Moving into season 9 after a season in which I thought the squad had performed reasonably well, the priority was going to be small improvements in a few key areas.
Over the past couple of seasons I’ve changed tactic from the narrow 4-3-3 that was successful during my time at The Herbs, and I now play more of a 4-1-2-3. It’s technically still a 4-3-3 but the front three play much wider than they used to. That being the case, I’ve been buying more wingers lately, and that was one area in which I wanted to strengthen.
I also needed to improve things at left-back. Last season, our captain and first-choice left-back exited the club, which meant that I spent a good portion of last season with a central-defender, Nikola Maksimovic, filling-in. He did alright, but he’s not great at getting forward.
As you can see, a bunch of people left – most of whom were rubbish, or had rubbish potential, or both! – but a few players went out on loan. So much so, that the media have been asking if I’m stock-piling players.
At left-back, we bring in 30-year old Argentinean Jonathan Silva for £10m rising to £25m. He gets the number 3 shirt and is one of the first names on the team-sheet every week.
As a back-up, I brought in ESTAC Troyes youngster Ardit Curri, on loan. While I managed him, he was an up-and-coming youngster, but he seems to have stagnated and I’m not sure he’s going to be good enough.
On the left-wing, I brought in two players that can fight it out for the slot. 22-year old German Timm Winking – who is my favourite, simply because of his name – and 29-year old Spaniard Samu Castillejo. Both are 3.5 star rated but Winking has a bit more potential. Check out his stats.
24-year old Maxence Lacroix comes in as defensive cover, and he’s good enough to be able to call-upon when needed.
And that’s about it. This is the squad that I hope will give us a couple of domestic cup runs, get us deep into the Europa Cup, and put us in with a shot of the league title.