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HawkAussie

[FM17] Am I Mad or just Crazy, A Europe Challenge

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December 27, 2016

Chapter 1: The dream

Looking through the thread of football manager forums, I always think about these wonderful stories that are created until I see a thread by the user of ManUtd1. Looking through his thread it may me, wonder what should I be doing with my life and even though the idea of this thread was only just for Champions League, I wanted to take this one step further and include all European runner up teams, not just the Champions League.

 

Going to my roommate who was sitting at the kitchen table, I said to him “I want to be a real football manager”. He looks at me, confused and wondering what got that into my mind before quietly saying “Have you had too much to drink again because that is the third time this week you have had a stupid idea.”

 

After explaining what my idea came from and how I was going to do it, he only thought of one thing to think of. “There is no way you would do such a thing, for god sake you don’t even have any coaching qualifications so what makes you think that this is a great idea. Especially when there are forty-three clubs that have been close but not winning.”

 

He had a point, but that wouldn’t deter me from doing it and knowing the risks that I had set myself, I replied: “Think of all the money that I could get if I was to become successful in managing clubs plus how hard can it be to manage a football team.” My roommate just shook his head as he is probably thinking that this couldn’t go ahead.

 

Welcome to my new story where with the inspiration of @ManUtd1, I have decided to do the challenge of getting a European title with all of the teams that are on the list which is forty-three of them and it will be one of those saves were it a long journeyman series. Here are the two lists with the clubs and where they do start in this save.

 

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So the leagues that I have loaded in are

Austria – Top 2 leagues

Belgium – Top 2 leagues

England – Top 3 leagues

France – Top 3 leagues

Germany – Top 5 leagues [With the added German pack]

Greece – Top League

Hungary – Top 2 leagues

Italy – Top League

Netherlands – Top 2 leagues

Poland – Top 2 leagues

Portugal – Top 2 leagues

Russia – Top 3 leagues

Scotland – Top 2 leagues

Spain – Top 2 leagues

Sweden – Top 2 leagues

Ukraine – Top 2 leagues

Edited by HawkAussie

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January 1, 2017

 

Chapter 2: Germany here I come

As the New Year came round, I look at any opportunity that I can get in with the football system and with me looking, I saw two possible positions to go. For me, it would mean having to go to Germany as there were two Division Four teams that I want to go. They were FC Carl Zeiss Jena and Lokomotive Leipzig. There was also the Fulham job available but I knew I could cross that out completely as they wouldn’t hire a Dutch manager who hasn't got any experience in managing a football club.

 

So I knew what I had to do and the club that I would be managing is:

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So for my first journey, it will be off to Leipzig for the first manager role as they were the team that lost the 1987 UEFA Cup Winners Cup to Ajax in the final. Since that miss, they seem to have struggled and fallen down the ranks to the point that they were in the fifth tier of competition before securing the title to be promoted to the fourth tier. So hopefully I can knock out one of the fourth tier teams and with FC Carl Ziess Jena also in our division, it could be interesting to see who will be first to enter the next division up.

Edited by HawkAussie

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Sir_Liam   

Good luck with this.  I'm in the process of reading @ManUtd1's thread (It's taking a long time!) and am enjoying the journey.

Lokomotive Leipzig were in the East German league, and qualified for the Cup Winners' Cup via that.  Like a lot of East German sides they've fallen down the German league system since reunification.

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On 19/07/2017 at 03:39, estewu said:

It's Gornik Zabrze, not Zagrze.

OOC: Oh thanks for picking that one up. I didn't see that over checking it.

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January 4, 2017

Chapter 3: The first day

Heading into the club change rooms for the first time and straight away I felt like I shouldn’t have been there with the players being German bar a few foreign players that were also on the team. So I knew this was going to be an awkward meeting with me and Hiromu Watahiki being the only people that aren't from Germany that is in the setup.

 

“Umm, hello team I am your new manager”, I said in a nervous tone as I wanted.

 

Benjamin Kirsten stood up for the team as he spoke in German but having experience with the language I could at least understand what he was saying. “Welcome to the club and hopefully we can have a good journey with you as manager.”

 

I had a sigh of relieve as I thought that they would be angry knowing that I kicked their former manager out to put myself in. I then replied, “I have seen how your team is going and I think that we can get promoted if we keep this form up and we could do great things with this team.”

 

The rest of the team nodded as it was time to bring these boys back to the top of Germany for the first time in about a century.

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So after the problems with two German databases, I finally found a secure one I hope with this German one. But it only goes down to Level 4, anyway here is the senior squad.

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Some of the key players that will hopefully guide us to the third tier,

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And I also think our main youth prospect for the senior team

 

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Of course, when I did join the team, we were currently ranked in third place in the standings with another of the eligible teams in Carl Zeiss currently top of the tree but with points being dropped everywhere it is still an open race to the promotion spot.

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Edited by HawkAussie

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February 5, 2017

Chapter 4: Time to start this journey

So after above a month of friendlies and signings, it all comes down to this, the first official game in charge of the team. The team that we would be taking on is currently on the bottom of the table with 13 points. So on paper, the game against FSC Luckenwalde should be a walk in the park. That is “should” as it could easily go south which isn’t what I want.

 

The tactic that I think I will apply for my first game is going to be a 4-3-1-2 as I felt like that was going to our main tactic with a 4-4-2 being the next viable option. Another thing that is bugging me is the fact that there are elections in Germany with the date being on March 9 which is a bit of a worry.

 

Back to the match that I have and the situation is possibly thinking about bringing in my two recruits into the starting 11 for the first game to see what they have on them in a game situation and with it being a home game the pressure will be on me to succeed straight away. I know what would be required and this I will hopefully by first catching the gap between us and first before hopefully taking the title.

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So for us, it was a quiet transfer window period with three coming in while one went out with the player heading to another club in our division. But in the progress we did gain three players which will fit quite well into the first eleven.

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This player has wonderful stats for a 22-year-old and with him also having international experience, that can help our side to take that step further.

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One of our two defenders that we brought in to strengthen our defence and those stats are really helpful and could lead us.

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Our loan player and a potential for five stars which is a massive help to the defence with pace and acceleration being the best parts about him here.

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The fixtures for this month was all friendlies to try and fill the gap in the winter holiday and all I can say that was that it was a mixed month for the team and we easily will need to perform better if we are going to the higher divisions.

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February 26, 2017

Chapter 5: Tactic talks

Heading into the stadium for another home game, I start to wonder why I was using this tactic that my assisted manager said to me that I might be using. For starters I thought that my 4-3-1-2 tactic will do the work but when it seemed to struggle against teams which were around my tier. That was until my manager thought of a tactic that was similar to mine but in some way it isn’t.

 

This tactic being the 4-2-3-1 Wide is something that I rarely see teams play in football and with this tactic I thought that it might surprise some teams on using the tactic. The first game that I used it, we completely dominated the game as we defeated the bottom ranked team 6-0. With this found confidence, I thought we were onto a winner and we could start to close that gap on top spot Carl Zeiss Jena.

 

The next game saw a 0-0 draw in what I would call a wet day as the ground was soaked and I had wet feet at the end of the game and it sucked. Thinking about it now, I wonder what went wrong. Then came the game against Oberlausitz and the tactics was a struggle. This was because I seemed to keep on how I wanted to attack the team and when something didn’t work, I would change it over. But every change I made seem to make it worse for my team and we fell to a 2-0 result against a team we should have won.

 

Looking at the report from my assist manager it seems like this team weakness is this tactic didn’t prove any goals. As I write this, we are looking like it could head to a 0-0 scoreline which for me is disappointing as I don’t understand where that six goals that we scored in the opening game has gone off to. This plus the fact that the other eligible team in Carl Zeiss Jena has their game postponed means that with fourteen games left, we need to get 11, maybe 14 points which I think is possible but will be tough to get.

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So time for the February review

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For me, I feel like we were lucky to get five points this month as all of the games (except for Luckenwalde) we were outplayed and our striker couldn't finish it off. The game against Oberlausitz was a massive shocker to the team as I kept changing the setup which cost us at least a point from that game.

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This means we are currently in fifth place overall and with three points between us and second, I think we can snatch that if we have a good run. I save if because it may go south which is what I don't want.

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My current tactic that I used and said in the previous post about how my assist manager suggested to go with this tactic and … it will take time to get the team working with this tactic.

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So now it's for a European update with the Champions League and Europa League.

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In the Champions League, we have two teams that can still win their first European trophy with Bayer Leverkusen and Arsenal hunting for that trophy and with what I call an easy team to get for both of them. The other team that can win their first European trophy is Leicester City who has a tougher match against Bayern Munich.

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The Europa League is seeing just some odd teams in it with the dream run of Videoton and Legia being in the second round against Fenerbahce and Olympiakos. AS Monaco and Saint-Etienne are the teams that are on this list which can break the European curse.

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Full list

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March 2, 2017

Chapter 6: The first youth intake

They say the youth intake is the best day of a manager year that is outside of match day football. Oh, they don’t say that then why is the hype for teams as they do bring their new youth prospects with the chance of being the best of the best. For the German managers, it was time to see who will be brought into the squad.

 

Coming into the stadium, I met my assisted manager as we knew, we needed to have a look at the youth prospect which could go into our squad. Of course, the issue was that we couldn’t bring them straight into our squad until they were 17 so for the next two years they will have to be in the U19 squad which goes both ways. For one, they can develop over there and the other being that they can improve on the squad which is currently tenth in the rankings.

 

As I look into the youth squad, I see three main players that look good on the field. Georg Burger who is playing as an attacking midfielder/striker. Jan Hesse is another player that could see out of it and with the look of high teamwork and for a future goalkeeper, we can't look any further than Marian Marschall who reflexes are top notch for a fourth tier team and will be a sight to watch in the future.

 

Of course, I need to sign them as the worst case scenario is to see them head to rival clubs and that something I don’t want.

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So the three youth prospect and the format that I have went is (NYINL) with this format

N = Club number I am at

YI = Youth Intake

N = Youth Intake Number

L = Letter of best player

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And the first Youtu intake full squad

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5 hours ago, Benjoe said:

Am I mad or just crazy for reading along here? 

You tell me. 

Good luck, @HawkAussie.

No idea, the title idea was a basically thought of no one in their mind would try and complete the challenge as it would be luck to get the German Div 4 teams onto this save without some time of the database and to be honest that was the first thing I thought of.

 

Thanks for the comment as well.

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March 2017

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This month was a great month for us as we got two out of three games ending in wins. The opening game against Red Bull Leipzig II was an interesting affair as they really dominated and after we got the opening goal, they put the pressure and responded. I was happy with the point from that game. The next two games against Schonberg and Viktoria 1889, we completely dominated as we took the game and the three points.

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We haven't really gained ground on the leader as they extended the league to 13 points and with every passing game that chance of being promoted is lowered. But until we are out of the race, we won't be giving up.

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April 23, 2017

Chapter 7: Battle of the top

As I enter the Ernst-Abbe Sportfeld for the first time, I had a feeling that this was a game that we must win in hope of finishing top of Regionalliga. The other team that would be keeping an eye on this match would be Red Bull Leipzig II as they are in the middle of this top three pack.

 

Entering the stadium, I get a message from my buddy back in the Netherlands saying that he wants a chat with me after the game. For me, that was a little bit weird knowing that he isn’t a big fan of football but still doesn’t mind heading to a game here and there especially if it’s at home. Thinking that this could be a bad idea just in case the media see it, I messaged him back saying “Not today, but definitely tomorrow ok”

 

After sending that reply, I went back to the plan for this match and that feeling of how to beat the attacking force of our opponents as they had scored over fifty goals this season and look like they were the favourites to go through to 3.Liga bearing any mishaps that they could cause. That is where we come in and hopefully ruin their chances of being promoted and maybe boost our chances in replacing them instead.

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April 30, 2017

Chapter 7.5: Battle of the top: Part 2

Heading over to Furstenwalde, I was focusing on the game in hand against the sixteenth place team with them needing a draw to secure a draw against us to keep the team in the division. My thought wasn’t on them, but rather on Jena and Red Bull Leipzig II who was ahead of us and a quick check on the phone saw that they were on taking each other.

 

This was actually really good for us as that meant, a slip up by either of those teams means that we can pounce on the mistakes. That is if we don’t make the stupid mistake of struggling in this game and getting a draw or even worse. Losing to a low ranked them. After giving my team talk, I went over to my physio (Tom Fillinger), trying to be polite I said, “Hey Tom, Can you do something for me?”

 

After looking me in what would be a weird way, he just gracefully thought “why not” and he headed back to the change rooms assuming that he was doing his 'thing'.

 

Seventeen minutes in, Tom came to me saying that Jena has got the opener in the other game of interest. For me, that didn’t really worry me too much especially when we opened up a three goal advantage during that same time and heading into that half we had a five-nil lead in what I would call a brilliant plan.

 

The second half was calmer for our team as we tried to not concede a goal as the rain started to come down. I, for once could relax and keep an eye on the critical thing which was the top of the table game. With fourteen minutes to go, Red Bull Leipzig scored an equaliser and with us holding the 5-0 lead, we closed the gap to four points with three games to go and I knew that we had a shot of winning this title.

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April 2017

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So this month was a really good month for our team with the only mistake being against Auerbach at home. Other than that, we outplayed most of our teams in the league and especially the game against Furstenwalde where we scored five goals in the first half. On the other hand, they missed a penalty which is the first time that I have seen it in one of my games.

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So with Jena struggling this month, we have capitalised on that misfortune and shrunk the gap between us and them to only two points and with three games to go of the season. A shot at the playoffs is within reach. Of course, we can't back down as we have Red Bull Leipzig also on our tail just in case we screw up as well. On the other end of the scale we have Luckenwalde and Neustrelitz being relegated in our division.

 

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May 21, 2017

Chapter 8: End of season at last

So with today being the first day of the holiday period, it is time to reflect on the whole season as a whole and I can say that it was a season that we could of being promoted into the next division if it wasn’t for a few mishaps here and there we might have won. But they happened and the mistakes from others team wouldn’t be the worse.

 

With that gap of only two points at the start of May, I really thought that we had a chance of taking the title and continue the movement of our team up the divisions. But the month was what I would call easily my worst month since I started. After that one all draw against the bottom ranked team, something felt like it wasn’t going to be a good month and that was the case.

 

For now, I can head back home to the Netherlands and take a break from being Germany as I am going to head back home and chill before continuing on this journey that I have set myself up since December.

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May 2017

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All I can say is this month was a shocker with only getting a single point out of the three games which I call a terrible result but in a football world, what can you do about it.

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The final standings of the first season as manager and Red Bull Leipzig wins the title on the last day of competition which would suck if you were a Jena fan.

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2016/17 Europe

So time for a season review all around Europe for the first time as we look at the top 5 leagues plus the European club competitions.

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In England, Arsenal took out the title by eight points over Tottenham and Manchester United as another of the teams available in Middlesbrough got relegated out of the top division.

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Germany was the Bayern Munich show as they completely dominated the Bundesliga by twenty points over their nearest competition. Bayer Leverkusen was the highest of the available teams in third.

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Barcelona took out the title in Spain by only a single point from Real Madrid with Atletico another two behind. For Bilbao, they finished in fifth place while Alaves got relegated into the second division.

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Juventus took out the Serie A title by four points over Napoli while Roma finished three points further behind in third place.

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PSG took out the title in France with a win on the final matchday confirming the title from AS Monaco and Bordeaux.

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The Champions League sees Arsenal take home their first European trophy after they defeated Bayern Munich 3-1 in the final.

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PSG comfortably took the title in the UEFA Europa League final against surprise package Fenerbahce from Turkey as they now get added on to the list of available clubs that can now be managed.

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2016/17 Club

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So for us, it was a good season considering we were considered to finish in the mid-table as I got the team to third place overall which is a good achievement if I don't say the least.

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All the awards for the seasons and no surprise that Daniel Becker won the player of the season as he played brilliantly while Nils Gottschick took out the young player of the season.

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Stats of the team from this year and it was no wonder why Daniel Becker took out the player of the year for our team with a 7.17 average rating and scoring 11 goals in the mean time.

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July 15, 2017

Chapter 9: Let Season 2 begin

So as my lineup is starting to be set up for the opening game against Nordhausen, I think of how I am going to have my line-up for the opening game of the season. My transfer window I felt has been good for me with two going in and two going out. But I think I might add a couple more players in the future to have more choices to have.

 

Pre-season for me felt like it was a good way to understand. I think for everyone, their favourite game had to be against Hamburger SV who he is an affiant club and we almost caused an upset with us falling just short of getting the victory. The other matches, on the other hand, we completely dominated and I think we could cause a challenge for promotion. That is if Nordhausen doesn’t spend their money that they got from the two transfers wisely as they sold David Schloffer for 300k to Willem II which I think is a transfer record for our division.

 

Of course, they have to spend that money very wisely so it doesn’t get wasted as that is what you don’t want to happen.

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Pre Season 2017/18

So for me this season, it was about trying to develop my squad to hopefully challenge for promotion into the next tier up.

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The game against Hamburger SV was actually a good little warm up for our team as we challenged them right up to the final whistle but still losing. The other games, on the other hand, was some good form and I think we could mean a challenge (I hope).

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So far it's a quiet window with two going in and out. Kirsten didn't want any of us ever again as he left the team which meant we brought in Max Oberschmidt who will probably be our main keeper at goal. The other player was Mele Temigula who will the defense line.

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Season preview and we are expected to finish 10th, which I hope will be wrong and we finish top 5.

Edited by HawkAussie

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July 2017

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So entering the first month of the new season, and all I can say is what a brilliant start for me with a 3-1-0 record after four games which is a brilliant start. Of course with that good form especially in the games against Halberstadt and Oberlausitz, we can't lose focus as we are very early in the season.

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So with the good form, its put the team in 2nd place after the opening four games with only goal difference separating the teams. On the other end of the scale, we have Furstenwalde and Altglienicke without a single point so far and only scoring three goals compared to twenty-seven against (ouch)

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We also purchase another player to have backup in the midfield and with him also being a head of the youth development it's basically a good deal for us.

 

 

Edited by HawkAussie

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2017 International update

So what has been happening in the senior international scene as we go around the world.

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In Africa, Ivory Coast took out the title as they defeated Cameroon 2-1 in the final while Egypt and South Africa was big Group Stage exits.

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All I can say is the big news coming out from this was the Jamaican triumph as they defeated USA 3-1 in the final to take home 2017 Gold Cup where they would defeat USA (in real life they lost 2-1), while Mexico B (the main team was at Confederations Cup) made it to the semi finals.

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August 27, 2017

Chapter 10: The worse fifteen minutes of my manager career

Heading into the game against Furstenwalde, we were expected to dominate the game against a team that to date hadn’t scored a single point for this whole season to date. That potential of taking an easy three points is almost certain.

 

After conceding in the opening six minutes, I hoped that this was a blimp and might give our opposition a false sense of the three points have they hadn’t led all season. That thought was quickly squashed as Georgi scored an equaliser in the eleventh minute before scoring another in the thirty-fifth minute to give us the lead in what had been a terrible month. With a 2-1 lead at the half and all of the momentum. Five goals was a real possibility.

 

After what was a dull first 20 minutes of the second half, it really went into overdrive when Djamal Ziane who seem to struggle at goal this year scored his first for the season to extend the lead to two. After Daniel Becker scored his fourth for the season, this win was almost a certainty as we opened up a 4-1 lead with eighteen minutes to go of the match and with us now only being a point away from the top on the ladder at the 72-minute mark.

 

Then hell broke with two minutes later Patrick Hantschke scoring an almost instant reply, to give some hope for the home team. When Michael Lumpe scored the teams third, I didn’t know what to think as I had to quickly change tactics to not let them score another. Something though didn’t seem to add up as they seemed to get the attack on us on each play.

 

On the 86th minute, it cracked with the Dmytro Nerubenko scoring the equaliser and what would be the last goal of the game as Furtsenwalde would open their account for the season while I could only think of how we should have won that match instead of letting it slip like we did.

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August 2017

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This month wasn't the best for our team with really the only win being against BFC Dynamo. After losing the opening two games of the month in games we really could of at least a point in, we got back into the winners book with a lucky 1-0 win before that game against Furstenwalde where we blew a 4-1 lead with eighteen minutes to spare. But at least we can make comebacks as the game against Schonberg we fell two goals down before tying it back up and then ... well yeah.

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So the table has us three points behind the leaders and with Babelsberg and Hertha II (who have been the surprise team this season) next month this could be a critical step towards promotion if we do well.

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The transfer window also ended and we lost two players with Marian Marschall and Maximilian Arnold both going to the second tier and I hope they do well in those clubs. In response to that, we have secured the signatures of Nils Fiegen and Kevin Rauhut (first team to team transfer this save). With Kevin Rauhut hopefully going to be the main keeper, that might pressure our other keeper in Max Oberschmidt to do well between the sticks. Then we got Kevin Rauhut who definitely strengthen our midfield and with a potential for 4 1/2 stars, I think he will be a good buy for this season and maybe even next if we get promoted to 3.Liga

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September 2017

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Oh for fudge sake, where has our form gone as the defence is playing terrible this month, in fact, I think all season that has been the case with us conceding 19 goals which put us third in most goals conceded this season. That was none more knowing than the game against Altglienicke who is currently last on the table and Jasper Eibl outplayed the defence as he scored the two goals.

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This doesn't look good for us as we are falling down the list at a rapid rate as well are 11th and with the league being so close we can't avoid having more bad performances like we having or it will pay in the long run.

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October 2017

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This month was lot better for our team as we completely dominated the teams except for Red Bull Leipzig (why oh why). Other than that game, I felt like we can defeat these lower ranked teams it's just the higher teams like Leipzig II that need to work on.

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The battle for the top has a new leader with Cottbus having their first loss of the season while we slowly start climbing back up the ladder as we move to 8th at the half way point of the season. On the other end of the scale, we have Altglienicke who has scored one point (hooray) for the whole season to date.

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November 2017

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Ah, a mixed month for our team with the highlight being the domination of Jena 4-1 away from home. But that is where all of the positives lie as we were bad in all of the other three games in games we really should have won. Especially the game against Nordhausen who hasn't got a manager. With a two month break until the next game, I need to work on this tactic to catch up to the leader in Red Bull Leipzig II.

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With us down to thirteen points gap with thirteen matches to go we really need to get on a good run if we will have any chance of being promoted to 3. Liga. The only question is can anyone stop them as they have hit brilliant form at the right time.

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December 12, 2017

Chapter 11: Trip to the Netherlands

As we headed into a mid-season break I needed to reflect on what I was doing wrong as we seem to not be getting the critical wins that define a season which was something that we had during last season. This season, on the other hand, has deemed to be a failure for me with the team being so far behind the leaders.

 

There is one thing that I do have and that is the fact that we were in a similar position to this last year and we got so close if it wasn’t for a few mistakes in the last two games of the season we might have actually got a chance of being promoted. There are a couple of factors that could be led to this problem. For one, Felix Brugmann who was our top goal-scorer last year has seemed to be struggling this year as he is on a big fat ZERO goals from his appearances.

 

Another possible reason is the gap between top and middle is opening not closing as I hoped with the main front runners seeming to be stronger than last year. Which could be a reason why we are struggling with good form and the fact that we have gone with the same tactic could be another factor.

 

Either way, at least a trip to the Netherlands to watch Feyenoord play in the Third Round of the KNVB Cup can at least clear my mind for now until I have come back in January for the transfer window and that is not going to be fun for sure.

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2017/18 Europe update

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The Champions League didn't really see many surprises with the only main one being that Dortmund finished third in their group and Italy struggling this season with only Juventus making it to the knockouts.

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The obvious big team that is here has to be Chelsea who will be taking on one of the eligible teams in Partizan while Fenerbahce has Liverpool this round.

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Mid-season break

 

 

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So my full transfers for the window and we lost two players to free transfers while we brought in two with Cros and Kracun coming in to basically strengthen our squad.

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His marking isn't something I would scream about but his acceleration and agility is something I think can help us in the backline.

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I think just looking at this, I reckon he could go anywhere in the midfield portion with his passing and teamwork being the best qualities for him.

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I could say that is was a good mid-season break for us but we were shaky against the two teams that were in the same division as us but a win against the other opposition wasn't removed our form. We only hope now that we start chasing down these points.

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February 2018

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This month was an ok month for us as we got the wins that we required against Bautzen and Schonberg but in the game against BFC Dynamo we seemed to struggle as we couldn't break through before Dynamo scored the winner.

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So we lose yet another point in terms of the gap between us and Red Bull Leipzig II and I feel like we won't be able to reach that 14 point gap that we need to chase down. Of course I can't give up but it's looking less likely that we will get the points needed.

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