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gaz12321 Comments

Hertha Berlin; Unleashing Potential

January 2019



Only 2 competitive games this month and we smashed them! Davie Selke grabbed a hat-trick in an 11 minute spell to secure a 3-1 win at home to Leipzig and then an impressive 4-0 battering of Leverkusen on their own turf was very pleasing, Max Kruse netting again on his first start after breaking his ankle was a particular highlight.



I don't want to get carried away but i'm very pleased with our progress so far, 2 things that stand out on here are the -5 goal difference of BMG who are 4th and the -13 for Wolfsburg who are 10th, that's crazy. BMG must have been scraping 1-0's all season while Wolfsburg look like they've taken some hammerings!

Star Performer


It was a tough call between this guy and Davie Selke, who single handedly beat RBL but he kind of went missing against Leverkusen and Haraguchi was on fire.

Player Stats


I don't think Selke is going to give any of these up! Skjelbred interestingly still has our best pass completion despite being out injured for an age!

Transfer Update


There was almost no dealings for us, we tried to bring in Yuri Berichiche from PSG but his wage demands were too high, the only move that happened was young midfielder Arne Meier going on loan to strugglers Bochum to get some first team action and hopefully aid his development.

The busiest club were Schalke who most notably signed Pierie (Dutch wonderkid) and Jese Rodriguez from PSG. Wolfsburg shipped out N'Tep & Guillavogui with no replacements coming in and Leipzig splashed out for young striker El Nesyri from Malaga. Not much exciting happened though.

February Fixtures


4 league games this month, home games against Freiburg & Hamburg that we should be winning and we have tricky away games at Wolfsburg & Dortmund. In the midst of all that we go to Heidenheim looking to progress to the DFB Pokal Semi Final.


Pleased with how things are progressing, we've got a very young side who are constantly improving. I have had to promise Stark & Weiser that they can go at the end of the season if we don't get in the Champions League as they've been attracting interest from the likes of Arsenal, Juventus & Atletico Madrdi. No doubt there will be big interest in some other key players of ours too, so a top 4 finish becomes the target for me now, no pressure.


Hertha Berlin; Unleashing Potential

December 2018



Quite an inconsistent month but we had a lot of games to get through and some pretty tough ones in there too, only taking one point from the away games at Bayern, Schalke & BMG is a fairly poor return but they are all tough fixtures so it's not overly disappointing. We managed to take 7 points from our 3 home league games with a 2-2 draw against Mainz the only game we dropped points in alongside the victories over Frankfurt & Bochum that were fairly routine as expected. We had to call Davie Selke off the bench to turn around the deficit in Prague where I changed the entire 11 so pleasing that we managed to get the win even if it means nothing. In the final game we ensured our progress to the DFB Pokal Quarter Finals with Darida netting the only goal of a tight game at home to Hoffenheim.



Despite our inconsistent form we have managed to keep hold of 3rd place but the gap has tightened to the teams below us, just 4 points separate us from 7th place Mainz. The top have absolutely bolted though with Dortmund dropping only 2 points and Bayern winning all their games this month, 11 points separate us from Dortmund in 2nd.


This is horrible to look at and for me, highlights just how costly Diego Reyes' sending off was against Kiev in the 1-0 defeat, a point there would have been enough, massively disappointed with this.

Star Performer


While his goals may have dried up to an extent, only managing 4 this month from 8 games, his all round performances have been great and he brings so much to our game, he's the first to press the opposition, chases loose balls, brings team mates in to the game and is just generally a thorn in the side of every team we face. Long may it continue.

Player Stats


It remains the Davie Selke show! 15 goals, 7 assist, 6 MotM awards and a 7.46 average rating! He's having a wonderful season.

Cup Draw


We've not only avoided the big sides, we've been drawn against a second tier outfit in Heidenhaim. A side who had one of youngsters on loan, Jessic Ngankam, until he got recalled due to a lack of playing time. Would be interesting if he was to feature for us against them but for me, his progression has been far too slow.

January Fixtures


Just 2 league games after the winter break, and 2 toughies as well, we host Leipzig before travelling to Leverkusen. We need to be right up for these games to avoid slipping down the table.

Hertha Berlin; Unleashing Potential

November 2018



Our league form continues to go well but we've had zero luck in the Europa League which sees us crash out of Europe having lost 1-0 against Kiev, a game we deserved to win despite Reyes being sent off in the first half and then going down 4-2 against Real Sociedad in a very even game. We've deserved more out of these games but given the squad rotation i've stuck to throughout I can't really complain and it is having the desired effect on our league form. Wins over Ingolstadt and Stuttgart followed by a goalless draw against Koln a decent return this month and 3 straight clean sheets.



We're up to 3rd and averaging 2 points per game, which obviously won't last. No idea why our form displays as having lost 3 of the last 5 games though, that's odd.


A disappointing sight this and the board are not impressed, it gives us more focus on the league though and making sure we retain European football again next season is vital for me. A run in the DFB Pokal becomes more important now though.

Star Performer


The team performed well in general this month but there wasn't really a standout player, the ever reliable Vladamir Darida just about the pick of the bunch but it would be nice if he had more direct involvement in goals.

Player Stats


It's the Davie Selke show! Top scorer, highest rating, most assists and most man of the match awards, considering he was pretty much an outcast for my first 15 months in charge he has worked his socks off to force his way in to the reckoning, fair play to him, what a guy!

December Fixtures


Well that's a busy month, unusually for German football we are going all the way through to Boxing Day when we face Hoffenheim in the cup. Our final group game in Prague means nothing to us now and will be an opportunity to rest the entire team and keep them fresh for the league which we have 6 fixtures in this month. We travel to Bayern, Schalke & BMG this month so that's tricky to say the least but our home games look fairly straight forward with Frankfurt, Mainz and Bochum making the trip to the Olympiastadion.

Hertha Berlin; Unleashing Potential

October 2018



A first half brace from Ibisevic got our Europa League campaign off to a flyer with a 2-0 win over Slavia Prague, we deserved to get something from the Dortmund game but ultimately fell to a 2-1 defeat before returning to winning ways thanks to a Davie Selke strike against Hannover. Selke clearly decided that he was going to become the main man this month, he literally went goal crazy, he made it 2 in 2 scoring our only goal in a disappointing loss at Kiev, another game where we deserved at least a draw. The Hoffenheim game was mental, a 5-4 win with Selke grabbing 4 goals and 18 year old Malone netting the other, all 5 of our goals coming in the first half! The final game of the month saw us comfortably in to the 3rd round of the DFB Pokal, Selke grabbing back to back hat-tricks and notching his 9th goal in 4 games! A sublime month from the lad.


We face Hoffenheim at home in the next round, we just beat them 5-4 away from home in an absolute thriller so this should hopefully be another belter.



Pretty much a quarter of the way through the season, we're 5th at the moment but obviously the table is still quite tight and it's too early to really tell much, Nice to see Wolfsburg struggling though and also RBL down in 9th at the moment.


Our defeat at Kiev opens the group right up, but we still lead it as it stands and are still in a strong position to progress.

Star Performer


It really couldn't be anybody else, Davie Selke with his 9 goal haul this month has been head and shoulders above the rest of the squad. I'm not a big fan of using Defensive Forwards but Selke's contribution to our all round game has been phenomenal.

Player Stats


Davie Selke leads the scoring charts and the rating, 4 players are joint on 3 assists including 18 year old Malone who has got a run in the first team thanks to injuries.

The Injury Room


Ibisevic was the latest to join the list of injuries.

November Fixtures


4 of our 5 games this month are at home, we face visits from Ingolstadt & Koln and a trip to Stuttgart in the Bundesliga. In the Europa League we have visits from Dinamo Kiev & Real Sociedad which will most likely decide the group.

Hertha Berlin; Unleashing Potential

September 2018



We knew the opening to the season would be tough so losing the first game at home to Leverkusen was a huge disappointment, in truth we deserved a draw at the very least, we were unfortunate to find ourselves 2 goals down early on and despite controlling the game and creating plenty of chances it took until the 86th minute to get a goal back through Max Kruse, too little too late. Luckily we responded brilliantly to claim 3 points from our trip to Leipzig, Leckie struck early but before long it was back level before Leipzig went down to 10 men, thankfully we capitalised in the second half and Ibisevic grabbed the winning goal. We then faced a potentially crucial opener in our Europa League group at Real Sociedad, they tore us apart fro 45 minutes and could have been 4 or 5 ahead, but we managed to restrict them to just one, I made changes to our shape at half time and the second half was completely reversed, we were excellent and deservedly turned it around to snatch a victory thanks to strikes from Kalou & Leckie.

Despite our midweek exploits we produced a top display at Freiburg cruising to a 3-1 win with goals fro Darida, Ibisevic and a rare strike from Duda (who doesn't get as much game time as he deserves), a fourth straight win followed this and an impressive one, winning 3-2 away aw Wolfsburg! We went behind but Kalou levelled things up quickly, Davie Selke put us ahead and an own goal secured the win, Wolfsburg grabbed a late consolation but we held on for the win. We couldn't make it 5 straight wins though, once again Hamburg got the better of us thanks to an Andre Hahn header, I just can't beat these guys, that's 4 games without a win against Hamburg and it's irritating me for some reason. Overall though, a very good month.



It means very little this early, but we've made a solid start really.


Again it means very little but it does show the surprise result between Dinamo Kiev & Slavia Prague.

Star Performer


Mr Dependable, Vladamir Darida, he's played every minute of every game this month and he is always solid, he pops up with a few top notch performances every now and again but very rarely a poor one.

Player Stats


Leckie & Kruse lead the early scoring charts with 3 each, Kruse also leads the assist charts with 3 but there has been some bad news for him this month which you'll see shortly. Valentino Lazaro currently has the highest rating in the squad.



Yep, Max Kruse has broken his ankle and will be out for 4-6 months, after a fantastic start to his Hertha career! I feel like there are a lot of broken ankles on this game, frequently happens to my players, Weiser currently has one too!


Stark has gone down as well, thankfully only twisted his ankle rather than broken it so will miss around a month.

October Fixtures


Another packed schedule that will test our squads depth, we have 3 straight home games with Slavia Prague first followed by league games against Dortmund & Hannover, we then travel to Dinamo Kiev before our trip to Hoffenheim and round up the month with the DFB Pokal 2nd Round tie against Bielefield.
Bournemouth love a 4-3! Loads of goals, good luck with this, certainly looks like you need some better defenders!

Hertha Berlin; Unleashing Potential

2018/19 Season Preview


So the media think the top 4 will be the same again this year bit with Wolfsburg overcoming Leipzig to grab 3rd place, then follows a pack of 3 big clubs who failed to qualify for Europe in Wolfburg, BMG & Schalke tipped to complete the top 7, they think that we will slip to 8th this season and that Hamburg will round off the top half. At the other end the 2 newly promoted sides are expected to struggle along with Hannover & Freiburg, despite their over-achievement last season Stuttgart are expected to struggle again, which could be a fair assessment with the added burden of Europa League football.

In other news, the media have picked their dream eleven from the Bundesliga and it's all Bayern, literally, all 11 of them!



A solid pre season schedule saw us draw our first 2 warm up games and win the remaining 6, including a 2-1 win at Liverpool. We also faced Nurnberg in the first round of the DFB Pokal and we managed to sneak through despite a brave fight put up by the hosts, a brace from new signing Max Kruse on his competitive debut and Matthew Leckie grabbing his first goal of the season straight away was enough to see us through, despite a shaky defensive performance, job done. This was the match where Mitchell Wesier picked up his broken ankle which led to Erik Durm's arrival on loan.

The Squad


That's how we start the season, i'm happy with the quality and depth in the squad at the moment and feel we're good enough to finish top 7 and stand a chance of getting back in to Europe next season. Once again i'll be hoping for a little run in the DFB Pokal and just looking to enjoy the experience of playing in the Europa League, we're not quite ready to push beyond that yet.

Cup Draws


Should be fairly straight forward for us really, especially being drawn at home.


Not sure i'm too happy with this one, could have been a lot easier for sure, Dynamo Kiev regularly play Champions League football and Real Sociedad are very similar to ourselves, Slavia Prague shouldn't cause too many issues in the group in truth. Should be a good challenge but it's not important to us so there will be a good deal of rotation depending how the fixtures fall.

Club Improvements


The only thing i've asked for to date, to be fair there isn't a great deal of improvements that can be made, the club have great facilities.

September Fixtures


Our home game against Leverkusen has been moved forward and televised as the Bundesliga's curtain raiser fixture, we then travel to Leipzig before a trip to the Basque region of Spain to face Real Sociedad. We face a trip to Freiburg on our return to league action and then face a visit from Wolfsburg before heading to Hamburg. A busy month and a potentially tricky start to our league campaign, facing 2 of the expected top 4 sides in our first 2 games.

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Hertha Berlin; Unleashing Potential

2017/18 Season Review

Transfer Update


As you can see i've made 4 additions to the squad, although I don't expect Shabani to feature for the first team unless he develops a lot, the 19 year attacking midfielder comes in on a free after Bayern let him go and he has decent potential but has a lot of work to do to realise it. We'll look at the others individually, notable departures from the club are Lustenberger who heads to Turkey (the squad weren't happy with this, but he was no use to me!), Kraft heads out to Dresden for nothing as he looks to revive his career and we managed to get £525k plus future sell on fee for a 15 year old who could at best become an average Bundesliga player. Esswein never got near the team last year so he heads on loan to newly promoted Bochum, there are also loans for some decent prospects Klinsmann, Kurt & Ngankam who need to get some first team football under their belts.


The experienced Erik Durm comes in on loan from Dortmund for until December to provide cover at right back after then news that Mitchell Weiser would be out for 3-4 months with injury. Their isn't much difference between Durm & Pekarik so hopefully he will be a bit more competitive than Debuchy was last year.


Max Kruse brings a touch of class to our forward line, he requested a move after Bremen's relegation last season and fits the bill perfectly for me, his link up play is excellent as is his movement and finishing so i'm excited to have him on board, at 30 years of age he should plug the gap nicely while our 2 young prospects develop.


Our biggest signing is Predrag Rajkovic, the Serbian international keeper comes in for £5m from Tel Aviv, he will immediately be our number 1 with Jarstein providing cover for him and i'm delighted to have him at Hertha. At just 22 years old he is already a world class keeper but has the potential to progress even further which is exciting, having said that, this transfer did take a lot of consideration. We have a sensational prospect in Michael Kunze coming through the ranks and I won't be able to keep them both happy here but we'll see how things go.

On the final day of the transfer window, Bayern made their interest in our 15 year old prospect official with a first of of £2.5m plus 40% sell on fee, after a long day rejecting their increased offers the final one before the window shut was £6.25m plus 40% sell on, a fantastic offer for a 15 year old but he's not for sale, at any price. We have him tied down to a pre contract agreement and he's shown no interest in moving yet so fingers crossed, Bayern get the message.


The biggest deals in Germany all in one list, and neither of ours even get on there! The page is dominated by Bayern, Dortmund, Leipzig & Leverkusen (Last years top 4) who have all exchanged a great deal of money over the summer, this list sums up for me just how far we are behind the top 4 in terms of spending power, our 2 signings cost us £8.2m which was around 75% of our entire budget.

Hertha Berlin; Unleashing Potential

2017/18 Season Review

Season Review


A roller coaster ride of a season that ultimately has ended in success, the expectations set out by the board were to finish in the op half, make the Knockout Stages of the Europa League and they weren't bothered about our progress in the DFB Pokal, my own expectations were to qualify for Europe again and to enjoy the experience of being in the Europa League. So having exceeded the board expectations and lived up to my own I have to say i'm very happy with that season. We made a decent enough start but a rocky spell in the middle of the season almost saw me removed from my position, thankfully we surged up the table with an impressive 7 wins from the final 9 games and almost stole a top 4 finish.

Squad Stats


Goalkeepers - Jarstein performed well enough between the sticks and although Kraft (Not on the squad image) performed well enough as backup he decided he wanted a new challenge and is looking to move on. Klinnsmann stepped in to provide cover but i'm tempted to bring in a fresh face for next season with Jarstein becoming the number two.

Defence - Weiser was impressive at right back with Pekarik providing great cover, was a great batlle between them. Rekik & Langkamp played much of the season as the main pairing at centre half but Torunarigha took his chance when he got it and made himself first choice forming a solid partnership with new signing Reyes. Left back was a concern all season, Plattenhardt looked a decent option but performed poorly and was continually beaten, although he achieved decent ratings. I didn't feel that Mittelstadt was quite ready to step in yet, he should get more playing time next year.

Midfield - Probably the strongest area of our squad, Skjelbred played really well as a BWM with Stark & Lustenberger provided solid options to cover, difficult to give them all enough game time though. Darida was our best player this season for me, he makes us tick and has the ability to control games, would like to see him create and score more though, Duda provided decent enough cover but again it was difficult to get him much time on the pitch. Maier was out on loan to gain experience but wasn't playing so I recalled him but he got most of his football for the U23's, looks a decent prospect though.

Wingers - Not much to separate Lazaro & Haraguchi on the right but I do feel we look more dangerous when Lazaro plays, will keep a close eye on this battle next season but Lazaro has the edge as it stands. On the left Matthew Leckie was quality, so often the player who leads counter attacks for us and he always looks a danger, has a great sense for being in the right place at the right time as well and provided a great goal return. Kalou had a great season although he isn't getting any younger, with Leckie's good form he didn't get much time in his natural position and ended up playing as a striker for much of the season, 14 goals and 9 assists is a very good return from him. Stocker was very average, got very little game time and will not have his contract renewed.

Attack - Ibisevic clearly the stand out striker, 17 goals for the veteran and he brings so much to our game, his intelligence and movement is top draw but like Kalou, he's winding the clock down so I don't want to rely on him too much. We have a couple of excellent prospects in Malone & Ngankam but they aren't quite ready, i'll probably loan one of them out next season and use the other as a 4th choice playing mostly youth football. Davie Selke looks a fairly useful player but he spent a lot of the season injured and was always going to struggle to dislodge Kalou or Ibisevic, will be interesting to see how he progresses next year. Finally, Julian Schieber, don't want to talk about him, his contract is up and you won't see him again!

Club Awards


A close three way battle for fans player of the season sees Vladimar Darida come out on top (he'd be my choice too), Ibisevic & Kalou weren't too far behind though. Per Skjelbred hit a couple of decent goals this season and gets the goal of the season award, not that I can remember it. Signing of the season goes to young Valentino Lazaro, the right winger started on loan but his move became permanent in January due to his game time with the club and he certainly made an impression. Finally, young player of the season went to Mitchell Weiser who was quality at right back, with Pekarik getting older this lad will become a pretty permanent fixture in the side for the foreseeable future.

League Review


As you know Bayern won the league, Augsburg & Bremen go down and they will be replaced by Bochum & Ingolstadt. Mario Gomez lead the scoring charts with an impressive 26 strikes, Timo Werner was the stand out performer and fairly predictably, Stuttgart were named as the overachievers with Hoffenheim clearly the underachievers. Now to the surprising part, signing of the season went to our Maurice Malone who is no doubt a great prospect but he got almost no game time and then, Diego Reyes, who cost us just £750k and was a crucial part of our epic finish to the season, was announced as the worst signing of the season, ermmm ok then.

Other News


A decent rise for Hertha in the European Club Rankings, up 37 places. Not sure if this has an effect on anything.

My Thoughts

Really happy with that season in the end, we achieved all that we set out to achieve. We have some great young talent in our ranks and with a couple of decent signings we'll be looking good, I feel like we need more going forward though as goals have been a struggle for much of the season so i'll be looking to bring a new striker in and be keeping a close eye on the progress of Malone & Ngankam. Looking forward to next season already!

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Hertha Berlin; Unleashing Potential

May 2018



First up was a trip to struggling Augsburg, the hosts were fighting to save themselves from relegation and lead 1-0 at half time, a rare strike from Mitchell Weiser got us back on level terms before the impressive Ibisevic grabbed a winner for us. Our 5th victory in a row.


Our impressive end to the season had not only guaranteed us Europa League football, it had us on the verge of the Champions League. Unfortunately, circumstances were stacked against that happening, we face Bayern at home knowing that we had to beat them to qualify for the UCL, with 5th playing 6th on the final day, anything less than a win would see us drop down to 5th.


Inevitably, Bayern were too strong for us and we went down 2-0, I was hoping they might rest some players but it wasn't to be and despite a brave performance, we fell to defeat. Leverkusen got the better of BMG to grab the 4th and final Champions League spot.

The Final Table


We came 5th, an outstanding achievement which sees us back in Europe next year, which was my aim at the start of the season even though the board were happy to finish top half. Bayern stormed the league of course leaving Leipzig & Dortmund behind them with Leverkusen just about grabbing 4th. Some big teams miss out on Europe though with BMG, Schalke, Wolfsburg & Hoffenheim missing out, the latter endured a relegation playoff but managed to come through unscathed. Augsburg & Bremen deservedly taking the plunge and heading to the second tier next season.

Star Performer


Only 2 games played this month but the award goes to left winger Matthew Leckie, he created a goal against Augsburg and played a number of key passes creating chances for our strikers. He was also solid against Bayern in our 2-0 defeat showing the more disciplined side of his game to reduce Kimmich's effectiveness from right back.

Up Next

In the next post i'll review the season gone by and run through some stats and awards.
I'm done, and disappointed to go out in 1/4 final to an injury time strike from Cameroon, but we just weren't at the races! The big players were consistently poor (Mahrez was my worst player, but I kept playing him!), I regret not giving more playing time to the lesser players if i'm honest. Soudani was joint top scorer though despite only starting 3 games and I got a win against Tunisia...






Quarter Finals = 10 pts
Beat Tunisia = 5 pts
Joint Top Scorer = 5 pts

Total = 20 pts

Hertha Berlin; Unleashing Potential

April 2018



How do you like me now, Hertha?? What a month, 4 straight wins and the team have responded fantastically to the change of formation, 2 up top is working a treat with Kalou & Ibisevic performing miracles. They grabbed a goal each in the first half at home to Hannover who never threatened at all, Kalou grabbed a late 3rd to wrap up a convincing win. We then faced a tough trip to Koln and Matt Leckie got us off to a flyer with a 4th minute strike, a fantastic defensive display with Reyes & Torunarigha continuing their incredible partnership was the real catalyst behind this win. Next up was another superb performance as we saw off Dortmund despite going behind early on, goals from Leckie, Kalou & Ibisevic sending the fans home in high spirits and dreaming of Europe. Our final game was something of a formality as we beat Bremen 3-0, Kalou slotted home a 22nd minute penalty and added a second 16 minutes from time, Haraguchi came off the bench to grab a rare goal and wrap up a perfect month. I'm back in business!



Who would've thought that we would be here with 2 games to go? From the brink of dismissal to the brink of Champions League football but I won't get carried away, the league is very tight with a single point separating us in 7th from Leverkusen in 4th and they've still got to play 6th placed BMG, having said that we go to Bayern on the final day! Should be an exciting finish and we host struggling Augsburg next time out, a win could be enough to secure Europa League football providing Bayern defeat BMG in the DFB Pokal Final.

Player Stats


Ibisevic remains the top scorer and moves on to 16 having netted another 3 this month, Kalou has had a fantastic month scoring 5, grabbing another 2 assists, moving ahead of Darida on average rating and Haraguchi on MOTM awards.

A New Deal


This didn't look likely 2 months ago!

May Fixtures - End Of Season


We should be beating Augsburg at home and then can only hope that with the title secured, Bayern are already on the beaches!

Hertha Berlin; Unleashing Potential

March 2018



A much improved month with 2 wins from 4 potentially tricky ties, we started with a 2-0 loss to Leipzig despite putting up a decent fight and creating chances, they were clinical and we weren't, simple as that. We then hosted Frankfurt and despite going behind early on we showed great character, Lazaro got us level midway through the first half, it was an even game but the difference in the end was Maurice Malone, the youngster I signed from Augsburg, who has seen almost no first team action. I threw him on with less than 20 to play to allow a change of shape and minutes later the youngster netted the winner, setting a record for the clubs youngest ever goalscorer in the process!


The squad had criticised my tactics recently so I decided to shake things up and switch from the 4-3-3 we were using to a solid 4-4-2 to see if playing 2 up top could boost our firepower and that's exactly what happened, we went to Mainz and destroyed them 4-1 with a brace a piece from Leckie and Ibisevic, a fantastic performance and back to back wins for the first time since the start of November! We then travelled to Stuttgart and maybe had got carried away, we'd won two in a row and they had just been thumped 10-2 by Hamburg, we were 2-0 down by half time! Ibisevic pulled one back in the second half but Stuttgart netted a 3rd to see out a comfortable win.



We remained 11th and remained 6 points off the European spots, the DFB Pokal semi finals will be contested in April 4 of the top 5 clubs involved so the chances of 7th placed getting a Europa League place is very high, although looking like a bridge too far for us at this point with only 6 games to go. Bayern have finally lost a game, not that it changes much as they still have a 13 point cushion. Hoffenheim are in serious trouble as their continued poor form sees them slide in to the drop zone, after making the Champions League last season could they really take the plunge this time around?

Player Stats


Ibisevic netted 3 times this month and begins to pull clear as our top scorer, despite his advancing years. Kalou has a couple more assists to his name but nothing else has changed here.

Star Performer


Vedad Ibisevic, he has kind of struggled really this season and has been most effective coming off the bench but as soon as we switched to a 4-4-2 he has really come into his own, forming a solid partnership with Kalou alongside him. 3 goals in 2 games since the switch and having someone else alongside him really frees him up to use his intelligent movement to start and finish attacks, he suddenly looks like a class act.

April Fixtures


The home tie against Hannover is one we should really be winning, especially as the 2 games after that look tricky with a trip to Koln followed by a visit from Dortmund. We end the month with a visit to bottom side Bremen. We should be looking for at least 7 points from these 4 in my opinion but our inconsistent nature probably means we'll get less.


I'm not out of the woods here, things were slightly better this month but we're still in the bottom half. One positive is that the boards expectations were only top half and not to get into Europe like mine were, maybe next year, if i'm still employed!

Hertha Berlin; Unleashing Potential

February 2018



On the face of it this looks like a poor month and in truth, it is! It started fairly well picking up a point at Leverkusen thanks to a late strike from left winger Matt Leckie but then we failed to make the most of our dominance as we failed to break down a Freiburg side that we really should be beating in front of a very disappointed home crowd. We got away from the league asa Lyon visited in the Europa League and we got our noses ahead in the tie despite an awful first half that saw us a goal down and in truth we could have shipped 4 or 5 we were that bad, I switched to a 3-4-1-2 in the econd half which turned the game on it's head, we were superb and Ibisevic's brace secured a 2-1 win. Out trip to rivals Schalke was a disaster going down 3-1 and the fans were far from impressed with this but I had an opportunity to put things right in the second leg against Lyon ...

Disaster! Lyon were incredible, I honestly thought we were playing Real Madrid! We fell 2 goals behind in the first half and things looked bleak but Matt Leckie grabbed the only goal of the second half to force extra time. At this point we were down to 10 men and had used all 3 subs, we picked up an injury early on and our 9 men conceded straight away before another injury left us with 8 mean who simply fell apart, conceding a further 2 goals and looking distraught! FM can be so, so cruel! With the drama of that behind us things got worse, BMG came to the Olympiastadion and blew us away, coasting to a 3-0 win that culminated in a near riot at the end of the game, the fans calling for my head ... this isn't good!



We're down in 11th and falling away from the top 7 and potentially getting back into Europe next season, 5 points behind Leverkusen and in awful form it doesn't make good reading at this point! In other news, look at Bayern go, 4 more wins and still unbeaten, 19 points clear!

Player Stats


Ibisevic moves in to the top scorer position with 10, Darida remains our best performer despite his average rating slipping and there's no change to the top assists or most MOTM categories.

Star Performer


Darida again, in an awful month for the club he managed to remain consistent which shouldn't really be enough for star performer but things have been that bad, he was the only option!

Youth Intake


Here it is, the club want to focus on youth development and there's a couple of players here that could be future stars, namely Michael Kunze & Andreas Diemer who we'll look at in a moment. Pimenta, Fanz, Bozkurt & Mujezinovic have potential to become first team players too so i'll be keeping tabs on their development. A few of the others may go on to become fringe players but lets have a look at the 2 stand out intakes.


We'll start with Diemer, a natural right winger at only 14 years of age and some of his mental stats are really good which is great to see at such a young age, his technical ability is quite poor for a winger but at such a young age we can work on that. There is certainly a great deal of potential to work with.


This kid, Michael Kunze, could be the future of the club and the nation, he's that good! Holding on to him long term will be tough and we'll need to make strides over the next 2 or 3 years to show we can reach his level of ambition, assuming he'll believe he's as good as he looks. Another 14 year old so plenty of time to bring him up to our standard but to be fair he isn't far off the quality of our backup keeper already. I fully expect the big clubs to be sniffing around soon.

March Fixtures


Just what I need at this point, 3 away games out of the 4 and starting at second placed Leipzig, we then host Frankfurt before trips to Mainz & Stuttgart in what looks like another tough month on paper. This could make or break my reign as Hertha manager.


How quickly things change in football, we seemed to be going ok, I know we we;re struggling for goals but we were doing alright then 3 bad games and suddenly i'm on the brink. The fans calling for my head, judging by social media comments there wasn't little to no support for me! The team came to me demanding a meeting, they weren't happy with my management or tactics and felt it was time for a change, I promised them that I would turn things around and make things right and they seemed to get on board, now the pressure is on!
I should have this wrapped up over the weekend, i've qualified fairly easily despite throwing away a 3 goal lead against Gambia! My group draw is Zambia, DR Congo & Gabon so I honestly have no idea what to expect, media seem to think it's a tough draw but doesn't seem too bad, we'll see. I did pick up a nice 3-2 win over Uruguay in a friendly after going 2 down in the first 2 minutes, not that it counts for anything!

How is Mahrez getting on for everyone? I cannot get anything out of him, the guy is continually unfit for the first game of every call up and when he is fit enough to play he contributes nothing at all, been using him as an IF on the right wing but to be honest Adam Ounas is doing a better job!

Hertha Berlin; Unleashing Potential

January 2018



A decent enough points return from our 3 games in January although our lack of goals is a concern, Saloman Kalou was the hero in both home games netting winners against Wolfsburg & Hoffenheim, in our away game we fell to a 2-0 defeat at Hamburg again, although we played well enough they were clinical and we just continue to struggle to convert our chances.



2 wins from 3 games keeps us in touch of the European spots, we have a game in hand over a few sides above us here but with that being against Leverkusen it will be a tricky tie. Bayern remain unbeaten with over half the season played but still the large pack below them remain tight, with 4 UCL places up for grabs there's hope for anyone down as far as Mainz in 13th to go on a run and clinch one of them.

Player Stats


Kalou's 2 goals this month make him our most effective player as he becomes leading scorer as well as having the most assists, Darida's average rating has dropped slightly but he remains at the top of the pile.

Star Performer


Not exactly standout performances from Kalou here but having netted the 2 vital goals to secure us 6 points this month, it really couldn't go to anybody else.

Transfer News


The start of the month saw Lazaro's permanent move finalised and we shipped out a couple of poor players who were never in with a shout of getting any game time. That was it until the final day where I completed a couple of additions to our back 4, with very little money in the kitty I thought i'd try and tempt Porto with a £750k bid for Diego Reyes as his contract is up at the end of the season, he looks a really solid defender so I was pleased to get him in right away rather than wait for his contract to expire. The other addition is the loan of Matthieu Debuchy, a long injury lay off for Mitchell Weiser left us with only Peter Pekarik available as a natural right back so the Frenchman comes in to provide some competition. You may also notice a signing from August that I forgot to mention, well that's because the lad was only 16 when I signed him, an exciting prospect for sure though, Maurice Malone cost us £350k up front and could rise as high as £675k but his potential is huge, see below.


Acceleration, Composure, First Touch & Finishing already at 14 this kid could go far, really far! I'm delighted to have snapped him up before the bigger sides started sniffing around.

February Fixtures


A potentially pivotal month in our season coming up, we travel to Leverkusen & Schalke in the league as well as welcoming Freiburg & BMG to the Olympiastadion. Amongst these we also face both legs of our Europa League knockout tie against Lyon.
Unlucky with Arsenal, bit of a drop going to Forest but good luck with it.

Hertha Berlin; Unleashing Potential

December 2017



December began in frustrating fashion, we absolutely dominated Bremen, one of the league's worst sides, yet were held to a 1-1 draw at home! Kalou got us off to a decent start with a 14th minute strike and by the time Bremen levelled the tie in the second half we should have had the game wrapped up, we continued to push for a winner but our lack of cutting edge cost us 2 points here. We then headed into a match against Liverpool with a rotated side in the hope they would also make changes due to the lack of importance but no, they didn't. In truth we were probably lucky to escape with only a 3-0 loss as Liverpool ran riot in Berlin. A first half brace from Lazaro put us in a strong position at Augsburg but they pulled one back just before half time, we were in control though and Darida found the net in the 76th minute to wrap things up and secure all 3 points. The final game of the year was at home to Bayern and despite being under the cosh we kept the scoreline respectable, we went 1-0 down midway through the first half as Lewandowski headed home and it wasn't until 10 minutes from time when Bayern put the game beyond doubt with a second. We put up a fight however with a 90th minute Ibisevic penalty providing a glimmer of hope but despite throwing everything at it we couldn't find the unlikely equaliser.



We're at the half way stage and things are going with expectations for us sitting in mid table, but I wanted to push on and challenge for Europe, we're only 3 points off so a slightly improved second half of the season should see us challenge. Bayern have the league wrapped up already with a 13 point cushion but the chasing pack are very closely split, just 7 points between 2nd placed Leipzig and 11th placed Schalke.


As expected, Liverpool dominated the group and we followed them through in second, I had expected at least one of the other two sides to at least put up a bit of a fight but i'm happy to progress comfortably in to the knockouts.

Europa League Draw


Lyon! Fantastic, there are some better sides than Lyon in the competition but this is one of the trickiest draws available. Traore being the leading scorer with Fekir & Depay alongside him, on their day they would give most teams a fright. Should be a great contest but not sure I fancy our chances here.

Player Stats


No goals from Leckie this month so Ibisevic's 90th minute penalty in the final game of the month makes him our top scorer. Darida moves in to top spot in the average ratings with some solid displays this month and a rare goal too. Kalou moves on to 5 assists and Haraguchi, despite losing his place in the side to Lazaro, still has the most MOTM awards with 4.

Star Performer


I mentioned that Darida had a solid month and he is indeed my pick for Star Performer this month, the midfielder grabbed a goal and an assist this month and even managed a decent rating as we got hammered by Liverpool. His passing ability is excellent but unfortunately it's often put to waste by our very inconsistent attacking players.

January Fixtures


On paper these look potentially tricky however judging from league form they are 3 winnable games, we host 14th placed Wolfsburg before a trip to 13th placed Hamburg, who we've already failed to overcome twice this season and we end the month at home to struggling Hoffenheim who look to be stuck in an unlikely relegation battle following on from their Champions League Qualification last season. I'm hoping to go unbeaten and pick up at least 7 points from these games, might be a tad too ambitious with our inconsistent form so far.


With the transfer window about to open, Lazaro's loan will be made permanent for a fee of £3.1m after he made his 10th league appearance for us, i'm quite pleased about this though as he's looked decent so far and it's a low fee. I'm still undecided on a few areas of our squad but there is very little money available to utilise, I will keep an eye out for potential loans but wouldn't expect major dealings for Hertha next month.

Hertha Berlin; Unleashing Potential

November 2017



A much improved month despite some tricky fixtures, back to back wins in the Europa League at PAOK & Vitoria Guimaraes comfortably ensured qualification, we had trailed 2-0 at half time but second half braces for Ibisevic & Kalou turned the game on it's head. In the league we started with a 2-1 win against Stuttgart with Davie Selke coming off the bench to net the winning goal, we then had another substitute to thank during our trip to Hannover as Ibisevic came off the bench to net the only goal of the game late on. A trip to Koln was always going to be tricky and Matt Leckie's early goal wasn't enough for 3 points but I was happy to take a draw. We gave Dortmund a bit of a scare despite going 1-0 down in the first half, they put us under the cosh but we held firm and snatched an equaliser on the break in the second half only to fall to a late 2-1 defeat.



7 points from 4 games lifts us up to 7th and keeps us around the European places, Bayern have continued to steam roll their way through the league but Leipzig have dropped a couple of points allowing the chasing pack to close the gap to second place,


Comfortably through to the Knockouts having done the double over both PAOK & Vitoria Guimaraes, we'll need to beat Liverpool by 8 goals to overturn the Goal Difference in the final game, simple.

Player Stats


Vedad Ibisevic has joined Matt Leckie as top scorer thanks to developing a fantastic habit of coming off the bench to grab a goal, long may that continue! Kalou moves ahead of Haraguchi on assists as the latter has had a really quiet month, Kalou also now boasts the highest average rating despite not getting a great deal of playing time.

Star Performer


Skjelbred, again. Not a spectacular month from any individuals really but Per has been instrumental at recovering possession and getting us moving forward again which has been great to see. He was especially good against Stuttgart as you can see.

December Fixtures


A shorter month for us with just 4 fixtures, we host Liverpool in the final group game and face a trip to Augsburg in the league as well as hosting bottom side Bremen and runaway leaders Bayern before the winter break. Got to be hoping for 6 points out of Augsburg & Bremen really.

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If you want more possession then change your centre backs to Central Defenders rather than Ball Playing, the latter makes them hit 50 yard searching passes looking to launch a counter rather than playing a simple pass and building out from the back. Make sure your keeper has instructions to roll the ball out rather than kick it and make sure you have play out of defence on.

As mentioned above change Attacking to Control, no need to go attacking from the off really. Also, might be worth considering your attackers roles, having 2 inside forwards both on attack could mean they are playing in the same space as you Complete Forward, try using Hazard as a winger maybe so he hugs the touchline and stretches the defence, he should put in some crosses too which will be good for Lewa up top.
We've sold over 7,200 tickets for the trip to Newcastle so far, still got over 600 left so could take nearly 8,000 up there! Wish I could make it, will be a cracking day out regardless of the result, we've got nothing to lose.

Hertha Berlin; Unleashing Potential

October 2017



Having made a solid start to the season I was bitterly disappointed with this month's results, 4 Bundesliga games without a win on top of being dumped out of the DFB Pokal in just the second round was really frustrating. The first 2 fixtures were tough but i'd hoped to have picked up a win, we were very fortunate to come away from the RBL game with a draw when Skjelbred smashed in a 96th minute leveller. We then recorded a comfortable 3-0 win over PAOK in our Europa League Group game with Kalou stealing the show netting a first half brace, defeats against Frankfurt & Mainz were really disappointing and sandwiched in between was an equally disappointing 2-0 loss at Hamburg dumping us out of the cup. All in all it was a poor month for us.



It's still early days but picking up just 1 point from 4 games has seen us slide down to 12th, having said that it is still close as just 3 points separate us from 3rd placed Leverkusen. Bayern are of course running away with the title already with a 6 point cushion over 2nd placed Leipzig.


Things look better for us in the Europa League Group though, 6 points from the opening 3 games give us a 5 point cushion and a win over PAOK next time out could be enough to see us through if Liverpool also defeat Guimaraes, which they should.

Player Stats


Matt Leckie remains our top scorer as he increased his tally to 6, Haraguchi has picked up another assist to bring him level with Kalou and moves on to 4 MOTM awards, he is also our highest rated player now as well, which is a bit of a surprise to me given that he's pretty average.

Star Performer


Skjelbred has had a decent month, he's had to be patient for a chance in the side but after coming off the bench to net the equaliser against RBL he then went on to impress in the Europa League game which secured a start against Frankfurt where his performance was average in a bad team performance. He was solid against Hamburg & Mainz as well.

November Fixtures

We have 2 away trips in Europe, a win at PAOK could secure our progress and then we travel to Portugal to face Guimaraes. In the league we have another 4 games, Stuttgart & Hannover at home and trips to Koln & Dortmund. 7 points from those 4 games would be a respectable return.
Was reading through this until I got to the point where you said you would cheat to win the FA Trophy ...
We're free scoring and in good spirits at the moment but I can't see us producing a giant killing at Newcastle, if it was at the Kenny then maybe. Should be a cracking game though, can't understand how it hasn't been selected for TV! (I'm a Luton fan if you hadn't guessed)
What's your budget?
What type of player are you after (Ball Winner, Deep Playmaker ...)?
Just caught up with this, you've had some rotten luck so far but got some qualifications and a bit of experience under your belt so the first trophy opportunity hopefully isn't too far away. Good luck with the return to DPMM, looks like it could be quite a challenge!

Hertha Berlin; Unleashing Potential

August & September 2017



The first round of the DFB Pokal against third tier outfit Magdeburg proved a fair bit trickier than I had anticipated, despite putting out a really strong side we had to wait until the 86th minute until Ibisevic netted the only goal of the game to send us through to round 2. We started our league campaign by flying in to a 2-0 lead at Wolfsburg but throwing it away in the seond half and then throwing away another 2 goal lead at home to Hamburg, worrying times. Things picked up though with wins at Hoffenheim and at home to Leverkusen before a frustrating draw at Freiburg, we rounded off our league games with an impressive win over Gelsenkirchen (Schalke) thanks to Leckie's early strike. In the Europa League we scored a narrow but important victory at home to Portuguese outfit Vitoria Guimaraes before a trip to Anfield, we managed to get our noses in front early in the second half but were completely under the cosh and our makeshift back 4 fell apart towards the end.



A solid and unbeaten start sees is sitting 3rd in the early stages of the season despite being a game behind most of the league, given that we've already faced some top sides and done well I am pleased with the start we've made. Leipzig & Bayern lead the way early on with Dortmund just behind us making up the top 4.


Not much to say here, we are where I expected after 2 games and if we can take 4 points from the games against PAOK we'll be well placed to progress.

Player Stats


Aussie left winger Matthew Leckie leads the way in the scoring charts with an impressive 5 strikes already to his name, Ibisevic might have been keeping pace with him if it wasn't for an injury keeping him out of a few games, he's looked good so far. Leckie also leads the way in the average rating category, if it wasn't for Kalou's injury at the start then he might not have got much game time, but the boy has made the most of it and Kalou might struggle for game time himself if Leckie can keep this up. Having sadi that, surprisingly Kalou does lead the way in assists with 3 in 3 starts, he has been playing as a lone striker in Ibisevic's absence and made an impression himself. A mention too for Japanese right winger Haraguchi who has been a continuous thorn in the side of defences, he's making that right wing position his own despite tough competition from Esswein & Lazaro, 3 MOTM awards already is a decent return.

Star Performer


How could it be anyone other than Matthew Leckie, his goals have secured us a fair few points already and he has been in excellent form early on, 5 goals and an assist to his name already is an impressive start and hopefully he can keep it up.

October Fixtures


The first day of the month sees us travel to struggling Borussia Monchengladbach, we then host league leaders RB Leipzig which will prove a tricky test for us. A crucial Europa League game at home to PAOK follows before returning to league action away to Frankfurt, our reward for beating Magdeburg is a home tie against Hamburg who we threw away a 2 goal lead against earlier in the season and then we wrap up the month at home again with Mainz the visitors this time. With 4 home games this month i'm hoping we can keep the good form going.

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Hertha Berlin; Unleashing Potential

The Squad


This is the squad that i've inherited and thankfully it is quite decent and has cover in all areas as there is little money available to strengthen it. So lets have a look at what we've inherited.

GK - 2 solid options with Jarstein likely to be my first choice but Kraft an adequate backup.
DR - 2 solid options here too, Weiser gives us more going forward but Pekarik is better defensively so they will rotate as required.
DL - Plattenhardt is a quality option here and Mittelstadt at just 20 provides excellent cover and has great potential.
DC - 3 decent defenders here in Langkramp, Rekik & Torunarigha which should be a fascinating battle, Lustenberger & Stark can provide cover if needed.
MR - Again 3 decent options with little separating Lozano, Haraguchi & Esswein, will be another good battle and we'll see who comes out on top.
ML - Kalou should probably be the standout player in the squad but I fancy Leckie will give him a good battle, 2 different options with one a winger & one an Inside Forward.
DM - Stark will be our main DM with stiff competition from Skjelbred and Lustenberger again providing cover.
MC - Darida is our best player in my opinion so will play every game he's available, Duda will provide cover here.
AM - Stocker should be a solid option behind the striker with Duda able to step in and provide a more creative approach if needed.
ST - We have 3 options here with Ibisevic the stand out one, Selke & Scheiber can cover once they return from injury.

So that's a brief run down of the squad, my assessment is that it suits a 4-2-3-1 formation which will be our primary choice, i'll set up a more conservative 4-1-4-1 tactic for the trickier games and probably work on a 3 at the back option as a third choice. My first in game update will be August & September, after this I will probably go for monthly updates, see how it goes.

I'm looking forward to this, lets hope it goes well.

Hertha Berlin; Unleashing Potential

An Introduction

Welcome all of you to what will hopefully be my main long running save on Football Manager 2018, i've gone for something a little different to the usual journeyman saves of my past and it is my intention to have a long lasting and highly successful career at the helm of just one club, starting at the very top with a club that has huge potential yet hasn't really had a great deal of success in terms of winning trophies, that club is Bundesliga outfit Hertha Berlin.

Hertha enjoyed their most successful period in the inter-war years reaching the final of the German Championship 6 years in a row from 1926 - 1931 but they only managed to win it two times, in 1930 & 1931. They have also never won the DFB Pokal so are very short of major trophies in their cabinet, it's my intention to change this.

They currently play their home games at the massive Olympiastadion, a stadium they can't get close to filling and generally only fill around 60% of the seats, the lowest percentage in the Bundesliga. The club have however announced plans to relocate in 2025, when their existing deal runs out, to a newly built 55,000 seater stadium of their own. They are currently the only club in the Bundesliga that don't own their stadium. Their training and youth facilities aren't far from the best in the Bundesliga so there is plenty to work with here.

In the next post I will run through the squad that I have at my disposal, with limited funds there is very little that I can do to make changes but I shouldn't need to, the club qualified for this season Europa League and my aim is to equal that feat in my first season with the club.
Fantastic work Dan, getting Yeovil in to the Prem so quickly is incredible and great job on keeping them there. KUTGW

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