Football Manager Diary – Season 1 August – The Rebuild begins

Football Manager 2014 LogoWhen we left last time we’d officially become the new manager of Bristol Rovers, started an utter hate for Peter Reid, and didnt win a single one of our preseason friendlies.

But we finished the month on a real shocker

42 - lol Anelka

Of course, we couldnt really afford Anelka

43 - Anelka Trial

I do try and offer him a contract but he’s way out of our pay league. Oh well, enjoy training with us Nik!

A pre season squad assessment shows us to have an average age of 22. Hmmm, maybe I should have signed some more youngsters.

Fuck that tho, its season starting time

10th August 2013 – Bristol Rovers vs Alfreton – Skrill Premier

I’m going to start the first match with the 4132 formation as below

44 - Alfreton Home Tactics

We’re massive favourites here as Alfreton are a semi pro team. Its absolute domination, but it takes a free kick for us to grab the lead

45 - Brunt Free Kick


Brunt grabs a second shortly after, heading in a cross from Gonzalez. To say Alfreton have gone defensive after this is an understatement as this screenshot from a throw in for me shows.

46 - Alfreton defending


Seconds into the second half they do grab a goal when our RB gets injured and they cross from there and head in. We continue to dominate tho, until 74 mins in theres another goal. For them. JESUS FUCKING CHRIST. I throw on another sub, go attacking, but Alfreton hold on.

Bristol Rovers 2-2 Alfreton
Brunt (40, 45) – Wishart (46) Harrad (74)


Reid On PhoneThey blew a 2-0 lead to a semi pro team? Hahahahhaha

We had 12 shots to their 3. I thought our keeper and defence was supposed to be awesome? I decide to have another look at the squad depth chart.

47 - Depth

WTF. It seems that something has ended up making out players star ratings going down. Is it possibly the signing of Anelka on a trial made everyone get reassessed? Weird.

13th August 2013 – Eastleigh vs Bristol Rovers – Skrill Premiership

I adapt the formation for this one, deciding to go with a 41212. Ive pushed the middle of the CM’s up to allow Gonzalez to play as a trequartista. Both him and Guillaume can play there so it should be good.

8 minutes in and we’re behind, Constable heading in a corner. 2 minutes later we hit the post through Harrold. 2 minutes after that Harrold goes through, gets tackles and the ball bobbles to Brunt who smashes in. GET IN. However we seem to be weak from corners, as we conceed again from one with 18 minutes on the clock. Fucks sake. At the half we’ve dominated but are behind. I go chicken fucking oriental with the players and tell them I want a better performance.

In the 2nd half its all Bristol Rovers, and we get the equaliser when Gonzalez gets played in and he smashes past the keeper. He’s knackered after that so he’s off for Guillaume. Just 5 minutes later we get a free kick, and Lee Brown decides to prove that anything Brunt could do in the last match he could do better

Brown Free Kick


And with 8 minutes to go it turns out we dont just have 2 good free kick takers.

Guillaume Free Kick

Guillaume caps the win with that one.

Eastleigh 2-4 Bristol Rovers
Constable (8), Spence (19) – Brunt (12) Gonzalez (54) Brown (59) Guillaume (82)
League Position – 2nd

Fucking delighted with that. We dominated again, with 12 shots to their 5.

50 - Team Talk

I’m blushing here

17th August 2013 – Bristol Rovers (2nd) vs Welling (6th) – Skrill Premiership

Its all Bristol… which means that Welling take the lead 7 minutes before time. We equalise direct from kick off with a break and Brunt scoring – but its disallowed. Gonzalez gets a great chance he should score, but the keeper saves. With seconds to go to half time he does score tho, White gets in down the riht and crosses for a Gonzalez tap in! But just before the half… our 4th different free kick scorer of the season as Irie-Bi gives us the lead.

Irie-Bi Free Kick

Boom. They had 2 shots in the 1st half, one on target.

2nd half they try and pressure, but to no avail. We get a few half chances, but its a basic seeing out of the win.

Bristol Rovers 2-1 Welling
Gonzalez (45) Irie-Bi (45+2) – Pires (39)
League Position – 3rd

Right lads, new tactic, get a free kick and we’ll just score from that

20th August 2013 – Woking (15th) vs Bristol Rovers (3rd)

We take the lead in the match rather than conceeding! Ollie Clarke hits a good goal from just at the edge of the box. 2 mins later Irie-Bi picks up an injury, and seeing as he’s the only DM I have I have to switch to a 4312 from my 41212. The rest of the match is total shite, I think tiredness in such regular matches is effecting my smallish squad.

You dont believe the game was shit?

52 - Woking Bristol Rovers Stats


Woking 0-1 Bristol Rovers
Clarke (33)
League Position – 3rd

And its only 3 days till another game.

24th August 2013 – Bristol Rovers (3rd) vs Macclesfield (23rd)

White hits the post for us, and Harrolds rebound is tipped round the post – but from the corner Parkes heads in. Lets see that smile lad

24 - Parkes

White grabs his goal after 17 minutes, then 6 minutes later we’re 3-0 up with Lokyer heading in a corner. 3 minutes after that its 4-0, a long ball from Lockyer sees Byrne run through 1 v 1 and he makes no mistake! White and uillaume both miss good chances as we just completely dominate the 1st half.

The game has died out as we get into the 2nd half, so I make a few subs and one of them scores with Guillerme bagging a White cross. Brunt scores, but is offside. White misses a sitter, then Macclesfield get a goal with 17 minutes left, then another with 6 mins left. 5-2, lol we cant blow a 5-0 lead. But its 5-3 with just 3 minutes left as Kay grabs another. WTF

Thankfully thats it.

Bristol Rovers 5-3 Macclesfield
Parkes (6), White (18), Lockyer (24) Byrne (27), Guillaume (63) – Holroyd (73) Kissock (85), Kay (87)
League Position – 1st Baby!

With that secured, and only a week of the window left I decide to look at some loans. First in is Jordan Sinnott from Huddersfield.

53 - Sinnot 1 54 - Sinnot 2

He’ll go straight into the team for the next match

31st August 2013 – Nuneaton (3rd) vs Bristol Rovers (1st)

A top of the table clash! It’s all Nuneaton, and tehy take a deserved lead 8 minutes before the half, Brown heading in a cross. Theres been nothing from us, but jus before half time Parkes does hit the bar from a header from our corner. At half time I switch to the 41221 formation, and it takes just a minute to make a difference, with Gonzalez scoring from a tight angle. Brunt then finds the ball in the box and should score, but shoots straight at the keeper twice. With 54 mins on the clock Byrne takes matters into his own hands and smashes a shot in from outside the box to give us the lead! Mildenhall has to make a few saves to keep us in the game, from range and from corners. As we look ready to conceed a long ball finds Brunt, he picks out Guillaume who smashes in!

What a win! Stolen from the jaws of defeat

Nuneaton 1-3 Bristol Rovers
Brown (38) – Gonzalez (47) Byrne (53), Guillaume (83)
League Position – 1st

And as if that wasnt good enough we also get an unexpected bonus

55 - Money

Whhhhaaaa?!?!?! Unfortunately it does nothing for our funds as the boa

With the month over its time to reflect

The new signings have fitted in well. Byrne on loan has bagged 2 goals from midfield in his 4 games, Irie-Bi has done ok but is out only DM option, Gonzalez has ushered in a formation change to 41212 before we’d even properly played the formations I set, and scored 3 in 6 appearences. Guillaume seems to be extremely effective off the bench, with 3 goal from 6 appearences but 4 of those being off the bench.

With just a few days left in the official transfer window I make a couple of signings, one permanent and two on loan.

The permanent one is a back up keeper

59 - Arnold 1 60 - Arnold 2

Looks to have the potential to take Mildenhalls place and continue for the next 5-6 seasons. Actually I really like his stats and might put him straight in the team

The loan signings are a couple of young lads to help the squad

61 - Storrie 62 - Jackson

The end of month awards come in

56 - POTM

Brunt manages to come third in Player of The Month

57 - YPOTM

But 1st in young player of the month!

And manager of the month? Theres only one man…

58 - MOTM