Looking at my squad at the early stages of June(Yes I start with the swiss league date…) and I have a lot of questions. Last season team finished 10th in the Bundesliga having a season that didn´t raise any eyebrows in either direction. The player material didn´t raise any eyebrows either and I am talking about the players that I am planning on building my team for this season. The club is bolstered with young and raw talent but I don´t want to develop them in the 2nd Bundesliga. To that notion, I am trying to field a team that can stay in the Bundesliga and also does not get me sacked. The trick is that I really want to start off-loading people now and not next summer so I can get young players in, that I can develop and also get few players in that can help me to have a decent season.
I was especially pleased to see that team had hired their own Gandalf(or at least the same age) in the form of Claudio Pizarro. I really did not think that Pizarro had too much magic left in him but I had already shipped off two Bremen legends from the back room and I was not about to put out the third one. I needed a plan for my Peruvian pipe smoker.
We shall return to that dilemma on a further note but we will now look some of the question marks and what did I do with them. Shall we?
The biggest Q on my list was, as I previously mentioned on my earlier post, I was spending almost 5m euros on two retiring players and to a striker so slow that if he would be any slower the time would start going backward. Jaroslav Drobný my retiring polish GK who somebody for some reason had decided to sign from HSV just for “One More Year”- deal was the easiest of my problems. He would serve as a mentor and back up for one of my two first team GK´s. Also since he was retiring I could get rid of him fairly easy next summer. He was not that expensive either. Around 650k a year. Clemens Fritz, however, was a true Bremen legend, former German international and team captain. Also retiring after this season. I would be mad to try to move him for his 2.3m wage per year. So I needed a spot for him on the team. Mentor/backup/rotation. He could also double that role on the DM position also. So how about our ancient friend Claudio? I could come up with a tactic that would be built around him and make some use of him in that way but besides his pace, he is not too “Rambo” on the stamina department either. Slow to run, fast to fatigue. Perfect pick for a pressing loving manager. I had to come up with something since he has got 12 seasons in Die Grün-Weißen and the “fans have a great affinity towards this player” on the “pros” bar. To be fair towards our medieval companion, he has some really exceptional attributes for a striker and if he could move any faster he would be signed somewhere else than Werder. I was fairly sure that besides his planned Mentor/Backup/Rotation duties he would surprise me at some point of the season. We are both hoping and waiting to see that.
Next, I go all my first team positions according to my tactic which is later presented on another entry and tell you the condition of those position and possible personnel changes.
Jaroslav Drobný (A back up to whom wins the starting job)
Raphael Wolf (Closer to getting the boot)
Felix Wiedwald (Most likely the man who gets the nod)
In GK department things look fairly good. A plus side is that Wiedwald can play as SK which is a major thing in a high pressing game.
Luca Caldirola (Slow and lazy. Most of the physical and mentals are good but, slow and lazy. Also “tries to play way out of trouble”. Possibly looking for a new job)
Álex Gálvez (Reason why gentleman above is most likely leaving. Also slow but not lazy. Overall, stats are better. Has some weird PPM´s for DC but yeah)
Milos Veljkovic (Also slow. Has overall great mentals and most physical stats. Future of the team. If I can keep him. Planned on rotation role)
I only have three “first team” DC´s. The guys in the II team are injury last resorts or too young. The plan here is to try to move Caldirola, get some money from that deal and bring in at least one seasoned veteran who can perform in a good level day in day out in the Bundesliga. That is what we are going to try.
Santiago García (My starting left fb/wb for the season. Some of the attributes are just great, some not so great. We will see how it plays out)
Theodor Gebre Selassie (My starting right fb/wb for the season. Mostly great physicals, overall good mentals, will struggle on defending but this stallion is gonna run up the whole season)
Clemens Fritz (Already covered)
First team wise I was at least one left WB short and I would possibly have to find one in the market. In the II team is Ulisses Garcia a Swiss/Portuguese talent who will see first team action somewhere in the course of the season. The initial plan is to play him as a first choice in the II team.
Sambou Yatabaré (Malian international. A workhorse type of ball winning DM/MC. Great physical, some of the mental are great, not so great technicals. 26 so does not go much further. On the fringe of leaving)
Thanos Petsos (24 years old Greek/German with one cap on Greece team. Mostly good attributes for DM. Will get chance to win DM spot)
Philipp Bargfrede (Two years older than Petsos. Great work rate, teamwork, and concentration. Has horrid recent injury history. Battles for the DM spot but raises concern.)
I got these three and also four other players who can fill in for the DM spots. Yatabaré is at the moment on the weakest position due to his technical shortcomings. Bargfrede is also a bit of a question mark because of his recent injury history that does not look favorable at all.
Zlatko Junuzovic (Austrian international and the captain on the field on this team. Overall very good MC for any BL team. We might need to fight for him at some point of the season.)
Maximilian Eggestein (Future star for this team. Could possibly fill some minor role this season but I rather see him play full-time on the lower levels. Loaned out)
There is multiple players that can fill in the MC role in this team but I see them mostly as either DM´s or AM, therefore, e those players are mentioned in the respected categories. Overall I am looking at least one player that can fill a playmaker role in the middle and have some top league experience.
Fin Bartels (A 2nd Bundesliga veteran in his second season with the team. His biggest asset to the team is his value. Looking to move him on.)
László Kleinheisler (21 year old Hungarian. Projected to be developed as a shadowstriker. Will see rotational time in all the AM positions. Very versatile. Needs to show what he´s got)
Izet Hajrovic (23 year old Bosnian. Versatile. Will get change to show what he has got. Oldest of the young guns. Mentals are killing him for me. Need to show good results to avoid me cashing his value.)
Levent Aycicek (Again a very young versatile AM. Good attacking skills overall. Mentals and physicals leave something to be desired. Will see rotational time in the start of the season to show off)
Lennart Thy (AM/DF. Will leave sooner rather than later)
Florian Kainz (22 year old Austrian. Projected as my starting LIF. Needs to work on composure and finishing. Will see rotational time on the other side as a winger also.)
Florian Grillitsch (19 year old Austrian. Projected to be a starting AMC. Will get the change to show is talent. Mentals especially DET are dragging him down. Good physicals and offensive skills.)
All and all my AM force is young or useless. Will go into market to look for useful option on the right side and in the middle. Lots of rotation on these positions to wash out the bad seeds.
Anthony Ujah (24 year old Nigerian international with speed to burn. A tireless work horse as a DF. His attacking skills are not that great. Will a change to show at the start of the season can he score besides running.)
Gandalf (Already covered)
I am really hoping to see Jóhannsson do well for us. But he is a new signing and we have to see how it starts. Pizarro will be my main backup with other two rotating in starting eleven until the starter is settled. There is a possibility of bringing in another striker if things look bad after pre-season and few games.
This was my evaluation of my first team players and the team needs I think need to be addressed. Next post on this series will be the one showing which actions I have chose to conduct on my first team players and maybe also a sneak preview on some of the loan action also on my youth talent.