My CM 03/04 Update

[This post is rated 12-F for wanton and uncensored references to football. You have been warned.]

Alrighty then.

I’m sitting here, thinking to myself – let’s blog.

Five minutes later, I’m thinking – what shall I blog about?

Cue another minute passing by – I need a title to start things off….

Two minutes – Forget titles, let the content decide the title.

Three minutes – Now what?

Five excruciating minutes later – Oh hell, I’ll just blog about football again. Sorry dear non-football-supporting reader.

Alrighty then.

Shall I write about how incredibly, incredibly, incredibly disappointed I was with our loss to Birmingham at the weekend? I mean, COME ON! No, no, I won’t write about that. I get depressed when I do that.

Ah. Better yet, I ‘ll write about Championship Manager, specifically how I’ve been faring in my most recent game since my last update.

(While I have recently purchased Football Manager 2005, I have yet to start a new game in it, since I have yet to completely exhaust all the possibilities afforded me by CM 03/04.)

In my previous post regarding this, I mentioned that I had taken Huddersfield Town from the Third Division to First, and was preparing for a shot at promotion.

Well, I did succeed in that – thanks in no small measure to two major signings that season: defensive midfielder Keith Andrews (who I signed on a free) and striker Noel Whelan (also on a free). The combination of Whelan and Fagan upfront was brilliant and yielded plenty of goals, while Andrews (who I made captain) was imperious in midfield. I eventually finished second in the division, thus earning automatic promotion into the Premiership.

My first season in the premiership was a bit difficult, but still good, with my side finishing 12th. Nothing much would happen during this season, except for the fact that I was finally able to permanently sign the formerly on-loan players, Fagan and Courtney Pitt.

During the summer though, I was able to sign the unsettled and disillusioned Bruno Cheyrou from Liverpool for a knock-down price of £ 3 million. I would also add two central defenders (Chris Morgan and Alan O’Hare), leftback Franck Queudrue (on a free!), and young Supat Rungratsamee. Oh yes…

The result was beyond my wildest dreams.

That season – Huddersfield’s second in the Premiership – I took them to 6th place and hence a place in the UEFA Cup. I also reached the FA Cup semis, only to lose to Chelsea.

I then added Stefan Moore, who had a run-in with his manager at Blackburn, and so was available for £ 2 million only. What an explosive striker he turned out to be! He would pretty much be the missing piece of the puzzle. By now, Huddersfield’s finances were considerably healthy for a small club, and having had a group of mostly young players together with a few seasoned veterans for a season, I was able to field a team that basically, well, clicked.

Huddersfield finished 2nd in the league, just two points behind Chelsea, but perhaps more importantly, we won the UEFA Cup too! My first trophy! Yes, hopefully now Liverpool will appoint me as their manager!

No luck. Houllier was still there, despite their increasingly desperate performances.

So I decided that the only way to attract the big boys would be to go on and win the league title. To this goal, I splashed out on several players, most notably Cristiano Ronaldo (yup, can you believe it? Only in CM, baby, only in CM….. )

Also, I was fully aware of how cup distractions can affect your team’s league performance, so I deliberately got Huddersfield knocked out of both domestic cup competitions early by playing the reserve and youth team players. We’d also get knocked in the Champions League group stage, finishing third in our group and hence qualifying for the latter stages of the UEFA Cup. Rest assured I got the team out of that competition quickly too.

Now the stage was set for the final showdown – the battle for the league championship. The contenders were Chelsea, Newcastle Utd (managed by Sven-Goran Eriksson, would you believe) and in third, little old Huddersfield Town. Fortunately, the strategy to concentrate on one competition only paid off in spades. We put together a club record of 9 consecutive wins and a 19-match-unbeaten-streak to snatch the title at the very death, pipping Chelsea on goal difference alone. What a ride!

According to the ‘news articles’ posted on the News window, the fans were delighted (as they should be) and planned to build a statue in my (or at least, my virtual alter-ego’s) honour. Gosh, darn, I feel so humble….

Anyway, weeks after Huddersfield’s league triumph, Houllier resigned from Liverpool. Quick as a shot, I applied for the vacant managerial post. And juts a week before the new season began, I was offered the job – and now here I am as Liverpool manager.

What I’ve done with Huddersfield is nothing with what I plan to achieve with Liverpool. Watch this space.

[P.S. By now, I’m guessing some of you out there would probably be shaking your heads in disbelief, wondering if I forgot to take my medication and if the mental institution knew I was missing. I assure you all – I’m not anywhere near as loco as you might think. The again, if I was nuts, I wouldn’t exactly go round admitting it, would I?]

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7 thoughts on “My CM 03/04 Update”

  1. I love the CM series, now the FM2005 series.

    Been playing FM2005 for a while now, since the first day it hit Malaysian shores. Its a HUGE improvement over CM. You’ll enjoy it, no doubt.

  2. Dude, i was so addicted to CM that i had to uninstall in from my laptop and burn the CD installer a few weeks back to reclaim my life. Ha ha ha. I took Crewe from the 1st division to the Premier League and then won the premiership within 3 years using mainly rejected youngsters from Manyoo and Liverpool. Actually contemplating now whether i should be getting myself into FM2005 yet.

  3. Wow, champs after 2 years in the EPL

    How did you keep hold of your star players?
    How did you keep a lid on player salaries?
    How many of your players who played in Div 2 & 3 were stil playing in the championship winning season?

  4. berserk: If you re-read my post, you’ll find that I won the EPL in the 3rd season.

    My star players were mostly players who’ve played for Huddersfield since third or second division. I got lucky in the fact that they’ve got high loyalty ratings. Important to note that some of these players arrived from other clubs where they couldn’t get first team action, so as long as I offered them that, they’re happy to stay.

    Player salaries – only 3 players were given key status. almost everyone else has squad rotation status. i also maintained a small squad, so almost every player had enough playing time so they wouldn’t get unhappy. once you get happy players, you give them long contracts, and they won’t bother with you with salary demands.

    Div 2 and 3 players: 1/2 of the squad from 3rd division days remained. However, that’s because in my first season, I culled quite a bit of the squad and signed lots of players on loan or on free.The best 3rd div player i had that stayed to become a key player was John Thorrington. Excellent winger, although he does have low teamwork scores (tends to hog the ball a lot, but score brilliant individual goals).

  5. Ha. Haha. Hahahahahahaha.

    That’s the sound of me slipping into insanity. After months of weaning myself off FM (via Winning Eleven and a constant diet of live football, both on TV and in real life), I find myself reading your post with envy and wondering what made me ditch it in the first place.

    Lack of a life in the real world, I suppose.

    A few comments:
    1. Wha-? Your ambition as Huddersfield’s manager was to… be appointed manager of another club? You know what I’d do, as a fan, to a man like that? You know, they have a name for people like you. And a special place in hell.

    2. “Stefan Moore”… “explosive striker”: two phrases that I think (but hope not) will only go together in a fantasy world.

    3. Where are Aston Villa? Because if I can’t enjoy success IRL, at least I can do so vicariously through somebody elses PC simulation…

    4. Wish list: Football Manager Internet play. You. Me. Bring it on.

  6. Dzof: Heheheheh, you think I was gonna get stuck in Huddersfield forever? Besides, I enjoy the game a lot better as a club-hopping manager, bringing my Midas touch along (not that I’d condone it in real life, of course… ahem)

    Aston Villa. Err… good news is that they’re still in the EPL. Bad news is their manager now is Bryan Robson.

  7. Huddersfield into the prem eh?? Not bad, i did something similar with bristol city (although i soon realised tat i was too emotionaly attached to my created teem and couldent ever leave them, not that i didnt come close about 5 times…)

    my team was:
    gk. Kasper Schmiechel (250k)(how eva u spell it, that looks rite though…)

    sadly though i left that game and im now manageing arsenal, won all the FA, league cups, champions league and premiership but bristol gave me alot more job satisfaction…

    Dr. lee sims (free)

    Dc. Leon Cort (50k)

    Johnathan Spector (free)

    Dr. Jermain Darlington (150k)

    Ml. Riche Pertridge (free)(cnt spell it…)(capitain)

    Mc. John Spicer (10k)

    Mr. something Butler (free) (my worst player, too goal hungrey, skillful but we didnt get along…)

    Fc. Christian Roberts (started at teh club, gr8 player, vice capitain…)

    Fc. Jerome Thomas (11k) (trust me on this, if ur a small premiership club, div 1 club or div 2 (or even 3 if he’ll come) buy this guy, amazing dribbler, can score at will and isnt goal hungrey, he’ll set up as much as he puts away)

    Fc. Alan Randall (300k) (got him at 14, not a real player, hes one of those 1ns that teh game creates… skillful but as i was bristol and i had aweful trianing facilities he woudl never have improved that much, scored a bit though but never that gr8, just got the rebounds…)

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