Hi everyone, I have decided to begin a blog which will see me begin a career at Chester Football Club. I used to write a blog for Football Manager 2011 but disliked Football Manager 2012 so decided not to do one. I’m now back and hopefully you will all enjoy this blog which will see me start at Chester and hopefully work my way up to the top, or even end up managing my team Leeds United.
I begin with my opening month at the club and will take a look at the current squad I have as well as getting through a pre season schedule.
But first of all let’s take a look at the club background. Chester are are very new club which is part of the reason I decided to start with them so hopefully I can be a club legend here. Hopefully I can continue the success they have already had and lead them up the divisions.
After receiving feedback from my current assistant manager it is apparent that I have two stand out players that will be crucial for the upcoming season. These being Mark Redshaw and Sean Clancy.
Mark Redshaw is a 27 year old Striker who can best be utilised as an Advanced Forward or a Poacher. It will be essential that Redshaw plays to his potential this season and I hope he can reach a total of at least 20 goals this season.
Sean Clancy is naturally a Left Midfielder but can also play as a Left Back or Centre Midfielder. With a 4 star suitability as a winger this is how I will probably play him and hopefully with his ability on the wing he can provide goals and assists for Redshaw and the other strikers.
It’s apparent from my assistant managers report that I have a decent set of players but in order to fight for the league title and promotion I still feel it will be necessary to strengthen the squad. Certain areas look more fragile than others, for example I am in desperate need of another centre back and a right midfielder. My style of management is to build from the back so my first priority will be to establish a solid defence which will involve signing a few centre backs and a right back, it is essential I have good quality back up defenders as I will be forced to use a squad rotation system with the amount of games that will be played. There will be more on transfers further in this post and up until deadline day.
Now for a look at the pre season schedule. These will run into my next post as well which is based around the month of August. I decided to arrange my own friendlies which is based around playing against reserve teams from higher opposition. I like to do this not only to play teams with some high quality players but also to see if I can notice any talent from watching the matches for the future. I watch my games with the Full Match highlight so it will be clear for me to see if any of the youngsters stand out.
My first signing in the transfer window was the of Jack Redshaw. I have loaned him for an initial 3 month period from Morecambe to see how he performs and if you were wondering, yes he is the brother of my star striker Mark Redshaw. As well as this I beat Doncaster Rovers to the signing of free agent Danny Swailes. The 33 year old centre back should be a decent player at this level and it provides me with an extra option at the back now.
My first pre season friendly saw me travel to Fleetwood Town Reserves. Away fixtures are going to be the key ones for me this season and I think it will be vital to pick up as many points away as possible. I have a specific tactic for my away games which is a 4-5-1 tactic based around counter attacking football. I started with both new signings Swailes and Redshaw with his older brother suffering with a 2 week lay off. A poor start to the game combined with Fleetwood coming out firing saw us conceded early on after 16 minutes with a fine finish in all fairness. We seemed to grow into the game more as the half progressed but the final ball was lacking and half time saw us going in 1-0 down. The second half was a lot more solid but we failed to capitalize on the chances we had so in the end the result was a 1-0 defeat.
My next game saw me host Sheffield Wednesday Reserves which would prove to be a very difficult fixture. I made on change to my line up as i reverted to a 4-4-2 tactic which I will use in home games. Nathan Jarman came in to replace Scott Brown. We started this game a lot better and enjoyed good spells of possession which eventually paid off. In the 27th minute from a deep corner new boy Danny Swalies nodded the ball back across the goal resulting in Caolan Lavery putting the ball into his own net. 7 minutes later another new boy Jack Redshaw got his name on the score sheet with a cool finish. The second half was a bit of a stalemate with the only note being Will Cunningham’s late red card for a two footed lunge. A good response though in the end with a 2-0 win over strong opposition.
Two more changes at the club as I have bought in Lee Dixon as my assistant manager and also loaning Ritchie Sutton on a 3 month period from Mansfield. Dixon is joined by two more staff members as I looked to create my own backroom staff. Ritchie Sutton looks a decent addition and should form a solid partnership with Danny Swailes at the heart of the defence. I am still searching for more players but I do want to keep an eye on the finances.
My final pre season fixture of this month was a home game against Doncaster Rovers Reserves. Two changes saw me bring in another new signing with Ritchie Sutton slotting in to join Danny Swailes at centre back as well as Scott Brown being recalled to the midfield in place of Ashley Williams. The ball was in the back of the net after just 10 minutes after some fine wing play from Dave Hankin saw his deep cross headed home by Sean Clancy, only to be chalked off by an offside flag. Chances were far and few despite controlling possession which resulted in the first half ending goalless and the second half continuing in the same manner. In the 58th minute we hit bar from a corner as Danny Swailes climbed brilliantly and in the 82nd minute Swailes once again won the headed from a set piece only to head just over the bar. A 0-0 was a satisfying result in all honesty and the defence in the two home games look very solid.
Well that concludes my first post of my blog and ends the opening month of my career. Not a bad first half of the pre season with the defence looking solid. My next post will conclude my pre season schedule and also see me start my managerial debut with the league starting.
Hope you all enjoy, until next time!