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Blyth Spartans November 2015

I couldn’t have wished for a better start this season, we had 10 straight Premier League wins at the end of October, my Blyth Spartans were looking unbeatable. We also had three straight wins in the Champions League group but things were getting tough, we had to play both Real Madrid and AC Milan away from home.

The first test was at Santiago Bernabeu, I was hoping to get a draw. We didn’t play well at all in the first half, Real Madrid were deservedly leading 1-0 at the break. Unfortunately they made it 2-0 right after half time and although we played a bit better in the second half we couldn’t avoid it, our first defeat this season… That meant that we had to battle to get the qualification to the first knockout round at San Siro against AC Milan

1 real madrid vs blyth champions league

But until then we had the Premier League games to worry about. First up, Chelsea were coming at Croft Park, they were in 5th place and showing good form lately. We kept the game under control and won it without too many problems, I didn’t expect such a good game to be honest :)

2 blyth vs chelsea premier league

I had a chance to send in some backup players in the next game, at home with Championship side Huddersfiled in the Carling Cup. I was happy to see Simon Vukcevic scoring his first goal for the club after being out injured for two months. Otherwise the game was quite easy, we dominated it and got a deserved win without spending too much energy.

3 blyth vs huddersfield carling cup

We had a much more difficult game coming up, away at 3rd placed Arsenal. They were on a five match unbeaten run and we never managed to beat them at Emirates Stadium… The game was extremely boring, we looked a bit more lively but if you ask me none of the two teams deserved to win it, maybe both of them deserved to lose it… However, we had a big chance to win it, we were 1-0 up after scoring from a corner kick but we conceded in the last minute of the game, also from a corner kick…

4 arsenal vs blyth premier league

Next up, another tough one, away at Tottenham. The Spurs dominated the game, looked very determined to get a win but we punished them with our quick counter attacks. Aquino scored a beautiful double, Asenjo kept a clean sheet with a couple of great saves and that was it! I guess Tottenham were frustrated at the end of it, they played very well, but that’s football, you have to score in order to win.

5 tottenham vs blyth premier league

The big game at San Siro was coming up, we had to get at least a draw, a defeat would have placed us in a very bad position in the group table. We played very well in the first half and we should have been 2-0 up at half time but Milan took advantage of a huge goalkeeping error and scored. We played pretty well in the second half too, we were very close to getting a great win but another defensive error gave Milan a late equaliser. However, it was a good result but we came so close…

6 ac milan vs blyth champions league

The qualification was almost in our bag, we only had one more game to play, at home with Helsingborg, a game that everybody expected us to win.

7 champions league group table after five games

The last game of the month was at home with 14th placed Reading, anything less than a win was out of the question. Nicao was not in a forgiving mood, he had to end a 560 minutes goal drought and he did just that with a nice double. We could have scored a lot more but I was happy with the performance, we didn’t give Reading any chance.

8 blyth vs reading premier league

Fourteen games and 13 wins, not bad at all. We were top of the table with Arsenal 11 points behind us!

9 premier league table november 2015

We’ll be quite busy in December, eight games to be played and quite a few tough ones.

10 blyth fixtures december 2015

That’s about it, I’m thrilled with the way my team played so far, the players look confident and strong and I hope to keep the unbeaten record in the Premier League at least until January :)



  1. Dave

    September 10, 2009 at 23:21

    Mate that is just CENSORED unbelievable, what a start to the season.

    Dec definitely looks a scary month, whats the plan are you going to field a few reserve players (do you have much in the way of cover for 1st teamers?) to give the regulars a rest for the big games?

    • JohnnyKarp

      September 11, 2009 at 00:40

      Thanks Dave :) I rotated the players quite a lot so far too, I don’t think that I fielded the same eleven in three consecutive games until now. I’ll just hope that we won’t be struck by injuries and I’ll keep an eye on the energy levels and surely rest some important players if they’re tired before a big game. I don’t have a very big squad but some of the reserve youngsters will get chances to play in the first team.

  2. Ahmed Shah

    September 11, 2009 at 12:57

    Johnny, I dont remember saying this before so I’ll say this…I’m predicting Blyth to go unbeaten this season in the Premier League… ;-)

    • JohnnyKarp

      September 11, 2009 at 13:13

      That would be nice Ahmed :) But maybe it will get kinda boring with us winning and winning :)

  3. Chris

    September 11, 2009 at 14:25

    I’ve read many FM stories over the years and yours are by far the best written. You go into enough detail to make it a very interesting read but you don’t over-do the detail to make it boring – I have never gotten bored reading your articles!

    I was wondering what skin do you use? Because I use Flex09 which is good but the screenshots you have show the whole picture in the background whereas Flex09 still uses a toolbar which covers some of the left hand side. I like you skin a lot, was wondering where I can download it from?

    What are your main tips for a successful game then? If you had to list 5 top tips to maintaining a strong team throughout an entire campaign, what would they be? I think many readers will be interested to see what your tips are.

    Thanks for keeping me entertained and good luck for the rest of the season, and indeed the rest of your career! Who knows, maybe Brazil will come knocking for your services soon?? ;-)

    • JohnnyKarp

      September 11, 2009 at 14:55

      Thanks a lot for your comment Chris, I’m happy that you liked the story and my writing style. Now about the skin, I’m using the Dark Horizon skin, you can grab it from here. I don’t know about the five tips, never thought about that… I’d say that the most important thing in my book is scouting (you have to do it yourself if you don’t have good scouts), then a good tactic, good training schedule, an open mind and some creativity to modify your tactic during a game or give the right opposition instructions when needed. It’s also important to have information about your opponents, I take some notes sometimes about certain teams and their strengths and weaknesses. And sometimes I think about the game while I’m waiting to fall asleep at night :)

  4. Dave

    September 11, 2009 at 15:56

    Quick question to you guys using the skins, dont suppose anyone is running the game on Windows 7. I did have XP and my Flex skin worked fine but since switching to Win 7 the skin no longer loads, other images do like team badges, face etc just not the skin and wondered if anyone else had the prob.

    • JohnnyKarp

      September 11, 2009 at 16:56

      Dave, I’m still using XP, so I don’t know anything about Win 7. Maybe some other people could give you a hand. Or maybe you should ask on the Sports Interactive forums…

  5. Dave

    September 11, 2009 at 17:35

    No worries mate, yeah thought about SI forum as am a member there but not been able to get the forum to load up for 2 days now, know it is working so has to be a problem with my rubbish ADSL service.

    Just to quicly say that the game runs very smooth on Win 7 and the processing seems to be quicker which is nice as I run quite a few leagues.

  6. Chris

    September 11, 2009 at 18:52

    Thanks Johnny, I’ll try that Dark Horizon later on, looks very good, I’m a minamalist too! So how much are you looking forward to Football Manager 2010 and starting all over again?? :)

    Thanks for the reply.

    • JohnnyKarp

      September 11, 2009 at 19:56

      From what I’ve seen so far FM 10 will be a much better game, so I’m definitely looking forward to getting my hands on it :)

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