“That’s us for another year then, Stuart”. “Yes, Mr Chairman”. “Good to see the boys looking forward to their summer break, isn’t it?”. “Yes, Mr Chairman”. “Cannot wait to get started again though. See you in June for preseason.” “Er, Yes, Mr Chairman”.
Not if I can help it.
The problem with Christmas holidays is you think you have all the time in the world but when it comes to getting some high quality FM blogs that might interest you it turns out to disappear in a haze of wine and beer and cheese. So you my dear reader will have to make do with a dreary save update covering the 2nd half of my debut season with GieKSa in Poland’s First Division.
Bonus Easter Egg for you gamers. See if you can spot where FM Session meets Drinking Session.
We left the league as it closed for its winter break in December 2018. With no meaningful games until February it was time to arrange oodles of friendlies to pass the time. It was during this time I decided to experiment with a new tactic. As you may recall I changed from my initial 4141 formation to play a controlling yet deeply conservative 361. It worked as we saw more clean sheets than a convent’s laundry room. But it wasn’t the style of football I wanted to watch let alone subject our fans to sit through.
Here’s a reminder of our results in the first half of the season. I managed to create view that includes the goal scorers AND the colour dot.
Shiny New Toys for Christmas
In real life, Man United sacked Jose and hired Ole. I couldn’t care less about that fact but what I did enjoy was an analysis piece on Total Football Analysis by Dave Selicki about Solskjaer and his Molde team. I have never had much success with a 4231 on FM despite reading some notable guides such as Cleon and FMFutbolManager. However I am never too far away from firing up FMTouch for a tactical tinker. Sure enough after a few fumbled attempts like a clumsy teenager in a darkened room I managed to achieve something akin to success. I had a very attacking 4231 and I was not afraid to use it.
I may write separate tactic specials on this and the others used so I won’t go into too much detail now.
Winter Friendlies – bleurgh
Bar the one defeat to the much superior Dinamo Zagreb side, I was pleased with the results and was looking forward to entertaining the crowds for the rest of the season.
Recruitment – The January Sales
There was only one first team recruitment made in the January/February transfer window. In comes a new right wing back to provide competition for Franczak who is really a winger.
A few youngsters came in courtesy of my Director of Football who went mad for the signings for some reason. They went straight to the reserves. Going out were a couple of bad eggs – Kuper and Blad who were moaning about game time.
A Season Ends
We were well placed to push for promotion and within touching distance of the title going into March. So how did the 2nd half of the league go? Initially not very well. With our new formation bedded in via winter friendlies we fell apart somewhat when it mattered. It wasn’t long until I had binned the tactic in favour of the 4141 and 361 just to get points on the board. The last straw was a 1-0 defeat to rock-bottom Wigry.
We were lucky that our promotion rivals also suffered dips in form and no-one really pushed to far ahead. Wigry defeat aside, April was a good month that was topped off with a huge 1-0 away win at Chojniczanka.
Why was this huge? It was 2nd (us) vs 3rd (them) in a promotion head to head. Is it ironic that our 4141 beat their 4231? I will need to ask Alanis.
The next two results were enough to seal the First Division crown – we went up as Champions.
We had exceeded all expectations from the press to our own board. As a debut season, I was ecstatic especially to get League Title on my CV – this is a journeyman save after all.
Squad – It’s a team game
Throughout the season there has never been any one or two players who stuck out as star performers. Spiazcka was our top scorer but not prolific. Piesio was our best player for attributes, value and coach opinion but didn’t really set the heather alight neither.
Here’s the full stats attack for you to make up your own mind.
And here is the league’s Team of the Year who have their own opinion.
Well I did my part – we had an initial Wage Budget of £28k per week which I more or less kept to so I cannot be blamed for the end of season accounts.
Where did it all go?
Player Wages were by far the biggest spend this season but as you can see there was no fluctuation in wages across the year. I didn’t go mental in the transfer market. So why did the board allow the spend? Where was the income that they were expecting?
Wow. I don’t know who is paying the £2.5million grant – probably the EU amirite lads? Doesn’t seem like a very smart business plan in place by the leadership team. Hopefully a spell in the top league will see an increase of revenue through television, sponsorship and on match days. I doubt the transfer budget will be big though.
And so onto Next Season, Mr Chairman
We are up to the LOTTO Ekstraklasa to pit our wits against some well known names of European football let alone Polish. The truth is the team is really not good enough to compete at that level so will need major recruitment drive this summer. The question is will I be here to see it? With a league title tucked safely under my arm, I have my suitcase packed and ready to go. My first port of call is the Job Centre screen to see which managers have done one and which jobs are out there for the taking. If the right position comes up I will be applying for it after all I have a family to feed.
Thanks for reading this rubbish right up to the very end. I appreciate your time and persistence.