When the 2034/2035 season with Arsenal de Sarandí started, the average age of the squad was under the 21.
We had experienced players in all lines and I was very pleased with the whole squad after a couple of additions. And the season ended with a success…
I decided during the second part of the last season I will rather promote a couple of young players than to buy someone but despite this decision, we brought two new players straight to the first team.
Marcelo Pérez, striker or attacking midfielder, for free from Newell’s. He received the number 9 and I played him as False 9 in the first part of the season. He also signed with a relatively low small wage with just €34K per month.
The second new player was goalkeeper Gustavo Philippe who came from Boca for €1.4M. We have our own newgen Antonio Bozok who is only 24 years old but despite that, he already played more than 300 competitive matches for the club. But he had no challenge in the squad so I wanted to create quality goalkeeping duo and try if both will work hard to earn the starting XI place.
On the other hand, I knew there will be no outgoing transfers for big money. But I needed to earn some money to boost our bank balance due to loans.
That was the reason why I let three players leave for a loan with very solid loan fees. We earned €1.4M thanks to these loan fees.
Hat trick of defeats
The first part of this season mainly about the constant tweaking of our 4-3-3 formation with a flat midfield. It was mainly just experimenting with some roles but also with the team and individual instructions and mentality.
Our worst place in the league this season was the 11th place but thanks to three wins in the last five matches before the Christmas, we moved to 6th place.
Same as in the previous three seasons we made it to the Copa Libertadores Final. The ones of you who follow my FMSlack channel already know how it ended.
We faced Flamengo for the third year in a row. We lost 0-1 in both previous finals. And yes, we lost by one goal again this year.
A director makes 100 decisions an hour. Students ask me how you know how to make the right decision, and I say to them, ‘If you don’t know how to make the right decision, you’re not a director’.George Lucas
I can safely and 100% say I made the right decision during the winter break.
The first one – I recalled Croatian striker Filip Ilic back from a loan in his homeland with GNK Dinamo.
The second one – in the line with Ilic’s return I decided to move Marcelo Pérez from lone striker role to AMR to play him as Winger with support duty.
If you went back to his profile slightly above and you said to yourself he is not well-suited to this role, I was the same but only for a couple of seconds. I just decided to use his good physical attributes, dribbling and technique. And I hoped he will improve.
The third one – tactical changes including a switch from False 9 back to DLF(A) role, a switch from attacking mentality back to balanced and switch from higher line defensive line & much higher line of engagement back to standard.
If you will open the picture with results from the second part of the season, there is a proof the decisions were absolutely perfect.
Our attacking trio Pérez – Ilic – Arroyo was really dominant in many matches with support by Luciano Cambiasso from the attacking-minded CM(S) role.
We won the first six league matches after the restart and moved to the top of the league.
When we played all the matches in hand we were first in the league after 27 matches were played. Boca had a great finish and they tied with us two matches before the end of the season with the same points and better goals difference.
But they won only one point in the last two matches, we won both matches and we are league title holders again. It’s our fourth league title in the last five years.
This one is probably the best one in my eyes thanks to all the decisions, tactical changes or many young players in the squad.
- Marcelo Pérez made 48 appearances this season, scored 18 goals and made 11 assists. Most of them as a winger in the second part of the season.
- Franco Arroyo made 45 appearances, scored 16 goals and made 7 assists as an Inside Forward with attack duty.
- Luciano Cambiasso made 49 appearances, scored 11 goals and made 16 assists in the CM(S) role.
Marcelo Pérez was a great addition to the squad and I really enjoyed his improvement and performances in the second part of the season. I also decided to make a short video with his several goals.
After the league title celebrations, we just finished our Copa Libertadores group stage with four wins, one draw and one defeat.
And our season ended earlier this time as we lost to Rosario Central after penalties in the Superleague Cup 2nd Round. We, at least, progressed to the Copa Argentina 6th Round.
The perfect news was the club finished training and youth facilities upgrades up to Good and Average respectively.
We are currently in the middle of the new stadium works – it should be finished in July 2036.
Another, and the last one, the important thing was the contract negotiation with my favourite player Luciano Cambiasso who was mentioned in the previous posts already. He was wanted by Liverpool during the last 18 months but I was able to give him a new contract until 2040.
He became our highest earner with €147K per month wage. He was considered as an average player for the second tier and he developed thanks to training and playing time into a key player.
PS. For the first time since the start of this save, our reserve squad won the Argentinian Reserve League. I consider it as a great success because we have mainly young players with one year left of their contracts (and who are not wanted for loans elsewhere) and young players from the first team.
And yes, they play with the same formation/tactic as the first team.
As always, if you would like to ask something, just let me know.
Don’t forget, you can join FMSlack via THIS link. My channel is #fmrensie but there are many other interesting channels to talk about FM.
Until next time…take care!