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VfL Wolfsburg: The Wolves of Niedersachsen

Save report from my Wolfsburg career
Started on 3 July 2014 by maxzor
Latest Reply on 5 July 2014 by maxzor
  • POSTS8
  • VIEWS6177
maxzor's avatar Group maxzor
6 yearsEdited
After noticing the impressive World Cup performances by the likes of Ivan Perisic, Ricardo Rodriguez and Kevin De Bruyne, I was motivated to launch a career managing their common team, VfL Wolfsburg. Since there's no World Cup game tonight, I decided to settle the matter and launch the save.

General info
Name: VfL Wolfsburg
City: Wolfsburg
Nickname: Die Wölfe
Year founded: 1945
Rivals: Hannover, Braunschweig
Stadium: Volkswagen Arena (capacity of 30 000)
Trophies: Bundesliga (2008/2009)

Season aspirations
Starting in 2013, the main goal for the season 2013/2014 will be to qualify for the Champions League. Last season, the team struggled to get results, and finished no higher than eleventh in the Bundesliga. Since winning its hitherto only league title in 2008/2009, things haven’t been going too well, and the long-term goal is to reestablish Wolfsburg as a top team in Germany.

Tactics and transfers
I intend to apply a direct, high-tempo 4-2-3-1 formation, adjusted in terms of pressure and mentality depending on the opposition. In most games we will play attacking football, but against teams like Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund we might focus on defence and counterattacks.

With a transfer budget of hardly €4 million, there wasn’t much room for improvements. The team could probably do with an additional striker and possibly a centre half. Anyway, I reckoned it was most important to sign a central midfielder with passing qualities, and thus the money were spent on Lars Stindl from local rivals Hannover. To release the wage space, Felipe and Kevin Scheidhauer have been loaned out, and a couple of players have been released after mutual contract terminations.

As the squad is on the verge of being too large, I might sell someone more.

Swiss Diego Benaglio is a very good goalkeeper and the most reasonable first choice between the posts. Max Grün provides a reliable backup option. Young Marius Sauß will be a part of the first team, even though it’s unlikely he will get much playing time, except perhaps for a cup game here and there. If Benaglio wouldn’t convince, I am not averse to let Grün on, but the Swiss will be getting the chance initially. Grün eclipses Benaglio when it comes to kicking, throwing and rushing out, but overall Benaglio is the better keeper.

Ricardo Rodriguez is a great full back and one of the key players. He will be the first choice on the left flank, and on the opposite side, pacey Sebastian Jung is the envisaged choice. Club profile Marcel Schäfer will alternate with Rodriguez if necessary, but Schäfer can also play higher up the field. Similarly, right defender backups Christian Träsch and veteran Patrick Ochs are both very versatile. Had they not been, one of them would probably have been disposed, as three right defenders is on the high side.

The central defence will be led by the best and most experienced defender of the team, namely Brazilian 30-year-old Naldo. Next to him, we will see either Timm Klose or young talent Robin Knoche. As they are rather even as players, it’s hard to say who should play at the moment. There will probably be a lot of alternation between them, and time will tell who impresses the most.

Slobodan Medojevic and Belgian wonderkid Junior Malanda are primarily defensive midfielders, but they can both play as centre half if needed.

As the hub in midfield, Luiz Gustavo will have an important role. With superb defensive characteristics and a massive work rate he is arguably our best central midfielder. Stindl is a more creative player and was signed to complement Luiz Gustavo. Mateusz Klich, as well as mentioned Medojevic and Malanda will be backing up.

Kevin De Bruyne is extremely skilful and will be operating centrally on the final third as an advanced playmaker. Talented Maximilian Arnold doesn’t hold the same quality just yet, but he will have his chances to develop as he can also alternate with the wingers. On the flanks, Ivan Perisic, Vieirinha and Caligiuri constitute a great offensive threat.

Dutchman Bas Dost and cult Croatian Ivica Olic are the only natural strikers of the team, and will have to compete with each other for the striker role. Dost is a typical poacher, specialized in scoring goals. Olic, on the other hand, might not be the most clinical finisher, but offers pace, energy and determination.

Overall, I'm pleased with our pre-season, during which we accounted for fourteen goals scored and two goals conceded, as well as four wins and one loss.

Vieirinha and Robin Knoche have been the most impressive players of the pre-season. On the contrary I have some concerns regarding Ivan Perisic, whose training reports have been questionable, but hopefully he will step up as the competitions begin.

After conceding goals against Ajax and Montpellier as a result of a high defensive line, I've made some minor tactical adjustments to combat that. Also, it's encouraging to see that Bas Dost has been doing well from his poacher role, as I saw a risk of him becoming detached from the game.
Great club to manage! And really good start as well, good luck!
good luck mate! the world cup truly is inspiring!
2014-07-03 15:51#182557 ASR-PSV : Great club to manage! And really good start as well, good luck!

Thank you! Great Del Piero story btw :)
2014-07-03 15:52#182558 fzemdegs : good luck mate! the world cup truly is inspiring!

Thanks :) It sure is.. ;)
maxzor's avatar Group maxzor
6 yearsEdited


As can be seen, our start of the season has not been very convincing. In the first competitive game, we faced Regensburg of the German third division, and in that game things seemed to work out well. As we began to play stronger teams though, our weaknesses were exposed.

In the first league game we played HSV away. Struggling to create chances, we were fortunate not to loose, after an equalizing free kick goal scored by Kevin De Bruyne. The following game was played against rival team Braunschweig. It was a poor game in which both teams lacked in creating chances. After a few changes in the starting eleven I hoped to see a better performance against Stuttgart, but I did not.

We still didn't create much chances, and Vedad Ibisevic caused major problems against our defense. In the last minute of the game though, substitute Ivica Olic intercepted a pass, rounded the keeper, and made sure we got our third draw in a row. It was apparent that something had to change in our game. The problem was that our next opponent would be Borussia Dortmund, perhaps not the team you want to experiment against. As if this wasn't enough, key player Luiz Gustavo would be suspended after receiving a red card against Stuttgart.

With a defensive approach from us, Borussia could dominate the game and win by 3-0 after two late goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Without a functional playing style, a loss against Dortmund was difficult to avoid. Also, Vieirinha was injured in this game, with an expected recovery period of two months. Prior to the game against Hertha Berlin I made some minor tactical adjustments, but as we once again failed to deliver, I realized something more disruptive had to be made.

Thus, I chose to abolish the direct playing strategy in favor of a style based on possession and short passing. To utilize our wing backs Rodriguez and Jung, I changed their roles from full back to complete wing back, so that they will be able to contribute more offensively. In order to gain and retain possession, I also thought it'd be good to play with a higher defensive line, as we did during pre-season before abandoning it as a result of conceding counterattack goals. To balance this risk, it could be useful to let Junior Malanda play as one of the two centre halves, as he possesses the agility that Klose, Knoche and Naldo do not. One of the problems during the first games has been the immobility of our central defenders.

The new tactic had an immediate impact, leading us to a 3-1 win against Freiburg at the Volkswagen Arena. This was relieving, as we really had to win after only three points from the first five league games. We were controlling the match and utilizing our chances in a much more efficient way than before. The happiness wasn't too prolonged though, as Kaiserslautern beat us in the DFB-Pokal second round. Although, it should be said we were unlucky in this game, and that our best players were rested because of tight schedule. After being 2-0 down by halftime, Bas Dost came on and scored a consolation goal from the penalty spot. The latest game so far was played against Hoffenheim, a game which we could win in a satisfactory manner after being 3-0 up after only thirteen minutes.

To summarize, we've obviously had a really poor start, but since staging the transition to possession play the team has been doing a lot better. Thus I am confident that we can advance in the standings, now that we can put all of our focus on the Bundesliga as well.
Unlucky with the start of the first season :/ Great move to switch to a possession tactic, but you might want to keep the counter tactic and fine tune it to play against the big teams. Great story so far!
After the remarkably poor start of the season we have pulled ourselves together and had a great run o form, including a six-game unbeaten streak in the Bundesliga, as well as 16 points out of 21 possible.

Building on the great flow resulting form our tactical change, we were able to comfortably beat Werder Bremen 2-0 away, in a game we dominated from start. In the next game, we faced Borussia Mönchengladbach, who have a rather strong team. We played really well, and deservedly won, once again by 2-0.

After that, we managed to get a drag against Bayer Leverkusen away, followed by a 3-1 win against Nürnberg. At this point, Bas Dost and winger Daniel Caligiuri seemed to be scoring all of our goals, together being accounted for our nine latest goals. After the Nürnberg game, Dost had scored in six of our seven latest games, and Caligiuri in three of the latest four.

The latter was named Bundesliga player of the week, with an impressive record of 5 goals and 2 assists in 8 (2) games, plus he’s been involved in even more. After being injured during pre-season, he’s been coming back in great style replacing Vieirinha. My first idea was to use Perisic and Vieirinha as the most regular starters, but right now I rate Caligiuri above both of them.

Our unbeaten streak finally came to an end, as Schalke 04 and in form Klas-Jan Huntelaar beat us in a rather open 3-2 game at the Veltins Arena. Perisic was the first one on the goal tally, scoring after 12 minutes and an attacking start from Wolfsburg. By then we should probably have been a bit more cynical and defensive, as our attacking mentality gave too much space for Schalke.

Since the last update, we've climbed a few stages in the league table and are at the fifth positions. Also, only Borussia Dortmund have scored more goals than Wolfsburg.

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