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

  1. #801
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    Unlucky in the Copa America, shame you couldn't turn your dominance into goals.

    Nice season with Estudiantes though, good luck for next season

  2. #802
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    Unlucky in the Copa America, lack of goals in a team is one of the most frustrating things in FM.

  3. #803
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    Unlucky in the Copa America, shame you couldn't score.

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    Cheers for the comments

    I've changed formation now, going to a 4-5-1 system, and the results in the subsequent friendlies have improved somewhat, including a 1-0 win over Netherlands. I know it's only a friendly, but fills me with hope that our forthcoming World Cup qualifying campaign should go without a hitch.

    We've been drawn with Haiti, El Salvador and Nicaragua in the 3rd Phase Group

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    Estudiantes: A Trophy's A Trophy

    Having kept the squad stable over the summer, I felt confident that we could put on another good show this coming season. We may not have the firepower of Boca, or the financial backing of Independiente, but the players know our style well, and should be capable of stringing enough results together to be able to contend for honours. Unfortunately, several of the squad are now getting itchy feet, and starting to consider their future at the club. I've eased their fears for now, but I can't imagine it will be long before the urge to play at a higher level returns, and I may need to cash in my assets.


    Argentina Primera División - 2027 Apertura (Opening Stage)





    Position Graph | Fixtures | Equipo del año | South American Team of the Year


    If I'm being honest, we really should have defended our Apertura trophy; it's unusual for Independiente to drop 15 points, so we really should have taken full advantage. Also, factor in that Boca and Vélez had shockers by their standards, and it's unlikely that we'll get such a great opportunity to add to our league trophies again.

    We certainly didn't play our best football at this period, and occasionally, came seriously unstuck against midtable opposition. It was the points dropped against Atlético de Rafaela and Lanús that cost us the most, as if we had scored one more goal in each of those games, we would have earned another four points to put us clear at the top of the table.

    Unfortunately, we did suffer an injury crisis too, and at one particular point of the campaign, the key trilogy of Pérez, Suárez and Parra were all side-lined at the same time. By far, these three are our best players, and as good as the back-ups are, they really are not in the same class, meaning we lacked the guile and creativity to pick teams off, and put ourselves in winning positions.

    Estudiantes 4-0 Gimnasia - Another fantastic derby win. What made it even sweeter was the fact that Gimnasia's manager got sacked the next day too!!
    Atl. Rafael 3-2 Estudiantes - An injury time goal cost us a point here. We played poorly, but still should have had enough to get a result against this midtable side.
    Estudiantes 3-2 Huracán - We fluked three points, scoring twice in the last five minutes to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeats!
    Estudiantes 2-1 Rosario Central - Winning our final fixture confirmed our second place finish, but alas, was not enough to overtake Independiente, who also won their last Apertura game.


    Copa Sudamericana - 2027




    Fixtures

    It may not be South America's 'premier' competition, as the top sides from Brazil are not entered, but I'm still delighted to be able to add the Copa Sudamericana to our trophy cabinet.

    Most of the ties were pretty rudimentary, where we were comfortable victors over the two legs, but it was the semi-final against River Plate that exhibited the most drama. We played poorly in the first leg, and found ourselves with a two goal deficit to overturn on the return leg. Thankfully, the team pulled it out of the bag, putting in their best performance of the season, securing our passage into the final!

    Estudiantes 3-0 River - The comeback of comebacks! We needed to win by three clear goals, and that we did. It was never in doubt; River were terrible!
    Botafogo 1-3 Estudiantes - The first leg of the final, in Brazil, and we put ourselves in a commanding position by scoring three times in the first half.
    Estudiantes 2-1 Botafogo - A draw would have been enough to lift the trophy, but we did it in style, scoring two late second half goals to win the match, and the tie overall.
    Last edited by AK22; 07-03-2012 at 21:32.

  6. #806
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    Congrats on winning the Copa Sudamericana but unlucky on just missing out on the Apertura.

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    The sudamericana is a nice consolation prize.

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    Its a competition victory - Sudamericana is still prestigious in its own right!

    In the South American Team of the Year, there is this Oscar Donda who seems to be on fire. Can we see a screenshot of his attributes and career stats, if its not too much of a hassle?

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    That 1-0 in the Semi Final was definitely an outcast. Look at the 7-6 in the first round extra time or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B.W.G View Post
    Congrats on winning the Copa Sudamericana but unlucky on just missing out on the Apertura.
    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    The sudamericana is a nice consolation prize.
    Thanks chaps. It always nice to win a trophy, even though it might not have been the big one that I wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by HotChocolate View Post
    That 1-0 in the Semi Final was definitely an outcast. Look at the 7-6 in the first round extra time or not.
    What can I say? We love our goals in South America

  11. #811
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    Quote Originally Posted by abulezz View Post
    Its a competition victory - Sudamericana is still prestigious in its own right!

    In the South American Team of the Year, there is this Oscar Donda who seems to be on fire. Can we see a screenshot of his attributes and career stats, if its not too much of a hassle?
    Donda is a terrific player, a true goalscorer. I'd love to sign him, but he's far too expensive, and will probably be a one-club only man too.

    Here's his profile and career stats

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    Always nice getting a trophy and winning a continental competition.

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    Thanks rancer, sure is. Two trophies in two and half seasons isn't a bad record, I suppose!

    On a side note, just noticed this...



    ...which made me smile a lot!!
    Last edited by AK22; 08-03-2012 at 20:53.

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    Woah, some fall.

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    Oh dear...Toffees...hope they're not relegation threatened in league two...

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    I dont mind seeing Everton down there .

  17. #817
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    It appears FM12 is alot more random for bigger teams falling,FM11 was normally Wigan falling.On my 1st FM12 save,Sunderland were fighting relegation in League 2!

  18. #818
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    I had the classics of Wigan and Nottingham Forest, both ended up in Blue Square North.

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    Wigan aren't really a bigger team, very much enjoyed seeing them fall so much on FM11.

  20. #820
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    Well done on winning the Copa Sudamerica.

    How the mighty have fell.

  21. #821
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    Unfortunately, Everton have just won the League Two title, so will be back in League One next season, playing against the likes of Bath and Barrow!!

    Wigan have faired slightly better on my save, having stayed in the Premier League until 2021/22, when they were relegated. They're still in the Championship six years on.

  22. #822
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK22 View Post
    Unfortunately, Everton have just won the League Two title, so will be back in League One next season, playing against the likes of Bath and Barrow!!


    It'd never happen

  23. #823
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    Congrats on the Copa Sudamericana. Might not be the big trophy but it's still a piece of silverware.

    Surprised Donda hasn't been snapped up by one of the European giants. He looks a great striker and still quite young. The Everton decline is awful. Hopefully we will be back soon though.

  24. #824
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    In one of my games Wigan were owned by a tycoon spent over 50 Million and finished with 2 points!

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    Quote Originally Posted by buzz2k7 View Post
    In one of my games Wigan were owned by a tycoon spent over 50 Million and finished with 2 points!
    Hilarious

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    Estudiantes: Fighting On All Fronts

    As much as I love Argentine football, I've come to think that I've done as much as I possibly can with this club; we just don't seem to have the financial clout to break into the elite group of South American clubs. Factor in that we actually made a net profit in transfers this season, whilst still dipping into the red, and it's pretty clear that things are not likely to improve overnight without serious investment from the board and/or the stadium being enlarged. This isn't likely to happen anytime soon, so unless I end up cashing in some of my prize assets, I can imagine things becoming somewhat stale reasonably soon.

    Finances | Transfer Summary


    Argentina Primera División - 2028 Clausura (Closing Stage)



    Position Graph | Fixtures | Season Summary

    Talk about stumbling over the line! After 14 games played, we had a six point advantage over Boca, as well as two games in hand, so should have easily had the Clausura trophy sewn up well before the final league game. But, alas, we tried our hardest to throw it away, winning only one of our final five matches, and had to rely on a scrappy draw against Rosario Central to lift my second Primera División title. I'm delighted that we did it (eventually!), but have some serious concerns about the apparent lack of bottle that the first team has.

    Estudiantes 6-0 All Boys - The finest league performance of this campaign, with Pérez bagging four goals
    Estudiantes 5-2 River - A typical Argentine league match, plenty of goals.
    Vélez 0-1 Estudiantes - A credible victory against tough opposition. We only just nicked it, though.
    Estudiantes 0-2 Boca - This game saw the momentum swing towards Boca after we lost this crucial six-pointer. It was a pretty abject performance from us too.
    Estudiantes 0-3 Godoy Cruz - Total shambles. We couldn't even beat a mid-table side who were reduced to ten men after two minutes. Their striker had a field-day against my sloppy back four.
    Rosario Central 0-0 Estudiantes - We just about clung on to the point needed to lift the trophy in a nail-biting finale. It wasn't a pretty, or particularly eventful match, but we did the job.


    Copa Libertadores

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



    Once again, we came unstuck against the mighty Corinthians, this time in the semi-final. The gulf in class between the best team in Brazil and the rest of South America is pretty alarming, especially considering the battering they handed out to Independiente in the final too! Reaching the semi-final was still more than I expected, but to be fair, we were very rarely tested until we came unstuck against the defending champions in the final four.

    Corinthians 2-0 Estudiantes - Their quality was just too much for us, and we were lucky to escape from Brazil with only a two goal deficit.
    Estudiantes 1-1 Corinthians - We bossed the second leg with a much more spirited performance. Unfortunately for us, we conceded an early away goal, which effectively killed the tie dead.


    Copa Argentina

    Fixtures | Overview

    How on earth did we end up losing this?! We had a fairly routine path to the final, where only mid-table side, Argentinos, stood between us and another cup victory. The fact that we comfortably lost the final is nothing less than an embarrassment, and is one of the lowest points from my time at the club.

    Estudiantes 1-3 Argentinos - Another total shocker. We were odds-on favourites to win the final, but found ourselves 3-0 down at the interval, after an abysmal display. Having used the head-dryer at half-time, we played slightly better in the second half, even though we lost our tempers a bit, and had a player sent off.


    Squad Overview
    Key Players: Gerardo Pérez (35 goals, 21 assists), Oscar Parra (17 goals, 16 assists), Gerardo Suárez (21 assists), Oscar González (19 goals, 10 assists), Gabriel Pastoriza (11 goals)
    Fans Player of the Year: Gerardo Pérez
    Team of the Year | Overall Best XI

    The first team squad is still as good as it was, but really could do with three or four new faces to add to the depth of it. Getting to the latter stages of all four competitions really put a strain on my 23-man squad, meaning that some players were going into games a bit jaded, and not in optimum condition. Unfortunately, there was very little I could do about this, as we were regularly playing three times a week, so was unable to give the prolonged rest that many of the team needed.


    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
    2027/28    Estudiantes       Primera División Apertura  2nd       Copa Sudamericana Winner
                                 Primera División Clausura  1st       Copa Libertadores SF, Copa Argentina RU

  27. #827
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnakeXe View Post
    It'd never happen
    Only on FM! Actually, they were in the Championship the season before, but got relegated on the final day of the season. They're still playing at Twerton Park too

    Quote Originally Posted by ShyBaldBuddhist View Post
    Congrats on the Copa Sudamericana. Might not be the big trophy but it's still a piece of silverware.Surprised Donda hasn't been snapped up by one of the European giants. He looks a great striker and still quite young. The Everton decline is awful. Hopefully we will be back soon though.
    Cheers SBB! I'm surprised about Donda too, but there's plenty of Argentine internationals plying their trade in South American domestic football. He's certainly the highest profile of them though, and is a complete nightmare to play against.

    Quote Originally Posted by buzz2k7 View Post
    In one of my games Wigan were owned by a tycoon spent over 50 Million and finished with 2 points!
    Oh dear Sounds a bit like QPR in real life!!

  28. #828
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    And so, after three seasons in charge, I've decided to let my contract run down with Estudiantes.



    I've had an enormous amount of fun in Argentina, particularly enjoying the attacking end-to-end style of football played, but have come to the decision that the club could never match my own personal ambitions. If we were to become the best club side in South America, we'd need serious investment in the facilities, the stadium and the playing squad; something that would only happen if I sold off a couple of my key players to big European sides. This would certainly demoralise me somewhat, and would leave a very bitter taste in my mouth. At least by jumping ship now, I'll always have fond memories of my time with Los Pincharratas, leaving my successor with some very tough decisions to make about the long term future of the club.


  29. #829
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    You end on a bit of a high though.

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    Any idea where you might head next?

  31. #831
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    Congrats on the title win,unlucky in the Copa Libertadores.Interesting to see where you end up next.

  32. #832
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    Well done in Argentina. Where next we wonder...

  33. #833
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    Thanks guys, it's been fun in Argentina!

    The ink's just about dry on the contract with my new club, and all being well, I should get a post up later today about them. To give you a small teaser, they start with 'L'...

  34. #834
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    LA Galaxy?

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    You little tease

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    Bayer 04 Leverkusen: They'll Never Say Never Again!

    Having been offered the job at one of Germany's top sides, it was always likely that I was going to bite their hand off! I've always enjoyed the German leagues, especially considering the reasonably short domestic season, and the very liberally squad registration regulations.

    Leverkusen were formed back in 1904, after an employee wrote a letter seeking their company's support in starting a sports club. Their employers agreed, forming a club for footballers, athletes, gymnasts and the like. By 1907 a separate football department was formed within the club, as there was serious animosity between the gymnasts and other athletes competing under the Tum-und Spielverein Bayer 04 Leverkusen brand name. Eventually the club split completely, and in 1928 a separate football association was formed, with the club making their foray into the fourth and third tiers of German football. They eventually reached the top division for the first time in 1951.

    Asides from winning the UEFA cup against Espanyol in 1988, and the DFB-Pokal in 1993, the club have consistently failed to win major silverware, despite coming extremely close on several occasions. Between the years of 1997 and 2002, the club finished second in the Bundesliga on four separate occasions, including two horrific collapses when the title was easily within their grasp. Factor in the 2002 defeats in both the DFB-Pokal and Champions League finals, and it's easy to understand why the club was dubbed 'Neverkusen' by the press.


    Bundesliga - Contested between 18 teams, playing each other twice on a round robin format. The team finishing top after all 34 games played is declared champions of Germany. Simples! Having slipped down to 5th in UEFA coefficients, only the top three qualify for the Champions League, where 4th-6th qualify for the Europa League (depending on DFB-Pokal winners).



    Club Finances | Club Reputations

    In the 'FM' world, Leverkusen have actually lifted three recent Bundesliga title, and have failed to finish outside the top three for the past fourteen seasons. The board expect another title challenge this season, which is realistic goal for us. I'd imagine that Dortmund and Bayern will be the major challengers, but it looks as it Schalke, Wolfsburg and Werder Bremen all have the potential to cause us a few problems too.




    DFB-Pokal - A straight-forward knockout cup competition, where you need to win six games to lift the trophy. The board doesn't give a monkey's toss about this, but we'll still give it a go.

    UEFA Champions League - You know how this works, right?! Europe's leading competition; the board expects us to reach the 1st Knockout Round.


    Leverkusen: The State of Play

    Facilities | Finances | Previous Managers

    Contract Length: 5 years | Wage: £33.5k per week
    Transfer Budget: £7m | Wage Budget: £1.2m (currently spending £1.1m)

    Having moved into the state-of-the-art Leverkusen Stadium back in 2021, the club is set up very nicely indeed. Really, there's no reason why we can't go on to big things; I just need to ensure Champions League qualification every season, which will bankroll the playing staff, allowing us to seriously compete for honours. Initially, I'll be looking to establish ourselves at the top of German football, but I can't see any reason why we won't be able to contend for the biggest prize in European football within a couple of seasons.


    Squad Overview
    Key Players: Chorão, Lamara Mazari, Anis Laabidi, Khaled Ibrahim, Hugo, Tomas Mamurov
    Promising Youngsters: Tahsin Demirtas, Salia Nantoumé, Medeni Kaynak

    Taking over just three days before the start of the league campaign isn't particularly ideal, but the squad I've inherited is more than capable of putting in an instant title challenge. We've got a strong 'keeper in Mazari, a couple of excellent centre-backs (Laabidi and Ibrahim), as well as a natural goalscorer in Hugo. Also, Chorão is quite possibly the best defensive midfielder I've ever seen in my life!

    My only real concern is the lack of quality German nationals currently in the ranks. It appears that homegrown talent has been seriously overlooked recently, with only two German's anywhere near contention for the starting eleven. I've got a few promising youngsters coming through in the under-20s team, but these are unlikely to make the first team squad for a good couple of seasons, so it will be a case of paying a premium price for any national players I can sign in the near future.

  37. #837
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    Ah, they were one of the teams I felt it would be.

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    Good luck in Germany! Chorão looks excellent.

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    Good luck with Leverkusen

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    Good luck (kinda) with Leverkusen. But you're starting to manage clubs I don't really like. Liverpool and now Leverkusen.

  41. #841
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    Conrats in South America, AK22! Just getting back into FM and you've given me a lot to read! Congrats on moving ot Germany and look forward to seeing how you take on Leverkusen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Ah, they were one of the teams I felt it would be.
    Quote Originally Posted by bjoggi33 View Post
    Good luck in Germany! Chorão looks excellent.
    Quote Originally Posted by B.W.G View Post
    Good luck with Leverkusen
    Cheers! Looking forward to winning some trophies with them (hopefully!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by rancer890 View Post
    Good luck (kinda) with Leverkusen. But you're starting to manage clubs I don't really like. Liverpool and now Leverkusen.
    Haha, I'm doing well so far then Hopefully there won't be too many more teams on your blacklist that I choose to manage!!

    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    Conrats in South America, AK22! Just getting back into FM and you've given me a lot to read! Congrats on moving ot Germany and look forward to seeing how you take on Leverkusen.
    Thanks cerud, good to see you back on the forums too

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    Bayer Leverkusen starts with a B. You cheated us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobby_McDonald View Post
    Bayer Leverkusen starts with a B. You cheated us.
    That's what I was thinking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobby_McDonald View Post
    Bayer Leverkusen starts with a B. You cheated us.
    Quote Originally Posted by SnakeXe View Post
    That's what I was thinking.
    Picky

    Of course, you are technically right! Although, I would argue that the club is referred to as Leverkusen in game, and commonly known by this moniker in the footballing world too

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    To me it's like saying your next club begin with "U" when you're joining Manchester United, because some people refer to them as "United". But then I'm picky about what I call clubs - I'm the type of weirdo who insists on Crvena Zvezda, not "Red Star", for example

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    Exactly, I consider them an 'L'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SnakeXe View Post
    To me it's like saying your next club begin with "U" when you're joining Manchester United, because some people refer to them as "United". But then I'm picky about what I call clubs - I'm the type of weirdo who insists on Crvena Zvezda, not "Red Star", for example
    Although I don't fully agree that all that many people refer to Manchester United as just United, I do see where you're coming from. However, there are plenty of clubs that are mainly referred to, and commonly known by their second/third name, for example (Cittá di) Palermo, (VfB) Stuttgart, (Racing Club de) Lens, and (Olympique) Marseille are ones that immediately spring to mind.

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    Marseille are commonly referred to as l'OM, but I take your point with the others.

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    Leverkusen: Off And Running

    Having joined the club so close to the opening league fixture, I had very little time to mark my stamp on the team with any forays into the transfer market. In fact, asides from signing a couple of talented youngsters, I decided against making any big name transfers, relying completely on the squad I had inherited from my predecessor. I decided to line up in a 4-4-2 diamond, mirroring the tactics I had used previously in my time at Estudiantes. My initial assessment of the squad suggested it's greatest strength is it's attacking prowess, so I'm hoping that this formation will get the best goal returns from the team.


    Bundesliga 2028/29 Winter Break



    Fixtures

    We've made an impressive start in the league, opening up a seven point cushion at the top of the table at the halfway point. We're also playing great football too, scoring for fun at times in a very competitive league. Obviously, we're currently looking comfortable favourites, but any team down to Schalke in seventh place have the potential to cause us problems in the second half of the season, so we certainly need to watch our backs.

    Leverkusen 4-2 FC Bayern - Our first big test came in our second league fixture, and we really stepped up to the plate, securing a great win with two late goals.
    Dortmund 1-0 Leverkusen - Another early six-pointer; unfortunately, we lost our cool against the defending champions, ending the match with ten men.
    Union Berlin 4-5 Leverkusen - Goals galore. If you included the own goals, Berlin scored six in total!
    Leverkusen 4-0 Stuttgart - Marcelo Pérez scored a fantastic hat-trick in a match we dominated.
    Leverkusen 3-0 Köln - My first local derby, and we comfortably beat our rivals.
    Werder Bremen 1-2 Leverkusen - We took another three points off another title challenger, which really consolidated our position at the top of the table.


    UEFA Champions League 2028/29 Group Stages (Group F)



    Fixtures

    Marseille were always going to be tough opposition, but I was always fairly confident we would qualify from our group with ease. Ideally, we would have topped the standings, which we were very close to doing, but will now have to face one of the group winners in the spring knockout rounds. That side will be Atlético Madrid, and we'll have to put in two very good performances if we're going to make any further progress in this season's competition.

    Marseille 4-2 Leverkusen - A tough opening fixture against the top seeds. A better performance here, and we would have won the group.
    Leverkusen 7-2 Standard - Hugo had a field day against Standard's meek defence, bagging himself four goals.
    Standard 1-3 Leverkusen - Another easy victory against the Belgians.

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    Looking very comfortable.

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    Looking very good so far.Hope you can keep it up.

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    Give me a B...
    B
    Give me an A...
    A
    Give me a Y...
    Y
    Give me an E...
    E
    Give me a R...
    R

    What do you get?
    Bayer Leverkusen.

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    Great first half of the season. Going very well in the league.

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    Looks like you starting to open up a good gap between you and the rest of the field. Guess Stuttgart will have to settle for 2nd then!

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Looking very comfortable.
    Quote Originally Posted by B.W.G View Post
    Looking very good so far.Hope you can keep it up.
    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    Great first half of the season. Going very well in the league.
    Quote Originally Posted by rancer890 View Post
    Looks like you starting to open up a good gap between you and the rest of the field. Guess Stuttgart will have to settle for 2nd then!
    Thanks, hopefully so! Actually, I do have a bit of a soft-spot for Stuttgart having visited there and toured the stadium. Doesn't mean that I'm going to let them overtake me though!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobby_McDonald View Post
    Give me a B...BGive me an A...AGive me a Y...YGive me an E...EGive me a R...RWhat do you get?Bayer Leverkusen.
    Sounds like you've got all the attributes to be a leading cheerleader, Nobby!
    Last edited by AK22; 19-03-2012 at 18:11.

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    Mexico: The Start Of The Road To France 2030

    Qualifying for the World Cup is a must for this proud nation, and there shouldn't be any excuses for failing to do so. Unfortunately, this squad is full of complacent, brain-dead morons who just expect to turn up and win. At times, despite their obvious high levels of skill, they find it almost impossible to string a series of passes together, let alone carve out any decent goalscoring chances. To be honest, I'm now at a loss about what to do with this team, and just hope we can bumble through qualification without too many embarrassing defeats along the way.

    CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers 3rd Phase Group 1

    Group 1





    Really, we should have comfortably topped the group, but El Salvador are unstoppable at the moment! They're considerably higher than us in the world rankings too, so I can't be too disappointed that we only finished second. We still easily qualified for the next round though, where we'll have to finish ahead of the likes of USA and Honduras if we want to make it to the World Cup finals.

    Team of the Year 2028 | Overall Best XI
    Last edited by AK22; 19-03-2012 at 18:12.

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    El Salvador!

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    You lost to El Salvador.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    El Salvador!
    Quote Originally Posted by Nobby_McDonald View Post
    You lost to El Salvador.
    I know! It's epically embarrassing!

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    Leverkusen: Making Our Mark

    After having made such an encouraging start to our campaign, I was eager for this form to continue well into the New Year, so that we would remain in a position to contend for honours come the end of the season.

    Unfortunately, off the field, things are starting to take a turn for the worse, as the club is running at a serious loss. Even with the Champions League TV revenue, things are looking bleak, so part of my summer project will be to reduce the wage bill, bringing it in line with the club's income totals. There's also a club takeover on the horizon too, as the chairman status is now set to 'will listen to offers'. Ideally, the new owner will pump a bit of money into the club's coffers, helping to alleviate the financial burden, and give me the opportunity to bring a few new faces in.

    Finances | Transfer Summary


    Bundesliga 2028/29 End of Season



    Position Graph | Fixtures 1 | Fixtures 2 | Season Summary | Elf des Jahres

    We maintained our stranglehold on the league through the winter months and well into the spring, securing the title with a couple of games to go. Being honest, it wasn't ever in a lot of doubt either, especially after strong showings against Dortmund and Schalke, which helped to consolidate our advantage over the chasing pack. Really, it's our goalscoring prowess that set us apart from the rest of the league, having averaged near-enough three goals a game, whilst remaining reasonably secure at the back too. There's still plenty of work to be done in preparation for next season, though, as I would like to improve our consistency and defensive organisation, but I would still imagine that we will be there or thereabouts again next time too.

    Leverkusen 5-3 FSV Frankfurt - This eight-goal thriller was a fantastic game for the neutral! Our defending left a lot to be desired though.
    Leverkusen 5-0 Dortmund - Surely one of the most one sided six-pointers? A great win over our nearest challengers!
    Köln 0-4 Leverkusen - Another derby-day victory. We won't have the pleasure next season, though, as Köln were relegated on the final day.
    Leverkusen 4-0 RB Leipzig - Pure class from Hugo, netting a hat-trick on the way to another convincing win.


    UEFA Champions League 2028/29

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



    The knockout rounds were a bit of an anticlimax for us in this season's Champions League, having fallen foul at the first hurdle. To be fair, even if we had got past Atlético Madrid, I'm pretty sure Barcelona would have put us firmly back in our box. Currently, we're nowhere near good enough to be contending in the latter stages of this competition, and will need a much more resolute defence to stand even half a chance in the coming years.

    Leverkusen 2-2 At. Madrid - We dominated the first leg, but still let a two goal lead slip. Disappointing.
    At. Madrid 5-2 Leverkusen - At 2-2 it was looking good for extra-time, or even a shock victory. However, three goals in nine minutes put pay to any dreams we had of making it to the quarter-final.


    Squad Overview
    Key Players: Hugo (39 goals), Santos (22 assists), Hilmi Bilgiç (13 assists), Marcelo Pérez (13 goals), Chorão
    Fans Player of the Year: Hugo
    Team of the Year | Overall Best XI

    Hugo was undoubtedly the star of this year's show. Not only did he break the club's goalscoring record, he also broke the Bundesliga record for most goals in a season, too. Throw in the fact he was the leading marksman in the whole of Europe, and it's not difficult to comprehend how vital he was to the team. However, I really shouldn't overlook Santos, who also played a pivotal role in the team's success, earning him the accolade of German Footballer of the Year.

    As I've said previously, the squad is probably the best in Germany, but it still doesn't feel like 'my team' yet. Ideally, I will be looking to have a bit of a clear out in the summer, and start rebuilding from the back. I'm not convinced that my two best centre-backs really cut the mustard at Champions League level, so could do with a natural born leader and organiser to galvanise the back four. Sure, the current defenders are good enough to contend with the majority of the Bundesliga's strike-forces, but if we're going to make progress in Europe, we're going to need personnel of a higher calibre. Whether I get the money I need to bring someone of that quality in, that's yet to be seen.


    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
    2027/28    Estudiantes       Primera División Apertura  2nd       Copa Sudamericana Winner
                                 Primera División Clausura  1st       Copa Libertadores SF, Copa Argentina RU
    2028/29    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 1st       Champions League 1st KO Rd, DFB-Pokal QF
    Last edited by AK22; 21-03-2012 at 20:21.

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    Congrats on the title win,unlucky in the Champions League but at least you know what you have work on

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    Tough beat in the Champions League, but its good to know where you stand and what you need to do. Domestic is good, now to concentration on Continental.

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    Great start with Bayer Leverkusen.

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    AK mind sharing your tactical settings? NEVER got a 442 diamond to work properly!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaycar View Post
    AK mind sharing your tactical settings? NEVER got a 442 diamond to work properly!
    I found the opposite, I got it working with pretty much the default settings. Mind you that was in Argentina, where the normal accepted rules of football are irrelevant because everyone spends 90 minutes attacking in every match.

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    I like the 4-4-2 Diamond as well. Worked a treat for me in Germany with Hoffenheim. Check the Hoffenheim team thread out in the GPTG if you want to see mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B.W.G View Post
    Congrats on the title win,unlucky in the Champions League but at least you know what you have work on
    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    Tough beat in the Champions League, but its good to know where you stand and what you need to do. Domestic is good, now to concentration on Continental.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nobby_McDonald View Post
    Great start with Bayer Leverkusen.
    Cheers guys I've signed a couple of cracking centre-backs in preparation for the new season. Hopefully, they'll be the foundations I need for an improved Champions League performance next time around.

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    Solid work AK22. Hope all this winning this early won't get you bored with Leverkusen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaycar View Post
    AK mind sharing your tactical settings? NEVER got a 442 diamond to work properly!
    Quote Originally Posted by SnakeXe View Post
    I found the opposite, I got it working with pretty much the default settings. Mind you that was in Argentina, where the normal accepted rules of football are irrelevant because everyone spends 90 minutes attacking in every match.
    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    I like the 4-4-2 Diamond as well. Worked a treat for me in Germany with Hoffenheim. Check the Hoffenheim team thread out in the GPTG if you want to see mine.
    With the right players, I've found a 4-4-2 diamond very effective.

    Here's my current set-up at Leverkusen:



    TBH, it's pretty basic, and in the main, the players have the default settings created from the tactics creator. From an attacking perspective, I encourage the two strikers to push the defence back, hence why they are both on attack duty, so that the space is created in 'the hole' for the playmaker (Santos) to thrive in. I also have the two front men swapping position, meaning that it is a more dynamic attack that can cause confusion in the opposition defence. The AMC's main duty is just to sit there and play the killer balls that the poacher can latch on to; I'm not overly interested in him bombing forward, as three central players in the box will tend to get in each others way.

    Defensively, it's still a work in progress. Last season, I was disappointed by the amount of goals we shipped, three or four per game at times. Even with an anchor man protecting the centre-backs, we were susceptible to the counter-attack, and often struggled to regain possession when losing the ball high up the pitch. Part of this, I'm sure, was down to personnel, and with two new centre-backs joining the club in the summer, I'm feeling confident that we will be more resolute next season. I've also adjusted the mentality of the two centre backs, reverting from a stopper-cover combination to a defend-defend. Although this may put us more at risk from through balls from the midfield, I'm hoping that the defence will work in a more united cohesive unit.

    One other point to note; even though the tactics above shows closing down on 'default', I will increase this to 'press more' throughout the course of the game. By doing this, I find it counter-balances the fact that we play with no natural central-midfielders, and at times, will need to minimise the amount of space available in the centre of the park.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rancer890 View Post
    Solid work AK22. Hope all this winning this early won't get you bored with Leverkusen.
    Thanks rancer. I'm looking at Champions League victory as the long term goal, and we're still a good couple of seasons off getting close to that, so I'll be sticking around for now!

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    Thanks for that Ak, and you other lads that replied re the diamond, I'll have a good play see what happens. :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK22 View Post
    Thanks rancer. I'm looking at Champions League victory as the long term goal, and we're still a good couple of seasons off getting close to that, so I'll be sticking around for now!
    I'm about to stick money on it.

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    Mexico: A Summer To Forget

    With the World Cup qualifying campaign not going 100% to plan, I was looking for a good showing from the side over the course of the two competitions we would be entered into this summer. In particular, due to the class of nations entered, the Confederation Cup would give us a good indication of what would be realistic expectations if we do secure our passage to the 2030 World Cup.


    FIFA Confederations Cup 2029

    Group Stages



    Spain 1-1 Mexico - Not a bad start by us. Spain aren't the all-dominant side they used to be, but it was still a solid point against tough opposition.
    Mexico 0-2 Italy - This was a hugely demoralising 90 minutes; having dominated the game, Italy totally robbed the points off of us.
    Mexico 0-0 China - Again we should have won, but just couldn't make the crucial breakthrough.

    We definitely drew the short straw when the group stages were announced, having to face both Italy and Spain in the opening games. However, all three games were settled by very fine margins, and if we had had our shooting boots on, it was conceivable that we could have won at least two of the matches. Alas, it was, again, our lack of goals that signalled our demise, and saw us crash out in the group stages. The FA wanted us to reach the semi-final, so they're not too happy either!

    Knockout Rounds

    Overview

    Surprisingly, both the European nations failed to reach the final, where China took a shock victory over Uruguay.



    CONCACAF Gold Cup

    Group Stages



    Mexico 0-1 Costa Rica -Not the start I was hoping for. They had one shot all game, and of course, they scored from it! Grrr!
    Bermuda 0-5 Mexico - It was as one-sided as the scoreline suggested. This is the type of performance we should be putting in every time.
    Mexico 1-2 Guatemala - Another shambles, made even worse by a final minute winner from our opposition.

    Knockout Rounds



    USA 0-1 Mexico - We had to wait until extra-time to make the breakthrough, but we were still good value for the victory.
    Mexico 0-1 Guatemala - Seven players booked, and one sent off; we totally lost our cool in the semi-final, and found ourselves humbled by Guatemala once again.

    I don't know what I'm more embarrassed about; the fact that we only just scraped through a routine group stage, or that we crashed out to Guatemala in the semi-final. Having been the favourites, and defending champions, our performance in this competition has been nothing short of totally unacceptable. Factor in our poor show in the Confeds Cup too, and I'm amazed that the Mexican FA haven't handed me my P45. Remarkably, I've got a stay of execution for now, and will need to see a huge improvement in the rest of the World Cup qualifying campaign if I'm going to remain in my position for too much longer. Not that I'm particularly confident of seeing that happen, as to be honest, I'm at a complete loss to explain why we've been so poor, and don't see any easy fixes that will show any immediate improvement.

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    I'm not getting my hopes up.

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    Ouch! Can't imagine the Mexican media are giving you an easy ride at the minute!

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    I'm not getting my hopes up.
    Ha, I wouldn't go putting money on it

    Quote Originally Posted by chile_paul View Post
    Ouch! Can't imagine the Mexican media are giving you an easy ride at the minute!
    It's pretty safe to say that I'm hardly 'Flavour of the Month' at the moment. I'm sure all will be forgiven if we make it to the World Cup, though

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    Leverkusen: Pre-Season 2029/30

    We were good last season, so I'm expecting another strong showing domestically this time around. The big project will be to make this club one of the best in Europe, and capable of challenging for Champions League honours in a few years time. Unfortunately, German sides haven't been particularly successful in recent continental competitions, with only Dortmund making a final appearance back in 2026. Due to this, there is the very prevalent threat of the Russian Prem'er Liga overtaking the Bundesliga and becoming the fifth best league in Europe, so it's not just down to us to improve our performances; the other German representatives also need to raise their game too.

    Board Expectations

    Bundesliga: Challenge for the title
    UEFA Champions League: Reach the First Knockout Round
    DFB-Pokal: Not important
    DFL-Supercup: Not important

    Media Prediction: 1st

    Transfer Budget: £1.26m
    Wage Budget: £1.2m per week (currently spending £1.1m per week)


    Transfer Summary

    Key Signings: Iván Hernández (DC) £3m, Daniel Dladla (DC) £4m, Boris Reutershahn (AMC) Free

    I'm a bit disappointed by the meagre transfer budget allocated to me this season, so I've been unable to make as many signings as I would have liked. However, there was still enough to do a bit of wheeling-dealing, and I've prioritised the signing of a couple of centre-backs, who look the real deal, and will hopefully tighten the defence.

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    Look like excellent deals.

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    Lost to Guatemala again.

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    A poor couple of tournaments with Mexico....especially with China getting through the group stage and being knocked out by Guatemala .

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Look like excellent deals.
    Thanks delta. Given the lack of money available, I feel I've done a reasonable job bargain-hunting!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobby_McDonald View Post
    Lost to Guatemala again.
    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    A poor couple of tournaments with Mexico....especially with China getting through the group stage and being knocked out by Guatemala .
    I really hate Guatemala!! Since taking over the Mexican national side, my record against them stands at played 4, lost 3, drawn 1. Terrible!

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    So, I've had worse job offers...



    I did half consider it, but don't really want to be leaving Deutschland yet.

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    Leverkusen: Keeping It Consistent

    After having such a strong first year at the club, it was important that we didn't become complacent this season, and lose our grip on the Bundesliga trophy. Obviously, I will be looking for a bit more progress in the Champions League this time around, but I still feel that the league is the main priority, and wouldn't want to sacrifice our domestic form for European glory. Tactically, it's still the same too, playing a 4-4-2 diamond in the majority of matches. Simply put; this worked last season, so I've got no reason to change things at this current moment in time.


    Bundesliga 2029/30 Winter Break



    Fixtures

    Not quite as convincing as this time last season, where we had a seven point advantage at the half way stage, but we've still done enough to be top of the tree at Christmas. Dortmund and Stuttgart both look capable of putting in a title challenge, and considering we've already dropped points against both teams this season, they could easily close the gap on us in the spring. Most surprisingly, is the demise of Bayern Munich, who find themselves down in seventh place, and twelve points off the pace. They're still comfortably the richest club in the land, so it's quite a shock that they can't put together a team that could challenge for the title.

    Leverkusen 5-0 Freiburg - What a way to start our title defence, with Hugo picking up from where he left off last season!
    Leverkusen 5-0 Hoffenheim - Another dominant performance, another Hugo hat-trick.
    Stuttgart 4-0 Leverkusen - We crashed back down to earth with this demoralising defeat to one of our challengers.
    Werder Bremen 1-4 Leverkusen - Our best performance on the road so far.


    UEFA Champions League 2029/30 Group Stages (Group F)



    Fixtures

    We were second seeds again, so I wasn't overly confident that we would top the group, especially with Man Utd being the top seeds. However, due to results between the two teams, we, somehow, managed to secure first place, and a tie against Arsenal in the next round.

    Leverkusen 3-1 Man Utd - A great win over the top seeds, even though we weren't the better team on the day.
    Man Utd 2-1 Leverkusen - Possibly the dirtiest match I've seen; 14 bookings and two red cards!
    Bari 1-3 Leverkusen - This looked a tricky game on paper, but in the end, it was a more than comfortable victory.
    Last edited by AK22; 31-03-2012 at 13:38.

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    Mexico: Meeting Expectations

    After our shocking summer, it was crucial that we completed the job in our World Cup qualifying campaign. I'm only just hanging on to my job by the skin of my teeth, so failing to qualify would surely be the final nail in my coffin. I've gone back to basics tactics wise, lining up with a bog standard 4-4-2. To be honest, performances can't get much worse.


    FIFA World Cup CONCACAF Qualifiers 4th Phase





    Considering the precarious nature of my job status, you could say I was relieved to qualify as group winners! We still can't beat bloody Guatemala though, as they continue to be a constant thorn in our sides, being the only side that we dropped points against in the qualifying campaign. Asides from that, it's very much 'job done', so we can now look forward to a trip to France in the summer.

    Mexico 4-0 USA - USA are pretty crap now, so it's no big surprise that we comfortably beat them by four goals.
    Guatemala 1-0 Mexico - Aargh! Why can't we beat them?! They totally bossed us too!
    USA 1-2 Mexico - A solid away win against our rivals.
    Mexico 2-2 Guatemala - A huge crowd saw the most one-sided of matches to end in a 2-2 draw!

    Team of the Year 2029 | Best Overall XI

    Last edited by AK22; 31-03-2012 at 14:04.

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    USA bottom? Excellent. And far better this time. You're half-forgiven.

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    Why is USA so crappy in your save? (and Canada didn't make it to the Hex )

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    I love that in the screenshot for Hernandez he has reacted badly to a recent comment. Nice of you to make him welcome

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    Looking very strong on both domestic and international fronts.Keep up the good work

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    Looking good all over the place. That Man Utd. match was crazy with the number of cards!

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    USA bottom? Excellent. And far better this time. You're half-forgiven.
    Quote Originally Posted by rancer890 View Post
    Why is USA so crappy in your save? (and Canada didn't make it to the Hex )
    USA have been pathetic recently! I've even got the MLS loaded, so I would have expected them to stay as one of the CONCACAF powerhouses. They're down to 70th in the World Rankings now, just above Trinidad and Tobago!

    Canada were in the same group as Guatemala and Honduras, and everyone knows that you can't beat Guatemala!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pooku View Post
    I love that in the screenshot for Hernandez he has reacted badly to a recent comment. Nice of you to make him welcome
    Well, I like them to know who's boss from day one! There's no point bigging them up from the get-go!

    Quote Originally Posted by B.W.G View Post
    Looking very strong on both domestic and international fronts.Keep up the good work
    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    Looking good all over the place. That Man Utd. match was crazy with the number of cards!
    Cheers fellas! The Man Utd game was a bit of a bloodbath, but as it was such a pivotal game for both teams, I wouldn't have expected anything less. Anyway, it kept the referee busy!!

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    Leverkusen: The Unexpected Successes

    With the improvement in the club's finance, this season, the board have agreed my requests to improve the training and youth facilities. They've also deemed it appropriate to expand the stadium by 5111 seats too, so next season we'll boast a capacity of 65000, the third highest in the division (behind Bayern Munich and Dortmund). All of this is extremely good news, and will help to ensure we continue to grow the stature of the club into one of the major forces in European football.

    Finances | Transfer Summary


    Bundesliga 2029/30 End of Season



    Position Graph | Fixtures 1 | Fixtures 2 | Season Summary | Elf des Jahres

    After having a three point advantage at the half way stage, I was delighted that we managed to extend this to nine with only a handful of games remaining. Dortmund gave us a good fight, but ultimately could not get close enough to us to put us under any severe pressure, meaning that we had the league title sewn up with two matches left to play.

    We, perhaps, haven't been as pleasing on the eye as last season, having scored 16 less goals than the previous term, but we've definitely been good enough value for our success. Other positives for the season include our improved defence, as we haven't had as many high-scoring thrillers, and the fact we've been good at grinding out results from adverse positions. All-in-all, a very solid trophy-defending campaign.

    Freiburg 1-4 Leverkusen - Our first game after the break, and we continued where we left off.
    Dortmund 1-0 Leverkusen - A tough six-pointer, where we were played off the park by our nearest challengers.
    Leverkusen 6-0 Gladbach - One of the performances of the season. Hugo scored another hat-trick.
    Leverkusen 3-2 Stuttgart - A true battle of a match, which saw us take the lead twice, only to be pegged back within two minutes twice.
    Leverkusen 1-1 Werder Bremen - This was the point that secured us the title with two more games left to play.


    DFB-Pokal - I may have heavily rotated the team in the early rounds, but getting to the final certainly did enough to grab my attention to this competition. A full strength team took the field for the final against Gladbach, and with the help of extra-time, we lifted the trophy for the first time in twelve seasons. This certainly wasn't the highlight of our season, but was still a good accolade to achieve, and adds another winners medal to my increasingly collection.

    Gladbach 0-2 Leverkusen - Gladbach missed a penalty, and their opportunity to pull off a shock victory. We punished them in extra-time, with Hugo scoring the crucial goals.


    UEFA Champions League 2029/30

    Group Stages (A-D) | Group Stages (E-H) | Fixtures | Champions League Dream Team



    What a unbelievable triumph this was, making it a treble-winning season!

    I certainly didn't expect to make it all the way to the final, but after scraping past Arsenal in the First Knockout Round, I was quietly confident that we could at least make the final four. Celtic were a lot tougher than I expected, maybe I under-estimated them, but we were still comfortable winners over the two legs. This set up a mouth-watering semi-final against the great Barcelona, where we put in two top-drawer performances to pull off the shock of the season, and secure our place in the final.

    Of course, I'd been to the final of the Champions League before. Twice, in fact, with Liverpool, and had lost them both, the latter time courtesy of an AC Milan victory, so I was determined to make it third time lucky and avenge my previous disappointments! We started the game slowly, and quickly found ourselves a goal down. However, seven magical minutes saw Santos score a brace, turning the tie on it's head. We held Milan off for the remaining 25 minutes, even seeing the game out with ten men, and lifted 'Big Ears' for the first time in the club's history.

    Arsenal 1-1 Leverkusen - A tough first leg, so I was delighted to go back to Germany level-pegging.
    Leverkusen 2-0 Arsenal - Bit of a snatch 'n' grab, but a great result.
    Celtic 1-1 Leverkusen - Our trip to Scotland didn't quite go to plan, but having scored an early away goal, it was always likely that we would still go through.
    Leverkusen 2-0 Barcelona - A confident first leg performance, putting us in a commanding position for the return match.
    Barcelona 2-3 Leverkusen - The shock of the season! Barcelona will feel hard done by, as we clinical took our chances when they came along.
    AC Milan 1-2 Leverkusen - Such an uncomfortable match to watch! Thankfully, Santos earned himself legendary status by scoring the goals that won the trophy.


    Squad Overview
    Key Players: Hugo (37 goals), Santos (20 assists), Chorão (Av R 7.41), Lamari Mazari (22 clean sheets)
    Fans Player of the Year: Hugo
    Team of the Year | Overall Best XI

    Undoubtedly, the key to our success this season was the improvement to our defence, with the signings of Daniel Dladla and Iván Hernández being the two individuals that made the most amount of difference; it's really quite staggering that they only cost me a combined £7m! We've also had more than our fair share of good luck on the injury front too, as I've had the luxury of a full squad to choose from in the majority of matches, so we've been able to keep the team fresh and vitalised throughout the course of the season. I can honestly say that there was no point this season where I could validly had a small grumble about the players unavailable for selection.

    Going forward, there's still areas I'd like to improve upon. As well as looking to strengthen the wide areas of fullbacks and midfield, I'm also looking to add another proven goalscorer to the ranks. I think we've become heavily reliant on Hugo to produce the goods on a week-by-week basis, and even though he's in the form of his life, his deputies just don't seem clinical enough to step in when needed. If he gets a long-term injury, it could possibly ruin our whole season.


    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
    2027/28    Estudiantes       Primera División Apertura  2nd       Copa Sudamericana Winner
                                 Primera División Clausura  1st       Copa Libertadores SF, Copa Argentina RU
    2028/29    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 1st       Champions League 1st KO Rd, DFB-Pokal QF
    2029/30    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 1st       Champions League Winners, DFB-Pokal Winners
    Last edited by AK22; 05-04-2012 at 11:00.

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    Great treble given you were nowhere near the pokal or CL last year, so great winning jumps forward in both.

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    Congrats on an amazing season

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    Just read the whole thread. Looks like you've had a great career. I'd recommend leaving Germany soon. It's great fun to play there for a bit, but the Bundesliga is just too easy to win on FM. I'd suggest Italy as a far better challenge due to there being less money unless you fancy Spain (non Barca, Real, Valencia, Malaga, Atleti teams).

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    Great seasons! Congrats on the Champions League as well as the dometic title.

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    Cracking season mate.

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    I've missed a lot, great work with Leverkusen!

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Great treble given you were nowhere near the pokal or CL last year, so great winning jumps forward in both.
    I certainly didn't see it coming based on last season's performances! However, I'm concerned that we may have peaked now, and probably won't be able to match it again.

    Quote Originally Posted by B.W.G View Post
    Congrats on an amazing season
    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    Great seasons! Congrats on the Champions League as well as the dometic title.
    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    Cracking season mate.
    Quote Originally Posted by HotChocolate View Post
    I've missed a lot, great work with Leverkusen!
    Thanks chaps! It was a great season, unlikely to be repeated. I am delighted to have broken my Champions League hoodoo though

    Quote Originally Posted by Niebiescy View Post
    Just read the whole thread. Looks like you've had a great career. I'd recommend leaving Germany soon. It's great fun to play there for a bit, but the Bundesliga is just too easy to win on FM. I'd suggest Italy as a far better challenge due to there being less money unless you fancy Spain (non Barca, Real, Valencia, Malaga, Atleti teams).
    Yeah, I tend to agree with you Niebiescy.

    Even though I've still got another three seasons left to run on my current contract with Leverkusen, I'd be amazed if I see it out to the end. We're pretty dominant domestically now, so the main challenge this coming season will be to defend the Champions League trophy. Saying that, I do enjoy the German Leagues, with it's 34 games per season and only one cup competition, so I'm in no immediate rush to jump ship. However, when I do eventually leave Leverkusen, Spain and Italy are certainly on the radar for my next destination.

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    Mexico: A Fortnight In Italy

    So, we finally made it to Italy 2030, virtually unscathed from our qualifying campaign. The FA wanted us to reach the second round, which was a pretty realistic expectation, but given our flaky previous performances, I couldn't take it for granted that we would get out of our group.

    Fortunately, I was able to select the strongest possible squad, favouring the majority of players who helped secure our passage to the final.

    Squad Overview


    FIFA World Cup 2030

    Group Stages

    Mexico 0-0 Columbia - Columbia are now one of the best teams in the world, so there was no shame in taking away just a point in our opening fixture.
    China 1-1 Mexico - The winners of the Confederations Cup were up next, and once again, a draw was a fair enough result.
    Croatia 2-3 Mexico - A must win match, and that we did. Just. Omar Diaz scored a great hat-trick, which ensured we went through to the next round as group runners-up.




    A few shocks in the groups, with Brazil, Netherlands, Portugal and England all having shocking campaigns. Even France struggled to get through, having to rely on their slightly superior goal difference to advance to the next stage.


    Knockout Rounds

    Italy 2-0 Mexico - If we had won the group, we would have got Tunisia. Unfortunately for us, we didn't, and had the tough ask of having to face the hosts. Italy were just too good for us, comfortably winning by two goals, and sending us packing back home.



    What a tournament! Not just to first ever African finalists, but also the first ever all-African final; Mali triumphed with a 2-0 victory over Cameroon.

    FIFA World Cup Dream Team

    Last edited by AK22; 05-04-2012 at 16:22.

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