Monday, 17 August 2009

Southampton story: 2nd season: Transfers and pre-season!

Hello everyone, welcome to the second season of my Southampton story. After a great finish to the first one, ending in a play-off place, I was kind of hoping for some cash from my owners so I could get the team up to a level to compete again. Unfortunately, these were “fans of the club” which meant that they loved the club, but would not put any money into it; bummer.

Thanks very much, £28k to spend on someone who will want -£28 wages; just peachy. I could’ve put the expectations higher, but at “winner” I would have still only got £60k for transfers and £89k a week wage budget. Not too much difference, so I just put the lowest expectations, especially as my loanees would have to return to their clubs. Thankfully, I had a hunch that they would not give me much money, so I searched for players that contracts ran out on the 1st of July. Some good players were there, but I could not do anything until I let go of a fair few players. Stern John and Grzegorz Rasiak had come back on loan, and I didn’t feel I needed them, so out they went. Nathan Dyer also came back from Swansea, but I wanted to keep him as we needed a right winger, and he was good enough to stay.

As you can see, a host of names left our club, most of them released. The reason that Stern John was shipped out for free but to a club was because his contract had run out and Portsmouth offered him a good one. They have just been relegated to the Championship and they want him to spearhead their attack so they can get promoted. Have I missed a trick here? Another big name sell is Gerard, as I had brought in another centre midfielder in. Younger, better, and would be happy with being back-up for Schneiderlin and Appiah. And on a free too! Here are the signed players for season two:

Take a look at that! £0 expenditure, with some really good players joining. The midfield player I was talking about was Ferrie Bodde, a player who was unhappy at Swansea because of a disagreement with the manager. Needless to say, he did not sign a new contract, and as of June 30th, he was a free agent, and one I offered a contract to immediately. Alongside him came Cameron Jerome from Birmingham, a solid striker who will more than make up for the disappointing Egoitz Sukia (28% shots on target!). He is only 22 as well, so has his best years ahead of him. Kieran Agard and Tom Taiwo are two decent young players who were out of contract, so I signed them both up quickly. I don’t think they will become integral parts of my team, but in around 1 or 2 years, I may be able to sell them for around £1m each, easing our debt worries. Paul Huntington and Kerrea Gilbert are both decent defenders, Huntington a centre back and Gilbert a right back. I got Gilbert on a season long loan deal, but as he is transfer listed, I could possibly get him permanently next year. Not sure whether I want to though. Finally, Shane Supple is a decent young keeper, and will act as a back-up for Kelvin Davis. Anyway, let’s move on to our pre-season fixtures:

Notice anything unusual? That’s right, I have organised 7 friendlies against high-quality opposition. Why? Because it rakes in the income! I made £7.3m that month, mostly from these fixtures. The TV deals for 3 of them helped a lot, but even without them we would have made £5m. We didn’t do too well in the fixtures, but that is to be expected. The Arsenal game was a fluke, plus they put out their under 18’s. Nevertheless, I was pretty pleased as a whole; we scored a few goals against good opposition, and only had two thrashings! Squad morale is quite high as well, even though we lost almost every game. Anyway, let me bring you the ratings for the pre-season games:

Note: These ratings are not all of them as I had played loads of prospective youth players from the reserves and under 18’s. Plus, Shane Supple and Kerrea Gilbert arrived after the pre-season ended.
Some pretty good ratings there, not least Adam Lallana, collecting a fantastic 7.56 and 3 goals against top quality opposition. This was all at centre midfield as well, so maybe I can start playing him there. I am quite concerned with Cameron Jerome so far, not a single goal in 5 starts. 40% of his shots have been on target though, so it’s not all bad. There is no point doing the top scorers or assisters, seeing as there isn’t much to tell, and you can see most of it yourself anyway!
On that note, I shall leave you for now, and I shall hopefully get to post soon. Take care.


  1. you know in real life despite being 22 shane supple just retired

    any ways good luck :-)

  2. Good blog, but can I please ask you to vote on my poll on who I should be on FM 10. Thanks a lot.