C.D. Guadalajara – A Team Guide (Part 2)

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Welcome to Part 2 of our guide to Chivas. In this part we will be looking at the first team squad. In the interests of disclosure, prior to these screenshots, I recalled every player I could from the first team squad listed. Those that remain on loan I have placed in the u20s, so your squad may look a little bit different to mine. Anyway, Chivas has a good, solid squad. A few stars are there including one that made those of us playing FM15 drool with anticipation. It seems that divisional rival concerns aren’t that important in Mexico because a number of Chivas’ best players are on loan at their competitors. Also, perhaps the biggest light in the firmament is on loan at Fiorentina with a criminally low agreed fee.

Still, a lot to work with and (as we saw in Part 1) you have some funds to bring in players to backup or fill different roles if you should so choose. You shouldn’t need to make too many purchases though. That being said, when you see the sheer size of the squads… Well, they do need a bit of a trim.

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This is your first choice keeper. On loan from Pachuca, Cota is perfectly serviceable. Handling of 12 is a concern, but he is a nice solid #1. His backups are fine as well but that is what it is. Vanilla. Pure, unadulterated vanilla. You could certainly consider an upgrade here.

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Chivas are stocked with Ponce and Hernández at LB. Interestingly, they are quite similar and of a similar age. The decision would be yours as to whether you want to move one of them on. I would be quite wary of doing this at first, but as soon as one of them locks in a spot you might rethink it. Ponce is the more attacking of the two and has more class going forward. He is also probably more solid as a defender..

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So if one of them is going to go it is going to be Hernández. Older and not “quite” as good. Still, it’s always nice to have two solid options at a position.

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Pizarro is best suited as a MC according to your scouts and he certainly can play there. But according to the scouts he is the best option (at the start anyways) at RB. Another in what will be a long line of solid, yet unspectacular players, he is a good decision maker and quite calm under pressure. If you were that way inclined, you may consider getting rid of Hernández and replacing him with a new RB. That could free up Pizarro to slot into central midfield or to back him up.

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Alanís is the mainstay at CB. He may be a little weak in the air, but he makes good decisions and is nice and brave. He should provide good service to you and at the age of 27 can give you a number of good years as you develop the inevitable youth team stars that your youth system should provide.

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Finishing off the defenders we have the man, the legend, the one and only Carlos Salcido. Club captain, legend, etc etc. At the age of 36 he probably doesn’t have much left in the tank AND his best role is in midfield AND he couldn’t get off the ground without the aid of a forklift but with great bravery and decisions (notice a pattern), the veteran will be good at the start. I wouldn’t expect him to last more than maybe two seasons but you never know. David Weir, after all, played until he was 2,658 years old…

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There are very solid players in midfield with some flair and exciting talent. I have tried to keep the screenshots to the 3.5* plus players so that I don’t end up doing a screenshot of every player with something interesting about them. Remember that while this midfield may look small, the squad is flexible and you have several players that can play in the midfield that have been listed here as either forwards or defenders.

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(Calderón is listed in the forward’s screenshot to allow Fierro to be in that slot. A vagary of the listings I am afraid)

An old school winger in my opinion. Fast, a good dribbler, a nice crosser with flair and vision, Calderón is a perfect choice to be the pitch stretching terror that we dream of. Especially if you can isolate him one on one with a hapless fullback. One of those odd ones, if I was managing Santos Laguna I wouldn’t want him playing for Chivas! Anyways, he will make the LW spot his own if you use one. He can also do damage in the AMC slot where he is also a natural.

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Good central midfielder. Natural only in the MC strata, Pineda has an excellent engine and can puff along all day in the centre of the park. Chivas are blessed in terms of decision makers and he is a great option for you. Only 20 years of age, you may well need to start fending off bids from overseas sooner or later. Take advantage of him while you can. He can do a job in Mexico and should improve with all the first team football he will be getting.

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Another speed freak winger. Chivas last got rid of a manager for only playing one up front! And this may well be a reason why. Interesting to me is that fact that your strikers are suited to a number of roles but you only have one big target man. I am planning on playing a Raumdeuter and he can fill this roles as well. He has the finishing for it and he (no doubt) will be a matchup nightmare if he screams into the box with his speed to get on the end of a delivery from Calderón. It could also allow you to play a 4-2-4 if you so desire. With Calderón and Brizuela? You’ll certainly have give your opposition a hell of a time on the flanks.

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You have your defensive midfielder right here. Will run all day. Has a great work rate, very brave, doesn’t lose concentration and is sneaky fast. An excellent lynchpin.

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Solid yet again. The players we are going to screenshot here are the “talents” of the squad but there aren’t really any weak links that obviously stand out apart from (maybe) Guzmán, but he is 21 and should be quite reasonable with some playing time.

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Pulido is your number one forward. A little nipper at 175cm he is (yet again) a very handy player. Good finisher with composure, concentration, off the ball and first touch, he will be an excellent support striker. It does list him in the more offensive roles, and he can do these but he is surprisingly good at the other roles as well. The intention for me is to play an F9 up front to create room for a Raumdeuter. But you could easily have him as an Advanced Forward or a Complete Forward. The world is your oyster.

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An odd player. He seems to be a genuine poacher. Not good in the air, not particularly fast, not great off the ball and (strangely) lacks composure. Perhaps surplus to requirements, but the coaches love him. I would think that he could fill a role but he isn’t really going to be a first choice option with Pulido and our next contestant floating around.

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FM15 players you may reminisce. I’ll wait.

STOP THAT!

Anyways, Fierro is still only 21 (amazingly). He has suffered in the eyes of the researchers but is absolutely a difference maker as a Raumdeuter out wide or in his preferred Trequarista role. In my case I will be playing him either on the right or as a False 9. A real flair player, I don’t think much has to be said about him. Some have said that he struggles in this version of the game but he is one of those players that could take off if he starts getting on a run.

So there we have the first team squad on day 1. It has flexibility, good decision makers, lots of teamwork and guys who fill multiple roles. All in all it is an excellent squad and you really shouldn’t have too many issues reaching 4th spot (as sought by the board). If anything, it depends on your preferences, you could probably do with another right back and Hernández may be surplus to requirements. But it’s a good squad and it allows you to go in a number of different directions.

As for the u20, u18 and Chivas Premier squads, we will do these in our next instalment. Slightly different in focus to this post, we will be looking at the star talents and seeing who we want and who we might want to “move on for the good of their career”.

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C.D. Guadalajara – A Team Guide (Part 1)

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Greetings all.

This is the first team guide I have created and, as always, feedback is appreciated. Hopefully this will encourage you all to request team or league guides that will be done in the future. This guide ties in with a career save I am planning involving joint management of Chivas and the Mexican national team that you will be able to follow here in the near future.

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For those looking for a Bilbao challenge save without the inconvenience of managing Bilbao like so many others before, welcome to the other hardcoded club side in FM17 that can only sign particular players. Chivas may only sign players of Mexican nationality, so I suppose one could consider it a “Bilbao-lite” as the restriction is slightly less onerous. Even so, it makes for a nice twist on your standard Football Manager save.

Founded in 1906, Chivas are an extremely popular side in Mexico. In fact, according to a study done last year (2016) they are supported by 44.2% of the Mexican population. Founded by a Belgian gentleman, the club colours are based on those of Bruges which is where he came from. Originally named Club Union, it was determined that clubs in Europe that held the citie’s name in which they were based were more popular so they changed name to C.D Guadalajara which is the name they hold today.

From 1943-1956, the club struggled with a few 2nd place finishes leading to the nickname of “Ya Merito” or “Almost There!”. Also, they received the Chivas nickname when they were called “Chivas Locas” or “Crazy Goats” in a game against Atlas. In 1956, the dam broke and they won the title with a last minute winner in the final game of the season. Capitalising, they went on to win 7 titles in the period to 1970 and they also became (to my knowledge) the only team to win 4 titles in a row between 1958-59 and 1961-62.

The club suffered what could be considered dark times from 1970 through to the mid 2000’s with financial troubles blighting the club during this period. The bright sparks were titles in 1986-87 and (after the league went to two championships per season) the 2006 title. The club also reached the semi final of the Copa Libertadores in the 2005 tournament.

The club have suffered ups and downs since then with a Copa Libertadores runner up spot in 2010 and the Copa MX Apertura in 2015. They won the SuperCopa in 2016 but have not won a league title since the triumph since that 2006 Apertura.

This is where you come in. Beware though, the board have notoriously twitchy trigger fingers.

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The first thing to mention is that there is a lot of leg work to be done before you click that continue button. A massive squad with a huge amount of players on loan including Carlos Salciedo (who is on loan to Fiorentina and a mainstay of the national team), multiple affiliated clubs with whom you have loan arrangements and financial obligations, an u20 and u18 squad plus a B team (Chivas Premier) means there is a lot to get through. But first, let’s have a look at the club as a whole before getting bogged down in the sheer multitude of players and tactical options at your disposal.

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Continental reputation, a loan debt of £141 million pounds and you are not allowed to spend any of your filthy lucre on non-Mexican players. Still, the facilities are brilliant and you have an extensive youth recruitment network. This will come in very handy when you consider the philosophies the club prefers upon taking the job.

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Unless you have a board meeting to consider these (but where would be the fun in that?), you will be expected to play attacking football and develop players using the youth system. These are some nice philosophies in my opinion and play into how a “Chivas Locas” team should be played.

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In what must be a cruel joke, Carlos Salcido is leading the team from Tuscany. You only have 12,000 season ticket holders but it shouldn’t be an issue getting good crowds at the romantically named Estadio Chivas. Luckily for you, you own the stadium so rent isn’t an issue and it is in very good condition as well.

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If we consider the youth focus, the club is extremely well placed to cater to that need. Extensive youth recruitment, good junior coaching and great facilities will really help you in creating that home grown team, at the same time making the fans and board happy. What more could you want?

If there is a minor quibble, you do not have the best youth facilities in Mexico (Pachuca does), so you should go to the board and try and convince them to upgrade the facilities as soon as you can. It naturally is something you can’t do on your first day, but it should be possible within a few months of the start date.

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Finances look OK. You are spending a massive £660 pounds per week over the agreed transfer budget, but with a transfer kitty of £4.61 million you surely have some wiggle room. Given the club facilities, philosophies and the quality of player that you have on loan I cannot see you needing to use much of that budget at all. So you can put some of it into your wages to create the illusion of frugality. Then again, with only 10% of your transfer revenue being put back into your budget you will probably need to wheel and deal a bit.

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The elephant in the room. You have £105 million in the form of a bank loan to pay off with almost £35 million interest payable. Sheesh. This is to be paid off at an extortionate £852,000 PER MONTH until 2029! This is a serious drain on your potential, but as the projections show, you should still be increasing the club’s value as time goes on so I would keep an eye on it.

As they say in fire awareness advertisements down here, “Be alert, but not alarmed”.

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The amount of sponsorship coming in is fantastic really. I wouldn’t be concerned about the amounts halving upon relegation because, let’s be honest, if that even becomes a possibility while you manage here you will be finding new employment.

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You have an absolute ton of affiliated clubs. Of the clubs, interest should be paid to Tepic. The arrangement there is a first option one where Chivas can make a bid any time one of their players receives a bid from elsewhere. In practice, I feel that this would only be of use if you are a sadistic megalomaniac who hoovers up players to prevent their rivals getting any.

What?

You ARE a sadistic megalomaniac? Well, I’m sure we will get along just fine.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we will go through the squad(s) and see who stands out and who we may safely move on.