The Alex Ferguson (SAF) Challenge

TouchyFM

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Hi guys,

Welcome to my new story/challenge, which is the SAF Challenge. A lot of people have done the life of Alex Ferguson where they manage East Stirlingshire, Aberdeen and Manchester United. However, this is different. This is based solely on what he did at Manchester United.

He took charge on 6 November 1986, when Manchester United were 19th in the Premier League and it took him six years to win his first title, so the rules of the challenge are:
  • Holiday the game until 6 November, and take charge of the team in 19th place;
  • Stay at that team until you have achieved 'domination';
  • Buy only 8 players per season, as that was the highest number of first team players he ever signed in a season, and the max spend was £62m a season;
  • Have a focus on youth development like Ferguson e.g. the Class of 92 whilst also buying players to strengthen the squad in the first time.
The targets for the challenge in terms of competitions are:
  1. Win a domestic cup within 4 years
  2. Win a league title within 7 years
  3. Win a league and cup double within 7 years
  4. Win a league, cup and Champions League treble within 13 years.
All of these achievements above were all successfully accomplished by Ferguson during his reign.

Now, to make this clear, this is not an Alex Ferguson appreciation thread; I'm a Liverpool fan and in short, I despised the bloke, but there is no doubt his achievements were and still are unprecedented in English football. The scale of the challenge is appealing for me, and I'm looking forward to it.

Check back for more updates; the next one will be the holiday result, and a squad overview.

[To see the full thread on the SAF Challenge, you can find it here:] The SAF Challenge - Football Manager 2013 Forum (FM 2013) - Neoseeker Forums
 
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TouchyFM

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Thanks, can't really get into a long term save so this should keep me going for a while haha
 

TouchyFM

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6th November 2014

So we've holidayed to November 6 and let's just say, it was an absolute shock to see who we'd been given, take a look at the table below.

View attachment 305946

As you can see, we'll be managing Tottenham Hotspur. This coincided quite nicely as Mauricio Pochettino was sacked on the 4th, so I wasn't replacing a manager. I have to say I'm incredibly surprised that I got such a good team and it should make it easier to build a legacy and hopefully win trophies. I'll have a chance in the FA Cup this year but as you'll see from some screenshots that I'll post, we're already out of the League Cup. Here's the recent results and the team overview.

View attachment 305943
View attachment 305940
View attachment 305941

To be fair, MP had quite a few difficult fixtures in the opening 10, such as Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United. But poor results against teams such as Swansea and Burnley are a tad unforgivable. The squad is clearly a strong one, with players such as Lamela and Yarmolenko on the wings and Hugo Lloris in goal. But for me, the best in the squad is Christian Eriksen, he is a simply brilliant CAM and we will look to build the team around the attacking midfield three. The big worry for me right now is the lack of a clinical striker, Soldado is suspended whilst Kane and Adebayor have injuries, so a new man upfront is key for January, and potentially a new centre back to partner Kaboul, whilst a creative central midfielder could be considered, but I think Dembele can do a job for us there.

Key Players

View attachment 305935
View attachment 305939
View attachment 305937
View attachment 305938

The next update will be the results in November, our fixtures are:

Sparta Praha [EL] (a)
Southampton [BPL] (h)
Leicester [EPL] (a)
Ast. Tripolis [EL] (h)
Stoke [BPL] (h)

I'll be looking for two wins in the Europa League and 7 points from 9 in the Premier League. I believe all of the games are winnable but morale is extremely low, and we've only won one league game all season so it's best not to over-estimate the task here. Targets wise, I'll be looking for a top 7 finish in the Premier League, to reach the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup and the Europa League.
 
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TouchyFM

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NOVEMBER UPDATE

Our first month in charge of Spurs, and our first game came on the day I was appointed in the Europa League against Sparta Praha. I said I wanted to win both Europa League games and get 7 out of 9 points in the Premier League, can we do it?



Sparta Praha 2-1 Tottenham
(Konate 48', Bednar 49' | Chiriches 28')

View attachment 305912

So our first game in charge was hugely disappointing. We took a deserved lead through the unlikely source of Vlad Chiriches and to be honest we could have been 3-0 up at half-time. However, our lack of striker (we used Yarmolenko) proved to be our downfall, as two pieces of sloppy defending gifted them two quick goals to give them the lead, and they defended well until the end to seal the three points, that left us top with 9 from a possible 12, a win against Tripolis would see us through.


Tottenham 2-0 Southampton
(Chadli 2', Soldado 76')

View attachment 305908

Our first Premier League game saw us win pretty comfortably 2-0 against high flying Southampton. Nacer Chadli settled any nerves two minutes in with a great header from a Yarmolenko cross, and Roberto Soldado (yes, him) scored after a clinical counter-attack with ten minutes to go. It was a very pleasing victory as we limited them to very few chances, whilst creating a few openings of our own.


Leicester 2-2 Tottenham
(Knockaert 56', Chiriches (OG) 60' | Soldado (pen) 37', Yarmolenko 70')

View attachment 305905

I thought we were going to have a repeat of the Sparta Praha game here. We battered them first half but we could only get the one goal through a Soldado penalty. Then we were poor defensively (much like Spurs in real life) and it allowed them to score twice, one was an horrendous own goal from our best centre back, which says a lot about the strength of this team. However, a lovely 20-yard strike from Yarmolenko spared our blushes and got us a deserved point.

Tottenham 2-0 Ast. Tripolis
(Townsend 39', Kane 83')

View attachment 305900
The first aim of this month was completed here; qualify for the knockout rounds of the Europa League, and it was a mightily comfortable game. Again we were clinically inefficient, Townsend giving us a 1-0 lead at half-time but it could have been three. We pressed more in the second-half but it was a fantastic counter-attack and then finish from Harry Kane that wrapped us up the points.


Tottenham 0-1 Stoke
(Bojan 35)

View attachment 305896

After some really positive results, this one sent us crashing back down. The FM legend Bojan scored a great solo goal with their only shot on target after Fazio was caught square. Whilst the stats may suggest we dominated, we failed to create any meaningful opportunities and Stoke probably deserved to win.



Overview

We failed to meet both of the targets that I set out to meet this month. Despite winning three out of six points in the Europa League, it was enough to qualify, and the five out of nine Premier League points were enough to take us off bottom place into 18th (I don't have a screenshot of the league table as I accidentally forgot to screenshot it before I played the first two December games).

Player performances were pretty average, the likes of Soldado, Townsend and Yarmolenko flourished, whilst Lamela and Eriksen were poor, meaning they may be dropped for a while; whilst December is a month where we could pick up points, but there are some tough games:

Manchester City (a) [BPL]
Sunderland (h) [BPL]
Rapid Wien (a) [EL]
Everton (a) [BPL]
West Brom (h) [BPL]
Arsenal (a) [BPL]
QPR (h) [BPL]

The busiest month sees us visit two of the top teams, City and Arsenal plus a tough trip to Everton, but other than that the games are winnable, I'd like 10 out of 18 points and a win in our Europa League game. It's so tight in the bottom half we could easily jump to 12th/13th with some consistent performances.
 

Average Joe

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This is pretty good mate, Spurs always seem to do really well in my saves so I was surprised to see them in 19th!
 

TouchyFM

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Yeah I always see them top 5 for most of the season, I was kind of hoping it would be someone a bit harder but breaking the dominance of United, City and Chelsea will still be very tough
 

TouchyFM

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DECEMBER UPDATE

With a mix of winnable games and games where we will probably lose, December really is a month where table climbing is possible. Games such as Sunderland, West Brom and QPR should all be winnable, whilst Manchester City, Arsenal and Everton will be tough.


Manchester City 0-1 Tottenham
(Lamela 30')

View attachment 305841

What can I say about this result? Absolutely epic. This was a game that in all honesty I thought we'd be absolutely battered in. The stats suggest the game was close and it was, but it was a game of two halves. Lamela scored a nice finish from a Ben Davies cross after half an hour, and we completely dominated the first half. The second half was much more defensive from our point of view, and Lloris had to make two great saves from Jovetic and Aguero, and that was paramount for winning the three points.


Tottenham 2-0 Sunderland
(Yarmolenko 1' Kane 43')

View attachment 305840

A nice solid result to follow up from the 1-0 win at City. This was a game we controlled and we were never really threatened by Sunderland. The goal after 43 seconds really helped and Kane's finish just before half-time pretty much sealed the win. We went more defensive in the second-half to conserve energy and there were no more clear chances.


Rapied Wien 1-3 Tottenham
(Alar 15' | Yarmolenko 16' Chiriches 86' Kane 90+1')

View attachment 305836

This result may have looked comfortable but it really wasn't. After going behind I though it would be one of those days but a Yarmolenko header straight after put us back in the game. Harry Kane missed some absolute sitters but Chiriches' finish from an Aaron Lennon corner surely gave us the win, and then Kane rounded it off in injury time following a Wien corner. 15 points out of 18 in Europe and top spot in our group.


Everton 0-1 Tottenham
(Townsend 90+3')

View attachment 305835

Blimey this was nerve-wracking. We outplayed them first-half but we didn't create any clear cut chances, and they had the best chance midway through the second-half when Mirallas hit the post. But Townsend picked up the ball from Eriksen's pass 25 yards out and curled a wonder goal past Tim Howard, continuing our good form this month.


Tottenham 0-1 West Brom
(Brunt 53')

View attachment 305834

It just wasn't our day, we dominated but they hit us on the break a lot. They also missed a penalty through Berahino which could have made the scoreline worse. Disappointing, but if we play like this we'll get victories 9 times out of 10.

Arsenal 1-4 Tottenham
(Cazorla 68' | Kane 3' Eriksen 18', 44' Yarmolenko 43')

View attachment 305832

BOOM! We were 4-0 up at half-time and we led the shot count 12-8. Second half we just played on contain and invited pressure, where they were able to score just once. Kane opened the scoring with a simple header from close range after a great Davies cross. Eriksen scored a fantastic free-kick before Yarmolenko headed in a Townsend cross. Then Kane intercepted a pass from Giroud, drove forward and squared it to Eriksen who passed it into an empty net. Cazorla scored from a well worked move but we held on comfortably, recording easily our best win yet.


Tottenham 3-0 QPR
(Bentaleb 36' Townsend 50', 60')

View attachment 305831

It's nice to win at home again after the West Brom defeat, and it rounds up a hugely successful month for me and Spurs. Bentaleb scored an absolute worldie to open the scoring as we struggled to break them down. Townsend took advantage of two mistakes at set pieces to make it 2-0 and 3-0.


CUP DRAWS

FA CUP:
3rd round vs Liverpool (A)
Europa League:
1st Knockout Round vs Villarreal
Europa League: 2nd Knockout Round vs Dynamo Kiev or Inter

Overview

There is no doubt this month was absolutely incredible. Victories over Arsenal, Manchester City and Everton were completely unexpected but were overshadowed by the 1-0 home defeat by West Brom. I'm hoping next month we can get a victory vs Liverpool in the FA Cup as I see that as our only realistic chance of a trophy. We only have 3 league games against Crystal Palace, West Ham and Manchester United. We have United at home so there is a decent chance of winning. I'm hoping for 9 points but I won't be too disappointed with 5.


League Table

View attachment 305829


December Results

View attachment 305827
 
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Dean Wilkes

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Brilliant idea this mate, should make for an interesting read...great start as well, will be following mate!!
 

TouchyFM

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Brilliant idea this mate, should make for an interesting read...great start as well, will be following mate!!
Thanks a lot, I was struggling for a save that wasn't my YouTube one, and saw this challenge which should keep me entertained. The start couldn't really have been much better in all honesty!
 

MourinhoFM

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love this challenge idea, one of the best I seen. I thought at first it was a Ferguson emulation but well don for something different. keep it up & good luck although seems luck is with you with Spurs being 19th haha.
 

TouchyFM

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The Spurs thing was the biggest shock, I was hoping for a team like Sunderland or Hull, decent sides but not as big as Spurs. An thanks MourinhoFM, it's not my idea but I haven't seen it done since FM13 so I thought I'd try and bring it back and get people who can't seem to find a save that they can get in to a save that could be quite enjoyable.
 

TouchyFM

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JANUARY UPDATE + TRANSFERS

A lot of people call January the most important month for struggling teams; they get the chance to bolster their ranks. I would definitely class us as struggling in terms of league position, but not in terms of form. This month we faced 4 league games and 1 FA Cup tie against Liverpool. The games against Crystal Palace, Hull and West Ham are winnable, Manchester United and Liverpool I'm not so sure about, but let's jump straight into the January transfer dealings.

January transfers

PlayerFromToPrice Paid
Emmanuel AdebayorSpursMarseille£6m
Alexandre LacazetteLyonSpurs£12m

I felt we needed more strength upfront but I only needed three strikers. I could have gotten rid of Soldado but he's actually done okay but recently got injured. Lacazette was my number one target and at first I was quoted £18m. I decided not to follow up with any offer until two weeks later, when I offered £12m which was accepted. I definitely see him as a first team player and with just a £49k pw wage, he's on half of Adebayor's salary. However, Lacazette recently got injured for four weeks, ruling him out until mid-February which is a big loss. I am still searching for players such as a CB and a creative CM, but they will have to wait until the summer.


January matches

Tottenham 1-0 Hull City
(Yarmolenko 64')

View attachment 305794

A tight game which we just about edged. Hull had the much better of it in the first half hour, and should have gone 1-0 up when Ben Arfa forced a good save from Lloris whilst one on one. However, we seemed to buck our ideas up after that and we took the game to them, so when Allan McGregor parried a Townsend shot to the feet of Yarmolenko, the Ukrainian couldn't miss; a decent 3 points to keep the league form going.


FA Cup: Liverpool 4-2 Tottenham
(Balotelli 26', 28 Sturridge 45+2', 52'| Townsend 46' Chiriches 54')

View attachment 305793

This was a brilliant game and in all honesty we were very unlucky to lose. We dominated but we were hit on the break, and if you have two quality strikers in Balotelli and Sturridge, you'll take your chances and ultimately win. The Sturridge goal just before half-time killed us, if it was 2-0 then we could have had a chance, but the third goal just knocked our confidence. A better performance second-half was encouraging and Townsend and Chiriches continued to perform. Being knocked out in the FA Cup is disappointing, but we gave it a great effort.


West Ham 0-3 Tottenham
(Eriksen 68' Chadli 76' Maxim 88')

View attachment 305791

This was another game where we had a lot of the ball and I think by the time it got to 65 minutes, they were knackered and we were able to tear them apart. We're looking so good down the flanks which was epitomised by Yarmolenko's cross being nodded down by Kane for Eriksen to lash home. Chadli then grabbed a goal heading in a perfect Ben Davies cross, and Maxim put gloss on the scoreline with a beautiful left-foot strike from 20 yards out. Our persistence and desire in this game was brilliant and it was probably our best team performance yet.


Tottenham 4-0 Crystal Palace
(Kane 38', 50' Eriksen 57' Chadli 81')

View attachment 305788

When I said the West Ham game was our best performance yet, it was quickly replaced by this one. We were wonderful in the second-half as I gave the players more freedom to roam. Kane scored some beauties whilst Chadli and Eriksen were brilliant throughout. We don't seem to be missing Lamela too much who's been out injured for a while; and we're looking pretty formidable, I couldn't have been happier after this game.


Tottenham 2-4 Manchester Utd
(Kane 49' Soldado 68' | Falcao 13', 39 van Persie 48' pen 80')

View attachment 305786

I couldn't have been unhappier about this game. Our centre-backs just didn't seem to want to mark Falcao and van Persie and they raced 3-0 in front. What annoyed me more was that it took the third goal going in to actually get us to even come close to playing well. Kane and Soldado set up a tense finish, but Zapata gave away a penalty and was sent off; the penalty was scored and there was no way back into the game for us.


Overview

Despite the disappointing results to Liverpool and Manchester United, I think we can be pretty positive about performances; we're dispatching teams smaller than us comfortably, and we've already proven we can beat the big teams. Although we stay 9th we're only 2 points off 5th. I told the board I could get a top half finish, but more worryingly I've told Eriksen if we don't get Champions League football this year, then he can leave, all the more motivation to get into the top 4.




League table

View attachment 305784


January results

View attachment 305779



Remember to follow me on Twitter @TouchyFM and to subscribe to my YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/touchyfm Thanks.
 
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