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Blyth Spartans Story – League One February 2012

Hello my friends, sorry for not being able to keep the daily posts schedule lately. I’ve been quite busy and tired and I still am, but hopefully things will get better in a few days or maybe weeks. But let’s get back to Football Manager 2009 and to my Blyth Spartans story. We were in 4th place in League One at the end of January with 2 games in hand, so the chance to fight for promotion were still pretty high. Unfortunately we had quite a few players injured and that was causing me some problems. I had only one striker available for the first game in February, away at 12th placed Scunthorpe, so I couldn’t use the new 4-4-2 tactic. I switched back to the 4-2-3-1 tactic for this game, with Bulgarian striker Atanas Apostolov in the first eleven. I had no choice but I was lucky, Atanas solved the game almost all by himself by scoring twice. Another important win in the bag and another 3 points.

1 scunthorpe vs blyth league one

The next game was one of the two matches that were previously postponed, away at 19th placed Brighton. We could climb up the table with a win here but at the end of the game I was happy to get a draw. It was a very difficult game, with both teams creating several chances to score so the final 1-1 scoreline was the deserved result.

2 brighton vs blyth

The team was not playing as well as I would have wanted, the players were tired and I was forced to rotate the squad frequently. In the home game against Norwich our top goalscorer, Romanian striker Laszlo Csongor, was finally available after more than two months. He was severely injured, fractured ribs, and we have missed him a lot. I gave him the chance to play again in the second half and he celebrated by scoring a late goal that brought us the 2-0 win!

3 blyth vs norwich league one

The morale of the players was good and I expected no problems in the next game, at home against Bristol Rovers. We controlled the first half easily but we only scored one goal. After half time Bristol took control of the game and after scoring an equalizer I feared that we would crumble. Fortunately for us we played very well in the last 15 minutes of the game and brought home an important 4-1 victory.

4 blyth vs bristol rovers league one

Next up, an easy game away at relegation threatened Charlton. We dominated the game and I expected to win by a bigger margin but at the end of the day the three points are all that matters. With this win we finally climbed up in 2nd place in the League One table, only one point behind the leaders, Leeds United! Despite that I still was a little bit worried because the team wasn’t producing the flamboyant football that we showed in the first half of the season.

5 charlton vs blyth league one

We were unbeaten in 8 League One games but I felt that we would get a setback sooner or later. It was sooner… 14th placed Carlisle United punished us drastically for our defensive errors, they scored twice in 3 minutes after half time and my lads lost their heads completely. We lost our first game in February but we were still flying high towards the top of the table.

6 carlisle vs blyth league one

We absolutely had to win the last game of the month, at home with 13th placed Rochdale. We didn’t play too well but we kept cool in front of their goal and converted the few chances that we had. A 3-0 win that is important for the league table but we were not playing like real promotion contenders… And Atanas Apostolov got injured, he’ll be unavailable for around 6 weeks, just what we needed :(

7 blyth vs rochdale league one

The League One table was incredibly tight at the top, any of the first five teams could fight for the top two spots. We were in 3rd place with 11 more games to be played. I think that a playoff place is almost already in the bag but it would be a shame not to get at least the 2nd place and automatic promotion.

8 league one table february 2012

My recently injured striker, Atanas Apostolov, was declared February League One Player of The Month, a great achievement for him as he played very well for us throughout this month. He scored 10 goals for us this season but unfortunately he’ll be available again only in April, so the season is almost over for him.

9 atanas apostolov february 2012

So far so good, we still have 11 games to play and maybe a few more if we get to the playoff. I hope that my players won’t get injured in these last two months of the season, otherwise it will be an uphill struggle for us. What do you think, will we be strong enough to achieve promotion to Coca-Cola Championship this season?



  1. Ahmed Shah

    July 22, 2009 at 21:55

    Again, congratulations mate ! You’ll get automatic promotions no problem, Johnny……been on and off your site for an hour as this is the time you usually post your stories. Always brilliant, they are. Great Job, mate !! :-)

    • JohnnyKarp

      July 22, 2009 at 23:08

      Thanks for the comment Ahmed, you’re kind as always. And thanks for being such a passionate fan of my stories, it means a lot to me.

      P.S.: I’ve seen a report on TV about the power problems in Pakistan, you were mentioning that a few days ago. I hope everything will be OK soon, I’m wishing you all the best.

  2. Lye Kuek Hin

    July 23, 2009 at 03:18

    Really great job there. Based on your form, i think you will get auntomatic promotion. Think your players is highly motivated to win even though there is injuries. What do normally say for your team talks? Do you watch the full match or just set to commentary? I seldom watch the full match so just a bit of adjustments on the tactics. Thats why i have mixed results. Can you do a post on how you adjust yout tactis and players instructions during matches? Thanks a lot..

    • JohnnyKarp

      July 23, 2009 at 09:46

      Lye, I normally let my assistant manager handle the team talks, I only make some corrections whenever I think that what the assistant wants to say might be wrong. I don’t watch the full match but the extended highlights or something like that. I can’t figure out right now how to make the players instructions and tactic adjustments post right now, because there are many situations in every game and many adjustments that one can make. I’ll think about it and hopefully I’ll write a post that would be clear and not boring :)
      It’s sad that something so basic as the sewer system is still missing from large parts of the world. The Romans were using it 2000 years ago, why isn’t it possible to make it available for everybody in the 21st century?

  3. Ahmed Shah

    July 23, 2009 at 07:23

    Thanks for asking, mate, really appreciate it…it’s all ok at my place but yes there still are a few areas in our city which havent got water supply and power cuts are frequent. Really feel bad for them…whole city didnt have any electricity for more than 50-hours at the weekend…in some places it was out til 60-65hours……know the reason for this ? Rain. Yes, our sewerage system is so badly developed (in some areas it doesnt even exist) that water just stays on roads and lower level areas for a long time……

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