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Good morning guys. I haven't had a career on here for a while (to be honest, I haven't been able to get into FM for a while)- however, I think I have found motivation to start a new game. I stumbled across an article on the internet and this is what I will be basing my career around- youth development. Within this career, I will be taking a different approach than I have done previously. I will be looking to invest heavily in youth development and hopefully, I will be able to bring through some good young English talent who will be able to compete in the Premier League. I will be looking around the world to bring in youngsters have they are 16/17 and hopefully, turn them into established Premier League standard players.

Former West Ham and Austrailia captain Lucas Neill will be the man to take us on this wonderful adventure.

In terms of my tactic, 3 at the back has become very popular this season and this is something that I will be looking to replicate. I am a stubborn b*stard so I will be using this tactic all season round and hopefully it will pay off for me. This is the tactic that I will be looking to use:

According to Igor Subotic (in the youth development blog), you should look at your squad as a whole-
The most important thing by far when it comes to Youth Development is to completely wipe away the prior conceptions of "First Team, Reserve Team, Youth Team" and instead have a single united club where every player is known by the manager, understood by the manager, developed by the manager, and has a place in the overall hierarchy of the club.

I will aim to have 5 players throughout the squad who can play in each position. I can then look to improve them all individually to fit my playing style. Players who are not able to fit my playing style will be moved on. Early thoughts, this means that Aaron Cresswell will be moved on. I will assess the squad and backroom staff and report back to you at the end of the pre-season.
Good luck with this @Fola.
I have been at the club just under a month and my backroom transformation seems to be complete. 20 staff have left the club and 32 staff have joined the club all on long term deals.

I have brought in a whole new scouting team who have been sent around the world in order to find me the best youngsters on the planet. My first team training is now of a really high standard and I am now looking at bringing in 4/5 new under 18 coaches to help improve the youngsters at the club.

I have assessed the players in the youth squad and all players in the youth side have been assigned a tutor from the first team. I have released any player who I didn't think would make it and want to be giving a few of these players some first team opportunities this season. I was thinking about loaning some of the players out but I have decided that for the time being, working with their mentors will help them progress. I have Portsmouth as my feeder side so may send some them a few players later down the line. In January I may look at loaning them out, depends how they do. My reserve squad only consists of two players. Rapheal Spiegel is being tutored by Adrain and will be the starting goalkeeper in the reserve side. The rest of the reserves will be filled out with a mix of first team and youth players.

Will update on transfers in a separate post.
This is the first team squad that I currently have at my disposal. I have already played the first qualifying round of the Europa League where we convincingly beat Grasshopper over two legs. We won the first leg thanks to goals from Cheikou Kouyate and Sofaine Feghouli. Michail Antonio grabbed a brace in the second leg as we came away with an easy win.

As I said previously, all players will have to fit into my tactic and if they can't adapt, then they will be sold. All right and left backs have been converted to wingers. I have looked to move on Manuel Lanzini as he does not fit into my system but for the time being, there seem to be no takers. Winston Reid was sold for £25 million to PSG which all in all, I feel is a great deal for the club.


I have brought three players into the club. The first is Chelsea legend Didier Drogba who joins on a short term deal. He is retiring at the end of December but will be a more than adequate replacement for the currently injured Andy Carroll and Diafra Sacko. Drogba is tutoring Ashley Fletcher so I hope he can have a positive effect for the youngster. We were really short of players up top so I decided to splash the cash on Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths. He has great stats for an advanced forward and I hope we can adapt quickly to the Premier League. The final player is a player for the future who I am very excited about- Dominic Iorfa joins from Wolves on a long term deal. He is my long term replacement for the departed Winston Reid.
13th August 2016 - Premier League - Matchday 1.

Starting XI: Adrian; Iorfa, Fonte, Collins; Feghouli*, Nordtveit, Kouyate, Noble ©, Snodgrass; Antonio, Griffiths**.
Subs: Randolph, Knoyle, Byram, Lanzini, Obiang, Calleri*, Drogba**.

Real shame as we came away from our first match of the season with a defeat. We played really well but just couldn't find the back of the net. Adrian scored an unlucky own goal as the ball bounced back off the post and hit his back and went in. We have the Europa League qualifying next.

West Ham Man Of The Match: Jose Fonte (7.1)
League Position: 20th
Next Opponent: FH (H)
18th August 2016 - Europa League - Play Off First Leg.

Starting XI: Adrian; Iorfa, Fonte, Collins; Lanzini*, Nordtveit, Kouyate, Noble ©, Snodgrass; Antonio**, Griffiths.
Subs: Randolph, Knoyle, Byram, Feghouli*, Obiang, Calleri, Drogba**.

Convincing win which should hopefully send us through to the Europa League group stages. Made one change from the loss against Crystal Palace with Lanzini replacing Feghouli on the right wing. Snodgrass was the star of the show with two fantastic free kicks. Makeshift target-man Michail Antonio also managed to find the score sheet. Tough match against Liverpool next.

West Ham Man Of The Match: Robert Snodgrass (9.1)
Next Opponent: Liverpool (H)
21st August 2016 - Premier League - Matchday 2.

Starting XI: Adrian; Iorfa, Fonte, Collins; Lanzini*, Nordtveit, Kouyate, Noble ©, Snodgrass; Antonio**, Griffiths.
Subs: Randolph, Knoyle, Byram*, Feghouli, Obiang, Calleri, Drogba**.

Gutted. We played really well but a late Liverpool goal condemned us to a defeat. We kept the same side that beat FH in the cup and Antonio and Griffiths found the back of the net. Need to get that first league win in the bag. Not too down heartened about this defeat though- we played very well.

West Ham Man Of The Match: Michail Antonio (8.5)
League Position: 18th
Next Opponent: FH (A)
22nd August 2016

Sam Bryam has joined fellow Premier League side Swansea on a loan deal until January. I have insisted that he needs to play RM which will be good for his development. We have quite a few good right wingers and I just couldn't see him forcing Feghouli/Lanzini/Tore out of the side. He's a good quality player and I think he will have a bright future and regular Premier League football will do him the world of good. It was between Watford and Swansea but I decided to choose Swansea because of Paul Clement. Paul Clement's 'Working With Youngsters' stat is 17, whereas Walter Mazzari's is only 10. Clement is exactly the kind of manager Bryam needs.
24th August 2016

Nice to see a few of my lads called up for international duty- especially Dominic Iorfa who has been called up for the under 21's. Sofiane Feghouli has been dropped my Algeria which is a strange one- hopefully he can get back into the side soon.
25th August 2016 - Europa League - Play Off Second Leg.

Starting XI: Adrian; Iorfa, Fonte, Collins; Feghouli, Nordtveit, Kouyate, Noble ©*, Snodgrass; Antonio, Calleri.
Subs: Randolph, Knoyle, Lanzini, Obiang*, Griffiths, Drogba.

Through to the group stages of the Europa League after a draw away in Iceland. We already had the tie won after a convincing first leg win and kind of took our foot off the gas in this leg. Looking forward to the Europa League campaign- hopefully we can get an easy group. Burnley up next where hopefully we can get our first win of the season.

West Ham Man Of The Match: Michail Antonio (6.9)
Next Opponent: Burnley (A)
26th August 2016

Shame as he's done well since he's joined the club. Good news it's not a long-term injury though. Unfortunately he will miss the England under 21's match now but I am sure he will be called up again in the future. May have to re-shuffle the pack for the match against Burnley.
26th August 2016

Another youngster sent out on loan- this time to my feeder side: VVV. VVV play in the second tier of Dutch football so he should get plenty of games. He'll be back with us in January so may look to loan him out to a side in the Championship. One of those players who is too good for reserve football but not good enough for the first team yet.
26th August 2016 - Europa League Draw - Group Stage

Tough group, probably one of the hardest we could of got. Fiorentina will be a tough couple of games- good test for the lads though.
27th August 2016

Second choice keeper Darren Randolph is ruled out for a few weeks. This means that reserve keeper Raphael Spiegel will make the step up to the matchday squad for the match tomorrow against Burnley.
28th August 2016 - Premier League - Matchday 3.

Starting XI: Adrian*; Kouyate, Fonte, Collins; Feghouli, Nordtveit**, Obiang, Noble ©, Snodgrass; Antonio, Griffiths***.
Subs: Spiegel*, Arbeloa, Ogbonna**, Tore, Lanzini, Calleri***, Fletcher.

First win of the season and what a win it was. Moved Kouyate to CB to replace Iorfa and Obiang came into CM. Battered them from start to finish and our key man was substitute Jonathan Calleri. He only came on after 60 minutes but managed to come away with the match ball. Adrian was injured with a suspected dislocated shoulder which is a blow. Reserve keeper Raphael Spiegel came on for his Premier League debut. International break now- just hope none of my lads get any injuries. May look to delve into the transfer market before it shuts to bring in a new backup keeper.

West Ham Man Of The Match: Jonathan Calleri (9.4)
League Position: 12th
Next Opponent: West Brom (A)
28th August 2016

First choice keeper Adrian has been ruled out for 2 months. Second choice keeper Darren Randolph is also out injured at the moment so going to have to delve into the transfer market to bring in a replacement.
29th August 2016

The legend's career is over. Didier Drogba has been ruled out for 9 months with a knee injury. He was meant to retire in December anyway so this means his career has been cut short. Will look to bring him in as a coach when he retires. Real shame but now time for Ashley Fletcher to step up to the mantle if called upon. Diafra Sakho and Andy Carroll are still both a few months away from full fitness.
31st August 2016

Italian veteran goalkeeper Christian Puggioni has joined on a 1-year deal after injuries to Adrian and Randolph. Raphael Spiegel will stay as my reserve team keeper but Puggioni will play if Adrian or Randolph are injured. Good stats for a mentor too.

31st August 2016

One final signing before the transfer window closes in the form of Icelandic midfielder Aron Gunnarsson. He's a good player and will be adequate back up for Nordtveit in front of the back 4. He also has that huge long throw so definitely a good plan 'B', especially when Andy Carroll returns from injury.

Good morning, it's good to see you with West Ham. A bit unlucky in the injuries but I'm sure everything went well!
1st September 2016

Tried to loan out Masuaku and Henry but had no luck. They will be starters for my reserve side to keep up their match fitness and then I will try and loan then again in January. Masuaku has been named in my Europa League squad though.
2nd September 2016

Buzzing for Griffiths. He adapted well since his summer move from Celtic and this hat trick will hopefully do him the world of good for his confidence.
2nd September 2016

Really not having much luck with injuries. Our top goalscorer Michail Antonio has been ruled out for 2 weeks. With Carroll, Sakho, Drogba and now Antonio, it's time for youngster Ashley Fletcher to step up.
5th September 2016

The ginger Pele is the next one of my players to be ruled out. My medical staff need sacking.
6th September 2016

Decided to stick with the lads who got us into the group stages (with the new signings) to play for us in the group stages. I've said previously that Aaron Cresswell doesn't fit into my system and he's kicking up a fuss. Will look to sell him in January- the only reason he's still at the club is because he's currently injured so nobody wanted him.
11th September 2016 - Premier League - Matchday 4.

Starting XI: Puggioni; Kouyate, Fonte, Ogbonna; Feghouli, Nordtveit, Obiang, Noble ©, Snodgrass; Fletcher, Calleri*.
Subs: Spiegel*, Iorfa, Tore, Lanzini, Gunnarsson, Griffiths*.

West Brom is always a tough place to go but this performance was unacceptable. Yes, we've had a few injuries but it just wasn't good enough. We got battered throughout and deserved to lose. Ashley Fletcher was given the chance to replace Antonio but didn't really step up. Need to move on from this and quickly. Europa League up next.

West Ham Man Of The Match: Havard Nordtveit (7.0)
League Position: 14th
Next Opponent: Vojvodina (H)
15th September 2016 - Europa League - Group Stage

Starting XI: Puggioni; Iorfa, Fonte ©, Ogbonna; Tore, Gunnarsson*, Kouyate, Obiang, Snodgrass**; Fletcher, Calleri.
Subs: Masuaku*, Collins, Nordtveit**, Lanzini, Feghouli, Antonio, Griffiths.

First Europa League group game ended with a convincing win. We face Spurs in our next match so I decided to play a much rotated squad and in all honesty, we battered them from start to finish. Nice to see Ashley Fletcher getting a goal. Will look to play some of my youngsters in the Europa League this season.

West Ham Man Of The Match: Cheikhou Kouyate (7.8)
Group Position: 2nd
Next Opponent: Tottenham (H)
18th September 2016 - Premier League - Matchday 5.

Starting XI: Randolph; Iorfa, Fonte, Ogbonna; Feghouli*, Nordtveit, Kouyate, Noble ©, Snodgrass; Antonio**, Calleri***.
Subs: Spiegel, Collins, Gunnarsson, Tore, Lanzini*, Griffiths**, Fletcher***.

Made a whole host of changes from our win in the Europa League to face a strong Tottenham side. Going into the game, I would of been happy with a draw but I can't help but be disappointed with the result. We played really well and went ahead through Calleri but Spurs scored late on to head home with a point. We face Ipswich next in the EFL Cup- will probably played a rotated side for that one.

West Ham Man Of The Match: Michail Antonio (7.4)
League Position: 15th
Next Opponent: Ipswich (A)
20th September 2016

It's a shame because I know what a good player he is- he just doesn't fit into my system. I played with a BWM in the middle and two CDM's so Lanzini just doesn't fit into my side. I am trying to re-train him as a winger but even then, I have Snodgrass and Feghouli who are my starting wingers. I tried to offer him out but nobody wanted him- I'll re-assess in January.
21st September 2016 - EFL Cup - Third Round

Starting XI: Randolph; Iorfa, Fonte, Ogbonna; Feghouli*, Nordtveit, Noble ©, Kouyate, Lanzini; Antonio**, Calleri***.
Subs: Spiegel, Collins, Obiang, Tore*, Snodgrass, Griffiths**, Fletcher***.

Went with a very strong side for this EFL match with only one change from the draw with Spurs. Lanzini started on the left ahead of Snodgrass and failed to adapt to his position on the left wing. Nice to win on penalties but disappointing that Ipswich managed to take us that far. Hope my players aren't too tired for the match against Everton at the weekend.

West Ham Man Of The Match: Jose Fonte (7.9)
Next Opponent: Everton (H)
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