As you will know from a previous post, we will be lining up with a 4-2-3-1 similar to the way you see Celtic at the moment. Focus will be on build from the back, win the ball back quickly and dominate possession.
Very Fluid: This is important for me as it better describes the style of football I want to play than any of the mentality settings do. I want the whole team playing as a unit; defenders contributing to the build-up, midfielders pushing forward and overloading defences and the forward dropping back and linking up play.
Standard: As I haven’t yet had much experience with a very fluid mentality I will stick with this at the moment and monitor.
*All default unless stated
GK: Distribute quickly, distribute to CB, and roll it out
DLP: Close down less
AM: Hold-up ball
After a poor start, pre-season turned out very well. Moussa Dembele looks to have cemented his place in the starting XI come the first competitive fixtures. We looked good throughout; dominating possession and had some quick breaks leading to goals.
The next thing on the agenda is to step up the staff recruitment process, particularly the scouting team in order to get a pool of players to look at if required in January.
Initially I was going to share my plans for scouting and staff recruitment, but I have yet to pass the first transfer window and have funds for compensation yet. Another point is that I should probably identify the type of players that I will be targeting.
Looking at the initial squad – just considering the starting XI – what I need long terms is the following;
Centre midfielder x2
All of the players I will be looking to bring in are what you would consider complete players, along with one or two ‘specialists’. Goalkeepers should be first and foremost good shot-stoppers but good with the ball at their feet or at a level that can be improved. Defenders should be able to defend but good passing and vision would add to the squad.
My wingers should have pace and be able to cover the length of the pitch comfortably when playing with three at the back. I like well-rounded midfielders, but each should have a stand out quality that makes them unique, as well as a good playmaker. Up top I like to have a striker who can do it all, drop back, hold-up play and also deadly in the box.
There will be many factors behind decision making when signing a player as well as outlined above.
As stated in a previous post I will be avoiding the player search function, instead relying on my scouts and own real life knowledge of the game. To do this I will look to build an extensive scouting network as stated in Part I, this will be explained in more detail in the next post.
Player age will be a deciding factor. We won’t be paying for old rope. Key age range for the first team will be 20-24 with obviously some exceptions.
Career appearances and caps/youth caps. Players with more of these tend to be more developed already and first team ready.
Player personality will be a huge factor if a senior player – youth players will be brought in and moulded.
Most importantly. Will they improve the starting XI or bench?
Transfer Activity (Budgets Disabled)
So far I have only brought in one player in Diego Poyet. This lad looks great, possibly a key player in the future in the playmaker role. He looks a certain improvement on Nir Biton and after a year out on loan should come back with some top-level appearances under his belt.
A lot of deadwood left on loan to free up the wage budget and put them in the shop window. I purposely avoided sending u20 players out on loan as I would rather focus on selling the ones who won’t make it in January.