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About scousevasey

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  • Biography
    Exiled scouser, infrequent gamer, frequent lurker on the forums


  • Interests
    US sports and sports statistics, plus reading about sports, geography and major political history

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  • Currently Managing
    AZ Alkmaar

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  1. 2041-2042 In Season Update 8 - February Our experiment with the 5-2-3 fell flat against Feyenoord in the top of the table clash, and then imploded against Dordrecht. With Monsen returning to fitness for the NAC game, we reverted back to the 4-4-2 and our results rebounded A minor blip in the scheme of a season but one that leaves us fighting to finish 2nd as opposed to fighting for the title The first leg against Zorya left we worrying for our future in Europe, as we dominated the game, but I had started Coskun up front alongside Muller, and the younger man struggled to convert chances. The saving grace coming out of the first leg was that we had managed an away goal, giving us a slight advantage in knowing that if we scored then Zorya would have to push more to get their own away goal. Four goals in the first 26 minutes meant we were fairly comfortable winners in the end And we are one of four Dutch teams in the last 16. Lierse would usually be seen as an easy draw but the strength on Belgian football means that isn't the case. This is the first season they have played in Europe for a few season though, so we should have the upper hand over them and be able to make the quarter finals. Our league form sees us fighting with Ajax for 2nd, with them currently having a game in hand and only trailing us by a point. Our upcoming game could well be massively important We can't afford to focus too much on Europe as we have some challenging fixtures but we should progress nicely through the remaining eight league games. I can't see us throwing away an eight point margin over Heerenveen in fourth, and as we are only expected to reach the Europa League, dropping to third isn't the end of the world, but having sat in second for most of the season it will be a real shame. I have shown the fixtures to the end of the season, as I am going to experiment with a different frequency of update in advance of FM20, where I will update on fixtures each half season, breaking that down into individual posts for each competition but then adding in posts about the development of players, or squad issues on a slightly more regular basis. It may disrupt the flow of the updates a bit, but I want to focus into the Youth aspect of the save more with the new features (lots for me as I have the whole new FM19 training updates to contend with too).
  2. It is a good sum of money but there are a couple of caveats to consider 1) I am not looking to spend it on transfers. Our facilities are already pretty decent and we have a new stadium on the way, so there isn't too much left to spend it on We are pretty close to maxed out apart from Data Analysis, which I will continue to add to when I can. 2) We already had a decent amount in the bank (and transfer budget) We had ~£60M in the bank going into the transfer window, so we are well set, but looking around the finance page a bit more I found we also have a debt The start date is fairly recent, but the last ownership change doesn't match up It may trace back to the financing of the new stadium, organised in 2040, time to plan and start building taking more than a season, meaning it will be ready for the start of the 2042-2043 season. It is a bit of a shame that it is such a large debt, and we can't do anything about paying it off early, with the £15.75M of extra interest being a large sum if we fail to make Europe regularly. But the main aim is to build up my knowledge of the effect of transfers on the squad, such as them getting annoyed at not letting a player go, then annoyed when he does go, or seeing how much of it changes a season to lose the best player in January, This will play a key part in my FM20 save as I will be in a 'feeder' nation, one that is not a big league, and I know that my players will be poached regularly, while I try to build to a dominant position. Ideally I would have kept Verbeek as he was a product of the academy, but he was not one of my players in that sense so there is no real attachment. I also think that while I won't get rid of this save, the timing of the move to AZ along with changing job in the real world has slowed progress, and knowing I will be getting FM20 has driven some of the impetus from the save. I probably won't see the benefit of the facilities improvements I am making as I won't get through too many more seasons
  3. 2041-2042 In Season Update 7 - January and Transfer Window We didn't quite make the seven points I wanted but we were unlucky against PSV Clearly having lost Verbeek we lack a cutting edge in front of goal, but we put ourselves in a good position to win. The real negative of the game was an injury to Monsen where he will be out for 3-6 weeks, meaning we are down to the backups and even the backups to the backups on the wings. So for the cup game against NEC, I decided to go with something mentioned when I took over, playing with three at the back and three up front. Slightly watered down without Verbeek, but it got us the win which is what matters And while we faced a lot of pressure down the wings, we controlled the central areas of the pitch. Not perfect in our first run out but it is a start. In the cup we get the best draw possible, and we should be making the final at this point We will really struggle to catch Feyenoord now, although a win in our next game which is a top of the table clash means the title is still up for grabs. If we had won against PSV it would have meant the gap could have shrunk to as little as two points after the next game, but instead a loss would leave us 11 points adrift. We are 15 points clear of NAC in 5th so should have a good chance of making the Champions League, but we can't afford to rest on our laurels yet. On transfer deadline day, Ajax came in for Coolen, and while the £12.5M is lower than what I was after, we should earn it all along with the 50% sell on fee due to the appearance fee being reduced down to 30 games. In the roundup we are responsible for two of the biggest deals, both outgoing. We just need to make sure that we are not too thin now as we push on through the second half of the season Five league games in February with the key one being first up. Willem II in the middle will be a good test for the cup game, and then the return of the Europa League, where we will be able to rotate a bit against PEC Zwolle between legs against the cellar dwellers.
  4. 2041-2042 In Season Update 6 - The end of the Winter Break January started off in a blur It took all of nine minutes for the fax machine to start whirring once the window opened, with Verbeek getting lots of attention. While that was going on our starting MR left for struggling PSV. We will struggle to see the £1M for the appearances, but the 50% sell on clause could be worth a decent amount In the Verbeek saga, Monaco didn't like our negotiations to get to £37.5M plus 50%, so pulled out The team didn't like it. I managed to negotiate good deals with Marseille, Liverpool, Chelsea. Verbeek wanted to talk to Liverpool, and all three options had a 50% clause built in. Then Monaco came back in. Verbeek's chosen option And they met the release fee, so there was no chance to negotiate upwards, or add any clauses. I was hoping that after Monaco pulled out that the lure of Liverpool and the Premier League would be enough, but it wasn't to be And the squad got upset. Clearly it impossible to win with these players when it comes to happiness. One of our youth prospects garnered some attention, and he was some way off playing, with a middling PPA, so £800k with 50% is a decent value for a player who may have left at the end of his contract. His 61 appearances is actually four appearances for AZ and 57 for Jong AZ So halfway through January we have sold four players Osawa was surplus to requirements and 33, so the fee is a nice earner for someone I would otherwise look to release. I was hoping to get closer to £10M or more for Willems so it is disappointment to only get £8.5M at most, but we can build that up with the sell on clause Verbeek leaving is a shame as he has lead the line well, but our hands were tied. Some of the other offers were near to £42M but with the sell on so it is a shame we lose out on those van der Wal is not a real loss in my eyes, and if I am proven wrong the 50% fee will make up for it. But I would rather leave space for the intake players who come through during my reign Making a real difference to the budget with the transfer dealings this season, although we have lost some good players. The internal record has lasted for quite a while considering we are in 2042, which is telling about the transfer dealings that the club had previously. The reason for an update part way through the transfer window. Well apart from losing our star player, we also start our fixtures again, and I didn't preview them in December Two friendlies that we were invited to allow us some nice game time to keep up the fitness, before three league games and an important cup game. Hopefully selling Willems to PSV doesn't come back to bite us before the transfer window closes, but we should be racking up a minimum of 7 points this month and looking to meet our expectation in the cup
  5. 2041-2042 Winter Tranfer Window Worries As we end 2041, and the window is about to drift open there has been lots of news articles and press conference questions about some of our star players This is the top 20 players contracted at the club sorted by CA, with six of them wanted by other clubs, and three of those being in our top four players. With the top four of the six all being 24 or younger they are the sort of player I would have hoped to build the club around so selling them isn't really part of the long term development plan. But as I have an idea for my first FM20 save, which will include more teams interesting in signing my players than I was used to at Rosport this is a good test for the next save about handling such issues This is the top 20 players sorted by PPA, and the saving grace is that only three of the six top 20 CA players who are wanted are shown on this list, so for the future there is less of a challenge, but again they are all options that are 24 or under. Verbeek is our star striker, but is getting interest from some of the big teams across the continent. He wants to go to Monaco, and ideally I want him to go to one of the lesser clubs here with a juicy sell on clause. The saving grace here is that while he is valued at a mere £9.25M, he has a £42M release clause, and the media have mentioned bids of £31.5M. We don't need the money urgently, but if we can push that closer to the £40M mark, with a sell on clause then the transfer becomes palatable. Monsen is our best ML, but can't get into the Norway squad, so a move may be in his interests if he wants to play internationally. A mix of teams here, with Heerenveen being a bit of a sideways move, but again the aim will be to increase the money and work a situation where we get a nice sell on. Monsen would prefer to move to Heerenveen because they are in the Champions League (despite them only coming third in their group and therefore being in the Europa League now). Ideally if I am selling him he would be going abroad Coolen is one of our top three MCs, and with a much smaller pool of interest around him he is less likely to be on the move Muller is a rotational ST option, who wants to go to Oostende in Belgium because he thinks they give him a better chance of playing in the Champions League, so there is a chance of keeping him Kobylanski was unsettled about playing time earlier in the season, and although he dropped that concern, he may start to agitate for a move if Vitesse make their interest known. He is one who I would happily let leave if the deal was right as I think he is a rotational option at best, and we can introduce a younger option who can develop with playing time Another MC who wants to get Champions League football, and it means our top three MC options are all wanted at the minute. If I don't pay attention during the month I could end up with real issues in the middle of the park Having moved on a couple of days as I type the post, we have more interest appearing for players This makes it our top four players by CA wanted, although hopefully the poor form of PSV means he isn't looking to move on. Willems is our starting MR, and wanted more game time when I took over, which was realised when Bruintjes left for Inter at the end of the summer. Not really one we can afford to lose as there isn't too much quality behind him Our up and coming DL has minor interest from Germany. I want to get him into the first team more often, so this is not ideal, and the fact it makes eight of the top 20 players being wanted means we have a lot to do to improve our standing in world football before we are able to see of these rumours. Both Muller and Jesus came to ask about the interest in them, and as they both wanted to go for the Champions League I was able to placate them in the short term. If we make the top 4 they will be happy to stay. If we fail they will want to leave in the summer. As I want to continue the save as a Youth focused save I won't be looking to replace any of these players if we do sell them even though that puts the job and the league position at risk. This is again a dry run before FM20, so it is a way to juggle player moods, and moves from bigger clubs. We have persuaded the board to invest in the Facilities (both Training and Youth), which means I am hopeful for the first Youth Intake that will come in 2042, and the squad image sorted by PPA shows that there is a pipeline of sorts that we can use if we do sell
  6. 2041-2042 In Season Update 5 - December 2041 Not the best month for us as injuries have started to mount up especially with some key players We were poor against Vitesse, and struggled to create chances against Heerenveen, while lacking our starting DR, MR and one of our MCs. Squad depth is going to be interesting as the season progresses, and the January transfer window approaches. We stay second in the league, but Feyenoord have a clear eight point gap that will be hard to close if they stay solid. PSV are the shock of the season down in 13th, but we look set to finish in the Top 4 and get back to the Champions League which is my aim, and above expectations of the board. We cruise through the Europa League group, and provide Rosport with two of their three goals scored. For the next round we avoid any of the big teams dropping from the Europa League, and we get a trip to Ukraine, although all I can think of when seeing the game is Hopefully they are not Zorya the AZ destroyers...(I will get my coat) Having made it through against Roda JC in the cup we are through to the quarter finals, one win away from the board expectation And we have a good chance to make it through to the next round. I am not too worried about the cup as we are overachieving in the league, and have already overachieved in Europe, so would rather prioritise those to keep the board sweet and raise more revenue for next season. As we hit the winter break, and the opening of the transfer window, I am nervous about our chances due to lots of unsettled players and interest in our key options, and as we are yet to have a Youth Intake in my reign I don't have a connection with the team yet, making the decisions on transfers more interesting. But that requires a separate post
  7. Or more likely come back with more careers, desperate for the attention once again
  8. I might retire now. Completely dumbfounded that I have earned votes again
  9. It all depends on the potency of the grapefruit juice at the afterparty...
  10. Amazed to get views on my thread (and they have continued all year) Amazed to get nominated And shocked to have got enough votes to get a share of the award Thanks to all who have read/contributed through the year, and I am glad of the house band for the night as they play into my FM20 plans in some way
  11. 2041-2042 In Season Update 4 - November I wanted the first two games of the month to be wins to take pressure off before we faced 3rd and 4th in the league back to back, but we struggled against Utrecht, and even though they had a poor start to the season they were able to hold us in a poor game. The lack of Verbeek up front cost us in this came, and by the time he was fit again after the international break we has scored 6 in two, both hat tricks. Those three league games keep us in 2nd, but extend our gap on the teams below us due to our wins against them. Feyenoord look like they will be tough all season, and PSV have started to make a run up the table, so will add pressure to us as the season goes on. Utrecht continue to struggle so our dropped points are a real shame Two good wins in Europe mean we are still unbeaten in the group stage, and half of our goals so far have come from the one game against Rosport (who have started the season in Luxembourg with a 100% league record) December brings us seven games which will press our fitness to the limits, with the end of the Europa groups where I will push to stay undefeated, and a cup game agaisnt struggling Roda. Heerenveen to end the month will be tough, and they are sniffing around Monsen our ML meaning the game takes on added significance as the last game before the transfer window opens. Lose to them and he may want to jump ship. Beat them and he might see the benefit of staying. A good game from him could earn us a few extra million
  12. 2041-2042 In Season Update 3 - End of October League results It feels like it has taken a month to play a month, but it has only been a week and a half. A slightly odd update in length, but it gets us to the end of October and our tenth game so we can see the league table shaping up properly. While we were unbeaten, our performances have not been the best, often losing the possession battle, and the shot count being fairly even across the board, so there were minor tactical tweaks, to lower our tempo, add in retain possession, and a move from fluid to flexible. Against weaker teams we have also go to attacking instead of control. The tweaks were being tested against VVV, due to a European result, which saw is drop points as we had made the first two changes but not the later two. Hopefully we will start to become more settled in the next few games and see us win on the stats sheets as well as the scoreboard. Ajax can close to within a point, but we have made a good start to the season especially in light of our tough opening run of fixtures Cup Fixtures Two lower division teams were seen off easily. We are expected to reach the late stages of the cup so there has not been too much rotation, mainly as I don't know the strengths of the squad fully. Next up we face Eredivisie opposition with cellar dwellers Roda. Europa League After the triumphant return to Rosport we have faced off against every team in the group once The Charleroi game was the result that inspired the changes to the tactics as I expected a win in that game. The board only expect us to reach the groups but with the group we have we should be getting through to the knockout rounds We are well set to do that, with a good performance in the home game against Charleroi we will be guaranteed to go through, although the chances of Montpellier or Rosport coming back are extremely low Upcoming fixtures This gets us up to the winter break, with struggling Utrecht up first before the visit of Charleroi. Two wins from two is the aim here. Groningen and Ajax back to back is a tough pairing, and will probably see us drop some points, although we need to make home advantage count if we can. Rosport, and Roda should be two clear wins, unless I rotate wildly to throw the Rosport game to boost their chances or financial situation. After that there is no stand out fixture, and I will probably have an update either after the Rosport game or the Roda game to set the scene for the end of 2041
  13. Voted now, but it is tough going through the ten pages of careers from the year and trying to remember the highs and lows of each (trying to avoid recency bias( But this season I did manage to vote in all categories for the first time @Deisler26 - tip of the hat for organising it all this season. Hopefully the weekend sees a flood of votes
  14. 2041-2042 In Season Update 2 - the return to Rosport After such a long time at Rosport, and then returning to them so quickly for a competitive fixture I wanted to delve a little deeper into the fixture. In addition during the interview for the AZ job I inadvertently promised to improve my media handling, so I am currently doing all the press conference before and after games. Unfortunately this means that for the game against Rosport I seem to have 37 screenshots covering the build up, match and review, so to minimise the length of the post I will subtitle different sections then use the spoiler tab. Feel free to read as much or as little as you want The Pre-match Scouting Report I feel this is slightly redundant as I probably know more about the team than my scouts but... The media build up around the game Pre Match Press Conferences (and fall out) I have just taken a list of all the questions asked, not my answers, to see which the press pick up on, and whether the focus is on my return, or the game The match result I won't hide this section away as it is the main point of the update A comfortable win for us, but it is a bit of a shame to concede late on. A nice moment for the Rosport fans who stayed to the end though We dominate on our use of possession, even if we were slightly shaded on overall control of the ball. Nothing really surprising in relation to the result though This is a little worrying, as although I don't have retain possession as an instruction and instead ask for a High Tempo so we would move swiftly it is worrying how much possession Rosport had in our half. The positive is that they barely touched the ball in the box, or down the wings level with the box, whereas we have pretty good coverage over the whole pitch The Rosport formation was listed as a Defensive 4-4-2, and it is a shame to see the (31a) Fellerich and (30d) Dias being played 'out of position' in the midfield roles as opposed to giving them the freedom to attack. Interestingly the scouting suggested that CA would rule in picking the squad but (40a) Flick started at DC which wasn't predicted, although that is the only change Post Match press conference and fallout Reviewing the game I now have a data analyst, and get a report on the game, so it worth seeing what he picks out for us The MoM is the best performer. Not rocket science, but in a loss it could help see why someone scored well And again the room for improvement doesn't add much, but could be useful in a loss Most of our passing was sideways, with very little backwards movement. It would be interesting to see what angles are required for it to be classed in each category. If I pass the ball along a 30 degree angle from the halfway line, then is that forwards or sideways? I would say it is a sideways pass as it is still shallow, but the ball does travel forwards. I am not sure how to check this, but I may delve a bit deeper if I have time Lots more passing via the left wing with the DR and MR occupying very similar areas, and the ML pushing on more to encroach on the STCL The most interesting part of the data analysis Four key passes from the MoM, and three mistakes which all seem to be in the same spot. Doesn't add a huge amount to the information gleaned
  15. 2041-2042 In Season Update 1 Starting with something I haven't really had to worry about in this save, transfers Daan Janssen was wanted, and allowed me to ease a starting decision. Koopman, Bruintjes and Camara were all unsettled at the club so I knew there would be issues in keeping them around. It is never an aim to sell strong players straight away, but with a fresh start at the club I don't have the built up support of the players and can't really risk upset spreading through the team. We don't need the money from the transfers, and are well below the wage budget, but hopefully this opens the door for developing our young players. In terms of fixtures, progression in Europe was fairly easy, with the league being a little more of a challenge. Heerenveen are predicted 3rd in the table, and with players still adjusting to the new regime we struggled to convert chances, while we let Heerenveen control possession which cost us Our second loss was against Feyenoord, who have a perfect record after five games, where we were outclassed on the day Both losses came in the shadow of European games, and were against teams predicted in the top three in the league, whereas playing NEC who are predicted 13th after a European game is not as hard a challenge. Not the ideal start to my first season in a new country, but we do have nine points, including taking six points off our rivals for the European places Next up is my return to Luxembourg, to start our Europa League group stage campaign
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