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scousevasey

I have been feeling under the weather, so it is time to reach for the BeNeLux

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On 29/07/2019 at 09:30, ellzo said:

Mad that you have not even made it onto the list. Can you see yourself leaving if they name a stadium after you? 

Hoping for some European success soon, looks like that financial factor is one of the limiting things holding you back at the moment. Maybe a group stage win would get you a place on the list :lol:

I haven't been checking regularly, so I may have made it on, then dropped back off, but bearing in mind that every trophy in the cabinet is my doing it is a worry.  Apart from one player (Sonko) all of the players either came through the Rosport system or I brought from the Heur-Tongeren system (Maes and Nulens (19h)), so my work shows.  It will be interesting when some of these stalwarts start to retire how the list is affected.

 

The original plan for the save was to take a team in each of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg from low down to the strongest team in the country.  I had no expectations, or criteria for being the best in the country, so it was always a bit loose as a set of hard and fast rules but more a rough guide.

Having set an aim as being youth only, I knew it would take a while (and broke this in a minor way taking players I had brought through at a different club when faced with relegation worries), but I didn't know how long it would take to get through the save.  With this considered, I think there are three things that would make me move on from Rosport

1) Winning the league convincingly - either a perfect season (26-0-0, which is the only way we can set a league record for points), or getting to a threshold of consecutive league wins (5/10/a full screen of recent winners in the news item [around 7] - not sure on which, but I will know it when I see it)

2) European success - at a minimum this is reaching the Champions League group stage, but could be as far as improving the league coefficient enough to make a difference (number of teams in Europe or stage of entry).  It is not looking for winning either cup, but again looking for some consistency

3) FM2020 comes out

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Youth Intake 2039

An odd intake this year

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Weaker at the top end in relation to OPPA, and all of the strength in this regard is in positions we don't need more depth in, or don't use.

While most will be signed after the trial game to see what happens and if there are any boosts when the coaching staff judge them instead of the HoYD there may not be too many starters from this team

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Two GKs, a DM, MR, ML, AMC and no STCs makes it an odd intake grouped by position too.

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He could be retrained as a DC due to his tackling skills, and this may be his best chance to make the team

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Could drop back to MC but cannot pass or dribble, and could move to STC but cannot shoot.  Generally lacking, even in physical stats where the best players are usually in double figures across the board.

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The star of the intake by OPPA, but GK is an odd position for the team

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(39a) Speller (GK) comes in as the highest PPA GK at the club, and has high determination to match which is a positive.  But we have had a spate of high PPA GKs come through the intakes, and while we have a strong defence, the weakspot is GK when looked at by CA

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(30e) Silva started for a season and didn't move past 1*.  (34a) Martins make it to 1.5* but kept errors, so (36b) Schiltz was given a run in the team, although his PPA has dropped off recently.  (39a) Speller comes in as the third best GK now, and with the best PPA with hopefully the determination to improve.  I don't need him to reach is PPA, but improvement is important, and a GK at 3*s would suffice, especially with my DCs getting older, it would give a but of cover as the next generation develop

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2038-2039 In Season Update 4 (Matchday 21)

I have run this update one game more as the next update will contain the cup quarter final, and then hopefully the semi final and final meaning it goes from 5 game updates to a possible 9 game update with the extra league fixture

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A good run, conceding in only two games, and beating Union 05 8-0 when they were 5th in the table going into the game.

Slight shame about the home attendances against some of the weaker teams, especially against Steinfort, meaning we are not maximising our revenue and delaying any new stadium, but we are filling more of the ground than the previous capacity so that is a positive.

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Kaerjeng played their 21st game before us, and their draw meant we qualified for the Europa League before playing our game, but more importantly there are 15 points available and we are six points clear, so the season is going to be tight

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Our run in starts and ends with games we should win even if we rotate as they are against the bottom two teams in the league.  In between that we face a poor version of Differdange who are nine points behind 6th, and closer to the relegation battle than the European battle.  Titus Petange have not lived up to last season's run either but are still in the chase, with them currently only four points behind the 3rd European spot.  And then we have Dudelange.  We should have the title wrapped up by then, or at least be playing them with a six point lead and six left to play for, but any slip up could make that game a title decider.

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Dudelange have a run in that takes in the teams in 5th, 12th, 14th, 1st and 6th.  In reality the only game they may slip up in before ours is the first game against Union 05, but it looks like the 15th May will be the big date this season (TV commitments dependant, as it may move to the 14th)

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2038-2039 In Season Update 5 (Matchday 26 and Cup)

We started this run well, but managed to keep the door open for Dudelange

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The loss to Differdange was our worst performance of the year and we missed a penalty that cost us a draw and an unbeaten season

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Meanwhile Dudelange won to close the gap to three points with three games to go, and the penultimate game being between the top two

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But in the game after losing on penalties in the cup, Dudelange dropped points, giving us a chance.  If we won our two games either side of the Dudelange game we would be champions regardless of the result against them.  Not the best way to win the title, but a win would be a win...

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A nervy win against Titus Petange gave us the upper hand, and then we made sure of the win by beating Dudelange.

A poor game against Titus Petange in the cup meant we miss out on the double, but we are starting to be dominant in the league

On 31/07/2019 at 20:04, scousevasey said:

1) Winning the league convincingly - either a perfect season (26-0-0, which is the only way we can set a league record for points), or getting to a threshold of consecutive league wins (5/10/a full screen of recent winners in the news item [around 7] - not sure on which, but I will know it when I see it)

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We are halfway to filling the screen, with three more consecutive wins required (if that is what I decide on), but we now have four consecutive titles and seventh title

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A good eight point gap by the end of the season due to the win against Dudelange, while Kaerjeng end up missing out on Europe due to our cup loss.  Progres and Kaerjeng with a recovery this season, but Differdange drop off.  Behind the consistent threat of Dudelange there seems to be a cycle of teams having reasonably consistent runs punctuated by a poor year or two.

 

In relation to the end of season, we were fairly dominant overall as shown by having the highest goals scored total by 20 clear goals, and the best defensive record by 5 goals

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But it is the attacking players who pick up the plaudits.

(31a) Fellerich has now equalled the club league goalscoring record, so hopefully that will be broken early in the season

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The expanded stadium was finished part way through the season, so this is a bit of an odd figure, the average being much higher after the building work was completed, and artificially deflated by the enforced reduction in capacity during the building works.  The old capacity was 4100, but we were capped at 3700 until we finished building.

Next season I would expect another record with the average being up around 4600 at least, and once we get an average of 4750 I will be looking to get the new stadium built 

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2038-2039 End of Season Review

A couple of tough draws in Europe meant we don't go as far as we would want, but there is hope for the future.  Dundalk were worthy opponents and made it to the quarter finals of the Europa League.

Spoiler

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Losing to Maribor may have been the best thing to happen to them.  We lost 4-2 over the two legs, so we are not too far away from making waves (hopefully)

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Yes that is Dundalk beating out Sevilla in a European group...

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A shame the run ended in the way it did, but a good run for them, and a clear money spinner.  Hopefully we don't meet them for a few more seasons.

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Our coefficient is improving, with 35/36 being the lowest that we need to remove to get a good boost.  If we can consistently reach the 3rd and 4th qualifying rounds, then we will continue to improve, and the longer we spend in the Champions League the better.

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No surprises over the best players with (31a) Fellerich becoming a stand out player within Luxembourg, but still only valued at £16.5k.  At least it means the best players don't get poached and there is no urgency to turn professional to escape losing our best prospects.  The upside of professionalism would be the extra training time to boost our chances in Europe.

2038-2039 is the 20th time I have ended a season at Rosport, taking over partway through the 2019-2020 season

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The growth took a while, but we have solidly become one of the two strongest, if not the strongest team in the country.  Not quite dominant though, so the quest continues

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Consistency is developing in our form

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In that time I have become the best manager in Luxembourg, and from Luxembourg (at least my alter-ego is), not that there is much competition for the title

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A close race for the title against people who have managed in the county, but when 10th place has three points you know it is poor

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For those managers from Luxembourg it gets worse with four of the top ten only having three points

My grand total of 144 points comes from the following

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Each one is not worth the highest value...

 

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Club Development

26 minutes ago, scousevasey said:

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The expanded stadium was finished part way through the season, so this is a bit of an odd figure, the average being much higher after the building work was completed, and artificially deflated by the enforced reduction in capacity during the building works.  The old capacity was 4100, but we were capped at 3700 until we finished building.

Next season I would expect another record with the average being up around 4600 at least, and once we get an average of 4750 I will be looking to get the new stadium built

I didn't have to advance much further for the situation to change without my prompting

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I had asked and received permission for this at the start of the season, but was fully expecting to miss out due to a lack of funds.  But we made it, and now have a grand total of £45,000 in the bank.  So we need another decent European run to restore the balance

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It is much needed and will hopefully boost the intakes a little more to get through a few more high quality players

But the more important news is in recation to the Future Stadium Plans (4th bottom)

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As with the recent expansions the board came with this news, without me needing to ask.  While it will invariably add a new loan to our financial records, we are due to pay off two of the four loans we have, including the biggest by March 2040.  As the club view states a 9,400 seater stadium it would be bigger than the national stadium, and give us the largest stadium in the country

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2039-2040 Fixture Reveal

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A nice spread of difficult games this season, although the run in to the winter break will be tough with Jeunesse Esch, Titus Petange, a resurgent Kaerjeng and then the return game against Dudelange.

The European draw has come around too

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Dundalk are a clear anomaly here, with the Irish ranking not being high enough to move them out of the first round, but they will be seeded for most of the qualification draws

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We pushed Craiova last season, and have faced Qarabag a couple of times, with the gap closing between the ties.  We were not destroyed by Dundalk last time out, so using the coefficients as a guide I would expect us to have a good chance against everyone except Dundalk, Partizan, APOEL, Young Boys.

Craiova, Sheriff, Slavia Prague, Torpedo Kt, and Qarabag will be tough games, and I would expect to win against some of the weaker teams

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We are the 7th highest ranked unseeded team, so we are getting closer to being seeded

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HJK have a similar coefficient to Cliftonville who we have beaten before, so I would expect to go through which will match our minimum expectation (lowest the board would allow)

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The low coefficient of HJK meant we were unseeded for the second round draw, where Sutjeska are one of the lowest ranked teams in the draw, and Qarabag will be tough but possibly managable in the second round.

Here is hoping that we can start a good run of games 

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22 hours ago, scousevasey said:

We are halfway to filling the screen, with three more consecutive wins required (if that is what I decide on), but we now have four consecutive titles and seventh title

 

That makes sense now, hopefully 4 more years of wins!

21 hours ago, scousevasey said:

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I had asked and received permission for this at the start of the season, but was fully expecting to miss out due to a lack of funds.  But we made it, and now have a grand total of £45,000 in the bank.  So we need another decent European run to restore the balance

Hopefully can start getting some really good players through, potentially a secondary source of income if manage to get some really good players through.

19 hours ago, scousevasey said:

Here is hoping that we can start a good run of games 

This could be the year :thup:

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2 hours ago, ellzo said:

That makes sense now, hopefully 4 more years of wins!

Hopefully can start getting some really good players through, potentially a secondary source of income if manage to get some really good players through.

This could be the year :thup:

We are in the position to dominate the league as long as we don't somehow drop off a cliff due to injuries.  The biggest challenge we will face is that our defenders are getting older with (26a) Payal and (26f) Holtz both being 29, and (28e) Weis being 27.  Not over the hill by any respects, especially in Luxembourg, but whereas with (26m) Huss getting to 29 but rotating with (30a) Pleimling as the second MC next to (37a) Kettenmeyer, there isn't a high quality DC option to rotate in as easily.

One plan is to move (37b) Grettnich from DR to DC, as he can play both comfortably, and bring (31b) Mota back into the starting line up, but I need to do this while balancing the squad dynamics of phasing out three stalwarts of the team which won't be easy

I doubt any top players coming through will be a source of income, as there is no money in Luxembourg.  Our biggest sale was of a Belgian I brought from Heur-Tongeren when I moved across, and that brought in less than £20k.  Dudelange have just sold a French player they picked up a could of seasons ago for £3.3k.  I did hope that with Rosport being on the border of Germany that we may have some German youth players coming through that would garner some interest, but it hasn't happened yet.

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2039 European Adventures Stage 1

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It was close.  2-2 away gave us hope, especially with two away goals.  But then we were 2-0 down after 12 minutes, so our away goals were negated early.  We left it late before (31a) Fellerich gave HJK no chance to reply with a goal in the 90th minute.

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That sends us through to face Qarabag, another tie in which we will be facing a struggle.

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The fact that when Qarabag were away they conceded three to the lowest ranked team in the competition (by coefficient), and only scored one past them at home gives us hope.

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Our last tie against them came in 2036 (three seasons ago), which was the season where we made it through to the 3rd Champions League qualifying game, before dropping to the Europa League for this game.  After the first leg I felt positive, but we fell away massively in Azerbaijan.  Hopefully we can be as good offensively this time, but much tighter defensively

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2039 European Adventures Stage 2

The draw for the third qualifying round came around before the second round could be played.  Which means we get to take advantage of Qarabag's higher coefficient

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But we are not seeded, even with that boost.  Due to the fact this mixes coefficients there are some weak teams here who we could beat, like Cliftonville, but then if they beat a stronger team they can't be overlooked

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We are middle of the pack here, but if we can beat Qarabag with a 13.700 rating then going up to 15.360 isn't too big a jump

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So Switzerland or Bosnia for our reward if we make it.  The second lowest pairing we could have faced which isn't too bad. Young Boys have the 16.410 coefficient while Zrinjski had a 12.475 for the first round draw, which means they are lower ranked that Qarabag.

 

The first leg is away, and we won last time we went to Azerbaijan

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We didn't have much of the ball, but we did more with our shots hitting the target twice as often as Qarabag did.

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And our accuracy paid off.

The challenge is not to get too excited, after gaining a 5-0 advantage three seasons ago and going down 8-1 at home we need to make sure our improvements show.  And because we had less of the ball and less of the territory the nerves grow

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Still lacking in possession, but a slightly better heat map.  For the second tie in a row, shots were fairly even, but we were much more accurate, this time nearly three times more accurate.

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And even with a missed penalty we make it through, with 8-0 being a bit of a shock scoreline.

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Attendances for this round are a bit odd.  I can understand us only taking 79 fans to the extreme ends of Europe, but to only have 3,407 fans in attendance for the home leg is a shame.  Maybe the board put the prices up for Europe, maybe the first leg score meant fans assumed we were through, maybe the fair were in town, but it seems a little odd.

 

As to our next opponents...

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...Bosnia it is.  Although this time we have the 'home' leg first up, playing at the national stadium instead.

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They saw off Young Boys in a close tie, but having looked at their fixtures from previous seasons it does not make good reading for us

2035-2036 - Lost in the Champions League Playoff, dropped to the Europa League group stages (1 win, 1 draw)

2036-2037 - Two rounds of Europa League qualifying

2037-2038 - One round of Europa League qualifying (entered at 2nd round)

Doesn't look too bad, but 2038-2039...

Spoiler

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2039 European Adventures Stage 3

The first leg against Zrinjski is at our second home, the national stadium due to our home being too small.  Here is hoping the plan to build a new stadium comes quickly

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A fairly even game, but they look far more dangerous from the heat map

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Aside from a poor first 10 minutes which cost us the win, we had a good game.  The challenge is to replicate this in the away leg

Between the two ties comes the draw for the final qualifying stage

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So we get the toughest draw  possible.  Basically we will be playing in the Europa League at some point this season, either in the fourth qualifying round, or if we get past Zrinjski in the group stage

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The stats for the second leg aren't too dissimilar to the first leg.  We hardly saw any of the ball, but we made much better use of our shots while they were wasteful and struggled to hit the target

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But we go out, to an own goal, leaving us to rue the two away goals we conceded in the first leg.  Zrinjski scored two goals in the first ten minutes of the tie, and we held them at bay for 170 minutes but still failed to progress.  (33a) Lombardelli was playing as our STCR in this game as (35c) Thill picked up a knock in the first league game of the season.  To dream of what might have been...

...instead we are off to the Europa League qualifying draw

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Obviously there is a big gap in quality between the top two seeds, and the other two.  Zrinjski beat Young Boys in the Champions League qualifying, so if we draw them we have a chance, and by extrapolation we would also have a chance against Ludogrets.  With the other two sides, less so

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TNS get a nice quirk of the draw, facing Dundalk for the second time this season.  Not necessarily that nice for them after their 4-0 loss last time, but it does mean we miss out on the toughest team available

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But we do get the second toughest draw we could manage.

In positive news we are away in the first leg, and each time that has happened this season we have progressed (I am holding on to any small sliver of hope here

We don't have a league game between the games against Zrinjski and Salzburg, but we do have possibly the worst run of fixtures we could face at this point

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We will go hard at the first leg against Salzburg, and see what happens.  Ideally we would be at full strength in all three games, with a weaker team next up in Grevenmancher where we can rotate.

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2039 European Adventures Stage 4

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Not the best heat map on our behalf, and we struggled to get shots away or on target

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Leaving us a lot to do, although we do have an away goal.

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A much better heat map for the second leg, but the 4-2-2-2 formation means good European opposition seem to control the middle of the park.  It may be time for another tactical change, but that is a job for the winter break, so it can be tested during the second half of the season.

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They scored first.  At that point we needed three goals to get to extra time, and it was pretty much gone.

This is now the third time we have made it to the last qualifying round, each of them being in the last four years (third qualifying round last season), so we are getting closer to the group stages.

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We missed out on facing Shakhtar on away goals.  And are now left questioning what could have been...

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Well it would have been six losses guaranteed, probably with a team filled with high PA youth to give them a chance to shine

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A big diffference for Shakhtar although they still get a trip to Spain.

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I may be dreaming, but I reckon we might have got something from the Ukrainians in at least the home leg if we had made it.

 

Oh well, on to next season, with our biggest coefficient yet

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Over eight gives us a chance of being seeded in the first round.  And we still have a 0.275 to lose.  Two more decent years (third round or higher) will ensure we are seeded for at least the first round draw, and may be pushing double figures too.

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On 02/08/2019 at 17:40, scousevasey said:

Club Development

I didn't have to advance much further for the situation to change without my prompting

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I had asked and received permission for this at the start of the season, but was fully expecting to miss out due to a lack of funds.  But we made it, and now have a grand total of £45,000 in the bank.  So we need another decent European run to restore the balance

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It is much needed and will hopefully boost the intakes a little more to get through a few more high quality players

Interesting to see that you Junior Coaching and and Youth Recruitment are either maxed out or close to maxed out, but at the same time your Training Facilities and Youth Facilities are both still really poor. How are you finding the development of players. Do you think it's being stunted by the poor facilities or is it hard to tell because you don't have anything to compare it to?

Also, how do your facilities compare with that of your domestic rivals Dudelange?

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49 minutes ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

Interesting to see that you Junior Coaching and and Youth Recruitment are either maxed out or close to maxed out, but at the same time your Training Facilities and Youth Facilities are both still really poor. How are you finding the development of players. Do you think it's being stunted by the poor facilities or is it hard to tell because you don't have anything to compare it to?

Also, how do your facilities compare with that of your domestic rivals Dudelange?

Hey Jimbo

 

I have tried to upgrade the coaching and recruitment at every opportunity to give us the best chance of getting quality players into the club.  It seems like the easier option to get past the board, mainly as there is no upfront cost which was important when we were poorer.  I know the monthly fees probably have cost us more than facilities upgrade over time but it has led to some of our best players.

When looking at the development of our players, we are judging fairly rubbish players against each other, but we do have one common thread.

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(26a) Payal came through the intake as 5* CA and OPPA and is now rated as 4.5* in both as a 29 year old.  This consistency allows for some comparison of what we have had through the intake

Spoiler

(26a) Payal on entry compared [Feb 2026] to the present day [September 2039]

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Our best players are being rated against a higher level in the past, but there has been this consistent measuring stick

When showing both the main and U19 squads together this is the first page of results rated by PPA

fac6f7ca18b799e8e1730d6ac58c3dda.png

fac6f7ca18b799e8e1730d6ac58c3dda.png

(26a) Payal is 7th on this list, so in the past 13 intakes we have had six players who could be better than what he currently is

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When sorted by CA, (26a) Payal comes in 3rd although he no longer plays at DM (his strongest position), but is a 3.5* Central Defender (Defend Role)

Without going through every intake to look at players original CA and OPPA I can't list who came through with high CA ratings, and I only use the free Gyazo so I can't go back through the images on their own to crop them.

But looking at the most recent intakes for the easiest comparison can show some improvements

2035 intake

Spoiler

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(35c) Thill has made it to 2.5*, but did lose a lot with a bad broken leg.

2036 intake

Spoiler

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(36a) Schwitz is now 4.5* and has played regularly.

2037 intake

Spoiler

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(37a) Kettenmeyer is an outlier due to his high level on intake, but (37b) Grettnich has gained 0.5* in two years

Looking back through it seems those that play most have made the greatest improvement.  Not rocket science, no, but it is something useful to look back on and consider

c60c622d641cc1610da3549bcd4b6dca.pngc1fb669da1c706ae29185550c71bf787.png

This is the players who have played official games listed by their appearances.  Unsurprisingly the better players are at the top of the list with a couple of anomalies standing out.  (26m) Huss was rated higher earlier in his career but his decline seems to have started.  (29d) Albuqueque may not be the best, but we have not had any better DL options come through.

What this does make me think is that I need to do a better job of getting development time for some of the younger high PPA players.  Either by rotating them in, or working harder to get them loans.  A few seasons ago I had roughly 30 players out on loan but have left this mainly to the DoF and HoYD who don't seem to be getting as many loans sorted.  I have shied away from rotation due to us having a small bench (5 players), using instant result, and the fact that we are not properly guaranteed to win the league each season, and need the safety net of dropping to the Europa qualifying to give us the best chance to increase our financial side

 

In regards to the facilities across the country

Dudelange

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Better Training and Youth facilities but worse Coaching and Recruitment.  This has improved since I last checked

Differdange

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Same level as us for the Training and Youth, but worse off in Coaching and Recruitment

Titus Petange

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They have focused on youth, and it shows with the fact they are the team with the 2nd highest number of homegrown players currently in the league, behind ourselves

 

When I took over we were at the bottom in regards to facilities and coaching and have slowly built it up with the limited income in Luxembourg.  What I had been hoping for was a German influx as we expanded our Youth Recruitment due to the proximity to the border, but nothing has happened there

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We are basically a German team

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The border runs through the river, so we are no more than 500m from the border.  The only reason I can think of, is that there are no big cities near us, with Cologne, Bonn, and Frankfurt being quite a trek to play at such a low level.

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1 minute ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

Phenomenal update. Thank you. :applause:

No worries. Going into that depth has me thinking about ways to improve the team, and avoid issues when my starting DCs get too old.  Still not concrete yet, but there is a post brewing based on this.

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2039-2040 In Season Update 1 (Matchday 5)

Not the best start to the season, where our European run may have affected our league form

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Conceding 5 goals in five games is poor from our side of things, and with the difficult away trip to Dudelange sandwiched inbetween the games against Salzburg we dropped points.  But while three teams are unbeaten, they have all drawn a game so we are only one point off the top of the table, and we don't have to face Dudelange away, or ourselves which is a real bonus

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(31a) Fellerich finally breaks the record with two goals in the fifth game of the season.  Interestingly (26b) Dervisevic scored the Wiltz goal in that game after moving around a few clubs on one year deals.

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The next five games ramp up in intensity as the run goes on.  Union 05 overperformed last season, but we should handle them, along with Mondorf.  Differdange have started off poorly, but always pose problems.  We will need to perform well to beat them.  Racing (LUX) are the only team to have taken points off of Dudelange, and then Progres are one of the undefeated teams, slowed only by a draw against Titus Petange.  

Having posted above about our development of players in response to @Jimbokav1971, I then was presented by the following tactical advice

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Usually the suggested formation has been a 4-4-2, so the change to a 3-4-3 is interesting, and has got me thinking before the Winter Break.  It is too early to try in the easier games this time round, and the next run of games will contain Titus Petange and the Dudelange rematch, but I may tinker with a 3-4-3 as a background formation, by loading it and playing around with roles.  The first question is which 3-4-3 layout I go with

3 DCs, MR, 2 MCs, ML, 2 STs

3 DCs, WBR, WBL, 2MCs, AMR, AML, STC

Or some variation on these that allows the best players on the pitch as much as possible

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2039-2040 In Season Update 2 (Matchday 10 and Cup Third Round)

I tinkered with the starting 11 for the first two matches of this run, so the results were a little bit poorer than expected.  But I did get minutes for young, high PPA players at DC, MC and ST which is a positive and should help with their development.  I reverted to a full strength team for the games against Differdange, Racing (LUX), and Progress, but went with more rotation against Jeunesse Canach who were 13th in the Promotion Division at the time of the fixture

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It is fair to say that the rotation policy worked, as we managed to win every game.  Still not as convincing as in previous seasons with three one goal winning margins, but a win is a win, and we managed to get minutes for some backups.

(37g) Martins managed to get MotM in the cup tie despite being replaced by the Assistant Manager at half time.

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We crawl to the top of the league as the three unbeated teams all lost in this run of fixtures.  Dudelange have dropped points to Progres and Titus Petange, as well as a shock loss to Norden, meaning we are back in control of the league.

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Only 14 league games before the Winter Break this season, so a slightly longer springtime run, and it stays tough.

Jeunesse Esch are having a poor season, and we shouldn't need to worry about giving them their first win.  There will be a little bit of rotation here, aiming to ensure everyone is fit for the Titus Petange game.  Kaerjeng have rebounded in recent seasons, but are starting to see a gap open between themselves in 7th and Racing (LUX) in 6th, and we should look to expand that.

It helps that in this run the easier games are away from home, with the tough fixtures at Um Camping, so we should be able to take advantage of the home crowd.

Fola Esch in the cup is not the easiest draw, but not the hardest either, so we will look for some more rotation here, especially as the board don't see it as important this season.

 

In further news to the conversations about player development these two news items came through.  Neither of them for the first time, but it is interesting to note the strength when compared to other teams

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We are nearly double Dudelange, and more than Dudelange and Titus Petange combined.  Not all of these players are in the Main squad, but we are providing nearly enough players for a full international squad

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This is our highest number of the save so far, and with teams being able to register a maximum of 30 players (we have registered 28), we have produced enough players to fill three full squads.  This number has increased over the past few years, mainly due to me releasing players who were not going to cut it, and it should probably lead to a review of youth intakes in the near future to see who is where and how players are progressing

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2039-2040 In Season Update 3 (Matchday 14 and Cup Last 16)

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The run was expected to be tough, and we drop five points in four games which is a big issue in the chase for the title.

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Away at Kaerjeng in a game that was fairly even, but we shaded.  16 shots to 8 should lead to a win, but we only managed to get a third of our shots on target which is poor, and cost us the two points

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Dudelange at home, and we controlled the game but came away with nothing.  Their goal came after 12 minutes so some of the stats link to us trying to get back into the game, and a missed penalty after 65 minutes cost us a point, and possibly more.

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The poor end to 2039 costs us top spot as the decade changes over, with us being 1 point and 3 goals behind Dudelange.  We have 12 games remaining to continue our streak

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In the cup we face one of the easier ties remaining, but it is not the easiest game available.  Differdange and Titus Petange are the two toughest teams, so seeing them facing off makes the path to the cup easier, and as Differdange knocked out Dudelange the draw seems to be helping us.  There are three lower division teams left, with one guaranteed to be in the semi finals, which would be a nice draw for us if we make it that far

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The end of this run of games also leads to the 20th anniversary of starting at Rosport.  It has been successful with 13 pieces of silverwares in that time for a team that had won nothing previously.

 

During the Winter Break there is going to be a look at squad depth with an eye on rotation, and the consideration of a different tactic to take advantage of our best players

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Squad Review

Inspired by @Jimbokav1971 asking about player development, and realising that my defence is getting to the stage where it may need some work, it is time for another in depth look at the squad.  Doing this in the Winter Break means I am not looking to cull players ready for the next squads, and trying to work out how to keep players happy, but instead I am looking at the following

1) What is the depth like (CA)?

2) What is the depth like (PPA)?

3) How easy will it be to rotate players in this position to aid development?

4) What flexibility is there for me to experiment with formations, aiming to get our best players on the pitch more regularly?

So I started by going to the Team Report, and instead of going straight to the depth charts, I started clicking all of the tabs, which I haven't done before.

Firstly I found the comparison graphs, comparing our squad with the rest of the league

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Despite our ageing defenders we are still a young squad, but even with our lack of age we have the most international experience.  This is tempered by the fact our average is 21, and the lowest average is 0.

For those who have considered why we don't lose too many players to bids, or want to understand the transfer market in Luxembourg in more detail, our average value is the highest at a grand total of £14,000.  Dudelange have the highest average wage, mainly as their squad is older than ours, so they expect more.  Currently I am limited to offering two year contracts without extension clauses, so it is impossible to tie a player down to a low contract over a length period, but most of my youth players are happy to accept wages of around £20p/w

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Our Goalkeepers are not the best.  If this is measuring the main squad, our two best GKs by CA are being judged, and we only three stats above average.  Getting my GKs to develop in terms of CA has been an issue, which may be down to chopping and changing as new high PPA options arrive, and may link to the delayed development of GKs by age, where we are still very young.

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Our defenders can't really tackle, but they are great at getting into position and will beat most players to the ball for pace regardless.  This is the benefit of our experience across the board

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Our Midfield is above average in every category, so with any formation changes it may be worth considering how best to get more on the pitch.

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Not the best strikers, but we have decent finishers who can move off the ball well.  They won't win any races, being outclassed by our defenders, and are poor in the air, but give them the ball in the box, or just outside and they should produce

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With the whole squad being judged across the three groupings of attributes we are pretty much the strongest squad in the league, which goes with our development and the fact we are favourites for the league

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Height and weight don't really bother me, but the age listings are a positive.  Our oldest player only just being 30 means we are in a position of strength developmentally.  It is a shame that Titus Petange have more players in the Luxembourg U21 squad currently, so there is room for improvement there.  I have become the Arsene Wenger of Luxembourg destroying the average tenure of managers, with the rate of turnover being high.  With only 14 teams in the league, and my tenure being about 6 times over the average, there cannot be too many managers over the average.  Having used 19 players this season is a good thing, in our 14 games, as in the past we have used fewer than 19 over a whole season.  The challenge is finding the right time to use them to avoid a drop off in results

Exploring the depth chart page gives us the following overviews

Current Ability

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Average in goal and at DL, with the other positions that are poor or average being ones we don't use.  It does suggest that any move to a 3-4-3 formation is off the cards as we don't have any decent players at WB or the wide midfield positions that would be required in this formation

Perceived Potential Ability

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A better view here with 5 GKs at good or above, and two DLs the same.  The challenge is moving the green numbers from the PPA listing to the CA listing.

 

To avoid posts going too long, I am going to end this one here, and do the individual positional breakdowns in another post

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Just now, scousevasey said:

Squad Review

The continuation of a long post

This is going to focus on the depth chart page, comparing the CA and PPA widgets for each position.  I am only going to show the widget, with a maximum of five players listed, as showing a squad listing too will only muddy the waters.  There are a couple of positions where the depth chart goes well past five, but this is including every player at the club, so the depths of the list are not what we are after here.

I will also include every positional widget even if there is no players shown, so that formations can be considered in depth.

Goalkeeper

727b865149dc8962efa01d56cbd0df83.png 2e6aac2b1a0a3ebc685bfd6c3a0ea16b.png

(34a) Martins is our current starting GK, although he has conceded one goal on one shot, and missed too many penalties for my liking.  (39a) Speller is only 16, but in the main squad for experience.  I also have him selected to play for the U19s to ensure he gets minutes, and he had grown to 1.5* CA before an injury took him out for more than a month.  (36b) Schiltz had been a starter previously but wasn't developing and has a lower PPA than (34a) Martins who originally improved on loan.

This is the position that provides the biggest challenge for me.  Do I stick with (34a) Martins for the next 4-5 seasons to give him the best chance to develop (he is currently 21).  Do I trust my staff and jump to (39a) Speller even though he is young and ride him as he improves?  I think I need to stop changing every couple of seasons, but the intake brings at least one GK each year and they are usually highly rated by PPA so I get distracted.

Sweeper

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Nothing to see here, but it does mean I am unlikely to include a SW in any new formations

Defender - Right

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(37b) Grettnich is the star here, but will play a part at DC in the way that (28e) Weis has done over the past decade.  (31b) Mota is starting to want more game time than he has been getting for the past few years, and while he has 1.5* to grow he is now 23 so unlikely to make the jump.  (39k) Louro could do a job in case on injury but is not really a long term option.

I have been rotating (37b) Grettnich and (28e) Weis, but I need to add (31b) Mota back into the mix here to allow (37b) Grettnich to move inside as I phase out the older players

Defender - Centre

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Quality at the top end, but it is dropping off in the eyes of the coaches.  This is more down to the fact that our best players are better than before, but we are starting to see the effects of age related decline, especially as the better options played often as teenagers.

(37b) Grettnich is the future at DC, and will be a mainstay in the way that (26f) Holtz has been.  (37c) Clements can play at DL too, but needs minutes to improve.  This is where players have stagnated in previous seasons, and he is someone who I will be looking to get out on loan for the rest of the season to give him playing time while I work out how best to avoid upsetting (26f) Holtz, (26a) Payal and (28e) Weis).  (39b) Pereira came through as a DM, but could end up playing a key role, and (36f) Osweiler is out on loan to try and move him past 1*.  If either of these progress well then (37c) Clements can move back outside

Defender - Left

a560dd5bd941e0b6f5a1edb67d9f90a9.png a11c541096da86cf0b456a6755bee881.png

One of our weakspots which has been masked by the consistent play of (29d) Albuqueque.  Another victim of star inflation, but head and shoulders above the rest of the options.  (37c) Clements is the best option by PPA, but currently will be utilised at DC instead, unless other improve.  (39d) Roller is the next best option, but will struggle the challenge the ability of (29d) Albuqueque. It is not worth the drop of in ability in the short term when the payoff is a player of the same level.

 

Defensive summary

- I need to sort out a plan about how best to develop the Goalkeepers

- Three player rotation at DR (with two of those being able to rotate in at DC too

- Loan out (37c) Clements to get more game time and develop.  Look to do the same with (39b) Pereira if possible, but the position change may cause problems

- Hope for a good DL prospect in the next two seasons, or that (37c) Clement becomes surplus to requirements at DC and can slot in at DL

 

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30 minutes ago, scousevasey said:

Squad Review

Part three, of what was originally going to be one post.  This will probably be post three of four depending on how best to split up positions

Wing Back - Right

7d230836a868a030f33eec09e90edc88.png 84fad0768baefb26c44d922dfb602f5a.png

Playing with a WBR is an option, but would weaken us as all the players shown would be worse than at DR

Wing Back - Left

a1e3c8b0061b534460b1ec9095ae0444.png ac882a3165954a735ed0235a6d349ae6.png

Nothing to see here, and it rules out WB based formations, unless I want to further my experimentation with asymmetric formations

Defensive Midfield

4b26ed5f092ed0ee80eb9130097b35ec.png b5d37d9d16e49bbf309a4cbe94b2d47d.png

(26a) Payal is still a beast (relative to Luxembourg) at 30, but as we dropped the DM to get more striking options on the pitch it is unlikely he will return to his natural position.  This is why (39b) Pereira is being retrained at DC (chosen over MC due to his tackling stat).  (30c) Pleimling is an option here, and can pretty much play anywhere centrally.

I am not looking to bring this position back unless we get a player like (26a) Payal, 4*CA on entry come through the intake, so it is unlikely we will see it back.

Midfielder - Right

9fd8960e87c7b6378f983f0d7370affe.png 84bb2d4458877a16c7705fdfc9119066.png

Not something that has been used for a long time, and while there are options they are much worse than those at AMR.  With the levels of domination in Luxembourg there isn't a reason to drop the wide players to MR unless I was going to the 3-4-3 which looks unlikely at the minute

Midfielder - Left

a15840c800467ade6c9e20f69f18bdb3.png ddf07be1f32a728308e49d30bf190899.png

(31a) Fellerich is more than passable here, but again is better at AMR.  Some depth here, but most of them are able to play at AML too.  The only way this would happen would be to extend the asymmetric formation to provide defensive cover, with an attacking WBR/AMR and then DL/ML combination.  Unlikely

 

That pretty much covers the positions we don't/won't use, with AMC currently being unused, but I will cover that with the remaining positions as I am working up the pitch.

Not much to consider here apart from to highlight that the work done on the formations we have used over recent seasons, 4-1-2-3 and 4-2-2-2, has led to developing players in those positions

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46 minutes ago, scousevasey said:

Squad Review

Part four, the hopeful conclusion

Midfielder - Centre

ed64a575b18524cbb4f2423d2f49151f.png f266fd0ea94230156f9ad3a6f65ab32b.png

(34b) Menster has been rotated in for a couple of games with the aim of development.  The challenge is getting players enough minutes to improve when the don't want to go out on loan.  One thing in our favour is that (26m) Huss requested a conversation before the break and wants a new challenge.  As he is falling down the pecking order as his is about to hit 30 and his CA is getting closer to (32a) Teixeira and (35b) Payal.  If he goes, either on loan or permanently, in the winter window that eases the logjam, and another loan for (32a) Teixeira if he will accept opens the door for (35b) Payal and (34b) Menster to get more playing time.  I will look to move out (32b) Teixeira due to him being the oldest option, and least likely to improve in the future.

Attacking Midfield - Right

147fdc5fb58d40b00caf8f474908173e.png852826b8d2096976dbe111e716e145e8.png

(30d) Dias and (33a) Lombardelli seem to swap who is the best by CA on a weekly basis.  (30d) Dias has been a consistent performer, and at 26 is hitting his prime, while (33a) Lombardelli at 22 is coming to a point where he may not reach his PPA, but can still perform consistently.  These two have rotated in regularly over the past couple of seasons, with (33a) Lombardelli also filling in at ST when injuries have hit.  Due to (33a) Lombardelli being 22 there isn't much need to consider the options behind for development currently, but I will look to loan out (39e) Tinelli to boost his development with the aim of him hitting 3* and being able to replace (33a) Lombardelli in 7-8 seasons if required

Attacking Midfielder - Centre

5d13638ac4fa96b58eaa1cca2d138043.png a78886ea86e1aa305e20c9223b55ae54.png

Not a position that has been used before, mainly due to balancing the DM role, and currently because of the two striker system.  That was put in place as we had no decent AMCs, but (35c) Thill could easily drop back from STC to AMC, so a 4-2-3-1 may be worth designing in case it is needed.  The extra player classed as a midfielder may give a bit more cover in Europe, but I would need to play around with roles.

Lots of potential here, but most players are MC/AMCs so can find time on the pitch.  With the PPA of (39c) Jorge and the discussions at MC he is likely to back up (35c) Thill if I use an AMC.

Attacking Midfielder - Left

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(31a) Fellerich is the best potion here, with (37e) Post being the current back up.  (36c) Bossi did hold that role but has struggled to move from silver stars while out on loan.  I may look at loaning (37e) Post out to get more playing time and use (30d) Dias as backup in case of emergency, but at the minute this is one position that won't see much rotation.

Striker

0a8799c4c1b41811bda445f3b5a01a43.png 8a0075dd8ccc88d3745bfa977c755499.png

(36a) Schwitz is our star, with (35c) Thill originally being an AMC/ST who had no backup to play in the AMC role.  Seeing the levels available, it looks more likely that a 4-2-3-1 will come into play.  (33a) Lombardelli is good injury cover, but I have been rotating (38a) Povoa and (37g) Martins in at the STC/STCR positions to try and boost their development.  Moving to a single striker formation makes this more challenging, as if they are the main goal scoring threat it is a bit drop off in quality, and could cost us points.  If I do change formation the depth chart for the AMC and STC positions will need to be considered in more detail to maximise results on the pitch, and the use of loans for the back up strikers becomes more viable.

 

Attacking Summary

- I need to clear the logjam at MC by moving some older unhappy players on, and rotating more against weaker teams

- Moving to a 4-2-3-1 could be a really good move to help at MC, and provide more cover in midfield against stronger teams

- Any formation change needs a careful consideration in terms of roles, how they work together and the player suitability.  While the 4-2-3-1 will be created in the winter break it won't get used in many games until familiarity his high.  It may be used in friendly matches.

- The balance of developing ST options and scoring goals will be a fine line to tread

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4 hours ago, scousevasey said:

Goalkeeper

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(34a) Martins is our current starting GK, although he has conceded one goal on one shot, and missed too many penalties for my liking.  (39a) Speller is only 16, but in the main squad for experience.  I also have him selected to play for the U19s to ensure he gets minutes, and he had grown to 1.5* CA before an injury took him out for more than a month.  (36b) Schiltz had been a starter previously but wasn't developing and has a lower PPA than (34a) Martins who originally improved on loan.

This is the position that provides the biggest challenge for me.  Do I stick with (34a) Martins for the next 4-5 seasons to give him the best chance to develop (he is currently 21).  Do I trust my staff and jump to (39a) Speller even though he is young and ride him as he improves?  I think I need to stop changing every couple of seasons, but the intake brings at least one GK each year and they are usually highly rated by PPA so I get distracted.

I hope you don't mind some responses but.....

Don't get too caught up in CA and PA values. Yes I know we don't have much else to go on, but look at the attribute balance for a player relative to the role you have in mind for him, and then factor in CA, PA and possible growth. 

In exactly the same way that you have decided that tackling is NOT the most important attribute for a defender, (a centre-back is FAR more likely to compete for a header than a tackle, and is as likely to try to intercept the ball as he is win an actual challenge. You have already decided what is and isn't important for a centre-back, so break each position/role down and do the same there too.

What makes a good GK, (other than dead-ball ability obviously). ;)

Positioning? Aerial Reach? Handling? Command of Area? Something else? Decide what you want from your GK, (are you playing a SK?), and then see which youngster most suits your own personal template. Does one of them have a better personality? Just take a look, make a decision and then stick with it. Play your choice in all games and reap the rewards of his increased development as a result of increased playing time.

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4 hours ago, scousevasey said:

Sweeper

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Nothing to see here, but it does mean I am unlikely to include a SW in any new formations

What has that got to do with anything? If you think SW is the way to go, (and have a suitable candidate or 2 in terms of attribute balance, (not the same as the balance attribute obviously), then just play them at SW and re-train them while they play there. Just completely ignore how "suitable" he in terms a little dots. You decide where a player fits best and just go with it. I promise you will be surprised by the results. 

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4 hours ago, scousevasey said:

Wing Back - Left

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Nothing to see here, and it rules out WB based formations, unless I want to further my experimentation with asymmetric formations

I really can't stress this enough, (hence the 2nd post on the same subject). Completely ignore how suitable the game tells you a player is to a certain position/role. Make your own decisions. If you think a player is suitable then play him. 

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4 hours ago, scousevasey said:

Defensive Midfield

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(26a) Payal is still a beast (relative to Luxembourg) at 30, but as we dropped the DM to get more striking options on the pitch it is unlikely he will return to his natural position.  This is why (39b) Pereira is being retrained at DC (chosen over MC due to his tackling stat).  (30c) Pleimling is an option here, and can pretty much play anywhere centrally.

I am not looking to bring this position back unless we get a player like (26a) Payal, 4*CA on entry come through the intake, so it is unlikely we will see it back.

Just to really hammer home the point, (apologies if this is rude), but in my head I think of all DM's being able to play MC 100% as well as they play DM, (given their suitability to the role dependant on attribute balance). It's exactly the same with AML's and ML's, (and obviously the right hand side too). Forget what your staff say about a position. Do they look like they can do a job? If so then they can do a job. It's as simple as that. 

Just so I don't post again about this subject, DM's and AMC's are a perfect example of this. If you don't use one of these roles who cares? The DM can probably either play full back, centre-half or MC depending on his attributes and an AMC can probably play wide, deeper or up front.

Don't get caught up in being overly reliant on a tiny little bit of the game that means very very very little in my opinion anyway. Because it's been there for a while, we have become lazy and just assumed it's there for a reason. Don't trust it! ;)

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8 hours ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

What has that got to do with anything? If you think SW is the way to go, (and have a suitable candidate or 2 in terms of attribute balance, (not the same as the balance attribute obviously), then just play them at SW and re-train them while they play there. Just completely ignore how "suitable" he in terms a little dots. You decide where a player fits best and just go with it. I promise you will be surprised by the results. 

 

8 hours ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

I really can't stress this enough, (hence the 2nd post on the same subject). Completely ignore how suitable the game tells you a player is to a certain position/role. Make your own decisions. If you think a player is suitable then play him. 

 

8 hours ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

Forget what your staff say about a position. Do they look like they can do a job? If so then they can do a job. It's as simple as that. 

Just so I don't post again about this subject, DM's and AMC's are a perfect example of this. If you don't use one of these roles who cares? The DM can probably either play full back, centre-half or MC depending on his attributes and an AMC can probably play wide, deeper or up front.

Don't get caught up in being overly reliant on a tiny little bit of the game that means very very very little in my opinion anyway. Because it's been there for a while, we have become lazy and just assumed it's there for a reason. Don't trust it! ;)

Don’t apologise for responding @Jimbokav1971. Part of the reason for posting is to go through my thoughts and see what I come up with, and part is to dangle for response.

 

I think you are giving me too much credit in my thought process about positions and my FM ability.  The comment about DC pace and positioning was me noticing that they have some good abilities that allow a weaker one to be masked. On a personal level I have played rugby at fullback, and American football at safety which is pretty much equivalent, when I play football I usually drift to defence, but am not the tallest or quickest. Instead years of watching play develop usually has me in the right position ahead of the ball, or able to see what will develop before it happens to stop it.  This seems to be the same with my DCs currently.

 

I rely on the game to give me insights as I don’t really know what I am looking for in each position.  I know that if I look at a player’s stats, certain ones get highlighted by role, but if they don’t have that position shown it doesn’t give that insight. For example (39b) Pereira came through the intake as a DM but with no options to play elsewhere. I couldn’t look and see his suitability at DL for retraining, or at DC, but made the decision that he would retrain at DC because his tackling stat was good

On 01/08/2019 at 12:53, scousevasey said:

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He could be retrained as a DC due to his tackling skills, and this may be his best chance to make the team

But aside from that I don’t really know what I am looking for in a position.

i know that I could go through each position, and role noting down which attributes are highlighted, and condense this down to 4-5 attributes for each position, and when players come through the intake they are judged solely on these criteria, retrained and after a while every player fits my criteria and plan perfectly. But firstly I don’t have a distinct plan or style to build around.  In FM 17 I played two careers, one as Liverpool and England that involved Eric Dier as a Libero, because I wanted one and he could play DC and MC so I guessed it would work.  The other started at Hayes and Yeading as a youth challenge where I came across the Half Back role which I like and used earlier in the save.  But in this save I went with formations that put the best players on the pitch, from 4-4-1-1 at Heur-Tongeren to the 4-2-2-2 currently, with the idea that young players will perform better in positions they are comfortable in.

It may be something I play around with in FM20 as I have a save idea already, again youth focussed so it may yield better results.

 

Short answer

I don’t really know what I am doing, so rely on the stars and highlights attributes to help me.  Give it time and I may be better, but this is my second attempt at a youth save, having grown up playing as Liverpool and invariably failing to avoid the sack by the time Newgens dominate the game.  

But I will go away and consider what I want in a tactic, what that requires, and if I can rejig players to provide that.  It may not happen at the current time, because I prefer to do this in the winter break/between seasons, and in the real world I am currently moving house (next week), and preparing for a new job (September 2nd), so the mental capacity required may be beyond my capabilities for a short time.

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8 hours ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

I hope you don't mind some responses but.....

I am amazed that I get any views on the thread, let alone comments.

Out of the careers I read, all of which provide ideas on layout and style for mine, there tends to be one of the following

- success

- a clear plan

- an odd quirk or feature

I am not sure that mine contains these, or that the depths of football in Luxembourg is entertaining for anyone (I only started the save on a whim based around an idea).

 

All comments are welcome, but especially those that make me think more, because they will invariably improve my game, even if the get rejected, because there is thought behind them

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On 07/08/2019 at 20:47, scousevasey said:

Moving to a 4-2-3-1 could be a really good move to help at MC, and provide more cover in midfield against stronger teams

- Any formation change needs a careful consideration in terms of roles, how they work together and the player suitability.  While the 4-2-3-1 will be created in the winter break it won't get used in many games until familiarity his high.  It may be used in friendly matches.

Step one of this is to create the formation

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This is our 4-2-2-2 formation, and the roles work fairly well together as they are, and with the players we have, so it is not a case of starting from scratch but tweaking the attacking end for what we want

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Exactly the same positions and roles for the back 7, and the wide two.  So the only change is to drop one of the STs to AMC.  In this first draft I have gone with a F9 to try and disrupt defences by moving them out of position and paired this with a SS who should come past into the areas being vacated.  With the AML-IF cutting in too there should be lots of movement causing issues.  I haven't yet looked at the players who would fill these roles first up (36a) Schwitz at F9 and (35c) Thill as the SS is the plan.  I have also offset the two players to avoid them filling the same space as they try to move past each other, but I may move them central as I fiddle with the tactic

Spoiler

This is the beginnings of an experimental formation

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There is a lot to do here, trying to build on an idea.  If we have decent DM options they usually can play as a DC too.  So why not play them as DCs but lined up at DM to give us an extra high line when attacking (I am on FM18 so don't have the in and out of possession options).

The Sweeper provides cover for when it goes wrong, and I would us the Libero apart from the fact that this would lead to him being out of position regularly.  The DM-HB usually drops back so is that 2nd DC option beside the SW, with the DM-VOL looking to link defence and attack.

Above that back 6 defensive option I have no idea what I want, so decided in the first instant to mirror the formation to give us lots of bodies in the middle of the park, so when the DM-HB drops back we are not outnumbered.

I may give it a go.

I may tweak it further

I may just leave it alone and forget about it

 

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January 2040 - Transfer Window review

As I don't buy players, and there is limited movement for my players, I have skipped over the last few January windows, but in light of the squad review it makes sense to look at some moves made and moves not made.

On 07/08/2019 at 20:03, scousevasey said:

- Loan out (37c) Clements to get more game time and develop.  Look to do the same with (39b) Pereira if possible, but the position change may cause problems

 

On 07/08/2019 at 20:47, scousevasey said:

One thing in our favour is that (26m) Huss requested a conversation before the break and wants a new challenge. 

I will look to move out (32b) Teixeira due to him being the oldest option, and least likely to improve in the future.

I will look to loan out (39e) Tinelli to boost his development with the aim of him hitting 3* and being able to replace (33a) Lombardelli in 7-8 seasons if required

If I do change formation the depth chart for the AMC and STC positions will need to be considered in more detail to maximise results on the pitch, and the use of loans for the back up strikers becomes more viable.

 

- I need to clear the logjam at MC by moving some older unhappy players on, and rotating more against weaker teams

 

This was the plan for the window

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This was the results.  No sales, but a few players sent out on loan.  The top five were loaned out pre-season.

(39c) Jorge was an approach on deadline day, with Hamm Benfica wanting to play him at AMC.  I had been training him at the weaker MC spot, but improvements at AMC through playing will help if we go to the 4-2-3-1

(37g) Martins was another approach made to us, and clears the picture at backup STC for the rest of the season.

The four players I wanted to loan out were offered to clubs, starting at with wages being paid, and reduced to a completely free loan with no obligations to play them (set as backup/rotation) and there was still no interest.  So instead I tried to move them to one of our affiliates, and they all rejected the moves, despite some wanting to move.

No other teams want to buy our players, no other teams want to loan our players, and our players don't want to go out on loan, even when they have asked to.  Which is annoying.

We did get some good news in January though

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Just in time to welcome in the new intake we are now Below Average in our Youth Facilities.  We haven't got the funds for another facilities upgrade currently, so will be waiting for the next influx of European money

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2040 Youth Intake

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Not as deep as in recent seasons, with only the top six players having 3* or more PPA from the HoYD

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Two players with 2* CA according to the HoYD, which is the level of (29d) Albuqueque our starting DL, and more than (34a) Martins our starting GK.  The CA levels in the squad have dropped recently, so (36a) Schwitz, our bellweather currently, has clearly improved

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(40a) Flick helps to solve the looming DC/DL crisis as he jumps into the pecking order at DC and allows (37c) Clement to move out to DL.  I would still prefer stronger DL options, so the two from this intake will get a look too.

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Naturally a ML, he will look to play at AML-IF (highlighted), where he is not perfect, but is probably the best young option we have.

For comparison, this is the top 10 at the club by PPA (on the intake day - it may change when they sign)

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Two of the top 3 coming in this intake, again variable, but they are likely to settle in the top 10 regardless

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I have to go top 15 to show them by CA, but again it is not ridiculous to expect (40a) Flick to step in and replace (26f) Holtz in the near future

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2039-2040 In Season Update 4 (Matchday 20)

I realised in the winter break that there hadn't been the option to arrange testimonial games when I booked up friendlies, but when sorting them out for February I found that the could be arranged, but only when sorting out one friendly at a time, whereas I usually use the multiple friendly option.d932ac860c6a22f56b574247720c6ccf.png

So while (26m) Huss wants to move on, we were able to celebrate two of our long standing stalwarts before they start to be phased out for younger options.

When the league reopened we had a fairly easy run of games, leading up to the second Differdange game

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And we were fairly comfortable in all of them, dominating the stats and the scorelines.

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Our run, combined with a mini implosion by Dudelange means that we not only regain the lead, but also open up a nine point gap at the top with six games left to play.

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Dudelange struggled against Progres who are performing well again, and Titus Petange who may have been overtaken by Differdange but are not too far off.  The shock result is bottom side Jeunesse Esch holding Dudelange who were at home.

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But it is not time to celebrate yet, ass we face the run of games that Dudelange have just struggled through.  Two games against Racing (LUX), in league and cup, sandwich Progres, both of whom are trying to get into the European conversation, along with Titus Petange.  Kaerjeng and Norden in 7th and 8th are too far from Europe to make a difference, but also well clear of the relegation battle so hopefully their players will be looking forward to the off season.  Usually playing the bottom side, at home, would be the game to look forward to, but after they fought to a draw against Dudelange, they can't be overlooked

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2039-2040 End of Season Update

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We threw away another three points against Progres who were fighting for 3rd, and then again against Titus Petange meaning the comfortable nine point gap started to close, but we were able to hold off the challenge of Dudelange

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Progres secure another season in Europe, while Differdange recover from a few poor seasons to claim 4th and the final European spot after we defeated Kaerjeng in the cup final

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Our poorest season for a while in terms of results, but we still managed to win the title as Dudelange struggled against some weaker teams.

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Five titles in a row now, and eight overall, slowly asserting control over the league

 

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2039-2040 Awards

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(31a) Fellerich continues his run of domination as the best player in the league

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He now has six titles, including five in a row, with the freedom to cut in from the left paying dividends once again.

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Our fans have (31a) Fellerich down in third, although the percentages are much closer than in previous seasons

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Appearance numbers for the season, showing the higher levels of rotation this season.  22 players made it onto the pitch in league, cup and Europe, with only seven making 30 starts or more.  There is still work to be done on rotation and development, and we did nearly throw away the league this season, although most of the losses were with our first choice team playing

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2039-2040 Review of poor results

A quick look at the stats from our losses (and one draw) to see what can be considered from these.  I won't be going too deep, but want to see if there is anything underlying in the results

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Don't play teams in yellow?

We controlled the shot count against Dudelange and Progres, while against Titus Petange we had the most shots but were evenly matched on hitting the target.  The anomoly is the first Dudelange game where we really couldn't hit the target. 

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In the one draw in the league we had similar control over the game, but failed to convert

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Away to Dudelange we have the best of the heat map, but most of our possession is too far from goal

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An even more dominant heat map when at home

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Not as controlling, but two red areas in attacking positions.  Progres were more central in this game

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Another even map, where again we are not outclassed.

 

Based on these four, we were not run off the park in any of the four games we lost, but we did struggle to hit the target, and convert chances.  All of them were single goal losses too, so a small change in any of them would result in draws instead.  It doesn't need any major overhauls tactically, but may be worth considering further if we struggle next season

 

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2040-2041 Fixture Reveal

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I actually read the new item theis year, and noticed it highlights rival games, which helpfully are spread from the tough games at either end of the season against Titus Petange

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The Dudelange - Progres double header stands out, but otherwise is is a fairly nice fixture list with no really tough runs of games

 

The Champions League qualifying draw also came around

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Still not seeded, but in positive news Dundalk are not present this time around.

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8.050 is a new record high for us, and leaves us only 0.825 off the lowest seeded team.  Draws against Domzale, Ferencvaros and Mlada Boleslav would be near even in terms of coefficients so we would expect to win there

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Moldova it is, with them having a 12.900 coefficient then we are not too far off them and should be able to progress to the second round

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Legia have a 13.950 so are not too far above Sheriff, and SJK sit as the lowest of the four teams with a 6.300.  While we will be underdogs against Sheriff and Legia (if we both get through), they are manageable ties

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2040 European Adventures - Stage 1

After a run out in a friendly I decided to go with the 4-2-3-1 formation to see what happened

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A fairly even game according to the stats, but we were dominated on the heat map.

I also though the MCR-Mez and the AMCR were getting into the same spaces.  So for the next friendly and second leg I moved it to be a AMC-AP, which matches the green circle of (35c) Thill, and STC-P to maximise the skills of (36a) Schwitz

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A much better heat map, with the MCR-Mez nearly joining the AMC-AP in the AMC strata as we controlled the game.

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A 2-2 draw away meant we had two away goals to count on, and while we left it late in the home leg we go through without too many scares, where we will be facing Legia who comfortably beat SJK at home to ease through the second leg

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Home in the first leg this time around, so we need to keep it tight at the back to avoid needing to overcome away goals.

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All of these are rated at three times our coefficient, although if a lower seed secures an upset then the tie will be easier than expected

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We are one of the worst pairings left, although in a nice twist we wouldn't drop below the Buducnost/Brann pairing even with our coefficient being used

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Serbia, or in case of an upset Iceland, where FH have a lower coefficient than ourselves.

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2040 European Adventures - Stage 2

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Not a game for the purists with only two shots on target combined

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But we were able to take our chance and avoid conceding an away goal to boot

 

During this tie, between the two legs I did some more fiddling with the midfield roles

Having the MC-DLP, MC-Mez and AMC-AP worked against Sheriff, but looking at the heat map meant we looked a little bit open at the back.  I was also nervous about the two playmaking roles causing issues so moved to MC-BWM, MC-CM and AMC-AP for the second leg

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Well the role change didn't work, as the two MCs are basically on top of each other, and Legia basically controlled the game through the midfield area.  This may be linked to their 2DM and 2MC formation, but the large area of red is roughly in our DM/MC area and shows a struggle.  I will go back to the MC-Mez, but continue to play around with another role to suit next to it.  I think the first trial will be the MC-CM role to see if that provides the cover required.

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Despite the failure in midfield, the tie swung on a missed penalty and a sending off.  Level at the time of the penalty, we then made the result clear with 15 minutes to go by getting two away goals

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So we are off to Serbia, a side we haven't met before, but who have a 28.250 coefficient, so roughly 3.5 times the level of ours.  It looks like we will be dropping down to the Europa League fourth qualifying.

 

The draw for the final qualifying round of the Champions League doesn't take place until between the two legs against Partizan so our possible opponent is still unknown at this stage

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2040 European Adventures - Stage 3

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Torn apart away from home

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But a slightly better spread of positions on the heat map, with the two MCs and AMC occupying different areas.

Needing to score three without reply in the second leg, I went back to the 4-2-2-2 formation aiming to go all out

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A better heat map from out side, but lots of possession down our left for Partizan, where we don't really have a better option than (29d) Albuqueque.

We needed three goals without reply, but only managed two shots on target, so are reliant on an own goal, a clean sheet, and a perfect shooting conversion rate

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None of which materialised.

So we miss out on a trip to Russia to face CSKA, and instead drop to the fourth qualifying round of the Europa League

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We could be drawn against Sheriff again, which would be the best draw for us, with the worst trip being the shortest

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Sweden it is.

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A tough loss to Brann, but then the have beaten opposition from San Marino, followed by SJK who lost to Legia in the Champions League.  As we beat Legia, we have a chance with this draw, but it will rely on two good performances.

 

 

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2040 European Adventures - Stage 4

After the failure of the 4-2-3-1 formation against Partizan, and the shortcomings against Legia, along with the better performance of the 4-2-2-2 formation in the second leg against Partizan I went back to it for the league and the tie against Goteborg

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And in the first leg it paid off again, with us dominating the play.  We are still susceptible down our left, although I am thinking it is a combination of poor play and the formation with the AML-IF(A) not providing much help out of possession.

But statistical dominance means nothing if we don't score

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And we took advantage of the dominance to take a 5-0 lead into the away leg.  But we have taken a 5-0 home lead in the fourth Europa League qualifying round before, and it didn't end well

Spoiler

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The second leg was more even in terms of shots, with Goteborg controlling possession this time, and having the best of the heat map.

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But this time our defence held out better, and (36a) Schwitz scored to level on the night at the start of the second half, meaning Goteborg needed to score six goals in 40 minutes which would be tough for any team.

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So for the first time in our history we are in a European Group stage...

 

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2040 European Adventures - Stage 5

The draw for the Europa League Group Stage

1st Seeds

Spoiler

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Watford have overtaken Arsenal in the rankings, with Swansea also popping up in this grouping

2nd Seeds

Spoiler

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Dundalk end up as second seeds having had a few good seasons in Europe.  They are ranked ahead of Rangers which is interesting

3rd Seeds

Spoiler

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No real stand out surprises in this group

4th Seeds

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The stand out fact here is that we are not the worst team in the draw.  And our coefficient is only going to increase for the next season.

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So we settle in Group F

Sevilla (4th strongest 1st seed)

Dundalk (6th strongest 2nd seed)

APOEL (7th strongest 3rd seed)

Not the toughest group we could face, but also not the easiest either.  I imagine all the other teams in the group see us as a guaranteed six points

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Dundalk away is our first game, with our first home game being the giants of the group in Sevilla

 

The question at hand is whether to throw the group or to play each game as hard as we can

Throwing the European games by playing youngsters gives some of the high PPA players on the fringes a chance to play, and develop, and helps protect our first team from morale sapping defeats, but it does risk upsetting some of the big names if they feel they are not being picked.

Playing a full strength team in Europe gives us the best chance to progress, however slight, and allows some of our fringe players to play in the league where the drop off in our quality will be matched by a drop off in the opposition quality.  There is a chance that we lose morale if we do lose by large margins.

 

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2040-2040 In Season Update 1 (Matchday 5/Euro Matchday 1)

There may be more updates in 2040 as we go through the Europa League group stage, or I may round them all up together when we have finished, I am still undecided.

But the first part of the season is done and dusted

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The first five games in the league have produced 15 points, 18 goals scored, although we have conceded four.

So far with our European run and the league we have played 14 games (5 league, 8 Euro qualifying, and one Europa group game), and have had 16 players start games, with another three getting minutes off the bench.  This number will only increase as injuries and fatigue build.

Our first foray into the big games of a European group match didn't go brilliantly, and was played with a full strength side

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13 shots is a positive, but we only managed to get three of them on target

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If we are to get anything from the group we need a better conversion from shots to on target.

Sevilla beat APOEL 5-1 too, so there is no real chance of us getting through the group as we would need a result against Sevilla or Dundalk as well as beating out APOEL who are at the lower reaches of the group

15 hours ago, scousevasey said:

The question at hand is whether to throw the group or to play each game as hard as we can

Throwing the European games by playing youngsters gives some of the high PPA players on the fringes a chance to play, and develop, and helps protect our first team from morale sapping defeats, but it does risk upsetting some of the big names if they feel they are not being picked.

Playing a full strength team in Europe gives us the best chance to progress, however slight, and allows some of our fringe players to play in the league where the drop off in our quality will be matched by a drop off in the opposition quality.  There is a chance that we lose morale if we do lose by large margins.

I decided to play our strongest side first up to see where we stood.

Now I am going to look at the remaining fixtures, and the league games straight after it to work out the best policy

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Next up is Sevilla in our first home game, with a short turn around before we travel to Progres.  If this wasn't our first home game (at the national stadium, but still) I would definitely rotate with a tough trip coming three days later.  But I want a strong showing to see where we stand, with the idea being if we get demolished then we have no chance of getting out of the group and we can move on.

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APOEL at home is our best chance of a win, and Blue Boys Muhlenbach are newly promoted, so we can go with a full strength team in Europe hunting for the cash and coefficient points, and shouldn't lose out in the league

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The final three group games will depend on the results elsewhere.  If we beat APOEL I will go all out in the second games against APOEL and Dundalk trying to sneak 2nd while hoping Sevilla trounce everybody.  If we lose to APOEL I will shut down our challenge and focus back on the league.  A draw against APOEL will see a strong team for the second game against them, but rotated teams for the rest of the group.

The Sevilla game will be followed up by the last 16 of the cup and would give us 17 more games before the winter break (10 league, 5 Europa, 2 cup) which is a busy run

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Our next run of games will be decisive in the decision about rotation, so I will update after that.  Four games in the league, and after games against all of the teams in the Europa group.

Union 05 should be a clear win, with the big game against Dudelange being on the Saturday giving us an extra 24 hours to prepare for Sevilla.  Followed up by the tricky trip to Progres, which as a two game league run is one of the toughest available without squeezing in a European giant in the middle.

We should ease past Grevenmacher, before we pin our hopes on a Europa League win against APOEL

 

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2040-2041 In Season Update 2 (Matchday 9/Euro Matchday 3)

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On the face of the results it is pretty much as expected, with wins in the league and losses in Europe, but it is not quite that clean cut

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(36a) Schwitz, our best striker and one of the two best players at the club injured his hip in training three days before we faced Sevilla.

Then during the game against Grevenmacher we lost (35c) Thill, who is our other starting striker, along with the replacement for (36a) Schwitz, (38a) Povoa.

When picking the team to face APOEL this was our squad depth chart at STC

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So we were missing the top two, and three of the top 4 when sorted by CA, with the outlier, (33a) Lombardelli, really being an AMR.  So he stepped in as one option, but then the next best option was (30d) Dias another AMR who was playing in his natural position, leaving me with (37d) Engel to start and (37g) Martins on the bench due to a lower level of fitness.

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At least it will give (37d) Engel some more minutes in an attempt to reach is 3.5* PPA, with there not being a whole lot of hope by PPA behind him, with the injured players topping the list when sorted by PPA as well as CA.

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Missing (36a) Schwitz probably didn't cost us too much against Sevilla, but as it was only a 1-0 loss, he could have been the difference between a loss and a draw.

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Against APOEL the lack of the three strikers who would usually be in a matchday squad, two starters and one bench option, could well have cost us not just a draw but a win.  The stats were much more even, and we had the best of the heat map too, utilising any home advantage we get in the national stadium

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And while APOEL missed a first half penalty, their winner came in the 89th minute, so the margins were small.

If we don't get back to the group stages for a few seasons, this game could well be the one that got away.

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The upshot of the league results sees us top, although a resurgent Differdange team are close behind having only dropped points against ourselves.  Dudelange are having more of a struggle this season, losing to the two teams above them, and sitting eight points behind us, with US Esch being the surprise performers so far sitting in 5th only by virtue of a lower GD than Titus Petange

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At the halfway stage of the European group we are rooted to the bottom of the table, but we don't have the worst defence, mainly as we held firm against Sevilla.

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There are a minimum of ten games until the winter break, with the possibility of another cup game in the days after we end our European run. The plan is to update after the US Esch game (halfway through this run), after we have found out if the cup run will continue, and faced our one remaining real chance of getting any points out of the group by travelling to Cyprus.

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2040-2041 In Season Update 3 (Matchday 12/Euro Matchday 4)

A fairly short run of games in relation to the league, but it allows some perspective in relation to our aims and team selection

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(33a) Lombardelli is trying to make a case to be a more permanent fixture up front with four goals in the first two league games, and (30d) Dias responded in the cup match to ensure he isn't replaced at AMR by (33a) Lombardelli as soon as we have striking options.

Importantly we managed to scrounge a point away to APOEL, and an extra £100k for it, which makes we wonder about what could have been without the injuries we picked up

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We had a lot less of the game than in our first match with them, and in reality were lucky to get a point from this game, but the pipe dream of taking points off them, and hoping for a result in another game is not too far away.

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The reverse happened to us against US Esch, the surprise package in the league so far, as we were unable to convert, and drop our first points of the season.  Knowing US Esch are performing well it did mean our first choice team (barring injuries) were facing a short turn around from the APOEL game, with minimal changes made.

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That means with one game to go until we have faced everyone we retain our lead at the top as Differdange slipped to a draw too.  Dudelange remain eight points back due to another draw, and US Esch take sole control of fourth by virtue of their point against us, although the table is still tight behind them.

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Sevilla took revenge on Dundalk, and after a draw in Ireland, raced to a 3-0 lead in Spain to qualify for the knock out stages.  We can theoretically catch up to Dundalk but it is unlikely.

We would need to beat Sevilla and Dundalk

We need Sevilla to beat APOEL while we face Dundalk

We need APOEL to beat Dundalk while we face Sevilla

And while all that is happening we would need a massive swing in goal difference from our current -6, to overcome Dundalk's current +4.

Out of the four results needed, I reckon the only one likely to happen is Sevilla beating APOEL, mainly because that would guarantee them top spot before the final group game

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In the run up to the Winter Break we have a challenge against Racing (LUX) who managed a draw against Differdange,  followed by an easier game against Norden before a huge game when Differdange visit us.  Win that game and we would be pulling clear in the title race.  Lose that one and we go into the break with no momentum and possibly no gap at the top of the table.

The two remaining Europa League games will see heavily rotated sides as we have no real chance of going through, before we rotate about half the team for the cup game against Union 05

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2040-2041 In Season Update 4 (Matchday 15/End of Europa League Group)

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A rough month on the pitch with a equal split between wins and losses, but it doesn't tell the whole story.  We played a second string team against Dundalk and Sevilla, and although we lost against Differdange it was the same story as last season where it was a fairly even game and we just couldn't finish.  And we were still missing our starting two strikers

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Although our depth is showing as (33a) Lombardelli is trying his hardest to ensure that the injured strikers are not missed

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In terms of injuries and (33a) Lombardelli stepping in the first came just before the first game shown here, and the other two in game 8 (Grevenmacher).  Since then there have been 12 games, playing 11 at STC and he has scored 12 goals.  Not bad for someone playing in the secondary position.

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We enter the winter break top still, but the loss to Differdange closes the gap to two points, with Dudelange struggling to close up and staying eight behind.  US Esch have dropped away as the season goes on

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Not the worst we could have got in Europe with the gained point and a couple of close results.  With a fully fit team we could have been third.  In a couple of seasons we could well be getting through to a knock out round.

 

 

But during this run of games things have been happening off the pitch of interest

With our riches now getting towards £4 million I asked the board to upgrade

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I had asked for Training Facilities and Professional Status in early August, but before the European money had come in from qualifying, and both were rejected.  So when we reached the group stage I managed to get Youth Facilities through, and had to wait for the others to reappear before getting them through easily.  Still no news on the proposed stadium though.

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After 21 seasons in charge I have now managed 702 Rosport games, with the loss against Differdange being a poor way to celebrate the milestone.

 

But I was approached for an interview, and in a surprise turn of events decided to attend.  There are many offers that come in from lower division Belgian and Dutch clubs, but I skip past most of them.

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But FC Twente caught my eye, so I went along

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Currently in a 60,000 seater stadium, but about to move to a 40,987 seater.  Hopefully there is room for expansion.

Superb training facilities, and Excellent youth facilities

Excellent junior coaching and Well established youth recruitment.

The club is in a good position to grow, although the board were not overly favourable to the developing their own youth during the interview

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The big challenge is they are currently in the 2nd division (in my head they are a mid table top tier side, although 25 years on things change).

The board want playoffs, which have already been clinched via the different mini-seasons, so there is no real pressure there.  The challenge would be ensuring the club didn't yo-yo and end in being fired, while developing enough youth to replace the squad as it currently stands

Although this is all theoretical currently.  I attended the interview, but have not heard back.  And am unsure about what to do... 

 

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I think you would be within your rights to go, especially with having gotten Rosport to a European group stage at last.  Only you will know if you'll feel regret about leaving at this point, though.

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21 hours ago, scousevasey said:

Although this is all theoretical currently.  I attended the interview, but have not heard back.  And am unsure about what to do... 

It turns out it was all theoretical

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Seems odd that having approached me for the interview, knowing that I have played youth products for the past 20 years, and them having a top youth structure they were so unwilling to consider developing their youth, but it does mean I don't have to pause play while running through the different options and reasons behind the decision

 

I am not desperate to leave, I would like the Luxembourg job for an extra challenge, but there are a handful of clubs in Belgium and the Netherlands that would interest me in a way this offer did

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2041 Youth Intake

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4.5*, 2x4*, 6x3* OPPA gives a good overview to the group coming through, although there are a couple of disappointing determination levels in the top prospects (a,b,f in particular)

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The positional breakdown is interesting as it gives us two DLs where we are short of options and only one MC where we have plenty of players available.

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This is the stand out of the intake though.  While they are not world beaters yet, when sorting by OPCA the top three are also the top three sorted by OPPA.  Usually the best player on entry by CA is lower down the PPA rankings, so this means that they are closer to the high PPA values, giving us hope that they will reach their ceiling, especially if we can turn professional and improve the training facilities.

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(41a) Batista will immediately challenge for the starting DL spot (and by immediately I mean in the cup and next season the league due to registration limitations)

But he comes in at a similar level to (29d) Albuqueque so will be able to help the transition from our older defence to the new youth movement

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(41b) Corral can play down the centre, and I will retrain him at DC due to the high tackling, with his low passing stats ruling him out of MC contention.  He should add depth to the new younger defence that is slowly being integrated to the team

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(41c) Heil comes in as 4th choice AMR, but I may look to see if he can retrain as AML due to the use of the inside forward role.  He may not make it to the first team, but he could provide emergency cover if we face injuries

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