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Where else do you go, unemployed, no coaching badges, no friends?…Happy Valley Athletic Association of course!
Chairman: You don’t speak the language?
Me: Don’t worry..adaptability rating mate.
Chairman: Avoid relegation at all costs..you have 6 games to do so.
Me: No money no worries my friend..whilst we’re thrashing out the details can I study my Coaching licen..
Chairman: I’ll stop you there, welcome aboard
We’ve got this..play like an Allardyce team in Hong Kong, hard to beat, direct, set piece routines coming out of our ears, solid defence, never going down never surrender..
6 games later, relegated
Chairman: Your sacked
2021 FELDA Season 1 (SOS - Save our season)
I wont lie, the deep end swallowed me whole, I have been away from FM for at least two years (kids ruin everything), thoroughly expecting to pickup where I left off, not being one hundred percent the kind of beatnik hipster manager who will love to tell you about a save in Madagascar that led to the African Champions league which never happened, but not far off. You learn from your failures, Hong Kong and Happy Valley will be one of those.
So in this save going forward it's important to set some post Hong Kong hangover goals. Career specific and club specific modus operandi, therefore I present Dr Rizzoli's Prescription.
Long Term: Probably Impossible
1 - Reach/Win the AFC Champions League, before moving onto another continent, something akin to the pentagon challenge
2 - Win at least one piece of silverware per country managed in before moving myself on
3 - Play to the strengths of the team before moulding them to my own vision of defensive horrible football that gets dirty results (like Mourinho and Allardyce had a lovechild which was then fostered by Graham Taylor and raised in Wimbledon)
Short Term at FELDA
1 - Steady the ship. FELDA have one win under their belt all season halfway gone, which is dross. Stop the leaks in the defence and the nautical analogies.
2 - Create a solid tactic that can be shaped pending on opposition. The players at disposal are not the most blessed but the depth is there for a 5-3-2, so we'll pounce on that.
3 - Avoid relegation, the dirty R-word. Couldn't be helped in Hong Kong but it was a close run thing.
So after trying to fit square pegs in round holes in Hong Kong, I apply and accepted as head coach to the absolute mouthful that is Federal Land Development Authority United (FELDA) as Head Coach. Immediately I start the coaching badges. I hadn't even looked at the squad before I turned up at the chairman's door, cap in hand, coaching prospectus under the arm.
The board want a harmonious dressing room. I don't speak a word of the native tongue, but I'm sure if I point and shout really loud things will fall into place.
I will eventually brighten this place up with some screenshots and fairy lights and story structure but in the meantime some brief text will have to do.
I wont bore you with the intricacies of the piss poor squad, safe to say struggle and uphill were the buzzwords in the Malaysian tabloids. But a brief overview .
The previous manager loved a centre back, he had about eight in the first team. Let's just say until the coaching badge came through the post, we struggled. Stay tuned for the season results
2021 FELDA Season 1 Cont. End of season (SOS - Save our season)
If your going to wait until the last game of the league to register your first win in months, it may as well keep you in the league and stick SIX in the net, by the skin of our teeth the FELDA lads have secured our position in the league for another season.
A change back to 5-3-2 had looked to bring back winning ways, 4-1 up against Sabah in the penultimate game, we were in dreamland for a relegation escape only to be struck down by the gods of Football Manager. In part my own fault by bringing off a DLP for a straight up defensive midfielder (who is crap) and the slide was completed with the floodgates opened, nay, battering rammed.
Therefore, we were sweating going into the last game of the season, the lads needed a pep talk, which went badly, my grasp of the Malay language must have been a little bit rusty, with concerned faces all round. Indeed it needn't have mattered as before I knew it, we were 6 goals to the good and ready to start the inexplicable two further group stages of the cup competitions.
Malaysian Challenge Cup
Surprisingly we finished well in the group stage, but I began to get confused with the FA Cup, small brain syndrome. Either way we finished strong and managed a semi-final appearance losing out in a 2 legged game against bigger opposition.
Malaysian FA CUP
Rubbish, bottom of the group against superior opposition in the division above.
So against the objectives..
Long term - We can forget 1 & 2 but 3 (Play to the strengths of the team before moulding them to my own vision of defensive horrible football) we aren't far off to be fair, going forward, our set plays and build up play has been encouraging and we have fit the 5-3-2 in well. Our line has been led by Jaques Faye. This fella was sublime, stepped up and turned a defeat into a point when needed and kept pressing when asked, long term he fits the mould for FELDA. Believe it not I signed him as well, hence the adoration, because he's not THAT good but does a shift. We concede early so as for defence, work to be done for next season.
Short term - 1-“one win under their belt all season halfway gone, which is dross. Stop the leaks in the defence ” Half a point for that one, we managed another win at least. "
2-“Create a solid tactic that can be shaped pending on opposition. The players at disposal are not the most blessed but the depth is there for a 5-3-2, so we'll pounce on that.” See above, completed that for the time being.
3-“ Avoid relegation, the dirty R-word.” - Just about managed it.
Short term for season 2 -
1 Reduce squad size increase staff. Too many Indians, not enough chiefs.
2 Defence needs tightening - too many goals conceded.
3 Gain Promotion - I've said it now, just don't tell the board but I think we can go further than we think with some smart additions to the squad which I will post next time, followed by a mid season update, then a final season update.
If a big offer comes in for my awful services. you never know I might take them on. But for now it's FELDA (kisses the badge)
5-3-2 seems to work in Asia, not sure why, but every save I've had there 5 at the back always bosses it.
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