Saving English Football! – Part 2: 8 Goal Thriller vs Spain!

In Part 2 of my series on recovering after destroying English Football last year. We look at the Autumn internationals as well as a fairly productive start to my first season at the Unicorn.

For anyone who missed the previous part: These were my key points for the save:

  • Climb the Leagues with the Unicorn, relying on young English talent either from my academy or an extensive scouting network provided by the national team.
  • Keep the average age of the national team 24 or lower, without losing quality of players. Keep older players for key roles and rotate teams during friendlies/easy qualifiers.
  • Improve the facilities as early as possible, as that is paramount to early climbing.
  • DO NOT GET ATTACHED TO PLAYERS! Players will stay for a maximum of two years. (and I’m already failing this one)

(Part 1 is here: Saving English Football! – Part 1)

A tough first result for us considering they were down to 10 men early on, a trend which you might notice throughout this episode. Took a 92nd minute goal to grab a point but it was definitely deserved despite the stats suggesting otherwise.

angering.png

Another game in which I had a man advantage for a large chunk of the game but we managed to secure the win. I’ve only had two penalties so far and scored both, so glad we kept that up with a goal from Josh Jefferies.

ashington rovers.png

The first thing I’ve noticed in lower lower league football is the severe lack of training or fitness:

training

Having a mere 2 training sessions plus a match each week really makes it difficult to do anything specific so I’ve kept the training on tactical to start and then I’ll focus on fitness for the remainder of the season.

However, having lots of training sessions can also be a burden as you often end up with lots of injuries!

injuries.png

Whilst these are mainly fringe players I’m not too worried, but with matches coming up it gives me a good chance to rotate and try out some youngsters, namely, Alexander-Arnold.

More injuries!.png

I also had a nightmare as I lost Trippier, Alli and Sterling to injury so I brought in Sancho and Redmond as replacements with TAA coming in too. This may affect the game so if I get battered don’t be surprised!

match congestion!

Its going to be a busy day! 11:00 for Henfield, and 19:30 for Croatia

Busy day.png

As you can see I have been on a very good win streak at Unicorn, winning 4 of my last 5 in the league.

wow.png

Guess who’s been carrying my team? That’s right as predicted Jack Shaw has carried my team to the top of the league after 8 games with 6 goals and 6 assists. He’s also leading in Key Passes, Chances Created and has an 86% pass accuracy.

I think at the end of this season I’m going to do a comparison between the top and bottom leagues of English football, most notably the amount of cards shown in matches. Having 4 red cards in my first 7 games really threw me off my game as it meant I could really take advantage if I could avoid those being my players. Also the lack of fitness means that we’re using a lot more players than I would normally and delving into my U23’s and the free transfer market is very unlike my normal style of management; I often use 25 players MAXIMUM in a season and I’ve already used 23 already this season.

Big game coming up for me playing Spain again after a 2-2 going down to 9-men and to put it lightly, we did okay..

WHAT A GAME.png

Missing some key starters including Sterling, Henderson and Alli but we managed to come in clutch and score 2 late goals and win 5-3!

av positions

Looking at the formations you can see how well the two wing-backs pinned down their wingers Suso and Isco, and Kane played a bit deeper but caused havoc in the middle. Marc Bartra was their 4 vs Rashford at 10 and Rashford played him off the park. With 3 vs 3 in the middle (6, 7 and 8 on both sides) it meant that if Kane dropped deeper it would create an imbalance giving us the heads up in the middle taking control of possession. Average age of the squad in this game was 25, very close to the target of 24.

So after this article I’ve only lost 1 in total across my two teams

Team

Matches Wins Draws Loses Goals For Goals Against

The Unicorn

8 6 1 1 21

9

England

4 2 2 0 11 6

Total

12 8 3 1 32

15

As you can see I’ve started brilliantly at both teams, only losing 1 in 12 with over 2:1 goal ratio! I didn’t quite make it to Christmas as the last game was too good for me to carry on; I needed to recover from that one! I should have finished the Christmas season in game by the next update and I will definitely share the ups and few downs so far.


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