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After failing to remove an important editor file last time, we're going at it again!

This is my second attempt at this career, after I started the last time with an editor file that shouldn't have been there!

The plan here is to start a career by trying to save a team in the English Premier League from relegation and then seeing where it takes me.
I have the following leagues loaded: England, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Belgium, Scotland, China, Mexico, USA, Argentina and Brazil.
The plan is to holiday until the beginning of December, and then take over at the next club to sack their manager as long as they are fighting relegation (bottom 5 or so depending on the points gap). Then hopefully we'll get the january transfer window to make some changes.
I should also point out that I've started the game using the latest data update, so all January signings from real life are at their respective clubs.
This is the table on 1st December 2016
Currently, there are no insecure jobs in the Premier League. So it will be a waiting game
The first managerial casualty is here! It's the 13th December
This is why Karanka got sacked...

So I will be taking over at Middlesbrough rooted to the bottom of the league without a win so far this season. Currently 11 points from safety. This should be a challenge.
My manager will be the same as my first attempt at this career and you can see the details here.
Basically, I'm starting with a Continental C License and as a Professional Footballer (Local Level).


Steve Gibson expects me to develop players using the clubs youth system.
We have a transfer budget of £20m, so I should be able to make a couple of signings come January.
We are expected to avoid relegation and reach the 4th round of the FA Cup (We have Man Utd in the 3rd round). We are already out of the EFL Cup.
For some reason, we have 6 fitness coaches and no general coaches so this will be my first change.

I have chosen to leave George Friend as captain and Ben Gibson as vice captain.

My first match is a Wear-Tees derby, at home to Sunderland this weekend.
Good concept, kind of like the 'Down By Christmas' challenge. Best of luck with the Boro.

Squad Analysis

Valdes is currently injured for a week and Guzan is leaving at the end of the season. Konstantopoulos is 38 years old, and there is no youth prospect of note.
The defence doesn't really look that bad. With Chambers on loan for the season, we also have Bernardo, Friend, Barragan, Gibson, Ayala and Fabio. Dael Fry is the best young player we have, a 19 year old DC.
Adama Traore is the stand out talent here. We seem to be blessed with wingers, but lack quality in the middle past Guedioura. So this need to be a priority once the window opens. As for prospects, we have Marc Roca on loan but no option to buy and Callum Cooke, currently on loan at Crewe.
We have an optional fee of £8.6m on Negredo, but he's 31 so I'm unlikely to take it up. New signings Gestede and Bamford aren't great. Rhodes is better but is out on loan.

Looking at the league table, we have problems at both ends of the pitch. Only Sunderland have scored less goals than us. They are also the only team to have conceded more. But they've won a game so are 2 points ahead of us. I'm going to start off using a 43(dm)3 formation, and see how we get on. My best team would be as follows.
Good concept, kind of like the 'Down By Christmas' challenge. Best of luck with the Boro.

Kind of, but I'm hoping to stay here for a few seasons, as long as the board let me!
December 2016

So... It wasn't a great start!
Against Sunderland and Tottenham, we managed to concede a goal in the first minute. I switched to a 343 formation against Man Utd, and that really didn't go too well.
Both Guzan and Valdes are terrible, their shots faced to goals conceded ratio is worse than Claudio Bravo in real life!

Seemingly a much tougher ask than you had with that Everton team. Good luck!
My Football Manager 2017 career: Journeyman's Journey
Seemingly a much tougher ask than you had with that Everton team. Good luck!

Much tougher than the Everton save. This team has no spine, there I had Williams, Barkley, Lukaku. Here, I have Bernardo, Guedioura and Negredo. And none of them seem to be up to scratch. I think I need to rebuild everything from the bottom up, but I'm not sure how much I can do in January that will help eat into the 15 point gap between us and safety.

Realistically, I think I need to prepare for next season in the Championship and hope I keep my job.
Transfer Targets

The only philosophy that my board have insisted on is to develop players using the clubs youth system. As I don't have to buy young players for the first team, I am planning on adding a bit of experience in January. Essentially, I feel that I need to sign a Goalkeeper, Defender, Midfielder and Striker. I only have £20m and there doesn't seem to be any interest in my current players that I can take advantage of. So, I'm going to need to find bargains, transfer listed players, free agents and maybe some loans.
Unfortunately, the best transfer listed keeper is Julio Cesar, and he's certainly no better than what I have. The same goes for loans. I may have to try and hold out for a couple of weeks and see if anyone gets listed. The best keepers I have scouting knowledge of are Rob Green and Scott Carson. Whether either of them would be more useful than Valdes or Guzan is debatable. I've sent scouts out to get reports on a large list of players.

Ideally, I want a strong, commanding central defender. Kara (Anderlecht) is transfer listed by request with a £2m asking price. He has some decent attributes and is worth considering. The only other transfer listed defender of any interest is Gareth McAuley (West Brom). But at 37, I'm not sure how much of a job he can do. He'd certainly bring some leadership though. There aren't any senior defenders on the loan list, but Holgate (Everton) and Holding (Arsenal) are decent young players looking for a loan move. Looking on the free agents list, Emir Spahic is available. He's 36 but as he's free, it will probably be a risk worth taking.

The first player I noticed when looking for a midfielder was Leon Osman. He's available on a free and even though he's 35, could probably do a job in midfield if there are legs around him. As far as transfer listed players go, I like the look of Javier Eraso (Bilbao), Cheick Tiote (Newcastle) and Anderson (Internacional, formerly of Man Utd). The loan list is just full of kids at the moment. Some with decent potential, but none that are likely to improve my current squad.

Probably the most important signing I'm going to make. The usual free agents are still around, Berbatov, Chamakh, Eduardo, Luis Fabiano and Cassano. Could any of them do a job for me? I'm not sure... The transfer list has Stafano Okaka (Watford) and Aron Johannsson (Werder) and even Peter Crouch (Stoke). I may have to splash out a bit to bring in decent striker at the top of his game, but I'm not sure how many will be interested in one way ticket to the Championship.

I've had a quick look through players with contracts expiring this summer, but I can't see anyone of interest that would be interested. If we go down (and I'm still here) I think youth may well be the way to go.
The First Signing and First Point

I jumped in and took a chance on Javier Eraso. There was plenty of interest in him and I didn't want to risk missing out. The deal got wrapped up quickly and he was straight in the team for our first January match, at home to Leicester. He did this...

An assist for Negredo and a late equaliser. He even made team of the week.
I had Ayala sent off after 22 minutes, while the score was still 0-0 so the result was pretty good really.
Mid January Update

So it's the middle of January and I've brought in defensive reinforcements.In have come Jonas Olsson (£135k, West Brom), Jamaal Lascelles (£9m, Newcastle) and Mason Holgate (£3m, Everton). Lascelles and Holgate are a step toward building for the future, while Olsson , at 33, still has a year or 2 left at the top level and I'm hoping his leadership and work rate will be a huge help.
Also in are central midfielder, Jonas Martin (£1.6m Betis) and Peter Crouch (£425k, Stoke). Crouch may be 35, but I think he'll be a useful rotational option for the rest of the season.

I've let Stuani go to Newcastle for £6.75m, which I thought was a decent fee for a 30 year old.

I'm close to signing a goalkeeper with Yoan Cardinale (Nice), having agreed terms. However, I've also had an offer accepted for everyone's favourite young keeper, Rajkovic so I'm waiting to see if I can get a work permit on appeal.
We Won A Game!


Since I signed Eraso, he's played 3, scored 3 and has 2 assists. He's also valued at 5 times more than I bought him for.
On a side note, Koeman is likely to get sacked soon as Everton are now just 1 point clear of the relegation zone. I'm still 13 points adrift of them though, with 15 games to go.

As far as transfers are concerned, Rajkovic didn't get a work permit, so I signed Cardinale, he wasn't cheap, coming in at £7.5m, but he's only 22. I've also brought in Liverpool reject Joao Teixeira on loan from Porto. There's a clause meaning I will buy him £850k if we stay up...

Players are starting to get loan listed now, so I think any more signings will probably be loans. Although, if I can pick up one more striker, it wouldn't be bad as Gestede and Bamford just aren't good enough.
The Window Closes

So... I was much busier than I thought I would be in this window.

I only signed Lucas as I have a first option deal with Ituano, and he has decent potential. I need to loan him out though as he has now work permit. I ended up buying 3 strikers in the end. Crouch, Albertengo and Ulloa, so I think going forward, the plan is to play 2 up front. At least against teams I have a good chance of beating. Bueno and Boschilla are both attack minded midfielders, so I'm hoping now that goalscoring shouldn't be an issue.

I had a problem moving players on, so ended up loaning a few out with options to buy. I can revisit this in the summer if they don't go depending on what division we are in.


We were unlucky in the FA Cup. I thought we'd done enough to earn a replay but Martial scored a last minute winner. 5 points from 5 league games isn't form that will keep us up, but I reckon half of our remaining games are winnable, and then we'll be relying on teams around us losing. I can't really afford to lose against any of the bottom 6 and beating them will give us a huge boost.
February 2017

Only 3 games in February.
Our home form seems to be much improved but our away form is poor. It's good to see that the new strikers are scoring.

We still sit bottom, 12 points from safety. But we aren't down yet!
March 2017

Our good home run came to an end with defeat against Stoke, while we came close away to City, missing a late penalty which would have got us a draw.
Only 3 games this month due to other teams still being in the FA Cup and an International break. On a plus side, we seem to be scoring in every game at the moment.

We still sit bottom of the league. 9 points behind Hull in 19th and 11 points behind Swansea (and safety) in 17th. There are still 7 games to go, so survival looks almost impossible, but 3 of the games are must wins against Hull, Swansea and Sunderland. However, we still have to play Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham, who are all top 7. The other game is against Watford.

Also this month, we have had our youth intake. There isn't much to shout about. The best prospect is Dan Rider.
However, at the end of the month, he sprained his ankle in a match which will keep him out for a month.
April 2017

The month started on a nice note with Marc Roca winning Young Player of the Month.
But then we move onto the results...

What can I say, luck is not on our side. We were holding our own at Anfield until De Roon got sent off after 53 minutes, with the score at 1-1.Against Chelsea, Eraso's goal put us 1-0 up. We then conceded straight away and lost the game with the last kick of the match.
This meant that the match against Swansea (still 17th at this point) was crucial. I don't think the team wanted to stay up. 4-0 down at half time. Not a single player was playing well. The hairdryer treatment at half time didn't seem to help. A late consolation goal didn't make the defeat any easier. Neither did the fact that we had 64% possession and twice as many shots.

Staying up was never going to be easy, but I was hoping for a more of a fight than going down with 4 games to go

My job has become very insecure, so I'm likely to be sacked. I'm not likely to get another high profile job at the moment as I'm only working towards my Continental B licence. So, I hope I get the chance to bring Boro back up. As long as we can keep the core, we should be ok, as building blocks are in place. But lets get the season finished first and see what happens.
End Of Season Round Up 2016/17

So we went down. But we finished in style, beating Tottenham. Ulloa found a bit of form when it was too late.

The league table ended up like this.

Eraso picked up fans player of the season.
But somehow he didn't get signing of the season. That went to our new goalkeeper, Cardinale.

So far (June 1st), the following players have asked to leave because of our relegation; Adama Traore, George Friend, Lucas Albertengo, Daniel Ayala, Antonio Barragan, Ben Gibson and Marten De Roon.
I've told them all that I want them to stay to help us get promoted, and that they can leave if we don't come straight back up. I was slightly surprised that they were all happy with that.
However, 3 players have relegation release clauses. Gaston Ramirez (£8m), and January signings Cardinale (£10.5m) and Mason Holgate (£2.9m). Of the 3, only Ramirez is unhappy about the relegation. So I'm hopeful of at least keeping the other 2.

Post Season Round Up, Pre-Season Report

It's now July 3rd, the day the squad report back for pre-season training. Since my last post, one more player has told me that they want to leave due to relegation, Leonardo Ulloa. Once again though, I've convinced him to give it a season to see if we go back up.

Pre-Season Objectives
The minimum expected is promotion. Changing to winning the league, gave me less than a million extra, so I didn't feel it was worth the risk.

The objectives email was quickly followed by this one...
We'll have to wait and see what happens, but at the moment, we aren't under embargo. Which brings us to...


Ramirez had an offer that met his release clause, so off he went. I didn't really want to lose Ayala, but he got unhappy when I rejected an initial offer, and I can't be doing with unhappy players.
Three goalkeepers have left (Guzan, Ripley and Konstantopoulos), so Pereira has come in and is likely to be second choice ahead of Valdes. He's only 21 and should eventually challenge Cardinale.
Of the other incomings, Debuchy adds some experience and competition. He can also play full back and centrally so is useful. Gosling means that I can hopefully sell on a few fringe midfielders that really aren't good enough. Alegria, is pretty much a straight replacement for Negredo as I didn't take up the £8.5m option to buy, while Guirassy is also a striker, but is only 21 and not quite ready for the first 11 yet. Boschilia put in some good performances while on loan last season. I'm surprised he agreed to make his stay permanent, but obviously happy about it.

Sheffield Wednesday got promoted through the playoffs and took up the £10m option on Jordan Rhodes, but Rhodes rejected the contract and will hopefully stay. This means that I'll be able to move on Gestede and Bamford

I could still do with more depth in midfield, and maybe another central defender. And there's always the possibility that I'll get big bids for my better players. A lot of them appear to be wanted, but I'll keep as many as I can!
July Roundup

So July has seen us do well in our friendlies, of which we have just played our last.
A 100% record, including wins over Udinese, Ajax and Rapid Wien. Hopefully we can carry this form into our league campaign which begins at home to Wolves this weekend.

The draw for the first round of the EFL Cup has been kind with a home tie against League 2 side Morecambe.

The potential takeover fell through after the parties couldn't agree a price. This meant we weren't effected in our transfer business.
Kelly was released by Crystal Palace and is useful at both right and center back. While Clarke-Salter has decent potential and is only 19.
After offloading Bamford and Gestede, my scouts suggested that I needed more depth in attack. Wigan got relegated last season, so Grigg was a reasonable price. I do now have 6 strikers that will expect games though, so Crouch can go as can Albertengo if I get a decent offer.
Zuqui adds depth to a midfield that was full of loan players last season. He can play through the middle or on the right. At 25 and with no caps, I was surprised he got a work permit.

I'm hopeful of making 2 more signings (either permanent or loan). A left back, as Husband hasn't really improved enough to challenge Friend, and an AMR as I hope to use Zuqui centrally and there's no depth past Traore on the wing.
August 2017 - Season Starts and Window Closes

The season didn't get off to a great start, as we conceded late goals in both our first two games.
We improved after that though and currently sit 10th. As you can see, we had decent draws in the EFL Cup, the 3rd round sees us with a home tie against Watford.

I was planning on loaning out Guirassy as I have too many strikers, however, he's been in fine form with 4 goals in 6 games and also grabbing an assist. This led to him picking up Young Player of the Month.

Just before the Derby match, I picked up Tom Ince to fill my Right Wing void. He's more natural on the left, but I tend to play an Inside forward, so he should be fine. I've also picked up a number of youngsters...
I was scouring the world for youth intake and found a few decent potential players in Norway. There were also a few in France, but none of them were interested in a move to the North-East except Delon. I hope I haven't overspent on him, this is how he looks currently.
He's not quick, so will probably end up being a deep lying playmaker rather than a ball winner.

As far as outs go, I didn't want to sell Gibson, but he kicked up a fuss after I rejected an initial bid, so decided to get what I could.

While looking at the worlds youth intake, I also picked up a few players from North and South America. These won't join until they turn 18, so either at the end of this season, or January the year after. They also probably won't have work permits. However, I'm confident of making profit on them, even if they never make it to my first team. More on those when they arrive (as long as I'm still here!)

Nothing further has happened regarding a takeover, however, Steve Gibson is now looking to leave the club as soon as possible. I expect another offer to be received shortly.
September 2017

September was a bit of an up and down month. 2 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats.
As you can see though, we did scrape a penalty victory in the EFL cup. We face a derby away to Newcastle in the next round.

We're sitting mid-table at the moment which isn't great. But its all close above us and a couple of wins would easily put us back in the playoff places.

My job is finally back to being stable, despite our poor start, mainly helped by our victory over Sunderland. But there's still been no movement regarding a takeover yet.
October 2017

Our form is still a bit up and down, and we went out of the EFL Cup...
For some reason, we struggle more against teams below us in the league, and we have a bad habit of conceding late goals. Something we need to address.
The game against Newcastle was tough, picking up 2 injuries in the first half. This meant that I didn't really have the options available to change anything.

Ulloa came 2nd in the player of the month, with his 5 goals. Defoe scored 9 in 5 games though, so was the clear winner.

The rumours are starting again regarding a takeover. No details, just that there's a former player interested. Lets see what happens
November 2017

Well, our form is still erratic to say the least...
We were 2-1 up against Hull before conceding 2 within 3 minutes of scoring our second. It's good to see Eraso joining the party though, as he's been pretty mediocre this season.
In fact, Eraso picked up player of the month, and came second in goal of the month.

We are currently under embargo again as Gibson discusses the sale of the club to Norman Smurthwaite. He's the chairman of Port Vale IRL, but in game, he left them a year ago. Will be interesting to see if he can afford to put much money in if the takeover goes through.
December 2017

Well it appears that we've finally turned a corner.
We conceded 2 goals in the last 2 minutes against Wolves, to lose a game that we never looked like losing until then. But the team have kicked on since then. I'd almost given up with Rhodes. The goal against Norwich was his first this season (13 games), but I kept giving him chances and he's finally hit a run of form.

We've moved up to 3rd in the league now. 4 points of Brentford who are top and 3 off Sunderland above us.

The FA Cup 3rd round sees us drawn at home to Norwich in the Monday night TV game. Here's hoping for a similar result to the last game against them.

Four young players have arrived on 1st January, including Daniel Westergren.
He's cost me £3m from Malmo. I'm hoping it's money well spent.

I don't plan to do much, if any buying in January. The squad is already slightly too big and I'll mainly be looking to move on a few players.

In case you were wondering, the takeover fell through, again! Still waiting...
We Finally Go Top!


It's taken til the middle of January, but after beating previously top placed Brentford, we have finally gone 1st in the Championship.
I'm not sure what's happened to Rhodes. He's now scored 8 in his last 5 games, netting at least once in each of them. Seeing as he didn't score in his first 12 games, that's some improvement.

We won our FA Cup 3rd round too and now have a trip to Bury coming up.
January 2018

First up for January is some bad news... My HOYD, Dave Parnaby was poached by Bournemouth. He had great attributes for his role, JPA 19, JPP 19, Working with Youngsters 20. Easily one of the best HOYDs available.
The best I was able to replace him with while still in the Championship is Paul Wilson
He'll certainly do for now, I may revisit my staff rosta if/when we get promoted.

Onto results...
Defeat in our last game ended a good run and meant we dropped off the top. We now sit 3rd, but only a single point behind Aston Villa who are 1st. We're only 3 points ahead of 7th though, which shows just how close it is.

Our recent good run has been based around a 4312 formation. This means that I haven't been using wingers and some of them have got upset. So some of them have gone out on loan.
Mainly Traore and Fischer, both to clubs at a higher level and both playing first team football. Also out on loan, go 2 strikers. Guirassy needs game time, while Alegria just isn't good enough. I was really undecided on whether to let Fry go out, as he is my 4th choice DC. But he's 20, and Cardiff were offering to give him first team football. I just hope the stick to that!
Bernardo had been unhappy all season since the relegation, and I wasn't going to stand in his way if a decent offer came in, so he headed off to China.

The only major in was Brad Smith (the rest are youngsters). I've been short of a left back the first half of the season, and he'll add good competition for the position.
An FA Cup Shock

So... this happened!
These were the first goals Ince has scored for the club. And it took him 20 games to do it. Maybe I should play him as a makeshift striker more often.

Here's the draw for the quarter finals
February 2018

We remained unbeaten for the whole month.
3 draws mean we sit second in the table. 4 points behind Sunderland, and level on points with Aston Villa and Rotherham (but ahead on goal difference).

Boschilia came 3rd in young player of the month, which was won by my loaned out Guirassy, currently at Cardiff.

We have 10 league games left this season, only 2 are against the current top 6. So I'm hopeful of a strong finish and automatic promotion.

Our youth candidates have just arrived. A couple are promising with Clive Millns, the brightest prospect

We've not had another offer for the club yet, and I've convinced the chairman to expand the stadium after we had a couple of sell-outs. I'm surprised he agreed seeing as he still wants to leave as soon as possible.
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