The Buck Stops Here! Episode 24

Re-watch Episode 23.

FMM18 World Cup Day 31

Read from the introduction.

Re-read the third place playoff between Belgium and South Korea.

It’s the final day of the tournament and there’s one game; the biggest game in world football. Re-read how Portugal and Italy reached the World Cup Final.

World Cup Final: Portugal V Italy

The current European champions take on the four-time winners on a warm, windy day in Moscow. The last three World Cup Finals have required extra time to settle the argument, with the previous two seeing no goals scored in normal time. The Final follows the pattern of the last two, with neither side able to find a goal. Ten minutes into extra time, there’s a goal; Portugal’s talisman Cristiano Ronaldo puts the European champions twenty minutes away from their first ever World Cup and the completion of a European/World Cup double. Italy go in desperate search of an equaliser and get one with eight minutes to go as Andrea Belotti pulls the Italians level. The seconds and minutes tick away and it’s going to penalties, something that the Italians have fond memories of from the 2006 World Cup Final. 120 minutes are on the clock and the referee is checking his watch. Italy have one final chance to win the game without requiring penalties and it falls to Belotti. He scores! In the final minute of extra time! Portuguese players slump to the floor, whilst the Italian team pile on to Belotti as the bench erupts. The game kicks off after fairly lengthy Italian celebrations, but Portugal have no chance to equalise and force penalties. Italy are champions of the world for the fifth time.

FMM18 World Cup Day 30

Read from the introduction.

The penultimate day of the tournament sees one game; re-read how Belgium and South Korea ended up in the penultimate match.

Third Place Playoff – Belgium V South Korea

Both sides need to pick themselves up after a two-goal Semi Final loss. The Third Placed Playoff is often described as the game that no-one want to be in and for Vincent Kompany, he’s only involved for three minutes before injury forces him to leave the field. Belgium shrug off the loss of Kompany and take the lead through Yannick Carrasco with 26 minutes on the clock. Belgium don’t add to their lead in the first half, but maintain it going into the break. They double the lead within a minute of the second half kicking off; Carrasco adds his and Belgium’s second. The situation is looking desperate for South Korea, but looks to become impossible in the 74th minute when Mousa Dembele adds Belgium’s third goal. Thomas Vermaelen is sent off in the 75th minute in another blow to the Belgium defence, but the ten men see out the victory to claim third place.

Find out what happens on Day 31.

FMM18 World Cup Day 29

Read from the introduction.

There are no games today, so lets look at how Italy reached the final.

Group E: V Australia, 5-0 (Andrea Belotti (3), Claudio Marchisio, Leonardo Bonucci)
Group E: V Chile, 4-0 (Claudio Marchisio, Andrea Belotti, Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Petagna)
Group E: V Northern Ireland, 1-1 (Marco Veratti)
Last 16: V England, 1-0 (Andrea Petagna)
Quarter Final: V Argentina, 1-0 (Andrea Belotti)
Semi Final: V South Korea, 3-1 (Andrea Belotti, Roberto Gagliardini, Alessio Romagnoli)

Find out what happens on Day 30.

FMM18 World Cup Day 28

Read from the introduction.

There are no games today, so lets take a look at how Portugal have reached the final:

Group C: V Ghana, 5-0 (Andre Silva (3), Joao Mario, Andre Gomes)
Group C: V USA, 1-0 (Andre Silva)
Group C: V Ukraine, 0-5
Last 16: V Colombia, 1-0 AET (Andre Silva)
Quarter Final: V Iceland, 3-1 (William Carvalho, Raphael Guerreiro, Adrien Silva)
Semi Final: V Belgium, 2-0 (Joao Mario, Cristiano Ronaldo)

Find out what happens on Day 29.

Players to watch out for at the World Cup

The article below was written for FMMobile.net

Every four years, most of the greatest players forget their clubs and try to lead their country to the greatest glory in the game – the World Cup. We’re all looking forward to seeing if Neymar, Ronaldo, Messi or (hopefully) Kane can lead their country to glory. But the World Cup also gives players a chance to make a name for themselves. Below are some players who may be high on your shopping list come Football Manager Mobile 2019.

Angel Correa (Argentina)

Messi. Aguero. Higuain. Dybala. Argentina are spoilt for attacking options. But what if they suffer injuries or suspensions? Enter Angel Correa. He can play as or behind the striker. With the attacking options Argentina have, he’s unlikely to start, but could well make an impact off the bench. Maybe he’ll even force his way into the team like Michael Owen did at the 1998 World Cup. Correa plays for Atletico Madrid so won’t be cheap, but his passing and technique guarantee you’ll be getting value for money.

Hirving Lozano (Mexico)

Javier Hernandez always seems to be in the right place to finish off moves. The man most likely to play that final ball to him is Hirving Lozano. Lozano is a left winger, but can pop up on the right. He’s currently at PSV Eindhoven, but if he has a good World Cup, it’s difficult to see him remaining in the Netherlands. If you’re looking to ensure quality service to your striker next season, Lozano might be the man for you.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Serbia)

Milinkovic-Savic is a midfielder who is equally comfortable playing behind the striker. If Serbia are to qualify from their group, expect him to be the player who provides the ammunition. Assuming he doesn’t power them through. He’s at Lazio and won’t come cheap, but he’s likely to be one of your key players for years.

Pione Sisto (Denmark)

Christian Eriksen is probably seen as the key Danish player by many, but could he be upstaged? As soon as Sisto became available to represent Denmark, he was selected. Need more be said? It shows what a talent he is. Sisto is at home on the right wing, but is comfortable anywhere behind the main striker. Sisto plays for Celta Vigo, so there might be a shopping trip to Spain ahead of the 2018/19 season for you.

Youri Tielemans (Belgium)

Belgium will field a strong midfield at the World Cup, but Tielemans will be snapping at the heels of any who fail to perform well. Assuming he doesn’t start in the first place. Tielemans possesses outstanding technique and an eye for a pass that many would love to have. Will you take another exciting young talent away from Monaco?

Federico Valverde (Uruguay)

Uruguay will play with two recognised strikers at the World Cup. Which is unsurprising when they can call on the talents of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani. However, as good as they may be, they’re going to require service. Enter Valverde. A midfielder who was awarded the Silver Ball at last year’s U20 World Cup. If Suarez and Cavani have good tournaments, Valverde is likely to be a big reason why. You may have to break the bank to bring him to your club though as Real Madrid are unlikely to let a hot prospect go cheaply.

The Buck Stops Here! Episode 23

Re-watch Episode 22

The Buck Stops Here! Episode 22

Re-watch Episode 21

Back in time via FMM18 or: Realistic FMM Challenges

This article was written for FMMobile.net

The end of another season approaches. As always, some clubs have fallen below expectations, whilst others have surely exceeded the expectations of even their most optimistic supporters. Replay the 2017/18 with one of the eleven clubs below and see if you can meet the expectations of some clubs or match the achievements of others.

Barcelona

There are currently three games of La Liga left. Barcelona have won 26 and drawn nine. Will you be able to replicate such form in the league and achieve an unbeaten season? Throwing in a Champions League title (or at least stopping Real Madrid) would be an added bonus

Burnley

Burnley were amongst the favourites to be relegated at the start of the season. To say they’ve avoided relegation comfortably is a bit of an understatement as European football will be returning to Turf Moor for the first time since the mid-1960s. It’s a fantastic achievement by Sean Dyche – can you match it?

Brechin City

The 2017/18 season is unlikely to be forgotten by Brechin City fans for a long time. For all the wrong reasons. A record of P 36, W 0, D 4, L 32 and a goal difference of -70 is pretty incredible. Avoiding relegation would be good, but you’ll surely manage them to at least one league victory?

Celtic

There’s plenty of silverware added to the trophy cabinet at Celtic Park this season, but that was expected. Qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League would have been a big achievement. They were certainly unlucky to be drawn in the same group as Paris Saint Germain and Bayern Munich, but maybe your draw in the Champions League will be kinder…

Juventus

Ginaluigi Buffon has had an outstanding career. He oversees a miserly defence and has been a key part in Juventus’ record breaking run of Serie A titles. But the Champions League trophy still eludes him and some of the safest hands in the game will never lift it. Unless you take over at the Old Lady…

Liverpool

Just about any team would love to be able to pick Salah, Fimino and Sane as a front three. However, the Liverpool defence would not necessarily be so high up on many people’s list. Despite a much-maligned defence, they’ve made the Champions League Final; can you?

Paris Saint Germain

The title has been reclaimed, but spending hundreds of millions on Mbappe and Neymar suggests that sights were set higher than domestic success. To win your group and face Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League is incredibly unlucky, but success is expected when so much has been spent. Can you bring the European Cup to Paris?

Real Madrid

Success and failure are easily defined at Real Madrid; winning the Champions League is success and not winning it is failure. They’re in the final again and only Liverpool can stop them winning it for a third consecutive season. With such a clear definition of success, will you be successful?

Shrewsbury Town

At the start of the season, you could get odds of 7/4 for Shrewsbury to be relegated to League 2. They’ve finished the season third, could get promoted to the Championship via the play-offs and were losing finalists in the Checkatrade Trophy. Good luck in getting close to what Paul Hurst has managed.

Sunderland

Two seasons, two relegations and Sunderland will be playing League 1 football next season. The assumption at the start of the season was (generally) they would finish mid-table; are you the one to ensure they do so?

Tottenham Hotspur

For a couple of seasons now, Spurs have been playing good football and amongst the favourites for all domestic trophies. They haven’t won any of them. There’s only so long a side can be a promising one without winning anything; if it doesn’t change soon, players are likely to be looking for moves to clubs where they can win trophies. Can you ensure that Spurs will start the 2018/19 season in a new stadium with silverware behind them?

Leave a comment and let me know which challenge(s) you have taken on and how you’ve done.

The Buck Stops Here! Episode 21

Re-watch Episode 20

The Buck Stops Here! Episode 20

Re-watch Episode 19

The Buck Stops Here! Episode 19

Re-watch Episode 18

The Buck Stops Here! Episode 18

Re-watch Episode 17

The Buck Stops Here! Episode 17

Watch Episode 16 again.

The Buck Stops Here! Episode 16

Catch up on Episode 15

The Buck Stops Here! Episode 15

Before watching Episode 15, catch up on Episode 14

FMM18 update or: How I learned to stop worrying and love my save

This article was written for FMMobile.net

The Football Manager Mobile 2018 update has been released. I could start a new save, bringing a new challenge with updated squads following the winter transfer window and bugs fixed. I could. But I haven’t. And I won’t. Why not?

Squads have been updated, but whichever club I’ve taken charge at, the previous incumbent has left me with a squad full of players I don’t want or need. After reviewing my squad, it’s straight into the transfer market and securing the signings needed to get my club moving in the right direction. In my current save, six out of my regular starting eleven are signings that I made. Not that high a change? That’s at the end of my first season. I’m sure I’m not the only one who delves into the transfer market and there are bound to be managers who have a preferred starting XI with even fewer players than they inherited. Whilst the squads may be accurate, it won’t stay that way for long.

If I were to start a new game as the Liverpool manager, I’d have Virgil van Dijk available for the season, but I’d still be looking at strengthening the defence and bringing in a goalkeeper. The accurate, up-to-date squads would soon not be accurate, up-to-date squads. Liverpool is only an example and whichever club I picked, I’d be looking at improving the team.

There are some bugs in the game, but the ones I’ve encountered have been more of a mild irritant than making the game unplayable. For example, it’s irritating that a player’s preferred role seems to change almost every match at times, but it hasn’t prevented me from playing the game or achieving a title victory. I have found tactics that work and the change to a player’s preferred role hasn’t had any noticeable impact. It’s incredibly strange that my opponents frequently make a substitution within one minute of the second half starting, but it doesn’t have a major impact.

I don’t want to start a new save as I’m enjoying my current one. It’s a save I’d been thinking about doing for a while and it’s going well. I’m producing content about the save and don’t want to stop that and start a new series just for the removal of some minor bugs and up-to-date squads.

So thanks for the update SI, but no thanks from me. Of course, if you can persuade me otherwise, leave a comment.

The Buck Stops Here! Episode 14

Recap on Episode 13

The Buck Stops Here! Episode 13

Catch up on Episode 12

The Buck Stops Here! Episode 12