Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

Everything posted by haier_fm

  1. Seems like a smart move too. Interested to see what your third system will look like.
  2. Thank you, much appreciated. There are currently two things on mind: 1) One of the solutions is to employ more of a JdP approach when in the opposition box, but I feel as though this will take us away from Wengerball a touch. While it could prove to be effective, it is quite common to see such principles IRL and on FM. That's not to say that I dislike Positional Play, but rather I would like to do something slightly different to what I would usually have done in my previous saves. Still something to consider in any case. 2) Toying with the idea of a box rest-defence, while pushing both my fullbacks up. Doesn't necessarily mean that I'll have them wide and so I would have to further examine the types of players I have on the RHS/LHS to come up with an appropriate, but less predictable role combination. In all of this, creating overloads in the channels and out wide, to underload the centre, will remain as one of the priorities ro diversify the attacking play. Thank you, I appreciate the words. A lot of good reading material on game/tactical theory can be found online and on this forum too. It is quite fun absorbing/interpreting that knowledge, then attempting to apply it in Football Manager.
  3. Agreed that a philosophy must be set out. In this day and age, you'll get found out pretty quickly by opposing teams if you don't have a clear intent in playstyle behind which all your personnel can get behind.
  4. Regarding the double pivot, I am also lately employing the first combination you have described in my 4231 DM system. A SV & A works really well in shielding the back four. Your choice of RPM/BWM is interesting. What is the thinking behind the BWM-S?
  5. Post-Season Interlude: “Know where you stand when times are changing” Note: This post is relatively long, so if you prefer, there is a summary of the purpose of this post in the end. So, where should I begin? A dream season with a fantastic ending comes to a close. It was a much more tense final than I would have liked, but on the other hand, it did bring some much-needed excitement to play and write up about Chemie Leipzig. I have achieved the first phase of this save – to turn professional through promotion to the 3. Liga. A new dawn rises over the distant extremity of this Earth, as we look on to the next season. But before that, a post-season evaluation is in order. My main reason to include a post-season evaluation is to analyse where we are now and where we would like to find ourselves in a season’s time. I didn’t normally play like this, but the level of detail which some users here play at made me think as to how I play this game myself. Of course, there are casuals amongst you reading this, as well as die-hard players, fixated on the very fine depths of the game. And while the detail I would like to go into may slow down my game progress, as if I didn’t have much time to play FM already, I recently found myself liking to get into the thick of thorough analysis of performance, occurring at regular time intervals, whether that be every half/full season. I find a lot more satisfaction knowing that my solutions had adequately addressed a problem. But I won’t go too much into depth, as everything is fine within its own limit, I suppose. Now, onto the main bit of the post. I think the end-of-sesaon review is a generally decent feature on Football Manager, don’t get me wrong. It does things that many would like to see. Summary of what the board thinks of you, your signings, your fan base’s opinions on your players, best goals, greatest moments, and the like. It provides a nice, brief summary on your season and how well you may have played over the past 12 months. It helps with the overall flow of the game – it isn’t too overwhelming to slow down your in-game progress, but not too shallow, depending on the user, for it to be skipped entirely. But it isn’t exactly what I am searching for. Not this time at least. I want to see why we did as well as we did, what needs to be improved upon and what we can do to address problem areas. As I see it, the best way to do this is to surf through the whole season in general, crunch some numbers, and draw conclusions. So that is what we are going to do from this point onward. Please do keep in mind that it is very difficult to identify overall problems, especially if a team has as good of a season as we had. I tried my best here to identify weaknesses based on overall observations from a collection of games. Bear in mind that I could have missed something too, as the analytics side of this game is enormous, and it would be hard for me to make some sort of judgement, especially considering that I am relatively new in this area of the game. Firstly, its important to set out what we are looking for. And here, I should reference an earlier post of mine, where I covered the tactical setup for this season. To be more precise though, throughout the course of this season, the tactical objective was to : - Achieve fluid, high tempo football + Create a vast array of chances (reflected through xG (yes, it isn’t brilliant)) (Covered in this post) - Become defensively secure. (Covered in next post) These are very general and vague objectives to meet. However, it is just an overarching philosophy, which will be worked and refined upon for next season. Closer to the point - did we achieve these tactical objectives? As I continue to delve into the numbers, such analysis will be based on observations, backed up by data. Before we delve deeper, for the sake of laying down the context as to where we stand tactically, here is an xG table highlighting our general performance. From a numerical standpoint, the xG table, for once, roughly matches our final standing in the league. I won’t delve into xPTS, as xPTS, in my opinion, is the product of the quality of our game, just expressed as numbers. Rather, I intend to focus on the two tangible parts of the game – defensive actions and attacking threat, through a brief look at the xG and xGA On the defensive side, we conceded 26 goals all season, averaging about 0.68 AG per 90, which meant that we conceded more-or-less every other game we had played. This was roughly the same as our xGA numbers relative to the rest of the league, beaten only by Cottbus. But, according to the league table, we were the best defensive side in the league. With xG, I will not comprehensively describe the obvious (our xG and actual goals standing). Instead, what I will say is that I find it curious that we underperformed our xG. I recognize that xG can skew and distort itself depending on the quality of chance presented, but it remains as fact – we had created good enough chances to put away more than we did. As a result, as for general context (the foundation of our analysis), our performance indicates this: - Best defence in the league, xGA and AG wise. - Not the best attack in the league, but one of the best (as hinted by both the league and the xG table data) Now, we pose the question, how well did our tactical principles work? And I’ll do so considering the brief conclusions made above, while picking apart a couple of games where it is most obvious. Achieving High Tempo, Fluid Football + Create a Vast Array of Chances “Not the best attack in the league, but one of the best (as hinted by both the league and the xG table data)” Despite the obvious, flattering numbers, I still felt as though we didn’t demonstrate our full attacking potential during parts of the season. After all, while the difference between our two halves of the season is close, we had performed worse on paper post-Winter break, which made the league a lot closer than what it should have been. It could have been down to the opposition defences adapting to our standing in the league, or it could have been us misfiring. My job here is to see why and how we can combat this issue when moving into the next season. Before the winter break: After the winter break: What we did well: My thinking behind our playstyle was to have the front 4 all converge into the centre, introducing a wide range of passing possibilities and combinations. I feel as though the trademark of Wengerball was the proximity of players to one another when in the final third and the willingness to move and create extra space through quick, sharp passing. And the following is a sequence of just that from our 4-0 win against Lok Leipzig earlier this season. Example 1: For reference, the Lok is in yellow, we are the team in green. What you see here is a situation where we recuperate the ball in our half through our No.3. As we have the ball in our defensive half, the No.2 (LB) tucks in, while the No.17 (AM) drops deeper to form a hexagonal shape. Even though the ball is far from the opposition box, you could see the overload (6v2) in the middle, with our players moving closer to the ball carrier, offering options. Admittedly, Lok do not seem to be pressing that high, preferring to give us space and instead compress the space past the halfway line, which is ideal for how we play. Take note of the markers of our No.11 (ST) After a lay off to the No.2, the Lok press activates, marking the closest options available. While this does restrict space, it means that we can look to manipulate the space through No.17, No.8 and No.5, creating 3 passing options for the player in possession. The No.11 is still being heavily marked, but as with the other 3 marked players in the middle, he can also move laterally to open up space for others to run into. No.2 passes it to No.8, who drives into the space vacated by No.17 by pulling his marker from a central area into a wider one, where the opposition marker can be less useful. Notice that by driving the ball centrally, the No.8 has caused the right-hand side of the defensive line to move apart, giving plenty of space for our No.14 to run into, either blindside, or into the pocket. No.11 still holds his run, in anticipation of No.8’s movements. As No.8 carries the ball forward, he lays it off to No.11, who gives it back to him in a wider area, which has again, vacated space in the middle. Notice the overall setup of Lok’s defence, very narrow and tight, all contained within the light-green box in the middle. Usually, such types of defences would be very difficult to break down, because of the lack of space in the central areas, which we prefer to exploit. I’ll explain the reasoning behind this just below, but due to the movements between No.8 and No.11, there appeared to be a massive opening for our No.14 and No.11 to run into and have a shot at goal. Why was this all happen? While they did indeed defend tightly and preferred a man marking scheme, it proved to be worthless. The reason for this is due to our well-timed movement off and on the ball. Another reason we succeed here is because there is no-one from their team that is directly responsible for ‘the hole’ (the area between their CBs and CMs). So try as they might to contain us, as there was no clarity in who was defending the central zones behind their midfield, we exploited it and played some very good football in this game. It plays into our hands, as we prefer to get to the zones outside the 18-yard box, look for quick combinations, and hopefully find one of our players in the box with a clear opportunity to score Example 2: A similar example is seen from our game against Hertha II, where we came out as 2-1 winners. Again, while the shape is different, they still had a problem in defending ‘the hole’. Just to show you how well our attacking play worked here again, notice the markers on No.17 and No.24. Another man oriented defending scheme, which we countered with great effect. Our No.8 with the ball has a lot of options here. 1) A quick give-and-go with the No.24 to drag his marker and open even more space for our fullback, No.2 to run into, where No.14 will run blindside into the box to meet a potential cross 2) A direct ball into space for the No.2 to run into 3) A ball into No.11, where he can combine with the onrushing No.5, or the centrally positioned No.17, or swivel and pass it onto No.14’s path. This is where we reign supreme, whenever we are afforded space and time and have enough support going forward. While we do focus on central play, the overloads in the middle cause the opposition to bring their own players into that area, which causes huge underloads with vast areas of space out wide. No.8 lays it off to No.24, who quickly gives it round the corner to No.17. And as that happens, we momentarily create space. Notice the two blindside runners attacking the space in behind the defenders. A simple ball into space will cut through their straightened defensive line, where either of our attackers can have a shot on goal. Watching some of the goals we had managed to score this season gives shades of Wengerball. At times, it was a frustrating watch, but more often than not, I felt as though 90% of the time we managed to achieve what we set out to do. What we didn’t do well: Sides that defended deep or had one designated player to patrol the space between the lines made it difficult for us to attack the way we liked. Moreover, we struggled to break down teams that settled in a narrow, aggressive low-block, who quickly closed down space we had created. Despite the prowess of our front 4, our attacks were often funneled through Tarik Reinhard and Tom Gruendling (or whoever replaced them in the LCM and AM stratas). We thrived in attack because of their ability to progress the ball forward into the opposition half. Sometimes, when this wasn’t possible, the team did not do enough to support the two players. Here is one of the more dangerous instances in our 0-0 draw against Lichtenberg. Nice overload of the left side gives plenty of space on the right side for an eventual switch and runs into space. No.8 (Reinhard) and No.17 (Gruendling) occupy the same space. Some other managers would prefer to avoid such situations. But the essential principle in Wengerball is to have key players in close proximity to be able to play through tight spaces through slick passing. Furthermore, we overload to underload. That is to have a noticeable numerical presence on one side of the pitch to force the opposition to gravitate to the compressed area and leave behind key space. So I was fine with what I was seeing. Not all the time do players have to occupy different spaces. We play out, and play out very slowly, as a passing sequence finds a favourable position for us. Reinhard has multiple options to consider. Just need a quick snappy switch to catch the opposition off-guard to gain an advantage. But by the time we get the ball to the right side, Lichtenberg managed to shift their players in time to cloze out all of the previously available zones. We had a similar situation against Lok Leipzig, but Reinhard and Mvibudulu managed to create space despite being marked heavily by the opposing players. Here, the scenario is slightly different where it isn’t as certain where we would like the ball to end up. And as a consequence, the No.14 takes on his man round the outside in the end. By that time, the Lichtenberg defence managed to shift across once again and pushed our player with the ball outside. There seems to be no real viable option for a cross to other than the No.11, who waits for the ball into the box. The cross is blocked however, and we spurn a good chance. We couldn’t muster up with a better opportunity for the rest of that game. The aggressive, organized defending by our opponents seemed to put us off at times. While this isn’t as bad of a problem I make it out to be, it is something worth considering. The simple solution here is to rethink our strategy if it indeed starts to severely inhibit our attack. Have sudden crosses from deep, or play a more direct, riskier game. But for now, that solely depends on the situation of the game. In addition, this creates a pattern of our ability in front of goal. As we are a team that focuses on getting to the zones just in front of the box, we can sometimes be easy to defend against. You can see this when we compare the passes received by all of our forward line in our 4-0 win against Lok Leipzig and 0-0 draw against Erfurt Just to be sure that it isn't our quality of passing that lets us down, I decided to have a look. After having seen the passing numbers, I concluded (despite Dennis Mast's poor passing percentage vs. Lok), that it isn't so much about the quality of our passing between the attacking quartet... The passing statistics against Erfurt The passing statistics against Lok Leipzig ...but instead which areas they were all most active in Passes received vs. Lok Leipzig Passes received vs. Erfurt While the difference between the two seems minimal, notice how our forwards received the ball slightly deeper in-field in our 0-0 draw against Erfurt. There is a certain lack of passes received in the zones we want our forwards to have the ball. Instead, against Erfurt, because we were not able to be active in the desired areas, we naturally moved towards the wings. This had reduced the probability of generating a good chance to put away. Why? Because they simply defended those zones well. We couldn’t access the areas where we can become potent, as Erfurt had kept more of the ball, worked to win it back and if they were not successful, they settled into an aggressive low-block to prevent our players from playing in front of their 18-yard area. Instead, we were funneled down their sides, where we were a lot less effective. It is more something to keep an eye on, rather than make dramatic changes. Though generally speaking, if our attack becomes blunt, we rely on chance rather than controlling our own destiny. By that point, it becomes a question of how long our defence holds out against the opposition. Considering that we are facing a step-up in class, that question will become quickly answered if we do not come up with an appropriate solution in time. How can we address this: 1) Prioritise an upgrade at AM. Someone who can be adept in their movement in tight spaces. 2) Adjust the role of the striker, depending on the type of player we have there. While Mvibudulu is decent as a DLF, he is suited to breaking the last line, more as an AF or Poacher, rather than link up with everyone else. Something to consider. 3) Ask one of the wingers to stay narrow. Again, to allow some sort of combination with the central players. 4) Encourage our wider players to attempt crosses from deep. In conclusion, while we did perform really well in the final third over the course of the whole season, this was mainly due to our successful use of the zones around the 18-yard box. When we did not have access to them, we didn’t perform well and were short in supplying chances to score. We weren’t as good when pushed out to the wings, which is understandable. However, it does seem like a good time to readjust our strategy – to not be too fixated on the areas around the box. At the end of this all though, it makes me wonder - did I just type up around 3000 words just to conclude that we may need to “Hit Early Crosses” more often? Perhaps. NEXT POST: Analysis covering on becoming defensively secure.
  6. Good start! Now it is all about maintaining consistency from one game to the next. With 13 games in, are you set on a tactical setup, or still experimenting game-to-game?
  7. Cheers! A writing style develops over time, just got to keep at it. Thank you! Beginning of the middle indeed, but it begs the question of how long the middle may last!
  8. Good choice of club and I like your writing style too. KUTGW!
  9. Good to see people delving into the rabbit-hole of East German football. Looking forward to the next post!
  10. Just to let you know that I am following this thread, albeit slightly behind on updates. But what a terrific write-up here. Everything documented to the most miniscule of details. I would love to be able to do something like this, but I tend to get too carried away with one aspect (i.e. Tactical analysis, appropriate number crunching) and get too overwhelmed by it. It will take me a while to catch-up, but I am looking forward to seeing how the save and Iniesta's managerial career develops. KUTGW!
  11. Will take me a long time to get up to date, but its interesting to see you struggle against sides who attack down the wings. I found this to be an issue with all 3ATB formations I have tried. I dig your role flexibility in the middle and final third - I find its a good indicator of how well your principles of play are organised. Especially if you're achieving your tactical goals against sides of different calibre. While the results aren't there yet, but from what I gather (now, I could be wrong here), you've only joined Liege fairly recently. So such form is to be expected while you get all the necessary personnel on and off the pitch.
  12. Apologies for the late reply, but thank you. Luck ended up being needed at the most crucial point in the season. Thank you, it means a lot, as always. Writing in this style takes some time and energy, but I am really happy with how each update turns out in the end. I have been away from this forum for a very long time, due to life demands, but I hope I can keep being active at least somewhat regularly. The title was a very long wait, I thought we would have had it wrapped up during the first season. Managed to do it in 2 in the end, and even then it was very, very tight. Turns out competing in the same league as what I see a professional club in Cottbus is a lot more difficult than expected, especially when you only have one promotion spot (which didn't result in direct promotion this season, German 4th tier has its own quirks).
  13. Leipzig, 203x -…and history has taught us many times of its importance and of its recognition. We have a very proud, passionate fanbase for as long as I was here as manager of BSG Chemie Leipzig. My colleagues, players and those who came down to watch us play have become one enormous family. We go through thick and thin. Gut-wrenching defeats, moments of euphoria, tearful departures and hopeful dawns. I don’t know how the others feel about this club, but such times form the core of the journey, the core of our current success and the core of Chemie’s identity. There is no other club like us that boasts with such a rich and eventful history, all accumulated across the years gone by. Our story during the GDR cast in iron, the post-reunification years where we struggled, an eventual revival of our fortunes, starting from the lows of the Regionalliga, the narrow loss in the title race in my first season here, to the very recent highs of the UEFA Champions League. I think every person can identify themselves with our story, the Chemie story. After all, we have formed a community over the years, and I am extremely proud of that. I felt, and still feel, well appreciated throughout my time here, and I don’t think I could see myself moving elsewhere, even if the likes of Real [Madrid], Bayern, AC Milan approach me tomorrow. Chemie Leipzig is my home, and I am determined to bring success for years to come. The path we are currently taking has not finished just yet. I just hope we can continue writing chapters in der Chemiker folklore by being successful on, and most importantly, off the pitch.” Petr’s eyes, behind the large, circular frames of his spectacles, flick toward the half-full glass of water, stood on top of the coffee table beside him. After passionately talking for so long, his body cried out for some hydration. He realised this only once he finished speaking. Petr’s frame was comfortably placed in a deep, sunken armchair. The room was dark and let no echo bounce off the walls; the padding did an excellent job to fulfill its purpose. After all, he is in the studio room of the of the national telebroadcaster, so it shouldn’t be a surprise for Petr that the acoustics were beyond what he had ever experienced when taking interviews from journalists across the continent. Yet, as he told the story of his beloved club, BSG Chemie Leipzig on a fine September evening of 203x, Petr felt as though the story had an even greater meaning, considering his struggles and moments of greatness throughout his long, arduous managerial career. The interviewer sat in front of him, with an ear piece gently hidden behind her strands of hair, eager to continue. -You mentioned about your most recent success on the continental scene and your loyalty towards your employers, she started by saying. But, throughout your tenure, was there ever a moment you thought about potentially moving elsewhere, at the expense of the project you started to build? Petr chuckled at the question. He knew this was going to come up at some point. He itched his brow before starting. -Well, feelings always change depending on circumstance, time and opportunity. It’s just part of human nature, isn’t it? And don’t get me wrong, I am no exception to that rule. At times like these, different challenges are meant to be overcome. For me, it was always important to give it my all to the Chemie fanbase. Sometimes, it came at the cost of my own well being, getting to such an extent that I was considering retirement very early on. My managerial career took an extreme toll on my family and professional life at the time, especially after my first season. The way the second half of 2022/23 was going, and with the fresh memories of the year prior, I thought that this wasn’t for me. Despite my love for the players, for the club, for the game, I wasn’t doing so well mentally. I had doubts whether continuing management was my path in life…. Petr broke eye-contact with the interviewer and the huge, imposing camera lens directed at him. He stared at the cream-coloured carpet covering the dark floor of the room instead, as he filtered through the memories of the last few weeks of that season… ***** May '23 With just 6 points up for grabs till the season’s end, Chemie Leipzig found themselves within reach of a long-awaited Regionalliga Nordost title. But for every feel good story, there is always the antagonist, who does his all to ruin the plot and affect the events that may follow soon after. Energie Cottbus take the form of the villain here. 2 points are all what separate the two sides in what looks like an increasingly tense battle for the throne. Cottbus had the upper hand coming into the season finale, for they had to conquer Meusselwitz on their turf, before a celebratory trip to already relegated Fuerstenwalde. Every amateur pundit, football expert, and fan had predicted the financially superior competitor to triumph yet again, as they had the more favourable run-in at the season’s end. Leipzig, meanwhile, were left feeling underwhelmed at their own performance in the last game against Halberstadt. That was the chance to go top, and they knew they blew it. Cottbus looked undefeatable, rolling at an insane momentum, which meant that it was almost impossible to catch them, let alone climb above them with such little time left. Even Petr, who watched the groundsman repaint the pitch from the clubhouse, while it poured down from the grey clouds above, felt deflated. The run-in was against them; two challenging ties against two fierce opponents. Lowly Babelsberg were not to be underestimated, while Chemnitzer away is always a game full of nasty surprises, regardless of relative league position. BSG Chemie Leipzig – SV Babelsberg 03, 6/5/23 On a wet afternoon, Chemie welcomed lowly Babelsberg in what would prove to be the turning point of the season. Were they to lose here, a simple Cottbus win would see title prospects disappear for the second year running. While buoyed by the famous home crowd, Petr and his men seemed tense, as chance after chance had gone begging. Only after Timo Mauer’s strike, just before the break, from a cute angle, had the manager blow a slight sigh of relief. After half-time, the game was all about strengthening the superior position. As Chemie repeatedly pounded on the door of the opposition defence, the game concluded through a sublime, long-range effort from Max Kessler on the 65th minute to seal the 3 points for Chemie Leipzig and take their season tally from 74 to 77. An enormous cheer from the Chemie faithful accompanied the post-match rituals, for in the other game, the seemingly invincible Cottbus had dropped points to Meusselwitz, unbelievably falling to a defeat at home. Which meant that the title would either be lifted in Chemnitz, or in Fuerstenwalde. Chemnitzer FC – BSG Chemie Leipzig, 13/5/23 Thus, on a sunny glorious Saturday afternoon, Chemie travelled down south to be hosted by Chemnitzer. A tough game, as already mentioned, sat waiting for Havlicek. The title would be his and his team’s if they were to take all the 3 points on offer. A Chemie win and nothing else satisfied, as the team took to the pitch, reinvigorated by the prospect of playing professional football for the first time since 1991. In a tight and scrappy affair, entertainment was low on offer, for the title candidates were tense and nervous throughout the first 45 minutes. Cottbus were unable to open the contest in their game, which meant that it was still advantage Leipzig. Der Chemiker were just 45 minutes away from the title and potential promotion. However, after half-time, pressure on the away side remained, as Cottbus opened the scoring in their game and further increased their lead to two, while it remained 0-0 down in Chemnitz. ***** …sitting dazed in a long train of thought, Petr looked up once again to glance at the interviewer, then stared straight down the middle of the camera lens. He was back in the studio again. Physically, not mentally. -Chemnitzer away was one of the most memorable fixtures in my life. I think it was only then, had I realized coaching was my life. It sort of all clicked then. It was, if I remember correctly, a boring draw. A drab match in all honesty, but that is what you got with Chemnitzer whenever you played on their turf. Feisty battles for the second ball, horrid tackles, and a visible accumulation of fouls from both sides. We were swept away by the fervent home, Chemnitzer crowd. We were getting frustrated too, all of those chances we squandered. We knew a goal was coming, but we didn’t just know when… ***** 80th minute. Cottbus were home and dry with their 2-0 lead. As it were then, the title headed to Fuerstenwalde, to crown Cottbus as champions of the league, much to the hypothetical despair of the Chemie Leipzig faithful. However, as Timo Mauer found himself just by the corner of the opposition box, taking the ball past his opponent, the sight of goal dawned upon the winger. From a sharp angle, a tricky, firm strike slipped past the keeper’s gloves and into the net. Just like that, the floodgates creaked open under the roar of the passionate away support. A tense and gripping final 10 minutes followed, during which, Chemie came ever so close to letting the lead slip. However, right before the game’s death, as an incisive team move had found Damir Bektic open, the strike sent the ball crashing against the underside of the crossbar and over the goalline. Chemie were 2-0 up… ***** -I couldn’t believe it when Damir had struck that ball as sweetly as he did then. It was a move we had practiced on the training ground before the game, and I had full faith that our scheme, our preparation was sufficient to conquer our nerves. But we came ever so close that day to losing the title yet again, despite all our efforts. For a moment, it seemed as though the task of getting this club into the professional scene was unrealistic. Nevermind the team, the players or the fans, I was personally very close to ending my career just there and then. The interviewer, who sat patiently while Petr rambled on in his armchair, picked out the perfect time to pose a question. -So to summarise, it was that Chemnitzer game which had decided your career pathway? Isn’t that slightly, how should I put it, naïve? Slightly non-sensical maybe? -Of course. I am a perfectionist by nature and was a very results-oriented person. I am an idealist in a way. I tend to get carried away whenever I am involved something close to my heart, so in any failures I encouter, the result would affect my mental health. And I agree, from the outside it does look slightly stupid to hear someone say that two back-to-back failures would put off an individual from their profession. But, I was there when this all happened, and I am just sharing my side of the story, I suppose. It feels different when you're in the thick of it all, even if only on the sideline, sank onto the turf on your knees. That was the day when BSG Chemie Leizpig was etched into history... ***** …and as the referee had put the whistle to his lips, a moment of euphoria drenched the stadium, as a Chemie win had tipped the balance towards them. Everyone associated with the club had finally got what they had wished for at the sight of the title making its way out of the tunnel for an on-pitch ceremony. Champagne never tasted better than on that day, that place, that hour. ***** -…and the rest is a story well-documented, Petr concluded. After recollecting all of the drama from that day, he reached for the glass for the second time, just after correcting the round spectacles that slipped of their resting position. The interviewer, sensing this as a cue to lead the conversation further, sat and looked at him. - What about the play-offs against Sandro Wanger’s Unteraching? Did you have any feelings, any stories you would like to share from that time? Wasn’t that the game which ultimately decided your fate? - I don’t think there is much of a story from our play-off matches against Unteraching. Sure, they were a tough side, had farily recent experience playing professional football at the time. But I was always certain we would beat them, despite the setback in our 2-2 draw. I knew that, with the backing of our crowd, on our own grass, we were a force to be reckoned with. We conceded first through a mistake from one of our defenders indeed. But from then on, we never looked back. Max [Kessler] got his double, Stephy [Mvibudulu] had his fair share of goals, Heynke and Jaepel also ended the game with their positive output. From then on, we turned professional, won the league, and got promoted into the 3rd tier for the first time for what felt like since forever. - And judging from all of that, that was the season which defined your own future? The interviewer sat, moulding a sceptical look on her face, seeming it hard to believe the story she was hearing. For the first time in a while, Petr felt a mental return to the studio he found himself in. It was a bizzare feeling, as if throughout his recollection, he was there again, on that day in May, by the side of the pitch, just before his side had finally broken the deadlock in a tight affair. In general, the thoughts from those 3 intense weeks all those years back still remained fresh in his mind. Or, at least, it seemed to him so. Since then, it was a journey he shared with many players, many of his colleagues, fans and journalists. Strangely enough, however, Petr never felt keen to share something as personal as this. After all, this was around 1x years ago, so it was something he didn't see the need to do. But he did it anyway; he didn't want to hold on to it any longer. And while this interview was certainly not his last, it felt as though, by finally sharing his story, the first chapter of his career was finally closed, with some satisfaction. Waking from his deep reflections, Petr turned his attention to the interviewer once again. -Indeed, he replied. ***** Goal of the Month - Damir Bektic vs Chemnitzer FC (GW 38) A lovely team move, a fitting strike to end it. Nothing more needs to be said. ----- ALLEZ BSG!
  14. March + April '23 "I don't know if they [Chemie Leipzig] have what it takes to win the title this year. While the gaffer has done an impressive job at the club, I really doubt they will be able to compete with Cottbus in the league. Look at where Cottbus are, and now look at where Chemie are in stature." - ex-Chemie player Anton Kanther, speaking to NordOst TV. Hello again. Its been quite a while. Where shall I start? My Football Manager activity has seen better days. So has my style of writing, especially when documenting my adventures with BSG Chemie Leipzig. I haven't been on the forums much for these past few months, let alone being able to provide an update of how things are going. Studying in a field, where constructive, coherent stories, constructed using sequences of words, are a tiny speck in the vast background, I haven't had much time to touch the game and to journal something in general. So as I write this, this is my first piece of writing in a long while. Now with that aside, shall we start with this monthly update? I think we should.... *ahem* Following a decent late winter run, BSG Chemie Leipzig find themselves in a very similar position. Leading the table with a handful of games to go, losing the return game against a dangerously resurgent Cottbus, dropping points left, right and centre. A mild sense of déjà-vu? Perhaps. Would any Chemiker want to relive it again? Maybe not. Should this be a cause to panic? No, not just yet. An invincible March. However, the tag "Invincible" does come with a huge caveat. Some may say that going undefeated is great news for any club. But to put it into context, 6 points out of a possible 12, Cottbus consuming wins game after game, and a rapidly decreasing points gap to the teams below makes the "Invincible" month of March seem less impressive. On a cold, miserable, early-spring night, Stephane Mvibudulu was put into two ideal, one-on-one positions to put us into a quick 2-0 lead against the visiting Tennis Borrusia Berlin. The frontman had not been in sharp form lately, finding himself very frustrated in front of goal. Nevertheless, this performance was a breath of fresh air, especially for a player who we are traditionally reliant upon. Conceding at the brink of the first-half was no reason to panic, seeing as Havlicek's men were in complete control. A 90+4th stoppage time leveler, though, was a punch in the gut. Letting in a goal, against the complete run of play, in a way that we did, is never a nice feeling. Hertha II is always a tough game, to go and play away makes our task even harder. Nevertheless, on another rainy night in Berlin, a wonderful combination put Stephane Mvibudulu yet again in prime position to tuck the ball home. Apart from that chance, we struggled to create chances against the home side, which is becoming a common ocurrence. We look fragile in attack at times, too naïve, too predictable, scoring a lot less frequently than we did at the start of the season. With the other teams adjusting to our stature, thanks to our league position, we have started performing less consistently. Hertha completely dominated the ball and should have scored more than their solitary, headed goal. Kicked about and outright bullied when on the ball, Krieschow were set out to scare us off the ball. And their intimidation tactic worked, nearly. Had it not been for Jan Loehmannsroeben to drive into plain space in the opposition box and curl it towards the near post and into the net, we would have been the 2010s Arsenal against Tony Pulis' Stoke. Physically beaten, ankles broken, knees shattered, shins bruised. From all of this, ironically, our goal came from a throw-in. Welcoming a side that play similar to ourselves (well....the only similarity is our high possession numbers in the league), we were outpossessed, out-fouled yet again (!) by Rot-Weiss Erfurt. Struggling against sides that like to get stuck in is a problem that Havlicek will have to try to address, because it is one the major reasons why we are not able to create enough goal scoring chances and play to our own rhythm, impose oursleves on the game. With Max Kessler injured during the contest, it took us over an hour to get the first goal through Stephane Mvibudulu, being put clean through by left-back Florian Bruegmann. But just like last time, we conceded at the death. Yet another stoppage time equaliser, this time of our own doing (a misplaced pass and Benjamin Bellot's mistake in rushing out for the ball). And in that fashion, we relinquish top spot to Cottbus, where they won their game against Babbelsberg to go top for the first time this season. Although we do have a game in hand. This whole month sounds tragic, when it isn't actually that bad of a situation. Sometimes, it is frustrating to review matches when you're attached to the save and the club as a whole, when you're used to seeing green circles running down for an impressive amount of games. Goal of the Month March - Stephane Mvibudulu vs Hertha II (GW 29) One touch passing, a bit of hold up play, quick ball through, a third-man run, slight roaming, what else could you want in a goal. Good stuff. April '23 "We had no intention at the start of the year to be where we are at now. Like, we still become suprirsed sometimes when we look at the table and we see ourselves leading it. [*grins*] But if we then think about all of the games we won, all of the obstacles we surpassed, all of the defeats and how much they hurt, finishing second would leave us inconsolable, yeah. Or at least I know that the gaffer will be down, to come so close to, you know, winning and not achieve it two times in a row" - Max Kessler, speaking to the radio morning show in Leipzig. The March update, upon reflection, was a tad too short, so I thought to add in April here too. Reeling from a slightly less than ideal March, this run of games promised to be a lot kinder to us. The strongest opposition out of the 5 this month placed themselves in just in the top 7 of the league, with the rest being mid-table fodder, underperforming heavyweights and downright relegation candidates. A nicely executed 2-1 win against, arguably the strongest side we face this month, Jena were in no shape to deal with our football. Stephane Mvibudulu and one-on-ones have become synonymous lately, but another thing that has also become linked to our frontman is the ability to score from those one-on-ones. We took the lead 3 minutes in through him, and added another from a cutely struck effort by Dennis Mast just before half-time. A second-half where we took the gas off the pedal, just a touch, we conceded, but held firm to give us a comfortable win against a serious side. This was our game in hand we won, and were back on top. Our loss against Berliner AK had the pundits seriously discussing the sudden demise of our strong grip on the league and the potential for the other teams to come into the mix. Out of everyone it could have been, ex-Chemie (as of last season) striker Florian Kirstein had put the away side into the lead. While we created loads, we faced the same problem of not being able to score. Luckily, Cottbus drew their game, meaning the damage was not as bad as expected. But the gap between us and them was marginal. Had Cottbus won the game, the points gap would have been very tough to narrow down. But as it stands, we are still within striking distance with just a few games to go in the season. A dull draw against heavy relegation candidates Greifswald put a slight dent in hopes, but... ...Cottbus' draw against Atlglienicke the day before... ...meant that we were still on their tales, still owing to our slightly superior goal difference. (Photo from before our game against Greifswald). Then Dynamo Berlin came to town, and boy do we like playing them. Stephane Mvibudulu's hat-trick, along with Dennis Mast and Tarik Reinhard writing themselves into the scoresheet meant that it was a day to remember for the Chemie Leipzig faithful, who, in their thousands, wished to turn up and see their beloved team play some liquid football on an otherwise miserable Saturday afternoon. With our frontman sealing the hat-trick at the dying embers of the game, and with Cottbus conceding so late, meant that we jumped to first. Cottbus romped Lok Leipzig in their game, not by as much as we have, however, meaning that we were still neck and neck at the top of the table. A Max Kessler double against Halberstadt had put us home and dry in the first 18 minutes of the game. Granted, we did concede right after Kessler's second, but it didn't provide any cause to worry. Chemie were firmly on top and took the bull by its horns. Statistics can support the story. Cue to mid-70 minutes into the game, Benjamin Bellot's grave error in coming out to a loose opposition cross and fumbling the ball to their striker meant that we had work to do for the final 15 minutes. 22 shots created, 2.09 xG (minus the penalty) (although I realise I shouldn't read into those too much), 2 clear-cut chances (again, minus the penalty) throughout the whole 90 minutes, while the home side were able to equalise, against the run of play, due to a mistake of our own doing, does hurt. With Cottbus' slender 1-0 win against Auerbach, this meant we were now two points behind with two games to go. With Hertha II out of the title race, we only have Cottbus to battle. 2 points behind, Cottbus being Cottbus, and the rest of their games being against sides not battling for much, the odds a very much on their side. It is imperative we win our remaining games and hope that someone, from somewhere, will be able to put a stop to that machine. Otherwise, we are staring down at the barrel of missing out yet again on promotion. Call us the bridesmaid of Regionalliga Nordost, if you will. BSG Chemie Leipzig - bridesmaid of Regionalliga Nordost. Has a ring to it. Nevertheless, it promises to be a truly memorable season finale, perhaps save defining too. We may have a Manchester City & Manchester United 2011/12 situation here. Could our heads prevail, surrounded by enormous pressure? Could we have our own hero and saviour, someone who will mark themselves as one of the heroes of this club? We shall see. Goal of the Month April - Stephane Mvibudulu vs Dynamo Berlin (GW 35) This one was hard to choose, with Dennis Mast's goal, scored in the same game as this one, being very similar to the one chosen. However, this one takes the cake due to the urgency in moving vertically through short, quick passing and movement off the ball, something I greatly value in FM. Additionally, Mvibudulu dropping inbetween the lines, a give-and-go, gives intrigue from a tactical standpoint, which makes this the goal of the month. ----- Allez BSG!
  15. Congratulations on the CL win! Had a blast reading through this adventure with the Pompey, thank you for sharing it with us.
  16. Or maybe even Diaby, Horschig has turned up with quite a few goals with late runs into the box. Dribble Less on High Tempo, while sounding quite high risk, I think is the key in reflecting how Wenger set out his teams post-Highbury (just foreshadowing a potential end of season highlight reel). As the team starts to gel around the philosophy and once I get the players suited to the style of football, I genuinely don't see much stopping us (except the step up in class as we climb the ladder. But then again, eventually we will get the personnel required to succeed). Now that you have asked, this is the first time I'm looking at it now actually. Here is our run-in The two games that catch the eye - away to Jena and Hertha II. Both are in the top 5 at the moment, and while Hertha II have fallen away recently, they still remain a formidable outfit. Chemnitzer away to close out the season is also a tough fixture - they are a very resolute side, and play very compact. This is a slight problem, as our expansive football is very inconsistent against sides who play compact. I guess that is the beauty of the lower tiers of any country though - having lots of inconsistent spells through different parts of the season. Makes it seem more impressive that us and Cottbus are pulling away from the rest of the pack! On the other side, here is how Cottbus' run-in looks like: Their run-in is a lot easier than ours. Facing a bunch of mid-table sides, who realistically, should be beaten, given the stature of Cottbus in this league. Away against Berliner AK is probably their hardest game on paper. There is a downside to their fixtures however - the regional cup. As we were knocked out very early into the season, our sole focus is the league, while they will have to fight on both fronts, which may help our matters (or maybe not, given how uncompetitive some of the regional cups are...). The crux of this whole explanation is - this is shaping up to be a very close battle. A few points dropped may be critical at this stage of the season. This essentially means that we have to win our remaining fixtures and shore up our draws (or in exclusive cases, avoid defeat). Depending on how Cottbus perform, we have some leeway with our form. This does not mean that we will not be gunning for the win in all of our games, however. In all of this though, in general, I am excited to be writing such a story up, especially with the clubs involved and the future of this save. This adventure will roll onto the FM23 cycle, as I don't plan on getting it. I am more than happy with the current iteration of the game, so BSG Chemie Leipzig is here to stay for as long as I can make it (which is till the Bundesliga at least).
  17. Glad to see you back, I enjoy how you describe and explain your ideas behind tactics, signings, and identifying talent. I have actually done something similar with Arsenal on FM20, using Alexandr Hleb as manager. Admittedly, had to wait for a very long time for Arteta to be sacked (3 seasons to be exact!), but it was tonnes of fun. Would love to see you keeping going at it - you've got a nice, solid foundation for a new save!
  18. January + February '23 "Title talk? No, no, we [Chemie] are not about that. Yes, we are going strong. But I insist on getting our head down. No talks of the title. I will not accept that in my locker room." - Petr Havlicek As it turns out, life outside of Football Manager is very intense, and this time, I believe it may turn into a permanent fixture. Less time for the game means even less frequent updates. I sound like a broken record, but it has never been more true before. However, there is no reason to worry, I am doing my best to be playing the game in the background and then doing my write ups on what I have been up to thus far. In-game, Christmas is over, the New Years' Day was upon us. This meant that this was the start of a new dawn for Betriebssportgemeinschaft (that is a mouthful) Chemie Leipzig. It is an important year, leading the table after the half-way point. But we all know how this ends up. We lead for a period, then bottle our reverse fixture against Cottbus, them having an insane run of games and us dropping points, eventually conceding top spot, despite our strong run-in. Oh dear, the prophecy is back again to haunt us. The January period started with a slight turbulence. Our rotation DM, Anton Kanther, had attracted suitors from professional sides in Germany. One of them was the 3.Liga side Jahn Regensburg. While Petr rejected the initial offer, which was an absolute disgrace of an offer in truth, our dear Anton kicked up a fuss about not being able to join them. Keen to keep his man, Petr wanted to convince him to stay, but after demanding to be considered a, *ahem*, Star Player *ahem*, Anton was never going to see that wish come true. What better thing to do in response other than force through a move, right? Petr wished him luck, and let him know that he is always welcome at the club whenever he wished to return. Anton's response? Judas. Moving onto more loyal players, Stefan Karau had come to Petr indicating of wanting a new challenge. As the most capped player (+ the fact he fell down the pecking order), Petr agreed and searched for potential buyers. The conclusion: we wave goodbye to our club captain. Definitely have plans of hiring him as part of the coaching squad. With the sale of Anton Kanther, half the squad came knocking on Petr's door to complain about the lack of depth in midfield. Risking to upset the feel-good atmosphere in the squad and the whole club as a whole, the manager reluctantly agreed to bring in reinforcements, despite the tight constraints on the budget. As a result, in came two players of similar mould: Damir Bektic was someone on the radar for half a year, and after being released from his contract at Tasmania Berlin + given the newfound occasion, Petr thought now is the time to sign the player, considering he satisfied the DNA of the team: Technique - 9 Teamwork - 14 Work Rate - 10 Off the Ball - 5 Decisions - 10 Determination - 14 Anticipation - 10 DNA Total = 72 (Satisfied) Now I will admit, this one came out of the blue. Playing for Hallescher last year, in the 3.Liga, all seemed to go smoothly for Jan Loehmannsroeben (this one will be tough to spell when he scores his first goal for the club, I tell you what) till the unexpected happened and the club did not renew him. Coming in as a 31 year old does not really match our squad profile, but that bit of experience playing professional football is invaluable at this level. He might well be the final piece in the puzzle for our promotion push. Technique - 8 Teamwork - 15 Work Rate - 15 Off the Ball - 7 Decisions - 9 Determination - 15 Anticipation - 10 DNA Total = 79 (Satisfied) With the wheeling and dealing over and the squad content over Petr's business, it was time to focus on the games that lay ahead... ... Max Kessler and his two goals at home against Auerbach was the perfect start to the new year. A fantastic team goal and a first time volley earned the 3 points for Chemie Leipzig. A game we dominated from the first minute to the last minute of injury time. Then we had the draw at struggling Meusselwitz. A Dartsch to Hansch combination had put us one down, before Max Kessler would save us again by converting a second-half penalty. He had the chance to grab the headlines, and he very much did scoring the winner at the death. The caveat? The flag was up on the far side, showing Kessler's toenail being offside. Frustrating. Denis Jaepel's fine effort had put us one to the good at the Alfred-Kunze Sportpark against, yet another relegation fodder, Fuerstenwalde. While we did get pegged back almost immediately, a tap-in by our tap-in merchant Max Kessler and another goal by Jaepel had won us the three points. We seem invincible at home, which I find is central to the culture of the club. I hate this. I really do. Why? We were favourites heading into the game, which was very surprising to see. I think I have established how much I hate facing Cottbus at any point in the season. Yet, we are here to do it all over again. A very tight affair, but I felt we just about edged the contest in the first half. We reduced the home side to 3 shots the whole of 45 minutes, but we didn't create much either. After the onset of the whistle to signal for the second half, we went out with intention of firing. However, a slight hitch lay on our path, as it always does when we play Cottbus. With Engelhardt being just about onside, he scored a header for the home side, sending the stadium into a wild, deafening rapture of shouts, screams and celebrations. This is the point where we woke up feeling hungry. Suddenly, chance after chance fell upon us. Max Kessler almost rescued us yet again. A tight offside call, some may say debatable, had cancelled the equaliser. Kessler had another chance, right at the death, to snatch a point. Petr Havlicek was off his seat seeing Dennis Mast's cross find Kessler in the clear, only to fall to his knees after the keeper made the important save. Upset and distraught, Petr consoled his players at full-time. "But we all know how this ends up. We lead for a period, then bottle our reverse fixture against Cottbus, them having an insane run of games and us dropping points, eventually conceding top spot, despite our strong run-in...." We move forward, as does left-back(!) Florian Bruegmann to set up a Stephane Mvibudulu tap-in at home against Lichtenberg. We reduced them to no shots at all, and creating a barrage of chances. I, and Petr for that matter, fail to understand how we only scored one. A win is a win though, especially after a gut-wrenching defeat to "our title rivals". I refuse to be drawn into title talk. Not just yet. We all know how that ended up last time. Warmly greeting Stefan Karau in the stands of the home end, Paul Horschig would blast a 30 yard yard-trimmer and Jan Loehmannsroeben (there, I said it before!) finished a nice team move against struggling Viktoria Berlin. Not too bad, 13 points from a possible 18. Here is how the table looks at the end of the month. Jena almost did us a favour by stopping Cottbus at home, but a late a winner from the "title rivals" kept up the pressure on us. Oh for sure, this is very true. However, that breathing room is gone, and much, much earlier than I would have liked. "Running away with the league" now seems a slight overstatement, given the context of the first games following the winter break. But, we are 3 points ahead, a superior goal difference, and we got Cottbus out the way early on in the second half of the season. We remain optimistic, yet cautious. Hopeful, yet bracing for the worst. Promotion will mean a lot for the club and for the save. We need to plough on as we have done before, and bloody hope Cottbus drop points somewhere. Goal of the Month January - Max Kessler vs Auerbach (GW 22) He scored two stunning goals this month. But I prefer picking nice team moves rather than individual brilliance (I realise I may be the sole person with such an opinion). Given how we are trying to interpret Wengerball here, I feel as though my choice makes sense. February - Paul Horschig vs Viktoria Berlin (GW 27) While Jan Loehmannsroeben did cap a fantastic team move (personal note: reminder to include this on the end of season highlight reels), Horschig's strike was just too good to deny him of the award. The man mountain deserves it too, with this fine strike. I think I don't say it enough on here, but I really appreciate the support given to this thread. While this is far from being the main purpose of these write-ups, I am glad people enjoy it as I much as I do documenting the progress of this odyssey with BSG Chemie Leipzig. At the end of the day, for me, it is the connection with the players, the club and the atmosphere that I really love. And as always, thank you for reading. ----- Allez BSG!
  19. November/December '22 "Now is time to put the foot down and run the whole course. We must not let up, for we have strong contenders for the title." - Stefan Karau Setting into the winter period means shorter days and longer nights in the northern hemisphere. As the new floodlights system has been set up at the Alfred Kunze Sportpark, this means that we are now more likely to see evening games in the freezing cold. These types of conditions are perfect for character building. After a slight blip in form during October, Chemie Leipzig are now on the offensive in the hunt for a perfect month in all competitions (I say all, we have only got the league to focus on now). An objective has been set, but the question is, can this objective be met by the end of the half season? The answer is, yes, maybe? Perfect is a relative term depending on who you ask, but 6 games without a loss seems really good on paper. Three goals from Florian Bruegmann, Timo Mauer and Dennis Mast was enough to sink a surprisingly underperforming Dynamo Berlin side, manifesting in a dangerously strong away outing. A goal conceded late on, due to a glaring error when building from the back, would not dampen our mood or our spirit, as Havlicek and his men leave the capital with all three points. The Alfred Kunze Sportpark is a bastion, a bastion which no teams dare to show up. No shots on target against us is just one of the signs that Halberstadt struggled badly. Two strong finishes by Max Kessler and Stephane Mvibudulu from crosses out wide ensured it was a day to forget for the away side. I honestly don't know how to feel about draws in general. It is always the case of either perceiving a cup half full or half empty. On the whole, we are not as good away as we are at home, and despite after Max Kessler putting us into the lead very early on, we couldn't penetrate the opposition defence the second time. We were punished for it by Babelsberg, conceding a goal at the other end. We just don't look as scary away as we do at home, and this needs to change somehow. On the flip side, a return to winning ways followed, as we can safely rely on our 12th Man, the Chemie Ultras, to help us on our way to glory. A strong Chemnitzer side, with no real obvious weaknesses, came into town, conceding goals from two dead-ball situations. A Max Kessler penalty, who then further assisted an Alexander Bury header, made the day for Die Chemiker. Sustaining our form is crucial, especially in the latter stages of the half-season, where heads begin to drop and lose concentration. Stephane Mvibudulu clearly disagreed, first slotting home a penalty, then converting an exquisite pass from deep to give a conclusive 2 goal lead against fellow title challengers(!), Altglienicke. With the odds stacked against Lok, we seemed to be ready and raring to go, haunting the opposition from the first minu.... we concede from a fluke long-range goal . Bragging rights on the line, doubling down in the opposition's half was the only option. After a tactical switch to the 3-1-6 from a 3-2-5, we finally got we were looking for. Dennis Mast restores parity after shoving the ball into the net of the stern Lok defence. We could have gotten so much more, with clear opportunities missed late on, but in the end, we somehow share the spoils with our hated rivals. With nearly half the season gone, this is the state of the league table. Very decent showing. It seems like the emphasis on winning points, no matter how many (as long as most of them are the three and not one), is working. A healthy 8 point gap to Cottbus, who, it appears, cannot string a consistent run together while doing battle with Hertha II, Jena and Altglienicke. It remains to be seen if we can keep this up. We were in the same situation this time last year, only for it to worsen due to Cottbus' insane run and ourselves losing the belief we had. Remains to be seen, for sure. Goal of the Month November - Max Kessler vs Babelsberg (GW18) Spoilt for choice this month, as there were plenty of good goals and hence it was tough to choose. But for that ball alone by Tarik Reinhard and the build-up itself earns Kessler the Goal of the Month for November December - Stephane Mvibudulu vs Altglienicke (GW20) Similar reasons to Kessler's goal, this one earns the award due to the final ball and the movement that was required to score the goal. With Wengerball, we are slowly getting there... ----- Allez BSG!
  20. I actually have a thread with the updates from my current thread, where I implement my understanding of the system and philosophy. I'll link it here if you are interested. Glad to see your interpretation doing well too, interesting where this will take you going into the middle part of the season. Just need to pray you don't have on of those annual injury-crises Arsenal tended to have coming up to the winter period. Keep at it!
  21. I second on the corners, I like your approach. I personally do not really delve into set-pieces, usually just mindlessly set up as I please. This, however, may make me rethink slightly on how I set up my corners, free-kicks and throw-in routines. (I know set-pieces are very crucial (in this and last year's installment of the game) and I sound a bit like a caveman, but I just haven't paid enough attention towards such things).
  22. And they are both below the age of 25! How convenient! Also, I didn't know that the Ballad of Benjani would take such a sinister turn - City and Route One? Such a juxtaposition.
  23. October '22 "I am extraordinarily happy to have found a set of supporters, who have taken me with such open arms. Every time, every second I am here in Leipzig, it feels a privilege to be at this club, this club with a massive history, culture, and atmosphere. I just hope my performances vindicate the belief that Petr, Chemie, and the Leutszcher diablos have in me." - Lukas Pinckert during the post-match interview in the game against Hertha II Well, well, well, autumn in the former lands of East Germany has finally settled and it is here to stay for the forseeable future. But, colder weather and the lack of sunshine will not deter Chemie Leipzig from continuing their hunt for their first League championship since 2019, while seeking a return to wider recognition among the German nation (and the European continent at that). Things did not start well, however. Despite dominating the game on paper, the division's new boys Krieschow, led by the ex-Chemie striker Leo Felgentraeger, had stunned our away end into silence by leading 2-1 at the break. A Stephane Mvibudulu equaliser into the empty net before the break was short-lived. Things got worse as we were bullied once again by our very own Leo 'The Trigger' Felgentraeger, who had scored his second, by which point, a Max Kessler header ended up being only a consolation. On the road again, this time against Erfurt, another recently promoted side who looked to capitalize on our indifferent form. And the game reflected our form, where we did not turn up at all, having no shots on target throughout the whole of 90 minutes. Poor, very poor. We seem to struggle against teams away, perhaps amplifying just how much the ultras mean to the team. A packed out Alfred Kunze Sportpark cannot compare to any other grounds in the league in terms of support, and it shows. Jena had the chance to harm us while we were down. Cue the "call an ambulance, but not for me meme", because we steamed into domination, despite conceding first. A freak clearance from the goalkeeper allowed Dennis Jaepel to equalize and save ourselves from our second defeat of the season. Hmm, it isn't a win, but that'll do. Havlicek was content with the game. Sure, 2 points were dropped, but it should serve as a good morale boost, as the happiness of the players happens to be so, so, so important, especially in the German 4th tier. A trip to the capital is always special. Celebrating by going to techno raves as a team after a win makes it sweeter. The goals scored to seal the 3 points make it even better. Havlicek's Immortal Game, away against Berliner AK, was a masterclass (for the time being) in Wengerball. A scorching Tom Gruendling strike from distance and Stephane Mvibudulu's smashing finish earns us the win, finally putting an end to our 3 game winless streak. At the right place, at the right time, with the aim to secure top spot and not letting go. Fantastic! An unremarkable win against Greifswald followed the next Saturday afternoon. Towering header from our man mountain Paul Horschig was the only goal, which happened to be the difference. A weird game, but a win is a win. Still, room for improvement, though. And now the table, after the end of these 5 games in October. You know what, I'll take it! Havlicek will be happy too. Cottbus have shot up the table at the expense of the struggling Hertha II during the month. It seems like we weren't the only top dogs in the league struggling for form during this period. However, the gap to 2nd did increase to 7 points. Long way to go, but this is good tempo we are setting, and if anything is to go by after our last 3 games, we turned it round, at least for the moment. Good signs, but we need to carry this momentum into November and December before heading off for the Winter break. Interesting to note - last year's bronze medalists Dynamo Berlin are not doing really well, languishing below our hated rivals Lok. Viktoria Berlin also really struggling after being recently relegated. Goal of the Month I am not sure how a trophy can be split into two. Physically sharing an award also seems a bit awkward. I guess Havlicek will need to personally order two for our recepients this month. Tom Gruendling vs Berliner AK (GW14) The boy wonder (sorry Max [Kessler]!) has done it yet again with a peach of a volley from outside the box. Notice the build up to the goal too! Stephane Mvibudulu vs Berliner AK (GW14) The hitman finally features in what will be the first of many (I hope). I feel the whole team deserves this award too, maybe an all-charges paid trip to the Leipzig pub on a Tuesday evening would be a fine, unofficial reward. Up to Havlicek to decide on that one. ----- Allez BSG!
  • Create New...