Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Stress Test?

Recently SI have started a series of stress tests. This to me is odd. There are new bugs still appearing (some real corkers as well), the servers are not anywhere near stable the lag is not commercially acceptable.

I’ve a brief engineering background here is a building it nearly falls over every day lets put it under stress to make it more stable. I just don’t see the logic in it.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

All Change!

In a bit of a mess at the moment with Nick's loaned players. Completely unknown to me (didn't pay attention) a comp I entered two weeks ago has started and your not allowed any loan players so we're in a right pickle as I've mish mash of U21's former subs playing senior level.

We're still winning the odd game but it is a mess.

Incoming this close season are another small batch of youths, Lembi and Becker the ones to look out for. Becker was a kid I had on trial at the age of 15 after just a couple of games I knew he was special sadly I missed out on his wage auction. Over the last three seasons he's bounced from club to club and I don't think anyone has watched him.

Last week I was going through the names in wage auction and spotted him a strong offer was in. At 18 he he has missed a lot of development as he's played so few games but we'll see if we can catch up, great player though.

Lembi 15 years old, quick, agile, strong, with a smattering of technical ability and aggressive but with lots of flair. Odd mix I thought, he's got a long way to go but I felt that potentially he was truly a potential superstar so I chucked in a £5k bid. For me to bid that much on a 15yo is very rare so was a big gamble.

48 games later and he's got 40 goals, yes 40 so I'm not so worried now! De Melo is the other one I've high hopes for is very like Monty stats wise and seems to play like him as well.

To the seniors, there is something odd with the senior game. I'll give you the scenario very young team but the players I know well from their youth games, everyone plays like I think they'll play but we just seem to be unlucky. When I look closely at the goals conceded Ramos is more to blame than anyone else.

So is Ramos a duffer then? I've long suspected that Rep plays a big part in the game so I go and get some rep, a DM from Inter (High Profile), left back Wayne Bridge (World Famous) and a DC (High Profile) all at least 25+ with proven track records.

So what happens... well Wayne Bridge makes as many mistakes as Villano the 18yo he replaced, if anything Villano is the safer option as Bridge seems to commit himself earlier so a failed tackle leaves a winger completely free. The DC is as safe as Meretta and the DM in fairness a little better.

After six or seven games results are much improved, odd though that Ramos now starts to play like the class that he always had and generally overall we're errr not playing better just getting a bit more luck.

I guess you could argue that as they have perceived better players alongside then the team would approach games with more confidence. Perhaps I'm too much of a purist I did think before playing the game that I'd find value where others would not and find great players that were unknown ala Wenger it. Still I've done that at youth level but honestly at senior level it does tend to turn FM Live into a trading game more than it should be.

The Inter loans end tonight and have now worked team so that just one will go back into the first team and that's Sene on the left wing.

Just for Tony!

Monday, 21 July 2008

FM Live – The Football Trading Game

Recently myself and Nick from Inter did a youth loan swap, seem to notice mental stats go up on loaned out youth players so made sense. His kids are pretty awesome all huge Aq Fee’s. I’ve also tried to watch games closely to spot the flaws in my team, one seems to be Meretta which is odd.

I say it’s odd as at youth level he’s solid as a rock, I know what your thinking standard is lower but hang on he’s solid against Mitsubishi Warriors, Inter, Salih’s team, these youth teams have strikers with Acquisition Fee’s in excess of £500k.

I don’t quite get why he would sometimes struggle against a striker with an Acquisition Fee of £30k at senior level and then do a sterling job at youth level against one with £650k.

It’s such a complex game and a lot of it remains a mystery as the manual doesn’t give you much idea about things.

I really suspect something at senior level is used by the match engine and it isn’t there at youth level. If this is true then FM Live is a trading game and not much more.

Likes it’s hard coded some way maybe in saying that if the servers were up I could study mental stats and maybe glean something from there. Problem is though even if I have talented youngsters I can’t keep till they fully mature as they’ll be lost in wage auction and honestly with their being 1000 premier teams who is going to want a 23 year old that adversely affects the team.

Oh well my team is on another of those wonder runs again LLLLLL lol and the servers are down again.

My current wish list:-

  1. Bad form if you have it then would like to be able to see it on the pitch not see my team dominate X number of games then be unlucky. Although my team is having bad form currently and not playing so good so would much prefer that!
  2. Would like to be told I have it, dressing room morale seems unlinked to it. A simple message before the game along the lines ‘the team isn’t confident today due to having a lack of experience in the squad’
  3. Wage Auction enforced 50% sell on, end of contract wage auction has 40-50% sell on clause, should prevent bidding to sell.
  4. Injuries are turned up to be realistic but only for official games. So if you get into UFFA then you have a real life dilemma of having strength in depth. This is stickie injuries from games they still work exactly the same way. Competitions have ‘Injury Realism field’ and FA’s must run their senior leagues with this set to realistic. There are teams in GW6 with 14 players!

Friday, 18 July 2008


One my best mates is an FM addict is now in GW6 with Wales Utd and he's persuaded me to try and bring Ramos into the game more by playing a 5-3-2 variant. Git also twisted my arm to sell Bruno to him. Still I've given him some youth tips as well.

Another one of my workmates has Pen Y Bont Raptors who seems to know exactly what tactics to try and then is always talking about the game in work. Still I helped find some of his players so I'm due some credit!

I guess it's testament to FM's addictiveness rating that it slowly sucks you in again. I'll shall from now on resign myself to being rubbish and try to keep the expectations low.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008


Try as I might I can't get this senior team into gear. I've tried all sorts, as I've said before at youth level I can seem to spot the problem but at senior level we just seem to hit random runs of form where the team plays well but can't convert or makes mistakes.

The simple answer I suspect its to try a senior team of 25-31 year olds but as I sign senior players the youth players then whine that their thinking off leaving.

It's one of two things either the game takes something from players age's or makes form from experience / age and then generates that into match confidence, or basically I'm rubbish at FM. I guess I could sell the kids but I really had this vision of bringing kids through, by the time they get to 25 I'll lose most in wage auction so I surrender :)

I've never really been an ego type so I don't mind being rubbish. I do wish the game would allow me to start at a lower level so I could be rubbish with other managers the pyramid is so shallow though it's just a world filled with Premier League teams.

The bottom line is after five months the game is getting too frustrating so I'm slipping into casual mode. So I'm going inactive, hope you all enjoyed the blog and many thanks for reading.

Monday, 14 July 2008


Forgot to mention servers seem rock solid now no issues in last 48 hours. I suspect if we have a clean run through the end of season start of next we're going to be talking about release dates!

Strange very very strange....

How very very odd.... Whilst in the middle of a bad run Martial from Bliss is quick to challenge me in a FA game. I think prior to this we're at 1 win in 30 games he's ranked 60th ish. I know exactly how to counter his tactics, he plays a 4-2-3-1 formation the two are CM's then one AMC, AMR, AML. I man mark play offside although there is a risk of the ball over the top my back four are all kept back.

This doesn't always win as it's risky but it means I have a chance. I know one of his DC's is a little dodgy so maybe we can get lucky. Odd the game plays like I expect it to lots of chances both ways and he's had lots of luck against me so it seems like it's my turn. We win 3-1, wow. We go again in the Cup same story 4-1 we win.

How crazy is that? Ok assume the bad run is over lets play Inter again, you recall the screenshot earlier. We lost 2-0 but now we don't have bad form.

Woah Nick's not on line so both games against his AI I used the same team same tactics. So when I've got BF I dominate games easier but will lose but when I haven't the opposite will occur? This doesn't make sense. OK Nick's team is better than mine I expect to lose but I expect the game to play like the more recent game played. Removing form from the equation I'd expect to lose to Nick's team 3 times out of five and the game to play like it did in the screenshot.

When form is introduced it's almost irrevalent. OK two big concnerns now:-

1) Bad form how does it start how do I end it I'd like to know when I've got it and not sit through three games thinking what now? It suspect that rep plays a part it's depseratly sad if this is true a any ambition to be the Wenger of FM is off the table.

2) When I have BF the team shouldn't play better! See at youth level I have minor runs of bad form and I swear I can see why, Player X no good.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Yikes BF!

We've slipped into BF again. After three straight defeats I've moved Jamarillo back into midfield, another game another defeat. This screenshot is the fifth game in the run and is against the team that is ranked 26th in the gameworld and at Half Time.

Chances of winning this game are extremely low due to BF yet here is my point made again what do I change? (Lost 1-0 btw)

When we didn't have BF then we were not creating more chances than the opposition just converting chances better. So in football you get bad luck where your unlucky to win games and then you get bad form where players just are not performing and the teams isn't playing well.

In FM Live it seems bad form is shown not as bad form but bad luck, again what am I supposed to do with that as I can't make a decision based on performance? I've seen some forum posters say change tactics, what so I create less chances and they create more!

Here is another at half time:-


LOL, as I type in the game above it's the 74th minute we've created 14 chances to their 4, we've had 58% possession. The score why we're losing 2-0 of course.

See I suspect if I went out and got a big rep player this would not happen the bad run would have lasted two games. Not because of anything that the big rep player did but just because I had a big rep player. So even though my team plays better football that many that they'll play we'll once agaon lose more games just because of rep.

I don't know but it seems like something is wrong to me :) I shall continue the experiment for a few more days then maybe sign someone big and see what happens.

Friday, 11 July 2008


I knew I needed a very good DM but his natural position was to be MC. He had to match one of two criteria, either world class rep or very very good. Marchisio was at Reading Town had an instant of £4m and with a while left in auction was sitting at £2m. A quick view of history gave me an idea to his consistency, his tech stats were amazing, Aq Fee £500k.

At 26 thought this was a player hopefully about to reach the peak of his carer and sustain that for many seasons (it's quite normal to see 34 year olds to be doing 1000 games a season). Still £4m was a lot, I hovered, there again if I was wrong about Rep being the only thing that mattered this did look a player that could prove me wrong.

Besides Aq Fee of £500k for a a player with low rep was a lot you only see kids on that and those are quite rare. The market value of players is very low at the moment normally you can take Aq Fee and times it by 10, these days though £4m was a gamble. The player was on wage demand £7k a day.... That sealed the deal! It seems that he would have been 22 at gameworld start and for the early part of his career would not have been desirable as he wasn't eligibale for youth games.

Perhaps this is the reason for the low rep as reading up on the real life version he must have been very high potential

Since then the bad run has finally come to an end. In the process I've used my 18 year old goalie and he's quite the boy wonder. I still would not say no to a world class DC or Left Back but wages will need to be very attractive.

If I can float around the top 150 with this team I'll be delighted as I can just bide my time until a world class player pops along at a the right price. I've looked at several Dc's and left backs but I do think it's pointless chucking money around for someone who has the same ability as what I already have.

I've been trying watch games really closely to try to understand what positions I need, it can't be that just a smattering of youth gives the team the wobbles.

I think last season I just got annoyed with myself that i was sitting with a £200k wage bill and had no room to improve. I hit top 50 in the gameworld and then saw that actually that was always going to be my limit due to mix of players I had.

It's odd how much money I have but actually as for three seasons my wage bill was kept at £150k then it shouldn't come as a shock.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Reputation is the Key?

Well as expected the sale of players has resulted in a huge losing streak. We were winning one game in 2/3 now we’re winning one game in ten. However the performance has remained fairly constant.

This is an extreme example but is symptomatic of the current team, it’s 1-0 at 45 mins, after 76 minutes we’ve missed two penalties have had 20 shots on goal on the opposition have had one. In the 89th minute it’s 1-1.

This is actually realistic I guess and in real life I think a manager would use the ‘run of the green, our luck will change we just have to keep playing like that’ and a I think a real life manager would actually be quite right. A bit like Newcastle last season and not Derby.

In FM Live though I don’t this applies. I do recall one experienced manager telling me ‘IT’S ALL ABOUT REP PERIOD.’ High Rep players stop the bad runs occurring or end them early I don’t know how they do it, i.e. how the match engine converts this but that’s how it works.

So although I think my kids are actually better than the one in ten or one in five teams I play they won’t actually win those games as they don’t have rep or the game decides that I’m due more bad runs.

So this would explain the distinction between youth and senior games why I feel I have more control. Many players have quit the game complaining that they feel like a passenger and I can kind of see what they mean.

This is theory maybe I’m just rubbish but I do think that if my current team isn’t good enough I should be able to watch a game and spot where it isn’t good enough rather than have no indication at all. That is my team should play like Derby if their not good enough rather than play like Newcastle:)

I’ve always enjoyed stats and football and now I don’t really have much ambition to win I have taken more of a distant view of proceedings. It’s interesting to try and work out all the games quirks.

Having sold all these players I know have quite a massive bank balance and a first team that costs around £50k a day which I more less can pay their wages on the interest that I earn!

I'll keep an eye out for a bargain and see how it goes.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Breaking Up is hard to do

The servers came back up briefly (seem to be down again now) and I started working through some AI games. Everything was going quite well until we played FC Horsforth away it was one those games I think we had 30 shots on goal to their 10 but still lost 3-1.

The next few games went as expected, a draw, a defeat, and then we played Ipswich Ash, completely in control but I watched in horror as we took a dreaded 2-0 lead. I know it’s not scripted as such but from dominating a game until we’re 2-0 up and then watching the opponents move up a gear and us move down three gears does start to wear thin.

2-2 that finished, I think in 12 league games we been 2-0 up and lost the lead in the same fashion around four times. I don’t know if it’s youth although looking at my team their not especially young, ages from memory 33, 30, 25, 28, 19, 22, 29, 25, 24, 19 but we keep doing this…..

If the same players were making mistakes or underperforming I could understand but this isn’t the case. So either there is something I can’t see, haven’t seen, or it is just random. Perhaps reputation plays a role yet my players have three world class rep players in the team and the rest are high profile.

The game itself is a technical marvel and designed in a superb way and I’m sure you’ll have fun with it but the frustration level is HIGH.

Perhaps I just suck but I watch youth games and I can spot players I was in the top 5 in youth in the gameworld with a fraction of money spent compared to other teams had paid.

Anyway a change of direction I don’t know what I’m doing yet but all the seniors are in £1 auction I might actually get more than £1 if the servers stay up for any length of time which is doubtful at the minute. If I get nothing for the players I just as well call it day.

I’ve come to the conclusion it’s pretty pointless me trying to be actually any good. The youth system seems to work for me, i.e. I get visual clues that I can understand as to why the team is or is not performing.

I suspect there is some other variable which dictates their performance at senior level other than just the opposition although I don’t know how to spot it. Perhaps you just will not win anything with kids unless your Man Utd :)

Monday, 7 July 2008

Change the Wage Auctions!

I normally get Mondays off so in between the looking after kids I can snatch the odd hour of FM Live. Today however the server looks terminal combine this with the fact that the forums have gone down as well (for a move) and I thought I just as well do another blog post.

I do feel sorry for SI as they now have 10,000 beta testers many of whom know exactly what game they want to play and are quite happy to tell them in detail about it.

Having seen a mass influx come into GW6 and seeing the best of them have been able to put competitive squads together very quickly you can tell that SI have some cunning design at work.

The biggest complaint of the game is wage auctions and only being able to lock five players. It’s clear that the system allows new users to do exactly that, put together a competitive squad together. However it immensely frustrating for established users who’ve effectively got to trade their top players.

Jordan from Get Sacked (awesome podcast about FM) had lively debate with Tam on the SI forums about a potential new system which worked the same way but instead of bidding on the players wage you bid on his Acquisition Fee or Signing On Fee.

The issue that comes up is that players get to be lemons not because their bad players but because their wages are ridiculous. You can have a debate about maybe a young player on £5k wages as he might quickly become worth that or exceed that wage demand but a 30 Year Old on £100k wages with a wage demand of £20k is quite clearly a lemon.

As time pass’s more and more lemons are created and it can get frustrating looking at players who are great and just what your after but have been ruined by their wage.

What happens is this you start the game and you build a cheap squad, you have £100k coming in and wages at £20k the team plays well your ranked say 400. You tell yourself ‘I’m one player away from greatness if only I had a quality striker’. The wage auctions start say a good striker comes up like Michael Owen, ohh I sign him and I’m done! Bang in goes the bid for £80k.

This appears to work for a while you go from rank 400 to rank 200 and your incomings rise a little. However then you get stuck you haven’t any significant disposable income to strengthen the side further or bring in any more players in wage auction.

You have fallen into the trap interest in the game fades and you leave. If you were bidding on his signing on fee although you couldn’t afford Michael Owen straight off you could at least be saving for him, with a cash surplus of £80k it’s going to be vastly superior to anyone else in the top 100 so be the end of season one you’ll have more money than anyone else.

Even if you drop a clanger and say bid £300k signing on fee for a player that’s only worth £100k you’re not going to suffer this mistake long.

It’s curious that they never went for this model in the first place as it’s a trap that so many teams have fallen for. Literally I’ve seen players with a wage demand of £2.5k on wages of £45k, I mean he may be undervalued but not by that much!

It’s a bit late in the day to change it all know and would need a lot of testing over several seasons to understand if it would work well. Still a good idea though?

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Release Date

Well uptime over the last 24 hours for me has been 10% so maybe we’re not making progress. Apparently SI will be slowly improving this over the next week or so.

So I thought I’d speculate on release data again. The current exercise which has caused this problem is to move Gameworlds 8+ onto Universe One, i.e. Gameworlds 2-7. As a result this simulates a peak in traffic as you would expect to get once the game is released. Also there has been an issue for over a week in Universe 2 which has remained unsolved.

So three main objectives then:-
1. Commercially acceptable level of lag on hardware with peak users
2. Do servers crash, e.g. uptime.
3. Solve the issue in Universe 2

So any progress? No sadly, you can’t log in at the moment and even when you could last Thursday the level of lag was not commercially acceptable.

So a painful few weeks ahead as SI grind through these issues and either move the hardware specifications or fix the issue. The number one priority is curing the issue in Universe 2 which isn’t cured and now affects everyone.

Once this is done I think we’ll then move to the final stages of the Beta. I can’t see them releasing this game until they’ve had at least one full season without the game breaking. I previously called it a ‘green season’.

Actually more worrying is the issues in Universe 2 honestly they need to nail that dead and be 100% sure of cause maybe the only way to do it is to open another Universe, yikes. After all that then declare a release date…

So realistically it’s moving to September / October now assuming we don’t have any major issues. I’ve totally got the bug so will be buying regardless in fact I think I’d even cough up the cash with uptime at 80% although I would moan a lot.

Meanwhile on the pitch I was thinking about age and considered how I could get older players on the pitch. I then decided to put Arda in the middle replacing Montero and started Kim Hueng. It seems more stable I wouldn’t say our form is breathtaking but it’s stable.

I do have the two nil bug in abundance though, go 2-0 up in the first half and invariably the other team come back but in fairness I was 2-0 down in my last game and thanked the SI gods for the amount of games that go the way they go so I came back to 2-2!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Match Engine

I'm pretty convinced that Age is being directly being fed into the match engine. Two examples:-

Sene gets the ball unmarked with the keeper to beat on the edge of the box. At youth level seven times out of ten it's a goal or at least a shot on target. At Senior level it's more like three in ten and sometimes he just dwells on the ball. It's the same ball, the same size goals, the same pitch the only difference is that this is a senior game.

So match nerves and age is very important so how could SI feed that to the match engine? They can't do it by senior games as you could get through a few hundred of them in a couple of weeks. I suppose you could argue it's mental stats but Sene has higher mental stats than some more consistent senior players.

No the logical way to do it would be to take age times it by big match variable and boom there is your match nerves rating.

Not that this is unrealistic as the result is 'you won't win anything with kids' as being likely. I've checked and most the teams above me, in fact all around me have small senior squads of 16/17 players with an average age of late 20's.

Really we're doing well with what we've got.

SI have decided it's time for a stress test sounds like their trying to optimise code so they can run more servers on less hardware. I suspect that come release they'd be aiming for 98% uptime and currently we're getting about 20%, actually maybe it's 40% over the last 24 hours so getting there.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Still Fundamentally Broken

Currently I sit around top 70 in the gameworld, top 5 in youth. I'm looking at the teams around me and have come to the conclusion that this game is flawed. Maybe that's too strong language not flawed but just that I think SI have misjudged. I'm looking at my squad and they are young but kids don't perform like men that's realistic fair enough, but as they come through to be 21, 22, 23 they can't play in my team. Well they could but they would then hold me back.

As I can only lock five senior players I can't keep them even if I loan them out.

Even if I loan them out managers don't play them why would they, they have no interest in their development. So apart from really really great kids they fall into the gap. Youth managers don't want them and senior managers don't want them. New managers want them but not so much so then they warrant a low fee certainly nothing like the investment in time and money that I put in.

The database has players on £2.5k a day these are two a penny everyone wants and has the resources to get Rooney who wants a Championship player when everyone is a Premiership club!

I could do what most managers have done above me, dump the kids and spend on seniors aged 25-31 but then after two or three seasons what? Well I know that answer leave. How many former top clubs have left the writing is on the wall as soon as you arrive it's just a matter of time. Maybe you can trade your way to stay there.

Sadly that is what FM Live is, it's a trading game not a football game. Maybe it's not been possible in the beta but I do think that SI should seriously think about a new model....

Small clubs get £50k a day £25k of that from league.
Top Clubs get £300k a day £150k a day from league.
The rest is spread in accordance with above, e.g. 2.5 star gets a total income of £100k a day.

Your Stadium contributes half of your rep but requires a massive investment. At the top you would gain a certain amount of security, with time everyone gets a sense of progression, if you invest the time eventually you will slowly improve. There will always be natural wastage so everyone will eventually rise to the top. Good managers will get there fast bad managers will get there slowly.

The economy and the database works you could even be rid of the Auto Extend contracts, someone has to be relegated from the Premiership getting £150k a day hit is going to mean that you have to sell!

The Beta has seen massive numbers come and go people will argue that it's a beta and free but there are a lot of users out there that play FM hour after hour. Yet they leave FM Live in droves I suspect the reason is they know their never going to get to the top and there is no security even if you get there.

There is one thing that would need to be fixed big clubs would pick on small ones there is a way to fix this. Assuming your a five star club and have to play a 2 star club it's logical that you'd lose money as you wouldn't get the crowds or traveling costs for your expensive superstars. Conversely the little club would have a cash injection this system would naturally encourage separation.

There are thousands of players out there that will play FM I can't believe all of them want to manage Man Utd, ok they'll play from the bottom and as long as there is hope that they'll become Man Utd then they'll play.

A bit like a MMORPG I guess. Sigh another moan about FM, it is a good game. See the way to approach it is to roll with it but if you roll with it you don't care and football without passion isn't worth the bother it then becomes 11 sprites running around after another round sprite.

Really starting to think it's time for a break.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

They killed Kallstrom

Well a bit dramatic, he was out for the start of the season for two days, he came back I brought him on for two games (70th Minute) servers went down I log back on Kallstrom out for two days, I log off.

Season Five Team

GK Buffon – Well most famous keeper in game and does a fine job.
Navarro – Always have issues with left backs, at the peak of his career now 29 picked up for £1m. This wasn’t value as such but got fed up of looking.
Johnsson – Picked up for £1.8m from Murkinfitters felt he was underperforming there. Flogged Basa for £2.5m who was on nearly double the wage.
Daikite – Been with club since 20 7+ rating every single season and for every single club. He’s not a very good footballer but he’s a very good DC.
Merreta – Broke though this last few seasons he’s a natural DC but solid as right back.
Turan Arda – Cause of much frustration but as he’s aged has got more consistent. If you have a very good left back then you’ll be able to stop the consistent Tarik on the right. If Arda is on form then it’s doesn’t matter what right back you have he’s going to be a handful.
Kallstrom – Bargain £1.8m for a world class MC. Although Montero is getting so good he is actually competing for this spot sometimes.
BRUNO – Well as SI decided he’s 21 and not 20 (like he should be) decided to give him a chance when Pablo left. Pablo was a little erratic and fairly rubbish going forward from the middle, Bruno is more cultured. Makes the odd mistake but as he gets older should improve no end.
Sene – 19 still too young really but rotate this position with Tarik
Tarik – Been with club since the gameworld started is 23 now. Can play up front and do a decent job on the wing though always puts in a performance.
Kim Keun – Comes in for Sene and plays on right is an amazing winger not as consistent as Tarik and top performances are rare but when they come better than Arda.

It’s a never ending job to backfill the U17 team and the search reaches new heights at the start of the season. Nick from Inter had a few kids on the market and I had a scout.

One name kept coming up no matter how I filtered his transfer list. Problem was wages. I don’t mind paying upto £5-6k for a kid but really like to see a bit of a record otherwise the limit is £1k really. Muller was on £1500.

I did want to inject some excitement into the U17 squad though and this kid really started to catch my eye. He wasn’t slow and wasn’t quick he was quite strong for 16yo and had some skills. Very brave, lots of flair, determined, work rate and just right from an aggression point of view.

A deal was done which accounted for his high wage and Muller packed his bags. A few games later he was bringing a smile to my face. A very good footballer with an eye for goal and runs of strikers. The entire team now started to sparkle. I still need a left winger at this level and maybe a bit more depth it’s a never ending attempt to find players. Most fall by the wayside hopefully Muller will come through.