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Time for another crack at this.




Honing Differdange's pursuit to a third league title in a row with an authoritative display against lowly Avenir Beggin. Titouan Girard just can't stop scoring with 8 goals in 6 games, including the two he nestled in through the first half to get the motor running. The visitors bungled decent chances to claw their way back and would rue them as Bangala tapped home a third and a ricocheted shot from Amar Feltes piled on more woe. Some "Playstation football" may have cost us a clean sheet but our four goal lead was restored with Romain Puech ending his goal drought.


Rock steady and showing very little signs of a wobble currently.



Important four points from our two games this month, especially getting a result at Dudelange. Girard and Bangala teaming up excellently lately with some sterling midfield work too from Olivier and Mbondi.



This'll go right down to the wire with only five games left. The gap remains two points but a defeat for Jeunesse Esch against Dudelange have hit them hard in third, leaving them three points behind. Still wouldn't count anyone out yet.





Käerjéng were no match to unhinge our lengthy unbeaten streak, illustrated with a three nil tonking. Controlled possession play helped us out for the first two goals; a string of thirty passes concluded with a beautiful top corner curler by Bangala for the first, Puech squared Olivier to squeeze one in at the near post. Olivier returned the favour to Puech in the second half on the counter attack to march on with just four games remaining. Worrying scenes however as top scorer Girard was taken off injured midway through the opening half.


A brief scare, but thankfully nothing major.


Bad news heading into our next game as our only recognised left back and capable centre back is ruled out for a few weeks.




It made it a lot less comfortable than we would have liked but a win is a win. The entertainment factor was still there with two stunners from range just 70 seconds apart carried us into a strong lead within a quarter of an hour. Thereafter, we were pretty much passengers as Racing dispossessed us to slide in Kevin Krogh Gerson to keep us on our toes. KKG should have equalised but for a marvellous stop by Rouanet in a one-on-one situation. We were ropy, clumsy and to an extent careless but held on for the three points.



May need to start wrapping Girard in cotton wool with another minor injury to keep him out of the cup quarter final.




A late blip in the final five minutes foolishly allowed Mondorf to take this cup tie to extra time but in the end our quality was more than enough to see us reign supreme to book a semi final place. It had been one way traffic up to the last quarter; Puech and Legrange launching us into a commanding advantage but a ray of light was offered to the underdogs. Todorovic smashed what looked to have been just a consolation from our own attacking free kick to get nabbed on the counter and defensive ineptitude allowed Chaussy in acres of space to convert a goalmouth cross at the back stick. Luckily, we restored our lead as Mondorf burnt out into extra time - two powerful efforts from Bangala and Lagrange had it all wrapped up. A red card for Ramdedovic confirmed there was no way back.



A tie stewed in rich rivalry juices for a place in the final. Dudelange will be tough to cut.



W's on top of W's this month as the final stretch approaches. Nice blend of striking options to grab us goals while Girard is away, Puech perhaps finding some goalscoring form at last.



Good grief, Dudelange and Jeunesse Esch just won't budge. Matching us stride for stride with only three games remaining.





A return to Mondorf saw the same outcome minus any slip ups. Amar Feltes smoothly passed the ball into the bottom right corner early on and Romain Puech oozed class to strike the top left corner from the edge of the area to calm any early nerves. We saved Mondorf the mortification of more than a two goal win; Bangala was hungry for goals but luck was not on his side, forcing a top one on one save from Zaritskiy in goal and then hit the inside of the post in the second half. Your move, chasing pack.


Bangala out for the season. Coming at the worst possible time as he was fresh in form.




Disappointment, not just the result but the game was an awful let down given the bumper crowd. The only thing to write home about was the goal itself, and a very poor goal at that. Free kick whipped in, Leymarie had time to control, turn and take a bite which found it's way into the net while we couldn't find the capacity to nick it off him. Any glimmer of hope was dashed as Laroche saw red late on. No double this season I'm afraid.




Girard puts us in pole position going into the last game of the season as we confidently took down Fola Esch at Thillenberg. The score really flattered the visitors as the woodwork saw more action than me in a room full of women, Logan Olivier denied twice from long range. The goal itself was odd as it seemed the defender got there first but Girard's clinical right boot saw it differently to seal the deal late in the first half.


As we were going into the last game of the season, taking a two point lead to our final game away at Titus Pétange. Jeunesse Esch have a derby game at Fola Esch whereas Dudelange are blessed with rock bottom Grevenmacher being their opposition. What are the odds we may choke this?

Unlucky in the cup @DNZY, hopefully you don't suffer similarly in the league!
My Football Manager 2017 career: Journeyman's Journey
@r96Skinner - It happens, just one of those games. As long as we secure the league I'll be happy.





Welp. Both chasing sides did their bit. Could we cough up our end of the bargain?




CHAMPIONS! Swept aside Titus Pétange with relative ease, securing a three goal advantage before 23 minutes had elapsed. The anticipation nearly sidetracked us from the job at hand with Rouanet bringing a very important save just four minutes in before Lagrange hit the inside of the post five minutes later. End-to-end first half, we eventually broke through with Romain Puech, doubled with an outrageous 35 yard free kick by Lagrange and polished off with top scorer Girard almost immediately to fan the flames even greater. Of course on a final day, there's always a sense of dramaticism and Titus fought back with Tiago Santos unmarked to prod home but failed to advance any further due to Jean-Marc Teixeira's red card to effectively kill the game. Three in a row for Differdange and trophy number 20 for myself!



Logan Olivier taking a bullet, but will he be fit for the Champions League?



A 23 league match unbeaten run helped us greatly, but would have been 25 in all competitions if Dudelange didn't knock us off our perch. Girard finished just shy of twenty goals this season, but Puech helped himself to a few himself this month in lieu of Bangala. Fun fact: the Dudelange game was the only game we failed to score in under my management at this club.



Right down to the wire but winning our final six games in a row it never looked in doubt. Dudelange and Jeunesse Esch secure Europa League football with Progrès who won the Coupe De Luxembourg over Dudelange which made me grin smugly. Grevenmacher, Rosport and Avenir Beggin all tumble down to the second tier.



Despite Girard's excellent contribution to our goal tallies, right back Delcourt earned player of the season (to my surprise I forgot about him), Puech came third. A goal worthy of winning a title via Bertrand Lagrange's stunning free kick deservedly took the label of goal of the season from 35 yards out. Signing of the season doesn't exactly come into light as A). not my signing and B). Kouamé wasn't overly brilliant. One award that is thoroughly deserved is Titouan Girard who popped up with 11 goals in 13 games (missing one or two through injury), reiterating his excellent contribution to the Differdange squad.



Girard secured top goalscorer ahead of Puech with 19 overall, the majority of them coming in the second half of the campaign. Delcourt had an outstanding average rating and I had no idea, just short of 7.5 overall and set the best average rating in the league with an impressive 7.62, plus securing four man of the match awards with Girard. Logan Olivier made the moves happen, assisting 13 times which is surprising for a ball winning midfielder. Amar Feltes also deserves a worthy mention who went under the hood, converting the most completed passes ratio of 86%. Young, fiery full back Janvier Bâh got stuck in with eight yellows while Delcourt managed to be the only player sent off this season.


Secured the league, failed in the cup, but it's not all bad when your worst defeat of the season was 1-0.

Anyways, onto the Champions league draw...

...wait, what?


I have been royally screwed over, it seems that despite winning the domestic league and being told in black and white that we've qualified for the Champions league...yet somehow we've been omitted from it?? ARE YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME?!


No choice but to leave, not the best memory to leave with either.

Wow, that's annoying! Congrats on the league title nevertheless.
My Football Manager 2017 career: Journeyman's Journey
@r96Skinner - It's an awful c*nt of a bug. I'd be fuming with smoke out the ears if it happened in real life.




Nation: Armenia
Media Prediction (Odds): 7th/8 (200-1)
Expectations: Finish mid-table
Pros: Gateway into Armenian league. Four of eight sides in division qualify for Europe. Okay squad depth. Have "buni" in their name.
Cons: Serious gulf in quality compared to other sides. Expectations quite steep. Offer very little in footballing intelligence. No other jobs available worth pursuing.



It's either I take it or risk waiting another six months or so before something else becomes available.

Well done on the league title however thats a shocking bug leaving you out the CL, just makes you move on I guess! That job doesn't seem too appealing in all honesty.
Football Manager 2018 - From A Failed Footballer To A Traveling Manager - Story coming soon...
@Dan - Indeed it is. Appealing or not, something you need a plunge in at the deep end!




Heading far east almost into the sands of mainland Asia, Armenia is calling for my managerial debut appearance. Erebuni may not be the most well known football team in the land, despite it located within the Armenian capital, Yerevan. The club has had a whirlwind history for the past 25 years originally formed as Homenmen-FIMA in 1992. Naming convention for the club ever changed through the years, replaced by the name Homenmen Yerevan in 1995, Erebuni-Homenmen in 1997 before finally settling on Erebuni SC in 1999...just their luck that the club dissolved just one year later due to financial problems. The club concept unearthed again in 2007 thanks to local businessman Tigran Ayvazyan who founded it as a youth football school before it's official revival to the Armenian football pyramid in June 2016. The club play in black with a white trim, though depicted with blue in game.


Erebuni (Էրեբունի) is a small district within the 12 districts of Yerevan and holds incredible mysteries with it's old fortress that in fact birthed the city of Yerevan itself way back in 782 B.C.. The historic fortress (Arin Berd) itself is the main attraction here, overlooking the district from it's height of 3,335 ft above sea level with many excavations taking place over the last century to discover the Urartian fortified city dated to over 2800 years ago. The district itself holds a tenth of the Yerevan population which equates to 120,000 spread out over 48 square kilometres.


A predictable name of Erebuni Stadium is where the club plays it's home matches, or at least used to as they currently play at Mika Stadium temporarily. It's not the most attractive stadium you'll ever see and doesn't have much information other than it being an all-seater for a miniature crowd of only 544 people. The dimensions and surface of the pitch are both very questionable with only 90m x 85m on a gravelly surface, or in other words a massive sandbox. No wonder they've opted for a temporary replacement.


Predictably, nothing lies in the unbuilt trophy cabinet since their return to Armenian football. Only last season they've landed in the Arrajin Khumb (second tier) but had little to cheer about, finishing rock bottom of the league with 2 wins in 24 games...in a league of academy teams from the Հայաստանի Բարձրագույն Խումբ (Bardzraguyn Khumb) (top division). No cups either by getting walloped 6-0 on aggregate to Gandzasar at the first hurdle. FM time hasn't exactly provided them with much prosperity either, only bobbing their heads into the Bardzraguyn Khumb and only finishing 7th or 8th...out of 8 teams. You thought this was going to be easy? Not a hope!



Could there be any more -yans in the team? At least the majority are and above 3* CA, but that's not guaranteed to match with the rest of the quality compared to other sides in this division. Spoiled for choice in quite a number of positions but centre backs are the immediate deficiency, though one is on course to become 4* or above. Overall depth seems satisfactory but no harm in delving into the market for upgrades.

KEY PLAYER: Tigran Elazyan - D(R)


Deflating sighs if this is the best player at the club. Technically below the bog standard but at least has mild intelligence and the stamina and fitness to perhaps keep himself in the game for 90 minutes. My concern is that he won't get much better than he already is and won't offer much flair to a weak enough team as it is.



I mean that's an absolute reach to claw our way into midtable contention, even for a manager of my ability. The cup expectation is something I can achieve because it already begins at the quarter final stages. I expected a lot less in terms of budgeting and to have £18k in the transfer kitty is a pleasant surprise but the wage budget doesn't give much wriggle room.


Take my advice, I'd refrain from placing a fiver on us even to get into Europe. Save your cash.



Forked out on three new free agents to perhaps augment our current tools, not saying that my players are tools but quite a few of them are better off working at a building site than becoming proper footballers.


Armen Andreasyan - AM(R)/M(R) - unattached free agent

The best of the three is a new right winger who's capable of jetting off down the wing and can still launch a decent cross in. At 22 is only going to improve, with already a good pair of feet on him to dribble a ball. Pretty much a fail-safe option that doesn't harm our budget.


Davit Papoyan - D(C) - unattached free agent

Addressing the centre back issue justly with Papoyan, 6'3" with a bit of muscle to him should strengthen our back line for any demolishing we'd have received before bringing him in. Ignore the sum of 1s, he's decent in the air, can target any player that tries to bypass him and help us out. Believe it or not, this is a player the club released at the end of last season. Durrrrrrrr.


Harutyun Elazyan - M(L) - unattached free agent

Finally one for the long term, improving our other wing for numbers and not quality just yet. Mentally very weak when it comes to football but can cross a ball quite well. Concerned that his work rate will sting us especially if we're down by a goal or two but a good sub option to perhaps add a bit of thrust.





...zzzzzz...wake me up when the game starts. Oh, it finished? It was appalling to put it kindly where Gandzasar hitting the crossbar was the only exciting bit to watch. On the bright side, we've already got a point on the board.


The dark side is we've lost one of our better midfielders ironically enough in injury time. A hip injury at 30 is never a good sign. Prepare the steel rods.




Here's where the gulf in quality is highlighted - Shirak came to win and we barely contained them. Prokopenko added the first after a defence splitting pass left us befuddled. Second half we came out of the blocks really well, Hambardzumyan twice denied by Vardanyan in the Shirak net and two chances we ended up regretting. Thereafter, the visitors were in control at the helm and Yinkibarian finished us off by shepherding three defenders and turning around the back of them to strike. Prokopenko was a live wire all game, almost adding a third but for a save from our keeper. Back to the drawing board.




Played a distance better than the previous two, but poor defensive errors let us down big time. Unable to withstand set pieces has been the bane of my career and it happened again as Alashkert somehow found time and space to place a free header to the feet of Grigoryan, who'd been surrounded by at least seven defenders to poke home. Ghost marking was the cause for number two with Hakobyan free as the wind to put his laces through the ball. One positive to take away was our first goal of the season, sweetly struck into the top corner by Karapetyan, though too late to resolve our mistakes.




Jesus wept. And here I was thinking we were curving to progression. Set pieces undo us yet again, in fact any sort of cross has us terrified at the moment with Ghazaryan, Borisov and Grigoryan benefiting for a 3-1 half time lead (new signing Elazyan did score a belter, but seems quite irrelevant to talk about it now). One golden rule when you're down and bruised, do not get cocky in coming out because you're just asking for more...Ghazaryan tore us a new one to complete a hat-trick and Borisov honestly took the piss with a 55 yard strike. You need to see it to believe it.




New kid on the block Elazyan who bagged his first goal now faces weeks out.




Finally something to cheer about, recording our first win of the season against the other demersal club in the division. Centre back Tigran Barseghyan's effort was intervened needlessly by Aslanyan to nudge ahead while Hambardzumyan finally netted his first of the season minutes before the interval. In fairness Shenghavit made us look like Brazil and it could have amounted to a lot more. Fun fact, this club no longer exist in real life.


Ending an unwanted record.




Best case scenario in the Armenian cup draw, actually gives us hope to reach a cup semi final. Problem is it's played over two legs.



Bit of everything already in the first month, though three defeats has made it rather underwhelming. At least the 2-0 win ends it on a high. Goals are a bit of a scarcity.



Europe looks a bit of an uphill climb already, but at least we're not bottom. Pyunik coming up though next month will be the real reality check for our boys.

Been struggling this year to find a type of save to enjoy as all seem repetitive - after reading this I've no doubt I will be doing this from now on! Great save! Just one question, when setting up the game what peramiters do you use? Obviously no editor but do you add players to playable teams, and what about attribute masking?
Thanks again @DNZY for relighting the spark in football manager for me!
@Catley20 - Comments like these help me get inspired too, thanks for the kind words!

So the way you set it up is to start with the three lowest divisions based on the latest UEFA league coefficients (i.e. San Marino, Gibraltar & Andorra).
Start off your career unemployed with no badges and Sunday league reputation.
Win one of either the domestic league or domestic cup to unlock a new nation (i.e. the next lowest) until you reach the top.
Set database level to large (won't take up too much RAM).
Tick the following boxes: "Add Players to Playable Teams", "Disable Player Attribute Masking" (optional), "Prevent teams which already have managers from being controlled" and "Prevent use of In-Game Editor".

Boom, you're good to go!



Superb. With the injury to Elazyan at left wing, Israelyan our other left winger followed suit. Time for a reshuffle.




Despite doubling Ararat's shots on target, we were second best and clenching for the point. Yet another set piece would have been our Achilles heel but amazingly their centre back cocked up a free header from inside the six yard area over the bar. Apart from penalty area scrambles, this game isn't exactly an advert for the division.


Thank you for the info! Even though it's a few weeks till FM 18 I'm itching to start a file now so going to give it a tester on FM17!

Once I "complete" a nation so to say, would I remove that nation from playable leagues? Just to keep the leagues running at a low (whilst my laptop is fairly powerful - it still has its flaws)

Thanks again for the information, wish I had known about this story a long time ago! Currently at the TNS part of the story! Keep up the good work, look forward to seeing more when FM 18 is out @DNZY



Match previews speculated that us getting a result from this game is about as likely as scaling Mount Everest barefoot in a wife beater, especially going behind 51 seconds in after some mental disengagement. Pyunik were always on top, though not imperious considering they had a 100% start to the campaign but eventually Filic put the nail in towards injury time. We'll take the L for that scoreline.


It's okay, it's not as if we need to field a team or anything with the amount of injuries to our name.




One foot in the door of a potential semi final, nicking an away goal at Shenghavit. Teenager Armen Kocharyan getting the decisive winner, taking his first touch well, evading one defender before curling it low past Shevelev in goal who frustrated us all game. From hitting the post at one end, we almost relinquished our advantage with eight minutes left but for a superb block from our right back when Shenghavit were in point blank range from squaring the tie.




Rescued a point at home to Gandzasar, rather unjustly according to their manager pointing out after the game. Can't say I blame him as we seriously flirted with danger in the first half, the visitors shaking the woodwork before we were completely stretched at the back, allowing Simonyan to tap in from close range. Despite looking fragile at the back, we thrusted into attack mode for the second half and our prayers were answered in the final twenty minutes with a penalty going our way. Karapetyan went the keeper's right way, but it nestled under him to take a share of the points.



Two points in the league plus a cup win isn't all bad given our stature. The 71st minute certainly helped us this month.



Sadly the title looks out of reach, but lying in 6th and four points above bottom I feel is a success so far.





Inferiority, that's all. Shirak bulldozered their way to victory with two quality goals. We can argue that we should have marked South African Tihali (for the record is the league's top goalscorer) tighter but the connection with the cross was excellent to bullet in a third minute header. Our keeper did a sterling job keeping efforts up to that point however the second caught him by surprise, deflected cross enabled Petrosyan to pounce and put his laces behind it. Hambardzumyan had a great effort to reduce arrears but his effort hit the postage stamp. Finding it hard to grasp this league,





Didn't get much easier than this for Alashkert, cruising to victory against our weak performance. Confusion mounted when a corner in-swung from the left was met by a header that hit the upright but defender on the line Elazyan got in the way to allow it to trickle over the line for an own goal. Three minutes later it got much worse when our own attacking corner got countered to allow a comfortable finish for Sevak Ohanyan. Kocharyan knew he should have peeled one back in first half injury time but a fantastic stop by their keeper denied him. Soon into the second half it was well and truly put to bed, Ohanyan on hand again.


SI certainly know how to portray our miserable run.




Secured our place in the cup semi-final, holding off Shenghavit at our own backyard. Drab affair, nothing going for it which highlights how poor our sides are as a whole. The visitors could have levelled the tie in injury time but a shot destined for the top corner rose too high to maintain a proper goose egg scoreline.



Ararat stand in our way for a potential historic maiden cup final.

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