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Thread: Hennes Weisweiler

  1. #626

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    Great end to the season!

    And a good season overall!

    Europe spot sorted!

    I'm surprised that no played has played more than 22 games in the league - that shows you do not maybe have any "nailed on" players - which might be one of the reasons for lack of cohesion in team and mixed results? Seems like you don't have a fixed XI in your head?

    You for sure have QUALITY players now and I think next season you should be pushing for Top 4 - if you got it then it would be brilliant but I think you should be in the running for a challenge for it!
    You're right, there aren't any players that have a guaranteed place in the side. This is for a variety of reasons. The 'don't change a winning team' policy is one that I've used in practically every save I've done down the years, and has worked well for me.

    My thinking behind this is that a regular first XI often becomes 'jaded/exhausted/in need of a rest', which affects their form at the end of the season. Good second choice players quickly become unhappy about lack of game time, so my policy is a way of trying to keep everyone content.

    I've also got the added issue with players such as Erdogan, Cardoso dos Santos, and Belo da Silva, who are still quite young, and even having played between half and two-thirds of Bundesliga games, are finishing matches exhausted.

    An example of my selection policy is this. Yhoan Itoua and Marvin Lehner are probably my best two out and out strikers at the club. Itoua finished the season really well, so will start next season as my first choice striker in the 433 formation. If he becomes injured/suspended/knackered/loses form, then Lehner will take his place. If Lehner does well, he will keep his place until the same thing happens to him, and so on.

    I'd like to see us challenge for a top four finish next season, but also it would be great if we can improve on getting to the Europa League Semi Final, like we did a couple of seasons ago.

  2. #627

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    June/July 2029

    Awards










    As you can see from the images above, Alexander Erdogan has received some well deserved recognition for his efforts last season. To be considered as one of the best German midfielders in the Bundesliga at the age of 19 is an excellent achievement.

    One of my objectives as Hennes Weisweiler is to play a part in the career of a future Ballon D'Or or FIFA Men's Player of the Season winner. In real life, Allan Simonsen of Borussia Mönchengladbach won the Ballon D'Or in 1977. Although Weisweiler had left Mönchengladbach by then, it was he who brought Simonsen to the club during his time there, and played a part in his development. My aim is to do the same, and help to create a future winner of what is arguably one of the most prestigious individual awards a footballer can win. Like Simonsen, he doesn't have to be playing under me when he wins it, but if he does, that'll be a bonus.


    Stadium Expansion & Finances




    The board have expanded the stadium by 20%. To be honest, this'll make little difference, as the vast majority of clubs in the Bundesliga have average attendances of well in excess of 30000, but every little helps I guess.

    We made just £2M profit last season. This is mainly because we had a £17M deficit in our transfer spending. Our wage bill was approximately 40% of our income, and once again we start this season with the lowest wage bill in the Bundesliga.


    Transfer News




    I'm always looking to improve the squad, so have made a few signings this summer. I wanted a better right back than what we currently have, that can compete with Lucas Blanco, a left back that can come in for Jose Vitor Belo da Silva, and a forward that can ease the burden on my wide attackers Alexander Erdogan, and Dominik Bozic. I've managed to get a 16 year old striker that looks the business, with the added bonus of being German, and I signed a young Polish striker in January that I forgot to mention in my January 2029 update.












    Forthcoming Fixtures & Aspirations




    As you can see, we start with a trip to RB Leipzig, who have finished 9th in each of the last three seasons.

    With the new signings, and the departure of some senior fringe players such as Rami Jelassi and Lazar Samardzic, the average age of the squad is 22 again. This is a little bit younger than most of the clubs in the Bundesliga, but the average age of their first team players tend to be around 27-29, whereas the average age of our first team for the opening game is 22.

    Having finished last season so well, I have high hopes for next season. I'm aiming for us to get close to averaging 2 points per game, and finish up with 67-68 points. Bayern Munich won the title last season with 71 points, so if we can achieve my aim, we'll be challenging for the title. I don't expect to win it though.

    Being in Europe will obviously add to our schedule, and I'm hoping that our league form doesn't suffer as a result. I'd love it if we could win the Europa League, but I can also see the advantages of finishing in the top four. Be nice if we can do both, but I'll be happy with either of those outcomes.


    Other News

    Borussia Mönchengladbach lost to Roma in the Europa League Final, but tasted success a few days later when they beat Hamburg in the DFB Pokal Final. Champions Bayern Munich were beaten by Barcelona in the Champions League Final, and West Ham won the Premiership with 100 points!


    Next Update

    This will be at the end of August, and will contain details of our early season results, transfer news, if any.

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  4. #628

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    Quote Originally Posted by Libertine View Post

    I'd love it if we beat Borussia Monchengladbach.
    Kevin Keegan moment?

  5. #629

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    Erdogan

    Young defender looks well rounded for his age

    D/M is versatile I guess

    Delgado looks a possible belter! As does Langer

    Polish fella least favoured from those 3 but still decent!

    Helluva pre-season

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  7. #630

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renitor View Post
    Kevin Keegan moment?

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  9. #631

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    August 2029

    New Staff

    I forgot to mention in the previous update that I freshened up the backroom team this summer by replacing some of the staff with what I hope are better options. A new Assistant Manager, two new coaches, and a new scout. As this save is focused on youth, I've prioritised Working with Youngsters, and Judging Potential.












    Results


    (Bundesliga)

    RB Leipzig 1 Viktoria Köln 0




    A fairly even game in terms of possession and chances. The hosts managed to take one of their chances in the 75th minute, and we couldn't find an equaliser. We were a bit below par compared to how we finished last season. Xaysavath Souvanhansok was Man of the Match, but I still think that we were unlucky to lose, as a lot of what our keeper had to deal with were long range efforts.


    (Bundesliga)

    Viktoria Köln 1 Werder Bremen 0

    A club record attendance of 8951 saw us make two changes for this game against newly promoted Werder Bremen, who deployed defensive tactics for most of the match. I left out young Lucas Blanco, who was poor in the previous game, so gave Reverson Valuarth De Araujo his debut at right back. Szymon Maszota got injured in the previous game, so I brought back Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos into the heart of midfield.

    With the visitors defending so deep, they were inviting us on to them. Having skillful players such as Cardoso dos Santos and Pape Mbaye in midfield meant that we were able to create plenty of chances in a first half that we dominated. We should have had a lead, but poor finishing let us down.

    We remained the better side in the second half, though not quite as dominant. Our efforts were rewarded in the 74th minute when Cardoso dos Santos made an excellent run from the heart of midfield. He was forced out to the left, but delivered a fine near post cross for Alexander Erdogan to head in the only goal of the game.

    The Man of the Match award went to Cardoso dos Santos, whose 9 out of 10 rating included him making 6 successful dribbles, 6 successful tackles, and 5 shots at goal to go with the assist. A superb all round performance.


    DFB Pokal 1st Round

    Heidenheim 0 Viktoria Köln 2


    I made 11 changes for this trip to 3. Liga side Heidenheim, and gave debuts to Luis Martins Junior and Benedikt Langer, along with a first start for Sebastian Delgado.

    We dominated the game from start to finish, and took the lead in the 16th minute. We won a free kick just outside the box, and Martins Junior delivered an excellent ball into the box for Langer to get above his marker, and head us into a lead for his debut goal.

    The scoring was completed in the 49th minute when Man of the Match Langer won a free kick just outside the box. Martins Junior showed the full repertoire of his dead ball skills to double our lead with a fine 20 yard strike.


    Forthcoming Fixtures




    After we play newly promoted Bochum at home, we start what will hopefully be a long European run against Hearts.


    Transfer News

    I splashed out £7.75M on a midfielder that I wasn't sure I'd get over the line, as he's currently injured. He's nothing special mind. Will probably just be a fringe player....

















    Seriously though, how good is he? Only two of his outfield attributes are below 16!!! I just hope he's not deficient in his hidden mental attributes, as it'll be a shame if he turns out to be a nutter that doesn't live up to expectation.

    He's in rehab at the moment for the injury he has, but he should be fit by the end of September, and I plan to slot him into midfield alongside Pape Mbaye and Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos when the time is right.

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  11. #632

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    Couple of French and Serbian coaches then - can they speak German?!

    Oh my days =- that new midfielder is INSANE

    Decent start

    Looks an easy Europa tie so can rotate v Hearts

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  13. #633

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    Jelassi...what the hell happened to him ? And how the heck did nobody sign him on a bosman ?

    Hrustanovic is a beast. That is all

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  15. #634

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    Couple of French and Serbian coaches then - can they speak German?!

    Oh my days =- that new midfielder is INSANE

    Decent start

    Looks an easy Europa tie so can rotate v Hearts
    Kostic can, as he finished his playing career in Germany, but the other two can't yet. In real life, this would obviously be a problem, though having said that, I only have 7 Germans in the squad.

  16. #635

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    Quote Originally Posted by Treated Unfairly View Post
    Jelassi...what the hell happened to him ? And how the heck did nobody sign him on a bosman ?

    Hrustanovic is a beast. That is all
    It was a shame about Jelassi. He was excellent in our promotion season, and Fan's Player of the Season that season, and the following two seasons. He fell out of favour in the season that we started using 433 and finished 5th. I tried him in midfield, but he just didn't perform. I tried to get him to sign a new contract, but he didn't want to, then eventually I listed him. There was no interest, so his contract just ran down. He's now at a Tunisian club.

  17. #636

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post

    Oh my days =- that new midfielder is INSANE
    Bit lacking in determination ....

  18. #637

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    Quote Originally Posted by Libertine View Post
    It was a shame about Jelassi. He was excellent in our promotion season, and Fan's Player of the Season that season, and the following two seasons. He fell out of favour in the season that we started using 433 and finished 5th. I tried him in midfield, but he just didn't perform. I tried to get him to sign a new contract, but he didn't want to, then eventually I listed him. There was no interest, so his contract just ran down. He's now at a Tunisian club.
    Did it cross your mind to try to resign him on a free transfer ? Sometimes players lower their wage demands when they become free agents. I posted a question recently in another thread where im in a similar situation and unsure whether to resign a player.

  19. #638

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    Quote Originally Posted by Treated Unfairly View Post
    Did it cross your mind to try to resign him on a free transfer ? Sometimes players lower their wage demands when they become free agents. I posted a question recently in another thread where im in a similar situation and unsure whether to resign a player.
    In normal game play I might have done, but I'm only signing players aged 19 or under in this save, so I might have been bending my rules a bit too far if I'd re-signed him after I released him.

  20. #639

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    September 2029

    Results

    (Bundesliga)

    Viktoria Köln 2 Bochum 0

    A record attendance of 8957 saw us return to the same starting XI (against newly promoted Bochum), that beat Werder Bremen in our previous Bundesliga game, with the exception of Vitor Hugo Vieira coming in for the injured Antonio Cvitanovic.

    Bochum deployed the usual visiting defensive tactics, but a good slice of fortune came our way in the 4th minute when Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos overhit a pass intended for Pape Mbaye, which flew straight into the back of the net to give us a lead.

    We continued to take the game to our opponents, and doubled our lead in the 24th minute when Dominik Bozic received a loose ball on the right, played it infield to Yhoan Itoua, who saw Alexander Erdogan's run from the left into the box, and chipped a delightful little ball over the top of the Bochum defender, which found the young German (who recently made his full international debut) in plenty of space to apply a nice finish.

    Bochum were the better side in the second half, but we defended well, with Xaysavath Souvanhansok making good saves when he needed to, and Man of the Match Belmin Music winning 7 tackles (6 of which were key) in central defence to keep the visitors at bay.


    (Europa League 2nd Round, 1st Leg)

    Hearts 2 Viktoria Köln 3

    We were unchanged for the trip to Scottish Championship side Hearts, who qualified for this competition by winning the Scottish Cup as a 2nd tier club.

    We started the game well, and in the 7th minute, Pape Mbaye received the ball from a throw in, moved forward, then sent the ball into the area towards Yhoan Itoua, who volleyed us into the lead with his first goal of the season.

    The lead didn't last long, and three minutes later, Hearts equalised when Jose Vitor Belo da Silva allowed the opposition striker to dribble past him, and get a shot in.

    We remained on top though, and when Vitor Hugo Vieira received the ball 30 yards from goal, he sent the ball into the area for Itoua to head us back in front in the 28th minute.

    We were well worth the lead at half time, and continued to push for a third goal in the second half. A mixture of good opposition goalkeeping and poor finishing prevented this from happening, and Hearts equalised against the run of play in the 73rd minute when Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos allowed the opposition midfielder to take the ball past him, and send a ball into the area for the Hearts striker to get a header in that Xaysavath Souvanhansok should have dealt better with.

    We'd run out of steam by this point, so a couple of minutes later, I took off the ineffective Cardoso dos Santos and Dominik Bozic for Szymon Maszota and Sebastian Delgado. This didn't really improve things, so I took off Alexander Erdogan in the 88th minute, and brought on Marvin Lehner.

    This did the trick, as a couple of minutes later, Delgado made a run into the box from the right, beat the first defender, then the second defender brought him down, to win us a penalty. Lehner made no mistake from the spot, and we got a deserved win to give us a lead going into the 2nd leg.

    In the absence of captain Afram Hanna, and vice captains Leonardo Mustaccia and Alex Duran, Pape Mbaye has had the armband this season, and won the Man of the Match award in this game with a 10 out of 10 performance that saw him create 4 chances.


    (Bundesliga)

    FC Köln 1 Viktoria Köln 0

    I made 4 changes for the Cologne derby. Reverson Valuarth De Araujo was knackered after the Hearts game, so I brought Lucas Blanco back at right back. I rewarded Szymon Maszota, Sebastian Delgado, and Marvin Lehner with a start for the impact they made as subs in the Hearts game, so left out Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos, Dominik Bozic, and Alexander Erdogan.

    We'd been the better side throughout the game, and finished up having had 10 efforts at goal (7 on target) to their 3. However, we came up against a great individual display from their veteran keeper, Timo Horn, who inevitably won the Man of the Match award. I thought we had taken the lead in the 74th minute, when our best player on the pitch in this game, Vitor Hugo Vieira fired in a direct free kick, but the ref ordered a retake, and Horn saved the second attempt.

    As is often the case in these kind of games, we conceded against the run of play, when Belmin Music failed to clear a ball into the box, and our struggling city rivals took the lead in the 85th minute. We couldn't find the equaliser, and have to take a harsh defeat on the chin.

    The board complained that they were unhappy with the performance. I asked them if they watched the game, as if they did, they'd have seen the opposition keeper make seven saves. I also reminded them that they are taking roughly £27M out of the club each season in dividends, so perhaps the luxuries they have been enjoying these last few seasons will soften the blow of watching this 'disappointing' performance, and I also sarcastically asked them for extra time to rebuild the squad.


    (Bundesliga)

    Viktoria Köln 2 Düsseldorf 3

    I made four changes for this game against a Düsseldorf side that were Bundesliga runners up, and Champions League Semi Finalists last season. They've had a perfect start to this season, winning all four of their league games, scoring an excellent 14 goals, and not conceding once. I brought back Reverson Valuarth De Araujo at right back in place of Lucas Blanco. I left Belmin Music out after his error against FC Köln, and replaced him with Alex Duran, who also took the captain's armband, and I brought back Dominik Bozic and Alexander Erdogan in favour of Sebastian Delgado and Marvin Lehner.

    The first half was even in terms of possession and chances, but we went in 0-2 down at half time. Düsseldorf were basically more clinical in attack, and defensively solid than us.

    We showed some spirit in the second half. In the 62nd minute, Vitor Hugo Vieira sent the ball into the direction of Jose Vitor Belo da Silva who had bombed forward from left back, he flicked it on to Yhoan Itoua, who beat two defenders, and skimmed a hard shot past the visitor's keeper, to pull one back for us.

    I thought we'd equalised 10 minutes later, when Erdogan found the net following a Belo da Silva cross, but it was ruled out for offside. With 5 minutes of normal time remaining, Pape Mbaye received the ball in midfield, beat two men, and found Belo da Silva, who made another great surging run forward, found himself in space, and from a tight angle, volleyed in a superb and deserved equaliser.

    This Düsseldorf side have something about them though. Alex Duran gave away an injury time free kick just outside our box, and Xaysavath Souvanhansok was beaten from the resulting direct free kick, to inflict a cruel defeat on us.

    There were some positive performances. Alex Duran won an incredible 13 tackles at the back. Pape Mbaye made 10 successful dribbles in midfield to go with his assist, and Jose Vitor Belo da Silva put in a 10 out of 10 performance to win the Man of the Match award, which included him winning 5 tackles, and making 6 successful dribbles to go with his goal and assist.


    (Europa League 2nd Round, 2nd Leg)

    Viktoria Köln 3 Hearts 0 (6-2 on aggregate)

    We were unchanged for this 2nd leg at home to Hearts, as I didn't want to take any chances with just a slender lead.

    We started the game well, and took the lead in the 6th minute when Yhoan Itoua nodded the ball to Pape Mbaye. The Senegalese midfielder sent the ball wide to Reverson Valuarth De Araujo bombing forward from right back. The young Brazilian delivered the ball into the area, and his compatriot Vitor Hugo Vieira was running into the box from midfield to fire in his first goal of the season.

    We kept going, and three minutes before half time, Jose Vitor Belo da Silva received a loose ball on the left, moved forward, then hit a savage right foot shot to double our lead and make it 2 goals in 2 games.

    On the stroke of half time, Vieira swung a ball out right to De Araujo, who nodded it into the path of Itoua. The Congolese striker turned, beat his defender, and hit a low shot with his weaker left foot to put the game beyond the visitors.

    The second half was a bit of a non-event, though there was a little concern when Xaysavath Souvanhansok went off injured with about twenty minutes to go, having used all of my subs. Dominik Bozic went in goal, and we didn't let Hearts get a shot in.

    A comfortable win, with Belo da Silva winning the Man of the Match award for the second game in a row.


    (Bundesliga)

    Hamburg 0 Viktoria Köln 3

    I made 7 changes for this trip to 11th placed Hamburg. Along with Xaysavath Souvanhansok's injury, the condition of the other 6 players that I left out had dropped below 96%

    We started well, and good link up play between Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos, Yhoan Itoua, and Kasidech Samakorn, resulted in Cardoso dos Santos laying the ball off to Antonio Cvitanovic, who found himself in space to drive in his first goal of the season to give us a 6th minute lead.

    Ten minutes later Itoua received a loose ball, and hit a low, hard shot from 20 yards out, to double our lead. We continued to perform well throughout the game, and when Alex Duran was fouled in the opposition box following a free kick, we won a 76th minute penalty, which Itoua made no mistake with.

    Hamburg had a couple of chances late on, but James Streete made great saves, which earned him the Man of the Match award.


    League Table






    A mixed month results wise, but I've been pleased with the performances. I'm also pleased that making several changes for the Hamburg game didn't stop us from performing. It shows that there's good depth in this squad.


    Player Focus








    I've been delighted with the start that Jose has made to this season. He provides a good attacking outlet on the left. Long may this form continue. I recently rejected a £29.5M offer for him from Bayern Munich. He's understandably unhappy about this, but he has recently signed a new 5 year contract making him one of the highest paid players at the club, so if I do decide to sell him, it will be for considerably more money.


    Forthcoming Fixtures




    A trip to the champions next, who have had their own mixed start to the season, plus a tricky next round in the Europa League against Spartak Moscow.

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  22. #640

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    Mixed month that

    Thought Hearts were gonna shock you there

    LOVE the rant against the board

    Well positioned in league - tad more consistency. If you can "beat the shite" and then do ok against the top teams that'd be grand

    Any idea over the years if you raise game for top teams or struggle but "beat those that you should"?

    Spartak should be beatable - not an ideal travel though

  23. #641

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    Mixed month that

    Thought Hearts were gonna shock you there

    LOVE the rant against the board

    Well positioned in league - tad more consistency. If you can "beat the shite" and then do ok against the top teams that'd be grand

    Any idea over the years if you raise game for top teams or struggle but "beat those that you should"?

    Spartak should be beatable - not an ideal travel though
    I haven't got any stats to back it up, but I think we do sometimes get good results against better sides, and struggle against the strugglers. Possibly this is to do with some players 'Important Matches' value being greater than their 'Consistency' value. We're about to play Bayern away, so a defeat for us would disprove this, but generally there has been decent results against the better sides at times.

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  25. #642

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    I've just skimmed through most of this, well done it looks amazing 👏
    Has Hrustanovic made his debut yet? Looks unbelievable.

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  27. #643

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    Quote Originally Posted by luke_21 View Post
    I've just skimmed through most of this, well done it looks amazing 👏
    Has Hrustanovic made his debut yet? Looks unbelievable.
    Thanks. Yeah, Hrustanovic has made his debut. I'll give details in the next update.

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    October 2029

    Results

    (Bundesliga)

    FC Bayern 1 Viktoria Köln 1

    I made three changes for this game against the champions. Lucas Blanco, Antonio Cvitanovic, and Kasidech Samakorn were all knackered after the Hamburg win just three days ago, so I recalled Reverson Valuarth De Araujo, Pape Mbaye, and Alexander Erdogan.

    The first half was fairly even, with just a few chances for both sides, and going in level at half time seemed like a fair reflection of the game.

    We started the second half well, and when De Araujo received a loose ball on the right, the full back moved forward, then sent a cross into the area for Yhoan Itoua to get above the Bayern keeper, and head us into a 51st minute lead.

    We started to come under a bit of pressure from the hosts, so after a while I took the forward runs off of everyone except the front three. This worked for most of the remainder of the game, but Bayern aren't champions for nothing, and they grabbed a deserved equaliser through their veteran substitute Serge Gnabry in the 90th minute.

    It's a shame we couldn't hold on for what would've been an excellent win, though I'd have taken a point before the game. Jose Vitor Belo da Silva was Man of the Match again, winning 7 tackles (4 key) at left back.


    (Europa League 3rd Round, 1st Leg)

    Spartak Moscow 1 Viktoria Köln 4

    I made one change for the trip to Russia. Leonardo Mustaccia isn't in the European squad, so his inegibility meant that he was replaced in the side by Szymon Maszota.

    We started the game well, with Alexander Erdogan heading in a Pape Mbaye corner to give us an 8th minute lead.

    Eight minutes later, the hosts equalised with their only chance of the game. James Streete will have been disappointed.

    We were back in front in the 38th minute, when Yhoan Itoua received a pass from Erdogan, then took the ball past no fewer than four opposition players, and smashed in a low shot, which meant that we had a lead at half time.

    We continued to dominate the second half, and when Mbaye received a loose ball in midfield, he moved forward, and found Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos in the area, whose neat turn and shot doubled our lead.

    The domination continued, and Maszota intercepted a Spartak through ball, which he touched on to Man of the Match Mbaye. The Senegalese midfielder made it a hat-trick of assists when he played the ball to Cardoso dos Santos, who beat his man, then struck a fierce shot to score his 2nd goal of the game, and make it 4-1 in the 87th minute, which completed the scoring.


    (Bundesliga)

    Viktoria Köln 3 Schalke 1

    I made two changes for the visit of 11th placed Schalke. Reverson Valuarth De Araujo and Sebastian Delgado were knackered, so I recalled Lucas Blanco and Dominik Bozic.

    We were stunning in the first half, and broke the deadlock when Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos fired in a loose ball from distance to give us a 25th minute lead.

    Four minutes later, Szymon Maszota played a one two with Blanco, then sent the ball into the area for Yhoan Itoua, who took a touch, then buried it in the top corner to double our lead.

    Five minutes after that, we won a corner. Pape Mbaye's delivery was cleared, but he sent the ball back into the area, which Alexander Erdogan got on the end of, with the intention of flicking it on, but instead it flew into the back of the net to make it 3-0.

    The second half was a lot more even, and substitute Vitor Hugo Vieira gave away a penalty, which meant that Schalke pulled one back, but we finished with a nice win, and I was pleased to see young Lucas Blanco win the Man of the Match award, as he's had a difficult start to the season.


    (Europa League 3rd Round, 2nd Leg)

    Viktoria Köln 2 Spartak Moscow 0 (6-1 on aggregate)

    I made 11 changes for this game. We had a nice lead from the first leg, and I wanted to keep the XI that beat Schalke, fresh for our next league game in just three days time. This also seemed like the ideal game to give Tarik Hrustanovic his debut.

    We came under quite a bit of pressure early on, and Barry had to make some good saves, but when Kasidech Samakorn received a loose ball high on the right, he fed Man of the Match Marvin Lehner, who drove in a low shot to settle things down and give us a lead in the 12th minute.

    We adopted a normal mentality from then on, and were able to contain the Russians a lot better. In the second half, Hrustanovic received the ball in midfield, and sent it into the area for substitute Sebastian Delgado, who turned, then hit a low shot, to double our lead, with his first goal for the club.

    I'm pleased with the win, and Hrustanovic had a very good debut, completing 54 out of 61 passes, and winning 3 tackles to go with the assist.


    (Bundesliga)

    Hoffenheim 2 Viktoria Köln 1

    I restored the team to the XI that beat Schalke in our previous league game. We got off to the worst possible start, when our winless hosts, who are firmly rooted to the bottom of the table, took advantage of some poor defending, to go into a 3rd minute lead.

    The remainder of the first half was fairly even, but our former keeper, Martin Necas was putting in an inspired performance against us. James Streete was then beaten from distance, and we went in 0-2 down at half time.

    We managed to pull one back in the 66th minute, when Alexander Erdogan pounced on a rebound after Necas had parried Yhoan Itoua's header from a free kick, but we couldn't find the equaliser.

    A disappointing defeat. We were unlucky not to get something from the game, but we really should have played a lot better against such a poor side.


    (DFB Pokal 2nd Round)

    Lübeck 0 Viktoria Köln 1

    I made 11 changes for this game against the 3.Liga side. We made hard work of this game. I started off with the 4132 formation, then switched to the flat 442 midway through the second half. With the game heading towards extra time, I took off the ineffective Jean-Claude Evina, and brought on Maurizio Milani in the 87th minute. This had the desired effect. Mark Kerr surged forward from left back, then sent the ball into the area towards Milani, who controlled the ball, then hit a low shot towards goal to score an injury time winner that broke our hosts hearts. They deserved to take this to extra time, so we can breathe a sigh of relief.


    League Table






    The Hoffenheim defeat puts a bit of a dampener on things, as it had been a good month up to that point. Neither Lucas Blanco nor Reverson Valuarth De Araujo have shown much consistency at right back, and Dominik Bozic hasn't provided a single goal or assist from the AMR position. Other than that, the rest of the squad that had played regularly have been somewhere between reasonably good, to excellent.


    Player Focus








    Yhoan is amongst the leading scorers in the division. He only managed 1 assist in his first 4 league games, but then scored 5 goals in his next 4 league games. Hopefully this good form will continue.

    With just 1 year left on his contract at the end of last season, he wasn't prepared to discuss a new contract. I offered him one anyway, but he rejected it. As a result, I transfer listed him, but set his value at just under £50M. There was no interest in him, so in July I withdrew him from the list, and made him a 'Hot prospect for the future'. He still wasn't prepared to negotiate a new deal, so after a few weeks, I upgraded his status to 'Squad rotation', he still didn't want to negotiate, so I waited until the end of September, and upgraded him to 'Important First Team Player'. This did the trick with regards to getting him around the table, but his wage demands were very high. We spent most of October negotiating, and there was eventually a conclusion to this saga.





    I've had to make Yhoan the highest paid player at the club, and he did himself no harm at all by scoring goals throughout the negotiation period. Hopefully he can sustain this form, and get the goals that can move us back up the table, and/or help us to do well in Europe.


    Forthcoming Fixtures





    With some tough games coming up in November, we could do with beating struggling Hertha Berlin in our next game.

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  30. #645

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    Do you think that changing 11 players made a difference to the defeat to Hoffenheim. If you had just played through might the result have been better? Same goes for the cup game against Lubeck although you won 1 - 0 you only scraped it in injury time.

    Sometimes I feel breaking up a winning team can have a bad effect. Be interesting to see the result in the games against Hertha.

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  32. #646

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    But then he played same team v Schalke which won

    ET in cup not idea - you are through through!

    Gutted about last min Bayern equalsier but a good point

    You always get returning keepers have a great game don't in CM - That Hoffenhaim game was a blow

    Good news on Itoua - think he's a striker and that's all he wants to do which is fine - protracted contract negotiation but good its done - but highest paid player at the club - hmmmmmmmmmm. But hey - he played well through it so fair play to him - what's his previous years record like - hope he's not just having a purple patch and a 1-2 season wonder .............but they said that about Salah

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  34. #647

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renitor View Post
    Do you think that changing 11 players made a difference to the defeat to Hoffenheim. If you had just played through might the result have been better? Same goes for the cup game against Lubeck although you won 1 - 0 you only scraped it in injury time.

    Sometimes I feel breaking up a winning team can have a bad effect. Be interesting to see the result in the games against Hertha.
    It's possible that making changes has unsettled the side, but in previous saves I've always looked to keep players fresh if we've got a commanding 1st leg lead, or are playing a team from a lower division. I can't say I've noticed a pattern of bad results after making changes. I've also sometimes used different formations at home to the ones I use away, so have made changes there too.

    It's something I'll keep an eye on though.

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  36. #648

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    But then he played same team v Schalke which won

    ET in cup not idea - you are through through!

    Gutted about last min Bayern equalsier but a good point

    You always get returning keepers have a great game don't in CM - That Hoffenhaim game was a blow

    Good news on Itoua - think he's a striker and that's all he wants to do which is fine - protracted contract negotiation but good its done - but highest paid player at the club - hmmmmmmmmmm. But hey - he played well through it so fair play to him - what's his previous years record like - hope he's not just having a purple patch and a 1-2 season wonder .............but they said that about Salah
    Itoua has scored 31 goals in 44 starts in all competitions over the last two and a bit seasons. He seems to be steadily progressing, so it was a case of either meeting his demands, or releasing him. He's the closest to what I could call a regular goalscorer at this club, so i figured that keeping him was the best option.

    One thing I have done, is to only make it a three and a half year contract, in case the goals do dry up. If he continues to score goals, I can look at renegotiating at the end of next season, and get him on a 5 or 6 year deal.

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  38. #649

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    November 2029

    Results

    (Bundesliga)

    Viktoria Köln 2 Hertha Berlin 0

    A record attendance of 8983 saw us make 4 changes for this game against struggling Hertha Berlin. I dropped Lucas Blanco, Pape Mbaye, Szymon Maszota, and Dominik Bozic. I think that they could do with a break from first team action, in the hope that they come back with a point to prove in a few weeks time. I recalled Reverson Valuarth De Araujo, Antonio Cvitanovic, Vitor Hugo Vieira, and Kasidech Samakorn.

    We didn't play particularly well in the first half, and 0-0 was a fair reflection of a scrappy game.

    Things weren't much better in the second half, and by around the midway point, I saw that the condition of both my full backs, De Araujo and Belo da Silva had dropped to 74% as they had both picked up knocks. I thought about bringing on Damion Campbell and Mark Kerr, and going like for like, but instead decided that a change of shape might work better, so i brought on Afram Hanna and Marvin Lehner, and went with the flat 352 formation.

    This had an immediate impact, and we dominated the remainder of the game. Samakorn received the ball on the right, played it infield to Vieira, who hit the ball towards Yhoan Itoua. The Congolese striker then headed the ball into the path of Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos, who had run into the box from deep, received the ball, then turned and drove a shot into the back of the net for his 5th goal of the season.

    Three minutes later, Cardoso dos Santos saw Lehner's run into the box, and the Austrian striker's shot was parried into the path of Man of the Match Itoua, who doubled our lead, and completed the scoring.


    (Bundesliga)

    Borussia Mönchengladbach 0 Viktoria Köln 1

    As the switch to the flat 352 formation worked so well in our previous game, I decided to continue with it for this game at Borussia Mönchengladbach, which meant that Reverson Valuarth De Araujo and Jose Vitor Belo da Silva were left out. This was particularly harsh for Jose, as he's been our best player this season, but it's purely for tactical reasons, and may also have the added bonus of keeping exhaustion at bay. This meant that Afram Hanna made his first Bundesliga start of the season, and as club captain, got the matchday armband back. Marvin Lehner partnered Yhoan Itoua up front.

    We dominated the first half, and when Antonio Cvitanovic's ball into the box was headed away, Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos gathered up the loose ball, and drove in an excellent shot to give us a 16th minute lead.

    We came under quite a bit of pressure in the second half. Leonardo Mustaccia had come on as a first half substitute for the injured Vitor Hugo Vieira, so I switched to the Defensive 352 formation, placing Mustaccia in front of the back three. This worked well, and not only did we contain the hosts, but were unfortunate not to double our lead.

    Cardoso dos Santos was Man of the Match in a win where the scoreline doesn't do us justice. The young Brazilian won 6 tackles, and made 6 successful dribbles at the heart of midfield to go with his goal.

    A nice win over an opponent that I'm always eager to beat, and this will hopefully be the beginning of the end for their manager Patrick Helmes.


    (Bundesliga)

    Viktoria Köln 0 St. Pauli 0

    I made one change for the visit of 5th place St. Pauli, Leonardo Mustaccia replacing the injured Vitor Hugo Vieira.

    The visitors deployed the defensive/men behind the ball tactics that are often used by away teams. As a result, our defence was largely untroubled. St. Pauli found it difficult to contain us throughout the game, but a mixture of good oposition goalkeeping that earned him the Man of the Match award, and poor finishing, with Marvin Lehner particularly culpable, meant that we were unable to break the deadlock.

    Fair play to St. Pauli for the way that they set their stall out.


    (Europa League Round of 32, 1st Leg)

    Galatasaray 1 Viktoria Köln 3

    I made one change for the trip to the Turkish league leaders. Leonardo Mustaccia isn't in my 25 man European squad, so he had to sit this one out, and was replaced by Tarik Hrustanovic.

    We dominated the first half. I thought that Hrustanovic had given us a 13th minute lead from a Kasidech Samakorn corner, but the goal was ruled out for a foul in the build up. The hosts keeper then went on to make a string of great saves to keep us at bay.

    We lost Hussein Michel Melki through injury early in the second half, so i brought on Belmin Music. We won another corner in the 60th minute. Samakorn sent over a hanging ball, and Hrustanovic got above the Galatasaray keeper, to head the ball into the back of the net. This time it counted, and we had a 1-0 lead.

    Fifteen minutes later, Man of the Match Hrustanovic turned provider, when he received the in midfield, skipped past two players, and found the run of Gilmar Cardoso dos Santos into the box, who had the space to hit a high and hard shot to double our lead.

    Seven minutes later, Galatasaray pulled one back with their first shot of the game. James Streete could have done better.

    Two minutes before the end of full time, Cardoso dos Santos received a loose ball in midfield, ran in forward diagonal direction, then crossed the ball into the area for Yhoan Itoua to head past the keeper, to restore our two goal advantage.


    (Bundesliga)

    Dortmund 2 Viktoria Köln 0

    I made one change for the trip to 4th placed Dortmund. Alexander Erdogan was knackered after the Galatasaray win, so i left him out, and brought in Khalifa Shrahili for his first start of the season.

    We didn't start the game well, and were 0-2 down after 21 minutes. The hosts were well on top, so midway through the first half I took off Antonio Cvitanovic, and brought on Jannick Thiel. I had a bit of a reshuffle, and switched from the flat to the Attacking 352 formation.

    From then on, we were the better side in terms of creating chances, but came up against a very good display from Dortmund's keeper, Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

    In the end I felt like we were unlucky not to get something from the game, but we paid the price for poor defending. Alex Duran wasn't his usual dependable self, and James Streete will feel that he should have done better with the goals.


    (DFB Pokal Round of 16)

    Viktoria Köln 1 Schalke 0

    I made one change for the visit of 7th placed Schalke. Kasidech Samakorn was knackered, so I brought in Jannick Thiel to play on the right side of midfield.

    We dominated the first half. Tarik Hrustanovic fired in a free kick, and the rebound fell to Yhoan Itoua who smashed us into a 27th minute lead. We had numerous chances to add to our lead, but came up against a Man of the Match performance from the Schalke keeper.

    The second half was a bit more even, but we defended well, and deservedly make it through to the last eight of this competition.


    League Table






    I think it's been a decent month. We have a nice lead over Galatasaray from the 1st Leg of the Europa League, and I was pleased to get past Schalke in the cup. I'm not going to get too hung up over our only defeat this month, which was away from home against a top three side. We're currently in 6th place, the same position we finished in last season. I think that we're in a good position to challenge for a top four finish, though I'm well aware that there are several teams below us, who aren't too far behind points wise.


    Player Focus






    Gilmar has been involved in a fair number of goals and assists for a defensive midfielder. He also has a decent average tackles per game ratio. His performance level is a step up from last season, but he's been finishing games exhausted recently, so will probably need to be rested at some point.


    Forthcoming Fixtures




    A busy December coming up, with 6 games spread over just 18 days. We'll see how well this squad copes. We have a great opportunity to make the last 16 of the Europa League, along with a great chance to progress to the semi finals of the DFB Pokal.

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  40. #650

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    Nice month.

    Pushing forward on all three fronts.

    Good cup run, hopefully you can go on win one (or both) and only 4 points off the champions league spots.

    Fourth best defensive record is great, ninth best in terms of goals scored which I think has always been an issue, are you creating chances and just not putting them away or struggling to create chances?

    I'd say you are in a pretty strong position.

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