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[FM22] "What do you think about the Baltic Sea?" -Estoni(a)shing!


ElCuriosoJr
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"What do you think about the Baltic Sea?" Estoni(a)shing!

Flag-map_of_Estonia_svg.png.b6aba40536a0a9b1ac7aa50cda29fb30.png

 

After reading and reading and reading trough all your great posts here in the Career Update Forum, I decided to start my own Career and show my Updates. 

After founding a League Database of the Estonian Lower Leagues, I wanted to start my Safe here, in the cold Baltic Sea.  After Independence was restored in 1991, the land is now ranked highly in rankings for quality of life and education. With a population of 1.3 million, Estonia is one of the least populous members of the European Union. 

Estonia has never qualified for the FIFA World Cup or UEFA European Championship. The team has however reached the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying play-offs, by finishing second in their qualifying group, before being drawn up against Ireland for a play-off tie, making 2011 the Annus mirabilis of Estonian football. 

 

  • Aim of the Safe:

This will be a mix of  a #journeyman, #YouthOnly and #buildinganation Safe. I will start unemployed, holiday the first two seasons, look at the Leagues and Clubs, and then decide when its the right time to dive in. I like the Youth Development side of the game. Therefore I will give academy players a chance in every club I'm in to grow as close to their potential as they can. 

I would also like to take over the National Team and take them to their first World Cup or European Championship. Obviously first I have to work myself trough the Lower Leagues of Estonian Football and establish myself in Estonian Meisterliiga. 

 

  • Rules:

To make things more interesting, i would like to set some Rules. 

- Max 3 Transfers in every Transfer Windows 

- Max 3 Players not from Estonia (they have to be from a Baltic state)

Those rules will give Estonian players more game time. 

 

  • Coming soon:

- (Setup)

- (Meet the Coach)

 

 

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  • Setup:

Setup.thumb.png.c7bee9d1c621b3432ce849cd02fd60d7.png

This is how i set up my game. Scandinavian Leagues + Latvia playable, and the great 5 on View Only. 

  • Meet the coach

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Nigul Toivo Kaljot, born in Tallinn in 1994, grandson of Elmar Kaljot, ex Estonian National Player. 

Elmar Kaljot played 25 times for the Estonian national team between 1923 and 1929 and participated at the 1924 Summer Olympics and won the 1929 Baltic Cup. 

He is one of the last Estonian players who represented this Nation in an important tournament. 

Nigul Toivo decided to take a break in his studies after his family members told the young man about his grandpa on Christmas Eve. After that day Nigul Toivo only wanted one thing: become a Coach and guide the National Team to glory. 

With no Coaching Badges and no License he is in search for a club. He knows nothing about football, has no preferred formation. He starts from scratch. 

(Nigul Toivo Kaljot is a fictional figur)

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Estonian Meistrliiga

FC-Flora-2018-25.thumb.png.6a1efdc6f5dbb4a2be3b5144eef51b2d.png  vs  logo-916x1024.png.85a43e341540580a51fbe5d7860090d7.png

The league was founded in 1992

As in most countries with low temperatures in winter time, the season starts in March and ends in November. Meistriliiga consists of ten clubs, all teams play each other four times. After each season the bottom team is relegated and the second last team plays a two-legged play-off for a place in the Meistriliiga.

There are two Teams in Estonia, who fight every year for the title. FC Flora Tallinn and FCI Levadia Tallinn, both from the capital. FC Flora is the most wining team of the League, with 14 titles. FCI Levadia won the league 10 times. It will be difficult to overthrown them.

 

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Edited by ElCuriosoJr
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While holidaying and waiting for a team to offer me a job, i started my excel spreadsheets. 

I love spreadsheets, and decided that I wanna know how well attributes are balanced in Estonian Leagues (from Meistrliiga to EsiliigaB ). It took me a while, but I exported all player data and used all of the Starting-Eleven attributes and it looks like this. I also included the Estonian NationalTeam.

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We can see Estionan Players have a good First Touch, good Technique and Passing. It seems there are born for a TikiTaka style of play. They have good Decision and Determination Attributes (probably those 2 attributes are the highest one in all divisions), and are very aggressive. They are really quick and pacey, and Natural fit

I don't know if those analysis are correct or totally wrong. but it gives me an idea how football in Estonia is played. 

 

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- Job offer

 

Finally i got a job offer. Maarjamàe FC IGI is a Semi-Professional (?) team in IV. Liiga East (6tier). i could not find a lot about the club, but I think its based in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. 

They have Poor Training and Youth facilities, Basic academy coaching and limited Youth recruitment. 

I accepted the offer. I hope I can transfer In some players, win the league and move on to a better team. They finished the League in 6th place in their group out of 7 teams. 


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The adventure can begin. 

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- Staff

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First thing I do after joining a new team is to sort out my staff. Oh…there is no one working. No Staff Members. After searching for an Assistant Manager for over an hour (nobody wanted to accept the role) I placed some adverts.

After some weeks I finally found an Assistant Manager in Joel Gussev, a Goalkeeping Coach in Sander Lepik. A head physio was added to. With this 3 guys I have the posts filled I needed the most. Obviously all af them are at risk. Next season I will change them and bring in better ones.

After that, my staff level looks like this:

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Edited by ElCuriosoJr
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- Squad building

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We are predicted to finish 5th in IV liiga East. If we want to get promoted, we have to win the league. There are 28 games (teams play each other 4 times. 

The board expect from us to finish Mid-table

But lets take a look at our squad. Here we can find our Starting - Eleven for this Season. (Transfers are already included)

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After joining I noticed I have a squad of 45 players, 15 of them Youth Candidates already on a Youth Contract of 1.600€ a year. 24.000€ to pay with the finances in red, and probably no Income. Not a good sign. I am way above Wage Budget. (12.600€/Y)

After looking into the team, i had a lot of problems to find my best players. The lack of quality in this league is insane. I will try to solid my defense line. 1,91cm Romet Hurt will lead the defense. He has very good tackling, his positional play and his marking is okay for this level. Martin Smirnov and Roman Viira form the two players in front of the D-Line. Both have good Teamwork and Work Rate, can Tackle and their Mental Attributes are fine.

Henri Mets will play as a Wide Playmaker on the Right Side. He has good First Touch and Technique, and the idea is to bring high balls above the opposite D-Line from the wider sides of the pitch.

In the Offense I see in Andrei Henn a good young prospect. He has good Technical attributes for this level, good vision and a good amount of flair needed to play between the lines.  Both, Henn and Mets will try to send my strikers Maarek Suursaar and  Andreas Tiits In front of the goal. Both are composed and  good finisher.

I will try to bring in a pacey Left Winger.

______________________________________________________

Transfers:

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We completed our squad with two new signings. Obviously both on a free Transfer. Tanel Henn will be our pacey Winger on the left, Maarek Suursaar, a 26 year old striker will hopefully be our main goalscorer

Edited by ElCuriosoJr
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- Friendlies

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We have scheduled 6 friendlies before the league starts. We won 4 of them and lost 2 against FC Elva (plays in Esiliiga (2nd tier) and Ponnistus (Finish Lower League Team).

We put out our best performance against Esiliiga B (3rd tier) club Viimsi, but also against FCI Tallinn and Tallinna FC SSS we had good matches. Attacking Midfielder Andrei Henn scored 4 times, Advanced Forward Marek Suursaar 3 times and Left Winger Tanel Henn 2 times. I like to see that, because these three players must do the same in the league.

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1st Quarter (March/April 2024)

 

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We did not start well in the League. After 7 games we played all of the teams and sit on 7th position. We started with a good draw against Leader Zapoos, but then struggled to find the form. After 6 games without wining, we finally come home with the 3 points and a good game. In Offense we do pretty well. Suursaar is top goalscorer with 7 goals, A.Henn is best Assistman with 4 Assists. We have the most goals scored (1,86 goals/game), but also with 12 goals conceded on of the leakiest defenses. We concede far too many long shots. I will tweak a little bit the tactic and try to press them more, once they play outside my penalty area. 

 

In the cup we have a very good run. In Eesti Karikas, the Cup where all the Estonian Teams play, we lost against Meistrliiga Team Tallinna Kalev. In Eesti Vaeike Karikas, the lower league Tier Cup, we won our first two rounds.

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A. Henn has become our youngest goalscorer. I like him a lot, and hope he can bring us out of the bottom half of the league. 

Edited by ElCuriosoJr
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Il 3/12/2021 in 20:29 , DefinitelyTaylor ha scritto:

Not the brightest of starts but it’s nice to see someone enduring a bit of a struggle initially. It will mean that little bit more when the results start to flow. The latest couple of games perhaps show that could very well be the case.

Yeah, the League is really balanced in terms of Quality. Therefore moral, Team Cohesion, Team Atmosphare and Managerial Support is Vital. 

I am working on it. Always praise good Training and good Match Performance, and of course criticize Training under a 6.00 Rating, same for bad Match Performance. And it seems to work out. 

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- May 2024

 

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As you can see May was a good month for us. We won all our 3 home games, but lost both of our away games. After 12 games we sit at 4th place, 6 points behind Zapoos, who leads the league. M.Suursaar continues to find the goal easily. We score 2.0 goals/game and are leading the league in Expected Goals For. We elaborated 40 CCC in 12 games, twice as much as the other teams. 

In defence we've done slightly better than last months, but are still below average in statistics. We have a good Tackles Won Ratio (%), but are not good in Interceptions and concede 1.58 goals/match

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We have the lowest ball possession of the league. I don't like playing the ball in defense, I love counterattacking direct football. The team is sitting low and tight, but we are not able to defend well. This is a thing i need to figure out fast. 

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June 2024

 

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 A nearly perfect month. Who could expect something like this? Probably nobody. But i knew, if Moral and Tactical Familiarity kicks in, we are a good team in this league. The game against Màrjamaa Kompanii was a balanced game. Maybe the first game, where i had more Ball Possession than the opponent. Then we had a lucky win against bottom of the table Reaal with a controversial penalty on min 70. Against Kuusalu Kalev we put a lovely Counterattacking performance on the field. Two goals from balls over the Defensive Line. Against Zapoos, we brought home a well deserved win and outperformed the opponent. 

We are never the better team in terms of Ball Possession and suffer Long Shots from outside the penalty area, but we bring home important points. I hope i can fight to win the title, and then move on. To a better team, where I can bring in my tactical Philosophy. I am trying to valorize the Wide Playmaker, but H.Mets is never decisive in terms of Goals and Assists. Yeah, i know, i probably ask too much from him, he has not the physical attributes to do so. Therefore i will probably change the Wide Playmaker to a simple Wide Midfielder. 

 

 

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July - August 2024

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Back to reality!! Only 5 games in two months, and 5 matches in a row without winning. Against Wolves we missed the chance to win with a xg of 2.72. We were clearly the better team. The loss against Rummo Dunamo II was a tough one, because we conceded the goal in the very last second of the game. 14 days later we were once again the better team, but couldn't beat JK Loo. We had 27 shots, but only 9 of them on target. The games of August against Reeal and Marjamaa Kompanii we saw nothing else than the previous games. We are always the better team on XG, but lost both of them.

 

In the Meantime the youth Intake preview came in. A 5 star Excellent Intake. Hopefully some of the young guys are good enough to play in the first team. 

a4c8ed4e5154a21fdf1792387d4bb625.png 

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 -Modification to Database

First of all I want to say, that I made a few tweaks to the database with the in game editor. I collected, downloaded and put in the missed logos for my league, edited club colors and created some kits for my team and for the rest of the league. I don’t like to see the standard Logos from the game.

Then I noticed, that a lot of teams from the 4th to the 7th tier of Estonian football are on Semi-Professional Status. It didn’t felt right. That’s why I changed  all of them to Amateur.

I put probably more effort into modifying the database then playing the game itself 😊

__________________________________________________________________

End of Season Review

After the 2 losses of August I tweaked my tactic a lot. I went more aggressive and used a sort of Gegenpressing Style. And it worked wonders. I felt like I was in a flow, therefore I decided to run trough the season without giving more updates. And this was the result.

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7 wins in a row and wining the title 1 point ahead of Rummo Dinamo II and 3 points ahead of Zapoos

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M. Suursaar was our outstanding player. The 27 year old striker found the net 24 times and averaged a rating of 7.41. Our second Transfer of the Summer was the other player making possible to win the league. Left Winger T.Henn scored 10 goals and made 8 assists. 17 year old youngster A.Henn (i would like to call him the younger of the Henn brothers, but their not) assisted 12 goals from the Attacking Midfield position. In defense I want to mention also R.Hurt. With 2.782 minutes he was omnipresent and an average of 6.91 in a team who concede a lot, shows he can play also in the higher league. Those 4 players will be the spine core of the team. 

Next thing to do is establishing the team in the III.Liga (6th tier). I have to bring in some players. My thoughts:

- Good Goalkeeper (experienced)

- Physical Central Midfielder

- A young pacey right defender, and a more defensive left defender

______________________________________________

I also have to check my Finances. We are in red, and after 1 year at the club, i finally can get rid of some Staff and Players on a Contract. I need to check Appearance Fees and Goal/Assist Bonus

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-   Youth Intake

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Youth Intake sorted by Potential Ability.

First Youth Intake at FC Igi.  We do not have a Head of Youth Development, and with basic Junior Coaching and limited Youth Recruitment, I do no expect much.

We also don't have a Reserve and Youth Team, therefore I only need players who can fit into the team immediately. With poor Training Facilities nobody will be able to reach their potential.

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Jaagup Unt, Igor Tamm, Andrei Jàrve, Sergei Kàos, John Tanton, Andrei Seeman, Igor Dmitrijev

And this are the guys I decided to take with me. 7 players, probably to much at this stage, but I will try to fit someone into my team, and give them playing time.

Andrei Jàrve is the guy i like the most. He is already fast and has over average stats for Dribbling and Crossing. He will be Sub for T.Henn on the Left Wing and given a lot of playing time. His personality is also nice.  In Sergei Kàos i found a professional guy, who is mentally strong and good in defending. He will play a backup role in Central Midfield. John Tanton brings some Pace to the left Full-Back Role, Andrei Seeman and Jaagup Unt will fight for some playing time as Central Defenders and Igor Dmitrijev will give some Rest to M.Suursaar if he's tired. (hopefully not that much).

 

 

 

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- Transfers

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Yeah, I know, one of my rules says “max 3 Transfers in every Transfer window”, but I had to “cheat” a little bit, trying to be as competitive as I can in III.Liiga, without turning inside out the whole team. There are 36 league games, 8 matches more than this year. I needed some backup, because I have to use more players, to have them Match Sharp and fit.

The first two signings were on the Right Midfield Position. I didn’t mention it on my last post as transfer target, but I want to play with two Wingers out wide, and on the right side I do not have someone capable of dribbling down the flank. Therefore I brought in two Estonian guys, Armin Madissoo and Karel Mark, both of them have above average attributes for a Winger with the first one slightly faster. Madissoo will be a Starter in the first friendlies, with Mark trying to show me, that he is the one.

In Goal I wanted an experienced Goalkeeper, but I couldn’t find one. Stanislav Kùtt, 19 years old will be backup keeper for A.Vassiljev. He is probably better than Vassiljev, but doesn’t have the game time. It feels right to me giving Vassiljev my trust.

Here comes probably the best player I was able to bring in. Amor Luup, 32 years old, still has average Physicals for the league. He played a long time for Kuressaare in Meistrliiga, with a total of over 300 games in his career. He will be one of the two Central Midfielder, can play as a Playmaker, but can also be a Goalscorer, coming from deep.

The last two signings of this campaign were 2 defenders. Andreas Vassiljev will form the Central Defense pair with R.Hurt, and Vladimir Smirnov comes in to provide depth on the right Full-Back role.

Hopefully this guys go along with the Team. Can’t wait to see how they are playing in the friendlies.

 

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After the Transfermarkt, my Squad looks like this.

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11 ore fa, Sheriff7 ha scritto:

Definitely, i had some great experience there in past with Nome Kalju and Santos Tartu!;)

On my safe Nome Kalju won the League Title this year. 5d00026c6f4a7cca542aec50ef4dd679.png (Logo is the wrong one. The new one is completely pink, that's why they are called Pink Panthers1fef702a981f889b880969df20beb356.png

And I read Santos Tartu decided to stop competing with the first team. Nowadays they only have their Youth Teams.

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2 hours ago, ElCuriosoJr said:

On my safe Nome Kalju won the League Title this year. 5d00026c6f4a7cca542aec50ef4dd679.png (Logo is the wrong one. The new one is completely pink, that's why they are called Pink Panthers1fef702a981f889b880969df20beb356.png

And I read Santos Tartu decided to stop competing with the first team. Nowadays they only have their Youth Teams.

Bad for both of them(Pink colors :lol: and stop competing).

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Season preview

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We are predicted to finish 4th. Didn’t expect this, but probably the level of III.Liga is not much better than one league above. But good to know, that Media thinks we have a squad who can compete.

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In my friendlies I tried to gain full fitness for everyone in the team. There were also some good wins against Pakri SK and Lelle, who is in the same league.

 

- March 2025

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Only two League games in March, because of a waterlogged pitch. I am really happy what i saw. We won against Tallinna Olympic with a xg of 1.91 and then draw away at Jàrva-Jaani 3-3. Like last year, my offensive players M.Suursaar (5 goals) and T.Henn (3 goals) are on fire. We lost A.Vassiljev and A.Madissoo due to injury, but they are already back training with the team. 

In the primary Cup we lost against Hiiumaa on penalties, but were the better team. We then smashed former IV.Liiga competitor JK Loo in Eesti Varke Karikas Cup and showed them why we won the title last year.

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-Little Tweaks

While the league is running and my team is really on fire, I wanted to show you something I’ve done in my recent two games. We had a double clash in the league against FC Tallinn II within 5 days.

We came to the first game undefeated and were on a winning strike of 5 games. And then it happened. We lost 2-4 at home, first loss of the season. FC Tallinn was the stronger team, they played with a compact 4-5-1, controlling the possession of the game (59%-41%), and didn’t give me much room between the lines and behind their Defensive Line. They completed 672 passes, we only 429. That shows, that our game plan of a direct counterattacking football didn’t work out. They had a xg of 2.32, we 1.85.

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On the Heat Map you can see that they dominated in midfield. Left. FC Igi, Right: FC Tallinn II

So, i had to change something for the next game. And here is what I did:

       - I changed Team Mentality from Positive to Balanced, trying to lower Intensity a bit.

       - I changed the Passing Directness from "Slightly More Direct" to "Slightly Shorter", to wait for the perfect moment to go forward and to not lose possession to often. 

       - Last but not least I changed my Attacking Wide from "Standard" to "Wide"

 

And the result?

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We destroyed them. 0-4, 17 - 7 shots, 2.75 to 0.30 XG and the Possession of the game was equal. They were not able to control the game like they wanted. While my Passes Completed remained at 435, they completed only 501 passes. (26% less than the previous game)

Probably a lot of people, after a loss want to change tactic, roles and duties or even completely their style of play. I am the first, who did this error. But at the moment I think, the less is more. 

And seeing the result of your tactical changes working out, is the most satisfying thing on FM. 

Edited by ElCuriosoJr
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- Half way trough

- April, May, June 2025

 cb56f0e749ddef3760e89111ddd61293.png bb38e6755ae33bf8b0bf533cbb180cd1.png

Half way trough, 21 games played, top of the league with 8 points ahead of Jàrva-Jaani (but they are one game down). Goal difference of +34, simply amazing. 

 

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As you can see above, we are doing really really well. We scored 53 goals in 21 matches (18 goals more than the next team), with 2.52 goals /game. With an overall possession of 44%, we sit last, but we are conceding only 0.90 goals/game, 19 in 21 matches, top score in goals conceded. The graphs show us, that we let the opponents have the ball, let them play around, but when they enter in the final third, we are aggressive and don't let them score easily. We have the lowest clearances/game, lowest fouls/game, but are top of the league on Tackling won Ratio, that means, we do not dive in much, but are really effective. 

In our tactic, absolute key player is the Advanced Forward. In M.Suursaar we found a player, who scored already 29 times in the league. Absolutely amazing. The most of the goals are balls over the top from any kind of position. From the Wingers, but also from our DeepLyingPlaymaker and our Attacking Midfielder. In this lower league it works wonders. 

And of course this performance it has not gone unnoticed. Tarvas (Esiliiga B / 3th tier) and Toompea (II.Liiga/4th tier), started to show interest in myself. I felt really flattered, but I don't think time has come to move on. I am really enjoying this season, and I don't want to leave in the middle of it. My focus is on finishing the year on top, and then eventually I will think on what to do. 

 

 

 

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31 minuti fa, Sheriff7 ha scritto:

When you enter to Estonian cup? From which division?

I was so hyped about my run in the League, that I forgot to mention the Cup results :)

In Estonia there are 2 cups:

       - Eesti Karikas: A knockout cup, where every team in Estonia take part. Every team enters in 1st round, expect the 6 best teams of the previous Meistrliiga season. They enter in 2nd round. There are no seeded teams, meaning that every team of every league can play against each other. Pure casual. Winner of the cup qualifies for the UEFA Europe Conference League 1st Qualifing Round.

 

       - Eesti Vaike Karikas: A knockout cup for teams from Liiga II, Liiga III, and Liiga IV (4th-6th tier). Teams from II.Liiga and the best classified teams of III.Liiga enter in 2nd round, everybody else in 1st round. Like in Eesti Karikas every team can play against each other, without weighting of the tier. 

 

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- Can we keep up the pace?

- July, August, September 2025

Obviously our rise over the last months could not go on forever. Over a whole season, every team has this time frame, where things don't go as planned. And here, when everything seems to be much more difficult than before, comes in the real Strength of a team.  

And we had one of this months in August

11 matches in the last three months, only 4 wins, 3 Draws and 4 Losses. This means 1.35 points/game, in comparison to 2.28 points/game in the 21 league games before. 

Lets see what was the crucial factor for this negative trend, without going into to much detail. In my opinion, over the season you have to do some simple little steps, and not overplay it. 

Going into the Data Hub, the first thing I look at is the General Performance. While we have the same Data on Xg/Game than before (1,80 to 1,86), our Goals per Game sunk from 2.52 to 2.24. This means we are creating a good amount of changes, but are not so clinical then before. But nothing to worry about. We are shooting more and our Shots on Target Ratio fall only slightly (1%). Therefore I think, that our offensive Action is quiet good. We don't have a decent Sub for our Striker M.Suursaar, and our Left Winger T.Henn broke his leg. Also our AMC does seem out of play sometimes. This can be three factors, that explain our "Scoreless" time.  

When we look at our Defensive Stats in the General Performance Tab instead, we can see some differences. We concede slightly more goals/ game (1,06 to 0.90), and our Tackles Won Ratio fall 5%. We are below league average on this, so lets take a deeper look. We are not a team who tackles a lot, because we like to wait for the opponent and force them to an error. But lets see our defensive players data. 

793ed92ab5d6617f51b5021386657eb5.png 

This are my Central Defenders sorted by Minutes played. Our two Starting Defenders have a high average rating, a good Header won Ratio, but their Tackles Won Ratio and Tackles/game is quiet low. They both have the "Dives into Tackles" PPM, but don't even do one tackle per game. I am using  "Force Opponents Outside", probably that's why they have a lot of Aerial Challenges. With none of them good at heading, I will change this and see what happens, when the opponents are coming with the ball inside from the flanks. 

I surely am diving too much into Data. I am only in 5th tier, that means, opponents are not good, they have horrible Managers, but I am really having fun in this save, and want to extern my thoughts. If they are wrong, and have no head and foot, am open to have some feedback or critics.  :)

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Meanwhile Strommi, a professional (don't know why) club in the same tier, but another group, came in with a job interview. I attended the interview, without thinking too much on what to do. And some days later, they offer me a job. A 1 year deal, starting at the End of this Season, worth 1,9k/year. They are sitting in 7th place, are predicted to finish the League on 6th. They have poor facilities, and as a professional football club in the 5th tier, obviously insecure finances. 

Nothing of this amazes my, therefore I rejected and stay at FC IGI, trying to finish the year on top of the League. 

With 7 games to go, I sit on 1st position, 2 points ahead of Jàrva-Jaani, but they have to play another game and can catch me up. We will see, if my Defensive Work can get better and help me to win the title

1de1c6ed5e561996c68bb5a54f040022.png 

See you soon. 

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- Yes, we did it !!

- October, November 2025

After a hard fight with Jàrva-Jaani for the title, we were the one celebrating. 

We won the league one point ahead of them. We played really well the last two months. wining 4 and draw another 4 games of the last 8 matches. It was enough to bring it home. 

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Altoghether we deserved it. We scored 92 goals (best offense), conceded 43 goals (best defense), and are top of the league in many other areas. 

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End of the Season Stats sorted by Minutes played

Outstanding player was once again our Advanced Forward M.Suursaar, with 53 goals in 40 games and an average rating of 7.77. Simply superb. Our Wingers T.Henn, who is out for another 7 months due to a broken leg, and K.Mark  were also great to watch. 11 goals, 6 assists for the first, 5 goals and 6 assists for the second. 

For next year probably a lot of these guys have to leave. We have to strengthen our squad once again. Changes will be made in midfield, by bringing in a Playmaker, who can dictate the tempo, and some more offensive Full-Backs. But we have to see, if those players are available or not. 

In the meantime our board decided to turn Semi-Professional. A decision i don't understand, because it means more money unnecessary spend. It will be a long winter. 

 
 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here I am, back again
Pre-Season & Transfers

After a little Christmas and New Year break, I am ready to catch up with the safe. To remind you, last year we won III.Liiga, so this years challenge will be to establish ourselves in II.Liiga South/West (4th tier). Media predicts we finish 9th out of 13 teams. 

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I am happy with our performance in the pre Season friendlies. We changed our formation slightly, going for a more defensive approach, changing my AMC to a DM, forming a 4-1-4-1 block in defense. We will sit low, and try to Counterattack the opponents with high tempo

We won all of our 5 games, with the Tarvas game (same League, different group), standing out as my best performance. Lets kick off the League. 

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We brought in 5 new players. 3 of them to form our new Defense Line. Sergei Kaos is our best Central Defender. He has good Heading and Jumping Reach and can Tackle. He is not a rocket, but with good Positioning and our Low Line, this will not be an issue. Oliver Luhakooder will be our Right Back. I like his Passing and his average Mental Attributes, and think to use him as an Inverted Wing Back. For the DM role I choose Mikk Sakarias. I needed a player with good Teamwork, Work Rate, Stamina and Strength. He will right in front of the D-Line and not move much. 16 year old Sergey Bryzgalov is a real talent. I was able to bring him in from Welco. He will play as an Inverted Winger and I expect from him a lot of goals and assist cutting in from the Left. 

 

 

 

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Season Kick Off

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We needed two games to settle in. Against Welco II we deserved to get hammered, but only conceded once. The game against Rumori Calcio was a boring one, and with the draw both teams could be happy. Then we played against Welco (the team from the highest tier, not the Youth Team) in the League Cup, and we scratched past sensation. We were the better team, but in the end the individual quality made the difference, with a little help from our defender and conceding in the 90th minute.

 This result gave us confidence, and I started to see the guys play the type of football I want to see from our team.  We where able to win 3 of the next 4 matches, and showed our ability to score, netting in 10 times.

 Then we took a hit against Tallinn FC and lost 0-2 conceding two set piece goals in the space of 5 minutes. Another goal concede from corner and another one from a indirect free kick against Pòhja-Tallinna FC brought me to the conclusion I have to stop going trough matches and resample our Defending Corner and Defending Free Kicks Routine

We sit in 5th place after 8 games. Not bad, but I have the feeling we can do better. 

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Defending Set Pieces

73ee7aee272dea1cdcec73a9d972b57e.png467d54ac0fe238a456a1a09509a52ebf.png 

 Here we can see our team listed by height. In Orange the players who are in the Starting Eleven or frequently Subs. And on the Right Side our new Defending Routine for Corners (similar to this is our Free Kick Routine from Deep and from Wide)

You will note we are not a tall team, with only 8 players over 185cm. Probably we will concede again, but I have to minimize the changes. 

I've put our two Central Defenders S.Kàos and S.A.Liit to mark the Tall players. Other three guys will man mark too, bringing the number to 5. I don't think the opposite team will bring more then 5 players into the box. 

Then we have 4 Zonal Markers, defending Near Post, Far Post, 6 Yard Center Box and the Edge of the Area, with our fastest player staying up and trying to counter. 

We will see how this works. I will pay much more attention. 

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Rest of April 2026

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Only 3 games, because of some postponed matches due to a waterlogged pitch. But I am really happy about those. We won against Tartu Kalev in Eesti Vàike Karikas, it allows us to reach the third Round, and attain the Boards Expectation. The Rumori Match was one of the best performances since i'm in charge. Its the first time we do a Xg of over 3. 

In May we have to play 7 League Games and one Cup game. Every 3 days our guys have to make the difference. With the strange rule in Estonian football to ban a player for 1 match after 2 yellow cards I have to strengthen our midfield and wanted to bring in a new player. 

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R. Laas is a technical player with good Vision and Work Rate and will play mainly as my backup Mezzala. He came in from above league Jàrva-jaani and i remind him, because of his good performances last season. 

In the meantime, after his long injury T.Henn left us and went to Eston Villa trying to come back to old form. 

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May 2026

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What a great month. We sit in 2nd position , but can overtake Pohja-Tallinna FC. They played already 4 games more then us. 

We started the month with a nice victory against Kuressaare U21. The Youth Teams are always tricky to play, because you never know how they line up and how they are going to play exactly. We outxged them, only having 38% of possession, but we were lethal in counterattacking them. Suursaar end a Kaos-header where the match winners.  Away against Joker we found some difficulties on how to break down lower Defensive Lines, but at the end came to a draw with another Kaos-header. We came back on the road of victory against Piraaja. Nothing to mention here, beside a nice long shot goal from Luhakooder. A double Suursaar against Tartu Team Helm was enough to win, and against Saku Sporting we definitely  moved into promotion contention. S.Bryzgalov gave us the lead with a nice shot from outside the area. Then we deserved the only defeat of the month. We never came into play against FC Tallinn. Yeah, we lost in the 94th minute, but if you play 90 minutes on hold, sooner or later you fall. So our undefeated run came to an end after 7 games. But our reaction was superb. We won against Top of the Table Pohja-Tallinna, and showed them that they have to count us in for promotion. 

The won in the cup was also good for moral. I gave some younger players a chance, and they responded present. 

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In the meantime, the Board finally accepts to start a coaching course. National C License here I come :)

Edited by ElCuriosoJr
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