Season 5 Finale #Cliffhanger_FM

 

Last time out we left things with just three games left in the season. A win in our next game would see us crowned Prem’yer Liga champions. Six days later we take on CSKA Moscow in the final of the Kubok Rossii. Read on to find out how we did.

Continue reading “Season 5 Finale #Cliffhanger_FM”

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End of Season 5 – ‘Men at Arms’.

The last time we heard from General Chepiga, Georgia had fallen, and Russia had regained control over Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan had both since agreed to rejoin the Federation, but retain some degree of autonomy from the Kremlin, extending Russia’s influence back into Central Asia.

What Chepiga and Russia needed now, was access to ports, the Navy could no longer function holed up in the Black Sea, and in the small port of Kaliningrad. The Northern Fleet in the Arctic can only operate in summer, as bases are frozen for the rest of the year unless Climate Change gets its act together and sorts this out; Ruslan can but hope. In the meantime, it was time to expand into the Baltic states.

Europe was divided, the #Itexit and #Grexit movements were gathering pace. The US and Britain were no longer allies after a twitter exchange between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn, regarding Palestine, turned sour. Corbyn had already cancelled the Trident programme and ordered American bases in the UK be closed. Without the US/UK axis, NATO was significantly weakened. If Europe was to be invaded, now was the time.

The invasion of the Baltics did not take long, within 14 days The Red Army had annexed Estonia and Latvia, Lithuania defied the Russians for a further five days before succumbing during a massive offensive that later became known as, ‘the Baltic Terror’.

The Western allies sent forces to their NATO allies but not in the numbers required to adequately halt the Russian advance. Europe was becoming more insular, the desire to defend someone else’s borders had waned significantly.

By the third week, the US finally sent the USS America to the area, as it entered the Baltic Sea, the Kremlin declared any further incursion into Russian waters would be met with a pre-emptive nuclear attack on Stockholm (a clever move given Sweden was not part of NATO).  Belarus was also ordered to surrender, or a similar fate would be bestowed upon Minsk.

Ruslan was content that this phase of the mission was progressing well, life was good. That was until he received some shocking news coming out of Makhachkala.

Continue reading “End of Season 5 – ‘Men at Arms’.”

Scouting on Football Manager 19 – “Be prepared”

Most of you reading this will already have a system in place for how you scout players in Football Manager and uncover all those delicious wonderkids from far-flung places.

I thought I would write a small article on how some of my most recent transfer window went in Russia and discuss some of my approaches to scouting that I haven’t seen too much written about before.

First of all, most of you will have filters set up by position that focus on certain desirable attributes. I do this too but that is not what I wanted to talk about here. Instead, I wanted to talk about what I feel is a much-underused function Football Manager players have at their disposal. Continue reading “Scouting on Football Manager 19 – “Be prepared””

Season Four Pt 2 – Hard ‘Labour’

Ruslan’s hands were raw, not through hard labour, as his father suffered all those years ago, his hands were raw from writing. Sometimes the pencil is mightier than the sword he thought, a wry smile etched across his weathered face.

200,000 postal votes had been submitted by dead British citizens in constituencies identified by the Kremlin as key to the British election; May 2022. Ruslan was sure he’d filled in over half of these at his desk overlooking the Anzhi training ground. While some one-star potential youth graduates filled in the rest.

He sat up late into the night to watch the results coming in, Labour gain, after Labour gain. They’d done it, Corbyn was Prime Minister. Border polls in Scotland and Northern Ireland were now inevitable, adding to the instability and division across the European Union since the United Kingdom left last year. The European project was over, the continent divided, an ever stronger Russia loomed in the East; Europe could now be conquered.

Chepiga at a Corbyn rally sometime in 2017

Continue reading “Season Four Pt 2 – Hard ‘Labour’”

Season Four Pt 1 – Pursuing the European Adventure ©

Early July 2021, it has been almost 13 years since Russia last invaded Georgia and took military control of the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions. The time had come to finish the job, the reintegration of Georgia was the next phase of operation Yellow Hammer.
Continue reading “Season Four Pt 1 – Pursuing the European Adventure ©”

Evading the press and breaking the lines

One of the first two things I try and observe during a game are, where is the opposition’s defensive line, and secondly, how high up the pitch are they prepared to press.

Generally during the save teams have played with a relatively high defensive line against me, as Anzhi remains one of the lesser sides in the division, leaving plenty of space in behind for me to exploit.

I play a flat 4141 and, when I think about how I would want any side I managed to actually defend, this is the shape I imagine. In possession, however, the shape is very different due to the roles and duties selected, especially the midfield four. My left-midfielder(a) is instructed to cut inside with the ball and dribble more, as well as get further forward by default. I’ve added get further forward to my box to box midfielder while my mezzala(a) and winger(s) are vanilla. All four of these roles will attack space in front of them fairly aggressively. Having a standard defensive midfielder behind them offers me great security should we lose the ball in advanced areas. Continue reading “Evading the press and breaking the lines”

Something in the pipeline – the conclusion to Season 3

Ruslan always enjoyed his trips to Western Ukraine, he had been there many times before as a child, and during his adolescence. This trip was different though, he knew his actions would probably set in motion a series of events that he could neither fully predict, nor halt, once initiated. He was, however, sure this was the right thing to do for Russia, for his family, and for himself. He took a deep breath, and slowly disconnected the valve on the pipeline in front of him. Continue reading “Something in the pipeline – the conclusion to Season 3”