Can I just start by saying how good it feels to be back? I am loving FM17 so far and the game hasn’t even been fully released yet, it’s a good time to be alive let me tell you. I’m here to give you an insight into my first season with Moss FK, thankfully our season are short so the fact I’ve been moonlighting and doing work elsewhere hasn’t slowed down the process of getting through season 1. Enough of me waffling on though let’s get down to business.
Moss FK start in the third division on Norwegian football, we’re expected to finish in the top half of the table, which I initially take as being a good sign, what i realise moments after is that the Norwegian league is being re-structured at the end of the season, currently the 3rd division is made up of 4 leagues of 14 teams, now at the end of the season that will be whittled down to 2 divisions of 14 teams, so 7 teams get relegated this year, which means our target of a top half finish basically means don’t get relegated, no pressure…
My long-term aim for this save is to turn Moss FK into a force in Norway, I want them to be known as a team that plays possession football and promoted youth from within, it’ll come as no surprise that I’m an Arsenal fan who loves Cruyff, Guardiola, Ajax and Barcelona, so that is the kind of model i am going to be working towards achieving, now i don’t expect this to happen within the first few seasons, it will be a work in progress through out the whole year i do this save, but that will be key to the kind of players i aim to sign, and the kind I look to produce.
If there is one thing I have learnt about seasonal updates that i didn’t think of before it is to take many screenshots, it is better to have and not need then need and not have. So i don’t have a screen shot of the initial squad, but the quality was their to make me know we could avoid the drop, we needed some additional support at right and left back, as well as being bit light up top, I have taken some screenshots of players I think will be key throughout the year.
Christian Sukke – GK
My belief in football is you get nowhere without a decent keeper between the sticks, now Sukke isn’t perfect, he has a touch like a sledgehammer so we wont be eager to knock the ball back to him, and if he does get it under control his passing leave a lot to be desired, but he can save a shot and pick off a cross or two, his form will be key to our season
Martin Elvestad – DM/MC
A key component to my teams is the defensive pivot, in this area of the pitch I like a player who can collect the ball to feet, look up and distribute to a team-mate in the right areas, Martin excites me because he has the technical ability to do this very well, he may not stand out as one of the best players in the team, but again any success we have will relate to this position being played well
Rene Elshaug – CB
At this level I do not expect to find too many centre backs who play like John Stones, but what we have in Rene is a lower league version of Vincent Kompany, he has fantastic stats across the board for his position, he also fits into my mold of keeping hold of the ball and playing out from the back, i don’t expect too many defence splitting passes from him, but i also dont expect him to lose possession all that often.
Fabian Stensrud Ness – AMRLC/ST
As is becoming a theme in my teams, I like players that can get involved in the play, i very rarely us a Poacher or out-and-out striker role, i play one up top, but i want them dropping deep and moving wide to link up the play before getting into the box, Fabian has all the stats to do this at that level, if i was being super critical i would say id like his passing to be better, but i don’t think I’ll find many that can play like him.
Thomas Klaussen – AMC
Now if you follow me on twitter you will have heard this name already, one look at his stats will tel you why, he is far too good for this level, Thomas stayed with the club after being relegated from the second division a few years back, and wants to help them come back up, he will be the Gerrard of the team, driving them forwards, the only question is how long we can keep him for…
I’m going to be using a possession based formation for Moss, I want to be controlling games and playing on the front foot, another key thing I will be encouraging going forwards is freedom of movement within the front four, I love to watch attacking teams where the striker drops deep, a winger moves inside and the AM goes out wide, so i will be trying to make that happen. I have a few formations that i am looking at using, including a lovely Strikerless tactic as all of my attacking options can play in another position in the front 4
My go to tactic for the first season will be 4-2-3-1, im finding this tactic a lot easier to implement this season compared with how much i struggled with it last year, i will bring in the Strikerless from time to time to mix things up, my end goal is to reach a 4-1-2-3 or 4-3-3 but at the minute my key player composition lends more towards having an AM (Klaussen) i have instructed the team to play on a fluid control setting, whilst asking them to press the ball as well. One key thing to note which i will cover in more depth at some point is that even though i ant my team to keep the ball, i do not select retain possession or shorter passing, i look for the best technical players and then trust they will just be able to do the right thing.
I promoted some younger player to fill in the gaps we couldn’t fill through the transfer market, we only made 2 signings at the start of the season. Jason Bli came in at left back, he’s a player that can get forwards and whip the ball into the box very well, as is second signing Andre Emilio Garcia at right back, sadly he gets injured very early and screws up that idea for a few months. We got rid of some deadwood through the year, and brought in a new striker during the mid-season window, Johan Gulliksen can play up top but has the ability to be re-trained to play AMC as well, this was mainly to combat the fact that Klaussen cam to me a week before the window opened and said the team no longer matched his ambitions, i fought tooth and nail to keep him, but sadly an offer cam in that was too much for the board to ignore, and they went over my head and sold him. We will move on and improve from this
Pre-season has been designed to increase player fitness and moral, we are playing local teams away from home so we don’t have to travel far, and at home we play against lower level opposition, although we can’t read too much into the results it shows we can score goals which is a good thing to know. The front four have interacted very well, but i have adjusted the full backs to play more attacking to help support them more.
We got a very hard draw in the Cupen, Lillestrom are a top draw team, we were solid at the back throughout the game and scored with 2 of the 4 chances we got, sadly we couldn’t replicate the result against Viking, who are another top-level team, but ultimately I’m proud of how we have performed in the Cupen this year
In the league the biggest disappointment is the fact tat because the structure has changed i cant go back and take a screenshot of the finishing positions, so we are all going to just have to trust my memory on this one…
We had a fantastic run through the middle of the season, but between the beginning and the end you can see the difference in our goals scored, we never really recovered from losing Klaussen’s goals and chance creations, we did go on a run of 13 games unbeaten which is the equivalent to half of the season, and had we not collapsed after the 5-1 defeat we would have finished a bit higher than our 6th place finish, we also probably deserved a higher finish, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles sometime I guess.
Nothing really surprising in the awards section, goal of the season was just that, it should have won the yearly FIFA award for it. Here is the video for you guys…
Strangest thing about Norway is the fact that the intake doesn’t happen until about 3/4 months after the last game, couple of obvious players stand out here as being worth a long-term look hopefully they can build up into being decent players for the team.
Next season we will be looking to bed into the new league system, everyone in this league finished in a top 7 position last year, which means things will get a lot tougher, we also need to find a system that helps us get over the loss of Klaussen, I am also developing a tactic to help us do better against our current kryptonite a narrow 4-3-3, so watch and wait for that. We also need to address the teams finances somehow, as due to paying back loans we are pissing money away right now, so we need to patch up the holes their
Thanks for sticking with this if you’re reading all the way down here, like I said, this will be a long-term project, I may dip in and out of it throughout the year and look at other saves if I get bored, but I will always come back to this, so again thanks for being a part of the journey