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Thread: Hennes Weisweiler

  1. #576

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    Balls - that Leverkusen comeback was a killer

    League finish is "ok" for me - I think you were getting above your station for CL

    Some may say you'd want a better rating from DM which is known as a key position in CM

    6 MOM from Duran

    For me this is a learning season - first season where you had a big European run and you should be better for it (how to manage/rotate etc) next year

    Top 8 (Euro qual) is for sure needed next year otherwise I think you are going backwards

    Board pleased I assume?

    How's the German rep?

    World Rep should have gone up given the Europa run?
    I see what you mean about Mustaccia, but I tend to focus on his tackles per game ratio.

    I think that the Europa League run was a factor in our slump domestically, but I think the main problem is using the direct passing approach at home. Either it doesn't offer enough guile to be effective against teams that play with 'men behind the ball' (which may explain why we've been able to beat some of the better teams, as they're more likely to be more attacking against us, enabling us to exploit the space they leave behind)

    Alternatively, I may also be setting my team and player instructions up in a way that fails to get the best out of direct passing. It's something I'm going to play around with pre season.

    The board have gone from delighted to very pleased, despite expecting us to steer clear of relegation last season, which we did comfortably.

    I'm ranked 15th (Good) in Germany, and I've gone up 100 and something places to 540th (Average) in the world.

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  3. #577

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    Brief Update

    I thought I'd do a brief update before the pre season friendlies get underway.

    Europa League Final




    I thought Napoli might win this tournament, but our German rivals take it on penalties.


    DFB Pokal Final



    Wolfsburg were denied a double by Bundesliga runners up FC Bayern.


    Fan's Player of the Season






    So Marvin Lehner takes this award for the second year running. Personally, I think Alex Duran deserves it, but the fans tend to go for a more attacking player. I think Pape Mbaye was more consistent. Lehner's form mirrored Viktoria Köln's - underwhelming domestically, but pretty good in Europe.


    Finances

    We made just £5.2M profit last season, but had a net spend of £20.6M on transfers. The board took something like £21M in dividends. We have a healthy bank balance or around £120M, with £76M available for transfers.

    I'll give details in the next update of transfer news, how our wage bill compares to the rest of the league, and brief details of how the pre season friendlies have gone, with regards to how I intend to experiment with different team and player instructions in an attempt to get the best out of our direct passing style

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  5. #578

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    So much cash in bank!

    Fans love a flair player!

    Club being run very well

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  7. #579

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    The 'Direct' Experiment

    The new season kicks off in a few days time. I mentioned previously that I intended to use our pre season friendlies to find a way of getting the best out of the direct passing style which Hennes Weisweiler used.

    In the many years that I've played this game, I've had a fair amount of success using short or mixed passing. My most recent save was The Alphabet Game, where I only used the pre loaded formations. In that save I used an attacking mentality at home, and a normal mentality away, mixed passing, hard tackling, with yes for pressing and offside trap. Every outfield player would be set to zonal marking.

    After 20 seasons I'd won 13 titles, which included winning the Bundesliga and Europa League with Dortmund playing the 352 formations, and the treble with Milan, playing a variety of formations, depending on who was available, but we won the Champions League Final using the 4132 formation, so you can see that I'm competent at this game.

    I fancied a new challenge, and with the general consensus on this forum that short and mixed passing is the only way to succeed when not using wib wob tactics, I decided to see if I could disprove this in this save.

    It's gone well up to a point. Viktoria Köln winning two promotions and qualifying for Europe is good, along with reaching the semi finals of the Europa League. However, in the nine seasons that this save has been running, scoring goals has been difficult, and home form has been comparatively poor. I put this down to various factors, one of which is direct passing.

    It's possible that I'm not setting the team up in a way that compliments this approach, which is why I've decided to experiment, and I'd like feedback from you tactical geniuses. 🙂

    We played four home friendlies against very good opposition. La Liga champions Valencia, Champions League winners Barcelona, Premiership runners up Liverpool, and Man. City, who finished 6th last season. All four games were low scoring draws. Two 0-0 draws, and two 1-1 draws. I made 9 substitutions at half time in all four games. The games were very tight, with not many chances. I also used 4 different formations. 4132, 433, 442 Attacking, and 352 Attacking.

    Team Instructions

    I went normal mentality, obviously direct passing, and normal tackling. I had no pressing, offside trap, or men behind the ball, but yes to counter attacking.


    Player Instructions

    I let the defenders and central midfielders do hard tackling and pressing. I had no-one running with the ball, one of the strikers held up the ball, and had no one on long shots, try through balls or crossing. Every outfield player marked zonally.


    My reasoning behind these instructions was that a normal mentality means a not too high defensive line. With only defenders and central midfielders on pressing and tackling it means we're sucking the opposition in, then winning the ball not as high up the pitch as the attacking mentality with everyone pressing. With the direct passing combined with counter attacking, I hoped the strikers would quickly receive the ball and exploit the space in behind the opposition defence.


    Findings

    Despite struggling to create chances, we tended to have over 50% possession. I also saw that the strikers saw a lot more of the ball than the tactics I've used previously, though they couldn't convert this into creating chances and having shots.

    It's hard to make a judgement about the results with them being friendlies. Both ourselves and our opponents made multiple substitutions, and they were all on easy tackling. The four draws weren't bad results given the quality of the opposition, but I'm not convinced that this is the way to go in our season opener at home to Frankfurt, who finished mid table last season.

    I'll be interested to hear your theories on how to get the best out of direct passing, especially in terms of formation, team instructions, and player instructions, along with reasoning behind it.

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  9. #580

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    Some good info there!

    I'm pretty rubbish (and not too interested to be honest) in tactics and honing them etc in CM0102 so cannot give much advice sorry!

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  11. #581

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    To be honest, I believe tactics are overrated. When a team is is on a winning run any tactic will do, when they're in a dip no tactic will help. I do believe, though, that sticking with your tactic is effective in the long run. Changing tactics regularly does not seem to help.

    I do believe in players ratings and having them play in their favourite positions. At one point, with Blackburn Rovers, I tweaked a tactic so that I could have three DMC's in my first XI, simply because I had several world class DMC's.

    Also, if any of your players happen to have high intrinsic values for one or more attributes they will over-perform because the value as used by the match engine will be higher than the in-game stat shows (it could even be higher than 20!)

    The bottom line for me is, I stick to the same formation (at the very least for half a season) and find out which players over-perform and make sure to use them. In my latest story Jordy Wehrmann looked average but his heading (as used by the match engine) was well over 20 so he excelled as DMC with instructions to move forwards and backwards with set pieces.

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  13. #582

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    July 2028

    Transfer News

    Players Out



    Along with Ryuya Nishio and Robin Singh who were released in June, I've offloaded these five players (2 of which are keepers). The combined cost of signing these players was just under £10M, so a nice profit there of just over £15M.


    Players In




    I've spent the money we brought in on player sales on some new signings.












    I'm hoping that I can develop Maksim Kobesov into a ball winning midfielder.

    I've got high hopes for Maurizio Milani. I like the look of his finishing and off the ball attributes, and he looks a bargain at just £800K.

    There were other attacking midfield options that I was considering that had slightly better attacking attributes than Jannik Thiel, but being German means that there won't be any problems with struggling to adapt, and I'm thinking that his pace and acceleration could be what we need if I decide to use counter attacking tactics.

    Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos was the most creative player available. I've splashed out big money, but he looks amazing.

    Finally, Lucas Blanco looks a bit raw, but I was attracted by his positioning attribute, which means I can focus on giving him skill training, plus he was as cheap as deep fried pieces of potato.

    I've got a couple more signings that I'd like to do. There's another attacking midfielder that I'm trying to negotiate a transfer fee for, and no transfer window would be complete without me signing a keeper. There's a 17 year old at Hoffenheim who looks off the scale. He's got the attributes of the likes of Neuer, Buffon at his peak, and Donnarumma. I'm struggling to get Hoffenheim to sell, but I'll keep persisting.


    Next Fixture

    Our first game of the season is at home to Frankfurt, who finished in mid table last season. I'm still undecided whether to go with the counter attacking tactics, or to see if we can have a bit of luck with perhaps 4132 or 433 and continue with the attacking mentality with a high press and offside trap that I've been using all along.


    Expectations

    The board are expecting us to steer clear of the relegation zone. We have the second youngest squad in the Bundesliga at the age of 22, and by far the lowest wage bill. After finishing 12th last season, my target of challenging for the title this time last year looks a bit delusional, but we still need to aim high, so I want to see us challenging for a top four finish. Nailing our home form will be key to this.

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  15. #583

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    Tiel and Dos Santos look terrific.

    Milani could be amazing, though. As you say, his scores for finishing and off the ball, but also decisions!
    His finishing of 20 (at his young age) is so unusual that this might very well mean a high intrinsic rating for finishing, in which case the value used by the match engine would be even higher than 20!

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  17. #584

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    Quote Originally Posted by samsami View Post
    Tiel and Dos Santos look terrific.

    Milani could be amazing, though. As you say, his scores for finishing and off the ball, but also decisions!
    His finishing of 20 (at his young age) is so unusual that this might very well mean a high intrinsic rating for finishing, in which case the value used by the match engine would be even higher than 20!
    I think there's quite a few players in the squad who have high intrinsic values. Alexander Erdogan springs to mind. I reckon his creativity is well above 20. Perhaps I should open up the GK save game editor and have a look.

  18. #585

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    Quote Originally Posted by Libertine View Post
    I think there's quite a few players in the squad who have high intrinsic values. Alexander Erdogan springs to mind. I reckon his creativity is well above 20. Perhaps I should open up the GK save game editor and have a look.
    CM Scout Intrinsic shows the attribute scores in different ways (you choose what you want to see)

    e.g. Messi's in-game finishing is obviously 20 but his intrinsic score for finishing is 27
    Now this means that his in-match score (the value as used by the match engine) is actually 25 according to the CM Scout Intrinsic app

    (by the way, I don't use the app for scouting players as I consider that cheating; I only use it for my own squad as I think I should know my players well enough to know how good they really are)

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  20. #586

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    Some incredible signings there!

    Can I see a screenie of Conor - £10m sale - nice!

    Board don't match your ambition

  21. #587

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    Some incredible signings there!

    Can I see a screenie of Conor - £10m sale - nice!

    Board don't match your ambition





    He looks decent enough, but as you can see, he never really got going. He had just a year left on his contract, and he wasn't interested in renegotiating, so I transfer listed him, and accepted the highest bid.

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  23. #588

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    Quote Originally Posted by Libertine View Post
    He looks decent enough, but as you can see, he never really got going. He had just a year left on his contract, and he wasn't interested in renegotiating, so I transfer listed him, and accepted the highest bid.
    Finishing, heading, jumping, off the ball all 15 or less.

  24. #589

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    August 2028

    Results

    Viktoria Köln 1 Frankfurt 0

    We lined up with the 4132 formation, using the counter attacking tactics that I tried in pre season.

    This approach didn't really work. We created very little in the first half, and Man of the Match Xaysavath Souvanhansok made a couple of good saves, meaning that we were fortunate to be going in level at half time.

    The second half wasn't much better, despite me bringing on Marvin Lehner for Yhoan Itoua. With about twenty minutes to go I thought to myself, 'F*** this nonsense' and switched to the attacking mentality, hard tackling, pressing all over the pitch, with the offside trap. One minor tweak was to put the strikers on short passing, as I can't see the logic behind them having direct passing.

    We started to get on top from then on, and the pressure paid off when Pape Mbaye swung a corner into the box, and Jean-Claude Evina climbed above the Frankfurt keeper to head in the only goal of the game in the 86th minute.


    Dortmund 1 Viktoria Köln 3

    I made two changes for this trip to a Dortmund side that finished 3rd last season, and won the Europa League. Luiz Carlos dos Santos da Silva came in for the injured Leonardo Mustaccia, and I chose Marvin Lehner ahead of Yhoan Itoua. We continued with the 4132 formation, but returned to the hard tackling, pressing, and offside trap, with a normal mentality.

    We got off to a great start when Pedro Vargas hit a long ball towards Jean-Claude Evina. The Cameroonian made a run but was challenged by the Dortmund defender. The loose ball was received by Pape Mbaye, who squared it for Marvin Lehner in space, who fired us into a 3rd minute lead.

    Fourteen minutes later, Lehner turned provider when he received a loose ball, following a cross into the box. His low cross found Mbaye running towards the near post, who took a touch to create some space, then hit a low shot to double our lead.

    We were well worth the 2-0 lead at half time, but started to come under considerable pressure from the hosts who pulled one back in the 59th minute. Their comeback was thwarted though when their striker saw a straight red card for headbutting Xaysavath Souvanhansok.

    We were able to make our numerical advantage count, when Alex Duran fed Alexander Erdogan, playing on the left of the three advanced midfielders. The 19 year old took the ball past three Dortmund players, then blasted a fine right foot shot goalwards to seal victory with a magnificent individual effort.


    DFB Pokal 1st Round

    Viktoria Köln 1 Kiel 0

    I made 11 changes for this game against 2. Bundesliga side Kiel, which included giving 5 full debuts to recent signings. I tried a different formation as well, 41212.

    Our visitors understandably set their stall out to keep things tight, which meant that there was space for our DMC, Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos to run with the ball from his deep position, a run that took him as far as our opponents penalty area, the run was thwarted by a Kiel defender, but the loose ball fell to Man of the Match Maurizio Milani, whose delightful chip over their keeper, meant that the young Italian's debut goal gave us a 21st minute lead.

    We created a decent amount of chances to increase our lead, but poor finishing meant that we had to settle for a narrow victory.


    League Table






    I know it's early days, but I thought I'd stick it up anyway! Beating Dortmund at their place is no mean feat. Any side would be happy with that. I hope that we can maintain these standards throughout the season.


    Player Focus



    Luiz has started this season well, after being on the fringes last season. Our vice captain Leonardo Mustaccia got injured in the Frankfurt game, so Luiz came on and helped us to victory, then put in an 8 out of 10 performance at Dortmund in the DMC role, winning 7 tackles.


    Transfer News








    I managed to get a couple of deals across the line before deadline day. I couldn't agree a deal with Hoffenheim for their young starlet, so Alvin Zeefuik arrives at a good price, to get me to my ideal figure of 4 keepers.

    I like the look of Dominik Bozic. There's good pace and acceleration, which I hope that our direct passing style will complement. He could be useful as an inverted winger in the 433 formation as well.


    Forthcoming Fixtures




    Next up is another tough away game at Augsburg, who finished 6th last season.

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  26. #590

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    Great start

    Wahahahahah - ANOTHER GK

    Croat looks good!

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  28. #591

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    September 2028

    Results

    Augsburg 1 Viktoria Köln 0

    I intended to restore the line up to the XI that beat Dortmund, but Jose Vitor Belo da Silva and Jean-Claude Evina were injured, so I brought in Mark Kerr and Maurizio Milani.

    This was a fairly even game in terms of possession and chances. We lost Xaysavath Souvanhansok through injury midway through the first half.

    The hosts broke the deadlock in the 56th minute. They went defensive to hold onto their lead, so I brought on Dominik Bozic and switched to 433. We were unlucky not to get an equaliser in the 72nd minute when Alexander Erdogan rattled the crossbar with a free kick, and although Mark Kerr was sent off for a professional foul in the 78th minute, we continued to create chances, and Milani was unlucky not to get an equaliser when he hit the woodwork in the 82nd minute. An unlucky defeat.


    Viktoria Köln 2 Hamburg 2

    I made 5 changes for this game. Barry came in for the injured Xaysavath Souvanhansok, Pawel Bialek came in for the suspended Mark Kerr, Rami Jelassi was in poor physical condition, so I brought in Marvin Förster, Alexander Erdogan was on international duty with Germany at the Olympics, so I brought in Luis Gomez, and I left out Maurizio Milani in favour of the fit again Jean-Claude Evina.

    Hamburg deployed the usual visiting tactics, with men behind the ball, but out normal mentality allowed us to create several chances in the first half. By the 38th minute, we'd had now fewer than 8 efforts at their goal, and were completely dominating the game. Imagine my dismay when the visitors took the lead in the 38th minute. Barry could have done better with their first effort at goal.

    I switched to an attacking mentality, but Barry capped a disappointing full Bundesliga debut when Hamburg doubled their lead with their second and final shot at goal in the 54th minute.

    We continued to create chances, and in the 61st minute, Pape Mbaye found Luiz Carlos dos Santos da Silva. The Brazilian played the ball left to Gomez, who hit a ball into the area towards Marvin Lehner, whose powerful header reduced the deficit.

    Our pressure continued, and after good work holding up the ball, Evina found dos Santos da Silva, who used his creativity to find Bialek marauding forward from left back into the area. The Pole's header found Förster, who swivelled, then drove in a 68th minute equaliser.

    Despite our possession, Hamburg contained us well for the remainder of the game.


    Nürnberg 1 Viktoria Köln 2

    I made one change for the trip to mid table Nürnberg, dropping Barry after his disappointing performance against Hamburg, and bringing in James Streete for his debut.

    We started the game well, and took the lead in the 17th minute when Luiz Carlos dos Santos da Silva ran with the ball from the DMC role, then sent it into the area to Jean-Claude Evina who laid it into the path of Marvin Lehner in space, who shot low and hard to find the back of the net.

    Three minutes before half time, Alex Duran played the ball to Pape Mbaye, who moved forward, then saw the run from Luis Gomez, who had time to double our lead with a sweet volley.

    We came under a fair bit of pressure from the hosts in the second half, and they pulled one back in the 62nd minute, but young Streete had a very good debut, making good saves, to enable us to hold on for the three points.


    Viktoria Köln 1 RB Leipzig 1

    We were unchanged for the visit of managerless RB Leipzig, who started the game in 14th place. The visitors deployed the usual defensive tactics for the first 20 minutes, which we struggled to break down. They took the lead in the 42nd minute with their first effort at goal, so we were behind at half time.

    We threw everything at them in the second half and had a whopping 69% possession. We were rather exposed at the back, and had to rely on James Streete to make some good saves, but we were very wasteful in front of goal, with Marvin Lehner falling to find the target with a string of chances.

    Our perseverance eventually paid off when Man of the Match Luiz Carlos dos Santos da Silva moved forward from the DMC role with the ball, then sent it into the area for Lehner to head in an 83rd minute equaliser.

    Luiz made no fewer than 75 passes, and also won 5 tackles in a good all round performance.


    League Table






    6th. A reasonable position to be in, though it was a slightly disappointing month results wise. I'm encouraged by the performances though.


    Player Focus








    Fan's favourite Marvin Lehner has stood out so far this season averaging a goal or assist in each game he's started. I need him to sustain this, unlike his previous couple of seasons.


    Forthcoming Fixtures




    A tough game against champions Wolfsburg coming up, and I'll need to leave a few players out, as the RB Leipzig game has took a lot out of them.

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  30. #592

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    This is better in the league, hopefully you can push for a European place again now

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  32. #593

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    Mixed month - not the best points wise 5/12 but as you say you seem happy with performances

    Lehrer looks insane

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  34. #594

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    A nice cup run will be a bonus too

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  36. #595

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    October 2028

    Results

    Viktoria Köln 1 Wolfsburg 0

    I made 4 changes for the visit of the champions. I left out full backs Pedro Vargas and Pawel Bialek in favour of Damion Campbell and Jose Vitor Belo da Silva. Luiz Carlos dos Santos da Silva and Jean-Claude Evina were knackered, so I brought in Leonardo Mustaccia (and gave him the captain's armband) and Maurizio Milani.

    Wolfsburg lined up with the 4321 formation with a defensive mentality and men behind the ball. We continued with the 4132 formation with a normal mentality.

    The first half was tight, but we contained the champions well. Campbell played the ball to Marvin Förster, who was challenged by the Wolfsburg defender. The ball fell to Milani, who took the ball into the box, and hit a low shot that gave us a 20th minute lead.

    The second half was a lot more open. Both teams had chances to score, but I felt that we were the better side throughout the game, and was particularly strong defensively, with Belmin Music winning 8 tackles at the back, and the returning Mustaccia winning 8 tackles in the DMC role. Man of the Match Marvin Lehner also won 4 tackles as a striker, and was unlucky not to score, having had 4 shots on target.


    DFB Pokal 2nd Round

    Viktoria Köln 3 Zwickau 0

    I made 11 changes for this game, and gave a debut to Maksim Kobesov. We lined up in the 352 Attacking formation, and won the game comfortably against our struggling 2. Bundesliga opponents. The goals came from Kasidech Samakorn in the 31st minute, Naif Al-Sulaiheem in the 71st minute, and Vitor Hugo Vieira in the 74th minute.


    Viktoria Köln 4 FC Köln 0

    I restored the line up for the Cologne derby to the XI that beat Wolfsburg in the previous Bundesliga game.

    Our visitors defensive tactics didn't stop us from creating chances. Leonardo Mustaccia fed left back Jose Vitor Belo da Silva. The young Brazilian made an excellent run, then delivered a fine far post cross for Marvin Lehner to head us into a 2nd minute lead.

    We continued to have the upper hand, and contained our city rivals superbly. Pape Mbaye fed Belo da Silva on the left, who made another excellent run, and this time crossed to the near post for Luis Gomez to power in a header that doubled our lead in the 33rd minute.

    Two minutes later, we were 3-0 up when Lehner scored his second of the game, when he received a loose ball, and hammered a shot into the top corner to give us a lovely lead at half time.

    I sensed we took our foot off the gas a bit in the second half, but we were in complete control. The fans were chanting, "We want 4" but they had to wait until stoppage time, when Belmin Music fed substitute Lucas Blanco at right back, who then played the ball infield to Marvin Förster. The young German then found another substitute, Dominik Bozic in the area, who lost his man, and had time and space to hit a low drive across the wet surface to score his first goal for the club, and complete the scoring.


    FC Bayern 1 Viktoria Köln 0

    We were unchanged for the trip to title contenders FC Bayern. We started the game well, and had a couple of chances to take the lead in the opening 10 minutes. By half time, the score was 0-0 but I felt we'd been the better side, and should have been in front.

    The hosts dominated the second half. We did so much to keep them at bay. Alex Duran won 8 tackles, and Man of the Match Leonardo Mustaccia won 8 tackles in the DMC role, but Bayern eventually got the goal they deserved in the 88th minute to win the game, and briefly take them to the top of the table.


    League Table






    A good month, despite remaining in 6th place. Some tough fixtures, so 6 points from 9 seems like a good return when 2 of our opponents are title contenders, and the other is our city rivals. Speaking of which, how sweet for this side to smash in 4 goals against them, considering our historical difficulties in scoring goals.


    Player Focus



    Jose has done well in the games he's played this season. As you can see, his crossing attribute is 20. I wouldn't be surprised if his intrinsic value is higher. Positioning is also good, but can he sustain this for over the course of the season at such a tender age?


    Forthcoming Fixtures




    We're at home to Hertha Berlin in our next game, who've started the season well, but we have to look to win this game if we're serious about finishing in the top four.

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  38. #596

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    Well - that's better!

    Always tough v Bayern but brilliant otherwise

    A pleasure to see the goals flooding in

    LB looks immense

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  40. #597

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    November 2028

    Results

    Viktoria Köln 0 Hertha Berlin 1

    We were unchanged for the visit of 7th placed Hertha Berlin, who deployed the usual visiting defensive tactics in the opening 20 minutes.

    The first half was quite even, but it was the visitors who got the goal. We pummeled them in the second half, and finished the game having had 56% possession, 11 shots (8 on target) to their 6 shots (3 on target), but we came up against a Man of the Match performance from their keeper, Gregor Kobel, who made save after save to keep us at bay.

    A very harsh defeat, which I can't help but feel we deserved to win, but what can you do but just take it on the chin when the opposition keeper puts in that kind of performance?


    Schalke 2 Viktoria Köln 0

    I made 3 changes for this trip to struggling Schalke. I dropped Marvin Förster, Pape Mbaye, and Maurizio Milani, and recalled Rami Jelassi, Alexander Erdogan, and Jean-Claude Evina.

    We were the better side in the first half, but were unable to take our chances, and went in level at half time.

    We were poor in the second half. Our keeper, James Streete, was outjumped in the box following a free kick, which resulted in the hosts taking the lead in the 67th minute. I then made substitutions, and switched to 433 in an attempt to get back in the game, but there was no joy, and Schalke doubled their lead in the 87th minute to complete the scoring.


    Viktoria Köln 1 Borussia Monchengladbach 3

    I made 4 changes for the visit of 2nd placed Borussia Monchengladbach. I dropped James Streete, Damion Campbell, Alex Duran, and Jean-Claude Evina, and recalled Xaysavath Souvanhansok, Pedro Vargas, Luiz Carlos dos Santos da Silva, and Maurizio Milani. The visitors had a normal mentality, but men behind the ball.

    We started the game well enough, considering Monchengladbach were keeping things tight, and had a couple of chances in the opening 25 minutes. The visitors had adopted a more attacking approach after 20 minutes though, and opened the scoring in the 29th minute with their first effort.

    Disaster struck a few minutes later, when right back Vargas committed a two footed tackle in our area that went wrong. He saw red, and Monchengladbach scored from the resulting penalty to double their lead against our 10 men. We then lost our captain Leonardo Mustaccia to injury just before half time.

    Despite our numerical disadvantage, we were by far the better side in the second half, in terms of possession and chances, with the visitor's keeper making a string of great saves. We managed to pull one back when Belmin Music, who had moved across to right back, got forward, and crossed to Rami Jelassi, whose near post header reduced the deficit in the 67th minute.

    We gamely pressed for the equaliser, and I thought it had come in the 81st minute, but Marvin Lehner's effort was ruled out. We kept going, but with 10 men, there were gaps at the back, and we conceded the third goal in stoppage time for a harsh defeat.


    DFB Pokal Round of 16

    St. Pauli 1 Viktoria Köln 0

    I made 4 changes for the trip to 10th place St. Pauli. Pedro Vargas was suspended, and Leonardo Mustaccia was injured, so I moved Belmin Music across to right back, and Luiz Carlos dos Santos da Silva into the DMC role. I recalled Afram Hanna and Mario Aguza, and made them my central defensive partnership. Rami Jelassi and Alexander Erdogan were knackered after the Monchengladbach defeat, so I brought in Kasidech Samakorn and Vierundo.

    The game didn't start too well, with Aguza going off injured after just 6 minutes, so I had to shuffle things around a bit, and we came under some early pressure, but Xaysavath Souvanhansok made some good saves to keep our hosts at bay. We got more into the game, and had chances to score, but a mixture of good opposition goalkeeping, and poor finishing meant that we were level at half time.

    We carried on where we left off in the second half, but St. Pauli scored with the only effort they had in the second half, to take the lead in the 56th minute. We created chances to try and force extra time, but once again, the keeper made good saves, and we suffer a fifth consecutive defeat to round off a miserable month.


    League Table






    We're having a terrible run. The performances haven't been awful in terms of creating chances (apart from the Schalke game) but a mixture of poor finishing and good opposition goalkeeping has stopped us from scoring. We've not been able to rely on our solid defence to pick up points either.

    I can't work out why things have suddenly gone wrong. I'm not doing anything different in terms of tactics, shape, or personnel, but the same nucleus of players that went to Dortmund and won, beat the champions Wolfsburg, and emphatically beat 1.FC Köln have suddenly stopped producing the goods.

    Jose Vitor Belo da Silva hasn't been able to sustain his early season form, I've had to drop an under performing, but normally reliable Alex Duran. Pape Mbaye was providing assists at the start of the season, but that stopped, and Marvin Lehner was on fire in terms of scoring goals. They've since dried up.

    I can only put this down to players being inconsistent, where they are still relatively young. If it's not that, I don't know what it is.

    I'm getting really frustrated with this save now. My enthusiasm is waning, and I'm wondering if I've bit off a bit more than I can chew, in terms of the restrictions I've placed upon myself. I may need to take a break from it, and come back to it in a few weeks time with a different perspective.


    Player Focus

    No-one. No-one has done enough for me to highlight them.


    Forthcoming Fixtures





    We go to St. Pauli again next. Some players will have to be left out due to low condition, and others will simply need to be left out for a period of games, so that they will hopefully come back at a later date, with a bit more purpose about them.

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  42. #598

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    November has been a real kick in the teeth.

    But the next 4 are all winnable games. Although Stuttgart are 2 places above you you have two games in hand over them.

    Sometimes I think some players need to play themselves into form and dropping them doesn't always help. I have no evidence for this however.

    A good run can get you back into the Europa League spots. You've beaten Wolfsburg before no reason why you can't again.

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  44. #599

    Join Date
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    Keep going pal - it's nice to see a story that isn't just win, win win etc

    Awful month and a cup knockout

    You seem to be changing at least 3-4 players a game this month - why? Injury/suspension or just fitness (what % fitness do you drop a player for?) or form?

    Are you pretty fixed on 1 formation now (what is that?) or changing a lot from game to game or in between games?

    Cup exit and no Europe should mean you have pretty much first XI to choose (barring injury etc) for remainder of leagues games now

    Keep going - you are doing very well. I thought you were getting above the station looking at CL - I think you've been doing great in Europa league places and it's only now you have REAL QUALITY players being bought

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  46. #600

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    Even if you come mid table again it’s not the end of the world, building a club up can take time. One season soon it may just all click and you’ll be challenging for trophies

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