Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Squad revolution I did not want

Blog post #845

Hello dear blog readers,

Hot summer transfer campaign is over for AZ. All of sudden lots of squad changes were made. I was intending to save a squad skeleton and build upon it but key defenders Mitchell Dijks and Wesley van der Vall rocked me with requests to move to bigger clubs. There was no chance to hold them in AZ…

Players out

Out[5]

 

Good thing I got $10M for van der Vall who became AZ fans’ player of the last season. It was excellent piece of business bringing AZ balance to positive value of around $11M.

What I also like about sold players is that I managed to get rid of Ivan Bozovic, the most useful guy in the squad. He cost $3.4M but $2M is still very nice price for such a poor player.

I received transfer requests from Dijks and van der Vall in August when I thought the transfer campaign had been over. It was right before the second fixture of Eredivisie. So I had to react fast and find some replacements as soon as possible…

Players in

Here are new AZ players. My hope to increase class of the whole team.

In

1. Marcos Guilherme – AMC (Free)

Guilherme[5]

A gem player for AZ from free transfer market! Guilherme’s brilliant passing skills make me thinking of using him as a new advanced playmaker. Also I want to entrust him with free kick taking.

Guilherme has my favourite personality type which is pretty rare in the football world.

Personality

2. Taofeek Chukwuma – SC (3.2M)

Tao[5]

Nigerian forward will compete with Diego Rubio to become a main AZ striker. From the first sight Chukwuma looks stronger by attributes. Nevertheless Rubio excels him in speed and dribbling, so it’s not that simple case as one could think.

Surely I should single out great Determination and triple of key strikers attributes: Finishing + Composure + Anticipation.

3. Rafa (AMC, MC) – Free

Rafa

Experienced Rafa should definitely increase our attacking force. His skills hint me about Trequartista role as the most suitable one. Rafa is very balanced attacking player who can make good passes, move into channels, dribble and score goals.

I hope he’ll become one of key players.

4. Willy Boly (DC) – Free

Boly

I signed Boly before Dijks rocked me with transfer request. So it was an attempt to improve centre of defence with experienced player. Boly seems to be right centre back to player with Cover duty due to good levels of Acceleration, Pace, Anticipation.

5. Prince Ngcobo (DC, DL, DR) – Free

Prince

Prince Ngcobo was as replacement for Dijks. Actually he has better defensive attributes than Wily Boly. But please take a look at his Pace and Acceleration. Yes, that is his weakness, real weakness. So I should be super-careful during squad selection against teams with fast strikers. It’s better to use Boly in such cases.

Ngcobo can also play as DL and DR what gives me some squad fluency of course.

6. Henry Amuneke (DMC, MC, DC) – Free

Amuneke

Powerful regista – this is what I was seeking. A man who will win headers in the DMC line and be able to pass the ball to more advanced midfielders. Henry Amuneke possesses two feet and looks very promising.

7. Dustin Groen (DL, DR) – Free

Dustin Groen

Dustin Groen came instead of van der Vall. He is not that fast and can’t cross balls so fine as his predecessor. As for the other attributes, Groen is not worse than van der Vall.

8. Niels Witschge (DC, DR, DMC, MC) – $52K

Witschge

Young talented Niels Witschge is more player for substitution bench. Though his high mental skills and pretty good defensive abilities promise he can fight to get into the first eleven.

9. Joaozinho (DMC, MC) – Loaned from Atletico Mineiro

Jo

Another DMC player to play in Regista role. Joaozinho differs quite much from Amuneke overcoming him technically but loosing in ability to win headers, Decisions, Anticipation. I loaned him to receive some fluency with the squad.

10. Marvin Stefaniak (AMC, ST) – Free

Stefaniak

Good old Stefaniak from Dynamo Dresden! He has been in my former club since the very first season. It was difficult not to pick up him from free transfer market.

Stefaniak is good in ball dribbling and can act as Trequartista at AMC and SC positions.

11. Yassine Wielinga (DL) – Free

Wielinga

Dutch left back. He’ll try to compete with Dustin Groen for the position freed by van der Vall.

Very ambitious season expecations

Expectations

I claimed Champions League qualification target for my AZ. Well it’s pretty risky because club board can sack me in case of unsuccessful season start.

This is how media prediction was presented before transfers. Now I think my club has the 4th squad in the league actually.

Eredivise predictions

Season 9 got already started and next time I will be ready to post the first results. So stay tuned!

Excited to blog for you,

Vitaliy Mokosiy

Author: Vitaliy

Playing Football Manager since 1996. Blogging about it since 2007.