Introducing the CM Super League

As the new football league season kicks off it is another league that is catching the imagination of fans on social media, The CM0102 Super League is underway with sides made up of drafted legends and wildcard picks competing. Gamers and fans of the now 15 year old edition of the franchise are enjoying seeing all of this talent on display.

I previously wrote about the game (https://smfyfe.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/what-happened-to-the-heroes-of-championship-manager-0102/  ) but even I am learning. I lost hundreds of hours playing but until recently had never heard of To Madeira or Ricardo Carmo among others.

Huge credit must go to league creator @CM0102LEGENDS for setting it all up and running the admin for it, although Mrs CM0102LEGENDS has caused an enforced ‘Winter Break’ by booking time off work and taking him on holiday 🙂

How it works

Fans of the game had the oppertunity to vote for their favourite players before a published list of 168 players who were drafted via live stream into 14 sides (compelling viewing given its simplicity).

The managers were then allowed to select 8 wildcards of players not in the initial list. These were ranked from most to least wanted and drafted into sides based on how much they were wanted. If a club did not get their wildcard a player of similar ilk was drafted in.

Via Twitter, team managers then get to select line ups, tactics etc and matches are pre-recorded and published. The only in game changes are due to injuries or red cards.

What has added to the intrigue is most teams have set up ‘official’ twitter accounts for their teams and are conducting interviews and some great banter.

The Inzaghi debate between Rapid Apollos and Swindon Devils is very amusing.

 

Below are some the sides profiled while their managers discuss their squads, the season and Champ in general:

Ferkham Hall FC @ferkhamhallfc

On my team-

The start of the season has been tough, learnt a lot from the opening two games defensively and managed to bounce back with a good win in our first home game. The draft went okay, particularly in midfield areas with van der Vaart, Scholes and Davids all likely to play key roles, but it left us a little bit short in terms of real quality at CB and in goal and that showed in the first two defeats. We managed to tie down 4 of the wildcard picks including Nikiforenko which I think will prove to be important, but we missed out on Ambrosini, P Neville and Assane N’Diaye who would have given us a good balance, and Vitality Kutuzov who is useful in the forward areas. Lee Young-Pyo was a welcome addition also and is likely to fill the LB slot ahead of Ashley Cole. Those we missed out on we’re replaced with Enrico Chiesa, Emanuel Petit, Wes Brown and Demitri Albertini who will provide decent cover as the season goes on but we’re happy overall and looking forward to the rest of the season. If we could add one player at the minute it’d be a goalkeeper, maybe Magnus Hedman.

On the league- 

Massive fan of the way the league has been set up. It’s definitely the easiest way to manage expectations and also gives managers a good opportunity to tailor their squads with their favourite players. In terms of favourites, you’d always be afraid of the team that gets Tsigalko but I think Stapenhill maybe look a bit top heavy. The team id like to be in charge of at this stage is SLF FC, they’re full of quality.

On CM0102

I am quite versatile with who I choose to play as. I had a career going for 20 years at PSV while also winning 5 consecutive league titles with Boston culminating in winning the Prem. It is always favourable to play i the Italian League due to the strength in depth and lack or work permit regulations.

The best player on the game is Maxim Tsigalko although the one that goes under the radar is Fernando Torres. Another dark horse is Norweigen right back Hoiland.

I think the popularity of the game is down to speed and simplicity. You can get a multiplayer season done while watching Super Sunday which has helped its longevity massively.

Halle FC
@Halle_FC

On the team –

How has the season started? Can’t complain – we are number 1 at the moment.

How was the draft? A great draft for us. Got some really good players, especially in ddfence.

Did you get all your wildcards – if not who went where? I got almost every wildcard I wanted. Got a well rounded team in the end.

If you could sign 1 player now who would it be? I did not get my second pick in the wildcards so I would want Ivan Cordoba.
On the league –

Do you like how it has been done? It is a really interesting challenge. It is fun to compete with other CM enthusiasts. 

Who do you consider favourites to win it? I am confident in my tactics and my team so I would say Halle FC.
On Champ –

Who do you usually play as? Always LLM games – no specific team though.

Who is the best player on the game? Maxim ‘the dream’ Tsigalko.

Why do you think it is so popular? I think this version had more and better players for LLM. You could find more gems and get your lower league club all the way.

Palmerthinikos
@Palmerthinikos

The season has started very badly for us with just a solitary point so far. We have seemingly held our own but been on the end of so many bad decisions such as red cards and dodgy penalties. The draft was not brilliant either, whilst being blessed in attack our defence and midfield was a touch light. I was not anticipating getting 7 of 8 wildcards so went a bit top heavy on AMs to ensure I landed 1. As a result my DM cover is light.

Ibrahim Said is the missing link in our team, I said this from the outset and ironically he scored against us in one of the early games.

The league is a great concept and credit to the guy running it – it must be a lot of work. My only criticism (if I can have any) is not being able to do in game management. I am not sure how this would work though. I have had red cards and key injuries where usually I’d shunt a few players about whereas in this I have had players out of position but hey-ho you cannot have everything.

 I usually play as Hull City in the game managing them from Division 3 to the Prem. When the game was released Hull in the Prem was a ludicris thought as they had been wallowing in the wilderness for their entire 100 year history.

Hard to single out one player but Tsigalko must be up there. Usually have to rely on him getting due nationality somewhere for 5 years before I can get to him. To Madeira, Mike Duff, Hugo Pinheiro, Mark Kerr and Ibrahim Said are always brought in. 

Love it when you get 8 or so years in and you find a gem that has been written into the game.

Roberto Palacios and Billy McKinlay are always brought in on frees in the first season too. Can usually sell Palacios for £4-£5m in Div 2 in the second season if you hold your nerve.

Love Radoslaw Kaluzny too when in the Prem but often find he becomes disillusioned after one season. For some reason though I always go back for more.

Aghahowa, Okorenkwo, West, Udeze, Torrado, Yepes, Satmar, Moukoko, Bakircioglu, Hadzimehmedovic and Ze Elias also always on my radar

I think the game is so popular because of its relative simplicity vs todays Football Manager which is great but way over the top for me. The makers of CM0102 did a great job in making it easy to navigate between screens.

One of my favourite bits was if you qualify for World Club Champs. This with Champions League and an utter fixture backlog. Love managing the squad through this carnage.

Rapid Apollo @RapidApollo

They say “In space no one can hear you scream” and that theory has been put to the test over the first couple of games this season. A leaky defence and an inability to take our chances means we have failed to turn our domination and far superior style of play into points. It was nice to get our first win before the winter break and I have no doubt The Spacemen will now go on to dominate the rest of the league from atop our lunar globe.

The draft started like a dream as some of the games finest defenders finest defenders landed in my lap and on our training grounds cratered surface. The fact I hadn’t heard of either of my goalkeeping options was a concern, sure, but getting the games finest centre back Cannavaro and greatest right back in Cafu gave us a sturdy base. Unfortunately the midfield didn’t go quite as well. Although we picked up some useful additions in Bowyer, Denilson and Nakata we failed to secure a World Class talent to pull the strings. Up front was slightly better with Inzaghi and Alan Smith guarunteed to get you goals, but I knew I had work to do with the wildcards.

I was fortunate enough to get all of my wildcards although I did have to ‘box clever’ to get them. I knrw I needed more options in the middle so I brought in a seasoned campaigner in Luis Enrique. I also looked to youth with the likes of Carlos Jaques – a promising talent from Uruguay. I was lucky enough to get one of the games syrongest CBs in Paolo Montero who will be formidable with Cannavaro. I also took the oppertunity to bring in a new Keeper – Massimo Tiabi who has previously served me well at Atlanta.

I think my team is missing one key ingredient, a World class creative midfielder. With that in mind I would’ve loved Veron. Playing in the middle of the three creating goals and scoring at will. I have no doubt that if we landed him in the draft The Spacemen would be sitting pretty at the top.

The league set up has been fantastic so massive props to the leagues organiser and Chairman. After a shakey start I’d love to play more games more often to get over a blip as soon as possible.

There are only one favourites in my mind – the Lunar Gods Rapid Apollo.

I have played across every continent on Champ and managed countless teams. Some of my favourite saves have been with a plucky Toulouse team that took on the rest of Europe with a hungry French core, an Inter Milan side that won the league 15 consecutive years and Boston who rose from Conference to Premier League in consecutive seasons with a Batistuta regen leading the line.

Best players?

GK – Frey

LB – Candela

CB – Cannavaro

RB – Cafu (or Mike Duff)

DM – Viera

Am – Veron

St – Crespo

The reason CM0102 was and is so popular is it was the Zenith of Champ games. It combined increased complexity with easy interface and fast processing. It was the game that seemed to get everything right. It has not been the same since.

Stackington CMFC @stackingtoncmfc

How has the season started? Terribly! I think we are two points down on my prediction as we should have won a match. I guess some of the players I have need adapting too – some are in my squad for the first time.

How was the draft? For centre backs I couldn’t have been happier, but that’s about it. Chiotis is a good keeper but he takes a season or two to get into it, whereas I need results immediately. As far as full backs went I got a winger (Solaris best position) and a Leeds player! I also did not get an attacking midfielder.

Did you get all of your wildcards? I got all of them and have been impressed by Dunwell and Reuser, but I did make a mistake in forgetting Kehl who becomes good from 3.9.68 database onwards.

If you could sign one player who would it be? Ibrahim Said – if used properly he is a league winner.

Do you like how it has been done? I am enjoying it, yes, but have a few suggestions.  At half time, I’d like to see potential injuries substituted as in some matches teams have players at only just over 50% and they’re dead men walking.  I’m also a little concerned that if teams don’t have coaches, the players will decline over the season.  However, whoever gets into the playoffs at the end of the season will have some fun!
Who do you consider favourites to win it? Whoever has Said should be up there – and I also forget the team that has Tsigalko and Ronaldo up front!  As for my team, I’d love to sneak 6th place but am just looking to avoid the bottom 2!

Who do you usually play as? I never had a regular team as I like different challenges.  My most successful games have been in charge of Southampton, York City and Albion Rovers!  I’ve just started a Superleague of my own in Wales, but I would love to have a go at managing in every league over the next year.
Who is the best player on the game? Ibrahim Said when he’s given the chance to attack!  Other than him, I’d say Tsigalko, Duff, Dunwell and West are essential.
Why do you think it is so popular?  It’s simplistic and easy to learn but it takes some mastering.  To me it’s from my favourite era of football too – I was nearly 17 when it came out and was the best game of its kind then – but still is in my opinion.


Swindon Devils CMFC @SDCMFC

 

 It is fair to say played 4 won 1 lost 3 is not a great start BUT it could be worse. Equally when you see how tight the league is still it is far too soon to panic. Winning our last game was HUGE as a number of ‘slow starters’ picked up points so it stopped a gap forming. What I take great heart in is the one game we had a full squad to choose from we won.

It is clear we have work to do defensively but I’d rather win 4-3 than lose 0-1.

I was left relatively happy with the draft. I got arguably the best keeper available in Frey and he has lived up to that billing. Full backs looked strong too but I was concerned at centre back – I did not even know one of them. Into midfield there was some real quality i.e. Zambrotta and Joe Cole while Cambiasso was a huge win. Up top I was lucky again with one of the games best goal scorers Ruud Van Nistelrooy.

I am hoping the slight admin error will work to my advantage too. I thought I had Emerton but I was given Emerson.

What I was most delighted with was the versatlity of my squad.

Looking ahead to my wildcards I tried to cover areas and therefore did not got heavy in any position. I knew some of my choices would raise eyebrows like Invincible and McPhee but these are players I trust in my formation. I felt safe puttig these down at 7 and 8. I was lucky to get 7 of 8 in total including Simone Inzaghi, Arnold Bruggink and Joleon Lescott. The only player I missed out on was Kewell who ironically got injured against us.

By the end I was very happy with my squad balance.

If I could sign one player it would be a Ferdinand/Lucio/Woodgate type. As much as Moukoko would be nice a stronger defence is what we need.

Can we challenge? Yes. Will we? Possibly not yet. Swindon by name, Swindon by nature. We like being the underdogs. I know a lot of people rate SLF FC and it is easy to see why but I think Halle FC are the team to beat personally.

Huge credit to the league organiser/Chairman because I am loving this challenge. Just hope Mrs Chairman lets him home soon.

 

To keep up to date with the action follow your favourite sides on Twitter or the official league twitter @cm0102SP.

I will be providing regular updates on The Devils with Pre and Post match interviews.

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