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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
    #81
    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.






  2. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    #82
    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.












  3. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    #83
    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.











  4. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    #84
    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; 1 Week Ago at 12:33 PM.

  5. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    #85
    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.

  6. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    #86
    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%.

  7. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    #87
    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.







  8. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    #88
    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.

  9. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    #89
    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.






  10. Death Ball's Avatar Death Ball
    Modern Day Legend
    #90
    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.








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