FM20 Barrow (Ep 7: January)

So my bad, I didn’t know transfer windows didn’t really apply to the National League, so during those months we were struggling player wise, I could have been signing short term players…

Anyways as mentioned last episode, January we were really just looking for some squad depth. Leeds were no help at all in this. Once again this partnership I thought would really help us sign some quality young players has been useless. We ended up bringing in two youngsters on loan, Neves of Reading is a young left winger who can also play CAM, hes currently a fringe player but his most impressive stat is 18 crossing. (Just imagine the crosses onto Scott Quigley’s head!) We also signed Stephen Wearne from Boro, another young winger who is two footed and can play on the left or right, hes currently not match fit but will be a great signing when we get him up to speed.

Unfortunately we have to pay these players wages due to us not having any links with them, thank you Leeds, they aren’t on astronomical sums but we still had to balance the books. We let young Luca Navarro go, on £850 a week we needed a game changing player not a youngster who probably will develop into a decent player but we needed the results now. we also let Mamadou Kone go out on loan, it leaves us a bit short of defensive cover but we will deal.

On the pitch, we had a mixed bag of results this month, We still haven’t been beaten in the league in months, however we are out of both cup competitions. Notts County was always going to be tough and Im just glad we beat them in the league earlier this year. As for the FA Cup, we got a nice little earner of a tie at home to now Premier League Sheffield United, that was always gonna be a massive ask, but as mentioned its probably set us up financially for the rest of the season.

We still sit top of the league, we are now 6 points clear going into the business end of the season, and if we have anything about us and stay clear of injuries etc, maybe automatic promotion is possible?

Player of the Month

Only one option this month really, its keeper Joel Dixon. The big man has been an absolute monster this month, pulling off some heroics to guide us through to 1-0 wins on three different occasions and quite frankily it could have been a cricket score against Sheffield United if it wasn’t for him. He also saved a penalty from Phil Jagielka in the Sheffield United game, what a man.

Sin-Bins: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Many people, similar to when VAR was first rolled out, are sceptical of the new sin-bins that the FA are rolling out to all Non-League football across all of Step 5 and below next season.

The new rule was piloted in England across 31 different adult and youth leagues, something the FA were able to do as part of new Laws of the Game amendments from IFAB in 2017.

Some teams have stated that if implemented correctly and by a referee who understands the proper uses then it works very well to cut out dissent and addresses an issue that before the trial was a large issue, which I think in every level of the game is a problem that needs tackling.

The full results are published below:

  • 25/31 leagues showed an overall reduction in dissent
  • 38% reduction in dissent across all leagues
  • 72% of players wanted to continue with the scheme
  • 77% of managers and/or coaches wanted to continue with the scheme
  • 84% of referees wanted to continue with the scheme

Others however found it confusing, with some referees not knowing when to issue a normal yellow card as opposed to a “Sin Bin” Yellow, however this has been combatted by the FA revealing that the new scheme will be rolled out for dissent only.

It has also been revealed that training programmes are set to be rolled out by the County FA’s to teach referee’s and clubs the correct uses of the new ‘Sin-Bins’.

The main negative we can think of is that the Premier League and Football League aren’t implementing the new rule, therefore depending on what tier you play in, you are effectively playing a different game, which could make some cup competitions difficult.

We would love to know what you guys think on the issue.