Thursday, 23 October 2008

Southampton - Without Euro Cups...

There is a resolution of the previous post about Champions League - my last match in the 6th round of group stage. The result is absolutely disappointing - I couldn't imagine worse Crying

Unconcentration by Southampton, FM2008

Match stats with Napoli, Football Manage 2008

Italian champion Napoli was at our hands from the 1st to 70th minute of the match. And the beginning was really hopeful! My guys managed to create efficient combination that ended with the goal of Nicolae Mitea just right after kick-off . We controlled situation on the pitch for 70 minutes missing several goal chances. But afterwards Napoli did enclose my players on our half of pitch and managed to score twice Sad. It was a lack of concentration and class from our side...

As a result The Saints haven't even got to UEFA cup because of Lyon's advantage on the private matches with them. Sooooo pitttty.....

Very pity group table in FM08

Nevertheless I should concentrate on getting Premier League title and winning FA Cup and League Cup.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Champions League battle of Southampton in FM2008

Today is the Champions League day in the real life. Less than 1 hour left till CL match between Porto and Dynamo Kiev that I'm going to watch.

So I decided to write quite uncommon post that includes information only about the current situation of my Southampton in this tournament. As you remember it was told in the previous that the CL draw had been really tough creating "Group of Death" with Valencia, Lyon, Napoli and Southampton.

There are the results of the matches of previous 5 rounds:

FM2008, Southampton in Champions League

FM 2008, Southampton in Champions League

The first two games were described in the previous post in which I was shocked by the strength of Valencia at the starting round. But the home game was totally different. There were amazing finishing and combinations from my guys - especially Jelle Vossen. He is real first touch killer!!! Star

 Great victory against Valencia in FM08

Match statistics with Valencia in FM2008

Though Valencia has perfect squad (9 players with WorldWide reputation!) and therefore they had enough moment to score three times at least (look at the match stats). But my goalie Rune Jarstein made one of the best games in his career providing several saves that helped Southampton to be on the top  of the group table!

I have already played 5 matches and look at the group table, FM2008

Looks crazy, isn't it? Open-mouthed

Any team can finish on any position. Though The Saints have the highest chances due to the best goal difference.

Lets count our chances:

- in case of away victory over Napoli: 1st position

- draw with Napoli: 1st or 2nd position depending on the result of Valencia - Lyon

- loss to Napoli: 3rd or 4th position depending on the result of Valencia - Lyon

How do you think? What position will we get after the match with Italian Champion?

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Start of the season #7 with Southampton in Football Manager 2008

FM08 matches of Southampton

My last season in Football Manager 2008 has started very brightly for the team I manage. My Southampton began to win scoring 3-4 goals per every match (the 4 first matches in the schedule above). Then there was very difficult face-off with our arch rival - Portsmouth. It was even game which result was decided by higher reliability of defence of the opponent. They missed only once, we - twice.

After the first loss my guys managed not to miss goals with Newcastle having very confident 3:0 on a scoreboard. This was the only match of all the reported without missed goals... This is the real problem if I compete for the main trophies, I think. Thinking

Meantime there was Champions League debut of Southampton against Spanish vice-champion Valencia. The game was really stunning.  I don't remember when my team was so weak and helpless... Look at the shots during this match:

FM08 with Valencia 

The main reason of this pity statistics is that Valencia consists of the brilliant players like Silva, Villa, Montolivo, Mascherano, Chiellini. Sigh I don't have any player in Southampton that costs more that $20M. They have even 10 players with price greater than $20M.  As a conclusion I can say that even English grand-clubs are not so cool by their squad as Valencia.

The second Champions League game against Napoli was very successful. We enclosed Italian champion Cool on their half of pitch. 4 goals were created by my winger forwards Nicolae Mitea and Ismael Bangoura. They are actually the best players of the all aforementioned matches.

League table of my group in CL:

FM2008 Champions League, Group of Southampton

You see I have real "Group of Death"! Lyon is the French champion! Napoli - Italian champion! Valencia - Spanish vice-champion! Confused Though now Southampton is the first Big Grin. The battle between our four club in Group G will be very tough! I can get any position from 1th to 4th.

Ok, lets get back to my last Premier League matches. There had been 3 not easy victories over clubs from the bottom - Middlesbrough, Bolton and Birmingham after which The Saints were on the top of table standing (3 points ahead of Chelsea). But then I encountered quite complicated problems in the away face-offs with Liverpool and Man City. 8 goals were missed due to poor performance of my goalie Rune Jarstein and numerous mistakes by all players of my defence...  I have even started thinking that I should buy new more reliable goalkeeper... Thinking

The resulting Premier League table here for you:

FM2008 Premier League Table

The last two failures were in October but in August and September my guys gained 8 victories and only 1 loss. That is the reason why I was awarded English Premier Division Manager of the Month twice in row Happy.

FM08, I'm the best manager of the month :)

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Before the last season in Football Manager 2008...

Yes, I think soon it will be time to say goodbye to my Southampton game and Football Manager 2008 at all. Just because FM09 demo will come out in 2-3 weeks. So I have these weeks to play as much as possible in the last season with Southampton.

Ok, the expectations for this season are the highest! I set up 'Winning title' and got $50M for transfers for that. I hope to get success in Champions League as well getting at least to the quaterfinal of the tournament.

I set up 'Winning title' and got $50M for transfers for that

This time Media Prediction is really competitive - 5th position. This means that the FM engine considers the squad of Southampton being of high Premier League quality .

This time Media Prediction is really competitive - 5th position

Yep, after the previous unexpectedly successful season we have really tough squad that is able to solve any tasks Thumbs-up.  But anyway due to Champions League debut I decided to buy new players for the team. Otherwise, what do I need $50M for? Wink

Sold players

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There are few quite good guys among sold players like Kevin Mirallas, Ferrie Bodde, Damien Le Tallec, Federico Piovaccari. They were just ousted from the first squad and unhappy because of that. The only chance for them was leaving the club.

Bought players

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I have very interesting newcomers during this summer transfer window, I have to say. They will surely compete for the first squad places! I would like to describe the most interesting 5 of them.

Steven Defour

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Attacking midfielder with brilliant mental and technical abilities. Defour is the captain of national team of Belgium having 51 matches played in the past.  He should be substitution for our best assister that becoming older and older - Massimo Donati.

Stephen Ireland

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Stephen Ireland is well-known Premier League player in the real life. He is important part of Man City midfield. In FM08 Stephen is very smart attacking midfielder who can perform well both from right flank and centre. I want to single out his Creativity, Passing, First Touch and his preferred moves:  Tries Killer Balls, Plays Ones-Twos.

Dwight Tiendalli

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Unknown guy from Holland. Tiendalli has good skills for DR position (though very poor Crossing). He was bought to replace Diamoutene on the right flank of defence. Again due to age problem of the last one.

Xavi

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What I can say! Best Euro 2008 player enters Southampton from free transfer! Physical skills of Xavi are poor already because he is 33. But technical and mental attributes are still on the highest level. I believe Xavi can help the team much sharing his fantastic experience and performing his genies passes and long shots!

Genero Zeefuik

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Jelle Vossen will have very competitive partner in attack - Genero Zeefuik. He was described in my blog in this post: Youngsters and their development in Football Manager 2008. Part 2 - Strikers.  Brilliant, intelligent forward with flamboyant technics! But the place for forward in the first squad is only one. Who will be the best: Vossen or Zeefuik? We will see!

 

Among other aforementioned bought players I would also single out Aleandro Rosi from Roma and good old Polish goalkeeper - Artur Boruc. Both are intended to be used from substitution bench.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Southampton became Vice-Champion of Premier League

The second position in the Premiership is the great achievement for such club as Southampton. Especially, if you recollect that we were media predicted to become 12th.

The second position in the Premiership is the great achievement for such club as Southampton, FM 2008

The last three matches were all difficult and unpredictable Confused.

The last three matches were all difficult and unpredictable

My guys managed to gain the victory over Liverpool loosing 1:2 during the game. Thanks to hat-trick hero and our new star-forward - Jelle Vossen. Then there was the equal game with The Red Devils: we opened the score, Rooney made it equal and on the last minutes Massimo Donati could tear out victory but the ball after his average distance strike got at the post. In the last one with Aston Villa we got defeated having a lot more goal moments than opponent. Unfortunately. Though Southampton almost hadn't chances of getting the title and became the 2nd after The Red Devils as a result.

Frankly speaking, I'm proud of the result and going to set up new target for the next season - the title of Premier League! And, of course, I'm looking forward to the start of Southampton in the Champions League Cowboy

Some information about the players

On the finish of the season Southampton players had the following stats:

Player stats of Southampton 

The best forward of the team is Jelle Vossen - one of the best scorers in Premier League:

The best forward of the team is Jelle Vossen - one of the best scorers in Premier League, FM 2008

The best defender is Fazio who scored a lot of goals with his head during corners and freekicks. Perhaps he is the biggest surprise of the season for me as club manager!

And the best midfielder and MVP is Massimo Donati with the highest amount of assists in the Premiership:

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Previous posts of this glorious season:

- Premier League Champion Question
- Southampton is in the Top Four! Champions League dream is nearby...
- How to get to Champions League zone? I know the answer! :-)

- Premier League Season 2012/2013 - we are beginning! :)

- Transfers of Southampton before season 2012/2013

- Stadium upgrade, season expectations, media prediction, temptations of players...

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Premier League Champion Question

After the previous post I played 2 different matches. Both - away games. The first is against the grand club, the second - against the relegation team. Nevertheless both matches were won with 2:1 score:

Nevertheless both matches were won with 2:1 score, FM 2008 

Of course, we had some luck with Chelsea because they created a little bit more goal moments... Though my guys performed better finishing attacks. As a result Southampton won really hard away match as well as home one! Two victories over such great team allow to think of something more than Champions League place! Actually, we are going 3rd in the Premier League table:

Actually, we are going 3rd in the Premier League table, FM 2008

You see my Southampton have some chances to make impossible - gain the Premier League Title! Star

Liverpool and Man United have 3 points of lead at the moment. It doesn't seem to be impossible to catch up them because I have matches in the last fixture with both clubs:

Southampton

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Another good thing is that The Saints have the best goal difference in the Premier League! In case of points equality my team will be over opponents because of league sorting rules! Hot

On the other hand I, of course, understand that the schedule of my last three games in the championship is perceptibly tough. All the title competitors + Chelsea (they cannot become champions but can shift down me from 3rd position) have more easy clubs for the last matches. The other disadvantages I have - the injuries of the first squad players: Mamadou Sakho (DL) and Rune Jarstein (GK). The loss of the main keeper can be very bad for us...

Now I want you also to compare the schedules and make your own conclusions.

Liverpool

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It's good that they still compete for Champions League. It can help us making The Reds more tired...

Manchester United

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Hard to believe that Red Devils will loose points in their two home matches. But I can shift them down if I gain a victory in the 37th fixture of Premier League Smile

Chelsea

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Well, I do not afraid the guys of Roman Abramovich. Anyway the 4th position and Champions League place is guaranteed for my Southamtpon. This fact is already sensation of the season.

So how do you think? How will become the Champion of English Premier LeagueThinking