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[FM18] Making Swansea great again?


Guest El Payaso

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Guest El Payaso

Kuvahaun tulos haulle swansea city fc

Don't shoot down the Swans

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So this is going to be a little different kind of a story. I have used @frankthetank87's excellent update which allows me to start the game in December 2017. I wanted to use Frank de Boer as my manager as I think that he is the best option to continue on what Brendan Rodgers once started with Swansea and which was continued by such names as Michael Laudrup and Garry Monk but that has now gone as de Boer will be the fifth manager inside two years to take over at Liberty Stadium.

Our first job here most definitely will be to keep the Swans up. The first round of fixtures on 23rd of December was not a realistic one as the update has been only until 23rd but we don't let it bother. Also the first season player stats will be somewhat unrealistic as they haven't been recorded so far. Same goes with European competitions. 

I hope that you enjoy reading this. The next post will be about my tactical approach with the team along with a short description of the squad.

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Lukasz FabianskiKristoffer Nordfeldt

1.  Lukasz Fabianski
13. Kristoffer Nordfeldt

This is an area that is in good state at the moment. Fabianski has been almost ever-present for the Swans for three and a half seasons. He is Poland's number two and a quality keeper for most Premier league clubs: good overall keeper without weaknesses. Nordfeldt is our number two and number two for Sweden also. He really isn't a Premier league level starter but can take charge in cup games. With £7.5M valuation and at the age of 28 it might be wise to cash on him during the next summer.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle federico fernándezKyle BartleyAlfie MawsonMike van der HoornMartin OlssonAngel RangelKyle Naughton

33. Federico Fernández
27. Kyle Bartley
6.   Alfie Mawson
5.   Mike van der Hoorn
22. Ángel Rangel
26. Kyle Naughton
16. Martin Olsson

Defense possibly is the main reason why we are at the bottom of the table. I like couple of players here as Alfie Mawson is both young and also fits well on our "Swansea way". Martin Olsson should be quite strong all-rounded option for the left who likes to get forward. Otherwise we might be in trouble. Our centre back department is generally really slow and on the right hand side Kyle Naughton and the club-legend Ángel Rangel are not up to the level anymore. Hopefully we can get a solid starting four out of these players that is good enough to keep us up. During the next summer we need to invest on both centre back and right fullback department. We want to have players with good passing ability and vision along with defensive skills so that we can follow our tactical philosophy.

Leroy FerLeon BrittonKi Sung-yuengTom CarrollJay FultonRoque MesaSam ClucasRenato Sanches

8.  Leroy Fer
7.   Leon Britton
35. Renato Sanches
56. Jay Fulton
4.   Ki Sung-Yeung
51. Roque Mesa
17. Sam Clucas
14. Tom Carroll

I actually like what we have here in the midfield. We have lots of hard working players here with actually good vision and ability to move the ball around. Compared to the times when Rodgers was in charge we do not possess the quality that the team had but we're actually not that far away. Tom Carroll for instance could have all the abilities to play the role that Joe Allen once played for the Swans and Ki Sung-Yeung, a long time servant, is ready to step in also. Roque Mesa is almost a straight copy of once brilliant Leon Britton, who is also still able to play games here and there in the Premier league. What we lack though is "the Sigurdsson-type" of player who can get forward and score lots of goals both from open play and from set-pieces. Renato Sanches and Leroy Fer both have the legs to get forward but Fer's best tally in the Premier league is six goals from last season. 

Nathan DyerWayne RoutledgeLuciano NarsinghJordan Ayew

12. Nathan Dyer
11. Luciano Narsingh
15. Wayne Routledge
18. Jordan Ayew

I think that we have two really good players here in Narsingh and Jordan Ayew whom I am planning to play out wide on the left hand side. Ayew has all the chances to jump back into the level that he possessed when he first arrived to Aston Villa. Narsingh on the other hand has all the qualities to play in quality balls into the penalty area from the right: great technical qualities all-round. Dyer and Routledge have both been long and loyal servants for the club and during the next summer it probably is the final chance for us to cash in on them. Both are high earners and don't really possess the quality to play in the Premier league. 

Wilfried BonyTammy Abraham

2.   Wilfried Bony
10. Tammy Abraham

A mixture of past and present. Wilfried Bony isn't the player that he once was for the Swans the instinct and finishing quality still are there but he is lacking the mobility and link-up qualities. Abraham on the other hand has all the qualities to set the world on fire if you ask me and I hope that he can do it now.

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@Peter G Yes it is frankthetank87's update that re-creates real-life results until the date that you start the save game. Wanted to add some realism and challenge to this save by doing this. 

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(H) Manchester City

Our journey started with the League Cup quarter final fixture against league-leaders Manchester City. We went with the defensive style with couple of tweaks and kept them in bay. After the half I felt that we could be more adventurous as City weren't producing anything. Ayew got us ahead late on and we had two more chances to put this into bed late on. It was though City who scored on 95th minute as we were looking comfortable but then lost the ball in midfield, Gabriel Jesus made a run to a channel, got through and set de Bruyne up at the penalty spot. With all subs done the overtime was a dull one without any chances. We were up against the wall in the penalty shootout as Mangala had a chance to kill it in fifth round but he hit the post to keep the shootout alive. We eventually won on seventh round to make it to the semi-finals. I think that we were surprisingly good here and City on the other hand were tame compared to what I expected. A little bit of rotation but still having players like Sane and Gabriel Jesus in the starting line-up. What a nice way to bounce back after that 4-0 defeat in the league. 

(H) Crystal Palace

Ineffective performance. We controlled the ball almost 65% here but had to rely on a penalty to come back after a 50-minute breakthrough from Benteke. Crystal Palace invited us with the ball to edge of their penalty area but our shooting was absolutely shockingly ineffective from that distance. With their low defensive line we really didn't have the chance to play any decent balls behind the defense on the other hand. This might have been turned into a victory with a more clear flank exploiting but while doing that on the last ten minutes we actually almost conceded twice on a break. If we could start shooting more effectively from 16-18 yards out then we would have no trouble at all. We need a goalscorer that's for sure.

(A) Liverpool

A visit to Anfield was always going to be a tough one and it doesn't get any easier when you allow the first goal from a corner after 13 minutes. We actually played a good first half and were equal in terms of stats for the first 45 but on 42nd minute our world basically collapsed in terms of getting this as Lallana set Pool 2-0 up. The second half was only playing around and after an hour we conceded the second from set-pieces as Mane scored after a throw-in tiki-taka. We didn't expect anything from this but we should have scored couple of times to be honest as we had the chances. The worst news here though is the fact that Fabianski broke his arm and will now miss even January. 

(A) Watford

Frustration must be the word for us here. Watdford came to this came in poor form and we actually were quite a bit better side here. After couple of misses yet again from Bony we finally came through as we saw the first glimpse of that Carroll and Ayew partnership that we are hoping to build: Bony knocked a high ball down to Carroll who released Ayer through with a pinpoint 15 yard pass. We let it go once again in the stopping time though as we conceded from a free-kick pinball on 91st minute.

Key point:

  • We could be described as unlucky but that needs to change sooner rather than later: we need wins.
  • We create enough chances to be regular goalscorers in the league but only Ayew seems to find the net.
  • Carroll and Olsson have been disappointing: Carroll's passing seems really wayward at times and Olsson has been beaten too easily down his flank while Sanches is playing well. 

League table:

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Manchester City are coasting away while Chelsea and Manchester United are having a fierce battle for second place. Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham all dropped enough points this month to be considered outside the battle for second place. Leicester seem to be doing really well and seem like contenders for Europe. 

January games:

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It's not getting any easier here as with Cup games also on board we have to battle on at least seven occasions. Maybe even more if we progress on FA Cup. Hard to say at the moment whether we prioritize on the league or try to even push for the Europe through League Cup. 

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Guest El Payaso

January 2018 update

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We only brought in Harry Wilson on loan from Liverpool. Wilson is a young player for this level but matches my philosophy quite well as he is both technical and intelligent inverted winger. Hopefully we can extend this loan next season also. Tried two more deals from Barcelona as my aim was to loan Andre Gomes and Thomas Vermaelen but with Gomes he didn't have the interest and with Vermaelen we eventually ran out of time. 

Out went couple of our less promising youngsters, not much to talk about them. The aim only was to lower the workload of coaching staff. In terms of England the transfer activity ended up being non existent excluding those real life deals. 

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Difficult month with lots of games to be played. We will battle on many fronts and rotating becomes the key here. The program has a potential to turn even busier depending on how we will do against Leicester in the cup. The fourth round fixture would fall between the Newcastle and Arsenal games.

(H) Tottenham 

We are starting to repeat ourselves here. We were on top during the first half creating two good chances where we should have found the net. Spurs came to the second half without Harry Kane and more threatening but after an hour we started edging it again. Leroy Fer put as ahead as Ayew spotted his run inside the penalty area after cutting inside from the left flank. We gave it away though once again as Lamela's cross found Son who had escaped the attention of our centre backs. Yet another two points thrown away by us.

(H) Leicester

An appaling performance, the worst one we have produced so far for sure. We got a lucky break during the first half as the Leicester centre halves gifted the ball to Bony who finally managed not to miss the open goal. The fact is though that Leicester were the better side by far and through Mahrez and Vardy they came from behind during the second half. Harry Wilson had his debut here and didn't really impress and the same can be said about all the other players as we rotated heavily.

(H) Newcastle

Benitez's Newcastle seemed more than happy to just come to the game and take a 0-0. They almost did as we didn't really produce anything special here. A good linkup play from Bony produced that one chance that Ayew needed to score and secure us a tight 1-0 lead for the second leg.

(A) Newcastle

Our first win in the Premier league and actually in a really convincing way. Looks like the time that we have been giving for the team to just gel to this style of play is finally starting to pay off. Bony's finish in his goal was sublime but he still keeps frustrating as he missed a sitter just seconds later and two other decent chances. Newcastle were very tame at their home soil and only threatened us through couple of crosses that they whipped in. Deserved three points. 

(A) Everton

Everton had been woeful under the new boss Chuco Martina and so have we. This was a game of two poor sides and none of us really deserved to win. We can once again rue on those couple of chances that we created after hour being played. Liverpool-loanee Harry Wilson was the one getting closest as he got two efforts inside the box. On the other hand we can call ourselves lucky as Everton started hoofing long balls in the end which saw Niasse escaping the attention couple of times before skying his efforts to the stands. A point here is decent but it's not good enough. We simply don't seem to find consistent form or satisfying performances.

(A) Newcastle

We came to this game all rested up and with the narrow 1-0 lead from the first leg. Newcastle had suffered a heave defeat to Man City just couple of days ago so we were in quite comfortable situation. Opted to play pace instead of power as I played Ayew, Routledge and Dyer as the more advanced trio with Mesa, Sanches and Carroll in the midfield. We played a great first half but were 1-0 down after 43 minutes as we conceded from a corner kick through Mbemba. Didn't see any reason to change for the second half but soon I had to as Mesa lost the ball in midfield which saw Ayoze being able to set up Adam Armstrong for a tap-in. Things didn't look to go our way this time as we didn't play that well anymore in the second half but eventually Mesa released Ayew down the right hand side and his cross found substitute Bony who finally gave us some performance worth the £90k a week. 
We went to the overtime and played a quite poor one. On 108th minute though Ayew scored a goal to make it 2-2 but it was rightfully ruled as an offside. Newcastle couldn't break through and after 120 minutes we were the winners through away goals. This virtually takes us to Europe as Leicester and Arsenal, the second semi-finalists, are both heading there through the league. Of course FA Cup has an influence on that too. 

(H) Arsenal

Five games without a win is not common thing for Arsenal. This didn't show though as they visitors were the better team during the first half and we barely did nothing. I changed to a solely counter attacking system and what do you know; after 63 minutes we were 2-0 up through goals from Bony and Fer. We were also above the drop zone for the first time during my era. Sadly we once again failed to hold on as it was first Koscielny who pegged one back from a free kick and on 92nd minute it was Welbeck making it 2-2 from a low cross from Cazorla. I think that Sanches especially played the worst game of his Swansea-career. He was first beaten 7 times down the flank through Alexis and even slow Cazorla continued that tradition. Gutting but not really surprising anymore.

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Key points:

  • Consistency is missing from our performances.
  • Wilfried Bony is showing good signs of returning back to form. I also feel that there is so much to come from Ayew.
  • We are unable to turn tight matches to victories. 
  • Would name either Alfie Mawson or Roque Mesa as our best player at the moment.

League table:

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The aim for January was to close down the gap to 17th place and ideally be above it. The difference still is the same but in theory we are also still in the race for tenth position. We just need to turn our form which though looks unlikely with the players that we have in disposal. I have been giving them time and tweaking stuff around but the performances are not coming. The season excluding Manchester City is turning out to be a really exciting one as there are lots of battles all around the league table.

February program:

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I would say that the program turns kinder for us now. Two games against Leicester and one against Liverpool of course are tough ones but against Burnley and Brighton we simply need to take points. Not saying that these are easy encounters but we simply need to be able to do it as I feel that we are a better team than either of them are. 

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February Update

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(A) Leicester

Leicester were fifth in the form table at the moment we met them but actually failed to impress. This was a bore draw that saw neither team creating much of chances. Leicester edged the first half but we bounced back to a decent performance during the second one. Again one or two of those chances that we could have taken but failed to do so. A point though is a decent result for us and shows that we probably can challenge them in the cup final if we play well.

(H) Liverpool

Our game in hand which could see us climbing up all the way to 17th place. But taking those three points against Liverpool is not an easy task. Klopp's side were showing to us during the first half by knocking on the door more than enough to make us uncomfortable. Fabianski though was in superb form and even denied James Milner's penalty on 27th minute. Something needed to change for the second half and I did tweak the system which saw us missing too excellent chances during the first 60 seconds of the second half. We were excellent for the first 20 minutes there but after that Liverpool took the game back in their control. Fabianski wasn't tested that badly but he still picked up the man of the match award deservedly. We kept Liverpool goalless and once again took one point with a 0-0 draw.

(H) Burnley

When we took on Burnley at home the aim needed to be to take all three points. This is not to say that Dyche's side is an easy one for us but it is a home game and a draw simply isn't good enough. I think that the Ginger Mourinho knew this and they were quite happy to sit back and see our game once again finishing 0-0. We were slightly better here and took, in my opinion, a deserved lead from a beautiful counter where Carroll eventually set up Ayew to finish. We only needed to hold on to this but sadly that doesn't seem to be the case for us this season. Alfie Mawson made a shocking double mistakes just two minutes later as he first cleared the ball straight to Jonathan Walters who moved it for Ashley Barnes and he set up Robbie Brady whom Mawson now played onside. We needed to bounce back from this but actually we fall into backfoot for rest of the game and again almost conceded couple of times from set-pieces where we have been really poor this season. In the end we were lucky to get the point. This result lifted us above West Bromwich who lost to Chelsea. Elsewhere West Ham and Watford drew 1-1 which keeps this race tight.

(A) Brighton

As we failed to take three points at home against Burnley we once again had to get them somewhere else. Brighton, comfortably in the mid-table looked just the right team for that. But could we do it? That's another question. We started quite brightly and saw Sam Clucas denied by the post in 9th minute. On 33rd minute we were ahead from unlikely source as Tammy Abraham finally scored for us in the Premier league. It was a shocking goal as Matthew Ryan totally froze on his goal line to allow Abraham a free tap-in to Mesa's throughball. We couldn't hold for it as Tomer Hemed equalized on 74th. This wasn't the end though as we decided to go for it, with shocking result... Bony put as ahead on 84th from Abraham's flick-on but this wasn't the end as Fabianski and Fernandez made shocking error to let Hemed finish his brace on 90th minute. This wasn't the last stroke as on 95th minute it was Mawson's turn to gift a goal for Hemed to allow him his hat-trick. I cannot believe our bad luck and the mistakes that we are making. This was already fourth or fifth game that we threw away in the end. Simply shocking again from a game that we probably should have won.

(N) Leicester

This was the big day of the month: the cup final against Leicester City. This time round I decided to go with more cautious team selection and played Sanches in the midfield for the first time. We started well and had three shots on target after just 9 minutes. But after 12 minutes we were goal behind as Demarai Gray's floated cross found Mahrez from the far postand he headed it in. We started controlling but as the time passed out and Abraham failed to get us the equalizer it started to feel that it's not going to happen today. Just before hour of play it was over as Gray collected our poor clearance after corner and rounded our entire right flank to find Mahrez again in the box for a tap-in. The rest of the game was Abraham and Slimani missing headers time after time and it was looking that both teams were paying wages nothing for their defenders. Leicester took the trophy in a result that once again was wrong compared to how the game itself panned out. Our European qualification now depends on Leicester's Premier league performance and whether either Manchester United or Chelsea will win the FA Cup. 
 

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Key points:

  • Yet another month where we should have had more. Two games where we threw it away and two games where we could have been a bit more lucky.
  • Probably we won't be in Europe next season.
  • I think that the same feeling is starting to hit both me and the players: we might not be able to turn this around.
  • We made a key signing for next season as we tied up Sanches with second loan year.

League table:

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We have closed the gap to three points and we actually have been 14th best team after I took over which tells that many teams have been failing to find consistency lately. Manchester United are edging the race for the second place as they beat Chelsea at home 1-0 this month. Arsenal have taken a strong hold for the 4th position and Tottenham seem to be the team that falls out of the race for Champions league. 12th position is held by Everton just 6 points ahead of us. During January and February we saw two bosses gone as Marco Silva and Mark Hughes were sacked. Manager of the month award went to Guardiola and Hazard was the player of the month.

March program:

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You don't have to be a genius to see that the West Ham game will be crucial for us. Huddersfield and Southampton should mean potential points for us here but Manchester United will probably be the impossible. 

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MARCH UPDATE

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(H) West Ham

We needed a result and we needed it now. Moyes' West Ham was going to be a tough opponent even though they too are fighting against relegation. They have quality everywhere and especially up front with Chicharito. They put us under pressure early on but from our first counter on 8th minute we were awarded a penalty which Ayew put past Joe Hart. We were in trouble though after just 13 minutes as Roque Mesa got sent off with a straight red. West Ham threatened throughout the first half and especially the duo Chicharito and Lanzini seemed unstoppable at the moment. We just couldn't stop their midfield even when dropping Bony there when defending. Another lucky break fell for us in 45th minute as we got our second penalty of the game from a free kick scrumble. This time it was Fer burying it to make it 2-0. We concentrated on defending during the second half and excluding Lanzini being too involved we did well and took a valuable 2-0 victory which sees us climb above the drop zone for the first time this season. Some tactical tweaks were applied but we really couldn't see if they help us or not as we basically gave our attacking play away after just 13 minutes of play. Narsingh sadly injured himself again after returning to the side and will miss rest of the month.

(A) Huddersfield

Watford taking surprising three points from two men down Arsenal at the Emirates and West Brom defending a point against Leicester meant that we were back in 19th position for the time being. A good run of form though could take us even to the mid-table but after winning West Ham we had a task in hand to build on it. Offside, offside, offside was the story of the first 10 minutes. We struck soon after that, beautifully. Carroll played a long ball from midfield to Fer to launch a counter. Fer had composure to set up Ayew to an open goal and Ayew had even more composure to set up Harry Wilson for an easy tap from the far post. Goal of the season for sure! On 40th minute it turned even better for us as Carroll set up this time Tammy Abraham with a long ball on a counter and we were two nil up at half time. Huddersfield pushed through throughout the second half without any proper chances. Meanwhile we mixed the bag a bit more by bringing in an Iceland man with number 23. Not Gylfi though but possibly the next one as Arnór Borg Gudjohnsen stepped in. The stage was a bit too big for him yet as he misplaced 6 of his 10 passes but it was a move to take the spirits down from Huddersfield. The final result 2-0 for us and shots 18-3 for them while we edged the scoring chances 3 to 1. This took us to 14th position already. 

(H) Southampton 

With the tight league table and results twisting around we were again two positions lower in 16th place on the table. A win here though could take us to 12th position above Everton and Newcastle. It wasnt' going to be easy though as even though we had won our last two, we still weren't that convincing. I think that the performance here was actually one of the better ones that we have produced. It was a 0-0 draw but we actually looked quite comfortable going forward and with a little bit better finishing we would have edged this one. The main strange thing here was the fact that we actually created two decent chances from corner kicks where we have been woeful so far. I would say that Southampton played well too here and definitely deserved something from the game with their decent defensive effort. No complaints. 

(A) Manchester United

A visit to Old Trafford wasn't something to look keen on. We were in better form than ever before and the Old Trafford isn't actually anymore the same that it used to be under Sir Alex but still. This was a one-sided affair as we lacked the composure to play under pressure: when we won the ball and could have tried to be calm we just hoofed it away to wait for the next wave from United. Our job wasn't made any easier as we had lost Wilson, Abraham, Sanches and Fernández during the international break through injuries. It took a bit of Ibracadabra though from United to get through us once as Ibrahimovic took advantage of Naughton's poor attempt to switch flanks. Zlatan powered the ball in first time from 25 yards out. That was basically it in terms of chances from open play. Both teams threatened couple of times through set plays and United hammered ineffectively from 20-25 yards out. Carroll on the other hand created couple of half chances for us. A 1-0 was something not that terrible but with a bit more bravery we could have taken a point here.

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Key points:

  • We picked up victories finally to take us out of the drop zone.
  • Carroll improved as we stripped off the playmaking responsibilites from him.
  • Lots of injuries at the moment but it's common at this part of the season.

League table:

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We have climbed above the drop zone and even though 15th position on a paper looks like a solid one; you can see that this situation is far from solid. The battle for the final Champions league spot is still very much alive and in relegation race basically even 11th placed Everton are in it. We and West Ham were the two teams picking up a little bit of form here but not clear enough to consider us keeping our feet dry.

April schelude:

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The visit to the Hawthorns will be a massive one for us. We cannot even take a draw as you can see that the month will get really hard and scary in the end. Everton at home is a winnable one with a good performance but Manchester City and Chelsea might be too much for us. Although how excellent would it be to cause City them the first defeat of the season. Chelsea also might start to feel that the chase is over in terms of Manchester United. 

 

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Guest El Payaso
11 hours ago, Ellandroadhero said:

Great thread. You mentioned about showing your tactic though? Would be interesting to see it! 

Thanks a lot sir. 

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This is the main system that I have been using. Have been tweaking a lot between the games and as you might notice; we are still quite awful in terms of going forward. Never been good in picking team instructions so basically all my instructions come from player instructions. Three of the four higher midfielders are pressing higher up the pitch while Britton especially is told to close down much more. Defenders are set to play basic short passes while Carroll is encouraged to be the main creator. Was using Ayew as an inverted winger for most of the time but have now changed it as I always used to have excellent results with WM(A) in terms of scoring goals but haven't really yet cracked that. The main aim now is to just stay up and possibly next season bring in 1-3 new players that we need to get to get to the next level.

My aim with Swansea is to have a team full of players with good/decent intelligence, passing ability, pace down the flanks and players that work hard. Success doesn't matter a lot to me and because of that I am not that bothered if/when we stay out of Europe next season. It's basically all about just having a challenging save and a clear aim in terms of squad building.

In terms of imitating Ajax/Rodgers' Swansea; we are still way off. :)

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Guest El Payaso

APRIL UPDATE

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(A) West Bromwich

The trip to The Hawthorns had six points written all over it. Right mix of results had dropped us on 17th position with West Brom just behind us with 3 goals worse goal difference. Some tweaks here and there and all the players that we can get on the pitch and let's hope the the best. The start was actually good from us and we had one chance through Fer early on which he blasted straight at Myhill. It didn't continue well though as after just half an hour we were down by one. A run to the channel from Rondon behind Olsson and a perfect ball in for Chadli made it 1-0. We went unchanged to the second half as I feel that we were performing well and being just unlucky. We salvaged a draw during the second half from unexpected source as Leroy Fer scored from a free-kick on 56th minute. We had clear difference in terms of quality through the flanks here as Phillips was constantly bullying Olsson and on the other end our overlaps and especially Routledge proved to be super ineffective. A good performance and we were happy to get a point.

(H) Everton

Dropping points with West Bromwich meant that we simply had to win this one. We had Tammy Abraham back in the line-up which was good as Bony simply isn't even getting the chances anymore. We could see that it was super important fixture for both teams as we witnessed a cagey first half. Everton edged it though late on as old masters took some role; Robles played a short delivery to Jagielka who sent in a perfect full pitch length through ball for Wayne Rooney who finished the chance without hesitation. Absolutely beautiful goal but once again Mawson falling asleep like he did in last game. We came back just after half time as Kevin Mirallas made a mistake with a backpass to Robles who just froze on his goal line to let Abraham take the chance. We had to go for it in the end as 1-1 was not enough for us. We witnessed some crazy action with both teams getting their chances late on. On 90th minute it was Ki Sung-Yeung who sent a delightful long ball for Bony who escaped Keane and Jagielka to make it 2-1. That was it. We had lost so many points this season in stoppage time and this time we sealed the victory on 90th.

(A) Manchester City

This was going to be the impossible. City had sealed their title two rounds before by beating fierce rivals United 3-2 at City of Manchester Stadium. The only thing they had to worry about was their unbeaten season. City were quite uninspiring if you ask me: only threatening us through throw-ins, corners and crosses which they bombarded in. We didn't win though even though we won the possession. It was 17 minutes when they got their break as we gave away a silly penalty from a corner kick which Agüero buried like he is used to. The team didn't seem to have anything in them to get forward even though we looked comfortable on those occasions when we decided to do that. After hour of play they got the second one as Sterling beat both Mesa and Olsson down the left flank after a poor corner clearance. A 2-0 defeat was basically the one that we expected. 

(H) Chelsea

With Manchester United's drop in form Chelsea have come back to fight for the second place in the Premier league. This for us wasn't good news as we would face a motivated Chelsea side, the champions of the previous season. We played a good game here, have to say that but it once again wasn't enough to get anything as two shocking mistakes undid us. First on 34th minute Fernandéz simply forgot his man Morata behind him which made Pedro able to put in a pinpoint ball from the right flank to open space and the Spaniard didn't fail to deliver. We had more than enough chances to get back into this but it just didn't happen to us today. We were chasing and gave it away permanently on 92nd minute as Routledge passed the ball straight to Barkley who released Batshuayi with first touch through ball to make it 2-0. Not a result that we deserved based on the run of the game but it happened and that is the only thing mattering here. 

result.thumb.png.51f3812126ae68a832938b5e6c3791f8.png

Key points:

  • Not much to say here as the same inconsistency continues.
  • We had all the chances to take points from the giants but we weren't mentally strong enough.
  • Bony's goal might be decisive for us. 

League table:

taulukko.thumb.png.3255335214685329c529b5c5e464cbfd.png

Manchester City are going to record more than 100 points for sure while United and Chelsea are still battling for that second place really evenly. In higher mid-table Bournemouth are taking the place in Europe if I can guess. If Leicester would manage to climb above them then we would probably qualify to Europe as Manchester United will face Watford in the FA Cup final. Even Watford and Stoke are still in the relegation race in theory. I would say that Huddersfield and West Bromwich are out already as the gap to us from WBA is three points and Huddersfield have the impossible schelude as they face Chelsea and Manchester City in their remaining two fixtures. David Moyes was the one to see the door this month after they lost to City at home. What a strange time to kick him out but apparently the board saw this as the right moment. Alan Irvine will be the man taking charge of the Hammers for their remaining two fixtures.

May schedule:

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Everything is in our own hand here. Even one victory will probably be enough. Not saying that this remaining schedule is easy but it could be tougher. 

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2 hours ago, DavidBeckham said:

Good luck mate! I wouldn't bet against you surviving ;) 

Wouldn't be too sure about it. :( Especially as the first game is against the Bournemouth 4-4-2 which seems to be one of the most powerful tactics in the game. Combine that with the slow CBs that I have and it will be a disaster... Might even let my assistant handle that one. A win from Stoke though could be enough. 

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1 hour ago, El Payaso said:

Wouldn't be too sure about it. :( Especially as the first game is against the Bournemouth 4-4-2 which seems to be one of the most powerful tactics in the game. Combine that with the slow CBs that I have and it will be a disaster... Might even let my assistant handle that one. A win from Stoke though could be enough. 

Yes, i would be happy with a point against Bournemouth to be honest. Go three at the back and play deep! 

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7 hours ago, DavidBeckham said:

Yes, i would be happy with a point against Bournemouth to be honest. Go three at the back and play deep! 

Might be a great idea. I'm afraid of them as I have seen them destroying for example Arsenal and Liverpool with their pace and striker combination. 

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MAY UPDATE

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(A) BOURNEMOUTH

With West Ham taking three points against Leicester we were below the line once again and it was now becoming four teams race as Everton and Crystal Palace basically glinched their stay with victories. A win here at the Vitality Stadium would be fantastic but not easy to take for sure as Bournemouth have been there right with the top teams during the second half of the season: lifting themselves from 18th position to 7th. We decided to go five at the back to prevent those front two dynamos linking up and trying to utilize Ayew's speed up front. We did play a good away game here, have to say that. We were in control of the ball and had the better chances during the first half but with out wingbacks getting tired during the second Bournemouth slowly turned to control against us. On 62nd minute Bony sealed the game from Olsson's cross but was flagged outside against my own opinion. How crucial that could have been. Bournemouth on the other hand just bombarded us with crosses and excluding the second balls outside the box we were comfortable. One point with a 0-0 was not enough to secure us anything but it was better than nothing.

(H) STOKE CITY

It was all still in our hands here: a victory would keep us in the Premier league while a draw would likely see us out. Stoke were in danger too; with a draw at home against Newcastle they would be in line for a drop if West Ham and Watford were able to take some points and they would lose to us. We decided to go with the same 5-3-2 that we had in use last game around as the last thing we wanted to do was to concede goal or two early on. The game took a dramatic turn early on as Darren Fletcher got sent off after just 26 minutes with for a challenge on Roque Mesa. We capitalized our unexpected man advantage almost straight away as Naughton's cross was deflected in by Kevin Wimmer. We didn't perform here at all and Stoke actually were in control of the game quite well. Both teams were lacking the final touch to create anything. On 90th minute there was a penalty though and it was for us as Carroll was fouled inside the area. Jordan Ayew was the man to take it and to seal our stay in the Premier league.

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LEAGUE TABLE:

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Manchester City lost their final game 3-2 against Southampton to ruin their unbeaten season but a 19 point gap is more than an excellent season for Guardiola's team who might become a clear dominant force for years in the Premier league. Chelsea lost to Liverpool in their second final game to allow United escape that little bit too far to be able to challenge for the second place. Liverpool's excellent end to the season was not enough to secure Champions league football. Huddersfield, West Bromwich and Watford went down to the Championship. 

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Just now, Fer Fuchs Ake said:

Fair play for avoiding the drop. Any targets in mind for next season?

Would say that mid-table could be achievable. Will make a more detailed analysis on this season and what we are aiming to do next season.

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4 minutes ago, El Payaso said:

Would say that mid-table could be achievable. Will make a more detailed analysis on this season and what we are aiming to do next season.

What about transfer targets? Anyone in mind?

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20 minutes ago, Fer Fuchs Ake said:

What about transfer targets? Anyone in mind?

I have made one signature already and Sanches along with Abraham will continue. Don't know our budget for next season yet but I would think that we will go big on  a new centre back. Jonny Evans is someone I would like to bring in. 

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SEASON SUMMARY 17/18

GOALKEEPERS

Kuvahaun tulos haulle FABIANSKI

Fabianski between the pipes was excellent for us for the second half of the season. Easily one of the best keepers in the league. We had two good backups behind him showing that they can step up if needed. During the summer we certainly don't need to invest on this. Was briefly chasing Michel Vorm from Tottenham but he wanted a key player role with huge salary and that is not something that we can offer for him. Fabianski has 3-4 good seasons in front of him.

DEFENDERS

Kuvahaun tulos haulle ALFIE MAWSON

In terms of numbers our defense worked really well but I am not too convinced about it. Fernandéz surprised everybody in the backline and already early January he earned himself a new contract. Monaco are chasing him and this might be a good move for both us and the player as Fernandéz is more likely to make it back to the Argentina national team in bigger club like Monaco and on the other hand I feel that we can upgrade him with someone like Jonny Evans who is comfortable with the ball and has more mobility. Alfie Mawson was a disappointment: lots of mistakes and falling asleeps. Needs more experienced partner next to him with decent mobility so we might be able to make him a stopper. Based on expectations Kyle Bartley was close to excellent and he can fill the backup role next season too while van der Hoorn didn't feature at all. Down the flanks Sanches showed that he has all it takes to play there. He will continue with us next season and hopefully he can get even better. Naughton is not good enough and Rangel is leaving after his contract expires as he is looking for a new challenge. Hopefully the icon will return back to us as a coach at some point. Down the left flank Olsson proved to be a slalom stick and wayward with his marking. Needs a competition which has already been sorted out with a really decent left back signing. Jordi Amat is also someone who will be returning to the team as he spend the season on loan at Betis.

MIDFIELD

Kuvahaun tulos haulle ROQUE MESA SWANSEA

So much more to come in the midfield I would say. In the beginning I told that I like the players here but I didn't enjoy the performances. We have really good midfield with passing abilities but that didn't show up in the scoring boards. Carroll and Fer will get mentally stronger every year and Carroll is even improving quite well in training so I would say that the duo will get a new change as our more advanced partnership. Mesa will continue as our number one holding midfielder or as a general player everywhere in the midfield. Could improve a lot in terms of performances though. Britton will continue at least one season more and he was actually quite good on those occasions where he played. Ki Sung-Yeung is also a player that can play basically any role here and is happy with a rotation role so why not keep him. Clucas was a £15M mistake from Clement that's for sure: a decent all-round midfielder for a Championship side. Gave him some gametime at the end of the season but will be hoping to cash in on him during the summer. We are not actively seeking to strenghten this area but if we could find a player with better mentals to fill in Fer's position then we could consider this.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle JORDAN AYEW SWANSEA

This area was a little bit of a disappointment to be honest. I was expecting a lot from Ayew and Narsingh but basically got nothing. With Narsingh the key is to keep him fit next season and I believe that he can deliver as he only managed 6 games in total last season. Ayew has the potential to score 10-15 goals in the Premier league if you ask me but we need him to get inside the box more regularly and take his chances. Routledge probably will stay for one season more as a backup and Dyer wants a new challenge so he will probably drop a level to the Championship or something. Harry Wilson could be worth keeping next season as he has excellent potential there on the right hand side but tying a deal for him is not the number one priority. Might actually bring in someone from U-23s to fill that spot.

ATTACK

Kuvahaun tulos haulle WILFRIED BONY

We lacked goals: 27 in 38 is not good enough. I had high hopes on both Bony and Abraham but neither of them delivered. Bony just seems lost all-round as he simply seems too slow to do anything and he is missing 1-2 decent chances every game. Abraham needs time and he is getting one more season from us as we renewed this loan deal.  You would think that we would seek a better player here but I don't see a reason for this. Borja Bastón will return from Malaga during the summer and the £15.5M flop so far will bring his own mix to the game. Oliver McBurnie might be promoted from U-23s as our number three man if either Bony or Baston can be sold.

Who do we need to sign?

Kuvahaun tulos haulle CHADLI EVANS

We were handed huge budgets for the coming season as we got £1.2M for wages and a huge pile of £53.88M for transfers. This for me doesn't mean that we need to spend all that money as I am looking to continue building on the club's strong financial status and with so many teams once again relegated I feel that we can go with bargains.

But like I said we might need a more commanding centre back to play along side with Mawson. A left back has been sorted out and with Sanches and Abraham continuing with us and two Spaniards returning from loan I think that those two signings might be enough for us. Like I also mentioned of course we will be looking for bargains and someone like James Morrison or Nacer Chadli would be signing that I would make if the opportunity rises. Will Hughes or Nathaniel Chalobah from Watford would also be interesting additions but both might be well out of our reach. Maybe around three players will arrive and hopefully someone takes players like Clucas and Bony from us with decent prices.

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JULY 2018

Players brought in

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Mauricio Lemos - Our first new signing came from relegated UD Las Palmas for £6.5M as we activated his release clause. PSG were also monitoring the talented Uruguay international but decided not to act as we placed a bid for him. For this price Lemos is a bargain: comfortable in possession, has great set pieces abilities and a good movement. Exactly what we were searching for as we failed to sign Jonny Evans who wasn't interested in moving to our club as Manchester City and Chelsea are both interested in his services. The only thing that Lemos lacks is the experience but we have that part covered in Fernández and Bartley.

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Federico Ricca - Also from Spain. Málaga didn't see use for the Uruguay international but we certainly did. I think that he might be an upgrade from Martin Olsson down the left hand side: he has good pace, good defensive abilities and in the future he might also be really adept moving forward. Hard to see anything lacking in him and for team of our level this is a really good signing with only £1.9M.

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Jonathan Viera -  A profilic goalscorer in La Liga for years and being able to do this for a team like Las Palmas tells a lot. I like Viera a lot and he is something that we really need to bolster up our midfield in terms of creativity and providing the end product also in front of the goal. Really versatile player that is able to play as a playmaker, a pure winger or even behind the striker as a secondary goalscorer, not to mention upgrading the Ayew role if needed. With only £3M this is an excellent signing and should fill the board's hopes of big name signing.

Players out

Nathan Dyer - A £2.3M move to Fulham in the Championship was something that we expected. Not really up to the Premier league level of football anymore and willing to find a new challenge so why not let him. 

Mike van der Hoorn - Lille took the experienced and quite cheap Dutch centre back. Didn't get any game time last season and as we got Lemos and Jordi Amat in, we do not need him as option number 5 here. £575k is not a lot of money but that isn't something that we were searching here. 

Jordi Amat - More than 30 games with Betis last season in the Spanish La Liga. Was maybe the fourth or fifth option for us. He has great mentals and personality and he is decent with the ball but otherwise lacking as his defensive skills are mainly average and he lacks the mobility and aerial provess. Brighton came for him and offered a wobbling £7.25M with possibility to raise this to almost £9M. An excellent deal for a backup who once joined the club for £2.5M and never really made it to the first team regularly.

PRE-SEASON

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The idea of pre-season of course is to build the match fitness, raise our tactical familiarity and of course get the team to work as an unit. For me though the main thing here is to avoid injuries which we have luckily done so far. I didn't manage any of those friendlies and haven't seen a single goal but it doesn't look too bad to be honest. We have a big squad that we have managed to get match fit for the beginning of the season and that is the main thing. There is still one week to go for the transfer window and based on these performances I would gladly get rid of Baston who hasn't performed like I was expecting. 

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2 hours ago, Fer Fuchs Ake said:

You got two great bargains in Ricca and Viera. Should be a good season for you.

Cheers, let's hope so. Will update my transfers and the pre-season to the previous message. :) 

Currently experiencing some technical issues as I am constantly getting crashes or the black screen. Otherwise my laptop is working just fine but getting that black screen with FM. Never happened with previous versions.

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16 hours ago, kidthekid said:

What a great escape. Got the wins when it mattered most.

 

8 hours ago, Matto97 said:

Great survival story mate & enjoying your presentation. Followed :)

Cheers lads. I enjoyed that last season a lot as the fight for the relegation was the most thrilling I have ever had on FM. 

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PREMIER LEAGUE PREVIEW

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The battle for top four

Manchester City under Pep Guardiola are the clear favorites as City finished with more than 100 points last season. Addition of Alexis Sanchez, Danny Rose and Casemiro certainly doesn't make them any weaker. Manchester United have invested on such players as Isco and Michael Keane so they will definitely be the main challengers for City. Chelsea on the other hand got a new wingback as David Alaba joined them from Bayern. The big deal fell off though as Inter weren't willing to sell Mauro Icardi to them with more than £100M bid rejected. Return of Kurt Zouma makes the young and capable defense even meaner. Arsenal have a new man on the bench as Wenger moved to manage France national team. Carlo Ancelotti took over and the Italian may well be the man to take the Gunners to the next level. Marco Pjaca and Daniele Rugani are the main additions during the summer along with the talented Argentian Ángel Correa. Liverpool have used the money from Coutinho to get Kieran Tierney in as a left back before letting Alberto Moreno leave to Spurs. Naby Keita was the second big signing for the summer with £62M move from RB Leipzig. Spurs will look to bounce back to the Champions league with additional players as they have brought in Roberto Pereyra from Watford, Moreno from Liverpool and attacking wing-back Fágner from Corinthians. 

Europe league race and mid-table

Leicester City have sealed their place in the top half and look to continue in Europe through their league position. Everton have David Moyes back and as a delight to Liverpool fans they have signed Fernando Torres for free from Atlético Madrid. Southampton have made some exciting signings as they brought in Davide Zappacosta from Chelsea and Calum Chambers on loan from Arsenal to solidify their defense. Alejandro Arribas and Emre Mor will bring some excitement from Spanish La Liga. Stoke City will look to bounce back to mid-table this season. Kurt Zouma is gone but he has been replaced with Sidnei from Deportivo and in midfield they have brought experience in Jake Livermore from WBA. Newcastle have invested £60M already by bringing in nine new players: Nacer Chadli, Jonny Evans, Daley Blind and Fábio Coentrão are names that are well known for many people. West Ham and Bournemouth are the two other teams that are able to reach the higher mid-table and Bournemouth were actually one of the best teams last season with their deadly 4-4-2. West Ham have a good base squad but their transfer activity doesn't seem to be taking them forward at all as they have spend £36.5M but mainly on players that have been playing backup roles in higher divisions or leading roles in the Championship. Marko Arnautovic was sent on loan to Valencia. 

Relegation race

Burnley should be safe and with Ginger Mourinho they almost reached Europe last season. No big investments from Dyche yet as they have only spend £6.75M this summer. Swansea are the next team and with additions like Jonathan Viera and Mauricio Lemos the possession based team is going to leap over the drop zone handsomely. Crystal Palace were in the drop zone last season for most of the season which the team survived. Roy Hodgson has brought in some Premier league experience in Jon Flanagan, Tom Cleverley and Ruben-Loftus-Cheek. Brighton finished 13th last season but that basically guarantees you nothing. The team has invested with £24.5M this summer Jose Holebas and Troy Deeney have joined from Watford and Jordi Amat from Swansea City. Wolves won the Championship last season and are looking the strongest of the promoted teams. With Andres Villas-Boas in charge anything can happen. Wolves will rely highly on their pace on wide areas and players like Gregoire Defrel with add to that. Derby County probably will play a better season than they did previous time in the Premier league. Gary Rowett is a capable leader and additions like Kenneth Omeruo, Claudio Yacob and Rony Lopes mean business. Cardiff City are ranked the last. Neil Warnock's side have only invested £1.5M this summer and the roster looks like a Championship one to be honest. Reaching 20 points could be difficult for the second Welsh side in the league.

Transfers team by team

transfers.thumb.png.e376a591286ea5cebd109262d0021681.png

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AUGUST UPDATE

The Deadline Day

Players In

gomes.thumb.png.b4892c39f83324ac5c770a7ab50ea45e.png

Joe Gomez - Not something that we were planning here: our fourth signing of the summer. This one is a loan from Liverpool. We were basically forced to do this. Was chasing Phil Jones from Manchester United but he wasn't interested so we had to go with the versatile youngsters. Can play both centre back and right back which is excellent for us. Mentally he is really good when you look at his age and suits our style of play really well. 

Players Out

Federico Fernández - He was linked with moves to either Monaco or Lazio and was unhappy because of our early summer bid for Jonny Evans. Everton came in with £10M first with some of it being clauses. I gave them a £15M suggestion which they took without thinking. An excellent price for a former Argentina international who had a good season for us last term but who we can replace and upgrade. With a balanced personality he is not that big of a loss.

Sam Clucas - The Clement mistake moved to Derby county for £4.9M which is one third of the stack of money that Clement was willing to pay for him. I'm not saying that he is a bad footballer but a decent all-round midfielder for top Championship level club is not someone that we are going to be missing. This also cuts £50k a week out of our salaries.

Borja Báston - West Ham are piling on strikers as they brought in both Báston and  to improve their front line which already consisted of Chicharito and Diafra Sakho. We got £4.9M for him which once again is only one third of the amount that the team once paid for him. I think that Báston is quite far away from the player that once scored impressive 18 goals for Eibar in La Liga. 

Kyle Naughton - Naughton's level quite frankly is at Championship and he proved it here last season. He was on his last year with his contract and we were never going to renew that one. Watford came in for him during the final hours of the window offering £3.9M for his services. Easy choice to cash in on him.

August schelude:

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(A) Newcastle

We started the new season with a visit to St James' Park to meet the strenghtened Newcastle side. It was a tight fixture in terms of stats as Newcastle edged the possession with 52% and shots 12-11. The goalscoring chances though fell for our way as we were dangerous going forward throughout the game. Just after half an hour we were awarded a penalty as the new Castle player Jonny Evans was forced to foul Tammy Abraham who was rushing through on goal from Fer's through ball. Abraham himself converted the penalty to make it 1-0 at half time. During the second half we scored twice more through Abraham after hour mark: first Fer put Narsingh through from the right hand side and the Dutch played a perfect ball in to the penalty spot which the young striker converted. This was followed by another goal from a cross as this time the substitute Ayew played an excellent ball from the left. A 3-0 away victory and a hat-trick for Tammy were excellent way to start the season, on top of the table.

(H) Bournemouth

You never expect a game against Bournemouth eagerly. They might have the meanest attack in the league with their 4-4-2. In the season opener they scored 3 just to see Leicester score 5 against them and starting the season with a loss. The first half was evenly matched and sadly we went goal down after a corner kick as Wilson set up Surman inside the area and the team captain scored from 10 yards out to make it 0-1. We dominated the second half completely and can describe ourselves really unlucky just scoring one. It was a beauty though as Ricca and revitalized Fer played a beautiful one-two in the attacking zone and Fer powered the ball in from edge of the penalty area. How many times have you had the chance to do that already boy? Just 8 minutes later Viera released otherwise quite quiet Tammy Abraham through from the flank and the young forward crashed the crossbar after a strong run. After all the pressure and the chances that we created we have to be unhappy with one point here.

(H) Crystal Palace

We took a heavy rotation here in the league cup knowing that we are playing against Burnley in the league in just four days. We controlled the game but like against Bournemouth our finishing just wasn't there. We were once again down by a goal after the first half as Loftus-Cheek scored just inside the penalty area from Cabaye's pass. We equalized deservedly after 50 minutes of play as the substitute Gudjohnssen scored with his first touch on the ball. We were unable to find the breakthrough despite our domination and during the extra time Wickham scored from a chance that looked like offside to me. 2 goals from 1 half chance is devastating but yet so common for us. Joe Gomez had to stay on for 120 minutes after just recovering from an injury but luckily there wasn't any setbacks. And hopefully my job is not judged based on this result.

Results:

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Team stats:

stats.thumb.png.c8f42e11b56d3895d59768fe1c980d89.png

Key points:

  • Generally excellent performances so far but finding the result seems difficult again.
  • Leroy Fer and Tammy Abraham look new born so far.
  • Viera, Lemos and Ricca have looked lively and look like clear upgrades.
  • Our squad looks extra thin at the moment so the key is to avoid injuries.

League table:

taulukko.thumb.png.11b4b3dd6b316d41385cd27c6c0e4adc.png

Manchester City seem to continue where they started last season by smashing Everton at home by six goals to zero. The season is young but Arsenal under Ancelotti have started it really well and Chelsea also celebrated with two 2-0 victories. Everton's second start with David Moyes has been shocking as they were beaten in ugly manner by both Manchester City and Arsenal. The highly investing Newcastle seem to be in early trouble too. 

September schelude:

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September is not a busy month for us as we will be having the international break here. Burnley away is once again one of those games that you don't eagerly expect as they will line up with a 4-4-2. Moyes' Everton is a total mystery but we should be able to beat them at home and same most definitely goes with Cardiff as the team is mainly Championship level and it's a derby that everybody expects us to win. Liverpool at Anfield would be the impossible one but at Liberty Stadium we took a point from them last season. 

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11 hours ago, pullthru said:

Enjoying this story more than what I feel I should :lol:

Keeping an eye on how Cardiff go this season!

Cheers. Really good to hear that. The roster looks like a Championship one but they got a decent start to the season. Hoping to give them some misery next month though. :)

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SEPTEMBER UPDATE

Player in:

sneijder.thumb.png.60c4f844faceab264eef41159140260f.png

Wesley Sneijder - With the team sheet getting more narrow during the end of the transfer window Wesley Sneijder was quite a no-brainer for us. I doubt that he can provide any big difference on the pitch but we will give him a chance here. He will be excellent mentor for our younger players and a big influence in the dressing room. Also he does bring his own threat to the edge of the penalty area and will be able to take some of the bourdain out of Fer's shoulders in the central midfield area. 

Schelude:

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(A) Burnley

Both teams lost in the League Cup which made this a little more interesting. Dyche's 4-4-2 is not as scary as the Bournemouth one but it's still a 4-4-2 which means it's powerful. After an even first half we were in 1-1 tie as Burnley hit us first early on with "the 4-4-2 goal" where Barnes turned in front of our defense to set up Wells running through unmarked and ending the move with a simple finish. We answered after half an hour with a goal from unlikely source as Roque Mesa scored from distance after a corner kick. We edged the end of the half clearly just to see Ayew and Abraham missing sitters. It started to feel bad again as we couldn't take the lead and inside my head I was expecting things to happen in their favor. It did: Mawson had been playing a good game as a stopper but after hour of play Barnes flicked a ball from the near post to Wells again who was allowed his second easy finish of the game. I don't know why we are paying for Lemos though as the centre back once again was moving totally wrong way when he should be beating a player like Wells for that kind of a ball. We never recovered from this: Bony missed a sitter from Ki's through ball and Ki himself missed a penalty in 91st minute. Quite bored telling the boys that we were unlucky.

(H) Everton

Our new signing Wesley Sneijder was in the starting lineup in his first game taking over the position of Leroy Fer in our midfield. The opponent was Everton and we really didn't know what to expect from them as Moyes' men had started the season with two ugly defeats and then beaten Leicester with 3-0 result. The frontman Fernando Torres had already two goals in his account. I don't know why but our performance broke down into pieces completely during the first half of the game and Everton were applying most of the pressure during the first 45. The only chance of the half came from Sneijder's leg as he released Ayew through the left channel with a lovely ball but the Ghana international missed the sitter he was gifted. Our job got easier during the second half as Gueye was off with his second yellow card. And we applied a lot of pressure with more than enough chances to score. The sad fact though is that at the moment we cannot score from anywhere that isn't considered an open goal. Fair play for Everton though as they were blocking the shots well and dominating the first half.

(A) Cardiff City

If this was the beginning of the month I would have considered us clear favorites but with the poor 11 vs 11 performance against Everton the expectations were not high. Jordan Ayew was off with sports hernia but otherwise the same players played and it was going to be a busy evening especially for Federico Ricca who was facing Adama Traore down the flank. This wasn't a classic that's for sure as both teams were playing quite poorly. We took the lead in 33 minutes as Narsingh set up an open goal for Viera from a counter attack. The second half didn't produce much else but there were worries raised after the game progressed as both Abraham and Narsingh left the pitch because of injuries. Cardiff didn't create any chances during the 90 minutes but we managed to get another one in the stoppage time as Viera set up Bony this time with a good through ball. A poor game in general but always nice to get the bragging rights from these. 

(H) Liverpool

This game was played on 1st of October but we will cover it because it was the Monday fixture of round 6 in the Premier league. The expectations were not high here as we went to the game without Abraham and Liverpool already beating Manchester City this season away from home. The start wasn't ideal for us as we conceded before half an hour as Milner got through from Firmino's through ball to score. We were playing poorly so we decided to just go for it and press the opposition and attack instead of doing the usual counter routine that we had. This produced a lot as we got Fer through on goal by linking up with Bony three times during the last 15 minutes of the half. He missed all of them and we could say that we were unlucky to only draw at half time. We got the goal through Bony who headed in a cross from Ricca in 43rd minute. The second half was end to end stuff as we reverted to our normal system. Origi up front and Firmino playing behind him proved to be impossible for us to handle but today Fabianski was present more than well. We had our own chances too but couldn't take them. Despite Liverpool's domination during the second half I would say that we kinda deserved this point.

Results:

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Team stats:

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Key points:

  • The level of our performances dropped during the month and the excellent start is gone.
  • Injuries of Ayew and Abraham will hurt us but we have to hope that there aren't more coming.
  • Sneijder is not what he used to be: he is providing a chance or two when he plays but in possession he seems to be a risk.
  • We could try 4-4-1-1.

 

League table:

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Many teams across the Europe are struggling to find consistency. Manchester City have already lost more games than they did last season in total as they lost both to Liverpool at home and Chelsea away this month. Chelsea are looking convincing so far and Carlo Ancelotti seems to have brought some new shifts to Arsenal locomotive so far. The biggest surprise so far is Tottenham who haven't been able to turn tight matches to victories. At the bottom of the table Newcastle and Bournemouth improved during the month. 

October schelude:

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I would say that there are six points to be taken. The visit to Stamford Bridge doesn't promise much as Chelsea is heavily wide-play based team with lots of quality down that area. Southampton have started the season decently well but at home we could take them on successfully. Rowett's Derby has started the season quite poorly with only six points from six games and we should be able to take at least a point from them.

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Guest El Payaso

OCTOBER REPORT

Schelude:

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(A) Chelsea

If there ever is a good time to travel to Stamford Bridge I would say that it was here as this was the round after the Champions league and the hosts had a tired squad to line up against us. A goal for the league leaders would probably have meant that the game would be over but if you won't concede, you are doing your job. Our job here was to keep our goal untouched as long as possible and to ensure that it was time to move Sanches to the midfield to play along with Carroll and Mesa which ensured that we have at least one strong area here. Chelsea were uninspiring and didn't produce anything and we kept an easy clean sheet. The only worry here though is that we are afraid to play in these kind of fixtures as we only managed three shots during the 90 minutes against their 17. We should have space to attack in games like this and on those rare occasions when we do, we look comfy. Excellent result though, we take nothing from that.

(H) Southampton

We went to the game with a 4-4-1-1 that had never been tested before as I wanted to get Sneijder better into the team. It resulted into a shocking performance after a decent start. We went ahead on 25th minute after some fantastic work from Viera as he got behind Cédric before running to the byline and setting Mesa for an open goal. This was replied soon enough though as Seferovic got way too much space in front of our defense to score from distance. Cold water was poured on top of us on 3rd minute of stoppage time of the first half as Ward-Prowse got too much space in the danger zone and set up the in cutting Redmond who scored with ease. We tried to attack them on the second half but with a shocking mistake from Gomez it was Ward-Prowse who scored the next and final goal of the game. We did make a late rush forward quite well but once again failed to finish. The good thing in here was the fact that we survived without injuries even though both Viera and Narsingh were holding their knees and leaving the pitch during the second half. Conceding three at home is a shocker considering that we just zeroed Chelsea at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago.

(A) Derby County

Jordan Ayew's return to fit meant that we could now place Viera in that AM role instead of Sneijder who was still struggling with his fitness. Rowett's Derby were in 15th position in evenly matched bottom half of the table. This hardly was a classic as the first shot of the game came in 25th minute through Joe Ledley. We took the lead on 34th minute with a hinch of luck as we scored after a corner as Narsingh got the ball back and was able to pull a cut back to Roque Mesa who scored for a second game in a row to make it 1-0. Throughout the game the only thing we needed to worry about was Andi Weimann picking up far too many of the long balls but that was basically all that Derby produced. We tried to up the tempo for the last 30 minutes to find breaks and we did create couple of decent chances but we just cannot take them at the moment. We took Sneijder on for the last 15 and the Dutch once again created two chances just to see both Viera and Abraham hitting the post. On 89th minute Ledley did the same at the other end of the pitch but that was closest that Derby got. It tells you a story that Roque Mesa is now our tied best goalscorer this season. 

Results:

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Key points:

  • Consistency is a swear word for us. I'm becoming quite clueless on what we should do.
  • We need a goalscorer to this team.
  • Our defense is playing really well compared to last season and we're only conceding from mistakes.

Player stats:

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League Table:

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The greats are greats. No big surprises here even though Arsenal have plummeted after the excellent start to the season. Tottenham are the second team in trouble at the moment and it might be that Pochettino is the first manager to feel the pressure here. We are in mid-table, already eight points clear from the relegation zone. Southampton and Burnley have been surprisingly good and Nakhi Wells is leading the goalscoring charts along with Troy Deeney (Brighton).

November schelude:

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One more quiet month before December. Two tough games at home where we would take one point. Stoke City is a question mark. If Berahino is fit then we need to be really careful but behind him the threat is minimum. Knowing us we will probably take points from both Tottenham and United and concede 4-5 against Stoke.

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NOVEMBER UPDATE

Schelude:

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(H) Tottenham

Tottenham were in trouble as they were also at the end of last season. The 3-5-2-1 system if you call it like that clearly is not doing the job for Pocchettino and he maybe should revert back to 4-4-1-1. We were expecting a difficult encounter but straight from the beginning I could spot that their attacking strategy was really one-dimensional: play the ball out wide to Trippier who tries to put in the perfect ball. As we took the lead on 33rd minute from Viera's corner which Lemos nicked in, we never looked back. Kane was dangerous at times but otherwise their danger men Eriksen and Alli did nothing here. With more clinical finishing we would have taken this game 3 or 4-0 as Abraham once again missed two good chances and Viera one sitter. Feel bad for Sneijder as he once again created an open chance for Tammy in the final 15 minutes as he came in but none of our players are thanking him for his service. Pochettino out?

(A) Stoke City

Stoke have drifted to the relegation battle once again under the helm of Philipp Cocu. They are a really pacey team with good passing ability, an opposite of the team that Tony Pulis once managed. The first half was even and without goals. Well we scored once on 8th minute but Viera's effort was judged rightfully as an offside. After the even first half Stoke took the lead on 49th minute from a corner as Livermore's effort deflected to Martins-Indi who could score to the open net. We equalized after hour of play from a beautiful counter attack in which Mesa had space to run with the ball in the middle before slicing a perfect through ball for Narsingh who didn't disappoint with his finish to score his first goal for the club. Stoke put on a new shift and almost took the lead on 80th minute through Bojan who was denied from 5 yards by Fabianski. On83rd minute we scored the winner again from a counter as Carroll released Ayew down the left hand side and Mesa was left open at the penalty spot as we rushed into the area with man advantage. Two beautiful counter attacking goals and an excellent fightback from the boys. 

(H) Manchester United

City, Chelsea and even Arsenal had put some pressure on United to get a result here by winning their own encounters. We on the other hand were on high fly and searching our fourth win in a row. It is quite a honor to face this team as they have so much quality in the midfield in form of Mata, Isco, Barkley and Pogba all in the starting line-up. We struck early on here through Jonathan Viera who was released by a long ball from Carroll a feat that we had been waiting for the whole season. United were uninspiring recording only 39% of the possession and only gaining some of that late on when they pushed forward. Both teams had couple of chances to change the scoring here but didn't manage to do that. The result was excellent for us and it solidifies our 7th place in the table.

Results:

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Player stats:

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Key points:

  • Perfect month with 3 victories means that we are finding the consistency.
  • Really uninspiring big teams against us this month.
  • Roque Mesa and Federico Rica are superb at the moment. 
  • 14 points to the drop zone means that we might already be safe.

League table:

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There's a big gap between the bottom clubs and the top half already which means that the teams fighting against the drop are not competitive enough, at least not so far. Burnley is sinking down in the table while I feel that Everton and Tottenham are the ones making their way up on the table. Bournemouth are surprisingly in trouble: scoring for fun with their 4-4-2 but also conceding a lot. Rafa Benitez is definitely under fire boss as with all those big investments the team is so far fighting against relegation.

December schelude:

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It's a busy month but could be worse in terms of opponents. I feel that we are able to challenge every team except Manchester City away from home. Would expect the good times to roll and that our position in the mid-table would be even more secure after busy December. 

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Guest El Payaso

DECEMBER UPDATE (part 1)

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(A) Brighton

Going against Brighton chasing our fifth victory on a row. We had been good away from home so far but needed to be careful as we all remember what happened last season here. In form Troy Deeney with 8 Premier league goals was always going to be a real danger man. We edged the first half after half an hour of play and even got the lead after half hour mark as Viera's excellent cross found Abraham in front of an open goal. The young striker put this chance away and scored his fourth goal of the season, the first one after that hat-trick in the opening day. Brighton were more active during the second half and on 79th minute they equalized through a long ranger from Groß. Cannot really blame anyone for that as it was a well taken strike from 25 yards out. I think that the horrors of last season dug into the team as we gave two free headers away during the last 10 minutes of the game from corners and could have conceded from those. Tammy got through on goal twice though during the final moments as they pushed on but he was dispossessed on both occasions. 1-1 was a result neither team could be too disappointed on. Fair result from an even game.

(H) West Ham

Clearly a better side than the position tells you. After a 1-3 loss at home against Leicester the West Ham side looked more than ready to bounce back as they controlled the first half. We had to make some chances to our 4-4-1-1 for the second half to get a grip to the game but things took turn to worse as our defense fell asleep and let John Swift set up Charlie Austin through on goal. The situation looked like an offside but the goal stood. We took the game in control after Sneijder was subbed off but once again it looked like we cannot take our chances. In the end we went with a 4-2-4 and Bony and Abraham up front which turned the game around. First Narsingh set up Abraham to score on 87th minute and on 3rd minute of stoppage time it was Bony's turn to get fed by the Dutch who was now working like a playmaker as we built from the back and our dynamic duo Ki and Mesa rushed forward with the ball. Not the best showing ever but with an excellent half an hour we managed to turn the game around and take all three points. 

(A) Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace have once again drifted to the relegation battle under Roy Hodgson. With players like Benteke, Cabaye, Sakho and Loftus-Cheek they most definitely are better than 19th position shows you. We witnessed a spectacle as chances flew in and out during the first half of the game. We got into the lead quite early on as Mesa skinned Schlupp at the edge of the area before smashing it in from the edge of the area to score his 5th of the season already. The highly eventful first half ended 1-1 though as after a poor clearance from Carroll Schlupp was left inside the area unmarked to score a free goal. We should have been up 6-2 or something after this half. The second half was less eventful as both teams were draining their energy away. We edged this one though as Carroll repaid his mistake by releasing Viera down the left hand side and the Spaniard in form set up Abraham to score his third in three games. Talk about a confidence boost. This game was the final one for Roy Hodgson who was sacked. We climbed to fourth position.

(H) Arsenal

A good run of form counts for nothing in these kind of games as we're always going to be underdogs. No-one expected us to be fighting for the same positions with Arsenal at any point of the season but here we were: Arsenal 4th and Swansea 5th. It was a tight fixture as expected. On 15th minute there was an opening for us and Tammy but he missed the first proper chance of the game as he was denied by Cech. A shocking error from Koscielny took us to the break with 1-0 lead as he failed to control Viera's attempted through ball and deflected it straight to Abraham who scored in fourth game in a row. In the beginning of the second half we struck again and once again from quite a distance as Mesa scored yet another goal out of nowhere. Arsenal pushed on during the whole second half and looked more dangerous with Wilshere and Ramsey on the pitch. Welbeck got his own chances but the best one fell for Ayew as Arsenal risked every man possible forward on 79th minute in a corner and Ayew was suddenly through on goal. He blasted the ball almost out of the stadium to continue his goal drough. We took the victory and climbed 3rd on the table.

Results:

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Player stats:

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Key points:

  • A striker in form makes all the difference. Tammy is now taking those chances that he was missing before.
  • The team is so confident at the moment that we seem to turn all the tight affairs to our advantage.
  • Even though our for is excellent, I'm not totally satisfied with our attacking play in general.
  • We are doing huge favors for Manchester City in their title-run. 

League table:

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Chelsea and Manchester City are taking a gap to other teams and Manchester United seem to be slipping with two draws lately. Liverpool seem to be out of the Champions league already as they are struggling with consistency and surprisingly with their attacking play. Tottenham are is slight rise here and same can be said about Stoke City who have been getting excellent results lately. Rafa Benitez is still under fire and he has really failed with his Newcastle side. 

December schelude:

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All has been going according to plan, just 10 times better. This run of form can turn into defeats though as none of these games will be easy. Leicester have been a bogey team for us and Manchester City at their home soil will be the impossible, no matter how good your form is. 

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Guest El Payaso

DECEMBER UPDATE (Part 2)

Schelude:

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(A) Wolves

Wolves have been doing alright under the new boss André Villas-Boas but they are still in the relegation race. The team is highly Portuguese also in the team sheet as they have in total 4 Portuguese. The biggest star of them of course Ruben Neves, the 21-year-old, who has already capped three times for the national team. It was a perfect start for us here as we took the lead after just six minutes as Carroll picked up a poor clearance from Danny Batth and set up Abraham who scored once again for us. This was paid back quickly though as Tom Rogic equalized from a corner kick with a powerful drive. We were slightly better team here and with a little bit better luck we would have scored the second and the third but this time this didn't happen. Sneijder played his best game so far for us setting up three chances for the team.

(H) Leicester

Puel's Leicester have become our bogey-team for sure. With all the pace down the flanks and in the attack they are always dangerous. They weren't going to threaten us here though with their pace as they were set up to a 4-1-4-1 and concentrated solely on defending. The first half was boring a scoreless but we took the lead after hour mark as Sneijder found Abraham just inside the area and he released Viera with one touch through ball. It was the third goal for Viera and only the first assists for Abraham in his whole Swansea-career. Leicester equalized just five minutes later in a shocking way as Ayew just left the ball in the midfield for no-one else but Adrien Silva who thanked by releasing Vardy through on goal and a striker of his quality doesn't miss those. Yet another two points thrown away by us.

(A) Manchester City

The gameplan in these matches always is to keep the scoring level as long as possible. Sadly our full-backs weren't in that kind of mood in here as we conceded just after five minutes as Ricca made a shocking marking error on Sterling who put in a perfect cross to far post for Sané. This was though the only goal of the half and we even saw Tammy missing from the goal line just seconds before the break. The game was over though after two minutes to the second half as Ricca repeated his error and this time it was Agüero finishing from the near post. We came back to the game though three minutes later as Ricca was this time the one escaping before setting up Abraham who scored already his 6th goal of the month. The rest of the game was City's though as this time Gomez lost Sané down the left flank and Mawson guided his cross in to make it 3-1. We took a heavy beating here as Bernardo Silva scored on 87th minute after a well worked throw in routine. Goals 4-1 to City and scoring chances 1-2 for Swansea. It's a cruel world. Have to admire Guardiola though as they can produce those scorelines by playing so one dimensionally. 

Results:

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Player stats:

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Key points:

  • The level of performances did not plummet even though the results are not good.
  • We survived this busy period injury-free. 
  • Abraham's revival has already saved us our place in the mid-table if anything drastic doesn't happen.
  • We are creating chances well enough but not scoring regularly.
  • Mesa's form has woken up the Chinese clubs.

League table:

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Manchester City are escaping like expected and they are by far the best team in the league. The battle for the next four spots seems to be a tight one and I wouldn't even throw Tottenham away completely even though the start to the season has been awful for them. They just don't seem to get anything out of their midfield. The big news for this month was the sacking of Eddie Howe which seems like a really odd decision as he did so well last season and they are not in danger of the drop. Harry Redknapp has already claimed to interested and that would at least continue their 4-4-2-tradition. Harsh decision either way. The bottom of the table seems to be lacking quality, especially Rafa Benitez who has made his career a joke after he left Liverpool.

January schedule:

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The schedule here is hectic but doesn't look to bad to be honest. We should most definitely be able to beat Newcastle, Northampton and Cardiff and we have all the chances to take points from Burnley, Everton and even Bournemouth. Hopefully Howe's successor is not using 4-4-2. This schedule of course will change if we progress in the FA Cup.

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Guest El Payaso

Going into January

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Financially we are doing really well at the moment and some money has already been invested in both senior team training facilities and youth facilities. Our financial situation is this good because we have restricted from making big signings and have relied mainly on bargains while we have received good money from players that we have been upgrading cheaply. Good business in the transfer market and of course the huge amount of TV-money are the main factors here.

What to expect in the transfer market?

The board has been disappointed in me as I haven't brought in any big name signings. I would count Lemos and Viera as those but apparently it hasn't been good enough for the board. To secure my job I might have to bring in one or two big names during the next transfer windows. We have been so far chasing players like Mamadou Sakho from Crystal Palace and James Tarkowski from Burnley but Sakho for example proved to be to expensive in terms of wages and on the other without injuries we really don't need a centre back. A new striker will most definitely be in cards next summer as I doubt that we can still extend Tammy's deal. But with Abraham's scoring form and Ayew and Bony playing the second and third fidel we are not in position to bring in a new striker just yet. 

Ki Sung-Yeung and Roque Mesa are both possibly on the move. Mesa is approaching 30 years and with his great performances so far this season the Chinese clubs have woken up and identified him as a big name signing to bolster the reputation of their league even further. I have no intention to sell the Spaniard though as I want to rely on experience within the first team and I like him as a player. Ki on the other hand is a different thing: with balanced mentality and desire to find a new challenge he hardly is a player that we cannot replace. He wants to move to Australia but so far Leicester City are the team chasing him. 

How are we standing in the league?

Well in terms of league position we are in good position and battling for Europa league. Without a real stall in terms of form we will most definitely be in the top half of the table and could even finish higher than Tottenham which is a huge achievement. 

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In terms of stats we currently hold top position in possession, passes completed and passing percentage. Our players also are one of the most hard-working within the league. In terms of chances created we are third best team so far which is two positions weaker than we were last season as we topped this table in 17/18. I think that our progression is good though as we are recording almost 55% possession in the league and that is not nerfing down our amount of chances too much. 

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If Tammy Abraham can continue his scoring form he will be challenging for the Golden Boot as Agüero tops the table with 14 goals and Tammy is already in 9 goals. Jonathan Viera will most definitely be fighting for the pole position in terms of assists this season as so far Raheem Sterling tops this table with seven assists in the league and in-form Viera has already provided six assists. Luciano Narsingh is in the same race with four assists provided. Lucas Fabianski's season hasn't been that good so far but he already has 9 clean sheets in his name which is third best in the league. David De Gea and Petr Cech are leading this stat with 11 clean sheets and Forster, Lloris and Fabianski are on 9 clean sheets. Alfie Mawson has the most shots blocked along with Sakho with both summing 9 so far. 

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JANUARY UPDATE (Part 1)

Transfer window:

Players in:

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Lucas Torreira - The board wanted the big name signing that we brought in from Sampdoria with £36M. Torreira is our third Uruguayian within the team and is also an Uruguay international. As a players he is basically already a stronger version of Roque Mesa: excellent all-rounder without any real weaknesses if you exclude his side. Can play any role in the midfield, can defend and has the legs to get forward. Excellent signing if you ask me. This transfer was completed on 5th of January.

Players out:

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Ki Sung-Yeung - A player dreaming of moving to Australia decided to go to Leicester for £15M. A long term servant who was basically always good when he got some game time. But as you can see he is already in decline, hasn't got a good personality and was really never good enough to be a regular starter for us. I think that Leicester paid too much for a decent Premier league player. This transfer was confirmed on 6th of January.

Schedule:

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(H) Newcastle

Newcastle are almost at the rock bottom just Cardiff behind them on the table. They are surprisingly good side as they were able to poach for example Chadli and Evans from the relegated West Brom side. We were trouble during the first half especially in set pieces as we conceded three clear scoring chances from one corner kick and two more from an indirect free-kick. Surprisingly though we edged the first half 3-0, the first time we have scored in one game in more than a year. Viera got us ahead on 21 minutes and surprisingly we were the ones to score from a corner on 1st minute of the stoppage time in the first half and on fourth(!) minute of the injury time Viera got his brace. The crazy game calmed down during the second half and we were really close on getting a clean sheet first time in a long time but Chadli ruined that from a beautiful counter attack during the stoppage time. 3-1 flattered us for sure and this was the final game for Rafa Benitez who was sacked after the match. The best news here was that Abraham survived his knock without an injury even though having to leave the pitch after just 15 minutes.

(A) Bournemouth

Bournemouth were now under Mexican Javier Aguirre lining up to a 4-2-3-1 instead of the regular 4-4-2. Both systems produce simply crazy things when applied right and Thorgan Hazard along with Callum Wilson were running a riot against us playing with 4-4-1-1. They seemed unstoppable but failed to produce anything that clear cut . On 34th minute Hazard got injured and the whole Bournemouth team calmed down. We were by far the worse team here but it was us once again in the stoppage time of the first half who scored the first goal as Ayew guided in a Narsingh cross between the centre backs. Bournemouth keeped pushing during the second half and our centre backs mysteriously froze two or three times on long balls but the efforts drifted to narrow angles and eventually Fabianski had quite easy job in keeping a clean sheet. Big result for us with a poor performance.

(H) Northampton

We applied a full rotation here and handed up debuts for Joe Rodon and Daniel James in the starting line-up. With Northampton at the bottom of League 1 we were expected to win comfortably here. What we faced was a glichee. A shocking error from Rodon on 15th minutes saw Dean Bowditch through on goal and he converted. We replied only seven minutes later as James set up Ayew inside the area and the Ghana international applied a good finish. We created enough during this match, more than enough actually but our players were in a mood to shoot the ball straight at Josh Lillis instead of passing the ball to the corners of the goal. Torreira made his debut from the bench and almost scored with his first touch as he hit the post from the edge of the penalty area. It's quite unbelievable that we drew 1-1 here and have to play at the Sixfields again.

(H) Burnley

Burnley were lined up with a deep 4-2-2-1-1 which was a surprise here. Clearly they considered us favorites as we were expecting the regular 4-4-2. We lined Ayew, Narsingh and Viera as our creative trio for the first time as the starters and Mesa along with Torreira as our more holding duo. The boys didn't disappoint as we summarized a wobbling 8 shots with 100% on target during the first half. We only scored once though as Narsingh scored only his second of the season after Viera had unleashed in-form Ayew down the left hand side. Burnley controlled the second half more but we turned on our finishing gear this time as Mawson scored the second one from Viera's free-kick and Viera unleashed Ayew the second time after 66 minutes and he set up Abraham to score only his first goal of the month so far. We were looking careless at the back during the second half and only a good performance from Fabianski allowed us the clean sheet. Torreira was excellent in his first start and once again shaved the post with his drive in the first half. Really flattering result for us this time.

Results:

result.thumb.png.040d4649a826d8ac16227e76357a643b.png

Player stats:

stats.thumb.png.0aafb40627710ad408c660ff7cc6c05e.png

Key points:

  • The form was regained mightily here even though the performances still are wobbly. 
  • Ayew, Narsingh and Viera are possibly forming a really dangerous trio.
  • Torreira has already shown great signs of performing and Mesa isn't going anywhere.
  • No more transfer activity needed.

League table:

taulukko.thumb.png.fd7f95ac734943b9345e812c6071f590.png

Three managers were out this month already: Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham and replaced by Roberto Mancini who comes from Zenit. Derby sacked Gary Rowett in a surprising matter but the talented young manager found a new place at Newcastle who sacked Rafa Benitez as you know. In the league Manchester City are still the most convincing team as surprising results keep flowing in and out. The bottom of the table teams already seem doomed and only four teams seem to fight against relegation. 

January schedule:

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We simply need to step up in our game against Northampton. We should have won the home game comfortably but failed to do so which changed the schedule. Cardiff should be bread and butter for us to be honest as they simply aren't up to this level as you can see. Everton have been surprisingly weak under David Moyes but they have beaten for example Liverpool at Goodison Park so it is not an easy visit.

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Guest El Payaso

Okay this is it for this thing. My laptop broke down as I was trying to fix it and there went all my important files along with the FM files. Not going to install the game anymore as it is time for me to let go of it. 

Thanks for the readers, this was a pleasure to write as long as the fortune kept hiding. 

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