Welcome back to Eintracht Frankfurt! My first season went surprisingly well. If you’re new to the blog, why not start from the beginning? Or if you missed the last part, here’s the conclusion of season one.
Season two promises to be a challenge, albeit a fun one. Many of our better players last year were on loan, and it looks likely that many of them won’t return.
This post will mostly be focusing on the changes at the club over the summer, with a particular focus on finances and transfers. In terms of tactics, I’ll be largely covering that in the next part, as I’m still tinkering with our shape. What I will say is that we are switching from our slow tempo, possession football, to a fluid counter-attack.
I’ll close out this part with a quick look at the first month of the season, as I don’t want the writing to fall too far behind the playing…
Behind The Scenes:
Our youth intake was fair, there are a few players who could make the step up, but none who are obvious stars in the making. Probably Lukas Hein is the pick of them:
So, to money. I love the new graphs FM throws in from time to time:
We’re unsurprisingly a way behind the big two, but lead the chasing pack in revenue from games.
Plus with a domestic treble won, and Champion’s League football secured, surely there must be a wealth of money to spend…
Not so much. I wanted to sign a goalkeeper, a defensive midfielder, a left winger, a right winger and two strikers (perhaps including some of last year’s loanees). This looked impossible from a meagre £12m.
Sure guys, help yourself.
With plenty of money in the bank, if not the transfer budget, we’re in the process of having our training, youth and data analysis facilities upgraded, which is great news for the club long-term.
After a year of staff changes, I’ve finally got the coaching, recruitment and medical teams up to the level I want:
We’ve added some big names too, with Carlos Valderrama, Jens Lehmann, Joël Bats, John Heitinga, Steffen Freund and Henrik Larsson being added to the team to hopefully pass on some of their experience.
Our transfer business this summer has been highly disjointed. I’m going to break the signings into three stages.
I managed to add another £2m to the transfer budget by selling a couple of transfer clauses early, which allowed us to pick up my number one target, Brenner, among our first stage of signings:
Fabrizio Angileri looks a decent left-sided option, and should provide competition for the so far disappointing Ante Rebic as well as cover at left back. We also managed to extend the loan of Jovane Cabral for another season.
Jonas David is a signing I’m very happy with:
He’s young, ticks my attribute demands, trained in Germany, and a snip at £4.7m.
The three loanees I signed were really done in a fit of desperation. But after shifting some dross from the squad for a bit of cash (mainly returning loan players), stage two saw me delving into the transfer market to snap up some promising teenagers:
Our feeder club 1860 Munich has already yielded us a very promising signing as we swooped in to steal him from under the noses of a few clubs at the eleventh hour. They all have promise, but Brian Brobbey could make an impact straight away:
He’s only seventeen! Hopefully we can boost his personality through mentoring, and improve his off the ball and quickness attributes through training.
Then the scouts came to play, and led me to stage three:
Xadas has cropped up a couple of times in blogs that I’ve read, and although I’d rather not follow in the footsteps of others, his skill and versatility for such a small fee was too enticing. The signing of Gabriel Barbosa means that the only area of the squad that I have not managed to bolster as I wanted, is in goal.
As I said, mostly dross. Gino Peruzzi was a casualty of European registration rules. With all three of our other right backs some form of homegrown, he had to go. To more than double our money in a year was a bonus that allowed us to sign Brobbey.
Of our outgoing loans, I’m hopeful that David Siebert, Aymen Barkok and Patrick Finger can make enough progress to return and feature for us next season. We really need to boost our number of homegrown players.
I was going to skip the picture of pre-season results, but I included it so as to complain about Ante Rebic, who has failed to score or assist a goal in any game since March 2nd.
Even in an 8-0 drubbing he can’t manage it.
Quite the month to start us off:
Dortmund gave us a damn hiding, and we were justly 2-0 down. Switching from a 451/433 to a 442 made a big difference, and substitute Sébastien Haller dragged us to a penalty shootout that we didn’t deserve, but momentum helped us to win. Frederick Rønnow was the hero, saving three penalties in a row to win the fourth piece of silverware of my tenure.
He couldn’t save us in the humiliation at 3.Liga Magdeburg though. Because I’d left him out. We played a fairly strong team, but apart from the defence, didn’t perform particularly well. Switching to 442 helped again, but we couldn’t get the breakthrough. Dumped out 7-6 on sudden death penalties, back up keeper Felix Wiedewald didn’t get a glove on any of them and our attempts to win a third successive DFB-Pokal came crashing down at the first hurdle in my worst result on FM for years.
For a third game in a row, the switch to 442 made us better against Stuttgart, and in September it will be our starting formation.
Finally, I leave you with our Champion’s League draw:
It could’ve been better, but it could’ve been worse. I think we’ve got a fair chance of grabbing second spot. Winning the league sure helped in the draw, as Bayern were drawn with both Barcelona and Inter Milan in the group of death.
Next time, we’ll get properly stuck into season two, and I’ll spend a bit of time talking tactics too. There are some big games coming up, and I’m looking forward to changing our playing style with a group of players that I’ve had more of a hand in selecting. Thanks for reading!