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Attempting to return Portsmouth to their former glory.

Discussion
Alright everyone, a few of you might recognise me for a couple of FM careers I’ve posted on here in the past, both with my beloved local club Chester – firstly a successful FM17 save which had to end prematurely due to the old laptop on which it was saved breaking, followed by a very short-lived FM19 save which I abandoned for various personal reasons. I’ve decided to give one more shot at posting on these forums but this time I won’t be doing a Chester save, as in all honesty I’m getting a little bored of managing the same club every year! Instead I’ve decided to start out with a club a little higher up the pyramid who also hold something of a place in my heart…

The Pompey Chimes


https://images.racingpost.com/football/teambadges/2049.png


I’ve had a soft spot for Portsmouth and have followed their results since an enjoyable Fifa career mode save with them a few years back, but I’ve never managed them before in FM so they always seemed to be the natural choice when I was looking for a team at League One level – hopefully I’ll be able to do them justice with this save!

The story so far

https://i.gyazo.com/d740f9b9013a2b24bca601debbb95db5.png


I’m sure many of you will be familiar with the trials and tribulations of the club – having played in the Premier League as recently as the last decade, the high point in their recent history came in 2008 when they achieved an 8th-placed finish in the top flight and won the FA Cup. Not long after, however, they began to embark on a rapid and shocking decline amidst severe financial problems – relegation to the Championship in 2010 was followed by a 16th-place finish in the second division, before further back-to-back demotions meant they would be playing in the fourth tier just five years after their cup triumph. Fortunately, things seem to be looking up again, as promotion in 2017 has been followed up by respective 8th and 4th places in League One. Now it’s my job to try and continue the upwards curve and get Pompey back to where they belong, in the Premier League and challenging for silverware once again.

https://i.gyazo.com/71bb6daed765db547cc00bbd10c97f76.png


The board are expecting promotion within two years – in an ideal world though I’d like it to be this season as I certainly think we’ve got the quality to go up without having to make too many changes to the current squad. After that they’re giving me another few years to record a top half Championship finish, again that hopefully shouldn’t be too difficult a task. As far as the club culture is concerned they’re giving me something of a free rein when it comes to implementing the style of play I want but one thing they’re keen for me to do is to develop players using our academy; while at boardroom level, it seems they’re weighing up either building a new ground or redeveloping our current one (hopefully the latter, as it’d be a crying shame were we to leave Fratton Park).

https://i.gyazo.com/60305b9d2793f5ed66fc7b03236e1d29.png


As I say, our current squad is certainly capable of achieving promotion and the bookies seem to concur with their initial prediction of third place. This may well change over the course of preseason but looking at the odds it seems like us, Sunderland and Ipswich could be the three frontrunners to go up.

Meet the team

https://i.gyazo.com/7d136f618b8d5a46fc62f6c3853d7ef5.png


We shouldn’t have too many problems in the goalkeeping department as MacGillivray looks like a top keeper for this level and McGee is surprisingly good backup, to the point where I might end up playing him in the cup games as a player of his calibre deserves at least some game time. Bass looks like an excellent young prospect but will more than likely get loaned out as simply being third choice here won’t do his development any good.

https://i.gyazo.com/d0cdbd4c03148d0807c3c79073ed85e5.png


Decent depth in defence but unfortunately we’ve got a few injuries to contend with – notably Whatmough who will miss at least half the season with damaged cruciate ligaments, and vice-captain Brown who’ll be out for 3-4 months with achilles tendonitis – meaning we may have to look to the transfer market for cover. Mnoga, Casey, Rew and Hancott all have decent potential but aren’t first-team quality just yet.

https://i.gyazo.com/1781d294b27cac327f692badd6fbf70f.png


Again there’s a few injuries in midfield, though fortunately none of them are really long-term. Centrally we’ve got good depth with captain Naylor being the pick of the bunch, while Evans and Pitman are good albeit somewhat ageing options at the number 10 role, but in the wide areas it’s likely we’ll need to strengthen as we’ve only got three natural wingers. Adam May is currently out on loan in the division below with Swindon but we may well end up recalling him in January if he impresses there.

https://i.gyazo.com/fceb4ac0d6aad75bcef992ddc71ef362.png


John Marquis will likely be the man we look to most often for goals, having proved his worth in the last couple of years at Doncaster, while Harrison is also a very good attacking player who’ll be challenging him for the lone striker role in the team. Lethbridge and Lee Seok-Jae are two talented youngsters who are still some way off first-team level, with the former already loaned out to Bognor Regis. Hawkins is a decent player in his own right, but we might end up looking to sell him since he’s third choice at the moment and doesn’t really fit into my tactical system.

https://i.gyazo.com/68ba30be786782e04cfcbab36df012fe.png


And here’s the startlingly handsome bloke who’ll be in charge and will hopefully lead the club to glory. 35 years old so presumably I haven’t long retired from playing at a ‘regional level’ but already holding a Continental A Licence, I certainly seem to be an exciting up-and-coming coach but, of course, what really matters is the product I can make the team serve up on the pitch.

https://i.gyazo.com/692b63d2bc660d138dc0e496e2bce20a.png


I’m planning on playing a pretty simple possession-based 4-2-3-1 as my primary tactic, it’s a formation that’s served me well in the past and seems to be well-suited to the players we’ve got at our disposal. This ‘first XI’ may end up changing depending on who we sign, and obviously we won’t actually be able to see these players together for the time being owing to the injuries we’ve got, but if everyone’s fit then this is probably the strongest lineup I could put out.

Next update - Pre-Season 2019
http://31.media.tumblr.com/827602dc93447bf2d8f6f29278addee6/tumblr_mr0qjlPm6c1sdqx19o1_500.gif
Welcome back, great to see you return to share your stories!
Good luck at Fratton Park!
My Careers:
FM15 | FM16 | FM17a | FM17b | FM19a | FM19b | FM19c
FM20I: Trip to: United States (w/ Cincinnati) https://i.imgur.com/FQLsK4I.png / II: Earth Trip https://i.imgur.com/WvSK16U.png (journeyman)
Welcome back @lolmappo its been a while! A couple of your screens aren't working for me. Good luck with pompey
Everyone's got a soft spot for Pompey I think. Good luck.
Everyone's got a soft spot for Pompey I think. Good luck.

This is true!

I also wish you good luck for the save!
Official SirWerGaming ©

Fm 2020 - Saves


Thanks everyone @r96Skinner @Dan @bigmattb28 @SirWerGaming! With regards to the screenshots not working I'm not sure why that is, let me know if it continues.

Portsmouth FC - Pre-Season 2019


https://images.racingpost.com/football/teambadges/2049.png


Transfers

https://i.gyazo.com/49a0ea38015a7cb5330aac23394e32ba.png


Unfortunately I wasn't given a particularly big budget so I've not been able to make large-scale changes to the squad - not that I'd particularly need to, mind, with the quality already at the club. The window is still open for around another month so I'm hopeful of bringing one or two more in before the deadline, but as it stands there's two new faces joining the club. Firstly, experienced Swedish international Marcus Olsson joins on a free transfer. We needed another left-back with Brown out injured and this guy should fill the void perfectly, having played in the Championship for most of his career, and should immediately become our first choice in his position. Secondly, exciting young central defender Eric Garcia joins us on loan from Manchester City for the season - a deal that seems something of a coup given a number of clubs in the Championship and overseas were also in for him. Again, his signing was necessitated somewhat by injury with Whatmough likely to miss a large chunk of the season, but he's a slightly different type of player to the other defenders we've got and so should improve depth not just in terms of personnel but also in terms of tactics.

https://i.gyazo.com/cbb04b899eb9b9bbff8c6b22a83f29d2.png


Nothing massive on the outs, just a couple of youngsters going on loan to non-league sides. Again, we may well see more deals before the window slams shut with a couple of players currently transfer-listed at the club but importantly it looks as though we should be fine in terms of being able to hang on to our key players.

Matches


https://i.gyazo.com/ba508cd749365917f59dba3440416bea.png


Zero clean sheets is something of a concern, especially considering the calibre (or lack thereof) of some of the teams we've played, but with six wins and two draws I can hardly complain. I'm not one to place a great deal of importance on pre-season friendlies but it's always nice to see us playing well and scoring goals - now we've just got to hope we can carry the same sort of form into the season proper.

Next update - August 2019
http://31.media.tumblr.com/827602dc93447bf2d8f6f29278addee6/tumblr_mr0qjlPm6c1sdqx19o1_500.gif
Eric Garcia coming in is a hell of a signing for Pompey. He should be excellent for you at the back!

You had a good pre-season but no clean sheets could be a problem come the league campaign! Best of luck man!
Thanks @tongey!

Portsmouth FC - August 2019


https://images.racingpost.com/football/teambadges/2049.png


Transfers

https://i.imgur.com/luCZ9Cu.png


Frustratingly we haven't been able to bring any more players in yet, and with just a couple of days remaining until the window slams shut it's looking likely that we'll have to do some desperate deadline day dealings as we still really need at least one more wide player. The only transfers we've made this month are loan deals for a couple of our most promising youngsters, both of whom join local non-league sides for the rest of the season.

Matches

https://i.imgur.com/LYG56Zb.png


https://i.imgur.com/oIWmZpa.png


By no means an easy fixture to get the ball rolling for the season but we were able to record a narrow win thanks to an absolute worldie from full-back Walkes. Probably should've scored more than the one since we dominated pretty much from start to finish.

https://i.imgur.com/hfpERMD.png


Again, the narrow scoreline doesn't really reflect our dominance in the match but good to get three points on the board in our first game at Fratton Park. Goalscorer Morris was the one shining star in what was otherwise a relatively weak Tranmere side.

https://i.imgur.com/7k5HVw2.png


Our first cup game saw us take on divisional rivals Southend in the first round of the League Cup. A thumping first-half performance which saw us 3-0 up at the interval was followed by a second half in which we nearly threw it all away. I'd have been annoyed had we not won it in ninety minutes as once again we were by far the better team.

https://i.imgur.com/U4fWyyX.png


Wow! An absolutely unbelievable performance away at the favourites for the title, in what was on paper meant to be one of the toughest fixtures of the season. Hat-trick hero John Marquis probably won't have to buy a pint at any Portsmouth pub any time soon.

https://i.imgur.com/oZAZ5ht.png


Our first dropped points of the season saw us unable to break down an admittedly resilient Coventry side. Annoying given that we had plenty of chances and could've won it right at the death were it not for a wonder-save from their keeper, though a point against another side predicted to be challenging for promotion probably isn't the worst result in the world.

https://i.imgur.com/DO9KbvP.png


A very similar story here against recently-relegated Rotherham. An excellent performance from Pitman wasn't enough to compensate for our front three all having complete stinkers.

https://i.imgur.com/wsQkDyh.png


We were handed a very tough tie in the second round of the League Cup and although I was hopeful of a potential upset given our good league form, unfortunately Watford showed their class and proved why they're two divisions above us. Given the overall balance of play I think 4-0 was probably a little harsh on us, but our opponents looked like scoring every time they came forwards.

https://i.imgur.com/eMQuuso.png


Ending the month with a third straight 0-0 draw, and a game from which we were honestly lucky to come away with anything - I think it's becoming quite clear that the early-season fixture congestion is beginning to take its toll on some of our players. We've got a relatively favourable set of fixtures coming up so hopefully we can start scoring again before too long.

https://i.imgur.com/CxGzTAO.png


Despite being top at one stage, those draws have seen us fall down to 4th - not that the table matters a great deal at this stage of the season. Unbeaten in our first six and averaging two points a game is pretty good going so far, and as I say I'd expect us to pick up plenty of points from our upcoming games to hopefully try and regain that top spot. Gillingham and Accrington have started surprisingly well with both occupying playoff spots as well as having a game in hand, while Sunderland and Peterborough have stumbled out of the blocks a little although I wouldn't expect that bad form to last forever.

Other news

https://i.imgur.com/XE3QdEc.png


In all honesty I'm a little surprised by this considering he's done nothing since bagging that hat-trick but nonetheless, congratulations to Marquis for winning Player of the Month for August!

Next update - September 2019

http://31.media.tumblr.com/827602dc93447bf2d8f6f29278addee6/tumblr_mr0qjlPm6c1sdqx19o1_500.gif
Portsmouth FC - September 2019


https://images.racingpost.com/football/teambadges/2049.png


Transfers

https://i.gyazo.com/9a547a243971764272ff9d2c5147ec3b.png


I said last time out that our attempts to sign another winger would have to go down to the wire and down to the wire they went - fortunately though we were able to conclude deadline day deals for not just one but two new wide players. Admittedly the first, Wes McDonald, was something of a 'panic signing' - joining on a six-month loan from League Two side Walsall to provide some cheap cover just in case we were unable to finalise any more deals. The real star of the show, however, is Ethan Ross - seemingly something of a wonderkid for this level, but a player I hadn't even heard of until deadline day when we were suddenly linked with him in the media. One quick scout report was all that was needed to convince me that this was the man I'd been looking for all window, and only having to pay Aberdeen £80k for him feels like daylight robbery. He'll initially be backup to Curtis but he's got the potential to play a real starring role for us in the future.

Matches

https://i.gyazo.com/27358434b45c59b435696a00fa71043e.png


https://i.gyazo.com/1e0a8037807d55ca5894ffabb74b10c7.png


The EFL Trophy is far from my favourite competition in the world and the board aren't bothered about how we fare in it, but the fact that we're the current holders and that this may be my only chance to win it means I feel obliged to treat it more seriously than I would ordinarily and field a strong side in our games at least. We should've won this one in normal time - Marquis putting an end to his and the team's recent dry patch with an impressive two-goal display - but goals from Southend against the run of play meant we'd have to go to penalties, where fortunately our hosts missed three of their four spot-kicks. No idea why the game can't just end as a draw but I'm not complaining since this allowed us to end our four-game winless run.

https://i.gyazo.com/d9a5d89f13ea98f690e8eb2067140b73.png


Getting sick at the sight of Southend after our third game against them in less than a month - though I'd happily play them every week if it meant we could play like this time and again! This was probably our best performance of the season thus far, as we scored all four of our goals inside a blistering opening half-hour. Nonetheless, that didn't stop me from being absolutely furious when a defensive error gifted the visitors a consolation goal with pretty much the last kick of the game!

https://i.gyazo.com/92cac4345f04c2f76df03b1854b2a461.png


Another cracking team performance against an unexpectedly poor Burton side. Marquis was again the star of the show with another brace but a number of our players played very well.

https://i.gyazo.com/d51771adb13f2f4fef1e6fead42bf8f9.png


Like in real life, Wycombe have had a surprisingly good start to the season in-game and so facing them on the road promised to be a tough fixture. We never looked back though after taking the lead after just 25 seconds, and while our hosts looked pretty dangerous they were never able to match our attacking prowess.

https://i.gyazo.com/aa892f4b365a0b884551981c0ff5c91e.png


Finally, our home match against troubled Bolton looked to be a formality on paper but we were unable to make a breakthrough until after the hour mark, but after we did so the floodgates seemed to open as we looked like scoring every time we went forwards. Frustrating again to let in a late consolation, however.

https://i.gyazo.com/2fc69c13a517a32c05e40ce854062d3b.png


Would you look at that, we're still unbeaten ten games in and after four straight league wins and some favourable results elsewhere we're now six points clear at the top. Still very much early days but we're looking like good value for our position and with things looking pretty tight further down the table it's great that we've got some early breathing space. Elsewhere, newly-promoted sides Tranmere and MK Dons both seem to be cementing themselves as early surprise packages, while at the other end Peterborough in particular are so far failing to live up to their pre-season predictions.

Other news

https://i.gyazo.com/6ee927e9fc6e742602619ba65b37ff63.png


I said last time out that I was somewhat surprised to see Marquis win Player of the Month, but it would've been absolutely criminal for him not to bag the award for a second consecutive month after some frankly incredible performances in the last few games. He's in the form of his life right now.

https://i.gyazo.com/8487a106d5d3ff0ba9d62011474fd223.png


Nice to win personal awards for myself as well, although again I'd have been surprised had I not won this after winning every game this month.

Next update - October 2019
http://31.media.tumblr.com/827602dc93447bf2d8f6f29278addee6/tumblr_mr0qjlPm6c1sdqx19o1_500.gif
Really nice start to the season. I really like the conversational way you present this. What kind of contract is Marquis on? Any concerns about being able to hang on to him in January if his form continues like this?

Keep rocking and rolling!
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