Thursday, 26 June 2008


Late one night I could see posts being made by desperate managers who'd started £1 auctions in a dead transfer market their players were going for WAY below market value. I decided to have a little nose, Kallstrom an AMC who was strong and could tackle Aq Fee £850k Market Value £4.2m. With five hours to go he was at £300k, bosh £2.1 slapped down on the table and we'd see if that could bag his signature. As you can see it took less than that:-

You will also note the quite breathtaking form! I'm sure he can't sustain this but it's nice to watch whilst it lasts. The acquisition of such players works on many levels I'd suspect. Their tendency to have special moments, the increase to the clubs reputation and one more very important thing....

Some months back at the height of Matalan Utd's power I loaned Montero out to them, his improvement was immediate, the players there must have played a part in his improvement. I'm hoping world class players will help the kids come on even more. Don't know if Si have coded this in or not but it's logical.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Crazy Times

A mass influx of new managers and a mass culling of old ones has been interesting to watch. I've seen my mates actually build up fairly competitive squads very quickly. I've also realised that I don't really want to gorge myself on quality and prefer being an underdog to an extent. Although there are some tempting targets :)

Season 4 is now officially over. Highlights we finished 3rd in the NFA Premier League actually had I not sold the big three when I did I may well have taken it! Still 3rd was impressive I felt. Youth, won U21 title, U21 Cup, U17 title, missed out on U19 and won the UFFA Pyshco Cup.

Big games, UFFA Pyscho Cup final was against Inter Retirement who have almost become our sister club. Two nil up from the first leg (away) only for us to go down 3-1 in the 2nd leg, no away goals so extra time, Sene has many talents but his work rate is second to none and eventually an exhausted Inter were broken twice in Extra time.

Didn't really feel that jubilant, one because it was against Inter and two because it should have been away goals and they would have won it if that was the case.

U21 League
FK Hald had won this last season (I forgot to enter) and had run us close. I had found them early on to be annoying to play against, with their odd 4-1-2-3 formation. This wasn't helped by their manager quipping 'I love beating you' on his way to second successive win, grrrr. Eventually I found their weak spot and things turned.

In fairness their team isn't just about tactics though and they have some very accomplished youth players. So with just a few games to go and just a one point lead at the top we faced off against each other. We exploded to a 3-0 lead only to see us lose our grip totally with five minutes left it was 3-3. A Meretta free kick with minutes left caused groans to turn to celebrations.

It was then a nice to finish the season with two senior wins against them as well.

One of the highlights that will go down in Jakswans history is the win against the best team in the land Northern Utd in the Champions League of course. I was also pleased with doing the double over Trumptonville. Catherine's Wanstead Hammers sadly did the double over me and I think cost me lots of points in all the youth leagues.

The crash in player prices is nothing short of sensational with players with a supposed market value of millions going for hundreds. Now is the time to buy!

I'm glad I held some money back:)

I think I may have to loan out a few though. Basically the new teams want the players but can't afford them and the old teams don't need the players. A sharp new manager though can quickly build up an impressive line up.

Monday, 23 June 2008


I was just about to go big for Ashley Cole when I noticed an absolute mountain of quality players in wage auction.

I'm earning in excess of £20k a day in interest and you do get used to that so I might just kick back and watch this season pass.

In saying that I did need a goalie and some high rep player. I also didn't want an oldie and pay a fortune and someone way over wage demand. Buffon popped up wage demand £40k on £45 for £4.5m. At 33 he's a good few years left in him as a goalie. This was a spot purchase and I had completely forgotten about another Goalie I had bid on Janut (servers down).

Then I took a fancy to Brooksides U21 goalie so think I may have him as well.

I pushed Ashley Cole upto £4m but AFCA had a higher bid so let him go, 30 is too old for that position / money. So I then started to have a look through Brooksides other talent. Brookside had declared their intention to restart. He had some really decent kids and some had already started to emerge (Aq Fee's rising) so I thought I'd attempt to bag some of these.

It's gamble investing now to secure the long term future of the club, everyone keeps saying the beta is almost over but honestly still can't see it. (Major crash tonight). Besides it's nice to have players at youth level that entertain.

With all this wheeling and dealing next years seniors team was pretty much fixed in my head now these plans have gone out the window. Everything has been on hold for the last few days anyway as the SI gods decided to mawl Montero (6days) and Mungy Bungy (3weeks, yes THREE) and also gave Adu a slap (5days) and Bruno had a short term injury as well. So that's pretty much my entire proposed midfield out of action.

Bruno is an oddity whenever I play him we are much harder to beat and win games, his potential is nothing special and his stats are not breathtaking but he always looks dangerous. Arda continues to cause much shouting, wonderful Arda, skips past four players then a superb one two to an open goal and puts it over the bar. Ask him to shoot outside the box though and he'll curl one in no worries, sigh.

So I'm pretty much convinced that Bruno will start as MC next season but Arda I'm not so sure. So does Mungy Bungy or Montero go there or even Wellington (nice little £5k a day capture). Then is Arda that much better than Kim Hueng Song if he isn't do I sell Arda. Not the time to be selling as I suspected a crash in player prices. A few days back I approached Reading Town about Tevez (Market Value £7m ish) and got told that would be fine!

Thankfully the bank vetoed (Wages) and quickly caused me to rethink.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Beta Invites

Yeah SI have said we're going to be able to invite five friends to the gameworld. Most of my mates are geeky gaming types.

However their twitch gamers (Quake / Team Fortress 2 etc) only two are into football. So I have three free invites.

I turned comment moderation off so leave a comment as to why you think you'll be great at FM Live and I'll invite based on comments.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

We are at 'one' with FM Live.

Well with us out of the running for the title (or so I thought) and the UFFA Champions League I thought I’d do a mini restart like I did last season.

First thing though I think I have become at ‘one’ with FM Live. This last season we played a part in knocking out the fine Northern Utd from the champions league. They have better players and to be fair we didn’t really deserve the win. We drew Bethnel in the UFFA Youth Champions Cup and 0-0 away was looking good but could only draw 1-1 at home, we deserved the win but then that’s football.

In fact the wins when they come against the run of play are sweet and the loss’s bitter. You must have lows to have highs. I think it’s important to keep it in perspective, who the heck is going to care in five years time if you won the Champions League in Season X in Gameworld Y a year down the line.

So now I sit back and kind of enjoy the show. Form wise if you’re getting the chances then you have to say the team / tactics are right and eventually it’ll come. If that isn’t right it’s back to the drawing board.

Which is what I did, I thought lets do a clear out and put Lucho, Arda, Macualey, Pablo, Basa in £1 auction. An hour later and there were no bids for Arda or Macaulay! Maybe Macaulay I could understand he’s £23k over his wage demand but at 20 has a 7 rating and goal every other game you cannot buy that for £1.

Arda was very odd he was 20 at Gameworld launch and already has some stunning stats his aq fee is going up fast and now at 24 with a wage demand of £20k surely a banker?

I’ll leave him do it on the pitch. So just Lucho, Pablo and Basa gone and I know have a very healthy bank balance.

The key now is not to rush in I shall play the current team and find weakness and strengthen that area. With the senior team in uproar over Lucho going I was expecting a train wreck at first and a slow return to mediocrity.

Tarik was moved up front, Kim Hueng to right wing, Arda to the middle as an AMC and Bruno / Montero as the other MC, Sene on left wing. At the back Meretta was given his chance.

So the first batch of games I thought ok lets just relax and watch the 4-0 defeats come in. You never know do you! The team started playing this high tempo racey attacking stuff. A bit scary at times, 4-3 isn’t good for the nerves but something was definitely off when 1-0 down to FK Hald at half time and Arda belts two glorious goals in.

So now I’m waiting for the bubble to burst. I sold Lucho to Weoley Castle sods law we’d be facing them in the league away from home. 1-1 is finished and this is with Arda and Tarik out injured! It wasn’t a scrappy 1-1 either if we grabbed the 3 points they really could not complain.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Fleeting Moment & a Slightly Broken Match Engine

Ohh well we're out of the Champions league after two lacklustre performances against Newgen team still we had our moment.
The new gripe I have now is exploits, cough, I mean tactics. When does a tactic stop being a tactic and become an exploit.
Some would argue never but this is supposed to be football so if something would not work in real life but works with the match engine then in my view it's an exploit.

The first big exploit was narrow, 4-1-2-1-2 everything through the middle, SI kind of fixed this by getting wingers in to cover and actually you can counter it with your full backs moving up and changing MR to AMR.

Maybe a touch of a high line or if not counter attack. It seems to have gone out fashion now.
The new fashion is loads up front, 4-1-3-2 or 4-0-1-3-2 one spreads the front midfields out to the wing the next all through the middle. I'm not really sure what works againts this as I have a case of BF so it looks as if something is working but of course with BF your kind of in passenger mode.

In reality playing with a high line should leave the heavy forward line wide open to a counter but it doesn't quite work out like that. It almost does but not quite, it's an exploit that generally works more than it should.

Another fashionable formation is 4-3-1-2 again little width offered. Is wing play broken in FM Live I wonder? You don't see long accurate diagonla balls out to wingers too often and when you do the winger runs to by line and cross when there is ample opportunity to run on goal have a shot.

In the last ten opponents I think I saw one conventional formation, so either the professional football managers are wrong or the match engine isn't quite perfect :)
It's still a good match engine but these narrow heavy attacking formations do my head in after a while.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Champions League Glory Moment

It's odd isn't it how things turn out. There we are stumbling through a season and Richard from Northern Utd challenges me to a game in the Champions League Group stages. We'd already drew 0-0 at home. Now this is a top 10 team all over I mean Rooney and Gerrard are the sort of names that are fairly common in his line up.

He's a mod so has been playing the game for a while so it's no surprise he's up there. The pedigree of the team is not in doubt. Last season we were in the same group and actually got a 5-2 win against Northern and knocked them out the tournament. Frankly though it was an AI result so I don't take credit for it.

To the game I must admit to doing a touch of homework before the fixture and noticed Utd were a little open to narrow formations. I don't like exploits so I wasn't going to play narrow but it did give me a clue to a weakness.

In the first half things were not going well although they were not really creating great chances the pressure was on heavily. Late in the first half our keeper saved a shot but in attempting to get the rebound pushed it over the line.

I decided to be brave at half time. I pushed the line up and brought Mungy Bungy on for Malonga, so an AMC for a striker. I stopped the full backs making attacking runs. My thinking was that Mungy would pressure their midfield / back line and stop them making a telling pass over the top, with the entire defensive line not making any forward runs are attacks would become more focused down the middle. The strikers were not even seeing the ball so were redundant anyway.

The 2nd half passed with two decent chances going to either team both didn't convert. It stayed at 1-0 until a long range free kick in the 75th minute. Meretta took a punt the keeper could only parry and Mungy reacted quickest to make it 1-1.

With the game looking as if it was going end in a draw I got even braver. Hefferman was brought on. Hefferman, who at the start of the season looked very average but had, after the first 20 games been simply sensational at youth level, so much so that he has been making the subs bench in senior games. This was Champions league against a team filled with stars and if you wanted a Roy of the Rovers story a 90th minute goal from a 18 year old that had been written off was just what the game should be about.

In the 91st minute Mungy took control of the ball in the middle and pulled one of Utd's players out of position. Lucho saw the gap and attacked the space, Mungy pushed a perfect through ball for him you can imagine the moment. Joy fell as Utd's goalie Reina parried the shot but.....

What's this with an open goal........ HEEEFFFFFEEEERRRRRMAN Ohh yes T Shirt over the head and doing a funky dance. Utd's players were screaming for offside but replays showed Lucho had timed his run to perfection.

We've little hope of Champions league glory but after a disappointing NFA campaign this was a moment to savor.

Thursday, 12 June 2008


For some time I've go on (whined if your not being nice) about bad form. It goes like this your winning losing games. You look back and think well I was unlucky \ lucky, made the incorrect \ correct tactical decisions and generally roll with it.

Then bang out of the blue you go four games and strikers just stop scoring or you go 2-0 up with ten minutes left and the team makes a few defensive mistakes. You then have it a bad case of BF (Bad Form).

Thus far I have guessed why it starts and why it ends and I have to say it seems fairly random to me. The worse thing is there is no indication from the game that you have it, why it started when it will end.

Luckily I don't have BF at the moment it's a matter of time though. It does seem players with a bigger rep are more likely to have 'moments' that either end these bad runs or stop them from occurring in the first place.

I have posted Lucho and Tarik's potential availability expressing an interest in a Left Back / Goalie as exchange so far no interest. I'm lucky I have no players going to auction this season so maybe I should let things go and battle on with what we've got.

We have built up a little bit of cash now £3m ish so I could afford to buy (will wait till close season as prices collapse then). The cash came from daily surplus with a few sales Grainger 24 Year Old Left Back £250k, and Andersson £500k. Both of these were very decent but we had a better left back who was younger and Andresson a left winger was never going to replace Arda.

Whilst we're now riding high in the rankings, we've had a dreadful season in FED comps (shouldn't call them FED games but FA games now). For three seasons on a lower budget than every other team and against much stronger opposition we've been a storm at youth level and bagged Champions League football twice. We are limping along to a 3rd or fourth spot finish now.

Perhaps I should return to a touch of research on upcoming opponents and this could give us the extra spurt for the run in.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Lots of Things

Youth Wage Thing

Posted this on the SI forums but it's fairly relevant. Some teams have been bidding massive amounts on securing promising youngsters every day or so the database generates around ten 16 year olds. Of these one or two will be flagged as 'Potential Superstars'.

From what I've experienced thus far (only four seasons) the potential of a player isn't a banker by any means. The more stars the more likely it is you'll see an improvement but how much of an improvement is fairly random.

I would guess that SI have coded in a chance of failure but not quite as spectacular complete failure. If you look at a senior player in terms of ability using rep with six stars (household name) then it would work like this:-

Youth Potential Senior Rep Range
5 Star 3 Star - 6 Star
4 Star 2 Star - 6 Star
3 Star 1.5 Star - 6 Star
2 Star 1 star - 5 Star
1 Star 1 Star - 4 Star

Which actually is quite realistic often you hear of a kid that has been in an academy and been flagged up as a superstar of tomorrow but ends up playing championship football.

Hefferman, ohhhhhh how close, if you read this blog you'll know that Hefferman is my big youth gamble £5k a day for a 17yo with a wage demand of £2k was a lot for me. Well he started this season as he ended last season, dreadful. His U17 strike partner Lopez has continued to improve and whilst not being a jaw dropper very solid performance all round. Another kid I randomly picked up Brien has been banging them in at U17 level this season along with Pereda and I was just getting overloaded with too many young strikers and not enough games.

Heffermans Aq Fee was £250k it wasn't happening for him so I actually listed him and started him off at £1.1m auction (well below Market Value). Surely someone could see what I saw and would take a punt on him, no takers. I thought he's 18 lets give him till he's 19 and if he hasn't broken into the U21 side then he'll have to go.

With 20 games gone he had got around 4 goals with 80 games gone 50 goals. Deadly is not the word and exceptional pace and with Malonga out has actually broken the first team!

In my first few seasons I was a bit of a swot in League Games, I'd check to see how each team played and then change my tactic to face them. I don't know if it's boredom or complancy but this season I haven't bothered. Subsequently we're a long way off chasing for title. Ohh well.

We did hit the top 40 in the rankings recently but as Malonga is injured we're struggling again now. The kids, Sene / Macualey and Hefferman up front are patchy at senior level (seen this before with Wendall) so we're really struggling at the minute. It's a pity but now I have to spend a few days just playing the odd game at senior level until Malonga comes back.

Lucho has been awesome perhaps his biggest contribution has been a boost to the number of green arrows with all players. it could be coincidence but seems logical. Next season I have three kids turning 22 and all are candidates for first team football all of which are midfielders. Bearing in mind that I need a left back and maybe a goalie and no big pot of cash the logical thing to do is to turn my biggest asset Lucho into cash.

The next dilema I face is again with a kid Kim Heung Keun, I know it's at youth level but a 7.4 Av rating he's a winger like Tarik, Tarik is now 24 and I suspect I could get a LOT of money for a player with such a fantastic proven record.

Maybe I'll wait until we're out of the Champions League then start having a look at what I can get. I almost quite look forward to getting knocked out of the Champions League as it's always good fun to look at players and make decisions that will effect you for another month.

Friday, 6 June 2008


I've finally got a few U17's starting to kick in again. One thats come out of the woodwork is Carl Williams. He's not someone to make the jaw drop but he's solid consistently makes great through balls and if he gets a chance it generally ends in the back the net. As you can see he's coming on nicely.
This is what I thought the youth system would be like in FM Live, you'd sign a bunch of cheap kids and slowly filter them out. However the potential thing means that a kid can go as high as 24k a day in auction.

Then there are whole load of clubs that are totally preoccupied with youth rank so that then prevents them from chucking kids in to see how it pans out. I will dump about half the kids I sign by 17 though, half again at 18, the final cull at 19.

SI are canny bunch and I do wonder about this potential thing it seems a bit loose to me, far too many kids I have are not high potential and coming on fast.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Roller Coaster Season Start

Well season 4 is well underway and the NFA has a new look this season. Dundee Rio left for another gameworld, Rafalution became inactive and CUJimmy went to another Fed. Martial (fellow FA organiser) cleaned up the NFA so we had mostly actives left. What this mean is that we now had an FA with just 26 users. So the pyramid is just a Premier League.

A new FA was created AFA Active Football Association the point of which just went clean over my head. Apparently it was to ensure that they had only active users. Perhaps I should explain AI penalty:-

The NFA has a 50% AI penalty so I'm in the Premier League and will get a minimum of £500k ish this season as prize money from the league. However if more than 50% of my games go to AI (I don't play them but AI does) then I'll suffer an AI penalty of upto 50% of the prize money that would have been paid.

This sounds a bit ominous but the NFA (Nighttime football association) has a play slot of 10:30 - midnight so as long as I'm on between those times I'll easily be lower than 50%.

The are several FA's, Daytime, Primetime, afternoon etc, all roughly have the same AI penalty with narrow play slots. The new Active FA has a 20% ish penalty and no recognised time slot.

How the heck can anyone be on 80% of the time? Seems to me the thinking behind it was to create an FA with only actives in it but the NFA has only actives in it?

As I say over my head no idea how that's going to work.

I digress an update on Season 4 (we're about Day 4 now). I suppose with my new found rank of top 50, previous top 5 finishs and teams leaving I think aspirations of titles could be in my line of sight.

Sadly going up against Martial's Bliss resulted in one point from our two games, meanwhile Bliss FC then went on the rampage and didn't lose once in their first 14 or so games. Vanquishers another team in the top 50 also started to hit form to see us looking rather hopeless.

Another favourite for the title was Trumptonville and when he challenged me to the games I thought I just as well get it over with. At home we were lucky coming out 2-1 winners at best we only deserved a point. Away from home we snatched a 1-0 and although I could not really have complained at a draw.

I then carried on playing with good form drawing the odd game away and winning at home. Then all of sudden Bliss FC had a little blip and Vanquishers were dropping points all over.

So now it looks as if I've got a fighting chance of that title again. I think my most memorable game to date which is symptomatic of my team and seasons so far was at home to Josh Zinckle Utd.

Game starts at 30 minutes we're cruising 3-0, he's only playing 3 at the back and Arda with that much space is just going to be a horror show. My team then decides job done lets all take it easy but in fairness Utd have some fight in them and eventually we're at 4-3 with five minutes to go. As I chomp on my fingernails we break and the ball lands to Sene and the form he's in as soon as the ball lands at his feet I know it's game over.

It's so odd the bubble bursts after the Bliss games and we see the title move away from us and I can relax season over. Then I see my team go on a run that puts the pressure back on. It would be nice to finish the Beta having won the NFA Premier League / NFA U21/U19 and U17 leagues.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008


Forgot to mention check out the FM Live Podcasts.

Good Things

The bounce back in form has now gone to the other extreme where we're now sitting ranked 34th in the gameworld! Not that I'm complaining (that much) but I still don't know what i did right or wrong...

Season 4 has now started and I'm now an NFA organiser, I kind of view this as mixed blessing as having some responsibility means I may have to engage my brain before spouting off. Still I enjoy the comps etc and in a rather strange way care less about my team and just hope everyone is enjoying the FA comps.

I knew it was coming but I didn't half get hit hard by the age bug. I had my U17's all set for this season Lopez with Pereda up front etc. I know find that Lopez has gone from 16 to 18, Pereda oddly is still 16. It's like that throughout Bruno was 19 last season 21 now. Plus I have a few 15 year olds that are now 14!

This bug is immensely annoying an in my opinion the last big fix that's needed. These days the game is rock solid stable and seems to be moving closer to release.

Sadly I'm now in an odd situation where I don't know how old anyone actually is. Bruno really 21? In which case is he ready for first team? Should I look to replace him but if I replace him with say a 20 y/o is he really 20? Then if they fix the issue will Bruno be 20 again? No definitive answer from SI despite asking on the forums several times over three months.

It seems recently I've done a lot of moaning on this blog so lets switch to positive mode. First off Sene, really has had that many green arrows for three seasons solid!

Yesterday he got injured just as Macualey became fit although they have different styles the outcome was the same goals goals goals.

Sunday, 1 June 2008


Three wins back to back what did I change? Nothing, grrrrrr.