Football Manager 2016 - Charlton - Season 2 - Second Half Review

I can't lie, the first half of the season did not start exactly as planned. I'm used to being very successful on Football Manager in recent years so an 8 game streak without a win is something I really wasn't used to and part of me expected to get the sack before we picked up that first win. I decided that a lack of experienced players in the team had probably lead to some of the younger players knowing how to turn around the series of bad results and made a plan to sign an experienced player or two.

To raise the funds for these signings I ended up selling Igor Vetokele to League One Fulham who had managed to raise a large sum of money with all of the players that decided to leave them after their relegation in my first season, surprisingly Ross McCormack was still there and firing them back into the Championship. Unfortunately that is where the plan ended. While taking a look through Fulham's squad I noticed a young player by the name of Emerson Hyndman, an American Attacking Midfielder. After consulting my scouts I found out that he was available for only £2m (roughly the same amount I received for Vetokele) and that he was also someone that they rated very highly with regards to his potential.

Experienced signings flew out the window, and Emerson Hyndman became my main transfer target in the January Transfer Window. The process was surprisingly painless, considering all the trouble Fulham gave me over Dembele, and I had my man with the minimum amount of negotiations taking place.

Please accept my apologies over the player screenshots here, I seem to have forgotten to take them at the time and so now you can see them in their current form at the end of my third season.

I made two other signings in January, one of which met my criteria of an experienced player to help out the younger members of the squad, Foued Kadir. I hoped that the Algerian international would feel right at home with us as we already had his compatriot Ahmed Kashi playing for us. Foued was a useful signing available on a free transfer which worked out well for me seeing as I had spent all of my budget on Hyndman.

The second signing was a loanee in from Borussia Monchengladbach called Nico Elvedi. I hoped that he would add further depth to my centre back options, with only Borja, Bauer and Sarr as the main options there, and possibly even push for a starting line up place. Unfortunately it wasn't to be and Nico faded into obscurity as the season progressed.

On that note I think now would be a good time to look at the fixtures for the rest of the season. The first game of 2017 was a disappointing affair and saw my Charlton team fall 1-0 victims of Watford, but in true Football Manager style I was drawn against them in the FA Cup five days later, and we exacted our revenge with a 4-0 at Vicarage Road. (they still play there right?)

This result was followed by 3 straight wins in the Premier League and I was feeling very happy about our prospects and staying in the Premier League for another year. A quick lesson for everyone here, never get too comfortable as that is usually the point that the wheels come flying off the Football Manager bus. For me, a draw against Bournemouth in the next round of the FA Cup lead to another winless run for my Charlton team stretching all the way from 31 January to 19 March! (9 games in total, 7 in the league and 2 in the cup)

There were some tough games in there and a 6-2 defeat to Chelsea that I would rather forget, but there were also some performances that deserved a better result, in particular the 4-4 draw with West Ham just before we ended the winless run. The West Ham result actually saw us go on a run of 3 strong victories starting with a 4-1 win at home to our "rivals" Crystal Palace. a 1-1 draw away to Southampton bookended the winning run.

We lost 5-2 at Old Trafford but managed to win 3-1 at home against Liverpool, so not all of the bigger clubs were using us for target practice. After that result we were left needing a result against West Brom, or Arsenal, to secure our final position in the league. Thankfully we picked up the result away at West Brom as Arsenal once again got the better of me on the final day of the season.

At the start of the season everyone expected us to be relegated, so to finish midtable really shut up the haters. Crystal Palace who had been hanging around the relegation zone managed to get a big run going and pushed their way up to 13th while Southampton survived by the skin of their teeth, at the expense of Leicester City. Ipswich and Villa made up the rest of the relegation zone, with Villa a particular surprise as they had some decent players. At least I won't have to face Clayton Donaldson again!

Here's a nice quote from "Football 365" stating just how much everyone underrated us!

JBG impressed again and made it into the Premier League Team of the Season, as well as picking up the Fans Player of the Year award at Charlton. Emerson Hyndman was voted as the signing of the season, which seems a bit harsh considering he was only there half a year and there were other players who were equally important for us. Jordan Cousins picked up the Young Player of the Year award to round out the results.

Finally, despite my nerves over job security, it would appear that I am still in a very safe place with the board at Charlton Athletic. I'm considered Very Secure in my job and although I don't have perfect results across the board I think I have done a decent enough job for our first year in the Premier League.


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