Hello and welcome back to another episode of WTF is Andrew doing this time! You can catch-up on last week’s experiment here where we took a dive into the hidden stats of the CM9798 database and why some ‘Super Players’ always overperform.
Most of you will remember the days of playing football at school and every now and again a handful of the best players took on the rest of the schoolyard. Well, ladies and gentlemen, today I bring to you the Soccer 7’s Heroes.
We will pitch a 7-a-Side team of the best players into the Dutch 2nd tier and see how they get on. Interestingly, whilst there is the minimum number the game lets you field in a matchday, it includes the number you have on the bench.
Here’s the squad:
I’ve had to think hard about the line-up, knowing how the match engine is weighted to the ‘keepers in 97/98 we need some semblance of balance, here’s how we’ll set up.
We’ll open our campaign in the Amstel Cup group stages which is a good base to test and tweak the formation. It seems to go well against league opponent’s RBC.
Van Galen was too busy rocking out to score goals. So many headers for 7-a-side, mesmerising.
Just busy checking out the competition, might be a player to investigate in a future save, anyone signed him before?
Next stop we make our league debut at Heracles where Wolbers throws a wobbler to help us out.
We had to tweak at HT to get the goals going:
Non-League TONEGIDO are dispatched in the Beer Cup.
The return game was problematic, but the Soccer 6’s pulled it off.
It is tight in the league and we get bosched by ADO Den Haag 4-2, but this is our best result so far.
A quarter of the way through and whilst we’re in contention (along with half the league it would seem!) it is certainly not a breeze. We’ve had to play a number of games with 6 men, the yellow cards seem to come much faster with fewer players. That said, the goals against column is pleasing given 4 of those were at ADO Den Haag.
Laurent Blanc, Thomas Helmer and Jurgen Kohler are unreal centre backs. This is not good:
Hubner will have to step up. Go ahead, eagles…do your worst.
A clean sheet and 3 goals against the best team in the league. The gods don’t let me have it all as Helmer breaks his toe for the 3rd time this season.
Trot on Haarlem
A game vs. Telstar calls for all kinds of battling for the last 10 minutes…
We make it through to the next round of the Beer Cup, but it’s a tough draw even with 11 players never mind 7.
We’re half way and we’ve drifted a bit due to a loss of form. It would appear that, we’re tight defensively but due to relying on one outlet for goals, if the strikers aren’t on form we’re screwed!
It is only 5 points, recoverable and all to play for. We need Batigol back to his best. We drop out the cup, but we were ahead at one point.
Batistuta and Bergkamp are forming a lethal partnership. Bish, bash, Den Bosch.
Hopefully we don’t have to sell given we are s***ing money.
The gap remains…
And then we blow any chances we had of catching up. The playoffs it is.
Aye, go on, what is the worst you can do to me CM9798? Oh, yes…that.
Without him Batistuta is a little lost puppy. We lose a few on the bounce but.
What a complete d***house…Keane will miss part of the playoffs as he already had a one game ban.
We finish the season in good form, climbing to 3rd.
Our reward, a playoff group with both higher division sides…sigh. We draw with a side that we pasted only a few weeks ago and concede a last-minute equaliser at home to Sparta.
And it costs us the promotion.
If only Bergkamp had not been broken, we might have just made it. And now for the vital stats.
And with that ends our fourth experiment of the summer. Not sure we can label this a success and it may need to be revisited at some point, but I wanted to put it out there, warts and all. Finding the right formation took a bit of time which meant, places in the squad were wasted on positions that weren’t needed – for this to work all you need are ‘keepers, centre backs, defensive midfielders, attacking midfielders and strikers; avoid wide players. The biggest challenge was relying on one player for most goals which was a stretch and having to play with 6 players due to red cards/injuries.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s little bit of crazy, why not try your own #cm9798challenge with a 7-a-side squad of your own and let us know how it goes? See you next time!
You can follow Andrew on twitter: @KingOfTheRooks