Velez Sarsfield May 19, 2020 9:32:52 GMT
Post by Nick on May 19, 2020 9:32:52 GMT
Velez is a club known to few outside of the Football Manager circle with Boca Juniors and River Plate the usual go-to teams when Argentinian football is mentioned. Most people in that circle will recognise Velez for having a reputation for producing good youth players. In real life, players such as Nicolas Otamendi, Jonas Gutierrez and Diego Simeone have come through the Velez academy, while it was also where the legendary goalkeeper, Jose Luis Chilavert, spent 10 years of his career, scoring 36 goals in the process.
The club hasn't been without success over the years, winning a total of 10 titles since their first in 1968, but haven't won one since 2012/13. They've also won a single Copa Libertadores, in 1994, which was undoubtedly their finest era, coinciding with Chilavert's time at the club.
Football in Argentina
Argentinian football is going through a period of change at the moment. The Primera Division is home to 24 teams in 2019/20, where teams play each other just once. The re-shuffled continues in 20/21 where only 23 teams compete, 21/22 (22 teams) and 22/23 (21 teams). The transition completes in 23/24 when the division is whittled down to 20 teams that compete in the European-style double round-robin format.
The league is usually fairly competitive. Boca (34 titles) and River (36) are the teams most will recognise, but Racing (18), Independiente (16) and San Lorenzo (15) have all enjoyed periods of success, while Estudiantes, Newell's Old Boys and Lanus are all capable of performing well.
Huge potential across First, Reserve and U20 teams. FM recognises the club's history of producing players and that's reflected in the club's academy status (superb).
Thiago Almada is the cream of the crop and my first job was to offer him a new contract, removing the minimum fee release clause he had. We are just a couple of months into the season and already Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City and Tottenham are sniffing around him. I'll be amazed if we can keep him past the next transfer window.
Lucas Orellano had only made one club appearance before this season, but is very highly rated and will surely make the move to Europe in the coming years.
Florian Monzon was sitting in the reserves when I took over, but with the first team needing a backup striker and Monzon's huge potential, he's made the step up and is not looking back. Still a bit rough round the edges, but will only improve.
We also have players like Francisco Ortega, Lucas Robertone, Braian Cufre, Luis Abram and Hernan de la Fuente to build the team around.
That's just the first team too. Across the youth and reserve teams, we have a staggering 47 players that currently have 4* potential or higher.
The Story so Far
The board want us to play attacking football and achieve a mid-table finish this season, so this start has been excellent, if a little unexpected. We've been particularly good at home, not conceding a goal yet and Thiago Almada has been the standout performer with 4 goals and 3 assists in 10 games so far.
Tactically, I've set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, pilfering the tactic chaodck used in the Deportivo Succession save and fine tuning it to more my style and around the players we have. It's working. Just the one defeat so far, two big wins in both the league and the cup and a series of clean sheets along the way.
The squad really is great with a good blend of youth and experience. One experienced head we've had to do without though is Fernando Gago. He career came to a premature end after he tore ankle ligaments and decided to retire.