A Man Attempts To Avoid Relegation On Football Manager With Team Of World's Best Goalkeepers
In a pointless but completely necessary experiment on Football Manager, one man attempted to keep League Two side Northampton Town in the division with a team full of goalkeepers.
Andy Tin, a 28-year-old Mapping Analyst from Melbourne, assembled a selection of the world's best shot-stoppers in the game and decided to throw them all into the same club in a bid to avoid relegation.
"I wanted to test the waters of League Two as I felt the physicality ratings of the top goalkeepers could compensate against the footballing levels there." Tin told SPORTbible.
"The next question was which club? I'm from Australia so I'm shocking with English club history but I am good with geography. I loaded up Google Maps, centered on the UK, typed in 'Keepers' and in the middle, there was a shop called 'Just Keepers'."
"I decided the closest League Two club to that shop would be my pick. Northampton was a 47 minute drive from there."
After a quick Google seach Andy cleaned out the squad using the in-game editor, added a "monstrous amount of money" into the club to pay wages and soon, his new look team was complete.
From the likes of Manuel Neuer, Ederson, Alisson and ter Stegen to Thibaut Courtois, Jan Oblak, David De Gea and "around 35 other keepers added for backup", this team was ready to try and conquer League Two.
"It will never happen in real life, but there's one place where it can." Tin says.
Things started well for the new-look Cobblers team, however baffled their fans felt about the decision to bring in a squad full of goalkeepers.
In their opening three pre-season friendlies, wins against Sileby Rangers, Brackley and League One side Fleetwood Town provided supporters with a sliver of hope but a heavy defeat to Championship giants Fulham brought them back down to earth.
Not to mention two consecutuve losses towards the end their friendly streak.
"Pre-season started well." Tin says. "Wins against the non-league teams was promising but then games against FC Twente, Fulham, and Rangers were losses. Surely pre-season means nothing..."
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The League Two season was officially here but an opening day clash against Walsall didn't exactly go to plan. When describing the first match of the campaign, Tin describes it as "fantastically horrible".
Lukas Fabianski handled the ball inside the box and conceded a penalty, and soon the opposition made it 2-0.
It was a disastrous start for the likes of De Gea, Alisson and Ederson. And things didn't get much better from there.
"The patterns of the issues on the field became apparent. It requires a level of skill not just by the passer, but also the receiver in the final-third of the play." he continued.
"Sure Ederson could play a few diagonals but ter Stegen and Neuer could not make the telepathic runs, or set themselves up for a shot on goal. It looked absolutely hopeless."
Northampton could only pick up two points from their opening seven games, conceding seven goals to Swindon and five against Plymouth. Not the best of starts.
And it didn't get much better. Despite a historic win against Southampton u23's in the Leasing Trophy at the start of September, where David de Gea bagged a brace in the first half, the goalkeepers continued to struggle in League Two competition.
In fact, just nine games into the season and Tin was sacked for his efforts.
Heavy defeats against Bradford City and Newport County followed and a 3-0 loss to Stevenage was the final nail in the coffin.
"We struggled in the final third and couldn't dominate the midfield with reliable passing. Our defence was busy, and exposed." Tin says.
"But it wasn't about winning or losing. I created an idea to see how it played out and I learnt a fair bit."
This isn't the only experiment Tin has played out on Football Manager down the years, so why does he do it?
"I know a lot of people play the game as normal, or simulate the game with the European super league and that's awesome. I just enjoy the fact the everyday person can involve their personalities into the management of a video game."
Keep up the good work, my friend.