Football Manager Diary S2 – January 2015 – TRANSFER WINDOW OPEN!!! SIGN PEOPLE!!!

Football Manager 2014 LogoWith us heading into January I want to do a bit of a squad review. We signed a lot of players this year, so before getting started I want to look at the squad and strengths and weaknesses.

We’re top of the league, but I’m typically mental with transfers.

252 - Squad

Goalie is great. Arnold is fantastic and O’Brien has done fine every time Ive put him in. Defence is good, theres 3 decent centre backs, and plenty of depth in the full bac positions too. Kellett and O’Neill look like they could sustain those fullback positions for a few years.

In the midfield Atkinson and Sinnott are an awesome pairing in CM, and Lawrence is making the AM position untouchable. The wildcard is Gonzalez, I was expecting this to be his break out year but Atkinson has been too good in the playmaker position in midfield, and Lawrence is untouchable. With Gonzalez on £2,400 a week it may be time to move him on

Up front I’m happy too. Derbyshire and Johnson seem to have a partnership that is keeping out Brunt, and Fletcher and Zapata are good back ups.

Really, we need to sign no one. Can I resist? I WILL TRY HONEST

Contracts are expiring too

253 - Contract

I manage to get most of the major players with 4-5 star potential who arent old to sign new contracts. The exceptions are Gonzalez, who refuses my offer, Johnson and Derbyshire who I dont offer as theyre too old.

Its cool to see when signing their new contracts a few of the players say its because they admire me, and looking at a few of the players Byrne, Sinnott, Brunt, Arnold are some who now have me in their profile as favoured personel.

First match this month is the FA Cup which we really need to win to bring some money in

3-1-15 – Bristol Rovers vs Stevenage – FA Cup 3rd Round

Johnsons injured so Brunt and Derbyshire start. Stevenage are favourites, and they play in the league above us. Brunt gives us the lead tho, scoring after a Chantler cross bobbles round the box. We have the majority of chances with Lawrence forcing a few saves, but then O’Neill gets on the right and crosses for Derbyshire to score! Larwence then plays in Chantler and he crosses for Derbyshire to score again. 3 goals in 24 minutes and all from full backs crosses. We get a 4th, a long ball is flicked on by Derbyshire and Brunt runs on and scores! 4-0 after half an hour.

Into the 2nd half and Stevenage pull 1 back through Aneke, but aside from that the match is dead

Bristol Rovers 4-1 Stevenage
Brunt (8, 32), Derbyshire (22,24) – Aneke (53)
Through to the next round!

A great result. We could do with a nice big team now to get a good money draw.

259 - Norwich


I’m preparing for our game on the 6th when I get a message

260 - Pitch

Ha, never seen that before. I ask the board to relay the pitch but theres no money available.

Jamie White and Lee Brown both agree to terminate their contract for 10k and 18k respectively after the assistant can find no teams interested in them. Neither has been near the team for months, and they’ve both been in the reserves so this theoretically saves a little money

10-1-14 Hartlepool (10th) vs Bristol Rovers (1st)
Guthrie heads a corner over, then Hartlepool take the lead with James volleying in a free kick on the half hour mark. Franks then doubles the lead with a lovely chip over Arnold. Hartlepool are running riot. Harewood should make it 3-0 but Arnold pulls off the save. Its all them at the half.

I make a few subs but its making no difference and we produce nothing. With 6 minutes to go Harewood caps their win breaking past the defence and scoring.


Hartlepool 3-0 Bristol Rovers
James (30), Frank (35) Harewood (84)
League Postion – 1st

Atkinson picked up an injury and is out for 4-5 weeks. Thats a massive loss.

Next up is the postponed match

16-1-14 – Bristol Rovers (1st) vs Carlisle (15th)

Gonzalez comes in for Atkinson and has a chance to prove hes worth his wages.

The first half is very even, with both teams having shots well saved

At half time I tell the team I want a win.

Within 20 seconds of the half kicking off we’re behind.


Johnson gets a chance to equalise but its saved. I throw on Brunt for Derbyshire but its all defence for Carlisle, till in the 81st minute Sinnott shoots through a crowd of players

261 - Sinnott

We;re back in this…. for all of a minute as Carlisle score again.


Bristol Rovers 1-2 Carlisle
Sinnott (81) – Beck (46), Potts (84)
League Position – 1st

Fucks sake.

21-1-15 – Luton (23rd) vs Bristol Rovers (1st)

Surely if there was any match to get back on track its the 2nd bottom team.

2 minutes in we have the lead through a Jackson header on a corner. 10 minutes later tho Jackson takes a bad touch on a long ball forward and Sutherland has a tap in for Luton. FFS.

The first half ends that way. Into the second half and both our full backs need to be subbed as they are tired, and its one of the subs Kellett who hits the bar as we press. With 10 minutes to go Johnson comes on for Brunt, but its Lawrence who makes the difference, slotting home a through ball from Lockyer. Lawrence then hits the post, and Johnson bags the rebound!

What a relief

Luton 1-3 Bristol Rovers
Sutherland (13) – Jackson (2), Lawrence (83), Johnson (84)
League Position – 1st

Luton had 1 shot in the entire match and that was only due to Jacksons mistake.

Next up is the cup match

25-1-15 – Norwich vs Bristol Rovers – FA Cup 4th round

Takes 35 minutes for a highlight, Arnold saving well from Popov. At half time we’re still in this.

Into the 2nd, and Norwich take an early lead with Howson bagging from a corner after Rio Ferdinand has headed onto the bar. With half an hour left we steal the ball and Chantler passes to Brunt, and he plays in Lawrence who should shoot but instead picks out Johnson for a tap in! 1-1!

Norwich are too strong tho, and with 20 to go they attack and Hooper crosses for Van Wolfswinkel (awesome name) to score.

That goals enough for Norwich and they hold out for the win.

Not a bad performance

Norwich 2-1 Bristol Rovers
Howson (46), van Wolfswinkel (72) – Johnson (61)

Im bringing Sweeney and Forfana, the two loanees back up into the 1st team squad

27-1-15 Bristol Rovers (1st) vs Exeter (18th)

Need a win here. Both the loanees are back in the team.

We go 1-0 behind. Sigh. FFS. All that bollocks.

Bradley should equalise after a through ball by Lawrence but he shoots wide. Arnold then make a good save from Bard, then 5 minutes before half time we equalise when Johnson heads in a corner.

Into the second half and Arnold again has to save from Bard, before Jackson bags a goal for us from a header from a free kick. Its back and forth for the rest of the match, but we hold on!

Thank fuck for that

Bristol Rovers 2-1 Exeter
Johnson (41), Jackson (58) – Baird (7)
League Position – 1st

1 more match left this month

31-1-15 – Morecambe (19th) vs Bristol Rovers (1st)

A great ball from O’Neill plays Johnson down the right, and he crosses for Derbyshire to head in. Johnson then has a good shot pushed round the post and from the corner Sweeney doubles our lead

Its a good 1st half!

Into the second and Lawrence scores but its disallowed. Morecambe score with 8 minutes left off a corner, but we hold on for the win.

Morecambe 1-2 Bristol Rovers
Santos (82) – Derbyshire (17), Sweeney (30)
League Position – 1st

That ends a mixed month. I dont know whats happened to the team but it seems whatever clicked so well in December has unclicked in January.

Unsuprisingly we finish nowhere in the monthly awards

The board are happy and theres good news on the finance front

261 - Board

Wowzer, thats the first time we have made a profit in ages.

League looks good as well

262 - League jan

And – I didnt sign any players!

Onto Feb! (where I probably sign players)