Hattrick Masters commentary
Article originally published 31st of March 2008
This editorial will be updated after each round. Moreover, Peluza will also write some longer, and more indepth, reports in the Global (English) forum (quick-link: 11038430.1).
Hello, I'm Peluza. I'll be guiding you through HM this season... and I hope you all will find my texts interesting! This season we'll probably see a new team achieving the biggest success any team can reach, so be prepared to, probably, receive a new champion!
This round, some of the strongest teams have been already knocked out: terranzX , is a good example. He lost against Kastelin from France, a pseudo-AoA team (AoA resembles All out attack, which are teams that base their power in midfield, relegating defense to have advantage). We could also see beltxis in action. He's got a lot of players with suitable specialty that can give his team an edge against other teams.
Mighty Beavers FC against Thesaurus was a duel between a nice CA team with some midfield (38% possession) and a team that focused mainly in midfield and wing attacks. Beaver's defense was strong enough to win. The match between Rushin' Eagles against Ajax Persia wasn't so close. Eagles won by a huge difference, although I must recognize the guts of his opposing team, who played really offensive with a 2-5-3 formation despite he was clearly overpowered by Eagles. Paceri wasn't so offensive: instead, he achieved divine counterattack rating, but wasn't enough to win.
It was interesting to see how Argentine teams played this round. Both played with CA tactic... A.C. Branca con Coca decided to play with an extreme CA formation, 5-2-3 without midfield, which wasn't enough to win. In the other hand, PALUMBO FC played against KIVA in a somewhat strange match. CA vs CA was the decision the managers took, and KIVA was stronger, winning by an unexpected quantity of goals.
Allsvenskan champ, [[Zeta , made his debut in this season's HM, facing the strong Vietnamese team CSG_FC . Playing away, Zeta's ratings were amazing. IMHO, this is one of the strongest teams, and we all should keep an eye on him, because he also has a huge bank account ready to buy whatever is needed to win. Falköpings BK , the other Swedish team, also won. Every season, Swedish teams are presented as candidates, but they couldn't win the competition so far... will this be the exception?
AC Ziky team , former winner of the competition, played against the best Irish team through history, GB Rovers , another team with lots of history in this tournament that played in all previous HM tournaments. Ziky's ratings were superb, demonstrating why he won once and why he wants to win this season again.
TURKSTRIKERS showed us the incredible result of what a bunch of mono-skilled beasts can do... something that also MARCOGAVI, owner of SQUARTA PRAGA , did. He's a skilled trader, who is probably thinking to overpower the other teams by brute force too. Fielding a lot of divines, he was able to beat my friend Simontxo, in one of the most important matches of second round. This time, the almighty beltxis couldn't win...
Most important match will be SQUARTA PRAGA will be playing at home against former HM champion AC Ziky team . Both teams are strong and will be a great match to see. Probably, the team winning this match will be a serious candidate to be champion this season. Will Ziky be able to be the first team to win HM twice? Will SQUARTA PRAGA keep knocking out champions, as he did with beltxis?
Strong teams are already known, and matches are harder each round. We could see two of the strongest teams play: AC Ziky team and SQUARTA PRAGA, and it was a great match to see where Ziky, playing away, managed to win against SQUARTA PRAGA. Both teams had really strong (and expensive) squads. Another great match to see was Artest FC against FC Rebel Stars, where Artest demonstrated he is also a serious candidate.
Some teams could also advance to the next round playing with defensive formations and counterattack tactic, such us Transhumanists and PoCo Panthers. They give defensive teams a hope in the battle against the, in theory, overpowered midfield. kashop played CA too, but couldn´t beat Magnificent eleven in another interesting match to see.
A team that played exactly different is PFC_Beroe, who played with almost no defense besides goalkeeper, but with a strong midfield to keep ball possession. His opponent, lithuanian team FK "Ateitis", played with a more balanced formation but also tried to focus his strenght in midfield. Bulgarian team's midfield was strong enough to stay in competition this time.
TSV Kalkspur Oedheim, who won again, with an amazing central attack rating almost impossible to stop for most teams. It was a surprise to see how A.C. MILAN 1899 played this round. The polish team didn't stand a chance with the squad that played this round, and it seemed as he wanted to lose without even try to fight. Hashalom Beer-Sheva from Israel won against another candidate, the english team Potato Heads. This huge collision between these powerful teams that surpassed the 400 HatStats this match, ended in a 0-5 result, but Potato Heads, at least, deserved something more. He'll return to England, but being proud of what he'd done.
A lot of strong teams won this round too: BeoPower, FC Granit, kitrosu Targoviste, FightClub Football Club, MADP SAD and FC Partizan are great examples. They've got strong, balanced teams, that every manager should analyze to learn some important things about this game. Club Deportivo Pilsener from El Salvador, in the other hand, is one of the teams from a small country that is still in cup, making history.
Jorge Team is the team that represents the biggest HT country of the world: Spain. More than 90.000 spanish users should be proud of Jorge who demolished Duffus 0-6 at their home. Bainræakjin from Faroe Islands doesn't come from such a big country, but that didn't bother him as he won against the great team his north american opponent fielded. Barefoot United was really strong, but in a close match according to ratings, but not so much considering goals scored by Bainræakjin, he had to go back home this time.
Almost all teams still in cup are really strong, and from now on every detail may be the difference between success and going back home with the thoughts of what could have been. This round we could see how PFC_Beroe's midfield seems to be working great: without defense and even without strong attack, it was enough to beat FC Partizan, who couldn´t deal with bulgarian´s midfield at their home. Probably, the story would've been different playing in Kiev. But we don't know, and PFC_Beroe deserves his place in fifth round.
The strong romanian team kitrosu Targoviste lost in the penalty shootout against PoCo Panthers. The Canadian team played CA again this round, and ended up drawn 3-3, but was able to win and continue in HM. AC Ziky team, former HM champion and a serious candidate to be the first team to win it twice, won against Falköpings BK in a really close match that was decided in the first half. Playing away is not a problem for this experienced team, as he demonstrated so far. Let's see how he'll handle to win against the other strong teams left, like Artest FC, who won against finnish team Ruxumotors, confirming he's serious about being the new champ.
TURKSTRIKERS and Zeta won again. With a different style, they have great teams for winning the competition. Jorge Team lost against a really intelligent Lithuanian team, BeoPower. After beating the strong spanish team, he showed us his skills when comes to chose how to play. Without offense, he focused only in midfield and defense. His chances should come from free kicks, penalties (thanks to his possession) or special events. And the only goal in the match, was a headed corner kick.
TSV Kalkspur Oedheim decided this round that his amazing central attack wasn't needed. Instead, he focused in midfield, and it payed out: Asoi F.C. couldn't fight equally his midfield, and lost. FC Granit played against Transhumanists. Both team have great squads, but Granit was stronger (and lucky) this time. Slovenian team was able to play as he wanted, from CA to a balanced team, showing he is a great manager and he'll probably have a chance in HM again in the future.
We'll see great matches in 5th round: PoCo Panthers – Zeta will be a good match to test Zeta's chances of being champ, against a great team with nice defensas that playing home can be really hard to beat. In PFC_Beroe – TURKSTRIKERS we'll see the bulgarian team playing in his stadium again, and considering he's been focusing only in midfield so far, will be a good challenge for the team of Turkey that will have to test if his huge divine players can overpower the bulgarian team playing away.
Home teams will have to deal with the advantage, and that can make them understimate their opponents. Ziky will finally play at home again, and we'll find out if he tries to PIC against Condenados to have spirit advantage in next round... but will it be enough against the strong portuguese team? Will he risk playing PIC, or will he chose to play normal to be almost sure to win? Can Condenados surprise all by defeating AC Ziky team? Well, this dilemma will be a sure thing in the other matches too.