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Notts County Story – December 2014

Hello dear friends, thanks for coming back to read another episode of the Notts County Football Manager 2010 Story. Things were going alright for my Magpies, we were still top of the table at the end of November with Manchester City three points behind us in 2nd spot. We were already qualified for the first knockout round of the Champions League and also to the quarter finals of the Carling Cup. Let’s see if we managed to keep the unbeaten record in December.

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The fans were quite disappointed too but we had the chance to make them happy again right away, the Nottingham Derby was coming up at Meadow Lane. Forest were struggling to stay clear of relegation, they were down in 16th place. We started the game with great determination, we were all over them and eventually the pressure produced a penalty kick. Gergely Varga slotted it home to give us the lead, then the flood gates opened. Guilherme scored no less than four goals, too many to get into details. Ibrahimovic completed the rout after dribbling past a defender and placing the ball into the net. Game, set and match, a wonderful performance.

The last league game of the month was away at 15th placed Fulham, a team that held us to a 1-1 draw at Meadow Lane in August. We had to score quickly, otherwise we would have been in trouble again. My midfielders were quite creative though and it didn’t take them too long to create chances for the strikers. Rafel Sobis scored the opener after picking up a fine through ball from Hinshelwood and then doubled the lead just before the break by finishing off a counter attack move. It was his 50th goal for the club and he made it 51 right after the break by banging in a cross from Varga. The game looked as good as over but a sudden blackout in our defense allowed Fulham to score twice in three minutes! Things got even worse when I had to take off injured Biglia, I already made all the substitutions so we were down to 10 men. The lads woke up though and kept the game under control until the final whistle. The three points were ours but they came at a very steep price, Biglia had a broken foot and he will be out for no less than 4 months! That’s quite a blow.

We were still top of the table but the gap was now down to only two points. Fourth placed Chelsea have two games in hand, so they probably will climb up the table and challenge for the title too. I guess there will be three teams in the race for the title but we’ll know more about that in the next couple of months.

The last game of the year was the Carling Cup quarter final, away at White Hart Lane. The team was determined not to miss out on the Carling Cup this season and they proved that right away, Hinshelwood played a fine through ball for Defour, his move surprised the defense and the Belgian midfielder slotted it home. Tottenham reacted very well, they took control of the game and deservedly scored the equalizer a few minutes later. We got back on track after the goal, dominated the game until half time but missed a few good chances – the best one was a shot from Ashley Young that hit the post and bounced clear. We continued to play well after the interval and Rafael Sobis made the difference again, a quick dribble and a placed shot gave us the lead again. Tottenham were desperately pushing forward but we were defending well and also creating good chances on counter attacks. There were only seven more minutes to play when the referee awarded Spurs a harsh penalty kick. I didn’t look at the pitch but I guessed that something good happened by hearing the reaction of the crowd, Ochoa saved it! The last minutes of the game were spectacular, Tottenham were pushing forward with everything they had while we were looking to give them the fatal blow on a counter attack. Ashley Young came pretty close again but Gomes denied a certain goal with an unnatural save.

Here are the player stats at the halfway point of the season, sorted by average rating. The two Brazilian strikers were on fire again, they scored 37 goals between them. I am quite sad about Lucas Biglia‘s injury though, he was a very important player and I hope that he will recover in time to play the last games of the season. His injury ruined my transfer plans, I sold Romero and Muniesa and I was hoping to buy a centre back with that money (they were sold for 15 million pounds but only 10 million were poured into the transfer budget). Now I’ll probably have to look for a central midfielder, I’m still thinking about it. 10 million is not a big sum by any means, so I doubt I’ll be able to get a world class player.

Anyway, January will be very important considering that we will have to play the two legs of the Carling Cup semi final. We’ll also have some tough league games with Aston Villa, Arsenal and Everton.

I just hope we won’t be struck by any more long term injuries, the team played pretty well overall but we don’t have too many good backup players. The schedule will become more and more busy in the last months of the season, so we’ll need every player that we have. That’s how it was, thanks for reading and sorry for the slightly sad tone but a broken foot (even virtual) always has that effect on me.

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  1. Sears

    March 3, 2010 at 00:12

    Some good victories there Johnny even tough you suffered a disappointing loss to Man City but other than that you had a solid month.You should overcome Bordeaux in the Champions League even though they will be determaind and a 100% focused.Keep up the good work!

  2. TheZiggy

    March 3, 2010 at 01:05

    Other than the disappointment of losing to Man City, it was very solid. The injury problems are unfortunate, especially Biglia’s broken foot.

    Hopefully you can overcome Bordeaux, but can understand why you’d have preferred Rangers or FC Twente. I still think your team has enough to see them off as long as they continue to play well.

  3. Kevin

    March 3, 2010 at 01:27

    Hi Johnny
    Excellent month there and congratulations in reaching the next round of the Champions League. Too bad about key defensive injuires and that seemed to be the difference against Man City. Your “Boys from Brazil” are just outstanding and are scoring freely. A most satisfying win against Nott’m Forest I would imagine!

  4. Lye

    March 3, 2010 at 02:29

    Hi mate, i think its just bad luck that your first choice central defendsive partnership are out injured for the match against Man City. Your decision to bring in another central defender is correct as your backups don’t seem to perform at the same level as your first team players. Overall it was a good month and you really gave your fans something to cheer about when you put 6 past your derby rivals.
    Bordeaux poses much a bigger challenge but i believe you will be able to get past them. Good luck.

  5. FootballManagerGuru

    March 3, 2010 at 03:23

    Hey there Johnny, what an away win against Brondby! You must have been proud. Pity against Man City though, if you had your 1st choice center backs, things might have been different. Congrats on being first, who knows you might be a serious title contender this year (:

    • Johnny Karp

      March 3, 2010 at 08:25

      Thanks mate, I have to defend last season’s title so we are expected to be contenders although we are not the favorites to win it.
      Thanks for the comment Lye, I hope to find a good centre back within the 10 mil price range.
      Thanks, I guess the derby win saved our month and boosted the morale. I hope that the Brazilian strikers won’t have any bad injuries, that could make an anonymous team out of us.
      Thanks for the comment, I hope there won’t be any more broken feet in my team until the end of the season.
      Thanks mate, we’ll have a lot to worry about until the Bordeaux games but I hope we’ll be ready when the time comes.

  6. Martin

    March 3, 2010 at 18:27

    Well Done Johnny On A Solid Month Except For A Few Hiccups.
    Beating Your Rivals Is Satisfying But Humiliating Them Must Be Amazing For The Virtual Fans :P
    Maybe Smallwood Could Fill In For Biglia If You Haven’t Got The Funds For A New Midfielder.
    I Suggest Rafael Toloi For The Centre Back Position But I Paid £16.5m For Him On My Game!
    The Brazilians Are Playing Well, Just Like The 2nd Goal Against Ireland Yesterday! It Was Brilliant!

  7. Laxeyman

    March 3, 2010 at 19:43

    Good month there Johnny, well done. Don’t worry about the loss to Man City, you are still top, and City aren’t so that’s the main thing. I hope you can find a good centre back, it will really help your team. Good luck against Bordeaux, they are quite good but I think your team are better.

    • Johnny Karp

      March 3, 2010 at 21:43

      Thanks mate. I’m having a lot of trouble in finding a good centre back so I might give up on that idea.
      Thanks for the comments and for the suggestions. I think that I’ll rather employ Hinshelwood as a playmaker and keep Smallwood as a backup. The Brazilians always know how to put up a nice show, whenever you say “spectacular football” you have to think about Brazil.

  8. Laxeyman

    March 3, 2010 at 22:54

    Hi Johnny, it seems that centre backs have higher values in the game compared to other positions than they do in real life. In real life if a defender of certain ability costs £15m, a striker if similair ability would probably cost about £22-25m but in FM it’s not like that. I had problems buying a good centre back as well, it is frustrating.

    • Johnny Karp

      March 4, 2010 at 09:32

      I didn’t make this comparison but I guess you’re right.

  9. ravenie

    March 4, 2010 at 18:02

    Johnny I started a game wth QPR and it went GREAT. I won the Chmpionship with a 32 match unbeaten run with 29 wins and 3 draws. I was manager of the year and my playerof the year was my £2m striker Marcus Bent. I got 21.5 million and I spent it on Danny Simpson, Songo’o, Guilherme, Shorey, Kristiansen, Loovens, Gabilondo and my Marquee £2m signing (even though guilherme was worth 11m) Sergio Canales! I got him on a steal it was great. My first win was my first game 4-3 at ome to Man Utd. Things couldn’t be going better, Guilhermes only played 4 games but has hit the net 6 times. I thank you Johnny for your excellent blogging skills and for buying Guilherme

    • Johnny Karp

      March 4, 2010 at 18:20

      Well done mate, Guilherme will score at least 20-25 goals for you if he doesn’t get injured. Canales for 2 mil is a steal indeed, I never had him in my team but his stats look impressive. Good luck in the Premier League, keep up the good work!

  10. Andries

    April 13, 2010 at 13:12

    I can’t believe you sold Romero! I can’t even count the number of time you praised his performances. I love your blog, i read every post you made! Keep up the good work.

    • Johnny Karp

      April 13, 2010 at 13:53

      Thanks a lot for the kind words and for reading the story. About Romero, it was not an easy decision but I think it was good business. Sometimes you have to overlook the feelings and see the business side of managing a club.

  11. hils

    August 20, 2010 at 10:07

    well done johnny! i am a new commenter on here!!!!!!!!! i had to try 3 computers to see if it would work and with the last computer IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i’m playing as Arsenal and we have won this pre-season tournament in monterry.

    • Johnny Karp

      August 20, 2010 at 10:24

      Thanks for the comment, I appreciate it. But did you really had to try to post the comment on three computers? Anyway, good luck with Arsenal, they’re my favourite team :)

      • hils

        August 20, 2010 at 10:33

        no johnny i have football manager on one computer but i use my main computer for comments by the way good luck with dorchester!!!!!

        • Johnny Karp

          August 20, 2010 at 10:45

          I understand now. Thanks for the good luck wish :)

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