“Exciting times ahead” were the headlines following my pre-season press conferences with the worlds media. And boy did I mean it. With the awesome young talented players that Guido had managed to secure, coupled with the experienced Premier League winners we decided to keep from the previous season I was really looking forward to battling on multiple fronts. And battle we would.
The board were expecting me to challenge at the top for the Premier League title & guarantee Champions League football next season. In the Champions League they expected me to get the club through the league stages & into the knock out rounds after Christmas.
First Half Performance
I wanted to play with my 2 wide players in the AM positions rather than the WM pitch position but as you can see it was a bit hit and miss with the results I got. It appeared far too easy for the opposition to go out wide and back in when passing the ball, as the IF’s were getting back quickly enough. I decided to shore up and go back to the 4-4-1-1 which had served me so well in Season 1. This instantly brought me better results as you can see from the schedule, conceding only 8 goals in the next 16 fixtures. Although not scoring many goals, we were so tight at the back that it propelled us back up the table by the end of December. sasas
Great November – young players steal the show
Champions League – Group Stages
Being our inaugural Champions League season, I was focusing on having a good run in this competition so tended to rest the big players for these games and qualified easily from a moderately difficult group.
I rested the big names for these games and went out quickly but not disappointingly.
In Season Transfer Signings
At the halfway mark, it was clear that we only had modest work to do in the transfer department. Since our goalkeeper Álex Remiro wanted to leave for a bigger club at much higher wages, we let him go. Naturally, I had compiled a healthy shadow list of potential replacements. I made sure we got more money for Remiro than his replacement would cost.
Despite not being the tallest of goalkeepers – standing at just 1.87 meters, the 21-year-old Cameroonian more than makes up for his lack of stature with his impressive feats of agility and reflexes.
He is also a quick thinker. Reading the game is a key attribute for any top goalkeeper and generally takes two forms – the ability to read the play and be able to judge when it is necessary to come off your line and help your defence in defusing an attack before it becomes a threat to your goal or by fielding a cross in open play or from a set piece. Certainly, Onana’s ability to come off his line and defuse would-be attacking situations before they develop is beyond doubt.
The second new signing is a young forward to help our lone forward out. We paid Hamburg over 12 million to sign Fiete Arp, one of Europe’s most coveted young forwards.
A big-bodied guy, he’s combative and fights to wrest control of the ball off markers. He also works hard to apply pressure to opponents, forcing errors or shanked clearances. Once he has the ball, it’s difficult to get it off him; he’s a back-to-goal striker who can put his body between you and the ball. Team-mates feel safe playing it into him—even in tight spaces against deep-set defences—as they feel confident he can create from that position or at least deliver it back.
The way he moves the ball out of his feet quickly in order to use it seriously impresses. Technically sound, his touch is good under pressure; he rarely gets the ball stuck under his feet. Shifting it out quickly, he’s often able to make room for a shot or a clever pass into a runner’s path.
An alert, heads-up player, Arp’s first-time passes and clever flicks can make the difference—particularly against those who opt to reduce space between the lines and defend deep. Many big strikers suffer from tunnel vision, rendering them capable only of playing the way they face, but Arp’s aware of what’s going on around him at all times.
Second Half Performance
Despite the unfortunate end to the season (when I was experimenting a little with tactics and resting key players for the Champions League), the second half of the season went well. I had the league pretty much wrapped by the end of the March.
With the squad rotation going well, I was able to focus on the key players being rested and available for these games. I just got through against Barcelona and then comfortably beat Liverpool to win the tournament first time round.
It was good to get relatively easy ties for the first few rounds, and then bring out the big guns for the latter rounds & gain another trophy.
Quadruped – 4 legged success
Wow, what a season! The quadruple achieved in only our second season under new leadership. With a new wave of youngsters in our squad, we had again beaten all the odds not only to retain our Premier League title but also become the Champions of Europe.
Our success was very much down to our strength and stability at the back. We held onto the ball well with our pass completion and possession leading to high chance creation. Although we weren’t as ruthless in front of goal as I’d like (something to look at for next season) our goal difference was one of the best. Set pieces were again
Financially, the club has undergone a massive growth over the past few seasons. Each season, we have spent the resources we had wisely, investing in young and relatively cheap players but selling our prize assets for incredibly inflated fees.
Likewise, we have kept a tight leash on the wages. When your team’s reputation rises, the wage demands can go through the roof. We have opted for the unpopular but financially sound approach of selling off assets who demanded excessive (200% or more) wage rises, instead replacing them with equally talented players with lower wage demands, thus maintaining a healthy financial balance.
Wage to turnover report
Currently undergoing stadium expansion to take capacity up to 30,000, and the board are searching for a new site with an initial capacity of 37,000 as they don’t own the stadium. Hopefully this will improve the corporate facilities which are average.
Massive investment has taken place in the training grounds now rated as excellent and state of the art with the youth facilities rated equally as high. This is part of the commitment the new DOF and manager made to becoming an elite club across Europe, attracting top coaches and players alike.
Still only rated average and adequate – I am trying to increase these areas at any opportunity by getting the board to invest so we can start attracting and developing players at a younger age into our academy.
The following file consists of these files:
Corner Routines – Use Left footer on RH corners & vice versa. Best headers on back & front post. Score regularly from this tactic.
Throw In Routine – although a long throw tactic they sometimes throw short & then cross goes straight to players in the box to score. Train LB & RB’s to take throws on their wings.
This is the last article of the Terrier Spirit story as to be honest it was too easy to dominate the game going forward after our quicker than planned domination of the game. I went through another season with the Terriers winning everything especially as Guido brought in some more great wonderkids.
Look out for my next chapter of my management story as I leave the comfort of my swanky Premier League office & swap it for a more challenging new venture.