FM 21 Community Challenge Part 7

The transfer window

Our main targets for the summer were defenders. Wright, Toal and O’Nien were decent in the Championship, but nowhere near Premier League quality. The only centre defender we were sure we wanted to give a chance in the Premier League was Patrick Almond. Other than him we were in desperate need of quality and depth. No more than four central defenders were brought in together with both a right and left wingback. The best deal of the summer for the long term might be Pipi on a free transfer. He looks like a world-class playmaker in the making.
It will also be exciting to see if Tyrese Campbell can replicate Elangas numbers from last season and score goals for us.
The biggest blow of the summer has to be Elanga leaving us, but with time I hope we can bring him back to the Stadium of Light.

Speaking about the Stadium of Light; Just before the start of the season, Louis-Dreyfus announced the plans for an expansion of the stadium. A huge step in the right direction both from a financial perspective but also from a sports perspective. Great news!

Tactics


We had great success against better opposition last season with this formation. This year we’ve tried to make it a little better in offence, but at the same time keeping the solidity in defence. Not sure if the best way to go at it is attacking on all the three upfront, may change a little during the season. We hope that both Hannibal and Thorstvedt can provide points for us. Dan Neil has found his role in front of the defence, fingers crossed that he’s good enough to control play in the Premier League. I may be a little naive to not have a better player there, but I think Neil got real potential. We also have a similar tactic where Thorstvedt and Hannibal are moved down to central midfield, so we can adjust if we’re being overrun.


August

What a start to our new life in the Premier League. Back to back victories against strong Premier League teams is nothing more than a huge surprise. Got down to earth again against Leeds, but we are way ahead of our schedule after three games. Also glad to get a win in our first TV match at home after a brace from Tyrese Campbell. Everyone loves a striker that scores goals.

September

We continue our fantastic start to the season. We are without a doubt overachieving, but that’s alright with me. Big win against Tottenham, even though we parked the bus for the last 20 minutes. A win is a win.
Nottingham Forest is a team we should beat so job well done from the lads there. We continue to give youth a chance in the Carabao Cup and it’s good to see them perform well.

October

We still have momentum and got a late win against Fulham. Even though they were the better team we take a 1-0 victory at Craven Cottage 10 out of 10 times. Superb to finally get a Tyne-Wear derby again and what a match it was for us! In front of a sold-out Stadium of Light, we dominated Newcastle for 90 minutes. Patrick Almond scoring from two headers within the first 32 minutes made us relax and enjoy it. What a day for the academy graduate.
Little to say about the Liverpool game other than that it is an expected loss at Anfield.



November

The month started good with the Carabao Cup, but after that it was abysmal. Tough losses to Sheffield United at 20th place and West Ham who we beat twice in the Championship last season. The worst part may be that we scored zero goals in three games. We need to beat the teams around us at the table if we want to stay in the prem. On a high note, Louis-Dreyfus has handed out £27M to the transfer budget, something that definitely will come in handy.

December

The morale in this team is sinking like a rock. We do have some quality, which we shoe by crushing Leicester at home. after that December was a rough month. The results are half decent, but we are two lucky draws away from a disastrous month. We did get our first clean sheet in two and a half months, and we are ready to meet Man Utd in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup. Despite our bad results and form, we are sitting at 10th in the Premier League halfway through the season. Not bad at all, but due to the insane form at the start of the season the expectations got higher.
This January will be our most important one yet and could be the difference between a relegation battle or a comfortable mid-table season. Hopefully, we can strengthen the squad with some decent players.


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