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[FM 22] Russians or Prussians, Blue Storm Rising! FC Baltika Kaliningrad


Hootieleece
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FC Baltika

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Prologue:

Welcome to my new save. I found some time to play FM and thought I would try and emulate some of my Tactical Heroes: @SixPointer, @13th Man and others.

In this Career we will continue our adventures in Eastern Europe. I played in Hungary (DVSC) and Slovakia (FC Kosice) and this time I will try and tame the Bear.

 

How will I do it you ask? I am going to take a team from the National League and make them Champions by copying Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea. Just realize it will be a shoddy emulation I am not a tactical guru. I am actually going to borrow heavily from @SixPointer's "Nesselquist ball".

Eventually I will find my own way by trial and error using those ideas as inspiration.

The Team:

FC Baltika Kaliningrad. Why? The team has only played 3 seasons in the Russian Premier League, but they just got a new stadium because of the 2018 World Cup. Now is the time to start a tradition that will fill that stadium!

The Russian Government has spent a lot of time and money on its Military base in this exclave that borders Lithuania and Poland and helps project power into the Baltic Sea.

Thus it will be important to grow a Russian Team even though they wear Prussian Blue. 

 

more to come.

 

 

Edited by Hootieleece
added words I forgot
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FC Baltika

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The Game Setup
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This setup should keep Eastern Europe producing players to eventually challenge the big boys!

Background

The club was founded on 22 December 1954 as Pishchevik Kaliningrad. In 1958 the club was renamed Baltika.

The team entered the Soviet League in 1957 and played in Class B (1957–1965), Class A, Group 2 (1966–1970), and Second League (1971–1991). The best result was achieved in 1984, when Baltika won the regional group tournament.

In 1992 Baltika entered the Russian Second Division and won the regional tournament and promotion to the First Division. After a fourth-place finish in 1993 and third position in 1994 Baltika won the division in 1995. In 1996 Baltika achieved the best result in club's history, finishing 7th in the Top Division, the Russian Premier League. Baltika were relegated in 1998, spending a total of three seasons in the top flight. In 1998 Baltika participated in the Intertoto Cup and reached the third round.

Since then, Baltika played in the First Division, except for the 2002 and 2005 seasons which they spent in the Second Division.

In 2018–19 Russian Football National League, they finished 16th (a relegation spot). However, PFL zone East winners FC Sakhalin Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk did not apply for the FNL license, keeping Baltika in the league  (wikipedia)

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The Manager

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Mr. Romanoff is a local boy who player who was never better than affiliate FC Baltika-Kaliningrad BFU. After he was released the towering former Centerback decided to pursue coaching because he loved soccer. He got all his badges and licenses and this is his first job as manager.

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The team has some expectations....

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and this is the vision we are to implement:

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The board is looking to build a young squad.....also the Rules of the Russian National League require 10! under 20 players in the team! So it looks like this is going to be a Youth Save to start, but that requirement will be tough to follow as you will find further down.

The Board also requires making the Promotion Playoffs this season and gain Promotion next season!

Not too much pressure!

Thanks for Reading!

 

 

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Yasss my friend! Russia a place i toyed with before Ruch became my long term Eastern European save! Looking forward to seeing Nesselquist ball now that proper wide centre backs can be used rather than the stoppers with play wider are a thing of the past. I’ve been playing as heart of Midlothian my team just as feeling till full release, and man the WCB’s are marvellous by far my favourite role I think since the mezzala came out! 
 

following as always, let’s fill that stadium and trophy cabinet 

 

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51 minutes ago, SixPointer said:

Yasss my friend! Russia a place i toyed with before Ruch became my long term Eastern European save! Looking forward to seeing Nesselquist ball now that proper wide centre backs can be used rather than the stoppers with play wider are a thing of the past. I’ve been playing as heart of Midlothian my team just as feeling till full release, and man the WCB’s are marvellous by far my favourite role I think since the mezzala came out! 
 

following as always, let’s fill that stadium and trophy cabinet 

 

This team and Russia have been in the back of my mind for awhile now.......I am going in a different direction than my original idea, but this is going to probably being alot like Kosice.

As far as Nessequist Ball I am going to end up borrowing your overload tactics for the most part, but I did notice you had Tuchel Formation as well... Also I am not SOLD on Attacking Wide CB's yet!

This will probably evolve into something else because I am a less is more via TI's and becoming more of a PI guy and PPM Guy.

 

I know I said I wouldn't Career update until Summer '22, but the excitement of a new FM is always alluring.

 

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Russia! Think of the children! Sounds like a fun adventure.
Glad to have you back on the thread creation side of things and looking forward to seeing how you do!

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5 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Love Russia after a fantastic journeyman save there last time around. Good luck with this! 

Although I don't recall this rule about the young players. Maybe it's new. 

I have played in Russia before FM19 I think. The rule must be new, but it is there as soon as you open the Registration screen.

3 hours ago, 13th Man said:

Russia! Think of the children! Sounds like a fun adventure.
Glad to have you back on the thread creation side of things and looking forward to seeing how you do!

As long as I am in the RNL and that Youth Registration Rule is in place this will be a youth save!  

1 hour ago, MattyLewis11 said:

Will this be the main save @Hootieleece

This is going to be my save this year that I will write about. I hope to meet the Board's expectations or this will be a short career update.

The Registration Rule is Freaking me out a bit. Since I have ONLY 1 under 20 player in the team!

 

Edited by Hootieleece
edited to become grammatically correct
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1 hour ago, Hootieleece said:

The Registration Rule is Freaking me out a bit. Since I have ONLY 1 under 20 player in the team!

Actually you don't have to register them, it's like UEFA B squad for young players. The rule is that you can register the main squad of 28 players plus extra 10 young players, but as there are no different registration lists in FM, it looks like this. RPL registration looks the same. except it's 28+30.

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FC Baltika

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The Tactical Idea

Pyotyr Romanoff wanted to play a style that was distinctive but gave credence to history. As a Former Center Back he wanted a defensively sound team, but also wanted goals.

During his time gathering his licenses he spent as much time watching soccer and finding a manager to emulate. actually he found two.

Mauricio Pochettino and Thomas Tuchel

As a former Center back he was drawn to Pochettino's Tottenham teams and their defensive solidity, but was worried that they were two dependent on Harry Kane. As a defender he thought that a Russian team would have to buy into a team ethos thus he went is search of a more offensive mentor.

He found a kindred spirit in the play of Thomas Tuchel. He thought that Tuchel's Chelsea team had the blend of defensive solidity and offensive ability that Romanoff thought would help create a fanbase in Kaliningrad. Because it was winning football.

Also Chelsea wears blue...

The Main Formation

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The First Alternate

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The Second Alternate

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All three formations are using standard Vertical Tiki-Taka and are variations on the same. I will try each during the season and try to find the one that fits best.

The hoped for end result will provide a trademark tactical style that will eventually allow me to become an Ajax or Barcelona of Russia!

and become a LEGENDARY Manager with a Stadium named after him!

The goal is to have Russians playing like Prussians!


 

Edited by Hootieleece
fixed image (so it could be seen)
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1 hour ago, Hootieleece said:

FC Baltika

uZmqoX.png

The Tactical Idea

Pyotyr Romanoff wanted to play a style that was distinctive but gave credence to history. As a Former Center Back he wanted a defensively sound team, but also wanted goals.

During his time gathering his licenses he spent as much time watching soccer and finding a manager to emulate. actually he found two.

Mauricio Pochettino and Thomas Tuchel

As a former Center back he was drawn to Pochettino's Tottenham teams and their defensive solidity, but was worried that they were two dependent on Harry Kane. As a defender he thought that a Russian team would have to buy into a team ethos thus he went is search of a more offensive mentor.

He found a kindred spirit in the play of Thomas Tuchel. He thought that Tuchel's Chelsea team had the blend of defensive solidity and offensive ability that Romanoff thought would help create a fanbase in Kaliningrad. Because it was winning football.

Also Chelsea wears blue...

The Main Formation

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The First Alternate

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The Second Alternate

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All three formations are using standard Vertical Tiki-Taka and are variations on the same. I will try each during the season and try to find the one that fits best.

The hoped for end result will provide a trademark tactical style that will eventually allow me to become an Ajax or Barcelona of Russia!

and become a LEGENDARY Manager with a Stadium named after him!

The goal is to have Russians playing like Prussians!


 

Like the ideas!! Very adventurous stuff, yet no WCB’s!! High pressing football in the Russian winter will be tough on the legs romanoff must have a intense pre season plan!

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16 minutes ago, SixPointer said:

Like the ideas!! Very adventurous stuff, yet no WCB’s!! High pressing football in the Russian winter will be tough on the legs romanoff must have a intense pre season plan!

I wanted to get away from the 5-2-1-2 WB so I went with the flat formations and just used the Tactics creator as a way to start. As I watch games I will change TI's, PI's and PPM's to get where my brain wants to go.

The Preseason plan is only about 4 Friendlies in 3 weeks! Russian Football starts in early July.

I was tempted to vacation until October 28th as Baltika Manager and start my plans then...

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31 minutes ago, SixPointer said:

Like the ideas!! Very adventurous stuff, yet no WCB’s!! High pressing football in the Russian winter will be tough on the legs romanoff must have a intense pre season plan!

I was just going to say, you must be the ONLY manager in FM22 who is playing with a three at the back without selecting the new WCB role, kudos to you my man! 

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Wishing you the best with those fun looking tactics! Think you’ll score and concede a lot, which will certainly be entertaining. 

I found myself getting slaughtered down the flanks when using WMs and 3atb whenever the opposition used wide forwards, but then you could use the 5-2-3 for those matches. Love to see how these serve you! 

4 hours ago, MattyLewis11 said:

I was just going to say, you must be the ONLY manager in FM22 who is playing with a three at the back without selecting the new WCB role, kudos to you my man! 

Hey! I resent that! It’s hard not to play with new toys!!! It’s not like I completely changed my first save plans  specifically to use the WCBs or anything. Ok, yes I did.

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2 minutes ago, 13th Man said:

Wishing you the best with those fun looking tactics! Think you’ll score and concede a lot, which will certainly be entertaining. 

I found myself getting slaughtered down the flanks when using WMs and 3atb whenever the opposition used wide forwards, but then you could use the 5-2-3 for those matches. Love to see how these serve you! 

Hey! I resent that! It’s hard not to play with new toys!!! It’s not like I completely changed my first save plans  specifically to use the WCBs or anything. Ok, yes I did.

That is very true. I score but am conceding.....lots of draws/ties.   I have played for 2 months already using the 3-4-2-1...starting to make changes in the TI's and roles.

As an aside the players on this forum who claim you can't play through the middle are full of ****! I am playing through the middle and most of my opponents know it and I am still averaging about 2 goals a game!

 

As for the reason I am not using WCB's. The Tactics creator didn't use them in the standard form of these formations. I may end up using them!

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Hootieleece said:

As an aside the players on this forum who claim you can't play through the middle are full of ****! I am playing through the middle and most of my opponents know it and I am still averaging about 2 goals a game!

True! Pompey has been a flanking tactic, but I used the 5-2-1-2 variation to great effect in two games so far. Livorno blasted through the center constantly. You just have to have a plan for how to score. One which is not just to keep possession.

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15 hours ago, MattyLewis11 said:

I was just going to say, you must be the ONLY manager in FM22 who is playing with a three at the back without selecting the new WCB role, kudos to you my man! 

Haha I was just gonna say the same thing! 
As long as its working though that's what matters

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FC Baltika

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The Team

The team is already set it has 27 players and no room in the payroll in that the team is using every bit of its $6,751,179/yr Payroll, which seems to be the limit the Russian National League. Also of note  is that the team is owned by the City of Kaliningrad!

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The team's roster was built around an unfashionable 4-2-3-1 Wide.....so fitting the players into the new formation will take some time.....

Meet (Some of ) The Players

Roman Murtazaev

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Murtazaev is going to play Right Wide Midfielder/Wingback as roles are defined and tactics are tweaked. The Kazakh International has some ability to but his lack of vision keeps him from being a truly great player.

Artem Makarchuk

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Artem is another player destined to play Wide Midfielder this time on the left. A more rounded player and has been at Baltika for awhile.....

Maxim Kuzmin 

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This is one of the two central midfielders that are central to the team. He is a little bad at tackling but makes up for it in being a Set-Piece Specialist.

Yan Kazaev

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This player is the tackling machine partner of Kuzmin. He will play the CM-D role even though he is more suited as a CM-A!

Ilnur Alshin

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Another Candidate for Left Wide Midfielder and probably the best player overall at the club according to my Assman.

Registration

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These were the registration rules I was worried about. Notice I have only 1 player that is homegrown in the team!

Preseason

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The team is expected to make the top four, but doesn't have a real goal scoring threat.....

Tactics and teamwork to create one.....will be Romanoff's calling card.

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Preseason went reasonably well considering we played three RPL team's and and Intrasquad Friendly to get ready for the season. 

The 3-4-2-1 was the formation of choice.

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As one can see some of the players are taking to the new formation but there are still kinks to iron out.

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These are the Expectations....I think it is achievable, but we might have some tough sledding changing the system before it really begins to work.

Thanks for Reading!

 


 

 

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FC Baltika

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The Regular Season Slog!

This is going to be a shorter and less detailed post than any in the past. Let's just say I really got into playing

August.

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The team got off to a slow start while it was getting used to the new system and Pyotyr learned his players. This is to be expected with a radical change of system.

September

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The September resultd weren't bad but the team was only beating teams it should.....and losing to better teams including UFA from the Russian Premier League.

Management Report

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The team is doing decently it is actually where it should be in the Top Four, but the financials are terrible especially since the team is already knocked out of the Russian Cup!

Thanks for Reading!

PS I will make one more short post about October and then post more detailed posts on a monthly (gameplay basis)


 

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Good stuff. Slowish start like you said but not bad - scoring lots and conceding lots - the team seems to have settled into a good rhythm in September though.

Got to agree w @deltablue on the group cup rounds. Really weird, kind of seems against the point of cups.

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9 hours ago, deltablue said:

I really don't get the idea of groups in domestic cups, though I've managed in a few countries in the past which do it.

There are 3 teams in a group basically if you lose the first game your out.....

5 hours ago, 13th Man said:

Good stuff. Slowish start like you said but not bad - scoring lots and conceding lots - the team seems to have settled into a good rhythm in September though.

Got to agree w @deltablue on the group cup rounds. Really weird, kind of seems against the point of cups.

It is a slow start, In September I tried using the 5-2-3 to get some results.....In October I decided to tweak the 3-4-2-1.....got wins, but still conceding. mostly last minute goals the deny us the clean sheet. 

1 hour ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

A steady start. It’s a marathon not a sprint though and hopefully as the team begins to gel and familiarise itself with the system, results will improve.

Familiarity is key. I often don't see real improvement in a tactic until the start of the second season. We are doing well and will try and push for promotion this season, but next season it is imperative.

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FC Baltika

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October 2021

Schedule

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League Table

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Yes the team had a great month....undefeated. This was due to tweaking the system a bit. The team's Line of Engagement was lowered and overall tempo was upped. Also I rid myself of the shorter passing, moving it to standard. The Formation is still muscling it way through the middle of teams In fact we score very few from crosses eventhough our WM's are good at crossing.

Another reason is that Romanoff has just about sorted his Starting XI and tries to use it consistently barring injury.

Player Awards

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Kuzmin playing as the CM-S had a great month providing both goals and assists.

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Good to see both Kuzmin and Shakhov the BPD-C get in the Team of the Month.

Analysts Report

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Management Report

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The board is happy, but is not thrilled. I am happier about the tactics and squad happiness.

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Finances are a problem. We have one more month of games and 4 month break and we are already in the RED!

This will only be rectified by getting to the Premier League and sell players as well. Unfortunately the team only has about 36 players total with all the U-21's out on loan.

No player currently at the club will sell for enough to alleviate the deficits.

Thanks for Reading!

Regular more in depth updates will follow now that the "Write-Up" has caught up with the play.

 


 

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Looking good in the league! 

I really like standard passing but setting up the roles to encourage shorter passing when I want to keep possession.  It gives players options and they still usually  pass it shorter, because those are usually the best options.

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1 hour ago, 13th Man said:

Looking good in the league! 

I really like standard passing but setting up the roles to encourage shorter passing when I want to keep possession.  It gives players options and they still usually  pass it shorter, because those are usually the best options.

I am a fan, because I am from the less is more school of TI's. Even though every standard tactical setup that comes with the game is chock full of them. I just think it make the players "think" too much....which is why I eventually try to get down to 6-7 TI's and still get the same style if play.

The next TI's on the block are look for underlap and work ball into the box....but I must admit scoring by attacks through the middle is fun when everyone is whining about Wingplay and the lack of central play.

The reason we are doing good in the league is that we were one of the better teams in the division and the tactic actually suits these players.....even though they would probably do as well with a 4-2-3-1 Wide.....

I am probably going to tweak the 5-2-3 as my "Wing Play" Variant.....

I will probably make the 3-4-1-2 for a variant against teams that DON'T have a DM.

I am also still trying to get a feel for the tactic.....since most of my previous work involved crosses and Over the top passes for scoring chances.

 

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39 minutes ago, karanhsingh said:

Crossing is definitely over powered in this match engine. Am impressed that the underlaps and attacking through the center is working for you. 

Somehow with the two teams I have used I can't find a Target Forward that dominates......my TF at Cefn Druids (first save) scored most of his goals with headers from crosees.....and the team was considered awful at crossing by the analytics. That is one reason why I ran the other way with my tactics!

29 minutes ago, SixPointer said:

Promotion looks very likely at this stage! 

It is my hope, but it will take a major overhaul of the squad to stay up.....I would have to hope for a great youth intake. The team has NO money and its wage budget is maxxed right now. So I won't be able to make any early Free Transfers.

Otherwise it is definite need for next season.

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FC Baltika

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November 2021

See the source image

Our Home Kaliningrad Stadium.

Manager's Thoughts

The team continued its good play now that the team has begun to familiarize themselves with the formation and some tactical tweaks. The team played mostly lower table teams during the month and our general superiority showed. The only problem is the fact that the team seams to give up goals late in games to keep the team from producing clean sheets. Galling of course was the loss to NefteKhimik our closest competitor for promotion because Spartak Moscow-2 is ineligible for promotion to the RPL. After this month we will be going on Winter Break and not resume until February 2022 to resume our campaign.

Schedule

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Highlights

The month of November started off with a win against 15th placed Akron.....

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This match was all Baltika for the first 60 minutes with a scoring display by Aleinik then thinking the game one I made some substitutions and the team seemed to switch off giving up an embarrassing three goals.

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I almost immediately tried to spin it in the best fashion trying to ignore the second half defensive meltdown....

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It was a fantastic day for the CM/AMC that powered the team that day!

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The Highest scoring game in League History!

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Also a team record!

After this match the team returned home to prepare for Tomsk.....

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The bookies think that Baltika should win this home match with ease....

and this is the current Starting XI and Tactic....

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The biggest tweaks are Higher Tempo and Now IW's instead of WM's on the flanks!

Romanoff does believe that there are too many TI's. but for now it is working.....

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Another Fantastic match the team was a little lackluster in the First half, but then put on an offensive clinic for 20 minutes thought their job was done and then made a defensive mistake that marred an otherwise good performance.

The following week would see the team play a weaker team due to International call ups.

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but that didn't stop the second XI from putting in a good performance against lower table Fakel.

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In fact Romanoff let his Assman handle the match by accepting all of his tactical suggestion both pre and during the game. As a reward he was sent out to meet the press!

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The next match would see the team travel to play another relegation threatened team.

Since it was an Away match Romanoff would play his strongest team....

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As you can see we played well unfortunately there was another late goal.....

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The final match of the month before the winter break was against our Nearest Competitor for Promotion.

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This was a big match and Romanoff played his strongest XI!

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It was a defeat! the team we played was our equal and defended our through he middle attack well. The Referee slowed us from asserting ourselves physically against a team that was doing the same and I had to sub off two key players, but the key moment was the missed penalty by Aleinik. We had been threatening their goal well for a spell and their defense got caught out taking down our Striker in the box. If we had scored then just after half momentum would probably have stayed on our side. A few minutes later they beat us with a counterattack a cross worthy of TAA and a header that looked like Ronaldo!

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Time for more Spin!

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The Analysts said we just about edged it especially in the second half.....but it wasn't enough, We got in the box, but their GK was unbeatable! He stopped 9 shots including a penalty!

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Not a horrible youth intake preview...we may find a player or two that will help us. Especially since we have an aging squad.

League Table

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Player of the Month

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A four goal day will get you accolades!

Management Report

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Thanks for Reading!

 

 


 

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FC Baltika

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The Starting XI

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Evgeny Latyshonok-GK-Sweeper Keeper-SU

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Artem Meschaninov-CB-Central Defender-Def

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Vitaly Shakhov-Ball Playing Defender-Co

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Ivan Ostojic-CB-Central Defender-De

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Ilnur Ashlin-IWR-Inverted Winger-Support

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Maxim Kuzmin-Central Midfielder-Su

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Yan Kazaev-Central Midfielder-De

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Roman Murtazaev-IWL-Inverted Winger-Attack

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Oleg Aleinik-AMCR-Advanced Playmaker-Support

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Daniil Shamkin-AMCL-Shadow Striker

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Jamal Dibirgadjiev-STC-Advanced Forward-Attack

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and that everyone is the Starting XI of FC Baltika!

Thanks for Reading!

 

 


 

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FC Baltika

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December 2021

Manager's Thoughts

The team is on mid season break until 2nd Preseason in February. The Season has gone about as well as possible since I introduced a system that the players lacked familiarity in. So I am just going to show some of the interoffice emails and show some interesting things the "Nerds" are proud of.....even if we aren't keeping clean sheets!

Highlights

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I decided that the team would need these players next season especially if we are promoted. Since the Board has been less than amiable to providing funds for new players because they had maxed out their payroll budget for the present team....

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I negotiated some Friendlies to get the team back into match shape before, during and after a training camp held in Istanbul, Turkey.

 

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We are making a loan for a new Backup GK! he is much better that Borisko who was originally our First-Place GK. I am hoping to renew the Loan next season as well. He will definitely compete for time in goal.

Analysts Report

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This is is encouraging, but I am definitely not happy about the defensive effort. My detractors say I play entertaining football but some how know nothing about defense.....and I was a CenterBack!

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We are the most efficient shooting team in the league and I am pissed we aren't leading the league!

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The team is one of the best at passing which actually helps our shooting I think!

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We are good with passing in the midfield! I am encouraged that means we must be dominating that area and just like controlling the Center of a chess board it allows the team to control the out come of matches.

Management Report

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The finances are horrific that almost makes promotion this season a necessity. With some how getting European Football with our first Campaign in the Premier Leage just to right the ship!

A Tall order...

Thanks for Reading!

 

 


 

 

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FC Baltika

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December 2021-February 2022: Midseason Break and Second Preseason

Manager's Thoughts

The team was flying high even after the loss in our last game before the Midseason break. I thought we were in a good place. Unfortunately the Midseason break stopped us from regaining our momentum and allowed discontent to find a place in the team. It was mostly money for players and I couldn't really either sign new players for next year on precontracts or give raises to players that were already here....this created a dilemma for me how to keep the team together and plan for next season. Then we returned from break and went on a trip to Instanbul and played a lot of matches....not very well. The First game after the break is against top of the table Rotor. If we are going to keep our place and or challenge for the title the team must play better!

Schedule

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Highlights (or Lowlights)

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This shows that we know how to score! leading the league in goals and our Striker is leading the league in goals!

After a quiet December and January other than pay disputes in which my hands were tied. The team got ready for a Second Preseason in February.

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The press asked if I would try to bring in players. Due to fiscal constraints I am going try to win Promotion with the players I have. That doesn't mean I won't sell a player if a large offer is made!

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but if I could get a player or an area I would like to upgrade it is my Central Defense.....the players are also grumbling about the lack of depth in the area.

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A deal came in for our backup GK. He had been first choice prior to my taking the reins and he really wasn't good enough. So he is headed to France and we need a new GK.

and an RPL team comes in for our First Choice GK!

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after talking to the player and his agent I decided to negotiate, but had the player loaned back to Baltika for the rest of the season.

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So now the team is officially without a GK. Both current GK's are Loans. So that position becomes the number one need to fill in the offseason!

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After the GK drama the team headed to Istanbul for Training Camp and shake off the rust.....

As one can see there is a lot!

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These two matches were the first and last match of Training Camp and are indicative of the fact that the time away didn't help our cause. The only good thing I can say is we played similar or better stature teams.

While we were in Turkey the team trialed a CM....

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and decided to sign him because the "Price was Right"!

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Not a world beater by any means, but can/will be a serviceable backup.

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more drama on the contract front....but there is literally nothing I can do even though we are now paying less than maximum budget I can't make a Pre-Contract (End of Season) and I can only pay $49k/year for a player! Which is less than he currently makes....

So everyone goes home unhappy!

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We were busy during the Russian National League window....Two new players and our GK loaned back to us.

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The Russian Premier League window saw a big deal....a Russian Winger to Man U for $31M!

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The Future is bright if we get promoted!

After a week back in Kaliningrad the team had one last Friendly and as an attempt to arrest the slump....Romanoff changed tactics to a 5-2-3 WB and started playing down the Wings! This is so we don't become as predictable. The Turkish team were really good at stopping our attack in the 3-4-2-1.

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The final Friendly and change of tactic was a success that should help morale and confidence of the team before the big game with Rotor!

League Table

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Player of the Month

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Even though we had defensive woes during our trip to Turkey, Shakhov was probably our best player!

Analysts Report

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Our Analytics look good to remind us of how we did in the league as we are about to resume our season.

Management Report

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Selling Lapshonov only slowed the Bleeding....it is almost imperative for the club to get promoted and hope there is TV money in the RPL!

Thanks for Reading!

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FC Baltika

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March 2022: Regular Season "Playing down to the Competition"

Manager's Thoughts

After the less than positive Second Preseason I was worried about taking on our closest competitors for the title...Rotor in the first game after break. It was a big game and would allow us to say that we wouldn't roll over and let them walk the league. The Team responded well and won the game! Unfortunately a complacency has creeped in and the teams performances have suffered and gotten slowly worse. Ending with our draw with a bottom feeder!

Schedule

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Highlights

As we got ready for the big game players started getting injured....

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Luckily Malakhov isn't a starter....so it isn't the worst thing for him to be out with an injury.

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The Aleinik drama keeps building....I told him we don't have money unless we get promoted help the team do that and you will be rewarded!

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The press really resent me and even though I go to 90% of Press conferences and take their calls....I just can't win them over so this was the best answer and spin I could put on the situation.

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This is the lineup for the big game!

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Rotor is visiting Kaliningrad and we are favored because we are the home team.

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What a victory! Almost everyone played well!

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After the game Twitter was buzzing!

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It was a close match, but the only thing hurting us is our defensive weaknesses.....The team is alot like Brendan Rogers 2014 Liverpool Team. We score but can't keep clean sheets!

After the match a war of words was had between myself and the Rotor Manager fueled by the press who seem to intent an twisting my words....

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I said this because we had a goal disallowed early!

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We are NOT going to sell our League leading Striker while trying to get promoted or win the title!

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The analytics boys were happy with our performance!

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Kuzmin and Murtazaev are recognized for good play.

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The second match of the month would see the team travel to Yenisey.

We are favored, but need to do a professional job.

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Dibirgadiev had a great day leading the line! Four Goals including a Natural Hat trick!

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I told the Media I was happy with the big win, but that the team wouldn't get the day off!

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Dibiradjiev's day led the highlights on all the Sports channels!

Youth Preview

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It wasn't a bad intake and I ended up signing most of the players (Elite, Top, and Good) mostly so I have bodies next season.

Highlights (continued)

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We play another big game and the team is now top of the table....

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We won, but our defense was atrocious....and being a former defender I am at a loss as to why....

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Game of the week! The neutrals loved it.

We ended up coming home for the last match of the month....

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Unfortunately our play was less than stellar.

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and I am not going to blame Isenko our 18 year old Backup GK!

I did play a weakened team, but the team should have wiped the floor with the 18th team in the league!

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I was embarrassed so I sent Maxim in my stead and since the Press seem to hate me it might be some thing I do in the future as well.

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Analytics show we should have won....but it is our defense and we give up shots in the box.

League Table

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Analysts Report

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Player of the Month

Jamal Dibiradjiev

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Jamal is lighting up the scoreboard and leading the league in goals....he is a little inconsistent but when he is on he scores for fun!

Management Report

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Thanks For Reading!

 

Edited by Hootieleece
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Well, the games can’t be boring with all that scoring. Might just convince some more Americans to enjoy “soccer” if you keep up these kind of scorelines…

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35 minutes ago, 13th Man said:

Well, the games can’t be boring with all that scoring. Might just convince some more Americans to enjoy “soccer” if you keep up these kind of scorelines…

Yes, the younger generation is much more into soccer, but I think it is because many played it in their youth.

The problem with all the scoring is hard it is to watch as manager....love our goals and hate the opponents.

The board is of the same mind......

 

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19 minutes ago, Hootieleece said:

Yes, the younger generation is much more into soccer, but I think it is because many played it in their youth.

The problem with all the scoring is hard it is to watch as manager....love our goals and hate the opponents.

The board is of the same mind......

 

I feel like I hate goals conceded more than I like goals scored - funny as I was a forward for most of my “career”.

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FC Baltika

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April 2022:Regular Season "Where the title was thrown away"

Manager's Thoughts

As one will see the team allowed complacency and continued poor defensive play to keep the team from winning the title. Scoring wasn't a problem. Even if Dibiradjiev wasn't the most consistent player, he scored in bunches and when he wasn't enough other players chipped in. The problem was that we tended to ship goals at alarming rate near the end of games. During April we had a team dry spell that didn't help matters.  Basically the team is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde....

Schedule

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Highlights

I was not happy with the slip up versus Lipetsk and had decided to put the starters in for the remaining games barring injury. Playing time and happiness be damned!

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Thus this how I would start most of the rest of the season. 

I wanted to have wins in the next to games and arrest the growing complacency I could see in our play.....

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First up is Volgar a team we should have no trouble with....

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Match of the week! As both title contenders play relegation fodder.

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This was just one of those games. We had good chances, but the Volgar goalie made ridiculous saves and ours didn't especially in extra time!

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The spin about why we loss began.....

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and we had to live through seeing the Game winning goal on TV when we got home...

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Losing brings the Drama it seems.....

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The player is useful and I would like to keep him for next season if we get promoted, but not if his request is going to upset balance of the team.

So I Transfer Listed him, but no one is interested.

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Foreboding warning from the Performance analysts.....

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We are favored, but need a "professional" job from the team!

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almost the mirror image of the Volgar defeat.....another bad day at the office. If Dibiradjiev doesn't score we don't seem to win.....

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The team's lack of finances has scouts and managers circling for our players....

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more injuries  but it is a depth player and not a key player.....

Time for the team to make a 10 hour trip to Moscow.....

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We are favored but we seem to play better on the road.

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The Team went down in the first half and then played better in the second half and scored what could have been a late winner only to lose focus an allow Torpedo to even the score!

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I was so upset with the team that I sent the Assman to deal with the press....

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more humiliation on the Highlight shows......

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Our Analysis shows we should have won the match!

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These were the players that weren't invited into the team....If we were a bigger team and better off financially I would have probably signed them to flesh out numbers in the U-18's

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The next match was against Orenberg a win would go a long way to sealing our promotion.....

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At least we didn't lose.....

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I then put the best face on the result.....

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According to the Stats Guys, we were better but not significantly better...

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The youth team has a few gems in it . All of these players are on Pre-Contract Deals!

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The Vice-Captain will miss time on the bench......

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The Promotion Race is tight, but the League title is probably all sewn up already and no one in contention is playing each other. Really weird.

If we can win out the team will be promoted!

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To jolt the team into kicking it into another gear I decided to switch up the Formation and tactics for the final month....

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Slight Favorites over the worst team in the league.....I feel insulted! Hopefully the team is too!

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I must say they put up a fight.

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This is only like the 3rd time I used the formation this season!

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The Table is tight but we are tightening our grip on the Automatic Promotion Place!

League Table

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Analysts Report

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Player of the Month

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The CB wasn't directly responsible for our losses and in fact put in the best shifts in the team in the month of April by average rating thus he is our Player of the Month!

Management Report

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Thanks for Reading!

 


 

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8 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Some good updates there I think your team definitely deserves the promotion! 

Btw I think the winger who moved to United is Georgian isn't he?

I'm not sure the players think they do except when it comes to pay raises and whining about playing time.

I think that the Playing Time Algorithm was messed with so players (us) will try and have a good spread of players instead of 23 Wonderkids that we all oversold their playing time just to sign them.

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May 2022: Regular Season "Promotion Assured"

Manager's Thoughts

The team finished April like they had gotten lost in Baba Yaga's Hut. We didn't have a player meeting or anything but the team showed up to play in May!

The fact that we have been promoted means the work has just begun and that survival at the next level is NOT assured. If I can find someway to plug the holes in the defense we might have a chance....but it will probably involve some luck and another season without injuries....because we lack depth...I will probably be playing 16 year-olds in the RPL next season!

Schedule

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Highlights

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The month of May started with the changing of the Guard. The Team Captain was allowed to sign with a club in his homeland because we were not going to resign him.

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I didn't promote Vice-Captain Tishkin instead I made our Defensive Star Meschaninov the new Captain. 

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and the team secured a top 4 spot thus meeting the Board's expectations with a chance for promotion to the RPL.

The match was against Kam AZ and the team was ready....

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It was one of the best performances of the season and put us one win from Automatic Promotion!

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It was a good win, but I wish it hadn't taken as long to breakdown their bus.

The next game would see us play PFC Kuban Krasnodar....

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We were the favored team, but would need another good performance....

and got a decent one that sent the fans home happy after Alshin's late winner for the 2-1 victory.

 

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He scores the winning goal and gets a new contract what a day for him!

The final match of the season would see us play the Krasnodar-2 Team.....

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We were favored and it would be great way to end the season with a win!

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Game of the Week! Promotion is in our hands just have to win!

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A great win we battered a team that was just going through the motions.....but I'll take it.

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At least I made the fans happy if not the Media!

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That means the real work begins when the vodka wears off!

 

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What a stingy Board! Less money than this season....

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because I did this!

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but they give me an attaboy!

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At least I was able to afford Bottle Service for the team at the Club!

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The Board did however hold talks about extending my contract.

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I told the press I would probably sign the new deal just to make their lives miserable!

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and that I expected our success to continue!

Board Meeting

After the season the Board called me in for a meeting about next season.

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The provided me with their vision for the future.....they want us to play REACTIVE Soccer instead of the PROACTIVE Soccer we have been playing to alleviate the defensive problems. Staying within the Payroll will be tough if I want to sign players and the team needs 3-5 RPL quality players to make a real go of it.

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They did authorize a larger staff if for no other reason than we were soon going to be in the RPL!

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The Staff thinks we should be playing 15 year-olds next season!

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I did end up signing on the dotted line.....let the adventures begin!

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and Kuzmin our Central Midfield Attacker....

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signed a favorable contract.

League Table

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Players of the Year

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Alshin was the creator.

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Dibiradjiev put them away!

 

Analysts Report

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We outscored everyone by a large margin even with our shaky defense!

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Alshin and Dibiradjiev led the League in Assists and Goals!

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Looking ahead....We in need of Pace and Balance!

AWARDS

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Dibiradjiev won most Goals!

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Management Report

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Thanks for Reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FC Baltika

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Awards Night 2022

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Welcome to the Dona Hotel in Downtown Kaliningrad for a review of the season.

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Jamal Dibiradjiev was the signing of the season!

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We were sad to lose Evgeny Latyshonok, but he was an integral part of our success especially after he was loaned back to us after the sale.

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The Regular season was great. The Russian Cup not so much.

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Not a lot of money in Kaliningrad or the RNL....Hopefully the RPL has TV money!

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Yes, we lined up in a formation that looks like Christmas Tree!

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Thanks for Following Along!

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June 2022: Offseason

Manager's Thoughts

It was a busy and exciting time by the Baltic Sea. The Team was set to play in the RPL for the first time since 1998!

We went from a team that was almost relegated to the Second Division after the 2019 season to the RPL thanks to our offseason signings. Problem is that most of the players that got us promoted are 30 plus and their best years are behind them it is my hope that they have 1-2 more seasons in them to allow me time to consolidate our position in the RPL. The most glaring weakness is the lack of a Goalie. Both of our GK's at the end of the season were loanees. Also a weakness is the small size of the squad. Even with the Youth added we have under 40 players. This means their is a distinct lack of depth. Also even with my budget cutting moves the team will probably not have room to maneuver on the wage front due to 25% Promotion raises. Thus we will probably have to do as well as we can in the RPL with an RNL team.

Highlights

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Our new Captain has quickly become the leader of the team. The only problems are all the whining for pay and playing time from Highly influential players that I can't really fix...except to have conversations with them that leave neither side satisfied.

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Popov is one of the disgruntled but I had to extend him because of a need for depth.

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running on red ink will allow you to avoid taxes.....

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I am going to have to supplement the Scouting budget from the wage budget so that we can actually find players to help us in the RPL. The package alone costs $210K!

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I had Dibiradjiev's contract extended because he fit the profile of player I want to build around.....I am doing everything I can to NOT pay players over 33!

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That solves that problem and if he can score 15 goals in the RPL the contract will be repaid.

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We got a Government Grant that paid off the club's debts, but we are only going to create new debt until we get some real money for players or European Football. Both of which are at least a season or two away....

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Signed a 34 year old GK as a Backup....I will be changing his playing time!

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This is the First Choice-GK

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 depth signings little more....from our Affiliate Baltika-BFU

Artemchuk will be used as utility players covering ANY position except GK!

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I ended up coming to terms with our 2nd best midfielder and even got him to take a pay cut.....

Season Review

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The board had done it's homework and the 3-4-2-1 did the rest....as Meatloaf meant to sing 3 out of 5 ain't bad!

Highlights (Cont.)

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The team was trying to shore up its backline......

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eventhough we barely have enough players for a team....The team needed a higher level affiliate playing in the Second Division with a chance to be promoted to the RNL.

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and the best young player at the club and Homegrown signs on for two more years!

Management Report

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The team received its stipend from the City Government, but work is still needed to make the team profitable.

Thanks for Reading!

 


 

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Congrats on promotion!
Will be tricky to play reactive with that 3-4-2-1, but you could make a second formation of 5-2-2-1 with wingbacks to drop into when necessary? Are you still using a 5-2-3 or any other shapes, or did you settle into the 3-4-2-1?

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3 hours ago, 13th Man said:

Congrats on promotion!
Will be tricky to play reactive with that 3-4-2-1, but you could make a second formation of 5-2-2-1 with wingbacks to drop into when necessary? Are you still using a 5-2-3 or any other shapes, or did you settle into the 3-4-2-1?

I am going to keep with the 3-4-2-1 mostly.....for now. It depends on how the team does in the RPL. If it goes pear shaped, I will try the 5-2-3 Wide WB for a while. I have a  3-4-1-2 that I rarely use and 5-2-2-1 WB sounds like plan.

I am doing my best to ignore "Reactive" Football by just winning!

We did score 95 goals last season in 38 games. If we can avg. 2 goals/game I give us a chance.....the defense doesn't seem much better, but I am trying to get away from zonal marking. I think the press was revamped and my "Press everyone and Man mark 3-4 opponents" doesn't really work anymore.  I will probably have to really watch games and marking and pressing.

Otherwise I may find my self reverting to a 4-2-3-1 Wide due to a lack of Centerbacks and overabundance of Attacking Midfielders.

 

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June/July 2022: Preseason

Schedule

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The team went and had a bit of a break during the Preseason. Playing mostly weaker teams, but holding our own against RPL teams. The lone blemish was against Mainz O5 of the Bundesliga that game had a lot in common with the thrashing we took in Turkey.

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The Media predict us to be the better of the two promoted teams, but almost certain to be relegated!

I think the team can stay up, but it will depend on the team scoring about 70 goals this season in 30 games! We scored 95 last season....in 38!

The goal is 35 points we will keep plugging away one game at a time until we reach our goal....or get relegated!

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As one can see no Baltika players are expected to win any awards.....but then the Entire team makes less than many of these players even in the RPL!

 

The plan is to win at home and try an avoid defeat on the road....I am pretty sure we can score, but a lack of quality and bad tactics have me worried about the defense.

Thanks for Reading!

 

 

 

 

 

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23 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

I am going to keep with the 3-4-2-1 mostly.....for now. It depends on how the team does in the RPL. If it goes pear shaped, I will try the 5-2-3 Wide WB for a while. I have a  3-4-1-2 that I rarely use and 5-2-2-1 WB sounds like plan.

I am doing my best to ignore "Reactive" Football by just winning!

We did score 95 goals last season in 38 games. If we can avg. 2 goals/game I give us a chance.....the defense doesn't seem much better, but I am trying to get away from zonal marking. I think the press was revamped and my "Press everyone and Man mark 3-4 opponents" doesn't really work anymore.  I will probably have to really watch games and marking and pressing.

Otherwise I may find my self reverting to a 4-2-3-1 Wide due to a lack of Centerbacks and overabundance of Attacking Midfielders.

 

Go on and win with that 3-4-2-1!  I found having WM/DWs would get slaughtered by good teams with wide forwards, but I don't think it's impossible to make it work with the 3-4-2-1.  A bit trickier to get support on the wings with two forwards like I normally used with Livorno.

Interesting thoughts on the press.  I'm feeling like it's more realistic in this version but I haven't thought much about it.  I think that's a good thing (for me) though, as I so often wanted to yell at the players to quit marking empty space and go press a bit!

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