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Anzhi Makhachkala: The Start of Something Big???

Hey everyone! 

After a stressful few weeks of not being able to play FM12 due to ‘Steam’ problems…I’m finally able to bring you my Football Manager 2012 story. Before FM12 was released I ran a poll to let you the readers decide my FM12 fate and pick me a side to manage. A massive 188 people voted and with 64% of the votes….Anzhi Makhachkala was the team you wanted me to manage. 

Now because the problems I’m lagging behind as most people are already halfway through their first season of managing their new teams…this post is going to be HUGE!!! It will take you right up until the halfway stage of the season…which in the Russian Premier League is July… 

The Team – Anzhi Makhachkala (FC Anji) 

Now the background into the team is missing one key part…the chairman is MEGA rich, and with that he has given me an amazing transfer budget to try and aim for the place in a European Cup competition. 

Now let’s have a look at the Anzhi squad. 

As you can see the squad has some fantastic talent with unquestionably the best player being Samuel Eto’o.

 

Anzhi also have some fantastic talent in midfield with Yury Zhirkov, Balazs Dzsudzsak and Jucilei. 

 

Have looked at the squad…I soon realised that there wasn’t many Russian players within the squad and the ones that were weren’t amazing, but I thought how hard can adding a few more Russian players to my squad be with 23.5m? The answer…nearly impossible!!! With the ‘unrealistic transfers’ button selected, the extent of my challenge was clear to see….hardly any of the key Russian players were interested and after scouting the ones that were interested…the price tags that their clubs had slapped on that were ridiculous…just check out the screenshots… 

 

At first I thought the lack of good Russian players available was due to my poor Assistant, so he quickly departed. But no he wasn’t lying. My task to achieve a European Cup position just got a whole lot harder. So after seeing what was available to sign here are my transfers. 

Transfers

Yep, no Russian players entered the squad, now you might be thinking I’m crazing and you’d be absolutely right. the Russian Premier League has a rule that says ‘No more than 6 foreign players in the first 11’, and that means anymore who isn’t Russian or is a Russian citizen (I think) is foreign…and I’d just increased my foreign contingency. 

 

Jan Vertonghen is an absolute beast of a defender and will definitely strengthen my defence. I managed to fend off a lot of clubs and even Manchester City to sign this 24 year player. He’s quick for a Centreback and his strength is out of this world, He can also double up as a Defensive Midfielder if need be. 

 

Now the right midfield department is where I believed Anzhi were also weak, Mehdi Carcela can play there but he prefers the left side. Willian came into the squad and for 8.5m was a bargain compared to the Russian players that were available. I honestly believe after watching a few Russian Premier League games this season that he will destroy teams. With him oozing flair and creativity and brilliant speed…he’ll assist Eto’o consistently. 

Friendlies 

Like I did with my Club Brugge save…I wasn’t too sure how good the team actually was so…I decided to arrange as many friendlies against teams in my league as I could. 

Now the first two friendlies sadly weren’t against Russian Premier League opponents…but were nice victories. But after them it went all confusing. Terek Grozny and Krasnodar were in my eyes easier opponents then Dinamo Moscow, so I have absolutely no idea still for decent this Anzhi team was. But it now time for the Start of the Russian Premier League season, so grab and drink and lets go… 

March 

We kicked off our season against Rostov and we began with a 3-1 victory, Diego Tardelli, Yury Zhirkov and an own goal from there keeper gave us the 3 points. We then travelled to current champions Zenit and found ourselves 1-0 up, but in the 96th minute Zenit equalized and shared the points, 1-1. 

 

April 

Our first opponents of April were Krasnodar, the team we’d drawn 1-1 with so I was a tad nervous. But we were out of sight in no time Yury Zhirkov grabbing a surprise hat-trick and Diego Tardelli getting the forth, Krasnodar did manage to get a late goal, 4-1 was the final score. We then hosted Volga NN a newly promoted team and I expected us to win comfortably, it didn’t happen we drew 2-2, Willian and Samuel Eto’o on his return from injury. We then entertained Spartak Moscow and in a very close game, Moscow edged it and came away with a 1-0 victory, our first loss of the season. We then travelled to Moscow to play against Dinamo looking to avenge our previous defeat, we did so Eto’o and Zhirkov scoring as we ran out 2-0 winners. After that we then hosted Locomotiv Moscow (Yep 3 Moscow team in 3 matches) in a match which we dominated from start to finish, Zhirkov, Vertonghen and Jucilei on the scoresheet, 3-0 the final score. 

May 

May saw us on the road a lot and it started with a trip to Tom Tomsk, we absolutely battered them, coming away with a 4-0 win, goals coming from Eto’o, Igonin, Jucilei and yet again Yury Zhirkov. Our next away match was Rubin Kazan, I was expecting a very difficult tie but that didn’t turn out to be the case, we were 4-0 up at halftime…I couldn’t believe it! Dzsudzsak, Eto’o (2) and Willian with the goals, Zhirkov again, made it 5-0 but Rubin managed to get a goal back, 5-1 the score. We hosted Amkar Perm in our final match of May and again we dished out a big win 4-1 the score, Dzsudzsak, Eto’o, Willian and Jucieli all on the scoresheet. 

 

June 

Our first match of June was away to struggling Krylja Sovetov, I expected a win, and a humilitation to the other team is was Anzhi responded with 6-0, Willian started the scoring and was quickly followed by a hat-trick from my defensive midfielder Alexey Igonin and further strikes from Jucilei and Zhirkov, the only disappointment in the match was the injury to Samuel Eto’o. Without Eto’o I was a little nervous but my nerves quickly went when replacement striker Diego Tardelli opened the scoring and super winger Zhirkov added soon after. Further goals came from Ali Gadjibekov and Igonin and the match finished 4-1.June ended with a trip to CSKA Moscow, they were currently sat top of the table and looking very good. It started out very even and looked to be heading for a 0-0 halftime scoreline, until Ali Gadjibekov scored with the last attack of the half. CSKA didn’t like that and pressed from the off in the second half. We were hanging on but CSKA scored in the 89th minute, I was gutted…be then before I knew it, a long ball forward and Diego Tardelli was through one-on-one with the CSKA keeper, rounded him and slotted the ball home…we’d scored in injury time and had won 2-1. 

July 

Our last two matches before the halfway stage were against Terek Grozny and Spartak Nalchik. It was the star of the previous match Diego Tardelli who got us the win against Terek with a hat-trick, 3-1 the score and it was Spartak Nalchik who beat themselves, an own goal won us the game 1-0. 

 

I was absolutely stunned by own performances, I never in a million years expected us to win 12 out of 15 games and end up going 10 games unbeaten. We had to be at the top of the league with results like that surely… 

League Table 

We were but only by 4 points and CSKA Moscow had a game in hand. I really did think we would have struggled this season, especially with the lack of Russian players, but the ones I did have hadn’t picked up any serious injuries and *touch wood* wont for the rest of the season. Also a very interesting fact is that every game this season I have had to play with only 6 subs, the reason is because of another Russian Premier League Rule…’The match squad must have at least 1 Russian under-21 player’. That I don’t have and in real life apparently teams get fined for this. I could just put one of my u19 players in but…they are terrible and don’t even deserve a place on my bench…horrible aint I lol. 

Anzhi Player and Premier League Stats 

 

I thought I’d share some of the league information with you. There a couple of funny thing on the list, my goalkeeper having a pass completion of 87% and also Yury Zhirkov being 2nd top goal scorer. 

Well that’s it for this post, thank you for reading I know its been massive and your comments are always welcome. If you want any screenshot and have any questions, I’ll answer the questions and post the screenshot in the next post. 

Thanks again 

Martin Pickard :)

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Sears
10 years ago

Have been really looking forward to this story so great to see it up and running :) When I managed in Russia, I found it difficult as well to purchase homegrown talent. However, it should be much easier next season as your well on your way to winning the title and qualifying for the CL so best of luck mate and good to see you back :)

vaibhavc
vaibhavc
10 years ago

Well done so far Pickard, you are doing very well so far. Only one loss makes sure that you have top spot. Hopefully you can hold that position. Are there 30 games in the season?

Johnny Karp
10 years ago

Awesome job so far Martin, the multi-million dollar squad is paying off but they never could have gone this far without a very talented manager ;)

nielsneutron
nielsneutron
10 years ago

Hehe I would picked a U19 player but thats just me. Great run but CSKA is just behind you;)

Darren Smith
Admin
10 years ago

Very, very good signings mate…William is an incredible player and that price tag is soo low considering the standard and age of the player. Your start exceeds your signings though, a really great start that makes winning the league look very realistic.

Laxeyman
Laxeyman
10 years ago

Fantastic start Martin, you bought well in pre season, as both Vertonghen and Willian are very good players, and that’s certainly paying dividends at the moment. Hopefully you can keep it up and win the league, good luck!

Lye
Lye
10 years ago

Hi Martin,

Great run of results there. When there is rule, it just make our jobs more difficult but no doubt you have done an excellent job in the league. You have a fantastic squad and are the favorites to lift the title now. Keep it going.

Calin
10 years ago

Wow, you’re really dominating the league and you have some great players at your disposal, so doing really great! But what’s happening with Eto’o? I didn’t see him in the top scorers list? Is he performing well or not?

tom
tom
10 years ago

good story…makes me want to start a game as them…

the restrictions are unusual…but it just makes the game more fun and realistic…

Dominating the average ratings chart….

i also found that my goalkeeper has the highest pass ratio in the league at the end of the first season…must be playing an outrageous amount of short balls to my full backs….

Calum
Calum
10 years ago

I’ve just finished my first season with Anji, I came top by 12 points with a total of 105 points! Etoo bagged 40 goals in 31 games. I got Pavlyuchenko for 5 million in the second transfer window and he’s been bagging them in also. Swapped Jucilue for Sigurdsson which has been a revelation.
The League is 44 games…. the initial 30 and then is splits of into a championship group, where the top 8 teams play each other twice and a relegation group where the bottom 8 teams play each other.

George Dobson
George Dobson
10 years ago

well done so far good luck for the rest of the season

Pedro CostaSCP
Pedro CostaSCP
10 years ago

I know it’s a hard transfer but you should try getting Danny from Zenit. I’m guessing money isn’t an issue and besides the fact that he is a very good player and can play both wings and center he has russian nationality which should help you both on the league and in europe next season. Vagner Love tends to be unhappy by november first season because Doumbia is a beast and he too has russian nationality. And you should also try Andreas Beck from Hoffenheim. Another player with russian nationality and good full/wing back both right and left sides. Great story by the way. Hope your injured players get back on their feet quick.

Kevin
10 years ago

Hi Martin
Your team’s name is a heck of a mouthful so good luck with that :)
Aside from that great start to your FM 2012 career and with those results I see you be Champions at the end of the season.

CsAtlantis
10 years ago

Great start there, if you can keep up your form you can definitely win the league

Might be hard to buy from the same league as they will be unwilling to sell to a rival, maybe try to see if you can get Arshavin, Bilyaletdinov, Pogrebnyak or Pavlyuchenko

Eto’o has had some bad luck with injuries, luckily Tardelli is a very capable deputy!

Good luck Martin

Zeb_McCubin
Zeb_McCubin
10 years ago

I also have a games as Anji, am winnig the league by 9 points with 10 games left :)

Lee O'Connor
Lee O'Connor
10 years ago

Great story Martin can i ask what formation you play?

fmcrazy
fmcrazy
10 years ago

Hey martin awesome start you’ve made to the season!! i’m also managing anzhi and am pretty annoyed by the league rules for “maximum number of foreign players to 6”. As you said most of my recruits are not russian!!!! the russians in the team are average, not that great i think, and as u said most of the russian players don’t wanna sign for anzhi!! well doesn’t matter next season everyone will wanna come i think lol

Diarmuid
Diarmuid
10 years ago

Great start :)
Just wondering where did you get the russian logos?

Pedro CostaSCP
Pedro CostaSCP
10 years ago

Just one question, who did you get for assistant manager? I’m having a hard time hiring anyone good for a team like Anzhi.

jaima
jaima
10 years ago

well played so far, big victory margins, the russian league rules are a problem and none of the big name russians want to join in the first year, keep trying in the second year and maybe bring in some big name players, good luck!

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