FM20 : Dresden 2019-2020 The Beast From The East : Part Two

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Welcome to my second post of my Dynamo Dresden save with my fictional manager Michael Stûbner. If you have not read my opening post, you can find it by clicking on Part One here. The response to my first post was fantastic and I have really enjoyed the interaction so I thank all who have been in touch.

1580132845915_trimmed During the summer months I was busy with the players trying to find the system that best fits our current squad and ended up working on 3 formations that I feel can get the best out of the players giving us the best chance in my mind and a flexibility that offers us a Plan B and a Plan C. The formations that I went for are : 4-1-2-2-1 otherwise known as a 4-3-3 Wide,  a flat 4-3-3 and a 3-5-2 incorporating a Libero. Normally I tend to stick to one shape however this time I wanted more of a variation so that we can change things up a bit becoming less predictable however after watching our games closely during Pre-Season I decided that I would scrap my plans to use the aforementioned formations instead using 2 variations of a 4-4-2 formation which I plan to show you in a later post. I am using an analytical approach for our player recruitment which will come in to it’s own after a season of data is completed so I have something to work with which will keep me busy. I have also given my scouts a number of names who I want them to scout over the season to see how their numbers add up in comparison to our squad and to see if they could be of value to us going forward.

Most managers in the game will usually have a number of players in their minds who they think fit both their philosophy and who they believe could be moulded within that philosophy. I am going to give my scouting network 100% commitment and trust their opinions within the market during this save however the numbers will sway the final decision.

I will be looking to bring at least one forward in during next summer and obviously it depends which Division we will be playing in to who that Forward may be, and of course I will be looking at data from this season from a number of undervalued markets to help identify the right man to bring to Dresden.

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July /August 2019 

I am not going to waste time talking about our Pre-Season games other than the squad had a good run out during our games and look ready for the season ahead. Our opening Bundesliga 2 game saw us entertain 1.FC Nürnberg who the bookies have them predicted to finish 4th so I was expecting a tough game at the Rudolf-Harbig Stadion. I was very pleased with our start as we took the game to our visitors and took a 13th minute lead when Kevin Ehlers got his reward for gambling at the back post after Linus Wahlqvist hit the byline to put in a tempting ball to the back stick. We continued to look the better side but could not get that second goal to kill the game and we got punished in the 84th minute when we conceded an equaliser that gave our visitors a point in a 1-1 draw that felt like a loss for me after our performance deserved better but hey, that’s football.

Matchday 2 and a trip to play Karlsruhe gave us our first win of the season when two second half goals gave us a 2-1 win in a game that we competed well in and deserved our win when Chris Löwe netted from the penalty spot in the 68th minute and then Dzenis Burnic scored the winner in the 74th minute.

Our first failure was to happen in the next game with us failing the boards expectation of reaching the DFB-Pokal 2nd round after we went crashing out of the competition at the first hurdle losing to 3.Liga club FC Ingolstadt 0-1 at the Audi Sportspark to the club from Bavaria who were only formed in 2004.

We bounced back with a 1-0 win on Matchday 3 against 1.FC Heidenheim thanks to a smart finish in the 2nd minute of the game by Moussa Koné who looked a danger throughout the 90 minutes but the man of the match was Kevin Elhers who at 19 years old is looking quality in the centre of our defence.

Matchday 4 took us to the city of Darmstadt to face SV Darmstadt 98 who like us are undefeated in the League and it comes as no surprise both sides cancel each other out finishing in a 0-0 draw. We did come close to pinching it in the last minutes when René Klingenburg went close with a long range effort that struck the upright.

We finish the month by entertaining FC St.Pauli who are sat rock bottom of the table and suffered a 9-0 defeat last weekend when Holstein Kiel ran riot. We managed to pile the misery on some more with two first half goals coming via Sascha Horvath and a Chris Löwe penalty giving us a 2-0 win to round off a good month for us in the Bundesliga 2 meaning we are sat in 2nd place after our first 5 matches.

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Bundesliga 2 Table 

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September 2019

After a solid start to the season we went in to September full of confidence however it was to end up being a very tough month with no wins from three League games starting off with a 1-1 draw in the Vonovia Ruhrstadion against VfL Bochum after a scrappy game which we went in front when Jannis Nikolaou gave us a 21st minute lead. Our hosts made it difficult for us to break them down and got their reward in the second half with an equaliser to take a share of the points.

Matchday 7 produced our worst display of the season to date when Jahn Regensburg inflicted a 1-2 defeat upon us with the only highlight of our game being Alex Mighten becoming the clubs youngest goalscorer with a 50th minute strike from the youngest player to play for the first team at 17 years old. Unfortunately for the young loanee from Nottingham Forest it would be his first and last appearance for us this season after suffering a long term injury resulting in him returning to Nottingham to start his treatment.

We ended the month with another below par performance away to Erzgebirge Aue with another 1-2 defeat and another frustrating day for our Forwards who at the moment could not hit a barn door with us wasting chance after chance and only getting our consolation goal in added time at the end of the game when Chris Löwe converted a penalty.

I have got confidence in the system we are playing because we are creating a good number of chances in each game but with 3 games without a win we have dropped to 8th in the table and I need to get things back on track.

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Bundesliga 2 Table 

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October 2019

The bad run continues with a 0-2 home defeat to Hannover 96 which left me feeling frustrated with the performance after a promising first half hour but as soon as Hannover went 1 up we looked a beaten side so I am calling for a team meeting and going to show the squad a bit of love to see if we can stop the rot.

PicsArt_01-23-09.28.22You couldn’t make it up could you? Matchday 10 away to SpVgg Greuther Fürth cometh the hour cometh the man and that man today is Swedish Forward Alexander Jeremejeff who suddenly put his boots on the right feet scoring 4 goals in our 5-1 win with his partner in chief Moussa Konè also finding that finishing touch. The Swedish Forward looked unplayable in this game and I am hoping it is the catalyst for more to come from the former double winning Swedish title winner after winning it with Malmo in 2016 and 2017 before spending a season back at BK Häcken and then coming to Dynamo for £900,000 this last summer.

Matchday 11 and the Swedish hitman is on the mark again this time scoring a double in our 4-1 win at home to Arminia Bielefeld. The 6ft 2inch Forward is on fire at the moment with 6 goals in 2 games but the man of the match for me was Central Defender Kevin Ehlers who at 19 years old is establishing himself as one of my two starting Cemtral Defenders and who today got himself on the scoresheet with two headed goals that helped us secure all three points.

So with two wins from our three games this month we have moved back up to 5th in the table pleasing the board who are expecting a mid table finish.

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Bundesliga 2 Table 

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November 2019

PicsArt_01-23-09.05.01A big month ahead with us going head to head with the top two and sixth placed clubs in the table starting at League leaders and title favourites VfB Stuttgart in the Mercedes-Benz Arena in front of a 52,000 crowd who witnessed a classic with the home side going in front twice during the 1st half only to be pegged back by us courtesy of Moussa Konè and Kevin Ehlers. We matched Stuttgart in every area and if we could have taken our chances in the 2nd half and  not had a goal ruled out by VAR then we may have come away with at least a point which we so deserved but unfortunately Stuttgart proved their quality finishing and why they are title favourites by scoring the winning goal 6 minutes from time to inflict a 2-3 defeat upon us. Kevin Ehlers looks such a good player and potentially a future club captain in the making, the Central Defender born in München joined Dynamo in 2017 from boyhood club Hansa Rostock on a free transfer which I think they will soon be regretting letting him slip through their system. Incidentally Kevin is the son of Rostock Assistant Manager Uwe Ehlers and the younger brother of Ben Ehlers who plays for 1 FC Neubrandenburg 04.

Matchday 13 we entertained Wiesbaden here in Dresden in front of a crowd of over 25,000 and we gave our supporters something to cheer about with a 3-1 win thanks to goals from Marco Hartmann and a Moussa Konè double strike on a wet Sunday afternoon. I am really pleased with how the team have turned things around since our bad run in September.

Another big test to end the month this time in front of 52,000 at the Volksparkstadion against 2nd placed Hamburger SV who have only lost one game so far this season. We took the game to our hosts from the kick off and silenced the home crowd in the 10th minute when Alexander Jeremejeff beat the offside trap to finish nonchalantly after a one on one thanks to a pinpoint pass from Sascha Horvath. HSV hit back just before the half time whistle setting up an intriguing second half which did not disappoint with both teams giving their all to get the victory but the backlines held strong and the game ended in a 1-1 draw which was a fair result.

With 14 games under our belt we sit in 5th place in the table 4 points behind 1.FC Heidenheim 1846 in 3rd place which is the Promotion Playoff spot and 5 points behind HSV in 2nd place and the automatic promotion slot.

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Bundesliga 2 Table

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December 2019

We looked in good shape going in to December with 4 games ahead of us before the Winter Break we opened the month with a 1-0 win at home against Holstein Kiel in front of just over 24,000 in the Rudolf-Harbig Stadion. We had Austrian Winger Peter Möschl to thank for our goal in the 10th minute giving us a valuable 3 points.

Matchday 16 and it was Alexander Jeremejeff who scored both our goals in a 2-0 win at home to bottom club SV Sandhausen who offered very little on a brisk afternoon in Dresden. Sascha Horvath was the man of the match and looked really dangerous playing on the left wing with his passing ability constantly a menace to our visitors backline.

An away day to face Osnabrűck and our third clean sheet on the bounce was the foundation of a 3-0 win that saw our front two put the game to bed within the first 13 minutes with Alexander Jeremejeff our top scorer grab a brace and Moussa Konè get on the scoresheet.

We ended the year with an away trip to play 1.FC Nürnberg before the winter break which turned out to be a very entertaining game of football ended in a 3-3 draw with goals coming from Jannis Nikolaou and a double from Alexander Jeremejeff who goes in to the Winter Break leading the Bundesliga 2 goal scoring chart with 13 goals.

So we finish the year in 3rd place in the table which means we are occupying the Promotion Playoff spot and 5 points behind HSV in one of the two automatic promotion slots in 2nd place.

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Bundesliga 2 Table

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Player Stats

  • Alexander Jeremejeff is our top scorer with 13 goals and leads the way in average ratings with 7.44.
  • Sascha Horvath is leading our assists with 5
  • Midfielder Dzenis Burnic with a 83% pass completion is our leading completed passes man.
  • Discipline wise Chris Lówe, Kevin Ehlers and Linus Wahlqvist have each picked up 6 yellow cards whilst Kevin Ehlers as also picked up a red card.

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Club Vision

Well the board are currently delighted with Michael Stûbner after a solid first few months in Dresden so much so that they offered me a 2 year contract which I signed without hesitation to extend my spell in Dresden.

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Player Spotlight

PicsArt_01-23-09.22.39Sascha Horvath at 23 years of age is well respected for his quality in the Dynamo squad. The Austrian Attacking Midfielder is adapting well to the left wing role that I have got him to play. Horvath as provided 5 assists in the first half of the season and I am expecting him to go from strength to strength in the second half of our campaign.  Horvath joined Dynamo in 2017 for £360,000 before going on loan to Austrian Club FC Wacker for 6 months last season.  Horvath is contracted until June 2021 so over the next few months I will be sitting down with him to discuss a contract extension in the hope that the Austrian extends his stay in Dresden.

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Transfer News 

Goalkeeper Patrick Wiegers will leave the club at the end of the season after agreeing a move to the United Arab Emirates. Wiegers game time as been limited after losing the starting spot after suffering an injury which allowed Tim Boss and Kevin Broll to fight it out for the number 1 slot. Wiegers joined Dynamo in 2015 on a free transfer after being released by Jahn Regensburg.

Another player on his way out at the end of the season is 32 year old Midfielder Patrick Ebert who is out of contract at the end of the season. I did offer Ebert the chance to extend his stay with us but he declined starting contract negotiations and agreed a contract like Wiegers out in the Emirates.

IMG_20200203_133416Our Head Of Youth Development Jan Siefert spent £30,000 on Werder Bremen youngster Keanu Schneider. The 18 year old joins our youth team on a 2 year contract. I have trusted Siefert to bring youngsters in to the club and Scneider is his first recruit. Schneider as had a very good season so far in Werder Bremen’s youth team with 6 assists and 3 goals. I have put a lot of resource in to scouting youth players giving my scouting network instructions to scout the youth leagues looking to identify talent early enough for us to pick up players at the earliest possible stage in their development.

 

 

The Two That Got Away

I did try and bring two players in to the club both on free transfers however after agreeing contracts with both players they both joined other clubs. The first player was Alexander Fuchs a 22 year old midfielder at 1.FC Nùrnberg who I felt would be a a perfect fit to our game model but he agreed a contract at Bundesliga Club Bayer Leverkusen.

The second player to slip through our fingers was Norweigan Forward 18 year old Noah Jean Holm who again was available on a free transfer after entering the last six months of his contract at Bundesliga Club RB Leipzig. The youngster agreed a contract with us but decided to join our Bundesliga 2 rivals 1.FC Nürnberg who he will join at the end of this season.

I think both players would have been positive signings but obviously we are not yet an attractive proposition yet.

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Alexander Fuchs
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Noah Jean Holm

 

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Well I think that just about covers everything up to the Winter Break in our first season in Dresden. We have a number of friendly games arranged against Hansa Rostock, Hanover 96 II and FC Copenhagen before we continue with our Bundesliga 2 campaign. I know the board are happy with establishing the club in mid table of the 2nd tier but I want to push the club on and attempt to gain promotion either this season or next to the Bundesliga and then try to establish the club in the top tier whilst doing so by protecting the clubs finances.

I have also made a commitment to using metrics to assist in our recruitment process and whilst it can take a long time analysing data it’s really adding to the enjoyment of the save which I am well ahead of my blogging so I am been very careful not to give anything away on my Twitter feed.

Thanks for reading

Michael

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