Fantastic

Destinations

224 posts in this topic

[quote name='caravanmaster']Do you just leave every concern any player has be and hope it goes away?[/QUOTE]

No, I talk to my players as and when it's necessary. Both Russo and Machado both demanded moves to bigger clubs, but I told them both that I wanted the club to grow with them and to see where we are in a year. They still want to move, but it's not actively being played out in the media and with them constantly telling the other players.

I'm used to it, when you play in gateway leagues you have to constantly battle to keep players and to make sure the expectations are managed correctly. I know when the right time to sell Machado and Russo will be, but it isn't now and it isn't a pressing concern, because I've managed their expectations in a fairly sensible manner. I couldn't get Parra onside, so I had to sell him, but the rest have been fairly easy to work in my favour.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/kXEjo.png[/IMG]

One defeat in the whole of the Clausura. On the final day against Boca Juniors. In the last five minutes. Not a tragedy, but it would have been nice to say we were undefeated for half a season. Saying that, thank god it came then, because I'd imagine the players would have melted into the ground after a loss like that.

What a Clausura though. We led, dominated, controlled, whichever phrasing you prefer to use, we did it. After the pathetic end to the Apertura, we needed this. Or more importantly, I needed this, to maintain my sanity. We were special, often untouchable, but it was a squad effort. We get infected with injuries quite frequently so it's nice to see that a player like Francisco Hernandez has now clocked over 125 appearances under my management, despite never being a first choice player.

I think chief among the changes was bringing in Albarracin and Nava, they've been crucial to plugging the gaps in our defence. We all know the quality of our attack, but it's the whole team that should be celebrated for this.

From here, it's going to be a very interesting time. We've broken that glass ceiling that we could get through and now we can make something of the opportunities in front of us. I've said before, I want to win an Apertura and a Clausura in the same season. My current feeling is that there's still some time left for me at Gimnasia, we're Clausura and Cup champions int he same season, six years after I took over.

A drink to the 2016/17 season.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/9UWie.png[/IMG]

Some more good news, the board finally pulled their fingers out and managed to negotiate a much better sponsorship package for us. Almost double our previous annual income. We're still pretty porous when it comes to money coming in and out of the club, but at least we're starting to get paid more adequately in relation to our improved stature within the South American game.

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[quote name='iHeadHunta x']Some nice money coming in to balance out finances :)[/QUOTE]

We need as much as we can get. My compulsion of buying every player on 48 month payment plans means I often sit with my mouth wide open at our monthly losses. We recuperate most of it back in prize money and player sales, but I'd much rather be in charge of a profit making enterprise.

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That's normal, you should get a loss every month. Because usually that's not actually a loss but a calculated investment, only to be covered and generally profited at the end of season with prize money, sponsorship and tv revenue

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Great thread, great progress. Be interested to see your next move, after the unfinished business here of course.

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Great second period of the season. Big improvements on the opening stage :thup:

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[quote name='SnakeXe']Great thread, great progress. Be interested to see your next move, after the unfinished business here of course.[/QUOTE]

I haven't received any job offers from outside of Argentina yet, but I am at the stage where I'm thinking about where I'd head next. I'm hoping the reputation system has been fixed because last year it was nigh on impossible to get a job.

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Transfers - Season 2017/18

[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/TTcvY.png[/IMG]

A free transfer from Argentinos, I felt he was good enough to come into the team as backup, but one Rovira gets too old or Machado/Russo moves on he should be able to make the step up to regular first team action. His pace is a real threat, similar to Antonio Medina, except thankfully he is also a decent finisher and mentally capable.

[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/CBxFD.png[/IMG]

Correa was another free transfer from Velez. I'll be honest it was simply the fact he was available that I went ahead and signed him. I don't really have any larger plan for him, but he is a very good player and I made a decision that in time a space would open up somehow.

[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/5sUi9.png[/IMG]

My annual big money signing this year was Diego Segales. He's a Uruguayan international and looked perfect for the defensive central midfield slot that I've found it difficult, at times, to master. He's a real catch, expensive yes, but he definitely justifies the price tag.

[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/S3JQo.png[/IMG]

The future replacement for Danilo Lerda. He's got some very good attributes and is almost ready to come into the team as is. However out of loyalty to Lerda I won't be letting that happen, Lerda has been the longest serving player for me since we got promoted and it's only fair I let him see out his contract with us while playing.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/MyeNI.png[/IMG]

I had some interesting offers during the break, including a £2.3m loan offer (no future fee) for Eduardo Sanchez. However with Albarracin's contract only running until 2019 and him being a little difficult during negotiations I'm going to hold off until next year to decide the course of action.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/1Lr86.png[/IMG]

I took a while to consider this. I've already got a lot of football on my plate every season, but then I decided that a country like Tunisia is considered a top 10 nation in Africa and that could mean a good opportunity to spread the word of my existence. If I can start some kind of cult or a religion based around me than it's possible it could spread across the world. Either way, I'm looking forward to it.

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Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to welcome you to the Gonzalo Berardi show:

[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/3BR6J.png[/IMG]

[video=youtube;iggccRPGK0E]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iggccRPGK0E[/video]

[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/VETiN.png[/IMG]

Machado and Russo are out injured for a few months. My mind is slightly more at ease now.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/Usp4O.png[/IMG]

I can't be arsed with that lot any longer. I need a fresh start. I keep making all the right moves, I keep adding depth to this team, I keep managing their happiness, I keep playing tactics that win us games. But one defeat, one defeat and that's it. We go to ****. I can't be arsed with them any longer. Let the club sell the best players, let them sink back into obscurity, if they can't survive as a unit then that's their own perogative, I won't be in charge of that fragile ship.

I need a fresh start.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/J0URq.png[/IMG]

It's what an American would call a no-brainer. The current world champions wanted me as their manager, I didn't apply for it, but they wanted me. So I accepted. They have one game remaining in the World Cup qualifiers, this is how it stands:

[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/DcpmB.png[/IMG]

The final game against Peru, in three days, is a must win to ensure we make the play-offs at least. There is a real abundance of talent in Uruguay at the moment and I've been given a huge opportunity to make my mark as a manager on the global stage. I'm excited, the day-to-day management of Gimnasia was beginning to hurt me and I needed a fresh start. Hopefully I can make something that really shouldn't be happening, I mean six and a half years ago I was a Sunday League manager.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/YN8v7.png[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/LXJFw.png[/IMG]

So we qualify, but only just. After going 3-0 wonderboy Martinez pulled two back and I was genuinely scared I was going to have to wait four years. So I did what any coward would do, I played a 5-4-1 and prayed like I've never prayed before. It worked, but by god I don't want to be in that position again. Peru are a weak side and if we play like that we'll get **** on at the World Cup. I'm going to need to play as many friendlies as possible and get a tactic working that is secure. I do not want to embarrass myself.

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Looking at Uruguay, the options in attack are almost limitless. But there are four key players that stand out; Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez, Abel Hernandez and Nicolas Lodeiro. I am normally a firm believer in strike partnership, it breeds a certain level of competitiveness in the final third. But in this instance it seems a waste, in my eyes, excluding one of the three strikers. But playing a flat three up front always gives me worries over the midfield being exposed by the team becoming too attacking and lacking any real width. For this purpose I have decided to go with a 4-5-1/4-3-3 composite:

[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/HuDpM.png[/IMG]

The principal idea is to take the fact Suarez and Cavani are both equally adept at playing in the wide AM roles and therefore push them there, to give me peace of mind over the shape of the formation, without removing one or the other, missing out on a star player.

The three man midfield will need some work in terms of selection. Uruguay are not so blessed in the central midfield department, a combination of either two defensive central midfielders and one attacking or vice versa is something I will need to mull over. Lodeiro needs to be included, but given his natural ability as an attacker partnering him with another attacking central player could mean our anchor comes under far too much pressure.

We have a friendly against Italy coming up and it will be interesting to see how we fare under this formation against first class opposition. The nature of the match is most important, but this is not only my first idea, but my best one too. I can't see how Uruguay can play utilising all their best options in any other manner. I shall be crossing my fingers that I am correct on this occasion.

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As promising a start as any. Going to get back into club management as well?

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/2Tmg5.png[/IMG]

Hmm, we were pretty much outplayed. We had one shot on target and generally speaking we were lucky. I need to go back to the drawing board.

[quote name='deltablue']As promising a start as any. Going to get back into club management as well?[/QUOTE]

At the moment, no. I always think I can manage a club and a country at the same time, but the reality is that I never focus on the country because the club takes up so much of my day to day play. I'll evaluate my position after the World Cup.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/4laFn.png[/IMG]

Right, I've decided the best plan of attack is to face the best in the world. I'm going to do what I said wasn't, i.e. play a 4-3-3, and I'm going to try to outscore them. I didn't like only having one shot on target against Italy, it isn't how I like my teams to play football. If we're going to the World Cup, we're going to entertain people.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/Df1TM.png[/IMG]

I have to say, I'm very happy with that draw. New Zealand should be an easy three points, so a win in either of the two games should see us through, but realistically we should be topping the group. There were a lot of difficult draws so I'm glad that we managed to get an easier ride.

My job now is to organise a few more friendlies to make sure we're prepared for the World Cup.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/41x9K.png[/IMG]

So that's the schedule. A prestige friendly against Spain, followed by staggered warm ups against increasingly difficult opposition, then into the lion's den. The theory is to have the team kicking and screaming, ready to launch into the competition all guns blazing. Of course that's the theory, I expect the unexpected.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/4Dd7h.png[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/Z5uns.png[/IMG]

We've got our formation. Despite the fact we lost, we played well, very well in fact. They scored from a solo effort off Felipe and an own goal. We outplayed them, should have scored at least three and we looked good. The three man midfield wasn't swamped, Hernandez, Suarez, Cavani combined so effectively the Spanish didn't know what hit them. I'm ready for the World Cup now.

Are they ready for us?

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Great move, good luck in the World Cup!

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/OZv5X.png[/IMG]

I'm excited, although these are only friendlies we've looked remarkably dangerous against teams. The first friendly was just a warm up, but the players did what was required and got in the mood to start scoring. Against Belarus we didn't take the chances, but we created large number of them and the fact the players were getting into good positions was good enough for me. The final game was the icing on the cake. We went up against one of the strongest sides in the world and we came out on top. We weren't over-run, we pushed them to the edge and to top it off, we came back from a goal down.

That's why I'm excited. I feel as though the team is playing in a manner that I am comfortable with and I feel as though we can do well in the competition. The preferred line up is as follows:

[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/3VV2b.png[/IMG]

Abel Hernandez picked up an injury a few weeks ago, he's still in the squad but has only just recovered. Because of that, as the keen eyed readers of this career will have noted, Leandro Machado is starting up front. Joining him in the centre of midfield is fellow Gimnasia team mate Diego Segales. My only real concern is that Lodeiro hasn't been receiving enough game time at Liverpool and therefore his match fitness is shot. At the moment he's only getting about 60% through games before I have to sub him off. Hopefully he can build things up through the group stages. Other than that, we're full strength and ready to kick some arse.

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Tobol Toboklsk was a bit of a random friendly to have.

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[quote name='deltablue']Tobol Toboklsk was a bit of a random friendly to have.[/QUOTE]

I wanted to play a Russian side, like how real sides do when they go over to acclimatise at the start of their world cup. It was worth watching the net bulge a lot.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/Ecol3.png[/IMG]

A powerful start to our group. We looked very dangerous, I don't recall Bosnia having any shots on target. My only worry is that first choice goalkeeper Muslera damaged his elbow and will be out for two weeks. Luckily Martin Rodriguez, our backup, is suitably qualified to perform the task.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/L0nYJ.png[/IMG]

I don't know how we didn't win this match. Oh wait, I do: Igor ****ing Akinfeev. Jesus, that man was possessed. He was everywhere, literally everywhere. Thank god we didn't concede because we couldn't put the ball past him. If this wasn't a video game I'd put it down to home advantage, but all the same, it puts us in a good position to top the group.

Still can't believe we didn't win this game though. Wait, just remembered: Igor ****ing Akinfeev.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/EVIXq.png[/IMG]

A demolition job was called for, a demolition job was received. It means we top the group and go into the second round in scintillating form.

[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/ZpssL.png[/IMG]

A difficult tie, my experience of Portugal isn't too hot but I'd imagine they're still a top quality side.

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Domination over New Zealand. Tight game against Portugal. 2-1 to you I reckon.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/MLdo7.png[/IMG]

Urgh, Cristiano Ronaldo. I was so scared he was going to single handedly drag Portugal back into this game. So scared I was that I actually reverted to my pussy five man defence. Then they go and shock me by scoring a fourth to put my mind at ease. This was not an easy match and despite Portugal playing a narrow formation, we were exposed out wide a few times. Thankfully some serious performances by Machado and Lodeiro created enough chances for this lot to hit the net and we did what I asked of them: outscore the bastards.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/XMS74.png[/IMG]

Ooh, it was either them or Germany. Either way, hard tie.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/4nzxH.png[/IMG]

A surprisingly routine victory over Holland. They never really threatened us as such and once the third went in I pulled off key players and sat back. However that worked against us because we had to play the final ten minutes with ten men after Segales was injured.

Speaking of injuries, Segales is out for at least a week while Coates (of Liverpool) is out for month with a broken arm. Luckily Godin is able to come in and is his equal in defence, however Segales is harder to replace and we will miss his defensive capabilities in the next round.

Bring on the semi-finals, I can't wait to see who we draw.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/1Kv3q.png[/IMG]

Oh baby, what a semi-final. But then I wasn't expecting any less, it's not exactly often you get an easy tie in the semi-final of the World Cup. I'm excited though, this is really into the danger zone.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/2hkSs.png[/IMG]

Nothing needs to be said. We're in the final.

We are in the final.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/J3lZw.png[/IMG]

What a final. Two classic rivals in the biggest final in professional sport. I. CAN. NOT. WAIT.

In fact... yeah, I'm going to record it.

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Best of luck in the final mate, great career so far. :applause:

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Well I was going to record the match, except it over-ran 4gb and won't play when I open it, so you'll have to make do with my report:

[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/LqQ5D.png[/IMG]

People are used to seeing me get angry, ridiculously angry over situations in this game where, in context, I shouldn't allow them to. But not in this situation. I finished this match smiling. We played so well throughout this entire tournament and despite losing in the final to an awesome Argentina, we were the tournament's entertainers.

The match was a classic, they scored within thirty seconds due to some comical defending, but and instant double salvo, followed by a third on the half hour mark and suddenly it was looking amazing. But they came back, stalked us, hunted us down and found their footing. They got the required two goals, we had a goal disallowed in injury time, then they almost won it in extra time before our pathetic attempt at penalties saw us finally lose.

But you know what, who cares. Argentina did just enough to win this competition, but we made this tournament. Averaged over four goals a game, scored some outstanding ones as well and we carried ourselves with honour defending the title won four years ago.

What an experience, probably one of my favourite few hours playing this game since I started more than a decade ago. Truly mesmerising.

[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/NWW4I.png[/IMG]

Says it all, only one Argentinian in the dream team.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/UL9vT.png[/IMG]

This makes sense to me. I've only been in charge for eight months, but that eight months has easily been my favourite period managing in Football Manager for quite some time. I don't want to tarnish it, I want to preserve it as something special. It's good to step down when I'm hot, when I'm in a good mood, when I feel I can get back into club management. Thank you Uruguay.

The date is 18th July 2018.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/5Auul.png[/IMG]

No thanks, don't feel like managing in Italy.

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[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/KoZPn.png[/IMG]

I like the idea of managing in Russia. I was looking at options in Brazil and in Singapore, but then out of nowhere CSKA Moscow came along. It was probably too tempting, they're set up so ridiculously well, but then that also means the pressure is on to get results quickly. I don't know, this could be a great move, it could be a horrible one. But right now I'm on a real high so I'm walking into it with a positive attitude.

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