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Bayer 04 Leverkusen Save - FM 2017 Story (Updated: 21 May 2017 > Season 2: 2017/8 > Phase 2 Report)


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#1 UKFMManager803

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Posted 08 April 2017 - 11:37 AM

Bayer Leverkusen in FM 2017

 

​Hi there - My name's Adam, I'm 38 next month and I hail from England; I support Tottenham Hotspur with interest in the results of Huddersfield Town too.

 

I've always toyed with the idea of writing up a Football Manager database in story form so why not now? I thought I'd start a regular update on my Bayer Leverkusen save game which I've just begun. Coming off an 18 season FM 2016 run as Blackburn Rovers manager I wanted to try a more established team from the start and it's been a while since I managed in Germany.

 

​Leverkusen are the choice then and I'm looking forward to getting stuck in...

 

P.S. this is unlikely to be a screenshot intensive Story but if there’s anything in particular you are hankering after a look at then let me know!

 

Post1_1_zpscza7jmxi.jpg

 

Squad/Club Impressions

 

​There's a lot to like with my immediate thoughts that there is quite a lot of versatility in terms of position and not many players with predominance in one foot or the other. That should allow for a degree of flexibility. So far on the surface I feel that: -

 

  • There is maybe a lack of physicality in the squad.
  • Only one natural left back and I’m not sure how good Wendell will be.
  • I kinda doubt that Özcan will offer much in the way of challenging Leno as first choice GK.
  • No heading monster in centre midfield.
  • Any kind of injury to Volland and I’m relying on Stefan Kießling at Deep Lying Forward and he's injured for at least two months. May need to try Kampl there.

 

Ömer Toprak is also leaving in the Summer as Dortmund have paid his release clause in reality which kinda sucks. Still versatile Greek defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos will return from his season loan at Hamburg as an immediate stopgap so no great urgency to replace Toprak just yet. I don’t like using players who are leaving that much so Toprak will have to get used to the bench.

 

Leverkusen have Excellent training/Superb youth facilities although the BayArena only being 30,210 capacity means I’ll need to watch my wage bill carefully. I’ll likely avoid offering more than £3.5m annum per Key Player with Hernandez and Volland on £4.3m p/a perhaps needing renegotiation. I am not expecting to be able to lure the best names and will buy into the club philosophy to promote youngsters; we will see…

 

Specialist coaching is also a concern and I only have four slots [after sacking current Assistant Manager] to play with. Carsten Jancker [new Assistant Manager and a rival from my Blackburn database where he managed Man Utd], Dennis Bergkamp, Massimo D’Urso and Paul McGuinness have been offered coaching contracts. I will try to negotiate with the Board over additional coaches as I could do with at least two more.

 

How’s about we start this story with my Formations/Tactics? I usually import my previous database’s tactics and go from there so this is what I finished with when playing with Blackburn: -

 

​Formation A: 4-4-2 [Variants: 4-1-3<BBM>-1-1 or 4-1-3<BWM>-1-1]

 

Starting: Standard > Highly Structured...

[can switch to Counter > Take a Breather if 2+ goals up in 2nd half with busy schedule]

 

Tempo: Normal

Width: Balanced

Defensive Line: Starts Slightly Deeper but can go Normal if we’re not getting a foothold.

Offside Trap: No

Closing Down: Sometimes

Prevent Short GK Distribution: Yes

Use Tighter Marking: No

Get Stuck In: No

Stay on Feet: No

Build Up = Play out of Defence only

Passing Directness = Shorter Passing

Retain Possession = Yes

Creative Freedom = Be More Disciplined

Attack = Work Ball into Box only

Crosses = Mixed

Run at Defence: No

Dribble Less: No

Freedom of Movement: Stick to Positions

 

Variant: As above

 

  • Used for the first 5 away league games of a season.
  • Used for Home league fixtures thereafter where the opposition is within the top 5-6 form teams.
  • Used for Away league fixtures thereafter where the opposition is within the top 15-16 form teams.
  • Variant 4-1-3<BBM>-1-1 will be used if the opposition is controlling the midfield or getting too much space and for Away European fixtures.
  • Variant 4-1-3<BWM>-1-1 will be used in away European Knockout Games, against opponents who consistently beat us later on in the Database and in the closing stages of games to close out for the result. 

 

Formation B: 4-4-2 [Variants: 4-4-1-1 or 4-1-3<BBM>-1-1 or 4-2-4]

 

​Starting: Attacking > Fluid...

[can switch to Overload > Take more Risks for obvious scenarios]

​Variant: 4-2-4 used when switching to Overload

 

Tempo: Higher

Width: Balanced

Defensive Line: Starts Slightly Higher but can go Normal or Higher depending on how I feel the game is progressing/the opposition is performing.

Offside Trap: No

Closing Down: More

Prevent Short GK Distribution: Yes

Use Tighter Marking: No

Get Stuck In: No

Stay on Feet: No

Build Up = Play out of Defence only

Passing Directness = Shorter Passing

Retain Possession = Yes

Creative Freedom = Be More Expressive

Attack = Look for Overlap and Work Ball into Box

Crosses = Mixed

Run at Defence: No

Dribble Less: No

Freedom of Movement: Roam From Positions

 

  • Used for the first 5 home league games of a season.
  • Used for Home league fixtures thereafter where the opposition is within the bottom 6-7+ form teams and also for Home European fixtures.
  • Used for Away league fixtures thereafter where the opposition is within the bottom 5-6 form teams.
  • Used for most Home and Away cup games unless Giant opposition encountered.
  • Variant 4-4-1-1 will be used if the opposition is controlling the midfield or getting too much space; this can also be changed to Variant 4-1-3<BBM>-1-1 although depending on the score line this might precipitate a change to Formation A.
  • Variant 4-2-4 will be used in situations requiring the impossible [with Blackburn I was 3-0 down away to Liverpool in the CL QF after the first leg and used this to secure a 4-3 aggregate win; I would go on, destiny fans, to beat Leverkusen in the CL Final].

 

Player Instructions

 

  • I use an Excel spreadsheet system I have devised to calculate whether [for example] a player should Shoot More Often; this based on an HTML Extract of key stats.
  • I value the following seven stats: Aggression, Composure, Concentration, Positioning, Teamwork, Workrate and Stamina.
  • The average of this is my base rating “Mark” for my players.
  • The Leverkusen squad has a Mark average of 13; this is a decent start but I’m looking for 15+.

 

Opposition Instructions

 

  • I prefer a global approach to Opposition Instructions so will define these by position in the Opposition Instructions screen
  • Every position is shown on to their Weaker Foot.
  • All wide positions [e.g. DR/WBR/MR/AMR], AMCs and STs are all Tight Marked, Closed Down and Tackled really, really Hard.

 

​Players, Positions and Shortlisted Players

 

Goalkeeper > Defend [Formation A + Formation B]

 

First Choice: Bernd Leno

Second Choice: Ramazan Özcan

Shortlist: Kasper Schmeichel, Predrag Rajkovic, Augusto Batalla.

 

​Full Backs > Defend [Formation A] + Attack [Formation B]

​Wing Backs > Attack [Formation B > Variant: 4-2-4]

 

​First Choice DR: Benjamin Henrichs

First Choice DL: Wendell

Second Choice DR: Danny da Costa

Second Choice DL: Henrichs to go DL

Shortlist: Corentin Tolisso, Sead Kolašinac, Nacho, Ricardo Rodríguez.

 

​Centre Backs > Defend [Formation A + Formation B]

 

​First Choice CB Pairing: Jonathan Tah [RCB] and Alexsandar Dragovic [LCB]

​Second Choice CB Pairing: Tin Jedvaj [RCB] and Ömer Toprak [LCB]

Shortlist: Sven Bender, Virgil van Dijk, Aymeric Laporte, Alessio Romagnoli, Andreas Christensen, Felix Uduokhai

 

​Ball Winning Midfielder > RCM > Defend [Formation A] + Support [Formation B]

Ball Winning Midfielder > CDM > Defend [Formation A > Variants] + Support [Formation B > Variants]

 

​First Choice BWM: Lars Bender

Second Choice BWM: Julian Baumgartlinger

Shortlist: Tiemoué Bakayoko, Niclas Stark, Gideon Jung

 

​Wide Midfielders > Automatic [Formation A + Formation B]

​Wingers > Attack [Formation B > Variant: 4-2-4]

 

​First Choice RM: Julian Brandt

First Choice LM: Hakan Çalhanoğlu

Second Choice RM: Leon Bailey

Second Choice LM: Brandt to go LM, Bailey to RM

Shortlist: Martin Ødegaard, Andrija Živković, Pione Sisto

 

Box to Box Midfielder > LCM > Support [Formation A + Formation B]

 

First Choice BBM: Kevin Kampl

Second Choice BBM: Kai Havertz

Shortlist: Leon Goretzka, Rodrigo Bentancur

 

Deep Lying Forward > Support [Formation A] + Attack [Formation B]

Attacking Midfielder > Support [Formation A > Variants] + Attack [Formation B > Variants]

 

First Choice DpLF: Kevin Volland

Second Choice DpLF: Stefan Kießling

Shortlist: Kasper Dolberg, Zackarias Faour, Adalberto Peñaranda

 

Poacher > Attack [Formation A + Formation B]

 

First Choice SC: Karim Bellarabi

Second Choice SC: Javier Hernández

Shortlist: Ahmed Musa, Timo Werner, Tomas Connechy

 

Utility Player [every squad should have one of these]

 

Charles Aránguiz [RB/LB/RM/LM/BBM/BWM]

 

Wild Card [something out of nothing if you please]

 

Joel Pohjanpalo [DpLF/RM/LM]

 

Learning his Trade [will be involved]

 

Atakan Akkaynak [BWM]

 

In Reserve [Loan or Sale in their future but you never know…]

 

Roberto Hilbert (RB)

Niklas Lomb (GK)

Admir Mehmedi (LM)

Ole Päffgen (RB)

Vladlen Yurchenko (AMC)

 

Out on Loan [Underlined may be given a chance]

 

Robin Becker (RB/LB)

Lukas Boeder (CB)

Marc Brasnic (DpLF)

Patrick Dzalto (DpLF)

Marlon Frey (BBM)

Kyriakos Papadopoulos (CB)

André Ramalho (BWM)

Ryu Seung-Woo (RM/LM)

 

Marinating [Promising for next season]

 

Marian Prinz (GK) 16 years old (4 Star potential)

Sam Schreck (RM/LM) 17 years old (3.5 Star potential)

Daniel Nesseler (CB) 18 years old (3.5 Star potential)

 

Individual Training

 

  • All players – the exact role I expect them to play in the short term; therefore for multi-position players who have to cover this will change as the season progresses.
  • We’ll be starting with specialist moves for all players then moving on to specific attribute focus where required.

 

Club Training

 

  • Week 1: Balanced [Average] > Match Training [Lowest]
  • Week 2: Balanced [Average] > Match Training [One iteration from the right]
  • Week 3: Balanced [High] > Match Training [One iteration from the right]
  • Week 4: Balanced [High] > Match Training [One iteration from the right]
  • Week 5: Balanced [High] > Match Training [Two iterations from the right]
  • Week 6: Balanced [Very High] > Match Training [Two iterations from the right]
  • Week 7: Balanced [Very High] > Match Training [Two iterations from the right]
  • Week 8: Balanced [Very High] > Match Training [Three iterations from the right]
  • Week 9: Balanced [Very High] > Match Training [Three iterations from the right]
  • Week 10 [Internationals]: Balanced [High] > Match Training [Two iterations from the right]
  • Week 11: [Default until February]: Balanced [High] > Match Training [One iteration from the right]

 

That’s all for now but I’ll be back with a report on Pre-Season...


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#2 UKFMManager803

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Posted 08 April 2017 - 03:22 PM

​Pre-Season 2016/7 - Season 1

 

​So it is not a great indicator (at least to me) as to how your team is going to perform and certainly not in a first season scenario with a team.

 

We played 12 friendlies - winning 5, drawing 2, losing 6.

 

We competed well in the games away to Atletico Madrid and home against Barcelona; we lost 1-0 in both.

 

The only game where I was concerned was the 4-0 away defeat at Frankfurt but that was early doors when match fitness wasn't 100%; also tactical familiarity can only improve things.

 

The best news was although there was the odd knock - no serious injuries and sitting here ahead of my first competitive fixture as Leverkusen manager, an away trip to Dresden in the DFB-Pokal, I can field my first choice XI with the exception of the suspended Wendell.

 

In addition, all my coach appointments [D'Urso, Bergkamp and McGuinness] and Jancker's appointment as Assistant Manager went through after intervening with the Board. I still need two or three more and will ask the Board for more slots as soon as I can.

 

Squad Numbers

 

​None of this Number 44/Number 31/Number 99 nonsense - sequential/positional associated numbers for me [No. 12 is restricted as it belongs to the fans - interesting!]

 

1. Leno

2. Henrichs

3. Wendell

4. Bender

5. Dragovic

6. Tah

7. Brandt

8. Kampl

9. Bellarabi

10. Volland

11. Çalhanoğlu

13. Özcan

14. Baumgartlinger

15. Jedvaj

16. Aránguiz

17. Bailey

18. Havertz

19. Hernández

20. Kießling

21. Lomb

22. da Costa

23. Pohjanpalo

24. Yurchenko

25. Mehmedi

26. Toprak

27. Akkaynak

28. Hilbert

29. Päffgen

 

​Captaincy

 

​Lars Bender will keep the Captain's armband but Ömer Toprak hands the Vice-Captaincy to Benjamin Henrichs.

 

​Season 1 - 2016/7 - Phase 1 [First Ten League Games (and associated Cup games)

 

​These are the fixtures.

 

Post2_1cut_zpspj6s2i6g.png

 

Away to Leipzig is tough given their real-life form, at least

Home to Bayern Munich - always one to look forward to!

 

I'll report back next week...



#3 UKFMManager803

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 06:22 PM

Phase 1: First Ten League Games (and associated Cup games)

 

So Phase 1 of my Leverkusen season is finished and things are already looking promising! Let's take a look-see shall we?

 

Training

 

So I realised [a little too late] that my team training really wasn't geared towards learning my old formations for this new team so I was forced to micro-manage games in Full Match mode whilst the players got up to speed [Match training maxed out and always Match Tactics being worked on]. I think I just about got away with it but it's definitely something to take on board for the next time I start afresh...

 

Otherwise, training is going well and I will review both coaching and focus areas at the start of the winter break; 26 players are Happy, 1 is Content and 1 is Unhappy. Not sure why Hakan Çalhanoğlu is unhappy but both him and Dragovic and have criticised the coaching during my interactions with them. Whatever guys...

 

​Injuries

 

​Both Brandt and Kampl got 3-4 and 5-6 week injuries, respectively, early on in Phase 1 so this opened the door for Bailey and Aránguiz to fill in on the flank; I used Aránguiz more whilst tactical competencies were built. Young starlet Kai Havertz came in and impressed; this guy is going to be good​! - Not 18 until June in this database. Sadly, a 2 month injury came in towards the end of Phase 1 and coupled with a 3 month absence for Danny da Costa around the same time means I won't be seeing either of these guys back in a Leverkusen shirt until after the winter break. Colour me excited over Havertz though!

 

​Players

 

See the extract below for details; players sorted by appearances.

 

Post3_1cut_zpsraxsgd2e.png

 

  • Jonathan Tah is a Beast​! He was still playing for Leverkusen at the age of 38 in my Blackburn database so I'm hoping for similar loyalty and quality of performance.
  • I've mentioned Havertz's potential but loving what the future holds for Full Backs Henrichs and Wendell. May not need to strengthen there.
  • Bellarabi and Hernández are fighting hard for the Poacher role with Bellarabi just​ edging ahead at the end of this Phase.
  • I'm not convinced (yet!) by Kevin Volland in the Deep Lying Forward role; it may be that he just isn't suited to it but there are no real options at the moment to replace him so will have to see how he does during Phase 2 and what funds I can raise during the transfer window.

Results

 

Post3_2cut_zpsa5xb5axy.png

 

Bundesliga

 

Post3_3cut_zpst7ztbupm.png

 

  • Things didn't start out well with a narrow 2-1 defeat away at Leipzig which I guess isn't that​ bad given their real life form. It, inevitably, had to be my former first teamer at Blackburn - Lukas Klostermann who headed home the winner. Rats!
  • That was to be my only league defeat of the ten, however, and I went on to win 6 and draw 3.
  • We could and perhaps should have beaten Hoffenheim [but they are in 2nd so...] and Mainz was disappointing. I was pleased to squirrel a point out of Das Bayern who are tearing it up as usual.

 

DFB-Pokal

 

  • Dresden and Freiburg confidently dispatched.
  • We'll pick up this competition during Phase 3 when the lads travel to Bielefeld...

Champions League

 

​The draw: -

 

  1. Juventus
  2. Bayer Leverkusen
  3. Sporting Lisbon
  4. AS Monaco

 

Not the best draw I could have got by a long short; Juve are Juve so I am fighting for second place.

 

  • Things got off to a great start as stuff happened and we managed to record a 2-1 win away at AS Monaco. Just what the Physio ordered as Lars Bender's er...bender gave us a 2-0 lead before Monaco put us under pressure. We did not wilt. We will not wilt. We are Leverkusen!
  • A gritty display at home to Sporting looked like it would count for naught but we got a penalty and Hernández slotted it home to make it six points from the first two games.
  • I wasn't expecting to get any points from my double-bill against Juve and was delighted to get one. Sporting and Monaco conveniently drew both their games so I have a five point gap and it will take some shocking results to stop me qualifying for the knock-out rounds...

 

Post3_4cut_zps8zhvrhm6.png

 

 

Season 1 - 2016/7 - Phase 2 [League Games (and associated Cup games) prior to Winter Break]

 

​These are the fixtures.

 

Post3_5cut_zpsm479ihhz.png

 

Some tricky away games in there with Dortmund and Schalke high profile and likely highly competitive encounters.

 

I'll report back, well, when I do!



#4 UKFMManager803

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 02:10 PM

Phase 2 [League Games (and associated Cup games) prior to Winter Break]

 

I do enjoy an Easter weekend FM session...Phase 2 completed and near perfection - if it was not for Leno's lack of concentration against Dortmund. More on that later...

 

Training

 

I've been able to relax the Match Tactics training and spend more time on Player training; the team has borderline full Tactical Familiarity and I am pretty happy in regards to trusting the players without having to micro-manage them with a few exceptions where things aren't going quite as well as I'd like.

 

Individual training continues to go well - 25 Happy, 2 Content, 1 Unhappy. I will be reviewing all individual focuses at the end of the Winter Break.

 

I would still like another at least one (preferably two or three) General coaches as my Assistant Manager is only providing 3 star coaching and I am only providing 2.5 star coaching for Ball Control and Attacking, respectively.

 

​Injuries

 

​It was Karim Bellarabi's turn to be injured and he's only just retuned to training as the Winter Break commences. This opened for the door for Javier Hernández to have a run in the team.

 

Kai Havertz should be back in contention by the time we continue our campaign away to Hamburg on the 21 January 2017. Danny da Costa will be a few weeks after that, barring any setbacks.

 

Unfortunately, having picked him as possible candidate to move on loan, Vladlen Yurchenko tore his hamstring [ouch!] and won't be available for 2 months+. Kießling's hip continues to plague him as he breaks down with a 7-8 week episode; I can't reasonably renew his contract at the end of the season despite him still being decent. Nevertheless, a firm decision will be made closer to the time.

 

​Players

 

See the extract below for details; players sorted by appearances.

 

Post4_1cut_zpsla5bnpu1.png

 

  • My concerns over Kevin Volland have been negated by a series of much better performances at Deep Lying Forward.
  • Hakan Çalhanoglu and Leon Bailey have particularly excited me going forward; the latter pushing Julian Brandt to up his game after his return from injury.
  • Javier Hernández now leads Karim Bellarabi 11 to 8 in the goal-scoring charts.
  • Kevin Volland has romped to 9 assists, 5 over the rest of the pack.

 

Results

 

Post4_2cut_zpsfcnldync.png

 

​Bundesliga

 

Post4_3cut_zpsxfnt7bgg.png

 

​7 games - 6 wins and 1 defeat. I ground out a gritty 1-0 at Schalke, thrashed Werder Bremen, knocked relentlessly on Champions League challengers Frankfurt's door with no avail until substitute Joel Pohjanpolo threaded one through to Leon Bailey who had moved into the Poacher role; Bailey slotted home. Relief after we had battered them. This was a trick that the exciting Jamaican Wonderkid would repeat to score an 86th minute winner away to Wolfsburg; it was looking like we'd have to settle for 1-1 and I'd even just fired off the Contain order.

 

Our only defeat came in Dortmund - not necessarily a surprise given the quality of the squad at Thomas Tuchel's disposal. However, the manner of the goal was not acceptable. A long goal kick forward from Roman Bürki was flicked on with far too much power by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 35 yards or so out, and the ball bounced through towards Bernd Leno. Slowly but there's enough on it. Leno comes out...Slowly.

 

Aubameyang races after his own flick-on. The ball trundles towards Leno, Leno comes out to collect (he's panicking I can tell)...Aubameyang gets there just in time and pokes it home! Disaster!

 

Breathe...Just breathe. (Obligatory Star Wars: The Last Jedi reference).

 

We are 2nd, albeit 8 points behind Bayern, and we would love to finish above Dortmund at the very least. I can't see the Bavarians not going on to comfortably secure the title unfortunately.

 

DFB-Pokal

 

​No fixtures but a reminder that early on in Phase 3 we will travel to DSC Arminia Bielefeld [17th in 2. Fußball-Bundesliga at the time of writing] for our Third Round tie.

 

​Champions League

 

​We were already in a strong position but it would be advantageous (in terms of resting players for the dead rubber) if we could get 2nd place wrapped up with a win over AS Monaco at the BayArena. It wasn't straight forward - Kevin Volland gave us a 2-0 league, we switched to Counter/Take a Breather and this was (rarely I'd add) exploited by the exciting French outfit to pull themselves back 2-2 [this would still have been fine] before Javier Hernández's sumptuous lob won it for us in the 78th minute.

 

We rested our First XI against Sporting Lisbon in Portugal and were defeated 2-0.

 

Post4_4cut_zpsp2pgbct6.png

 

We draw Sevilla in the 1st Knockout Round. I feel we can be competitive against them so pleased with that.

 

Post4_5cut_zpsnjcod6mx.png

 

​Transfers

 

​I'll be getting to the January window shortly and will be clearing out some players permanently [gosh - that sounded less sinister in my head] and on loan.

 

  • I expect Admir Mehmedi to be the highest profile departure as I don't really see a future for him.
  • I will keep a close eye on my targets list and may move for at least one player if I have the funds and it looks like I can do a good deal for this football club.
  • Ideally I would like to sign Kasper Dolberg as that is the one position where I need quality cover and to continue to ensure that Kevin Volland maintains his good form.

 

 

Season 1 - 2016/7 - Phase 3 [Next Ten League Games (and associated Cup games) after the Winter Break]

 

​These are the fixtures.

 

Post4_6cut_zpsctrotwuy.png

 

Away to Hoffenheim and Das Bayern; a chance for revenge against Leipzig.

 

Can we hold our nerve and remain in strong contention for a Champions League place? Find out soon (probably next week!)



#5 UKFMManager803

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 02:35 PM

Phase 3 [Next Ten League Games (and associated Cup games) after the Winter Break]

 

​Training

 

23 Happy, 2 Unhappy by the end of the phase with my expectation being that Çalhanoglu and Dragovic, the "aggrieved" parties, won't be Happy [or at least Content!] until the quality of specialist coaching is increased; I intend to explore this with the Board at the end of the season now that I've been offered and agreed terms on a contract extension until the end of Season 3 [2018/9].

 

Now that my coaching team have had the chance to work with the squad I have been able to change the individual training focus from mainly New Player Traits to mainly Additional (attribute) Focuses.

 

One aspect I have not mentioned previously is my system for dropping players based on training; if I get a player with significant "down arrows" who's in the team I warn them and unless there is no other option they will be benched. Players with at least x5 green "up arrows" will be praised on their training and exceptional progress versus indifferent form can lead to the rare elevation of a squad player to the first team.

 

Injuries & Transfers

 

​The Poacher Apocalypse (Apoacherlypse?) arrived at the start of the January transfer window...

 

  • Javier Hernández left the club for Bayern Munich for £18 million rising to £25 million. Too good an offer for a reserve player (Karim Bellarabi is still my number one Poacher and besides Bellarabi had just got back to fitness ahead of Winter Break friendlies; Leon Bailey, Julian Brandt and Joel Pohjanpalo able deputies so I don't need to sign anyone else...
  • Bellarabi is immediately [like the day after Hernández signs for Bayern] injured again for 2-3 months.
  • Pohjanpalo is ruled out for two months.
  • Leon Bailey, who's to start at Poacher anyway, comes in...is sent off. He then gets a 2-3 week injury during his suspension.
  • So for a while I have to make do with Brandt who doesn't do badly and Bailey soon returns to lead the line during this Phase...
  • Karim Bellarabi regains fitness at the end of the Phase...Yay!
  • He is then injured again​ and this time for 4 months (!) so his season is over...Nooooo! Question marks remain over his future and I'd be tempted to accept a cheeky bid in the £18million+ bracket.
  • Ömer Toprak suffers a lower stress fracture of his back but should​ be available again during the final Phase of this season. Sven Bender isn't playing that much at Dortmund so perhaps coupled with Toprak's impending arrival at Dortmund I will be able to acquire "Double Bender" capability. :) 
  • Training is set to Balanced > Average [usually Balanced > High] for the rest of the season at the start of February, as is policy, but if it [injury spree] happens at a similar time and is as brutal next season I might have to think again.

 

Post5_1cut_zpsteacmgtn.png

 

  • As previously posited - I dispensed with the services of Admir Mehmedi.
  • I wasn't expecting a move to materialise [and was resistant to] for my first choice XI but Wendell wanted to leave and £15 million rising to £20.5 million is decent for a player I wasn't entirely sold on.
  • Liverpool put in a number of large bids [the last close, with clauses, to £28 million] for Tin Jedvaj but he didn't agitate for a move and I rewarded him, rejecting their "kind" offers, with Dragovic's place in the first team.
  • Lars Bender agitated, a little, over a move to Bayern Munich. I liked how I could discuss/negotiate with him what an acceptable amount would be having agreed to sell him to Das Bayern for the "right" price. £26 million was okay but I wanted £27 million. He found that ridiculous but nothing really came of it and he is happy enough at the moment at the end of Phase 3.

 

Post5_1cut2_zpsnu44rsnp.png

 

  • To replace Wendell I paid the £18 million release clause in Sead Kolašinac's contract and am confident the 23 year old Bosnian Left FB will be/is a top class replacement once full Tactical Familiarity is achieved. Base value on arrival = £21.5 million.
  • I only really seriously considered signing one other player and entered into contract negotiations with Ajax over a move for Kasper Dolberg but couldn't agree a deal that felt right at that time-point; with Volland regressing again I may go back in the Summer to sign the Danish ace, if a congruent agreement can be reached.

Players

 

See the extract below for details; players sorted by appearances.

 

Post5_2cut_zps460chqo9.png

 

  • As mentioned I feel that Kevin Volland has fallen away somewhat and I will be trying to conjole him back into form as he will be key to a successful Phase 4.
  • Hakan Çalhanoglu's Global ban [but not his Global "refusing to take a wage" sadly] for breach of contract when at Karlsruhe came into effect and he was not/will not be available from February until June 2017. He was, however, the first of my players to sign a new contact with a £40 million release clause that Chelsea will probably pay at some point in the not too distant future; in the short term - his creativity being lost from the team was disappointing although Kai Havertz has stepped up to play more games [some on the right flank] than I would have expected the 17 year old prodigy to play.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk...otball/38848318

http://www.dailymail...-month-ban.html

 

  • Kevin Volland is the main man left in my squad in terms of Goals [9] and Assists [10]. Brandt, Bailey and Bender have contributed with a total of 16 Goals and 10 Assists.
  • Kai Havertz is exciting. Very exciting; Atakan Akkaynak is also starting to make me question the need for Baumgartlinger next season.

 

Results

 

Post5_3cut_zpsfe4q4cop.png

 

​Bundesliga

 

Post5_4cut_zpsduh7ld7l.png

 

7 wins and 3 draws; no additional defeats (which meant that I avoided defeat against FC Bayern in Munich) was a very return.

 

  • I can be annoyed at being 2-0 up at Home to Leipzig, only to draw 2-2 but otherwise (and especially considering the non-presence of a natural striker for most of the Phase) this was a fine Phase and we even closed the gap on Bayern to 5 points; I would love them to lose just one more [although two or three would be ideal!] and me to hold my games going into the last to just try and see if fate has a hand to deal...But no, it's unlikely.
  • Two crucial second-half winners from Brandt [as a Poacher sub] and Havertz [coming in off the right flank to volley my team's best goal since Hernández's Champions League winner against Sporting] against Gladbach and Mainz, respectively, shows that this team can grind out results.
  • Dortmund took 25 points from the 30 available, a 1 point increment on my position at the end of Phase 2. I still have to play them at BayArena and it feels like they might catch me. At least Champions League qualification looks in the bag, maybe more and one of my aims was to be competitive at the business end of the Bundesliga which this team has been and barring a disaster should continue to be. I don't mind using Dortmund as a buffer whilst I build a team to take both them and Munich out of the equation...

 

DFB-Pokal

 

The (as expected) comfortable defeat of Bielefeld in the 3rd round led to us being drawn at home to Dortmund, who, as you can see above, were and continue to be in superb form.

 

It goes right to the wire with Dortmund perhaps just playing an iota better but not being able to force the winner, 0-0 after extra time. They completely fluff their penalty lines, however, and we win the shoot-out 3-1 with Atakan Akkaynak scoring the winning penalty. A great moment for the young man.

 

Our reward is a Phase 4 tie, at BayArea, against a mid-table team in 3. Fußball-Liga, Regensburg. This should​ translate into a DFB Pokal Final appearance, to play the winner of Augsburg vs Frankfurt, but I cannot allow complacency to creep in. Regensburg put out Bayern Munich in the 2nd round but that was on their own ground...

 

A real chance of silverware then for Bayer Leverkusen then, in this my first season.

 

Champions League

 

​The Board didn't expect us to get out of the Group stage so being in the First Knockout Round against Sevilla was seemingly a bonus. I went out 3-2 on aggregate but across the two legs felt that we could have progressed with better game management [on my part] in the first leg.

 

Finishing second in my group meant the first game was a Home one. My strategy for success in this competition, which worked well at Blackburn, is to defend to the max and try and eke out a 0-0, 0-1 or even a 1-0 in the first, Away, leg. It was foolhardy to have attacked the way I did at home, I should have played my Standard formation [Formation A] from the start or at least​ have switched to it when we pulled ourselves back to 2-1 [a first Champions League goal for Kai Havertz - did I mention how good this guy is going to be?] but instead tried to get 3-1; 5 clear cut chances for Sevilla was too much and they punished me.

Lesson learnt, however.

 

 

Season 1 - 2016/7 - Phase 4 [Final Seven League Games (and associated Cup games)]

 

​Please see my (forthcoming) next post for regular updates on this Phase.



#6 UKFMManager803

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 03:34 PM

Season 1 - 2016/7 - Phase 4 [Final Seven League Games (and associated Cup games)]

 

I plan to update the Fixtures/Results/League Table below with incidental commentary as the Phase is played for your reading pleasure...

 

I will include Results for FC Bayern and Dortmund as well as there is still a chance for the top three, including Leverkusen, to move around.

 

​Leverkusen Fixtures/Results

 

Post6_5_1cut_zpsndlwoylv.png

 

FC Bayern Fixtures/Results

 

Post6_5_2cut_zpszotilqc9.png

 

​Dortmund Fixtures/Results

 

Post6_5_3cut_zpsmi8ja4no.png

 

Bundesliga Table

 

Post6_5_4cut_zpssrsmfzjd.png

 

Commentary

 

  • ​22 April 2017 - I really cannot​ see Dortmund doing anything else but winning 6 out of their 7 games; I need to hold them, at least, in my home game against them. A glimmer of hope that Bayern might take their eye off the prize and prioritise a Champions League game and let me into the title race. There are potential pitfalls for me too - Schalke at home will be tight and Frankfurt away, even tighter if not a probable draw.
  • 23 April 2017 - Dortmund creep ever closer. A quality 3-1 win away to Augsburg [Volland 2, Bailey 1], where we also hit the woodwork six times!, coupled with Bayern's home draw with Hoffenheim is reversed by a stunning free-kick equaliser from Hertha BSC as we drop two points at home. We are, however, home and hosed as far as Champions League qualification is concerned. Initial budgets for next season are a fairly modest £22.5m transfer budget with £6m surplus wages although I know I am getting nice boosts to both of those with the departures of Toprak and Kießling...
  • 24 April 2017 - Really pleased with my team. Rubbish in the first half and trailing 0-1 to Werden Bremen away but we dug out an equaliser and then Captain Lars smashed home a winner; this after Dortmund had lost away to Hertha BSC in the Friday game. I was hopeful that Schalke could at least hold Bayern Munich but they managed to beat them! Even better and the gaps between me and them, me and Dortmund are more positive. We also secured our place in the DFB-Pokal final with a regulation win over Regensburg. We will play Frankfurt in the final after their 1-0 win away at Augsburg; Kevin Volland is having a strong Phase 4 for Leverkusen and has taken his season's tally to 12 goals and 12 assists in all competitions...
  • 25 April 2017 - Disappointed to throw away a lead at home to Schalke; 1-0 at Half-Time and inexplicably I tried to push the defensive line higher to try and get a second [what was I thinking! I was winning! GRRRR!] and Meyer and Goretzka soon combined to allow the latter to lash into the roof of the net; Brandt also missed a sitter at the end. Darn! However, Das Bayern are drawing their way into trouble and I was able to move up to equal points as well as (surely!) dispose of Dortmund from the race with a convincing 3-0 win at home against the men from North Rhine-Westphalia; Brandt, Havertz and Volland scoring in a devastating ten minute spell at the start of the game! It's still an ask but one more bad result from Bayern...Is the dream alive? :o
  • 26 April 2017 - The dream is dead, long live the dream. We were convincing in our win against Frankfurt but Javier Hernández got the goals to secure FC Bayern the win over Freiburg. It didn't matter that we couldn't beat Wolfsburg in our last game as again, Munich found an (expected) solution to Mainz away. So we finished two points behind them, five points ahead of Dortmund. So close so there is disappointment there but also pride and optimism; optimism in spades. Let's not forget that I was missing Hakan Çalhanoglu, my flair player and maestro, and Karim Bellarabi, my first choice Poacher, for a large portion of this season and I came this​ close? The future is bright, the future is Leverkusen!

 

​DFB-Pokal Cup Final

 

Post6_5_5cut_zpsolypvrzu.png

 

  • We combined the psychological advantage of recently beating Frankfurt with complete and utter dominance. Charles Aránguiz, in for the slightly jaded Havertz, chose this time to score his first goals of the season in this the last fixture. The result was never in any doubt and we have our first piece of silverware! The first of many hopefully...

 

I will be taking stock of this season over the coming days and it will be a fairly leisurely stock taking session too as I have started playing Mass Effect: Andromeda. I want to analyse my players, sort out new contracts and build a strong plan for Pre-Season and the second season itself. There is definitely more to come and soon...

 

Stay tuned!



#7 UKFMManager803

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 10:55 AM

Close Season Review - Season 1 [2016/7]
 
Here I'll be going through my squad, including players out on loan or promoted from the youth setup here at BayArea, and detailing my thoughts on each for the next season and beyond. This will include new contracts and training ahead of Season 2. This will be released in three subsequent posts and then I'll push on to pre-season.
 
Player Stats (Overview)
 
Post7_1cut_zpsdcsczueh.png
 
Players
 
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  • Kevin Volland tops both scorers and assists with a 14 goal, 18 assist return. Yes, he has had spells of poor form but without him I would not have been comfortable qualifiers for the Champions League.
  • Julian Brandt and Leon Bailey have done well filling in for the departed Javier Hernández and injured Karim Bellarabi. They added 20 goals to go alongside 11 from Chicarito before he left and 8 from Bellarabi before his hamstrings and achilles got into a pickle (mmm..pickle).
  • Captain Lars and Jonathan Tah were immense, Kai Havertz a gem and Charles Aránguiz a dependable option whenever he came into the team.

UEFA Europa League Final
 
Post7_3cut_zps4kseougx.png
 
UEFA Champions League Final
 
Post7_4cut_zpsglyfupe8.png
 
Major European League Winners Record
 
England: Arsenal
France: PSG
Germany: FC Bayern
Italy: Napoli
Netherlands: PSV
Portugal: Benfica
Spain: Real Madrid
 
Season 1 - 2016/7 - Highlights
 
1. Kai Havertz - GOAL in the 0-1 Bundesliga victory over Mainz.

 

 

2. Javier Hernández - GOAL in the 3-2 Champions League victory against AS Monaco.

 

 

3. Karim Bellarabi - GOAL in the 1-0 Bundesliga victory over Köln. Voted Goal of the Season at the end of season awards.

 

 

4. Julian Brandt - MISS in the 1-1 Bundesliga draw against Schalke in the 92nd minute.
 

 

The moment that could have changed everything??



#8 UKFMManager803

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 09:24 AM

Player Review - Contracts & Progression - Season 1 (2016/7)

 

The Defensive Third (Goalkeepers, Full Backs and Centre Backs)

 

Goalkeepers

 

Bernd Leno. Mistakes leading to goals 2 out of 13 mistakes.

 

·       Primary Role: Goalkeeper ~ First Choice

·       25 at start of Season 2, 26 at start of Season 3, 27 at start of Season 4.

·       87% shots saved – better than Neuer; 26 goals conceded in 43 games in all competitions.

·       Pass success poor @ 36% in comparison to other Bundesliga Goalkeepers.

·       3 years [2020] left on his contract of £3m p/a. £15.7m base value.

·       Training: Goalkeeper + Kicking.

 

Contract/Future: Renewed until 2022 [club option to extend to 2023]. £4.2 million p/a, £2.3 million loyalty bonus, £15k appearance fee, £35k Clean Sheet bonus, Minimum Release Clause £42 million.

 

Ramazan Özcan. Mistakes leading to goals 0 out of 2 mistakes.

 

·       Primary Role: Goalkeeper

·       33 at start of Season 2, 34 at start of Season 3, 35 at start of Season 4.

·       73% shots saved.

·       2 years [2019] left on his contract of £675k p/a. £775k base value.

·       Training: Goalkeeper only (age + role).

 

Contract/Future: Better options available although experience is valuable therefore list for loan with full salary OR sell for base value by end of Summer transfer window.

 

Niklas Lomb. Not used.

 

·       Primary Role: Goalkeeper

·       24 at start of Season 2, 25 at start of Season 3, 26 at start of Season 4.

·       Contract expiring at end of season; £110k p/a.

 

Contract/Future: Better options available so set for release.

 

Marian Prinz (Germany). Not used / expected to deputise for Bernd Leno in Season 2.

 

·       Primary Role: Goalkeeper

·       17 at start of Season 2, 18 at start of Season 3, 19 at start of Season 4.

·       2 years [2019] left on his contract of £40k p/a. £79k base value but high potential and Das Bayern enquired last season.

·       Potential (Progression): 4 Stars.

·       Training: Goalkeeper + Handling.

·       Tutor: Bernd Leno.

 

Contract/Future: Renewed until 2020 [club option to extend until 2022]. £80k p/a [rising to £240k p/a after 30 career league games], £4k loyalty bonus, £15k Appearance fee, £35k Clean Sheet bonus, no release clause.

 

Tomas Kucz (Poland). Not used and expected to go out on loan in Season 2 so can raise current ability to challenge Prinz for deputy’s role.

 

·       Primary Role: Goalkeeper

·       18 at start of Season 2, 19 at start of Season 3, 20 at start of Season 4.

·       1 year [2018] left on his contract of £34k p/a. £33k base value but high potential cannot be ignored.

·       Potential: 4 Stars

·       Training: Goalkeeper + Kicking.

·       Tutor: N/A.

 

Contract/Future: Renewed until 2020 [club option to extend until 2021]. £40k p/a [rising to £240k p/a after 30 career league games], £2.5k loyalty bonus, £15k Appearance fee, £35k Clean Sheet bonus, no release clause.

 

 

Full Backs

 

Benjamin Henrichs. Mistakes leading to goals 0 out of 57 mistakes in 39 games.

 

·       Primary Role: Right Full Back ~ First Choice

o   Other Roles: Left Full Back then Right Wing Back then Left Wing Back then Ball Winning Midfielder (Right CM) then Box To Box Midfielder (Left CM) then Right Wide Midfielder then Left Wide Midfielder then Attacking Midfielder / Deep Lying Forward.

·       20 at start of Season 2, 21 at start of Season 3, 22 at start of Season 4.

·       *** Wonderkid ***

·       ### Vice-Captain ###

·       6 assists is amongst the top tier of goal providing Full Backs in the Bundesliga.

·       Tackle success poor @ 68% in comparison to other Bundesliga Right Full Backs.

·       3 years [2020] left on his contract of £200k p/a. £10.5m base value.

·       Training: Right Full Back + Tackling.

 

Contract/Future: Renewed until 2022 [club option to extend to 2023]. £1.8 million p/a, £700k loyalty bonus, £5k Appearance fee, £10k Clean Sheet bonus, Minimum Release Clause £27 million.

 

Sead Kolasinac. Mistakes leading to goals 1 out of 79 mistakes in 41 (16 for Schalke) games.

 

·       Primary Role: Left Full Back ~ First Choice

o   Other Roles: Left Wing Back then Centre Back then Right Full Back then Right Wing Back then Ball Winning Midfielder (Right Side CM).

·       24 at start of Season 2, 25 at start of Season 3, 26 at start of Season 4.

·       Tackle success at the top end @ 79% in comparison to other Bundesliga Left Full Backs.

·       8th= out of all Players on the list of Total Mistakes for last season’s Bundesliga.

·       4 years [2021] left on his contract of £3.4 million p/a. £22m base value. Club can extend to 2022. Loyalty bonus being paid to the sum of £4.4 million, £12.5k Appearance fee and £15k Clean Sheet bonus. Minimum release clause £34 million.

·       Training: Left Full Back + Plays Short Simple Passes

 

Contract/Future: N/A – recent signing but consider renegotiating contract after analysis of performance in Season 2 as contract generous vs. Clause and base value.

 

Danny da Costa. Mistakes leading to goals 0 out of 16 mistakes in 10 games.

 

·       Primary Role: Right Full Back

o   Other Roles: Right Wing Back then Centre Back then Right Wide Midfielder.

·       24 at start of Season 2, 25 at start of Season 3, 26 at start of Season 4.

·       Too many injuries to full assess. A (comparatively/extrapolated) large number of mistakes is offset by a good Average Rating and suggestion of above average competency. Ability to play at centre back is useful.

·       1 year [2018] left on his contract of £600k p/a. £2.8m base value.

·       Training: Right Full Back only (assess development if/when injury free).

 

Contract/Future: Renewed until 2020 [club option to extend to 2021/player can extend to 2021 if plays in 15 league games in final season]. £638k p/a, £100k loyalty bonus, £15k Appearance fee, £15k Clean Sheet bonus, no release clause.

 

Roberto Hilbert. Not used.

 

·       Primary Role: Right Full Back

·       32 at start of Season 2, 33 at start of Season 3, 34 at start of Season 4.

·       Contract expiring at end of season; £1 million p/a.

 

Contract/Future: Better options available so set for release.

 

Robin Becker (Germany). Was out on loan during Season 1 in 2. Fußball-Bundesliga, barely played and when he did, didn’t play well.

 

·       Primary Role: Right Full Back

o   Other Roles: Right Wing Back then Left Full Back then Left Wing Back then Right Wide Midfielder then Left Wide Midfielder.

·       20 at start of Season 2, 21 at start of Season 3, 22 at start of Season 4.

·       1 year [2018] left on his contract of £110k p/a. £165k base value.

·       Potential: 2 Stars

·       Training: Right Full Back only (assess as necessary).

·       Tutor: N/A.

 

Contract/Future: May have something but not enough for this project, at this time. Attempt to sell for base value with Buy Back clause OR send out on loan for the final year of his contract at full salary OR leave in squad as backup by end of Summer transfer window.

 

Centre Backs

 

 

Jonathan Tah. Mistakes leading to goals 0 out of 48 mistakes in 40 games.

 

·       Primary Role: Centre Back (Right Side) ~ First Choice

o   Other Roles: Right Full Back then Right Wing Back then Ball Winning Midfielder (Right Side CM).

·       21 at start of Season 2, 22 at start of Season 3, 23 at start of Season 4.

·       Top average rating for a Centre Back in the Bundesliga last season.

·       Tackle success % of other comparative Centre Backs a few percentile points down.

·       3 years [2020] left on his contract of £1.02 million p/a. £23m base value.

·       Training: Central Defender + Tackling.

 

Contract/Future: Renewed until 2022 [club option to extend to 2024]. £4 million p/a, £2.2 million loyalty bonus, £15k Appearance fee, £10.5k Clean Sheet bonus, Minimum Release Clause £50 million.

 

Tin Jedvaj. Mistakes leading to goals 0 out of 52 mistakes in 35 games.

 

·       Primary Role: Centre Back (Left Side) ~ First Choice

o   Other Roles: Right Full Back then Left Full Back then Right Wing Back then Left Wing Back then Ball Winning Midfielder (Right Side CM).

·       21 at start of Season 2, 22 at start of Season 3, 23 at start of Season 4.

·       Very versatile and best on the ball of all my current Centre Backs; Pass Completion Ratio of 76% on par in comparison to other top Bundesliga Centre Backs.

·       Headers Won Ratio poor @ 63% in comparison to other Bundesliga Centre Backs.

·       3 years [2020] left on his contract of £1.3 million p/a. £6.25m base value. Significant interest from Premiership Clubs a good indicator.

·       Training: Central Defender + Jumping Reach.

 

Contract/Future: Renewed until 2022 [club option to extend to 2023]. £1.77 million p/a, £1 million loyalty bonus, £7k Appearance fee, £6k Clean Sheet bonus, Minimum Release Clause £34 million.

 

Aleksandar Dragovic. Mistakes leading to goals 0 out of 42 mistakes in 36 games.

 

·       Primary Role: Centre Back (Either Side)

o   Other Roles: No but Either Side Full Back tolerable.

·       26 at start of Season 2, 27 at start of Season 3, 28 at start of Season 4.

·       Tackle success @ 89% in Bundesliga, strong mental attributes.

·       Headers Won Ratio poor @ 62% in comparison to other Bundesliga Centre Backs.

·       4 years [2021] left on his contract of £2.6 million p/a. £8.75m base value.

·       Training: Central Defender + Jumping Reach.

 

Contract/Future: No renewal at this time and consider future against any transfer acquisitions ahead of Season 2. He could be surplus to requirements and consider selling for c.£15 million especially if Sven Bender is successfully prised away from Dortmund.

 

Ömer Toprak. Mistakes leading to goals 1 out of 22 mistakes in 16 games.

 

·       Primary Role: Centre Back (Either Side)

·       28 at start of Season 2, 29 at start of Season 3, 30 at start of Season 4.

 

Contract/Future: Leaving to join Dortmund, as per real life, in a £10.25 million deal (Clause) which will also shave £2.15 million p/a off the wage bill.

 

Lukas Boeder (Germany). Was out on loan during Season 1 in 3. Fußball-Liga, played a significant role and did well at that level.

 

·       Primary Role: Centre Back (Right Side)

o   Other Roles: Ball Winning Midfielder (Right CM).

·       20 at start of Season 2, 21 at start of Season 3, 22 at start of Season 4.

·       1 year [2018] left on his contract of £90k p/a. £400k base value.

·       Potential: 2 Stars

·       Training: Central Defender only (assess as required).

·       Tutor: N/A.

 

Contract/Future: May have something but not enough for this project, at this time. Attempt to sell for base value with Buy Back clause OR send out on loan for the final year of his contract at full salary OR leave in squad as backup by end of Summer transfer window.

 

Joel Abu Hanna (Germany). Was out on loan during Season 1 in 3. Fußball-Liga, played a significant role and did very well at that level.

 

·       Primary Role(s): Centre Back (Left Side) but shift to Left Full Back

o   Other Roles: Left Wing Back then Ball Winning Midfielder (Right Side CM).

·       19 at start of Season 2, 20 at start of Season 3, 21 at start of Season 4.

·       2 years [2019] left on his contract of £90k p/a. £240k base value.

·       Potential: 2.5 Stars

·       Training: Left Full Back only (assess as required).

·       Tutor: N/A.

 

Contract/Future: Has the look of someone who has a chance of making it; the ability to play at Left Full Back too could be the avenue for his (eventual) inclusion in my squad as I am Centre Back rich. For now it should be another loan spell, hopefully at 2. Fußball-Bundesliga level as a starter OR in my squad as a backup Left Full Back if a deal cannot be agreed by the end of the Summer transfer window. No renewal at this stage.

 

Kyriakos Papadopoulos. Was out on loan in Season 1 with Hamburg where he performed averagely in a lower half team, bolstered into mid-table by the goals of Bobby Wood.

 

·       Primary Role: Centre Back (Either Side)

o   Other Roles: Ball Winning Midfielder (Right Side CM) then Right Full Back.

·       25 at start of Season 2, 26 at start of Season 3, 27 at start of Season 4.

·       3 years [2020] left on his contract of £2.6 million p/a. £3.3 million base value.

·       Training: Central Defender only (assess as required).

 

Contract/Future: Has some high stats [18 for Marking, Tackling and Balance, 20 for Bravery and Determination] and does have versatility as can play the Ball Winning Midfielder role. I’m torn but his average performances for HSV coupled with his high wages mean that getting rid is probably the best decision for both player and club. Attempt to sell for base value OR send out on loan for the next year of his contract at full salary OR leave in squad as backup by end of Summer transfer window.

 

Ole Päffgen. Not used and then sent out on loan.

 

·       Primary Role: Centre Back (Right Side)

·       20 at start of Season 2, 21 at start of Season 3, 22 at start of Season 4.

·       Contract expiring at end of season; £17.5k p/a.

 

Contract/Future: Better options available so set for release.

 

Daniel Nesseler (Germany). Not used and expected to go out on loan during Season 2 to build current ability. Playing time is crucial at this point in his development and I reckon his best hopes lie in working on his second role of Right Back where he could challenge da Costa later on.

 

·       Primary Role(s): Centre Back (Right Side) but shift to Right Full Back

o   Other Roles: Right Wing Back then Ball Winning Midfielder (Right Side CM).

·       19 at start of Season 2, 20 at start of Season 3, 21 at start of Season 4.

·       2 years [2019] left on his contract of £215k p/a. £155k base value.

·       Potential: 3.5 Stars

·       Training: Right Full Back only (assess as required).

·       Tutor: N/A.

 

Contract/Future: I like the look of Nesseler and can see a role in my squad for him in the future. His potential is strong and therefore I am renewing his deal to show my faith in him. Renewed until 2020 [club option to extend to 2021]. £263k p/a (rising to £600k p/a after 30 league appearances), £21k loyalty bonus, £12k Appearance fee, £12k Clean Sheet bonus, no release clause.

 

Julijan Popovic (Serbia). Not used but expected to graduate from the Under 19’s squad to marinate with the Seniors and get some game time, wherever possible, with a view to a loan move for week in, week out game time during Season 3.

 

·       Primary Role: Centre Back (Right Side)

o   Other Roles: No.

·       18 at start of Season 2, 19 at start of Season 3, 20 at start of Season 4.

·       2 years [2019] left on his contract of £21.5k p/a. £49.5k base value.

·       Potential: 3.5 Stars

·       Training: Central Defender only (assess as required).

·       Tutor: Aleksandar Dragovic.

 

Contract/Future: Renewed until 2020 [club option to extend until 2021]. £42.5k p/a [rising to £150k p/a after 30 career league games], £2.4k loyalty bonus, £5k Appearance fee, £5k Clean Sheet bonus, no release clause.

 

 

Jan Boller (Germany). Not used but expected to graduate from the Under 19’s squad for purposes of marination.

 

·       Primary Role: Centre Back (Right Side)

o   Other Roles: No.

·       17 at start of Season 2, 18 at start of Season 3, 19 at start of Season 4.

·       1 years [2018] left on his contract of £2.8k p/a. £47k base value.

·       Potential: 4 Stars

·       Training: Central Defender only (assess as required).

·       Tutor: N/A.

 

Contract/Future: Renewed until 2020 [club option to extend until 2021]. £20k p/a [rising to £125k p/a after 30 career league games and rising 15% per season], £1k loyalty bonus, £5k Appearance fee, £5k Clean Sheet bonus, no release clause.



#9 UKFMManager803

UKFMManager803

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 05:57 PM

Player Review - Contracts & Progression - Season 1 (2016/7)

 

The Midfield Third (Ball Winning, Box To Box and Wide Midfielders)

 

Ball Winning Midfielders

 

Lars Bender. Mistakes leading to goals 0 out of 66 mistakes in 43 games.

 

·       Primary Role: Ball Winning Midfielder (Right Side CM) ~ First Choice

o   Other Roles: Box To Box Midfielder (Left Side CM) then Right Full/Wing Back then Right Wide Midfielder.

·       28 at start of Season 2, 29 at start of Season 3, 30 at start of Season 4.

·       ### Captain ###

·       Up there with Arturo Vidal as the best player in his position in the Bundesliga with a consistent performance level of c.7.2.

·       No obvious weakness so should continue doing what he is doing.

·       2 years [2019] left on his contract of £3.45 million p/a. £19.25m base value.

·       Training: Ball Winning Midfielder only (assess as required).

 

Contract/Future: Renewed until 2020 [club option to extend to 2021]. £3.9 million p/a, £1.4 million loyalty bonus, £15k Appearance fee, Minimum Release Clause £39 million. Had to make promises to play him as Ball Winning Midfielder and to strengthen Attackers; hopefully he won’t object to the odd game at Box to Box…

 

Julian Baumgartlinger. Mistakes leading to goals 0 out of 52 mistakes in 42 games.

 

·       Primary Role: Ball Winning Midfielder (Right Side CM)

o   Other Roles: Box To Box Midfielder (Left Side CM).

·       29 at start of Season 2, 30 at start of Season 3, 31 at start of Season 4.

·       Consistently dependable. Not setting the world on fire but not really doing too much wrong either.

·       As above. I would like more of an output from him in terms of goals and assists to get closer to Captain Lar’s contribution.

·       3 years [2020] left on his contract of £1.72 million p/a. £12.25m base value.

·       Training: Ball Winning Midfielder only (assess as required).

 

Contract/Future: No renewal and I would consider selling him for c.£16 million; I suspect he will stay next season and then will be superseded by Atakan Akkaynak in Season 3…

 

Atakan Akkaynak. He got some game time during Season 1 and I was impressed by him – it wasn’t Kai Havertz level of impressed exactly but he’s certainly in my long term plans. As he is now 18 and it’s a pivotal time in his development I would like him to play regularly if possible; I will therefore be aggressively pursuing a suitable loan deal for this player in Season 2.

 

·       Primary Role: Ball Winning Midfielder (Right Side CM)

o   Other Roles: Box To Box Midfielder (Left Side CM) then Attacking Midfielder / Deep Lying Forward.

·       18 at start of Season 2, 19 at start of Season 3, 20 at start of Season 4.

·       2 years [2019] left on his contract of £90k p/a. £2.8m base value.

·       Potential: 4 Stars.

·       Training: Ball Winning Midfielder (assess as required).

·       Tutor: N/A.

 

Contract/Future: Renewed until 2021 [club option to extend to 2022]. £400k p/a (rising to £800k p/a after 5 international appearances, 20% increase per season), £70k loyalty bonus, £10k Appearance fee, Minimum Release Clause £30 million.

 

Adrian Stanilewicz (Germany). Not used but expected to graduate from the Under 19’s squad to marinate with the Seniors and get some game time, wherever possible, with a view to a loan move for week in, week out game time during Season 3.

 

·       Primary Role: Ball Winning Midfielder (Right Side CM)

o   Other Roles: Box To Box Midfielder (Left Side CM).

·       18 at start of Season 2, 19 at start of Season 3, 20 at start of Season 4.

·       1 year [2018] left on his contract of £2.8k p/a. £61k base value.

·       Potential: 3.5 Stars.

·       Training: Ball Winning Midfielder only (assess as required).

·       Tutor: Lars Bender.

 

Contract/Future: Renewed until 2020 [club option to extend to 2021]. £50k p/a (rising to £200k p/a after 15 career league appearances, 20% increase per season), £5k loyalty bonus, £15k Appearance fee, no release clause.

 

André Ramalho (Brazil). Was out on loan in Season 1 with Mainz where he performed well in a team that was ultimately relegated. Although I see him as a Ball Winning Midfielder, he played more games as a Centre Back but still enough games, with a better Average Rating, in midfield. Mainz have a £2.15 million purchase option but their presence in 2. Fußball-Bundesliga may complicate any potential transfer…

 

·       Primary Role: Ball Winning Midfielder (Right Side CM)

o   Other Roles: Centre Back then Box To Box Midfielder (Left Side CM) then Left Full Back.

·       25 at start of Season 2, 26 at start of Season 3, 27 at start of Season 4.

·       2 years [2019] left on his contract of £1.3 million p/a. £2.3 million base value.

·       Training: Ball Winning Midfielder only (assess as required).

 

Contract/Future: If Mainz take up their option and he agrees terms then he is gone. If not then it will largely depend on my transfer activity as to what role, if any he plays. He could well end up being loaned out at full salary again for another year or sold for c.£3 million. His competency at Left Full Back gives me a degree of pause, however. Centre Back, Left Full Back and Ball Winning Midfielder – that’s something to think on…

 

Marlon Frey (Germany). Was out on loan during Season 1 in 2. Fußball-Bundesliga and was largely an underperforming substitute.

 

·       Primary Role: Ball Winning Midfielder (Right Side CM)

o   Other Roles: Box To Box Midfielder (Left Side CM) then Attacking Midfielder / Deep Lying Forward.

·       21 at start of Season 2, 22 at start of Season 3, 23 at start of Season 4.

·       1 year [2018] left on his contract of £200k p/a. £1m base value.

·       Potential: 2 Stars.

·       Training: Ball Winning Midfielder only (assess as required).

·       Tutor: N/A.

 

Contract/Future: Hasn’t developed enough for this project, at this time. Attempt to sell for base value OR send out on loan for the final year of his contract at full salary OR leave in squad as backup by end of Summer transfer window.

 

 

Box To Box Midfielders

 

Kai Havertz. Mistakes leading to goals 0 out of 27 mistakes in 33 games. Havertz’s development has been exponentially “grunty” and there’s no question he needs (nay deserves) a starting berth from Season 2. Kevin Kampl hasn’t been bad but not to the extent where he can hold off the challenge from Havertz – time to raise your game Kevin…

 

·       Primary Role: Box To Box Midfielder (Left Side CM) ~ First Choice [from Season 2]

o   Other Roles: Right Wide Midfielder then Attacking Midfielder / Deep Lying Forward then Left Wide Midfielder then Ball Winning Midfielder (Right Side CM).

·       18 at start of Season 2, 19 at start of Season 3, 20 at start of Season 4.

·       *** Wonderkid ***

·       Averaging over 7 in the Bundesliga whilst still 17 years of age? 4 goals and 4 assists including a goal in the Champions League?

·       Coaches say Must improve Agility so will go along with that for now; Concentration, Positioning and Tackling to be monitored.

·       4 years [2021] left on his contract of £200k p/a. £7.25m base value.

·       Potential: 3.5 Stars.

·       Training: Box To Box Midfielder + Agility.

·       Tutor: Kevin Kampl.

 

Contract/Future: Renewed until 2020 [club option to extend to 2023]. £2 million p/a (includes 5% increase per season and rises to £2.4 million p/a after 5 international appearances), £500k loyalty bonus, £10k Appearance fee, Minimum Release Clause £37 million. Had to make a promise to give him a large pay rise. How does 1000% suit you Kai?

 

Kevin Kampl. Mistakes leading to goals 0 out of 75 mistakes in 40 games. The Slovenian international has been a dependable member of my squad but I don’t yet feel he is essential or couldn’t be replaced.

 

·       Primary Role: Box To Box Midfielder (Left Side CM)

o   Other Roles: Left Wide Midfielder then Attacking Midfielder / Deep Lying Forward then Ride Wide Midfielder then Ball Winning Midfielder (Right Side CM).

·       26 at start of Season 2, 27 at start of Season 3, 28 at start of Season 4.

·       Consistent at c.7.00 Average Rating with versatility adding value; I’ve enjoyed some of his performances off the left hand side.

·       Not dominating enough games, can be overly aggressive but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Goal scoring lacking in his game and 38% Shots on target ratio needs to go up.

·       3 years [2020] left on his contract of £2.15 million p/a. £17m base value. £1.4m loyalty bonus, £8.25k Appearance fee and no release clause.

·       Training: Box To Box Midfielder + Finishing.

 

Contract/Future: No renewal at this time. Consider selling for c.£19 million during Season 2 but dependability coupled with versatility suggests he has a role to play for the time being.

 

Vladlen Yurchenko. Mistakes leading to goals 0 out of 0 mistakes in 8 games. The Russian hasn’t played much, only has a small potential ceiling (2.5 stars) and isn’t young enough to warrant further development; multiple injuries have only rubber stamped his transfer listing.

 

·       Primary Role: Box To Box Midfielder (Left Side CM).

o   Other Roles: Attacking Midfielder / Deep Lying Forward.

·       23 at start of Season 2, 24 at start of Season 3, 25 at start of Season 4.

·       1 year [2018] left on his contract of £425k p/a. £2.5m base value.

·       Training: Box To Box Midfielder only (assess as required).

 

Contract/Future: Transfer list and sell for base value OR send out on loan for the last year of his contract at full salary OR keep in squad as backup until contract expires.

 

Riccardo Grym (Poland). Not used and coming up to his 18th year without stats [despite 3 star potential] that I find especially appealing. My instinct says – send away with mild reservation.

 

·       Primary Role: Box To Box Midfielder (Left Side CM).

o   Other Roles: Attacking Midfielder / Deep Lying Forward then Right Wide Midfielder then Right Full/Wing Back then Ball Winning Midfielder (Right Side CM).

·       18 at start of Season 2, 19 at start of Season 3, 20 at start of Season 4.

·       1 year [2018] left on his contract of £20k p/a. £39.5k base value.

·       Potential: 3 Stars.

·       Training: Box To Box Midfielder only (assess as required).

·       Tutor: N/A.

 

Contract/Future: His versatility offers something but his stats are pretty ‘meh’ – they don’t excite me although he has a better ceiling to develop than some of others being shipped out from BayArena. He hasn’t excelled in the Under 19’s either. Transfer list and sell for base value with Buy Back clause OR send out on loan for the last year of his contract at full salary OR keep in squad as backup until contract expires.

 

Patrick Güllenbeck (Germany). Not used and promoted to seniors as has 1.5 star ability which is good enough to mix with the squad in my schema of things. Yes he is 14 but he will be 15 real soon, ‘kay?

 

·       Primary Role: Box To Box Midfielder (Left Side CM).

o   Other Roles: No.

·       14 at start of Season 2, 15 at start of Season 3, 16 at start of Season 4.

o   15 by 1 January 2018. Cannot play in Season 2.

o   16 by 1 January 2019. Cannot play in Season 3.

o   17 by 1 January 2020. Can play from Season 4.

·       3 year [2020] left on his contract of £4.8k p/a. £140k base value.

·       *** Hottest Prospect ***

·       Potential: 4 Stars.

·       Training: Box To Box Midfielder only (assess as required).

·       Tutor: Charles Aránguiz.

 

Contract/Future: Future Wonderkid if treated right, real right and I intend to treat him right. Right? The temptation to throw him on to the pitch [not literally] in Pre-Season will be there but I know the rules prevent him playing senior games for a few seasons.

 

Wide Midfielders

 

Leon Bailey. Mistakes leading to goals 0 out of 31 mistakes in 46 games. Bailey, despite being disgruntled with not playing so much in Phase 1, has done well for me. Predominantly playing as a Poacher in Phases 3 and 4 I plan to play him on the right in Season 2; I fancy Julian Brandt to step in to the Poacher role whilst Karim Bellarabi proves [or fails to prove] his fitness.

 

·       Primary Role: Right Wide Midfielder ~ First Choice [from Season 2]

o   Other Roles: Left Wide Midfielder then Poacher then Attacking Midfielder / Deep Lying Forward.

·       20 at start of Season 2, 21 at start of Season 3, 22 at start of Season 4.

·       *** Wonderkid ***

·       As I have played him in multiple positions it is difficult to judge him – 10 goals was a good return but his Average Rating is inconsistent.

·       Positioning of 5 is very low; I will also monitor Passing, Stamina and Tackling.

·       5 years [2022] left on his contract of £1.72 million p/a with the option to extend until 2023. Pay rises 10% per season. £14.75m base value. £1.4m loyalty bonus, £6.75k Appearance fee, no release clause.

·       Potential: 4 Stars.

·       Training: Right Wide Midfielder + Positioning.

·       Tutor: N/A as has played too many senior games.

 

Contract/Future: No renewal given length of contract currently in play [signed in January 2017 in real life] and will carefully review ahead of Seasons 3 and 4 after what I would hope to have been two consistent seasons, playing regularly, at Right Wide Midfielder.

 

Hakan Çalhanoglu. Mistakes leading to goals 0 out of 20 mistakes in 21 games. His season cut off in its prime by his real-life (and subsequently simulated) suspension.

·       Primary Role: Left Wide Midfielder ~ First Choice

o   Other Roles: Right Wide Midfielder then Attacking Midfielder / Deep Lying Forward the Box To Box Midfielder (Left Side CM).

·       23 at start of Season 2, 24 at start of Season 3, 25 at start of Season 4.

·       13 games in Fußball-Bundesliga @ 7.53 Average Rating promises much; will review after a full season.

·       Shots on target ratio could improve @ 38%, below average Positioning & average Quickness & Tackling – watch these.

·       4 years [2021] left on his contract of £4 million p/a. £18.25m base value. £2m loyalty bonus, £12.5k Appearance fee and £40m Minimum Release clause. Club can extend until 2022.

·       Training: Left Wide Midfielder + Finishing.

 

Contract/Future: No renewal at this time as signed new contract during season. A key player and one I am braced for a sizeable bid for; no matter how much he whines, however, he ain’t leaving the BayArena unless £40 million is paid; not now at least…

 

Charles Aránguiz. Mistakes leading to goals 0 out of 53 mistakes in 48 games. My squad’s Utility man – he can play around eight positions maybe nine if I’m desperate.

 

·       Primary Role: Right Wide Midfielder

o   Other Roles: Left Wide Midfielder then Box To Box Midfielder (Left Side CM) then Ball Winning Midfielder (Right Side CM) then Right Wing Back then Left Wing Back then Right Full Back then Left Full Back then Attacking Midfielder / Deep Lying Forward.

·       28 at start of Season 2, 29 at start of Season 3, 30 at start of Season 4.

·       Consistent at c.7.00 across a number of positions although he has gravitated towards filling the wide positions when the likes of Bailey and Brandt were needed as Poachers.

·       Output in terms of Goals and Assists totalled 2 of each [with both goals coming the Cup Final]; can do better.

·       3 years [2020] left on his contract of £2.55 million p/a. £14.25m base value. £1.6m loyalty bonus, £9.75k Appearance fee and no release clause.

·       Training: Right Wide Midfielder + Crossing.

 

Contract/Future: No renewal at this time but another solid season and I will look to extend until 2021 or 2022. Would consider selling for c.£18 million, however, during Season 2.

 

Ryu Seung-Woo (South Korea). Was out on loan during Season 1 in Hungary of all places and did okay. The South Korean is a window into the Asian market but even so…

 

·       Primary Role(s): Right or Left Wide Midfielder.

o   Other Roles: Attacking Midfielder / Deep Lying Forward then Box To Box Midfielder (Left Side CM).

·       23 at start of Season 2, 24 at start of Season 3, 25 at start of Season 4.

·       1 year [2018] left on his contract of £200k p/a. £2.4m base value.

·       16 Flair coupled with 16 Work Rate is exciting but that’s not likely enough.

·       Training: Right Wide Midfielder only (assess as required).

 

Contract/Future: Hasn’t developed enough for this project nor does he have the ceiling to be a key player. Attempt to sell for base value OR send out on loan for the final year of his contract at full salary OR leave in squad as backup by end of Summer transfer window.

 

Jakub Bednarczyk (Poland). Not used and promoted from Under 19’s to be reviewed.

 

·       Primary Role: Right Wide Midfielder.

o   Other Roles: Attacking Midfielder / Deep Lying Forward then Right Wing Back then Right Full Back.

·       18 at start of Season 2, 19 at start of Season 3, 20 at start of Season 4.

·       1 year [2018] left on his contract of £21.5k p/a. £44.5k base value.

·       Potential: 2 Stars.

·       Training: Right Wide Midfielder only (assess as required).

·       Tutor: N/A.

 

Contract/Future: Like his Polish compatriot, Riccardo Gyrm, my instinct says that this young winger will not make the grade and should be sold to a club where he might play enough, regularly and soon, to prove me wrong. Attempt to sell for base value OR send out on loan for the final year of his contract at full salary OR leave in squad as backup by end of Summer transfer window.

 

Sam Schreck (Germany). Not used but almost promoted from the Under 19’s during the Poacher Apocalypse [it’s a thing now – deal with it] and I think he’ll be involved quite a bit during Season 2. I like the look of him.

 

·       Primary Role: Right Wide Midfielder.

o   Other Roles: Left Wide Midfielder then Attacking Midfielder / Deep Lying Forward then Box To Box Midfielder (Left Side CM).

·       18 at start of Season 2, 19 at start of Season 3, 20 at start of Season 4.

·       4 years [2021] left on his contract of £450k p/a. £170k base value.

o   Darn! He’s on a tasty deal, he probably should have been with the seniors during Season 1.

·       Potential: 4 Stars.

·       Training: Right Wide Midfielder only (assess as required).

·       Tutor: N/A.

 

Contract/Future: No contract renewal and he will be judged by the quality of his exposure to first team football in the next couple of seasons. I’d expect to send him out on loan for Season 3 so he can play week in, week out but will play him a fair bit this and you never know, he could be another Havertz…



#10 UKFMManager803

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 06:28 AM

Player Review - Contracts & Progression - Season 1 (2016/7)

 

The Final Third (Deep Lying Forwards and Poachers)

 

Deep Lying Forwards

 

Kevin Volland. Mistakes leading to goals 1 out of 38 mistakes in 49 games. The best player from Season 1 is on a tasty contract but I must make it even tastier to ward off Das Bayern’s ugly strategy of buying their rival’s best players.

 

·       Primary Role: Deep Lying Forward ~ First Choice

o   Other Roles: Attacking Midfielder then Right Wide Midfielder then Left Wide Midfielder then Box To Box Midfielder (Left Side CM).

·       25 at start of Season 2, 26 at start of Season 3, 27 at start of Season 4.

·       Despite the odd period of indifferent form – consistently performed well and 14 goals + 18 Assists is an excellent return.

·       Tackling (72% Tackle completion ratio) could improve in comparison to other second strikers in Bundesliga; KV winning the ball in dangerous areas should improve the opportunities he creates.

·       4 years [2021] left on his contract of £4.3 million p/a. £22m base value.

·       Training: Deep Lying Forward + Tackling.

 

Contract/Future: Renewed until 2022 [club option to extend to 2023]. £4.8 million p/a, £2.8 million loyalty bonus, £15.5k Appearance fee, Minimum Release Clause £48 million.

 

Marc Brasnic. The Croatian striker was out on loan during Season 1 in 3. Fußball-Liga and did okay.

 

·       Primary Role: Deep Lying Forward

o   Other Roles: Attacking Midfielder then Right Wide Midfielder then Left Wide Midfielder.

·       20 at start of Season 2, 21 at start of Season 3, 22 at start of Season 4.

·       1 year [2018] left on his contract of £90k p/a. £125k base value.

·       Potential: 2 Stars.

·       Training: Deep Lying Forward only (assess as required).

·       Tutor: N/A.

 

Contract/Future: Hasn’t developed enough for this project, at this time. Attempt to sell for base value OR send out on loan for the final year of his contract at full salary OR leave in squad as backup by end of Summer transfer window.

 

Patrik Dzalto. The other Croatian striker was out on loan during Season 1, also in 3. Fußball-Liga and did pretty similar to his compatriot. Okay.

 

·       Primary Role: Deep Lying Forward

o   Other Roles: Attacking Midfielder then Right Wide Midfielder then Left Wide Midfielder.

·       20 at start of Season 2, 21 at start of Season 3, 22 at start of Season 4.

·       1 year [2018] left on his contract of £55k p/a. £135k base value.

·       Potential: 2 Stars.

·       Training: Deep Lying Forward only (assess as required).

·       Tutor: N/A.

 

Contract/Future: Hasn’t developed enough for this project, at this time. Attempt to sell for base value OR send out on loan for the final year of his contract at full salary OR leave in squad as backup by end of Summer transfer window.

 

Joel Pohjanpalo. Mistakes leading to goals 0 out of 7 mistakes in 14 games. The Finnish ace hasn’t been much of an ace but then I’ve hardly found a space for him. He could be the backup Deep Lying Forward for one more season but probably not…

 

·       Primary Role(s): Deep Lying Forward

o   Other Roles: Attacking Midfielder / Deep Lying Forward then Box To Box Midfielder (Left Side CM).

·       22 at start of Season 2, 23 at start of Season 3, 24 at start of Season 4.

·       2 years [2019] left on his contract of £600k p/a. £3.3m base value.

·       15 Finishing coupled with 15 Off The Ball suggests he will probably score goals if given a long run in the team.

·       Lack of Team Work and Work Rate average.

·       Training: Deep Lying Forward only (assess as required).

 

Contract/Future: If he was younger I might keep him but I’m just not feeling it; better to sell for Base Value for with a Buy Back clause OR loan him out for the next year of his contract at full salary OR leave in squad as a backup player in this position.

 

Stefan Kießling. Mistakes leading to goals 0 out of 0 mistakes in 5 games. The end of the road for one of Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s favourite sons.

 

 

·       Primary Role(s): Deep Lying Forward

o   Other Roles: Attacking Midfielder then Right Wide Midfielder then Left Wide Midfielder.

·       33 at start of Season 2, 34 at start of Season 3, 35 at start of Season 4.

·       0 years [2017] left on his contract of £3.45m p/a. £34k base value.

 

Contract/Future: All good things (127 league goals in 319 appearances) must come to an end…Set for release. £3.45m p/a wages off the bill…Mmmmmm!

 

Abdel Diouri (Germany). Not used and promoted to seniors as has 1.5 star ability which is good enough to mix with the senior players.

 

·       Primary Role: Deep Lying Forward.

o   Other Roles: Attacking Midfielder then Box To Box Midfielder.

·       15 at start of Season 2, 16 at start of Season 3, 17 at start of Season 4.

o   16 by 1 January 2018. Cannot play in Season 2.

o   17 by 1 January 2019. Can play from Season 3.

·       3 years [2020] left on his contract of £4.8k p/a. £125k base value.

·       Potential: 3.5 Stars.

·       Training: Deep Lying Forward only (assess as required).

·       Tutor: N/A.

 

Contract/Future: Future First Teamer, potentially at least, that I want to keep a close eye on during Season 2 with a view to considering his eligibility for some early senior minutes during Season 3…

 

Chinedu Ekene (Germany). Not used and promoted to Seniors with a view to a loan move ahead of Season 2.

 

·       Primary Role: Deep Lying Forward.

o   Other Roles: Attacking Midfielder then Right Wide Midfielder then Left Wide Midfielder then Box To Box Midfielder (Left Side CM).

·       18 at start of Season 2, 19 at start of Season 3, 20 at start of Season 4.

·       2 years [2019] left on his contract of £90k p/a. £78k base value.

·       Potential: 3.5 Stars.

·       Training: Deep Lying Forward only (assess as required).

·       Tutor: N/A.

 

Contract/Future: After an excellent, albeit relentless, season in the Under 19’s [71 appearances, 11 Goals, 17 Assists] and an almost transfer to Hertha Berlin at one stage I am prepared to consider young Ekene as a future squad player and that means sending him out on loan to play. Renewed until 2020 [club option to extend to 2021]. £100k p/a [rises 10% p/a and after 30 league appearances to £250k p/a], £5k loyalty bonus, £6k Appearance fee and no release clause.

 

 

Poachers

 

Julian Brandt. Mistakes leading to goals 0 out of 22 mistakes in 39 games. Brandt gets the nod to start at Poacher after a successful audition in the latter Phases of Season 1.

 

·       Primary Role: Poacher ~ First Choice [from Season 2]

o   Other Roles: Right Wide Midfielder then Left Wide Midfielder then Attacking Midfielder / Deep Lying Forward.

·       21 at start of Season 2, 22 at start of Season 3, 23 at start of Season 4.

·       Despite the odd game playing in different roles [started on right flank, played on left and then as a Poacher] it’s not as easy to assess. Close to 1 Goal in every 3 games and a high Tackle completion ratio @ 83% are good indicators.

·       Shots on target ratio low at 39% but let’s see how he does consistently playing at Poacher; I need to try and get his Acceleration up from 16 to 17 and the Quickness training seems to be agreeing with him.

·       2 years [2019] left on his contract of £863k p/a. £22m base value.

·       Training: Poacher + Quickness.

 

Contract/Future: Renewed until 2022 [club option to extend to 2023]. £3.8 million p/a, £1.9 million loyalty bonus, £15k Appearance fee, Minimum Release Clause £38 million.

 

Karim Bellarabi. Mistakes leading to goals 0 out of 3 mistakes in 18 games.

 

·       Primary Role: Poacher

o   Other Roles: Right Wide Midfielder then Left Wide Midfielder then Attacking Midfielder / Deep Lying Forward.

·       27 at start of Season 2, 28 at start of Season 3, 29 at start of Season 4.

·       Was profiling as a c.15 Goals per season man before multiple successive injuries ended his season and lost him his starting berth. 8 Goals in 18 appearances was decent as was a Pass completion ratio @ 86%.

·       Tackle completion ratio noticeably weaker than Brandt @ 67% and will need nursing back to full health before he gets anywhere near a football to see if we can put a stop to his injury nightmare.

·       4 years [2021] left on his contract of £3.45m p/a. £24m base value.

·       Training: Poacher only (assess as required).

 

Contract/Future: No renewal and his injury record in Season 2 will likely dictate his future. As it stands I would accept a bid c.£20 million.



#11 UKFMManager803

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 08:30 AM

Transfer Shortlist – Season 2 – 2017/8

 

Here I’ll list the players on my shortlist as I am about to move the days forward to Pre-Season and Season 2 itself. The listings are explained below: -

 

Name (Nationality) > Base Value > Club > Contract Expiry Year(Number of Years until Expiry) > Age at Start of Season 2-3-4 > Transfer Type:

Priority – this season if you please Mister Football Manager.

Marquee – it would take serious money to prise away this player, right now.

Interested – could probably do a deal but only if the price is right.

Future – if I sign him now it’s likely that there will be a loan in his future or a future in his arrival.

 

My priority is my Attack – we finished 2nd / 18 in Defence but only 7th / 18 in Attack, Captain Lars has been promised more attacking players and the return of Çalhanoglu is not enough on its own.

 

 

Goalkeepers

 

“…Signing any further Goalkeepers is not presently a priority although I’d like to get Rajkovic in at some stage then loan him out to marinate…”

 

Kasper Schmeichel (Denmark) > £8m > Leicester City > 2021(4) > 31-32-33 > Marquee

Predrag Rajkovic (Serbia) > £1.4m > Maccabi Tel-Aviv > 2020(3) > 21-22-23 > Future

Augusto Batalla (Argentina) > £1.5m > River Plate > 2021(4) > 21-22-23 > Future

 

 

Right Full Backs

 

“…Pretty happy with my Right Full Back options at this time-point although Jeremy Toljan’s ability to play at both Right and Left Full/Wing Backs makes him one to watch and an intriguing prospect…”

 

Jeremy Toljan (Germany) > £6.25m > Hoffenheim > 2020(3) > 23-24-25 > Interested

Tony Jantschke (Germany) > £7m > Gladbach > 2020(3) > 27-28-29 > Interested

 

 

Left Full Backs

 

“…I’d love to manage Ricardo Rodríguez but he is on £6.9m p/a!…”

 

Ricardo Rodríguez (Switzerland) > £13.25m > Wolfsburg > 2019(2) > 23-24-25 > Marquee

Philipp Ochs (Germany) > £3.7m > Hoffenheim > 2021(4) > 20-21-22 > Future

Wendell (Brazil) > £12m > Man City > 2021(4) > 24-25-26 > Interested

 

 

Centre Backs

 

“…I’m still generally expecting to replace any future Centre Back transfers with youth prospects but Bender is possible if Dortmund marginalise him after Toprak’s arrival and his own poor, injury ravaged, season. The price has to be right…I am still annoyed with myself that I didn’t splash £9m on Nacho when Madrid briefly transfer listed him during Season 1. Hindsight is a marvellous thing…”

 

Nacho (Spain) > £21.5m > Real Madrid > 2020(3) > 27-28-29 > Marquee

Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands) > £26.5m > Southampton > 2022(5) > 26-27-28 > Marquee

Alessio Romagnoli (Italy) > £18.75m > AC Milan > 2021(4) > 22-23-24 > Marquee

Andreas Christensen (Denmark) > £19m > Chelsea > 2020(3) > 21-22-23 > Marquee

Sven Bender (Germany) > £11.25m > Dortmund > 2021(4) > 28-29-30 > Interested

Felix Uduokhai (Germany) > £2.1m > 1860 München > 2020(3) > 19-20-21 > Future

 

 

Ball Winning Midfielders (Right Side CM)

 

“…I’m likely well covered in this position but big money moves for both Bender and Baumgartlinger could well make Niclas Stark of Winterfell Berlin a good acquisition…”

 

Tiémoué Bakayoko (France) > £11.5m > Monaco > 2021(4) > 22-23-24 > Marquee

Niklas Stark (Germany) > £2.8m > Hertha BSC > 2021(4) > 22-23-24 > Interested

 

 

Box To Box Midfielders (Left Side CM)

 

“…He has the same Birth Date as me (21st May) and is an exciting young prospect coming off the back of a strong debut season with Eintracht Frankfurt. The signing of Aymen Barkok would allow Kevin Kampl to focus on the Left Wide Midfielder role. Can I do a deal? I hope so but it may be that I have to play a waiting game…”

 

Leon Goretzka (Germany) > £22.25m > Schalke > 2021(4) > 22-23-24 > Marquee

Corentin Tolisso (France) > £9.75m > Lyon > 2020(3) > 23-24-25 > Interested

Aymen Barkok (Germany) > £4.1m > Frankfurt > 2020(3) > 19-20-21 > Interested

 

 

Right Wide Midfielders

 

“…I’ve always wanted to manage Andrija Zivkovic but I don’t think it’s likely. A bad season for Leon Bailey (or an amazing one leading to his big money departure) could change that…”

 

Andrija Zivkovic (Serbia) > £12.75m > Benfica > 2021(4) > 21-22-23 > Marquee

Martin Ødegaard (Norway) > £4.3m > Real Madrid > 2021(4) > 18-19-20 > Interested

 

 

Left Wide Midfielders

 

“…Danish Winger, Pione Sisto, could be the solution to the next Right/Left Wide Midfielder question as there’s no question he could play on either flank. How well he’d play is another question for another day…”

 

Emil Forsberg (Sweden) > £14.5m > RB Leipzig > 2022(5) > 25-26-27 > Marquee

Pione Sisto (Denmark) > £3.4m > Celta > 2021(4) > 22-23-24 > Interested

 

 

Deep Lying Forwards

 

“…Bobby Wood was the top scorer in Fußball-Bundesliga in Season 1 – he scored 23 League and 3 Cup Goals and made a further 6; an Average Rating of 7.30 and could conceivably Poach as well as er…Lie Deep? He’s vulnerable to being snapped up given his low wage [£300k p/a] and HSV not being able to take a European slot. He is a cheaper option than the long term, much coveted Kasper Dolberg (Denmark are going to have a good team!) who I feel needs to be playing at least one more season, week in/week out, at Ajax of Amsterdam…”

 

Yussuf Poulsen (Denmark) > £9.75m > RB Leipzig > 2021(4) > 23-24-25 > Interested

Bobby Wood (U.S.A.) > £4.2m > HSV > 2020(3) > 24-25-26 > Priority

Kasper Dolberg (Denmark) > £6.25m > Ajax > 2021(4) > 19-20-21 > Marquee

Zackarias Faour (Sweden) > £350k > Man City > 2018(1) > 19-20-21 > Future

 

 

Poachers

 

“…I have agreed a fee with San Lorenzo for the transfer of Tomás Conechny; it is slewed towards clauses and therefore isn’t much of a risk. I would like the Conechny that I first noticed tearing it up with Chelsea in my Blackburn database and therefore he needs to play week in/week out so if I can agree terms with the player I’d expect to loan him out for one if not two seasons.…”

 

Emre Mor (Turkey) > £8.5m > Dortmund > 2021(4) > 20-21-22 > Marquee

Timo Werner (Germany) > £10m > RB Leipzig > 2020(3) > 21-22-23 > Interested

Ahmed Musa (Nigeria) > £11.75m > Leicester City > 2020(3) > 24-25-26 > Marquee

Adalberto Peñaranda (Venezuela) > £9.5m > Watford > 2020(3) > 20-21-22 > Interested

Tomás Conechny (Argentina) > £1.3m > San Lorenzo > 2021(4) > 19-20-21 > Future



#12 UKFMManager803

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 09:00 AM

The Road to Season 2 (2017/8)
 
 
Transfers In (£36.5 million)
 
Post12_4_2a_cut_tfrin_zpsdhd4nfum.png
 
Transfers Out (£79m)
 
Post12_4_2a_cut_tfrout1_zpsak0boeik.png
 
Transfers Out - Continued
 
Post12_4_2b_cut_tfrout2_zpsjmj4yyx6.png
 
 
Team Training Schedule (Pre-Season)
 
 
1.     Week commencing 26 June 2017 > Fitness (Low) + Match Training (Minimal).
2.     Week commencing 3 July 2017 > Fitness (Average) + Match Training (Moderate).
3.     Week commencing 10 July 2017 > Fitness (High) + Match Training (High).
4.     Week commencing 17 July 2017 > Team Cohesion (High) + Match Training (Very High).
5.     Week commencing 24 July 2017 > Ball Control (Average) + Match Training (High).
6.     Week commencing 31 July 2017 > Tactical (High) + Match Training (Very High).
7.     Week commencing 7 August 2017 > Balanced (Very High) + Match Training (Very High).
8.     Until February 2018 > Balanced (High) + Match Training (High).

 
 
Pre-Season – Season 2 – 2017/8
 
Post12_3_2_preseason_zpsbavrzkut.png
 
 
Squad Numbers – Season 2 – 2017/8
 
1-11 = First Choice
 


1.     Bernd Leno                          Goalkeeper                          

2.     Benjamin Henrichs             Right Full Back                     

3.     Sead Kolasinac                   Left Full Back           

4.     Lars Bender                         Ball Winning Midfielder (Right Side CM)                       

5.     Tin Jedvaj                            Centre Back (Left Side)                              

6.     Jonathan Tah                      Centre Back (Right Side)                           

7.     Leon Bailey                         Right Wide Midfielder

8.     Kai Havertz                          Box To Box Midfielder (Left Side CM)

9.     Julian Brandt                       Poacher        

10.   Kevin Volland                      Deep Lying Forward

11.    Andrija Zivkovic                  Left Wide Midfielder

 

12.  Leverkusen Fans

 

13.  Marian Prinz                                  Goalkeeper

14.  Julian Baumgartlinger                   Ball Winning Midfielder

15.  Felix Uduokhai                              Centre Back (Either Side)

16.  Charles Aránguiz                          Right Wide Midfielder+

17.  Sam Schreck                                Right Wide Midfielder+

18.  Kevin Kampl                                  Box To Box Midfielder (Left Side CM)+

19.  Karim Bellarabi                              Poacher

20.  Bobby Wood                                 Deep Lying Forward

21.  Ramazan Özcan                           Goalkeeper

22.  Danny da Costa                            Right Full Back

23.  Tomás Conechny                          Poacher

24.  Adrian Stanilewicz                         Ball Winning Midfielder (Right Side CM)

25.  Jan Boller                                      Centre Back (Right Side)

26.  Julijan Popovic                              Centre Back (Right Side)

27.  Pione Sisto                                    Left Wide Midfielder

28.  N/A

29.  N/A

​30.  N/A

31.  Tomas Kucz                                  Goalkeeper

 
            
Commentary
 

·       I win both Fußballtrainer des Jahres and the VDV version (whatever that is!); Kevin Volland and Jonathan Tah both get in the Elf des Jahres and the VDV version of the same.

·       I agree terms with Tomás Conechny as a Rotation option. He’s still going out on loan he just doesn’t know it yet…

·       I agree a fee with HSV for Bobby Wood [75% Base Value + Clauses] but his agent breaks off talks.

·       He subsequently sacks his agent and we agree terms but I have to go 100% Base Value + enhanced Clauses after HSV, I’m guessing, are bolstered by their Bundesliga pay-out; the deal is confirmed!

·       I convince my Board to offer up two additional coaching slots; Brian McClair is immediately appointed from Southampton to fill one of those vacancies; he is followed by free agent, Steve Cooper (Wales).

·       I appoint a Head of Sports Science because, well...why not? Perhaps he can invent a cure to Karim Bellarabi’s injuries? Mo Gimpel is the last member of staff to be excised from Southampton to fill this position.

·       PSG look set to sign both Eden Hazard (£85m) and Bernardo Silva (£60m). Nice transfer budget if you can get it!

·       Man City try to sign Hakan Çalhanoglu for a deal worth around £26m with clauses; I say pay the £40m clause straight up or no dice. They withdraw their bid. My deaf ears await the whining from Hakan Çalhanoglu...

·       PSG complete the signing of Hazard but Silva may have stalled? They try a similar deal to Man City’s for Çalhanoglu. The same response is supplied and they withdraw. No whining as of yet...

·       Martyn Glover leaves Everton to become my new Chief Scout.

·       Bobby Wood completes his move but has picked up a hip injury between here and Hamburg – 7-8 weeks which means he and Karim Bellarabi will sit out the early games…

·       Scenes. Napoli agree to pay my £15m asking price for Aleksandar Dragovic so I move to replace him with Felix Uduokhai.

·       Meanwhile Man City return to the Çalhanoglu negotiating table with a meaty £34.5m bid. The answer is still £40 million of your pounds or No. Dice. They decide they want him and agree...It seems that after his suspension he will not wear the black and red again. Sad times...I put in an acceptable £17m bid for Emil Forsberg which FC Bayern immediately attempt to hijack! The swines!

·       I agree a contract with Forsberg on his terms [Agent enforced £22 million “Stepping Stone“ release clause] so it is up to him now...

·       Hakan Çalhanoglu comes off the bench in my first pre-season game for a farewell appearance. Connechy scores a goal late on in his debut as soon to be departing Marlon Frey makes a great cameo; I won’t be swayed.

·       Aleksandar Dragovic completes his transfer to Napoli. Enjoy Naples Aleksandar!

·       Hakan Çalhanoglu completes his £40m move to Man City. He’s put back on the shortlist just in case things don’t go so well...

·       FC Bayern splash out £37m [potentially rising to £67m] for Schalke’s Leon Goretzka. Leon - it doesn’t appear I’ll be managing you in this database, another time I hope. Give up on Forsberg? Right? RIGHT?!

·       No. Emil Forsberg joins Leon Goretzka at the Allianz Arena. Enjoy the bench Emil although I suppose Arjen Robben is getting on and Franck Ribéry's retired.

·       In better news I conclude the transfer of Felix Uduokhai from TSV 1860 München for £3.9m potentially rising to £7m; “He can also play competently at Left Full Back” Klaxon!

·       Andrija Zivkovic. It’s time for you to join and replace Çalhanoglu. I agree a deal that could be worth £25 million to Benfica.

·       Zivkovic agrees terms and pens a four year deal worth £2.85m p/a with the option of extending for one year. The fee £15.25m potentially rising to £25m. Çalhanoglu replaced with a player I’d wanted to manage, didn’t think was likely but here he is. Exciting times...

·       The DFL-Supercup is played in late June and I am involved having won DFB-Pokal last season. It’s against FC Bayern München in our own stadium (which is handy!) and we did the job as you can see below – even if we were holding on a bit at the end. A sumptious lofted goal, that proved to be the winner, from Julian Brandt has every chance of making next end of season’s highlights page...

 

Post12_3_1cut_zpstxnhpbfi.png

 

·       Karim Bellarabi is now back in full training. I will watch his physical condition like a hawk before giving him any match action with even the Under 19’s.

·       Man City sniffing around Julian Brandt. Could another team be about to pay a release clause? £38 million is what it will cost and I’ve told Brandt just that. He’s not happy. J

·       As we approach our first game of the season – an away tie at Schott Mainz in the 1st round of the DFB-Pokal there are still a few unresolved issues. Conechny, Kucz and Özcan have yet to be snapped up on loan but all other players [Riccardo Grym set to complete his move away in the next game day or two] that I expected to sell or loan out are gone either permanently or on loan to a suitable club. I must also consider who to move for if Brandt is Manchester bound…Werner? Werner and Sisto? Go nuts and gamble on Bellarabi staying fit and play Conechny until Karim is match fit?

·       Double Danes – I conclude two further transfer deals before the end of the Summer window. Long term target Kasper Dolberg joins from Ajax with immediate loan back option enabled so he can keep developing into the awesome player that he can be in Football Manager. I also decide to sign Pione Sisto to give me some pace off the bench. Some good work in this window and I can’t have too many complaints.

 

 

Season 2 – 2017/8 – Phase 1 - First ten league games (plus cup games) - Fixtures

 

Post12_3_2phase1_zps1r9ttgrg.png

 

·       Home games against FC Bayern and Dortmund as well as a trip to Hoffenheim are the highlights in Phase 1’s fixture list. The possibilities are there to open up a lead early doors - or find Leverkusen chasing fumes…

 

 

Season 2 – 2017/8 – Champions League Group

 

Post12_4_1cut_zps8tvf1oyt.png



#13 UKFMManager803

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:25 PM

Season 2 - 2017/8 - Phase 1 – First ten league games (plus Cup Games)

 

Injuries

 

·       Nothing long term thus far. J

·       Karim Bellarabi is at 100% Condition and Match Fitness…Fingers crossed!

o   Of course he’s narked that he isn’t playing now. Oh Karim! What are you like…?

 

Training

 

·       I will push the level of Match Training down one more notch to Moderate as soon as late arrival Pione Sisto develops a little more Tactical Familiarity. Otherwise things look good.

 

Players

 

Post13_1cut_zpseco84kgk.png

 

·       The lack of significant injuries means that my preferred XI have played most of the games which means that I will have some unrest from the less involved players (i.e. the aforementioned Bellarabi) before too long. That’s healthy if managed the right way.

·       Andrija Zivkovic has had a great start to his Leverkusen career and with Tactical Familiarity up to 100% I am expecting even greater things going into the next Phase. He leads the Leverkusen Assists chart with 6 Goals created.

·       Kevin Volland is once again the lynchpin of my ambitions – 9 Goals and 4 Assists for the German International. Julian Brandt in close attendance as is the woodwork that worthy seems to hit on a regular basis...

·       Jonathan Tah and Lars Bender are perhaps not at their peak for the Season yet but with them training well this should hopefully see their Average Ratings rise before too long.

 

Results

 

Post13_4cut_zpsfnil9ze4.png

 

Fußball-Bundesliga

 

Post13_2cut_zpsqgfkf48r.png

 

UEFA Champions League

 

Post13_3cut_zps607vzawz.png

 

·       I wouldn’t normally mention commercial friendlies [here at home against Real Madrid] but it’s definitely worth a mention on this occasion. A 2-1 win over Real is nothing to be sniffed about – a team laden with talent. Varane, Ramos, Isco, Bale, Ronaldo – all started. Both our goals scored by then 14 year old youth player, Patrick Güllenbeck, who I allowed on for a devastating 21 minute spell after Half-Time. Lad’s got promise…

·       We won our opening fixture in the DFB-Pokal against TSV Schott Mainz and followed that up with a comfortable win over the more illustrious and recently Bundesliga relegated Mainz - 1.FSV Mainz 05. This Mainz fielded former Leverkusen striker, Stefan Kießling, but he was marked out of the game. We will continue our campaign with a tie away at SC Freiburg in the third round.

·       The Champions League gave me a decent draw with Benfica joining Celtic and Olympiacos in Group G. I have won all three games so far and one more will secure qualification. I want to win the Group and should do it.

·       I feel I am two points off where I should be with this 18 point haul in Fußball-Bundesliga. Whilst I am three points worse off Season 1’s Phase 1 return of 21 points I note that arch rivals Das Bayern are five points off their preceding tally. Free scoring Borussia Dortmund just the one.

·       The most infuriating result of this Phase has to be, without doubt, the 1-1 draw away in Ingolstadt. We had a 0-1 win in the bag before a percentage, seemingly aimless free kick into the mixer, Bernd Leno racing towards I don’t know what (not the ball it would appear? Did he see someone he knew in the crowd?) and no one taking ownership of the ball to head away. Back of the net, meet football. Ingolstadt were down to 10 men at that point too…GRRRR!

·       The return of VfB Stuttgart to Bundesliga has been an interesting one. Hannes Wolf’s team sit in 2nd place and won their first five fixtures before Dortmund taught them a lesson at Signal Iduna Park that they will not forget any time soon. Stuttgart were delighted to take the lead when Mario Götze unluckily deflected the ball into his own net from a corner. He made amends with an equaliser moments later from Marco Reus’s delicious through pass.

o   Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Reus and Aubameyang again [the second the finishing touch of a sumptuous team move] gave them a 4-1 lead by minute 25.

o   Dortmund switched off in the 32nd minute as Simon Terodde powered home from close range. 4-2. Kick on in the second half then Stuttgart eh?

o   No. The final score? 10(ten)–2 in Dortmund’s favour. One of two Aubameyang hat-tricks in this Phase. Reus got himself one too although the tenth goal was late coming - a penalty in the 91st minute from former Leverkusen striker, Arkadiusz Milik [a £24.5m Summer signing from Napoli no less].

o   Naturally Stuttgart stumbled after that taking only one point out of the next six available.

·       It wasn’t only them losing to Dortmund as I made the mistake of being too cavalier at home against them as I went 1-4 down. The second hat-trick from Aubameyang. The lads reacted well and managed to get it back to 3-4 but we couldn’t force the 4-4 classic on this occasion. I knew to go to my defensive formation, Phase be damned, and this secured me a point in the other massive game, again at home against Bayern.

o   1 point from 6 at home against the two big boys isn’t good but at least they dropped points elsewhere.

o   I was disappointed to lose 3-2 away at Stuttgart but it was by a penalty and that can happen. On another day a 2-2 draw against a team punching above their weight at this moment in time.

·       My team had a romp of their own which helped with the goal difference. J > 7-2 at home to Hamburger SV who aren’t doing too badly otherwise. A hat-trick for the Serbian, Zivkovic, a delight as well as a first goal for young Centre Back, Felix Uduokhai. Pleasure was had, say thank ye.

·       So I’ve learnt: -

o   Fear Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when combined with Marco Reus.

o   Play defensively against Das Bayern, Dortmund (and in the future any emerging rival) in any Phase.

o   Julian Brandt has done well but the number of misses or going close in commentary has been notable. Train him on Composure?

o   The 0-0 draw Hoffenheim was a percentage one for both of us. We couldn’t get a foothold and neither could I. Try something different next time? Focus on a specific area of the pitch, make an unusual substitution choice, activate swap player, increase the tempo? Turning at least some of these percentage draws into wins is going to be key to this team having a chance of lifting Fußball-Bundesliga in the future…

 

Season 2 – 2017/8 – Phase 2 - Remaining league games (plus cup games) before the Winter Break – Fixtures

 

Post13_5cut_zpseu4pheoa.png

 

·       Other than a trip to RB Leipzig I can feel pretty confident about Phase 2, on paper at least…

·       Taking my Champions League Group at Game 4 would be ideal as I could then rotate in the last two games and look to maximise the points gained from my league games but we will see and as always…

 

Time will tell



#14 UKFMManager803

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 10:53 AM

Season 2 - 2017/8 - Phase 2 – Remaining league games (plus Cup Games) before the Winter Break

 

Injuries

 

·       The first longer term injury of the season went to Julian Baumgartlinger as the [thus far] underutilised Ball Winning Midfielder suffered a lower back stress fracture set to rule him out 7-8 weeks.

o   This being around the start of Phase 2 at least should mean he is back [pardon the pun!] and available for Phase 3.

·       Elsewhere there were a few knocks [and food poisoning] for Kai Havertz. He has looked a little tired recently so will need to be careful with him to ensure burn out does not ensue.

·       Minor injuries [2-3 weeks] for both Kevin Volland and Andrija Zivkovic meant that Bobby Wood and Pione Sisto got the opportunity to play consistently. Both did well and demonstrated that they can be relied upon to step up.

 

Contracts and Transfers

 

·       As we approach the January Transfer Window there is interest in some of my players with Man City seemingly keen to add to Wendell and Hakan Çalhanoglu.

·       The former has been transfer listed at £6m and relegated to City’s Under 23 team; as a natural reserve for Sead Kolasinac isn’t presently in my squad I am seriously considering bringing the Brazilian back as both cover and to increase competition at Left Full Back where Kolasinac is currently excelling.

·       I have increased the minimum fee clauses and headed off both unhappiness and heads being turned by Man City’s overtures as to warming their bench (albeit for significant remuneration) by agreeing new contracts with the following players: -

o   Kevin Kampl                      signed until 2021 on a £2.6m p/a deal; £30m clause.

o   Benjamin Henrichs           signed until 2022 on a £3.55m p/a deal; £37m clause.

o   Kevin Volland                   signed until 2022 on a £5.2m p/a deal; £57m clause.

o   Leon Bailey                       signed until 2022 on a £3m p/a deal; £32m clause.

o   Kai Havertz                       signed until 2022 on a £3.6m p/a deal; £48m clause.

·       The real vulnerabilities left are Julian Brandt (Base Value now £35m, clause @ £38m) who isn’t willing to talk about a new deal at the moment and Andrija Zivkovic (signed with a conservative £30m clause).

o   I’m confident of extending Zivkovic before the end of the season but I’m not confident that Brandt will be a Leverkusen player for Season 3. Perhaps the best I can hope for is that no one coughs up £38 million during this coming transfer window.

·       If Brandt goes in this window I will likely make do with Bellarabi and Conechny in the knowledge that Bailey and Wood can play at Poacher and that RB Leipzig will be after mega money for Timo Werner…

 

Players

 

Post14_2cut_zpsmnyd8iun.png

 

·       Kevin Volland is still probably our best player but Julian Brandt is edging him by 1 Goal and 1 Assist. Competition is healthy and hopefully they bring the best out of each other. Kevin please tell Julian to reject any overtures from Manchester City. Cheers!

·       Kai Havertz is playing so well for an 18 year old – richly deserving that new contract. I’d be devastated to lose him so expect me to have blinkers on in terms of what I pay this lad to keep him for the long term.

·       Of my starting XI – Lars Bender and Bernd Leno aren’t playing as well as they might. Leno has made 3 mistakes leading to goals but he is a quality Keeps; many more though and it starts to raise questions in your mind…

·       Other than that my back four is performing well and special mention to Bobby Wood for playing well when he’s had the chance. A spectacular 25 yard strike against Benfica, even though that game was a dead rubber, is worth a mention and a probable place on the highlights reel.

 

Results

 

Post14_5cut_zpsjm567ejn.png

 

Fußball-Bundesliga

 

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UEFA Champions League

 

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·       No draws in this Phase for Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

·       Things got off to the perfect start as we ran riot in Freiburg against their football team. 0-4 up after 22 minutes we coasted to a 1-5 away win as Julian Brandt slotted four.

·       I was disappointed that we failed to secure the group away in Greece against Olympiacos SF Piraeus but it was more a case of the chances not going in than not creating any.

·       A regulation defeat of Schalke followed and then an unlucky defeat against RasenBallsport Leipzig which I can accept as we played really well and should have got at least a draw. On this occasion Bernd Leno pushed out rather than pushed wide from a ‘too hot to handle’ free kick and my defence didn’t react to help him out.

·       Then a strong run of 5 wins which saw our full team win Group G at home to Celtic and our reserves impressively win 0-1 away in Portugal against Sport Lisboa e Benfica. Three wins in Bundesliga, all deserved.

o   So I won my group and was hoping that I’d get a good ti- FC Barcelona. Seriously?!

 

Post14_4cut_zpswjgiatzm.png

 

·       Then the stinger – we were confident going into Freiburg but I missed that we were conceding far too much possession via turn overs as a result of fouls. Whether we would have been able to turn it around is unclear (sometimes Football Manager, I feel and I’m sure a lot of you can relate to this, seems to decide upon a result before the game) but Leverkusen exited DFB-Pokal in the third round with disappointment and regret.

·       Then a hugely disappointing defeat away at Borussia Mönchengladbach. I really needed a gritty 0-1 win there to take a stronger position into the Winter Break but it was not to be. Got to keep positive as although Das Bayern are seven points clear their supremacy has never really been in doubt; one point separates me in fifth from Hoffenheim in second. Game on and Champions League qualification, the minimum requirement, is still very much obtainable.

·       So I’ve learnt: -

o   I can rely on both Bobby Wood and Pione Sisto.

o   Try and be less generous with the release clauses offered – I need to ensure that the club is over compensated for players at a minimum.

o   I need to keep a close eye on the Fouls count and make appropriate amendments in Opposition Instructions to reduce the amount of possession the team gives away.

 

Season 2 – 2017/8 – Phase 3 – Next ten league games (plus cup games) – Fixtures

 

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·       After some friendlies to sharpen the squad after the Winter Break we open Phase 3 with a trip to Berlin and Hertha BSC who are having a miserable season. Nothing less than three points will do.

·       I feel I am now five points off a tally that I’d be happy with on the balance of things.

·       Trips to Dortmund, HSV, Bayern and Barcelona await. Some exciting ties. I need to win in Hamburg and not lose, as a minimum, at Signal Iduna Park or Allianz Arena. FC Barcelona – I’m expecting them to be too good but who knows?

 

Football Manager Knows






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