FM18 | Plug In Baby | #4

Greetings and welcome back to Football Manager done the old-fashioned way in Plug In Baby. We’ve got a “plug-in” tactic and we’re not afraid to use it. Leicester sit comfortably in the top half but every game is a thriller. It’s exhausting. Can we keep this up as we head into the winter months?

Catch up with Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of Plug In Baby.

Off to Swansea, we go then, fresh from yet another International break. Once again everybody has come back in reasonable health, though the physio reports are showing a lot of the players have a “heavy” risk of injury. I’ll be the judge of that.

I’m your biggest fan I’ll follow you until you love me. Ihea. Iheanacho. What you have to say is that we concede so many penalties with this formation. Kasper saves one but Tammy Abraham thinks he’s won it with the second one. He’s wrong because it just angers us into nicking a draw.

15km is a long way to run.

On the bus home and ANDY WILLIAMS (Simpsons reference) has got news for me.

We don’t need this. If people aren’t complaining about not playing they’re wanting to join Tottenham. I tell Vardy to cool his jets and he can join Spurs in the summer if we don’t qualify for the Champions League. That ought to hold him until I finish this save, anyway.

Off to Stamford Bridge. This is going to take some explaining.

N’Golo Kante curled in a free kick to make it 5-1. He’s an excellent footballer but has he ever done that? Once again that got our juices flowing and we got it back to 5-4. Iheanacho missed a one on one in the 93rd minute. That was a sickener.

Never to be deterred, he gets over it by inspiring our win over Man Utd. Yep, a home win, a clean sheet and ex-Man City player Iheanacho goading the away fans. This had it all.

Winning 100% of tackles isn’t a bad effort.

The fixture computer hasn’t been that kind to us in all honesty so it’s Arsenal next. We’re behind, we’re ahead, we’re level, we’re ahead again. Then we’re behind. Maguire sticks in an equaliser. It’s a wonderful time.

We’re 7th, which is pretty much my target, and the Chairman has seen enough. He wants me to stay. He wants more of this madness. He offers me a contract and we quickly agree on terms. Easy. It seems a bit unnecessary that 9 minutes later he emails me to tell me I’ve signed a new contract. Minor points.

How do you celebrate a new contract? Well, it’s off to St James’ Park. We lose Ndidi to injury and he joins Adrien Silva on the shelf who is out for 6 weeks. Iborra has been complaining a lot but he’s getting his game now. Amartey and Matty James are my other options. Anyway, Vardy rams in an injury time winner and it’s great scenes, even if I am silently seething that we conceded to Javi Manquillo.

Off to West Brom then and even with Matty James pulling the strings, this is a Midlands derby we’ll remember very fondly. Ayew brings up 20 for the season…it’s December. Even Shane Long scores. What a day.

Nearly halfway through the season and 7th is good, but I feel we can do better. We’ve got a decent cushion to 8th and I still live in hope that Bournemouth drop off at some point. European tours are awaiting us.

An awful long way to go yet, of course, which will be music to West Han’s ears. Let’s just have a quick look at how the lads are performing under these conditions.

All hail Matty James. But seriously, Ayew’s 21 in 19 is extraordinary whilst Vardy has been very unselfish in his 12 assists. Morale is good. Okazaki is mad. Demarai Gray has asked to go to Man City if they bid £103m. Listen, son, if they bid half of that I will drive you there. I have no time for wingers in this formation.

That’s all for now but I’ll be back next week with the difficult Festive programme where this formation will be put to the ultimate test. Oh and we’ve been drawn away to Burton in the FA Cup, whilst it’ll be West Brom again in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup. Somehow we’re still firing on 3 fronts…

See you next week!