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Santástico – Ep 6: 2022 – Highs and lows

Welcome to the fourth season review episode, covering the 2022 season! Before going into this season I felt both that the posts had become a bit repetitive and that I wasn’t making enough progress in the actual save. To improve player development I made the following changes that you can read more about here.

  • Tweaked training regimes with added technical training
  • Focus our best coaches on the coaching responsibilities that matter
  • Let everyone play
  • Tougher scouting

I hope these changes will improve the development of our young players, giving us more candidates in our hunt for the Next Neymar!

I also made some changes to the structure of these season review post, where I’ve tried making them a bit shorter and less repetitive. I will still focus on talent development and our players, but I’ll cover training and development more from a general perspective to make the episode more pleasurable both to read and write. Of course I’ll mention how Santos FC did very briefly as well. Feel free to comment on this and leave feedback, positive or negative!

I’ll still follow the familiar structure previously used, starting with our youth intake.

1. Identify – Youth intake

Our new HoYD Sebastian Pait presented his first youth intake preview, which felt quite interesting. One forward who “could be considered a fine prospect” and one “who has caught the eye”. No words of a golden generation or anything like that, but it still sounded promising!

When the actual intake came, things weren’t so bright.

Two players with good enough potential to be kept, but neither of them had a Ginga Rating above 50, which made them unsuitable for this challenge. So, no new players in from our own intake, and with tougher scouting I feared that we’d get no new talents in. Things didn’t go that badly, but it’s obvious that we’ll have fewer players coming in from now on.

2. Sign

For the second time in this series a new chairman wins the election and to fulfill the promises from his campaign spends our entire transfer budget on players I don’t want.

Mateus Vital was one of the two players brought in this way. What’s wrong with him, you might ask. He seems like a quality player! Well, I’m sure he is and he’s probably a great guy and everything, but he’s 24 years old and competes for a precious spot in the starting eleven with my group of talents. This makes him more of an inconvenience than an asset and I would much rather have seen that the transfer had never happened, but just like last time I had no say in the matter.

The other player brought in, although expensive, is not even worth mentioning since he’s so far away quality wise to ever play games for me. Thank you, Mr. New Chairman! Muito obrigado!

As I mentioned above, not that many players were brought in using the new player search filter. I actually had to step away from it slightly, if I had followed it completely not a single player would have been brought in.

Luiz Alberto Ginga Rating 73

A Flair of 14, sure, that’s lower than what we want. And 17 years old already? Okok, I felt like I couldn’t go an entire transfer window without bringing anyone in! A Ginga Rating of 73 is better than ok and he’s very well-rounded when it comes to his Ginga skills. Perhaps this is the guy that actually develops his Flair more than a single point? You don’t think so? Well, we’ll see…

Alécio Ginga Rating 70

At least Alécio is in the right age interval, even though we had to be a bit lenient when it came to his Flair too. He doesn’t look like an amazing player, but the fact is that he has all the attributes in the right places, which gives him a Ginga Rating of 70, the highest we’ve had in any 15-year-old. I had hoped for a great development in his first year, but as you’ll find out below the season played out in the exact opposite fashion. Galo!

3. Train

As I explained in the Lessons learned episode we made some slight changes to training by adding a bit of Technical training while listening and adapting more to players unhappy with training, all in an attempt to boost development. We also started working on developing Neymaresque traits for our older players. It’s not enough to have the same abilities as Neymar, you have to act like Neymar too! On this note I’m very pleased to present that Marcos Leonardo is now ready to try tricks as our first player to pick up this trait!

Regarding player development I sadly can’t say that I noticed any great general improvements compared to last season. The younger players continued to develop nicely, while the older players didn’t improve at all. I’ve expressed that I think these season review posts have grown a bit monotonous and stale, becoming a parade of before/after GIFs of player development. Therefore I’m trying something new in this episode. I’ll show you all the development (or lack thereof) in a table below and then highlight just a few players.

From left to right in this table (except for name and age) you have the Ginga Rating going into the 2022 season followed by all Ginga skills at the end of the 2022 season and the development to each skill. Then you have the Ginga Rating at the end of 2022/beginning of 2023 and the changes to that rating and finally the total number of attribute point changes.

The table is sorted from top to bottom by Ginga Rating at the end of 2022, with Marcos Leonardo retaining his top spot as the player with the most Ginga. Therefore he is the first player we’ll look at more closely.

He improved slightly this season, reaching a Ginga Rating of 82 after increases to his Flair and Acceleration. The overall number of improvements landed at 6, which is poor, but he is pretty well-rounded already.
Training focus next season: Just like before Acceleration is his biggest weakness Ginga wise, we’ll continue to work on Quickness.

The second player I’ll focus on is the player with the best development by far!

Amazing development from the 17-year-old. He did start the year at a lowly Ginga Rating of 59, but boy did he develop! All the Ginga skills (except for Flair, of course) saw hefty increases as well as several other important attacking skills! Now I’m just crossing my fingers that he’ll keep improving next season. So far my feeling is that after an incredible season development wise you usually see a plateau, but I pray that that won’t be the case for Brandão!
Training focus next season: Ball control all year. His Dribbling needs serious improvement!

These are the only two players I’ll cover here. Instead we’ll move on to a general analysis of training and Ginga Rating development over the season.

When it came to training overall we didn’t see the same trend as in the last episode, where the youngest players showed the biggest improvements. Instead it was the 16-to-17-year-olds that had the biggest average Ginga Rating improvement with 6.34. The biggest individual reason for this is probably Alécio‘s exceptionally poor season combined with a very small data sample. When comparing the different Ginga skills, Flair once again displayed the smallest average increase by far, with the rest of the skills at roughly the same level.

4. Mentor

This continues to be an area where we need to get better. I believe that the biggest reason for us not reaching any success here is the fact that our mentors have played too few first team games to really make a difference. This is a problem hard to resolve though since our mentors aren’t good enough to play regularly and we can’t attract good enough players at a reasonable age to sign. With increasing club reputation we’ll hopefully get there eventually, but right now this area is a problem.

5. Play games

I managed to miss screenshoting the in-game season overview, so you’ll simply have to trust me on this one. The season was ok, no more. We finished second in the league, mainly because the “Let everyone play” approach led us to losing numerous games in the first half of the season. We abandoned the idea of playing as many talents as possible, even in awkward/unfamiliar positions, halfway through the season and results improved. It was too little too late to catch Flamengo in the league, but our game and results improved enough for us to secure yet another Copa Libertadores trophy and a Brazilian cup trophy, which let me keep the managerial job! Yay!

Regarding player performances Marcos Leonardo was our brightest shining star followed by Talles Magno, while Kaio Jorge looks like a shadow of his former self. Did he fly to close to the sun and had his wings melted? The biggest positive surprise was young Gilberto who managed to score 16 goals in just 30 games.

6. Sell

We need to sell Kaio Jorge, for his own good. The level of games offered to him in Brazil doesn’t appear to be of a good enough level for him to develop any more. And if he doesn’t develop he’ll definitely not turn into a New Neymar. I’m afraid to offer him out since I don’t want to cause upset, but interest in him is surprisingly low. No interest from European clubs, but a few Chinese ones started a small bidding war. We could make a decent pile of cash by selling him to China, but that’s not an option. I want to get him to Europe to follow in the footsteps of Neymar!

One player we did manage to sell was Kauhan, and for quite a decent sum of money too. He wasn’t good enough for us and we actually needed the money after the new chairman had spent all my savings on the two new players.

I’ll end this episode by presenting you with the top list. I won’t go into the same level of detail on each player as I’ve done previously. To compensate for that I’ve expanded the list to cover our top 10 prospects:

Marcos Leonardo is back in the top spot, because of a combination of factors. His high Ginga Rating and his fairly young age combined with the fact that he’ll probably reach 100 goals next year. Kaio Jorge doesn’t at all look like the player he was only a year ago, which lets Talles Magno pass him too, basically using the same reasoning as with Marcos Leonardo.

I hope for next season that we’ll have three players with 100+ goals and that we’ll drum up enough attention for one of them to secure a move to Europe. So far interest from European clubs has been non-existent. I wonder if the players need to play for the Brazilian national team to garner any interest? Perhaps I need to apply for the job when it becomes available!?

Below you find a gallery of all players’ development if you’re interested!

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