Welcome to my end of season 2 update, in my last update we had managed to break in to the top four playing the same style of football that had got us promoted the previous season. We had also added some silverware to the trophy cabinet at the City Ground after we lifted the EFL League Cup after beating José’s Manchester United at Wembley. When working on a style of play I looked at our squad and decided to get the best out of it that I would use a 4-4-2 based on Simeone’s and Sacchi’s vision, but it’s the in game management that I feel as been the difference. In pretty much all our games in season 1 and season 2 I have tweaked mentality and even team shape plus I have used the touchline shouts like never before. I am also managing my players differently in true Brian Clough style, with an arm around some and a rocket up the arse for others which seems to be paying off so far. I have always been a pretty slow FM player due to the fact I watch a good chunk of games in full to try and analyse our strength and weakness in our game. At the start of the season I brought in a number of players who I thought would add quality and depth to our squad whilst retaining the spine of the side from last seasons promotion. I used the first part of the current season to integrate and analyse the new comers along with last seasons core. In January I then sold a number of players (see last post 2.1) who I had decided were no longer part of my plans going forward, this as enabled me to keep a tight nit group of players focused on turning the club in to a top 6 Premier League Club. The sale of players in January as also allowed me to balance the books with a net transfer spend over 2 seasons at the club at just £13m. We have also got a strong core of British players in the squad which I think could be crucial has we get nearer the Brexit.
So how have we finished the season?
Just 3 games this month with us kicking off with a 1-0 win against Manchester United thanks to both a Chris Cohen goal and a man of the match performance from keeper Jordan Pickford who pulled off a string of saves. Next was a trip to the South Coast were we grabbed a point in a 1-1 draw against Nigel Clough’s Southampton who gave us a run for our money after an early Demarai Gray goal. We finished the month with a solid 3-0 win against Newcastle United with the City Ground faithful being treated to a Moussa Dembele hat-trick. Britt Assombalonga limped off after his return from injury after getting a knock that looks to end his season.
A superb month for us that sees us win all 4 games that ensures us Champions League Football next season. We started with a 4-1 win against Swansea City courtesy of Dembele 2, Berahino and Gray. A 2-0 win follows on the road at Everton with both Osborn and Dembele on the score sheet. A short trip to bottom club Sheffield Wednesday produces a 4-0 victory in a game that was over after just 8 minutes with the Garibaldi Reds 3-0 up after quick fire goals from Dembele 2 and Cohen. Captain Cohen added another just after the break to give us the 4-0 result.
With just 2 games to go until the curtain comes down on our return to the Premier League we are in with an outside chance of grabbing 2nd place. We go to Watford first and get all 3 points with a 4-2 win with our goals coming from Gray, Dembele, Mancienne and Berahino. So to the last game of the season and the East Midlands Derby against Leicester City who over the 90 minutes have the better chances but the game ends in a 1-1 draw with Swedish midfielder Hiljmark getting our goal. After the game we hear that a win would have given us 2nd place in the table. We are more than happy though to finish 3rd which will see us play in the Champions League next season which is way beyond our expectation.
A great season in numbers.
- Goalscorers Dembele 33, Berahino 21, Assombalonga 10, Cohen 9, Gray 8.
- Assists Gray 14, Berahino 14, Osborn 9, Hiljmark 7, Dembele 7.
Moussa Dembele cleaning up.
Manager Of The Year
I am pleased to have signed a new contract that will keep me at the club until 2022.
Kits Revealed For Next Season
Our new kits for next season have been revealed, many thanks to @FMKits4You who designed the shirts for next season.
What a fantastic season we have had, not only have we finished 3rd in the league but we have put some silverware in the trophy cabinet after winning the EFL League Cup at Wembley against Manchester United. We stuck by our philosophy and played each game our way with a few minor tweaks here and there. Our journey with The Garibaldi Reds as started well with two very good seasons under our belts the squad is very much looking like my team and with Pre-Season about to start I will be looking to add a few players in the transfer window along with saying goodbye to a few as well. The core of my squad will be made up of English born players with just a few players from overseas has I am preparing the club for the time when the Brexit is activated. I am looking forward to preparing the squad for our next campaign which will see European Football return to Nottingham and of course trying to make the club in to a Premier League regular. I am keen to keep working on the 4-4-2 system that I have instilled at the club. The system has served us very well so far with the odd tweak here and there non less so than making one of our front two roles in to a Shadow Striker which Saido Berahino has flourished during our last 12 games of the season of which we have Won 10 and Drawn 2. So that wraps up season 2, after posting this I will be starting up FM and getting on with Pre-Season which takes our camp to China to prepare for the season ahead. I should have a new post written up over the next week so until then thanks for reading.
The Garibaldi Reds Journey So Far
2017-2018 Premier League 3rd – EFL League Cup Winners
2016-2017 Championship Runners Up (Promoted)