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Championship to Champions League

Discussion
https://i.imgur.com/pAmpxFK.jpg
I was assessing players at the club which will determine the long term future of the playing squad while getting the players ready for a promotion push.

Championship
https://i.imgur.com/pgJO6IK.jpg
This was the club’s first televised game of the season and Craven Cottege was sold out despite the being on a Friday evening which says a lot about both sets of fans. The players are now getting use to my formation and tactics after the preseason of constant changes and a few games of the League season where the results were not what we were expecting. This game showed why Fulham paid the money for McCormack as he is every good striker in the Championship just like Rhodes and it would be interesting to see if he can make the step up to the Premier League if the club gets promotion.

https://i.imgur.com/JErQOao.jpg
Ross McCormack is on course of getting around 30 goals in the Championship after scoring 13 goals in the 24 games so far while Woodrow is showing his potential of being the clubs leading striker with 7 goals in 10 games which is giving McCormack some competition for the strikers position. Bryan Ruiz is a good player but he is picking up a few minor injuries which means I am having to change the formation every few games and this is has led to the decision of not renewing his contract when it expires in the summer. Middlesbrough are the only club so far this season to beat us but this might not be only the defeat we have this season as the remaining 22 games are played there might a few losses before the season ends.

https://i.imgur.com/WZgUFFy.jpg
I can only see it between us and Brentford for the Championship title with the points gape between them and Norwich being 6 points. Things can change quickly in the Championship which is why 3rd to 14th are all in contention for the Playoffs while 15th to 22nd are fighting for survival at this moment. The January Transfer Window opens soon so it is going to be vital that the clubs either keep hold of their top players or improve on the squad.

League Cup
https://i.imgur.com/ZhX8SFt.jpg
We got a nice easy game against Rochdale which meant I could play players who have not yet featured so far this season. Fleetwood, Colchester and Crewe with the upsets in

https://i.imgur.com/JYHrQXS.jpg
Fleetwood, Colchester and Derby with the upsets in Round3 as they are joined by Crewe which is good for the competition seeing them getting drawn against bigger clubs and winning regardless if the bigger fields a weaker team.

https://i.imgur.com/K0YPmVT.jpg
We gave Arsenal a tough game and I felt that we could have won it on another day but that is knockout football. Fleetwood, Crewe and Colchester’s fantastic run in the League Cup came to end but they shown that League 1 and 2 clubs can compete in the Cups against bigger clubs in one off games.

FA Cup
https://i.imgur.com/EtgSZhk.jpg
The standout games are Leicester v Wrexham, Swindon v Tottenham, Everton v Liverpool, Chelsea v Preston, Crystal Palace v Wycombe, QPR v Dagenham and Redbridge has some could intense games and some could see some big upsets.

League Round Up
https://i.imgur.com/pgJO6IK.jpg
There are some really good teams struggling in the Bundesliga. It is a shock to see FC Bayern to be struggling to be in contention for the title.

https://i.imgur.com/HnI9Tdw.jpg
Only goal difference separates PSG, Monaco and Toulouse at the of top of Ligue 1. Lyon once the top team in France now face a relegation battle while Marsielle are starting to head in that direction if they do not improve.

https://i.imgur.com/PTfq68p.jpg
The top 6 is pretty much what is to be expected but Man Utd could win their 1st title since the retirement of Alex Ferguson. Liverpool could win their first Premier League title and their first league title since 1990 if Man Utd slip up. QPR in 12th are not yet safe as a couple of bad results could see them slide down the table and end up fighting against the drop.

https://i.imgur.com/9fiZ2SE.jpg
Atletico Madrid could extend their lead if Barcelona slip up after their Winter Break. Real Madrid could put themselves back into title contention if they win their 2 games that they have in-hand. Almeria are essentially relegated while Elche have a slim chance or staying up while 10th-18th are all trying to avoid being in the last relegation place.

https://i.imgur.com/aN8PiiF.jpg
WOW!! Inter at the bottom of Serie A but they are not adrift from safety. AC Milan must be careful not to have a bad run of results to avoid falling into the relegation battle. Roma are giving Juventus something to think about as Juventus are looking for their 4th consecutive Serie A title.

New Players

Alexander Dominguez, Liga de Quito Free Transfer
https://i.imgur.com/SSBIwe4.jpg
I have Joronen and Kiraly has backup keepers but I feel Joronen is not good enough while Kiraly is in his final year of his contract and in his early 40’s. Dominguez is about the same level as Stekelenburg but I am planning on selling Stekelenburg in the summer regardless of promotion or not.

George Cooper, Crewe £750k ( £500k plus £250k over 24months)
https://i.imgur.com/199B8cZ.jpg
I have a potentially good Premier League player in Cooper as long he keeps improving and I hope to develop his right wing position. His main position in the line up is Attacking Midfielder in the shadow striker role which Eisfeld’s role as well so I have 2 young AMCs competing for that role.

John Hou Saeter, Rosenberg £2m (£500k plus £500k after 30 games, £500k 10 International games and £500k after promotion)
https://i.imgur.com/u4lxC58.jpg
I am looking to develop his defensive side of his game and I could potentially have a decent all round central midfielder in a few years time when he is ready to be part of the first team.

Luka Jovic, crvena Zvezda £3.4m (£2.4m plus £1.2m after 24months and £600k promotion)
https://i.imgur.com/bgHWdVB.jpg
He is a superstar in the making and could be part of a young deadly strike force with Dembele and Woodrow. He will be joining the club on 1/1/16 and hope the club is above the relegation zone of the Premier League when he arrives. I had him at RB Leipzig and he was awesome.

Over the next 2 to 3 transfer windows I am looking to recruit young British players with the odd non British signing when necessary. I am also looking at improving the youth team coaching over the next couple of seasons. It is going to be interesting to see how clubs use the January Transfer Window across the leagues.
Championship
https://i.imgur.com/EZCL5S7.jpg

Alan Browne, Preston £1.7m raising to £3.2m
https://i.imgur.com/P9RvxrR.jpg
The add-ons are £600k after 30 league games, £600k after promotion and £300k after 10 caps. He is currently a member of the Irish U21 side and as the potential to be decent player for the Irish and Fulham senior sides. The fee maybe a bit high for player that has only made 23 appearances for Preston but I think the fee will prove to be a bargain if he fulfils his potential. I am lining him as Scott Parker’s long term replacement in centre midfield.

Kyle Bartley, Swansea £130k
https://i.imgur.com/9qp6lav.jpg
I could have waited until the end of the season to sign him on free transfer but I could not risk losing Amorebieta without having a replacement in place. Burn and Bartley will be my new centre back pairing.

Tyrone Mings, Ipwich £6.5m raising to £8m
https://i.imgur.com/32NEYg0.jpg
The breakdown of the transfer is £3.7m upfront, £3.5m over 42 months, E£600k after 30 league games, £65k per league game for 10 league games, £500k after 10 caps and 20% of profit. He has the potential to be England’s best left back and be real threat from left back if he can improve his passing. I have to good young left backs at the club and there is a lot of games left so they will both get games.

https://i.imgur.com/0RLgpNq.jpg
Mick McCarthy went for experience in the centre of midfield with Grindheim who brings leadership and aggression to the squad while Savage and Wallace bring creativity. These signings seem like that Ipswich are making sure that they are not dragged into the relegation battle rather than trying to get into Playoff contention.

https://i.imgur.com/gZCbYIJ.jpg
Millwall just like Ipswich are looking to avoid getting into a relegation battle by adding a couple of experienced players on short term deals. I think Millwall could be in trouble next season as they have a lot of players in the squad over 30 with not much which will be an advantage to their opponents. Their new signing Kamara is out for the rest of the season.

https://i.imgur.com/S2RLVqR.jpg
Norwich took their time to find a replacement for Bassong while adding pace and creativity to the midfield on deadline day. If I was in Alex Neill’s position I would have added a striker or 2 as the ones at the club are not scoring enough goals which means the opposition are always have chance of taking points from Norwich and that could cost Norwich the opportunity of automatic promotion.

https://i.imgur.com/V5RKccr.jpg
Wigan have pulled a major coup by signing Adrian Mutu who did not have a great couple of seasons at Chelsea but Malky Mackay must think Mutu as something to offer. Wigan must be careful not to be over reliant on experienced players as they would need replacing which could put the club at risk if the experience players leave at the same time.

Bundesliga
https://i.imgur.com/SG1OsZl.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/vchaUuW.jpg
If Bayern kept hold of Thiago and Badstuber with the addition of Borini and Xhaka plus the current squad should be enough to put pressure on Dortmund for the title. FC Bayner were the only club in the Bundesliga to do any major transfer business in this window.

Liga
https://i.imgur.com/00gYEqM.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/ItIrgSS.jpg
Only time will time if Atletico regret selling Raul Jimernez to Benfica. Atletico haved added pace and width to their team as they look to remain at the top of Liga and resist the pressure from Barcelona whose only business was selling Rafinha to Man Utd for £14.25m and loaning out some of their youngsters.

https://i.imgur.com/RlMPgVm.jpg
Real Madrid signed yet another creative midfielder in Florenzi but can he establish himself in the starting line up on a regular basis.

https://i.imgur.com/SM3S8ks.jpg
Villareal might regret selling Musacchio and Giovanni dos Santos if they fail to get Champions League for next season either via the League or Europa League.

Ligue 1
https://i.imgur.com/ywld3Jz.jpg
Not much transfer activity but Lyon have moved up the table since my last post while PSG are likely to win the title before the season ends.

Premier League
https://i.imgur.com/KokWAEE.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/4180822.jpg
Arsene Wenger has gone big in order to secure a Champions League but more importantly are Musacchio and Nkoulou are the anwser to their defensive issues at the back.

https://i.imgur.com/2xhU7g2.jpg
Burnley have gone all out in both defence and attack in their push to move from the bottom of the Premier League. The players that been brought into the team can either keep them up or help them to get promotion at the first attempt if they are relegated.

https://i.imgur.com/63Urfyb.jpg
Jorginho might be able to get regular games in their starting line up while do Santos will find himself warming the bench and playing in the Cup games against lower league teams since they have Drogba.

https://i.imgur.com/zCDWBtu.jpg
Everton are hoping that Vida is going to be the long term partner fro John Stones at the heart of the Everton’s defence. Everton will be hoping that Cabaye will show that early form he had at Newcastle before he moved to PSG.

https://i.imgur.com/51N1FlH.jpg
Liverpool did some last minute buying but are they are necessary. I can understand one or two additions but 5 on the last day at the cost of £34.5m is a risk when they are 3 points behind Man Utd. I think Gonalons is the long term replacement for Gerrard in midfield and I think the only reason why there were 5 deal on the last day is that Liverpool took their time in getting the deals done.

https://i.imgur.com/tE9DoFM.jpg
This is quite surprising considering they are 6th with a chance of finishing in the top 4. I think they are going to spend big in the summer when their targets will not be cup tied in the Champions League.

https://i.imgur.com/h2DW2hM.jpg
Man Utd are going to expect Rafinha is going to be the next Scholes. They don’t have anyone in double figures for league goals scored at the moment, Falcao 9 in 16 and van Persie 8 in 15, could it be that van Gaal is being too pragmatic.

https://i.imgur.com/mJ6nXDA.jpg
Will Southampton come to regret selling Wanyama which they did not need to plus if he stayed with Popov and Toivionen being added to the squad could see Southampton finish 6th or 7th next season.

https://i.imgur.com/V3U7KHM.jpg
Is Heung-Min Son going to the player that Spurs have for real? I really do like it when FM reflects real life or does something unexpected which you will see in a moment. Savic returns to the Premier League after having not so great two seasons at Man City but I think since then he has become a better players. Rossbach could be Lloris long term replacement and is a typical Levy buy. Spurs are at least 2 players away from having a squad thta is capable of winning and challenging for the Premier League title on a regular basis.

Serie A
https://i.imgur.com/bcIheLa.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/Q92gFWB.jpg
Juventus have strengthen their full back positions with Sakai and Cricito who returns to Juventus after 7years. Firmino could become the focal point of their play over the next few seasons as a few of their star names could be leaving for one reason or another.

https://i.imgur.com/VVnyXjB.jpg
I am surprised that Roma did not sign a goal scoring striker in order to catch Juventus as Roma are not scoring enough goals which is the case for most Serie A teams.

On the 6th of January Inter fired Prandelli and on the 14th they hired Gaurdiola with Inter rock bottom of Serie A.If Gaurdiola can keep them up and turn them into title challengers again then he has to be considered one of the best managers in history. Gaurdiola needs to sort out the defence first before sorting out the attacking side of the squad which is quite decent. They should not be at the bottom of the table which shows there is something behind the scenes that is causing the club tounderperform and affecting the players.

I am looking at the right back position for next season and the summer transfer window is about getting rid off players that I do not want at the club for one reason or another. I think I have a squad that contains a good foundation for the club build on and avoid relegation if we are promoted this season.
Championship
https://i.imgur.com/FE1YhDh.jpg
I was playing Woodrow for the last few games to see if he can live up to the expectations that those at the club have of him then he gets injured during the game and is out for 7months which will hamper his development. The score would be different if Ruiz was playing as he is leading the assists for the club.

https://i.imgur.com/jne2ATr.jpg
Bryan Ruiz makes a huge difference to the side when he plays and I hope he does not keep getting little knocks that keep him out of the side for a couple of weeks especially in the Premier League trying to stay up. I hope the players can convert the chances they get in the Premier League as they cannot afford to be wasting them if we are going to be staying up.

https://i.imgur.com/kILsFDs.jpg
There were 2 teams that stopped us from scoring while one of them beat us which is the 2nd of 3 games we lost. The last 2 or 3 games I played a starting 11 made up of U21 and 2nd string players which resulted in 1 win, 1 draw and 1 loss with the hope that some can give an indication that they are ready to be part of the senior next season or need a season out on loan playing regular first team football. I was rotating the players a lot after January due to the FA Cup plus injuries and suspensions which did not affect the overall result plus it gave me a good look at the back up players in high pressure games which some showed that they are capable of being decent players for the club in the Championship but might find the Premier League a step too far. The team is showing promise and if I can a few players from the home nations with decent potential could see the club have a half decent Premier League squad with the potential of challenging for a trophy or even push for the top 7 every other season.

https://i.imgur.com/JgI3x5D.jpg
Brentford were really unlucky to miss out on automatic promotion after we lost the last game to Norwich which would have had an impact on their performances in the Playoff games.There are so many clubs at the bottom that have been in the Premier League but are now struggling to be in the Championship also there will clubs poaching their best players which would deepen their troubles. It was very close from 4th to 17th where a good or bad run of results could see the club climb the table or fall down the table.

FA Cup

3rd Round
https://i.imgur.com/tH2ubxi.jpg
We took Man City to a replay back at the Craven Cottage after a 1-1 draw at the Etihad. It is good to see a couple of young players from City’s Academy getting a run out a in a nearly full strength line up which makes our win even more special. The game was fairly even but we got an early goal which then puts the pressure on Man City to attack and get back into the game.

https://i.imgur.com/FF3Sain.jpg
Blackburn caused an upset by beating Aston Villa while the Merseyside Derby was a close affair. Bradford and Coventry the lowest ranked clubs left in the FA Cup.

Round 4
https://i.imgur.com/V5ag2LJ.jpg
Bartley and Burn have formed a good partnership i a short period of time plus a good understanding with Bettinelli. We play with 10 after using our allotted subs when Voser got injured in the 84th minute which meant the players had to play against a strong Crystal Palace side for over 30 minutes. Williams, Woodrow and Hyndman showed some good mental strength as they scored their penalties after coming on as 2nd half subs during normal time.

https://i.imgur.com/gJSKWk4.jpg
There were no real surprises in this round of the FA Cup but there some good potential match ups for Round 5. Blackburn and Charlton fans hope that the FA Cup run can lead to an improvement in their league form.

Round 5
https://i.imgur.com/L8h3ii5.jpg
I decided to play my back up players against Charlton for 2 reasons to rest my first choice players and Charlton are struggling in the league. Amorebieta and B would have been first choice pairing if were not for the form of Burn and Bartley.

Round 6
https://i.imgur.com/78uUSHz.jpg
We proved hard to breakdown against Arsenal despite them having 62% of possession and, considering the players that Arsenal, they should have had hammered us.

https://i.imgur.com/q8NV6BO.jpg
The Quarter Finals were Premier League v Championship with 3 of the teams pushing their Premier League opponents to their limits.
New Players

Adam Forshaw, Middlesbrough £6.5m
https://i.imgur.com/i4IOE1u.jpg
The transfer is made up of £2.5m initial fee, £1m after promotion, £2.5m over 30months and £500k after 50 league games. His versatility means that I can use different formations without needing more players and I think he can be a good Premier League player.

Andre Wisdom, Liverpool £3m
https://i.imgur.com/z9geQiw.jpg
He is my first choice right back and he is equally as good at centre back meaning I can take off either Mings or Kavanagh and replace them with an attacker without having to use 2subs.

Carl Jenkinson, Arsenal £3m
https://i.imgur.com/e0w6pkW.jpg
He fits the criteria for what I am trying to do at Fulham. He still has time to be the right back that people in the game expected him to be.

Harry Maguire, Hull £3.6m
https://i.imgur.com/rv13H5A.jpg
He is an old school central defender who heads and kicks the ball away from goal. I have now 4 good young centre backs in the senior team plus 3 or 4 in the U21’s who could make the step up to the senior team. I am looking at Maguire and Bartley as my first choice but the form of Burn with Bartley is going to make that decision very hard.

Joe Gomez, Charlton £6.25m
https://i.imgur.com/vj4DKyR.jpg
The overall fee is a lot for a 17 year old centre back but he as the potential to be a top class centre back. The deal is £2.5m initial fee, £2.5m over 24months, £600k after 30 league games and £600k after 10 International appearances.

Kristoffer Ajer, Start £600k
https://i.imgur.com/jE3qY39.jpg
I tried to sign in January but he signed a contract with Start. I could not pass up the opportunity to sign despite him not being British or Irish. He has the potential to the club’s future captain and midfield general.

Mason Holgate, Barnsley £2.5m
https://i.imgur.com/XLOxdv0.jpg
His deal is £1m initial fee, £q1m over 12months and £500k after 30 league games which will cost £1.7m of my transfer budget. He and Gomez have the potential to Fulham and England’s future centre back pairing with that in mind I might send both out on loan to get first team experience before moving up the senior side.

The way the transfers are structured mean that the total amount deducted from my transfer budget is lower than the overall fee as the cost is spread over several months and sometimes the Chairman or Director of Football can get the other club to accept a lower payment for some of the clauses.

I am looking at adding a couple of more players to the squad by the end of the transfer window. I am also going to ask the Board to invest more money to improve the Youth Team Level and facilities as they were downgraded as well as getting affiliations to access young players from other clubs and improving the scouting network as the Board have removed all restrictions.
Preseason
https://i.imgur.com/i9EoZfM.jpg
This preseason was about getting the players to be familiar with each other as I have rebuilt this squad with several aims that make up a long term project. If I have players available during the International Break then I might arrange a friendly for the fringe players and have a look at different formations.

Premier League

https://i.imgur.com/yQ6DizA.jpg
This was a poor result to have going into the International Break as it means the players will not be able to get the result of their system and it will linger for the next game. This result ends a run of 6 games unbeaten, 2 wins and 4 draws, with McCormack scoring 6 goals. Forshaw, Maguire and Bartley all had a good game despite the result.

https://i.imgur.com/HXJTEqY.jpg
I was expecting us to be lose to Arsenal but the stats show that we could have had a point against Arsenal which means the players need to start convert the chances they create otherwise we could be at the wrong end of the table.

https://i.imgur.com/8sIjzxq.jpg
I decided to shake things up amongst the players by picking Woodrow ahead of McCormack after he went 3 games without scoring and me wanting to stop a potential relegation battle before it starts. Woodrow played his first game in 8months after getting injured and he scores which just shows that he can be the striker to replace McCormack.

https://i.imgur.com/Sxops44.jpg
The first 6 games would have been a great foundation to build the rest of the season on however the shock defeat to West Brom put some doubt into the players minds which remained there until the victory over West Ham and hopefully the win against Stoke is starting to put the confidence back into the players minds and give them belief that they can stay up. McCormack is doing well and needs to continue to score the goals or Woodrow will replace him. The defence need to do better otherwise despite scoring goals we could be in the relegation battle towards the end of the season.

https://i.imgur.com/9i3Naxw.jpg
The first 6 games saw us above where we are expected to be but the defeat against West Brom saw us drop to 14th. The back to back wins saw us climb to 6th so after 11 games we are on course to finish in the top 10 but I would take finishing between 14th and 7th to avoid European football which the squad is not ready for.

https://i.imgur.com/ZiUxcMv.jpg
Ross McCormack had a great month in September scoring 5 goals in 3 games and if he can keep that going the should be near the top of the goal scoring chart and should see the club in the top 10.

League Cup

Round 2
https://i.imgur.com/v2Ty88U.jpg

Round 3
https://i.imgur.com/m4vypNS.jpg

Round 4 and Quarter Final
https://i.imgur.com/c2CisEP.jpg

Managerial Sacking
https://i.imgur.com/aMWDFWT.jpg
Big Sam lasted a bit longer than his real life counterpart did at West Ham. The sacking came after 1-0 loss to Stoke and our 3-0 win was their 2nd of 4 defeats. Malky Mackay and Aitor Karanka are joint favourites to takeover from Allardyce but I don’t think Karanka would move from Middlesbrough as they are currently 14th while West Ham face a season long relegation battle and any manager would be under be constant pressure from the fans.

England Squad
https://i.imgur.com/GknExSH.jpg
Another news item that reflecting what is happening in English football right now but 2 seasons before it happened. This is the end of Joe Hart at the highest level of Domestic and International football?

Transfer Update
https://i.imgur.com/NPoTZh3.jpg
This is not I wanted to read about Jovic months before his transfer. This is going to hamper his development as a striker but I have faith that he will fulfil his potential after he has overcome his injury both physically and psychologically. He is not going to straight into my First Team when he arrives as the plan was to have him at the club for the reminder of the season then loan him for First Team football at a Championship club for a season then evaluate his development.

I did the players to get to January without many injuries and suspensions as I have a small squad to play with. I am looking for players in a couple of positions, to replace players or add players to the squad for the long term.
International Break
https://i.imgur.com/d4x5b0h.jpg
I arranged this friendly to give the fringe players some game time in case they are needed in the coming fixtures for various reasons.

Premier League
https://i.imgur.com/XHw63XB.jpg
Despite some really good results and performances, I feel that the strikers need to be converting more of the chances that are being created. The defeat against Chelsea was expected and the players did not have time to let that sink in as they had the game against Tottenham 3days later which is a good thing as the players came with a point. The draw against Spurs led to the draw against Sunderland and win against Hull as this the attempt by the club to get some momentum going into the 2nd half of the season.

https://i.imgur.com/pPQiVo2.jpg
We are currently the best of the rest however that could all change over the next 18 games. There are currently 6 teams in with a chance of winning the Premier League title while there are 7 teams fighting against relegation. I think we will struggle to stay up next season if we are in the Europa League as I will have a small squad that not yet be ready to handle both domestic and European football as we are already struggle with playing Cup competitions and League games.

League Cup
https://i.imgur.com/MqNXYq0.jpg
It would be great for the club to reach the final however winning the Cup with either Man City or Newcastle in the final is out if the question but it should be a valuable learning experience for this young squad.

FA Cup
https://i.imgur.com/0g8z1p1.jpghttps://i.imgur.com/x3kR2iy.jpg
There are quite a few games that could see some big upsets for example Concord Rangers v Stoke, Leyton Orient/Shrewsbury v Man City, Man City v Southend

Fixtures
https://i.imgur.com/rmL7Ko0.jpg
January is going to be very important as we can easily pick up 12points before we face Manchester United, Everton and Arsenal in February. If we can come away with around 3 points from the games Manchester United, Everton and Arsenal than it would put us in a good position for the next few games where we would look to get at least 9 points. I think 24 points from these 12 games plus a good run in the cup competitions would give us momentum as the season enters the final few games. I think the players of Fulham and West Brom will be very familiar with each other playing each other in back to back games in the League Cup and Premier League.
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