The Boys From Bergamo (una stagione fantastica 16-17 ) #FM17

1491384647951Welcome to my end of season review ‘una stagione fantastica (A Fantastic Season). It was a fantastic season in many ways for me none less so than finding my way around the club and analysing in great detail the vast amount of youth players at the club. At the start of the season many of these players had already been loaned out but never the less I would be tracking them in great detail, in fact its more than likely the longest it has taken me to get through a season. I am actually further in to the save than this post covers which gives me more writing material that I can draft up during any given chance. So on to the season, my last post took us up to the winter break with us lying in 2nd place in the table after a cracking start to the season. As with every winter break the transfer window opened and to no surprise I spent the whole of January rejecting offers for a number of players and in turn talking to those players in a hope that I could keep them at the club. Kessie who was on African Cup duty had interest from a number of clubs however I managed to persuade him he could help us achieve our goals in Bergamo of qualifying for European Competition which he agreed and got on with his football, likewise Gómez was being chased by Monaco and the same chat and same outcome prevailed. I also rejected offers for Conti-Liverpool, D’Allesandro-Valencia and Atlético Madrid came after Tolòi. So come the end of the window I had managed to hang on to all of my squad.

LegaSerieAlogoTIM January 2017 

We started the new year on the front foot beating Crotone 3-0 goals via Freuler, Conti and Paloschi at home followed by a 7-0 thrashing of Sassuolo in front of our own fans in Bergamo  with both Gomez and Freuler getting an hat-trick each. Winger D’Allesandro also getting on the scoresheet. Next up was a trip to Milano for the Coppa Italia 1st rd game against Inter which we lost 0-1 despite having a good deal of the play. Bologna away next proved to be frustrating has we could not build on a Paloschi goal and ended the game with a 1-1 draw. With Remo Freuler injured for our final game of the month at home to Empoli I decided to bring young Simone Mazzocchi in to the starting line up playing as a shadow striker and after just 17 minutes in to the game Mazzocchi had scored his first goal in the senior squad after thundering a shot in to the roof of the net. We had to wait until late in the 2nd half to put the game to bed 2-0 courtesy of Paloschi.

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February 2017

Simone Mazzocchi kept his place in my starting XI for our trip to Udinese and he repaid my faith in him with another goal in a 3-2 win which came courtesy of an own goal and another Paloschi strike. Both Mazzocchi and Paloschi got on the scoresheet again in our next game against Zeman’s Pescara this time though a 2-3 defeat. A trip to Turin produced a 1-1 draw against Torino who played very well using a 3-5-2 formation, Alejandro Gómez netting our goal. Youngster Mazzocchi kept his place in the side along with two of his youth team mates in Centre Back Alessandro Bastoni and Deep Lying Playmaker Pippo Melegoni for the home game against Genoa which we won 3-1 with goals from Paloschi, Gómez and the talented youngster Mazzocchi who had now scored 4 in his first 5 starts in the first team, however it would be his last start for a while after picking up an injury late in the second period. We finish the month still in 2nd place on 55 points.

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March 2017

The month of March would start with us taking on 3rd place Inter which ment us returning to Milano to face the Nerazzurri again after they dumped us out of the Coppa. Well lightning struck twice as the team from Milan beat us 0-2 leapfrogging us in to 2nd place. We are starting to show signs of a tiring season with us picking up a few injuries has we battle to stay in the European places. The visit of Roma to the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia produced a top quality game of football which saw us come from 0-1 down at the break to win the points thanks to a double strike from our ever dependable front man Alberto Paloschi in a 2-1 win. Chievo away would close a short month for us and the boys in yellow inflicted a 0-2 defeat on us that took the club from Verona in to 5th place in the league. We stayed in 3rd spot with 9 games to play.

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April 2017

We started the penultimate month of the season by getting back to winning ways with a 2-1 win at home to Cagliari with goals coming from Paloschi and Gómez. Paloschi’s goal put him level with Fillipo Inzahgi’s record of 25 goals in all competitions in one season at Atalanta. An hard fought 2-2 draw followed in Naples against Marcelo Bielsa’s Napoli with our goals coming from Kessie and Gómez. Next up we travelled to Turin to take on league leaders Juventus who gave us a lesson in defending deep and counter attacking hammering us 0-4 which as allowed AC Milan to close the gap on us to just 2 points. The question now was could we keep our nerve and get over the line and qualify for the Champions League. We raised our our game for the visit of  Palermo to Bergamo that saw us beat the team from Sicily 4-0 that included Paloschi grabbing an hat-trick that see’s him surpass Inzahgi’s record of most goals in a season in all competitions and also Giovanni Gaddoni’s 25 league goals in a season which as stood since 1940. Paloschi is the king of Bergamo. After all the hysteria Alejandro Gómez added our other goal. I am so pleased for Paloschi who struggled at Swansea. We ended the month in Florence against Fiorentina who believe it or not were battling to stay out of relegation and we didn’t help matters by beating them 2-0 thanks to yes you guessed it Paloschi and D’Alessandro. We end the month in 3rd spot just 2 points above Milan with them to play in the last month.

april 17

May 2017

Excitement surrounded our next game in Bergamo against Sampdoria has we were now guaranteed European football next season thanks to results elsewhere across the Peninsula. The question was would it be Europa League or Champions League ? So back to the game and a rejuvenated Samp side beat us 1-2 which enabled Milan to go above us in 3rd place, Paloschi scored our consolation goal. Next up the showdown for Champions League football against AC Milan in the San Siro and we got off to a flier racing in to a 2-0 lead courtesy of the return from injury of Mazzocchi and Kessie. With 2 up at the break I told the boys to guard against complacency in the 2nd period. Milan put pressure on us from the restart and got their reward on 59 minutes with a goal from Bacca and just when we had weathered the storm the ever reliable Caldara up ends Bacca in our penalty area to give Milan a penalty in the dying moments of the game. Up stepped Bacca and 2-2 we had thrown away a 2 goal lead. The lads were down at the whistle but it was such a huge effort. Our next game was at home to Lazio who themselves were fighting for a Europa League spot. The game ended 0-0 and effectively ended our hopes of a Champions League spot and Lazio’s hope of a Europa League place. We had finished in 4th place a club record by the way with one game to go which would be away at bottom placed Crotone and ended in a 1-1 draw with our goal coming courtesy of an own goal.

may 17

We ended the season on a bit of a low however we had over achieved what we had set out to do and played some very entertaining football along the way whilst qualifying for the Europa League group stage.

final table

Season Statistics All Competitions 

Goals

  • Paloschi 29
  • Gómez 17
  • Freuler 10
  • D’Alessandro 10

Assists 

  • Gómez 12
  • D’Alessandro 11
  • Paloschi 10
  • Conti 9

Average

  • Conti 7.44
  • Dramè 7.43
  • Gómez 7.40

record finish

Alberto Paloschi Makes History

The King Of Bergamo ended the season with 29 goals breaking a couple of records on the way.

paloschi inzaghi

paloschi gaddoni

Awards

awards 1

moty

Youth Intake

Always interesting on youth intake day and we managed to bring in some very good potential stars of the future. I have now nicknamed our academy il futuro  (The Future) and will be topic of conversation in a future post. Already the Spanish big boys are chasing Vincenzo Di Vaio.

alessandro ricci

darko cosic

flavio cosimi

marco evangelista

paolo postorino

sebastiano speranza

vincenzo di vaio

20170327_113833No sooner had the season finished I turned my head to next season and the squad of players that will embark on the club’s European campaign. We have a number of players who will be returning to their club’s after spending the season on loan in Bergamo along with a number of players who are no longer required. This will open up a number of spaces in our first team squad for a good number of our youth players along with 2 or 3 players who have been on my radar during the last year who I think will complement our philosophy going forward which I am genuinely excited about bringing to Bergamo and who fall within our budget. After the introduction of Mazzocchi, Bastoni and Melegoni to the first team squad in the second half of last season I am very much looking forward to introducing around another 5 youth players in to the squad over the summer months. I have got a meeting scheduled with the board to discuss our season expectations and a few other things that I am considering bringing to the table. I have already started my pre season post so it should be live over the next few days.

Coming Soon 

A look at our academy  il futuro ) and the system I am using to develop the boys from Bergamo.

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The Boys From Bergamo ( The Story So Far )

2016-2017 Serie A 4th Coppa Italia 1st rd 

The Boys From Bergamo 16-17 Winter Update #FM17

IMG_20170324_080956Welcome to the boys from Bergamo winter update. I spent hour upon hour looking at our 3 squads of players before the season kicked off. We have a large number of youth players out on loan so I wanted to make sure I had a good knowledge of the players at my disposal for the next few years. What I have done is draw up a chart that outlines our tactical system / formation and roles and then add each player in our ranks to the chart along with their contract details, age,squad / loan details, value and potential. This then allows me to micro manage our squads and individual players with a user friendly at a glance single page portfolio of our club. This also allows me to pin point areas in the club that need improving in terms of training and scouting. Its just something I do and even when I am not in game something I can digest that improves my knowledge of a club. With all the information on board we kicked Pre-Season off and enjoyed building morale and team cohesion with 7 friendly games and a Coppa Italia game during July and August. I don’t pay too much attention to the results during the close season I just use the games to implement the system of play and get the boys ready for the season ahead. We did not bring anybody in to the first team squad during the summer transfer window however we brought young winger Mirko Antenucci in to our youth system on a free transfer from Roma.

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Pre Season Results

pre season

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August / September 2016

With a good Pre Season behind us we start the season with a solid 2-0 win at Sassuolo courtesy of Alejandro Gomez and an own goal. Its always nice to start the campaign with a win and I was pleased with how we controlled the game. Next we played our first home game of the season at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia against Bologna who shut out our attack earning themselves a 0-0 draw. We went in to our next game away at Empoli encouraged by the news that Alberto Paloschi would be available after a slight knock picked up against Bologna, however I chose to start Aleksander Pesic up front with Paloschi on the bench. It looked a good decision after just 2 minutes with Pesic giving us the lead. We did grab a second before the break courtesy of Bryan Cristante however Empoli had also scored twice giving me a rage which I gave the players a roasting. The second period looked like a draw was going to be the order of the day until Alberto Paloschi entered the play on 75 minutes. Paloschi won a penalty which he dispatched in the 84th minute and then scored his second two minutes from time giving us a 4-2 victory. Up next an home game against Udinese produced another win this time 2-0 and another brace for Paloschi. Paloschi’s form continued in the next game with the inform forward grabbing a hat-trick in a 5-0 win at Pescara, Alejandro Gomez and Marco D’Alessandro scoring our other goals. We finished a fantastic month off with a superb performance in a 2-0 win at home to Torino which saw us dominate and restrict the Turin club to just 1 long range effort on our goal. We got a goal in each half via Jasmin Kurtic and Aleksander Pesic that rounded the month off with us sat just behind Juventus on 16 points out of a possible 18.

aug sep 16

October 2016

We kicked October off with an hard fought 1-1 draw away at Genoa who caused us a fair few problems. Winger Marco D’Alessandro got our goal to earn the point. Next up we entertained Internazionale who were sat just behind us in the table. We produced a good performance running out 3-0 winners with a man of the match performance from 2 goal Swiss playmaker Remo Freuler along with in form winger D’Alessandro netting his 3rd goal of the season. Another big game followed away against AS Roma and another top draw performance from the boys in a 3-1 win with goals coming courtesy of Freuler and Paloschi 2. The Boys From Bergamo are enjoying their football and this showed in another win in our next game at home to Chievo who we beat 3-0 to go top of Serie A with goals from Gomez 2 and Mattia Caldara. We finished the month with a trip to Sardinia to play Cagliari. We visited the island has league leaders on the back of an unbeaten 11 game run from the start of the season however we left the island suffering our first defeat of the season 0-2 after the side from Sardinia deserved their victory.   

oct 16

IMG_20170323_202103 November 2016

We started the month off with a tricky game against Napoli at home and after just 15 minutes we trailed 0-2 with the previous game against Cagliari fresh in our minds, however Remo Freuler gave us a lifeline with a 17th minute strike. Freuler’s goal gave us a foot in the game and on the stroke of half time Alberto Paloschi grabbed us an equaliser. Just has I thought we would finish the half on level terms Alejandro Gomez netted our third in injury time to give us an incredible 3-2 lead at the break. I raged at the boys at half time and to their credit they came out firing in the second half were Remo Freuler netted his second to give us a 4-2 win and all three points.  Juventus up next and the visit of the Turin giants gave us a lift has we produced our best performance of the season beating the Old Lady 3-0 with goals from Paloschi, Caldara and Drame. If the Juve game was our best performance our next game in Sciliy was a mirror of our last game on an island with Palermo inflicting a 1-2 defeat on us with our consolation coming via Paloschi. We ended the month with a 6-0 win against Cesena in the Coppa Italia with goals from Paloschi 3, Gomez 2 and D’Alessandro.

nov 16

December 2016

December would prove to be a mixed month for us, we started with a 1-2 defeat at home to Fiorentina who scored all 3 goals. That is 2 league defeats on the bounce so I was looking for a reaction from the boys away to Sampdoria and they responded with a good 3-0 win with goals from Drame, Freuler and Zukanovic. Next up an home game against Milan would prove to be a frustrating afternoon for us with the Milan giants running out 0-1 winners in a game which we failed to break a solid back 3 down. We end 2016 with another visit to Rome this time to 5th placed Lazio and like our game against Roma we come away with all 3 points with a 3-1 win with goals from D’Alessandro 2 and Kurtic. So we end the year in 2nd place in the table which is more than we visualised at the start of the season.

dec 16

Serie A Table Winter Break

table dec

IMG_20170323_180148I am very happy with our showing in the first half of the season and has you can see we are in a fantastic position in the table with European qualification a possibility if we can sustain our form in the second half of the season. Has you may have spotted our central forward as not scored for a month so we will be keen to put an end to that particular run.

Squad Stats All Competitions

Goals 

  • Paloschi 15
  • Gomez 9
  • D’Alessandro 8
  • Freuler 6

Assists

  • Gomez 8
  • Paloschi 7
  • D’Alessandro 7

Average Rating

  • Drame 7.69
  • Caldara 7.60
  • D’Alessandro 7.59

Contract Extension

A 2 year contract extension was offered at the start of December which I signed without hesitation.

contract extension

Board Reminder

The board have made me aware of our expectations this season which we are on course for matching. They have made £6.5m available as we enter the January transfer window.

expect

20170327_113833Thanks for checking out this post, the first few months in Bergamo have shown great promise. I am fully up to speed with the players at our club and hope to be able to keep hold of a number of our first team players in the forth coming transfer window as a few clubs are sniffing around  the likes of Kessie, Gomez and Conti. The second half of the season promises to be interesting both on and off the field. We have no less than 9 players in our first team squad who are on loan to us with a few of them having clauses in that would enable us to purchase them if we want. The players in question are Goalkeepers Berisha and Gollini, Defenders Spinazzola, Caldara and Zukanovic, Midfielders Grassi and Cristante, Winger Mounier and Forward Pesic. What I do have at my disposal are some excellent youth potential which I am looking to integrate in to the first team squad during the second part of the season and in the summer.  A few community mentions before I go:

@FMKits4you Thanks for the superb kits you made for me that you can see in this post.

@VanDerCharks Thanks for the interesting chats on Atalanta and football in general.

@Rovazzz Thanks for the continued friendship and sharing your thoughts on the game.

And a general thanks to the FM Community who make this game more than a game.

2399_Home_of_Atalanta_BC

 

The Boys From Bergamo #FM17

657px-AtalantaBC.svgWelcome to the city of Bergamo, Bergamo is an Italian city situated North East of Milan in the Lombardy region, it’s also the home of Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio who play their football in Serie A, the top tier of Italian Football. The club have never won Serie A during their 110 year history. In fact the club have won very little silverware winning one Coppa Italia 62-63 along with six Serie B titles and one Serie C title. The club play their home games at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia who they share with Unione Calcio AlbinoLeffe. The stadium has a capacity of 26,562 and will be the back drop of my FM17 17.3 final patch save. I have chosen Atalanta for a number of reasons including my love of Italian Football. Atalanta under the guidance of Gian Piero Gasperini have been nothing short of fantastic in real life this season, they are currently sitting in 6th position in the league punching above their weight. The club from Bergamo boast one of the best youth academies in football which the club have built their existence on by investing heavily in youth development.

So what am I hoping to get out of the save,  The Boys From Bergamo? 

  • Continue with the club’s tradition of youth development
  • Use the Ajax youth philosophy model
  • Director of Football / Head Of Youth Development responsible for recruiting players
  • Chief Scout sets scouting assignments along with me
  • I myself will be responsible for recruiting staff
  • I will be responsible for negotiating both staff and player contracts
  • Play an entertaining brand of football inspired by Sacchi and Gasperini
  • Establish the club as a top four side in Italy
  • Deliver the Serie A title for the first time in the club’s history
  • Keep a firm hold of the finances

atalanta job

Club Background

background

Facilities

Excellent training facilities however I want to upgrade our junior coaching level.

facilities

bergamo-stadium-aerial

First Team Squad

A talented first team squad however we have 9 players in on loan, we do have an option to buy on most so I will be monitoring their progress as the season unfolds. We have some fantastic potential within our youth ranks which is an area I will be investing my time developing them, however we have at least 50 players out on loan for the season. I will be looking at down sizing our squads over time as to give better quality game time to the players I believe can take this club to the next level. I don’t see the point in having 15 Goalkeepers over the 3 squads. Season 1 will be all about analysis and laying the foundations for the season’s to come.

squad

The Staff

Like I have said above I will be entrusting my staff with certain responsibilities at the club. These are three of the men who will be working with me at the start of this journey.

sartori dof

costanzi hoyd

zamagna chief scout

Season Expectations

The board have set reasonable expectations of the club for the season ahead.

expectations

20160503_174731I am back in Italy the country that gave me my football education. I am hoping The Boys From Bergamo will keep me busy until the FM18 release. During FM17 I have had short term saves at Eibar, Nottingham Forest and Fredrikstad but with the last patch being released I am looking at getting in to a longer save. I would have actually continued with the Fredrikstad save if it wasn’t for the fact that my youth team was entered in to the youth league but never had any fixtures which really annoyed my OCD streak. With that all behind me I have settled on Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio better known has Atalanta B.C for my FM fix. With some excellent potential in the youth ranks the save promises to be a good one.  It should prove a challenge to keep hold of our star players with the big boys sure to come knocking. So with the introduction over its time to get down to some solid game time.

Arriverderchi

The Aristocrats Of Fredrikstad (2.2)#FM17

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Welcome to the latest instalment of my Nordic adventure. I have really grown in to this save and enjoying my FM sessions as much as ever. I think just playing a couple of sessions a week stops you going in to a period of not being bothered to play because you have entered the zone of FM overkill. Well that’s how I see it anyway. My last post left us 14 points clear at the top of the table after 15 games and an upcoming Norwegian Cup Quarter Final against Rosenborg to look forward too, I was also fending off a number of approaches for our players,  So how have we got on since?

OBOS-ligaen Results 

August 2017

We got August off to a winning start away to Hødd we dominated the game and deserved the 3-1 scoreline both Benmoussa and Westgaard along with an own goal gave us the 3 points. Next up we played top tier side Rosenborg in the Quarter-final of the Norwegian Cup. To be totally honest we looked like the top tier side and won the game 2-1 courtesy of a brace from Viktor Gotesson.  Back to our chase for promotion and another good 3-1 win at the Fredrikstad Stadion against Elverum with goals by Kaland,Begby and Johansen. Another three points with a 3-0 win away against Haugesund both Gotesson and a Karoliussen double scoring in a 3-0 win. We finished the month with 3 back to back 2-1 wins against Sandefjord (Gotesson 2), Ull/Kisa (Stamnestø, Kaland ), Ranheim ( Kaland, Benmoussa ).  An undbeaten month extends our run to 16 games without defeat in all competitions and strengthens our title challenge.

august 17

September 2017

A 3-0 home win against Kfum Oslo at the Fredrikstad Stadion puts us on the brink of the title and secures promotion to the top tier. Goals from Gotesson and Kaland along with an own goal win the game for us. A chance to win the title at home to Tromsdalen next however we lose the game 1-2 which is the same result from our first meeting gives Tromsdalen the double over us. The pressure of winning the title shows in our game with Stamnestrø netting our consolation goal. Next up we played Nest-Sotra at home and secure the title with a 2-0 win courtesy of Gotesson and Karoliussen that sends the Fredrikstad Stadion in to celebration. Next we play Premier Division leaders Lillestrom in the Norwegian Cup Semi Final and come out winners after a 118th minute goal from Ludvig Begby that sets up a final encounter against last year’s winners  Haugesund. I was pleased in the way we competed with Lillestrom from start to finish.   With the title secured we go to Strømmen and secure a 3-1 win to end the month with strikes from Gotesson, Karoliussen and Stamnestrø.

sept 17

tab sept

title

title 2

October 2017

We enter the final month of the season looking to keep the momentum going that as taken us to the title and Norwegian Cup Final. I am keen to keep the players focused so we head in to the final in good form. We start with a 4-0 win against relegation threatened Kristiansund with our goals coming from Pedersen, Karoliussen, Begby and Wernersson. Next an away game against Mjøndalen returns a 2-1 win with goals from Gotesson and Brix despite 3 first team players away on International duty. We did have an option of cancelling the game but I decided to rotate the side with the title already won. Sarsborg at home next and another 3 points for us after goals from Karoliussen,Gotesson and Stamnestrø give us a 3-1 win. We draw our next game 1-1 at the Fredrikstad Stadion against Start with in form winger Kaland getting our goal. Our final league game of the season is a 2-0 victory against Notodden with Stamnestrø grabbing a brace playing in the attacking midfield area has a Shadow Striker replacing the injured Karoliussen who plays has an Attacking Midfielder for us in that area. The Switch in roles is something I have tried in a couple of games during the last few weeks of the season.

oct 17

Season Statistics 

Goals in all competitions

  • Gotesson 29
  • Karoliussen 15
  • Begby 9
  • Kaland 9
  • Pedersen 8

Assists

  • Begby 18
  • Karoliussen 18
  • Gotesson 10

Average Rating

  • Begby 7.61
  • Johansen 7.60
  • Wernersson 7.57

Pass Completion 84% Average Possession 63.87%

Norwegian 1st Division OBOS-ligaen Final Table 2017

obos-ligaen

table final

Records

  • Record Number Of Wins 26
  • Record Number Of Points 80
  • Record Number Of Goals 83
  • Record Number Of Clean Sheets 15

 

Norwegian Cup Final 2017

Cup Final day in Norway and a chance for us to do the double and qualify for European Competition by lifting the cup. Our opponents Haugesund are last seasons winners and despite us doing the double over them in the league I know we were in for a tough game.  A couple of players had slight injury concerns in the week running up to the game however I picked a strong side : 4-2-3-1 GK Jensen RFB Goncalves LFB Wernersson CD Stromnes CD Johansen DLP Stamnestrø BWM Pedersen AMC Karoliussen RW Kaland LW Begby AF Gotesson. The game was a tight affair with neither side being able to convert their chances, at the break I told the boys that I was not happy with how they played to try and get them motivated for the 2nd period although in truth we had played very well without hitting the back of the net. The 2nd half was much like the first with no one taking their chances. On the 65th minute mark I swopped Stamnestrø and Karoliussen around and changed Stamnestrø to a shadow striker in an hope that we could open up the space in the final 3rd. The Switch nearly paid off straight away with the universal Stamnestrø forcing the Haugesund keeper in to a fine save. Then on the 89th minute Viktor Gotesson netted a late winner after good work from Karoliussen and a one, two with Begby. We had done it we are the Norwegian Cup Champions and double winners.

cup final

double

making history

wonder maker

Europa League Qualification

europa lge

New Contract

new contract

Awards

awards

poty

Best XI

best 11

Norwegian Premier Division Eliteserien Final Table 2017

premier-league-inspired-norway-tippeligaen-rebranded-as-eliteserien-1

prem table

Stadium Expansion 

expansion

That brings us to the end of season two and what an enjoyable season it was. Thanks for taking the time to check out this post and I hope you will return soon to see how our preparations for life in the top tier are shaping up.

The Aristocrats Of Fredrikstad Story So Far

2017 OBOS-ligaen Winners – Norwegian Cup Winners

2016 OBOS-ligaen 4th – Norwegian Cup 4th rd  (last 16)

The Aristocrats Of Fredrikstad (2.1) #FM17

img_20170227_234849Welcome  to my season 2 post with Fredrikstad. I have got my head around Scandinavia and have become familiar with all the club’s, players and staff plying their trade in the region. If you have read my last post you will know that I have introduced 5 youth team players in to the squad for this season. Youth Development at the club will define this club’s future. We have not got millions of pounds to spend on recruiting players and paying vast amounts of money on players wages, our current wage bill at the club is less than £30,000 per week and we will more than likely have to reduce that figure over the next few seasons. When I took over the club we had no depth beyond the first team squad but a year on we now have a number of young players filling up the youth team and 2nd team squads with no players out on loan. We have the best coaching set up in the 2nd tier in Norway after wheeling and dealing finding specialist coaches to improve the quality of training at the club whilst remaining prudent in the market. You could say we are operating a variation of the Moneyball system made popular in football by FC Midtjlland in neighbouring Denmark. If you have the patience to troll through the staff filtering out certain attributes you can unearth some gems that can be good and cheap additions to your project. At Fredrikstad Fotballklubb we are building a family that can take the club to the next level and beyond. Our number 1 goal is to reach the top tier and stay there with players developed with in the Fredrikstad Family. I am currently working on a post about the Fredrikstad Family / Youth Development which I hope to have finished soon, but that’s for later so how have we got on so far this season.

OBOS-ligaen Results 2017

April 17img_20170227_234839

After a good Pre-Season we were eager to carry momentum in to the league and first test of the season would be against Hødd at the Fredrikstad Stadion. We controlled the game throughout playing our fluid style of football running out 2-0 winners with goals from both our wingers Begby and Benmoussa in game that our visitors failed to get a shot on target. I gave a full debut to full back Michael Goncalves our recent signing from Neuchatel Xamax. Next up an away trip to face Elverum, we ran riot and ended up winning the game 8-1 with goals from Karoliussen 2, Gotesson 2, Westgaard, Benmoussa, Aas and 17 year old Mike Nergard who excelled in the second period after taking his bow to first team football replacing the creator in chief Karoliussen. Jo Sondre Aas also made a scoring debut. We then returned to Fredrikstad for our next game this time against last seasons Norwegian Cup Winners Haugesund. We made it three wins out of three with a 2-0 victory with both goals from Viktor Gotesson. We dominated the midfield thanks to our midfield pivots Pedersen and Westgaard who both have become rocks in our system. Our next game will be our first big test of our promotion credentials against the bookies favourite for the title Sandefjord away. Again we dominated the game from start to finish and never looked anything less the winners with the ever nonchalant Karoliussen running the show. We won the game 2-0 courtesy of Gotesson and Benmoussa which leaves us with 12 points out of 12 at the top of the table. Next up was the Norwegian Cup 1st round tie at Larvik Turn who play their football in the 3rd Division. I saw this game as a chance to give a run out to a few squad players so I brought in (GK) Dyngeland, (FB) Fossen-Helle, (CB) Ødegard, (BWM) Ludvigsen, (AM) Nergard, (AMR) Kaland and (AF) Aas. We won the game 7-0 with a good solid performance all round. The scorers on the night were Pedersen 2, Kaland 2, Aas and Begby. We returned to league action with a 2-0 win at Kfum Oslo thanks to in form Swedish Forward Viktor Gotesson netting a brace. We finished a busy month off with our 6th win out of 6 in the league at home to Ull / Kisa. We controlled the game from the off and both Karoliussen 2 and Gotesson 2 got the goals in a 4-0 win. So we have got off to a cracking start and although it’s early days we have put ourselves in a good position  with 6 games played in the league we are sat in top spot with 6 wins and a goal difference of +19 and have scored 20 goals and conceded just 1.

april-17

Scorers 

  • Gotesson 9
  • Karoliussen 4
  • Benmoussa 3
  • Aas 3

We have got a passing completion average of 84% and Possession Average of 64.67% in the league at the end of April.

May 17

img_20170227_234903We come in to May on the back of a good first month of the season with our first game of the season against 3rd tier 2nd Division club Follo Fotballklubb in the 2nd round of the Norwegian Cup at the 2500 capacity  Jan Thomas Birkeland stadium. I picked a rotational side for this game to both give some players a rest and likewise give squad players game time and the opportunity to catch my eye and stake a claim for a place in our regular starting line up. We won the game 3-1 with goals from Karoliussen, Begby and Kaland to put us in to the last 32. Back to league action this time an home game against Ranheim who we beat 2-0 with Westgaard and Aas getting our goals. Next an away trip to play Tromsdalen who inflicted our first defeat of the season on us by beating us 1-2 in a game which we probably merited a point from, however we came away with nothing but a consolation goal from Kaland. In the press conference the media are questioning our credentials, I defend the boys and storm out of the press conference and let the boys know the performance was not good enough. We moved on to our next fixture and got back to winning ways with a commanding 4-1 win over Strømmen, which saw Westgaard get a brace along with goals from Gotesson and Karoliussen. An away game at promoted Nest-Sotra. We imposed our game on our hosts from the start and ran out comfortable 3-1 winners with our midfield enforcer Mads Pedersen grabbing 2 of the goals along with a single strike from top scorer Gotesson. We ended the month with a Norwegian Cup tie away against Premier Division Valerenga . Monir Benmoussa gave us and early lead which Valerenga equalised before the break, we pushed hard to get a winner in the 2nd period to no avail despite dominating the play. The game ended 1-1 and went in to extra time were neither side could get a winner. The penalty shootout was a nervy affair however we came through it 8-7.  So we finished the month 7 points clear at the top with just 1 defeat from our opening 10 games.

may-17

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Scorers

  • Gotesson 11
  • Karoliussen 6
  • Benmoussa 4
  • Westgaard 4
  • Kaland 4
  • Aas 4
  • Pedersen 4

Assists

  • Begby 9
  • Karoliussen 6
  • Wernersson 5
  • Gotesson 5

Average

  • Begby 7.82
  • Johansen 7.78
  • Stromnes 7.77

June 17

john-arneriise-101117-potrait-r300We opened a short month with an absolute tremendous performance against Kristiansund on their own patch, we ran out 10-2 winners with goals from Gotesson 3, Karoliussen 2, Pedersen 2, Begby, Benmoussa and Westgaard. This result as sent a message out to the rest of the league, we are looking to gain promotion this season and have the fire power to get the job done. Off the field I put an advert out for a coach to join the Fredrikstad Family and 16 candidates applied for the job. After looking at each one of the candidates I offered the job to John Arne Riise the former Norwegian International. Riise accepted a two year contract before going off and sitting his next coaching badge. Back to things on the pitch, we then entertained top tier club Sogndal in the last 16 of the Norwegian Cup. We won the game 2-1 with goals from Begby and Karoliussen to set up a Quarter Final against Rosenborg. We also added Magnus Stamnestø to our squad, the 25 year old Norwegian had found himself transfer listed by Rosenborg for 80k. Stamnestø can play in a number of roles including Shadow Striker, he will give us a number of options to our system. Whilst we added to our squad we also let Mikael Dahlberg return to Helsingborgs after he struggled with fitness.

june-16

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July 17

The opening fixture of the month paired us with Mjøndalen who at the time were 2nd in the table. The Fredrikstad Stadion faithful saw us win 2-0 with Gotesson lighting the game up with 2 goals to take the points. Our next game saw us play out a 0-0 draw at playoff chasing Sarsborg. We failed to break down the home sides stubborn defence in a uneventful game. Next up we beat Notodden 3-0 in front of our own fans with goals coming from Johansen, Begby and Pedersen. We ended the month with a 2-0 away win against Start, with the leagues top scorer Viktor Gotesson grabbing another brace taking him to 18 goals for the season. This month I introduced 17 year old winger Anas Farah to the first team squad Farah looks a special talent and I want him to gain some experience from being around and getting first team game time.

july-17

Stats So Far This Season 

Scorers

  • Gotesson 18
  • Karoliussen 9
  • Pedersen 7
  • Begby 6

Assists 

  • Karoliussen 13
  • Begby 11
  • Gotesson 7
  • Wernersson 6

Average Rating 

  • Johansen 7.82
  • Gotesson 7.76
  • Karoliussen 7.73
  • Pedersen 7.72

Norwegian 1st Division OBOS-ligaen Table July 2017

Has you can see we have had an excellent first half of the season opening up a 14 point lead at the top has we push for promotion. We have scored 47 goals and conceded 7 in our opening 15 games.

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Norwegian Premier Division Eliteserien Table  July 2017

An interesting opening few months in the top tier with current Champions Strømsgodset struggling in 13th spot and Norwegian giants Rosenborg sat in 10th position.

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Job Offer’s

I have received a number of job offers in the last 2 months of the season from the following clubs : Wolverhampton Wanderers, Preston North End, Aston Villa, Sunderland, Everton and Stromgodset which I have turned down. I am really enjoying building the Fredrikstad Family and hope to take them to the next level.

Transfer Offer’s

I am spending a lot of time rejecting offers for a number of players including Gotesson who is being courted by French club Nancy who are offering around 250k. Winger Begby has an host of clubs after him including Newcastle United, Metz and Toulouse with offers ranging from 350k to 500k. Full back Wernersson has also been the subject of a number of offers including a 250k bid from Stromgodset. So far I have managed to deflect any offers and hope to be able to hang on to all of them.

Final Word 

Thanks for reading and following my posts about Fredrikstad, I will have another post up over the next week so until then take care.

The Aristocrats Of Fredrikstad Story So Far

2017 OBOS-ligaen  – Norwegian Cup

2016 OBOS-ligaen 4th – Norwegian Cup 4th rd  (last 16)

The Aristocrats Of Fredrikstad (2.0) #FM17

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Welcome to my opening post of season 2 in Norway. Has you can see above the Fredrikstad Stadion is looking in good shape ahead of the new season. If you have been following The Aristocrats Of Fredrikstad you will already know that we finished our first campaign in 4th place in the league narrowly missing out on automatic promotion and then failing at the first hurdle in the promotion playoffs. During the close season I have been using my time to analyse our youth set up to make sure we can offer the best development program we can considering our status in the Football pyramid. Youth Development is a major player in the world of football and is very important for a club like ours at Fredrikstad if we are going to achieve our goals long term.

Youth Intake

We have had a very good intake of youth, I think the FM gods have been kind to us giving us some very good potential to work with.

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Players Leaving

A number of first team squad players have gone through the exit door in Fredrikstad. Full back Magne Simonsen has moved to England after joining Millwall. Simonsen has been joined in England by Martin Thørnt Jensen who has joined Birmingham for 175k, I didn’t want to sell Jensen however he continually knocked my door down asking me to allow him to move club. Forward Ulrik Flo has joined AIK for 140k. Andreas Aalbu has moved to Lilleehammer for £600.  Other notable departure’s due to contracts expiring are goalkeeper Kristiansund and Defenders Sansara and club caparain Risholt.

  • Magne Simonsen 110k to Millwall
  • Martin Thornt Jensen 175k to Birmingham
  • Ulrik Flo 140k to AIK
  • Andreas Aalbu £600 to Lillehammer
  • Kristiansen Released End Of Contract
  • Sansara Released End Of Contract
  • Risholt Released End Of Contract

Transfer Revenue Received = 425k

Transfers In

  • Mathias Dyngeland 21 (GK) 57k from Sogndal
  • Jo Sondre Aas 27 (AF) 82k from Levanger
  • Michael Goncalves 21 (FB) 85k from Neuchatel Xamax
  • Tobias Odegard 22 (CB) 9k from Ham Kam

Transfer Revenue Spent = 233k

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Facilities Upgrade

I am pleased the board have upgraded our training facilities.

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Pre-Season Results

We kicked pre-season off with a game against Olympique Lyon Reserves. The French club sent a fairly strong squad which produced a fantastic first half of football. I gave a run out to a mixture of first team squad players and youth team players. We got 2 second half goals via Viktor Gotesson and Patrik Karoliussen which gave us a 2-0 victory. We then had a visit from Jong Ajax who gave us a good test in a game that we ran out 2-0 winners again with two second half goals from Kjetil Ludvigsen and Patrik Karoliussen. A much sterner test next against Premier Division Tippeligaen Champions Strømsgodset. We gave an excellent account of ourselves in a 1-1 draw with Viktor Gotesson scoring our goal. We followed this up with another good performance by beating Danish side  Dalkurd 2-1 with both Patrik Karoliussen and Ludvig Begby getting on the scoresheet. We finish our pre-season with an 8-0 morale boosting victory over Fisa. Monir Benmoussa grabbed 5 goals along with Viktor Gotesson 2 and Ludvig Begby.

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Players Promoted To First Team Squad

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Promotion Odds

The bookmakers have got us down to finish 4th and reach the playoffs

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Board Expectations

Well the board seem contempt at us reaching the playoffs and a 4th round Cup appearanc. Personally I would like us to push for automatic promotion.

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That concludes my first season 2 post, I am already working on my next couple of post’s has I am aleady in to the season. I should have the next post released later this week so keep your eyes pealed for it.

The Aristocrats Of Fredrikstad Story So Far’

2016 OBOS-ligaen 4th – Norwegian Cup 4th rd  (last 16)