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Cambridge United : Sept – Oct 2016

Hello eveyone and thanks for checking in again on my Football Manager Story. This post will be split in two parts, the first being my fledgeling international career with Sweden and the second part about Cambridge.

** Author’s note: Taking charge of Sweden will be my first time ever in an international role in any version of CM or FM so I’m really looking forward to it and will be using Johnny’s “bulldozer tactic”.


Having lost all three games at Euro 2016 I was in for a tough challenge as we faced Slovakia in a friendly and a very stale and uneventful first half pretty much cemented my concerns. Five minutes into the second period things started to improve with more fluent movement and passing resulting in a goal by Celtic’s Kacaniklic. Slovakia equalized just after the hour mark but a brilliant solo effort by Kacaniklic restored our lead once more. Granqvist headed in from a corner deep into injury time to get things off to a great start.

Our first World Cup qualifier was away to Israel who were reduced to 10 men after just 4 minutes though it took almost the whole of the first half to take advantage of the situation and an own goal at that. In a dramatic second half we went from a 2-0 lead to 2-2 in the space of 5 minutes before taking the lead once more though a header by DC Jonas Olsson which proved to be the winning goal

The beginning of October brought our second qualifying game this time at home to Poland in front of 46,000 fans at the Swedbank Arena in Stockholm. John Guidetti gave us an early lead with a goal after just 10 minutes but we couldn’t build on that until early in the second half when MR Jonsson was left completely unmarked and easily tucked in a cross ball from the left flank. Mehmeti added a third in the 58th minute with a poacher’s effort and that was enough to demoralize the Poles and we coasted to the finish.

Having now won three games in a row with nine goals to boot the nation was gripped with World Cup fever as we were about to head into a top of the table clash with Turkey.

A full house of 50,000 witnessed a stunning performance by Turkey that left a lot of questions to be answered. We were hardly in the game at all and this defeat saw us drop to third place in the table behind Israel with Turkey comfortably sitting at the top.

Cambridge: Premier League

We started the month off with a trip to Wigan where once again we were totally outplayed allowing nineteen attempts on goal to our measly three. Wigan came up with two second half goals to take all three points. At home to fellow strugglers Nott’m Forest we sprinted out to a 2-0 lead within thirty minutes which saw Harry Kane get his first goal for the club. A long shot from 35 yards got Forest back in the game early in the second half and we threw away yet another three points allowing an equalizer two minutes from time. A first half strike by Agon Mehmeti gave us the lead away to Middlesbrough which saw the home side square things up early in the second period in a very even match that ended in another draw but a satisfying away point.

We next face bottom club Everton who had conceded a lot of goals already and Mehmeti added to that tally after 32 minutes with a shot from just inside the box. An encouraging first half performance soon disappeared after the break and Everton went on to take a 2-1 lead but Mehmeti was once again on hand with a glorious finish to rescue a point as we struggled with just 10 men for the final 6 minutes of the game.

I was dealt a massive blow when news came through from the medical room that right back Marcelo Canteros would be out for 2 months with a knee injury having just won the young player of the month award for September. Marcelo joined an ever growing list of injured players.

The final three games of October saw two crushing defeats at Old Trafford and the Emirates Stadium though we did manage to secure three points at home to Fulham with goals from Harry Kane and Jamie Maclaren.


League Cup:

We fancied our chances away to Stoke but they were soon crushed with the home side taking the lead after just nine minutes which was doubled on the stroke of half time. We came out after the interval a more competitive side and kept Stoke in their own half for long periods. A superb strike by Mehmeti brought us back into the game with seven minutes left on the clock and DC Bandiera had a header cleared off the line in the dying seconds and so we were out of the competition.

Following the defeat at Arsenal I resigned as manger of Cambridge as I felt I didn’t have what it takes to lead this club to becoming a solid Premier League team and soon after my resignation was accepted by the Cambridge board I faxed another resignation notice to the Swedish FA after just four games in charge.

Obviously then this story is now over and I want to thank everyone who has left a comment and supported me over the last several months. I’m not sure if I’ll be back with another story before FM 2012 but probably will as I enjoy the writing.

Thanks for reading and take care….
















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10 years ago

Oh no!
Why Kevin? This season was better that the last one in the EPL. Why you quit? It is a mistake Kevin, you lead this team twice to the EPL, you shouldn’t have stopped it now. It’s a pity…

Hope you start a new story.

10 years ago

:( Didn’t see that coming Kevin, you were doing alright in the PL too, and I reckon you would’ve avoided relegation this time round. Shame that despite all your hard work you didn’t consolidate in the PL, but well done on taking Cambridge as far as you did :)
Hope you can start another story mate.

Johnny Karp
10 years ago

Well, you really surprised me with this decision to be honest. I understand the reasons but I don’t necessarily agree. Anyway, it has been a great story and I thank you for bringing it to us. I hope we’ll be enjoying your writing in a new story soon.

Darren Smith
10 years ago

Wow, that was a shock…didn’t see that coming and when I saw the ‘Mayo quits’ screenshot I thought there was a mistake. To be honest its tough to carry on when you reach a level and struggle to get past it. Either way this shouldn’t overcast your achievement mate…you guided Cambridge to the EPL on two occasions after starting in the Blue Square Premier….that is one hell of a feat on its own. This was a great story and I sincerely hope you start another one, maybe with a better club.

10 years ago

My favorite story because there still was a struggle. No disrespect to the other writers of course their achievements are impressive.

I do hope you will find new inspiration in a new team otherwise I might have to write about my own struggles, but that wont be until fm 2012.

10 years ago

Cue gasp.

Did not see that coming Kevin! This has been an awesome story and I think you have done some incredible things with Cambridge. As Johnny said above, I understand your reasoning behind the decision although I’m not too sure it is the correct one as I really believed you had what it takes to stay up and then improve…

Anyway, what’s done is done and all your Cambridge achievements can be left in a trophy cabinet somewhere in the virtual world.

If you are struggling for inspiration for a new story then may I suggest another crack at the MLS, I really enjoyed that story and I think you would enjoy a league with a more level playing field. I share your pain about being bossed around by a few teams, being a fan of Aberdeen in real life and having had numerous saves with them in FM, it is very tough to motivate yourself to keep going when you know there is a glass ceiling that you will just keep hitting until you really overhaul your squad.

Sorry for the long comment, but I hope it shows my appreciation for the Cambridge story and gives you a little inspiration if you want to do another story before FM12.

10 years ago

Hey Kevin
That was a real shock to me, I really didn’t see that coming. It’s your story so it’s your decision, I am not going to say anything. I hope you start another story though, it would be nice to see you manage a new team.

George Dobson
George Dobson
10 years ago

hi kevin its a shame you resigned but I can see why hope you do a new story

10 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

Hope that this realisation means you will continue the story, you are right that regardless of a success in the story, people will want to read. For me, the struggles are the best part and I hope that you will get back on that save and fight for tooth and nail to get Cambridge up with the best in the EPL…

Sayam Khan
10 years ago

NOOOOOO KEVIN! How could you! I think you could have escaped relegation this season… I understand your decision as it must be hard to able to take in getting relegated, promoted, and your probably thinking another relegation (as you know best since your playing the game) Didn’t see it coming anyway. Anyway, it’s your choice and hopefully we will see before the FM2012 comes out.

10 years ago

Hi Kevin,

I don’t think i will ever agree with your decision to quit but i understand most likely you feel you have brought Cambridge to a level where you have done your best. Disappointed that an awesome story has discontinued but i hope you will bring us another one before FM 12. It’s just weird not to have you around.

No disrespect to Darren and Johnny who enjoyed lots of success in FM (That tells how good they are). Your story is much of a reality as just like life, we have ups and down through our journey. Looking forward to another FM story mate. Maybe try your hands on the national team.

10 years ago

Wow Kevin really didn’t see it coming but you did have you doubts at the end of the last season of Cambridge in the EPL. I really hope you bring us another story as I liked to watch a team that was not the best and winning every game convincingly. I can’t wait until your next story

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