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Blyth Spartans Football Manager Story – August 2011 League One

Good evening my friends! I had quite a rough day today, my head is still aching and the only remedy I see is… blogging about my favorite game, Football Manager 2009. After a wonderful season in League Two my Blyth Spartans were preparing for a new challenge, the tough opposition in League One. Our stadium has 4400 places and only 570 of those are seated. Despite that we sold no less than 2094 season tickets for this season, almost half of the stadium! I’m sure that the warm support of our fans will give us strength in the difficult moments.

And the difficult times seem to be coming right away. In the first league game Port Vale taught us a lesson, the defeated us 4-2! We had a better possession of the ball but we allowed them huge spaces in our defense and absolutely incredible chances to score. And they scored, four times! It was obvious that we still had a lot of work to do.

1 port vale vs blyth league one

The next game confirmed our poor form at the beginning of the season. We lost 2-1 against Burnley in the first round of the Carling Cup. They gave us no chance, they played better than us and deserved the win.

2 blyth vs burnley carling cup

We had to get out of that poor run of results but things were getting even worse. Bradford taught us another lesson of pragmatic football and defeated us 2-1. The only player that seemed to feel and play well in League One was centre back Ryan Carolan, he scored in each and every one of the first three games of the season!

3 bradford vs blyth league one

The next League One game was against Burnley, the team that defeated us in the first round of the Carling Cup. We had to win this game and we finally did! We were lucky to score two early goals and after that we defended the lead perfectly. We even had a few more chances to score on counter attacks but my players didn’t seem to have a lot of confidence at that point. Anyway, it was our first win in League One, an important psychological step.

4 blyth vs burnley league one

With a victory in the bag we entered the game against Brighton with a bit more confidence. We dominated the game and we won 1-0 after missing quite a few chances again. The good news was that we finally seemed to be more balanced in defense and that’s very important.

5 blyth vs brighton league one

Unfortunately we couldn’t continue with another win as we lost the last game of the month at home. Fortunately it wasn’t a League One game but a Johnstone’s Tropy game, in the first round. We were out of the Carling Cup too, so we had only the FA Cup and League One left. Since we don’t have a big squad I think it’s better this way.

6 blyth vs barnsley jpt

After four games we were right in the middle of the League One table with 2 wins and two defeats. I guess that’s not too bad for now but not very good either.

7 august 2011 league table

I still don’t know what to expect for this season. Would it be possible to achieve another miraculous promotion? Or will we battle to avoid relegation? What do you think?

And I’d also like to ask you something else… What do you think, should I go like this from now on and write a post after every month in the game?



  1. Blake Wright

    July 15, 2009 at 05:26


    Im a keen admirer of your story, but have to ask – whats your secret?

    Whenever I manage a lower league club I lose interest when seeing players like Aguero transferred for £40,000,000 + when I have a budget of 40k.

    How do you persist at it and how are you SO GOOD?

    Secondly, I personally prefer the half season updates as opposed to the monthly – but thats just me.

  2. Ahmed Shah

    July 15, 2009 at 07:40

    LOL, first of all, good question from the above person…that needs to be answered ;-)

    Secondly, yup, I love these monthly updates as it means more frequent updates and keeps us updated game by game but, you, that’s just me too, I guess. Well, if it’s convinient to you, mate, then ok.

    • JohnnyKarp

      July 15, 2009 at 11:11

      @Blake & Ahmed
      I’m not tempted by managing a big club at all. It’s easy to win trophies with those huge transfer budgets on your hands. If I’d be managing Manchester United I’ll become bored quickly because I’d probably win everything there’s to win in a couple of seasons :) I admit that I find myself drooling sometimes when I see the transfers that are being made while I’m hunting for free players :) So I can tell you that I keep on managing my low league teams because I want to get them to the top, that’s the dream that I’m following. I don’t know if I’m “good” or better than others but there are two things that are essential in my book: scouting and a good tactic. And maybe a third one, being open minded during games and changing the tactic if you see a weakness in your team or in the opponent’s team.
      About the monthly updates now. I think that posting like this would give you a better feeling of the game that I’m playing, that’s why I thought about this method. However, I think that I’ll go with the monthly updates for a few more posts and then ask you again if it’s better or worse than before.

      • Legendary Fahim

        October 24, 2010 at 12:42

        Yeah i like your thoughts JohnnyKarp,i am also playing with a small club-Bristol City and i’ve win the Cocacola Championship on first season.Now its Premier League and i’m finding it difficult to avoid relegation but my dream ain’t over yet.I’ve beat Chivas and Celtic on preseason and my transfer budget has risen from 2M to 42M!

  3. Lye Kuek Hin

    July 15, 2009 at 12:31

    For me i would like to see more of your monthly updates. Eager to know how is your game going on. I am one of those who like to start from lower league teams as sometimes when you sign some raw talent when they are young and see them grown into talented footballers, it gives you a lot of satisfaction. Oh and promotion too!
    I think one of your strong points is that you will release those whom you think is not good enough and sign some really good footballers as replacements. I tend to keep the players hoping they can grab their chance to perform at a higher level. Probably too emotional!!
    Dont you think so?

    • JohnnyKarp

      July 15, 2009 at 13:12

      @Lye (I don’t know how to call you, maybe you should clarify that for me :P
      I tend to get sentimental at times too, I just keep a player for seasons in a row hoping that he will become a good one. Sometimes I’m right and sometimes I’m wrong but I guess that’s football, every manager has this problem even in real life.

  4. Lye Kuek Hin

    July 15, 2009 at 16:06

    You can call me that. Thats how my friends call me too. Ok back to the game, i think for your Blyth team does not produce good results during August or probably September. Probably your new signings need some time to gel and get used to your tactics. You will have some consistent results coming up once your new signings settled down. Hope to see you performing miracle again.
    Are you going to continue manage your Blyth team until FM2010 released?
    After reading your story and some of few others feel like writing my own manager journey but probably will start for FM2010.

    • JohnnyKarp

      July 15, 2009 at 21:36

      Lye, I guess I’ll go on with the Spartans until FM 2010, at least that’s my goal right now but we’ll see how things will turn out. If you need any help setting up the blog I’d be happy to give you a hand.

  5. Legendary Fahim

    October 24, 2010 at 12:47

    Can you give me any suggestion to beat big clubs like ManU,Arsenal……..

    • Johnny Karp

      October 25, 2010 at 06:38

      You did well with Bristol City Fahim, winning the Championship isn’t easy. I have no “recipe” for beating the big clubs, it all depends on the players that you have and what kinds of tactical setups suit their abilities.

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