The Stockport Diaries: Part III

Part 3: August (part B)

August is ludicrously busy with 8 games in the month, so with the last 4 coming in 11 days starting with Tranmere in the cup and a healthy lead from the first leg I choose to rest a few players and bring in some youth, Ian Gray looks decent in goal, Nelson Da Costa at right wing back, and new signings Smith and Wright get a go, Keegan tactics carry on.

1

Well you certainly get your money’s worth watching Stockport. An absolutely ridiculous first half somewhat assisted by neither goalkeeper actually saving ANYTHING meant that we go in all square at 3-3. Second half a bit dull in comparison, only 3 goals and a sending off for Tranmere. A big plus was Nick Wright’s man of the match performance, on the other hand I don’t think Neil Edwards will be quaking in his gloves. Onward to three league games in a week, and they have the nerve to complain about fixture congestion in the Premier League!

2

And the reward is a big draw, but of course 2 extra games, why did they think it a good idea to have 2 leg ties so early on?

3

Huddersfield away next, a comfortable win such as the one in pre-season would be very welcome, however a few players are knackered, should have rested more against Tranmere, so a bit of a rejigged team.

4

I can’t really leave Nick Wright out, but the front two have been excellent all season so I’m going to give him a go behind them.

A really dull first half, we have the better of it, but the words ‘cow’s arse’ and ‘banjo’ spring to mind.

In the crowd Stan the unlucky but fanatical Stockport fan has his Bovril at his seat at half time, and endures a pretty boring first 14 minutes of the second half before feeling nature taking its course and decides to pop down to relieve himself, after all, bugger all has happened for almost an hour, so he won’t miss much.

5

As soon as poor old Stan retakes his seat, normal service for this match resumes and we all go back to snoozing. Still, Stan goes home semi-happy with 3 points at least, a man of the match performance from Alun Armstrong in an otherwise pretty boring match. The travelling support got their money’s worth at Tranmere so they’ll have to endure the odd game like this, keep the results coming and we might do a little more than stay up though so they won’t mind too much!

Games are coming thick and fast as they do in this division, but everyone has recovered so we revert to the ‘full strength’ side, Cavaco returns for Wright who was a bit rubbish behind the front 2, but his time will come. Charlton will be a stiff test, but then again every game is.

6

Another pretty terrible first half, but Alun Armstrong is a class apart and thanks to Luis Cavaco’s 4th assist in 4 and a half games we have our noses in front. The second half is far more entertaining and it is all 1 way traffic, it looks like It might be one of those games, Mike Salmon leaping all over the place to deny my strikers, but Jim Gannon pops up late on to make the game safe. Disappointing crowd of less than 9000, I assume that the people of Stockport have all taken their kids off for the last week of the summer holiday, either that or Corrie was particularly gripping this evening, this being the era of Les Battersby after all…. Maybe he could do the half time draw for us next week.

7

Just another 42 games to keep this up:

8

We’re top of the league Luis, top of the bloody league, just sign up dammit! Out of contract at the end of the season too, but I’m going down the Arsenal/Sanchez route, gambling on him doing the job for us rather than cashing in. Who knows, he might change his mind, I reckon a trip to the Stockport Hat Museum will swing it.

9

Manchester derby against Bury this Saturday, and half my squad are knackered. Having said that, Bury have a tiny squad, are bottom of the league and have an injury crisis with only 1 fit striker, so knowing this game we will get battered. Heidenstrom, Gannon, Armstrong and Connelly have to drop out, I am trying to sign a couple of reinforcements but no news on those yet, so its Smith, Da Costa, Wright and McIntosh in. Da Costa is a bit of a worry really, but I don’t have many other options at right wing back with the other fitness issues, and given the form of the team I am loathed to change the system.

10

Well that went well, considering the changes forced upon us the replacements did well. Anything Bury did came through Gordon Armstrong on their left, Da Costa struggled, his time may have come and gone. The squad depth up front is far better though, with both reserve strikers scoring. Routine wins are becoming the norm at the moment, if this lasts I’ll be a very happy County manager…. 3 points clear!

11

The injury Charana sustained in the game isn’t too bad, although the cover up front means I don’t worry too much.

12

Isn’t this traditionally a kiss of death? I am ever the optimist….. but we shall see in the next instalment, another very busy month to come.

13

You can follow Matt on Twitter @PorterMatt

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The Stockport Diaries: Part II

Matt is our guest blogger this week – you can catch up with part one of the Stockport Diaries here

Part 2: August 1997 (part A)

August kicks off with my second and final friendly, again at home on a Friday night to Huddersfield. This should be more of a test and I make just 2 changes, veteran keeper Eric Nixon coming in for Neil Edwards who has picked up a knock, and Heidenstrom in for the injured Bennett. Once again the town is buzzing and over 10,000 come to a friendly, very impressive for ‘little Stockport’ as the press annoyingly brand us.

1

Huddersfield line up the same as us, but playing a more passing style. I am confident that our pacy frontline will do some damage though with Armstrong (pace 18) and Charana (pace 19) comfortably having the legs on their defence.

The first half is cagey, and for cagey read boring. Not a lot happens until around the 40 minute mark where we suddenly come alive and have 6 shots in 6 minutes, but veteran keeper Steve Francis is equal to them all, with Charana particularly guilty of missing. I am not too displeased, my blood pressure not up to what it would be if this match actually mattered, so I keep things the same for the second half, and within 7 minutes of the restart we are 2 goals up, both from threaded passes setting away the fast strikers, and once Armstrong has shown him how it’s done, Charana follows suit. The rest of the game is pretty much a non-event, but I’m pleased with my defence as Nixon doesn’t have a shot to save.

A bit of a worry financially is that we have almost filled Edgeley to capacity for a friendly, so we are going to lose out on a lot of potential gate receipts, but it’s too late for that now, it’s time for the new season, and I stroll out of my office cautiously optimistic for the coming weeks.

2

3

We have a full week off before the start to the season, but the vultures are already circling, and I won’t stand in his way if we get the right money for him. If a player doesn’t want to be here then off they go.

4

Thanks to season ticket sales I have a little bit of money, so sign Kevin James from Falkirk for 250k as a pre-emptive replacement for Flynn who’s head has been turned by Crystal Palace and Sheffield United.

Matchday comes around against Wolves and thankfully I have had no bids for any of my want away stars, but Jim Gannon has added himself to the list of ‘wants to move to a bigger club’. Jim, this is your level, in fact this is probably above your level, so stop whining and play. He hasn’t handed a transfer request in yet so maybe my pep talk worked, I might need to be a bit more positive in future though, don’t want to demotivate the lad. Still, it worked for Cloughie so why not for me?

Wolves away, the first of 3 away league games in a row, thanks fixture computer, with a 2 leg League cup tie against Tranmere mixed in. There is a dangerous mix of youth (16 year old Robbie Keane) and experience (32 year old Steve Bull) in the Wolves squad, but I am going to continue my Keegan-esque style and not be cowed. There is only one change to the team that beat Huddersfield as a fit again Neil Edwards replaces Nixon. New signings James and Smith are still not match fit, and long term absentee Brett Angell won’t be available for a couple of months.

5

That Keane and Bull strike force worry me a bit….

6

Well the first 28 minutes are not what I expect, we are first to every ball, absolutely dominate the game and are good value for our 1-0 lead that Charana has given us, indeed it should be more but Hans Segers is rolling back the years and stopping everything.

It is of course then inevitable that Steve Bull should be presented with a chance, and even more inevitable that he puts it away. We are rocking for five minutes, I shout to Luis Cavaco to drop back and help in midfield, but we are still indebted to Edwards for making a couple of great saves to keep us level. I contemplate changes but decide to hold my nerve, and a few minutes later the storm passes and we wrestle back control, Armstrong again running through and popping it away with aplomb. Half time and we deservedly lead, am I going to sit back and try and hold on? No chance.

Well that’s annoying. Wolves brought on Keith Curle and played ultra-defensive for the second half despite being 2-1 down at home, and played on the counter attack, and it bloody worked. A quick long ball caught us out and Steve Corica left Edwards with no chance. Then on 86 minutes exactly the same thing happened as we pushed forward, but as I threw my jacket down in disgust at the daylight robbery and sheer injustice, the linesman flagged very late and it was disallowed. 2-2 it finished away from home at Wolves thanks to an exceptional stop in injury time by Edwards, I’ll take that, although I may rethink my strategy when I’m winning away.

7

Games come thick and fast so early, Tranmere in the cup next but I’m not resting players, we were semi-finalists last year after all. Just one change as McIntosh comes in for a knackered Sean Connelly.

8

Well that was comfortable. Both of us in the same division but there seemed a gulf in class. Two each for Heidenstrom and Armstrong, and maybe I will rest a few for the second leg. I still can’t get my head around why Leyton Orient wanted to get rid of Heidenstrom, their loss is my gain. 12 goals in 3 home games are keeping the crowds happy, only a few hundred off a full house, they’ll be chanting my name before long…. I just hope it isn’t followed by ‘is a wanker…..’, early signs are good.

My mood is soured somewhat when straight after the game Gannon comes back and requests a transfer. I stare him cold heartedly and say ‘fine’, but my heart is weeping, this team is going to be unrecognisable by Christmas. Curse you Murdoch and your billions, poor little Stockport can’t compete with that.

9

Oxford away next, and given they are a smaller team there is no way I am changing tactic from the Keegan way, even if it is on the road. Connelly returns in place of McIntosh, and new signing Smith gets a place on the bench. Record signing Kevin James is still not fit. Oxford are 442 merchants, with an unusual tactic of throwing Darren Purse up front for the beginning, I think this may be somewhat of a long ball fest.

10

A quiet first half with just a goal from Alun ‘with a u’ Armstrong. I’m away from home, 1 goal up, Micky Flynn implores me to play more defensively in the second half but I ignore the treacherous letch and carry on gung ho.

Take that Flynn! Within a minute of the restart we are 2-0 up, and despite being denied a clear penalty we get 2 more and manage to miss one, but no matter we win comfortably. If only these want away players would have faith who knows where we’d be? At least Kiko Charana doesn’t want to leave. Stockport evidently reminds him of his home in Madeira, and he’s on fire at the moment. Now let’s see if we can get to the next game without a transfer request.

11

You can follow Matt on Twitter @PorterMatt

Are you ready for the CM9798 Cup?

The Stockport Diaries: Part I

Matt Porter is our guest blogger this week, bringing you a blow by blow account of Stockport County’s 1997/98 season. Can they get to grips with Division 1?

Part 1: July 1997

1997. I am still 2 years away from my GCSEs and the majority of my focus is on football, be it playing or watching, or latterly managing through the superb Championship Manager series. Who to manage though? I am a Bolton fan, however it seems wrong to take the job of a man who has just got them promoted back to the Premier League, so I look to another area of Greater Manchester.

Stockport County are flying high, they have just had arguably their most successful season under Dave Jones, promoted to the second tier for the first time in 60 years and also making it to the semi final of the Coca Cola Cup, narrowly losing out to Premier League Middlesborough. Jones however ditched the club in the summer and went off to replace Graeme Souness at Southampton, presumably with the explicit instructions to not sign anyone’s cousin without seeing them play first, so the hotseat is vacant. (for those too young to remember, google Ali Dia, it isn’t fake news, he really was that gullible)

16th July 1997 rolls around and the relative unknown that is Matt Porter takes over at Stockport. Thankfully this is before the introduction of fan opinion, as I’m not sure I’m quite a big enough name in the footballing world to take over a second tier club, but I’ll keep that to myself, off to meet the squad. I am dismayed to learn that the traitor Dave Jones has taken two of our best players from last year in the form of our future international goalkeeper Paul Jones and our definitely not future international right back Lee Todd. As I look through the market value of my players 3 stand out as being potential targets for bigger clubs (Flynn, Cavaco, Armstrong), and with less than a quarter of a million in the bank and a tiny stadium I wonder whether we can hold our own in a division full of big names, and keep hold of our stars.

1

I want to get a bit of match practice in before the big kick off, so I book a couple of friendlies in, Cork City and Huddersfield, first one for confidence (I hope), second one for realism. I seem to have a decent set of defenders here and a couple of stars going forward but precious little in midfield, so I opt for a 5-3-2 attacking formation. It may be a bit gung-ho for a relegation favourite, but nothing ventured nothing gained, and County fans should be happy, they almost ended up with Gary Megson before I swooped in, I have to be more entertaining than him.

2

A team, hurrah! I have some doubts about this, especially my rather weak central midfield, but overall I’m pretty pleased, I think we will compete. We will play pretty directly, can’t really play a passing game with no discernible midfielders, but I have 3 excellent centre backs plus Martin McIntosh in reserve, so I’ll play to my strengths. Luis Cavaco is more of a winger, but I’m confident he can wreak havoc playing just behind the front two, with the ageing Andy Mutch to call upon from the bench later in the day.

Before we play any games though, it is time to go shopping. Midfielders are top of my list, and ideally a backup striker too. I bid 50k for Bjorn Heidenstrom, the scouts think he’s pretty good and Leyton Orient have inexplicably transfer listed him. The other 4 bids (only 5 allowed at once for some reason) are freebies: Mike Cheetham (no, me neither, journeyman midfielder), and Trevor Steven of ‘how did he get so many England caps’ fame. He’s 33, but nothing wrong with a bit of experience in the ranks. My final 2 bids are for young strikers, Graeme Tomlinson and Nick Wright, just released by Man United and Derby respectively.

3

Well that’s Tomlinson out of the picture then. He’s never played a first team game and yet he wants that much? Jog on pal, our financial position is ‘precarious’ I’ll have you know.

4

Time for the first game at Edgeley Park against Cork City, and my potential signings seems to still be on their summer break as they are all still to get back to me, so it is an original 16. There is a definite buzz around the town and the queue from the chippy stretches for miles, they have nowhere near enough staff. They’ve been caught out, as have I, by the size of the crowd. Almost eight thousand people for a Friday night friendly against Cork City, I am overwhelmed by the support in my first game in charge, we must give the people what they want, entertaining football!

5

6

Well that wasn’t as comfortable as the score line suggests. The first 20 minutes we were all over them, an Alun Armstrong hat trick will no doubt impress the visiting scouts and hopefully add to his value, but after that we took our foot off the gas. To allow such an inferior opponent 52% possession and 16 shots (albeit only 3 on target) is ominous, but nothing ventured nothing gained, I am determined to play Kevin Keegan style football not George Graham, and maybe if one of my centre backs hadn’t got himself sent off for a professional foul straight from the kick off of the second half it wouldn’t have been so imbalanced. Still, with 8 goals and 34 shots in the game and a thumping win the crowd should go home happy, get buying those season tickets!

No more games in July, but still time to make some moves on the transfer front. Heidenstrom accepts my offer and signs up, as does freebie striker Nick Wright, however I have a plethora of free agents turn me down, despite me offering what they were asking for, and unfathomably Lee Norfolk buggers off to Cardiff of division 3 for less money than I was offering. This recruitment lark could be worse than I thought. On the last day of the month Tommy Smith signs up, another from Man United’s academy not to make the grade, but will do a job in centre midfield for me, which is just as well give Tom Bennett has picked up a knock and will miss the opening matches. I’m ready for the season now, bring it on!

The CM9798 Cup starts Sunday! Read the Preview

The 2017/18 Season on CM9798

Earlier this week, I brought you a Champ Man & Me with www.cm97-98.eu. If you haven’t read it, do so now! The real headline to take from the interview is that the team still update CM9798 to this day, and they have just produced an update for the summer transfer window. I had to give it a go!

I put a load of screenshots on the CM9798 Twitter account during the week, so if you want to see some more squads and players head over there, though I will put some in here.

It’s not 100% accurate, but it’s pretty damn close. As you’d expect, the top divisions have had more focus than the lower leagues – and bear in mind the creators aren’t based in England.

I’m just simming the save, so let’s find out how this wonderful display of editing translates into the real game.

Man Utd

You’ll notice there’s a B squad now, which essentially houses the Man Utd reserves. It’s a good move that allows for more squad space but the problem is anybody in the B squads who are any good get bought up by lower level clubs pretty quickly. It’s a good idea but maybe a little bit needless, just because the game can’t really handle it.

Real Madrid

It’s also not possible to amend certain things in the game, such as 4 clubs from the Premier League qualifying for the Champions League. As a result, you’ll find Man City slumming it in the UEFA Cup…which can’t be renamed the Europa League. Also the Cup Winners Cup is still a thing, but because Chelsea have been bumped up to Champions, 96/97 runners up Middlesbrough (now of Division 1) have been bumped up to Thursday night action.

man city uefa

Obviously the crazy inflation in transfer fees doesn’t translate to 1997, where the figure of £220m was merely something Dr Evil requested as a ransom in Austin Powers. Any player aged 30 or over can only have a maximum value of £5m, which is why you won’t find Messi or Ronaldo on the below list. Neymar comes in at £7m. Bargain! Though I’m not sure Jonathan Calleri is worth more than him.

players

How to install the 17/18 Update

The process is actually fairly simple, especially compared to getting the game running as detailed in the How To guide in the menu. You will have to do that first of course, but once you have a working version of the game, all you need to do is download the update file from CM97-98.eu. The update file contains three files – players.db1, mgdata.db1 and tmdata.db1 – all you need to do is copy them and paste into the CM9798 folder which is located on your computer. You’ll be asked if you want to overwrite the files of the same name, and you should say yes to this.

NOTE: I strongly advise you take a copy of the three files of the same name already located in your cm9798 folder. Copy them and put them in a new folder anywhere else – this will allow you to copy them back if you want to revert to the original database in the future, and it’s a lot easier than doing a reinstall!

Once you’ve nailed that, load up the game as normal and start a new save. Enjoy!

How did the 2017/18 season pan out for cm9798.co.uk?

I guess the proof in just how good the database is would come in how the league table roughly pans out. If Crystal Palace romp clear to Premier League glory, then it’s probably one to miss. I’m happy to say that didn’t happen.

Fans of Man City, you’re in for a mixed bag. You’re in the UEFA Cup final but you’re also 16th in the league and shell out for Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard and Ross Barkley to try and correct things. Oh and you lose that UEFA Cup final on pens.

city uefa final

Oh and how can we forget, you win the pointless cup too. John Terry leads Villa to Wembley then gets sent off

League CUp final

Tottenham on the other hand, it’s going to be a golden season. Here you are topping the Premier League, scoring just over a goal a game.

prem top

Kane finishes with 35 in 55, scoring 27 of those league goals.

kane

That many appearances probably shows you how they did in the cup competitions. Here they are winning the FA Cup despite Loris Karius playing out of his skin

FA Cup final

To top it all off though, Spurs are the Champions of Europe. Despite Dortmund playing in their home stadium, the England boys Dier and Kane are not phased and win at a relative canter.

CL FInal

Before we see if that form translates into the World Cup, a quick look at the bottom of the table

bottom of the prem

Chelsea had a nightmare trying to defend their title and lost in the Champions League quarters to Bayern Munich. Conte has held on to his job though – as has Pep for that matter. Watford struggled after selling Troy Deeney for £7m to Liverpool – Troy didn’t play a single game for Liverpool. Not a single manager lost their job, incredibly.

England should be in good shape heading to the 2018 World Cup, set in 1998. Here’s Gareth’s lads for the occasion…just the 4 left backs.

England squad

The good news is, we make out of the group stages! An opening day draw with the USA is overcome with two wins. Phew.

group

A 3-0 win over Paraguay is a safe passage to the quarter finals, but then sadly the Italians are too good and that’s where it ends. Progress?

England out

If you fancy an early flutter on next year’s World Cup, get your money on Spain. A Spain/Brazil final will be pretty enjoyable I feel especially if Spain play three centre forwards as seems to be the plan here

WC Final

So that’s it, a full season on the 17/18 version of CM9798. It’s a nice stop gap if you’re looking for something between now and the release of FM18, obviously there are certain quirks that can’t be helped such as the European qualification. It’s probably unlikely that Spurs will win everything but then again, it happens on FM, so don’t rule it out…

That’s it for this week but next week we embark on a new journey, the details of which are below…see you there.

Announcing the CM9798 Cup: Read the preview here

 

The CM9798 Cup

It’s October and that means the 20th birthday of CM9798 is upon us. October 31st might be a scary night for some but for me it was the night 20 years ago I convinced my parents to take me to PC World to buy the new release. “It looks no different. You’re wasting your money,” advised my Dad, who to this day doesn’t really get the Championship/Football Manager experience. I would argue that I have had my money’s worth from this game…

Anyway, how to celebrate the 20th anniversary? It’s been in the works for some time and now, finally, the wheels are in motion. We’re going to have a knockout competition between 8 fans of the game to determine our CM9798 champion.

How you ask? Well I’ve taken what I consider the 8 best club sides and randomly assigned them to the 8 victims volunteers. I then gave them two draft picks each to spruce up their squads and drew the teams out. Behold, the CM9798 Cup:

Draw

I can confirm there was no expense spared on the graphics. The format is a straight knockout, with the top team in each tie being the home team. For the semis and final, the home team will be decided by a coin flip. Each match will essentially be an arranged friendly, so there’s no restrictions on non-EU players or suspensions. I’ll be hacking out as many injuries as I can to try and give the lads as full strength team as possible, but obviously some injuries occur naturally and that’s just life I’m afraid.

If this proves to be a success I’ll most likely do something on a much larger scale next year. World Cup, anyone?

Although the winner will receive a trophy, the real winner here is YOU. To celebrate 20 years of CM9798, I’ve put together a prize bundle which I’ll be giving away, and it’ll be based around the cup – not necessarily in one go, there will be multiple opportunities for you to win. The prizes range from the sublime to the ridiculous, but one man’s pain is another man’s pleasure, or something like that, so here’s what’s up for grabs:

Prizes watermarked

  • £25 shirt voucher courtesy of Classic11.com*
  • Mousemat of the 2026 World Cup Final courtesy of P302
  • 90s mug courtesy of @90sfootball*
  • Peter Beardsley Corinthian figurine (still in box)
  • The World According to Championship Manager 97/98 signed by Bjorn Heidenstrom
  • Poster of John Curtis
  • Packet of Premier League 97/98 stickers
  • Footix Tamagotchi
  • CM9798.co.uk branded pen
  • Footix keyring
  • Ibrahima Bakayoko shiny sticker
  • All the Goals DVD of World Cup 98
  • Three Lions ’98 CD
  • Footix that sticks to surfaces and dangles. Yeah.
  • Premier League 97/98 Official preview book

*not pictured

There may be more things to come too, without sounding like Harry Redknapp there are still deals in the pipeline for triffic, top top prizes. Incidentally if you want to donate or sell me cool things to include, I’m all ears.

Next week I’ll bring you the first two quarter finals, and we’ll continue with two matches per update until the final. Schedules permitting, I am hoping to record the final with the two participants but I’m not brave enough to broadcast it live.

Let the games begin!

Classic11 Advert 2 747 x 400

Champ Man & Me: CM97-98.eu

What’s better than one CM9798 website? TWO CM9798 websites of course! Here at cm9798.co.uk we’re always looking to speak to other fanatics about the game, and the good people of cm97-98.eu agreed to indulge me in conversation about why CM9798 is the greatest of all. The questions below were fielded by Norbert, who you may recall provided us the 4-2-3-1 which made Bernard Diomede a superstar and Ian Wright a goalscoring machine. What’s more, Norbert and his colleagues still maintain the database to this day, with an update for the 2017/18 season due very shortly. Let’s find out more…

Thanks for joining me to discuss CM9798! For those who aren’t aware of your website, can you tell us about cm97-98.eu please? 

The website CM97-98.eu was founded in August 2009. Before that, I made the CM97-98 updates only for myself, and I did not release the updates online. I used the CM97-98 updates from Kev Shackleton, for many CM97-98 players his updates where legendary, as my basis. After Kev stopped releasing updates, I started the website CM97-98.eu, to continue his work and release new updates for the CM97-98 players. After some years I teamed up with Andrea from Italy. We are not only working on the CM97-98 update but we visited Italy multiple times and this year Andrea will visit the Netherlands to spend some holidays together. After Andrea, there were some other team members but they stopped working after some updates. Then we had the pleasure that the CM97-98 update legend Kev Shackleton joined our team. At the moment Kev is enjoying life as a daddy so he is on “short leave”. Our latest member of the team is Gary. He is living in Australia, but is from England. 

What makes CM9798 so special to you that you devote so much time and effort into keeping it updated?  

The main reason for me to keep on updating is that I try to create the perfect update, but in an everyday changing sport, that is very hard to accomplish. If I update a league, I want every piece of information to be correct. That means the right nation, age, contract information and so on.

What I like is that CM97-98 is simple to understand and you could play many seasons in a short time. That is why I still play the game. The things you could change are enough for me. I do not like the new Football Manager Series because it is too complex for me. Too many settings and before you have finished one day in the game, your evening is over.

When did you first play the CM series? 

Almost right from the beginning of the game. Together with a school friend we played the game on one computer together. We launched a new game with England for example and then we used Man Utd and Arsenal to compete against each other. And of course I play the game alone. 

Do you ever have time to play your updated databases or is it all work and no play?

I think it will be 95% updating and 5% playing the game. And If I play the game, it will be short game, just a couple of seasons. What I like the most is to create a team with players with high Potential and to spend as little money as possible.

Everybody has at least one favourite CM story, has there been a particular saved game you can recall that made you fall in love with the series? 

My favourite CM story is the one I made my own custom tactic, see the website for the tactic. I won the World Cup with Germany and the Netherlands, won the Champions League, Euro League and SuperCup with Ajax, won the Champions League with Anderlecht.

What do you think about the way the series has gone since 97/98? Do you ever play the FM games? 

I have never really played the FM games. The games are too complex for me. After CM97-98 I have tried many later CM or FM games but to complex.

How is the database looking for the 2017/18 season? 

The databases for the new 2017/18 season are looking good. We have started the work earlier than ever before. The Dutch First and Second League, the German First League, the Belgium First League, the Turkish First league, the Italian First league and the Spanish First league are already up-to-date for the new 2017/18 season. At the moment we are working on the English Premium league for the next season. We try the release a new Pre-Season update as soon as we have finished a league.

Have you been able to alter the database to expand the Champions League, for example? Or is that side of things unchangeable? 

Changing things to the game is nearly impossible. If you change settings, most of the time the game will crash. So we only change minor things, sadly. There are many things we would love to change but we failed all the time.

It’s 20 years since CM97/98 released, do you have any plans to mark the anniversary? 

It is a good point, it is 20 years since the release of the game. It will be a good reason to celebrate this. We have no plans at the moment, but we have a short time to think about something special.

Thanks again to Norbert for taking the time to speak to me. I’ll be giving the updated database a whirl when it is complete and I’ll be posting about it here and over on the Twitter account. I’ll be back on Sunday with a special announcement. See you then.

EDIT: The update for September 2017 is now available here:

http://cm97-98.eu/mediapool/66/663475/data/SummerU1.zip

Guest Blog: Seagull Shouts – Part 4

As Dave’s holiday draws to a conclusion, so too does the first season of MK‘s save with Brighton. Can they get over the line and secure promotion at the first attempt? Catch up with Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 if you missed them

So, last time I mentioned that there may be a new arrival. Someone who is a bit of a legend. Well… Enter Man Utd man Brian ‘Choccy’ McClair. The first man to score more than 20 goals in a season at Utd since George Best! He’s a 4 time Premier League winner and 3 time F.A. Cup winner. That sure is some pedigree, eh?

mcclair

It’s a long way into the season and he’s well into his 30’s, but very capable at this level and will be a useful backup for next season too, even if we make it up.

mcclair stats

Interest is high for my in form star men. Look at this offer and these clubs. So glad of that little loan market listing fix!

bid for Heid

bid for tomlinson.JPG

bid for lakin

The season is drawing to a close and although we’re flying high there are others close by too. Having said that, 39 league games down and not only are we still in the running, we’re out in front!

39 game table

Brighton Fixtures played

Looking at the remaining fixtures, that last game against Chester could be a title decider. What are the chances?

remaning fixtures

Meanwhile, Newcastle have won the League Cup final.

LC final 98

Did I mention we had reached a (tin pot) cup final against the team at the top of Division 2? A trip to Wembley and a shot to lift the W/Screen Shield!

Blackpool squad

Recognise that keeper? A 90’s football legend. It’s Shaka!

After a tight first half we’re at 2-2 to my surprise. Less possession, more chances but more wasteful too. One of the rare days that Tomlinson can’t hit a barn door.

wscreen shield

But then… The flashing screen… The sudden death rule (remember that?)

sudden death

Got to love the drama of a cup final, even if it is a minor one. Maybe this side will reach Wembley again in the not too distant future, but if they do you can bet it will be a playoff rather than a cup.

shield winners

That has earned us a few £s, although the cup run has set us back in the league.

But after winning our games in hand and Chester dropping points we manage secure promotion!

40 played

In the Premier League there was a walkover. Coventry dropped off from that second spot they had earlier on in the season.

prem top 98

Now with promotion in the bag all there was left to play for was the title

promotion fixtures

One win would do it. Would that last game be the decider?

hull 4-0

What a spoiler. The drama of a last day decider would have been great, but I’m more than happy to secure the title ahead of what will be a tricky fixture.

brighton win

Chester smashed us 3-0, which made it look really tight but even so. Won it by a point. Glad it didn’t come down to that last game!

Cup final time. Sorry Liverpool. A young Michael Owen hasn’t had the immediate impact he usually has in the game.

ajax 3-0

Chelsea stumble in finals both in Europe and at home, which would have salvaged something from a weak league campaign. They always seem to make strange signings.

chelsea CWC

FA Cup

Although there was further joy for Man Utd with a League and Champions League double!

CL Final

So it is end of season time and I won manager of the year

awards

I’d like to make a special mention to Superman, I mean Graeme Tomlinson. Here’s how he compared to the other players in our league:

GT average ratings

top scorers

Assists

We’ve made a decent profit this season from the decent attendances and the cup win at Wembley. We have just over £1,000,000 in the coffers.

It will be interesting to see how Tomlinson and Co. cope with the step up to Division 2 and whether he makes the grade there or whether it will be time to cash in on his ever increasing market valuation.

Let’s see if there are any decent players we can attract and if we can carry the momentum on in to the new season.

See you in Division 2!

You can follow MK on Twitter @SeagullShouts – MK will be back later in the year with season two.