Football Manager 09: – second coming continued

 To continue with more on the team I am currently managing in the FM 09 series. I have attached some pics of the various aspects of the game. Hope the same are helpful to you all… 

Secured job as of now…and why not with 5 titles each in the last 2 seasons… :-)
Secured job as of now…and why not with 5 titles each in the last 2 seasons… 🙂
Great looking personal summary…That’s coz if I lose a match I press ‘Ctrl + Shift + R’ ;-)

Great looking personal summary…That’s coz if I lose a match I press ‘Ctrl + Shift + R’ 😉

Current Squad…Great, isnt it?I need a good keeper who has a 5/5 though…any suggestions?

Current Squad…Great, isnt it?I need a good keeper who has a 5/5 though…any suggestions?

Assistant reports… Like you see… very few players with less than 5 stars on potential!!!

Assistant reports… Like you see… very few players with less than 5 stars on potential!!!

Reserve team… Look at some of the names in it… Great players… but with the quality I have in the squad I had to send some really good players out on loan.

Reserve team… Look at some of the names in it… Great players… but with the quality I have in the squad I had to send some really good players out on loan.

Reserve team assistant reports… good back up players to stand up and be counted when called upon…

Reserve team assistant reports… good back up players to stand up and be counted when called upon…

Great potential coming through at the club… screen 1
Great potential coming through at the club… screen 1

Lots of young players are out on loan too to get some much needed first team exposure!

Great potential coming through at the club… screen 2
Great potential coming through at the club… screen 2
First Team tactics… V attacking 4-1-3-2 formation, isn’t it?
First Team tactics… V attacking 4-1-3-2 formation, isn’t it?
First Team tactics… Team instruction page…When giving team instructions do not forget to assign free kick takers and penalty and corner takers etc…

First Team tactics… Team instruction page…When giving team instructions do not forget to assign free kick takers and penalty and corner takers etc…

To know the best order for players to take the above corners and penalties, Just click on the views above the GK mentioned against Steve Mandana for e.g. there u will see a tab called attributes, you can choose to select the following attributes for the following skills and then sort it by clicking on the short name of that attribute: –

1.       Captains: – Influence : Choose View – Attributes – Influence (then sort by clicking on the short name Inf)

2.       Playmakers: – Choose View – Position – then choose all midfielders (drag the player name and drop it on the right hand side.

3.       Target Men: – Choose View – Position – then choose all forwards and strikers

4.       Penalty takers: – Choose View – Attributes – Penalty Taking (then sort by clicking on the short name Pen)

5.       Free Kick Takers: – Choose View – Attributes – Free Kicks (then sort by clicking on the short name Fre) see screen shots below for E.g.

Choose Free Kicks, and then sort by clicking on the column heading Fre…

Choose Free Kicks, and then sort by clicking on the column heading Fre…

 

Drag and put the player on the right side of the screen...

Drag and put the player on the right side of the screen...

First Team tactics… Tactics I use in away or tough games…
First Team tactics… Tactics I use in away or tough games…

I have also been recently been assigned as the Manager of the Spanish National team…

Great players lined up… It’s placed at 9th in the Fifa rankings… I am aiming at top 3 by the end of this season.
Great players lined up… It’s placed at 9th in the Fifa rankings… I am aiming at top 3 by the end of this season.

I am already through to the latter half of the season now. Have sold Tevez for 56 Mil and  bought Benzema (40Mil) and Tranquillo Barnetta(6Mil).

Guys let me know how u liked the post! If you have any queries, do write a comment and I will help out as I can…

Keep playing Football Manager 2009!!! The game rocksJ

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Football Manager 09: – Second Coming

Since my earlier post on FM 09 received such positive response, I have decided to write more Football Manager 2009 related posts on my blog…

So here’s an update on the game I have been playing. I had chosen to Manage Manchester United at the start of the 2008-09 season. Been two seasons at the club now. I had purchased Messi (82 Mil) and Andres Guardado (19mil) in the second season itself…I have sold Berbatov and bought Bojan for more or less same amount this season…Also Real Madrid wanted Guardado bad this season coz of his excellent performance for my team in my second season in charge. So I decided to Cash in on him by selling him for 50 milJ. I bought Stevan Jovetic for around 15 odd millions as Guardado’s replacement. I have also bought Johnny Heitinga as the replacement to the tired legs of Ferdinand. To replace Gary Neville, I trained Johnny Evans to play as right defender and he has become a really good right back for me now.

 Also I am training Mamadou Sakho to be the long term replacement for Evra, I dunno why I usually feel the charm of a player ends when he reaches 29/30. So I prefer buying young players to replace the old ones once the senior players start nearing 30.

 I am trying to sell Evra now but there seem to be no takers already for the 29 year old. Also i wanted to buy Fabregas as the centre midfield man for my team, but could not as Arsenal are unwilling to sell him even for 85 Mil. Will try and buy him again for 90/95 mil.

 Also I bought this really promising  young South American AM/FC from Villareal for 10/12 Mil called Roquero. He is good at free kicks and has already scored some really good goals for my team. Also had bought Bojan at the beginning of the season. So now I have got some really good forwards, like Rooney, Bojan, Alex Texieria, Roquero and Tevez. So I am trying to sell Tevez for around 60 mil. So that I have sufficient funds to buy both Fabregas and Pato (remember that I already have around 75 mil as of now). 

 I have already reached the January transfer window and am re-inforcing players for next season. I have already signed the brazilian attacking midfielder from Bremen, Ribas Diego on a free transfer. Also trying to rake in Rosina from Italy on a free transfer, but AC milan, Inter, Roma and Chelsea are interested in the player and have bid for a transfer in January window itself. So I also have bid 20 mil for the player and offered him a great 135,000 pounds a week salary so that he cannot reject joining my team. Then when the transfer is supposed to go through, I will keep delaying it again and again till the end of the transfer window. And when the window closes I will offer him a much lower salary and effectively sign him on a free transfer for the next season. This is a very effective strategy i have been using and works like a charm… 🙂

 Also better way is to keep delaying the transfer till end of season and once the player is out of contract he will join for a much lesser amount. Had once used this technique to sign Robinho when managing Barcelona. When I wanted to offer him a contract in the January transfer window, he wanted a very high salary, somewhere in the range of 125,000 pounds etc. So i kept delaying the transfer and once cancelled, used to offer him a new contract again only to delay it further. This way I pushed the transfer till the end of the season. Then when he was out of contract from Manchester City, I offered him a contract and guess how much he wanted to join my team? Just 55,000 pounds a week compared to almost 2 and half times he demanded earlier 🙂

 I am also on the look out to sign the young Russian Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev on a free transfer at the end of the season so that he joins me in the January of next season. Lot of good English players will also be out of contract and I plan to snap them up on free.

 Another great way to build up a great youth team without spending much money is to search at the end of each season for youngsters who are out of contract. For e.g. I search for players who are 16 yrs old and sort them by clubs. Then i see players from large clubs like Barcelona, Athletic Madrid, AC Milan, and Real Madrid etc… All clubs from top European leagues are worth a try. Offer contract to each of these top club players and your assistant manager will let you know if the player would be a quality/good/Decent/last resort signing. When starting a new youth club, I always sign all that are decent and above. Once I have a established youth system in place, i offer contracts to only players who would turn out to be good/quality players. This wont cost you a single penny and you can build up a great youth squads. Based on training and potential some of these youngsters can eventually turn into good first team players and if nothing will definitely rake in good transfer revenue for your team.

 I have won the super cup and the club world championship this season already and am well on track to win the championship, Champions League, League cup and FA cup tooJ

 I recently bought a Bosnian player, a defender for around 2.5 mil. He didn’t get a work permit, but has still been added to my club. I don’t know how I can re-apply work permit for him and I cannot even play him in competitive matches. Don’t know what to do. If anyone has faced such a situation and knows how to get rid of such a player or how to get a work permit for the same, let me know.

 I will soon post more about the tactics I use and the details about my team and how to optimize the tactics for effective match play once I’ve figured out how to upload the prt screens from the game here on wordpress.comJ

 

Till then keep looking at the space for more FM 2009 updatesJ

 

EPL is in a state of Turmoil, but not so for Liverpool!

Well well well, It was a weekend that might prove to be the most crucial one in the race to the championship. Both Man United and Chelsea lost their respective fixtures and Liverpool thrashed Villa to take the second spot with just 1 point separating them from Manchester United.

Though Man U have a game in hand, the momentum is surely not with the Red Devils as they have lost their last 2 matches and have had 3 players sent off in them. That doesn’t sound like Man U now does it? It sound more like a championship struggler like West Brom or Stoke or even Hull City at the moment.

Liverpool are on a roll right now scoring 13 goals in their last 3 fixtures and conceding just 1. It did not look like a match between a 2nd placed and a 5th placed side. More like a top Premier league side versus a League 2 struggling team. Liverpool were scoring for Fun and the Villa defence looked as clueless as it could be to the likes of Riera, Gerrard and Torres.

Liverpool went into the match knowing they had a chance to bridge a lot of gap as they knew that both Chelsea and Manchester United had lost their matches on saturday.

This weekend would proove crucial to the race for the championship. And if Liverpool eventually win the title (I still think they wont win though), they might look at this weekend and think these last 2 weekends were the weekend that led them towards the title more than any.

Man United have some catching up to do in terms of Momentum and the fact that they would have an extra match in the form of the FA cup semi final might come as a good news to Liverpool, who would then pray for the Merseyside rivals to dent the Red Devil’s morale further.

Arsenal also almost had another scare but did eventually do enough to claim the 4th spot and are now 3 points clear of Aston Villa.

All in all, the EPL is going crazy if you’d ask me and i think we would be in store for a very exciting finish to the season:)

Champions League Quarter Final draws are out!!!

Arsenal and Manchester United were handed relatively easy ties against Villareal and Porto while Liverpool face off Chelsea and Barcelona go against German giants Bayern Munich.

Below is a table depicting the dates and the home and away teams from the UEFA website:

UEFA Champions League quarter-finals
1st leg: 07/08 April; 2nd leg: 14/15 April 
1 Villarreal CF (ESP) v Arsenal FC (ENG)
2 Manchester United FC (ENG, holders) v FC Porto (POR)
3 Liverpool FC (ENG) v Chelsea FC (ENG)
4 FC Barcelona (ESP) v FC Bayern München (GER)

One sad news for the English teams is that either Chelseas or Liverpool will not reach the Semi’s yet again. Last time Chelsea pipped Liverpool out in the Semi’s, but on the current form doesnt look like that would be easy this time. Man United in my view have got the easiest opponents of the lot. They really should not face much difficulty going through to the Semi finals.

Also Arsenal seem to have got another of the easy opponents. I would expect them too to go through to the Semi’s. The sad thing for Arsenal is that even though they get through to the Semi’s they might end up facing current Champions Manchester United and ther challenge might be put to an end at the hands of their English rivals.

In form Barcelona will face another in form team in Bayern Munich. The winner of this fixture will either meet Liverpool or Chelsea in the other Semi Final as depicted in the table below.

UEFA Champions League semi-finals
1st leg: 28/29 April; 2nd leg: 5/6 May 
1 Winner quarter-final 2 v Winner quarter-final 1
2 Winner quarter-final 4 v Winner quarter-final 3

Great fixtures over all. Should be interesting to see some great football…

Things seem to be looking bright for Arsenal…Finally!!!

Arsenal on the rise again?

Arsenal on the rise again?

Arsenal defeated Hull city 2-1 yesterday night to go through to the FA cup semi final. Before that they defeated Blackburn comprehensively to regain the coveted 4th place and qualification for the Champions League. Also just a few days earlier they defeated FC Roma on penalties in the knock out stages of the Champions league to qualify for the quarter finals of the Champions League.

Thus as of now all seems well placed for Arsenal. If only the EPL season ended today I would be glad. I don’t trust Aston Villa (they might topple us from the 4th place)  and more importantly I dont trust Arsenal (the inconsistent performances over the last 2 years are to blame). With EPL and the pressure to qualify for the Champions League out we could concentrate on the FA cup and Champions league and try and get some silverware at the club after a long time.

Things are bright as of now for sure but the road ahead is not as rosy. We face Chelsea in the FA cup Semi finals and some very tough teams are lined up in the Champions league quarter finals draw.

I strongly believe that Arsenal will reach the Semi-finals of the Champions League, more so if we get Porto or Villareal in the Quarters, Even Bayern we might handle. But if we face any other English club or Barcelona, then we are doomed for sure.

Even the Premier league fixtures are gonna get tougher as the season comes to a close.

Date Team   Team home/away
21st March 2009
Newcastle
vs Arsenal away
4th April 2009 Arsenal vs Man City home 
11th April 2009 Wigan vs Arsenal away
26th April 2009 Arsenal vs Middlesbrough  home 
2nd May 2009 Portsmouth  vs Arsenal away
9th May 2009 Arsenal vs Chelsea  home 
16th May 2009 Manchester United  vs Arsenal away
24th May 2009 Arsenal vs Stoke City  home 
to be scheduled Liverpool vs Arsenal away

As you can see, Arsenal has to face 3 of the top 4 teams in the last 9 fixtures pending. So each match is gonna be a tough ask on the Gunners. I think the Gunners can maximum take 4 points out of those 3 fixtures. Which leaves very little scope to drop any more points in the other 6 fixtures.  

 Stoke, Middlesborough, Wigan and Newcastle are the fixtures that i think we will get the maximum points from. The Portsmouth & Man City fixtures would be tricky ones and i see us struggling to win.

Lets hope Aston Villa’s champions league hopes are deflated when our rivals Liverpool and Manchester United take lead from one of our other rivals Tottenham and beat Aston Villa. That would not only deflate their hopes of the champions league place, but also the morale of the team-mates who already look jaded and drained out from a long hard season. Aston villa have a small squad and the results of not rotation are showing with a decline in form for players like Agbonlahor and Young who were at the peak of their forms at the begining of the season.

All in all I think the 4th place finish will go down to the wire and Arsenal will just nip fellow contendors Villa and Everton to qualify for Champions league 2009-10.

The Phenomenon that is BARCELONA

The team that Europe is scared of at the moment!!!

The team that Europe is scared of at the moment!!!

Barcelona sit 6 points clear at the top of the spanish league table and are comfortably through to the quarter finals of the Champions league. They are hot favourites to win this seasons European tournament.

The team has thrived under the leadership of Pep Guardiola. Guardiola took over the reins from Rijkaard in the summer and re-organised the squad to create one of the most beautiful attacking team in Europe. Only Manchester United might come close to Barcelona in the amount of Matches won and goals scored and conceded and more prolifically for the amount of dominance in the league.

Guardiola spent around 90 Million to rebuild the squads buying the likes of Daniel Alves, Seydou Keita, Caceres, Pique, Hleb etc…

Barca play the 4-3-3 formation and they play it without any disguise as done by the likes of Chelsea who indeed play 4-3-2-1. the front 3 of Barca are out and out forwards and can in no way be classified as wingers. Eto leads the front 3 through the centre. Bojan is used in rotation or as a substitute and is definitely capable of reaching the high standards as set by the front 3 playing for Barca.

The Barca trinity: - Attack any defense would be terrorised of

The Barca trinity: - Attack any defense would be terrorised of

In the midfield Barca either play the young but highly promising Sergio Busquets, or Yaya Toure or Seydou Keita in the holding Midfield position. Then they have the ever dependable Xavi and highly creative Iniesta leading the midfield in attacking positions. Hleb and Gudjohnson are also available as options to the coach.

Iniesta & Xavi: - The creativity behind the team

Iniesta & Xavi: - The creativity behind the team

2 dependable centre backs

2 dependable centre backs

 Puyol and Marquez are the centre halfs where Pique or Caceres or Gabriel Milito also play under rotation. Daniel Alves has been a revelation and he and Messi create a hovoc down the right hand side. On the left the french duo of Abidal and Henry are no less and Henry especially seems to be finding his form and is as lethal as Eto or Messi if not more.
2 explosive full backs

2 explosive full backs

The defense has seen many a rotations and thats the only thing where Pep Guardiola havent been able to find his best 4 which has led to a lot of goals being conceded by Barcelona.

Going forward the team has scored a phenomenal 76 goals in 26 matches averaging almost 3 goals a game. they have conceded 24 in the league too, which at 1 goal a match for a team like Barcelona is a bit of a worry. The fact that they score so many up front almost always overshadows the fact that they leak quite a few at the back.

the front 3 alone have scored almost 55 goals in the league alone this season and there are still 12 matches to go. which goes to show the sheer terror they might be causing to the opposition defenders. Henry as i mentioned earlier is finding his groove as at Arsenal and Messi is turning into the Best player in the world that everyone debates he is. And although Eto is scoring goals for fun in the Spanish league, question remains open about his future at the camp nou.

The success should also be attributed to the abundance of talented home grown players Barca has been able to produce. With the likes of Puyol, Xavi, Victor Valdes, Iniesta, Messi, Bojan all coming through the ranks from the Barcelona youth setup one can just imagine how much talent the youth setup at Barca has been able to produce over the years. 

The academy at Barcelona has been able to produce stars over the years

The academy at Barcelona has been able to produce stars over the years

There is also the right mix of youth and old at the club. The clubs have experienced players like Puyol, Henry, Marquez, Xavi, Abidal, Valdes and Sylvinho and at the same time budding stars in the form of Messi, Bojan, Pique, Caceres, Busquets.

young players en route to develop into stars at Barca

Young players en route to develop into stars at Barca

With the guidance of Puyol and Xavi, surely we can imagine Pique & Busquets to be the next big names at Barca.

Surely a superstar in the making!!Another Raul Gonzalez for Spain?

Surely a superstar in the making!!Another Raul Gonzalez for Spain?

And Bojan has been a revelation since a very young age. He has been a breeze of fresh air when the old legs look tired. He has lot to learn and I am sure with the right guidance from Henry and Eto he will be one of the best players in the world in the years to come. Then there are other youngsters like Caceres and Sanchez who have shown potential and with time will surely earn a place in the starting 11. Messi though young is a star as it is now and could only bring more fame and awards to the club.

With the current future in the hands of dependable stars like Puyol, Valdes, Henry, Eto, Xavi , Iniesta and of course Messi and the future in the hands of promising youngsters like Pique, Busquets and Bojan it is all but certain that the club is in the right hands and going in the right direction.
All that remains to be seen is how well the team fares this season and how they take it from there. As of now the treble is on for Barca and my money is for them to at leats win 2 of the 3 competions they are competing in. Who knows they may win all 3 too. Real Madrid sure has some catching up to do. If i was the president of Madrid, I’d be lining up bids for the likes of Vidic, Villa, Ronaldo and the likes to be anywhere close to where Barca are right now.
Watch out Madrid and Europe the Barca juggernaut is not to be stopped anytime soon…

Vidic & co. let the devils down

It was a sorry scoreline and a sorry performance for Manchester United against Liverpool. I mean this is a team that might have had the most 1-0 victories of the last two seasons. And after scoring the first goal off a Ronaldo penalty I was sure they’d seal the match off even if they didnt score another goal. How wrong was i gonna be…

Coz Liverpool did manage to bring things even through a superb Torres goal. He is one of those players you want to hate as they are not in the team you support but cant help like cause of the sheer quality they show on the field.

The ball was cleared under pressure from the Liverpool defense and Vidic who should’ve cleared the ball at the first chance he got, mistimed the header and let torres in on a one on one with Van der sar who could do much to the aptly put ball in the corner of the Man United goal.

Torres gets away from a struggling Vidic to score Kop's first goal
Torres gets away from a struggling Vidic to score Kop’s first goal

Next it was Evra’s turn to let his team down. He slid in with a tackle which saw none of the ball but instead some of Gerrard’s leg. Down went Gerrard and the referee pointed out to the spot. Gerrard misses quite rarely from the spot and sure was not gonna miss one in a match of this magnitude.

Evra brings down Gerrard to give Liverpool a penalty and a 1-2 lead
Evra brings down Gerrard to give Liverpool a penalty and a 1-2 lead
Gerrard's joy knows no bounds as he kisses the Camera!!!

Gerrard's joy knows no bounds as he kisses the Camera!!!

Next Vidic is the culprit again. As he brings Torres down just outside the box to not just be sent off but also allow Fabio Aurelio to place a perfectly taken free kick to give Liverpool the 3-1 lead and an extra person’s advantage.

Aurelio slots in the perfect free kick after Vidic is sent off
Aurelio slots in the perfect free kick after Vidic is sent off

Finally Dossena scored his second late goal in so many games for Liverpool to finish the match off at an incredible 1-4 scoreline after Ferdinand’s faliure to clear the ball. Dossena’s finishing is much better than Bendtnar and he’s just a left back.

Manchester united supporters leave the ground as liverpool take a 4-1 lead
Manchester united supporters leave the ground as liverpool take a 4-1 lead

Vidic has arguably been the best player for United this season and he didnt look half that player in this game. He was completely overshadowed by Torres in this match and looked a little scared of the striker to be frank.

That goes for the whole of United back four. The United defense has been the best in the whole of Barclays Premier League this season. But they never turned up in this match. Maybe they were tired with the sheer number of matches that they’ve had to play in the last couple of weeks. Maybe the mind games that Gerrard, Torres, Rafa and co. were playing got to them. Or maybe this was one of those off days that every person has once in a while. Now that the damage is done, i hope its the latter. Lets hope it was a one off day that the United defense had and that they will bounce off well next week against Fulham.

I have a strong feeling that the team will bounce back after receiving the hairdryer treatment from Sir Alex Ferguson. Fulham will be the poor team that bears the brunt.

 Buck up Manchester United…Falling is no evil, falling and not standing up sure is:)