Welcome back to Flight Of The Concords! We’ve managed to maintain our position in the top half of the table, largely by stealing wins to be honest!
We’re basically safe already, and can’t be far off achieving safety mathematically. Our aims now are a) finish as high as possible, as the difference in prize money between league positions is significant, and b) try our damnedest to make a deep run in the FA Cup.
It’d also be nice to improve our home form a bit. We haven’t settled in to Selhurst Park just yet…
I think the time has come to dabble a little more with our 442.
Behind The Scenes:
I’ve spawned my first managerial acolyte:
Big Steve King, club icon and fantastic defensive coach, has flown the nest for a managerial job of his own. We wish him huge amounts of luck.
In April, another contract extension in the bag:
We’ve upgraded the data analysis facilities another couple of times, and they are now considered “average”.
Where did this come from, Jamie Day!?
He’d barely played a minute up until this point, but with Fabio Alagna getting injured 20 minutes into the Fulham game, Day took his chance, grabbing two in a fantastic 5-1 win and then bagging a goal off of the bench in the following two games.
With our increasing confidence, we used the 442 three times this month, and it seems to have done well against clubs similar in stature to us.
Although not against Shrewsbury. Bottom half of League One, in terrible form, not very good. Yet it took an injury time equaliser to salvage a replay. I don’t know what happened, we just couldn’t get the ball on target. Shots rained in for 90 minutes, but their goal led a charmed life. I suppose it’s karma really, we’ve been doing it to teams all season! The important thing is that we’re still in it.
We are bang on form:
We hammered four teams in a row, although once again struggled to score against Shrewsbury, relying on a hilarious own goal to progress. Poor Nathan McGinley had the ball smashed into his back by a teammate and their keeper was helpless.
Alas, a 6th round draw against Man United was tough, and the scoreline doesn’t show their true dominance. The lads did well to fight their way back into the game, but it wasn’t enough. My wishful dreams of an FA Cup final remain unrealised.
But our 100% league record for the month has nabbed me another bottle of bubbly:
We played very well in all three league games, for once, not just relying on keeping things tight, but showing some impressive forward play.
And so, to the business end of the season:
After a insipid first half, the Watford game exploded into life after half time, and we came out on top. A pair of swift, counter attacking goals, after changing to our 442, lifted us above them in the table.
In the next five matches, the team collectively left it’s shooting boots at home. But with the exception of the Man United game we played very well, particularly against Burnley and Wolves where we could’ve won by a few.
But we ended the season on a high, with back-to-back away wins. We were very impressive in the second half against Newcastle, with Fabio Alagna scoring from a counter corner, and a new formation doing a great job. In my desire to get my three favourite attacking players on the pitch together, we switched to a 451/433 early in the second half, with Alex Inglis as a Raumdeuter on the left and Alagna as a Trequartista on the right. It looks like a potentially useful “Plan C”.
We finished the season in characteristic style, completely robbing Arsenal with a last minute winner, scored after a fabulous through ball from Aleksandar Leposavic, and once again grabbing the Young Player of the Month award:
As for the league table, it’s absurd.
I mean, really, totally ridiculous:
Technically, we’re the second best team in London…
We’ve qualified for Europe. Europe!
Here are the chaps that did the majority of the work:
In defence, we were led season-long by Gabriele Bellodi, who amassed a whopping 108 key headers. In January he was joined in central defence by Matteo Persico, and together they’ve formed a formidable partnership. Wolfgang Bielstein also joined in January, and at 18 years of age looks a great talent.
Aleksander Leposavic saw his form slow a little in the second half of the season, but was undoubtedly the heartbeat of the team. Captain Luke Dreher partnered him brilliantly, doing the running as a ball-winning midfielder and contributing at both ends of the pitch. Max Broughton has still got it. He’s done incredibly since we signed him as a centre back that couldn’t really defend.
Alex Inglis top scored for us with 18 goals, and is improving all the time. He’s most effective in a front two. John English, after a slow start, excelled leading the line on his own, and won the Fans Player of the Season:
And then there’s me:
It’s been such a great season.
And now I’m torn. I’m still loving the save, and the prospect of having £100 million in the bank and European football to look forward to has me itching to play another season.
But the Football Manager 19 beta is almost here, and I’ll be wanting to play that too. With the speed I play, it will be a struggle to get another season done in time.
So I’m not sure what comes next. I’ll have a think (and I’ll play a little further) and we’ll see what happens. Either I’ll be one of a select few still playing and writing about FM18 as everyone else makes the switch, or I’ll wrap the series up with one more post…
Either way it’s been a hell of a ride, my favourite save on any Football Manager game ever. Thanks for reading!