Hello and welcome to the “Will Wimbledon Weturn” challenge which will be written by @davelane78. I’m really excited to have Dave on board and this particular challenge really excites me. Wimbledon FC shocked the world in 1988 when they beat the great Liverpool side of the time to win the FA Cup Final.
This was the headline act for Wimbledon, but in fact they had been shocking the football world for a while, going from the old Fourth Division to the First Division in record quick time, and competing at the top level with a British side made up of lower level and non league players that were interested in playing direct, aggressive, angry football. This style of football has had to disappear over the years, I mean you could not play the game now in the way that Vinnie Jones and John Fashanu played it back then – or can you?
I’ve set Dave the challenge of taking AFC Wimbledon from League Two to the Premier League and winning the FA Cup within the next ten seasons – but with the following rules involved:
- Regardless of the formation I chose to play, I will only be using the Direct style of play, there’s no room for tiki-taka in this team)
- No use of the Player Search Tool, all players must be discovered through scouting or recommended by staff.
- All staff must be recruited through the Job Centre.
- All players purchased must have an aggression rating of 14 or higher.
- All players purchased must be British, or at least hold a British passport.
Football can be played many different ways – but can Dave recreate the unique style of the Old Crazy Gang?
Over to you Dave…
Upon loading my game, the first thing I want to look at is my current staff and see where I can recruit to improve the backroom team. Taking charge of any new club, the first thing I do is bring in an Assistant Manager of my own. Immediately a job advert goes up for a new number 2 and when I bring in my own man ill get shot of the one I inherit. I also find I am need of finding a decent physio and as always, increase the club scouting network. A load of adverts rolled out awaiting some decent applicants.
Looking through the first team squad I can see it’s going to be a tough first season. Both GK’s look to be particularly average but with a direct comparison, I am going to go with James O’Shea as my first choice. On the defence, I am glad I have enough players to cover each position (2 full backs for each side and 4 DC’s) and I can take my time to replace each player with a better replacement as I go along. The only concern I have is that two of my DC’s are injured for periods of 7 weeks and 3 months, a dip into the loan market may be required. In the midield I only have 4 actual players who can play in the centre although I plan to retrain George Francomb to play in the centre. The biggest concern over the midfield is the lack of aggression in midfield. If I want them to ‘get stuck in’ then this could prove to be a concern. Midfield replacements should be high on the transfer priority. I can see immediately that I am in short supply of strikers. If I am hoping to battering-ram my way through this division then I have decided to adopt a 4-3-3 formation with the focus on a solid back-four with three strikers to take advantage of the long balls we will be pinging forward on a regular basis. I am also expecting with me having to ‘stick the ball in the mixer’ then I should be expecting a fair few suspensions over the course of the season. At least 2 strikers are a must.
This shows essentially how I want the team to line up. I always prefer to build on a back four. Three midfield scrappers will be needed for the middle of the park as I don’t see the point in bringing in technical playmakers. Three solid men up front where I will start with one target man in the middle supported by two players either side although I may end up with two target men either side of an advanced forward to run onto the flick ons.
I should mention that I always begin any game of FM with no transfers allowed during the first transfer window meaning any additions for the first half of the season will have to be free transfers. The sooner I recruit a few scouts the better.
On a positive note, the board are only expecting a mid table finish for the season ahead, I’d like to think a top 10 finish could be achieved with some good luck and a few shrewd purchases. Time to get recruiting!
I will post an update after the first 6-10 league games of the season.
Come on the Wombles!
Follow Dave on Twitter: @davelane78