The All-Saints : A Home-Grown Southampton Challenge


Nov 21, 2009
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Hi all, I've decided to embark on a different challenge than my normal build a team up from the bottom. I've decided to take the helm at Southampton, but with a twist. I am going to attempt to win the Premier League & Champions League with an all home grown British squad. Now that's the ultimate aim and although I haven't set a time limit on that (before 10 seasons for sure) I need to set some ground rules from the first season to get me going:
  1. I am not allowed to field a non-British player at any time, unless they are club home grown (e.g. Morgan Schneiderlin).
  2. I am not allowed to sign any player that will not be eligible to become HG at the club, i.e. I can only sign U19s.
  3. I cannot ever sign a player that is not eligible for one of the home nations.
  4. I may re-sign any player that has HG at club status - for the purpose of this I am counting Bale & Walcott as I will aim to sign them in the future.
  5. I cannot offer a new contract to a player that is not HG at club, i.e. Nathaniel Clyne, Jay Rodriguez.
  6. I am using LFCMarshall's Summer Update Databe up to 8th June 2013 - purely for my own interest to see how things pan out differently.
With these rules in mind I set out to scour the country for the best young talent, as well as bringing in British staff and offloading foreigners where possible. It is a shame I have to sell Gaston Ramirez! Here's how my transfers went:

As you can see, plenty of money was spent! I started with a 23mil budget, however adjusted up to 30mil through lowering wages. You may see the transfer fees as particularly pricey but none of the fees are fully up front as I negotiated lots of installments and clauses. Here's a look at the youngsters I have brought in. I have included Luke Shaw and James Ward-Prowse in there both of whom start at the club.

I am very happy with the talent I have been able to bring in. The majority have 4.5* Potential and Chalobah has 5* as well as already being good enough to be a key player. I will be looking to use 4/5 of these youngsters starting each match, I don't expect instant results but they can only get better. I will be looking for the likes of Lallana and Schneiderlin, the current HG players, to act as leading stars in the coming campaign. We had a good pre-season going unbeaten and picking up a win against Atletico Madrid so I was feeling confident going ahead, until I saw we had Chelsea and Man City as our opening fixtures.

I was expecting a 2 or 3-0 drubbing at Stamford Bridge but we were able to grab a draw. Young Will Hughes equalised in the 2nd half to make it 1-1, whilst Nathaniel Chalobah pick up the MOTM award against his former club. I fielded five teenagers, so I'm very happy with the result. Next up Man City at St Mary's!
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what formation are you using?
I am using a tweaked version of my Arrigo Sacchi 4-4-2 Tactic, where I have dropped the Complete Forward to AM and set as Trequartista:

GK - Butland (Loan) / Davis
DR - Clyne / Byram
DL - Shaw / Surman
DC - Baird / Chalobah / Lascalles / Stephens
DM - Schneiderlin / Cork / Chalobah / Hammond
MR - Redmond / Puncheon
ML - Lallana / McFadzean
AM - Hughes / Ward-Prowse
FC - Rodriguez / Lambert / Clayton

Next Update will come at the end of September. I will be doing Player of the Month for August/September Combined as well as Young Player (u20).

Above are the results from the first couple of months of my Southampton tenure. Overall I am pretty pleased, considering half the team are teenagers. We kick off the season with 3 draws in the Premier League, which may not seem that great but they came against Chelsea (1-1 Away), Man City (2-2 Home) and Tottenham (1-1 Away). Our first Premier League victory came against newly promoted Crystal Palace (2-0 Away), where as you can see from the stats we were extremely well organised defensively. Unfortunately our unbeaten run came to an abrupt end with a lacklustre performance against Everton (1-2 Home). Our last league game ended in victory (1-0 Hull Home) but it took a late penalty from Nat Chalobah despite dominating the game. The League Cup campaign was restricted to a short 2 game stint, after beating Doncaster (2-0 Away) but crashing against Champions Man Utd (0-2 Away). Callum McFadzean scored after 17 seconds on his debut vs Doncaster, which was also his complete professional debut.

Player of August / September

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Nathaniel Chalobah

Not only is he only 17-year-old and a hot prospect for the future, Chalobah has shown what he can offer in the here and now. He put in a MOTM performance in his debut vs his former club Chelsea as well as two wonderful performances vs Man City and Hull. His two goals have also earnt the club 4 points, with the 1-0 victory over Hull and 1-1 draw with Tottenham. Morgan Schneiderlin can claim the runner up for this award, with solid performance in defensive midfield throughout.

Young Player of August / September

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Will Hughes

The fact that young Chalobah picked up the main player award shows that the youngsters coming in have really started to show the Premier League they are ready. Another key first team player, Will Hughes, claims the young player award particularly for his impressive performances in the opening two games. He picked up a goal on his debut to pinch a draw at Chelsea and an assist against Man City. Although since he hasn't scored or assisted, Hughes is always amongst the key passers. Jamaal Lascalles claims the runners up for young player, after two outstanding performances, however as these were these only appearances so far I could not consider him for 1st place. Lascalles is certainly one for the future in my eyes.

Premier League Table & Player Performances

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We are currently sitting in 7th place after a 2-3-1 record. A very promising start and I hope we can build momentum going forward. However, I am concerned on the lack of goalscoring from our forwards, with Lambert & Rodriguez only managing one goal between them. So far the joint top scorers are Jack Cork and Nat Chalobah, with 2 goals each. Nathaniel Clyne has been very inconsistent at DR and Sam Byram will be pushing for his place.
Bro, just to ask, how do you scout for players and staff? Thats the only thing I need to know about FM. I always download wonderkid list. I really need to know how to find and scout for talented players without using the wonderkid list cheat. Appreciate if you could help. :)
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With this theme of English players its easier for me because I have a good knowledge of who the stars of the futures are :p.

It's not a difficult task however, I literally do most of the searching myself looking through any players in U18s (or 1u under in the first team generally means they're class), paying special attention to teams with good facilities e.g. Crewe. Scout the players using a scout with at least SA/SP of 18/18 and then use a secondary scout to back that up. I'd only ever sign a player with 4* Potential at least.

Also familiarise yourself with the re-gen youth intake dates and on those exact dates look through clubs U18s that way you may be able to pick up players for low compensation. It is a timely process but this is the way to find players.
I've decided I'm going to do one big update on the 1st January, Update to follow soon!
We have continued to progress in a reasonable fashion into the season. We went on a 5-match run of clean sheets which I was very happy with. Best result was probably the 2-0 win over Liverpool, however they are in free fall this season. We had the second run of death facing Arsenal, Liverpool and Man Utd in a row and we are entering another one where we face Man City (managed a 3-3 draw at the Etihad), Chelsea, Tottenham and Everton. We've managed to pick up results against teams we should be beating. Our media prediction is 12th and so far having played half a season we are yet to concede against a team that is currently placed 12th or below and only dropped 2 points in a 0-0 draw with Sunderland of whom are the team in 12th. We're picking up points against the bigger sides, but it would be nice to start turning these into wins. As per earlier in the season, we are struggling on the goal front, mostly due to not having a quality striker to put them away.

Youngster Watch

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Luke Shaw
Luke Shaw has nearly been ever present in the team, having only not featured in one game. He has had a few very good games, but also a few bad ones which is to be expected from such a young defender. Overall a good season for him so far and he has been progressing well in training, albeit slowly.

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Nathan Redmond
Redmond started the season as first choice right winger, ahead of the more experienced Jason Puncheon, as I believed he had the quality to make an impact from the off. He had a poor start to the season, but I kept faith in him and recently he has started performing, picking up some assists. His progression in training has been outstanding and I hope he has the quality to turn into the next Theo Walcott.

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Callum McFadzean
McFadzean has been one of the youngster that has had his first team experience limited. However this may be different soon, as Lallana is out injured for 3 months. McFadzean will have the opportunity to stake his claim there and show what he's worth. Has progressed relatively well in training but I hope first team experience can really bolster his attributes as it has with others.

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Jamaal Lascalles
In recent weeks Lascalles has forced his way into the first team, with regular 7.0+ performances. However one performance blip against Villa has affected his confidence. Has been a star in training and is already shaping into a quality, pacy centre back.

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Will Hughes
Since his arrival Hughes has become an integral part of the first team, making more starts than any other player and leading the club goalscoring charts. I really think that he has the potential to be a future England star and his improvement in training agrees with that.

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Max Clayton
Started out as a bench player but got his chance in the first team when Lambert was forced out with injury (3 months) and Rodriguez was struggling for form. A couple of quality performances showing what he could be capable of, but a lot of inconsistency. He's really not ready for Premiership football yet but I'd love to be proved wrong. Progressing very well in training.

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Nat Chalobah
Chalobah is easily becoming my favourite player with his constant improvements both on the pitch and in training. He is the best performer in the squad bar none and has also banged in some important goals. Only had one bad game, a 6.5 against Man Utd.

Has provided fierce competition for Clyne at DR, but is also prone to a bad performance. Although slowly progressing in training, he has yet to reach the training levels and attribute improvements of the others.

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James Ward-Prowse
Out of all the youngsters Ward-Prowse has had the least first team appearances for the only reason that Will Hughes has been very good. Nevertheless he's been developing very well in training and I feel I should be offering him more first team appearances in the new year.

Player Performances

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Chalobah and Schneiderlin have been the best performers so far, however in recent weeks Lallana has been outstanding and will be sorely missed whilst out injured. Jack Cork has been consistent in DM and Will Hughes has shown real glimpses of quality throughout. At the other end, Nathaniel Clyne has really struggled with form and none of the strikers seem to be able to find any level of consistency. With Lambert out injured that leaves just Rodriguez and Clayton to try to find some goalscoring form.

We're sitting in 8th place so far and with a run of good form we could push for the European places. However, as I had the ambition to consolidate in the division and build from there, I am still going to emphasise youth development over trying to climb up the league. The two most interesting signings in the premier league have been the 43mil transfer of Walcott to Man Utd, which will certainly make it difficult for him to be signed in the future, and Edinson Cavani to Arsenal who will help push them to compete for the title.

My next update will be regen day, thanks for reading.
Great start mate, I had a Chelsea story going and Chalobah, Hughes and Redmond became absolute beasts after a couple of years!! Keep it up mate.
Good story so far, and just a quick question, seeing as you are using lfc mashalls update, could you post a screenshot of Bale, seeing i am sure that his stats got bumped up a bit :)
Youth Intake 2013 Update

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Well for me the 13th March is one of my most exciting days on FM, even more so for this challenge. With top training facilities, youth facilities, the best English coaches and recently revamped exceptional junior coaching it was time to see what the new batch of 15/16 year olds could bring.

I am very happy with the products that have been brought through. Aaron Armstong looks like he has all the potential to become a future star. Great finishing, good mental atts and reasonable physical atts means that he already puts himself as the 4th best striker at the whole club, behind Clayton, Rodriguez and Lambert. Lewis Phillips also looks like he's not far off the first team, with excellent atts for a centre back already, although training will be needed on his physical attributes so that he can cope with the Premier League. The rest of the intake is reasonable and I have signed all the players with 2* potential or more.

I also spent a couple of hours scouring the whole of England in the pursuit of talent and here are the players I was able to poach for compensation. I am particularly keen of Anton Corbould, who is a classy AM and could be pushing Will Hughes for his place in the future!

Gareth Bale
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Pure class - I'd love to sign him in the future!

My next update will be the end of season review, really enjoying this save so far and I'm making real progress!

You not doing this story anymore? Bit of a shame i was following this and have even started a game with southampton myself due to this story!
It looked like it was going to be a class story!