I started a new Football Manager 2014 Diary

Football Manager 2014 LogoSome avid readers of Taffs Blog (hi Scots and Phil) may recall I did a Football Manager diary a few months back where I took West Ham to the title. Unfortunately I then had an epic computer crash and lost almost everything on the PC, including the West Ham save.

With World Cup fever in the air (as I type this I have Belgium-Russia on in the background) Ive decided to get a game of FM going again.

I’m using Steklo v4 skin (available on the steam workshop) and a data update of FM14 Transfers & Data Update Packs by_pr0FM.

I’m running England (down to Skrill Premier), France (down to League 2) Germany (down to 2. Bundesliga), Italy (down to Serie B), Netherlands (Eredivise only), Portugal (Liga ZON SAGRES only), Scotland (down to Championship) and Spain (down to Liga Adelante).

I’m going to start unemployed and see where the wind takes me!

With that said, lets get going.

Heres my profile

1 - Profile

Lol at having a good opinion on Tony Pulis. I’m guessing all of those picks are from having Man United as a favourite club. I put myself on holiday and set it to apply to all jobs. It takes just one day for the phone to start ringing

2 - Bristol Rovers Interview Offer

Nice. Bristol are in the Skrill Premiership, so as low as we can go manager wise (in England anyway, its probably a higher standard than any of the Scottish leagues).

In the interview I get asked about promotion chances, which I say are good, I get a chance to negotiate a little, so I ask for more money transfer wise, the chance to play possession and I ask for a parent club – which at first gets denied but on appeal they promise to look at.

3 - Bristol Rovers Interview 1 4 - Bristol Rovers Interview 2 5 - interview 3

Just two days later they come back with a job offer

6 - Bristol Rovers job offer

But wait….

7- Ox Job Offer

Oxford are in League 2, so the league above Bristol. I delay the Bristol offer for a week to take the Oxford interview

8 - Ox Interview 1 9 Ox Interview 2

Oxford are a lot harder, they want me to sign youngsters and bring them to the first team. They only offer me the chance to ask about a style, to which I say I want to play possession and I ask for a parent club.

Just a day later tho I get another message

10 Ox rejected


12 - Peter Reid


11 - Peter Reid


13 - Peter Reid

I’m so fucking annoyed I make a snap decision

Welcome to Bristol

14 - Bristol Job accepted

Given I was offered a league 2 job I probably could have held out for a bit longer, but I’m so mad at a world, even a virtual one, where Peter Monkey Heid Reid is considered a better manager than me. Ugh.

So what do we know about Bristol?

15 - Bristol History

In the 2013/14 real life season they were relegated to the Skrill Conference, which is why they are here in 2013/14 in the game. Their most famous fans include Jeffery Archer and Rod Hull. Jesus.

Looking at the fixtures we have a few friendlies in, and the assistants also managed to beat Crewe of League 1 in a friendly before I took charge, so theres some positive signs.

Before looking at the squad tho I want to bring in my own men, especially a new assistant. Sorry Darren Clarke but your stats are shite.

16 - Darren Clark

Youre also earning £75 a week more than me, and I cant have that.

Looking at the staff they can almost all go. I keep my physio and GK coach because they aren’t terrible and then I suddenly recognise my Under 21s Coach name – a Bristol Rovers legend.

You’re going nowhere son.

I bring in my own staff members, and also send out one very personal offer. I get a message back tho

17 - Oxford Friendly

CUNTS. I will have you, one way or another Reid.

With that done lets look at the squad depth chart from my new assistant

18 - Squad Depth

So it looks like we have a good keeper, a decent defence. An ok strike force and only 1 midfielder of any decent rating.

Gonna be difficult to pick out a formation here. I ideally like to play something along the lines of a 4-5-1 with a DM and pushed up wingers, but theres only 1 decent centre midfielders and the wingers don’t look up to scratch. I may be best adapting to a kind of 4-3-3 with three central strikers, but I’m not sure that I can make that work. Lets take another look at the full squad list.

19 - Squad

One name stands out instantly, Alefe Santos. A 5’4″ Brazilian, playing in the conference? Hmm….

20 - Alefe Santos

Weird. He’s shit.

Anyway, fuck this lets look at it Position by Position.

21 - GK


Steve Mildenhall is by far the better option. The big issue is he’s 35, but depending on when he wants to retire he could have a few years left in him. He’s one of the big club earners so if we could bring in a young keeper who could take over in 2 years when Mildenhalls contract ends then we could do OK. Kieran Preston is awful, but he’s the only other keeper in the squad. I’ve moved him down to the reserves and am going to look to move him on

22 - DF


Strongest area of the squad. Smith, Parkes, McChrystal and Brown look to be a really good back 4, and Lockyer is knocking on the door. Outside of that its utter shit. Parkes in particular has some really good stats, but the thing that interests me the most? Michael Smiths profile picture.

23 - Smith

It looks like someone threw acid in his face. Even Tom Parkes is laughing at him

24 - Parkes

You loveable scamp Tom Parkes, you’re going to be my new captain

25 - MF


The game has thrown Lockyer and Brown in there from the defence, but both are much better defensively than in midfield. Outside of Oliver Norburn we have no midfield. Norburn looks ok, he’s very average stats wise which is decent for a conference player. Santos and Harrison dont look like theyve got very good stats at all, but have some potential so maybe it is a decent idea to give them a try. It looks like Ollie Clarke will be playing unless I can sign some other CMs, he’s got a good workrate but his touch is worse than Stuart Halls.

26 - ST


Our 2nd strongest area. I’m tempted to give a go with a three man strike force, but the best option looks to be a two man, with probably Harrold and one of Brunt and White. Brunt to me looks the better option to come off the bench, with a bit more workrate – tho I could use the same argument to start him. Harrold for a 28 year old looks decent.

From looking at the full squad, midfielders are key to sign. A defensive midfielder is key as all of the formations I want to create need one.


I’m going to start training 3 formations

There’s a few things that are universal between the formations. I want the players to keep a high tempo, push high up and play offsides and keep the passing short. I’m also asking the full backs to push up and look for he overlap

27 - Taff 4132
Taffs 4132

28 - Taff 433
Taffs 433

29 - Taff 41221
Taff’s 41221

With that sorted lets get to preseason!

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  • bubbanet

    Good stuff Taff.

    Is a youth player with silver stars ever worth keeping over a player with 1 gold star?

    Also, is there a mod that lets you look back to the start of the season to see what your Youth’s attribute increases are from start/end of season?

  • Chris Harrod

    Players have silver star ratings because they are too young and not good enough to have gold stars, I think it usually goes as silver stars being below 1 star current ability.

    For young players I go off potential. I’m probably not going to be playing in the first team anyway, so its more important to see how they will develop

    None of my youth team players look that good. I’m planning on getting promoted this season and hopefully the next, and then their stats are going to go down in comparrison to the division I’m playing in.

    For tracking developments I dont think so, usually I just go their profile, then development and click the “Show recent attribute changes” button to see how they are doing

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