Discussion in 'TSL A' started by HokieNYC, May 30, 2012.
30 May 2012
Welcome to the Sixth Season of Serie A. This years field boast some of the best Managers and Teams in this Leagues history. The theme seem to be points, points and more points. As tactical play is as important as going out and trying to win it for the gipper. The reality of the Season is simply this: There are the favorites who are going to battle it out for the Top of the Table, but the war of attrition will be as interesting as who the eventual Champion will be- The Battle for NONE Relegation will be just as intense.
As the Season begin Today- the clear run away favorites to win it the whole thing are the following Managers-
Manager Broncos218 who is the defending Serie A Champion. The Manager has found some success with Werder Bremen last Season and building upon that momentum added another piece of silverware with a Coppa Cup as well. Werder Bremen sports one of the best Strikers in the league in Bayern bound Pizzarro. A Brazilian Defender in Naldo anchors a defense that has been reliable all last Season. The keeper in Weise has proven to be a shot stopper of great value. If there is a weakness in Werder Bremen in can be found in the middle where Marin is the lone stand out.
Any Team with a Strong Mid Formation can easily stifle the Offense and put some pressure on the Werder Bremen Defense. Manager Bronco looks to defend his Title with matches against Stoke City, Corinthians and Spartak Moscow. The big challenge will be Spartak as its potent Offense can be deadly 24/7. It is possible that Werder Bremen can have 6-9 points by the end of the First week- the Opening schedule has been favorable to the Reigning Champions.
More Too Come... as we Preview another Challenger for the Serie A Crown.
Manager shiftee has been the Big Dog of this Kennel for a long time- His multiple Championship and dominance in Serie A has lasted for more than 4 Seasons with last Season an aberration as he found himself getting into Draws with his opponents. Most Managers look to play for the point against CSKA Moscow and it showed last Season as they drew 10 matches almost 50% of their matches- resulting in losing key points for the race.
CSKA Moscow is arguably the best 4 Star squad in the League - CSKA Moscow can field a balanced squad that are 75-80 plus including the highest Ranked Keeper in the Series in Akineev (84). Add to that shiftee's ability to play lock down Defense and shoot with Deadly accuracy from outside the Box makes CSKA Moscow a deadly opponent on any given day.
Look for Shiftee to make his mark early and command the ball- success against CSKA Moscow lies on a Teams ability to manage possession and limit the shots against their Net. A balance Defense and playing defenders near the top of the box will prevent long hard shots- and keeping an eye on the FAST Doumbia will keep the match close. Unfortunately CSKA Moscow's achilles heel is its Bench, but with most matches and players still fairly fresh near the end- no one will be able to take advantage of this handicap. Expect to see CSKA Moscow out from early even with Matches against Flamengo , Montpellier and PSV Eidenhoven- I would not be surprise if CSKA Moscow has 9 points even with their hard opening after three matches .
Stay Tuned as We Preview the Next Would King of Serie A.
Manager CxMacx10 is a favorite in the hunt for the Championship as he came in a second close against eventual Champion Werder Bremen losing two close matches to the German side. His style of play can easily fluster opponents and with a dangerous Brazilian tandem in Brasil icon Ronaldinho and deadly striker Vagner Love running the Offense, goals are going to come hard and fast. The talented duo will keep the score sheet full of goals this Season, the question mark will be in the back line that is much weaker and smaller than what Manager CxMacx10 is use to while managing Wolverhampton in England. Expect high shoot outs against this Manager as he will not be able to rely heavily on his weak back line. Look for the Manager to pick up high on half line against any opponent to release some pressure on his Defense. Goalkeeper Felipe will be a busy Number 1 if opponents are able to move the ball past Flamengos midline and poor marking from the Defense leaves them susceptible to runs through the box. Short wing backs will also allow Teams to get header from the far post more consistently on long crosses- these issue may keep Flamengo at bay against the more talented managers in Serie A, but will present little problems against the rest of the pack as it will be hard to keep pace with Flamengo's Offense. Flamengo is the clear buzz favorite entering Pre-Season but as the Season begins, the Rest of the Serie A class has been alerted and the Target on Flamengo's chest is a bright red and black as the colors of their Crest.
Week 1 to 3
Pre Season Favorites Flamengo and Manager CxMacx10 drops 5 crucial points in the first 2 Matches of the Season as Manager shiftee the Series league leader in Championships won states his intent for Season 6 winning 2-0 and Manager Zikry holds the potent Brazilian Duo at bay at Ajax to a 0-0 draw. Flamengo was the buzz around the water cooler during the Pre Season as Vagner Love and Ronaldhino created the buzz amongst the Managers of Serie A, but perhaps lost in that Offensive hubris was the small crack in the Defense, as Flamengo while sporting a more powerful front attack, gave up some at the rear in compare to Manager CxMacx10 last squad, Wolverhampton.
While the Season in early and Flamengo can yet recover from the stumble it has been certainly noticed around the league that Pre Season was just that, PRe Season- the matches that count still need to get played and no one wins Championship during the Pre Season.
Manager Shiftee looks to prove to everyone that he is still the big threat and clear favorite to Win the Title in Season 6 and that the poor performance last Season was an exception rather than the rule.
Werder Bremen quietly takes their first three points from Stoke City as the reigning Champions are overshadowed by the Flamengo - CSKA Moscow Match.
Serie B Champions and newly promoted side Montpellier were rudely welcomed to Serie A by Sunderland as the highly potent Offense were left flustered throughout the match and leaves the Stadium of Lights defeated. Montpellier's GK could be easily blamed for the poor read on the go ahead goal, he allows a dribbler pass him from a set piece in midfield.
Werder Bremen continues their streak as they take game number two in commanding fashion as promoted sides are getting a hard wake up call in Serie A. Manager IJGator with Corinthians return to Serie A has not been an easy one as Werder Bremen walks away 3-0 victors from their encounter. The German Defense has been impressive allowing ZERO goals in the first three matches, coupled with the scoring touch of the lone forward Pizzaro, Bremen looks to be hottest out of the gate with CSKA Moscow nipping at their heels.
It seems that Life in the Top League has been rough for the new boys, as All three newly promoted have had less then stellar starts. Maanger hokie79 and Fulham has managed to only get 1 point out of a possible 9 (the point being against newly promoted Manager IJGator), Manager vipermansa has lost 2 of 3 matches and with the final Match against in form Ajax (4 points out of a possible 9 with a game in hand ) is in danger of being the first newly promoted side to not get a least a point in their first 3 matches after promotion).
Controversial WIN for Flamengo as Vagner Love draws a foul in the box in the 90th minute of the match against Borrusia M'Gladbach. Ronaldinho calmly puts the PK away to steal all three points from a very dejected and frustrated German squad.
it looks like Montpellier suffers the ignomy of being the first squad to not garner any points after promotion in the first three matches as in form Ajax drubs the French side 4-0. Manager Zikry rudely welcomes the new side to Serie A with tenacious Defending limiting the potent offense while putting up 4 goals in the match. The drubbing has come at the expense of the New Kids, and some managers are flirting with violating the Serie A Mercy Rule at the expense of the new Managers.
It truly has been a poor week to be the new kid on the block as Serie A regulars have feasted on the new boys- is this just acclimation time for all three talented Managers or has the wolves descended upon the sheep? Only week 2 can say for certain.
After a FAST Start Last Season, Stoke City and Manager bigox1337 surprised everyone and looked to be top flight contenders, a poor run of matches in the end of the Season plummeted the English Squad into the Relegation Danger Zone. This time around, Stoke City has lost two close matches both by 1-0 margins and have stumbled out of the gates, will it be the opposite for bigox1337 this year?
With three more Matches to play:
Two squads are still looking for their first goals- Corinthians and Stoke City are desperately searching for the scoring touch. No Team has not registered a goal in the opening Week of any Serie A season will there be another 1st in this opening week?
As the table begin to shape up- it is not surprising that the Old Guard of Serie A sit atop the Table: assuming Zikry (vs Sunderland) and Friz (vs Corinthians) win their last games of the match week, the original Serie A teams will all be tied for first on 7 points. Managers shiftee, Zikry and RedAL925 have been with Serie A since day one and the experience is showing in the first week of play.
Of Course Manager Zikry will need to win out at home against the visiting Sunderland squad- History has shown that this is more than likely to happen- but then again, Chelsea did beat Barcelona and Bayern for this Year's Champions League Cup. Maybe Sunderland can play spoiler to this reunion for the Old Guard a top the Table.
Stoke City and Manager bigox1337 records first win over out of form Fulham, winning 3-2 at home.
One Match left in the first week-
INSIDE THE MIND OF SERIE A
We had a good sit down with one of the more respected Managers in Serie A- not only is he the Manager he is also the Sheriff of Serie A- Manager RedAL925. We asked him about his take on what it is to be a Serie A manager...
Which Manager has given you most trouble? Which has been an easier Match?
" To be honest, you (HokieNYC) haha. 1-3-2 against you in League play. Somehow you seem to have my number...scoring late goals to tie or win matches. Really anyone with an efficient counter attack will find success against me, although I have been working on that part of my game.""I don't know that there is an easy 3 points in this league anymore, but I've never lost to kaptainkracker or OhDaesu."You had a chance to pick up a new squad this Season, why return to PSV?" TSG Hoffenheim were a pretty good team, but I just didn't feel it at the end of Season 5. I had my best season with PSV in Season 4 (3rd place), and I'm not sure why I even left in the first place. That being said, it's no secret where my true colors lie..."How would you describe your style of play? Do you change tactics depending on opponent or stay true to a philosophy?" 3 words...Possession Possession Possession. I play a 4-3-3 system and I never adapt to my opponent. In fact, my game plan is to make them adapt to me. The more possession I have, the less time on the ball the opponent has, the less chances they have to score. In theory it works, but sometimes I try to pass too much and give the ball away, leading to a quick counter attack. Lille, PSV, and TSG all use the 4-3-3, which is the main reason why I picked those clubs."
Get out of my head!!!!!! No seriously I was pretty pissed lol
Loving Inside Serie A so far! Great job HokieNYC
Rough first week for promoted teams....hoping that changes...altho I get Werder next and he's allowed a whopping 0 goals....add to that my pathetic offense right now...not pretty...need to get some practice games in between match weeks...
INSIDE THE MIND OF SERIE A
Today we sit down with Manager IJGator who offered us some insight on Serie A and Serie B as he spent the past two Seasons on both end of the Spectrum.
After playing in both Serie A and B the past 2 Seasons, what is the biggest difference in your opinion in game play?
The biggest difference in my opinion is the defense that is played in Serie 'A'. It is really hard to move the ball and create scoring chances. Possession is a little easier, but if you can't turn it into scoring chances it doesn't matter. Plus, in Serie 'A' if you make a mistake on defense, the other members will make you pay. In Serie 'B' you could have some lapses but a good goalie can make up for it. This is not the case in Serie 'A'.
You had a chance to keep Everton which on paper was a very balanced Squad, why leave a strong Team as you re-enter Serie A Competition?
I like to mix it up with the teams I play. I think I've changed every season so far LOL! Everton was a really solid squad. They were incredible on defense, great holding midfield, and some huge guys up top that made it easy to put headers in. Jelavic was a huge pickup for that squad. They were much better with him that "The Straq". The one thing I didn't like about Everton was their pace. They were just a slow squad, which is ok, but I just waned something different. Corinthians has alot of pace and alot of great playmakers. Unfortunately, I'm not used to the squad yet because of the big difference in pace. Once I get the hang of them with the right formation and players, watch out!!
Define your style of play? Does it change with every opponent or do you have a set system- regardless of who is across the field?
I'm a possession guy for sure. My who idea is, if the other team doesn't have the ball, they can't score. I usually win the possession battle every match but it does set me up for counter attacks. I don't mind too much because I usually get the ball right back. This season I'm trying to adapt a new style to use with Corinthians. Possession is really tough because they aren't a strong team. They have alot of pace which I am still learning to use. I don't really change strategy pending who my opponent is. I try to come up with really good tactics for my squad and let my opponent try and defend it. I will use a couple of different strategies in a match to shake things up. Last year, I started to use the long ball quite a bit toward the end of the season. It worked quite well because I was just skipping the midfield and generated scoring chances.
Can't wait for my interview!
WEEK 1 RECAP: MATCHES 1-3
The first week of Season 6 in Serie A is coming to a close. This is what we have seen so far...
The Old Guard have dominated right out of the gates each recording 7 out of 9 possible points in their first three matches. Werder Bremen, PSV Eidenhoven and CSKA Moscow top the Table early on, while the newly promoted Clubs have had a rough go in their opening matches mustering only a DRAW against each other (Fulham 0-0 Corinthians). Serie B Champions Montpellier failed to muster any points.
MATCHES OF THE WEEK
Flamengo 1-2 CSKA Moscow
CSKA Moscow 2-2 PSV Eidenhoven
SHOCKER OF THE WEEK
Ajax 0-0 Sunderland
STAT OF THE WEEK (3)
3 : T. Wiese. Werder Bremen (7 points)
3 matches 3 Clean Sheets for the German Keeper as Werder Bremen looks to Defend their Title
3 : K. Vermeer. Ajax (5 points)
3 matches 3 Clean Sheets for the Dutch Keeper as Ajax looks to keep pace with the pack
3 Penalty Calls in 3 different matches that influenced outcome of Matches
PSV drops 2 points on Ref awarded PK
Borrussia M'Gladbach loses on 90th Minute PK
Sunderland penalized with PK early in Match on dubious Foul
3 Goals scored by high power offense Montpellier after 3 Matches
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
GK K. Vermeer. Ajax
3 Clean Sheets
GK T. Wiese. Werder Bremen
4 Clean Sheets (3) in Serie A Play (1) in Cup Play
ST S. Doumbia . CSKA Moscow
4 Goals in 3 Matches
Matches 1-3 concludes with Corinthians losing to Spartak Moscow and sealing the fates of the promoted squads to a dismal 0-2-7 in the first week of gameplay- but in this Stat is the fact that the New Boys failed to register a point against the old class, as the draw came at the expense of both Fulham and Corinthians. While the old guard managed to 21 out of a possible 27 points in the first week of play. Manager hokie79 can hold out some hope as he and his Fulham squad lost by the slimmest of margins - both 1 goal losses against PSV and Stoke City.
Corinthinans and Manager IJGator has failed to score a goal in the first three matches as the vaunted Brazilians have yet to find the free flowing dazzle that makes this Squad dangerous. As a result the Brazilians have dropped two matches and if not for the Draw against Fulham, could have easily joined fellow New Boy Montpellier at Zero points after 3 matches.
INSIDE THE MIND OF SERIE A
After the first week of Gameplay we sat down with Serie A Newcomer Manager vipermansa and He gives as his impression of the Table.
What has been the biggest adjustment for you entering competition in Serie A?The managers I have faced so far play more of a counter attacking/defensive style that really kept me at bay and will force me to to play more of that style as well.
Define your style of play? Does it change with every opponent or do you have a set system- regardless of who is across the field?I play more attacking and possession and trying to go forward as much as possible. To me FIFA is still a game and trying to win/score is what it's all about. In Serie A my philosophy is killing me so I need to adjust to a much more balanced game plan or I will be scored against much more than scoring. These opponents have been in Serie A a while and I think they know how to stay there. I need to learn that mentality quickly or I'll be on the short bus to Serie B in no time!!
What do you see will be the biggest issue for you in term of your Teams deficiency that may hinder your chase for the Championship? What are the assets for the same chase?
Well my team has some speed on the wings and a pretty good striker in Giroud but besides Belhanda in the mid it lacks real skill in passing and possession elsewhere. Again this leads me to attack. Semi-assisted still is a bit of an issue for me since I never played that way before joining the league. Passing/thru balls and lofted balls still need work.
My assets are the attack mindedness of my team and the ability to get forward quickly. My lack of height on the back line has really hurt giving up a few goals on crosses and corners this season already. The problem is one bad pass and the numbers comitted forward can kill my team shape and make me really vulnerable.
Second week has now begun, and the Season is fully underway. The newly promoted sides look to get back into the fray, Montepellier and Manager vipermansa arguably the roughest schedule of the week meeting two in form Teams in Spartak Moscow and in form PSV Eidenhoven. A match against Manager CxMacx10 and the very dangerous Flamengo squad has the new boys facing a very tough gauntlet this match week. If Montpellier can find some success against these Top three managers, it will certainly shake things up and open the race to the Championship fort everyone in the Table. Fulham and hokie79 will also look to run through a heavy set of Matched as they too need to get pass two Top Table Teams to register points this week as they meet Werder Bremen and Spartak Moscow.
A battle of the Top Tables also looms this week as Werder Bremen visits CSKA Moscow in Russia for a Top of the Table clash, pitting the Defending Title Holders (Werder Bremen) against the Manager shiftee (CSKA Moscow) who holds multiple Championships, including the Year before Manager Broncos218's run to the top.
Look for Ajax and Manager Zikry to make a run for Top Honors this week as he enter week two with manageable competition with PSV Eidenhoven only squad looking to be in form to challenge the stoic Defense of Ajax who have yet to allow a goal this Season. Along with Manager rschwep and Borrussia Mongladbach who faces two teams that have failed to win against top competition last week and a squad that have yet to find the back of the net. These two manager have a good shot at running their table this week and walking away 9 points and further sending adrift the newly promoted sides.'
The Newboys need to stake a claim this week or endanger themselves of being too far to challenge for the Title. If these Talented Manager get their respective Teams in form, then the Table opens up - if not, the Serie A Old Guard will be to far out to catch as the Season progress and the Battle for NONE Relegation will be the only competition on the agenda.
League leader and Defending Title holders drop two points at Home against a concentrated effort from Borrusia M'gladbach. Werder Bremen defensive lapses cost the Homeside and Werder Bremen allows first 2 goals of the Season. As Manager rschwep and Broncos218 share the spoils in a 2-2 draw.
Sunderland survives a trip to Brasil as Flamengo's dynamic duo were held in check for most of the match. The match ends in 0-0 draw.
Spartak Moscow continues to punish the new boys as an ill prepared Fulham squad were unable to a fight against the high scoring offense of Manager Friz, the Defensive tactics of Fulham played right into Spartak Moscows strength as Fulham were unable to test the Spartak Defense consistently. Goal Keeper Dikan of Spartak Moscow has recorded his 4th clean sheet in 4 matches. Spartak Moscow has quietly gone on a tear the past four matches albeit against teams they were heavy favorites against, but none the less only Werder Bremen gave the Russians much competition- but with their win, Spartak Moscow Sit a Top the Table with the rest of the league leaders.
Fulham looks to record their first win against Werder Bremen and remove the monkey off their back, a match that they have a fighting chance - with Werder Bremen's Offense going through their lone Strike Pizzaro- the Defensive scheme of Fulham may give them a shot at a shocker.
Manager IJGator still searches for that Offense as Ajax drubs the Brazilians (Corinthians) 3-0 and Ajax records their 4th clean sheet of the Season as well. The struggle continues for the new managers as their inability to acclimate to Serie A pins them in relegation danger zone.
Fulham and Manager Hokie79 pulls a shocker as Werder Bremen stumbles in Craven Cottage. Fulham shuts down the vaunted Striker of Werder Bremen and clips the Defending Title holders at Home with an inspired performance that puts them in the middle of the fray. After a disappointing show against Spartak, Fulham answers the critics with a resounding call... "We Belong in Serie A!!" at the expense of the German side. The English side has pulled two Upsets already this week, beating Sunderland in Cup Group play 1-0 and taking their first Serie A scalp in the same week.
Werder Bremen's Match against CSKA Moscow now becomes the Game of the Week as Werder Bremen looks to keep pace with the pack. CSKA Moscow will need to be prepared as the Germans look to finish their week with a Win, anything else puts the Title Holders in the middle of the pack as they are endanger of potentially dropping 8 points out of 9 this week with a loss.
After pulling a shocker last match, Fulham were unable to maintain the momentum as they were beaten by Borrusia M'Gladbach 2-0 Away- and leaves the English squads with only 3 points out of a possible 9 for this week.
Corinthians fails to score nor Defend the mighty CSKA Moscow offense as the visiting Russians roll to a 4-0 victory in Brasil. That is the 5th match in which the Brazilians have failed to find the back of the net- making it the longest scoring drought of any squad in Serie A history. They have one match left against Borussia M'Gladbach to find that scoring touch.
Werder Bremen fails to get back into the race as they fall to CSKA Moscow 2-0 as the scoring touch seem to have left the Werder Bremen offense. What a turn of fortune for the Title Holders as the second week of gameplay turns out to be a stumbling block - failing to score in 2 of three matches. CSKA Moscow continues to stake their claim as favorites as they demolish every and any team that get in their way. The Match of the Week turned out to be a 1 sided affair as Werder Bremen shot went wanting and CSKA Moscow efficiently took their chances with lethal precision.
Corinthians show some fight, as they lay siege to Borrusia M'Gladbach away in Germany. Using their pace they looked to be the better squad and were unlucky in the end. With less than 8 minutes left in the match, Corinthians broke through and scored against the Germans, and only had a few ticks in the game left to hold on for their first win- Manager rschwep pushes forward looking for the equalizer and 5 minutes later were rewarded for their persistence with a leveler 4 minutes from time. Manager IJGator must be disappointed in not recording his first win of the season, but in the end 1-1 scoreline seem to be a fair result.
CSKA Moscow has been on a tear scoring 13 goals in 5 matches, while Ajax and Spartak Moscow have done it on both sides of the pitch scoring 7 goals respectively while keeping opponents away from the score sheet. PSV Eidenhoven lurks close to the middle of the Table but with 3 game in hand can easily be sitting a top the Table by Weeks end, if they run through their matches with victories but will need to get past Ajax and Sunderland, two Teams that have been difficult match ups for the esteemed Manager.
With one match left for CSKA moscow this week against out of form Stoke City, CSKA has the opportunity to get all 9 points while clashes by Spartak against Montpellier can be a major slip as both Offensive minded coaches lay siege on each other's goal and Montpellier gets an opportunity to crash Spartak's clean sheet party. Ajax and PSV Eidenhoven can also be a potential shocker as both managers have had some classic match ups- will the underdogs rewrite the script this week or will it be business as usual for the Men at top.
Ajax and PSV Eidenhoven battle to a stalemate as neither squad were able to find any clear opportunities to take the match. It was an even sided affair ending in a 0-0 scoreline.
Montpellier drops two more matches losing to Spartak Moscow and Flamengo to remain the only pointless Squad in Serie A. It has been a hard learning curve for the French squad as the second week schedule has not been kind to the newly promoted side. With a final match against in form PSV Eidenhoven, it is beginning to look like Montpellier's shortcomings in the back line is too much of an obstacle even for the talented Front of Montpellier. PSV Eidenhoven and Montpellier - will this be the 2nd shocker of the Week?!
Sunderland fails to hold home field - and drops critical points against PSV Eidenhoven 1-2 in the dying minutes of the match. With the loss, Sunderland must find a victory against Manager bigox1337 to stay competitive in Serie A.
INSIDE THE MIND OF SERIE A
As Cup Play resume and Teams gear up for Group we speak with Manager Zikry, who has had some Great success in the Coppa.
As Cup play resumes, why do you think you have had some success in the Tourney?It seems that Lady Luck has shined on me in the cup competitions. I still have no idea how I have reached 4 finals but the teams I manage seem to really get fired up for the Coppa. I don't think I really change anything in my gameplay, but it might be the pressure of straight knockout (after the group stages) that make a difference. I can't sit back and be willing to take a draw like I would in the league, which makes me more attack minded when it comes to the cup. Maybe I just need to ditch my defensive ways and go on an all out attack mode in the league and hope for the best!How would you describe your style of play? Do you adjust to Teams across the pitch or do you follow a set philosophy?Counter attack. I almost never win the possession battle and when I do it is by the slimmest of margins. I don't mind sitting back and giving my opponents freedom for 70% of the pitch, but when it comes to that final 1/3 I like to have as many men behind the ball as possible. My strength has always been in wing play ever since the beginning of Fifa 12, mostly due to the fact that with the speed at Aston Villa and their lack of a true playmaker it was my best option of attack, and I have taken that over to Ajax in my first season here. When scouting teams there are times when I will try to attack a particular facet of their game which I deem as their "weakest" point. If a team loves to attack then I will sit back and play my style of football by hitting on the counter, but if a team struggles on the defensive end then I will look to push more people forward and pile on the pressure. If teams struggle against an aerial threat I will send more crosses in, but if their defenders are taller and less agile I'll try to attack on the ground. A lot goes into our prematch preparations for each and every team.Why change away from a solid Aston Villa squad? What do you look for in team selection as you chose Ajax which on paper is considerably less talented then Villa?After 3 seasons at Aston Villa it was time for a change. They were brilliant going forward but many times in the season I grew frustrated at the team's inability to defend; leaving Shay Given on an island many times as the pressure seemed to get to him late last season. When picking a new squad there were 2 things that I had to have; speed at the wing back positions (RB/LB) as well as someone who could pick a pass from the middle of the park; something I desperately needed at Villa. In van der Wiel and Anita on the wings, as well as Janssen patrolling the middle, I found that Ajax was simply the best fit; even though I had never played with a 4-3-3 team before in my TFL history.Any advice for current and future Serie A Newcomers? Have a Plan B and learn to be lethal in front of goal. Chances in Serie A are very few and far between and most games are settled after a moment of brilliance or a defensive lapse in concentration. The jump from Serie B to A in terms of the defense on showing is night and day. Owners pride themselves in shutting down the opposition so there will be many games where your Plan A style of attack will simply get shut down from the get-go. Rather than getting frustrated and persisting on doing something that simply isn't working, try a different approach. Always run down the wings and cross the ball? Try cutting back from the wings and playing short passes. The teams that are able to adapt to any situation and find different ways of scoring goals will find success in the league.
With the 2nd Week winding down, the Battle for Relegation is starting to take shape, as Fulham managed to garner 3 points this round as the Strength of Schedule was too much for the English Squad to handle. Allowing 6 goals against and getting shut out of 2 of 3 matches will prove to good enough to move up the table. At this points Fulhsam has steered clear of the Drop zone with their Shocker against Bremen, but with Stoke City holding three games in hand, it can soon change by the end of the Weekend.
With Stoke City's Three Games and a Must Win Match Up for Montpellier vs PSV - Week 2 is coming to an end. Time now for Players of the Week and Recap.
WEEK 2 RECAP: MATCHES 4-6
The Second week of Season 6 in Serie A is coming to a close. This is what we have seen so far...
A stumble for Title Holder's Werder Bremen this week including an Upset from Fulham, has relegated the Champions to the middle of the Table, while Spartak Moscow has quietly move to Top honors as the Offense has recorded 7 goals and surprisingly the Defense has yet to allow a goal this Season. CSKA Moscow can make Serie A Top of the able an all Russian affair if they manage to get pass Stoke City in their game in hand.
Ajax has yet to allow goals as well and with the Defense in form, Ajax is nipping at the leaders heels, applying pressure on the Russian Squads. PSV Eidenhoven has managed to stay clear of the Upset bug, as they have move through their schedule for the week, with Montpellier the last stumbling block for he Dutchmen.
Week Two has not been kind to the New Boys, albeit much better than Week 1 as the three newly promoted sides have managed to garner 4 points with a win and a draw against the Serie A Table. Montpellier looks to add to that tally and take their first Serie A scalp as they visit PSV Eidenhoven in Holland
MATCHES OF THE WEEK
Ajax 0-0 PSV Eidenhoven
Sunderland 1-2 PSV Eidenhoven
SHOCKER OF THE WEEK
Fulham 2-0 Werder Bremen
STAT OF THE WEEK : (0)
0: 0 Goals allowed by Dikan (Spartak Moscow) adding to his League Leading 6 clean sheets
0: 0 Goals allowed by Vermeer (Ajax) in 5 matches
0: 0 Wins for Newly Promoted Corinthians
0: 0 Points earned by Serie C and Serie B powerhouse and Rookie Serie A memeber Montpellier
0: 0 Losses for 4 Teams Spartak Moscow, CSKA Moscow, Ajax and PSV Eidenhoven
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
K. Honda (CSKA MOSCOW) 3 goals 1 assist
A. Dikan (SPARTAK MOSCOW) 3 clean sheets
K. Vermeer (AJAX) 2 clean sheets
Third Week of Season 6 begins, and already the cream of the crop is beginning to separate themselves as the parity that was anticipated for this upcoming Season has yet to show itself on the Table. Spartak Moscow is scorching hot after 6 matches, only dropping 2 points to of a possible 18 points, to lead the pack. CSKA Moscow is keeping pace but the draw against Stoke City was a costly one as it allowed league leaders Spartak some breathing room. PSV Eidenhoven is a mild surprise at third as the Dutchmen have woin the games they needed and drew against the more talented squads in Serie A.
The Middle of the Table is crowded as a poor week from Title Holders Werder Bremen has them shoulder to shoulder with the likes Borrusia M'Gladbach, Ajax and Flamengo. Pre-Season favorites Flamengo are having a difficult go as the porous Defense has allowed 5 goals- one less than they have scored this Season. Ajax is mired in draws as Teams are looking to defend adamantly the potent offense.
The Relegation Battle is looking to be an all Rookie Affair as all three newly promoted Teams have only managed one win in Serie A (Fulham). Montpellier and Corinthians still searching for that first 3 points.
First Matches. Flamengo looks to take down PSV Eidenhoven to jumpstart their run to the top and a key match up between Werder Bremen and Ajax looms in the horizon as the Germans look to forget the poor display in the 2nd week. Montpellier and Corinthians have a good shot at winning their first Match against Stoke City and Sunderland as the new boys need to record a victory or else be left behind in the race. Fulham has a match against powerhouse CSKA Moscow, can the English squad pull another shocker this week or will CSKA Moscow take heed and take care of business in Craven Cottage.
Sunderland can also pull themselves from the bottom with positive results against opponents they have has some success against in the coming week catching Corinthians, Werder Bremen.
Just wanted to point out that only Matchdays 7-8 are open this upcoming week, so the all-hokie matchup is gonna have to wait a week
dang..that would have been my next points! .....haha
Werder Bremen are unable to stop the downward slide, as they fail to register a win for a 2nd straight week- falling to Ajax 1-0 and Sunderland 2-0. After a hot start Werder Bremen is at a lost to why their Offense has been unable to register goals. The losses has put the Title Holders in danger of losing too much ground on runaway squads Spartak Moscow and CSKA.
Montpellier opens the third week with a roar, as they register their first two wins of the Season defeating Stoke City 1-0 and fellow new boy Corinthians. Vaulting them to 6 points and out of the Danger Zone. Is this the new and improved French Squad everyone was expecting at the beginning of the Season?
CSKA Moscow stumbles as Borrusia M'Gladbach hands the Russians their first loss of the Season, as the Germans shut down the potent offense scoring all three goals- including an own goal in Russia.
Fulham felt the full wrath of a beaten CSKA Moscow as the Russian recover nicely from their First defeat by drubbing the Fulham squad who put up a good fight in the first 45 minutes. With the loss, Fulham is set further adrift in the Table. Fulham will need to pull another Shocker this week against in Form Ajax to keep pace or risk being the 2nd Newly promotes Squad to not earn any points in a match week.
Spartak Moscow continues their hot start with a win against Borrusia M'Gladbach who could not replicate their upset earlier in the week. Spartak Moscow and Goal Keeper Dikan allows their first two goals of the Season leaving Ajax the only squad in Serie A yet to allow a goal in match play.
Fulham Defense allow 10 goals in two matches and in the process collect zero points this week. Losing to Ajax 5-1 and CSKA Moscow 5-2: Fulhams highly touted Defense were decimated by Serie A regulars.
INSIDE THE MIND OF SERIE A
We sit down with Manager Broncos218 and discuss Serie A.. this is what he has to say...
What has been the key changes in gameplay in Serie A since you first joined? How would you describe the style of play in Serie A in compare to the other leagues?
When we played Season 1, some of us knew each other from previous leagues, but we were still feeling out the opposition at the time. Now, after 5 completed seasons, I think the vets all have a good feeling for each others' play. Plus there were new defensive controller changes w/ FIFA 12's release, so that took time to get used to. But comparing Serie A to what I've seen in Coppa matches, it's a lot about taking advantages of all mistakes presented and solid defense.
How would you describe your style of play? Do you adjust your game to reflect your opponent or do you have a long standing philosophy?
My bread and butter is my D. My offense can be a bit streaky at times (like now), but I can always rely on some sound defensive strategies that never fail me. But I like to adjust my gameplay a bit to what my opponent gives me and taking away whatever it is they're trying hard to do on offense. But also of importance, I focus on the quality of shots taken and allowed, not simply the quantity.
As you have been in Serie A a long time- what are some of your pet peeves as you've seen different styles of play in Serie A. Any "in compliance" tactics that still bother you when it happens in your games?
I love Serie A! I can't say I really have anything in particular that irks me when I play. Everyone plays pretty fair, so what's not to love?
Who do you see as a potential rising Star in Serie A? Who do you think will Win this Season?
I'm a bit disappointed with the newly promoted sides. Step up your game guys! But within Serie A, I don't know how you (HokieNYC) aren't always higher up in the tables. I can never beat you and you had a strong season a few seasons back, so I'm waiting for your break out. My preseason prediction with CxMacx10 isn't looking too great, although I do think he'll return to form quickly, so I'm going to go with Zikry this season. He has that FIFA 11 defense back for him where he just shut down opponents with Palermo and Lazio. Plus we gotta keep all the trophies and titles between him, myself, and shiftee, right?
As third Week of Match play concludes-
Sunderland and Ajax finish the week with full points as both squads gain 6 poins out of a possible 6, PSV Eidenhoven stumble against Flamengo as the Brazilians are beginning to show some edge in their play. The other Brazilian squad: Corinthians continue their poor form as they were unable to garner any points- the biggest match of the week was postponed as PSV Eidenhoven looking to not drop anymore points for the week were unable to meet in form Spartak who meet their first real challenge of the Season in PSV. Both Fulham and Corinthians failed to garner any points but Montpellier sky rockets in form as they manage to win back to back wins in match play- a match with in PSV looms and could prove a Season turning point if the French side can find a way past the PSV Defense.
Ajax and Spartak continue their run of form, while Flamengo begins to pick up steam and look to forget the poor start entering Week 4. On the other end, New Boys Fulham and Corinthinas are joined by the unlikeliest of partners as Werder Bremen's poor run of matches has them out of the Championship race barring a miraculous run of the Table.
WEEK 3 RECAP- MATCHES 7-8
Ajax and Spartak Moscow has yet to lose a match in the Season, as they enter the 4th week. Match of the week contender Spartak Moscow versus Ajax in Match 9 looks to end that streak as both in form squad clash for the Championship. Look for both Teams to drag out a draw as both look to protect their position.
New Boys still having a difficult time living in Serie A as Both Fulham and Corinthians have been unable to gain points this week.
Montpellier and Flamengo begin to show some teeth as both are beginning to show a run of form that could shift their Season's progress.
MATCHES OF THE WEEK
Flamengo 2-1 PSV Eidenohoven
Montpellier 1-0 Stoke City
SHOCKER OF THE WEEK
Borrussia M'Gladbach 2-1 CSKA Moscow
STAT OF THE WEEK: 10
(10) goals allowed by Fulham in two matches. Fulham entered Serie A famous for their stingy Defense- this past week that Reputation has been severely dented
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Giroud (MONTPELLIER) 3 goals 1 assist
S. Sessegnon (SUNDERLAND) 3 goals 1 assist
C. Gordon (SUNDERLAND) 2 Clean sheets
CLASH OF THE TITANS WEEK
Both Spartak and Ajax face a tall task this week of keeping their clean records as they both meet CSKA Moscow for another Top of the Table Clash respectively- It looks as if this is a good opportunity for mid table teams to catch up to the run away leaders as Flamengo has arguably the easiest run this week as they meet out of Form Werder Bremen and two teams destined for the Relegation Battle in Fulham and Corinthinans- Flamengo can conceivably finsih out the week with full points 9 out of 9 - and add more intrigue to the Championship race.
Sunderland looks to garner points against Fulham, but will be in a fight against their remaining two matches - as CSKA Moscow will be looking to maximize their points after two hard matches, and Borrusia M'Gladbach will be looking to upset the Leaders as they may be looking ahead to their heavy weight match ups.
Fulham and Corinthians look desperately for points with Fulham having the better schedule to accomplish their goals- Corinthians run into in Form PSV and Flamengo puts them at a disadvantage. Stoke City faces the same dilemma and looks to play spoiler this week for two Title Hopefuls in PSV and Spartak Moscow.
Postive results for the mid tables can close the gap on the race if the Top of the Table feast on each other this week. If one of the top three run their schedule- it will put them firmly ahead in the race, if a stumble from each of them occurs- the race opens up to another contender.. as Flamengo looks to catch up to the pack after a poor start
Werder Bremen is in a poor position to turn their luck as matches against in Form Squads will have Germans on the ropes. This may be the week that puts the Title Holders out and away from the Race as the pack slowly pulls away- positive results are necessary for Werder Bremen to remain relevant in the race- if not, another Battle looms for the Defending Champions... the Relegation one.
Werder Bremen continues their slide as they drop two matches against In Form Flamengo and PSV Eidenhoven. With the two losses Werder Bremen looks to turn their Season around with a clash with New Boy Montpellier.
Sunderland drops two pints in a shocker as they let a game in hand get away as Borrussia M'Gladbach comes storming back- scoring two goals in the 90th minute and extra time.
Ajax would make sure not to make the same mistake as the Dutch shut down the Homeside Borrussia M'Gladbach and preventing them from sniffing goal. But in the process the Dutch sides loses a key player for their clash against Spartak Moscow as Ven Der Wiel is RED CARDED. Ajax continues their fine form, upending CSKA Moscow in the first clash of the Top Table winning 2-1 at home.
Werder Bremen fails to score a point for a second week - as they fall to in form Montpellier 3-1. With the loss- The Germans are now in a fight to survive- what a change in fortune for the Defending Champions, who are now free falling down the Table.
In a make up match PSV Eidenhoven defeats Montpellier 5-3 in a shoot out.
PSV Eidenhoven continues their run of form and gains some ground on the league leaders with a grind out win in Brasil as they defeat Corinthians 2-1. Montpellier bounces back from their last defeat and take down Fulham in a tightly contested match at Home 1-0.
Near the half way mark of the Season, Ajax and Spartak Moscow has yet to lose a match and Pre Season favorite Flamengo is beginning to pick up steam as they have taken 4 straight in all competition. PSV Eidenhoven has found themselves on the positive not of some close matches and with the positive results enters the 2nd half of the Season as a Dark Horse in the Championship Race. CSKA Moscow has stumbled twice and but are still within striking distance.
The Middle of the pack, has Montpellier beginning to pick up steam and Sunderland has dropped critical points to keep them Middle of the pack. Borrusia M'Gladbach has remained dangerous- with an upset of CSKA Moscow-
The Relegation Battle is taking shape as New Boys Fulham and Corinthians are having a tough time in Serie A, while Stoke City's poor start has them near the edge but with 4 games in hand- can easily turn their future around in a heart beat. The Surprise has been the free fall of League Defending Champion Werder Bremen who has dropped 3 matches and has gone 1-4 in the last 5 and winless in league play since Match Game 2.
As the First Half of the Season wraps up- the parity has just not been there this Season as the old stalwarts seem to be battling it out for Top honors while the rest of the class watch from below.
Stoke City drops two in a row and is mired in the danger zone, as their games in hand start to dwindle so are their chances of moving out of danger. With losses to PSV Eidenhoven and Spartak Moscow, Stoke City are unable to take a bite out of the pack leaders and look to turn their fortunes against lesser opponents.
In a make up match- Spartak Moscow defeats PSV Eidenhoven keeping the pack at arms length as the Russian continue to show their quality still undefeated in match play mid way thru the Season.
Spartak has two more matches, arguably their most difficult of the schedule - if positive results are had, Spartak Moscow will finish half the Season with our a loss. A match up with Ajax and CSKA Moscow may prove the stumbling block that allows the competition to catch up with the red hot Russians.
Spartak Moscow remains the last Undefeated team in Serie A as Ajax falls to the Russians 3-1 in the Match of the Week clash. Spartak falls behind early, but a failed header for Ajax past half time would prove costly, as Spartak scores two goals in a 20 minute span to go ahead. An own goal from Ajax seals their fate as Spartak Moscow separates themselves from the closest challenger.
Week 4 Wrap Up:
Four games left in the 4th week which wraps up the first half of the Season. Corinthians still looking for their first Win and they have a shot against fellow bottom dweller Stoke City to close out the 1st half of the Season.
Sunderland has a critical match up against Fulham as they look to close out strong, and a positive result against CSKA Moscow will insure an outside shot of finishing in the top half of the Table. Fulham will need to get positive results against Flamengo and Sunderland - the Defensive minded squad will need to take risks and give themselves a chance at building up play as counters have note proven successful in Serie A play.
CSKA Moscow look to hand Spartak Moscow their first Defeat of the Season as the Final clash of the 1st Half the Season wraps up with an All Russian Affair that can have repercussions in the Championship Race. CSKA Moscow will look to gain momentum as they have already dropped 3 points this week to Fellow Championship Contender Ajax. Can anyone stop the Red Russians of Spartak or is the Season 5 Champion been already crowned?
Fulham fails to register points this week as they give up 7 goals in three matches- for a second straight week. The results has put the English squad smack in in the Relegation battle as they close out their 1sy half of the Season.
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