FOOTBALL MANAGER 16 — CHELSEA (PART 6)
Welcome back to Part 6 of my “Football Manager 16 — Chelsea” save.
To give you a brief rundown of the “Football Manager 2016” series, it is the most realistic, in-depth and immersive football management simulation available — it’s the closest thing to doing the job for real.
Taking control of any squad from more than 50 countries across the world, you decide who plays and who sits on the bench, deal with the media and solve player problems.
You’re in total control of tactics, team-talks, substitutions and pitch-side instructions as you follow the match live with the acclaimed 3D match engine.
After the disastrous 2015/16 campaign under Jose Mourinho in real life, I’ve decided to take the reigns of Chelsea for the 20016/17 season. So… we have started quite well; after four months we are sitting second, three points off Mourinho’s United.
I recommend reading this blog on a computer as it can be hard to see the pictures properly on a smartphone.
Our December schedule is very tough. we have only ever had a maximum of four games a month. This month we have six league games and one cup game. We will need to rotate the squad throughout the month to make sure we don’t pick up any stupid injuries from over working the boys.
Southampton (at home) in the Capital One Qtr Final. Southampton aren’t in the best of form, only winning 1 out 5 and are coming off a 1–1 draw with Arsenal. We were disappointing last month so it would be nice to get a result here and start December the right way.
Injuries to Kanté, Oscar and Fàbregas mean we have to completely reshuffle our midfield.
The first bit of action came in the 29th minute. Hazard whipped in a corner and Stones rose to get a head on it. Hojbjerg was judged to have been holding Stones and a penalty was given. Hazard was the man to step up but his penalty was saved by Forster.
Southampton’s first chance came in the 40th minute. Ward-Prowse delivered a freekick into the box which saw Charlie Austin rise the highest, flicking a header that Courtois was able to tip around the post.
We have dominated possesion with 65% and had 10 shots to there 1. But still head into halftime without breaking the deadlock.
Austin receives a through ball and does well to knock it past his man and deliver a cross into the box, Tadic headed it back across goal for Redmond to tap in at the near post. Sloppy defending. 1–0 Southampton.
Finally we make a breakthrough. Hazard on his second attempt, delivers a great cross for Costa who nips in and heads home. 1–1 after 65 minutes.
2 minutes later Cáceres crosses a ball into the box from the right. Costa is pulled down by Yoshida and we are given our second pen. This time the southampton players are surrounding ref Anthony Taylor but he’s not having a bar of it. Hazard stepped up again and rolls it into the bottom corner past the diving Forste. 2–1 up.
Another Hazard corner is mis cleared this time falling to Cuadrado who lashes a shot past forster. 3–1 after 72 minutes.
The game started to get a bit stretched, with Southampton pushing men forward. Batshuayi came on for Costa and scored with his first touch. 4–1.
Hazard went on to score a rare header after 80 minutes. 5–1. exactly what we have been needing.
What a second half! 6 goals!! makes the first half worth sitting through.
Easily our best all round performance of the year. Dominated from start to finish and after going 1–0 down we showed good character to keep calm and still create chances. (My best Brendan Rodgers summary)
The Semi-Final draw has been made and we have managed to avoid rivals Tottenham & Arsenal with a home fixture against the only championship side left, Fulham.
3 days later we host Bournemouth at home. This is a game we should be winning, they are sitting in 14th position and don’t have the best away record. We’ve had to make 5 changes to keep the sqaud refreshed. Youngster Michael Hector comes in for his full debut back for gets a reshuffle.
Once again we started strong. Pedro hit the post twice in the opening half hour. Boric made a couple of great saves from Costa. We finally got underway in the 43rd minutes when Pedro’s corner was headed against the crossbar by Kurt Zouma only to fall to the feet of Costa who rolls it in for his 7th goal of the season. 1–0.
Hazard and Kenedy come on for Willian and Rahman after 65 minutes. A chipped through ball from Arter is headed into the path of Afobe by Ivanovic. Afobe lays it off to Wilson who drives a low shot past Courtois and we are back to 1–1 after 70. Ivanovic should of dealt with that better and again we are on the end of a sloppy goal. Batshuayi in for Costa with 20 to go.
Courtois comes up with a great save to deny Wilson his second. 1–1 after 75.
A very lacklustre second half leads to a disappointing 1–1 draw at home. If you want to win leagues, you need to be winning these games. I put my hand up for this one as i was trying to rest players for the hectic month ahead and it backfired. After City’s 5–2 victory over West Ham we now drop back into 3rd.
We have been drawn an away tie to York for the 3rd round of the FA Cup.
Southampton (Away). We welcomed back Fábregas and Kanté for the away trip to Southampton.
Our most consistent player so far Cuadrado gave us the lead after 13 minutes. A close range finish that was timed impeccably after some great play from Rahman down the left.
After 27 minutes, Cuadrado started a move with an inside pass to fabregas who threaded the needle to find him again between the center back and full back. Cuadrado added his second of the game with an incisive finish from 12 meters.
In the 53rd minute Cuadrado rounded of his hat-trick with a half volley from another Rahman cross.
Southampton striker Charlie Austin pulled one back for the home side after 56 minutes but it was too little too late. 3 points in the bag and back to winning ways.
Burnley (away). A quick two day turnaround sees us host a Sean Dyche’s relegation candidate’s Burnley. They are currently sitting in 17h place coming off a heavy 5–1 defeat to Liverpool.
I’ve put Oscar in for Willian. Other than that it’s an unchanged side.
We enjoyed a lot of possesion in the first half and took the lead in the 23rd minute through Diego Costa. Hazard created the goal after turning his defender inside out on the left wing and crossed it straight to Costa who nodded it home.
We had a host of other chances in the first half but weren’t able to add to the score.
Cesc Fàbregas scored an absolute freak goal in the 65th minute to put us 2–0 up. It was no lees than we deserved however bizarre it was. Rahman broke down the left and delivered a dangerous cross, Heaton was unable to deal with it and it skidded through, hit Fàbregas who wasn't even looking at the ball. 2–0.
Another good win in which we dominated throughout. It would be nice to score a few more in these so called dominated games but i’ll take the points over goals anytime.
We’ve been given the underdog status against Leicester away. A victory could see us take temporary top spot away from rivals Man United.
Hazard, Kantè and Rahman get a rest after a tough schedule and looking tired in training. Willian, Oscar and Kenedy come in. Zouma replaces Cáceres at right back and Terry in for Stones.
Diego Costa continued his scoring form, netting a placed finish in the 7 minute. 1–0. Captain John Terry, nearly gifted them a goal after half n hour due to a rare lapse in concentration only for Courtois coming to his rescue and pulling of a world class save. Neither side could create much else for the rest of the half.
Not the greatest start to the second half. Albrighton finishes off a flowing Leicester move to draw the score back to 1–1 after 53 minutes.
With the game petering out and both sides wasting opportunities, it was the man of the moment Cuadrado that gave us the lead after 83 minutes. This time oscar put him through and he curled it into the far corner.
Willian added the 3rd in the dying minutes to secure the victory. It could prove to be a massive 3 points come the end of the season.
The win puts us back into 2nd on the table, even on points with Man United but they have one game in hand.
West Ham (Away). We faced an away trip to the Olympic Stadium the new home of the hammers. Khacheridi was suspended, Stones and Cáceres were both out with the flu.
Willian gave us the lead in the 24th minute with a typical Willian free-kick. He only seems to score screamers!
Baba Rahman doubled our lead with a neat header from an Ivanovic long throw into the box. 2–0 after 28 minutes.
Enner Valencia pulled one back for West Ham almost straight from the restart. Byran worked his magic down the right and found Valencia in the middle whose shot deflected off Courtois and into the back of the net. 2–1.
Baba Rahman broke down the left, cut inside and found Fabregas, who chipped one inside to Cuadrado. Cuadrado hit it first time on the volley into the bottom corner. 3–1 after 77 minutes.
Very pleased with the result! Not happy that one of my top performers so far is out for 2/3 weeks. Hopefully we can get Pedro to step up in his place. The Transfer Window opens in 5 days so i’m going to do some scouting and see if we can get anyone in. I feel like we are quite short in center midfield. We have Calum Chambers coming in on January 1st who we signed a couple of months ago outside of the window.
Leicester City (Home). Last game of the month, it’s surprisingly been a very good month, 4 wins & 1 draw in the Premier League. Plus a 5–1 win in the Capital One Cup. It’s important we finish the month in style.
War of words with Ranieri, i actually like the guy but seeing if i can stir things up and get a good result.
Ivanovic started the game strong. In the 15 minute he crossed a ball in from the wing to Fàbregas who laid a brilliant through ball, first time into the path of Hazard who slots it. 1–0
Drinkwater broke from midfield in the 37th minute, he played it out wide to Albrighton, who took a touch and found Vardy with a great ball. Vardy volleys it first time past Courtois. 1–1.
Pedro came on for Willian after he took a knock from a heavy challenge.
One minute later Pedro picks it up just outside the Leicester box, he finds Oscar who passes to Hazard. Hazard beats his full back one on one and smashes it home. 2–1.
Leicester fail to clear a corner properly. Pedro picks it up outside the box and passes it back out wide to Hazard. Hazard takes a touch and is able to square it straight across the goal between the keeper and his defenders for Costa to taps it home. 3–1, 44 minutes.
Half-time 3–1. (Hazard has been outstanding)
In the 71st minute a Fuchs free kick is swung in and it’s Wes Morgan who rises the highest to power a header home and put Leicester right back into the game. 3–2.
We see the game out and to kill things off Kenedy finishes off a good move and makes it 4–2 in injury time. 4–2.
Willian came off in the first half after receiving a heavy tackle. It looks like it's worse than first feared and he will be out for 5 to 6 weeks.
Outplayed the master!
Hook, Line and Sinker!
Allardyce is the second manager to face the chop so far with Stoke City already parting ways with Mark Hughes. Interestingly, Arsene Wenger is joint favourite to be next.
That’s December over now. I’m very pleased with the month. One point of United. It will be interesting to see what transfer activity there is in January. Arsenal look like they need investment and Sunderland look in real trouble down the bottom.
Thank you for checking out my Chelsea blog. I’ve had a great month and will be back next week to see if i can overtake Man United at the top. Be sure to check out previous versions of this blog (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3,Part 4 or Part 5) if you would like to see how it all started.