Notts County 26/27 v Auxerre 23/24 (Franjo: Slumberland – Match 4)

A quick trip over to Nottingham for match number 4.

Good morning, ladies and gents!

Welcome once again to Franjo’s dreams and welcome of course to Slumberland, the show that brought you such unfortunate dreams as “The Night Of Piss”.

I’m your host, John Hutchison.

We are of course back today with another match day in the Slumberland First Division, a football league featuring 6 of Franjo’s favourite teams plucked from the recesses of his crazy brain. I’ll be plunging deep into the action with you in our featured match, as Nottinghamshire boy Dave O’Leary’s Notts County 26/27 welcome rowdy boy WT Franjo’s Auxerre 23/24 to Meadow Lane. The Magpies finally came alive on Saturday, following up 2 dour 0-1 losses with a 4-1 romp over Hearts. L’AJA’s season might be going in the other direction as they’ve now lost back to back games since their opening day victory. Franjo will be keen to move on from Wednesday’s 1-5 loss against Bordeaux. With both sides on the joint lowest points tally, who will take the crucial 3 points up for grabs today?

As we’re at the Magpies’ nest, let’s check in with our resident great tit, Don Collins. Who’ve you got today, Don?

Aye right, that shite stopped being funny in school, ye fanny. I’ve got Blackpool v Bordeaux. Might see a few fuckin goals for a change.

I hear Charlie Adam’s making his first start of the campaign today too. He’s a bit of a hero of yours if I remember right?

Aye, Chadam’s the captain today. He might sort em oot. Kigbu, Husband and Hodson all in for Blackpool too, but Freeman, Flynn, Wilson and Higham all left out. Thiago’s back in Bordeaux’s side for Besta.

Good stuff. And we’ll go live too to our helpless little yolk, hopelessly trying to smash his way through the shell. Who’s in your match, Royston?

Hiya John, I’ve got Hearts and Doncaster.

You actually have! Great job, young man. I’ll promote you to… Sparrow?

From wha? I wasnae listening.

Well then, never mind. Any team news?

Player names are still a work in progress I’m afraid, John.

Right. Really taking proper baby steps here, aren’t we? Maybe by time this league’s finished, you’ll be ready to commentate on a match.


Good, well luckily I’ve got your team news here: Ben Sheaf and Diegui are back in Hearts 21/22’s defence, along with Jordan Marshall who makes his first appearance of the season. Godinho, Gallagher and Ecrepont are all left on the bench, with Jeffers seemingly underwhelmed with their performances against County. Esteban Devos is back in at right back for Donny 29/30, with Mark Collins making way.

As far as our featured match goes, both captains are making their first appearances of the campaign today. Regan Booty takes Han-Noah Massengo’s place for County, while Baptiste “Captiste” Aloé replaces the unimpressive Mike Kakuba for Auxerre. Issa Samba was equally unimpressive against an admittedly excellent Bordeaux side, so Celsiney is back in defence in his stead. Bilal Souabni is still injured of course and will play no part for the visitors.

The teams are lined up and I’m sure raring to go. County have donned their… Possibly peach coloured third kit and are shooting left to right, while Auxerre are in their all-black away kit. Aaaaaaa…

…aaaaaaaaaaaaand we’re off!

CHANCE! Early pressure from County and an early first contribution from Captiste. Jake Doyle-Hughes nicks the ball from Hicham Aidir, feeds Dale Johnson 25 yards out and Captiste challenges the striker like a bowling ball challenges a pin, just as he manages to tee up Bukayo Saka. The winger’s shot is really comfortable for Lenogue to catch but play’s brought back for the foul on Johnson. This is a dangerous position to give away an early free kick.

Into the wall from Doyle-Hughes. Never mind.

GOAL! Hearts 21/22 1 – 0 Doncaster Rovers 29/30
Dylan Munro (6)

That looked pure easy, John. 1 pass up to Munro and he turned and smacked it.

That’s 1 player name down then, by the sounds of it.

Aye, the cameras just went on the back of his shirt.

Just 137 more to learn, now.


Really sloppy again from Auxerre. Doucouré’s pressed into turning the ball over to Keane Lewis-Potter deep into the away side’s half and the Senegalese defender responds by hacking the winger’s legs out from under him. It’s another dangerous free kick from a wider position and Doucouré’s really lucky to escape without a yellow card.

JDH drifts this one too deep and it loops just past the far post. It was a better shot than it was a cross, but I… I don’t think it was a shot. Maybe it’s time someone else took a free kick.

GOAL! Blackpool 21/22 0 – 1 Bordeaux 29/30
Ben Lyndon (9)

Aye right, this is the day I see more than 1 fuckin goal, John, I can fuckin feel it. Son wins it off Chadam, gives it tae big lad and he smashes it in the corner. Easy peasy.

We’re getting all our action from defensive cock ups here. Up the other end, Saka’s sloppy pass is picked up by Foden, who leathers a pass against Raúl Santos. The ball bounces kindly for Amine Reynier, who has a pop, but it’s straight at Gary Howard.

This is all getting a bit embarrassing, especially for the visitors. A hectic penalty box scramble is cleared by the Auxerre defence, but central midfielder Dawuda Bereng’s then knocked over by Abdoulaye Sissako 25 yards from goal. Bereng plays the free kick quickly, teeing up Lewis-Potter for a scorcher of a shot, but it flies just wide of the near post and smacks the stanchion behind the goal.

It seems like a matter of a time before the hosts take the lead here. Another period of pressure ends with full back Jason McCarthy looping a delicious cross into the 6 yard box, but luckily Captiste wins the aerial battle with Johnson and heads it behind.

CHANCE! Well what a turn up that would have been after the 29 minutes the Auxerre fans have just endured. Fabian McCarthy picks up the ball for Auxerre and drives into County’s half, then chips a delightful pass over the defence and right onto the chest of Reynier. The Frenchman controls it and shoots tamely at the keeper. For all County’s pressure, it probably should be 0-1.

GOAL! Blackpool 21/22 0 – 2 Bordeaux 29/30
Konstantin Gerchev (34)

It fuckin happened, John! It finally fuckin happened! Son had a pop, Ruddy pushed it away tae the side, but Gerchev just nipped in and stuck it away. I’m supporting Bordeaux from noo, fuck it.

I don’t think we’re meant to do that, Don. It’s not very professional, publicly supporting a team that you’re commentating on.

Aye, is it not? Are the dream Police on their way, aye? Fuck aff.

GOAL! Hearts 21/22 1 – 1 Doncaster Rovers 29/30
Daniel Kubik (36)

Pure magic, John. He runs through on goal, the goalie comes out and he lobs it right aer the top of him.

Who does?


Good lad, Royston.

CHANCE! Again! How on Earth has he done that twice in 8 minutes?? McCarthy does the heavy lifting once more, spinning and spraying a perfectly weighted pass into Reynier’s path. He’s one-on-one, 6 yards out and he scuffs a really weak effort at Howard. I’ll remind you that this lad started the season by scoring a bicycle kick.

CHANCE! Notts County respond with another decent chance. Alberto Murillo’s got all the time in the World on the left wing to swing in a cross. Johnson rises above Sohna in the box but heads harmlessly over the bar. Sissako receives a yellow card for wiping out Bereng in the build up.

GOAL! Hearts 21/22 1 – 2 Doncaster Rovers 29/30
Daniel Kubik (40)

John, it’s Kubik again! Kubik’s scored! He takes the ball aff your man, turns and whips it past the goalie. 2 for the laddie.

GOAL! Notts County 26/27 0 – 1 Auxerre 23/24
Hicham Aidir (45)

It all comes crumbling down for County once again. In the end it’s a lovely move topped with a fortunate finish that’s given Auxerre the lead. Aidir holds the ball up and lays it off to Fomba and the Frenchman’s pass is flicked onto the right wing by Foden. Celsiney’s on the overlap and turns inside, then tees up the big Moroccan, whose shot bobbles up off Santos’ outstretched boot and wrong-foots the keeper, before drifting into the net.

HALF TIME. Notts County 26/27 0 – 1 Auxerre 23/24

Well, I can’t say they deserve to take a lead into half time, but frankly neither side really does. It’s been a poor half of football and I sincerely hope it improves. Nevertheless, Auxerre have quite literally fought for this lead and County need a response.

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

Ye may as well make this the featured one for the second half, John, there’s still 6 or 7 goals to come. Blackpool poor again, but the Bordeaux boys are bouncin.

HALF TIME. Hearts 21/22 1 – 2 Doncaster Rovers 29/30

Really close one here, John, but it’s all been about the big fellas up front. Kubik and Munro are pure squaring up and I don’t think they’re done scoring.

Well as it stands, Doncaster are still clinging to hopes of the title win that was predicted by staying 3 points behind the behemoth that is Bordeaux, while Auxerre are jumping 3 points clear of Blackpool and Notts County into 3rd place. I’m off for my ritualistic coffee and pie, but let’s have a quick word from the sponsors before we toddle off.

Play Player Power, the chaotic football arcade game by Dave O’Leary/O’Leary Games now available for £0.79 on Steam!

I don’t know about you but I can recite that one off by heart now. Back in a few.

Back in the saddle over here and raring for another, hopefully higher quality half of football. Hope you are too. Be a dear and kick us off, please, Hicham.

Aaaaand we’re off! Thanks mate.

CHANCE! Promising early signs from the leaders as they work the ball rather silkily towards the County box. Aidir lays it off for Reynier, but the less said about his shot, the better as he falls on his arse and skews it wide.

GOAL! Hearts 21/22 1 – 3 Doncaster Rovers 29/30
Daniel Kubik (51)

There’s Kubik again, John. He looks pure happy with that, he’s scored all 3 for Doncaster. Just turns on the edge of the box and buries it low.

I almost wish someone else would score for so you’d learn a third name, Royston.

Aye, that’d help.

GOAL! Blackpool 21/22 0 – 3 Bordeaux 29/30
Konstantin Gerchev (51)

This is why I’ve always supported Bordeaux, John, ever since my da used to bring me along as a wain. Silky as fuck from Alles to take on 3 lads and square it for Brazgarian, who punts it right in the corner again.


Something tae say, aye?

No, nevermind.

They may have raised the quality of their football slightly, but no signs of Auxerre toning down the aggression. Fomba’s penalised for a reckless slide on Saka, but escapes a booking.

Time for a Notts County change and it seems like the right call. Something needs to change if they’re to find their way back into yet another match that’s slipping through their fingers. Louie Barry replaces Keane Lewis-Potter on the right wing.

GOAL! Notts County 26/27 0 – 2 Auxerre 23/24
Amine Reynier (63)

Well he’d have been 22nd on my list of players to get the next goal given his finishing today, but Reynier has doubled the visitors lead following an incisive counter attack. The winger plays a one-two with Aidir, a one-two with Doucouré, then spins past Santos and lashes a shot into the far corner. Great goal. Notts County have really got to pull out something special to save this now.

Auxerre are bringing young Bassani on again on the right wing. Phil Foden makes way.

Notts County are responding with another attacking change: young Demali Webster is making his first appearance of the season up front, replacing Dale Johnson.

GOAL! Hearts 21/22 2 – 3 Doncaster Rovers 29/30
Brandon Barker (72)

That’s a beauty, John! Baker pure lumps it from the edge of the box. Straight in. Hearts are in with a shout.

Barker. Brandon Barker.

Aye, alright.

GOAL! Hearts 21/22 3 – 3 Doncaster Rovers
Brandon Barker (75)

Fuck me, they’ve done it as well! The right back laddie squares it into the box and Barker thumps another one in. This is really turning intae a game of 2 halves, John.

It actually sounds like it! Excellent.

GOAL! Notts County 26/27 0 – 3 Auxerre 23/24
Lamine Fomba (77)

What a day to be County defender Raúl Santos. He helped the ball past his keeper for 0-1, got turned for 0-2, now he’s helped the ball past his keeper again for 0-3! Reynier receives the ball from a short corner, dribbles to the edge of the box and squares for Fomba. The midfielder’s shot takes a wicked deflection off the 18 year old Mexican and loops over Howard to seal the points for the French side. County have invited this kind of scoreline upon themselves, showing very little intent to actually attack in this second half.

GOAL! Hearts 21/22 3 – 4 Doncaster Rovers 29/30
Dylan Brennan (78)

Awh, Hearts have blown it. The laddie with a mop’s come on for Doncaster and booted them back ahead.

Surely you know Dylan Brennan’s name, Royston. Franjo dreams about him about 5 times a week.

Oh aye.

First goal of the tournament there for the famous Mr Brennan. Big expectations were placed on him coming into this season, so maybe he’s about to start living up to them.

CHANCE! It was very nearly 0-4 here. Another short corner, this time played to Fomba, who swings a cross in deep towards the far post. Hicham Aidir beats Murillo in the air and heads low towards the bottom corner, but Howard does well to claw it behind. The hosts are in danger of being embarrassed. Another change for Auxerre by the way: Amine Reynier’s been replaced by Nathan Andre, who’s yet to make an impression in the Slumberland First Division.

Oof and he won’t do it like that. The corner’s cleared, but worked back towards the box and Fomba lays it off to Andre, who screws his shot well wide.

CHANCE! And possibly Notts County’s first of the half. Webster finds Barry on the edge of the box and he turns to fire one off, but hits it straight into the arms of Lenogue.

GOAL! Hearts 21/22 4 – 4 Doncaster Rovers 29/30
Sean Ward (85)

They’ve equalised again, John! Munro hits the post, the keeper falls over trying to save it and the wee ginner substitute comes and sticks it in.

Please, Royston. Please at least attempt their names. It’s Sean Ward. This is a real crash course for you today, isn’t it.

Aye, it is. Exciting, this, though.

Sounds it. Keep us posted.

GOAL! Blackpool 21/22 0 – 4 Bordeaux 29/30
Ben Lyndon (86)

Pure silky again, John. The boy Isimat-Mirin gets on the end of Brazgarian’s knock down, squares it away for Lyndon and he toe pokes it like a cocky wee bastart into the bottom corner. After the last 3 wee piles of shite I’ve watched for this league, this is like fuckin crack.

CHANCE! It’s County again, but you have to say a bit too little too late. Barry’s released by a superb ball from Bereng, clips a cross to the near post and Webster heads just wide of the near post.

Not too sure what happened there if I’m honest. To me it looked like Webster went through the back of Fabian McCarthy, but the ref’s called for a County free kick. The replay shows that Sissako made a tiny bit of contact with the striker just before, so must have been for that. Weak though, that.

CHANCE! An Auxerre corner’s drifted deep into the box, headed up in the air and Bassani tries to catch it on the volley. County have plenty of bodies on the line though and it ricochets behind for another corner, which comes to nothing.

FULL TIME. Notts County 26/27 0 – 3 Auxerre 23/24

Well that has to hurt if you’re a County fan. Nothing much separated the sides coming into this but they were out-battled in the first half and slaughtered in the second. Franjo’s Auxerre come away from Meadow Lane with a well earned 3 points. Thanks once again to our razor sharp producers for getting all of these highlights packages up nice and quickly.

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

Beautiful. Tell the monkeys backstage I’ll have Bordeaux again at the weekend.

I’m sure we can sort that out. They’re playing County, your favourites.

Even better, they’ll crush the wee shit stains.

GOAL! Hearts 21/22 5 – 4 Doncaster Rovers 29/30
Dylan Munro (92)

Unbelievable, John! Munro’s under a pile of bodies, he’s pure turned it around! Ginner laddie sets him up, he belts it fae just inside the box and he’s won it right at the death. Great drama!

Incredible stuff. That’s the 18 year old’s 4th goal in 4 this season for his boyhood club, leaving him our joint 2nd highest goalscorer so far with Konstantin Gerchev, although they’re both trailing a long way behind Ben Lyndon and his 13 strikes.

FULL TIME. Hearts 21/22 5 – 4 Doncaster Rovers 29/30

Aye, if Don wants Bordeaux, I’ll have Hearts again on Saturday, John. That was pure fuckin magic.

Well I’m glad you’re both finding your allegiances within this league, weird as that may be in a professional broadcasting environment. Let’s have a look at how those most recent games have affected our league table.

Another win for Bordeaux, coupled with Hearts’ 2nd half turnaround leaves the French side and their 100% record an entire 6 points clear at the top of the table. Auxerre’s victory has fully repaired their goal difference and they’re the best of the rest for now, but Doncaster and Hearts are mere goals behind them. County and Blackpool, meanwhile, are starting to look really quite stranded down at the bottom after both sides lost their 3rd game out of 4.

I can’t quite believe it, but on Saturday we’ll be completing the first half of our season. It seems like just yesterday we were kicking off! Oh well, we hope to see you then at the same time. For now, good night and sleep tight. Don?

Sweet fuckin dreams.


That was marginally better than usual. Night, all.

Meet Notts County 26/27 (Franjo: Slumberland – Intro 6/6)

Although they haven’t made the same sort of lasting impression on me that a lot of the other teams in this league have, this County side climbed through the leagues really surprisingly quickly and it was quite a successful save in that regard.


Game: FM19

Time In Charge: 8 and a half years

Highest League Finish: 10th in Premier League

Honours: Vanarama National Champions (18/19), League Two Runners-Up (19/20), League One Runners-Up (21/22), Championship Champions (24/25)

Predicted Finish: 3rd

FM19 Save: Here

PES20 Team: Here

I played this save just before FM20 was released late last year and although they haven’t made the same sort of lasting impression on me that a lot of the other teams in this league have, this County side climbed through the leagues really surprisingly quickly and it was quite a successful save in that regard.


Back Story

TLDR: Harnessed the power of momentum to go from the Vanarama National to the Championship in 4 years, then it took us 3 more years to get to the Premier League, where we finished 10th.

The first season was a bit of a gimme if we’re being honest and that’s why I chose County to begin with. I wanted a nice easy save and smashing our way to the top of the Vanarama National was expected. Our second season wasn’t quite so expected but we took our momentum from the previous season plus a handful of new free signings and loan players and took second place in League 2, earning me back to back promotions for the first time in probably years. We were so close to 3 promotions in a row too, but after another summer of free transfers and loan signings, we finished 3rd in League 1, way adrift of the automatic promotion spots, before losing 1-0 to Sunderland in the play off final. Our second season in League 1 was much tighter at the top and on the final day, any 2 of Luton, us and Bolton could have snagged a promotion spot. We all won so Bolton lost out, allowing us to cruise up to the Championship.

This is where our momentum finally fell away though and we stayed in the Championship for a while, though thanks to some careful buying and selling we were able to raise some money to inject a substantial amount of quality into the squad. We spent a combined £7.6M during our 3 seasons in the Championship, compared to the £830k we’d spent in the 3 seasons before, and in our 3rd season in the 2nd tier we took off, blasting through the top of the division and out into the rarefied air of the Premier League. In our only full season in the Premier League we finished in a very respectable 10th place and currently sit 9th in October of the 26/27 season.

Starting Lineup

No 1 – Gary Howard – Goalkeeper

Gary’s just signed for us on a free transfer from Manchester City, although we have had him on loan for the past 3 seasons. He’s done really well for us and had a stellar season the year we got promoted from the Championship, but he appears to have just about hit his ceiling, which is a shame. Nevertheless he’s a solid goalie.


No 29 – Kosuke Kajiyama – Right Back

Kosuke is 1 of 3 Japanese players at the club and I categorically deny the slanderous rumour that the only reason I signed them was to sell shirts with our Japanese affiliate club, Matsumoto Yamaga. I mean just look at this boy! I snapped him up for £4M from FC Hiroshima before our first Premier League season and so far he’s done perfectly well on the right hand side of our defence. He’s absolutely rapid and is equally adept going forwards and backwards. At 19 he’s still got plenty of progressing to do too.


No 21 – Raúl Santos – Centre Back

Santos is a newbie, having signed from Cruz Azul in the Summer for a princely sum of £8.25M and he’s a very exciting prospect. He’s an excellent ball winner and has put in some strong performances so far, plus like Kosuke, he’s got so much time to progress and so much potential to fulfil.


No 6 – Walter Mertens – Centre Back

Walter is another newbie and was signed from genk for £17.75M! Just in case you weren’t sure at this point whether we were dealing with Premier League money. And I mean proper Premier League money, not like the Donny save. His mental and physical attributes are extremely good and his technical attributes aren’t awful, but hopefully he’ll progress them a little bit.


No 15 – Alberto Murillo – Left Back

Yet another new lad in our defence! And I’m just now realising that this may be the most multi-cultural back line I’ve ever put together, with East Asia, North America, Central Europe and now Central America all represented. At 20, Alberto’s already won 40 caps for Costa Rica and like the others, he still has potential to fulfil.


No 4 – Han-Noah Massengo – Deep Playmaker

Massengo joined us before our first Premier League season in a £4M move from Brighton, although I believe I’d been tracking him since I came up to the Championship when he was playing for Norwich. He’s been really solid for us so far and also managed to notch 7 goals from defensive midfield last season, which is surprisingly good.


No 16 – Dawuda Bereng – Box to Box Mid

Dawuda is the latest player I’ve signed from the South African top tier, who I don’t think like me anymore because of my frequent raids during my time at Auxerre. He joined in the Summer from Sundowns for £525k and I’ve been using him as a box to box midfielder, which he isn’t all that comfortable with yet. His performances will hopefully improve though and of course he’s got potential for days.


No 7 – Jake Doyle-Hughes – Advanced Playmaker

And finally we’ve found someone who’s been here longer than 1 full season. JDH has actually been with us all the way from our first season in the Championship when we signed him on a free from Aston Villa. He’s gone from strength to strength since, even going on to make 14 appearances for Ireland. His 27 goals and 23 assists in 154 appearances, as well as his consistently good form, have made him a fan favourite. With both our Captain and Vice-Captain starting on the bench, JDH will take the armband for the first game.


No 8 – Keane Lewis-Potter – Right Wing

KLP is another fan favourite and has been with us since our last season in the Championship, when you could say he took us up single-handed. 18 goals and 16 assists in 45 appearances that season speaks for itself. He’s since added 9 goals and 10 assists in his 32 Premier League appearances too, which is promising.


No 23 – Bukayo Saka – Left Wing

Here’s the big name then. Fun fact – I’d never heard of Bukayo Saka when I signed him up on a free transfer at the start of our first Premier League campaign, as I don’t think he properly got going for Arsenal until late last year when I’d moved onto FM20. SI knew he had potential though and although his attributes here probably don’t even compare with his real life ones, he’s an excellent and versatile wing option for us.


No 11 – Dale Johnson – Striker

Dale came in at the start of the 25/26 season, same as Saka, in a £7.5M move from Spurs. He’d caught my eye in the Championship, single handedly saving Birmingham from relegation with 23 goals in 40 appearances. I hoped he’d be able to step up to Premier League football and he has done well, scoring 17 goals and setting up 6 in 48 appearances for County.



There’s some real quality on this bench. It pains me not to put Louie Barry in the starting 11 with the quality he has but he hasn’t played that much for me in FM yet so I thought it only fair. Captain Regan Booty, who’s been with me since the Vanarama National, and Vice-Captain Jason McCarthy, who joined us going into League 1, both provide good cover, while Richard Mohammed, on loan with us for the 5th consecutive season, and emerging youngster Damali Webster are both great young talents that will threaten if they get on the pitch. Actually this bench is really oozing with quality, although most of them are still developing. Look out for them all.



Yup, it’s a classic Franjo 4-3-3. It actually surprises me that only 2 of these teams are playing in this formation. I must be more versatile then I think. Pace down the wings, creativity, legs and grit in the middle. Positive football. County will do alright.