Out of the Box Barnsley – Part 4: Bring on the Legends

Hello! Happy New Year one and all and welcome back to CM9798.co.uk. It’s time for the difficult second season. Barnsley stormed to a fifth placed finish and will get to play European football. As a reminder, we’re playing the original out of the box version and flagging up some changes along the way. It’s nerdtacular. Let’s remind ourselves of that fifth place finish for what was supposed to be an eternal struggle but turns out we’re just mint.

There’ll be an extra 5,000 fans able to watch those white hot European nights. It’ll cost me some of my already limited budget though.

We also pay the price for not playing Eric Tinkler. Oh well.

Krizan too. Both are released. I’ve got my eyes on a far more versatile prize…

For a measly £2.1m, he is ours. This is good news.

Should I…?

Obviously he has no interest in coming to Oakwell so we have to settle for this guy instead, I’ve no idea if he’s any good, everybody in France has amazing stats but it’s all about their ability.

This is how we’ll start the season. I’ve resisted the temptation to move to 2-3-1-2-2 for now.

3-0 up in 20 minutes? We’re gonna win da leeg.

We almost certainly won’t but the squad is getting there. Casper missed the first game through a ban but he’ll be back in.

Definitely now. That’s annoying.

We need a defensive midfielder in case we do pull the trigger on 2-3-1-2-2. Old favourite Billy Mac gets the call.

Hristov is at the double as our strong start continues with a routine away win.

We play pretty well against Man Utd but we concede early on and can’t beat the Danish wall. That’s a blow.

We do at least win at West Ham thanks to Georgi’s treble. Losing two attacking midfielders is also a blow but we’ve got to just make do and mend.

Throwing away the lead twice here is frustrating. Another injury too – a turbulent August.

The last Bullock standing scores the winner at Bolton to calm our nerves. Back on track.

I’ve been monitoring him since day one but he’s finally available. £150k. Are the legends true? He’s the same in the patch as he is in the original, so what you see is what you get.

Confirmation of the great man’s arrival.

He debuts as we stun Chelsea. Left Bullock gets a 69th minute winner and the world of Barnsley is better than ever.

Our first European adventure is to Belgium and the squad is rotated. Sean Devine nets a hat-trick but we lose big Dion.

This is a result. Georgi is back in the team and back in the goals as Arsenal are sent packing.

Nicky Eaden is out for three months and faced with the reality of having to play Matty Appleby for that time, we splash £2.6m on Shaun Newton.

The squad is now full and injured. There’s a few I’d love to shift and I’ve a feeling Marcelle and Bosancic will have their work permits expire soon.

A tremendous win at Villa Park comes at the cost of Marty Bullock.

A routine win in Europe comes at the cost of Kevin Street.

Darren Sheridan has left at least. Ever evolving this squad

Brondby will be a tougher test I fancy. You’d have to back us.

Forest are bottom and winless but this is just one of those games where they make lots of chances and we make basically none. Even when we are handed a golden chance to equalise, Pascolo saves from the always reliable Bjorn. Weird.

It’s a hard fought win at Pompey to arrest any fears of a collapse.

A big Yorkshire derby finishes today’s update – which finishes 0-0. Pressman was incredible.

All of that leaves us a more than respectable 2nd. There are some miserly defences in this division.

This is heating up nicely. If we can just stop getting injuries we can really get a run going through the always difficult Yorkshire winter. See you next week – but first let’s nerd out.

Was he always this good?

This week we address a common query which I’m calling The Collyer Bias. Essentially because Paul & Ov Collyer are Everton fans, people think they made Everton really good, and then after complaints they got dumbed down in the patch. Of course, they told us on the podcast that was garbage and I believe them. I’ll explain why…right now.

The Original

Everton are somewhat of a force on the original. I find Goodison Park a very difficult place to go and Neville Southall borderline unbeatable despite his advancing years.

Here are some abilities from the out of the box version:

Speed 148
Hinchcliffe 148
Jon O’Connor 127
Southall 137
Branch 120
Ferguson 139

Nothing too remarkable there, but let’s fast forward to February 1998 and the amendments:

Ferguson 155
Branch 123
Myhre 144

Why is the list different? Well, Speed, Hinchcliffe, O’Connor and Southall all left the club. Their abilities didn’t change a huge amount:

Speed 148
Hinchcliffe 145
Southall 130
O’Connor 127

So in the patch version, Everton have…

A better keeper (Myhre is at Viking rated 120 in the original)
A souped up Duncan Ferguson (139 to 155)
A slightly better Michael Branch (120 to 123 – Cadamarteri also went from 134 to 136)

However they lost Speed (148), Hinchcliffe (148), Stuart (124), O’Connor (127), Southall (137) & Barrett (122) and gained Madar (134), Ward (108), Hutchison (122), Myhre (144), Tiler (138), O’Kane (0) and Jeffers (0). So it’s not really a surprise, especially as Big Dunc’s new found powers usually secure him a move to Chelsea in the early weeks of a new save.

Original squad:

Patch squad:

Bilic is a solid 162 on both by the way.

More nonsense next week!

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