Here we are again. Another season review and still going strong! Last season was amazing, the domestic league and cup double alongside my first venture into the Champions League group stage was fantastic. We also started seeing the first of the youth players making their way into the first team. So this season is massive, we need to continue our dominance. Let’s hope we can do it!
So a lot more out’s than I wanted but as you can see above we brought in a lot of money. The likes of Dettmer, Frimpong, Hoare and Petrovic weren’t needed, the offers were too good for the player and I let them go.
Baldauf was a player I had pinpointed at the end of the last post as a youngster I wanted to bring through this season. He was a pain in the ass, constantly moaning about wanting to move on and refusing tutoring so I let him go, £4.7m and 50% of next sale.
Holzer left In January after he fell out of favour with our youngsters coming through up front.
Now we move to the 2 players I really didn’t want to go. Haugen spent the whole of last season asking for a move and I ended up giving him his wish. It will leave a big gap in midfield but we made a decent profit on him and we get 45% of next sale. Milovanovic is my best player by a mile. I had so many bids come in for him which I rejected, he complained and I eventually let him go. Signed for £1m 2 years ago, sold for up to £12m with 40% of next sale included.
So a few gaps to fill, I needed a back up RW and I needed a CM replacement for Haugen.
Barca Camara – Right Winger – Free Transfer from Benfica
I mentioned I had made this signing in the previous post, After 3 seasons on loan at Rapid I eventually managed to get Camara at the club permanently after his contract expired.
Milos Marjanovic – Central Midfield – £1.2m from Partizan
I guy I had shortlisted 2 years ago as a potential signing and my replacement for Haugen. A fantastic deal at such a small price. Will immediately go into the first 11.
Ronald John – Right Winger – Season loan from Tottenham
I needed back-up at RW and I couldn’t find anyone at a decent price, I have 1 in reserve but I don’t feel he is ready for the step up this season so I sent him out on loan. John comes in on a free loan and will be an able deputy for Camara
Tomas Szabo – Left Wing – £375k Trencin
With Damgaard gone and no real natural LW in reserve I went for this guy. A cheap deal but an incredible talent, 5* PA and will provide back-up to Kouame this season.
So they are my first team signings made in the summer, I also made 3 more signings in January, all young signings who will be back-up and my hope with a bit of tutoring can push that first team over the next season or 2.
Johannes Gruber – Central Defender – £1.2m from SV Reid
Radek Grussman – Left Back – £1.6m (rising to £4m in addons) from Plzen
Nemad Popov – Central Midfield – £300k from Partizan
We entered the Champions League in the Champions Playoff and were drawn against AEK Athens, we breezed into the group stage winning 6-2 on aggregate.
Then came the group stage draw and on paper it looked bloody hard. Old club Spartak Moscow, 2037 Champions Inter and 2034 Champions Atletico Madrid stood in our way. First game came and went and we got smashed 3-0 to Atletico, it looked like it was going to be an impossible task, then we faced Inter at home! An amazing 2-0 win and our hopes were raised, these were raised even more when we beat Spartak 3-0 and then came the result of all results, a 5-0 away win over Spartak, we followed that up with a sesnsational 3-1 win over Atletico!!! 1 game to go and we had already qualified for the knockouts and just needed a point away to Inter to top the group. Sadly we lost 2-0 but we had somehow against all odds gone through!!
Into the last 16 and we faced Benfica, again we were just amazing and in the first leg at home we absolutely battered them 6-1!! We lost the return leg 2-0 but it didn’t matter and we were into the Quarters!
And this is where it came to end, we were soundly beaten by Bayern, 5-1 in our home leg and 2-0 away. A bad way to end but what a campaign overall!
I’m not going to ramble on about this as it didn’t end well! I tried to mix the team about a bit, giving my youth players a chance and it all looked good after the first 3 rounds. Then came the Quarter final away to Floridsdorfer, 2-0 down at half time I made some changes and we miraculously came back to 2-2, then in the 86th minute star man Bangala took a penalty……………and f*cking missed!!! They went straight up the other end to score and win the game. Absolutely gutting!
Austrian Premier League
So the cup went awfully, surely we won’t end the season trophyless?!
Well the league season started brilliantly and after 12 games we were unbeaten, but so were tycoon owned Wolfsberger who had spent £40+ in the summer! Then came Wolfsberger away and we lost the game 3-2!
As we headed towards the end of the regular season we sat top, we did lose a 2nd game to Salzburg but with Wolfsberger drawing quite a few games they were behind us by 2 points despite being unbeaten.
This 2 point lead got cut to 1 when we entered the Championship group.
This is where it went downhill! We just can’t seem to beat Wolfsberger or Salzburg!!!!! 2 defeats to Salzburg and a draw against Wolfsberger meant we were chasing the latter as we headed towards the end of the season. We held our nerve in the penultimate game to beat Austria Wien 3-0 but the final match was away to Wolfsberger, we sat 2 points behind them so only a win would do.
Half time came and we were playing incredible, 2-0 up and coasting, surely we couldn’t screw this up? 73 minutes gone and still 2-0 then bang, Wolfsberger grabbed one back, I tried to calm the boys nerves but it was to no avail, 5 minutes later Wolfsberger grabbed a 2nd, we tried to come back, we threw everything at them but we just couldn’t score.
Wolfsberger were champions and we had bottled it!
So a trophyless campaign, we failed to reach the domestic targets the board had set. This means the board confidence has dropped from “Very pleased” to “Satisfied”, hopefully they can see what I’m trying to do and don’t sack me!!
After winning nothing I don’t really want to big anyone up so let’s just talk about my players that won awards…..well actually no single player won an award but we did get 3 players in the Premier Division Team of the Year
Goalkeeper Araujo had a great season overall but did have a couple of dodgy games, one game especially comes to mind where we played Salzburg away and came running out of his goal twice to gift them goals! But enough of the negativity, Araujo for me is the best keeper in the league and is a massive player for us.
Left Back Bruno Holzer is a brilliant player, probably the best player at the club. He did tail off at the end of the season but who didn’t?! Overall though he is a key player and one of the team leaders at the club.
And finally CM Delic was named in the team which for me is the best achievement this season, he only came in from the youth team last season and has already established himself as one of my first picks on the teamsheet. He knows how good he is though and is constantly sniffing around for new contracts and to be the main man! I can see some big bids coming in for him but I hope we can keep him here.
The Conveyor Belt
So let’s take a look at the boys I earmarked last season to get a chance in the first team.
Stefan Strobl – Right Back
I had expected Milovanovic to go before the season started and had seen Strobl as his long-term replacement. He hd a really good season playing 29 times, 19 of the 30 league games as well, an overall average rating of 7.13 and grabbing 2 assists. He has overtaken Schwab as my best RB.
Jan Adelwarth – Striker
It was a tough season for Jan. He made 14 starts and 21 sub appearances but it took him until his 17th game to score a goal, grabbing a hat-trick! He scored 8 goals and grabbed 6 assists averaging 6.97. Not the best season but there are signs he could be good.
As you will have seen earlier the 3rd person has left the club! Goodbye Baldauf!
So who am I looking at next season?
Petr Hajek – Striker
The strikers so far really aren’t doing it for me, Houska is doing well but is so up and down and spends games and games doing nothing. Adelwarth is OK but not setting the world on fire and we have lost 3rd choice Holzer. So Hajek will come in next season and we will see how he gets on.
Emrullah Sahinkaya – Right Winger
With Ronald John returning to Spurs after his loan is up there is a spot spare as a back-up RW. Sahinkaya has been on loan at LASK Linz and has done OK, he is now 19 years old and I feel he needs to start showing some of his potential. So he will come in and be deputy to Camara for the next season.
So it’s been a really tough season, Champions League was amazing but the main aim is to gain domestic trophies and we ended with none! Where did it go wrong? Well I have a few ideas.
- I relied too much on my youngsters and have no real experience in the team. My oldest player is 29.
- We spent hardly any money on key players whereas Wolfsberger spent £40m.
- Although we scored a few goals there were numerous games we failed to break teams down. We missed so many penalties and nearly all were taken by Houska.
So I need to add experience to my team, I need to look at spending a bit of money as long as this improves the quality of the team and I need to look at my Strikers.
I have a few areas I want to improve. I want a replacement for RB Schwab, CB Scheiner is leaving at the end of the season and I want an experienced replacement. I want to go out and buy a star Striker who is reliable and consistant and I want to buy a good back-up for AM Bangala who has experience and versatility so he can fill in on the wings and/or in CM.
I don’t think I need to look at my tactics at the moment, it has worked well so far in this save and I’ve altered it as and when I’ve seen issues. The 4231 suits the players I have at hand, I just need to maybe tweak a few roles at most.
So a lot to do. I’m not ditching the youth plan but I think I need to add a bit more experience to the team to not have another bottle job!
Anyway that’a all from me for now. I hope you enjoyed the read and I’ll speak to you all soon.