Jump to content
  • Welcome to talkfootball365!

    The better place to talk football.

Dan / FM17 (SQUAD UPDATE) / Shrewsbury Town

football forum

Recommended Posts

  • Subscriber


Shrewsbury Town

Well, truth be told, it's a bit random really. I suppose they're the underdog story of the Football League this season (Bristol City arguably another contender) and that hints to me they may have a squad that's got some hidden talent. I think I'm about due another save in the lower leagues in England and I decided I'd go with these.

Pretty shite. This is the FM17 update (I just cannot get into 18 no matter what I do) with the best update on the internet. They have a poor squad for this level and very little money to be able to strengthen. There is a bit of money free in the wage bill but nothing significant. Investment is definitely needed.

Objectives for the season
We're predicted to finish rock bottom. I don't see it. I think we will survive despite our poor squad as it's a pretty poor standard overall and I intend to be quite an attacking side - I don't mind taking the odd battering if it's yielding us wins in the process. We don't really have the defenders either to play defensively so I think doing so would be stupid. I intend to take both cups seriously and change my entire side for that joke Checkatrade Trophy, praying that we're knocked out as soon as possible.

Objectives for the future
A gradual process to get Shrewsbury up the leagues by signing and developing young talent. Something I try and do at every club, some with more success than others, but mainly I think it'll be through signing good youngsters because I'm not backing the academy as things stand to churn me much quality. The idea really is to buy players whose value will increase and either sell them on or utilise them, which should gradually see us go up the leagues. I think it'll take a while to go up from this league though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 32
  • Created
  • Last Reply
  • Subscriber

Let's talk about Moneyball. Moneyball started in the USA and is a concept where you try and maximise what you get for your money - taking some particular findings into account in order to progress your side. I'm going to try and stick to these principles as much as possible with Shrewsbury, although truth be told, I've done a lot of these naturally anyway, with the occasional exception.

1. Net wage spend is more important than net transfer spend.

2. Don't needlessly splash out on new players or sell old ones upon joining a club.

3. Don't buy players who impressed at international tournaments. This is one of the ultimate traps. They're playing in a different side with different tactical set ups, and a tournament is a tiny sample size. Also, the price of these players will shoot up in this situation. If anything, hope that your cast offs have good international tournaments and hope that you can increase how much you raise.

4. Certain nationalities are over-rated, and some are under-rated. Holland, Brazil and England, in-particular, have a premium.

5. Sell players around 29/30, except for goalkeepers.

6. Use the wisdom of crowds. Get opinions on potential signings from all scouts and director of football, ensuring that they're knowledgeable beforehand.

7. Buy players in their early twenties.

8. Don't overspend on strikers. They are over-valued in the market.

9. Sell any player who you are offered above their value for and aim to get them replaced before they leave.

10. Don't buy players that you don't need. Develop a youth network to plug the gaps.

As stated, I usually stick to principles along these lines anyway, although I think I could've possibly been even more careful than I have been to ensure I don't piss money away. I intend to grow my backroom team as much as I can with the best quality coaches and scouts I can attract and build upon this every single year. 

So, what do I do? I've analysed my squad and found the following:
- We're pretty shite.
- In seriousness, we're quite weak all over the pitch. We ultimately lack pace and creativity and I want a couple of signings to address this.
- Our defence is a concern, and at full back in-particular we lack anyone comfortable supporting attacking play.
- Our best two strikers are on loan, and we have to look to address this as soon as we can. While I will loan players in, I would rather have them outright.

So, in came...

Larnell Cole (free) - 23 year old winger released from Fulham, actually was on loan at Shrewsbury the year before which I was unaware of at the time of signing. He offers us pace and creativity.

Dyon Gijzen (MVV Maastricht, free) - 22 year old attacking midfielder who adds creativity to my side. I brought in some Dutch staff when I took over and thus my knowledge on the country increased. Now while it says Holland is over-valued, this was a free signing and I think it applies more to the top level than this level. Gijzen unquestionably gives my team something we lacked.

Owain Jones (free) - Not the Guardian journalist, although he can actually play left-wing. He's 20 years old, released by Swansea and can play on either wing, being left footed although predominantly favours playing on the right. He adds pace and an alternative option.

Frank van der Struijk (free) - Another Dutch player! This is the signing that most contradicts my rules as he's 31 years old, but he's only here for a year and he plugs the gap of being a full back that has more about him on the ball and going forward. He's someone intend to replace from next season unless he's outstanding this year.

Tactical approach

So to put it all together. I intend to play quite an attacking game simply because I think as a side that's likely to be fighting relegation, we're going to at least be able to win a few more games if we attack teams rather than scrape points - we simply don't have the defenders to do it and I think I've at least addressed some of our issues going forward. I don't want to play anything too complicated, I'll play a 4-2-3-1 formation with the instruction of being more expressive in order to try and utilise the creativity of Gijzen and Cole. This becomes my favoured side:


It's quite basic, but as stated I don't want to try and get players to play roles that are beyond them. I expect us to have a lot of goals in our games. I'm willing to risk the odd battering if it turns the odd draw into a win. I'd rather finish 16th with a -30 goal difference than 22nd with a -12, although I don't expect things to get that bad.

I think my signings will no longer have us down as the league's weakest side, although I'm not expecting any miracles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Subscriber

To be honest, I think it's a fancy term for being clever with your signings. Obviously I can see why the fancy term came about, but it was deemed quite a revolutionary way to organise a squad in Baseball - while a lot of clubs in football do things like it now, there are still plenty who fall into these traps.

I read a book called Soccernomics which makes some very interesting points about the errors that clubs make nowadays.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I played with Shrewsbury on FM17, I didn’t think their squad was that bad tbh. It wasn’t great by all means but there was a spine you could build around in Jayson Leutweiler, Adam El-Abd and Abu Ogogo. The hardest thing I found in my opening season was finding a pair of strikers that complimented each other and scored on a semi-regular basis. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Subscriber
1 hour ago, Smiley Culture said:

When I played with Shrewsbury on FM17, I didn’t think their squad was that bad tbh. It wasn’t great by all means but there was a spine you could build around in Jayson Leutweiler, Adam El-Abd and Abu Ogogo. The hardest thing I found in my opening season was finding a pair of strikers that complimented each other and scored on a semi-regular basis. 

Leutweiler isn't here now as it's a squad updated for this year. I don't rate El-Abd and Ogogo is a walking red card, although when he doesn't get sent off he's actually a pretty good player.

Jon Nolan, Oliver Lancashire and Shaun Whalley have all surprised me with how good they've been.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Subscriber

I did originally play him as a BWM which doesn't help but there's no way he should've been getting the cards he was getting. He's calmed down somewhat now and is a pretty handy player.

El-Abd will be the same player. The squads are updated but the game still starts in July 2016 which is a pain but it can't really be helped.

I've just looked at Leutweiler. I really hope they got some good money for him. He's a solid Championship level keeper at least. Saying that, our current keeper Craig MacGillivray I do rate a lot I think he can go quite far. I reckon at least Championship.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 27/12/2017 at 2:37 AM, Dan said:

. Sell any player who you are offered above their value for and aim to get them replaced before they leave.

Really? Surely you'd be losing your best players every six months. I think it's an especially bad idea if you sell young players as soon as you get an offer over their value because a year later they could be worth a lot more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Subscriber
4 minutes ago, ...Dan said:

Really? Surely you'd be losing your best players every six months. I think it's an especially bad idea if you sell young players as soon as you get an offer over their value because a year later they could be worth a lot more.

I personally think that's a rule I'd break too. Every player has a price in my eyes but I won't be selling Larnell Cole for £700k for example, although the players' value is carefully calculated and it's worth paying attention to.

If I sold Cole I would do something like £1mil and 50% of his next transfer fee.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Subscriber

Early Days

We're all set. The squad is good enough for me and now we see how this pretty attacking approach gets on. We are presented with a tricky opening day trip to Portsmouth. We absolutely smash them to pieces. We take an early lead before spending most of the first half under the cosh, and just on the stroke of half time we add a second. The second half gets underway and we're straight at them again, loanee Carlton Morris adds a third in the 49th minute. Portsmouth get a consolation in the 82nd minute but incredibly we add another two later on and win the game 1-5. While Portsmouth probably sound more intimidating than they actually are, that was a superb result and the best start possible.

We then go to Leeds in the cup and take them all the way to penalties, eventually bowing out. We were well worth our draw on the night. My first ever game at Greenhous Meadow was a disappointing defeat to Peterborough, but wins over Northampton and Blackpool and a draw at home to Rotherham left us high in the table.

I wanted out of the Checkatrade Trophy, and unfortunately we were put into a group with Sheff Utd which is a slight bug of the squad update as they're no longer actually in it due to their promotion. An entirely different XI won 1-0.

We then hit a slump as we're beaten 4-2 at Fleetwood and Charlton, before suffering a humiliating 5-1 defeat at promotion hopefuls Wigan, although these games did surround a superb turnaround at home to Bury which saw us win a game we were 2 down in with 20 minutes left. We bounced back with a win at home to Doncaster and a Checkatrade Trophy win (sigh) at Cambridge on penalties, before a disappointing 2-0 defeat at Scunthorpe.

What was notable about our side was our utterly appalling disciplinary record. Captain Abu Ogogo had seen red three times already and while my intention was to try and create a united, positive dressing room, it's very hard to not want to punch the cunt in the face.

We then went on a very good run with wins over AFC Wimbledon, Gillingham, MK Dons and Bristol Rovers. The Wimbledon win being one of the funniest in a long time as the visitors hit the woodwork five times in the first half, yet went in 2 down at half time. Ogogo picks up his FOURTH red card of the season and they get one back, before we kill them on the counter late on for a completely undeserved 3-1 win. We're sitting just outside the play-off places. An excellent start really all considered.

Up next.... the clocks go back...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Abu Ogogo went to a nearby school to me when growing up so we had a lot of mutual friends. The general comments about him was that he preferred the 'class a' partying to the football at a young age and Arsenal gave up on him.

Oliver Lancashire was shit for me at Oldham on FM '16. Here's hopeing he's better for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Subscriber

I've actually done the whole season but I won't ruin the surprise, I'll wait until I can be arsed to present it in story mode.

But Ogogo kind of found a bit of a home in my side in the end, not a star man like my staff see him as but a solid enough player.

Oliver Lancashire has been a rock and quite honestly one of my best players. Not rated by the staff but he's one of these who just keeps delivering and I find him hard to drop. I doubt he'll be starting for me by the end of next season but I'll get what I can out of him.

Also, decided if I'm going to place some emphasis on moneyball, I'm going to have to really analyse how my transfers have worked out. I'm confident that we will be better for it. It's a successful method.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Subscriber

The clocks go back...

Halloween arrives but there's no horror show from us. We sail through our FA Cup first round tie with a 0-3 win at non-league Torquay before smashing Middlesbrough U23's 4-1 in the Checkatrade Trophy, meaning annoyingly we'd walked our group despite me changing my whole team for each game. I didn't know if to be encouraged or annoyed. A bit of both probably.

The winning run came to an end as Southend grabbed a last gasp point here and Bradford held us to a draw (doing them a disservice really as we held on more than them), but we returned to winning ways with victories over Rochdale, Oldham and then Chesterfield away in the FA Cup. This was incredible really. We were firmly in contention for the play-offs and had a third round FA Cup game to boot. For a team predicted to finish bottom I was delighted at how things were doing, and after a dodgy start defensively we'd conceded just 7 goals in our last 11 games, scoring a superb 26 in the process. We're the form team of the league.

But the end of our run came - in the best way possible, as Oldham knocked us out of the Checkatrade Trophy on penalties just two days after the Chesterfield game. Unfortunately though, this set a run of just one win in five, with Portsmouth being victims to yet another sound beating, 3-0 this time. The league run came to a shock end at the hands of Northampton Town, but in all honesty, this was a bit of a freak result as I was without a keeper from the 4th minute. We attacked but were unsurprisingly punished and lost 1-3.

We entered the new year and I thought this was a good time to analyse how our signings and players in general have performed.

The stars:
Carlton Morris - the Norwich loanee forward has been in scintillating goalscoring form and has hit 20 already. While I don't expect him to keep this up, he's been the ideal forward for our system and has very little weakness to his game. If I was Norwich manager I'd be looking at giving him some first team action next season.

Larnell Cole - Started slowly but really has come to life in recent weeks with plenty of goals and assists. An astute signing on a free.

Oliver Lancashire - He really has been a rock in defence. He's quite a limited defender, but he just wins absolutely everything in a league where the majority of teams seem hell bent on planting it straight towards his head anyway. He isn't rated by my coaching staff, but he's got the highest average rating in the squad and I like him.

The signings:
A success on the whole it would have to be said. I think Cole and Gijzen have both done exactly what I wanted them to do and effectively transformed our attacking play. Both on frees too - both players have values in excess of £500k.

Van der Struijk I've probably overpaid in wages, but he's only here for a year and he's been steady, better than my other right back Joe Riley anyway, although chances are I'll release him at the end of the season regardless.

Owain Jones has struggled to break into the team due to the surprise form of Shaun Whalley, but he's come on a few times and offered an alternative, and he's young enough to become a real asset for us in the long run, although I suspect that he'll try and leave before he's really got a chance.

Overall, I'd have to say they've been a real success and it's a great start. We're playing genuinely good football for this level and I think we're going to be in the Championship sooner than I anticipated - although it's a big ask asking us to keep this kind of form up. We've got a strangely good record with injuries too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, Stan said:

if it's anything like the Tipping Thread we'll be waiting a couple of months to find out what happened :ph34r: 

He knows how to get people hooked.

Three days I was waiting before Leicester played Palace to hopefully say "I told you so" at the final whistle. I'm starting to think the man's a genius.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Subscriber

The problem is I think there's a whole season's worth of stuff I've not posted before we get to this particular incident. I can at least reveal we have bounced back in style though.

I'll do a good update later on. It's been quite a good story actually and I do feel well into this save. I had to turn the game off after yesterday though because I was just beyond livid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Subscriber


It's been a while since I updated this, and to be honest, I've gotten through a lot since. It's gone up the same route as the tipping thread where I get so far behind it that it puts me off updating it. But here I am.

We got the new year off with another win, this time at home to Fleetwood, before our mystery FA Cup third round game. Walsall. Of all the fucking teams we could draw, we go and draw our local rivals from the same league as us. It proves to be a memorable day as a Walsall lead is wiped out before two late goals in front of the travelling Salop fans see us into the 4th round. Flying in the league and through to the next round of the cup. This really is going so well. We're handed another interesting tie.

We suffer another loss to Peterborough, but bounce back with a draw at Blackpool and a win at Rotherham. We then take on Wolves at home in the 4th round of the cup. Wolves, profiting from the affiliation with Jorge Mendes and significant Chinese investment put out a strong side that should see us off with no trouble, but we turn in the performance of the season and steal it with a late goal from Owain Jones. 1-0 we win, an absolutely incredible result and a passage into the 5th round. What a season this really has been. I sign midfielder Jack Payne on a free transfer following his summer release from Gillingham. Technically quite sound, low wages and the chance to actually rest Jon Nolan occasionally.

We back this up with another three straight wins in the league and we sit in 5th! We really could be on the cusp of the most unexpected promotion here. Things went a bit sour in our trip to Oxford though, following their draw from 2 down at our place, they peg us back from the same scoreline again despite complete domination from us, we score late on but they equalise yet again.

The FA Cup finally hits its conclusion for us, but if there was a way to go out it had to be this. A Chelsea side containing Luiz, Rugani, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Hazard and Morata came to our place and won 3-5. It was a mad game in which I just decided to sit back and take the scientific 'fuck it' approach and attack them. We really can score against anybody.

We then beat Plymouth, but our form finally drops and we're beaten at Doncaster and then, pathetically, 0-3 by Scunthorpe. We do steal a point from 2 down at Wimbledon (they must hate us so much) but we follow it up with a draw at home to bottom placed Gillingham. We're now 8th.

We lose a tight game at fellow play-off hopefuls MK Dons, but then beat Bristol Rovers and Southend, before getting another big beating at home by lowly Bradford, although in fairness Bradford have recovered somewhat from a shocking start and Billy Davies (uuurgh) has got them firing.


Easter and the run-in

We now sit 7th in the table with four games to go. It's anyone's guess who gets into that top six with Rochdale, MK Dons, Peterborough, Fleetwood and Scunthorpe all pushing for it. That we've gotten into contention is an achievement in itself.

The first game of our run in is enormous. We go to 6th placed Rochdale and quite frankly, I'd take a point. Confidence has been shot to bits by the Bradford result (1-4 to a side in 20th!!!!!) and a defeat will see us relying on other results. We're outplayed early doors and go behind thanks to a wonderstrike by Lee Angol, but Larnell Cole sticks a penalty away for us out of nothing. Rochdale continue to have the shots but they're mainly from distance and we hold them off. 92 minutes on the clock and I'm happy to take the point, expecting the final whistle, but we run up the other end and Owain Jones gets the ball from a bit of an angle. He rifles home. Unbelievable. We've stolen it right at the death. Rochdale players are head in hands and we're now in with a superb chance of making the top six.

Next up is Oldham at home. Oldham need to avoid defeat to keep their survival bid alive. They start the brighter but we eventually get into the game and look the more likely, but it doesn't seem to happen for us. Oldham get an injury with around 25 minutes left and amazingly they've already used their subs, meaning they're down to 10 men and praying they hold on for a point. They defend resiliently, but the cruelest possible end will meet them as a defensive slip allows Niall Ennis to rifle home from close range with 91 minutes played. We've done it yet again. Two last gasp winners, Oldham relegated and Shrewsbury have a top six finish barring a total disaster.

The nearest thing to a disaster without the most feared happened. We were beaten 4-2 at Walsall. But other results meant our play-off place was secure. The final day away at Blackburn, thankfully, was a dead rubber for us as we could only finish 6th, and Blackburn had already won the league. Needless to say I went attacking and lost 2-0. A final day promotion shootout between MK Dons and Charlton saw the Addicks claim promotion alongside Blackburn, and the Franchise sent to Shrewsbury for the play-offs. Fleetwood took on Peterborough in the other semi final.


The play-offs

MK Dons on a low and Shrewsbury on a high, but 11 points separated us this season and MK Dons clearly have the talent. Frankly, their performance at our place is absolutely pathetic. We completely dominate the game from start to finish, but leave it with only a 2-1 win. I really do think we should've gotten 4 or 5 there and I worry that they're going to make us pay at their place.

They do play a far better game in the second leg and look likely to take the lead, but we get through the half without conceding and have started to settle ourselves. We get a late corner which is cleared, but the rebound is rifled in by Abu Ogogo, who miraculously isn't suspended for the game and has sent us with a very realistic chance of getting to the final. I expect an onslaught, but we look pretty comfortable in this second half. That's until Kieran Agard is left unmarked from a corner and they get one back with 20 minutes left. Atrocious defending once again is our achilles heel.

I tighten the midfield up and try and stifle the creativity of players like Chuks Aneke and Aaron Tshibola. It seems to work. It's a battle, but we scrape through it and our players fall to their knees. The most unlikely play-off finalists. But who of Leicester's FA Cup opponents this season would meet them in the final?

I expected Peterborough. I wanted Fleetwood. I got Fleetwood.

This really was an absolutely golden chance to go up. Fleetwood didn't actually worry me that much. Peterborough have our number, but we beat these with ease at home and should've got something away too.

But we're smashed to bits. Whether it's the occasion getting to us or the big pitch suiting Fleetwood's pacey players like Ashley Hunter, Wes Burns and Devante Cole, who knows. Fleetwood are two up within half an hour and don't ever look like letting the lead slip. They add a late third and it's another year of that cunting Checkatrade Trophy for us. I'm disappointed, and even more so given who we were up against, but I can't be too angry. We've totally defied all expectations this season by getting to the play-off final.


My whole next season has been played. But that can wait.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Subscriber
2 hours ago, Cannabis said:

Fair play on even achieving the play-off final but I know what you mean about falling short to Fleetwood of all people. 

How did they do in the Championship?

Have a guess xD

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Sign up or subscribe to remove this ad.

  • Create New...