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Bayer 04 Leverkusen: Never Say Neverkusen Again

A Bayer Leverkusen Football Manager 2015 story
Started on 3 January 2015 by TheOtherSpecialOne / First Post
Latest Reply on 7 January 2015 by TheOtherSpecialOne / Last Post
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Very nice start of the story!
Kippax, OllieGrocott, Denzy, Jonte-23: Thanks all! Our start has been excellent and I certainly hope that we can keep it up :)

October



Hertha BSC : Bayer 04 Leverkusen


Hertha BSC have not started this season well and are currently bottom of the league so I expected this match to be an easy win.

I rotated several players after our midweek match against CSKA but nothing can be used as an excuse for this appalling result.
It looks like our good form has made my players believe that they are invincible and so they simply didn't work as hard resulting in this very, very dissapointing loss.


Bayer 04 Leverkusen : Hannover 96


After our pathetic result against Hertha I told my team in no uncertain terms that I was expecting a much better performance from them, and they did exactly that.

We dominated the match from start to finish and both Kießling and Brandt played really well sharing the goals between them in a comfortable 3-0 win for us.


Bayer 04 Leverkusen : GNK Dinamo Zagreb


This match was supposed to be our easiest match in our Champions League group, instead it turned out to be the hardest so far.

Both teams played pretty badly and this resulting in a very boring match, we simply couldn't create any chances and neither could they. Then in the 76th minute Henriquez put Dinamo in front and for a second my team seemed to actually wake up responding very well and scoring an equalizer only 3 minutes later. That however was all that happened in this match resulting in a pretty dissappointing draw.


1.FC Köln : Bayer 04 Leverkusen


Then came the Rheinderby against 1.FC Köln.
Another match that we statistically dominated, again however we couldn't seem to find the back of the net. We did however create an enormous amount of pressure which resulted in an own goal from Köln defender Mavraj.

Another match that we won and another clean sheet so all in all not too bad.


Bayer 04 Leverkusen : SpVgg Greuther Fürth


A while back Kruse and Drmic came to me and complained about the lack of first team football, I promised them that I would start them more often in the future but that they had to keep working hard to earn their spot.

With the Borussia Dortmund game coming up later this week this match was the perfect opportunity for Kruse and Drmic to show what they were capable off and they didn't waste any time.

Both of them played extremely well tearing up the entire Greuther Fürth defence resulting in a very good victory for us.

This victory sees us go through to the next round in the DFB-Pokal and the draw for that round has handed us a home game against HSV.



So that was October and despite some good results it was a pretty disappointing month for us.
The loss against Hertha was simply terrible and the Champions League match against Dinamo Zagreb wasn't that great either.

Injury wise this month brought both good and bad newsews is that Öztunali is back after being on the sidelines for 7 weeks, the bad news is that Jedvaj will now take his place and be out for 7 weeks.


So what is our league position after this month?



That's right despite the loss against Hertha we are currently in second place just 2 points behind Bayern Munich. Still if we had won the Hertha match we'd be first, oh well you can't have it all.

In the Champions League we continue to lead our group with a very narrow 1 point lead over Real Madrid.



So lets take a look at our upcoming month of November:


So as you can see we have a very tough month ahead of us, in fact I'd say that November could potentially be a season deciding month.

First we start off the month with an home game against Borussia Dortmund, this match we simply must win as I see Dortmund as our closest rivals for the second place spot which is what I am aiming for this season.

Then we face Dinamo Zagreb, another must win match that could potentially see us through to the next round in the Champions League.

Then we have 2 very tough Bundesliga matches against Wolfsburg and Stuttgart before facing Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu in what is going to be a very hard fixture for us as I'd expect Real to want to avenge their defeat to us in front of their own supporters.

And then we finish of the month with an away game against Hoffenheim.

Leverkusen tie down Brandt until 2019

Leverkusen - Fans of die Werkself have been greeted by the positive news that wonderkid Julian Brandt has commited his future to the club.

Brandt who is only 18 years old has already worked his way into the Leverkusen first team and has been quite present for the club so far this season. Leverkusen manager L. was very keen for the club to sign a long term deal with Brandt as he recognizes the huge potential that Brandt has:

"I believe that it is quite clear to everyone who knows his football that Julian is set to have a wonderful career, with all the big money spending clubs cirkling around every talented player like vultures it was extremely important for us to tie his down for many seasons to come.

Brandt's new contract is also rumoured to include a minimum fee release clause of around 80 million euros so any clubs that want to make a move for him are going to have to pay a very hefty sum of money.
Nice story so far. Good to see that you tied Brandt to the club, such an amazing talent!
And tremendous result against Real Madrid!!
1
Retrogott:Thanks! Yes Brandt has been playing really well for us this season and currently he is even performing better then Son and he can only get better so keeping him at the club and keeping him happy is very important for me.

November


Bayer 04 Leverkusen : Borussia Dortmund

This match was an absolute spectacle from start to finish.
Both teams went full on the attack and Dortmund got their first chance only 30 seconds in, Leno however managed to save it. Then Leno played a long pass forward to Son who shot from long distance to give us an early lead. (This goal was particularly pleasing as right before the match I gave Son instructions to "shoot more often")

Then Dortmund started pounding on our door and in the 12th minute Ramos managed to score the equaliser. A beautiful team goal was finished of by Kießling only 6 minutes later putting us in front once more.

Things got even better when Son finished of a beautiful individual run handing us a two goal lead. The attacking football didn't stop in the second half as Dortmund managed to score the "anschlusstreffer" as Ramos scored another goal.

Then Papadopoulos received a red card leaving us with 10 players vs 11 however we managed to pull through and then came the 88th minute when the strangest thing in my FM career ever happened, I can only assume that Klopp went on full overload as for some reason Weidenfeller was all the way at our box, Kießling then took the ball from him and shot from our box right into their goal, a 75 yard strike! What a game!

GNK Dinamo Zagreb : Bayer 04 Leverkusen


Then came our Champions League match against Dinamo Zagreb, a win in this match would see us through to the first knock-out round.

I rotated a few players including Kießling and gave Drmic a place in the starting 11, he didn't disappoint he and Brandt have been connecting really well this season and they did that again this match resulting in this comfortable 3 goal win and making us go through to the next round.

VFL Wolfsburg : Bayer 04 Leverkusen


Wolfsburg have been doing really well this season so this was Always going to be a tough match, we got off to a good start however and Kießling gave us a very early lead, Wolfsburg then started attacking with all that they had but it was us again that managed to score after a beautiful counter attack.

Right after half-time Wolfsburg got 1 goal back after Caligiuri scored after a corner kick. The rest of the match went up and down until we got a chance to put the game to bed after around 70 minutes in, Son had been fouled by Gustava in their penalty area giving us a penalty Çalhanoğlu however missed and in the dieing seconds of the game that miss proved to be a very costly one as Bendtner scored the equaliser.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen : VFB Stuttgart


After the international break a lot of my players were very tired so I had to rotate quite a bit.
Stuttgart took the lead in the 13th minute after Didavi scored a well struck free kick, for the rest of the first half we created chance after chance but we simply couldn't get through their defence.

During the second half our assault continued and it was only in the 63th minute that we managed to get the equaliser, for the rest of the match we continued to get shot after shot but none of them resulted in a goal.

We hit the woodwork 3 times during this match had 54% of posession had 35 shots and we still couldn't get the win.

Real Madrid : Bayer 04 Leverkusen


Then we played our second game against Real and to be honest I was not expecting anything from this match, Real would totally want to avenge their heavy loss to us in front of their fans and they did exactly that.

We started off well enough after Son got us the lead very early and for a second I thought that we might pull off another miracle however those dreams were shattered in the second half as Real Madrid totally dominated us and scored 5 goals in the process.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim : Bayer 04 Leverkusen


After drawing twice against Wolfsburg and Stuttgart winning this match was vital to keep track of Bayern.

Things however didn't go according to plan, we got the lead through Çalhanoğlu but Hoffenheim kept working until the very end and this resulted in them getting two goals and stealing the win as we really deserved more from this match.


So that was November, in our last post I said that November could turn out to be a season deciding month and unfortunately it does look like that, our demanding schedule combined with our injuries really undid us this month.

Lets take a look at the table:


After a very disappointing month we are now in fourth place, Bayern now have a 9 point lead on us so catching up on them is pretty unrealistic at this point, the second place is a must for me however as I want to challenge for the title next season so that will be our goal for this season.


In the Champions League we have also fallen one place after our heavy defeat against Real Madrid, still we are qualified and that is all that matters in the end.


Lets take a look at our schedule for December;



We start off the month with our toughest game yet as we face Bayern Munich at the BayArena.

Then we play CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, this match is totally unimportant however as I don't expect to see Real dropping any points against Dinamo.

And then we have 3 relatively easier games in the Bundesliga, if we still want a slight chance of catching up to Bayern these are all must win games.

December



Bayer 04 Leverkusen : FC Bayern Munich


This game was a very boring one to be honest, there were almost no hightlights in the entire first half until Bayern pulled of a long distance shot that rebounded of the post against Leno giving them a one goal lead.

In the second half however my team played really well, they worked really hard and this resulted in us getting the equalizer, then things got even better when Kießling (who is currently leading goalscorer in the Bundesliga) put us ahead, and we managed to hold onto this lead giving us a very good win over current league leaders Bayern.


Bayer 04 Leverkusen : CSKA Moscow


This match was not important to me so I pretty much played with most of my substitutions still we played very well and got a 2 goal lead through Brandt and Kruse. For the entire match we looked in control and then suddenly out of nowhere CSKA managed to score 2 goals causing this match to end in a draw.

This is the third match this season that we have had a solid 2 goal lead only to give it away at the end of the match, it happened first against Augsburg, oh well I thought, these things happen. Then it happened against Wolfsburg, that had me a little worried as we should have simply won that match and now it has happened again against CSKA costing us 500k in the progress.

SC Freiburg : Bayer 04 Leverkusen

We have really struggled this season against some of the "lower"teams. Each time we totally dominate the match create over 20 chances but simply can't seem to get the ball into the net, this match was exactly the same and to be honest it is really getting frustrating.

I don't exactly know why but my players simply don't perform in regular matches, in big matches like our first Real Madrid match, our Schalke and Dortmund matches and our match against Bayern they are absolutely briljant but against weaker teams they simply don't have the same motivation.

SC Paderborn 07 : Bayer 04 Leverkusen


Deja vu anyone? This match was basically an exact copy of our Freiburg game. We dominate, create chance after chance, simply can't seem to score and then they score a free-kick giving them the 3 points.

FSV Mainz 05 : Bayer 04 Leverkusen

This match was a little bit better, Mainz took the lead very early but my team performed brilliantly and managed to put us in the lead before half-time.

The second half went up and down with both teams creating good chances and one of those chances resulted in a goal for Mainz.

Another match that we didn't win and I am really glad that the winter break has arrived.
My tactic is proving to be really effective against bigger teams but against the opponents that we should be beating things simply don't work out the way they should, so during the winter break I will try to implement a new tactic that hopefully will give us an edge over these type of opponents.



That was it for December and for 2014 so where are we at the table?



Currently we are in a disappointing fifth place, 4 points behind Dortmund who are second which is my goal for this season and 14 points! behind Bayern Munich who simply dominate the league at this moment.

We have also received our opponent for the first knockout round in the Champions League, we'll be playing...



This is going to be an interesting tie for sure, we have been good at home against bigger teams beating Dortmund, Real and Bayern at the BayArena so I am hopefull of a good result against Atletico aswell, still its going to be a tough match for sure and if we play like we are playing currently they'll rip us to pieces.



So now comes the winter break, we'll be heading to Spain for our trainings camp, there I'll start working on a new tactic that hopefully will prove to be effective against lower opponents and I'll be looking at potential transfers that will strengthen our squad but more on that in future updates, until then.






What am I glad that the winter break has arrived, despite our magnificent start to the season things have turned for the worse lately.
We've gotten some extremely good results this year, we've beaten Real Madrid, Schalke 04, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich and yet we are currently only fifth in the league.

Before the season I, perhaps unrealistically, hoped that we could challenge for the title this year. Our disappointing form against lower teams however has meant that this is now close to impossible. Especially our December results against Freiburg and Paderborn were extremely disappointing so the winter break has come at an opportune moment.

I have tried to analyse our weaknesses and I believe that I have come up with a tactic that will eliminate most of them. I have implemented these tactics during our trainingscamp in Spain so ít'll be interesting to see how they'll work out.

We did however tested these new tactics in our two friendly matches that we played during the break.


As you can see the results are very pleasing indeed, granted these are not the type of opponnents that we will face in the Bundesliga but it was still pleasing to see us perform so well.


The winter break however also brought some unrest at the club as several clubs were interested in signing some of our star players.

Juventus made an offer for Kießling which I ofcourse rejected, to my suprise Kießling was rather upset as a result, he came to my office and told me that he wanted to win the Champions League and he believed that a move to Juventus would bring him closer to this goal. He told me to either promise him that we would win the Champions League, which is laughable really, or allow him to move to Juventus. I did my best to get his move sorted out but before any realistic bids came in he told me that he was pleased with the effort that I put into trying to sell him so he would be willing to wait until the summer transfer window.

Atletico Madrid then first enquired about Bender to which I didn't respond as he is simply not for sale and then they made a substantial bid for Son. Again I rejected this bid which didn't please Son, then I tried to get a move sorted out for him but he accepted that he would have to stay at the club for now and would only be looking for a move again in the summer so as things are currently set we are going to lose two key players during the summer transfer window.

Manchester United then also made a bid for Toprak, luckily Toprak was a lot more realistic and he accepted my reason that he simply wouldn't get as much first team football at Manchester as he would with us.

And that pretty much sums up our winter break, I was unable to bring in any new players as we only had a transfer budget of 3.3 million which I used to increase our wage budget. The fans will be rather pleased with the contract talks that we made as a result of that.

So now it is back to Germany and back to the Bundesliga, lets hope that we can carry on our good form into our competitive games.

L.

Schedule for January:

Duo Extends Contracts

Leverkusen - Good news for Leverkusen supporters this morning as both Hakan Çalhanoğlu and Karim Bellarabi have signed new contracts keeping them both at the club until 2019.

Bellarabi had already signed a new contract with the club back in June but Leverkusen clearly feel that the German winger deserved a salary raise for his fine form.

Hakan Çalhanoğlu arrived at the BayArena last summer for a fee of 14.5 million euros making him the most expensive signing for the club ever. He has however proven to be worth his price so far this season and so Leverkusen were keen to keep the Turkish midfielder happy.

Leverkusen manager L. was delighted with the deals as he stated:

Both Hakan and Karim have been playing really well for us this season and both of them are still young so they can only get better from this point on. It is quite clear that we are an ambitious club and we continuously work to improve ourselves.

With these new deals we have done exactly that and we have assured ourselves of the services of two high quality players who can bring great things to this club.
Great story had a great start keep it going

Werder Bremen : Bayer 04 Leverkusen


Our first official game with our new tactic and things went pretty well.

During this match (and also the other 2 matches of January) I was still under the impression that Kießling was going to leave so I started with Drmic instead and he didn't disappoint, in fact he was the best man on the pitch and his performance really contributed to this solid win.


Bayer 04 Leverkusen : FC Schalke 04


Our new tactic is based on controlling the game, as you can see it is working pretty well.

We simply dominated this match, as you can see from the statistics Schalke only created 3 chances and not a single one of those was on target! We on the other hand created chance after chance and I wouldn't have been suprised if we had won by an even bigger margin.

Drmic was excellent again this match and I am seriously considering leaving Kießling on the bench as I only want to play players who are motivated for the club that they are currently at.


Bayer 04 Leverkusen : FC Augsburg


Our previously Augsburg match ended in a very disappointing draw after we handed away a two goal lead, I was not going to let that happen twice.

In this match we dominated aswell but we had a lot more trouble with getting the goal that we needed. Augsburg have been really solid defensively this season and that really showed during this match.

Luckily for us however Öztunali scored a beautiful shot from just outside of the box in the 51st minute giving us the lead and unlike the previous Augsburg match we didn't look like giving that lead away, instead we held on and got our third win in as many games.




All in all some very pleasing results, our new tactic seems to work really well as we have far more control over each game then we previously had. An added bonus is that we didn't conceive a single goal this month giving us three clean sheets.




As you can see our good results have enabled us to move into the third position, especially the win over Schalke was vital for this.
All in all I am very hopeful that we can achieve my personal goal of finishing second this season, especially if we keep playing as well as we are currently.

So what will February bring for us?



First we will travel to Frankfurt as we face Eintracht at the Commerzbank-Arena then we play a home game against Borussia Mönchengladbach who have been disappointing this season.

We then face HSV before playing our home game against Atletico Madrid in the first knockout round of the Champions League and we finish of the month against Hertha BSC, whom we certainly won't underestimate this time round.




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