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Scratch

Career Scratch Presents - The John Charles TT [Season 4]

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So, quite a few of you saying this will be hard, and even I had the initial thread title as Scratch Tries A Risky TT, but actually... I think this is going to be pretty easy, for the following reasons:

  • I've picked players who will retrain as strikers. In previous careers I've retrained lots of players and if they have Very Poor aptitude (like this lot), they generally eventually retrain. Sometimes they get unhappy about it, but you take them off it for a week and put them back on it. I've had to do that once with Todibo. So they will almost certainly end up as fully green strikers.
     
  • I've seen enough careers on here where people use players out of position and it doesn't stop them scoring goals. Oh, maybe less goals than a green striker might get, but they still score. Seriously, you could play goalkeepers up front and they would score goals. The game just isn't strict on this. Yes, maybe playing 3 at once is a little risky, but when you have Messi or Griezmann in the AP role and Haaland coming off the bench and great players all around, you're still going to win most games.
     
  • I've seen careers on here where people take players from the Welsh league, bring them to a top club and get them to score a lot. It doesn't matter that they don't have a lot of ability (CA/PA). Surround them with good players and they will score. Well these guys aren't lesser league material - Todibo is on the wonderkid list and can be truly great. Martinez and Godfrey are too old to be on the wonderkid list, but consistently turn out as very good players at top clubs. They have a lot of development left in them and will end up as very good strikers.

I think by Season 2, they will all be on their way to green, their attributes will be good enough for strikers and they will be scoring for fun! 

We're in early November now, and all 3 have played 16 games. Martinez and Godfrey have 4 goals each, but Todibo in the central TM role has 14! Including this hat-trick (video in spoiler):

Spoiler

 

So, in all honestly, the first season will likely be a little slow, but after that, this will probably be a goal fest...

I mean don't stop reading (why am I downplaying the difficulty of this again?), but don't be too surprised if it very quickly turns boring!

 

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3 hours ago, Aaron Thornton said:

Love this idea mate, gonna be weird seeing Todibo, Martinez and Godfrey in the Team of the Season as forwards 😂😂, good luck with this challenge 

100% guarantee if they make the team of the year they’ll be displayed as defenders. 🤣

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5 hours ago, Aaron Thornton said:

Love this idea mate, gonna be weird seeing Todibo, Martinez and Godfrey in the Team of the Season as forwards 😂😂, good luck with this challenge 

Thanks mate, yeah, will take a bit getting used to, but they will be world renowned strikers soon! 😄

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3 hours ago, Ian said:

Good luck, it’ll be interesting seeing how this all unfolds.

Thanks mate. Just coming up to Christmas. Here's a quick update:

  • All 3 are red for the striker position (started with it empty)
  • All have improved some of their attacking attributes eg: Todibo Movement 12 and Shooting 10; Martinez 15 and 9, Godfrey 14 and 11
  • Todibo playing as central TM has 17 goals from 22 games; Martinez 6 from 21; Godfrey (on pens) 8 from 21. 

I'm playing them only in the 3 striker roles and I leave them on until they get down to around 80% and I play them every game unless they have a tiredness message (in which case I swap them out for a reserve). 

We're 2nd in the league (15-1-2) but have been spanked a couple of time by Inter in the CL group. We have Bayern in the first knockout round, which could be bad for keeping the job if we lose it, but generally things are going as well as could be expected.

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2 hours ago, Rob said:

100% guarantee if they make the team of the year they’ll be displayed as defenders. 🤣

Team of the year? I don't know about that (yet). But team of the week?

image.png.1971da5692ce362bacd94522e115cc07.png

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2 minutes ago, Rob said:

Haha, brilliant. 

To be fair, they still are only red for striker and full green for central defender, so not that surprising - but I won't be surprised if it's still happening when they are full green. Has always happened to me (say when a striker is also green for a midfield role)..

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Barca vs Juve in the second leg of the CL Quarter Finals after a 2-2 draw in the first leg.

The world watches. Who will carry their team to the win - Messi or Ronaldo?

The answer:

Spoiler

image.png.38b6ad8ab63e265d21324ed7e4ed8edb.png

 

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1 hour ago, Rob said:

Lovely return there.

Thanks. Nearly the end of the season and all 3 lads looking much better and all (just turned) dark green. A small tweak to the tactic seems to be paying dividends too, so looking pretty good at this stage...

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2 hours ago, Scratch said:

Barca vs Juve in the second leg of the CL Quarter Finals after a 2-2 draw in the first leg.

The world watches. Who will carry their team to the win - Messi or Ronaldo?

The answer:

  Reveal hidden contents

image.png.38b6ad8ab63e265d21324ed7e4ed8edb.png

 

Good sign of things to come I think mate, doing it at that stage already and there not fully fled strikers yet!

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25 minutes ago, RichDave32 said:

Good sign of things to come I think mate, doing it at that stage already and there not fully fled strikers yet!

Thanks - they aren't far off and Todibo is going to be class. But he is playing the central position and that seems to get him the best position for corners, so a lot of his goals are coming from that at this point. Starting to get more goals from open play.

added 0 minutes later
2 minutes ago, Aaron Thornton said:

Todibo is a monster, can't wait to see the end of season totals for all three, KIU mate

Thanks mate - they aren't high at this point, but I think all the signs are there that they'll end up getting a lot each year.

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Update - Season 1

The first season is a wrap. I've spoilt a lot of it in posts above, but here is the full write up.

 

Settling In

Obviously, I did all the early save steps, like:

  • Getting my facilities updated - only 1 step was required and the board were happy to proceed.

  • Improving my staff - made some tweaks with the physios and scouts, but first time ever I didn't need to touch the coaches.

  • Assessing the current squad - very good, but quite old, with way too many players in the second team (first time I can remember not being able to demote anyone at the start because the Reserves were full).

  • Set up training for each player to match my tactic.

 

Spain Oddities

Spain does have some jankiness with the second team that I wasn't expecting - I guess because it is a second team, not a reserves team. That means a lot of things are separate:

  • If you offer players out, you don't get any messages about whether there is interest or not. I ended up promoting players to the first team so I could know what was happening when I tried to sell them.

  • Players in the second team get notes that they need better facilities and better coaches, even though the first team is first class all the way. The second team obviously has it's own coaches and facilities, but there is no way to see them or improve them.

  • Players in the second team seem to be 'relaxing during the off season', all season long, even between playing games...

  • As a result, while the second team does play (I loaded Second Division B just to get that), players don't seem to improve much, which is a big loss. I can loan youngsters out, but I'm used to a mix of that now, not having to loan out every single player.

This is probably enough to stop me coming back to Spain and honestly, it is something that should be fixed.

Second teams were added a long time ago, well before reserve teams were able to play fixtures or participate in a league. But now that they've added that ability to reserve teams, it probably doesn't make sense to even have these limited half-assed second teams anymore - just make them all reserve teams...

Oh and of course playing in Spain brings with it the compulsory Min Fee Release clause, which makes things interesting.

 

Tactics

I included a shot of my starting tactic above, so I won't include it again. I tweaked it a little over the course of the year, but still haven't fully settled on any one variant. Some of the things I tried:

  • Changing the AFs to DFs or DLF to try to prevent all three of them holding hands in the box.

  • Moving the CM and AP both back a notch (to DM and CM) to improve our defence and also create more space for the forwards.

  • Pushing one of both of the WBs up a level to increase the number of crosses provided.

A work in progress.

 

Transfers

It's the first season, so there was a lot of business, especially on the way out:

Spoiler

johncharles-tt-season01-46.jpg.5cc2158ba5d5e959d9b5ebba073c59dc.jpg

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johncharles-tt-season01-51.jpg.d5bbb10c37d63c2e7258134a1c1b40f7.jpg

As mentioned, the reserve team was full, so I needed to get rid of a lot of those players - they were clogging up the training screen, stopping me from demoting players etc. It was hard to tell which players might develop into a good player, so I bit the bullet and got rid of any that were a little older (eg 21) or looked weaker than the others.

I sold all the first team players around 30 or over (except for Messi). I was able to get good prices for Suarez, Busquets, Rakitic, Pique, Alba and Vidal. I would have loved to have played with these players if they were 5 years younger, but they're not and will all fade away quickly.

I almost sold Messi, but he had so many 20s I just had to keep him. They won't last for long, but I'll enjoy it for now. And given the lads started the season not even being red up front, I needed his magic to pull some late wins out of the hat.

Coming in were mostly top class youngsters, like Tierney (a favourite who's been out of reach so far this year), Haaland (never used him, but likewise out of reach this year), Bellingham, Upamecano, etc. I tried really hard not to reuse the same players from my last career, but had to make an exception for Havertz who will be a good left sided BBMs for us.

The big signing was KDB of course. I'll probably only get a couple of years out of him before I sell him, but it's good to have some world class players this early for a change.

 

Results

We had a very successful season especially given the total noobs we had up forward in the early stages. We had our butt saved by our subs fairly regularly at the start, although the lads scored occasionally and so did the players further down the field. Here's Haaland saving the day early on:

Spoiler

johncharles-tt-season01-14.jpg.e103ee01a55ed6deb40d68e20cb83ba0.jpg

johncharles-tt-season01-21.jpg.dcbfd3e52893d3561eea6ead4375506a.jpg

Anyway, as the season progressed, our results got better and we ended up winning almost everything:

  • We won the Spanish Super Cup, beating Atletico 4-1 in the final.

  • We were knocked out of the Spanish Cup in the semi final, on away goals, by Eibar, who pinched it in the 89th minute.

  • We won the league comfortably, scoring 125 goals (not bad for a first season).

  • We won the Champions League, beating Napoli 4-2 in the final.

Spoiler

johncharles-tt-season01-32.jpg.04031d167ad0587c00f04be94c863168.jpg

johncharles-tt-season01-35.jpg.d98a25f2fcfe1e54cf7f7cc6e47c39b2.jpg

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johncharles-tt-season01-44.jpg.08105f6895fe686564997eca34d799d4.jpg

The first season was much easier than I expected, but then again, this is Barca we're talking about, and even though our strikers were noobs at first, they improved a lot and we also have Messi, KDB, Griezman, Dembele, Haaland, Havertz, etc etc.

 

Injuries

Both Todibo and Godfrey have the Very Rarely Injured message, which is great!

Spoiler

johncharles-tt-season01-39.jpg.1279c060811aaf9145376bc85a824944.jpg

johncharles-tt-season01-40.jpg.030dd07f74e3690ca0e212426f74e817.jpg

Godfrey was the only one to get injured this season though, first with a few days out, then a 2 month injury in the off season - so that's a pretty great result injury-wise!

Spoiler

johncharles-tt-season01-41.jpg.c758db60b6743a9584c5cada99bb158b.jpg

johncharles-tt-season01-67.jpg.d18432914a25416a55756a6386289e59.jpg

 

Retraining

They all started with nothing in the striker position and an Aptitude of Very Poor, as can be seen for Godfrey here:

johncharles-tt-season01-06.jpg.d3106ea4ff3381908c9345eeb032d8ce.jpg

Every couple of months they improved a colour: red, then brown, then yellow, then eventually dark green as you'll see in the screenshots in the next section.

The pace of improvement was remarkably equal, with notifications of an improvement every few of months and all 3 improving within a week or two of each other. I guess that's because they all had Very Poor aptitude? If I'd chosen Ajer who (I think) had Reasonable, he would have got to green much quicker.

Martinez and Godfrey were happy enough to do this, although they disliked the trained role until at least on yellow. Todibo kept getting frustrated with the lack of improvement, so I had to keep giving him a few days on CD training, before switch him back. He got with the program eventually (once he was yellow). 

 

Development

Top club. Top league. Top coaches. Top facilities. If you play youngsters they are going to develop quickly (especially if they score or assist). This lot are the prime example of this:

Spoiler

johncharles-tt-season01-54.jpg.bcc39592675b93f594a638f484cfb99e.jpg

johncharles-tt-season01-57.jpg.41f0b7e55f05b5561fea985bf408b823.jpg

johncharles-tt-season01-60.jpg.6d834e3d76c60ce6a03aa9c0843b76fb.jpg

Todibo is looking great, although his Shooting could be better. The same goes for Martinez. Godfrey is not quite as developed as the other two, but still looking good.

They all seem to have a fair bit of development to come judging from their post match jumps (although Martinez has slowed down a fair bit). The question is how much of that development we can direct to their attacking attributes, as their defensive attributes have continued to increase despite training as strikers.

 

Goals

Okay, this is what it's all about. They've developed well and are not totally out of their depth up front any more, but how many goals did this translate to?

Spoiler

johncharles-tt-season01-52.jpg.1a5ea7614084724ab5d68bc2fe43e3f3.jpg

johncharles-tt-season01-56.jpg.33938c0fdcc25be14c9c14ad1fb675ef.jpg

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johncharles-tt-season01-61.jpg.0c1c6cfc570ae5135f33527c3e02db15.jpg

Here are there totals from this season:

  • Todibo scored 39 goals from 47 games

  • Martinez scored 17 goals from 47 games

  • Godfrey scored 27 goals from 48 games

Todibo took the central TM position and that's where the majority of the goals seemed to go, including a fair chunk from corners. Martinez and Godfrey were about equal, but Godfrey is on penalties which is why his tally is higher.

In case you're interested in their goal spread, here are their form charts:

Spoiler

johncharles-tt-season01-55.jpg.8309b26eb62629e05a0d43de8f4133f1.jpg

johncharles-tt-season01-59.jpg.2207ce0ca13fead09feb367839e374f9.jpg

johncharles-tt-season01-62.jpg.5f6cda691ea2c8d40ee25c6268e2c325.jpg

 

Totals

Season Todibo Martinez Godfrey TT Total
01 39 17 27 83
Total 39 17 27 83/1500

I just checked (no screenshot) and according to my manager profile, we scored 183 goals for the season, so the lads only got a low percentage of the total goals. Still it's a pretty good start, all things considered!!

 

Looking Forward

Next season will be the real test.

What will the lads be able to achieve now they are almost full green and looking pretty good attribute wise? Will the tactic keep working? Will it channel most of the goals to them, now they are strong enough the claim them?

I guess we'll have to wait and see, but I'll be hoping to push through the 100 goal mark at a minimum.

 

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Very good start mate, some good figures for your first season as you adjust your tactic. I have noticed that as well with B teams, very frustrating, especially when you get young players in for the future and no one wants them on loan, they should be able to improve in the second team but don’t 👎🏻

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Cracking start mate, it will be interesting to see what their Shooting peaks at, I guess we'll find out if the game is smarter than we think by realising their defenders or does this training system overpower any obstacles you throw at it, KIU mate

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18 hours ago, RichDave32 said:

Very good start mate, some good figures for your first season as you adjust your tactic. I have noticed that as well with B teams, very frustrating, especially when you get young players in for the future and no one wants them on loan, they should be able to improve in the second team but don’t 👎🏻

Thanks mate. Yeah it's a massive frustration. I actually thought about packing this in and starting again somewhere else, because I can't bring through the next wave properly and my strategy really depends on that. I'll keep going because I want to see how this turns out but I did genuinely consider that.

Edited by Scratch

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17 hours ago, Aaron Thornton said:

Cracking start mate, it will be interesting to see what their Shooting peaks at, I guess we'll find out if the game is smarter than we think by realising their defenders or does this training system overpower any obstacles you throw at it, KIU mate

Thanks mate. Yeah, hopefully now they are green for striker AND training in the striker role, it will give higher weighting to the attacking attributes being updated. But we'll see. 

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A very nice first season and the three seem to be developing well. It was their movement that I had concerns about but it seems to be rising ok on all of them and they look somewhat reasonable as strikers now.

Good luck for season two.

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1 hour ago, Ian said:

A very nice first season and the three seem to be developing well. It was their movement that I had concerns about but it seems to be rising ok on all of them and they look somewhat reasonable as strikers now.

Good luck for season two.

Thanks mate. I put all of them on Movement training from day 1, until it was at least reasonable, before switching to other things. I probably need to put them on Shooting training for a while now, but keep chasing Aerial, I can't help myself...

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3 hours ago, Kanegan said:

Nice first season. As they develop they will fetch you more goals so no worries.

Thanks mate. Hope so, although it sort of feels like they don't score quite as ... naturally as say Pellegri or Esposito or an established forward. Could be my imagination I guess. Season 2 will be a step up on Season 1, but not in the same way as it is for most of my careers.

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Update - Season 2

A decent start for the lads in the first season, let's see if we can build on that in the second season.

It's worth mentioning straight up that the lads all turned fully green just before the season started. They were still a bit short on some attributes, such as Shooting, but it filled me with confidence going into the season.

 

Spain Oddity

Take your protein pills and put your helmet on. In this episode:

  • As mentioned, the second team is a separate team with it's own hidden, un-upgradeable facilities and staff. Turns out when you promote a player, their attributes dip slightly, just like when you buy that player who isn't quite as good when he reports for duty. Well, not LIKE that - it IS that exact thing. And when you demote him, his attributes go back up.

  • I think that players are actually improving slightly in the second team, but that it's not tracking their attribute improvements (because... different team), so you can't tell. I need to watch this more closely.

  • Not sure if this is a Spain issue particularly, but my players went off and played in the Euro U21 Championships in the middle of the Club World Championship - without even telling me! They didn't go away on ITN duty, just snuck off. I just noticed they were knackered when I went to select the team and thought they'd been sneaking out at night, until I got a message that Todibo had won the Euro U21 best player award.

 

Tactics

I'm still experimenting and haven't settled into something that works regularly. Mostly I use variations on my starting tactic (up above somewhere), but I've also given this asymmetrical one a try (or it's mirror):

johncharles-tt-season02-31.jpg.27de9d5b8ddc334503faf481dca772ac.jpg

Whichever I choose, we'll win most games and often get 3-4 goals, so it's pretty good - it's just that too many goals are going to the other players. So I'll keep tweaking.

 

Transfers

Spoiler

johncharles-tt-season02-41.jpg.0f2d4e48f9d7fade123425ad36f26a23.jpg

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johncharles-tt-season02-46.jpg.629b96e5c3bd7af911b6cf674138636c.jpg

I got rid of a lot of flotsam in the second team, but also got rid of some established players, including:

  • Messi who reported back to duty having lost 2 off most attributes. I took that as a sign that now was a good time to cut my losses. I'm glad I had that season with him though.

  • Griezmann who was not far off 30. At the time I sold him, I'd stopped using the AMC position he'd been playing in and with Man City willing to pay £165M, it seemed like a sensible choice.

  • Dembele who had been decent in season one, but just didn't fit our tactic. Of course, a couple of months after selling him, I started using an AMR/AML role that he would have been perfect for.

Coming in were a bunch of great players, led by Bernardo Silva. Hey, why not? We also brought in Lemar, Pulisic, Varane, Bellerin and Berge. Not a bad bunch!

 

Results

Spoiler

johncharles-tt-season02-05.jpg.1138ae08223dff2d43bec98c305a6add.jpg

johncharles-tt-season02-12.jpg.79c34e567aeb8cc58d0a7303b934ad96.jpg

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johncharles-tt-season02-39.jpg.19cbafe8139b59191bfef29be1e7e39e.jpg

Another great season, but not perfect this time:

  • We lost Euro Super Cup with Man City beating us 4-0 (one of their goals going to Silva who we'd buy a week later).

  • We almost won the Club World Championship twice in 6 months, beating LA 2-1 to win the December one, but getting beaten 3-2 by Liverpool in the Semi Final of the June one.

  • We won the Spanish Super Cup, beating Valencia 3-2 in the final (Todibo winning it in the 91st minute).

  • We won the Spanish Cup, beating Eibar 4-0 in the final (revenge for them knocking us out last year).

  • We won the league, scoring 134 goals (a little up on last season).

  • We won the Champions League, beating Sevilla 2-0 in the final.

 

Injuries

The big one, shared above, was the 4 month injury to Martinez. Ouch! Apart from that things went well, with no injuries for Todibo and only a 10 day injury for Godfrey.

Spoiler

johncharles-tt-season02-10.jpg.b874a8c3486a57324b0a0ac0962119b8.jpg

johncharles-tt-season02-34.jpg.6e09d753d842cf18c6a34b3f266b9ee5.jpg

 

Development

They ended the season looking like this:

johncharles-tt-season02-50.jpg.8a9484aaad32f445955344df474e5922.jpg

johncharles-tt-season02-52.jpg.d6f4be5981208224b7f6b5547af33b5e.jpg

johncharles-tt-season02-54.jpg.e7da4211c0e308617bda705056459a7c.jpg

Not bad at all! Although I'd be happier if their Shooting was higher. Or their Aerial (had a lot of trouble improving that). At the moment they are very good players, but just lacking that edge a striker needs.

 

Goals

Spoiler

johncharles-tt-season02-90.jpg.cb95f47464ae215b6d46e93bfe2ebfb7.jpg

johncharles-tt-season02-92.jpg.90c689489cca8edadfc19d181e8843ce.jpg

johncharles-tt-season02-91.jpg.28fbc36fca83b2de8863e1d49e14a7ba.jpg

Here are there totals from this season:

  • Todibo scored 50 goals from 54 games

  • Martinez scored 16 goals from 37 games

  • Godfrey scored 43 goals from 53 games

Not a bad result, but thank goodness for that second Club World Championship, as it wasn't nearly as good before that!

 

Totals

Season Todibo Martinez Godfrey TT Total
01 39 17 27 83
02 50 16 43 109
Total 89 33 70 192/1500

 

Looking Forward

So it was a good season and a step forward, despite the serious injury to Martinez, but... things are not quite clicking yet.

Next season we want to bed down a tactic, minimize the number of goals going to other players and push the number of goals up above 120.

 

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Great start to the challenge mate and despite that bad injury there’s definitely progress. I can see a truckload of goals in the seasons to come for these guys. 

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