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Discussion
End of Season Review


Form


https://i.imgur.com/FFi4vPy.png?1

https://i.imgur.com/Ve3OPJQ.png?1


We started the year off with some indifferent form, picking up draws and losses against teams who found themselves relegated come the end of the season. Through October to March however we looked a completely different team as we lost two games in this period. But our form in the last two months would be the final nail in the coffin, winning three games out of eleven; that's relegation form. I could sit here and talk about how if we had beaten teams like Middelfart and Vendsyssel in the opening months would have done us worlds of good, or how if we had been better in the final third of the season then who knows where we could have finished. Simply put however, we didn't win those games because we weren't good enough, we find ourselves in the Nordicbet Liga next year because that's our level, no sugar-coating it.

League Table


https://i.imgur.com/tTngQcx.png?1


No surprises then as Hobro bounced back to the SuperLiga at the first time of asking, whilst we found ourselves sitting in third as the season finished. It speaks volumes that the same amount of points between first and second separated second and sixth as Hobro walked the league with relative ease. Skive and Middelfart, who were newly promoted last season, found the jump up too tough, whilst Viborg and Vendsyssel were shock members of an unfortunate club. Averaging 1.69 points per game we have definitely improved this season compared to last. This is to say, that our league form this season is because we are a better side and not because other teams were poorer. Promising signs which point towards growth and improvement in my time as Thisted manager so far, and who knows what a third season at the helm could bring fresh off of signing a new contract this season.

Squad


https://i.imgur.com/QGgk2O2.png?1


A quick look at the squad, which remains unchanged from the winter break, although two youth trialists will be joining permanently but until then can train with the first team. Of the players who spent the year on loan with us, all have been offered the chance to stay put for another year but whether or not they stay is a question yet to be answered. Quality wise, I'd like to be able to add more creativity in the middle, tighten up the back-line and add some quality depth in the attack by having a third striker good enough to start, with Essaisi dropping to a fourth choice.

Awards


https://i.imgur.com/ERWOy57.png?1


In the End of Season Awards, Mathias Pedersen claimed our Fans' Player of the Season with forty percent of the voting after being played out of position for the season, yet still assisting freely and contributing with his fair share of goals too. Frederik Due won the Signing of the Season, which is somewhat surprising but not too shocking, though I feel his weakness in dealing with shots from outside the box may have been found out by opposition teams. Nicolas Dhyr, who also played the majority of the season shifted out onto the less familiar right-side midfield. Andreas Heimer made his way into the Best XI for the season which is a shock as his role came mainly from the bench in limited minutes, but is definitely something to look into going forward.

https://i.imgur.com/BP6Jeen.png?1


No great shock in the Team of the Season, as Hobro dominated the XI. A clear factor in their promotion was their tight defence which is reflected in the back-line being made up of all Hobro players. For us, Mathias Pedersen and Sakari Tukiainen made it into the team which is a sign of a good attack down the right-side which has been a key feature of the side in the last two seasons. Props to Pedersen for getting the most assists in the league this year, and the same praise should be heaped on Tukainen for scoring the most goals this league season.

https://i.imgur.com/pmRwiQl.png?1


Plans


Going into the summer break and there are two possible options. First, stay with Thisted and add the last few components to a team that finished third and push for promotion again whilst letting the contract run down. Second, apply for other jobs over the summer period. I come away from the season with mixed opinions. On one hand to take a team from the verge of relegation to the cusp of promotion within eighteen months is a huge achievement, but to have been looking likely for promotion or be thereabouts all year to completely implode over the last two months is absolutely infuriating and leaves a bitter taste. My preference is to stay with TFC and push for the promotion next season because if we can have a transfer window similar to last summer's, then there is every possibility that we can win the league, but if a good offer comes along...

Next Update


Transfers and Pre-Season
Unlucky mate, but as you said the work you've donein 18months is good, hopefully if you stay put next year is the year with the final few transfers you feelyou need.
https://i.imgur.com/zgMyvyG.png?2
Ahh well it just wasn't meant to be this season mate. Hopefully with some decent signings you'll be able to take that extra step next season.
I remember commenting optimistically at the start of the season talking about playoffs, which you would've made if they hadn't mysteriously disappeared, so plenty of positives to take from the season. A couple of signings in key areas (possibly a standout CM looking at the stats) and you should be right back up there again next season, hopefully without the inconvenient late season injury crisis!
I think you've got to give this team one more shot at promotion, keep the faith!
Sometimes you have to stand in the shadows; to see the light.

OYSTON OUT
Thanks @Dan and @bigmattb28, a gutting end to the season but hopefully the summer transfer window has been kind to us.

@jameo_94 I'll blame you for jinxing us then! And with regards to the playoffs disappearing, I've found out how and why...#

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Preseason 2020


We played a total of nine preseason games this summer, with our opposition ranging from the likes of FC Kobenhaven and Brondby IF to lesser sides such as B 52/AFC and Kolding IF as we looked to prepare ourselves for the season's kick-off at the end of September.

(NOTE: Due to the screenshot I have of the fixtures and results for this update, a full preseason round-up of matches and results will be shown at the end.)

https://i.imgur.com/ZQ53rLj.png?1


Before the season started I was greeted with this piece of news explaining rule changes for the forthcoming season. You'd have thought that going in to my third season managing in the Nordicbet Liga that I'd be fully clued up on the rules and regulations, but he we are. This explains why the relegation and promotion spaces last season were changed from the first season, but with an extra promotion place up for grabs I won't complain.

Transfers


https://i.imgur.com/zCwXHN5.png?1


Kevin Goba - 33, ST - one, of the first signings through the door, experienced striker Kevin Goba joins the club on a relatively cheap deal. Kevin boasts a goal record of just under a goal every-other game, though at the age of thrity-three, to have played just over a hundred and fifty professional games is a touch concerning. Capable of playing as a back-up to Tukiainen as they are similar players, I'm glad to have strengthened the striking options with Kevin.

https://i.imgur.com/jdVjxGo.png?1


Marcus Johansson - 27, DC - last season we only had three centre-backs of good quality in the squad. Johansson comes in to offer some more depth in this area and shouldn't find himself starting too many games, baring injury or suspension. Not much else to say about his signing but I'm glad to have him in the squad nonetheless.

https://i.imgur.com/gORoxmV.png?1


Vedad Mulic - 17, ST - I was alerted to Vedad coming through Hvidovre's academy during last season but a deal could never be agreed upon between the two parties. There was a lot of interest from clubs during the summer, with teams in Europe looking to secure Mulic's signature. When we sat down in negotiations I offered him a more lucrative contract than he was asking for in hopes it would sway his decision, and it did! Whilst the coaches rate him more so as a player for the future, I see immediate game time for the young Bosnian, aiming to use his raw pace and physicality to offer us something we never really had up-top; pace.

https://i.imgur.com/sETSp15.png?1


Kasper Veller - 17, DR - another young talent I had my eye on for a good portion of the last campaign, Kasper is one of the stand-out talents for his age group in the country in his position so to bring him in for the year is a coup for the club. Young, but already experienced at this level, Kasper is levels above what we had at the club and will be sure to have an immediate impact. Delighted to have signed him for the year!

https://i.imgur.com/DilvTIY.png


Mikkel 'M.P' Pedersen - 24, MC/DM/AMC - released by league champions Hobro over the summer, Mikkel certainly has shown he has what it takes to play at this level. A natural Mezzala, he will be deployed as an Advanced Playmaker in the middle of the park when he plays. Initially wanting an amateur contract, I offered Mikkel a semi-professional deal with a low weekly wage, I'm looking forward to seeing what he can offer to the team going forward.

https://i.imgur.com/ncdMmhF.png?1


Tobias Damtoft - 19, ML - the latest in a long line of loan signings from parent club FC Midtjylland, Tobias will be our natural left-sided midfield option this coming year. Comfortable in more advanced positions, Tobias isn't expected to put up incredible defensive numbers for the season. What I do expect however, is pace, the ability to beat his man and a good end-product, all of which I believe he has at his disposal. Welcome to the team Tobias!

https://i.imgur.com/4resDcN.png?1


Jonas Denius - 16, DR - signed from relegated Viborg after a successful trail with the club, Jonas is not expected to start every game we play this season. Having already signed Veller, Jonas will find himself acting as cover for the right-back position as last term we had to rely on an ageing Olsen to cover both sides of the defence. Rated by myself and the staff as a player who is almost ready for this level of football, Jonas can certainly develop to be a quality player for TFC.

https://i.imgur.com/zf79KgQ.png?1


Robert Kakeeto - 25, DMC/MC - with Madsen not wanting to renew his loan for this season, we found ourselves needing a physically gifted midfielder to play a more reserved role on the pitch. Robert comes to the team being blessed with good, all-round stats for this level and an engine to boot. Another loanee for the season, this gives me the option to terminate his loan should things not work out. Thinking more optimistically however, I'm hoping Robert can win the ball back for us in the middle of the park this year and shuttle the ball forwards or backwards depending on what is needed.

https://i.imgur.com/Jyf9RNG.png?1


Kim Nygaard - 19, MC - Kim caught my eye when he scored against us last season for rivals Skive and when the option to bring him in to the side was presented it took very little convincing for me to sanction the deal. Adding another midfielder to the mix, I feel like I'm addressing an issue we had last year in that we didn't have too many options that were different to what we already had. Kim is a technically gifted player with an eye for a pass too, so I'm hoping he'll be able to slot into the team from the bench predominantly to help us kill off games late on.

https://i.imgur.com/FFKGUKP.png?1


Mads Serup Hansen - 18, DL - one area I wasn't pleased with last season was the back-line, as I felt that beyond the starting players we lacked quality in depth. Therefore, a few defensive options have been brought in to the club to help solve this issue, with Mads being one such acquisition. Blessed with pace and some ok defensive stats, Mads certainly adds good depth to the back-line and gives me a good headache in terms of selection.

https://i.imgur.com/UfluI7h.png?1


So then, just days before the season is due to start, star striker Sakari Tukiainen picks up a minor injury and looks set to miss the opening-day clash. Let's hope we can fair well in his absence.

MATCHDAY 1

https://i.imgur.com/18uWQRz.png?1


When the fixture list was released, we were lucky enough to be playing the opening fixture for the season with all the other fixtures being played tomorrow, giving us a chance to claim the top-spot early on. It would take us just over an hour to break down our hosts, as Mathias Ross, who agreed to extended his loan for another year, headed home from a corner to give us the lead. We wouldn't have to wait too long for the next goal of the game either, as Mathias Pedersen would tap in at the far post after the ball was drilled across the Nykobing box. A thoroughly professional job from the TFC boys as we closed the game out with a clean sheet too. Most impressively for me was that we were able to have our fair share of the ball and shots too, which is something that we haven't been able to do in my tenure so far. Maybe this is the start of something good for us, or maybe it was a one-off, regardless, it was certainly a welcomed change to precedings.

DANISH CUP 1ST ROUND

https://i.imgur.com/eOdqBew.png?1


Last year's Danish Cup saw us surprisingly reach the Quarter Finals before being torn apart by OB as we surpassed all expectations. Along that journey, we faced Naesby and we would find ourselves against similar opposition as this year's iteration of the cup started. Much like OB turned us over last year, we would prove to be a level too high for the Naesby players. Straight from kick-off and Mulic found himself through on goal and the young striker hammered the ball past the Naesby 'keeper to score his first goal in a Thisted shirt. Stalwarts Olesen and Essaisi would both score either side of Kevin Goba's first TFC goal to round-out what was always going to be a routine victory as we secured our place in the Second Round.

MATCHDAY 2

https://i.imgur.com/xPHHYnZ.png?1


Back to league action now and recently relegated Esbjerg would be the first team to visit the Sparekassen Thy this season. The visitors would be looking to leave with all three points as they aim to return to the top flight at the first time of asking. Within two first-half minutes the visitors looked to be doing just that as they turned the game on it's head, first, Egelund smashed home a thunderous shot after the ball was knocked down at a corner, before grabbing his second straight from kick-off as we gave possession away and failed to deal with a low cross, allowing the Esbjerg man to find the top corner from just inside the box. I was outraged with the lads as we had switched off completely after looking like every bit Esbjerg's equals thus far. We would rally back however with our own double salvo in the second half. Alex would find himself scoring off the bench as he placed the ball into the far corner, before moments later sending M.P through on goal to slot home from a tight angle. The game would end with both sides even and little chances to win the game falling to either team. A good point against a good side, but if we had only focused more in the first half we could have had all three points.

MATCHDAY 3

https://i.imgur.com/me3QCG5.png?1


We headed into the next matchday on the back of some impressive performances of late and hoping to continue this against FC Roskilde, a side I have faced a fair few times since I touched down in Denmark. This is not one such encounter that I would like to remember however and the blame for this falls on the shoulders of Frederik Due, whether he deserves it or not. The back end of last season taught me one thing, he can't deal with shots from outside the box at all. Yes, the defence and midfield could work harder to prevent such opportunities, but you'd think that he should be able to get a hand to shots at least. Lucas Simonsen would be the latest player to profit from this weakness as he scored a hat-trick of goals from outside of the box without really placing the ball into the corners. I wouldn't be so harsh on Due if it was one from outside the box and the others were good finishes, but to concede three goals in such similar fashion furthers my ideas about the 'keeper. Great from inside the box, but a different story from outside. Meanwhile however and we did rally back into the game on four occasions, but that would prove to be too much for us as Roskilde would score a fifth in the second half. The defence didn't play nearly bad enough to have conceded five it must be said, though Mathias Ross was poor, but these things happen and I can only hope some luck falls our way over the course of the season

https://i.imgur.com/JImeHw9.png?1


Dino Hodzic - 24, GK - signed in part due to me wanting to show Due that I will replace him and in part due to a lack of good depth in goal, Dino was signed straight on the back of Due's woeful performance against Roskilde and will go straight into the starting XI for the next game.

MATCHDAY 4

https://i.imgur.com/0BMXVJ1.png?1


Coming off of the horrendous game against Roskilde, we welcomed back newly promoted Naestved as we aimed to bounce back to wining ways. Twelve minutes in and Mathias Pedersen would score an outrageous first-time volley at the back-post to give us an early lead. Not long before half time and Mulic would double our lead, taking advantage of some poor defending from the hosts to poke home from close range after a goal-line scramble. Five minutes into the second half had passed and the scores were back level. Frustratingly so too as Naestved hadn't looked like scoring all half but whatever was said to them at the break clearly worked as from two set pieces they found too goals. From here they kept on pushing to take the lead, but a string of good blocks and good saves from Hodzic kept things even and gave Due something to worry about. With the hosts tiring we would push on in search of a winner and would be rewarded with one when Mulic secured his brace with a powerful, driven shot from a tight angle finding its way through the 'keeper's legs.

MATCHDAY 5

https://i.imgur.com/P6WCUSH.png?1


Fredericia were right up there last season for the most part and so we knew what kind of challenge to expect as we welcomed them to our place aiming to show our credentials for promotion. We found ourselves in front early on, as we recycled possession well from a corner to find Mathias Pedersen out wide, whose cross has headed down by Mulic to an unmarked Tukiainen who made no mistake with his finish. For the most part, we looked good value for our lead too but we could not find a second goal despite our best efforts. This would come back to haunt us however, as an incisive counter-attack from Fredericia drew our defenders out of position, allowing an unmarked Bruus to score early in the second half.

DANISH CUP 2ND ROUND

https://i.imgur.com/J6DRbMs.png?1


Last season's tie against OB looked to have been the start to our poor form in the back-half of the season, and so playing them I had mixed feelings. On one hand I knew we would be up against it playing superior opposition, but on the other hand I wanted revenge, much like the boys did too. In the end I decided to rest some important names as defeat was surely on the cards. The visitors would score four past us in the first half, with Bashkim Kadrii showing the quality that would surely await us if we got promoted. We did score three goals of our own too it must be said, the pick of which being Kim Nygaard's first-time, outside of the boot strike from the edge of the box. But OB would ultimately put the game to bed in the second half as we crashed out of the cup. At least we can focus on the league now!

MATCHDAY 6

https://i.imgur.com/TWxJ9Tl.png?1


From OB to AB now as the busy month of August came to a close. Newly promoted and not in the league when I first arrived at Thisted, AB represent an unknown quality for me, and a test I'm more than happy to rise up to. Two minutes in and Sakari Tukiainen found himself over the ball from twelve yards, but he blazed the ball over as he endured a typical slow start to the season. For once we looked a dominant side in possession and in terms of shot creation too, however for all our work we couldn't find a reward. At half-time I demanded more of the boys, I asked them to not only show me why they deserve promotion, but to show the media too. This must have inspired on-loan winger Tobias Damtoft, who didn't give up from a corner to see his shot in the back of the net come the second time of asking. From here on out we put on a thoroughly professional performance to grind out a one-nil win.

League Table and Form


https://i.imgur.com/9Qg2I6N.png?1


With six games played we find ourselves sat fifth on eleven points. Concerningly, despite having scored the second highest amount of goals so far, we have also conceded the joint-second most goals, with the Esbjerg to Naestved games seeing us ship nine goals to our opponents. The league is shaping up to be competitive again this year, as both relegated sides look dangerous, whilst HB Koge seem to have rediscovered their form after almost dropping out of the league last year. Esbjerg currently sit atop the table having gone unbeaten, and we find ourselves just three points off of second-place and promotion. Hvidovre shockingly find themselves propping up the foot of the table so far having taken two points from their opening six games.

https://i.imgur.com/h6iagAC.png?1


Next Update


September 2020!
Ooo, AGF, a team I actually recognise! I assume they got relegated and are amongt the favourites to go back up?
Sometimes you have to stand in the shadows; to see the light.

OYSTON OUT
@Suffolk Seasider right you are, they're expected to be right up there!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

September 2020


MATCHDAY 7

https://i.imgur.com/gGGFU5d.png?1


HB Koge look back to themselves after narrowly missing relegation last year despite having a good squad at their disposal. We know we would be up against it then as we welcomed them to the Sparekassen Thy. The visitors enjoyed the majority of the ball throughout the game but couldn't turn this into an end product and instead we would take the lead before the half-hour mark as Yaw Amankwah headed home a Mads Schafer Bak freekick. We would double our lead in the second half in rather fortuitous means as Tukiainen's cross hit Mulic in the face to catch the HB Koge 'keeper unawares. We didn't stop there and would find ourselves with a three-goal lead late in the second half as a good ball down the channel from Vang saw Tukiainen stride into the box to find the bottom corner with his low strike across goal. Koge would find themselves a goal before the game was up, this time Hauser's shot across goal found the bottom corner. Tukiainen would restore the three-goal lead minutes later to seal a good win.

https://i.imgur.com/MytKh2X.png?1


Following the game I thought I'd ask for the board to fund a coaching course, but it was rejected for the second time, this time citing my presence at training as the reason. Frustrating as without qualifications I can't make any significant progress, but I'll have to try again perhaps in the Winter Break.

MATCHDAY 8

https://i.imgur.com/4FkJgoH.png?1


FC Helsingor looked to stop us after we took apart HB Koge last week out, and that's exactly what they looked like doing early on, as Boessen put the hosts ahead on the thirty-three minute mark after his first touch from a long-ball over the top beat his man, allowing him to emphatically hammer home into the far corner. We rallied back into the game and had chances of our own, but it wouldn't be until the later stages of the game that we would equalize as Alex cushioned a first-time volley past the 'keeper after Pedersen's deep cross.

MATCHDAY 9

https://i.imgur.com/RP4HUIJ.png?1


Hvidovre find themselves struggling this season after finishing above us last season. The extent of their struggle sees them in the relegation places despite maintaining the majority of their squad. This meant that we would line up against familiar faces, allowing us to nullify their threat going forward. It would be own of our new faces who would cause Hvidovre trouble, as they gave Damtoft too much space to cross the ball into the box. The ball evaded Alex's best efforts to turn it goalwards, but Mathias Pedersen hit a first-time volley on the turn that had too much about it for the 'keeper to stop, edging us ahead. Both sides looked like producing more in the remainder of the game, but nothing would materialise after some good build-up by both sides. A good win against a team that shouldn't be where they are.

MATCHDAY 10

https://i.imgur.com/9zdW9oD.png?1


Silkeborg are fully expected to return to the top flight at the first bite of the cherry and so we knew we would be against it when they travelled to town. In my first season with Thisted they took the league by storm and it was no surprise that they retained the bulk of their squad from that season. We would therefore have to find another gear if we were to beat them. For the largest part of the game we looked on course to gain a deserved point, with the possibility of perhaps snatching all three growing as the game went on. However within the space of five second-half minutes this dream would be made to remain just that. In the sixty-fifth minute young defender Veller would show his inexperience and concede a penalty. Due would dive the right way, but Yamga's shot was too far in the corner and Silkeborg took the lead. Not long after and a short free-kick for Silkeborg saw them try their luck from range, only for the ball to bounce around the box to Yamga, who laid it off for Quaranta to score an easy goal. This took the wind out of our sails and the boys failed to get going again, handing Silkeborg a routine victory in the end.

October 2020


MATCHDAY 11

https://i.imgur.com/ADlFvec.png?1


After a tough game against Silkeborg in our last outing, we would have loved to play a lesser side, but AGF would be the next team to visit the Sparekassen Thy as the fixture-list starts to get ugly. Much like the last game, we knew we would be up against it and need to be on top of our game. The visitors must have done their homework on Due, as from a throw in, Hojer would deliver a pacey, flat cross to the edge of the box where Stage would race on to it. Would he volley it? Control it and strike it? If you guessed neither you'd be right, as his header (yes, header) would find the top corner and beat Due. To our credit we looked like getting back into the game, but most of our chances would fall from range or would go just past the post. AGF would claim all three points when the final whistle blew. If we are serious about promotion this year then we need to do better against the better sides.

MATCHDAY 12

https://i.imgur.com/DtpuQ7h.png?1


We would gain some much needed respite from a top team as Nykobing present a challenge that I'm more than sure the boys would be able to beat. Naivety perhaps, as the visitors would take the lead when Hendriksen headed a corner across goal to his centre-back partner Hechmann, who towered above his marker to nod home. From the touchline I let the players know that this was not acceptable and to push on in search of an equaliser. This would pay dividends fast, as a Damtoft cross was met by Mads Vang at the back post to tap in and put the two sides level again. Just before the hour mark and we had turned the game around to be leading, as Essaisi was sent through on goal, I thought at first that his first touch had killed the chance as he took it away from goal, but this actually opened up the angle allowing him to rifle home with relative ease. Sakari Tukiainen would seal the win with his late penalty as he added to his alarmingly-low goal tally for the year.

MATCHDAY 13

https://i.imgur.com/ADJzDR3.png?1


I expected a win going in to the game against Roskilde, or rather, I had hoped for one to get our promotion hunt back underway. We looked the much more positive of the two sides in the early exchanges of the game, getting a good number of shots off and a good number of chances created. But for one reason or another it wasn't meant to be and the goal wouldn't come. Admittedly, its never a good sign when five of a team's fourteen shots are on target, suggesting that our clinical touch was missing. Roskilde would take advantage of this through some good fortune. On a quick counter-attack a Roskilde shot kindly rebounded to an unmarked Suljic at the top of the box, who had stayed onside when the shot was taken, and the Roskilde man's shot was too powerful for Due to keep out as all he could do was watch the ball roll out from the goal as he lay on the floor. Not an inspiring performance, but these things happen. The main question is, how many of these games do we need to lose before it becomes clear that we aren't going to be promoted?

MATCHDAY 14

https://i.imgur.com/zNTfbkl.png?1


The month of October came to a close as high-flying Esbjerg hosted us, signalling the end of a tough run of fixtures in recent weeks. The first half was over without much of note happening, meaning that we went in to the second half full of confidence that we could perhaps nick a result. This looked like being the case, as from the restart some good ply from us saw Mathias Pedersen played into the box before he passed the ball into the far corner. A sense of optimism started to build in the away end, but this was cut short early as ex-loanee Nicolas Dhyr found himself free in the box after we failed to clear the ball. Dhyr poked home against his former team, perhaps justifying his decision not to renew for this year. Just over ten minutes had passed when Esbjerg found themselves in front for the first time. From a set-piece the hosts managed to create a good opportunity, but Due was equal to the shot, but his save fell onto Vesterlund, who I can only assume had ducked out the way of the initial shot, giving Esbjerg a winning goal that was heaped in luck.

League Table and Form


https://i.imgur.com/AVj6FuE.png?1


Last season taught me two things. First, a bad month of results can disastrous when chasing promotion Secondly, this team will have a bad month, it is inevitable, but the squad is more than capable of going on a run of five or six wins on the bounce during the course of a season. So who knows what's going to happen next? Losing to Rosklide was a tough one to take, especially as we played Silkeborg, AGF and Esbjerg in the space of a few weeks with all three teams being touted for promotion this year. Cleansheets, as always, are looking like a rarity this season and Tukiainen and Alex may well be suffering the effects of approaching thirty, meaning goals for them are somewhat of a premium at the minute too. It may be too early to say it, but I think that losing to the teams above us in the last month may have killed off our promotion hopes, or at the least it shows we may not be ready for promotion again. The season still has two thirds to go so let's hope we can kick on.

https://i.imgur.com/w7t4AJO.png?1


We sit sixth in the league as a result of losing to three of the five teams above us. AGF and Esbjerg look to be running away with things, but we do find ourselves eight points off of promotion and so a good run of form and results going our way could well change this, especially if we beat some of the teams above us in the remaining fixtures against them. I'm not sure what to think of our performances this year, at times I think I'll see my contract out, at other times I feel like sticking here until we get promoted out of the love I have that is growing for Thisted. I really don't know what to expect!

Next Update


November 2020
You just can't seem to get any momentum! Keep going dude! You'll get that promotion soon enough!
FM19 Careers:

https://i.imgur.com/eWbt0ww.png
Not the best form at the minute but there's enough time to turn it around mate, keep the faith
Exactly what Matt said, still time to turn things around
https://i.imgur.com/zgMyvyG.png?2
@tongey, @bigmattb28 and @Dan thanks all for the kind words, I'll have to admit, in this update I came very close to leaving this break until I read your comments!

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November 2020


MATCHDAY 15

https://i.imgur.com/kggkbbZ.png?1


On the back of some tough results and losses to boot, we found ourselves travelling to Fredericia with a point to prove. We got ourselves a rare lead in a match twenty minutes in as Pedersen's cross hit a Fredercia player in the box, leading to Mulic volleying in unmarked. Mulic would double his goal tally early in the second half, as Heimer's deep free-kick resulted in the young Bosnian rising high at the back post to head across goal and into the far corner. Minutes later however and the hosts would pull one back. Sloppy defending on our part lead to Bruus peeling off his marker to convert a low cross. Nerves set in at this point as I was wary of our morale in recent weeks, it would not be too surprising to have thrown the game away given our recent form. But we held on and left with all three points, a much needed three points too as we look to keep some pressure on the teams at the top.

MATCHDAY 16

https://i.imgur.com/nCWtcfY.png?1


A rare opportunity to grab back-to-back wins for the first time in a while presented itself as newly promoted Naestved travelled to our place. We knew what to expect from Naestved as they proved to be very easy opposition when they were last in the league. We found ourselves ahead before the end of the first half, as Tukiainen rolled a penalty into the far corner and past the 'keeper's outstretched arm after was brought down inside the box. The Fin would score his second of the game shortly into the second half, when Damtoft picked up the ball and played it into the channel for Mulic, who drew a defender in before chipping the ball into the box for Tukiainen, whose first-time half-volley across goal nestled into the bottom corner. We didn't stop there and pushed on looking to put recent weeks behind us. Just before the hour mark and Mathias Pedersen chested the ball down from a throw-in, before delivering a flat cross for Mulic, who ran across his man and rose to meet the ball; heading it into the top corner. The rout was completed ten minutes from time, as substitute Kevin Goba looped a header into the top corner after Nygaard's free-kick. It came as no shock to me when Naestved found a consolation goal, as Knudsen knocked the ball around Johansson, on as a substitute, before rolling the ball under Due after the resulting one-on-one. A good showing from our lads as we finally got back to winning ways.

MATCHDAY 17

https://i.imgur.com/AO0CXWY.png?1


From one relegated team to another, as we travelled to AB aiming to turn our season around and make a late push for the promotion places before the Winter Break. But AB would read a different script to us, scoring an early goal through Daniel Pedersen, who hit a first-time volley as it dropped over his shoulder on the run. Honestly, in my time managing so far, I've not seen a better goal and there aren't many goalkeepers in the world who would have saved it, nor would many players be capable of recreating the strike. We were completely shell shocked by this and struggled to get out of our half for most of the first fort-five, winning the odd corner and very rarely venturing forward. Summer signing Kevin Goba was introduced in the second-half and the big Frenchman would score for back-to-back matches, getting a toe to the ball in the AB box to return the two sides to a level playing field. After this we struggled to get anything from the game, most of our crosses were over-hit and a lot of the link up play was missing up-top. We've had a few games like this now this year, perhaps its a personnel issue? Perhaps a tactical issue? Definitely something to consider going forwards with this team.

MATCHDAY 18

NOTE: I forgot to take a screenshot of the scoreline and have only just noticed now I've typed it all up. HB Koge would eventually go on to beat us by a goal to nil as they looked like causing an upset at the top end of the table by gaining promotion ahead of Esbjerg or AGF. A poor goal to concede in all honesty, as a lapse in concentration at the back saw their striker race through on goal to beat Due. We would see a goal chalked off for offside in this game in rather controversial circumstances. Goba looked to have continued his fine goal-scoring streak, but the linesman had judged him to be offside when the ball was played in. Was he though? I didn't think so and still don't, but its the official's call at the end of the day. Another loss against a team above us in the league, making the task in front of us all that much harder.

MATCHDAY 19

https://i.imgur.com/0fXOBkC.png?1


We finished for the Winter Break with a very winnable game against Helsingor, who would have been in a relegation battle this time last year if there were still four relegation spaces. And the visitors looked like a team with fight in them, as they took the lead within the opening minute. A long-ball from kick off and then some quick, neat passing following the knock down saw Boesen roll the ball past Due from six yards. This month we've had a habit of conceding an early goal and looking shaky from there on out, but this time we rallied and equalised early. Mathias Pedersen the goal-scorer, as he met the ball at the back-post to tap in. We kept this pressure on too, but again we lacked any sort of coherent link-up play going forward, relying heavily on the midfield to get in on the action if we wanted to secure three points. The game ended a draw, which was a fair result on the face of things. If we are going to mount a late charge for promotion then we are going to need to be better than this, better than a month of two wins from five when we could realistically win all five games if we play to our best.

League Table and Form


https://i.imgur.com/pbkS7gO.png?1


As I've just intimated, we've not had the best of months. Beating Fredericia, just, and beating Naestved should be routine. Beating AB and Helsingor should be a given too, and we've already beaten HB Koge this year if memory serves me correctly. On paper, we are much better than four of the five teams we've played this month and are about equals with HB Koge. For some reason however, we've really been struggling to find our best form this year, especially over the last few months. Tukiainen carries the majority of the weight and Mulic has done great so far in alleviating some of the pressure but Alex seems to have forgotten how to kick a ball since turning thirty. Creatively, Mathias Pedersen was always going to struggle to replicate his output from last year as he vastly outperformed expectations, whilst Damtoft is still young and inconsistent. M.P in the middle has been ok and good at a push. Somethings not been going right of late, but thankfully we have a Winter Break to adjust this and supplement the squad with the right signings.

https://i.imgur.com/SnPMCu9.png?1


Failing to beat teams above us, and scraping past teams below us has left us further adrift of promotion. Nine points off of second, but eight points separate us from third place. I've seen how well these boys can perform and I'm sure we could make a late push for promotion and that's what the aim is going to be. Perhaps we made too much progress last year? Maybe we're underperforming this year? We're expected to finish fourth but I believe we could honestly finish two places either side of this.

Job News


In and amongst this dodgy spell for us, Swedish side Orebro SK offered me the chance to take over going into their new season. But I can't leave Thisted, not in the middle of a season anyway. Maybe at the end of the season I'll re-address my position, but I'm leaning more and more towards one more year after this one. I've grown very fond of Thisted and want to leave them in a good position.

Next Update


Winter Break
The story of a journeyman is always about leaving and joining the next club when the times right for you, its good to see you enjoying life here and hopefully set for one more year, maybe a successful one to round off the work you've done!
https://i.imgur.com/zgMyvyG.png?2
Still solid mid table for now though mate which isn't the end of the world. As for the job, only you will know if the time is right. Depending on what happens this season you might be in a better position and a higher rep team might come calling
Thanks guys ( @Dan , @bigmattb28 ), I think the plan is going to be to see out this season and then make last year the next one with Thisted the last!

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Friendlies


https://i.imgur.com/5mYE1DT.png?1


After leaving for the winter break, I knew it would be necessary for us to play a number of fixtures in this time to ensure fitness is maintained and so that we can be fresh when we come back. Whilst the opposition may not look like too much to write home about, there are three very important fixtures in there. The losses the Esbjerg, AGF and HB Koge are all pretty telling as they are all teams above us in the league and they were emphatic losses too.

Transfers


https://i.imgur.com/9J6UYFe.png?2


Marco Lund - 24, CB - the first fee I've ever paid for a player and what a player he looks to be! Marco will slot straight into the starting XI due to his good aerial presence and quickness across the floor, as well as good physical qualities too. Marco has bags of experience at this level despite his age, and I'm hoping that he will be able to partner Amankwah at the back as Ross' form this year hasn't been great.

https://i.imgur.com/bjy6Dcm.png?2


Tobias Molgaard - 24, MC - primarily a central midfielder, Tobias can play a number of positions around the park too. His signing will lead us away from a deep-lying midfielder paired with an advanced playmaker towards a system deploying a ball-winning midfielder. Having played at a higher level in recent years, Tobias represents a major coup for the club and hopefully his signing will allow us to control the midfield more in games through the back-end of the season.

https://i.imgur.com/X4MR0gp.png?2


Nick Leijten - 29, GK - rounding out the transfers is goalkeeper Leijten, who will compete with Hodzic for our number two spot. This provides us with a little bit more quality in depth as well as another option should Due sustain an injury at any point.

March 2021


MATCHDAY 20

https://i.imgur.com/iOS8Zac.png?1


We returned to league action with a massive game against Silkeborg, who did not endure the best of times during the second third of the season. Back to our strongest XI and with the additions of Lund and Molgaard in the side, we took a lead in the first half, as Alex's cross from the edge of the box found Heimer who smartly placed the ball past the 'keeper. Inevitably however, we would not keep a cleansheet. A cross from the right hand side of midfield evaded Amankwah and Cappelluzzo got between our centre-backs to head past Due, who for some reason had dived far too early and was on the floor by the time the ball crossed the line. Determined to get more than a solitary point, I told the boys to push on and to not worry about conceding. This paid off for us as Heimer collected to ball and played a neat one-two with Mulic, before curling an effort from twenty-five yards off of the post, for the rebound to hit the stationary Contini and roll into the back of the net. A good win and perhaps a turning point in our fortunes.

MATCHDAY 21

https://i.imgur.com/n8JydLw.png?1


The immediate test following our win against Silkeborg was an away trip to AGF who are another one of the premium sides in the division. We looked like faltering early on in the game, when Vestegaard picked the ball up on the edge of the box from what looked like an offside position, before turning and hitting the ball past Due, although the ball was hit more-or-less straight at him. Frustrating, but we've rallied back in recent weeks so there was every chance we could do it again. It wasn't until late in the game that we would be rewarded for our efforts, as Tukiainen latched on to a long-ball down the line, before standing the ball up and crossing it for Mulic, who met the ball in stride to tuck it away into the bottom corner. A well, earnt draw against a good side and we even had a chance to win it late on, but Heimer couldn't guide his volley into an open goal through a crowd of defenders. Realistically we were never going to beat both Silkeborg and AGF in consecutive matches, so avoiding defeat is a good achievement in and of itself.

https://i.imgur.com/X1aaUqP.png?1


Sad news after we arrived back from the AGF game, as new midfield centrepiece Molgaard will be out for up to two months.

MATCHDAY 22

https://i.imgur.com/yeJ1u0v.png?1


With new belief installed in the boys, we aimed to get over the injury to Molgaard by securing three points to ease the damage. Both teams were up for the game, although neither team could really get a foot-hold in the match to take the lead. Having Molgaard in the team allowed Heimer or Nygaard to push further up knowing that he would be patrolling the midfield, however the sample size for this claim is small. In a game of limited quality chances, it would be the team that took theirs that would be victorious. Fifty-five minutes in and this is exactly what we would do, as Alex raced through one-on-one with the goalkeeper before playing the smart pass sideways to an onrushing Tukiainen who put the ball into the empty net.

MATCHDAY 23

https://i.imgur.com/4YTy28D.png?1


Could we string together a late push for promotion? Could we beat teams around us? Or would we run out of steam on the back of some impressive recent form? If you chose the latter option, you would be correct. A game in which both teams lacked any real quality as we missed a host of good chances. For instance, Damtoft found himself unmarked at the back-post and less than six yards out from goal, but he put it wide. Mulic raced through in the dying moments of the game, but put the ball wide under minimal pressure. So of course, it would be an own-goal that would separate the two sides. A whipped cross from the right side made its way into the box and clattered into the chest of Amankwah, who could only watch as the ball flew into his own goal. Not the result we needed, nor the performance that we required. We move on.

MATCHDAY 24

https://i.imgur.com/tcPFfjj.png?1


Esbjerg came into this game looking to put some serious space between themselves and the teams around them in the promotion hunt and based on their form this season, we knew we would be up against a superior side. We looked like we had really stepped up our game for this one too, as Alex smashed the ball in past the Esbjerg 'keeper from the edge of the box to give us a lead going into the break. We would have to defend equally well for the remainder of the game too if we wanted to seal a shock win, and this is exactly what we looked like doing. Up until the hour mark we showed the improvements made at the back since Lund's arrival, but this would all be undone when a shot from outside of the box took a nasty deflection off of Heimer to steer it goal bound and past Due who had been wrong-footed. This would prove to kill the game off, as neither team looked like scoring another, be it due to a misfiring attack or an impressive defensive display.

MATCHDAY 25

https://i.imgur.com/smPeNay.png?1


Fresh off the back of our draw to Esbjerg we hosted FC Fredericia in a game we should be more than capable of winning. For the most part, we looked like controlling the game from the off as a result of taking a high percentage of on-target shots. Our sustained pressure in the first half of the game was rewarded when we won a penalty, however Tukiainen blasted the ball high and wide before being booked for a foul ten minutes later, perhaps in frustration. It was looking like we wouldn't get anything from the game and that our performances were about to revert to dull draws, until Mulic was sent through on goal in the last minute, slotting the ball into the far corner with a superb finish across goal. Who'd have thought it, we scored a late winner!

League Table and Form


https://i.imgur.com/ABC4G6E.png?1


Mixed feelings about our form this month. We started the month of well, picking up a win against Silkeborg before drawing against AGF and later against Esbjerg. Routine victories against Hvidovre and Fredericia, however the manner of both wins is concerning as we only just nicked the win in both cases. Losing to Nykobing came as a shock, but creatively we weren't at the races. A serious pro of this month is that our defence has looked slightly more solid, admittedly we only kept two clean sheets, but games in which we would have previously conceded two goals we only conceded one. A serious con however, is the lack of creativity or involvement from the wings, meaning the goals have dried up slightly.

https://i.imgur.com/ewyTneR.png?1


Draws against AGF and Esbjerg, whilst not defeats, were not ideal this month. Winning both games would have seriously put our name back in the hat, but as the table shows we sit fourth. Although this is where we are predicted to finish, I want more from the team. However, not to be too pessimistic, the teams above us all sit on fifty-one points which suggest perhaps that the quality at the top is a lot higher than it has been in previous years as all three teams could seriously be champions. So maybe for as bad, or off-pace, we've been this year, the teams above us have just been that little bit stronger. Going into the next month, I'd like to hopefully see us cut down the gap between ourselves and promotion because as long as there are games left in the calendar, we can still finish in the top two.

Next Update


April 2021

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NOTE: I've got my girlfriend coming out to visit tomorrow until Tuesday and so until then I'll be putting FM and Thisted on the back-burner, see you all soon!
Whilst there is a big gap between you and third upwards, not that bad a season so far mate considering this is where you're expected to be. Maybe the difference in quality between you and those above is a touch too far at the minute,
Looks like fourth (best of the rest) will be the best outcome this season,hopefully it'll allow you to build on something special for the last season here
https://i.imgur.com/zgMyvyG.png?2
Thanks for the comments guys! @bigmattb28 you're right about mid-table for sure, hopefully a platform for next year. @Dan moving on is definitely in the picture for the coming year!

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NOTE: A slightly more condensed update this time as we round out the season!

April and May 2021


https://i.imgur.com/nXD36u2.png?1


April started brightly with a convincing five-nil win against Roskilde in a game where we looked completely dominant and the opposition never looked a threat. This perhaps spoke more about them than us at the end of the day, with the marker of a poor side seeming to be an inability to score against us this year. We followed this up with a consecutive away win for what seemed like an age. However it wasn't as convincing as I would have liked having dismantled Roskilde the previous week, as relegation candidates Naestved kept the margin of defeat to just one goal despite being a worse team than Roskilde on paper. This would seem to be a precursor to our coming form, as we struggled to get a point against AB in a game that, if we had won, we would have found ourselves in with a serious shout at making a late run. These poor performances would see us scape another one-one draw, this time against Helsingor as we finished the month with two wins and two draws despite all games being largely winnable.

Admittedly, winning all the games we played in April would have been a tough order due to the nature of our play this year, but nonetheless I still feel like we are better than AB and Helsingor. Ultimately, failure to pick up more points in this period took the wind out of our sails and made promotion possible only via a miracle. Morale had dropped and we seemed resigned to a mid-table finish after all.

However, if ever there was a month to put our demons to rest and make one last push for promotion it would have been May. Fixtures against HB Koge, Silkeborg, AGF and Hvidovre would be crucial as all but Hvidovre sat above us in the table. But much like last season, we dropped off spectacularly in the last month. Failure to win a single game put to bed any hopes of promotion once and for all and confirms that the squad at current is not good enough to gain a spot in the SuperLiga, but more on this to come.

https://i.imgur.com/135JZgu.png?1


More so, the recent run of two wins in eight games hasn't gone unnoticed by the board. Upon attendance of the meeting, it was decided that eleven points in five games would be enough to see me kept in a job. Interesting that they would say this the day that the season ended but it gives us a target for next year nonetheless. On a personal note, I've mixed feelings about this. First, we only just missed out on our expected finish by one place, and for the most part we did challenge for promotion for parts of the season. Secondly, I feel that last season may have been a slight overachievement and that the board expect similar performances from now on, they owe me to an extent as when I took over the club was on the brink of dropping out and after the turnaround we've had so far this comes as a kick in the teeth somewhat.

League Table


https://i.imgur.com/hxsOU5x.png?1


As I eluded to, we only finished one place below our predicted finish of fourth, ultimately ending up in fifth place. Whilst this is disappointing, it becomes clear why we finished mid-table when we look at our results over the year. Of the thirty-three games we played this season, twelve came against the teams that finished above us. Of these twelve games, we only won two and drew three, whilst losing a staggering seven of these games. Clearly then, the teams that finished above us were just a cut above us this year and we couldn't get near them on the pitch. It may seem painfully obvious, but if we want to gain promotion next year we need to improve this stat. This brings me on the overall strength of the league this season. We finished last season in third place with fifty-six points, averaging 1.69 points per game, whilst this year we finished fifth with six fewer points, averaging 1.51 points per game and if we had equalled our points tally from last year then we still would have finished fifth. The point I'm getting at is that whilst we may not have been atrocious this campaign, the teams above us we just a lot better and where we would have drawn games late on, they would have seen out wins. It reminds me of the season that Leicester won the league with 81 points whilst the same number of points would have seen them finish third the next season.

https://i.imgur.com/NIOCrSS.png?1

https://i.imgur.com/NdbyqdZ.png?1


Thoughts about the Squad


https://i.imgur.com/O8j6Iyr.png?1


In what was meant to be the season in which our signings to date propelled us to promotion, we find ourselves reflecting upon a mid-table finish. Sakari Tukiainen again finished as the league's Top Goalscorer, whilst Mathias Pedersen enjoyed a good year, but his numbers this year could not replicate the season before. Experienced players such as M.P and Kevin Goba were always going to be bit-part players but couldn't ever seem to string together good runs of form when selected. Vedad Mulic managed to get himself into double-digits for goals this term just as Alex seems to have lost his knack amongst Work Permit issues.

Of the twenty four available players in the squad (some are away, others are injured), half of them may be plying their trade elsewhere or need upgrading over the summer. Due, for his credit, is good at this level but his failure to keep long-range shots out has worn me out and an upgrade in this area, whilst not a priority, wouldn't be turned down. This of course has a knock-on effect for Leijten, Storch and Hodzic as the goalkeeping position in general receives an overhaul. Denius wasn't awful when he was called upon, but with it looking unlikely that Veller will return on loan, a more capable head is required. Alex seems to be heading for the exit door due to poor form and Work Permit issues meaning he'll leave at the end of his contract, but if it wasn't for his impressive first season the Brazilian would already be on his way. Johansson, Schafer Bak, Goba, Enevoldsen and Olesen are all rotational players and as harsh as it is, wouldn't be missed too much if they weren't here - plus it would free up wages to sign one or two superstars.

Thoughts


At the beginning of the year, promotion was the aim and to have not met this goal hints towards a lack of playing ability and naivety on my end too. Going in to next year and the aim remains the same despite a disappointing year this time around. With the right signings, and the right tweaks to the system I'm confident in my boys' ability to go up. But next year will be my last season with Thisted, whilst I'm prepared to stick out the whole year, if we were to find ourselves fifth going into the Winter Break and an offer comes my way, I'd be stupid to reject it after having declined a move last winter. For now though, all I can do is identify targets, move players on and prepare for the new season!
Tad harsh indeed from the board, hopefully you can achieve the points target to extend your stay with Thisted for a little longer.
My Careers:
FM15 | FM16 | FM17a | FM17b
FM19
Journeyman's Journey II
Trip to: China | South Africa
I've seen the board in FM19 be very demanding and to see yours moaning about a bad patch is unreasonable I'd say. Still like you say give it this 1 last season and see what happens, I hope you don't have that bad a patch that it reflects bad on you and your chances of securing another job.
@r96Skinner @bigmattb28 indeed it does feel a tad harsh on the part of the board, but with 5 games to get 11 points I feel that the target isn't unachievable.

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Notable Transfers 2021/2022


https://i.imgur.com/nc0KHs6.png


Matteo Perissinotto - 21, ST - with Alex leaving the club over the summer, and Kevin Goba finding himself a reserve player, we needed to strengthen our attacking options. Having spent his whole career so far plying his trade in his native Italy, Matteo joins us having never played a competitive game at senior level. He will be limited to appearances mostly off the bench or in cup competitions, but it's welcomed depth and an adequate replacement for the outgoing options up-top.

https://i.imgur.com/xswtliv.png?1


Edgar Babayan - 25, AMR/AML - for the coming season the plan is to switch away from the 4-4-2 that has served us well so far, to a more attacking 4-2-3-1. This means that we need players to play in the more advanced positions on the pitch. Edgar is one such player and coming in on loan from divisional rivals Hobro is a signal of his ability. A quick and technical winger, he is definitely an upgrade on Vang and with Mathias Pedersen switching to his preferred position behind the striker, Edgar will be our first choice right-winger.

https://i.imgur.com/IjB54Ba.png?1


Rene Henriksen - 18, AMC - with Kim Nygaard not renewing his loan for this season, we needed a back up creative midfielder to fill the void. Having spent last season with a struggling Hvidovre side, Rene joins us with less defensive expectations required as our defence should be tighter than Hvidovre's. A gifted attacker capable of playing slightly deeper, Henriksen has all the traits to be a good squad player for us this term.

https://i.imgur.com/vIhHnie.png?1


Alexander Baun - 25, AML - another wide player joining from Hobro as they look to offload players at bounce straight back up to the SuperLiga. With Damtoft's loan expiring, we found ourselves lacking any left sided options in midfield. Naturally an Inside Forward, possess the right attributes to be a solid addition to the side and I'm looking forward to seeing what he can bring to the side.

https://i.imgur.com/8ycBULQ.png?1


Nimo Gribenco - 24, AML - not happy with signing one left-sided player, Nimo joins us having been released by AGF after their promotion last year. Never a first choice player for AGF, Gribenco will find himself competing with Baun for the starting berth on the left. The more attacking of the two options, I'm sure he can bring some of the winning culture he experienced at AGF with him to the Sparekassen!

https://i.imgur.com/QqORYXn.png?1


Bo Kjaerby - 20, DL - with Serup Hansen's loan expiring and Davidsen being released over the summer, we needed to revamp the left side of defence as well as the left side of midfield. One of two signings in this department as we look to revamp the side, Bo joins on loan from OB as he looks to impress enough to go back to his parent club a starter. Quick and physical, with ok defensive stats to boot, we'll have to see whether or not the young Dane can secure a first team role with us.

https://i.imgur.com/izVP8QJ.png?1


Michael Lund - 33, DL - the second left-back through the door this summer, Michael is the more experienced of the two signings. With over one-hundred appearances in the SuperLiga in recent years, Michael makes the drop down as he enters the twilight of his career. Technically, mentally and physically well-rounded I'm sure Michael can do a solid job for us this year when called upon. More so, hopefully he can use his experience to solidify our defensive performances.

https://i.imgur.com/5v1LoMH.png?1


Nicolas Dyhr - 20, AMC/AMR/MR - a familiar face returns to the club this summer as Nicolas Dyhr joins on loan for the second time in three years. Having played a stand-out role for Esbjerg last year as they gained promotion, I'll be looking to Nicolas to replicate his form this year as we aim to do the same. Capable of playing a number of positions too, he will likely be shifted between the centre and right side of our attacking midfield. Delighted to have him back, especially due to his growth as a player since he left!

https://i.imgur.com/7GKOvzg.png?1


Seyi Adekola - 25, ST - the last player to join us over the summer and one I've had my eye on for a while too. Seyi had been playing for Vendsyssel for the last two seasons and in his last Nordicbet Liga campaign he managed to score double-digits for goals. Wanted by a host of sides, most notably HB Koge, he offers us some excellent depth in the attack should we want to move away from a 4-2-3-1, or even to add more fire power to a stacked bench.

MATCHDAY 1

https://i.imgur.com/QwjG9bM.png?1


We start the season with an immediate promotion six-pointer. Hobro, fresh from their recent relegation, are looking to secure a top-two place this term and return to the top flight. We on the other hand, will look to show off our new look side as we aim to finish at the top as well. As the teams lined up I could already see one clear difference before the game had even kicked off. Only two of the starting XI for Hobro were under six foot tall, with five or six players standing at six-foot-four or above. Clearly then, we would be up against a physical battle today. Sixteen minutes in and Hobro had made use of their height, as six-foot-six striker Kristoffersen latched on to a cross to head over Due, who had found himself in no-man's land as he rushed out to collect to the cross. Not a strong start for 'keeper. Just after the half an hour mark and the lead had been doubled. Kristoffersen brought the ball down out wide with the touch of a diminutive winger, before playing the ball inside and following his pass, eventually receiving the ball again for a first-time finish into the far corner. Due could do nothing about this one as the standard of football was far too good. We would get a consolation goal late on however, as Dyhr curled a nice finish into the fine corner after we missed a slew of good chances. Unlucky to lose as we had some good chances in the last half-hour of the game, but at the end of the day players, new and old, are still adjusting to each other and the new system.

DANISH CUP 1ST ROUND

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The first round of the cup always provides a game we are more than capable of winning, and with a rotated side we set to progress to the second round as we have done every year. The match in truth belonged to Adekoya, as the American poked us ahead in the second half with a deft finish at the near post. He would grab his brace just over twenty minutes later, sweeping in a knock-down after we had swung a corner deep towards to back post. The hosts would get one back however, as Bundgaard scored a wondergoal late on. A routine victory, but one that we should've won by more in all honesty.

MATCHDAY 2

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We returned to league action as Hvidovre travelled to the Sparekassen Thy with both teams looking to get their first league win of the season. The visitors got off to the best possible start as from kick-off they worked the ball down the left and crossed to the centre, where Friis got between Ross and Amankwah to head past Due, who was unmoved between the sticks. Playing against the team he came through the ranks of, Vedad Mulic got us back in the game with a fierce, driven shot into the far corner after being sent through one-on-one. Mulic's pace would continue to be a constant threat to Hvidovre, as he would constantly find himself in good positions throughout the remained of the game, scoring three more in the process. Before the game was over, Tukiainen would have his maiden goal for the campaign, peeling off his marker in the box to convert Mulic's cross from six yards out.

MATCHDAY 3

https://i.imgur.com/3eziJc5.png?1


After our emphatic win against Hvidovre last week, we looked to build upon our strong offensive performance against recently promoted Viborg, who were surprisingly relegated two seasons ago. We had a mountain to climb before ten minutes had even passed. Two minutes in and we had conceded another early goal, again a header this time. Not long after and the lead had been doubled, as Bonde smashed the ball home inside the box after the ball had been knocked down from a corner. The hosts looked completely dominant and like the side aiming for promotion, as Morten Beck scored his second of the game after a lapse in concentration at the back. Half time couldn't have come sooner and at the break I let the boys know they had been pathetic in the first half. A change of shape to a 4-2-2-2 and the introduction of Tukiainen looked to have changed our fortunes, as five minutes after the restart he scored a fantastic finish across goal and into the top corner. The game would soon be on it's head, as within the space of three minutes Tukiainen would strike twice more. The first a header looping to the back post and the second a powerful finish after a good run from Mulic. With things equal, we looked like the better side as momentum was well and truly on our side. Or rather, it was. Straight from kick off and the barrage from Viborg began, packing players into our box and lumping the ball up towards them. Twice we cleared our lines but on the third time of asking the officials decided they wanted to sort things out as they judged Mathias Ross to have committed a foul in the box. I watched the replay time after time and still don't know what they gave it for. Handball? No. An elbow? No. A horror tackle? Nope. In the replay he jumps with his man and heads away, but the officials deemed this worthy of not only a penalty, but a red card too. Fuming. The penalty itself was awful, hit limply down the middle at Due, flicked a foot at the ball half-heartedly to continue his appalling start to the year. But with the last kick of the game we were level. Adekoya, on as a substitute, curled the ball into the box for Tukiainen to head home.

When the team bus turned up at the Sparekassen after the game, I was greeted by Chairman Allan Skov. Maybe he wanted to chat, maybe he wanted to readjust the points total we were set at the end of the year...?

https://i.imgur.com/ZBH0xuT.png?1


Sacked. Sacked? SACKED?! At the end of last season, literally after the last game of the last campaign, I was told that the board wanted eleven points from five games. At the time I thought it was a bit harsh and that going into the new season we would start with a fresh slate as new players and new tactics changed the dynamics of the club. But after three league games this season we had picked up four points. The maths isn't hard. Two games left, six points available. Winning both would have left us one point off the target and it's not uncommon for board's to be happy with a point of two less than the target. But not Allan Skov, he showed me the door without letting me play the remaining two games. We had a good squad starting to jel, surely this was worth more time in and of itself? I'd always planned this to be my last season with Thisted but that was always on my terms. Our performances hadn't even been bad. We took Hobro close after a resurgent second half showing, we progressed in the cup, we smashed Hvidovre, and if it weren't for some awful refereeing we could well have beaten Viborg. Maybe one day we'll come back to where it all began, but with Skov still in charge that'll never happen.
Back in the Game!


https://i.imgur.com/WzZfsy2.png?1


So just over a week since my somewhat acrimonious dismissal from Thisted and I found myself on the verge of returning to the managerial hot seat. Allsvenskan outfit Hammarby IK find themselves managerless and in need of a change in direction. A move within Scandinavia, surely it looks nailed on that I'll accept the job?

https://i.imgur.com/GSZNjXC.png?1


And that's just what I did! As the press release states, its a surprise announcement but I'll be looking to surprise the media again by going above and beyond what they expect of me here in Sweden!

Hammarby IK


https://i.imgur.com/1PIoKEQ.png


Based in the capital of Sweden, Stockholm, the club has tasted Allsvenskan glory just once, twenty years ago in 2001 and is expected to challenge for Europa League qualification year on year. Established in 1897, the club currently calls the Tele2 Arena home, and its going to be a big step up from what I'm used to. The Tele2 Arena holds a whopping 33,000 fans, which dwarfs the 3,000 capacity of the Sparekassen Thy Arena and signals the huge step up I'm taking from Thisted.

https://i.imgur.com/O5yaCJb.jpg


With a few days before I'm needed in Stockholm, I decided to take the ten and a half hour, one-thousand and sixty-two kilometre journey via Odense and Malmo, before driving through the Swedish countryside to Stockholm.

https://i.imgur.com/9spJp7U.png?1


Before my arrival I thought I'd check how the club have been doing so far this season...

https://i.imgur.com/qwzdj5J.png?1


We sit eighth in the league, four places off of continental qualification and our expected finish of fourth. The league itself has a number of underachievers and overachievers this season. Malmo, AIK and ourselves all sit way off of our preseason expectations, whilst Djurgardens and BK Haken find themselves overperforming as they have stellar seasons this year. Upon closer analysis, we sit eight points away from European qualification which is a promising sign as it suggests that with the right tweaks, given the current squad we can get ourselves back on track.

https://i.imgur.com/CwT5fgo.png?1


Looking at the league performance this year, things hadn't been going horrendously prior to my arrival, with the biggest cold streak coming over the last month, with the club winless in five. With nine games left in the regular season, I don't expect us to finish too far away from where we are, but with a good start and change in fortunes who knows where we could finish.

https://i.imgur.com/J8K2wIn.png?1


As I made my way into the city, I turned my attention to the players in the squad and how they're getting on. By all accounts, we're set up well on the field, but this hasn't translated all too well in the dressing room, which may be indicative of recent poor form. Most alarmingly, the news of my arrival seems to have disrupted the squad, which is to be expected as a relative unknown takes over one of the bigger clubs in Sweden.
Frustrating sacking, but landed on your feet by getting the Hammerby job.
My Careers:
FM15 | FM16 | FM17a | FM17b
FM19
Journeyman's Journey II
Trip to: China | South Africa
Good luck at your next role in Sweden.
Frustrating indeed @r96Skinner but on to bigger and better!

Thanks @HawkAussie!

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NOTE: With not long left to play this season, I thought I'd close out the season and give a recap and some thoughts about my time with Hammarby so far.

End of Season Form


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The day that my contract with Hammarby had started I arrived to the training ground with the news we'd be travelling to Ostersunds for an evening kick off. Talk about an immediate start. To come away with a win in the first game was the best possible start for myself as it meant I could endear myself to the travelling fans as well as reassure the players.

Following this we had a two week break in which I could tinker with the squad and get to know the playing staff. Settling on a 4-5-1 variant, possession based systemin the end to accommodate for the better players in the team. We followed this up with a loss to bottom placed IK Sirius in a game that we couldn't put away the chances we created whilst the hosts converted their clear cut chance. We followed this up with three consecutive wins for what feels like a long overdue time in my career. During this period we looked incredibly solid, with the goals we conceded being late on and nothing more than consolations. The BK Hacken game in particular was a highlight as they were sat fourth at the time and so to beat a team above us injected us with some confidence.

October started with a tough game against then league-leaders Djurgardens in a game I didn't expect to get anything from. But to my surprise we looked equal to Djurgardens and could even have snatched a win had we been firing on all cylinders. A red card for them just over the hour mark didn't harm our cause it must be said. We followed this up with another goal-less draw against bottom half side Brommapojkarna in a game in which the opposition defence and goalkeeper all played blinders to prevent us from breaking them down. We rounded out the month with a solid two-nil win against Landskrona as we propelled ourselves up the table and kept another cleansheet. Long gone are the days at Thisted when conceding a goal was an inevitability.

The closing game of the season came at home to fierce local rivals AIK in a sell out game at the Tele2 Arena. In just a few months I've gone from having average crowds of just over two-thousand behind me, to having thirty-three thousand pairs of eyes on me. Gulp. The game itself was huge for both teams. AIK were right in and amongst the title race and we needed a win to secure our target of a top four finish. David Okereke would score for us around the half an hour mark as he continued his excellent form since my arrival, putting to bed my doubts about not having a good striker in the squad. In the second half our rivals would find themselves reduced to ten and that's how the game would end.

League Table


https://i.imgur.com/8kyvOEX.png?1


Upon arrival, the club sat eighth with nine games remaining, well off of expectations. Since my arrival in August however, we have lost only one of our last nine games and won six to boot. That's twenty points from twenty seven available and its seen us rocket up the table to fourth place. I assumed when we arrived that this would mean some route into European competition but it seems we fell short by a few places. At the top end of the table, we still find ourselves some way off of being genuine challengers in any way for the title but this was always to be expected. Europa League qualification is always the realistic aim and its important to not get too carried away when looking at our form and planning for next season.

Signing


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Manuel Schmiedebach - 32, DMC/MC - a quality midfield option with plenty still to offer, I'm more than happy to welcome Manuel to the squad. Our tactic deploys three midfielders (more on this to come) and we lacked any sort of real quality on the bench. This signing allows me to rotate through the midfield options as well as be prepared should form dip off eventually.

Key Players


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Simon Sandberg - 27, DR - the club's starting right-back, Simon is much better than our back-up option who is soon to be leaving when his contract expires. Since I've arrived Simon has been solid at the back and has contributed to build-up play down the flank too. Not a bad thing to say about him so far, however with most players to come the sample size is small.

https://i.imgur.com/TAtmAqc.png?1


Marcus Degerlund - 23, DC - the star man of our defence, Marcus stands at a whopping six-foot four-inches and can move across the floor with all the agility of a player much smaller. Dominant in the air too there isn't too much he can't do for us at the back. Attracting interest from Italian sides, it'll be as good as a new signing if I can keep him here over the summer and so it'll be interesting to see if I can avoid a saga developing in the off-season.

https://i.imgur.com/uRbi3oL.png?1

https://i.imgur.com/uE7YEyp.png?1

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Our midfield three of Andersen, Tekie and Andersen I believe is up there with the best in the league. The three players all compliment each other's skill sets, with Jeppe Andersen sitting deeper, Tekie pushing on and Erik Andersen being a good two-way player. Too good to not play altogether, they have strongly influenced the tactical set up we have here at Hammarby and I'm looking forward to seeing how well they can do for me over a full season.

https://i.imgur.com/mDE9yk2.png?1


Vladimir Rodic - 28, AMR/AML - not favoured by the previous manager, Vladimir's future looked uncertain before my arrival. Initially he was second-fiddle to Sander Svensen, but after a good showing off of the bench I decided he was worth a more in-depth run in the first team. Since then he hasn't disappointed and whilst his return of one goal and two assists doesn't jump off of the page, its his involvement with build up play and his key passes that make him stand out.

https://i.imgur.com/bgOpVsp.png?1


David Okereke - 24, ST - upon my arrival in Stockholm, my first assessment of the squad was that it lacked a good striker. In the first two games, Stoke City loanee Ngoy was preferred up top due to his pace, but after an injury I was left with no other viable choice than Okereke.and he repaid my faith with seven goals in his seven games since September. He'll lead the line next year provided we don't sign a star striker, I'm hoping his form can be sustained in the long haul.

Tactic


https://i.imgur.com/eEhet7j.png?1


As I've suggested, we play a formation that fits our incredible midfield options. The rest of the team was then built around them using what we have. We've got good options in the defence, though limited in the wider areas but this is something I'll look to address in the summer. We're stocked with good wingers too whilst not being limited to playing them as out-and-out wingers, with the squad possessing some natural Inside Forwards. I've touched on us being thin up top and due to this we stuck to a one-striker system. The philosophy we look to play is a possession based, fast passing style that looks to exploit the space behind the opposition by drawing them out and launching a ball either over the back or through the gaps with our midfield three all being more than adept passers of the ball.

Thoughts


My time at Hammarby so far has exceeded my expectations. Whilst I'm aware that recent form may be the short-term bounce of players looking to impress a new manager, I can't quite believe how my predecessor had the club languishing in mid-table. We've got some good players returning from loans over the winter, with other players in the current first team squad leaving as they've not done enough to warrant a contract renewal. I don't plan on making too many signings then, with only the wingbacks and striker positions needing more depth. I'm very excited to see how we get on next year as I'm in with a real chance at European qualification for the first time in my career!
So the eventual, expected sacking came! Unlucky mate, but looks like things in Sweden is treating you much better to date
https://i.imgur.com/zgMyvyG.png?2
It's been a lot better than I thought it would be so far @Dan.

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Preseason 2022/2023


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My time in Sweden so far has been busy with league fixtures without a second thought about when the domestic cup campaign starts, but this all made sense when I checked the schedule. The Swedish Cup is played in the preseason. As we're a top division side we immediately qualified for the Group Stage, which consists of eight groups of four teams, with each team playing each other once and the winner of the group progressing into the knockout rounds. After three games we sat atop our group and so faced Ostersunds in a game we dominated largely but dropped off in towards the end. Into the semi-finals and we played Djugardens in a game in which we matched last year's league leaders right until the end. Both teams had a chance to score from the spot, but good saves from either 'keeper denied the takers, only for Djurgardens to score on their next attack after our penalty had been saved. A tough loss to take considering we probably edged the game despite the final score suggesting otherwise. Either side of the cup we were largely successful in our fixtures, with the only loss being a narrow one to a superior RB Salzburg side. With a few new names on the score sheets for us, let me introduce you to our new players...


Transfers


https://i.imgur.com/EZu7Hcv.png?1


I'd never planned to have such a busy window, but when the right players pop up for the right prices, its hard to say no sometimes. Focusing on the outs first and five players left on permanent deals. Paulsen, Essaeh and Hamad were all either the wrong side of thirty, not in my plans for the coming year, or represented a large portion of the wage bill and so I was more than happy to ship them out in order to free up wages and bring in some quality replacements. Stjepanovic was our first choice 'keeper last year and the eighteen year old was hot property in the summer, once AC Milan triggered his release clause it was only a matter of time before he moved on to bigger and better. He's subsequently been loaned out to Dortmund in what must have been a turbulent summer for the young stopper. Other than this, the majority of the outgoing deals were season long loans for players requiring more game time, some of which had only joined this summer. On the incoming side of things, I feel that this might be the best summer I've had in management to date. Yes, we've paid a pretty penny for our new recruits, but if they can bring us success in the near future then the price tags will take care of themselves.

https://i.imgur.com/YS55YFn.png?1


Albert Pode - 19, DL - signed from Malmo for just over £2million, Albert will be our starting left back for the year and the future going forward. Perhaps on of the best young defenders in the league if not breaking into the top five left-backs in the league despite his tender age. Signed initially for his immense pace and physical attributes, since he came in I've been equally impressed with his ability to go up and down the wing in training as well as his defensive capabilities. A real steal from our divisional rivals, and a testament to the vision we have here at Hammarby.

https://i.imgur.com/fuWbHdL.png?1


David Ivan - 27, MC - I was manually scouting the top clubs in Europe's more obscure leagues when I stumbled across David. Having been plying his trade for Slovan Bratislava for the past few seasons I thought he may be interested in a move to Sweden. We have one of the better midfields in the league and so to break into it will be no small task, but when directly compared with Erik Andersen he is an upgrade in all areas. This gives us an immediate boost in the first team as well as adding to our depth in the middle of the park by pushing Andersen onto the bench. I'm delighted to have him signed especially as he enters the peak of his abilities and hopefully he can contribute a lot from the middle this season.

https://i.imgur.com/gUGXWFe.png?1


Andres Lora - 19, DR - with first choice right-back Sandberg turning twenty-eight by the end of the year and our previous second choice right-back leaving for free in the summer, we needed a player who is both capable of stepping in when required now as well as being able to lock down the position in the future. I was scouring the 'big clubs' in Spain's B teams when I spotted Andres in Valencia's B team. He ticked a lot of boxes for me upon first glance. Pacy, a good defender and with room to develop too. Worst case scenario on this deal is that he stays with us for a few years and is moved on for a small profit. Best case scenario, he stays with us for a few years and on the back of some good performances in Europe (should we qualify) and is then sold for a much a few times more than we paid for him.

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Richard Soderstedt - 17, MC - one of my priorities here at Hammarby is to develop a squad capable of performing well for the years to come, and so in-line with this the first objective for the scouting team over the summer was to locate good domestic talent with bags of potential. One such player brought to my attention was Richard, who had been making noise at youth level internationally. At just seventeen years of age he is more than capable of being a leading player for sides in the division and will most likely play outside of Sweden at some point in his career. The sky is the limit for Richard, but for now he'll be featuring for us off of the bench and in the more winnable fixtures.

https://i.imgur.com/Xw9FTUk.png?1


Andrea Chiarello - 18, DC - the first of two players that were on my radar from my time with Thisted, Andrea came through the ranks at Silkeborg due to their Italian connections. I first noticed him when he was sixteen and put in a solid defensive display to frustrate the likes of Tukiainen and since then I've kept an eye on his development. A cheap signing, Andrea has since been loaned out in part to gain experience and also due to another signing we made. I'm sure that he will be more than capable of stepping into the first team next year, but for now he needs to refine his game elsewhere.

https://i.imgur.com/TGbHtWm.png?1


Mohamed Kamal - 19, DC - another defender and another young one too. Don't let his age fool you however, at nineteen years old Mohamed has already played for his country more times than most would dream of and he stands tall at six-foot-two. This deal is full of upside too, signed for less than a million pounds Mohamed has the potential to be a real steal for us and a player to keep an eye out for over the years. His marking, tackling and heading ability speaks for itself whilst his positioning and aerial ability should make him a real asset at the back. We've taken the leagues second best defence last season and improved on it greatly with Mohamed and our other signings.

https://i.imgur.com/kRrW9T0.png?1


Vedad Mulic - 19, ST - oh its good to have a familiar face join us in Sweden. It was always going to be a toss-up who to take from Thisted between him or Tukiainen, but in the end Vedad just edged it over his former team-mate. Already in my time in Stockholm I've faced off against a number of strikers, plenty of which are much worse players than Vedad. Whilst he's not rated too highly as a first-team choice by the coaching staff, Vedad will find himself playing for us either off the bench or as rotational player. At worst he offers some good depth off of the bench. As a side not, he's really developed in the two years he's been at Thisted!

https://i.imgur.com/MSNghLp.png?1


Erik Exposito - 25, ST - when the season had ended and Ngoy's loan ended, we were left with just one striker. Admittedly, Okereke did average a goal a game since my arrival but he needed support. Mulic will be a young player to develop for the first team for the most part and so relying on him solely for back-up would be reckless. Erik was brought to my attention by his agent, who flagged up his availability once he had been transfer listed. At the time, we were finalising a deal for Zac Clough but his wages would have been three times more and the transfer free would have emptied the bank. In the end we plumped for an equally as good player in Erik for a much smaller out-lay. He'll be competing for the starting berth up top with Okereke this year.

https://i.imgur.com/T4GhceE.png?1


Iosif Cojocaru - 20, GK - young, talented goalkeepers for me have been something akin to London buses since I entered the management game. That's to say that I've waited this long for one, only for a second to appear. With previous first choice and academy product Stjepanovic leaving for pastures new, we found ourselves looking for a good enough 'keeper to replace him. The problem being that we'd just lost one of the best goalies in the league. The money from his sale, and some left in the kitty, was then going to be spent looking for a replacement that was as good if not better. I approached the situation methodically, looking at all European nation squads for players younger than twenty-three and still on the books of a domestic side. This is when Iosif was spotted and after a few scouting missions, we has suggested as being better than what we had lost just days before. Just like Milan triggered Stjepanovic's release clause, I triggered Iosif's and within hours the paperwork had been finalised. I'm over the moon to sign him as we were looking like being short in this position and also because it tightens up our already strong defence.

Allsvenskan Action!


With all these signings then, we had to figure out how to play. Having been so good since my arrival at the back-end of last season, we're going to be sticking to the 4-5-1 variant that we finished with last year, with Cojocaru, Pode, David and Kamal and Exposito all walking into the starting XI and Lora and Soderstedt settling on the bench. But with all of these changes, just how would we fair in our league opener against favourites for the league Malmo?

MATCHDAY 1

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After a busy summer of transfers and some good showings in the cup, there was plenty of excitement and buzz on the team bus as we headed south to Malmo for a huge six-pointer in the title race on just the first day. Going into the match and the hosts had been predicted to finish top of the league and we had been predicted to finish a place below them, so the stakes were going to be high. Having already played a handful of times together in preseason, the boys already had an idea of how one-another played going into kick-off and this paid off for us early doors. We threatened in the early exchanges and were rewarded with a corner in the tenth minute, which Degerlund steered into the top corner after losing his man in the box. Before the quarter hour mark we had laid down the gauntlet as David Ivan spotted Exposito peeling off his man and launched a ball over the back-line, for the Spaniard to latch on to and sit the 'keeper down before slotting into an empty net. For the remained of the game we were dominant, controlling the ball and creating good chances often. Malmo would get one back and create a small sense of doubt in the seventieth minute, as Mushitu got behind substitute Fenger, only to have his shot parried back to him to convert at the second attempt. We would see the game out however to gain a fantastic early win. If this is what it was like to play the favourites for the league, then I wonder how the season could play out.

Unbelievable you got sacked mate, but getting the Hammarby job is good going, they're a pretty decent sized club. Us older CM / FM players remember that absolute beat Kennedy playing for Hammarby back in the day! Good luck.
@bigmattb28 I'll have to admit this is my first run-in with Hammarby in my time playing FM!

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April 2020


MATCHDAY 2

https://i.imgur.com/QoPAsAR.png?1


After our opening game victory against Malmo last time out we faced Kalmar FF with confidence high and intrigue equal as we wanted to see how real a challenge we could be at the top of the table this season. Against Malmo we had scored two early goals but we would have no such luck this time out. It wouldn't be until the hour mark that we broke the deadlock. Rodic's freekick from a wide position wasn't dealt with by the Kalmar defence, in and amongst the chaos and Okereke finds himself falling to the floor at the same time the ball makes its way towards him. The ball hit him in the face and trickled across the line and I have to say I'd not yet seen something like this in my time manning the dugout. Not long after and we would score again, centre-back Degerlund staked a claim for the ball from twenty-five yards out and he curled his freekick up and over the wall and into the back of the net. Straight from kick-off however and Kalmar would find themselves back within touching distance. A good switch of play from Soderqvist found Arvidsson down the right and his first touch got him inside Sandberg before drilling a low shot in at the near post. With twenty-plus minutes remaining however we managed to hold on to the three points and continue our good start to the season.

MATCHDAY 3

https://i.imgur.com/WmNrJbY.png?1


I've been nothing but impressed with the way the boys have played since I took over last season, with our possession stats typically being amongst the best in the league, and with our shot numbers being high too. This was much the same as we faced off against IFK Norrkoping, but we weren't quite at our best. Our ability on the ball would prove to be a decisive factor for us early in the first half, when we recycled possession from a corner to find an inside pass to Lora in the box, who ha enough time to pass the ball across to Tekie inside the box. With his first touch the midfielder curled the ball into the corner and past the 'keeper. And for as good as we were on the ball, we were equally good at the back, limiting the opposition to two shots and so it was no surprise when we finished the game with all three points.

MATCHDAY 4

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After looking impressive in the opening fixtures of the season so far, we welcomed IFK Goteborg to the Tele2 as we aimed to make it four wins from four and upset the apple-cart so to speak. The game in truth was a bore draw. Again we put up good shot numbers and had a good proportion of our shots on target, but Goteborg operated a good low-block and were also fortunate that their goalie played a solid game too. One positive from this game is that we remain unbeaten, but one negative is that we failed to get going as the fixture list gets congested.

MATCHDAY 5

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After a run of home fixtures we made a rare trip away, this time to Trelleborgs FF with the league beginning to take shape early on, The first half of the game had a real ebb and flow to it and from the side-line I thought that if we kept on at it we'd come away with a win. But we would find ourselves behind going into half-time. Johansson stood over a freekick around the twenty yard mark, and to his credit he got his effort up and over the wall, but this isn't one Cojocaru will want to see again any time soon as he could only push the ball into the roof of the net in what must go down as a goalkeeping blunder. Contrary to my thoughts in the first-half, we needed changes to get going. One such change would find himself contributing early on into his introduction, as Tankovic picked up a Sandberg header before splitting the defence to find Exposito who smashed the ball in from six yards. If Cojocaru didn't want to see the replay of the first goal, then Degerlund won't be wanting to see any footage of the second half. Usually a rock at the back, he found himself having an off game which was highlighted in the eightieth minute. Another freekick this time, it crashed off the bar and Degerlund stumbled in the box, allowing Yahya to prod home and put the hosts back in the lead. But the game wasn't over yet! From kick-off we worked the ball down the right with Sandberg and Tankovic playing a neat one-two for the former to clip the ball into the back stick, where Tekie rose to head home.

MATCHDAY 6

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Before we joined Hammarby, there was an opportunity to join Orebro in my last full season at Thisted. At the time they were struggling at the foot of the table looking like favourites for the drop. Fast forward eighteen months and they now find themselves sitting third in the table after a strong start. Clearly then, they would provide a challenge. But the challenge became considerably easier early in the first half, when Falk Pettersen received his marching orders after a nasty challenge on the edge of the box. It would take us until the second half to make our advantage count. A wonderful piece of skill from Sandberg to nutmeg his marker after a quick change of direction bought the defender some time and space to cross to the near post, where Okereke volleyed home. I told the boys to sit on the result, making the ten men of Orebro chase the ball and tire themselves out, which worked to our favour as we ran out winners at full-time.

MATCHDAY 7

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Helsingborgs were the next team to face us as we aimed to stretch our unbeaten streak by a game more. The game wasn't an instant classic, which isn't the first time this has happened this season. Yet somehow we made sure the opposition wouldn't leave with a point. In the dying moments of the first half, Rodic was given the ball in space but his first touch was heavy leaving him with plenty of work to do, but after taking the ball wide he delivered a cross into the box which the Helsingborgs defence didn't deal with. Svensson found himself with enough space to bring the ball down, turn and finish in the box for what would prove to be the winning goal.

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We may not have been at our best but we have been good enough to sit a top the league after seven games! This squad is looking better than the expected finish of second and looks the real deal, though after seven games I'll do well to ensure the players remain grounded.

https://i.imgur.com/Po8bi4L.png?1


More impressive yet is that we're fourteen games unbeaten in the league. Seven games coming at the back end of last season, and seven more this season. This suggests to me that the squad was already good enough to perform at this level, and with the signings over the summer we should be in good stead this year.

MATCHDAY 8

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The hard work this month doesn't stop with us getting top of the league, no, no, no, we carry on and have to extend our lead at the top, and Ostersunds would be the team to try and knock us off our perch, with the hosts sitting in second place going into the game. Within the space of five first-half minutes and I'd experienced a range of emotions already. In the thirty-seventh minute and I found my sides aching from laughter. We worked the ball around after a corner and Pode carried the ball into the box and tried his luck, the shot looked like going in, but Tekie had other ideas and came steaming through the box with his head lowered like a bull to head the ball across goal and past the unmoved 'keeper, stealing his team-mates goal in strange fashion! Not long after and I'd be feeling disappointed. A routine ball over the top saw Islamovic and Kamal enter the slowest foot-race of the season, only for the experienced Swede to shrug off Kamal and send him to the floor before calmly slotting home from close range. But the joy would be restored just a minute later, as David Ivan was afforded too much space in the midfield to play a great ball over to Okereke who had got between the Ostersunds backline and advancing into the box and striking across goal to restore the lead. Okereke sealed his brace before full-time after some neat passing around the box lead to Soderstedt back-heeling the ball into the box for the striker to poke home at the near post.

MATCHDAY 9

https://i.imgur.com/fdSBpOn.png?1


We rounded the month out with a Stockholm Derby as we welcomed AIK to the Tele2 in a repeat of last season's final game. This time out and we looked much the better team once more but I was frustrated from the dugout as we couldn't turn our dominance into a lead. On the plus side we were looking very good at the back. We could've won the game late on too, Exposito found himself played in on goal with a defender closing him down and the 'keeper to beat, but the Spaniard didn't pull the trigger and was eventually forced out of the box.

League Table and Form


https://i.imgur.com/lQrzQo6.png?1


In all my years as a football fan, and my few years as a manager, I've never seen a month of nine fixtures. Yes, nine fixtures in the league! We played a game just over once every three days and added to this we played a lot of teams who were just a place or two below us when we played them. We've come away with a win and a draw against Malmo and AIK who are amongst the sides expecting silverware this year. Oreobro and Ostersunds too were both in the top three when we played them. Therefore, the come out the other side of this unbeaten is huge for us in the context of our season. More so, we've kept five cleansheets and conceded five goals across the month, which suggests we've got one of the premier defences in the league, however for all our on-ball dominance we've only scored three goals in one game once. But I won't dwell on this too much given the quality of our performances so far.

https://i.imgur.com/6eaDn8Q.png?1


Unsurprisingly then, we find ourselves top of the league with a three point lead, which could have been more if we had beaten AIK. We've had an unbelievable start to the season so far, but I fully expect our numbers to drop off a little bit over the course of the season as we seem to be running red hot at present.

News


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My first piece of recognition! Admittedly, having an unbeaten month will do that but its still nice to finally gain some praise!

https://i.imgur.com/tg1JGZ4.png?1


And lastly, we've apparently secured our place in next year's Europa League. I haven't done the maths but surely this can't be right, not after nine games? Either way, it'll be good to test ourselves on the European stage next year!

NOTE: I'm going away to Valencia tomorrow until Sunday so won't have my laptop with me!
Some start to the season! Lets keep that up!
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