FM19 – SAFC Save: That Didn’t Exactly Go To Plan

The Plan

The plan with Sunderland was to take them to the Premier League and to establish them as a top tier team. The steps were very simple:

  • Get out of League 1
  • Whilst in League 1 use the opportunity to develop young talent, by giving them first team football.
  • Use the big transfer budget to sign as many young players as possible – they were going to form the backbone of the club finances and playing side for years to come.

As plans go, those three steps were very simple and I certainly made good progress on the second two points. Continue reading “FM19 – SAFC Save: That Didn’t Exactly Go To Plan”

FM19 – SAFC Save: A Glorious Start

Expectations

Being a Football Manager in real life must be a tough job. All the ego’s, (un)realistic expectations, a simple game that somehow is made complicated by the unpredictability of 22 players on a pitch.

Being a Football Manager of Sunderland can be a glorious opportunity, for the right man, or it can be a poison chalice.  The owners and the fans expect the team to win League One this season, rightfully so as they’re a big fish in a small pond. Can a first time manager pull it off? Continue reading “FM19 – SAFC Save: A Glorious Start”

Our Go To Players In Football Manager – WFO3

In this episode…

Sam and Mark discuss the players they like to sign save after save.  Some names may be familiar, others will hopefully give you some ideas for your own saves. Continue reading “Our Go To Players In Football Manager – WFO3”

FM19 – SAFC Save: Hand Us The Title Now!

Footballing Gods

When it comes to pre-season I don’t put much stock on the results as an indicator for the league games. That being said, we were pretty amazing during our friendly matches.

Pre-season results
Pre-season results

Okay ignoring the Notts Co and Blackburn results, we were pretty amazing.  Maja and Nelson were banging them in for fun. This young striking partnership will bring us League One glory.

Tactics

I’ve made no changes to the stock 4-4-2 Wide Wing Play tactic. It’s a tactic I have used to great success in the past and wanted to see if I could relive some of those glory days.  

I also figured that in League One two up front would be the way to go.  Having never played in the league I anticipate slightly more robust defending and could see a lone striker getting knocked around a bit and may need the support.  I also think we could make use of the superior team we have, in comparison to the rest of the league.  I want to see the team dominate with attractive football and good old fashioned wing play.

As the results show, it seems to suit them, a little concerned about the goals conceded but once the defence get settled in that should be remedied.

New Signings

Mid Pre-Season saw the arrival of Nigel Re-Coker and Brad Carr. I also said this:

I have decided to get that left back and scout for a new goalkeeper, spend a decent fee for both and then dump the rest of the £4 million transfer budget in to balancing the wages

Here’s what actually happened:

SAFC Transfer In
SAFC Transfer In

Everyone above Nigel Reo-Coker is the fault of the previous manager.  From big Nige down I take full responsibility for.

None of these signingns is a goalkeeper or a left back, here’s my revised thoughts on recruitment – formed AFTER trying to bring players in.

A lot of the players my scouts are coming up with have wages in the region of £18,000-£20,000.  For League One that’s too high in my opinion.  But then if I want to get promotion and then complete in the Championship I’ll need to think more long term.  But does that risk the financial future of the club?

Let’s discuss the elephant in the room.  Yes, that is Peter Crouch.  I blame his podcast for the signing (check it out That Peter Crouch Podcast).  Part of me did think he could do a job at this level. But to be 100% honest, I just wanted to say I’d signed Peter Crouch and was hoping to see the robot celebration during a match.

The rest of the signings were basically me weilding the mighty Sunderland wealth (for the league) and bringing in youngsters in the hope they would form a core of players that would bring us future success.  That remains to be seen.

Conclusion

Peter Crouch only cost £96,000, but his wages of £12,500 per week were probably a luxury we could do without.

Beyond that, it is evident that I am useless at sticking to a plan.

FM19 – SAFC Save: The Lee Cattermole Quandary

The Story So Far

Lee Cattermole is a big money earner at the SAFC, pulling in £30k per week in League One. As I mention in the post FM19 – SAFC Save Show Me The Money, that’s just not sustainable for a club in League One and the money could be put to better use.

Lee is a great player for this level and is a big contributor to our mid-field quality, but he’s a luxury. I made the decision very early on to move him on.  Easier said than done.

I did tell Lee initially that I was going to sell him to release funds for the club. He wasn’t happy with that, felt he deserved his £30k and didn’t want to leave (remember that last bit for later on in this tale).

Stoke To The Rescue?

In real life Lee Cattermole is still at Sunderland, for whatever reason. Wages? Ability?

In game, I got an offer from Stoke. The fee was pretty decent £2.4 million, for a player valued at £2.9 million. I could negotiate up from there. However, the sticking point for me was them wanting us to contribute £12.75k to his weekly wage.

Stoke initial offer for Lee Cattermole

As much as I’d like to release Lee and boost the coffers, that wage demand really annoyed me (to be polite about it). I hate the idea of paying for a player who is no longer at the club. So I turned the offer down, as they’d locked the clause.

The result of this was an unhappy Lee and an unhappy squad. The former I could live with. The latter was an issue because team cohesion was causing problems on the pitch.

SAFC Player Unhappy With Lee Cattermole Treatment

The good news was I had players on my side and some pretty influential players at that. So, I could weather this storm in a teacup.

Thinking he’d have to stay and knowing I needed more money in the wage budget I moved the money around, to release about £30k for wages.  Giving me room to improve the squad and keep Lee at the club.

I did feel that I was being painted as the villain of the piece by Lee and some of the players. I want him to go, he wanted to leave (no sorry he didn’t – remember what I said earlier – I don’t actually know what he wants at this point), some of the players want him be allowed to leave. I just wasn’t willing to let him go on those terms.

The Invertedwingbacks Intervention

So, I’m scouting the Swedish leagues (ok I was having a cheeky holiday on the club) and dropped in on Invertedwingbacks, who is currently managing Vänersborgs FK in the Swedish Second Division North Götaland.  No, I don’t have a clue who they are either. Jese Wingbacks is Scottish and seems to like the colder climates – mind you there was that stint in Nigeria, but we don’t talk much about that.

Back in the comforts of Wingbacks humble abode, the long suffering Mrs Wingbacks (being dragged around Sweden from club to club, not knowing how long she’ll have at each one) provided us with the fabled calming Oreo’s – only two each and not the thin crappy no filling ones either.

I digress. Why was I going to Wingbacks? Not only is she a tactical genius, with a flair for Mourinho type celebrations, she’s also Scottish and knows a lot about saving money. Could she unlock the Cattermole quandary?

Her take? Grab the money and run. I not only get the transfer money, which can be used to boost the wages, but I also get more than half Cattermole’s salary back in to the coffers for other players. Plus, if he renews his contract with Stoke I’ll be off the hook for the £12.75k a week.

Put in that way, I was stupid to have turned Stoke down. So I offered him to them again.  This time insisting on a fee of £2.7 million, which they accepted.

Thank God that is over.  However, remember all those players who were happy he was staying? The one’s who were influential (see above), now they’re unhappy and its causing issues on the pitch. Add to that, the fans and board aren’t happy with this bit of transfer genius.

Unhappy fans and board

Tough, they’ll get over it. I need depth and not diva’s.

Passive Income – Side Note

I love making money with no effort. Everton just gave us £1 million as part of a clause in Jordan Pickfords transfer to them. The rich, of League One, get richer.

Conclusion

Good riddance to Lee.

FM19 – SAFC Save: Mid Pre-Season

Initial Squad Thoughts

It’s hard to tell at the moment. We have eight injured players and one on holiday, leaving us with a bench of five central mid-fielders, a goalkeeper and a central defender.  Which doesn’t give much scope for evaluating the first team squad during the friendlies. Continue reading “FM19 – SAFC Save: Mid Pre-Season”

Way’s we’ve sabotaged Our Football Manager Careers – WFO2

In this episode…

Mark, in the absence of Sam, is covering way’s he’s sabotaged his Football Manager save by doing something stupid in game. The list is short and sweet: Continue reading “Way’s we’ve sabotaged Our Football Manager Careers – WFO2”

FM19 – SAFC Save Show Me The Money

The Money

It’s a dry subject and not a particularly exciting one to start the save story with, but the finances at Sunderland are a little unique.

I’m playing the game much slower in this version of Football Manager, so actual save updates are a little limited at the moment.  However, for the first time in a long time the Under 23’s friendly match has highlighted a couple of things I want to touch on in this post. Continue reading “FM19 – SAFC Save Show Me The Money”

FM19 – SAFC Save Introduction

Introduction

With all the excitement of a new version of Football Manager, I decided to dust off the old Wheel Fell Off blog and give content creation another go.

For my first save, in this release, I decided to go with a team I haven’t manager since FM17. That team being Sunderland. Continue reading “FM19 – SAFC Save Introduction”