The Belgian next talent. Can feminine intuition work?

Death Ball

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2nd January 2017

4th October 2016, the offer came. Not from a team as high as desired, but one that seemed useful to try make one step: MK Dons, laying in nineteenth position when originally tipped to reach promotion play offs of League One. And a chance to learn English. The board doesn't look very rational, as they still want for a top half finish, when keeping in the division comfortably is all that can be asked at this point.





The squad looked pretty decent for the league and should be enough to avoid relegation comfortably; but there would be a big task ahead considering the low morale across the board. To make things worse, the starting goalie was out for some weeks through injury, forcing Schmied to play with not so good Cropper. Very few goals scored.



Stats at Schmied's arrival, 4-10-2016

And indeed, the start wasn't easy. Tweaking the tactics until finding the right settings, it took seven games to get the first win, with a balance of two draws and four defeats in the six games before. Since then, the team has scored an overall 6-6-3 in wins-draws-losses, in the league 6-3-3, with the best match being probably the last, where MK Dons dominated second placed Tranmere, though failed to score for the win. Those results have brought the team back to nineteenth position and given her the third place in December's manager of the month award. However, the board isn't as pleased as one think they should considering how the team was when Schmied took its helm and the injury crises, that has made the team play three games without the first choice centrebacks and the last two with only one of them.







With the goals starting to flow and the defensive setup finally working as it should, there's no reason to fear what's to come in the remainder of the season. Surely the results will keep coming well enough to retain the position and hopefully increase Aurora's renown. There is one big cause of anxiety, though, that is the state of the finances, that prevents any transfer deal during the window, unless it's through the sale of important members of the team. That is worrisome, moreso because the situation is expected to get worse.




Just one injury at the moment, to a player who's important just because he's practically the only acceptable player for the right wing of the 4-5-1 formation used (V midfield, classic style).



On personal notes, Schmied has begun to speak English, though still in basic level.



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Got to check how to set Photobucket again not to scale down my images
 

sammyt

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I'm glad you've continued this on as it's an interesting read, in terms of your pictures, why don't you just load them up off of your computer?

if you go advanced, click on the image that looks like a painting then select to upload from you computer you can put them in where you want them by either dragging them into pace or making sure the curser is already there when you go to upload them.
 

Death Ball

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Thanks for the tip. I know that, but it is more comfortable to write it in notepad and have the images uploaded to some other host and paste the links as I write it than writing the text, pasting it here then go about uploading and picking where each screenshot goes, I think. The next update I will post the first image and confirm for sure if using the forum's image system is really less comfortable or not.
 

Death Ball

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Last half of 15-16 season

- Winter transfers

With the state of finances being as poor as it is, with a projected negative balance at the end of the season, no transfer budget and the wage budget having already been exceeded, it is clear that there was not much that could be done. Only to look for free loan deals that might help with some positions.

Such transfers were found:

- Marc Duffy, to be the first pick in the right wing.

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- Robert Ross, to provide a backup in the right-back position to Obeng.

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- Jason Puncheon to fill as a first right winger.

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- Fabrizio Catalano as a possible back up for the front three positions, mainly right wing.

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- Adam Lallana! Because I saw him having a few great games in past seasons ((actually in one or two youtube stories)) and thought it was to be the greatest bargain MK Dons could ever hope for.

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- Performances:

Once the right formation and tactic had been found, the team showed a completely different face to that of the first half of the season. Many have managed to turn their average rating to scores well above 7.00, with even more reaching such numbers in their last five appearances. So much that the fans are really happy with most of the players. More than half of the games played in the season had one of our players chosen as the best of the match. From a string of fixtures where it's hard to spot the wins, to more than half of the season where it's hard to find the losses.

View attachment 341675

After 17 matches MK Dons were rock bottom, with rumours that Schmied would be sacked, disenchanted fans questioning the appointment of a woman, with 11 points. The 52 points that were the minimum that nobody had been relegated with in the past seasons seemed very far. But then the team started to climb up the table, to reach in the very last game the 12th position with 63pts and the minimum expectations of the board, who finished the season satisfied with Aurora's work.

View attachment 341677View attachment 341676View attachment 341683

The serious injury suffered by Derrick Williams, that kept him off the pitch for the last two months of the season only served to show how Whight was good enough to step in his place not only in the cup matches. As desired by Schmied, it is the fullbacks and midfielders who stand out in the tackling statistic.

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Of the loanees, they were mostly disappointments. Marc Duffy is the only one who's performed consistently and at decent levels since his arrival, with Puncheon matching only after a while. Robert Ross had a couple very good games and one disastrous, not enough to take Obeng's spot. The worst was Adam Lallana, who had only three appearances, being extremely disappointing.

View attachment 341679

Schmied was chosen manager of the month for April.

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- Finances:

The financial situation of the club is dire, as such there will be a very slim margin to maneouver in the transfer market during summer. Activity will have to be based upon loan deals involving no fee and no wages. The main problem of that is the limit of loanees a team can field, so there's still a need to keep some key players finishing their contracts this season. The results have been satisfactory, with only Derrick Williams breaking negotiations before finding an agreeable amount. Not only has Schmied had success keeping most of the key players, but she has done so reducing the wage budget in more then €7,000. That has been done through new deals that have lowered wages of those key players and with the release of dead weight.

View attachment 341681

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In the left, copypasted, the new deal


- Transfer plans

There is not much that will be done in terms of permanent deals, but what can be done has already begun, but it will not be more than one or two free transfers. There are two players that are sorely needed: a replacement for Williams and one solid defensive midfielder, a position where nobody performed very well.

To replace Williams in the centreback position, a candidate has been found on Panaman Felipe Baloy, for the defensive midfielder, a former big team player: Alou Diarra, both are currently thinking over their contract offers. Baloy is awaiting a work permit.

View attachment 341684View attachment 341685

There will also be an attempt to sell Martin Waghorn, he is a very good player, but he's also a big earner and the club would be better saving his big wages and getting money off him than continue paying.

- Other news:

I received a positive answer to my application to be the new Canada manager, it is a work I feel I am well able to do well along a club and that I hope to do good for my reputation, as long as the players don't have an issue with being a woman.

View attachment 341687

Also the start date for next preseason has been chosen, not going to be too long.

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Death Ball

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Uploading to forum as attachment is kind of uncomfortable, which makes this update coming two days later than written, due to laziness to do all; found the option in Photobucket to store the original version, though now the links have changed, I've edited the URL side to see if this way it will send to the full image as it would do in the old times.

After 20 minutes of editing and ending with Photobucket changing the address of the links, it seems to suddenly work as it should.oO)

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Preseason 2017-2018

- Notes on the end of past season

A new contract was offered and accepted. Fan Player of The Year and Best eleven awards were announced. Pugh got a long term injury that will keep him out til October.







- Transfers

The team sold Waghorn and Obeng for a combined €1,475M for the sake of helping the club finance. It was a disappointment to sell Obeng for just €675K, but he refused Birmingham's contract that would have meant €1,2M transfer. Williamson finally left on a free, after Schmied's inability to come to an agreement.

There were no expenses to bring new players, but eight have been added to the team, one free transfer and seven loans (one from Scotland, one from Belgium and five from England). Among them, Marc Duffy returns.











Leaving as final squad


- Finances

The sales did help much, as the balance has turn from the red to almost two million euros, with a projected positive balance at the end of the season. It's not enough to be able to stop thinking on them and begin to put thought into signing players, as the rate of losses expected means next season would end again in debt.



- Friendlies

The friendlies have been encouraging, save for the draw against Havant. We got a 1-1 draw against Ereedivisie's ADO Den Haag and a narrow loss against Derby by a 2-3, after being 2-1 ahead.

The main issue for the coming season is that MK Dons have been touted among the most likely to fight for promotion, making that the minimum expectation that could be given to the squad. It may be too much pressure for the players and the manager.





- International¹


Not shown: Gazzola

The performances of the team have been mixed, it began well, with good circulation of the ball and solid build up, but lately it has turned around, passes have lost precision and defence has shown vulnerable, specialy through the flanks. It was a disappointment to be sent off in the group stage of the Gold Cup, because two horrid defensive mistakes in the last game that turned the 1-0 into 1-2.




I'm starting to regret applying for Canada, though it was doing well and has some good players, it's really starting to feel the lack of quality midfielders and fullbacks. I also hate the press conferences, continually asking if I don't consider better someone I didn't call than someone I did. I already stormed off one press conference, I'm wondering if I should attend any other





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¹When I got the job it was the day before squad announcement and the team had no assistant manager. That meant I had no scouting information of anybody, whether in or out of the squad, and I also didn't have a suggested squad, so for the Canada team I broke the only scouting reports and looked the attributes
 
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Death Ball

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An early update

Not a good start to the season at all. After a weak start, the players seem dull in the movement and capacity to carry out the game plan. The midfield having trouble getting their passes, the front players unable to finish the chances they're feed with and the defense playing as if it was made by four new players, when in fact only Ty Browning is new.

It felt just like the players didn't have their full wills with them. Specially Lewington, who's never shown any respect during our team talks. I changed the plan to a defensive 4-4-2 when it was clear the team was not putting faith in what past season would have in projection granted us play off spot. But though Crawley needed to exploit the time we were without Decuypere on the field, the forward kept missing their chances, some of them rather good.

We were 23rd, again, when past season this team showed its ability to be much higher. Even without Waghorn nor Bowditch, as we had plenty of games with both of them injured. The Dons is a team to end in midtable, though, any more is overachieving, even if not completely out of the cards. However, the board insist on their irrational decission to demand play off positions, which is not attainable, less so with the way this start has had.

To make thing worse, I felt a rebellion brewing, and Lewington demanded transfer because I didn't accept he coming to my office whining like our position could improve without him giving his all in the field instead of coming to the match with that lack of interest he keeps showing. I know I wanted to sell him during summer to get funds for someone with a bit of professionalism; but nobody wants him. Even for free. He should take the hint from that.

Anyway, that's not my problem anymore. I resigned from the club as I don't relish being insulted by fans and sacked by a board with totally unrealistic demands. The team's focus must be placed on financial health, and though being promoting is the best way, it is not the way we can go without getting overboard with wages. If they don't want to listen, they can go sink but I won't be sinking along.






The Canada team has not gone much better for Schmied, after a good start at her orders, the team looked strong, winning the majority of their matches comfortably and being very competitive against Mexico, generating two one on ones missed by nervous strikers. Then, after the 4-0 win against Guatemala, they crumbled. Defensive solidity has disappeared and the team keeps conceding goals through poor positioning and lapses in concentration. They went out of the Golden Cup and in the World Championship Qualifiers they haven't won again, either, finding themselves in a dire situation in which, after having been with chances of being top of the group, they can lose qualification for the next round with two matches to go, including the one against Mexico.




As things stand I may resign from Canada post too, when the qualification group ends. Though that will depend on what the team shows in these last two matches and what other national teams become available. Though the two times I have to travel from a match with the Dons to America for another with Canada were not very enjoyable experiences.



And when people were saying that this time she wouldn't find a team nearly as high as MK Dons, four days later she had a call from Huesca to lead their team away from the relegation places after a poor start of the season. An offer she accepted. Now she is in Spain, having had a look at the reports of the team and is now locked in her office and watching the matches played in this season by Huesca.




What she has found so far is that as is customary in Spanish teams, she is not the one who will decide the signings, she may tell her opinion to the director of football, but his is the decision on signings and renewals. And a club in a very poor financial situation, with debts that are only growing by a 150% and an squad overflowing with unregistered players. No wonder the chairman is willing to listen to offers. Expectations may well be within the team's capabilities.







Obviously the first need is to offload all the players that can't be registered. The second is to bring a fourth centerback in winter, or rather keep one who's unregistered to register him next chance. So far the injury of Akapo seems to have been covered by playing one of the fullbacks out of position, which may explain why the team has had this bad start. A problem is seen when the centerbacks don't lead the interceptions and are among the top in the tackling. Another issue is that Razak, first choice in the goal so far, is not good with kicks and the confirmation in the poor passing rate he has, below 40%. Reliability with the distribution is one of the qualities Schmied values in a goalkeeper.

A brief look into the team report shows that the team has seen its best moments with a 4-4-2, with goals being fed from the wings, though the position report would point to a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-5-1 as better choices. Likely the first choice will be a 4-4-2 trying to favour an athletic central midfield.
 

Death Ball

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Another goodbye

The reception to a woman was not good among the fans, who promptly voiced their discontent at the signing of an unknown manager and woman [there's no mention of the reason for the screenshot message, I'm making it up], it was not a good sign of things to come.



It was going to seem like the players didn't take it well to be ordered by a woman. Schmied tried to implement two sets of tactics, the one that seemed to better fit the offensive nature of the squad at her disposal with a 4-2-3-1 and another of more defensive mindset in the way of patching the shortcomings in the defensive end. The players, however, showed very lacking attitude, and while tactically things were working, the players prevented the results to show it.

It was some very frustrating months. It came to a point where I had to resign, for there was clearly nothing to be had with the players' attitude. If our defense was leaving open gaps, then that's something I could work to patch. If our attackers' movement failed to open the needed spaces for the final pass, that's something that I should and could solve. But when, match in and match out, I see spaces being created, the ball being delivered in quality positions and the players sending the ball anywhere but the net; and if in the other side I see spaces being denied to the opposition, their players being consistently marked but even so they keep shooting into the net because the marker doesn't put the needed pressure and the goalkeepers don't stop anything, then there's nothing for me to do. And if the problems of the team are such that don't depend on me, but that the players start wanting to do their jobs, then it's clearly not a place I should be in.

It would not make things easier that a French tycoon was starting a takeover process, which probably would mean he'd want his manager. In the end, the takeover didn't reach its goal as the Huesca board kept the full financial position from the tycoon.






It was only four days for Schmied to find a new job offer, just a few positions above: Elche answered her application with a job offer. Another team in the relegation spots, but with a better recent past and some decent players to hope for some good results, though financially in a position as bad or even worse than Huesca. And a recent form that has nothing to make Huesca jealous.




 

Death Ball

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Frustration

The Elche didn't receive Schmied with such coldness as the Huesca fans, however the results didn't go different, though the player performances did.

It began with a surprising victory against third placed Mallorca with a comfortable 3-1, but the results then stopped to come. Tactical tweaks were applied to the 4-2-3-1 deployed, the performances improving with better passing, more efficient building to reach the opposition area, but it would not reach the objective and the losses followed each another.

And there was a constant that kept driving me crazy: out of the twelve games with Elche, in ten the opponent team had a player in a goal drought, and in nine of them he scored. It's as, no matter what I asked my players to do, they ignored him¹. Add that to the constant defeats and I couldn't resist applying for the job of a Lega Prima Divisione B with still mathematical if slim chances to achieve promotion to Serie B.




²



Ascoli was tipped to finish second, but instead was eleventh in the Lega Pro Prima Divisione B, just one point ahead of play out positions, twelve points behing play offs with eight games before the end of the season.

The squad was short, but with some quality that should have seen the team better in the league. Schmied began stablishing an offensive 4-4-2 formation with long passing. It worked well, taking the team into two straight league victories, one against a team placed ahead and against the last qualified. It was broken with a defeat in the most important match, the one that would decide if the chances to reach play offs could materialize or vanish. Probably it should have been then, and not after, when she introduced the 4-3-1-2 formation, less offensive and with short passing, that would see her team unbeaten in competitive matches until the end of the season.








With half the key players ending their contracts, with only few renewals until that moment, a Liga Adelante team just in the top half of the table became available, and the appliance to the post was accepted, marking the end of Schmied's term in Ascoli, setting a record four teams in one season for the Belgian manager. Clearly, she is becoming impatient to climb to better teams and would rather be already in a second tier team with good chances of remaining and be a solid base for a bid for top tier, with an ample squad that isn't going to get dismantlet at the end of June, than staying in a team that would have to earn the promotion to second tier and then have a hard job ahead to consolidate in it and that will almost need a rebuild of the squad before promotion.




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¹Not a matter of players not closing down, but the player scoring no matter what, even with three on top of him. From Huesca game we can increase such run to 15 games, 12 with a player on goal drought and 10 matches he scores, one not scoring and in one being two players on a goal drought, one scored and one didn't.

²At the end of the season, Huesca would be relegated and Elche stay in 18th position by two points
 

Death Ball

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There is a God and He likes redheads

Summer, it was the first in a long time in which Schmied was to start a season with a team and had the summer break ahead to plan for the squad and transfer window. Certainly, she was again in Spain and there the manager is just the one who decides lineups and tactics; but she would not resign herself to that and try to start deals as long as she was allowed. She has learned from her early seasons when the upper management always failed to fill important holes in the squad or made very subpar signings.

One of the first things she decided to do was a clearance of the excess players in the squad, many would be leaving at the end of their contracts or be offered. Then it would be the time to begin with the identification and signing to fill the weak spots. She wouldn't be the only active, though, and the director of football would bring in a number of young players unfit for first team football, so they rapidly saw themselves transferred to either the U19 or the B squads, with the exception of Pablo, who will be needed as the main tactic for the upcoming season will be a narrow 4-4-2 diamond and de Berardinis to have a right winger available for the odd match where such will be necessary.

The signings by the upper management:










A goalkeeper and a striker were brought back on loans, who had already been with Numancia the previous season and achieved some decent numbers:






Then a couple of centerbacks, the main of which is Wuytens and a back up in Soumaoro, and a few promising or past glories to fill the midfield needs.












In the whole, all the transfer activity worked to bring almost two million euros profit to the club and lift the bank account, with a projected red numbers at the end of the season to a projected positive of over two million euros accounting with the total reduction of wages.



There was no use for the recently announced link with PSG, as that club has no players to loan to us that we could use according to the club's scouts. The final result of the operations being that Schmied has an ample squad with enough quality to make good the board's expectation of achieving promotion this season, though not by much.





The preseason, however, has not been one to support such claims, though the team managed to compete for a half against Serie A outfit Parma away with a defensive formation. In Aurora's defense, the last three matches used the alternative 4-5-1 of defensive intent and was the second batch of match fitness building. First three matches saw the same squad play until being match fit, starting against Parma, as much of it as possible with the squad available was changed to bring to fitness the players that had not been used until then, which for the two matches against Parma and Penafiel meant the opposition had more fit players. What I'm not so sure of, is why I did let my assistant convince me to play with a narrow field, I think it may well be too narrow for our diamond to work properly. Granted, a wide one would make us more vulnerable at the back with changes of side; but so narrow we may be trouble making our numerical advantage in the middle count during attack



One slight surprise is to see that in her brief time with Ascoli, Schmied learn Italian fluidly, and Kriol after just the one game up to date with the Guinea-Bissau squad.



There is one more thing to say about the summer goings. It happens that if Schmied were to have a reputation of compulsive nomadism, it would have to be earned. There was a team which managerial position became available, Schmied applied for the **** of it, it was one of her dreams when she started her career as manager. She was shocked when she received the call, believing it to be a friend making a prank.



How's that?!. Belgium's manager resigned after losing in the Euro quarter finals. What could she do but file in her application?.

Her first match has been played. A friendly against Russia, a strong side that were tipped favourites for the match.




Our narrow 4-2-3-1 ran over the wide 4-4-2 diamond with ease.


The squad available, with one or two big absences through injury

Starting lineup. Subs: De Bock ← Gaillard, Demuynck ← Vermaelen, Fellaini ← Hazard, Imbula ← Witsel, Dembélé ← Chadli, Matías Suárez ← Lukaku
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In the possible bad news, I had to play the last Numancia friendly the Russia game three times. First I played vs Eibar and won 2-0, game crashed when sending squad for Russia game. Next I drew 1-1 vs Eibar, game crashed when Russia scored a goal in the second half and we were winning 2-1. Next I drew 0-0 vs Eibar, saved, I won 2-0 vs Russia and game crashed when leaving match, then replaed the Russia and won 1-0. All Russia games were dominated with the same superiority

I sure wish this doesn't mean the game is close to start crashing at a point without a way to get past it, now that finally it starts to look up. Got the first objective: managing Belgium, and have a team to try the second, play in a top tier team, which opens the chance for the third and last objective: win some trophy.[/size]
 
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Death Ball

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On the way to the second objective

Just in the transfer deadline day, the director of football made a new signing, one Schmied deemed unneeded but nonetheless welcome considering the reported quality: a new centreback from Brazil, Diego Ângelo




He has been used during the season, both in league and cup; but only performed in cup, being responsible for a goal in most of his appearances during the league. Not so bad turned to be Jan Wuyten and only a couple of goals given away by mistakes by Soumaoro; meaning Ignasi Miquel is the only centerback that has not handed a goal to the opposition. Francisco Regalón is not counted because he's used as right back, only gave away one goal, which turned out to be relevant.

However, the good offensive working of the formation, using mostly a 4-4-2 diamond in home matches or against weak opposition and a 4-5-1 away or against tough opposition and a kind of 3-1-3-1-2 in the Cup, mainly from the hand of Giovanni Sio, one of the best assisters of the league, means that the team has been on a very good form, defeating 2nd, 3rd and 4th placed teams to near the middle of the season on top of the league with an eight point margin over the second. It looks like the chances to make good on the team's expectations to gain promotion are rather good.








The relevant goal made possible by Regalón, more a problem of his lack of speed than a matter of making a bad decission, was the away goal by Atlético de Madrid in the first leg of the Copa del Rey, which made their lone goal at Vicente Calderón enough to get through to the next round. Not a painful loss, though, as success was not in the cards, regardless of the fans' opinion, and it allows Schmied's boys to concentrate in the league and avoid needless exhaustion.

Another curiosity was the poor reception the visiting fans from her former club Elche gave to Aurora. It was shameful to hear their insults, there was even an espontáneo who tried to access the Numancia bench with clearly unfriendly intention.



Diego Ângelo has not been the only addition to the team. After an injury to Balderrábano Schmied decided that, despite Ignat doing reasonably well, it would do good to bring in a quality goalkeeper as it was not the only injury the Argentinian suffered in the past two seasons. It is a free transfer who joined the team immediately once he could be registered the first of December and who has been convincing in the goal and ever since shares starts with Balderrábano. There's also what Schmied considers a too hasty signing by the director of football in David Ivan, who is to come in July.







And despite the initial good expectations from the financial team, the truth is that the team has been losing money and are currently in debt.





Ignasi Miquel being one of the top 5 performers in the league is just what explains how Numancia is in the top of the league despite the poor performances from the other centrebacks, while Giovanni Sio with his assists has ensured they are one of the teams that scores the most. Escassi is amont the top in pass completion, but he uses to play as the anchor man and has plenty of passing options available. The team with the most goals from corners and direct free kicks letting the players decide how to play them ((aka I haven't touched the set pieces instructions)).




In the national teams things could hardly go better. Belgium is in a very easy group to qualify for the next Eurocup and showed their ability to battle in equal terms against giants Brazil. Inly disappointing result has been the 4-1 defeat against Bosnia Herzegovina, in which Schmied called several new players to experiment, who didn't respond as expected. Also the best XI was announced, formed all by players used by Schmied, with the exception of Alderweireld, one of the disappointing players from the game against Bosnia.




Not shown were three friendlies, two against very minor teams plus one against Alcorcón, to keep match fitness during the long winter break (until 19 January), all won with little trouble. It is a little more than five months to see if the second objective will be reached and Numancia will become a top league team.
 

Death Ball

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End of season, four out of five objectives, one bonus.

It was a strong intuition. When I saw no comments were made upon the favourite, I knew I had to apply. And I was right, from February I began to manage Toulouse FC, in Ligue 1 And that's the second objective met, without promoting Numancia to La Liga. Schmied is managing in a top tier league. The third is the lack up to date of any machist or feminist news, like someone saying how glad to see a woman step on the business or that football is not for women and what not.

Things were going well at Numancia, but why keep with a team that will need to consolidate when the offer from the sixth placed of Ligue 1 is at hand?.





The club's financial status is not great, but neither is Numancia's, so there's no reason to stay there. Besides, Toulouse has enough quality in the squad and in the reserves as to compete in the league and still make good profits.



Promise that had to be made was to use the youth system to feed new players. The youth academy did produce some good material for the future.



The time at Toulouse so far has been successful. Schmied took the team sixth, three points off the third spot and eight from second. With only two defeats and a record six wins on a row she brought the team up to just one point off the second, qualifying for the Champions League best placed play off. Just that allowed to have some good income through prize money, which went mostly to the club's coffers. The first big income, as no clubs were in position to bid for any offered player before the end of the season.








That performance served, on top of the fourth objective of managing a team in Champions League and the bonus of managing in France (which I had not done yet), to have Toulouse offering a new contract and to improve sponsorship deals.




Best eleven and player of the season were chosen. Not a surprise to see the goalkeeper Ahamada chosen, being one of the better players.




Looking at the next season, the preseason is going to have seven weeks duration, for proper fitness building at the start and then cohesion of any possible new signings.

Sales of fringe players add to the profits during summer to finally get the bank in positive balance and with enough money to bring some quality players. Specially needed will be a defensive midfielder or two and a right back, to fill in for the bad injury to Vainqueur, the departure of Herv?s at the end of his spell and the long injury to Madson, who was going to be the starting right back as Akpa-Makpo is being moved to the defensive midfield zone.

Some interesting deals have been worked upon, but they will be revealed at the end of the transfer window.

The aim for the season is qualification for Europa League, higher than minimum demand by board, as the team should be strong enough and is ambitious.

The next season has a strong start, with former champions Olympique de Marseille opening Toulouse's fixture list; but there's no big teams in consecutive matches, perhaps the worse is the start with Brestois and Olympique de Lyon in alternating matches.









There's not much news in regards to the national team. Got a draw in a friendly against Netherlands and the Euro qualifying group is easy, despite one slip.




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Minor editing: being at a ECC team is a fourth main objective, the bonus, not major, is managing in France, where I had not done before.
 
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Death Ball

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do you think it made a difference that you are a woman in-game?
There's just one instance that it might have: when I was at Huesca or Elche, there was a vacancy in a team that was just below Serie B and looked very likely to have what it took to have a good first campaign when promoted, it was in the way for direct promotion, league of lesser reputation, club of lower reputation that the one I had, I applied and they appointed a manager with lower reputation. It didn't say my application failed because of the compensation money, like some other times, so there's a chance it was for being a woman. Nothing of that vein was mentioned, so it could be something else not said. Maybe with reputation comes an expectation of wages asked, or from current wages. I didn't make the test of resigning (at a few times I've saved and applied to something while employed and after resignation to test some things. I.e. once I applied and was rejected "because compensation money was too high", then reloaded to see what if I had resigned, it didn't land me the job. Probably I should do the test applying and all the tiny clubs and see how many will offer me a job to see how many comes). Later I got the job for another team at that same division.

At Huesca the team performance was very alike the kind of performances I saw in Chievo with a very low reputation manager and generally bad team talk reactions, but at that point I didn't speak Spanish and was possibly a little low in reputation, I think it was the job I was asked in press conference about it being a leap forward. So it was more than likely a matter of reputation plus language barrier. It was also the first time I saw in the first match for the team a message saying the fans were up in arms for my appointment. There was nothing mentioning the gender, so it could as well be a reputation matter.

So, at this point, barring that an application test with teams of very low reputation proves that below Serie B team failure was gender related, I'm pretty sure the gender has no bearing at all.

I must also say that in most of the new clubs, at the press conference I've answered the question about whether there's machism and if it's harder for women in either of the positive answers, hoping that is a subtle way to ask you if you want gender to be considered and machism taken into account; but in some teams I have answered negatively to see if I noticed any difference. None was noticed.
 

penza

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thanks for the reply really appreciate it and keep up the good work really liking this story!
 

Death Ball

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Preseason 2019-2020

The main objective of the preseason has been to bring enough money to the club as to make the bank balance positive, hence many sales have been made of players who were unlikely to feature during the season and Ali Ahamada, who would be very valuable but has excessive wage demands and is in his last year of contract. He was valued high, but the offer came perhaps too late and in the end he could only be sold by five million euros, valued at €2.9M when at the end of past season his value was €10M.

Those sales did not prevent Toulouse FC to make some deals to bring new players to strengthen the squad. Most of them brough by Schmied, except Boubacar Sow and possibly, if the DoF completes the deal, a new goalkeeper, which would mean the offer of L'Hostis who requested the transfer as the third goalkeeper position is better used with a young player.

In the end, I think the deals were good and will allow Toulouse to be competitive next season apart for having brought the balance to €11M in the positive with projeted profits of almost one million. Confirmed by the bet companies title odds.













The preseason has been very satisfying, almost completely. When it cames to the results, they were all very good, with excellent performances. Worth mentioning the come back from a 2-0 against FC Kobenhavn at home and the narrow 2-1 defeat in our visit to AC Milan. All the squad reached match fitness well before the end of the preseason. The bad part is that it has cost a few long injuries, with Madson and Vainqueur, two players who were going to be starters being unavailable due to injury until the third match at least, both injured during the start of the preseason, that's a month for both. Then Neto got a four months injury that will keep him at least until winter and may be a cause to sell or loan him out.




There's nothing to report for the National Team other than the group for the World Championship Qualifying round has been drawn and providing a fairly easy one, with only Greece and Serbia as serious rivals.



On a more curious note, Aurora Schmied has now national reputation after taking Toulouse FC to end third in a top tier league.



Tactically, the new season starts with three tactics prepared: a 3-5-2 with wingbacks or wingers depending on players fielded and opposition, third option, the 4-3-3 that was successful past season trained on a more defensive outlook to face stronger opposition and a 4-2-3-1 assymetric (MR-AML) as first choice against lower teams or at home.
 
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Death Ball

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Summer '19 transfer window end

The competition had been a mixed bag. We began strongly, defeating holding champions Olympique de Marseille comfortably, beating the record of goals scored in a match. Then we had the Champions League best placed draw and guess what, Toulouse got the strongest team. Then the great goalscoring match was followed by a great result during Valencia?s visit, a 1-0 win that could and should have been bigger, as quite a few high quality chances were missed, either shot at the keeper or the crossbar. And that ended the good form, as later in the league Toulouse suffered a surprise defeat before being hammered at Valencia's home to continue with a new disappointing defeat in the League.

Defense has not been that weak, other than against Valencia, but there's the ocasional poor play in defense. The new goalkeeper Kozak has not been good when brought into the side.

At least, after losing the tie against Valencia, we are sent to the group stages. And guess what, though I initially thought it was not the worst, the news say it's still a tough group .What a surprise.









There were a couple more players in, brought by DoF, future prospects Schmied doesn't quite like and who are all for the midfield area, which is already covered. At least they may serve to be sold for a profit, if things go well.





In total Tolouse spent around ten millions and received twenty five in transfers, a new club record (which was announced prematurely at twenty), which added to the prize money for the European competitions, plus record attendance when we received Valencia, set the finances in a very healthy status, with a five million profits projected.









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An early update due to transfer window ending well within a month of the league's start. Next is planned to be when winter window closes, but there's a small chance I decide to make more updates for this possibly last season, though I think I will keep going after FM14 comes out
 

Death Ball

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Addenda to the previous post

As it turns out, in France the transfer window ends 4th September and there's been a new deal: the DoF brought Faussurier, a very versatile right midfielder, for a million and a half, which is a decent choice as I was wanting a right midfielder for the 4-2-3-1 asymetric. He accepted a loan offer for a youth to be just cover for the first team. Stil lexpected to have good profit this season.

Nothing of note has happened, other than a narrow 1-0 win at Albania that puts Belgium at the edge of ensuren qualification for the European championship.





As it's been a constant, the head of scouting overestimates the players by quite a bit.

The key to have a good campaign, which I forgot to mention, is that the players finish the chances created. Save for the 7-1 win, they are needing a lot of very clear chances to get one goal, which is what really costed in the league defeats and possibly not getting through Valencia.
 
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