Welcome, life at Velez continues and today I have a bonus post to share my thoughts on a major issue in this save. Season 2 – The review is out and you should catch up before diving into this post.
Bonus posts are something I love to do in between updates because I play so slowly and in-depth it takes me a while to get through a season, which means a long wait between a post.
As you can see from the title we are here today to discuss how or if Boca Juniors can be caught. Boca has been dominating the league since I came to Argentina and win the league comfortably yearly.
So what I didn’t show you in the last post was a few games we had left in the cup and Copa Libertadores, I thought the season was finished then these games popped up. These games came just as I was working on a new tactic ready for pre-season, these games were perfect to test it out and make adjustments. I will show you the tactic in my Season 3 start of season post.
What a run with the new tactic, we had set a new club record for the number of games unbeaten and another record with games without conceding a goal. We were on absolute fire Making teams like River and Independiente look like second division outfits, I was believing the new tactic had some real potential. We also topped our Copa Libertadores group with ease accumulating 15 points and advancing to the next stage. We reached yet another final, the Superleague Cup and once again we had Boca but the form we were in and the new tactic proving to be special I was finally going into a game vs Boca with confidence. That confidence I had lasted 4 minutes when we went 1-0 down and from then on we were absolutely battered and got smashed 3-0, could have been a lot more. This deflated me hugely and started to think will catching these ever be possible?
Soon as we had lost another final I was back jotting ideas down in my notebook on why we were so far behind Boca, even though I was truly happy with my first 2 seasons in charge I still wanted to catch them sooner rather than later. I joined Velez with the board and fans expecting us to finish 9th in my first season, we went on and finished second a great achievement for this club who’s finances are well behind many teams in this league. Season 2 came and again predicted a 6th place finish, we finished 3rd again another over achieved season. Part of me believes we are overachieving and catching Boca should be a few years away in my thoughts? No, I believe we are now settling ourselves as a top 4 Argentinian side the next challenge has to be the league title.
What can we do to close the gap on Boca even get some sort of title challenge on them, the season we finished second we were still 12 points behind most of the season.
- The new tactic has been made but seemed weak against the champions, as we seen above. I might re-watch some of Bocas games they struggled in this season ( there isn’t many) and see if I can make a tactic for when we play them? If I really study their team and games surely there is a weakness somewhere in this squad I can take advantage of.
- Finances are of course a major factor they get a huge sum of money to bolster their squad and we just don’t. This is something out of my power but still very frustrating, I’m working hard on making this club make profits but its something that’s long-term. The wage bill finally is now in green rather than red, it took me longer than expected to get rid of big contracts but finally, we are seeing a big difference on how the club is run.
- Squad depth is something which they have and we don’t, their bench is stronger than most of our starting 11 and they can replace any injuries with a player with just as much quality. We have a very weak bench I have to go to my reserves rather than the transfer market due to finances once again. This preseason coming up will be spent trying to add depth, so we aren’t always short when losing a starting 11 player due to an injury or a ban. I believe we will get around £12m this window which from the £0 in season one you can see we are heading in the right direction. Adding to that we have one of the youngest sides in the league so maybe adding some experienced heads may be a good idea to keep us focused on tough parts of the season.
- Squad morale is something I have been concentrating on intensely this save and 90% of the time I have had a very happy squad. This season 5 games before the winter break Ortega had the squad against me due to me rejecting an offer from Sevilla due to it being a low offer. Them 5 games we had a poor morale and lost 4 out the 5 games which we haven’t done since I was in charge, Boca then went 10 points clear from 3 points clear and that was the title race over at the winter break. My youngsters have so much potential I have around 14 young reserve players wanting first team football and asking me non stop, It’s hard to manage and sort loans out for them and when I don’t manage to they kick off and try to disrupt the morale. Boca has a happy team all year around as they are always winning games. Morale I believe I have done a fantastic job with but I need to think about offers coming in for my players in the season and what it can do to our form.
Overall the reason we are so far behind is squad management through a whole season and adding depth to our current squad is a must. The money I’m getting needs to be used so carefully on a number of areas this pre-season. A new scouting team is a heavy focus for me this season something Boca have and ours just don’t match up and this year it will. The tactic for Boca only I’m going to look into as well, next season I will do my homework on Boca weeks in advance of playing them to try to give me an edge before kick off.
This preseason is now key with new scouts, coaches and adding squad depth quality if we manage this I believe we will be closer to the champions then ever before. Analysing my opponent before the match day is something I will do this season when the Boca fixture is upon us, this is key I think to have any chance of actually getting 3 points off them.
Thank you for reading and hopefully what we have talked about can be put in place ready for another strong season.
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