A despondent manager relies on tobacco that comes all the way from Bulgaria

Four in the afternoon, late in November, 2019. Scene: Grigor Pasha's apartment, Mykolaiv, Ukraine. Pasha is sitting in an arm chair, with a black coffee and a pensive look. He looks so much older. He is preparing his pipe, which he has recently taken to smoking again. Well, let's be honest. I'm not in a … Continue reading A despondent manager relies on tobacco that comes all the way from Bulgaria

Special offer from MFC Mykolaiv: a 3-for-1 offer on left wingers

Time and date: late morning, 27 May 2019. Place: manager's office, Central Stadium, Mykolaiv. Grigor Pasha was aware that, on his first day as manager of the club, he would be wanted by all kinds of people for all kinds of things. But they'd have to wait. He noticed, as he entered the manager's office, … Continue reading Special offer from MFC Mykolaiv: a 3-for-1 offer on left wingers

Team selection and player acquisition: may be we’ve been doing it all wrong?

Du Malone writes: There's this striker who's just had a phenomenal season. He's been banging the goals in left, right, and centre. And he's just finished as the league's leading goalscorer. An then this other striker who has never hit such heights. He's been playing several seasons now, but has never finished as the leading … Continue reading Team selection and player acquisition: may be we’ve been doing it all wrong?

Day One at a Club: an iconoclastic approach

Grigor Pasha writes: Here are some key features of the context in which I have begun to manage Farul Constanta in the Romanian Second League: we have virtually no spare budget for wages (or transfers); we have no scouts; it's 27 May; the players return fro training in late June. Go online, there are numerous … Continue reading Day One at a Club: an iconoclastic approach

Player acquisition on #FM20: applying Arrigo Sacchi’s approach

Du Malone writes: In this, the third post in my series on learning from Arrigo Sacchi's approach at AC Milan, I consider what kind of players to acquire. Total football? In the account of Saccho's tactics that I treat as canonical, namely Raghunandhanan Narasimhan's article on Football bloody hell, reference is made to Sacchi's admiration … Continue reading Player acquisition on #FM20: applying Arrigo Sacchi’s approach

Squad development: the roundtable approach

SCENE: Football manager's office. It is an office of two halves. The half nearer the window is dominated by a tatty desk from the 1970s. On the desk are in, pending, and out trays, with paper spilling out of them. There are also various other piles of paper: from the looks of things this manager … Continue reading Squad development: the roundtable approach

In which a football manager sorts the sheep from the goats

Du Malone writes: I once heard a manager -- I'm pretty sure it was David Pleat -- say that at the end of each season he'd sort his players into two lists -- the winners and the losers. The losers, he'd ship out. He added that, quite often, he'd find the list of losers included … Continue reading In which a football manager sorts the sheep from the goats

Our squad is a like a pantomime horse

Grigor Pasha writes: I note that in many managers' blogs a post devoted to a periodic review of developments is apt to be lengthy. Not here it won't be! One match into the second half of the season, I can sum things up very economically. Essentially: from the defensive midfielder (Tsenov) forwards, the boys done … Continue reading Our squad is a like a pantomime horse

Squad assessment: engaging with the specifics

Grigor Pasha writes: While Chairman Avdzhiev is busy trying to shift the players I've designated for exit, I've moved to the next stage of my assessment of the squad. This has focused on leadership and set pieces. Under set pieces I include not only penalties, corners, free kicks, and long throws, but also long shots. … Continue reading Squad assessment: engaging with the specifics

Squad assessment revisited: the depth charge waiting to explode

Grigor Pasha writes: There's some excellent guidance available on squad assessment, from sources such as FM-Life. Though, as I explained in my post on initial squad assessment, in my own practice at Neftochimic I have departed from such advice, especially in the sequencing of actions. My initial assessment of the squad was deliberately cursory. The … Continue reading Squad assessment revisited: the depth charge waiting to explode