Monthly Archives: January 2016

Follow the Ball – Game 6: MK Dons v Chelsea

The final day of January brings with it the sixth match of the year for the Follow the Ball series; and in it we will see the first “defence” for the new winners, Chelsea.

Throughout 2016 I have decided that I will enjoy an unbeaten year of football by watching a run of football matches in a winner stays on style. The year started with Arsenal by way of a Twitter poll although that run ended last weekend when Chelsea rocked up to the Emirates Stadium and won 1-0.

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Follow the Ball – Game 5: Arsenal vs Chelsea

Nearly a month into the year and we’re on for game number five of the campaign. For those of you that haven’t read one of these before, the idea is simple (I think) and you can all of the Follow the Ball posts here.

Through 2016 I will be watching a series of games in a winner stays on style. I kicked off with Arsenal thanks to a Twitter poll (my own fault really) and have then followed the winning team through their first four matches of the calendar year. My hope is that when we get to the knock-out stages of the European competitions, one of the English sides will lose a leg and I can spend some time watching football on the continent.

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Football Manager

#IBWM100 on Football Manager – Season Three with Ajax

Borussia Dortmund and Germany midfielder Julian Weigl

This is the third instalment of my attempts to sign only players from the In Bed with Maradona 100 during a game of Football Manager – the all-knowing, all-powerful football simulation.

The first two posts in this #IBWM100 on Football Manager series detailing how 2015/16 and then 2016/17 went can be found by clicking on those links.

If you haven’t read either of those – feel free to go back and catch up. Don’t worry; I’ll wait.

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Follow the Ball – Game 4: Stoke City vs Arsenal

I am pleased to discover that this malarkey of two games each week is finally starting to calm down. I was worried for a second that I’d bitten off more than I can chew.

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Football Manager

#IBWM100 on Football Manager – Season Two with Ajax

Monaco and Mali defender Almamy Touré

It is highly likely that you did not read part one of this series so feel free to go check it out before trying to battle on with season two. Some of what follows may not make sense without it although I suspect you will probably do just fine.

The plan is really rather simple. Using only the #IBWM100 for 2016 and whatever pieces of football gold that the virtual youth academy of my football team creates, I am going to do my absolute utmost to win the UEFA Champions League on Football Manager 2016, as well as every other trophy that springs up along the way.

Produced every December, the #IBWM100 is In Bed With Maradona’s breakdown of the most exciting young footballers in the world. IBWM have produced the list since 2011 following the closure of Spanish sports weekly magazine Don Balón.

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Follow the Ball – Game 3: Liverpool vs Arsenal

13 days into the New Year and I have managed to stick with my resolution. Yes, I am patting myself on the back for that. I said I am going to watch a winning team for the entire 12 months – in a similar style to the much-loved I Am The Gloryhunter – and so far I am sticking to it.

Two games in and I’ve enjoyed two different competitions – the Premier League and the FA Cup. Game three is a return to the bread and butter of the league, and a clash between two teams that will play European ties in a few weeks. They are my links towards taking this thing international so I’m hoping to stay with this winner for a little while.

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Follow the Ball – Game 2: Arsenal vs Sunderland

I am not a very exciting football watcher. Outside of doing research for the #IBWM100 and the players that we chart over 12 months, I tend to stick to what I know. In 2016, my aim is to change that by following a winning team over the course of the next 12 months and seeing where I end up.

It started last week with the Premier League and if things go as I hope, I should be in for a European tour over the next 12 months (and perhaps even further afield if the action can find its way to the FIFA Club World Cup). For now, back to North London…

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Football Manager

#IBWM100 on Football Manager – Season One with Ajax

Ajax’s leading striker Arkadiusz Milik

In the last two years blogging and writing about Football Manager has become almost as frequent and popular as writing about actual football. The game – previously the actual reason so many teenage boys spent an ungodly sum of hours alone in their bedrooms (and not good old-fashioned pornography) – has taken on a life of its own and entered the mainstream with its use on Sky Sports News and the BBC Sport Deadline Day blog. It has a devoted section on the website for the Mirror newspaper as well as hundreds (more likely thousands) of devoted fan blogs.

As I pick up the game for the first time in four years (the last version I purchased was FM2012 although on one cold winter night I did install the FM2015 demo before deleting it in a fit of frustration some hours later), I’m encouraged to take you along for the ride. Some of the writing around this will be dry, so let me start by saying sorry for that. However given the subject matter is all about me talking you through how well/poorly things went on a computer game and that we’re already 215 words in, I suspect you have made your peace with that.

The plan is really rather simple. Using only the #IBWM100 and the youth academy system of my virtual football team, I am going to attempt to win the UEFA Champions League and every other trophy I can get my hands on.

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Follow the Ball – Game 1: Arsenal vs Newcastle United

My plan for 2016 is to watch more football. I’m not that concerned about who is actually playing in the match, truth be told, but I just want to immerse myself in other games. As such I am going to watch a single game each week following the winner into their next match; and so on. In theory I could end up watching any league on the planet if “my team” loses the right (or wrong) European fixture – or by the end of the year I might simply end up watching 40-odd games featuring teams from the Premier League.

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