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Vauxhall 2021 pre-season plus Confederations Cup

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Hello folks, I am officially back from my vacation in Greece! I’ve missed you guys a lot during the holiday but I did my best to stay away from computers, as I had promised. Now I’m back and it’s time to offer you a new update of the Vauxhall Motors FM 2011 story which also contains an interesting run with Argentina at the 2021 Confederations Cup.

But before moving on to what happened in the game let me offer you a taste of the place I have enjoyed in Greece. We spent the whole week in a small village on the island of Thassos, a lovely little place called Skala Potamias. The village has the beautiful Mount Ipsarion on one side…

… and the crystal-clear waters of the Aegean Sea on the other. It was exactly what I was looking for, a quiet and friendly place and I can tell you that I had a great time there.

But football was still on my mind, while lying on the beach I thought of a new tactic to employ in Football Manager 2011! As you can see from the picture below I used 11 pebbles to design the tactic, it’s something close to a 4-2-4. Obviously I was unable to test the tactic until my return but I did spend some time thinking about it.

And since I had a few games with Argentina before the new season with Vauxhall I used Messi and company as a testing ground for the new tactic which I have called “Johnny’s Bulldozer“. We were going to take part in the Confederations Cup with Argentina in June since we had won the latest Copa America but before the tournament we had another couple of World Cup qualifying games. Both went well as we beat Bolivia and Colombia quite convincingly using the new tactic.

Then I had to choose the 23-man squad for the Confederations Cup and I can tell you that I had a few tough decisions to make as a few more veterans were left out of the squad: Angel Di Maria, Ever Banega and Gonzalo Higuain. The other experienced players like Romero, Ustari, Burdisso, Otamendi, Messi or Higuain were probably going to see their last caps for the national team at the Confederations Cup, their age is taking its toll on their abilities…

The group stage started with an easy game against Saudi Arabia, we won it 2-0 but we didn’t really play too well. Then we played better against 2018 World Champions Denmark but we paid the price for our wasteful finishing as the Danes bagged the equaliser following a controversial penalty kick. The final match of the group stage was also the easiest, we dispatched New Zealand 4-0 but we could have scored quite a few more goals.

We won the group on goal difference while France cruised past their opponents in the other group. That meant we were going to face USA in the semi final while Denmark were going to meet France.

During the three group matches I made a few modifications to the new Bulldozer tactic so before the semi final I had “version 2” ready to be tested. The game proved that the new version was pretty good, we dominated the game quite convincingly, scored 4 goals, missed a penalty and seven clear cut chances!

The other semi final didn’t produce any surprises, France beat Denmark 3-0 so we were going to meet the 2020 European Champions in the final. Their line up was quite impressive with Sanogo upfront and a very strong midfield and defence. Our only absence was Messi, he was injured but I probably wouldn’t have sent him in the starting eleven anyway. Now you can see the new formation more clearly, it features a regular back four, two central midfielders, two wingers that play the role of inside forwards and two strikers.

The tactic still needs some further testing though so I will publish a download post when I will reach a satisfying version.

France vs Argentina (Confederations Cup Final)

Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground

Attendance: 94,984

Starting line up: Sergio Romero – Sergio Garcia, Nicolas Otamendi, Fabio Ortiz, Fernando Pereyra – Marcos Fernandez, Gustavo Iglesias –  Leandro Velasco, Juan Pablo Yavar – Sergio Araujo, Sergio Aguero

Team Talk: For the fans!

We started to push forward right away and the first good chance fell to central midfielder Iglesias but somehow he managed to miss the net from just seven yards. We continued to dominate the game and the reward came midway through the first half when a good acceleration from Araujo was finished off with a poignant low finish. There was no reply from France until the 37th minute when Sanogo took advantage of a huge mistake from Otamendi but couldn’t beat goalkeeper Romero. A few seconds later France had another chance on a corner kick but our goalie saved us once again. It was quite curious to see our opponents creating two clear cut chances in just a few minutes after being on the back foot for most of the first half.

Half time score: 0-1

Half time team talk: Pleased.

Half time substitutions: Javier Pastore for Fernandez, German Pacheco for Yavar, Rodrigo Gutierrez for Aguero

We got off to a bright start after the break too and we came very close to making it 2-0 after just a few minutes but substitute left winger Pacheco was denied by the upright. We continued to enjoy good possession but France were causing some problems on set pieces due to their superior height and strength. They hit the post in such a situation in the 65th minute while my players appeared quite tired. Sanogo was causing my defenders all sorts of problems but it wasn’t him who created the equaliser, the two French wingers created it and it was all square 11 minutes from time. We were no longer dominating the game, our opponents were determined to end the game before the 90th minute. Luckily we managed to catch them on a counter attack three minutes before the final whistle and substitute striker Gutierrez powered one in from the edge of the area! We won the Confederations Cup and the victory was even sweeter as France were definitely better if you compare the players one by one. The new tactic gave us very good possession but we seemed a bit shaky at the back as France managed to create four clear cut chances, two on set pieces and two during open play.

Full time team talk: Congratulations!

Man of the match: Sergio Araujo

Flop of the match: Javier Pastore

Video Highlights

Click here to watch the highlights.

Match Stats

Anyway, it’s another trophy to be added to the CV and a good rehearsal for the 2022 World Cup. However, I seriously doubt that we will win the World Cup since we’re going to meet a lot more tough opponents there like Spain, Italy, Brazil or even England. That’s all about Argentina, now let’s move to the next page to find out more about my pre-season with Vauxhall.

Go to the next page to read the rest of the story.

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10 years ago

congrats on confed cup win. that new tactic seems interesting hopefully it will lead you to another prem title.

10 years ago

Busy pre season there Johnny, what with the new tactic, Confederations Cup plus signings! The new tactic is very attacking and you will certainly score a lot of goals and as soon as the players become completely used to it I think you’ll destroy teams. Well done in the Confederations Cup, and you never know, you might win the World Cup :) The new signings are all young but already very good, and they will get even better too, another bonus :) Anyway, your squad looks strong, good luck for the season!

10 years ago

Hey Johnny
That was a lot of games for you, Confed Cup and friendlies. Your tactic looks very interesting, because it encourages attacking football and dominates possession. I am looking forward to seeing if it is a hit in the Prem.

10 years ago

Welcome back Johnny. Greece, maybe i’ll go there someday :) Good win in the Confed Cup even if you were a little lucky. Good signings too. Dont mind ’em bookers. Always making City the favourites. Prove them wrong again.

10 years ago

Hi Johnny
Welcome back from what looks like a stunning location in Thassos. Congrats on winning the Confederation Cup and your new tactic – love the name – is quite a departure from what we’ve seen before with an even more attacking element to it. Results so far are quite impressive. Excllent signings as usual and it’s very interesting to see the abundance of potential in your reserve side too. Good luck for the new campaign!

10 years ago

Glad to hear you enjoyed your holiday :)

Congrats on winning the Confederations Cup with Argentina,and you made some impressive acquisitions too. Intrigued by the new tactic and looking forward until you make it available for download, good luck :)

Sayam Khan
10 years ago

Welcome back Johnny!! Congrats on winning the confederations cup, I quiet like you Buldozer tactic, however it does seem a bit too attacking. Good pre-season with Vauxhall, although I do feel you may have slightly over spent on your RB, however if he turns out to be really good, then it won’t matter. Good Luck

Darren Smith
10 years ago

Well done on the new trophy mate, great victory and your new tactic seems to be working also. Those friendlies have proven promising and Argentina handled it well on a biggish stage also. I think the new signings are great and you do similar to myself in buying youth, sticking them on loan or in the reserves and selling them by 21-22 if they don’t reach enough potential. Hope the new season brings more silverware.

Nicholas Phipps
10 years ago

Nice results and congratulations on your cup win! Your new tactic is definitely very attacking and so it will be interesting to see how it works with Vauxhall. Nice signings btw and good to see you sticking with youth :)

Ana Garcia
10 years ago

Welcome back Johnny, Greece looks beautiful may consider going there on holiday next year. :)

Your new tactic looks interesting, its the same as I am using at Sporting but thats because I have the strongest team in the league so am interested to see how well it works for you.

Love your new Spainards! Hopefully they will both develop into world class palyers.

Good luck on your season!!

10 years ago

Hi Johnny,

First, congratulations on that confederations cup win. What a ambitious formation you will be using. It should suit the team and yours as you always opt for an attacking football. Another few future stars you have signed. Along with the reserves who are coming up the ranks, you are going to dominate for long, probably until FM12 arrive. Just wondering will you stick with the Motormen until that long?

10 years ago

Congratulations on the Confed cup win Johnny, by the way regarding your photo of the mountain, why does it look like someone took a bite out of it?

A bit sad to see Guilherme leave, but he did fetch a big fee, and the Ivory Coast new buy has potential to burn

Miguel Angel looks pretty nice, good at free kicks too, Thiago is quite a physical specimen

Only player in your squad above 26 is Danny Wilson :D

10 years ago

4-2-4 is my favourite base formation, I usually play it with a control strategy. Some good signings you’ve made there. Looking forward to the next post.

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