The Golden Generation | Chop and Change

Don’t worry, the title of today’s post doesn’t mean I’m abandoning Vålerenga. It refers to my fourth season in charge at the club being one where things were chopped up and changed. It was time to move some players on to make way for the next raft of talent to take their place.

Would this unsettle us on our way to try and clinch a fourth consecutive Eliteserien title? Let’s see what happened.

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My 3-3-2-1-1 FM21 Tactic

I recently read Wings of Change, a book from Karan Tejwani in which he goes in-depth on how Red Bull has infiltrated the footballing world. Julian Nagelsmann previously transformed Hoffenheim from 17th place in the Bundesliga when he took over to them becoming “one of Germany’s most exciting teams”, according to the book. His work there attracted the attention of Red Bull and he eventually joined Leipzig.

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My Approach to Recruitment on FM21

I’m putting a huge focus behind developing young players on FM21.

I’ve spoken before about improving the abilities of young players, playing them in my first team and selling them on. While that could be taken as me doing a solely homegrown save, where I’m only allowed to play my own youth products without signing any new players, I’ve never once said that. It probably is the overall aim for the save, one day it might well be the case.

One thing I did say in my introductory blog post was that I was looking to make Oslo, and Vålerenga, the destination for promising young players to come and hone their skills. This means I’ve been recruiting and developing some of Norway’s most promising talent. We’ve been acting like the big team that we should have been, and now are. Here’s the approach I’ve taken to doing that.

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The Golden Generation | Keeping the Title

Vålerenga are Eliteserien champions again.

It’s only the second time in their history that they’ve retained the Norwegian league title. A brilliant achievement for Kristoffer Samstrøm (me).

Last season’s title win might have come as a surprise to me, but I knew if we played as well this time round as we did last time we’d have a big chance again.

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The Golden Generation | Norwegian National Team Squad Depth | Midfielders and Forwards

Last time you heard from me, I told you I decided to take a look at the squad depth of the Norwegian National Team to help me pick a 23-man squad for Euro2020.

That post looked at the goalkeepers and defenders, this one will look at the midfield and forward options at my disposal.

10 spots were already filled in the squad, meaning there was 13 to go from the following positions.

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The Golden Generation | Norwegian National Team Squad Depth | Goalkeepers and Defence

If I didn’t think Norway had a Golden Generation of talent at their disposal, I wouldn’t be managing the National Team on FM21.

I’ve run through results from 2020 and my first six months in charge in which I led us to Euro2020 (in 2021). Then came the tricky bit, picking a 23-man squad for the finals.

To help me decide I took a look at our squad depth. This included immediate first team options, squad players, potential back ups and then looking at who’d be replacing them in the coming years followed by some potential stars of the future further down the road.

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The Golden Generation | Rewriting History

I said in my introductory post that playing through the 2020 season with Vålerenga gave me the opportunity to rewrite history for the Norwegian National Team.

A Sergej Milinkovic-Savic double downed them in the Euro2020 qualification playoff semi-final on the 8th of October 2020. They finished 2nd in their UEFA Nations League group behind Austria but ahead of Romania and Northern Ireland.

Let’s see what I could do in my first six months in charge.

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