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Thread: If You Count Your Chickens Before They've Hatched, They Won't Lay An Egg

  1. #701
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotChocolate View Post
    I'm completely baffled as to why I said World Cup.

    If only their was time travel, I must have looked at it and then gone and done something else to come back by accident put Euros.

    I do apologize AK
    Maybe you were trying to grasp butter that wasn't in it's packet while you were reading.

  2. #702
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    Diagola looks class. Keep up the good work

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobby_McDonald View Post
    Maybe you were trying to grasp butter that wasn't in it's packet while you were reading.
    That is a possibility though I'm not sure that's what it was.

    Maybe the Nuts magazine on the floor caught my eye (there is a serious possibility)

  4. #704
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    Now that's why you were grasping butter. It was on something else.

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    I don't need no butter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HotChocolate View Post
    I was looking at the table and read what you'd put: Arsenal look unstoppable.

    I looked back at the table and thought, they've played 19, won 10, drawn 0, lost 0. How does that work out? Obviously it then clicked, but never the less I was quite confused for a bit.
    Nearly another fail there HC ;) I like the extra stats you get from the combined table, but totally understand that it can be a bit confusing if you're not used to seeing it!

    Quote Originally Posted by B.W.G View Post
    Tough break with Arsenal playing very well but if anyone can overtake them then it's you
    Quote Originally Posted by Pangaea View Post
    Tough fight with both Arsenal and United so far, but if you keep going like this the other teams tend to fall off.
    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    You're only just behind them, so can do it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dejay View Post
    Diagola looks class. Keep up the good work
    Cheers! Arsenal are unbelievable this season; they're well on track for 100+ points and 100+ goals, unless they have a complete derailment. They're also out of the Champions League, which helps keeps their team fresh for all the league fixtures; a luxury that we don't have.

    It's going to be extremely tough to overturn them, but as long as we keep in touching distance, we could, theoretically, overtake them on the final day of the season!

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    Liverpool F.C.



    Season Review 2024/25

    Competitions

    Barclays Premier League: 2nd
    Position Graph | Fixtures 1 | Fixtures 2 | Fixtures 3





    UEFA Champions League: Runners-Up | FA Cup: Semi-Final | Carling Cup: Winners

    Season Summary

    Match of the Season Highlights: Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona

    Not quite the blaze of glory I would have liked to go out in. However, it wasn't a bad effort from the lads, and at least it didn't end trophy-less; thank goodness for the Carling Cup!

    Unfortunately for us, Arsenal were just too good, and if it hadn't been for us beating The Gunners on the final day of the season, they would have surpassed the 100 point mark for the season. Our record wasn't that bad, and in most season, 92 points would have been easily enough to secure the trophy; in fact, we even improved on the points tallies from our title winning seasons. It was just one of 'those' years, I suppose.

    Once again, we were the bridesmaid of the Champions League, making it all the way to the final, only to be beaten by AC Milan. Unlike our previous defeat, where we were hard done by, and lost it on penalties, this was a well deserved loss. All of a sudden, completely out of the blue, I had players lacking in confidence, looking complacent and playing nervously; quite a lethal cocktail, and not what you want in the final of the biggest competition in Europe! Perhaps I over-egged our chance of victory, perhaps I got my team selection wrong, perhaps we bottled it. What I do know, is that I now have a record of two Champions League finals played, two Champions League finals lost. Not the best of ways to bring the curtain down on my Liverpool career.




    Financial

    Bank Balance: £88.3m
    Average Attendance: 53242 | Season Ticket Holders: 37117


    Plenty of cash, should my successor wish to spend it.


    Squad

    Squad Overview | Transfer Summary
    Team of the Year | Overall Best Eleven

    Fan's Player of the Year: Nicolás Hermosilla
    Manager's Player of the Year: Pablo Marquina
    Top Goalscorer: Pablo Marquina (36 goals)

    I'm going to leave a great squad behind, with plenty of strength in depth, and with lots of young starlets waiting in the wings for their chance in the first team. Pablo Marquina had an outstanding season, netting 36 times, and is definitely one of the key men at the club. Also held in high regard is the centre-back partnership of Juame Ferrer and Nicolás Hermosilla, who, once again, ensured we had the best defensive record in the league, with only 17 goals conceded. The midfield trio of William Segura, Roberto Poison and Pedro Correia all had solid seasons, ably assisted by the January signing of Kennedy Ojigwe, who joined us for £17m from Inter Milan. That being said, it was in midfield that we had the worst luck with injury, having 3/4 players missing at a time, regularly throughout the season.


    Previous Teams News

    Kingstonian - Steady 16th place finish in League Two.

    Hull - Also steady midtable; 12th in The Championship.

    Fulham - Finished sixth and qualified for the Europa League again.


    Career Summary


    Code:
    Season     Team              League                   Finish    Cups                             
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2011/12    Unemployed
    2012/13    Kingstonian       Blue Square Bet South    3rd       FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round, FA Trophy 2nd Round
    2013/14    Kingstonian       Blue Square Bet Premier  3rd       FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 1st Round
    2014/15    Kingstonian       npower League Two        16th      FA Cup 1st Round, Carling Cup 1st Round, JPT 1st Round
    2015/16    Kingstonian       npower League Two        17th**    **Resigned 19/12/2015
               Hull City         npower League One        6th       FA Cup 4th Round
    2016/17    Hull City         npower League One        1st       FA Cup 1st Round, Carling Cup 1st Round, JPT Winner
    2017/18    Hull City         npower Championship      2nd       FA Cup 5th Round, Carling Cup 2nd Round
    2018/19    Fulham            Barclays Premier League  5th       FA Cup Semi-Final, Carling Cup Semi-Final
    2019/20    Fulham            Barclays Premier League  7th       Europa League 2nd KO Rd, FA Cup 6th Rd, Carling Cup 3rd Rd
    2020/21    Fulham            Barclays Premier League  8th**     **Resigned 13/11/2020
               Liverpool         Barclays Premier League  6th       Europa League 1st KO Rd, FA Cup 5th Rd
    2021/22    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League  3rd       Europa League Winners, FA Cup 4th Rd, Carling Cup QF
    2022/23    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League  1st       Champions League Runner-Up, FA Cup 3rd Rd, Carling Cup QF
    2023/24    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League  1st       Champions League SF, FA Cup SF, Carling Cup QF
    2024/25    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League  2nd       Champions League Runner-Up, FA Cup SF, Carling Cup Winners

    Last edited by AK22; 06-02-2012 at 18:15.

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    And that is that for my spell with Liverpool. I leave the club in much better shape than I found it in, and with a serious chance of contending for honours for at least the next five years. Of course, I just hope they appoint a decent replacement, and don't replace me with some nobody regen who will sell off their prized assets and leave all the best players to rot in the reserves.



    In my time at Anfield I have won 2 Premier League titles, 1 Europa League, 1 Carling Cup, 1 European Super Cup and 2 Community Shields; although I only consider the back-to-back Premier League titles as significant achievements.



    With a reputation of 'World Class', I'm now in a position where I could, hypothetically, walk into any club job around the globe. However, I feel that I have now 'done' England, so will be looking further afield. I will also be avoiding any of the European 'Powerhouses', as I don't want to disrupt any success that Liverpool may have in the near future.

    A new adventure awaits!

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    Like you said, not the blaze of glory that you wanted to go out in but nevertheless, you've created a fantasic legacy at Liverpool . Did you ever make it on to their favoured list?

    So, the question is...where now? You've said probably not England...any country of preference?

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    You did very well at Liverpool and it's always good to finish above Utd.

    Good luck wherever you end up next

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    Lets see which is the lucky club.

  12. #712
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    You did really well at Liverpool - I salute you.

    Shame your final season wasn't what you wanted. Best of luck wherever you may go.

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    Done brilliantly with Liverpool Good luck with whoever you take over next.

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    That news item should have read: The King Steps Down

    Or is King Kenny still better?

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    Wow, Arsenal were a bit good. No wonder you couldn't surpass them when they are in such form and almost get 100 points. Overall a good period though, with two league titles and a Europa League trophy.

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    A great near 5 year spell at Liverpool, couldn't do anything about the title this year as Arsenal just looked unstoppable.

    Looking forward to seeing where you end up next!

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    You're no Bill Shankley.

    Outstanding home form from Arsenal.

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    Good luck wherever you go next!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raware View Post
    Like you said, not the blaze of glory that you wanted to go out in but nevertheless, you've created a fantasic legacy at Liverpool . Did you ever make it on to their favoured list?

    So, the question is...where now? You've said probably not England...any country of preference?
    As soon as we won the second league title, I then made it on to the Favoured Personnel. However, since leaving, I've now fallen off, which is a bit harsh!!

    I've got a few countries on my radar; Turkey, Netherlands, Portugal and Ukraine are all European leagues that I'd like to have a bash at. However, they will have to wait, as I've just accepted a post slightly further afield!

    Quote Originally Posted by B.W.G View Post
    You did very well at Liverpool and it's always good to finish above Utd.

    Good luck wherever you end up next
    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Lets see which is the lucky club.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dejay View Post
    You did really well at Liverpool - I salute you.

    Shame your final season wasn't what you wanted. Best of luck wherever you may go.
    Quote Originally Posted by john1 View Post
    Done brilliantly with Liverpool Good luck with whoever you take over next.
    Thanks! We finished above Man Utd in four of the five seasons I spent at Anfield, which was a pleasing accomplishment! Though our rivals still have a higher reputation (Man Utd - World Class, Liverpool - Continental), which is a tad annoying.

    Quote Originally Posted by HotChocolate View Post
    That news item should have read: The King Steps Down

    Or is King Kenny still better?
    LOL! King Kenny will always be better than me; I am not worthy of 'his' status (yet )!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pangaea View Post
    Wow, Arsenal were a bit good. No wonder you couldn't surpass them when they are in such form and almost get 100 points. Overall a good period though, with two league titles and a Europa League trophy.
    Quote Originally Posted by City2000 View Post
    A great near 5 year spell at Liverpool, couldn't do anything about the title this year as Arsenal just looked unstoppable.

    Looking forward to seeing where you end up next!
    Quote Originally Posted by Nobby_McDonald View Post
    You're no Bill Shankley.

    Outstanding home form from Arsenal.
    Quote Originally Posted by rancer890 View Post
    Good luck wherever you go next!
    Cheers! Arsenal were immense, but in a weird kinda way, I'm pleased that if Liverpool couldn't win the league, then I'm glad it was the Gooners, rather than MU, MC or Chelsea. Any team that wins 33 out of their 38 games deserves to win the title, so I'm gracious enough to realise the better team won. Hopefully my successor can put the team back on track next season.

  20. #720
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    One of the offers I rejected...



    Although I'm sure I would have enjoyed spending £382m!!

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    That's one offer I've been waiting for since forever in my save....

    You're looking to manage outside of Europe?

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    Wow,would love an offer like that!I'd have a field day with a transfer budget of £382 million

  23. #723
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    Holy crap that's some wedge.

  24. #724
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    Yeah, that's one big ol' transfer budget. £5m a week for wages is pretty nifty too! It would have been far too easy though, and after a season or two of pure domination, I'm sure I would have got bored at Camp Nou.

    rancer- although I wasn't specifically looking for a club outside Europe, the job I got offered (and accepted) interested me greatly. Details of which, to follow very soon!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK22 View Post
    Yeah, that's one big ol' transfer budget. £5m a week for wages is pretty nifty too! It would have been far too easy though, and after a season or two of pure domination, I'm sure I would have got bored at Camp Nou.

    rancer- although I wasn't specifically looking for a club outside Europe, the job I got offered (and accepted) interested me greatly. Details of which, to follow very soon!
    That's very true, nothing like a challenge to keep you interested!

  26. #726
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    Whether it's because I've spent the past five seasons with Liverpool, or the fact that I've had all thirteen seasons of my career based in England, but I feel that this career has yet to seriously take off. I haven't really ventured into the unknown yet, or played in a league with a different footballing culture; I've stuck very much to my footballing roots, so it's definitely time for a change of scenery.

    Passport in hand, I touch down on the fair shores of Argentina. Fair shores I say, but knowing the history between the UK and Argentina, I can't be too sure that they are overly pleased to see an Englishman. That being said, I'm here for football management reasons only, so any prejudice between the two nations can be put to one side whilst I concentrate on restoring one of their oldest clubs to it's former glory.

    The club I've chosen has quite an chequered history, and this is the main reason for why I decided to accept the terms of the contract offered to me. They also play in red, and I certainly have a penchant for teams that play in red, so that helped sway me too!

    So more about the club itself; League Champions five times in their history, the first being back in 1967, when they were the first club outside the 'big five' to win the title, with the most recent being in 2010. They've also won the Copa Libertadores four times, including an unprecedented three consecutive times between the years of 1968 and 1970. This period was overseen by, arguably, their greatest manager, Osvaldo Zubeldía, who not only transformed the club into winners, but also revolutionised coaching techniques into what we know today. Zubeldía was one of the initial coaches to incorporate set-piece drills and the offside trap into their training regime, as well as thoroughly researching rival team's tactics and playing styles. In addition to this, he hired former referees to inform the team on how to bend the rules of the game, exploiting every possible loophole. This turned the club into world beaters, and one of the most successful teams in Argentine football history, although he was not without his critics. He was often condemned for his use of timewasting and tactical fouls, to frustrate and break down opponents advances, and also oversaw violent intercontinental matches against Man Utd (1968) and AC Milan (1969), where after the latter match, the whole team was arrested on orders from the Argentine President. Due to these events, Zubeldía's style of football was come to be known as el antifúbol (the anti-football), and his team labelled as 'one of the most despicable to emerge from South America'.

    One of the stars to emerge from Zubeldía's team was the anchor of their midfield, Carlos Bilardo, who became the on-field tactician under that regime before eventually taken over the management of the club in 1971. Bilardo would go on to manage the club on four separate occasions between the years of 1971 and 2004, but will be most well known for being the national team coach of the World Cup winning Argentina side of 1986. A feat that they very nearly repeated four years later in Italia '90.

    Bilardo is just one of many greats to have played for the club, having counted Juan Sebastián Verón, his father, Juan Ramón, Martín Palermo, Luciano Galletti, Mariano Pavone and Mauro Boselli amongst the list of illustrious players to don the famous red and white stripe shirts.

    So let me introduce you to Los Pincharratas (the rat stabbers), a nickname that is thought to have derived from the 1910s nickname of a trader who spent much time chasing rats round the local market, my new club Estudiantes de La Plata.

    Last edited by AK22; 08-02-2012 at 12:22.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dejay View Post
    Holy crap that's some wedge.
    Foooooooooooooooooooore!!

    Incredible offer from Barcelona. They must be bathing in money.

    Quite a career move there, but it will perhaps be refreshing to get out or Liverpool and Europe and try something different. Good luck in Armando-land

  28. #728
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    Interesting choice of club and also a good write up on it's history.Good luck at Estudiantes

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    Nice change of scenery, good luck!

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    Good luck in Argentina.

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    Those cheating thugs!!!!!

  32. #732
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    Careful if you venture out to the Falklands.

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    Booo.

    Hah good luck with the Argies

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    Thanks for the comments; really looking forward to having a new club in a new continent. Should be an interesting challenge!




    Estudiantes: My Arrival in Argentina

    I haven't played in Argentina for a while, probably not since managing Boca Juniors back on FM05, so I need to get reacquainted to the domestic season schedule, and how continental qualification works etc.

    Argentina Primera División - Contested by twenty clubs, on a round-robin basis, the season runs from August to May of the following, with each season split into two tournaments, the Apertura (opening stage) and Clausura (closing stage), both crowning its own champion. Relegation is based on a averaging system, with the two teams with the worst three-year point average being relegated, and the best two teams from the Primera B Nacional getting promoted. Teams in 17th/18th contest a two-legged playoff with the teams finishing 4th/3rd in the division below, with the team winning the tie securing a place in next season's Primera División.

    Looking at the past winners of this competition, it's clear that Boca, River, Vélez and Independiente are the teams that have had the most success recently. However, it certainly isn't an exclusive member's only club, as, encouragingly, smaller teams such as Tigre and Lanús have been able to lift the trophy in previous seasons.



    Club Finances | Club Reputations | Average Point Table

    Unfortunately, Estudiantes have not been able to get anywhere near lifting the Apertura and Clausera trophies since 2012 when they finished second twice. In fact, since then, it's pretty apparent that they've been nothing more than a solid mid-table team who have suffered occasional blips, every now and again.




    Copa Argentina - This tournament is contested by 186 teams from seven divisions of the Argentine League structure in a knock-out system competition. All Primera División teams enter in the Fifth Round. The winners of the trophy automatically qualify for the Copa Sudamericana.

    Copa Libertadores - Four teams qualify for the Group Stages of South America's premier tournament, with a further team qualifying for the Preliminary Round. These teams include the Apertura and Clausura champions, as well as the three teams with the most combined points from these tournaments.

    Copa Sudamericana - Six teams qualify for this continental tournament, usually consisting of the Copa Argentina winners and the five best teams from the league competitions.




    Estudiantes: The State of Play

    Facilities | Finances | Previous Managers

    Contract Length: 3 years | Wage: £4.4k per week
    Transfer Budget: £738k | Wage Budget: £95k (currently spending £84k)

    We may not be the richest club in Argentina, but financially, everything here is in a reasonable state; there's money in the bank and only £2.8m worth of debt to be repaid. The chairman's also given me a small amount of money to play with, so if there is an opportunity to bring in some new faces, I do have some resource to do so.

    The stadium and facilities all look good enough for now, although we will need to improve our youth set-up somewhat if we are going to make the most of the young Argentinians coming through our youth set-up.


    Squad Overview
    Key Players: Gerardo Suárez, David Gutiérrez, Gabriel Pastoriza, Mathías Correa, Pedro Correa, Gerardo Pérez

    From a brief look at the playing staff, it appears we've got a pretty decent squad with plenty of youngsters coming through. Unfortunately, in the past, Estudiantes has become somewhat of a 'selling' club, so I'm sure it will be difficult to keep players long term unless we see a dramatic change in fortunes on the pitch.

    Initially, I'll be looking to get together a set of coherent tactics, with 4-4-2 being the most likely of formations to be used in the opening matches. I anticipate Argentinian football to be gritty, competitive, and downright dirty at times, so they'll be no place in my team for shrinking violets; the players will need to show fight and determination, as well as being able to stick the boot in too, when needed.

    The media predict us to finish 9th, which I think is a fair expectation considering the length of time the club has gone without a trophy. I'm pretty confident that we're not in any danger of relegation, but still quite a way off challenging at the top of the league, so a strong mid-table finish is the most likely of results this season.

    Long term, I want to return this club to it's glory days, aiming to win a league title within five seasons, as well as contending for honours in the continental tournaments. Having two bites of the cherry every year is certainly a huge advantage, so if we can maintain a strong level of performance for a three/four month period, it's likely that we can win some silverware fairly quickly. However, for the foreseeable future, I'll just be looking to establish the club as a top six side, focusing on nurturing the talent currently at the club, and building for the future.
    Last edited by AK22; 08-02-2012 at 21:42.

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    I find that stadium quite pleasent on the eye.

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    Excellent write-up there AK22

    See the stadium was built in 2014. Is this something that is ongoing in real life, or something the game has pulled off so soon?

    Looks a very strong team based on the star ratings, but I'm sure you'll want to make it "yours" over time. Good luck down there.

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    Yeah that's a great little ground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    I find that stadium quite pleasent on the eye.
    Quote Originally Posted by SnakeXe View Post
    Yeah that's a great little ground.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pangaea View Post
    Excellent write-up there AK22

    See the stadium was built in 2014. Is this something that is ongoing in real life, or something the game has pulled off so soon?

    Looks a very strong team based on the star ratings, but I'm sure you'll want to make it "yours" over time. Good luck down there.
    Cheers! Actually the stadium pic is an artist impression of the newly-renovated Estadio Jorge Luis Hirschi (Estudiantes' current real-life ground), but as it's capacity is about the same of the originally-titled Estudiantes Stadium, I'd thought I'd still post it to give an idea of what the new stadium might look like! When I did my research on the club, I couldn't find anything to suggest that a new stadium is being planned in real life, so it looks like something that has been generated by the game. That said, a two year turnaround is pretty speedy work!

    Going forward, the style and format of my updates will be a bit more fluid, and include a bit more narrative than before. I think it's all been a bit too regimental so far, sticking to a regular format on every post, and will be looking to do something slightly more original to freshen things up a bit. New club, new approach, and all that!

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    Turkey Update (Summer 2025) - UEFA World Cup Qualifiers



    Results

    Turkey 6-0 Faroe Islands
    Spain 1-1 Turkey
    Slovakia 1-0 Turkey
    Turkey 2-1 Switzerland
    Northern Ireland 1-1 Turkey
    Faroe Islands 0-5 Turkey

    My word it's close; far too close to call!

    There's four games to go, and theoretically, any one of four teams can still win the group, but whether it's us, Slovakia, Spain or Switzerland, is anyone's guess. Thankfully for us, we've played most of our tricky away matches, with only a trip to Switzerland left to go. Unfortunately, our form on the road hasn't been particularly special, having only won in the Faroes Islands, so we can't expect to take too much away from the game with the Swiss; I'd be more than satisfied with a point.

    Our next two fixtures are at home to Spain and Slovakia, and six points from these games would be enough to put us top and establish us as favourites for qualification. However, considering the close nature of the group, qualification is likely to go right to the wire, and I would be foolish to take anything for granted from the forthcoming fixtures. That said, the ball is firmly in our court; win all four matches, and we'll win the group. Anything less, and it's in the hands of the gods, and we might need to settle for a playoff place, or even worse, finish outside of the top two.
    Last edited by AK22; 11-02-2012 at 22:18.

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    Cheers. I suspected it was an FM-affair due to the stadium name. Unusual to build a new one so soon after game start.

    Very close qualifying there, I hope the draw away to Northern Ireland won't bite you in the bum. Spain and Slovakia at home will be crucial. Win those and you should be set. Good luck.

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    Wow, exciting group.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK22 View Post
    My word it's close; far too close to call!
    Someone's been watching Ray Wilkins ;)

    Looking tight in your World Cup Qualifying group but considering you've got your tricky away games out of the way, you should in theory be favourites to qualify now.

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    Ooh. Good luck with Estudiantes!

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    Close group, good luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pangaea View Post
    Cheers. I suspected it was an FM-affair due to the stadium name. Unusual to build a new one so soon after game start.

    Very close qualifying there, I hope the draw away to Northern Ireland won't bite you in the bum. Spain and Slovakia at home will be crucial. Win those and you should be set. Good luck.
    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Wow, exciting group.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raware View Post
    Someone's been watching Ray Wilkins ;)

    Looking tight in your World Cup Qualifying group but considering you've got your tricky away games out of the way, you should in theory be favourites to qualify now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dejay View Post
    Close group, good luck
    Quote Originally Posted by Deisler26 View Post
    Ooh. Good luck with Estudiantes!
    Thanks chaps! I'm pretty certain World Cup qualifying will go right down to the last round of matches, and it certainly will be very close. The main positive for me is that our destiny is in our own hands; win all of our matches and we qualify. I'd much rather have this pressure, rather than be sitting third and having rely on the teams above us to drop points.

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    Mighty tight qualifying group.

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    Estudiantes: The Early Months

    I love Argentinian football! Well who wouldn't when you've got tackles flying in left, right and centre, flares being set off by fans in the crowd, and scorelines such as this!

    After just over five months in the job, I'm already starting to feel right at home with Estudiantes, even though we're still very much in the early stages of a transitional period at the club. Naturally, we've had a backroom reshuffle almost immediately, with a new assistant manager, and a handful of scouts, all joining me on the payroll. Unfortunately, we're currently unable to scout outside South America, so it's taken a while to identify potential signings and put together some kind of shortlist. Thankfully, the new scouts have brought some extra knowledge with them to the club, which has been extremely beneficial, and I've also been able to trial several unattached foreigners. This has led to me being able to agree terms with four new signings, who will all join us in January, as I start to mark my stamp on the playing squad.


    Argentina Primera División - 2025 Apertura (Opening Stage)



    Position Graph | Fixtures

    I couldn't have asked for a better start from my opening 19 games at the club. We've been playing a pretty basic 4-4-2 system, but the results have been extraordinary, and have led to headlines such as this! I'm really not known for my cavalier style, so it's come as a huge surprise to be involved in high scoring games on a regular basis. As entertaining as this has been, I've quickly come to realise that we need to be a lot less flaky defensively, and be able to shut up shop when defending a lead. Recently, due to this, match preparation has been changed to 'defensive positioning', and a few more clean sheets have been forthcoming. Unfortunately, our swashbuckling style of play has been tamed somewhat, and we're no longer averaging as many goals per game as we were previously. Still, we're winning more often than not, and that's what really matters; if we score four goals every game, then that's a nice bonus for the fans!

    The fourth place finish in the Apertura is the highest the club has finished since 2012, so it really is a great start to my tenure at the club. And, if I've done my sums correctly, I do believe we've qualified for the 2026 Copa Libertadores; I'm not a 100% certain though, as I'm still getting my head around the systems here! If we have, we can look forward to playing in South America's top club competition come January/February time, as well as a Copa Argentina 6th Round tie against lower-league team, Acassuso. I'm also hoping we can replicate our league form in the Clausura, where I'll be aiming for another top six finish. In fact, if we can match 41 points again, we may do something completely unexpected, and challenge for the title!
    Last edited by AK22; 11-02-2012 at 21:53.

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    Turkey - World Cup Qualifying Campaign 2024/25



    Fixtures 2024 | Fixtures 2025

    As close as it looked a couple of months ago, we actually qualified reasonably comfortably in the end. Having destiny in our own hands was a huge advantage, so by winning all four of our remaining matches, we ensured qualification for Mexico 2026 as group winners.

    There's been some pretty special performances along the way, with the best being a dominant 3-0 win over Spain in Istanbul. This result really put us in the driving seat, and by following this up with a victory against Slovakia four days later, it meant we only had to avoid defeat against the Swiss in the final game.

    Qualifying from such a tricky group has rejuvenated my hope for a successful performance at the World Cup tournament itself, and I certainly don't expect to see a repeat of the fiasco from the previous European Championship Finals. I really think this team has star quality, and should be aiming for a quarter final finish at worst. Players such as Cem Özbag, Olcay Yilmaz and Mert Asik have all been terrific for us recently, and as they are now playing at the peak of their careers, it's now or never if they are going to show the rest of the world what they're capable of. Unfortunately for them, if they fail on the biggest stage again, it's unlikely that they'll get to play in another World Cup as they'll be well into their 30's in four year's time.

    Team of the Year 2025 | Overall Best XI

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    Great win in a great battle in the group.

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    Excellent work with Turkey in such a tough group .

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    Great start with Estudiantes, and excellent performance with Turkey. You must be racking up the airmiles!

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    Excellent start in Argentina. Only 6 points off Boca so it won't take too much improvement to win the closing stage. Also great stuff with Turkey. Hope you get a decent group in the finals to give you chance at the knockout stages

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    Easy group. ;)

    Great work with the Turks!

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    Congrats on qualifying from the group with Turkey.Made a nice start to life in Argentina.I think qualification is done on the calender year table,4 teams will qualify for the group stages of the Copa Lib,one team will qualify for the Copa Lib Preliminaries and six teams qualify for the Copa Sudamericana (Dependant on Copa Argentina winner.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Great win in a great battle in the group.
    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    Excellent work with Turkey in such a tough group .
    Quote Originally Posted by SnakeXe View Post
    Great start with Estudiantes, and excellent performance with Turkey. You must be racking up the airmiles!
    Quote Originally Posted by ShyBaldBuddhist View Post
    Excellent start in Argentina. Only 6 points off Boca so it won't take too much improvement to win the closing stage. Also great stuff with Turkey. Hope you get a decent group in the finals to give you chance at the knockout stages
    Quote Originally Posted by HotChocolate View Post
    Easy group. ;)

    Great work with the Turks!
    Thanks! It was a great qualifying campaign for us, but we do need to make sure we take our good form forward to the World Cup itself. Getting out of the group is a must, but we should do better than that.

    Quote Originally Posted by B.W.G View Post
    Congrats on qualifying from the group with Turkey.Made a nice start to life in Argentina.I think qualification is done on the calender year table,4 teams will qualify for the group stages of the Copa Lib,one team will qualify for the Copa Lib Preliminaries and six teams qualify for the Copa Sudamericana (Dependant on Copa Argentina winner.)
    That's what I thought too. However, we finished 5th in the calendar year table, and haven't been entered for this season's Copa Libertadores. I'm a little confused, but will wait and see what happens after the closing stage has finished.

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    Talking of the World Cup Group Stages:



    Not a bad draw for us. We were seeded in pot two, so I think we did well to get Russia as the top seeds, as well as avoiding Argentina from pot four; definitely three matches we're capable of winning. The group stage will also include a grudge match against my former national side, Australia, so I'll be able to see if they've made any improvements in the four years since I left the role there.

    Unfortunately, if we do get through to the knockout rounds, it's likely that we'll face either Germany or France from Group E, so we'll need a big performance then if we're going to get any further in the competition.

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    That is a really solid draw. Should definitely be looking for 2nd spot and with a bit of luck maybe top spot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    Excellent work with Turkey in such a tough group .
    I echo SRL. Good luck in the finals.

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    No group that stands out as being overly tough.

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    Very managable group.

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    Looks like a great World Cup!

    *double checks it's the World Cup*

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    Think you can top that group with a bit of luck. Knockout stage will be tough whoever you face

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    Think you can top the group there, good luck

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    A great Apertura in your debut season . As you say, who couldn't like Argentinian football? It's full of drama . I really enjoyed a save in Argentina a few FM's ago and it looks like you are too.

    Looks like things are going nicely with Turkey too . Not the most difficult of draws with Russia being the top seeds in your group so I'm pretty sure you'll be able to reach the knockout stages and then, well...good luck against the Germans or French ;)

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    Thanks for the comments I'm hoping for a personal best at this World Cup, having never made it past the group stages on my previous attempt with the Aussies.

    The whole World Cup experience is a lot better on this version of FM in my opinion; by selecting a provisional 30 man squad, followed by a handful of friendlies, you really start to get a sense of the build up that a manager would experience in real life. Not that international management is perfect, there's still loads of room for improvement, but at least it's a step in the right direction.

  66. #766
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotChocolate View Post
    Looks like a great World Cup!

    *double checks it's the World Cup*
    It's the Euros. They've invited some extra teams.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobby_McDonald View Post
    It's the Euros. They've invited some extra teams.
    From all over the world?

    It might as well be the World Cup

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    Estudiantes: Finding Our Feet

    Things are starting to come together nicely at the club, but it's quite apparent we're nowhere near the big boys in term of club stature. Thankfully, the board have agreed to increase the junior coaching budget, as well improving the youth facilities too. This is a huge step in the right direction, and will ensure that we can develop our youth team to reach their potential. Unfortunately, the best young Argentine prospects do, generally, get sold off to bigger and better teams, mainly in Europe, and we're certainly in no position to refuse any big money moves at this point. However, on a more positive note, nine of the 23 man World Cup squad announced by Argentina are sill based in their homeland (mainly at Independiente, Vélez and Boca), so it looks like players are happy to stay if the ambition of their club team matches their own.

    I'm still trying to get to grips with continental competition qualification, but I think I've now worked out why we didn't qualify for the Copa Libertadores. Even though we finished 5th in the calendar year table, which, normally, would guarantee entry to the Preliminary Round, our place was taken by Tigre, who won the 2025 Clausura competition but had a shocking following six months, and finished way down the calendar year table.

    Finances | Transfer Summary

    Argentina Primera División - 2026 Clausura (Closing Stage)



    Position Graph | Fixtures | Season Summary

    Independiente are obviously the team to beat at the moment; they have by far the best squad, containing several internationals, and are very heavily tycoon-backed too. However, asides from them, and Boca Juniors, the rest of the league is pretty tight, with very narrow margins separating the rest of the top half. By the fact we finished 3rd, I'm claiming the title of 'best of the rest', which I would like to consolidate over the next season or two, continually improving the squad over time. It also ensures we qualify for the Copa Sudamericana, and increases our chances of getting into the Copa Libertadores at the end of the calendar year.

    Our squad is pretty decent, and always seem to have a goal threat about it; our front two of Gerardo Pérez and Matías Guiñazú found the net 36 times between them over the course of the season. In fact, even defensively, we don't look too shabby at all, having kept eight clean sheets in the Clausura, but it is the lack of draws that are costing us the most. We just simply don't do them! If we did, we may have won the title, as four of the seven games lost were by just a single goal. To be fair, we've been soundly beaten a couple of times along the way too, but need to start closing close games out, eradicating late goals, if we're going to be taken seriously as potential title challengers. Maybe a change in tactics next season, even though I've been pleasantly surprised by how effective a basic 4-4-2 has served us this year.

    Key Players: Gerardo Pérez (21 goals, 12 assists), Mathías Guiñazú (15 goals, 13 assists), Gerardo Suárez (10 assists), Gabriel Pastoriza (Best Defender)
    Fans Player of the Year: Mathías Guiñazú
    Team of the Year | Overall Best XI


    Career Summary

    Code:
    Season     Team              League                     Finish    Cups
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2011/12    Unemployed
    2012/13    Kingstonian       Blue Square Bet South      3rd       FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round, FA Trophy 2nd Round
    2013/14    Kingstonian       Blue Square Bet Premier    3rd       FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 1st Round
    2014/15    Kingstonian       npower League Two          16th      FA Cup 1st Round, Carling Cup 1st Round, JPT 1st Round
    2015/16    Kingstonian       npower League Two          17th**    **Resigned 19/12/2015
               Hull City         npower League One          6th       FA Cup 4th Round
    2016/17    Hull City         npower League One          1st       FA Cup 1st Round, Carling Cup 1st Round, JPT Winner
    2017/18    Hull City         npower Championship        2nd       FA Cup 5th Round, Carling Cup 2nd Round
    2018/19    Fulham            Barclays Premier League    5th       FA Cup Semi-Final, Carling Cup Semi-Final
    2019/20    Fulham            Barclays Premier League    7th       Europa League 2nd KO Rd, FA Cup 6th Rd, Carling Cup 3rd Rd
    2020/21    Fulham            Barclays Premier League    8th**     **Resigned 13/11/2020
               Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    6th       Europa League 1st KO Rd, FA Cup 5th Rd
    2021/22    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    3rd       Europa League Winners, FA Cup 4th Rd, Carling Cup QF
    2022/23    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    1st       Champions League Runner-Up, FA Cup 3rd Rd, Carling Cup QF
    2023/24    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    1st       Champions League SF, FA Cup SF, Carling Cup QF
    2024/25    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    2nd       Champions League Runner-Up, FA Cup SF, Carling Cup Winners
    2025/26    Estudiantes       Primera División Apertura  4th       N/A
                                 Primera División Clausura  3rd       Copa Argentina QF
    Last edited by AK22; 16-02-2012 at 21:21.

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    Turkey - World Cup 2026

    Squad - No injuries concerns, so I could pick the best 23 possible.


    Group Stages (Group F)

    Turkey 3-2 Chile - A very eventful opening game, which saw us 2-0 down after only 17 minutes. However, due to our dominance, we were always likely to score. And that we did, ten minutes later, from the penalty spot, setting up an exciting second half. Hayati Cimen was the hero of the night, banging in a brace which included the winning goal, three minutes from the final whistle. We were up and running!

    Russia 3-1 Turkey - I knew this game would effectively decide who would top the group, and I was eager not to be beaten. It what was a fairly even game, the Russians found themselves with a two goal advantage. Unfortunately, we could not match our comeback from the opening match, albeit pulling a goal back before conceding a late injury-time goal whilst chasing the game.

    Turkey 3-0 Australia - That last minute goal conceded against Russia saw slip down to third, behind Australia, in the group standings. What this meant, is that we had to win our final game, as if it finished as a draw, Australia would go through on goal difference. From kick-off, the Aussies were set up to defend and stifle our attack, obviously playing for the draw that would send them through. It was stalemate at half time, but following a feisty teamtalk, we made the breakthrough straight after the restart, going on to win comfortably.





    A bizarre group stage which saw England scrape through behind Iran in their group, and Brazil, Argentina and Germany, all being knocked without losing a match! With these three big names missing, it certainly opened up the knockout rounds for some of the 'lesser' nations to shine.


    2nd Round

    Turkey 1-4 Cameroon - What a total embarrassment! Statistically, we should have won, but that doesn't tell the whole story; Cameroon played terrific counter-attack football, breaking up our attacks before using their pace to exploit the gaps in our defence. Any team that finishes above France and Germany must be more than decent, so it's no real surprise that we succumbed to them too. However, by missing the two big guns, it's unlikely that we would have got a better opportunity to make it to the latter stages of the competition, so it's very disappointing that we couldn't capitalise on this.




    The surprises continued to happen in the knockout rounds too, with Iran making the quarter-final, USA getting to the semis, and Ukraine going all the way to the final!


    Final

    France 1-0 Ukraine - It's no shock that France ended up winning the trophy, as after knocking England out, they were the only 'major' footballing nation to reach the final four. They dominated the final, with the winning goal being scored by my ex-Fulham striker, John Itubu.
    Last edited by AK22; 16-02-2012 at 20:34.

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    Poor result against Cameroon but you performed well in the group stages.

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    A shame you couldn't get past Cameroon as it looks like the draw really opened up.

    Are you planning on sticking with Turkey?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    Poor result against Cameroon but you performed well in the group stages.
    Quote Originally Posted by City2000 View Post
    A shame you couldn't get past Cameroon as it looks like the draw really opened up.

    Are you planning on sticking with Turkey?
    Yeah, it was really disappointing to out to a team of Cameroon's calibre, a team that we were favourites to beat. I don't seem to have a lot of luck in international management!

    I've decided to call time on my spell as Turkey boss. Even though the FA were satisfied with our World Cup performance, and my job security was listed as 'secure', I feel four years in charge of a nation is long enough. The team will also need a overhaul very soon, as the main players will all be over 30 by the time the EUROs come around in two years time, and I really don't have the appetite for this.



    My record with Turkey is more than decent, so I'm pretty certain a new international job will be on the horizon, especially once you factor in all the usual post-World Cup sackings.


    Post World Cup 2026 Rankings



    I've left Turkey in 14th place, one lower than their position four years ago, when I took the job. So we've hardly come on leaps and bounds!

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    Lol at Ivory Coast at the top!

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    Spain have fallen far as well.

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    Estudiantes: Pre-Season 2026/27

    The main aim for this season is to secure Copa Libertadores qualification. By having such a strong Clausura last term, I reckon another top three finish will be enough to ensure we make it into the group stages, and that will be the first step along the path to restoring this club as one of South America's finest. On the domestic front, I'll be looking to consolidate our position as the third best team in Argentina, behind Boca Juniors and Independiente, as well as having a decent showing in the Copa Argentina.


    Board Expectations

    Copa Sudamericana: Reach the First Round
    Primera División Apertura: Compete alongside the top teams
    Primera División Clausura: Compete alongside the top teams
    Copa Argentina: Reach the Quarter Final

    Media Prediction: 4th

    Transfer Budget: £3.6m
    Wage Budget: £119k per week (currently spending £96k per week)


    Transfer Summary

    Key Signings: Oscar Parra (AMC) £3.2m, Carlos Medina (DRL) £70k, Victor Sosa (DMC) £550k, Guillermo Figueroa (ST) Free, Hugo Malavolta (GK) Free

    A very busy off-season for me, making no fewer than eight new signings. Of these eight, three are defensive midfielders; I may have got slightly carried away here! Having spent a net £3.9m on new players, I've put the club's finances into the red, so we can ill afford to have a mediocre season. I may even need to balance the books later on in the season, as Argentine football is hardly awash with money, but I'm hoping that will not be the case.

    I'm really happy with the squad now, with a strong back-up for every position, so it will only be a case of improving in small measures, if and when a good deal comes our way. Having signed Parra, a natural in the AMC position, I'll be switching to a diamond formation this season, with a DMC, an AMC and two wide men in our midfield. I'm hoping that this will still keep our goal threat alive, but make us slightly more secure at the back.

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    Great snatch of Medina.

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    Medina looks a great buy .

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    Three African nations in the top six. That's some going.

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    Quote Originally Posted by abulezz View Post
    Lol at Ivory Coast at the top!
    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Spain have fallen far as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nobby_McDonald View Post
    Three African nations in the top six. That's some going.
    The World Rankings are all a bit nuts at the moment. I'm surprised by how well the African nations are doing; there's ten in the top 30, including Zimbabwe, a nation hardly known for it's footballing pedigree. I know FM does have a tendency of generating amazing new-gens from the African nations, but I think it my have gone a bit too far now, and unbalanced the game somewhat.

    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Great snatch of Medina.
    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    Medina looks a great buy .
    Cheers, Medina should be a great signing. My scouts rate his potential as 4.5 stars, so he should turn out to be one of the best full-backs in the division. Also, £70k is an absolute bargain, so even if he doesn't fully reach his potential, I can sell him on for at ten times as much and make a tidy profit.
    Last edited by AK22; 19-02-2012 at 18:03.

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    Estudiantes: On The Rise

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again; I'm properly enjoying my football in Argentina. There's something very refreshing about competing in games where both sides are going for the win, and quite often, the matches can get pretty heated too. In fact, in the eighteen months I've spent in Argentina, I've only contested one 0-0 draw, which I find quite an exceptional statistic considering I've sat through 72 games now. Compare this to European football, especially Serie A and Ligue 1, where matches are more of a strategic chess-match, and are often decided by a single goal, and it's quite a staggering contrast.


    Argentina Primera División - 2026 Apertura (Opening Stage)





    Position Graph | Fixtures | Equipo del año


    Unbelievably, we only went and won the club's first Primera División title since 2010, with four of our players making it into the Primera División Team of the Year. Oh, and we still don't do draws!

    We started the campaign well, winning all five of our opening matches, which included a feisty derby match against Gimnasia. After setting the early pace, we lost a couple of matches on the bounce, failing to score in both, which resulted in us slipping down below Independiente, Boca and Vélez. From this point onwards, it was a four horse race for the title, with Independiente leading the way with a minimal advantage over the chasing pack. We went on to win our next eight fixtures on the spin, including a vital six-pointer away to Independiente, which swung the pendulum momentarily back in our favour, putting us top with a handful of games to go.

    Unfortunately, we lost a crucial match against our main challengers, Boca, and with three games left to play, we needed Boca to slip up in their final matches if we were going to win the Apertura. We held up our end of the bargain, winning all of our remaining games, but due to Boca's Copa Sudamericana progress, they had a game in hand, that would be played two days after our closing fixture. This game, away to Argentinos, was pushed back by two days due to Boca's very heavy fixture list, which meant that they had to play four times in a week. Being two points behind us, Boca also knew that they had to win the match if they were going to gazump us at the top of the table. Whether nerves got to them, or due to a fixture pile-up, they were running on empty, I don't really care; they lost 1-0, and handed us the trophy!


    Copa Sudamericana - 2026





    We had a fine run in the Copa Sudamericana, reaching the semi-finals before being knocked out by rivals, Boca Juniors. This was a lot better than I had expected to do, and shows that we are becoming a force to be reckoned with in South America again. That being said, we did play Argentine opposition in three out of the four ties, so have yet to been tested against major opposition from Brazil, Chile or Uruguay, all of who have clubs that have the potential to cause us a lot of problems. However, it is a reasonable indication of how we can perform in the continental competitions, and is a nice way to warm-up for our Copa Libertadores campaign, which starts in February.
    Last edited by AK22; 19-02-2012 at 18:06.

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    Cracking work in the league mate. Sounds like a very exciting league to play in!

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    Does that mean you've won half a league title? Argentina confuses me.

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    It counts as a title in Argentina I think.

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    A fantastic Apertura there AK! Doesn't look like much has changed really in Argentina with the usual dominant teams around the top. Probably only Atletico Rafaela the only surprise. Was it an off first half of the season for River or are they still struggling to regain their status as one of the top clubs after their relegation?

    Also tough luck in the Sudamereicana.

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    It's interesting that nations are referred to The Ivory Coast, The United States of America etc.

    Do you know where that came from?

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    With so many good threads around I was way way behind in reading this one, still on the Fulham days, woops. Quality turnaround job at Liverpool and now starting to have some proper success with Estudiantes too. I'm just a bit surprised you decided the job was done in Europe despite not having won a Champions League (altho you came close!), I would be eager to try to win more big trophies around the continent before moving to South America? I suppose whatever makes the game fun for you is the most important!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dejay View Post
    Cracking work in the league mate. Sounds like a very exciting league to play in!
    It really is! If I had to equate the Primera División to a European league, then the Dutch Eredivisie would come pretty close, in my opinion, due to it's entertaining football and abundance of flair players.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobby_McDonald View Post
    Does that mean you've won half a league title? Argentina confuses me.
    There's two league champions every season; one for the Opening Stage (Apertura), one for the Closing Stage (Clausura). Theoretically, you could win the league title twice in the same season/calendar year.

    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    It counts as a title in Argentina I think.
    Spot on, deltablue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raware View Post
    A fantastic Apertura there AK! Doesn't look like much has changed really in Argentina with the usual dominant teams around the top. Probably only Atletico Rafaela the only surprise. Was it an off first half of the season for River or are they still struggling to regain their status as one of the top clubs after their relegation?

    Also tough luck in the Sudamereicana.
    Cheers! River are really only a midtable makeweight team now. They never really recovered from their 2011 relegation, having dropped down a league again since, but they still have the potential and infrastructure to be a huge club again; they just need to find the right coach. The thing is, where each stage is played over 19 games, the middle of the table can be pretty close, with movement of teams quite dramatic at times. I'd say behind the top four, River are still in the next bracket of teams, alongside Godoy Cruz, Newell's and Rosario Central.

    Quote Originally Posted by HotChocolate View Post
    It's interesting that nations are referred to The Ivory Coast, The United States of America etc.

    Do you know where that came from?
    Think it's from the Real Competition Names fix I use. It changes the names of the clubs and nations, as well as the competition names.

    http://sortitoutsi.net/forum/topic/5...lease-now-out/

    Quote Originally Posted by noikeee View Post
    With so many good threads around I was way way behind in reading this one, still on the Fulham days, woops. Quality turnaround job at Liverpool and now starting to have some proper success with Estudiantes too. I'm just a bit surprised you decided the job was done in Europe despite not having won a Champions League (altho you came close!), I would be eager to try to win more big trophies around the continent before moving to South America? I suppose whatever makes the game fun for you is the most important!
    I'll definitely be looking to return back to Europe at some stage, as you say, I still have the Champions League to win, as well as the fact that I've only managed in England. However, after managing Liverpool, a big job on the scale of things, I felt I wanted something with less pressure, in an environment that I was less familiar with. So, the Estudiantes job kind of ticked all my boxes; it's definitely a lot of fun too, which is helping to keep my interest in the save.

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    A great opening stage and it does look a fun league to manage in for sure. I often think of managing in Brazil or Argentina but not sure I can get my head around the league structures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by City2000 View Post
    A great opening stage and it does look a fun league to manage in for sure. I often think of managing in Brazil or Argentina but not sure I can get my head around the league structures.
    Thanks City. I think Brazil is slightly more confusing than Argentina due to the State Championship and lower tier structures, and it's a really long season there too, so you need plenty of perseverance to get through all the games.

    Asides from the slightly bizarre average point system that determines relegation, Argentina is pretty straightforward; 38 games in the league (split into two tournaments), and a knockout cup competition, very similar to the FA Cup format. Win all your games, and win all the trophies ;)

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    Mexico: The Tequila Nation

    Having left my role with Turkey after the last World Cup, it wasn't long before I was approached to take the reigns of another national team. Several tempting offers came my way, including those from Brazil, Argentina and Russia, but it was the one from the Mexican FA that caught my attention the most.

    After hosting the 2026 World Cup, where they failed (once again!) to get past the second round, having being knocked out by England, Mexico found themselves down at 32nd in the FIFA World Rankings. Serial under-achievers for several years now, the only tournament they seem capable of winning is the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which they have won seven times out of the last nine competitions contested. Asides from this, there has been very little for the residents of Mexican to shout about in recent years, having never made it out the group stages of the Copa America or past the second round in the World Cup. With plenty of potential in their squad, it will be my job to harness this talent, and transform the side into one capable of competing at major tournaments.

    2026 Fixtures (Post World Cup)
    2027 Fixtures (Pre Gold Cup)

    The Russians aside, the friendly opposition organised by my assistant should have caused us very little trouble at all, so imagine my cause for concern when I lost my second match in charge, away to Bolivia. Factor in the scrappy 1-0 win over Barbados, and I've quickly realised that this is a side not as good as it thinks it is.


    2027 CONCACAF Gold Cup

    Simply put, the FA wanted us to win the competition. And indeed we should, with only the USA likely to cause us too many headaches... or so I thought.

    Squad- I'd pretty much already established my best 23 well in advance of the competition, nearly all of which made it to the tournament unscathed. I had been experimenting on formations in the build up friendlies, and decided that a 5-3-2 formation was the way to go in the opening games.

    Drawn in a group containing Costa Rica, Bermuda and Trinidad & Tobago, we were comfortable favourites to stroll into the quarter-finals, where we were likely to face the sterner tests of Canada, USA and Honduras.


    Gold Cup Group A

    Mexico 2-0 Costa Rica - So far, so good. My first competitive match in charge went without a hitch, controlling the game and securing a routine 2-0 victory.

    Bermuda 1-0 Mexico - Bugger! Of course, we had the obligatory 24 attempts at goal, and couldn't hit a cows arse with a banjo. Utter humiliation? Possibly. Shock defeat of the tournament? Most definitely.

    Mexico 1-1 Trinidad & Tobago - After defeat to Bermuda, we really had to win our final group game if to go through as group winners. Once again, another turgid performance followed, where we had to come from behind to salvage a point, which was just about enough to scrape through into the knockout rounds.



    It wasn't just us that had a shocker in the group stages; the USA managed to bum out early, with Nicaragua taking their place in the next round. And Canada only just scraped through too, after securing one of the two best third placed team slots.


    Gold Cup Quarter Final

    Mexico 3-1 Canada - Due to our streaky group stage performances, I decided to ditch the 5-3-2 formation, turning to a 4-3-1-2 set-up for the knockout rounds. This had the desired effect, as we put in our finest performance so far, and had the game sewn up before going in for the half time break. Very comfortable, very commanding. Better late than never, I suppose.


    Gold Cup Semi Final

    Mexico 1-0 Costa Rica - A repeat fixture from the group stage, and once again, the jitters returned. We only managed two shots on target, but thankfully, managed to convert one of these, and hang on for the remaining of the game to secure our spot in the final. Costa Rica barely threatened, but it was hardly the performance I was expecting.


    Gold Cup Final

    El Salvador 0-3 Mexico - The performance of champions, and about time too! Hardly a match for the neutral, as we found ourselves 3-0 up after 23 minutes, which effectively killed the game stone-dead. Not that this mattered to me, as I'd just secured my first trophy at international level.



    CONCACAF Gold Cup Dream Team - containing eight Mexicans, the stand-outs being Enrique García, Naoyas Barrón, Carlos Fierro and César Hurtado.


    At times, we've been abysmal, and kind of only won the tournament by default. No doubt about it, there's still a lot of work to be done with this side, and in a tournament with stronger opposition, it's unlikely that we'll shake off the 'also-ran' tag that is currently around our neck. We really need to be a lot more creative going forward, as we struggle to fashion any clear-cut goal opportunities in open play, and are having to rely heavily on set-pieces and 20-yard wonder goals to break the deadlock. I suppose, going into most games as favourites is the main reason for our impotency, as teams tend to set up defensively, and park the bus. Maybe another change in formation is required, and I'm tempted to go to a 4-5-1, which I've used to great affect with previous teams. Unfortunately, I'm not blessed with fantastic wingers, so it may be case of playing a striker out of position in a inside-forward role, who can cut in off the flanks. I'm still undecided at the moment, but with the Copa America coming up in a fortnight, I'll need to make my mind up pretty swiftly.
    Last edited by AK22; 04-03-2012 at 12:24.

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    Just catching up,fantastic start to life in Argentina.Congrats on winning the Apertura as well as winning the Gold Cup with the tequila nation

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    Just about makes up for Bermuda.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B.W.G View Post
    Just catching up,fantastic start to life in Argentina.Congrats on winning the Apertura as well as winning the Gold Cup with the tequila nation
    Cheers, B.W.G. Been a good adventure so far, and I'm still really enjoying it; just a shame my game playing time has been cut short over the last week or so. Hopefully, normal service will resume shortly!
    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Just about makes up for Bermuda.
    Only just. It was a total shambles, and definitely the lowest point of my career so far. Thankfully, we partially redeemed ourselves by lifting the trophy at the end of the competition!

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    Epic fail in Group C.

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    Great work in the Gold Cup (although a few of the Canadians here in FMCU won't be happy after their quarter final exit to you ;)). Next up...the Copa America. Should be a few more teams challenging you there as opposed to the likes of Nicaragua and El Salvador ;)

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    Quote Originally Posted by HotChocolate View Post
    Epic fail in Group C.
    Totally! I never expected Nicaragua and El Salvador to triumph over USA and Jamaica!

    Quote Originally Posted by Raware View Post
    Great work in the Gold Cup (although a few of the Canadians here in FMCU won't be happy after their quarter final exit to you ;)). Next up...the Copa America. Should be a few more teams challenging you there as opposed to the likes of Nicaragua and El Salvador ;)
    That did cross my mind when we beat Canada, actually!

    You're right, the Copa America will be a lot tougher. Although if we can avoid Brazil or Argentina, I'd have thought we'll have a fair chance of reaching the semi-finals, which is the FA expectations. Mind you, if we can lose to Bermuda, we can lose to anyone!!

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    Estudiantes: On The Edge of Glory

    As good as the performances on the pitch have been, I'm starting to get concerned by the alarming rate we our losing money at the football club. This season we made a loss of nearly £6m, which is extremely worrying as we only spent a net £1.25m of that on transfers; factor in the extra Copa Libertadores revenue that we received this season, and my concerns are entirely justified about the loss we're running at. Hopefully, the chairman can pull a rabbit out of his hat, otherwise it may be time to say bye-bye to some of the stars in the squad.

    Finances | Transfer Summary


    Argentina Primera División - 2027 Clausura (Closing Stage)





    Position Graph | Fixtures | Season Summary


    Our Clausura performances have been scintillating at times, including a couple of special wins over Boca and Independiente, as well as a commanding win over Gimnasia in the La Plata derby. We're also averaging three goals a game, so it's apparent we've certainly found our shooting boots! However, it was the points dropped against the likes of Huracán, Godoy Cruz and Argentinos that cost us dear in the race to the title. That said, Independiente have been very special this time around, so even if we had taken a few more points, it's still unlikely that we would have caught them at the top of the table. I'm satisfied with a haul of 40 points, though, as this consolidates us nicely in the top three, comfortable ahead of the chasing pack of River, Vélez and Newell's.

    Estudiantes 8-1 Racing Club - A terrific game early on in our Clausura campaign, which included a hat-trick from centre back Mathías Correa.
    Estudiantes 5-0 Gimnasia - The fans loved the annihilation of our city rivals. A hat-trick from Oscar Parra helped to earn us the La Plata bragging rights.
    Lanús 1-6 Estudiantes - Another great performance by us, where Carlos González stole the headlines with a great hat-trick.
    Estudiantes 4-0 Independiente - They may have dominated the league, but we were the only side to beat the Clausura champions. We didn't even allow them a shot on target!
    Estudiantes 5-3 Boca - Our penultimate league fixture, and my match of the season; this game had everything! We took a two goal advantage into the half time break, having dominated the first 45 minutes. Boca then scored three times in 7 minutes to completely turn the game on it's head, before we equalised a further two minutes later. They were then reduced to ten men with eight minutes left to play, which was just enough time for us to score twice, including Gerardo Pérez's fourth goal of the game.


    Copa Libertadores


    Group Stages (A-D) | Group Stages (E-H) | Fixtures





    We had a fantastic run in this competition this season, and very nearly ended it by celebrating an unlikely victory! Unfortunately for us, Corinthians didn't read the script, and completely owned us in both legs of the final, denying us the opportunity to lift the trophy for the first time since 2009.

    This was the first time in 11 seasons that the club had qualified for the Copa Libertadores, so I wasn't expecting us to pull up any trees. I still wanted to see a good display in the groups, though, and some spirited performances against larger opposition in the knockout rounds. In the end, the group stage went without a hitch, finishing as group winners, and only dropping points away to Colo Colo. You could also argue that the draw in the knockout round was favourable to us, as we managed to avoid Boca, Independiente and Cruzeiro, playing instead, smaller opposition such as Liga de Quito and Pumas. That said, we still had to do a thorough job, and had to dig very deep to get past Flamengo in the quarter-final.


    Copa Argentina


    Fixtures - Unfortunately, we had to sacrifice this competition to allow me to keep the squad fresh for our league and continental commitments. Nacional B side, Instituto, were the team to knock us out, eventually by the means of a penalty shoot-out.


    Squad Overview
    Key Players: Gerardo Pérez (38 goals, 9 assists), Oscar Parra (25 goals, 28 assists), Gerardo Suárez (10 goals, 26 assists), Gabriel Pastoriza (Best Defender), Victor Sosa (Defensive Midfielder)
    Fans Player of the Year: Gerardo Pérez
    Team of the Year | Overall Best XI

    Some of the players have played out of their skin this season, none more so than the trinity of Pérez, Parra and Suárez, who contributed with 73 goals and 63 assists between them. The squad is definitely good enough to contend for honours again next season, that's as long as I don't have to sell off my stars to appease the bank manager. I did, however, find at times that some players would struggle with consistently playing two games a week, something that is a regular occurrence once you've reached the latter stages of the Copa Libertadores and the Argentine domestic calendar. I'd like to try and counter this by bringing in a handful of new recruits in the summer, but due to the current financial constraints, I'd say that it's likely that I may have to settle for one or two free transfers, or chance my arm with some of the promising youngster currently in the ranks.


    Career Summary

    Code:
    Season     Team              League                     Finish    Cups
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2011/12    Unemployed
    2012/13    Kingstonian       Blue Square Bet South      3rd       FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round, FA Trophy 2nd Round
    2013/14    Kingstonian       Blue Square Bet Premier    3rd       FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 1st Round
    2014/15    Kingstonian       npower League Two          16th      FA Cup 1st Round, Carling Cup 1st Round, JPT 1st Round
    2015/16    Kingstonian       npower League Two          17th**    **Resigned 19/12/2015
               Hull City         npower League One          6th       FA Cup 4th Round
    2016/17    Hull City         npower League One          1st       FA Cup 1st Round, Carling Cup 1st Round, JPT Winner
    2017/18    Hull City         npower Championship        2nd       FA Cup 5th Round, Carling Cup 2nd Round
    2018/19    Fulham            Barclays Premier League    5th       FA Cup Semi-Final, Carling Cup Semi-Final
    2019/20    Fulham            Barclays Premier League    7th       Europa League 2nd KO Rd, FA Cup 6th Rd, Carling Cup 3rd Rd
    2020/21    Fulham            Barclays Premier League    8th**     **Resigned 13/11/2020
               Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    6th       Europa League 1st KO Rd, FA Cup 5th Rd
    2021/22    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    3rd       Europa League Winners, FA Cup 4th Rd, Carling Cup QF
    2022/23    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    1st       Champions League Runner-Up, FA Cup 3rd Rd, Carling Cup QF
    2023/24    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    1st       Champions League SF, FA Cup SF, Carling Cup QF
    2024/25    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    2nd       Champions League Runner-Up, FA Cup SF, Carling Cup Winners
    2025/26    Estudiantes       Primera División Apertura  4th       N/A
                                 Primera División Clausura  3rd       Copa Argentina QF
    2026/27    Estudiantes       Primera División Apertura  1st       Copa Sudamericana SF
                                 Primera División Clausura  3rd       Copa Libertadores RU, Copa Argentina 7th Rd
    Last edited by AK22; 03-03-2012 at 15:09.

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    Was a good year overall,impressive victory over the Clausura Champs.Unlucky in the Copa Libertadores,better luck next year.

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    Mexico: The Tournament After

    Having won the Gold Cup two weeks earlier, it was expected that we put on another good show at the Copa América. The FA wanted us to reach the semi-final, but given our previously flaky performances, I wasn't overly confident that we would even get out of our group.

    I chose exactly the same 23 man squad that I used in the Gold Cup, deciding against experimenting with new personnel. The tactics and formation were also kept the same, even though I'm not convinced that 4-3-1-2 is the way to go, as we're not fashioning enough clear cut chances. I will be doing some tinkering in the future though, but it will need to wait until the post-Copa América friendlies.


    2027 Copa América

    Group C

    Venezuela 2-3 Mexico - We started our opening game well, finding ourselves 3-0 up after 40 minutes. However, we then did our best to throw the three points away, letting Venezuela back into the game, just about clinging on for the victory in the second half.

    Mexico 2-0 Chile - A much better performance, controlling the game from start to finish. We could have, and should have, scored more than two.

    Argentina 2-0 Mexico - We totally bossed the game against one of the pre-tournament favourites; how they won 2-0, I'll never know. We still qualified for the knockout rounds as group runners-up, though.





    Quarter Final - Mexico 0-1 Uruguay - Another game we should have won, but just couldn't get enough telling shots on target. Our inability to score really cost us dear, and sent us packing against the nation that went on to win the tournament.





    Final - Uruguay 2-1 Brazil - A shock result in the final, but in the end, Uruguay were good value for their win.


    World Ranking (Post Copa América)


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    Estudiantes: Pre-Season 2027/28

    Going into my third season in charge at Estudiantes, I'll be looking to build on the success from the previous two years. I'd say we've got a good chance of lifting at least one trophy from the five we will be competing in, with the Copa Libertadores being the one that I really want to win the most.

    This is the last year of my current contract, having refused the previously offered extensions. Whether I stay longer or not is hardly set in stone at the moment, but certainly, I wouldn't rule out a return to Europe if the right opportunity presented itself. That being said, I think I'd still be happy to stay in Argentina for another season or two, as I'm enjoying the style of football we play, and the job at Estudiantes is still challenging enough (for now).


    Board Expectations

    Copa Libertadores: Reach the Second Round
    Copa Sudamericana: Reach the Quarter Final
    Primera División Apertura: Compete alongside the top teams
    Primera División Clausura: Compete alongside the top teams
    Copa Argentina: Reach the Semi Final

    Media Prediction: 4th

    Transfer Budget: £713k
    Wage Budget: £118k per week (currently spending £117k per week)


    Transfer Summary

    Key Signings: Juan Carlos Rivera (DC) £1m, Gustavo Meneghin (MR) Free, Alexandr Makarov (DC) Free, Juan Martín Alassia (AMC) £600k

    With minuscule scope to play with in the budgets this season, it was certainly more a case of wheeling/dealing in the transfer market this summer. By offloading seven players, including two long term loans, this was enough to finance the deals for four new signings, who are all likely to add to the depth of the first team squad, despite lacking any outstanding star quality.

    I still feel we are a couple of players light from being able to consistently compete in all the competitions we are entered into, but we should be in a better position than last season, so I'm hopeful that we will avoid the burnout we suffered in the previous April/May/June period. Whether that's good enough, I'll find out soon enough!

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