What are we thinking this year, another promotion or will you be happy just staying up and building for promotion?
What are we thinking this year, another promotion or will you be happy just staying up and building for promotion?
I doubt you'll struggle that badly.
EUROPEAN U21 CHAMPIONSHIP – PORTUGAL
Defending champions Croatia, who had upset Germany in the Euro U21 2013 in Israel, finished bottom of Group A, just after Italy. It was Sweden and Serbia, with the latter topping the group, that qualified to the Semi-Finals. In Group B, Finalists Germany finished 2nd to the hosts Portugal, as they knocked out Switzerland and Belarus.
Germany faced Serbia in the Semi-Finals, and it proved to be an exciting affair, with the Germans finally defeating the Serbians 4-3. Braces from both Robert Glockner andKevin Volland helped Germany advance to their second straight Finals in the competition. In the other Semi-Finals, Sweden defeated the hosts Portugal convincingly 4-0, setting up a clash with Germany in the Finals. Although the latter were heavy favorites, for the second year in a row, they were upset by the underdogs as Sweden ran out 2-1 winners. German captain Daniele Sarnelli was MotM, but it was not enough to defeat the Swedish team, led by Oskar Hiljemark, who won the title for the first time in their history. Despite their 2nd place finish, Germany featured the most talent, with all the fore mentioned and Johannes Geis displaying fantastic ability throughout the tournament.
COPA AMERICA 2015 – BRAZIL
The tournament started off with a huge upset, as Ecuador defeated the defending World Champions Brazil at home 2-0. The latter, who had displayed one of the finest performances by a team in World Cup history, were hit with an injury to Hulk, the World Cup Player of the Tournament, in the loss. The USA overcame Peru 1-0 in the other match. It did not get better for the hosts, as they lost their second game to the USA, as well, with Clint Dempsey scoring his 2nd goal of the tournament. Peru took it upon itself to become leaders of the group with a 4-2 victory over Ecuador in a highly entertaining match. Brazil’s last match, against Peru, ended in a 2-1 victory, but even in their win they were disappointing. Ecuador and the USA fought it out to a 1-1 draw, earning the top two spots in the group.
Mexico, who were disappointing a year ago in the World Cup, defeated Uruguay 2-1 in Matchday One, and Chile and Colombia fought it out to a 2-2 draw. The former had lost to the Italians in the World Cup Quarter-Finals, and were hoping to reach at least that stage during this tournament. The defending champions, Uruguay, lost their second game against Colombia 1-0, leaving them with 0 points from their first 2 matches. Chile, who were favored to top the group, again drew 2-2, this time against the Mexicans. They would finally win, however, defeating Uruguay 2-1, thanks a Juan Manuel Vargas brace, as the defending the champions finished with a woeful 0 points. Falcao’s 2 goals held Mexico to a 2-2 draw with Colombia, and both teams finished even on 5 points with Chile.
Sergio Aguero scored a brace as helped Argentina defeat World Cup 2014 surprise team Venezuela 3-1, and Paraguay, who were very disappointing in their World Cup campaign, defeated Bolivia 3-1 thanks to a Lucas Barrios brace. Matchday Two in Group C was memorable – Argentina defeated Bolivia 7-0, with Carlos Tevez scoring a remarkable 4 goals, while Salomon Rondon scored a hat-trick for Venezuela as they defeated Paraguay 5-0. Argentina repeated their magnificent feat with another 7-0 thrashing on Matchday Three, this time against hapless Paraguay. Lionel Messi hit 4 goals and Aguero contributed another brace to help seal the sensational victory for the favorites. Venezuela and Bolivia drew 1-1, sending Argentina to the top and Venezuala in 2nd place.
USA vs. Colombia
Morumbi, Sao Paolo: The Americans came into the match having topped Group A and also having defeated World Champions, and hosts, Brazil. However, all of that meant naught as the Colombians came out with full guns blazing, and opened up the scoring in the 4th minute through Falcao (24 Aps, 12 Gls in 14/15). The Athletico Madrid striker doubled the Colombians lead in the 57th minute, earning a brace and scoring his 5th goal in the tournament. The Americans did not put up much of a fight, and had Michael Bradley sent off late in the first half.
Colombia: 2 (Falcao) – Falcao (2 Goals, 8.8)
Argentina vs. Peru
Estadio Castelao, Sao Luis: After scoring a total of 17 goals in the group stages, including two 7-0 victories, Argentina were easily the favorites going into the knockout stages to win it all. They did not disappoint against a meek Peruvian side, and although they only managed to score 2 goals, this was a game they dominated. Sergio Aguero (36 Aps, 17 Gls, 11 Asts in 14/15) scored the first, bringing his tally up to 6 goals in the tournament, and Angel Di Maria (26 Aps, 3 Gls, 7.33 in 14/15) scored the second. The game was not all good news for Argentina, however – Carlos Tevez (35 Aps, 25 Gls in 14/15) was ruled out of the rest of the tournament after he fractured his arm. He had scored 5 goals so far in the tournament, and Argentina were sure to miss him.
Argentina: 2 (Aguero, Di Maria) – Nicolas Otamendi, FC Porto (8.1)
Venezuela vs. Mexico
Maracana, Rio de Janeiro: This was a high scoring affair, and an entertaining one at that. Salomon Rondon (26 Aps, 12 Gls), Tottenham’s striker, scored a phenomenal hat-trick to bring his tally in the tournament to 7 goals. It was not enough, however, to defeat the Mexicans, who scored 4 of their own goals from Carlos Vela (29 Aps, 12 Gls for At. Madrid), Andres Guardado (Lyonnais), Edgar Pacheco (37 Aps, 7 Gls for Tigres), and Israel Jimenez. Mexico played a much better game, but Rondon would not let Venezuela die, but finally, it was the Mexicans who captured a place in the Semi-Finals.
Mexico: 4 (Vela, Guardado, Pacheco, Jimenez)
Venezuela: 3(Rondon (3) ) – Salomon Rondon, Tottenham (3 Goals, 9.4)
Ecuador vs. Chile
Estadio Nacional de Brasilia, Brasilia: The match of the tournament thus far, and perhaps the performance of the tournament from Carlos Villanueva (20 Aps, 5 Gls, 6 Asts), Flamengo’s star, who scored 3 goals and distributed 2 assists in a sensational showing for the Chilean side. Alexis Sanchez (32 Aps, 14 Gls for Barcelona) scored the first 2 goals of the game before Christian Benitez (31 Aps, 17 Gls for America) scored a brace. In between, Villanueva tore the Ecuadorians apart, and Chile continued to impress on the international stage as they advanced to the Semi-Finals of the tournament.
Chile: 5 (Villanueva (3), Sanchez (2) ) – Carlos Villanueva, Flamengo (3 Goals, 2 Assists, 9.7)
Euador: 3 (Benitez (2), Caicedo)
Well done on another promotion. Bromley are heading towards the big time now
COPA AMERICA 2015 – BRAZIL
Colombia vs. Chile
Maracana, Rio de Janiero: Colombia came into this match having beaten favorites Argentina 4-1, one of the most famous results in the history of the nation. Chile were one of the surprise teams at the World Cup a year ago, losing to Italy in the Quarter-Finals, but they had carried that form over to the Copa America 2015, and were viewed as slight favorites in this match. It was the Colombians who won, however, coming out victorious 3-1 thanks to Anderlecht striker Carlos Carbonero (33 Aps, 14 Gls in 14/15) and a 7th goal from the star of the Colombian team, Falcao. The win was only the second time Colombia had captured the Copa America title (the first being in 2001), denying Chile the chance to capture their first ever title. The impressive Colombian team, who had failed to qualify for World Cup 2014, scored 13 goals and conceded 6 goals in their 6 appearances.
Colombia: 3 (Carbonero (2), Falcao) – Carlos Carbonero (2 Goals, 1 Assist, 8.8)
Chile: 1 (Saavedra)
BEST PLAYER: Lionel Messi, Argentina (6 Aps, 9 Goals, 5 Assists, 8.73) – Despite their disappointing result against Colombia, Argentina were the most impressive team in the tournament, and their captain Messi was at the head of that. He scored a hat-trick in the 3rd Place match to bring his total to 9 goals scored, ending as Top Goalscorer of the tournament.
BEST PLAYER Runner-Up: Sergio Aguero, Argentina (6 Aps, 8 Goals, 2 Assists, 9.00) – Outstanding throughout Argentina’s run, he was beaten by Messi for the Top Goalscorer award in their final match against Mexico for 3rd Place.
BEST GOALKEEPER: David Ospina, Colombia (6 Aps, 6 Goals Conceded, 7.08) – The 26 year old OGC Nice GK was consistent throughout the tournament, and gave Colombia the solidity in between the posts the helped guide them to their 2nd ever Copa America title.
BEST YOUNG PLAYER: Erick Torres, Mexico (6 Aps, 1 Goal, 4 Assists, 7.05) – The 22 year old Olympiakos striker, who scored 12 league goals in 25 appearances as his club won the Greek league title in 2014/15, played in the middle of the pitch for his national team as they advanced all the way to the Semi-Finals. His 4 assists led his team.
ASIAN CUP 2015 - AUSTRALIA
MVP: Eman Mobali (Persepolis) - Iran (5 Aps, 4 Goals)
Last edited by abulezz; 01-12-2011 at 16:20.
Amazing to see Brazil finish bottom of that group on home soil no less!
Hong Kong, the Phillippines, and Palestine all in the Asian Cup!? Wow.
EUROPEAN U19 CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 – RUSSIA
Europe’s finest young talents were on display in Russia for the Euro U19 2015, which was won by a team that was stacked with future stars. France captured the Euro U19 title for the 8th time, on the back of the best player at the tournament, Lyonnais striker Joffrey Berthet, and Monaco’s young star Jaud Katumbi Chapwe. The former led the tournament in goals scored with 6 goals, while the latter topped the tournament’s assists chart with 5 assists, which was a new record. The French defeated the defending champions Romania in the Semi-Finals before beating the hosts 3-1 in the Finals of the tournament. Russia had defeated Germany 3-0 in the Semi-Finals before advancing.
The second leading scorer in the tournament was Germany’s Hakan Altin. England, who were knocked out in the Group Stages, featured the talents of Barry Olayinka, while Italy were led by Moussa Kone.
WINNER: France (3-1 vs. Russia in the Finals)
BEST PLAYER: Joffrey Berthet – Set 2 records; most goals scored and highest average rating. Was outstanding throughout the tournament, scoring 6 goals in 5 appearances for the French.
U20 WORLD CUP 2015 – FRANCE
Defending champions Brazil set off determined to win a record 7th straight title and become the only team in the history of the competition to win it 3 times in a row, and they got off to a good start, winning all their matches in Group A. Ecuador, who were Semi-Finalists at the U20 World Cup 2013 in Turkey, topped Group B ahead of Holland. In Group C, the Czech Republic and Mexico knocked out the 2013 beaten Finalists, and hosts of this year’s edition, France, despite the fantastic peformances of Eric Coulibaly. In Group D, Iran won all their matches and went ahead of Uruguay and the Ukraine. Group E saw 2013 Quarter-Finalists South Africa top the group ahead of fellow Africans (and also 2013 Quarter-Finalists) Ivory Coast. Finally, in Group F, Chile and Canada qualified to the Second Round.
Chile faced off against underdogs New Zealand, but needed extra-time to finally beat them 3-1 in the first match of the Second Round. Slovakia surprised their rivals and neighbors the Czech Republic by beating them 2-1, while in another match pitting bitter rivals against one another, the USA overcame Iran, also by the scoreline of 2-1. South Africa returned to the Quarter-Finals after dismantling the Ukraine 4-0, with Tshepo Tshabalala scoring a brace to lead them. The defending champions faced off against their southern neighbors Uruguay, and came out 3-2 winners in a fantastic game, while Ecuador continued to show they were a force at this level, defeating Romania 2-1. Holland needed penalties to defeat Canada, and in the last match of the Second Round, Ivory Coast surprised Mexico by beating them 2-1.
South Africa faced off against the USA in the first match of the Quarter-Finals, and advanced to the Finals for the first time in their history, defeating the North Americans 3-1, with Castro Mncube scoring the brace for the Africans this time around. Chile advanced to the Semi-Finals at the expense of surprise team Slovakia, but only after being taken to penalties after a 1-1 draw. Holland overcame Ivory Coast 1-0 in a very tight affair, while Brazil defeated Ecuador 3-2, thanks to a brace from rising star Xaropinho.
SEMI-FINALS & FINALS
Chile met South Africa in the Semi-Finals as both teams looked to advance to the Finals of the competition for the first time in their history, and it was the South Americans who would celebrate after defeating South Africa 2-1 in extra time. The Chilean captain, Cristian Perez, scored the final goal of the game, a fitting reward for one of the best performers at the tournament. In the other Semi-Final matchup, the champions beat Holland a convincing 3-0, with Ferreira taking the MotM and leading them to the Finals against Chile. Brazil would go up against its South American counterpart in the Finals, and despite their best efforts, they could not get the job done against a resilient Chilean team in regulation time. They did, however, finish them off in extra-time, when Cabral scored their second goal of the game (Xaropinho scored the first) and gave the victory to the defending champions. Brazil became a record 7 time champions of the competition, and also became the first team to successfully defend the title 3 times a row. The champions owed much of their success to their leading defender, Jorginho, as it did to its awesome strike force.
BEST PLAYER: Xaropinho (7 Aps, 7 Goals, 2 Assists, 8.17) – The 6’7 striker continued his domination of every youth tournament he had been involved in, and did it on the back of his £1.7 million move to AC Milan. He led the Brazilian team, and in fact the entire tournament, in goals scored, and was the biggest reason they were able to defend their title.
BEST GOALKEEPER: Tricio (5 Aps, 5 Conceded, 1 Clean Sheet) – This talented 17 year old GK kept the goal safe for the champions, and did so with considerable style. Already seeing a lot of football on loan to Tupi, Tricio is one of the hottest prospects between the posts in the world.
Last edited by abulezz; 02-12-2011 at 01:44.
That Xarophino looks very tasty!
Speaking of Milan, how are they looking on your save? because on mine they have slipped somewhat, don't think they have been involved in the Champions League for a little while now and i've noticed them buying some pretty average overpriced players of late.
AC MILAN – Team Profile
The giants of Italian football have seen their fortunes abandon them since winning the Serie A in 2011, gradually slipping all the way down to 12th place in 2014/2015. They were Runners-Up in 2012, 3rd Place in 2013, dropped down to 6th place in 2014, before slumping to their worst finish in the Serie A since 1982. In the Champions Cup, they have not participated since 2013/14, where they lost to eventual champions Real Madrid in the Semi-Finals. Before that, in 2012/13, they were knocked out by Ajax Amsterdam in the Second Round. In 2011/12, they did not make out of the Group Stages of the Champions Cup, but eventually won the Euro Cup against Lyonnais in Bucharest, Romania.
Their turn of fortunes seemed to come with the resignation of manager Massimiliano Allegri in January 2013, a few months after they won the Euro Cup and finished 2nd in the Serie A. His replacement, club hero Frank Rijkaard was hired a few days afterwards, but after leading the club to 6th place, and beginning the 2014/15 on a sour note, he was finally sacked in November 2014. The current manager, Francesco Guidolin, was hired from Udinese to replace the Dutchman. Guidolin was the mastermind behind Udinese’s shocking Serie A title in 2011, when they beat AC Milan to win the championship for the first time in their history. The club finished 12th place under Guidolin, but he will now have a full season to show the AC Milan board that he is the right man for the job.
Over the past few years, they’ve had some big signings – in 2012/13, they brought in Italian defender Matias Silvestre for £10.5 million, and he was worth the amount paid for him, but they were certainly more active in 2013/14, when they acquired Jesus Navas for £19.5 million, Etienne Capoue for £18.25 million, and, of course, David Corrigan from Bromley for £550k. Navas has barely played for the club since his acquisition, and is currently languishing in the reserves team, while Capoue was subsequently sold to Chelsea for £12 million after two solid seasons for the club. Corrigan has yet to make a league appearance for them. This season and last, they have invested in mostly free transfers, cheap youngsters (none of which seem to have any decent potential), and rotation squad players that have not really contributed anything significant for the team, with the exception of Xaropinho. They also have not had any big sales of note, save for Capoue being sold to Chelsea for about half of what he should be worth, considering he was AC Milan’s Player of the Year for 2014 and 2015.
Players and Future Prospects
The current first team is aging, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, perhaps their best player over the past few seasons, having turned 33 years old, and Robinho and Thiago Silva, both important first team players, also passing the 30 year old threshold. Matias Silvestre is also 30 years old, and their starting GK, Marco Amelia, is now 33 years old. There is hope for the future, however, because the club has managed to assemble a few bright prospects, the brightest of which is the new leader of the team, Pato. The Brazilian striker is now 26 years old, and although the past two seasons have been extremely difficult for him, his talent in unquestionable. It is also two other Brazilians whom AC Milan will have their hopes pinned on – the 6’7 striker Xaropinho and 18 year old new signing Davi, who signed from Atletico Mineiro for £925k in the summer. The youngster most ready to contribute, however, will be £4.2 million signing Jason Cijntje, a 20 year old defender signed from PSV Eindhoven. In his two loan spells with Feyenoord and German club Gladbach, he played a lot of minutes but failed to impress, but will be looked upon to man the defense for AC Milan. The likes of Ignacio Abate, Kevin Prince Boateng, and Emiliano Insua (who was acquired for £9.75 million from Valencia last year) will be expected to contribute, as well. The media has them predicted to finish 6th place, and if their youngsters can show some ability and skill on the pitch, that could be a possibility for them.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE REVIEW 2014/2015
Football of the Year: Edison Cavani, Tottenham (38 Aps, 23 Goals, 7 Assists, 7.69)
Player’s Player of the Year: Carlos Tevez, Manchester City (34 Aps, 25 Goals, 7 Assists, 7.65)
Young Player of the Year: James McCarthy, Aston Villa (32 Aps, 4 Goals, 7 Assists, 7.28)
Best Goalkeeper of the Year: Fernando Muslera, Tottenham (30 Aps, 25 Conceded, 14 Clean Sheets)
Manager of the Year: Andre Villas-Boas, Arsenal (Champions)
Last edited by abulezz; 02-12-2011 at 17:02.
SERIE A REVIEW 2014/2015
Footballer of the Year: Douglas, Juventus (30 Aps, 1 Goal, 7.35)
Foreign Player of the Year: Douglas, Juventus (30 Aps, 1 Goal, 7.35)
Italian Player of the Year: Andrea Bertolacci, Roma (28 Aps, 5 Goals, 7.32)
Fans’ Player of the Year: Douglas, Juventus (30 Aps, 1 Goal, 7.35)
Goalkeeper of the Year: Maarten Stekelenburg, Roma (31 Aps, 21 Conceded, 7.25)
Defender of the Year: Douglas, Juventus (30 Aps, 1 Goal, 7.35)
Young Player of the Year: Andrea Bertolacci, Roma (28 Aps, 5 Goals, 7.32)]
Manager of the Year: Gianluca Atzori, Sampdoria (3rd in 2014/15)
SPANISH LA LIGA REVIEW 2014/2015
Footballer of the Year: Lionel Messi (26 Aps, 16 Goals, 6 Assist, 8.16)
Goalkeeper of the Year: Victor Valdes, Barcelona (26 Aps, 17 Conceded, 14 Clean Sheets, 7.30)
Manager of the Year: Alfredo, Granada (10th in 2014/15)
Bromley 2015/2016 Preview
For the fourth straight year, we managed to get an automatic promotion into the league above us, starting with the Blue Square South in 2011/12 to topping the npower League One in 2014/15. The only time we failed to win the title was in 2013/14, when we finished 3rd in the npower League Two, but it was a success nonetheless because each year (except for 2011/12) the media predicted us to finish dead last, but instead we managed the opposite. The catalyst for our success has been our captain Elliot Law, who has become the club’s all-time leading goalscorer and easily its best player ever. He had just graduated from the Bromley youth academy when I took over the club, and in the past four years, he has managed to lead the club from success to success. He replaced Scot Thompson as captain at the beginning of the 2014/15 season, after Thompson had left the club, but he had served as his vice-captain previously.
With just one league down from the Premier League, that is squarely where our eyes are focused, but we have a major obstacle at hand before that: the Championship. The talent here is spades better than the npower League One, and to hope for any kind of success, whether its promotion or even just a playoff spot, would be aiming unrealistically high this season. What I do not want, however, is to find myself bogged down in a relegation battle – I want us to be safe and developing towards the future. Our salary per annum is the lowest in the league by more than one million pounds, at £2.41 million – the second lowest is Rotherham, and they have salary spending of £3.63 million. By contrast, the top spenders are Blackburn, who have salary spending of £18.98 million! In other words, we simply cannot afford the type of talent that they can.
The past four years has not seen the type of development to our facilities as one would have hoped – the stadium, Hayes Lane, has been expanded twice, but only because of league regulations. After the latest expansion, the capacity will be a dismal 7,500, even though we constantly sell out our home games. The pitch condition is poor, and there is not enough funding to relay it. The club invested in its youth facilities in 2013, but since then there has been no further investment. The board cannot be blamed, as the finances have lingered around the breakeven mark for the past couple of years, thanks to my heavy transfer spending (almost £1 million 2014 and £675k in 2015), so there is not much room to maneuver.
In any case, I am confident that we can survive the season without getting too close to dropping into the relegation zone. It will be very important to have a positive start, and despite the difficulty of attracting decent talent thanks to my wage limits, we have managed to scoop up a couple of players that will definitely help at this level. Some of our current crop also continue to develop rather well, and have the talent to contribute significantly, as well.
Our most important two signings were both done with our defense in mind – Kevin Long and Nikolay Nakov. The latter was the most expensive signing in the history of the club, but I believe his contributions will justify his large free. There is no question about Long’s ability, and both will be partners in the center of the defense. To the left of them will be Matthew Morgan – the youngster has enough talent to start and to have picked him up on Free Transfer is something of a bargain.
In the middle of the pitch, the most important signing was Roger. The Polish midfielder will be a starter on the left wing, and will rotate to the middle of the pitch when necessary. His experience, and technical ability, should play a big part in our campaign this season. David Stephen and Raphel Diesler were signed with the future in mind, both coming very cheaply.
Up front, we managed to get some heavy reinforcements, signing two players who will contribute right away. Czech striker Patrick Twardzik will start the season alongside Elliot Law as the team’s first choices up front, while Lewis Jones will be on the bench most games, but should see lots of substitute appearances.
As for the Transfers Out, the only one of note was Lucas Correa. He had a decent season for us last year, scoring 4 goals and dishing out 8 assists, but he turns 32 years old soon and was on a £2,500 salary, which was too much for a player who was probably not going to be named on the team sheet most games. We got £40k for him, which was a decent price, I thought.
Ben Amos – Stats: Signed towards the end of the 2013/14 season, this rapidly improving 25 year old keeper has played a crucial role in our rapid rise to the Championship league.
Andy Dixon – Stats: Still very young, the 19 year old was once the starting GK of the squad before Amos was signed. Has potential to be a decent GK at this level, but needs to improve his mental game.
DL : Matthew Morgan – Stats: A Free Transfer pickup, the 18 year old is already more talented at the left back position than anyone on the roster. Has good pace, but will be expected to defend his flank with vigor.
DC : Kevin Long – Stats: Came during the summer for £55k, but on ability alone, he is already the finest central defender on the squad. Formerly with Rochdale, the 25 year old Irishman is very good in the air and a good tackler.
DC : Nikolay Nakov – Stats: The club’s most expensive signing of all-time, the 19 year old Bulgarian cost Bromley £625k to acquire from Wrexham, who had bought him on Free Transfer from Fair Play Varna. Was unimpressive for his former club last campaign, but he oozes potential and will be thrown directly into the starting lineup. He is equally comfortable playing in the midfield.
DR : Steven Saunders – Stats: Bought last season for £90k from Bradford, the 24 year old Scotsman had an inconsistent campaign that saw him average only 6.69 AR. He will be expected to do better at a higher level this season, as he is already considered the weak link in the back four.
S : Tom Parkes – Stats: He came to Bromley in 2013 on Free Transfer, and has performed admirably as a central defender the past two seasons, especially last year, scoring 6 goals and averaging 7.12 AR. This year, he will be the 23 year old will be the first name on the bench as Nakov and Long have been brought in, but will definitely see lots of playing time.
S : Aaron Martin – Stats: Signed on Free Transfer last season after being let go by Charlton, the 25 year old central defender appeared 7 times for Bromley and averaged 5.25 TpG, as well as 7.30 AR, during those appearances. Initially slotted as a starter before the acquisitions of the preseason, he will be relied upon to fill the void when injuries come up, but is still definitely part of the rotation.
S : Jaakko Alatalo – Stats: The 21 year old Finnish central defender was one of Bromley’s most impressive players in the 2014/15 campaign. He partnered with Parkes in the center of the defense and was a crucial part of the team that won the npower League One. Given all the new signings this year, he will see a lot less playing time. He came to the club on Free Transfer in 2013, and has been a starter for the past 2 years.
S : Ben Gibson – Stats: The 22 year old left back was the starter at that position in 2014/15 after coming in as a Free Transfer signing, and will look to split time there with new signing Matthew Morgan this year.
ML : Roger – Stats: The 33 year old Polish midfielder was a Free Transfer signing during the summer, and although it is not his favored position, he will be the starter down the left wing, at least to start the season off. What he lacks in pace he makes up for in technical ability and creativity.
MC : Porvaldur Magnusson – Stats: Perhaps the most talented player at the club, the 19 year old midfielder of Icelandic origin played for the England U19 team this summer and has declared for his adopted country. He came for £525k at the beginning of the 2014/15 season from Crewe, and has not looked back since. Has great defensive ability, which makes him just as comfortable playing as a central defender, but also has a knack for goals, scoring 8 of them in the npower League One last season. Development: December 2014 – August 2015
MC : Ahmad Benali – Stats: The 23 year old Libyan came on Free Transfer in 2013, and has shown remarkable improvements the past 2 years in terms of ability. He has been a starter in the middle of the pitch since signing, and he will again be expected to partner Magnusson this campaign.
MR : Aaron Mooy – Stats: There was heavy backlash from the Bromley supporters when he was signed for £250k from Exeter and deemed a waste of money, but the 24 year old Australian more than silenced those voices. He led the team with 12 assists in the league (14 overall), and contributed 6 league goals, as well. His speed and pace are his primary weapon, and he will be relied again to provide for the strikers up front.
S : Ebby Harwood – Stats: One of only 3 players in the first team to be taken from the Bromley youth system, he was promoted just a few months ago. The 16 year old left winger will provide relief for the aging legs of Roger. He has potential, but it has yet to be seen if that potential will develop into anything concrete.
S : David Stephen – Stats: A new signing, the 17 year old cost Bromley £7k from Scottish club Forfar. He will immediately be thrown into the rotation due to lack of quality in the middle of the park behind the starters.
S : Glen Baker – Stats: The 18 year old was, for most of the season, the starting left winger for the club, and he did an adequate job down the left flank. However, since signing for the club for £5k two seasons ago, he has shown very little in improvement, and has already been replaced in the pecking order by Harwood.
F : Elliot Law – Stats: The most prolific and famous Bromley player of all-time, the 21 year old is also the captain of the squad. Has carried the team from the Blue Square South all the way up to the Championship, and will again be a starter this year, if only by default. There are thoughts that his talents are subpar in comparison with the rest of the division, but again, he will have his chance to prove he is up to the task. He is Bromley’s all-time leading scorer with 87 league goals.
F : Patrick Twardzik – Stats: The 22 year old Czech is a Free Transfer signing from Celtic, and will be expected to contribute immediately. He scored 21 league goals while on loan at Rochdale two seasons ago, so he does have the ability to find the net.
S : Michael Higdon – Stats: Bromley’s second leading scorer last campaign with 16 league goals, the 32 year old will be coming off the bench this season. Age has begun to catch up to him, and although he still has the technical talent, his speed is rapidly deserting him.
S : Lewis Jones – Stats: The 18 year old striker is a product of the Chelsea youth system, and was snapped on Free Transfer after the club let him go. He is fantastic in the air, but he is still young and developing. Will play the role of 4th choice striker in 2015/16.
Last edited by abulezz; 02-12-2011 at 20:16.
Just scooped up an extra striker
Pretty sure I had that Czech striker Twardzik on my squad in FM11. Great player!
Ballack Announced as New Druisburg Manager
September 25th, 2015 - Former German captain and superstar Michael Ballack was named the new manager of Bundesliga side Druisburg today, resigning from his old position as a youth coach at Bayern Munich to take over his first managerial role. Ballack has had a storied playing career, one that started with Chemnitz and then took him to Kaiserslautern, Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, and Chelsea. He won the Bundesliga in 1998 with Kaiserslautern, and won it again 3 times with Bayern Munich in 2003, 2005, and 2006. He left to Chelsea in 2006, and was part of the Chelsea team that fell to Manchester United in the 2008 Champions League Finals. he lifted the Premier League title with them in 2010, before moving back to Leverkusen and ending his playing career with them. He was also part of the German national team that reached the Finals of the World Cup in 2002, and came in 3rd place in 2006 on home soil. Ballack was named German Footballer of the Year 3 times in his career, in 2002, 2003, and 2005.
Last edited by abulezz; 02-12-2011 at 23:55.
MAJOR SUMMER TRANSFERS: 2015/2016
July 5th, 2015: The first big transfer of the season was Sebastian Rudy (30 Aps, 1 Goal, 11 Assists), who was bought by German champions Dortmund for £12.75 million from Hoffenheim. The 25 year old German midfielder had spent the last four seasons at his club after moving to them from Stuttgart in 2011 for £3.4 million.
July 7th, 2015: Juventus shelled out £13 million for Bordeaux left back Benoit Tremoulinas (31 Aps, 2 Gls, 14 Asts, 7.39) to help shore out its defense. The 29 year old Frenchman had a career year in 2014/15, even though Bordeaux only finished 9th place in the Ligue 1. He led the French league in assists last year, and was Bordeaux’s Player of the Year the last two years.
July 8th, 2015: Sevilla sold Spanish right back Coke (22 Aps, 1 Goal, 6 Asts, 7.10) for £14.25 million to former Italian champions Roma. The uncapped 28 year old had been at Sevilla for four years, as he was bought for £1.5 million in 2011 from Rayo.
July 17th, 2015: After spending nine years at Chelsea, John Obi Mikel (15 Aps, 1 Goal, 2 Assists, 7.46) was sold to Benfica for £12.75 million. The 28 year old Nigerian had been an integral part of the Chelsea set up since joining them in 2006, winning the Premier League in 2010 and 2014. He was also part of the team that lost to Manchester United in the 2008 Champions League Finals. He named the African Midfielder of the Year in 2011, and was crowned African Footballer of the Year in 2012. Benfica, who came in 3rd in the Portuguese League in 2014/15, will pay Obi Mikel £69k a week.
August 5th, 2015: Kyle Walker (30 Aps, 2 Gls, 2 Asts, 7.00) was acquired by Liverpool from Fulham for £16.75 million. The 25 year old right back, who has been capped by England 12 times, was initially bought from Tottenham in 2013 for £9.75 million, where he past of the team led by Harry Redknapp that won the Premier League in 2012.
August 6th, 2015: Manchester United acquired Northern Ireland right back Lee Hodson (35 Aps, 2 Gls, 3 Asts, 6.91) from Stoke for £17.25 million. The initial reaction to the sale was surprise, as no one would have guessed Hodson was worth that much. The 23 year old, who has been capped 38 times by Northern Ireland, was both his country and his club’s Player of the Year in 2014/15.
August 9th, 2015: The biggest transfer of the summer was done by, predictably, Manchester City, as they acquired the winner of the Best Player award at the World Cup 2014, Hulk (28 Aps, 6 Gls, 4 Asts, 7.16). They bought the 29 year old Brazilian for £31.5 million from Chelsea, where a lot of people thought he was not being used properly by their former manager Tony Pulis. The sale was perhaps a representation of new manager Huub Stevens vision for the former Premier League champions. Manchester City manager Alan Shearer was credited with revitalizing Carlos Tevez’s career, and suggestions were that he would look to do the same with Hulk. The player will be paid a mind-numbing £189k a week by his new club.
August 16th, 2015: Alan Dzagoev (25 Aps, 8 Gls, 9 Asts, 7.77) was bought by Barcelona for £22 million from CSKA Moscow to help shore up their midfield. Given that legend Xavi is 35 years old and Iniesta is now 31 years old, the club manager, Roberto Mancini, felt the need to bring in fresh talent to bolster the squad’s midfield. The 25 year old Russian, who has been capped 28 times, has won the Russian League three times (2012, 2013, 2015), and was part of the CSKA Moscow team that made its famous run to the Champions League Finals in 2013, losing, incidentally, to Barcelona. In 2014/15, he won the Russian League Player of the Year, was named in the Russian League’s Team of the Year, and was CSKA Moscow’s Player of the Year.
August 19th, 2015: Real Madrid signed Brazilian defender Manoel (32 Aps, 1 Goal, 2 Assists, 4.17 TpG, 6.95) for £15.25 million from Roma. The 25 year old has spent three years with the Italian club, who bought him from Brazilian outfit Atletico Paranaense for £7.75 million. Manoel, who has won 5 caps for his country, was part of the Roma team that captured the Serie A title in 2014.
August 22nd, 2015: Manchester City’s second big signing of the summer was Chilean right back Mauricio Isla (29 Aps, 6 Assists, 7.30), who came for £21.5 million from rivals Tottenham. His former club had signed him from Udinese in 2011 for £13 million, and he was part of the team that won the Premier League in 2012. He was one of the leaders of the Chilean team that made it to the Quarter-Finals of the World Cup 2014, and that made it to the Finals of the Copa America 2015, where he was named in the 2015 Copa America Dream Team. The 27 year old has been capped by Chile 64 times.
August 31st, 2015: Arsenal waited till the last day to pull off their biggest summer transfer, getting Abel Hernandez (31 Aps, 16 Gls, 7.10) from Palermo for £21.5 million. The 25 year old Uruguayan, who has been capped 25 times by his country and scored 12 goals for it, won the Copa America with Uruguay in 2011. He was tied with Khouma Babacar for as Top Goalscorer in the Serie A in 2014/15, having scored 16 goals.
August 31st, 2015: Manchester City finished up their transfer signings on the last day of the window, grabbing Arturo Vidal (26 Aps, 1 Goal, 4 Asts, 7.29) from Juventus for £14.25 million. The 28 year old Chilean midfielder was part of the Chile team that advanced to the Quarter-Finals of the World Cup in 2014 and made it to the Finals of the Copa America 2015. He has been capped 74 times by his country, scoring 8 goals.
Last edited by abulezz; 03-12-2011 at 13:49.
Looks a decent side for that level.
Bromley October Update 2015/2016
As I stated before, I would be happy if we stayed out of the relegation battle, and our start to the season has been positive, despite losing 3 of our last 4 in the Championship in late September. We are safely placed in 13th, and we’ve had our defense and some Ben Amos to thank for that. The offense has found goals, but they have struggled against more talented teams. Patrick Twardzik has had a good start to his Bromley career, and currently leads our goalscoring charts. His partner and club captain, Elliot Law, however, has not scored in any of his 5 league appearances, and seems to be having problems with the Championship caliber defenses.
The League Cup exit was a disappointment – I was hoping we would reach further than the Second Round, but Reading were more than a match for us. Going forward, however, we can look at less matches given we have 46 league games to contend with, meaning more rest for the players. I’m a bit worried about our late September form – hopefully it was due to tough matchups (Blackburn and Norwich have the two highest payrolls in the league, at around £18 million each, compared to our £2.5 million) and not to a loss of form. In October, we have some tough matchups against a resilient Rotherham side and a far bigger Blackpool side. By the time we get to Nottingham Fores and Wigan, who are both struggling, I hope to have at least gotten 3 points – if I can get around 6-7 points from those 4 matches, I will be one happy camper!
I didnt have luck signing him in the summer, but I definitely want him to start alongside Magnusson. Wont give up
I thought they were putting some extra seats in the stadium - instead they've reduced Hayes Lane to 5,000 maximum capacity. The only thing they've done is made it all-seater. Im disappointed, to say the least.
He's had a decent start to his Bromley career
Bromley November Update 2015/2016
We lost a place during the month of October, dropping down to 14th place. It was not a great month, as we had some tough losses, but we ended it on a positive, drawing with a superior Leeds team away from home. In the end, we managed to gain 7 points during the month, which was the target, but we did not play impressively, save for our victory against Blackpool.
We brought in Nadir Bendahmane to help bolster the frontline, but we are still having difficulties scoring against tougher opponents. I have offered a contract to Wayne Routledge, but he has not yet accepted. If he does join, he will provide relief down the right wing, as we currently don’t have anyone by Aaron Mooy who is decent enough to be given playing time at that position.
Raphael Diesler, the young German midfielder that I signed on Free Transfer, complained about having trouble adapting to England, so he was given a thirty day leave of absence. There is simply no room for discontent in the locker room.
Our player of the month is the same player who’s been keeping us in tight games all season long; GK Ben Amos. He’s been simply fantastic – his 7.21 AR leads the npower Championship at his position. If he continues to improve at the rate he is currently on, and continues playing like this, there is no doubt in my mind he could serve as our starting GK if we ever make it to the Premier League.
We’ve got five games coming up in November, but they include three straight away games that will be tough. I’m especially not looking forward to going to Burnley and Birmingham, and again, I will be happy if we can come away with 6-7 points from these five matches.
Last edited by abulezz; 04-12-2011 at 12:17.
Looks pretty good.
Nice signing he looks good
Bromley November Update 2015/2016
November started well for us with a win at home against Crystal Palace, and we managed to pull off one of the best wins I’ve ever had against Burnley, one of the top teams in the Championship. It did not end well, however, with two consecutive losses, although they were against two much tougher teams. Our defense continues to hold up, but our offense continues to be stagnant.
We made two free transfer signings, with Wayne Routledge and Emanuel Gigliotti coming into to help our attack. Routledge is versatile in the midfield, with the ability to play on both wings, while Gigliotti could potentially be our most dangerous striker. We will need it – our frontline has been inconsistent all year long.
Unfortunately, we’ve had our share of injuries this month, with Nikolay Nakov, Roger, and Gigliotti all ruled out for at least four weeks. The latter was especially frustrating as he had just joined the club, and I was hoping he would be able to lead the frontline. That would have to wait, however – our reliance will still be on captain Elliot Law, Patrick Twadzik, and Nadir Bendahmane. Hopefully they can start finding the net more than they have.
For the upcoming month, we need to just keep doing what we’re doing. We’re in 12th place, and we are in relative safety. Although we’re only 6 points off a play-off spot, I refuse to put my eyes on that prize, at least not yet. I am happy with where we are, and come in the end of the season, I want to see us maintain at least this position. We have 6 games in December, and we can pull off 9 points from the 18 available, then it would be a good month.
November 28th, 2015: Italian club AC Milan sacked Francesco Guidolin after falling to 10th place in the Serie A, relieving him of his managerial duties just under one year after giving the Frenchman the job. The club has struggled in recent years, and Guidolin was their third manager in two years, and finished 12th place in 2014/15, their lowest position since 1982.
Thanks for posting that Milan update, interesting to see they are looking very similar to on my save.
So far so good with Bromley, a good solid season so far.
Good going so far; solid mid-table is a good effort after such a quick rise through the leagues.
I think the Championship is where the quality of the better teams really hits home, and getting there so quickly means your reputation and squad quality probably hasn't quite caught up yet. Mid-table would be a fine effort.
Yes, it is - its been thanks to my sturdy defense and solid GKing that I've been able to keep that position - my offense has been terrible!Good going so far; solid mid-table is a good effort after such a quick rise through the leagues.
Its not only the reputation and squad quality - I'm still playng in a 5,000 stadium! My wages are ridiculously low, so even if someone of quality is interested in discussing terms, I could never meet their demands. But as you said, mid-table would be greatI think the Championship is where the quality of the better teams really hits home, and getting there so quickly means your reputation and squad quality probably hasn't quite caught up yet. Mid-table would be a fine effort.
Bromley December Update 2015/2016
The month started off with a painful home loss to Bolton. We had them on their heels for a lot of the match, but they scored late in the game. I was disappointed with the lads, and again, we failed to show the right initiative in front of the goal. Seven days later, against Ipswich, we again lost 2-1 in heartbreaking fashion, as they found their second goal late in the game. We had not started the month off well, and we had sunk down to 15th place, ten points off of the play-off spot. Counting the Ipswich match, we had lost four straight games in a row.
We got our first win of the month at home against Derby, who had been struggling this year and were facing a relegation battle. Two goals from defender Aaron Martin gave us a good lead and we never looked back. It got even better as we somehow managed to pull off a great 2-1 victory against Peterborough away from home, moving us up one spot to 13th place. After losing four in a row, we had now won two difficult matches, and I was looking to ride the high morale and good form to the end of the season, so I held a team meeting to further boost the players. It had a reasonable reaction, with eleven players reacting well. The game against Peterborough also marked a special occasion – our captain Elliot Law set a new record for league appearances in the history of the team, with his 157 appearances beating out Gary Drewet’s 156 appearances. He had recently become the team’s all-time leading scorer, and now he owned the two most important records of the club.
The final match of year was against struggling Middlesbrough, and it started off terribly. We conceded an early goal, and then striker Patrick Twardzik had to leave the game with an injury. Not only that, but after using all my substitutes, Jaakko Alatalo decided to get sent off and leave a gaping hole in the back four. Somehow, Ahmad Benali equalized for us in the dying seconds of the match, and inexplicably we came away with a precious point away from home. Thankfully, Twardzik’s injury was minor, and he was only ruled out for eight days with a dead leg.
After starting the month with two tough losses, we were not four games unbeaten and in 14th place. We were nine points off of Watford for a play-off place, but more importantly, we were thirteen points from the relegation zone. Coming up in January, we only have four games, one of which is against Norwich in the FA Cup 3rd Round. Three of the four games are away from home, so expectations will have to be tempered a bit. Four points from the three Championship matches will be a good result for us.
December 3rd, 2015: Replacing Francesco Guidolin at AC Milan will be Carlo Ancelotti, who was sacked by Sevilla just two weeks before. He led the Spanish club to a 3rd place finish and to the Champions League Quarter-Finals in 2014/15. Before that, he had been England’s head coach, but failed to qualify to the World Cup 2014.
December 11th, 2015: Bordeaux, a club that has won the French Ligue 1 six times (most recently in 2009), has been bought by Nicolas De Tavernost, taking over its Chairman position from the outgoing Jean-Louis Triard. The club has seen turbulent times the past few years, seeing four managers hired in five years, and never finished above 7th place (2011/12). Triard, however, did invest heavily in the club, moving into the 43,000 all-seater stadium owned by the club called the Grand Stade Du Lac in 2014. Just a few months later, undersoil heating was installed, and this summer there was investment in the youth facilities of the club. Bordeaux is currently worth £64 million, and its financial status is secure. It is currently coached by Jean Fernandez, and are in 11th place in the Ligue 1.
December 25th, 2015: Christmas Day marked the hiring of two new managers – one for Everton and one for Bayern Munich. Paul Lambert, who was let go by Aston Villa just two week ago, took over the Everton post after the resignation of Mick McCarthy, who ironically left the club to take Lambert’s old position. The 46 year old Scotsman takes over a club currently in 11th place in the Premier League. As for Bayern Munich, they sacked Stale Solbakken just one year after he took over the job and hired Thomas Tuchel, seizing him away from Wolfsburg. Tuchel led his ex-club to a 3rd place finish in the Bundesliga last year – before he came to Wolfsburg in the summer of 2014, he was Hoffenheim’s manager. Bayern Munich are currently in 6th place in the Bundesliga.
Two new signings at the beginning of the January window - Alberts cost me £1 million (my most expensive signing ever) and finished off the rest of my transfer budget, while Knott became my highest paid player ever, receiving £6k a week + appearance fee of £5.25k.
The European Championship 2016 Draw is done!
Sergio Aguero: The 27 year Argentine claimed both awards after leading Chelsea to the Champions League Finals (where they lost to underdogs Fiorentina), as well as being one of the best players, if not the best, at the Copa America 2015. His club did not fare so well in the Premier League, finishing 6th place in 2014/15, their lowest position since 2003, but it was through no fault of their best player. He scored 17 goals, handed out 11 assists, won 9 MotM, and had a 7.77 AR. He scored 13 goals in the Champions League, leading the competition, as well as recording a 7.72 AR. He was named in the 2015 Premier League Select as a substitute, and also was Runner-Up to Cristiano Ronaldo in the Best Player in Europe award. The Argentine has continued his dominant performance well into the 2015/16 season, and although Chelsea again find themselves in 6th place under new manager Huub Stevens, Aguero has averaged 7.89 AR in the Premier League, scoring 5 goals and handing out 7 assists so far. His performances in the Champions League Group Stages has been bested by no one this season, scoring 3 goals, handing out 3 assists, and recording 8.44 AR.
Cristiano Ronaldo: It seems the Portuguese just keeps getting better with age, as tough as it seems. The 2015 Best Player in Europe and the former World Player of the Year and the 2014 winner of the World Golden Ball, the 30 year is in the prime of his career. After leading his club, Real Madrid, to the 2014 Champions League title and the 2013 La Liga title, the team fell to 4th place in 2014/15 and also got knocked out of the by Arsenal in the Second Round of the Champions League, failing to defend their title. This year has not been any easier, as they lost to Sampdoria in the Champions League qualifiers and again are in 4th place in the Primera Liga, but as per usual, Ronaldo has been the club’s top performer and one of the league’s best players. He has scored 8 goals in only 9 appearances after scoring 24 goals last year in the Primera Liga, taking the league’s Top Goalscorer award.
Eden Hazard: Manchester United’s star midfielder as become one of the best in the world, and the fact led him to be the 2nd Runner-Up in both the World Player of the Year and the World Golden Ball awards. Although the club had their worst finish in the Premier League in since 1991, finishing in 5th place, the 25 year old Belgian scored 9 goals, delivered 7 assists while averaging a 7.65 AR. He was named in the 2015 Premier League Select, and was the English Players’ Player of the Year Runner-Up. This year, he has been at it again, and in 19 appearances, he has scored 6 goals, delivered 4 assists, and has a 7.94 AR.
Bromley January Update 2015/2016
The FA Cup 3rd Round matchup against Norwich did not go well, as we ended up losing 3-0 away from home. We showed no initiative, and this time, our defense could not contain the oncoming attacking threat. Our lack of offense was starting to me, especially heading into a tough away match to Reading. They were below us in the table, but they had a defensive record. We ended up earning a 1-1 draw against them, which was a decent result.
The Q.P.R. match was one we were supposed to win, but again, our offense failed to show up, and we ended up drawing 1-1 despite having several chances to seal the victory for us. In fact, we had scored the second least goals in the Championship behind the team we had just disappointingly drew with. We had one more match before the end of the month, an away match to 23rd place Sheffield United, and it was a match I really was looking to win. Unfortunately, it was yet another draw, this time 0-0, and we had managed to take only three points from the three games we played this month.
We had signed two new players at the beginning of the month – Jesper Alberts and Billy Knott. Alberts was our most expensive signing ever as I paid £1 million to get him, but I believe he is going to be a fantastic partner to Nikolay Nakov in the middle of the defense. Knott is our highest paid player ever, with a £6k weekly base salary and £5.25k for each appearance. He will man the left wing, and hopefully turn out some good performances from what used to be a weak spot on the team. We sold young Lewis Jones to Birmingham for £300k – he was complaining about playing time and refused to be told he had to wait his turn. I also let a few deadweights go on Free Transfer so I can clear up some wages – they were Sean Higgins, Michael Higdon, William Ekong, and Jake Morris (Bromley youth intake who did not develop well).
February is going to be a difficult month – we have six games in total, and they include matches against Blackburn, Watford, and Norwich. At this rate, if we can pull out nine points from these six matches, it would be a decent month for us. That would require our offense to improve, however, and right now, it is showing no signs of doing that.
Not too bad, pity it's not another push, as unlikely as they would have been.
England, Wales and Scotland all in the same group. The French bars better have plenty in stock (and plenty of riot police on standby! )
CHAMPIONS CUP 2015/2016
Group A: Liverpool, back in the Champions League for the first time in five years after they placed 2nd in the Premier League in 2014/15 under new manager Mauricio Pochettino, topped the group. Lyonnais, Quarter-Finalists last year, barely beat out Greek champions Olympiakos, but qualified alongside the English club.
Group B: No surprises here as Italian champions Inter Milan and Premier League champions Arsenal both qualified with ease, knocking out Sporting and Celtic.
Group C: Spanish champions Barcelona topped the group, and Bundesliga runners-up Shalke qualified in 2nd place, knocking out newcomers Sampdoria and Ukraine champions Dynamo Kiev,
Group D: Spanish La Liga runners-up Atletico Madrid and 2013 Champions League Finalists CSKA Moscow, who were also Russian champions in 2015, qualified at the expense of Portuguese champions Porto and Austrian league champions Strum Graz.
Group E: Manchester City topped the group, scoring 17 goals along the way. Roma joined them in the Second Round, knocking out Turkish champions Fenerbahce and Scottish league runners-up Rangers in the process.
Group F: Defending champions Fiorentina topped the group, while Spanish club Sevilla came in second. Danish champions FC Kobenhavn and Lech were both knocked out.
Group G: For the second year in a row, Marseille were the most impressive team in the Group Stages. The French Ligue 1 runners-up scored 18 goals and only conceded 2, topping the group ahead of Ajax Amsterdam. German Bundesliga champions Dortmund were a huge disappointment, finishing with only 5 points, while Romanian champions Dinamo Bucharest was bottom.
Group H: Tottenham finished top of the group, ahead of new French Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain. Benfica and Anderlecht were knocked out.
Too bad about Dortmund, they really ought've been able to get past Ajax.
Good work in the Championship League so far
Yes, they really shouldve! Two time defending Bundesliga champions, 4 titles in the past 5 years, yet save for 2011 when they lost in the Quarter-Finals to Shakhtar, they have not advanced past the Group Stages in the Champions League!Too bad about Dortmund, they really ought've been able to get past Ajax.
Thanks! My team has been very average since rolling through the lower leagues, but safety will be a success for usGood work in the Championship League so far
Bromley February Update 2015/2016
Starting the month against Watford at home, we finally pulled off a result that we could be proud of. We spent the entire month of January without a win, but a 2-0 victory against the play-off bound team was exactly what we needed. Incidentally, it was our defense that scored the goals – again, our frontline was useless. New signing Jesper Alberts and Aaron Martins found the net for us, and we were back to winning games.
We had Bristol City next, and for once, our offense was working – it was our defense that failed us, conceding four goals. I do not what happened, but they simply fell apart. Our goals came from captain Elliot Law and Aaron Mooy, but it was a disappointing result. There was a point during the game early in the second half where we took the lead 2-1, but then Bristol City came back and scored three straight goals to seal the win.
Blackburn were a tough match, but we had them at home. Their annual salary spending was the highest in the league, while ours was the lowest by quite a margin. I could argue that we did not have single player that would make their starting eleven if they had been on their team. Things went back to normal, as the defense found its footing again and our offense lost theirs, ending in a 0-0 draw. I felt we could’ve won this match, but I would not say I was disappointed with the result. We continued to move further away from the relegation zone, and after the Blackburn match, we were now seventeen points off of 21st place and Middlesbrough in the table. Our next match against Rotherham was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Hayes Lane, something that seemed to happen at least once or twice each season.
Having won just one game in our last seven matches, I really wanted the team to get back to winning ways. Unfortunately, our next match was against Norwich, a team which had just ran us over in the FA Cup a few back, so I was not too optimistic, and my feelings were warranted. We lost to them again, although this time, it was only 1-0. Still, that had made one win in eight games and counting, and we slipped to 15th place, while they pushed up to second in the league.
Our final match of the month was away to Blackpool, another team fighting for a promotion spot. We managed to pull a 2-2 draw, which I thought was impressive, but again, both our goals did not come from our strike force. Porvaldur Magnusson and Kevin Long, who have both shown exceptional improvement throughout the season, scored the goals as we earned a point.
There is denying it, this was a tough month. We won only game, which just happened to be the only game we had won in ten matches, and we managed to earn a disappointing five points all month long. March is going to be packed, with eight games total, and the level of competition is significantly lower than that of the past couple of months. We need to make sure we earn enough points to keep safely between 12th and 15th place – it is impossible to hope for a playoff spot at this point, but it is not impossible to see us fall into a relegation battle. We need to keep our heads up, and for the love of all that is holy, our strikers need to score!
Not a great month of February but still very much holding your own.
Very interesting to see England, Scotland and Wales in the same group, looking forward to seeing how that pans out.
Major Transfers: January 2016
January 1st, 2016: Attempting to bolster the squad as their campaign to reclaim the French Ligue 1 title back from PSG was faltering, Lyonnais signed Vaclav Kadlec (17 Aps, 8 Gls) from Sunderland for £14 million. The striker had come to England from Sparta Prague in 2012 for £7.5 million, and save for one fine season in the npower Championship, he had not lived up to expectations. The 23 year old is still young, however, and Lyonnais have seen enough him to convince them he can be part of their future.
January 6th, 2016: Arsenal brought their transfer spending to £68 million this season as they bought Brazilian midfielder Fernando from Marseille for £16.25 million. The 28 year old had barely appeared for his former club, which bought him for £16 million from Real Sociedad in 2014 after three good years in Spain, and the general outlook on this dealing was that Arsenal overpaid to get the midfielder.
January 10th, 2016: The 2015 Copa America Best Young Player, Erick Torres (13 Aps, 5 Gls), was bought by Manchester City for £10.25 million from Greek champions Olympiakos. He had a great tournament in Brazil, making the Copa America Dream Team, as well. The 23 year old Mexican midfielder came to Olympiakos on Free Transfer from Chivas in 2014 – prior to that, he had won the Mexican First Division with the club in 2013.
The youth intake is in, and quite frankly, there is nothing to be excited about. Here are the three best prospects:
CHAMPIONS CUP 2015/2016
Arsenal vs. Marseille
First Leg – Emirates Stadium, London: Marseille, led by long-time manager Didier Deschamps, were the most impressive team in the Group Stages. Arsenal, led by Andre Villas-Boas, were crowned Premier League champions in 2014/15. This promised to be a scintillating draw between two talented teams, and the first leg was nothing less than that. Marseille continued their impressive form, taking away a decisive 3-1 victory away from home. Jordan Ayew, scored his 9th goal in the tournament, a fantastic feat considering he had only played in 5 games. Simply put, Marseille continued to look like a team that was ready to cause major damage to all those who came up against them.
Arsenal: 1 (Walcott)
Marseille: 3 (Ayew, Tabanou, Mollo) – Cesar Azpilicueta, DR (1 Assist, 8.3)
Second Leg – Stade Velodrome: A very disappointing result at home for Arsenal meant that they had to come into the match at Marseille ready to score goals. Unfortunately for them, they scored none, and ending up losing to the French club 1-0 in what was a match with little chances, much to Marseille’s liking. Yohan Mollo scored the only goal of the game, and the Premier League champions were very disappointing in their loss. Marseille won against Arsenal 4-1 on aggregate.
Marseille: 1 (Mollo) – Franck Tabanou, ML (1 Assist, 8.5)
Lyonnais vs. Fiorentina
First Leg – Stade de Lumieres, Lyon: Lyonnais, who lost the French Ligue 1 title for the first time in three years in the first year under Patrice Carteron, were nonetheless a team vastly experienced in Champions League football. Fiorentina, on the other hand, surprised the world when they won the Champions League in 2015 under their first year manager Marcelo Biesla. They came away with a respectable 1-1 draw away from home, with both goals coming in the first half from Jimmy Briand and Arouca. The result would surely have disappointed Lyonnais, but the match itself was very even in almost every respect.
Lyonnais: 1 (Briand) – Gary Bocaly, DR (7.6)
Fiorentina: 1 (Arouca)
Second Leg – Artemio Franchi, Florence: After a tough battle that ended up as a 1-1 draw in Lyon, both teams knew they had to take a victory in Florence to advance to the next round. The defending champions, who were one of the most surprising winners in the history of the competition, showed that they were no one hit wonder, advancing to the Quarter-Finals after a 2-1 victory against the French. It was the hero from last year, Alberto Gilardino, who pushed them through, scoring in the 86th minute to break the tie and give Fiorentina the win. Fiorentina advanced to the Quarter-Finals, defeating Lyonnais 3-2 on aggregate.
Fiorentina: 2 (Babacar, Gilardino) – Mapou Yanga Mbiwa, DRC (7.8)
Lyonnais: 1 (Belfodil)
Ajax vs. Atletico Madrid
First Leg – Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam: The Dutch champions were looking to get back into the Semi-Finals like they did in 2011, when they lost to Manchester United, but first they had to get by one of the best teams in Spain, Atletico Madrid. The Spanish club were taken over by Lazaro Albarracin in an internal promotion, and were still managed by Hector Cuper, who took over in 2013, and were going through one of their best run in form since they last won the La Liga in the 1996. In a tough match, they earned a 2-2 draw against their Dutch competition, with Koke scoring an 89th minute goal to equalize the match.
Ajax: 2 (Msakni, Kagawa)
Atletico Madrid: 2 (Vela, Koke) – Adem Ljajic, MLC (1 Assist, 8.5)
Second Leg – Vicente Calderon, Madrid: An entertaining draw in Amsterdam promised much for the second leg, and the two teams did not disappoint. It was, however, a much which the Spanish club were clearly better, and they beat the Dutch side 2-1, thanks to goals from Carlos Vela and Ki Sung-Yong. They had more shots on goal, and almost 64% of the possession the match. Atletico Madrid defeated Ajax 4-3 on aggregate to advance to the Quarter-Finals.
Atletico Madrid: 2 (Vela, Sung-Yong) –Filipe, DL (8.3)
Ajax: 1 (Rubio)
Sevilla vs. Tottenham
First Leg – Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Sevilla: The Spanish club, who lost to Manchester United in the Quarter-Finals last year, have been going through a rough season, falling to 11th place in the La Liga. They had sacked Carlo Ancelotti in November, and hired Quique Flores to replace him. Tottenham, under new manager Martin Jol, were Premier League champions in 2012, were currently 3rd place, and the difference in form showed in Spain, as the English club came out 2-0 winners. Their captain, Edison Cavani, scored a brace, bringing his total in the competition 9 goals.
Tottenham: 2 (Cavani (2) ) – Edison Cavani, SC (2 Goals, 8.4)
Second Leg – White Hart Lane: The most one sided match in the first legs of the Second Round turned into the most one sided tie of the round, as Tottenham finished off Sevilla at home, defeating them 3-1. Salomon Rondon nailed a brilliant brace, while Edison Cavani converted a competition leading 10th goal as the English club made short work of their Spanish opponents. Tottenham advanced to the Quarter-Finals having defeated Sevilla 5-1 on aggregate.
Tottenham: 3 (Rondon (2), Cavani) – Edison Cavani, SC (1 Goal, 8.6)
Sevilla: 1 (Negredo)
CSKA Moscow vs. Liverpool
First Leg – CSKA Peschanoye, Moscow: The Russian team, led by long-time manager [b]Leonild ****skiy (lol!), were the Russian champions, and had a magical run in the Champions League in 2013, reaching the Finals before being beaten by Barcelona. Liverpool, under new manager Mauricio Pochettino, were back in the Champions League for the first time in five years, and were looking to bring back the glory days. It was the latter that were happier with the first leg result, as the teams drew 1-1 in Moscow. An even match throughout, Moscow only equalized late in the second half to save themselves the embarrassment of having been defeated at home.
CSKA Moscow: 1 (Necid)
Liverpool: 1 (Saurez) – Jordan Henderson, MC (1 Assist, 8.0)
Second Leg – Anfield, Liverpool: A draw in Moscow was a result that neither really wanted, but the teams were even in the first leg, and they were just as even in the second leg. They finished up 90 minutes with another 1-1 draw, but this time, the match was to go into extra time, and Liverpool had more in them than their Russian opponents, scoring two goals in the 101st and 115th minutes to finally win the match 3-1. It was a very exciting match, but Pochettino had led the English club through a dramatic match and into the Quarter-Finals. Liverpool defeated CSKA Moscow 4-2 on aggregate.
Liverpool: 3 (Alaba, Sow, Leiva) – Jack Robinson, DL (8.7)
CSKA Moscow: 1 (Honda)
Shalke vs. Manchester City
First Leg – VELTINS-Arena, Shalke: Manchester City, under third year manager Alan Shearer, looked like they were going to capture the Premier League this year, and were looking impressive in the Champions League as well. Shalke, on the other hand, were runners-up in the Bundesliga last year but were struggling to hold it together this campaign, placing in a disappointing 12th place. In fact, one month ago, they had fired manager Sinisa Mihajlovic, and now it was Michael Skibbe who was given the task of turning things around for them. The teams fought it out to an entertaining 2-2 draw in Germany, a fair result considering it was an even game, but Manchester City would have been happier with this result, considering they scored two away goals and would host the German team at home in the second leg.
Shalke: 2 (Nem, Ndulula) – Lewis Hotlby, MC (1 Assist, 8.0)
Manchester City: 2 (Dzeko, Lavezzi)
Second Leg – City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester: No one was really giving Shalke much of a chance, but the tie, and especially the second leg, was a lot closer than what was expected. Manchester City won it 2-1, but it was as even a match as one could hope for – in fact, both Manchester City goals, scored by Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez, came in a two minute span between the 63rd and 65th minutes – the momentary lapse in concentration by the German team was enough to push Manchester City to the Quarter-Finals. Manchester City advanced against Shalke 4-3 on aggregate
Manchester City: 2 (Dzeko, Tevez) – Gael Clichy, DL (8.2)
Shalke: 1 (Huntelaar)
Roma vs. Barcelona
First Leg – Olimpico, Roma: The Italian club, who were Serie A champions 2014, were knocked out by Lyonnais at this stage last year, something which manager Delio Rossi, in his third year in charge of the club, was looking not to repeat. Barcelona, under the management of Roberto Mancini, had led the club to back to back La Liga titles, but the club had failed to win the Champions League since Josep Guardiola left the club in 2013. They looked very capable of taking it this year, however, as they ran out 3-1 winners away from home. The 2015 Semi-Finalists got some great performances from their midfield players, especially £22 million newcomer Alan Dzagoev. Their defense, however, was the star, especially Gerard Pique, who pulled off a fantastic game.
Roma: 1 (Ramos)
Barcelona: 3 (Dzagoev, Iniesta, Sanchez) – Gerard Pique, DC (8.9)
Second Leg – Nou Camp, Barcelona: Barcelona had pulled off a fantastic result in Italy, and simply had to hold the fort at home to qualify to the Quarter-Finals. Roma came at Barcelona hard, but even though they won the match 1-0, they got knocked out. Daniel Osvaldo scored the only goal of the game, as Barcelona won the tie 3-2 on aggregate.
Roma: 1 (Osvaldo) – Maarten Stekelenburg, GK (8.1)
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Inter Milan
First Leg – Parc de Princes, Paris: The French champions faced off against the Italian champions in this Second Round tie that promised to bring with it great football. Rudi Garcia, who was hired by PSG in 2012, led the team to their first league title since 1994, but this year, they were struggling, situated in 7th place with little hope of retaining their title. Inter Milan, on the other hand, were again leaders in the Serie A, led by Nicolo Frustalupi, who was hired in 2013. It was PSG, however, who would dominate this match at home, winning against the Serie A champions 4-1. Diego Perotti scored a fantastic brace, and Inter Milan were left reeling, knowing they would have to pull off a big result at home to advance.
Paris Saint-Germain: 4 (Perotti (2), Gameiro, Menez) – Kevin Gameiro, SC (1 Goal, 8.2)
Inter Milan: 1 (Pazzini)
Second Leg – San Siro, Milan: The French champions were confident going into this match of advancing past Inter Milan in the tie, but the Italians had other plans. In fact, it took only 2 minutes for Giampaolo Pazzini to score their first goal, and he had added another in the 38th minute. Needing only one more goal to beat PSG (assuming they did not allow them to score), Inter Milan scored through Seydou Doumbia at the very end of the first half. The scoreline stayed the same throughout the second half, and the Italian champions beat the odds and knocked out PSG. Inter Milan advanced at the expense of Paris Saint-Germain after defeating them on away goals in a 4-4 tie.
Inter Milan: 3 (Pazzini (2), Doumbia) – Giampaolo Pazzini, SC (2 Goals, 8.4)
Paris Saint-Germain: 0
Last edited by abulezz; 09-12-2011 at 13:38.
Bromley March Update 2015/2016
We finally got a victory at the beginning of March, defeating Nottingham Forest 2-1. Elliot Law scored and our new £1 million signing, young defender Jesper Alberts, got the second. The latter was simply fantastic in the back, and in 9 appearances so far, he had scored 2 goals and had a 7.08 AR. We really needed this win, and hopefully it would put us back on track after a rough start to the year.
For the first time in what seemed like forever, we managed to put together back to back wins, defeating Wigan 1-0 away from home. Emanuel Gigliotti, who had spent quite a lot of time on the injured list, scored only the second goal of the season, and it was enough for us to capture the three points as Ben Amos and our defense, led by Kevin Long, pulled off a tidy game and kept Wigan at bay. In fact, our defense was doing such a great job (Amos also) that were tied for second best with Hull in the Championship in terms of goals conceded – only first place Bolton had a better defensive record. On the flipside, we were also the third worst offensive team in the league.
Even though we got a decent result against Leeds, drawing 0-0 in a tough home match, we lost starting central midfielder Roger for five weeks to a groin strain. That took our unbeaten streak to four games, with our defense being the primary reason for that. Jesper Alberts and b]Nikolay Nakov[/b], both still under the age of 20, were doing a great job in the two central defender spots, and Kevin Long was equally impressive as a right back.
Next up were Rotherham United, and for the first time in seemingly all season, our offense clicked. We beat them 3-0, with goals from Elliot Law and Nadir Bendahmane, with the latter having gone fifteen hours without scoring. It was a fantastic and much needed win, and pushed us 24 points away from the relegation zone. I could finally breathe easy, and I was hoping for more clinical performances like the one we just had in our coming matches.
We did well against our former parent club Crystal Palace, and we pulled off a victory in the last attack of the match, as Gigliotti scored the only goal of the game, giving us a 1-0 win. We had won four of our last six games, and none of them had been losses. Since the beginning of March, the team had been in great form, and we had only conceded one goal in all of our last five matches. We had three more games to go in March, including two in three days between the 26th and 28th of the month, so the upcoming schedule was not going to be easy.
We received our youth intake during the middle of the month, but the kids were a bit disappointing, with Ant Stevens, Scott Williams, and Brian Barret the best of a rather mediocre bunch. It was not all that surprising, though – our youth intakes have not produced a single squad player since I took over the club.
When we faced Burnley at home, I fully expected to lose the match, but somehow, we pulled off an outstanding 2-1 victory, despite captain Elliot Law being sent off at the end of the first half. Nadir Bendahmane put in the type of performance I had been looking for all season, scoring a brace in the second half and giving us precious three points. This pushed us up to 12th place, just three points behind the team we had beaten. Against Huddersfield at home, we again held the opposing team in the defensive end and did not allow them to score, but neither did we, and the game ended with a 0-0 draw. It was a good performance by the boys, though, as we were clearly the better team and were unlucky not to win this match.
We ended the month in fantastic form, drawing against Hull 2-2 in an outstanding performance, with Gigliotti hitting a brace. It was a really good showing, and I was happy it was our strikers, or at least one of our strikers, that was putting in the goals. All in all, it was a great month – we remained unbeaten, and had taken some quality draws and wins from some tough competition.
We had five more games remaining in the season, including a tough away match to Bolton, but I was glad as we had accomplished what we had set out to do – stay in the Championship. Mid-table was not the worst place to be in our first year in the league, but for the sake of our pride and the development of the team, I want us to continue to pull off some good performances and take a few points away from our competition.
Antonio Conte was sacked by Juventus management after the club fell to 10th place in the Serie A. He had been the manager of the club since 2011, with his highest finish coming his first season in charge as the club placed 3rd place in the league. Since then, Juventus has failed to qualify to the Champions League (they failed to qualify out of the Group Stages in 2012/13), and after their latest failure, the club has brought an end to five years of Conte management. The club hired Dutch manager Ricardo Moniz from Turkish champions Fenerbache, compensating them with £1.1 million. Moniz spent nearly three years at the Turkish side, leading them to the title in 2015. Before that, he was with Austrian side Salzburg, and he led them to consecutive titles in 2012 and 2013 before moving on to Turkey. It is rumored that Juventus are paying him £32,000 a week.
CHAMPIONS CUP 2015/2016
Atletico Madrid vs. Barcelona
First Leg – Vicente Calderon, Madrid: The all-Spanish tie in the Quarter-Finals was a mouth-watering affair – Atletico Madrid was not doing too well domestically, placing in 6th place, but on their best day, were practically unbeatable. Since the return of Lionel Messi from injury, Barcelona had surged through the La Liga, and now were threatening to overtake Villareal at the top of the league in their quest to retain their title. The game, however, was more nervy than anything, finishing 1-0 for the home side, as they were able to contain the offensive firepower of their Catalan rivals. All credit went to their GK Mario, who won the MotM for his performance in keeping a clean sheet against the beast that was the Barcelona attack.
Atletico Madrid: 1 (Godin) – Mario, GK (8.4)
Second Leg – Nou Camp, Barcelona: Atletico Madrid might have contained Barcelona’s offensive unit in the first leg, but they could do no such thing in Barcelona, as the Catalans ran out impressive 4-0 winners in this match. A brace from Cesc Fabregas (10 Aps, 2 Gls, 4 Asts) was the highlight, and it could have been five goals had Messi not missed his penalty. In the end, Madrid had only 1 shot on goal, while Barcelona had 65% of the possession. Barcelona advance to the Semi-Finals after defeating Atletico Madrid 4-1 on aggregate.
Barcelona: 4 (Fabregas (2), Iniesta, Sanchez) – Cesc Fabregas, MC (2 Goals, 9.3)
Atletico Madrid: 0
Liverpool vs. Marseille
First Leg – Anfield, Liverpool: Going into this tie, Marseille had been the most impressive team in the competition thus far, topping their group and disposing of English Premier League champions Arsenal in very convincing fashion. Liverpool were currently 5th in the Premier League, and had defeated CSKA Moscow in the Second Round. The French, however, were completely different animal, and they showed it in England, nearly coming away with a victory until Moussa Sow (6 Aps, 4 Gls) scored his second goal of the game in the 90th minute to equalize. Marseille, however, were clearly the better team, and would have been happy with the result going into the second leg.
Liverpool: 2 (Sow (2) ) – Moussa Sow, SC (2 Goals, 8.8)
Marseille: 2 (Belhanda, J.Ayew)
Second Leg – Stade Velodrome, Marseille: This was the closest of all the Quarter-Final ties, and it took away goals to separate these two teams in what was a hugely entertaining contest. After drawing 2-2 in Liverpool, the fought it out to a 1-1 draw in Marseille, although given their performance over the two ties, it can be said the French team deserved to advance to the Semi-Finals. They were the better team at home, although the scoreline did not reflect that. Marseilla defeated Liverpool on away goals after drawing 3-3 on aggregate.
Marseille: 1 (Belhanda)
Liverpool: 1 (Eriksen) – Jose Manuel Reina, GK (8.2)
Inter Milan vs. Tottenham
First Leg – San Siro, Milan: The Italian champions had barely gotten by the French champions PSG in the Second Round, and Tottenham had dominated Sevilla over two legs. The quality in both sides was undeniable, and the first leg in Italy ended up being a 1-1 draw, as neither team could cancel the other out. Seydou Doumbia (8 Aps, 4 Gls) scored in the 88th minute to equalize for the Italians after Tottenham had taken the lead in the first half through their star Edison Cavani (9 Aps, 11 Gls), who has been one of the most impressive players in the competition thus far. It was an entertaining game that would surely have satisfied the visitors more than Inter Milan, who had a tough task of putting in a good performance in London in the second leg.
Inter Milan: 1 (Doumbia)
Tottenham: 1 (Cavani) – Salomon Rondon, SC (1 Assist, 7.2)
Second Leg – White Hart Lane, London: It was not to be for the Italian champions, who lost the match 2-0 in London in very disappointing fashion. They were outclassed, outhustled, and outplayed by the English club, who had 59% of the possession and 24 shots, 15 of which were on target, compared to Inter Milan’s measly 5 shots, of which only 2 were on target. It was a wonder how Tottenham did not score more, but Edison Cavani’s (10 Aps, 13 Gls) brace was enough to see them through in convincing fashion. The striker was, so far, the top performer in the competition this year. Tottenham defeat Inter Milan 3-1 on aggregate and advance to the Semi-Finals.
Tottenham: 2 (Cavani (2) ) – Edison Cavani, SC (2 Goals, 9.1)
Inter Milan: 0
Manchester City vs. Fiorentina
First Leg – City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester: The champions had a tough draw against the Premier League leaders, and it showed in the first leg, as the home side won 2-0 in a convincing victory. Hulk (8 Aps, 5 Gls), in his first season with the club after moving for £31.5 million, scored the first goal and Ezequiel Lavezzi hit the second to give Man City the win. They had 58% of the possession, and in truth, showed a huge gap in skill, at least for this game, between them and the defending champions.
Manchester City: 2 (Hulk, Lavezzi) – Hulk, SC (1 Goal, 8.1)
Second Leg – Artemio Franchi, Florence: The defending champions bowed out of the competition despite winning their home game 1-0. Manchester City’s strategy was clear – buckle down defensively and hold the fort. This resulted in 30 shots for Fiorentina compared to only 4 for Man City. Although it was a strategy that brought criticism, it ended up working on this day. Manchester City defeat defending champions Fiorentina 2-1 on aggregate.
Fiorentina: 1 (Masiello) – Andrea Masiello, DC (1 Goal, 8.3)
Manchester City: 0
Great run from Spurs
CHAMPIONS CUP 2015/2016
Marseille vs. Barcelona
First Leg – Stade Veldrome, Marseille: Barcelona’s sixth straight Semi-Finals appearance was against what many were calling the most impressive team in the Champions League this season, Marseille. However, the Spanish club showed why they were called the best club side to have ever been assembled, defeating the French side 2-1 away from home in an entertaining match. Alan Dzagoev and Alexis Sanchez scored in the second half after Jordan Ayew had given Marseille the lead, and scoring his 11th goal of the competition in the process. Barcelona now would go home for the second leg as favorites to return to the Champions League Finals, which they had previously won with this squad in 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Marseille: 1 (J. Ayew)
Barcelona: 2 (Dzagoev, Sanchez) – Alan Dzagoev, MC (1 Goal, 8.7)
Second Leg – Nou Camp, Barcelona: After taking a good victory away from home, Barcelona put this tie beyond any doubt, as well as any questions about who the better team was, winning 4-1 in Barcelona. Lionel Messi’s return from injury was the catalyst, perhaps, as he scored a brace and brought his tally in the competition to 6 goals. At the end, there really was no comparison – the Catalans were far and wide the better team, and made their return to the Champions League Finals after a three year absence.
Barcelona: 4 (Messi (2), Sanchez, Sigurdsson) – Lionel Messi, MC/F (2 Goals, 1 Assist, 9.3)
Marseille: 1 (Mollo)
Manchester City vs. Tottenham
First Leg – City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester: This was the first time that either team had ever reached the Semi-Finals of the competition, led by Alan Shearer and Martin Jol, respectively. The latter had reached the 2014 Finals with former club Manchester United, eventually losing to Barcelona. The all-English tie was a mouthwatering even for all those in the United Kingdom – there was to be yet another Premier League representative in the Finals for the fifth time in six years. The match saw both its goals scored in the first six minutes, ending in a 1-1 draw that saw Edison Cavani score his 14th goal of the competition. Tottenham would surely be happier with the result, as they return home to London with an important away goal for the second leg.
Manchester City: 1 (Nasri) – Joe Hart, GK (9.3)
Tottenham: 1 (Cavani)
Second Leg – White Hart Lane: There was absolutely no doubt about which English team deserved to be in the Finals after Tottenham’s sensational display at home, routing Manchester City 5-0, with Salomon Rondon scoring a hat-trick. He had been one of the top perfomers in the competition, and the hat-trick further elevated his status. Manchester City, who were ahead of Tottenham in the Premier League table (in first place), were dismantled and pushed aside by the London club, who would advance to their first ever Champions League Finals against the team that had been to that stage the most this century.
Tottenham: 5 (Rondon (3), Huddlestone (2) ) – Salomon Rondon, SC (3 Goals, 9.6)
Manchester City: 0
This was helpful considering our finances were £1.5 million in the red.
CHAMPIONS CUP 2015/2016
Tottenham vs. Barcelona
Ibrox Stadium – Glasgow, Scotland: The climax of the Champions League 2016 descended upon Scotland, with London-based Tottenham taking on the best team ever assembled, Barcelona. The former had been bought by Thomas Jones just a few days before, and had finished 2nd in the Premier League, behind only Manchester City, a team they destroyed in the Semi-Finals of this competition. They were led by Edison Cavani (12 Aps, 14 Gls, 4 Asts, 8.05), probably the player of the competition leading up to this match, Gareth Bale (13 Aps, 1 Goal, 7.05), and striker Salomon Rondon (11 Aps, 6 Gls, 5 Asts), who also led the Premier League in goals, hitting in 24 goals in 2015/16. For Barcelona, they had just recently been crowned Spanish La Liga champions for the 3rd time in a row, and for the 7th time in 8 years. Their star was Lionel Messi (8 Aps, 6 Gls), still the finest player in the world when healthy. Alexis Sanchez (11 Aps, 7 Gls, 7.65), the 2013 Champions League Best Player award winner, Cesc Fabregas (12 Aps, 2 Gls, 4 Asts), the Spanish Player of the Year for the past three seasons (2014, 2015, 2016), and captain Gerard Pique (11 Aps, 1 Goal, 7.47), widely considered the best defender in the world, were all equally important players for the Spanish side.
The match got off to a furious start, with Barcelona pressuring their English opponents into their own half and throwing shot after shot at Fernando Muslera’s (11 Aps, 8 Cncded, 4 Cln, 7.00) goal, but to no avail. After the 25th minute, Tottenham started to turn the game around, and in the 42nd minute, Tim Matavz (9 Aps, 3 Gls, 3 Asts), who had started in place of Rondon, scored the first goal of the game to send the Tottenham faithful into raptures. Their delight was short lived, however, as one of Barcelona’s best players this season, Gylfi Sigurdsson (9 Aps, 4 Gls, 5 Asts), scored their equalizer just two minutes after Matavz’s goal. The match went into halftime with a 1-1 draw, but Barcelona were the better side thus far, owning 53% of the possession while having 17 shots, 8 of which were on goal, compared to Tottenham’s 5 shots. Tottenham’s defense was not playing especially well, especially Vedran Corluka (9 Aps, 2 Asts, 7.13), who had a 5.9 AR. Muslera, however, was having a fantastic game behind his nervy back four, recording a 7.7 AR. For Barcelona, there was no standout performers nor were there any weak links, with their goalscorer recording a team high 7.2 AR.
Lionel Messi had only appeared in 16 league games this season, and this was only his 9th appearance in the Champions League due, all due to three injuries he had faced this season, the last of which was a hip injury that kept him out of action for two months. In fact, the past four years had been rough ones for the Argentine, and he had failed to appear in more than 26 appearances in any of those seasons. His injuries had allowed other players to overtake him in the conversation of best player in the world, but in the second half of this Champions League Finals, Messi showed, again, why he was not only the best player in the world, but perhaps would be the best player to have ever lived, when his career was all said and done. He had already assisted Sigurdsson in the first half, but in the second half, he took matters in to his own hands, scoring a sensational brace while running circles around an overwhelmed Tottenham team that simply had no answer for him. Once again, Lionel Messi led his Barcelona team to the Champions League title, three years after they last lifted the trophy, and for the sixth time in his career. When it was all said and done, Messi had displayed a mesmerizing performance, perhaps one of the finest ever in the Finals of the competition, scoring in the 58th and 74th minutes, and winning the MotM. His final average a 9.3 AR, and the 28 year old had again shown the world that he had no equal.
Barcelona: 3 (Messi (2), Sigurdsson) – Lionel Messi, M/F (2 Goals, 1 Assist, 9.3)
Tottenham: 1 (Matavz)
So close for Spurs, though Barca were always going to be too good.
Xavi - Player Profile
Born in on January 25th, 1980, Xavi is considered to be the finest midfielder of his generation, playing his entire career with Barcelona, becoming a legend of the club and an integral part of the squad that has become known as the greatest club team to have ever been assembled. He has earned 124 caps for Spain during his career, scoring 11 goals for his home nation in the process.
He first broke into the Barcelona first team in 1998/99, and won his first La Liga title that year, as well as being an integral part of the Spain’s U20 World Cup title squad in 1999. The central midfielder went on to win the La Liga an amazing ten times (1999, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), which included the late 2000’s till present day run with the greatest club squad ever assembled. He was a major part of five of Barcelona’s seven Champions League titles (2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013), missing out on the 2016 title due to the fact he failed to play in any Champions League matches this season. He has finished his career as Barcelona’s record holder for most league appearances for the club, playing in 487 matches and scoring 46 goals in the process. With Spain, he captured the 2010 World Cup, and made the Finals of the 2014 World Cup, although he played sparingly in the latter. He was also Spain’s and the tournament’s best player in the 2008 European Championships in Austria and Sweden, capturing the title in the process. He captured his second European Championship title in 2012, in Poland and Ukraine, although, once again, he was played sparingly.
The first personal award he captured was the 2005 Spanish Player of the Year, and that was followed by the 2008 European Championship Best Player, where he was sublime in leading Spain to their 2nd ever title in the tournament. He was named in the 2012 World Team of the Year, and was Runner-Up in both the World Footballer of the Year and European Footballer of the Year on numerous occasions. In his prime, he was the benchmark in which all central midfielders were measured, playing support to Lionel Messi and his companions in Barcelona’s famed offensive unit during the 2000’s and 2010’s.
Congrats on the new stadia! You'll need it in the Championship!
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Player Profile
Born on October 3rd, 1981 in Malmo, Sweden, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is arguably the nation’s most talented player of all-time. A controversial figure throughout his career, the striker combined physical attributes with technical ability rarely seen, leading a highly successful career for the clubs he played for and Sweden. He earned 109 caps for his country, becoming Sweden’s top goalscorer of all-time having scored 60 goals for the nation.
His first appearance in professional football was with his local club, Malmo FF in 2001, and just one year later, he made his first big move to Ajax Amsterdam for £6.25 million. He spent four years with the Dutch side, winning the Eredivisie title with them in 2002, his first year with the club, and again in 2004. He then moved on to Italy in 2005, with Juventus paying £11.5 million for the striker. It was there that he become a household name, but after the controversy surrounding the club and their disciplinary relegation to the Serie B in 2006, he moved to Inter Milan for £17 million. While with Juventus, he captured his first Swedish Forward of the Year, the first of seven times (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) he would win the award, also winning the Swedish Player of the Year seven times (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012).
He spent three years at Inter Milan, which were perhaps the best stretch of form he experienced in his career. He won the Serie A title each year he was with the club (2007, 2008, 2009), and he captured the Serie A Player of the Year twice (2008, 2009) during that time. He was also the Serie A Top Goalscorer in 2009, scoring 25 league goals for the club, and the Serie A Foreign Player of the Year twice (2008, 2009). After a falling out with his then manager Jose Mourinho, he became Barcelona’s most expensive signing of all-time when they bought him for £40 million, but he spent only one season with the club. Although he was big part of the team that won the Spanish La Liga in 2010, again he managed to have a falling out with the manager, this time Josep Guardiola, and they shipped him to AC Milan in 2010, first on loan, and then for £19.75 million.
He finally found happiness in his second Milan club, and spent six years with AC Milan before retiring this year, capturing the Serie A title with them in 2011, the fourth time he had won the league in his career. He made the Serie A Team of the Year twice (2011, 2012) with the club, and has now become an Icon for AC Milan. He remained a contributor in his final season as a footballer, although he had lost a lot of his pace, he still managed to poach a few goals. Ibrahimovic, who was part of the Swedish team that made the Semi-Finals of the Euro 2012 before eventually losing to England, will retire as a footballer at the age of 34, but plans to remain in football in hopes of getting into management.
Interesting seeing what's happened to a few players.
Indeed, Messi just tore them apart in the second half. Cavani, who ended up being the tournament's best player, didnt do anything!So close for Spurs, though Barca were always going to be too good.
Thanks! It was definitely some welcome news - although Im hoping Ill be in the Premiership by then!Congrats on the new stadia! You'll need it in the Championship!
Thanks! Ill write up some profiles on returing players every year, I hope you guys enjoy itInteresting seeing what's happened to a few players.
Im starting to hate my board - this is the second sale they consider too good to turn down, its not even £1 million! He is my most important defender, and he's got huge potential. Sighhhh.
Celtic look to have got themselves a bargain there. Have you tried putting asking prices on the players? I always put asking prices at about 10 times their actual value and it seems to stop the bids coming in
Not quite sure what to make of this - could be good
Hopefully my favourite team can send you some good players
A natural partnership
LOL! Yeah, it came out of nowhere, totally surprised me. The board have been very busy this preseason.A natural partnership
Don't you just love chairmans; they giveth with one hand, and taketh away with the other!
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP 2016 - FRANCE
GROUP A: Czech Republic, Sweden, Slovakia, Belgium
Czech Republic: 2 (Marecek, Chramosta) – Lukas Marecek, Napoli (1 Goal, 1 Assist, 8.5)
Sweden: 1 (Suchy O.G.)
Belgium: 1 (Chadli)
Slovakia: 0 – Marek Hamsik, Arsenal (8.1)
Belgium: 1 (Vossen) – Dedryk Boyata, Tottenham (8.4)
Czech Republic: 0
Slovakia: 2 (Sylvestr, Jendrisek) – Vladimir Weiss, Wolfsburg (8.4)
Sweden: 3 (Hellqvist, Elm, Nillson)
Slovakia: 2 (Jendrisek) - Vladimir Weiss, Wolfsburg (1 Assist, 8.8)
Belgium: 2 (Lukaku, Mirallas) – Axel Witsel, Paris Saint-Germain (1 Assist, 7.8)
Czech Republic: 2 (Marecek, Navratil)
Overview: Having failed to qualify to any major tournaments in the last ten years, the Czech Republic were hoping to make this one memorable, and they started out in the right fashion, defeating Euro 2012 Semi-Finalists Sweden 2-1. In the other match, Belgium got off to a winning start against Slovakia, beating them 1-0.
Matchday Two saw Belgium win again, this time against the underachieving Swedes, taking the game 1-0. Slovakia faced off against the former western half of the country it was part of, and came out 2-0 winners in an upset against the Czech Republic. This left Belgium basically through to the next round, having gotten a maximum of six points, with all the other three teams still standing a chance, albeit a miniscule one for Sweden.
Slovakia needed a victory in Matchday Three to seal their qualification, but unfortunately, despite a fantastic performance from Erik Jendrisek (29 Aps, 15 Gls), who scored a brace for them, Sweden pulled off a 3-2 victory. The Czech Republic and Belgium fought it out to 2-2 draw, which meant that both team qualified to the Second Round, with Belgium topping the group with seven points. Sweden ended up qualifying along as one of the best 3rd placed teams.
GROUP B: Macedonia, Montenegro, Holland, France
France: 3 (Belfodil (2), Koscielny) – Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal (1 Goal, 8.5)
Holland: 1 (Huntelaar)
Macedonia: 2 (Ristovski, Trickovski)
Montenegro: 1 (Drincic) – Simon Vukcevic, Shalke (7.9)
Montenegro: 3 (Jovetic, Vukcevic, Vucinic) – Stefan Jovetic, Fiorentina (1 Goal, 9.0)
Holland: 3 (Huntelaar, Strootman, Sneijder) – [b]Wesley Sneijder, Manchester City (1 Goal, 2 Assists, 9.0)
France: 3 (Roux, Belfodil, Gameiro) – Hugo Lloris, Lyonnais (8.1)
Holland: 2 (Huntelaar, Narsingh) – Kevin Strootman, Bayern Munich (1 Assist, 8.7)
Overview: The Remi Garde led hosts, France, opened up the competition against the Jan Jansen led Dutch national team, defeating them 3-1. The youngest member of the French side, Lyonnais striker Ishak Belfodil (21 Aps, 6 Gls), scored a brace. The hosts, who advanced to the Quarter-Finals in the World Cup 2014 before falling to eventual champions Brazil in an epic match under Arsene Wenger, were hugely disappointing in the Euro 2012 under Laurent Blanc, failing to advance past the Group Stages. Holland failed to advance past the Group Stages in both the Euro 2012 and the World Cup 2014, and were going through one of their worst spell of form in recent memory. In the other Matchday One matchup, Macedonia, who had lost to France in the Second Round of the World Cup 2014, defeated Montenegro 2-1. The latter had also made the World Cup 2014, although they were eventually knocked out in the Group Stages. Both teams had done well to qualify for the Euro 2016.
On the second Matchday, one of the biggest upsets of all-time in the tournament took place, as Montenegro defeated the hosts, and pre-tournament favorites, France 3-0 in an outstanding victory for the young nation. Their star player, Stevan Jovetic (31 Aps, 14 Gls, 7.57), who guided his club Fiorentina to a sensational Champions League title in 2015, was sublime, and the French were left reeling after their loss. The Dutch avenged their loss against the French by destroying Macedonia 3-0, with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (25 Aps, 8 Gls) getting his second goal of the tournament. All four teams now had four points heading into Matchday Three, and each needed a win to ensure their qualification into the Second Round.
The two favorites got the results they were after on Matchday Three, with France defeating Macedonia 3-0 and Holland beating Montenegro 2-0. Both Belfodil and Huntelaar scored their 3rd goals of their campaigns, and Kevin Strootman (26 Aps, 2 Gls, 7 Asts, 7.4), Bayern Munich’s Dutch midfielder, was especially impressive, winning the MotM for his team. Although they put up a fantastic fight, both former Yugoslavian nations were sent home in favor of their more high profile opponents.
GROUP C: England, Wales, Scotland, Croatia
Scotland: 1 (Templeton) – Frasier Fyvie, Stoke (8.4)
England: 2 (Milner, Wilshere) – Jack Wilshere, Arsenal (1 Goal, 8.6)
Croatia: 1 (Badelj)
Wales: 2 (Evans (2) ) – Jack Collison, Inter Milan (1 Assist, 8.6)
England: 2 (Rooney, Milner) – Theo Walcott, Arsenal (1 Assist, 8.1)
Scotland: 1 (Fletcher)
Wales: 2 (Bale, Ramsey) – Jack Collison, Inter Milan (1 Assist, 8.8)
Scotland: 1 (Fletcher)
Croatia: 3 (Mandzukic (2), Rakitic) – Sime Vrsaljko, Chelsea (2 Assists, 9.0)
Overview: This was one of the most anticipated groups simply because three of the United Kingdom’s territories were facing up against one another. The three way rivalry began on Matchday One, where England got one over on Wales, winning the match 2-0, while Scotland got off to a winning start against Croatia, thanks to a 1-0 victory. The English, who were coached by Stuart Pearce, failed to qualify for the World Cup 2014 under Carlo Ancelotti, but under his predecessor Fabio Capello, they reached the Finals of the Euro 2012, finally falling to two time defending champions Spain.
Matchday Two pitted England against its northern neighbors Scotland, and once again they came out victorious, this time 2-1. James Milner (27 Aps, 2 Gls, 8 Asts), Manchester City’s midfielder, scored his second goal of the tournament, as the English made the prospect of missing out on the Second Round basically impossible. Wales gathered its first victory against the disappointing Croatian team, also winning 2-1, thanks to a brace from Dundee United striker Ched Evans (38 Aps, 19 Gls). This left the Matchday Three game between Wales and Scotland as the decider over who would join England in the next stage.
Croatia pulled off an amazing defeat of England in Matchday Three, beating them 3-0 thanks to brace from Mario Mandzukic (27 Aps, 10 Gls), Wolfsburg left winger. Despite the victory, however, the Croats still finished last in the group was Wales defeated Scotland, with the former qualifying second to England, and Scotland qualifying as one of the best 3rd placed teams.
GROUP D: Iceland, Ukraine, Slovenia, Germany
Iceland: 2 (Sigporsson (2) ) – Kolbeinn Sigporsson, AC Milan (2 Goals, 8.4)
Ukraine: 1 (Stepanenko)
Germany: 1 (Keibling)
Slovenia: 0 – Rene Krhin, West Ham (7.8)
Iceland: 1 (Saevarsson) – Aron Gunnarsson, Sporting (1 Assist, 7.9)
Germany: 4 (Keibling, Muller, Gotze, Ozil) – Mario Gotze, Dortmund (1 Goal, 8.9)
Ukraine: 2 (Yarmolenko, Stepanenko)
Iceland: 1 (Sigurdsson) – Bjarni Vioarsson, Hoffenheim (1 Assist, 7.7)
Germany: 1 (Mlapa)
Ukraine: 2 (Konoplyanka, Yarmolenko)
Slovenia: 2 (Bacinovic, Mihelic) – Josep Ilicic, Manchester United (1 Assist, 8.0)
Overview: Participating in their first major tournament in several years, Iceland made a fantastic start, defeating the Ukraine 2-1, with AC Milan striker Kolbeinn Sigporsson (23 Aps, 11 Gls) scoring a brace. The Ukrainians, who were co-hosts of the Euro 2012 and made the Quarter-Finals of that competition, lost to the Ivory Coast in the Second Round of the World Cup 2014. In the other match, Germany, managed by Matthia Sammer, defeated Slovenia 1-0. The Germans had been disappointing in their last two tournaments, failing to qualify out of the Group Stages in the Euro 2012, and losing to Chile in the Second Round of the World Cup 2014.
During Matchday Two, Iceland and Germany became the first two teams to qualify into the Second Round of the tournament, as the former beat Slovenia 1-0 and the Germans beat the disappointing Ukrainians 4-2. They both had gained the maximum of six points from their first two matches, and Iceland in particular were impressing as they were quickly becoming the surprise team of the tournament.
Matchday Three saw Iceland and Germany drawing 1-1, with both gathering seven points. The Germans topped the group – in the other match, Slovenia and Ukraine also drew, as the match finished 2-2.
GROUP E: Portugal, Switzerland, Russia, Norway
Norway: 0 – Even Hovland, D (8.1)
Portugal: 3 (Ronaldo, Sousa, Guilherme) – Josue, Everton (1 Assist, 8.3)
Switzerland: 2 (Mehmedi (2) )
Norway: 2 (Nielsen, Jenssen) – Ruben Yttergard Jenssen, Udinese (1 Goal, 8.4)
Switzerland: 1 (Mehmedi)
Russia: 1 (Dzyuba) – Igor Akinfeev, CSKA Moscow (Clean Sheet, 8.2)
Switzerland: 3 (Derdiyok (2), Shaqiri)
Russia: 1 (Kasaev) – Alexey Solovjov, Spartak Moscow (1 Assist, 8.2)
Portugal: 2 (Cristiano Ronaldo (2) ) – Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid (2 Goals, 9.0)
Norway: 2 (Drage, Abdellaoue)
Overview: Russia, who have been coached by [b]Yuri Krasnozhan since 2013, were quietly being heralded as one of the dark horses of the competition, while Norway, managed by Rune Skarsfjord, also since 2013, were participating in their first major tournament in several years. They played it out to 0-0 draw, but disappointingly, Russia’s most talented player, Barcelona’s £22 million midfielder Alan Dzagoev (27 Aps, 9 Gls, 9 Asts, 7.78) was sent off with a straight red card in the 72nd minute of the match. In the other match, Portugal, managed by Paolo Bento, defeated Switzerland 3-2 in a very entertaining match. The Portuguese had done well the past couple of tournaments, losing to Spain in the Euro 2012 on penalties in the Semi-Finals and in the World Cup 2014 Quarter-Finals. Udinese striker Admir Mehmedi (26 Aps, 7 Gls) scored a brace for the losing side.
In Matchday Two, Norway captured three points as they defeated Switzerland – the former now had four points while the Swiss were bottom of the group with zero points. Mehmedi scored his 3rd goal of the tournament in their loss. The Russians went top of the group with their surprise win against Portugal, defeating them 1-0, and officially knocking out the Swiss from the competition. This left Norway and Russia needing only a draw to qualify to the Second Round, but the former would play the Portuguese during Matchday Three.
Norway earned the draw they needed against Portugal, despite superstar Cristiano Ronaldo (16 Aps, 13 Gls) scoring a brace against them, but even though Russia lost to Switzerland, who had a brace from Eren Derdiyok (27 Aps, 7 Gls), they still made it to the Second Round at the expense of the Portuguese due to a better head-to-head result. The Portuguese, who were widely expected to top this group, finished 3rd, as Norway took the top spot and Russia somehow sneaked through. Switzerland were disappointing, although they got a good tournament out of Mehmedi, who scored 3 goals, but the Portuguese were hugely unimpressive. Despite that, they qualified as one of the best 3rd placed teams.
GROUP F: Bosnia, Spain, Italy, Belarus
Italy: 4 (De Rossi, Bertolacci, Rossi, Pazzini) – Andrea Bertolacci, Roma (1 Goal, 8.7)
Belarus: 1 (Yurchenko)
Spain: 4 (F. Llorente (3), Rodrigo) – Fernando Llorente, Athletic Bilbao (3 Goals, 10.0)
Bosnia: 3 (Zec (2), Dzeko)
Spain: 3 (Bojan (2), Llorente)
Belarus: 1 (Maximenko)
Bosnia: 3 (Dzeko) – Edin Dzeko, Manchester City (3 Goals, 8.8)
Spain: 3 (Mata, Llorente, Iniesta) – Juan Mata, Juventus (1 Goal, 1 Assist, 8.5)
Italy: 2 (Macheda, Candreva)
Bosnia: 3 (Dzeko, Bilbija, Dzankovic) – Edin Dzeko, Manchester City (1 Goal, 8.0)
Belarus: 1 (Yurchenko)
Overview: The Italians, led by Massimiliano Allegri, were Semi-Finalists in the World Cup 2014, but failed to qualify out of the Group Stages in the Euro 2012. They started out this tournament, however, in remarkable fashion, defeating an Belarus 4-1 – the eastern European team had not qualified into a major tournament for several years now. The other favorites in the group, two time defending champions Spain, played out an epic match against Bosnia, finally defeating them 4-3. The Iberians, coached by Josep Guardiola and were World Cup 2014 Finalists, got a perfect game from their striker Fernando Llorente (34 Aps, 17 Gls), who scored a hat-trick and recorded a 10.0 AR.
Llorente added a 4th goal to his tally during Matchday Two as Spain ran out 3-1 winners against Belarus, who were looking completely out of place against Europe’s best. The star of the match, however, was Barcelona striker Bojan, who scored a fantastic brace and really played superb throughout the game. The second major upset of the tournament came at the hands of Bosnia, who embarrassed the Italians, defeating them 3-0 thanks to a sublime hat-trick from Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko (34 Aps, 21 Gls). That put the small Balkan nation on par in terms of points with Italy, and they had scored six goals in their two matches, showing phenomenal skill going forward. The Italians now had to get a result against the defending champions and hope Belarus could do the job against Bosnia in order to advance to the next round.
Despite their best efforts, Italy ended up losing to Spain during Matchday Three 3-2, and with Bosnia defeating Belarus 3-1, one of the most surprising upsets in recent memory was Italy getting outplayed by the Bosnian team, who had Dzeko scoring his 5th goal in the tournament, tied with Spain’s Llorente for leading goalscorer in the tournament. Italy joined Portugal as the teams no one expected to finish out of the top two in the Group Stages, but Bosnia were superb in during these stages. Italy, however, ended up qualifying as one of the best 3rd placed teams.
Last edited by abulezz; 09-12-2011 at 20:59.
Don't want to sound like an echo but really liking the global updates.
Also bonus point for being bromley, my local-ish club
This board is going to drive me crazy - I had £750k set aside for my transfer budget, and I had this gem, Emmanuel Musah, all lined up. His wage dmands were quite reasonable, but for some reason, the board were not allowing me to offer him what he wanted, despite his demands being less than most of our team (£2.1k). Anyway, I walked away because I had lined up £2 million sale for Ben Amos (unhappy and wanted to move to a bigger club), but when I went back to offer the same £650k for him, I found my transfer budget had DECREASED after the sale. The board refused to increase the budget, even though we're £5 million in the black. What the hell!
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP 2016 - FRANCE
Holland vs. Belgium
Stade Felix Bollaert, Lens: It was neighbor against neighbor in this Second Round clash, with Belgium lining up against its northern friend, Holland. The two countries are similar in many ways, and this match was no different, dragging all the way to penalties after 1-1 draw lasted right up to the end of regulation time. Both goals came three minutes apart, with Luuk de Jong (29 Aps, 15 Gls) of Udinese scoring in the 23rd minute, while Manchester United’s star midfielder [b]Eden Hazard (33 Aps, 8 Gls, 7 Asts, 7.84) responding in the 26th minute. Belgium’s defense, led by MotM Vincent Kompany (36 Aps, 5.9 TpG, 7.28), was especially solid, and they were able to pull off the victory on penalties, qualifying to the Quarter-Finals.
Belgium: 1 (Hazard) Won on Penalties 4-1 – Vincent Kompany, Manchester City (8.6)
Holland: 1 (L. de Jong)
Bosnia vs. Norway
Stade Geoffroy Guichard, Saint-Ettiene: Both teams had done well by qualifying to this round, but the Bosnians looked especially dangerous in the Group Stages. They kept true to form, winning the match 2-1 thanks to Edin Dzeko’s 6th goal of the tournament and Ermin Zec’s 3rd goal of the tournament. That is not to take anything away from Norway’s performance, especially new Arsenal signing [b]Vegar Edden Hedenstad (35 Aps, 13 Asts, 7.58), who finalized a £17.25 million move from Aston Villa just a few days before the tournament. He won the MotM, and Norway, like their star player, can be proud of their performance in the tournament. Bosnia advanced to the Quarter-Finals for the first time in their history.
Bosnia: 2 (Dzeko, Zec)
Norway: 1 (Abdellaoue) – Vegar Edden Hedenstad, Arsenal (1 Assist, 7.8)
France vs. Sweden
Stade de France, Paris: The hosts had a scare in the Group Stages, but managed to pull through, despite some nervy performances. Against the Swedes, they again did not convince anyway, even though their opponents were one of the most unimpressive teams to have qualified to the Second Round. It took penalties to separate the teams, and the French just barely made it to the Quarter-Finals amidst growing criticism from their home fans that the squad was simply not performing the way it should.
France: 1 (Roux) Won on Penalties 4-3
Sweden: 1 (Lundberg) – Martin Olsson, Tottenham (8.7)
Spain vs. Scotland
Stade de le Borne de l’Espoir, Villeneuve-d’Ascq: The two time defending champions were expected to easily defeat Scotland after winning all three of their group stages matches, scoring ten goals in the process. They had no problem scoring against the Scots, but what they did not expect was to concede two goals and nearly have the match snatched away from them by their opponents. Alas, they were able to hold on to their lead, and advanced to the Quarter-Finals, maintaining their bid to become the first ever team in the history of the competition to win it three times in a row.
Spain: 3 (Bojan, Cazorla, Negredo) – Santi Cazorla, Arsenal (1 Goal, 8.6)
Scotland: 2 (Goodwillie, Templeton)
Russia vs. Czech Republic
Paris Community Arena, Paris: Russia, who were being touted as the dark horse this tournament, continued their impressive form in the competition, defeating an uninspired Czech Republic team 2-0. The latter just could not get it together throughout the match, and the Russians found the net twice in the second half to put them away. It was not an especially entertaining match, but the world’s largest nation found itself in the Quarter-Finals of the Euro 2016 nonetheless.
Russia: 2 (Dzagoev, Ponedelnik) – Sergey Parshivlyuk, Spartak Moscow (1 Assist, 8.3)
Czech Republic: 0
England vs. Portugal
Stade de Lumieres, Lyon: Portugal continued to be the bane in England’s side, defeating the Euro 2012 Finalists 2-1 in heartbreaking fashion in extra-time. England were unimpressive, save for perhaps their best player during the tournament, James Milner, and despite containing Portugal’s main threat, Cristiano Ronaldo, they were unable to handle the Portuguese midfield, who were responsible for both goals. Portugal advanced to the Quarter-Finals at the expense of the English, although it should be noted that they did not play notably well, either, true to their form throughout the tournament.
Portugal: 2 (Rolando, Santos) – Andre Santos, Aston Villa (1 Goal, 8.3)
England: 1 (Walcott)
Germany vs. Italy
Stade Municipal, Toulouse: Italy barely made it through to the Second Round, while Germany were impressive in the Group Stages. However, in typical Italian fashion, their defense buckled down and shut out the German offense, and went on to win the match 1-0. They did so despite only having 43% of the possession, and barely any shots on goal, but somehow, the unimpressive Italians got the result they needed, and now find themselves in the Quarter-Finals at the expense of the Germans, who once again, found themselves knocked out of a major tournament much earlier than the expectation.
Italy: 1 (Rossi) - Andrea Masiello, Fiorentina (7.9)
Wales vs. Iceland
Stade Louis Fonteneau, Nantes: This was possibly the most exciting match in the Second Round, between two teams that were glad to have gotten as far as they did. It was the Welsh who won out 3-2 in extra-time, advancing to the Quarter-Finals at the expense of Iceland. What probably pleased the Welsh more than anything would be the fact they were through while England were knocked out, but all kidding aside, they put up a great match. Jack Collison captured his tournament leading 3rd MotM, and up to this stage, was the top performer at the Euro 2016. Three of the five goals scored in the game were scored in extra-time, showcasing the excitement and drama that was so common during this match. At the end of it, Wales advanced to their first ever Quarter-Finals ever.
Wales: 3 (Collison, Allen, Church) – Jack Collison, Inter Milan (1 Goal, 1 Assist, 9.4)
Iceland: 2 (Vioarsson, Sigporsson)
Last edited by abulezz; 09-12-2011 at 23:05.