Hello and welcome to my next post in the European Alphabet Challenge story. I am currently in Holland with Vitesse, a club I managed successfully in Football Manager 2012. I have now played all the fixtures from when I took over, to the end of the January transfer window. I will show you the results and table first, followed by my January signings.
So, how have we done under my control:
We have had a mixed bag of results really, and the major issue here is too many draws. We’ve only lost 3 times under me, but it is clear that we need to turn the draws against weaker teams into solid wins. So, how are we doing in the table and Europa League?
So we are currently 4th in the league, however I would like to have a top 2 finish to get Champion’s League football. It is clear that Ajax have won the league this time, but hopefully we can overtake PSV and AZ Alkmaar in the coming months.
We came 2nd in our group which featured Dortmund, Cardiff and H. Tel Aviv alongside us. We got 2 wins over H. Tel Aviv, 2 draws against Cardiff and a win and a loss against Dortmund. All in all, a fairly successful group stage campaign. However, I think it’s all about to come crumbling down on us. Manchester United will face us in the 1st Knockout Round. Hmm…. I’m sensing a defeat in both legs.
Now for the transfers… starting with those I allowed to leave:
I will only include the transfer for both ins and outs that I made, therefore the previous manager’s sales and signings will not be shown.
I sold 8 players for direct transfer fees for a total of £17.9m, and I also allowed Hoy to leave on a loan fee of £45k p/m for the rest of the season with 30% of the wages being paid. Gabriels, Jankovic and Haak all left to clubs on loan for experience as they needed it.
Now for the signings I made during January:
I was given a transfer budget of £20m with £200k in wages to spend going into January after the 4 players who left on the 1st of January moved clubs. So I decided to spend a total of £21.1m on 6 players, plus a loanee. I am really excited about the final 3 signings but I will go through them all now.
Tomas Hrncar: ST (£4.7m Fee — From Celtic)
I decided to meet Hrncar’s £4.7m release clause as I was in need of good strikers to change the draws into wins. He was the first one I signed, (more to come later), and at the of 24, he has some good attributes and can hopefully do quite well. I feel £4.7m isn’t too bad for a player of his quality, and this season at Celtic, he had 14 goals in 16 appearances.
Rigers Halili: DL (£1.2m Fee — From Torino)
I brought in Swiss full-back Halili for a cut price £1.2m as he wanted to leave the relegation threatened club. He is a good defender and should provide a good rotation option for my current DL who is more ‘attacking-minded’ than Halili is. Although he isn’t that young, he should still be in his ‘peak’ era.
Bernard Noel: MC (£13.25m Fee — From STVV)
I am really quite excited about Noel, as he offers a really good option in midfield. At 4.5 stars ability, he really is one of the best in the division for his position, and hopefully he can show that on the pitch. He is only 24 as well, meaning that he has plenty of life left in him.
Amor Guenifi: GK (£0 Loan Fee / 100% of Wages — From Stade Rennais)
I brought Guenifi in purely as backup. He most likely will not get a game for us unless our current GK gets injured. He isn’t great ability wise but he doesn’t need to be. Also, at just £80 of wages, (100%), it isn’t costing us much at all to keep him here.
Edwin Wever: ST (£550k Fee — From Sparta Rotterdam)
I met Wever’s £500k release clause to higher division club as I saw the potential in him to be great. Even though he is just 19, he has had plenty of first team opportunities at Sparta Rotterdam, and this season was on 8 goals in 17 games. Although it doesn’t sound ‘world-class’, he is just 19 and has a lot to learn and grow. Really excited about his potential.
Mirko Saric: ST (£650k Fee — From Dinamo Zagreb)
I cannot believe I got Saric for just £650k. His release clause for foreign clubs was really small compared to his ability and therefore I snapped at the chance to get him. He had 16 goals in 18 games for Dinamo Zagreb this season so far, and hopefully he can replicate his success there, in Holland. Rated by my scouts and assistant at 4 star ability with 4.5 star potential, he really is a top striker. I wasn’t done raiding Croatia there however…
Ivica Blaskic: DM (£750k Fee — From Osijek)
Another steal from Croatia… I signed 24 year-old midfielder/defender Blaskic for his release clause to foreign clubs of just £750k. He will be rotated with my other midfielders of similar ability however if he appears to be a key component in the midfield, then he could secure a permanent spot.
One thing I have learnt from this save, is that Austria and Croatia are 2 fantastic nations to go shopping in after a few seasons. They put really low release clauses on top players quite a lot and it allows you to get great players at low prices.
Thanks for reading and please comment/vote!