Sunday, 27 February 2011

Problem season finish with happy end

Dear readers,

the 3rd season came to the end. It seemed that my Boston almost guaranteed a promotion in 9 fixtures before the season finish:

But than my club got to the poor series of draws and losses:

As a result Boston United’s destiny in the 3rd season was decided in the last matches. We didn’t manage to hold the 3rd place and moved one position down the table after the last fixture. But finally luck didn’t turn away from Boston guys in the playoff rounds.

League 2 final results

League 2 final standing, FM 2011

Here are the last League 2 matches of Boston United:

League 2 fixtures, FM 2011

You see we got to some functional pit in the end. It was a problem of my most weak area on a pitch – defence. They did many mistakes during that period. As a result Boston lost the 3rd position and got to the tough playoffs against Dag & Red and Crewe.

I was worried very much about these playoffs because I hadn’t been ready to stay in League 2 for another season. It’s easy to understand, my team had been going without losses almost half of the season

I replaced 3 first squad players for playoff rounds taking some perceptible risks. But it was the right action:

League 2 playoffs, FM 2011

Playoff Semifinal

Dag & Red vs Boston United 2:3

Algassimou Balde, the author of the last goal in the 1st match, wasn’t the first squad player during last month due to his instability. My decision to use him instead of Courtney Husband at AMR position bring advantageous away win against Dag & Red.

So the second match was more or less calm and comfortable:

 Boston United vs Dag & Red, FM 2011


Playoff final at Wembley

Actually it was the most nervous game of the season. It was a debut of Boston United at Wembley and  the last decisive League 2 match as you understand. I am happy that my guys made a comeback victory in this game.

Crewe vs Boston United, FM 2011

Player ratings in playoff final, FM 2011

Here is the video highlights of Wembley match:

Abdou Sall, the player that was signed before the 1st season in Blue Square North LeagueCool, scored the most important goal of the season using his head and good positioning. After that I went to the Contain strategy with the team trying to hold 2:1 score and succeeded!

I am so happy and a little bit exhausted…


Boston players

Now I should analyse the squad and become ready to enhance it because League 1 level is much tougher than the one of League 2. This is how the list of Boston players looks:

Boston players in League 2, FM 2011

Balde and Obed got the best ratings in a quite weird manner:

- the first one was unstable mixing great performance with absolute invisibility on a pitch.

- Rhema Obed has mostly low attributes. But he managed to perform well in the matches with easy opponents.

I would say that the MVP of the team this season is Sydney Plaatjies with his 20 assists (17 assists in League 2):

League 2 assists ranking, FM 2011


It’s a pity but Maceo Righters (FC) weakened much in the 2nd half of the season.  He wasn’t able to score goals often making very stupid actions even during the last Wembley match. Therefore David Mooney displaced him from the first squad and became one of the best Boston players. He made 22 goals and 17 assists in 40 games. Pretty good result, ye?


Someone of the blog readers asked me to show current  Coaches workload with rating stars. Here it is:

Boston coach in League 2, FM 11


Future squad changes

I want you to know that I started but haven’t still completed Boston squad analysis. One of my methods is use of customized squad views:

Customized squad view, Football Manager 2011

It helps to compare players by vital statistic indexes like Tackles Ratio, Shorts on Target, Passing Rating and so on. Look what problems I see in the above posted screenshot:

- Steve MacLean (MC) has only 56% of won tackles. Central midfielders have to win more tackles I believe.

- I would like to see better percentages of Header completion ratio than 75% and 76% by Sall and Dunleavy correspondingly. Certainly League 1 forwards are more dangerous and will win more headers.

- Only half of players has amount of completed passed >= 75%. Well, I strive to have at least 75. Therefore all players with poor passing are candidates for leaving Boston United.

- Inside forwards should dribble more often on their flanks. Only Balde managed to gain more than 3.00 dribbles per game.

- Short targeting is the 2nd our problem after weak defence.  Let’s just take central strikers:

                David Mooney - 48%

                Maceo Rigters - 43%

   I think it’s not necessary to explain you that this is a problem.


Indeed squad needs changes because League 1 clubs are too strong for my Boston at the moment. I am starting to analyse transfer market…

By the way, there are several decent young players from Boston Reserves that can be moved to the main team:

Boston Reserves in Football Manager 2011

Especially I would like to single out Cameron Lindsay:

Cameron Lindsay in Football Manager 2011

Though his Tackling is only 7…


Transfer targets

I remind you I am still analysing the squad and necessary changes but currently it’s obvious the team needs:

- 2 central defenders of League 1 level

- quick forward with good composure

But, sure, other positions need an enhancement… If you can give me any advice about other position I should strengthen, it would be great!

Author: Vitaliy

Playing Football Manager since 1996. Blogging about it since 2007.