Hi everyone and welcome to Episode 2 of my Football manager 2014 blog. In this part I will be talking about my pre-season friendlies, my transfer outgoings and my first game in the 2013-14 Season of the Premier League.
Firstly, leading on from Part 1 and my attempts to sign Antoine Greizmann…unfortunately, I failed as he chose AS Monaco instead. On the plus side, that left some transfer funds available before the transfer window shut. I was able to sell one player, with Frimpong moving to Hull for £500k. Park Chu-Young also joing Stade Rennais FC on loan.
My pre season results were disappointing. I never take charge of pre season games because frankly, I can’t be bothered. Below you can see the scores from all of the games:
Although these results look very bad I was actually cruising in the final game before Szczesny was sent off causing us to ruin a 3-1 lead to lose the game 4-3. The main positive is that the goals are flowing already for my team with 18 coming in just 7 games however it looks like my concerns about the defence were justified as we also conceded 9 to not very good teams. My defensive issues were made worse in the week leading up to my first Premiership game, away to Cardiff, when I received this message…
This injury to Sagna for 2-3 months means that I’ll have to rely on the youngster Carl Jenkinson for almost the entire first half of the season. I also had Vermaelen recovering from injury when the Cardiff game day arrived and Mertesacker, Wilshere and Bendtner unavailable so my first squad looked like this:
As my first game was against newly promoted Cardiff away I opted for a mix of defensive and attacking players in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Playing Monreal in an unnatural position was my main concern in this game but I didn’t have any other option with all the injuries. Before the match begun I also selected the retain possession and work the ball into the box possession as well as a high tempo to try and put the Cardiff defence under pressure right from the start. I selected the control mentality and got my first match underway…
The first half was very boring with the only highlight being a very obvious offside goal by Ozil. At half time, the game was 0-0 so I decided to bring on Ramsay for Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain for Rosicky and Podolski for Giroud. These changes took immediate effect in the 2nd half as Oxlade-Chamberlain fed the ball to Jenkinson who crossed in for Cazorla to apply the finishing touch. No more highlights followed and so I started my campaign with the full 3 points. Although you could argue Arsenal should be beating Cardiff by a larger result than 1-0 I’m still happy with this result as we’ve kept a clean sheet away from home with a very makeshift defence. My earlier worry about Monreal was proven to be unjust as well as he finished the match with a 7.6 rating, finishing 2nd behind Cazorla’s 7.9 rating.
Thanks very much for joining me for Part 2 of my Football Manager series. In part 3 I will be hopefully be making 1-2 additions to my team before the transfer window shuts and also starting my Champions League campaign where I have been drawn against FC Red Bull Salzburg in the Playoffs!
Note : Please click on images to enlarge