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About higgins

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    Semi Pro

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  • Currently Managing
    Holstein Kiel

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  1. I managed in Italy, England and France with FM20, now it's time for a change and Germany looked like a good option, this is why I decided to go to Kiel, in the southwest of the Jutland peninsula and start this new adventure. The club Holstein Kiel, founded 119 years ago (1900), claimed their one and only German league title back in 1912 and since the introduction of the Bundesliga in 1963, they failed to shine at the highest level, recently they're trying to rise from lower leagues obscurity, promoted in 2017 to 2.Bundesliga they came really close to back to back promotion after a brilliant campaign, but they lost to Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga play-off. Last season they finished 6th, the club is well known for their tight wage budget policy and for their ability to spot cheap and unknown young talents. The board 5-year plan doesn't look too ambitious, they simply ask for a top-half finish in 2.Bundeslig, always playing entertaining football. I'll try to please them. Their facilities are below the average at this level, media prediction is 12th place, while the obvious candidate to go up are Stuttgart, Hannover 96, Hamburger and Nurnberg, all these clubs have a strong tradition in the Bundesliga and huge resources, a good challenge is on the way. Quick facts Transfer Budget: 499k Wage budget: 7.513.787 (14th in the league) Stadium: Holstein- Stadion (capacity 11.386) Training facilities: adequate Youth facilities: average Rules: I don't like self-imposed restrictions, but I never use custom set pieces routines, it's a weak area of the game easy to exploit. I always leave them on default. The players in the squad look to suit a classic 4-4-2 well, so this will be my starting point, there are some missing pieces though and I'll try to find them in the market, more info about my transfers coming soon, meanwhile welcome to Kiel!
  2. You’re right, exploitative tactics still work, regarding the rest we have some problems...
  3. 2020-21 Welcome back to Barnsley, after the promotion from the Championship I tried to improve the team with some key signings without overspending, I simply wanted to confirm the spine of last season team. A risky choice. but I thought many of them deserved a chance at EPL level, team cohesion should help my young squad (22 avg. age) to avoid relegation, my main goal for the season. Anyway I still have 32 M left in the transfer budget, a huge amount of money that could be useful in January, these are the transfers I made in the summer: The plan would be to keep playing our 4-1-3-2 tactic, it could offer the required defensive solidity for our EPL debut season, let's see what will happen... Max Lowe, left back from Derby, has been my most expensive signing so far, I needed an upgrade over my current left backs (Toffolo and Ben Williams) and he could be the right man, even if a bit pricey for our standard. Talking about young talents I have high hopes for Henrique Jocu, 18 yrs old from Benfica, promising midfieder who should play in the half-back role for Barnsley. Up the Tykes!!
  4. Staying up was vital, now it's time to improve the squad, any targets?
  5. At the start of season two the board offered me a new deal, they want entertaining football and defensive solidity, a little bit of this and a little bit of that... Do they know we are Barnsley?
  6. Thanks mate, before I sold him Styles played 20 games for Barnsley, nothing spectacular to be fair: 6.79 avg. rat. 1 goal & 1 assist, below there's the offer I accepted from Leicester You could be right about Scarlet, surely an exciting war-chest!
  7. 2019-20 So we did it, just few months and we'll face premier league football; it's obvious to say that the difficult part starts now, we have more money but more expenses as well, I just renewed Mowatt and McGeehan contracts, both will earn around 1.7M per season, they were earning 500k per year so far... Anyway, here there are some quick facts about last season, regarding my players and the football world we are in: Relegated from EPL Brighton Burnley Sheffield United EPL winner Manchester City UCL winner Liverpool --------------------------------------------------------------- Barnsley goalscorers Jacob Brown - 17 Torben Musel - 15 Cameron McGeehan - 10 Assists Alex Mowatt - 9 Harry Toffolo - 8 Jordan Williams and Toby Sibbick - 7 Interceptions/90 min Nicholas Opoku 3.30 Toby Sibbick 3.11 Aapo Halme 3.06 Headers won/90 min Mads Andersen 5.66 Aapo Halme 5.26 N. Opoku 4.97 These are the stats I always look at regarding my players, I believe they're the most important. After such a glorious season I'd be tempted to keep all my players with me, for sentimental reasons, even if I know it won't be possible, this is just the beginning of our growth process. Surely I'm not going to overspend. All the loans did well, Musel and Opoku above all, unfortunately Opoku won't obtain a work permit for next season as he failed to reach the required caps with his national side, he will be missed. Regarding the other I could consider to renew their loans or sign some of them on a permanent basis, but I'll have to carefully consider what the market will offer during the summer, meanwhile I'll have to answer to some key questions:
  8. Thanks @Jamesbfc1887, by the way, I think she is suitable for every context . Back to Barnsley I was impressed by how much Jacob Brown has grown up this season, 17 goals overall for him, my best striker.
  9. Championship Play-offs - 2019.20 So here we are, 2 games vs. Fulham, in the first one a true poacher effort from new striker Dany Mota gave us a good home win at Oakwell, after a fairly even match. In the second I started again with Mota and Torben Musel as my striking partnership, with Jacob Brown ready to unleash his pace in the second part of the match, the score was still 0-0 when Fagioli and Mowatt did this... A crazy shot from outside the box gave us the lead, then Jacob Brown scored the second on a quick counter, 1-2 the final result, we're going to Wembley! The Play-offs final: Barnsley vs. Reading 7 min. Puscas scored for Reading after our keeper mistake. Then McGeehan, Musel and Opoku decided it was time to close the dossier. We brilliantly won it 3-1...We're going up guys! Barnsley are going up!! I'm so glad about this achievement, few things are more exciting than getting promoted from the Championship with a tiny club, really. The following is one of the examples that spring to mind...
  10. Well, regarding playoff I’m usually a bottler and Fulham are difficult, but here we have nothing to lose. This afternoon we’ll know more.
  11. January to May 2019 - 13W 6D 6L The regular season is over, my first with Barnsley, at the end of March, in spite of some moves in the Winter market, sold Callum Styles for 6.5M + 3.5M bonus to Leicester and signed Nicolò Fagioli (3.8M + 1.9 bonus) and Dany Mota, both from Juventus under 23 squad, I had no more hopes to qualify for the playoff. The boys were missing the required consistency to reach the 6th place, I tried some tactical adjustments but nothing worked properly, then finally I'v e been able to pull the rabbit out of the hat, many of the goals we conceded came from mistakes during the transition from defense to attack, the deep lying play-maker was rarely able to cover and protect our line, I had in front of me an easy answer that I couldn't see. Since then I've been playing with a halfback in that position and things radically changed, 5 wins and 2 draws, 5th place in the table and playoff gained. It looked easy, but it wasn't. 2019-20 Final Table Now we'll play Fulham in the semi-final, then Preston or Reading, place your bets guys, we'll be back soon...
  12. November/December 2019 - 4W 3D 4L We're 9th, at the end of December we're 9th, not bad if you consider our media prediction (24th) but I'm a bit disappointed cause our amazing start made me think we could do even better, but lately we had some bad losses, defensively we played without confidence and made too many mistakes. Up top Jacob Brown (8 goals) and Torben Musel (7 goals and 4 assists) are doing well, Conor Chaplin played only nine games due to an injury but scored 4 goals, all the other attackers have been pretty crap: Wilks had no goals in 8 (5) games, the same for my useless panic signing Jackson in 5 apps. In the middle of the pitch we missed injured McGeehan goals and skills a lot , he should be fit for the start of the new year. Meanwhile captain Mowatt did well with 5 assists and 7.00 avg. rating, a true team leader, Bahre was good as well ( 3 goals and 3 assists). As I said before my defenders started well but their recent performances have been declining, even Opoku, my best centre back wasn't so consistent in his last games, maybe he's only a bit tired cause he had to play a lot in this first half of the season. Now the goals would be to have a safe second part of the season, being ready to grab a playoff spot if our form had to dramatically improve, but we need to stay humble. I already sold Kenny Dougall for 300k to Colorado Rapids, he'll leave in February, no apps for the Aussie this season, I could make some other moves on the market, we have room for a competent striker...
  13. You added two solid and experienced midfielders, ready to play at that level, well done.
  14. September/October 2019 - 2W 3D 4L I was right to be worried about Cauley Woodrow injury, unfortunately now even McGeehan is broken and as a result Barnsley collapsed, mixed results in September and not a single win in October. I'm aware our starting winning streak was not going to last too much, I would have hoped for a softer landing but this looks like the great slump. The truth is that when difficulties emerge my young team does not have the experience to react, the absence of two key men was enough to alter the course of events. We need to find the right balance, less injuries would be a bonus. Our table is still impressive but what I saw recently from my squad didn't impress me, next few months will be key to understand what kind of role we could play this season in the Championship.
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