Jump to content
Sports Interactive Community
scousevasey

Starting from the bottom, and working up to glory. A geographical misadventure

Recommended Posts

October 2027

d3d7d5900276169ffe4bf5823dd65897.png

The month started badly, with a close game against St Gallen being decided by the odd goal in seven, scored in the 89th minute

We had been 1-0 up, then 3-1 down, before it was 3-3 and the stats were very even. One for the neutrals as they say

Basel played us off the park, and we were lucky to only lose 1-0, before we turned the corner starting with the trip to Poland

Legia struggled massively, as the first team showed their potential to go far

4b0d1218d2a048478c1ecfe35735d33c.png

A really strong performance, going down 1-0 with an instance response, making it 3-1, then continuing in the 2nd half to make it 5-2.  That will help the goal difference too.

A fully rotated 2nd XI managed to get a draw against Servette, which is a bit of a shame, but as they were three points clear of us in the league at the time, it is a point gained with a rotated side as opposed to two lost.

The 2nd XI were given some U21 support for the cup tie, and while it wasn't the dominant wins of the earlier rounds there was tougher opposition.

A mixed team played in the final game of the month, to avoid players being too rusty before November rolls around.

a7163332475849707918d68de871ebcd.png

In the league Servette have slowed down a little, with Basel coming on strong to claim 2nd.  We sit third, but it is only three points back to Sion in 6th, so no chance to rest up yet.

7cf2da44c633759d4a12cea9ef140142.png

Dundalk continued their good form beating Rangers, and going three for three so far.

2bc294b86de53ac3407170c7ff2929de.png

As we play Dundalk last, the ideal path is to beat Legia, with Dundalk beating Rangers to leave us 6 clear of them in third.  Then draw away to Rangers (I mean a win would be better, but a realistic ideal), meaning we qualify before the final game

ce2b8b02473e26801feb14a23761f9d9.png

Legia and Young Boys back to back will be tough.  But we will be able to rotate against Luzern and Zurich, meaning a strong team can face Rangers

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

November 2027

3c2f64e72426589312644095d9040b84.png

Strong performances in the Europa Conference League, with a mixed bag in the league.

Not a surprise to lose to Young Boys, but it was a close game, where our strikers failed to do what was necessary.  And the Zurich game was a poor game, with a rotated side, and this time it didn't pay off.  Annoyingly lots of the top teams drew to end the month, so this was a chance to make a statement which slipped by

7e6ebb5660a6cc8593a3780bea22dcaa.png

Our best case going in was a draw, but early goals from McWilliams and Negrao meant Rangers were chasing the game.  It was all wrapped up by half time, and a pretty dominant performance, one of our strongest away in Europe

48dcb3d2159d8f9a1ff87a26f54fa571.png

Rangers did us a favour and drew against Dundalk.  This means the gap to Rangers opened up, and the gap to Dundalk shrank, with Legia wondering why they bothered to turn up

71929ce6e9f1f8b43a2bc9ff8713a391.png

Our final game is at home to Dundalk.

Win and we go straight to the 2nd Knockout Round. Anything else, and we go to the 1st instead. Either way, we continue to progress which was the aim at the start of the group stage

42f6e4e21944f45cc9c30ed393315385.png

In the league we are just two points behind 2nd, and if we had beaten Zurich would be tied on points.

The gaps are starting to open up further down the table, with five points back to sixth now, which gives us a little bit more breathing room

e996e9cb64d891eb6dc1d305f8e5396e.png

December brings only three games, but they are all important.

Thun is a should win game, and if we don't then the gap behind us will close, and we will lose ground.  The aim this season is to get third, so we need to be beating the teams lower in the table.

Dundalk is the big one if we can win, although there is the debate about whether making the first knockout round would be more beneficial in terms of prize money and coefficient points.

Sion are tied with us on points and on a really strong run in the league.  They face a must win game against Hapoel Be'er-Sheva in the Europa Conference League while we face Dundalk, so hopefully we can capitalise on any lingering tiredness.

But if we are serious about coming third and reaching the Europa League next season, we need to beat Sion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

December 2027

bc564e2c21fdf2b8c7b8fa46d309c93f.png

A dull month for the fans, but the points are the important thing, and we were able to rotate between each game and still get the wins which is a bonus, especially after struggling against Zurich to end November

797904e65f2936cbf281c57190f16d2f.png

In the league that means we make third out own, and are only two points behind Basel in 2nd.  Four points to Servette is not a huge gap, but hopefully it is a platform for us to build upon in 2028.  The nine point gap back to 6th means we are getting close to achieving European football once more.

Zurich are the surprise team at halfway(ish) stage, having been a yo-yo club with Grasshopper over the past couple of seasons they are in the dizzy heights of 6th, although the bottom half of the table is still quite close

419e3304d3b8e85a222e0ef63373f9e6.png d95bc7d6b8948117f35a54dff158f6c3.png

A strong performance against Dundalk, despite the low scoring nature.  European games are very different depending on the venue, with us being very strong at home and variable away from home over the past two seasons.  It is possible that a tactical tweak would help, but we are still getting used to Europe, and as our coefficient rises the opposition will get weaker until we reach the Champions League and we will be on the defensive throughout.

When the group was drawn, the media reckoned that Legia and Rangers would be leading the pack, but Legia suffered badly throughout.

3dbdaacd3f19f3250cddda3e03e7e31c.png

With that win, we top the group, after coming second in the group to Rangers last year.  That is progress.

The only loss was Dundalk away to start the group stages, and Legia leave shamefaced as the only team with a negative goal difference, although it took a 6-0 win to end the group for Rangers to make it to a positive figure.

2fc3dace4cd7f67d97db279161cd0e9d.png

c49b235b5bc89bf12456cbd5007ec7d4.png

We get prize money for the group, but the board didn't realise that gets us to the second round, and only congratulate us for reaching the first.  It will be nice for them to see how easily we progress through to the second round.  It will be like the other team didn't turn up.

Hopefully this doesn't negatively affect our coefficient by missing out on two games and two possible wins.

246439011a91e0220410225c7e9a0d94.png

The HoYD came with news of the next intake.

A poor crop, but a decent MC, which mirrors the news from last year where Mario David came through as the best of a bad bunch.  We are short of homegrown players for Europe due to buying in our cheap young core, so we need some decent intake players over the next couple of seasons.

The issue will be that they don't need to be registered for a few years, so despite saying there would be no purchases and we would look on the released player lists, I have made some offers for 17-18 year olds who are coming in January, with the aim that they can compete to start in a couple of seasons and will be young enough to qualify as homegrown

 

There is only one game in January that counts, but there will be an update with the transfers, and it will mark the halfway stage of the league

735f8f410ff27469ca2c7b1425228e0d.png

Basel at home is an important game in our quest for 2nd, and a place in the Champions League qualifiers.  We really need to be able to get a result at home if we are going to challenge.  If not we are pretty much limited to securing third again

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

January 2028

We start the new year, with three players joining, hoping to become homegrown

b948e3a8c5caa8dd204d87de2170561a.png

The money isn't hugely important if we keep making Europe, especially as we will look to purchase from the free transfer market.  The deal for Cisse is the best of the three

b4c244d78a39d2401027b07136351dd3.png

He is going to spend his time playing at WBR, but gives us potential going forward.  He should spend a couple of seasons in the U21s then be able to step up to the main squad

dd29bd0a5d330e86567e27eafb40f660.png

This backfired slightly, as he was signed at 18, but turned 19 before he could join.  That might mean he won't make it to homegrown, but he should be able to play a role for the first team in a season or two, so the money isn't wasted

43a53794600a347c8ba96135c2c1d099.png

He will turn 19 soon, but should make it as homegrown.  He won't gain Swiss citizenship until he is just before his 29th birthday, so will count against us in the league, but will reach homegrown status to help with Europe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

January 2028 Fixture

70f956a5536d3e038f0021dce46d6379.png

Just the one league game after some friendlies, and it didn't go well.

It may be we are too attacking against Basel and Young Boys, and it backfires.  Or that we are just not good enough to challenge them.

1ee638f3fcd2a6851ab77d3b2d24cf6b.png

The gap to Basel grows to five.

The focus is really on trying to keep Servette and Sion at bay, with St Gallen being possible challengers from 6th

63fcc90f6f1798a5eda0d7079ee5505c.png

St Gallen beat Young Boys last time out, so we need to be on form

Lausanne are struggling so a rotated team should do well, before an important trip to Servette.

Luzern should be overcome by a rotated side, then the cup team will get to play against St Gallen, which may cost us the game, but we have achieved the board expectation so the aim is to give the new signings and some youngsters a run out

Young Boys to end the month is a tough tie, but we are without the extra worry of Europe this month which will allow us to perform in the league. Hopefully

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, great work by the traveling manager 😀 keep going!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 02/05/2020 at 21:31, RaySunshine said:

I'm really enjoying following this save - thanks Scousevasey!

 

On 02/05/2020 at 22:54, Unforced error said:

Yes, great work by the traveling manager 😀 keep going!

Cheers

 

The travelling is not going at any pace, and I am quite enjoying Switzerland, so it may be a while before moving on, but equally if we can't close up on the top two, then I might move on soon to avoid getting fed up

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

February 2028

625816460c9a21450491e4c033618688.png

A good start to the month, but the Servette game was poor.  One of our MCs was sent off just before the break, and we struggled to gain any traction in the game.

The cup match went with a massively rotated side, and I accidentally played the game instead of IR.  It didn't start well with us being 1-0 in the first minute, and 2-0 down at the half, but when we went 3-0 down in the 61st minute I changed from Positive to Attacking, and at 3-2 with 10 minutes to go went to Very Attacking.  Extra time was played set at Attacking, but we dominated the final 30 and the extra periods.

a5596548878734114a4089c99f4ddb87.png 514c460a07fd73a51ba9a2113488f1d3.png

1st choice - STCR

2nd team - GK DC, DCL, WBR, MCR

Youth - DCR, WBL, MCL, AMC, STCL

We brought 4 first teamers off the bench, and had three more on the bench, but it is still a strong response.

So after that result, I decided to gamble with moving to Attacking against Young Boys.  Before this game we had played them 30 times in the save (not all my reign), and they led the head to head 28-1-1.  So it is good to close the gap slightly.

2acc23c949412b13b6d845ddbc09defc.png

Not overwhelming in terms of stats, but dominant up front, which was surprising due to the extra 30 minutes midweek, but shows the benefits of a rotated team

77d2b8bf37abd42eead136f3ed37e9f4.png

Our prize for winning in the cup is to go back to Young Boys, with struggling Lausanne and Luzern doing well.

4748af48378c1b7a4b217a896ce30302.png

In the league we closed within 3 of Basel, then lost to Servette to open it again.  Having beaten Young Boys we are nine off the top, which is probably unmanageable, but Basel could be caught.  We face them in the final game of the season, so it could be an exciting run in.

Servette closed up when they beat us, but have since dropped a little so we have five points on them, but importantly have opened up a 12 point gap on Sion in 5th.

f3834a0a0e7e0818b017fa6588cfe642.png6655aea7c07b9c4096e269d52696ad80.png

Sion doing well in Europe too, having made it through the first knockout round, and made the last 16.

A couple of big sides left in it, but we are still undervalued here due to only having one year of coefficient values counting.  We should be up with AGF and Teplice, and if we continue at this rate we will be one of the best ranked teams at this stage before too long.

e2f398e707a58b57163d7f9f82e77d99.png

And we draw Teplice, who I think we should match up well with.  Sion face Marseille so are likely to be knocked out, but I would hope that we could make the quarter finals.

The ties of the round are probably Red Star-Villarreal or the all Dutch tie

64bf8164c97604d3ce91796e29cfbba3.png

We are going to start the month staying at Attacking, although if it goes wrong we will revert to Positive against Teplice.

Sion is a tough game, and Basel after the second leg in Europe will be tough to bring up the three quarter mark of the season

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2028 Youth Intake

416f64643f00b93c5545b60f54826193.png

Santini is the player who was highlighted in the preview, and comes in as our 2nd best option.  If he and Dondero can develop in the next couple of seasons they will be able to make it to the main squad which will help with the lack of homegrown players.

de5203d47e15864b3ee81ebd774ca26c.png

He has some ability as he arrives, and should fit our formation

9db7a44c6afd60aba323357ec31e4d57.png

He could well step into the formation too,

There is hope for the future, which is nice as some of the current players are looking like they won't stick around too long.

A handful of our top players are wanted by clubs around Europe, which isn't the end of the world, but some of them want to get new contracts and move from £3-4k p/w to over £10k p/w.  While there is room in the budget to accomodate this, it would put more pressure on the club finances.

Annoyingly one of the ones who could be problematic is Loreto, our American MC, who is worth £4.4m but has a release fee of £1.3m from when he signed.  So the balance is whether to sign him to a new contract, take the hit in wages for a while, and try to sell him for over £5m, or to save the money on wages, wait for someone to trigger the release fee then offer him around for £1m +50%.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

March 2028

f95cec81e7e4c8d75ec84e02391fbd56.png

The move to Attacking didn't work out to start the month, so the mentality moved back to Positive for the rest of the month, apart from against Basel.  Having managed to defeat Young Boys and Basel with an Attacking mentality, it seems to be better suited when we are against the big teams, so I will finish the season with this structure as we have one game against each of the big two remaining,

69e5188435d4a547d139a835a79753bb.png

While the goal came late, we were able to convert a smaller amount of possession into chances, and also limited the opportunities for Basel.  This is why we will continue this way.

98f569afedfbd8612cfa6ce4dd79e0c5.png

2be8e97f0cc100ab2a09526aa9e448a0.png

Quarter Finals for the second season in a row.

db95771e49145420a055db4d48a8f209.png

The draw was made between the first two legs, and the draw for the semi final was done on the same day.

133fc90f88d320d5c0792ec6e67dd3f7.png

We are off to Spain, and were drawn against the group that involved Sion for the Semi Final.  Unfortunately Sion lost out to Marseille, with Sturm Graz their opponents in the quarters.

Having looked through, we are the final Swiss representative in Europe this season

Thun

01fe7a7ff0ea2c291214ccf47726c311.png

They were the lowest league team to qualify, and managed to make the final qualifying round before losing out narrowly to Sturm Graz, who are in the quarter finals

Sion

Lost to Marseille in the second knockout round

Basel

a69ddd18736df049b305c2f349c98500.png

Topped their Europa League group after falling to Dynamo Kyiv in the final Champions League qualifying round.

Teplice have not enjoyed Swiss opposition in Europe this season

f0f192694a57a0a1bfc0545461496858.png

A narrow loss to Schalke sees Basel knocked out

Young Boys

9cd742c6df18606995b5fa4527f65aa7.png

Struggled in the Champions League group stage, having made it straight to the groups.  That meant they dropped straight out of Europe

 

That means we are the only team left fighting in Europe as March ends, although Sion and Basel have only just finished their campaigns

1171620eebe55f6eb3516450ea86d63d.png

Young Boys had a poor month, and after starting the month 5 clear of Basel and 9 clear of Lugano, they drop down to 2nd.

Our dropped points don't cost us in the race for third as Servette dropped points at the same time too.  Zurich have a strong month which sees them strengthen their grip on fifth.

With 8 games to go we are 16 clear of 6th, so not too far from confirming our European participation for next season.  With Lausanne and Luzern facing off in one cup semi final, the fifth European slot will not necessarily go to the league with one of the bottom two teams in the league getting a cup final spot.  Could we see a relegated team making it to Europe?

42db561f4941cd3ca6ce4d8553ca9a40.png

April sees five league games.  The big two are against Servette and Young Boys as they are the teams closest to us.  If Young Boys continue to struggle then there is a chance of claiming 2nd.

The Servette game is at home, but comes between the European games against Villarreal which will be tough.

Zurich to end the month cannot be overlooked, although we are facing the bottom two this month.

That will leave games against Sion, Thun, and Basel to end the season in May which are tough games.  If we are serious about finishing 2nd (which I had written off before March) then we need to end April in 2nd really

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

April 2028

A hectic month, and one that stretched the squad to the limit.

ab6794f26bb8f0a960f40e4c9add3560.png

Firstly Zamora set his own record.  He has also racked up some more cards since.  No real issues as he is usually playing the BWM role which often attracts yellow cards, but the suspensions really hit us this month, along with a couple of important injuries

d74653ee9fd79161d0e58d46035d35c7.png

I have gone back to late March to show the Stabile injury, as he is still out.

Negrao has three knocks in April, mainly from playing when not fully fit due to Stabile being out.  And the reason he is playing when carrying knocks, is that we are undermanned at WB with him out, especially in Europe, and two of the knocks Negrao has picked up have been in Europe

4 hours ago, scousevasey said:

Annoyingly one of the ones who could be problematic is Loreto, our American MC, who is worth £4.4m but has a release fee of £1.3m from when he signed.  So the balance is whether to sign him to a new contract, take the hit in wages for a while, and try to sell him for over £5m, or to save the money on wages, wait for someone to trigger the release fee then offer him around for £1m +50%.

What do they say about speaking your worst fears?

b015e82a00220a03df72f20888b984e6.png

Al-Duhail came in at the release fee.  I offered Loreto out as above, and he became upset.  And then the deal went through before any other teams could get involved. Worst of all is that Qatar seems to operate without transfer windows, so he left straight away. It would have been more manageable if we could have kept him until the end of the season

6d2564d86fda027f701561b980f227b8.png

There was no way we could compete on wages though.

 

55ef9e6e3cff0ec93f82b8baa2818dc6.png

We managed to beat Villarreal in Spain with an Attack mentality, and kept the same mindset for the return leg, which saw us through to the semi final.  Sturm Graz managed to defeat Thun in the qualifying rounds, but it was 1-0 in both legs.  While we lost the away leg towards the end of the month, there is hope we can claim a win at home to shockingly reach the final.

The Young Boys cup tie saw a heavily rotated side, as the cup side has been all along.

2239138af6a8fea32a3f5c3c72dffec3.png 

Zamora is pushing to be a starting MC, and is our 2nd string Libero.  Milone is the new 3rd string WB with Loreto having left, with Milic being 3rd string too.  Muratoglu was one of the new players in Jan, as was Cisse.

I did rotate knowing it would lead to a loss, but I was prioritising the league because we have surpassed the Board aim for the cup, and while still in Europe and a mini injury crisis there was a need to rotate.

We went Attacking in the league game against Young Boys (and the European game against Sturm Graz), and while we couldn't win, we didn't lose ground to them which is important.

c83ab4a4a3fdbbde907b35c39e3a0a32.png

This came through after beating Luzern in the middle of the month, but as the second line notes, we were not ruled out of the Champions League places.

6df418ce2e472542660250816f45d326.png

With five games to go, we were in a title race.  Four points back from Basel, and with all three teams facing each other in the run in.

We drew with Young Boys, and face Basel last, while Basel end with Young Boys just before them finish against us.  It could be close

328f54b359e766a43150bf91af0bd4d2.png

The top three are clear.  With three games left, we are guaranteed third at the lowest, which is the best we have achieved in the save.  The cup gets priority in terms of Europe after the top two league slots, so we are reliant on Young Boys beating Lausanne in the final to make third the Europa League spot.  Otherwise it will be the Conference League again.

But with nine points to play for, we are only three points away from the Champions League.

And as Basel face Young Boys in the penultimate game, we have opportunity for an upset.

ed67e9c986c193630978e7919f8a2f15.png

Sion are fighting for 4th, and 4th-6th is close so they will be a tough game.  Thun are fighting to avoid the relegation playoff spot, giving us another tough game.  Then Basel.

Young Boys have Thun, Basel (so match two of our tough games, then finish against St Gallen who have nothing left to play for already

Basel face relegated Luzern then Young Boys and ourselves.

I can't see a way we can overcome Basel, as they hold the GD tiebreaker over us.  Even if they lose to Young Boys and ourselves, and we win out, they will likely beat Luzern who are already down to be equal with us on points.

What we need is Thun to play out of their skin against Young Boys (while we beat Sion), then Thun to be safe so they relax against us, and then Basel to beat Young Boys to secure the title, so they relax against us.

An unlikely chain of results

7401d2fd84d3ea9944f31958013ab186.png

In Europe, if we can get a good win, remembering that if Sturm Graz score we need to be two clear, then it is likely to be Fiorentina after they set up a decent lead against Feyenoord

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

May 2028

328ca1d4468ccadb4418af71a550ce28.png

A tough result against Sturm Graz.  They went 1-0 up early, meaning we needed three goals, and couldn't manage it.  For the second year in a row, Lugano were knocked out by the losing finalists as Fiorentina beat Sturm Graz in the final.

The team struggled against Sion, with the injuries and suspensions at MC and WB catching up to us,   That cost us the chance of 2nd really, as while after beating Thun we were only three behind Young Boys who had lost to Basel, we needed to beat the Champions, and hope that St Gallen could beat Young Boys with an 11 goal swing.

As it turned out, Young Boys won 4-0 and we could only manage a draw

12655a4a15718c59798aed059330031c.png

3cd0ba497fd0bf3706a8fff8af8b874b.png

Third it is, and with it comes the Europa League after Young Boys claimed the cup.  Excitingly we enter at the Playoff stage, so one tie before the groups, but also it means we are guaranteed group stage football next season, so more money coming our way.  Having reached the Europa Conference semi finals it would be nice to see how we compare with Europa teams, and then come third to get knockout football.

a988a718acc48a3473add75a25233474.png

Lausanne went on to win the playoff, so we only lose Luzern, with Grasshopper coming back up.

Zurich do well this season after yo-yo-ing for a few seasons.  Servette fell away towards the end of the season.  It shows how well we are doing that the teams that made Europe along with us last season (Sion and Thun) both failed to make it back this time around.

5cae5f01f4858fb98dca2c607b610566.png 5d429da64d597c14a1fb3b4c30fdb2a6.png b0007f045fa875bd53ef74f24f3c49c3.png

Gourna Douath starred again, and I think there will be some transfer interest in him this time out.

Pribyl keeps surprising me as he is only 19, but he feels like he has been around for a while.  That will be due to his consistency, shown by him being signing of the season.

The top scorer, average rating, assists and MotM awards all went to players who rotated in through the season, which shows their quality.

Zamora went strong after setting the record for discipline setting his new record at 13/3 which will be hard to break.

Jovanovski is a bit of a surprise in the team of the year, but he did perform well when asked, and avoided missing time through injury, but the rest of the team were either first choice at the start of the season, or are Negrao who ousted Stabile, during the season and got a nice long run while Stabile was out injured

1089582bdd8b111b7371c047702df9a9.png7aef526c4c08bf8c021356def80ea178.png

Improvements at both ends of the field.  The defence saw the least rotating with Muhammed and Pribyl being consistent alongside Gourna Douath, and that consistency helped us reach third.3a5fca517225a4229bd1452fb8331b2f.png

This is the team ranked by appearances through the season.

Libero and AMC are the postions where there is a decent gap between 1st and 2nd string, although 2nd string Libero did play regularly at MC.  That is something that needs looking at during the off season especially with the loss of Loreto during the season.

15 players started 20 or more games, and with 57 games played (looking at the two GKs for that figure, that shows the rotation plan worked, although the four players above 40 starts shows we still lack quality rotation elsewhere.  There is one player missing here, Milone at WBR who managed 2 games, and was called up from the U21s when Loreto left and Stabile was out injured

The players that started below 10 games are the backup AMC (Morf), the lowest ranked MC in Huser, and Cisse who stepped up as a youth product after Loreto left so was only around the main squad for a while, then Hajdari at DC.  He is interesting as when he signed originally he was one of the strongest players we had, and now he is the 4th or 5th best DC and may be released as his contract is about to expire.  Milic is the 3rd string WBL who only really played in the cup and when players were out injured, as well as Skenderi the backup GK who only played in the cup.

12a8418e882b020aac193034f4b768b2.png

Two players off the the Euros, and Rodrigues is off to represent Canada in the North American League semi finals.

Heidenreich will be a loss when his loan expires and he returns to PSG.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Building for the future

d69091683e4fd6a254d3b279b5246d93.png

The board announced as soon as the season finished that the improvements that were planned were going ahead.

36910dab1c7d5443f5cafa6f049e2b02.png

This is a huge chunk of the money we have which shows how important it will be to reach the Europa League groups as that will bring a boost to the income over the Conference League.

With the board in positive spirits I decided to try my luck.

134ad3d500a35df24ce504768f418697.pnge6b5b89db8ac4005170683ae209491a9.png

They took a bit of persuading to improve the Youth Recruitment, but I managed to get it over in the end.  That means we are improving in four categories at one time, which should give us a real boost.

e083a6056f87cf738ae24da77898dce2.png

With the facilities upgrades we should reach both Training and Youth being Good at a minimum, and the improvements in Junior Coaching and Youth Recruitment sees them hit Excellent.  This should see a nice boost to our intakes over the next few years.

835192485d9b7600964024e7fa94db79.png

The board also came to discuss the changes to their vision.  There seems to be no consistency as the who five year plan has changed (while we are outperforming expectations it would be better if the first time we did that that the 4th-5th years were increased, then that moves forward).

There is some progression shown here, with Mid-table as the first aim, then 'best of the rest', which I am taking to assume to be 3rd consistently.  This will be a challenge, but we have shown we can push both Basel and Young Boys this season, so some development of our players, along with shrewd recruitment should see it be manageable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Squad issues

After a clear out a few seasons ago, the wage bill is starting to climb again, and the squad is getting to a point where there a minor improvements, but some players are attracting attention that needs to be considered

fe0a4056417da1a0ab14e62fff54142a.png

The wage bill is now back over £80k p/w, but with a better quality of squad.  It is also well under the limit set by the board, but as you can see, despite being way under budget we are still losing money as a club, and are reliant on European cash to help out.

Now ideally this would have happened a year ago, before the board expectations went up, especially as we may lose some players, but it is what it is.

e1d1c51473fdb0f4df12cfe0b3ff19e0.png

These are the players closest to ending their contracts.

There are only three players who run out at the end of the 2027-2028 season (just completed).

Stabile was first choice WBR, but was overtaken by Negrao, and spent huge chunks of the season injured.  He has been a good servant, but wanted an increase in wages which couldn't be justified for a 2nd string player.  Milone who stepped up from the U21s will get first shout to back up Negrao along with Menga who came in during the season.

Hajari came in as a high wage big value signing a few seasons ago, and has now dropped to backup status, and is another who is earning too much.  There are better DC options, and while he will be missed it gives a chance for homegrown youngsters to come through and stake a claim.

Heidenreich is off back to PSG.  He leaves us weaker, but we had three WBLs in the main squad last season, and Madsen is a decent replacement.

Soon discussions will start with some of the players who see their contracts end in 2029, although there is always the possibility they won't sign early (either by their choice or mine) and we will judge it later.

The aim will be to sign Madsen early before he becomes a full time starter as that will keep his wage down.

Pospisil is on a high wage (4th highest at the club), so the question about him will be value.  He performs well, but can we get close to that level for less money?

Schindler is our 3rd STC, so will look to keep him around, although there is room for an upgrade which would push him to 4th choice.  He is wanted by Servette, and while I don't want to strengthen our rivals, if the offer is right I would allow him to move on.

Milone is one I want to lock up long term.  His potential is not the highest, but he is HGC which we need, and on a low wage currently that we should be able to extend without breaking the bank. He may not be a star, but will be a quality depth piece for a few years.

Searle is our star GK, but is one of our foreign slots.  While he fits the criteria for those limited foreign slots of being one of the first names on the teamsheet, he may want too much money for a new contract to be agreed.

Scheidegger has dropped from being one of our MC pairing with Loreto to being one of our bench core, and 2nd string players.  He has a huge value and has had some interest in previous seasons, so could be available to be sold.  There is no rush as he is signed for two more seasons, but the longer we wait the lower the value goes.  I am quite happy to watch players leave on a free if I have a suitable replacement lined up, and would rather this than leave a hole in the team, but as he is now rotational there is less of a hole to cover.

Huser is the bottom of the MC depth chart in the main squad.  Whenever he plays he performs reasonably, but he isn't good enough to challenge Young Boys and Basel.  He won't be offered a new contract, and may be loaned out to avoid him getting upset as time goes on, but only if we have replaced him in our depth chart.

Morf is our backup AMC, who seems to struggle with injuries. A decent backup to Pospisil, but he would struggle to be our main AMC.  I would happily keep him as backup if the cost was right, especially behind a youngster who would need to rest a little more to avoid over exertion.

Jovanovski got upset about his playing time, but was able to stake a claim to play due to performance.  He is someone who will be offered an extension based on how the picture looks now, but if he keeps improving will possibly price himself out of a contract.

f6b11ea5ecb750b07133272f366310d4.png

I won't go through each of these in depth, but I will highlight a few.

Gourna Douath is our star, and most valuable player.  He wanted a new contract, but won't agree to my offers, instead wanting £10k p/w which would clear Negrao as our highest wage.  Empoli want to sign him, and if he gets upset I can see him moving, although I would want £15m or more.  Zamora is a more than capable Libero relplacement, although he also fits well at MC.

Negrao is on a stupid wage (I blame the DoF for sorting the details), and Rio Ave in his native Portugal are after him.  If they offered around £5m I would allow him to go, and while that would destroy our WBR depth with Stabile going, we have some decent youth options, and I will scour the released players to see what can be salvaged.

Rodrigues is worth more than his release fee, but as his wage is one of the highest at the club I don't think a new contract will fit within the 'structure' (or self imposed limits to avoid financial ruin).

Cisse and Pribyl are both wanted for loan, but are going to stay with the club as Pribyl is a mainstay already, and Cisse will start to make his mark this season.

Muhammed is another with a release fee that is close to being triggered.  He also wants a new deal, and expects over £10k p/w which he wont get while his contract has so long to run.

e0ef2d0a0eaa5f3719dac51b7c6f4663.png

In the U21s all of those coming to the end of their contracts will be leaving as they have not managed to push for the main squad.

Shaqiri will move to the main squad to see if he can settle as the AMC of the future.  Demolli will be given the same chance with Hajari leaving, as will Balci, Marino and Santini.  This will be for the offseason to start with to see if they have a chance of making it.  If not I will offer them for loan and try to recoup some value from them.

51d9328cebb3829f088889152f0ad13d.png

The challenge for those listed above is that some of the players in the U21s with longer contracts are better prospects.

Issa, Menga, Dondero, Muratoglu and Luckins will also be moving up to the main squad for the supper and review.  Luckins was picked up as a free agent during the last part of the season, and his value is high due to being American.

905463f5b1b1c2f68b6ad99a03d52169.png

The U18s is not the best squad in the world, bu the aim is to try and develop a bit of a youth pipeline to help with the European registration limits.

One the main squad is sorted, the best prospects will move to the U21s to fill out that squad with enough players to have a decent lineup, and the rest will get the chance to develop in the U18s.

 

The challenge is to try and attract a higher quality of player to continue to push on in the league and in Europe, while trying to minimise the wage expenses to avoid financial issues if we struggle in Europe or the league.  We have a couple of players lined up to join when the transfer window opens who are young enough to become HGC players, but aside from that we will be looking at those released by the big clubs in Italy and Germany, plus a few others.

After moving the players around I will need to go position by position to see where the needs are, and what the pipeline in the age group squads looks like before shopping around.  Ideally I want a young GK who can be the cup GK and then replace Searle, and depth at MC and Libero, plus restocking the WB positions in case of sales.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Squad overview

Having moved the players mentioned above to the main squad this the the picture at the minute

06d46451165111f76fbcb301c70a259f.png

Based on CA, this is the positional overview.  Considering the only wide players we use currently are WBs, the green centre of the picture is the main area of focus.

DM isn't used so to be lighter green is not a worry, but the rotation policy up front is challenging due to the lack of good options there.

GK is not green, but we have a great and a good option which is all we need.  Both WB slots are in need of some improvement with either a 2nd good, or a great option.  WBL is slightly more urgent due to only having two options and knowing that the position is liable to injuries.

ccf53d7e2bd3a3001e6722f54eda45a6.png

When the PA is shown, things look better at WB with all of the players having room to improve, and the same at STC.  The challenge is being able to achieve that potential.  Hopefully boosting the facilities will help with this.

a1fccd5a5d044a4cdd980aee9253e37c.png

By CA again, and the stand out is at DC where Luckins shows why he was signed, moving into the overview depth chart.  Gourna Douath will hold down the Libero slot, and the depth chart there will actually look a little different as it is not a standard DC role, but Muhammed and Pribyl will likely start the season as first choice, unless Muhammed commands a decent fee.

06c86ba4968d6366b2743c8e69a7b3ea.png

This is why Pribyl will be starting, with Muratoglu making a statement for being included in the mix this season.

Menga makes a push for WBR, with Milic showing strong at WBL (Demolli is more of a DL/DC that WBL but would be a functional 3rd choice in case of emergency.

The depth chart at WBR does show that if Negrao was to leave, the bonus would be twofold in terms of losing his high wage, and giving chances to young players to develop, balanced against the drop in quality at the moment.

27fd2f9d6c16a1c044b6ffacac150165.png

MC shows the need to develop with Zamora moving between Libero and MC, and Gourna Douath being the starting Libero meaning that the depth chart showing having limits.  AMC showing that there needs to be some succession planning with Shaqiri needing time to develop.

Yossam comes out of this badly, with Pospisil listed as a better STC than our 4th choice striker.

a342885ddde73e3fc21df0c36b18610a.png

Cisse shows why he will be in the main squad by jumping to the top of the MC listings by potential, with Issa showing hope although he is getting too old to really reach that ceiling.

Dondero stands out as better than Shaqiri at AMC in the long term, but may need to go out on loan to get a chance to develop fully.

David may be a better choice than Yossam at STC as he has the room to grow and is younger, but that would leave us short in certain games.

 

One thing for this offseason is to see if there is a better Assistant Manager available, although I can't place an advert while the incumbent is in place so I am going to let him go, then see what we can find.  I am also tempted to source a Loan Manager for the first time to make sure we utilise the loan market as an option to develop some of our younger players.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Club improvements

a4cc209d1a22783cc61a0f5fd4b4d287.png

23bc7142e9208a415ee591b8a9bedb03.png

I think we will struggle to climb higher, although the coefficient table looks a little different, so if Young Boys, Basel and ourselves continue to perform in European competitions then we could climb a little bit.

6baedaf1a8506afb2da027f86d0bbe21.png

8fdd5204934f1c77c227eec4fca2ff09.png

Next year, if we finish 3rd we would be in the Champions League (cup dependant - I will have to check the rules once the season ticks over).  We now also have 6 European spots available, so even if we struggle but match the board expectation of mid-table there will be Europe again.  We should be aiming to build on the performances this season, but the changes in the squad may see a slight drop off.

c4243f9a84de4ebc2d88c390046d2f68.png

Top 60 club, and still room to grow

3b3f5359e98621a7578a32706cc69322.png

Only two years worth of coefficient scores, so our coefficient for the next couple of years will definitely grow, whereas teams around us like Ajax (55), Feyenoord (52), Slavia Praha (48), Lille (47), Celtic (46) will all see large drops and we should ovetake them if they don't replicate their success of the 2023-2024 season.  We will definitely increase, although as we are playing at a higher level, it may be a smaller coefficient number.

It will be an interesting test case to see if there is more value in playing in the higher competition but not get as far while doing it.

c0271b41be2d343da1bdcec5a1800736.png

Unsurprisingly we are the third ranked Swiss side, with Basel and Young Boys quite closely matched.

4d09ffb8e16c64634ad39482cce12bab.png

Having moved the U21 players to the main squad we have enough players to meet the homegrown limits, but looking at the ones shown here, Milone, Dondero, Santini, Marino and David are all under the age of 21 still so won't need to be registered anyway.

 

I was able to ask for a new affiliate, and aimed to boost our profile, as it will help financially.  Eventually if the board agree we will change this to benefit the youth setup too.

e63d8161ccbec55e5a4f0ea679973015.png

These are the options the board came back with.  I could have made the decision myself, but decided to give the board the chance to find the best options.

e793d279a114b9f5e19e9beb7ce985f7.png

Busan have the best facilities, with Changchun having Good Training and Jeonnam having Good Youth, but neither doubling up.

Edited by scousevasey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

e873d7de8f2a16420004dbc76ce24f88.png

Not sure what the phrase 'attempt to be competitive' means in terms of what we need to do.  We enter at the Playoff stage, and have been expected to make the Conference League group stages in the previous two years which we will do regardless due to entering in the Europe Playoff.

I am taking it to mean we have a free shot in the Europa League regarding the board, while I will aim to make the group stage, then the Conference League from the group if that is an option.

41bc5128907873842bdfc7aef74c12d7.png

As the Europa League spot in the league could go to the cup winner, I am not sure if 4th and the Conference League with a lower ranked cup winner will count.  Really we should be aiming to replicate the 3rd from last season, but the squad changes may jeopardise that.  I would be happy with 4th.

0c4060e537af5195f5ab842418f4b34a.png

The media expect Lausanne to rebound after their poor season due to Europe, with the two Conference League sides expected to struggle to split their attention.   St Gallen are expected to make a decent challenge, and there are clear groupings in the media predictions

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

European Adventures 2028

2e64ebc30f5657c9d2e295f669b636dd.png
 

Looks like we are heading back to the Conference League then.

Last season Benfica went straight into the Champions League group stage then ended up in the Europa knockouts making it to the quarter finals.

As most of the draw was pulling out four team options as the 2nd round is still ongoing it is a shame to know we drew a team entering at this stage directly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

European Adventures 2028

89def3821ec12cf8691749a7af4dc0fb.png

Solid at the back in the home leg, which meant that Benfica had no away goals and we had a lead in the tie.

2a4f20ccf2d5577af48fd806e8fb7773.png

The best part of the result in the second leg is that we were 4-0 up on the night, 5-0 in the tie.  Bit of a shame to concede three in the final 30 minutes(ish), but they needed six to win and we managed to tighten up and win on the night too.

Decent crowd in Portugal too.  Soon we will need to think about improving our stadium.  We are getting about 50% capacity in the league, but have to play away in Europe which is a negative.  Likely to need a higher percentage for the board to agree to the expense though.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

August and September 2028

First dealing with Europe

7a7cb93a4da559f070747f6be3e02d06.png

We are one of the highest ranked teams, although only 21 of 32 are shown before the draw

73bafef9662c60c8f9dd19b38e32e68d.png

We can't face Young Boys which rules out the lowest seed in pot 1.

Ideally it would be Zenit, but any of the bottom half would be good

177a92a1368a503e78e628dc338c8aa7.png

We make the second pot, which shows our growth over the past couple of seasons.

f0e449883974d6574824f58423ce6ac0.png

We have beaten Legia before, so in reality we can't be too worried about any of the pot 3 options, but Valur, Zorya and Mallorca look to be the best options

b4c1b70c402b9c1d53b9276fc21ac5bb.png

It would be nice to avoid the Germans and Austrians here

ea06e8e711f3e38e191580d216a557d0.png

Nicely set up really.  Avoided any of the really big teams.

45ce7d7ca1b7ad9844bcd710de72c396.png

My view is I would expect to beat AIK and Lokomotiv, although the trip to Russia will be difficult.  The games against Napoli will be the decider of the group winner

 

8aa92d124bbbd732884ec9828657b3be.png

Too many draws but there is some context.

We played a fully rotated side against Zurich to ensure we could get through against Benfica.

A strong team played Basel and Young Boys, and getting a point from one of those games is a positive.

We were poor against Sion with a slightly rotated side

e325b25028589e028500bfe92d60bd4b.png

We lost to the top of the table side, and then drawn with second, third and fifth.

So we have 6th, 7th and 10th to play to round out the first cycle of games which we would expect to get 7-9 points from which would put us in a good position.  The balance will be to avoid losing ground while trying to make it through the Europa group stage, although if it looks like 3rd is the best we can do then that is not the end of the world as we can perform in the Conference League

e7f3f87125a0ad36a96dd075615131f9.png

A rotated side will play in the cup to allow a full strength team in Europe.

After facing Lokomotiv and Napoli in September we will have a good idea of how the group should play out

Edited by scousevasey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Facilities

898bd0a84b0ed377af9581e79bfc79ab.png

The upgrades we sorted last year have been completed and the picture is looking rosy.

44e12414fa40a0180b0efab80d8dab80.png

Good and Great facilities (I am ignoring the Data Analysis facilities for the minute) and Excellent Coaching and Recruitment.

For the first time in a while we could go back to the board for an instant improvement.  I think this is more to do with timing from any previous requests than anything else.

9c997b4ebcd28e8c7de081ab59a0d2ae.png

They weren't fans of this, and the fee is probably why.  Instead the board originally suggested that we should use the transfer market to improve, but after suggesting we had some decent options we could do with developing they agreed it was worth it.

Now we need to ensure that we pay this back with some decent youth products coming through.

da8545a8b13f681a864f9149a17c4a61.png

In approaching the board about the training facilities, there were some new options available, so we dived in with the 'training techniques keep improving and we need to keep up' option.  The board went for this at the first time of asking, and maybe they were feeling flush with cash, or maybe the lower cost helped things along.

But it does mean we have £5.8m lined up to be spent by the end of the year

1625dff3daec9219ba9e877d8582d208.png

And on the 20th September we have £6.6m in the bank.  As is clear from the graph we tend to see an increase in money through the winter as we rake in the European prize money (£490k for a win in the Europa League) and then see that tail off during the spring.

To ensure that these go through, I may need to see if any of the interest in our players is worth a deal.  Gourna Douath has been attracting attention and is valued at £5m.  I have set his asking price to be around £15m, but if we could negotiate some teams to around £7-8m for him, with a resale clause it would guarantee the funding for the upgrades, and help in the future.  While I don't want to be losing him, we have cover in Zamora who can step in and be first string, and a couple of DC and MC options who can be retrained as well as a young 19yo French/Algerian who we won't be able to get for free but looks like he could be decent

4c4a57269fdcb66275d125d515ae07ed.png

Getting him for less that £500k will allow Gourna Douath to move on quite easily.  The challenge will be getting ES Setif to agree to sell him to us

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

September 2028

fd5ffbc50f671fead0d55822cf49bffa.png

One the face of it things look good.  But they could be better.

A good win for a second team in the cup, and the first team gave us the best possible start to the Europa League group stage.

The three league games all came with mixed rotation teams, to avoid injuries and players needing to recover from previous exertions.

128bd38e80ee77b5709e2c3325ddbfd3.png 31de78c650b18d399fd1c65210637189.png

Grasshopper should have been beaten, but it was a rotated team.  The level of rotation over the previous games probably cost us as there are fewer settled partnerships, but in the long term it will benefit us.

905dd572df9b076edda2ed91731530d6.png

The toughest Europa tie, Napoli away sees a decent performance, with lots of possession but little threat.  A good point with us having travelled.

48a19b5e20a269dbffb79f0ba92e620d.png

In the league we are 4th, and it has looked worse through the month.

Zurich are outperforming expectations, and are still unbeaten.  Hopefully they will start to tail off in the rest of the season, but we could struggle to get 3rd and the extra Champions League place this year.

Thun and St Gallen are struggling this season, and it is particularly interesting that St Gallen splashed out £3.4m on Daniel Maldini, son of Paolo who was on loan from AC Milan to Avellino way back when.  As he is an AML he doesn't fit our current formation, but it is interesting to see they are willing to spend that money (he scored against us too) and are still struggling.

We need to be more secure defensively in the next nine games, and I may rotate the three DCs less in October to try and tighten up a bit more.  We have also been on an Attacking mentality which may contribute, so there is a possible change of roles for the DCs to make them slightly more defensively minded.

ce87c2fc3c6e20ff44342a4a9176a820.png

Tied with Napoli, and only separated by the fact Lokomotiv scored against us.

533ecacb5690cb442aba35798e2ee13a.png

Based on these results, I would expect us to be 2nd at the end of the group, although with Napoli having to come to us, there is the slim possibility of winning the group which would be well above expectations.  Our next two games are AIK, followed by Lokomotiv, so hopefully there is everything to play for in the final game.

As mentioned above the money for winning is good at £490k, which will help ensure the upgrades go through.

Linked to that we had an offer for up and coming AMC Dondero this month.

Young Boys came in with an offer of £91k (£275k) which I negotiated upwards a bit.  Dondero was valued at £54k at this stage

d71027516e36999dc0b460a53444cb7a.png

I may have negotiated on the low side as Young Boys came back with the offer as suggested, set to be non-negotiable, and as it is roughly a tenfold increase on his value (if all incentives are met) then it is not to be sniffed at.

4626cf876baeca6afdf5e361a2efb384.png

He is decent and has room to grow, but is currently our third choice behind Pospisil and Morf so doesn't get the most playing time.  The key part of the offer that Young Boys accepted was a 50% sell on fee, so if he performs at Young Boys then we will reap the benefits of that.

Looking at the add-ons

Per League Appearance (10) - likely if they are looking to buy him at 17, they will want to play him, but it may take a couple of seasons to get to this

After League Appearances (10) - see above, with that 10th game being quite valuable

After International Appearances (1) - at 17 he has started in two U19s games, both in September 2028 (the month of the update).  With progress at Lugano or Young Boys it is likely he makes the Switzerland squad, but the big question will be if this is at Young Boys or after a further move

Minimum League goals (10) - As an AMC he should have a chance at this

That means we are likely to reach the first two, and then probably the fourth one.  The third one relies of a few more things with the National team, but we are in a good position to earn most of the extras.  And then if he performs for Young Boys there is the possibility of a decent move abroad.

c611fd62edc74769564250e837b4e98c.png

October sees us start the 2nd tour of league games, as well as a trip to AIK.

Servette and Thun should be beaten.  Basel away will be tough.  Young Boys at home will be tough.  In the league we should be looking at 8 points (two wins and two draws against the big two).

Zurich in the cup will be tough due to their performance in the league.  I will still rotate, despite the board wanting us to reach the quarter final, so winning this round, but we are outperforming expectations in in Europe so they can't get too grumpy.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Draft and Develop

Ideally we would be bringing through youth to play for us.  Not only because it helps with European squads, but also as a way of raising funds and improving the team

aba3ede06ce9fc87cc7c7b06214678f3.png

Unfortunately we are not doing that yet.

The number for Zurich is surprisingly high after their yo-yo-ing recent history, although they may have been raided a few times due to this.  The fact we are 2nd bottom is a worry, and needs improving

So what shouldn't I do? Sell my youth players early.

bd53ea7aeb3b06b2965a3c65a4e331e2.png

Dondero decided to sign, and moves immediately (I assume due to age and it being in league)

23caf6c44c209dc9601284408d546d30.png

His new contract is much more than he was earning (nearly double) but it sees his value rocket to £325k, which makes me think he was undervalued.  Young Boys have him on the loan list straight away, so I doubt we will see the appearances fees this season, but the hope is that he will improve on loan and make their team soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

October 2028

3cb089b4d511c74316e5f8d3d661df86.png

We managed to beat Basel away from home, but in general it was a poor month.

I expected wins against Servette and Thun, but we only managed to draw.

In positive news for the future, the games against Basel, AIK and Young Boys were played with the first team.  The game against Zurich was a fully rotated team.  The games against Servette and Thun were partially rotated teams.  That means our first team is capable of fighting for the title, if I played them every game.  And our second team would be able to stay in the division without too much hassle.  We just need to find the balance to keep improving

14a9e639f4b275511f7005cf5c0b3789.png f310c702d6affac290a549addba8a153.png

We had the best of each game, but couldn't find enough to win the games.  This is where the rotation is slightly harmful in terms of the short term, but beneficial for the future

2217bc79eaa07bd9d1ceb14793b2d5fd.png

The full second team were not incisive enough up front, but bearing in mind Zurich are at the top end of the table this is not too poor a result

489dddd7fd0fe73dab813338292d73e2.png

We played Young Boys close, and a draw would have been a reasonable result.  I can't believe we gave away a penalty in the 92 minute.  I can't even punish anyone, as the match report just says there was a corner that hit a hand, with VAR intervening.

d2f5fc7bacf814c719643910a234b467.png

That means we are sitting in 4 just after a third of the season has gone by.

Zurich are still strong, but have picked up some losses, so hopefully we can capitalise and catch them up by the end of December.

58d78716d170def752b5929a6e9e294d.png

We were impressive in Sweden, while Napoli kept the pressure on at the top of the table

e6f2be9f442a9b71d8e63739510800cf.png

If the results last time out happen again in the instant rematches, then both ourselves and Napoli will be through to the next round after four games.  The glut of goals in Sweden move us top.

eb8993f0bbd8da80ad6dbf846cb71201.png

November starts with the chance to qualify for the Europa Knockout rounds, then a game against Zurich where we can close in on 3rd straight away.

A slightly rotated side will face Sion and Grasshopper, to allow us to beat Lokomotiv if we can.

Three games against mid to lower table sides that we need to be winning this month.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

November 2028

127ade880e6f8c5e2ba9ef42b5ea2a1d.png

More draws which is not good enough, so I went the strongest (fit) team after we beat Lokomotiv and it paid off with some wins.

9e500683ccf4ce4d7f46aa6d4d26418d.png

Handily Zurich are starting to fall back to earth, so we catch them this month.  The draw against them means we don't have a three point cushion on them.

Quite a way to catch Young Boys and Basel, but if we perform as we have been doing against them, we will either keep the gap as it is, or close it slightly which would be nice.  I don't think we are strong enough to perform in Europe and to break the domination of the big two, so the focus at the minute is to gain the European money and develop.

cb38ea1271ba6c316c84ad2a3a634d01.png

Napoli decided to get in on the goals against AIK meaning it all comes down to game 6

786a80d8d14c9cff940c491d8af81a6f.png

Quite a split in the group.  A draw should be good enough to see us through, but I am not sure if away goals play a role in ranking

1a2329bea5f44a0082495a6d20776134.png

If we draw both games, with a 0-0 in Italy then we could see away goals play a part.  A 0-0 will see us go through top.  If away goals don't count then any draw sees us top.

The reason for questioning away goals is that AIK are above Lokomotiv but have a worse goal difference, and their previous game was a 1-1 in Russia, which would be the reason for AIK to be above Lokomotiv with these rules.

fa11ea6dca88d0492c75b4b0767305c9.png

December will be harder after Betta broke his head in training.  He is pretty much out for the year to allow time to regain fitness, which is a shame.  We have the depth to cover for him, but it means our rotated MC pairings become weaker.

25f055223fe78cd1c175173729b16511.png

Only the three games in December as we get ready for a rest.  We face 8th and 6th in the league, so will continue with the strong teams to see if we can open a gap up on Zurich before the break

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Youth Preview

eff3fcc4f2d8b0f8817a910603b82508.png

Shame that there are fullbacks and not wingbacks coming through, but the fact this is a good group of players, mainly in positions we utilise is a positive.

This is hopefully the first step on improving, with another upgrade in the pipeline the hope is the Youth Intakes continue to improve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

December 2028

a7cad3fa5efccaab9480e6b14782e19c.png

Not good enough against Lausanne, and Napoli scored after 2 minutes in an even game, before we were able to claim a win against Servette.  Really should be looking for 6 points in the league though.

8f99af3cf07a63de4124ed93b97cac60.png

So we hit the break in third, but tied with Zurich in 4th on points and close on GD.

Sion are lurking and a good run will see them close up, but I can't see Servette challenging us for position.

We are only three behind Basel as they had a poor run in the league, but they have been slightly distracted lately.

3b385f1defa0f54a6d7e64200db01279.png

With the loss to Napoli we fall to second in the group, with AIK managing to record a win to finish off

26d2356a3dc5d011d54843dec77a6adf.png

Italy again.  Milan will be a challenge as they were above Napoli in the table last season and have just dropped from the Champions League

6f90e604118187fd9d15e65ce1d9f561.png

Elsewhere in Europe, the two lowest ranked Swiss teams (Zurich and Servette) were both knocked out in the Conference League qualifiers.

We were third, and progress to the Europa knockout stages,

Young Boys lost out to Sporting on away goals in the Champions League qualifying stage so entered the Europa League

e07e3eb452fbdb46c21aa0203cd1ebdd.png

I would suggest they had an easier group that us, but were only able to beat Mainz, while they drew twice with the group winners.  It was quite close, and Young Boys were in 2nd after five games but had to face Slavia Praha in the final game, meaning they needed to win, or hope for a draw elsewhere, and neither happened.

754410637b5dbde637bcdd1b527efcdd.png

They will be off to Bulgaria in 2029 as they drop to the Conference League.  They won this competition a couple of years ago, and should be looking to progress fairly deep again

Basel won the league last year, so earned the Champions League group stage

929bc7d73b1cff91cf85c53b039dde54.png

They managed to make their way though the group and will be in the knockout round in 2029 too

eb465b0a981b0b6c048ede3fcabf5c35.png

I am not sure how far they will progress in this.

But it does mean that the top three are representing Switzerland in the knockout stages of each European competition, which should boost the national coefficient a bit and help secure the three Champions League spots for future years

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

January 2029

We lost our best striker this month, and possibly our best player.da0d41f6e72cd28be14965ca74c0de29.png

When signing Rodrigues from Forge FC in Canada the only way to get him was to pay him £6k p/w and insert a release fee which was £1m.

He was worth £3.2m when sold, and I had tried to negotiate a new contract with him but he wanted his wages to be doubled, and then some, with a £1k appearance fee too.  There was no way to bargain him down to a reasonable fee, so we lost him to Sparta for the release fee.

I did try to offer him around for less, plus a sell on clause, after Sparta made their bid but there were no takers.

On arrival he is only worth £3.5m, so not a huge increase, but he is on a staggering £32k p/w, which is about a third of our entire wage bill

06de04ae067d7a3e0159901c4ee012ef.png

Continental Pro sorted out, which should help in raising reputation and the quality of players we can attract

eeebf9011c20cabe07a58a64cb8d964e.png

I didn't realise the first game crept up, and after 3 friendlies for fitness, which ended up with a couple of injuries instead, we struggled to break Thun down despite  controlling the game.

A tough run of games as we face the rest of the top 4 before Milan.

St Gallen have been poor so far this season but did beat Young Boys to open 2029, so won't roll over for us.

And all of this is with a depleted strike force

efd06c855ab233e7739de94bdb1a5430.png

Opoku is a WBL who was on loan, but has come back while Milic goes out on loan, and brings in £10k p/m if playing, plus wages, so is a boost financially.  He is more of a DL so will need to transition to WBL a bit, and is slightly weaker than Milic but will be a reasonable backup

Negrao is one of our key WBRs, where Sello has developed hugely to challenge him.  Sello wasn't registered for Europe due to Homegrown numbers being an issue, so Negrao had free run of Europe and Sello too the majority of league games, but he will be registered for the knockout stages to help manage things (and with Rodrigues sold there is a spot available)

McWilliams is our best striker remaining.  And we lose him until the first Milan leg.  So our misfiring strike partnership will be reliant on the players who entered the season as 3rd, 4th, and 5th string.  It will be tough to get points out of the big teams.

Betta is an MC who came in free, and was rotating in, with an eye to move him back to Libero if Gourna Douath was sold (he has been subject to a bid but nothing further yet).  He won't be making an impact until next season.

d1b1c0a417b3bf211313d6c103765dac.png

We did manage to strengthen at the back in the window signing Merbah for compensation from ES Setif in Algeria.  The big positive, apart from him being good, 19, and suited to Libero, is that he is a dual citizen with French nationality which means he doesn't count as foreign registered in the league.  We are able to scout some good quality prospects but lots of them come from Africa, the Middle East, and South America, and with the limit on 5 non-European registered players in the starting 11, and 10 in the squad we have to be careful.  Players have to spend 10 years in Switzerland to naturalise, so it is not really an option, and I want to keep the foreign spots for true stars if I can

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A transfer saga in three parts

After saying there had been a bid for Gourna Douath, but nothing more, as soon as I moved on, the next bid appeared.

SPAL were the team who put in the first offer, and we had tried to boost the bid closer to £15m, with a 50% sell on clause

c20aa25623fc73c5401ca22865e97d77.png

The board were very excited to get £8.25m instead, although I had locked the 50% clause in so that came back.

I had the choice to protest, or ask the board to negotiate, and as I outlined in an earlier post, I am slightly resigned to losing Gourna Douath and have looked to get his replacements already with Betta, and Merbah as well as current rotational Libero Zamora.

Plus the money would ensure that we can finish the next upgrades.

1ab4ae6da248df43f67ddac574b54e4c.png

The board agreed we should be able to get more, and managed to tack on an extra million which is nice.

About two days later, there was more news

46c45f1d671bbf8aee0fee991a5776e7.png

Another bid came in, and it was negotiable, despite coming in at the same level as the SPAL offer, so we bargained it up to be £12.5m with incentives, plus the 50% clause again

116c74723ea1356f2245eba8d8007858.png

And he then went and rejected both contracts.

e47f5afa684fce1dd22d653979589b95.png

He isn't being paid a huge amount with us, and could probably have been offered £15k p/w easily.  But clearly not enough.  Gourna Douath also is upset and wants a new contract at Lugano, but the challenge is to sign him without his wage being too high.  I am looking to leave it until the summer, as he still has two full years left on the contract, and there may be more interest and a higher fee for him then

5d259e5625414520a26d5c696683bbf1.png

Not bad for someone who Basel released, and came to us as a DM/MC that was converted to Libero.

 

In other transfer news, we will be losing another striker, but this time in July

fd239e2ee1094f9325817551090f954a.png

He was 3rd string coming into the season, so we are going to be really struggling for next year, and despite my aim to try and avoid signings to build from the (hopefully) better youth coming through, I will need to patch up the attack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

February 2029 (plus the games in January 2029)

9f939bb2d10f861b2a7d44bf42d370a3.png

After the poor draw to Thun we struggled to score against Basel which was not surprising as we had our backup striker pairing in the team.

They combined hugely against Zurich, showing there is some quality, and bags of potential there, before it all went wrong against Young Boys.

Due to the league situation, and trying to get everyone back to fitness after the break there has been less rotation this month, although the press have mentioned our use of 30 players so far.

Then came the crazy results in Europe

d9a8538fd61e04ce7800a2138d21dae4.png

We moved from playing at Arena Thun (home of Thun) in the Conference League, to playing at St Gallen's stadium for the Europa League, and I didn't realise until we set our new record attendance.  We played at the same stadium in the group stage, but couldn't top 6000 and the Italians, helped by the short journey came to pack out the ground

1fd1291ecda5ef355e5ba98e178bfcd7.png

Only 62km, so about an hour or so to travel, helping to explain the huge gate.

6b2559e0736b463d62b2dc2fd5baa6f5.png

Nearly half a million for this game, which is a real bonus.  Especially as after the discussions about Gourna Douath, no other bids came in, so the transfer window closes with him still at the club, and our finances still cutting it close for the upgrades.

2f0e953bcebb71ab03fa5955fbe1452b.png

The prize money didn't increase, and we had to play two matches to get this despite it being one in the group stage.  Hopefully when we do get knocked out, there is a nice windfall for us

ef3c5013bc5382d41bb5c47184f3ae51.png ed5eeba9d7b42938634c4f8843e11445.png

The home teams were equally dominant in each game, but Milan couldn't break us down, leaving it late in the first leg, and while I was nervous about the away goal, David, who as an academy graduate is making a push to be our number 2 striker long term secured the tie himself.

699aa531f25501228d824534546f74de.png

We are not mentioned as the reason, that is league form with Milan sitting in 6th, but we surely played a part with this happening just days after we knocked them out of Europe

18c2ca9ded698c5a820d9a8bb4ee23e7.pngde8e7430b9248e3abc931c953adc4bf6.png

We come into the draw rated as the fifth best side by coefficient.  Not bad considering our short time in the European places.

Kobenhaven, Sturm Graz, Dyanmo Kyiv, Slavia Praha (and Rodrigues) or Shakhtar would be the best draws.

ff308b7550042f31d528c2a2895f07e4.png

So of course we come out with the toughest possible draw.  Positives are that we are guaranteed a good attendance. And that is about it.

85ccc9020dd593d905ebf3b63b6e5b89.png

We are at 'home' in the first leg, which helped us last time, so hopefully a repeat is on the cards.

 

After facing off against Milan we then travelled to our European home, to face St Gallen and were able to come from behind for a win, before another poor draw against Sion

223180aab93b0c9fd623226fa1f0a471.png

All of the chaos this month means we are still 4th, despite falling behind Zurich who lost to end the month, and we are still keeping ahead of Sion but could have done with beating them to provide a bit more comfort

2nd place is probably out of reach, although there are still 11 games left, meaning we do get to face everyone at least once.

faa002416edc2568da633a44caa955a6.png

Not the toughest month in the league with us facing bottom side Grasshopper, then 6th and 7th who are verging on having nothing to play for.  We will go for it against Man Utd in the first leg, but if we get destroyed then I will rotate massively for the second leg.  I think we have reached our ceiling in the Europa League this season, so we may need to focus on making it back next year with a good run in the league

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

2029 Youth Intake

a0205fe427c64ddd2cc5ed770f83d240.png

Nobody who can step up early, and the personalities of the top two players according to the HoYD are not positive.

Not sure much will come of this batch

Edited by scousevasey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

March 2029

A poor month overall, and it is not actually over, but competitive fixtures are

18993d5da7013f1b84cca486b548aa73.png

The draw against Man Utd was a real positive, despite them drawing fewer fans than Milan.

We then conceded against Grasshopper in the 94th minute, and that was as good at the month got.

Not a surprise to lose out to Man Utd in the away leg, but we were dire against Lausanne and struggled to convert any pressure against Servette

There is a slight international break for the rest of the month, and because fitness is low, and morale is dropping due to the run of bad results we have scheduled two teams with small reputations to come and play during the break.  The aim is to try and get most of the squad feeling better so we can launch our attack on the final eight games

a9dccba2ce081f32b1dbc4cf440ac5d3.png

Not a huge amount from Europe which means that finances are tight. We currently have £5.8m in the bank, so whether the upgrades go ahead will all depend on when final prize money for the season comes through in comparison with the work starting.

b7a997653dab6730417652647f514406.png

Despite our poor play we stay 4th as Sion have played as poorly as ourselves.  Servette beating us sees them move into contention for the European spots which means we need to sort out the results soon.

Basel lost to both Young Boys and Zurich this month which sees them struggling too and it likely that we are really playing for fourth.

0b14f9c13123d0cd2b493b7b3467bcfd.png ed0882aa78b1213a8f9b04205401bb79.png

The board expect us to qualify for the Europa League based on the league.  as this is linked to 4th place depending on the cup, I am assuming it translates to aiming to finish 4th or higher.  But we need to keep an eye on the cup where we want the winner from Zurich-Basel to win the cup and ensure the Europa League spot goes to 4th.

82b56346d9eaad66cc299a629db7e934.png

In the rest of the Europa League we miss out on Juventus, which would have brought another big crowd due to the small distance between the teams.

db3a56c1c96f1b88cc41b6129d0f482e.png 7ddcc4b088ee4e0023fd2d0402c23ad0.png

Elsewhere in Europe, Basel conceded four at home to bow out of the Champions League, while runaway league leaders Young Boys reach the quarter finals of the Challenge League

4378d58ae287d8f5055ea5ca090bc3cf.png

After our two friendlies we have five games in April, that include the big three games.

We need a win against Thun, otherwise we can give up hope of 4th.

I am hopeful that against Basel, Zurich and Young Boys we can get a win and a draw in some combination.

We really also need to beat Sion especially as they are a close rival for league position

When it comes to May we face three of the bottom four (Thun are the odd ones out, and we play them in April), which should help the run in, but we need some points this month to ensure we don't fall out of the race before it begins

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know there are only two months to the end of the season, and eight games in total, but I am struggling to keep going with this at the minute.

 

It is going into mothballs for a while and I am going to try and do better at my first FM20 save by restarting it, and delving a little deeper.  Depending how that goes will affect how  long I will spend away from this save

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...