Just 6 days before I embark on a journey with SD Eibar and I must admit in all the years I have played Football Manager I have never felt so eager to start the save. Over the years I have had some very enjoyable saves, some of which I have blogged about over the last couple of years. The upcoming save with SD Eibar is the first that I feel that I want to go beyond 10 seasons in the game. The club are a very small club punching above their weight in the top flight of the Spanish game representing the Basque country with pride along with fellow Basques Athletic Club, Real Sociedad, Osasuna and Alavés. It’s an incredible time for the Basque people with 5 clubs battling it out in Liga BBVA. Once I decided with the help of the FM Community that I would manage SD Eibar I have been bowled over by the feedback with my direct messages on twitter being inundated by both the FM Community and supporters of SD Eibar all eager to talk about all things SD Eibar. This blog is seeing a lot of traffic day after day. The inspiration I have gained from the footballing community to make this project work is unbelievable.
I have done a lot of research on the club via books, magazines, pre season articles, club history, recorded games and conversations with Eibar supporters. I feel I am well equipped and understand what this fantastic club means to a community it represents. When I start the save on the 4th November I will be laying down the framework that hopefully will see me manage the club until FM18 hits the shelves. I have decided to ask the community how they would like me to post about the save via a twitter poll with the options being: 1 Post Per Season (A Full Season Review), 2 Posts Per Season ( Pre Season Preview and Season Review), 3 Posts Per Season ( Preview, Mid Season and End of Season). I will endeavour to produce informative posts throughout the duration of the save.
I anticipate day 1 of my save to be a long one has I lay the foundations for the save. Apart from meeting the owner and assistant manager I do a number of things before pressing that continue button.
Finance : I will be looking at the club’s financial situation.
Facilities : I need to see what can be improved over time.
Staff: Meet the staff but above all make sure we have the best staff possible for the season ahead with a long term plan put in place. I can be ruthless on day 1. I will also set up responsibilities.The Head Of Youth Development will be critical to our long term future.
Scouting : A key to our long term future, we need to be on top of our game in the world of scouting, being able to identify talent at the right time at the right price.
Affiliates : An area I feel we can use to our advantage with a good bond both home and abroad.
The Squad’s : A full analysis of every player at the club and how each one can fit in to the system I intend to implement. I will also be looking at each players contract in depth, each player in Spain has a buy out / release fee in their contracts which I need to know inside out.
System : Implement the system in to the club.
Training : Set up training both team and individual, I will be moulding players in to the system.
Pre-Season : I will be setting up a pre season tour to the USA and Asia, this will give us the chance to bring in much needed finance via marketing the club in lucrative regions.
Customise Screens : I like to customise my screens so I have all the vital info on hand.
Once all the above as been done I will press the continue button which will no doubt be a day after starting the save.
The Philosophy that I am looking to bring in to the club from day 1 is that we develop our own players as a first priority. If a player leaves the club my first option will be to replace them with one of our own. I know that this is not always possible so the 2nd option will be to bring a Basque born player in to the club at the right price, again if this is not possible we will look for a Spanish option before looking overseas. On the field of play I am looking for us to develop a system that gives us control of the match, I like good possession however I want us to play vertical football not sideways. I will be using the system I developed on FM16 with Villarreal:
This is the framework of the system. The aim is to get positional superiority (juego de posicion) the two defensive midfielders are set on a support duty so they occupy the half spaces when we are in an attacking transition has we look to build up our play from the wide positions. Has my bro @Rovazzz from over the pond (a fellow juego de posicion disciple) points out it when we are in a attacking phase it mirrors a traditional 4-4-2 except it invites the opposition to work through the middle and straight in to the trap. With Villarreal we managed to boss the big boys Barcelona,Real Madrid and Atlético with this system so I am keen to see how it goes with SD Eibar from the off. The system creates lots of chances for the front 2 and supporting wide players. One thing I have been asked about a number of times is why I use 2 DM’s instead of a DLP? The answer is when developing the system I tested a DLP / DM combination and found that the DLP was both not as defensively solid and the build up went through him far too much for my liking. My preference is to have the 2 DM’s with good technical attributes at Villarreal I had 2 fantastic players in that role, Bruno and Rhodri they were key to our success, Bruno was club captain and a sublime player who tutored Rhodri who came from our development squad. I will be looking to mould players in to this role at Eibar. Once the system is up and running in FM17 I will break it down and dedicate a post on the roles and the system in more detail.
To complement my save I have had a few mugs produced to promote the club and save at home and at work…..I think they have come out looking smart…..
So that just about wraps up my post for today, I will be watching the SD Eibar v Villarreal match tomorrow kick off 11pm British time. Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your weekend.