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From literal rags to worldwide fame. Yelizaveta's rise from the mud.
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  1. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    May 2019

    Our scouts identified a potential transfer target for the right side of the field. Since Gilmour is ending his contract this month, I'm offering him one to come at the end of his contract.



    We need a win, but playing against the bottom team and the U19 manager apparently not picking the subs I want, or not for enough time, I start with Pittman and Hetherington to get them ready for play offs.
    Four superb chances, all sent tight to the keeper, least the post could jump to block it. Then Simpson chooses that best thing to do with a rival on top at the side of the area is stand still with the ball and hope the rival won't take it.
    Second half starts well with a penalty won when it should've been an easy goal from the start. We keep having chances where the easiest thing to do is score, but nooooooo the ball has to be kicked near the keeper's body. Sending it far would be playing dirty.


    I offer a contract to another target found by the scouts that look useful for the left side.


    Caddis signs his contract.


    And MacDonald does the same next day.



    Hynd and Moore swap again, since Moore was doing poorly since I placed him as defensive forward, while Hynd had some good matches there. Marr in after Simpson bad game. Good news is Airdrie face Stenhousemuir, who are still battling for top spot.
    First half could go better. We do a lot, keep most of the possession but don't seem able to quite shut them out. We end ahead, as Stenhousemuir does at half time. I'm tempted to make a change in formation, but the 4-1-4-1 hasn't worked that well in the past. Marr hasn't played too well, neither has Hynd. They got McCormack, a midfielder, sent out at the end of the first half.
    In the second half they get a good free kick in, but it doesn't matter as Moore had proved me right with two more goals already, to which Malcolm later added one more.
    Elsewhere, results aren't good: Forfar falls out of promotion, which is good as lately I kept losing against them, but that meant Stenhousemuir drops from the top and they're the really strongest side of the league. Ayr would've been a bit less tougher to beat, so I think there won't be promotion.











    No reputation raise yet.
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  2. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    Playoffs

    We'll begin the play offs with a two leg semifinal against Stenhousemuir. Two matches separated by two days, not the best.


    They're going with a defensive formation. We keep to the 4-4-2 with Spence in for Hynd as he did well last match.
    Good first half that we keep mostly quiet and with them getting only one good chance they blast over the bar, while we get a few and a goal. Then the referee starts showering us with cards.
    Second half is almost a carbon copy, with Stenhousemuir making several more shots, but most being ridiculous efforts from almost the half line. Spence adds a second goal to give us a decent result for the second leg. My subs ended being to prevent second yellow cards, though perhaps I should have risked Malcolm's to give Hoggan a rest.



    They come with a more offensive formation and we repeat ours, but with both centrebacks tired. I don't trust the two other centrebacks for this match. Simpson may come in for the second half if things go well the first.
    First half sees Stenhousemuir being more dangerous than in the previous match, but Munro makes a good job to deny their chances, while in our side Byrne gets it in from a free kick and Moore is very close to adding a second. I won't sub centrebacks just yet, though assuming away goals count, they'd need to score four in the second half.
    At the hour I make the change and turn to 4-1-4-1. They have only one great chance that is superbly tipped over by Munro in the last minutes, shortly after Hynd shots from long when he had two passes for easy chances. It ends like the first half and we qualify for the final!
    The final will be against Livingston from Championship, that just beat Airdrie with a 3-2 in the total score.



    Just a few days after the semifinals, we begin the finals. That means Curran is tired and Pittman comes in his place. Marr is also tired, but I don't want to risk another bad match from Simpson and prefer the more veteran defender.
    They get too many shots and Marr shows his lack of pace in a play that makes Hoggan feel the need to leave his position and gives them the goal. There's been small changes, mainly pressing a little more and playing faster that seems to have improved things a bit. However, I don't want to be too adventurous and concede more goals so I'm not going to make too drastic changes.
    Second half more closing down and stopping goalkeeper's distribution plus driubble less orders are issued. We begin to have plenty of chances missed when that was perhaps the harder thing, until Spence nails a tough pass to assist Hynd and get the equalizer.
    We so could have won comfortably, but they also had a few great chances Munro saved brilliantly. So don't bring me the unjust result crap. How many legal goals did they score? One. How many did we score? One. What's the result? One to one. Just. Team will rest from training till the next leg in a few days.



    They repeat formation. We have no tired players after the rest given. Front two swap and Hynd starts, Curran returns. We'll apply the instructions that worked second half of past match.
    I started being so nervous I'm not sure if I said what I wanted. But they have started on fire. Wylde scored in the early minutes then we maintained the upper hand during all the first half, with them having very few chances to shoot and we converting our good chances to finish the half with a 4-0 that should seal the final!. WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!
    Second half starts bad, with Munro wroingly placed after a weird and lucky header. Livingston started to hammer our goal, but Munro redeemed his mistake with some great saves. I probably should have changed to a more defensive system, like part of the stadium started to shout; but we were still reaching their area and I thought keeping it to get the fifth goal would be more important and likely to work than go all defensive in a way the players aren't familiar and might transmit him that I was unsecure in the result. It worked as we conceded no more goals thanks to a wonderful Munro. Instead Hynd scored the fifth during injury time.
    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYY!! PROMOTED! WOOOOOHOOOOO!! MADE IT!!!! WOWOWOWOWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.





    We got the budgets and paid bonus pay outs. Maybe now I can offer new contract to the unhappy players? Though right now I don't care!















    Reputation increased by 5%.


    Note on holidayed days: for now she's controlling all; but when DoF is had and with promise to do so I'll interpret he's going to be left transfers and such, so at that point she's likely to start taking holidays. If she can afford them.
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  3. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    Postseason 2019


    According to the coaches, I need to sign players for the left side, done, look for players with high decision making statistics and more jumping. I need to make Munro and McIlduff deals permanent, if possible.

    End of season club awards and such come in.



    This team doesn't ask me about when to begin preseason.


    We're losing income from prizes and sponsorships this season.


    Chairman brings some money.


    Among the end of season recommendations, we find a player that looks excellent for the left fullback position that we'll sign unless someone else comes in the last minute for him with a better offer.


    He signs a few days later.


    Did I release the assistant manager because he's B. Malcolm and I took him for the player that I want to release who starts instead of B. Malcolm the player?

    Fans are only happy with the return of Calum Waters, who happens to have grown in Alloa.


    With Munro released, we offer him a contract. He'll be the top earner, but we need a good keeper and seems we won't find much better than him.

    Hibernian takes away one of our scouts.


    I finish the course for the national A license, so time to ask for the continental C.


    Reputation has increased by 5%.


    They reject because "they need my presence in training". We¡re on holidays! Who am I supposed to train right now?

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  4. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    Summer and preseason 2019

    Munro signs the contract.


    St Johnstone, from the Premier, make an offer for our youth keeper Derek Willis. This is a chance for him to start a career in the top so I'm not going to deny it to him, I accept it.


    Gary Irvine is my new assistant manager.



    Increasing goal ambitions doesn't give me much more money, so I leave it at the minimum to avoid placing much presssure in the team. More so considering the many players wanting to leave and the offer that has already been placed for Taggart.


    We get a new link, with Hearts. I'll look at the parent clubs for replacements of the players wanting to leave first, though I have the scouts already looking out for them.


    The scouting range has been increased.


    Good news: Taggart has rejected the move to Raith. They also did offer for Spence, but I asked more, they withdrew their offer and Spence got angry.


    The first loan from Hearts arrive: David Stewart, who I hope will bring some impredictability to our play.


    Next a free tranfer comes for midfield. He looks nothing like the scouts told me he'd be.


    Dundee makes an offer for our youngster Faulds. I won't block him from progressing. I just ask them to loan him back for this season.


    I tell the pitchman to leave the dimensions we were using.


    To reinforce the centreback position, where we'll need at least two, first target is Stenhousemuir's young Lewis Waddell. Quite strong and not slow.


    Frank Ross I tried to loan, but Aberdeen wouldn't accept it. So I offered to buy him. He may be the playmaker we need.


    Steven Craig is the man I've chosen to offer a contract as a director of football. With the many positions we need to strengthen, I need someone to help.


    Ross signs his contract. Then Craig does.

    I leave bonuses as they're proposed. No sense taking prizes away from the players just to get a little money that is unlikely to make a difference to the season.


    Waddell chose to go to Inverness CT, so we still need to sign two centrebacks.

    The first match of the Scottish League Cup should've been a win for us, but Hoggan turned jelly when we were 2-0 ahead and let them score three goals, so we ended losing in penalties. Worse of all, Frank Ross picked a month long injury. Still, not bad considering it was against Falkirk, on the Premier division.


    Second match is again facing a premier division team. But it is good, we draw it, though we should have won if the referee didn't wronly call offside to a play that let Spence on for an easy goal early in the match. Again we lose the penalties. And again we get a player injured.


    Daniel Baur signs for us. He's a player chosen by Craig.


    In the third cup match, Faulds gets a minot injury that will keep him out just for three days.


    Aidan Wilson is the second centreback, signed by myself, with the idea of making him second choice.


    In the last cup match, we lose Blair Malcolm for two months. Also, at the end they said we're through? What? We're second with Falkirk still to play two games. Something must be wrong.


    Craig, why? I've added a few players to the loan list as they won't be playing this season and you reject the first one to come asking.



    I'm pretty happy with the preseason, though we didn't try new systems, simply giving match time to players and having the new players know it.


    We've got quite a large squad. Some need to go out on loans, others want to leave so we should still bring one or two right fullbacks.


    Maybe too many new faces, with still a few more to come; but they seem to be getting along well with the system. We'll see once the season starts.


    We got a quite good balance right now.



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  5. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    August 2019

    We get a loan offer for McClair, Craig doesn't reject it this time.


    Falkirk won their two remaining league cup games, so we're out as expected.



    Season starts with what I think is our best eleven minus the injured Ross.
    We play a very good first half, but their goalkeeper shows why in his time he was expected to make it to the top with several great saves. And the once we beat him it hits the post. Wilson gets a yellow card again from a hard tackle that looks so close to a two feet tackle.
    We get the goal in the second half, where we kept the dominance, though a couple of players didn't perform too well. Then Ross Draper got space and sent a rocket to the corner of the goal that Munro couldn't possibly reach, which is so very annoying.
    Despite missing the win, it's very encouraging to have been superior in play in our first match in the Championship.


    Mugabi signs the contract I offered to him and he will most likely become our first choice centreback.


    We'll get some money from a past transfer that was sold by his new team.


    Just as we sign Mugabi, Wilson is out for a month with hernia.


    Craig has made an offer to bring Brendan Cronin at the end of his contract. He insists he's on to be a star. I confirm the deal.


    We finish the transfer deals with the arrival of Richard Brindley to be our right fullback. Possibly starting ahead of Taggart, though I must not forget we have a very promising youngster in Jordan Barbour, who should have some game time.


    Calum Waters gets also an injury. It's short, but it happens right before the match.


    And then Darren Simpson is out for a month. I'm lowering the training intensity.


    We have Harry Paton on loan by Craig's initiative. He looks useful and he can play all sides of midfield so I'm fine with the signing and expect to use him.



    Our first match away is against the favourite to finish second in the league. I let my assistant make the initial pick of players and I just adjust a little, setting Hoggan to the right instead of Marr and Hetherington comes into the bench instead of Ross Lyon to have a leftback.
    We were playing so well, having the more good chances, though the best wall well saved by Munro. Then Mugabi taps the ball into our goal from point blank range. And he keeps making hard tackles.
    Second half is similar, we again concede, this time from a series of lucky bounces that make impossible for Munro to react. We have more good chances saved. Hynd does get one back but not enough time to get a second after that.
    Another match to get a lot of optimism as we were competitive again, this time against the second best team of the division. It stings a lot that the two goals came from stupid mistake and freak bounces.



    After playing the second best team, we go against the top one. Ross is back from injury and starts despite not being fully fit. Our squad is too big right now and nobody wants the players that want out. On top of that, Craig keeps making offers for new players.
    We have an excellent first half. We miss a few great chances early, but this time there aren't defensive mistakes and Hynd and Faulds do find the net.
    Second half they turn to a 4-3-3 with a defensive midfielder. It does nothing for them, only makes it a bit harder to break them down, but still we have a few chances, not as good as the first half and no goals happen. They lost a man to injury for the last quarter hour.
    This is great! We've beaten the top team being better during all the match.


    Craig brings a left winger, which is something we don't need, though at least he's versatile.


    We have an increase to the transfer revenue retained.



    Four days after the previous match and three before the next, then a whole two weeks break. Championship still has that ridiculous kind of calendar.
    Another good half. We score twice, they once from a good play and got so close to get a third before we got the second. Problem is we're getting a lot of yellow cards.
    Second half I didn't make a third sub as I was holding it in case of a red card. It's an annoying second half because they draw level with a lot of luck as the shot by Baird bounced off a defender and that made Munro miss the save. We should've won.
    In the positive side, we've competed not only with top teams in bad form but against teams that have started well, which is encouraging.



    We face another team that was once in the top division. They are close ahead of us. Slight rotation and Ross is in the bench to come in the second half to get fitness back.
    Not a bad first half. We look the better team, but not enough to get ahead. We get two yellow cards: Taggart early and Wylde later.
    In the second things remain the same, with them getting many shots, which is worrying, though none is really threatening. Until Faulds assists Wylde and they change to a 3-4-3 that we deal with with more ease and Moore makes the final 2-0.
    The bad thing is Pittman picked a head injury that forced him out.


    Ehm, he jumps, bumps heads with rival, both are in the ground and his injury is a broken leg. Out for the season. Now I'm glad Craig has brought so many players.



    A very nice set of results for our first season in the division.


    Nice to see two of our players there among the top three for two categories, though it's very soon to think they're going to end there.





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  6. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    September 2019

    Wylde is chosen in third place for player of the month and myself for manager of the month.



    In deadline day, Dundee United come with an offer for Jordan Barbour, our U19 player who I plan to use as replacement for the right back position to Taggart. I can't get him loaned back and I don't know what to do. I think we need him, but it's a bigger club and I'm sure he'd like to go there and there he'd have the best chance to reach for success. A look at the Premiership says they're last and likely to get down here. That tips it to reject it.


    The transfer window finally ends, after several offers by Dundee, one bigger than the previous, with a final of €22K. Barbour isn't angry.


    The player who wanted out have acknowledged my attempts to sell them and are willing to give me more time to try. Except Spence... he has asked to withdraw the transfer listing, which I've happily done.



    I use a heavily rotated side for the Imbru cup match against a lower division team.
    We finish the match in the first half with three goals.
    In the second, when near the end, I bring Faulds off due to a light injury.




    Waters gets food poisoned before the next league match. Good thing I playe dhim in the cup.



    Brindley finally makes it to the starting team. Wilson is still a bit tired so he'll be on the bench.
    We have too many troubles doing anything, and it's like we're likely to lose, even after a few tweaks to play faster and dribble less. Until Spence assists Hynd for a great shot. Then as the half is about to end, Mugabi deflects the ball to our goal.
    Second half is better for us, though we don't get good chances, the only being disallowed for offside by Spence.
    I'm not too unhappy. Seeing how the game went, I think without the own goal in half time, they'd have come far more aggressive and I think they would've turned it around completely. So I still see it as winning one point rather than having lost two.



    We get to our first match against the other promoted team. This is one of the matches that from the start were marked as must win.
    We start poorly, with Wilson letting them a goal with his poor defending, helped by Munro being asleep. Small changes improve things and the half time comes with both teams level. We can win this, but McDonald is playing poorly and I didn't bring Waters.
    Second half is same only in the start, except with a more general and worse series of defensive stupidity.



    And now it's the time to play against the team that is at the top of the table. Still we go with the same starting team.
    So far this match is much better than the other. No defensive mistakes. We get to their area, but the best chance is cancelled by an unjustifiable offside call for a player that took no part of it.
    We go behind early in the second half with a bit of bad luck, but nothing to complain about our defence this time. To complain is the many good attacks the referee denies us with stupid offside calls from players that take no part whatsoever. However, Spence gets two balls to their net the referee can't find a way to call offside. He doesn't see any offside when they get all people offside but the one receiving the ball though. Luckily in the nick of time, a good play ends with Caddis scoring a nice cross. I try to close off the game for the injury time with a change of formation and we end winning despite the referee.
    Great result. They weren't top, seems they had already been overtaken by Hibernian.



    It turned out to be another good month.







    I can ask for a coaching course.


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  7. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    October 2019

    Byrne twists an ankle in training and will be out for nearly a month.



    We visit the bottom team. Ross starts and I hope he'll soon become the first choice there. Faulds also starts before he loses match fitness.
    What a frustrating first half. We keep getting the strikers, specially Hynd in the best positions and he keeps hitting them off. So he won't play the second half. We should be five goals up.
    Second half is a copy but with some less chances and Wylde scoring when he's offside. I'm going to kill Hynd.



    A new round of the league cup is a visit to a lower league team. Our side is as rotated as it can considering fitness.
    A disappointing first half. We go up, but nobody shows any reason to make it into the first team.
    Second half is a little better, though I still think we should have done better.
    Only Grant Adam has done anything to consider him foir the league matches.



    Caddis starts ahead of Malcolm due to his excellent dribbling in past matches. Moore and Spencer up top for their better form in the last five matches played.
    We could improve upon the first half, but it's not been bad. We've been getting into the match, having the better chances, but we're letting too much space between the lines in defence.
    I set the defensive line higher, but it doesn't work right, with them taking more advantage of the space behind. The post saves us and in the counter Spence assists Hynd to give us the win.



    They were top until they didn't win the last match and now they're second. Brindley starts as he's match fit and Biabi starts too to have a chance despite his poor show in the cup because Moore has not played well and I'll give him a chance along Hynd.
    First half is quite infuriating because of the defenders. It's like they just forget everything and spend the time chasing like headless chickens after everybody. They gift them three goals, even after some changes to remind them they're not in a school yard. But midfield and attack work well, also when I make some changes in shape to be more fluid and we get them back. Which is very annoying, as with a working defenders we might have the match almost decided in our favour. They got a red card with the 3-3 already in the score.
    After showing Martin the red card, the referee seems to become too happy to be showing cards. There aren't any more warnings, most fouls become cards. We lose Caddis after placing him in Curran's place to avoid Curran's double yellow and he goes on.
    Good things to take after the defence ruined the win: the team works well with a fluid shape, Ross finally had a good game.



    Very nice not seeing any defeat this month.




    Our balance has dropped quite a bit.



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  8. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    November 2019

    I get the third place in October's manager of the month.



    We have three matches in a week, so rotation is needed, though most of the team is still the starting one.
    The match started very well, but then it turned it into the same defensive crap than Hibernian was. All the damned defence moving to the bloddy same side BEHIND the ball carrier so they have every other player and their grandma unmarked.
    Second half is little different. Maybe it could've been better, but Mugabi makes sure to get a second yellow to make things harder, then the players show their workrate, that strength of the squad, by just shambling about whenever the ball was in the middle between them and a rival. They didn't really try.
    It is tremendously annoying to see players not even trying and that when I make them practice attacking plays against a team with "many defensive vulnerabilities" they turn to be unable to reach their area.



    Most of the team is rotated due to fixture congestion. We go back to a centerback pairing from the past season, with Darren Simpson instead of Marr as I want to give him his chance to earn more starts and better development.
    Ross gets a warning and a card in seven minutes, so he's off, I don't want another match with ten players. FFRSSFRGX Four goals given and I don't know if it's worse than the previous matches. In past matches they just chased the ball carried en masse like headless chickens. In this match, not even that, they just don't give a damn. Cross behind? Let's stand still or run away from the ball's path! Cross just two feet high? Not even try to jump.
    No more screwing in defence, once the match has been ruined in the first half. We get a goal but yet let a second go when Stewart, with the ball rolling at his feet, just lets it pass to the keeper.


    Out of the frustration I have a look at available spots and there's one for Paraguay NT that would let me get some savings.



    With so many incompetence in defence, I change to the 4-5-1 in the hopes a deeper midfielder will let the centrebacks keep their heads.
    It's a good first half, the first good half in some time. We're the team that makes it look closer to goal, but that means nothing, we need to get the goals.
    We keep it up, until Mugabi reacts to a cross by moving away from the ball path. I wouldn't be so angry if it hadn't started when in a corner, they had their only forward man in the left half of the pitch and our three players standing back (both fullbacks and Curran) were all bunched in the right half.



    Off the league for the next league cup round against another team from our division. We rotate again for fitness and giving chances to players. We beat them with the 4-4-2 before, but never looked like we'd do, so I keep the 4-5-1. Tweaks will be done through the match. One thing I could do with the 4-4-2 and why we've had so many stupid defensive plays is I began to give instructions to focus on enemy players, so I think in coming matches I may go back to the 4-4-2.
    We have a decent first half. We get a fast goal by Biabi, we have some more chances and, though Inverness also has chances of their own, they aren't too threatening. They get a good header from a free kick, but Grant Adam made a good save.
    We double the lead in the second half, good shot by Moore. They get one back without terrible mistakes by us, though a defender could've closed down the goalscorer better. Moore then seals it from a pass by Ross.
    Grant Adam has had a good match and I'm seriously thinking he may become our first choice.


    As a consequence of that match, something that gives it a sour taste happens: Inverness sack Freedman. I'm third favourite to be sacked, but with odds that say it's unlikely I'll be sacked. I'm second to take Inverness seat, but with Burchill in a better league I think it would make me favourite to take it. Despite getting annoyed by the defence this month I don't think I'd do well applying. Were they to come, then maybe I could consider it, but I seriously doubt it as they're five points behind, at the edge of relegation playoff.



    I do small changes from the cup match. Mugabi isn't present because he's tired from international duty.
    Nice first half, though not the best. We don't do much but we do limit their chances. Biabi missed an obvious assist and trying to shoot ended missing the chance for a goal.
    In the second half, that started the same, I changed wingers and first thing to happen is Caddis assisting Spence for the winner. They changed to a 3-4-3 and started to create some danger, a simple instruction to keep the ball dealt with it well enough.


    UK is going out of the EU, but seems nothing will change.



    While the Challenge Cup semifinal against Hibernian is far in the future, we play the Scottish cup. Barbour gets his chance within a rotated squad. Munro is now our cup keeper.
    We do almost nothing the first half, which is disappointing. On a good note, Barbour takes well to the criticism I dedicate them at half time.
    Waters almost gift them a goal. Then with some changes to be more offensive we have some chances, but their keeper deals with them well. In injury time Simpson shows off to Waters he's better at gifting goals.



    What a bad month we've had. It's like being Movember made defenders think charity is to be made in the field with goals for the rivals.


    Despite that, we're still not far from play offs and comfortably away from relegation. Needless to say I won't take Inverness offer. Unless they offer me a huge amount of money.


    Balance keeps falling down.



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  9. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    December 2019


    We seem to be paired a lot against the team in second place. We go back to the starting team of the last league match, with Mugabi in Marr's place.
    The first half is rather good, with a few woodwork hits that leave our advantage at one goal. They pose no threat but twice are close to get a goal from lucky bounces.
    I have no words for the second half. First Wilson, when a corner is in order, shoots the ball into their striker to have it limp to our goal from a tight andgle, then Caddis with the ball one ball's diameter away from the goal line and a third into the goal hits the post.



    I am trying to go back to the 4-4-2 and see if without any man marking it improves. Also because the 4-5-1 didn't work against Brechin and Ayr are bottom of the league.
    First half is a piece of crap, we go down because the player who should've intercepted the corner wasn't there, then a defender picks a bounce off the keeper and clears weakly to the feet of their striker.
    So I changed formation and somehow the set piece instructions got screwed and the player I have in near six yard box, who would've intercepted the pass, was set to go back instead. These kinds of screw ups with set pieces has been going in for a long time and it's one of the most annoying things.
    Second half they went more defensive and though we got to their area, our passing or finishing wasn't good enough to make good chances.


    We get short injury and flu for Ross and Spence before the first match in a series of congested fixtures.




    Against the bottom team we go back to the 4-5-1 since the poor defensive plays of the previous match. I am considering trying a three man defence system.
    There is little done in this first half. For the second I'll keep things as they are and then may change to the 4-4-2.
    Things improve, with Biabi missing an easy chance. I change to a 4-2-3-1 that leaves us a bit exposed to counter attacks but it eventually pays off, so I go back to the 4-5-1 only to have Wilson in injury time to leave his man watching the ball carrier be already marked.



    Again against the bottom team. It seems like we either play the second or the tenth placed team at any given time. Some rotation is made and Munro returns to goal.
    Not a good first half, we do nothing and they keep coming. To make things worse the referee makes up a penalty, but luckily Munro saved it.
    Second half the tweaks work and we begin to threaten their goal but again the finishing let us down. I'm so tired of drawing.
    Also, they played with a new manager.



    There is some rotation as this match comes three days after the previous and three days before the next.
    We start bad as we concede a goal when Mugabi is beaten. I think he could've done better but it's not a mistake to blame him. I change some things: be more offensive, set Paton to move forward more and with Stewart and Biabi we end the first half comfortably ahead.
    We keep the domination in the second half, though they do get a fair amount of shots from bad positions, however ours, despite being good positions, end up weak and saved. I'm very happy that every shot was on target.



    We now do play against the team at the top to close the month and the year. I don't change all the team from past match.
    They started strong, a few changes to stop dribbling and play faster improve things. They don't have good chances, the few we have are and Cooper gets one in their net.
    In the second half they score from a corner, Byrne missing his header, but that was the only thing of note they did and therefore, not enough, since earlier Biabi had made our second goal.
    Very happy with this match. We beat the top team and still got most of our shots on target. It also brings us back to promotion play offs, unless Morton win their match by more than five goals.


    Lyon wants more first team football and rightly so, but we have his positions well covered so I don't see him having any. When I tell him that perhaps selling him would be the best choice he backs down.



    That poor start we'll regret when the season ends for sure.




    Very close to negative balance.



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  10. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    January 2020

    Director of football brings Brendan Cronin, who will be moved to the U20 team. I've asked him to sign a right winger that has been recommended and would really upgrade our squad. Regardless I think we could try to sell off some players.


    In a target review I increase it to avoid relegation battle as we have a comfortable advantage and it may help bringing that winger.


    Dundee is back to making offers for Barbour.

    The winger signs the contract offered by the director of football. Good news. Fans are obviously happy.



    Mingledi starts right away, though he's very short of match sharpness.
    Biabi gets a knock very early, it didn't look too good so I bring Hynd in his place. We do very little, just keeping them from making good chances.
    In the second we're better defensively as they can only pull one poor shot. But we have luck when in the last five minutes, a long ball is sent to Mingledi who I had set as striker and that forced their keeper to come out of the area, with Mingledi close pressure was enough he made a bad clearance to Byrne's feet to score from forty yards away. Then we had a few more chances as they opened up trying in vain to get a goal.
    Mingledi did very little apart from that chase that led to the poor clearance, but did show when he gets up to competitive speed he'll be worth every penny and more we pay him.


    Biabi pulled a hamstring during the match and will be out for three weeks.


    Craig makes a loan for Ipswich's Josh O'Neil, a good one if we were to get Taggart out, but nobody wants him.

    He also brought a data analyst, as I've left backroom staff to him, and now I have a lot more information before and after the matches.

    The retained revenue from transfers is lowered again.


    My application for Paraguay got rejected.



    MacDonald starts to keep fit and Hynd siubstitutes the injured Biabi.
    We're the best of the first half but not by enough. The referee is card happy and shows three to each team.
    Second half was a repeat, we had some more chances, but still failed to convert them. Not too bad a result, but a missed opportunity to make two matches difference between us and outside the play off spots.


    O'Neil chose to go to Carlisle.


    Munro gets a flu a few days before the third and last match of January.


    Craig has got sealed Olumide Durojaiye for next season.


    And then we lose Curran for the rest of the season.


    After thousand offers for Barbour, Dundee now wants Milne. Rejected too, he's another very promising youngster I'm not giving to a team that looks about to come down. What? Whoops, they've recovering and now don't look like coming down.


    Hetherington will be the one coming in for Curran and Ross Lyon, who asked for more first team football will have his chance to earn some starts.
    Again we fail to get our chances in, but this time we let them have a goal by Wilson not quite marking Oyenuga right.
    Sigh. Second half we have chances to score three, but nobody can kick a ball. This time we properly gift them a goal as the defenders who could make the cross reception impossible just backed away.


    I'm playing a friendly in the week of break. Now it's Aberdeen who wants Barbour. Now I can't just reject it. I'll try to get something more than they offer. I get a 30% of future benefits.

    Board invests some money into the team.


    Taggart twists a knee and is out for almost two months.


    I accept an offer from Dundee for Barbour and this time I negotiate to add 50% of future benefits.

    Dundee makes an offer that's quite acceptable from the start for Milne, so I let him off as Dundee aren't going down and it's a step up for him.

    Ross Lyon returns asking for first team. Now without Curran I can give him some time.

    The next day Guiseley asks him on loan, so time to consider it.









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  11. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    February 2020

    Jordan Barbour takes Aberdeen offer.


    So does Milne with Dundee's offer.


    Then we lose Mugabi to injury for three weeks.


    And Hetherington will miss the next match due to a flu.


    And Lyon leaves for the loan to Newport.


    I finished and got the Conttinental C License!


    Craig brings Luke Carey on loan till the end of the season from Charlton-


    Taggart accepts to stay after he's seen I've not sold him because nobody has come asking despite my continuous offers to let him out.



    For all the big squad I have, only Hoggan comfortable with playing as defensive midfielder.
    Very bad first half. First they score from a lucky rebound off the post with the referee missing an offside, then a cross bounces off Brindley to go to the feet of their striker that is alone against the other three defenders, the three defenders just back kilometers away, it'd be rude to close him down. I change to the 3-5-2 and we start to get chances, but when Mingledi is in front of the post at like five yards and the keeper is in the other half it's too hard to kick at the hole and sends it at the keeper. That's not the only easy chance missed but the most annoying miss.
    Remember what I said on set pieces? I find in one that changing from prepared tactic to prepared tactic also gets the game to ignore the set piece instructions you so carefully made to set whatever it wants. Btw, the offside probably wasn't, but ICly she's going think is was.
    Second half is much better, but finishing keeps being just as pathetic, everything sent at the keeper, just one great shot but then the keeper makes a world class save.



    We'll start with the new formation and see if today it works well.
    First half shows the system can work very well, but we're one goal down from a worldie long shot coming after MacDonald kindly stepped away from blocking a cross, then Spence shot wide when the easier was scoring.
    Second half we get yet some more chances to score but we miss them. If not for MacDonald's mistake we'd hav had a good game.


    Kevin Cawley shows to be an unreliable backstabber. He comes to the press complaining about me refusing something in a meeting. He never approached me.


    The board brings more money.


    They reject giving me a new course.



    Teh match against the bottom team sees a return to the 4-5-1 because we have a cup match in the middle of two league matches and with the 3-5-2 is bound to cause the need to use tired players in defence.
    Same as lately, decent control of the match after making some changes, complete inept players in front of goal.
    In the second half we keep getting chances that are shot with the strength and skill of a five years old. Hoggan doesn't join an offside trap and just naps not paying attention to his man so he scores easily. Further changes including of system to 4-2-3-1 gets the goal to end with another non win. Also Byrne got a thigh strain in the first half and I subbed him in the second.



    We get to the cup semifinal that we play against the tougher team remaining. Small touches to the tactic are made and hopefully the finishing will not be as abyssmal it's been lately.
    Not a bad first half. We end 1-1 with their scoring after a baffling Biabi miss by which he runs the way he arrives late to the ball instead of pushing it in an empty net. He got the goal later.
    Really? Is this a BEEPing joke? How am I to believe Munro hasn't ben bought? First it's intolerable that three defenders are jumping to head a ball against one rival and Munro dashes to join and the rival gets the header. And it's flipping unforgivable and beyond belief that a tame slow moving ball Munro sees coming for ages he just dives short of picking it, I'm so damned mad. Luckily Biabi and Mingledi are there to give us a chance. We even had chances to win.
    Extra time we had the more chances the better chances, but Biabi again sees the ball before him with an empty goal and lets it pass before him. They also need to explain how players who looked much fresher got beaten in runs by much more tired players. It can't be that Graham Carey that looked like the shoes were too heavy for him beat Bridley in speed with the ball.
    If not for Munro utter imbecility we'd be in the final.


    I'm approached by U.S. Latina Calcio from Lega Pro Girone. They're tenth, last of the promotion play offs which seems is going to be a lot of matches. They're a more reputable team than alloa in a slightly less reputable division. I will take the interview and I will have time to think until they offer the job if they do choose me. Their squad isn't very big but has way too many strikers and could use more depth in some positions. Join now or wait to the end of the season? In one hand, waiting is tempting as we are there and we've had good macthes against any of the teams above us; on the other hand they're in there too and I'd be leaving someone else to get the promotion for Latina. It will be now.

    I get two more: one from Holstein Kiel from 3.Fussball liga and one from Novara Calcio in Serie B. To Kiel I answer I would take it at the end of the season, since they're midtable too far from anything.

    I get one from Alessandria, but I reject it as they're in relegation from Serie B.

    WHAT THE BEEP?! Is this real?! I've received an interview offer from Standard de Liége! Belgian top division! The one considered ten most reputable in Europe!! GIMMEGIMMEGIMME!!!! Also from Liga Nos Académica, they're in relegation places, though, but at such level I don't mind! They're not far from staying up. Also Arka from Polish top division. Later Marítimo joins the list and others.



    I'm considered the favourite for the Marítimo role.


    Mugabi has a calf strain just before the match against Hibernian. Out for three weeks.



    Now again playing against Hibernian. Winning this match would make me upset.
    Not too bad first half really, but due to Waters moving completely out of position where he did nothing but leave his man alone we're down one goal.
    Second half is the same, we have some good chances, missed and other good plays that when it's time for an easy turn around to shoot or assist the player just passes back, plus the defensive mistake from the other fullback being slow following a run and allowing them a goal.











    The new license has increased her reputation by 5%. I wouldn't expect playing the semifinal did.
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  12. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    March 2020

    Byrne is finally happy to stay.


    Arka approaches with an offer. Latina rejected my application, but with some bigger clubs waiting, I will ask to delay it for a week.

    We have a quite decent crop of youth candidates.


    Then it is Académica that offers a very nice contract. But Marítimo is better placed and their fans consider me favourite, so I'll delay this a week and take it if Marítimo doesn't come earlier.

    Hynd is going to be out for a month, but I'll be gone before the next match.


    Zwolle is next with an offer, pretty much in same situation as Académica.

    The board wants a meeting to extend my contract, I don't want to stay with those offers waiting.

    Arka returns with no Marítimo offer. With Zwolle and Académica also to come with much better offers.

    Then Académica comes in. I look and I see in the Académica/Zwolle comparison the next facts:
    - Zwolle has drawn a game since last week and are now two points off safety. Académica has not played and is three points off safety.
    - Zwolle form in recent matches is less bad than Académica's, the latter has a lot of defeats, while Zwolle has many draws.
    - Both have same five wins with Zwolle playing two more matches. But Zwolle has several draws. Same happens with the teams around them.
    - Liga Nos is two direct relegation places. Eredivisie is one direct and two through play offs.
    - Schedule of remaining matches seem to have a lesser proportion of high placed teams for Académica than for Zwolle.
    - Zwolle has the more balanced squad.
    - Zwolle has their main keeper injured for more than a month, Académica doesn't have key players injured.
    - Zwolle offers a thousand more euros in wages.
    - Zwolle players are much more versatile.
    - Netherlands climate is going to be less warm. I thought I'd die in Spain's summers.

    I think Zwolle wins. So I reject Académica.


    In the end I'm not out before this match. Curran is still not fit. Pittman is tired from friendlies to recover sharpness.
    First half is the same crap of lately. We have several great chances, Cooper and Wylde send them off. They get one chance that is picking a clearance from afar and backing up... rocket to the net.
    Second half seemed to go same way when Cooper had another sitter sent off. I brought in Carey in the left wing and Moore in Biabi's place and Carey brought us to victory with two nice passes that were well used by Cooper and Moore.


    Zwolle come and I manage to get an extra thousand euros.


    Salary 27,000
    Food 1350
    Transport 75
    Household 150
    Internet 30
    Apartment in centre non falling down building! 1200
    Family expenses 500
    Taxes 12,600
    Total left: 11,095€ p/m savings
    Expenses outside job: 3,305€m Means each month I get this work I can live three without work before running out. I will blow a chunk of it in a PC, cinema tickets, nice clothes and starting my music and DVD collections. But not so much.


    Changing job made her lose 5% reputation again. But this time she didn't resign. Moving to a much bigger club I'm not sure that's right.

    P.S.- I also took more screenshots but didn't get taken.
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  13. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    Most of March 2020

    The team report says the 4-4-2 is the system this squad does better with. No good passing, no good teamwork, no scoring. Lacking of right side players compared to other areas. I will need the director of football to do his job right, as in this club all transfer related stuff is given to him.



    Not only the starting keeper is injured for more than a month, the starting lefback will also be out the same duration. I think the 4-5-1 is reported the worst because it's the most used and the 4-4-2 the best because it was used when neding a comeback. So, while I believe the 4-5-1 may not be as bad I possibly will move to a 4-1-4-1.


    They want a mid table finish, not very realistic.



    First match we play the second placed team. In the first leg the result was a draw.
    For a team in relegation play off against the second top team that was a decent first half. We contained their attack well and had some chances of our own, if none of quality.
    Second half starts with the best chance one can have: Lammers needs to tap the ball to his right and no way keeper saves that, but no, weak tap to the left where the keeper is. But the left fullback shows why he's not starting worthy by leaving their right fullback unmarked for a cross and then failing to cover a cross to the winger.
    Without the leftback mistakes this would've been a good draw and a decent performance.


    Yay! If starting keeper and starting leftback wasn't enough injuries now an starting centreback joins them.


    We get Zwolle's youth intake. Obviously not so many players looking like they'd reach top team standards.



    Now we face a team just five points ahead, so I hope we'll do better than previous match. De Wijs comes in for Vriends as a ball playing centreback and striker is changed. Central pair swap sides, because in the last match we attacked too much through the left side. Favouring the left isn't bad considering most of our assists come from that side, but it shouldn't be that much, it made us predictable.
    Well, nothing better. Attack play is more balance between sides, but they're very defensive and we can't get past their defence. When we seem to do, it's offside after offside. When not offside, Ryan Thomas instead of turning to shoot or seek an assist, just runs back for a backpass to cancel the nice through ball he received.
    Our best chances come in the second half, but it's a post hit in a corner and two other plays that don't end in a shot because the cross that was easy and comfortable is sent way too ahead of the striker. Then the defence screws it in a throw-in, three defenders jump for a ball without opposition, te Loeke, who's been doing mostly well also makes an exit unnecessarily, so the defenders just bump the ball into the feet of the rival to score with an empty goal. So I change to 4-4-1-1 and we end getting the goal in injury time through a corner.







    I'm tempted to ask a coaching course, but I think they'll say the same thing.




  14. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    April 2020

    Ryan Thomas, who had been unhappy with his lack of first team football, came asking for more, even though he's started both games with me. I ask the captain to talk to him and he's dropping his concern.



    They are fourth in the table, so this will be a tough match. I ask my assistant to make the starting team and I agree with his choices.
    The first half goes well, Ritzmaier scores from a pull pass from Damari and while they show their quality with all shots on target, the shots weren't from good positions so they get no goals and out chances are not worse and almost as many.
    In the second half all goes well, but they hack Mokhtar with a two feet tackle, twisting his ankle and the referee just calls a foul and then goes two extra minutes over the announced injury time for no good reason.
    So first win with Zwolle that takes us out of relegation play off if Groningen doesn't win. Unfortunately they play against the bottom team.


    Mokhtar will be out for a month and a half, which means for the rest of the season.


    Groningen drew, so we're out of relegation zone.


    They are eleventh and I was considering to go with the 4-4-1-1, but I will keep this system and see how things go before changing.
    First half has not been too good, all out shots are off target, they have better chances than we should allow. I don't make the system change because they're more aggressive with their advanced midfielder.
    Second half was the same for a good while even with the less defensive play, until Ingi Jónsson took Thompson's assist into the net. We begin then to have chances with the spaces they leave trying to come back and Achahbar wastes a good counter off a corner failing to even hit the target, but their change to 4-2-4 doesn't work offensively and we get our second win.
    That is four points advantage over relegation with three matches to go that include one against the bottom team.


    Washmelash, who is the backup fullback, picks a month long injury so he'll miss the rest of the season.


    Kramer is the next to get injured, though his is shorter-


    We have a signing that comes right away, a new centreback, Saad Samir.



    Now we go against the tenth team. By scout reports I choose to change system and make small changes to what the assistant chose for players.
    First half is quite good, we control the game and Damari breaks his very lengthy goal drought from a Jónsson cross. Achahbar missed a good chance to make it 2-0.
    Second half we keep it, subbing Achahbar soon. Damari missed another good chance. Then both central midfielders looked quite tired, so I changed to a 4-1-4-1 and took him off. Finally, Damari took another chance to seal the win.
    And Groningen lost! We've guaranteed to stay up!


    We're going to celebrate and blow steam off.







    ((Taken 2nd May. I usually take these before the month ends.))




  15. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    May 2020, end of season


    Now we play against the bottom team before we close against the team right ahead. I'm again asking my assistant to choose the team and then tweaking his selection: I swap the wingers from right and left and Damari starts instead of Shynder.
    That first half didn't turned out as expected. We lose the ball very fast and they seem the better time. Small changes are enough to get ahead, though.
    Second half is an improvement. While they still keep the ball the most, they no longer seem threatening, less so after we get our second goal and they turn to a 4-3-3. Our goal was not a fluke but the showing of our better game creating better chances and more consistently.



    They were rigth ahead, now they are right behind. If we win and Excelsior and Vitesse lose, we can end eleventh.
    First half is a close match despite her much higher time with the ball and we're down just from a misplaced barrier. I'll keep things for a few minutes and should nothing change, go to the 4-4-1-1. We missed our best chance against the crossbar and the second best off target.
    In the second half we get a couple more quite decent chances that are saved, after the change to 4-4-1-1, but a bad play by them is turned to a goal when Stevens can't hold to the ball and it falls to their striker for an easy backpass.
    I'm not bothered by the result, however. We had the chances to win, their goals weren't the result of flaky defence and both Excelsior and Vitesse won so there's no much difference between thirteenth and fourteenth.










    I look at the past teams and other choices and I see: Alcobendas Sport has finished ninth, far from playoffs, East Fife was at the edge of relegation play offs, Alloa missed on promotion play offs by goal difference and Académica is relegated with one match to the end of the season.


  16. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    Offseason 2020



    I don't get to choose when we end our holidays.


    We get the initial budgets, which are nice, though I'd expected a bigger increase when moving to a top division.


    The board also announces the construction of a new stadium will be done.


    Having a director of football has one thing: I can take holidays too!
    ((I was going to holiday up to then, but in the window there's accept all or reject all or only if meet asking price and no leave to DoF option, so I don't know it won't screw with the DoF duties))

    I asked to make Jónsson permanent signing but he has no interest.


    We get the commercial summary with a big total increase of income. I'm not counting the prize money since that's variable and can't be predicted.


    Some U23 national teams have openings and I will apply to them as that may give me a boost. They're Germany, France, Spain and Netherlands.

    Te Loeke signs a new contract. I'm fine with it as he proved a competend back up for Stevens.


    Both Groningen and Willem II win the relegation play off, which is played against the play off teams from the league below.

    Wait, that was a first round, they still have two more promotion play off teams to play against and they both lost heavily the first leg.

    Bonuses are paid.


    We get almost five million for our finish in the league.


    Groningen and Willem II are relegated. The former lost again and the later didn't win by enough goals.

    After he loans away a midfielder from the reserves and sells back up leftback Peersman, Nijkamp sells rightback Marcellis, our starting rigthback, getting some money for an old player. As long we get a rightback that's at least as good and younger I'm happy with that. The first signing is of an advanced playmaker: Illiass Bel Hassani.


    Zwolle dropped in the European club ranking, as it's to be expected from a relegation fight.


    Second signing by Nijkamp is a deeper playmaker, Rewan Amin.


    Holidays end and I'm back with only one player returning very tired, Ritzmeier.


    And still almost a million left in the transfer budget, but there is no much more margin in the wage budget so I'll have to change it.



    She's recovered the 5% reputation lost with the job change.
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  17. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    Summer 2020

    First thing back from holiday is to ask to get a course paid and the board agrees.


    So the first day, Virga pulls a hamstring and is to be out for three weeks.


    And then two more players join the team: a goalkeeper and a fullback, both on free transfers. The goalkeeper may have much potential, but at the moment he's far from the other two. The other is a good addition to the first team at the left fullback position.


    Nijkamp keeps doing his job and has brought a new centreback. There are some talks pending to loan another centreback, a leftbac who was my suggestion and he's working on another advanced midfielder. Maybe because during the summer I was talking about a third system to try next season that's a narrow 4-2-3-1.


    He lets Genk get Ritzmaier, who I thought would be an important player this coming season.


    The attacking midfielder is the next to complete his arrival.


    I'm asked about expectations. I feel we should go for mid table, but in the end season the players didn't want anything less than top half, plus it gives us extra budgets for at least bringing one more player should we need and we need some more depth, I think, so I go with that.


    What is wrong with Nijkamp? He brings a centreback, which is nice, but a back up one that he gives the role of a key player.


    Another youth player is brought on loan as key player. Nijkamp should be more prudent with these.


    In the friendly against Cambuur they hack our players and Marinus comes out with a two day injury and el Hankouri out for at least three weeks.



    The first handful of friendlies make it clear we need defensive minded midfielders. Only van Boomen can defend in midfield.

    Nijkamp brings our new starting rightback, Lelieveld. He's decent at crossing, can dribble a rock. Is decent at attacking and defending, even if he excels at nothing.


    Mokhtar is sold for three quarters of a million.


    Kaj Sierhuis join us as quite the promising striker who can play a lot of positions.


    Next we have the signature of one of the defensive minded midfielders I asked Nijkamp to bring.


    Nakamba is the second of the three I told him as I thought we might not get all of them.


    Asking three was the right idea, for as I predicted at least one would reject us.


    The last signing, after an offer is accepted for Ryan Thomas, is a winger, Oussama Idrissi.


    Well, this isn't the best. Nijkamp accepts an offer for Virga, I didn't think he was good enough to be first choice past season so it's a good move. For a moment I considered making him first choice this season, but Lelieveld can take that spot well enough.

    Virga takes Den Bosch's contract. So does Thomas with Heracles' offer.



    I set for high bonuses to be paid out to the squad.


    The friendlies go generally well, but ends with the worst match in some time. A lot of defensive weakness is shown by the narrow 4-2-3-1 as well as too narrow play, which are things that need fixing.


    There are two loan deals pending to be completed, though so far we have a positive balance in the transfers.


    And hence we have some more money in our balance.





  18. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    August 2020


    Here we are in the first match of the season, against one of the big clubs of the country. I agree with my assistant's choice of players, though I considered bringing Michalsen instead of Bel Hassani or Achahbar.
    A decent first half, though I could've done without that one pley they let their winger behind Haddachi. What needs to be done is to improve the quality of our chances.
    They go strong in the second half, but a small tweak to the tactics and a change of central pairing after Marinus injured his foot put us again as the better side of the match. We get some very nice chances and ten minutes to go we had a sitter, but I think it was Amin that didn't shot it right and it got deflected when that was the only obstacle to goal.
    That chance makes me feel like we lost two points, but the right balance is we've been superior to a team that was supposed to win the match, so we can be satisfied with the result.


    Well, damn, this is bad news: Marinus is out for five months. I think I should ask Nijkamp to bring someone in the meantime.



    The 4-2-3-1 got us a lot of chances but we conceded as much and lost in the frriendly we had, so we're to a wide formation this time.
    A crap of a first half, losing the ball all the time, unable to do anything, then Armin has a guy right behind but instead of running for the ball he just walks like it wasn't his business to foul him after and from there a lucky goal for them.
    With the 4-2-3-1 things improve in the second half, with good chances to score missed because it's like they thought the mission of strikers was to hit the keeper. Then a great free kick gets the match beyond us considering how we keep wasting chances.


    What we really need, with el Hankouri back, is not a temporary central midfielder, but someone who can play left wing.


    They are favourites but I decide to try our luck with the 4-2-3-1.
    Bad start in which we can't get to their third. Made worse by somebody in a barrier deciding when the ball is sent just above, the answer is ducking. Changes improved things and we got back into the game, though, but still should do better.
    Second half maintains the improvement, with a number of good attacking plays that end in decent chances missed or last pass for a great chance missed. However, as they make changes and seem to start being more dangerous I go back to the 4-1-4-1, which still gives us a few chances but not as good as before.
    In the end, a draw isn't a bad result.


    We finally get the left winger I needed.It's very well rated, but I'd have liked someone that was better technically, but he's to be our fastest.



    We're up against one of the big clubs, but this time I'll start with our more offensive system, with a few tweaks.
    The first half is good. We don't start very well, but just telling van den Booment not to close as much changes the match in our favour. However, the final passes let us down. Further tweaks just break it but no bad consequences.
    Very bad signs in the second half as we start with Stevens making a stretch to grab a freak cross and getting his neck injured. Follows some great plays at last, that we fail to convert through last ditch block or miraculous save. Towards the end they seem to chase the result, but in the 93rd minute, we recover the ball and make a fine counter that ends with Mongen, who came with a quarter hour to the end and not quite fit, rifling the ball at the net for our first win. It is very pleasing also that he made some very nice moves in his few minutes on the picth in addition to the goal.


    Stevens will be out for two weeks. In the meantime, te Loeke showed as past season he's up to the task with a couple very good saves againt AZ.


    In training Lammers gets a stubbed toe that will keep him out for the next match, most likely.


    Then el Hankouri gets another injury. Maybe I do need a new midfielder and end his loan.


    And Michalsen, come on.


    Nijkamp brings right after Rai Vloet



    They play a very offensive 4-2-3-1 so I'm back to the 4-1-4-1 with a defensive selection. I should've changed de Wijs for Oude Kotte, but he was not good in the match he played.
    Bad first half, we had two good chances but it was Lelieveld mistake that is taken advantage of and a good shot just beyond te Loeke's reach.
    A move to the 4-2-3-1 makes for a better second half, with better chances to come back that are again wasted. Specially frustrating was Mongen and Nelom insisting on running off leaving the ball behind.











  19. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    September 2020

    What? this is the kind of thing why some hate using director of football. I asked to sign Laribi, who could be our best player and take us to the next level, then Nijkamp cancels it, just so he can bring an old player who does have a lot of technical skill but is not what we needed. Well, he still can do great for us behind the striker, but I wanted someone for a deeper position.



    Haddachi bruised his head in a jump, but it's the international break and he'll be back.


    No more deals happen at the end of the transfer window.


    Nelom, the other leftback, strains a heel, but again it is a short injury.


    And then it's Samir who gets injured, but this time in a match with Egypt for a month and a half.



    Finally back to the matches. Stevens is back to fitness. as is Michalsen. Lelieveld is dropped.
    First half goes very well, though I'm getting fed up with how the players keep dribbling by starting off without the ball then "oh, I was supposed to carry the ball?". The other bit of disappointing part is our two goals come from mistakes by their defence rather than good plays, which we make some but end saved.
    Oh, yes, come on, how can we get a comfortable win? Why shot at the net when one can do at the keeper or miles off? It is better to show why I didn't trust Horne to do a good job and that the starting fullbacks I chose at the start are just rubbish.


    Yaaay, just before a match against a team that has crosses, van Horne twists a knee, which I think means we have to play Wijs, who doesn't jump alot.



    They are third and it's tempting to go a defensive 4-1-4-1, but I'll try the 4-2-3-1.
    We have a very good first half. We get ahead from a corner and we are clearly the better team, however their sheer pace pays off later and their winger gets behind Nakamba to end the half level.
    It is quite frustrating when you get your best performance with the best chances and then they get ahead from a poor clearance by two versus one. We then have to chase the match and take more risks, which is why they ended with almost as many shots as us. Luckily the changes eventually worked and Mongen got the equalizer. To finish the idiot of a referee ends the match in the middle of a counter attack that was looking quite nice, not that at the time looked a high chance of goal but still.
    Well, I didn't expect such a good performance and getting points, so I'm happy. It looks like speed can get you some nice things in this sport.


    Achahbar is understandably a bit miffed he's played little, but I ask Marinus to intercede and he manages to allay his worries.



    We continue with another of the teams with past in the Champions League. Again I go with the 4-2-3-1. van Horne will have another chance and Achahbar will start as well as Lelieveld.
    We'd have another very good first half if the team wasn't napping at the end of a corner.
    What kind of crap is this? First Nelom dives to leave his man alone to cross, then Oute Kotte with the target of the cross right in front of him just leaves to mark a guy that is already between three defenders. And then de Wijs just chests the ball to Beric for their third goal. I never saw such level of incompetence in Alcobendas Sport, which was like ten levels below.



    Well, this crappy month should've been a lot better.


    We should be top half, not down there.






  20. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    October 2020

    Idrissi asks for more first team football. Though my unhappiness is more with the defenders, I will give him his chance.



    We go still with the 4-2-3-1 since it's given us some very nice offensive plays. The 4-1-4-1 hasn't worked too well as to go back to it when defenders have been so poor.
    Excellent first half. Lot of great plays and good chances, we could've sealed it if the three behind the striker aimed better, we go to half time with just 1-0 up and more cards I'm comfortable with. Haddachi has made a superb work, but he's booked and got a telling off so he'll be off.
    And the second half we keep dominating the match with excellent plays. Bel Hassani doubles from a freekick I think should've been a penalty, Idrissi gets a goal right on the line disallowed for offside and Mongen assists Sierhuis for the final goal during injury time. Their change to a flat 3-5-2 after our second goal did nothing for them.


    Oh, this is great! I just found who can be my starting leftback. Whoops, no three months out.


    Asmelath wants more first team football. Since Haddachi is out and Wijs is so slow, I think Nelom will have a chance to show he can play left as he's played right and Asmelash will have his chance.



    Michalsen is suspended and Nakamba is tired from international duty, so Armin starts in their place.
    Seems asking them to take it seriously for two matches in a row is too much. We don't dominate like the other game, but that's fine, it's not the same rivals. But there's no excuses for the whole team coming down at leisure trot when the rivals are running a counterattack. Likewise van den Boomen should show interceptions have to be done with passes by the rivals, not to cut our own pass to get it to their players. Sierhuis finishes a good play to give us hope, though.
    Second half is an improvement, with several good chances missed by last ditch tackles and a crossbar hit, but Sierhuis gets a nice pass from Mongen in a counterattack that at least gives us a point.



    I was told they'd use the diamond even if the last match they used a wide 4-2-3-1, but even so I'm sticking to the 4-2-3-1.
    Excellent first half, the best yet. We dominate the match completely. Idrissi keeps getting in great scoring positions but messing the finishing, however he makes it up with one assist and quality involvement in the other two goals. Also, Asmelash is earning his starting status.
    In the second half they seem to go more defensive and we don't get any more shots, though we have a few good plays that end with last ditch tackles. They gash Sierhuis head in a counterattack, shouldn't be bad, but I take him out immediately. No risks with our top goalscorer.


    Indeed, he won't be out for long.


    El Hankouri requests to end his contract just when I was considering giving him his chances in the first team. I won't do it. He'll have chances to impress in the next few matches and then I'll review it. The squad is somewhat bloated in those positions so I may change mind and terminate it before the next game anyway.

    Two days later, he comes asking why I didn't terminate his loan...



    Finally a decent month in which the system got to work to get the performances that were expected. Pity they didn't care to defend well in the second match.


    Which sends us to the top half of the table, thanks to the close table behind Ajax.


    They are good but the balance is going down. Not my or Nijkamp's fault since we're below budgets.




  21. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    November 2020


    As promised, el Hankouri has a start in this match, in Callens's place. Maybe it should've been instead of Idrissi, but despite all his misses he's been getting in great positions and participated in key plays that ended on goal.
    This half has been meh. They starting controlling until they got a red card. Bad defence of a counter ended in a goal for them, but then el Hankouri paid off his chance with an assist and then we got lucky with a deflection into own goal. Idrissi keeps missing chances.
    Second half is a big improvement. We keep control with plenty of nice chances, of which unfortunately we only take one. It also sees a lot of quality involvement by el Hankouri.



    They're top of the league and have won every match except for a draw. I was tempted to make a fully rotated team, but an international break is coming. We'll play counter style with Mongen as advanced forward or poaches, among other changes.
    First half wouldn't be bad but it feels so disappointing. It was expected to reach half time down, but it is annoying it's been through two mistakes in set pieces, after which I changed to the usual instructions. The good thing is Mongen scored to give us a chance and our finishing has been decent, if their goalkeeper has proven why he's at the best team of this league.
    In the second half we had chances to score up to a total of seven goals at least, but we scored only THREE WHICH IS ENOUGH! WE BEAT AJAX! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!


    We have problems with two players: Achahbar and Lelieveld are unappy with the few playing time they've got. I will give elieveld the cancelation of his loan.



    Shynder sprained an ankle in a reserves friendly to keep fit and will be out for a month. And Rayos will be out for almost half that from another injury in the same match.



    Rayos also decides to retire at the end of the season. I wasn't the one who brought him instead of Laribi.


    A win takes us one point from the top four, namely them. Nakamba is tired from international duty, so Michalsen starts. de Wijs, who can jump, his problem is pace, should be seeing some starts soon. Stevens needs to make a good match or te Loeke will take his place. Were not for the two weeks break I'd made the change already.
    Decent first half which we control after a bad start. Could be ahead but either shots are not that good or when the play was good a last ditch tackle or not perfect last pass prevents the shot. Oude Kotte got a warning and yellow card in the first quarter hour, so he was substituted early.
    Their changes for the second half have some effect and they're more threatening, but still not as much as us. However, finishing lets both sides down and we end with a drawn. Kind of disappointing given we were superior but still not a bad result against a top four team. Stevens did a good match, but seems to have hurt his hand in the last minutes.


    Stevens will be out for a month, so te Loeke will have to step in the starting eleven anyway.



    Time to face a relegation placed team, let's hope we don't start sleeping and we don't get complacent.
    It doesn't happen as we play an excellent first half, though post denies us twice and get to half time with just one goal advantage.
    We keep it up in the second half, though I should've stopped being so aggressive seeking the second goal as in the last minutes we almost regret it a couple of times. A bit annoying however that we had so many good chances and got none of them.



    The best month of the season, being the first and so far only team capable to beat Ajax and being superior to Utrecht even if we failed to win.


    We're in European qualification places, I think.




    I'm untouchable, I wish this will remain so.


  22. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    December 2020

    Idrissi drops his concerns.



    This match comes just three days after the last, so I'm forced to rotate much of the side.
    Good first half apart from the usual sleepy start. We go one goal up through an awesome strike by Lammers and miss chances to increase the advantage.
    Second half is very similar to the first, we score once, miss several chances but this time they also score a goal, before they move to a wide 4-2-3-1 that doesn't work for them. Lammers stubbed a toe and I took him out.





    We're up against the bottom team in the last match of the first half.
    Good half, we control it from the start and get two goals with a good amount of chances. Heus, however, looks nervous and that's not something to be accepting my assistant's insistence in picking him. Both fullbacks picking cards is not good either.
    Second half is not a bit worse than the first, we keep controlling the match and score another two goals with an impressive performance by Vloet.
    This means we finish the first half of the season in fourth position, which is really great as I was aiming just for mid-high table.


    Van den Boomen will miss the Twente match with food poisoning.


    And Sierhuis gets the flu.



    We drew away in the first match and they're currently in the bottom half.
    First half is good, after their first chance we dominate the match with two goals, only bad thing is Asmelash fogot his man in a counter and allowed them to get one back. Alkso, Oude Kotte pulled a hamstring and had to be substituted.
    Second half they have to start naping, which is all they need considering this time they start much more attacking. We eventually get a penalty for the 3-2, but Nakamba pushed a rival in the area when van Horne had cleared the ball.
    And when bringing Mongen in, I go swap him with Vloet in defending corners to find out changing player roles also screwed the instructions. Did we miss the fourth goal because by screwing my defending corner routine we lost the set up to allow for counterattack?


    Oude Kotte's injury is not too bad.


    And now it is time to review the squad. Change squad status to reflect my preferences, offer for sale those who get grumpy, maybe bring reinforcements if needed. Though I have to be happy with Nijkamp's work as most of the players he's brought have proven to be good deals.

    I take one step down the status of those players that aren't playing up to their current status. I offer for sale a reserve player that's not worth first team and from the first team just Shynder is offered. Nobody takes it badly.

    What I'm considering is that, perhaps, Heus is close enough to te Loeke and the latter is running out on his contract; but Heus is lacking in concentration and te Loeke wouldn't get us any significant amount of money.

    Shynder rejects the offer from Chernomorets.



    This time I'm going with the 4-2-3-1 from the start, with just a few touches.
    What is wrong with these players? We start with another penalty, this by Samir, that's commited after the danger has passed, this time after Stevens saved the chance. We had some very promising plays but didn't get much done with them.
    The change is playing not as wide but make the system wide, with Mongen in the left as winger and Idrissi in for Lammers as inside forward at the right. It ends working out and Mongen and Idrissi get us the win by two goals.
    The worrying point is Sierhuis has been poor since his injury.


    The knock of Bel Hassani is just a week out from a bruise.


    And now the winter break starts and will last for more than a month, so I guess that means friendlies. As for anyone coming in, if we need something, it's a right winger.




    Bel Hassani second in assists give, very nice.





    Last edited by Death Ball; 17/07/2017 at 11:20 PM.

  23. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    January 2021

    In this country, the squads take a winter break, true holidays. Luckily there will be time to make some friendlies before the season continues.


    I finished the coaching course. Since we're in winter break, I immediately ask for the next, and they concede it. It will take a full year, which feels so long, but I'm getting it.


    I'm offered to change expectations. I won't as that would mean adding pressure to the players and it's not like we need the budget increase.

    First January, Maxwell Acosty joins on my request. He's the fast player that can finish that we need along Mongen that should allow us some options in cases of need.


    I also asked Nijkamp to offer Nakamba a contract for the end of the season.

    Nijkamp lets me decide about an offer from Roda for Achahbar. He was unhappy, I promised him he'd be leaving so I'm accepting it, even if it's quite underwhelming.


    Nakamba signs the deal to stay for good next season.


    Nijkamp brings van den Berg on loan. I don't think we need him, we already have a lot of players for those positions.


    Roda gets Achahbar, which is nice as Nijkamp keeps making offers for midfielders.


    The one he's actually bid for joins already, a young versatile midfielder.


    We only need two friendlies, in one the pair Mongen and Acosty gives us a nice goal from defending a corner with their pace.

    Nijkamp signs another midfielder, though at least he'll come next season.


    De wijs will be out for three weeks with a calf strain.



    They were bottom some time ago, but they've found a good run of form and are on the top half of the table. Will definitely be a tough match. Samir is on international duty, so Oude Kote has to start. Considering he's our starting left back, I wonder if we need a back up centreback.
    We go up early but then they make a great play to make it 1-1 before Sierhuis misses an excellent chance. Nothing unexpected.
    Second half is the first inverte in the first 15 minutes: they go ahead with a nice play, then we draw level and then miss a great chance to get ahead. Then it all tuirns into a disaster as the defenders begin to act as headless chickens, all chasing the same player and letting the rest alone, except for their las goal, where van den Boomen is closing his man well but as soon ball comes into play he just runs off for no reason. Very angry. It was possible to lose this match, but it should be by them playing well, not our defenders to turn imbeciles.



    AZ are not having a good season, but they should be better than that, which made me consider going to the 4-1-4-1 pushing the wingers forward to use Mongen and Acosty, but ultimately I decided to keep this formation. Past match defensive woes were helped likely by some tweaks I thought would help us. Samir is still on international duty.
    First half is very grating. They get ahead with a header won against Oude Kotte, which is CAF fault for keeping Samir out and injury making de Wijs unavailable. I wouldn't be too unhappy were not for the constant mistakes up front, when full of defenders in front and lonely companion, shoot, when sight of goal empty and companions swarmed, pass, when ball right ahead in the opposition area, no running.
    A change to a wide formation seemed to work, but the players just aren't trying. Sierhuis, who will stay home for a while, is put in a nice position at the edge, but he chooses a weak push towards the keeper. Horne gets the ball in their six yard box, he only needs to tap in, but no, he has to control and stand there like a moron waiting the defender. Referee makes up a penalty somehow, but van den Boomen shows the only energy by slamming the ball to the crossbar. I bring Mongen and Acosty and they turn to be the only ones who do try and fight to get back, but Mongen is not a finisher and Acosty gets too eager and gets offside.



    That break ruined our run. We're also having fitness issues.


    At least we're not dropping down, just lost one position.






    She speaks Dutch fluently, but I missed her progression.

  24. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    February 2021

    Lammers gets a bruised head in a reserves friendly that may make him miss the next match.


    I tried to bring Scott Bain, Bournemouth's goalkeeper that would be an upgrade in exchange for te Loeke, but budget didn't allow. And now he doesn't want to come for next season.

    Today, days after the close of the transfer window, Partizan makes an offer for Stevens. Before we might have exchanged them. But to be honest, better this way. Stevens is not a problem and I'm not comfortable about changing our starting goalkeeper midseason.


    Wait. WaitwaitWAIT!! What is this?! Where is he will join 1st July or something? Is this a joke? Seriously, Nijkamp?! How can he let go our starting goalkeeper right now?!


    Also, people is idiotic.



    Sierhuis isn't even called. We change to a wide 4-3-3 with Acosty up front, trying to use pace in counter. Samir is still out and de Wijs is back from injury and he starts, even if not fully fit.
    Not a bad first half. Nelom is where he shouldn't in defending a corner but he made up with an assist for Idrissi. De Wijs shows his time out by letting Gibson alone for an easy goal. Nelom with a card needs a change and Acosty up front isn't doing too well.
    In the second half we're the better team clearly, but finishing is still rubbish. Mongen and his "above average decision making" should explain me why when he's four yards off the byline and three wide of the six yards box, with a teammate basically alone in front of the six yards box, he chooses to shoot forward.


    Haddachi is out for a month from a groin strain, luckily Asmelash was suspended, not injured.



    Sierhuis returns and given their narrow formation we'll go with the wide 4-3-3.
    First half isn't too good. Mongen had a great chance their keeper saved miraculously but that was it. On top of all, Sierhuis was forced out with a shin injury.
    Come on. That is why I don't like Heus. So Jensen can save a point blank rocket from three yards away, but Heus can't save an average long range effort half a yard away.


    Sierhuis will be out for more than half a month.


    Also, thanks to the international duty, not only we lost our best defender for almost a month, now he's in need of a rest so we'll be missing him even longer.


    I believe in the past match we lost with the 4-1-4-1 so I'll try the system that beat Ajax, though I will add some tweaks like dropping van den Boomen deeper and play more structured.
    First half started looking quite bad, with Feyenoord's players showing by how much they outclass us. But as usual it turned to be how bad we start our matches and we end competing. We have two chances, a good one saved and a second, also by Callens, that was extraordinary but he shot so wide I should be subbing him.
    We miss some opportunities to get players in great positions in the second half and it all seemed to be going to a satisfying draw, but then their striker showed their difference in class: first he got away from de Wijs due to his better pace, then made a superb shot te Loeke couldn't save.
    We lost, but I'm happy with the performance.



    To close the month we play the third placed team in one of the last matches. A win would take us near Utrecht.
    Not a bad first half. We keep them at bay, except for some lucky set pieces they get. Idrissi squanders a very nice throughball, but at least he got a save. I'm angry because I'm asking Asmelash to close down corner takers and he's never there. Bel Hassani got a bruise to his thigh, since his condition seemed to drop a lot, I subbed him.
    Idrissi gets the goal finally in a counter after the restart, but then we see it undone by te Loeke kicking the ball senselessly into an opponent, the rebound picked by their lone winger to send back to the striker. Then, in one of the few times they get the back of our defence Michalsen makes a penalty, with te Loeke redeeming his mistake. Marinus, who had come in, proves himself with an assist and Lammers shows to be more effective as a false nine with two goals. In the last quarter hour we had chances to win by a slide, no less than three splendid chances saved well by their keeper.
    Dropping van den Boomen deeper seems to have solved part of our defensive vulnerabilities. The remaining comes from the fullbacks moving forward so much, which is to be expected with the lack of wingers. While I may be inclined to try a wide formation to see if it does the trick, I think the chances we get with them narrow are worth the risks.


    Bel Hassani will miss a week from the bruise.





    Still fifth, despite the bad run of form. After we beat Ajax for the first time, they started to lose and draw.






  25. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    March 2021


    Nelom and Mongen start to let them some time in the first team. Otherwise the same as past match.
    Could've been better. We score twice, but also concede twice and earlier, first in a set piece where the defenders of the scorer just don't jump and second in a counter where Horne stands doing nothing while Samir leaves the striker to close down the winger that had gone past Asmelash.
    Second half is a kind of garbage. We get on the domination, but the forwards keep gifting the ball, missing controls and shooting from distance, while the players with the ball wide keep sending it high instead of low as instructed. Toward the end I bring Sierhuis for Lammers, he improves the positioning, getting into several quality positions to score, but he sends them all to the keeper, which is to say the goalie was well positioned.



    We face a mid table team and we go back to the front four of the good run of form.
    WHY? Why a player that gets the ball less than a yard from the goal line with nobody in front has to stop to control the ball and wait for the defenders to arrive?! So we go down 0-1 at half time from a good long shot by them because we squander our three chances ranging from quite good to the only way it could be better is if the assist had it inside goal before the shot.
    Second half is an improvement, because despite Samir allowing a new goal by moving the other side of the ball from the striker he should mark, Sierhuis scores twice, though we keep wasting a lot of quality chances.
    De Jong and van der Berg do well enough to earn more chances in the team. I'm not sure Sierhuis have earned the return to start; sure, he scored twice, but one with a bit of luck and added a lot of poor shots that went off.


    Seems I'm linked with AZ. In one hand they're a bigger and more prestigious club, on the other, we are in European qualification and I think they're out of it, but not for much, so making the move wouldn't be completely daft. But I'm happy here.



    Slight rotation. Heus has his possibly last chance in the side.
    It's a tight first half so a small change to the system is introduced at half time plus bringing Michalsen and his yellow card off.
    Second improved in terms of chances created, but Sierhuis confirms my thought he's not deserving to start anymore. With the match nearing the end the referee allows them to score from offside position. Heus has done enough to be given more chances.


    We have a youth intake that I'm told has two very promising youngsters and a few others that can make it to the first team.



    I think I see him more as a deep lying playmaker.


    A player that can play anywhere at the back is always a good thing. If he could improve his strength and jumping reach it would be wonderful.

    I also try to talk to a few youngsters from Ajax and PSV, and three from Ajax agree to talk. But then they demand way too much for youth players.

    Frenkie de Jong will miss a few days due to a stubbed toe in training, but he will be available if needed against Ajax.



    Bad matches in defence and attack that made us lose a lot of points.








  26. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    April 2021

    De Wijs is barely playing, so I've told Nijkamp to sell him. After rejecting some loan offers, Aalesund come with a transfer offer for the asked money.


    What they need to explain is why these transfer can happen right now when we're out of the transfer window. I meant this as a move for next season!


    AZ do come offering a job interview. While at the moment I'm good here, I will take it. AZ is a bigger club and so a bigger pull for the players I would want. Assuming they will take a little time to come back with the answer, I will have time to rethink things.


    I told them I'd start at the end of the season. Maybe then I will have all the rest of the season to decide.


    We keep the system but do a fair amount of rotation up front. van den Berg and Amin will have a chance to earn more game time.
    We start well for once, scoring with a Lammers assist for Amin, who makes a good half for more reasons than the goal. In the later phases of the half we look a bit vulnerable in front of defence, so I will make some changes.
    We started with the 4-3-3 in the second half and found them with a weird four defenders, one central midfield, two attacking midfielders and three strikers formation. They got the equalizer because when it's against us, a player offside that's around the play area distracting defenders is not called, while when it's our team scored a guy offside miles away doing nothing is called offside. So we go back to the 4-2-3-1 in its original version, with van den Boomen along Michalsen and Lammers gets the goal. They return to their all attacking formation but this time I keep the 4-2-3-1 and we destroy them. It could've been a record win, but in the end it's just 4-1 for us.


    AZ doesn't choose me. Oh well. Then it's Midtjylland that offer an interview; but they were bottom half of the Danish league, currently in the groups to avoid relegation so I don't take it.



    De Jong wants more first team football. I can give him his chance.



    Sierhuis returns as he was an Ajax player and almost every time my players score against their older clubs. de Jong has a chance behind the striker because he can't tackle.
    We're the better side in the first half, but despite a few quality chances we remain 0-0. They were not perfect, though, as some involved the need to hit first time and hence the shot didn't come off well. Sierhuis had a decent one on one but got his shot saved. Only worry is Michalsen getting a card early.
    They play the second half with a 3-4-3 that doesn't serve them to be any more dangerous, only to rake in the offsides. We keep being the more dangerous. Sierhuis and de Jong don't do too well, specially Sierhuis misses an excellent chance for a through ball in a counter, losing the ball instead. Lammers come in his place, showing much more vision and being the man that gives us the win with an excellent long shot skimming the far post.
    I'm very happy with this. We were the first team to beat Ajax and we may be the only team to beat Ajax both times.


    Callens wants his loan terminated, but while I am not using him a lot I think I can as well give him his wish, since we have plenty of choices there.


    We need a win to get level in points. Michalsen is suspended and Nakamba returns to the starting side. el Hankouri and Nelom are lacking match fitness and will be playing with the reserves.
    Chaotic first half. Sierhuis opens the score taking advantage of a defensive mistake. Then Yang scores a worldie and is left alone by Samir to get them the lead, but after that we end our spell of minutes of defensive trouble and both de Jong and van den Berg score their first goals, plus Siehuis' second goal to reach half time ahead. Nelom will come in to avoid Haddachi getting a second card.
    I'm going to kill Asmelash. It was all going well, then he just doen't get back and allows them an easy assist, so when I tell him to stay back he instead decides he's breaking the offside trap the rest of the team was doing rather well.


    Idrissi will be out for three weeks, which means he'll miss for sure two of the three last matches of the main league.


    Actually, to qualify for Europe without play off we needed to end third and that's not longer possible. Rules are not quite clear enough, though as it's one place for play offs but there should be two available depending on the winner of some cup.

    And van den Boomen will miss two weeks, one match.


    Come on, now it's Nakamba missing the next match.


    And Lammers. This is a **** joke.



    It should've been a perfect month were not for Asmelash




    Balance has gone down by a lot. I hope season prizes and such will take it higher.




  27. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    May 2021


    I thought on bringing Oude Kotte in Samir place, but he's not too good in the air.
    Van den Berg had a wonderful chance to get us ahead rigth at the start but hit the post. Then the usual slow start in which they seem to be catching our defence too high but past those initial minutes we take control and score twice.
    Second half, in which they change to a flat 4-3-3, is a copy of the first, but only with one more goal. Substitutions are made just for match fitness and see what Rayos can do.


    Sierhuis got a new record for the club with his goal.


    I ask Nijkamp to sign van Horne permanently and he does.


    Shynder will be out for three months with injury. We'll not renew his contract but I'll pay him the specialist.



    van den Boomen is back and fit so he starts. Idrissi and Nakamba are in the bench, but needed to play in the U19 friendly and are tired, so they won't play.
    First half starts with van Horne gifting the ball by standing on it, but te Loeke makes the save. After that we control the match, but as usual finishing lets us down, with just one goal from el Hankouri.
    Second half we keep the complete domination, but somehow fail to score more, despite some great chances. The worst news is te Loeke hurt a shoulder. But I'm very unhappy with the referee: first he called a free kick from where the guy with the ball was when another got tackled inside the area and then, with all subs and injuries made, he called three minutes of injury time but let it go to five.
    Why their keeper is only rated at 6.9 is beyond me. Sure, many saves were trivial, but he had a bunch of great ones. With this win we guarantee a place in the European qualification play off.




    We close the normal league phase against the bottom team. If play offs go as expected, then a win would mean we face either Heracles or Heerenveen, if we lose then it will be Vitesse. Both Nelom and Haddachi are suspended.
    First half is a poor one, losing the ball all the time without doing anything.
    Changes seem to improve things but just a little. Then the team makes one of those we are imbeciles in defence and everyone closes the near half of the area for a throw in, leaving all the players in the other half completely free. Van den Boomen rifles a rocket in to get the point to keep us fourth.
    Heracles lost to PSV but Heerenveen couldn't beat Twente so we should be playing Heracles.











  28. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    European qualification play offs 2021


    Both matches we drew 2-2. Second leg will be in two days, so Sierhuis is in the bench. Asmelash can be better defensively than Nelom so he starts.
    After the usual slow start, the first half turns rather decent. A bit disappointing our goal comes from a fluke and not one of the good chances.
    Second half we keep squandering good chances. I go wide system to cover wings after some dangerous plays. Samir almost gifts them a goal in injury time so we still will get to hear idiots saying we were lucky.


    The cup is not being played so just winning semifinal will give us Europa League.

    I make an offer for a new player for next season. Rafael Longuine. He's already thirty years old, but I think he canprovide us with a leap of quality behind the striker.




    The day of rest after the first leg was enough to avoid having any tired players. However, I've done slight rotation. Acosty and de Jong start as Bel Hassani and Idrissi didn't have good game in the first leg and Nelom instead of Asmelash since the latter has a tendency to close down way too forward.
    Frustrating first half. We control the game, specially since the change to a wide system to keep flanks in check, but Sierhuis keeps wasting good chances.
    El Hankouri scores finally at the start of the second half. Small changes to secure the result, keeping the ball, not play as wide but balanced and taking mentality down a notch and then he completes a hat trick.
    Great match with that second half and I finally get to manage in Europa League!


    Van den Berg requests to have his loan terminated. He was likely to play in the final, but I'll let him have his wish. It's not something worth the risk to get an unhappy player.



    I expected to play the second legs at home, but seems the Netherlands FA agrees with me that it is better to play the second leg away. It's better if in the second leg it's your next goal that can force the rivals to score twice.
    Fine first half, Idrissi sets us up right at the start and el Hankouri adds two. Excellent work by de Jong setting up all three goals. A pity Mourong managed to get one in for them. The worrying bit is Samir got a yellow card right in the first play of the match.
    Second half is the same but without goals for us despite several good chances and van Horne gifting them a ball, deflecting a ball when it had gone past their striker and was about to be picked by Heus. The idiotic press give the bad rating to Heus and say van Horne did fine. Idiots. Also, van den Boomen twisted a knee and it seems it will be a bad injury, even if he could've stayed on the pitch.


    It's just two weeks, but means he'll miss the second half in just three days.



    Two changes, the forced of Amin for van den Boomen and Acosty in for Sierhuis to have upfront the four preferred by fans. Wisdom of the many they call that.
    First half is not bad. We get a good amount of chances and score three times, though one that should've been an Acosty goal is given as keeper's own goal. Dos Santos got one back for them, but that makes the final almost guaranteed us.
    And in the second half we almost throw the final away. In the end we just throw the match win.


    Wow! I'm one of the favourites to win the Eredivisie's manager of the year. It will go to van Bronckhorst as he won the league with one of the two biggest clubs of the country.





    Back to untouchable.


  29. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    Endseason 2021

    Initial budgets for next season have been set. Not much transfer funds, though we may not need much more.


    Longuine and van Horne join the club in permanent deals. Fans like both signings.


    I sign Scott Bain to be our new starting keeper. He's expensive, but finding goalkeepers of his quality that we can afford is not an easy task so I'm happy with spending a bit more than normal for him.



    Vitesse come offering a job interview. Why would I move to a team that just finished behind us and is to miss European competition? I reject it. Not interested.


    Nijkamp gets in a new striker, Stefano Padovan. He comes it very cheap and he looks to be quite valid for us, though the fans don't like it.


    The commercial summary is very good. We get a big increase in all income minus broadcasting revenue. League prize has not yet been announced but it should be bigger. A surprise to see Marinus topping the shirt sales with the little time he played.


    Squad bonuses are paid and the league prize is announced to be around three million higher than past season.



    Also the fourth place is the best finish in Zwolle's history.


    Oh! Woooooo! Yes! I got the Manager's Manager of the year!


    New oberall best eleven announced, the surprise is that van den Boomen wasn't already there.


    Team awards have also been announced. De Jong has had the most assist in the few games he's played.


    Summer break will last till 28th June with no chance to change it.


    The board announce a new stadium will be built.



    Balance is higher than past season at this stage, if I remember correctly. Hopefully we can get a decent run in the Europa League to get a good position to allow us to be more ambitious with the signings the next summer.


    Despite position in league and play off win and individual award, her reputation has not increased.

  30. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    Summer 2021

    I decide to trigger te Loeke's contract extension, because I think we shouldn't take lightly the chance of two injured goalkeepers.

    I decide to renew the loans of el Hankouri and Mongen. We're low on funds and I prefer the known players on loan than risk losing them and not get anything better. el Hankouri is the first to be confirmed. Mongen follows the next day.



    The more worrisome, though, is we lost to coaches, one to retirement and another was poached so we're waiting to fill the gaps. I've placed an announcement for them. Regarding the squad, we need a centreback.

    Popescu is signed and arrives. I got in by myself as I plan to move Amin forward so he'd be the new rotation to van den Boomen. Though he could be the one moving forward.


    Oude Kotte picks a two weeks injury right after returning from holidays.


    We'll get almost two million from league TV.


    Expectations have to be set. We're over the wage budget, though with a centerback in the way in, so it's not like we strongly need to make more room for it. I think, however, that I will get them up. I feel we can aim to qualify for Europa League again and getting to the first knock out of it should be within our reach.


    Sergey Politevich, who I pointed to Nijkamp, joins after adjusting the budgets. Fans are hgappy and so am I.


    He lets Yildirim go for a few euros. I think he has potential to be one of our best players. Bad deal.


    He then brings Justin de Haas on loan from AZ. Not quite a player I wanted.


    What? No. No! No. Simply no. We need him. I'm cancelling him.


    It turns Samir wants to leave the club. Why nobody told me? In the end I tell him he can go if they offer €425K.


    For the third qualifying round of the Europa League we draw Nacional de Madeira, who were fifth in Portugal. One of the toughest matches we could get.


    Nijkamp keeps bringing attacking midfielders. At least these last ones are on loan so I can just end them if they don't play and become disgruntled.



    Except for the match the squad seemed not to care and a half with no defenders in defence didn't go bad, the preseason has not been bad, though I'm afraid it's been too short and some players are missing match fitness.




    The Manager award and the fourth place didn't raise her reputation at all.

  31. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    August 2021, first half.


    We play first away, which is not what I like. I prefer being the team that with one goal forces the opposition to need two, not the other way around. Lammers and Longuine are missing match sharpness, but most of the possible substitutes do as well and Acosty I prefer coming from the bench.
    Bad first half, first Samir fails to properly block a shot that was way off target and got it into our goal. Then Nelom proves why I like my fullbacks to be good in the air, but I picked him because Asmelash has a tendency to move way ahead in closing down and lose his position. Politovich gets one back from a corner so we still have a chance. Haddachi got a card and a warning early so I ended bringing Asmelash anyway.
    Second half is a big improvement. They don't get to our third as often and the substitutions improve things a lot, with Amin scoring a brace to give us the win. They changed to a flat 4-3-3 that let them have some quality plays, but defenders and Bain prevented anything. Asmelash made several good defenders that earned him a high rating, but he still showed some defensive frailty that justify why he didn't start, often defending the opposite side of the ball.
    In the end a good win that was better have away in the first round rather than at home. Until in the second leg we lose 3-4, that is.


    The problem with that match is that de Jong was hacked down and is now out for a month with a sprained ankle.


    I leave squad bonuses to a medium level. Due to the budgets being depleted I can't offer maximum.


    Nakamba will miss the three matches in the coming six days, not that he's first choice at the moment.



    Amin starts in place of injured de Jong. I change fullbacks to the more aerially strong pair.
    We don't start well and just tempt fate too much by making weak clearances that don't even take the ball out of the area, making it a matter of time to concede the goal, with Samir main culprit when he doesn't cut the cross. Luckily Oude Kotte assists Longuine a pair of minutes later and we reach half time level with more good chances.
    Second half we do better and score two goals after being less attacking and exploiting flanks as they turn to a flat 4-3-3. Lammers assists Armin and Samir somehow shoots backwards from half a yard of the goal line but we get lucky the ball bounces off the keeper. They get one goal back from a corner.
    So we're through to the next phase, which I believe is a final qualification round before the group stage.


    We get two records with that: gate receipts and unbeaten run.



    We get Kobenhaven for the final round previous to group stage. Team that has played Champions League. If we get to the group stage then I can see us reach the knock out stage, I simply don't see us to the group stage.



    Three days later we start the season. Then we have another two league matches in the new week, because having the Europa League qualification finals requires the league to throw us a congested schedule. So we rotate heavily, because anyway we have match sharpness issues.
    First bad is not too bad, we go ahead, they don't have many chances, but our goal was a bit of a fluke by Haddachi and many decent plays get squandered.
    We have a better second half, playing standard, passing into space, not dribbling and Bel Hassani gets the second goal, though after he and el Hankouri waste two great chances.


    Nijkamp brings Lonwijk on loan. Yes, attacking midfielder.


    Nelom will be out for three weeks with a pulled hamstring.



    I said they'd be pushing for continental qualification, hopefully that will make them feel the pressure. We go in with what should be the starting side against Kobenhaven. I'm going to fully rotate next match against Feyenoord.
    We control the match and we create a lot of danger, but at half time we have to settle for one goal from a magnificent curled long shot by Padovan.
    We keep it up in the second half but this time we get the goals, with some top quality plays. If we were to play like this all season, I can see us winning everything.



    Perfect start of the season. But let's not get carried away. We're about to play the current champions of the league and then Kobenhavn.


    Ajax looks like making the same storming start to the season like past year.






  32. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    August 2021 second half


    Maybe I should focus on the league, but I want to try get as far as possible in the Europa League, so almost all the team is rotated. I was tempted to leave the bench half empty so if we lose the starters against Kobenhavn would have less morale impact.
    First half we edge the match with a very good start, but the plays end wasted with long shots and it only lasts half of it, then they start to get into the game.
    Second half goes to hell starting from a stupid error by Vloet, that having a very easy pass to a side, just hits the ball at the man on top of him and starts a counter attack. From there it turns into a competition of nerves and who makes more mistakes, Vloet winning. I also want to keep key men fresh, so on top of taking in Politevich for Samir, I place el Hankouri at right back so Asmelash can rest which only brings the third goal when he misses a tackle.
    Well, I knew a result like this was possible, so no big problem.



    First choice eleven for the first leg at home. I think anything can happen.
    We were controlling the game, scored a goal, wasted a lot of attacks with senseless long shots then we concede for the umpteenth time because somebody decides the ball can go through the defender marking him closely.
    Second half is barely an improvement. We still get more attacks, we keep them away, but the final pass keeps being missed and we keep shooting from distance.



    Again I rotate the side heavily. Sierhuis had his squad status reduced to rotation from key player and has accepted it well.
    Why is this when we concede it's because somebody turned into a monkey? First vacating the middle of the area in a defence and clearing a ball in the area backward. Then Samir goes all the way out of position to mark a midfielder and never returns to his place, leaving the back. And what about the idiot making the rating blaming Asmelash for what he had no involvement with? At least Bel Hassani scored so we still have a chance.
    Second half is a massive improvement, but ruined by Sierhuis upfrong missing the easiest chances ever seen. Though the rest keep doing that after I bring Acosty in, it's still clear what to do. Get Sierhuis out and bring a different striker, ending loans if needed.


    I've done it. I've transfer listed Sierhuis, who accepts my decision after a talk.


    I ask Nijkamp to sell Sierhuis for the asked price, he rejects the two coming because the bonuses makes it doubtful they'll reach it, I guess.


    Leandro Fernandes twists an ankle in a reserve friendly and will be out for a month.


    I change the asking price for Sierhuis and accept both bids. Hopefully we'll have time to bring someone. Though it seems there isn't any quality striker that we can both afford and attract.


    This is it. Either we win or I've messed up with the weak teams I fielded in the league. Only change in system is out striker will play as advanced forward instead of false nine, since it seems we managers can't pronounce "be more forward and attacking and don't drop back as much".
    The striker change seems to have been positive, our attack as shown when I tried it with Acosty last match, looks less congested and it shows in not so many long shots. Still, we don't have a lot of chances, though we have quality ones, of which we take one of two. They also have one good chance that they miss, but that's all they do.
    It was going all well, with some missed chances, when they get their only chance in a counter that beats the offside trap because of the blasted classic "I'll try have the ball go through the guy marking me". I guess I'll have to change the no dribble or no instruction to dribble past the opponent.
    Extra time is not bad, with some chances but no goal.
    Sigh, penalties is a long thing, we miss the one time they miss then it's all back to Padovan to miss and lose it.


    We get some money from that.



    With many players tired and Samir already gone for international duty, van den Boomen starts at the back with Popescu the defensive midfielder beside de Haas who gets a chance to earn game time.
    We start well, we get ahead, then start the idiocy fest, nobody stays behind or runs back and allow a counter, van Horne can't jump when the ball is within reach and Bain leaves the goal to grab the ball when he sees their strikers is rising to head it in.
    I just have no words. To hell with everything.












  33. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    September 2021

    Idrissi wants more first team football and it's fair to give it to him.


    In deadline day, Nijkamp accetps an offer for Amin. Ridiculous thing to do.


    I end all loans except that of Popescu. Would we need more players, U19 will have to step up.

    He also accepts a bid for Vloet.


    I try to offer a loan for an Atlético de Madrid B player that might be better than Seirhuis. It's an expensive loan. Too expensive.


    I think a miracle just happened. Nijkamp has loaned in a player that's not an attacking midfielder.


    The transfer window ends without Sierhuis signing for the teams that made the offers and hence not getting the money we needed for Obama. So now I'm not sure if I should cancel Siehuis' deals and keep him in the team. I think not, we have players who can play his position and are close enough.

    Well, the window is not yet closed and Nijkamp brings an attacking midfielder.


    Thanks, Sierhuis. He signs the contract right after the window is closed, when it's late to pay Obama's loan.


    Well, since he's leaving with it closed and others did with it closed, I can as well try the loan anyway. I can't because we're out of the window and they ask for too much as a signing.

    Samir says he's happy that I tried to fulfill my promise.


    The revenue we keep from sales has been reduced to 25% from around 50%, so it's been good I didn't delay Sierhuis' sale to winter.


    Heus gets a week long injury.


    Idrissi will get his chance. Haddachi and Nelom return to the flanks of the defence.
    We dominate them completely, we score a goal, but then the players do the same thing that has costed us so many goals recently: lose the ball then only one side comes down to defend, that in the ball's side, the rest of the team just trots like a bored donkey. Michalsen gets a warning and a card, so he's being replaced.
    This is so annoying. Second half is a copy. We get ahead, they can barely do anything, then when it's all about to end everybody wants to dash forward and then don't care about running back.
    It's clear I can no longer count the risks we take with counters acceptable anymore, given when our rivals have one, only half of our team feels like defending is a thing to do and that includes half the defence which is the most annoying. I guess the lack of wingers adds to it, as Asmelash and his "stay back at all times" PPM still dart all the way to the byline when he plays.


    Haddachi will be out for two weeks with a groin strain.


    And Idrissi for three days.



    We go in with two changes to the system: the wide forwards are moved to the wings and the fullbacks are played as wingbacks in defend duty. Idrissi doesn't look in good enough condition to start.
    We look better against counterattacks, but are too wide ahead and lose some of our offensive edge. But then if something is solved then the players make sure nothing good comes out, first Samir eats the ball with the navel and craps it out for the striker, then the referee doesn't call an offside. Longuine gets one back after missing another great chance.
    In the second half they discover they can still screw a game by not running back and Politevich allows the attacker to get between him and the goal as Oude Kotte allows the winger to do the same for the pass.


    And Bel Hassani will be out for two weeks.


    Nakamba wants more playing time, so it's alright another change, it's not like Michalsen makes high bigger pace show for anything when we need it.



    Back to the narrow formation, with the fullback changes and playing on the counter.
    Finally a good half. It could've been so much better if Longuine wasn't intent on wasting no less than three great chances, like a one on one with plenty of distance and angles to score sent at the keeper's hand. No danger to counterattacks, no flakiness behind and the one time they're about to get a goal is more their doing a good play than us gifting them it. We do however feel the lack of support from the fullbacks and the narrowness up front, but it's not prevented us from scoring twice and having made plays as to be six up. De Jong stubbed a toe early, but though the assistant wants to take him out, I'll keep him on the pitch. I'm changing Longuine, though. Also Nakamba has showed his worth a number of times preventing them from starting anything. He also provided one of the assists.
    Second half is a repeat of the same, with a third goal, more easy chances missed, counters prevented and... oh wait, the defenders have to mess up some way.
    The wingback defend did as intended, in a past match I tried that for a while and they seemed to still bomb forward as much as before.


    De Jong will be out just till the next match against PSV.











  34. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    October 2021


    Not the best rivals to play when we're hoping to start a good run of form. A few touches to the system are added: Oude Kotte returns to fullback support, van den Boomen to defend and de Jong doesn't roam from position.
    It's a quiet first half in which we don't impose ourselves. They get more chances, though I'd say we're not far behind, but Padovain gets in many offsides and the chance he gets he misses.
    We invert things in the second half, being on top, if not by much, for the duration, getting level in clear cut chances before Lammers comes in for injured Idrissi and nails a missile. At the end they become more aggressive but don't do much.


    Idrissi will be out just six days, so he'll be available but tired and will get grumpy if I don't play him. Luckily, though, we're in to an international break so that won't be the case.


    Raguzoni will be out for two weeks after a reserves friendly, he will miss a game most likely.


    De Jong is happy with his first team time.



    Back from a two week break with Nakamba tired. I swap Longuine and Idrissi and Chery comes in for de Jong.
    It is a good first half, though they get a quality chance they miss, we miss two and score the other. They're also getting a lot of cards that maybe we could exloit.
    I swear one day I'll turn into a serial killer of defenders. And attackers, because the first thing we do from half time is Longuine making a pass behind Politevich to get him back footed when a striker is by. Later Asmelash, with no player justifying it, sits too deep and breaks the offside trap. Padovan adds our second goal for a final result that, seeing how both played, feels the fair an expected result, but it's not when one of the goals is gifted like that.


    Lammers is out for almost a week from the bruised head in the match.



    Now we face the second to last team. Hopefully we'll get the job done with no silliness. Marinus starts, Lammers is not in good condition. Haddachi takes the start today for rotation sake.
    First half we show to be the better team, but only in the quality of our chances and scoring the only goal. Bel Hasani got a gashed head, but I'm keeping him.
    No, we can't do a job. Padovan keeps missing chances he should score or at least get on target and Bain just doesn't stretch enough for an easy save, then we just take risks for the winner. On top of it, Idrissi gets another injury.


    Idrissi is out for three weeks and Bel Hassani for three days.



    Idrissi is happy now with his playing time.


    We get some money off Karagounis playing fifty matches.



    Now we face the promoted team. De Jong is not fit so Marinus starts again. van Horne starts as I'm going to play a higher line. They don't play the 4-4-2 the scouts said, though.
    We control the game completely, but seems Acosty and Lammers can't hit a ball, either. Van Horne earned an early card, but he'll stay.
    Again. We finally get ahead, by Acosty when I already ordered his change and couldn't cancel it. Then Asmelash, having the sideline right at his side and teammates ahead to the left, gives his first ever precise header to the lone rival so he can go past easy, then Politevich is marking the striker and sees their winger properly closed down and marked so he does the obvious: leaves his man to walk to the winger, but making sure he's between striker and goal and out of the passing line. We again take risks chasing the match but no goal come.










    Last edited by Death Ball; 15/08/2017 at 12:33 PM.

  35. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    November 2021

    Acosty will miss the match against Go Ahead with food poisoning.



    This is going to be the last match Politevich starts unless he's brilliant. Small touches are made, with de Jong taking the playmaking duties.
    We dominate the match, with them unable to make a shot until the last two minutes of the half, by set pieces, however we fail to take our chances, though this time is good goalkeeping, a bit of bad luck with the shots skimming the wrong side of the post and what I think was a penalty not given in which Lammers twisted his ankle.
    Second half we get the prize through Chery's first goal with us. As they start chasing the draw they get more shots but still no quality to them, Bel Hassani sees a second goal rightly ruled out for offside and finally I drop Chery deeper to close down the game for the last five minutes. Unfortunately, after they injured Lammers, they do another ugly tackle on Chery.


    Lammers is to be out two weeks. Chery just for a couple of days.



    The transfer revenue retained is cut further.


    I'm linked with Vitesse job. They're fifteenth and I'd rather stay here than move to a club in a worse situation. Not that they're far in points, so I guess if they were to offer an interview I'd take it for more time to decide.


    I also decide that I will take signing contracts for new players or those already in squad off Nijkamp. Soon I want to deal with what I think is a signing that take us to the next level and I don't want him to get in the way.

    Nakamba is happy with his playing time.



    Popescu comes in along van den Boomen so he gets some time out. Hopefully we'll keep Cambuur at the bottom. Politevich did about just enough for another last chance.
    We start very strong, with two goals by Chery and de Jong missing an excellent chance from a counter. To the end they start to be more aggressive and get some chances that were better than I'd like. Of note a counter they had where the winger got Asmelash's back but instead of all running to them, they surrounded the striker making it a non threat.
    Of course, what a band. First Oude Kotte sees a pass being sent to the winger he's tasked to mark so he stops to give him a headstart. Then Politevich sends the ball at the rivals and then doesn't mark goal side. And during injury time Bain gets an injury.


    Two months without Bain, just great. I may yet take Vitesse job.


    Vitesse do offer me a job interview, I'll take it. They're a bigger club.



    The players that disappointed plus Padovani get to sit in the bench. Heus takes Bain's place.
    We got a goal, but after they got one of the few goals we've conceded to opponents good play and before another goal by their skill. First a pin point pass that left van Horne and Heus with little chances, then a player with some great off the ball movement to get in the right position. But we need to be clows some how so Heus adds that when he sees the ball in the way to get headed by their striker, vacate the goal to try get in where it would've been with nobody in there.
    It seems this squad doesn't want to even leave a comfort in that most goals for the win were quality plays. Samir adds two classics: "everyone is making an offside trap, I will break it, braindead easy chances are exciting for neutrals" and "I'm with the player I must mark, but I will leave him alone to close a guy who's already been closed down".


    That's it, if Vitesse offer a job I'm out. I did well waiting with my planned signings.

    Squad is unhappy. Oh, look the guys that can't hit a barn and the guys that keep leaving rivals alone for no reason are unhappy we're in bottom half of the table, I wonder why.




    Another set of unacceptable results.


    Luckily this division is very tight, so a streak of results can send us forward fast.


    By the new stadium loan our financial situation is now "insecure".


    Board is still satisfied.


    Shouldn't she have finished her course already?


    __________________________________________________ _____
    It's somewhat annoying that most of the goals and most of the non wins come from plain individual mistakes rather than the tactic weaknesses, that I'm susprised I didn't pay for them in the past season. However, it can be said it could be a way in which the defensive weaknesses can harm a team, as it increases the defensive workload and ability checks, increasing chances some disastrous event will happen in any defence.

  36. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    December 2021

    Vitesse offer me a contract, but I'm not quite sure to take it. They're just behind in similar situation. Their team stats in the league stats are close to ours. Their squad is better. I think it will be a matter of how much they pay. If I can get about double I'm getting then I'll move as then half for me half for dad and mom and we're all rich.

    I don't get them to the double, but it's not that far from there. It can give enough for all to get a buffer of savings we won't have to worry. In Zwolle I've had enough to be like two years without work myself or just one dad and mom. Had I this wage with Zwolle, it'd been like a year and half for me and dad and mom. They don't have budget to get the player I intended but it's more important to be able to get dad and mom that kind of money.


    I get a list of unhappy players. Lelieveld wants more first team football. Not a surprise.



    A bit annoying that my first match with Vitesse is against Zwolle. I was tempted to make Vitesse wait a week and see. I start with what I consider our strongest team, with the swap of Lukovic instead of Berisha as he seems more the type to get us out of bad form and Gauld is also somewhat jaded. No special instructions anywhere.
    A bit unlucky first half. We start well, but they get ahead from a direct free kick, we then start to sulk and let them attack us, but eventually recover and resume controlling the match and Lutovac draws the match from a nice assist by Speelziek. The only issue is Lutovac and Gauld tiredness.
    Second half is more quiet. We edge it, but fail to find the goal. Near the end I take Joelinton off with a foot injury, bringing Shala in his place.
    It stings that free kick preventing our goal from being the win, but the team has performed well. This system draft has displayed more defensive solidity than I expected against such a narrow formation and has also show to work decently in attack. Obviously, it needs to be improved, but I will be patient.



    From Zwolle to one of the harder visits, though I beat them with Zwolle. I'm not using Zwolle's system, though and repeat starting team.
    The first half goes very well playing in the counter. We don't score nor do we create a lot; but we keep them well contained and create more and better than them. Only worry is we're conceding free kicks.
    In the second half they turn more attacking, chasing the win. It's clear the long balls to the flanks and into space isn't working anymore, as we create nothing, so I tell them to stop. We stand firm against all the pressure PSV is applying and we are rewarded with ten minutes to go with a goal by sub Willian José!
    Nice first win against a strong side that's not having too good season. This places us one point ahead of Zwolle, that just lost against Ajax.


    Sinkgraven will miss the Excelsior game from a light injury.


    Hey, Joelinton wanted more first team football and he got it.



    I change two positions, with Berisha and top scorer Willian José in place of Lutovac and Joelinton.
    We controlled the match. The way they were standing back and not attacking I changed to control and kept dominating. Then I saw they had only one player standing up so went attack. Then they made a penalty converted by Willian José. Then they got two players sent out and Willain scored from a freekick at the edge.
    Second half I returned to standard and with instructions to keep the ball. No sense tiring out in a match that's won. Then they get a third red card, so I went attacking once the three subs were used for the guys in to show what they can do. In the end we just added two more goals.


    Lelieveld wants more playing time. I appease him without promises.



    It turns the promoted team is doing great. They were second just two matches ago. Lelieveld starts and is the only change.
    Not a bad half. We score early, though I'm almost sure it was an offside, which is annoying. Speelziek gets a stubbed toe, but that shouldn't be too bad so I leave him on the pitch. After the goal I went counter and have told later to Lelieveld to be more defensive. Also Leerdam is now man marking one of their strikers.
    In the second half they changed to the flat 4-3-3 so many love to try get back into a game, so I removed the man marking and it posed no real trouble, though they did get one decent attack. When Schlenkenveld deflected a cross into a goal the match was as good as ended.


    As expected, Speelziek's injury is nothing to worry about, just the stubbed toe.


    The squad gets the winter break until 2nd January.


    Finally, completed the Continental A License course. So I'll ask for the final one.


    Come on! How do you need my presence in the training if we're on holidays and the courses take a full year anyway?!



    Heh, the month with the winter break starting in the middle is the first with four matches. Great month.


    We shot up the table, but I'm thinking repeating play off is as much as we can hope for. Zwolle only won one match so they're still there. Also they signed the manager that got sacked from here, so exchange of managers.


    They look good, but I still plan to be careful about contracts and transfers.




    Reputation stays at 50%, losing 5% when signing and earning them back with the license. OOCly the best way was to stay at Zwolle, get the Pro, get reputation up to 60%.

  37. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    January 2022

    I do two moves for next season: I sign Davinson Sánchez for a permanent contract when his ends this summer and Salomón Obama will come after the summer. I try something I've been thinking for a while now and it works: they won't have any kind of appearance or unused substitute bonus.

    Sinkgraven will miss two months from a broken toe.


    I'm sitting on a few loan offers for Lelieveld and a buy offer for Gauld. The first is likely to be accepted since even without replacement we have the depth to cover his absence; Gauld will be allowed to go only if I find someone to replace him.

    Sánchez signs the contract I offered.


    We receive another offer for Lutevac. I will most likely reject it, but for now I'll let it wait the deadline.

    Obama also signs the contract.



    I think I will accept Lelieveld's loan. Takes off a bit off the wage budget, a player that may potentially get angry and we can cover him with back up players.


    Gauld wants to talk to Wolfsburg, so I guess I have to let him do so.


    I offer him a new contract and hope for the best.

    I reject the offer for Lutovac.

    Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!


    Gauld is gone.


    Lelieveld is gone. Should I regret or need him, he can be recalled.

    Berisha will be miss three weeks after pulling a hamstring in the last winter friendly.


    I find a replacement for Gauld, Mads Albæk. He's past thirty years, which isn't about what the board would want, but there was no young choice.







  38. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    January 2022

    With Room wanting to leave, the DoF brings Wellenreuther from Schalke's second team. He's marginally better.



    The season resumes against a team that's in a poor run of form. They are quite defensive, so I may Leerdam to be a bit less conservative with his movement. Two players from the reserve team are in the bench.
    No changes were done to Leerdam, as Willian José scores right away. Then Albæk adds a second and Lutovac, who assisted both, scores the third. Then I change the team as a whole to close down the match.
    In the second half they bring their midfield trio further forward and begin to threaten consistently until they get the goal with a good through ball. So with half an hour to go, Meljier shows me some of his data for the second half and I see how their striker is isolated and almost all their combinations are limited to the midfield trio, so I drop our defensive line and ask to close down those three. From that point onwards, they stopped being a threat. With some ten minutes to the end Lukovic got a dead leg, but I didn't want to risk anything and brought youngster de la Paz in his place.


    I bring a young player that looks very promising for the future.



    Another match against a bottom of the league team before we face teams ahead of us. Pierie is moved to the side of defence since Mbola is suspended. Bijen takes his place in midfield. Brar starts in place of tired Lukovic.
    We start very well, dominating the game, then the players decide they're bottom of the table so they win while sleeping. They let van Streek alone to have a clear shot again and again and again, so Willian's equalizer does nothing.
    It'd also be nice if the ME showed me how the team lost possession before showing the rival's attacks nearing their final phase.
    Second half only seems to improve in defence, so after an hour I bring Shala and Joelinton and turn to the narrow 4-2-3-1 with a few tweaks like Joelinton playing as target man. It pay offs with a long free kick by Albæk and a fine goal by Shala. As they go again in the offensive and that formation looks a bit weak I return to the 4-3-3 and the game ends in a disappointing draw.


    Speelziek, who had to be substituted, is to miss three weeks.


    Kashia will retire at the end of the season.



    Now first match against one team ahead. Some rotation is needed because of tiredness, other are done due to poor match before it. Mbola is back from his suspension.
    As it's to be expected, this is a very level game. A small change to tight mark their midfield couple, apart from the closing down more their AMC that was from the start, gives us a little edge that gets reflected in the scoreline with a great individual dribble and shot by Joelinton.
    Second half is a bit better, they don't threaten as much, we keep the ball well and even get a few good chances, but we don't take them. They do get one excellent chance from a counter in injury time, well after I change to close the game with more defensive instructions, but they miss it too.


    Joelinton hurt his heel when he was tackled and will miss just a few days, so he should be available for the Ajax game.



    Shame of draw against Cambuur, but still on the good run we can be happy.




    Balance takes a hit despite the sales. Turns out bringing Macdonald was subject to some hefty compensation fees. I'm convinced they've worth paying. He's not featured yet because he's on international duty.





    ________________________________
    Wannachupbrew skin. Very nice. Two downsides to it, though: the line ups not giving enough width to the subs names (at least when there are twelve) and in the tactics screen there's no column for the bench players.
    The best skin would be TCS had it not the problem of no footing in the player pop up windows, which I've been wishing to have for ages, so now that FM17 finally has them I'm not going to lose despite how nice is everything else in that skin. It also lacks preferred movements in the pop up, in the profile they're in a different place than normal but they are there.

  39. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    February 2022

    Director of football brings Matthijs de Ligt on loan for the rest of the season. He looks very decent.


    Next loan to come is Mikel Agu. A defensive midfielder from Brighton that can be considered Lelieveld's replacement as that would sent Leerdam to the flank.


    We receive an offer for Joelinton. On one hand, he's my second choice fighting to be first, on the other that'd free space for youngsters next season and funds for other signings that are more needed. Also he's finishing his contract next season and I can see myself not wanting to renew it, so I could take it. He's also injured for four days and this is the deadline day. I can accept it now and cancel it later.


    It's to AZ. I feel reluctant to reinforce them. But I look at his statistics and they're not that impressive. I'm confirming it.

    Cluj come after the deadline ends for Gulácsi. Since I don't plan on using him I accept it and he goes.



    They come from losing against Twente's diamond. I'm going to try playing along the lines suggested by that match. The new players are not fit to play, though the three make it to the bench, like Berisha who's back from his injury.
    We start very well, keeping them to their aream but after a quarter hour or so the defence switches off completely and make up a three stooges act.
    For the second half I turn to the Zwolle system, since we beat them all the time; but it doesn't work. What I get is a look at Macdonald playing like a quality signing.


    We get some money from a sold player reaching fifty games with his new club.



    Romero is suspended and Reith is the only fullback with pace left. Speelziak returns straight to the line up and I give some time to Agu.
    Bad first half. The start looked good, but we end up down because the defence keep refusing to clear balls outside the area, so it's a matter of it to fall to a rival. And Lutovac smashed his head with a rival and had to be taken out.
    The second half is an improvement, we begin to create chances and have a couple of excellent ones, but somehow Lukovic and Albæk manage to miss them when scoring was easier.


    Lutovac will likely miss the next match.


    Room no longer wants to leave.


    Romero misses home. I send Lukovic to talk to him and he manages to comfort him.



    Tough match, they are top three and recently beat Ajax. The usual starters with Agu in Leerdam's place. Ligt is still not ready to play from the start.
    Decent first half. We score early and are lucky their goal back is in offside. I then change to keep things tight at the back and we keep the match controlled. We have some very good plays, but only few reach to the shot.
    In the second half we have some chances missed, but few since we're focusing on keeping the advantage. Nearing the end, when they take one more step in offense I then choose to park the bus and it works out. Shala picked a chest injury, but since he didn't look too bad I kept him in and instead brought Leerdam in place of Albæek as Sánchez had a card and I wanted someone who could be dropped in defensive midfield and have someone in that position of more defensive mind.


    It is confirmed Shala's injury isn't big.



    A break from facing teams ahead before we go against top of the table Feyenoord. Same starting line up than last match.
    It could've been a good half with our corner goal, despite Agu's injury, if Romero didn't thought their striker inside the area during a free kick was fine being alone and ran for midfield. And Berisha missed earlier a golden chance.
    Second half is like a bad joke. Forward Maclaren makes a great tackle and sends a ball for Willian, but seems Willian way is to put the goalkeeper between him and the ball instead. They get a good goal edging the offside and then Mbola lets the winger get behind and when he's in a too narrow angle to be a credible threat and well away with the ball far, lounges to give a penalty. What a moron. I changed to the diamond before and which got the two great chances, Macdonald missed one of them, but after this the players did nothing right.


    Get a player and then lose him for the rest of the season, simply wonderful.



    It was a hard month, so it's not unsurprising the results are rubbish, I just wish we had won the easy one to take advantage of the tough one we wone.


    Still much better than when I arrived. Zwolle is sadly at the edge of relegation play offs.






  40. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    March 2022


    The hardest possible match to start the new month.
    Unlucky first half. Willian misses a one on one that's not so easy as fans want to make it out to be and just before halftime Lukovic misses another good chance. In between a very balanced match that I'd say we edged.
    The referee tries to rob us as he allows a goal at the start of the second half that should've been called offside. So many goals and chances are ruled out because a player miles away from the ball was offside, but when that player offside drags two defenders away it's never called offside, I'm pissed at it. We also keep getting good chance after good chance, we had one post hit in the first half, but miss them. In the last fifteen minutes where I switch to a variation of the narrow 4-2-3-1 and it pays off just at injury time with a Lukovic goal. We should've won this match, but the referee didn't let us.



    And now to a bottom of the table team, which is not as to say an easy match, but one we must win. Sinkgraven will have a chance to impress and de Ligt makes his first start.
    We start very well with two goals. Sinkgraven doesn't get a high rating but does well. Leerdam picked a card so he's off at half time.
    In the second half I change things to defend the result, since they were getting more attacking and even went on to start this half with that everyone forward. We have some good chances but don't take any. Willian was taken out with a groin knock. They got a man sent off at the very end of the match.


    Willian will be out for up to three weeks, which means with the international break coming he'll miss one or two matches.


    We get the youth intake, with some interesting players.


    The most promising is Stef Veldman, who already has two traits that are very interesting for an advanced playmaker.


    Beto da Silva wants to end his loan due to his little playing time. On one hand, doing so saves some wages and frees space to bring in young players, on the other he's the only other striker beside Willian who can jump. Finally I concede it to him, as we have in the reserves two young players that can do a job in the air.



    Sinkgraven starts again. Maclaren enters the starting line up and Pierie has a chance in as well. A few young players are in the bench.
    The first half is quite good, except for the part where we miss splendid chances. One Maclaren, two or three Speelzniak, so he's coming off.
    Second half is the same, so I make changes to get the goal and that is Shala in place of Macdonald after he misses yet another quality change and Albæk behind midfield to feed the forwards from deep, leaving Pierie out with low condition. So I can see how it's my fault his winger got past him, but there's no excuse for Ligt leaving his man completely alone when he had him controlled, removing himself from the ball's path. We should've won this.



    Could've been a good month but ended with disappointment.








  41. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    April 2022

    Shala wants more starts. I will again grant it, since with the later form is not bad to try new things and he's not yet had a proper chance to show what he can do.



    Shala starts as striker since Willian is tired from playing the U19 match yesterday to recover match sharpness, de Ligt gets a run in midfield.
    We have a good first half in which we dominate the game in every thing, just struggle to get good positions inside the area. We do get some good chances, but miss them or get them saved.
    In the second half I gradually introduce offensive changes, things go the same but finally, once I ask Romero to overlap Speelziek we get the goal with one of his crosses finished by Berisha, then I close up shop and still get no less than three great chances to increase the advantage, however their keeper saves them.



    Albæk returns to the starting team. Shala moves to the wing and de Ligt repeats position.
    First half we don't get the dominance and they get an early goal.
    Second half is just a slight improvement, but we don't get the goal, despite some decent chances. Willian lobbed the keeper from far in a counter attack but he hit the crossbar.



    This is at the moment the most important match. If we win we get in play off spots, if we lose, play offs will be almost too far.
    Seems the players want holidays. We start with great chance, nobody to beat, six yard box, hit the crossbar. Then nobody marks anybody and Wellenreuther lets them score what nobody should be scoring.
    In second half we need to take more risks chasing the goals, that we don't get even close between crosses hit at the defender and dribbles that are made by putting the ball at the rival's feet, but Mbola lets a weaker rival get above him to get their second, we don't want four extra matches.


    There's a consolation to all this awful end of the season: I'm getting the last coaching course.



    That was a completely trash of a month with infuriating performance.


    We could be seven, but now it's not going to be easy, at least Den Haag is within reach so if we win one more match than them, being the other result equal or better we'll overtake them.






    WTH, the aging thing is just awful. I wish I had the skin that allows to use a photo on creation had been available back then.

  42. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    May 2022


    As end of season closes and our chances dwindle, I go back to pick the team of the players that seem more willing to put in an effort, with a few tweaks.
    Not a bad first half. We have better chances, though not many, they have only poor chances. A good play has Shala assisting Brard, justifying bringing the midfielder in. Their right winger was getting away from Mbola all the time, so I asked to not tight mark him, close him down and tackle easy, next time he had the ball he couldn't get past Mbola.
    Second half went all with a mistake by Romero, who wanting to help the centreback just messed it up, leaving his job to Speelziek and then having to abandon the man that should've been Pierie to close down the wing when Speelziek lost the man, leaving him alone. Lutovac and Willian miss two great chances to retake the lead, before and after switching to the narrow 4-2-3-1. But infuriating the referees, always doing things against me. When it's our rivals needing a goal, they add extra time over the announced extra minutes, when we need the goal they end the match as soon the exact minute happens, even if we're in the mid of a promising attack.


    For the last match against Zwolle we need to win, that Heerenveen and ADO Den Haag lose and that NEC doesn't win. And then AZ should not win to get Zwolle not dragged into relegation play offs.


    Same system, same starting eleven.
    We are the best team in the first half, but as usual miss some really nice chances. Shala has not played well and Romero is on a card. Only Heerenveen are losing.
    Second half we go more offensive as time passes and we keep missing good chances, not even on target, which is the most annoying. For the last quarter of an hour I go to the narrow 4-2-3-1 and after missing some more nice attacks, Macdonald finally got the winner. Unfortunately, only NEC lost, Heerenveen drew and ADO Den Haag was facing the bottom team and got an easy win. AZ lost so Zwolle are safe.


    Lukovic got a two week injury.


    I tried some hard tackling in those last two matches and I'm thinking perhaps I should be less reluctant to use that instruction. Some of the teams that are around the top are said to tackle hard as a norm.










  43. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    Endseason 2022

    Two players are added to the best ever squad, Mbola and Willian José.


    Team awards are also decided, with Davinson Sánchez winning it.


    The break will last till 27th june, no chance to change it.


    Initial transfer budgets are set. Nothing to make huge signings.


    Training facilities have been downgraded. I immediately ask to improve them and the board accepts to start working on improving them.


    Wellenreuther got to be second best seller of shirts with just half a season. Otherwise we have minor loses in income that may or may not be offset by the competition prize money increase.


    I offer Sinkgraven out and from the many teams that offered one and a half million euros, Getafe was the one chosen.


    Though he's not my usually liked kind of centreback, given we're not conceding much high ball goals, I've brought a young centreback that just lacks some jumping reach, but otherwise is excellent, for a small fee.


    Willian José wants to join Caen, that are interested, he asks me to let him go. I would rather him stay, but having a player who doesn't want to play can be bad. Since he says nothing can convince him, I'll let him go if an offer come for his value (€1.3M).


    The new centreback joins early. He's just a tiny less good than it was thought he could be, but he's still very good.


    Excelsior and AZ have been relegated. Their places will be taken by NAC and Willem II.

    The bonuses payments and the league prize money are decided.







  44. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    Summer 2022

    We get our second signing with a defensive type of midfielder, to have a definite starter ahead of the defence. He's a bit expensive, but I think worth the investment.


    Berisha is the one that comes now asking to be allowed to move to another club, this time it's Sampdoria.


    Klein-Holte is sold to De Graafschap for just €100K.


    Reith goes then to Den Bosch for the same fee.


    Chelsea refuses to extend Speelziek's loan one more year, but they will for Pierie. Meanwhile, Allach has offered a million for Frimpong, who's not that bad, but neither that good and with budget low I feel reluctant to see it through.

    Pierie rejects to stay with us.


    I let Maclaren out to Utrecht on loan. They have superb training facilities, promise key player status, we can recall him and it goes with my plan on reducing squad size to keep players happy easier.


    Caen does make an offer for Willian José, that can surpass the promised fee to sell him, but that'd require him to reach fifty matches with them. He's got the quality for them to want to keep him that long. I'll reject it. He's been our best goalscorer this season, not letting him go for less than almost guaranteed his value. If they want him, they have to offer more.

    Van den Berg, the same I had loaned at Zwolle, has accepted an offer I didn't expect him to take without modification. Also, nice to hear why.


    Among the few Chelsea players they are willing to let go out on loan, the first to come is Sondre Totland, central midfielder that has many good qualities for his age.


    I finally decide to cancel the Frimpong deal. With two and half million remaining budget and some important positions to strengthen, like the left side of the defence, I don't want to lose half of it.

    The second loanee from Chelsea comes: Dinko Deronjic, to be the second keeper, as I think I'll let Room's contract run out. He should be able to find a new club.


    Davinson Sánchez returns very tired from international duty at the end of the summer break, so I let him one more week off.


    One of our promising youngsters, away on loan, gets a three month injury. Specially worrying since one of his better qualities is pace.



    We finally get our new leftback, after two attempts. Laurens De Bock, he's the defensive kind, can play centreback, strong in the air, just the kind I like.


    Romero returns asking to return home, Lukovic convinces him to stay again.

    We're now in record spending for a season.


    Van den Berg picks a light injury in training. Not a problem since I'm still waiting them to get some rest.


    With the first of july, Obama arrives and so does Sánchez in a permanent deal. Sinkgraven left, too.



    An offer for Lutovac is rejected, as it's not good enough.

    With Vurnon Anita and a Chelsea young fullback pending to confirm their arrivals, the balance is of more than seven millions net spent.


    With the deals done, I think the squad looks quite good. We should look for candidates to replace the players who have asked to be let go to other teams in case they offer the amount agreed.



    Despite the expenses, the balance is still quite healthy.


  45. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    Preseason 2022

    Anita joins the team right before the first preseason friendly. The only thing that I find worrying is his lack of strength.


    A young Moroccan striker will come at the end of the year. He is quite promising, though I've not signed him to play with us right away. Most likely in January he will be loaned out.


    Olympiacos came with an offer for Berisha that was barely acceptable, so while he thinks it over, I've brought Blavats'kyi on loan to replace him.


    We'll get almost two and half millions from TV.


    I could get more budget increasing expectations, but I'll go with just the top half finish to reduce pressure on the players. Going higher backfired with Zwolle.


    We get some good money from an old transfer upon being sold.


    Rangers come with an offer above the prize agreed for Willian José, so I negotiate Genk's offer to it and accept Rangers'. I will try to offer him a new contract, but I don't think he'd take it.

    Genk refuses to match Rangers' offer and withdraw theirs.


    Berisha chooses to sign for Olympiacos.


    Frosinone make a decent offer for Lutovac, with someone coming by the DoF work that can fill his role, I take it.

    Lutovac takes Frosinone's offer, so on he goes.


    Lutovac's replacement arrives on loan a couple of days later. Granted he's not as good, but I hope to see him being close enough.


    Willian José takes Rangers' offer.


    I receive a couple of loan requests for Lelieveld. Both to use him as a key player, which makes them interesting, specially as Hese made a contract offer to Trent Alexander-Arnold, so I wait for that. Trent chooses to go to other team, so I reject the loans. Lelieveld can yet become our first choice right back.

    Squad bonuses for the new season can be set to the maximum, as we have plenty of budget left.



    Very good preseason in which I tested three tactics: the usual 4-3-3 and narrow 4-2-3-1 plus a narrow diamond 4-4-2. They worked well and the later was uses in the friendly against Manchester United. That was the highlight of preseason as we were competitive and had the chances to win. We lost from a counter attack in which McIntyre skipped three defenders before assisting Pogba, who had not been properly tracked. Bad luck, I say.


    This preseason has had some more changes from my usual approach, on top of what I did past season as I thought what I was doing was a myth from the coaching courses: instead of fitness training, I've been training team cohesion. The changes are that, instead of making no subs, I did the usual everyone plays a half, minus one that is there just to fill any injury. The other is I've not actually trained the exact systems we're using in the matches, but all the extremes available for maximum adaptability: the 4-3-3 is flexible, standard, no TI; the 4-2-3-1 very fluid, attacking, all the TIs in one extreme; the 4-1-2-1-2 very structured defensive, all TIs in the opposite extreme to the 4-2-3-1. Then within the match I adjust the TIs to what I want specifically in each one.


    Balance is quite good, with the later sales getting almost as much money in as we spent and the friendlies providing decent profits, to add to some other income.


    These are probably the transfers how they will be at the end of the window, that still has one more month to run. Anything new should be loans of young players.


    Board and fans don't like much Pulgar's signing. It's understandable as it was indeed very expensive, but seeing how finding quality defensive midfielders have been so tough, I think it was worth it.





    __________________________________________
    Let's hope the usual "great preseason is followed by an horrible season" doesn't come true this time.

    Next update will be the usual monthly one; but I'm considering the possibility of trying the old halves and transfer window updates.

  46. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    August 2022

    I was planning to use Mongen regularly this seasn; but we received an offer to have him as key player from a club with quality training facilities, which means he's probably better off there.



    We have a tough start of the season, with PSV, Feyenoord, Ajax, Heracles, De Graafschap and Utrecht in the first eight matches. Considered using the diamond, but we'll start with the 4-3-3.
    We made the better chances and the better play, with a goal by Obama to get ahead; until Sánchez forgot about his man to make a two on one on a non ball carrier and left Cris alone for an easy finish.
    They come at us in the second half, with more shots, but being poor ones, I change nothing, until the hour pass and I bring some subs. We get some good plays that fail to end in goal, either because the last pass gets blocked, instead of the easy pass the player chooses an impossible shot. Then, in the 85th minute, Brard intercepts a pass from their fullback to their midfield and instead of keeping his run until the goalie is on top of him, sends a side pass to Obama for his second goal and the winner.



    We continue in mid week against Heracles, that finished strongly last season and have started poorly after losing the qualification play off against Sevilla.
    We control the first half. Shala misses a lot of great opportunities and Obama misses one that I'd kill him for it if he hadn't assisted Brard for the goal that gives us the lead.
    Extremely frustrating second half. We keep the control, we keep making high quality chances, golden opportunities in which scoring is the easiest thing, we keep hitting the woodwork or sending it off or at the keeper. Luckily their one good shot when they try to chase the goal also hit the woodwork, also wasn't half as good as our chances. At the end we get a penalty awarded for Blavats'kyi to seal the win. We should've won 5-0 minimum.


    Eibar offered more than his value for Mbola. I was tempted to take it; but I find no replacement, so I reject it.


    Now we visit the champions before a small break of top team matches. I rotate a good part of the team. Dubois will be given his debut in a competitive match with the first team up front.
    What the hell? This is ashaming. Can't they do anything? Time again and again and again and **** again they refuse to keep close to Zapata. I changed to the diamond towards the end of the half but seemed to do little.
    I bring in Apai, who's a young goalkeeper in our reserves that is almost as good as Deronjic: where Deronjic is weak in communication, he's weak in one on ones. They keep the rubbish of doing nothing with Zapata and miss several quality chances. In the 85th minute, Dubois assist Shala and then the team seems to remember we're in a competitive match, but it's too late.


    Dubois will be out for two days with the gashed head, but he'll train.


    Here you can see the comparison between Apai and Deronjic. The Croatian is obviously better, but not so much I'm not inclined to develop our youngster.


    We get the €140K from Gulácsi's deal as he's played twenty games with Cluj.



    I thought we might be getting the first easy match. We are favourites, but they've started well, so maybe not that easy. Obama, Lopes and De Bock return to start and Hak is given a start ahead of Sánchez, who played poorly, and Bijen, who's not quite fit. He did well against Manchester United.
    First half is the usual frustration. Chance after chance thrown away.
    Small changes in the second half don't improve things. A change to the diamong finally gets the goal in the 88th minute, so back to the 4-3-3 to close the match. But then it's disconnection at the back, no marking, no getting ball side, not moving to the non blocked side.


    Guimarães make an offer for Bijen that can get just above his value. His contract runs out in a year. He's a rotation players. De Bock can play centreback, though he's not the strongest in the air. I'm tempted to take the bid; but what I do is offer him a new contract till he's thirty years old for a bit less than he costs us at the moment. Since he takes it, now I will negotiate until it's a very good offer. They take it to be higher than his value by at least half.

    Bijen chooses to sign Guimarães's contract.


    With the main training facilities work about to be finished, I ask to work in the youth ones and we'll get them.


    Allach made an offer for a cheap proomising young player and he was the first after a series of failed signings that didn't ask for too much. Wit, it's a loan. Why it told me it was going to cost under half a million like it was a purchase?



    Let's hope they're not like De Graafschap's past year, when they got promoted and turned up to Europa League qualification. Some rotation, Deronjic returns to the goal, Romero starts the first time this season.
    Again we waste many good positions and attacks, but Shala scores a goal.
    No changes for the second half, as they don't even have a shot. Things continue the same. We score a second with Dubois.
    As usual, our wins could've been by so many more goals.



    Despite those two matches, this can be called a good month.








  47. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    September 2022

    At deadline day, after I offer Romero before failing to bring a quality fullback that got in my sights, Tom de Graf arrives on loan from Ajax. A very physical type of player that's like a young Duván Zapata. Yes, I'm trying to do that thing that is kind of silly: since the guy who scored so easy against my time wouldn't want to come, I'm bringing someone of his type. Also he's a kind of player we didn't have in the striker position after losing Willian José and Joelinton.


    Romero takes the contract offer by Peñarol and I conform it. A replacement, different to the first one I couldn't sign, this one found by Allach, is pending Partizan finding a replacement. He's goign in January, though.


    Just minutes after, Partizan sign the replacement, so Filipovic comes in.


    I have a one million pending offer for young van den Putten. It's quite tempting. If I have doubts is because he's similar to Shala. I would rather keep him and sell Shala, I think. But I can see us finally not using him as much as his talent deserves.

    Gudmundsson comes in cheap as a versatile back up player. Allach made the offer to the club, I negotiated the contract.His dribbling is what I liked most.


    And that's it, with Gudmundsson signing, it's Shala who leaves the club on loan to Utrecht, that can buy him cheap.


    I still make a non negotiable counter offer to Linz of a lot of money for van der Putten and they withdraw it.

    Somehow, despite all the deals, we're not the most active club in the window.


    Not only that, we received more than we paid.



    Filipovic and Gudmundsson start right away. Same system, may change Obama instructions a little.
    First half is good, with an Obama goal, but unlucky as they find a player in the chaos of a free kick.
    Second half is the damned same story of always, a free kick deflected in, Mohammadi refusing to use his pace and allowing an easy goal, while we this time create several good positions that are wasted with weak pushes of the ball like we were playing against a kindergarten team.


    Obama's knock was just a bruised shin and will be out for just a few days.



    After the bad defeat past season with the 4-3-3, I'm back with the 4-2-3-1, hopefully it'll let me win again against them.
    It's the same. A shameful performance. De Bock stopping for no reason a tracking run, someone of the man markers just patting the ball back to the striker in a corner, Mohammadi leaving his man because the ball carrier is already marked. And then Lopes aiming tightly to the left post because he has only the goalie to beat and the goalie is closer to the left post. Also very unhappy with the refereeing: before the second, their centreback controls the ball, then when Lopes comes to take it back, he calls offside. I'm bringing Apai and Hak in for the second half, at least let them have some playing time.
    Second half is the same piece of crap. Lellieveld makes a penalty and keeps defending the back of the winger, like he was telling him to cross with ease. I know Ajax are a tough team to visit, but there's a difference between they're too good and we just don't care to do our part.


    Mohammadi will be out for almost two weeks, missing the games against Utrecht and likely also Den Haag.



    And now against the second placed team. Filipovic moves to the centre and Romero makes a start. De Graaf is given a start ahead of Obama, who hasn't been really at his best since the match I didn't start him.
    A decent first half at last. We score early with Blavats'kyi taking a tough chance from a de Graaf assist and from then we play better and hold them well.
    Second half has been good in quality of play, but once more frustration as they get a ball over the barrier straight to the corner of the net. Blavats'kyi got a couple of good chances, maybe better than his goal, but no luck. Also ref must explain how a ball that makes a straight to the keeper and then an angle to another straight out of play is not a corner.











  48. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    October 2022

    I found a free promising youngster, bought him on a trial, looked with much potential, but he already wants a rotation wage even when he's given a young player contract, so I walk out.

    Mbola will likely miss the next match froma training injury.



    Some rotation is made, Pulgar starts because I've been warned he may be close to get upset. Obama will start again.
    We have a good first half, with plenty of decent chances, of which Obama gets one.
    Second half is basically the same, though with some chances for Den Haag that they don't take.


    We have to pay €100K to Groningen from Romero playing his fiftieth match with us.



    A little more rotation is made. I'll go attacking in this match as assistant insist to train attacking movement, I'll try.
    Quiet first half, they get the more possession and shots, but none really good, since I changed shape to structured early to encourage the defence not to venture forth so much.
    I don't change anything and with the subs if finally pays off with two goals, first by Obama and then by Pulgar.



    Sadly they've just won one match and drew one. We'll start like past match, being aggressive on attack.
    We dominate the first half, create the chances, limit them to free kicks, but the goal is theirs.
    In the second half they go all defensive, we chase the goal, get a couple of excellent plays, one that gets to an easy tap in that De Graaf sends over, then a perfect chance for a through ball for him but Gudmundsson shoots from miles away with no real chance to score that way. Not to mention all the long balls sent through masses of rivals at low height. Go team with good decisions. I should've played more conservatively, perhaps then we'd have better chances.


    I finally decide to sign Petitt for a bit less than he asked, because it turns out for some reason I can't offer him the usual youngster contract.



    They start directly in that narrow, ultradefensive formation.
    We've done well in the first match. De Graaf missed a sitter against the crossbar, but he had been pushed and Albæk scored the penalty. I didn't change anything and things have been decent; we've barely threatened, but neither have they and we've been closer from a second goal than them from a draw.
    Second half is very similar. They are all about defence, they barely do changes to chase the equalizer, so they keep tight at the back. But we do well, with just Obama not performing quite up to his start of the season. He got changed for van der Putten and later Lelieveld made a superb cross that Gudmundsson picked at the far post for a nice second goal. Just when I subbed Albæk out to prevent him picking a second yellow card after playing most of the game with the first, Anita got a bad looking knock with all subs done. Very surprised to see in the end we got more possession.


    Anita's injury turns out to be a small one and will be back in a couple of days.


    We get #300K from Willian José transfer.



    If I hadn't messed up against Zwolle, it'd been a perfect month. And I would have to hear idiots saying I did it on purpose to help them out of relegation.








    Plenty of attibutes above 10. Working with youngsters, Adaptability and level of discipline still not moving. I wonder if I'd need to use a mostly youth first team or something.

    I am currently with a dilemma: if all was well, there would be Dutch cup to be played with more or less chances to get something out of it; but with the bug, I'm not having the chance to improve her reputation through cup results. That means that, while ICly she should, at least for now, happy enough in Vitesse and looking forward to stay, I feel OOCly inclined to say the bug justifies trying to move to a good club in a country with a working cup.

  49. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    November 2022

    Some new transfer payments from Lutovac... which is paid because we received money from Frosinone as he played ten matches.




    I keep rotating and I think I will do so all season, with the big squad we have. It's a pity the trouble with the Ducth FA being unable to get the cup going.
    First half is not bad. They have chances that are a bit better than we'd like, but not that good. We make better chances, but either their keeper makes a great save or Obama misses the clearest chances, by lobbing the crossbar along with the keeper or letting the defence catch up to him in a needless control of the ball.
    Second half is similar, but with less danger by NEC. First to go off is Lopes, not having a good game, leaving his place to van den Berg. Second is Obama for his umpteenth offside, though to be fair the blame is in the midfielders who wait for him to be offside to send the ball, and De Graaf takes his place. This sub pays off with a pass over the defence by Mohammadi, that De Graaf can take comfortably thanks to his speed and his strength. From there is just a matter of keeping the scoreline, which we do. Krmpotic is given his first appearance and he shows he can be a good choice.


    Van den Berg will be out for three weeks. Since this is the start of an international break, he may even miss just one match.


    Krmpotic gets a short injury a week later.


    And Romero will be out for two months. I hope his transfer doesn't get cancelled.


    Filipovic wants more first team football. I'll give him the chance.


    NAC are one of the promoted sides, but they're doing well, so we can't be careless.
    We score early and go on to play one of our best first halves, though the second goal doesn't come, thanks to some excellent goalkeeping.
    In the second half we continue working well and we get the second goal, through the first of Mohammadi for us.



    Same starting team than in the last match with Wellenreuther instead of Deronjic in goal.
    Good first half, marred by bad luck with a free kick and a final coupling of mistakes by De Bock and Romero not defending the back line. Obama seems to be back in goalscoring and we have a draw that should've been a win at half time.
    This is infuriating. Pulgar gets the third just for Bekker to score at first touch with Filipovic on top. Then Obama makes his hat trick and we hold the result with more great chances to score, just to get all the back line to turn their brains off in the last minute of the match.


    On better news than yet another wasted lead is we get the money from Berisha's ten matches



    I change keeper and Hak comes in for Sánchez.
    First half is good, with a goal by Obama, but this time no more goals for anybody. But we get half the back line on a yellow and Lopes picks an injury.
    Second half we get many good chances, but are back to missing the easiest things. Then a ball is lost form a throw in far in their third, they get a two on two and I'd be fine with the goal conceded, if it wasn't the typical defende moving behind and doing nothing to cover the cross to the middle. Luckily Obama gets a second goal and that's it.


    Lopes is going to be out for three weeks with the injury he got from running.



    Another almost perfect month were not for the nonsense against Heerenveen.


    Obama has doubled his PoM tally and he's joint third in goals scored if I'm not mistaken.


    Money seem to be going down faster than I'd thought in September.


    I'm untouchable, nice.


  50. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    December 2022

    First day is the arrival of the young Moroccan striker I signed to come at the end of his contract.



    We go against PSV, who are behind us. So in the last match of the first leg we begin the tough series of matches. Albæk is suspended, so Pulgar drops deeper and Totland has a chance. Mbola rotates at the left of the defence and Sánchez returns.
    First half is superb. We completely dominate the match and they only get two hopeful long efforts at the end. Excellent Mohammadi anticipating every long pass they try. Only thing is how are we not ahead!? Obama had a great chance saved and then De Graaf had the ball just tipped away from the line when he was about to shoot.
    It's the same for the second half. We completely control everything. But we don't get the goal. Obama misses another great chance, this one off tarfet and is eventually subbed out. De Graaf must explain why in the last play of the match, when he receives a ball behind their defence, being our front most man, instead of controlling the ball to shoot, he just heads it on forward.
    We only get a draw but that's very unfortunate. If we played like this every match, we'd be at the top.


    Van der Putten will be out three weeks with groin strain from training.


    Lorient come offering a job interview. They're in relegation, with same points as the team outside. But I'm not precisely of the mind moving to a bottom team from this close to the top is a good idea at all.



    Albæk returns, Brard and Gudmundsson start as well. De Bock also starts as he is better on the air than Mbola.
    We don't dominate as completely as we did PSV, they get one good chance, more shots than us, but except the one they sent over, their chances are very poor and from distance. Our shots, however , are much better and Obama gets them in twice.
    It lasts for the second half, with Obama completing his hat-trick. Hak comes in then to avoid Mohammadi picking a second yellow and give him some playing time.


    We receive €1.2M from an old transfer deal, of which €250K go to Rapid Wien.


    The board offers me a contract to stay at the club. I would be happy to stay, but I'll keep my options open.


    Wellenreuther will miss the last match before the winter break due to injury.


    And Lille now offers the interview. Now this one is interesting, as they're mid table.


    I didn't need to reject Lorient.



    Turns out we lost this match in the second day when they are in a relegation battle.
    Excellent first half, we score twice early and later Lukovic makes it three. We again miss a perfect chance from a dropped ball, though this less ridiculously than in the previous. If nothing chances in fifteen minutes, Apai will be playing.
    We don't lose focus in the second half. They get a shot past Apai, but that's after our fourth goal and before our fifth. Being the last match to play, we know we're out of European play offs.


    Sánchez will be out for nearly a week due to a facial injury. And another Gudmundsson, though he will be out for just a couple days.




    What a month! Obama has been fantastic. Thanks, Obama.


    He's there in the stats.






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