hold to take it to a shoot-out following Iborra's two-footed, straight red card. However, United's 17 year old striker popped up in the area to score a dramatic extra-time winner. A frustrating result to take as we were looking in control before the red card, but with 10 men, we were always going to struggle against United. So thats one shot of silverware down, still two to go.

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Our first Premier League fixture, not against one of the League's top 6 sides and we fail to capitalise. We had 30 minutes against 10 men and despite throwing the kitchen sink at Brighton we never really looked like scoring. Certainly looks more like 2 points dropped than a point gained right now.

Unfortunately Slab-head picked up an injury in the GYM, so wont be winning any back post headers for the next month or so.

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A deflected shot off Jonny Evans, wrong-footed Schmeichel and dribbled into the corner of the goal, to give Palace the victory. That now makes it 4 games without a goal in all competitions, a worrying sign for any manger. Our good early work, could very quickly start to come undone.

The league table is starting to make much more of a familiar sight, as teams start to fall into place. We've slipped down to our predicted mid-table position and need to quickly get ourselves out of this mini rut.

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October's fixture list looks a bit easier than our previous two, so hopefully get a few more "W" on the board!

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MOTM: Mario Lamina - 7.8 Rating

Vardy finally ends our goal scoring drought, as we fought back from a goal down to clinch a point against the Saints. Our struggles in front of goal were still evident, as we failed to convert the few chances that we created. It's clear our confidence is low and we are in desperate need of a victory.

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MOTM: Rui Patricio - 7.8 Rating

Adrien Silva was denied from the penalty spot in the last minute of the game following a spectacular save from Patricio. That makes it 6 games without a win across all competitions, having scored just 1 goal. Our early season successes are quickly coming unravelled.

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MOTM: Kelechi Iheanacho: 1 Goal, 1 Assist, 9.0 Rating


We dominated large parts of the game and inspired by a terrific individual, Iheanacho performance, we finally converted some of our chances! The dressing room confidence will hopefully be restored and we will be looking to build on this result into next month.

Despite our poor run, we are still slap-bang in mid table position, albeit 10 points off the pace of Arsenal, whom we thrashed on the opening day of the season might I add.

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November should provide opportunities to add more points to the board in our opening couple of games, before we look to seek revenge against United following our League Cup defeat.

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Can't believe your opening 2 games. Hopefully form can pick up next few games!
November + December + January

Now I may have gotten a little bit to carried away in the save the other night, powering through, forgetting to grab various screenshots and such.

I've also figured I want to keep the story a bit more streamlined and easy to follow rather than posting big images of every game and it taking you guys ages to scroll your way through. Will be keeping to monthly updates (as long as I remember to screenshot) but may play around with the layout a bit to try make it easier to follow.

Anyway, you can probably see from the results as to why I got a little bit too carried away on the save! We have been in phenomenal form once again, losing just 3 games in 3 months as we push ourselves well and truly into Continental Qualification contention.

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I brought in just the one player during the transfer window, setting a new club record transfer fee in the process!

Keen to further bolster my squads English talent, I decided to sign 19 year old midfielder, Tom Davies from Everton. He is another player for the future but is still capable playing at Premier League level and has already opened his Leicester City Tally.

I currently have 3 England internationals in the squad, following Ben Chilwell and Harry Maguire's recent call ups. Whilst Jack Grealish, James Maddison, Demari Gray and Tom Davies are all young lions knocking on the door following some impressive performances this season.

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A quieter month to look forward to in February, including our highly anticipated FA Cup 4th Round replay against United, following some very late drama at Old Trafford in January.

Can we finally get the better of the red devils??

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This for me just show how unrealistic the game has become! Newcastle being the most active team! PFFT, unless they also sold 10 players and made another £20m profit then it's just not accurate ;)
This for me just show how unrealistic the game has become! Newcastle being the most active team! PFFT, unless they also sold 10 players and made another £20m profit then it's just not accurate ;)

They spent £23 Million and sold £4.5 million across the past 2 transfer windows. Maybe Mike Ashley sold? :p

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We started the month well, finally getting the better of Manchester United our 4th round FA Cup replay. Unfortunately we then threw away a 2-0 half time lead, to lose 3-2 against the Saints which seemed to spark another run of poor form. Arsenal ended our FA Cup run, whilst we we dismantled by newly promoted side, Wolves.

(Not sure i'm to pleased with this layout for results either, so expect more tinkering as I try revitalise my story writing skills)

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A rather poor month of Premier League results, sees us slip down to 6th. We are still well in the race for Champions League football but am in all honesty very happy to settle for the Europa League this season. Which assuming one of the big clubs wins the League and FA Cup, is looking very likely due to the 9 point gap over Liverpool in 8th.

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Once again I have invested a huge sum of money into English youth, signing Rhian Brewster from Liverpool for a £32 Million sum!

I guess it's risky business putting such a large emphasis on youth, but i'm confident in my long term plan. I needed another striker and he will be the perfect 3rd/4th choice for next season, behind Vardy and Iheanacho.

Will it be possible to develop an entirely English squad?

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Despite negotiating an improvement to the youth recruitment earlier in the season, this year's crop of players don't look set to make a big impact at the club. Paul May is the only one with any real potential at this level, but even he is going to struggle with the level of football i'm aiming to achieve here.

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A couple of nice games to open the month as we look to rediscover our form, before some big games against our continental rivals, United and West Ham.

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March brings a swift end to our dip in form, as we easily overcome Burnley. We raced into a 3-0 first half lead before taking our foot off the gas in the second half. Despite gifting them a soft penalty, the result never really looked in doubt.

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Two of our young foxes inspired us to a win over a feisty Fulham side. Despite a comfortable victory, Iheanacho was caught in the crossfire of one of there rash challenges and has since been ruled out of action for a month.

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For the 3rd time this season we lose to United by a one goal margin. It was another pleasing performance against the Premier League leaders and just reminds us of the work we still need to put in to reach the top. Demari Gray is our latest casualty, spraining the ligaments in his ankle.

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The hammers get there revenge after are 5-0 drumming earlier in the season. It was a fairly even contest before Hernandez poked over the line and the 3 points were then sealed from the penalty spot. A frustrating defeat against our continental rivals, made even worse by yet another injury.

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So with just 6 games left to go a top 7 finish and the prospect of continental football next season is looking very much on the cards. United have all but sealed the title, but places are looking set to be very hard fought below them!

Tom Davies becomes our 4th capped England player! Southgate is clearly looking to build for the future and will hopefully be able to supply him with a few more stars over the next few seasons.

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4 winnable games to be played in April as we look to secure our European spot for next season.

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32mil for Brewster is risky business! Hope it pays off for you. Good luck for the rest of the season.
32mil for Brewster is risky business! Hope it pays off for you. Good luck for the rest of the season.

I know, especially since my scouts rate him as being only League One at the moment. Hopefully with a bit of first team exposure next season he can reach his Star potential!

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Tom Davies makes a winning return to Goodison park following Vardy's brace. In was a hard fought game as we expected following our defeat to Everton earlier in the season but Vardy's class in front of goal proved to be decisive.

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Watford proved to be an extremely resilient and a draw really looked to be on the cards before a couple of late goals secured us the 3 points. Iheanacho caused all kinds of havoc down the left wing, as he went on to bag himself 3 assists for the day.

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6 goals, a Vardy hat-trick, a late Newcastle equaliser and 3 second half injuries, made quite the spectacle at the King Power. The result wasn't too disappointing as Newcastle played some very good football, but losing 3 key players for the final 3 games is far from ideal. Chilwell may be able to return for our final game but both Silva and Iborra's season are over. Fortuntely I have an abundant of young talent in Central midfield.

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Unfortunately Vardy failed to convert from the spot, which could have cost us 2 vital points. I was aiming for a victory but Huddersfield fully earned there point today.

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So Manchester United need just a point to officially claim the title, with Arsenal hanging on by the skin of their teeth. However the biggest battle continues to develop below them, with just 4 points separating 3rd and 7th. We remain in the mix and with 2 very winnable games coming up, we have a real shot at qualifying for the Europa League if not Champions League!

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Like ourselves, Bournemouth have been having a terrific season and it was evident why with the performance they put in at the King Power. However, we managed to dig deep and see out the game thanks to a few more goal from our young lions. A massive 3 points that secured us a Europa League Spot and left the fate of a Champions League spot in our own destiny.

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We came into the game against bottom side Cardiff knowing that a victory would guarantee us a Champions League spot. I was fully expecting us to get the win against a side who have been well and truly out of there depth all season and unfortunately for Cardiff, Vardy wasn't about to show any mercy, hammering 4 past Smithies.

Therefore, once again Champions League football will be returning to the King Power Stadium!

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Manchester United strolled to yet another title, to go alongside the Charity Shield and League Cup. Liverpool managed to salvage a poor season, by winning the FA Cup and hence a Europa League place. Whilst Man City miss out on Europe all together! West Ham were the other surprise inclusion in the top 6 and were hot on our tail for the last Champions League place.

Not sure anyone would have predicted this table at the start of the season!

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Vardy's terrific end of season form, scoring 12 goals in 6 games earned him the Premier League's Golden Boot. Kane looked all but certain to win it 6 games ago!

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An incredible 23 clean sheets for De Gea and United earns him the Golden Glove, whilst I was very pleased to see Schmeichel in 3rd place.

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Martial scooped up both the player of the Year and Young Player of the Year
(Despite Vardy's stats looking much better)

Unsurprisingly, United made up a large part of the Team of the Year, with Vardy being the only Leicester City representative.

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End of Season

Unsurprisingly, golden boot winner, Jamie Vardy was a clear winner for our player of the season. Jack Grealish had a terrific debut season and has already become a fan favourite. A number of my young English players made it into the Team of the season and is a great sign that my strategy to favour youth is working with immediate effect.

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Here's a quick overview of my English players. We now have 4 capped internationals, and a further 3 with the potential down the line. Every single one of them had a great season and we imperative to the overall success we had in reaching 4th Place and a Champions League spot.

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So, Jamie Vardy is our only English player to make Gareth Southgate's world Cup squad, whilst Iheanacho is also somehow left out of Nigeria's! There will no doubt be some very disappointed players who could hardly have done anymore on the pitch this season.

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