Out of the Box Barnsley – Part 1: Bucket List

Something I am always asked is what I think the greatest challenge is in CM9798. This blog has seen people push the boundaries of that answer, with weird and wonderful scenarios created to test managerial mettle alongside some of the more classic challenges. Between myself and various members of the blog squad, we’ve toppled the Old Firm, we’ve taken a side with no players from Division 3 to the top and taken various struggling nations to World Cup 98. I could go on.

My answer to that question for many years was to keep Barnsley up in season 1. KOTR did it without even making a signing, which is all the more impressive. It’s something I’ve never managed to achieve, I usually get worn down very early on and give up. Not only do I want to keep them up, I want to take them to the Champions League winners enclosure. For ultimate authenticity, I’ve even loaded up the out of the box version of the game. I assume the gameplay is not hugely different but the squads are maybe not as you expect. Asprilla is still at Newcastle, Southall is still at Everton but most importantly, Man Utd’s squad is so overloaded they have to release some of their kids immediately. More on that later.

Barnsley have an uninspiring set of lads, to put it kindly.

With a modest £3m in the bank, I feel no shame in checking who didn’t make the cut at Man Utd. Helloooo Erik.

Big John too! A great haul.

Wallwork, Casper and McClair also find themselves out of work. I’m very aware that these lads will be prised away by a big club release clause but that will boost the coffers. Perennial freebie Tomlinson is also available

I could do with some midfield flair and I think we’ll have to look beyond the free agent list to scratch that itch. Bids are launched for several players but we’ll cover those off if they are successful.

That’s a blow

As is this

This is a start

Spoiler: Bjorn was one of the bids. Can he do it at the top level?

Even before the patch he was great

Some people say the database gets lazy but I just can’t see why

I would like to shift some of this lot – most of this lot – but it’s hard to see who would buy them. Another thing to consider is that before the patch it is only 3 non-EU players in the match day squad, so we’re overstocked there.

Chris Casper arrives, the B list John Curtis but his vital stats are incredible.

Seeing as we’ve looked at a lot of the Man Utd squad who have been released let’s dive into why. This is their squad in the editor (original):

That’s 45 players, somewhat too many. Let’s take somebody like John Curtis who we know always appears at Man Utd in the patch:

The patched squad is a more realistic size (plus Richard Wellens who is oddly at “Man U” and messes up my search):

Our mate JC has his ability souped up and his reputation slightly enhanced – he did of course make his first team debut (against Barnsley ironically) so justified.

So there you go. The rest all got free transferred, incidentally.

My attempts to add some creativity have lead us down a lower league road…or a lower league Street if you will. There’s a lot to like about Kevin Street, even if he can’t pass and is as weak as a kitten. But there’s enough there to work with.

Ooh a bid, that’ll help.

Adie rejects. That’s annoying. But another bid! For this idiot.

First day of the season and I’ve decided to go for 4-2-3-1. It’s a formation I’m enjoying more and more recently. Players don’t get great averages but if your number 9 is scoring everything is good.

The number 9 does score. Hristov is off and running but Moses gets an early red card so it’s backs to the wall. We do a great job in managing the game out and it’s a superb start.

All those clubs and none of them suit you. For goodness sake.

The Hristov train keeps on rolling with the only goal in a home win over Wimbledon.

It’s the first Yorkshire derby of the season and unfortunately Leeds have too much for us, despite the Macedonian freight train pulling one back.

Bullock becomes the first non-Macedonian to score for us. Georgi gets two of his own either side of a Steve Claridge equaliser. Leicester are swatted aside though, it’s a very promising start.

We go to Ewood Park and fall behind inside a minute. It basically gets no better after that.

Yorkshire derby of the season number two and it’s a classic yo-yo battle. A pair of Bullock’s score as we go 3-2 up but substitute Scott Oakes equalises 6 minutes from time. This team is bizarre.

Off we go to Anfield expecting a thrashing but…Hristov finishes a one on one and Kevin Street blasts in the second. We’ve just won at Anfield!

The cup tie with Stoke goes the way you’d expect. Good old competent Barnsley.

Street scores for the third game in a row but we lose at home to table toppers Chelsea. They’ve still got Gullit in charge and he’s doing rather better than Vialli, who is usually on the verge of being sacked by now.

Speaking of managers who are still in charge, there’s no sign of Christian Gross yet at Tottenham and it’s still Gerry Francis in the dugout. His mullet will be a little greyer by th end of this one. His side go 2-0 up, Hristov and Heidy pull us back into it before Watson is sent off for wiping out Les Ferdinand. As Sir Les is stretchered off, Iversen comes on to watch Dominguez smash the penalty wide. Even though we’re down to 10 men, Neil Redfearn puts us 3-2 up and all is right in the world. That is until the 89th minute when Ginola goes through one on one with the third Bullock – Tony – and finishes. I need a lie down.

We are made to pay by Coventry after Steve Ogrizovic makes all the saves. They score with their only shot in target.

The job is complete in Stoke. Brutally.

We should beat Charlton too.

We’ll finish today’s update with the trip to Aston Villa – a usually difficult proposition with Yorke and Collymore but one of the Bullock’s and Heidenstrom give us yet another surprise victory.

A quick check on the table sees us sitting in 4th. FOURTH! Well that’s unexpected.

No wonder Moses wants to leave. He’s been our best performer by a mile. Nobody else has been particularly brilliant.

All I can take from this is what I am a lot better at this game now than I was when I was 8 or even 28 when I’m sure I tried this again. There’s a long way to go of course but so far so good. Thanks for reading and I’ll be back with more next week.

Was he always this good?

One of my favourite anomalies in CM9798 is the predicament that is Marc Emmers. You will all mostly know him as this cheap Minor Team pickup.

Sensational, right? But why is he at Minor Team, also, what is Minor Team?

A quick look at the editor and we can see the issue…

Minor team is used for players who have a club not on the game or where the game can’t find a match to the club name given to a player in the editor. In this case, Peruggia is a typo. How did it come to this?

This is how the original game was released:

Our hero, Marc with a C, is on a free transfer. He has the ability 137 and is the good player we find in the patch. Mark Hemmers is at Perugia, which is the right club with the wrong name. He has all zero stats & ability.

Obviously this was a mistake. So somebody was given the task of correcting it…

Clearly, they failed. Good Marc Emmers was moved to the right club with the wrong spelling. Mark Hemmers was corrected to Mark Emmers but he’s still a random generation for everything, including position.

So there you have it, the story of Marc Emmers and the researchers who just couldn’t get him right.

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