I’m two seasons into this save already. I’ll let that sink in for a moment. Either you’re happy because you hate all of that here’s my squad, here’s my staff, here are my targets, foreplay – or you’re sad because, well, that minutiae is your bread and butter. But as I’ve decided to start blogging late (I’ve been inspired by the community’s posts and loved every word, from the LLM to the high flyers), you’ll just have to get on with it.
So, what is my philosophy? Youth, always. I always promote from the youth team rather than buy. I’ve played the game since I was in secondary school (I’m 38 now) and have never been as satisfied with a ready made player as I have been with a youth product who I have trained up and who counts me as favoured personal from day one. They’ll die for as opposed to Freddy-Big-Bucks from Shitsville who is using you as a stepping stone to PSG.
I know that it is considered easy to play a youth save at Benfica, it’s like looking for beer at the Guinness brewery, but I don’t have the stomach for building up the facilities first. That’s not a part of the game I’m interested in. That seems like needlessly putting trials in front of myself before I get to the main course. I wanted the facilities in place to begin with. I wanted to mould the youth and win with a team I have created. I wanted a team like Ajax who had a peak period and have never really returned to it. I wanted to take a fallen European giant and win the Champions League with homegrown squad.
My tactics are borrowed, with his blessing, from https://thewideplaymaker.com. I saw an image of some tactics he was trialing, with Torino I think, and saw something in it. Two halfbacks playing in front of a single covering centre back. Two ranging full backs overlapping inside forwards. The halfbacks drop in to form a back five when out of position and push up to support when in attack creating a screen that suffocates counter attacks. It works. I’ve seen those two halfbacks screen so much bullshit for me and then keep possession. I play a high pressing style. We hunt the ball down in packs, we ping it around, we score shitloads of goals.
It has weaknesses sure, sometimes a team with two strikers might work out how to play against me, but I’ve been scoring for fun, so there’s always a way back. I’ve knocked Real Madrid and PSG out of Europe though. SoI have tested against big time teams in high pressure games, not just against Leira on a wet and windy night in Lisbon. Also, in keeping with my youth philosophy, I gave a debut to a 16 year old youth product against PSG in the Champions League! I blood them early.
I was quick to clear out all the old players at the club. Lot of high earners over 25. I wanted to sell them now whilst they still had value and invest the money in youth. I wasn’t scared to sell the sacred cows of the club. I would try and win around the fans later.
Bye bye Luan.
This season, and I’m only one game in to this one, but still… A shocking result. It made me feel dirty. I was walking around on my metaphysical touchline holding a plastic brolly in the rain. From the shit shower that was falling from the skies above. I might show you the details later.
Alright, here are the deets.
First game (shit shower) of the 2018/19 season:
Newly promoted side. We were two up. One of the halfbacks got sent off. We fucked it. I watched it slowly happen, unable to make a difference, until the winning goal crept in. Imagine: champions of Portugal lose at home to newly promoted side three days after losing charity shield-type game. Peeps are furious.
I’ll end this now and post again soon.
Here’s some pictures from the first couple of seasons to add some colour to my brief history.
Request screenshots if you’d like to see anything else.