1.2 FC Volendam: 2021/22 – Mid Season One Review

Welcome back. This will be the first half season review post and the fourth post in the series. If you haven’t had a chance to read the previous 3, you can catch them here.

Pre-Season

Pre-season got under way and after an embarrassing open game loss, the performances picked up with decent results against the two Turkish sides, a trashing of lowly Belgians EM United and a defeat against much better opposition in Birmingham.

Transfers

Things looked to be starting off okay but then Fulham began to sniff around at Derry John Murkin and the squad got unhappy that I rejected a bid. I promised I would let him go for £1.4M so when Fulham came back in we were able to negotiate to a potential £1.5M (€1.7M). It was at this point when I realised my currency was in GBP!

I strengthened the squad with the addition of two midfielders, Eddy Silvestre and Pape Diamanka. Both of which had all the necessary attributes for my tactical setup. Both players were probably as good a Total Footballer as I could get for this level on free transfers. They also have desirable traits such as Arrives Late In Opponents Area and Gets Forward Whenever Possible.

Results

August seen us start really well with 8 points from a possible 12 and a lack of tactical familiarity didn’t seen to be hurting us too much. All games were tight affairs.

September started with narrow back to back league defeats. A draw and a win saw us pick up 4 points from 12. Again not much to separate the sides in any of the games.

October saw us lose a league game to title favourites NAC Breda and we also got dumped from the KNVB Cup after fielding a much changed line-up to Eredivisie side RKC. We did manage some nice results and ended the month with 10 points from 15. All 3 wins that we picked up were by more than a single goal, which was nice.

November saw us undefeated with 8 points from a possible 12.

A perfect December, 3 wins from 3 saw us stretch our unbeaten run in the league to 9 games ahead of the Winter break, a break we would have rather not had!

League Table

Just past the midway point of the season and we are going very well. We are ahead of our board expectations and media prediction.

Tactical Review

The team is picking up form and we have full tactical familiarity (does anyone ever get PRD familiarity?) but I’m not 100% happy with the tactic yet. I am still tinkering with instructions and roles regularly and maybe this is what is required in Football Manager 2022 to keep things fresh. The GK and back 3 are most settled. I’ve changed the WCB duty to attack or defend at certain points but they always start on support.

If you play on possession, you don’t have to defend, because there’s only one ball

Johan Cruyff

I’ve found we have had to adopt a more meaningless possession based game then I originally wanted but we needed to do this to keep us from conceding silly goals. As tactical familiarity grew, I was able to be a bit more progressive with passing and take more risks. You can see from some of the metrics below how dominant our possession has been and that’s after I began to be more expressive.

The Murkin Saga

Having sold Murkin for a guaranteed €1.3M, I checked to see how he was getting on at Fulham coming into the January Window. Despite doing well for the reserves, he hadn’t yet featured in the first team squad for Fulham. This meant we weren’t going to see that additional €400k in clauses anytime soon. I asked Fulham could we take him on loan…

Only when he arrived on loan I realised Fulham had (strangely) only offered him a one-year contract meaning he was approachable on a pre-contract agreement. I duly obliged.

We are paying roughly €15k more a month to have him on loan then his original contract but when he re-joins in the Summer, that will drop to about €6k per month extra than original. Over the course of the contract that equates to about €150k extra wagesthan originally but means a tidy profit of over €1M made on the deal.

Once again thanks for reading,

Bradz

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