After my debut season with the club ended it was time to reflect on last season on the pitch. I started the season with a system in my mind it was a the very same system I had used with Villarreal on FM16 which was basically a 4-2-2-2 / 4-4-2 with a double pivot in the Defensive Midfield strata. Whilst the players adapted to the system it was clear to see as the season panned out that we lacked a spark in a couple of areas. Whilst we had lots of possession in games we failed to turn it in to good possession often struggling to find that killer pass or having sufficient numbers in the attacking third. So what was a very successful tactic at Villarreal turned us in to a bit of a boring side who failed to get the best out of what I think was the key positions in the side. At Villarreal I had two defensive midfielders who I built the team around, they were Bruno and Rhodri both very good technical players who transitioned extremely well from defence to attack with both having very high passing attributes, they were the engine of the team compared to my double pivot at Eibar Dani García and Gonzalo Escalante (until his move to Tottenham in January £10.75m). Whilst García and Escalante performed well in the defensive phase they lacked that spark to drive us forward. Secondly at Villarreal I had two explosive wide players in Denis Cheryshev and Sam Castillejo playing as attacking wingers and two forwards in Roberto Soldado and Cedric Bakambu who scored goals for fun. So anyway to pre season I decided to put together a system that gives us more energy putting us on the front foot, so I decided that I would put together a system based on the philosophy of Jorge Sampaoli a disciple of Marcelo Bielsa. I won’t go in to too much detail about the tactic but basically it’s a 5-3-1-1 formation with an emphasis on playing out from the back and an aggressive press using a high defensive line. I want us to take control of games and make our opponents time on the ball hell by pressing the play deep in our opponents half.
Link to tactic :
I have managed to bring £40.5m in to the club from player sales, the players moving on are: Takeshi Inua £12m, Bebe £6.25m, Ruben Peña £3.5m, Pedro Leon £5.75m, Kike £3.1m and Nano £9.75m.
I have spent £2.7m in bringing the following players in to tbe club, defender Alex Salto £0, forward Ezequiel Rescaldani 400k, goalkeeper Yoel 875ķ, forward Iker Muniain £0, Javi Castellano £0, Pedro Ros 950k and midfielder Jon Gaztanaga 450k. Obviously the stand out transfer is that of Muniain who was released by Athletic Club.
The finances have had a boost with the £40m generated by player sales. The money as put the club in a very healthy financial position however a tight reign must be kept on the purse strings. Since being at the club I have managed to bring in just over £50m in player sales.
Again the board are looking for a mid table finish and a 5th round showing in the Copa Del Rey. I feel it’s a fair assessment of were we are at as a club however I am aiming for a European spot which would be a fantastic achievement for the club with us playing our home games in San Sebastian due to our ground expansion.
Pre Season Games
Pleased with the pre season and how the squad are looking comfortable with the new system, the new additions have had some good game time. I am hoping we hit the ground running as the season gets underway.
Well that completes my quick update my next post will see how we have gone on during the first half of the season.