Football Manager Diary – August

Football Manager 2014 LogoSo we left the last installment with my 1st match about to start, a big Monday night football game against Spurs away.

For each month I play I’m going to set myself a target. For the first month I want to see how the team performs and develops based upon the formations I’ve created. This is only the second game Ive started in FM2014 and so I dont want to get too overexcited.

With out first match being a London derby, we;ve been scheduled for the Monday match. Looking at the results from the weekend, one stands out

United ArsenalGo on Davey Moyes!

Just before the match Southampton come in with a cheeky 1.2 million bid for Kevin Nolan, with no negotiation allowed. Looking at it, hes 31, on 50k a week, and Ive just signed Benayoun who can play in his role as well as across the wide positions. I accept the bid, and drop him to the bench.

Dropping Nolan means the AM role now becomes a Trequarista role, instead of Engarche. Benayoun fits that better

Pre match Villas-Boas writes off our side as too old. What a bastard. I hope he gets sacked by December

19th August 2013 – Spurs vs West Ham – Barclays Premiership
Odds – Spurs: Evens (fav) Draw: 11-5 West Ham: 11-5
Current league position – 14th

So for my first match in charge I decide to play my standard formation

West Ham Spurs

Early half of the 1st half we play well, with a particular glaring miss from Benayoun after Petric chases down a long goal kick, steals possession and passes across for a tap in which Benayoun fluffs into the keepers arms. As the half ends Spurs come back into it more, finishing strongly by hitting the post through a Soldado free kick – they end the half having had 7 shots but none on target.

Into the 2nd half and no changes. Spurs get 2 free kicks that both fly aimlessly over and now have 9 shots, none on target. They’re dominating possession too, 64-36 percent by the 60th minute so I switch my formation to a defensive one, pushing the wingers up but bringing off Benayoun for Collison and dropping him to CM with Diame into DM. Shortly after Sonnen is forced into his first save from Dembele. Spurs now begin to dominate, we haven’t had a single shot by the 72nd minute. I bring on Ravel and Jarvis in the 73rd.

And of course, it has an instant impact.

Rat gets the ball on the left, loses it but Collison gets it, plays it back to Rat who slips a perfectly timed ball to Jarvis and smashes it home.

Did we deserve it? If you dont get your shots on target you cant score.


The players are delighted

Team Talk

Spurs 0 – 1 West Ham
Matt Jarvis (78)
League position – 7th (up 7 places)

With that out of the way I decide to check our fixtures.


Fucking hell, its a good job we got the win there, because our next 4 league games could be all losses. At least our November – December is looking like a good time to gear up some results.

Everton come in with a bid of 1.4mill for Nolan, which gets accepted too.

24th August 2013 – West Ham vs Man United – Barclays Premiership
Odds – West Ham: 7-4 Draw: 11-5 Man Utd: 5-4 (fav)
Current League Position – 7th

United as can be predicted dominate early on, but with little in the way of shots. After 28 mins I change from direct passing to retaining possession.

I’m going for a defensive line up in this match. Both teams threaten with little, and my assistant advises both teams seem to be trying too many long shots.

At half time in order to try and salvage some more possession I push Diame into a three man CM, and tell Downing and Cole to swap wings if needed. I also ask the players to work the ball more and retain possession.

Early in the half it seems to have some effect, we get a couple of chances, nothing special taking it to 5 shots each, till United step up a gear. Van Persie pulls free and Sonnen makes a wonder save tipping it round the post, and from the corner he makes another great save from Valencia. Minutes later its all in vein, as Uniteds possession pays, Rooney takes a corner to Valencia outside the box and he smashes it home with the keeper unsighted.

With United dominating, it only looks like adding to their total, but shortly after the goal Vidic picks up a second yellow. I go attacking, and throw on Ravel for Diame.

Despite the man advantage, United are still dangerous – Van Persie breaks and fluff his shot wide. Evra then clears a shot off the line, and Collison smashes another decent chance over.

West Ham 0-1 Man United
Valencia (68)
League Position – 10th (down 3 places)

Nolan signs for Everton for 1.4 million. That sale leaves me with 37k in the wage budget, and 1mill in the transfer fund. Time to hunt some loans.

I notice a WTF result

WTF3-0 up, get a man sent off, then score another 5? Jesus.

27th August 2013 – West Ham vs Yeovil – Capital One Cup

I’m trying my all attacking formation in this one, and given we’ve had less than 40% possession in our 2 matches, I’m asking the players to retain possession.

Benayoun misses a good early chance with ex West Ham keeper Stech making a good save. We play well in the 1st half hour, taking 65% of the possession but making little chances of note, instead having a few testers from range.

At the half we’ve had 10 shots to their 3, and dominated possession, but no real chances. I tell the players Im disappointed, and ask them to work the ball into the box more.

With my words ringing in their ears, the lads come out strongly, with Tomkins heading wide, then Cole forcing a good save from the keeper. Cole then creates an opening for Petric, but again the keeper saves. With 15 mins of the half gone we’ve had 7 shots, but only 2 of those on target. I bring on Morrison for Benayoun, and take a risk in bringing on the unwanted Vaz Te for Petric who isn’t impressing.

Finally the break through comes from a corner, our 11th of the match. At the far post Reid wins a header, and while trying to clear it Yeovil defender Edwards hooks into his own net.

After the goal the game dies, with not a single other highlight till the final whistle. Boring Boring West Ham


West Ham 1-0 Yeovil
Edwards og (62)

Sommer picked up a light injury in that match and will miss the next match at Man City

Cup draw!


31st August 2013 – Man City vs West Ham – Barclays Premiership
Odds – Man City: 4-6 (fav) Draw: 9-4 West Ham: 7-2
Current League Position – 10th

City have only 1 win from their 2 games, away to Southampton before winning at home to Spurs.

I’m playing my defensive formation, but asking them to retain possession.

City dominate early on, with Tomkins forced into a super tackle on Navas as he skipped into the box. By the 10th minute City have had 5 shots already. I ask the defense to push up further and it pays off as the game settles…. for 10 minutes before City step up a gear again. By the half hour mark they’ve had 68% possession and 10 shots. Ive had 0. Finally get one just before half time, when Benayoun skips past two, before he gets tackled and Downing strikes over. With a minute to half time City get the goal their domination deserves when a corner sees Kompany free, his shot is saved by Adrian but it hits Collison and bounces to Dzeko who taps in. The final incident of the half though sees Rat strike a free kick and Hart and Kompany bounce into each other and the ball just about goes over.

At half time I tell the team they have been unlucky. Its bullshit, we’ve been crap, but they all get motivated!

Early in the 2nd Dzeko gets a 2nd, Silva tries to play him in but Reid gets their first but his heavy useless fucking touch puts it in front of Dzeko who smashes it in. I switch to attacking. Fuck it.

Takes till the 77th minute for this making a difference, Petric stinging Harts gloves with a shot, but with 5 minutes to go Rodwell heads in a City corner.


Man City 3-0 West Ham
Dzeko (44, 50), Rodwell (85)
League Position – 15th (down 5 places)

My board come with my review of the 1st month



Next month

It doesnt get any easier fixture wise, with matches against Everton, Liverpool and thankfully West Brom. The transfer window will also close in 2 days – The 31st was a Saturday so its extended till the 2nd. Just enough time to make a couple of signings!

  • DealerDan

    Loving these mate – once I get to the EPL I’ll probably do monthly updates.

    Love the idea of monthly targets.

    Before each match if you post the formations I’m going to give my thoughts:

    – Spurs. I’d probably drop an MC into DMC to play anchor man and stop Eriksen and the wingers. Play for the draw more there and counter. God I hate that SI logo shit before each highlight. What a well-worked goal that was. Magnificent win there.

    – Aw you didn’t do formation for Utd game. Do that.

    – Yeovil one so frustrating eh? I hate games where you’re the favourite, expect mad results and then scrape by.

  • Chris Harrod

    Updated the next one with the formations before each game, just for you sweetie.

  • Chris Harrod

    It goes up on 27th btw