An American with Spanish second nationality, Dexther Bolle is said to have held the wish to train Crewe Alexandra from some years ago. Why is something he's not told to anybody. Whatever the reason, he has taken control of Crewe Alexandra after what is a surprise move for everyone involved. Not only it involves the team giving away the services of the man who led the team to League One, but also for Bolle's family, that can't understand how the heir of a strong Serie Z film company has turned hs back to the family business and travelled to England.
The board has expressed their undestanding that the new man will bring an attacking style of play and will bring success to the side.
Crewe has just been promoted, like my FM09 game, to League One, where I take charge of it. As I just found, the side had a run in Championship that ended 2004 and that is, I think, the highest the team has been.
The start sets a few things: the goal is just surviving in League One as I don't want to put any more pressure than needed. The board wants me to play attacking football. While at first I think that's kind of irresponsable, upon having a look on the squad I find it's inevitable. The team is weak in the goal and defence and has its strength in the attacking areas. Also I find out there's no parent club, so I ask the boardroom, that needs a bit of convincing.
Luke Murphy is the key man in midfield and in the attack Clayton, Leitch-Smith and Pogba will be the foundations for the attack, with West and Moore providing quality back up. For transfer market is considered a high priority to get a goalkeeper and a centerback. Beside that, it would be good to have a new leftback and to get back ups for Osman, Murphy and some to the attacking midfield. Goalkeeper and centreback are signed on frees, Sidibé earning being fist choice and Addo disappointing from need to adapt. The only player bought with a fee is Ian Henderson, for €90K, after Max Clayton gets a six month injury. Other places are filled with loans: during the window Coady comes as back up for Osman, Lletget and Doughty as both back up of Murphy and deep for attacking midfield. Outside there's loans of Norwood for the leftback.Two high quality creative players were approached on a free, but their work permit were rejected.
The preseason was mostly satisfactory, though there wasn't any big test. The only negative, besides Addo showing his need to adapt, is that the team needed 87 mins to score the first goal against feeder Nantwich Town, something that I was not happy with and hence made the players know, which caused Osman and Clayton to express their unhappiness for being harsh against them. That disappointed me again, as it shows their lack of ambition. With the season started, there was bad luck in cups (which is good, as I don't want to get tired there) and getting mixed results in the league, alternating wins and defeats, with a string of three defeats at some point and then four unbeaten run of three wins and one draw. Never falling behind in the league, that appears tight, we never got more than four points behind play offs and we are currently sitting seventh tied in points with sixth and four points behind the leaders (though Leyton are tied up there with a game in hand). A very good position that at first seemed hard to be at at this point.
That last game was impressive and a curious happening. We went 1-0 down after Adam Dugdale's own goal. We were playing 4-1-2-2-1 vs 4-4-2 diamond (MR/L) and we were in control other than that accident, but not managing to score. During the second half I changed to 4-2-3-1 (2xMC+3xAMC) and asked my defenders to pump the ball to the area. And we managed to get back superbly. A case where my changes worked? Not quite, as it wasn't by the reasons intended.
My defence was having a bad day passing the ball so I shouted to pump the ball into the area so they'd not lose it near our goal, then I set the three AMCs to overload their DMC. The first two goals came from freekicks originated in positions that could as well have been earned by the 4-1-2-2-1 wingers, one in the right and headed by Purcell (signed on a free when Clayton injured and saw Leitch-smith I want on the wings and Pogba has no valid backup there) when he jumped over the defender and the other from the left that was tucked with a diving header by Lletget completely alone before it could reach the goalie. Then the third came from a pumped ball from defence (Mills) that Leitch-Smith reached one yard before the goalkeeper, which is not the thing I sought to get from the shout.
In other bad news, Clayton isn't the only long term injury, as during the Walsall match Murphy got injured for no less than four months; but luckily the team is managing to keep performing without him or Clayton. And Addo seems to be starting to gel with the others, Osman has begun to react well to some teamtalks and maybe he'll stop being unhappy. The other signings are doing well enough and Sidibé is being class.
The format this time is like I always do, but I may change it in the future, unless you want me to keep it.
I'm back to using Photobucket as it works well again, it was a matter of noscript blocking some new scripts that have taken over management of some functions