SnakeXe

[FM12] Now You Do Not Punish Someone, English Or Otherwise, For Being Rubbish At FM...

1,424 posts in this topic

Shocking season. In line for the sack.

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[quote name='SnakeXe']Two 6th placed finishes in 2. Bundesliga, now currently sitting 14th with unstable finances :([/QUOTE]

My heart sinks :(.

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[quote name='SnakeXe']Champions League action is usually good for us at this early stage, but a kitten-standing-on-spacebar incident led to a poor 1-0 loss to Marseille in the first match whilst I was taking a leak. [/QUOTE]

I like "the dog ate my homework" better :D

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[IMG]http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/6a00e54f81710d883301543452829f970c-450wi.png[/IMG]
[SIZE=1]Sunday, May 24, 2026[/SIZE]

[B][SIZE=5]The Curious Case of Alex Kelly[/SIZE][/B]

The well-known English football manager, Alex Kelly, has disappeared. He was last seen at a press conference following the match against rivals Spurs in which his Arsenal side secured a second league title. His erratic behaviour (he told a journalist who asked him if he had enjoyed the victory to "stick it up [his] f****** bollix") in this appearance was put down by many to the outpouring of emotion that comes with such an achievement. However, we now know it was the portent of something more serious.

Arsenal have revealed that Kelly's assistant, Steve Round, had taken charge of the final three games of the campaign whilst wearing a rubber mask resembling Kelly - a tactic previously utilised by Mitch O'Connor, the conman who had been acting as "Harry Redknapp" for nearly two decades (despite his mask melting slowly for the entire period) before finally being discovered in 2013.

Round said in a statement:

[quote name='Steve Round']It's a terrible thing that happened to Alex. After the home leg against Barcelona in the Champions League he went absolutely crazy at the players, I'd never seen anything like it. He was ranting about the fact that they'd gone out of the competition three times in three years because they couldn't stick the ball in the net. Obviously I cleaned that up a bit.

He developed this nervous tic after that. He just about held it together to make sure we won the title, but then he just disappeared. It's a terrible shame, but the club have had to treat it as an effective resignation, and will be looking for a new manager to lead the team in 2026/27.

Out of respect, myself as well as Luciano [Carioca], Alan [Archibald], Norberto [Fernandez], Gianluigi [Buffon] and Jaroslav [Plasil] will be leaving the club with immediate effect. If Alex needs us we are here for him.

All our thoughts go out to Alex and his family, and if he's listening, we all want him to come back soon.[/QUOTE]

Expert psychoanalysts have stated that this bears all the classic signs of a mental breakdown, perhaps caused by the pressures of top-level football. It remains to be seen what has become of Kelly, but we can unite in hoping to see him back on the touchline once again.

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Living in London would drive you crazy.

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If you're tired of top-level football you could always go to Norwich.

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I imagine it must be boring being at a top notch club with a tycoon in your back.

Everything you win feels like no achievement, everything you don't win is a disgrace. Thankless task, really.

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[SIZE=5]Meanwhile, at a monastary, high in the Chilean Andes...[/SIZE]

[IMG]http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/17.jpg[/IMG]

[I]A bedraggled and exhausted traveller reaches the top of the steps leading to the entrance and collapses. Monks rush to help him to a bed. The traveller flits in and out of consciousness for days, before waking to see a cloaked man sitting at his side.[/I]

[B]Traveller:[/B] Where... where am I?

[B]Stranger:[/B] El Monasterio de Bielsismo, hermano.

[B]T:[/B] Oh, yes... I remember now.

[B]S:[/B] It is unusual to see anyone in these parts. Not least an Englishman. What brings you to us?

[B]T:[/B] [I](Straightening up slowly)[/I] I have come to see... [I]him[/I].

[B]S:[/B] [I]He[/I] does not see just anyone who arrives on our doorstep half-dead. [I]He [/I]only receives the true believers.

[B]T:[/B] I do believe.

[B]S:[/B] I do not think you do. I know who you are.

[B]T:[/B] If you know me why do you disbelieve?

[B]S: [/B]We have seen your works, hermano. It is not the outcome that is important, it is the process. You do not understand this, Alex.

[B]Alex Kelly:[/B] That is why I am here.

[B]S: [/B]I see. You wish to study with [I]him[/I] so you may possess that which eludes you? Ha! That is not the way.

[B]AK:[/B] I don't care about that any more. I am humble and I wish only to learn.

[B]S:[/B] Hm. Perhaps. I will speak to him. Rest, hermano, you are still very sick.

[B]AK: [/B]Thank you. What is your name, stranger?

[B]S:[/B] Juanma. Juanma Lillo.

[I]Lillo exits, as Kelly falls into a deep slumber once more.[/I]

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[I]Lillo knocks gently on a thick oak door. "Enter" comes the soft reply from within. A lone monk is meditating in front of a roaring fireplace.[/I]

[B]JL:[/B] Sorry to disturb you, master, but the traveller has awoken. He says he is here to see you.

[B]Monk:[/B] Thank you, Juanma. I was expecting him.

[B]JL:[/B] You were?! How could you know?
[B]
M:[/B] I noticed him a long time ago. He has had great success for someone so young, but his heart yearns for something more. I knew he would come.

[B]JL:[/B] So you know who he is?

[B]M:[/B] Of course.

[B]JL:[/B] And you will teach him?

[B]M:[/B] [I](Sighs and turns to look at Lillo)[/I] Yes. My time here is short. I must pass on my knowledge once more before the end.

[B]JL:[/B] As you wish, master.

[B]M:[/B] Please have him see me once he has recovered his strength.

[B]JL:[/B] Of course.

[I]Lillo exits, bowing. The monk resumes his meditation, but with the smallest crack of a smile in the corner of his mouth.

"Yes," thinks the monk, "this should be quite fun indeed."[/I]

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[I]Some days later, Kelly knocks on the same door. "Enter" comes the reply once again. Hobbling on a crutch, and robed in the same material as the other monks, he makes his way into the room.[/I]

[B]AK:[/B] Senor Bielsa? You wanted to see me?

[B]M:[/B] Yes, of course. Sit down with me. And call me Marcelo.

[B]AK:[/B] [I](Struggling into a cross-legged position opposite the monk)[/I] Of course, Marcelo. Do you know why I am here?

[B]Marcelo Bielsa:[/B] I do. But explain it to me. I'd like to know why you think you are here.

[B]AK:[/B] I am here because I need a philosophy. I have won the greatest prizes but I feel no fulfillment. I just played for results, with no clear idea of how the side should function. I realise now that the style and soul of the team is the important thing. Trophies may come, but they are the byproduct. The process must be right. I am here to learn that process.

[I]Bielsa slowly smiles and nods.[/I]

[B]AK:[/B] Can you? Teach me, that is.

[B]MB:[/B] I can.

[B]AK:[/B] Thank you, Marcelo. I am indebted to you.

[B]MB:[/B] Perhaps you are. Perhaps it is I who owe you. We will see.

[B]AK:[/B] I don't understand.

[B]MB:[/B] [I](Smiling)[/I] You will. Let us begin.

[I]Montage time![/I]

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[SIZE=5]Some months later...[/SIZE]

[I]Kelly has been training under Bielsa for many months. It is almost time for him to leave. Bielsa tests him on what he knows...
[/I]
[B]MB:[/B] Show me what you have learned.

[B]AK:[/B] Yes, Marcelo. There are three commandments I must live by:

[LIST=1]
[*]Always use one more defender than the opposition fields attackers
[*]Always use [I]un enganche y tres puntas[/I] - a playmaker and three runners
[*]Always play high tempo attacking football
[/LIST]
[B]MB:[/B] Good. Here, in the sand, set up a team against an opposition side playing 4-4-2.

[I]Kelly works away for a few minutes.[/I]

[B]AK:[/B] I am done:

[IMG]http://this11.com/boards/abBTnafadp.jpg[/IMG]

[B]MB:[/B] Good work. Now again, but against a 4-3-3.

[I]Kelly scrubs away the back three, wingbacks and midfielder and redraws the system.

[/I][B]AK: [/B]Here.

[IMG]http://this11.com/boards/abBTni9ajS.jpg[/IMG]

[B]MB: [/B]Excellent. You are ready to take on your first club as a manager reborn. My only request is that you stay here, in South America, so I may monitor your progress at first hand. You know much, but there is always more to learn.

[B]AK:[/B] Thank you, master.

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Excellent. Where do I locate this monastery? Is it the same where you are taught swordfighting skills?

:mad:

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[quote name='HotChocolate']Talented manager? FM have got it wrong again ;)

Great milestone, 1,000 next![/QUOTE]

Er no, 701 follows 700.

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I think we've all been on Skyrim too much and got to the magic mushrooms! :D

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As I said in Crouchy's thread, I am a big fan of Bielsa's philosophy so I look forward to this experiment.

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[SIZE=5]Press Conference[/SIZE]

[SIZE=1]Santiago, Chile
Saturday, December 26, 2026[/SIZE]

[I]Alex Kelly sits nervously in front of a gaggle of microphones, flash bulbs popping continuously. Marcelo Bielsa is next to him, dressed smartly, and puts a reassuring hand on his shoulder.[/I]

[B]AK:[/B] Good afternoon. As you are all aware, I disappeared from public view nearly 8 months ago, following the match against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane when I was manager of Arsenal.

I can only apologise to the Arsenal staff, players, and fans for the recklessness of my conduct in this; I hope they can forgive me. I needed to get away and reevaluate the priorities of my career.

I have spent the last 7 months with my good friend and mentor, Marcelo Bielsa. I now feel ready to return to public view, and put myself up for any management job that becomes available. However, this is subject to two conditions. First, it must be in South America.

[I]Kelly pauses as the European journalists gasp incredulously whilst the South American ones chatter excitedly.[/I]

[B]AK:[/B] Secondly... please could I finish my statement, I will take questions in a second. Thanks. Secondly, the club must be willing to accept my footballing philosophy. I will no longer bend to the established norms at the club. I will fail or succeed on my terms.

Thank you all for listening, I will now accept questions.

[I]The whole room raises their hands.[/I]

[B]AK:[/B] Okay this may be difficult! You first. [I](Points)[/I]

[B]Spanish Journalist:[/B] I find this very hard to take in, Alex. I mean you've disappeared for nearly 8 months, reappeared and now you're suddenly only willing to work in South America? Aren't you concerned that you're walling yourself off from European football at this young age?

[B]AK:[/B] I believe South America will be more amenable to my philosophy. It is closer to their roots than those in Europe. I will hone my craft here - I am learning again, just as I did at Weymouth, Darlington and Southend. Perhaps I'll come back to Europe, but it's not a priority for me right now. Next question please.

[B]Chilean Journalist:[/B] I have to say first this is exciting for South American football - a successful European manager coming over here has not happened in a very long time. What sort of job are you looking for?

[B]AK:[/B] Thanks, I hope I can be a credit to this continent's footballing heritage. I am looking for a club with a strong pedigree and a longstanding committment to youth development. Country is not an issue.

[B]English Journalist:[/B] Hi Alex, I just have to ask why you are heading to this footballing backwater again! The Premier League is the best in the world, now everyone can see you're in good health any club would be keen to have you back.

[B]AK:[/B] [I](Curtly)[/I] The world does not begin and end with the Premier League. That sort of inward looking attitude is why I left. I think that's enough questions, thank you ladies and gentlemen.

[I]Kelly and Bielsa stride out past the clamouring throng of journalists and cameramen.[/I]

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[SIZE=5]Boardroom Meeting
[/SIZE]
[SIZE=1]Santos Stadium, Sao Paulo
Thursday, January 7, 2027[/SIZE]

[I]Alex Kelly and Marcelo Bielsa sit on one side of a large, expensive-looking conference table. On the other side are five men in very expensive suits. They are Florival Amado Barletto, the Santos chairman, and his four directors, Carlos Junior, Ramiro da Silva, Osmar Carvalho, and Carlos Amaral.

[/I][B]Florival Amado Barletto:[/B] So. You think you can replace Renato [Gaucho, recently retired coach of Santos]?

[B]Alex Kelly: [/B]No.

[I]The board members look at each other in surprise.

[/I][B]AK:[/B] I can succeed him though. If you want a carbon copy of Renato don't waste my time.

[B]FAB:[/B] My apologies. I saw your press conference the other day, I know what I am buying into with you. I have seen your CV. You are a winner.

[B]AK:[/B] Perhaps. It's about more than that now.

[B]Carlos Junior:[/B] But we have to win, as a club. The fans demand it.

[B]AK:[/B] I know. The outcome is important. But it's nothing without the process. I think the fans will buy into this.

[B]Osmar Carvalho:[/B] He's right. We have knowledgeable fans. They know Kelly, they know Bielsa. They will accept this.

[B]Carlos Amaral:[/B] I can't agree. This man disappeared for 8 months, and noone is questioning his mental strength?

[B]AK:[/B] If I might cut in there, Senhor Amaral. If my mental state is so fragile, how did I finish the job at Arsenal? Why would I put myself back in the spotlight? If I was feeling vulnerable I would return to Germany, where I was happiest. I am not. I am out of my comfort zone, and this is how I want it.

[B]Ramiro da Silva:[/B] I can feel the passion of this man. He has my vote.

[B]OC: [/B]And mine.

[I]Barletto glances at da Silva and Junior. They think for a second before nodding.

[/I][B]FAB:[/B] Very well, Senhor Kelly. We will make you an offer.

[IMG]http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/Offer.png[/IMG]

[B]AK:[/B] Excellent, I'll have my solicitor check that through, and assuming it is all okay you have my word I will join.

[B]FAB:[/B] I am glad we were able to agree this deal. See you soon, Senhors.

[I]Kelly and Bielsa shake hands with the Santos board and leave.

[/I][B]Marcelo Bielsa: [/B]Good job, my friend. They seem to be on the same page as you.

[B]AK:[/B] As us, you mean? I wanted to ask you to be my assistant manager.

[I]Bielsa smiles and chuckles.[/I]

[B]MB:[/B] I think I'm a little too old for that! No, I must return to el monasterio. You will be fine by yourself, I have no doubts. I will be watching you though, don't worry.

[B]AK:[/B] Thank you, Marcelo.

[B]MB:[/B] The pleasure was mine. Goodbye.

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[CENTER][IMG]http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/170px-Santos_logosvg.png[/IMG]


[B]Name: [/B]Santos Futebol Clube
[B]Nickname:[/B] Peixe, Santastico, Alvinegro Praiano
[B]Founded: [/B]1912
[B]Stadium: [/B]Santos Stadium, 36,400 (all-seater) capacity
[B]Status: [/B]Professional
[/CENTER]
From Wikipedia:
[QUOTE]Santos Futebol Clube is a Brazilian professional football club based in Santos, São Paulo. They play in the Campeonato Paulista and the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, the highest professional leagues in São Paulo state and Brazil, respectively. It is also notable for having featured Pelé as its main player between 1956 and 1974.[/QUOTE]

So here I am in Sao Paulo, ready for a fresh start. Santos won the Brasileiro last year, and have been very successful domestically in recent years, but haven't won the Copa Libertadores in 10 years. This might be explained by the fact that the Brazilian top flight is ranked below the Argentinian, Chilean, Paraguayan and Ecuadorian leagues now, and even below the Argentinian domestic cup competition. I may well have to try to raise the profile of Brazilian domestic football as a whole during my time here.

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Nice career move mate :thup:.

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[CENTER][IMG]http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/170px-Santos_logosvg.png[/IMG]


[SIZE=5][URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/2027 Preseason/Me.png"]SnakeXe[/URL]'s Career - Season 15 Preview - Santos[/SIZE]
[/CENTER]

[SIZE=5][SIZE=3] [URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/2027 Preseason/Expectations.png"]Board Expectations[/URL]:
[B][SIZE=2]Campeonato Petrobras Brasileiro da Serie A[/SIZE][/B][SIZE=2] - Challenge for the title (Predicted 2nd out of 20)
[B]Campeonato Paulista Serie A1[/B] - Final
[B]Copa Libertadores[/B] - Semi-final[/SIZE][SIZE=2]

[SIZE=3]My Expectations:
[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][SIZE=5][SIZE=3][B][SIZE=2]Campeonato Petrobras Brasileiro da Serie A[/SIZE][/B][SIZE=2] - Challenging for the title sounds challenging enough
[B]Campeonato Paulista Serie A1[/B] - The Sao Paulo state championship is one of the harder ones to win, I'll settle for not going out to anyone worse than us[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]
[B]Copa Libertadores[/B] - Semi-final sounds like a fair aim to me
[SIZE=5][SIZE=3][SIZE=2]
[SIZE=3][URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/2027 Preseason/Finances.png"]Budgets[/URL]:
[B][SIZE=2]Transfer: [/SIZE][/B][SIZE=2]£4,010,000 (£4,010,000 remaining)
[B]Wages: [/B]£593,080/week (£502,930/week currently)
[B]Balance: [/B]£12,772,810 (First season at club)
[/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=3][URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/2027 Preseason/Squad.png"]Squad[/URL]:
[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][SIZE=5][SIZE=3][SIZE=2][SIZE=3][SIZE=2]Surprisingly Neymar is still at the club and never left. He's smashed all sorts of goalscoring records of course. What's immediately obvious is the squad lacks wingers. I'll need to do some retraining or purchasing to sort that out.

[SIZE=3]Key Men:
[SIZE=2][B]Goalkeeper/Defence[/B][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][SIZE=5][SIZE=3][SIZE=2][SIZE=3][SIZE=2][SIZE=3][SIZE=2]
[URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/2027 Preseason/Martinez.png"]Juan Manuel Martinez[/URL] - DC - A physical beast at the back.
[URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/2027 Preseason/Cris.png"]Cris[/URL] - DRC/DM - Looks a great fullback, will need to train him at wingback as well.[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]
[SIZE=5][SIZE=3][SIZE=2][SIZE=3][SIZE=2]
[B]Midfield
[/B][URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/2027 Preseason/China.png"]China[/URL][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE] [SIZE=5][SIZE=3][SIZE=2][SIZE=3][SIZE=2]- DM/MC - Should work nicely as the pitbull midfielder in my 3-3-1-3.

[B]Strikers
[/B][URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/2027 Preseason/Neymar.png"]Neymar[/URL][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][SIZE=5][SIZE=3][SIZE=2][SIZE=3][SIZE=2] - AMLC/ST - Definitely getting on, but his skill and mental strength will be helpful.[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]

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Quality and unexpected turn. Also a very good read :thup:

Hope you have success in Brazil!

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A fantastic read, you're a great writer :thup:

Best of luck in Brazil. It's a tough challenge when they expect this much. Will be interesting to see if you (have to) disobey your principles if results go against you.

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Great stuff. Good luck in Brazil. It's very surprising that the league has declined so much. Presents a good challenge.

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Certainly an interesting read :D Good luck in raising the profile of Brazilian domestic football, don't know a huge amount about the South American football scene but seems odd they have slipped that low.

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Interesting move to Brazil; looks like you're really going to embrace the South American football mentality and lifestyle :thup:

I wouldn't let Neymar anywhere near your own penalty area though. Positioning 1, Tackling 2, Marking 2, Jumping 4; that's got disaster written all over it!

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Thanks everyone! :)

Once the transfer window is closed I'll do a little rundown of how I've tried to replicate Bielsa's system in the FM tactics interface, along with the players I have in each role.

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Clearly the Santos board like me - I just had what might be the single most productive meeting with them ever! I got the youth facilities upgraded, junior coaching budget increased, AND the stadium expanded.

Me :cool:

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[SIZE=5]Tactics
[/SIZE]
[SIZE=1]Look away now if you don't care about false nines or liberos...[/SIZE]

[IMG]http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/Overall.png[/IMG]

This is my shape I've started with. I'm hoping the combination of wingbacks with attack duty and the ball winning midfielder with defensive duty should bring that band into a line of three. The wingers should hopefully play very high up the pitch, leaving a big space for the wingbacks to move into, as well as room for the playmaker to operate. Obviously a couple of my players aren't comfortable in their positions yet, but hopefully they will be soon enough.

[IMG]http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/Instructions.png[/IMG]

Not changed too much, kept the system fluid to really encourage players to get forward and interchange, with pressing increased which is a tennet of the Bielsista philosophy I'm persuing.

[B]G(D)[/B] - [URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/GK.png"]Rafael[/URL] - Not much to say, just a decent keeper.
[B]CD(C)[/B] - [URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/DCC.png"]Diogo[/URL] - Was my original pick for ball-playing defender but shifted out to a covering role after the signing of Latorre. I'd like him to be faster but hopefully his positioning should mitigate that.
[B]CD(X)[/B] - [URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/DCX.png"]Martinez[/URL] - With Diogo and Latorre lacking aerial prowess, Martinez is crucial for defending and attacking set pieces.
[B]BPD(D)[/B] - [URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/BPD.png"]Latorre[/URL] - A bargain at £150k, his great on-the-ball stats should help us build from the back.
[B]WB(A)R[/B] - [URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/WBR.png"]Cris[/URL] - A fantastic player for us, he should be perfect once he's learned the position.
[B]WB(A)L[/B] - [URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/WBL.png"]Sergio[/URL] - Good enough, but probably lacking a bit of stamina. He'll do for now.
[B]BWM(D)[/B] - [URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/BWM.png"]China[/URL] - One of our best players, his great tackling and stamina are excellent for this role.
[B]IF(A)[/B] - [URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/IF.png"]Neymar[/URL] - Slightly lacking in pace now but his skills should still make him dangerous.
[B]W(A)[/B] - [URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/W.png"]Nadal[/URL] - More of a striker than a winger but that's okay, as the front man needs a fair bit of support in this system.
[B]AP(S)[/B] - [URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/AP.png"]Viale[/URL] - Could do with more creativity and agility, but that passing stat should see a good return of assists.
[B]AF(A)[/B] - [URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/AF.png"]Alex[/URL] - Ideally he'd have a bit more strength and be a better passer, but what he has should be enough.

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Like the formation. Definately suits the Brazilian style :cool:.

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Just catching up on the recent activity in this thread SnakeXe! Awesome stuff!

Can't wait to hear more about this new adventure! Very interesting tactical ideas. Let's see how they work in your new job!

Good luck and keep up the great content! :)

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Interesting tactics wise! Who you planning on being your 'Busquets' should you need to move someone from CB to DMC/CM depending on the opposition formation and the number of strikers they use?

Hopefully you bring success to Santos! :D

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Bit of cheating going on: Having one of the biggest countries in the World in your CM.

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[quote name='deltablue']You eat boards for breakfast clearly.[/QUOTE]
With added fibre :thup:

[quote name='SRL88']Like the formation. Definately suits the Brazilian style :cool:.[/QUOTE]
Cheers! I've had to nudge it about a bit, as you'll see in the next tactical update, but it's working okay.

[quote name='crouchaldinho']Just catching up on the recent activity in this thread SnakeXe! Awesome stuff!

Can't wait to hear more about this new adventure! Very interesting tactical ideas. Let's see how they work in your new job!

Good luck and keep up the great content! :)[/QUOTE]
Cheers crouchy :)

[quote name='TWalsh']Interesting tactics wise! Who you planning on being your 'Busquets' should you need to move someone from CB to DMC/CM depending on the opposition formation and the number of strikers they use?

Hopefully you bring success to Santos![/QUOTE]
Diogo can play in DMC, and I'm retraining Latorre in MC so I have two options depending on the opposition.

[quote name='HotChocolate']Bit of cheating going on: Having one of the biggest countries in the World in your CM.[/QUOTE]
Damn, I didn't think anyone else would spot my sneaky 3-billion-3-3 system!

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It will be interesting to see how R Nadal adjusts to a new sport :D

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[SIZE=5]Season 15: Halfway House Update[/SIZE]

The long Brazilian domestic season begins with the state championships. Santos compete in the Sao Paulo or [I]Paulista[/I] championship, which has many big Brazilian sides competing in it, including Palmeiras and Corinthians. Since the pre-season friendlies had been played by the time I'd arrived and got an assistant in place I didn't have much time to get the players up to speed with the new tactics.

Fortunately that didn't seem to matter as we swept Ponte Preta aside 4-0 in the first game, but Sao Paulo were a different proposition, holding us to a 2-2 draw. We disappointingly drew 3 more of the next 4, the one against Palmeiras not so bad, but the pair against Mirassol and Bragantino were quite pathetic. Finding a bit of form, we took 5 in a row, before another pair of draws cut us back again - although one was against a Corinthians side who had won every other match, so I could forgive the players that one.

A run of 5 more wins saw us into the top 4 for the first time, and handily any result in our last match against Guarani would keep us there. They luckily came away from a non-stop barrage with a 0-0 draw meaning we finished the group stage unbeaten, although disappointingly far back in 4th place.

The knockout stages went much the same - Guarani were once again our opponents in the quarter-final, and somehow got a 2-2 draw despite another relentless onslaught. Fortunately justice was done on penalties, and we went through to face Palmeiras. We finally got a win against one of the bigger Paulista sides in the semi-final, a 1-0 again not much to show for our domination, to set up a showdown with Corinthians.

Despite taking the lead in the home leg the tie appeared to be slipping away from us as Corinthians went 3-1 up at half time. A rocket up the collective back-passages of the side got us a 3-3 draw by full time, and we could even have won it. Fortunately away goals aren't worth anything in this competition. Again in the second leg we were quite poor, going a goal down twice, with the second equaliser from Neymar coming with seconds remaining. A 7-kick-a-piece penalty shootout went our way, Argentine fullback Sanchez netting the winner for my first trophy in South America!

In the Copa Libertadores we had an okay draw for the group stage, two Chilean sides in Universidad de Chile and Universidad Catolica, with Venezuelan minnows Mineros de Guayana completing the foursome. Wins over Mineros and Chile got us off to a good start, but Catolica decided they didn't like our faces and took 4 thoroughly undeserved points from us. They faltered against the two weaker sides though, meaning our achieving a double over the pair was enough for the group win.

Due to the way the next round is drawn, we were paired right back up with Universidad Catolica, and I had a few ideas of how to beat them. Those ideas seemed to work, and we won 4-2 away and 4-3 at home to book our spot in the quarter-final where we will face the mighty Boca Juniors.

[B]The Good[/B]
[LIST]
[*]Winning the Paulista unbeaten
[*]Progression in the Libertadores is steady
[*]When the goals flow, they [I]really[/I] flow
[/LIST]
[B]The Bad[/B]

[LIST]
[*]Only one win against any opposition better than decent
[*]Poor draws against terrible sides
[*]Ferreira (9 goals in 12 starts) was agreed to be sold before I joined for barely any money - we'll miss him
[/LIST]

[URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/2027%20Midseason/Results1.png"][B]Results[/B][/URL] - [URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/2027%20Midseason/Table.png"][B]Paulista League Table[/B][/URL][B]/[URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/2027%20Midseason/KOs.png"]Knockout Rounds[/URL][/B] - [URL="http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/2027%20Midseason/Squad.png"][B]Squad[/B][/URL]

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[quote name='roganp']It will be interesting to see how R Nadal adjusts to a new sport :D[/QUOTE]
Pretty well as it turns out! Leading assist maker so far.

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[SIZE=5]Tactics Update
[/SIZE]
[SIZE=1]Time to look away, Neil Warnock...[/SIZE]

I got most things right with my initial approach, however a few things have changed. First of all I've tweaked a couple of things in my main 3-3-1-3 system:

[IMG]http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/2027%20Midseason/3-3-1-3.png[/IMG]

The eagle-eyed amongst you will note that the [I]enganche[/I] has moved back to the MC position from his original AMC spot, and has swapped his support duty with the striker's attack duty, who is a deep-lying forward now. The ball-winning midfielder has similarly moved back a notch to DMC and gone up from a defending duty to support. I found this setup gave better balance whilst retaining the [I]un enganche y tres puntas[/I] maxim.

I also have two alternate shapes now rather than the one I originally intended. First, the 4-2-3-1:

[IMG]http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/2027%20Midseason/4-2-3-1.png[/IMG]

I haven't used this much so I'm not sure how happy I am with it yet. It seems to work okay whilst still keeping to principles. The other is a 3-4-1-2:

[IMG]http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee499/MrDeeerp/Journeyman/Santos/2027%20Midseason/3-4-1-2.png[/IMG]

This is a system I really like. I developed this in response to the prevalence of 4-2-2-2 "magic box" systems in Brazil. Some of our early draws against rubbish teams was down to a failure to break them down, something this system achieves with much greater regularity. Essentially the triangle of [I]tres puntas[/I] has rotated and shrunk, with the [I]enganche[/I] playing much deeper. I'm not sure if you'd call it Bielsista per se but it's a relatively small development of his overall philosophy, so I'm happy with it.

I've kept the team instructions mostly the same, and only added Sanchez at left back in terms of personnel.

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Good season though mate. Done well to remain the season unbeaten :thup:.

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[quote name='deltablue']He still serves well then.[/QUOTE]
Just as well I gave his agent a backhander then... :D

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[quote name='SRL88']Good season though mate. Done well to remain the season unbeaten :thup:.[/QUOTE]
Cheers, doubt I'll manage the Brasileiro unbeaten but fingers crossed!

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Solid start, winning the State Championship, and only one defeat too. I think you've got your 3-3-1-3 pretty close to how Bielsa's Chile side lined up at the 2010 World Cup; three banks of three, with the playmaker floating around the middle of the park :thup:

Good luck for the rest of the [I]long[/I] Brazilian season :)

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I may or my not have helped you with tactics? :p

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[quote name='AK22']Solid start, winning the State Championship, and only one defeat too. I think you've got your 3-3-1-3 pretty close to how Bielsa's Chile side lined up at the 2010 World Cup; three banks of three, with the playmaker floating around the middle of the park :thup:

Good luck for the rest of the [I]long[/I] Brazilian season :)[/QUOTE]
Cheers :thup:

It's an absolute marathon isn't it!

[quote name='Flamers']I may or my not have helped you with tactics? :p[/QUOTE]
In the end, no. It was a good suggestion though, thanks.

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