#FM17 : Hapoel Hope 1.12 : Squad evaluation

Hapole Ashkemon FC's Sala Stadium. Image by Little Savage kindly provided under a creative commons licence.


Within a couple of days, all my contract offers have been signed and sealed. The new recruits start to rock up and we all have a cup of tea together so as to start getting to know each other. Placente struggles, with his lack of Hebrew, but Rozenthal can speak with him in Spanish.

It’s a great feeling, having the chance to begin working together before the players arrive.

Now that I have some scouts, I better set some assignments. But where to begin?

Normally I’d highlight two or three weak positions and focus the scouting strongly on those. But judging from my Rozenthal’s report, it’s not that simple. Yes, there are some positional weaknesses. Left-back and left-midfield especially. But there are also some more general deficiencies.

In a previous post (1.10) I itemised the lack of Pulisian qualities. The squad lacks strength and aggression, doesn’t work hard, and isn’t good in the air. But Rozenthal reminds me there are other general problems. The players tend to have a poor first touch; they’re not good at making decisions; and don’t work together as a team.

Great. What exactly can they do?

The time has come to examine the player profiles in more detail. From what I’ve seen already, I reckon I’ll need something stronger than tea. I take the files to a bar near my apartment that serves locally produced arak, a drink not unlike ouzo that might serve to fortify me.

Having forced myself to read each file I wonder, who exactly put this squad together? And on what basis?

I can understand why there might be some weak players. We all make mistakes in the transfer market – and sometimes there are contingent factors, like a lack of money. But I can never fathom how some squads come to be so imbalanced.

We have five players who can, at least tome some extent, play full-back on the right, but only one who can do the job on the left. Four of the top seven earners are attacking midfielders: I can’t see how we can get them all in the team. So what did anyone do about that? Er, signed another couple of attacking midfielders on loan contracts that can’t be terminated early. Thanks for that.

I feel defeated already. I can’t scout to remedy all our deficiencies at once. It would need an army of scouts and, in any case, there’s a limit to how many changes you can make to a squad without destroying whatever harmony it possesses. And there isn’t much money to play with, unless I can get a couple out.

Which I doubt. The highest earner’s just come in on a non-terminable loan. Thanks for that too. And the other highest earners have all signed just new contracts.

I think the word is snookered. The polite word, that is.

All I can do is keep it simple. In the morning, I’ll direct the scouts to get cracking on finding a decent left-back. Rozenthal (my AM) and Nimni (the HYD) can lend a hand.

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