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Golden FM added a video: Hearts of Gold | Episode 22 - Top of the Table Clash | Football Manager 2018

Same yet different, here's to quicker success and a more reliable save file.

I've been struggling to get back into FM having played out a couple of disastrous saves with Valencia and the Caribbean, so I thought I'd revisit one of my more enjoyable saves, albeit 5 years back.

This is where the save last stopped: http://sortitoutsi.net/content/get-comment/157850

Though we didn't draw Damanhour again, thank goodness for that:


As a result we didn't choke this time round and went on to win the whole thing instead.

Anyway... what's different now?


I decided to stop faffing about with the Akoto experiment (forcing him to play in defence when he's really an AM) and go for actual quality.
For this same reason Yao stays, I can't have too much upheaval in the defence while Salah Amin (as we all know) will be rubbish for the foreseeable future.

Unfortuately I decided to keep Yao after signing his replacement:


He's a proper handful in the air (like Yao) and has good defensive ability, but you can't help but feel that only one of them was needed here, not both.
No matter, it might help any prospective change to a back 3.

But I digress - since this is a fresh start, I thought I'll do things differently:
- Stop finishing 4th and win the title earlier;
- Refrain from signing disruptive cancers (cough Georges Bamba cough);
- And delay the financial apocalypse.

And of course win the bloody Champions League title.
Some things won't change because they've been tried and tested (Abdellaoui) but on a whole it won't be the same.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
I'm so happy this is back!
Love that this one is back!
Fantastic to see this back
Thanks guys, unfortunately I'm currently on a course and won't be able to play this anywhere near as often as I would like (i.e. on weekends only).


Preseason/Transfer Deadline Day*

*and everything in between


Preseason wasn't anything special, we didn't turn on the style till the final match as shown.

That said, we did bring that style to the Supercup:


Ok, maybe not but we did fully exploit playing the 4-6-0 against a 4-4-2.

We let them control the play through their defenders, but managed to intercept balls to their midfielders to go on the counter at speed.
Well of course there's a lot that can go wrong with voluntarily conceding possession:


Case in point - Zamalek we much more intelligent with their system and played a DM in front of their back 4, preventing us from breaking the way we did previously. As a result we were under constant pressure from the get-go, and eventually crumbled; humble pie indeed.


Transfers wise it's not too bad, there's the aforementioned Shehata and 3 loan deals - though business could have concluded earlier than on deadline day itself...


A surprisingly good option down the right, when Mahmoud Ibrahim is needed up front.
Not that he showed it against Zamalek, but he showcased some of his ability against Al-Rajaa.


Excellent business, managing to secure the services of a proper fullback for once, from Inter too.
Provides some sort of cover on the left wing as well.


He was very, very last minute - I'd been chasing another Moroccan rightback throughout the window but he kept playing hardball, so I had to settle if I were to even think of attempting a 3-5-2 this season.
The bad news is that it's only for 3 months, so he won't even play to the January window.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
August 2025

A quick update to end off the month:


Persisted with the strikerless system despite the Zamalek reversal, paid dividends again.


We went quite a few notches higher here, tearing their backline a new one despite giving up possession to the league's bottom-feeder.
Abdel Kader is revelling as the tip of the diamond, able to set up the wide forwards of go it alone himself as the auxiliary striker - though the eral star here was Emam, with 3 goals and 3 assists.


Early days, but with our scoring prowess a steady climb in the next few weeks is possible.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
Glad this is back, some good strong victories in the latest stint!
Football Manager 2018 - From A Failed Footballer To A Traveling Manager - Story coming soon...
Pleased to see this back mate!
Cheers guys, but I'm unable to update this as I'd like as previously mentioned unfortunately.


September 2025


Played a 4-5-1 here, not the most convincing win to be honest, but it's 3 points nonetheless.
But it does look a return to the 4-6-0 would lead to a more more convincing performance.


It was a terrible result period, but it's still annoying that we conceded the opener from a headed goal, when Yao and Shehata have an average height of 1.935 metres.


Fresh from licking our wounds after that rude awakening, we moved to a 3-5-2 against Mansoura.
Again, far from convincing, but I'll take a draw from a goal down under these circumstances.
And a Fun Fact: Prior to this encounter Mansoura absolutely destroyed Zamalek 5-1(!)


I'll have to get my tactics right pronto if we're to make up that 5-point gap.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
October 2025


Attempted to replicate the 9-1 game's tactics here (sitting deep with minimal pressing and go on the counter) - evidently it went to pot.
After a switch to a more proactive mentality we clawed our way back into the game, but it still had to take a last gasp winner to settle the contest.
Wouldn't want to sit through the 1st half again though.


Took an early lead from a corner, but what followed was a shocking display of 'finishing' - Mamdouh Reda didn't do his chances of earning a permanent stay any good with multiple wasted opportunities, but the main offender was probably Ahmed Emam, really expected more from him.
Didn't help that the 2nd penalty was a wrong decision, but it wouldn't have matter if we hadn't been so wasteful.


Then this happens.
Guess it's really all about taking your chances then.


2 ways to look at this:
1. That we lost to Ismaily and nearly did so against Damanhour and are still 6th, or that
2. that we thrashed Al Ahly (again) and are still 6th.
Funny little league, this.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
Why am I not manageing in Egypt..?
Why am I not manageing in Egypt..?

1. Only 3 foreign players allowed in the Premier League, 2 for the 2nd tier
2. 10 years(!) consecutively to obtain Egyptian nationality.


If you're not Al Ahly you'll have massive problems filling your stadium.

Seriously the main problem is the gate receipts, even after the title win I still couldn't get a sniff of 20k averages, and if it wasn't for the windfall we'd be proper bankrupt by now.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
I see... What's not to like!
I see... What's not to like!


November 2025


We started November with a game where we deserved to win, but weren't supposed to if it wasn't for a fortuitous penalty in our favour.
That we failed to hold on to a 2 goal lead with 20 minutes to go made for uncomfortable watching.


Tried out the 3-5-2 here in an attempt to shake things up, we should have added to Compaore's early opener but for subpar finishing.
El Gouna then equalised and threatened to turn the game on its head when we finally found another gear and finished the game off.
Seems like we're going towards a more direct style of football, with quick transitions leading to our 2nd and 3rd goals.


This game was all us - well it was supposed to be, until our backline deceided to fall asleep towards the end of the game - Suez with 2 goals from 2 shots.
They also had the (late, late) equaliser chalked off for offside, another game which I wouldn't like to sit through again.


We conceded the opener for the 1st time this month, and while we did regain the lead going into the interval it was apparent that a sharpening of the tools was required.
And so we did, we came out to the 2nd half like a team possessed, banging in goal left right and centre.
Good win, though we do need a kick up the backside from time to time.


So a perfect month sees us well in the title chase, the hope is that we can maintain this towards the halfway point of the season.
Also, Al-Rebat We Al-Anwar (a mouthful, yes) are on course for one of the worst campaigns for any club ever - 7 goals scored and 65 conceded, which is and average of 5 a match if you can work it out.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
December 2025


We began the last month of 2025 the way we shouldn't have - both fulbacks were absolutely suffering, which was weird considering I doubled up out wide against their 3-5-2.


Bounced back with yet another footballing masterclass from Abdel Kader, our top scorer so far this campaign.
Assisted the 4th I might add.


Well there's going from strength to strength, and then there's this.
Moataz Emam getting a hattrick was most unusual - he'd only been on when Abdel Kader dropped deeper as the playmaker, and scored with his 1st touch. then a 2nd, then a penalty - all in 9 minutes.


Following that up with this lacklustre performance was a disappointment to say the least, we still need consistency to our free scoring play.


So instead of being right on Al-Ahly's tail we find ourselves 4 points off, and right in the mix for the top 4 spots.

Now for some good news:


His form this campaign has been nothing short of incredible, but I have to say I'm still surprised that he actually won it.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
January 2026


Some more disappointing defending led to us losing our lead and with it, a chance to avenge our season-opening defeat.


Rebounded well, safe to say we had the game under control, which is nice.


I'd expected a proper thumping given how our previous encounter turned out, and a 5-2 is not to be sniffed at, but bloody hell was this an infuriating performance - the defence was utter pish, and Shehata is increasingly getting on my nerves.
Though I suppose Mounir Abdellaoui getting a hattric on his (second?) debut is a big positive.


4th, and 3 points above Masry, but that could all change as we're due to play them next.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
February 2026


We didn't exactly get a hold on the game, but having achieved a 2-goal advantage (albeit for only a minute) a point feels like a missed opportunity.


More rubbish defending led to another loss, though admittedly we could have done with more shots.


More or less comfortable, but Abdel Fatah's seriously suspect distribution led to Mansoura's consolation - little surprise we've only had 2 clean sheets all season then.


Then there's this - we've been far too reliant with our goalscoring this season.


I suppose our comparatively wretched form can but attributed to Adama Yao being sidelined for 5 weeks with a rib injury, but I can't excuse Shehata's inability to cut the mistakes out from his game - an aerial threat he is, but he's not much more than a liability in defence and it's not getting better.

Well at least there's continental distractions to look forward to:


A second-string side was put out here, but we should have scored more than just the single goal regardless.


Better, though they we never a threat at any point and 4-0 on aggregate isn't cause for excitement tbh.


And we'll need to step up our game against this South African top-flight side, not an easy tie by any means.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
March 2026


Comfortable, though Abdellaoui didn't have the best game.


What followed was the most infuriating game I've had the 'pleasure' to watch.
A missed penalty, going behind early, waste chance after chance before finally gaining the lead, before being pegged back late on.
Up next? Al Ahly.


The same gameplan was employed as per our previous encounters, it worked perfect sans the finishing, evidently.
Didn't help that the penalty was yet another contentious one.


5 games unbeaten, but only 6 point from the last 12 available.
And still only 2 clean sheets, we're doing a Liverpool it seems.


Better news in the Confederation Cup, we grabbed a decisive advantage away from home.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
April 2026


For a long time it looked like I'd be coming away with only a point, so I can't complain about getting all 3.


Not exactly an inspired performance, but lo and behold just a 3rd clean sheet of the season.


We could've done with a goal or 2 from Abdellaoui, who endured a wretched day in front of goal - in fact he hasn't scored in 6 games already, a far cry from his earlier form.



Safe to say we weren't in any trouble whatsoever here.


Another unbeaten hauls us back into the chase for 3rd.
The title looks well out of our reach however, which is probably a missed opportunity considering Al Ahly's rather imperfect form.

Anyway, back to pitting against Wits now:


Job done, and up next are Africa Sports of the Ivory Coast.


It took quite a while to get going, and Ibrahim wasn't having a great game right up to his goal, a sublime finish.
I'd probably still put us as favourites to go through, but we really do need to avoid the sluggish starts.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention this in the previous post:


An average intake, only signed the top 3 prospects and the 2 better CBs to make up the numbers.


Al Ashri will probably not make it as a targetman, his sheer lack of strength or height count against his progress in the regard.
Looking into the possibility of a Shadow Striker role for him though.
Hassan possesses a good turn of pace, would be a useful asset should he develop properly.
Abdel Halim is a punt, has decent mental attributes but it's unclear whether he can make anything out of it.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
The Rest of the Season 2025/26


An early goal sealed the game, as our defence held on for yet another clean sheet.


Incredibly, another thrashing of Al Moqaoloun was up next, bring our seasonal aggregate to 10-1.
They didn't do themselves any favours either with 2 own goals.

So we've come to the last game of the season - we've still not secured 3rd spot at this point, though a win would suffice, and a draw as well provided other results went our way.


Well I didn't win, disappointing considering we'd been on a roll defensively, for once.


As it turned out we won't get 4th as well, due to losing out to Masry in our head-to-head this season.

It also meant that we'd have to win the Egyptian Cup (or have one of the top 3 win) to qualify for the CAF Confederation Cup next season - which we did last time out.


Shabab Ebshouay were sufficiently easy opponents, and a 2nd-string side promptly handed them a paddling.
But our next opponents won't prove to be as willing to bend over - it's Al Ahly.


4th time's the charm - for them, that is.
We employed the same tactics that were used against them for our 3 previous encounters, but substandard defending from setpieces meant that we were unable to soak up the pressure and break on the counter as we did.

The result meant that one off them, Zamalek and Masry have to win the Cup for me to get continental competition in 2027 - easy enough.


Except it wasn't - that's us out of the continental scene next year then.

Wait, what of our 2nd leg then? Could we find solace and progress in this year's edition?


Played with a more proactive mentality here, but we just couldn't find a winner.
Eventually paid the price, for this and the 1st leg - should have been out of sight against an inferior Africa Sports side.


So it's been a rather disappointing season, quite topsy-turvy at the start, before settling on an unbeaten streak which (ironically) also saw us go out of continental competition and the race for third.
Changes galore for next season it seems, quite a few contracts running out.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
Preseason 2026/27


Further proof of his frankly superb last season...


So it makes sense to give the PoTY award to Mabrouk anyway.


No surprises here,

Now for preseason:


The reserves got more gametime in these games, should've organised more games so the seniors could get minutes under their belt as well.
In any case, we beat teams that we were expected to beat, and lost to the only superior team in Montpellier.

Transfers - a sea change this time round:


A couple of senior players (Abbas, Ahmed, Mahrous and club legend El Sayed) had their contracts run out as I looked to integrate the youth products ever more into the 1st team.


He was signed in anticipation of Compaore's potential return to Inter.
It turned out that Compaore agreed to extend his loan, but nevertheless Wael is a very useful addition anyway - a left-footed leftback with competent attacking ability (precisely what Bahaa Adel wasn't).


Released by Al Moqaoloun at the end of last season, he's got a higher ceiling than both Mahrous and Kamel, and is on less wages as well.


A deadline day acquisition from the HoYD, I wasn't overly keen on stunting his progress but having him here as a 5th-choice CB (or a 3rd choice RB) so he was immediately sent out for some top flight game time at newcomers Qanah.

Anyway, this is the squad I'll be going with this season (till January anyway):


As you can see there's much more potential than ability here, bit of a risk but I wasn't going too far with the old guard, so why not?


In any case we're still 5th favourites.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
August 2026


Opening day was a disappointment, oh so poor at the back and we required a controversial penalty to score our opener.
I won't say that we deserved to win, but Abdellaoui missing his 2nd peno is a real kick in the teeth.

Anyway, following this reversal I decided to shake up the team in anticipation of a less challenging Wadi Degla side (compared to Al Ahly anyway).


Suffice it to say I was wrong - very wrong.
Didn't expect Diaby and Salah Amin to do this much worse than Yao/Shehata, looks like my faith in the youth isn't going how I'd expect it to.


Played it much more sensibly (starting with an actual full-strength XI), but it still had to take a contentious decision to get our opener.
Defence turned up this time, unfortunately the attack still hasn't gotten the memo.


The malaise goes on - our attack was completely hopeless and while the defence did enough for the most part, all it took was a goal kick over the top for Abdel Fatah to score the winner against his hometown club.


A shameful opening month sees us firmly in the bottom half of the table, and with 2 of our 5 goals coming from the penalty spot (under controversial circumstances too), it's evident where our most worrying area lies.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
September 2026


Sensing blood the regulars were fielded against Qanah, and boy did it pay dividends.
Showing some proper combination play, we finally managed a thrashing.


Qanah was a false dawn it seems.
The 1st half whizzed by, in that there were virtually no highlights worth mentioning and the game quickly simmed to the interval.

The opener was classic FM (not the radio statiion):

We eventually got an equaliser but we're under no illusions that last season's top scorers are performing anywhere near their best ability.


The scoreline suggested a comfortable win, but in the 1st half it was some way off of that.
Still, another win is another win, given our start it's what I need now.


Like the Wadi Degla reversal it's mainly my fault, again starting a younger team against the league's current cellar-dwellers.
That said, all of Abdel Kader, Ahmed Emam and Mahmoud Ibrahim came on in the 2nd half but couldn't find a goal.
Worse still, Ibrahim suffered an injur and would be out for 2 weeks.


2 months in, still in the bottom half - lots and lots of fixing needed.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
October 2026


Probably out best performance against a top-ish side so far, reverting to a strikerless system on the counter worked brilliantly, as did playing Farouk on the right as a wide poacher type.


Unfortunately we weren't able to keep it up against Zamalek; despite impressively dominating the contest, we weren't able to find the next, with Mabrouk and Ibrahim particularly wasteful.


Abdellaoui managed to have a had in all 6 goals in another dominant display.
Only complaint? Even here he managed to miss a sitter, and he could do with proper consistency.
But you know, being picky and all :p


3rd time lucky, as against starting the youngsters yet again finally paid off with Al Ashri getting a treble in his 1st start as a central striker.
He's got an excellent work rate, could mould him into a Kuyt-esque striker once he works on his speed sufficiently.


Another comprehensive win, the momentum's really getting us through these games easily it seems.
That's 9 unbeaten as well, looks to be a good recovery from our early season calamity.


13 points from 15 has seen us climb into the top half, albeit still 9 points adrift of leaders Ismaily.
Guess who we play next then...?
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
November 2026


No shame in nicking a point against the league leaders, but given that we were the dominant side one wonders what we could have come away with had we been more clinical.


No worries here, as comfortable as they get.


I was expecting it to be one of those days where we'd spend all day trying (and failing) to hit a barn door with a banjo when they scored the opener, thank goodness we woke up and managed to go into the break in front.
Ibrahim was great here, having been frankly dire against Haras El-Houdoud - a bit of shouting seems to have worked.


A brilliant run has finally seen us secure a comfortable position in the top half, though the doors to the top 3 are still out of reach.
Al Ahly are up next, let's see if our run can withstand their power.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
Definitely a good run of form here mate, keep it going!
Football Manager 2018 - From A Failed Footballer To A Traveling Manager - Story coming soon...
December 2026


We played a customary counterattacking system that we do against Al Ahly, unfortunately neither side had the clinical finishing on board, though both goalkeepers did well to ensure clean sheets for both sides.


TL;DR Mahmoud Ibrahim is a phenomenal idiot.
We started terribly, but subsequently bombarded the opposition area until we eventually regained the lead.
Then Ibrahim two-footed someone from behind, and got his marching orders.
Damanhour then started their own offensive as we increasingly sat back to preserve our lead, but the pressure told and we eventually conceded on the 94th minute, when only 3 minutes of injury time had been given, something Mark Hughes would be able to empathise with I would imagine.

Ibrahim would go on to get a 3 match ban, the colossal piece of shit.


Poor defending an a great free kick from Fawzy condemned us to our third draw in a row.


The momentum was always going to end, and unfortunately Tersana were to benefit for our wasteful showing.
It was one of those games where we could have done with Ibrahim's ability, but oh right he's banned, cunt.


I have to say, we managed to recover very well from that reversal, with a very comprehensive victory over Al Moqaoloun.


Some may point to only 1 loss this month, but the reality is 6 points from 15 this month has again put us out of sight of continental qualification, and unless a miraculous recovery happens for the remainder of the campaign this season is effectively a write off.

January sees no league games, instead we've got friendlies lined up:


And we've also signed key players to new deals:


Ibrahim also got a new deal, in which all 3 got bumps in their salary and will burden the club further in years to come.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
January February 2027

*And a bit of March because I'm a colossal idiot

As mentioned there weren't any league games in January, and I'd only just realised why - the Africa Cup of nations was going on, in Egypt.

Anyway, back to business:


The defending wasn't up to scratch, but our attack would prove to make up for it - good win.


Same story here, except this time our attacks were more fruitful and we were so much more suspect with defending crosses.
Seriously, it should've ended 8-4 or something if it wasn't for the woodwork.


Frustrating game, Masr El Makasa we're ever looking likely to score but they certainly were on course to keeping a clean sheet.
Eventually their resistance broke and we managed to secure another win.


We weren't even playing a high line, yet the defence was caught hopelessly out of position when ENPPI opened the scoring.
We tried to amend the problem the only way we knew how (bombarding the opposition goal) and to our relief the equaliser finally came on the stroke of half time.
Notched up a couple more to give the scoreline some respectability, but this wasn't as comfortable as 3-1 suggested.


Tersana (with their new tycoon sugardaddy) are now shock runaway leaders, while a miracle has indeed happened and we've managed to claw our way back to a whiff of continental contention.
Though admittedly there's still some way to go before we can actually lay claim to the top 4.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
(the rest of) March 2027


Such a frustrating match.
We managed to carve out a decent lead despite not having the majority of possession, they got a goal back before the break, and I went into the interval making it explicitly clear that there was no room for complacency, not when we're still only halfway through.
Then they go out and concede the equaliser.

Worse still, Ibrahim tore his hamstring and would be out for 3 months.


Well this was a proper putdown.
As with the Masry game, we went into the break a goal up against the run of play, having withstood a barrage of sorts on our goal.
We come out for the 2nd half, Ahmed Hassan Abdel Kader disastrously misplaces 2 passes, our defending simultaneously went to complete pot, and suddenly we're 3-1 down.
We spent the rest of the game taking potshots, but we never looked able to making up for our fuckups.


Tersana will win the title barring a horrific collapse, period.
For us though, 7 points from 3rd with 7 games to play, can we do it without Ibrahim?

Away from the league, it's March so we've got the new intake of youth players coming though:


Overall a better bunch, but it's probably worse in that the standouts aren't as good.


He's essentially the opposite of least year's Abdel Halim - physically gifted, but almost bereft of proper mental or technical ability.



A bit of moonlighting, may or may not help my prospects of a future club gig there, but at the moment I'd very much prefer the Egyptian equivalent.
070563 - 120815

I'll see you
Only 5 defeats and yet only in 8th place. But a good run at the end of the season could see you climb quite a few steps.
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