Yokohama F Marinos: A Brief History


Yokohama F. Marinos  is a Japanese association football team that participates in the fully professional J. League Division 1; the top Japanese professional football league. Having won the J-League title three times and finished second twice, they are one of the most successful J-League clubs. The team is based in Yokohama and were founded as the company team of Nissan Motors. The club was formed by the merger of Yokohama Marinos and Yokohama Flügels in 1999. The current name is intended to reflect both Marinos and Flügels. The team name Marinos means “sailors” in Spanish. Yokohama F. Marinos are the longest-serving team in the top flight of Japanese football having played at the top-level since 1982, also making them one of only four teams to have competed in Japan’s top flight of football every year since its inception.

In 1972, the team started as the Nissan Motors F.C. based in Yokohama, and were promoted to the Japan Soccer League Division 2 in 1976. They took necessary steps like building a friendly relationship with local high schools and universities and starting junior teams for school kids to be a winning team. Under the first paid or professional team manager in Japan Shu Kamo, the team won championships in 1988 and 1989 as well as the JSL Cup and Emperor’s Cup winning all three major tournaments in Japan at that time.
In 1991, it was one of the founding members of the J.League. In 1998, after losing one of their primary sponsors, it was announced that crosstown rivals Yokohama Flügels would merge with Marinos. Since then, an F was added to the name to represent the Flügels half of the club. Many Flügels fans rejected the merger, rather believing their club to have been dissolved into Marinos. As a result, they refused to follow F. Marinos and instead created Yokohama FC, F. Marinos’ new crosstown rivals.
Yokohama F. Marinos won the Emperor’s Cup on New Years Day 2014, their first in twenty-one years. On 20 May 2014, it was announced that City Football Group, the holding company of Manchester City F.C., had invested in a minority share of Yokohama F. Marinos, creating a partnership with both the football club and car manufacturer Nissan.[1] The investment is designed to offer an integrated approach to football, marketing, media, commercial, training and medical care consistent with other City Football Group investments such as Manchester City F.C., Melbourne City FC and the New York City FC. City Football Group holds 20 percent of Yokohama F. Marinos’ but through the establishment of a Japan-based subsidiary may seek to eventually own a controlling stake in the club

The team’s home stadiums are Nissan Stadium, otherwise known as International Stadium Yokohama (72,327), and Mitsuzawa Stadium.

In closing, the club has a rich history which I hope to continue. So far, things are going well and I couldn’t be happier. At some point I may go back to managing a European club but I am enjoying being a journeyman manager.





Al Ahly Sporting Club: Club History

Al Ahly (The National) Sporting Club is an Egyptian professional football club based in Cairo. Al-Ahly is one of Africa’s most successful and best-supported football clubs. The team is nicknamed the “Red Devils” for its red jerseys. In  2000 the Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) awarded Al-Ahly the title of African Club of the Century.

Al-Ahly was founded by Omar Lotfi  in 1907 as a sports club for Egyptian  students. At the time Egypt was occupied by British forces at the time, and an Englishman, Mitchel Ince, was the club’s first president. The club took part in local and regional competitions, including the Sultan Hussein Cup, which was contested from 1917 until 1938. Al-Ahly won that competition seven times.

Al-Ahly uses Cairo International Stadium, which seats more than 74,000 spectators. The club shares the stadium with Zamalek SC. Games between the two sides are often extremely tense and watched by football fans from all over Egypt. So intense would be the pressure on Egyptian referees that foreign referees are brought in to officiate these matches.

The Egyptian League (now called the Egyptian Premier League) began in the 1948–49 season, and Al-Ahly won the league’s first title. It would not lose a league championship until 1960, when Al-Ahly’s fiercest rival, Zamalek SC, won its own first league title. In total, Al-Ahly has won 37 Egyptian league championships, including eight in a row beginning with the 2004–05 season. It has also won the Egypt Cup 35 times and the Egyptian Super Cup  (started in 2001 and played between the winners of the Egyptian Presentation Premier League and the winners of the Egypt Cup) a record six times. Al-Ahly won its first African Champions League in 1982 and has won that competition six additional times.

2005 was a unique season in Ahly’s illustrious history. The team would set an unprecedented record of going an entire season being unbeaten in almost all possible competitions. 46 matches were played in the Egyptian Premier League, Egyptian Cup, Egyptian Super Cup and CAF Champions League, with The Red Devils remaining unbeaten in all of them (as well as winning 5 from all 6 trophies).


Total Number of Trophies: 132 (Record) .


  • FIFA Club World Cup
    • Third place (1):  2006
  • Afro-Asian Club Championship
    • Winners (1): 1988


  • African Cup of Champions Clubs / CAF Champions League
    • Winners (8): 1982, 1987,  2001,  2005, 2006, 2008,  2012,  2013 (record)
    • Runners-up (2):1983, 2007
  • African Cup Winners’ Cup
    • Winners (4):1984, 1985, 1986, 1993 (record)
  • CAF Confederation Cup:
    • Winners (1):  2014
  • CAF Super Cup
    • Winners: (6) 2002, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013, 2014. (record)
    • Runners up: (2) 1994, 2015.


  • Arab Champions League
    • Winners: (1) 1996
    • Runners-up: (1) 1997
  • Arab Cup Winners’ Cup
    • Winners: (1) 1994
  • Arab Super Cup
    • Winners: (2) 1997, 1998


  • Egyptian Premier League
    • Winners: (38) 1948–49, 1949–50, 1950–51, 1952–53, 1953–54, 1955–56, 1956–57, 1957–58, 1958–59, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1988–89, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–00, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2013–14, 2015–16 (record)
    • Runners up: (11) 1966–67, 1977–78, 1983–84, 1987–88, 1990–91, 1992–93, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2014–15
  • Egypt Cup (33 solo titles and 2 titles in conjunction with Zamalek SC in 1943 and 1958)
    • Winners: (35) 1924, 1925, 1927, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1937, 1940, 1942, 1943, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1966, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007 (record)
    • Runners up: (15) 1926, 1932, 1933, 1935, 1938, 1944, 1952, 1959, 1973, 1976, 1997, 2004, 2010, 2015, 2016
  • Egyptian Super Cup
    • Winners: (9) 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015 (record)
    • Runners up: (1) 2009
  • Cairo League
    • Winners: (16) 1924–25, 1926–27, 1927–28, 1928–29, 1930–31, 1932–33, 1933–34, 1934–35, 1935–36, 1936–37, 1937–38, 1938–39, 1941–42, 1947–48, 1949–50, 1957–58 (record)
  • United Arab Republic Cup
    • Winners: (1) 1961 (record)
  • Egyptian Federation Cup
    • Winners: (1) 1989 (Shared record)
  • Sultan Hussein Cup
    • Winners: (7) 1922–23, 1924–25, 1925–26, 1926–27, 1928–29, 1930–31, 1937–38 (record)

In February 2012 Al-Ahly’s passionate fans  (Ultras Ahlawy) were at the center of one of the deadliest disasters in football history. Immediately following a 3–1 loss to the  Al-Masry club in Port Said, Al-Masry fans stormed the pitch and opposing stands; 74 people died in the attack and subsequent rush to the stadium exits. Many suspected that the attack was organized and politically motivated, as it took place nearly one year after a notable clash during the Egypt uprising of 2011—a number of  Ultras Ahlawy had been prominent protesters in Tahrir Square against the Hosni Mubarak’s regime—and many of the Al-Masry fans were armed with weapons (including knives, swords, and clubs). As a result of the riot, the remainder of the 2011–12 Egyptian Presentation Premier League season was cancelled.

Despite that tragic incident Al Ahly’s faithful supporters bounced back in 2013-2014 to honor those that died in Port Said.  Mohamed Aboutrika also known as the Magician led them to an unprecedented eighth African Champions League title and fifth Egyptian Super Cup.  

To say the least Al Ahly is a great club with a rich history and I am glad that I decided to explore uncharted territory in the world of virtual football management. 



Foggia to Lazio to Sporting Club de Portugal

What’s good FM community?!

Its been a while since my last post. A lot has gone down since then: I took on a new Challenge with third tier Italian side Unione Sportiva Foggia: My fist season in charge we won the TR3Ble: Lega Pro Group C, Serie C Cup, Serie C Super Cup and Coppa Italia Runner up.  Foggia earned automatic promotion to the Serie B and almost got promoted to the Serie A but lost to Carpi in the playoff 6-4 on aggregate. In season three things got off to a slow start and I began to notice that the club and I did not share the same ambition so during the January transfer window I decided that this would be my  last season. Then no sooner SS Lazio contacted me to offer me an interview for the manager’s position since Laurent Blanc was sacked due to poor results.  The interview went well so well that I was hired and I took some of my backroom staff with me because they were responsible for my successes at Foggia and besides they are a loyal bunch of ex-footballers.

If there was ever a time that I regretted a decision I made this was the time. Lazio was a disaster! First, there was no transfer budget. That’s right, nil, zip, zilch nothing. Next they were the biggest bunch of wage bandits; a real Jeckyll and Hyde lot. I didn’t know which  side was going to show up on match day. To make a long story short I spoke to my friend Michael Skidmore (@totalfootball71), his suggestion was to get out of there fast. That was all I needed to hear, so I started a brand new and current save with Sporting Club de Portugal. I needed to rebound from the psychodrama in Rome, and Portugal is the perfect place to recover!

In the coming days I will post a more in depth piece on Sporting Club but I want to leave you with an inspirational video.


The Return To Glory: Winter Update

It’s exciting times at the Veltins-Arena. Currently we sit atop of the Bundesliga undefeated  with a five point lead over the Bavarian mega club, Bayern Munchen. We have the second best defensive record in the Bundesliga conceding 10 goals ; 2 Europa League; and 0 in the DFB Pokal. I am happy with our defense and that they have turned our ground into a fortress. Therefore, we can build a foundation of positional play based on having a rock solid back four of hard-working defenders. I don’t want to bore you with restating my philosophy because if you follow me you already know who and what inspires me, as well as who are my FM confidants (@totalfootball71 and @sasfm21)–so I will use our time together to present the Bundesliga table, players, formations, fixtures, results, and highlights. I’d rather let you judge for yourself if we’re on the right track.


Bundesliga Table


First Team

Left Fullbacks




Right Fullbacks




Attacking Midfielders




Keepers r




Bielsa’s 4-2-3-1/4-1-1-3-1





German Cup


Europa League europa


Schalke04  2 | Dortmund 1

Hoffenheim 3 | Shalke04 4


As you can see we’re in a good position to qualify for continental football and possibly win the Bundesliga. I’m fortunate to have at my disposal a group of committed players that are playing to return the club to glory.  Thanks for reading and I am always happy to hear your comments and feedback.




Tottenham Win The #TR3BLE


TR3BLE Winning Season

I am flying high after completing a #TR3BLE with the boys from White Hart Lane. I am sure Bill Nicholson is proud of our achievements this season. All of this was possible because we were consistent in the style  (see below)  we played and bringing in Chancel Mbemba in the January transfer window.

Juego de Pochettino 4-2-3-1

We not only exceeded our expectations–we bested Bill Nick’s double-winning season of 1961. These are monumental achievements and I am glad to bring three coveted trophies to the White Hart Lane. I won’t bore you with going over every single match but I will add fixture results across four competitions (Premier League, English Football League, Champions League, ad English FA Cup)  various highlights from this fairytale season.



Premier League
English Football League
UEFA Champions League
FA Cup



Chelsea 0 | Tottenham 6

Burnley 0 | Tottenham 6

Oh When The Spurs…


Thanks for reading and be on the look out for Season 2: The Glory of Juego de Pochettino


The North (London) Star Shines Bright Over White Hart Lane

Things a looking good over at White Hart Lane. We had a great preseason and a great start to the Premiere League season. This season marks our return to the Champions League after a six year absence from the Europe’s elite club tournament. Spurs last outing in the Champions League was under Harry Redknapp in 2010. My hope is that we give a good showing and gain lots of experience from playing against Europe’s best.

The squad is pretty much the same, except for a few additions in the attacking and defensive departments:


Vincent Jansen, Complete Forward

Georges Kevin-Nkoudou-Inside Forward

Moussa Sisoko-Winger


Victor Wanyama, Ball Winning Midfielder

Terence Kongolo, Ball Playing Defender

Jordan Spence, Central Defender


Timo Horn, Sweeper Keeper

Pau Lopez, Goalkeeper (on loan from Espanyol)

The purpose of this post is to give the community a quick update of my work at White Hart Lane thus far. I  leave you with our current standing in the league, our current form and short video of our match against our one our biggest rivals, Chelsea FC.  Congrats to Moussa Sissoko for his four goal return to grab the Man of The Match award.








Les Parisiens Season 1: Implementing The New System [Juego de Posicion] At The Parc des Princes.

We’ve just about reached the half point of my first season with PSG, and its been loads of fun implementing the new system at the club. This piece will focus on the system that I think is the closest to emulating juego de posicion (JdP) as expressed by Josep “Pep” Guardiola and Mauricio Roberto Pochettino. I’ve heard folks say that JdP can’t be emulated on FM17 because the system is too complex, I disagree with that because in some form or another each of us has played a variation of JdP whether we were aware of it or not (I can hear hipster analysts across the globe moaning that JdP isn’t that simple).

For the remainder of  this piece I will:

  1. Outline team  training methods;
  2. I will discuss the purpose and rationale for choosing these methods;
  3. Further, I will discuss 4-2-3-1;
  4. Lastly, I will present match results and statistics .

Team Training: General Training, Match Preparation, and Training Focus. 

I stated earlier my attempt to create a JdP tactic that is a synthesis of training methodologies used by  Guardiola and Pochettino. Therefore,  I will be discussing general training, match preparation, and training focus.

General Training



It is well-known that Pochettino played for Marcelo ‘El Loco’ Bielsa at New Old Boys and the Argentinian National Team. When Pochettino stepped into football management  he would employ some of the tactics he learned as a player for Bielsa. Since we play at a high tempo and involved in multiple competitions this season my primary concern is players’ fitness. During the season I’ll lighten the workload, yet still be unrelenting in my pursuit of fitness. In a nutshell, my sides attack their opponents which also means they press relentlessly too. Therefore,  I need players that can play at high tempo for 90 minutes;  high works rate, stamina, and strength are important qualities players need or be willing to work towards obtaining them.

Match Preparation:

Defensive Positioning

Bielsa’s teams are very aggressive. They don’t let you breathe…Seven arrive in the penalty area, they lose the ball and 11 defend. Their games are all up and back, up and back, without stopping.”

Pep Guardiola


The most obvious characteristic of any Guardiola and Pochettino team is its work rate and concentration of numbers without the ball, but it’s not just about full-out pressure. It’s about creating favorable match-ups to win the ball back as quickly and as high up the field as possible. It’s about intelligent positioning as much as the work rate: midfielders match up one-on-one, leaving no easy outlet to forwards. Opponents will not find time to build out of the back or connect simple passes through the pressure, instead having to hoof clearances that Les Parisiens can latch onto more easily.


Training Focus:

Ball Control


It is no secret that ball control is a major part of  Guardiola’s training. Therefore, the Rondo is training exercise  in which the group who is possession has a numerical advantage.  Rondo can be as little as 3 v 1 to 10 v 2 over another group of players. The objective of the group in possession is to keep the ball away from the defenders, while the defenders objective is to win the ball.

Rondos develop players in the following ways:

  1. Decision Making & Number of Touches: Players need to think very quickly in rondo as the ball can move very fast.  Being a step ahead and having good vision is required to maintain possession.
  2. Technique, Mobility & Agility: In order to keep possession the players must have a good level of technical ability.   That includes being balanced, mobile, quick, agile, technical and making quick decisions.
  3. Teamwork and Collective Understanding:  Rondo is not an individual game.  It requires teamwork to possess the ball.  It also requires teamwork of the defending players to win the ball back.
  4. Problem Solving & Creativity:   Rondo tests the player’s ability to problem solve the entire time.Being creative can often help break down a defense.
  5. Competition: Competition pushes players to train at higher intensities and elevate their game.

Attacking Movement

PSG can also build out of the back. The double pivot of Blaise Matuidi and Marco Veratti  controls the middle of the field effectively, and sweeper-keepers James Trapp/Guillerhmo Sara are comfortable playing passes of all lengths and difficulties from the very back. From our  4-2-3-1 starting point, PSG usually builds out in a 2-3-1-3-1 shape, with Veratti/Motta dropping just ahead of the center backs. The wing-backs Kurzawa and Aurier advance, and the two creative midfield players fill in gaps between the three forward-most players.

Match Statistics

PSG 3 : Nice 1


Champion League PSG 2 : Shakhtar 2



Montepellier 0 : PSG 4



PSG 3 : Nice 1



Position without the ball

Compactness without the ball, high up the pitch in the opponents half

Average Position

PSG’s average position throughout the match

Heat Map

Heat map: PSG spent a majority of the match in Nice’s half.


First goal Lucas Moura assisted by Kurzawa (lwb)
2nd goal Edison Cavani assisted by Aurier (rwb)


3rd goal Matuidi assisted by Lucas.



As you can see JdP is alive and well at the Parc des Princes. I worked on this tactic for about 6 months and it boils down to the team  and individual training. I oversee match training and I leave individual training to my assistant manager, Ryan Giggs. Overall, I am happy with the way things are moving along. If you have any questions about training and training instructions feel free to reach out.  Cheers.


Les Parisiens lure American Guardiola to the Parc des Princes.

Hey all, it’s been a while since my last post and lots has changed since then. Earlier this week I announced to the community that I would be taking on a new challenge managing  Ligue 1 juggernauts Paris St. Germain. A few members of the community jokingly gave me some schtick about the club but for the most part I’ve gotten a lot of support. To be honest, I am very excited about this save because I’ve been to a PSG match at the Parc des Princes so there’s a bit of nostalgia on my part–also my 10-year-old daughter is massive PSG supporter and she asked why haven’t I managed her favorite club. So there’s a bit of outside influence too. I don’t want to bore you with my rambling, so, I will outline what I’m hoping to cover since taking over the managerial role:

  1. Players
  2. Formation
  3. Pre-season

I tend to alternate between three-at-the-back and four-at-the-back depending on the players at my disposal. I decided for this save that I am going with a sweeper-keepers, Kevin Trapp and Guillerhmo Sara (€1.5m); flat-back four–attacking fullbacks, Maxwell (inj), Aurier (inj), Kurzawa, Issiaga Sylla (€3.5m), Thomas Meunier; ball-playing-defenders, Thiago Silva, Presnel Kimpembe, and Marquinhos; central midfielders, Blaise Matuidi, Marco Veratti, and Thiago Motta, Adrien Rabiot. They are the backbone of our defense and major part of the build-up in our attack.  Attacking players, Angel DiMaria, Ben Arfa, Jese Rodriguez, Dries Merten (€20.5m), Javier Pastore, Simon Kalou (€6.5m), Lucas Moura.


You can gather from this list of players that I have a highly skilled group of players that money can buy, no pun intended. Anyway, I’m excited to bring Juego de Posicion to the Parc des Princes. For that to be possible I decided on three formations  The Disciple (4-2-4), The French X-Mas Tree (4-3-2-1), Les Parisien (4-3-3). And on occasion, I will use my friend Gustaf’s @sasfm21 tactic ‘The Gustaf.’ My friend, Michael Skidmore @totalfootball71,  mentioned the tactic in his post, The Garibaldi Reds 1.1. Similar to Michael, I will not be revealing any details about the tactic until Gustaf completes his product. Even though the Gustaf is still in the early stages of development it is one helluva tactic and once its complete it’ll change the face of the Football Manager tactics.




Transfer: Players

We had a very quiet transfer window, I was given €62m to spend, and I spent €42m in the transfer window–a large chunk of the transfer budget was spent on Dries Merton.  The Merton purchase was planning for the future when Edison “El Matador” Cavani decides he wants to try his fortunes elsewhere. Below are the screenshots of the players brought in during the summer transfer window: Dries Merton, Guillermo Sara , Assuage Sylla, and Salomon Kalou.mertonsarasyllakalou

Staff: Assistant Manager

As a rule I don’t make major changes in the first year, but I thought it would be a good idea to bring in someone I respected and admired. So in comes my right hand, Ryan Giggs. The Welsh man had a great career as a footballer, and having spent two years under the tutelage of Louis van Gaal, Giggsy jumped at the opportunity to work in France.



Below are our preseason results, plus our triumph in the Tróphee des Champions over Olympique Lyonnais. It is nice to start my Ligue 1 campaign with a trophy, it has been a while so its a nice boost to of confidence for the players and myself.


In closing, I want to reiterate that I am looking forward to see how this save unfolds. So I will leave you with this video of my favorite player on PSG.

Happy Holidays!


The Empoli FC Project: Juego de Posicion

Empoli FC?! Why Empoli? What’s your connection to Empoli FC? To be honest, I don’t have a real connection to the club, except, that I love football and they’re a football club that  dazzled Europe last season.  I hope this is a sufficient reason for taking on this project that I am calling “The Empoli FC Project.”

Plans for Empoli FC

My plans for this save are:  (1)stabilize the club’s finances; (2) avoid unnecessary spending; (3) play possession based football; (4) sign and develop young players for the first team , (5)build on last year achievement.


Empoli’s budget is 375K in wages and 1.1.m transfer budget. The transfer budget would have been double but I had to reallocate the transfer money to cover the wage bill. Managing finances is still new to me so I’ll describe it as an ongoing work-in-progress.  Year two is when I’ll implement changes within the club. For exampe, I will sell or release players better suited for the lower leagues of Italian football. Then, I will reassess players returning from season long loans and determine if they are ready for first team football.

I will buy players strengthen areas we are lacking depth, and the player should have loads of potential and challenge for a spot in the first team. Similar to  members in the FM community I’ve been guilty of buying players for no apparent reason other than I had the funds to do so. There will be no unnecessary spending in the transfer market. I will reinvest the proceeds from transfers into player and staff development. I want excellence from everyone at each level of the club.

Possession-Based Football

I’m amazed that the board agreed to my philosophy, play possession based football. Italy and the Serie A are home to some the most technically gifted players are in Europe so a possession based tactic complements the player’s strength. Those of you that know me know that I like my teams to gradually  build up from the back and use my keeper as an extra outfield player. Sound familiar? Our attack will focus in the middle of the pitch, that is where the most expensive real estate is located. The wide men (WBs) will contribute immensely to the build up, meaning they will support our attack and disrupt the opposition’s counter-attacks.  Below is the passing map from our match against Palermo, the red circle highlights our qualitative and positional superiority led to us earning 3 points.


Sign Young Players

At this time we have nothing to report.

Build On Last Season’s Achievements

I intend to carry on the work of Empoli’s  previous managers, Maurizio Sarri (now of Napoli) and Marco Giampaolo. Last season Empoli finished 10th in the Serie A, a great achievement for a club expected to go back down. Sarri laid a solid foundation with an emphasis on connections and compactness, lateral movements and ball security (possession). Giampaolo did not tamper with the foundation Sarri laid down and I will do the same, except, I will add an intense pressing scheme to regain possession. So far things are working out and I  expect things to improve this season.


Thanks for taking the time to read and all comments and suggestions are welcome.