CHAMPIONS CUP 2018/2019
Inter Milan vs. Barcelona
Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi Turk Telecom Arena – Istanbul, Turkey (Att: 52,695): Inter Milan came into this match unbeaten in the Champions League this season and having only conceded 6 goals in 12 matches. Barcelona were not as impressive in terms of form, but they were unmatched in terms of experience at this stage. The fact was, this was the first team that Niolo Frustalupi had led to the Champions League Finals – despite leading Inter Milan to four Serie A titles, this season included, this was the first time his team had ever advanced past the Quarter-Finals. Their 23 year old Uruguayan striker, Daniel Correa, had been one of the main catalysts for their success, and he was slotted to start alongside Milan Djuric up front. Along with Felipe Anderson and Stefan Bell, Inter Milan had enough talent to match Barcelona. The Spaniards had just given up their La Liga title to Real Madrid, but were determined to bring the Champions League title back home with them, and with the form of potential Player of the Tournament Cesc Fabregas (10 Aps, 6 Gls, 4 Asts, 7.86) and Alan Dzagoev, who could argue. Add to them Alexis Sanchez, one of the competition’s legends, and the ever legendary Gerard Pique, and this was a team that looked unstoppable. The only hitch was the unavailability of one of the game’s best players of all time, Lionel Messi, who was on the injury list.
It took exactly ten minutes for Correa to cement himself as an Inter hero, scoring on a counter-attack and giving Inter Milan the 1-0 lead. It got worse for Barcelona as Bojan, one of their best performers in the competition this season, was sent off in the 28th minute for a reckless tackle. It was looking more and more likely that Barcelona were going to suffer an improbable second straight defeat in the Champions League Finals. Just four minutes later, Correa added his second goal to his tally and poured salt on Barcelona’s wound, putting Inter up 2-0. The second half did not bring any better luck for the Catalans – say what you will about Messi and his inability to stay off the injury list, but when he in games like this, it was unimaginable for Barcelona to look so uninspired and flat. Inter Milan barely got out of second gear in the second half and the Spanish side still could not come close to scoring a goal. Inter Milan won their fourth Champions League title in their history, and Frustalupi his first. Daniel Correa was an absolute terror for the Barcelona defense, and his performance in the match was surely to go down in Inter Milan folklore. For the first time since 2009, it truly looked like the “Barcelona Era” was coming to an end.
Inter Milan: 2 (Correa 2)
Cesc Fabregas, Barcelona – 11 Appearances, 6 Goals, 4 Assists, 2 MotM, 7.81: Far and wide, the best player in the competition this season. Without a doubt, if it had not been for his exploits, Barcelona would never have gotten to the Finals. That was especially true against Marseille in the Semi-Finals, when he completely dominated the final 35 minutes of the match to send his squad back into the Finals. At the age of 32, he might be entering the final phase of his career, but he remains as vital as ever for his team. Nothing proved that more than his performances this season in the Champions League.
Well seen as I might be taking time out from FM (might!!) and with a whole day at college tomorrow watching videos on things like Dreamweaver and Flash I may have to be more productive and read this thread ;)
It's a very interesting idea, looking forward to reading it
Barrett is dubbed the next David Seaman,hope for your sake you get the David Seaman which was at Arsenal and not the one who made some appearances for Man City!
Bromley 2018/2019 Review
Premier League: 10th Place (Media Prediction: 15th Place)
FA Cup: Fourth Round – defeated by Tottenham
League Cup: Semi-Finals – defeated by Manchester City
Europa League: Second Knockout Round – defeated by Basel (Switzerland)
The media had enough sense not to tip us for relegation for once, but for a while during the early part of the season, it looked like that is where we were headed. Thankfully, a 6-0 destruction of Reading turned our season around, and we never looked back. We finished in 10th Place, which was very respectable and fell in line with my mid-table aspirations at the beginning of the season. The league was a difficult course to maneuver, and given that my squad is still so young, we had several bouts of inconsistent form and lapses in concentration. Still, overall, I felt we did well to finish in 10th Place, and I will be expecting more of the same next season.
Our FA Cup title defense ended abruptly in the Fourth Round against Tottenham – our magical run last season came down to the fact that we faced no Premier League team before the Finals, and even then it was Bristol City. This year, we had no such luck, and Tottenham put us away convincingly. We had more success in the League Cup, reaching the Semi-Finals before getting knocked out by Manchester City, who completely outplayed us over the two legs. It really showed us just how much of a talent difference there was between us and the top sides. Our foray into Europe, in hindsight, was a success – we advanced to the Second Knockout Round and really showed that we could be players on the continental level. Still, it was disappointing losing to Basel, a team I felt and still do feel we could have defeated. Our 4-1 defeat away in Switzerland was a bitter pill to swallow, and sadly, we most likely blew our only chance in Europe for at least the next few years.
Overall, though, as a manager, I cannot be disappointed. There were improvements by most of the boys across the boards – some, like Stilian Simu and Kieran Holland, showed remarkable improvements in their attributes and skills. I still think we have an absolute gem in our record signing, £14,000,000 GK Tricio, and I will be looking forward to see him really step his game up next season. There are exciting times at Bromley, if I may say so myself, and we have a stadium expansion as well as an upgrade of the youth facilities to prove that! Bring on next season!
Emmanuel Musah: The 21 year old German/Ghanaian was once again our Player of the Year, the second time in a row he has won it. Although I would have liked to see more than 9 goals in 34 appearances, I can’t be too disappointed in the young striker. He started the season very strong, but after pulling his hamstring at the end of the December and getting ruled out for a month, he was never the same. Still, he did enough for us to be voted our most important player, and he remains the focal point of our offense.
Tricio: Our broke our transfer record to get the 21 year old Brazilian GK, paying Cruzeiro £14,000,000 to get him. In hindsight, I can see how that could have been viewed as a very high figure to pay for a young and inexperienced GK, but I am utterly convinced he will be one of the best in the world someday. He has all the right skills and is still so very young – having had a Premier League season under his belt, I will expect to vastly improve on his 52 goals conceded next season.
Gaucho: Our record signing before bringing on Tricio, two summers ago I paid Internacional £9,500,000 for him. His first season with us was average at best, and although he was not spectacular this campaign, he did show vast improvement in his form. What he does not lack, however, is resilience – he played in all 38 league games this season, and missed only one the one before. He had a high TpG rating, getting 4.48, and contributed 3 goals as well. I switched him into the midfield, and he seemed to thrive at times. Now 20 years old, I will be expecting to really come into his own next season and crack that 7.00 AR.
Alexandre: Like his Brazilian teammate Gaucho, the 20 year old Alexandre showed vast improvement in form in his second season for the club, and really solidified his position as starting central defender. His 6.87 AR was average, but it was a great improvement over the previous season, and again, like Gaucho, I will be expecting to see him get over 7.00 AR next season. He will also have to improve on his 3.12 TpG, but one look at his abilities, and I have no doubt he will be able to achieve that.
Kieran Holland: Although he is just 18 years old, for the second season in a row, Holland has made the right back position his and most likely it will be for a very long time. A Bromley youth academy product, he is by far the most talented player to ever come through the club’s ranks. His improvement in ability has been remarkable, and he certainly stepped up his form this season, as well. He still has some ways to go to truly be a great right back, but all signs point to him getting there, and not too far in the future, either.
Jan Hendrik Ihm: Elliot Law was preferred to him the starting lineup on most days, but the 22 year old German striker still ended up our leading scorer. On his day, he was simply unplayable – the problem was his consistency. Still, his contributions to the team were immense, and his 10 league goals were the highest of our players. Not a bad return for a £1,000,000 investment!
A record £32,500,000 was spent on new players this season, but we also earned a record £23,500,000 from the sales of players as well. £14,000,000 was spent on GK Tricio, and another £6,250,000 on 18 year old Mexican defender Mario Ortega, who became our starting central defender alongside Alexandre after Tete was placed on the injured list, who had come for £6,500,000. Those were our big signings, although we got a great return on the £1,000,000 spent on Jan Hendrik Ihm, who led the team in scoring. Free transfer Jeremie Ott was turned around and sold for £5,000,000 a few months later, so that was a tidy profit. I cut the club’s relationship with Jesper Alberts short after Inter Milan offered over £6,000,000 for him, and just one year after signing Igor Chuvalskiy for £3,700,000, I sold him for more than double that, also making the club some money in the profit. Overall, it was another successful year in our transfer dealings – we vastly improved our team, and only at a £9,000,000 net transfer spending.
COPA AMERICA 2019 – CHILE
Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, Costa Rica
OVERVIEW: The two Finalists in the last Copa America in Brazil, Colombia and Chile, found themselves in direct competition with each other yet again. It was the defending champions Colombia who topped the group, however, thanks to some great football from their young trio of Elber Escobar, Brayan Arias, and Juan Jose Rodriguez. Chile were obviously led by superstar Alexis Sanchez, but their leading goalscorer Diego Rubio was injured in his second game and ruled out for the rest of the tournament, having scored 3 goals in only 2 appearances. Venezuela qualified only as one of the best seeded 3rd Placed teams, and their best player was Luis Ramirez.
Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Paraguay
OVERVIEW: On paper, this was perhaps the most competitive group, with 2015 Copa America Semi-Finalists Argentina and Mexico both in the group. As it would have it, Argentina topped the group thanks to the performances of Javier Pastore and Gonzalo Higuan, but Mexico would finish 3rd Place and be knocked out of the tournament, despite the fantastic efforts of Guillermo Gomez. Uruguay finished 2nd Place despite winning only one match, and it was Edinson Cavani, perhaps the most prolific striker in the world the past few years, and Walter Cardozo who led the way for them. Paraguay finished a disappointing last place, with just one goal to show for their efforts.
Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia
OVERVIEW: Brazil was expected to roll through this group, and although they did top it, they only just did so as they were tied on points with Peru. Led by Neymar, Leandro Damiao, and Ramires, they did, however, only concede one goal. The Peruvians surprisingly finished ahead of Ecuador, with young Dick Jabiles as their finest player in the Group Stages. Ecuador, despite their 3rd Place finish, still ended up beating Mexico as one of the best seeded 3rd Placed teams, but save for Edison Morales, they did not have anyone who impressed much. Bolivia were just beaten out by Ecuador, and 22 year old striker WalterTerrazas had a good showing.
Good turnaround and a solid finish to your season.You have a young squad so another few seasons and you'll be challenging for Europe
Hope you can see some improvement after a busy summer.
COPA AMERICA 2019 – CHILE
Venezuela vs. Argentina
Monumental David Arellano, Santiago (Att: 47,017): The former World Player of the Year, Sergio Aguero, certainly put his stamp on this match and signaled Argentina’s intent to capture the trophy in a most convincing manner. The lack of Lionel Messi did not hinder the squad one bit, and Aguero wasted no time in his defeat of Venezuela, scoring in the 2nd minute. Gonzao Higuan would add his third goal of the tournament, and Argentina would go on to absolutely dominate this match. Their Shots/On Target ratio was 30/12 compared to Venezuela’s 3/1, and they had 60% of the possession as well. Simply put, Argentina were spectacular today.
Argentina: 4 (Aguero 2, Higuan, Musacchio)
Colombia vs. Ecuador
Municipal de Concepcion, Concepcion (Att: 30,000): The defending champions, behind their star striker Juan Jose Rodriguez, made the best of their 4 shots on goal, converting 3 and pushing past Ecuador on the way to the Semi-Finals. The brace brought Rodriguez’s total in the competition to 4 goals, which was tied for best. Barayan Arias got the third goal, and continued to look like one of the best players in the competition this year.
Colombia: 3 (Rodriguez 2, Arias)
Brazil vs. Chile
Nacional, Santiago (Att: 49,000): The beaten Finalists in 2015 and hosts this time around, Chile were outplayed in every way during this match against Brazil – true, the scoreline read 1-0, but taking a deeper look at the stats, a different story was told. Brazil’s Shot/On Target ratio was 10/3, while Chile’s was a dismal 1/0. Furthermore, Brazil held 59% of the possession in the game – how they only won by a one goal margin was quite a shock. One of the highest rated strikers in the game today, Lucas Moura, scored the only goal of the game.
Brazil: 1 (Lucas Moura)
Peru vs. Uruguay
Regional de Antofagasta (Att: 22,399): This proved to be an easy affair for the 2011 Copa America champions – Uruguay, although they only had 43% of the possession, were the better team, and that showed in the 2-0 scoreline. They scored both their goals by the 20th minute, first through Luis Suarez, then through Edinson Cavani. After that, they were happy to sit back and defend, but Peru could not find a single shot on target all game. Uruguay counter-attacked the opportunity presented itself, and several times, they nearly got a third. At the end of the day, the better team won.
Uruguay: 2 (Suarez, Cavani)
Colombia vs. Argentina
Monumental David Arellano, Santiago (Att: 47,017): In 2015, these two teams met in the Semi-Finals and Colombia shocked the continent by defeating Argentina 4-1, going on to win the Copa America title for the second time in its history. The Argentines were desperate to get payback, but it again Colombia who came out victorious, albeit with a much less dramatic result of 1-0. In terms of football, this was a very even match, but a Falcao strike in the 76th minute made all the difference. Elber Escobar was crowned MotM after leading the defense in shutting out Argentina, and for the second time in a row, Colombia were headed to the Copa America Finals.
Colombia: 1 (Falcao)
Brazil vs. Uruguay
Ncional, Santiago (Att: 49,000): The Brazilians were favorites to win this match and advance to the Copa America Finals, and although they did just that, it was a bittersweet victory. Their first goal was scored by Neymar, who up to this point was perhaps the team’s best player, but he was red carded at the beginning of the second half, and that decision would force him to miss the Finals. Young 22 year old striker Amoroso finished off Uruguay in the 75th minute, and truthfully, they never looked like winning. The 2-0 result was a fair result, and defender Rafael Toloi captured the MotM. Brazil had set up a date with Colombia in the Copa America Finals.
Brazil: 2 (Neymar, Amoroso)
Colombia vs. Brazil
Nacional, Santiago (Att: 49,000): There was no denying the Colombians deserved their place in the Copa America Finals, having scored 10 goals and conceded only 1 in the 5 games leading up to this matchup. Brazil had bounced back from a humiliating loss to Peru on the first Matchday, winning all their matches after that and scoring 9 goals in the process. The goal they conceded against Peru remained the only one up to this point. The young talent of Colombia proved more than a match for the experience and world class stars featured in the Brazil team, and surprisingly, the Colombians retained their title, defeating their larger neighbors 2-1. The star was striker Juan Jose Rodriguez, who hit his third brace of the tournament and ended it leading the Copa America with 6 goals scored. Maicon converted a penalty in the 70th minute for the Brazilians, but without Neymar upfront, they could not seem to cause much trouble for the Colombian goal. The Colombians lifted the trophy for the third time in their history, and for the second time in a row.
Colombia: 2 (Rodriguez 2)
Brazil: 1 (Maicon)
Barayan Arias, Colombia (4 Aps, 1 Goal, 3 Assists, 8.18) – The award could have gone to his team Juan Jose Rodriguez, but Arias’ contributions to the title winning campaign was simply undeniable. His presence in the midfield allowed Rodriguez the freedom up front to score his goals, and the 22 year old played an almost perfect tournament, void of any notable mistakes. Without him, Colombia would have had a much harder time retaining their title.
Juan Jose Rodriguez, Colombia (6 Aps, 6 Goals, 1 Assists, 8.03) – To a lot of people, the 23 year old striker was the Best Player of the Tournament – what is undisputable, however, is that he was definitely the most dangerous threat in the tournament. His 6 goals came via three braces, including his now famous brace against Brazil in the Finals. There was no better striker in the Copa America this year than the Colombian.
David Ospina, Colombia (6 Aps, 2 Goals Conceded, 4 Clean Sheets, 7.05) – The 30 year old won the award for the second consecutive time – he had captained Colombia in both of their title winning campaigns, both this year and in 2015. Having made his big move to Arsenal for £11,500,000 one year ago, the world is finally started to recognize what a talent this GK is. He proved that again in the Copa America, allowing only 2 goals through the entire tournament.
Best Young Player
Barayan Arias, Colombia (4 Aps, 1 Goal, 3 Assists, 8.18) – See Best Player.
Great win for Colombia.
Finally just read it all, I am well impressed with your skills
Keep it up, love it!
Great effort from Columbia to overcome both Argentina and Brazil. Barajan Arias looks a great youngster and interesting to see both he and Neymar together at Santos, I bet thats a fun team to watch! A litte surprised to see Neymar still at Santos though, I guess his pricetag is putting teams off him.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE REVIEW 2018/2019
Player Stats – Team Salary per Annum – Past Winners
Footballer of the Year: Hulk, Manchester City
Player’s Player of the Year: Edinson Cavani, Tottenham
Young Player of the Year: Kevin Hofman, Manchester City
Best Goalkeeper of the Year: Thibaut Courtois, Chelsea
Manager of the Year: Ricardo Moniz, Manchester United (Champions)
Manchester United (2019: Champions – 2018: Champions)
MANAGER: Ricardo Moniz
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Javier Hernandez
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Wayne Rooney, Eden Hazard, Jack Wilshere, Jonny Evans, Milan Badelj
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Mohamed Ateya
OVERVIEW: In the two years in charge of the club, Ricardo Moniz has delivered two Premier League titles, the first Manchester United manager to do so since the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson. It was another spectacular season from 30 year old Mexican striker Javier Hernandez, who scored a league leading 36 goals. For the second straight season, he managed to score over 35 goals (he had 38 goals in 2017/18), and again delivered 10 assists to go with his unbelievable strike rate. While Tottenham’s Edinson Cavani is usually considered the most prolific striker of the decade, Hernandez certainly showed his merit, as he now owns the top two best scoring seasons in Manchester United history. His tally this season won him the European Golden Boot for most goals scored during the season. The captain, Wayne Rooney, was also in fantastic form, scoring 21 goals, his highest tally since 2010. This was only the second time in his career that he eclipsed the 20 goals mark, but at the age of 33, he certainly showed he had more than one great season left in him. Together, they were responsible for leading Manchester United to a Premier League best 92 goals.
The Manchester United midfield was not any less impressive, however. Led by Eden Hazard’s 16 assists, they were perhaps the most in-form midfield in the Premier League this season. Hazard was Runner-Up in the World Player awards to Mario Gotze of Dortmund – such was his brilliance. The 28 year old Belgian was arguably just as important as Hernandez to the team, and his presence in the middle allowed his teammates to shine. One such teammate was Jack Wilshere, who performed better than he ever did at this old club, Arsenal. The 27 year old recorded a career high 10 assists in only 24 appearances, and he cemented himself a superstar in a league filled with them. Milan Badelj recorded 11 assists, returning the form he was in during the 2016/17 season. Although he was decent last season, he did not quite show the consistency of form he had in previous years.
While Manchester United scored the most goals of any team in the league this season, their title was also won by conceded the second least amount of goals. The 25 goals conceded by the team was fantastic, and they have great optimism for the future with the signing of Egyptian central defender Mohamed Ateya. The 21 year old came for £7,500,000 and really cemented himself as fulltime start in his debut season with the club. He played alongside Chris Smalling, who completed his ninth year with the club by turning in another consistent and solid season. The star of the defense, however, had to be Northern Irishman Jonny Evans – the 31 year old arguably turned in his finest season in his career, although he played at left back, a position not many would consider his best. Of course, the defenders’ job was made a lot easier knowing they had David De Gea behind them – it was another good season from the Spanish GK, and his 21 clean sheets led the league.
What was surprising about Manchester United’s third consecutive victory is the fact their salary spending was the lowest of the Big Six – almost a full £65,000,000 lower than rivals Manchester City! Still, with the brilliance of Hernandez and Hazard, both of whom are in their primes, and the strong supporting cast around them, it did not come as a surprise that Moniz led them to their third consecutive title. The most successful team in English football history, they are also looking like a fantastic bet for an unprecedented fourth consecutive championship.
Chelsea (2019: 2nd – 2018: 5th)
MANAGER: Hristo Stoichkov
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Elber Escobar
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Sergio Aguero, Pablo Piatti, Romelu Lukaku, Soudi Muba, Thibaut Courtois
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Elber Escobar
OVERVIEW: It had not been an easy past few years for the club – when new manager Hristo Stoichkov was hired in the summer, he was the fourth manager to be given the job in the past three years. Chelsea had not finished in the top four since winning the Premier League in 2014 under then manager Tony Pulis, a major disappointment for a team with the ambitions, and salary spending, of being a champion. This season, however, seemed to represent a turnaround – they finished 2nd Place under the new manager, and also won the FA Cup. The end of the season also coincided with the completion of the brand new Chelsea Stadium, a 58,750 all seater owned by the club.
Although he was one of the most feared attacking threats during his footballing days, Stoichkov focused on defense with this team, and as a result, they conceded only 21 goals, the fewest amount in the Premier League. There is no doubting that their defensive superiority was what pushed them back into respectability, and no one was more responsible for that than their 25 year old Colombian central defender Elber Escobar. Not only was he the team’s Player of the Year, but he was also named to the Premier League Select for this first time in his career. Behind him was Thibaut Courtois – the 27 year old Belgian international was named the Premier League Best Goalkeeper for the second season in a row. Those two were the backbone of Chelsea’s success, and the former has arguably become the squad’s second most important player after Sergio Aguero.
There is no denying the brilliance of the Argentine, or what he has brought to the club since joining them in the summer of 2012. Their title in 2014 would not have been won without him, and the 31 year old has been nothing but spectacular for them through the seven years he had been at Chelsea. Although the 7.29 AR was the second lowest of his career, his 20 goals were the first time he had scored that much since nailing in 25 goals in the 2013/14 season. He remains one of the finest footballers in the world despite his advancing years, and like Wayne Rooney, proved beyond a doubt he was still a world class footballer. His striking partner, the 26 year Romelu Lukaku, had been a star for his national team in both their Euro 2016 run to the Finals and their World Cup 2018 campaign, which saw them eliminated in the Quarter-Finals. However, that form had not carried over to the domestic league until this season – Lukaku hit a career high 18 goals, which was actually the first time he had scored double digit goals since joining Chelsea in 2011.
The club also had some solid form from their midfield, name their 23 year old Congolese anchorman Soudi Muba. Bought for £13,250,000 from West Brom, he was immense for them in his first season, and only looked better as the season went along. Alongside him were Jamie O’Hara and £41,500,000 man Pablo Piatti – both were solid if unspectacular, although one cannot help but feel that more was expected from Piatti than 2 goals and 5 assists.
Stoichkov put forward a very solid foundation for success in his first season with the club, especially on the defensive end. Escobar and Muba are world class talents that are sure to continue shining, and Aguero still looks as good as ever. With Lukaku becoming a true scoring threat for the club alongside Aguero, something which they have lacked for the past few years as Fernando Torres grew older, Chelsea finally look like a team capable of at least fighting for a Champions League spot for the next few years.
Arsenal (2019: 3rd – 2018: 6th)
MANAGER: Paul Lambert
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Marek Hamsik
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Stevan Jovetic, Luis Ramirez, Abel Hernandez, Aaron Ramsey, Marouane Fellaini, Yaroslav Rakitskyi
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Ayman Ben Slimane
OVERVIEW: It was a season of instability again for Arsenal, who last won the Premier League title in 2015 under Andre Villas-Boas, but it was not a season of disappointment, however. Despite Ronald de Boer leaving the club for the greener pastures of Manchester City, as Villas-Boas did before him, the club still finished in a respectable 3rd Place. Paul Lambert, the man hired to replace de Boer, did his best to maintain stability, and succeeded fairly well. The talent at the club remains unquestionable, and that was highlighted by the fantastic season Marek Hamsik had. Although not his best in an Arsenal uniform, he did equal his career high of 12 goals in a season, getting named to the Premier League Select for the fourth time in his career.
Two summers ago, then manager Alan Shearer paid £42,000,000 for Fiorentina legend Stevan Jovetic, and he repaid the club by scoring a career high 21 goals in his first season with the club. The second season, however, has was not so fruitful, as a torn calf muscle ruled him out of action for three months. When he did play, he was still great, scoring 13 goals in 21 appearances, and at the age of 29, he remains in the prime of his career. His partner up front was Abel Hernandez, whom £21,500,000 was paid for in the summer of 2015. The 29 year old Uruguayan has not been the star the club had hoped he would be, but he has been serviceable, nonetheless, as proven by his 12 goals this season.
Of course, the strength of Arsenal was in its midfield, as it had been for the past several years. In addition to Hamsik, the team features the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Marouane Fellaini, both international superstars who are amongst the best in the world at their position. Ronald de Boer recognized where the strength of the team was, and shelled out £38,500,000 to bring Luis Ramirez to England. The 24 year old Venezuelan had a bit of an inconsistent debut season, but there is no doubting his ability. On his day, there is no better attacking midfielder in the world.
Arsenal’s hottest prospect, however, is found in their defensive line. Although he was acquired three seasons ago, Aymen Ben Slimane finally began to live up to his huge potential this season. The 23 year old Tunisian became the focal point of the Arsenal defense, and along with Ukrainian Yaroslav Rakitskyi, helped Arsenal concede only 28 goals after letting in 53 goals during the 2017/18 season. Such fantastic improvement could only be attributed to the improved defensive play of their back four, of which Ben Slimane and Rakitskyi led.
One can argue that Arsenal possess the strongest midfield in the Premier League, but with a solid defensive structure, Lambert was able to finish the job de Boer started. With Jovetic back to full health, their offense should also be one of the most dangerous in the league. All in all, the team looked strong in all aspects of the pitch at the end of the season, and there is no reason why they should not be able to compete for the title next season.
Manchester City (2019: 4th – 2018: 3rd)
MANAGER: Ronald de Boer
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Hulk
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Kevin Hofman, James Milner, Martin Olsson, Ross Barkley, Vincent Kompany
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Abdelkader Sassi, Sabino Cavallari
OVERVIEW: Just under two years after hiring Andre Villas-Boas from Arsenal, Manchester City did the same at the end of the February, luring away Ronald de Boer from the Emirates Stadium and crowning him the new head manager of the club. Needless to say, the 4th Place finish this season was viewed as an extreme disappointment from the Man City board, who are spending nearly £140,000,000 on salaries per year in hopes of more than a spot in the Champions League and a League Cup victory, which they won this season.
Although he has passed the age normally considered the peak for a striker, Hulk continues to impress, and this season was undoubtedly the finest of his career. His 21 goals were his best since coming to England in 2011, initially with Chelsea, but it is not just his scoring prowess that won him the English Footballer of the Year award. It is his ability to contribute in all facets of the game, as proven by his 15 assists and more-than-reasonable 2.44 TpG, an outstanding average for a striker. At the age of 33, he has shown no signs of slowing down just yet. His partner upfront, Edin Dzeko, has, however – the Bosnian is also 33 years old, but has lost so much of his pace he could only contribute 6 goals last year.
The future of the club, as it seems, lies in its midfield, with Kevin Hofman, Sabino Cavallari, and Ross Barkley. Although the 25 year old Hofman did not have as good as second season with the club as his first, he still produced enough to be named the English Young Player of the Year, contributing 6 goals and 8 assists. The 23 year old Cavallari featured in his first season as a starter for the club, playing in all 38 games and recording 5 goals and 9 assists, while the 25 year old Barkley cam in a £23,000,000 move from Everton and had a decent first season. More will be expected for each one of them, especially as James Milner is now 33 years old – although the Englishman had another good season, it is unlikely he will be able to keep up the same form next season.
Other than Cavallari, the club’s most promising young player is Abdelkader Sassi, a 23 year old Tunisian full back who shined in his first season for the club after coming in a £11,750,000 move from FC Twente. He has great guides to learn from in Vincent Kompany, the former club captain before Hulk was named, and Swede Martin Olsson. Kompany featured in his 11th season for the club, and one can argue that he has been amongst the finest central defenders in the league this decade. Olsson featured in his first full season for the club since coming from Tottenham during the middle of the 2017/18 season, and did a fantastic job for them at left back. He is 31 years old, so he still has the ability to contribute at a high level for a few more seasons.
The obvious analysis is that Manchester City are paying too much money for too much deadweight, and a lot of their best players are now becoming of an age where their replacements have to be ready. However, there are a lot of questions to be asked at the club, the most pressing of which is up front. There is young talent available, but will it be enough to replace the stars they have now?
Tottenham (2019: 5th – 2018: 2nd)
MANAGER: Martin Jol (He retired at the end of the season – 2019/20 will be led by Malky Mackay)
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Edinson Cavani
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Salomon Rondon, Luka Modric, Fabien Delph, Gareth Bale, Ryan Shawcross
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Steve Hughes
OVERVIEW: This was Martin Jol’s final season in football, and sadly, it did not end on a positive mark. Just one year after finishing Runners-Up to Manchester United, Tottenham finished in a disappointing 5th Place. It was especially frustrating because no one could pinpoint just where this team went wrong – it was almost the same squad that had led them to top four finishes each of the past four years, and was good enough to take them to the Champions League Finals in 2016 and 2017.
Although he did not score anywhere near the record breaking 40 goals he hit last season, their star striker Edinson Cavani still delivered 22 goals and 10 assists, maintaining his status as one of the most dangerous strikers in the world, if not one of the most prolific. Salomon Rondon, his partner for the past six years and just as dangerous, hit 17 goals of his own, as both players delivered performances expected of them.
One of the finest midfielders of the decade, Luka Modric showed his age this season, and although he recorded 10 assists, making it six straight seasons with ten assists or more, his performance was more inconsistent than usual. At the age of 33, he no longer as pace to beat opponents on the dribble, and it was perhaps a sign of things to come. Fabien Delph, who recorded 11 assists, will be asked to step in his place in the midfield, but for the quality the 29 year old Englishman possesses, he is no Modric in his prime. Gareth Bale, also a club legend like Modric, managed to feature in only 20 games due to injury, but the 30 year old was fantastic as usual when he did play. He will hope to return to his 2017/18 form next season, when he recorded a career high 16 assists.
Their most tantalizing prospect can be found at the back, however – 23 year old English international Steve Hughes is one of the brightest talents in the country. He was bought from Manchester United for £12,750,000, and although his first full season at the club was slightly underwhelming, he is expected to shine next season and help Tottenham gain back its top four position. Alongside him was another English defender, Ryan Shawcross, who gave perhaps his finest season to the club this year. The 31 year old averaged 4.05 TpG and really brought solidity to an otherwise inconsistent back four.
Martin Jol was a fantastic manager who nearly led Tottenham to a Champions League title twice, and he will be missed. Thomas Jones has had two seasons as the new owner of the club, and obviously, Malky Mackay is his own man. The club has enough talent to compete straight up for the title, but given their disappointing season this year, there are some issues that will have to be addressed first.
Liverpool (2019: 6th – 2018: 4th)
MANAGER: Malky Mackay (Has now been replaced by Brian McDermott)
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Luis Suarez
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Jack Robinson, Kyle Walker, Peniel Mlapa, Vladimir Weiss
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Ugo Morel
OVERVIEW: In Malky Mackay’s final season with the club, they disappointingly finished in 6th Place after finishing 4th and 2nd the previous two seasons. Mackay accepted the Tottenham job after the end of the season, and his replacement was Brian McDermott. Mackay spent four seasons at the club, winning the FA Cup once, in 2017.
Their best player this season was 32 year old Uruguayan Luis Suarez, whose 24 goals were his highest ever in a Liverpool shirt. It was the second straight season in which he recorded over 20 goals, and he has really cemented himself as a legend for the club these past couple of years. German World Cup hero, the 28 year old Peniel Mlapa, also was fantastic in his first full season at the club since coming from Hoffenheim in a £7,000,000 move – he recorded 15 goals and 10 assists as Suarez’s partner up front.
Vladimir Weiss made some steps to justifying his £35,500,000 price tag this season, his first full one at the club, by delivering 9 goals and 12 assists. The 29 year old Czech, who was considered one of the best players in the Bundesliga before making his move to England, still has ways to go, however, in convincing the Liverpool faithful that he was worth it, but given that he is in the prime of his career, a couple of more seasons like this one and he would be sure to do so. Behind Weiss, who plays in the midfield, was Jack Robinson, the club’s ever present left back who continues to prove his value to both Liverpool and England. He had another great season, playing in a career high 37 games, and proved again that he was amongst the finest in the world at his position. At right back was another Englishman, Kyle Walker – the 29 year old was bought four seasons ago for £16,750,000, and had been inconsistent since then, but this year, he came into form and was one of the club’s best players.
In terms of young talent, the brightest prospect the club has is French striker Ugo Morel – strong and relatively fast, he still lacks the experience to really make a mark on the Premier League. Out of all the Big Six clubs, Liverpool are, on paper, the one with the least talent in its ranks, although its salary spending is the third highest. Other than Weiss and Suarez, there is no worldwide star on the roster, and the club can be considered to have overachieved if it finishes above 6th Place next season.
Overall Team of the Year
Last edited by abulezz; 24-01-2012 at 14:00.
Pushed up a bit.
SPANISH LA LIGA REVIEW 2018/2019
Player Stats – Team Salary per Annum – Past Winners
Footballer of the Year: Alexis Sanchez, Barcelona
Goalkeeper of the Year: Iker Casillas, Real Madrid
Manager of the Year: Jose Mourinho, Real Madrid (Champions)
Real Madrid (2019: Champions – 2018: 2nd)
MANAGER: Jose Mourinho
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Cristiano Ronaldo
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Angel Di Maria, Gonzalo Higuan, Mesut Ozil, Kwadwo Asamoah, Iker Casillas, Leroy Fer, Mauricio Isla
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Alex
OVERVIEW: For the third time during Jose Mourinho’s reign as manager of Real Madrid, the club captured the Spanish La Liga title away from Barcelona. While three titles in ten years might not be viewed as a success by Real Madrid’s board or fans under normal circumstances, the fact that Mourinho has won three titles during the ‘Barcelona Era’ has to be viewed as a minor miracle in its own right. Their bitter rivals, as is known, had assembled the greatest club side ever assembled the past ten years, and it was over that side that Mourinho managed to win three La Liga and two Champions League titles.
Of course, the main reason all of that was possible is Cristiano Ronaldo. Even though he is now 34 years old, he remains brilliant, and there can be no doubt that he is one of the top five footballers of all-time, along with Pele, Maradona, Zidane, and personal rival Messi. His 14 goals scored this season was the second lowest of his Real Madrid career, and surely a sign of things to come as he enters the twilight of his career. Still, he was the club’s top player as they grabbed their third title of the decade.
The usual suspects were also still there – one thing that can be said about Mourinho is that he seems to have amazing loyalty to his players. His team has remained vastly unchanged in recent years. Gonzlo Higuan partnered Ronaldo up front, scoring 14 goals. Angel Di Maria delivered another fantastic season down the left wing, equaling his career high of 10 assists. Alongside him was the ever present German Mesut Ozil, who gave another characteristically great season playing behind the striker position. Anchoring the midfield was Ghanaian strongman Kwadwo Asamoah, who equaled his career high by scoring an impressive 8 goals from the defensive midfield position.
Although the back did its job, it was not exactly what one would call sturdy, which is all the more reason to be excited about young prospect Alex. The 22 year old Brazilian defender featured in his first full season with the club, and was highly impressive. The club seems to have found itself a gem whom can cover both the central defender and left back positions. Currently, however, the left back position is occupied by one of the finest in the world – Mauricio Isla. Once again, Isla shone in his form – strong in the back and just as dangerous going forward, the 31 year old Chilean has been a sensation for the club since coming from Tottenham for £23,500,000 three seasons ago.
It may come as a surprise, but after a historic career, Iker Casillas finally won the La Liga Goalkeeper of the Year for the second time. The 38 year old legend for both club and country remains the starter for both despite his 38 years, and will surely go down as one of the greatest goalkeepers football has ever known.
Barcelona (2019: 2nd – 2018: Champions)
MANAGER: Roberto Mancini
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Gylfi Sigurdsson
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Alan Dzagoev, Alexis Sanchez, Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique, Nicolas Otamendi,
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: [Romuald Mballa
OVERVIEW: After two straight defeats in the Champions League Finals and a 2nd Place finish in the Spanish La Liga, the doomsayers are at it again, claiming the end of the ‘Barcelona Era’. Roberto Mancini will be quick disagree, of course, and will point to the unrivalled offensive talent at his disposal, which starts with Russian superstar Alan Dzagoev. It was another remarkable season from the 29 year old, scoring 13 goals from the midfield alongside Gylfi Sigurdsson, the man Barcelona’s fans voted as their Player of the Year. Alexis Sanchez did him one better and was named the La Liga Player of the Year for the second consecutive season after scoring 16 goals and recording 8 assists. The 30 year old Chilean has never been more important to the club than he is now, and his legendary status amongst the club’s favorites has all but been assured. Completing the midfield was Cesc Fabregas – the 32 year old Spaniard was instrumental in their Champions League run, winning its Best Player, and delivered 11 assists in the La Liga to help his team to 2nd Place.
Behind the midfield sat the legendary Gerard Pique, who many consider to be one of the finest defenders to have ever played the game. He bounced back from a broken foot he received 2017/18 to deliver another terrific season, squashing any fears about the lingering effects of the injury as he played in 34 games. The problem was, he only other consistent performer in the back was Argentine Nicolas Otamendi, who partnered Pique in the center of the defense. The club conceded an uncharacteristic 41 goals, and that blame could only lay on their defensive deficiencies. Their most promising player is Romuald Mballa, and true to the Barcelona spirit, he has a striker, so their defensive problems will not be solved by the team that is currently available.
Last, but most importantly, is Lionel Messi. For all the talent that Barcelona possess, watching them lose in the Champions League Finals the way they did only made one thing obvious – Messi, who was not playing because of injury, was what pushed this team from great to unbeatable. How many times over the past years have we seen Messi elevate his team to seemingly supernatural heights on the pitch? Unfortunately, at the age of 32, he surely does not have much of that left, especially considering how injury plagued his career has been. The team goes where Messi takes it – will he be able to keep the Barcelona Era’ alive, or is it too much of a tall order to ask now?
Malaga (2019: 3rd – 2018: 4th)
MANAGER: Roberto Donadoni
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Zdravko Kuzmanovic
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Facundo Ferreyra, Anthony Mounier, Thiago , Luka Krajnc
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Eduardo
OVERVIEW: Roberto Donadoni has transformed this one small club into a contender for European glory, and he did it methodically and within budget. Their advancement to the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League last year proved that Malaga were a club that meant business, and their fourth consecutive top four finish in the La Liga only highlighted that point. Donadoni has relied on Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Facundo Ferreyra for the past few years, and they have helped him exceed all expectations set before them. The former was the club’s Player of the Year, completing his eighth year with the club as its captain. The latter was certainly its best player, as he has been since joining the club in January of 2016 – he scored 20 goals to make three straight seasons where he has scored twenty goals or above. His partner up front, 22 year old Brazilian Eduardo, also impressed – this was his first season as a starter for the club since joining for a measly £600,000 in 2014, and he delivered 13 goals.
With Kuzmanovic anchoring the midfield, he left the creative brilliance to the likes of Anthony Mounier and Thiago, both of whom provided their front line with plenty of opportunities to score. The 32 year old Frenchman Mounier delivered 13 assists (down from the previous season, when he gave out 18 assists) and produced another fine season down the left wing. Thiago was a star, as the 28 year old Spanish attacking midfielder contributed 6 goals and 6 assists to the cause. Behind them, their finest defender was Luka Krajnc, who delivered his finest season for the club after coming for £7,500,000 in 2016. He is only 25 years old, so plenty more will be expected from him.
Malaga’s slow and steady rise to the top has finally begun to get the attention of football fans everywhere, especially as they advanced to the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League. Their team’s core is its prime, and with the addition of Eduardo, they have only gotten more dangerous up front. Donadoni has proven himself to be one of the finest managers in the world with the job he has done with the club, anything less than another Champions League spot will be a disappointment for this team.
Villareal (2019: 4th – 2018: 6th)
MANAGER: Juan Carlos Garrido
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: David Cabrera
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Adam Matthews, Javier Mascherano, Juan Carlos Sanchez
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Michalis Gofas
OVERVIEW: The fact that Villareal can be attributed to two things: manager Juan Carlos Garrido and his continuous overachievement with this team, and the other contending La Liga teams falling well short of expectations. The fact is, this is a club without any player remotely resembling a star, not with Giuseppe Rossi scoring 7 goals as a head striker. Yet there they were, earning a Champions League spot ahead Atletico Madrid and Sevilla at the end of the season. Their most important player was David Cabrera, who played as a defensive midfielder alongside Javier Mascherano. The Mexican is 30 years old, while the Argentine has turned 35, but as a duo, you would have been hard-pressed to find a more capable and efficient one in the La Liga. Mascherano recorded a ridiculous career high of 8.21 TpG, which led the league, much higher than any defender. Welshman Adam Matthews also helped with the defensive cause as left back, as he was one of the club’s best players this season.
The future of this side, however, is in its striking force. Michalis Gofas and Juan Carlos Sanchez are 22 nd 24 years old, respectively, and both came into their own last season. Gofas scored 13 goals while Sanchez hit 16 goals, and along with Rossi, their front line has remarkably become their strongest unit. This is something new to a Garrido led team, but the talent is undeniable. If Garrido can continue to get the best of his aging midfield and perhaps make a couple of signings to help the squad, it is not unlikely they could finish in a top four position yet again.
Fernando Llorente was at it again, leading the La Liga with 21 goals. There can be no denying that the Athletic Bilbao striker has been the most prolific in the league the past decade, and even at the age of 34, he showed no signs of slowing down…..Atletico Madrid just missed out on a Champions League spot, and it was all down to Adam Ljajic, who gave them 5 goals and a career-high 15 assists. The 28 year old Serbian midfielder has become one of the finest on the continent, and remain the club’s most important player…..Espanyol’s 22 year old central defender Hugo was arguably one of the best in his position in the league this season, averaging 5.24 TpG and 7.41 AR.
Overall Team of the Year
Last edited by abulezz; 25-01-2012 at 09:17.
SERIE A REVIEW 2018/2019
Player Stats – Team Salary per Annum – Past Winners
Footballer of the Year: Stefan Bell, Inter Milan
Foreign Player of the Year: Stefan Bell, Inter Milan
Italian Player of the Year: Andreas Bertolacci, Roma
Fans’ Player of the Year: Felipe Anderson, Inter Milan
Goalkeeper of the Year: Neto, Fiorentina
Defender of the Year: Stefan Bell, Inter Milan
Young Player of the Year: Xaropinho, AC Milan
Manager of the Year: Gianluca Atzori, Sampdoria
Inter Milan (2019: Champions – 2018: Champions)
MANAGER: Nicolas Frustalupi
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jack Collison
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Emiliano Viviano , Felipe Anderson, Felipe Gutierrez, Stefan Bell
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Daniel Correa
OVERVIEW: For the second year in a row and the fifth time this decade, Nicolas Frustalupi led Inter Milan to the Serie A title, and in convincing fashion, too. The club had a league leading 72 goals scored and 30 goals conceded, highlighting just how much better they were than everyone else in the league. In fact, they were better than anyone else on the continent, defeating Barcelona in the Champions Cup Finals for to win the title for the fourth time in their history and first time since 2010. Frustalupi was hailed as a genius, and all credit must go to the man who has never held a managerial post other than this one.
The midfield is where the strength of the team is, and it starts with Brazilian superstar Felipe Anderson, the nation’s World Cup 2018 hero. The 26 year old set a career high with 14 assists, and has become turned into one of the most talented central midfielders on the planet. He was named the Serie A Fans’ Player of the Year for his exploits. His partner, and Inter Milan’s Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, is Jack Collison – the 31 year old Welshman turned in another great season, and has lived up to his billing as the nation’s best footballer since Ryan Giggs. At the left wing position, 29 year old Chilean Felipe Gutierrez had the best season of his career, delivering a career high 12 assists and scoring 7 goals.
Although he did not have the most consistent of seasons and only scored 9 goals, Daniel Correa remains the future of the club. The 23 year old Uruguayan is extremely fast, extremely strong, and has great finishing ability, he just needs to combine them into the finished product. Leading the Serie A’s best defense was German Stefan Bell – since his exploits in the World Cup 2018, the 28 year old has widely become considered one of the best central defenders in the world, and certainly showed his class this season. He won the Serie A Defender of the Year of the second consecutive season, and the Foreign Player of the Year and Serie A Player of the Year, as well. It helps to have such a world class goalkeeper as Emiliano Viviano behind you, as well – the 33 year old Italian international has been Inter Milan’s starting GK since 2012, and has been in fine form in every one of his seasons since.
Frustalupi has assembled one of the most talented teams on the planet – a lot of people will complain that he simply does not allow talent to thrive in his strike force, but the results speak for themselves. With the addition of Correa, the most talented striker Frustalupi has ever had, surely things will change a bit. With a midfield like the one Inter Milan possesses, it is difficult seeing anyone unseed them as Serie A champions.
Sampdoria (2019: 2nd – 2018: 2nd)
MANAGER: Gianluca Atzori
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Giacomo Bonaventura
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Julian Schieber, Erjon Likaj
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Sebastian, Prince Bediako
OVERVIEW: Given their form the past three years, it is tough to argue that Sampdoria is now the undisputed second best team in Italy, and thanks has to go to their manager, Gianluca Atzori. He completed his eight season with the club, and in that span he led them from the Serie B to the heights they have now achieved. Other than Frustalupi and Donadoni, there is perhaps no Italian manager with a better reputation than Sampdoria’s man in charge.
It all starts with Giacomo Bonaventura, who set a Serie A record this year by handing out an incredible 23 assists from the left wing position. The 30 year old has become one of the most indispensible members of the national team because of his passing ability, and Sampdoria simply did not have a more important player in the team. He was obviously the squad’s Player of the Year, and given that he is at the prime of his career, it is not unlikely that he record an unprecedented 20+ assists in consecutive seasons. He certainly has the right targets in World Cup 2018 Best Player award winner Julian Schieber and 20 year old Spanish striker Sebastian. The former has another typical season, delivering 13 goals in the form expected of him, but the latter has shown potential to be something extremely special. Despite his young age and the fact that it was his first year in the Serie A having been bought from Racing for £8,500,000, he hit an incredible 20 goals and finished as the Serie A Top Goalscorer for the season. One would be hard pressed to find a quicker or stronger striker in this league, and he looks set to have a personal rivalry with Daniel Correa for years to come.
Sebastian is not the only talented youngster in Sampdoria’s ranks – Prince Bediako and Erjon Licaj are both still 22 years old and bundles of ability of their own. The former played his part alongside Bonaventura in the center of the midfield, and the Ghanaian did a good job after making his move from Swiss club Neuchatel Xamax for £7,000,000. The Albanian Licaj was the best defender on the squad, and was also a first year player for the club, having come from Benfica for £4,900,000. His 6.29 TpG led the Serie A by a sizable margin, and he was amongst the finest central defenders in the league.
Sampdoria have arguably the most talented batch of youngsters in their ranks, more so even than their rivals for the title, Inter Milan. The 2017 Serie A champions remain the closest competitors Inter Milan have, and with almost all their key players young or entering the prime of their career, is not tough to imagine that they could give the Milan club a run for their money come next season.
AC Milan (2019: 3rd – 2018: 4th)
MANAGER: Carlo Ancelotti
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Xaropinho
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Pato, Francesco Bardi, Miralem Pjanic,
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Maicon
OVERVIEW: Since Carlo Ancelotti took over the club in late 2015, the club has seen drastic changes in results. Before he became manager, the club had finished in 12th Place, but since he has taken over, he has led them to top four finishes in each of his three full seasons with the club. Although many will still remember his failure to lead England to the World Cup 2014 in Brazil, Ancelotti’s pedigree cannot be denied in Italy.
What helps him out, of course, is perhaps the most talented player in the country – Xaropinho. The 22 year old Brazilian is a unique, once in a generation striker who towers over his opponents yet can easily beat them on the ground as he does in the air. He has already won every individual award there is to win in the Serie A, and was most recently named the Young Player of the Year. He partners long time Milan forward, and fellow Brazilian, Pato up front. Although the 30 year old’s talent have never been in question, he simply has not lived up to the hype set before during his career. Still, he has been serviceable for the club, and is a good partner for his taller counterpart.
Milan also have an abundance of talent in the midfield in Maicon and Miralem Pjanic. Maicon finished off his first season with the club after moving from Wolfsburg for £15,250,000 in great form, averaging 4.61 TpG as the anchorman in the midfield. The encouraging thing is that he is only 22 years old, and still has room for improvement in his game. The more creative member of the midfield is 29 year old Bosnian Miralem Pjanic – he also was bought in the preseason for £12,750,000 from Roma, and delivered the finest year of his career, scoring 8 goals and giving out 7 assists. Together, Maicon and Pjanic formed a fearsome duo that will help Ancelotti and Xaropinho push Sampdoria and Inter Milan for the Serie A title next year.
Fiorentina (2019: 4th – 2018: 3rd)
MANAGER: Stefano Colantuono
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Sebastian Corchia
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Marco Calderoni, Khouma Babacar, Neto, Jorge Enriquez
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Joffrey Berthet
OVERVIEW: It was more of the same for the club this season under new manager Stefano Colantuono, who took over from Delio Rossi. In his final season with the club, Rossi led them to a 3rd Place finish, and while Colantuono did finish one spot below him, it was more to do with the improvement of AC Milan than the Fiorentina itself.
Fiorentina’s main strength seems to be found up front, with Khouma Babacar and 21 year old French striker Joffrey Berthet. The latter is one of those players that looks like he can absolutely set the world alight with his talent, and while 13 goals is not a bad return, it is also fair for the club to expect more from him. He is obviously still very young, but Sebastian (Sampdoria) and Xaropinho (AC Milan) are of the same age and seem to be further along than he is. As for Babacar, he is what Fiorentina hope Berthet does not become – potential of a world class superstar, results of your everyday starting striker. While he has not been a bad player for the club in any stretch, he also delivered 13 goals when one feels he could be giving them around 20 a season. Still, he is 26 years old and just about to enter the prime of his career, so it is not impossible for him to do so.
The most consistent and solid part of the team for years has been its defense. Whether it is Fiorentina’s Player of the Year Sebastian Corchia at right back or Marco Calderoni at left back, those two are the backbone of the team. Both have fantastic TpG averages (4.12 and 4.45, respectively) and both form a huge threat to opposing teams down their respective lanes when attacking. Behind them, Brazilian starting GK Neto remains one of the best in the world at his position, and won the Serie A GK of the Year for the first time in his career. Fiorentina continue to be a team that remains at the top of the league, but until its offense can start giving it more than goals in the low teens, they will have a tough time overcoming the teams that finished in front of it this season.
Andrea Bertolacci won the Italian Player of the Year, even as his club Roma finished in a miserable 12th Place. The Italian midfielder tied Roma legend Francesco Totti by winning the award for the fourth time in his career…..Palermo’s right back Andrew Ogbonna was arguably the finest right back in the league this season. The 24 year old Nigerian finished the season with averaging 5.01 TpG and recording 12 MotMs. His 7.77 AR was the highest in the league…..20 year Udinese defender Graveto was named in the Serie A Team of the Year after a terrific season. The Brazilian was signed on free from Vitoria last season, and has ended up being a terrific bargain for the club…..Although Neto was crowned the Best Goalkeeper, it was Bari’s Matthieu Dreyer was named in the Serie A Team of the Year. How the 30 year old Frenchman only allowed 37 goals in for a very mediocre Bari team is beyond explanation – his achievement was remarkable.
Overall Team of the Year
Last edited by abulezz; 26-01-2012 at 13:32.
FRENCH LIGUE 1 2018/2019 REVIEW
Player Stats – Team Salary per Annum – Past Winners
Player of the Year: Javier Pastore, Paris Saint-Germain
GK of the Year: Steve Mandanda, Marseille
Foreign Player of the Year: Jordan Ayew, Marseille
Most Promising Player: Hugues, Diallo, RC Lens
Manager of the Year: Frank Priou, Caen (5th Place)
Ligue 1 Best Team of All-Time
GERMAN BUNDESLIGA 2018/2019 REVIEW
Player Stats – Team Salary per Annum – Past Winners
Player of the Year: Maro Gotze, Dortmund
GK of the Year: Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Dortmund
Defender of the Year: Alex Sandro, Wolfsburg
Midfielder of the Year: Vasilis Triantafyllakos, Duisburg
Striker of the Year: Frederico Macheda, Bayern Munich
Manager of the Year: Zvonimir Soldo, Wolfsburg (Champions)
Bundesliga Team of All-Time
Bromley 2019/2020 Preview
General Information – Facilities – Domestic League History
Board Expectation: Mid-Table Finish - Transfer Budget: £34,430,000 - Wage Budget: £374,650 (Current: £296,491) - Bank Balance: (£1,298,794)
Despite getting a scare early in the season, we managed to improve on our place in 2017/18 and finish in 10th Place, so last year can be classified as a success. Our Europa League run ended prematurely, I believe, but we can still be proud of advancing to the Second Knockout Rounds. This year, however, I am optimistically hoping for European qualification through league position, and I really do believe we can accomplish that feat.
For one, the core of our team is very, very young and will now be a year wiser and more experienced. In addition to the fact, our training staff seems to be doing miracles, as a lot of our youngsters are showing remarkable improvements in their attributes. We have some borderline world class players in our ranks, and the oldest member of our team is Elliot Law, who is only 25!
Speaking of Elliot Law, after years of serving the club as captain, I decided it was time to give the armband to Emmanuel Musah. Simply put, Law cannot maintain a starting position in the Premier League if are to continue to improve – he simply does not have the talent. He has been a fantastic player for us through these past eight years, breaking the appearance and goal scoring records of the club, and even though he’s not listed as such, he surely ranks as a legend of the club in my book. He will finally be making his move to the bench, and given how professional he is, I doubt that will be too much of a problem.
The board have been kind this preseason as well – in addition to expanding the stadium (they did that on their own!), they also agreed to upgrade our youth facilities. The transfer budget was more than enough, and I barely used half of it! The wage budget is also very kind, and I doubt we will be anywhere close to hitting the maximum target they have set out for us.
I am very excited about the season – there has been no major sales and the core of the team has been retained. The boys have shown amazing improvement, as I stated before, and I cannot wait to see how that reflects in our actual games. I do hope we can find a way to get another crack at European football, and with the talent I have managed to gain over the years, I do not see why that should be impossible.
For the third straight season, I broke the club’s transfer record, this time paying £15,000,000 for Eduardo Fernandez from Colo Colo. As opposed to last season, however, he is the only signing that can be classified as truly a ‘big’ signing. Another £4,000,000 was spent on Manuel Roubaud, and although he is just 17 years old, he already represents an improvement for us at left back. I got a total bargain by paying only £1,000,000 for 17 year old German defender Rainer Rummenigge, and Celso only costing £1,000,000 was a steal as well. The rest of the signings were: Ercan Yaziki (£1,000,000), Jorginho (£1,000,000), Ladislav Kalvoda (£1,200,000), Dale Blake (£500,000), and Matej Krajnc (£250,000).
There were no real big sales this season, with most notable being right back Kevin Long leaving for Ipswich. I could no longer guarantee even a bench spot for him, and in all fairness, he just did not belong in the Premier League. Our largest fee received was £1,500,000 for youth intake product Cheick Kourouma by Chelsea – I just could not see him developing into a player I would be able to use, especially when I had Marcelo Gallardo in my ranks. Longtime No.2 GK Andy Dixon also left – hopefully, he will get the first team football he had been clamouring for.
Tricio: Upon first viewing, 57 goals conceded 37 games will point to a very mediocre season by the 21 year old GK, but the Brazilian had anything but that in his first year in England. He was at times breath-taking, and despite his young age, showed magnificent composure in the box. Obviously, a lot less goals will be expected to be conceded this season, but there is no doubt that the man which the club spent £14,000,000 will be up to the task.
Development: 2018 - 2019.
DL : Manuel Roubaund: Only 17 years old, he came at the end of the transfer window from Lyonnais for £4,000,000. Although he is 6 years his junior, Roubaund has ability that exceed the man he will replace in the starting lineup, Matthew Morgan. He has fantastic speed and surprising ability on the ball for a defender, but of course, the main thing will be if he can actually stop opposing players from scoring goals.
DC : Alexandre: In his third season with the club, Alexandre showed good improvement in his form, with his Average Rating going up from 6.67 AR to 6.87 AR. His 3.12 TpG were still a little on the low side, but the 21 year old has shown enough to remain a starter in the team. The Brazilian is expected to continue his improvement across the board this season, and a season with a 7.00+ AR would go a long way in helping him cement his position as one of the first names on the team sheet.
Development: 2017 – 2018 – 2019.
DC : Tete: Much was expected of the 20 year old Brazilian in his first year after coming amongst a lot of fanfare for £6,500,000, but a horrific injury left him with damaged cruciate ligaments and out of action for 8 months. With the promise that he is 100% healed, Tete will start alongside his fellow Brazilian Alexandre in the center of the defense, but everyone will be anxious to see just how he will come back from his injury. Arguably the club’s purest defender in terms of ability, he will have to show the injury had no long term effect on his skills and abilities.
Development: 2018 – 2019
DR : Kieran Holland: The golden child of the Bromley youth academy, he has now proven that he is undoubtedly the finest player the club’s academy has ever produced. He showed fantastic improvement in his second season as a starter, improving from 6.64 AR to 6.87 AR. The 18 year old Englishman’s improvement in ability was noted as remarkable, as well. Still, he needs to continue to improve on his form, but there is no doubting his ability. He has the potential to be a future international for the England squad if he keeps improving at this rate.
Development: 2017 – 2018 – 2019.
ML : Lukas Kubik: Perhaps the only important player on the team to take a step back in terms of form last season, Kubik’s inconsistency was quite noticeable. He went from scoring 12 goals in 2017/18 to scoring only 2 goals last season, and the 21 year old’s form dipped to a 6.77 AR after being above 7.00. However, given his potential and his ability, faith has been shown in him, and he will retain his starting position on the left wing, but he will have to prove that last season was nothing more than a sophomore jinx.
Development: 2017 – 2018 – 2019.
MC : Porvaldur Magnusson: The 23 year old has not had the easiest of time in the Premier League, but his season was marked by Nigel Adkins giving him his first, and only thus far, cap for England. He has been one of Bromley’s greatest players, but he must show marked improvement this season if he wishes to stay as a first choice team member – his inconsistency has been, at times, very frustrating, but he certainly has the ability to compete at this level. Still, only 3 assists and zero goals are not good return from a midfielder, and he will have to do better.
Development: 2015 – 2016 – 2017 – 2018 – 2019.
MC : Gaucho: The £9,500,000 signing certainly showed improvement in his second year with the club, playing in all 38 games and providing 3 goals and 3 assists as a defensive midfielder. Most impressively, however, was his team leading 4.48 TpG, a fantastic average for a midfielder. The 20 year old Brazilian has begun living up to his potential, and more is expected from him in his third season with the club.
Development: 2018 – 2019.
MR : Gilmar: Widely considering the most technically gifted player on the team, the 21 year old Brazilian will also be starting his third season with the club, and like Gaucho, he has shown marked improvement in form. He gave out 6 assists, but his most impressive stats were his 2.10 TpG and 2.43 DpG – he was one of those rare players than gave 2.00+ in both Tackles and Dribbles. It is not beyond him to begin delivering 10+ assists, either, and that should be the aim with a player of his ability.
Development: 2017 – 2018 – 2019.
F : Eduardo Fernandez: The new record signing, Fernandez cost the club £15,000,000 to get from Colo Colo. The 20 year old Uruguayan has already earned his first cap for the club after an impressive three seasons with his former club, scoring 43 goals in 64 appearances. He will automatically be thrown into the starting lineup, replacing Elliot Law, and much will be expected of him in his first season in England.
F : Emmanuel Musa: For the second consecutive season, he was named the club’s Player of the Year, although he did not show the type of improvement one would have hoped to see from this talented striker. The 21 year old German/Ghanaian scored the same amount of goals (9) as the previous season, but his assists dropped from 10 to 4. Additionally, his AR fell to 6.94 after registering 7.04 in 2017/18. Regardless, he remains the most vital player on the team, and perhaps the most talented. He will need to find a way to score more goals if the club wants to continue improving. He has been named club captain starting this season, replacing Elliot Law.
Development: 2016 – 2017 – 2018 – 2019.
GK : Brian Barrett: Dubbed as potentially the next David Seaman by some aspects of the media, he replaced Andy Dixon as the new No.2 for the club. The 19 year old will certainly see time in the League Cup and perhaps in some league games, as well.
DC : Mario Ortega: The 19 year old Mexican is very talented, and will be the third choice central defender behind the two Brazilians, Tete and Alexandre, so he will see plenty of action. He filled in for Tete when he got injured last season, doing reasonably well.
Development: 2018 – 2019
DC : Ranier Rummenigge: The 17 year old German defender came this offseason for £1,000,000, and all fingers point to it being a complete bargain. He will be the fourth choice central defender, and will have plenty of action to show his ability this season.
MRC : Marcelo Gallardo: Not everyone’s cup of tea due to his questionable physical attributes, the 18 year old Chilean will nonetheless backup both Gilmar and Magnusson in the midfield. Although the questions on his physical ability are well founded, his technical abilities are second to none. An intriguing prospect, to say the least.
MC : Stelian Simu: The 18 year old Romanian was a focal part of the team last year, and will remain so this season. His improvements have been remarkable, and he is showing signs of becoming quite a capable midfielder, potentially a very good Premier League central midfielder.
Development: 2017 – 2018 – 2019.
FC : Jan Hendrik Ihm: A fantastic return on the £1,000,000 spent on him, Ihm ended up being the club’s leading goalscorer despite not being the first choice striker. The 22 year old will again be the first striker off the bench this season, which will guarantee him plenty of playing time. Has the ability to score in bundles, and has the pace to match.
FC : Elliot Law: While it has become obvious the Elliot Law simply does not have the ability to start in an ambitious Premier League side, the 25 year old can certainly provide some firepower off the bench for Bromley. It has not been an easy offseason for the 25 year old, as he was replaced from his long time position as club captain and in the starting lineup, but always the model professional, not a word was uttered. He will definitely continue having a role to play at the club.
Development: 2015 – 2016 – 2017 – 2018 – 2019.
Last edited by abulezz; 28-01-2012 at 10:41.
Fernandez looks like a big signing.
U20 WORLD CUP 2019 – SPAIN
USA vs. France
El Plantio, Burgos (Att: 3,929): This was a rematch of the 2017 matchup in the Second Round of this competition, when the Americans defeated the favored French 1-0. They ended up losing to the Italians at this stage, and this year, they were hoping to do better. It was another shocker, however, as the USA advanced to the Semi-Finals on the back of a 2-0 victory over the French. Mick Holt and Matt Cook got the goals, but it was Jack Estrada who won the MotM, getting an assist and recording a 7.8 AR. For the French, three players especially stood out this tournament: Manuel Roubaud, Manuel Loisel, and Thibaut Fraudin. The Americans ended a run of two straight exits in the Quarter-Finals, and advanced past the stage for the first time in their history.
USA: 2 (Holt, Cook)
Italy vs. South Africa
Romano de Merida, Merida (Att: 3,678): Semi-Finalists in 2015, the South African team certainly had the pedigree, proving it as they advanced against a strong Belgian side in the Second Round. Italy, however, were on a different level – they defeated the Africans 4-0, thanks to a brace from Riccardo Poli, and they also got a 5th goal from their best player so far in the competition, Fabrizio Lenzi. It was a fantastic display by the Italians, who were beaten Finalists in 2017. In the 5 games they had played, the Italians had scored 16 goals and only conceded 1 goal, and they entered the Semi-Finals looking as good a team as any to win the entire competition.
Italy: 4 (Poli 2, Lenzi, Alessandro)
South Africa: 0
Saudi Arabia vs. Mexico
Reino de Leon, Leon (Att: 4,257): Saudi Arabia were certainly the surprise team of the tournament, but their run ended in the Quarter-Finals as Mexico came out 2-0 winners in a surprisingly very even match. The difference, obviously, was that Mexico were more efficient in front of the goal than their opponents, booking their place in the Semi-Finals for the first time this decade.
Mexico: 2 (Vega, Garcia)
Saudi Arabia: 0
Argentina vs. Sweden
Nuevo Arcangel, Cordoba (Att: 4,923): This was a very one-sided match, and the 2-1 result did not do justice to Argentina, who dominated this game from start to finish. Esteban Pereyra hit a fantastic brace and played a generally flawless game as he led the South Americans to victory over the Swedes, who were lucky to come away from this match having scored a goal.
Argentina: 2 (Pereyra)
Italy vs. USA
Nuevo Arcangel, Cordoba (Att: 5,787): It took extra-time for the heavily favored Italians to knock out the surprising USA team, finally sealing when they scored a goal in each extra-time. Despite surviving the first ninety minutes with a 1-1 draw, the Americans were the second best team throughout the match, as the Italians had almost twice as many opportunities on goal as they did and 60% of the possession. In the end, Italy advanced to the U20 World Cup Finals for the second time in a row.
Italy: 3 (Lenzi, Poggi, Scarpellini)
USA: 1 (Heinemann)
Argentina vs. Mexico
Camp d’Esports, Lleida (Att: 4,243): This was perhaps the most exciting match in all of the U20 World Cup, with Mexico finally winning this matchup on penalties after 120 minutes of drama. Mexico looked certain to take a 3-2 victory before Fernando Dezotti scored his second goal of the match in the 90th minute, but in the end, it was the Mexicans who prevailed in the penalties shootout. This was only the second time in their history that Mexico had advanced to the Finals of the competition, with the first being during the inaugural tournament in 1977, where they lost to the U.S.S.R.
Mexico: 3 (Pineda, Nunez, Sanchez) – Won on Penalties 5-4
Argentina: 3 (Dezotti 2, Alvarez)
Italy vs. Mexico
Romano de Merida, Merida (Att: 7,096): There was no doubt that Italy deserved to be champions after defeating Mexico 2-1 in convincing fashion, going through all seven games in the tournament, all wins, and conceding only 3 goals total and scoring 21 goals. They were the best team bar none and did what they could not do just two years ago – win in the Finals. Surprisingly, it was the very first time Italy had won the competition.
Italy: 2 (Alessandro, Lenzi)
Mexico: 1 (Alanis)
Rolando Pancheri, Italy (7 Appearances, 3 Assists, 8.34) – The best player in the tournament did not score a single goal – instead, Inter Milan’s Pancheri made sure that goals did not befall his nation’s team. It is only fitting that for such a great defensive effort, Italy’s best defender, and indeed player, would win the award, one that he thoroughly deserved.
Damiano di Benedetto (3 Aps, 2 Conceded, 1 Clean Sheets, 6.97) – Despite only playing 3 games, the 19 year old di Benedetto played in Italy’s three most important ones, and was the man between the posts as they lifted the trophy for the first time, doing enough to show the world his talent and to win the Best Goalkeeper award.
Bromley Mid-Season Update 2019/2020
I took a sip out of the mug of black coffee sitting in front of me as a looked through the headlines. I was a bit surprised to see Hulk win the World Footballer of the Year – I was almost certain Javier Hernandez or Alan Dzagoev would take it. Still, I can’t say he did not deserve it, as he had a fantastic season last year, and was delivering more of the same this season, as well.
I was relaxing a little bit after hammering my liver a little too hard last night – it was New Year’s Eve, after all – but I needed to meet the boys soon because we were hosting Fulham tonight. It had been a bit of a wild ride so far in the Premier League – we started out in fantastic form, winning our first four matches while conceding only one goal, a record that saw us top the tables for a while. Things turned sour quickly, however, after a disappointing 3-1 loss to West Brom at home, and we have not really found our footing since. We’ve had some good results, such as defeating Chelsea away 1-0 and taking three points away from Tottenham just two nights ago in a 1-0 win, but we’ve also lost to Swansea 2-0 at home and had disappointing matches against Aston Villa and Sunderland. Still, in the big picture, we were in 9th place, just four points off of a guaranteed European spot, and the most of the Big Six really faltering in terms of form this season, we had to give it our best effort because we might not get a chance as good as this to break into a European spot a while yet.
Most of the boys had really picked up their game this season, and I was especially happy with Lukas Kubik’s form – he had a disappointing year last season, but just 19 games in, he had already delivered a career-high 8 assists. Emmanuel Musah had scored 9 goals in each of his past two previous seasons in the Premier League, but at this pace, he was going to exceed that amount by a fair share.
I was relatively happy with our standing considering out mediocre form, and I had no doubt that if we could get back to our early season form, we could challenge for a European spot. It was a tough task, undoubtedly, but the boys were capable. If Eduardo Fernandez could begin giving us a real, viable threat up front alongside Musah and Jan Hendrik Ihm, we could have a potent offensive force that could go a long way into helping us achieve our goals. I say that because I am relatively happy with our defensive displays, especially with our GK Tricio and central defender Alexandre – both I felt, along with Kieran Holland, have been doing really well for us, and the fact that we have conceded only 20 goals in our 19 games, good enough for fourth best in the Premier League, proved that we had improved immensely in that area of the pitch.
Blimey! That October run was a bit harsh!
England nowhere to be seen in the U20 World Cup, sad times ahead.
You can definitely be European place contenders with a bit of consistency.
This is interesting:
Real nice first half of the season, hope you can get back some of that early season form to make a charge for Europe.
A good first half to the season,hopefully you can recapture your early season form.
Better get in there before Roma get up to speed.
Really strong start. Keep it up, and you'll be in Europe again
A very strong start much have given you so much hope for this season but inconsistency seems to be crippling your bid chances of, dare I say it, a top four spot! However, should you get back to your early season form you should have no problems in qualifying for Europe this season.
Good times to be a Roma fan as well I imagine!
Looking good so far. Some excellent results at home to Spurs and Livepool, as well as the away win against Chelsea
Honestly, its tempting, but I feel the only job offer I would consider internationally would be from Ghana or Lebanon
Understandable. But it's still a great offer and a good indicatior of how good you're doing.
Sigh. Another weak Youth Intake. Nothing to get excited about, and I cant see any of them actually becoming a useful member of the team, even though they claim Stow is one of the most gifted players we've produced.
Could this be a repeat of 2018 - are we on the way to another magical FA Cup run?! All four teams are very beatable!
Least there is a positive coming out of the youth intakes,Cape Verde could have themselves a decent right back
Good luck against Everton.
Why would you only go to Ghana or Lebanon?
Don't get unstuck against the Toffee's
Good luck against Everton. You could be this year's Portsmouth/Cardiff!
CHAMPIONS CUP 2019/2020
FC Salzburg vs. Real Madrid (1 - 7)
First Leg – FCRB Salzburg Stadium, Salzburg (Att: 38,063): The hosts in the matchup had gotten one of the strongest opponents they could’ve drawn, and Real Madrid were heavy favorites to advance. Salzburg had finished 2nd Place in Group E to Bayern Munich, beating out favored Malaga to reach this round. They had been knocked out in Group Stages last year, but had advanced to the Second Round in 2018. Real Madrid, who were 2014 and 2017 Champions League winners and current defending Spanish La Liga champions, qualified out of a very tough Group G. They topped the group with 12 points despite being tied on points with two other teams, beating them out on goal difference. As expected, Real Madrid ran away with this one, defeating the home side 2-0 while managing to hold 67% of the possession. Gonzalo Higuan won the MotM, scoring a goal and recording a 9.0 AR.
FC Salzburg: 0
Real Madrid: 2 (Higuan, Sissoko)
Second Leg – Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid (Att: 87,769): Salzburg certainly felt the difference in quality in the second leg of this tie, getting dominated by the Spanish champions to the tune of 5-1. Moussa Sissoko was on fire, hitting a brace from the midfield, and Real Madrid looked capable of scoring every time they entered the final third of the pitch. Salzburg were lucky to have a consolation goal, and the 2014 and 2017 Champions League winners were headed to the Quarter-Finals in the most convincing of fashions.
Real Madrid: 5 (Sissoko 2, Asamoah, Ronaldo, Maffi)
FC Salzburg: 1 (Alan)
Wofsburg vs. Manchester United (1 - 4)
First Leg – (Att: ): The defending German Bundesliga and English Premier League champions faced off in one of the biggest ties of the Second Round. Wolfsburg advanced after securing 2nd Place to Inter Milan in Group A, scoring only 6 goals but also doing a fantastic job of conceding only 4 goals. They were looking to continue on their improvement of last season’s campaign, where they were knocked out in the Group Stages. Manchester United topped Group C despite losing twice, and managed to score 17 goals against strong competition. One of the perennial powers of this past decade, they lost to Marseille in the Quarter-Finals last season. This ended up being a very even match, but Manchester United managed to pull away at the end thanks to a goal from £14,500,000 new signing Dejan Kovacevic. The MotM was won by Eden Hazard, as the Belgian midfielder had an assist and an 8.5 AR.
Wolsburg: 1 (Marcelinho)
Manchester United: 2 (Rooney, Kovacevic)
Second Leg – Old Trafford, Manchester (Att: 88,465): After losing at home in Germany, it was always going to be a tough task for Wolfsburg to find a way back into this tie, and things did not prove any easier in England. Manchester United came away with a 2-0 victory in a match they were clearly the better team in, and the German champions were sent home earlier than they would have liked. Wayne Rooney scored his second goal of the tie, proving there was still plenty of life in his 34 year old legs.
Manchester United: 2 (Badelj, Rooney)
Barcelona vs. Lyonnais (3 – 3, Barcelona Won on Away Goals)
First Leg – Nou Camp, Barcelona(Att: 101,342): Barcelona, who have long been the dominant force in club football, have also advanced to the last two Champions League Finals, losing to Inter Milan in 2019 and their opponents, Lyonnais, in 2018. The Spanish side did not have the best of times in the Group Stages, looking more vulnerable than usual, qualifying in 2nd Place to Fiorentina while conceding 8 goals. The 2018 winners did better, topping Group F having scored 13 goals and conceded only 4 goals. Although it was expected to be a tight game, Barcelona defeated their French opponents 2-0 convincingly, with new signings Alfred Kalu winning the MotM after delivering a top-notch effort from the right back position. Lyonnais were surprisingly meek in front of the Barcelona goal, and that cost them big in this first leg.
Barcelona: 2 (Sigurdsson, Bojan)
Second Leg – Stade de Lumieries, Lyon (Att: 61,556): Such a close matchup and such an exciting one as well, with Barcelona finally edging out the 2018 Champions League winners and gaining revenge on them for beating them in that Finals. Overall, it was an intensely even match, despite Lyonnais desperate attempt to get three more goals after Bojan tied the match on a penalty in the 56th minute. Vaclac Kadlec scored in the 89th minute to secure Lyonnais third goal, but try as they might, they could not get that all important fourth. Barcelona advanced to the Quarter-Finals by the edge of their teeth, and will be glad to have gotten this match out of the way.
Lyonnais: 3 (Mkhitaryan, Mollo, Kadlec)
Barcelona: 1 (Bojan)
Manchester City vs. Fiorentina (3 – 3, Manchester City Won on Penalties 5-4)
First Leg – City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester (Att: ): The visitors in the first leg of this tie were also the 2015 Champions League winners, and had topped Group B, which included Barcelona. Manchester City barely made it out of Group G, tied on points with 3rd Place Sporting Lisbon with 12 points, but thanks to the goal difference, they were able to advance to the Second Round. It was the visiting squad that took a surprising victory, defeating Manchester City 2-1 after the home side had taken a 2nd minute lead. The MotM was Jorge Enriquez, who had an assist for the visiting side and controlled the midfield well.
Manchester City: 1 (Wickham)
Fiorentina: 2 (Chipciu, Babacar)
Second Leg – Artemio Franchi, Florence (Att: 46,396): This was always going to be an exciting match, and it lived up to its billing. A 30th minute Khouma Babacar goal gave Fiorentina the lead early, and it seemed that they were going to advance to the Quarter-Finals until the last ten minutes of the game, when Erick Torres and Sabino Cavallari each scored to send the match into extra-time. It went all the way to penalties, and Manchester City went through at the end in improbable circumstances, knocking the 2015 Champions League winners out of the competition.
Fiorentina: 1 (Babacar)
Manchester City: 2 (Torres, Cavallari)
AC Milan vs. CSKA Moscow (3 – 3, CSKA Moscow Won on Away Goals)
First Leg – San Siro, Milan (Att: 64,118): The Russian side, visitors in the first leg of this tie, have been one of the strongest teams in Europe the past decade, advancing to the Finals in 2013 and the Semi-Finals on two other occasions, most recently being in 2018. They topped Group D ahead of Paris Saint-Germain, although they were less than impressive, scoring only 6 goals and conceding 8 goals. AC Milan have had a rough few years, but seem to be righting the ship under their new Chairman, Giuseppe Baresi. They qualified in a close 2nd Place to Arsenal in Group H, scoring 13 goals and conceding only 3 goals. Their Brazilian star strike, the 6’7 Xaropinho, did a fantastic job hitting a brace, but as they have done on numerous occasions, CSKA Moscow came away with a surprising result, drawing the home side 2-2 in Milan. Their own star striker, Nikolay Ponedelnik, got a goal of his own, and AC Milan ended up with a disappointing result for them going into the second leg.
AC Milan: 2 (Xaropinho 2)
CSKA Moscow: 2 (Ponedelnik, Popov)
Second Leg – CSKA Peschanoye, Moscow (Att: 35,000): This was as close as a tie as one can get, with both matches being played to draws. AC Milan’s young Nigerian striker Adebayo Temile scored first to give the visitors the lead, but it was not to be as CSKA Moscow equalized with a penalty in the 68th minute. They held on to the draw, and won on the away goals rule, knocking out their larger opponents as they had done so many others before them in this competition.
CSKA Moscow: 1 (Irkhin)
AC Milan: 1 (Temile)
Bayern Munich vs. Paris Saint-Germain (3 - 4)
First Leg – Parc des Prince, Paris (Att: 54,453): The 2018 French Ligue 1 winners qualified in 2nd Place behind a less than impressive CSKA Moscow side in Group D, and are hoping to reach the Semi-Finals of the competition, as they did in 2018. Bayern Munich topped Group E, gathering 13 points while scoring 11 goals and conceding 5 goals. While they were the better side during the Group Stages, the Germans could not contain the home side, who ran away with a fantastic 3-0 victory in Paris. Overall, save for the three goals, the match itself was less than entertaining, and Bayern were sinfully lackluster going forward as well as horrible defending the counter-attack. The three goal deficit is going to be a large task to turn around at home in the second leg for the Germans.
Paris Saint-Germain: 3 (Osman, Schelotto, Omrani)
Bayern Munich: 0
Second Leg – Allianz-Arena, Munich (Att: 65,325): Bayern Munich certainly gave it their all trying to steal this tie away from Paris Saint-Germain after a dreadful showing in Paris, and they almost did. They scored their third goal in the 52nd minute, and at that point, they were up 3-0 and had the tie all evened up. However, just two minutes later, Leo scored PSG’s only goal of the game, and the French held on from that point on to the result, losing the match but winning the tie.
Bayern Munich: 3 (Macheda, Amoroso, Kroos)
Paris Saint-Germain: 1 (Leo)
Lech vs. Arsenal (0 - 5)
First Leg – Bulgarska, Poznan (Att: 41,344): In the Group Stages, Arsenal were one of the most impressive teams, topping Group H with 15 points, 16 goals scored, and only 3 goals conceded. Their performance was in Europe coupled with their domestic league form (which currently sees them topping the English Premier League) has had many pegging this team as one of the clubs to beat this year. Polish champions Lech, however, somehow beat out Rangers and Sampdoria to 2nd Place in Group F to qualify to the Second Round, despite only scoring 4 goals. This was a very surprising match because for the most part, it was Lech who were the better side. In fact, Arsenal only had one shot on target, and sadly for the Polish champions, it went in, as Arsenal defeated them 1-0. Still, it was one of the worst performances by the English club all year, and they had no right to be happy with their display in the first leg of the tie in Poland.
Arsenal: 1 (Walcott)
Second Leg – Emirates Stadium, London (Att: 60,361): After a somewhat difficult game in Poland, Arsenal set things right by defeating Lech 4-0 in London. They were by far the better team, with 60% of the possession, and took their chances very well, especially Abel Hernandez, who hit a brace for the English club. He won the MotM, as well, and Lech were left slightly dazed by the offensive firepower shown by Arsenal in the second leg of their tie.
Arsenal: 4 (Hernendez 2, Jovetic, Ramsey)
Villareal vs. Inter Milan (0 - 4)
First Leg – El Madrigal, Villareal (Att: 23,000): The defending Champions League champions topped Group A, losing none of their games and conceding only 3 goals. In fact, the last time Inter Milan lost a Champions League match was in December of 2017, when they were embarrassed 5-0 by Barcelona. Their Spanish opponents were 2nd in Group C, behind English champions Manchester United, just edging out Benfica by a single point. The best team in Italy, Inter Milan had a hard time putting away Villareal, winning 1-0 after second half goal from Milan Djuric. It was an even game throughout, and Villareal will be disappointed having not at least earned a draw from this affair.
Inter Milan: 1 (Djuric)
Second Leg – Giuseppe Meazza, Milan (Att: 79,378): A superb midfield display by the defending Champions League and Serie A champions gave them a 3-0 victory over their Spanish opponents in the second leg. Ruben Yttergard Jenssen scored the first goal and won the MotM, but it was an overall team effort in the middle of the park that really won the game for the Italians. Villareal did not have much of a chance after losing their home leg, and Inter Milan finished things off by showcasing the difference in class between the two teams in Italy.
Inter Milan: 3 (Jenssen, Anderson, Agyei)
Wow, they're ALL tasty ties in the Quarter Finals!
A City/Utd semi-final would be epic!
Paris Saint Germain <3
Always had a soft spot for them, for no reason whatsoever. Although not no more now they've been taken over
for the level of detail in this thread. Nice to see United domnating the prem league
CHAMPIONS CUP 2019/2020
Manchester United vs. CSKA Moscow (6 - 1)
[b]First Leg – Old Trafford, Manchester (Att: 94,058): In the Second Round, Manchester United easily disposed of the German Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg, defeating them in both legs convincingly. They had been one of the most impressive teams in the competition, save for their two losses in the Group Stages, and were the favorites here against CSKA Moscow. The Russian side had squeaked by AC Milan on away goals, but no one could argue that they did not deserve it. They were the Italians equals throughout the tie, and were attempting to qualify to their second straight Semi-Finals. CSKA Moscow knocked Manchester United out of the Semi-Finals in 2013 before eventually falling to Barcelona in the Finals, and the English side were certain to still remember that. Their revenge was brutal, in the form a 5-0 thrashing of CSKA Moscow. There were five different goalscorers, including young central defender Mohamed Ateya, with three coming in the first half. Manchester United were better in every aspect of the game, having 57% of the possession, with a Shots/On Target ratio of 16/8 compared to their opponent’s 7/2. Jack Wilshere took home the MotM with a 9.2 AR, an assist, and a goal. This was one of the most dominating performances in the competition in recent memory, and for once, CSKA Moscow could find no way to escape their opponents.
Manchester United: 5 (Ateya, Wilshere, Hernandez, Jones, Rooney)
CSKA Moscow: 0
Second Leg – CSKA Peschanoye, Moscow (Att: 35,000): There was not much to report here as the tie was already over before this match even began, with Manchester United having taken a 5-0 victory at home in England. CSKA Moscow did put up much of a fight, and Man United barely looked like getting out of second gear, which made for some pretty dull football. The English struck first in the 60th minute through Javier Hernandez, and CSKA Moscow woke up a bit and equalized ten minutes later, but other than that, there was not much going on. Manchester United advanced to the Semi-Finals, but in truth, they had already done so a week ago.
CSKA Moscow: 1 (Honda)
Manchester United: 1 (Hernandez)
Real Madrid vs. Manchester City (1 - 5)
[b]First Leg – Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid (Att: 94,267): Arguably the biggest matchup in the Quarter-Finals this season, the defending Spanish La Liga champions faced up against the team with the highest salary payroll in football, topping £140,000,000! These two teams had met six times before, always in the Group Stages and most recently this season, where each team took a 3-0 home victory. While Real Madrid was 2nd in the La Liga and playing some good football, Manchester City had again sacked their manager, this time Frank de Boer, after falling to 6th Place in the Premier League. His replacement was the somewhat surprising choice of Simon Grayson, hired on February 1st. He was previously at Everton, but had been without a club for the past four months. It was an even game throughout, although the scoreline which saw Man City defeat Real Madrid 1-0 away from home was somewhat of a surprise. Moussa Sissoko was injured in the 28th minute, and Connor Wickham, whom Man City signed in January from Sunderland for £17,250,000, scored very early in the second half to give his team the victory. Real Madrid were disappointing on the offensive end, but the truth was, there was no standout performers on either team. Wickham won the MotM, but only with a 7.5 AR.
Real Madrid: 0
Manchester City: 1 (Wickham)
Second Leg – City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester (Att: 47,405): After taking a spectacular away victory against the Spanish La Liga champions in Madrid, Manchester City finished off the job with an even more spectacular demolition of their competition in Manchester, defeating them 4-1. It was the Connor Wickham show, who had already justified his large transfer fee just three months into his tenure with his new club, scoring a brace that included a ruthless 87th minute goal to seal off the demise of Real Madrid. In truth, the English were the better team, holding 55% of the possession and outplaying Real Madrid throughout the match, allowing them just one shot on goal, which was a Gonzalo Higuan goal, incidentally. Their defeat of the Spaniards set up a mouth-watering tie with their rivals Manchester United in the Semi-Finals.
Manchester City: 4 (Wickham 2, Cavallari, Ramos O.G.)
Real Madrid: 1 (Higuan)
Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain (5 - 4)
[b]First Leg – Nou Camp, Barcelona (Att: 94,336): The greatest club squad ever assembled, Barcelona were now facing a real threat that their time on top of the footballing world was coming to a close. True, they had advanced to the last two Champions League Finals, but they had lost in both of them while clearly being the second best team on the pitch on both occasions. The fact was, Barcelona had won just one Champions League title in the past six years, and were not even La Liga champions anymore. Their opponents last advanced to the Semi-Finals in 2018, before losing to fellow Frenchmen Lyonnais, who went on to defeat Barcelona in the Finals. They were French Ligue 1 winners in 2018, but gave up the title to Lyonnais last season. This season, they were not doing so well, only in 5th Place, and had sacked Julien Escude, the man that led them to their Ligue 1 title, in November, hiring Landry Chauvin in his place. It was another sign of perhaps the end of the ‘Barcelona Era’, as PSG were able to play their opponents and take a 2-0 lead on them in the first half. Alexis Sanchez, long Barcelona’s top threat in this competition, was injured in the 17th minute and potentially is ruled out for rest of the season. Pedro gave Barcelona a lifeline in the 89th minute, scoring a goal, but the damage was already done. PSG head home with a fantastic away victory and one foot in the Semi-Finals.
Barcelona: 1 (Pedro)
Paris Saint-Germain: 2 (Omrani, Leo)
Second Leg – Parc des Princes, Paris (Att: 54,453): After making the last two Finals and reaching that stage three times in the past four years, Barcelona bowed out in the Quarter-Finals to Paris Saint-Germain, but not before putting up one heck of a fight. It was one of the most entertaining matches in the competition this season, full of drama from the start. PSG came into this match with a goal advantage, but Barcelona were first to strike in the 37th minute. Brazilian striker Leo would equalize just before the halftime whistle, and from that point on, it was the Oscar show. Although he was not usually considered a first choice start for the team, the Brazilian midfielder hit a brace in the second half to secure PSG’s famous victory in this tie. His 87th minute goal will go down as one of the most famous in the club’s history, because at the point, Barcelona had scored two second half goals through Romuald Mballa and legend Lionel Messi and looked to be headed to another Semi-Finals appearance. Oscar’s goal in the dying minutes of the match sent an eruption through Paris, and their team went on to defeat ‘The Greatest Club Ever Assembled’ in dramatic circumstances.
Paris Saint-Germain: 3 (Oscar 2, Leo)
Barcelona: 3 (Sigurdsson, Mballa, Messi)
Inter Milan vs. Arsenal (2 - 3)
[b]First Leg – Giuseppe Meazza, Milan (Att: 80,018): The defending Serie A and Champions League champions could make a case that there was simply no better team in the world at the moment. They had not lost in the competition since December of 2017, and were currently in top form. Their manager, Nicolas Frustalupi, was known as one of the best in the world, and Inter Milan were experiencing on of their past phases in their history under him. Their English opponents were not doing so bad, either – they were second in the English Premier League, and had done very well in the Group Stages and Second Round. Their manager, Paul Lambert, was hired in March of 2019, and had done well with the squad since. Inter Milan’s hero in the Finals last season was Daniel Correa, and he repeated of his feat of scoring a brace, this time against Arsenal. The English squad did get one back, however, just two minutes after Correa’s second goal in the 65th minute, as fellow Uruguayan Abel Hernandez scored to give Arsenal the all important away goal.
Inter Milan: 2 (Correa)
Arsenal: 1 (Hernandez)
Second Leg – Emirates Stadium, London (Att: 60,361): Inter Milan’s suffered its first defeat in the competition in over two years, and in all honesty, they fully deserved it. Arsenal were, by far, the better team here – their Shots/On Target ratio was 18/7, while Inter’s was 4/0. That’s right, the 2019 Champions League winners at 0 shots on target! Arsenal were playing like a team possessed, and club legend Marek Hamsik was at the center of it, scoring the first goal. The scoreline should have been a lot larger, and Inter were lucky to have gotten away by conceding only two goals. Arsenal were through to the Semi-Finals, and Europe was going to crown a new champion. Their qualification also meant that three English teams were in the Semi-Finals, and the nation was one going to have a representative in the Finals for the first time since three years.
Arsenal: 2 (Hamsik, Clark)
Inter Milan: 0
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Arsenal (2 – 2, Arsenal Won on Away Goals)
First Leg – Parc des Princes, Paris (Att: 54,453): Each team came into this match having been underdogs in their Quarter-Finals matchups and won. Arsenal unseated the defending champions Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain knocked one of the favorites, Real Madrid. Both teams were in great form in the competition, and it showed in the first leg, as they came away with a well-played 2-2 draw. Abel Hernandez had been scoring on a constant basis for the English club throughout the competition, and he struck again in this game. Of the two teams, however, it was PSG who was more disappointed with the result, as they conceded two away goals to Arsenal and could not find a way to win this match.
Paris Saint-Germain: 2 (Antwi, Martial)
Arsenal: 2 (Hernandez, Jovetic)
First Leg – Emirates Stadium, Arsenal (Att: 60,361): The two away goals scored in Paris were the deciding factor in this tie, as Arsenal buckled down at home and refused Paris Saint-Germain a single goal. In fact, the French side only had two shots on target the entire game, and it was no surprise that the Arsenal back four were the best performers in this match. The game itself was a dull affair – very few chances for both sides and little in the way of creativity, but Arsenal did not mind. They got the result needed, and for the second time in their history, they were headed to the Champions Cup Finals.
Paris Saint-Germain: 0
Manchester City vs. Manchester United (2 – 2, Manchester United Won on Away Goals)
First Leg – City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester (Att: 47,405): This was the epic draw everyone was waiting for – both teams were favorites to win the entire competition, and this tie was viewed by some as one of the most anticipated in recent memory. Manchester City kicked things off with a 2-1 victory at home, with its most important players for the future scoring. Kevin Hofman opened up the scoring for the home side, and Sabino Cavallari contributed their second. Never ones to give up, however, Javier Hernandez responded by scoring a goal of his own, and Manchester United grabbed an important away goal before the end of the match.
Manchester City: 2 (Hofman, Cavallari)
Manchester United: 1 (Hernandez)
First Leg – Old Trafford, Manchester United (Att: 94,746): The second leg of this tie was another close encounter, but it was the more storied of the two clubs that finally won out in the end, with new signing Diego Rubio-Sanchez, who came during the January window for £15,000,000 from FC Twente, scoring in the 67th minute to seal the victory for Red Devils. Manchester United had advanced to the Finals four times since winning the competition for the third time in 2008, but all four of them ended in defeats, three times to Barcelona and once to Real Madrid. This time, they were facing an opponent they knew very well in fellow English Premier League side Arsenal.
Manchester United: 1 (Rubio-Sanchez)
Manchester City: 0
For the second time in Bromley's history, we won the FA Cup! We dominated the match, but we couldnt put them away. I had my hand on my heart going into the penalties, but the boys did it!
Wow, looked like you'd been knocking on their door all the time as well.
Definitely deserved the win by looking at the stats. Interesting that two goals came within 6 minutes but then for the next 114minutes no-one could score.
CHAMPIONS CUP 2019/2020
Arsenal vs. Manchester United
Parc des Princes – Paris, France (Att: 54,453): A couple of weeks prior to this match, Arsenal were crowned the new Premier League champions, unseating Manchester United and preventing them from winning a record breaking fourth title in a row. When Paul Lambert was hired in March of last season, not many predicted to him to do better than his more famous predecessors, but that is exactly what happened – he brought home Arsenal’s first Premier League title in five years and led them to only their second ever Champions League Finals. His counterpart, Ricardo Moniz, was also leading Manchester United to his first Champions League Finals, and was out for revenge after watching Arsenal claim a title that had been Man United’s the past three years. Both teams were widely considered the finest two sides in the competition this season, and rightfully so. This promised to be an epic battle between two bitter rivals, and it was the first all-Premier League final since 2008, when Manchester United defeated Chelsea.
Arsenal were able to capture the Premier League title this year because they were the best team in England, better than Manchester United, and it showed today, as they came away with a fantastic 2-1 victory to win their first ever Chamions League title in their history. Although Manchester United had 53% of the possession, Arsenal were the more dangerous and creative side, and it all came down the man most responsible for their success this season, Luis Ramirez. He scored Arsenal’s second goal and was MotM, giving the Manchester United defense fits throughout the game. Arsenal proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were finest club on the planet this season, and did so by defeating their northern rivals. For Manchester United, this was for the fifth straight Champions League Finals they had been defeated in, and the third manager to have that fate befall him, after Sir Alex Ferguson (2009, 2011, 2012) and Martin Jol (2014).
Arsenal: 2 (Hedenstad, Ramirez)
Manchester United: 1 (Coentrao)
Luis Ramirez, Arsenal – 12 Appearances, 4 Goals, 4 Assists, 7.35: The 25 year old Venezuelan might just have been the best player in the world so far in 2020, and with good reason. He led Arsenal to the English Premier League title, and carried them to their first ever Champions League championships, as well, as their best player. His contributions were especially telling in the Finals, where he won the MotM and scored Arsenal’s winning goal.
Xaropinho, AC Milan – 7 Appearances, 10 Goals, 1 Assists, 8.17: With such an impressive scoring rate, one has to believe that had AC Milan advanced past the Second Round, Xaropinho would have had a great chance of breaking Lionel Messi’s record of 16 goals. He was outstanding through the Group Stages, and nearly single-handedly led his club to victory against CSKA Moscow in the Second Round. The 23 year old Brazilian is a giant not only physically, but on the pitch, as well, in terms of footballing ability.
I'm not sure which one is more odd: Only one player in the Champions League team of the year to not play in red or only of them to not play in England.
Congrats on the FA Cup win
Not a bad year for Arsenal then and Looks like a miserable Euros for the Dutch!
Well done on another FA Cup win. Definitely one of the most one-sided 1-1 draws I've ever seen!
Congrats on the cup win. Looks like you should have won it quite convincingly so the penalties must have been a nervous time.
Good to see Xaropinho is starting to fulfill his early promise too. A few more seasons and I think he will be a world beater
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 - BELGIUM
Ireland vs. Germany
Oostende International Arena, Oostende (Att: 64,825): The Irish qualified first out of a relatively tough Group A, and their main strength was their attack, scoring 8 goals in their 3 matches. Incidentally, however, their two best players coming into this Second Round matchup with the Germans were defenders – Ciaran Clark and Mark O’Brein. Their leading goalscorer was Ray Dolan, who had scored 3 goals in the Group Stages. Led by perhaps their greatest footballer of all-time, Roy Keane, the Irish were looking decent competition for the defending World Champions, and had already surpassed their achievements during the last European Championship in 2012, where they finished dead last in their group.
After losing their opening match to France, the World Champions straightened themselves out and won their last two games, but questions were still being asked of the national team as they prepared for their Second Round matchup. Bruno Labbadia had taken over from Thomas Tuchel, who led the nation to their fourth World Cup victory in 2018, and this was his first major tournament after their success under Tuchel. Robert Glockner, who had scored 17 league goals for Stuttgart this past season, was also their best player in the Group Stages, scoring 2 goals and winning 2 MotMs. Strong performances from Benedikt Howedes and Mario Gotze, both legends of the national team, also guided the Germans to finish 2nd Place behind France in Group B.
Things started off well for the Germans as Gotze scored in the 9th minute, and they never looked back after that. They were the better team for the majority of the match, and held Ireland to just 1 shot on target, while they had 6 of their own. Andre Schurrle scored their second goal in the 59th minute, and that sealed the 2-0 victory for the World Champions. Unfortunately, their goalscorer Schurrle picked up an injury very late in the game, and was ruled out for the rest of the tournament. Still, it was a solid, efficient performance by the Germans, one we had become so used to seeing from them.
Germany: 2 (Gotze, Schurrle)
Romania vs. Sweden
Charleroi Community Stadium, Charleroi (Att: 64,675): Romania qualified out of the ‘Group of Death’ in this tournament without losing a single match, and was highlighted by their 1-0 defeat of Portugal in their final match of the Group Stages. They came in 2nd Place to England in Group F, and did so on the back of striker [url=http://img840.imageshack.us/img840/2038/2020europeanchampionshi.jpg]Fabian Himcinschi, who scored 3 goals in his 3 appearances. However, fortunately for the Swedes, he was suspended from their Second Round matchup and Romania, who had been so impressive in the Group Stages, was going to have to face Sweden without their best player.
Sweden had qualified top of Group E with 6 points, and had scored 8 goals in the process. Leading their strike force was 30 year old Rasmus Jonsson, who had scored 15 league goals for his club FC Porto this past season. In the Euro 2020 Group Stages, he had scored a tournament leading 4 goals, recording a sensational hat-trick against Turkey as Sweden destroyed them 5-0. Defenders Mattias Johansson and Martin Olsson both had produced great games in the Group Stages, as well. They were ranked 11th in the world, and although they had gotten knocked out in the Group Stages of World Cup 2018, in Euro 2016 and Euro 2012, they had advanced to the Second Round and Semi-Finals, respectively.
This was as exciting as a match could get, especially the ending. Sweden struck first five minutes before half-time, and they looked like they were going to take the victory until 33 year old Bogdan Stancu of Galatasaray converted a controversial penalty call into a goal, equalizing the match in the 88th minute. This sent a very even game between two even teams into extra-time, and again Sweden struck first in extra-time, this time through 23 year old Wolfsburg striker Robert Persson in the 113th minute. This time, it seemed Sweden had finally done enough, but in a repeat of the events of the second half, Romania equalized the match in the dying seconds of the second extra-time through Fiorentina left midfielder Alexandru Chipciu, sending it into a penalty shootout. The Romanians finally prevailed, although Rasmus Elm, Fulham’s central midfielder and Sweden captain, won the MotM for an outstanding display. In heartbreaking circumstances, Sweden were knocked out of the tournament while Romania celebrated.
Romania: 2 (Stancu, Chipciu) – Romania won on Penalties 5-4
Sweden: 2 (Armenteros, Persson)
France vs. Croatia
Stade Roi Baudouin, Brussels (Att: 50,000): Possibly the most impressive team in the Group Stages, France topped Group B having won all their matches, scoring 7 goals and conceding none. They defeated the Germans 1-0 in their first match of the tournament, marking themselves as favorites to win the entire thing. Rudi Garcia, who had taken over the reigns as head coach of France in 2017 after Didier Deschamps was sacked after failing to lead the country to the World Cup 2018, was now featuring in his first major tournament with them. Their two most impressive players in the Group Stages were both relative newcomers to the French national team – midfielder Eric Coulibaly and Mbaye Niang, with the latter leading the team in scoring with 2 goals.
The Croatians qualified in 3rd Place from a tough Group A, behind Ireland and Belgium, and they were rewarded with a matchup against France. Incidentally, they drew all three of their matches in the Group Stages, scoring and conceding 5 goals in their 3 matches. Ante Vukusic, Shakhtar’s striker who had scored 12 league goals for them this past season, was their best player so far in the tournament.
From the beginning, France dominated the match. They were on the attack for almost the entire game, controlling it with 54% of the possession. Their Shots/On Target ratio was 13/6 compared to Croatia’s 5/1 – unfortunately, that’s all the Croats needed to score the only goal of the game and win 1-0, thanks to a Luka Modric penalty. Quite how France lost this match is still a mystery, but that is the way it works sometimes in football. It was a heartaching loss, for sure, because the French deserved to win this game in every respect. However, it was Croatia who were headed to the Semi-Finals while France were sent home.
Croatia: 1 (Modric)
Austria vs. England
Liege Community Stadium, Liege (Att: 58,816): The English team was a beaten Finalist in Euro 2012, losing to Spain in a tightly contested match, but were knocked out by Portugal in the Second Round of the Euro 2016 in France. This time around, however, they were one of the most talented teams in the tournament, and had beaten Portugal 4-2 in the Group Stages, topping Group F in the process. Connor Wickham was fantastic for England in their World Cup 2018 campaign, where they fell to eventual champions Germany in the Semi-Finals, and he was their best player this tournament, as well, scoring a goal and handing out 3 assists. Jack Wilshere was also having a great tournament, and as was the defensive pairing of Chris Smalling and 24 year old right back Steve Hughes.
The Austrians barely qualified to the Second Round, coming in 3rd Place in Group E behind Italy and Wales and only scoring 2 goals in the process. Their only victory came against an abysmal Holland side that failed not only to get a single point, but also was able to score only one goal in its three matches. Their best player, and perhaps the only one playing at a decent level, was 28 year old Liverpool midfielder David Alaba, who carried the hopes of the nation on his shoulders.
There were no surprises in this match, as England took the lead through Wayne Rooney in the 22nd minute and never looked back. Austria barely got a look at the English goal, and none of their 4 shots were on target. England had 59% of the possession, and there was no doubt who the better team in this matchup was. However, it was not all good news for the English – Wilshere injured himself in the 71st minute and was ruled out for the rest of the tournament. Rooney added a second in the 73rd minute on his way to winning the MotM, and England were through to the Quarter-Finals, albeit without one of their best players.
England: 2 (Rooney 2)
Slovakia vs. Belgium
Mechelen Community Stadium, Mechelen (Att: 65,500): The Euro 2016 saw Belgium reach the Finals, only to be beaten by Spain, and this year, it was still pretty much the same core who were trying to emulate the feat they did four years ago, except for one big difference – the lack of Eden Hazard. One of the best players in the world, the Manchester United midfielder was out for another four months with damaged cruciate ligaments. Their Group Stages matches did not inspire too much confidence – they came away with three draws, and that had them qualify to the Second Round after placing in 2nd Place in Group A. The strength of the Belgian team obviously lied in their midfield, which featured the likes of Arsenal’s Marouane Fellaini and Lyonnais’ Radja Nainggolan.
The Slovakians qualified 2nd out of a relatively weak Group E, second to Sweden, who was the only team they beat in the Group Stages matches, incidentally. A big reason for their qualification was Real Madrid’s 22 year old striker, Marek Tomcak, who had scored 3 goals in the Group Stages. Their GK, 25 year old Igor Berky, was also doing very well, and he was one of the top GKs in the tournament during the first three matches.
Surprisingly for the hosts, it was their opponents who were the better team throughout the match. Slovakia struck first in the 37th minute as Tomcak scored his 4th goal and cemented himself as one of the stars of the tournament. It was not until the 66th minute that Belgium equalized through Nainggolan, and twelve minutes later, a shot ricocheted off of Berky to give the hosts an undeserved lead. Somehow, they would maintain the 2-1 scoreline and go on to win the match, but Slovakia were clearly the better team on this night. They had 58% of the possession, and had nearly double the shots that Belgium was afforded. Nainggolan’s MotM effort, which included his goal, was the catalyst, however – somehow, Belgium pulled off the victory, and were headed to the Quarter-Finals.
Belgium: 2 (Nainggolan, Berky O.G.)
Slovakia: 1 (Tomcak)
Turkey vs. Spain
Bruges Community Arena, Bruges (Att: 65,500): Spain set a new record when it won the European Championships for the third consecutive time during Euro 2016 in France, and also became the only team to win the tournament four times in its history. The most decorated team in the Euros history, they were given a weak group, beating Russia, Norway, and Macedonia in Group C to top it with 9 points. Their best players were their defenders, namely legend Gerard Pique (the tournaments Best Player in 2012), Alberto Botia, and Cesar Azpilicueta. Manchester United’s GK David De Gea was also having a very strong tournament, and it seemed this Spanish team was going to live or die on the strength of its defensive unit.
The Turks were one of the worst performing teams to qualify to the Second Round, having placed in 3rd Place in Group E. They lost 5-0 to Sweden in their opening match, and only managed to score 2 goals in their three Group Stages matches. Their best player was Usta Ertem, and even the 23 year old Marseille midfielder was not performing well.
There were no surprises as Javi Martinez converted two first half penalties, and Spain barely had to get out of first gear to seal the victory. It ended 2-0, with Martinez claiming the MotM, while Turkey lived up to their Group Stages form, barely showing anything to threaten the Spanish goal. They were not much better in the back, either, and one might have felt that if Spain actually tried, they would have gotten at least four or five goals this match.
Spain: 2 (Martinez 2)
Italy vs. Portugal
Namur Community Stadium, Namur (Att: 64,750): Italy had made it through to the Second Round after topping Group D, winning 2 of their games and scoring 5 goals. They were not especially impressive, but they did do the job required of them, and did so with a bit of efficiency, too. Delio Rossi had done a good job instilling a sense of team spirit in the side, and they had gotten especially good performances from Lorenzo Crisetig and Andrea Bertolacci, who was the new Daniele De Rossi in every sense of the world, all the way down to playing for Roma.
The Portuguese, however, did not have an easy time in Group F, losing 2 of their games and just making it to the Second Round despite finishing 3rd Place. Tough losses to England and Romania did not offset its impressive 4-0 victory over the Ukraine, and the Portuguese had no right to be happy with their Group Stages performances. Joaquim Sosa led the team in scoring with 3 goals, while Fabio Coentrao was their best performer in the Group Stages.
Lyonnais’ 23 year old striker Giuseppe D’Agostino gave Italy an early in the 21st minute, and in the dying second of the first half, Crisetig scored their second goal. Going into the second half, it was clear that Italy were going to win the match given the form Portugal had been in during the first forty-five minutes, and those assumptions were proven correct. The Portuguese simply could not play up to the level of their Italian counterparts, and it was a David Astori own goal that gave the Portuguese their consolation goal. In the end, the better team won, and Italy were headed to the Quarter-Finals.
Italy: 2 (D’Agostino, Crisetig)
Portugal: 1 (Astori O.G.)
Wales vs. Norway
Ghent Community Stadium, Ghent (Att: 64,700): Although they did not qualify to the World Cup 2018 in Russia, Wales had proven they were capable of greatness when they came within one goal of advancing to the Finals of the Euro 2016, losing out to Belgium in extra-time. This time around, they impressed once again the Group Stages, winning 2 of their matches and qualifying second to Italy in Group D. Former Chelsea manager Tony Pulis, who had led them to the English Premier League title in 2014, had been manager of Wales since 2015, and he was the man that led them on their great Euro 2016 run. Their world stars of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, and Jack Collison were their best performers in the Group Stages.
The Norwegian team came in 2nd Place to Spain in Group C, and although they did not impress anyone with their Group Stages form, they also did not embarrass themselves. Their most famous player, Inter Milan’s Ruben Yttegard Jensen, was their best player in the Group Stages and would be relied upon by his nation if they were to have a chance to win against Wales.
Despite Wales not being favorites to win the tournament or even advance to its latter stages, the defeat the Norway proceeded to hand to them was a shock in any case. FC Twente striker Mushaga Bakenga, who had scored 29 league goals for them this past season, leading them to the Eredivisie title and win the league’s Golden Boot award, hit Wales with a fantastic brace in the first half that gave them a 3-0 lead going into the second half. The Welsh looked surprisingly flat-footed, even as the second half began, and despite Bristol City striker Sam Vokes getting one back for them, they were simply outplayed on this evening. Norway surprised the continent with their 3-1 victory, and were heading to the Quarter-Finals because of it.
Norway: 3 (Bakenga 2, Nielsen)
Wales: 1 (Vokes)
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 - BELGIUM
Germany vs. Romania
Mechelen Community Stadium, Mechelen (Att: 65,500): Led by 23 year old striker Robert Glockner, who had 2 goals and 2 assists so far in the tournament, World Champions Germany had really impressed since their Matchday One loss to France. Benedikt Howedes and Mario Gotze, with the latter being perhaps the finest footballer in the world, were also impressive, and they were heavy favorites to advance to the Semi-Finals against their opponents. The Romanians had played out one of the most entertaining matches so far in the tournament in their 2-2 victory on penalties against Sweden, and they still had not recorded a loss in the tournament. These two teams had not faced each other at all during the past decade, and there was definitely a sense of excitement around this match.
As expected, the Germans were in full control of the match, defeating Romania 2-0. They struck first a few minutes before the halftime whistle through Inter Milan’s defender Stefan Bell, generally considered one of the finest in the world at his position, having been crowned the Serie A Defender of the Year for the past three years. Liverpool’s Peniel Mlapa, who scored 17 league goals this past season, hit Germany’s second goal in the 73rd minute, doing justice the statistics that said Germany were by far the better team in the match. They had 57% of the possession, and their Shots/On Target ratio was 19/6 compared to Romania’s 9/4. However, there was some bad news – Glockner was injured in the 55th minute, hurting his knee and getting ruled out for the next two months. Germany was headed to the Semi-Finals, but without its best player so far in the tournament.
Germany: 2 (Bell, Mlapa)
Norway vs. Italy
Liege Community Stadium, Liege (Att: 64,950): Although they were expected to lose against the Welsh, Norway turned up the intensity and ran out 3-1 winners in their Second Round matchup, thanks mostly to Mushaga Bakenga’s fantastic brace. He was one of their best players and leading goalscorer with 3 goals, and Norway were riding a high as they got ready to face Italy in the Quarter-Finals. The Italians had faced the Norwegians twice before, in the World Cup 2018 Qualifying Rounds, and defeated them both times. They had done well so far in the tournament, and Lorenzo Crisetig was one of the front-runners for the Best Player award so far.
What transpired in this match will go down as one of the biggest upsets in European Championship history. Norway were on the attack from the beginning, and Paris Saint-Germain’s Magnus Wolff Eikrem opened up the scoring against the Italians in the 15th minute. In the second half, just as he had done against the Welsh, Bakenga scored another phenomenal brace, sinking the much favored Italian team as Norway came out 3-0 victors. Bakenga was crowned MotM, and his 5 goals now led the tournament. Italy were shocked by the resilience and never-ending effort of the Norwegians, and had no answer. Bakenga had become of the stars of the tournament, and had replaced Crisetig as favorite for the Best Player award. As for Norway, they advanced to the Semi-Finals for the first time in their history.
Norway: 3 (Bakenga 2 , Eikrem)
Croatia vs. England
Bruges Community Arena, Bruges (Att: 66,500): After surprisingly knocking out France in the Second Round thanks to a Luka Modric penalty, Croatia advanced past the Second Round in a major tournament for the first time since 2012, where it was knocked out in the Quarter-Finals by none other than England in the Euro 2012. The English, who had gotten to the Finals during that tournament, had lost to Croatia 3-0 during the Group Stages of Euro 2016 in France, however, and were itching to get revenge for that loss. They were without Jack Wilshere, who had picked up an injury against Austria in the Second Round, a huge blow considering he was one of their best players in the tournament.
Despite their general ability to find the net previously in the tournament, England were shut out by Croatia in this Quarter-Finals matchup, and ending up losing the match 1-0. One can argue that the English were the better side overall, but an Ante Vukusic goal in the 7th minute was all Croatia needed to grab the victory. They buckled down defensively, and of England’s 19 shots, only 5 were on target. England left back Jack Robinson won the MotM, but it was small consolation for their Quarter-Finals exit – Croatia, on the other hand, were headed to the Semi-Finals.
Croatia: 1 (Vukusic)
Belgium vs. Spain
Stade Roi Baudouin, Brussels (Att: 50,000): The hosts won their first game in the tournament in the Second Round against Slovakia, having drawn all three of their Group Stages matches. They were Finalists in 2016 in France, and were beaten by none other than Spain, their opponents in the Quarter-Finals this time around. With the absence of Eden Hazard, Belgium had not been at their best, and the rest of the team was struggling to cover the huge hole he had left in the midfield. Spain were not captivating anyone with their football, but their defensive line was doing a fantastic job, having conceded only 1 goal in the tournament so far. Cesar Azpilicueta and Gerard Pique were amongst the best players in the entire tournament, not just their national team, and it was that defensive greatness that had them favorites to win the title for a record fourth time in a row.
The hosts came out in the first half with a intent of breaking through Spain’s defensive wall, and in the 31st minute, Gianelli Imbula, Fenerbache’s central midfielder, succeeded in doing just that. Spain were taken aback by the Belgian goal, but could not counter with one of their own. Despite having 56% of the possession, Spain ended up losing this match to the hosts of the tournament 1-0, ending their streak of title wins at three. For the first time since 2008, Europe was going to crown a new champion as Belgium headed to the Semi-Finals.
Belgium: 1 (Imbula)
Last edited by abulezz; 09-02-2012 at 05:04.
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 - BELGIUM
Germany vs. Norway
Bruges Community Arena, Bruges (Att: 66,500): The German entered this match as the biggest name left in the tournament, but they were far from full strength. Their two best players at Euro 2020 were Mario Gotze and Robert Glockner, and both players were injured for the remainder of the tournament. Additionally, strikers Andre Schurrle and Julian Schieber were also out for the remainder of the tournament, robbing Germany of its four greatest offensive weapons.
This could not have been better news for Norway, who were riding an unlikely wave of great form on the back for their star striker Mushaga Bakenga. It had been an unreal last couple of weeks for Bakenga – not only was he front runner for the tournament’s Best Player award and its leading goalscorer with 5 goals, Liverpool had also just made a £19,250,000 bid to FC Twente for him thanks to his great performances at Europe’s largest stage. While Germany were limping into the Semi-Finals, Norway was charging full steam ahead.
It just thirteen minutes for Norway to continue to surprise the continent, as Stuttgart left winger Thomas Drage hit the first goal to give the Scandinavian nation the 1-0 lead. It was all Germany after that in the first half, as they started an onslaught on the Norwegian goal that was ultimately fruitless. Norway headed into the first half still leading 1-0. The second half brought with it more German pressure on the Norwegian goal, but Norway did manage to counter-attack a few times. Goalkeeper Andre Hansen was having the game of his career, and that was only highlighted when he saved a penalty in the 73rd minute to maintain Norway’s lead over the World Champions up till the final whistle. The Germans were shocked, and Norway had done it again. This time, Drage was the MotM, but the details did not matter at this point for them – they had defeated the World Champions and were headed to the Euro 2020 Finals, the first time they had reached that stage of the tournament in their history.
Norway: 1 (Drage)
Belgium vs. Croatia
Mechelen Community Stadium, Mechelen (Att: 65,500): Arguably no team had tougher draws in the Knockout Rounds than Croatia, who managed to pull off 1-0 victories over France and England. Ante Vukusic, their 29 year old striker based in Shakhtar, was their best player, with 2 goals and 2 assists, but they were going to be without their most famous star for this match, Luka Modric. The Tottenham midfielder was serving a suspension, and his influence in the midfield was going to be sorely missed.
Belgium, who were the hosts of this year’s edition of the European Championship, faced Croatia on Matchday One in Group A, with the two teams fighting it out to a 2-2 draw. They had taken care of Spain the Quarter-Finals, and with Germany out, a lot of people were predicting them to win the tournament. Finalists in 2016, Belgium were reliant on their midfield, and that would not change in this match. Radja Nainggolan and Marouane Fellaini were the nation’s best players, and they were both amongst the best overall in the tournament.
From the beginning, it was a back and forth match with both teams having chances. In terms of football, it was an exciting and attacking game that unfortunately did not result in any goals – at least, not until the dramatic winner in the dying seconds of the match. MotM winner Ante Amizic barreled down the left wing and crossed the ball into a diving Kruno Ivancic, who’s flying header hit GK Thibaut Courtois and ricocheted off the post. Croatia had taken the lead in the final few moments of the match, and went on to defeat the hosts 1-0 in heartbreaking circumstances. For the first time in their history, Croatia were headed to the European Championship Finals.
Croatia: 1 (Courtois O.G.)
Last edited by abulezz; 09-02-2012 at 09:48.
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 - BELGIUM
Croatia vs. Norway
Stade Roi Baudouin, Brussels (Att: 50,000): Norway shocked the continent with its Knockout Rounds performances, defeating Wales, Italy, and Germany on its way to the Finals. Mushaga Bakenga was the tournament’s leading goalscorer with 5 goals and had just completed his move to Liverpool a couple of days before the Finals against Croatia. On a separate note, he needed just one more goal to become Norway’s top goalscorer of all-time. This was the first time Norway had advanced to this stage of the competition in its history, and was riding an incredible wave of form along with their star striker.
The Croatians had defeated France, England, and Belgium all 1-0, and were also in the Finals for the first time in their history. Luka Modric, who missed the Semi-Finals clash with the hosts, was back in action after serving his suspension, and the Croatians had a full, healthy team at their disposal. They had failed to concede a single goal in the Knockout Rounds, and were keen to do the same in the Finals.
Just two minutes into the match, Simo Vrsaljko committed a foul just inside the box and gifted Norway a penalty. Thomas Drage, Norway’s best player in the Semi-Finals, stepped up to shoot, but GK Matej Delac forced a fantastic save that prevented the Scandinavian side from taking the lead. The two teams went back and forth throughout the first half, with both taking their chances but no one being able to convert them into goals. At the 40th mark, however, Malaga’s Norwegian defender Vadim Demidov collected his second yellow card and was sent off, leaving Norway to battle Croatia with only ten men. The second half was relatively quiet and dull, with both teams not trying to attack the other, and thus the first ninety minutes ended in a 0-0 draw. It was surprising that Croatia did not try to take advantage of their one man advantage, and many criticized their manager for attempting to play negative football. The match followed in the same form in the two extra-times, as both teams lacked inventiveness and ambition. It went to Penalty shootouts, and Norway converted their first four penalties to defeat Croatia and win the Euro 2020. Although the Finals was anti-climactic, Norway had won the tournament by playing mostly exciting and intense football, defeating much larger teams in the process. They fully deserved their victory, and it had to rank as the biggest surprise in the tournament’s history, bigger even than Greece lifting the trophy in 2004.
Norway: 0 – Won on Penalties 4-2
Mario Gotze, Germany – 5 Aps, 1 Goals, 3 Assists, 7.72: Although Germany did not end up winning the Euro 2020, the two time World Player of the Year, Mario Gotze, was perhaps the finest player in the competition. Injured for their last game, and Semi-Final loss, to Norway, things might have been very different had he been on the pitch. Still, Gotze was fantastic throughout the tournament for his nation.
Mushaga Bakenga, Norway – 7 Aps, 5 Goals, 7.40: It would be understating things if one was to say that Norway would never have lifted the Euro 2020 trophy if it wasn’t for their star striker Bakenga. His braces in their matches against Wales and Italy were the main reason they were able to advance past them, and he played a big part in their Semi-Finals win over Germany – although he did not score, he posed enough of a threat for the German defenders to double team him and leave themselves vulnerable on many occasions against the Norwegians. It was that precise reason that Drage was able to score the only goal of their matchup against the World Champions. Simply put, he was the most dangerous player in the tournament this year.
Last edited by abulezz; 09-02-2012 at 13:20.
Belgium 2020, odd. I had the same on my save yet it's not been awarded has it?
Bromley 2019/2020 Review
Premier League: 7th Place (Media Prediction: 12th Place)
FA Cup: Winners – Defeated Birmingham in the Finals
League Cup: Fourth Round – Defeated by Manchester United
Our third season in the Premier League followed the path of the two seasons set before it – we continued to improve, placing in 7th Place after finishing 10th last year. There were no big transfers, with the exception of Eduardo Fernandez, whom we broke our transfer fee record to sign – instead, I relied on the development of my young squad, and they did not fail me. Almost everyone showed improvements across the board, and I was especially pleased with Emmanuel Musah, who scored 16 goals and was named our Player of the Year for the third consecutive season. What was most surprising, however, was the fact that we only conceded 30 league goals, good enough for second best in the Premier League, after letting in nearly 57 goals the season before that!
Our crowning achievement this season, however, was recapturing the FA Cup, winning it for the second time in our history. Just like in 2018, we had the luck of the draw on our side – all our matches up to the Semi-Finals were played at the Bromley Stadium, defeating Aston Villa, Cardiff, Stoke, and Southampton. Everton were our Semi-Final opponents, and took them out on penalties, lining up a showdown with Birmingham in the Finals.
Emmanuel Musah: It came a season later than everyone expected, but Musah did have his breakout season – his league goals tally went from 9 to 16, and his AR went up from 6.94 to 7.09. The 22 year old German was named Bromley’s Player of the Year for the third consecutive season, and his fine form was rewarded with his first cap for the German national side. Although his assists numbers tumbled to only 2 the entire season, he made up for it with his scoring touch.
Tricio: After conceding 52 goals in 2018/19, his debut season for the club, the 22 year old Brazilian was a central figure in the Premier League’s second best defense. The £14,000,000 man allowed only 32 goals this season, improving from 6.79 to 6.96 AR, a significant jump. His 16 clean sheets was also a huge improvement, as well. Arguably the club’s second most important player behind Emmanuel Musah.
Gaucho: In three seasons with the club, Gaucho has only missed one league game, and that was in his debut season. Again he featured in all 38 games, and his season was almost an exact replica of his 2018/19 campaign. He improved his TpG from 4.48 to 5.05, but his AR stayed almost the same, getting a 6.94 AR this season. The 21 year old Brazilian was consistent if unspectacular, and his presence in the midfield as an anchor certainly freed up the rest of the offense.
Alexandre: The 22 year old Brazilian became one of the better central defenders in the Premier League this season, as was one of the main components behind the club’s defensive success. His AR went up to 7.07, and he was a good contributor in set pieces, scoring 4 league goals. He also won 4 MotM, which showed that he has the ability to be the best player on the pitch on several occasions. His 2.94 TpG was low, but he made up for it with his ability going forward.
Kieran Holland: The Bromley Youth Academy’s star product, it is easy to forget that Holland is only 19 years old. He completed his third year as a starter for the club, and it was his finest yet. His 6.94 AR was a career-high, and as was his 36 league appearances. His continued improvement in terms of ability remained remarkable, and his future as an England international seems all but assured.
Gilmar: After stagnating a bit in his second year with the club, the 21 year old Brazilian right winger stepped his game up this season, recording career-highs with 8 assists and 7.00 AR. Still, his potential is so much greater than what he showed, and although he had a good season, the feeling is that he is capable of better.
Lukas Kubik: Much like Gilmar, Kubik did not perform well in his second season, but made up for his it in a big way this season. He got a career high 12 assists, and scored 5 goals, as well. Additionally, he had a team leading 5 MotM. The 22 year old Czech international continued to gain caps for his national team throughout the season, although he did not play the same left wing position as he did for Bromley.
Porvaldur Magnusson: Completed his sixth year with the club, and this was his finest Premier League campaign since we earned our promotion three seasons ago. His 3.97 TpG from the midfield was impressive, as was his 80% Passing Ratio. He dished out 5 assists – his highest mark since becoming a Premier League player. He certainly has the ability, as witnessed by his 18 assists in our last season in the Championship, but he has not been able to really rise up fully. Still, he earned 3 caps under former England manager Nigel Adkins, so he has shown enough ability.
Tete: After a devastating injury to his cruciate ligaments kept him out for eight months in his first season with the club, the 21 year old Brazilian came back and did not miss a beat this season. He had a respectable 6.96 AR, and was reasonably consistent in the back. His 2.42 TpG was low, and his 69% Pass Ratio showed discomfort when with the ball, but he is still very young and his potential is immense.
Rainer Rummenigge: While the 18 year old was not a starter for the club, he arguably played better than both starting central defenders, and at such a young age, too. The German’s 7.18 AR was amongst the highest at the club, and his 3 MotMs were proof that he did his job well. Possibly the club’s most talented youth.
We broke our transfer record yet again, spending £15,000,000 on Eduardo Fernandez. Unfortunately, it was not money well spent, at least not in his first year at the club. Our second biggest signing was Manuel Roubaud, who showed plenty of promise both as a left back and a left winger – we spent £4,000,000 to get him, and I believe it was money very well spent. The bargain was getting Rainer Rummenigge for just £1,000,000 – he’s going to be worth twenty times that in a few years. Nicolas Mancini came in for Free and became our starting left back, so he was also a very good signing. Going the other way, we got rid of some fringe players – although Matthew Morgan had been our starter at left back for the last few seasons, he had reached his full potential and was no where near good enough to compete in the Premier League. Getting £3,500,000 for him was a good deal for us. I sold Ebby Harwood, one of our finest youth academy products, with a heavy heart, but he belonged in the League One (maybe Championship). He had not have the ability to be a Premier League player.
wonderful read! best story in the forum here
keep it up and please dont let Elliot Law ever leave Bromley!! ;)
Congrats on a successful season,improvement in the league as well as the bonus of the FA Cup even if you deserved to win it inside normal time
As for Belgium hosting Euro 2020,it's exactly the same on my save.Also well played Norway on winning Euro 2020!
Someone please help
Have you cleared the cache?
How do I do that?
I did, and I cleared the 'settings' folder too - the error doesnt appear anymore, but the game wont load. Neither will my previous backups. This is so ****ing frustrating.
Wats the solution? Is there any?
Not sure if it will work for this error but here's a bit of advice I passed to B.W.G that worked for him.
May be worth a shot if nothing else is workingTry loading one of the previous versions from a restore point.
\Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2012\Games
Open up the file, right click and select properties. Might have a restore point there that works
The problem is I have my backups, but they are not working, either. My last backup is a year back, but it wont load either.
Well I had to go back and replay the European Championship because of the crash - and England won! Im not going to write up simply because I want to get the new season started, but you can see below the knockout round results - Group Stages were the same. Connor Wickham won the Best Player, deservedly, and Wayne Rooney was Top Goalscorer with 5 goals!
I was ready to get this kid at all costs, and his club accepted a £40m bid for him - my entire transfer budget. All the Player's demands were met, but the Agent wanted an obscene amount of money for his fees - I could only afford less than half of his £4.6m demands. In the end, he withdrew because I would not pay him enough. I hate agents.
Pity, he looks excellent.
Looks like he could be world class.Hope he sacks his agent!