May 072012
 


Hello friends and welcome back to Romanian football in FM 2012. As you remember my team, Viitorul Constanta, was unable to reach the Champions League knockout stages this season, we finished third in the group behind Man United and Porto, but that gave us the chance to advance in the Europa League. Before moving on to our adventure in that competition I have some transfer news to break though.

I decide to sell two first team players: Daniel Mazzoni for 6.5 million (he was unwilling to extend his contract, wanted to move to a bigger club and started playing badly as a result) and Christian Kaufmann for 2.2 million. I also decided to offload four youngsters from the Under 19 squad for a total of 9.8 million pounds.

I had to replace the two first team players and I think I have found two worthy players to that purpose:

- striker Juan Cruz Argenti – 7.75 million pounds from Boca Juniors – a striker that resembles Ibrahimovic, towering presence but good technique as well.

- midfielder Alin Dicher – 4 million from U Cluj – probably one of the best Romanian players of his generation, I just had to take him and maybe help him progress.

And now, the Europa League adventure…

The first round saw us taking on CSKA Moscow and the first leg went quite badly, we lost 1-0 at the end of a game in which both sides displayed poor football. Fortunately we turned things around in the second leg thanks to a Manoel brace, we played really well on the day and could have won more comfortably.

And then we got another Russian team, Zenit, who had just dispatched Fiorentina 5-3 on aggregate. This time there were no problems at all, we won both legs quite comfortably while keeping a clean sheet. However, an unfortunate event happened in the second leg: new signing Julio Cruz Argenti, who had just bagged his first brace for the club, suffered a pretty nasty injury and was going to be out for a couple of months.

And then guess what? We got yet another Russian team in the quarter final: Rubin Kazan! And it was just as easy as it was against Zenit, we won both legs 2-0 but lost another player until the end of the season: Joaozinho – out for three months.

The semi final didn’t bring us any other Russian team, there weren’t any left :) We got Turkish side Besiktas instead and it was a lot more difficult than expected. We played quite poorly in the home game and then were a bit unlucky away as we wasted two huge chances in the opening 10 minutes. The game went to penalties and we prevailed, quite a nail-biting ending to a tie that was supposed to be a lot easier for us.

And we were into the final for the second time in the club’s history and we were about to face… mighty Juventus! They had a much more difficult road to the final than us, knocking out the likes of AC Milan, PSG or Werder en route to the ultimate clash.

Juventus, three-times Europa League winners, had a solid line-up with two excellent strikers upfront (Nangis and Coulibaly), along with a hard-working central midfield and two fast and talented wingers.

On the other hand, I had three absences: Joaozinho, still injured, Rastislav Benko, injured, and Dramane Sow, suspended. With those problems in attack I had to send in Juan Cruz Argenti who had just recovered from injury.

Our line-up was like this: Tomas Held – Darko Andric, Xavier Dumont, Georgica Dicu, Sebastien Verdier – Yasen Zlatinski, Hector Fernandez, Markus Winkler – Juan Cruz Argenti, Peter Guba, Manoel.

I would have liked to give you a full of suspense story of this final, I even wrote down the most important moments of the game in my notebook. But there was no suspense at all, unfortunately. Juventus totally thrashed us in the first half, with Lenny Nangis playing with our defenders like an experienced cat with a clueless mouse. I guess the half time stats screen shot tells the story better than I could.

We did a slightly better job after the break but Juventus were still the dominant side. Nangis scored again on 55 minutes, then we replied through substitute Guido van der Meulen but that was what they call a consolation goal. There was no real consolation though, we were totally outplayed and I guess it’s a lesson that Juventus taught us. I just hope we’ll learn something from it.

With the European adventure over, it’s time to show you how we bulldozed through the domestic scene once again.

Romanian Cup – won it without conceding again, just having fun…

Romanian First Division – We won it again, don’t worry, even though we started the second half of the season with a defeat. That was just an accident though and we recovered from it easily.

We won the league by a hefty margin again, even though I’m pleased to say that the likes of Steaua, Rapid and U Cluj seemed to do better than in the previous seasons.

The player statistics for the season see three strikers leading the pack but I am quite disappointed to see Rastislav Benko, our main man for quite a few seasons, down towards the middle of the list. Juan Cruz Argenti was unable to make the impact I know he could have made but that was because of that injury, I hope he will do a lot better next season. Oh, and Xavier Dumont is a solid first team regular now, I preferred him to Juan Belencoso in most of the important games.

Our finances are looking very good and I think next summer will see at least a couple of big transfers. That is if the board won’t decide to pocket the money :)

That’s about it for now my friends, thanks for reading. I know, it’s great that we reached the Europa League final, I am pleased with that, but the way Juventus thrashed us leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. However, reaching the final might further improve our UEFA coefficient and we might be seeded second for the Champions League group draw next season, at least that’s what I’m hoping for.






  42 Responses to “Romanian FM 2012 Story: Being Taught a Lesson”

  1. Nice run Johnny! I feel like that elusive Champions League is not far off!

    I love the tall strikers, some regens are truly giants! What is the best way to use them? I would assume Target Man, or Advanced Forward if they have the skills, and make them the center of your set pieces, but I was wondering if you have any specific advice to get the most out of them.

    • Thanks Mike. About the tall strikers, Target Man or Poacher might be the best roles, depending on their skills. I am still trying to figure out where exactly to put Argenti in my tactical set up.

  2. Well I think that was a good season Johnny and the fact you are starting to expect CL knockout qualification and to go the distance in the Europa league just shows how far your team has come. Those new signings were excellent and I love your ‘big unit’ upfront, he really does remind me of Ibrahimovic. I’d love to see a few big signings, losing those key players had knocked you back somewhat but I think this summer could see a big step forward! Moving up the coefficients could be the next step for you too, that should make reaching the knockouts much easier.

  3. Hi Johnny
    Unlucky in the Europa League after such a good effort to get to the final. Your new signing Argenti will undoubtedly make an impact next season and let’s hope for a favorable draw for you in the chapions League. By the way how may domestic league titles have you won now?

  4. A great run to the final that I’m sure, even with the better teams, you may have been able to emulate in the Champions League, you’re squad does look as strong as ever. Some of the injuries were incredibly unfortunate, as Jean Cruz Argenti will have a big future at this club. Your scouts definetly need a pat on the back for that one :)
    It may seem easy now but stay on guard; I see universal Cluj or Rapid getting taken over by billionairs, but even then they still probably wont touch you on the domestic front :D
    Good Luck.

    • Thanks mate. About U Cluj and Rapid, I doubt there will be any billionaires taking over, simply because there aren’t many such billionaires in Romania :)

  5. hey johnny,
    yeah, the longer you spend in European competitions, the more experienced your side will get, the better your finances will be, and the more you will realise that the higher your UEFA co-efficient will be. to be fair, you did have some major absentees, so its not such a disaster to lose to what looked like a strong Juventus side. i understand the dullness of the domestic scene, i’m experiencing the same thing with Celtic at the moment, having won my last two seasons by 49 and 45 points respectively :D anyway, better luck next season..hopefully you can make some good signings in the summer as well. cheers :D

    • lol sorry, that first sentence didn’t make sense at the end. its meant to say ‘the higher your UEFA co-efficient will be.’ :D :D

    • I agree with your considerations Malhar but I was quite disappointed to get thrashed like that by Juventus. I can’t remember any other team creating 7 clear cut chances against us.

      • yeah i am sure it must have been disappointing but it does happen on occasion. you would have done better had you been at full-strength im sure, so dont let that worry you too much :D i’m sure you’ll be back with a bang next season :)

  6. Hi Johnny,

    Well done, you did a great job but playing with a low coefficient country in Europe certainly makes it very difficult……..

    In the final you played attack or counter attack?

    Cheers

  7. An excellent season, shame about the Juventus result, but like you said yourself, hopefully your squad will be better prepared next time. Your new tall striker looks immense, although his dribbling is a bit low, and for me I prefer fast strikers too and he doesn’t look all that fast, are you working on either of those 2 areas to improve him even more?

    • Thanks mate. He’s not fast but he’s not too slow either, so I think he will do a good job. He goes past his marker with his strength and stature so he doesn’t really need dribbling or speed. Hell, if he would have had 19 for pace and 18 for acceleration I guess Barcelona would have grabbed him by now :)

  8. Hopefully your lads will learn from the defeat to the mighty Juve, but it’s still good that you managed to get through to the final. The tie against Besiktas was odd, with no goals being scored, and can imagine just how frustrating that must have been. They are definitely a team I would expect you to beat at home. Did they just come to defend, or was it bad finishing? Hopefully your European co-efficient has increased enough to see you go into the Champions League as a second seed, which should in theory make things easier for you.

    Argentis looks very impressive, and as long as he can avoid injuries should be banging the goals in for fun next season. He looks more than worth the transfer fee to me.

    • Besiktas pretty much parked the bus in both legs, we dominated the home match quite clearly but were unable to create big chances. I agree about Argenti, he is well worth the fee if compared to other transfer targets that were available.

      • I hate it when a team parks the bus like that. Although I know quite a few of the ways that can hopefully work, it’s always difficult to do anything about it. I could do with a couple of players with very good long shot skill, which is often the only way to break the deadlock, unless you can get a penalty.

  9. Hey Johnny

    congrats on reaching the final :) maybe you can help romanian football with it :)
    Your new signings look brilliant!

    Good luck in the cl next season

  10. Hey Johnny,
    Unlucky in the final there, Juventus are a really good side and there’s no shame in losing against them. You’re still dominant domestically though so that’s a good thing!

  11. Good Europa League run Johnny! You were a bit unlucky to get a side as good as Juventus in the final, but your coefficient will surely improve, so well done :) Congrats on yet another league title, and hopefully next year you can continue to improve in Europe.

  12. Ah well, it was a great season there. Too bad that Juventus thrashed your team, but hey, at least you know that there are still development for your team.

    Well, let’s just hope the next season you’ll have more luck than usual.

  13. That was an amazing run to the Europa League final, you might have had the seemingly easier opposition but it still takes a lot to get to the final, Juventus are really strong with Vidal, Santon and Rakitskyi too in addition to Nangis and Coulibaly, at least you get quite a bit of money from reaching the final

    Good luck next season in Europe Johnny, I am sure you will find some more players to sign, Argenti looks superb (he’s like Ibrahimovic with the ball control of Berbatov, 20 first touch!), Dicher is useless in the air but looks really good as a defensive midfielder/deep lying playmaker

  14. The Russians will surely remember your name from now on :)) So close mate…but this should only get better. By each season your team gains more and more experience, you are getting closer and closer. Good luck next season!

  15. A very good domestic Season again Johnny. Unlucky with the Europa League, Juventus looked like a very strong team to beat. But on the other hand it was very pleasing to see that all your players except for two had an average rating of 7.00 or above.

  16. Good season in my opinion!

    The final was disappointing but you were up against a huge team in Juventus at least you gave it a go!

    Domestic wise is a stroll in the park! You just need to find those one or two players who can make the difference in the champions league.

    Good luck! :)

    • Thanks Ana, I hope I will be able to find those class players and convince them to sign contracts with us. The second part is, as always, the most difficult :)

  17. Hey Johnny, how is situated Liga I in competitions rank ?

  18. Great story so far man, have you had a look at Mbaye Niang he is a French striker but he is incredible when he develops. On you tactic which I use with Athletic, when I play teams like Barça, I get my defence to drop a bit deeper and it helps a lot!
    Also have no other clubs approached you yet?
    Keep up this amazing work!

    • Thanks Charlie. Niang is not a realistic target for us though, the league reputation is too low to be able to attract such a player. About the other clubs, there have been a few offers but I never keep track of those because I won’t leave the club anyway.

  19. I hope your coefficient improves greatly because you made it to the final. Unlucky in the final, I was thinking that you could have staged a comeback.

    • Thanks mate, I am quite sure that the coefficient will be better, not sure by how much though. As for the comeback, I was hoping for it but Juventus were all over us from the first minute to the last.

Leave a Reply