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FM 2012 Stories

Plymouth Argyle: Season 2, Dec – Jan 2013

Hello Everyone and welcome back to my continuing Football Manager Story. There’s lots to bring you in this update including the all important winter transfer window so here we go!!

December 2012

FA Cup 2nd Round

When William Ekong headed in after just 4 minutes it looked like we were in for a resounding win but Bath City had other ideas. They chased us around Home Park, closing us down and limiting our chances up front. And so it was another 70 minutes before Odelusi finally killed this cup tie with a neatly placed side footed shot to make it 2-0 sending us through to the third round.

The draw for the third round proved to be lucky for us as we will face Millwall at home!

Our first league game of December saw us take an absolute hiding at Hillsborough as Sheffield Wednesday steam-rollered over us winning by 3-0. Sanmi Odelusi picked up an injury and will be out for 3 months, just as he was hitting form too.

The timing couldn’t have been worse for coming off such a battering as next we faced our bitter rivals Exeter in a “Devon Derby”. Exeter started off the stronger with a couple of decent chances in the opening 15 minutes but it was the 18 year old William Ekong who opened the scoring heading in of Walton corner. A fantastic long pass by left back Jeremy Helan caught everyone off guard except Eccleston who buried the ball into the net two minutes before the interval. A brilliant shot from distance brought Exeter back into the game 13 minutes from time but a counter attack spearheaded by Eccleston was neatly finished off by substitute Lecointe for the decisive winning goal.

Our erratic December form continued as we surrendered second place in the table once more losing at home 2-1 to Swindon Town. ML Jordan Copp getting our only goal. We now had to travel to London to face Crystal Palace who had become the new league leaders.

Torrential rain greeted us for this Boxing Day fixture at Selhurst Park which saw Carl Fletcher score a rare goal with a blistering shot from distance after just seven minutes. In what was to be a very subdued first half was followed by a memorable second period which saw no less than five goals with Bobby Ponton, who I was about to terminate setting up Bhasera for our fourth so I may rethink that. A great win away from home to help the festive season.

We finished off the year with a 2-2 draw at home to MK Dons where we came from behind thanks to an injury time equalizer from William Ekong to spare our blushes.

We had actually been in first place after the Palace game but that draw at home meant Tranmere now took over top spot. Our rivals Exeter had slipped out of the top six.

I ended the year with a Team Meeting praising the players for their efforts so far and that received a positive response throughout the dressing room.

January 2013

With a game just on the horizon I was called into the board room to discuss resetting the season expectations. To my surprise there was quite a range on offer but being the cautious fellow I am I did not want to over commit and stuck with a Mid Table finish which did net me a tidy transfer and salary budget. The question is will I spend it?

The first game of the year was at Home Park, just 48 hours after our last one. The first half was sluggish effort against Stevenage but some encouraging half time words did the trick at least for Lecointe whose determination and strength saw him muscle off his defender and score in the 49th minute. That was the start of a superb second half for him ending with an assist to substitute Eccleston whose low drive made it 2-0 for a comfortable three points.

FA Cup Third Round

We had been fortunate enough to have been drawn at home to Millwall but didn’t capitalize on that advantage and labored through yet another 90 minutes. Thankfully 30 seconds of inspiration by Eccleston resulted in the winning goal as he slipped his marker and drove the ball home.

The match was a platform to introduce new striker Corey Gameiro who was released by Fulham and will hopefully push Eccleston for a starting role as a poacher.

Gameiro was joined by two new loan signings, the first Conor Coady from parent club Liverpool and the second Charni Ekangamene from Man United who I’ll refer to as just Charni as it’s easier to type. Both these young midfielders will be with us for three months which will allow Kyle Jacobs to slip into the right back position in a support role.

Our next game was a long trip north to fourth place Carlisle where we got off to a great start as Eccleston beat the offside trap to make it 1-0 after just 6 minutes. We looked completely fired up for this game and just after the half hour striker Apostolos Vellios on loan from Everton made it 2-0 off a Bhasera cross from the left flank. Four minutes later Vellios provided an inch perfect through ball for Eccleston to pass into the back of the net for goal number three. After the interval Carlisle looked more inspired and pulled one back after a dominant 7 minute spell though Eccelston completed his hat-trick almost immediately from the re-start. Sloppy passing by Walton allowed Carlisle to create another goal but they never looked like catching us.

Here’s Vellios who I picked up from Everton for three months. He wouldn’t come to Plymouth at the beginning of the season though I’m delighted to have him now. Bobby Ponton?  Sent back to Hearts!

We returned home to take on Wycombe three days later and we finally got revenge over them with two first half goals by Eccleston and Daniel Boateng in what for the most part was a fairly dull match.

A goal after just two minutes from Nathan Eccleston away to Colchester was all that was needed to gain another three points but once more it was a very scrappy performance

Our next game was at home to Coventry City which saw midfielder Charni play an excellent game setting up MR Luke Daley for the opening goal after just seven minutes with an inch perfect pass in to the 18 yard box. Greek striker Vellios glanced in a header off a free kick to make it 2-0 with 30 minutes gone and struck with venom just moments later latching on to a crossed ball from the left flank. Disappointingly we seem to fade away after that with Coventry playing as the more determined team in the second half but they never really troubled Loris Karius between the sticks.

With an FA Cup just 72 hours away it was all change for our trip to London to take on Brentford. As some- what anticipated our unbeaten run came to an end as we didn’t really play as a cohesive unit and worryingly striker Gameiro failed to make any impression at all up front. Jamie Richards was our only player to come close with a header cleared off the line and Brentford eventually snatched the only goal of the game with a header of their own

*** Authors Note***

My perception is that teams who have players with good long throw attributes are able to create goals off long throws directly into the 18 yard area. Anyone else noticed that?

Full Results:

Our 2013 form has been brillinat so far and I thnik we would have remained unbeaten if I had played my normal starting eleven against Brentford.

League Table:

We are top, three points clear of Huddersfield though we really don’t have that much of a comfortable lead over the peloton.


So, what happend to all that money the board gave me at the start of the year? Well nothing, as I didn’t spend it and strengthened the team with short term loans instead. I hoping this will pay off with a larger budget if we get promoted.

I almost forgot about left back Luke Garbutt who I signed for three months on the last day of the window.

Gosh, I think that’s it then. Oh the fixtures of course!

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read this update.


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Johnny Karp

Good going Kevin, you managed to strengthen the squad for free and also recorded very good results. I have noticed the throw-in problem in my game too but I recall that was the case in FM 2011 as well, I remember conceding way too many goals in such situations. Good luck for the coming months!


Good results so far Kevin. Your signings seem to help a lot, especially Vellios. Ecclestone is really doing well for you. Unfortunately Ponton was not good for you, he just couldn’t cut it I guess. Good luck!

Darren Smith

Well done Kevin that was a stunning set of results and the fact you were mentioning the possibility of going unbeaten with a full strength squad shows how far Plymouth have come. Like Johnny I noticed that players with a long throw ability can create lots of goals, but that just reminds me of Stoke though the difference is Stoke have a strong aerial side whereas in FM players seem to score with their feet from throw-ins. Either way, excellent stuff and some shrewd market moves for sure.


Very good results again Kevin, top of the league and doing extremely well, I’m backing you for promotion :) The squad is a lot stronger due to the loan deals, so hopefully you can keep it up. Good luck!

Ana Garcia

Good going Kevin!

To be top is brilliant and you have really strengthen your squad to cope with the amount of games you still have to play.

I havent found throw ins to be too problematic so far but am tempted to try and see if I can create some chances using it.

I have a real problem with set pieces but corners mainly, I probably lose 30+ goals a season from not defending them and I really have no answer to it.

But I digress LoL!

Good luck on the remainder of the season!! :)


You’re having a great season there. The pack are sniffing at your heels, but hopefully you can keep this going shatter any illusions they have of overtaking you.

It’s funny, but I can’t remember conceding against a long throw-in. I always used to dread the opposition taking a long throw, now it’s just a mild worry, that so far hasn’t caused me to concede. I have no clue why I should be lucky though.

I have however scored a few from long throw-ins. Word of advice on the player you want for it though, he really needs the PPM for doing a long flat throw, otherwise the throw is quite pathetic, and isn’t worry anyone. What the players do given the positions you select in the set piece editor, is confusing though, and I still haven’t got it quite right.


well done your doing a great job and I love reading all these stories whilst I travel away on business. Just as a matter of interest please could you let me know where my home town team Scuntherpe are in the league and who their manager is. this save seems to be mirroring their real life form.

keep up the good work.


Hi Kevin,

PPM is the players preferred moves. You need a rest mate :) If your player has an attribute of 16 and above for long throw, you can train them on this. I scored a couple in my Telford game in FM11 as i have one or two players with high attribute. It could spring a surprise if you have a big and strong target man and a defender in the central.

Back to the game, your team is doing absolutely well in league 1. Promotion should be no problem.It’s great to see you bringing players for free instead of spending the money your board has provided. Plymouth looks to be a real force these days. Love to see you continue the good form and get closer to the title. Good luck.



1) Mid-table finish? Really? You’re just being modest now…

2) I’ll accept every result, excepting the 0-1 defeat to a 15th placed Brentford. If they pull that kind of stunt again, make sure the squad knows you have a hungry bear for a friend.

3) Great job so far, back-to-back promotion is looking a realistic/likely possibility at this juncture.


Kevin you are definitely in promotion form right now, you should be able to get promoted automatically either as 1st or 2nd, Vellios looks very good quality for a League 1 player, he should serve you well, I think you will get a very good transfer budget next season with all the savings you are making, good luck for the rest of the season


Hi Kevin!

Absolutely great few months, your working wonders with Plymouth. Can’t believe your on course for back to back promotions, especially considering how dire the clubs finances were. Top work mate!

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