The Garibaldi Reds 1.2 #FM17

img_20161220_074518 Welcome to my latest update, we have reached the end of January and its been a busy few months at the club. We have had had a transfer embargo after news of a takeover was in process for it to then fall through after the consortium failed to prove they had got the money required to take the club on. The media were reporting that the new owners would appoint my assistant manager Steve Clarke has their number 1 which obviously got my goat up however just a day after the story broke the deal fell through to my amusement. We also said goodbye to David Vaughan after he announced his retirement after picking up a spinal injury that finished his season. Vaughan had been a regular in our line up until the injury. I am pleased to say he has gone in to coaching so good luck to him and you never know he may return to the City Ground in the future. The January transfer window saw Matt Mills leave the club for 800k, he has joined Brighton after failing to nail a place down in our side. Dumitru returned to Napoli after 10 appearances, he asked to terminate his loan which I obliged at the end of January. The transfer window passed by without us adding to our squad for the 2nd consecutive window. The board have made 750k available but I decided to put my faith in the players at the club already. We have been boosted by the return from a long injury of Matty Fryatt who is yet to play for the first team this season but hopefully will see some game time in the run in. Fryatt is out of contract at the end of the season so I will evaluate him over the remaining few months. I myself have been handed a 2 year contract extension which I am pleased to have agreed terms.

Contract Extension


Takeover Talk




David Vaughan Retires



Always welcome to have a bit of extra revenue through the door to boost club finances.


October 2016

October kicked off with 3 wins against Birmingham 1-0 (Mancienne), Blackburn 4-2 (Lansbury 2, Vellios and Vaughan) and Cardiff City 3-0 (Kasami, Carayol and Vellios) before a League Cup exit at the hands of Watford 0-1 which we manage to avenge later in the FA Cup. We ended the month with a 2-2 draw at Reading with both Lichaj and Kasami getting the goals. Our form 12 games unbeaten in the league  took us to third in the table in a very tight top half of the table.



November 2016

Just three league games this month but we managed to stretch our unbeaten run to 15 games with two draws against QPR 0-0 and Ipswich 2-2 goals courtesy of Bendtner and Osborn before we ended the month with a 4-0 thrashing  of Barnsley, Assombalonga netting a brace along with Carayol and Osborn also on target.


December 2016

December started off with the news that both Vellios and Bendtner had picked up short term injuries that ruled them out of at least the first 4 games of the month leaving Assombalonga to lead the line with Dumitru has back up. I toyed with bringing Gerry McDonagh back off loan or stepping up one of our youth players but I decided to give Dumitru a chance. The month started with an entertaining 1-1 draw at the City Ground against leaders Newcastle Utd, who we would play again at the end of the month in the reverse fixture at St.James Park or whatever its called these days. Assombalonga netted our goal in Nottingham in a game which we probably deserved more from. Next up was the East Midlands Derby at promotion contenders Derby County which ended in a 0-0 draw with both teams giving it their all. Another draw followed 1-1 this time against Preston North End with our goal coming courtesy of Assombalonga which extended our unbeaten run to 18 games, However our run came to an end with a poor display in Nottingham losing 0-1 to Wolves. The return of Vellios to the starting line up for our trip to Huddersfield was greeted with him netting both our goals in a 2-1 win. The reverse fixture against Newcastle ended our month with a frustrating 0-1 defeat in a game we dominated but lacked in front of goal. We drop to 7th in the table with just 1 win in 6 games this month. I felt I needed to change our system to get the best out of our squad.





At the end of December I decided to introduce a new system to the squad because we had started to become vulnerable and in a rut of drawing games that we were dominating so I went about and set us up in a 4-4-2 that as started to produce results on the back of getting the best out of our forward in particular. The system it self is based on a a few core principles of Diego Simone’s Atlético Madrid system taken from this write up at

  • The default posture of the team is to sit deep in a narrow, compact shape in order to prevent the opponent from creating scoring chances.
  • The team only breaks the shape to press the ball when the odds of success are high and the cost of failure is minimal. (And even here it might be better to say that the whole team moves together, causing the shape to temporarily change, rather than saying that the shape “breaks.”)
  • When the ball is won, it is played forward quickly because fast attacks can catch opponents off balance and turning the ball over in the attacking third is less costly than turning it over in your own defensive third or in midfield.
  • Every player in the team has to assist defensively and sacrifice individual expression for the sake of the system.

January 2017

So with the new system in place we started the month with a good 3-1 win at home to Barnsley with our goals coming from Assombalonga 2 and Vellios. We followed this up with all 3 points in another 3-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday and again both Vellios and Assombalonga netting along with a gift own goal. Up next a trip to Birmingham City which produced our 3rd straight 3-1 win with the in form Vellios and Assombalonga yet again on the scoresheet with Mustapha Carayol netting our other goal. Bristol City up next and we grinded out a 1-0 win with a goal for the returning Bendtner. We then had a tricky game at Elland Road which we won 3-2 with a last gasp winner by the inform Vellios who had grabbed a brace along with another Assombalonga goal. With confidence high we travelled to Vicarage Road for our 4th round tie with Watford who had already knocked us out of the League Cup and it looked that the same fate would happen after we went two down early on, however it turned in to the Vellios show after I threw caution to the wind and changed our mentality to Overload. Vellios capped a fine display scoring a hat-trick after the side dug deep after being reduced to ten men with the dismissal of Mills for a straight red challenge, we held on for a 3-2 win which you can see the highlights video below. We ended the month will a solid 3-0 victory at home to Rotherham Utd courtesy of goals by Assombalonga, Bendtner and an own goal. What a month 7 wins out of 7 and the new tactical set up working well, we are in 3rd place in the League just 1 point behind 2nd placed Fulham.



FA Cup Highlights Including Vellios Hat-Trick

Watford 2-3 Nottingham Forest, a superb win after being 2-0 down and reduced to ten men.


With 17 games left of the season we are in a position to mount a challenge for promotion by either getting in to that 2nd place or via the playoffs. I am scouting with both the option of Premier League or another season in the Championship whilst also not being sure of who will own the club with the current board open to selling the club. Whatever happens it’s all set up to be an interesting few months up to the season’s end.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a Happy New Year  and thank the community for all your support over the last year which has ignited my enthusiasm for the great game that is FM.

There will be more on the Garibaldi Reds over the next few days has we run down the season.

The Garibaldi Reds 1.1 #FM17


Welcome to my latest update, my journey with the Garibaldi Reds…..

September 2016 Results

Aston Villa (A) D 2-2 

We kicked September off with a tricky trip to Villa Park and the first time any 2 former European Cup Winners had played each other outside the top division. We started well and found ourselves 2 up inside the first half hour with goals from Bendtner and Vellios. Villa snatched a goal with the last kick of the half to make it 2-1 at the break. The 2nd half was an even game with Villa deserving a leveller after a brilliant strike from Grealish. We pressed for a winner but to no avail and the game ended in a fare 2-2 draw.

Rotherham United  (A) W 3-1

A Wednesday night trip to Yorkshire to the New York Stadium and again we were quick out of the blocks with 2 quick fire goals courtesy of wide men Lica and Carayol settled the side down and enabled us to put our mark on the game. Lansbury added a third in the 2nd half and Rotherham got a late consolation goal but we dominated from start to finish and took all 3 points on offer.

Norwich City (H) D 2-2 

Another 2-2 draw against one of last seasons relegated clubs in another entertaining game. I rested a few players 4 to be exact to keep things fresh has we entered our 3rd game in 7 days. Two of the incoming players Perquis and Cash were making their first starts this season and played well. Lica and Assombalonga got our goals which earnt us a point against a side who I think will be pushing for a return to the big time come next May.

Crystal Palace  (EFL Cup) W4-2  

Premier League club Crystal Palace were the visitors to the City Ground for our EFL 3rd round tie. Just hours before the game one of my FM freinds Gustaf from Sweden @sasfm21 shared with myself and fellow FM manager and friend Saadiq Bey @Rovazzz a tactical concept he had come up with. Now I don’t want to reveal the details of this concept because it’s young Gustafs idea and I think he will be starting a blog on it, however what I will say I think he has come up with a tactic that will take FM17 by storm. It’s such a universal tactic that I had to have a play around with it and decided to add some instructions and mentality settings to it but left player roles on default. I have also named the tactic The Gustaf. So with my interpretation loaded I thought may as well give  it a go against Palace just as a one off to see how it went. All I can say is we played excellent football and went 3-0 up after 57 minutes via an own goal, Lansbury and Assombalonga with Palace stuck firm in their own half. The football on show was fantastic to say the least, Palace then got two goals back through Benteke has we tired quickly. 3 substitutions later and another Assombalonga goal we come through with a 4-2 win against the Premier Leagues 6th placed team.  The Gustaf tactic as been born and looks very promising, it’s now left to the young Swede to take it to the next level, he is a young Guardiola inspired FM manager who I think has created a very good concept. I myself may revisit the concept in the future but for now I am pressing on with my own system.

Sheffield Wednesday  (A) W2-1 

Two second half goals from substitutes Vellios and Bendtner gave us all 3 points at leaders Sheffield Wednesday after we trailed at the break despite dominating the play. Has much as we tried we could not get a goal so I took Assombalonga and Lica off for Bendtner and Vellios which proved to be a good decision has the pair got the goals to give us the 2-1 win.

Fulham (H) W 3-0 

After our win at then league leaders Sheffield Wednesday Fulham leapfrogged them in to top spot so for the 2nd week running we played the leaders and for the second week running we took all the points. This was probably our best performance so far of the season.  A resounding 3-0 came courtesy of goals from Assombalonga 2 and Bendtner and it could have 4 or 5 if not for the Fulham keeper.

Bristol City (A) D 2-2 

Trailing 0-2 at half time I roasted the players after a poor showing in the first half. It seemed to do the trick against a Bristol City side who have struggled this season. On form Lord Bendtner rattled in a stunning shot before City gifted us a goal from the unfortunate Ekstrand that gave us a point and robbed the Bristol club of a win.


Championship Table


EFL Cup 3rd Round

I used The Gustaf Concept for this game.


So that brings you up to date with the save so far, I am really pleased with how the players are settling in to my management at the club. The form of our forwards is especially satisfying has Assombalonga, Bendtner and Vellios are all getting goals. Well this could be my final update before Christmas so I would like to wish all the FM Community a Happy Christmas, I should have another update between now and the new year.


The Garibaldi Reds 1.0 #FM17



After a short sabbatical I am back in management with Nottingham Forest, It took me a few days to decide what and were  my next save would be and came up with having a shot at getting The Garibaldi Reds back in to Europe. But first we have to get the reds back in to the top flight of English football, a task I am very much focused on doing. I won’t be making any new signings in the first transfer window and I also don’t anticipate anyone leaving the club.



The boards initial expectations are realistically achievable with a top half finish expected in the league which gives me a chance to really get to know the squad without added pressure of a promotion push in the first season however that is not to say I won’t be pushing for promotion.  The board also expect us to reach the 4th round of the FA Cup and the 4th round of the League Cup. The transfer budget is set at 500k and wage budget at 390k per week of which we are spending 341k. So our current wage bill stands at £17.7m per season out of a possible budget of £20.3m per season.



I was surprised to see this pop up nevertheless it is a welcome boost to our finances.


First Team Squad

Manager – Michael Skidmore

Goalkeepers – 

38 – Vladimir Stojkovic – Serbia
30 – Stephen Henderson – Ireland
43 – Jordan Smith – England
Dimitar Evtimov – Bulgaria (On loan at SC Olhanense)

We look pretty strong in the goalkeeper department with Serbian international Stojkovic looking like our number 1 and Henderson has back up.

Full Backs –
2 – Eric Lichaj – USA
3 – Dani Pinillos – Spain
6 – Armand Traore – Senegal
13 – Danny Fox – Scotland
17 – Hildeberto Pereira – Portugal (On loan from Benfica)

Again we look to have good depth in this department with Chris Cohen also providing a good option at left back.

Centre Backs – 
4 – Michael Mancienne – England
5 – Matt Mills – England
25 – Jack Hobbs – England
27 – Damien Perquis – Poland
28 – Thomas Lam – Finland
40 – Alex Iaccovitti – Scotland (On loan at Mansfield Town)
42 – Joe Worrall – England

Good options at the back however a lack of pace is slightly worrying

Wingers –
12 – Nicolao Dumitru – Italy (On loan from Napoli)
18 – Mustapha Carayol – Gambia
19 – Jamie Ward (On loan at Burton Albion)
20 – Lica – Portugal

I am excited about blending our wingers in to a system, I think Dumitru,Carayol and Lica could provide the quality to make the difference in the Championship. I have played Lica in a Raumdeuter role in pre season to good effect….watch this space

Midfielders – 
8 – Chris Cohen – England
10 – Henri Lansbury – England
11 – Ben Osborn – England
22 – Pajtim Kasami – Switzerland (On loan from Olympiakos)
24 – David Vaughan – Wales
37 – Jorge Grant – England
41 – Matty Cash – England

A strong area of the squad with a number of options in our engine room.

Forwards – 
7 – Matty Fryatt – England
9 – Britt Assombalonga – DR Congo
14 – Nicklas Bendtner – Denmark
39 – Apostolos Vellios – Greece

With Matty Fryatt out injured long term it leaves Assombalonga and 2 target men in Bendtner and Vellios to lead our front line, I am looking at ways to integrate them in to a system to get the best out of our attacking options.



 U23 Squad

Manager – Jack Lester

Chris Marques – Australia
Tim Erlandsson – Sweden

Frederik Neilsen – Denmark
Anel Ahmedhodzic – Sweden
Jordan Gabriel – England

Ryan Yates – England (On loan at Barrow)
Elvis Otim – England/Uganda
Adam Crookes – England
Toby Edser – England
Rob Worrall – England

James Thorne – England
Lewis Walters – England
Tyler Walker – England (On loan at Stevenage)
Gerry McDonagh – Ireland (On loan at Wrexham)

U18 Squad

Manager – Gareth Holmes

Rudolfs Skoloa – Latvia
Jordan Wright – England

Choz Charlesworth – England
Charlie Jemson – England
Daniel Preston – England
Joe Re – England
Connor Smith – England
Ethan Stewart – England
Jake Willetts – England

Kyle McClean – England
Luke McCormick – England
Jake Taylor – England
Yacine En-Nayeh – Ireland

Ben Brereton – England
Virgil Gomis – France
Kieran Hayes – England
Anthony Wright – USA


Pre Season Results

Pre season underway we started with a 2-3 defeat at the hands of Anderlecht, we raced in to a 2-0 lead at the break with goals from both our front men Assombalonga and Bendtner who played in a 4-4-2 variation with Portuguese winger Lica playing in a Raumdeuter role to good effect by creating both our goals. I made sweeping changes at half time and although we dominated play in the 2nd period we got hit on the counter attack 3 times to end up losing the game. Our next game was a comfortable 5-0 win at Morton with both Assombalonga and Vellios getting a brace along with a Carayol goal. Next a 2-0 win at Cambur with goals from Cohen and Lica. We then ended pre season at local Ilkeston Town were we won 5-0 courtesy of Dumitru 2, Assombalonga, Lansbury and Bendtner.


August 2016 Results

We kicked the season off with a 1-1 draw at home to new boys and local club Burton Albion in a game which we dominated and created chance after chance but could not finish the end product. Portuguese wide man Lica continued his pre season form with a goal in the 36th minute which was the highlight of a frustrating afternoon. A Tuesday night EFL Cup game was next for us against Shrewsbury Town produced a 5-0 win were we showed are superior position on the night, Mustapha Carayol stole the show with a superb hat-trick that rounded of a good performance. Midfielder Kasami and Defender Hobbs completed the scoring. Our next league game was on the South Coast at Brighton were we produced another afternoon of good football to only come away with a 1-2 defeat which had me pulling my hair out has we again wasted chance after chance with only substitute Bendtner grabbing a late consolation goal. I give the lads a harsh team talk but apart from finding the net the performance was promising. Another away trip followed this time to Brentford who piled on the agony and frustration beating us 0-1. Wigan were the visitors to the City Ground for our next game which started with old boy and now Burton Albion gaffer Nigel Clough speaking to the press saying I was already under pressure, ‘thanks Nigel’. Under pressure or not we beat Wigan 4-0 with goals from Assombalonga, Carayol, Cohen and Lansbury. A much needed result and nothing less what the squad deserved. EFL Cup action next with a 2nd round tie in Nottingham against Neil Warnocks Cardiff City were we needed an extra time winner from the in form Mustapha Carayol putting us through to the 3rd round with a 1-0 win. We ended the busy month with a 0-0 draw against Gary Monks Leeds Utd at the City Ground in a game that saw both sides making a number of changes to keep the squads fresh after a busy start. I am pleased with our performance in the month which I feel we can build on. I have seen enough in the squad to look forward to the rest of the season, we are playing good football dominating possession and creating opportunities.



The Garibaldi Philosophy 

My philosophy for the club is to embrace what the great Brian Clough created on Trent Side. We will look to play a passing game on the front foot looking to control games with possession  (good possession) looking to play the ball forward at a good tempo.

  • Promote a positive club DNA with an exciting brand of football
  • Look to develop our own players via our academy
  • Sign players only if we can’t improve the squad from within the club
  • Be Financially responsible and keep the club stable financially
  • Create a scouting network to rival the very best
  • Create a specialist coaching team

Staff Additions 

I have brought Steve Clarke in to the club to be my assistant manager, I was keen to bring in a British manager and Clarke fits the bill perfectly and brings with him some very good management skills. I have also added Teddy Sheringham and Paul Scholes to our coaching team along with 8 scouts from around Europe to widen our player knowledge.

And finally I would like to thank @AlfonsoPoblete for creating our kits that are in this post, fantastic detail. Much appreciated Alfonso.

Thanks for taking the time to read about my new save of which I should have another update out before Xmas.


The Eibar Model : Another Kind Of Football Is Possible (Breaking News) #FM17


After a day of events at SD Eibar I have parted company with the club with immediate effect has I feel I can no longer work with the current board. The board themselves have accepted bids for a number of youth team players who I have been developing for the future of the club. It seems the board have become greedy after approaches from Real Madrid, AC Milan and Bayer Leverkussen for a number of players. I did not get the chance to turn down the offers has the board accepted them on my behalf leaving me with no option to end my tenure at the club.

I leave the club in a very healthy position after building a squad of players who have made history at the club by taking them in to Europe with qualification to the Champions League. In 3 seasons I rebuilt the squad around a core of players from the previous management whilst bringing in a transfer revenue of over £70m and keeping the club’s wage bill at 700k per week. We had also brought some very good potential stars of the future.

I have taken the decision to leave the club because I feel the board have started to interfere with the future of the club, I was building a team for the future and feel betrayed by the owners. I have really enjoyed my time at the club.

So what does the future hold for me and FM?  Well after talking to a few people they have come up with a list of teams to consider taking over.


Wolverhampton Wanderers


Bolton Wanderers 


Nottingham Forest 


Aston Villa 


Birmingham City 

Four Midlands clubs and Bolton Wanderers from the Greater Manchester area all pose interesting saves with the Midlands clubs looking to gain promotion from the Championship and Bolton Wanderers looking to get back into the Championship

I have been thinking long and hard about my next club however I have not been able to make a decision yet and I am not just limiting my self to the club’s above. I am also open to any suggestions so feel free to get in touch.

I will be back soon with a new club to blog about,  so until then thanks for reading.


The Eibar Model : Another Kind Of Football Is Possible (Season 4 Act 1) #FM17


Welcome to my season 4 2019-2020 opening post. After last year’s excellent showing I am looking to  build on what we have achieved. For anybody reading this for the first time here is a quick recap: Season 1 was all about me finding my feet at the club we finished 11th in the league and made a transfer profit of just over £50m which put us in a very good financial position. Season 2 ended up being a topsy turvy time we struggled with injuries and at one point thought we might get dragged in to a relegation battle but we regrouped and finished the season in 13th position which disappointed me because I felt we would be knocking on the door of European qualification, we managed to reach the Spanish Cup Final were we lost to Real Madrid. Season 3 A big improvement saw us finish 4th to qualify For the Champions League Playoff round. So on to season 4….


During the window we said goodbye to a few first team fringe players they were Goalkeeper Asier Riesgo  left for Pamplona in a £1m deal, Ezequiel Rescaldani was next to leave with the forward joinig Getafe for £5m. Iñaki Peña joined Lazio for £1.6m, Granada then came in for Jon Gaztanaga who joined them for  £3m. Incoming transfers saw us bring in 3 permanent players with the first being David Silva who despite being in the later years of his career joined us for £800k after being listed by Manchester City. Silva will bring a wealth of experience with him and will be used to tutor some of our younger players. We then went out and added Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa for £4.9m. Our biggest transfer of the summer was the record equalling £10m for playmaker Marco Grujic from Red Bull Leipzig. We have also secured the season long loan of midfielder Manuel Locatelli from AC Milan.


The New Pirlo ? 

Meet Marko Grujic a Serbian midfielder who I think has all the attributes to play the Pirlo role. I purchased him from Red Bull Leipzig for £10m.


Board Expectation

After last seasons performance the board have upped their expectations, they are expecting Europa League qualification via our League position and for us to reach the group stage of the Champions League and the semi final of the Spanish Cup.


Champions League

Our chance to qualify for the Champions League group stage was to navigate the playoff round. We drew Dynamo Kiev.


Best Placed Playoff 1st Leg

With the first leg away in Russia I chose the following side with a defensive mentality to get the result. I was hoping we could grab a vital away goal and keep it tight at the back. After just 3 minutes Niang gave us a vital 1-0 lead, great start. We looked solid at the back and pressed for a 2nd until we were delt a blow just after the half hour mark when Kiev raided our left back area and swung a cross in to the centre for Junior Moraes to finish at the front post 1-1. Then it was our turn on 38 minutes Rodri fired home for our second away goal….come on boys….concentrate. Our defensive line was breached again but this time the cross looked like we were going to deal with it when unfortunately Diego Reyes in the 41st minute headed past our own keeper 2-2 at the break. I  told the lads that I was not happy and wanted to see something different after the break. We started the 2nd half on the front foot and got our reward when  Diego Reyes nodded home in the 64th minute putting us 3-2 up. Inside the last ten minutes we got a 4th goal courtesy of Niang his 2nd of the night. The game ended 4-2 to us giving us an advantage going in to the 2nd leg.




Match Highlights Of The 1st leg in Kiev 

Best Placed Playoff 2nd Leg

A goalless draw on the night put us in to the Champions League group stage.


Champions League Draw

We settled down for the draw in Zurich with excitement, the club was about to be drawn out alongside some of the best club sides in the world, this is a big deal for Eibar and the draw has pitted us against Bayern Munich, Napoli and Ajax. What a draw for us we are certainly going to be up against it but this is what we want to be able to rub shoulders with the World’s best clubs.


Pre-Season Results



So we are ready for the season ahead, we have a squad of 24 players who will need to be at their best with us competing in 3 competitions meaning good squad rotation to get the best out of our squad. Since I have been in charge at Eibar the club financially have gone from strength to strength, our bank balance on day 1 at the club was just under £7m today the balance is just over £70m which is not bad for a club our size. The capacity of our stadium as increased to 15,000 from 6,300 and the board announced last season they are looking for a suitable site to build a new stadium. The youth team and B team were both in poor shape but today we have a healthy looking future with both the youth team and B team littered with potential stars for the future. Going back to the financial side whilst I have improved the quality of the squads at the club I have kept a firm grip on wages. We are bringing in £45m per season in T.V revenue thanks to the good deal here in Spain. The Champions League Playoff win as brought another £10m in to the club. On the pitch we are using a defensive mentality along with fluid or very fluid to keep our shape a lot better, I have been watching a number of games in full to identify what we are doing well and not so well. The defensive mentality along with a number of attacking roles is allowing us to use possession as a key tool in our game plan, we are keeping the ball and then breaking with good intensity against the bigger clubs. The arrival of Marko Grujic has our Pirlo type player in the defensive strata is giving us a very different option to what we have had in previous seasons. In the first 2 seasons I was he’ll bent on pressing the life out of our opponents but on reflection and analysis the aggressive pressing was actually depriving us of counter attacking teams which prevented us from opening teams up. So a compromise was needed and the defensive mentality has proven to be successful for us along with us only pressing certain positions which I will look at in another post. Thanks for reading this post, I have already started drafting my next update so keep an eye out later this week to find out how season 4 and the effect of European football is having on us, so until then enjoy your week and keep safe.

The Eibar Model So Far :

2019-2020 Liga BBVA ? Champs Lge ? Copa Del Rey ? 

2018-2019 Liga BBVA  4th Pos  Copa Del Rey  Q-Final Super Cup Run-Up

2017-2018 Liga BBVA 13th Pos Copa Del Rey Run- Up

2016-2017 Liga BBVA 11th Pos Copa Del Rey 5th Round


The Eibar Model : Another Kind Of Football Is Possible (Season 3 Act 3) #FM17


Welcome to my season 3 end of season update. It’s been a very good few months at the club so without further a do let’s see what’s gone on.

February 19

The start of the month started with a heavy 0-3 defeat in the derby against Real Sociedad. Next up we travelled to Madrid to take on Real on the back of a big defeat, however the lads put in a superb performance that enabled us to come away with a 3-3 draw with goals from Gómez 2 and Mehmet. What happened in our next match was incredible we entertained FC Barcelona and thumped them 5-0 yes five Zero, we crushed the league leaders with goals from Lejeune, García, Fernandez, Sabin and Niang. On the back of that result we ended the month with a 4-0 win against Getafe with goals from Mehmet, García, Sabin and an own goal.



March 19

On the back of two fantastic results we went to Tenerife on a high, 93 minutes later we are stunned after being beat 0-1, it’s a funny old game. Another away game at Alcorcón followed and we grinded a 2-1 win out courtesy of Niang and Bentancur. Our form has taken a bit of a dip and our next 2 fixtures end in draws, Celta Vigo 1-1 (Sabin) and Granada 0-0. We end the month with a 0-1 defeat away to Sevilla that as left us with five points from 15 that leaves me frustrated with our months performance which ends with my wife questioning why I am talking to a few dots on my screen.



April 19

April turned out to be a fantastic month for us with 4 wins and 1 draw that put us on the brink of Champions League qualification. First up was a 1-0 win against Valencia with Carlos Fernandez netting the winner. We then entertained Espanyol at the Ipurua and witnessed the M’Baye Niang show, Niang scored an hat-trick in a 5-1 win with García and Rescaldani also on the scoresheet. The Basque derby with Athletic Club who are fighting with us for Champions League Qualification ended all square 1-1 with Bentancur getting our goal. Las Palmas were our hosts for the next game which we won 4-1 thanks to a Fernandez double and strikes from both Rescaldani and Moi Gómez.  Another 4-1 win this time against Malaga ment we finished the month on an high and another double for Fernandez along with a goal each for Mehmet and Gómez.



May 19

Only three games to play, which produced three draws, the first against Atlético Madrid was an end to end  3-3 ( Fernandez, Mehmet and Junca) . Our last home game  of the season against Villarreal finished 1-1 with a rare Rivera goal  winning a vital point in the chase for Champions League Qualification. We finished our campaign with another 1-1 draw versus Deportivo. Rodri scored our goal in an entertaining game at the Riazor. Our fans are over the moon with our showing this season,


Final Table 18-19

A superb season of football ends with us finishing in 4th place.








Transfer News

David Silva has agreed a deal to join SD Eibar, Silva played for Eibar in the 04/05 season, making 35 appearances and scoring 5 goals in the Segunda Division. Silva was transfer listed by Manchester City and will join Eibar for 800k. Silva will add valuable experience to our squad and will be used to mentor our younger players.


The Eibar Model So Far :

2018-2019 Liga BBVA  4th Pos  Copa Del Rey  Q-Final Super Cup Run-Up

2017-2018 Liga BBVA 13th Pos Copa Del Rey Run- Up

2016-2017 Liga BBVA 11th Pos Copa Del Rey 5th Round


I am over the moon with our 4th place finish, the whole first team squad pulled together and created history with some excellent performances throughout the season. The summer months will be interesting has we get to work on our plans for next season, my fourth at the club.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy following my Eibar adventure. I have had some excellent feedback and have took on board what you have said.  One of the things I am doing regarding the blog is keeping my updates simple which makes it easy to follow.

My next update will be live towards the end of this week.

The Eibar Model : Another Kind Of Football Is Possible (Season 3 Act 2) #FM17


Season 3 is underway with a new look Eibar, so how are we getting on?

Squad Numbers Season 18-19



After some fantastic player sales over the last 3 summers we find ourselves in a very good financial position.


Board Expectations

The board expect a top half finish and a 5th round showing in the Copa.


Pre Season 

We have had a very good pre season introducing the new system and players in to the squad.




August / September 18

We kicked the season off with three 1-1 draws against Real Betis, Real Sociedad and Alaves with 3 of the new boys Centurion,Bentancur and Castaignos getting the goals. Next up a home game against champions Real Madrid resulting in a 1-3 defeat and another Castaignos goal.  The media then release an article saying that the pressure is building on me to deliver or the board will look elsewhere to appoint someone. A team meeting later we go in to the next game against Tenerife with the players behind me after I tell them I believe in them. We beat Tenerife 2-0 with Castiagnos and Sabin securing the points. We end September with a 0-2 defeat against a classy Barcelona side in their back garden.


October 18

We open the month with 6 points from our first two games, the first a 2-0 win at Getafe with Mehmet netting a brace. Next we beat Alcorcon 3-2 with goals via Mehmet, Pellegrini and Fernandez. A 0-0 draw next at home to Granada before a thrilling 3-3 draw at Celta Vigo finishes the month with Carlos Fernandez getting an hat-trick.


November 18

Just three games this month kicking off with a superb 1-0 win against Sevilla thanks to a Bentancur goal after a faultless display in our midfield. The Basque Derby against Athletic Club produced an all action 3-3 draw with Gomez,Reyes and Athletic old boy Sabin netting for us. Another goal fest this time at the Mestalla ended the month with us beating Valencia 4-3 with both Gomez and Bentancur getting a brace.


December 18

The festive season arrives and we carry our form in to the new year after going undefeated in December in the league which extends our run to 11 games without defeat. First up a 0-0 draw against Espanyol before a Copa 1st leg win against Celta Vigo with Fernandez and Rodri netting in a 2-0 win. Two home wins follow the first 1-0 against Las Palmas thanks to a Moi Gomez penalty. Then a 2-1 win against Atletico Madrid courtesy of another Gomez penalty and a Carlos Fernandez strike. The 2nd leg of the Copa against Celta Vigo and a chance for some of our youth players to get a run out in a 1-2 defeat that puts us through to the 5th round 3-2 on aggregate,  Jose Carlos Moran got our goal on his first team debut. The last game of the year took us to the Costa Del Sol were we grinded out a 0-0 draw at Malaga.


League Table


January 19

We start the new year with a 3-3 draw at Villareal with goals from Carlos Fernandez 2 and Moi Gomez. The Copa 5th round 1st leg produced a 3-2 win at the Vicente Calderon the home of Atletico thanks to another Fernandez brace and a rare Granero goal. We entertained high flying Deportivo next and played them off the park winning 3-0 with goals from Rescaldani, Garcia and Castaignos extending the unbeaten run to 13 games. Atletico then beat us 1-0 in the return leg of the Copa, a result that takes us in to the Quarter Final. Real Betis next and another win 2-1 with goals via Fernandez and Centurion. I decided to send a rotational side to the Camp Nou for the Quarter Final 1st leg to give players a rest as my priority is the league and Barca took full advantage beating us 1-4 with Granero getting his 2nd goal in the month. Our final league game of the month produced a 2-1 win over Alaves with Garcia and Mehmet securing the points and extending the unbeaten run to 15 games. The 2nd leg of the Quarter Final gave us a confident 1-0 win thanks to a Gomez goal however we are knocked out 2-4 on aggregate.


League Table


Transfer News

M’Baye Niang has joined SD Eibar for a club record £10m from AC Milan. I jumped at the chance to sign Niang he is versatile and fits my system well. This is the only business we have done during this window. I look forward to further developing Niang and hope he can become a big player at SD Eibar.


The Eibar Model So Far :

2018-2019 Liga BBVA  ?  Copa Del Rey  Q-Final Super Cup Runners Up

2017-2018 Liga BBVA 13th Position Copa Del Rey Runners Up

2016-2017 Liga BBVA 11th Position Copa Del Rey 5th Round



I am really pleased with how the squad have performed so far this season, I have changed the shape of my Sampaoli tactic but left everything else the same, the results have been impressive with us leading the passing and possession stats in Spain this season. We have a very difficult month of fixtures coming up but with a new found belief we hope to extend our 15 match unbeaten run which has put us in a very good position in the league. I am also pleased to have signed a 4 year contract that keeps me at the club until 2022.

Our end of season post will be out in the next few days.

I would also like to take dedicate this post to all connected with Associação Chapecoense de Futebol my thoughts this week like many have been with the club.