A Clean Sweep!
A Clean Sweep!
Last edited by abulezz; 20-12-2011 at 17:45.
CHAMPIONS CUP 2016/2017
Tottenham vs. Real Madrid
Stade Roi Baudouin – Brussels, Belgium (Att: 50,000): Coming into this Finals matchup, Real Madrid had just sealed its second La Liga title under manager Jose Mourinho, and now were attempting to capture also their second Champions League title under him. Mourinho himself was attempting to win his fourth title, while the club was looking at locking up their eleventh Champions League title in their history. Their star player had been Cristiano Ronaldo (12 Aps, 5 Gls, 4 Asts, 7.44), who seemed to get better as he aged. Gonzalo Higuan (11 Aps, 6 Gls, 7.11) was their leading goalscorer, while GK Iker Casillas (7.37) had been the best GK in the competition this season. Starting central defender Nicolas Nkoulou (11 Aps, 3.35 TpG, 7.11) was the only omission, as he was serving a suspension.
For Tottenham, they had just finished 2nd to Manchester United in the Premier League, and were in the Finals of the Champions Cup for the second straight season. In 2015/16, they lost to Barcelona, the third time manager Martin Jol had been to the Finals and lost (the first time was with Manchester United in 2013, also losing to Barcelona.) Striker [b]Edison Cavani (11 Aps, 8 Gls, 7.40) was again performing very well – he was Runner-Up to the Champions League Golden Boot and was named its Best Player in 2016. Gareth Bale (8 Aps, 3 Gls, 4 Asts, 7.67) was back from injury – prior to that, he was perhaps the best performer in the Champions League this season. Cavani’s partner up front, Salomon Rondon (11 Aps, 5 Gls, 3 Asts, 7.22), Europe’s Golden Boot winner in for 2015/16, was back from his suspension, and in good form. Sandro (12 Aps, 2 Asts, 7.15) was completing his finest season in his career, and was, on current form, perhaps the best anchor midfielder in the world.
The first half started out a bit slow as both teams were hesitant and defensive, but Tottenham took the initiative and started applying pressure on Real Madrid’s defense and Casillas. It continued throughout the half, but they could not beat him. In the 20th minute, Gareth Bale was stretchered off with an injury, and the game immediately changed. Real Madrid started working the counter-attack, and doing so successfully. It was through a counter-attack that Ronaldo found Fabio Coentrao in the 42nd minute, giving Madrid the lead going into the second half. In the second half, Rondon was also taken out of the match with an injury, and Tottenham were left reeling as two of their best players were no longer participants in the most important game of the season. They were the ones who dominated the first fifteen minutes of the half, but it was to no avail. In a heart-wrenching moment, substitute Tim Matavz’s shot beat Casillas in the 94th minute, only to hit the bar and turn into a goal kick. That was the last chance of the game, and Real Madrid held on to seal their eleventh title, and the goalscorer was gifted the MotM award. Tottenham’s loss made in eight times out of the last ten Finals that an English team had lost, and the fourth time in a row that had happened.
Real Madrid: 1 (Coentrao)
Excellent stuff, well done on the promotion
Let's hope you're not going to be the whipping boys in the Premier League!
Bromley 2016/2017 Review
npower Championship: Champions (Automatic Promotion)
FA Cup: Third Round, lost to Manchester City 1-0
League Cup: Second Round, lost to Derby 1-0
Our second season in the Championship cannot be classified as anything but a resounding success – considering we were in the Blue Square South just six years ago, to win the Championship title is nothing short of spectacular. Premier League football beckons for us in a few short months thanks to our performances this season.
Whereas in 2015/2016, when we finished in 12th Place, our offense was torrid, this season, with the signing of Emmanuel Musah and Lovro Scrbec, coupled with the vast improvement of captain Elliot Law, we scored 73 goals, good enough for third best in the Championship. Our defense, led by Jesper Alberts, was again the best in the league, conceding only 44 goals. Our foundation, and the reason we were able to avoid any relegation battles last season, was our defense, but if you do not score goals, you do not win games, and that was our main problem. This season, as you can tell by the numbers above, we did not have that issue, and we leaped right up to the table, managing a spectacular title winning campaign that has culminated in promotion to the Premier League, and I was named Championship Manager of the Year.
Our cup performances, again, were nothing to write home about, but there was never any real focus on that, and the board did not seem to mind our early exits too much. Speaking of the board, they finally started work on Bromley Stadium – it was due for completion in 2018, but work started a year late, so now we’re looking at 2019 for completion. That means two years in the Premier League with 5,000 attendance! Nevertheless, there is a lot of aspects of our facilities that need work and investment if we are to survive in the world’s toughest and highest rated league, and this off-season should prove eventful in that regard. Congratulations again to the town of Bromley and its incredible football club!
Porvaldur Magnusson: What a season this young midfielder had! To start things off, he signed a new contract with the club (that was later readjusted at the end of the season), and went on to lead Bromley to the Championship title. He grabbed the Championship Player of the Year along the way, and led the league with 18 assists. The 21 year old was also my choice for the Bromley Player of the Year.
Emmanuel Musah: After a prolonged transfer saga in the summer of 2016, the German/Ghanaian striker finally joined the club for £700,000. What a bargain that turned out to be. The 19 year old, despite battling nagging injuries throughout the season, was the change the club needed up front that propelled it to the title – without him, Bromley almost certainly would not have lifted the trophy. He won the Championship Young Player of the Year, which Magnusson won last season.
Jesper Alberts: Our record signing came for £1,000,000 last season, and he showed that he was worth so much more this year, leading our backline as they conceded the fewest goals in the league. Still only 19 years old, the Belgian central defender has had interest from the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea, such is his potential. He also scored 8 goals for us, mostly from corners, proving himself extremely dangerous in the air.
Elliot Law: At this time last year, there were some heavy doubts that the club’s 22 year old captain could compete at this level, after scoring only 5 goals all season. This year, however, after 16 goals in the league, the question is no longer valid – he came into training camp obsessed with proving his doubters wrong, and showed remarkable improvement in his ability throughout the season. Bromley’s record holder for both appearances and goals, he is the club’s finest player of all-time, and despite renewed calls that he is not good enough, he will get the chance to prove himself in the Premier League. The club owes him that much.
Lovro Scrbec: A Free Transfer signing, Lovro Scrbec was an essential part of the team that lifted the trophy. The 27 year old Croatian filled holes in both our striking and midfield units, playing wherever needed and doing so extremely well. His versatility allowed us to keep our momentum when injuries struck, and despite facing injuries of his own, he gave us consistent performance after consistent performance, scoring some of our most important goals of the season, as well.
Ebby Harwood: One of only three Bromley youth academy products in the first team (Andy Dixon and Elliot Law are the others), there were doubts about the 18 year old left winger’s abilities prior to the season. He was given the starting role, and thrived, improving immensely throughout and giving the club and extremely solid season.
Alexandre: The club had worked out a deal with the player a year ago, and in the January transfer window, the 18 year old central defender came on a free transfer. The Brazilian was a perfect partner to Alberts, and the scouting report on him was not wrong – a great all-around player, Alexandre proved himself capable of starting in the back four.
Kieran Holland: Easily the most gifted player from this year’s youth intake, the 16 year old English right back has the potential to be the brightest talent to ever come out of the Bromley youth academy. Already having earned his debut, Holland will continue to get playing time behind Kevin Long in order to aid his development. Has already got a great set of defensive skills, but like most youngsters, he needs to get stronger physically.
Peter Skocibusic: The 17 year old Croatian midfielder signed on free transfer from Bjelovar, and had significant playing time this season. Although his performances were inconsistent, his development was not – he has the look of a useful squad player for years to come if he continues to improve at this rate.
Due to some financial problems, we sold almost £4,000,000 of players this year, with £2,000,000 coming from the sale of Ben Amos alone. Nikolay Nakov was sold for £775,000 by the board, and we had a few offers come in for a few youngsters that the club quickly accepted. Coming in, we again relied mostly on free transfers, but we did pay £700,000 for Emmanuel Musah, which ended up being a huge bargain. Paul Black came for £250,000 and rotated with Matthew Morgan at left back.
Last edited by abulezz; 21-12-2011 at 11:18.
Alberto Gilardino – Player Profile
Born on July 5th, 1982, Alberto Gilardino was first plucked up by Cossatese in 1995, before moving to Piacenza for an undisclosed amount in 1997. It was there that he got his debut in professional football, turning out for the club 17 times in 1999/2000 in the Serie A. However, the club got relegated the same year, and Gilardino was sold to Verona for £2,400,000 in the summer of 2000.
He spent two unremarkable years at Verona, who also got relegated from the Serie A, this time in 2002. Around his 20th birthday, Gilardino forced a move out of the relegated club, and for £7,500,000, joined Parma. It was in his three years with Parma that Gilardino started to become an international star.
Although his first season with Parma was unimpressive, in 2003/2004 and 2004/2005, he would score 23 goals in each season, both times being Runner-Up in the Serie A Top Goalscorer award. He won the Serie A Young Player of the Year in 2004, and in 2005 he won the Serie A Player of the Year and Italian Player of the Year. It was his most successful stretch, in terms of individual achievement, he would have in his career. During his time at Parma, he would also be part of the Italy’s European U21 title winning squad in 2004.
After becoming one Italy’s most wanted talents, AC Milan bought him from Parma in 2005 for £16,250,000. He was not able to recapture the form he had for his new club, however, but he did win titles for the first time in his career. In 2006, he was part of Italy’s World Cup winning squad, marking the fourth time Italy had won the tournament, and in 2007, he won the first of his two Champions League title with the club. After it became evident that each year was turning to be unhappier than the last in Milan, Fiorentina bought him for £9,500,000 in 2008.
Before moving to Fiorentina, Gilardino had never spent more than three years at a club, but he finally found a home in Florence, as well as his form. He spent nine years with the club, and won the Champions League with them in 2015, playing an important part in their surprising run to the Finals, finishing as Runner-Up in the Top Goalscorer award. The club also finished 2nd Place in the Serie A on two occasions (2014, 2016). Alberto Gilardino retired from football in 2017 and is now looking into a managerial career.
Once touted as the next big thing to come out of Italy, although he has had a very successful career, that dream never quite materialized. Still, Gilardino appeared 51 times for his country, scoring 19 goals in the process, and at one point in his career in the mid-2000s, he was viewed as one of most dangerous strikers in the world. Although he never returned to that form, he did contribute significantly to Fiorentina’s Champions League winning campaign as well as their impressive form in the Serie A during the mid-2010s.
John Terry – Player Profile
Born on December 7th, 1980 in Barking, England, John Terry spent his entire playing career with Chelsea, with most of it as the clubs captain. He also appeared 106 times for England, scoring 8 eight goals, and almost captained them to the 2012 European Championship, where they lost to Spain in the Finals.
His debut came during the 1998/1999 season, after taking the step up from the Chelsea youth academy into the first squad. His first prominent role with the club would come in 2000/2001, after a loan spell with Nottingham Forest, and he became the squad’s heart and soul in the back since then. He won be part of the team that won the FA Cup in 2000, marking the first of four times Terry would win the competition over the course of his career (2000, 2007, 2009, 2010).
After finishing Runners-Up in 2004, John Terry and Chelsea would finally lift the English Premier League trophy in 2005, and Terry was crowned the English Players’ Player of the Year. By this point, Terry was captain of the squad that had recently been bought by Roman Abrahamovich. They repeated the feat in 2006, making them back to back Premier League champions.
In total, Terry would win the English Premier League four times (2005, 2006, 2010, 2014), and was also named to the Premier League Select in 2014. He captained Chelsea to two Champions League Finals (2008, 2015), losing both times to Manchester United and Fiorentina, respectively. As England captain, Terry advanced to the Euro 2012 Finals against Spain, only to lose out on lifting an international trophy with his nation.
Terry has always been criticized for his lack of pace, from the mid-2000s to the early 2010s, he was one of the finest defenders on the planet. A leader in every sense of the word, he will go down in England’s history as one of its best defenders and captains, and is a legend at Chelsea.
Sad to see more legends go, and Terry.
Well done on promotion, good luck in the Premier League
Great season but now the real work begins. How many of the squad do you think are good enough for the top flight? May need to bring in a few new faces, £40m in the bank should help though
English Premier League champions Manchester United!
Rejected it, of course
SOUTH AMERICAN U20 CHAMPIONSHIP 2017 – URUGUAY
Brazil got back to their winning ways, recapturing the SAM U20 title in Uruguay after losing it to Ecuador in 2015. 20 year old right back Filipi was named the Best Player of the tournament, followed by his teammate Cabral and Argentine Leandro Nunez. In 9 games, Filipi had 8 assists and 5 MotM, setting a new record for both categories in the history of the tournament. His 8.48 AR was just 0.01 off of Xaropinho’s 8.49 AR, set in 2015, for a new record. His teammate Gilmar won the Top Goalscorer, hitting 11 goals in 9 appearances.
Other notable performers were Jose Armijos of Ecuador, Walter Cardozo of Uruguay, Gaucho of Brazil, and Rodrigo Reinoso of Argentina.
Carles Puyol – Player Profile
Born on April 13th, 1978 in Pobla de Segur, Spain, and went on to play for only one club over the course of his career, Barcelona. He captained his club squad and, on occasion, the Spanish national side, which we won 106 caps with, scoring 3 goals in the process.
Carles Puyol made his debut for Barcelona in 1999, after a few years of playing for their “B” and “C” sides, and almost immediately became a start in their back four. After finishing Runners-Up in 2004, Puyol won the first of his nine Spanish La Liga titles (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016) in 2005, and a year later, in the midst of their successful domestic campaign, Barcelona were crowned Champions League champions, which Puyol would go on to win an incredible six times (2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016). He was named to the 2012 World Team of the Year.
Puyol was an essential part of the what has been called the greatest club squad to ever be assembled, coached by Pep Guardiola and later Roberto Mancini, playing alongside Xavi, Villa, Iniesta, Messi, Sanchez, and Pique, just to name of a few. The “Barcelona Era”, as it has been called, lasted from the late 2000s to the mid 2010s, and Puyol was very much involved in it. On top of that, he was part of the Spanish team that won the Euro 2008 and the Euro 2012, as well as the World Cup 2010 in South Africa. He was also part of the team that made the Finals of the World Cup 2014 before succumbing to Brazil.
The defender has known success on every level, and was an integral part of two of the most successful teams in the history of football – the Barcelona side from the early 2000s to the mid 2010s, and the Spain national side the conquered all from the late 2000s to the mid 2010s. At his peak, Puyol was considered to be one of the finest defenders in the world, and was equally adept at playing right back as he was in the heart of the defense.
Interesting Man U offer, good job turning it down
Whats Magnusson's adjusted new deal like, manage to get rid of that small release fee?
They can dream on.
Magnusson has two clauses in his new contract - £9,000,000 higher division release clause (and since we're in the Premier League, its not happening), and the Match Highest Wage Earner. Currently, due to new signings (covered in the upcoming Preview), Magnusson is earning a cool £17,250.
And yes, Man Utd can keep dreaming in their theatre
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE REVIEW 2016/2017
Footballer of the Year: Sergio Aguero, Chelsea (36 Aps, 16 Goals, 12 Assists, 10 MotM, 7.90)
Player’s Player of the Year: Eden Hazard, Manchester United (36 Aps, 9 Goals, 12 Assists, 7.74)
Young Player of the Year: Ross Barkley (Career Stats), Everton (35 Aps, 8 Goals, 9 Assists, 4 MotM, 7.49)
Best Goalkeeper of the Year: Jose Manuel Reina, Liverpool (38 Aps, 34 Conceded, 18 Clean Sheets, 7.14)
Manager of the Year: Manuel Pellegrini, Manchester United (Champions)
Manchester United (2017: Champions – 2016: 4th)
Manuel Pellegrini surprised the world with his shock retirement at the end of the season, but it was a fitting end for a world-class manager. He took over in June of 2015, spending two years at the club, and while his first season was considered a failure, his second certainly was not. He ended the season, and his career, as the 2017 Premier League Manager of the Year, and for good reason. Manchester United were written off as a team of the past before the season began, a team that had experienced its best days and was about to begin the process of rebuilding. That may be so, but it did not happen this year, as the club captured the Premier League title and gave Pellegrini the perfect farewell to his storied career.
For the second season in a row, Eden Hazard captured Manchester United’s Player of the Year – yet again, he proved he was one of the best players on the planet with his performances. He was crowned the 2017 Premier League Players’ Player of the Year, and was named to the Premier League Select for the second time in his career (2015, 2017). It was also the first time he captured the Premier League title in the four years he had been at Manchester United, perhaps his most valuable achievement of all. He has become the squad’s most important player, and his 7.95 AR in the Premier League this season led the league.
After selling Anderson for £15,250,000, the club spent £18,000,000 on Gaston Ramirez (Career Stats), buying him from Palermo one year after they had paid Bologna £11,500,000 for him. The Uruguayan left winger was Pellegrini’s only major signing of the season, and he performed well, pitching in 11 goals from the left wing position. Playing alongside him in the center of the midfield was South African Andile Jali (Career Stats), who set a career high with 12 assists, despite only having 23 appearances. Darren Fletcher won his sixth Premier League title with the club, also setting a career high with 12 assist. In fact, at the age of 33, Fletcher gave perhaps his finest season to date, also setting career highs in appearances (35) and Average Rating (7.61 AR). Also delivering his finest season of his career was right midfielder Antonio Valencia – the Ecuadorian was ever present, contributing both goals and assists to the cause, while central midfielder Milan Badelj scored a career high of 11 goals. Overall, the midfield was the strength of a team that seemed to have no weaknesses, and although none of the players were superstars, they played extremely well as unit.
Up front, Manchester United remained as it had been for years, with Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney forming one of the best striking partnerships in the world. A torn hamstring limited the latter to just 24 appearances this season, ruling him out for three months, but Rooney showed why he was a legend, scoring 17 goals in 27 appearances to lead the club. Now 31 years old, the English striker remains one of the most dangerous forwards on the planet, contributing across the board – he continues to be the prime example of a complete forward.
At the back, Manchester United have in their possession of the most exciting English prospects of the decade in Steve Hughes (Career Stats). The 21 year old defender is actually a product of the Southampton youth academy, but was acquired by Man United in 2012 for £1,300,000. This season was his first as a starter, and although he did display signs of inconsistency, he also showed vast potential. Alongside him was Rafael – the Brazilian has quietly become one of the best right backs on the planet, and at the age of 27, he has just entered his prime. He had another good season for his club, helping the squad become the second best defensive team in the league this season. Behind him was David De Gea, as consistent as ever and easily one of the best GKs on the planet. He has been Man United’s starter for six years, but yet is still only 26 years old. Considering his has not even entered his prime yet, it is safe to say the club is set at the position for years to come.
It was the perfect storm for Man United this season – Pellegrini’s final season was highlighted by career years from several of his players. Next season, it will be Ricardo Moniz at the helm, but his job will be easier than most. This squad does not need any major work, with most of its main players still in their prime. There was a little inconsistency at the back as Chris Smalling and Phil Jones delivered average seasons, but to retain the title in the most competitive and highest rated league in the world, average will not do.
Liverpool (2017: 2nd – 2016: 5th)
When Malky Mackay was appointed to replace the sacked Mauricio Pochettino, there was a resounding amount of criticism from analysts and fans alike who were demanding a manager with a higher reputation take over the club, desperate to get back to challenging for the title as they did in 2015. Twelve months on, the same people are praising the board’s vision anointing Mackay, who brought the club back to prominence and finished just three points behind eventual champions Manchester United. This was a successful season by all means for the club, especially as they reclaimed an automatic qualification to the Champions League’s Group Stages.
Malkay’s success came down to tactics – his only major signing of the summer, £8,000,000 Simon Vukcevic from Shalke, failed to appear in a single game for his new club. In fact, Liverpool sold its starting right back, English international Martin Kelly, for an obscene £22,500,000 to Manchester City, losing an important but failing to buy a replacement. However, their 2016 and 2017 Player of the Year, Jack Robinson (Career Stats), more than made up for the loss, turning in his best season yet. Simply put, the 23 year old left back has become one of England’s most important players, and perhaps one of the finest at his position in the world. Such was his performance this season that he was named to the 2017 Premier League Select for the first time in his career. Liverpool were the best defensive team in the league, conceding only 34 goals, and most of the credit has to go to Robinson. He did have help, though, in the form of central defender Stefan Reinartz and GK Jose Manuel Reina. The former completed his second season with the club after coming from Leverkusen in 2015, and was a fantastic partner to Robinson. Reina maintained his position as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, getting named to his second straight World Team of the Year. He was also named to his first Premier League Select as a starter (he was named twice as a substitute), and captured the Premier League Golden Glove for the fourth time in his career (2006, 2007, 2008, 2017), setting a new record and building on his case of being the best Premier League GK of all time.
Perhaps the weakest part of this Liverpool team was its midfield, although that’s like calling a lemon not sour enough – it was good, just not in line with the rest of the team. Their best midfielder was David Alaba, bought from Bayern Munich for £8,000,000 in 2014 and delivered his finest season in a Liverpool uniform to date. He was named as English Young Player of the Year runner-up this season and last, only turning 25 after the season ended. Their other strong performer in the midfield was Yohan Cabaye – the French central midfielder set career highs with 7 assists and 7.34 AR.
Liverpool were the third best offensive team in the Premier League this season due to its three-headed attack. The most important component, and possibly Liverpool’s most important play the past few years, was Luis Suarez. The 30 year old Uruguayan striker equaled his high as Liverpool player, scoring 19 goals. The joint top scorer on the team was Andy Carroll, also with 19 goals – the 28 year old English striker may never live up to his £35,000,000 price tag, but it was a good sign that, for the first time, he managed to score over 10 goals in a season. Their third wheel was Moussa Sow – the 31 year old Senegalese striker scored 14 goals in 28 appearances.
There is no longer any question about Malkay’s pedigree, and the squad surpassed expectations this year, by all means. Still, they did have some holes, especially in the midfield, that could be improved on, and a young striker to help the aging frontline would not be a bad thing. Are they the second best team in the league? No, not on talent, but there is no doubting the heart of the players and the tactics of the manager. They also overcame every other team in England and were crowned FA Cup winners in 2017.
Arsenal (2017: 3rd – 2016: 2nd)
It is a strange season when a club achieves 3rd Place, but the manager leaves due to another club due to immense pressure to do better, and the other club’s manager takes over after his departure. That is exactly what happened at Arsenal this year – their outgoing manager, Andre Villas-Boas (who the club won the title under in 2015), left the club amidst drama concerning the board for Manchester City, who had sacked Alan Shearer, the man that led them to the title in 2016, just a few days previously. Arsenal then turned around and hired Shearer to replace him, with each manager replacing the other at his former club. This was in March, so the team that ended up finishing in 3rd Place was strictly Villas-Boas’ team.
As was the case in 2015, Villas-Boas signings were both hits and misses. He bought Vegar Edden Hedenstad, the 2016 Premier League Young Player of the Year, from Aston Villa for £17,250,000 – at the time, many figured him to have overpaid, but at the end of the season, those voices were quieted. His other two big signings, however, Ayman Ben Slimane (bought for £11,000,000 from FC Twente) and Adam Hlousek (bought for £9,250,000 from Malaga) were busts. The former is still young and can turn things around, but the latter has no room in Shearer’s team.
Aaron Ramsey won Arsenal’s Best Player of the Year award for the third time in a row, leading the club in assists for the second time in his career and equaling Marek Hamsik’s record of 15 assists in a season, set last year. He was fifth in the Premier League in assists with 11, and scored 9 goals from the midfield. This season, however, Hamsik was arguably in better form than his Welsh partner in the midfield – he was first on the team and fourth in the Premier League with 7.85 AR, getting named to the 2017 Premier League Select for the second time and the 2017 World Team of the Year for the first time. With Jack Wilshere back in form and Marouane Fellaini playing his usual best, Arsenal arguably had the best midfield in the Premier League, with two of the world’s best at their position featured in it. Infront of them, Abel Hernandez was the only credible threat Arsenal had – their strike force is something Shearer will need to address, as well as their back line, which remains the weakest part of their team. There was not a single stand out performer in their defense other than Hadenstad – Leighton Baines only played in 14 games, and the rest of them were wildly inconsistent.
Now that Alan Shearer has taken the helm, it remains to be seen what the former Premier League Manager of the Year will be able to do with this squad. If they are to compete for the title, they will need to do a lot of upgrading and replacing, especially in the back.
Tottenham (2017: 4th – 2016: 3rd)
In May 2016, Thomas Jones bought the club from Daniel Levy, so this was the team’s first season under new ownership. Manager Martin Jol was kept on, and although their Premier League finish of 4th Place was slightly disappointing, reaching the Champions League Finals for the second time (and losing for the second time) was not. Since Jol took over in 2015, the team has shown marked improvements, both domestically and on the continent, and a lot of the credit has to go to their manager. He did have help, investing £59,000,000 of Jones’ money in new signings during the 2016/17 season. His two largest signings were £15,500,000 for Jetro Willems (Career Stats) and £15,250,000 for Fabian Delph. The former turned out to be a good signing – the latter, not so much. He also spent £11,000,000 on Youssef Msakni (17 Aps, 2 Gls, 8 Asts) and another £10,000,000 on Daley Blind from Stoke – both players were serviceable, but probably not worth the amount paid for them.
The team’s Player of the Year, for the second time in a row and third time overall, was Edison Cavani. He has become an Icon at Tottenham, and his fifth season with the club was his most eventful yet. He broke the team’s goalscoring record in a season, hitting 30 league goals and 38 overall goals – his league total was good enough to crown him the Premier League’s Top Goalscorer, as well as the 2017 Europe Golden Boot winner. He was named in the Premier League Select for the fourth time in his career (2013, 2014, 2015, 2017), and the World Team of the Year for the second year in a row. Easily one of the best strikers on the planet, the 30 year old Uruguayan reached new heights this season, leading his squad the Champions League Finals for the second year a row. His partner, Salomon Rondon, delivered another good season, although not as good as last season’s spectacular one. The 2016 Europe Golden Boot winner scored 18 goals in 29 appearances, down from his 25 goals in 2016.
Luka Modric , a legend at the club, again had another amazing season. The 31 year Croat was named to his fifth Premier League Select (2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017), and set a Tottenham record for most assists in the Premier League in a season with 18. His partner on the left wing, Gareth Bale (also a club legend), was again in fantastic form, and remained one of the best left wingers on the planet. Anchoring the midfield was Brazilian star Sandro – the defensive midfielder was not only one of the club’s most important players, but also for his home nation, as well. In the back, Willems was the best out of a mediocre bunch that could not put together a consistent season, with even GK Fernando Muslera falling to lapses of bad form. The club conceded 43 goals as a result, decent but not good enough. Martin Jol has been given another year to get the club back to the Premier League title, which they last won in 2012 under Harry Redknapp – with some new signings, especially in the back, they should at least be contenders.
Chelsea (2017: 5th – 2016: 6th)
It tends to be forgotten that Chelsea won the Premier League title as recently as 2014, but the club’s fall from champions to outside the top four as been swift and dramatic. Their manager, Sansa Mihajlovic, took over from Huub Stevens in March 2016, but led the club to little improvement in his first full season, finishing in 5th as opposed to 6th Place.
In their ranks they have possibly the best footballer on the planet in Sergio Aguero – there is not an award the 29 year old Argentine has not captured. For the fourth year in a row, he was named Chelsea’s Player of the Year, and claimed the Premier League Footballer of the Year for third time (2014, 2016, 2017). He was named in the Premier League Select for the fourth time (2013, 2014, 2016, 2017), and captured the Best Player in Europe of the second season in a row, as well as getting named to his third World Team of the Year (2014, 2016, 2017). He had little help, though, as Fernando Torres only appeared in 19 games, and Romelo Lukaku just did not play consistently enough. They had some strong play in the midfield from their experienced central midfielders Etienne Capoue and Ramires, but the problem was, the team could not gel together as a team. As their star players get older, the club has to reinvest in young talent to keep the squad fresh.
Manchester City (2017: 6th – 2016: Champions)
After capturing the title for the first time in forty-eight years, Alan Shearer was hailed a genius and Manchester City were called the club of the future. Fast forward one year, and Shearer is no longer with the club, which finished in a lowly 6th Place. What happened!? For one, Martin Kelly for £22,500,000 from Liverpool was a horrible deal (he only appeared 12 times for the club the entire season), while selling the club’s 2016 Player of the Year Mauricio Isla for £23,500,000 in the middle of the season made absolutely no sense. Hulk was the best player on the squad, and rightfully won the club’s Player of the Year, but where were the rest of the stars that powered their way to the Premier League title just one year ago? Edin Dzeko scored 16 goals but did not have the drive he did last season, while Samir Nasri only appeared in 21 games. The 33 year old Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder had a revival of sorts, but only James Milner could lay claim that he played to his ability in the club’s star studded midfield this season. One of the only bright spots was Erick Torres (Career Stats) = the 24 year old Mexican came for £10,250,000 and showed enough ability to have optimism for the future.
It is clear that the team needs to be re-evaluated, and perhaps under the helm of new manager Anre Villas-Boas, that can happen. Obviously, the talent on the squad is second to none, considering how much the club has spent over the past few years. And they will continue to spend, as long as their owners from Abu Dhabi remain interested in recapturing the Premier League title.
The Rest of the League
Aston Villa finished in 7th Place, thanks to Darren Bent, James McCarthy, and Tom Cleverley, who their Player of the Year…Everton finished in 8th Place thanks in part to Jack Rodwell…West Bromwich Albion, who finished in 11th Place, had a good seasons from Jonas Olsson and James McArthur…Out of the newly promoted teams, only Bristol City remained, with Birmingham and Leeds heading back down.
Overall Team of the Year
Last edited by abulezz; 22-12-2011 at 18:08.
SPANISH LA LIGA REVIEW 2016/2017
Footballer of the Year: Alan Dzagoev, Barcelona (32 Aps, 15 Goals, 9 Assists, 4 MotM, 7.77)
Goalkeeper of the Year: Diego Alves, Valencia (31 Aps, 30 Conceded, 11 Clean Sheets, 7.12)
Manager of the Year: Jose Mourinho, Real Madrid (Champions)
Real Madrid (2017: Champions – 2016: 3rd)
For the second time in Jose Mourinho’s tenure as Real Madrid manager, which started in 2010, the club captured the Spanish La Liga title, ending Barcelona’s bid to win it four times in a row. They won the league by ten points, a significant margin, and one that would surely have pleased the Madrid faithful as there was no doubt who the better team in Spain, or in Europe, was – they won their second Champions League title of the decade, defeating Tottenham in the Finals. The Portuguese spent £67,000,000 upgrading his team this season, the most expensive of which was Mauricio Isla, who cost the club £23,500,000 to acquire from Manchester City. The Chilean left back was certainly worth the price, and was a big part of the team in the half season he was with Real Madrid. Nicolas Nkoulou also came in the January window for £17,000,000 from Marseille, and also played a big part in their title winning campaign. For £15,250,000, Anderson came from Manchester United, and contributing 10 assists in the league, although he was inconsistent in form.
The heart and sould of the team, of course, remains Cristiano Ronaldo – at worst, he can be considered the second best player in the world, and won both the 2016 World Fooballer of the Year and the 2016 World Golden Ball awards – that was the third time he won both awards (2008, 2014, 2016), and was named in the World Team of the Year for the fifth time (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017). He was the La Liga’s Top Goalscorer with 25 goals, his highest tally since 2011, and was named to the La Liga Team of the Year for the third time (2014, 2015, 2017). It goes without saying that he was also Real Madrid’s Player of the Year for the fifth time in six years – indisputably, as he turns 33 next season and he has entered the last few years of career, he can be called one of the all-time greats. There simply was no equal in the world to him during 2016/17, bouncing back from an injury ravaged season last year to reclaim his title as one of the world’s best.
In the midfield, Real Madrid had talent to spare. Angel Di Maria had another strong season, scoring 7 league goals down the left wing. In the middle, one would be hard pressed to find a stronger pairing than Kwadwo Asamoah and Mesut Ozil. The former had his best season in his career, while Ozil continued to be one of the team’s most impressive players. Both are 28 years old, and entering the prime of their career, and for the first time in what seems like forever, Madrid have a midfield that can compare to that of rivals Barcelona.
In the back, Fabio Coentrao (who was sold to Manchester United after the season was over) and Sergio Ramos had extremely solid seasons, leading the Real Madrid defense that conceded a league low 39 goals, but a lot of credit also has to go to club captain, and legend, GK Iker Casillas. Still at the top of his game despite being 36 years old, Casillas once again showed why he could be called the greatest GK of all-time. It was a terrific season overall for Real Madrid, as they snatched both the La Liga and the Champions League titles from their bitter rivals Barcelona, which added to the luster of the already prestigious championships.
Barcelona (2017: 2nd – 2016: Champions)
Such was Roberto Mancini’s confidence in his team coming into this season that he did not acquire a single player, and why would he? Barcelona had just captured the La Liga title for the third straight time and the Champions League title for the fourth time in seven years, and seemed destined to keep the “Barcelona Era” alive. Somehow, it all unraveled very quickly – by February, Barcelona were out of the Champions League, having been knocked out by Tottenham, embarrassingly losing 4-0 in London, and were fifth in the La Liga. At the end, they managed to claw their way back into second, but they remained a full ten points behind rivals Real Madrid. All of this brought forward talk about the “Barcelona Era” being over, but that is a bit premature. The club, after all, still has Lionel Messi. Injury free for the first time in years, Messi quite noticeably had lost a step of pace, but his genius remained all the same. He was selected to the World Team of the Year for the fourth time (2012, 2013, 2014, 2017), and to the La Liga Team of the Year for the fourth time (2012, 2014, 2015, 2017) – most importantly, he played in 33 games for the club. There has never been a winner on the club level like Messi in the history of the sport, and at the age of 30, he is still in the prime of his career and ready to win more titles and awards.
The La Liga Player of the Year for the second time in a row, Alan Dzagoev could do no wrong on the pitch this season. Simply put, he was absolutely outstanding – he was also named to the La Liga Team of the Year for the second time in a row and named the Russian Player of the Year for the second year in a row, as well. Playing alongside Messi freed him up, and he netted a career high 15 league goals. The 27 year old was arguably Barcelona’s second most important player this campaign. Alongside him was Alexis Sanchez, who displayed his usual brilliance and ability. It was another typical season from the Chilean, which means he was among the best players in the world. The rest of the midfield read like an all-star list: club legend Andreas Iniesta, Gylfi Sigurdsson, and Spanish Player of the Year Cesc Fabregas. There is no midfield in the world as deep and as talented as Barcelona’s, bar none, and they all gave the club good seasons.
The club’s defense was wear the problem this season was – other than club legends Gerard Pique and Dani Alves, there wasn’t anyone who had a good season. For the first time in six years, Victor Valdes conceded more goals than he had appearances, which highlighted what needed work in this squad. Roberto Mancini will need to address this issue if the “Barcelona Era” is to continue – for the offensive talent it has, the club needs to be able to stop goals from being conceded.
Malaga (2017: 3rd – 2016: 4th)
Roberto Donadoni’s reputation continues to improve dramatically after the club did what no one thought they would – improve on last season. That is exactly what happened, however, as Malaga beat out the rest of league for the right to finish behind the two biggest clubs in Spain. Donadoni’s team were actually tied on points with Barcelona, and were the third best offensive and defensive team in the La Liga, leaving no doubt that they were worthy of finishing 3rd Place.
The reason they were so potent on offense was Facundo Ferreyra – in his first full season with the club, he scored 22 league goals. The 26 year old Argentine showed his ability last year, and continued his great form this season, winning the Malaga Player of the Year for 2017. His partner up front was Park Chu Young, who also scored 22 league goals – both for Ferreyra and Young, they were career highs. In the middle of the pitch, Malaga were led by Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Pedro Leon – the latter led the team in assists with 13, the second best tally in his career (in 2014/15, he delivered 17 assists). In the back, the best defender was Ezequiel Munoz.
The glue that holds the team together is the manager – he continues to lead the squad into Champions League football, and the team continues to overachieve despite much bigger teams in the league. The manager spent £33,500,000 on new players during the season, and hopefully, they will show in terms of contributions during next season.
Villareal (2017: 4th – 2016: 2nd)
Even though Villareal fell two places from 2nd to 4th, the season was still a success as they qualified for the Champions League again. Juan Carlos Garrido again was the mastermind in leading the club to this achievement, no small feat considering the size of the club. Giuseppe Rossi was back to his goalscoring ways, leading the club in the category and winning its Player of the Year. Unfortunately, however, last year’s Player of the Year, Andrea Poli was struck with knee tendonitis, ruling him out for four months and allowing him to play in only 14 games. Taking his place in the midfield was free transfer signing Javier Mascherano – the 33 year old showed he still had a lot of football to offer, becoming one of the teams most important players during the season. Club captain Bruno, also 33 years old, again anchored the midfield, and remained one of the best at his position in the entire league.
Given their success under Garrido, it will be no surprise anymore if the club maintain their top four position next season, although it is a task proving to be more difficult with time. However, as long as the manager keeps making smart signings and bringing in the right players, Villareal should continue to thrive, and certainly the Champions League money will continue to flow.
The Rest of the League
Despite fine individual seasons from Alvaro Negredo and Armin Bacinovic, Sevilla once again failed to break into the top four, finishing in 5th Place….Falcao and Adam Ljajic, who was named in the La Liga Team of the Year, led Atletico Madrid to 6th Place….Valencia, who finished in 7th Place, were the second best defensive team in the league due to La Liga Team of the Year members, GK Diego Alves and Adil Rami….
Overall Team of the Year
Last edited by abulezz; 24-12-2011 at 12:36.
SERIE A REVIEW 2016/2017
Footballer of the Year: Mauro Formica, Inter Milan
Foreign Player of the Year: Mauro Formica, Inter Milan
Italian Player of the Year: Alessio Cerci, Fiorentina
Fans’ Player of the Year: Mauro Formica, Inter Milan
Goalkeeper of the Year: Emiliano Viviano, Inter Milan
Defender of the Year: Ivan Fatic, Chievo
Young Player of the Year: Nuno Guerreiro, Calgiari
Manager of the Year: Sersi Cosmi, Napoli
Sampdoria (2017: Champions – 2016: 4th)
Much like Udinese did in 2012, Sampdoria took Italy by complete surprise when it won the Serie A title this season. The signs were there, however – after finishing 3rd in 2015 and 4th in 2016, the club had proven itself as one of the best teams in Italy currently, and it all came together this season as they captured the title, dethroning two-time defending champions Inter Milan in the process. Since Tonino Manni bought the club in 2015 from Riccardo Garrone, he has poured in millions into the club, investing in the infrastructure by developing both youth and training facilities. The wisest thing he did, however, was retaining the services of manager Gianluca Atzori, the man that led Sampdoria out of the Serie B in 2012 and into top tier football. The strategy has been slow and steady since then, but Atzori put together a title winning squad this season without a single superstar – the entire team is made up of hardworking players that bought into the manager’s system and as a result, churned out a seemingly improbable title. This is only the second time in the club’s history they have won the Serie A, with the first being in 1991.
Atzori’s largest signing of the season came during the January window, paying Lille £10,250,000 for striker Magaye Gueye. The 27 year old French left winger did extremely well, scoring 8 goals in 16 appearances. His acquisition freed the Sampdoria Player of the Year, Giacomo Bonaventura, to play in the center of the field, getting named in the 2017 Serie A Team of the Year. The Italian international was acquired for £8,500,000 in 2015 from Lecce, and since then has become a central part of this team. Alongside him is club legend, and their former Player of the Year for the five years, Angelo Palombo – the 35 year old defensive midfielder, despite his age, appeared in 35 games for the club, distributing 7 assists. He has spent 16 years at Sampdoria, and holds the club record for league appearances with 498. On the right wing was Romanian Alexandru Chipciu – the 28 year old was not spectacular, but did his job solidly, much like the rest of the team.
Up front, Sampdoria’s leading scorer was Ji Dong-Won, who scored 12 league goals, a very average number by normal standards. However, the club led the league in goals scored with 71 goals, thanks to contributions of Julian Schieber and Andrija Kaludjerovic – none of them scored more than the South Korean, but together, they were the main reason the squad scored the way it did. In the back, £7,500,000 signing Floriant Lejuene and last year’s £10,250,000 signing Jordi Amat played well in front of GK Segio Romero, and together, they conceded the least goals in the Serie A. The best offensive and the best defensive team in the league was its champions. While very little people expect Sampdoria to defend its title successfully, especially with the way Inter Milan upgraded its team over the season, this was a big victory for the underdogs, and a feel good story that sent a very clear message – even if you don’t have amazing talent on your squad, you can still win through hard work, heart, and teamwork.
AC Milan (2017: 2nd – 2016: 8th)
In 2015, the most famous club in Italy finished the season in 12th place, the lowest it had finished since 1982 – while things improved a little bit in 2016, they still only managed to finish in 8th place, which was completely unacceptable by AC Milan standards. Then, in the summer of 2016, Silvio Berlusconi headed the reigns of the club over to new chairman Franco Baresi in an internal takeover, heralding a new era for the club. Carlo Ancelotti, hired in December of 2015 to replace Francesco Guidolin, remained as manager of the club, and together, Baresi and his manager brought the club back into prominence this season, finishing in 2nd Place to Sampdoria. A change in administration was all the club needed, it seemed, because the team that Carlo Ancelotti had at the end of the 2015/16 season remained largely unchanged through the 2016/17 season – the big difference, however, was the emergence of Xaropinho (Career Stats). The giant Brazilian striker, who is only 20 years old, lit the Serie A on fire once Ancelotti decided to throw him into the starting lineup, and failed to win AC Milan’s Player of the Year only because he did not appear in enough games. That honor went to central defender Matias Silvestre – the Paris Saint-Germain bound Italian international played the finest season of his career, highlighted by his 7.42 AR. Alongside Silvestre was Thiago Silva, one of Milan’s most consistent performers the past few years.
The weakest part of this AC Milan team was its midfield – other than Antonio Nocerino, there was not a single other player that lived up to expectations this season. Nocerino was Milan’s Player of the Year in 2016, and remained one of their most important players in 2016/17. Up front, however, is where Milan’s most talented players can be found – namely, the two Brazilians, Xaropinho and Pato. After three underwhelming seasons, Pato finally found his form alongside his Brazilian teammate, scoring 13 goals. The main story, though, was Xaropinho. He is Milan’s future, and has the potential to be perhaps the best striker in the world. As he goes next season, so will Ancelotti’s Milan team.
Juventus (2017: 3rd – 2016: 9th)
Once Italy’s best team in the 1990s and early 2000s, Juventus has since faded from the spotlight, dealing with bribery scandals in the mid 2000s that resulted in its relegation to the Serie B. The club never recovered since then, and sank to new lows in the mid 2010s, but under manager Ricardo Moniz, who was hired in 2016, the team found its way back to the top three of the league, despite featuring no stars to speak of. Moniz spent £34,000,000 on players during the season, with £10,000,000 going to Corinthians for Ruan and £6,250,000 to Barcelona for Thiago – both signings lived up to their price tags, especially the latter. On the other hand, however, £8,500,000 was spent on Airton from Shalke, but the defensive midfielder only appeared four times for the club and was a complete bust.
Their Player of the Year was Serbian Milos Krasic – the right winger won Juventus’ top award for the third time (2013, 2016, 2017), and has been perhaps their most important player the past few years, along with Giorgio Chiellini. Both players have stuck with the team through its rough patches, becoming club Icons in the process. Alongside Chiellini was Brazilian central defender Douglas, the former Serie A Player of the Year. He was voted to the Serie A Team of the Year in 2017, the third time he had been named in the team. With the presence of those two, Juventus was the second best team defensively in the Serie A, conceding only 38 goals.
With Krasic and Thiago playing well in the midfield, Mirko Vucinic contributed the goals up front, scoring 20 leagues goals, good enough to be the Serie A Top Goalscorer in 2017. He was also named to his first Serie A Team of the Year, having the best season of his career to date. The team did well with the talent it had, relying on its solid defense and Vucinic’s goals to push it to 3rd Place. The man who made it happen, Ricardo Moniz, left the club for Manchester United at the end of the season, and Juventus will start 2017/18 with Massimo Feccadenti as its manager.
Inter Milan (2017: 4th – 2016: Champions)
Widely considered the most talented team in Italy, they went into the season as heavy favorites to win their third straight Serie A title. They were already two time defending champions, and Nicolo Frustalupi, one of the most talented managers in the world, spent a staggering £86,000,000 over the course of the season. Somehow, the team ended in 4th Place, barely grabbing on to a Champions League spot. It is unclear what exactly happening, especially as their four big signings all did well. Felipe Anderson (£17,000,000), Ahmed Khalil (£18,000,000), Ruben Yttegard Jenssen (£21,500,000), and Stefan Bell (Career Stats) (£17,250,000) each became a big part of the team, and the latter was in especially solid form.
Mauro Formica, who has possibly been the best player in the league the past couple of seasons, again won Inter Milan’s Player of the Year, and although he did have a good season, it was not up to par with his previous ones. Jack Collison and Coutinho also had a good seasons, while Seydou Doumbia led the team in goals with 14 in the league. Critics are already chalking up the season as a blip, with most putting Inter Milan as favorites to reclaim the title in 2016/17. On paper, no other team in Italy compares to the talent they possess, and they have already proven themselves capable of being winners.
The Rest of the League
Another strong performance from Napoli, who finished in 5th Place, up from 7th in 2016….Cagliari continued to surprise, finishing in 6th Place thanks to reigning Serie A Young Player of the Year Nuno Guerreiro (Career Stats) and Alberto Paloschi….Roma disappointed, finishing in 8th Place, despite Andrea Bertolacci and Miralem Pjanic manning their midfield….The most disappointing team in the Serie A, however, was Fiorentina, who finished 8th despite Stevan Jovetic again being one of the best players in Italy. He has left for Arsenal in a £42,000,000 move….Lazio were relegated again, another big blow for what is historically one of the biggest clubs in Italy.
Overall Team of the Year
Last edited by abulezz; 23-12-2011 at 10:59.
FRENCH LIGUE 1 2016/2017 REVIEW
Player of the Year: Jimmy Briand, Lyonnais (30 Aps, 10 Goals, 9 Assists, 4 MotM, 7.33)
GK of the Year: Stephane Ruffier, Saint Ettiene (34 Aps, 51 Conceded, 4 Clean Sheets, 6.97)
Foreign Player of the Year: Jordan Ayew, Marseille (35 Aps, 20 Goals, 2 Assists, 5 MotM, 7.47)
Most Promising Player: Mattia Maffi, Bordeaux (On loan from Inter Milan) (33 Aps, 6 Goals, 2 Assists, 1 MotM, 6.77)
Manager of the Year: Francis Gillot, Saint Ettiene (7th Place)
Ligue 1 Best Team of All-Time
Last edited by abulezz; 23-12-2011 at 11:12.
GERMAN BUNDESLIGA 2016/2017 REVIEW
Player of the Year: Vladimir Weiss, Wolfsburg (31 Aps, 6 Goals, 12 Assists, 6 MotM, 7.76)
GK of the Year: Roman Weidenfeller, Dortmund (28 Aps, 26 Conceded, 11 Clean Sheets, 7.11)
Defender of the Year: Mats Hummels, Dortmund (26 Aps, 1 Goals,3 Assists, 4 MotM, 7.28)
Midfielder of the Year: Mario Gotze, Dortmund (31 Aps, 1 Goals, 8 Assists, 8 MotM, 7.71)
Striker of the Year: Brown Ideye, Bayern Munich (24 Aps, 10 Goals, 0 Assists, 2 MotM, 7.06)
Manager of the Year: Marco Pezzaiuoli, FC Koln (3rd Place)
Bundesliga Team of All-Time
Last edited by abulezz; 23-12-2011 at 11:44.
There definitely seems to be something up with the name Xarophino, it's just destined for stardom.
Great progression in your career so far. Good luck in the prem!
Last edited by roganp; 23-12-2011 at 19:59.
Bromley 2017/2018 Preview
Media Expectation: 20th Place, Relegation
Board Expectation: Avoid Relegation
Transfer Budget: £25,000,000 (Remaining: £0)
Wage Budget: £137,448 (Current: £128,318)
Estimated Value: £39,500,000 (Loan Debt: £17,000,000)
Season Ticket Holders: 1,828
Bank Balance: (£21,316,282)
Six years after taking over the club, Bromley is now in the Premier League, and I am one of the most sought after managers in the world, even got offered the Manchester United job before they gave it to Ricardo Moniz. We got promoted in style, winning the npower Championship league in just our second season, and now we find ourselves in familiar territory yet again, as supposedly the worst team in the league we’re in.
For once, the board really supported me and gave me a very generous transfer budget and a more than acceptable wage budget to work with, and I made full use of it. The team needs a lot of work in every aspect, and I did just that, bringing in some very talented youths that joined Musah and Magnusson in shaping the future of the squad. They started working on the Bromley Stadium a year later than they planned to, so the club will have to wait till 2019 before we move in.
Obviously, the goal will be just to survive the season without getting relegated, so anything over 18th Place will be viewed as a success. I am optimistic we can at least meet that goal, given that we were the best team in the npower Championship last year and we did a lot of upgrading this season in terms of transfer acquisitions. The board allowed me to put the club nearly £22,000,000 in the red, but I assume we’re going to make that back from the TV money and what not. We should at least be able to finish higher than the other two newly promoted sides, but nothing is a guarantee. The Premier League is eons ahead of the Championship in terms of talent, so it will be a fight. One, however, we are ready for!
Again, my focus was primarily on youth. We broke our transfer fee record by signing Gaucho for £9,500,000, and he was joined by Gilmar from Santos for £6,750,000 as our signings from Brazil. Igor Chuvalskiy and Lukas Kubik came from Russia and the Czech Republic fomr £3,700,000 and £5,000,000, respectively. Earlier in the offseason, I brought in Howard Thornton and Stelian Simu, both 16 year old midfielders, because I believe they could be useful squad players in a few years. I also added a couple of veteran signings in David Bentley and Sergio Sanchez – both will get good playing time as we lack depth at right back and right wing.
As for players that left the club, it was mostly a wage clearing project, with the likes of Patrick Twardzik, Nadir Bendahmane, Steven Saunders, and Aaron Mooy leaving the club on free. The latter was perhaps the most useful player of the four – the other three showed little during last season that suggested they could compete in the Premier League. Mooy gave us three good years as the starting right winger, but with the signings of Gilmar and Bentley, his wages were no longer justified.
Raffaele Di Gennaro: Signed in mid-September last season, he proved himself a capable GK, conceding 28 goals in 27 appearances. Whether he is good enough for the Premier League remains to be seen, but the 23 year GK will get his chance.
Andy Dixon: A Bromley youth academy graduate, he appeared in 11 games last season, conceded an impressive 9 goals and winning 2 MotM. The 21 year old has been with the club since 2011, and has continued to develop well. Development: 2015 – 2016 – 2017.
DL : Matthew Morgan: The 20 year old came to the club in 2015 as a free transfer signing, with the intent of adding depth to the position. He quickly became the starter at left back, and it speaks of the faith the club has in him that there was not any signings to compete for his playing time during the window. His 37 appearances last year were marked by consistency and solid defensive play. Development: 2015 – 2016 – 2017.
DC : Gaucho: The club’s record signing comes from Internacional from Brazil, costing £9,500,000. The 18 year old defender/midfielder has bundles of talent, however, and there is optimism that come the end of the season, he would have already justified his large price tag. A great overall player, he has fantastic technical ability as well as defensive prowess.
DC : Jesper Alberts: It is hard to believe that the Belgian central defender is still not 20 years old yet. Mature beyond his years, he also turned out to be quite a threat from set pieces last season, scoring 8 goals in the process. His talent, however, lays in his defense – he was the club’s finest defender in 2016/17 hands down. Still, he needs to improve his tackles – 1.88 Tackles per Game as a central defender was quite poor. [b]Development: January 2016 – 2017.
DR : Kevin Long: He is the vice-captain of the squad and one of the most influential members of the team. The Irishman has been switched between the center of the defense and the right back position, but now that there is good depth in the middle, he will start full-time on the right. The 27 year old has the ability to become a good Premier League player.
S : Alexandre: Came to the club on free last season in January, and immediately started alongside Alberts in the middle of the defense. This year, he will give up his starting to position to fellow Brazilian Gaucho, but will see loads of playing time as the third choice central defender.
S : Kieran Holland: The 16 year old has been called the brightest prospect to come out of the Bromley youth academy ever, but only time will prove whether that is true or not. He will be the second choice right back behind Kevin Long in a position the sorely lacks depth, so his chances should be plenty.
S : Paul Black: Came on in January for £250,000 from Oldham, the 27 year old English left back spent a lot of the time injured. Will cover Morgan and rotate with him throughout the season.
ML : Lukas Kubik: The 19 year cost the club £5,000,000 to acquire him from Czech club Jablonec – he has been a target for the past two years, and a deal was finally worked out to bring him over to London. Although left midfield is not a natural position of his, that is where he will start the season, with hopes that his technical ability and pace will bring out the best in him. He certainly can score, hitting 12 goals in 14 appearances for Czech club Mlada Boleslav last season on loan.
MC : Porvaldur Magnusson: While he is not the most prolific player in Bromley’s history (that honor goes to Law), Magnusson has certainly been the most talented to ever play at Hayes Lane. Again he was crowned the team’s Player of the Year, and he was also named the npower Championship Player of the Year, as well. His 18 assists certainly went a long way in helping the club win the league title, and now has been rewarded with the largest contract in club history. Development: 2015 – 2016 – 2017.
MC : Igor Chuvalskiy: He cost Bromley £3,700,000 from Spartak Moscow, but the central midfielder certainly looks the worth the price. He is a good all-around player, with fine defensive ability as well as good attacking ability, and the 19 year old will start alongside Magnusson in the center of the midfield.
MR : Gilmar: The second largest signing in Bromley history, he was bought this summer for £6,750,000 from Santos. This right winger has the potential to be one of the best in the Premier League, and will immediately start. He appeared 22 times for his former club last season, scoring 3 goals and delivering 3 assists.
S : Ebby Harwood: The 18 year old Bromley youth academy product has shown more ability than anyone expected of him, and his growth continues to impress. While he will not be the automatic starter at left wing anymore, he can be assured of lots of playing time – he played in 43 games for the club last season, scoring 4 goals and delivering 9 assists. Development: 2015 – 2016 – 2017.
S : Petar Skocibusic: The 17 year old Croat appeared in 29 games for the club last year, but for the most part, proved that he was not quite ready to start. Still very young, he showed signs of good improvement in his ability, and will be the third choice central midfielder this season. Development: 2016 – 2017.
S : David Bentley: The 32 year old former England international will rotate with young Gilmar at the right wing this season, adding much needed depth to the position. Signed on free after he was let go by Aston Villa, he has lost much of his pace but his technical skills remain.
F : Elliot Law: The captain of the squad, 23 year old Elliot Law has proven time and time again that he should not be underestimated. Although critics suggest, yet again, that he simply does not have talent to survive at this stage, I have learned not to bet against him. For that reason, I have held off on signing any forward this season, and after all he has done for us, he deserves his chance to fight in the Premier League. Development: 2015 – 2016 – 2017.
F : Emmanuel Musa: Although he spent large parts of his first season with the club on the injured list, the German/Ghanaian still was joint top scorer with 16 league goals for the club. He might know it yet, but I fully believe he will become one of the best players in the Premier League – the fact that he is only 19 years old but shows such fantastic ability has led me to believe, if he stays with us, that he will be the best player the club has seen put on its shirt. Development: 2016 – 2017.
S : Lovro Scrbec: His contributions last year cannot be oversold – simply put, when we were facing injury crisis after injury crisis, whether in the midfield or up front, it was Scrbec who covered us and did not allow our momentum to die. This season, he will be the third choice striker, but the 27 year Croatian should see plenty of action.
Last edited by abulezz; 24-12-2011 at 18:19.
Bromley September Update 2017/2018
Our Premier League debut was a rough one as we took a 4-1 hammering from Tottenham at White Hart Lane. Emmanuel Musah got our only goal, but GK Raffaele Di Gennaro’s performance was especially worrying. Shortly after the match, I made an offer for free agent Papa Coulibaly, Senegal’s first choice GK. A £9,000 weekly base salary was enough to persuade him to join, rejecting Italian champions Sampdoria in the process. It was a move I felt I had to make – after the Tottenham game, I had heavy doubts that Di Gennaro could hold his own against Premier League teams.
My move was justified, and we pulled off an impressive 1-1 draw away to West Brom, who did well last season, finishing 8th Place. Musah hit his second goal, and our team played well overall. Most importantly, Coulibaly was fantastic in his opening, and made some important saves for us. He did the same in our third match and our home debut against champions Manchester United, and we pulled off a fantastic 1-1 draw. Our captain Elliot Law scored his first Premier League goal, and I was extremely proud of my boys – we earned a point by being the Premier League champion’s equal through most of the match.
Against Manchester City, however, we got dominated – a 4-0 loss that was highlighted by our complete lack of control, giving away possession after possession in the midfield. Our defense was equally awful, but I had to take some part of the blame. I failed to see the threat Sabino Cavallari, and he ran circles around us as we focused on other, bigger name targets. He won the MotM, and was a big reason why we lost the way we did. The defeat left us in 17th Place with 2 points from our first 4 matches.
Our final match of the month was at home against Liverpool, and it was more of the same from the squad. We lost 2-0, but again, we were underwhelming in our performance. We barely put two passes together, and we had to face counter-attack after counter-attack from a clearly superior team. We ended our first full month of in the Premier League without winning a single match – our two points had us in 19th Place, in the relegation zone.
On the bright side, we won both our League Cup matches, so we were now in the Fourth Round. They were against weaker competition in Rochdale and Norwich, so they were games I expected us to win. We had to get better in the Premier League, however – it was a rough schedule to start the season off and we’ve had some bad results, but we had to find a way to turn things around.
Bromley October Update 2017/2018
Our month started at Goodison Park against Everton, and we lost 3-1. Emmanuel Musah scored our only goal, and Lukas Kubik got injured for two months with a sprained ankle. I didn’t know sprained ankle took two months to get over! Anyway, another terrible performance, another torrid defensive effort – it is becoming more obvious to me that something is not right with our back four. I am going to have sit down and restructure my tactics.
At home to Chelsea, we at least showed more initiative, although we still lost 1-0. It was getting very frustrating, but I was thankful that our opponents from here on in were of a much lesser caliber than we had been playing. We had fellow newcomers Reading next, and this was a match I fully expected us to gain our first win from.
Reading were doing well, much better than us, sitting in 14th Place with 5 points. Eight yellow cards (which came with a £25,000 fine), a red card for Matthew Morgan, and injuries to Ebby Harwood and Gilmar, both who were to be out for up to five weeks, were the cost of a 1-0 win at home, pushing up to 16th Place with 5 points. It was, perhaps, the ugliest football game I have played thus far in my career, and it did little to inspire confidence that we had broken our winless streak and were set to play better football as a team.
We would end the month with the Fourth Round League Cup match against Tottenham at home. Despite being heavy underdogs, we gave the same team that defeated us 4-1 at the beginning of the season quite a match, eventually losing 3-2. It was an entertaining affair, but I did not really care too much about our progress in this competition – I neither had the youth to give them a run in the tournament nor did I have enough players to compete on three levels, so I was not too disappointed with our loss.
Having someone who can score 20 goals is a huge bonus for a team battling relegation.
Bromley November Update 2017/2018
We faced off against a strong Fulham team at the beginning of November at Craven Cottage – led by manager Stale Solbakken, they finished last year in 10th Place, but easily looked like they could be a top seven team this year. They had gotten a total steal in Obinna Okoronkwo, acquiring him from Young Boys in Switzerland for £4,300,000, and possessed one of the best midfielders in the Premier League in Rasmus Elm. Needless to say, we lost 3-1, and we were lucky they only scored just three goals, because they had enough chances to make it five or six.
Next we were away to Swansea, who had survived in the Premier League the past six years despite being one of the favorites to go down in each season. Abdelzaher El Saka, the first ever Egyptian manager to do so in the Premier League, had been at the helm for just over a year now, and had the club in 15th Place, just about where they were predicted to be. They had Dejan Juric, whom they acquired from Dinamo Bucharest last season for £5,250,000 – the 21 year old Croatian striker was the present and future of the squad. Just two days before our match, I was hit with the news that our vice-captain Kevin Long suffered a double hernia during training, and was ruled out for three months. This meant that whether he was ready or not, young Bromley youth product Kieran Holland was going to get thrown into the starting lineup. In the second minute of the match, David Bentley got himself sent off with a straight red card, leaving us down one man for nearly the entire match. It ended 1-1, with Musah again scoring our goal. As for Holland, he proved himself quite capable, and was actually our second best player on the night after Musah, who won the MotM.
We finally went back to Hayes Lane against Bristol City, and this was a game I had high hopes for, even though they were in 12th Place and had recently thrashed Reading 5-0. I switched my line-up quite a bit, resting Law and Holland amongst others, starting Sanchez and throwing Scrbec up front to partner up Musah. It worked well, and we pulled off a 1-0 victory with Porvaldur Magnusson scoring our only goal and winning the MotM. Our star midfielder was not having an easy time adjusting to the Premier League, but the last couple of games, he had done much better.
After an international football break, we were up against Wolves at the Molineux – they had won promotion from the Championship in 2015 after being relegated in 2014 under manager Dave Jones, and finished 16th place last season. This year, they were sitting in 11th place with 16 points, so they were not going to be easy opponents to face. We lost the game 1-0, and it was an absolutely disgusting game. Alexandre got himself sent off in the dying minutes of the match thanks to a pointless tackle, seeing a straight red card. Earlier, Jesper Alberts suffered a twisted knee, and that ruled him out of the next five weeks.
Our final match of the month was at Hayes Lane against Aston Villa, a club in turmoil. Despite finishing in 7th place in 2016/17, the first full season under the ownership of Brendan Flood, all hell had broken loose this season – simply put, the team was not in a good place. Just one spot above relegation when they should be competing for a European spot, Flood sacked Mick McCarthy in early November and hired Alan Shearer, himself recently let go by Arsenal, to lead them back up the table. We continued to add to their misery, winning 3-1 in a fantastic win. Elliot Law finally found the back of the net after thirteen hours of going goalless – more importantly, though, was new signing Lukas Kubik scoring his first goal for the club. He has not had the best of starts, but hopefully this goal will have him pick up some momentum and start giving us better performances.
David Bentley made the announcement on the final day of the month that he was set to retire at the end of the season – in all honesty, he has not contributed the way I thought he would, and his attributes have declined drastically in the past few months. I’ll be glad to be rid of his £7,500 weekly salary!
Last edited by abulezz; 27-12-2011 at 17:35.
Hadn't really been following this thread, but at a quick glance, you've had a great journey and it's great to see you moving away from the relegation zone
Musah looks to be doing a good job so far, a goal every other game - is he your main striker? Or is it still Law as Musah looks absolutely quality!
Good news about Bentley then as well if he isn't producing the goods
Bromley December Update 2017/2018
We started the month off against Southampton, who were in an impressive 7th place. This was the club’s fourth straight year in the Premier League after being promoted in 2014. They outclassed, outhustled, and simply outplayed us in front of our home fans – they won 2-0, but honestly, our team deserved by a much larger margin.
Our next match was away to struggling Stoke – they had just changed ownership, and now had a new manager, Alan McDermott, at the helm. It was an evenly played game, but we took the lead through Igor Chuvalskiy in the second half – it was the Russian’s first league goal for the club. However, it was Chuvalskiy who rewarded Stoke a penalty late in the game, and it ended 1-1. Papa Coulibaly, our starting GK, was awarded the MotM after some fantastic saves kept our opponents at bay.
Against Sheffield Wednesday, we were surprisingly resilient, finishing with a 0-0 draw away from home – we could have even won if Gaucho had converted our penalty shot. Matthew Morgan took home the MotM after a fantastic performance down the left wing. This left us in 16th place, six points safe from Aston Villa in 18th place.
Up next we had Newcastle at home – they were led by Fitz Hall, and were in 13th place. This match, however, we made them look like they were world beaters, especially central defender Lewis Dunk, who scored a hat-trick against in the 3-1 loss. Leave it to our defense to concede 3 goals to a player who HAS NEVER SCORED IN HIS ENTIRE CAREER. Ridiculous stuff. We were so bad we did not have single player with a rating over 6.8. Our upcoming match against West Ham was postponed because of heavy snow at Hayes Lane.
The last game of the year was at home against Arsenal – a huge match for us as they were our London neighbors. They had spent £69,000,000 on new players this year, paying Fiorentina £42,000,000 for their superstar and club legend Stevan Jovetic. The 2015 Premier League champions were struggling this year, however, having fired Alan Shearer and hired Frank De Boer in late November. Now they found themselves in 6th place, ten points off of the top. We took a 2-0 lead in the first half and never looked back, winning the match 3-2 to secure our most famous victory of all-time. This is the same team that just lost 3-1 against Newcastle at home – it felt like the boys were coming of age in front of my eyes. Time will tell if that was the case, but for now, I am basking the full glory of this win, which left us in 15th place.
November 11th, 2017: Keith Humphreys successfully acquired Stoke City today, finalizing the deal that saw him buy the club from former owner Peter Coates. Humphreys was previously a minority shareholder at the club, so the acquisition was viewed as an internal takeover. Stoke have finished either 8th or 9th place in four of the past five seasons, with the exception of last season, when they finished 14th place. The club is currently managed by Nigel Pearson and estimated to be worth £35,500,000, although it does have a loan debt of £49,000,000. Note: Pearson was sacked on November 25th by the new owner, and was replaced by Alan McDermott.
November 11th, 2011: Following their 3-2 away loss to West Bromwich, Arsenal have sacked maanger Alan Shearer, having fallen to 7th place in the Premier League. The Premier League Manager of the Year in 2016 when he led Manchester City to the title, Shearer had been at Arsenal for just over eight months before getting the sack. Arsenal have hired Bayern Munich manager Frank De Boer to replace him – the Dutch legend took over the German club in July of 2016, and led them back to the German Bundesliga title in his first year in charge of the club. In turn, Bayern Munich hired former Mons Iver Mjelde, signing him from Frankfurt.
November 23rd, 2011: Almeria were bought by Mariusz Olszewski today, who acquired the club from Arkadiusz Onyszko in an internal takeover. The club won promotion back to the La Liga after spending one year in the Liga adelante, and are currently in an impressive 7th place. The club is estimated to be worth £32,000,000, and has a loan debt of £15,000,000.
Last edited by abulezz; 28-12-2011 at 07:09.
A 5000 seat stadium for the Premiership ;) Glad you've got a new one coming soon!
Hope you can expand it as well.
You threw me out by craftily naming the December update as 'October'.
Although near the bottom I'm sure you knew it was going to be tough. You're a few points off the drop zone though and appear to be getting good results against the teams around you. Overall I'd be happy with the start. Musah not scored for a while though, needs to buck his ideas up.
Just about holding your own, but what a great result against Arsenal
Just keeping things together.
U20 WORLD CUP 2017 – SWITZERLAND
There were no major surprises in the Group Stages of the U20 World 2017, and things went off without a hitch for the world’s major footballing nations. Saudi Arabia managing to qualify first in Group F, ahead of Italy, was perhaps the biggest shock – otherwise, it was business as usual. Three time defending champions Brazil, who naturally were the favorites to retain the trophy, won all three of their games, scoring nine goals and conceding none. Once again, they looked like they were going to obliterate all competition in front of them. 2015 Runner-Up Chile also made it to the Second Round, albeit just barely, qualifying third in Group B behind Argentina and Nigeria.
This is where the upsets started – the Brazilians were knocked out by Holland on penalties, while Chile were thrown out in extra-time by Iran. Uruguay defeated their southern neighbors Argentina, and Saudi Arabia qualified to the Quarter-Finals by defeating the hosts, Switzerland, on penalties. The two players who would end being the second and third leading goalscorers in the tournament, Brazilian striker Cabral (5 goals), and French striker Luc Granier (4 goals), both exited in the Second Round, with the former winning the Best Player award.
The Quarter-Finals was the end of the road for the Middle Eastern teams, with Iran and Saudi Arabia exiting at the hands of Uruguay and Holland, respectively. Italy would defeat the Americans 3-1, and England defeated Tunisia 2-1. The English were led by striker Carl Marshall, who ended up leading the tournament in scoring with 6 goals and should have been given its Best Player award.
SEMI-FINALS & FINALS
In a much anticipated match, Italy defeated England 3-0 in the Semi-Finals, setting up a matchup with Holland in the Finals, who had defeated Uruguay. The Italians had Carlo Tulli in their ranks, and he would go on to be the Runner-Up in the Best Player award. As for the Dutch, their finest player was their GK, Bas De Boer, who won the Golden Glove award. Holland would defeat Italy in the Finals 2-0, capturing the U20 World Cup for the first time in their history, and stopping Brazil’s title winning streak at three.
BEST PLAYER: Cabral (4 Appearances, 5 Goals, 2 Assists, 8.13) – Lyonnais’ 19 year old striker was outstanding when he played, but the trouble was that Brazil were knocked out in the Second Round, with calls going out that England’s Carl Marshall should have won it. Still, through the first two rounds, there was no better player, displaying power and speed that overmatched every defense he came up against.
BEST GOALKEEPER: Bas De Boer (6 Aps, 3 Conceded, 4 Clean Sheets, 7.25) – The 20 year old goalkeeper was the main reason a Dutch side that were widely considered to be Second Round fodder at best ended up winning the U20 World Cup. There have been arguments made that he also deserved the Best Player award, but there was no doubting who the best GK in the tournament was.
EUROPEAN U21 CHAMPIONSHIP 2017 – ENGLAND
Holland were perhaps the best team in the Group Stages, qualifying out of Group A with relative ease, while Greece took 2nd Place, ahead of Hungary and Austria. In Group B, it was England who topped the group, although Croatia were also impressive. Turkey and Denmark were knocked out in the process. The Semi-Finals were an exciting affair, with Holland coming out 4-0 winners against Croatia, while the hosts played out an epic match against the Greeks, finally advancing to the Finals after a 5-3 extra-time victory. The Finals were equally as exciting, and it was Holland who would win against England 4-3, with a brace from the tournament’s leading goalscorer (4 goals) and best player, Sander Kooiman. Holland’s other goalscorers in the Finals, Nick Lammers and Kevin Hofman (who made an £18,250,000 move to Manchester City from Chelsea after the tournament), were also its finest players along with the striker. For England, Barry Olayinka was their finest player, and nearly led them to the title.
Got this guy off of the Free Transfer list - I think he could be a great contributor!
Also is there any chance of seeing a update on David Corrigan? Has his career taken off at milan yet or as he been shipped off somewhere else?
David Corrigan's career has stalled somewhat - here is his development through the years:
October 2013, two months before being sold to AC Milan
August 2015, after his loan spell with Heerenveen
January 2018, with his new club Newcastle
David Corrigan's career stats
Bromley January Update 2017/2018
We started 2018 playing the top team in the Premier League, Tottenham. Their offense was unstoppable – Edison Cavani was not only the best player in the Premier League this season, but he was on pace to absolutely destroy the league’s record goals scored by a single player, having scored an amazing 26 goals in 18 appearances. We survived the first half without conceding a goal, going into the second half with a 0-0 scoreline.
Remember how I said the boys looked like they were coming of age against Arsenal? Well, they were playing their second game in as many days – they were tired, injured, and in need of rest. They held their own as the potent force in league offensively in the first half, one that destroyed us 4-1 in our first ever Premier League match, but it looked unlikely they would do the same in the second half. The boys, however, had a different plan – when no one believed in them, not even their own manager, they rose to the occasion and responded with every Tottenham attack with one of their own. Shot for shot, it kept going the entire half when finally, in the 89th minute, Lukas Kubik shot a screamer from just outside the box and gave us the 1-0 victory. I don’t think I have ever been prouder of some pixels and names since I started playing FM in 1998. I am writing this from inside a plane, heading to China, and I think I just woke up half the cabin with my victory shout when Kubik scored. I haven’t felt like this about a win in this game in a long, long time. Truly a special victory.
We had Aston Villa away from home next – they were struggling in 17th Place, and I did not want to do them any favors. They took the lead, but yet again, the boys showed poise and patience, and we ran out 2-1 winners, with Musah having a great game, scoring a goal and getting a 9.0 AR. Our third straight win how had us in a respectable 13th Place, twelve points ahead of Stoke in 18th Place. It was starting to look like we were going to survive the drop this year.
In order to reduce the wage budget a little bit and put some cash back into our accounts, I sold GK Raffaele Di Gennaro for £1,000,000 to Sampdoria – he was not the first choice anymore, and was starting to make noise about receiving more playing time. It was a deal that was best for both sides, although I am not quick to forget his contributions last season. I also managed to get £275,000 for 2017 youth intake Charalabos Misailidis – I did not see him becoming good enough to be part of the team, and Sheffield Wednesday’s offer was more than generous. Finally, I let go of wage burden Massimo Luongo, paying him close to £50,000 but opening quite a bit of space in the wage budget.
Our next match was at home to West Ham, and the team continued their top form by making it four wins in a row. This was our finest performance all season, winning the match 4-0, with captain Elliot Law scoring a brace and the MotM going to Lukas Kubik, who scored a goal and delivered an assist. We were far and wide the better team, and we played extremely attractive and fluid football. With everyone in the league having played 21 games, we were not situated in 10th Place, a good fifteen points off of the relegation zone.
After a solid FA Cup victory against Rotherham, we faced West Bromwich at home. They were not doing as well as last year and were currently in 12th Place, two spots below us. We had drawn against them in our first game, and I was hoping this time we could take away three points from them. We were absolutely the better team in the first half, but two counter-attacks led to two goals from their striker Vedran Vinko, who was mercifully substituted at the end of the half. We simply had no answer for him. Musah and Chuvalskiy were our goalscorers as we ended the half 2-2. Frustratingly, that’s how the match ended, despite more of the same in the second half. To make matters worse, Chuvalskiy was ruled out with a sprained wrist he had picked up during the match for the two weeks. A few days later, I signed Brazilian midfielder Diego on free for a £6,750 base weekly salary. He was too talented not to pick up, and I imagined he would do well playing alongside Magnusson and Chuvalskiy in the midfield.
Our final match of the month was at Old Trafford, away to champions Manchester United. They were led by Javier Hernandez, who was just behind Cavani in the league goalscoring charts with 22 goals in 22 appearances, and they had just bought Jack Wilshere for £18,250,000 from Arsenal. It was an absolutely terrible performance – honestly, I do not know why the team decided to show up at all today. Manchester United should have been ashamed of themselves for only beating us 3-0, because we were worthless. Where was the team that defeated Arsenal and Tottenham? Certainly not in Old Trafford on this night.
Despite how it ended, we were great overall this month. We advanced a few places in the table, and the victory against Tottenham was amazing. The boys are certainly turning into men in front of our eyes, and at a rapid pace. Hopefully, Diego will be able to add some creativity to the center of the midfield, and deliver some much needed assists to the frontline.
Last edited by abulezz; 29-12-2011 at 02:57.
Great run - it's good to see you climbing the table
You should get 40 points in no time and survive no problem on that form!
Survival should be definitely attainable. I would think a top ten finish may be a good goal
Definitely clicking a bit now.
Looking good for survival
This was the most active season, in terms of sheer amount of money being spent, in recent memory. Almost all the big clubs had one or more large transfer, and almost £70,000,000 worth of players being sold by Shakhtar Donetsk alone. Jovetic and Piatti were signed for more than £40,000,000 each, making them two of the most expensive signings of all-time. But it did not stop there – there were eight signings that cost more than £20,000,000, a huge number by any standard. Below you will find a quick review of the transfers that took place in both the summer and January transfer windows.
Stevan Jovetic: A Fiorentina legend, he was sold to Arsenal for £42,000,000 in the summer. One of the best players on the planet the past few years, he was the driving force behind Fiorentina’s Champions League title winning squad in 2015. He has done well for Arsenal this season, scoring 11 goals in 22 appearances for the club.
Pablo Piatti: The talented Argentine was bought for a staggering £41,500,000 by Chelsea from Valencia in the summer. While in Spain, he became one of Valencia’s most important players, although many have questioned why Chelsea paid so much for the 28 year old midfielder. In 21 appearances this season, he has scored 4 goals and delivered 4 assists for his new club, which are paying him £175,000 a week.
Vladimir Weiss: Signed in January, Weiss cost Liverpool £35,500,000 to acquire from Wolfsburg. He came to the German club in 2014 for £6,750,000, steadily improving since then, culminating in a sensational 2016/17 season where he won the German Player of the Year. He was also named to his second straight German Bundesliga Team of the Year, and won the Wolfsburg Player of the Year. Before making the move to Liverpool, he was top performer in the Bundesliga this season with an 8.03 AR, having scored 4 goals and handed out 6 assists in 15 appearances.
Willian: Bought by Lyonnais in the summer for £24,500,000, the Brazilian was a Shakhtar legend, spending ten years at the club and becoming possibly their best player of all time. He captured the Ukrainian league title seven times – so far this season for Lyonnais, he has played in 20 games, scoring 7 goals and delivering 8 assists while recording a 7.91 AR. He won the Ukrainian League’s Foreign Player of the Year award twice (2011, 2015).
Moussa Sissoko: Manchester United acquired him from Marseille for £24,000,000 in the summer – it was almost the same price that the French club paid Toulouse in 2014. Sissoko was part of the French Ligue 1 title winning squad in 2016, and had a 7.32 AR.
Fabio Coentrao: No one is quite clear as to why Real Madrid decided to let the Portuguese go for £22,500,000 to Manchester United, but that is what happened. He had been one of the best players in Spain, even winning the Real Madrid Player of the Year in 2016. He won the La Liga title twice (2013, 2017) and the Champions League twice (2014, 2017) with the Spanish club.
Roderick Miranda: Manchester United paid Malaga £20,500,000 for the 26 year old Portuguese defender in January – a fee that many have felt was a vast overpayment for a player that has not achieved much. He was having a decent season at Malaga before being bought – in 19 appearances, he had a 7.02 AR. He was initially bought by Malaga in 2015 from Benfica for £5,000,000.
Taras Stepanenko: Manchester City bought him from Shakhtar in the summer for £20,500,000. He spent seven years with Shakhtar, winning the Ukrainian league five times – so far this season, he has played in 20 games for his new club, recording a 7.19 AR.
Jack Wilshere: Manchester United’s second big signing in the January window, they acquired Wilshere from Arsenal for £18,750,000 in a shock move. The 26 year old England international was part of the Arsenal team that were crowned 2015 Premier League champions – in 18 appearances this season, he had 6 goals and 5 assists while recording a 7.21 AR.
Daniel Correa: Inter Milan beefed up their front line, acquiring Correa from Real Sociedad for £18,250,000. The 22 year old Uruguayan was bought by the Spanish club in 2015 for £2,800,000, and blossomed into a star in 2016/17, scoring 19 goals in 35 appearances. Before moving to Italy, he had scored 8 goals in 10 appearances this season, recording a 7.58 AR.
Kevin Hofman: Bought by Manchester City from rivals Chelsea in the summer for £18,250,000, the Dutch international has been outstanding for his new club. He was initially bought by Chelsea in 2012 for £2,000,000 from Ajax. He was part of the Holland team that captured the Euro U21 Championship title in 2017.
Nicolas Otamendi: Barcelona acquired the 29 year old Argentine defender from Porto for £17,250,000 in the summer. He was named the Portuguese League Central Defender of the Year four times (2013, 2105, 2016, 2017), and won the Portuguese League once in 2015. He was named in the Portuguese League Team of the Year six straight times, and was team’s Player of the Year last season. He is widely considered to be the best defender to have graced the Portuguese League this decade.
Neuton: Chelsea acquired the defender for £16,750,000 from French champions Lyonnais in the January window. Bought by the French club in 2016 from Almeria for £6,750,000, he was averaging 4.81 TpG and 7.07 AR before moving to England this season. He was part of the Udinese team that captured the Serie A title in 2012, and won the French Ligue 1 last season with Lyonnais.
Elber Escobar: Chelsea bought the 24 year old Ecuadorian defender from Argentinean club Boca Juniors for £16,750,000 in the summer. He won the Copa Sudamericana in 2015 with the club and the Argentine Premier Division in 2017 before moving on to England. He’s been decent at the club thus far, appearing in 21 games and recording a 6.96 AR.
Gaston Ramirez: Just one and a half years after bringing him to England, Manchester United sold Ramirez for £15,500,000 to Dortmund. They originally bought him for £18,500,000 from Palermo, and he gave them a solid season in 2016/17, playing in 32 games, scoring 11 goals, and recording a 7.17 AR. He was doing decent this season for them, appearing in 10 games and delivering 5 assists – why they chose to sell him at a loss is still a mystery. He won the Premier League title with Man United in 2017.
Pavel Nyiakaichyk: Marseilled acquired the Belarusian international for £15,250,000 from Dinamo Moscow. From 2012 to 2016, he won the Dinamo Moscow Player of the Year five straight times, as well as getting named to the Russian Premier Division Team of the Year those years, as well.
Yaroslav Rakitskyi: Another Shakhtar export this season, Arsenal bought him for £15,250,000. Also part of the most successful stretch in Shakhtar history, he won the Ukrainian League six times with his former club. He was also part of the team that took Shakhtar to the Semi-Finals of the Champions League in 2012.
Serge Aurier: Shakhtar’s only big signing this season after dismantling its all-conquering team, Aurier came from French club Lens for £14,750,000. He won the African Cup of Nations with his home country of Ivory Coast in 2017, and was Lens Player of the Year in 2015.
Mateo Kovacevic: This talented Croatian came from Dinamo to Bayern Munich for £13,750,000 – he has not has the best of starts in Germany, however, showcasing inconsistent form. He was a star for Dinamo, winning the Croatian League six times, and was also part of the Croatian national team that won the European U21 Championship in 2013.
Gary Gardner: Arsenal bought the English midfielder from Swansea for £13,250,000 in the January window, just one and a half years after Swansea had acquired him from Sunderland for £10,750,000. He was having an average season for Swansea before moving to Arsenal, appearing 16 games and handing out 4 assists. He was crowned the 2014 Championship Young Player of the Year with Portsmouth, before his move to Sunderland.
Steve Hughes: The highly touted English prospect left Manchester United for £12,750,000, joining Tottenham in London. His contract was due to be up at the end of the season, and the club and player failed to agree on terms, which led to Man United finally selling him instead of risking losing him for nothing. The 21 year old right back is considered one of the top young talents in England, and he won the Premier League title last season with Man United.
Congrats on the two massive wins and unlucky on the Utd result!
CHAMPIONS CUP 2017/2018
Group A: The defending champions Real Madrid had little trouble topping the group, but Austrian champions Salzburg surprised Shakhtar and joined Madrid in the Second Round, despite conceding 13 goals. Spartak Moscow were miserable, managing to get a single point from six games.
Group B: In one of the most surprising results in recent years, PAOK qualified in front of German champions Bayern Munich and French heavyweights Lille, joining AC Milan in the Second Round. Bayern Munich’s elimination continued to highlight the failure of German clubs in the competition the past decade, just one year after the club topped its group last season.
Group C: Manchester United topped the group without losing a single game, but the surprise was Benfica beating out Italian Serie A champions Sampdoria for the second spot. FC Twente finished last, having won only one game.
Group D: This was a pretty straight forward group, with Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool topping the group at the expense of Malaga and Standard Leige. The former was especially disappointing, considering they were only able to win one game.
Group E: Tottenham, who have been beaten in the Finals the past two seasons, topped the group, while Dortmund finally got over their hump and made it to the Second Round. Juventus were unable to compete, finishing third and conceding 10 goals, while FC Zurich finished in last place.
Group F: This was an easy group for Lyonnais, who topped the group. The real battle was for second place, and FC Kobenhavn won that one, knocking out Fenerbache and Sparta Prague.
Group G: Arsenal topped the group, and were joined by Semi-Finalists CSKA Moscow in the Second Round, knocking out Vitesse and a disappointing Celtic side. Arsenal were also beaten Semi-Finalists in 2017.
Group H: Barcelona topped the group in their quest to reclaim the Champions League trophy from their rivals Real Madrid, and were joined by Sporting. Inter Milan were hugely disappointing in their exit, and Dinamo Bucharest were also knocked out.
Bromley February Update 2017/2018
A solid FA Cup Fourth Round victory over Burnley was followed by a home game against Manchester City. They had the highest payroll in the Premier League, spending £124,000,000 on salaries, as compared to Bromley, which spent £7,150,000. Under the management of Andre Villas-Boas, Man City had put the drama of last season behind them, and were currently battling Tottenham for 1st Place in the Premier League. They had the best defense in the league, conceding only 13 goals in 23 games. It was Hulk who destroyed us in the first half, scoring a brace and generally owning us down the left wing. We went into the second half down 2-1, with Emmanuel Musah having picked up a knock early in the half. Hulk ended up winning the MotM, and the match finished with the same result. I couldn’t fault my boys too much – Man City are simply formidable. Their starting eleven could pass as the World Team of the Year. After the game, Musah was ruled out for six weeks with a pulled hamstring – terrible news for us as he was our top scorer.
Next we had Everton at home – like us, they were in the middle of table, safe from relegation but too far off to realistic challenge for a spot in Europe. They were a strong team compared to us, but I was hoping for three points, nonetheless. The team, however, wanted to make a point – what transpired was eclipsed the Arsenal match as the most famous victory in the history of the club. We absolutely decimated them, running out 5-1 winners in front of our home fans. Left winger (and Bromley youth product) Ebby Harwood scored a brace and won the MotM in a scintillating performance down the left flank – he continues to develop and has got to rank as the second best player, behind Elliot Law (who grabbed a goal of his own), to ever come out of the Bromley youth academy. What a victory!
We travelled north to Liverpool for our next match, facing a team that was in 7th Place in the Premier League, a disappointing position for one of the Big Six clubs. They had recently spent £35,500,000 on Vladimir Weiss, but manager Malkay Mackay was having trouble motivating the Runners-Up last season to perform as expected of them. They decided to make an example of us, however, and we were down 3-0 inside 45 minutes. Luis Suarez got himself sent off just before half-time, but it did not matter – we were atrocious. We ended up losing 4-0, a scoreline we thoroughly deserved. From winning 5-1 to losing 4-0, what in the world is up with this team?
We did not fare much better in our FA Cup Fifth Round match against Leeds, barely maintaining a draw away from home. The scoreline ended 2-2, but we deserved to lose this match – where did the heart go? Was Musah’s absence that much of an issue? We had beaten Everton 5-1 without him, so why were we playing this way? We ended our month in the worst possible – low morale and on a winless streak. Hopefully, March would bring with it better luck and better form.
A top 10 finish still looks very possible! Great season so far.
A pretty worthless youth intake - here's the best of the bunch (by far):
Looking like a great season.
Going great in the top flight and looks like you spent your money wisely in the summer.
I can't quite believe how few points the teams at the bottom of the table have. Definitely an advantage for you, as you're probably safe from relegation now
Bromley March Update 2017/2018
We started of the month in dire fashion against Chelsea – we went to Stamford Bridge and lost 2-0. There wasn’t much to comment on, other than the fact that we were experiencing some rugged form. I was hoping that would change at Hayes Lane against impressive Fulham, who were the best team outside of the Big Six this season. On our best day, we have proven that we can compete with the best – this, however, was not one of those days. We lost 3-0 in front of our home crowd thanks to some atrocious defending and complete lack of imagination by our strikers. I could not wait to get this game over with, and by the 60th minute, I just found myself time would go a little bit faster. One of our worst performances ever.
Reading were next – this a team that was promoted alongside us, but were having a much more difficult season. We were facing them at the Madejski, where they had a history of beating us properly, as witnessed by our 4-0 and 3-1 losses to them within the last two years. This time, however, we would fight it out to a 1-1 draw, although we were the better team, it had to be said. Musah scored our goal, but we had our young left wing protégé Ebby Harwood get injured with a twisted ankle that would rule him out of the next seven weeks. We faced Norwich in the FA Cup Sixth Round next, and we came away 5-1 winners at Hayes Lane, with Musah and Kubik both scoring braces. Where were these types of performances in the league?!
The draw for the Semi-Finals of the FA Cup came out a few days later – now, I must admit, I was not following the cup as much as I should have, otherwise I would have realized that remaining teams were Sunderland, Brighton, Bristol City, and us! We drew Championship outfit Sunderland – regardless of who we faced, we had a great chance of not only getting to the Finals, but of winning the entire thing!
We had Swansea at home next, and this was a match I really wanted to win. Our form was taking a battering, and it was a perfect chance to right the ship. My defense, however, had other plans – we lost 3-2 thanks to some torrid defending, and we looked nothing like the team that took away two wins against Tottenham and Arsenal at the beginning of the year. This was a disaster of a match – there was no reason we should have lost against a team that is considered no more than our equal, at home no less. I was getting frustrated.
I decided to have a team meeting a day before going away to face Bristol City, and it must have worked on Kubik, because inside 25 minutes, he scored a brace for us. They hit us back at the stroke of half-time, so we went into the dressing room with a 2-1 lead. Our starting GK Papa Coulibaly was away on international duty, so the pressure was on Andy Dixon – this was only his second appearance all year. Five minutes into the second half, we were gifted a penalty, which Gilmar put away with full confidence. I refused to get my hopes up at this point, but I was starting to feel we could end our month off on a positive note with a win we desperately needed. Alas, as I expected, they hit us with two quick goals, and the match ended in a 3-3 draw – a great result for the neutrals, but one that left us potentially only seven points away from the relegation zone.
All in all, this was an extremely frustrating month – the only positives were Musah’s form and the fact we had a very real chance of winning the FA Cup. But our league form was terrible, and it is something that HAS to improve as we enter the final stretch of the season. It simply will not do for us to get bogged down in a relegation fight after we had done so well to stay in the mid-table this season.
CHAMPIONS CUP 2017/2018
Liverpool vs. AC Milan (4 - 3)
First Leg – Anfield, Liverpool (Att: 45,362): Both teams were back in the Champions League after not qualifying last season, both teams were Runners-Up in their domestic leagues last season, and both teams were in 6th Place this year. In other words, two extremely even teams were matched up together on paper. However, it was the home team that came out on top, thanks to a MotM performance from GK Jose Manuel Reina. The Liverpool legend managed to keep a clean sheet for his team, and the club managed to do the job offensively, scoring two goals to give them a sizable lead heading into Italy for the second leg.
Liverpool: 2 (Eriksen, Suarez)
AC Milan: 0
Second Leg – San Siro, Milan (Att: 73,549): An exciting second leg went in favor of the home side, but Liverpool qualified to the Quarter-Finals on aggregate. Pato scored a fantastic brace while Brazilian rising star Xaropinho also pitched in, but Luis Suarez’s second goal of the tie finalized the deal and sent Milan packing. The MotM was Pato after his two goals, but it was not enough on this day.
AC Milan: 3 (Pato (2), Xaropinho)
Liverpool: 2 (Cabaye, Suarez)
Benfica vs. Real Madrid (3 - 1)
First Leg – Estadio da Luz, Lisbon (Att: 65,647): The defending champions were shocked by the Portuguese champions, who were the better team in front of their home crowd. A spectacular performance by young Albanian central defender Erjon Licaj, who scored a goal and recorded an 8.9 AR, was the catalyst to Benfica’s famous win. The rest of the defense also played extremely well, resulting in a clean sheet against one of the most potent offensive forces in the world.
Benfica: 1 (Licaj)
Real Madrid: 0
Second Leg – Santiago Bernebau, Madrid (Att: 90,564): A huge shock of a result as Benfica stole the show in Madrid, winning 2-1 and knocking out the defending champions. Madrid, much like the first leg, looked uninspired and tired, and their offense was once again kept under control by the Benfica defense. John Obi Mikel captured the MotM, delivering an assist and recording a 8.3 AR. Madrid’s exit sent shockwaves around the footballing world, as they were the favorites to retain the Champions League trophy.
Real Madrid: 1 (Ozil)
Benfica: 2 (Pereyra, Roux)
CSKA Moscow vs. Paris Saint-Germain (0 - 4)
First Leg – CSKA-Peschanoye, Moscow (Att: 35,000): Semi-Finalists in 2017, CSKA Moscow was hoping for another surprising run, but were given a rude wake-up call by the current French Ligue 1 leaders. Diego Perotti scored midway through the first half, and it was to be the only goal of the game, as Moscow were shut out at home. The MotM was PSG captain Javier Pastore, who recorded an 8.0 AR for the French club.
CSKA Moscow: 0
Paris Saint-Germain: 1 (Perotti)
Second Leg – Parc des Princes, Paris (Att: 46,982): After losing at home, Moscow seemingly gave up hope, and PSG dominated the match in Paris, sending them to the Quarter-Finals of the competition. It was a great all-around performance from the French club, and defender Mamadou Sakho was given the MotM for the great game he played at the heart of the defense.
Paris Saint-Germain: 3 (Schelotto, Pastore, Macheda)
CSKA Moscow: 0
Sporting Lisbon vs. Manchester United (0 - 4)
First Leg – Estadio Jose Alvalade Seculo XXI, Lisbon (Att: 49,036): Back in Champions League action after failing to qualify last year, Manchester United were all business. One of the most dominant teams in Europe the past ten years, having reached the Finals on five occasions and winning the competition in 2008, they did not miss a step, dominating the match in Portugal and coming away 3-0 winners. Sporting were extremely poor on the night, and the fact that Man United only had 4 shots on goal and converted 3 of them speaks loudly. They also had 61% of the possession, mostly due the dominance in the midfield, and the superb play of Eden Hazard, who had an assist, 8.6 AR, an won the MotM.
Manchester United: 3 (Rooney, Badelj, Hernandez)
Second Leg – Old Trafford, Manchester (Att: 86,712): Playing at home, Manchester United were in second gear all game long, but to their credit, they were never threatened by a vastly inferior Sporting team. A single goal was scored in the match, giving Manchester the victory both in the game and in the tie. Eden Hazard again captured the MotM, proving himself to be the most influential player in the tie on both sides.
Manchester United: 1 (Sousa)
Dortmund vs. Lyonnais (1 - 3)
First Leg – Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund (Att: 65,289): This was one of the more high profile matchups in the Second Round, and it did not fail to disappoint in its first leg. The match itself was even, and the 1-1 scoreline was a fair one. Lyonnais struck first, and it was their Armenian midfielder Henrick Mkhitaryan who won the MotM with a 7.7 AR. Dortmund would be disappointed that they could not manage a win on home soil.
Dortmund: 1 (Schmelzer)
Lyonnais: 1 (Belfodil)
Second Leg – Stade de Lumieres, Lyon (Att: ): Dortmund were disappointing in the second leg in France, falling meekly to Lyonnais 2-0, who did not look their best, either. Still, it was another season of underachievement for the German side, who had been knocked out in the Group Stages twice in a row prior to this season. Mkhitaryan again won the MotM as he was behind both goals, controlling the midfield with great poise and ease.
Lyonnais: 2 (Belfodil, Ait Fana)
POAK vs. Tottenham (1 - 6)
First Leg – Toumba, Salonika (Att: 28,701): There were no surprises here, as Tottenham, who have been competing at the top of the English Premier League table all season, ran out easy winners, 3-1. It was a good all-around performance, and superstar left winger Gareth Bale grabbed the MotM, handing out 1 assist and getting a 9.0 AR.
POAK: 1 (Papasterianos)
Tottenham: 3 (Rondon, Shawcross, Sandro)
Second Leg – White Hart Lane, London (Att: ): It was business as usual for Tottenham in their bid to advance to their third straight Champions League Finals, defeating POAK at home 3-0 in convincing fashion. Defender Ryan Shawcross got his second goal of the tie, as did Salomon Rondon, and the former also won the MotM due to his near perfect performance (9.3 AR).
Tottenham: 3 (Bale, Shawcross, Rondon)
FC Kobenhavn vs. Barcelona (1 - 5)
First Leg – Parken, Copenhagen (Att: 38,922): An impressive performance by Barcelona away from home was led by MotM Alan Dzagoev, who scored a goal, dished out an assist, and recorded an 8.9 AR. Substitute Bojan scored a brace as well, and it was generally an easy game for the Spanish team, who are on a mission to prove that the most successful and greatest club squad ever assembled was not through just yet.
FC Kobenhavn: 0
Barcelona: 3 (Bojan (2), Dzagoev)
Second Leg – Nou Camp, Barcelona (Att: 86,107): This was not quite the performance Barcelona wanted, but they ended up with the result they needed, winning the match 2-1. It was actually FC Kobenhavn who shocked the home crowd and struck first, but the Spanish club countered with two quick goals before the end of the first half, and that is how it stayed. Alexis Sanchez captured the MotM, but again it was Dzagoev who caught the eye, scoring yet another goal for his club.
Barcelona: 2 (Sigurdsson, Dzagoev)
FC Kobenhavn: 1 (Christiansen)
FC Salzburg vs. Arsenal (1 - 5)
First Leg – Red Bull Arena, Salzburg (Att: 29,800): Arsenal were poor in their win away from home over Salzburg – they had one chance at goal, and they took it. MotM Marek Hamsik was the only standout performer from either side, scoring the game’s only goal. A thoroughly disappointing and drab affair that showcased the worst of both teams.
FC Salzburg: 0
Arsenal: 1 (Hamsik)
Second Leg – Emirates Stadium, London (Att: 59,815): There was no repeat of the awfulness the overcame Arsenal in Austria, as the English club ran out 4-1 winners in a dominant display by its midfield. Salzburg were completely out of their depth, and only scored because they were awarded a penalty in the dying minutes of the match. Stevan Jovetic was especially impressive, winning the MotM after scoring a goal and recording an 8.9 AR.
Arsenal: 4 (Jovetic, Hamsik, Ramsey, Griezmann)
FC Salzburg: 1 (Alan)
I can't see any of the bottom three making up a 10+ points lead in eight games on you, but I agree it can be so frustrating to seemingly throw away a very strong campaign. It'll be easy to be quite annoyed by survival if you do it by falling over the line though, I've been there.
DIJON BOUGHT BY BRAZILIAN TYCOON
Dijon were bought by a Brazilian tycoon today who has promised as much as £50,000,000 in transfer signings this coming summer. The estimated value of the club has risen to £52,000,000, and the new owner, Mario Henrique Santiago, has promised he will stop at nothing when it comes to turning the club into a force in football.
I love the contrast between your 5,000 attendances and everyone else. Like that you hammered Norwich in the cup as well.
Dijon should be as hot as mustard with that amount of money!
Yeah, the bane of moving too fast is the stadium and facilities don't keep up. How long till your new stadium?
You're looking solid for a mid-table finish. Surely you can't be caught?
Either way, great 1st season
LEVERKUSEN SOLD IN INTERNAL TAKEOVER
NUMANCIA TAKEOVER COMPLETED
Bromley April Update 2017/2018
We started out the month at home against Wolves, and I was desperate to stop our winless streak and keep our mid-table position. Lukas Kubik joined Ebby Harwood on the injured list just before the match, however, leaving us having to start Diego on the left wing. It took us 91 minutes to find a goal – just as I was losing hope, Gilmar put away the only goal of the match, giving us a priceless 1-0 victory and three points.
We had Stoke next – they were in 19th Place and had conceded the second most goals of any team in the Premier League this season. This was not a team doing well, and it was one should convincingly have been able to beat. Captain Elliot Law was making his return, but Kubik would still be unavailable, so I shifted Emmanuel Musah to left wing, and placed Diego behind Law, giving us a 4-4-1-1 formation. Both teams played an exciting first half, but neither could find the net. In the second half, again there were no goals, and we finished with a disappointing goalless draw against possibly the weakest, or at best, the second weakest squad in the Premier League. At home, no less. This was a team that conceded goals frequently, and yet we could not break through their defense. I was not impressed, to say the least – we barely beat Wolves at home and we couldn’t find a way to finish off Stoke in front of our home fans. They deserved better.
With five games left in the season, we travelled to Southampton, a team that was in 8th Place and playing some good football. They had no hope for European football as they were ten points behind Arsenal in 7th Place, but their form remained steady and consistent. This, on paper, was going to be a difficult game for us. We had Kubik back, so he was going to get the start at left wing. This was not one for the purists, and we ended up losing 4-3 - with all four of the goals conceded, the defense was to blame. Elliot Law hit a brace for us, but we still ended up losing a game we should have won. Frustration reigned supreme yet again, we just could not seem to get our form together.
Going into the Sunderland match in the FA Cup Semi-Finals, I was extremely worried. The team just was not getting the job done, and we were extremely spotty in defense. Sunderland may have been a Championship team, but had enough talent to be competing in the Premier League. My anxiety was eased somewhat when Musah gave us a 1-0 lead, but Connor Wickham responded immediately for them. The first half came to an end, and with it came an injury to Gilmar. In the second half, things turned for the worse when young Kieran Holland, who had earned the starting right back position, was sent off in controversial circumstances for a violent tackle. We were 1-1 and a man down with a lot of time left on the clock. Somehow, we held on, and the game went into extra-time, and instead of buckling under the pressure of it all, my boys thrived. Musah hit his second of the game and it was shortly followed by a Kubik strike, giving us the 3-1 victory and a trip to the Finals of the FA Cup against either Brighton or Bristol City. Either way, the FA Cup, I felt, was ours for the taking, no matter who our competition was – it’s a pity I wasn’t following this earlier to notice all the big teams had exited (Manchester United, for example, were knocked out by Norwich, whom we thrashed 5-1 the following round). In unbelievable circumstances, we were now one win away from European action!
The next match was at St. James Park against relegation threatened Newcastle – they were currently in 19th Place, one point away from safety, and trying desperately to stay in the Premier League. I was not about to do anyone any favors, however – although we were away, I wanted to see us gain the three points, because if we did, it would become mathematically impossible for us to fall lower than 17th Place. This was an assurance I had to have, especially considering we lost to them earlier this season, giving up a hat-trick to a defender (Lewis Dunk) who had never scored previously in his entire career. What transpired was a hugely disappointing 1-0 loss to a team that did not even look like it wanted to win. We lost to a team that seemed more interested in going home and taking a hot shower than it was to score a goal – what does that say about us? The good news was it was now impossible for us to be relegated, given that there were only three games to play and we were eleven points above the relegation zone. Still, what a horrible experience of a game this was. As it stood, going into May, we had won one game in our last ten Premier League matches.
FA CUP FINAL 2018
Bromley vs. Bristol City
This was it – somehow, we had ended up in the FA Cup Finals without playing a single Premier League opponent, and our opponent was the very beatable Bristol City. If we won this, we were amazingly going to be in Europe. Our form up to this point had been terrible, and herein laid the problem – we just could not seem to win games the past couple of months, and when we did, it was by the slimmest of margins. We managed a great extra-time victory against Sunderland in the Semi-Finals, and that was the heart and desire I was looking for from my boys.
The first half ended goalless, although both teams had their chances. We had a couple of point-blank shots in front of their goal, one for Musah and the other for Law, but bother strikers failed to convert, to my dismay. If I had to choose a side from the first half, I would have given it to us, although just slightly. We looked a little more dangerous going forward, but still, we had not converted anything.
When Bristol City came out of the gates for the second half, they knew exactly what they were after, and put us on the backburner for the next 25 minutes. We simply could not contend, and it was only our luck that they could not manage to find the back of the net. On the 70th minute mark, Aron Gunnarsson picked up his second yellow card, and Bristol City were down to ten men.
Four minutes after that, in the 74th minute, it was our captain, our beloved all-time best player, Elliot Law, that finally found the net, giving us a 1-0 lead with fifteen minutes left in the game. He was having the weakest game out of all our starting eleven (except for Kevin Long, who was substituted for Alexandre earlier), and I was reaching a point where I was considering throwing Kubik upfront with Musah and bringing in Harwood. As he had done time and time again the past few seasons, he found a way to score for his club in the most important of occasions.
The final fifteen minutes were a very nervous affair, but Bristol City never gave us anything that really threatened Papa Coulibaly’s goal. As time ran out, it seemed they had succumbed to defeat before the final whistle blew. When it finally did, it was a tremendous occasion for the myself, the club, and of course, the man who made it all possible, the MotM, Elliot Law. How fitting it was that he was the one that would win the title for us – it could not have been a better ending. In the most improbable of circumstances, we were FA Cup Champions for the first time in our history, and we were headed to Europe! I am still in disbelief.
Not only did we win the FA Cup and send ourselves to Europe, but we were also given a much needed £1,830,000 – the board had previously injected £4,000,000 earlier in the season, and with the TV money coming in every month, we were turning a profit. With the two extra payments, we were a few million in the black now, and our financial position was back to an OK state!
Bromley? FA Cup winners? I must be hallucinating! Time to stop sniffing the permanent markers!
Seriously, well done! Must be the pinnacle of your career so far.
Fanatastic stuff winning the F.A cup
Lets see what you can push on to do.
Frank Lampard – Player Profile
Born in Romford, England, on June 20th, 1978 to a footballing family, Frank Lampard Jr. played his entire career with only two clubs – West Ham United and Chelsea. He featured for England in 118 caps, scoring 27 goals for his country and going on to become one of the best ever midfielders his home nation ever produced. His career started with West Ham in 1994, and he steadily became more important to the team with each progressing season. In 1998, he won the Euro Vase with the club, his first year as a full-time starter. He spent three more seasons with West Ham, and was widely considered the best player at the club in each of those seasons, leading to his sale to Chelsea in 2001 for £11,000,000.
In his first four seasons with his new club, he missed a grand total of one league game during the entire span, finally culminating in 2004/2005, as he scored a career high 13 league goals and won his first Premier League title in his career. He was Runner-Up in the World Footballer of the Year and won the English Footballer of the Year that same season, ascending to world-wide fame and becoming known as one of the best midfielders on the planet. Chelsea repeated as Premier League champions in 2006, the second time out of a total of four times he would lift the title (2005, 2006, 2010, 2014). He also won the FA Cup for the first time, going on to win it four times total in his career (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010). In 2008, Lampard would advance to the first of two Champions League Finals he would participate in, unfortunately losing to Manchester United in 2008 on penalties, and underdogs Fiorentina in 2014.
Frank Lampard would experience the best form of his career from the 2009/2010 season, when he scored a career high 22 league goals and captured the Premier League title, up till the 2013/2014 season, where he won his fourth and final Premier League title. During that stretch, in 2011/2012, he was named Chelsea’s Player of the Year and chosen to the Premier League Select, and in 2012/2013, he won the English Footballer of the Year for the second time in his career (2005, 2013), was chosen to the Premier League select for the second straight year, and set the Premier League record for most assists in a season with 21, a record that still stands till this day. He was again named Chelsea’s Player of the Year, and was voted to his first of two World Team of the Year (2013, 2014). The following year, in 2013/2014, widely considered his last great season, he was voted as Runner-Up in the English Footballer of the Year, capturing, as mentioned before, his last Premier League title, and getting named to his third and last Premier League Select (2012, 2013, 2014).
His career began to slowly come to an end after that stretch, playing two more seasons at a high level before spending his last two years on Chelsea’s bench under manager Sinisa Mihajlovic. During those five years, however, you would have been hard-pressed to find a more influential player on his team than Frank Lampard, and he was easily one of the top midfielders in the world. A class act on and off the pitch, he was also a key member of the English national team for many years, and was part of the team that reached the Finals of the Euro 2012, eventually losing out to Spain. A legend for both clubs he played for, on his best day, was considered in the same breath as the other midfield legends of his generation, such as Xavi and Iniesta. Overall, he was one of the top players in the world from the mid to late 2000s to the early mid 2010s.
CHAMPIONS CUP 2017/2018
Manchester United vs. Arsenal (2 - 1)
First Leg – Old Trafford, Manchester (Att: 94,746): (Note: I had mentioned that Manchester United had failed to qualify last year earlier, but they did and lost out in the Quarter-Finals to Arsenal.) This was a rematch of the same tie last year, which Arsenal won after taking a 2-0 victory away from the English Premier League champions in Manchester. This season, Man United coasted through the Group Stages and Second Round, while last year’s Semi-Finalists Arsenal also had an easy time, albeit they were very unimpressive against Salzburg away from home. However, they faced a rough situation as their two best performers in the Champions League, Stevan Jovetic (6 Aps, 2 Gls, 3 Asts, 2 MotM, 7.67) and Marek Hamsik (8 Aps, 4 Gls, 7.56) were both unavailable for this match, with the former being out for the second tie as well, having injured his wrist. Manchester United had no injury problems, and Eden Hazard (7 Aps, 2 Asts, 7.50) and Javier Hernandez (7 Aps, 4 Gls) were both ready and available.
It was Hazard who opened up the scoring for the home side in a match they dominated – Arsenal were lucky to get away having only conceded two goals. There was no repeat of last year’s underwhelming performance at home, as Manchester had 24 shots (9 on target) ad 55% of the possession. It took them until the 92nd minute, however, to find their second goal through [b]Fabio Coentrao (7 Aps, 2 Asts, 6.77), giving the home side a score they deserved. Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey was injured and ruled out for the remainder of the season with a torn hamstring, and Man Utd defender Chris Smalling (8 Aps, 3.90 TpG, 7.22) captured the MotM as Man United kept a clean sheet.
Manchester United: 2 (Hazard, Coentrao)
Second Leg – Emirates Stadium, London (Att: 60,361): This was a bittersweet victory for Manchester United – they lost the match, but advanced to meet their continental rivals Barcelona in the Semi-Finals. In the ninth minute, however, they lost Eden Hazard for the rest of the season with a broken ankle. The Belgian midfielder was, along with Hernandez, the club’s best player this season and amongst the finest on the planet. Now, however, Manchester will have to find ways to win without their midfield talisman. Arsenal absolutely dominated this match, but could not find a way to score more than one goal, which inevitably knocked them out of the competition by the same team they has eliminated last season at this stage.
Arsenal: 1 (Walcott)
Manchester United: 0
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Tottenham (6 - 4)
First Leg – Parc des Princes, Paris (Att: 54,453): These two teams had faced each other four times in this competition since 2011, in the Group Stages in 2012/13 and 2015/16, of which Tottenham had won three times, drawing the final game played between them. PSG were on course to capture the French Ligue 1 title this season, and in the Champions League, they had topped their group and made short work of CSKA Moscow in the Second Round. Diego Perotti (5 Aps, 4 Gls, 3 Asts, 7.62) and [b]Javier Pastore (8 Aps, 1 Goal, 2 Asts, 3 MotM, 7.58) were the top performers in a team where nearly all the starting eleven were in great form. Tottenham were on a quest to advance to their third straight Finals, but this time and for the first time in their history, they wanted to win the Champions League. The talent was certainly there, and like their opponents, nearly their entire starting eleven were playing exceptional. Edison Cavani (8 Aps, 5 Gls, 7.57) had just recently broken the English Premier League’s goal scoring record in a season, while Salomon Rondon (8 Aps, 7 Gls, 7.66) led them in scoring in the competition. There was to be no goals scored for Tottenham in Paris, however, despite their awesome offensive unit – in fact, it was PSG who scored three of their own, with two goals coming from Frederic Macheda (9 Aps, 4 Gls) and the final goal an own goal by Tottenham GK Fernando Muslera. Macheda captured the MotM after his fantastic brace, and PSG were headed to London with a three goal advantage and one step into the Semi-Finals.
Paris Saint-Germain: 3 (Macheda, Muslera O.G.)
Second Leg – White Hart Lane, London (Att: 36,310): There would no return to the Finals for Tottenham as they succumbed to Paris Saint-Germain despite winning a highly entertaining match in London. PSG scored two goals before the ten minute mark, effectively ending the tie, and despite Tottenham storming back to score four goals, the deficit was far too wide to make up. Frederico Macheda again scored a brace for his club, and again won the MotM – to put it simply, he was the reason Tottenham were knocked out. In the years coming, Macheda will go down in the London club’s folklore as the man who singlehandedly ended their Champions League dreams this season, and will take his place among the historic figures of PSG as he led them to an all-French Semi-Finals matchup against Lyonnais.
Tottenham: 4 (Cavani, Rondon, Pereira, Delph)
Paris Saint-Germain: 3 (Macheda (2), Witsel)
Barcelona vs. Benfica (7 - 3)
First Leg – Nou Camp, Barcelona (Att: ): After getting embarrassed last year by Tottenham in the Second Round, Barcelona have been on a mission to recapture the Champions League title – they had won it six times since 2006, the start of the “Barcelona Era”. They had faced Benfica four times before in this competition – twice in 2012/13 during the Group Stages, and also during 2015/16, knocking them out in the Second Round, winning all four matches. Alexis Sanchez (7 Aps, 5 Gls, 4 MotM, 8.24) had been one of the best players in the competition over the past decade, and this year was no different. He was joined by Russian superstar Alan Dzagoev (7 Aps, 3 Gls, 3 Asts, 7.73), and, of course, the undeniable Lionel Messi (3 Aps, 3 Gls, 7.77), who again had to contend with injury problems for most of the season. For Benfica, their top performers were two young defenders – Erjon Licaj (7 Als, 1 Goal, 4.30 TpG, 7.35) and Hector Mpile (6 Aps, 1 Goal, 7.20).
No amount of defending could help them against the onslaught that ensued at the Nou Camp, however, as Barcelona exited the match victorious 5-0. Sanchez nailed a spectacular hat-trick, winning the MotM, and Cesc Fabregas (9 Aps, 2 Gls, 3 Asts, 7.37) and Gylfi Sigurdsson (8 Aps, 3 Gls, 5 Asts, 7.51) pitching in the other two. Benfica had simply no response, and were as good as out of the Champions League going into the second leg.
Barcelona: 5 (Sanchez (3), Fabregas, Sigurdsson)
Second Leg – Estadio da Luz, Lisbon (Att: 65,647): Going into the second leg in Lisbon, this tie was already effectively over, as Barcelona had taken a five goal advantage. That did not stop Benfica from trying, however, and they managed to win this one. Barcelona were clearly not trying their hardest, but even then, they still managed to get two goals – they only ended up losing thanks to an own goal by GK Victor Valdes. Alexis Sanchez again grabbed the MotM, even though he did not score any goals – that honor went to Messi and Dzagoev.
Benfica: 3 (Rodrigo, Roux, Valdes O.G.)
Barcelona: 2 (Messi, Dzagoev)
Liverpool vs. Lyonnais (1 - 4)
First Leg – Anfield, Liverpool (Att: 45,362): These two teams had previously only met twice, in the 2015/16 Group Stages, so there was not a lot of history between them. Liverpool were back in the Champions League after an absence last year, and they overcame AC Milan in the Second Round, while Lyonnais were knocked out by Porto last season, but overcame a strong (but underachieving) Dortmund squad in the Second Round. The first leg was an exciting affair, one which the home side ended up losing because of their inability to defend the counter-attack. Lyonnais captain Henrick Mkhitaryan (9 Aps, 1 Goal, 9 Asts, 7.77) continued his fantastic form in the competition, scoring the first goal and winning the MotM, while their leading goalscorer Ishak Belfodil (6 Aps, 6 Gls) hit the second just before the 25th minute mark. After this match, the French were happy to sit back and defend, and it was not until the 88th minute that Liverpool finally scored a goal of their own through aging striker Moussa Sow.
Liverpool: 1 (Sow)
Lyonnais: 2 (Mkhitaryan, Belfodil)
Second Leg – Stade de Lumieres, Lyon (Att: 61,556): After taking an impressive victory away from home, Lyonnais finalized their qualification to the Semi-Finals at home, defeating Liverpool 2-0. Hugo Lloris put in a MotM performance between the posts for the French side, keeping a clean sheet, while on the other end, it took exactly one minute for £24,500,000 man Willian (9 Aps, 1 Goal) to score, finding the net for the first time in the competition this season. Jimmy Briand (9 Aps, 4 Gls, 3 Asts, 7.52) converted a penalty in the 29th minute, and the game was effectively over after that. For the first time since 2012, Lyonnais were back in the Semi-Finals.
Lyonnais: 2 (Willian, Briand)
Barcelona vs. Manchester United (4 – 3)
First Leg – Old Trafford, London (Att: 94,746): Europe’s most intense continental rivalry of the past decade was to add a new chapter in the Semi-Finals of the season’s competition – the English club lost three times to Barcelona in the Finals in 2009, 2011, and 2012, but in 2014, Manchester United got the best of the Spanish club in the Semi-Finals, besting them 4-0 at Old Trafford and exacting their revenge. This year, the English Premier League champions were on course to repeat as champions in the domestic league, while Barcelona was in a huge battle with their bitter rivals, and La Liga champions, Real Madrid over their own domestic title.
As promised, this match delivered all the drama and excitement one could imagine, and it was finally Manchester United that pulled through 3-2, but not after a ferocious battle from their opponents. Alexis Sanchez (10 Aps, 9 Gls, 3 Asts, 6 MotM, 8.25), the best player in the Champions League this season, hit the first goal of the match, but [b]Javier Hernandez (10 Aps, 6 Gls) scored a brace along with a Chris Smalling goal to finish off the Catalans. Hernandez captured the MotM, but the two goals scored by Barcelona away from home could prove to be vital as they return to the Nou Camp for the second leg.
Manchester United: 3 (Hernandez (2), Smalling)
Barcelona: 2 (Sanchez, Sigurdsson)
Second Leg – Nou Camp, Barcelona(Att: 103,949): On a day when neither Messi, Sanchez, nor Dzagoev were in good form, Barcelona showed exactly why they are considered the best team in the world as Gylfi Sigurdsson (11 Aps, 6 Gls, 5 Asts, 7.65) took to the mantle and scored a brace to knock out Manchester United and send Barcelona to its sixth Finals in ten years. It seemed that no matter who you chose to control, they always had someone who could break you, and if you keep three of the world’s best players under wraps for the full length of the match, as Mancester United did, you could still end up not only losing, but getting outplayed. That was the case in the second leg of this tie between the continental rivals, and it was Barcelona, led by Roberto Mancini, who would get the better out of Manchester United yet again.
Barcelona: 2 (Sigurdsson (2) )
Manchester United: 0
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Lyonnais (1 – 3)
First Leg – Parc des Princes, Paris (Att: ): For the first time in the history of the competition (I think), two French clubs squared off in the Semi-Finals of the Champions League, ensuring that the French Ligue 1 would have a representative in the Finals for the first time since 2004, when Monaco lost to Porto.
It was a tight affair and an extremely defensive match, but not without its chances. However, only Javier Pastore (11 Ap, 2 Gls, 4 Asts, 4 MotM, 7.60) was able to find the net and give the home side a small, but important, 1-0 victory. The Argentine also won the MotM, and continued to prove why he was considered one of the best midfielders on the planet. PSG were close to unseeding Lyonnais as French Ligue 1 champions this season, so there was extra motivation for them to defeat their rivals in Lyon and advance to the Finals.
Paris Saint-Germain: 1 (Pastore)
Second Leg – Stade de Lumieres, Lyon (Att: 61,556): Paris Saint-Germain had wrapped up the French Ligue 1 title, winning it for the first time since 2015 and replacing none other than Lyonnais as champions. The Lyon side, however, would get the best of them in the Champions League, gaining their revenge in spectacular fashion. Again, it was Henrick Mkhitaryan (11 Aps, 3 Gls, 9 Asts, 7.73) who was at the center of their accomplishment, scoring a fantastic brace and winning the MotM. Lyonnais advanced to their first ever Champions League Finals, where they would face the greatest squad every assembled desperately trying to prove that their team was not finished. Patrice Cateron, who was hired in 2014, had led his team to the biggest stage in club football.
Lyonnais: 3 (Mkhitaryan (2), Nainggolan)
Paris Saint-Germain: 0
Congrats on the FA Cup win - magnificent achievement! And on the Manager of the Year award, good to see you're getting the recognition you deserve
Well that didnt last long
CHAMPIONS CUP 2017/2018
Barcelona vs. Lyonnais
Swedebank Arena – Stockholm, Sweden (Att: 50,000): There was no denying that facing each other in the Champions League Finals this year were the two best teams over the course of the competition. Lyonnais had conceded three goals in six knockout stages games, while Barcelona had dismantled its opponents through sheer offensive force. Both teams had one thing in common, though – their strength lay in their midfield. For Barcelona, its stars were amongst the best players on the planet: Alexis Sanchez (11 Aps, 9 Gls, 3 Asts, 6 MotM, 8.13), who was the favorite to win the competition’s Player of the Year, Gylfi Sigurdsson (11 Aps, 6 Gls, 5 Asts), Alan Dzagoev (11 Aps, 4 Gls, 4 Asts), and, of course, Lionel Messi (7 Aps, 4 Gls). Barcelona had assembled the greatest club squad of all-time, and they were desperate to prove that their time was not done. This was a team that had never lost in the Finals of the Champions League in seven tries, and this was their eighth trip. To top it all off, they had just reclaimed the Spanish La Liga title from bitter rivals Real Madrid. Lyonnais were riding the sensational form of their captain Henrick Mkhitaryan (12 Aps, 3 Gls, 9 Asts, 7.73) – the Armenian international had been outstanding all season long. Their leading goal scorer was Ishak Belfodil (9 Aps, 6 Gls), and they also had a rock in the back in Aly Cissokho (9 Aps, 4.60 TpG, 7.47).
Lyonnais came out of the gates with all guns blazing, taking in attack after attack in the early minutes of the match. Barcelona were caught off-guard and were overwhelmed, and in the 7th minute, Vaclav Kadlec (9 Aps, 4 Gls) scored the first goal of the match, give the underdogs an 1-0 lead. They did not take their foot of the gas, however, and the French club kept up the intense pressure, finding the net again in the 24th minute through Ishak Belfodil – Barcelona were dumbfounded. They simply had no answer so far for the intensity of pressure their opponents were displaying. Attempting to respond, Barcelona nearly one back in the 30th minute, but two point blank saves, one a second after the other, by GK Hugo Lloris kept the clean sheet surviving. For the last fifteen minutes of the first half, Barcelona turned into the team everyone was used to seeing from them, attacking Lloris’ goal relentlessly, but they could not beat the French keeper. The first half would end in a 2-0 lead for Lyonnais.
The second half started much in the same way the first half ended, with the Spanish side continuing their assault on the Lyonnais goal, but time and time again, Lloris would stop the ball from entering the net. Then, in the 62nd minute, Alberto Carpio, who had come on for Josue, conceded a penalty – this time, however, Jeremy Briand could not convert, the score remained 2-0. As the final twenty minutes approached, Barcelona began to slow down, and Lyonnais were happy to see out the remaining time defending, something which they did successfully. They had handed Barcelona their first ever loss in the Champions League Finals, and had won the competition for the first time in their history. Kadlec was crowned MotM for his impressive performance against them, and the celebrations in France began – it was the first time a French team had captured the Champions League title since Marseille last did it in 1992.
Lyonnais: 2 (Kadlec, Belfodil)
Last edited by abulezz; 01-01-2012 at 01:13.
Alexis Sanchez, Barcelona – 12 Appearances, 9 Goals, 3 Assists, 6 MotM, 8.03: For the second time in his stories career, the Chilean international captured the Champions League Best Player award, only the third player to achieve that honor (Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo both have won it three times). His performances were the main reason why Barcelona advanced to the Finals, and he was also the Top Goalscorer in this season’s edition of the Champions League, as well. Despite losing in the Finals, Sanchez was, without a doubt, the player in finest form this season in the competition.
well done on the fa cup win and brilliant updates. Must take ages
Bromley 2017/2018 Review
Premier League: 14th Place (Media Prediction: 20th Place)
FA Cup: Winners – Defeated Bristol City 1-0
League Cup: Fourth Round, lost to Tottenham 3-2
This was a most successful season – despite the maddeningly inconsistent form we displayed, defeating the best of teams and losing games we should have easily won, we survived our first season in the Premier League without ever really getting into a relegation fight. We hit great form in late December and into January, defeating Tottenham then Arsenal, and that really pushed us over the top in terms of avoiding the bottom three spots. We ended the season with real spotty performances, but we dropped a few places in the table, but by then we had already put more than enough distance between us and the relegation candidates.
The story of the season, of course, was our remarkable FA Cup run. We were very lucky in that we did not face any Premier League competition until the Finals, and even then, it was Bristol City. I was not paying much attention, as with each victory I figured we would finally run into an opponent that was far more superior to us, but it never happened. We took out Rotherham and Burnley in the first two rounds before Leeds gave us fits in the Fifth Round. We needed a replay before we pushed past them, but we absolutely destroyed Norwich 5-1 in the Sixth Round. When the draws for the Semi-Finals were made and I realized that, other than our opponents Sunderland, only Brighton and Bristol City remained, I was completely shocked. I kept thinking this was unbelievable, and I was nervous somehow it was FM playing a trick on me, only to take it away from me in agonizing circumstances (you all know it does that on purpose!)
After a sensational extra-time victory against Championship squad Sunderland, we got the job done against Bristol City, defeating them 1-0 and booking a spot in Europe! That was the most insane part – we were going to have our chance on the continent next season! Exciting times ahead for Bromley, although we do still have to wait another year for Bromley Stadium to be completed.
The entire season, I was being told we were in a poor financial state, and the board even injected £4,000,000 in March, but after nearly £2,500,000 was given to us for our Semi-Final and Final wins in the FA Cup, and an additional £5,600,000 for our finishing place in the Premier League, we are now over £11,000,000 in the black. We had been making between £1,500,000 and £2,000,000 in profit every month despite our 5,000 maximum attendance, mostly from TV money, so it is safe to say we currently do not have a financial situation on our hands.
All in all, the season could not have gone better – we survived the Premier League and won the FA Cup, which in itself, is truly brilliant. We look forward to competing in Europe next year, and maintaining our position in the Premier League – perhaps even improving on it. The best thing about it is, we did it on the smallest wage budget of any team playing in one of the top five leagues (England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain), at only £7,150,000 per annum. For that, I was crowned Premier League Manager of the Year, an honor considering it was my first season in the top flight.
Emmanuel Musah: He had his ups and downs in his second season with Bromley, but for the most part, the 20 year old German/Ghanaian striker played a crucial role in maintaining our survival in the Premier League. He wound up with 9 goals and 10 assists, and was rewarded with a new five year contract at the end of the season that now pays him £18,250 base salary.
Porvaldur Magnusson: This was certainly his most challenging season yet in a Bromley uniform, as he went from handing out 18 assists last year to only 2 this year. Still, he played in all but one league game and was one of our top performers – the 22 year old also managed to earn himself some U21 caps for the English national side.
Lukas Kubik: Our leading goalscorer with 12 league goals, the £5,000,000 20 year old Czech served mostly on the left wing this season for us, and did so admirably. He initially started the season with an ‘Awkward’ rating for left wing, but ended the season with a ‘Competent’ rating, showing quick improvement and adaptability. Was perhaps our most important player down the stretch towards the end of the season.
Elliot Law: The captain, and the scorer of our most important goal of all-time – the goal against Bristol City in the FA Cup Final. He managed a respectable 9 goals in 32 league appearances, again proving doubters that said he could not play on the Premier League level wrong. The 23 year old striker was overwhelmed quite a few times, however – whether he remains our starter next year is still up in the air. Our all-time appearances and goals scored holder.
Igor Chuvalskiy: The 20 year old midfielder was impressive in his first season, and even managed to earn himself his first cap for Russia. He scored 6 goals, and showed great ability to threaten from set pieces. He improved remarkably throughout the season, and cemented himself as the starting central midfielder alongside Magnusson very early in the season.
Gilmar: Still only 19 year old, the Brazilian winger has bundles of ability, and his pace caused problems down the right wing throughout the season. Like any youngster, the £6,750,000 signing had his dips in form, but the potential is there for everyone to see. Could be something special.
Jesper Alberts: His third year with the club, the 20 year old Belgian remained our most important central defender but had a disappointing season overall. He only avered 2.28 TpG, and had some games where he was nothing more than mediocre. Still, he is very young and has the ability to succeed at this level. He will retain his starting position going into next season.
Gaucho: Our most expensive signing of all-time, the 19 year old Brazilian came for £9,500,000, but still has ways to go to justify his hefty price tag. He showed flashes of brilliances playing alongside Alberts in the defense, but not quite enough to redeem the amount paid for him. He played in 37 league games, and his young age means he will continue to develop, something which he did at a remarkable rate this season.
Papa Coulibaly: Signed on free transfer after I lost faith in Raffaele Di Gennaro, Coulibaly provided us with solidity between the sticks for most of the season. Even the games where we conceded one too many goals, it was tough to lay the blame on him. He recorded 7 clean sheets in 33 appearances, and will be our starting GK going into next season.
Ebby Harwood: Although he lost his starting position to Kubik, the 19 year old Bromley product still featured in 26 league games, scoring twice. He may never be a star, but he continues to develop into a serviceable rotation player, and filled in at key moments for us throughout the season.
Alexandre: Started and ended the season as our third choice center back, the 19 year old played in 26 league games for the club, although he still has ways to go in terms of consistent form. His 3.22 TpG was encouraging considering half his appearances were as a substitute, and his development was classified as significant this season.
Kieran Holland: At the age of 16, he won the starting right back position from Kevin Long after our vice-captain got injured and never gave it back. The potential is immense, and the 17 year old could easily be the best player the Bromley youth academy has ever produced.
Stelian Simu: Perhaps our most intriguing youngster, he did not get as much chances as I would have liked this season, but that did not slow his development. He has tremendous technical ability, potentially the best on the team in that department – I will be looking to give the 17 year old more opportunities come next season.
I was given a transfer budget of about £25,000,000 this year, and I had no problem spending it. Our record signing, for £9,500,000, was Gaucho, and he was joined by fellow Brazilian Gilmar for £6,750,000. Another £5,000,000 for Lukas Kubik, and £3,700,000 for Igor Chuvalskiy, and our transfer kitty was gone! On the other end, there was a lot of free transfers as I got rid of players that were not good enough and players that were killing our wage budget – we did end up selling GK Raffaele Di Gennaro to Sampdoria for £1,000,000, so at least I recouped something back!