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

  1. #901
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    The World Cup went as well as I expected. The FA were happy, and my job status jumped back up to 'very secure'; a huge improvement considering I was nearly sacked after the previous summer's performances!



    However, I feel four years is long enough in charge of any one nation, so I decided to throw in the Sombrero...



    My record with Mexico isn't really worth shouting about, but it certainly wasn't a disaster, by any means either.


  2. #902
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    Africa finally gets the World Cup.

    At least Guatemala getting knocked out means they didn't knock you out in the knockout rounds.

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    Not had much time to be around these parts recently but it seems you're still where I left you...winning . Some good stuff with Leverkusen.

    Looks like Pele was right in his prediction about an African team.

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    A very early exit for you but a great tournament for the African nations.

  5. #905
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobby_McDonald View Post
    Africa finally gets the World Cup.

    At least Guatemala getting knocked out means they didn't knock you out in the knockout rounds.
    Very true. Now that I've quit Central America, I hope that I never have to play them again

    Quote Originally Posted by Raware View Post
    Not had much time to be around these parts recently but it seems you're still where I left you...winning . Some good stuff with Leverkusen.

    Looks like Pele was right in his prediction about an African team.
    Cheers Raware, although I wish I could replicate my club success with a national side! Egypt, Australia, Turkey, Mexico, it's all been very mediocre to say the least.

    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    A very early exit for you but a great tournament for the African nations.
    The African nations are certainly in the ascendancy on my game. Although, I don't think I'll live to see the day that Mali win the World Cup in real life!!

  6. #906
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    Leverkusen: Pre-Season 2030/31

    After last years success, it's quite unlikely that we'll be able to match it again, this time around. The Bundesliga is our bread and butter, so this will be my main focus when it comes to team selection. Although I'd love another run in the Champions League, I can't quite see it happening again unless we get another bucket full of good luck. We'll also have the pleasure of representing Europe in this year's Club World Cup, so I'll be looking forward to squaring up against South America's and Asia's finest later in the year.

    With new training and youth facilities on the horizon, and the impending expansion of the stadium, we've been able to reinvest our prize money to ensure the infrastructure of the club is improved, which will help to improve our standing in the European club pecking order. We may still be a mile off of the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid, but are certainly now starting to close the gap on Bayern and Dortmund.

    Board Expectations

    Bundesliga: Challenge for the title
    UEFA Champions League: Reach the Quarter Final
    UEFA Super Cup: Win the Super Cup
    DFB-Pokal: Not important
    DFL-Supercup: Not important

    Media Prediction: 1st

    Transfer Budget: £6.74m
    Wage Budget: £1.1m per week (currently spending £942k per week)


    Transfer Summary

    Key Signings: Alejandro Enciso (ST) Free, Luiz (ST) £5.5m, Jack Srivastava (DC) Free, Du Shipeng (DM) £4.5m, Víctor Guiffaro (MR) £4.1m, Marcelo Donoso (DR) £3m, Roger Delgado (DC) £2.7m, Siaka Dao (GK) £425k, Ayouba Noumonvi (DC) £2.7m

    Controversially, I sold star defender, Iván Hernandez, a week before the transfer window closed in a big money move to Man City. Arguably the best defender in the squad, I couldn't really turn down a £25m bid for a player that only cost me £3m the previous summer; a £22m profit is certainly good business in my eyes. However, this did leave me slightly light in the centre-back ranks, having sold 1st and 2nd back-ups earlier on in the summer too, so I had to make the emergency signing of Noumonvi to ensure we were well enough covered in this position. I'm hoping I don't come to regret this decision!

    I was also able to strengthen the strike-force, bringing in two more solid central forwards, which will hopefully reduce the goalscoring burden on Hugo's shoulders. Whether they'll cut it at this level is yet to be seen, but I'm pretty confident they'll be able to contribute about 20 goals between them over the course of the season.

  7. #907
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    Italy: Bringing The Azzurri To Life

    After Egypt, Australia, Turkey and Mexico, Italy will the fifth national side I have taken charge of in my career so far. And given my previous International experience, I'm not expecting fireworks; more likely, mediocrity, despair and disappointment.

    Actually, I had a fair few options open to me after the World Cup, including opportunities with Brazil, England, Argentina and Netherlands. But after analysing their respective squads, I decided to plump for The Azzurri.

    The nation's currently ranked 5th in the world, but found themselves manager-less when the previous incumbent stepped down after their World Cup campaign. Italy were the hosts for that competition, so probably should have done better than the quarter-final finish they achieved. After winning the 2018 tournament, they've now won the World Cup five times, equalling Brazil's record, so I'll be looking to break that when Australia 2034 comes around.

    First up, though, will be the qualifying campaign for the 2032 European Championship (which will be held in Belgium). Our group looks fairly routine on paper, with the likes of Azerbaijan and Luxembourg unlikely to pose us too many problems, however, I'm sure Turkey will be keen to get one up on their former manager.



    Key Players: Giacomo Verdiani (DC), Manolo Zonca (ST), Leandro (DC), Ricardinho (AM), Cornelio Senoner (MC), Silvio Innocenti (GK)

    Going on my initial impression of the squad, it appears that I'm blessed to inherit a team full of world class individuals. In particular, Zonca and Ricardinho should prove to a potent attacking force, so I would imagine there to be plenty of goals in our forthcoming qualifying campaign. I'm also delighted to be reunited with Giacomo Verdiani, a defender I signed for Liverpool when he was 17 years old. Back then, I paid a £1m for him; he's now worth £31.5m, and plying his trade at Real Madrid. Forza Italia!

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    Easy group to start off with at Italy.

  9. #909
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Easy group to start off with at Italy.
    Hopefully so! It would be pretty embarrassing if we dropped any points against the four minnows in the group. Stranger things have happened, though!!

  10. #910
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    Mali winning the World Cup is madness! Your group for Italy should be a walk in the park, especially with players like Zonca.

  11. #911
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    What's the betting somebody like Macedonia become his European version of Guatemala?

  12. #912
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    Not sure if Mali would win right now with all their troublues... Congrats on the Italian job

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    Leverkusen: Third Season-itis

    With last season being such a success, it was always going to be difficult to match it this time around. However, as a bare minimum, I still expected to be competitive in the league, and capable of putting in a title challenge...


    Bundesliga 2030/31 Winter Break



    Fixtures

    What's going on here then?! Out of nowhere, Bayern have announced themselves as genuine title contenders, and find themselves with a comfortable lead at the Christmas break. We're eight points off, and will need an excellent second half of the season if we are to close the gap and retain our league trophy. Actually, we've not been as bad as it seems, and, in fact, are only three points worse off than this point last year. However, realistically, it's unlikely that we will win the Bundesliga this season, so will just need to ensure a top three finish, and Champions League qualification.

    Leverkusen 2-1 Stuttgart - A good early season win over one of last year's top three.
    Schalke 3-0 Leverkusen - Dominated from start to finish; a dismal day out in Gelsenkirchen.
    Leverkusen 1-2 FC Bayern - We really needed to win this to get back in the title race. You could argue that we were robbed too!
    St. Pauli 0-6 Leverkusen - This was more like it, and shows we can still easily polish off relegation fodder.
    Leverkusen 3-0 Dortmund - Our best performance so far, meaning that we jumped ahead of our opposition in the league table.


    UEFA Champions League 2030/31 Group Stages (Group F)



    Fixtures

    Our Champions League defence has been nothing short of shambolic. It was hardly the group of death either, and as top seeds, we should have easily qualified for the Knockout Rounds. We started the campaign off on completely the wrong foot, losing a tricky game in Spain to Villarreal, however, the pivotal result was the home defeat to Rubin. This result, in the end, proved crucial in determining our fate, which, ultimately, will see us drop into the Europa League. Thursday nights, here we come!

    Villarreal 2-0 Leverkusen - A tough opening fixture where I would have happily taken a draw. Ironically, it was my Italian striker, Manolo Zonca, who scored both the goals.
    Leverkusen 0-1 Rubin - Total rubbish. We weren't at the races, all game.
    Rubin 3-3 Leverkusen - After being 3-0 down, I was pleased with the spirited comeback. But really, we needed to win to have any chance of qualification.
    M. Haifa 1-3 Leverkusen - We did our job on matchday six, but needed Rubin to beat Villarreal if we were to progress.


    Other Competitions 2030/31

    FIFA Club World Cup

    Dalian 0-4 Leverkusen - A very easy win in the semi-final against Asia's finest.
    Leverkusen 2-0 Atlético Mineiro - Quite a tasty final, but we still had more than enough in the tank to lift the trophy for the first time in our history.

    UEFA Super Cup

    Sevilla 1-3 Leverkusen - 3-0 up at half time, meaning that we strolled to victory in the second. Job done, and trophy lifted.
    Last edited by AK22; 08-04-2012 at 11:35.

  14. #914
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackJCFC View Post
    Mali winning the World Cup is madness! Your group for Italy should be a walk in the park, especially with players like Zonca.
    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    Not sure if Mali would win right now with all their troublues... Congrats on the Italian job
    Yep, Malian madness!! It's definitely one of those FM quirks you get every now and again. However, I'm hoping to put Italy's name on the trophy in four years time; I reckon we've got a reasonably good chance too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobby_McDonald View Post
    What's the betting somebody like Macedonia become his European version of Guatemala?
    That sounds like the kiss of death to me I haven't played Macedonia yet, so you might be right!!

  15. #915
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    Good luck with Italy and hope you can find an improvement in form with Leverkusen in the second half of the season.

  16. #916
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    Shoddy Champions League effort AK.

  17. #917
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    That was a bad shock.

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    Not going as hoped so far.

  19. #919
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    Quote Originally Posted by B.W.G View Post
    Good luck with Italy and hope you can find an improvement in form with Leverkusen in the second half of the season.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nobby_McDonald View Post
    Shoddy Champions League effort AK.
    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    That was a bad shock.
    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    Not going as hoped so far.
    Yeah, it's been a bit **** poor at times; not overly sure what's caused the downturn in form either. If we don't finish in the top three in the Bundesliga, it will be a disaster, so we'll really need to focus on this. Ain't too fussed about the Europa League, though, more of a distraction than anything.

  20. #920
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    Leverkusen: Making The Best Of A Bad Situation

    The club's stock is still continuing to rise, so it was imperative that we recovered well from our sloppy start to the season. Failure to finish outside the top three, and not qualify for the Champions League, would be a huge blip on the upward curve that the club is travelling along, and stall the amount of investment available to me on and off the field.

    Finances | Transfer Summary


    Bundesliga 2030/31 End of Season



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

    Overall, the quality of the top four has been pretty poor all season long, so it's mainly by default that Schalke ended the season as champions. The inadequacies are highlighted further by the fact that the trophy was lifted by a side that lost nine times; that just over 25% of all their league games! Bayern were another calamity, who had the collapse of all collapses, only adding 21 points to their total at the half way stage, and scraping into the last Champions League spot.

    Mind you, we're in no position to throw stones at the glass houses around us, as by our high standards, we were more than dismal too. After closing the gap at the top down to two points with a game in hand, the title was completely in our hands to win. However, we've seemed to have lost our killer instinct, putting in too many abject performances on a regular basis, and virtually gift-wrapped the title to our rivals in Gelsenkirchen. There's now a bit of recovery work to do over the summer if we are going to get our hands back on the Bundesliga trophy, although I'm still pleased that we had the best defensive record in the league again. We just need to be more clinical again!

    Stuttgart 3-1 Leverkusen - We were 1-0 up and cruising, before being reduced to ten men. Three Stuttgart goals quickly followed, as we fell to pieces.
    Leverkusen 0-1 Schalke - A terrible performance against the eventual winners. If the scoreline had been reversed, we probably would have won the league.
    FC Bayern 2-4 Leverkusen - Totally against the run of play, Luiz banged in a first half hat-trick to take the game away from our opposition.
    Leverkusen 4-1 Hannover - Hugo at his best, scoring all four goals.
    Dortmund 2-0 Leverkusen - This defeat saw us say goodbye to any slim hope left of lifting the league trophy this season.


    UEFA Europa League 2030/31

    Fixtures



    This competition turned out to be the silver lining of our season, and meant that we ended up lifting three trophies after all!

    Even though it wasn't my main focus of attention, we breezed through to the latter stages with quite a few of the squad players putting in decent shifts agains PSV and Besiktas. PSG were tougher opposition, and we had to come from behind to secure aggregate victory, and a semi-final place against Celtic.

    We had played Celtic last season, in the quarter-final of the Champions League, so knew it would be a trickier tie than it looked on paper. That said, we still had enough about us to win both legs comfortably, and book our spot in the final. The final was to be held at Inter Milan's home stadium (Giuseppe Meazza/San Siro), so with clear home advantage, they were odds-on favourites to lift the trophy. What happened next was totally unexpected; arguably, we put in the performance of the season, dominating the proceedings on the way to a shock 4-0 victory. Even though it's not the one I would have wanted at the start of the season, it's still another trophy for the cabinet!

    Leverkusen 3-0 PSV - Luiz scored a hat-trick to overturn the deficit from the first leg.
    Leverkusen 5-0 Besiktas - A terrific first leg put the tie to bed before we had to travel to Turkey.
    Leverkusen 2-0 PSG - Having lost in France, it was important that we recovered strongly in the second leg.
    Leverkusen 2-1 Celtic - We did our job well, booking our final place.
    Inter 0-4 Leverkusen - An unbelievable game! We were the underdogs, but beat Inter easily, in their own back yard.


    Squad Overview
    Key Players: Hugo (34 goals), Alejandro Enciso (22 goals), Santos (20 assists), Chorão (Av R 7.21), Ayouba Noumonvi (Av R 7.25)
    Fans Player of the Year: Hugo
    Team of the Year | Overall Best XI

    In hindsight, I think I've made too many transfers this season, which has unsettled the squad somewhat, and led to the disjointed performances that have become a regularity this yet. 13 new players joined the club over the course of the season, so it's not really a huge surprise that the harmony has been disrupted, and the tactical understanding lost. Learning from my mistakes, I'll be looking to keep the squad a lot more stable over the coming summer, only looking to add three or four new faces to the first team, which I hope will improve things next year.

    Of course, the Brazilian trio of Hugo, Santos and Chorão all had the usual barnstorming seasons, although, naturally, we did miss Hugo for the nine league games he was injured for. Thankfully, new signing Alejandro Enciso really stepped up and filled the void, finding the net 22 times before he broke his leg in March. Hopefully, he'll make a full recovery, keeping his eye for goal, meaning that next season I'll have a deadly strike-force capable of finding the net 60 times between them.


    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
    2030/31    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 2nd       Europa League Winners
    Last edited by AK22; 10-04-2012 at 10:52.

  21. #921
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    Good job winning the Europa League - the Champions League qualification was a bit tight there at the end!

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    Congrats on winning the Europa League and you made it into the CL which is a bonus.

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    Hoffenheim relegated .

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    Quote Originally Posted by SnakeXe View Post
    Good job winning the Europa League - the Champions League qualification was a bit tight there at the end!
    Quote Originally Posted by B.W.G View Post
    Congrats on winning the Europa League and you made it into the CL which is a bonus.
    Cheers! It was a bit tight at the end, too much for my liking. We only just about scraped into second after losing our final match, but thankfully, Bayern and Dortmund failed to capitalise on our misfortunes.

    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    Hoffenheim relegated .
    They've yo-yo'ed a bit recently, but I'd imagine they'll bounce straight back up next season.

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    Proper thumping of Inter in the final.

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    Properly well done.

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    Leverkusen: Pre-Season 2031/32

    With us slightly under performing last season, it was important to improve upon things this time around. In fact, the board turned the heat up a bit, stating that a title challenge would be no longer good enough; they expected us to lift the trophy! No pressure then! As usual, Dortmund and Bayern will be our main rivals, as I doubt Schalke have the team capable of defending their title, but then again, I wouldn't rule them out completely either.

    Including this coming season, I've got two years left to run on my existing contract. It's unlikely that I'll extend that either, simply as there's very little left for me to achieve with the club. I may even go a year earlier, but will wait until the end of this season before reviewing the options available to me; I'm quite interested in the challenge that Portugal or The Netherlands have to offer at the moment. Alternatively, I'm looking towards finding a fallen-giant to restore back to the peak of their respective league.

    Board Expectations

    Bundesliga: Win the Bundesliga
    UEFA Champions League: Reach the Quarter Final
    UEFA Super Cup: Win the Super Cup
    DFB-Pokal: Not important

    Media Prediction: 1st

    Transfer Budget: £10.83m
    Wage Budget: £1.1m per week (currently spending £963k per week)


    Transfer Summary

    Key Signings: Ifeanyi Gabriel (ST) Free, Oladipo Obi (DC) £3.6m, Moussa Bakir (AMC) £9m, Mladen Kek (ST) Free, Adis Ibrahimovic (AML) £1.2m

    In contrast to last summer, transfer activity was kept to a minimum, as I looked to keep the squad united as much as possible. Of course, it wouldn't be a summer transfer window without a little bit of controversy, and this was no different, as I let club legend Marcelo Pérez leave the club on a free transfer, after his contract expired. He's the club's leading all-time goalscorer, with 263 goals in 427 appearances, and the fans are more than miffed about it. As far as I'm concerned, he's now 34, and way over the hill, so had no place in the first team squad. Really, I think they should be more excited by the signings of Gabriel (not bad for a free transfer, if I say so myself!) and Bakir, who both look the real deal when it comes to attacking prowess, and forget about this has been!

  28. #928
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobby_McDonald View Post
    Proper thumping of Inter in the final.
    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Properly well done.
    Thanks fellas

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    Jesus! What a route to the final for Mali - if you beat Spain, Italy and Germany along the way you deserve to lift the title!

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    Leverkusen: Back At The Races

    With us not quite hitting the mark last season, I really wanted to see an improvement this time around. Ideally, we'd be right in the title race from the off, as well as improving on last years shambles in the Champions League. Off the field, requests to improve both the training and youth facilities have been granted, so once completed, our back field operation will be up there with the very best.


    Bundesliga 2031/32 Winter Break



    Fixtures

    Although we're only one point better off at the mid-season break compared to last year, we're looking good at the top of the table. Factor in that we've now already played the tricky away matches against FC Bayern, Schalke and Dortmund, and on the paper, the second half of the season should be slightly easier too. Obviously, it's nowhere near being done and dusted, but baring a spectacular collapse, I more than expect us to be challenging for our third title in four years, come the end of the season.

    The highlight so far has undoubtedly been the win in Munich, which set us up nicely as the pace setters, and allowed us the luxury of being able to drop a few points in the subsequent matches. That said, we haven't been playing impeccably, with the scrappy home draws against Aachen and 1860 München being more than testament to this. But all in all, I'm in no position to complain too loudly about the first six months of our season.

    Schalke 1-0 Leverkusen - The early season fixture against the champions didn't quite go to plan; we were played off the park.
    Leverkusen 3-0 Stuttgart - A full house saw another great win over Stuttgart.
    FC Bayern 0-1 Leverkusen - We nicked all three points in an incredibly tight affair against our nearest challengers. Focusing on attacking set-pieces really proved beneficial, as the winner eventually came from a corner.
    Dortmund 2-0 Leverkusen - Not our finest hour on the road.
    Leverkusen 4-0 HSV - Lothar Sternisko bagged a great hat-trick in our biggest league win of the season so far.


    UEFA Champions League 2031/32 Group Stages (Group C)



    Fixtures

    A tricky group, which saw us paired with Villarreal for the second season in a row. Once again, we lost in Spain, and although we suffered defeat in France too, we just about scraped into the knockout rounds courtesy of a victory on match day six. If we had topped the group, AC Milan would have been our opposition in the next round, but as we finished second, it will be the mighty Barcelona up next for us. If you remember last time we met, we dramatically beat them home and away in the semi-final of our Champions League winning season, two years ago. We'll still be the underdogs this time too, but will we be lucky enough for lightning to strike twice?!

    Villarreal 3-0 Leverkusen - Soundly beaten in Villarreal, even though we had most of the possession.
    Leverkusen 4-0 Shakhtar - A solid victory which really helped the goal difference.
    Shakhtar 1-4 Leverkusen - This was a tougher game than the scoreline suggests, although we did deserve to win.
    Leverkusen 2-1 Villarreal - We had to win our final game to ensure we qualified for the next round. After being reduced to ten men, we resisted the barrage of Villarreal attacks to cling on to three vital points.


    Other Competitions 2031/32

    UEFA Super Cup

    Leverkusen 1-4 Man Utd - Such an open game, but we didn't covert ourselves in glory after having a man sent off in the first half. There was always only going to be one winner after this.

  31. #931
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    A better season overall, but still some strong competition. Congrats on qualifying out of the group stages of the Champions League!

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    Italy: It All Started So Well!

    Seven wins out of the first eight games ensured we booked our place at Belgium 2032, although I've got some serious concerns about the quick way complacency took hold of the squad after our qualification was guaranteed. For some reason, the players completely switched off after the Luxembourg win, and even hollering aggressively at them was not enough to prevent them putting in some pretty half-arsed performances. This will certainly need to be eradicated before the tournament itself, otherwise we'll find ourselves on a plane out of Brussels quicker than you can say Moules Frites!



    Fixtures 1 | Fixtures 2 | Team of the Year 2031 | Overall Best XI

    Italy 8-0 Azerbaijan - It's always enjoyable putting eight past any team.
    Turkey 0-0 Italy - A trip to Istanbul was always going to be difficult. We probably edged it, but I was still happy enough with a point.
    Azerbaijan 0-8 Italy - Another thumping of the minnows.
    Italy 2-2 Turkey - We had already qualified by this point, but really should have comfortably won this game to seal top spot in the group.
    Macedonia 1-0 Italy - A dismal display, which meant we slipped down to second place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chile_paul View Post
    Jesus! What a route to the final for Mali - if you beat Spain, Italy and Germany along the way you deserve to lift the title!
    Yeah, it was pretty special! I'd love to see it happen in real life!

    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    A better season overall, but still some strong competition. Congrats on qualifying out of the group stages of the Champions League!
    Thanks cerud! It's definitely going better than last season, anyway

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    At least you got through the Group Stages this time. Nothing new in the league...Stuttgart could do better...

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    Quote Originally Posted by rancer890 View Post
    At least you got through the Group Stages this time. Nothing new in the league...Stuttgart could do better...
    Yep, very little has changed in the top four from last season.

    Although the emergence of 1860 München and Ingolstadt has certainly shaken up the chasing pack somewhat, hence Stuttgart slipping down a bit. The race for European qualification should be pretty interesting come the end of the season, with a good handful of clubs all capable of sneaking into fifth place!

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    Very good so far.

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    Brilliant first half of the season,hope you it can carry on in the 2nd half of the season.Congrats on qualifying with Italy as well.

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    looks like things are going pretty well for you at Leverkusen, good luck in Belgium with Italy as well.

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    This has been a fantastic read. Truly quite inspiring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Very good so far.
    Quote Originally Posted by B.W.G View Post
    Brilliant first half of the season,hope you it can carry on in the 2nd half of the season.Congrats on qualifying with Italy as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulHartman71 View Post
    looks like things are going pretty well for you at Leverkusen, good luck in Belgium with Italy as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Premier2k View Post
    This has been a fantastic read. Truly quite inspiring.
    Thanks chaps! It's been a pretty decent start to the season, and bodes well for the rest of the year. Ideally, we would have won our CL group, but that's only if I'm being picky!

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    Leverkusen: Nearly As Good As It Gets

    Nothing too major occurred off the field this season, although I think it's about time the stadium was expanded, as we are selling out virtually every single home match now. Whether that's possible or not, I'm not sure; there's money in the bank, and the current loan will be paid off by 2034, but I am starting to wonder if the Leverkusen Stadium has reached it's capacity limit. There's certainly no option to enter discussion with the board about it, anyway.

    Finances | Transfer Summary


    Bundesliga 2031/32 End of Season



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

    This has certainly been our best league performance since I've taken charge at the club, with us lifting the title with a twelve point advantage over our nearest rivals. In fact, we added 42 points to our total in the second half of the season, winning all but four matches, breezing our way to my third Bundesliga title.

    The level of consistency shown after the winter break was key, as we continued to chalk up victories when our rivals were dropping points. We also had the advantage of home games against the other title challengers, and comfortably took nine points out of nine in the big games against Dortmund, Schalke and Bayern. All-in-all, this led to us having the title sewn-up by early-April, although it was not mathematically confirmed until we had played our 31st league game.

    We've been so much better than last season too; the defence was the tightest in the league, and our strikers the most prolific, as well as a more clinical edge to our general play. Hopefully, this proves that last season was just a small blip, and the complacency that crept in, has been eradicated from the squad now.

    Leverkusen 3-1 Schalke - Quite an even game, but a great victory over the defending champions.
    Leverkusen 4-0 FC Bayern - A crucial, and well deserved, three points. This was a huge six-pointer, and Bayern totally bottled it!
    1860 München 2-1 Leverkusen - Our only defeat post-Christmas, to a side that eventually finished fourth. We actually played quite well too.
    Leverkusen 2-0 Dortmund - Dortmund haven't been that great this season, and we took full advantage in this game.
    HSV 1-2 Leverkusen - This victory officially crowned us as champions!


    UEFA Champions League 2031/32

    Fixtures



    Could we make it two Champions League wins in three season? Well, nearly! Unfortunately, we fell at the last hurdle, losing to Marseille at Ibrox, in the final.

    Although I'm naturally disappointed not to add another trophy to the cabinet, but, all-in-all, it's been a cracking campaign all round, with the highlights being the results over Barcelona. Not only did we pull a rabbit out of the hat once, stuffing them 6-1 in the first leg, we managed a second piece of trickery to make it a double in the Nou Camp, too. I certainly never envisaged us scoring ten goals over the course of the two legs!

    Unfortunately, the further we made it into the competition, the more our performances dropped and our form suffered; perhaps, our bums squeaked a bit too much this year! Ultimately, this caused us to lose our way somewhat, barely scrapping past Fenerbahçe in the semis, and only managing a lacklustre showing in the final. If we had been in form, I'm sure we would have easily beaten Marseille. Ho hum!


    Leverkusen 6-1 Barcelona - What a game! The best result of my career, bar none! Truly fantastic!!
    Barcelona 3-4 Leverkusen - I'm still shocked that we managed to put ten goals past one of the all-time great footballing clubs over the course of the two legs!
    Leverkusen 4-0 Benfica - This comfortable victory set us up nicely for the second leg.
    Leverkusen 0-0 Fenerbahçe - A nervy game, which saw scrape through into the final on away goals. We weren't helped by the 11th minute sending off either!
    Leverkusen 1-2 OM - Even after taking an early lead, we couldn't raise our game to a high enough level to take a second Champions League crown. Unfortunately, on balance, Marseille deserved their win.


    Squad Overview
    Key Players: Hugo (26 goals, 15 assists), Ifeanyi Gabriel (14 goals), Alejandro Enciso (13 goals), Adis Ibrahimovic (14 assists), Moussa Bakir (14 assists), Daniel Dladla (Avr R: 7.43), Kevin Scholz (Avr R: 7.41), Lamara Mazari (18 clean sheets)
    Fans Player of the Year: Daniel Dladla
    Team of the Year | Overall Best XI

    The squad is excellent, and emergence of Kevin Scholz in the second half of the season proves that we've also got some quality coming through the ranks capable of challenging the first team. In fact, I'd go as far as saying that the partnership that Scholz formed with Dladla in the heart of our defence was the main reason we've so successful this year; it certainly cut down the workload for our 'keepers anyway, with Mazari keeping 18 clean sheets.

    I've got a couple of big decisions to make over the summer, with both Hugo and Santos now the wrong side of 30. Do I give them one more season at their peak, or try to sell them off before their market value drops too much? Santos wasn't a regular this season, with Moussa Bakir overtaking him to become our first choice attacking-midfielder. But he still has plenty of skill and talent, as well as the crucial ability to be a game-changer when things aren't going our way. With Hugo, his goalscoring record speaks for it's self, and I probably owe it to him to give him at least one more season at the club. At times, he's single-handedly won us games (maybe trophies!), popping up to find the net when a breakthrough is looking unlikely. However, his contract is due up next season, and his demands are pretty steep. If I want to keep him, I'll have to agree to a £20k per week payrise, which for someone who will turn 31 at his next birthday, is probably a bit too much than I would like to pay. My heart says keep him, but my business-head says get rid now!


    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
    2030/31    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 2nd       Europa League Winners, Club World Cup Winners
    2031/32    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 1st       Champions League Runner-Up

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    Italy: The Road Trip To Belgium!


    European Championship 2032

    Going into the tournament, expectations were high. The FA expected a final appearance, with the betting fraternity establishing us as 2-1 joint favourites, alongside Spain and Germany. Due to this, I knew my normal underachievement at major competitions would not be suffered lightly if I failed to deliver the goods once again.


    Group Stages

    Group B - Italy 3-3 Northern Ireland - Not quite the stroll in the park I expected our opening fixture to be! I was furious that we conceded deep in injury time, having looked like securing all three points with a goal in the dying minutes of the second half.
    Group B - Iceland 3-4 Italy - More goals! We were 3-1 down at one point, so did well to recover a victory from the jaws of defeat.
    Group B - Norway 0-1 Italy - Surprisingly, Norway were the top seeds of the group. We did the business, earning us top spot, and our place in the second round, in the process.





    Knockout Rounds

    2nd Round - Italy 5-0 Iceland - Strangely, we faced Iceland again in the 2nd Round. They didn't have their shooting boots on this time, even though it was a very even game statistically.
    Quarter-Final - Italy 2-1 Greece - It needed extra-time to get us past the Greeks and into the semi-final. We had plenty of chances to clinch victory throughout, so I was pretty annoyed we were made to play another 30 minutes.
    Semi-Final - Italy 1-3 Portugal - Daylight robbery or clinical finishing? You decide! Once we had gone 2-0 down, the odds were stacked firmly against us, so as we went to chase the game, the Portuguese hit us with a third goal on the break. Game over!



    From my perspective, getting to the semi-final wasn't a terrible result, however, I do feel if we had made it to the final, we would have gone on to lift the trophy. In hindsight, those 30 minutes of extra-time against Greece cost us dear, as the squad's fitness levels were not as high as the Portuguese's were going into the semi-final, and this was probably the main reason for our elimination.

    Croatia went on to win the tournament, beating Portugal 2-1 in the final. Funny to see Belarus and Montenegro in the quarter-finals too!
    Last edited by AK22; 18-04-2012 at 20:27.

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    Congrats on another title win although commiserations on missing out in the CL final.

  44. #944
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    Another great season though.

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    Tough way to end.

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    Leverkusen...not sure why, but the name always reminds me of soap. Like it`s a brand name or something. Tough beat in the Champions League.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B.W.G View Post
    Congrats on another title win although commiserations on missing out in the CL final.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nobby_McDonald View Post
    Another great season though.
    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Tough way to end.
    Cheers- yeah, it was still a great season, although tinged with a small amount of last minute disappointment. That's still three consecutive European finals, though, so we're really dramatically improving the club's stature now.

    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    Leverkusen...not sure why, but the name always reminds me of soap. Like it`s a brand name or something. Tough beat in the Champions League.
    I suppose it does have the ring of a generic European detergent based product!

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    Leverkusen: Pre-Season 2032/33

    To be honest, I've got very little left to prove at Leverkusen, so if an exciting opportunity had presented itself over the summer, it's quite likely I would have terminated my contract a year early. However, that never materialised, asides from a monumental offer from Real Madrid (which doesn't really interest me, at the moment), so, for now, I'll be staying on for a fifth year in Germany. I will be keeping a very close eye on the job market throughout the season, though, so I wouldn't rule a mid-season switch, if the right job became available.

    Board Expectations

    Bundesliga: Win the Bundesliga
    UEFA Champions League: Reach the Quarter Final
    DFB-Pokal: Not important

    Media Prediction: 1st

    Transfer Budget: £12.89m
    Wage Budget: £1.1m per week (currently spending £982k per week)


    Transfer Summary

    Key Signings: Richard Frimpong (DL) £7.5m, Franck Traoré (DM) £3.1m, Juan Ignacio Castro (ST) £1.4m

    Previously, I had stated that I needed to make my mind up on the future of both Santos and Hugo over the course of this summer. Both of which have had great careers at the club, really contributing to our success, and earning each of them a Champions League winners medal in the process. Unfortunately, I do feel that both their careers have peaked, and are never likely to be the influence on the team that they have been before, let alone being guaranteed a starting eleven place any more.

    After some serious deliberation, I decided to sell Santos to Auxerre for £10m; the main reason for this being his £100k per week wage, which I didn't want to pay for a rotation player. It's sad to see him go, but it's probably the right decision for both us (the club) and the player, who should get a weekly starting spot for the tycoon-backed French club. Meanwhile, for now, Hugo has earned himself a reprieve, due to the simple reason that he's always got a goal in him. His contract's still due up next summer, though, but I reckon 10 goals this season will be enough for me to offer an extension.

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    Leverkusen: Auf Wiedersehen, Pet!

    It's incredibly close in the Bundesliga this season, with the top six all being separated by two points. However, unfortunately for Leverkusen, I won't be the man the steer them to another league title, as I've been offered a job that has really whetted my appetite.



    So after four and a half great season, it's time to say to goodbye to Leverkusen, as I embark on a new adventure. I'm positive that I leave the club well set up for future success, and it really wouldn't surprise me to see them lift another Champions League trophy in the near future. I've had a enjoyable stay in Germany, having added three Bundesliga and two European winners medals to my expanding collection, but feel it's time to try my hand with a different team in a different league.


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    Must have been quite a club, as it seems an odd time to leave otherwise.

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    Odd time to leave. I think it's a really big club since they need the cash to buy out your contract...

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    Well, if it's not the Real Madrid job then it's gotta be something very tempting. Barca? Or a small club you can take to glory?

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    Genoa C.F.C: A Club Made For Cricket!

    Exclusively founded by Englishmen in 1893 as a club abroad to play cricket and compete in athletics at, Genoa Cricket and Football Club is the oldest existing club in Italian football. After their origination, the club's football section was opened in 1897, which also coincided with the introduction of Italian nationals into the club's ranks, and the team competing in the following year's inaugural Italian Football Championship. Starting off as one of the most successful teams in Italy, they won the league title in the opening three seasons of the competition, adding another three titles between the years of 1902-1904. This made it six titles in seven years, establishing them as the team to beat. After originally playing in all white (to mirror the English national team), it was in these early years that the club switched to the famous red-navy halves strip, spawning the nickname of 'rossoblu' in the process.

    After 1904, the club lost it's way somewhat, slipping down behind Juventus, AC Milan and Pro Vercelli in the pecking order. A baron decade followed, until a revival was overseen by English head coach, William Garbutt; charismatic Garbutt became the first professional manager in Italy, and led the team to their seventh title in the 1914/15, which was not awarded until 1919 due to the outbreak of World War I. The War took a severe toll in the Genoa squad too, with several players losing their lives whilst on military duty. However, even after the tragic loss of their star players, the team were still strong title contenders during 1920s, and added another two league title to their total; never would they know that this would be their last!

    Since their 1924 league title, times at the club have been less enjoyable, as they found themselves drifting down the Serie A pecking order, suffering relegation to Serie B in 1953. However, the darkest days in the club's history came in the 2004/05 when they were convicted of match-fixing, and were punished with relegation to the third tier of Italian football. They were also penalised with a six-point penalty the following season, but still managed to secure an instant return to Serie B, courtesy of a playoff victory over Monza. This success was built upon, and saw the club earn back-to-back promotion, restoring them as a club at the top table of Italian football once again; they have remained there ever since.


    Serie A - 20 teams compete this tournament, playing each other twice on a round-robin basis. The team with the most points at the end of the season is crowned as champions, with teams 2nd-4th qualifying for the following season's Champions League competition. Teams finishing 5th-7th qualify for the Europa League (dependant on the TIM Cup Winners), with the three bottom teams being relegated to Serie B.



    Club Finances | Club Reputations

    Asides from a 2nd place finish in 2022/23, recent times at the club haven't been particularly exciting. In fact, it's been very 'mid-table' recently, with the club continuing to be one of the sleeping giants of Italian football, failing to live up to expectations, and the promise that a well-paid squad has.

    AC Milan have established themselves as the major force in Italian football, totalling up ten league titles in the last 20 seasons. However, it's Fiorentina, who are heavily backed by a Brazilian tycoon, who seem the most capable of challenging for honours this season.




    TIM Cup - A straightforward knockout competition, where the majority of Serie A teams joining in the 3rd Qualifying Round. We're still in this year's competition, but will need to get past Sampdoria in the 1st Round to progress any further.


    Genoa: Where We Are

    Current League Table | Facilities | Finances | Past Managers

    Contract Length: 4 years | Wage: £33k per week
    Transfer Budget: £7.25m | Wage Budget: £1.1m (currently spending £955k)

    Pretty similar to the same terms and conditions that I was on at Leverkusen, so I won't need to adjust too much to the budgets offered to me. However, I do have three major concerns about how the club is being currently run. Firstly, how on earth can a team spending near enough £1m a week on player wages fail to challenge for the title. Is that mismanagement by my predecessor, or do I inherit a team of overpaid prima-donnas? Secondly, the club has gone through an alarming amount of managers in recent seasons; I'll be the seventh head coach in six and a half years, so the chairman seems extremely trigger happy, and, going on previous form, I'll do well to last longer than 18 months. And finally, my third concern, is the amount of debt that the club is currently weighed down by. The £110m worth of loans are not going to be paid off until 2050, so it looks like I'm going to have to be quite frugal when it comes to improving the club's playing staff. It also means that any immediate facility improvement requests are likely to be refused, as I doubt it's worth burdening the club with any more expenditure until they have seen a drastic upturn in the club's on-field fortunes.

    Of course, that's very much in the future, as my main concern will be to get the club up the league this season, and into the respectable league position that the board expects. I'm looking at this as a long term project, with the aim of ending the 100+ year wait for major silverware, and adding to the club's nine Serie A titles. I doubt we'll see much improvement in the next two seasons, as I'll be using this period to embed my philosophy at the club, as well as bringing in my own backroom team, but I'd be very disappointed if we weren't challenging for the European qualification within five seasons.


    Squad Overview
    Key Players: Cristian Soruco, Lior Hai, Josef Maissen, Adama Kanté
    Promising Youngsters: Queiroz, Paolo Longo, Fabrizio Boccolini

    At first glances, the squad actually looks quite poor, so it's no surprise that the club is languishing in the lower half of the Serie A table. It's apparent that previous managers have overspent when attempting to improve the team, as the squad is full of average players on top end wages. Due to this, a big summer clear-out is high on the agenda, although I doubt we'll recoup even half the money that was spent bringing the players to the club. That's if I can even find a buyer for some of them, though, because I severely doubt there's a team in the land willing to pay wages of £50k per week for individuals with meagre levels of technical skill.

    I'm also disappointed by the lack of potential coming through the ranks, with really only three or four players capable of challenging the first team in the near future. Unfortunately, that means that I will need to dip into the transfer marker when it opens in January, with the need to bring in a handful of players for the least amount of money possible. Even if I can only add a new core to the team ('keeper, centre-back, striker), I'd be delighted, and will certainly improve upon the dross currently available to me. In the meantime, I'll be forced to play quite negative tactics on the pitch, as I attempt to grind out results to improve our league position. This isn't how I like to see football played, but will be a necessity until I get a full summer off-season to overhaul the team. It's unlikely we'll be sucked into the relegation battle, but with morale as low as it is at the moment, I'd be mad to rule it out completely!
    Last edited by AK22; 22-04-2012 at 20:25.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Must have been quite a club, as it seems an odd time to leave otherwise.
    Quote Originally Posted by rancer890 View Post
    Odd time to leave. I think it's a really big club since they need the cash to buy out your contract...
    Quote Originally Posted by Raware View Post
    Well, if it's not the Real Madrid job then it's gotta be something very tempting. Barca? Or a small club you can take to glory?
    Granted, it is an odd time to leave, with Leverkusen very much in the running for another league title, as well as making it on to the club's favoured personnel. However, I was starting to get itchy feet in Germany, so when the job at Genoa became available, I didn't think twice about putting in my application (the compensation was just over a £1m, so it wasn't a severe amount for my new club to pay).

    As well as being a footballing romantic at heart, I do also love a club with an interesting history, so when factoring in the English links with Genoa, something deep within me thinks it would be very just for another Englishman to end the many years of hurt that the club has had to endure for the last century. Whether I'm the one to do it, it's too early to tell, but it's certainly one of the jobs that would have been on my shortlist if I had my pick of anywhere in the world. I also love Italian football, so it's a great opportunity to scratch that itch too
    Last edited by AK22; 23-04-2012 at 13:35.

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    Interesting move from Leverkusen to Genoa but hopefully you can eventually overthrow AC Milan and Fiorentina.

  56. #956
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    Best of luck in the Genoa job! Seems like it was a good move for your wanderlust

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    Genoa . Interesting move. Hopefully you can get them out of their rut of mid-table.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B.W.G View Post
    Interesting move from Leverkusen to Genoa but hopefully you can eventually overthrow AC Milan and Fiorentina.
    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    Best of luck in the Genoa job! Seems like it was a good move for your wanderlust
    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    Genoa . Interesting move. Hopefully you can get them out of their rut of mid-table.
    Thanks! It's been hardly the most exciting start in the world so far, though, with 0-0 draws against Bari and Vicenza.

    Defensively, we look pretty sound and well drilled, but going forward, we just run around chasing the ball like headless-chickens, and even when we do get a chance, we can't get it anywhere near the target (much like Liverpool in real life ). Oh well, I'm happy with two clean sheets and an undefeated record!

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    We come close to hitting the target. 30 times we have hit the woodwork is a record .

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    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    We come close to hitting the target. 30 times we have hit the woodwork is a record .
    Says it all really. Although, there have been some matches when hitting the woodwork would have been a big improvement (the Newcastle match in particular)!

    I just hope next season is better, as even with the cup success, it's been horrendously embarrassing at times this year, and end up watching most matches through the tips of my fingers

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK22 View Post
    Says it all really. Although, there have been some matches when hitting the woodwork would have been a big improvement (the Newcastle match in particular)!

    I just hope next season is better, as even with the cup success, it's been horrendously embarrassing at times this year, and end up watching most matches through the tips of my fingers
    I would say its been more frustrating rather than poor. The worst thing there have only been 4 or 5 games we have been utterly shocking (Spurs, Bolton, Newcastle and a couple others) but otherwise we have been pretty dominant in most games which is why its annoying. Especially at home its been frustrating.

    Hopefully with us being back in Europe next season we can attract better names....but Kenny seriously needs to work on his tactics.

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    Good Luck with Genoa! I bet we see a Serie A title within a few years

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    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    I would say its been more frustrating rather than poor. The worst thing there have only been 4 or 5 games we have been utterly shocking (Spurs, Bolton, Newcastle and a couple others) but otherwise we have been pretty dominant in most games which is why its annoying. Especially at home its been frustrating.

    Hopefully with us being back in Europe next season we can attract better names....but Kenny seriously needs to work on his tactics.
    I think eventually with the sheer number of games you've dominated and created shooting chances in without scoring you ultimately have to accept that it's false domination and you need to change things. If it happened every once in a while, or maybe for a small spell and then stopped, then you can write it off as bad luck, but it's happened SO many times. I only saw the scoreline from the weekend but I already knew the story of the match before watching MOTD.

    I know it's slightly different in terms of how you dominate games, but the way Swansea played in that run of games where they couldn't buy a win was a similar sort of problem. The Newcastle game typified it - we let them have the ball all they liked then as soon as they got to within 30 yards of goal we'd immediately pressure them with really high intensity. They couldn't handle the needed change in tempo to retain the ball in our final third, and they barely threatened to score despite having over 70% possession.

    From the little I've watched Liverpool, you lack intelligent movement and incisive passing in the final third. Gerrard is a great passer but it's more the long diagonals from deep, likewise Adam. To compare with Newcastle again, there's no Cabaye or Ben Arfa who can skip past a man and then play an incisive pass to put it on a plate. It'd be highly interesting to see what would happen if you put a great finisher like Van Persie or Cisse in the current Liverpool team and see whether it really is just a case of putting the ball in the net. My feeling is that it isn't, and the type and quality of the chances aren't good enough.

    When you create good chances and the strikers score often, it breeds confidence, and makes the more difficult chances easier. Liverpool don't create enough "on a plate" chances for Suarez/Carroll so when the merely passable chances come they feel under pressure to score which makes it harder to do so. The difficult chances you can forget about!

    I may well be wrong - like I said, haven't watched that much Liverpool - but that's my impression from what I have seen, and the number of occasions where the prognosis has been "dominated but couldn't get it in the net".

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    Watch out for fans trying to grab the shirts off the players.

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    Being honest, the problems we've had this season have been in the making for the past couple of years. For far too long, we've relied on one player having an exceptional game if we're going to win; usually Gerrard, but also Torres (before his form dropped off the scale), and to lesser extents Kuyt and Suarez.

    However, in recent months, we've very rarely seen that one man show that we've become accustom to; it's still happens every now and again, Gerrard against Everton being a fine example, but with him being in/out of the team due to injury, and Suarez not being the same player since his ban, we've had no-one to save our bacon this season, as the likes of Henderson, Downing and Adam just aren't top end Premier League players who can change games in an instance.

    What this has highlighted to the extreme, is the lack of creativity and ideas we have as a team when going forward. Whether this has come from the coaching, the tactics or the players themselves, I still can't really pinpoint it. Maybe it's a combination of all three, but what I see regular is blank expressions and lots of shoulder shrugging when the attack breaks down. Sure, this has been accentuated by the frustration shown recently, but I really do feel that we are trying to be too clever at times, and should really focus a lot more on the basics. It really makes me wonder what is being practised on the training ground, as surely going back to basics wouldn't be a bad thing to do considering how poor our goalscoring record has been.

    Some of our attacking principles really irk me at the moment too; why don't our strikers (mainly Carroll) attack the near post when our play is building down the wing? When both Suarez and Carroll play together, why do they always end up getting in each others way? Why do both the wide midfielders insist on cutting inside when in possession, instead of taking on the fullback and crossing from the byline? It's the same mistakes every game; no wonder teams find it easy to keep clean sheets against us.

    I suppose what I'm trying to say is that we've been extremely fortunate to have players like Gerrard who can play 'a blinder' on a regular basis, and get the team out of jail. But now we've been really exposed as a one-man team I thought deep-down we were; a team with severe attacking limitations and a squad lacking in basic creativity.

    Also, I fully expect Kenny to go in the summer; simply put, we just haven't been good enough, and I doubt that the owners are the type to tolerate the levels of performance seen this season. It's all very well wheeling out the 'unlucky' excuse every week, but frankly, it just doesn't wash any longer. Although to some extent, we have been unlucky (the amount of times we've hit the woodwork has been ridiculous), but fundamentally there is something wrong deep down in the core of the club, and I don't think Kenny is the man to resolve it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cswalk08 View Post
    Good Luck with Genoa! I bet we see a Serie A title within a few years
    Thanks, cswalk08! Hopefully so!

    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Watch out for fans trying to grab the shirts off the players.
    They won't want our shirts yet; we're crap!

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    A club steeped in history. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK22 View Post
    Thanks, cswalk08! Hopefully so!



    They won't want our shirts yet; we're crap!
    I think that's what he meant - link ;-)

    As I'm no longer lurking - great career, really enjoying it. I've been reading since the start! Keep it up, look forward to seeing what you can do in Genoa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobby_McDonald View Post
    A club steeped in history. Good luck.
    Thanks Nobby! Loving it already

    Quote Originally Posted by [c] View Post
    I think that's what he meant - link ;-)

    As I'm no longer lurking - great career, really enjoying it. I've been reading since the start! Keep it up, look forward to seeing what you can do in Genoa.
    Wow, that's a really interesting article. I'm been unusually busy this week so it's no surprise that this story bypassed me somewhat. My team could really do with our own Guiseppe Sculli; he doesn't sound like one to be trifled with!

    Oh, and thanks for reading too

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    Genoa CFC: A Shimmer Of Promise

    It's never easy taking over a club mid-season; the majority of the transfer budget has been spent, the players are used to the existing tactics, and there's very little time to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the squad. Due to this, I feel it's vital to follow your gut instinct when trying to hit the ground running.

    Unfortunately, I didn't like the look of things; the midfield lacked a lot of creativity, and we didn't possess a born goalscorer. However, defensively we seemed quite robust, and having decided to play to our initial strengths, I set the team up with two defensively minded tactics. Our main approach, which was the slightly more attacking of the two, a basic 4-4-1-1, used for the majority of our home matches, as well as games on the road where were the favourites. Alternatively, a 4-1-4-1 was devised for matches when I wanted to keep things extremely tight, using the counter attack as our main threat at goal. There's some really strong attacking teams in this league, so going gung-ho against them at this stage is only asking for trouble; parking the bus is the only viable option for now. Well, at least until we're able to compete tit-for-tat with the big boys, that is.

    Finances | Transfer Summary


    Serie A 2032/33 End of Season



    Position Graph | Fixtures | Season Summary | Miglior Squandra dell'Anno

    We drew my first two games in charge 0-0, and in hindsight, this really sums up the rest of the season.

    Our defence has been excellent, the third best in the league, keeping regular clean sheets and comfortably keeping the opposition's strikers in check. However, as expected, its going forward where the main problems lie, as we've only managed to score, on average, just over one goal a game. No doubt, the tactics I've been playing have contributed to this, but I still feel we could have scored more goals if the quality of players have been better; we're making chances, just not being clinical enough to convert them.

    Thankfully, with us being so sound at the back, we've still been able to rack up enough results to climb up the league table, taking 40 points from the 25 games played under my stewardship, and finishing in a very respectable 7th place. In fact, if Bari hadn't gone and beaten Fiorentina in the final of the Coppa Italia, we would have sneaked into Europa League qualification! To be fair, this will probably turn out to be a blessing in disguise, meaning we can concentrate fully on a top six finish in next season's Serie A without any outside distractions.

    Cagliari 0-4 Genoa - Three games in, and my first league victory; a comfortable win over relegation fodder.
    Napoli 3-0 Genoa - A game later, and my first defeat. We were right in the game, so the scoreline looks a lot worse than it was.
    Sampdoria 0-2 Genoa - It may have been a cup game, but this was a great result over our local rivals. Feisty!
    Sampdoria 0-1 Genoa - We seem to enjoy our trips across the city to Montella Stadium! Although we were extremely lucky this time!!
    Genoa 3-0 Napoli - One of our finest victories, avenging our early season defeat, with Yoann Daniel bagging all three goals.
    Genoa 0-1 Cagliari - A poor defeat against a side already relegated. This saw us say goodbye to any hopes of a top six finish.


    Squad Overview
    Key Players: Giorgos Kousidis (Av R: 7.31), Yoann Daniel (19 goals), Mauricio Vázquez (10 clean sheets), Ghalem Rekkab (8 assists), Lior Hai (11 goals)
    Fans Player of the Year: Giorgos Kousidis
    Team of the Year | Overall Best XI

    Considering the wage budget I've got available to me, there's no reason why I can't build a side capable of a title challenge in a few year's time, but first, the deadwood must go. There's only a handful of players that I'd like to keep for next season, so the rest of the squad is very much up for grabs, and we may see some very dramatic transfer activity over the coming summer.

    I'd love to add a top class striker to the team, someone who can easily score 20 goals a season, as well as linking the play up nicely for the attacking midfielders. Yoann Daniel has done this reasonably well for us this year, however, I do feel he lacks the technical ability to competently play the lone striker role I've implemented at the club, and would be better served as an impact player from the bench, when he can use his blistering pace against tired, leggy defences. The midfield also needs a bit of work too, as it's lacking pace and creativity. I know that pace isn't the be-all and end-all for success in the Italian leagues, but I do feel a decent playmaker is essential if we are going to succeed long term.


    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
    2030/31    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 2nd       Europa League Winners, Club World Cup Winners
    2031/32    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 1st       Champions League Runner-Up
    2032/33    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 3rd**     **Resigned 25/11/2032
               Genoa             Serie A                    7th       TIM Cup Quarter Final
    Last edited by AK22; 28-04-2012 at 15:58.

  71. #971
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    Very close to Europe, hopefully you can get qualification next year.

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    Good first season,a bit of improvement should see you qualify for Europe.

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    As others have said, decent start to life at Genoa . Nice to see the Viola up there. Always had a soft spot for them since the days of Batigol and Rui Costa

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    I'm really jealous that you're at Genoa. Good luck AK - decent start

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    Time to push on with Genoa now .

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    Cheers for the comments, chaps. I'm really pleased by the start we've made, although we definitely need to be scoring more goals! That's the Italian mentality for you, though, isn't it?! Very cat and mouse at times

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    Great career AK, very interesting read, can you tell us what happend to Liverpool, its been quite a time since you managed them but I don't see them running knock-out part of Champions League. Also collapse of Everton looks a bit fishy (since its your save as a Lpool fan )

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    Unlucky you have missed out on Europe, but this summer you can make some changes to the squad and push on upwards in the table.

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    Great first year in Italy and you'll only continue to improve (barring Board Idiocy)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sapero View Post
    Great career AK, very interesting read, can you tell us what happend to Liverpool, its been quite a time since you managed them but I don't see them running knock-out part of Champions League. Also collapse of Everton looks a bit fishy (since its your save as a Lpool fan )
    I can assure you that Everton's demise is purely coincidental ;) In fact, they now reside in the BSP and are no longer a playable team (since I've removed the Blue Square leagues from my set-up)

    Here's Liverpool's league performance since I left. I was replaced by Diego Simeone, who only lasted for two years, winning the Premier League and Carling Cup in the season after I left. After his departure in 2027, everything has gone downhill pretty quickly, with no further silverware being added to the trophy cabinet. They're now on to manager number six, and certainly no longer the club I left them as.

    The Champions League has been pretty much a disaster too; asides from a semi-final appearance in 2026, there's been very little to write home about. Maybe I'll go back one day, to sort them out (again)!

    Quote Originally Posted by rancer890 View Post
    Unlucky you have missed out on Europe, but this summer you can make some changes to the squad and push on upwards in the table.
    Quote Originally Posted by cswalk08 View Post
    Great first year in Italy and you'll only continue to improve (barring Board Idiocy)
    Thanks! I'm feeling really positive about the new season, so hopefully, we can start competing with the big boys soon. Unfortunately, in the real world, I've just started a new job this week, so my playing time has been reduced quite considerably (to none at all on some days!). Normal service will be resumed soon I hope!!

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    Genoa: Pre-Season 2033/34

    So, this will be my first full season at the club, and with a solid summer of preparation under my belt, I'm feeling confident that we will show signs of improvement. Also, with the board delivering a decent transfer budget, alongside modest expectations, I should have the luxury of embedding new players into the squad without the added pressure of expecting instant results.


    Board Expectations

    Serie A: Respectable league position
    TIM Cup: Not important

    Media Prediction: 8th

    Transfer Budget: £31.5m
    Wage Budget: £925k per week (currently spending £875k per week)


    Transfer Summary

    Key Signings: Tomislav Krajacic, Patrick Seton, Mark McCrory, Mark Akanakimana, Javier Benavides, Brahim Hamidi

    As expected, there's been quite a severe amount of transfer activity this summer. 20 existing members of the squad were shipped out, with the majority leaving of them leaving 'on the cheap', being replaced by 12 new signings, including Mark Akanakimana who was with me previously at Leverkusen. I've also got money to spare, which means I can dip into the transfer market again (in January), if required, and recruit another couple of new faces if the right type of player becomes available.

    All along, I had decided that some new tactics would be in order for the new season, as I look to play slightly more offensively than previously. 4-2-3-1 will be the order of the day come kick-off, with us looking to command possession as well as creating more attempts at goal. Of course, against the top four teams, we will need to play slightly more conservatively, and revert to the tactics we mastered last season. All being well, I now should have the squad to be able to play both systems effectively, as well as having a decent crop of back-ups who can make an impact from the bench.
    Last edited by AK22; 03-05-2012 at 18:05.

  82. #982
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    Some cracking signings there. Krajacic looks especially good .

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    Should manage to get into Europe this time.
    Last edited by deltablue; 04-05-2012 at 20:47.

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    Here's to your first full season leading Genoa!

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    Some spending money there to play around with

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    Cheers!

    We've started reasonably well, but the same old problem exists; we're still not scoring enough! I've also got the horrible feeling that Krajacic is going to turn out to be a flop of Andrey Voronin proportions (6 games, 0 goals).

    For now, I'm probably going to persist with the one-man attack for now, but I'm definitely considering going with two 'up top' if we don't see an improvement by Christmas.

  87. #987
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    Genoa: Back Where We Should Be

    With a solid pre-season firmly under our belts, I was feeling confident that we would improve on the 7th place finish of last season. Not that I expected a title challenge though, as Fiorentina and AC Milan are in a league of their own, but a top six finish is definitely where we should be aiming. We could also do with bit of investment off the field too, as the facilities at Luigi Ferraris are nowhere near good enough for a club of our stature; I'll be looking to encourage the board to do so in the near future, although, for now, my focus is fully on getting things right on the pitch.


    Serie A 2033/34 Winter Break



    Fixtures

    Going into the Christmas break, and things are looking good. We didn't start too well though, with only one win from our first four games, but we have recovered well to record a seven match unbeaten run through the months of November and December. This spell of good results has catapulted us up the league into the dizzy heights of fourth place, and well into the running for a Champions League spot. I'd be pretty surprised if we're still there come May, as I expect Inter and Sampdoria to improve on their current positions, but I'm pleased to see that we are already a lot more competitive this time around.

    As I've eluded to before, we are still struggling for goals; we're the lowest scorers in the top eight, and although we've got one of the best defensive records in the whole of the league, we are still lacking that cutting edge I had hoped for at the start of the season. I've been considering a new formation (with two upfront) for a few days now, so it may be time to unleash it when we resume our campaign in the New Year. It's also likely that I'll try to sign another striker in the January transfer window, as we still don't have the talismanic forward we really need.

    Fiorentina 3-0 Genoa - I didn't expect to beat the champions, but were surprised by the lack of spirit we showed in the match.
    Napoli 2-4 Genoa - A fantastic win in Naples, against another side challenging in the top six.
    Genoa 1-1 Inter - This is a prime example of our profligacy, dominating the game but only scraping a draw.
    Juventus 3-1 Genoa - A tasty derby match, which we ended up losing after taking an early lead.
    Roma 1-4 Genoa - Performance of the season so far. A fantastic day out in the capital!
    Sampdoria 2-2 Genoa - The first Genova derby was an extremely even match, so a draw was a fair result.
    Genoa 4-0 Lecce - Lecce aren't a bad side, so we did well to put four past them. Centre-back, Josef Maissen, was the hat-trick hero!

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    Italy: The Road Down Under

    World Cup Qualifying Campaign 2033/34

    Not quite as convincing as I would have liked, but still, we've secured our place at the 2034 World Cup (to be played in Australia).

    There's no doubt that the pool of players available to me are excellent, with two or three being right up in the 'World Class' bracket, but at times, they either all switch off completely, allowing the opposition back into the game, or just look like they can't be arsed. This may sound picky, especially considering that we went unbeaten throughout the campaign, only conceding four games, but no way should we be dropping points at home to Switzerland and Montenegro. It's these types of below-par performances that will come back to bite us on the backside if we play in such a way come the summer.



    Montenegro 1-4 Italy - Our opening fixture wasn't quite as tricky as I had envisaged.
    Italy 1-1 Switzerland - Absolutely fuming! They had one shot on target, two minutes from full time, and of course, they scored from it.
    Italy 2-2 Montenegro - See above!
    Belgium 0-2 Italy - This result was enough to secure our qualification.
    Italy 5-0 Moldova - We ran riot in our final group game, with Manolo Zonca taking the match ball home with him.

    Fixtures 1 | Fixtures 2 | Team of the Year 2033 | Overall Best XI

  89. #989
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    And here's the World Cup group stage draw...



    Not quite the draw I had hoped for!

    For some reason, we had dropped down into pot number two, and will now need to do better than top seeds, Brazil, if we are to go through as group winners. A grudge match against former nation, Mexico, should also be a pretty competitive affair; I just hope they haven't improved too much since my departure. However, I won't be too disappointed if we only finish second, as there's no one team in Group A that puts the fear of god into me, although it's likely I may have to face another former nation in the knockout rounds (Australia or Egypt).

  90. #990
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    A couple of pretty weak groups.

  91. #991
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    After being away for a while, only just caught up with your career. Bloody hell! Congratulations

  92. #992
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    Will be interesting to see you you deal with Brazil and Mexico. Qualification should be good

  93. #993
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    A couple of pretty weak groups.
    And a couple of pretty tough ones.

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    A tricky group.

  95. #995
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    Doing well with Genoa but you've found yourself in a tricky group with Italy for the World Cup.

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    You're in one of the two tough groups. Mexico can be a tough game too.

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    Thanks fellas! Certainly wouldn't have handpicked a group with Brazil or Mexico; would have quite easily taken group A or D though ;)

    Should have an update reasonably soon - just coming to an exciting close of the Italian domestic season!

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    Genoa CFC: Right In The Action

    So, the club is quickly running out of money, and the chairman's had enough too, which can only mean one thing... a takeover is in our midst. The leading candidate, some English-led consortium, has already stated he'd like to give me the boot if he's successful; so much for British loyalty!! Anyway, whoever the new man is, they're going to need to put their hand in pocket almost immediately, and try to pull the club out of the sticky situation we find ourselves in; making a loss of £22m per season is only going to end in eventual disaster.

    Finances | Transfer Summary


    Serie A 2033/34 End of Season



    Position Graph | Fixtures 1 | Fixtures 2 | Season Summary | Miglior Squandra dell'Anno

    Ignoring the off-field turmoil, it's been an excellent season for the club; probably the best in twelve years, with a top four finish and a cup final appearance.

    As I had indicated previously, a top six finish, and European qualification, was the main aim this season, but given our encouraging start, I was hoping that we could do a bit more than that. Crucially, I made two mid-season signings, strengthening the squad with a top-rate goalkeeper (Lawrence Nyarko), as well bringing in the natural goalscorer (Luis Angel Helguera) we were lacking, which made us the tour de force of the second half of this Serie A campaign, and consolidated our position inside the top four.

    Although the league table suggests we were right in the mix to win the title, we were never that particularly close to Fiorentina or AC Milan at any other point of the season. However, we did go unbeaten for the final eight league fixtures of our campaign, so that, in accumulation with the fact we beat Milan on the final day, meant that we finished a lot closer to the top than, perhaps, we really deserved. That said, I'm delighted to have had such a tremendous season, and with us finishing third, will mean we enter the Champions League directly into the Group Stages, which negates the need to qualify through any playoffs fixtures. They'll be European football at Luigi Ferraris once again!!

    AC Milan 3-2 Genoa -After finding ourselves 3-0 down at half time, we came back well in the second half. Fair enough, we didn't secure a point in the end, but it was still a very credible performance against the eventual champions.
    Genoa 1-1 Fiorentina - Another good showing against one of the title challengers. We probably did enough to secure all three points here.
    Brescia 2-1 Genoa - A sloppy result against poor opposition.
    Genoa 3-2 Juventus - A great game where we stole all three points with less than 10 minutes to go.
    Lecce 2-1 Genoa - We scored from our first shot at goal in the first minute of the match, then switched off, and threw the game away.
    Genoa 3-0 Roma - Not sure how we won this by three goals, but we did!
    Genoa 3-1 AC Milan - Milan went into this final game of the season level on point with Fiorentina at the Serie A, knowing that they needed to match Fiorentina's result to lift the trophy. Luckily for Milan, Fiorentina lost their game away to Roma, so the title was presented to them on the pitch at Luigi Ferraris.


    TIM Cup

    Fixtures

    The board weren't too bothered about the Coppa Italia, but as we had no European commitments, I was happy enough to have a cup run this season. After a fairly tough draw, where we had to overcome AC Milan and Napoli, we made our way to the final to play Bari. We were favourites to win, we were 2-0 up at half time, but our trip to the capital still ended in disaster, after a total collapse followed by a calamitous penalty shoot-out.

    Genoa 2-2 AC Milan (4-2 on penalties) - A crazy quarter final, where we led twice after being reduced to ten men early on. We then missed a last minute penalty in extra-time, which would have made the scoreline 3-1, before Milan equalised in the dying seconds, taking the tie to penalties (which we won).
    Bari 3-3 Genoa (4-3 on penalties) - 2-0 up and cruising, we let Bari back into the game when they scored twice in three minutes. They scored first in extra time, before we rescued a draw with only two minutes left to play. Penalties were not our friend this time around, as we lost 4-3 on spot-kicks.


    Squad Overview
    Key Players: Luis Angel Helguera (21 goals), Brahim Hamidi (Avr 7.27), Yoann Daniel (11 goals), Lawrence Nyarko (9 clean sheets), Mark Akanakimana (10 assists), Lapa (12 goals)
    Fans Player of the Year: Brahim Hamidi
    Team of the Year | Overall Best XI

    Luis Angel Helguera, take a bow, son. 21 goals in 21 games really says it all, and showed how important it was to find the goalscorer we were lacking last year. Unfortunately, I could only sign him on loan (from Real Madrid), and has no interest in making a permanent switch to north Italy, which means I'll be back to square one again next season. However, he'll still be fondly remembered for the six months he did spend in Genova, and for the pivotal role he had in the success we've been able to achieve at the club.

    The rest of the squad is getting there too, and the addition of Nyarko in goal has been a huge help, however, there's still a fair bit of work to be done. There'll be another big clear out in the summer, with another handful of players being released when their contracts expire, which should free up another £250k per week of the wage budget. Replacing Helguera is going to be a big ask, as I can't imagine finding another striker with his strengths (pace, strength and height) particularly easily, but I'll also be on the lookout for a centre-back and a couple of full-backs who are all capable of playing European football.


    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
    2030/31    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 2nd       Europa League Winners, Club World Cup Winners
    2031/32    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 1st       Champions League Runner-Up
    2032/33    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 3rd**     **Resigned 25/11/2032
               Genoa             Serie A                    7th       TIM Cup Quarter Final
    2033/34    Genoa             Serie A                    3rd       TIM Cup Runner-Up

  99. #999
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    The CL will really help things financially.

  100. #1000
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    As Deltablue says, the finances will be eased massively by CL income.

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