Sunday, 3 May 2015

Two FA Cup replays with different outcomes

Hello dear blog readers,

Today I have a special post because its number is 900 in True Football Manager blog history. I am proud to keep blogging and grateful for your inspiration that really helps!

Winter transfers

Crystal Palace players out:
And now I'd like to begin with winter transfer window results. As I mentioned last time, Odegaard went to PSG for his further career growth and better opportunities. Wilfried Zaha returned to his native club and started quite well taking into account his low match fitness level.

I had to sell 30 years old Christian Fuchs to Spartak Moscow. He asked for continental football and didn't agree to wait the end of the season. As a result prospective Nicola Murru occupied his left back position.

The sale of Dwight Gayle - just $160K with some future monthly instalments and appearance money barely reaching half of million. Anyway it's a relief for me because I got rid of player who was sabotaging team morale level in total. Wacky behavior. Though it's a shame I didn't manage to get a deal with him earlier.

Now about the newcomers. I actually have one with well-know name. He is the strongest MC in eyes of my assistant manager. Welcome to The Eagles Radja Nainggolan! He was suddenly transfer-listed by Roma with a large discount in price.

FA Cup replays and other matches

Nothing comes to mind when I try to recall similar experience of playing two FA Cup replays in a row. The first encounter was against Stoke with the following 3rd match in Premier League. It was a moment of pride since my team confirmed its class had been improved this season. 

Palace players in 4:1 win over Stoke:
Next 2-match battle against Manchester City didn't promise much, well you understand the difference in squad strengths was way perceptible. Nevertheless I was pretty lucky to have Man City selecting the second squad both times. That's why it was not so complicated to withstand pressure in the first match and I was thinking with hope and optimism about the replay game. But that turned into a day of Stevan Jovetic who was really dangerous and scored the hat-trick.

Crystal Palace players

8 players with average rating above 7.00. Sounds not bad but could be better. At the same time we can see there's a group of 6 players with ratings > 6.90 looking like definite candidates to join the first group. One of them is Ciro Immobile (6.96). He doesn't shoot for the stars in my team but performs in a quite stable way. Ciro doesn't possess high pace and can't dribble the ball well. His heading skills are also not the best. But Ciro scores. Put it another way he is a type of forwards like Gerd Muller who had been anticipating opportunities and just scoring most of his chances.

It's a pleasure to see our captain Ivelin Popov has the highest average rating now. That's how things should be I think. Ivelin has been getting good this season. Pay attention he's the best by key passes as well. That's just important if not more important.

As for Radja Nainggolan, he had an average start and needs some time to blend to the squad. 

By the way, here's current squad strength screen of The Eagles.

Before last 11 season fixtures

So there's no chance to win FA Cup anymore and I should keep focusing on getting to Top-6. "Sounds too ambitious", one could say. Well I see a real opportunity to achieve that following the schedule my Crystal Palace has. Surely there are some key matches which will decide regarding our final position in PL table:

  • Everton and Man City at home
  • Tottenham, Newcastle, Swansea away
Please take a look at the current table standing and analyze my chances.

Excited to blog for you,
Vitaliy Mokosiy

Author: Vitaliy

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