FC Twente The Pride Of The East (3.0) The Moneyball Concept

1495392563951Welcome to my season 3 opening post, time is flying in Enschede and this season the club needs to qualify for Europe to enable us to progress in to a force domestically and in Europe. For a third consecutive season we are relying on getting good loan deals to enable us to be competitive. I have also had to take the decision to sell a few players to balance the books and to also make way for an handful of permanent signings. I will start with the players who have left the club, the first was defender Stefan Thesker who has joined Celtic for £3.1m, I have two good seasons out of Thesker but he wanted to move and the offer was above his value so that’s that. Next to move was midfielder Marcel Ritzmaier who I picked up on a free transfer last season after being released by PSV, incredibly he has returned to PSV for £2.3m rising to £3.4m with add ons. Ritzmaier had a good season for us last term which had PSV looking a little foolish for running IMG_20170524_075321his contract down. Joachim Andersen the stylish Danish defender was next to leave after I agreed a deal of £4.7m rising to £8m with add ons with Norwich City. Andersen has been a top player for me and I am sorry to see him go. A total of 13 players left the club after being released with the biggest relief being Oussama Assaidi leaving which wiped £41,000 per week off the wage bill.

So with the departure’s it brought a much needed £10.25m in to the club but left a few holes to fill in our first team squad but this is were I am at my best wheeling and dealing and I am pleased with who we brought in to the club this summer. I brought 5 players in to the club on permanent contracts and 8 players joined us on season long loan deals. I will start with the players coming in on permanent contracts with the first being Serbian goalkeeper Djordje Nikolic from FC Basel for £58,000 rising to £83,000 with add ons, Nikolic looks to have all the attributes to be a top keeper so I am extremely pleased with getting him for peanuts. I then picked up forward Jean-Kevin Augustin on a free transfer after being released by Paris St Germain. I also noticed playmaker Zakaria Labyad was available on a free transfer so I offered him a contract and he accepted, the Dutch born Moroccan in my opinion as been under valued at FC Utrecht and I feel I can get the best out of him. My next signing was veteran forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar who has signed a 1 year contract after being released by Schalke. I have a very young squad of players and Huntelaar’s experience and eye for a goal will be of great value to me this season. My final permanent contract signing is the player I believe can fill the gap that Joachim Andersen has left behind he is Chilean International Igor Lichnovsky from FC Porto for a fee of £190,000 rising to £210,000 with future add ons.

IMG_20170524_075342The season long loan deals that I have chosen to bring in to the club this season are all free and have been chosen to give us good depth, and quality in key positions. Using the loan market as been a god send for us considering our financial position we have been in. I am sort of viewing each loan deal as a trial for the players that I am bringing in and hope that by building a rapport with the players that one day in the future some of these will join us on a permenant basis. The players brought in this season are:

  • Andrea Pinamonti  (Forward) Inter
  • Lautaro Martinez  (Forward) Benfica
  • Adam Armstrong  (Forward) Newcastle United
  • Vitinho  (Wing Back ) Corinthians
  • Rogerio  (Wing Back ) Juventus
  • Gabriel  (Central Defender ) Lille
  • Benedikt Gimber  (Central Defender ) Hoffenheim
  • Tiago Casasola ( Central Defender ) AS Roma


transfers 18


pre season


Expectations are same as last season with the board looking for a top half finish and us to reach the Dutch Cup Quarter-final. My expectations are for us to get in to the Champions League by winning the title.

expectations 18 19


Results Up To Winter Break 18-19

We could not have wished for a better start to the season, we won our opening seven games whilst keeping 6 clean sheets thanks to our new look defence, Lautaro Martinez led the front line with 5 goals in the opening 7 games. Our first defeat of the season came in matchday 8 with a 0-1 defeat at home to PSV. Our next 10 games in the league produced 6 wins 2 draws and 2 defeats which took us to the top of the table at the winter break with a 9 point lead over our nearest challenges Ajax. We also progressed to the 4th round of the  Dutch Cup with wins over UNA, MVV and Sparta Rotterdam.  I am very pleased with how the squad are playing and hope to keep our form going after the winter break. Lautaro Martinez has netted 13 goals for us so far this season and looks to be a very good signing.

results aug sep oct nov dec 18


table winter break 18 19

Squad Statistics

squad stats winter break

As always thanks for reading this post, I hope you will be back soon to see how our season ends. We are in pole position but I know how a bad run of games can derail a season, and this season for me is a vital one because a Champions League place would have a big impact on the club going forward. I would like to thank @FMKits4You for our new shirt design this season and I would like to wish my good friend Saadiq Bey all the best with his new save in Egypt which I am looking forward to hearing about.

The Story So Far :


2017-2018 Eredivisie 2nd Dutch Cup 3rd rd

2016-2017 Eredivisie 2nd Dutch Cup QF 

FC TWENTE Moneyball FC Twente 

FC Twente The Pride Of The East (2.1) The Three Englishmen Of Enschede

IMG_20170521_200943_processedWelcome to my end of season two post of my Moneyball save with FC Twente. Financially we are making steady progress but the European ban as most definitely held us back in the money department. The good news is that next season is our 3rd and final under the ban so hopefully we will be able to get in to Europe and reep the rewards. So back to this season and the form and goal scoring of fellow Englishman Adam Armstrong has been pivotal in keeping us in the top 4 as the season unwound. At the winter break were sat comfortably in 3rd spot but we were knocked out of the Dutch Cup at the 3rd round stage after a penalty shootout against FC Utrecht. Last seasons top scorer Lucas Coelho returned to his parent club Gremio in January so I brought in Manchester United forward James Wilson on loan until the end of the season.  That was our only business in the transfer window. Wilson went on to score 7 goals in 13 appearances which proved to be a vital contribution come the end of the season. Fellow Englishman Adam Armstrong was our top scorer with 18 goals which was a good return from the on loan Newcastle forward. Both the Englishmens contribution took us close to the title for a second season running but we just came up short finishing in 2nd place behind Ajax again. I am more than happy to have secured 2nd spot for the last 2 seasons whilst relying heavily on the loan market. I am discovering players who I previously would not usually sign however the Moneyball concept as most definitely added a new dimension to how I go about doing things at a club.  Next season is set to be pivotal with the European ban being lifted at the end of it meaning if I get things right on the pitch next season we could well be preparing for a Champions League campaign which will be a welcome positive to the club’s finances. Below you can see some screenshots of this last season. I have kept this post short due to work commitments but I wanted to get it out because I will have a season 3 post out this coming weekend so until then thanks for checking out this update and feel free to ask any questions regarding the save either on here or via Twitter @totalfootball71 


November / December 2017

nov dec 17

January / February 2018

jan feb 18

March / April / May 2018

march april may 18

Final Table 

table final 18


team of the season

Squad Statistics 17-18

squad stats 17-18


finances aug 18


The Story So Far :

2017-2018 Eredivisie 2nd Dutch Cup 3rd rd

2016-2017 Eredivisie 2nd Dutch Cup QF 


Moneyball FC Twente 

FC Twente The Pride Of The East (2.0) The Moneyball Concept Takes Shape

IMG_20170514_204048_processedWelcome to the latest update tracking the developments on and off the field at FC Twente.  We are in season two of the save were I am following a set of rules associated with the Moneyball concept.  After a 2nd place finish in the league last season we were denied qualification to the Champions League due to the club being handed a 3 year European ban which in its self is a financial blow to the club however we have to deal with it and get on with turning the club around after an history of financial mismanagement. The boards expectations this season are very realistic they expect us to finish in the top half and reach the Dutch Cup Quarter-final, they have made available a transfer budget of £539,000 and a wage budget of £157,000. Our overall balance is just over £7m compared to this time last season of £1.6m with our projected balance to be around £7.4m at the end of this current season. Our wage outlay currently stands at £143,000 per week with £41,000 of that being paid to Assaidi who’s contract runs out at the end of this season however FC Groningen have taken him on loan with an option to buy him for £160,000 and are paying £4000 per week of his wages. One way or the other we will knock £41,000 per week off our current wage bill come the end of the season. I definitely feel that the Moneyball concept is working in the right direction and making a positive effect on the club.

finances aug 17

projection aug 17

transfer retained


12 players left the club on free transfers with a further 5 going out on loan with Nick Marsman joining Vitesse for £475,000 with the possibility of rising to £625,000 with add ons. Marsman expressed his desire to join Vitesse so when a bid came in that was over his value I accepted in line with my Moneyball rules. So with a lot of players 7 in total returning to their club’s in the summer after their loan spells I had already got a shortlist of players who I was targeting to bring in to the club on loan or permanent. The first to join up with us was Michael Ortega an attacking midfielder from Once Caldas, Ortega agreed terms and joined permanently for £120,000. Next I signed forward Adam Armstrong (20) from Newcastle United on a season long loan at no cost to the club. Another forward Claudinho (20) has joined up with the squad after joining on a season long loan deal from Corinthians. Claudinho’s fellow countryman and defensive midfielder Fernando Medeiros (21) has joined us from Santos, again on a season long loan deal. Another defensive midfielder Idrissa Doumbia (19) was available on a season long loan at no cost to the club so I approached Anderlecht for the Ivorian and agreed a deal. I then signed versatile midfielder Marcel Ritzmaier on a free transfer after he had been released by PSV Eindoven. I then managed to loan last seasons top scorer Lucas Coelho (22) on a 6 month loan deal at a cost of £28,400 per month payable to Gremio. I then turned to Italy and secured the loan signings of wing backs Rogerio (19) from Juventus and Claud Adjapong (19).

transfers summer 17 18

adam armstrong

claud adjapong


fernando medeiros

idrissa doumbia

lucas coelho


squad 17 18

Pre-Season Results

pre season


August 2017

Three wins, one draw and 1 defeat during the month with the highlight being a 3-0 win against PSV Eindoven. A 2-4 defeat at the hands of Roda JC was the low point of the month. Adam Armstrong is our player of the month with 5 goals including an hat-trick on his debut in our opening day 4-1 win against FC Utrecht.

august 17

September 2017

September produced two wins and two draws in the Eredivisie and a 3-0 win in the Dutch Cup against HFC. Our wins in the Eredivisie came against AZ (1-0) and FC Eindoven (1-0). Dejan Trajkovski is our player of the month after some solid performance’s from in his wing back role.

september 17

October 2017

We moved in to October on a 7 match unbeaten run, however a 0-1 defeat in the opening game of the month away at Willem II abruptly ended our run. We followed up with a 0-0 draw at home to PEC Zwolle. We then beat VVV in the 2nd round of the Dutch Cup. We finished the month with two excellent wins against league leaders Ajax (2-0) and FC Groningen (2-0). Our player of the month goes to defender Peet Bijen who averaged 7.60 during the month.

october 17

tab oct 17

Squad Stats October 17

squad stats oct 17

We have started the season well as the loan players settle in to life in Enschede, sitting in 3rd spot in the league we are looking in good shape and hope to build on the good start to the season with the 2-0 win over Ajax being the most pleasing moment of the first 3 months. I would just like to thank you for taking a look at this post and hope you will stop by in the near future to see how we are doing.

2016-2017 Eredivisie 2nd Dutch Cup QF 


FC Twente Moneyball


FC Twente The Pride Of The East (1.1) Me, Mazzocchi and Moneyball. Oh And A Brazilian Called Coehlo

IMG_20170513_100102_processedWelcome to the second post of my Moneyball save with FC Twente. We have reached the end of the season which as been really enjoyable. The club is serving a 3 year European ban so we are going to miss out on European football and a boost to our finances but that is making the save interesting whilst watching the finances and playing by the Moneyball rules from my previous post It is also adding another dimension to the save for me has I am now shopping in another market that I don’t normally do looking for players disguarded by their club’s but who I think can do a job for us at low cost outlay whilst also using the loan market. This season I have had Lucas Coelho on loan from Gremio and he has top scored at both the club and in the league, I have also had 18 year old Simone Mazzocchi on loan from Atalanta who has netted 15 times. I was aware of Mazzocchi’s potential from my time at Atalanta and have tried my very best to make his loan deal permanent but the club just can’t afford to buy him because Atalanta are looking for around £4m to £5m for his signature. Our transfer budget next season will be under £1m. We have a clause in Coelho’s loan deal that we can buy him for £1m from Gremio but again I doubt we will be able to activate that clause. The summer months will be interesting but that’s for my next post so let’s not waste any more time and have a look at our season panned out.


November / December 2016

We start the month of November with a below par performance against Excelsior with the only highlight of our game a goal from Mateusz Klich that earned us a 1-1 draw.  We then faced two away games the first at high flying FC Groningen who took the game to us and inflicted our first defeat upon us in 12 games by beating us 2-3 in an entertaining game that saw both Mazzocchi and Mbikulu getting our goals. Our next game on the road was against top of the table PSV Eindoven and probably our best performance to date even though we lost 0-1 we were reduced to 10 men when Kyle Ebecillo received his marching orders after just 20 minutes for a reckless challenge on Jeffrey Bruma. Although down to 10 men we took the game to PSV and almost grabbed a point but for a 2nd half strike from Luuk de Jong that was good enough to win any game in any ground around the World has he thundered the ball in the net from at least 40 yards. The defeat ment we had a winless November but I could see positives in our performance during the month.

We moved in to December with an home game against Feyenoord which saw us get back to winning ways with a 4-2 win that flattered our opponents from Rotterdam. The outstanding Mateusz Klich scored a brace and assisted both Mazzocchi and Coelho who put the game out of Feyenoord’s reach. Mazzocchi and Coelho were both on the scoresheet in our next game along with Ebecillo in a 3-2 win against ADO Den Haag. Dutch Cup action followed and a 1-0 win against RKC in the 2nd round with Enes Unal getting the winner. The last game before the winter break we welcomed Ajax to Enschede who beat us 5-3 in Amsterdam in the 2nd game of the season after we had led 3-1. As expected Ajax played a 4-3-3 formation which I decided to counter with 3-2-2-1-2 (see below) in an attempt to control the centre of the pitch. What happened during the game was amazing not only did we control the central area but we completely over run Ajax in hammering them 7-0 (see match report below). So we entered the winter break on a positive whilst being sat in 3rd place in the league.

nov dec 16

That Ajax Game

ajax 7

twente half back

Winter Break 

winter break

Transfer Window

The transfer window opened with us receiving a bid from Ajax for Mateusz Klich our best player to date this season. They bid £5m for him which is over his value so in line with my Moneyball rules I had to accept the bid. Klich had already expressed his desire to join Ajax before the bid was made and asked for permission to be allowed to speak to them if a bid was made. I accepted the bid and managed to negotiate a future sell on fee and the deal was done. Remember Oussama Assaidi and his big contract well I accepted a loan deal with a small option to buy fee with Galatasaray however Assaidi turned the deal down is left still bleeding money out of the club.

January 2017

We had 3 league games in January which resulted in us beating FC Utrecht at home 4-2 (Mazzocchi 3, Klitch), Hercules away 3-1 (Mazzocchi 2, Coelho) and drawing 0-0 with AZ. We also got knocked out of the Dutch Cup at the Quarter-final stage losing 0-1 to Go Ahead Eagles. I would have liked us to have gone on and progressed in to the last 4 but it was not to be.

jan 17

February 2017

We opened the month with a good 3-0 win against PEC Zwolle with goals from Vankan, Van der Heyden and Coelho. We followed the win up with a 1-1 draw at SC Heerenveen after Fredrik Jensen rescued a point for us with an 84th minute goal. We finished the month with another 1-1 draw this time at home to Sparta Rotterdam which was a disappointing performance that started well with a 10th minute Ebecillo goal. The draw extends our unbeaten run in the league to 10 games of 5 wins and 5 draws.

feb 17

March 2017

March kicks off with a 3-2 win against Go Ahead Eagles in a cracker of a game that the Eagles more than played their part. Our goals came from Unal, ter Avest and Jensen. Willam II away next produced a 2-0 win that was well deserved with goals from Coelho and Thesker. We then end the month with a fortunate 2-1 win against Roda JC were we had to rely on an own goal to give us the victory just 12 minutes from time along with an earlier Thesker goal. Our unbeaten run is extended to 13 games which as given us an outside chance of  the league title with 6 games to play.

march 17

April / May 2017

A brilliant start to the month with us beating Vitesse 5-1 that involved Lucas Coelho netting a first half hat-trick with both Jensen and Mokotjo also getting on the scoresheet. Our unbeaten run continued with a 1-0 win over N.E.C  thanks to a Kyle Ebecillo strike. A superb performance and brace from Fredrik Jensen leads us to a solid 3-1 win over Excelsior that puts us on top of the table 1 point ahead of Ajax and extends our unbeaten run to 16 games. With the title and our destiny in our own hands up next was a trip to Rotterdam to play in form Feyenoord who end our unbeaten run and the chance of the title beating us 3-4 with our goals courtesy of Mokotjo 2 and Bunjaki, With hopes of the title dashed we then drew 1-1 at home to FC Groningen which enables Ajax to take the title. We end the season a high when Simone Mazzocchi scores both our goals in a 2-0 win against 3rd place PSV Eindoven. 

april may 17

Final Table


Eredivisie Team Stats

team stats

Eredivisie Player Stats

player stats

Golden Boot Award

golden boot

Top Scorer

top scorer

Young Player Of The Year

young player of the year

FC Twente Squad Stats 16-17

A fantastic season with Lucas Coelho winning the player of the year award at the club with his 17 goals and 9 assists just ahead of Simone Mazzocchi who at 18 years of age scored 15 goals with 5 assists. The two on loan forwards were the catalyst of our performance in the Eredivisie this season.

squad stats 16 17

lucas coelho

simone mazzocchi

Profit Made 

Always nice to make a profit however small it is, we also reduced the debt to £30m so my Moneyball approach is going in the right direction.

profit made 16 17

Youth Intake

youth intake

Thank you for reading this post and hope you return shortly to check out how the Moneyball concept affect our Pre-Season preparations has we look to build for another season in Holland.

2016-2017 Eredivisie 2nd Dutch Cup QF 


FC Twente Moneyball

FC Twente The Pride Of The East (1.0) Moneyball #FM17

IMG_20170508_195834_processedWelcome to the city of Enschede the home of FC Twente a Dutch football club formed in 1965. The club have won the Eredivisie title once in 2010 under the guidance of English manager Steve McClaren who has had two spells at the club. The club have had financial problems during their existence and went bankrupt during the 2002-2003 season which nearly ended the clubs existence. Fast forward to the 2014–15 Eredivisie season, Twente found themselves in financial trouble again, forcing the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) to deduct the club three points from the side in March 2015. Club President Munsterman, who had announced to leave the club at the end of the season, then already quit the club on 1 April 2015 over allegations of financial mismanagement.  The club fired 18 employees and closed their scouting department after they received a second three-point penalty in April 2015.  They also decided to withdraw Jong Twente from the Eerste Divisie for the 2015–16 season and the women’s professional team was relocated in a separate foundation.  On 18 May 2016 the KNVB declared its intent to relegate FC Twente to the Eerste Divisie. This was however still subject to appeal by FC Twente  and on 17 June 2016 the KNVB appeal committee decided that Twente could remain in the Eredivisie however they have been issued with a European ban for 3 years. So the perfect time to take the managers job, yeah! lets recap (1)No Money, (2) No Chance Of European Football for a while. Sound appealing? you bet it does.


Here is a look at our 1st team squad on day 1 of my contract:  At a glance we have a young squad with very good potential with 4 players in on loan with only Enas Unal fitting in to my tactical system so fortunately I was able to terminate the loans of both Bersant Celina and Yaw Yeboah who we were paying wages of £8k per week.  I also decided to transfer / loan list Chinedu Ede. More about the squad later in the post.

squad day 1

And here is the club finances on day 1 which I may add that the club is just over £40m in debt. You can see the balance is £1.6m with the wage budget being overspent by just over £2000 per week meaning we are overspending before we start.

Finances day 1


With the club in a tricky financial situation I needed to investigate and find out how and were I could save money and put a plan in place to protect the club’s future. The first place to look was at the players contracts to see how I could reduce the wage bill as soon as possible. The first obvious place was the loan signings at the club and by terminating the loans of Celina and Yeboah we instantly cut £8000 per week off the wage bill. I then discovered that a player signed before I took over Oussama Assaidi was on £41,000 per week wages plus an appearance bonus of £8250, a goal bonus of £4100 and an unused FC TWENTEsubstitute fee of £2100 and then a loyalty bonus of £475,000. To put it in to perspective Assiadi is costing the club based on 30 games a season around £2.4m per season a staggering 30% of our wage budget and miles ahead of our next highest earner who is on £9250 per week £481,000 per year. The problem I have with Assaidi is that he is a new signing who does not fit in to my tactical system and definitely does not fit in to my wage structure but the biggest problem is trying to unload him. I have put him on the transfer list and loan list with the hope that someone picks him up but you know how difficult it is to move somebody on who as only just joined the club. To release him it would cost the club £4m not an option. So at the moment Assaidi is in the Jong Twente squad collecting his pay cheque whilst my Director of Football is trying to offload him. No wonder the club have been close to going under with desicions like the one to sign Assaidi.

So as a long time admirer of the Moneyball project I am going to introduce it in to the club. Although I have long admired Moneyball I have never gone as far as to implement it in to one of my saves but with the situation at Twente being as it is there is no better time than to embrace Moneyball like now. I know there is a few of the FM Community who have done Moneyball saves and funnily enough @TN_TheNorthman has blogged about his take on Moneyball on @MerryGuido’s blog which is a very good read that you can find here . I have also read the original Moneyball book about the Oakland A’s baseball team on how Billie Beane the general manager implemented it. There is also another couple of books which I recommend which are Soccernomics and The Numbers Game. In Soccernomics the authors Kuper and Szymanski listed their 12 main secrets to the transfer market:

this list from “Soccernomics” by Simon Kuper, Stefan Szymanski –

1. A new manager wastes money on transfers; don’t let him.

2. Use the wisdom of crowds.

3. Stars of recent World Cups or European championships are overvalued; ignore them.

4. Certain nationalities are overvalued.

5. Older players are overvalued.

6. Centre-forwards are overvalued; goalkeepers are undervalued.

7. Gentlemen prefer blonds; identify and abandon ‘sight-based prejudices’.

8. The best time to buy a player is when he is in his early twenties.

9. Sell any player when another club offers more than he is worth.

10. Replace your best players even before you sell them.

11. Buy players with personal problems, and then help them deal with their problems.

12. Help your players relocate.”

Start reading this book for free: http://amzn.eu/fwsrvj1

So how does this and what rules from the list will I translate in to my FM save with FC Twente ?

  1. A New Manager Wastes Money On Transfers : Self explanatory I will try not to fall in to the trap of buying for the sake of it.
  2. Use The Wisdom Of Crowds : I will be using my scouts / chief scout and director of footballs knowledge to build the big picture when looking to bring players in to the club.
  3. Stars of recent World Cups or European championships are overvalued; ignore them : I will not sign any players on the back of a good tournament. 
  4. Certain Nationalities Are Overvalued : When buying players I will bear this in mind fashionable countries players cost more than unfashionable countries for example a Brazilian will cost more than a Bolivian.
  5. Older Players Are Overvalued : Something to watch out for however I don’t tend to buy older players.
  6. Centre Forwards Are Overvalued and Goalkeepers Are Undervalued : The Goalscorer is the star of the team, I will be looking to develop my own however I will be looking at players disguarded by their club’s to see if I can find a bargain who I think could do the job.
  7. N/A
  8. The Best Time To Buy A Player Is When He Is In His Early Twenties : This is a very good rule because the player is already well developed and you can analyse his past performances.
  9. Sell Any Player When Another Club Offers More Than He Is Worth : I will abide by this rule and sell any player if the bid exceeds their value, selling a player at the right time is key.
  10. Replace Your Best Players Even Before You Sell Them : Important for keeping the club competitive.
  11. N/A
  12. N/A

I am also adding that I will be looking to use the loan system if  the right player and conditions are to our advantage in the short and long term already this season I have turned to the loan window and brought in 6 players all on free season long deals that have allowed me to add quality and depth to our squad whilst implementing my tactical system. Yes it would have been easier to create a system around the players that were already at the club however I wanted to stamp my philosophy and tactical system FC TWENTEstraight away has I feel it’s the best way to maximise the club’s chance of success from day 1.  My Philosophy is always built on controlling the game with an emphasis on attacking whilst built on a a strong defence, I have found the 3-4-1-2 to be my best way of achieving this. In the defensive phase it’s a 5-2-1-2 shape that aims to cut off all passing lanes and turning over possession. That’s enough now about the system has I plan a future post to focus on it. So who did I bring in to the club and at what cost in terms of wages.

  • Thore Jacobsen free season long loan from Werder Bremen  wages £0
  • Simone Mazzocchi free season long loan from Atalanta wages £450 pw
  • Lucas Coelho free season long loan from Gremio wages £600 pw 
  • Sherko Gubari free season long loan from Grasshoppers  £925 pw 
  • Mykyta Burda free season long loan from Dynamo Kiev  £1500 pw 
  • Lucas Evangelista free season long loan deal from Udinese £3800 pw

Total wage cost for this season for the above players is £170,675

In addition to the above loan deals Enas Unal is also at the club on a free season long loan from Manchester City with City paying his wages in full.

I have also transfer listed and loaned out Chinedu Ede for £14.5k per month thats £145,000 for his loan period plus his wages of £4000 pw thats £160,000 for the duration of the loan bringing in to the club a grand total of £305,000 that easily covers the above loan wages of the players coming in to the club.



When I arrived at the club the staff levels were pretty poor so I set about at bolstering my backroom staff with the best the club afford. You can see below how we rate against the other clubs in the Eredivisie. I will continue to bring the best staff in over time to keep the club improving.


hans van breukelen

michel jansen hoyd

Jong FC Twente

jong twente

Under 19 Squad

under 19

Board Expectations

Although we have a European ban the board are expecting us to finish in the Europa League positions this season along with us reaching the Quarter-final of the Dutch Cup.


Pre Season 

Pre-Season went well considering I brought a number of players in to implement the tactical system. Only time will tell if I have made the right desicion.

pre season


August 2016

We kicked the season off with a 3-0 win against ADO Den Haag, we got off to a flying start with a goal in the 3rd minute from Jeroen van der Lely followed by a Enes Unal strike just before half time. Unal got his second and secured the points in the 2nd half. A trip to Amsterdam followed for our next game against Ajax which turned out to be a cracker for the neutral but a roller coaster for everyone involved with both clubs has we raced in to a 3-1 lead at the break via 2 goals from Unal and a Lucas Coelho goal however after the break we sempt to struggle for fitness and got took apart by Ajax who turned the game around to inflict a 3-5 defeat upon us which left me feeling deflated. I then made 9 changes for our next game at home to Heracles and was pleased with the performance has we bounced back to winning ways with a 2-0 scoreline thanks to goals from Enis Bunjaki and Mateusz Klich. We then ended the month with two 0-1 defeats away at both AZ and FC Utrecht. Not the start I was hoping for with 2 wins and 3 defeats but I was pleased with what I was seeing during the games has the squad are getting to grips with the tactics.

aug 16

September 2016

We started the month of with the visit of PEC Zwolle who were 3rd in the table and on the back of a victory over Ajax in their last match but it was our young Italian forward Simone Mazzocchi who stole the show in his first full start for us by netting all 4 goals in a 4-0 win that raised morale in the dressing room. Mazzocchi’s performance was fantastic and by far the highlight of the season to date. An unchanged side struggled to break Sparta Rotterdam down and we had to rely on substitute Lucas Coelho netting the only goal of the game that sealed all 3 points. We were then in Dutch Cup action and played EVV in the first round tie that saw us advance to the next round after 2 late goals from Lely and Vankan gave us a 2-0 win. Another potential tricky game against Willem II ended up with us taking all 3 points after a 2-0 win which featured goals from both Klich and Unal. Another 3 points to end the month with a 4-0 win against Heerenveen with goals from Coelho 2, Klich and Mazzocchi all coming in a faultless first half.  Very pleased with this month’s work 5 games 5 wins and 5 clean sheets.

sept 16

October 2016 

October got underway with a 1-1 draw against GO Ahead Eagles, I was pleased to see Sven Mbikulu get on the score sheet after I had promoted him to the first team squad. We followed up with a 0-0 draw at Vitesse who themselves have been playing well.  Our next game alowed me to rest players when we took on BVV in the Dutch Cup 2nd rd whilst letting some of our fringe players get a good run out. We won the game 4-0 with a brace from Gubari along with a goal from Bunjaki and a 2nd half own goal. Back to Eredivisie action next and an home game against Roda JC  which produced a comprehensive 3-0 win with Unal, Burda and Coelho all getting among the goals. Our final game of the month against N.E.C saw us extend our unbeaten run to 10 games with a 1-0 thanks to a Lucas Coelho goal that as put us on top of the table at the end of October and whilst our goalscorers take the plaudits its worth noting that we have had 9 clean sheets in our last 10 games.

oct 16

eredivisie tab

Ist Team Squad Statistics

The squad are performing well in all areas, I have used the squad to its maximum in the first few months of the season our leading goalscorers are Enes Unal and Lucas Coehlo both with 6 goals followed by Simone Mazzocchi on 5 but the player who has court my eye the most is Mateusz Klich who has been the heartbeat of the team with some brilliant performances that have seen him grab 3 goals and 7 assists in the 8 games that he has played with an average rating of 7.95. And a shout out to young Wing Back Thore Jacobsen who the fans were not too happy about when I brought him in on loan but he has performed well when called upon in 5 appearances he has provided 3 assists with an average rating of 7.56.

squad oct stats

Finances End Of October 2016

We at last have some breathing space within the wage budget and with a bit of luck we can get the wage bill reduced a little bit more by off loading Oussama Assaidi in January fingers crossed.

finance oct 16


wages 1st team


Dutch Under 19’s Group 1

The under 19’s have got off to a good start using the same system as the first team, they lead a strong group with some talented youngsters so I am really pleased to see our boys competing at the top of the table.

under 19 table

Well thats all for this post which hopefully as set the scene for the future has I delve in to the world of Moneyball which may I add as added an extra dimension to the save for me. I am spending a lot of time on the financial side of things and scouting in a different way than I have before whilst still putting my faith in youth development. I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and if you have not already and you are interested in the Moneyball system I highly recommend checking out the following books by clicking on the links below.






FC Twente Moneyball FM17 


The Boys From Bergamo: The Maldini Era 18-19 #FM17

Total Football 1-1Welcome to my first post tracking Paulo Maldini’s first shot at management after taking over Atalanta during the 2018-2019 season. I could not have wished for a better time to take over the club however I would be under pressure to continue the work of the previous manager @totalfootball71 aka thewideplaymaker who has just got Dynamo Moscow promoted to the top tier in Russia before returning to Italy to manage Genoa. I won’t tell you anymore because he is well in to the save and I am pretty sure he will start blogging about it in the future. So on arrival in Bergamo I decided that I would try and stamp my philosophy on to the players from the off knowing that there could be a bit of a settling in period. The style of football I want to impose on the club is not a million miles off the last managers philosophy but here are the key points: Possession, I want to control the game with the ball, Strength, I like my sides to over power their opponents in every department I played with some powerful players in my career including Baresi, Desailly, Gatusso, Gullit and Weah. Flexibility I will be building a system with 3 variations to it whilst keeping true to my philosophy. Modern football can throw many situations up against you and I want us to be able to switch between formations during a game with tweaks that can be done with the minimal change to the personnel on the field. Here in Italy you come up against sides packing their half making it difficult to break down. In my system I want tweaks that offer us different options to unlock these type of defensive systems. I am going to use a base formation of 3-5-2 and will go in to more detail in a later post. My aim is to grow in to a better manager here at Atalanta and one day hope to return to Milan to take control of the club that is in my heart.

After introducing myself to the squad we were straight in to action against Torino at home and to my delight we won the game 4-0, great start. In fact we won our next 2 games as well, so with nine points from nine the Maldini era was underway. My debut in the Champions League didn’t go to plan has we got hammered in North London 1-5 at Tottenham. I probably should have had a word with uncle Bielsa before the game because he is the master of the Juego De Posicion that Poch plays. We bounced back with a win against Palermo before losing to Eusebio De Francesco’s Sassuolo side. We then went on to beat Ajax 3-0 in the Champions League to keep us on track for progression to the knockout rounds. We then beat Carpi to round off my first 2 months in management which on reflection have not gone too bad with 6 wins from 8 games however that drubbing in North London is still fresh in my memory and to make it worse we go and get thumped at Inter 1-4 which the Inter fans think is funny and I am sure the Milan owners will have noted against me for any future position that may arise in the future. We pick ourselves up and beat Roma 4-2 but then go to Amsterdam and get turned over 1-3 by Ajax who have put a bit of pressure on us for the 2nd spot in the group. A win in our next game against Ascoli was to be our last has we go on a win less streak of 4 games after two 1-1 draws against Sampdoria and Rennes before a crushing 0-4 defeat to Juventus in Turin which leap frogs the Old Lady above us in to the top spot. We then draw 0-0 in Bergamo against Tottenham that secures a place in the 1st knockout round by coming 2nd in the group. I am concerned about our hit and miss form though. After a positive team meeting we end the year with 3 wins on the bounce against Trapani, Verona and Bologna which takes us back to the top of the table after a slip up from Juventus at Sampdoria.

Results So Far 

maldini results


Champions League 




squad stats dec18

That’s my first few months in management which have gone ok but I am eager to improve on our performances in the big games we have had a bit of fortune in the Champions League Draw with no disrespect to Dynamo Kiev but we could have drawn one of the big boys of European football. We are now heading in to the transfer window which could be very interesting because I have given full responsibility to my Director of Football for both recruiting and dealing with in coming transfer bids for our players. I just want to concentrate on coaching the players and will adapt to any players Incoming or outgoing I think it will give the save a bit of variety. I have been impressed by the form of both our first choice wing back Dimarco and Conti they have played consistently well during my time here.

I think I will leave it there for now, I hope if you have read this post you have enjoyed it and hope you will return for my next post in the future. Feel free to give me some feedback or talk about FM either here or you can get in touch on twitter @fmmaldini  cheers

To Dream A New Dream : Champions #FM17

IMG_20170424_224448The season as come to an end in Russia were we have been crowned champions and gained promotion to the Premier League by winning the league by a massive 32 points only losing 1 game on route to the title. The ease in which we have won the title shows a gulf in class between us and the rest of the division. I have really struggled to settle in to the save but wanted to see the season out before making a decision on my next move. Dinamo are a super club but I just really struggled with the save and have even tried playing through pre season to see if I can get attached to it but it’s not happening and if I am not enjoying a save then its time to start over.

September 2016

Our early season form continued with 4 wins out of 5. We suffered our first defeat of the season in the League.

september 16

October 2016

Five wins and a draw put us in control of the league.

october 16

November 2016

We end November and go in to the winter break 16 points clear at the top.

november 16

Winter Break


March 2017

We start the season back up with a penalty shoot out defeat against our City rivals Spartak after a goalless draw. Our form continues in the league with 4 out of 4 wins stretching our unbeaten run to 16 games in the league.

march 17

April 2017

Another good month see’s us wrap the title up with 2 draws and 4 wins. The unbeaten run stretches to 22 games.

april 17

May 2017

We end the season with 4 straight wins this month taking our unbeaten run to 26 games. Our last 8 games we have kept a clean sheet and celebrate the title win with a goal difference of plus 79. We only conceded 11 goals in the league all season.

may 17

Final Table

final table

Top Goalscorers

  • Panchenko 21
  • Lutsenko 17
  • Beciraj 9
  • Pogrebnyak 7


  • Lutsenko 15
  • Zotov 11
  • Panchenko 10
  • Sapeta 7

Player Of The Season

Kirill Panchenko Kirill_Panchenko_D_2016

21 Goals

10 Assists

7.58 Avg Rating