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[FM22] Chemie Leipzig: The Chemical Element


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Hello again,

Firstly, thank you for stumbling upon this thread.

Secondly, for those who followed my thread with Chemie on FM20, I apologise for the radio silence. I felt I needed some time away from Football Manager in general to rekindle the interest in the game. Hence, there was no continuation and there will not be any future post in my original thread on FM20 (you can catch up on it here if you wish!)

However, after following the team for quite a while now, I felt that my dance with Chemie Leipzig on Football Manager was not quite over yet. Something was missing. Something was out there. 

After many hours logged into this year's iteration of the game, I think I can say that I am motivated to play and write again. I don't know for how long this will last, but I hope that I can at least give the club, its fans something worthwhile. Thus, I decided to reboot my laptop and start from square one, but now on FM22. 

Start again from square one.

Same mission. Same manager. Same club. (All of this will be covered in my next post)

I hope this will be the start of a great long-term save for me and one hell of a journey to write about.

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Allez BSG!

Edited by haier_fm
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"Chemie is a dying breed of Football club that exists to serve a single community by providing a pillar around which friends and neighbours can gather and socialise. The club is realistically unlikely to reach the 1. Bundesliga any time soon, but as long as it stays afloat and the matchday experience is not compromised, fans are happy." - FromBoothferrytoGermany.com

It may sound like a pub or a barbecue team, but I can assure you, this club is much more than that.

The Club

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Bertriebssportgemeinschaft Chemie Leipzig.

BSG Chemie Leipzig, formed in 1997, are considered to be the modern-day continuation of the original Chemie brand founded in 1950. They were formed by the workers of the local Chemical plant in Leipzig, hence making the club a corporate team of the chemical industry in Leipzig.

Two time holders of the DDR-Oberliga (1950-51 and 1963-64), the club had undergone two dissolutions, first one being in 1954 in an effort to produce a stronger Leipzig representative in the East German football system (SC Lokomotive Leipzig, not to be confused with 1.FC Lokomotive Leipzig), and the second one being in 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall. However, what remains is their home, Alfred-Kunze Sportpark, the current version of the club, and their proud history. 

They historically share a fierce rivalry with 1.FC Lokomotive Leipzig (you guessed it, formerly sponsored by the East German state railway), stemming from their days in the GDR, with their encounters now infamously known as the "Hooligan Derby". This rivalry has been reignited ever since Chemie has stepped foot into Regionaliga Nordost, being in the same division as Lok. 

Why Chemie?

Leipzig hasn't seen much national success lately, despite the Mr. Mateschitz's RB Leipzig ascension to the German top-flight. Football to the east of the Berlin Wall has not made a dent in Bundesliga either, with only two teams currently representing the cities of the former GDR (Union Berlin & RB Leipzig). This sets up a fantastic opportunity for another club to steal the limelight. BSG Chemie were much the unfancied side when compared to 1.FC Lok Leipzig's history and stature (Lok were the 4th most successful side in the DDR-Oberliga, according to the all-time tables). Who doesn't love a good underdog story, eh?

Chemie, with its club culture, are a very unique club with an original set of values. Despite their history of hooliganism and fan incidents, which are prevalent with sides of the former GDR, the club represents the true essence of football in Leipzig. All I can do is realise this club potential virtually, on Football Manager.

Aim of the Save

- To become a professional football club, just like in the old days of the GDR. For this, we need to win promotion from the Regionaliga Nordost

- Once professional, instill a Club DNA, focusing on work rate, teamwork and passing. 

- Become self-sustainable. Earn more, spend less.

- Become the second team in Leipzig to be in the Bundesliga. 

- Win the Bundesliga title. 

- Become the first Leipzig-based team to win major European silverware. (I am aware that Lokomotive won the Intertoto Cup, but I don't think it was or still is considered to be a major trophy). 

Most importantly: Prioritise the link with the community first and foremost, maitaining fan integration at a high standard, as it is right now in real life. This means to frequently do community outreach sessions, perform well on fan days, and reject big mainstream sponsors in favour of promoting local businesses and enterprises (will be reflected in the kit deals and sponsors).

The Manager

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The photo generated face looks a bit freakish, but we will roll with this. 

"Petr Havlicek is a Plzen-born Czech man. Him and his parents moved into Leipzig when he was 14, due to family reasons. Petr enjoyed a rather quiet, if an un-stellar career, rocking around teams in the lower leagues of Germany before cutting his career as winger short at a tender age of 24 due to a genetic problem with his left knee. Devastated, he moved into the working world by attending and graduating from the Leipzig University with a Physics and Mathematics degree. He followed this up with successful stints as an accountant and a banker until the age of 39, at a time when he lost all passion in his work. It turned out he had a change of heart towards football and realised that football is where his life lied. Using his savings and multiple investments from his well-off brother, he used these to gain coaching badges up to the Continental A License." - as quoted from my original FM20 version of the save. 

The Ground

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Alfred-Kunze Sportpark. A capacity of almost 5,000, named after the most successful manager to work at the club, Alfred Kunze. Bit of an old-school ground, which makes this a special place which produces a fiery atmosphere in the standing areas behind the goal. That is where the "Diablos", the Chemie ultras reside during home games. 

A club house by the stadium, decent pitch and decent stands to boot, although perhaps may be too small to be hosting European nights for now, but we will cross that bridge once we get there. 

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2017_18-Chemie-Pokalfinale-9679.jpg.656f29405dcd7d37f923d0331246f362.jpg

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Lovely write up so far! RB have become the big German team in my save so hopefully you can overtake them before they make a mark in Europe on your save.

Good luck!

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19 hours ago, haier_fm said:

The Ground

alfred-kunze-sportpark-illus.jpg.50ffd99134d4de24d58bd4434e8178fa.jpg

Alfred-Kunze Sportpark. A capacity of almost 5,000, named after the most successful manager to work at the club, Alfred Kunze. Bit of an old-school ground, which makes this a special place which produces a fiery atmosphere in the standing areas behind the goal. That is where the "Diablos", the Chemie ultras reside during home games. 

A club house by the stadium, decent pitch and decent stands to boot, although perhaps may be too small to be hosting European nights for now, but we will cross that bridge once we get there. 

I've never been overly fussed by stadium graphics in FM, but it's grounds like this that can change a person's mind.  The clubhouse looks so iconic, especially from the other angle with the woods behind it - I'd love to see it modelled in game.  Perhaps with VIPs watching from the windows once you become an established professional team!

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On 06/03/2022 at 17:07, _Ben_ said:

Lovely write up so far! RB have become the big German team in my save so hopefully you can overtake them before they make a mark in Europe on your save.

Good luck!

Thank you, means a lot! :)

On 06/03/2022 at 18:07, GIMN said:

I've never been overly fussed by stadium graphics in FM, but it's grounds like this that can change a person's mind.  The clubhouse looks so iconic, especially from the other angle with the woods behind it - I'd love to see it modelled in game.  Perhaps with VIPs watching from the windows once you become an established professional team!

One thing I don't like about the 3D graphics - non-league stadiums don't feel like non-league stadiums. Also, Chemie irl fill out their stadiums very often, quite a bummer that this isn't represented in the graphics model.

Would definitely be a cool touch though if they added it in for the next year's version of the game.

Otherwise, thank you too, fingers crossed we have something to celebrate about at the end of this season!

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"A football club is a bit like that freshly cut lawn in your back garden. Water it, and it will grow. Take care of it, and it will look great. Abandon it, and it will wither." - Petr Havlicek to the Leipziger Volkszeitung

Pre-Season Assessment

Approaching the save, I already had somewhat of an idea who my players were and what I wanted to play. While some of the personnel had changed since FM20, a core of the squad remained intact. Thus, I was relatively familiar with the squad and their relative abilities to the rest of the league. 

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The board want us to achieve a top-half finish by the looks of it. We are required at minimum to remain in this division for the next 5 seasons, securing back-to-back top 10 finishes in the league. 

Working within the wage budget makes sense, taking into account the finances in the league, which are essentially non-existent at this level. Chemie IRL are funded by their gate receipts, while their expenses are maintained by their fans. Basic ground maintenance, merchandise business, distribution of tickets. All of it is managed by the fans. Hence, the connection between the players and the fans is really important in our quest, albeit not to the same degree in Football Manager. 

Winning the Saschsen Pokal is important, if we want to participate in the DFB Pokal next season. It would definitely help with our gate receipts and income, especially if we draw some of the giants of German football. However, given that I want the club to turn professional ASAP, I will not be focusing as much on the regional cup, as I will prioritise the League first and foremost.

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The bookies have us finishing 8th, notably above our rivals Lok Leipzig. And yes, I prefer the decimal system for odds, as they make so much more sense to me than the classic format for the odds. 

Energie Cottbus are favourites to win the league. Given that they're perhaps the only team in the league that is Professional, and that they've just been relegated to this tier, it makes sense. Defeating them in the league would a very tough ask, as, on paper, they look much stronger than us player ability wise and financially wise too. 

Tactical Ideas

I am, by no means, a tactical supremo. 

However, what I can do is make a sensible, perhaps a slightly unremarkable tactic that includes our demands, while accomodating for our strengths and weaknesses. 

We want to take care of the ball and use it efficiently, moving it forward into the opposition third. 

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A 4231. 

Yes, I know what you may think.

*Groan*, another 4231.

Considering that the assitant and the board had recommended me to play the formation, I may as well follow their advice. My forays into 2 striker setups with this team have been relatively unsuccessful, so I may as well try something new with this team. I trust my staff to a certain extent, and I feel their advice is logical.

The thinking behind the setup was to go very simple, while trying to install a pass-and-move style of play. This is reflected in the TIs for In Possession, where we look to play to the nearest man available. However, given that there is no tempo set, I want to give freedom to my players to play long range passes. While it may be quite risky at this level, I feel like our squad has the ability to warrant some long balls forward, while mixing in some possession based build up play. The priority is to occupy all 5 channels at once when going forward. I have set the IWa and WBs pairing to create natural overlaps on the right, while the FBa and the Ws to cause the same effect on the left hand side. We want to play a modern, progressive game. This can definitely be supported by the fact that we are above average at passing, but excellent technically.

Balanced mentality instead of Positive works much better this year with my teams. Gives us the freedom to choose when to attack and when to defend, without being countered. Having a 4231, I fear most about being countered, especially since there is that space between the midfield and defence. Hence, I wanted to eliminate the possibility of being exposed at the back, while maintaining some attacking guile.  

Based on observations, we are also the league best at dribbling. While I don't want our team to be full of ball-hoggers (hence why I did not set Run at Defence option as a TI), I fiddled with the Player Instructions in order to take advantage of what we have.

The AP on support duty is also set to dribble more, but not because I want him to link defence with attack. Instead, I want him to run at the defenders, thus creating space for the other players to run into. This will give us a numerical advantage when in the attacking third of the pitch, and will be especially useful if we face against teams that have no players in the DM strata (i.e. 442, 4231, 343). He will look to exploit that space in between the midfield and defence. 

Setting the CM on support, in this case Andy Wendschuch, to dribble more, allows a more fluid transition from the defensive third into the attacking third. He is the sort of number 8 of this team. I want this role to link the defence with attack. It will look to dribble forward, before putting the head up and searching for the best option for a pass. 

Paired next to Andy is the BWM on defend duty. He is our destroyer. Given that Paul Horschig is naturally a Centre Back with decent tackling, this will give him an edge in 1v1 duels in the middle of the park. I want him to do all the dirty work in midfield. Getting stuck in, winning second balls, essentially being a huge presence in midfield. After winning the ball, I want him to lay it off to the players closest to him, without losing the ball. He will also act as cover for the defence when we go forward, as this type of 4231 can expose the defenders to the opposing attackers quite often. I have also got Anton Kanther, who is in a similar mould to Horschig, but better physically and worse technically, so this will give us something to think about when we face opponents of different nature. 

The front trident of the Winger, Inverted Winger and the Advanced Forward are set to trigger press more often. Why? As I have not set my team to press the opposition much, I still want my team to approach the opponent from a position of strength. Pressing is still a crucial element of the game, even in the lower leagues. Setting the trident to press more often will allow us to impose ourselves in the match, while defending with compactness. Essentially, I want the team to have sustained pressure, rather than go gung-ho and press-happy against our opponent. I don't want us to be played around, rather look defensively solid, if it means to reduce the amount we press as a team.   

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Tom Gruendling is the hot prospect of this team. Only being 19, the Attacking Midfielder will be the focal point of our transitions. These are his attributes below:

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For an Attacking Midfielder, he's got everything you want. Or at least everything I want from my No. 10. Decent off the ball, dribbling. Great Technique, phenomenal vision and wonderful flair & decisions at this level. Couple that with average stamina and awful strength, he does seem like the perfect fit for the Advanced Playmaker role.  

On the defensive side, we have the best defence at jumping, despite being the worst at heading, tackling and appearing to be shambolic in pace & acceleration. Given that we have THE SLOWEST DEFENCE IN THE LEAGUE, a high defensive line or an offisde trap is a big no-go. I set our defensive line to standard, as I feel this will give us the best chance to remain defensively solid given what we have. Forcing the opposition outside was ticked when looking at the fact that our defence can out-jump practically anyone in the league. Yes, we may be unable to head the ball away when looking at this report, but if we can out-jump the opposition attackers, we should be safe from crosses into the box.   

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With the setup, I noticed that some sides play a two striker system, which exposes our fragility in the spaces between the midfield and the defence. Hence, I also set this variation to mitigate these weaknesses against such teams. 

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Essentially, nothing is changed, except for dropping our BWM on defend into the DM strata. This will give us a 3v2 situation in defence, which is advantageous to us when we try and repel attacks. I am a supporter of always having one more defender than the number of attackers down the middle, thus inspiring the change. 

This formation also works as a 4231/433 hybrid. Because the AP on support tends to drop quite deep to assist with the build up, our 4231 morphs into a 433 when in attack. The BBM and the AP act as the two number 8s, while the BWM is the lone 6, looking to shield the defence from counter attacking moves created by the opposition. We drop back into a 4231 in defence, overloading the middle so that the opposition has to play out to the wings.

Otherwise, same rules apply here too. Occupying all channels, prioritising the link between attack and defence, natural overload down the wings, defensive compactness. 

These systems will definitely change as the season goes on, but as it stands right now, I am feeling confident that these systems will work and that we have got most of the bases covered in terms of tactically versatile when facing different opponents. 

I guess we will see how the systems will fare against the likes of Energie Cottbus and Eilenburg in the league.

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2017_18-Chemie-Pokalfinale-9679.jpg.0eec9a1bdf27aaef878c1f0fd6d7ff1e.jpg 

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Good write up so far.  How do you feel about your chances this season?  Understandably Energie Cottbus are expected to outresource probably the whole league, but what about the rest of the teams - do you feel 8th is a reasonable prediction, or do you think you can have the beating of some of those teams predicted to finish above you?

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Posted (edited)

July/August '21

"We should use this period to welcome the fans to the new season. Let's inspire the team to build a fortress round here [Alfred-Kunze Sportpark], let teams know that Leutsch [the district where Chemie is based] isn't a dormant neighbourhood of Leipzig, but a football battleground" - Petr Havlicek, speaking to the Chemie supporters during an interview.

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Following a series of friendlies, arranged for the purpose of embedding our tactics into the minds of my players, we were ready to kick off the season. 

First up, Chemnitzer away. Very tough first fixture. Probably the hardest opening day fixture we could have had. After a very cagey affair in the first half, where we were absolutely dominated in every single respect, I set the boys out with a reminder that they need to show their worth to the team, each and every one of them. It seemed to have worked, when Andy Wendschuch lobbed the keeper, after an absolutely comical mix-up in the Chemnitzer defence. We were pegged back 10 minutes later with a well worked goal, coming in from our right-hand side. However, I was very content with a draw. That was until the dying embers of the game. A neat passing move outside the box found Dennis Mast one-on-one with the keeper, who would put it away into the bottom corner. Limbs rose, a roar in the away end erupted, cups, half-filled with German beer, were flying. Our left-winger would ensure that Havlicek starts his campaign with a win. A complete smash and grab if you ask me!

Luckenwalde at home. Our first outing in front of the Chemie faithful. Seeing as the opposition played with 2 stikers up front, I switched to the alternate version of the 4231, to protect our defenders and create a 3v2 situation on our half. This change seemed to work wonders, as goals from Stephane Mvibudulu, Dennis Mast and Timo Mauer put us 3 to the good inside the first 15 minutes. We then proceeded to switch off, as we conceded a goal from a simple through ball, which sliced our defence open. However, the score would remain intact for the rest of the game, giving Havlicek his first win in front of the home crowd at Alfred-Kunze Sportpark.

Blau-Weiss Leipzig in the Sachsenpokal seemed more of a training exercise to the boys, as we put them to the sword from the start. A corner routine ended with our left back, Manuel Wajer, scoring his first of the season, followed by a neat cross from deep which was successfully turned in by Stephane Mvibudulu, to give us a 2-0 lead inside 10 minutes. Unfortunately, the score would remain the same for the rest of the game. A bit of a shame really, should've scored at least 4 or 5 more against a side 3 divisions below us. Oh well!

Our game against Berliner AK away followed. A slightly frustrating game as I thought we were better than the opposition, albeit not by much. We were at fault for conceding the first goal, giving away an unnecessary foul outside the edge of the box, and consequently a free-kick, which they would convert. They had done nothing before that chance! Luckily, Stephane Mvibudulu would save us by hitting a humdinger from outside the box after a neat passing move in the 31st minute. In the second half, we had a goal questionably chalked off for offside before theirs was also disallowed for the same reason following our chance to take the lead. That is how it would end, a slightly underwhelming 1-1 draw against a side who I thought we would beat comfortably. 

Following Berliner AK, we returned against Eilenburg at home. Seeing as they played a 433 with a DM, I decided to rely upon a 3rd tactic, which saw us line up in a flat three in midfield (will reveal the tactic in the next post), to try and disrupt their presence in the middle. It seemed to work wonders, as we would take the lead from another corner, again, through Manuel Wajer. We would double our lead through a penalty, converted by Dennis Mast, in a game we should have scored much more. They had a man sent off closer to the end of the first half and was slightly disappointed that we couldn't capitalise against 10 men. 

Finally, to round off the monthly series of fixtures, we head away to Berlin again to play against Hertha II. In general, the reserve teams of the German top-flight are very tricky to play against, especially the lower down the divisions you go. However, based on our recent form, I was quietly confident that we could definitely beat Hertha's reserve side. That confidence was quickly shattered as we were 2-0 down by the 72nd minute, thanks to a howler by our keeper, Benjamin Bellot, who let in a freak goal from a corner. This inspired a change, as Mvibudulu wasn't turning up, to play Max Kessler up front, as a Poacher instead of an Advanced Forward. What a change it would prove to be! The youngster gets us back in the game by scoring a well struck penalty on the 85th minute. As the clock ticked towards the 92nd minute of the game, a simple ball over the top, Kessler beats the line, rounds the keeper, and equalises the game! I nearly fell off my chair when I saw that go in... :lol: I felt sorry for Hertha, as we were never in the game to begin with. However, Havlicek's quick-thinking had saved Chemie from defeat, giving a reason for the 'Diablos' to celebrate long into the Berlin night. It would ensure that the side from the Leutsch district of Leipzig would remain unbeaten in July and August. 

So, following these games, this is how the league table is looking...

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Very positive start, considering it could have been worse were it not for Dennis Mast against Chemnitzer and Max Kessler against Hertha II. The important thing is to always pick up points and carry our momentum forward. I am not aiming for promotion this year, but we need to consolidate our position in the top-half. A dropped point or two is completely fine at this stage.

Bearing that in mind, I am slightly surprised and also very pleased that we got off to an unbeaten streak within our first 5 games. Whether we continue this form completely depends on many factors we may not be able to fully control, as we are only 5 games in and it is relatively early to form any sort of conclusion. That being said, I am not expecting us to maintain this streak, given how shaky we looked for long periods against teams that are around us in the league. But, as we did before, we will do what we can, game by game. 

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2017_18-Chemie-Pokalfinale-9679.jpg.b99e3733b9532dbbbcc02f090463560a.jpg

Allez BSG!

Edited by haier_fm
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On 09/03/2022 at 20:36, GIMN said:

Good write up so far.  How do you feel about your chances this season?  Understandably Energie Cottbus are expected to outresource probably the whole league, but what about the rest of the teams - do you feel 8th is a reasonable prediction, or do you think you can have the beating of some of those teams predicted to finish above you?

Bottom line, I'd say we would be there or thereabouts. On paper, we look decent enough to definitely not languish in the bottom 5, but not quite good enough yet to challenge for promotion. How we perform in the league is a different story, as it always is in Football Manager when managing in the lower leagues. Anyone can beat anyone here. Perhaps bar Cottbus, bottom sides can very much beat or take points off of those sides who are positioned higher in the table. We have to be consistently on top of our game if we want to finish higher in the top 3 at least, but I am not expecting much for my first year in the save. I am aiming to getting promoted next season rather than this season, when we have the ability to sign players that we want. 

Personal note before I forget: I have disabled first window transfers, as I prefer to assess and use the team that is given. It personally makes the game much more fun early on. Hence, there were absolutely no signings during the summer window. 

On a side note, interestingly, finishing 1st at the end of the season does not 100% guarantee promotion. You see, if you finish 1st in the league this year, you would have to face against the champions of the Regionaliga Nord, a completely different league to our league, but still within the same tier of Germany. If you beat them over two legs, then promotion into the 3.Liga is secured. It is all a part of a very complex and complicated system of promotions and relegations in the Regional leagues of the German football system. Note to self: Find and post an article to explain how the promotion and relegation system works here. Definitely would help with describing the context of this and the next season. 

On 10/03/2022 at 22:33, 13th Man said:

Glad to see you back!  Definitely hoping you can take them up through the leagues and take down RB Leipzig...or just have a fun journey.

Thank you! It is good to see you still hanging around here too. Still inspired by your Livorno save from FM20. 

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Just caught up. Love your choice of club and a very nice start! Sensible process in coming up with your tactical style be interesting to see how you progress tactically as you scale the leagues. All the best following 

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18 hours ago, haier_fm said:

Bearing that in mind, I am slightly surprised and also very pleased that we got off to an unbeaten streak within our first 5 games. Whether we continue this form completely depends on many factors we may not be able to fully control, as we are only 5 games in and it is relatively early to form any sort of conclusion. That being said, I am not expecting us to maintain this streak, given how shaky we looked for long periods against teams that are around us in the league. But, as we did before, we will do what we can, game by game. 

A cracking start, and if you're able to grab those wins when things aren't all going your way, that's hopefully a sign of good things to come.

18 hours ago, haier_fm said:

Personal note before I forget: I have disabled first window transfers, as I prefer to assess and use the team that is given. It personally makes the game much more fun early on. Hence, there were absolutely no signings during the summer window. 

How do you feel about the balance of your squad?  I appreciate it's early days still, but there are any areas in particular that you feel are a little thin, or just lack the necessary quality?

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20 hours ago, 13th Man said:

Really good start, so much late game drama! As frustrating as conceding late is, scoring late is the absolute best.

Thank you. Yep, the lower league fixtures are always very interesting affairs. Think this is what I love about Football Manager at the moment, even if does makes me sit on edge of my seat for long periods of time!

On 12/03/2022 at 11:31, SixPointer said:

Just caught up. Love your choice of club and a very nice start! Sensible process in coming up with your tactical style be interesting to see how you progress tactically as you scale the leagues. All the best following 

22 hours ago, GIMN said:

A cracking start, and if you're able to grab those wins when things aren't all going your way, that's hopefully a sign of good things to come.

How do you feel about the balance of your squad?  I appreciate it's early days still, but there are any areas in particular that you feel are a little thin, or just lack the necessary quality?

Thank you too! 

Given that we are a semi-professional outfit at the moment, I don't expect much from this squad. 

On the flip side, we have at least 2 or 3 players per position, and a very good mix of personalities and ages. Players 35+ in the squad still generally perform really well, given they are going to drop off in attributes very soon. But overall, I am quite happy with the overall build of the squad, especially considering that we are the leaders on paper in teamwork and technique, which helps massively with how I want Chemie to play. 

Slightly worried that around 55% of our squad, most of them being in the starting XI week in, week out, have their contracts running out at the end of this season. We don't have the financial ability to renew contracts at all, so a massive rebuild next season may be a real possibility. I guess we will cross that bridge once we get there. ;)

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September '21 + A Tactical Interlude

"We have reached a certain expectation from our fans since the first game of the season against Chemintzer. Thus we must work hard to maintain and entertain those who come down [to Alfred-Kunze Sportpark] week in, week out." - Petr Havlicek to the Leipzig Tribunal

In my previous save update, I promised to bring you a tactical breakdown of my 3rd setup. It would be criminal if I kept it hidden from everyone, so I suppose the first part of this post would be dedicated to explaining why and how I made this work.

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Team Instructions

Formation - Formation wise, the thinking behind this was to counter teams that prefer to play a 3 man midfield, whether it would be a 4411, 433DM, 4141 with a flat midfield four. I saw with our current variations of the 4231 that we would be fairly well dominated against such sides, as the Attacking Midfielder would be marked out the game, reducing the numerical superiority in the centre of the park.

Hence, I selected a flat 3 man midfield.

Mentality - With the type of football I like to play, I tend to either go Balanced or Positive. I chose to keep it on Balanced. I feel that with the current players, Positive causes me a lot of trouble when the opposition counter, leaving us with 2v3 situations. Couple that with very slow centre backs and you've got a problem. Hence, Balanced here makes the most sense

Positional Changes - There are three here to speak of. 1) Dropping the AM into the CM strata and setting him to a Centre Midfielder on Attack Duty. When in possession, still achieves the 4231 shape, but because Tom Gruendling, here, starts deeper, we have a numerical advantage in the centre. When we win the ball back, our number 17 becomes a viable option, paired with the two other midfielders and the winger dropping in close. 2) Changing AFa into PFa. This was more of a response to Mvibudulu's inability to stay onside in most situations. While he can break the offisde trap, he is often found offside. I felt like the PFa would give him a deeper starting position, contributing in the build up a lot more often, while still having the license to beat the last line of defence. 3) Without a playmaker in the team due to the 1st change, I set Andy Wendschuch on DLPs duty. Why? I like the idea of having a ball magnet in the central areas of the pitch, which creates space for the players around him to run into. This role's effectiveness is amplified when you consider that he has got very good Passing and Vision attributes for this level.   

In Possession - I really don't like to set 63 instructions and overload my players with very complex tactical principles. It would make me very limited and rigid tactically when playing game to game. Shorter Passing and Lower Tempo. This would allow us to take a more safe approach when moving the ball, something that I find very crucial against a specific type of team that, as aforementioned, play with 3 men in the middle channel. While it may not give us the possession numbers that we would expect to see with this combination of instructions, we still should be very effective when presented with chances in front of goal. Play for Set Pieces is almost a given at this level - we score a very high proportion of free-kicks, corners and penalties. Why stop that when it is working very well?

In Transition - Here is something I may change. Shorter Passing and Counter. It may seem counter-intuitive on paper. However, we seem very passive off the ball if I don't have this selected. The main idea is to remain active off the ball: Pass, move into spaceI feel that with the Counter TI, we are much better when going forward, due to our players making forward runs into space. We want to play on the front foot, without necessarily being all about the Gegenpress we are used to watching nowadays.  Take Short Kicks removes the need to have Play Out of Defence ticked, as I am trying to keep my instructions to a minimum here. Counter-Press without having the very intense press allows us to sustain our pressure more longterm. Our forward line takes up smart positions designed to cut passing lanes, rather than running at the opposition defence at ridiculous speeds. Distribute Quickly sets our goalkeeper to find the safest option, not exactly the most optimal option, when he has the ball. It allows us to balance between being dangerous on the break and controlling the ball and the spaces. 

Out of Possession - Higher Defensive Line and Line of Engagement. While I did say that we are not going to run around like headless chickens, in order to have this sustained pressure, our forward line has to be higher up. We want to dominate the ball against 3 man midfield teams, so the two instructions will cause us to meet the opposition higher up and give less space for them to play in. Get Stuck In - I have removed this ever since. Too many and yellows that have been picked up caused this change. I would rather us be efficient at tackling rather than having a high volume of tackles. 

 1242685905_Screenshot2022-02-26184228.png.58204936359a0050e87ccd40b76995a6.png

 The flat 3 man midfield works absolute wonders!

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Der Leipziger-stadt Derby

First on our list in September, Lok Leipzig at home. They had a very tricky start, as they were 13 places below us in the table, lying in 16th. Still early days, but not a good start for a team that is meant to be challenging for the top-half and finished 2nd in the league a season or two ago. Regardless, this game was a cagey affair. The first half was dull as dish water, as it was slightly frustrating that we could not hit the back of the net on multiple occasions. The number of fouls doesn't concern me though, as it is a fierce derby after all. Inspired by the last game against Hertha II, Havlicek made the same move of replacing Stephane Mvibudulu with Max Kessler. It would prove to work yet again. On the 67nd minute, a neat passing move down the left hand side saw Timo Mauer play a nice through ball towards Kessler up top. With 16 finishing, it was an easy job for the 22 year old to hit home from close range, which would give us a much needed win against our city rivals. We now have the bragging rights over a historically more successful Leipzig representative!

Following the trend of playing against fallen giants, we pay a visit to Dynamo Berlin. A line breaking pass from deep onto a surging Florian Bruegmann leads to our wing-back cutting it back to Stephane Mvibudulu opening the scoring early on in the 24th minute. We are instantly pegged back by a point-blank header and our keeper, Benjamin Bellot, unable to make significant contact with the ball to prevent it from going into the net on the 26th minute. What followed though, was complete domination and a field day for Stephane. A goal questionably chalked off on the 38th, a penalty on the 54th, and a thumping effort on the 90th ensured that Chemie and Havlicek would leave Berlin, this time, with all three points.

We then welcomed Halberstadt at the Alfred-Kunze. Stalwart Benjamin Boltze gave us the lead from a well hit free kick in the 2nd minute, before the game even really started. We follow this up by a near post header from a corner by our big man Manuel Wajer, who uses his full height of 1.94 metres to get us 2 goals to the good before half-time. However, the concentration of our boys can only serve us this far, as we concede a counter and a break away down our right-hand side. Karau gets distracted by marking the striker, opening up space for the opposition winger to exploit. The winger does so with efficiency, netting their only goal on the 87th. Frustrating times for Havlicek, as clean sheets so far are proving hard to manage. 

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Babelsberg 03 away. One of the games of the season. This was perhaps the best game I have ever been the witness of in the entirety of my experience of playing FM22 (bar maybe a 6-1 win against St Etienne in my other save with Montpellier). Babelsberg were playing a dangerously high defensive line, and when coming up against Max Kessler or Stephane Mvibudulu, you just don't do that. So much space to exploit in behind that, at times, it seemed like it was almost child's play. A Max Kessler penalty, a thunderbolt and a deftly executed chip by Stephane Mvibudulu would give us a 3-0 lead at half time. Havlicek told the boys that what he had seen was excellent, but there was absolutely no room for complacency. The talk seemed to work, as Stephane Mvibudulu would score twice again, both of the goals coming from outside the box. A neat Max Kessler header from close in would close the game and make us 6 to the good against a side that were in mid-table heading into this game. Watching Kessler and Mvibudulu combine for 3 of our 6 goals sent the Chemie fans singing long into the night. It was honestly like watching Batman and Robin at work. To me, to you, to me to you... I feel we have got a Reus-Lewandowski/Reus-Goetze dynamic slowly developing here!

However, despite our rampant win, Energie Cottbus were still 2 points ahead in first place, with our draw against Hertha II proving to be the difference between us and them.

Rathenow at home felt a bit like a hangover. I, nor Havlicek, can be too harsh on the team, even if Rathenow were languishing in the bottom 5 going into this game. A pin-point cross by Bruegmann onto the head of Stephane Mvibudulu would prove to be the only goal, scored in the 19th minute. A stark contrast with the previous game. It was a win, but a largely forgettable win, which would make us unbeaten in our first 10 games of the season.

Chemie fans and Havlicek were not expecting this winning run, but would enjoy the feat while it lasted, considering that Der Chemiker played against teams mostly around and below them on paper. 

So here is how the table is looking...

(I will be honest, I forgot to take a snapshot of the league table come the end of September. It is a bit of shame that you cannot see the league table, but I will mention the obvious and what is most important to take out of our position)

Despite our unbeaten streak, we sat 2nd by the end of the month. Cottbus were just rolling over teams in the league, thus making two teams that remained unbeaten in Regionalliga Nordost. It is slightly frustrating that the difference maker between us them, as stated previously, was our draw against Hertha II. Cottbus are 2 points ahead and given that we are yet to play them, our game against the current league leaders would mark a very important step for Die Chemiker. We have formed a gap between us and 3rd, giving us a 4 point cushion above Carl Zeiss Jena, which is a really good sign that things are moving in the right direction. With fixtures against the likes of Jena and Cottbus (and other teams who were predicted to finish above us) still to come, I remain cautious of our success, as we can fall down the table like a deck of cards at any moment. It is important to do our utmost to keep and maintain this form while possible.

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2017_18-Chemie-Pokalfinale-9679.jpg.da77ac44cb1c02c14c7d674b57fa04ec.jpg    

Allez BSG!

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1 hour ago, haier_fm said:

Question: For those who have changed the name of their topic, how did you do it? I am inclined to change mine, but I don't know how to do it. Any sort of help would be greatly appreciated! I know that @Carambau knows.

Despite my long presence on this forum, I am still unexperienced when it comes to such things.

FYI: I will hide this post once I receive responses, as I don't want to interrupt the flow of the journey.

Thank you in advance! :)

Edit the first post. :thup:

It's a really good read so far. Best of luck for the rest of the season,

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  • haier_fm changed the title to [FM22] Chemie Leipzig: The Chemical Element
11 hours ago, SixPointer said:

Like your logic for going to a flat midfield 3, something I feel I need to consider myself. Great form and a nice Der Leipziger-stadt Derby win!! 

Thank you. Sometimes rational reasoning can work really well when creating tactics

10 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

Edit the first post. :thup:

It's a really good read so far. Best of luck for the rest of the season,

 

10 hours ago, DefinitelyTaylor said:

Good read so far mate.

I'm always behind another force in Leipzig rising from the shadows to overtake their franchise neighbours!

Thank you! It means a lot :)

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Cracking stuff.  Out of interest are there any players that you're growing to love in this save that you also did in your FM20 one?  Or maybe the other way around - players who were great for you in FM20, but just seem to be rubbish now they're 2 years older?

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Deisler26 said:

Excellent. Really enjoying the raft of German DNA saves coming out this year! Best of luck for this!

Cheers mate!

 

On 18/03/2022 at 13:20, GIMN said:

Cracking stuff.  Out of interest are there any players that you're growing to love in this save that you also did in your FM20 one?  Or maybe the other way around - players who were great for you in FM20, but just seem to be rubbish now they're 2 years older?

I think I started appreciating more Chemie players in this Football Manager, the likes of Andy Wendschuch, Max Kessler (he was absolutely awful for me in FM20), and Manuel Wajer. I remember not playing them much in the previous version of the save, purely because they were either really underwhelming or just not cut out for our current level. Max Kessler is the one player I am getting warmed to, such a big game player, saves us when we need him most. 

Our backup left-back, Phillip Wendt, is just as underwhelming as in FM20 (I mean come on, dropping 6.4 ratings in training from week to week!). Luckily, we do have better players than him in that position in this iteration of the game, but it was a real struggle playing Wendt from game to game. It got to a point where I dropped him in favour of my 17 year old left back, whose name I can't seem to remember now. I'm sure that Wendt is much better in real-life, but he really isn't great in-game. 

Otherwise, I am growing to love most of the squad this year. Each player is different in what they can do, different in the roles they play. I personally like this variety of players, keeps things interesting. I also love that older players perform well, on par with the younger members of the squad, which definitely wasn't the case in FM20. 

Although, I am wary about getting too attached to the current squad as our finances are not in great shape, we are overperforming and the current players want contracts that we cannot afford. Couple that with clubs circling around like sharks around our players come January.  

Edited by haier_fm
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Nice thinking on the flat three. I’ve liked it a lot through the years in that it can be a bit more flexible in countering other shapes without the third midfielder being too deep or too high. It feels a bit gamey to me - we should be able to tell play a bit deeper out of the AM strata, but I guess that’s what we’re doing.

Either way, I’ve been enjoying having an asymmetrical “flat 3” with Portsmouth, with the right or left being all but a a forward with the ball, but coming back into the flat shape out of possession.

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Posted (edited)
On 19/03/2022 at 20:01, 13th Man said:

Nice thinking on the flat three. I’ve liked it a lot through the years in that it can be a bit more flexible in countering other shapes without the third midfielder being too deep or too high. It feels a bit gamey to me - we should be able to tell play a bit deeper out of the AM strata, but I guess that’s what we’re doing.

Either way, I’ve been enjoying having an asymmetrical “flat 3” with Portsmouth, with the right or left being all but a a forward with the ball, but coming back into the flat shape out of possession.

I guess an AP on Support duty would perform similar to what you have said, but yes, that is exactly what I planned to have. The CMa acts as an AM, but just starts out deeper when in transition. 

On 19/03/2022 at 20:57, MattyLewis11 said:

How does the system look when in possession? Just out of interest.

Here is how the team looks in possession against our game against Tasmania Berlin (game will feature in the next monthly update):

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I'm no tactical analyst or genius, so I could be wrong in my conclusions. But here goes...

While not perfect, it does what I wanted it to do. The takeaway here is, because the CMa has the license to get further forward and roam from position, he acts as an Attacking Midfielder in this case, but as I said previously, starts off deeper in transition which helps us connect the midfield to attack (considering the PFa role on our No.24, Stephane Mvibudulu). The reason as to why the No.7 and No.3, Alexander Bury and Stefan Karau in this game respectively, are so close together is due to the nature of the BWMd role. I like how he, in this case, Alexander Bury, covers the space between our No.3 and No.5 when out of possession. He does seem slightly detached from the rest of the midfield though, but again, this is due to him on Defend duty while No.8 is on Attack duty.  

However, I want to point out something important. The player that is integral for the way we move the ball and control the it across the pitch is the No.6, Andy Wendshuch. 

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While he may not have the excellent vision I require from a designated playmaker, it is decent for this level. Combine this with very good technique, both footedness, good teamwork and decisions + the technique and passing, I feel like he is our nailed on maestro of the team. Yes, he may be 33 and already on the decline, but so far, he does produce really effective numbers. 

Here is his distribution of Passes Received in the same game against Tasmania Berlin:

1502886081_Screenshot2022-03-20215745.png.3e97514711410409b559ffc625ce22b7.png 

From the analysis, you can see that majority of the areas where he receives the ball is down our left-hand side. The reason? We dominated the first half and managed to close the game by then (spoilers!). The fact he is pretty much everywhere on the field just shows his impact upon the play and how crucial he is to our setup here at Chemie. This is further supported by the distribution of Passes Completed:

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Again, spraying passes pretty much everywhere. Despite his 9 vision, he does seem to be able to pick out a teammate and switch the play some of the time. However, where he shines is the short range passing, which is demonstrated by the above. I suppose this is due to the fact that I have set our TI to Shorter Passing and Lower Tempo, meaning he mostly passes to the players closest to him, choosing the safe option around 7 times out of 10. This would definitely look differently had I gone with our standard tempo instead of lower tempo. But as long as he does what I want him to do on a consistent basis, the Chemie fans will be happy (hopefully)!

Edited by haier_fm
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A nice breakdown of they system and more importantly the role of your number six.

I would agree that he is well suited to operating as your sides metronome, his average position in possession offers many passing lanes in the favourable triangle shape, therefore I would expect for him to dominate the passing stats in games which you are on the front foot.

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Looks like it's working really well.  In a sort of 4-2-3-1 it's also good to have the holding CMs a bit wide as well, if just to be available to cover the space between the attacking wide players and the FBs as needed.

That DLP definitely seems to be getting himself involved nicely!

 

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Posted (edited)

October '21

"We have a strong squad here. I have got to stand up and applaud individuals such as Tom Gruendling, Max Kessler and Paul Horschig for stepping up in recent weeks and doing the hard work on the training ground." - Petr Havlicek on the recent LeutszchErleben Podcast.

Der Chemiker were anticipating a challenging run of fixtures. To come away with 15 out of a possible 15 points would be a stretch, as Chemie Leipzig would come up against teams such as Energie Cottbus and Auerbach. These games are a baptism of fire of sorts, as the Leipzig side from the Leutzsch district would be fiercely tested against more stern opposition. 

It remained to be seen whether Chemie would carry this unbeaten run into October. 

*****

To kick off the month of October, Havlicek and his men made their way down to Cottbus, where they would play against the league leaders. A crucial six-pointer at the top of the table.

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Both sides are in-form, both are unbeaten. Cottbus were the obvious favourites, and it seemed to be the case down on the pitch too at the Stadion der Freundschaft. Der Chemiker were ruthlessly dominated, guarding against frequent Cottbus chances early on. Our defence + Benjamin Bellot, who I have been critisising over the past few games, were putting in a monumental shift, repelling attacks down Leipzig's wings, as Havlicek bet on setting his side more narrow to ensure there was no space in the middle to play through. However, while the resolute defence did their bit, the lack of confidence of Chemie's midfield and attack made for a grim viewing for the 575 Chemie fans, who anxiously watched on as the first half drew to a close. Although the scores stayed level, Havlicek was having none of it. Chemie were going to concede one way or another, just a matter of when, not how.

Petr Havlicek made in it no uncertain terms just how unhappy he was with the lack of impact his midfield and forward line made. This seemed to fire up the team, as defence and midfield started stringing passes together and produced such pure geometry on the pitch, that even Pythagoras would have been proud of.

Cottbus were now under the cosh and put to the sword. An intricate sequence of play found Andy Wendschuch in free space just outside of the box, who set up a simple pass into Timo Mauer on the 71st. The winger would slide the ball underneath the opposition keeper into the net to send Chemie fans into cloud nine. Afterwards, stalwart Benjamin Boltze would produce a gift for those who came down to watch from Leipzig, hitting a 20 yard free-kick past the streched arms of the keeper to send Havlicek racing down the touchline and throw himself into the pile of celebrating Leipzig players down at the away end. 

That is how the game would finish, as Havlicek furiously waved his arms, encouraging his players to waste time and slow the tempo down. A vital win for Chemie would send the Cottbus players into the dugout under the intense booing produced by the home support. 

1991563093_Screenshot2022-02-26183926.thumb.png.6c8364bfc0d00dc958edd658fc8b413d.png  1221811986_Screenshot2022-02-26184108.png.b85603092204caef8537c5763897453c.png       

At the time, I thought this was a clear Smash & Grab, but looking back at the stats, we seemed to somehow find our way back into the game after half-time. 36% possession, but being progressive with the ball, moving it forwards whenever possible. Safe to say, we didn't need much to find our groove. We got our chances and made Cottbus pay for their unfruitful day in front of goal. In the end, we got what we came for to maintain our unbeaten streak.

This unbeaten streak would carry on for the rest of the month, as shown below. 

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From boiling water and into the frying pan. After a tough game against Cottbus, we would welcome Auerbach, who, while underperforming, were a side not to be underestimated. Thus, we had to quickly show why we were better than Cottbus and we ultimately did, as Max Kessler's double, a penalty on the 14th and a rocket from a lovely cutback by Stephane Mvibudulu on the 35th, would put us 2-0 before half-time and before you knew it, the game was over. Stephane Mvibudulu made sure that this was 100% the case, as he tapped in a Max Kessler cross on just after the 70th minute. 

For the 3rd time this season, we would travel to Berlin, although this time to face Tasmania Berlin. Remember them?

Tasmania Berlin hope Schalke 04 don’t break their record

Regardless, we instantly found our rhythm. A distant effort by Tarik Reinhard would accidently end up making itself onto the assists sheet, as Stephane Mvibudulu turned it into the Berlin goal on the 11th minute. A rifle from a 21 yard free-kick by Andy Wendschuch flew past the wall and into the top corner to make Havlicek's men 2-0 up within 20 minutes. We finally closed the game in the 30th minute when Max Kessler tapped in from a Timo Mauer cross. This was our guaranteed 3 points after a fine showing in the first half.

Returning with a severe hangover from Berlin, we welcomed struggling Altglienicke at the Alfred-Kunze Sportpark on a fine October afternoon. The positive atmosphere quickly turned sour, as Max Kessler pulled up, clutching his calf and waving for help from the physio. Havlicek's initial fears turned into reality as he received a phone call from the central hospital in Leipzig after the game.

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Just to show you how much of a loss he was to the team, some stats are shown above and below. 

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12 goal contributions. 4 Player of the Matches. Around 70 minutes per goal, the highest in the league at the time. 

It is a real big hit and a big loss to our squad because of his great impact ever since hitting two against Hertha II back in August. 

Attempting to not miss the big gap left by our starman, Chemie ploughed on, as they put the Altglienicke defence under a barrage of potshots, curling efforts, headers. This would prove to be effective. First, Mvibudulu would turn in a Lucas Surek cross on the just before halfway into the first half. Mvibudulu then dispatched a spotkick on the 55th minute and rounded off a fine performance by latching onto a Tom Gruendling through ball on the 92nd minute to ensure Chemie see off the guests with 3 points. However, as dominant as Die Chemiker may have seemed, Altglienicke made it 2-1 on the 87th minute, headed in by Felix Bruegmann (the brother of our starting right back Florian Bruegmann).

1063488979_Screenshot2022-03-02214821.png.6e62299ca662c3917b30d54a20487b73.png

Eilenburg in the Sachsen Pokal at home. Neither do I, nor Havlicek completely understand what went on here. Yes, this was a relatively rotated side, but Eilenburg should have not been a match for us in this game. Perhaps the boys were reeling from Max Kessler's injury? For the first time in a long while, we actually went behind after a header turned into our net by the opposition on the 63rd minute. By bringing on Stephane Mvibudulu, Havlicek ensured that his team would equalise, as the striker would add another tap-in into his goal bank. We battled on in extra-time, seeking for the winner, as we dominated proceedings. However, we didn't find the goal we needed and quickly found ourselves going into penalties. A whole 120 minutes + penalties wasn't convenient at all for us, as we had a league game to play in 3 days. Luckily, Andy Wendschuch would score the decisive spot-kick and give us the win in a game that would be detrimental to the physical health of the squad, as Havlicek would find out later...

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3 of our first team players were injured either due to reckless Eilenburg challenges or fitness issues within the duration of the 120 minutes. That makes it 4 (+ our starting LW Dennis Mast, who was injured since the end of August) of our guaranteed starters out for the next couple of games. This made Havlicek distressed. 

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Left to pick up the pieces, Havlicek rallied the troops, as Chemie travelled to Fuerstenwalde. A very cagey affair. Half our forward line was out injured and made up of Florian Kirstein, who often turned in poor training performances, to replace Kessler on the right and CB Alexander Bury on the left, who can actually play both winger and centre-back. It showed just how much we missed the synergy between the front-line of our attack. Stephane Mvidbudulu turned up again, scoring from an Alexander Bury knock down right just before the hour mark. 1-0 is how the game finished. This result, albeit slightly underwhelming, would close October for us.

Here is a look at the league table. 

523633012_Screenshot2022-03-04171453.png.bd1a20a8f66b697aa7878692be50b539.png

We have a nice 4 point gap to Cottbus in 2nd and a 10 point gap to Jena in 3rd. Cottbus, seemingly the machine that rolled over teams left, right and centre,  miraculously dropped more points in their loss against Jena. Our Goal Difference is superior to anyone else's, and that is now to be expected, given the form Max Kessler and Stephane Mvibudulu were in during the 6 game run.

However, overall, its a bittersweet month. Yes, we beat Cottbus, and this could be massive come the latter stages of the season. Yes, we progress to the next round of the cup. Yes, we remained unbeaten, and the ONLY unbeaten side in the league so far. However, despite all the positives, towards the end of October, it seemed like we are starting to run out of steam. 5 of our starters out injured, the prospect of facing 3rd placed Jena next + the jampacked fixture schedule this month leaves us weaker now than before the game against Cottbus. We started scoring less too, mainly due to fatigue and a generous collection of injuries. I may seem a tad too negative, but that 4 point gap to 2nd and 10 point gap to 3rd can quickly shrink if we are not careful. After all, we were not expected to lead the table 15 games into the league season, and as teams start to adjust to us, we may see a dip in form around November/December time.

At least we keep our home fans happy entertained. Because in the end, for BSG Chemie Leipzig, this is all that matters.

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Allez BSG!

 

Edited by haier_fm
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Great result against Cottbus! Sometimes you got to light a fire under some players! Good to see they responded well, speaks to their mentality.

Tough times with the injury bug, but you seem to be doing okay so far - form remains excellent!

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The injury situation is looking grim, but great results nonetheless.  How long are they all out for?

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On 22/03/2022 at 23:17, GIMN said:

The injury situation is looking grim, but great results nonetheless.  How long are they all out for?

Here is Timo Mauer's assessment:

584558247_Screenshot2022-03-26141634.png.dbe4f657d15aaf70e2b04f1f5b7c2a70.png

Not as bad as I thought, probably the most positive news we have here. 

Tarik Reinhard:

1935432896_Screenshot2022-03-26141726.png.ede43a23114b885353d2e89fae50b67b.png

For our starting CM/AM, this was a blow, as he missed the whole of November because of a rough challenge against Eilenburg.

Denis Jaepel: 

1619810956_Screenshot2022-03-26141755.png.b3f149299148c6d4142f03b312ada125.png

This one was caused by the accumulation of fatigue more than the game in the Pokal. He was just starting to put in good performances, just before getting injured. It was probably my mistake by featuring him in 5 of the 6 games in October. 

Dennis Mast:

575110722_Screenshot2022-03-26141839.png.b0acaff74753d0a4ddad0667587c1073.png

Probably our most significant injury to date, sustained in the game against Lok Leipzig in September. I decided to cover it here because I forgot to include the full details of his injury in my September update. I want to say that we have not missed him much, as Tom Gruendling is doing a fine job at the moment. However, the more players we have injured (especially approaching the most crucial part of the season), the more we will need Dennis Mast back. 

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That's tough.  Even with players stepping in a performing well, each injury just makes the squad thinner...leading to more bloody injuries!

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November '21

"Yes, we have spoken to him [Lucas Surek], and he obviously wants out. We will try to do our best to keep him here" - Petr Havlicek, when approached by journalists on the street.

The Lucas Surek Situation

Before we begin, I will admit and say that this was my mistake. I should've given him more game time and not leave it until the last 3 games in October. But, alas... these things happen in football, and I've just got to deal with them as best as I can.

Following our win against Fuerstenwalde in October, we received this:

802813677_Screenshot2022-03-07210702.png.6740eb14e0cc3a3d11c0fdd81a35c311.png

Our back-up right back Lucas Surek kicked up a fuss for not featuring enough in the side. Originally, Havlicek told him that Florian Bruegmann was "in the form of his life", which brought a negative reaction from Lucas. While featuring for the last 3 games running against Altglienicke, Eilenburg and Fuerstenwalde, it was not enough to satisfy the player and his demands. In hindsight, it was fair too, as Havlicek did not really deliver on his promises. So, intimidated by unsettling the rest of the squad, which could ruin the good run of form, the Chemie Manager, reluctantly, agreed on this:

1817758310_Screenshot2022-03-07210718.png.dc98dff052a534029375c86876a90a81.png

And for a player of such calibre...

1078135268_Screenshot2022-03-07210756.thumb.png.30a0f04e55a974b30c3dcb00f157e223.png

...it was pretty easy to attract suitors, considering his recent form, fee and age. It wasn't surprising when AC Horsens, a club with a higher reputation than us, came in with an offer. 

1352352720_Screenshot2022-03-07210733.png.b44772250d75d803aca2859bc5f5286e.png 

Chemie are not in good financial shape, hence a fee was required. AC Horsens matched his transfer value, and an agreement was made. Lucas Surek will become a professional player, playing in the second division in Denmark, come January 1st. 

If Havlicek were to ever release a book, this sale and the overall management of Lucas Surek would definitely feature as its own chapter.  

For reference, here is Florian Bruegmann:

473670242_Screenshot2022-03-07210835.thumb.png.8b92d4e254a727e928866fff728cb282.png

He is the best right-back in the league, and he is with us. The way he plays is integral to our system down the right hand side. I just couldn't think of dropping him for Surek. Unfortunately, we pay the price for our stubbornness... 

Back to league action...

Despite the issues behind the scenes, November promised to continue to test Chemie on their credentials in the league. 

1357808536_Screenshot2022-03-13151654.png.4e48912a03d26ddb18b573fa01dfd678.png

Lichtenberg away. Perhaps for the first time throughout Havlicek's reign, Chemie looked very lackluster. The statistics flattered Havlicek's men, as they, in truth did not deserve to win, nor to lose. Timo Mauer's effort was called off for offside before the hour mark, meaning that Alexander Bury, still playing as our LW, opened the scoring very late on (84th) - a swivel and a half-volley into the top bins. Havlicek thought his side had snatched the win, pretty undeservedly. However, Chemie's sloppy defending allowed a tap-in at the far post to ruin the celebratory mood for Der Chemiker four minutes later. 

Hosting Jena at home, Chemie made sure that the opponents received a quick welcome in Leipzig. Fresh off the treatment table, Max Kessler opens the scoring from a one-on-one on the 6th minute. While dominating the game throughout, it would take 50 minutes for Chemie to double the lead through Stephane Mvibudulu, scoring a close range header. Our striker seemed to hit a purple patch, as he would sink Jena further by scoring a delicious chip over the keeper from the edge of the box on the 88th minute. This ensured that the "Diablos" went home happy, as the celebratory mood reigned above the grounds of Alfred-Kunze Sportpark. The win separated Chemie from the rest of the pack, and for the first time, deservedly so.

Tennis Borussia Berlin away. I think will soon start counting on my toes for the amount of times we have to travel to Berlin this season (this fixture makes it our 8th visit to the capital, if I am counting correctly). Not that it is a bad thing for our fans, quite the opposite in fact. Regardless, Chemie deserved the win, but the goals just did not arrive. Partly due to poor finishing from our front 4 and partly due to the excellent heroics of opposition goalkeeper Jens Fikisi. Arguably, the best player on the pitch, keeping his side alive and earning a hard-contested draw. At times like this, you have got to stand up and applaud. :applause:

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Feeling very hungry for goals, we rounded off November against Meusselwitz at home. We were absolutely relentless, although not as relentless as against Babelsberg two months ago. We started off tentatively, as Manuel Wajer found Stephane Mvibudulu to roll the ball into the net yet again in the 4th minute. Der Chemiker took a long while to get into their groove, but once they found a rhythm, they never looked back. A searching ball from deep by Florian Bruegmann found its target in Stephane Mvibudulu for Chemie's second on the 70th. A sequence of one touch volleys and headers set up Alexander Bury to turn in from a Florian Kirstein cross for a third goal 5 minutes later. A Stephane Mvibudulu penalty on the 83rd minute ensured another hat-trick of the season for Chemie's frontman, and another win for his side. A demolition job which left Havlicek, Chemie and the fans happy for the rest of the weekend. 

A win against Meusselwitz concluded our run of 4 games in November. Still undefeated, still going strong. Despite our slight dip in form, we didn't lose many points. This is the most important part in our campaign to keep this Chemie side playing. December promises to be mixed in terms of intensity, with Der Chemiker facing a resurgent Chemnitzer, before closing half-season with games against sides in mid-table. A league table update will be posted then and a mid-season assessment will follow.

But all of that will come in the next update.

-----

photo_2022-03-22_19-43-09.jpg.3c926fd5c738ee2368e3afa780de7c53.jpg

Allez BSG!

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Keeping those squad players happy is always a challenge, and not always worth it.  The only time that I find it easier is if you're in Europe so rotation is necessary.  Otherwise...I always find that rotation for rotation sake is asking for trouble.

Good solid results.  Funny that it was either domination or draws this month!

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2 hours ago, Deisler26 said:

I like that you've taken a firm hand. I will not ever give into my players.

Deisler is right. No one is bigger than the club except for me the manager 🤣

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On 27/03/2022 at 19:04, 13th Man said:

Keeping those squad players happy is always a challenge, and not always worth it.  The only time that I find it easier is if you're in Europe so rotation is necessary.  Otherwise...I always find that rotation for rotation sake is asking for trouble.

Good solid results.  Funny that it was either domination or draws this month!

 

On 27/03/2022 at 20:54, Deisler26 said:

I like that you've taken a firm hand. I will not ever give into my players.

 

On 27/03/2022 at 23:53, SixPointer said:

Deisler is right. No one is bigger than the club except for me the manager 🤣

Cheers guys! I appreciate the support :)

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December '21

"Yeah, he has taught me a lot since becoming the gaffer 6 months ago. You know, all the basics. If you attend any of his training sessions, he demands 100% focus and hard work from me and from the rest of the guys. [Havlicek] always wants us to go above and beyond on the training ground, so that it pays off on the pitch. And you can see that with our unbeaten run." - Paul Horschig, speaking to Deutsche Welle.

With the mid-season break approaching, the Chemie players were all looking forward towards a well-earned holiday and rest. However, Havlicek would remind the players that the work was not done yet. Anyone who thought about holidays should forget about them for the moment. After all, Der Chemiker had a job on their hands, with their three games in December.

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On a fine winter Saturday, Chemie hosted Chemnitzer at the Alfred-Kunze Sportpark. Unlike in the reverse fixture, the home side showed how far they have come since their first game of the season. Chemie dominated the game throughout the entirety of the 90 minutes. Stephane Mvibudulu headed it home from the edge of the box, after a block from a Dennis Mast attempt, just before the stroke of half-time to send the home side one to the good. While the second half played witness to a bucketload of Chemie chances, the game was only sealed just before the whistle had blown for full time - a Max Kessler header from a Tarik Reinhard deep cross. The goal ensured that Der Chemiker would take the 3 points in the bag.

359275781_Screenshot2022-03-13154244.png.101f04302b9d5b30785a0fc0011f986b.png

A 2 hour trip to Luckenwalde followed. Things did not get off to a good start, as Dennis Mast picked up his second serious injury of the season 5 minutes into the game...

314787815_Screenshot2022-03-20225741.png.37ce483398b1971f3a859be7a8864584.png

Frustrated but undeterred, Havlicek had brought Max Kessler on and put rotational striker Florian Kirstein up front to mitigate for the loss of Dennis Mast. This tactical change would soon reap its rewards. A dangerous cross fizzed in from deep by Timo Mauer found the toe of Max Kessler, who put it away in the 12th minute. Max Kessler would soon find his second - a yard trimmer across goal on the 49th. The media had called this the Max Kessler show, and rightly so. He further found our left-back bigman Manuel Wajer from a corner to make it 3-0 just before the hour mark. A man of the match performance from our number 19 sent the 496 Chemie ultras, and Petr Havlicek, happy.

For Chemie, the timing of Mast's injury is fortunate. 4 weeks + rehab means he will be back straight after the winter break. Back to the game though, and Der Chemiker showed their class against, admittedly, the bottom of the league but nevertheless. 

Just to show how good we were against Luckenwalde, here are the stats after the 90 minutes were up. 

2124635931_Screenshot2022-04-02142840.png.cd0fefe2d303bc39760958762f7eeb40.png 

Only one word is needed to describe the game - domination. At times, it looked like we were taking the mick towards the end of the game. Havlicek could not blame his players. Chemie brought champagne football to the lower leagues, and champagne football was here to stay. 

"And champagne football was here to stay."

Berliner AK at home. While showing that champagne football was indeed here to stay, we just could not find the net against a resolute away defence. Stephane Mvibudulu opened the scoring, firing in the near post after a Max Kessler through ball on the 48th. Christmas and the New Years' seemed to be on the minds of the Chemie players after the goal, and who can blame them? After all, Der Chemiker needed a break; sustaining the unbeaten run is a huge task and responsibility. Unfortunately, tiredness and the lack of focus cannot go unpunished in football. Berliner AK pegged us back straight after kick-off a minute later - a lapse from Stefan Karau, who lost the run of the opposition striker, and a subsequent tap-in, which prevented Chemie from getting all three points.

Nonetheless, this draw makes it 24 unbeaten for Chemie, 22 of those coming in the league.

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49 scored in 22. 10 conceded in the same amount. A more detailed breakdown will come in the next post, but scoring 2+ goals on average, while conceding less than 0,5 down the other end per game, is a very, very impressive feat. The highest scoring and the least conceding team make us a scary team to play against. It is imperative for Chemie to maintain this form after the winter break. Christmas turkey, roast beef and wine are all fantastic, but Havlicek needs his players to start where they left off if the club wants to remain top of the league standings come May. 

Speaking of the league table...

1244355993_Screenshot2022-03-20232200.png.b9060d6ecf4030931faa614a8ceadc1e.png   

A solid 6 point cushion to Cottbus in 2nd, an 11 point gap to 3rd. Very pleasing to see such a state of things. Havlicek stressed the importance of picking up points whenever possible, and it seems to be working. In total, Chemie dropped 10 points in the half-year, funnily, the same amount of points Luckenwalde won all season... 

Overall, a very positive end to December and the half-season in general. It is important that Chemie keep this up and not drop off in the winter period. Only after then will it be clear whether promotion is within reach. But, for BSG Chemie Leipzig, seeing Lok struggle, seeing themselves invincible (for now) gives a real reason to celebrate, even if the season is far from over.

-----

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Allez BSG!

   

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Things are looking good.  Not to tempt fate, but are you starting to cast your eyes on what you'll need to compete in the next league?

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Posted (edited)
On 02/04/2022 at 18:11, GIMN said:

Things are looking good.  Not to tempt fate, but are you starting to cast your eyes on what you'll need to compete in the next league?

Slowly, but surely. I am forced to plan ahead slightly, and you will see why in the image below. I wanted to make a separate post about this, but it would be appropriate to write about it here instead. 

One - expiring contracts

19954167_Screenshot2022-03-20223641.thumb.png.fb95b6ec4783ad106d9857cea6f2ce38.png

Pretty much 80% of my squad have their contracts running out at the end of the season, and I seriously doubt that most of them will want to renew with us. This is down to the state of our finances. Despite the sale of backup left back Lucas Surek, we still find ourselves in the red, as shown below.

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1831705502_Screenshot2022-04-05175422.thumb.png.ec56c771db7c79ae265ea3754d72f7c0.png

So a rebuild is in order regardless whether we get promoted or not. We cannot afford the wages the players want, so the future of this version of the squad is very uncertain. I really want to keep Stephane Mvibudulu beyond this season, but it isn't looking likely I'm afraid....

836982545_Screenshot2022-03-20223544.png.b56fbe5a73072ee6d4d2e01b6ec426ef.png

Two - Complicated promotion system

Even if we win the league this year, we still have to go through the notion of a promotion play-off. The regional leagues of Germany are perhaps the toughest in Europe to get out of. 

There are five Regionalligen in Germany: West, Southwest, Bavaria, North, Northeast (our current league).

"The Regionalliga West and Southwest each provide a fixed direct promotion. Another direct promotion place will be assigned according to a rotation principle among the Regionalliga Nord, Nordost and Bayern champions. The representatives from the remaining two Regionalligen will determine the fourth promoted club in two-legged playoffs."

"The champions of three divisions are automatically promoted; the remaining two take part in the promotion round to the 3. Liga at the end of the season for the fourth promotion."

It is a very messy system, and confusing to get your head around. But the crux of the matter is: even if we win the league at the end of this season, we face a two-legged final against the winner of Regionalliga Nord. We cannot get automatically promoted this year, as the automatic promotion spots switch between the champions of the 3 regional leagues of the German 4th tier. 

(FYI: Last time Regionalliga Nordost got an automatic promotion spot (2020-21), @Deisler26's Viktoria Berlin won the league and now currently play in the 3.Liga)

So, in short, regardless of promotion or not, we have to cast our eyes on what is next. By the summer, we should have a DNA and a philosophy in place (as this was not possible to do this season).

On 03/04/2022 at 02:49, DefinitelyTaylor said:

It looks to be a two-horse race at the top. The unbeaten run has been fantastic, it's just about sustaining this excellent form as much as possible now. Cottbus will push you all the way.

 

On 03/04/2022 at 03:21, SixPointer said:

Very impressive stuff! Your averages are phenomenal I’m surprised Cottbus have managed to hold on to give you a battle for the title.

Cheers guys. My next post will reveal more about our statistics and data as part of the mid-year report. 

We just need to win points where possible for the gap to Energie Cottbus and BFC Dynamo to grow. 

Edited by haier_fm
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  • 3 weeks later...

Mid-Season Report

"Predicted to end up in the mix for mid-table obscurity, BSG Chemie Leipzig surprised everyone, firing out the blocks early on and setting the pace from early September to late December. While it is unfair to single out people who have contributed most to the team's success , Max Kessler and Stephy Mvibudulu have both hit a purple patch, which helped the Leutzsch side dominate games week in, week out. It remains to be seen if Der Chemiker will be able to convert this run of form into something tangible. However, Havlicek deserves his plaudits, transforming his side into a brute force." - Kicker.de 

Before we dive in for a mini-update, apologies for the radio silence. I didn't have much time to play FM lately, let alone write up about what has been happening recently. 

With that aside, we head back to Leipzig.

.....

Havlicek and his team were enjoying spent time with family and friends over a large table, scattered with delicious food and drinks, as Christmas drew near. In this time Havlicek made the short trip down across the border to his hometown of Plzen in the Czech Republic, to see his relatives.

Evening set over the rooftops of Plzen, the sun shining its last rays for the day, as it started to hide under the covers of the dark sky. We suddenly zoom into an old, yet well-kept residential building near the central square, which overlooked the main church. As we go through the windows, we see a mid-sized appartment. where Uncle Pavel, with one end of a Malboro cigarette firmly clamped by his lips, cousins Tomas and Anastazie, who eagerly sat in their Vienna-style chairs. The chairs were bound to a round table. The round table stood, dominating the living room, as if it is a stand for an installation - an installation of neatly placed china cups, handed down from two generations ago, and a tea pot to go alongside.

The three were sat, playing a card game. Petr sat and listened to the conversation from time to time. 

"Our taxes increased by 5% this month, can you believe that!?" - Uncle Pavel retorted, while fiddling with the wiring that covered the cork in the bottle. 

"Yes, indeed. The city authorities must do something about it.", - Tomas agreed. 

"Petr, you're an economist, right? You should be placed in the tax council rather than doing this manager gig somewhere in the back end of Germany. Would do a much better job than some of our city council members.", - Anastazie sneered. She was always the one to throw shade at anything, perhaps reflecting the attitude of Uncle Pavel, her father. 

"Sorry, I didn't hear you." We pan round to Petr, who sat to the side of Uncle Pavel. He sat away from the table, his back hunched and brows close together, almost . Clearly, he was disinterested in talking about economics. 

"What's that in your hand?". Petr had an A4 notebook in his left palm, with a ridiculously short, blunt pencil placed in the other. While everyone else had a prolonged conversation about politics and whatever he wasn't really interested in, Petr filled some of the background noise with frantic scribbling, flipping each page at regular, long intervals. At times, when his mouth turned dry, he would get a quick sip of carbonated water. Despite being in the Czech Republic and his love for Kozel beer, he refrained from alcohol today. His morning hangover quickly reminded him to abstain from any spirit. It was only him and his notebook in this world. His handwriting, all written in upper case letters, documented his thoughts and opinions about Chemie and his lads.

If we included all of what he had written that evening, you would be here for hours. Hence, the following is just an excerpt from his notes made that evening.

.....

Top performers in the team, arranged by position:

Goalkeeper - Harold Bellot

1198373758_Screenshot2022-04-20221319.thumb.png.23d47e0cbc15a12e15748894ff9c7e53.png

Reliable and very, very solid. Should do the job for the rest of the season. Don't have much of a choice either if he starts underperforming - area of concern. 16 clean sheets in 26 games speaks for itself - highlight: Cottbus away - made several, very crucial saves which allowed us to keep their on-field advantage to a minimum. 

Worried about his expiring contract - obviously too good for this division (judged to be 3.Liga quality) but approaching his peak. Would be amazing if we had the finances to tie him down to another contract. No one is interested in him at the moment.

Defender - Manuel Wajer

832426951_Screenshot2022-04-20221408.thumb.png.005b0bb330222e7b85cc7d534efbb640.png

Brute and workhorse. Works up and down that left-side - got that position locked in. Gets very involved in buildup - 56.59 passes per game is near midfielder territory. We are not a very possession based side - surprised by Wajer's passing output. Tidy player despite his size - 85% tackles won, 95% passing completion, no mistakes leading to goals. Crucial to how we play - interaction with anyone who plays AML Key to our set piece routine - all 3 of his goals in the league came from corners. Not as good at shooting - not a deal-breaker.

Same issue as Bellot - expiring contract. No one interested in him at the moment - based on form, I don't know how long we can keep him here for. 

Midfielders - Tarik Reinhard

19205959_Screenshot2022-04-20221524.thumb.png.63a1a31a1a38cdc4f6cc47ca39722164.png

There is a master and an apprentice. The master - Andy Wenschuch, the apprentice - Tarik Reinhard. Very very similar players, just about edges out Andy in performance. May not get as involved going forwards - played more in a deeper position rather than at AMC - 324 minutes per assist isn't the best. We get most of our assists from the wings, but 324 is a number which shows him being played deeper. Consistent when relied upon, technical when required. Combative player - 1.53 tackles won per game, while being in middle third - good showing. 

Another player with an expiring contract. No one interested.

Max Kessler

1290519358_Screenshot2022-04-20221553.thumb.png.204c1b4878827287fed7d8ea7499457c.png

Absolute revelation. From being on the fringes of first team - cemented starter. Fouled frequently - 2.40 fouls against, gives us a frequent chance of winning penalties. Around 40% of all his goals came from exactly that - 2.53 dribbles made + stat for fouls against. Bit of a one trick pony - not as involved in build-up as I want him to be - 43.12 passes completed, caught offside very often. Bit like Inzaghi on the wing. Yet, his 92 minutes per goal looks pretty impressive. Key player, big performances in big games. 

Will stay here until 2023. 

Strikers - Stephane Mvibudulu

1764322542_Screenshot2022-04-20221642.thumb.png.58093ec34f0cb69579b8191c065a43ce.png

Nothing that needs to be said is new. 82 minutes per goal and 7.52 average rating speak for themselves. BUT, gets offside way too often - stunts his potential to contribute more effectively. Recently stopped scoring - area of concern. May set him from an AFa to a PFa or DLFa. 

Contract expires at end of season. 

[...]

Leutzsch Data Crunch

800673673_Screenshot2022-04-04224520.png.42b05d065cb3961b51d826f15b7b3c7f.png1373130215_Screenshot2022-04-04224541.png.20d8b311e73287c866785196fe530a98.png 

45.43% Shots on Target + 16.41 shots per game = winning games just because we shoot a lot. 1.91 xG/90min means 0.11 xG per shot - the average shows we score from low scoring chance positions - don't score from clear cut chances. xG could be much lower if it wasn't for the abundance of penalties we earn. Don't necessarily like that - would like to be more clinical and ruthless. Otherwise see us struggling against teams that like to sit deep and narrow -> potential tactical adjustment.

Obvious that we like hitting sides on the counter more than anything - 10.09 dribbles per game is higher than league average. Like to run at players - lads such as Max Kessler, Dennis Mast and Dennis Jaepel. 

29.72% cross completion - most of our assists come from crosses. Good to see that they are working out well. 

1891495750_Screenshot2022-04-04224605.png.dcbb5316a7f3753ef4135038753d6949.png

Along with Cottbus - leaders in shooting. High conversion rate - slightly false impression, again due to us winning penalties very often. From open play, less clinical - potential problem area. Only beat teams because we shoot a lot - need to be more clinical from open play. Need ideas to break teams that sit deep (i.e. Berliner AK). Crossing alone will not do. 

88924936_Screenshot2022-04-04224652.png.2c2ac37ba4cf023ea4bda9f92be1ed19.png

 Good to see that we are at least strong defensively. Will pass this onto my assistant, Christian Sobotka, to work on defensive analysis. 

1467761855_Screenshot2022-04-04224758.png.c0640b78ab08cd2f86ed0aa8201a2eaf.png

Deservedly at the top of the table. Overperforming on our xGA - down to Benjamin Bellot. Nothing we can do defensively to reduce that number - already quite low, lowest in the league - positive. 

Overperforming xG and xPTS - again, backs the fact - we shoot a lot, score from chances that have low probability of going in (i.e. shots outside the box & headers from crosses out wide).

Fact we have high shot volume, part of our current tactic - need to change that if we get promoted. 

486288340_Screenshot2022-04-04224824.png.a95815322b431db662922a24ef04947f.png  

Kessler & Mvibudulu split - Lewandowski & Reus dynamic. One - more creative, one - more ruthless. Integral to how we play. 

.....

As the Chemie players made their way past the Alfred-Kunze Sportpark for the first time after the holidays, Havlicek reminded the boys that the job was not done yet. It is really crucial to maintain superiority through rigorous training and exercise. It was time to burn down the beer bellies and the leftover Christmas pudding. 

"We must not let the fans down," repeated Havlicek as the boys made their way out of the team room and onto the training pitch, "because we are BSG Chemie Leipzig. This way, we become grateful of those who follow us round the country, just to see us play."

-----

photo_2022-03-22_19-43-09.jpg.67f44f4bf445223f653f24f854321b7a.jpg

Allez BSG!

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Great to have you back @haier_fm - I'm a simple man who only has capacity to follow a handful of saves before I get confused, and I've really enjoyed your save so far.

22 hours ago, haier_fm said:

45.43% Shots on Target + 16.41 shots per game = winning games just because we shoot a lot. 1.91 xG/90min means 0.11 xG per shot - the average shows we score from low scoring chance positions - don't score from clear cut chances. xG could be much lower if it wasn't for the abundance of penalties we earn. Don't necessarily like that - would like to be more clinical and ruthless. Otherwise see us struggling against teams that like to sit deep and narrow -> potential tactical adjustment.

Obvious that we like hitting sides on the counter more than anything - 10.09 dribbles per game is higher than league average. Like to run at players - lads such as Max Kessler, Dennis Mast and Dennis Jaepel. 

29.72% cross completion - most of our assists come from crosses. Good to see that they are working out well. 

I wouldn't be too concerned about the low average xG/being clinical.  If you can keep on creating chances through crosses, you're going to score.  Sure, prime Barcelona can be fun to watch, but nobody wanted to ever play against Allardyce's Bolton!

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On 21/04/2022 at 11:42, SixPointer said:

Nice to have you back! It sucks when real life gets in the way of manager life 🤣

Promotion is on the cards this year!

Cheers! As they say: "A Day without Football is a Day Lost". :lol:

Seems like I lost too many days while being off...

23 hours ago, GIMN said:

Great to have you back @haier_fm - I'm a simple man who only has capacity to follow a handful of saves before I get confused, and I've really enjoyed your save so far.

I wouldn't be too concerned about the low average xG/being clinical.  If you can keep on creating chances through crosses, you're going to score.  Sure, prime Barcelona can be fun to watch, but nobody wanted to ever play against Allardyce's Bolton!

Cheers, appreciate you enjoying the updates as much as I love playing this save. The progression is a bit slow but it is all going to be worth it in the end.

Being a crossing merchant can never be a bad thing, just need to be prepared for when it will start to prove ineffective! 

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Great stuff! You might be in a tough spot in the summer due to all those expiring contracts but there’s only so much you can do!

On xG - I think it tends to undervalue crosses and headed opportunities, so if that’s where you get your goals and it’s consistent then I see nothing wrong.  If you have/create mismatches or a player(s) well suited then those chances are better then xG gives them credit for!

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