Football Manager Diary : November 2013 – “Think we are gonna get 12 points end up with 3â€³
We left our dashing heros in 14th place in the league, but with a lot of tough fixtures out of the way. Much of November will be spent out on the road, with the below fixtures looking winable, if 3 of the 4 werent away
Currently out injured is Mark Noble (out for 4-8 days) and Andy Carrol (expected back some time in 2014). With some luck and magic, we may get him back in December! How do you feel about that Andy?
I love that pic
First up we’re off to London
2nd November 2013 – Fulham (15th) vs West Ham (14th)
Odds – Fulham 5-4 (fav) – Draw 11-5 – West Ham 7-4
Fulham were my 2nd choice to play in this game, simply because they have Bent and Berbatov upfront. Looking at their season so far they signed two new strikers in Stokes (Celtic) and Billy Sharp (Southampton) and are coming off a 2-1 loss away to Sunderland.
Im putting out the team that started the last match
Drooling at their strike force. Bents making only his 2nd appearance of the season and scored in his other. Berba has in 5. Gorgeous
In an example of what I love of FM, the first highlight takes in kick off and the entire first minute of Fulham popping it around, until at 1:05 we steal the ball, hit a long one upfield and Crouch heads wide.
Crouchys definately up for this one, running thrugh the defence with the ball aand then hitting wide. He then steals the ball, plays in Benayoun on the wing,his cross is shite but the long gangly legs get into position and WHAT TIME IS IT
Almost immediately Fulham hit back, Ambrietta heading in from a Duff free kick – 1-1
Crouchy is having a great game, playing a 1-2 with Benayoun before shooting from the edge of the box but Fulhams keeper makes the save. Fulham try to slow the game, passing around but Padoin steals it, plays the ball to Crouch, he heads down for Diame to play in Benayoun but the keeper saves round the post. From the corner Diame misses the header and its out to Cole on the edge of the box AND HE SCORES!!! 2-1 to the Hammers!
Another neat play sees Crouch put in Benayoun, but the keeper saves. Crouch is having a stunning game here.
At HT its 10-2 on shots to us. Crouchy is on a 7.4 and Im just wishing Benayoun could finish some of these chances hes laying on for him.
I tell the lads to keep it up, then I have a word with Crouchy, and tell him Im very happy in his performance.
We start well, another neat move puts Benayoun in again, but its saved again. With 20 mins left I bring on Morrison for him.
The game however is dying down, Fulham don’t seem to be getting into it and we seem reluctant to attack. With 13 mins left they win a free kick at the edge of the area but shoot it wide in the first highlight for ages.
With 10 to go I bring on Petric for Crouch, and Collins for Reid, who’s picked up a yellow card, and tell the lads to go defensive. Fulham start to pressure, but with no real end products.
Fulham 1-2 West Ham
Amorebita (24) – Crouch (22) Cole (35)
League Position – 10th (TOP HALF BABY)
Match thoughts : One of the best performances of the season. With 10 minutes to go we’d had 13 shots to their 2, and though they picked up at the end it was never in doubt. Crouch is proving a great buy, and Cole had a really good game too.
Team of the week comes in
I realised after Joe Coles goal that I dont have Carlton Cole, so I decided to find him on the free transfer list. He looked OK, but wants 20k a week. Lol. Fuck off mate, Ive got Crouchy
9th November 2013 – Sunderland (17th) vs West Ham (10th)
Odds – Sunderland 11-5 – Draw 11-5 – West Ham Evens (fav)
Cattermole, Dossena and Johnson all miss out for Sunderland. Theyre coming off a run of 1 win in 5 games.
Downing comes back in the side for us after Benayouns number of disappointing misses, but Noble isn’t fit enough to make the bench yet
The start of the match is a cagey affair, with nothing happening till Giaccherini steals in behind the defence and Sommer saves well.Â With 26 mins gone Cole splits the defence to put Crouchy in, he turns his defender but the shot is wide. Sunderland start to get more shots in so I switch to a counter strategy. But as I do, Gardner passes to Giaccherini at the edge of the box, he shoots but its saved straight to Fletcher who scores 1-0.
Crouchy somehow gets on the end of a long ball but Kuhne saves as the half ends. We’ve had just 3 shots to their 7.
Kuhne saves from a Joey OBrien piledriver as we press. An injury to Collison lets me make some proper changes – on comes Morrison as an AM and Benayoun for Downing.
But its Sunderland who end the match better, Sommer forced into good saves from Vaughn and Fletcher. In the dying second Kuhne heads out to the wing to collect a loose ball, his clearence goes to Benayoun with an open goal and he shoots over. Sums my match up
Sunderland 1-0 West Ham
League position – 14th
Match thoughts – Very disappointing. The 1st half there was nothing, we came back into it up till the last 10 minutes and Sunderland pulled away again. Should have made my changes ealier then I wouldnt have had to chase a win. I think part of it is the lack of squad depth. Oh well, international break to recharge.
I ask Rat to retire from international football. He’s 5th in the league on average rating this season, but hes very very tired. He rejects it. 🙁
With the break on theres not much news.
OMG come to me andy
24th November 2013 – Swansea (20th) vs West Ham (11th)
Odds : Swansea 6-4(fav) – Draw 2-1 – West Ham 13-8
Our match is on the Sunday, a win wont move us up the table unless we score 5 to Swanseas 0 but would put us joint on points with 9th and 4 points clear of 12th
Swansea have only won 1 and drawn 3 of their 11 matches thus far.
Noble is back!
Within 12 seconds Crouch and Cole combine, and Crouch shoots and the keeper pushes past the post. The corner gets floated in, but headed out, then headed back in and falls to Tomkins who smashes in 1-0 after a minute!
Crouchy then plays a 1-2 with a central defender of ours, passing then spinning onto a long ball but shoots over. Shelvey has a go from range for Swansea, then Crouch heads over at the other end. Its a real tussle here. Swansea are getting all the possession but the shots are very even.
Another long ball sees Crouch head on for Cole, and his shot is pushed onto the bar. At half time we’re 1-0 up and looking good.
I tell the lads to retain possession and play shorter passes, as we’re 64-36 down on the possession stats at half way. Swansea go all out attack as we try to counter, with Crouch getting on a long ball, playing in Noble whos shot is saved. Downing then gets put in by Noble and his shot is saves.
With 25 mins left I bring on 3 subs, Jarvis, Benayoun and Padoin for Cole, Downing and Noble. Instantly I regret it, because what the fuck do I do if Swansea score now?
They get a corner straight away and its headed away. Then Commons gets past Rat, and shoots wide. Theyve only had 1 shot on target from 10 at this point. Crouch is a brilliant outlet, winning a few long balls but theres no support. Bony then shoots wide from a good chance as Swansea go all out.
With 13 mins left Shelvey cuts in from the right, Rat fouls him on the edge of the box and WTF PEN?!?!?!!
Looking at the reply this is outside (you can see Rats foot on the line). Ridiculous.
Commons scores. 1-1
Crouch creates a late chance for Jarvis but he shoots wide.
Swansea 1-1 West Ham
Commons (pen 77) – Tomkins (1)
League Position – 11th
Match thoughts – 3 points thrown away. I went too defensive too early, and should have kept a sub back. I let Swansea back in the game. I should have kept the system as it was. Ridiculous. So mad at myself.
Weirdly I don’t get a post match press conference, so no place to complain about the pen.
Diame picks up a 1 match ban for yellows.
Villas Boas gets sacked by Spurs. They’re 10th in the table, so no real shock.
30th November 2013 – West Ham (11th) vs Norwich (15th)
Odds : West Ham 4-6 (fav) – Draw 9-4 – Norwich 7-2
We return home for the first time this month and are massive favourites.
Padoin comes in for the suspended Diame. Benayoun gets a start in place of Downing.
Reid hits the post from a header from a corner in the 3rd minute as we press early. Crouchy then hits the post with a head from a Cole cross. With 22mins on the clock Tetley gets sent off for sliding in on Noble, wowser. Looked a harsh decision – could the decision from the last match be evening out? Just 2 mins later the break thrugh comes,Benayoun crosses for Crouch, he heads it back to Benayoun for some reason who crosses back to Crouch, his shot is saved but Cole bags the rebound! 1-0
Its all West Ham now, Cole and Noble both having decent chances.
At half time I tell the lads to carry on, and I up the tempo to make us more attacking. I want a 2nd to stop the nerves jangling.
Collison hits an early shot wide, then Benayoun strikes over as we keep missing chances. We’re piling the pressure on, with Rat having a shot tipped over. With 25 mins left Benayoun and Noble come off for Downing and Morrison.
Padoin hits a deep cross and Downing heads back to Crouch, but his shot is saved. Norwich arent in this at all but Im still bricking it. With 9 minutes left they get a chance, Snodgrass darts past a couple of defenders but Sommer makes the save. Phew.
We see out the remaining minutes.
West Ham 1-0 Norwich
League Position – 10th
Match Thoughts : Dominating performance after the sending off. Should have finished them off though. We need more goals (ANDY???)
And thats the month done. We don’t get any team or manager awards.
My backroom team give me some advice
WTF?? Crouchys da man.
The Board are happy
And December? It looks a cracking month outside of the final game.
But the big thing for next entry?