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Chef Raekwon

FM14: AFC Ajax - Ushering in a New Period of Greatness

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I do find that setting myself some restrictions makes for a more enjoyable longer term game. Playing only Dutch players, only buying players under the age of 17 etc. are all valid (and in my opinion, fun) ways to play.

That doesn't take away from the fact that it can be mightily fun to just play as you go, no restrictions.

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As Chef Raekwon says, it's great to see more interest in Ajax on Football Manager 2014. Firstly, his thread deserves it (!) and Ajax are a truly great club - one with ethics, values and traditions, like youth development and shrewd transfer dealings, which are great fun remain ardently faithful to. Moreover, the Eredivisie is quite a tough league and much more competitive on Football Manager than I had initially thought. For example, PEC Zwolle top the league at the winter break on my save.

You also have the monumental challenge of taking Ajax back to where they once belonged - at the pinnacle of European, and World, football. It's a great challenge: to win the European cup again, while remaining truthful to the club's values. Make Ajax saves, people!

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Ajax Amsterdam - End of Season 2014/15 Review

Competition Performances

Eredivisie:

lmcwKNo.jpg

Fixtures page 1: http://i.imgur.com/SxkNgB6.jpg

Fixtures page 2: http://i.imgur.com/1g0QSHJ.jpg

The theme is the same as last year, even closer to being invincible. We really should have been but Jan Wouters' FC Utrecht was the only domestic team who could stop us and actually did the league double against us! Their success seems to be stemming from the signings of Rasmus Falk and Ronnie Schwartz with the latter scoring 23 in 36 appearances last season. They have definitely gained my respect and beating them next season is the top domestic target - after retaining the league of course. There really isn't much to say about the rest of the league season apart from just how dominating we were. However, I will look to further increase my points tally next season by attempting to cut out the 6 draws I had this season.

Champions League: Much better than last season. I explained what happened here in my last few posts so there is nothing to add except the fact that Andre Villas Boas' Real Madrid won the elusive trophy.

KNVB Beker: From going out at the first opportunity last year to winning it against PSV in the final this year. We did what I set out to do so I am very happy, add to this the comfortable nature of our win against our rivals and I am delighted.

Squad Summary

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Goalkeeper: As you can see the image above, Vermeer played a lot of the games (31 games) but I would say that van der Hart is now number 1 (18 games) and this has continued into the new season. I have a very exciting prospect with 4.5 star potential and he will be my long term replacement for Vermeer.

Defence: Fantastic. By far the best defense in both the Eredivisie and my CL group with 19 and 5 goals conceded respectively. Virgil van Dijk has got the defence organised and formed a solid partnership with Denswil. My first choice back 4 is now van Rhijn, van Dijk, Denswil and Colombian Hector Quiñonez. As with many of my other players, several bids are coming in for all of them but I have no intention of selling even though I had negotiated a £13 million deal with Benfica for Veltman. In the end I decided there were no adequate replacements who could fit the 'Ajax way' of playing and so I cancelled the transfer. I get the feeling as if Veltman has been first choice for many of you but for me his injury problems have often come at the worst time (beginning of the season) and the others have performed too well to lose their place in the team. Bazoer has performed well whenever called upon and made 14 appearances in the league and cup last season. I can see him becoming my third choice soon with my world class potential 17 year old stepping up to become 4th choice (will probably be 18 by then).

Midfield: Wernbloom the captain held down the midfield very well until his untimely 3 month injury. Further up the pitch were Javi Espinosa who has come on leaps and bounds and is now one of the first names on the team sheet. Lucas Anderson, Fischer, Allione, Daehli and Ebecilio are all great players and have become a formidable midfield no matter what the combination is. I have received several £~20m bids for Fischer and Anderson but I have been firm and rejected all of them as I already have plenty of money which I don't even spend.

Attack: Badjeck lead the line well with 12 goals in 12(7) appearances in the league. Unfortunately in January he picked up a succession of 3, 4 and 5 week injuries which meant that Negredo basically played every match from then on with Fischer occasionally playing up front when Negredo was subbed off to preserve his fitness in easy matches. Negredo was fantastic with 13 goals in 16(2) appearnces for the club and in hindsight I should have made the loan deal a 12 month one because I was unable to retain him for the next season.

Notable mentions: Allione's 22 assists, Lucas Anderson's 12 goals and 11 assists and lastly, Fischer's 8 goals and 14 assists.

Off the Pitch

The club has negotiated a deal to purchase the Ajax stadium and I have also prompted the board to expand the stadium which they agreed to and by next year we should be playing in a ~59,000 seater Amsterdam Arena. The club's facilities are also now 'top' graded.

We should be on around £70 or £80 million balance but the stadium purchase is not only a hefty loan of £1.83 million per month for the next 20 years but also seemed to take out around £30 million from our balance. In the end, our balance is currently around £50 million. (I've never bought my stadium in FM and if I had known it would be this expensive I probably wouldn't have bothered, then again, what's the point of having a load of cash lying around when you could invest it into club infrastructure or players etc.)

I will have my new season's transfers and CL group update up within the next hour or two.

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Hi fellow Ajax gamers !

First of all, kudos to Raekwon for the fantastic start to the thread. You have got great method, man ! (Sorry, I couldn't resist the easy pun ...)

I'm into my 5th season now with Ajax and things are going along smoothly. Like most of you, the temptation to play and organise the Ajax way is enjoyable and sometimes testing. Here is a brief look at some of my history so far.

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As you can see transfers wise, £68 million spent, £240 million recuperated ! However, as with Punjaboom, I asked the club to buy and expand the stadium, but the costs are enormous and I'm not sure I'd go down that road if asked again.

These have been my results so far in the league.

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I was sooooo close to the elusive unbeaten season last year but I lost near the end of the season to RKC playing an under strength side. Similar to some of you guys, Utrecht have often been my closest challengers and Jan Wouters the only manager I seem to get along with ! Koema, Gullit, ten Cate all hate me but the feeling is mutual.

Here is my KNVB Beker history.

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Great first two years, heartbreaking penalty shoot-out loss last year. I hate FM penalty shoot-outs with passion. Can't stand them.

Champions League history.

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Really need to start getting past the 1st round knock-out stage now to progress to the next level. However, I've had some really tough groups and I've only been in the second seed hat since last year so could be worse.

Here is my current squad.

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As you can see, there are only 2 non Dutch players in the squad. This wasn't deliberate in the beginning, but as time went by it became part of the challenge and for some reason my foreigners haven't learnt the lingo despite being with me for 3 or 4 years.

The first team squad contains 12 Ajax produced players (I include Bazoer ...) which I'm really chuffed about. Melvin Vissers can also be included as he is currently on loan at Newcastle and will replace Honda probably when he returns. I haven't had the greatest regens apart from 2 fantastic strikers (Karakaya and another on loan at Sporting Lisbon).

I've got £117 million to spend if I desire but I don't want to and I don't really need to which is pleasing. Thanks for reading and enjoy your saves !

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Err, quick question guys. How do you put big pictures in your posts instead of the small ones like I've got in mine ?

(Pay no notice, just figured out how to do it)

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^

That's impressing Desmond! Only 2 non-Dutch nationals... Good to hear how financially sound Ajax continue to be!

I'm one game away from the end of my second season, sitting 2nd behind Utrecht by 1 point, only two problems - Injuries to some key players which actually resulted in problem 2, we just lost the cup final to Zwolle 1-0 after having to field some inexperienced players.

I'm not expecting anything from this last round if games as it'll take as much luck needed for me to win as it will Utrecht to lose!

Ill do a decent update once the season ends.

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Very tempted to start a save as Ajax after growing bit bored of a Spurs save, but just wondering what the media expectation is? I assume you're expected to win the Eredivisie pretty much every year so how do you keep it interesting - I imagine Europe is the big challenge, alongside the youth development? I imagine 2 or 3 seasons of success at Ajax leads to job offers from big European clubs?

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Very tempted to start a save as Ajax after growing bit bored of a Spurs save, but just wondering what the media expectation is? I assume you're expected to win the Eredivisie pretty much every year so how do you keep it interesting - I imagine Europe is the big challenge, alongside the youth development? I imagine 2 or 3 seasons of success at Ajax leads to job offers from big European clubs?

Not necessarily so. After winning the league for the 4th consecutive year (plus 2 cup wins previously) my reputation became World Class. I was offered job interviews with Arsenal and Man City, which I attended out of fun more than anything else because I didn't want to leave. However, they went with different managers anyhow. In other words, you're not exactly hot property even after performing well.

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Not necessarily so. After winning the league for the 4th consecutive year (plus 2 cup wins previously) my reputation became World Class. I was offered job interviews with Arsenal and Man City, which I attended out of fun more than anything else because I didn't want to leave. However, they went with different managers anyhow. In other words, you're not exactly hot property even after performing well.

That's kind of what I wanted to hear, weirdly. I've found that a little bit of success tends to make you world class in this game and am looking for a challenge that's a bit more realistic... getting offered the Barcelona jib after a couple of top 4 finishes with Southampton isn't what I'm after ;)

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Kyle Seddon - Looks like you had an excellent, and thoroughly enjoyable, season. You must be glad that you put the KNVB Beker hoo-doo behind you. As for Veltman's injury problems, I'm glad to say he hasn't suffered such poor luck (touch wood) yet on my save. He's been a mainstay in my side.

That's a fantastic youth intake, too; incredible depth of talent and quality. Even the less talented players could develop into more than decent squad players or command a reasonable transfer fee. Good luck with developing the latest batch.


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Wins, friendlies, signings, transfer requests - January had pretty much everything.

MONTHLY UPDATE - January

December wasn't brilliant. It saw us lose ground in the Eredivisie title race, stumbled into the UEFA Europa League having finished third in our Champions League, but we reprieved ourselves somewhat having progressed into the KNVB Beker quater-final. Thankfully, January was considerably better.

1.1.2014 | Eredivisie

AFC Ajax - 1 (SigÞórsson '57)

FC Utrecht - 1 (Bulthuis '23)

After Utrecht sprung a nasty surprise on us in the opening Eredivisie fixture of the season, the squad were itching to set the record straight at the Amsterdam ArenA. Frustratingly, we failed to do so, largely due to our wastefulness in front of goal. Utrecht captain, Dave Bulthuis, capitalised on some slack marking to soar above everyone to nod in from 6-yards, further highlighting our relatively regular lapses of concentration from set-piece situations. SigÞórsson equalised well, side-footing the ball in following a good Danny Hoesen cross. The Icelandic international had another good chance, which was saved, some four minutes later before Siem de Jong saw a trademark volley saved fantastically well by Robbin Ruiter.

15.1.2014 | Friendly

Botev Plovdiv - 0

AFC Ajax - 1 (Bojan '90+1)

Following the New Year's Day disappointment versus FC Utrecht, I allowed both first-team and Jong squads some ten days rest. As PEC Zwolle, who topped the league, beckoned, a friendly was in order. Twenty players featured against Bulgarian outfit Botev, as Bojan weaved his way past three defenders to score the winner in injury time. A good outing.

22.1.2014 | Eredivisie

PEC Zwolle - 1 (Fernández '40)

AFC Ajax - 2 (Fischer '26, SigÞórsson '87)

The potential repercussions of losing this game were notable, as we could have slipped five points behind our opposition had we lost. Gladly, we didn't, thanks to a fine performance. We started, continued and finished with real intent; hustling and harrying throughout coupled with incisive, creative passing. Viktor Fischer finished well to give us a much-needed lead. Collecting Siem de Jong's through ball with ease, the Dane struck low and hard at the near-post. The hosts struck back through Guyon Fernández's, who breezed passed an unusually ineffective Joël Veltman, cool finish.

We created plenty more chances, most of which whistled passed the goal, especially a well-struck Niklas Moisander effort around ten minutes from full-time. The breakthrough, and winner, derived from some quick passing. Ricardo van Rhijn slid in Bojan down the right-hand side channel, who duly thumped in a driven cross which Kolbeinn SigÞórsson did well to control and finish under considerable pressure. It was his second goal in as many Eredivisie games - and potentially a huge goal in the grand scheme of Eredivisie things.

26.1.2014 | Eredivisie

AFC Ajax - 2 (Fischer '12, De Jong '18)

Go Ahead Eagles - 1 (Moisander own goal '60)

While the scoreline suggests a tight affair, it was anything but that. Two goals in the first twenty minutes is a fair representation of our dominance, but could well have contributed to our downfall as we grew increasingly complacent. Much like Viktor Fischer's opener against PEC Zwolle, Siem de Jong provided the killer pass to the 19-year-old who's excellent finish found the top left-hand corner from the edge of the box. Siem de Jong's goal was from a similar range and of equal excellence just four minutes later. Go Ahead Eagles gave us soemthing to think about as an Antonia effort took a wicked deflection off Niklas Moisander, leaving Jasper Cillessen helpless. It should have been a much more appeasing scoreline, but three points is three points.

29.1.2014 | KNVB Beker - Quarter Final

MVV Maastricht - 0

AFC Ajax - 2 (Duarte '79, '90+3)

This was as tough as I expected it to be: very. MVV, who occupy fourth place in the Jupiler League, combined heart and determination with good technical ability which really had me worried and rattled our relatively inexperienced side. They created no less than four clear-cut chances and, if not for Mickey van der Hart and some heart-stopping defending, they'd have advanced to the semi-final. It was Lerin Duarte's introduction which changed things. His knack of getting into the opposition's box was rewarded as his finished well from 12-or-so yards just ten minutes from time. Following our breakthrough, Mickey van der Hart pulled off a stunning save to deprive MVV's Mark Veldmate of a dramatic equaliser. Duarte's second, and clinching, effort was an excellently executed free-kick from 30-odd yards.

In the semi-final, we take on Heracles Almelo at the Amsterdam ArenA while PSV Eindhoven face one of our feeder clubs, FC Volendam.

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Eredivisie table; as of February 1st


JONG AJAX

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A difficult month ended, unsurprisingly, in disappointment. All three teams which Alfons Groenendijk's side faced are vying for promotion to the Eredivisie. New addition, Roope Riski, made an instant impact for Jong Ajax with a well-taken goal against KNVB Beker quarter-finalists MVV. A fair few first-team squad players featured for Jong Ajax, notably Eyong Enoh and Kenneth Vermeer. I'll discuss the situation with the latter of the two later.

Jong Ajax's Jupiler League record - Position: 17th, Played: 25, Wins: 6, Draws: 4, Losses: 14, Top Scorer: Danzell Gravenberch - 14 goals


JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW - the comings and goings

There was plenty of action, albeit relatively low key, in the January transfer window from an Ajax perspective. We had our eye on many a player in the build-up to the New Year window, but ultimately decided to leave the more important transfer business until the Summer, where we have longer to make definitive decisions and to negotiate transfers for respective players. Nevertheless, we signed six players in January.

INCOMINGS

STEFAN DE VRIJ AGE: 21-years-old | POSITION: Central Defender | CLUB: Feyenoord Rotterdam | NATIONALITY: Netherlands | FEE: Pre-contract, joins in Summer 2014

This was the 'exciting transfer news' which I spoke of in my previous monthly update. Stefan de Vrij -the club captain of our biggest rivals, Feyenoord - will join AFC Ajax in the Summer for free having agreed a pre-contract deal. I had the option to sign him in January for £1.4 million, but decided against it, largely due to the plethora of central defenders already at my disposal. It will also allow for De Vrij to bid farewell to his De Kuip surroundings before making the controversial move to the Amsterdam ArenA.

A fine defender, comfortable on the ball and, moreover, a good professional, I look forward to welcoming him to a fledgling squad.

OLE KRISTIAN SELNÆS AGE: 19-years-old | POSITION: Central Midfield | CLUB: Rosenborg BK | NATIONALITY: Norway | FEE: £300,000

I'm sure Selnæs will be familiar to many of you, for obvious reasons. A Norwegian Under-21 international, Ole Kristian is a welcome addition to the first-team squad due to his impressive technical ability, composure in possession and ability to either hold the midfield or offer a more creative threat further forward. Standing at 6'2", his size will inevitably be a valuable asset of his, particularly if he learns how and when to use it. A Scandinavian Abou Diaby.

BJØRN INGE UTVIK AGE: 17-years-old | POSITION: Defender | CLUB: Sogndal FB | NATIONALITY: Norway | FEE: £130,000

Much like his compatriot Ole Kristian Selnæs, the young Norwegian has made the leap from the Tippeligaen to Dutch football with every ambition to be a success. Utvik, who doesn't turn 18 until late February, is adept in central defensive positions, but his preferred position is at right-back. Despite being 17-years-old, his attributes are already well-rounded but offer plenty of scope for improvement. For the time being, Utvik will feature for Jong Ajax and Ajax Under-19's.

YOUTH TRANSFERS

Transfer deadline day was quite a hectic one. Having signed Bjørn Inge Utvik, I proceeded to set my sights on two youth players: Yonathan Getachew and Yan de Maeyer respectively. The former is a 16-year-old Swede, who commanded a £120,000 fee from Elfsborg. Predominantly a tricky attacking midfielder, he possesses a good first-touch as well as a willingness to work with and for his team. Yan de Maeyer is a similarly team-orientated player, one who's both comfortable in central midfield or at right-back. Signed from KV Mechelen for £160,000, De Maeyer will bring both talent and depth to the Under-19's side.

Of course, I'm sure you all know about the purchase of Roope Riski from Cesena.

OUTGOINGS

As hoped, there weren't any notable outgoings, despite other clubs' persistence. As expected, a fair few were loaned out. Jong Ajax outsiders, Mauritz Schmitz and Bas Kuipers, departed on loan to amateur sides Noordwijk and ASWH, while Tarik Fairouz joined KV Mechelen on a 6-month loan as part of the Yan de Maeyer deal. Talanted holding midfielder, Djavan Anderson, joined Jupiler League club FC Dordrecht until the end of the season in a bid to gain regular first-team appearances.

As expected, there was considerable interest in some of our key players. Daley Blind, Viktor Fischer, Lasse Schøne, Siem de Jong and Ricardo van Rhijn were the subject of noteworthy offers, with the likes of Olympique de Marseille and Southampton coming in for at least two of the aforementioned on numerous occasions. Of course, it was nothing less than expected. Having performed admirably well in both the Eredivisie and on the continent, interest in our more important figures was inevitable. I expect to have to shoo away the vultures in the Summer window, too.


VERMEER'S VEXED - a transfer request

Jasper Cillessen has been excellent this season. Having impressed in pre-season, I decided to give him a chance in competitive fixtures and he soon made the goalkeeper position is own, demoting long-term goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer to the substitutes' bench in the process. Prior to January, Vermeer made just two first-team appearances, both in the early stages of the KNVB Beker. Inevitably, the 28-year-old became increasingly disenchanted with his substitute role and requested a transfer away from Ajax. I accepted his transfer request.

As a suitable offer wasn't submitted for Vermeer, he's still at the club, albeit playing his football in the Jupiler League for Jong Ajax, but we will cut our losses in the Summer. Mickey van der Hart has been promoted to second-choice goalkeeper, while Jasper Cillessen remains first-choice having agreed a two-year contract extension in December.

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Thanks for reading. Once again, I hope you all enjoyed it!

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Just wanted to write a post to big up my man Stefano Denswil or as I like to call him "Washington" (I know, I know ...)

Here he is mid 5th season and as you can see he's immense. I like to use him as a Ball Playing Defender with a Cover duty and he performs admirably. Still haven't seen him score a free-kick yet but with Depay, Sneijder, Nouri and Honda, he doesn't get too many opportunities.

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Stangely enough, I haven't received any real offers for him yet but it would have to be something huge for me to even consider.

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He's look tops desmond, great work.

In hoping to involve Stefano a lot more next season after this loan spell he's had. Looks promising, I've recently brought Mitchell Dijks into the first team and he's played 11 games at LB and been very promising also.

Hoping to do an update today at some point.

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He's look tops desmond, great work.

In hoping to involve Stefano a lot more next season after this loan spell he's had. Looks promising, I've recently brought Mitchell Dijks into the first team and he's played 11 games at LB and been very promising also.

Hoping to do an update today at some point.

Thanks Hoarau !

I've got Dijks fighting it out with Wijnaldum for the LB spot and both bring something different to the table which is great. Dijks is probably less creative or technical but has some great physical stats whereas Wijnaldum is the opposite. However, expect bids for him because of the real dearth of decent LBs in the game. The Italian and Portuguese clubs are pestering me all the time.

Denswil really kicked on after his loan spell with Lyon so I hope you have the same luck.

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Cheers man good to know.

After his real life exploits i happened to have a closer look at Jairo Riedwald! Wow what a prospect, have a look if you already havent gents.

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First let me start by echoing what others have said and say great OP! Read everyone's updates and really enjoyed each and everyone of them. I have just started a save with Ajax and really looking forward to the prospect of developing some of the clubs great talents. I will be looking to sign scandanavian and dutch players most of the time. I would also like to bring back some good/great players from the clubs past.

I will be looking to use a possession based 4-1-2-2-1 formation with forward thinking fullbacks and inside cutting wingers.

TRANSFERS IN:

Lobotka-425k-The talented youngsters deal has been made permanent and I will be keeping an eye on his progress

Bruhn-500k-young scandinavian midfielder who has been said to be similar to siem de jong could challenge for the advanced playmaker role in the future

Paulinho-Free transfer-A 19 year old brazilian who brings some flair to the midfield area amongst the youth ranks at Ajax Jong and with a fairly professional personality he will fit into the club perfectly.

Joel Valencia-500k-Like Paulinho adds a lot of flair and creativity to the midfield aread and likewise has a fairly professional attitude.

Selman sevinc-18 year-500k- old dutch defensive midfielder for the future who is said to be similar to Poulsen and also has a fairly professional attitude

David Barbunski-200k-Young barca player who needs work but I feel with the right development could be a very useful player for the club. Similar type player too Duarte. Have to get that passing up and then we have a great little midfielder.

Sopasis-325k-17 year old greek from VVV has been signed to add even more quality to the under 19 squad.

Brouwers-325k- At 31 he is no spring chicken but with his professionalism and great concentration I am hoping he will be a great tutor for the youngsters of the club.

Praet-Loan-245k p/m with 8 mill future fee to buy if I want to-Great young deep lying playmaker that could really add something to the squad that I am missing at the moment (especially since Duarte who was playing their has got a 3 month injury). He will need work on his tackling.

van der Wiel-Loan for only 39k/pm from PSG I just couldnt say no! The guy knows everything about the ajax system and I am very excited to have him back at the club for the up coming season.

Holmbert-60k-Young player of the year in his league and some potential I couldnt pass the opportunity to add him to the Ajax Jong squad

Happy with the work I did in the transfer window with some shrewd low priced signings-All under 500k.

TRANSFER OUT:

Mostly loans with Sanah and Enoh the most well known names on the list.

PRE SEASON:

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We had a good pre-season with only blip coming up against Cardiff. Star player of the the lot was Boilesen who scored and made some great assists down the left.

I head into the season with my first team looking like this:

GK-Vermeer/Cillesson

DL-Boilesen/Blind

DCL-Denswil/Veltman/Brouwers

DCR-Vander Hoorn/Moisander/Van Rhijn

DR-Van der wiel/Ligeon/Van Rhiyn

DM-Blind/Poulsen/Sporkslede

MCL-Serero/Andersen/Schone

MCR-Duarte/Praet/Sporkslede/Blind

AML-Fischer/Schone/De Sa

AMR-Bojan/Schone/De Sa

ST-De Jong/Hoesen/Sigporsson/Klaasen

I will look to update the beginning of January.

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AJAX end of season review 2017/2018

Another productive and successful season which saw us maintain our stranglehold on the Eredivisie, regain the KNVB Beker and make progress in the Champions League.

The league was pretty straightforward as we only suffered two defeats all season.

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I was pleased to regain the KNVB cup after our penalty loss last season.

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We were handed a tough group in the Champions League but managed to finish 1st which pleased me no end. We finally got past the 1st round knock-out stage with a comfortable win against Leverkusen but got played off the park in both games against Bayern in the quarters. The inferiority complex seems to be diminishing.

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The players performed admirably and here are their stats.

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As a side note, I had for the second year running a very underwhelming batch of youngsters come through, with no-one more than a 2 and a half star recommendation. Next season, I'll be having one of my ajax produced regens coming back to replace Van Persie who was on loan to increase the number of home produced players in the first team squad to 14.

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Season 2 Review & Reflections

A real eye opener of a season, it let me relaise the things I do wrong and how I want to approach them in the future. One aspect im quite happy with is the integration of players from the reserves & youth teams, a few have really pushed themselves up to the front for next season and im hoping to see them continue this strong development path, As with most people that’s the funnest part of playing at Ajax for me, the chance to build a group of players regularly.

A disappointing season yes, but if I look at it it was a good learning curve for me and the players. The club is really financially healthy as I have been bringing in a lot more than I have put out, its always a bonus to see the bank balance sitting around the £60m mark, im trying to not play high fees for players, of course I’m sure there will be one or two exceptions..

League Review

As you can see this was not a successful campaign, not only did we lose the league by a single point bit we also lost in the final of the KNVB beker. Despite losing the league we didn’t play that badly I feel, we just had a couple of bad runs of draws & defeats that kept us adrift. Hoping to be a bit more ruthless next season and score more goals but I don’t want to open up at the other end so will try to frustrate people and hit em on the break.

League Table

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Player Performance & Analysis

Overall squad stats(2 Pics)

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Stefan Johansen

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One of my season 1 recruits from Scandinavia who is really gorwing with each season, this year he took on the duty of set piece taker and between stunning free kicks and great deliveries at corners he’s became one of the first names on the team sheet. Bargain.

Viktor Fischer

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The new new “King of the Arena”, he has really taken on the mantle from Eriksen, he’s our most dangerous player and by the interest in him he’s our most valuable, I have his asking price currently set at £48m and he still has 5 teams showing interest… if a bid of over £50m comes in there’s no way I’d be able to say no.

Siem de Jong

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Old reliable, the oldest outfield player I have in my squad and he never fails to deliver, leading this young group in a manner befitting a captain. A real favourite of mine.

Danny Hoesen

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Not as good as last season but still a good front option, he’s still young enough to hit his peak so im glad to keep him around, interest is high in him also so again should I receive a large enough bid, say anything over £20m I’d be hard pressed to refuse it.

Seasons 3 Plans & Activity

Guido Vadala[/img]

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Excited about this young lad, agreed the deal early in the save and he’s only just moved but he has a lot of promise, unsure how much game time ill be able to give him but hoping he develops into a solid playmaker.

I want the league again of course, as I said before I’d like us to become more dangerous in front of goal but yet still stay very frustrating at the back. Europe is still just a step too much for this young group, id be happy with a decent showing in the groups and perhaps a run in the Europa League for experience.

No real targets transfer wise, think I’ll opt to promote from within instead, any questions or pics etc just ask, thanks for reading.

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It's amazing to see Hoarau that 80 points in a 34 game season isn't enough. It shows the quality of the league and as I've said previously, Utrecht always seem to be there or thereabouts. Good luck for season 3.

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This is the Netherlands squad for the 2018 World Cup.

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14 Ajax players !! (Ray Vink is on loan from us)

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Fantastic updates still in here guys, I really enjoying the quality of the posts and the approaches taken by most of you - philosophies saluted!

Edit: I've just picked up Fabian Sporkslede at Portsmouth (League 1, season 2) on a one-year loan deal. I'm surprised they let him come as we were deemed to be playing at a level too low when I enquired about some of the other youngsters. He'll be used as a central midfielder with defend duty when selected, in a flat 442.

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I am enjoying your updates guys, keep it coming! I started my save with Ajax as I do every year, and I must say, the amount of talent in this years squad is amazing! I love to develop talents and work with them, to sign cheap players and make household names out of them then get huge profit if I can, and this club is perfect for that strategy. In my first season, I want to make core of the team for the future, try to win the League and Cup and make good impression in Europe.

Transfers IN:

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Transfers OUT

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Team should look like this

GK: Vermeer

DR: Van Rhijn

DC: Veltman

DC: Denswil

DL: Boilesen

DM: Blind

MC: Praet

AMR: Ola John

AMC: de Jong

AML: Fischer

ST: Sigtorsson

Let's go!

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Ok guys, for those of you thinking of starting out an Ajax save here's a little bit about my project that i've undertaken to return Ajax back to the european elite force they once were.

My Vision

  • Dominate domestically.
  • promote youth development as much as possible -This is why Ajax are excellent to go, because you can give youngsters game time whilst still comfortably winning the league each year.
  • encourage tutoring - There is room in my squad for 11 first team players, a further 11 are in the first team squad are youngsters with 4.5* potential or more, each of these youngsters will be tutored by the first team members, another good thing about Ajax is the first team squad all have high determination. I would like a squad of Resolute, Professional, Model Professional and Driven players.
  • become a champions league late stage regular - Ajax are often seeded third handing them a tough group, I drew PSG, Arsenal and Anderlecht.
  • make club sustainable within a wage structure. - No player will earn over 30k a week, aside from one 'marquee' signing which in my case was Morgan Schneiderlin. The younger backup players will be on no more than 10k a week.
  • Play attractive possession based football aimed at dominating games. - I, like alot of people have struggled slightly with the amount of factors to take into consideration when playing tactics. I've settled with 4-2-3-1 and it appears to be working.

My Tactic

Home Tactic

Team Instructions

Player Instructions - (same for Home and Away tactics)

Vermeer/Van Der Haart - Distribute to Van Rhijn

Van Rhijn/ Tete - Get further forward, close down more, cross more, stay wider

Van Der Hoorn/Veltman - Pass it shorter

Moisander/Denswil - pass it shorter

Poulsen/Enoh - shoot less often, fewer risky passes, pass it shorter

Schneiderlin/Serero - close down more, get further forward, more direct passes, more risky passes

De Jong/Anderson - nothing

Fischer/Meleg - more direct passing, shoot less often, dribble more,

Duarte - shoot less often, more direct passes, stay wider, sit narrower, roam from position

Bojan/Benzia - move into channels

Away Tactic

Team Instructions

Training - Set to Fitness (very high) Most amount of match training 'Tactics only' for pre season. During the season Team Cohesion (average) and 20% match training set to teamwork.

The results so far - N.B Denswil was sent off after 21 seconds against SC Cambuur. As they're bottom I'm assuming I would have won had Denswil stayed on the pitch. The friendly loss was with my Under 19s.

Transfers - I signed Schneiderlin because in short he was the only player available who was good enough for the BBM I wanted. Benzia I know develops really well, He's had 1 start and 5 sub appearances and got 5 goals.

That's pretty much all I can think of now, if anyone has any questions feel free to ask.

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I've done another thread about Ajax and player development over in the tactics and training forum. Last years thread was epic and proved to really popular so I've done a new one for FM14;

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/380395-Ajax-When-Real-Life-Meets-Football-Manager-FM14

......................................................................

I will be posting my current achievements, transfers etc all in this thread by the weekend hopefully :)

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utoq.png

jyif.jpg

Season 3 Review

From start to finish this season has been a topsy, turvey ride that at points had me wondering if I'd see out the season at the Amsterdam ArenA! In no way an excuse but we experienced a spate of Injuries at points throughout which had somewhat of an effect, valuable first teamers like De Jong, Hoesen & Sereno all sat out on the sidelines. On the up side of that it gave me the opportunity to bleed in some younger players again, all have much promise but some just shone that bit brighter, two in-particular - Gino Dekker & Bazoer.

I felt after last seasons let down we needed to come back and proved we'd grown as a collective, there's still a lot of young lads in and around the squad but each season is proving immensely important for their experience. Europe again is just too much of an ask, to be honest I'm just happy at the moment to regularly be in the group stages and investing the monetary benefits.

League Review

League Table

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Transfers in/out

A profitable season where we recouped more than we spent, I'm trying to continue the trend of always running on a profit, a went on a small-ish youth recruit drive after reviewing my scouts season reports and found some promising talent to boost the youth teams. Only really brought in 3 players for the first team and even they won't be regular starters.

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Outgoings

We started out shipping out a couple of players who were unhappy about playing time, that's fair enough I hate to see players waste their careers so a player bought for £450k in Kasper Kusk was sold for £3.5m to Mallorca. Next was Niklas Mosiander out the door for £2.1m to Real Betis, he was our oldest defender and while I liked having his experience around he was limited in playing time as I like to give game time to help the younger guys develop. This next one was tough to take, my fault though as I should have played him more but it's an area that I'm strongest in and he found it difficult to break through, so Lucas Anderson leaves for a decent £11m fee to Granada. Lastly was another player I wasn't overly happy about letting to but again it's better than having an unhappy atmosphere around the squad so we lost Nicolai Boilesen for a resonable £7m to Metalist.

Incomings

Jhon Andres Cordoba came in for free from Jaguares in Mexico, a young enough player with decent technique and promising growth. A physical presence for us up top, hoping he can step in when Hoesen is injured or suspended. Next up was a player I was quite happy about getting and for a good price aswell, Massimo Bruno joined for £3.2m from Anderlecht he was joined by fellow Belguim Thorgan Hazrd for a bargain £205k from Chelsea, hoping the two can develop together over the years and be as successful as former Belguim players at Ajax.

Player Performance & Analysis

Overall Squad Stats(2 Screenshots)

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Danny Hoesen

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Not as good a season as last, much of that due to Injuries but when he did play he was still very efficient. Hoping for a clean run next season and a big showing.

Gino Dekker

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This boy was a surprise, Jong Ajax had a great result and I clicked to see if anyone stood out and this lad had some game. I had a cup game next up so I took a gamble and threw him in.. As you can see it went well as did his subsequent appearances. Hopefully he'll see a lot more football next term.

Ricardo Kishna

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Another player I must get more games, his time has been limited due to Fischer being top drawer but after a successful loan spell and some good improvement from tutoring I feel he's ready to step up.

Thulani Sereno

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Every season this guy suprises me, such an all rounder who really is a threat. He's one of the best players in this league and so consistent. Great player and a personal favourite.

Jhon Andres Cordoba

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Now this lad took his chance very well, with Hoesen injured I threw him in and he never disappointed. He's still settling in another country, with a new language and new team mates not to mention my "tactics". It's not a bad first season showing from the young man. Has forced me to consider him as a started next season & there is already some interest from other teams in Europe, gettin him on a free will see any money in as pure profit.

Viktor Fischer

rrl9.jpg

Christan who? Really is the golden boy of the Arena now. A quieter season than lat due to time on the sidelines but his development hasn't stagnated and he's getting constantly better. Interest is high with Europes elite watching him, even with the £48m price tag over set on him.. My only concern is his contract is up next season and he's talking about new challenges and a bigger club.. Could be a stressful pre-season.

Season 4 Plans & Activity

Nothing major planned if im honest, a few more youth players perhaps but no massive changes to the squad. As I seem to say every end of season review I think ill promote a couple of boys to play some first team football. The World Cup has just been player and Holland went out in the groups.. FA isn't happy and have binned the manger... I wonder!? ;)

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Well I won the league in first season by 20 points and lost on penalties in the Europa League final. Benzia got Top Goalscorer in the division despite playing second fiddle to Bojan for three quarters of the season. I've just signed Mitrovic and Gabriel (Brazilian midfielder)...pretty successful in all. Loving this save!

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My save is going great so far, I am in my 6th season now, I will post some results later on. I just wanted to say that this Ajax squad has soooo many talented players, it's really hard to give them all playing time and to develop them. Even after I promoted several players and gave them playing time and developed them, there were so many left in the Jong Ajax and academy. I could not imagine the number of talents in this years Ajax.

And because I didin't knew that, couple of players went down and didn't developed as they should, Decker, Krishna, Martina etc.

So, if you are starting Ajax save, pay attention to EVERY single player in Jong Ajax and academy.

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Just thought I'd share this photo, taken just a few days ago, with you:

fd71314b-e872-4ba6-b30e-bbce442d0cb1_2014-01-06%20Tr%20Kamp%20Belek%200224.jpg

Ricardo Kishna, Riechedly Bazoer and Jairo Riedewald are on training camp with the first team squad in Turkey. Perhaps Bazoer and Kishna will get some playing time in the second half of the season.

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My ajax save:

I must agree ajax have an amazing amount of young talent coming through on this years fm. Denswil, Veltman, Tete, Fischer, Andersen, Bazoer, vd Boomen, Riedewald, Kishna, Nouri, they all have great potential on my save. Bazoer, vd Boomen and Nouri are more or less first team players now in my 5th season. The others are really close to it.

23w19g1.jpg

Big transfer movements; Bought Balanta first season for 11m, sold him to Man u for 45mil in season 3. Sold Denswil for 37.5m in season 4. Now I've gotten a offer of 54m for Fischer at the start of season 5. I was having a lot of doubts, cause I am playing the ajax way, bringing in lots of youngsters for little money (1-5mil) and then sell them on later for huge profits. But for now I am keeping Fischer.

Some of the better players and talents:

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One problem I ran into... not having enough old players to tutor all the incoming young talent. By selling the best players when I can get a huge transfer amount I started running really short on tutors, heh. Skelljebred for example was signed just to tutor youngsters (model professional)

Oh, and a transfer budget of 101mil atm, buy low, sell high working perfectly :)

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Some great updates on here again and I'm delighted to see more FM'ers managing AFC Ajax!

Anyway, I'd like to apologise for my recent lack of activity in this thread - and on the forums as a whole. You could say I've been on my very own winter break. Anyway, I've have an update in the pipeline and should be on here next week. I have two exams coming up - one on Tuesday - so I'm sure you can understand.

See you lot next week, hopefully.

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Anyone recommend a good season 1 left wingback for Ajax? I've brought in a loanee in Emerson from Santos but Boilesen is just so injury prone and with Dijks away on loan i'm concerned i'll end up short. I prefer Blind to play as a defensive midfielder, but would be a last option I guess.

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This is deep loving the detailed insight, ive just started a Ajax career after been inspired by Cleons thread, this thread has just added to my enthusiasm for Ajax, great work Chef Raekwon.

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Anyone recommend a good season 1 left wingback for Ajax? I've brought in a loanee in Emerson from Santos but Boilesen is just so injury prone and with Dijks away on loan i'm concerned i'll end up short. I prefer Blind to play as a defensive midfielder, but would be a last option I guess.

Could have a look at Jesper Jusgeland(not at home so spelling is off) from FC Midtjyllan I'm Denmark. I primarily used Blind and Dijks after I'd sold Boilesen, Blind is actually very good there and it might offer an opening for you to give game time to Sporkslede or van Den Booman depending which type of DMC you play.

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Hey, just have to say that this is one of the best threads I have ever read, made me feel as though I knew the club inside out! So I've decided to try out an Ajax save, one question to those in the know, is Kolbeinn Sigborsson worth keeping hold of? I have other good attacking options and have received a bid that would help boost the transfer budget but I'm unsure about his potential? Thanks!

Also is it worth me posting updates on here, even though they're not gonna be up to the standard of some of the other contributions on this thread!

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Hey, just have to say that this is one of the best threads I have ever read, made me feel as though I knew the club inside out! So I've decided to try out an Ajax save, one question to those in the know, is Kolbeinn Sigborsson worth keeping hold of? I have other good attacking options and have received a bid that would help boost the transfer budget but I'm unsure about his potential? Thanks!

Also is it worth me posting updates on here, even though they're not gonna be up to the standard of some of the other contributions on this thread!

I'd say the more the merrier with contributing posts to any thread, as long as on topic etc so go for it. As for Kolbeinn, he's good but quite injury prone, if you have alternate options (Hoesen is brilliant) then do it.

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Definetly the more the merrier Yorkshire!

Ill be doing an end of season 4 update which is one of the craziest post seasons I've ever had! Glad to see more people going with Ajax, I've got two long term saves this year and going into the end of season 5 I reckon in only just scratching the surface of this save, think ill be one this untill FM15.

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He looks fantastic. He's definitely one I have earmarked for a first team slot in season 2 for me, Becker, Menig, Meleg, Kishna, VD Boomen, Bazoer, Reidewald and Dijks will all come into the side next year I think. I've fiddled with formation and i'm unbeaten up to start of October, next game is away at Real Madrid in the CL....not looking forward to it.

However, i've been tinkering with a formation/tactical setup that i'm keen to expand on and work into the core setup of my Ajax side for years to come. However, i'm being stumped by a few little things that I need to work out. We seem to be conceding on the counter with every shot on goal going in (with exception of 1 game away to AZ). In each game we've conceded a goal we've been well on top > 70% possession etc and the only shot on target against us is a goal. So I need to come up with a way to stop that happening. Given I play a standard/v-rigid setup, we shouldn't be getting caught out so badly.

The other is to get more productivity out of my central striker (Bojan). He's currently playing as an F9 with Hoesen as a WTM on the right and Fischer as an AP on the left. The wide players are performing really well but Bojan slips out of games, i'm thinking of changing the position to either DLF or CF and using De Jong there.

If anyone has any ideas on how to get a bit more out of those players, i'd be grateful. I'd consider posting this in tactics, but its specific to Ajax so seems better here. I'll throw up some pics later when i'm home.

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Ajax Amsterdam - A Tough Start....

As a mentioned a few posts ago, this thread has inspired me to give an Ajax career a go. Before we start I must say that I'm not a particularly good football manager but I still like to give it a go!

Transfers

transfers-3.png

Not a huge amount of transfer movement, as the squad is undoubtedly full of talent as it is, Reveilliere was brought in to add some experience and tutoring options to the side, while the other 3 incoming players are all youngsters who I hope will add something to the squad. Sana is the only departure thus far, while he's a good player I didn't think he quite had the potential to claim a regular place in the side and a £2m bid seemed fair.

Results

ajaxfix2.png

As you can see we've had a pretty poor start to the season in terms of results, although strangely I'm not too upset with how we have played, we have dominated most of the games so far and just haven't managed to see them out, obviously defence is looking to be a problem although the performances of Mike Van Der Hoorn have stood out so far as a big positive.

Eredivisie Table

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So after 6 games we are sitting in a disappointing 7th although I'm hopeful that once the tactics have settled in we should be on the move upwards!

In summary, we've not got off to the best start but I'm hopeful of a decent season ahead once the squad starts to gel a little more.

Oh and we've been given a fairly tough Champions League group....

champslg.png

Cheers for reading and hopefully these updates will get a bit better as time goes on!

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OK, as per previous post, hoping some Ajax lads can assist with my tactical issues.

Here is the formation

5B58FC6EAE65C18857D662E0804CB8CC4EDB023D

and team instructions

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As you can see, the WTM, AP and F9 are my front 3. I'm not getting nearly enough goals from them. Results so far are

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We're playing well enough, but final productivity is poor. Anyone have any ideas how to get more out of them?

F9 has no instructions on him whilst the WTM has roam from position, sit narrower, hold up ball, cut inside on him.

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As a bit of a chuckle, the pass completion in this cup game with my reserves was insane.

7339A1E2634FA37576D16ED5A9AE6D31653F7025

Finished 2-2 with VVV scoring with both shots on target.

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Right I'm needing some pointers with tactics I think, I cannot seem to win a game. I'm dominating the vast majority of games in terms of possession and shots on goal/target but can't seem to convert them or stop conceding poor goals. Any suggestions?

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Right I'm needing some pointers with tactics I think, I cannot seem to win a game. I'm dominating the vast majority of games in terms of possession and shots on goal/target but can't seem to convert them or stop conceding poor goals. Any suggestions?

Whats your current formation, setup etc?

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tact.png

tact2.png

And I have individual instructions on the front 3 that are basically combos of ; get further forward, roam from position and closing down more

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Gary_Parker - I am in no way a tactical expert as you may have noticed with some of my form in my updates but I do think your front 3 are too "Luxary" if you will, the F9 If I understand it(I'm playing with one and he plays well although he's more about assists than goals). He would drift around looking for the ball as would your AP then once they recieve it they would be looking to hit your WTM, who would seem to be your only visable threat, even he's going to be coming from wide so won't be giving the defense much to do. I would stick with the F9 but then try and have more penetration from the wings.

The best player you have for this would be Viktor Fischer, he's a demon as IF a or s.. The WTM could be hard to perfect.

Let us know how you go about changing things man. Great to see more updates and discussion gents.

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