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Modern football manager

  1. Modern football manager

    So... ...I've been lurking here for a while on and off... and felt inspired finally to start my own football story.

    Hope it is relatively entertaining for you all

    Background:
    • Modern day football is a cut throat game. Loyalty means nothing. So I plan to play that way.
    The setup:
    • I want to help restore a team to its former glory
    • However If a bigger club comes in, then I'll move on
    • I can only move on once I have won won something with the other club
    • Doesn't matter what country the bigger club is from
    • I'll keep moving on to bigger clubs as I go until I either get bored or feel like "I've won the internet"
    The first club:
    • I've played with clubs in Holland, UK, France and Belgium quite a bit. So thought i'd try out somewhere else
    • I ended up inspired by a recent cab driver, who said he was from portugal. We started talking football, and I assumed he supported Porto or Benfica... oh dear big mistake...
    • He was a long time Sporting Lisbon fan... so that was a great way to offend him
    • Nonetheless, seeing as I knew nothing about the club (other than where Ronaldo was 'born') I've chosen them as my first club
    • So without further ado...

  2. The beginning

    Modern football manager-sporting_clube_de_portugal.png

    Sporting Club de Portugal

    "Ten" joins Sporting Club de Portugal

    Modern football manager-sporting-hired.jpg



    Modern football manager-initial-budget.jpg


    Squad depth

    So - first things first. What have I let myself in for. Quick check of the roster and I seem to have a LOT of players, even more out on loan, and those i do have are new. Most look like they were signed this year by my predecessor.

    Squad depth appears mixed. will see how things go before needing to strengthen
    • Rui Patricio looks solid between the posts, even if there's little depth there. Fingers crossed he doesn't get injured
    • Central defence looks ok with Marcos Rojo and Carvalho, plus youngster in Eric Dier. Can always strengthen though, so that's where i'll prob look first as not too sure about the full backs
    • Midfield seems the most promising - with Capel on the left and Carrillo on the right, and a good smattering of central midfielders including Elias and Adrien
    • Not a lot of depth up front, but I can play with only 1 striker so that should be ok. Fredy Montero stands out for me. 17 in finishing, 16 in composure. yes please!
    Tactics

    Looking at my squad, think i'll go with one of my standard, tried and tested tactics. A 4-2-3-1 formation that relies on high teamwork and work rate and wingers that want to cross the ball

    Modern football manager-starting-tactic.jpg

    I then change this depending on the strength of the opposition. For very strong opposition I'll go Defensive. otherwise its standard - balanced setup. I always set player marking though. With my AMR and AML marking wide midfielders (if opposition playing variant on 4-4-2) or my fullbacks marking opposition AMR-AML

    I also use the following tactic to mix things up aswell (though it is certainly nothing like as effective for me). The opposition always seems to play well with this, but i haven't yet worked out how to do it

    Modern football manager-alternate-tactic.jpg








    .
    Last edited by Newmanager; 28/05/2014 at 11:51 AM.

  3. Might follow this

  4. Pre-season - not starting well

    Pre-season
    Modern football manager-pre-season-13-14.jpg


    So a pretty terrible start to the season. Doesn't bode well. Assistant lined up 4 away friendlies against European opposition.

    Guess we need the money we're already in the red. And appear to be losing money each month... Unless i can get into Europe soon we'll need to start selling players, and even then i'll probably need to be a selling club for a few years

    Sporting 0 - 0 Mainz

    Mainz absolutely dominated this match. We only managed 1 shot on target in the entire 90min. but still had 48% of the possession. Only 2 players above a 7.0 rating and quite a few on 6.3 or lower...

    Fingers crossed this is just people learning the new tactics, otherwise this could be going south before it's even started...

    Leverkusen 0 - 1 Sporting

    Slightly better here. 7 shots and 3 CCC meant an early win. but we didn't get the winning goal till deep into stoppage time (nearly 3 hours without a goal), fortunately Capel picked up a mis clearance to slam in from the left hand side of the area.

    Estudiantes 2 - 0 Sporting

    Hmmm. Utterly outplayed here. We barely registered 40% possession with only 4 shots on target all game


    Torino 1 - 3 Sporting

    Finally a decent performance, and just as well coming in our last game. I suspect it was down to Torino's 5-3-2 formation, which did not like playing against the 4-2-3-1. Our midfield trio ran the game with Adrien, Vitor and Andre Martins bossing the game. Martins and Vitor both scoring with great runs into the box. Martins in particular covered every blade of grass, and his 100 passes and 90% completion rate kept the engine of the team ticking over


    Conclusions

    So what did i learn from pre-season
    • Shikabala will never play for this club again as far as i'm concerned. Teamwork and workrate both under 7, means he's a lazy so and so who just stands around and doesn't pull his weight for the team as evidenced by some deeply underwhelming scores of 6.3 and 6.5. Strangely enough he doesn't react that well to hearing this news, but soon finds his bagged mysteriously packed for Sporting (B)
    • The midfield could be the hidden gem of this team (certainly the coaches who advised me on the playing depth didn't know about them!). Adrien, Martins, Vitor and Elias are my ideal midfielders. High passing, high creativity, decisions and anticipation with not terrible tackling
    • Marco Rojo, although a CD, has some great stats. Going to play him as a left full back and see how that goes...

  5. Will follow this

  6. First 3 months - going surprisingly well

    Day 1 of the season arrives. I have no idea what to expect...

    Modern football manager-season-1-first-3-months.jpg

    Sporting 3 - 0 Gil Vicente
    Heldon, Montero, Carillo

    Well... I wasn't expecting such an easy first game.

    After our pre-season was delighted to start this well. Though definitely don't think Gil Vicente were true test. They only managed 1 shot in the entire game to our 19. I'm decidedly unsure of my starting 11.

    Academica 1 - 4 Sporting
    Capel (2), Own Goal, Adrien

    3-1 up and comfortable (again nearly 60% of possession). Adrien scoring a late goal to pad the score line and boost his match rating

    Arouca 1 - 3 Sporting
    Carvalho, Carillo (2)
    Rios sent off (2 bookable offences)

    Comfortable victory. 3-0 and coasting before Rios gets sent off on 62min. Arouca pulled one back, but we went defensive and held out.

    Maritimo 2 - 4 Sporting
    Carillo, Dier

    Very nervous tie. All square at 2-2 going into the last 10 minutes. Goals though from super sub Slimani, and then Capel rounded things off. Come on the green and white hoops!! My first true fist pump of the season!

    Sporting 4 - 0 Braga
    Carillo (2), Dier, Carvalho

    What i thought would be the first proper test of the team. But quite simply they were awesome from start to finish. 2 goals from corners for the big centre backs Dier and Carvalho were followed by two from Carillo. Both goals copy cats of each other after surging wing play from Capel picked him out at the far post for easy tap ins. At the back Weldinho (on loan from Palmeiras) and Rojo marked their attacking wingers out of the game. Scoreline could have been very different though, as Patricio still had to make 3 world class saves to deny Braga's attackers

    Sporting 3 - 0 FCP
    Montero, Vitor, Dier

    Well. We got lucky. Only way to explain that game. Must be gutted if i was manager of FCP. They had all the possession, and we only managed 5 shots on target all game. They were probably missing Jackon Martinez who for some reason didn't start (out injured I guess).. but still. I wasn't expecting that and don't think it'll be the same on the return leg

    Sporting 2 - 0 Rio Ave
    Montero, Carillo

    Goals either side of the break settled this one. All in all a nervy affair. Fairly even possession, high foul count from us disrupted the flow of the game. Chances were few and far between - fortunately we put ours away - while their strikers seemed to go awol in front of goal

    Sporting 3 - 0 Estoril
    Own goal, Capel, Montero

    Not as different as it seemed. Despite 60% possession for Sporting, we had same number of shots and same number of clear cut chances. The difference was Rui patricio and some clinical wing play
    Last edited by Newmanager; 28/05/2014 at 09:36 AM.

  7. Learnings from first 3 months

    • Portuguese league is easier than other leagues - some of the first opposition did not offer much competition. Though FCP and SLB scare me
    • Sporting have a pretty good squad already. With some great ball players. Don't know about their PA/CA but hope there is some upside there as well
    • Home field advantage really makes a difference. We're blitzing people at home. Definite fortress
    • Portuguese clubs make no money what so ever - no wonder they have to sell players all the time. We've got a 45,000 person stadium yet can't afford to pay players over ~20k a week and are sliding further into the red each week. (now at ?10M) With the wealth of south american talent potentially on show, it really seems surprising that portuguese football isn't a bigger deal

    Player of the (3) months

    Modern football manager-capl-9-4-13.jpg

    Diego Capel. When he plays well. We play well. And he's a winger that actually likes playing as a winger (none of this fancy inside forward malarkey)
    Last edited by Newmanager; 28/05/2014 at 11:45 AM.

  8. Wow! What a great a start, I will follow.


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  9. Ok so I need to catch up with this story, having blitzed through season 1. Things have definitely got a lot more interesting in season 2. May skip through rest of season 1 in a few posts before getting onto the slightly hairy moments i'm now facing (following some required, but potentially dubious moves in the off-season)

  10. November to March (youth intake 1)
    • The project continues on track though there were some decidedly nervy moments with a number of single goal victories
    • What is quickly becoming clear ? the title and European places will be decided on how we do versus Benfica and Porto
    • We then have to maintain our focus and not slip up in the other games. But so far ? the opposition has either been met by some great attacking play, or inspired goal keeping
    • Unlike the board though, all I care about is winning trophies, so while they don?t prioritise the League Cup or Taca de Portugal, I need to. This means putting out full strength sides for as many games as possible

    Notable matches


    SLB 1 - 1 Sporting

    Diego Capel

    A nervy affair with a high foul count on both sides. We managed to negate Cardozo, Markovic and Romero for most of the game, but a rash challenge in the box by Eric Dier allowed Eduardo Salvia to score a penalty just before half time. After some ?strong words? I?m not the silent type..) Diego Capel scored a fluke when his cross from the left bounced in front of the keeper and through a mass of SLB defenders before crawling into the corner. Not the prettiest goal ever, but they all count! SLB then had a Maxi Pereira sent off, and try as we might, we couldn?t get the second goal

    Nonetheless, a great result and one I was delighted with after the game

    Gil Vicente 1 - 2 Sporting

    Montero, Capel

    Another nervy affair. I think generated by the defensive approach taken by Gil Vicente. They like to play with 1 DM sitting behind their 2 CM (something my formation often struggles to breakdown, and then doesn?t always pick up the runners from midfield)
    The match was finely poised at 1-1, with Gil Vicente happy to let us pass the ball sideways around the halfway line (we spent 40% of the game with the ball in those areas L )
    But with the clock winding down picked up a loose cross field ball, Capel drove towards the goal and slammed it in to the far corner. An 82nd minute winner.. Game on!

    Braga 1-2 Sporting

    Capel, own goal

    The return visit to Braga. Again another nervy finish. Against another opponent who sat deep with 1 DM and got men behind the ball. This time it took an own goal to settle it (though in truth Montero should get the credit, after his goal bound shot couldn?t be properly cleared by a sliding desparate Braga defender who only succeeded in pushing it further over the line)


    5 days later...
    Modern football manager-scp-vs.-fcp.png


    A top of the table clash. With FCP looking for revenge following their defeat earlier in the season. Sporting though have a 6point lead over FCP and will be looking to extend that further. FCP are on their own good run having not lost since their meeting earlier in the season. It promised to be a humdinger of an affair

    6min gone. Porto off to a flyer. That man, Jackson Martinez turning Carvalho on a six pence before rifling past Patricio

    1-0 to FCP

    45min+1 In the dying seconds of the first half Eric Carillo takes the ball out wide, skins Ruben the FCP left back and slides the ball across the 6 yard box. There is Montero to slam home. Game on!

    1-1 At the break

    46min, 50min - Unfortunately that only succeeded in firing up FCP. Alex Sandro tore us to pieces in 4 minutes after the break scoring twice in quick succession. His pace and movement too much for right back Cedric Soares to handle.

    62min - While we pulled one back through William Carvalho (a typical thumping header from a corner) on 60min, we couldn?t find the extra goal to tie things up and in the end had to rely on some last ditch defending to keep us in the game

    Final score FCP 3 ? 2 Sporting



    League standings with 1/3 of the season still to run:

    So with 20 games played we hold a 3point cushion over FCP. SLB seem out of the race at this stage. Even if we slip up, i can't see FCP doing the same

    Sporting - 20 games played - 55 points
    FCP - 20 games played - 52 points
    SLB - 20 games played - 45 points

    Learnings
    • Without European football you don't actually play many games in Portugal. Only 30 league games mean rarely more than 1 a week. If you have a good first team, and get lucky with injuries you can go far
    • I love our ball playing defenders but I'm not so sure they are that great defensively. They make me nervous
    • I really need to find a solution to play against the teams that play with 3 in midfield (1 DM, 2CMs) and then 3 up front (AMR, AML, striker)

  11. First youth intake

    It?s march ? and that means a new intake of fresh blood. What have the random gods of chance got in store for us this year...
    Modern football manager-sporting-academy.jpg




    ....These 3 stand out as potential game changers

    Modern football manager-year-1-youth-intake-rui.jpg


    Rui

    I?m pretty stocked for talent already in the DM/CM position. But Rui will make a great enforcer in the midfield. Shame about the natural fitness, but its not terrible. Could see him as an ?imovable? object in front of the back 4 in a few years time


    Modern football manager-year-1-youth-intake-fins.jpg

    Paulo Fins
    A 5 star regen if ever I saw one. Will definitely rotate on as many games as possible. Looks like he could be incredible. Just hope we can develop those anticipation, composure and decision making skills


    Modern football manager-year-1-youth-intake-lima.jpg


    Nuno Lima
    This limited right back will never set the world alight going forward. But looks solid defensively already and could even get game time next season
    Last edited by Newmanager; 28/05/2014 at 04:47 PM.

  12. Some quality youth players there, especially Fins


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