Welcome back to the Aswijan Assignment, a Football Manager 2020 save in the fictional country of Aswijan – using a database created by @Chilled_Moose.
Our second season in Aswijan ended with the unbelievable achievement of Zagora Athletik securing promotion from Liga Principale at the first time of asking. And that meant we would be competing in the top tier of Aswijani football, Liga Regale, in 2021/22.
I’m still getting my head around how we managed to achieve promotion so I thought we’d dig into some of the stats from the season just gone.
Key Zagora performers
A worrying stat is that our top scorer this season was Fokionas Caito with 13 goals in 43 matches, and he is leaving the club on a free this summer. Lead striker Tiberius Olivero only scored 10 goals in 32 games, which summarises the main problem we had this year – putting chances away.
Martin Goronda was next with 8 goals, then regular substitute Giyandip Ascolese and Vladimiro Mashashi, who only scored one goal not from the penalty spot, with 5.
Creativity wise, Goronda topped the charts with 12 assists, then loanee Mirco Bjerg with 8 and Tryfon Tahami with 5.
But the key stat is Bjerg chiming in with an average rating of 7.45 over 45 matches. That was significantly higher than our next highest rating of Tackin Bourdon at 7.08 and Arkadios Gram on 7.05. Only 5 players rated at 7 or higher over the entire season, which baffles me even further!
End of season awards
Unsurprisingly, Bjerg collected the fans’ player of the season with a huge 76% of the vote, followed by Goronda (11%) and Bourdon (8%). Bjerg also won young player of the season and goal of the season, which was his only goal of the season! That goes to show how important it is to try and get him back for next season.
Bjerg set a new team record of 11 player of the match awards, while goalkeeper Rune Azevedo set a new club record with 21 clean sheets. And Bjerg then also won the league’s Principale Iuvento (young player of the season).
Zagora Season stats
I firmly believe that momentum is the key driver of our rise to Liga Regale. As mentioned in the previous post, we only lost three games from October through to the end of the season. But we weren’t exactly free scoring, as we scored the 6th most goals in Liga Principale, with 56 goals in 42 games.
We also had poor cross completion of just 16% – 18th in the league. However, we scored the joint-most corners in the league with 8 and the second-most goals from indirect free-kicks with 9.
However, we did have the second highest possession in the league with an average of 56% – only bettered by 12th-placed Hamjar Oskat – and a solid pass completion rate of 86%, which only three times had higher than. We also completed the third-most passes in the league, which shows we do play nice football.
And that is confirmed by the fact that we created more chances than any team in the league with 112 – 12 more than any other side. What does that tell us? Maybe that we need a striker that can stick away our chances.
Defensively we were solid with the third-best record of just 32 goals conceded in 44 games and third-most clean sheets with 22. We also topped the tackles made statistic with 89%. So I don’t think the defence needs too much work over the summer.
Another key stat to consider is that only 5 teams in the league spent less than us on wages.
Looking to the future
I firmly expect us to get battered in Liga Regale but we will do our best to strengthen, with particular focus on getting a striker that can score goals.
Other exciting news is that our youth recruitment is being improved, while the board is also looking into building a new stadium in Zagora! Until then, we’ll be playing at our third stadium of the save at the 30,599 capacity Revelacio Arena that is home to Liga Principale side Qashid.
Aswijan Malikiy again won the Liga Rigale, racking up 84 points and only losing twice all season to claim their 6th straight title. They finished 7 points clear of Aldaia, followed by Aswijan Siti and Marrador FC. Strangely, our senior affiliate Mufala Malikiy got relegated – so we’re now in the league above them! Bit of a weird one…
Last season’s promoted through the playoff side, Uswana Society, finished bottom with 18 points and won just three matches. While Aswijan Malikiy completed a clean sweep of domestic competitions by winning the Copa Azore and Copa Populare.
Ben Garrés, who finished 3rd behind us in the first season, won Liga Dukh and were joined in promotion by Neim and Zaan, who won the playoffs. Hesef Kuduqni, the peoples’ club, finished bottom.
Aswijan Under 19s finished second in the Under 19s European Championship, which shows there’s plenty of exciting new young talent in the country.
If you’ve enjoyed this second season in Aswijan save and want to find out more about it or want more info on any of the players just let me know in the comments or get in touch on Twitter.