Welcome to new series on The Long Ball’s Football Manager site where we take a step back in time nearly a decade as we boot up FM 2008 and enter a time where Portsmouth and Bolton were mid-table Premier League sides and Swansea were still in League 1…
So, I start on minus 15 in League 1 with a hefty budget? Thanks for that people who voted in that brief Twitter poll.
Yes, we begin our retro save with Leeds United at their lowest thanks to a fifteen point deduction from the Football League. We’re not hopelessly adrift though: Luton have a ten point deduction and are in the middle of their freefall in the real world. Alongside us in the third tier are Premier League mid-tablers Bournemouth and Swansea as well as Championship regulars Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield and Premier League chasing Brighton. Meanwhile, up north, Gretna are a newly promoted top tier side which ended well.
Back to matters at hand though and first port of call was transfers. I’m playing a basic 4-4-2 because we have loads of strikers and tactics aren’t a total ball ache on this. We have plenty strikers but are curiously short on wingers while younger versions of Jonny Howson and Snakey Delph lurk in the youth teams. We have Tore Andre Flo though so nothing can go wrong. I needed reinforcements…
Sadly, even 16 year old De Gea knew that was a bad move. I’m also flatly rejected by Fabio Borini and PSV striker Geneero Zeefuik as I begin ambitious. I temper my ambitions eventually after weighing up a move for Toni Kroos and Lukas Podolski of Bayern II.
Carl Dickinson of Championship side Stoke tempered enough? Still, he was decent and cheap so I can’t complain too much. We lose David Lucas to Lincoln but he wasn’t much cop anyway.
I eventually settle on raiding Scotland because their young players are very highly rated on this. Sadly, Hamilton played hardball on James McCarthy but we eventually do raid Scotland.
£325,000 is a bit high for me but I think he’ll come good.
Pre-season was happening at this time and we did OK although I think I should be concerned about this
I blame the Portuguese ref.
It was on to competitive matches anyway and we begin with the battle of the points deductions at Luton.
Belter! Jermaine Beckford was on fire and Flo even scored. It was League Cup time next as we got a trip to Lincoln to see our old pal David
We got a visit from a real life Premier League side next as Bournemouth came to Elland Road with former England international Darren Anderton in their ranks!
Our former England international misses a last minute penalty and we drop two points. Missed penalties are starting to seem like our deal.
Final game of the update is another away day, this time at that team Robbie Williams likes, Port Vale.
We can thank Vale’s keeper for that one and we’re into single digits on the points front now.
In other news, the Community Shield will make fans of United and Chelsea pine for some of that quality now.
Some set of scorers there. Speaking of United actually, they’ve had a cracking start to the season.
Derby already three quarters of the way to equaling their real points total there.
It’s been all go on the transfer front too in the top tier. Arsenal broke the bank to sign Ricardo Quaresma, Liverpool broke the bank to sign cocaine magnet Adrian Mutu while Everton sold Joleon Lescott and Tim Cahill to Newcastle and Aston Villa respectively. Manchester City fans might want to look away at this one.
City, meanwhile, have spent £33 million (this is the dodgy Thai PM time) and the best they got was Ian Wright’s son.
Over at Chelski, Spurs fans might want to avoid this one.
Anyway, how’s the league looking for us?
Annoyingly Luton have actually won a game so we’re not quite ahead of them yet but we’re going to hunt them down. Nottingham Forest and Gillingham are the top two right now with Huddersfield just a point behind them in third.
And that wraps everything up for the first installment of this new save. Anyone who reads CM97/98 will recognise the style of post but I’ll be aiming to tweak and even change this until this save finds its own voice. If you enjoyed it, have criticisms or want to see specific things in the save then let me know on Twitter @LongBallFoot.
Also, on another side note, the screenshots have to be that way as the 360 doesn’t let you save screenshots annoyingly.
Thanks for reading!