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It is full of legends! From Serie B Torino to the unknown.

  1. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend

    It is full of legends! From Serie B Torino to the unknown.

    INTRODUCTION

    When I asked in the thread for suggestions I got a few, of which I chose Torino. I thought doing a story focused on trying to emulate SFraser's great threads as homage to one whose texts always made me think of him as a very notable man. My understanding of the game owes much to his posts, though I'm not as bright as to have taken all that there is in them, so at most I have an average knowledge of the game, if anything. Due to some reasons, Torino being favourite and looking a big team to make the league not a big challenge, Sven being sacked from Leicester which seemed a better challenge that I moved to try in a new game but failed, being sacked in midseason just when things looked to be about to start working, plus some lack of time for a while to dedicate to the game, and some apprehension about not being up to the task of making a decent story in that mindset has turned out in not starting this story until after the first season has been ended, after a long while.

    The season has in the end been a decent challenge, it's not been as easy as it seemed at a point. The first two posts will be more of a resume of this past season. I will bring some tactical insight, not as much as I would have wished at this time yet due to the time passed, in the second post in continuation to this first half to the first season resume. I will try, and this time I will actually do it, to change the way I do this story from past ones. Before they were akin to this first update of two post (the second will come in a couple days), in which I first played a piece of game then wrote the update, which caused a few issues of quality, the second is going along what I'll start doing from right now: I'll start the updates before playing the following fragment of game. Each fragment would then be parted in: statement of aim and project, tale of how things actually go and explanation of why things worked or not according to plan, maybe in the same post or in separated ones. While being a story demands to deal with the events that happen, I will try to focus in at least a piece about work in tactic, transfer market, young management, etc. in an effort to learn about the game as the story goes and hopefully managing to clear something up in a way useful for others. Now that's the intent, achieving it is something else I can't promise.


    Season 2011-2012 (1/2)

    The team is Torino, an old glory, the coach is Esteban Frasine, an italian name that sounds like a legendary british and his photo is resembling that of mythic Brian Clough. The goal is to make such coincidence of glories to coalesce into the brightest ever combination. Will the man be up to the herculean task?. He can't hope to ever compare to a fragment of all the greatness of each of those three, but is his hope to be up to at least not embarrass himself.



    The first task was to have a look at the backroom staff. My work is to manage the team and that is a task I have to do along the rest of the staff, so it is important to ensure they are up to what I want from them. What I saw wasn't very pleasant, but finding the replacements was not that a hard task and soon we had a backroom team suited to the tasks.



    Then it was a matter to have a look at the reports of the squad and start planning.



    Our best player was in theory a boy with much imagination and will to try take his chances, with a good aim for crossing the ball and legs to take all the running the sidelines, but that is lacking in judgement and his passing accuracy not befitting of a creator. A strong side that had what was needed for the bid for promotion and top spot but with a clear weakness in defence, specially its sides and a sub-optimal if decent goalkeeper. The worse would come with the sale of Ogbonna to Sevilla, following his unrest after a rejected offer, which put the defence under question. Therefore, the main objective of the summer window was to sign a fullback for each side to be the starting choices and two centerbacks to make along promising Kamil Gilk an stable trio for the back, with little reinforcements in more advanced lines. The task was only partially successful. These are the signings:

    - Stephan Loboué, free transfer: A Nigerian goalkeeper that, not looking great, is more than valid for Serie B and was within the price range we could pay. He'd turn with Coppola until one of the earned to be the main. Eventually Loboué earned to be the main choice with his consistency. Coppola wasn't far behind, though, so he kept in contention for the duration of his loan.

    - Michele Camporese, loan: Fiorentina's wonderkid that lived up to the expectations I'd had for an established adult star. Great reading of the game meant he always knew where he was needed and has been constantly breaking up attacks.

    - Tyrone Loran, Free Transfer: Only decent centerback I could find that accepted my offer, after failing to get other names such as Materazzi. started as first choice ahead of Camporese, but after a few bad matches was relegated to rotate with him and Gilk as the youngster proved to be a diamond in act. When called for, has been up to the task much more often than not.

    - With Laure (€1.8M, Deportivo) and Conor McLaughlin (loan from Preston) we had two flukes. The first was a complete disappointment due to his irregularity and he was more often than not, disappointing, falling from the side in favour of Darmian. The second was a gamble due to the failure to sign any of the few decent fullbacks that our scouting network had found, he had only a few appearances, he was not bad but didn't manage to earn my trust.

    - Christian Llama, €800K, Catania: one of the best purchases, bought mainly for the wing position with the mind that his ability as wingback would make him a good screen and assistance to Parisi/Zavagno in fullback. His contribution has been mainly in attack and he's delivered.

    - Mohamed Gulraiz, free transfer: brought in with view in the future, has failed to perform in the matches and soon fell from grace without getting any improvement worth mentioning.

    - Davide Petrucci, loan, ManU: a decently looking youngster to boost the forward with a player that can play either as striker or midfielder. Earned minutes with time, but the great quality already in the team ended making him short in minutes.



    Those are the first window signings. A mixed bag that has a positive result with only Laure as a real disappointment. Gulraiz could have well been left be in the free market.

    Seeing the squad at my disposal, I determined that the most suitable option was going for a 4-4-2 with eyes on attacking proficiency but with mind given to the defensive shape. I didn't feel any of my strikers could perform well in a lone role and it would be advisable to create a partnership and provide targets for the wingers' crossing and the passes from the midfield (where De Feudis/Vives was the more frequent partnership). Marking I set to zonal as I want them to keep shape and avoid being moved around by the opposition attack, and the players looked like having the capacity for such defense. While I trained them on an equilibrium of defence/ofence, once the games started I would, if nothing advised otherwise, make them to play more offensively.



    The preseason friendlies proved me right. We did lose some games, but again bigger opposition, making it hard for Champions League side Valencia, even if in the end they scored their two goals first. The Serie A side Catania defeated us, but I had fielded not the best side as I don't want to waste my player's physique in cup competition, much less if my team isn't in top tier comfortably.

    What the friendlies showed was the 4-4-2 was working as I wanted it, even a little better. Against sides with a two men midfield the side could move the ball comfortably with the help from the deeper forward when needed to get out of any pressure high on the pitch when attacking, while defending no free ment were allowed to the opposition. The fear was about meeting three men midfields, such as 4-2-3-1 formations, the answer was satisfactory: in attack, by playing narrow and exploiting the flanks, we could get around the central trio or to bring one winger in to compensate the inferiority of numbers, plus the help from the deeper forward (Antenucci) dropping to offer himself for a pass, in defense, that deeper forward would track back and take on their deeper midfielder, letting De Feudis and Vives to pick the other two and negate the numerical advantag; the best was that Antenucci (or Bianchi) did track very deep, as deep as ten yards in our own half, so it was a rare event that those teams would enjoy of that theorical advantage in midfield.

    That behaviour would keep showing during the season, which first half was positive, constantly dominating matches, never conceding possession even against sides fielding 4-2-3-1, 4-3-1-2, 4-1-3-2 or even 4-3-2-1 (ranging from 45% to 56%) and moving the ball consistently to create chances. With that, the first half of the league has been considered a suiccess, setting us in the top spot at its end.
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  2. I was Torino and in 2015 I was top of serie A, then i lost interest but i will return to that save one day!

  3. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    (Congrats, I've yet to get a team to top spot, barring Porto and Real Madrid, who are hardly challenging, in any of my past games, I hope to get it with this)

    Season 2011-2012 2/2

    During that half season the disappointment with Laure and the awareness of the lack of quality in the leftback position was to be the constant worry when it came to face the winter market, with the weakness at the goal in a second place, though with the confidence that Loboué and Coppola would be enough if not ideal. But all that was shaked first by the appearance in the market of a quality goalkeeper that could be interested in playing for us: no other than Newcastle's Tim Krul, a great looking goalkeeper, after the results of the summer I decided it was to our best interests to secure a quality goalkeeper now that we had one offered than risk another failure during next summer, specially if we managed to promote. Six and a half million was a high price, but judged to be worth it even if it would be taking a good monthly chunk of money for three years. That still left us with margin to buy young Pavel Vidanov for a mere €60K and a little later, beside getting for free youngsters Amankwaa and Derek Tate in lieu of populating the U19 and reserve teams, still allowed us to sign Legia's Miroslav Radovic for €850K and Brescia's topscorer Feczesin for two million.

    Why signing such two players as Radovic and Feczesin, considering the quality already present in our midfield and the overall good performance from Ebagua (our maximum scorer and close to be the league's), Bianchi and Antenucci?. The answer comes from the later matches of that first half of the league.

    Ever since our cautious match against Brescia, the performance had taken a drop. Maybe our teams were taking us more seriously or maybe my worry about complacency has took me to make my side too cautios, the fact was the play was no longer the same fluid and quick. The ball movement became more tame and the team was taking too much time in the building up of the game and the creation of chances suffered from it. The problem seemed clear: Bianchi/Antenucci dropped too much and Ebagua was left too lonely, with no men up the field to take the ball and work the last meters the attacks broke up before even starting and our game was stuck on the initial phases.

    What could be the answer to that?. 1- Up the rhythm and length the passes in the hope that long balls would attract the team higher up the pitch after the ball, 2 - make Antenucci to stop dropping so back and get forward. The results were not satisfactory. It is true the team began to work better on the attack and no longer it got stuck in the initial movements of the attack and completed them more often, but that was not enough, as the positive effects were accompanied by other negative results: the removal of Antenucci from the midfield brought more difficulty to the movement in midfield and as consequence the ball was lost more often and the quality of the chances created diminished from the last passes being more hurried by the rivals' pressure, while in defence the opposition midfield could work with more ease and in a string of games with an abundance of teams playing 4-3-2-1 turned into poor matches with bad results.

    The answer was a change of formation, turning to a 4-2-3-1, as main one. Change from a 4-4-2 in which a striker tended to drop deep in defence and attack, to a system in which and advanced midfielder that helped in both defence and attack who liked to run forward. We had no players for this role, only Guberti who I wanted as a winger to the right and Petrucci who was too young to give the degree of trust, hence the signing of Radovic. The signing of Feczesin came from the fact that when the system was adopted there was a clear drop from the three strikers, leaving me with the conviction that my initial diagnostic they weren't fit for play alone had been confirmed, the Czech was in our price range and was second best scorer ahead of Ebagua playing as lone striker for Brescia, so he looked like a good addition.

    The results: the formation change had the desired effects, the attack play was revitalized without the defence suffering from it, Radovic and Feczesin gave us some goals and assists and were responsible for at least two wins during the first month in our side. The improvement of the attack play was enough to let us get the results needed to secure promotion and Serie B championship with two matches to go. However, they then faded and vanished without any more contribution. Radovic came up only after harsh beatings in teamtalks or press to vanish right away, Feczesin fell in mediocrity to never rise again, with only three goals to show and not long was before Bianchi became the main striker along Ebagua, though neither recovered the performances of the first half of season (2-3 goals each during this second half).

    When it comes to the other signings: Pavel Vidanov has been a sweet bargain, showing the same level of defensive awareness of Camporese, great positioning and anticipation, a solid rock for the back. Tim Krul has not done bad, but has not really done that much better than Loboué, but he's got the potential to become a legend or so I still hope. The absolute negative was that those purchases took enough from the budget that the board decided to cancel the expansion of the training and youth facilities, which made the assignment of an initial transfer budget of thirteen million euros something to be angry rather than thankful. I'd rather have those facilities expanded to improve our squad potential than having a big transfer budget.

    With the change of the main tactic I introduced a new system for formation training: train three formations with three mentalities. 4-4-2 balanced standard, 4-1-2-2-1 defensive, 4-2-3-1 attacking, though in the matches I was to focus on 4-2-3-1 standard/control as a way to give the time the most ample range of options with the least drop of performances. For the next season I will apply the principle to philosophy, training three formations, not necessarily the same of this season, and very rigid/balanced/rigid, defensive/standard/attacking.

    Earning promotion as Serie B champions has been a great satisfaction, as well as receiving the award for Manager of the Year and have one of my players in the Team of the Year.

    Stat wise, one of the points to highlight as an improvement brought during the second half of season with the 4-2-3-1 that didn't happen with the first half 4-4-2 is that the players with the most tackles/90min are the central midfielders and the fullbacks, meaning that the centerback of the defence was suitably protected and it was not constantly called for.

    For closing, some images:




    And to end it, the final summaries:

    - The Summary of the season that registers for posterity that Guberti was the best assister of the league and Cristian Llama as the best signing of the season ((The first ever time I got that)):



    - Cristian Llama being, understandably, though Guberti could have been too, the Torino player of the season:



    - And the fans' best eleven:

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  4. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    Season plans

    At a time like this, there's double the temptation to make a complete facelift of the team and start singing willy-nilly any good player that enters the radar. Doubly so because there's two factors to promote the signing spree: it's the second season, which means there's no player recently signed and hence all the squad can be sacked, and in second because playing in a new category infuses the manager with the fear that a squad good for Serie B wouldn't be enough for Serie A. Dangerous thoughts. The transfer market shall be entered into with caution and a responsible mentality, study the squad, plan what's the tactical approach for the new season and sign according to that only what's necessary. It has not to be different from any other summer. Renovating all the team would be no more than a chimera, starting by the fact that there would be not enough money to do it, even after selling everyone, as a good part of the team wouldn't get any profit.

    The ideal would be to be able to make no more than 7 signings, which would hopefully categorized as up to 3 starting players and the rest players for starting eleven XI alternance, rotation, guarantee backups. There could be room for one or two extra signings in case there's unexpected advantageous deals.

    So, the first thing to do, is to see the squad what players are ending their contracts or loans, who will go out and who will stay, then what is covered and what is lacking and fill the holes according to what will be the gameplan.



    The gameplan, now that we'll be at a level at which we'll not be the dominant side, will have to be more cautious and range between defensive against the strongest sides such as AC Milan to balanced or slightly offensive against sides more close to our level, such as our fellow promoted or those who will be fighting against relegation. The plan involves the use as main strategy of a deep 4-2-3-1 to create a box in front of the area.

    So the potential exists come July 1 will be: (End of loan, L, co-owned, O, End of contract, C): D'Ambrosio (C), Parisi (C), Gilk (O), Camporese (L), Darmian (L), McLaughlin (L), Basha (L), Iori (L), Guberti (L), Petrucci (L), Stevanovic (O), Verdi (O), Antenucci (O), Ebagua (O).

    The most dangerous is the possibility of losing the main defense couple. There's also the perspective of lossing of our second best man, Guberti. The other relevant prospective loss comes from Basha and Iori, which leaves the team with Vives as the only midfielder proficient defensively, which is a serious problem considering the plan. Therefore, the plan for the transfer window should obviously be: recover the key loanees/co-owned that are Gilk, Camporese, Guberti and one of Antenucci or Ebagua. A back up leftback to cover for Vidanov, a starting rightback leaving Laure as cover, a fourth centreback to cover against injuries, two midfielders that defend well, a right winger, possibly a good striker since none of past season were good working a lone role. That means up to 9 signings, of which at least 4 should be loanees returning or co-owned kept, and only two actually new players for the starting eleven.

    As things go, the end result isn't too different from the plans with only one unexpected signing. And a few surprises. The surprises are some released players from Premier League, with the unwanted consequence of the wages growing a little too high for what I wished, specially after the balance went down and started in red numbers, solved for now with the friendlies.

    Almunia was offered and seemed a decent back up for Krul, if I could sell Loboué for a profit. I couldn't, so Loboué stays and Almunia is let go to Athletic de Bilbao. The midfield defense issue is filled with the signing for free of McDonald Mariga and Darron Gibson. The left back is solved by itself as the return from loan of Matteo Rubin ((IIRC 11-13 in cro, pass, mar, tac, ant, con, dec, pos, jum, pac)) shows me we have the backup to Vidanov already, no signing therefore for that position. The striker is signed from Spartak Moscow with €3.5M for young (23 yr) Artem Dzyuba. The fourth centreback is the last signing and with more than €9M spent, the choice is bring Matteo Darmian back for €350K from Palermo.

    The most problematic signing happens in rightback position. I had an offer of €5.5M for Zaccardo accepted, but then I found that in the free market was José Bosingwa. I wouldn't need both, but who to choose?. The excelling defender and mediocre attacker or the one with great ability to threaten in the offense but just decent defense?. There were three factors to help me decide: Vidanov wouldn't be good enough to join the attack in most matches and I want one fullback who can go up, Bosingwa's big salary would still be €1.5M cheaper the first season than the transfer fee of Zaccardo, at least €3M than full first season of Zaccardo if we included his wages. Against was the fact that playing defensively Zaccardo would be a safer bet than Bosingwa and that when DCR and DR exchanged positions in the occasional counter Zaccardo wouldn't be the same liability Bosingwa would be. However, that wouldn't happen too much, I hope, and the help on the attack could rather be the difference I need, once Ivanov is on level with Bosingwa's on-the-paper defensive ability. During the preseason Bosingwa didn't disappoint.

    As the two main centerbacks and right winger, the news were perfect!. Camporese and Guberti were signed permanently for €3.5M and €800K respectively and Gilk was fully owned with an offer of €1.5M, his full value as he's worth making sure to be owned. Ebagua is also owned in full after a €500K offer. Stevanovic is taken in full with a bit high €700K, because I feel he's got potential, had a few nice matches past season. Antenucci co-ownership was simply continued by another year by delaying a decision as a protection against missing Ebagua. Simone Verdi was kept by making a bid of 1€. Apart from them, Cristian Nita (Dinamo Bucarest, €300K) and Jamaal Lascelles (Free) came first July from deals of past season as players for the future. In total: 13 signings, of which 4 are for the future and not counted for in the preplans, which sets the effective signings for first team duties to 9, of which 5 are players loaned of co-owned from past season and only 4 are new players. A total of €9.5M paid for the signings, which is more than I hoped for. That was made for put Rolando Bianchi for sale, wich served to earn €2.5M.

    Plus one surprise, as near the end of the preseason I see offered as a free transfer no other than Clarence Seedorf. Veteran without much pace or jumping ability, but loads of skill and mental ability. I was very doubtful about it, I would have to spend €1M in his year's wage, which I was reluctant to spend due to financial situation and wanting to build up funds for resuming the expansion projects. But after consulting with my second, Seedorf would mean a lot for our team, considering Radovic wasn't performing too well and at any rate he would be invaluable tutoring our youngsters, I finally took him as our last signing. And put Biagio Pagano on the market, getting a €160K offer, which was the most anyone was willing to pay.



    A problem that made me think the bank issues would be solved, at least for now, was to get a news about receiving €24.11M for TV rights and that money not showing in the finances report. Must be the estimated total received thorough the season, not money given in a go. Oh well.



    So, with the signings set, it was then a matter of putting them on the test in the friendlies with a sensible rotation to not tire them this soon and reach the season fit for the matches. The preseason is veyr productive, not only in money (with matches against both main Madrid teams) but also in lessons for the upcoming season.

    - The last minute draw earned by Livorno shows the dangers of setting the centrebacks to not mark tight.

    - The Real Madrid friendly shows the dangers of centrebacks tightmarking, with the previous it helps me to decide when to use each type of defense. Shows we lack pace to play a very defensive and counter dependant tactic, but that not going all the way defensive we can fight with honor against the big sides. Yes, we lost 3-0 at Bernabeu, but we had opportunity to have scored more than once and weren't completely run over.

    - Argentinian first division Racing Club at their home shows that if we don't go too far in a defensive strategy, we can compete well with matches meant to frustrate the opposition and play to the counter. With the previous, shows it's worth to consider the possibility of playing Bosingwa as a winger with Laure behind. Also that Darmian is effectively a decent choice as fourth centreback, playing well from the start. Also it is clear that the pairing should be either Maringa or Vives as the defensive midfiender and Gibson or De Feudis as the creator. Maybe with Gibson bring the couple higher to MC instead of DMC. In matches I need to be specially defensive the pair could well be Mariga-Vives.



    - Atlético de Madrid: Paid for having Mariga/Vives (the defensive member of the midfield couple) as defensive midfielder instead of anchor man. They had a tendency to leave the center of the picth and that was directly responsible of the first goal, a long shot by Gabri alone where Mariga should've been, and indirectly responsible for the third, creating space that forced the centrebacks to cover by spreading too far apart and giving space fot the pass and reception of the ball in front of Loboué.

    - Almería: No big lessons, besides confirming validity of Bosingwa as winger. Their goal took advantage of having put in the field a U20 centerback (Lascelles) and goalkeeper (Baccin) at 83rd min.



    One good thing about the signings, beside their high cost, is that most of them are young players that may well earn some good benefit by selling them in coming years.

    The final squad composition leaves Torino with the following make up:

    - Two goalkeepers: One with the potential to be world class who's a bit inconsistent and another who's considered rather average but who is consistant and provides good performances. Krul, Loboué.

    - Two leftbacks who're on paper average but with one who's anticipation and positioning make him better than average. Vidanov, Rubin.

    - Two rigthbacks, one offensive with medium defensive skills and another who would be a better defender but who is inconsistent and prone to mistakes. Bosingwa, Laure.

    - Four centrebacks, a definite first choice couple with two backups who can play rightback. One is near on par with the starting couple and the other, while looking a little short on the physical, makes for it decently enough with his mental ability. Gilk, Camporese, Loran, Darmian.

    - Four quality defensive midfielders, one good defender, two decent creators and one who's both. Mariga, De Feudis, Gibson, Vives.

    - Two offensive midfielders, one veteran, one who's not been up to expectations that can play right winger and a young one who can play left wing. Seedorf, Radovic, Stevanovic.

    - One left winger, one young disappointing, two subpar who can play right and center. Llama, Gulraiz, Sgrigna, Gasbarroni.

    - Five strikers. Three pure, one who can play just behind a striker, one who can play both wings. Antenucci, Feczesin, Federico Macheda (loan at last minute, Feczesin sale fell through due to end of transfer window), Dzyuba, Ebagua.

    - A number of young players for the future in the first squad who play in various positions. Verdi (M/AM RLC, very fast and weak), Nita (target man/creator who needs muscle), Suciu (M/AM R), Ellis Plummer (D LC, WB L), Lorenzo Saraga (DR).

    That means that looking to the winter market, the options to a little step on improving the squad would be:

    - Consider offering a contract to Macheda if he's up to Serie A.

    - Sell Feczesin. Too many strikers and would like to build economy to resume expansion projects (luckily the finances department reports we should be having benefits each month during the season).

    - Loan out young players I don't use or barely do if I can find decent teams for them.

    - Sell Laure, look for a good DR/L player that's not too expensive. Else the fourth centreback, Laure, will be backup for rightback as well.

    - If there's any player specially disappointing, change him for somebody if contract doesn't end this season and some money can be earned.

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  5. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    Midseason update 2012-2013

    Seeing the table of the previous season the initial goal set for the team is to achieve at least 11 wins and 43 points, which is where salvation was.

    The start was rather encouraging, beginning with an overwhelming 4-0 win against Siena that made us be at top of the table the first day, which was false but nice to see, and continued alternating a win at home with a defeat away, exchanging the result once for a good tenth place with 12 points after eight games. That was followed by a string of bad results that saw the team drop into relegation.

    One problem was the team losing defensive shape a little more than it could allow itself to at this moment. Solved by playing very rigidly and somewhat defensively. Another that I had decided to swap the roles of Camporese and Gilk as it seemed better to have Camporese play the defend duty and Gilk the cover, which caused Camporese to feel out of place for a while. This was solved by merely having patience and fielding Loran in his place for a few matches, the results were still good at the time when I fielded him instead. The other problem was the lack of production in front of goal. It improved once the man behind the striker became an advanced playmaker instead of trequartista, role changed to the striker when Antenucci was given the chance to prove himself. He took it. The team started to work together, the quality of play improved dramatically and we started to win, to win comfortably and the middle of the season finds us in thirteenth position, seven points clear of relegation and... only two from Europe qualification!. Of course, qualifying for Europe is nothing more than a childish dream for me. With 25 points and 7 wins, we've gone well past the half of the target so the season looks like it's going to be a success.


    Even if the graph says the first season we were fifth, we were first. Some bug with Serie A. At that moment we appeared second with +4 and Fiorentina? first with +2 from a 2-0, I had the most goal difference and nobody scored more than three goals.

    The match that meant the start of the turn around was sort of a sour victory. Serie A is my main concern, we lost 0-2 at home against Fiorentina, they dominated the game. So I gave up the cup and faced them with the players that had seen no more than a few minutes or I was planning to drop, including into the team three under 20 players, one starting, the other two played as subs. We got back from a 1-0 against to a 1-2 for us, they drew and finally won playing a defensive mentality. Not the match I wanted to win. Of course, winning that was nice, but would've been better win the league one. Still, it was the morale boost the team needed, and though we lost to Sampdoria near the end of the match when we were dominating and looking as the side to score the winner, the great results against Juventus (where Antenucci missed the easy winner after going round the keeper) and AC Milan gave the final push we needed.



    Tactically, the proposed style of play I considered to be correct and beside a little touching in rigidness and a few player roles it's been kept from the start. A deep 4-2-3-1, very rigid, counter (standard against teams of lesser caliber than us and defensive against the top two) with passing erring in the direct side or mixed, wide play varying according to enemy's formations. There are some lessons to be taken in the matches, but I'm leaving them for the next season planning.

    Though I've tried to rotate the players, there was a definite preferred starting XI during this half of season: Krul; Vidanov, Gilk, Camporese, Bosingwa; Vives, De Feudis; Llama, Seedorf, Guberti; ??? The striker has seen the most variation as none seemed to work there, Ebagua, Feczesin, Antenucci, Macheda, Dzyuba had been given starts there but none seemed to get the job done, Antenucci the one with the less chances.

    Loran, once Camporese settled to his new role, has been losing minutes and has only recently appeared as substitute, playing mainly as anchor man in place of Vives. The reason was a bad string of matches of Mariga, who was poor in the matches of the bad run and in the international fixtures was being very poor as well.

    Rubin was the main man rotated into the back line as leftback, with a few by Darmian and only one match for Laure.

    In the midfield, Gibson has performed well and is on par with De Feudis. In the wings there's been little rotation with a few appearances there for Ebagua, Bosingwa, Sgrigna, Gasbarroni and more than anyone of them, though at the start of the season, Stevanovic. In the center of the advanced midfield line, Seedorg has not been brilliant, though some he's shined, and that's been enough to make him relegate Radovic to the bench.

    In the goal, Krul has been generally well, but keeps showing to be somewhat inconsistant, though not as much as past season, and Loboué has not been trustworthy this season. That led me to decide to make an economical effort signing De Sanctis, who was offered by Napoli, on a structured deal. He had strangely not played any game this season, but even so he came off as third in the goalkeeper of the year awards. And that is our only reinforcement.

    Our transfer activity has not been limited to the one purchase, but we've been sold Feczesin and Laure for a total of €4M. We also terminated the loan of Macheda.



    That is regarding this season, regarding the upcoming, there's been contract offers placed for the young striker Mattia Destro and the centreback David Mateos. None yet confirmed. The striker signed for his youth and promise, having provided good numbers during the past campaign, though sadly he's not enjoying any playing time the current one; Mateos because he's still 25 years old and looks as a suitable replacement for Tyrone Loran, whose contract expires this summer and is already 31 years old. Only difference is he can't play as rightback, but it's not a major issue, as I prefer the centreback/anchor man alternative. Still, he's not meant to be a frequent starter and fits the bill.



    To finish the report, one of the main worries I've had this season has been to increase the balance so the expansion of the training facilities can be resumed and it has been a success, with monthly benefits that range from €150K to €550K (€1M this latest with the transfers) to make the balance go beyond the four million mark, which has been enough to get the board to accept the improvement of the training facilities. It should be a great boost to make the players fulfill their potential and also to improve finances as we'll be able to sell them better once their replacements are found.



    ((There's no screenie of board agreement and finish of expansion, october, because I remembered to do it after saving the game, I did the petition to see if it'd work out of curiosity, as I was going to do it anyway, and it did. First thing when I load the game will be requesting it)).
    Last edited by Death Ball; 29/02/2012 at 02:17 AM. Reason: Forgot to proofread

  6. acouple of more pics would be nice its really to much text and hardly any pics but i like the detail
    Death Ball likes this.

  7. good story im also doing torino, goalkeeper wise i signed luis guilherme - his stats have gone through the roof for me, stegen was available on a free but guilherme is actually better, bruno manga - cb plays for fc lorient - is a beast of a defender and is an awesome partner for papadopolous. i signed fierro and played him as a poacher - 20 goals + a season for me
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  8. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    End of season 2012-2013

    The season has come to an end and there's nothing to say but how proud I am of the team and the season we've done. It stings the last two draws, either the two woodwork hit at Catania or the late goal by Nocerino that prevented us from taking the win out of the AC Milan's visit. Two more points and we'd have reached qualification for the Europe League!. That was an outstanding second phase to the league, despite an erratic start. Taking only the second half results we'd be the third placed. In the whole season we finished "just" seventh as best of the promoted teams. ((It's been not only my best first season in a top flight, it has been my best ever season in a top flight. Not counting one season games with Porto and Real Madrid)).



    Tactically, introducing rigidity to the team was one of the main improvements to the game, that ended with the defeats, only toward the end of the season, when the team play was visibly improving was it possible to increase a little the flexibility without suffering from it. From the prepared tactics, in the end the dep 4-2-3-1 became our main and almost only tactic, as the 4-1-2-2-1 was not quite convincing at the one game it was used and in those matches a change was called for I went for unprepared tactics, 4-2-2-2 with one winger and one central midfielder, 3-4-3 were the tried alternates.



    Another source for the improvement in this second half was the realization we shouldn't be so conservative and imbue more confidence in our possibilities. With the exception of the heavy loss to Juventus, we still had chances there to have fought honorably, we no longer resorted to defensive mentality but as much we stayed to countering tactics, using standard mentalities more often. And some we won by switching to attacking. One of the most reassuring matches was that against Inter, which we controlled, despite our inability to score.



    The match against Reggina resulted in the one with the most players in the team of the week.



    Now, to the transfer which was the focus of this season, I would call it a good success. Not only we did achieve a superb position in the league, far above what anyone expected at the start, including myself, all the signings worked as they were intended to. Bosingwa earned to be the started of almost every game, until he got injured for two months against Roma, Gibson had a good share of starts with De Feudis, Seedorf earned to be first pick and improved his previous season's performance. Mariga had a shaky start and was out of the side until winter, when he asked for a chance and, having some match congestion, I gave it and he showed he was worth a place and since then he's shared starts with Vives. The only player who's not been quite satisfying has been Dzyuba, who seems a little nervous and untrusting of himself.

    They were also successful in allowing the team to obtain benefits each month and building the economy enough as to resume the facilities expansion that were cancelled past season.

    See next Seedorf's performance this season and the previous, plus some miscellaneous graphics:



    For all his initial problems, Camporese earned to be the fans' player of the year, and some of the new faces were inducted into Torino's best eleven:



    The Torino squad at the end of the season looks then, like this:



    A squad that has been good for this season and from which will be painful to take players out for improvement.

    In the goal line, De Sanctis has performed quite regularly and Krul is a more than decent replacement for him. That makes Loboué unneeded and I shall try to unload him, though interest seems to be scarce.

    The back line has also been quite satisfying. We've managed to be one of the best defenses and Camporese has even been chosen as our best man of the season. Gilk works well with him. Rubin and Darmian has revealed themselves as quite useful rotation players, the later taking Loran out of the rotations. With so many players able to play at centerback, I regret having signed David Mateos, who doesn't look that good. If I had to add a new centerback I think it should be only to bring a world class one, like Bruno Manga, but the price makes me not dare to try before expansions are done. But when I signed him the defense didn't look yet so firm and now it's too late to cancel the deal. The only improvement I can look for is an offensive leftback to complement having Bosignwa in the right. Perhaps cash on interest on Bosinga, if it remains after his injury, and look for the leftback and another rightback who wants less wages.

    In the middle of the park, with Mariga performing there's no needs. But given that both Vives and De Feudis are not having anymore 32nd birthdays, it would be a good time to think on bringing some young replacements to start getting into the side. Ahead of them Seedorf is very old and Radovic is doing well but not quite so, therefore a good face for that position could be used.

    The most obvious need is in the wings, where we had two good wingers, Llama in the left, top assists along Snejder and Guberti, but there's no replacement. Ebagua can work well to replace Llama as inside forward, but is disappointing in the right. Stevanovic in the left tends to be rather weak. And for the right there's nobody, Radovic can make do as well as Bosingwa, but I'd like to have a proper second choice.

    In front, Dzyuba has been underwhelming, though he had a good end of season when brought back into the side. Ebagua has not been in Serie A up to what he contributed past season. Antenucci has been really good and I'd like to keep him next season, but given his age I'm not too keen in doing an economical effort, since I also want to avoid the training facility expansion being cancelled again. I will make a bid for him but it won't be too high, so there's good chances we're losing him. Destro seems like the right replacement for him mental wise. But I want to get a fast striker to give the side some pace as he's the only who gives us a little. There's much talk of one Carlos Fierro, he does play very nice and I would indeed love to have him, but again, his price tag is too big for what I'm willing to pay with the facilities expansions still pending.

    Therefore, next season we should aim for seven signings: two young midfielders, a creator and a destroyer (if he can be intelligent all the better) to prepare for the retirement or decline of Vives and De Feudis, one right winger, one attacking midfielder, one attacking leftback, one fast striker. Plus one or two players if they're great chances we need to not miss and a few youngsters of 20 or less years old for the long term.

    There's already one of such deals finished: Simone Pasa, a 19 years olf to replace Vives.



    __________________________________________________ _
    Yeah, still text heavy. Next updates I plan to focus on some tactical aspects and as plan goes it should be lighter in text and heavier in images. Though it can end a little different as planned, I'll try to not deviate much

  9. see if you can get kakuta on loan i did and eventually ended up signing him on a pre contract agreement. play him as a left winger ( ignore where it says to play him although would be interesting to see how he does in his preferred role) he gets over 20 assists for me every season and has a powerful shot. good story - nice to see someone else taking torino places
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  10. Gerard Deulofeu - right winger, again see if you can get him on loan, preferably with a option to buy assist machine and goal scorer
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  11. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    Preseason 2013 - 2014, one tactic analysis

    Since the focus will now be to have a look at the tactics chosen, I will begin with a quick review of other news during the preseason. The best of them is the completion of the training facilities expansion, that has brought them to be on par with the top teams of Europe.

    It is full of legends! From Serie B Torino to the unknown.-trainingupgrade.pngIt is full of legends! From Serie B Torino to the unknown.-trainingschedule8-09-13.pngIt is full of legends! From Serie B Torino to the unknown.-facilities.png
    The youth facilities have been upgraded too, but only to average levels

    Transfers wise, there's not been too much action, as the training upgrades were a priority for me and I wanted to make sure the expansions weren't cancelled again due to high expenditure. Therefore, the reinforcement of the team has been relatively small, which makes me question whwther the minimum top half finish asked for by the board will be an attainable goal.

    The backline remains almost the same, with the addition of David Mateos, who's had a good preseason, as rotation centreback and Lorenzo di Silvestri to provide the side with an offensive left back, despite him being a natural right sided. In the midfield there's three youngster to prepare for the retirement of Vives or De Feudis: Simone Pasa, Carsten Skou and Lorenzo Crisetig, which are worthy of having time on the field, specially Crisetig. In the wings, the only addition has been Enzo Pérez to provide with a second choice to Guberti as rigth wing, that can also work in center and left if required. For the middle and playing behind the striker, Shinji Okazaki, though he's more of an striker. And the most important addition of all, is the striker Alberto Paloschi, replacement for Antenucci who provides the pace and I look forward to see becoming out leading goalscorer, to be added to Mattia Destro who had already ben tied during past season. A little too many strikers now in the squad.

    It is full of legends! From Serie B Torino to the unknown.-skou.pngIt is full of legends! From Serie B Torino to the unknown.-paloschi.pngIt is full of legends! From Serie B Torino to the unknown.-simonepasa.pngIt is full of legends! From Serie B Torino to the unknown.-okazaki.pngIt is full of legends! From Serie B Torino to the unknown.-mattiadestro.pngIt is full of legends! From Serie B Torino to the unknown.-ivn.pngIt is full of legends! From Serie B Torino to the unknown.-enzoprez.pngIt is full of legends! From Serie B Torino to the unknown.-desilvestri.pngIt is full of legends! From Serie B Torino to the unknown.-davidmateos.pngIt is full of legends! From Serie B Torino to the unknown.-crisetig.pngIt is full of legends! From Serie B Torino to the unknown.-transfersuptoaugust2013.png

    And to get some funds, apart for selling Gulraiz, who wouldn't be used, we accepted co-ownership deals for youths Lapedola (€2.6M) and Zambotto (€4.4M).

    As curisioty, my reputation keeps growing and I'm well considered. During past season I was considered as a candidate for the Manchester City vacant.



    ------------------------------------------------------

    Tactic wise, the truth of the squad is that the signings don't really mean it's been very reinforced, hence we're not much better than past season, having to rely on the understanding the squad have achieved from the time they've been playing together. That means there's not much reasons to deviate from the past season tactics. Hence, the main tactic used will be the deep 4-2-3-1 that worked so well to take us to seventh place of the league, as third best of the second half.

    Its strength is in the defense, based on the positional awareness of the players to deny chances to the opposition, with a couple of centrebacks focuse on keeping the shape behind the ball and cutting the passes and crosses, their covering fullbacks and defensive midfielders to put in the tackles. Though perhaps the key for the working of the defense is the implication of the attacking midfielder. This later is likely the explanation why it's shown to be weak against plain 4-4-2 formations.

    It is more weak in attack, where more often than not, it suffers from the lack of men joining the attack, as the deep laying playmaker does few runs forward as well as a lack of inside runs of the wingers due to the fullbacks not moving too far ahead. Which means when an attacking plan is required they'll both be set to attacking wingbacks and the wingers ser to inside forward style of play.

    I'll illustrate some of the works of this main formation from a preseason game against Manchester United, managed by Vilas-Boas using a 4-1-2-2-1.




    Here we see how the high pressing of ManU causes one of their midfielders to leave Vives alone to go press Glik (not Gilk as I've been writing before). This is one of the constants of this match, how the overeager will to press by the brits provide my side with lone players to receive passes easily, at least during the initial stages of attacking.


    Here Torino shows not so much eagerness to mark high, instead, Seedorf covers the pass to Cam, also near the line for a pass to Hamsik, and Paloschi at the moment in front of Ferdinand, Vives and De Feudis are positioned to cut long passes. The poor marking of Paloschi, it's not his thing, allowed the pass to Fletcher, but the run to mark him by De Feudis made him do a hurried pass to the side, which went out of bounds.


    Now, in the other side, we see Seedorf coming down to press deep not their defensive midfielder, but the less advanced of the other two, allowing Vives to create further superiority at the back, covering the lines to pass the ball forward. In this case, it allows Glik to cooperate with Rubin to check their winger's inside run and still have Camporese to cover for their striker and the other winger, as Vives will be taking the striker.


    Here we see one of the more frequent plays on the attack. This time De Feudis has joined the attack and creates a 3vs3 against the centrebacks and their leftback, with Paloschi prepared to receive a ball to run onto at first, but who turns inside as the opportunity passes without Llama giving the ball. This creates an excellent chance for Bosingwa to run forward and receive the cross in the far post, but as you can see, he stops far from that, forfeiting the chance to create a 4vs3 and the cross falls to an english head. Other times is De Feudis who doesn't go all the way up, failing to create an opportunity to overload their defence.


    This is an example of how when the opponent starts the play concentrated in one side, Torino comprises too much, helped by the play narrower shout, and in going too central the fullback of the other side leaves his winger alone. In this case, one of the few ManU achieved to create an advantageous situation, De Sanctis did his job to stop Valencia's shot, which wasn't all that good anyway.


    That is something that is prevented in this other situation, causing different problems. Though there appears to be a chance of confusion with who shall mark Fletcher or Berbatov, with Vives staying ahead and allowing their four attackes be against our four defenders. The problem doesn't materialize as later in the game they fail to create anything and the players knew who to take.

    The next is just a show of how the running forward of their full back is faced when our winger doesn't track him down or returns up the pitch too soon. First Bosingwa leaves Griezman to go for Evra, when he's forced to give it to Fletcher, the latter is taken by De Feudis and, as Fletcher runs wide before passing the ball back to Evra, De Feudis continues the wide run to take him as Bosingwa has retaken Griezmann.


    And may Griezmann make a run inside, then De Feudis is there to stop it.


    Their goal came when Berbatov received a very precise pass from Griezmann between Glik and Camporese and turn to shoot with little space between them, which was a goal only because De Sanctis was badly positioned, in the other side of goal.

    The tactic worked in this case as it does in many others because the implication in the defensive phase by the advanced midfielder allows to create a clear numerical advantage in the center to keep their striker and their forward runs in check. It works both against this tactic and the 4-2-3-1.

    It fares well against 4-2-2-2, with two DMCs and two wingers, as not both DMCs come up the field. But when there's a plain 4-4-2 we find more trouble, specially if playing with less commited players, like Okazaki. Apparently, a DMC helps impulse the advanced midfielder to press him at the start and follow deeper to one of the other midfielders to allow either Vives or De Feudis to become free and provide some numerical advantage. In the case of 4-4-2, however, in which both midfielders are more likely to run into the attack, the advanced midfielder remains up the pitch and hence both of them are left to De Feudis and Vives (or whoever takes their place) and that prevents the creation of that numerical advantage, leaving it at 2xMC vs 2xDMC + 2xST vs 2xDC + 2XW vs 2xFB and no extra man to cover.

    It also has issues with narrow diamond midfields due to the numbers favouring them, that's why one of the alternatives I've created is a 3-5-2 (3DC, 2WB, 2MC, 1AM, 2ST) to face teams that use variants of the 4-4-2 minus 4-2-2-2. Though against plain 4-4-2 all needed may be to move back the advanced midfielder for a 4-2-1-2-1. But how each would work is to be treated at another time.

    Last edited by Death Ball; 21/03/2012 at 01:21 AM.

  12. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    ((There were so many images this page was either taking ages to load or made my browser crash, so all have been edited into the linked text "Screenshot" from this post on a few more below))

    Season 2013 - 2014

    The first half of the season followed the implementation of a cautios 4-2-3-1 formation as mentioned, with barely any use of different formations.

    The most deviation from planning came through the use of signings. De Silvestri was left as back up for the left fullback as expected, but he fell short from making as many starts as expected, being Rubin the choice thorough the session, relinquishing the starting position only in occasions when the acumulation of matches advised giving him a rest or problems from injuries or suspensions made me let him start from the bench to start in the middle of the defense as a fresh substitute rather than changing his position when tired. Mattia Destro hasn't gelled in well with the team and his lack of effectiveness didn't earn him the first choice status, while Paloschi having had a good start, has shown unable to score in two matches in a row, which gave Destro and Okazaki a decent amount of starts. Okazaki has been one of the disappointments, having been given a leave of absence to adapt in december and sold when he requested after his return. Dzyuba's obvious insecurity in front of goal made his use so scarce he asked to be let go, I was about to get offers of two million and some when he got injury for five months and it prevented his sale.

    The injury of Dzyuba also prevented him from having a chance in the starting eleven when, in January, Destro had one of a month. The lack of strikers made me go for a experiment, picking Cristian Bertani as an urgent fill in with a contract for the rest of the season. A player of high mental attributes though declining phisically. He had a few chances, and though he showed some glimpses of his mental capacity, he failed to deliver. The other disappointment was David Mateos, who showed to be nervous in every match, though not really defending bad. I sold him to Deportivo and signed young Steven Caulker, who's been the last disappointment, with very poor performances, which have been few. He'd started to perform when toward the end Camporese had an injury, but he then had one for three months, which makes me think of him as a player to discard next season, perhaps loan and see if he recovers.

    Those are the disappointments. Enzo Pérez has adapted well enough to be one of our best passers, with the most key passes of the team and one of the best in the league. Skou, Iván, Sean Murray and Simone Pasa have done little but little was asked from them, as they were all men signed thinking in the future or in getting some easy coin, with Skou and Iván earning a few starts and substitutions. They've progressed well in trained and I should loan them off next season for some first team football.

    The best of them have been, apart from Paloschi, Jack Colback who's provided some good defending and attacking in a few games and Lorenzo Crisetig who during the season has grown up to be worth starting ahead of Vives and De Feudis. And special mention to youths Tucci and Zambotto, who look like they can break in the first team already.

    The first half of the season has been a success, seeing a performance alike to the second half of the past that placed us fifth, earning Camporese the second position in the young player of the year, Antenucci second in the award of Italian player of the year for his half season with us and me the Serie A manager of the year. Probably if the season had been this natural year we'd been the champions. And the signings hadn't hurt our economy.

    Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

    The second half showed what was suspected during the first: the weakness in the attack, where production of goals decreased during the second half, leading to a lump of results that were close to get us down to the middle of the table, where we were for a while. It was our defense that saved the season. There is simply not much creation up front and many of the few chances created are for the attacking midfielders, who just seem unable to get the ball in the net unless they're virtually in front an empty goal.

    What that means is that our defence is well as it is, perhaps the only change it may need is to sell Caulker and look for someone other to take the spot. The defensive midfield line is also good enough, putting it his good share of tackles and interceptions, with the recent changes to have Mariga (who's taken first choice ahead of Vives) move forward showing a slight improvement in our attack. Paloschi has not been that bad, despite not scoring in two consecutive matches; the issue with him I believe to be not in him but in the insufficient feed he's received. Similarly one could blame that on the poor performances by Destro. So those two strikers will remain, selling Dzyuba and likely using Tucci as the third choice.

    The issue is right behind the strikers. They just can't shoot at goal efficiently or they don't command enough respect to move the defense enough. There is where the work in the transfer market needs to be done. Seedorf has sunk physically and has not done much when called upon, though he'll be kept for tutoring purposes. Guberti makes a lot of dribbles per match and has reaped good ratings, but it's meaningless if he can't convert that into results through either assists or goals, so he's one of the guys who shall be leaving the club. Llama would, but he does translate his dribbles into assists (our leader there) and also he's placed the ball very well in set pieces, which is what has saved us with some nice goals, though this season few have been from free kicks. Enzo Pérez and Radovic have done just enough to earn having a chance to stay with a few goals, cross completion or key passes, though they won't share starts; and shall there be a chance to get some player of great quality needing their sales, they'll be sold without a second thought.

    There is also a definite need to start using loans. It is not good to have kept some players in the team hoping to give them minutes only to see them stay at home match in and match out. Pasa, Murray, Nita, Iván, Skou, Colback (though this one has shown enough potential to grant him time next season), Verdi, Stevanovic, they've barely had any time on the field and it may have hurt their progression.

    A couple of signings have been done already: Jan Mucha on account of De Sanctis refusing a new contract on a decent pay past January, which was lucky because right after he got a four month injury that he's not recovered well from, and Rene Krhin, a young defensive midfielder to be loaned and hopefully cashed on in the future.

    Screenshot Screenshot

    What we did in the second half? RUNNERS UP!. We're going to the Champions League next year! Directly to the group stage!. Though just in the last match Radovic got a long injury that may mean he'll have to be sold, if possible.

    Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

    The Fiorentina was sort of a funny match for the stats. Spot the weird thing:

    Screenshot

    See it?. The explanation:

    Screenshot

    Though it's curious how Neto's rating isn't as bad as you'd expect. It must be said, however, the first was a header by Paloschi that was going in and he reacted late and just didn't deflect enough, it should've been counted as a Paloschi's goal.

    Screenshot

    The point to worry would be the state of finances, that after reaching a peak of nearly fifteen millions have been declining at nearly a million per month since November or so and has gone down to a balance of just above seven. Which is important because the attendance data show we need a new stadium.

    Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

    When it comes to team performance, the defensive work has been very good, setting us as the team with the best defense, but only the ninth in goalscoring (corners saved us in more than one match), which has likely robbed us the chance to grab the title but gives us confidence we can get it next season if we get right the signings and the touches to the tactics. With the extra income from Champions League I hope we'll be able to build a new stadium by the end of next season ((I'd swear for finishing second I got less money (€1.5M) than past season for a seventh)). We've managed to receive the least goals being the fairest defence by far with just fifty five yellow cards and two reds. I don't like to tell my players to tackle hard. We also broke our record of matches without losing, with thirteen.

    Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot [/URL]Screenshot

    When it comes to player's season sstatistics, Llama shows to have earned his place being one of the eladers in assists, man of match awards and being chosen in the Team of the Year. The defense shows to be working well by how the midfielders are the top tacklers, followed by fullbacks and centrebacks behind, as the chances to have the wingers screening the fullbacks were adopted late, we'll see next season. The centrebacks are, however, more focused on the interceptions, which is what I want them to do, though Camporese has fallen a little behind there. The draw against Chievo has one thing of the kind I want to see: interceptions rise as you go from striker to defenders and tackles as you go from defenders to striker. The shared leadership of Paloschi in the offside chart shows that perhaps I should tell him to start a little deeper. The key passes high position of Enzo is part of what makes him stay in our side.

    Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

    Yes, Guberti has a good percentage of shots on target, but they rarely get past the goalkeeper. So he's been offered and already sold for €3.7M, though he's asked to be paid until his contract ends an ammount that, for the two years remaining, reduce that amount to an actul €3.1M worth, which is still good. Better than paying him the €2.8M that would've been his full salary as a player with few minutes.

    Screenshot

    And to finish this update, I'll show some of the players whose improvement have been highlighted by our coaches. Specially glad with Tucci, who looks like he's worth to break into the first team as back up and Crisetig who's improved enough to have his good deal of starts. Enough than I'm willing to sell of Gibson if I receive a good offer just to get rid of his top earner clause I had to grant him. Paloschi also is loooking great and I hope he'll shine next season, if we feed him properly. I'm considering maybe it could be worth to try use more a 4-4-2 formation, maybe with Destro as his partner the two could show they weren't bad signings. Zambotto looks like he can be used from the bench and in cups as starting, though if there's a loan for him I'll choose that. Marzio and Skou will also be offered for loans. And there's Baccin, who seems to be growing into at least a decent goalkeeper, though I don't think he'll do more than give us a fairly decent selling fee.

    Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

    I was touted as one of the possible choices to take the vacancy at Tottenham. While I would probably like a move to England some time in the future, my Torino project has not yet got to its maximum with me and hence there is no way I'm going to consider applying for the job. If I were to receive the offer I will decline as there's still work to do here.
    Last edited by Death Ball; 03/06/2012 at 08:49 PM.
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  13. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    Preseason 2014

    Before we get on with business, let's give a brief show of some bits pertaining past season. And a few curiosities of little meaning when it comes to planning the incoming season. That is our fans' chosen player and team of the season, in one hand, and in the other how low are some Barça's players rated.

    Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

    There's some another bit of info from the previous season to mention, but this affect the next one. That is that the good performance of Italian teams is worth increasing the European qualification places, which makes the minimum aim for that easier. Also, due to the achievement of past season and the finances that looked good I'm having the highest to date transfer budget, with thirty million euros at my disposal for new signings. Also, it has served to set us as one more among the teams considered able to win Serie A.

    Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

    Regarding backroom matters, there's been some good news and bad news. In the good news, some shuffling in the coaching staff, changing contracts to first team or coach or youth coaching has set a well rated team, though the best is that despite the board initially saying no to buy a new stadium, I found out there's plans to do so!. In the bad news, some of that staff reshuffle was made with the wish to make room in another role for current assistant Al Stewart, as I feel I need someone else in his current place, as his tactical knowledge I don't consider as refined as I wish. However, during past season, a slip of mind made me forget that he'd be replaced in his spot sooner rather than later and I offered to him as long contracts as to the rest of the staff. Now, he doesn't accept any other role and the board won't accept to have him sacked due to the high compensation required, even after managing to get him to accept a new contract of just two years (he had four before). So it seems I'm stuck with him for the time being. I already had a candidate selected, Mark Venus, but will have to wait.

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    Regarding transfer market, the needs had already been clear past season: two attacking midfielders to take first choice in the right and center, maybe left, though Llama has earned to stay first choice, then maybe an extra for backup depending on the money available. The possible choices for the signings are Kasami, Vukcevic, Eikesson, Omar Guerrero, Liam Lawrence, Dudu, Vejinovic and Darío Bottinelli. The chosen were the first two, as they looked well capable of scoring goals and getting past their defenders, with good mental stats. I was close to sign Guerrero on loan, trying tutoring to take away his fear of big matches, but the price was too high, moreso after the big fees needed to secure the two new men, big enough that Kasami's broke our record fee paid. In other news, Carlos Fierro was released by his club and promptly snatched up. We recovered from the co-ownership Destro, Lapedola and Zambotto.

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    That put our bank account in a poor situation, reaching a small debt, which made it important to think on sell players to earn some money and save wages. Loaning out of young players was done as expected, without much success, as Murray, Colback, Tapoko, Nita, Iván didn't receive loan offers to be given first team football and hence remain with us. Bardi, Verdi and Dzyuba did go out on loan, the latter with an option to buy, for a total of 1.170.000€, while Roy post left in a co-ownership deal worth €400K.

    Out sold went Guberti as planned as did Radovic due to not coming too well out of his long term injury, for a fee of €2,1M and €1M respectively, though both demanding money to accept. It was still a big difference, meaning Guberti will be worth a total of €3.1M not counting wages not longer paid. To them joined Steven Caulker (€6.5M), and Gibson and Bosingwa, both for €4M and both were on 68.000€/w wages.

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    Also I brought a few young players to fill the U20 squad, with Wiseman as only one that can be picked as one to expect something in the future; and Kévin Tapoko who was brought in a free with the idea of loaning him out and see what he became, that has had no acceptable loan offers (actually, none) but that has performed well in the late friendlies.

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    Tactic wise, I will follow this season the preparation principles from the last to give the team maximum flexibility, though the one trained as attacking is no more a 4-3-1-2 but a flat 4-4-2. They're no more than just sort of drafts for the actual tactics used each match, as the default 4-2-3-1 Deep will not be played with defensive mentality but between counter and attacking, the 4-4-2 between standard and attacking and the 3-5-2 between counter and control. And generally all of them zonal marking. The 4-2-3-1 may be played actually as a high 4-2-3-1 with BWM-S/DLP-D pairing or as narrow with IF-A, AP-S, AM-A most likely up front. And the striker changing between advanced, poacher or supporting target man depending on the man chosen.

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    The 4-2-3-1 in its variants, of which the deep plays as a 4-1-2-2-1, and the 4-4-2 are the ones that have been tested during the preseason, with good results. Including a 1-1 draw against Barcelona with several clear cut chances missed by Paloschi. All in all, the preseason has made me happy with my team and has set my mind into definitely changing to a more offensive kind of play, which has made it iffy the decision I had to take too soon regarding the pitch dimensions, as I changed from the old short and wide to maximum allowed size (105x68m), thinking on sending balls high for the runs of Paloschi or Fierro, but that may be a trouble with a more audacious tactic because my backline doesn't shine by its pace. I don't consider it to be something that will ruin the season, though, so I face the upcoming season in high spirits.

    The only bad result in that preseason is the loss to Empoli, but it is not such a bad result as our 4-4-2 had the best of their 4-1-2-2-1 and the two goals, that could have been three, came all from unprovoked silly mistakes of my defence: first Krul and then Rubin sent a pass to a striker goalside of Camporese. The could've been third was the same from Mucha.

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    Last edited by Death Ball; 03/06/2012 at 08:46 PM.

  14. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    Midseason January 2015

    If I never knew what exactly qualifying for the Champions League meant, I now do see the consequences of such qualification. They are enough that I would state with no doubt that it was too soon for us to play European competitions in regard to the squad available.

    The work load that Europe is throwing upon the squad is taking its toll upon all the squad, but specially in the attacking midfielders, who are the ones that do the most exertion. For the first time in all my FM experience I've seen players in need of rest, twice Kasami has been in need of one and we're not yet in the middle of the season. That is the area in which we're more short, with only four players of quality who can play ECC: Llama, Vuckevic, Kasami and Pérez, plus Tapoko for the domestic competition. Selling Bosingwa also left the defense a little bit short, though just enough to keep going without tired players, since Iván has shown to be up to the task of playing first team football. The only area where we have plenty is defensive midfield, though only a few can play in Europe, but with quality enough to have a set for home and another for Europe.


    In Europe we got the group B, with Olympique de Marselle, Porto and Anderlecht. It was a good run there. In the first part we lost to Porto away after being 1-0 up, then we beat OM 2-1 and Anderlecht 5-0 and 6-1. It would be an easy qualification if Porto did their job against OM, but they didn't losing 3-2 the first match and 5-0 the second. A draw against Porto at home would make another at Marseille enough, a loss would force us to defeat OM. The Porto match was then planned to be a defensive battle with just enough up front to try score some goal to have a chance of a win to progress already, we didn't score but it was all going good until middle of second half when Rubin decided to try control a ball in the area and allowed Defour to tackle him and score. So the last game had to look for a win, we started trying to keep our goal at 0 with our classic 4-2-3-1 deep during the first half and we did so for sixty minutes; then I changed to a more attacking 4-1-2-1-2 that worked to see Paloschi bury it. We were through!. But I changed back forgetting to reset the fullbacks from wingbacks to fullbacks and they won their backs for a cross behind the defense that was buried. Returning to the 4-1-2-1-2 didn't manage to get a second goal in the seven remaining minutes and we're out of ECC, because Porto wasn't able to do their job against OM. We're not in EC, the first knock out draw pitting us against Sporting Lisbon. I'm happy with the Eurpean run, since the group was considered tough (Porto are the 2012 champion) and the expectation was to be out already after four games tops and we were qualified until the last seven minutes. Of course, there's a feeling of disappoint falling so close, but it's more than was expected of us. Economically ECC has been a blessing, €7,100,000 for playing the group stage, €800,000 for each of the three wins and €400,000 for the draw, a total of €9,900,000. That helps us receive an extra €3.8M budget.

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    But in the league the consequence of the European effort has left us twelfth after seventeen games, though only seven points from ECC qualification, and for a while players complaining of the team underachieving.

    The start was so-so yet promising, with the new signings for the attacking midfield scoring seven goals in seven games, where the players they replaced scored ten in the whole of the past season. However, due to the tiredness of the match congestion, injury (Vukcevic was out for three weeks) and tactical issues, that trend seems to hae stopped and it's been some matches since the last goal by a midfielder, relying once more in corners to accompany the goals by the strikers, a low production.

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    Not shown: a very disappointing 2-2 draw at Lecce, where in the first half we gave up the 2-0 lead with an owngoal by Darmian included. Very poor debut for Coates. And a comfortable 3-0 win against Bologna, with Coates' first goal with us

    Tactically, the 4-2-3-1 is clearly flawed and needs some adjustments. The deep version, which is the most used, is responsible of the lack of scoring, the team breaking through the middle, the four ahead running in front and the rest staying too deep, with one of the defensive midfielders that either stays too deep or completelly joins the attackers up front, leaving the middle void of teammates to pass and recycle possession. The forward use to find themselves isolated and in inferiority, so they either lose the ball or can't create chances. Though still some decent but small amount are created and wasted by Paloschi. When I've pushe them to the middle, the problems then show their head in the defensive area, due to the big gap they left in front of the defense, that is usually kept deep due to their lack of pace. There are, then, two ways to try dealing with the issue: either switch to a 4-1-2-2-1, which would add to the area in the middle at the expense of one man up front or move just one of the defensive midfielders to the centre in a role to stay around the middle, we'd not sacrifice the fourth man up front but would keep one around the middle.

    As for player performance and market solutions, Carlos Fierro has been utterly disappointed. Granted, I've not given him a lot of time, but he's had his chances and has squandered them out. He is now choosing team and will be out for six million and a half euros, which means signing him has been good business, as his half season contract has meant just about half million, it's a six million profit, which is good for the club. Mucha has been complaining about lack of first team football and he's given the chance; now, he's not been bad, right there along Krul, but he doesn't seem to earn to be chosen as regular starter and I'm more inclined to use Krul most of the time, so he's also going out, choosing team, for €3.5M and a new young goalkeeper is to join our ranks, one who will accept being the backup and who can step up in the moments of need when Krul is injured or needs a match out of the field to break a lump in form. There's also a new centreback, Sebastián Coates, with good pace, to reinforce the backline, maybe leaving Glik and Camporese as rotation players as they seem to be dropping in their performances, rather inconsistent of late, to make it a new pair Coates-Darmian. If prices are reasonable, there would be a chance to sign a new right winger to be able to rotate all the attacking midfield positions and avoid tiring those players as much. Finally, the chosen one for the right wing was Juanfran due to lack of any better realistic choice. As for the goalkeeper, any decent we could see was non-EU, so we're going to make do with Baccin for whenever Krul gets an injury. Thinking aready in the next season, we've signed a physical beast, Kara. I'd have brought him already, but he was in his last six months of contracts, with Coates in he's not urgent and I'd rather not spend any more than strictly needed. Depending on what happens next, Glik or Camporese may even see the door.

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    In other news, now that 2014 is ended, there's been some awards that have come or were close to our door. Tim Krul dethroned Julio César from his long string of Goalkeeper of the Year prizes and the Serie A Young player of the year of 2014 was ours, won by Kévin Tapoko, very deservedly. In the almost, I was second in the Manager of the Year prize, there goes the chance to start a long set of prizes in a row.

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    Last edited by Death Ball; 03/06/2012 at 08:44 PM.

  15. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    (I've not quite got to do the story as I intended, but after twenty times getting back to start screen because that's what spacebar does when viewing matches instead of pausing, is frustrating, so some showing of how the tactic works with screenshots has not been done. At least yet.)

    End of 2014-2015 season

    There was no new signings during the winter transfer window, save for the board finally allowing to terminate Stewart's contract, as he rejected to work as a coach. All there was left to do was to make the adjustments to the tactics and to give up in my past rigidity of very little tactical changes, to try use all the strength of having three different prepared and adapt more to the foes.

    As I mentioned the first part to the changes was to bring the supporting defensive midfielder a step forward as a defensive ball winning midfielder, a role shared between Mariga and Colback, and a deep lying playmaker in a role of defense or support depending on player and opposition, a role taken mainly by Crisetig and Colback, ocassionally by Skou, Zambotto, De Feudis or Mariga, as Krhin was injured for nearly five months, making him miss what was left of the season.

    The second is to be more willing to change it and accept risking some at choosing formations, instead of being so conservative after a few used a new formation just in my game, or chose the less used according to the scouting. In this vein I used more the narrow diamond to face flat 4-4-2's to great effect, narrow 4-2-3-1 against 4-3-1-2's and so on.

    The two winter signings contributed to the general improvement in performance over the second half of the season. Coates seemed to have a dubious start, with a poor first match, but scored a goal in the second match and has been splendid, never a bad game, maybe a bad start but all finished with good ratings, relegating Glik and Camporese to rotate with Darmian for the other centreback position. Juanfran has not become a regular starter, but has been used with good performances and a good amount of goals. He adds to the success of the new attacking midfielders, that have raked up the goals, with special mention to Vukcevis, highest league rated player, and Kévin Tapoko, young player of the year and part of the Team of the Year for this season, with just 21 years old. (Vukcevic 10 goals/14 assists, Pajtim Kasami 7/9, Tapoko 7/12, Enzo Pérez 10/10, Llama 3/7, Juanfran 5/2, Ebagua 0/2, just two of them are already above the numbers of the whol AMR/C/L players past season).

    Screenshot

    In Europe we got drawn against Sporting. First leg away, where a defensive strategy didn't help to avoid defeat, 2-1. But a brave second leg at home, saw a superb display led by Kasami to wipe the floor with them 5-1. On to face the impossible task of beating Chelsea. The greatest return of the new flexibility was the explotation of their flat 4-4-2 with our diamond at the first leg at home for a comfortable 3-1 victory!. We went to the second leg with the standard 4-2-3-1 (4-1-1-3-1) in a defensive outlook, knowing it would be hard not to receive three goals. And we did receive three goals, but in return scored three ourselves to reach quarterfinals. There we got Atlético de Madrid, whom we beat in the second leg away 1-2 with two goals by Juanfran, but that wasn't enough to compensate the 1-3 they got at Torino

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    I forgot to take the screenies for the Atlético games

    In Serie A it resulted in a 18 games unbeaten run until Juventus scored a counter after half an hour of dominance by us and three Paloschi goals disallowed for offside (rifhtly, one by oh so very little), which doesn't reflect as it should in the table. I had fallen a little behind the sixth placed, but being still sixth after that seems so little. We reached the last game with chances. We needed wither for Palermo not to win an easy game if Napoli defeated Fiorentina or that Fiorentina beat Napoli for less than six goals. Palermo won and so did Fiorentina; but we failed to beat relegated Bologna at their home, as our front men became either too isolated or too congested with the initial wide 4-2-3-1 or latter narrow, then with the diamond they were well placed but then it was pressure to the opposition that became the problem due to lack of men. 1-1 coming back from behind with a header by Paloschi, who's been performing well this seasn, being our top goalscorer with 15 league goals.

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    The key in the improvement pulling one DM to the CM position is simple and it's that with the two DMs the front four had no one in the midfield offering an outlet for passing, one was always too deep and the other ways either too deep or had joined too far ahead, now that player was never too deep nor too high. If there's any problem that remains in the side is the lack of fullbacks with enough attacking potential, with Rubin as the only with some capacity due merely to his crossing, which he doesnt use as well, and Vidanov thanks to his flat throw-in that's given us a few goals.

    In other aspects, the season has been good. Serie A has gained one position in the competition rankings, which surely means next season it will send four teams to Champions League. The control of spending has helped keep a healthy economy and the fact that the TV revenue money from european competitions, unlike Serie A that isn't added to the bank and seems to be the sum of the season's twelve months of TV income, is added to the bank has meant our account has raised to the whooping number of €39M!. It means that we won't need to be as careful with spending next season, and we didn't have need to sell Gibson and Bosingwa. The first didn't have much consequence, as Crisetig and Krhin have filled in very well, but the absence of Bosingwa has surely hurt during all the season with the lack of offensive fullbacks and the first half with the defence showing signs of vulnerability it didn't have with him. The balance of the transfer operations is in the end of just -€2M, and wouldn't have hurt paying Bosingwa's salary or missing his transfer fee.

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    Soon, not today, maybe tomorrow or next day, will come the next update. Plans for next season and initial movements for the new season.
    Last edited by Death Ball; 03/06/2012 at 08:41 PM.

  16. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    Summer will come

    - Initial thoughts:

    Current squad: (accomplished though not aknowledged in position listing) [not even accomplished]

    ·GK: Tim Krul, Ferdinando Di Nunzio. Loaned out: Francesco Bardi (played very well for Porto).

    One top class 27 years old goalkeeper with high wage, one youngster that is far from being up to play first team football. One good 23 years old who's made a great season at Porto, but that I think went with a clause to buy, in which case I doubt they'd not want him.

    I would need one young that's good enough to step into first team to go along Krul, loaning Di Nunzio out. Maybe if one better than Krul showed up that would ask for less wages, I may sell Krul. ((This was before knowing the EURO and Champions TV revenue would add millions to bring our bank balance up to 39))

    ·DC: Kamil Glik, Michele Camporese, Sebastián Coates, Mateo Darmian, (Mateo Rubin). Signed during the season: Kara.
    ·DL: Iván, Mateo Rubin, Pavel Vidanov, Cristian Llama. (Lorenzo de Silvestri), [Lorenzo Crisetig].
    ·DR: Lorenzo de Silvestri, Pavel Vidanov, Mateo Darmian.

    In the centre, Camporese, Darmian and Glik were relegated to share fighting for the second centreback position after the impressive performances by Coates, a role I doubt Glik will accept next season. Considering he's 27 years old, it seems to be time to cash on him. There can be one addition of someone younger who would accept the role to ensure injuries won't be an issue.

    In the sides, there's the problem that has shown as result of the sale of Bosingwa that is the lack of offensive fullbacks, as Rubin has not been enough. Rubin has been in general good, but has been irregular and has shown some bad form times, being 27 years old, is a player to cash on while he's in age. Llama would be a great candidate to be an offensive leftback, but his defensive ability is subpar. Being as he's played not that much this season and that he's 28, he joins the ranks of players to cash on.

    ·DM/MC in defensive role: Lorenzo Crisetig, Karsten Skou, Giuseppe Vives, Giuseppe De Feudis, Rene Krhin, McDonald Mariga, Gabriele Zambotto, (Jack Colback). Loaned out: Simone Pasa. Signed during the season: Kara

    Nine players for basically two positions, three maybe in the toughest matches where we may seek to be specially on the defensive, is obviously an excess of players and unloading of them is obviously a need.

    Vives and De Feudis have barely played at all, the latter complaining about the lack of first team time, so they're the first two obvious choices, as they're old and not all that useful in tutoring, I fear, given the lack of good youths we got. Crisetig, Colback and Khrin are three very good choices to start, and Kara will make a fourth. So there's no need to keep Mariga around, so though he's been a great player, at his 28 years he joins the players leaving during summer. There simply isn't room for five players of that level without having one unhappy for lack of first team football. Zambotto may be a little green, but we don't have enough players grown at the club so we can as well use him in Europe. Skou I think is almost there and Pasa may as well. Four high quality players plus three decent youngsters I think is a very good set up. There is no need for any new signings here. The only chance would be find good teams who would give the youths minutes of first team football, unlikely as they didn't get offers past season (and Pasa I think has played nothing).

    ·AMC/MC (attacking role): Kévin Tapoko, Simon Vuckevic, Pajtim Kasami, Enzo Pérez, Cristian Nita, Alen Stevanovic, Sean Murray. (Mariga, De Feudis), [Krhin].
    ·AML: Cristian Llama, Simon Vukcevic, Juanfran, Osariemen Giulio Ebagua, Enzo Pérez, Alen Stevanovic, (Pajtim Kasami, Ferdinando Tucci), [Mattia Destro]
    ·AMR: Pajtim Kasami, Enzo Pérez, Juanfran, (Ferdinando Tucci, Simon Vukcevic), [Alberto Paloschi]

    Five valid players for three positions, the rest being still too green or not enough quality. And one of them wasn't included in Eurpean comeptitions (Tapoko, I think I missed that he needed to have been two years in the team to be elligible without being registered, and none of the youths were elligible, either, only had Ebagua, who's not up to Eruo level). It was proven that is too few and tiredness took its tollduring the first half of season. Therefore I need to find teams to loan out to the young players and bring a minimum of two players. Ebagua is old and subpar so he'll be sold.

    The signings for these positions during past season have been a complete success. Any two of them has got more goals than the whole of the players there last season.

    ·ST: Alberto Paloschi, Mattia Destro, Ferdinando Tucci, Osariemen Giulio Ebagua, (Alen Stevanovic) [Pajtim Kasami, Simon Vukcevic]. Loaned out: Artem Dzyuba (has played very few games)

    Alberto Paloschi has finally stepped in, being our top goalscorer, improving the season goals set by Antenucci. Destro has been disappointing, like past season and has earned being sold. Tucci is still too young and valid only for matches already decided. Ebagua is subpar and his contract will be allowed to run out. With the injuries and starting to use formations with two strikers, just two good strikers isn't enough, so we need to sign two more. Dzyuba will be reviewed to see if he may be worth a chance in preseason to be one of those two.

    - What was done:

    ·GK: A young goalkeeper was found, Lucien Andzouana, who's picked an injury and whose transfer fee is only two millions and maybe some hundred thousand.

    The ight secen million fee for Tisserand ended deciding me to sell Krul (€3.8M) and hire Tim Howard, who's better on paper, though his numbers in the league aren't great; but that's because his defence ahead was likely too poor and when the goalkeeper is exposed too many times he'll concede no matter how good. He had rejected to renew his contract and could come for free. This is a move I did before the European competitions TV revenue was announced and actually added to our bank, as I thought it would be like in Serie A: a mere sum of what had been already received during the season. ((And a damn big temptation to reload, as it's a difference of criteria very clear as to say the game has deceived me . Had I known it would add to my bank account, there's no way I would have sold Krul)). I originally thought waiting as long as possible, maybe until July, but then thought better not let another team take him or he deciding to retire before I had the chance, as some old players decided to retire in 30 June 2014 when it was already June 2014.

    Two days after finding him and one before going to make an offer, Andzouana got an injury that last for three months, yay for luck!. I could bring him, with two weeks left of injury when he joins 1st july.

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    ·DC: A young player to be a back up was found during the season, Kyle Bartley on a contract running out, was signed. A player of abilitiees very close to Glik and 23 years old. Dimo Osmanov was signed with 15 years for the U20 team, hoping he'll develop as scouts believe he can. I forgot Touati was scheduled to arrive this summer, a 21 years old centreback. It's the problem when you sign a sixteen year boy and find out after he won't come until three years later. Will be loaned, likely.

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    ·DL: There was nothing found that was a good substitute for Rubin who looked competent in the attack, in the end I went for Maynor Figueroa, cheap, not worse than Rubin, able to play in the centre like him and offensively looking good enough, though not the player I'd hoped for. Only decent was Coleman, but he was not all that better but so much more expensive. Worrying fact I realize: Figueroa and Howard come from relegated Everton. Young Martin Parizek has been also chosen to join the U20 team.

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    ·AMR/L/C: Gaël Kakuta was offered for €4.8M by Chelsea and the offer taken. Also a strong bid of €7M was made to make us with the service of imprresive young Nabil Tisserand, who's worthy of first team football already. José Henriques is chosen to join the U20 side. There would be one spot left for an attacking midfielder to make sure tiredness won't be an issue, as neither Murray or Nita look specially prepared yet.

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    ·ST: A few targets were identified. Tisserand is able to play there, so he counts as one back up, but still need at least one more. The first try was made for Shane Sutherland, but he chose Aston Villa. Dell'Agnelo looks to be a decent second target to try, but his poor passing and crossing makes me wait to decide and in the meantime is signed in co-onwership deal by Chievo. Artem Dzuyba returns and isn't worth giving a chance by all the looks. At 1st July, a contract is offered for Daniel Sturridge as he left Chelsea, he'll earn quite a bit but I'm expecting him to contribute. Madjaric is signed for the U20.

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    ·MC: Franck Bambock, 20 years old, was offered a contract as a very promising young player.

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    ·AMR/L/C: €575K co-ownership from Novara is accepted for Verdi, as I don't count and it's unlikely I could get anything for him in a full sale.

    At 1st July, the total balance is half a million euros more in sold players than bought. A total of €16.25M added to our bank for the departure of eleven players (De Feudis still not on the list) of whom four are out on contract's end. On the other side, €15.75M are paid for thirteen players, of which six players are new important first team players, three replacements for the starting eleven and three young to add depth, two for back up against injury and five are youths for the U20 team.

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    What more would it be left to expect?. Sturridge, important first teamer, possibly one more striker among the additons. In the other side, De Feudis and Dzyuba gone, plus some youths that are to be loaned out.

    Time to set the players to the preseason schedule, review the on-season training programmes, review the tactics prepared and plan the friendlies.

    - Other matters:

    Shareholders were paid €6.25; as the club made a turnover of €180M past season. Our bank balance is now at 22 June 2015 at €41.28M.

    Also new sponsorship deals that increase from €3.14M/a to €4.37/a.

    That data, make it for the initial budget for the new seasons to €900K p/w in salaries and €50.59M for transfers. Of which I don't plan to use all. And it also means we've got up from 68th to 36th in the richest clubs ranking (€87M 1st July).

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    Simon Vukcevic was, as expected, chosen the fans' player of the year.

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    Fixtures announced, there's no congestion of tough rivals save for Juventus and Inter being one after the other.

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    Message of Torino given €48.92M, will be given over the forthcoming season. I thought the same as this would be for European competitions.

    __________________________________________________ ______________________________________
    I always forget to say this: even if I rarely if ever comment about your recommendations for signings, I never ignore them. Every one is looked and considered. Beside Fierro, who was signed, some others I would have liked to sign, but were out of the price range I considered acceptable at the time, such is the case of Luis Gilherme, for one among some others. Thank you for the recommendations!.
    Last edited by Death Ball; 03/06/2012 at 08:35 PM.

  17. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    Preseason 2015-2016

    One of the problems I've seen during the past seasons is with the reserve squad. It usually has few players and hence it uses many of the U20, with the ill result that the best young players become tired soon. This year, then, I will be making sure it has enough players. A look through the U20 squad tells it has enough players, so any new youngsters that are set in the first squad will instead be moved to reserves, as well as any player I don't plan on using. Then some may be offered out on loan.

    Bardi is loaned out to Palermo for half a million, Llama (who wants money like so many others) to Genoa for as much and De Feudis to Novara for half, Vardi is signed on a co-ownership deal for half a million too. Sturridge finally accepts our offer.

    Screenshot Screenshot

    The loan for free of Pape Diop, after the leave of Dzyuba on a paid loan with option to buy are the last movements to add new players to the squad.

    [URL=http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y52/mbest/FMgames/Frasine/PapeDiop.png]Screenshot[URL]http://www.fm-base.co.uk/forum/football-manager-2012-stories/

    But then a decent offer for Iván, who doesn't look too likely to get much better comes, so a new leftback is needed, or right back. The first target is a 20 years old Henk Smit. However, the club refused to accept my bids. The choice was then Málaga's Izaguirre or AC Milan's Taiwo. Izaguirre's better technical talents decide the matter and a bid for him is issued... and in the brink of time my scouts get my attention into Daniel Islas, very promising and young offensive leftback. The decision is easy and the transfer of Izaguirre is cancelled and Islas comes for €7M.

    Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

    Friendlies: the players return from holidays on 27 July, which is something I wish to change, but I don't know how.

    Newcastle had already one set for fifth August, the rest are worked from start of league backward and include Barcelona and Anderlecht. Clermont are owed a friendly, but the French league starts very soon and it's hard to find a date. Probably it will have to be done come Christmas. The loss to Newcastle and the UEFA 4th round qualification series being so close after the Barcelona game made it so that we cancelled that friendly and substituted it with easier matches, one against Club Brugge and Genk, as it's some important matches I don't want to risk morale issues.

    Screenshot

    The first match show the expected issues when there are too many new faces in the side, as the attacking movement aren't as fluid as when last season finished, the defence isn't too cohesive and even the worse teams can find the net. That doesn't prevent our qualification for EC's group stage beating Gaziantepspor 1-0 at home and 1-2 away, or start with a narrow win at home against Lazio. Which then is followed by a disaster loss to Cesena 3-1 away, a match we should be winning as this is the first time we don't, as Tim Howard, in his league debut, is incapable to stop a single shot at goal (ok, he made a decent save in the second half, but that's it). Andzouana sees his first choice status confirmed, Howard will have to be sold in winter, when maybe Bardi will be brought back from Palermo. Unless Howard shows something else in some new chance. To top it off, both Vukcevic and Colback get injuries for 6-7 weeks.

    Next at Grasshopers' stadium Kakuta shines to give us hope he'll be blending at good speed and maybe not be the only, where we win 4-0 with one goal (fastest mark record, 47s) and two asssists by him and two decent saves by Tim Howard, that mark him as worthy of being tested again sometime, though for the time being Andzouana will remain first choice. The next match against AC Milan at the San Siro only serves to confirm that, as Andzouana makes some brilliant saves, including one in the last second to end with a 0-0 draw, in which the pair Bartley/Coates works splendidly and Darmian makes a good job in his return to right back position.

    Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

    Despite the signings, made to lighten the load on the players, it does seem like it's still too many matches for them, as they end the match exhausted.

    Also I do realize the plain 4-4-2 was not used in all the past season and is not likely to, therefore in its place I will set a three man defence system. Wingbacks may be moved back to fullback and given attacking position.

    Screenshot

    Economically the team is in a solid position and so some work in for the youth facilities can be started. Soon I plan to improve the training and ask for more physios. The board also offers me a new contract that I gladly sign.

    Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

    __________________________________________________ ___
    This takes ages to load, doesn't it?. I'll need to see to either cut down on the image or see if other formats take less to load
    Last edited by Death Ball; 22/05/2012 at 11:29 PM.

  18. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    ((Ok, I forgot to change format of screenshots and this is taking a lot to load, so this time I'll put the screenshots in links inside the text again. In fact, not only I end annoyed at the quick reply fleeing from my cursor but it has made my browser crash. I will edit a few of the past posts to turn the pics into links))

    Half season 2015-2016. Ceiling reached?

    The season has been going so far alike the past one, with some good results and difficulty to beat some teams. The start of the season, despite the first stumble was promising, getting a goalless draw at AC Milan's home and the backline showing good understanding with the new players, though Daniel Islas needed a little more to get in than Figueroa, and Andzouana looking nearly unbeatable. The Utretch game meant a new chance for Tim Howard to show his quality, but he only stopped those shots that were sent harmlessly to his body through good positioning, anything else got past him, luckily only one was on target and a second hit the woodwork, that sealed his fate.

    We were looking in a good run and I was called tactical genius, of course we lost next game, against Napoli. There was a moment of worry when a poor match against Roma is followed by another when Juventus visits, that marked the moment chosen to give the first test to the three men defence, with the modifications from the shown one of giving the fullbacks attacking instructions. It worked superbly to get 4-1 up after Inter opened the scoreline, though a bad five last minutes of the defence due probably to asking them to stand off and drop deeper saw Inter claw two goals back for a final 4-3. Still, a good result.

    The team hasn't shown the trouble of the fixture congestion as much as past season, except for a week with the defence as there was no choices to make due to the tiredness of most. However, when the end of the year approached there's been an injury crisis. Kakuta was the first with a long term injury during the Catania match, he'll be back around February, the good side being around that time it was just a matter of one week for Colback and Vukcevic to return from theirs. Next came two injuries: Coates in the gutting Novara game and, more serious Andzouana took a four week long injury during training that will force us to play with Di Nunzio.

    The gutting Novara game: we dominated it but our glory was taken away with two own goals that shouldn't have been such, and in the last quarter hour I set in Di Nunzio. His first action ever for us was a perfect long ball to Paloschi's feet, setting him for a one on one, and he sent it off!. A once in a lifetime chance for a goalkeeper to debut with an immediate assist wasted, that was a shame. Gutting. In the end, there was no more goals and we finished winning 3-0 with two goals that should've been given to may players marked as own goals by the oposition.

    In the UEFA Cup things go well, winning easily against the two weak teams, save for the 2-1 fault of Howard, but we fail to get the first spot, as in the first match at home there were some defensive errors from putting too much on attack and we lost 1-3. At the Sánchez Pizjuán we fare much better, creating a good amount of good chances but taking only one and eventually, when going all out attack for the second goal, they took their chance to end with a 1-1 draw. That set us as second of the group. For the first time we get an easy round for the first knock out, setting us against Hapoel of Tel Aviv, while the next will be against either Zenit or past Champions League winners Olympique de Marseilla (a bit I don't know how to feel about past season, glad the champion didn't beat us or annoyed we could have won it if the winner didn't defeat us?).

    In the league the objective is to get at least seventy two points, as that's what in the past means qualification for Champions League. That's equivalent to win all home matches plus fifteen points, this first half has ended with only 33 points and a +6 over all home wins, which leaves us at -9 away points (see table, graph and fixtures).

    Statistically there's the worth of mention issue of not having a single player in the top in the individual statistics as well as in the Team statistics.

    In the market related news, the injuries are the cause to have a look and to make two buys: the out of favour Albín who's been unhappy due to lack of first team football as solution to Kakuta's injury, that would leave us very short in his area, a bargain transfer of €450K and Craig Cathcart to fill in for Coates for €6M. The latter is a centreback who's strong in the air andis fast, though not so overly, and is suppossedly a beast marker with great anticipation, he's started a little shaky but satisfactorily and will likely become the first choice along Coates once the uruguayan is back.

    Apart from those two signings for the first team, I also brought for the youth side, to come next season, young players Bobby-Joe Gale and Joe Woodburn.



    There's no goalkeeper brought, as Di Nunzio, while being clearly not as good as Andzouana has provided with a decent enough amount of saves to deserve being our choice to fill in for Andzouana. Also, the sale of Fierro provides us with an injection of cash.

    In other news, the upgrade of the youth facilities is completed, raising the status of our facilities and the board accepts to start work on the training facilities.

    Though there's no prizes this season, in their respective categories, we get amont the top of the year awards Tim Krul and Coates

    And to end, one small image to show the current first choice tactic with a DMCr and a MCl work as intended in defence: the two midfielders dropping deep level with each other, with one of them, depending on circumstances, in this case Colback, the MCl, taking care of one of the strikers to create an extra man behind. In this case, the leftback moves in to take their winger, while Colback starts his move back to take their right striker, while Bartley is left free to cut the run of the man with the ball may he get away from Darmian (DCr), while De Silvestri had moved forward to mark their other winger.



    Being again as the past season with a projection of hardly being amont the top six makes me consider the possibility of have led the team as high as I am able. There's one thing that I see I can work on to improve, and that is the players selection and the ellaboration of the tactics. I'm possibly too focused on certain requirements regarding their abilities instead of the balance of the whole and hence my tactics aren't really all that well suited to them.

    I will take the chance that I have upon taking the Bulgaria national team job in december, to make tactical experiments. ((And to use the classic tactics))
    Last edited by Death Ball; 18/06/2012 at 10:49 PM.

  19. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    ((Uploading the screenshots as jpg has been so incredibly faster than the pngs, 37 gone up faster than one png, I will again put screenshots))

    End of the 2015-2016 season

    There was not many changes when the second half of the season started and things went largely looking like the first one. With the good luck in the draws allowing us to qualify for the first time since I'm here for the Italian Cup's semifinal and Maccabi de Tel Aviv was an easy first knock out round in the EURO Cup. When things started to turn for the better with some tactical changes to improve the performances was when the second knockout arrived, setting us against respectable Shakhtar Donetsk. Thinking of us as the lesser team and then considering the Mourinhesque tactic of a cautious first leg to avoid having a too tough second, I fiddled with the defensive 4-2-3-1 deep formation, pushing the attacking midfielder one line back to make it a 4-2-1-3. All team defensive, with two midfielders just slightly more offensive than the deeper one and up front two wingers and one striker set to not track back too far and to look for runs into the opposition area. It worked wonders with Sturridge scoring two in the first leg in Ukraine and Shakhtar completelly unable to create any danger with their 4-1-3-2. A pattern repeated in the second leg at home, though with their urgent need for goals made them get a few chances, though their goal came when we were already 2-0 up and the team was a little relaxed. Next were to come Tottenham Hotspur, leaders of the Premier League and eventually winners of it, who proved to be too much for us, getting three goals at White Hart Lane. Partly because I didn't order my fullbacks to never move up and partly because Tottenham are just vastly superior at this moment. At least, while we didn't get anything in the second leg, we could score a goal and look to have chances of winning that leg.

    Seeing as the three men defense was not likely to get use, it was replaced with the attacking version, which merely sees the top of the central trio moved to attacking midfield and the team push higher and playing slower, with only one midfielder staying back to cover the defense.

    In the league, a good run with only a few bad results carried us up to a +14 pts from only home wins, which is -1 from target and that was enough to see us climb slowly on the table to ensure the fourth place with three matches to go, and therefore to play Champions League next season.



    That meant some prize money that was less than I had hoped for, in some cases inferior to the amount paid as bonus to the squad.



    Statistically, the points I think worth of mention are that we again are the team with the least yellow cards, though two red denies that position in that particular table. Again, we have some dependance on the efficiency of corner. We are not too high scoring and we fall down in the defensive strength. Special mention goes to Sturridge, for breaking our goalscorer record for a season as well as making a perfect game with five goals, the first time since we're in Serie A a player made more than two and he makes five, reaching fifteen and activating the league goal landmark bonus of €600+K.



    A few youths and a signing to reinforce both right wing and striker position, after the simultanous injury of Sturridge and Paloschi made us noticeably less dangerous upfront have been tied up for the next season before the end of this, plus a leftback.



    Another important piece of business that's related to transfers is the new link stablished with Levante, who will be our new feeder club. That's important as it will be a good team to send our young players who're to be good enough for first football but aren't expected to enjoy many minutes with us.



    And we reach the end of this with a few miscellaneous notes: some good news in the training department, with some good news of good players improving noticeable and only two who decline due to their age. A show of our last minute comeback against minnows Novara in the game that sealed our fourth place and Champions League and a look into my profile.



    In the international side, the tactics don't seem to work right, with two defeats against Wales (0-2) and Ireland (1-3), that show the front two isolated too far up the pitch and a too hasty build up of the attack phase. And next match in two months is the first to qualify for next European Cup, against Lithuania.
    Last edited by Death Ball; 18/06/2012 at 11:35 PM.

  20. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    - Preplanning for the 16/17 season:

    If those loaned with an option to buy aren't bought, what I have for the next season is: three goalkeepers, one of whom is grown in club (Bardi), seven valid players for centreback position plus five youths, five right fullbacks, plus two young, five left fullbacks, plus one young, various fullbacks from one side able to play in the other, Strinic who's joining us in July, six defensive midfielders, plus one young and a couple who can play there, all able to play centre of midfield, eight players plus Juanfran who can play Central advanced midfield, of whom almost all can play central midfield, eleven who are or can play right wing, nine who can play left wing and, finally, eight strikers or able to play there. All in all, a great combination of players to have much flexibility and ability to deal with match congestion. Not as much as it looks like due to a few youngsters being counted in the offensive half who I consider not yet ready for first team play.

    Only great offers may get me to sell a few wanted like Kasami, Sturridge and Tisserand. The long injury suffered by Vukcevic, who's thirty years old may grant considering selling him or loan him out, but that would not be for any price. The young players shall be loaned again to teams who'll play them. New signings beyond the ones already done (not counted earlier is Nangis, right winger/striker who's coming in July, too) shall be limited to replace anyone bought through good offers and nothing more. Any effort in the transfer market, I think I'll do for hot prospects.

    Again this summer sees an overhaul of our training schedules, remaking them, both for efficiency and comfort. Now there's not only a schedule for each typical position (plus one special for Tisserand, I may add another for each goalkeeper), but a corresponding preseason for each, for easy reassignment. Schedules that are more specialized and less all rounded than the previous.

    So things are let be for a while. In that time we find that Torino has gone up 68 places to the 44th in the world club ranking, a great piece of news. Italy retain qualification places for European competitions.



    The initial budget is €1.3M p/w wages and €28.53M for transfers, which is more than enough.

    ((Due to the Levante link, I'm loading the Spanish two top divisions as playable, to add the two Italian and English already activated.))



    The fans choose Sturridge as the player of the past season, very much deservedly as our top goalscorer.



    The new fixture list has as the hardest phase that of Palermo and Udinese in a row, not separated from the Roma-AC Milan-Juventus series by Siena. And a promised TV rights income for the season of €52.05M, not at all bad. When asked for the expectations, my reply is that of qualifying for the Champions League, though I expect to try fight for the title. However, seeing the past two seasons, I'm not too sure yet if that's a realistic goal. The title odds give me a 21.00, that's an offside chance of getting it with some lucky results.



    Quite some players end contracts at the end of this season, so there's much to consider. The players have to be sorted into: young and useful to renew and maybe loan, young undecided to either test or loan, unwanted young to be sold or loan to the small reduction of wages, players definitely wanted, players at an age that could be considered to be sold for profit if replacements are found or keep until retirement.

    Dzyuba is finally sold to Bari for €1.8M, Rubin to Udinese for €2.6M. Barnbock is loaned to Le Mans for €375K with a future fee of €2.1M. Inter makes a €5.5M co ownersip deal for young Innocenti with a €13.5M for complete ownership shall they wish, he stays at Torino, promptly accepted and Novara pays €1.9M to full ownership of Simone Verdi. Lascelles moves on a free loan to Reading. When quality centreback Juan from Wolfsburg is offered cheaply (less than €3M) the chance is taken and bought, selling Camporese for €3M (which upsets the fans, as he was a favourite). While he's been doing good and has room for improvement, last season tended to disappoint and hence had few games. There's also his wages were the double from what Juan has accepted (meaning €1M worth in saved wages).



    Other than that, the other new signings (Jan Simons isn't among them, though I'm interested to keep an eye on him) are young players for future: Nuno Martinho, who cost €2.7M to get him from the average trainign facilities of Nacional de Madeira, and in free transfer Robert Kezelj and Florin Carjan. Milljojev and Karac were offered contracts, but unfortunately failed their medical due to long term injuries, which is a pity, because they both look very promising.


    Millvojevic not bought

    The European Championship see a number of national managers sacked, which opens up two positions I ambition: England's and Italy's. So I apply for them and I am offered the English job. I would have liked to have had some time to take Bulgaria to some success, but the chance was too good to wait for a new one.



    The friendlies proportionate a great piece of news: a 1-0 win over Barcelona! With one woodrowk hit for us and two more chances that should have gone in, forcing Valdés a man of the match performance. The bad is Tisserand injured for two months.



    In a Spanish tour to which we're invited due to our popularity we play Segunda A teams with not good results, but still productive. The 4-1-2-1-2 doesn't convince me too much, producing a 1-1 at Salamanca, so I decide I could as well make a new tactic to include two relevant variations over what is the primary tactic (in counter and control flavour): three men defence and two strikers. A 5-3-2, standard in most and man marking. It allows me to see a number of the benefits of man marking and though we sow one defeat at Tenerife (with two woodwork hits for us in a game we dominate), I find it satisfactory on account on the dominance it provides us as well as his apparent approppriateness for a number of opposing rivals.



    In some late hour transfer news, Osmanov is sold for €1.4M to Manchester City, as while having a great potential, his work rate and determination aren't extraordinary so not too likely to reach it. Nuno Martinho, who's been in reserves asks for first team time. Sent to Levante on loan, but he rejects it. In the thrashing of AlbinoLeffe he gets the second half and his movement is something I've not seen before in a target man, with great distribution of the ball and he even starts the play that he ends with a goal.



    And though Tisserand's injury is bad news, it's even worse that the draw for the match to qualify for Champions League gives us Arsenal. A very tough match.



    And to end with some miscellaneous screenshots:


    Finances look healthier and healthier each season. Soon, sooner if we get to the group stage of ECC, we may start to spend big to bring in the best of the best and turn Torino into a true power.


    More improvements to the youth training facilities are begun, as well as the already on progress training for senior team.


    The friendlies and results. Last game has been too early and players aren't all arriving to the first competitive in the best shape.
    Last edited by Death Ball; 26/06/2012 at 10:40 PM.

  21. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    - Half season 2016-2017

    The visit to Arsenal is played with the defensive tactic used against Barcelona and it succeeds in keeping the British at 0 goals, but neither Sturridge or Paloschi fail to make their few chances count. For the second leg I decide to play the first half the same way and go a little more offensive during the last half hour. The plan goes well, until the slight offensive turn, by which Crisetig is caught in possession and the through ball reaches Chamakh for a goal. Then we turn it to the 5-3-2 offensive tactic and get a goal, but too late to get a second and we're out to EURO Cup. The draw, to top it off gives us a group with an easy Karpaty and then Málaga and Manchester United.



    The comic moment came when after the first leg, played very defensive and hoofing balls to the front I read the news to find this:



    The start of the season is in no way promising, starting with a 4-3 defeat at Atalanta, later a 1-0 at Lazio, though it's followed by a 3-0 comfortable win over Inter. A team I expected to be a tough team but that after nine matches has only won once, while we've done that five times now. And though we get a shock result beating Manchester United 3-2, which places us as group leaders with 6 points, Málaga second with 4, Manchester third with 1 and Karpaty fourth with 0, next we fail to defeat Catania In part due to some too much rotating to give minutes to some players, and a couple (Pasa and Juanfran) asking for playing time. That is the definite confirmation the squad is too big and some sales have to be done for the winter window.



    The first two to be put on sale are Juanfran and Pasa. The later needs a few tweaks to get teams to bid. Then there's a few names that are added: Mateo Darmian, who's useful but for two positions that are well covered and has not had as many minutes as he probably deserves, Sean Murray and Cristian Nita, as they don't get any playing time and that's making them not develop, as no loan offers approppriate for that had been done. It's a shame specially for the later, Nita could very well be a leading advanced playmaker, but he's not enjoyed the time to develop. Another sale will be Vuckevic, as after past season's injury his physical traits have suffered and part of his great season the one before was due to his more than decent pace, now lost. The objective to be achieved for next season is to have a squad of a more reasonable size. Ideally the composition should be thus: group used positions by pairs, for each pair have two quality first choice, one quality sub and either one promising youth or one acceptable backup. No more than that. Depending on how the season goes until the end of december, I may decide to make an overhaul in this very winter window and use the second half of the season for squad gelling and return next season strong to challenge for everything.


    Pasa's money is rejected, but no new offers are presented, so he's finally released on a free

    The defence would not see any new faces, Juan has not been too convincing, but that's a matter of blending and will solve in time. Bartley-Coates-Juan-Cathcart is more than enough for the two centreback positions. Islas-Strinic + De Silvestri-Vidanov should be enough for the full backs. Gale looks suited to emergency backup if there's injuries. Figueroa will not stay next season.

    Being seventh after eleven games, though not far from the top, helps me decide to make the cleanup. Juanfran is sold due to him becoming unhappy at the lack of fist team time, Colback has not been bad, but his lack of further development adds him to the sales list, after finding a very promising young Irish William Sullivan, Krhin is added to the list. Vukcevic is offered at first, but his wish to remain with us, lack of offers and a couple good performances takes off the list and may even see his contract, that ends this season, extended further. Darmian is offered, but there's no offers coming after several weeks.



    In the league the tough part of the first leg, which is the matches against Napoli, Inter, AC Milan and Juventus ends with a positive balance, Inter is a comfortable win 3-1, the Napoli is lost in the last ten minutes after being 1-0 up, but then AC Milan is thrashed for a 4-1 after in response to his manager's comments I tip them as winners of Serie A and the next win I do the same with Juventus plus answering to press conference with them as title favourites and it gives me a 1-0 win at their home!. First win after three or four seasons without getting anything against them.



    In the Europa League things are hard and though we manage to pull a shock 3-2 win against ManU at home, Málaga manages to edge our game there and at our home we just draw. The Málaga win over ManU the day we thrash Karpaty 7-0 is practically irrelevant toward our last game chances to go through, since the only difference it makes is we lose the 0,00000000001% chance of going through losing to ManU with a Málaga defeat to Karpaty.

    So, in two weeks, there's the vital game against ManU, so a problem arises: do we put everything there and rest Andzouanna so he comes back fired up against ManU while giving time to Di Nunzio in the two league matches in between or do I keep Andzouanna all thorough the season?. The final decission is to keep the team against Sampdoria and rest some key players seven days later against Cagliari just before the European game. So in that game Andzouanna, Juan (Nunes), Kakuta, Nangis, Sturridge and Kasami start from the bench, with Coates staying at home, their places taken by Di Nunzio, Bartley, Cathcart, Zambotto, Tapoko and Martinho. Kakuta, Sturridge and Kasami had playing time as the team was lacking edge, though, but no more than half an hour to get the win with a long shot by Gaël. Di Nunzio wasn't tested but for a random bounce close to the small box. However, the match is awful and ManU passes over us with a not so easy 4-0, his two goals hard worked then other two when we have to go all out for it.



    The previous league result means a new record for the club, as we win seven league games in a row to bring us to third place just one point from the top two. When Darmian, Colback, Krhin and Juanfran have already seen their sale confirmed and Simone Pasa released on a free. With Di Nunzio likely following, as I've found a British young keeper, Raeri Lafferty, who is of the same current ability but better potential are more fit for our playing style; but the contract offer is rejected and he chooses QPR. A 17 year old Marc Walker has been tied to come at the end of his contract for the U20 side as he looks promising and the U2 side lacks any quality goalie.



    Young Juan Fernando Fernández Gallardo is offered a contract for when his ends, but he ends choosing Real Madrid, who entered the bid after our offer becoming known.



    And a new decision is made, because I have a several youngsters that have not developed adequately due to lack of playing time, some of whom could've been so good pleayers by now (Nita, Pasa, Skou, Marzio), instead of fielding my best players with one youth in the bench or starting rarely in the easier matches, I shall start a new policy to call up players for matches: starting XI that may have youths in a few cases, but the bench shall be used better and the subs be the sub goalie, strong defender, midfielder and attacker per usual and then one of each of young players, if the game is being won easily, sub the youngs in. It may still not give a lot of time to them, but they should definitely get a good deal of it.

    - Transfer market:

    - GK: Andzouanna, Di Nunzio. Youths. Set, really.

    - DC: Juan Nunes, Bartley, Cathcart, Coates. Youths. All set, there may be a chance of bringing a world class centreback for either Bartley or Cathcart or both, but it's not very likely.

    - FB: Islas, Strinic. De Silvestri, Vidanov. Youths. Set, could bring a world class right back for Vidanov, but it's not needed.

    - MC: Kara, Crisetig, Sullivan, Skou, Zambotto. Set and Crisetig is world class. Wanted by Hotspur who threaten to pay his release clause, new contract is in order as soon he accepts to negotiate.

    - AML: Gaël Kakuta and Simon Vukcevic. Yes, Simon is staying, has had some great performances, as has Kakuta.

    - AMR: Enzo Pérez, Lenny Nangis. Nangis is more of a lightning fast striker.

    - AMC: Juan Albín, Kevin Tapoko, Nabil Tisserand. Covered position.

    - ST: Sturridge, Paloschi, fast. Martinho, strong. Tucci young with some fast speed.

    We would need a right winger, who should be a world class (yes, I speak of world class for any new player, because that's the only kind of player I think would improve); but that would place Nangis as striker and cause us to have too much fast ones. Tucci is one of the players who've not developed as much as he should, so he doesn't seem as a guaranteed bet for the future, yet I feel reluctant to sell him. Paloschi would be the obvious sale from the shift of Nangis, as he's not been productive this season; against that is his high mental attributes and on paper quality, Nangis has not scored but two goals, one in Serie A and one in Champions League, but that's more because he's been played as right wing, which isn't his prefered position. One way to decide would be play him as striker and see what he does until January, then sell either and buy a right winger. Maybe one strong striker, but Tapoko can play that too.

    The transfer window doesn't go completelly as expected. Though we find a right winger in Sidney Sam after Almaraz's deal fell through due to the non-EU signings being done already, we receive a good I deem good enough for Strinic, who is sold and in place I sign Natalino, who's right sided, which in turn leads to the decision to sell De Silvestri as he's 28 and his main strength is the physical attributes. Our full back positions become then Daniel Islas (whose complete ownership I'll try to get) and Figueroa (who may stay after all) in the left, Natalino, Vidanov (who may play both sides) and Gale in the right. Juan is staying as he seems settled in the club and the only sale in the centreback possible is Cathcart. There's a superb looking striker offered by Betis, who's very expensive but looks very much worth the expense, that may push to not renew Paloschi contract and to sell Nangis, who's not done all that good yet. There's another young, not so brilliant, whose offer has been taken with sight on selling for a profit. And Pau Domingo who's loaned after being offered by Barcelona with an option to buy.



    Related to transfers, Catchart's buy clause for games played was activated and a million had to be paid.



    The good late run has turned what looked like a poor start into a very good first half of the season that keeps alive our hopes to reach the title, though it's not going to be easy. And it serves to be hailed as a tactical genius once again. There's two good outcomes of the new use of the young players. In the first one, we went through to the quarter finals of the cup against Atalanta with Karac and Gale in the backline, plus Zambotto in midfield, though we needed a lucky penalty shoot out in which I only had four decent penalty takers and we were on the verge of losing it. The other when in the last game of the first half against Fiorentina I trusted in Ferdinando Tucci, bringing him to the right wing and swapping Sam (he's had a great start, scoring and grabbing MoM in his first match and assisting in this his second) to the left (we played 4-2-3-1) when 0-1 down: he scored the first by pushing a cross from Sam and was involved in the second when his shot at the goalie was deflected to Vukcevic, that man of the match worth performance gave us second place in the league.



    Our facilities expansions were finised during autumn and new training expansion are going to be performed this year.



    Internationally, the only bad result in official match was a disappointing 1-0 loss to Slovenia and in friendly losing the 2-0 advantage against Ireland for a 2-2, in the plus side, we were the team that created the good chances in our match against Spain.



    And now, some statistics of the league so far:



    Maybe I should not be so shy with hard tackling, but it's something I don't quite like.

  22. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    I discovered a few games that are taking away time from FM12. Plus the new season approaching with the groups up mean I'll be preparing the Spanish complete database for FM13. Because of that the next update may take a while to arrive, since I'm playing slowly, rarely having time for more than one game when I get to it (I play them full and take nearly one hour from one match to the next).

    So I'm making an update with a little video to show a little of Nuno Martinho's play, the only Target Man I've ever had playing how I wish to see from such type of player.

    I tried making a video because I wanted it quick and thought the usual format of text with screenshots would take much longer to make.

    As I say at the start of the video, it's been seventeen years since the last time I had to speak English, so expect some hideous pronountiation. I hope at least you can understand what I say. I also spoke a bit too slow as my first attempt when I tried a more natural talking speed the result was complete gibberish (plus microphone apparently was worsely placed and was messing the sound). Also to note my capture software doesn't sync video and sound right, the sound coming a bit faster than the video.

    Last edited by Death Ball; 09/08/2012 at 11:02 PM.

  23. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    - Second half of season, quick report

    As intended in winter, the bench in each match will consist of second goalkeeper, three experienced players that are one per line or the expected wanted subs and three youngsters. This method has allowed to give, in nine matches more time to youths like Karac, Tucci and Gale more time than in all the 19 previous matches and the full season before.

    Figueroa got a six month injury in Febreuary, so when Natalino had a three weeks one, I had to sign some back up on a free, choosing Ogbonna, who had been waiting for a club possibly since start of season.

    Results wise, the second half of the league has not been bad, but two loses and one draw to beatable opposition (Cagliari and Inter, the latter getting their second ever win against us) and failure to get more than one win (Juventus) against the tough opposition costed us not only the chance to win the title but the second place, though at least we achieved my target of Champions League group qualification.

    The low point was losing 6-2 at Palermo when that could have put us two points behind and the high was not only beating Juventus, but doing it comfortably by three points with a good offensively oriented tactic.

    The league win over Juventus wasn't the only one though, as in the Cup semifinal we beat them in the first leg by 2-0 at home and in the second held them to a draw, earning the place in the final, where we were to meet Palermo. Since they had beat us so easily in the second league match, I went with the defensive tactic that has served me so well (and about which I will write in a new update soon). I kept the usual focus on teamwork and in the last two days I changed it to attacking set pieces. The results paid off, with Kara heading in a corner nearing half time. Palermo equalized in the second half thanks to a lucky ball to a striker in the corner of the are. But when it seemed to be a game to reach extra time Kara sent a precise pass to the back of the Palermo defensive line, at the area's edge, that was picked up by Sam and shot into the net for the winner!. My first ever title ((which is my first ever not counting a game with Porto and a couple with Real Madrid)). And that opens up the chance to win the second at the start of next season.









    That success served to get a boost to our sponsorship income, though we're still below the Serie A's average, through our increase in prestige. We also climbed up in the rich list.







    This as other long lists are different screenies cut and pasted one over the other




    Our position in the league was described as an overachievement, which I hoped would not be; but that may have a point, after all, considering only Kakuta with his average rating makes it among the top in one of the main categories. Still, I'm fairly happy with how many players have been performing with average ratings above 7.00. That turns us to be fourth favourites to win the next season, for which I've expressed as objective to qualify for Champions League, as something close enough to title challenge (my real target) without putting too much pressure on my players. On the bad news, there'll be only three places available next season due to poor performance of Italian teams in Europe. Lorenzo Crisetig was justly elected Fan's Player of the Year.










    With the fixtures of the new season announced, I would have a decent amount of optimism, as it looks to allow us to first easy half of each round to build up confidence and results to face a harder end with some margin for errors, without really have much congestion of tough matches, beside the AC Milan-Juventus-Napoli trio. Among the friendlies, two already set through invitation to an English tour thanks to our reputation over there.




    Some planning, that will be explained soon - hopefully -, was made regarding transfers. The plans involved making room for youngters to have some decent playing time substituting, or preparing to substitute, some of the aging players and removing excess in some positions, some sales were worked, as well as some purchases that are left for the upcoming update. Opening room to look for a truly pacey centreback led to selling Juan Nunes, as he was a little less consistent than Bartley, opening up space for youngster was the sale of Kasami, the wish for an offensive rightback and a decnet defensive leftback for cover lead to letting the contracts of Vidanov and Figueroa to run out. With that, some money is had for signings of new younger and talented players. Seems like this summer will bring a new half overhaul of the squad. Paloschi was sold and Albín will as there's too many strikers, some may be loaned out. Pau Domingo didn't accept a permanent move, sadly, so he also went out.






    And a few miscellaneous screenies:


    [size=1]For comparison with what was chosen, this was based on Europa League Qualification

    The expectations set, again.

    Finances at June.

    A lot of money, around ten millions more than past seasons.

    Homegrown before return of Lascelles and Barnbock (the first should be at the club, not the latter).

  24. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    - On squad

    One of the issues the team has suffered in the past season is that, no matter how successfully or not I got the transfers limited to a decent squad size, I haven't been making plans on how I want to play, but rather adapting to what I think the squad can do and then improve over it, without a set plan. That's something that needs changing, and probably can't be done all that easily.

    So I need to make a plan about what style of football I want to play and then make the signings around that.

    For a start, I want a squad able to keep the efficiency of the defensive tactics that has given us the Italian cup, the pass to semifinals beating Chelsea on a 6-3 aggregate, the 1-0 win at the Camp Nou. That means a team who shuts down the middle, forces the opposition wide to play crosses, sits deep and sends long balls to a fast front three to run behind the opposition defence. Requirements: aerially strong back four, pace is not needed, midfielders defensively strong, that are good in positioning to cover any hole, and a trio of wingers and striker that are fast off the mark. This tactic has an anti 4-3-1-2 variant in which the defense is made by the flanks, wingers on fullbacks, fullbacks on strikers and makes the attack through the centre, so it needs midfielders that are fast and can get into receiving positions.

    But that is something I want to be the tactic for special matches against the tougher opposition or matches where not conceding may be the main focus. I want my standard game to be different. With our reputation grown so and the issues it possibly will bring with teams playing more defensively, we need to look for a dominant style. High defensive line to have more bodies to deny workin space between lines and more bodies for possession recycling, which means I need a centreback who's truly fast, one midfielder to cover ahead of them who can provide deep support, another that can provide a little higher support in second line of attack, I want to slice the defence with deep passes behind the defence, so fast wingers who tuck inside, good passers in the midfield and an offensive fullback to stretch the play in a side at least.

    Goalkeepers:


    A quality starting one, another with a clear weakness with high shots and one for the U20 team. One solid backup is wanted, and it is Serge Merle, who's been offered a contract.


    Has been offered a contract and he's currently studying offers. Some good teams have offered and I'm not offering him a key position, so I'm not too optimistic about getting his services.

    Centreback:


    The latter two aren't trusted yet and will enjoy not too much time, the last probably going to be sold if possible. None is really fast, so one is to be signed. To ensure Karac will not be lacking playing time one of the players used as cover is to be sold, while Nunes' best performances are better than Bartley's, the latter is less prone to poor matches and mistakes leading to goal, so Nunes was the chosen to be sold. Due to the rarity of quality fast centrebacks, a high fee will have to be involved. The chosen is indeed expensive, costing nine million, but I know him from England team:



    Fullbacks:

    One offensive leftback, one substandard and one whose contract will be let to run out, no offensive rightbacks. In order to have time to give to Gale, Vidanov's contract is not renewed, as Figueroa's. Ogbonna will not be sold because of his club homegrown status and will need a bit more to accept leaving, as we signed him so late. An offensive rightback and a defensive leftback are required.


    A player for the U20 team to be club grown, a young defensive oriented leftback and a offensively decent right back. Making the leftback the more usual offesnive of the fullbacks.

    Deep Midfield:

    Well covered position, with good chance to give Zambotto plenty of time and some to the other youngsters. Barnbock will likely have some minutes as centreback. Skou is being sold or loaned, depending on what offer he decides to take. Loans for some youngsters are on the cards to be offered. But I want Zambotto in the team.


    Expensive, but young and looking good for the future. Couldn't help but buy him. Problem is that it's a bit too many players.

    Most of the attacking midfield players can play any of the sides and also as strikers, categorized by the main position I'll use them, though it may not be their preferred, as it's central for most.

    Right Wing:

    It seems well covered except by the fact Sam requested a transfer and I'm planning on fulfilling my side of the promise. His place may be filled with players from other positions. Kasami would be a solid player, but as I used him almost always as midfielder, I sold him for funds and time for Zambotto. Too late to back from the deal.

    Left wing:

    Vukcevic is not too fast, which I'd prefer in the middle of a possible 4-2-3-1, which would also be his preferred position, plus that making a veteran available there instead of two young players. Not convinced about Pacavira future, a decent offer is accepted and likely will be out.


    Very fast, good crosser and able to make goals, looks a good addition to fight for the first choice. The problem is his personality isn't the best to fit in quickly.

    Advanced midfield:

    Two young players and a veteran who's likely to be sold. Though Tisserand is pending a decent loan offer from Lille. Nita and Murray sold as they've not developed enough through lack of playing time.

    Strikers:

    Everyone can play in a wing, Tucci and Sturridge on both, which opens room to have enough time for them in a one striker formation moving them there and the wingers placed on the center; but still there will be a two striker formation to be used to give them time in their right positions. Albín could probably do listed here, as in the end of this season once he was placed as striker he began to get the goals. As with the central attacking midfield, there's no plan to sign anybody here.

    __________________________________________________ ______________________________
    - Next will be a tactics post.
    - Just found in boardroom the new stadium progress has vanished. It was scheduled to finish next autumn, I'll save shortly before; if I don't get a new stadium, which I've needed for a long time, and seeing how the new stadium petition to board was greyed out because of one being built, I'll call it a bug and will use FMRTE to give me a new one as a matter of negating a bug's effect.
    Last edited by Death Ball; 03/09/2012 at 02:02 PM.

  25. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    - On tactics

    Two new tactics to combine are what I want to make: one based on the 4-5-1 for those instances where more defensive stability is desired and a 4-4-2 for the easier matches, to give room to two strikers, that should work as closely as possible to a 4-2-3-1.


    4-5-1 Variant
    Utilizing the team report, what I find is that we got the most ability for central attacking midfielders, so the 4-5-1 will be the narrow 4-2-3-1 with three central AMs, with some games in which some can be moved to the wing depending on needs. The deeper will be reserved for Kara when he plays, as a defensive midfielder, but when he's not the defensive player there, it will be taken by Crisetig as a deep playmaker, with the other player taking the duty to recover the ball high as a ball winner.



    Though the set pieces will have to be changed based on the footing of the players, a working point shall be created. Setting a few more takers for when the main aren't used so no poor takers are picked. Free kick takers will take into account the long shot ability as well, maybe more than crosses or passing. In past seasons I liked to order best header and far post, due to the poor results in general, I'm changing the first to cross centre for the right side, where the first choice taker is better croser and in the left where it's better passer to long. When it comes to free kick defending, I'm tempted to start placing men in the posts, but I don't want to depopulate the area or negate offsides. I do, however, one change: this season I'll put in the walls the best jumpers, even if they're the centrebacks. The throw in taker will hopefully be taught to make flat bullet throws. Unfortunately, there's nobody who really excels at it. Both sides will be long.


    I must have pressed F9 too light so didn't get the screenie for attacking freekicks, anyway I'm going to attach the tactic

    Since the main offensive fullback will be Islas on the left, he'll be set as a wingback. When playing fast centrebacks, we'll use offside and in general I like counter attacking when there's a chance.



    The creator assigns a base mentality for the covering centreback to 10, 14 for the stopper, so the right fullback, that has the same as the left wingback is set to in between, and some freedoms are to be cut. To consider: All centrebacks are decent passing, I want the deep midfielder to cover holes and not to see the stopper getting too ahead, their closing down is tweaked. With a leftback running up the side, the corresponding centreback is instructed to hug the touchline. The inside forward, who's usually a good crosser, as there will be Vuckevic/Fleck/Kakuta, will be set to cross/through/run with ball often at all so the long shooting doesn't get crazy from them, even if they can hit it from afar. Striker set as poacher to cross and pass ball some times as to not let him get too egoistical. I remove some hard tacklings as I'm not fan of it and tell the trequartista to not forget completelly from a little harrassment of opponents in defense.



    4-4-2

    The 4-4-2 will also have an offensive orientation, but not so much, and will not give as many freedom to the players.



    Set pieces is roughly like the previous, with just a few changes to see effects of different instructions. As before, they should be reviewed each match to adapt to chosen squad.



    The defensive line will not be too high, in a start, as to avoid the stopper temptation to go high too much. In that regard I'll use the philosophy regarding aggreasion inverse to usual: I'll work with the idea higher aggresion doesn't promote his role as much as helps the player get it to an excess, so when playing this I'll use there a lower aggresion player so as to keep the closing down to reasonable levels. In the previous tactic it was done by mentality, this by kind of player. As before, I tell the team to counter when it can, but I won't be playing offside with this.



    The base mentality is 8 for cover defender and stopper to 12. Again, fullbacks will be set in between... which they are by default. Some settings will be changed for each match depending on player, like long shots, something Kara isn't good on paper, though he's scored a few, but others are very good at. It will vary between rarely and sometimes. The leftt winger, the side of the target man (changed due to stopper side), will be instructed to move into channels to overload the side and work with the target man. Probably the side to use the attacking fullback, set a little higher as to move closer up to the defensive midfielder as the winger is being moved further up.



    Defensive 4-5-1

    This has two flavours: the general-wing play and the anti 4-3-1-2 center play.

    The first is the one I use when facing teams that are much stronger than us or that, not being too stronger, are still stronger or in a good form and the game is important. It is a 4-2-1-2-1 that tells the back four to remain back at all times, two defensive midfielders to stay in front of the back four, a center midfielder who's allowed to make a few runs to support the attack when there's no counter attack possibility. The wingers and the strikers are set to be fully attacking, as being the only ones to go in. Passing will be long into space for them to run into in counterattacks, trying to get behind the defence and run for the goalkeeper. Often the shout to exploit flanks and play narrower are used. The team is to play with the striker as target man supplied with balls to run into. The team shall drop deep to provide always men between goal and ball. The tempo and time wasting are around average, as it works well, but at times it may be made to be faster.

    The screenie for the rightback was corrupted, the instructions are the same as DL but with everything on the right slides set to rarely, except crosses and through balls that are sometimes or often depending on player, some matches the leftback has same instructions as the right



    These screenshots correspond to the tactic used in the supercup. In here Daniel Islas is changed from the keep back at all times as an offensive proficient fullback and is allowed to run forward. You can see I forgot to allow Holz to shoot from distance.

    The anti4-3-1-2 is basically the same, but it exchanges the wingers and central midfielders. The back four has to stay back, now not letting any fullback to run forward ever, as they will take on a man marking of the strikers, with the objective of making a 2vs1 of DCvsAMC so the three central midfielders deal defensively with the three deep. The wingers now are tasked with traking their fullbacks so as to not give them time on the ball for precise crosses. The more defensive midfielder is still ordered to remain back covering the defence, but it's now the other defensive midfielder and the central midfielder who are told to run forward to support the striker, the attacks being focused on the center. Unlike the main variant, these attacking midfielders aren't freed from their defensive duties. This tactic was created near the end of the past season; it failed miserably against Palermo's 3-4-2-1, fullbacks on AMCs, but worked superbly when used against Juventus' 4-3-1-2.

    Only screenshots for those that are not the same as in the original flavour of the tactic


    Both need a very fast striker, but while the first needs wingers that are as fast, this variant will need wingers who're decent at defensive duties, some decent tackling and marking and good work rate and determination. Aggresion is something I wouldn't do much to look as it wouldn't be easy to find too good tackles and I would not want them making penalties.

    TWEAKING

    The 4-5-1 variant seems to work as intended, with the only point of worry being the less offensive fullback moves up the field more than wished. His forward runs will be set to rarely. The amount of players going forward creates spells of big dominance and forces the opposition players to drop much deeper than they used to in past seasons, which is as a good defensive feature as the men staying back before, though there's more accourences of delicate moments from opposition counters. Because of that, the central midfielder can either be dropped to defensive midfield position with a little ore attacking mentality, his mentality simply reduced or his runs forwarrd set to rarely and be his positioning what allows him to be a supporting option during the attack.

    The 4-4-2 doesn't quite feel right. The main issue is the target man not providing the desired support to the midfield. Lowering his mentality will be the first attempt at getting it right. There's also many good left wingers who have no experience as left midfielders, so another tweak will be to move them up the wings, but lowering their mentality a little so they don't disconnect from defence, and reducing their runs forward so they're available in the start of the attacks to receive the ball.

    Tactics as of end of September 2017, with more tweaks to be done, downloaded here They are True Counter 1 (the original), True Counter 2 (anti 4-3-1-2 version, man markings must be assigned before match start and after confirming squad), Two striker and Lone striker.

    Brief preseason report

    Some information from preseason, that has gone rather well. Only real news is Merle chose Sampdoria so I went for West Brom's Noel Jordan and hired a bunch of youngsters for the U20. After the window closed I've picked some more free transfers for the reserve team, so players in need ot match experience can play friendlies without the reserve manager having to pick U20 players. Not seen is Kasami's transfer (€4.1M worth, I think). Sam was offered to fulfill the promise to sell him, but he demands money, so I prefer him to give us titles.

    Good results with some good playing and as highlight my second ever title!. We defeated Palermo with the standard defensive tactic without being dominated, which makes me somewhat optimistic ahead of the season.

    In Europe, we once again got handed a tough group. And found we don't have enough homegrown players in the national kind (or club either), so the ECC registration had to be left with two holes.

    And in the international scene, Tisserand returned, just after recovering from an injury, with another long term injury, which makes me consider trying to sell him, as he's getting injured too often. Regarding England, we beat Lithuania comfortably and Bulgaria snatched a draw against Spain, which puts us leaders of the group with one point ahead of Spain and two matches to go: Spain and Bulgaria. ((As always, I forgot England screenies, d'oh))

    In Serie A, the fixtures announced are to my liking, though there's some accumulation of tough matches, they're at the end, which hopefully will allow to reach the end with the chance of having built a decent lead, though the start and middle aren't free of tough matches.

    Last edited by Death Ball; 18/09/2012 at 12:37 AM.

  26. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    -2017 part of the new season

    This firts part of the season has left a disappointing taste. Some bad results that depended more than anything on luck, matches that could have gone either way but went against us because it was the opposition that took one of their chances instead of us, such was the case of Juventus or Napoli. Just one match in the other way around, that being Palermo draw, a match in which we went two behind and then the changes of the second half worked enough to get two back and have a great chance in the last minute to get the win, with Albín shooting from the edge of the area with half the goal at his mercy but sending the ball wide. We should have lost that match.

    Specially annoying was the loss against OM at their home, as it came through a throw-in in the last minute that might not have happened if in the previous Daniel Islas didn't decide to send the ball to the only player that was absolutely alone without a defender in twenty yards... being a OM player ((Oh, so tempted to reload! Having no free options to send and the ball being intercepted, but sending it directly to the foot of the isolated opponent? Come on! lol. So should have been a draw)). And then the goalless draw against Anderlecth, a team we should have rolled over, but Sturridge kept missing the most ridiculously easy chances. And that is why I have sold him for €6M and didn't feature anymore in my teams. His average rating this season has been very poor, around 6.5. That result was also the difference between a draw being enough in the last macth of the group and needing to win. The latter got us to take more risks in defense than adequate against Atlético de Madrid, and with a penalty wrongly given to the colchoneros we couldn't make it past the group stage again.

    The other outstanding poor result was the 1-6 loss against Cesena, the surprise team of this season. And that's fully my fault. After the easy 4-0 win against Udinese, one of our bogus teams (the other being Juventus), in which I used my 4-4-2 with success even when Udinese changed to a narrow 4-2-3-1, I underestimated Cesena and thought their position was due to the easy matches they had up to then, and despite them fielding a narrow 4-2-3-1 I went with the 4-4-2 instead of my 4-2-3-1 tweaked to face that formation. We went rapidly two below and thought of changing, but then Romano scored and I thought the team was improving and could let things be to get the next goal. Then their third goal arrived and I changed to the 4-2-3-1; but since there was two goals to recover from I made it as offensive as it is by natural and hence the defence wasn't at all strengthened, so when the fourth arrived I just gave up and let things as were in case the offensiveness might produce some miracle, but it didn't do more than to keep the defensive weakness.

    A bit annoyed that after the loss against Lazio I realized several instructions of the 4-2-3-1 were wrong and had been changed. I don't know why did it happen, I didn't make changes after match start. Perhaps in a change of tactics I loaded and older version without realizing I had not saved it after the last changes. The DMC and MC weren't told to cut inside but had normal wide play instruction, more seriously the right fullback was instructed to make forward runs often, when it should be set to rarely. I don't know for how long that went on, but I don't think it was relevant to our less good than hoped for run. The right fullback has a tendency, no matter who I pick, to run forward even when set to rarely. And there's only one goal, that I'm not sure if it was one of Palermo's draw or Ascolí's consolation goal that could have come because of the defensive midfielder not cutting inside, which would have pulled him to the left instead of marking the player who made the assist from the right-centre of midfield ahead of our defence.

    My ploy to tip Cesena as title favourites have only half worked: they've dropped five points in the last two games, but so have we. The league table doesn't look any good, with Napoli running strongly for the title fourteen points ahead of us, sitting just in fourth position. Which is out of Champions League qualification.



    The situation in the league is somewhat disheartening and is making me feel like I've got Torino as high as I can, which is taking off my motivation to keep managing the team ((And FM13 coming soon, with work on my Spain database having being neglected¹)). The recent news of AZ's boss resignation makes me ponder whether I could try to get that job. In favour: I've not done at all what I intended with the transfer market here, which has given me a bloated squad that lacks homegrown players, there I could build from their current squad and truly keep to one or two signings, they're in a great position to win their league and qualify; against: it may be bloated and poorly designed, but my squad has some great players that are valid to be at least runners up this year and be serious contenders in Europe next year (as long the group doesn't give us Real Madrid, Manchester United and Anderlecht).

    Regardless, during the autum and december, there's been some movement in the transfer section. As said, I've sold Sturridge. Sam was offered, but at first I refused to keep paying him €37Kp/w two more years, now that I see our balance is low and I think I should have taken that, nobody wants to offer €15M anymore and his value is dropping fast, so I'm stuck with him. Kakuta got a serious viral infection that will keep him out until the end of the season, so I signed Gerard Deulofeu, who looks decent but is highly considered, for €2M. And I'm planning on going for broke, without really depleting the bank completely and I'm trying to get Mexilhão; but Lokomotic Moskow is asking €30M for him with a partition that's not acceptable and goes beyond the budget limits. Not very likely we'll get him. Also a €5M transfer clause for matches played was activated for Romano.



    In other news, Hernán Romano is our top goalscorer and one of the best in the league, also in average rating, as I expected would happen with the new systems. Our training facilities have been improved once again. Against Ascoli Romano beat the record of fastest goal scoring after fourteen seconds. Vukcevic has retired from international competitions. We lost against Spain so we finished second in the WCQ group, the draw for the play offs set us against Holland, the only hard team of the other seven participants (with Denmark and Switrzerland being the only decent among the rest). We lost 1-0 away and won 2-1 at home. Then I resigned. And Crisetig was third placed in the Italian Serie A player of 2017.



    _______________________________________________
    ¹ I'm going to use more of the time I played FM12 to work on the Spain database for FM13. With FM13 coming so soon and the time it takes me to play a season with matches in full, there's a chance this being the last update to this story, though I'd like to at least finish this season. I will likely change to extended/key matches.
    Last edited by Death Ball; 28/09/2012 at 01:50 PM.

  27. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    It felt like a very very long six months and a bit

    Well, after all this time, the Torino bug bit me again and I wanted to at least finish the season. Slowly playing a few games in different moments that I had just time for one in key mode, I finished the season. And started a new one.

    I decided to go with the 4-2-3-1 that I was using as the results seemed to start coming my way, and it was a good choice. There was a great string of results that led us to climb up the table. The only blemish was to lose against A.C. Milan, a reasonable result against a team that was strong in the season, but that prevented us to finish second of the league.





    With that we find needing to go through a two leg round to qualify for next ECL group stage.

    With some players like Albín and Vukcevic leaving the club at the end of their contracts, there was a big rebuilding of the squad. There were more outs than ins, and with the new squad Deulofeu was sold as no wingers will be used.












    The new preseason was very promising, with some easy win and a marvellous one made with the attacking 4-2-3-1 narrow (3xAMC) formation, which will be the main along a secondary 4-3-1-2. The fixture list for the new season has a rough patch from Atalanta to AC Milan, but I hope the team is strong enough to get through. We also qualified for the ECL group stage. Of course, the group couldn't be any harder.





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