The first three seasons were always going to be about getting results and possible back to back promotions and then establishing ourselves as a Premiership side. The early years are all about laying the foundations for what I’m trying to achieve and while it might not look like much, over time you’ll see how important this time actually is. Not from just a player perspective either but throughout the whole club, this includes identifying players, buying players, developing players, getting the right kind of staff and so on. At times it can look like we aren’t making progress and not much seems to have changed but it has, as you’ll see once we end up with the desired style I am creating.
After promotion from League One we found ourself take to The Championship extremely well. We hit the ground running from the off and the league came down to a two-horse race between ourselves and Hull.
One of the reasons it went so well was due to the transfer window we had. I was able to attract quite a few very good players on free transfers, loans and by spending a tiny amount of money. The quality of players brought in though was the main reason we got promoted and it looked so easy.
As you can see there is some real quality there. Of all of those signings though Ian Davies, Kelechi Iheanacho and possibly Tyrone Mings are long time possibilities. Even though Kelechi is only a loan signing, he was one of the players I identified at the very start as a long-term prospect. By getting him on-loan, it means I can start shaping him how I want both in terms of player preferred moves and attribute development.
As you can see on the screenshot above, he has two of the player preferred moves that I mentioned in the long-term article I posted awhile back. On top of this, he’s had an excellent season and scored a fair amount of goals. I doubt I’ll be able to afford to buy him next season, so we will be exploring the loan option again and with a bit of luck, should be able to keep him here for another year.
Tyrone Mings above, was bought because he was far superior to my current left back options. Do I think he is a long-term option? I think he can be, for now at least. He’s probably not as attack minded as I’d have liked but there’s no reason he can’t work well with what we have in mind for the left hand side of the Invincible tactic. I guess, I see him more of a medium to long-term solution rather than an important player at the very end when we achieve what we want. He’s more ideal up until that point I’d say, which is still quite some time away.
In the last article I spoke about Ian Davies and how he might be able to fulfill the Vieira role eventually. His training is going well but he’s not developing how I’d like just yet.
He’s coming on leaps and bounds but his physical’s aren’t improving as fast as I’d like. Or maybe I’m just being impatient, after all it’s been less than a year since I’ve had him at the club. But due to this uncertainty I have, I’ve not began to teach him any player preferred moves just yet as there is no point if he can’t fulfill the role that’s required. By not teaching him PPM’s I might be able to use him elsewhere with some retraining maybe? Or just use him as a backup option. I’ll give it another year of development though to see how it goes.
That’s it on the transfer front really. I think things are about to get interesting though as a lot of clubs are circling around my team now and players have a lot of interest being shown in them, especially my front two. Both have been tracked by Swansea for quite some time, I even rejected bids earlier in the year for them. If the price is right now though I’d be willing to sell them as I could invest the money back into the side.
The new targets I have identified though deserve their own article rather than an updated post as we have quite a few interesting candidates.
The one surprising thing here is the amount of assists down the left. My full backs got the majority of them but Woolford who was the playmaker on the left got less than last season. Which maybe was expected seeing as he isn’t the greatest player ever. In real life he’s the biggest waste of space I’ve ever seen put on a Blades shirt. And when you consider the dross we’ve had over the years that’s some achievement! On Football Manager though, he is half decent. I think this is probably his level but I thought he’d be more involved than he is. Then it hit me, that I might actually know why?
Remember Tyrone Mings? Well he has the dribbles with the ball often PPM, which on face value of the stats looks like it could be detracting from his game. It would make sense. This is actually an oversight on my part and is a mistake. See I do make mistakes!
The player stats don’t actually tell us much else. But what about the team ones, do they match what we saw last season.
I score most goals between 15-30 minutes. Which isn’t a coincidence considering I watch the first fifteen minutes of goals and make any changes I have to change during this time. Normally it’s just a drop deeper or push higher shout. But I’ve wrote about this extensively in the past, how watching the first fifteen minutes is probably the most vital time during the full ninety minutes. Games and won and lost during this time and I’m not talking about scoring goals. What I mean is, you can get a feel of the game and how it’s going. If the opposition has dangerous players or causing you issues then you can spot them and make the required changes. If you don’t watch these opening minutes, then how do you expect to spot issues or control such players? Chances are if you leave it later than this you’ll have done more harm than good.
The goal types are in line with the first season.
A definite bias towards the left which is what we want. The assist types though are still far too high on crosses. I think this isn’t helped by the left back who is dribbling with the ball too much. It’s something I really need to fix and look into though if this still happens when in the Premiership as I should start having the players needed then. I need more through balls, 19 is a decent number but ideally I’d like it to get higher.
This post is just another short one as I wanted to get the early years out of the way quickly as possible so we can start on the actual tactical stuff and player development. The next article that is posted will actually be the first of these. So expect the articles to start becoming more informative and detailed from now on 🙂