(S10) Season Preview

Discussion in 'TSL C' started by Frenchie1916, Jun 4, 2013.

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  1. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    As we begin the tenth season of the Tradition Futbol Serie, we are faced with another boiling mix of newcomers, veterans and returning members in the lower tier of the league. The uncertainty of the summer transfer window, combined with EA’s (gulp) proactive stance in FIFA 13 on transfers could make the 10th season of TFS interesting not just in Serie C, but across all three divisions. Few will likely escape the fickle finger of the Silly Season, with some emerging as decided winners and others lamenting their suddenly depleted squad of has-beens, also-rans and players of unfilled potential.

    So, on that bright and shiny note, let’s have a look-see at the teams.

    Instead of predicting the winners for promotion in Serie C – always a difficult prospect with so many new faces - we will break this down into three categories: veterans (those returning from season 9 and before), returning members (lost sheep who have played in TFS previously and are returning to our warm embrace), and the newcomers.

    First off, the Veterans:

    [​IMG]And none is more veteran than Geneseo98, who begins his 8th season in TFS. While Geneseo has spent much of that time in Serie C, he has only three seasons where he has lost more than he’s won, and he averages more than 26 goals per season. His past two campaigns have been below his usual standard, but they have also been against incredibly tough competition. Geneseo was forced to abandon (once again) Everton, whose star rating goes up and down like a yo-yo, so he has assumed the leadership of Bologna, which makes its second appearance in the league following a brief stopover in Season 6. Bologna’s attack starts with 83 CAM Alessandro Diamanti, but the Italian’s time at the club may be short, with Juventus rabidly pursuing him. 78 Striker Albert Gilardino is another on-again, off-again target; Bologna thought they had him sewed up, but now Inter is sniffing around the 30-year old serial scorer. Back to front, Bologna is solid, but not flashy: the 72 keeper could be an issue for concern, and the 72.75 average for the back four could cause similar angst. But if Geneseo can return to his scoring ways of Season 4 (35 goals, +17 GD), or even Season 7 (32 goals, +5 GD), he stands a chance at making that coveted promotion spot for only the second time in his illustrious career.

    [​IMG]Next on the list is slicknick202, who has left the sunny Greek shores of Olympiakos for the decidedly grayer skies of Stoke City. Stoke has been relatively quiet thus far in the transfer window, having fired manager Tony Pulis, but not made any headlines with signings or targets. They’re supposedly tracking England U21 Will Hughes – along with half of the Premier League. Even without new blood, Stoke represents a two-headed FIFA threat unlike any other of 77 ST Peter Krouch in the air and 75 ST Kenwyne Jones on the ground. Backed up by 77 LM Matthew Etherington and 77 CDM Steven N’Zonzi, the offensive threat is considerable. In net, 80 GK Asmir Begovic is solid, but is a keen transfer target of both Arsenal and Liverpool, so the Potters may have to go shopping or rely on 74 GK backup Thomas Sorensen (not a bad option, that) in the interim. SlickNick missed out on promotion by a single win last season, and his 30 goals scored was second-most in Serie C. If he can continue the scoring drive and shore up his defense, look for him to be right in the mix come matchweeks 15-18.

    [​IMG]pitt4life21 has had a rough go of it. Over his two seasons in TFS, he has 1 win and 3 draws with 16 goals for… and a boatload against. But ever the optimist, he has dumped Spartak Moscow for the high-flying Brazilians at Fluminense, led by the wonderstriker Fred, whose lack of speed is more than made up with his finishing (88), heading (85), power (83), positioning (88), penalties (89), control (85) and reactions (80). 75 ST Rafael Sobis on the other side seems diminutive by comparison, but is no less of a threat, especially if Fred draws all of the attention. 75 CAM Felipe rounds out the frontal attack that will have to give pitt4life21 any chance of moving up the table this season. Because as with most Brazilian squads, the team is built around the front, with the defensive middle and the backfield assembled almost as an afterthought. Even with the 5-man back the team adopts as its standard formation, the 70.4 average could mean another bust season for pitt4life’s man between the posts. But with 81 GK Diego Cavalieri, a legitimate scoring threat at the front and just a bit more patience on the ball, this could be the season the third year manager climbs out of the basement and begins his climb up the table.

    Next, the Prodigal Sons:

    [​IMG]We welcome back to our midst bigox1337, whose untimely departure in Season 8 saw him in the top tier of the league with a not-terrible 9-match record of 3-2-4. BigOx is one of the originals in the league, who earned promotion to Serie A in Season 2 and did just enough to stay in the Promised Land for the next 5 ½ seasons. Over the course of his time in Serie A, he lost more than he won, but he managed a respectable average of 24+ GF. For the last season and a half, nobody knows where the Ox has been, but rumors are swirling around a rigorous FIFA boot camp high in the Himalayas, where 20-hour game sessions are the norm. BigOx returns to head Sao Paulo, which has seen its share of time in the TFS for four previous seasons under two different managers. Sao Paulo has been linked with a possible Brazilian return of Galatasaray 79 DM Felipe Melo, which would be a huge boost both in defense and in the counterattacking link-up. But the in-place squad is nothing to sneeze at: 82 ST Luis Fabiano had 16 goals in Season 9 for juanchoCT14, and 78 LW Osvaldo netted another 10. The team has its pick of 79 CAMs in Jadson and Ganso, a solid 74 pairing in the defensive midfield, an 80 CB in Lucio and 76 CB in Rhodolfo and a decent 77 GK in Rogerio Ceni. Unlike most Brazilian teams, Sao Paulo has been built to plug gaping holes - there’s no glaring spot to take advantage of. BigOx1337 will have to take advantage of the little fish in Serie C and not fall victim to the dreaded draw in games he should win. If he can do that, he has to be an early favorite for at least a top 3 spot and the long road back to the top of the mountain.

    [​IMG]Next returning to us is danwin, who in 4 seasons at TFS has never helmed any team other than Athletic Bilbao. Over the course of his time in the league, danwin was unable to gain promotion out of Serie C, scoring an average of 15 goals per season and allowing about twice that number. What the new danwin will bring with him in Season 10 is his team, and new to the league as well. Catania has never seen the likes of TFS, so she will be a mystery to solve as the season unfolds. Perhaps the Rossazzurri should be called the Argentina piccolo, given that seven starters hail from the South American nation. 80 LW Alejandro Gomez (a current target of Atletico Madrid) is the most potent scoring threat with his 82 speed, 92 acceleration, 94 agility and 96 balance, making for an vicious potential counterattack. But 79 RW Pablo Barrientos (90 dribbling and ball control, 84 curve) and 77 ST Gonzalo Bergessio round out a potent three-headed attack. 79 CDM Francesco Lodi, and 78 and 79 (respectively) CBs Nicola Legrottaglie and Nicola Spolli ably anchor the back line. Danwin has been gone a long time, and comes back with a sleeper of a potent team. He will certainly need to overcome his history of a 1:2 scoring ratio, but if he can do that, Catania looks like a team that can do some damage.

    And now cometh the Newcomers, always the hardest to judge:

    [​IMG]First let’s look at one of the most intriguing draft picks in the history of the league. We’ve had managers run with Derby County and Kobenhavn. This season IJGator is taking the Tigres out for a test drive and CxMacx10 and the Seattle Sounders will be only the second manager to risk running with an MLS team, following in the footsteps of redwings8831 and the LA Galaxy. But for the first time, we have guayo10 taking a second-tier squad Barcelona B from the Liga Adelante. Despite not having a single player rated over 75, early reports indicate guayo10 knows how to run this squad with precision, clearing space for 75 ST Deulofeu, whose 91 sprint speed, 90 acceleration, 90 agility, 85 dribbling and 82 curve and ball control belie his mediocre rating. The rest of the team is set up just like the parent club, with a heavy emphasis on passing, movement and agility. What they lack in long shooting and aggression, they more than make up for in the tiki-taka tradition that led the parent club to such success. From what I have heard, guayo10 is probably the early favorite to take the Serie C title.

    [​IMG]Next is vestrada_08, who will be running with the always-dangerous Ajax. Ajax is a perennial favorite to finish atop the Eredivisie because of smart buying throughout Europe. The team has a wonderful complement of young attacking options in Kolbeinn Sigporsson (11 goals in Season 9 for now-departed Claven), Siem de Jong (7 goals), and Christian Eriksen (2 goals, 5 assists). There simply is no weakness in this team, which could probably compete with dignity in any league in Europe. Unfortunately what makes Ajax so good is buying low and selling high, as they are apt to do. The summer transfer window may not be kind to vestrada, as Eriksen is being courted by… well, everybody. 78 CB Toby Alderweireld is being pursued by as many clubs as Eriksen; 77 LW Ryan Babel may leave the squad for Fulham, Real Betis or Kasimpasa; and 66 LB Mitchell Dijks is being pursued by Heerenveen and Udinese. And those are just the ones we know about. Ajax is a team that is used to being picked over like carrion, but like a phoenix from the ashes, she always rises again.

    [​IMG]YNWA96, unable to take his preferred Liverpool, went with Southampton, which is about as far as you can get from Merseyside and still be in the Premier League. The Saints finished 5 points clear of the drop zone in their first campaign in the top division, and had an impressive 49 goals, squarely in the middle of the pack. The team has a solid, if unspectacular offense, with 80 RM Gaston Ramirez marshaling the attack with speed and agility and good (80) short passing. 75 ST Rickie Lambert is splashy with shooting and finishing – which can come from distance or the header, but his speed won’t leave his opponents’ scrambling to catch up. On the left 77 LM Adam Lallana has the vision and the crossing, but again, no speed to speak of. This is a team built around possession – good passing, smart crossing and timely shooting. There are few speed risks in the starting XI, but if you fall asleep while the team is on the ball, they just might pass their way around you. At the back, the team looks less-than-English in its makeup, with 75 GK Artur Boruc and 75 RB Nathaniel Clyne the strengths, and 70 CB and LB (respectively) Jos Hooiveld and Luke Shaw the potential weak links. YNWA96 will have to rely on making sure he keeps 4 men in front of the speedy counterattacks of many other teams in Serie C, so capitalizing when he is on the ball will be key to any success in Season 10.

    [​IMG]And finally we have Fred Paul who, despite warnings from everybody in the league, went with Queens Park Rangers, the team that is likely to start the strongest and end the weakest in Season 10. Because QPR were relegated from the Premiership, just about everybody who’s anybody who is associated with the team is jumping ship – and fast. He may start out with 79 ST Loic Remy, 79 LM/CAM Abdel Taarabt, 76 ST Bobby Zamora, 72 RM Sean Wright-Phillips, 77 LM Junior Hoilett and 83 GK Julio Cesar, but you can bet he won’t end with them. This will be a fascinating study in the dismantling of a team as ownership look to sell the players for all they can get to pay off bloated contracts that may submerge this team for a generation to come. But as for Fred Paul – few know anything about him. If he can take this squad and build enough of a cushion during the first half of the season, the fire sale that’s sure to come on 1 July may not matter. Either way, this will be fun to watch as one of our own may have to implement a completely new lineup and formation once the transfer window officially opens.


    And we still have one more slot to fill....
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2013
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