Its always interesting when you take a break. You come back, either curse your stupidity or thank god for your preparation. When I took charge of the team in January, the first thing I did was head to my excel sheet, which in all honesty is just a simple notepad. There are no complicated macros, no dropdowns and no graphs. I don’t have the time to fiddle with that..I just use something to keep me organised with a timetable in-game via notes.
Thats a fairly straightforward spreadsheet, its not as complicated as any I’ve done before, and it keeps things simple. That way, if I ever needed to write articles on shouts, I’d just go extract stuff from my workbook. On my training page I have a breakdown for my training over the course of the year. This includes the team workload and I also track specific players as well, making sure that they achieve my target of 20 matches a season. I can’t prove it, but I’ve seen enough of this game to suggest there is a minimum threshold for player improvement, just as there is a maximum before their attributes drop. 20 is not a hard number to achieve. If there are players who are weak in certain areas, I make notes to remind myself that they need specialized training.
Since I have a policy of securing young talent and trying to turn over at least 30 million in player sales a season, transfer targets need to be identified constantly. This season we have let 4 players go, two of them were in my world cup squad! They were bit players in my team :-). Once a player reaches 28-30 years old, I start planning for a sale. When they are 25 years old, I begin looking for their successor. We had one player in my side who played a grand total of 10 matches last season, and we managed to sell him for 15million – yeehah!
On one of my tabs you should see some names, this is where I link players from the training page to their relevant tabs. So if I clicked on this fullback on the training page it should take me here..this allows me to look at their attributes for that particular season. I have another workbook where I dump their historical pngs.
Now this page of my workbook, is really a simple automated cut and paste..I find someone that I like take screenshots and stick em in. Generally I track my players who have been earmarked for development, and based on their training and in-game performance I make notes to adjust if I need to. The screenshot doesn’t show the whole page..its actually his profile and training pages. It reminds me of who is important. A system like this takes time and I usually do it when the “better half” is around and mulling about how I fail to prioritize her above all else, in which case I just change to the complicated looking numbers sheet. 🙂 I don’t pretend to know everything about FM, but when you remain organised you will be amazed on what you can miss out on. Its not the intricacies of a tactic that lead us into the valley of bad runs. Its a failure to look out for the signs that lead us to the Valley. If you track how your players are doing and you pay attention to their development, it all kicks into that perpetuating cycle of quality performances. Oh god now I sound philosophical.
I follow a really simple stupid system meant for dummies like me. That sounds a lot better 🙂 This one works, and is far better than some of the more convoluted mathematical shit I used to do when I was in uni playing this game. Today, its all about notebooks, makes it fun for me, but it is a fair bit of work. The one advantage I find doing this is that historical record that you develop over time, which when you look back on hindsight, always shocks me. HOW THE HELL DID I FIND THE TIME TO DO THIS SHIT!
So how did Stafford do?
Coming back in January, we were 2nd on the table behind Liverpool? LIVERPOOL? Do I have to wait till 2030 to see this irl? I hope not. So off I went to my spreadsheet, had a quick look at it cos I always do an update in January and then noticed that several players needed playtime, that I had one injured AML and that another needed to train harder. It was then a simple matter of firing up the game, winning the FA Cup, Champions League and Premiership title at a canter 🙂 Organisation rocks!