May 2020 - End of 2nd Season
A solid end to the season.
Highlights: Putting the Cherries in their place
Lowlights: Losses to West Ham and Palace on the final day of the season are the sorts of games I really want to stamp out.
Quite the incredible season really! 6th place and a European campaign to follow.
Improved on return against 3rd ¼ of teams, but still some room for improvement. Seems to be more complacency against these sides.
Goals conceded from corners (3rd bottom).
Central defensive midfield position seems to consistently get low performance ratings. Unsure if this is a ME issue, or if the players I have aren’t well suited to the role.
Being dumped out of the cups, with rather unfavourable draws. Need to figure out how to play consistently well against the best teams in the league.
Points taken from (and denied to) teams around us (55.5% of all possible points).
Callum Wilson has been a big success, scoring 21 goals in the league.
Number of goals overall (4th in the league) and 2nd highest conversion rate.
Consistent spells, winning games we should be.
Didn’t concede a single penalty all season!
No major injuries all season.
Squad happiness, managed to give players enough game time.
In other news, the title race this year was something else...
English teams going deep into Europe had a knock on effect meaning Liverpool played Arsenal on the Wednesday after the final day of the season - winning and overtaking Man Utd. Speaking of Arsenal, they had one hell of a packed May fixture list.
On the other side of North London, Spurs had an awful campaign in the league. This resulted in Zidane coming in for Pochettino and then this...
And as if that wasn't enough, the Bundesliga saw Hertha Berlin take the title and Atletico Madrid topped La Liga. Utterly bonkers...
The 443 attack from my earlier post seems to still be doing the trick against the majority of teams. I am tweaking a variation of this tactic when I play the stronger teams in the league, with mixed results. The formation does not necessarily stay the same, but I adapt depending on where I anticipate the danger zones are going to be.
Star man this year has been James Ward-Prowse, who has really impressed after being handed the captains armband, finishing the season as our 3rd highest scorer. Cedric and Wesley Hoedt have both been fantastic for me again. Callum Wilson's arrival really had the desired effect, adding 21 goals to the team and lowering the pressure on Ings to provide the goals.
Starting with this years loan contingent, Tyler Adams and Jake Vokins are the two to have really excelled. Both are looking like tidy little youngsters who could very easily be involved in the 1st team, with us hopefully competing on multiple fronts. Josh Sims had a bumpy year with Hamburg, but did finish the season as a DFB-Pokal winner. I really like the look of him, but it is difficult to see exactly where he fits into my team at the moment. I will experiment with him in pre-season and see if there is a way to integrate him. Slattery didn't pull up trees out at Walsall, but continues to develop well. Depending on his performances in the early parts of the season I will decide whether to keep him around the 1st team.
Valery and Jankewitz both formed part of my 1st team squad this year. After Jankewitz's blistering start, he struggled to replicate his form consistently. I should maybe take the blame for some of this, as I only used him sporadically. I think I will try and make him a starter in European games this season. Yan Valery ended up as my highest average rating player, however this was from a handful of appearances when Cedric was not available. The plan with him is to continue as is current, unless Cedric leaves.
I've realised that I haven't talked very much about my youth intakes! Here is a selection of my most promising newgens to have come through. All apart from Paul Dolan and Stewart Manning are from 1st season intake. Southwood has even already scored for me this year!
An excellent campaign. Season 3 ought to be fun. I am hoping for a similar finish in the league and at least one cup run!