August 2022 – CD Tenerife have strengthened their squad by no fewer than 9 players, spending €134m (including add-ons and future fees) and perhaps most importantly retaining the services of key players that were linked with moves this summer including Rossbach (Man Utd), Xadas (Arsenal) and Sancho (Real Madrid). Manager MaddFM is clearly stating his intentions here as he builds a youthful team that is now packed with quality, pace and flair throughout.
Can the team that finished as runners-up for the past two seasons in a row go one better this year and become only the third team to dethrone Barcelona and Real Madrid from the pinnacle of Spanish football over the past 20 years?
The bookies don’t seem to think so as we are predicted to finish in 5th place for the season ahead – they have got it wrong for 5 seasons straight now so why disappoint them? 😄
Pre-season doesn’t seem to last long as our first competitive game in the Spanish Super Cup Final is planned for 24th July – has Football Manager been smoking something?! This is further enhanced by the fact that when our fixture list is released, we have only 1 game scheduled between 1st November and 31st December 2022 – what the f*ck is going on?
I was a button click away from the Sports Interactive Bugs Forum until of course it finally dawns on me that 2022 is the year of the World Cup in Qatar which will run during our Winter for the first time ever, and two thoughts come into my head upon the realisation that we will soon be going 2 months without playing a competitive game:
1. Fair play to Sports Interactive – as realism goes, this game is on the money as usual in terms of reflecting real-life (let’s see how Brexit turns out 😄)
2. You have to hand it to FIFA – for a bunch of the most corrupt b*stards in sport, they stuck to their guns and will succeed in screwing over the vast majority of world football just to line their pockets with some sweet sweet oil money
Silverware at last?
By the time we are prematurely lining out against Barcelona in the Super Cup on 24th July, our record signing Fabio Silva hasn’t even joined the club yet, therefore we go with a slightly new look squad giving debuts to Rodrygo, Cuisance and Blazic against an outrageous Barcelona side that features new signings such as Amadou Diawara, Dele Alli and Richarlison. To add further insult, there is no place in the Barcelona first XI for former Tenerife wonderkid Antonio Marin who has to make do with the bench today.
They say revenge is a dish best served cold however July in Sevilla is certainly no cold shoulder especially when Barcelona are in town. We go with a 4-4-1-1 Counter Attack style with the objective of frustrating Barcelona and catching them on the break, and this strategy seems to do the trick as we emerge victorious courtesy of an 11th minute goal from Captain Yann-Aurel Bisseck – after which we spent most of the game on the back foot however our defence held strong and Barcelona struggled to create any clear chances on the day. Spanish Super Cup Champions for 2022!! 🎉
Counter Attack has been extremely effective for us throughout this save, I initially wrote about back in Season 3 and since then we have continued to benefit from a quick Direct Counter Attack strategy when playing against superior teams or playing away from home. It was only after we finished Top of La Liga in terms of Away form last season that I realised just how successful it has been for us, therefore I wrote a separate piece for @WeStreamFM on how we implement it both tactically and in terms of key player attributes needed – feel free to check it out via the link below
200 Games in Management
The 2022/2023 season (our 6th as Tenerife Manager) kicks off with my 200th game in Management since this save kicked off all the way back in January 2019; not only that, but it is also another episode of the Canary Islands derby as we welcome Las Palmas to Estadio Heliodoro Rodriguez Lopez.
A 3-0 Home win kicks off our season on a high, and despite a blip against Getafe we pick up 4 consecutive wins to put us second in the league by the end of September, during which new boy Fabio Silva picks up 3 goals including a brace during a 4-1 thrashing of Real Madrid (see my previous post for a player report on this kid – not a Newgen!).
As you can see, at this point our Champions League group has also been drawn and it’s a tough one as we must overcome Juventus, Benfica and Dinamo Kiev if we are to progress to the knockout stages for the first time in our history following disappointment in the last two seasons where we never made it past the group stages. September sees us pick up two wins out of three as we lose our opener away to Benfica before picking up Home wins against Benfica (again?) and Dinamo Kiev.
Have you been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault?
October is absolute chaos. Firstly, again thanks to the boy scouts at FIFA we manage to have 8 fixtures scheduled in 27 days, 5 of which take place over the course of an 11 day period which includes back to back clashes against Champions Atletico Madrid and Italian giants Juventus in the Champions League. The good news is that Fabio Silva is absolutely smashing it in his first season at Los Chicharreros, picking up 8 goals in 11 games as we prepare for the unavoidable winter break caused by the World Cup in Qatar.
All is going well up to this point, and our last league game before the break is a Home tie against Valencia where we expect to pick up 3 points to put us in 2nd place going in to the prolonged winter period. What could go wrong???
A strong challenge from my new arch-nemesis Ferro (who incidentally is also Portugese) results in a Broken Leg for 20 year old top scorer and record signing Fabio Silva, with our Head Physio Gary Lewin estimating he will be out for anything between 4 and 6 months, basically the majority of the season!! This is an absolute disaster to our league ambitions and we will now have to rely on Adam Idah, Dejan Joveljic and Rodrygo to score the goals we need if we are to compete in both the League and in Europe knowing that we still have a tough away trip to Turin where Juventus will be looking to beat us for the second time in the group stages.
So, as the World Cup gets underway (which poor Fabio Silva misses out on with Portugal achieving qualification), it’s mixed emotions at CD Tenerife as we sit in Third Place in La Liga after 16 games, 10 points behind leaders Atletico Madrid. The good news is that both Barcelona and Real Madrid are struggling in 6th and 8th position respectively, and when we return for our next post we will have a look at how this disgracefully organised World Cup has gone as well as see how the squad react without Wonderkid Fabio Silva leading the line for Los Chicharreros.
Thanks for reading!! If you haven’t already, please feel free to read back on how we have arrived here and catch up on our journey so far. Hit the Follow button below to keep posted for new blog updates – thoughts and retweets are also appreciated on Twitter! Cheers, MaddFM.