Welcome to my story where I will be looking to take the burgeoning Austrian team further than they've ever dreamed of before! I was very tempted to start an international save, but rather than go for Germany or England as I normally do I've decided to make things a little more interesting by going for Austria.
Austria have some talented footballers available to them, mostly playing in the German Bundesliga, but they also are starting to make an impact on the European stage (notably with Austria Wien qualifying for this year's Champions League Group Stages). I will be looking to further this encouraging development and create a style of football which can bring some silverware to a proud country.
Young striker Philipp Hosiner scores in Austria Wien's 4:1 victory against Zenit St. Petersburg
At the time of taking over, the team sit 2nd in a group consisting of giants Germany and other potential qualifiers Ireland and Sweden. It's still completely possible that we achieve qualification for the World Cup so that's the first objective during my reign.
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So for the first section of my story, which will go up to (and hopefully include) the World Cup, I have set the team the following objectives:
- push for play-off spot and remain competitive
- identify and develop a spine of players for future tournaments
I believe that with the squad we currently have we can certainly be competitive for the rest of this group and with a bit of luck we can at least make the play-offs for the World Cup which would be a wonderful achievement. These are three players I would initially suggest are critical to our chances of achieving that:
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David Alaba of FC Bayern Muenchen is clearly the best player in our current squad. A Champions League winner last season with the Bavarian giants, he is versatile enough to provide strength in many positions but I think his skillset will be mostly vital in central midfield.
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Marko Arnautovic is a wild card but has all the ability in the world as a winger. If we can keep his head in the game then he could be a game changer.
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A cool head and real creative ability, Andreas Ivanschitz will be crucial in games where we need to unlock defences and he has experience at a very good level. He is currently plying his trade with Levante in Spain after a spell at 1. FSV Mainz 05.
First up is a friendly against Peru in the next couple of days so expect a first update soon. And if anybody knows how I can make my attached files larger that would be a great help!