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Building A Mountain: My Philosophy and Plan – Heimspeki Minn

Every manager has a philosophy of how they think the beautiful game should be played and how to run a club. Here I’m going to give you mine. And share my plan for HK in the future in the different aspects of the club.

Also, ‘Heimspeki Minn’ in the title is Icelandic for My Philosophy, according to Google translate. If you see a bunch of random letters in my title assume it’s Icelandic for the English title.

Recruitment and Rules

I like to play with a lot of youth players and develop the club’s facilities to a great standard and employ a world class scouting team. I use transfers to create a ‘Youth Conveyor Belt’ system, which is just hoarding youth players spending as little money as possible by scouting the entire world. I had great success with this system with my time in Denmark with FCM. I do try to avoid overrated nations like Brazil, Netherlands and England or just big ones like France and Germany but this doesn’t rule out their youth completely. I eventually sell my youth players for big profit and reinvest in more.

This can take a while to do properly, especially if starting at lower levels of football. I can see at HK we will have to concentrate on Iceland and maybe Scandinavia until my budget grows. I like having lots of affiliated clubs and strong, large, youth teams with lots of players out on loan.

I’m also interested in statistical analysis in football which you can see some basics at my site (sidelineteamtalk.wordpress.com) or my twitter (@SL_TeamTalk). At the end of each season during my season summary I’ll analyse my players using simple methods to see if they performed well enough to deserve to stay at the club or be given a new contract and transfer targets are the right buy for us. But, with going for youth it can be difficult to do if they haven’t played enough minutes and sample size is too small to do much with.

I’m also a big fan of the moneyball idea and if you haven’t read Soccernomics by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski you should. In Soccernomics they talk about Lyon and their transfer policies when they won 7 straight Ligue 1 titles and found and sold many well known names like Michael Essien, Eric Abidal, Mahamadou Diarra, Florent Molouda, Anthony Martial and Karim Benzema to name a few for huge profit.

The plan for the save is to have a few rules for transfers. I’m not too strict but I’ll try to keep to them. Each player must meet at least 3 of the 6 rules. With some exception in players under 18. But, they still must be strong in these areas. As the save continues and the team grows the attribute rating for the rules will increase. But for now players must have a minimum attribute rating of 11 in 3 of these 6:

  1. Strength
  2. Work Rate
  3. Composure
  4. Passing
  5. Anticipation
  6. First Touch

Also, I look for pace, off the ball and determination if possible. Other than just attributes I find that it is important to have the right personalities to grow: professional, resolute and ambitious. This is also important for staff. I want to give youth players first team time and make sure their tutoring and training is perfect. I won’t buy first team players without a good personality ideally. Youth players who I don’t think will make the first team I don’t really care about because they’re at the club for profit. It’s a business.

Tactics

I also like defensive football and want to experiment with a sweeper, but I am happy to play other styles. I want to use a catenaccio system at some point. Maybe in European games when we first start to qualify. Catenaccio is the Italian word for ‘padlock’ and is the system used a lot by Italian clubs and national side in the past with the use of a sweeper and lots of clean sheets.

If I’m not being defensive I like a deep lying counter attacking system with fast wide play, I usually like my key players to be my wingers. I’m starting this save with a 4-4-1-1 on counter. I’ll test this system and maybe move to a 4-3-3 after the first season and I get to bring in some of my own players.

Staff and Coaching

As I mentioned I like a backroom with strong, determined personalities. I want a loyal, young backroom that I work with for years with strong coaching and mentals. I also look for experience in some coaches but not all.

Scouting is crucial in recruitment and I want reports from every country in the world to find gems for no money. The best feeling is buying a great youth player for <£40,000. I find buying a player for £1000 more satisfying that for free weirdly. In the future I will explain my scouting system I use for my conveyor belt system.

Coaching is very important, especially for youth players. I put focus on deciding which attributes to be trained and try to use mentoring on my promising youth players to increase determination and some extra training. Lucky we start with good youth and training facilities so our youth set up should be good and players can quickly develop to first team standard.

 

This is my second post so make sure you’ve read my first post about this save here.

Hope you enjoyed. Feel free to give feedback in the comments and follow me on twitter @SL_TeamTalk

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