I picked up Marseille on the downturn into Division 5. I was drawn to the team, not by any measure other than the history of this club as many of us would remember their famous Champions League win in 93′ as well as a host of players that have graced their club, including; Ribery, Drogba, Pires, Voller, Deschamps, Cantona, and many many more.
The task will not be easy here in Division 5. For a time there have been managers clamouring around improving their squads and lying in wait. In addition, some that have dropped down from Division 4 still possess very strong sides. With a range of 2.5 points in rating from top to bottom, there will definitely be an interesting season ahead.
My task here is simple. Defy the odds. Don’t get me wrong, I’m under no illusion that my first proper season in Top 100 will be a steep learning curve, but I firmly believe that with the right tweaks, both tactically and with transfers a team can exceed expectations.
Our first hurdle was the retirement of Davy Propper. Upon my arrival in France I had many a sleepless night wondering how on earth we will recover from losing such a key player in such a role for next to nothing.
Our second hurdle – and I imagine as the season progresses, not our last – was finding the right tactic for the club. I’m a firm believer in being innovative, going against the grain. I pondered a tight 4-3-3, but with the loss of Propper it was became too much of a stretch on potential rotation. Our misfortunes in the transfer market in being able to successfully procure a decent CM became all too familiar.
In any case, our transfer business as follows:
- Christopher Trimmel (86) RB – 1.2m
- Erik Durm (85) LB/RB – 1m + Grady Diagana
- Patjim Kasami (85) CM/AM/W – 1.7m
- Kristoffer Olsson (85) – CM/AM – 4m
- Gabriel Pires – CM (86) and Yaroslav Mikhailov – CM (70) – Nail Umyarov + Neraysho Kasanwirjo
- Adam Smith (84) RB/LB – 1.8m
My main target this season will be to finish in the top half of the league. I feel our best possible way to achieve this is to continue to look for moves in the transfer market to strengthen the side.