Jump to content

[FM22] Matryoshka


_Ben_
 Share

Recommended Posts

10 hours ago, tyler16 said:

Oh wow, Sakheishvili has become quite the player!

He was on the fringe of breaking through at Krasnodar when you left, correct?

Yeah, he was just getting some game time for us and has clearly done well enough to get the move to Zenit. I think that I left overall, I got a lot of the recruitment right, in particular, this man:

0c6e653a70d76a1d8fbddb2d7636c59b.png

Click the above to see his profile but just look at that value and description! In terms of my recruitment, I think it's the one that stands out so much in terms of the ideology that I have. 

ff3d02156a903914a86b7b4253d89cd4.png

My scouts found him in 2034/35 but I purposely put off signing him, despite the potential, as his stats were really poor - just four goal contributions in 25 appearances. However, waiting it out into the next season meant that I was able to sign one of the best performers in South America at the time. He's obviously then just flourished and is now one of the top players in world football and I envisage that he'll demonstrate that at Spurs.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Replies 1.4k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

July 2038 - Pre Season

3daf6109ee04247aef16cff0903355ab.png

I am growing to love pre season: it's very strategic and it involves moving players between squads, ensuring that they are training well and moving forward in their development and ensuring that they are match fit and ready to go for the season ahead. However, two things have disrupted that this season. Roda, my feeder club, decided that they'd arrange a non-negotiable friendly just four days into my 'boot camp' style week: where every player is in the senior squad getting the same workout from my physical coaching team. Then, probably unavoidably, is the season starting two weeks earlier as we have to qualify for the Champions League. The combination of these things have made me think even harder about the game time and match practice but also how I fit four to five weeks of a pre-season into just three as we really can't head into the Zenit game undercooked and not ready.

The below section of my calendar, although showing the end part of my pre-season, is how I've worked it:

559224261976c6708d1e3be4840bd28f.png

I've purposely arranged fixtures for the Jong and U18 teams after the main team's fixture in order to allow those who still need match time and positive ratings a chance to drop down and perform. This is one of the biggest reasons why I prefer clubs that don't have a B/U23/Reserve/Jong team as an affiliate and don't play in a professional league - as, for me, this method becomes easier. I also like to mix the squads up, giving vital experience of playing with senior pros to my younger players, as seen with these Jong and U18 lineups.

In terms of how I play the friendlies, I've retained my normal regime of playing two separate teams for 45 minutes each, trying out partnerships and working on finding players who have played themselves into my plans or, oppositely, out of my plans for the start of the season.

Already annoyed at Roda ruining my early season plans, I then made a right mess of seeing out the game - using four new players: Kokora, Pihl, Juliaans and Pavlovic as a back four for the second half as we conceded two goals late on. It really hit home the necessity for both tactical understanding and match practice and goes to show that we probably did overachieve last season - starting strongly despite nine new faces. We followed that up with a straightforward victory over another second tier side, Volendam and then a good draw with an Antwerp side that are both decent and play with three forwards, meaning that the double pivot had it's first run out of the season. Almere have just been promoted and it was nice to test ourselves against a team that, on paper at least, are at our level.

Through the game time for us and for the younger teams, I'm able to piece together a bit of a jigsaw of my starting XI, given the much improved strength in depth over the past two years. Just like Bouma, who, last year, wasn't really in my plans, there are plenty of opportunities for the fringe players to play themselves into first team contention.

Impressed

dd15e0cfd2eede68caa69b58a219b653.png

Isak Nilden-Lindner, starting to get unhappy about his play time following the arrival of Konté last summer, has shone: two goals and two assists plus a hatful of key passes and a good midfield engine. Likewise, Cespedes has shown spark that he never really showed last year and Neira, set initially as a backup, has impressed on return from injury although his Key Passes/90 are hugely skewed from him being my corner taker! Both right backs have impressed me, too, with Couto edging it in progressive and attacking stats but Kokora being really great defensively - registering an insane number of Interceptions/90. I've also been really impressed with Szkudlarek who offers a different dimension with his trait of 'Arrives late in opponents area' meaning that the aggressive CM(a) role now has a different style to it.

Room to Improve

3f2bd4b850f219063909e5d5c0c86cd3.png

Jay ter Burg is a funny one and, in his first full pre-season with us, has been caught a little short. With Natural Fitness of 10, I'd expect him to struggle a little but he's constantly been an issue lasting 45 minutes after a tough week on the training pitch. He's played okay and got among the goals but there are longer term concerns over his ability to get match fit, which may become an issue if he suffers any kind of longer term injury this season. Bouma has disappointed me somewhat, especially after how he played last pre-season and then throughout the season, giving himself a really high floor for his performances. Given that two of the more impressive players are both centre mids, he's got a fight on his hands over the next months. Similar can be said of Schuur, particularly in that both Couto and Kokora can play on the left, too. He's been off the pace in an attacking sense and we've really missed that from him as he was one of the best players at bringing the ball out and starting our counters. Jesper Pihl has been really poor - at fault for a couple of goals and just looking way off the pace. It's fortunate that I have three other centre backs who have done pretty well as he's set for a spell in the early Jong fixtures in order to get himself in and set.

---

Whatever happens this year - it's going to be a fun ride!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Super excited for this season! The competitive nature of your squad reminds me of City in a way in that there are some players who will start big games but nobody is safe week to week. Keeps the level high and doesn’t allow for complacency.

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 05/08/2022 at 09:39, _Ben_ said:

Yeah, he was just getting some game time for us and has clearly done well enough to get the move to Zenit. I think that I left overall, I got a lot of the recruitment right, in particular, this man:

0c6e653a70d76a1d8fbddb2d7636c59b.png

Click the above to see his profile but just look at that value and description! In terms of my recruitment, I think it's the one that stands out so much in terms of the ideology that I have. 

ff3d02156a903914a86b7b4253d89cd4.png

My scouts found him in 2034/35 but I purposely put off signing him, despite the potential, as his stats were really poor - just four goal contributions in 25 appearances. However, waiting it out into the next season meant that I was able to sign one of the best performers in South America at the time. He's obviously then just flourished and is now one of the top players in world football and I envisage that he'll demonstrate that at Spurs.

Amazing work 

Link to post
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, danielgear said:

Amazing work 

I can't remember if that €80m was a release clause I'd inserted but it definitely shows well on the AI considering I was only able to get £30m+ for Alex Barretto, who, arguably, was coming off better performances.

On 05/08/2022 at 17:55, tyler16 said:

Super excited for this season! The competitive nature of your squad reminds me of City in a way in that there are some players who will start big games but nobody is safe week to week. Keeps the level high and doesn’t allow for complacency.

Yeah - I agree. Every time the press say 'will x be back in the starting line up after injury,' I always answer with 'they have to earn it.' I think there is a decent amount of squad depth now and, more than that, a decent amount of squad depth that is performing quite well on the metrics that I want.

Link to post
Share on other sites

August 2038

ea366201c310179d460eefb63e524d01.png

What a month!

I do have some reservations about squad size, depth and keeping my players fit and healthy should the season continue in this style, but we're just going to enjoy the ride and our first foray into the Champions League! I got a little carried away and played all of the month without writing anything down so I must apologise for a slightly less in-depth review of the games than I'd normally offer.

---

FC Groningen 2-0 Zenit

90591030e3348eddb3f1198f52c15f0c.png

I wanted to start fast against Zenit as I was a little unsure of the quality they possessed and hoped an early lead might spur them into panicking. However, moving to an Attacking mentality and pushing the IWB to (a) really made us open and, combined with a team talk that didn't quite work out as intended, we were nervous and not at our best for the first ten minutes or so. I steadied the ship and we gradually grew into the game - working hard to quash an movement by their attacking four - particularly Sakheishvili, who was wide on the right. Bjarni Jonsson netted from a swift break before a slightly fortuitous penalty doubled the lead and meant that the reverse tie, in Parken - Copenhagen - was always going to be tough for the Russians.

Zenit 0-0 FC Groningen

8886282001bebdb467f67ae5683be220.png

It was made much tougher after a twelfth minute red card for striker Roger, who dived in on Bouma cynically. From there, Zenit had no real idea - their 4-3-1-2 with double Mez (a shape that I struggle to work out how to defend against) became a very tame 4-2-1-2 with placid midfielders and little in the way of striking options. However, they went for the win and, following three early subs, ended up at nine men after an injury to Suslov, their left back. The nine men then shut up shop, clearly not trying to to leave themselves open to our counters. It was a drab game but we'd done enough in the first leg and overcame a team, ranked 26th in Europe on co-efficients, that I'd predicted would be hard to beat.

FC Groningen 1-0 AZ Alkmaar

20377841145cd3a353c39aa2524f9128.png

Very rusty coming back into league action - something I need to be aware of. Even more of a concern is that our three day rest was 'bettered' by AZ's two day rest following their Europa Conference League tie against Sion. In a game of fine margins, it was striker Escalona who netted, opening his account for the season at the earliest opportunity. I'm hoping that he'll be available for easier league games, rotating in with Jonsson to keep him fresh for the more important games. The same may be said with Jay ter Burg, who, after a glimpse at this pre-season, just cannot cope with two competitive matches in a week - something he literally didn't have to experience last year. Whether this dents his long term future at the club is a matter for thought later on.

FC Groningen 5-0 BSC Young Boys

ad528533004933be66b0ae74442cd531.png

Wow! Wow! Wow!

We demolished them. YB came to town play a 4-2-3-1 narrow shape with, essentially, three playmakers, all assigned to the AM role - clearly a sign for a team who didn't want to use a designated ball magnet but wanted all of the play to go through those players. Even though it forced them onto their stronger feet, I pushed them wide, defending wider ourselves and basically backing them into a corner as my wingers tracked their full backs - the most viable outball for them. They got angry and I played on that, trigger pressing and tackling harder those booked or with poor body language, and, in first half stoppage time, they broke - midfielder Guerin sent off for a rash tackle. Their three attacking mids became two but they were easily dealt with by our shape and this amounted to just three shots in our area. Going forward, we were clinical and a special well done must go to Szkudlarek, who, after coming on early in the second half, debuted with a goal and an assist.

With the thoughts around ter Burg's match fitness fresh in my mind, I wanted to explore how I go about playing twice in a week. Here is a pretty generic example of what I do. We recover, do something pretty steady in units and then prepare for the next match. I often combine this with manually using the Rest Player for those who need it.

a113f0705a785e3605055e28a2b432ee.png

I just feel that we become rustier in games after I've used this tactic, so want to dig into it. For reference, here are the three schedule blocks that I'm most interested in post-match with some commentary on my thoughts:

Rest:

  • As it says - the players would have the entire session off, either not coming to the training ground for that day/session or just sitting, watching TV, relaxing - but, most importantly not with other players as I believe that would be what Team Bonding might entail. Whilst it does increase happiness (they get the day off to walk their dog, play with their kids etc etc) and hugely decrease fatigue, it also loses sharpness much faster than the other two schedules.

Recovery:

  • I see this as a time whereby they're doing very gentle cardiovascular and muscular work or recovering in the pool or even getting a massage. This is obviously more intense than a day off so doesn't quite reduce fatigue as much but does have an impact on reducing injuries, which a rest does not. It also has lesser impact on happiness and condition but, most importantly, has no impact on Team Cohesion and only slightly reduces sharpness for the next match.

Match Review:

  • Obviously, this is seen as a Match Prep block and is important, for me, earlier in the season as we look to make sure new players have full tactical understanding. Now, it does not mention any benefits to Fatigue, Condition and Sharpness so - in my opinion - they must not be impacted at all. However, when you look at the overall impact of that match block, it's a really light session and, paired with Recovery, will get the benefits of both tactical familiarity and recovery.

I think, given those things, it's important that I use the Recovery block as much as necessary and only 'Rest' players (not the training block but the manual 'Rest' for 1/2/3 etc days) when absolutely necessary, especially early in the season when we're trying to build Team Cohesion and tactical familiarity. Therefore, the end product between these two games now looks like this. I am still prioritising Match Prep blocks as we're early season but having the match fitness of the squad as it is in the linked image so early in the season is really impressive and something that I've not really been able to achieve before.

Excelsior 0-1 FC Groningen

54f75363392def2e650cb66f7d54c005.png

This was almost a tactical defeat as opposed to the aforementioned fitness issue. Excelsior played a very possession dominant 4-4-2 and, with a DLP and CM in midfield, both presumably on defensive mentalities, we really struggled to win the ball back and penetrate this area. You can see from the graphic above that they both sat deep, behind our midfielders and often recycled the ball backwards or sideways. It very often was an unsuccessful long ball which saw us try to attack again, get crowded out and see the ball recycled. It was a set piece goal that won it for us with Sigurdsson scoring his first for the club and an area that I wanted him to improve after last season's blank scorecard. Not the most pleasing of victories but I have to feel like this is the kind of game that we'd have drawn last year and, due to that, it's an important win.

BSC Young Boys 1-3 FC Groningen

5a39e2c2c6a842e89fe0c68636d705fc.png

Job done in Bern.

An ode to young Daniel van Nispen, who earnt a full 90 minutes based on training performances and overall development - weighing in with thirty completed passes, a massive 70% of which were progressive, four key passes and a goal coming from a sweetly struck 0.12xG shot. We conceded our first goal of the season as my experiment with Juliaans backfired as he was unable to reach a long kick from the keeper, missing his header and allowing their forward in to score. With Jonsson injured and Escalona fatigued, ter Burg started up top and his link up play with Thijssen was a joy to behold.

6ef635110b3584488c77b1e5fa409dcb.png

We now sit at over €50m in the bank - an absolute warchest if I should need it. What is more, this money, and reputation boost will allow me to further my ventures for both recruiting the best young players (so far I have recruited these youngsters from Holland, Iceland, Latvia and Germany thanks to help from Melnik, my HoYD) and recruiting better but still undervalued players.

21fa848e8fdcc9d1364ad085741d59cd.png

What we've ended up with here are games against the sixth and ninth best teams (Inter and Liverpool, respectively) in Europe based on their co-efficients. We, on the other hand, have the lowest co-efficient (12.260) of any team left in the competition - obviously with this being our first European venture and we're actually ranked the 171st best team with Shakhtar being the 40th. Also, in Inter and Shakhtar, you have the two dominant teams from their leagues - with the Simeone-led Inter winning four scudettos in a row and Shakhtar taking thirteen of the last fifteen titles. Liverpool aren't quite so strong - sitting behind Chelsea but have won the Premier League four times since 2022, finishing 2nd last season under Marcelo Gallardo.

Elsewhere, Ajax have Juventus, Galatasaray and Cluj and old side Krasnodar face Bayern, Feyenoord and Club Brugge.

FC Groningen 5-1 Willem II

71fc06cdefbcb3f913ffbb6ae3d99c6e.png

A convincing way to end the month as we rout Willem II thanks to a stellar performance from Bouma, who hasn't hugely impressed me yet this season. It was he and midfield partner Konté who ran the show in a strikingly similar method to how Pep set up his Man City side against West Ham yesterday. There's some really good analysis on Twitter about the game that saw both full backs, Walker and Cancelo, sit really narrow whilst Foden and Grealish played excessively wide allowing the two 8's, De Bruyne and Gundogan, to get high in support of Haaland. The styles of possession may not be the same but I think it's clear where my positional play inspiration has come from!

---

September sees group stage football away in Milan but starts with a really tough tie away at PSV. Looking forward to getting my teeth into their style and working out how to combat it!

Link to post
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, tyler16 said:

Wow, huge results that set up the rest of the season nicely.

What is your target for the Champions League? If Shakhtar are around Ajax's level, maybe sneaking a third place finish and advancing to the Europa knockouts?

6 hours ago, SixPointer said:

Superb month!!! I love graphics for each game. Great to see how tactically involved you have become in each individual match! 
 

Tough draw in the groups but that’s what it’s all about at that level!!

3 hours ago, rich ruzzian said:

Groningen is on a roll. Champions League draw is a tough one. Whats your goal? Trry to survive after the winterbreak in the EL? 

Thanks all!

I'm loving the tactical element and posting about it in detail is only helping me get deeper into it, winning those battles. Talking of which, here is a massive spoiler but shows that I just might have got the upper hand against PSV, who, as you can't forget, were league champions just two years ago!

41033a73c852984124badb6d47a191e8.png

In terms of Champions League - yes, it's certainly the opposition we want to test ourselves against and I do fancy a sneaky home win/away draw over Shakhtar. Whether or not that's realistic, time will tell! I'd love to be in the Europa League in the spring as we're potentially good enough to forge a pretty deep run. However, I have no idea where we'll be in terms of the league by then and I don't think we can quite get away with big challenges on two fronts.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   1 member

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

This site uses cookies - We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.