Champ Man

CM01/02: Home is where the Hearts is #4 – Start as you mean to go on

I put the disappointing second season down to the new players bedding in.

Towards the end of 2015, after growing frustrated with FM16, I made the decision to get back to CM 01/02. One of my favourite ever games was when I dominated Europe with Rangers – so I thought a good way of getting back to the game was in the SPL with Hearts. Follow my story here.

Season 3: Start as you mean to go on

I put the disappointing second season down to the new players bedding in. I aimed to be a bit more careful with recruitment ahead of the third season, and only plug the gaps needed.

The signings of Brown, O’Connor and then Seth Johnson on loan strengthened the central midfield position. I kept an eye out for others, but I entered the season fairly content.

Here’s how we started against Motherwell in the season opener:

After starting with a 2-2 draw, we had a turgid first quarter of the season, winning just two of the first 10 games again.

That led to me making some reinforcements, Harpal Singh, who had previously been a success on loan, coming in on a permanent basis for 1m.

Orri Freyr Oskarsson also came in on a free in October.

Results picked up slightly, but there was still a great deal of inconsistency. A 5-0 win over Dundee Utd was sandwiched between 3-0 and 4-0 defeats to Hibs and Rangers.

Perhaps a reflection of the campaign was that my highlight was an abandoned match – the first I’d ever seen in my CM/FM days. It came against Raith Rovers in light snow, abandoned after 34 minutes at 0-0. I won the replayed game 3-2.

Further strengthening came in January, as Mirko Conte and Simone Perrotta came in to strengthen the defence and midfield options.

They came after Tonge, Butra, Fox and Lucic were all moved on as I tried to find the right formula.

A brief change in formation did little to solve the inconsistency woes.

Sadly the wins were few and far between. But given the season expectations were simply to survive relegation, I was doing OK.

Top six prior to the split was the aim, and we achieved that, eventually finishing 5th for the second successive season.

So here’s how we’ve gone so far…

Scottish Premier Division
2001/02 – 6th – P38 W16 D5 L17 F52 A63 PTS53
2002/03 – 5th – P38 W14 D9 L15 F65 A65 PTS51
2003/04 – 5th – P38 W17 D3 L18 F61 A66 PTS54

Scottish Cup
2001/02 – Fifth round
2002/03 – Third round
2003/04 – Third round

League Cup
2001/02 – Third round
2002/03 – Third round
2003/04 – Third round

Not the progress I had really envisaged when I started the save.

However, on we go to see whether the signings I’ve made will come good…

This story first appeared on the forums.

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