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Thread: [FM10] Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

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    Default [FM10] Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010


    Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    First of all, sorry for the appalling title.

    This is going to be more or less a mini-update of my progress with England. It was a game I started for a bit of fun and something different (a quick fix!) away from my current career save.

    As I always tend to start my games at the bottom and work my way up, I don't normally get to manage a big team. So I have decided to manage England from the start. We'll see how this goes and if I get sacked or have to leave at some point, I'll just pick up a new international team to manage depending on who gets sacked after international tournaments. I've selected automatic reputation and started with England.

    The top leagues of England, Italy and Spain are loaded with a large database and all current international players and all players at top clubs throughout the world retained.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Crouchy's Road to South Africa

    Capello has left me in a very good position, of course, so what remains is for me to get England through the remaining games and take all of the glory for taking them to the World Cup.

    First things first, I got rid of all of those Italian staff members from the Capello era and brought in my own staff. I tried to get some ex-England stars in there, as you can see. I kept on Stuart Pearce as U21 manager and decided to invite David Seaman to become U20 manager. Then I brought in Dean Ashton and Steve McManaman as coaches. Finally, and this was the big one, I got Alan Shearer to become my Assistant Manager.

    I also decided that I would keep John Terry as captain but give Steven Gerrard the vice-captaincy instead of Rio Ferdinand. My decision didn't seem to cause any controversy from the press or among the players.

    What follows is how I got on with the rest of the qualification campaign.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    International Friendly - Holland 0-0 England

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    A bore draw then for my first game in charge and, let's be honest, we were a tad fortunate to come away with it. I decided to play 4-2-3-1 with England with Carrick as a deep-lying playmaker, Cole as an inside forward and Johnson and Ashley Cole on 'wingback' roles. The team performed reasonably well and the fans were pleased with the result.

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    World Cup Quals (EUR) Group 6 - England 2-0 Slovenia

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    This was solid and comfortable, although not outstanding. A Wayne Rooney double saw us past Slovenia in a game we expected to win comfortably.

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    World Cup Quals (EUR) Group 6 - England 3-0 Croatia

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    This was the first proper test really and we passed it with flying colours. Croatia were in the game but poor in front of goal and we benefited from an early Wayne Rooney goal and a defensive mistake for the second. Frank Lampard, who was MoM, put the icing on the cake with the third. Solid performance and very pleased. This win sealed our qualification.

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    World Cup Quals (EUR) Group 6 - Ukraine 1-1 England

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    Well, the 100% record went out of the window with a crap performance. We had already qualified and didn't really turn up. We kept possession well but lacked punch in front of goal. We got an early lead through Rooney and then struggled from then on. Shevchenko equalised in the final minutes as the team just couldn't hold on. Disappointed with the performance. The press blamed the poor performance of Frank Lampard for the result.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    World Cup Quals (EUR) Group 6 - England 1-0 Belarus

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    This was nearly a huge embarrassment. We didn't get the winner until the 78th minute. We absolutely dominated the game but just couldn't seem to break them down. Again, Lampard disappointed. It was a pretty pedestrian performance really but at least we won in the end to save my blushes.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    International Friendly - Brazil 2-2 England

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    We see out the qualifying campaign with a couple of friendlies. Here against Brazil, we were without Gerrard and Ferdinand. I decided to give Ashley Cole a go on the left and bring in Joe Cole on the right.

    Frank Lampard's performances of late were disappointing me so I decided to give him an 'attack' duty to see if he would contribute more. I also switched Rooney from an 'attack' to a 'support' duty (he is playing as a 'complete forward'). This saw improvement from both but not before total disaster struck.

    At the beginning of the second half, we shipped two goals to find ourselves 2-0 down in the space of 2 minutes. Up until that point, we had been competing well and keeping the ball pretty decently too.

    Next, though, it was Brazil's turn to fall apart, as we started attacking them and going for an equaliser at all costs. Lampard, in his new role, excelled as he put us back in it on 66 minutes. Towards the end of the game, still needing an equaliser, I decided to bring on Jermaine Defoe (who hadn't featured in any of my previous squads and was only in due to an injury to Michael Owen) and switched to a 4-4-2 with attacking wingers. The gamble paid off as Defoe scored with a great finish to bring us back to 2-2.

    In the end, this was a pretty magnificent performance in a very tight and equal game. I hope that this is a good sign of things to come in the World Cup.
    Last edited by crouchaldinho; 21-01-2010 at 20:40.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    International Friendly - England 5-0 Egypt

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    This was the final friendly of the year. I went with my preferred side, minus Paul Robinson in goal, except for on the left flank where I brought in Ashley Young. Jimmy Bullard was also in the squad and I was hoping to introduce him at some point because I am a big fan.

    In the end Ashley Young and Jimmy Bullard both had days to remember. Young scored a magnificent hat-trick. Bullard came on in the second-half and scored a terrific free-kick. Lampard, resurgent in his very attacking midfield role, scored the other goal, as we totally dominated. We ended the game playing 4-4-2 giving Crouch and Defoe a chance together up front.

    The last two friendlies gave me some hope after a rather disappointing and colourless ending to our World Cup Qualifying campaign. I think I have found my preferred system of 4-2-3-1, with Johnson and Ashley Cole on 'wing back' roles, Carrick as a deep-lying playmaker, one of Cole, Young or Walcott as 'inside forward' on the left, Gerrard on the right, and then Frank Lampard playing an attacking midfielder role behind Wayne Rooney as a Complete Forward (support).

    We got a fairly favourable World Cup 2010 Group Stages draw. We will meet Ukraine again in our toughest game, with Tunisia and Japan as our other opponents.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    I found it quite fun up until this point, especially as I don't usually get to manage top players from the start of a game, being the kind of FMer who nearly always likes to start at the very bottom and work my way up.

    Anyway, the qualifying campaign was a bit of a doddle really. I basically stepped in and took all of the glory for Capello's hard work.

    The posts from this point onwards will cover the warm up to the World Cup and the World Cup campaign itself. Brace yourself because I have an exciting story to tell.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Crouchy's World Cup Warm Up

    England's 2010 began with a friendly game against Czech Republic at Wembley in late March. Poland would be the other World Cup warm up friendly, also at Wembley, just before we left for South Africa. These were to be two important games which would give me a chance to decide upon my final 23-man squad for the tournament.

    International Friendly - England 1-1 Czech Republic

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    This was one of the poorest performances since I've taken charge. We lost an early goal to a Milan Baros long-range effort. Ashley Young got us an equaliser just after the half hour mark but we never looked like going on to win the match. Lampard and Rooney were disappointing but worse still we just could not keep hold of the ball and we gave the Czech Republic an easy time at Wembley.

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    International Friendly - England 1-0 Poland

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    With Owen Hargreaves fit again, I decided to bring him in to see what he could do playing as an anchor man alongside my deep-lying playmaker Michael Carrick. Other than that, the team was unchanged and I felt that it was probably going to be my starting XI for the first World Cup group game against Tunisia.

    Ultimately, we huffed and puffed against Poland but couldn't find a way to break them down until the 75th minute. The performance itself was okay but this was pretty unconvincing really and not quite the result or performance I wanted to send us off to the World Cup. Right now, I was starting to have my doubts about our chances. I felt that a World Cup Quarter Final appearance would probably be the very best we could hope for. I was feeling pessimistic and I felt that the tournament would be extremely difficult indeed.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    23-man squad for the World Cup finals:

    GK

    Ben Foster
    Paul Robinson
    Robert Green


    Def

    Wes Brown
    Glen Johnson
    Wayne Bridge
    Ashley Cole
    Joleon Lescott
    John Terry
    Rio Ferdinand
    Gary Cahill


    Mid

    Garreth Barry
    Michael Carrick
    Owen Hargreaves
    David Beckham
    Joe Cole
    Steven Gerrard
    Ashley Young
    Theo Walcott
    Frank Lampard


    For

    Wayne Rooney
    Michael Owen
    Peter Crouch


    Quick word on the tactics I will be employing in the finals. We will be mostly playing with a 4-2-3-1. It'll be a standard back four, with one fullback on a 'wingback' role. In the midfield, we will have one deep-lying playmaker alongside another general defensive midfielder or an anchor man. Wide right will be a winger, while wide left will be an inside forward, with both players swapping positions. An attacking midfielder on an attack duty will play behind a complete forward on a support duty. Obviously, some of these roles will change depending on personnel. We will also be able to switch easily to 4-4-1-1 or 4-4-2 as circumstances dictate. Finally, the overall philosophy is a rigid one, however this is mitigated by the use of more player roaming (the entire front four will be instructed to find space) and increased creative freedom for attacking players, while zonal marking will of course be used with default closing down instructions.

    So, to the actual event itself then - the World Cup.

    With matches against Tunisia, Japan and Ukraine ahead, I had to feel confident about making the Second Round at least.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Crouchy's England at World Cup 2010

    World Cup 2010 Group B - England 1-0 Tunisia

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    With Wayne Rooney carrying an injury, I was forced into making a decision on whether to start with Michael Owen or Peter Crouch up front. I made the choice to start with the latter, hoping that his physical presence would cause all kinds of problems for the opposition, and knowing that Frank Lampard could play his very attacking role behind Crouch.

    It was a choice I was nearly to regret. Our play was one dimensional, and although Crouch's input was generally good, we were just not clinical enough in front of goal. Despite dominating possession and making chance after chance, we were badly struggling.

    Owen Hargreaves was playing poorly in the midfield and so I quickly replaced him with Gareth Barry in the second-half. I also brought off a disappointing Frank Lampard. Eventually, off came Crouch for Michael Owen, and his impact won us the game. He provided the assist from which fellow substitute Gareth Barry scored the winner in the 83rd minute. Super substitution from the manager or total fluke? It didn't matter. We got the three points but we would need to drastically improve in order to go anywhere in this competition.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    World Cup 2010 Group B - England 5-0 Japan

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    Wayne Rooney was still carry his knock and although he was available, I felt it wise not to start with a half-fit player in this game. A win here would see us through to the knock-out stages and I was determined that we shouldn't leave it until the last game.

    I brought Gareth Barry back into the midfield and made a decision to drop Crouch and Lampard. Crouch was unlucky really, he had played well but I felt that he would be better off playing in a partnership up front and I didn't believe that he would fit into the 4-2-3-1 very well. Lampard was dropped due to his disappointing performance in the last round. Gerrard moved in from the right wing to play behind Owen, and Walcott came in on the right.

    Today, we looked up for it from the opening minute when Rio Ferdinand put us in front with a fine head from an Ashley Young free-kick from the left. Chance after chance came and went, with England totally dominant and in control, and Ashley Young, Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen opening their World Cup accounts, and Ferdinand also chipping in with another goal from a set-piece. A marvellous and utterly dominant performance which sealed our qualification for the knock-out stages of the tournament.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    World Cup 2010 Group B - Ukraine 0-2 England

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    The hard work in the group stages was not quite finished yet for England. Ukraine were on four points and, in order to finish top, England had to make sure that they got at least a point out of this game. This was particularly important given that the second-placed side in Group B would be most likely to meet Italy in the Second Round. It was looking as though the winner of the group would probably meet Costa Rica, and I know which match I preferred to have in the Second Round.

    Nevertheless, I undertook some experimentation in this game, choosing not to start with Rooney or Lampard. I felt Rooney needed more time before coming back to first team duties. Lampard, on the other hand, was going to have to break his way back into the side, as I liked the look of Gerrard as attacking midfielder.

    The game itself saw England in firm control as we dominated proceedings. A tremendous long-range strike from Michael Carrick gave us the lead after half-an-hour. Gareth Barry doubled our lead in the second-half with a penalty after Theo Walcott was fouled in the area. In the end, this was an easy game for us in Cape Town. The only downside being a worrying injury to Glen Johnson, which would certainly put him out of our Second Round match.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010


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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Great title, made me laugh anyway. I have a feeling you will do very well here. I like reading international saves as it's something I always want to do but never have for some reason. Good luck Crouchy.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by AcidBurn View Post
    Great title, made me laugh anyway. I have a feeling you will do very well here. I like reading international saves as it's something I always want to do but never have for some reason. Good luck Crouchy.
    Cheers for the comments Acidburn. I'm glad you thought the title was all right.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    World Cup 2010 Second Round - Costa Rica 1-3 England

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    Technically supposed to be an 'easy' way through to the Quarter-finals, this actually turned out to be much tougher than I thought possible. It was the first real test for me at this World Cup and it was also the major turning point of our tournament.

    I decided to finally start with Wayne Rooney and I also brought Lampard back into the team and moved Gerrard to wide right. Walcott was dropped to the bench. The other major team news was that Wes Brown came in at fullback for the injured Glen Johnson.

    The first half saw a poor performance from us and I was devastated to find that we were 1-0 down before half-time, with Costa Rica opening the scoring on 45 minutes with a long-range effort.

    The pressure really was on and this was to be the biggest test of my managerial life. I gave the team a thorough dressing down. Gerrard, in particular, was playing awfully and according to assistant manager Alan Shearer was 'struggling to motivate himself to play for you'. He was withdrawn at half-time and it was to be his last start in the competition. Walcott came on wide right to replace him.

    The second-half was all about Frank Lampard, as he scored a marvellous hat-trick to get us back into, and then win, this World Cup tie. We were utterly dominant in possession and Lampard was lethal in front of goal, scoring two terrific finishes and putting in a penalty as well.

    The one downside was that Wes Brown managed to get himself sent off in the dying minutes. Without Glen Johnson, I didn't know who could start at right-back in the next match. However, I was too busy celebrating a fine comeback to worry about that.

    This means we had done what was expected, which was to reach the Quarter-finals. A tie against surprise-package Chile, who had seen off the Czech Republic in their Second Round tie, awaited us in the next round.

    Second Round Results

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    World Cup 2010 Quarter-final - England 7-0 Chile

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    Yes, that's right. Seven, nil. It's not a typo.

    Gerrard was dropped, Walcott started on the right. Owen Hargreaves filled in for the missing Johnson and Brown (injured and suspended respectively).

    It was utter domination from the word go. Terry attacking the near post at a corner put us 1-0 up after just 2 minutes. There were also goals for Rooney and Walcott before the half was out and we were on cruise control.

    In the second-half, a brace from Frank Lampard and goals from Michael Carrick and Michael Owen gave us the 7-0 win. An absolutely outstanding performance in which Chile really didn't stand much of a chance. Their 3-4-3 formation fell apart against our 4-2-3-1. Lampard was man of the match and his 5 goals in the last 2 games was quite a way to turn around a tournament in which he had been dropped for two of the group games.

    So far, we hadn't exactly had the most difficult pathway through the rounds, I will admit that. Nevertheless, this performance and result was pretty impressive and I went into the Semi-finals feeling quietly confident regardless of who we would face from Holland or Spain. In the end, fate drew us to play Spain, and I knew this would be a major challenge for my side. Another win and we would go through to the World Cup final. A loss, and we would be packing our bags at the business end of the competition, having come fairly far in the tournament, but ultimately not far enough. The pressure was now on and I hoped we had not peaked too early in the competition.

    Quarter-final Results

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    World Cup 2010 Semi-final - Spain 2-3 England

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    I think thrilling is the best word for this. Or maybe unbelievable.

    I seriously doubted our chances against Spain and I half expected to bow out at this stage, with a respectable semi-final finish having been achieved. Of course, the other half of me was hugely optimistic and felt that anything could happen. But not quite like this though.

    Apart from Glen Johnson returning at right-back, this was an unchanged team with Gerrard once again finding himself on the bench.

    I couldn't quite believe our luck when we found ourselves 1-0 up after just 4 minutes. It was a marvellous long-range strike from Michael Carrick. However, Spain were quickly back in the game on 17 minutes, through Xavi. Just before half-time, Carles Puyol scored from a corner and I felt miserable. I really expected that this was going to be one step too far for England. Worse still, I was angry that we had thrown away a lead like this.

    In the second-half, I decided that we would have a real go at Spain, but nothing much came of it. In the last 10 minutes, I chucked on Beckham as deep-lying playmaker and brought on Michael Owen for the very disappointing Wayne Rooney. I pushed up a few players and went to all out attack. Frank Lampard came up with the goods yet again, scoring his 6th and 7th goals of the tournament. With penalties looming, Lampard sealed the win on 85 minutes. It was an outstanding brace.

    This was surely the game of the tournament. We had beaten Spain, one of the real favourites. Nobody had really expected us to come so far but we had actually outplayed Spain and we deserved the win. I just hoped that we still had enough left in the tank for the final, where we would play France.

    World Cup Semi-final results

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    To add a bit of suspense, I'll leave it there for now and post the final up tomorrow!

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Great result, Lampard is on fire. I would be tempted to go in hard on Henry in the final every time he got the ball.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by AcidBurn View Post
    Great result, Lampard is on fire. I would be tempted to go in hard on Henry in the final every time he got the ball.
    You're not Irish, by any chance?!

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by The Governor View Post
    You're not Irish, by any chance?!
    Nope, just dislike Henry. I think England will beat France in the final.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Thanks for your confidence in me Acidburn.

    Any more predictions guys?
    Last edited by crouchaldinho; 21-01-2010 at 22:28.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    World Cup 2010 Final - France 2-1 England

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    News came through before the game that Ben Foster, my first choice 'keeper, would miss the final. I decided to use Paul Robinson in the final, who wasn't match fit, although I'm not sure that it made any difference really.

    Ultimately, in the final, we just didn't turn up when it counted, which is what I told the media after the game. I felt we let ourselves down a bit. France dominated and deserved the win.

    It was a big disappointment to have lost the battle for possession to France, especially as I had put the emphasis on playing a technical passing game during my time with England. Rooney played extremely poorly and I was also a little disappointed with Michael Carrick, who had become a key player during my reign, as deep-lying playmaker.

    The fans were devastated by the result but proud of the team's achievement in reaching the final. The FA assessed our performance and said that they were delighted at having reached the final.

    Spain went on to win the 3rd place play-off.

    Here is the tournament 'tree' showing the run to the final.

    Here are the player statistics for the tournament.

    Frank Lampard won the player of the tournament award and the golden boot.

    Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand were named in the World Cup best XI, while Ashley Young, Michael Carrick and Theo Walcott were named on the bench.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    unlucky mate i had a few years with England won the World cup also but then left to manage Spain.
    i replaced the gerrards, Lampards and Terrys quite quickly and went for youth
    my career so far if your interested.

    http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php?t=182164

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Thanks for the comment Jackripper. Had a quick read of your career and you did really well with England! Well done.

    Gutted to lose in the final. We bottled it really.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Good to see another England thread which can quench our World Cup fever! I don't think i've ever seen such a one sided Quarter Final . Great result, unlucky in the final though...those damn french! No signs of any handballs in the final?

    As for your squad selection, any players who are out of the picture now? Any that are close to getting into the squad?

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    I'm itching to start a World Cup game now because of both your's and Raware's games. The thing is should I go my home country England, or go my newly fostered country Australia for an even bigger challenge...

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Unlucky Crouchy, looks like the team just didn't show up. Joe Hart should be in your thought for GK his stats don't look brilliant but I have him at Sevilla and he has an average rating of 7.35 and regularly performs brilliantly. Will you be carrying on as England manager for the Euro's?

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Raware View Post
    Good to see another England thread which can quench our World Cup fever!
    I've recently bought Brian Glanville's book on the history of England's managers and that's what inspired me to start this little save. I'm also going to order his history of the World Cup as preparation for the summer. I love the World Cup.

    Great result, unlucky in the final though...those damn french! No signs of any handballs in the final?
    No, we were just outplayed. It's my biggest weakness as a manager that I don't tend to do terribly well in finals. My record in finals on FM would be pretty dire reading, especially all of the play-off finals I've lost with St. Albans City. I'm an expert in winning the occasional league but my teams often bottle it in finals.

    As for your squad selection, any players who are out of the picture now? Any that are close to getting into the squad?
    Interesting question. To be honest, I couldn't say right now. I've not played on any more since the final.

    I've tended to pick players based on performances so the squad has changed a fair bit, although the starting eleven has been fairly consistent. I actually ended up not picking my best team on paper but picking my best team in terms of the tactics I wanted to play. It seemed to work pretty well for me.

    I love the new feature where your assistant will make his suggestions as to your squad. I've used that to gauge who I ought to be considering calling up and I think it is a really useful feature. Wish there was more backroom advice though, like you get with club management.

    Anyway, I will have to do a bit of rebuilding as one of two players won't make the European Championships and certainly some of them will not make the next World Cup. No firm plans at the moment though. It's a fresh start and everyone will get their chance to impress, that's my philosophy.
    Last edited by crouchaldinho; 23-01-2010 at 11:03.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by hursty2 View Post
    I'm itching to start a World Cup game now because of both your's and Raware's games. The thing is should I go my home country England, or go my newly fostered country Australia for an even bigger challenge...
    Australia would be really interesting. I say go for that!

    Up to you though, of course.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by AcidBurn View Post
    Unlucky Crouchy, looks like the team just didn't show up. Joe Hart should be in your thought for GK his stats don't look brilliant but I have him at Sevilla and he has an average rating of 7.35 and regularly performs brilliantly. Will you be carrying on as England manager for the Euro's?
    I'll look into Joe Hart but I am the England manager and I won't be swayed by public opinion.

    Yes, I'll be carrying on, although progress might be a little slow because I'll only pick this up now and then when I'm in the mood.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    great read Fabio... unlucky in the final but it looks like Englands ability to wobble or not turn up in big matches struck at the wrong time.... looking forward to see you go for Euro 2012 as and when you continue with this.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Cheers rlipscombe.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Crouchy's Road to Poland and Ukraine

    I haven't played on this save for a while so I thought it might be worth loading up and having a quick go at now and then.

    After finishing as runners-up in the World Cup, I'm now looking to qualify for, and win, the European Championship 2012.

    First of all, I have an incredibly difficult group to get through, consisting of Serbia, Slovenia, Ireland, San Marino and Montenegro. Honestly, if I don't make it through this group, then I pledge to give up FM forever.

    I've decided to go for something different tactically this time around. I'm going to play a fluid 4-4-2 formation.

    What follows will be my journey through the qualification group.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    I should also have said that I decided to remove John Terry from the captaincy. I've given the captain's armband to Frank Lampard with Steven Gerrard as vice-captain.

    The public think that I have made a good choice, while virtually the whole squad has reacted favourably to the decision.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    International Friendly - England 2 - 0 Norway

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    Well, my fluid 4-4-2 turned into a fluid 4-4-1-1 when I quickly realised that I had a lack of quality forwards, along with Gerrard and Lampard to fit into the equation somehow.

    This wasn't much of a test as we absolutely hammered Norway from start to finish.

    Next up, we start our qualification campaign.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    European Championship Qualifying, Group E - England 3 - 3 Serbia

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    After making fun of this group in one of my recent posts and suggesting that I should give up FM if I don't qualify, you could only really expect one result. Forum curse!

    We embarrassed ourselves here today against Serbia. Individual errors were the main issue as we failed to deal defensively with our opponents.

    We've going to have to improve a lot after this. Quite frankly, I'm embarrassed.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    European Championship Qualifying, Group E - Slovenia 2 - 4 England

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    A convincing win in the end but I'm really worried about our tendency to leak goals at the moment.

    Maybe it's down to switching to the 'fluid' philosophy. I'm just used to keeping clean sheets.

    In the end, this was easy enough and a well deserved three points.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Amazing thread title, and the only thing disappointing about this thread is that you're not using Green as your starting goalkeeper

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Maybe I should be! I'm conceding far too many goals for my liking.

    I think a return to a more 'rigid' philosophy is also on the cards.
    Last edited by crouchaldinho; 21-04-2010 at 08:01.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Thanks for the comment by the way likeabawss.

    Right, my experiment with the 'fluid' philosophy is over and it is back to a 'more expressive' form of 'rigid' for England. I'm also switching to 4-4-2 and hoping to give Peter Crouch a chance to impress up front.

    We play Ireland away from home next.
    Last edited by crouchaldinho; 21-04-2010 at 09:18.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    European Championship Qualifying, Group E - Ireland 1 - 2 England

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    This was another really poor performance but at least we managed to grind out the result. I was really disappointed with how poor we were in terms of keeping possession.

    Before the game, I lost John Terry and Ashley Young to injury. I was unable to call up any replacements. Then in the first few minutes of the game, Wayne Rooney was injured.

    Michael Owen came on for him and gave us the lead. But Robbie Keane equalised later in the half after Joleon Lescott (standing in for Terry) gave away a penalty.

    At 1-1, with minutes to go, I pushed everyone forward in a 4-2-4 and finally we got the breakthrough. Gareth Barry knocked the ball into the net from close range after a goalmouth scramble.

    It's pretty poor but it's three points.

    Next we have a friendly against Belgium and perhaps a chance to regroup and get things sorted. It will be our last game of 2010.

    Here is the current table:
    Code:
    | Pos   | Inf   | Team       |       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 1st   |       | England    |       | 3     | 2     | 1     | 0     | 9     | 6     | +3    | 7     | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 2nd   |       | Montenegro |       | 3     | 2     | 1     | 0     | 5     | 3     | +2    | 7     | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 3rd   |       | Ireland    |       | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 5     | 3     | +2    | 4     | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 4th   |       | Slovenia   |       | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 5     | 6     | -1    | 4     | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 5th   |       | Serbia     |       | 3     | 0     | 2     | 1     | 6     | 7     | -1    | 2     | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 6th   |       | San Marino |       | 3     | 0     | 0     | 6     | 1     | 6     | -15   | 0     | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    Last edited by crouchaldinho; 24-04-2010 at 18:57.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    International Friendly - England 2 - 0 Belgium

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    I asked Peter Crouch to drop back into the midfield to cope with their central defensive midfielder and decided to employ the 'play wider' shout in order to take advantage of the space on the flanks we would be afforded due to their formation choice.

    The stats say everything really as we absolutely dominated and didn't give them a sniff.

    It's obviously not the great test but I'm pleased with the improved performance.

    I've decided to vary my tactics a little more and to switch between the 4-4-2, 4-4-1-1 and 4-2-3-1 depending on my tactical ideas for the specific game and the players I have available. Just call me the 'tinkerman'.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    European Championship Qualifying, Group E - England 4 - 0 Montenegro

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    This was more like it. After a slow start, we're finally getting going.

    A marvellous Wayne Rooney hat-trick did the business for us. We didn't give them a sniff and probably could have scored more.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    I forgot to mention that Gerrard is out for the season.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Are you always playing a 4-4-2, if so was Ashley Young upfront with Rooney?

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    No, in the end, I decided to vary the formation depending on several factors coming into each match (e.g. my tactical ideas for the specific game or the players I have available and so on).

    If you check the 'Line Ups' link for each game, you'll be linked to a screenshot of the formation.

    Also, I play traditional English squad numbers for every system, so you should be able to tell from that who was playing where.

    Ashley Young was wide left in that game. Rooney was up front on his own with Lampard playing AMC.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Cool, I was just looking at the match details and player ratings. That's my favourite formation the 4-2-3-1, got some good form going for you as well, good luck.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Cheers Acidburn.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Always fun to read of your travels, Crouchy. Been following your Calcio and St. Albans City saves. Keep up the good work.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Thanks scalascione!

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    European Championship Qualifying, Group E - San Marino 0 - 4 ENGLAND

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    I decided to adopt a 4-3-3 shape today and set about attacking San Marino from the off in the hope of being able to reduce the intensity of the game in the second-half in order to save the players' condition for the next game coming up in a few days time away to Serbia.

    It was very easy indeed and we basically cruised through it. Notice that Ben Foster has 100% condition at the end of the game. He didn't touch the ball!

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    European Championship Qualifying, Group E - Serbia 1 - 3 ENGLAND

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    Serbia shocked us at Wembley in our first game in this qualifying group by pulling off an incredible 3-3 draw. I was determined to get my revenge here.

    Serbia's narrow 4-2-3-1 formation worried me and I decided in the end that we should play 4-2-3-1 ourselves with the two central midfielders shielding the defence. Carrick would be deep-lying playmaker.

    Serbia managed to get the lead just before half-time and I couldn't quite believe it. I feared that we were going to lose here in Belgrade.

    At half-time, I told the players to show me some passion, and luckily they did improve dramatically in the second-half. Ashley Young grabbed a goal and Aaron Lennon scored a brace of goals to win us the match. Serbia switched to 4-4-2 during the second-half, and so did we, and I feel that the game fell in our favour after this change.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Here is the current table:

    Code:
    | Pos   | Inf   | Team       |       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 1st   |       | England    |       | 6     | 5     | 1     | 0     | 20    | 7     | +13   | 16    | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 2nd   |       | Slovenia   |       | 6     | 4     | 1     | 1     | 9     | 6     | +3    | 13    | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 3rd   |       | Ireland    |       | 6     | 3     | 1     | 2     | 8     | 4     | +4    | 10    | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 4th   |       | Montenegro |       | 6     | 2     | 1     | 3     | 5     | 9     | -4    | 7     | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 5th   |       | Serbia     |       | 6     | 1     | 2     | 3     | 12    | 12    | 0     | 5     | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 6th   |       | San Marino |       | 6     | 0     | 0     | 6     | 1     | 17    | -16   | 0     | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    We play second-placed Slovenia at Wembley next.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Good stuff so far crouchy .

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Unlucky on the world cup final loss. Get your revenge in the Euro championship!

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by crouchaldinho View Post
    I'll look into Joe Hart but I am the England manager and I won't be swayed by public opinion.
    "England will be playing 4-4-****ing-2."

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason the Yank View Post
    "England will be playing 4-4-****ing-2."
    Exactly.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    That was one funny movie. I have it on DVD somewhere. The spin off TV series was good too.
    Last edited by Nobby_McDonald; 01-05-2010 at 20:48. Reason: Eye karnt speel

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    A 'fully' movie?

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    European Championship Qualifying, Group E - ENGLAND 3 - 0 Slovenia

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    Nice easy win for us. We were dominant from the start playing our 4-2-3-1 formation.

    Slovenia were one of our main rivals in the group and we have now opened up a gap between us and the rest.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    European Championship Qualifying, Group E - ENGLAND 1 - 1 Ireland

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    A win today would have seen us qualified for the Euros. Unfortunately, Robbie Keane was on hand to embarrass us as we drew a game in which we were hugely dominant.

    Ireland came to defend with two defensive midfielders in a 4-5-1 formation. We just couldn't find a way through to get a second goal. Then, Robbie Keane stepped up and pulled Ireland level.

    We're still well in charge of the group. We have to play the two bottom sides in our last two games and ought to really tie this group up in our penultimate game.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Here is the current table:

    Code:
    | Pos   | Inf   | Team       |       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 1st   | Pl    | England    |       | 8     | 6     | 2     | 0     | 24    | 8     | +16   | 20    | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 2nd   |       | Slovenia   |       | 8     | 5     | 1     | 2     | 12    | 9     | +3    | 16    | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 3rd   |       | Serbia     |       | 8     | 3     | 2     | 3     | 16    | 13    | +3    | 11    | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 4th   |       | Ireland    |       | 8     | 3     | 2     | 3     | 9     | 6     | +3    | 11    | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 5th   |       | Montenegro |       | 8     | 3     | 1     | 4     | 12    | 12    | 0     | 10    | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 6th   |       | San Marino |       | 8     | 0     | 0     | 8     | 1     | 26    | -25   | 0     | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    We are guaranteed a play-off spot and we really have one foot in Poland and Ukraine.

    Next up we play Montenegro away before finishing against San Marino. Three points from just one of these games will see us win the group.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Mon Crouchie \o/

    Oh, Great title

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Thanks bluebirds4life!

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by crouchaldinho View Post
    A 'fully' movie?
    It is when Ricky Tomlinson plays the lead.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Great movie.

    Easy qualification, good luck Crouchy.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    European Championship Qualifying, Group E - Montenegro 0 - 2 ENGLAND

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    We went with the 4-2-3-1 and put in a great shift to comfortably win this match.

    This win sealed our qualification for Euro 2012 and it has been extremely straight forward for us. Let's hope the actual tournament follows in a similar fashion!

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    European Championship Qualifying, Group E - ENGLAND 9 - 0 San Marino

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    I decided to give the 4-3-1-2 formation a try today, employing Lampard behind Rooney and Crouch, with a midfield three of Barry, Carrick and Gerrard behind them. San Marino went with a bizarre 4-2-4 formation at Wembley.

    We absolutely trounced them and I have the feeling that it could have been many more if I hadn't switched to a more orthodox 4-4-2 in the second-half. Rooney and Lampard were on fire.

    It's nice to celebrate our qualification with such an emphatic victory.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Here is the final table:

    Code:
    | Pos   | Inf   | Team       |       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 1st   | Q     | England    |       | 10    | 8     | 2     | 0     | 35    | 8     | +27   | 26    | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 2nd   | Pl    | Slovenia   |       | 10    | 5     | 3     | 2     | 14    | 11    | +3    | 18    | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 3rd   |       | Serbia     |       | 10    | 4     | 3     | 3     | 20    | 14    | +6    | 15    | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 4th   |       | Ireland    |       | 10    | 3     | 4     | 3     | 12    | 9     | +3    | 13    | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 5th   |       | Montenegro |       | 10    | 3     | 2     | 5     | 14    | 16    | -2    | 11    | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
    | 6th   |       | San Marino |       | 10    | 0     | 0     | 10    | 1     | 38    | -37   | 0     | 
    | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
    8 points clear of second place with a goal difference of +27. I think that says it all.

    It really wasn't a tough group.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    We play a friendly against Denmark at Wembley next in November before the draw for the Euros takes place in December.
    Last edited by crouchaldinho; 04-05-2010 at 21:25.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Nice so far crouchaldinho, unlucky in the World Cup but hopefully you'll win EURO 2012 .

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    good read...

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Thanks Jenko_EFC and coldkohmew.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Managed England a few times in the World Cup and got to the semi-final which was the highest I ever got but that was probably because I was biased and wouldn't play Gerrard, Johnson or any Liverpool player and played Baines, Jagielka even Rodwell :P

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenko_EFC View Post
    Managed England a few times in the World Cup and got to the semi-final which was the highest I ever got but that was probably because I was biased and wouldn't play Gerrard, Johnson or any Liverpool player and played Baines, Jagielka even Rodwell :P


    Luckily I'm not biased!

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by crouchaldinho View Post


    Luckily I'm not biased!
    Neither am I ... I just hate particular players

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    International Friendly - ENGLAND 3 - 2 USA

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    A couple of friendlies to see out the year now and to prepare for the Euros.

    First up, the USA at Wembley, which turned out to be a tougher game than I had imagined. I put out what I felt was my strongest team in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

    Ultimately, we dominated, but made life tough for ourselves by conceding a couple of really soft goals. Must improve is the verdict after this game.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    International Friendly - ENGLAND 3 - 1 Denmark

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    Same team, same formation. Utter domination at Wembley but I was disappointed to not keep a clean sheet.

    Otherwise, this was much better.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Euro 2012 Draw

    Here is our draw for the Euros:



    Should be a straight-forward passage through to the Quarter-finals to be honest.

    The other groups are:

    Group A - Russia, Sweden, Portugal and Poland.
    Group B - N. Ireland, Ukraine, Germany, Czech Rep.
    Group D - Romania, Spain, Italy and Croatia. ----> Group of Death!

  86. #86
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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Great work as England manager

    That has got to be one of the easiest groups ever

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Yes, should be pretty easy, shouldn't it?

    Just look at Group D though!

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Yer, would not like to be Romania

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    International Friendly - Tunisia 0 - 2 England

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    Time for a quick Euro 2012 warm up friendly match.

    No Steven Gerrard here, so I abandoned the usual 4-4-1-1/4-2-3-1 style formation in favour of 4-5-1/4-3-3. We lack any quality up front apart from Rooney and we have a plethora of quality midfield and wide players, so these will really be our choices for the upcoming Euro 2012 tournament.

    This was nothing less than total domination against Tunisia. One thing that I don't like about the 4-5-1 style formations is that they don't tend to score a lot of goals with the lone forward, who has no support apart from the wingers. I much prefer the 4-4-1-1/4-2-3-1 style formation. I'd really like to go with two up top but as I mentioned previously, it makes more sense to field three central midfielders and one forward with the players I have at the moment.

    Anyway, job done here. It won't be long before the Euro 2012 tournament kicks off and we're underway now!

  90. #90
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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010



    Decent odds for Euro 2012. We're in with a chance according to the bookmakers!

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    International Friendly - England 2 - 0 Finland

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    Another friendly before the tournament begins. I took the opportunity to experiment in this game and decided to play an asymmetric formation (what the game calls '4-2-3-1 Asymmetric' but I reversed it so that it is the opposite of the default). It seems to suit my best players well enough and I thought it was worth a try for something different.

    In the end, this game was a case of total domination from us but we just couldn't find the goals until the very end of the match. The important thing was that we got the win. I think it was probably hard for us to play our usual style of game in the gale and rain that was going on at Wembley.

    In other news, Rooney broke the goalscoring record for England.
    Last edited by crouchaldinho; 22-05-2010 at 17:50.

  92. #92
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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    My squad to take to Euro 2012:


  93. #93
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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Just saved that Finland win there. And I notice your squad has a distinct lack of Zamoras. Although tbf he is 31.

    KUTGW .

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Cheers Canvey!! No Zamora, I'm afraid.

    Euro 2012 Group C - England 1-0 Belgium

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    Far from convincing but we got the all important win to get us up and running.

    I'm not sure how well the Asymmetric 4-5-1/4-3-3 formation is working at the moment. I decided to stick with it for this match but we struggled to create much and really scraped the victory. Perhaps it wasn't the shape but rather that I should have been more adventurous and attacking.

    Getting the win was made more difficult when Wayne Rooney picked up a knock and I decided to sub him as a precautionary measure. In the end, Steven Gerrard popped up with the goal to win this match and we ended up hanging in there for the three points.

    Some bad news after the game as I discovered that Ashley Cole is injured and is ruled out of the rest of the tournament.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Euro 2012 Group C - Greece 0 - 2 England

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    With Gerrard and Johnson looking a little tired, I decided to rest them. The biggest impact was in the midfield, where Barry came in to play DM, Carrick came in at MC to play deep-lying playmaker, and Lampard shifted up to play an attacking AM role. We actually looked a lot better like this and it raises the old question of whether you can fit Gerrard and Lampard into the same team. At the 2010 World Cup, the answer was no. What will the answer be this time around? At the moment, I like our midfield with Carrick and Barry in it. Maybe I need to go along with the old Italian system of the 'relay' (I forget the Italian) where you have two similar players who cannot (or should not) feature together. For them it is usually their fantasistas (fantasy attacking players, e.g. trequartistas etc.)

    Anyway, in the end we were quite comfortable in this one, with both goals coming from Rooney. England's record goalscorer also managed to get himself sent off in the middle of the second-half, leaving us down to ten men. He will now miss the final group game against Switzerland. At least he will not miss a meaningful fixture, as this result confirmed our qualification for the Quarter-finals.

    I've just realised that the FA want me to reach the semis at the very least, so I will be battling to achieve that.

    I was also just reflecting that I have quite an old squad now with a few players unlikely to be with me at the World Cup in 2014. Lampard and Ferdinand are 33, Gerrard is 32 and there are a whole bunch of players on 31. So there will be a rebuilding job after this Euro 2012 tournament. Will I be there to do the rebuilding? Only time will tell!

    I will use the last game against Switzerland to experiment and to try to fit Gerrard and Lampard into the team together once again. However, we really ought to be trying to win this last game to finish top of the group (we need a draw to finish top), so I will still be taking it very seriously.
    Last edited by crouchaldinho; 20-05-2010 at 22:58.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Regarding the Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard situation, I'm thinking of bringing Lampard back in at MC and playing him as 'advanced playmaker' on support, with Gerrard returning as AMC and playing 'attacking midfielder' on an attack duty. We'll see how that goes against Switzerland.

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Never tried but could you play one of them as trequarista with more closing down though?

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Cheers for the comment Jenko_EFC. You'll see what I ended up doing shortly!

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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    Euro 2012 Group C - England 0 - 0 Switzerland

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    We more or less showed today that if we lose Wayne Rooney, we haven't got a plan B. Plan A is Wayne Rooney and Plan B is get knocked out of the tournament.

    This was a boring 0-0 which we definitely edged but we just couldn't find the back of the net. Switzerland were playing an ultra defensive 4-4-2 with DMs and we couldn't find a way past them. We were also off our game today. It wasn't a performance to be proud of really but we got the point we needed to finish top of the group.

    It has made my mind up about the Lampard and Gerrard issue though. I'm going to drop the England captain, Frank Lampard, and bring Michael Carrick back into the midfield as deep-lying playmaker. Gerrard will start in the attacking midfield role with Lampard able to come on as a sub. It means the captaincy will pass from Lampard to Gerrard (who is vice-captain).

    In other news, Leighton Baines was injured in this match. I took two players for each position and with him and Ashley Cole out of the tournament, we now have no recognised natural left-back. Gareth Barry will have to deputise in that position.

    We now play the runners-up of Group D - Spain - which is going to be a very challenging fixture at this stage of the tournament. They will be wanting revenge, no doubt, after we beat them in that terrific World Cup semi-final is 2010.
    Last edited by crouchaldinho; 22-05-2010 at 13:20.

  100. #100
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    Default Re: Fabio Crouchello - Taking England to South Africa 2010

    nice story m8 keep up the good work : )

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