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VillaSmith

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About VillaSmith

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    Aston Villa

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    KAA Gent

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  1. Tactics and Squad - October 2022 | KAA Gent Thought I'd do a quick update on my tactics as I've never really said how I'm playing too much, as well as a quick squad update. Main Tactic - The Gent Boa This is my primary 4-3-3 tactic. The skeleton of the tactic is based on a thread from the tactics forum called the Handbook on Pep Guardiola's Barcelona, that has been tweaked using Cleon's The Art of Possession Football, as well as some minor tweaks here and there to suit my players and how I want to play. The point of this tactic is to essentially suffocate the opposition into submission, hence the name, as well as utilising my wing backs and wide players drilling crosses into the box with the CM(A) arriving late in the box to cause trouble. I'll usually go for counter away at good teams or at home against better sides, which isn't often anymore The rest of the time I go for Control to try and put pressure on the opposition. Using this I regularly get 60%+ possession in games and average around the upper end of 55-60% over a season, as well as carving out at least 5-10 good chances per game against most teams. Secondary Tactic - The Gent Jet A bit of an evolving tactic this one. It started out as a 5-3-2 WB formation that I used on another save as well as against 3 striker formations at Virton. From there it morphed into a 5-2-3, but it didn't really create a whole lot which caused me to shift it to this 3-4-2-1. It's a bit of a combination of my 4-3-3 and the tactics this had morphed from with a very similar style to the 4-3-3. The main difference in this tactic is that the wing-backs are the main wide-outlet and the focus on possession isn't as important whilst the main goal threat's are the CF And SS. The BPD also acts as a kind of "quarterback" who brings the ball out from the defence to launch attacks as well as closing down much like a DM in defence. Third Tactic - The Low Block A rarely used tactic that I for bigger teams that I don't want to lose to. Based somewhat on how Burnley play in real life, it's designed to completely restrict the opposition of any decent chances in the centre of the goal and causing them to resort to pot shots. To be honest, when using this tactic I essentially concede from the start that I won't create many chances and I'm happy to just soak up the pressure and get a draw. It does get the occasional goal, but it's mainly focused on keeping the opposition out. Squad Goalkeepers Defenders Midfielders Attackers
  2. July - September 2022 | KAA Gent Transfers In Benito Sonck - Free Transfer from Sheff Wed. I've been tracking him since Sheff Wed nabbed him from me at Virton and he's progressed quite nicely too. Scored 11 goals when loaned out to Lyngby in Denmark and has gotten 22 goals in 61 games in the Championship which isn't a bad return for a teenager. His contract was up in the summer so I decided to bring him back to his home country. A good Belgian striker with loads of potential, Sonck is one for the future and I'll look to loan him out for now. Dennis van Zanten - Free Transfer from Groningen. Van Zanten's contract was expiring at Groningen, and despite him not particularly fitting my tactics, he has a lot of potential so I thought I'd take a chance on him. Plus, a pacey winger that can cross and dribble is always nice to have as an option. Like Sonck, he's one for the future so I'll loan him out this season. Jure Jakovljevic - £525k from Hajduk Split. Signed by my DoF, and he looks a decent midfielder. Not sure if he'll be good enough to displace any of my current team, but he's got some decent potential and could be useful. Bryan Limbombe - £11.75m from Genk. With 16 goals and 20 assists last season, Limbombe was one of the best players in the division, and with a fairly low release clause, I thought it'd be a great opportunity to sign a young, homegrown player to add some better quality depth to the squad. With bags of pace and good dribbling/finishing, I reckon he'd make a great Inside Forward with some training. Óscar Treviño - £12.5m from Club America. Whilst Kalinic is a great keeper, I was on the lookout for possibly upgrading him, and Treviño was a GK I'd had my eye on for a while. He had a relatively low release clause and is probably one of the best keepers in the world, or at the very least, potentially one of the best. Treviño is also really good with the ball at his feet, which has allowed me to incorporate a proper sweeper keeper into my tactics, something I've wanted for a while but not had the right personnel. I'm delighted to have gotten this guy as I reckon he'll be close to the best GK in the world at some point if he isn't already. Martin Ødegaard - Loan from Real Madrid. I was a bit light on quality in midfield, and with Ødegaard listed for loan at Madrid, I thought I'd bring him in as a backup/rotational player. I might look to sign him permanently, but he has massive wages that I'm not sure I'll want to try and match. Out Main transfers out are Rendulic and Bowen who just weren't up to scratch for this standard and Sunjic who I sold to try and balance the books a little as he was way down the pecking order. Other than that just loans out. Expectations Belgian Super Cup A repeat of last season's Super Cup! This year though I decided to delegate the domestic cups to van Nistelrooij, and he didn't disappoint. I'm sorry Ruud, you can't count that as your competition win, I'm the manager so I won it. Jupiler Pro League A brilliant start to the season, a couple dodgy performances at the back, but nothing to really worry about. We managed to ease past two of our biggest challenges for this season, Standard Liege and Genk. Unlike last season, we've managed to already create a bit of a buffer with second which is great, hopefully we can maintain that gap, which considering who we've played already, it doesn't seem unreasonable. Without Champions League playoff games this season we seem to have been able to hit the ground running a bit better this season and put ourselves in a great position for the title. Croky Cup As I said for the Super Cup, I've delegated the domestic cups to can Nistelrooij for this season. I pick the starting lineup then go on holiday nd leave it to Ruud. A comfortable win with a young backup side, it's looking good so far. UEFA Super Cup A good couple of minutes put me into a comfortable 2-0 lead early on, and I controlled much of the rest of the game. Tottenham managed to get one back early on in the second half, but we managed to hold them out for the rest of the game. Not only was it great to win another Cup, but it was good practice as well... Champions League A tough group, but since I know I can beat Tottenham, I reckon I should be able to navigate this group, but it'll be tough. Not a great start, but not a bad one either. Two tough games, so I'm happy I got something from both of them but it's disappointing to have not beaten Tottenham again, especially since it was at home. The Atléti game was frustrating as I was 3-1 up, and then at 3-3 I missed a penalty to win the game. As I say, it's not bad, but it's frustrating. Hopefully, I can bounce back in the next two games against Bratislava to put myself in a good position for the rest of the group stage.
  3. Former Club Watch Not as many clubs to keep an eye on this time, but wanted to do a quick update on how Virton are getting on. After I left, Virton ended the 2019/2020 season finishing 7th in the Second Phase of the Proximus League and 2nd in the overall table, and as I've already mentioned, they then got promoted through the Champions Playoff, beating Roeselare 4-0 on aggregate. In their first season in the Jupiler Pro League, they finished in 12th, comfortably avoiding relegation, but then finished rock bottom of their European Playoff Group. In the 2021/22 season, Virton managed to move up the table to further cement their place in the Jupiler Pro League by finishing 9th (one place above Anderlecht) and then followed it up by winning their European Playoff Group. Unfortunately, they went on to lose 3-1 to Anderlecht in the Playoff Semi-Final. The 21/22 season also saw the club make their furthest cup progression ever (I think) by reaching the Croky Cup Quarter Final but were soundly beaten 6-0 by my Gent side. The club has also managed to stabilise financially too, in part due to the sale of players. I've already mentioned signing Emeka Ashton (£1.3m), Stéphane Laurent (£1.9m) and Jurica Rendulic (£1.2m) for Gent, but Virton also sold Tibe Lambert to Everton for £325k (£650k) and Carlos Dimitriou to Roma for £1.2m (£4m) in 2020 Summer window, and then sold Max Hollis to Trabzonspor for £7.25m in July 2021. It also looks like one of my signings is close to becoming the clubs all-time top scorer, the record currently standing at 43, whilst Prince Eze has 41 league goals for the club.
  4. I take a couple weeks away from reading this forum and when I come back this thread has both died and been brought back... Brilliant news that it's been saved though, your brother-in-law is great!
  5. Thanks They've got a great team, but fortunately for me, they don't really play in a way that suits them. Plus, I knew from last season that I could beat them if I got at them, any other team I might've been more cautious and lost.
  6. In the shadow of the Ghelamco arena, the big, blue bus turns the corner as it enters the final stretch of the victory parade. Thousands of drunk Gent fans cheering as Kalinic lifts Big Ears high for all to see. The league and cup trophies were around here somewhere too, but I think Dusko managed to sneak them downstairs for his drinking games. I’ve not poked my head down there in while, the samba music is blaring, the lager and rakija is flowing and I don’t want to know what they were planning with those sauce crates. Looking down to the end of the parade as the sun sets behind the Ghelamco, I can’t help but think, is the sun setting on my Gent career? We’re Champions of Europe and I should be celebrating that fact, but I keep asking myself, what else is there to accomplish here? Perhaps I could stay to improve the Belgian game? A huge task, and that’s without considering that other Belgian teams can’t even make the Champions League group stage. Maybe go for another Champions League title? Considering the luck we had on the route to this final, that’s another massive ask. But what next if not staying at Gent? Rumours are that the Bayern and Barcelona managers are insecure currently, and it’s a world cup year, so International teams are guaranteed to let managers go. But there’s nothing concrete, no big team massively underperformed and no big names are retiring, it would be a gamble to just walk out. And am I ready for the international stage? I was hoping for a bit more experience under my belt before making that leap. Maybe I should just see out my last 2 seasons here at Gent, let my contract run down. Either way, I need a holiday away from the festivities to get my head right, I'll see if Isabella can find me any flights to some tropical island. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Took a couple of weeks away from this save as I wasn't sure what to do next. Unfortunately, I couldn't actually go anywhere nice but I'm back into the save and sort of have an idea of what I want to do know.
  7. 5 Year Review If anyone wants to see anything specific that's happened so far, just let me know and I'll post some screenshots.
  8. Final 2022 Line-ups 1st Minute: Teixeira clears from down in his own corner, but only goes as far as Rabiot. Rabiot with a short pass to Neymar. Through ball for Mbappe. He has to score! Straight at Kalinic! The rebound falls to Neymar but his cross is headed behind by Jankovic. Neymar lofts the corner to Zivkovic on the edge of the box, but he fires the shot wide for a Gent goal kick. PSG on top from the off here in Manchester. 4th Minute: Gent with some sustained possession here and looking to make PSG pay. Berge takes the ball down the right. He's got no options as Neymar jockeys him down the wing, but he manages to get a cross in. Chakvetadze rises! But he only glances the ball into Jankovic's path. Wide open, JANKOVIC!!!!! With a deflected volley, the young Serbian fires Gent into the lead in their first Champions League final! And the replays are showing it was actually Eduardo Lozano who deflected the ball into the net with a deft header. The Gent fans won't care who scored it, but they're leading in the Champions League final! PSG 0 - Gent 1. 8th Minute: Neat passing here from Gent as Chakvetadze plays a pinpoint ball out to Jankovic on the left. Jankovic cuts inside and lays the ball off to Lozano. Lozano turns and flicks the ball through for Mayoral. Surely! No! Mayoral shoots first time on the volley and Alisson tips the ball over the bar. Gent Corner. Ayew whips it in but Alisson claims and it comes to nothing. 14th Minute: PSG don't have much to do to get back in this game, but they need to move quickly otherwise they could lose a grasp on this game. Saúl looks to bring it out from the back for PSG and plays out wide to Neymar. Neymar is held up by Castagne so he looks for Mbappe on the halfway line. Mbappe turns and plays a great ball over the top for Jesus. Jesus has the beating of Villa for pace. But a poor touch allows Díaz to catch up. He still manages to dribble into the righthand side of the box and create space for a shot! And Kalinic turns it around the post for a corner. A reminder of PSG's quality here as they create a good chance virtually out of nothing. Neymar puts the corner in, but the referee gives a free kick to Gent. Saúl handballed as the went to head the ball. 15th Minute: And Kalinic plays this free-kick out from the back to Eray. Out wide to Teixeira whos finds Berge in the centre circle. Berge is pressured by Rabiot and lays it off quickly to Chakvetadze. Beautiful ball into the corner for Jankovic to chase. Jankovic cuts past Otto into the box near the byline and drills across goal. And it's LOZANO TO TURN IT HOME!!!! From just a metre in front of goal, Alisson could do nothing as Lozano calmy put the ball in the net to double Gent's lead. The fans are in dreamland, as is their manager! It's PSG 0 - Gent 2! 32nd Minute: 2-0 is perhaps an unfair reflection of this game, as whilst Gent deserve the lead, it's been a good contest so far with both teams creating chances. And can PSG create anything from this as Neymar dribbles inside from the left wing and sprays the ball over to Jesus in the centre circle? He's held up by Ayew and gives the ball to Zivkovic. But Zivkovic's cross is cut out by Villa and cleared to Lozano, but it's Saúl that wins the header. Neymar picks up the second ball and dribbles inside but Ayew pokes the ball free from him just outside the D. But it falls to Mbappe who quickly plays through JESUS! Jesus fires back across goal and beats Kalinic to give PSG a life-line in this game! A brilliant finish after some brilliant quick-thinking from Mbappe. We have a contest here at Old Trafford! PSG 1 - Gent 2! 40th Minute: PSG are really looking for the equaliser here and have Gent penned back in their own box. Saúl receives a throw-in from Otto and immediately plays it back. Otto finds Rabiot in space. He turns and tries to find Mbappe on the edge of the box, but Villa intercepts and clears to Lozano. Gent are looking to break no as Lozano turns into the PSG half. It's three on two and he has Jankovic and Mayoral in support. He plays it down the right wing for Mayoral, but was it too slow? PSG manage to get a few bodies back as Mayoral crosses to the back post. But Otto has left his marker, and it's JANKOVIC!! No doubt over who scored this one! Totally unmarked, Jankovic ghosts to the back post and fires a volley past Alisson and restores Gent's 2 goal lead! Scintillating stuff from the Belgians! PSG 1 - Gent 3! Half Time: And Kovacs blows up for halftime. A tremendous match so far, we can only hope we get just as much excitement in the second half. But against all expectations, Gent have taken a deserved 3-1 lead here in Manchester over the French giants PSG. Second Half: Not much to talk about for PSG as they come back out, but it does seem as if Gent are lining up differently in this half. They look to be going for the "Low Block" tactic that earned them a 2-0 win in Turin and a 0-0 at Chelsea. They seem to want to hold on to this lead at all costs, but can you blame them? We'll have to see if it pays off for them. Berge and Ayew drop into the DM positions whilst Chakvetadze moves to LM and Mayoral to RM, with Jankovic and Lozano filling the two striker roles. We wanted an exciting second half, but it seems Sam Smith doesn't want us to see one! 63rd Minute: And PSG have the ball, again. Gent have sat deep here all half and completely suffocated PSG's attack. It may not be pretty to watch, but it's working well for them. Veratti receives the throw from Otto. Short pass back and then otto finds Saúl in the middle. Saúl finds Veratti's run back inside, but Veratti has no options so he fires it into the box and Villa heads it away with ease. You can hear the PSG fans get restless as they struggle to break down this resilient defence. It falls to Saúl who is immediately pounced upon by Berge and Mayoral. But the ball wriggles free to Zivkovic, who crosses for Mbappe but Castagne beats him in the air. The interception falls for Zivkovic but his second cross is cleared by Villa this time. The frustration is clear on the faces of the players and fans of PSG alike. Veratti picks up the loose ball, assesses his options and plays a short ball to Neymar. Neymar with a touch inside and shoots on the turn! GOOALLL! A deflection off of Eray as Neymar fires towards goal sends Kalinic flying the wrong way, and PSG have a lifeline again. They've struggled to break down this Gent defence, but as they rush to get the ball back for kick off, is there a belief they can do it again? Or will Gent hold on? A possibly exciting end to this dull second half. It's PSG 2 - Gent 3! 95th Minute: It's one last throw of the dice here for PSG as Meunier takes the throw in near the Gent corner flag. Alisson has joined the attack too! PSG are throwing everything at this. It's a short throw to Veratti, who turns and sends the ball back to Grimaldo on the edge of the box. Grimaldo on the volley! But it cannons off Saúl to Mayoral, now Gent have a chance to counter whilst PSG have no goalkeeper! Mayoral launches it down the wing for Lozano to chase. But the referee says that is enough!!! The final whistle goes and Gent have beaten PSG!!! A brilliant first half which gave the Belgians a two-goal cushion, and then some fantastic defensive displays saw out the second half, and Gent have been crowned Champions of Europe in their first ever final! The final score is PSG 2 - Gent 3!
  9. April - June 2022 / Season Review | KAA Gent Jupiler Pro League Championship Group It was looking like it might be an interesting title race, but Genk shat the bed royally, only getting 4 points from their first 5 games and leaving me to just waltz to the title unopposed. Liege put up a half-hearted challenge, but they fell away from the title race as quickly as they entered it. In the end, we won it in the second Club Brugge game, the second time I've won the title at the home of my fierce rivals! The most impressive part of this end to the season was the number of changes I was making between each game as I tried to keep my first team fit for the Champions League, so it was mostly a backup XI that saw me through to the title. Jupiler Pro League - European Qualification Champions League I've already posted these but thought I'd still include them. Four brilliant performances, we really took it to both Juve and Chelsea in the home legs and then we shut up shop for the away games. Wasn't sure how to approach the final, or how I should go about posting it. I'll give it a separate post, but still trying to figure out what to do with it. Squad and Season Review Awards Notable Players 5. Giorgi Chakvetadze - Not quite as important for me this season, but still a brilliant season for the young Georgian. A scoring threat from deep and the man that fluidly connected my midfield and my front three. So happy I didn't sell him in the summer as I'm not sure there's many I could have replaced him with or that we'd have been half as good without him this year. Locked him down to a new contract already so hopefully there are no transfer worries this summer. 4. Borja Mayoral - Probably would be higher on my list if it wasn't for his injury on international duty as he wasn't the same after. But before that, he was phenomenal, providing some real quality to my front three from any of the positions. Even after the injury, he was good, but not quite the high standards he set for himself in the first few months. An even more brilliant signing considering he was on a free transfer. He also provided some vital Champions League experience to my squad. 3. Roberto Díaz - A rock in my defence this season, he formed a brilliant partnership at the back with Eray exemplified by the two of them getting 1st and 2nd in the European Defender of the Season. I'm probably going to be making him my captain next season, that's if I can hold on to him. He's a brilliant CB and a big part of my success this season, it's just a shame he got injured in training a couple of weeks before the Champions League Final. 2. Eray Çörtlen - The European Defender of the Season, and with good reason. Eray has been amazing for me, being the rock at the back with Díaz and then also being a goal threat too. Not to mention the long through balls to the striker that would often get assists. He even managed to get a hat-trick against Genk! Eray was a fantastic signing, and still only 18 he has a lot more to come, and I can see him becoming Turkey's most capped player as he already has 14 caps and I can't see him losing that starting spot. 1. Eduardo Lozano - Poor Boris. He must be close to bankruptcy with all the Guava's he's had to give away this season. Lozano was superb for me this season, not only scoring 37 goals, but he got some pretty big and important goals too. I could always count on him to get me out of tough situations, especially with Jankovic being a bit more hit and miss this season. He's a phenomenal player, and it's gonna be tough to hold onto him, Utd have already offered £88m for him and he's said he wants to join Monaco next season. I want to hold on to him, but he may just be too good to stay for long.
  10. Through to Gent's first final and the first Belgian side in the final since Club Brugge 44 years ago in 1978. A repeat of last years Round of 16 in the final, as it's PSG that await me at Old Trafford!
  11. Well, I wasn't expecting that. The fans are certainly happy with their first Semi-Final appearance. Now to find out how much it will cost to get the Gent Bus through the Channel Tunnel. Actual footage of the second goal.
  12. And into the Semis!!! Dunno how we did it, maybe Juve were confused by our away kits in this game... Tough draw for the Semi-Final. I would've prefered Monaco to have knocked them out, but who knows how it'll turn out
  13. Great first leg, now to hold on in Turin... Pictured Above: Sam Smith leads his team out at the Juventus Stadium.
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