The successful loser

Am I the new Sven Goran Eriksson?

How would you define success in Football Manager? Opinions may differ here cause success is relative, not an absolute value. Some years ago the Italian press defined the former Lazio manager as a successful loser (“Il perdente di successo”) to emphasize that even if he was no more able to win trophies he was always highly regarded by the media and by the members of the football community.

I’ve just finished my first season at Preston and I’ve been voted as the Championship Manager of the season, at the same time one of my players, Jakub Jankto, got the Player of the Year award, we finished 3rd in the league and we qualified for the playoffs, not bad for a team predicted to finish 20th.

But there’s a missing piece, unfortunately we lost the playoffs semi-final to Wolves, we couldn’t cope with their faster than light wingers, I’m talking to you damn’ Ivan Cavaleiro!

We lost on penalties, but we lost.
Two goals conceded in the last ten minutes, possession isn’t everything…
…and the final collapse on penalties.

In spite of a great comeback in the last part of the season, from 10th to 3rd, the Championship will still be our home for the season to come.

Losing my best striker, Eoin Doyle, some weeks before the playoffs didn’t help, at that time we still had a chance to gain direct promotion but then we missed the brilliancy we have had up to that point and the lack of strong rotation options literally killed us.

It’s all about the narrative though, I can name you some of my previous FM 17 games that were ruined by instant (and a bit silly) success, so this was an overall exciting season with a painful finale but there’s still room for this career to grow, let’s see the direction it could take…anyway get ready for another exhausting and thrilling season of Championship football.

Click to see Preston NE 2016–17 overall players stats

The positives

Well, I already talked about the good things happened this season, Jankto was my MVP but other players had a brilliant season too: Chris Mavinga (10 assists), Bailey Wright (7.24 av.rat. and 675 interceptions), Eoin Doyle (21 goals), Jean-Kevin Augustin (22 goals) and Ben Pearson above all the others.

Unfortunately Jankto and Augustin are on loan and without the EPL money I can’t afford to pay their agreed price clauses, I could try to renew their loans, but Udinese are going to give Jankto a chance in their first team next year.

Boubacar Barry, who signed in January, is a great prospect and I’m really looking forward to nurture him.

The negatives

Some of my youngsters, even the new signings, didn’t work as supposed, when I needed some fresh blood in the key moments of the season they failed to impress, I’m not sure the likes of Patrick Berg, Callum Robinson or even Besard Sabovic could get another chance.

The future

You could expect a sort of mini-revolutin in the summer, this change will involve the players and the way we play the game, I’m back to the drawing board and the idea would be to develop a 3–5–2 tactic, something that could still create scoring chances even if you can’t (or don’t want) dominate possession, still early days though.

A new tactic?

See you soon guys and if you like this blog don’t forget to spread the word!