Greetings from Canada and welcome back to my Southampton FMS 2011. Before I begin this update I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to all who took the time to vote for my FM 2012 team. I was totally overwhelmed by the response which currently stands at 105 votes but more on this later.
With an almost perfect month behind me I was delighted to pick up the Manager of the Month award for January.
In terms of transfer activity there wasn’t any. Yes, I did try to offload some reserve players as well as one first teamer but there were sadly no offers. I felt with the way the team was playing and with a reasonably deep squad why bring anyone new in? I felt our finances reflected this policy with a slight upswing after losing money quite consistently for some time.
Cup ties mean fixture congestion and this February was no exception as two days after our cup win over Sheffield United we found ourselves in Carlisle. Guly do Prado put us ahead just after the hour with a sweeping shot into the net with Carlisle, who had barely participated in the game equalizing moments later – the game ending in a frustrating 1-1 draw. Back at home we strolled to a comfortable 2-0 win over promotion hopefuls Huddersfield that saw Morgan Schneiderlin get his first goal of the season after 10 minutes with Puncheon getting the other.
Away to Bristol rovers Rickie Lambert scored within 48 seconds of the kick off with a powerful free kick and that’s as close as we got for the rest of the game with Rovers pulling one back in another disappointing draw. Back at home it was time for our show down with second place Peterborough which also ended in a 0-0 draw as both sides got locked into a midfield battle producing a stalemate outcome.
Next up was our FA Cup fifth round clash at home to Chelsea. Despite going a goal behind after 10 minutes through Torres we gave a good account ourselves in the first half creating several chances but once Lampard added a second early in the second half it was game over. Chelsea added two more in quick succession to go four up but we did manage a late consolation goal through DC Danny Seabourne.
We returned to League action a few days later with a trip to Rochdale who we had previously beaten 6-0. No such luck in this game and a miserable performance ended in a 1-0 defeat even though the home side had only 10 men for the final thirty minutes! We finished up the month with a gruelling 1-1 tie at home to 5th place Colchester with 17 year old Alex Chamberlain getting the goal for us.
I was glad to see the back of my birthday month as we had only managed one win in seven games.
We stayed at home for our next game which was against Plymouth with Guly do Prado heading in a Lambert free kick after 22 minutes to open the scoring. A brilliant individual effort by Lambert who demonstrated excellent dribbling and finishing skills doubled our lead early in the second half and that was enough to brush aside Plymouth.
The next two games saw back to back draws…again this time away to Orient and at home to Sheffield Wednesday. With now only one win in our last seven games we were desperate for three points not only to keep our play-off spot but to boost our depleting morale.Walsall were our final opponents for a much shorter month and we got off to a perfect start with Fonte heading in from a corner after just two minutes. A dominant first half was rewarded with a thirty yard screamer by Puncheon just before half time and not to be out done Brazilian striker do Prado came up with one of his own in the 67th minute. Substitute Jordon Mutch sneaked the ball into the net from a short corner six minutes from time with the home side coming up with a late consolation effort.
With seven games remaining and our inconsistent form I think automatic promotion is less a reality for us now.
We are in for a quite exciting end to the season as we have to play both Swindon and MK Dons in back to back games!
Finally here are my “super sevens” with Guly do prado leading the pack.
FM 2012 Poll:
As mentioned earlier I’m delighted at such a fantastic response and if you haven’t already figured it out I’m from the West of England orginally…hence some of the team selctions though have been in Toronto for 18 years now. The poll will remain open until Saturday October 1st.
So you have still time to vote by clicking on your favorite team below. As always thanks very much for stopping by and reading this update.
Kevin: "Which team should I be managing in FM 2012?"
- Plymouth (24%, 61 Votes)
- Weston S Mare (22%, 55 Votes)
- Ipswich Town (16%, 41 Votes)
- Truro City (12%, 29 Votes)
- Toronto FC (10%, 24 Votes)
- Bournemouth (8%, 21 Votes)
- Bristol City (8%, 20 Votes)
Total Voters: 250
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