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  1. Can you do me one. This is very interesting. Hopefully I get something a bit 'out there' and can go full hipster.
  2. Nah never save and replay, one of the rounds the game crashed though after I had went through and I had to play again. I think the Brugge games. Nah I played them once in the beta too an won 10-0 just always cognate them, their line up is how the finished the game. But as you can see full XI think I have a screenshot of the 9-0 game somewhere.
  3. I actually saved over this by mistake. But I used primarily a control/fluid gameplay with the following TI; high tempo, close down more, play out of defence and retain possession. Only PI I tended to use was regards to GK distribution unless I notice something. As for player roles and formation that changes on a game-by-game basis. Usually a variation of the 451, 442 or a 3 at the back. When it comes to Aberdeen, you need to play a DM possibly two. The 3AM will control the horizontal movement around the box if you don't. Getting some quicker CB will help. Quite a few SPFL clubs will play 442, use a 4411. Basically look at each game individually. Playing against Rangers and the play Tavernier who's better suited Forrest who can break into the space he leaves bombing up the pitch or Roberts who will look to cut in and beat the DM?
  4. Celtic | A Squad Building Exercise | Prelude I have decided to re-write this. With the focus shifting back to squad development and tactical pragmatism. I will start with a summary of my first season and build up to where we are not with bi-annual season posts to follow. 2016/17 Season As you will have seen from the previous thread we had a very successful season. I started by navigating the UCL qualifiers and putting out Hapoel Be'er Sheeva, Partizani and Rosenborg. A good run of domestic form followed including the 9-0 thumping of Rangers and lift the League Cup with a convincing 4-1 win over St. Johnstone in the final. The UCL group stage got off to a terrible start for us. Back-to-back-to-back defeats left us bottom of the table with only 1 goal scored and 9 against. Incredibly in the games that followed we drew 2-2 with Juventus, hammered Spurs 7-1 and beat Leverkusen in Germany 3-1 to finish above them in 3rd place on the basis of goals scored. This was in the process of racking up a run of 17 games undefeated domestically. This was undone by a lack of planning and back luck as we faced Partick Thistle. A high defencive line, slow CB's and a good perforce from their keeper ended the run. We then went another 15 games without a loss domestically until priorities took over. We had went on a great UEL run knocking out the likes of Club Brugge [3-1], Schalke [a4-4]. So when it came up to fixtures around the UEL quarter-final I rested the whole squad resulting in a loss before the first leg and a draw before the second. However it was worth it when we beat Fiorentina on aggregate 2-0 to reach the semi-final. The remainder of the season we dropped just 2 points and lifted the Scottish Cup with a win over Hearts. In the UEL semi-final we came up against high-flying Athletic Bilbao. A ruling 180 minutes saw us take the tie 3-2 on aggregate thanks to a James Forrest equaliser in the home leg. In the final we lined up against Man Utd. I did my homework, got the tactics and line-up right (or so I thought). We were more that a match for the as we came back from 2-0 down at half time to take the match all the way to penalties. Our luck ran out in the final. We came up against the side that would finish 3 points off the EPL title and we took them all the way to penalties. When you take everything into consideration we had a great season. We showed that we can make an impact in Europe and not just there to make up the numbers. Domestically we wrapped up the treble with ease. We won the Scottish Premiership by 18 points, with us scoring 92 goals along the way. It will be a tough season to top but a challenge I look forward to. Transfers I only made one signing during my first transfer window. Diego Poyet arrived on a free transfer but was quickly loaned out along wit a few other players to reduce the wage bill. Then came the January window and in come two new faces. Julian Green joined from Bayern Munich meeting all signing criteria that I had set, and all at the bargain price of £950k. We needed an extra forward as I only had Leigh Griffiths and Moussa Dembele, the were both playing very well but the amount of fixtures coming up one injury could have caused problems. He could also offer cover on the left wing. As I lucked out getting in a quick CB - Rob Holding opted for Swansea and Jerry St. Juste was not for sale. I went down another route and brought in a FB who could cover CB for a fee of £3.8million - Linus Wahlqvist. This meant he or Mikel Lustig could cover CB when more pace is needed. Several players left the first team ranks notably Cristian Gamboa [£1.5 mil to Marseille], Nir Bitton [£3 mil to Marseille], Efe Ambrose and Kris Commons [free].
  5. Could one of the Mods please lock this. I'm not happy with the slipping standard of writing towards the end of the season and pre-season. It will continue in a fresh thread as it has strayed from the topics and styles I originally wanted to discuss. Thanks.
  6. Celtic | A Squad Building Exercise | Part XXI Phase 4 of my scouting network was set up early pre-season. Leigertwood will cover the Caribbean region looking for talented youngsters, Ayala will be looking ofr the best young players in South America and Da Silva North America. A host of players have arrived on free transfers. The first - genuine competition for Craig Gordon. Lovre Kalinic will be my first choice keeper in years to come and challenge Gordon for the jersey this season. His passing and first touch isn't great so that is something we will have to work on. The versatile Marco Friedl joined and was loaned out to feeder club Kaiserlautern. On reflection I should have sent him elsewhere as I don't see him getting much game time. He doesn't fit my singing policy but he was one I couldn't ignore. He's the typical box-to-box midfielder and managed an incredible 17 assists last season for Burnley. Another player who impressed so much last season is Nemanja Maksimovic. A great season for Astana seen him become a full international for Serbia. He couldn't get a work permit so will spend the season in Italy. Matthew Knox is another example of picking out the best in Scottish youth. He will spend the year in the Scottish Championship with Dundee Utd - a step up from L1 at Livingston.
  7. Celtic | A Squad Building Exercise | Part XX A lot has happened since the season came to a close. The board upgraded both club training and youth facilities. The training facilities are currently classed as 'excellent' and the youth facilities 'great'. This should help us produce more of our own players and better players to filter out through Scottish football. Great news for the Scottish game as we are climbing our way back up the rankings, we need to move up one more place to have an effect on the qualification places. Celtic also shot up 22 spaces, hopefully the other clubs can help the nation coefficient this year. There was a lot of transfer activity. Lets start with the players who left; firstly Kolo Toure chose to retire at the end of the season, possibly due to lack of game time towards the closing stages. Doris De Vries also retired. Bailly, Allan, Ciftci, Janko and Boyata all left and raised £3.25 mil between them. None were going to be anywhere near the first team. A lot of players left on loan, monthly thoughout Scotland. The first arrival was Jai Quintogo, a quick striker who will spend the season on loan at top flight side St Johnstone. The finished 5th last year so he should be part of a good side this season. Ederson Hyndman has been my most expensive singing yet. He cost £4 million from Bournemouth and will line up with former Fulham teammates Paddy Roberts (who's loan was extended) and Moussa Dembele this year. He looks a good all-round player and I expect him to develop well under the tutor of Scott Brown.
  8. Cheers man, that was the only downside to the season. Thanks, hopefully progress in the CL groups this year.
  9. Celtic | A Squad Building Exercise | Part XIX End of Season Review Scottish Premiership We were outstanding, we racked up an incredible 96 points. We won all but 7 matches and the majority of them were what I call a tactical loss. By that I mean before or after a CL/EL fixture where the squad was heavily rotated. Another loss came in a run of 10 games in December. But enough about losses. What about the highlights? A 9-0 win over Rangers costing Mark Warburton his job, and winning all 4 derby fixtures. A 3-0 win up at Pitodrie over the runners up. Leigh Griffiths netting 4 agains Ross County. Domestic Cups Not much to say on these, both wrapped up relatively comfortably. Partick Thistle gave us a scare in the Scottish Cup as it took us a replay and a last minute winner from Moussa Dembele to send us into the quarter final. Champions League We coasted through the qualifiers and into the riches of the group stage. The first round of fixtures made it look as if we were there to make up the numbers but in the final 3 games we drew with Juve , spanked Spurs 7-1 and put Leverkusen to the sward in Germany to progress to the Europa League last 32. Europa League What a run this was, we just never seemed to get the luck of the draw. We played to 4 sides from Germany, Italy, Spain and England. And somehow managed to reach the final. After and incredible comeback from 2-0 down we eventually lost on penalties . Squad Incredibly there wasn't a single poor player in the whole squad, no-one averaged under 7.00. This as you can imagine is a managers dream problem. Even the back-up keepers made the step up. I had two strikers who scored over 30 goals each and Scott Sinclair managed 23. Finances Awards
  10. Celtic | A Squad Building Exercise | Part XIIX On the run up to the final I kept an eye on the Man Utd line up. I figured they would line up in a 4411 formation so to counteract it I was initially going to two with a 4141. The. I thought about it, there was going to be a lot of space in-between defence and midfield to exploit. So I pushed James Forrest and Tom Rogic up to try and work some magic. At half time I noticed Forrest was very isolated, he only attempted 11 passes. So I brought on Callum McGregor as a wide midfielder. We eventually equalised an Rogic became a CM and Scott Sinclair pushed up in the hope his pace could get us a winner. It wasn't to be, we stretched the game out to penalties but poor finishing cost us.
  11. Thanks mate, hopefully I can make a difference to the league rep! Yeah its a joke how he got that role, not a guy who should be influencing children.
  12. Celtic | A Squad Building Exercise | Part XVII A great end to the season to set us up for two big cup finals. We fought hard to get through against a solid Bilbao side sitting 7th in La Liga. With Hearts in between the only player who started the 3 games in a row was Craig Gordon, I rested the starting XI. Once that was sealed we came up against Rangers and finished the season with a 100% record over them thanks to a Leigh Griffiths hat-trick to take him to top of the goal chart. Have a look at the stats from the game. Again the full squad was rested for the Dundee game. We finished the season on 96 points, just incredible. We romped home with a lead of 18 points, scoring an impressive 92 goals. I not only overtook Dundee we finished top in the possession charts. What I noticed about Dundee was they play with a narrow 5 man midfield, meaning they get quite good pass stats and possession. Another interesting one was the cross completion, I always thought it was poor - obviously not in comparison. Its good to see Hibs come up and Killie go down, this means we will have a much stronger league next year.
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