Sempre Vitória | Os Pequenos Conquistadores

As I move into the business end of my fourth season in charge of Vitória, I had a thought that I’ve been pretty lax at sharing and showing off some of the promising young players at the club.

A few were mentioned in the Vitória development pathway post but I’ve usually waited until they’ve made it to the first team as in my head this is when they’ve merited their chance to be shown off. However, I’m now throwing that out of the window and would like to introduce you to a selection of Os Pequenos Conquistadores, the little conquerors.

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Sempre Vitória | Season Four | Two

We’ve reached the point of the season where the games come thick and fast. There’s eight to play in December and then a potential seven in January. Recovery days will be essential for the squad.

There’s only one pre-arranged piece of first team transfer business to go through and right now I’ve no firm plans to dive in and spend our, just topped up by the board, £18m transfer budget. That could change though if the right player became available.

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Mezzala on FM19 | Mez Que Un Role

Football Manager 2018 saw the Mezzala role introduced to the game. It had gained some traction in the non-FM world due to the performances of Ángel di María for Real Madrid in what was dubbed as the central winger role but when researching I found that it’s been part of the Italian football vernacular for years.

When the role appeared alongside the Carrilero and Segundo Volante I vowed never to use them. Never heard of them. Far too hipster for me. FM doesn’t really need them. Fast forward to FM19 and I’ve now crossed two of them off the list. The Carrilero appeared in my first tactical attempt and now the Mezzala is key to how we play. So important that it’s merited it’s own blog post analysing the role in my system.

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The Vitória Player Development Pathway

A few weeks back, we did an episode of the OneMoreGame podcast on how we utilised the other squads available to us at our clubs. My chat was specifically focused around the B team that Vitória has and how I use that squad in the player pathway to the first team. This post will be going through that plus obviously some mentions for a few of the young players coming through in our intakes too.

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Sempre Vitória | Season Three Review

On the face of it my third season at the helm of Vitória went very, very well. We finished 2nd in the Primeira Liga and won both the Taca da Liga and Taca de Portugal.

However, it could have been a domestic treble. Going into the final five matches of the league season we led the way to then lose our next two and hand Benfica the title. Some would say “bottle job”, I’d agree but I’m not disheartened. It was a good season all things considered and here’s the tale of it in stat form.

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Sempre Vitória | Season Three | Three

We go into the business end of the season with a trophy in the cabinet and on our best run of form since I took over at the club. In the last update we won the Taca de Liga (my first trophy at the club, and the club’s first ever time winning this cup) and went unbeaten in January.

We currently sit 3rd in the league, not far behind Os Dois Grandes, Porto and Benfica. A title race was mentioned last time round, we surely couldn’t win the league, could we?

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Sempre Vitória | Season Three | Two

After a shaky start to season three with Vitória we then went on a 10 match unbeaten run in all competitions which took us into the Europa League qualifying spots in the league and into the knockout round of that competition this season.

We’re in pole position to qualify for the Taca da Liga semi final for the third season running and have a Taca de Portugal 5th round tie to negotiate in the coming month. Read on to see what happened over the festive period of the season.

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FM19 Training – My Approach

FM19 being released was accompanied by massive changes to training. It had been often suggested, hugely debated and highly anticipated. Gone was the handful of options available for us to pick that we’d have to have on for at least three months for them to make an impact on player development but that we’d do once and just leave for the entirety of our saves. In their place came a whole host of options to pick and the ability to slot them into three sessions per day, rather than for the entire week as before.

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