Blackpool 21/22 v Auxerre 23/24 (Franjo: Slumberland – Match 1)

Our season begins.

Good morning, ladies and gents!

Welcome once again to Franjo’s dreams, and welcome of course to Slumberland, the show that brought you such classic dreams as “Oops! Where’d all Mum’s teeth go?”

I’m your host, John Hutchison.

Today we’re bringing you something completely different. You join us on the precipice of the inaugural Slumberland First Division, a football league featuring 6 of Franjo’s favourite teams from his past lives. I’ll be keeping you bang up to date with live text commentary of this morning’s featured match, where fallen angel Franny Jeffers’ Blackpool 21/22 host my main man WT Franjo’s Auxerre 23/24.

My colleagues meanwhile, will be chipping in with updates from our other 2 matches to ensure that not a single beat is missed. The time is about 2:55am and the matches won’t be starting for a few moments, so while Danny Wilson and Mamadou Doucouré are leading their sides out, let’s have a word from the man sitting bollock naked, sipping special brew through a curly straw. You know him, you love him, you’re thoroughly terrified of him if you’re Norwegian: It’s Don Collins.

Aye right, what’s that meant to mean then? I can get pished if you want me pished up John, but ye won’t like some o the shite that’s gonna come oot me mooth. Notts County 26/27 v Doncaster Rovers 29/30 kicking off here in a few. Cannae contain myself.

Thanks Don, that’s the spirit. We’re also joined by our intern, Royston. Are you pumped up for the Slumberland First Division, Royston?


You’re over in France today aren’t you, Royston? Hows the atmosphere?


Excellent, well I look forward to pulling teeth together again later. Royston’s watching Bordeaux 29/30 v Hearts 21/22 and will give us his no doubt in-depth analysis as we go.

Back to today’s main event for now though, where Auxerre 23/24 travel to Blackpool 21/22. 2 teams predicted to finish in the bottom half of the league will scrap it out for a potential opening day 3 points. Aiden O’Brien will kick us off for Blackpool, who play in their classic tangerine home kit and will shoot from left to right. Auxerre line up in their new all-black away kit.

Aaaaaaand we’re off!

CHANCE! Oo it’s a good move from Auxerre after a scrappy first few minutes as the teams test each other out. Phil Foden latches onto a long pass from Isaac Sohna and passes infield to Amine Reynier. A quick one-two with big Moroccan striker Hicham Aidir later, the Frenchman’s in behind the defence, but flashes his shot just wide of the far post.

Lots of misplaced passes so far. Hopefully the quality can pick up just a tad as the teams warm up.

Not much here either John, the Irishman Brennan’s sliced wan wide though.

I think he’s English now Don.


GOAL! Blackpool 21/22 0 – 1 Auxerre 23/24
Lamine Fomba (14)

Wonderful stuff from Reynier. He exchanges passes again with Aidir, then lofts a beautiful ball into the path of Fomba as he charges into the box. 1 touch to control the ball, 1 more to blast it into the far corner. Lamine Fomba opens the scoring in the inaugural Slumberland First Division.

CHANCE! Kieran Dowell starting to pull the strings from midfield now. He passes to Aiden O’Brien, who easily shrugs off the pressure from Celsiney and powers a shot just wide.

Celsiney certainly knows where his strengths lie. He follows that near miss up with an electric run down the right wing. Noone can catch him and he gets a cross in towards the near post, but Danny Wilson gets in ahead of Aidir to clear.

CHANCE! Quite chaotic defending from Auxerre so far. A quick game of heads and volleys on the edge of the away side’s box ends in a volleyed effort from O’Brien, but it sails harmlessly wide.

All gone a bit quiet here hasn’t it. We’re back to misplaced passes and broken attacking patterns here. Anything over there, Don?

Aye right I could be in bed right noo. Instead I’m watching Doncaster pissing Rovers miss chance after chance and a County side that cannae string 2 fucking passes together. Naw there’s not much gaen on here, John. Ye fanny.

Good stuff.

CHANCE! Good lord, I thought both teams were done for the day for a while then. Phil Foden picks the ball up from Reynier, wriggles past Ash Kigbu on the edge of the box but fires wide.

GOAL! Blackpool 21/22 0 – 2 Auxerre 23/24
Amine Reynier (44)

That’s far more like it! An excellent, slick move from Auxerre. Fabian McCarthy plays it forwards to Aidir, who lays it off for Reynier. The man who set up the first goal whips a ball ahead of Celsiney on the right and after turning Brad Potts, the full back drifts a beautiful ball in and there’s Reynier to meet it with a lovely bicycle kick.

HALF TIME. Blackpool 21/22 0 – 2 Auxerre 23/24

I’ve got to say, aside from the 2 goals we’ve had it’s been a poor quality watch so far. Both sides have looked a bit chaotic at times and there has’t been an abundance of chances. As the teams head back to the changing rooms though, Auxerre and WT Franjo will definitely be the happier team.

At least we got 2 goals though, eh Don?

HALF TIME. Notts County 26/27 0 – 0 Doncaster Rovers 29/30

Aye this games bored the tits aff me so far. County had a few wee chances at the end but not wan a these las can shoot.

We’ve not heard from you so far, Royston. Quiet match is it?

Naw it’s quite good. 2-0.

2-0?? To who??


Chelsea aren’t playing. It’s Bordeaux 29/30 v Hearts 21/22.

Well I dinnae know then. The blue laddies.


Aye, Buddo then.

HALF TIME. Bordeaux 29/30 2 – 0 Hearts 21/22

I think we need to go over this again on Monday, you’re meant to keep us updated on what’s happening in the match as it’s going on.

Well ye never asked.

Don’t wait for me to ask! Bloody hell. Sorry about this everyone, he’s on work experience. It’s a favour to his Dad, he got me out of some unpleasantness in the 90’s. Just make sure to keep us updated in the 2nd half, Royston.

Aye alright.

Before I shoot off for a pie and a coffee, a quick word from our sponsors, who are also somehow the shirt sponsors for every single team in this competition:

Play Player Power, the chaotic football arcade game by Dave O’Leary/O’Leary Games now available for £0.79 on Steam! Because I like you lot and to celebrate the opening day of the Slumberland First Division, you can put your pennies away. Email with the subject line “Save Us Franjo” before 11:59pm BST tonight, Saturday 30th May 2020 and I’ll send you a Steam key to get the game for free!

So yes, if you want to do that… Good luck to you. Back in a few.

That’s better. Caffeinated and satiated. Hicham Aidir to kick off for Auxerre 23/24.

And we’re off.

Nothing’s going on so far.

…Thanks, Royston. Same here. Any early 2nd half action for you, Don?

2 wee chances for Rovers but tae be honest John it’s the same old shite.

Nothing’s going on, John.

Just let me know when something does happen, Royston, alright?

Aye alright.

Albian Ajeti’s come on on for Roar Nyhus for Rovers. Fuck me he’s a wrinkled bastart noo.

Well he’s from the future isn’t he. In a sense.


Never mind.

GOAL! Notts County 26/27 0 – 1 Doncaster Rovers 29/30
Mitch North (54)

Shite up the wall, John, I’ve found an actual quality footballer. The boy North just took 3 lads on and smacked it intae the corner. It’s a good job tae, I was drifting aff.

It’ll be the special brew, Don.

Aye will it? Fuck aff.

GOAL! Bordeaux 29/30 3 – 0 Hearts 21/22
Ben Lyndon (58)

That same laddie’s got another. Big boy up front. He’s got 3 noo.

Excellent, I’m also being told by a slightly more descriptive source that that’s an opening day perfect hat trick for Ben Lyndon! Great job, Royston.

John why does my da call you the beaver cleaver of Geneva?

Eyes on the game now, Royston. Keep it up.

Aye alright.

GOAL! Blackpool 21/22 1 – 2 Auxerre 23/24
Aiden O’Brien (61)

Game on! Bloomfield Road erupts! It was a good but simple move and Auxerre will rue some poor defending there. Kieron Freeman sets Danny Philliskirk away down the right with a good through ball, Mamadou Doucouré can’t stop the cross and Celsiney’s left marking O’Brien in the centre, who barges the defender aside and heads Blackpool back into the game from close range. Sohna’s got some heated words for his right back but he should really have been the one tracking O’Brien.

Blackpool looking a bit livelier now and a bit more interested. Freeman’s hacked down on the right wing by Reynier and Dowell whips a dangerous ball into the box from the free kick, forcing Doucouré to concede a corner with a stretching diving header. The corner comes to nothing, but these are tense times for Auxerre.

GOAL! Bordeaux 29/30 4 – 0 Hearts 21/22
Ben Lyndon (68)

It’s still the same laddie, John. He’s got 4 noo and he’s taking the pish. Pure lobbed the goalie from oota the box.

What a day Ben Lyndon’s having! Any changes by either side so far?

Aye, Ward and Kane have come on.

Harry Kane?

Aye him n all. Harry for the blue ones and Herbie for the other ones. Actually they’re in blue too John, so I dinnae know what tae say.



CHANCE! Oof just as Blackpool were starting to pile on the pressure, Auxerre counter with a route-one whack up the field from skipper Doucouré. Fomba flicks the ball on, Foden gets between Husband and Wilson and smacks a shot goalwards from the edge of the box. Luckily John Ruddy’s on hand with a fine stop to concede a corner, but he does not look too happy with his defence.

CHANCE! It’s really swinging back Auxerre’s way now. Again Blackpool’s defence is caught in absolute disarray and Foden picks up the ball with 2 men ahead of him in acres of space. He threads a pass through to Reynier on the far side, but the Frenchman’s powerful shot is straight at Ruddy at the near post and Blackpool’s blushes are spared again. Blackpool are responding by making their first change of the game: Lee Hodson replaces Kieron Freeman at right back.

CHANCE! Blackpool really need to turn the momentum back around. They fail to clear the corner and Abdoulaye Sissako tees up Aidir on the edge of the box. Hodson’s in a good position to block the striker’s shot and concede another corner though.

Couple of changes here John, Louie Barry and his stupid hair cut on for County, and Minobe. Lawson on for Rovers. The wee bald prick Johnson’s gone off for County, he’s been shite.

CHANCE! This time Fomba sets up Reynier for a pop, but again Ruddy’s equal to it. Blackpool could have been buried by now without him.

GOAL! Blackpool 21/22 1 – 3 Auxerre 23/24
Phil Foden (89)

Ooooo ya beauty! What a finish from Phil Foden! Blackpool comitted too many forward and were hit on the break by an incisive counter attack. They then fail to properly clear their lines again and Reynier’s cross is headed away only as far as Fomba, who plays it to McCarthy, who passes to Foden, who chips the ball up for himself with his first touch and curls a sweetly struck volley into the bottom corner with his second. Game over.

Both sides are making changes for the final minute or so, with Nathan Andre given a run out in place of McCarthy and Younes Belhanda brought on for Dowell. Franny Jeffers has not shown much ambition with his substitutes today.

CHANCE! Hicham Aidir slides Foden through on goal and he tries a powerful shot, but again Ruddy keeps the scoreline respectful. Still time for another though.

FULL TIME. Bordeaux 29/30 4 – 0 Hearts 21/22

Your big laddie pure shat on the other team today, John.

Looks like it! Just to mention, our notoriously fast-working producers have already got the highlight packages compiled and uploaded so you can have a nosey at all the action from all of the matches as they finish. The first video is extended highlights, the second is just the goals.

FULL TIME. Notts County 26/27 0 – 1 Doncaster Rovers 29/30

Aye right ours is over n all. How many o these have we got left? Was that the Quarter Finals or wha?

It’s a league, Don. Still 27 games to play in total.

Ah, pish aff. I’m tae bed.

FULL TIME. Blackpool 21/22 1 – 3 Auxerre 23/24

Job done for Franjo’s men. It wasn’t perfect and they’ll certainly have tougher challenges ahead, but an away win is a great start.

Well there you go. No draws in our opening games, there have been 3 winners and 3 losers, giving us quite a cut-and-dry first Slumberland First Division Table.

So that’s all for us here at Slumberland. Bordeaux top the charts on goal difference after our first round of games. Will anything change on Wednesday when our next round takes place? We’ll find out. Good night, everyone and sleep tight.


… I think Don has actually gone to bed. So yes, on behalf of all of us, I suppose… Bye.

Meet Blackpool 21/22 (Franjo: Slumberland – Intro 2/6)

I wanted to take them all the way back up by playing the swashbuckling attacking football that had inspired me.


Game: FM17

Time In Charge: 5 and a half years

Highest League Finish: 15th In Championship (19/20)

Honours: League 1 Champions (18/19)

Predicted finish: 5th

FM17 Save: Here

PES20 Team: Here

I dare say that likely noone who reads this story will remember the time that I dabbled in making Football Manager Youtube videos. They weren’t great. As I feel like I’ve said a lot recently, I’m more a writer than a talker, but I had a lot of fun making them. The channel that me and my mate Tom created videos on was called Wasted Talent and we named ourselves after wonderkids who’d never cut the mustard in real life. He was Freddy Adu and as a long, long, long suffering Everton fan, I was Franny Jeffers.


Back Story

TLDR: We went from League 2 to the Championship in 3 seasons, got stuck for 2 seasons due largely to financial limitations, then looked set to challenge for promotion.

My first youtube save followed 2 seasons in charge of Sheffield FC on a custom database, but that went tits up when the game glitched out and wouldn’t start Season 3. So I started anew and took over a Blackpool team languishing in League 2. I had fond memories of them getting into the Premier League with what felt to me like a team of unknowns. Nevertheless, they attacked these massive, massive teams, like a cornered mouse would attack a cat, before having to famously go home and wash their own kits. It took guts and courage and a swashbuckling spirit. Things that they now seemed to sadly lack. I wanted to bring those qualities back. I wanted to take them all the way back up by playing the swashbuckling attacking football that had inspired me.

It started out decently. We edged past Colchester in extra time to win the League 2 play off final and then reached the League 1 play off Semis the next season, only to be dumped out by Peterborough. The third season was where we really hit our stride, calmly sweeping League 1 aside and running out Champions, but that’s when we hit the wall. Run by the infamous Oyston family, the club was haemorrhaging cash and just could not compete financially with a league full of Premier League parachute payments. 2 seasons of Championship mid table mediocrity followed, before we finally were in a position to challenge for promotion to the Premier League, sitting in 2nd place in December, just 1 point behind Leeds. And then… Erm… I discovered writing and started a journeyman save instead. Oh well. No regrets.

Starting Lineup

No 1 – John Ruddy – Goalkeeper

Ruddy’s a fairly new signing in my Blackpool side, having joined at the end of his contract with Norwich to replace my retiring (And considerably weaker) goalkeeper Lee Camp. Up until I stopped playing this save though, Ruddy was a real breath of fresh air. He’d conceded less than a goal per game and was no doubt one of the reasons that we were looking towards the Premier League rather than the Championship. At 35 he’s obviously getting on, but he’s still a really solid shot stopper.


No 22 – Kieron Freeman – Right Back

I don’t want this to come across too negatively but Freeman was extremely average during my 2 and a half years with him. An average rating hovering around 6.8 every season is fine and nothing to be sniffed at, plus he had the added bonus of being equally proficient on the left and right of defence. Solid enough player. I’m just now realising that I’m going to be writing the words “Solid” and “Fine” quite a lot today.


No 6 – Danny Wilson – Centre Back

Danny Wilson’s a real FM stalwart for me, as I’m sure he is for a lot of you that have been playing the series since the early 2010’s or before. For a certain level of club in recent editions though, he can be a very easily attainable star player and that’s a really valuable trait. I signed him on a free from Rangers before we absolutely trounced League 1 and I’m sure he and his consistently good form are one of the main factors for our progress since. I also signed him for GKS Katowice in Franjo: A Journeyman Story during a season that shook me to my very core and I never want to speak of again. Wilson’s ever-dependable and… Erm… Solid. In the absence of my captain, Tom Aldred, who I just couldn’t find a place for in my squad weirdly enough, vice-captain Wilson is Blackpool’s skipper.


No 4 – Ash Kigbu – Centre Back

Another free signing. As I mentioned before, Blackpool’s finances are absolute arse on a stick, so this is going to be a theme. Kigbu was a great capture though and has been at the club since the Summer of 2017. A Manchester City academy graduate, he’s been at the heart of my defence for 4 seasons now and has recently switched his allegiance to Nigeria and made his deserved international debut.


No 3 – James Husband – Left Back

I signed Husband in the Summer of 2019, before our first season back in the Championship. He’s been a good if slightly underwhelming signing. Brought in from Burnley for a relatively massive £105k fee, his attributes suggested that he’d be one of our star players for years to come, but he’s not hit those heights. He is having a good season though with an average rating of 7.11.


No 10 – Michael Cain – Box to Box Mid

Cain might be the most consistent player we have. He was on loan at Blackpool before I joined and I made sure to sign him when his Leicester contract expired at the end of the first season on account of his good form, which has continued ever since. He’s a decent goalscorer too, notching 28 goals in 6 seasons as we’ve climbed through the pyramid.


No 16 – Jay Fulton – Sitting Mid

Fulton’s another new signing. He let his Rotherham contract run down in the Summer as he fancied getting out of League 1 and so far he’s been a fine player for us. He’s a defensively sound midfielder who’s happy to sit and allow our other more adventurous midfielders to roam forwards.


No 8 – Brad Potts – Ball Winning Mid

Potts and Cain have been running my midfield from day 1. They’re both quite similar players who like to get up and down the pitch, pressing relentlessly and adding some bite into the middle of the park. Like Cain, Potts has been very consistent, with an average rating just above or below 7 every single season. Also like Cain, Potts was here before I was and also like Cain, he’s chipped in with his fair share of goals, scoring 24 in 6 seasons.


No 17 – Kieran Dowell – Attacking Mid

Dowell has been a real difference maker so far in his Blackpool career. I signed him in Summer 2020 after he ran his contract down at Everton, as even once the Toffees dropped into the Championship he still only managed 3 appearances in 2 years. For us though he’s been stellar, setting up 12 goals and scoring twice in his debut season and getting involved in 9 more goals so far this campaign. He really added some creativity and culture to midfield that we’d needed for a good number of years.


No 18 – Danny Philliskirk – Supporting Striker

Philliskirk is another that predates me at Bloomfield Road and has been a regular in my starting lineup for all 6 years, scoring 61 goals and setting up 38 more in 226 appearances. It’s not an outstanding goals per game record, but he’s always been more of a workhorse than an out and out goalscorer. His form has always been consistently fine and he’s adapted to each of the leagues we’ve played in. I like Danny, he’s a good egg.


No 9 – Aiden O’Brien – Striker

Aiden joined in a gargantuan £400k deal in the Summer of 2019. I was taking a bit of a punt as I’d released the ageing and ineffective duo of Joe Garner and Adam Le Fondre on frees and options were thin off the ground. Aiden had just smashed in 12 goals in 20 League 2 games and I hoped he’d be able to manage the step up. The result? He’s been alright. 19 goals in 60 games. Sometimes he steps up and grabs an important goal, sometimes he makes me tear my hair out for weeks on end.



We’ve got a good mix of youth and experience throughout the rest of the squad. You’ve got the likes of Hodson, Higham, Owain “The Impact” Jones and Kyle Dempsey who’ve all been with us for a while and are dependable… Ish… Then you’ve got Charlie “Chadam” Adam and Younes Belhanda, who are the seasoned veterans with questionable physical attributes but unquestionable ability, but then you’ve also got the likes of Dylan Flynn, George Hirst and Stuart Wardle: The young lads with potential. My ones to look out for would be Chadam, Belhanda, Hirst and Wardle. Jones is an impact sub too, so might do well off the bench.



Our tactic in a word is “Bodies”. In defence, our back 4 is joined by our central midfield trio, while the strikers press the opposition defence. In attack, our front 3 is joined by the 2 wing backs and our 2 outer central midfielders, with Dowell the playmaker helping to tie it all together. And we go on the front foot playing swashbuckling football, because of course.