Destination Unknown – DID WE DO IT?

We are back with the final part of the mini-challenge I set myself if you missed PART 1 I’d suggest taking a quick peek before diving into this piece.

You left us last time sitting at the bottom of the Premier League table at Christmas with one win to our name. I came in and changed a few things, made a new tactic that I believed would turn the season around. I added Dennis Bergkamp as my assistant manager and we went into a busy period of important games.

You left us after my first game in charge and a good 1-1 draw vs Tottenham. We are currently at the end of February 2019, I want to show some huge fixtures we had since the Tottenham game.

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We hosted Fulham in my third game in charge and this was a must win they sat in 15th place and was not in great form just like ourselves.

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A huge win for us and a goal for our striker Adone which was a confidence boost he really needed. We had 42% possession but used it very well, well organised and really hard to break down and quick on the break. Mitrovic really caused us problems and they could have had an equalizer, but we stood strong. I was very pleased that we managed 13 shots which is the highest we have had all season, things were looking on the up. The game saw our squad average rating of 6.97 which is a big improvement again for us.

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We travelled down to Huddersfield for the most important game within my time at Brighton. We sat Bottom of the league but a win would take us up to 18th place If other results were kind. The morale with a win here  I knew would be improved rapidly.

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A tight game saw us come out with all 3 points, I would say we were slightly the better side over the 90 minutes and we deserved the win. We had less possession but as I have said before with my tactic I fully expect to in all games. My main talking point on this tactic is to be hard to break down and score with a counter attack or play for set pieces.

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A lovely set piece saw us take the lead and we managed to keep in as well, Huddersfield struggled to break us down. I was over the moon with this cracking win. We moved off the bottom of the league.

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Well, we hosted Arsenal and they were sitting second in awesome form. I didn’t hold much hope for this game and set up just as I have done all season and what happened next made me cheer so loud, I woke the twins.

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We only went and took all 3 points off the most inform team in the league at that current time. They had 25 shots to our 9 and we managed 42% possession which I was happy with. A 90th-minute winner was the best goal I have witnessed in Football manager 2019 yet. This won put us 18th in the league but only 1 point on getting out of the relegation zone, but there was still a long way to go.

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The 90th-minute winner was great but this striker from our star man Anthony Knockaert was a huge moment, another set piece goal. The goal managed to come in the top 3 for the goal of the month.

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Well after the brilliance we did at Arsenal we went to Leicester City and got beaten 2-0 very convincingly. We then had to play Man City in what was a tough run of games but we went in knowing if we stick to our game plan we can beat anyone, as we have seen.

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We pulled off another massive shock result in a game of two halves. We were battered in the first 45 minutes and could have been 4/5 down easily, at half time I knew changes were needed in personnel. We had 0 shots first half then came out in the next 45 minutes with spirit and fight and managed to score two goals that won us the game. Another late winning goal from Florin Andone sealed the biggest win of the season as of yet.

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*In the red box are the games I have been in charge of.

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We sit still in 18th position with only 7 games left to play, even after the incredible results we have had we still haven’t managed to jump into safety. The next 5 games are absolutely vital now. We have improved so much in my management but it means for nothing if we do not stay up this season. This next game Vs Cardiff is absolutely vital.

 

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1-1, not the result I wanted at all I really thought we should have taken all three points in this game. The point we picked up took us to 17th and out the drop zone for the first time. We were by far the better team in this game they had one shot in the box all day we defended brilliantly, a wonder goal from Josh Murphy was the only thing that worried us.

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As you can see above just from the shot stats we should have scored more than the 1 we did. We take the point look at the defensive positives and we go again.

3 games left to go at the end of the season run-in, it’s extremely close and we are still in a relegation place.

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3 tough games left including Manchester United and Tottenham and with our league position we need to really dig deep and get 6 points in these last 3 games. We need the footballing gods to be looking down on us.

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2 places left for relegation after Huddersfield have the dreaded R next to their name. Crystal Palace has West Ham, Cardiff and Burnley so we have the tougher games by a long way.

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In my eyes this game was a must win especially with 2 very tough opponents up next and Crystal Palace right on our heels. I’m afraid to say we managed a measly 0-0 bore draw.

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Neither team looked like scoring if I’m honest, the result leaves us in 17th but only on goal difference. We have an absolute mountain to climb and it looks like this is going down to the very last game of the season!

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A 0-0 draw versus Manchester United and Palace’s result also ending in a draw it goes down to the final day! Three teams still in contention for safety but only one can be in the Premier League next season.

The biggest game of the season is here, Tottenham, who are sitting 6th and could possibly drop to 7th with a loss to us. Both teams have it all to play for, here we go.

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I’m in two minds how to set the team up for this fixture, all out to win it or play for the point and hope Crystal Palace lose. We have been really good versus the bigger teams since my arrival. I have set the mentality to cautious rather than defensive but keeping everything else the same it got us in this position and at Christmas, we looked finished.

Florin Andone our top striker picked up an injury in training and misses the game, an absolutely huge loss for us. He has scored so many important goals this season, Murray will step in.

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We got absolutely battered this game, we didn’t get near them all game, a miracle we only conceded the one goal and the last kick of the game. We had 2 shots all game and they had 29. Look below and the shot stats says it all really.

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Both of our shots came from outside the box and never scared Lloris.  Matthew Ryan had a busy afternoon in our goal with shots coming from all over.

Well, the season is over and it’s rare in football you can celebrate a loss and an awful performance to go with it. This time around we certainly can get the champagne out and celebrate staying up, thanks to Palace losing 2-0 goal difference has saved us. One goal has saved our season.

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Well, what a season from Christmas when I took over we have certainly been on a rollercoaster, winning games we thought was impossible.

DAZZAFM – The STATS 

Let’s see how I did in my short spell in charge.

Games – 20

Won – 6

Draws -6

Lost – 8

Win % – 28%

Goal Difference – -8

Points Won – 24

SAFETY CONFIRMED!

What a mini-challenge that was, I really enjoyed that emotional rollercoaster and so happy we managed to save Brighton from relegation. I hope you all enjoyed this mini 2 part series as much as I did.

Thank you for taking to time read my Football Manager 2019 content, it’s very much appreciated.

 

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