The biggest news of the second season of Master league with SV Darmstadt 98 is that I’ve reached the Champions League final. There were also two major disappointments. First one being finishing 2nd in Bundesliga again, having only 1 point more than in the first season. Second one comes next…
I had a very hard draw – Real Madrid, Man Utd and PSV. I came out 2nd behind Real (barely), having beaten Man Utd 3-0 on the way, which paved me the way to the final 16. I managed to draw one game against Real and would have no trouble ensuring the 2nd place if I didn’t lose unexpectedly against PSV at home. But, luckily, other results were going in my favour as Real demolished everyone and I came out second with 2 wins, 1 draw and 3 defeats!
In the top 16 I’ve met with Sporting and won both games. In quarter finals, Napoli. First match, in Darmstadt, finished 3-2 in my favour. I wasn’t happy to concede 2 goals at home. Second match began badly and I was 1-0 down till late in the 2nd half. Then I managed to grab an equilizer and when Napoli went with all their strength in search of the second goal which would throw me out, I counter attacked them and won 2-1.
Semifinals brought me Barcelona and I thought my lucky streak was going to end there. But it didn’t. I played them as I play Bayern, with a 5-man defence and it was that tactics which won me the game. They only had 1 strike during the whole Nou Camp game and I scored from a counter attack to win 1-0. But, again, the 2nd game started badly for me, as Barcelona scored very early. And no other player then some guy with 68 OR who was, for some reason, playing insted of Suarez. If they were to score one more, I thought I would be done. And I thought it was iminent that they will score. But, I managed to resist and finally equalized in the second half. With 1-1, ‘David’ SV Darmstadt 08 managed to grab the place in the final against ‘Goliath’ – PSG.
Final game at San Siro
The final game started great for me after a 16-year old Malouda scored a beautiful header after this seasons signing, Janamat (who plays as a RB for me), crossed the ball. But, not long after, resourceful Ibrahimović scored from a crammed box. PSG’s defence didn’t count on Schieber, who replaced Gomez as my first choice centre attacker (his OR is 76). He went for a solo run and with the help of few fake shots that confused the defenders, managed to score. 2-1 for Darmstadt, I was estatic. And then the 88th minute. PSG had the attack in my box which I failed to clear properly. Insted of clearing the ball with LB+B, I pressed only B and crossed for PSG’s attacker to score an easy header. Devastating! Then, an extra time. Corner for PSG. I unnecessarely pressed Y for my goalkeeper Fabiano to come forward, David Luiz headed the ball towards the empty net. And then almost a miracle happened, my left back Rausch did a miracolous acrobatic save from the line!
Unfortunately, straight back to Luiz’s head who had no trouble scoring. And that was it – PSG won 3-2.
Too bad, but I have to say I never expected to come so far with this team. I’m sorry not to have recorded PSG’s goals, I was too disappointed (it is NOT ONLY A GAME!!!).
Unfortunately, my league campaign wasn’t nearly as successfull as the CL one. I brought two players to take first team places – Janmaat and Zuculini. First part of the season wasn’t bad, in one moment I was only 1 point behind Bayern, after beating them. But, then everything went downhill. After I realized my football is very bad and even in wins my game flow wasn’t good, I decided to change my tactics and put a regen Malouda (who I’ve just signed from my youth team) on the left wing. I didn’t have right winger so I played with two attacking midfielders and one winger. My dream of having a team which can be superior without wingers went down the drain. But hey, a man’s gotta adapt. Even changing the tactics didn’t improve my results much, but to be honest I wasn’t too motivated for the last few games in Bundesliga because I was sure to finish 2nd and had no chance of capturing Bayern and I was concentrated on CL.
I played Bayern in Supercup at the beginning of the season and won the game. That’s my first trophy with Darmstadt, but I don’t put much weight to it.
Köln threw me out in quarter finals after my dreadful defending, where I lost 4-3.
What do I expect in the next season?
I have to improve my defence, especially in Bundesliga. I will have to find a long term solution for a central attacker (maybe someone from a youth team), I’m not sure Schieber will develop any more than his current 76 OR (he’s 28). I will also have to sell some of the players that didn’t play almost at all this season. I have some interesting tactical ideas in mind, one being playing with a libero. That should be interesting to try…