We asked Edward Bomb to write about his experiences in Football Manager as part of an addition to our analysis, with the only stipulation being that he managed somewhere in Italy. He settled on U.S Lecce. Welcome to Part Two of his story.
With a tactical plan in place it was time to take a look at both the playing and non playing staff. I try not to make too many changes when I first take over a club, giving the people already here a chance to prove themselves but sometimes you have to make changes.
The first order of business was to shed a few of our physios, we had five but the board wanted me to cut this number down to two. Thankfully it was a pretty easy task, most of them were absolutely terrible. Three of them were shown the door, including the head physio, with one of the two remaining being promoted to that post.
Next I needed a new chief scout, the incumbent was not up to the job and was sent packing. In his place Patrik Andersson arrived.
He has decent Judging Player Ability (JPA) and good Judging Player Potential (JPP) stats and perhaps more importantly he has a decent knowledge of Scandinavia, which in my opinion is a goldmine for relatively inexpensive young talent. We can’t scout there yet but when we can that knowledge will be invaluable and hopefully he’ll unearth a few gems for us.
I also signed Bruno Toralbi as a general scout due to his high adaptability, for the time being though he’ll be looking for young talent in Italy.
Now seems like a good time to have a quick word about how I set up my scouting network. I like to have scouts in all the major European countries and I like those scouts to be from that country if possible. At this moment in time we can only scout central Europe and I can’t afford enough scouts for each country yet, so one of the team is covering the whole area. I also have a domestic scout, next opposition and a domestic youth scout.
As our network improves I will start looking further afield starting with what I consider the most important regions/countries. At first it will start with regions but then that will end up being broken up into countries. The regions in order of importance are:
- South America
- Central Europe
- Eastern Europe
- South Europe
- UK & Ireland
I’ve ranked them by the likelihood of finding affordable talent as I won’t have much money to spend for a while.
The next order of business was to sort out who would be my assistant manager. The guy already at the club was woeful and had to go, here’s who replaced him.
He has everything I need from my assistant. Very good JPA and JPP. His Motivating, Level of Discipline and Determination stats are also all very good, as is his Working with Youngsters. The fact that he has a high tactical knowledge means that I might actually listen to some of the tactical advice he gives me.
That was all I did in terms of backroom changes and while we’re looking at the coaching staff we may as well take a look at my attributes.
Not too shabby, as you can see I went with the recommendations based on the club. I’d usually start much lower than this, so it was a nice change to have some ability straight away.
With a new assistant in place and the scouts all out on assignments it was time to bring in some players. I let the existing group play in the first few friendly games to see what everyone was about. We have some good players at the club but we had far too many on loan who just didn’t cut the mustard, they were all sent back to their parent clubs.
At this point I was desperately in need of some new blood and seeing as it would be a while until I got some detailed scouting reports (I play with attribute masking on) it was time to bring some trialists in. I find that bringing players in on trial gives you a chance to look at how they fit into my system and more importantly check out their attributes more quickly than waiting for the scouts to fully check them out.
I set up a filter for players 32 or under who were out of contract within my scouting region and any that caught my eye where invited to come on trial until the end of pre-season. It’s a bit of a scattergun approach to player recruitment but it works well at smaller clubs with little or no money to spend. In addition to this I had my scouts checking out younger players who were listed for loan.
Ricardo Colombo is a solid full back. He has decent pace and his crossing is good. As I mentioned in my first post, the right-back is key to this system, he’ll provide the width on the right wing and fire crosses into the box for the inside forward to attack at the back post.
Alessandro Del Piero needs no introduction, he’s an Italian legend. I felt that us getting him was a bit of a coup but I may have made a bit of an error here. I didn’t notice his retirement date, 12/10/15 as I got too excited about signing him. Hopefully I can change his mind and keep him on until the end of the season.
Matthias Lepillier has some excellent technical and mental attributes, he is a bit slow however. I can see him doing some real damage in our division. He can also fill in across the attacking midfield positions, which I find important when you have a small squad.
Luis Sacilotto will provide cover in midfield. He’s not exceptional but I’m sure he can do a job for us this season.
Mattia Tellan is not much to look at but he performed well in pre-season and he has a fair bit of potential. I doubt he will see much game time this season but we need to have a minimum of five players aged under 21 registered in our squad to meet league requirements and he’ll help with that.
The final two players brought in were on loan, both of them are young players with potential to grow and if they play well I may try and snap them up permanently.
Rodrigo Alborno will provide backup at left-back, he’s not quite as good as the left-back that we have but he’ll be adequate as cover.
Roberto Gagliardini might be the best signing of this transfer window. He has good attributes all round, the potential to improve and he can play in a number of positions, which as I mentioned earlier is important to me.
At long last we can finally get down to some football. So how did we get on in pre-season?
The results were encouraging, even if they were against smaller sides than ourselves. The players seemed to be settling into the formation, the tactical familiarity is nowhere near fluid, in fact I don’t expect it to be at a competent level before Christmas.
My aims for the season? Well, I’ll be disappointed if we don’t get promoted, we have the best team in the league (on paper) and the media have predicted us to finish top. As long as nothing untoward happens we should be able to achieve that.
If you have any questions on Edward’s scouting strategy, transfer policy or tactical approach let him know in the comments below. Stay tuned for part three.