The Fergie Challenge #1 – Not Again…

Back on FM15 over on The Boot Room I attempted the Fergie Challenge. I got four parts in with Swansea before I got bored. So, it’s only right I revisit it 18 months on. The rules are simple – take charge of the second bottom team in the Premier League on 6th November and attempt to turn it into an unstoppable winning machine in a twenty-six year span (if you can survive that long).

There are milestones along the way: aim for your first trophy after three full seasons; your first title after six; the Champions League after thirteen and ultimately, aim to top Fergie’s thirteen league titles at the end of it all. Bonus points for influencing former players into coaching or management and blooding your own golden generation…

The last time I did this I had to contend with a Swansea side that had signed Charlie Adam before I took over. So who would I be tasked with overhauling this time around?

table-6-nov

Didn’t I dodge a bullet or what? Everton are somehow, some way worse than their real life counterparts by this point. I don’t know what virtual Ronald Koeman did but even Iain Macintosh managed a win. It’s safe to say though I’ve landed on my feet because, in theory, this Everton side is going to be brilliant.

Sadly though, theory is a crock of s**t because they’ve conspired to end up being the only winless side in the league. A league containing Sunderland and Hull too. When you look at the transfer business from Koeman in the summer you can see why he never won…

transfers

Now Ricardo Esgaio is actually a decent little player and a good squad player to have for the season but last I checked he was a winger. And when you look at our squad screen you see wingers aren’t exactly lacking at Finch Farm these days…

squad-1 squad-2

Seems the decision to loan out young defenders Holgate and Browning wasn’t so smart after all. All the injuries never helped old Ronnie either but when you’re top league scorer is a three-way between Lukaku, Barkley and Ramiro Funes Mori on two then there’s clearly some real problems here. I mean just look at the ratings for some of the players and you start to see why I’ve ended up here.

performance

How do they end up so poor? Well take a look at the results…

schedule

At least Ronnie beat Oldham at Goodison. So confidence is shot, key men are injured and the best players haven’t/wouldn’t perform. This is not going to be fun especially with Everton developing a reputation on this edition of FM for being an absolute nightmare to get going. Still, it took Fergie a while to get United firing so a bit of patience and we’ll get there.

So what of my plans moving forward? Well, my first port of call was to tidy the squad up a little. Arouna Kone was transfer listed and I promptly ensured he would leave before the end of his contract as Guingamp of France paid £300,000 for him. Interestingly, Tom Cleverly is also for sale and his only suitors are Spurs of all teams. Quite why, I will never understand but that’s the beauty of football. I’ve also promoted youngsters Tom Davies and Matthew Pennington to add cover and gain experience at first team level because youth development is a focus of this challenge remember. On the subject of bonus objectives, Darron Gibson is starting his coaching badges and Gareth Barry is looking a bit old so we could have our first players moving into coaching quite soon.

davies

And that is it. I’ll see you all at the end of the season to see if I’ve managed to keep Everton up. I mean, the board expectations are so low that I frankly would need to hit Terry Connor levels of disappointing to get sacked.

comps

It seems Everton are fairly popular this FM within the blogging community as the excellent Jonathon Aspey has his own Everton save going (though incredibly, he chose to do it).

Anyway, thanks for reading!

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