Grasshopper Club Zürich - Back to Glory, One Hop at a Time

General discussion about older versions of Football Manager.
Including Formations, Tactics, Best Players and Wonderkids.
ColonelPanic
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:29 am

Grasshopper Club Zürich - Back to Glory, One Hop at a Time

Postby ColonelPanic » Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:00 am

Founded back in 1886 by a travelling Englishman, Grasshopper Club Zurich (referred from this point on as simply GC) are the most successful league club in Switzerland, amassing 27 national titles, and displaying 2 stars above their crest as a result.

After following the club for the last few years, there are a couple of things that I've noticed about the club.
First off, the first team seems to be a revolving door of players, that is, not one player seems to have been in the first XI at the club for more than 5 years. Secondly, they have an abundance of high quality youth players that seem to emerge from the academy every year, spend a couple of seasons honing their skills in the Swiss Super League, and then go on to play at a higher quality league in a different country, or they move to FC Basel.
All these things seem to have culminated in GC dropping down the European rankings, and finishing in the meagre position of 8th (out of 10 teams), last season in Swizterland.

With the latest community transfer updates, I decided to take on the challenge of adjusting the clubs mentality, to turn the fortunes of a former giant around, and make Grasshopper Club Zürich a major Helvetian force to be reckoned with once again.

*Pre-Season Updates coming very soon*

ColonelPanic
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:29 am

Pre-Season Set up

Postby ColonelPanic » Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:59 pm

Well I finally bucked up the courage to start this adventure.

To start off with, the GCZ squad with the community roster update is very sparse, and does not account for the development of the youth players since the start of last season. Excuses aside, I took the time to carefully set up the squad with what I believe to be the most effective set-up for each individual.

As for playing some football, I generally choose not to have an intra-squad friendly, as it rarely gives insight into the better players, and I'd rather gain match fitness with other teams, for the reduced risk of injury, and I'll need the younger players to be fit to help harvest them into the first team, to keep with the clubs mantra of "Developing Youth"

I think I'm going to have to prioritize some early transfers, particularly for cover on the left side of the pitch, and a natural left sided attacking midfielder. All the other areas seem to be fine, providing injuries are kept to a minimum, otherwise I'll be foraying into the loan market.

Attached is the overview of the tactics
tactics-pre-season.jpg
tactics-pre-season.jpg (165.58 KiB) Viewed 2522 times

ColonelPanic
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:29 am

Let The Games Begin!! - GCZ

Postby ColonelPanic » Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:07 pm

First things first, I've sold Caio. Sassuolo came asking without any input from me, and were willing to pay £2.4m for him (he's valued at 825k). I couldn't resist the extra wage budget to bolster the rest of the squad.

I've signed Ahmed Hegazy as a free agent, as he's comes very highly rated, and is only 23 years of age. Contract negotiations wen't horribly in his favour, but I was willing to spend big to get a good solid centre half.
A couple of high-profile loan signings have come in as well, Francis Coquelin of Arsenal, on loan for the season for a minimal fee per month will be good, as he's probably one of the best players in the team, and can provide limited cover at left back if I need him to.
Diego Laxalt is a snappy winger from Inter Milan, 21 y/o painfully good Uruguayan youth international.

I played 3 Pre-season friendlies, all against foreign teams, 1 much smaller reputation, 1 smaller reputation, and 1 similar reputation team. I tend to play my strongest team for the first 60 minutes, and then put on all the youth players in my reserves, to save the condition of the primary players, and gain more match fitness for the younger bunch.

I'm currently polishing up two nearly-identical tactics, one for attacking play, and one for counter-attacking play, of which I will attach a screenshot.

Lastly, just as a small side-project, I started training Joel Mall up into the 'Sweeper Keeper' role, just for a bit of fun.
Tactics_ Overview Overview-5.jpg
Tactics_ Overview Overview-5.jpg (187.7 KiB) Viewed 2510 times


Quarter Season Report
So 9 games in now, performing slightly better than I expected, the influence of the new left winger has been tremendous, and my forced inclusion of youth players as substitutes, due to the appalling squad depth hasn't gone as bad as I anticipated.
The biggest thing to note, is that I changed the formation, to a 4-3-3 (I'll attach it) with a DM, and 3 attacking minded players in Ravet, Laxalt and Dabbur. The formation change was a drastic measure to improve form, as I lost the first 2 games without having a shot on target.
I want to add a small feature here, which outlines what my short term plans are, and my long term ones. Going to call it Target Practise just to keep it clear.

Target Practise (the debut)
Short
    Bring Sherko Kareem into the Senior squad from the U18s, replace Tarashaj as reserve striker (done)
    Re-assess player roles, mostly midfield for more long-range shooting (done)
    Remove "Shoot More Often" from Ravet, as he's not really good enough to be shooting from everywhere (done)

Long
    Include more of the youth players in the upcoming cup games (done)
    Negotiate a better contract/look to move on Kim Kallstrom
    Try and offer Coquelin a contract when his season-long loan expires

Home_  Home.jpg
Home_ Home.jpg (139.94 KiB) Viewed 2447 times


That concludes this update, will report back at the mid-season mark (or possibly the winter break, they might coincide)

Mid Season Training Camp!!

Ok, so it's that time of year, where some very important players are getting injured, and the Swiss Football Association employ their winter break, probably due to the ice cold temperatures in the middle of Europe.
We've been punching above our weight in the league, sitting just 4 points from the top, but everything seems closely packed in together, so anything could happen. Laxalt and Ravet have been scoring the majority of the goals, and Sherko Kareem has scored 3 goals and made 2 assists, in just 3 starts, and 2 sub appearances. Kahraba has left the club as he felt that getting no game time was stagnating his career. I was quite happy to let him go, paying somebody to sit on the bench is useless.
Unfortunately, due to my own complacency, we got knocked out of the Swiss Cup in the second round, away at Wil, in no small part due to me playing half the team with very little match fitness, and an average starting XI age of about 22. Not too worried though, as I can use the age old excuse of now "being able to focus on the league competition".

Target Practise
Short
    Nurse the squad back to full fitness before the season starts again

Long
    Offer Kim Kallstrom a new contract
    Find a stronger left back than Antonov
    Look for a better centre-forward

mid-season.jpg
mid-season.jpg (146.8 KiB) Viewed 2444 times
Last edited by ColonelPanic on Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:50 am, edited 5 times in total.

User avatar
santowhir
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:11 pm

Re: Grasshopper Club Zürich - Back to Glory, One Hop at a Time

Postby santowhir » Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:16 am

Hi ColonelPanic,

Looking forward to seeing your progress on this.

I never bother with the intra-squad friendly either. It's unlikely that you'll gain any new information from playing it.

Who are you going to buy to plug your left sided midfield position?

ColonelPanic
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:29 am

Re: Grasshopper Club Zürich - Back to Glory, One Hop at a Time

Postby ColonelPanic » Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:02 am

Yo! Looking forward to getting the season underway myself, I'll post an update after I've played 9 league games, a couple of interesting developments to report.
As for the left sided midfielder, I'm quite happy to stick with Laxalt until the end of the season, I'll probably look for a regen when the season is over, it really depends how high my wage budget will be next year, which will be balanced on my performance this season, so a solid league position will be important :)


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