Genius in Geneva Dec 15, 2018 20:34:52 GMT
Post by Nick on Dec 15, 2018 20:34:52 GMT
I've been meaning to start this save for about three years now, but it always seemed to be put on hold for whatever reason. Servette play in the Swiss second division, the Challenge League. They've had a bit of a topsy-turvy time of it in recent years. Financial troubles, demotion to the third tier, promotion back to the Super League and subsequent relegation. The first job is to bring a bit of stability back. Early signs suggest that's going to be a bit harder than first thought. Financially, the club is a mess. Not in terms of loan repayments, we're clear as far as they are concerned, more to do with low gates not being able to balance with the wage bill (which is the second highest in the league).
One of the things that drew me towards the club were the youth facilities being rated as excellent, along with excellent junior coaching and extensive youth recruitment. I don't intend this save to be fully youth only, but there will definitely be a focus on bring through our own youngsters. League rules say that you need to name 11 home grown players in your match day squad, so my hands are half tied in this regard, but it'd be stupid to not take advantage of what we have.
The squad was fairly thin in terms of depth and I've had to use players that I usually wouldn't look twice at. Left back was a massive issue in that there wasn't one in the first team squad upon my arrival. I've promoted Robin Busset and Mathis Magnin from the youth teams to cover us. Busset actually looks like he'll be a quite decent player, and I'm looking forward to seeing how he can develop. Magnin on the other hand has just been used as a stop-gap measure until I can bring someone else in, as I don't think he'll ever be good enough. Physically, he's woeful and I've already had him targeted by the opposition. Anthony Sauthier is our best player, but he's being watched by Birmingham on an almost weekly basis. I'm hopeful I can keep him for this winter window and then use promotion as a tool to keep him here.
Speaking of promotion, the board want us to finish in a playoff position, which means top two in Switzerland.
We started pretty slowly, losing twice in our first six games, but have settled down and, but for a 2-1 loss at lowly Chiasso just before the winter break, we'd have been top. Match cohesion has been our down fall for a long time. When I first took over, this was fully red and has only just gone 'positive' again. We've not really played badly at all this season and I get the feeling from watching us that we'll get even better when we get more used to playing together. The final pass can be a little off and we make mistakes in our defensive third that leads to goals. We've also given away four penalties so far this season.
The top four are definitely noticeably better than the rest of the league, but there isn't much between us and the likes of Winterthur and Lausanne, who are odds on favourites to win the league this year.