Here we are at the kick-off for the new season with Newell’s Old Boys. It is set to be a difficult season at the Coloso Del Parque ” Marcelo Alberto Bielsa”. The board expect that we will avoid relegation and we have zero money to spend. In fact we need to sell players so we do spiral into debt and risk administration.
Our squad is not great but we do have some excellent youth players that will come through. They will help support the first team in their quest to stay in the division. I am hopeful that we can exceed our expectations and maybe force a challenge for the Sudamericana places, which is easily possible.
The Argentine domestic competitions are set up a little differently right now. It used to be that your position was decided by a 3 season average or something of the like. However a couple of seasons back the competition changed and they merged the 2 top divisions. In this season there are 23 teams in the top flight division and I will only play 22 games this season. Then there is an end of season cup competition with another 9 games. With the season as short as this a good run of form will go a long way.
As you can see the finances are totally borked, I have put all the money available to spend into the wage budget. Things will go south real quick if I do not manage this appropriately. The squad isn’t too bad mind and as outlined n my opening post introducing the save we do have a couple of players we can sell.
Opening game of the season and we totally annihilate Argentinos Juniors, In control from start to finish. The formation is covering for our limitations in the squad. We are struggling a little at centre forward, we have Salinas on loan and he managed to bag when we brough him on but honestly I am not sold on any of our strikers right now. However I am currently stuck with what we have and will make the best of it. I am happy with how the midfield and defence performed too, controlled the game and limited the opposition to few chances. This tactic won’t win every week but this is a positive step and I fancy we can definitely beat the teams in and around the bottom half.
After the opening 6 games we top the league, 16 points from a possible 18 and we are absolutely cruising. Not sure how that happened if I am honest. But we keep marching on.
Maxi Maxi Maxi
Maxi Rodriguez is absolutely running the show, everything we do flows through him and he is top scorer. I do need to be careful with his minutes however he is getting on and I do not want him getting injured. Gentiletti another loanee is doing bits on the wing but no one is really being consist out of the forwards other than Maxi.
I have been playing some of the kids in the Argentinian domestic cup, Carbrera has played really well and will shortly get a shot in the first team.
As you can see we have some good youth players in the reserves and my coach expects that Carbrera will become a star player for the first team at some point. Remains to be seen if he is that good but he will get his chance over the coming months.
I am pretty sure a good few of these kids will come through to the first team at some point over the next few years. We are also heavily stacked in our under 18s but I imagine given the lack of financial clout we have, we will be relying heavily on the kids coming through and realising their potential even as just squad players.
We make a blistering start to the league campaign and go top of the league, this is beyond my wildest dreams. The tactic although not amazing is functioning with the parts I have available, which was the aim. Maxi Rodriguez is a colossus and everything is flowing through him, he is rolling back the years.
It was supposed to be so easy
After a 7 match winning streak we some bad form losing 4 of our games in September, we lose top spot and drop down to 5th. I still cannot complain we was supposed to perform terribly and be in the bottom half. Hoping that we can find some form again and at least hang on to the Sudamericana spot (equivalent of Europa League for the unitiated). The defeats are hard to take however they were only tight and we are overperforming according to our media prediction so we march on.
Our form picks up again going into the winter break, Maxi is struggling to maintain his levels of performance but others step up to the plate. Jeronimo Cacciabue, He has been running the midfield and is big in defence and attack. Also Lisandro Carbrera is finding some form and currently leads the scoring charts for Newell’s.
We could push Boca and Velez for the league title but I do not think that is going to happen especially given our financial struggles. I am going to have to sell someone in my team in the break.
Time to say goodbye
I had forgotten to take a screenshot of this at the time, so please ignore that for a minute. Over the winter break and the transfer window opening, Boca register their interest in Jeronimo. I am absolutely gutted, Their opening offer was £8m and 40% future profit from a transfer. I rejected that immediately as I had other players with interest in them.
Boca then return with a £10m bid, as you can see they had shipped players out themselves and had a big warchest. They are the richest club in Argentina and I thought if they go higher than I would accept. They came back with £11.25m and future percentage of transfer at 30%. I decided to negotiate as every player has a price.
I decided to take £11m over instalments which allowed me to extract a bit more money out of Boca whilst also giving my club some guaranteed income over the next few years. I also insert a £2m after 50 appearances clause and also £500k after reaching 15 goals and £500k after gaining an international cap also 30% of the profit comes to Newell’s from any transfer. Absolutely devastated to see this young chap leave the club. Would have love to be bale to buy back in the future. Bad thing is we won’t get any of that money to put back into the team with our crazy wage bill and debts.
League starts up again
The league starts up again and despite killing it in the friendlies we just about limp over the line, exceeding all expectations and clinching Copa Libertadores football for next season.
I am very happy at this prospect and it will also give us more money to help safeguard the club from spiralling debts. I will be having a busy summer as a lot of contracts are up for renewal and frankly I will not be renewing many of them. We will also be losing some loan players. Personally will be letting our youth step up rather than buying more players.
There is also the small matter of the Superleague cup, honestly not even worth writing about haha. I played some of the youngsters whilst attempting to play my prototype Bielsaball tactic. It did not go well.
You cannot win them all and off I go into the sunset trying to figure out the plan for next season as I will definitely be losing players! The Cacciabue deal alleviated some of the pressure but we have a long way to go before we are stable.
Thanks for reading my ramble, next post may discuss season two tactical analysis as a change of tactic was needed. However I may just write up the season instead and then crack on with the tactical analysis for season three instead which I am currently playing now (spoiler alert). Will see how I feel.