Welcome to my opening Eibar post, it’s been an enjoyable opening to the season.
The Squad (First Team Overview)
The squad looks a lot better than I expected, we have some quality players in the first team squad, it’s now up to me to get the squad playing to their potential.
I am going to have to be prudent with the finances, at least the club is debt free.
The board are looking for a mid table finish and a place in the 5th round of the Copa.
I brought 2 players in to the club, 19 year old midfielder Ferran Sarsanedas from Barcelona B joined for £100k and 19 year old forward Fran Navarro joined from Valencia B for £200k. Both players will add depth to the squad with the long term future set in mind.
We had a very good pre season with the squad getting good game time, however the real test will come when the season starts.
August / September 16
Well we got underway with a hard fought draw against Malaga but we only managed one win against Villarreal 3-1, out of the six games up to the end of September. We lost against Sevilla 0-4, Real Hispalls 0-1,Athletic Club 2-6, Barcelona 0-4. A tough start by no means of the imagination, despite the results the team are actually playing well but not finishing the chances we are creating and shipping silly goals at the back. The form of Forward Nano is a positive, he looks to be staking a claim for a starting position up top every week. Player of the month Nano.
A much better month with 3 wins out of 5 against Alavés 4-0,Sporting Gijón 3-0 and Leganes 1-0. Two defeats came at the hands of Atlético Madrid 0-3 and Atlético Pamplona 0-2. Dissatisfied with the way we lost to Pamplona our worst performance of the season to date. Player of the month full back Ander Capa. Injuries to Jota, Bebe, Rivera and Nano ment squad rotation was required.
November brought just 3 league games which produced 1 win 4-1 against Valencia, 1 draw 2-2 against Córdoba and 1 defeat a 0-2 at the hands of Celta Vigo. We also drew our Copa del Rey 4th round 1st leg tie 1-1 at home to Deportivo. Player of the month Dani García, alongside Escalante in the middle of the park García is looking a valuable player in our system.
We started the month with a 2-2 draw in the Basque derby against Real Sociedad thanks to a last minute equaliser from in form Escalante. We then went to the Riazor for the return leg of the Copa against Deportivo and put in the best performance so far in my opinion this season, we won the game 2-0 with goals from Bebe and Nano in a game which we had 70% possession. We then entertained Espanyol at home and played out a 0-0 draw. We ended the year with a disappointing 0-1 defeat at home to Granada leaving us with a monthly record of no wins, 2 draws and a defeat in the league. Escalante was our player of the month.
So we have ended the year in 15th position in the table.
Much needed extra revenue with the extra seats.
I have learnt more in 6 months with Eibar than any other 6 months on any other save, I thought that at this point in the season we would be better placed in the table but looking at it now it’s taking longer than I expected to introduce my system in to the club, if you watch the games we have played the squad are playing well however we are not finishing the chances we are creating and making silly mistakes at the back. In 3 games we have been reduced to ten men, we have given away 4 penalties and had a good number of injuries, that said it’s down to how I manage the squad and implement the system. On the player front we are entering the January transfer window and already Gonzalo Escalante is being tracked by PSG, Tottenham and Lazio and as already asked me to accept a bid if PSG put one in for him. I am tracking a 19 year old forward who I think can play in my Verticalita system that I have been working on with the under 19 squad. 2017 will bring a new tweaked version of the Verticalita land in The Basque Country. I look forward to the challenge and hope I can improve on my first few months at the helm of this superb club.
Thanks for reading, for anyone who is unfamiliar with my Verticalita system you can read about my 2016 version here https://thewideplaymaker.com/2016/08/11/verticalita-system-inspired-by-marcelo-bielsa-fm16/
The 2017 version as had a makeover and will be revealed soon.