ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE REVIEW 2019/2020
Player Stats - Team Salary per Annum - Transfers - Past Winners
Footballer of the Year: Vladimir Weiss, Liverpool
Player’s Player of the Year: Edinson Cavani, Tottenham
Young Player of the Year: Dejan Juric, Swansea
Best Goalkeeper of the Year: Fernando Muslera, Tottenham
Manager of the Year: Paul Lambert, Arsenal (Champions)
Arsenal (2020: Champions – 2019: 3rd)
MANAGER: Paul Lambert
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Luis Ramirez
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Stevan Jovetic, Marek Hamsik, Ciaran Clark, Aaron Ramsey, Marouane Fellaini, Yaroslav Rakitskyi,
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Ayman Ben Slimane
RETIRING PLAYERS: Thomas Vermaelen
OVERVIEW: Under the leadership of manager Paul Lambert, who took over in March 2019, Arsenal experienced its most successful season in its history, winning the Premier League and the Champions League, the latter for the first time in its history. It was definitely unexpected success – preseason predictions had Arsenal battling for 4th Place and no one, not even their most optimistic supporters, imagined they would lift the Champions League trophy at the end of the season.
The man that made it all possible was Luis Ramirez – simply put, the 25 year old Venezuelan was amazing. He first came into prominence during World Cup 2014 in Brazil, where he and Salomon Rondon led their nation to a Second Round spot before getting knocked out by then-champions Spain. He was 19 years old at the time (Luis Ramirez in 2014), but his ability was already evident. Now, he has made full use of that potential and ability, and there was no better player in the world this season. His 23 goals tally from the midfield position was amongst the highest in Europe, and he was named Champions League Player of the Year for his exploits in the competition. Although he cost the club £38,500,000 to sign, in his second year with Arsenal, he made it all worth it. He has become a true global superstar.
Arsenal’s midfield again produced some fantastic football, whether it was Marouane Fellaini, Marek Hamsik, or Aaron Ramsey. By his high standard, the latter had one the worst seasons in his career individually, but obviously he will not be complaining too much after the success his club had. Hamsik, who turned 32 years old during the summer, was noticeably less mobile, and his goal tally dropped from 12 to only 4 this season. Still, he remained a central figure for the club and was still amongst the finest midfielders in the league. Stevan Jovetic was the club’s second leading scorer with 9 goals, but niggling minor injuries hampered him all season long, and his second year with the club was significantly worse than his first. Yaroslav Rakitskyi had an outstanding season at left back, handing out 10 assists to go with his 4.29 TpG.
The club conceded a Premier League leading 30 goals, and their defense was perhaps the main cornerstone to their success. Irishman Ciaran Clark delivered the finest season of his career, and justified the club paying £11,250,000 for him at the beginning of last season. Norwegian right back Vegar Edden Hedenstad had 5.85 TpG, good enough for third best in the Premier League, and was one of the best right backs in the country, while Colombian captain and Copa America 2019 star David Ospina was a rock between the posts for his club. Tunisian central defender Ayman Ben Slimane, who turned 24 years old during the season, continued his development and became one of top central defenders in the league, ranking fourth with 5.68 TpG.
Obviously, the main ingredient to their success was Luis Ramirez, and credit has to go to Paul Lambert for getting the absolute best out of him and turning him into such an offensive monster. He also got the defense, which lacked a big name or star, to become the best in the nation. Arsenal’s season was historic, and with the weapons they have, especially if Jovetic can find his Fiorentinda days form, they have to be favorites to retain the trophy next year.
Tottenham (2020: 2nd – 2018: 5th)
MANAGER: Malky Mackay
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Edinson Cavani
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Andriy Yarmolenko, Fabien Delph, Gareth Bale, Ryan Shawcross, Fernando Muslera, Sandro, Steve Hughes
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Taofeek Moneke
OVERVIEW: Tottenham certainly found its form this season under first year manager Malky Mackay, almost capturing the English Premier League title for the first time since 2011 but eventually settling for Runners-Up, behind bitter rivals Arsenal. Still, Mackay brought Champions League football back to the club, who had been beaten in the competition’s Finals in 2017 and 2018, and that was a big improvement over the previous season.
Despite selling Salomon Rondon to Lyonnais in the summer, Tottenham’s offense did not miss a beat, thanks Player’s Player of the Year Edinson Cavani and his new partner up front, Andriy Yarmolenko. The Ukrainian was bought for £12,000,000 last season, but did not shine until he was asked to replace Rondon in the starting lineup, repaying the club with 22 league goals. Cavani was, again, fantastic, scoring 21 goals in 28 appearances. He has been the most prolific scorer in the world the past decade, and the 33 year old Uruguayan legend added 9 assists, as well. This was his fourth straight year of scoring 20+ goals a game, including his record breaking 40 goals in 2017/18. Out of the eight years he has spent with Tottenham, the club legend failed to hit 20 goals only twice, and his lowest tally was in 2013/14, when he scored 17 goals.
Cavani was not the only golden oldie in Tottenham’s ranks this season, as Croatian midfielder Luka Modric gave out 10 assists to record his seventh straight season where he has hit that number of assists or more. Although his 7.08 AR is a far cry from the days of his prime (from 2011 to 2017, Modric never recorded below 7.65 AR, including a three year stretch between 2014 to 2017 where it never dropped below 7.81 AR), the 34 year old still was a great creative spark in the midfield. The 31 year old Welshman Gareth Bale, whose injuries the last few years seems to have taken its toll on his body, was again a significant presence down the left wing, but his 3 assists were a career low. Although he peaked much earlier in his career, notably being Tottenham’s and the Premier League’s best player in 2012 when they lifted the title, he still remains one of the best left wingers in the country. The club has already lined up his long term replacement in 21 year old Nigerian Taofeek Moneke – although he is still a couple of years from being a meaningful contributor, he has all the skills necessary to be a leading Premier League left winger in the future. Fabien Delph manned the right wing, and he was again fantastic, recording career highs with 8 goals, 13 assists, and a 7.33 AR. The midfield was anchored by Brazilian star Sandro, who not only contributed 8 assists and 4.24 TpG, but also delivered an outstanding 86% Pass Ratio, amongst the highest in the league.
Tottenham conceded 45 goals last season but brought that number down to 35 goals this year, thanks in part to the brilliance of Premier League GK of the Year, Fernando Muslera. The 34 year old Uruguayan recorded 19 clean sheets, and conceded only 28 goals in his 33 appearances. In front of him, Englishmen Ryan Shawcross and Steve Hughes delivered fine seasons, with the 32 year old Shawcross recording a career-high of 7.39 AR. The 24 year old Hughes, England’s future in the back, continued to show solidity in the back, although one would expect his 2.85 TpG to be higher.
Tottenham’s strength has always been in its teamplay and its offensive firepower, and Mackay took advantage of that very well in his first season in charge of the club. They jumped from 5th Place to 2nd Place, and with the talent they have, they should remain in the top three next season, as well.
Manchester Unitd (2020: 3rd – 2019: Champions)
MANAGER: Ricardo Moniz
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jack Wilshere
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Wayne Rooney, Eden Hazard, Javier Hernandez, Jonny Evans, Milan Badelj, Andile Jali, David De Gea, Mohamed Ateya, Phil Jones, Rafael
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Daniel Garnier
OVERVIEW: This was the first year since Ricardo Moniz took over in July of 2017 that Manchester United did end the season as Premier League champions, losing both the Premier League title and in the Champions League Finals to Arsenal. It was a good season, regardless, considering the injuries to their two main players, Javier Hernandez and Eden Hazard, and Moniz did a great job with a squad that was hit with a high number of injuries.
A broken foot kept leading scorer Javier Hernandez out for four months, allowing him only 19 appearances, in which he scored 17 goals. Prior to this season, he had scored 36 and 38 goals, and had he not gotten injured, the 32 year old Mexican striker was on course to him 30+ goals for an unprecedented third consecutive season. In his sixteenth season with the club, Wayne Rooney recorded below 7.35 AR for the first time in his career, recording 6.92 AR. His 9 goals were tied for the lowest he has scored since joining Manchester United, although he did play in all 38 games. The 34 year old has seen much of his pace disappear the last couple of seasons, but England’s all-time record appearance holder with 167 caps still has the ability to continue to contribute across the board. It seems the club have lined up their eventual replacements Dejan Kovacevic and Belgian Daniel Garnier – the latter scored 13 goals in only 20 appearances, recording a 7.30 AR, despite being only 20 years old.
One of the finest players of his generation, Eden Hazard went through perhaps his worst season in his career – his 7.11 AR was by far the lowest he has ever registered, and he only scored 1 goal and gave out 6 assists, compared to the 6 goals and 16 assists of last season. Things went from bad to worse for the 29 year old Belgian left winger, as he damaged his cruciate ligaments in March and was ruled out for five months, forcing him to miss the Euro 2020 in his home nation. Whether he can bounce back and retain his old form remains to be seen, but his talent is undeniable. The club’s Player of the Year was his partner in the midfield, 28 year old Jack Wilshere, who handed out a career high 12 assists. He has also named the 2020 Best Player in Europe for his exploits in the Champions League, where he nearly led Manchester United to their first title since 2008. Milan Badelj and Andile Jali both had good seasons, as well – the former recorded 2.90 TpG and 2.00 DpG to with a fantastic 87% Pass Ratio, while the latter equaled the Pass Ratio but delivered an outstanding 5.31 TpG.
Defensively, Manchester United were third only to Arsenal and Bromley in the league, with a backline led by Jonny Evans and Phil Jones. Evans missed only one game this season, and although his 2.87 TpG was low, he recorded an 84% Pass Ratio to make up for it. Jones, still only 28 years old, had an outstanding overall season, recording 4.79 TpG, 85% Pass Ratio, and 7 assists. He also scored a career-high 4 goals to go with all of that. At the right back position, it was more of the same from Rafael – his 7.35 AR was a career high, and he had a great 4.83 TpG average. Unfortunately, he made noise throughout the season about wanting a new challenge and wanting to join a new club, so his status remains up in the air. Manchester United also possessed one of the most talented young central defenders in the league in Mohamed Ateya, as the 22 year old Egyptian recorded a 7.21 AR. Behind that wall was David De Gea, one of the finest GKs of the decade – the 29 year old Spanish international remained fantastic, recording 19 clean sheets.
With Eden Hazard and Javier Hernandez hopefully healthy, there is no reason to believe that Manchester United cannot compete for the title once again. They had enough talent in their ranks to win the Premier League three times in a row, and this is the same team that accomplished that feat, albeit with some new blood. Manchester United have to be considered favorites to take back Arsenal’s title next season.
Liverpool (2020: 4th – 2019: 6th)
MANAGER: Brian McDermott
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jack Robinson
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Luis Suarez, Kyle Walker, Peniel Mlapa, Vladimir Weiss, David Alaba, Douglas Costa, Lucas Leiva, Nevan Subotic
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Matthias Buosson
RETIRING PLAYERS: Aiden McGeady
OVERVIEW: Widely expected to finish in the lowest position of the Big Six, Liverpool surprised the masses by beating out both Manchester City and Chelsea for the final Champions League spot this season. First year manager Brian McDermott was able to get the best out of Premier League Footballer of the Year Vladimir Weiss, and despite the club having the least amount of talent of the top clubs on paper, they managed to exceed expectations and will look forward to Champions League football next season.
Vladimir Weiss had his best season in a Liverpool season to date, leading the Premier League with 14 assists and averaging a fantastic 2.98 DpG. Although he only featured in 26 games thank to injuries, he also contributed 8 goals enroute to winning the Premier League Footballer of the Year. Although he only featured in 26 games thank to injuries, he also contributed 8 goals enroute to winning the Premier League Footballer of the Year. He played behind the two strikers, Luis Suarez and Peniel Mlapa, with most of his assists going to those two. Suarez has been the focal point of the Liverpool attack since joining the club in 2010, but in his tenth year with Liverpool, his offensive ability dwindled significantly. It was tough to imagine that this was the same player who had scored 24 and 23 goals in his last two seasons, contributing only 7 goals and some very inconsistent form this year. Thankfully for the 33 year old, German World Cup 2018 hero, Peniel Mlapa, picked up the slack and scored 17 goals. In fact, Liverpool were the top offensive team in the country with 82 goals, but the goals were spread through a bunch of players, mostly in the midfield.
In addition to Weiss’ 8 goals, Brazilian left winger Douglas Costa contributed 9 goals and Austrian central midfielder David Alaba 7 goals, with Costa delivering 10 assists and Alaba 6 assists, as well. It was a formidable midfield lineup, with Lucas Leiva playing enforcer behind his more creative partners – however, even Leiva was an offensive force, dishing 12 assists to go with his 3.55 TpG.
Defensively, they could have been better, although they did have some pretty good players in the back. Jack Robinson is obviously the first name that comes to mind – the 26 year old English left back is one of the best in the world at his position, and he delivered another great season, led by his 5.33 TpG. Alongside him were Nevan Subotic and Kyle Walker, both of whom also delivered solid seasons that helped guide the club to a 4th Place finish. Perhaps Liverpool’s best young prospect is also a defender – Mathias Buisson did not feature a lot, but he is widely regarded as a central defender with great potential. Behind the back four was the ever present Jose Manuel Reina, Liverpool’s starting GK for the past fifteen seasons. The 37 year old continues to be at the top of his game, and has already earned his mark as a legend for the club.
On paper, Liverpool still look like the weakest of the top six clubs, and after just one year, Brian McDermott has left to take over Nigel Adkins former job with the English national team. They have shown an incredible ability to achieve a lot more of what is expected of them, however, and they have an owner that is willing to spend. Vladimir Weiss has become a world superstar, and Jack Robinson is one of the best defenders on the planet, and behind them, it is not impossible that Liverpool continue to maintain their top four position next season.
Manchester City (2020: 5th – 2019: 4th)
MANAGER: Simon Grayson
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Hulk
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Kevin Hofman, Erick Torres, Connor Wickham, Obinna Okoronkwo, Vincent Kompany, Abdelkader Sassi, Sabino Cavallari
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Daniel Cook
OVERVIEW: This was another season of disappointment for Manchester City, whose salary payroll of a mind-boggling £140,000,000 was not enough to earn them a Champions League spot for next season. The club started the season with Frank de Boer as their manager, but he was fired in January, and they ended the season with Simon Grayson in charge of the club. Grayson is their fourth manager in three years, as the club continues to struggle to find the form that won it the English Premier League under Alan Shearer in 2016.
In Hulk, the club has one of the most complete and talented footballers on the planet despite his 33 years of age, and it was another fine season from the Brazilian this year. He scored 12 goals and delivered 12 assists, as well, averaging 2.86 TpG and 2.59 DpG as a striker. The World Cup 2014 Best Player did all he could for the club, but he had little help up front, which is why the club brought in Obinna Okoronkwo and Connor Wickham to help him as he enters the final phase of his career. The 26 year old Nigerian, Okoronkwo, set the Premier League on fire with Fulham in 2017/18, scoring 22 goals, but failed to impress in Ukraine after he moved to Shakhtar in 2018. Manchester City acquired him for £19,500,000, but his return of only 9 league goals were lower than expected. Their acquisition of Wickham in the January window, however, was a success – the former Sunderland player cost them £17,250,000, and although he only scored 3 goals in 15 appearances, he handed out 10 assists and was very solid for them in the second half of the season.
Manchester City’s midfield has perhaps the most young, raw talent of any midfield in the Premier League. Led by 26 year old Dutchman Kevin Hofman, who scored 8 goals and had 11 assists, they are the backbone of the squad. Their 27 year old Mexican attacking midfielder Erick Torres had his finest season in a Man City shirt, scoring 14 goals to go with 8 assists. Their brightest prospect, 23 year old Italian Sabino Cavallari, also had a good season, recording 8 goals, 7 assists, and a fantastic 4.13 TpG. An Italian international already, Cavallari has displayed great all around ability, and has provided great defensive cover in addition to his offensive game. Combined with the rest of his midfield colleagues, they are as good as any on their best day, and showcased that talent this season.
Captain Vincent Kompany was one of the finest central defenders in the Premier League in recent years, but he turned 34 years old this season and there was a noticeable dip in his skills. His TpG dipped to 2.56, and he only recorded a 7.07 AR. There was reason for optimism, however, as both young full backs had the best seasons of their career. Abdelkader Sassi had 5.66 TpG to go with his 7.23 AR – considering he is only 24 years old, the Tunisian looks set to be one of Man City’s back four for many years to come. At right back, there was 22 year old Englishman Daniel Cook, who averaged 4.29 TpG to go with his 7.07 AR. Not much was known about the youngster before this season, but he came up big for the club and made the right back position his own.
With the obvious decline in skills of some of their biggest names, Manchester City can no longer avoid the inevitable – their inflated salary payroll coupled with their aging stars means that this team has to take a long, hard look at its squad and begin to reshuffle. There is enough talent in the midfield, and the back has some promising players, but who will score the goals? Okoronkwo needs to start delivering the goods, and Wickham has to perform if they are to find their way back to Champions League contention.
Chelsea (2020: 6th – 2019: 2nd)
MANAGER: Frank de Boer
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Sergio Aguero
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Elber Escobar, Diego Benitez, Romelu Lukaku, Soudi Muba, Sime Vrsaljko, Abdel El Kaoutari, Etienne Capoue
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Abdou Kierna
RETIRING PLAYERS: Gary Cahill
OVERVIEW: Finishing in 6th Place after capturing 2nd Place in 2018/19 was certainly a hug disappointment for the club and its supporters this season, but a lot of the blame can be placed on the Chelsea owner and board themselves. After leading them to 2nd Place last season in his first year in charge of the club, Hristo Stoichkov was promptly let go in November 2019 after a relatively rough start to the season, replaced by Qatari manager Ibrahim Abdullah Al-Ghanim. That was not the end of it, however – Frank de Boer replaced the former Chelsea coach just three months later, despite having a 61% winning percentage and getting Chelsea to play some pleasant attacking football. The chaos that surrounded the club throughout the season was certainly the main reason they underachieved, and Frank de Boer will have to right the ship next season.
In the midst of all the chaos was another outstanding season from the legendary Sergio Aguero. The former World Footballer of the Year is one of the greats, and althogugh at the age of 32, he no longer dominates the game the way he used to, he still produced several moments of magic enroute to scoring 17 goals for his club. He also finally has someone to play alongside him of considerable talent, as Romelu Lukaku has done for the past two seasons. He scored 16 goals and delivered 5 assists, and the 27 year old Belgian striker has finally begun to live up to the potential he showed as a youngster.
Ettien Capoue and the fantastic Soudi Muba led the midfield, with Capoue equaling his career high of 9 assists while playing 37 games. He had an outstanding 86% Pass Ratio and 3.90 TpG. The 24 year old Congolese Muba, playing in his second season for the club, had a good season, averaging 4.15 TpG along with 5 assists. He easily is one of the most talented at the club, and Chelsea have themselves a real gem. Diego Benitez, whom the club signed for £19,000,000 during the January transfer window, also has bags of ability. The 23 year old Argentinean will be expected to replace Capoue as the Frenchman ages.
Defensively, Chelsea have some fantastic players. Elbor Escobar, the 26 year old Colombian, had another great season for the club, and has easily become one of the best at his position in the league. He scored 6 goals and recorded 4 MotM as a central defender, and his 7.27 AR was his finest in the three years he has been with the club. Since coming to the club in 2016, Abdel el Katouri has provided stability and solid play at the left back position, and this season was no different. He had 3.97 TpG and 7.11 AR, the same AR he has recorded in three of his four seasons at the club. At right back sat Sime Vrsaljko, one of the most important players on the team. The 28 year old Croatian completed his seventh season with the club, giving out 4 assists along with his great 5.21 TpG. Backing both him and Escobar was new signing, and possibly the most gifted youngster on the team, Abdou Kierna. The 22 year old Burkinabe is equally comfortable as right back or central defender, and he will look to play a prominent role next season.
Frank de Boer certainly has a lot of pedigree – he led Holland to the World Cup 2010 Finals, and won the Dutch Eridivisie three times with Ajax. In his one full season with Bayern Munich, he also restored glory to the club and led them to the Bundesliga title in 2017. However, this is his third job in England in the past three years, and with Arsenal and Manchester City, he did not manage to find the success he had been used to previously in his career. Perhaps third time is the charm, because there is too much talent on this team not to be competing not only for a Champions League spot, but also for the Premier League title.
Overall Team of the Year
Last edited by abulezz; 14-02-2012 at 04:53.
Making great progress with Bromely
I'm amazed that a 33 year old Hulk was Manchester Citys key player though.
Your doing awesome
Congrats on making Europe!
SPANISH LA LIGA REVIEW 2019/2020
Player Stats – Team Salary per Annum – Transfers - Past Winners
Footballer of the Year: Alexis Sanchez, Barcelona
Goalkeeper of the Year: Sergio Asenjo, Atletico Madrid
Manager of the Year: Roberto Mancini, Barcelona (Champions)
Barcelona (2020: Champions – 2019: 2nd)
MANAGER: Roberto Mancini
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Gylfi Sigurdsson
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Alan Dzagoev, Alexis Sanchez, Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique, Alfred Kalu,
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Romuald Mballa
OVERVIEW: After giving up the Spanish La Liga title to Real Madrid in 2019, Roberto Mancini and Barcelona recaptured it this season, signing the decade off as the most dominant force club football had ever seen. Although there is no denying that they simply are not as good as they once were, they are still amongst the best in the world, and this season, they were the best in Spain. Mancini has done a fantastic job of replacing legend Pep Guardiola, and although critic will point to the fact that he has only won a single Champions League trophy since taking over, there is no denying he has become one of the most decorated managers in history, and he won the La Liga Manager of the Year for the fourth time this season.
For the second season in a row, Gylfi Sigurdsson was voted as the club’s Player of the Year. The 30 year old Icelandic midfielder scored 11 goals to go with his 8 assists and remarkable 7.87 AR. In truth, it could have gone to anyone of their midfield maestros, but Sigurdsson’s effort and sheer work rate on the pitch has endeared to him to the Barcelona faithful. Alongside him was one of the legends of the game, Chilean Alexis Sanchez – the 31 year old was having a career season until strained knee ligaments ruled him out of the last two months of the season. He ended up scoring 17 goals in 27 appearances, and his 8.09 AR was a career high, as well. Alan Dzagoev was his usual best, and the 30 year old Russian set a new career high with 14 assists to along with his 12 goals and 7.88 AR. Cesc Fabregas might have turned 33 years old during the season, and his assists numbers dipped from 11 to 3, but he was still a meaningful contributor, as his 7.48 AR suggests. Rounding up what has been possibly the best midfield in the world for the past few years was, of course, the undeniable Lionel Messi. Despite being one of the top five footballers of all-time, possibly top three, one can only imagine what he would have been had he not had so many injuries to deal with. What is known is that he is possibly the most decorated player of all-time on the club level – simply no one has won the number of individual and team awards this man has been awarded. While his pace has pretty much been robbed from him, at the age of 33, he continues to be one of the focal points of this incredible Barcelona team.
Barcelona does not only have legends in its midfield – Gerard Pique can certainly stake his claim to being one of the finest central defenders of all-time. The 33 year old Spanish international was sublime this season, recording a 7.93 AR, 5.57 TpG, and an incredible 91% Pass Ratio. Even as he ages, one would be hard pressed to find a better player at his position in the world. Alongside him at right back was £21,00,000 signing Alfred Kalu – the 25 year old Nigerian lived up to his large price tag, and delivered a very solid season for his new club. He averaged 4.45 TpG and 7.66 AR, performing better than any other right back in the league and earning himself a spot on the 2020 La Liga Team of the Year.
Perhaps the one concerning issue for Barcelona is there seemingly lack of superstar talent coming through their youth ranks. Their hottest prospect remains 22 year old French striker Romuald Mballa, but other than that, there is no one that really grabs the attention. Their main players are still in their prime, and Barcelona will remain one of the strongest teams in the world with its core intact for the next few years, but what about after that?
Malaga (2020: 3rd – 2019: 3rd)
MANAGER: Roberto Donadoni
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Thiago
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Facundo Ferreyra, Anthony Mounier, Zdravko Kuzmanovic, Hector Mpile
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Eduardo
RETIRING PLAYERS: Pedro Leon
OVERVIEW: Hard as it is to imagine, but Roberto Donadoni continued to shock and impress critics around the country, leading Malaga past the former champions Real Madrid into 2nd Place this season. It was a remarkable achievement, and Malaga joined Villareal and Atletico Madrid as the only three teams to finish second to either Barcelona or real Madrid since 2005. The 57 year old has become one of the most respected managers in the game because of the job he has done at the club.
It is no coincidence that Malaga’s fortunes changed for the better since 29 year old striker Facundo Ferreyra joined the club in January of 2016. Since then, he has gone to lead the club in goals scored for four seasons in a row, scoring 18 league goals last year after scoring 20+ the previous three seasons. A torn groin muscle ruled him out for five weeks in October, and broken cheekbone for four weeks in February, effectively slashing out two months of his season, leaving him with 29 appearances. His partner up front, the 22 year old Brazilian Eduardo, had somewhat of an offseason, scoring only 8 goals after hitting 13 in 2018/19. Still, his talent is undeniable, and is Malaga’s brightest young star.
The midfield is where the heart of this team is, and this season, it was former Barcelona youth product Thiago who really stepped up his game. The 29 year was voted Malaga’s Player of the Year after equaling his career high of 6 goals and recording a new career high of 13 assists, earning his first La Liga Team of the Season selection. Alongside him was the ever present captain of the club, Zdravko Kuzmanovic – the 32 year old Serbian completed his ninth season with the club recording a career high with 9 assists. Since joining the club in 2011, he has never appeared in less than 33 games, and has been one of the most durable and consistent players in the La Liga throughout the decade. For the third straight season, Anthony Mounier recorded double digits in assists, dishing out 11 of them along with 7 goals despite turning 33 years old. The Frenchman also set a career-high with a 7.37 AR, and although his future at the club was very much in doubt at the end of the season, he was one of their best players during it.
In the back, Malaga brought in Equatorial Guinea defender Hector Mpile for £5,750,000 from Lyonnais at the beginning of the season, and he proved to be a bargain buy. He contributed 7 assists while averaging 4.30 TpG and 7.25 AR. While Malaga were not especially astute defensively, having conceding 45 goals, Mpile did play well for them down the stretch and looks to be their star defender for years to come.
Donadoni’s achievements with the club cannot be denied – the club has done wonderfully to finish in the top four in the La Liga table for the past five seasons, and with their manager remaining at its helm, it is a bad bet to go against them. Their wage budget was the sixth highest in the La Liga, but it was still below £40,000,000. Another top four place is very likely with the core of the team intact, but if Donadoni can bring in some talented new blood, perhaps they can also make some noise in the Champions League as they did in 2018/19 when they reached the Quarter-Finals of the competition.
Real Madrid (2020: 2nd – 2019: Champions)
MANAGER: Jose Mourinho
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Gonzalo Higuan
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Mattia Maffi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, Kwadwo Asamoah, Nicolas Nkoulou, Marcelo, Moussa Sissoko
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Alex
OVERVIEW: Jose Mourinho completed his eleventh year with the club this season, but disappointingly, failed to defend their La Liga title. Only in Real Madrid could three La Liga titles and two Champions League titles in a decade be viewed as a disappointment, but somehow, that’s how the fickle Real Madrid faithful have begun to view Mourinho’s tenure. The fact that they not only finished behind Barcelona but also behind Malaga this season only added to the frustration, which was surprising because of almost all the season, and statistically as well, Madrid were the second best team in Spain.
The aging Cristiano Ronaldo has been called the fifth best player of all-time, and his career has been nothing short of remarkable. He has earned 155 caps for his nation of Portugal, scoring a phenomenal 99 goals, and has seen both fantastic club and individual success. Now 35 years old, this was the first season since 2006/07 with Manchester United that he did not record double digits in goals scored, having scored 9 goals only. He did record a career high 8 assists, but there was no denying that he had entered the twilight of his career. He still holds the record of most expensive footballer of all-time, which was set in 2009 when Real Madrid acquired him from Manchester United for a staggering £80,000,000. His partner up front, Argentinean Gonzalo Higuan, won Real Madrid’s Player of the Year award this season, a prize that was synonymous with the Portuguese previously. The 32 year old scored 16 goals and recorded 9 assists, a career-high. He has been at the club for fourteen years now, and has been one of its most reliable players, so much so that he has become a legend of the club.
A stable of Mourinho’s Real Madrid team has always been a strong midfield, and he continued to strengthen the backbone of his team with the £21,500,000 acquisition of Mattia Maffi from Sampdoria. The 24 year old Italian international left winger has got speed out of this world, and although his first season with Real Madrid was inconsistent, his potential and talent equal his pace. Simply put, he could be the best player the club has in a few years.
Valencia (2019: 4th – 2019: 8th)
MANAGER: Stefano Pioli
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Giuliano
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Diego Alves, Juanpe, Miguel Sanchez, Jawad Afkir
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Samir Saifi
OVERVIEW: After coming in 3rd Place in 2010/11, Valencia failed to crack the top four for the remainder of the decade. Didier Deschamps was the sixth manager in eight years to be sacked by the club when he was let go in January of 2019, and he was replaced by current manager, Stefano Pioli. Under the Italian, the club finished in 4th Place for the first time in ten years, and will finally see the Champions League football that new owner (he bought the club in 2016) Olga Matalobos Diaz is so badly seeking.
There really is no doubt about who was the club’s most important player this year, or indeed, the past few years. Brazilian midfielder Giuliano has been the heartbeat of the squad since joining in 2013, and the 30 year old posted a career high of 7.53 AR this season. A terrific all-around player, he contributed 5 goals, 7 assists, and was awarded 6 MotMs this season. He has become a legend of the club, and rightfully so. Playing ahead of him on the frontline were youngsters Jawad Afkir and Miguel Sanchez. The 24 year old Afkir scored 11 goals, and his performances this season also earned him his first call-ups to the Moroccan national team. As for Sanchez, the 25 year old Venezuelan led the team in scoring with 17 goals, and formed a potent strike force with his partner up front. Samir Saifi turned 24 at the end of the season, and if the club decide to keep hold of the Algerian, they will have a meaningful season from him next year.
A big part of their success was the performances of 29 year old defender Juanpe – bought for £7,250,000 from Real Sociedad, he averaged 4.23 TpG in his first season for Valencia. Behind him was the ever present Diego Alves between the sticks, who had 9 clean sheets. He was the 2017 La Liga GK of the Year, and was Valencia’s Player of the Year the following season, and he remains one of their best. The manager has turned around the fortunes of the club, it seems, and although they might not have as much talent as the top three on paper, they do have very capable players. Now that they have cracked the top four, they will do everything to ensure they stay there.
Atletico Madrid, which came in 5th Place, also had a few outstanding players in its ranks this season. The most notable was Adem Ljajic, who has been one of the best players in the La Liga the past few seasons. There was also the La Liga’s Top Goalscorer, Chinese striker Hu Yang, playing for the club, who hit an outstanding 25 goals in only 28 appearances this season. Sergio Asenjo was crowned the GK of the Year – the 30 year old had his best season to date and won the award for the first time in his career…..The other notable was Manchester United’s loanee Antonio Vazquez Martinez – the 21 year old hit 23 goals for Osusana, who finished in 11th Place.
Overall Team of the Year
Last edited by abulezz; 16-02-2012 at 16:30.
Any chance of seeing what Santarcangelo are up to?
Good european qualification.
SERIE A REVIEW 2019/2020
Player Stats – Team Salary per Annum – Transfers - Past Winners
Footballer of the Year: Felipe Anderson, Inter Milan
Foreign Player of the Year: Felipe Anderson, Inter Milan
Italian Player of the Year: Dario Mazzoleni, Inter Milan
Fans’ Player of the Year: Felipe Anderson, Inter Milan
Goalkeeper of the Year: Emiliano Viviano, Inter Milan
Defender of the Year: Stefan Bell, Inter Milan
Young Player of the Year: Xaropinho, AC Milan
Manager of the Year: Daniel Fortunato, Genoa
Inter Milan (2020: Champions – 2019: Champions)
MANAGER: Nicolas Frustalupi
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Felipe Gutierrez
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Emiliano Viviano , Felipe Anderson, Stefan Bell, Dario Mazzoleni, Daniel Correa, Suso
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Giacomo Machetti
OVERVIEW: In the six full seasons that Frustalupi has been in charge of Inter Milan, the club has won the Serie A title five times, including this season. Their success this year marked their third consecutive title win, and credit must go to Nicolas Frustalupi for keeping their success going for so long. Easily the best Italian team of the decade, they have also become arguably the most complete team in the world, molded in the image of their manager, with a team first, personal glory second attitude.
Their strike force has always been about rotation since Frustalupi took over, and this season was no different. There was no standout star, as usual, but it was easy to see who had the most talent. Daniel Correa, the 24 year old Uruguayan, led the team with 13 goals in only 21 appearances, and in typical fashion, he scored some of the most important goals for the club. His 7.37 AR was his highest since joining the club in 2017.
While it is very difficult to spot a weakness in this team, its strongest part is very easy to find. Inter Milan’s midfield rivals that of any team, led by 27 year old Brazilian superstar, Felipe Anderson. He was named the Serie A Player of the Year for the first time in his career, setting career-highs with 13 goals and a 7.58 AR. He added 13 assists, as well, and there was no better player in the league this season. Inter Milan’s Player of the Year was Felipe Gutierrez – the 29 year Chilean was absolutely fantastic, tying his career-high with 8 goals and setting new ones with 20 assists, 11 MotMs, and a 7.68 AR. Anderson and Gutierrez where third and second, respectively, in the Serie A in AR, and Gutierrez’s 20 assists were second only to Sampdoria’s Giacomo Bonaventura’s 24 assists. The leader in AR in the league was their teammate, 23 year old rising Italian star Dario Mazzoleni, with 7.65 – he also contributed 14 assists. The young right winger won the Serie A Italian Player of the Year, and he is arguably Italy’s brightest young talent. Rounding off the midfield was Suso, the 26 year old scored 9 goals and dished out 8 assists from the left wing position, averaging 3.11 DpG.
Inter Milan paid Strum Graz £4,700,000 for 21 year old central defender Giacomo Machetti, and after one season with the club, he has become one of their finest young players. It does not hurt playing alongside one of the finest defenders on the planet in Stefan Bell, who the Serie A Defender of the Year award for the third consecutive year, tying Chiellini and Nesta for winning the award the most times in a row. Along with Serie A GK of the Year, Emiliano Viviano, they formed the Serie A’s best defense, conceding only 31 goals.
The team’s stars are in their prime, and their manager might be the finest in the world. Inter Milan have been one of the best teams in the world, and their midfield is arguably better than any team’s counterparts. It would be a complete shocker if they don’t retain the Serie A title for the fourth time in a row next season.
Sampdoria (2020: 2nd – 2019: 2nd)
MANAGER: Gianluca Atzori
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Giacomo Bonaventura
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Sebastian, Prince Bediako, Julian Schieber, Iuri Medeiros, Sergio Busquests
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Miroslav Just,
OVERVIEW: There was no surprises as to who finished 2nd Place behind Inter Milan this season – Sampdoria has clearly become the second best team in Italy, led by its second best manager, Gianluca Atzori. For the third year in a row, Sampdoria finished 2nd Place and made the Champions League, and for the third year in a row, they continued to add to their roster of talented young players.
It all starts with 21 year old Spanish forward Sebastian, who broke Sampdoria’s scoring record with 27 league goals this season, finishing as the Serie A Top Goalscorer and Runner-Up behind Jordan Ayew in the European Golden Boot award. He is so quick and powerful that he has become impossible to play for defenders, which is why this was his third straight 20+ goals season. It was his second year with Sampdoria, who had acquired him from Racing for £8,500,000 – in hindsight, the deal was an absolute bargain for the Italian club, as he is now possibly the highest rated young striker in the world. He has a great teacher to learn from in German striker Julian Schieber, who won the World Cup 2018 Best Player and Top Goalscorer awards, playing better than anyone else at the world’s greatest stage. Although his numbers have been more pedestrian at his club, the 31 year old German contribured 14 goals this season, his highest since joining Sampdoria five years ago.
It makes it a lot easier to score goals when you have Giacomo Bonaventura delivering the ball to you. The 31 year old right winger broke his own Serie A assists record, which he had set just last season, by recording a mind-boggling 24 assists this season. He was fantastic, as usual, and he was crowned Sampdoria’s Player of the Year for the second consecutive season – there is no doubt that without him, there is no way the strikers would have scored the way they did. That is not to take anything away from the other midfielders, who also had great seasons – namely, Prince Bediako. The 23 year old Ghanaian recorded a career-high 10 assists and 7.50 AR as he turned into one of the best central midfielders in the league. He was partnered by former Barcelona man Sergio Busquets – the 31 year old Spaniard had a career-high 8 assists and averaged 4.27 TpG, as well. Out on the left wing, Portuguese Iuri Medeiros handed out 4 assists and recorded a 7.17 AR, playing consistently throughout the season.
The back is perhaps where Sampdoria needed the most help, although they did concede only 37 goals, good enough for second best in the Serie A behind Inter Milan. The problem was, they just did not have any standout performers or someone they could truly rely on to hold the back line together. However, the emergence of 22 year old Miroslav Just could change all that. Although he still is not a finished product, he showed enough ability to give the Sampdoria faithful hope that he could turn into their version of Stefan Bell. The Czech averaged 4.73 TpG in his limited appearances, and given a full time starting role, he could do a lot better.
Sampdoria have more talent than any other team in the league, including Inter Milan, up front, but they are not their rivals’ equal in the middle of the pitch and especially not so in the back. If Atzori can find a way to beef up his backline, then they have a chance of repeating the heroics of 2017, when they captured the Serie A title.
AC Milan (2020: 3rd – 2019: 4th)
MANAGER: Carlo Ancelotti
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Xaropinho
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Pato, Miralem Pjanic, Maicon, Mattia Casagrande
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Adebayo Temile
RETIRING PLAYERS: Ignazio Abate
OVERVIEW: Before Carlo Ancelotti took over as manager of AC Milan in December of 2015, the club was on a free-fall, having finished 12th Place the season before. Ancelotti led them to 8th Place in 2015/16 after being in charge for half a season, but since then, the club has not finished below 4th Place. They were third this year behind two superior teams, but given the status of the Italian giants just a few years ago, their final position was satisfactory.
AC Milan’s Player of the Year was undoubtedly towering Brazilian striker Xaropinho. The 23 year old, and former Serie A Player of the Year, was again crowned the Serie A Young Player of the Year, leading AC Milan with 20 goals. He is one of the brightest stars in the world, and one of the most talented footballers on the planet. Simply put, there is no other footballer like him – he is second to none in the air, being 6’7 and all, but his technical prowess on the ground is as good as any other player, too. His partner up front, fellow Brazilian and former wonderkid Pato, had a decent season, scoring 11 goals and recording a 7.14 AR. Both were his highest since 2016/17, and although he never lived up to his potential, he remains a meaningful contributor to the team. His eventual replacement will be 22 year old Adebayo Temile – the Nigerian was bought for £6,000,000 this season, and scored 8 goals.
Behind them, in the attacking midfield position, was Miralem Pjanic. The 30 year old Bosnian completed his second season with AC Milan (he came for £12,750,000 from Roma) recording 6 goals, 9 assists, and 732 AR. Perhaps the club’s second most important player, we was the creative force on the squad. Anchoring the midfield was 23 year old Brazilian Maicon – he did not score any goals all season, but his contributions were great, nonetheless. He recorded 9 assists and averaged 4.97 TpG, had an 85% Pass Ratio, and recorded a 7.45 AR. He has earned the reputation as one of the best anchor midfielders in the world, and it was completely deserved.
Defensively, the squad could have done better, conceding 42 goals – although that was good enough to be the fourth best defense in the Serie A, it is not good enough to compete with the top two teams. Their hope in the back lays with 24 year old Italian Mattia Casagrande – he was bought from Torino for £14,500,000 at the beginning of the season, and did well, averaging 4.25 TpG. He was inconsistent at times, highlighted by his 6.92 AR, but he has shown the ability the AC Milan paid that big sum for.
If Ancelotti can address his issues at the back, then AC Milan has a real shot of at least pushing Sampdoria for second place. As it stand, AC Milan are clearly the third best team in Italy, but still lack the talent to be considered in the same tier as the two teams that finished above it.
Catania (2020: 4th – 2019: 5th)
MANAGER: Gaetano Auteri
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Marco Veratti
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Mariano Andujar, Claudiu Bumba, Essam Ragab
PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Anass Hadir
OVERVIEW: Manager Gaetano Auteri has been in charge of the club for two seasons now, and both seasons Catania has shown remarkable improvement. They finished in 5th Place in 2018/19 after finishing in 8th Place the previous season, and they just missed out on Champions League spot this season, finishing in 4th Place. Still, what Auteri has done with the players at his disposal has been nothing short of extraordinary, and credit has to go to the 58 year old Italian for his work with the club.
Essam Ragab was their main threat up front, scoring 11 goals in 24 appearances for Catania. The 25 year old Egyptian, a central part of a new generation of extremely talented Egyptian players, completed his second season with the club amongst much hype of becoming one of the most dangerous players in the Serie A.
The club’s Player of the Year for the third consecutive season was 27 year old Italian midfielder, Marco Verratti. His 7.38 AR was a career-high in the Serie A for the player, contributing 6 goals and 8 assists, while winning 6 MotMs. Alongside him was 26 year old Romanian left winger Claudiu Bumba, who contributed 3 goals of his own.
Perhaps Catania’s strongest position was all the way in the back, between the posts – their starting GK this season was 36 year old Mariano Andujar, who conceded 20 goals in 19 appearances and had a fantastic 7.31 AR. He shared his time with the club’s GK of the future, 23 year old Moroccan international, Anass Hadir. Bought at the beginning of the season for £625,000, he has proven to be an absolute bargain, and will be Andujar’s replacement sooner rather than later.
Catania overachieved this season in breaking into the top four, but now that they have reached this level, they will be keen to stay there. It is unclear if they have enough talent to repeat their feat, but they do have fantastic manager leading them.
Roma, who were bought by an Israeli tycoon this season, finished in 5th thanks to their defensive duo of Hugo and Tchamdja Houessou. Both players are 23 year old and are amongst the finest defenders in the Serie A already…..Napoli, who finished in 11th, got a fantastic season from Marko Petkovic. The Serbian international recorded 8 assists and 8 MotMs, averaging a 7.30 AR…..Mamadou Kone was bought by Bari for £2,300,000 at the beginning of the season, and rewarded them by giving them a Team of the Year season. The 22 year old Ivory Coast central defender averaged 4.19 TpG and had an 82% Pass Ratio, recording a 7.29 AR.
Overall Team of the Year
Last edited by abulezz; 18-02-2012 at 20:18.
FRENCH LIGUE 1 2019/2020 REVIEW
Player Stats – Team Salary per Annum – Transfers - Past Winners
Player of the Year: Jordan Ayew, Marseille
GK of the Year: Johny Placide, Havre AC
Foreign Player of the Year: Jordan Ayew, Marseille
Most Promising Player: Felix Odubade, RC Lens
Manager of the Year: Jean Luc-Vasseur, AC Arles-Avignon (16th Place)
Ligue 1 Best Team of All-Time
Last edited by abulezz; 18-02-2012 at 22:19.
GERMAN BUNDESLIGA 2019/2020 REVIEW
Player Stats – Team Salary per Annum – Transfers - Past Winners
Player of the Year: Amoroso, Bayern Munich
GK of the Year: Ron-Robert Zieler, Hannover
Defender of the Year: Alex Sandro, Wolfsburg
Midfielder of the Year: Matthieu Dossevi, Hoffenheim
Striker of the Year: Kruno Ivancic, Bayern Munich
Manager of the Year: Marco Pezzaiouli, Bayern Munich (Champions)
Bundesliga Team of All-Time
Last edited by abulezz; 18-02-2012 at 22:41.
Bromley 2020/2021 Preview
General Information – Facilities – Domestic League History
Board Expectation: Top Half Finish - Transfer Budget: £28,730,000 - Wage Budget: £523,893 (Current: £343,048) - Bank Balance: £50,036,636
Last season was relatively successful for the club, as we finished in 7th Place and won the FA Cup for the second time in three years. That ensured us of Europa League action, and I was looking forward to trying to best our Second Knockout Round exit in 2018/19. The squad was the youngest out of any in the big leagues around Europe, and I was keen to make sure our youths continued to get the best training they could, and the board agreed with me. They accepted my proposal to enhance our Youth Facilities, and come September, they will be ready.
There was a lot of movement on the transfer market, and for the first time, it was mostly players exiting the club. I cashed in on a bunch of youngsters I had bought cheaply, as I felt they were not going to be able to become good enough to compete for a place at the club. The scouts were all given new assignments, and hopefully they will be able to produce some quality this coming year. Otherwise, it was business as usual, with a very exciting season ahead of us.
For the first time in four seasons, we did not break our transfer record! Although, honestly, it was not from a lack of effort, either. Anyway, I was happy with the players we bought in this summer, the most expensive of which was Steve Rahn. Other than that, we managed to acquire some very exciting prospects, the best of which, I believe, were Drazen Sovina, Matteo Benetti, and Alexandre Silva. The other acquisitions were Leonardo, Angelo Mendez, and Janusz Matuszek.
There was lots of activity here, the most prominent of which was the departure of starting midfielder Gaucho. I sold him with a heavy heart, but Chelsea’s £15,000,000 + future incentives was tough to reject. Left back Nicolas Mancini was another I was not especially keen on selling, but considering I had bought him in on Free Transfer just a few months back and the fact that I had some talented young men coming up at the left back position, £8,000,000 from Arsenal was good deal. Jan Hendrik Ihm was not a popular sale, although I did not see him getting the playing time he would want this season with the emergence of Fernandez and the signings of the talented Sovina and Benetti, so £5,000,000 for a player I paid £1,000,000 for was a great deal. Stilian Simu left to Chelsea for £3,500,000 – I had originally bought the Romanian for £450,000, and he wanted first team football I could not provide, so off he went. Elsewhere, all my sales were of youngsters who I had bought for less than what I sold them for. The board should be happy, as I raked him £45,000,000 in sales this summer, and only spent £17,000,000!
Tricio: His second year with the club was a vast improvement over the first – he conceded only 32 goals after conceding 52 previously, and he recorded 16 clean sheets to go with his 6.96 AR. He earned his first cap for Brazil, no easy feat, and the 22 year old is truly on his way to become one of the finest GKs in the world. One of the club’s most important players.
Development: 2018 - 2019 – 2020.
DL : Manuel Roubaund: Although his talents are better suited for the left wing position, and it is where he is likely to end up playing, there is no denying that he is equally as good playing left back. Once Mancini came on in January, Roubaund was relegated to backup for those two positions, but he continued to have a very strong season. The 18 year old ended up with 22 appearances and 5 assists, recording a 7.04 AR. Now that Mancini has been sold to Arsenal, the Frenchman will retain his place as starting left back, and considering the success he had last year, he should do well this season, as well.
Development: 2019 – 2020
DC : Alexandre: Four years into his Bromley career, the 22 year old Brazilian produced his finest season, and was a key reason why the club was the second best defensive team in the Premier League last year. His 7.07 AR was a career-high, as were his 4 goals and 4 MotMs. Although his 2.94 TpG remains lower than what is expected, his improvement through the past three seasons has been very notable, and he has proven to be a very capable central defender.
Development: 2017 – 2018 – 2019 – 2020.
DC : Tete: The 21 year old Brazilian bounced back from a horrific injury that ruled him out of action for eight months in good fashion, putting it behind him and playing 30 games for the club in the league this season. He recorded 6.96 AR, and although his 2.42 TpG was underwhelming, the fact that he was able to play at the highest level was encouragement enough. This year, however, he is expected to build on last season and show noticeable improvement if he is to maintain his position as a starter.
Development: 2018 – 2019 – 2020
DR : Kieran Holland: Bromley Youth Academy’s golden boy, and no locally bred player means more to the club other than Elliot Law. The 19 year old right back is the club’s pride and joy, and the finest the youth academy has ever produced. He appeared in 36 games last season, recording a 6.94 AR and 2.77 TpG, both reasonable but unspectacular numbers that he is expected to improve upon. Holland has the potential to be an English international, and his development continues to be encouraging. What he lacks in pace he makes up for in mental toughness and intelligence.
Development: 2017 – 2018 – 2019 – 2020.
ML : Lukas Kubik: In his third season with the club, Kubik responded to accusations that he had regressed as a footballer to provide his best year in his career. His 12 assists, 5 MotMs, and 7.15 AR were all career-highs as he became comfortable with his position at left wing. He was easily one of the club’s most important players, and the 22 year old Czech international will again be relied upon to be one of the team’s leaders in assists.
Development: 2017 – 2018 – 2019 – 2020.
MC : Porvaldur Magnusson: After two seasons of underachievement, the 24 year old Icelandic midfielder finally provided a respectable season for the club in the Premier League. His 6.92 AR was easily his highest since the club started competing in world’s best domestic league, and he provided 5 assists as well. Although he made some noise about wanting to move to what he said to be “bigger clubs”, that died down when the squad won the FA Cup and qualified for Europe.
Development: 2015 – 2016 – 2017 – 2018 – 2020.
MC : Celso: The sale of Gaucho has thrown 19 year old Brazilian Celso right into the starting lineup – there is no guarantee that he is ready for such a step, but the £1,000,000 signing is going to get his chance this season. He showed small hints of potential in his limited appearances last year, but he will not be replacing Gaucho’s defensive ability any time soon. Instead, the hope is that he will be able to provide more of an attacking threat than his Brazilian counterpart gave.
Development: 2019 – 2020.
MR : Gilmar: His third season with the club was also his best, as he recorded 7.00 AR to go along with his career-high 8 assists. Still, with his kind of raw ability and potential, those respectable numbers should be considered an underachievement. The good news is the Brazilian is still only 21 years old and still getting better. Expect him to produce more spectacularly in this upcoming season. Easily the squad’s most gifted player technically, and is amongst the fastest players in the world.
Development: 2017 – 2018 – 2019 – 2020.
F : Eduardo Fernandez: The 21 year old Uruguayan had a rough first year in the Premier League, but the club did not pay a record £15,000,000 to watch it go to waste. The talent is clearly there, it just a matter of putting it to use on the pitch. His return of 6 goals in only 19 appearances was low, and obviously, a lot more is expected of him. He has the full faith of the manager, however, who has sold Ihm and given him full starting privileges.
Development: 2019 – 2020
F : Emmanuel Musa: The club captain and Bromley’s Player of the Year for the third consecutive season, and it was by far his finest of his career. In 31 appearances, the 22 year old German scored 16 goals and his 7.09 AR was the highest he had recorded in the Premier League. He earned his first cap for Germany, as well – the striker had developed into one of the better at his position in the league throughout the year. He is the club’s most important player, and will be relied upon even more heavily this upcoming season.
Development: ]2016 – 2017 – 2018 – 2019 – 2020.
GK : Brian Barrett: The talk about the 20 year old potentially being the next David Seaman has died down, but he still remains the club’s No.2, and a decent one at that. He’s never going to replace Tricio as the starting GK, but he is capable when called up.
Development: 2019 – 2020
DC : Mario Ortega: He has not quite panned out the way he was expected when he was bought for £6,250,000 two seasons ago – he only appeared in 9 games last season, and will be hoping for a more meaningful contribution this year. The 20 year old Mexican does well when he is called upon, and recorded 3.61 TpG last season.
Development: 2018 – 2019 – 2020
DC : Ranier Rummenigge: The club’s hottest prospect, this 18 year old central defender featured in 24 games last season, and was possibly Bromley’s best at the position. Although his 2.38 TpG was low, he had the highest AR at 7.18 of all the defenders. He might fight his way to a starting position before long, and it could be as early as this season.
Development: 2019 – 2020
MC : Stefan Rahn: Bought for £7,500,000 from HSV, the 24 year old German midfielder might replace Celso in the starting position if the Brazilian cannot handle the pressure. He’s very good on the defensive end, and might contribute the way Gaucho did the past few seasons.
FC : Elliot Law: The former club captain, it has been said every year, but there is no way the club would have gotten to the Premier League without his contributions – he led the team from the Blue Square South into England’s top division in six years while breaking the club’s goalscoring and appearances records. He now a role model for the younger players, and the club continues to retain his services despite his limited appearances.
Development: 2015 – 2016 – 2017 – 2018 – 2020.
Last edited by abulezz; 16-02-2012 at 16:59.
Your squad is starting to come together nicely. Good luck for the new season!
I have some questions about Þorvaldur Magnússon. Obviously he's Icelandic but does he have England as a second nation or did he just live in England for long enough? Strange as he's the best Icelandic newgen i've seen so don't get why he wasn't picked in the Icelandic team. What academy did he come out of? Sorry for the dreadful questions just interested . Anyway look forward to reading more!
Been very busy in the transfer window. I see you cashed in on Gallardo in the end. Suprised he has gone to Dortmund though. Out of interest, how is Kourouma doing after you sold him last year? Probably didn't get too many games but wondered if his attributes showed any sign of improving. I'm impressed with how Holland has been progressing over the years. Hopefully he can get a full international call up soon.
GL for the coming year
Kieran Holland has become one of my favorite players because he is, afterall, a Bromley product, and I am really looking forward to his continued development. It has been rapid, and I really hope he gets himself some caps!
As for Cheick Kourouma, Chelsea came in with a bid, and like Gallardo, I just didnt see him developing into a player I would use. Here are a couple of links as to how his development has been:
Kourouma in 2019, just after his promotion from the Youth Academy
Kourouma at the beginning of 2021
Andreas Iniesta – Player Profile
NATIONAL TEAM ACHIEVEMENTS:
World Cup Winner (2010) - Runner-Up (2014)
European Championship Winner (2008, 2012, 2016)
Confederations Cup Winner (2017)
European U19 Championship (2002)
Champions League Winner (2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016) - Runner-Up (2018, 2019)
Spanish La Liga (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018) - Runner-Up (2004, 2007, 2013, 2017, 2019)
Club World Championship (2012, 2013, 2016)
Spanish La Liga Player of the Year (2009)
Spanish Player of the Year (2009, 2012) - Runner-Up (2015, 2016)
Born in Spain on May 11th, 1984, Andreas Iniesta went on to become one of the finest midfielders of his generation and possibly the best midfielder in the history of Spain. Part of the ‘Barcelona Era’ from start to finish, along with Lionel Messi, he was the only player to see it through and be part of what was the greatest club team ever assembled. The titles he won with his club and national team were second to none. He represented Spain 113 times in his career, scoring 14 goals. He spent the entirety of his club career at Barcelona, and became a legend of the club as well as Spain.
His career started began in 2002, at the age of 18, and that summer he was part of the U19 team that won the Euro U19 Championship. In 2004/05, he became a full-fledged starter at the club, never relinquishing that title until he retired in 2019. It was also the season he won his first La Liga title with Barcelona, defending it in 2006 and winning the first of his incredible six Champions League titles alongside the likes of Brazilian star Ronaldinho.
The likes of manger Pep Guardiola and stars such as Messi and Xavi were alongside Iniesta when they captured the La Liga title four times in a row between 2009 and 2014, winning the Champions League four times, as well. His performances in 2009 won him the La Liga Player of the Year, and he was also voted Spanish Player of the Year for the first time that year. He has the best season of his career in 2011/12, scoring 8 goals and recording 14 assists, 7.72 AR, and 8 MotMs. He also won the La Liga and the Champions League that year, as well, culminating his career year at the age of 28 in fantastic fashion.
He stayed at his peak for three more seasons, and in 2014/15, he recorded a career-high 10 league goals, capturing his eighth career La Liga title that season, and winning it for the third consecutive season a year later, along with his sixth and final Champions League title. He had been under Roberto Mancini since 2013, but had not missed a step since the Italian took over from Pep Guardiola. The last title he won was his tenth La Liga championship in 2017/18, retiring the year after that.
Iniesta scored 62 league goals in his career, appearing 452 for Barcelona. He was very big part of the Barcelona team that conquered all in front of it from the late 2000s to the mid-2010s, and his creativity was the sparkplug of that team. It was the same for the Spanish national team that captured the European Championship an unprecedented three times in a row between 2008 and 2016, and also was one of their best players in their World Cup 2010 campaign that ended in them winning their first title in their history. He was also part of the team that fell to Brazil in the Finals of the World Cup 2014, but his contributions were limited in that campaign. He ended his career as one of the best midfielders in the history of the sport, and as stated above, possibly the best Spain had ever produced. Although he did not win many individual awards, the titles and championships he won more than made up for it. He was a winner in every respect of the word, and won every major title football had to offer in his eighteen years with Barcelona.
Last edited by abulezz; 17-02-2012 at 12:21.
Making great strides with Bromley mate. Good luck in Europe .
The graph on your overview screen sums up the job you've done here, really a great effort so far.
The club is also in a great position financially aswell, the future looks bright!
Hows guacho doing at Chelsea?
Bromley Mid-Season Update 2020/2021
This season has been going better than I expected, and we entered February 2021 in fourth place, in front of the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, and Liverpool. We were only one point off of Arsenal in 2nd Place, but Chelsea had built a significant lead at the top and I don’t think there is any chance of catching them, realistically. However, given the way the team has played this season, if we can finish off the year in a Champions League spot, I would be ecstatic.
Our offense has been firing on all cylinders, and I risked disturbing that balance when I sold Eduardo Fernandez to Manchester City for £15,000,000 + clauses, but I felt the player that I was going to bring in, also from Manchester City, would improve the squad. For the amount that was paid for Fernandez, I bought it Serbian striker Zoran Sedlarevic from Manchester City and Gaston Ponce from Paris Saint-Germain – Sedlarevic cost me £10,000,000 and Ponce £5,500,000. Sedlarevic became an immediate sensation, hitting Rochdale with a hat-trick in the FA Cup and scoring 3 league goals in 3 appearances in January. Needless to say, I don’t regret selling Fernandez and bringing him in, although Fernandez was having a good season for us, too – 21 Aps, 9 Goals, 7 Assists, 3 MotM, and 7.26 AR. Ponce came in at the end of the month, and has not had the chance to play yet, but he definitely shores up the talent in the midfield, something that was lacking.
Overall, I feel we are having a great season - as the youngsters continue to come of age, their talent is really beginning to show. A prime example of that has to be Manuel Roubaund, Emmanuel Musah, and Gilmar. The latter especially has been impressive, recording 6 goals, 11 assists , and 7.30 AR in 22 games. If we can keep this up, we should definitely be competing for a Champions League spot at the end of the season.
Good to see progress after a slow first few years in the PL.
Brilliant season so far!
Yes, it has been! As I said before, Im very pleased with our performances this season, and the boys have really started to impress
Apart from Chelsea who are running away with it, the rest of the Champions League spots look very tight.
AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS 2021 – GHANA
Ivory Coast vs. Egypt
Len Clay Stadium, Obuasi (Att: 9,267): In a rematch of the Quarter-Finals matchup in the ANC 2019 where Egypt defeated the Ivory Coast 2-1, the West African nation was looking to exact revenge for their loss. The 2017 winners had qualified top of Group B, ahead of South Africa, conceding only 1 goal while scoring 6 goals of their own. Thierry Sanogo was not only the best performing GK in the tournament thus far, but had the highest AR of any player in the tournament with 8.10 AR, along with teammate and midfieder Jean Gouamene. Egypt struggled through their Group Stages matchups, winning only one game and qualifying in second place in Group A behind Cameroon.
It was an even match, with all three of the goals scored coming in the first half. Ivory Coast struck first through Moumouni Kone in the 14th minute, but Egypt responded with two goals – the first came from Mahmoud Ahmed in the 28th minute, and just seven minutes later, Essam Ragab hit their second. The result would stay as it is throughout the second half, and Ahmed would take him the MotM award. Although Ivory Coast were favorites in this match, it was the Egyptians who advanced to the Semi-Finals for the second straight time.
Egypt: 2 (Ahmed, Ragab)
Ivory Coast: 1 (Kone)
Cameroon vs. Ghana
Kaneshie Sports Complex, Accra (Att: 15,000): This was the most anticipated matchup of the Quarter-Finals, with defending champions Ghana facing the 2015 winners Cameroon. They faced each other in the Semi-Finals of the 2019 ANC, where Ghana defeated the Indomitable Lions 3-1 on their way to winning the entire tournament. They struggled in the Group Stages, however, winning only one game and qualifying second to Senegal in Group C. Cameroon, on the other hand, were possibly the most impressive team in the Group Stages, winning all three of their Group A matches. Vinent Aboubakar was second in the tournament with 3 goals.
Playing in front of their home crowd, Ghana managed to pull off a 2-1 victory against their rivals. Ghana had a good amount of the possession at 55%, but in reality, it was a very even and entertaining game, with both teams having a fair amount of chances. Ghanaian superstar Jordan Ayew struck first in the 20th minute, but Cameroon’s Tony Tchani equalized in the 59th minute. It took Ghana just nine minutes to retake through Prince Asante, and this time it was for good. Tchani would capture the MotM, but it was little consolation as the hosts, and the defending champions, advanced to the Semi-Finals.
Ghana: 2 (J. Ayew, Asante)
Cameroon: 1 (Tchani)
Nigeria vs. Algeria
Essipong Sports Stadium, Takoradi (Att: 11,401): These two teams faced each other in the Group Stages, and it was Algeria who came out victorious 3-1 in that Group D matchup. Algeria ended up winning all three of their matches, scoring 10 goals and conceding only 2, while Nigeria were not as impressive, scoring 6 and conceding 5 goals. Algeria has been a participant in every ANC tournament since 2012, but had never gotten past the Quarter-Finals. Nigeria, who have always been known as one of the giants of African football, have passed through one of their worst decades, getting past the Group Stages of the tournament just once, in 2017, where they lost to Burkina Faso in the Quarter-Finals.
This ended up being the most entertaining match of the Quarter-Finals, with extra-time needed to separate these two competitive teams. Things started off intensely as Algeria were gifted a penalty in the 5th minute, which Mohamd Khelifi converted. Just twelve minutes later, however, Habib Ogbonna equalized after some nice passing from the Nigerian side. The first half would end with Algeria in front, however, as Khelifi scored his second goal of the match in the 28th minute, giving him 3 total in the tournament. In the second half, Nigeria’s own star player, Julius Mohammed equalized the match in the 67th minute, making the game 2-2 as both teams tried to out-do the other. Plenty of chances were created, but it was not until the very end of the first extra time that Ogbonna found the goal for the second time, and finally gave Nigeria the 3-2 lead and victory. It was an epic battle, and for the first time in ten years, Nigeria advanced past the Quarter-Finals, meeting Egypt in the next round. Ogbonna’s performance earned him the MotM, and it was fully deserved.
Nigeria: 3 (H. Ogbonna 2, J. Mohammed)
Algeria: 2 (Khelifi 2)
Senegal vs. South Africa
Tamale Stadium, Tamale (Att: 7,609): Senegal qualified out of the tournament’s ‘Group of Death’ with an unblemished record, winning all three of their games, including one against hosts and defending champions, Ghana. Although they only scored 4 goals, they were beastly on the defensive end, conceding only 1 goal. South Africa qualified in 2nd Place in Group B, highlighted by their 5-0 destruction of Comoros in their last match, which was also their only victory in the Group Stages.
Although it was not the most entertaining of matches, it certainly was a dramatic one. How South Africa only scored one goal after 25 shots (5 were on target) were hit is surprising, but they did strike first through Tshepo Tshabalala just a couple of minutes before the end of the first half. Just four minutes after the second half started, however, Tidiane Samb, only 21 years old, scored the equalizer and would go on to win the match’s MotM award. Things would stay 1-1 all the way past the end of the second extra-time, and Senegal would finally win on penalties. South Africa, two time winners of the tournament and Finalists in 2019, failed to qualify to the Semi-Finals of the competition for the first time since 2012, while Senegal advanced to the Semi-Finals for the first time in over twelve years.
Senegal: 1 (Samb) – Senegal Won on Penalties 2-1.
South Africa: 1 (Tshabalala)
Nigeria vs. Egypt
Essipong Sports Stadium, Takoradi (Att: 20,008): The tournament’s record holders with seven title wins, Egypt, faced off against Africa’s most rejuvenated side in Nigeria, and it was Egypt who came out on top. Essam Ragab was all business, hitting a fantastic brace , but the MotM went to Hashem Mohamed, thanks to his three assists. The Nigerians were second best throughout the match, and Egypt returned to the Finals the competition for the first time since 2010.
Egypt: 3 (Ragab 2, Kamel)
Nigeria: 1 (Temile)
Ghana vs. Senegal
Kaneshie Sports Complex, Accra (Att: 15,000): The defending champions were looking to gain revenge of Senegal for their defeat of them in the Group Stages, and they were successful, although just barely. Jordan Ayew scored another goal for the hosts, equalizing in the 89th minute after Lamine N’Diaye scored just two minutes before and thought to have given Senegal the victory. The match went to penalties, and Ghana finally advanced to their second straight Finals after defeating their West African rivals.
Ghana: 2 (Yeboah, Ayew) – Ghana Won on Penalties 4-3
Senegal: 2 (Babacar, N’Diaye)
Ghana vs. Egypt
Essipong Sports Stadium, Takoradi (Att: 20,008): The hosts fell short in their quest to win a second consecutive title as Egypt won the competition for a record eighth time. Their star was Mahmoud Osman, who won the MotM and hit a fantastic brace to give Egypt the victory. Ghana looked surprisingly uninspired in front of their home crowd, making the Egypt’s job easier than usual. They overcame Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Ghana to win the title, defeating the top teams on the continent on their way to winning the tournament.
Egypt: 2 (Osman 2)
Hashem Mohamed (6 Appearances, 5 Assists, 7.72): Although this award could have went to a few other Egyptian players, Mohamed was chosen because without his contributions, it would have been a lot tougher for Egypt to win the title. His performance in the Semi-Finals against the Nigerians was of the highest quality, controlling the middle of the park as good as anyone could dream of doing.
Itumeleng Khune (4 Appearances, 3 Goals Conceded, 1 Clean Sheets, 7.05): For the second straight tournament, South African’s GK was chosen as the Best GK in the tournament. Although the South Africans were knocked out in the Quarter-Finals, he still showed enough to prove that he is, indeed, the best GK on the continent.
Fantastic effort so far, hopefully you can finish strongly although it does look very tight.
The Youth Intake is here! Shannon Carpenter is ridiculous - Im going to retrain him to defender. He looks very, very good!
Oh my word!
He looks very good. Be an excellent anchor man if you could get his passing improved. Retraining as CB is probably best at this stage as you say.
WOW. Carpenter looks fantastic .
CHAMPIONS CUP 2020/2021
Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich (4 - 5)
First Leg – Emirates Stadium, London (Att: 60,361): This was a mouth-watering tie that pitted the German Bundesliga champions against the English Premier League and Champions League defending champions, Arsenal. For the most part, German teams had underachieved in the competition for the past ten years, and Bayern Munich itself had advanced to the Quarter-Finals only twice during that time, in 2012 and 2016. They were eliminated at this stage last year by Paris Saint-Germain. By contrast, Arsenal had failed to advance to the Quarter-Finals only twice in that time span – in 2012, where they lost Bayern Munich in the Second Round, and in 2015. In his first full season in charge of the club, Paul Lambert led Arsenal to both the Premier League and their first Champions League title.
The first leg in London was exciting from start to finish. Luis Ramirez started things off, scoring in the 6th minute, but the response was quick. Brazilian striker Amoroso equalized just three minutes later, and he went on to score a brace for his club. For Arsenal, it was Gerardo Ullet who scored a brace for them, as the match ended in an even 3-3 draw that Bayern Munich would be happy with. With three away goals scored, Bayern made their job just a little bit easier as they took the second leg back to Germany against the champions. Ramirez captured the MotM award.
Arsenal: 3 (Ulett 2, Ramirez)
Bayern Munich: 3 (Amoroso 2, Ivancic)
Second Leg – Allianz Arena, Munich (Att: 66,000): After pulling off a superb result against the Premier League champions in London, Bayern Munich finished the job, defeating them 2-1 on home soil. They did so despite a red card in the 43rd minute and only 41% of the possession being theirs, with Ivancic scoring his second goal of the tie on his way to winning the MotM. Arsenal got one back early in the second half through £16,250,000 signing James Rodriguez, but that was the only goal they could get. Arsenal were knocked out, and Europe were going to crown a new champion this season.
Bayern Munich: 2 (Ivancic, Markovic)
Arsenal: 1 (Rodriguez)
Inter Milan vs. Tottenham (4 - 3)
First Leg – Giuseppe Meazza, Milan (Att: 79,975): The three time defending Serie A champions lost their Champions League title to Arsenal last season, and now had to face another London club in their quest to reclaiming the title. After beating Barcelona in the 2019 Finals, they lost to Arsenal last season in the Quarter-Finals. As for Tottenham, they had been one of the best performing teams in the tournament over the past ten years, advancing to the Finals on two occasions in 2016 and 2017, losing both times.
Inter Milan utterly dominated their opponents in the first leg at home, winning the match 2-0. Truthfully, it should have been a lot more, but Inter were especially wasteful around the goal. Their Shots/On Target ratio was 18/5, compared to Tottenhams 4/0, but the surprising part was, Tottenham had 60% of the possession. They did not do anything at all with it, though, and two quick goals by Daniel Correa and Milan Djuric in the 14th and 15th minutes, respectively, sank the London club. Inter Milan’s star right winger, Dario Mazzoleni, won the MotM, recording an 8.0 AR.
Inter Milan: 2 (Correa, Djuric)
Second Leg – White Hart Lane, London (Att: 36,310): After a somewhat timid and uninspired display of football in Milan, Tottenham turned up the heat at home, and came away with a 3-2 victory against the Serie A champions. Unfortunately, it was not enough to overturn their 2-0 loss in Italy, and they were knocked out despite a fantastic game of football in London. Mazzoleni again captured the MotM thanks to his 2 assists, which gave him an 8.9 AR. Correa scored his 3rd goal in the tournament in the 5th minute, and Jack Collison added one more for extra measure in the 90th minute. Inter Milan, who were Champions League winners in 2019, advanced to the Quarter-Finals in their quest to recapturing the title.
Tottenham: 3 (Vernaza, Yarmolenko, Cavani)
Inter Milan: 2 (Correa, Collison)
AA Gent vs. Real Madrid (2 - 7)
First Leg – Arteveldestadion, Ghent (Att: 20,000): The Champions League has been won by Real Madrid a record eleven times, with the most recent being in 2014 and 2017. Since then, the club has failed to advance past the Quarter-Finals, falling at that stage last season to Manchester City. AA Gent, who have been Belgian Pro League champions for the past three seasons, were knocked out in the Group Stages the two previous years, but this time, they surprised everyone by beating out AC Milan and FC Porto and gaining 2nd Place in Group D.
The surprises continued, as the Belgian side defeated their much larger and famous opponents 2-1 in Belgium, causing a huge shock. The result was certainly one of the most famous ones in the history of the club. Although Real Madrid had 60% of the possession, Gent were clearly the more dangerous team, and Carlos Rodriguez struck early in the first half to give them the lead. They held Real Madrid to just 4 shots, 2 of which were on target, compared to their own Shots/On Target ratio of 12/8. They won the match 2-1 after Eudes Dagoulou scored in the 64th minute to give them the lead. Real Madrid midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah was the MotM in their disappointing defeat.
AA Gent: 2 (Rodriguez, Dagoulou)
Real Madrid: 1 (Sissoko)
Second Leg – Santiago Bernabau, Madrid (Att: 86,914): The loss in Belgium was quickly put behind Real Madrid as they completely obliterated Gent in Spain, defeating them 6-0 in one of the most lopsided victories in the competition in recent memory. Real Madrid had a ridiculous Shots/On Target ratio of 17/12, and had 60% of the position. Their hero of the day was 24 year old Australian midfielder Paul McCann, who did great and hit a hat-trick. Needless to say, Real Madrid showed the difference in class between the two teams, and advanced to the Quarter-Finals at the expense of the Belgian champions.
Real Madrid: 6
AA Gent: 0
Malaga vs. Marseille (1 - 0)
First Leg – La Rosaleda, Malaga (Att: 28,963): Malaga had quietly become one of the best teams in Spain over the past few years, finishing in the top four five seasons in a row. Their success on the domestic level was not emulated on the continent, however – in the four previous seasons, they had only gotten past the Group Stages once, losing to Barcelona in the Quarter-Finals in 2018/19. Marseille won the French Ligue 1 title for the second time in ten years last season, but were still trying to add to their single Champions League title win, which happened in 1993. They failed to participate last season in the competition, but were Semi-Finalists in 2018/19, losing to Barcelona in heartbreaking circumstances.
Malaga’s young Brazilian striker Eduardo was the only goalscorer in an otherwise dull affair, with the Spanish side taking a 1-0 victory at home. Marseille were strangely tame, considering the offensive firepower at their disposal. Antoine Griezmann, who came to Malaga from Arsenal for £5,750,000 this season, won the MotM in an uneventful match.
Malaga: 1 (Eduardo)
Second Leg – Stade Velodrome, Marseille (Att: 66,904): Days before the second leg, Malaga inexplicably sacked the manager that had made it all happen for them, Roberto Donadoni. It was a shock the sent waves throughout the footballing world – yes, they had struggled in the La Liga this season, finding themselves in 7th Place, but after Donadoni had done so much for the club, surely more loyalty would have been shown to him despite going through a mediocre season. Juan Carlos Garrido, the former Villareal manager, took his place, and his first match in charge was this all-important game against Marseille. Thankfully for Malaga, the French squad looked just as uninspired in the second leg as it did in the first, and Malaga were able to keep the score 0-0 despite 62% possession for Marseille, with 28 year old Spanish central defender Derik winning the MotM. Malaga did not play well, but Marseille’s timidness while they were on the attack meant that for the second time in their history, Malaga were through to the Quarter-Finals.
FC Twente vs. Spartak Moscow (5 - 3)
First Leg – Grolsch Veste, Enschede (Att: 32,000): The newly crowned Dutch champions were also in the Second Round of the Champions League for the first time in at least twelve years, after having been knocked out in the Group Stages their two previous tries. Their draw was kind to them, as Spartak Moscow were also new to the Second Round, and were actually even less experienced than their Dutch counterparts.
It was a highly entertaining match which saw Norwegian striker Mushaga Bakenga score a brace to lift his club to a victory, but not before conceding two important away goals that could come back to haunt them. Spartak Moscow were second best through the match, and never did look like they deserved to win it, so they should consider themselves lucky that they were to return to Russia with those two away goals. The MotM was Bakenga, who now had 7 goals in the competition.
FC Twente: 3 (Bakenga 2, Mango)
Spartak Moscow: 2 (Himcinschi, Kirsanov)
Second Leg – Luzhniki, Moscow (Att: 40,844): An exciting game in the first leg was followed by another entertaining affair in Russia, and like in Holland, FC Twente came out victorious. The Dutch side took the lead in the 13th minute through Miguel Cuadros, and when Bakenga scored in the 40th minute to give them the 2-0 lead, the tie was effectively over. Spartak Moscow striker Gleisson got one back for the Russians, but that was all they could muster up. FC Twente advanced to the Quarter-Finals in impressive fashion.
Spartak Moscow: 1 (Gleisson)
FC Twente: 2 (Cuadros, Bakenga)
Manchester United vs. Toulouse (2 - 0)
First Leg – Old Trafford, Manchester (Att: 87,511): This was Toulouse’s first foray in Champions League football since 2007, and they did well to reach the Second Round on their first try. They were unfortunate, however, to draw Manchester United, one of the most accomplished and decorated teams in the competition. The former Premier League champions were beaten Finalists last season, falling to Arsenal, and have not been knocked out before the Quarter-Finals in twelve years, at least. They were again one of the favorites to lift the trophy, despite their inconsistent form domestically.
It was not a terribly exciting game, and although Man United dominated the match, they could only find one goal. Dejan Kovacevic found the net at the very beginning of the second half, and the result was maintained up till the final whistle. Midfielder Andile Jali played a spectacular game, recording an 8.4 AR, but otherwise, it was a very ordinary match which bordered on dull at times.
Manchester United: 1 (Kovacevic)
Second Leg – Stadium Municipal, Toulouse (Att: 36,420): Just like the first leg, this was a dull affair that Manchester United won 1-0, again with a goal from Kovacevic. The English team had 63% of the possession throughout the match, maintaining complete superiority over the ball and giving Toulouse a very hard time in winning the ball back. That being said, the French side had their chances, as witnessed by their 12/6 Shots Ratio, with most coming off of counter-attacks. In the end, however, the favorites were able to get through to the Quarter-Finals.
Manchester United: 1 (Kovacevic)
PAOK vs. Barcelona (3 - 2)
First Leg – Toumba, Salonika (Att: 28,701): This was the third time PAOK advanced to the Second Round of the competition in the past ten years, and the Greek champions were unlucky with their draws each time. Previously, they had lost to Tottenham and Manchester United in 2017 and 2018, respectively, and this time around, they drew Barcelona. The Catalan giants won back the La Liga title from Real Madrid last season, but they had also lost to Paris Saint-Germain in the Quarter-Finals of the competition after advancing to the Finals (and losing both times) the two previous seasons. Barcelona last won a Champions League title in 2016, so this would be the fifth year without recapturing it if they lost.
PAOK surprised with their tenacity in this match, and they came out attacking straight out of the gates. It took them just seven minutes to score, but Barcelona recuperated and equalized through Rafinha. Diego Villavicencio gave them the lead in the 64th minute, but again Barcelona equalized, this time through Alexis Sanchez, just five minutes after. It would end 2-2, but PAOK were by far the happier team with the result. Although it still remained highly unlikely that PAOK would be able to get a result at the Nou Camp, they were, on this day, Barcelona’s equal.
PAOK: 2 (Villavicencio, Fetfatzidis)
Barcelona: 2 (Rafinha, Sanchez)
Second Leg – Nou Camp, Barcelona (Att: 88,619): When people look back at football history in the future, they could very well pinpoint this game as the one that officially brought the ‘Barcelona Era’ to a close. In one of the most shocking upsets in the history of the competition, Greek side PAOK managed to defeat Barcelona 1-0 at the Nou Camp and go one to win the tie. Villavicencio, PAOK’s goalscorer from the first tie, hit the only goal of the game in the 59th minute, and despite Barcelona having 60% of the possession, they could not make it count, failing to score a single goal. PAOK’s advanced to the Quarter-Finals for the first time in recent memory at the expense of the most decorated team in club football this century.
PAOK: 1 (Villavicencio)
Shakhtar vs. Lyonnais (1 - 5)
First Leg – Donbas-Arena, Donetsk (Att: 51,504): After dominating the Ukrainian league for much of the decade, Shakhtar has finished in 2nd Place behind Metalist the past two seasons. The days of seeing the Ukrainian club in the Knockout Stages of the Champions League have been over for a few years now, with their last qualification to that stage being in 2015, where they lost to Barcelona in the Quarter-Finals. In 2012, they came within one game reaching the Champions League Finals, finally losing out to eventual champions Barcelona, as well. Lyonnais, on the other hand, were successful in defeating Barcelona in 2018 in Stockholm to claim their first ever Champions League title. For the past two seasons, however, they have been knocked out in the Second Round, despite this being possibly their most talented team ever.
That talent certainly showed as they smashed Shakhtar in Ukraine 4-0, with Salomon Rondon scoring a brace. Both his goals came by the 16th minute mark, and the match was effectively over by then. For extra measure, Lyonnais added two more goals, one through Giuseppe D’Agostino and the last through Gueida Fofana, putting one foot into the Quarter-Finals. Not surprisingly, Rondon was crowned MotM for this affair.
Lyonnais: 4 (Rondon 2, D’Agostino, Fofana)
Second Leg – Stade des Lumieres, Lyon (Att: 61,556): After the whipping Lyonnais gave Shakhtar in the Ukraine, one could forgive the French side for being complacent in the second leg, and indeed, they barely looked like they were trying throughout much of the second leg in Lyon. This was especially true after Rondon gave them in the lead in the 21st minute, and it was not until the 75th minute that Shakhtar managed to equalize the match. In the end, this was not much of a competition over the two legs, as Lyonnais were barely troubled, advancing to the Quarter-Finals with ease.
Lyonnais: 1 (Rondon)
Shakhtar: 1 (Vukusic)
Last edited by abulezz; 20-02-2012 at 15:12.
Samir Nasri Gets His First Managerial Job!
PAOK are a bit of a surprise.
Seems to be an echo in here...
Wow, just wow!
CHAMPIONS CUP 2020/2021
Manchester United vs. Real Madrid (8 - 2)
First Leg – Old Trafford, Manchester (Att: 94,746): While Real Madrid destroyed AA Gent 7-2 over two legs in the Second Round, including a 6-0 victory at home in the second leg, Manchester United strutted along against Toulouse and squeaked by with two 1-0 victories. Their performances in the Second Round served to give no warning to what was to happen in this match, however. In one of the most dominant displays every witnessed in the competition’s history, Manchester United obliterated their Spanish rivals 7-1 that left the footballing world completely shocked. Never had such a result between two massive teams been seen, and least of all to Real Madrid, the record holder in the Champions League with 11 titles, most recenty won in 2014 and 2017. Two goals were scored in the first give minutes, with Javier Hernandez scoring the first of three goals in the 2nd minute, and Dejan Kovacevic scoring in the 5th minute. The same thing repeated itself at the beginning of the first half, with Kovacevic scoring just one minute and Hernandez three minutes after the second half began. Hernandez was given the MotM for his hat-trick, with his final goal coming in the dying seconds of the match, as he was the catalyst behind Real Madrid’s most embarrassing defeat in recent memory.
Manchester United: 7 (Hernandez 3, Kovacevic 2, Hazard, Alex O.G.)
Real Madrid: 1 (Higuan)
Second Leg – Santiago Bernabau, Madrid (Att: 94,267): After the destruction of Real Madrid in England, there was little hope for the Spanish club to come back into this tie, and Kovacevic made sure their job was made harder when he scored in the 11th minute. Real Madrid tried, as witnessed by their 22/9 Shots Ratio, but could only muster up one goal, scored by Cesar Martin, as Manchester United advanced to the Semi-Finals with the tag of being overwhelming favorites to go on to win the entire competition. David De Gea made sure that Real Madrid did not score more than one goal, and he was given the MotM for his performance in which he recorded a 9.2 AR.
Real Madrid: 1 (Martin)
Manchester United: 1 (Kovacevic)
Lyonnais vs. Inter Milan (3 - 1)
First Leg – Stade des Lumieres, Lyon (Att: 61,556): Lyonnais looked especially dangerous in their Second Round demolition of Shakhtar, defeating them 4-0 in Ukraine in the first leg. Solomon Rondon scored 3 goals in the tie itself, and the 2018 Champions League winners were looking to stay sharp against the 2019 winners, Inter Milan. The Italian side had a tough Second Round matchup against English side Tottenham, but came out victorious thanks to a strong showing in the first leg at home. They got off to a terrible start in Lyon, however, as Rondon scored in the 2nd minute, and they never recovered from it. Although they spent most of the match being the French team’s equal, they conceded a second goal, this time to Giuseppe D’Agostino, in the 33rd minute. The score remaind 2-0 for Lyonnais up till the final whistle, and Inter Milan never looked dangerous enough to equalize or even get a single goal back. D’Agostino was rewarded for his fantastic play with the MotM, as Lyonnais’ strong showing in the year’s edition of the tournament continued.
Lyonnais: 2 (D’Agostino, Rondon)
Inter Milan: 0
Second Leg – Giuseppe Meazza, Milan (Att: 80,018): Surprising timid and uninspired in Lyon, Inter Milan were definitely the better team in the second leg in Italy. Unfortunately for them, however, Lyonnais’ Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan scored in the first minute of the game, which meant that Inter Milan would have to find four goals to defeat the French. Ultimately, they could only get one, and the match finished with a 1-1 draw. Inter Milan could not break through the Lyonnais’ defensive wall, and the 2018 winners ended up defeating the 2019 winners to earn a spot in the Semi-Finals.
Inter Milan: 1 (Correa)
Lyonnais: 1 (Nainggolan)
Bayern Munich vs. PAOK (3 - 2)
First Leg – Allianz-Arena, Munich (Att: 64,867): After shocking the world and knocking out Barcelona in the Second Round, the morale at PAOK could not have been higher as they visited Bayern Munich for the first leg of this matchup. The Germans had just defeated the defending champions Arsenal, and were looking like one of the favorites to lift the trophy. PAOK, however, were not done with their surprises – just as they did in the first leg of the their draw against Barcelona, they held their opponents to a 2-2 draw. Bayern Munich’s central defender Graveto gave them the very early lead in the 4th minute, and when Kruno Ivancic scored in the 55th minute, many considered the match to be all but over. The Germans were dominating the match and PAOK looked to have little chance at threatening the goal. However, in line with their season so far, PAOK struck twice, in the 75th and 84th minutes, to shock the Germans and send the tie back to Greece all drawn up, with two important away goals. Once again, Diego Villavicencio scored and played the hero, and won the MotM for it.
Bayern Munich: 2 (Graveto, Ivancic)
PAOK: 2 (Villavicencio, Belfodil)
Second Leg – Toumba, Salonika (Att: 28,701): The Cinderella story of PAOK came to an end in Greece, as Bayern Munich pulled off a tough 1-0 victory to advance to the Semi-Finals. It cannot be said, however, that they were the better team over this tie, and this as especially true in the second leg, with PAOK creating more chances than their German opponents. Unfortunately, the experience of Bayern Munich shown through at the end, and they held off the Greek champions well through ninety minutes to earn the victory.
Bayern Munich: 1 (Markovic)
Malaga vs. FC Twente (1 - 2)
First Leg – La Rosaleda, Malaga (Att: 28,963): Both of these teams had done well to get to the Quarter-Finals, with FC Twente especially impressive against Spartak Moscow in the Second Round. Malaga had previously been to the Quarter-Finals just once before, in 2019, and they had knocked out a much larger opponent in Marseille in the earlier round. This match, however, was a far cry from the ones FC Twente delivered in the previous round – it was a bore 0-0 draw with not much chances created from either side. In fact, FC Twente had just 6/1 Shots Ratio, while Malaga had 9/4. Romanian central defender Deian Boldor won the MotM with FC Twente, and the matchup in Holland became of even greater important after this result. Both teams were attempting to qualify to the Semi-Finals for the first time in their history.
FC Twente: 0
Second Leg – Grolsch Veste, Enschede (Att: 32,000): After a bore draw in Spain, the Eridisivie champions and current leaders, FC Twente, looked to gain the victory against Malaga and advance to the Semi-Finals of the competition for the first time in their history. The first half ended goalless, but Malaga’s Brazilian, Eduardo striker struck first in the second half, bringing his total in the competition to 4 goals. It was FC Twente, however, who go on to win the match, with goals from Mushaga Bakenga and Ivo Pekalski giving them a 2-1 victory. Bakenga again won the MotM, and brought his goal tally in the competition leading 9 goals, solidifying his place as one of the top performers in the Champions League this season. FC Twente were through to the Semi-Finals for the first time in their history, and with the way they were playing, they woud not look out of place in the Finals itself.
FC Twente: 2 (Bakenga, Pekalski)
Malaga: 1 (Eduardo)
The Season Review will come soon, but just wanted to share my achievement!
I was rewarded with:
Great season . What will the extension make your total capacity?
All I can do is
Told you you'd soon feature in your CL updates.
Well done on a great top four finish
That's a great achievement, congrats!
This thread is incredible. Very well presented, I'm going to go back a read a few more pages.
CL football at Bromley \o/ Chelsea look very strong at the moment. May take another couple of seasons before you can challenge them for the title.
CHAMPIONS CUP 2020/2021
Bayern Munich vs. Lyonnais (2 - 4)
First Leg – Allianz-Arena, Munich (Att: 66,000): The 2019 champions visited German for the first leg of this tie, and were lucky to come away with only a 2-1 loss. Although they struck first through Salomon Rondon in the 60th minute, they match completely belonged to Bayern Munich, who had 66% of the possession. Fortunately for them, MotM and captain Kevin Strootman equalized just a few minutes after that, and Bayern Munich’s leading goalscorer Frederico Macheda gave them the win in the 87th minute. The Germans should have won by a bigger margin, and Lyonnais returned home flattered by the scoreline.
Bayern Munich: 2 (Strootman, Macheda)
Lyonnais: 1 (Rondon)
Second Leg – Stade des Lumieres, Lyon (Att: 61,556): Although they were by far the inferior team during the first leg in Germany, Lyonnais left no doubt in anyone’s mind who the better team over the two legs was. The numbers don’t lie – they held Bayern Munich to a 2/0 Shots Ratio, while recording an absolutely incredible 32/16 Shots Ratio of their own. They also had 54% of the possession, but the real story was Bayern Munich’s GK Manuel Neuer – without him, the score might have read 5-0 or 6-0. The MotM, however, was Lyonnais midfielder Willian, who scored a brace and lifted his club to victory. One of the finest players in the competition this year, Willian ran circles around the Bayern Munich defense, and made a team tipped to lift the trophy look downright amateur. Lyonnais advanced to their second Finals in four years in the most dominant of fashion.
Lyonnais: 3 (Willian 2, D’Agostino)
Bayern Munich: 0
FC Twente vs. Manchester United (3 - 8)
First Leg – Grolsche Veste, Enschede (Att: 32,000): FC Twente were the Cinderella story of this season’s Champions League, and were looking just as dangerous any of the other three teams in the Semi-Finals. The tournament’s leading goalscorer, Norwegian striker Mushaga Bakenga, found the net again, bringing his total to 10 goals in the competition, but he was not the best striker on the pitch today. That honor belonged to Dejan Kovacevic, who scored a brace in the first half that lifted Manchester United to a 3-2 victory away from home. Although FC Twente were their equal today, Manchester United’s counter-attacks proved to be hard to stop, leading them to an important away victory.
FC Twente: 2 (de Boer, Bakenga)
Manchester United: 3 (Kovacevic, Evans)
Second Leg – Old Trafford, Manchester (Att: 94,746): The Cinderella story came to an abrupt and anti-climactic end in England, as Manchester United ran out 5-1 winners and booked themselves a place in the Finals against Lyonnais. Sensationally, young Italian defender Carlo Tullii scored a hat-trick and won the MotM. Despite its completely lopsided result, FC Twente were very unlucky because throughout the match, they were once again Manchester United’s equal. Unfortunately, they had no answer to Tulli, who scored all three goals with head from set-pieces. In the end, Manchester United advanced to its second straight Finals, which was also the fifth time they had done so since 2010.
Manchester United: 5 (Tulli 3, Martucci, Hernandez)
FC Twente: 1 (Vilhena)
Lyonnais vs. Manchester United
Ataturk Olympic Stadium – Istanbul, Turkey (Att: 80,597): Going into this match, not a whole lot was being said about Lyonnais’ Jamaican manager, Lovel Palmer, but his story was an incredible one. A youth coach for the club under former manager Patrice Carteron, he was promoted to his new position in July of 2020. In first year as manager of the club, he captured the Ligue 1 title and had led them to their second ever Champions League Finals. This was unprecedented in recent times, and if Palmer managed to win this match, it would be historic. His counterpart was the vastly experienced Ricardo Moniz, who had led Manchester United to two Premier League titles in 2018 and 2019, as well as their second consecutive Champions League Finals in a row this year.
The match was intense and very competitive, with Lyonnais having more chances but Manchester United more the possession. After ninety minutes in Istanbul, the score remained 0-0, and the two teams headed into extra-time. A controversially awarded penalty in the 109th minute sparked outrage amongst Manchester United, and after the dust had settled, Jonathan Espinales had converted the penalty into a goal and made it 1-0 for the French side. Despite heavy assault by Manchester United in the final ten minutes, Lyonnais’ defense, led by Jorginho (whom the club had acquired for £34,500,000 at the beginning of the season), maintained a solid grip on their third of the field. The match ended with Lyonnais’ 1-0 winners, and they lifted the Champions League trophy for the second time in four years. Lovel Palmer made history, becoming the first first-year manager to ever lift the trophy, and catapulted his name to one of the most sought after in the footballing world.
Lyonnais: 1 (Espinales)
Manchester United: 0
Willian, Lyonnais – 10 Appearances, 7 Goals, 2 Assists, 7.76: The 32 year old Brazilian has been a revelation since joining from the club from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2017, and it is no coincidence that Lyonnais’ has won both of its Champions League titles while he has been in his prime. His overall game has ascended the club into greatness, and one would be hard-pressed to find a better all-around game that Willian’s, who was part of the Shakhtar team that reached the Semi-Finals in 2011/12 against Barcelona. He tackles, he runs, he defends and he scores, all with equal greatness. His performances in this year’s Champions League proved that, and he was without a doubt the finest player in Europe this season.
Mushaga Bakenga, FC Twente – 12 Appearances, 10 Goals, 3 Assists, 7.27: FC Twente shocked and surprised the world with their Semi-Final appearance, but none of it would have been possible if Bakenga was not playing. His goals were the primary reason the Dutch champions were able to advance as far as they did, and his performances in the Knockout Rounds was especially great. The powerful 28 year old Norwegian became the first player to lead the Champions League in goals scored since Jari Litmanen did it for Ajax in 1995/96.
Posted the Season Review in a new reply by mistake while trying to edit!
Last edited by abulezz; 27-02-2012 at 17:28.
Bromley 2020/2021 Review
Premier League: 4th Place (Media Prediction: 8th Place)
FA Cup: Semi-Finals – Defeated by Arsenal
League Cup: Third Round – Defeated by Cardiff
Europa League: Quarter-Finals – Defeated by Standard Liege (Belgium)
In our fourth season in the Premier League, we managed to achieve what no other team had come close to doing in the past few years – break up the Big Six. Not only that, but we finished in fourth place, ensuring ourselves the chance as Champions League football in 2021/22. It was a fantastic achievement, and there is no doubt that our rise up the English football leagues has been historic. No other team had done what we have managed to achieve the past ten years, and we now find ourselves amongst the finest clubs in the nation, all while having the youngest club in the Premier League.
Our success in the league made up for our lackluster performances in the cups, with our worst result coming against Cardiff in the League Cup Third Round, losing 1-0. We made the FA Cup Semi-Finals before falling to Arsenal, and so we did not successfully defend our trophy. The Europa League saw us advance to the Quarter-Finals, where we fell to Belgian side Standard Liege, a team I had really expected to beat. Unfortunately, they got the better of us over two legs and upset us.
Regardless, it was a successful season by all accounts. I have become one of the highest rated managers in the world (naturally), and the team has really stepped up in the UEFA rankings, as well. The best part of it is that the team is still so very young, and exciting at that. We have some great talent who are not even in their prime – this is going to be a great team to watch in the upcoming few years..
Emmanuel Musah: For the first time since joining the club five years ago, the 23 year old Musah faced some nagging injuries that kept him out of 11 games He still managed to produce his finest season for the club in the Premier League, scoring 14 goals in 27 appearances and recording 7.20 AR. For the fourth straight year, he won the club’s Player of the Year, and in the process elevated his status to an Icon of Bromley. A fantastic threat in the air, he is still perhaps the finest overall finisher the club has, despite the addition of several talented strikers to the ranks.
Gilmar: While Musah was the club’s Player of the Year, Gilmar was its MVP this season. After three years of teasing with his ability, he finally came through, recording career-highs with 7 goals, 13 assists, 4 MotMs, and 7.20 AR. Not only that, but he was a great all-around player, averaging a superb 2.69 TpG from the right wing position to go with his 3.48 DpG. He certainly has the talent to produce the coveted double-double, and he is in line to be subject of many £20,000,000+ bids this coming summer.
Tricio: The 23 year Brazilian GK again showed fantastic improvement in his third season with the club, recording a career-high 7.01 AR and 18 clean sheets. He appeared in all 38 games, conceding 34 goals – since joining the club in 2018/19, he has only missed one league game. He also earned himself 4 caps for his national team over the course of the season, and he continues to be considered the future at the position for Brazil.
Zoran Sedlarevic: He came in the January window for £10,000,000 from Manchester City, and immediately made an impact, scoring a hat-trick in his first game for the club. He finished the season having played 16 games for the club, recording 9 goals and 7.29 AR. If you add his stats in the half season he played for Man City, he finished with 14 goals, 7 assists, and 6 MotMs. The 23 year old Serbian took Eduardo Fernandez’s spot, who incidentally made the move to Man City during the same window for £5,000,000 more, and never relinquished it, become a favorite of the manager in the process.
Kieran Holland: The 20 year continues to be the club’s golden boy, the only player from Bromley’s youth academy to be in the starting lineup. He continued his steady improvement, as well, recording a career-high 6.99 AR in 36 appearances. His 2.89 TpG were also a career-high, but remains on the low sid of what is expected of him. Still, the potential remains immense, and he has been a pleasure to watch develop.
Lukas Kubik: Although many will comment that left wing is not best suited for his talents, the 23 year old vice-captain quietly became one of the best at the position in the league this season. His assists went down from 12 to 9, but his 7.23 AR was his finest in a Bromley uniform. Playing in his fourth season for the club, the Czech international managed to also score 6 goals in his 36 appearances.
Manuel Roubaud: No one could have expected just had great the 19 year old Frenchman was going to be after being thrown into the starting lineup. With Nicolas Mancini sold to Arsenal, the club looked to Roubaud to man the left back position, and he did a fantastic job, recording 3 goals, 7 assists, and 7.25 AR. His abilities, especially his technical ones, have him much more suited as a left winger than a left back, but he did the job as good as anyone in the league this season.
Tete: The 22 year old Brazilian has put his past injury, which ruled him out for almost all of the 2018/19 season, well behind him. He delivered his finest season in a Bromley shirt, recording a 7.09 AR. His TpG was very low, however, at only 2.32, and he will need to improve on that. Still, he was solid and consistent at the back, and is the club’s finest natural central defender.
For the first time, we sold more than we bought, and the difference was quite substantial – while we brought in players worth £32,500,000, we sold players for £60,000,000. Amongst them were £15,000,000 for Gaucho, who ended up being the Players’ Player of the Year and winning the Premier League title with Chelsea, and £15,000,000 for Eduardo Fernandez. The latter had come two seasons ago for the same amount, and despite having a good season for us, he was sold for that same amount + future clauses in the January transfer. There was some confusion as to why that was done, but when we bought Zeran Sedlarevic from the same team, Manchester City, for £10,000,000 and he started performing, all was understood. There were two other important transfers in terms of players coming in this season - £5,500,000 for Argentine Gaston Ponce, and £7,500,000 for German Stefan Rahn, with both being central midfielders. The other way, club Favored Personnel Jan Hendrik Ihm was sold for £5,000,000, and left back Nicolas Mancini, who came on Free Transfer just six months before, was sold to Arsenal for £8,000,000. There was a lot of trimming in terms of squad size, with a lot of young players whom the club had bought and deemed not good enough leaving – all were sold for more than they were bought.
U20 WORLD CUP 2021 – SOUTH AFRICA
Scotland vs. Senegal
Telkom Park, Port Elizabeth (Att: 4,287): Scotland’s impressive performance in the tournament continued with a 2-1 Quarter-Finals victory over Senegal. The MotM was their captain, and central defender, Steven Weir, who scored a goal and had 6 interceptions. As a team, the Scots had 54% of the possession, and that ended up being the deciding factor as they advanced to the Semi-Finals of the U20 World Cup for the first time in their history.
Scotland: 2 (Miller, Weir)
Senegal: 1 (Dia)
Brazil vs. Italy
Goldenfield Stadium, Benoni (Att: 4,578): The defending champions, Italy, faced off against record holding seven time winners Brazil in this epic Quarter-Finals showdown. The match itself was just as good as everyone expected, going all the way to penalties before the South Americans could finally declare themselves winners. Thales, Brazil’s leading goalscorer up to this point, scored the equalizing goal for his nation in the 106th minute to send the game into penalties, but it was the sublime performance of MotM central defender, Denner, who got them to that point. With all due respect to the Italians, the Brazilians deserved to win the match, as they had 61% of the possession and had a Shots Ratio of 14/5, compared to their opponent’s 7/4.
Brazil: 2 (Roberson, Thales) – Won on Penalties 4-3
Italy: 2 (Pellegrini, Notaristefano)
Iran vs. Uruguay
Caledonian Stadium, Pretoria (Att: 4,286): Not much attention has been given to Iran’s developing players, but the Middle Eastern nation has become one of the most exciting young teams in the world. That much was true as they advanced to the U20 World Cup Semi-Finals for the first time in their history, defeating a strong Uruguay side 2-1 and setting up a date with the French. They attacked from the beginning, finishing with a 16/6 Shots Ratio, keeping Uruguay, who had 7/4 Shots Ratio, on the defensive for much of that match. The match went into extra-time, and the Iranians found the goal in the 113th minute to give them the victory.
Iran: 2 (Abedi, Asakereh)
Uruguay: 1 (Vecino)
France vs. Argentina
Westbury Stadium, Johannesburg(Att: 4,310): This was a mouth-watering encounter, and it was the French who came out on top in extra-time, 3-1. Rafael Farina equalized the match for the Argentineans in the 73rd minute, and sent it into overtime, where substitute, and MotM, Killian Cuvelier, scored a fantastic brace to give the French the victory. Cuvilier’s goals came in the 100th and 108th minutes, and considering he did not have a club going into this match, he had a lot to play for. Needless to say, not only did he lift France into the Semi-Finals, but also almost guaranteed himself several contract offers.
France: 3 (Cuvelier 2, Joinville)
Argentina: 1 (Farina)
Scotland vs. Brazil
Westbury Stadium, Johannesburg (Att: 6,584): Scotland’s surprising run came to an abrupt end against the Brazilians, losing 3-0 and generally getting outplayed in every part of the field. Brazil’s 60% possession highlighted the dominance they had over this match, with goalscorer Junior taking the MotM for his great performance in the midfield. Brazil were back in the Finals after failing to get there the past two tournaments – they last advanced there in 2015, the last of their three straight U20 World Cup wins in the 2010s.
Brazil: 3 (Busao, Junior, Mabilia)
France vs. Iran
Port Elizabeth Stadium, Port Elizabeth (Att: 4,462): The Iranians continued to surprise the world, defeating the heavily favored French 2-1 and advancing to the Finals of the tournament for the first time in their history. They did it despite France having 61% of the possession, athough somehow, they had the same amount of shots (9), and more shots on goal (5 for Iran, 2 for France). The French did very little with the possession they had, and they paid for it in the end, as Iran advanced to meet Brazil in the Finals.
Iran: 2 (Zarei, Ghasemipour)
France: 1 (Texier)
Brazil vs. Iran
Goldenfield Stadium, Benoni (Att: 13,022): The fact that Iran had reached the Finals were shocking enough, defeating the likes of France and Uruguay in the previous rounds, but taking the Brazilian team to extra-time before finally succumbing proved to be the icing on the cake. To put it in perspective, Brazil had won all its games leading up to the Finals and were overwhelming favorites to win the tournament for the 4th time in six tries. Instead, found themselves locked in an intense battle, and only a goal in the 117th minute saved them from a potentially nerve-wracking penalty shootout. The Brazilians, who were led by Melo’s MotM effort, won the U20 World Cup title for a record 8th time, and once again proved they were the finest youth side in the world.
Brazil: 2 (Busao, Roberson)
Iran: 1 (Hasanzadeh)
Cedric Lemonnier, France (5 Appearances, 2 Goals, 4 Assists, 8.70) – The 20 year old Frenchman was outstanding throughout the tournament, even in their Semi-Finals loss to Iran, where he won the MotM. The Fiorentina left winger spent last season on loan at Hull, and although his playing time was limited, in the 8 games he featured in, he showed huge potential, recording 3 assists and a 7.13 AR. During this tournament, he was an all-around beast for the French, contributing across the board – he was tied for first place with 4 assists, and was top with a ridiculous 8.70 AR.
Giulio Andretta, France (6 Aps, 7 Conceded, 2 Clean Sheets, 6.97) – The stand-out goalkeeper in this year’s edition of the U20 World Cup, the 20 year old Frenchman was very solid in the back. He played a big part in getting the French to the Semi-Finals, recording 2 clean sheets in the process. He just recently signed for Portuguese Second Division outfit Varzim, and has immediately become their starter.
Kyle MacAskill, Scotland (7 Aps, 4 Goals, 1 Assists, 7.29) – The tournament lacked any outstanding strikers this time around, and the 19 year old Scot’s 4 goals were the lowest tally of a tournament leader since Eddie Johnson of the USA recorded the same amount in 2003. Still, if it was not for MacAskill, there is no way Scotland would have reached the Semi-Finals of the tournament – the 4 goals he scored all came in the 5 appearances before the Semi-Finals, making them more impressive.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE REVIEW 2020/2021
Player Stats - Team Salary per Annum - Transfers - Past Winners
Footballer of the Year: Gareth Bale, Tottenham (Career Stats)
Player’s Player of the Year: Gaucho, Chelsea
Young Player of the Year: Zoran Sedlarevic, Bromley
Best Goalkeeper of the Year: Thibaut Courtois, Chelsea
Manager of the Year: Frank de Boer, Chelsea (Champions)
Chelsea (2021: Champions – 2020: 6th)
MANAGER/CLUB: Frank de Boer – His third stint in England was indeed the charm, as he won the Premier League title for the first time in his career. Even more surprising was the fact he did it with Chelsea, a team many had written off as 4th Place contenders at best, but in his first full season with the club, he returned them to prominence, and won the Europa League for the second consecutive season, as well. Next year, however, it will be Champions League football, and given their performance this season, especially on the defensive end, they are looking like a very tough team to beat. This was Chelsea’s first title since 2014, and their 6th Premier League title in their history.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Sergio Aguero – Simply put, the 33 year old Argentine is one of the greatest players of all-time, and this year, he led the team with 19 goals in 36 appearances. He captured the 2nd Premier League title of his career (2014, 2021), as well as the 3rd Europa League title (2010, 2020, 2021). He remains one of the finest footballers on the planet despite his aging years, and one would assume he will get one more crack at the World Cup next summer in Qatar.
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS
Elber Escobar – His fourth season with the club was the finest of his career, recording a 7.49 AR while scoring a fantastic 8 goals considering he is a central defender. He averaged a respectable 3.67 TpG, and at 27 years old, the Ecuadorian has now elevated himself to one of the best in the world at his position. He was named to his 3rd straight Premier League Select this year.
Gaucho – After spending three years with Bromley, the 22 year old Brazilian came to Chelsea for £15,000,000 last summer and subsequently had the finest season of his career to date. His fantastic all-around ability won him the Premier League’s Players’ Player of the Year award, as he recorded 14 assists and a 7.36 AR to go with his fantastic 4.88 TpG and 87% Pass Ratio. His statistics say it all – whether defensively or going forward, Gaucho was magnificent. He was named in the Premier League Select for the first time in his career, as well.
Romelu Lukaku - A few years ago, a lot was being made of the 28 year old Beglian striker’s apparent lost potential, but no more. Lukaku scored 16 goals this campaign, making it three straight seasons he had scored 16 or more goals. Not only that, but he contributed 9 assists and recorded a career-high 7.20 AR – perhaps the most underappreciated facet of his game, however, was how well-rounded he has become. He averaged 2.22 TpG as a striker, along with his 2.13 DpG, with the former a spectacular number considering his position on the pitch.
Soudi Muba – His third year with the club was more of the same from the Congolese midfielder, although his 3.39 TpG were low compared to his numbers from the last two seasons (4.15 in 2019/20, and 5.50 in 2018/19). His 7.19 AR was also the lowest he recorded since joining the club, but the 25 year old was still one the best players on the squad.
Sime Vrsaljko – The heart and soul of Chelsea’s defensive unit, the 29 year old Serbian was the club’s Player of the Year for the second time in his career this season. His first year with the club was in 2014, when they won the title, and this year was his finest to date. Not only did he capture his 2nd Premier League and Europa League titles, but he recorded a career-high 7.43 AR, and tied them with his 6 assists and 5 MotM. His 6.45 TpG was second the league, and he was named to his 3rd Premier League Select team. Without a doubt, he has become one of the finest right-backs in the world, and currently holds the position of finest right-back in the Premier League since 2010 on the Overall Select team.
Abdel El Kaoutari – An unsung hero of the club, the 31 year old Moroccan’s 5th season with the club was his finest. He recorded a career-high 7.22 AR to go along with his outstanding 5.29 TpG, giving the club consistency and solidity at the left back position. Chelsea is only the second team he has played for in his career (he was a product of the Montpelier youth academy and spent 10 years there), and has already announced that he would like a coaching role at the club when he brings his playing career to an end.
Alexey Solovjov – A lot of experts have been calling the 24 year old the catalyst that changed Chelsea’s fortunes, and although that is probably an exaggeration, he was no doubt vital to their title winning campaign. Brought it for £32,500,000 from Spartak Moscow, where he was a youth and spent nine years, winning the Russian Premier League once (2017), before moving to England, Solovjov’s form was inspired from the start. He ended his first season with the club with 5 goals and 13 assists, finishing 3rd Place in the Premier League Young Player of the Year award. One would be hard-pressed to find a weakness in the Russian’s game, as he excels in nearly every aspect whether technical, creative, or defensive.
Thibaut Courtois – While the quality of goalkeepers the world over as certainly taken a tumble, the 29 year old Belgian has continued to produce form capable of winning titles. He won his 3rd Premier League Golden Glove award (2018, 2019, 2021), and has proven, without a doubt, that he is the finest GK in the league today. He conceded only 17 goals this year to go with his 19 clean sheets, while recording 7.02 AR. He was also named to his 3rd Premier League Select team.
Andre Ayew – The 31 year old Ghanaian revitalized his career, which was going stale at Marseille, when he joined Chelsea in 2016, and this season was another strong one for Ayew. He played only 24 games, but recorded 5 goals, 8 assists, and a 7.22 AR. Additionally, he averaged 2.51 TpG and 2.14 DpG, becoming one of the rare players that was able to average 2 or more in those categories at the same time. For £3,500,000, Ayew has proven to be one fantastic bargain.
Luc Granier – Although he only played 7 games, the 22 year old French striker certainly showed a lot of potential, scoring 3 goals and getting 2 assists. With a lack of quality strikers behind Aguero and Lukaku, the assumption is that Granier, who has outstanding pace, will get plenty of chances to impress next season. Despite only being 5’11, he is very strong in the year and had got good finishing ability on the ground, as well.
Arsenal (2021: 2nd – 2020: Champions)
MANAGER/CLUB: Paul Lambert – After a history season in which Lambert led Arsenal to the Premier League and Champions League titles, they were overtaken by Chelsea domestically and knocked out by Bayern Munich in the Second Round of the Champions League. Still, Arsenal were again one of the top teams in the country, and Lambert has elevated himself to one of the top managers in the world. Having joined the club in March 2019, this was only his second full season with the club.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Abel Hernandez – After an inconsistent career, the 30 year old Uruguayan delivered a blistering season, scoring 26 goals in 37 games, coming in 2nd in the Premier League Top Goalscorer and Footballer of the Year awards. He was named to his first Premier League Select in his career, rounding off his season with 7 assists, 6 MotMs, and a 7.37 AR – all career-highs. This was the type of season that many expected to him as he was he a rising star for Palermo, but he never came through until this season – he had never scored more than 16 goals in a season before this season.
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS
Stevan Jovetic (Career Stats) - The Montenegrin’s fourth season with Arsenal saw him return to the form of his first, when he scored 21 goals for the club. This year, he hit 18 goals, up from the 9 he scored last season, and recorded a 7.21 AR. Although his goalscoring has gone up from his time with Fiorentina, where he is a club legend, his overall game has suffered, recording only 2 assists. Still, he remains one of the most dangerous players in the Premier League, and at the age of 31, he is still able to give Arsenal at least two more quality seasons at the top of his game.
Luis Ramirez (Career Stats) - After an absolutely outstanding season in 2019/20, the 26 year old Venezuelan struggled to maintain the same form this year as his goals dropped from 23 to 7, and his AR from 7.43 to 7.08. He did equal his career-high of 9 assists, but it came as no coincidence that Arsenal were the best club in the world when Ramirez was on form. On his day, there is no better player on this planet, but his struggles this season meant that his best was seen all too rare.
Aaron Ramsey – There is no denying that the 30 year Welshman is no longer the player he was prior to damaging his achilles tendon in November 2017 – the numbers don’t lie: before the injury, Ramsay was in the midst of a four year peak in which his AR never dropped below 7.48, even recording 7.74 in 2015/16, nearly recording the fabled triple-double with 9 goals, 12 assists, and 8 MotMs. After the injury, he has failed to record over 7.22 in four seasons, registering a 7.18 AR this season. He is by no means a bad player, but he is no longer the superstar that used to control matches in the middle of the park. He only scored 1 goal this season, although he did deliver 9 assists. Most encouragingly, however, is that fact that he played in all 38 games after facing a bunch of injuries over the past few years. Although it is doubtful he can return to his mid-2010s form, he still remains one of the club’s most important players and will be vital for their future successes.
Marouane Fellaini – The 33 year old Belgian has been one of Arsenal’s pillars the past decade, and was a huge presence in both of their recent Premier League title runs (2015, 2020), as well as their Champions League title in 2020. He continued to produce the goods this season, scoring 6 goals and averaging a career-high 4.14 TpG. His 86% Pass Ratio was amongst the highest in the league, something which he has always been good at throughout his career. The tireless midfielder has already announced that he has no plans to remain in football after he hangs up his boots.
Yaroslav Rakitskyi – Arsenal’s most underrated player, the 31 year old Ukrainian left back has also been one of their best players since joining the club in 2017. This season, he set career-highs with 11 assists and a 7.45 AR, as well as hitting 5.57 TpG, also a career-high. He was named in the Premier League Select for the 3rd consecutive year, and has replace Jack Robinson as the best left back in the league. It is not his pace or his skills that sets him apart, but it is his work rate and strength that are his primary assets. When he came to Arsenal, he replaced Leighton Baines in the starting lineup – Arsenal have had a world class left back playing the position for the past 12 years, and it has become something of a club tradition.
Ayman Ben Slimane – The 24 year old Tunisian has become one of the club’s most important players, showcasing some fantastic skill and form this season. After averaging an incredible 5.68 TpG last season, it dropped to a still impressive 5.12 TpG, but he did record a career-high 7.27 AR. He has officially made himself the right back of choice for the club, and looks to be their starter at the position for years to come. He is a beast in the air, and he is one of the strongest players in the league.
Manchester Unitd (2021: 3rd – 2020: 3rd)
MANAGER: Ricardo Moniz – After three consecutive Premier League titles between 2017 and 2019, two straight 3rd Place finishes can be viewed as a disappointment. Once again, Moniz failed to lead the club past Arsenal in the league, but this time, Chelsea finished above them both. It was another Champions League Finals appearance for Moniz and the club, but they could not shake off the curse that has befallen them, losing their second consecutive Finals in a row, bringing the club’s record to five Champions League Finals losses in a row now. Without a doubt, the club has begun to age, and its talismanic legend Wayne Rooney can no longer contribute in a meaningful way. The superstars of the 2010s are no longer the players they once were, and it will be up to Moniz to bring in fresh blood in order to keep the team competing at the highest level.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Jack Wilshere (Career Stats) – Although he was also a fine player while he was at Arsenal, it was not until his move to Manchester United did Wilshere truly break out and become a world star. He has now won two Premier League titles with his new club, and he completed his fourth season with them this year. It was not his absolute finest, but he is was still top class, nonetheless, scoring 5 goals, delivering 8 assists, and recording a 7.45 AR. He came in 3rd Place in the World Footballer of the Year award, and was named to his 3rd Premier League Select team. He has taken over Hazard as the most important midfielder for the club, and at the age of 29 years old and in his prime, he is arguably Manchester United’s most important player overall.
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS
Eden Hazard (Career Stats) - Considering the damaged cruciate ligaments he suffered in March 2020, it is a small miracle that Hazard was able to come back after eight months and contribute the way he did. Detractors will be quick to point out the pace he has lost and the fact he was not the player he was before the injury, and they are right on both counts. However, he remains a fantastic left winger, and proved so by scoring 5 goals and recording 8 assists. His 7.28 AR was the lowest he has recorded, not counting last season, since joining Manchester United in 2013, and at the age of 30, it is unlikely he will return to the form that saw him be one of the world’s finest footballers in the mid-2010s. Like Aaron Ramsey at Arsenal, however, he remains one of the most important players at the club, and will continue to be so for the next few years.
Javier Hernandez (Career Stats) - Save for Edinson Cavani, there has not been a more prolific goalscorer in the Premier League since the days of Thierry Henry. The 32 year old Mexican, who scored 38 goals in 2017/18 and 36 goals in 2018/19, netted 20 goals this campaign, along with a career-high 11 assists. Assuming the 35 year old Wayne Rooney does not score any more goals, Hernandez will need 28 more goals to overtake Rooney’s 241 goals and become the club’s all-time leading goalscorer – he is already Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer with 100 goals from 130 caps. Like Hazard, he suffered a significant injury (broken foot) last season, and has failed to recover the pace he lost. Still, even at his age, he remains one of the deadliest strikers in the world, with a great eye for goals. He is a classic poacher, and even as he loses his quickness, he can still be relied on to contribute around 20 goals a season for the next couple of years.
Jonny Evans (Career Stats) – The 33 year old Northern Irishman just seems to get better with age – he was awarded the N. Irish Player of the Year for a record seventh time (and fourth time in a row), highlighting the importance he has for both nation and club. For Manchester United, it was another typical season, averaging 3.59 TpG to go with his predictably high 84% Pass Ratio and 7.25 AR. His TpG may be down from his mid-2010s averages, when he used to average close to 5.00 a game, but his overall game has improved drastically, and as such, he has become one of the most consistent performers in the Premier League. His age has not taken anything away from his defensive ability, and he seems capable of keeping up this level of play for at least two more seasons.
Andile Jali (Career Stats) - The 31 year old South African completed his 8th year with the club this season, quietly going about his work as he has done for most of his career. A vital part of the Manchester United team of the late 2010s that won three consecutive titles, he remains one of the most consistent players in the league. He finished the season with 3 goals and 7 assists, averaging 3.85 TpG and an 85% Pass Ratio, a tribute to his great all-around game. Without a doubt, he has been one of Africa’s best players over the past decade, and will continue to be for the next couple of years as he approaches his mid-30s.
David De Gea – There is no doubting his talent, and there is also no denying that he has been the Premier League’s best goalkeeper over the past decade. He completed his 10th season with the club with typically fantastic numbers – in 37 appearances, he conceded only 23 goals (the second lowest in his career), recorded 18 clean sheets, and averaged a 7.02 AR. With four Premier League titles and two Premier League Golden Gloves award as well as the starting spot in the Premier League’s Select Overall Team, De Gea certainly has some backing to his claim of being the best GK in the nation. Considering he is still only 30 years old, it will be a long time yet before De Gea starts to slow.
Mohamed Ateya – Still only 23 years old, the Egyptian has already laid claim to being the best central defender that Manchester United have on their roster. Despite a low 2.82 TpG, he still managed to be one of the finest at his position in the Premier League during his third year with the club, and he won the African Cup of Nations with Egypt this year, too. Very good in the air with good speed and strength, rumors have been swirling that he was ready to make the move to Barcelona. Regardless of where he ends up, he has a very bright future in front of him.
Rafael – He has been at odds with the Manchester United brass for years now, publicly stating that he wanted to leave the club, but he remained for his 13th season and had one of his finest in his career. A better right back in the Premier League one would be hard pressed to find, and his numbers back it up – in 35 appearances, he had 7 assists, 5.17 TpG, an 85% Pass Ratio, and a 7.36 AR. In fact, if it was not for Chelsea’s Vrsaljko, there would be no doubt who the finest right back in the league was. The 31 year old Brazilian continues to state his desire to leave the club, as well as stating he has no interest in remaining in football once he retires, and he will surely do as one of the most decorated players in the history of the league, having won the Premier League six times.
Dejan Kovacevic (Career Stats) – He came in January 2020 for £14,500,000 from Partizan, where he won the Serbian League four times in a row and won countless awards that included: Serbian League Young Player of the Year (2015, 2016, 2017), Top Goalscorer (2016, 2017, 2019), and Player of the Season (2016, 2019). In the league, he was decent for Manchester United, scoring 10 goals in 27 appearances, but it was in the big games in the Champions League that he shone the brightest, scoring important goal after important goal. The 25 year old can best be described as a complete forward, contributing 7 assists as well, and has been chosen to be Hernandez’s partner up front as Rooney winds his career down.
Bromley (2021: 4th – 2020: 7th)
See Bromley’s Season Review.
Overall Team of the Year
Last edited by abulezz; 01-03-2012 at 15:18.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Player Profile
National Team Achievements: European Championship Finalist (2004)
Club Achievements: 3 x Champions League (2008, 2014, 2017), 4 x Spanish La Liga (2013, 2017, 2019, 2021), 3 x English Premier League (2007, 2008, 2009) 3 x Club World Championship (2008, 2014, 2017)
Personal Achievements: 4 x World Golden Ball (2008, 2014, 2016, 2017), 4 x World Player of the Year (2008, 2014, 2016, 2017), 6 x World Team of the Year (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017), 3 x Europe Player of the Year (2013, 2014, 2015) 3 x European Champions League Best Player (2008, 2014, 2017), 2 x English Footballer of the Year (2007, 2008), 2 x English Player’s Player of the Year (2007, 2008), English Young Player of the Year, (2007), 6 x La Liga Team of the Year (2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020), 2 x European Top Goalscorer (2008, 2011), 2 x Champions League Top Goalscorer (2008, 2014), 3 x La Liga Top Goalscorer (2011, 2015, 2017), Premier League Top Goalscorer (2008)
Born on February 5th, 1985, Ronaldo burst on to the scene at the age of 18 when he signed with Manchester United, under Sir Alex Ferguson, for £12,250,000 in 2003. Prior to that, he had come up through the Sporting Lisbon youth system, and had featured in the 2002/03 season for them, playing in 25 games. It was during a friendly between the two clubs that Ferguson liked what he saw and promptly snapped up the young winger.
His first couple of seasons captivated and frustrated the Manchester United faithful – while he was playing a brand of football never before seen, the excitement came at a price. Too often he was accused of doing too much or trying too much when a simple pass or shot would do. What was obvious, however, was his development under his new manager and at his new club. It all came together in the 2006/07 season, at the age of 21, for Ronaldo in England – after three years with a Premier League title, the young Portuguese spearheaded the club back to superiority, winning the Premier League while scoring 17 goals and collecting all the top awards in the league. This was the first of three consecutive Premier League titles, and in 2008, at the age of 22, Ronaldo experienced one of the finest seasons ever by a footballer. He scored 31 goals for his club in the league, and won his the first of his three Champions League trophies – this time, he collected not only every top award in the country, but also in the world.
It was no secret at this point that Ronaldo wanted to leave Manchester United for Spain, and at the end of the 2008/09 season, he got his wish. After capturing the Premier League title for the third time, he became the most expensive footballer of all-time, with Real Madrid paying Man United £80,000,000 for his services – the record still stands till this day. It was a tribute to just how popular Ronaldo had become around the world, and now he had a chance to prove that he was indeed the finest player in the world against his personal rival, and the rising star that people were beginning to give that title to, Lionel Messi.
For most, the rivalry between the two players was won by Lionel Messi, and the Argentine was, arguably, the better of two – what people fail to realize, however, is the fact that a Ronaldo, leading a Real Madrid team that was clearly second best to Barcelona in the 2010s, snatched three Spanish La Liga titles away from them. That means that Ronaldo’s brilliance was enough to defeat the greatest club side ever assembled a good number of times, as there was no doubt who led them to those victories. Ronaldo would have to wait to 2013 to collect his first Spanish La Liga title, but before then, he set a La Liga record with an amazing 40 goals scored in the 2010/11 season. Although his goalscoring numbers went down after that season as his manager, Jose Mourinho, began playing him a withdrawn attacking position to make use of his passing ability, he did lead the La Liga in scoring another two times in 2015 and 2017.
Ronaldo’s peak began in 2012/13 and ended in 2018, and in that time span, he was arguably the finest footballer in the planet, surpassing Lionel Messi, who was dealing with injuries. He led Real Madrid to the Champions League title in 2014 and 2017, and both times winning the tournament’s Best Player Award. He captured the World Footballer of the Year four times in his career, a record that stands till this day, and also captured the World Golden Ball four times as well, including in 2016 and 2017 when he won it for two consecutive years. His finest season, perhaps in his career, came in the 2016/17, when he scored 25 goals and captured every major individual and club award available. Real Madrid won both the La Liga and the Champions League, and Ronaldo was crowned the finest player in the world once again. He was 32 years old at the time, and at the peak of his powers.
As his career started to wind down and he started to lose his pace, Ronaldo began to mention his retirement plans to the public. Although he loved the game, he stated, he did not have any plans to remain in it after he hung up his boots, and true to his word, he retired in 2021 at the age of 36 from football altogether. In a farewell befitting for a champion, Real Madrid won the La Liga title with Ronado for the fourth time, although for the first time, he had little to do with it, appearing in only 4 games. He retired as a legend of Real Madrid, the club he spent 12 seasons with.
Ronaldo will forever be compared to Lionel Messi, and for the most part, it is the latter who will be considered the better player. However, there is no arguing that there were times when even Messi could not compete with the brilliance of the Portuguese, who holds his nation’s record for with 155 caps and 99 goals. He led them to the European Championship Finals in his home nation in 2004, only to lose to the Greeks, and then to the Semi-Finals against eventual champions Spain in 2012, losing out on penalties. In the World Cup, unfortunately, the furthest he was able to go was the Quarter-Finals, which he did so on two occasions (2006, 2014). Considered by many to be the fifth best player of all-time, Ronaldo certainly had enough ability for some to even make a case as one of the top three. There is no denying, however, how great he was – only Lionel Messi captured more World Golden Balls than he did, and no one has more than the four World Footballer of the Year awards than he does. There was no finer player in the Champions League in the 2010s than Ronaldo, and his six World Team of the Year selections are a testament to his brilliance.
How come Messi's career is always hampered with injuries in fm, but in real life he never gets injured?
Finally, he's gone!
You have inspired me to start another game with Halifax
SPANISH LA LIGA REVIEW 2020/2021
Player Stats – Team Salary per Annum – Transfers - Past Winners
Footballer of the Year: Alexis Sanchez, Barcelona
Goalkeeper of the Year: Niclas Heimann, Real Sociedad
Manager of the Year: Jose Mourinho, Real Madrid (Champions)
Real Madrid (2021: Champions – 2020: 2nd)
Jose Mourinho – No longer can Real Madrid be considered the second best team in Spain, as they were in the 2010s – not after winning their second La Liga title in three years, and their third in five years. In fact, since the 2016/2017 season, it can be argued that the club has now overtaken Barcelona as the leading team in Spain, and at its helm sits the finest manager, perhaps in the world, Jose Mourinho. He won the La Liga’s Manager of the Year award for the third time this season, as Real Madrid captured their record 35th La Liga title, and their fourth under Mourinho. The Portuguese joined in 2010, and since then, he has led the club to two Champions League titles, as well. He has become an Icon of Real Madrid.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Gonzalo Higuan (Career Stats) – A legend of Real Madrid, the 32 year old Argentine completed his 15th season at the club this year, scoring 18 goals in 33 appearances and getting named Real Madrid’s Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. He was also named in the World Team of the Year for the first time in his career, and won his 7th La Liga title. Obviously, his pace has begun to abandon him, but his work rate and mental sharpness will have him scoring quite a number of goals for at least another two seasons. He is the holder for the most goals scored in the history of the club with 237 goals.
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS
Kwadwo Asamoah (Career Stats) – A damaged knee cap ruled him out for 5 weeks in November, and as such he was only able to play 24 games this campaign for the club. The 32 year old Ghanaian, who has been a force for the club since he joined in 2013 from Udinese, delivered 5 goals and a 7.23 AR when he did play, although his 3.30 TpG was his lowest in a Real Madrid shirt. As always, however, he was a central part of the club’s success, and has shown very little signs of slowing down as a footballer just yet.
Mesut Ozil (Career Stats) – His 11th season with the club proved, by far, to be the most testing for the 32 year old German. Mourinho favored his younger players, and as such, Ozil only played in 19 games for the club. A legend for Real Madrid, he did manage to score 5 goals and record a 7.42 AR, but it is clear that his days as the heart of the midfield are done.
Alex – An outstanding prospect when he joined the club in 2018, the 24 year old has become one of the finest left backs on the planet. This season, he recorded a career-high 8 assists to go with his 7.51 AR, and his 5.66 TpG, while his lowest since joining the club, was good enough for second best in the La Liga. He was named in the La Liga Team of the Year for the second consecutive season.
Mattia Maffi – The 25 year old Italian completed his second season with the club since coming for £21,500,000 from Sampdoria, and it was a good year for him. Although the deficiencies in his game are very apparent on the defensive end, he made up for it with his 8 goals and 7 assists, and well as his 3.53 DpG. His 51% Pass Ratio, however, was terrible, and the left winger will have to improve that facet of the game if does not want to continue to be a liability to his team.
Mohammad Mohammadi – The 22 year old Iranian came on a Free Transfer from Sepahan, where he won the Asian Champions League in 2019. He quickly proved to be one of the best signings of the season, playing in 19 games and delivering 8 assists, all while recording a 7.41 AR. He has taken his place in the rotation, and if what he showed is anything to go by, he will be one of Real Madrid’s main contributors in the coming seasons.
Samir Saifi – The 25 year old Algerian made the move to Real Madrid at the beginning of the season for £8,000,000 from Valencia, and they never regretted it. He contributed 9 goals, although his 4 assists could have been much more had his Pass Ratio been more than 53%. His 4.02 DpG was the highest in the La Liga, however, thanks to his high technical ability and his blistering speed.
Atletico Madrid (2021: 2nd – 2020: 5th)
Marcelino - Marcelino joined the club in March of 2018, taking over from Luis Enrique, and since then, the club has seen its fortunes change. After finishing 10th in 2017/18, he led them to two consecutive 5th Place finishes before moving up to 2nd Place this season. They were also Europa League Runners-Up, losing to Chelsea in the Finals. The 56 year old Spaniard has done well returning the club to its position as one of the top clubs in Spain, and with Champions League football to look forward to next season, all is well at the capital’s ‘second team’.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Hu Yang – Signed for £6,000,000 from Betis just two seasons ago, the 22 year old Chinese striker has become the most dangerous footballer in the league. He has been the La Liga’s Top Goalscorer for two consecutive seasons now, scoring 25 goals last year and 30 goals this year, the highest amount of any player since 2010/11, when Cristiano Ronaldo hit 40 and Messi scored 40 goals. He is already being called China’s most talented footballer of all time, and he possesses all the skills necessary to become a fantastic striker.
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS
Adem Ljajic (Career Stats) – The 30 year old Serbian has become a legend for the club, completing his 7th season in Madrid this year. It was another outstanding campaign for him, equaling his career-high with 9 goals, and recording 13 assists to go with his 7.42 AR. He was named to his 3rd consecutive La Liga Team of the Year, and fourth overall, and has become of the best players over the past few years in the nation. There is no denying Ljajic’s worth to the team, as witnessed by his coronation as a legend for Atletico Madrid.
Francisco Bogado – The 22 year old Argentine meant to the club in their defensive line what Hu Yang meant to them up front – without him, 2nd Place would never have been possible. Look at the numbers: 5.74 TpG, 88% Pass Ratio, 7.63 AR. What more could you ask for in a central defender? The fact that he is still so young has the Atletico Madrid faithful very excited. He cost the club £8,250,000 last season, and it ended up being an absolutely fantastic buy.
Frank Roy – He came in for £2,000,000 last season, and the 23 year old Frenchman ended up scoring 8 goals in 24 appearances. With Michael Gregoritsch still preferred as the starter alongside Hu Yang, there is no denying the potential of Roy, who is extremely fast and has good amount of strength. He was awarded the French Ligue 1 Revelation of the Year in 2015, at the age of 18 years old.
Gustavo – The 22 year old Brazilian was the club’s Player of the Year in 2019/20, and he certainly was a big reason for the 2nd Place finish this season. His 7.60 AR was a career-high, as was his 3.55 TpG and 8 MotMs. His performances have made him rated as one of the brightest young talents in terms of defenders in the world, and his 1.58 DpG proved that he was getting better at going forward and creating chances. He cost the club just £2,800,0000 from Atletico Mineiro in 2018, and he has proven to be an absolute steal.
Koke – As a youth prospect in the late 2000s, there was a lot of talk about the potential of Koke. Although he has not panned out the way many thought he would, he can be considered a late bloomer of sorts – his 11 assists this season equaled his career-high, which was set last season. Now 29 years old, he is at the peak of his career, and more of the same can be expected from the Spanish left winger for the next few years.
Michael Gregoritsch – The 27 year old Austrian finished off his third season with the club this year after coming from Celtic for £4,500,000 with 12 goals, his lowest tally since coming to Spain. Obviously, the emergence of Hu Yang had a lot to do with it, but he remained a great partner for the free-scoring Chinese. Gregoritsch has an eye for goal, but not much else – his 7.00 AR is about right for his performances over the past three years.
Barcelona (2021: 3rd – 2020: Champions)
Roberto Mancini – Although he has won 5 La Liga titles and led the club to a Champions League victory in 2016, Mancini will always be second best to the man he replace, Pep Guardiola. He has been in charge of the club for eight years now, and his record speaks for itself – it is not comparable, however, to Guardiola’s, and that is where the problem is. Finishing 3rd Place in the La Liga this year after so many years of top two finishes was a shock to the club, and as the superstars from the ‘Barcelona Era’ of the 2010s begin entering the twilight of their careers, it will be interesting to see if Mancini will be able to rebuild the legendary club’s status to what it once was.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Alexis Sanchez (Career Stats) – The reigning World Golden Ball and World Footballer of the Year winner, Sanchez has solidified his standing as one of the greatest players of all-time. He has been a crucial player for Barcelona since 2011, and has now become perhaps their most influential one. Only Messi has recorded an AR career average comparable to his, and his 7.96 AR this season led the team. He contributed 13 goals and 9 assists from the left wing, producing a ridiculous 4.51 DpG. He was named the La Liga Player of the Season for a record 4th consecutive time, and a record 5th time overall. He was also named to his 7th La Liga Team of the Year, all done in the 10 years he has been at the club. The 32 year old Chilean remains in the prime of his career, and as long as he is on the team, you can count on Barcelona to be great.
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS
Alan Dzagoev (Career Stats) – It was another spectacular season from the 31 year old Russian, who averaged 7.86 AR, his fourth straight year with over 7.80 AR. In his 6th year with the club, he scored 12 goals and gave out 6 assists, but his influence transcends those numbers – he has become the team’s heart in the midfield, its creative spark in a squad not lacking any of those. The former two time La Liga Player of the Year is arguably the best in the world at his position, and will soon be a legend for Barcelona as he is for CSKA Moscow.
Lionel Messi (Career Stats) – Injuries have taken their toll on Messi’s career and body, and despite his recognition as one of the top three or four greatest players of all-time, there still lingers the question of what if he had not been so injury-prone in the second half of his career. Who can forget that stretch between 2008 and 2015 when Messi did not average LESS than 8.00 AR (including a once in a lifetime season in 2011/12) and won every possible title and award out there? The only thing blemish on his otherwise impeccable career was the fact he never achieved a World Cup victory with a very talented Argentina side, but when the time comes for him to retire, he will have one heck of a profile to cover. He still scored 9 goals this season and recorded a 7.25 AR despite having lost almost all of his pace, and he remains a contributor to the side at the age of 34.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (Career Stats) – The Icelandic midfielder produced the finest season of his career this year, recording career-highs with 18 assists and a 7.92 AR. It was his 7th season with the club, and he was named the La Liga Player of the Season Runner-Up. He was selected to his 3rd La Liga Team of the Season, and despite scoring less than 10 goals for the first time since he joined the club (he scored 8 goals), his value to the team has never been higher. Now 32 years old, he has shown no signs of slowing down just yet.
Cesc Fabregas (Career Stats) – The debate is now about whether Fabregas is the greatest Spanish player of all time, and his record certainly helps his case. He has now won the Spanish Player of the Year for the 8th consecutive time, which is also the overall record. His 15 assists this season were the second highest of his career, recording a 7.57 AR as well. In the 10 years he has been with the club, he has never recorded below a 7.48 AR, which came last season, and the Barcelona legend remains a central figure at the club despite his 34 years of age.
Gerard Pique - When his career is all said and done, the 34 year old Pique will be known as the greatest central defender of all-time, that is without question. He averaged 5.16 TpG and 7.34 AR this season, and although they were far cry from 5.57 TpG and 7.93 AR of last season, those numbers were still just as good as anyone in his position in the league. Obviously, he is a legend for both Spain and Barcelona, and despite being an age where most would be thinking about retirement, Pique remains one of the best options in the world as a central defender.
Alfred Kalu – Some eyebrows were raised when Barcelona paid £21,000,000 for the 25 year old Nigerian last year, but he has proven all his doubters wrong. The right back recorded 4.56 TpG and a 7.72 AR and has successfully cemented himself as Mancini’s choice as right back. Considering how he played this season, the pacey African will have no problem holding down that position for years to come.
Nicolas Otamendi – Pique’s partner in the back, the Argentine completed his 4th season with the club in typical fashion, averaging 4.86 TpG, 87% Pass Ratio, and 7.33 AR. He’s been a fantastic compliment to the Spaniard, and despite not possessing much pace, he continues to be fantastic for the club. Now 33 years old, the good news is, he never had much pace to begin with, so he has not lost a facet of his game that was important to him.
Valencia (2021: 4th – 2020: 4th)
Stefano Pioli – The change in the fortunes of the club since Pioli took over in January of 2019 are all the signs one needs to know the effect he has had. In his first two full seasons with Valencia, they have twice finished in 4th Place. That has been their highest finish since the 2010/11 season, when they finished 3rd Place, and Pioli has been behind their change. They finished as Europa League Runners Up this season, as well, proving they were capable of holding their own on the continent, losing only to Chelsea in the Finals.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Giuliano (Career Stats) – Technically, this was not the 31 year old Brazilian’s finest season in a Valencia uniform, but he did equal his career-high of 10 assists and scored 8 goals, as well. The Valencia legend has been the heart and soul of the team since joining the club in 2013/14 for £11,500,000, and their success the last couple of seasons have as much to do with Giuliano as anyone. His 7.13 AR was the second lowest of his tenure with Valencia, but there is no denying that he is their most important player.
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS
Diego Alves – He has been at Valencia for 10 years now, and for 10 years he has been one of the finest at his position in the world. Valencia have never slipped too much on the defensive end because Alves has been as solid as a rock, and this season has not been any different. His 14 clean sheets this season was a career-high, and despite turning 36 years old at the end of the season, he still has not slipped one bit.
Juanmi – It is tough to believe that Real Madrid let him go for nothing, and he is, without the doubt, the signing of the season. Joining Valencia on Free Transfer, he led the club in scoring with 19 goals, a career-high, and his 7.37 AR his highest average in the La Liga. He was named the Spanish Player of the Year Runner-Up behind Cesc Fabregas – under Pioli, Juanmi has become of the finest strikers in the league.
Miguel Sanchez – The 26 year old Venezuelan registered a career-high 18 goals in his 4th season with the club, partnering Juanmi in the Valencia strike force and forming one of the most potent offenses in the league. His record of record of 52 goals in 90 appearances for the club in the past three years is impressive, and he just now is entering the prime of his career.
Overall Team of the Year
Just looking through your Key Players and you have a lot of great young talent there, i'd love to have some of those in my squad for sure. I really like attacking full backs and Roubaud looks great for that role.
The future for Bromley certainly looks bright
SERIE A REVIEW 2020/2021
Player Stats – Team Salary per Annum – Transfers - Past Winners
Footballer of the Year: Xaropinho, AC Milan
Foreign Player of the Year: Xaropinho, AC Milan
Italian Player of the Year: Dario Mazzoleni, Inter Milan
Fans’ Player of the Year: Felipe Anderson, Inter Milan
Goalkeeper of the Year: Emiliano Viviano, Inter Milan
Defender of the Year: Tchamdja Houessou, Roma
Young Player of the Year: Xaropinho, AC Milan
Manager of the Year: Unai Emery, Roma (2nd Place)
Inter Milan (2021: Champions – 2020: Champions)
Nicolas Frustalupi – Six Serie A titles in eight years of being in charge of the club – his only managerial stint in his career – is quite a fantastic return for any manager, and Frustalupi has accomplished just that. He has turned Inter Milan into one of the most feared teams in the world, and he led them to their 4th straight Serie A title this season. They score a lot and they concede little, and anywhere you look on the team, you would be hard-pressed to find a weakness. It was that same team-first attitude that won them the Champions League in 2019, and the Italian champions are a threat to win it every year. Not only do they have the core of their team still in their primes, but he also had built up some fantastic young talents that potentially are just as great as his current crop.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Dario Mazzoleni (Career Stats) – Exceptionally fast and strong, the 24 year old right winger has been become one of both Inter Milan’s and Italy’s most important players. His assists tumbled to 5 this season after recording 14 last year, but his 7.71 AR was a career-high. Consistently spectacular throughout the season, he also had 5 goals, which was a career-high, as well. What makes it more special is that he is an Inter Milan youth academy product, developed by Frustalupi, and if he continues to produce this way, he will be a legend very soon. He was named in his 2nd straight consecutive Serie A Team of the Year, and was also named the Serie A Italian Player of the Year for the 2nd consecutive year, as well.
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS
Felipe Anderson (Career Stats) – The Serie A Fans’ Player of the Year for the 3rd consecutive season, the 28 year Brazilian is one of the finest footballers on the planet. Both his 14 assists and 7.58 AR equaled his career-highs, although his scoring did dip from 13 to 9 goals. He has been perhaps the biggest contributor to Inter Milan’s success since he joined the club 5 years ago, especially this season. His 6 MotMs was a career-high, and his game continues to improve with every season.
Stefan Bell – Perhaps the finest central defender in the Serie A, the 29 year old German returned to top form this year after having the worst season of his career in 2019/20. He averaged 4.42 TpG and 7.52 AR, along with an 85% Pass Ratio – this was the type of form that won him the Serie A Defender of the Year three times in a row between 2017 and 2019. He has also been the Serie A Player of the Year, which was awarded to him in 2018, so there is no questioning just how talented he is. He is at the peak of his careers, and it would not surprise us to see him grab his fourth Serie A Defender of the Year title at the end of 2021.
Hector Heredia (Career Stats) – When Frustalupi signed him from Chivas for £16,750,000, his passing skills were well documented. The 24 year old Mexican had lead the Mexican First Division in assists two years in a row in 2018 and 2019, but even the most faithful of fans could not have expected his immediate contributions to the team. He finished the season with 12 assists and a 7.09 AR, exceeding all expectations set before him. Next season, however, he will be expected to maintain the level of form he presented and cut out the inconsistency he displayed at times during this year.
Mauro Formica (Career Stats) – Although Formica has not been a meaningful contributor in a couple of years, we felt he deserved to be covered because of his impending retirement. He was one of Giuseppe Baresi’s last signings before being sacked in December 2013, coming in for £13,000,000 from Blackburn in the summer of 2013. Under his then new manager Nicolas Frustalupi, he became Inter Milan’s most important player, leading the club to two consecutive Serie A titles in 2015 and 2016. He was crowned the Serie A Player of the Year both those years, as well, with his 2015/16 season being the best of his career – 8 goals, 12 assists, 11 MotMs, and a 7.73 AR. Those two years were the peak of his career, but he continued to be one of Frustalupi’s most reliable players, recapturing the Serie A title in 2018 and retiring in 2021 still a champion, having won the league four times in a row and total of six times. In 2019, as Formica was slowly being phased out of the starting lineup, Inter Milan captured the Champions League title in what was the Argentine’s last season with a meaningful contribution. He retired having played 178 league games for Inter Milan, scoring 40 goals, cementing himself as one of the legends of a legendary club.
Daniel Correa – Three years and a half since coming to the club for £18,250,000 from Real Sociedad, it is safe to say that Correa has not panned out the way Inter Milan had hoped. Now 25 years old, the Uruguayan was supposed to be the first striker with superstar-like talent that Frustalupi had, but he only scored 10 goals in 26 appearances this season. While the Inter Milan system has never been reliant on a single striker for its goals, more was expected from the obviously talented Correa. As it stands, he is an important member of the team, but part of a rotation nonetheless – the fact that Berthet was bought this season also underlines the fact that his manager has not been quite satisfied with his output.
Felipe Gutierrez – He did not have the season he had in 2019/20, but he was still one of the best players in the Serie A, recording 9 assists and a 7.41 AR. Obviously, that does not compare to the 20 assists and 7.62 AR from 2019/20, but his contributions were still immense. The 30 year old Chilean was named to his 3rd consecutive Serie A Team of the Year, and has now spent 7 years at the club.
Emiliano Viviano – Without a doubt, one of the best goalkeepers in the world. The 35 year old Italy No.1 again won the Serie A GK of the Year award, making in the 4th time he has won it, second only to the legendary Gianluigi Buffon. He was also selected to his 3rd Serie A Team of the Year, having only conceded 20 goals and recorded 12 clean sheets and 7.27 AR. Inter Milan’s superb defensive record has a lot to do with Viviano’s fantastic form between the posts, and he continues to be in top form.
Giacomo Machetti – The 22 year old Italian completed his second season with the club and it has become evident that he will definitely be one of its future stars. He recorded 4 goals and 4 assists, and had a fantastic 81% Pass Ratio, considering he is a midfielder who passes the ball a lot. His 7.23 AR was a career-high, and he has proven to be quite a bargain considering he was bought for only £4,700,000.
Joffrey Berthet – There is good reason Inter Milan paid Fiorentina £22,000,000 in January, and the best is yet to come from the 23 year old Frenchman. There is potentially no faster player in the world, and his pace is equaled by his strength and his technical ability. His 6 goals in 10 appearances was not spectacular, but years after showing his potential in the international youth tournaments, Berthet seems poised to breakout in a big way. His scoring record with Fiorentina was not the best, with his highest tally being 13 goals in 2018/19, but under Frustalupi, things could be different.
Roma (2021: 2nd – 2020: 5th)
Unai Emery – Eli Ezra, the Israeli tycoon who bought the club in January 2020, kept on Unai Emery and did not regret it. Roma’s Turkish manager completed his third season with the club, and it was by far his most successful, finishing Runners-Up to Inter Milan. This comes just two seasons after dropping to 12th Place, their lowest finish since 1996/97, but Emery has managed to turn things around and now has some fantastic young talent to work with.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Milad Ghasemi – The 23 year old Iranian midfielder, part of a very talented generation of players coming from the Middle Eastern country, was outstanding for his club this season. In 29 appearances, he had 6 assists and recorded a 7.35 AR, although his 2.87 TpG was on the low side. This was his third season with Roma since coming for £4,800,000 from Marseille, and has now become one of the club’s most important players.
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS
Tchamdja Houessou (Career Stats) – The reigning Serie A Defender of the Year, Houessou has become one of the best left backs in the world. The 24 year old Togolese averaged 3.50 TpG and a career-high 7.57 AR, and was selected to his second straight Serie A Team of the Year. Arguably the club’s most important player, his improving since joining the club three seasons ago has become very noticeable. One of the strongest and fastest players in the world at his position.
Andrea Bertolacci (Career Stats) – Bertolacci is the second coming club legend Daniele De Rossi – their games are eerily similar. He’s been at the club his entire playing career, and he will most likely end it with Roma, as well. This season, he recorded a career-high 11 assists to go along with his 6 goals and 7.31 AR – he has not played in more than 28 games since 2015/16, however, and his injuries have begun to take their toll on his body. He still remains one of the finest central midfielders in the league, and has become a Roma legend.
Nana Duah – He came in the January window for £14,750,000 from Torino, and the 22 year old Ghanaian right winger impressed in the 12 games he played for the club. He averaged a 7.26 AR and scored 2 goals, having previously scored 3 goals while at Torino during the season. His first full season with the club will be in 2021/22, and he will be expected to keep up his form and his threatening forward runs.
Sebastian Coates – Signed from Liverpool for £4,200,000 at the beginning of the season, the 30 year old Uruguayan immediately became a hit for Roma, recording a 7.22 AR and 4.07 TpG. He spent nine solid years at the English club before moving to Italy, and has already proven that he has what it takes to do great in his new home. As a result, he was named in the Serie A Team of the Year.
Vittorio Boschi – Roma’s future up front, the 21 year old Boschi scored 10 goals in 22 appearances for the club this season, recording a 7.25 AR. The Roma youth academy product might lack a creative touch, but he makes up for it with his speed and decent technical ability. He is Roma’s most exciting prospect at the forward position in years.
Sampdoria (2021: 3rd – 2020: 2nd)
Dario Marcolin – After the improbable and still, quite frankly, unbelievable sacking of Gianluca Atzori (the same man who led them to the Serie A title in 2017), Marcolin took over in December 2020, and led the club to 3rd Place over the second half of the season. It is still unclear as to what transpired that led to Atzori being sacked, but what the club has achieved under its former manager is unquestionable – they were, without a doubt, the second best team in Italy for the past few years. Marcolin will now have the job of forming the tem in his image – he had been manager of Juventus before being called up to take over Sampdoria.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Prince Bediako – The 24 year old Ghanaian midfielder continued his fantastic form from last season, recording a 7.47 AR and 6 assists. The fact that he was named the team’s Player of the Year despite playing only 21 games is a testament to how important he is to the squad, and he will be expected to be the heart of the midfield in the coming seasons.
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS
Giacomo Bonaventura (Career Stats) – The record holder for assists in the Serie A, having recorded 24 assists in the 2019/20 season, the 32 year old Italian has been spectacular for the club down the left wing the past few years. He recorded 13 assists this season, along with a 7.23 AR, both down from the previous season but both very respectable numbers. He was a huge part of the Sampdoria team that captured the Serie A title in 2017.
Julian Schieber (Career Stats) – The 32 year old German is most famous for being the Best Player at the World Cup 2018 in Russia, where he led his nation to the their 4th World Cup victory. Exceptionally strong with good pace, he has never been spectacular for the club since joining six years ago, but always solid. This season was no different, as he scored 12 goals in 24 appearances. He has not lost his physical ability yet, so expect more of the same next year.
Sebastian (Career Stats) – The 22 year old Spanish striker was the Serie A’s Top Goalscorer in 2019/20 with 27 goals, which marked his 3rd consecutive season with 20+ goals. He could “only” muster up 19 goals this season, but was still the team’s leading goalscorer. In terms of ability, he seems to be a copy of his mentor, Julian Schieber, in that he is very strong and very fast, but he is even better with the ball at his feet than the German. Has the kind of ability that could see him lead the league in scoring for years to come.
AC Milan (2021: 4th – 2020: 3rd)
Carlo Ancelotti –
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Xaropinho (Career Stats) – Only 24 years old, he is has already captured the Serie A Player of the Year twice, most recently this year. His 23 goals was a career-high, but he has been AC Milan’s most important player since they signed him from Sao Paolo for a measly £1,700,000 in 2015. His towering height means that he is an awesome threat in the air, but the unique striker is just as potent on the ground, as witnessed by his 3.89 DpG and 6 assists. His 7.70 AR was also a career-high, and he is arguably the most talented player in Italy.
OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS
Miralem Pjanic (Career Stats) – The 31 year old Bosnian is slowly starting to show signs of getting old, but he remains one of the most versatile midfielders in the Serie A. In his 3rd season with AC Milan, he scored 3 goals and recorded 9 assists and a 7.31 AR. The latter was his lowest since joining the club, but it is also worth noting that a broken collarbone kept him out of the first two months of the season.
George Jeshi – The 26 year old Congolese was a bargain at £850,000 when bought last season, and he proved that by being one of AC Milan’s most important players this year. He recorded an 84% Pass Ratio, 4.51 TpG, and a 7.24 AR from the central midfield position, forming one of the strongest midfields in the world with Mohamed, Maicon, and Pjanic.
Hesham Mohamed – The £12,750,000 signing from Torino has a good debut season for AC Milan, recording a 7.18 AR. His assists numbers were low, registering only 2 of them, and he did not contribute any goals, but his presence in the midfield was felt more often than not. The 27 year old Egyptian will again partner Maicon in the middle of the pitch next season.
Maicon – Since coming from Wolfsburg in 2018 for £15,250,000, Maicon has formed a superb partnership with his fellow midfielder players and Brazilian national team mate, Xaropinho. He averaged an outstanding 4.95 TpG and registered an 86%, making him one of the most efficient midfielders in the Serie A. A broken leg ruled him out for the last 4 months of the season, thus only enabling him to play 23 games – although one never knows with these types of injuries, reports suggest that he is 100% healed and ready to go.
Overall Team of the Year
FRENCH LIGUE 1 2020/2021 REVIEW
Player Stats – Team Salary per Annum – Transfers - Past Winners
Player of the Year: Radja Nainggolan (Career Stats), Lyonnais
GK of the Year: Hugo Lloris, Lyonnais
Foreign Player of the Year: Jordan Ayew (Career Stats), Marseille
Most Promising Player: Jorginho, Lyonnais
Manager of the Year: Lovel Palmer, Lyonnais (Champions)
Ligue 1 Best Team of All-Time
Last edited by abulezz; 11-03-2012 at 07:26.
GERMAN BUNDESLIGA 2020/2021 REVIEW
Player Stats – Team Salary per Annum – Transfers - Past Winners
Player of the Year: Lars Bender (Career Stats), Leverkusen
GK of the Year: Diego Benaglio, Wolfsburg
Defender of the Year: Alex Sandro (Career Stats), Wolfsburg
Midfielder of the Year: Kevin Strootman (Career Stats), Bayern Munich
Striker of the Year: Amoroso, Bayern Munich
Manager of the Year: Bruno Labbadia, Wolfsburg (Champions)
Bundesliga Team of All-Time
Last edited by abulezz; 11-03-2012 at 07:28.
Bromley 2021/2022 Preview
General Information – Facilities – Domestic League History
Board Expectation: Top Half Finish - Transfer Budget: £37,910,000 - Wage Budget: £724,429 (Current: £516,284) - Bank Balance: £27,727,562
After celebrating our 4th Place finish all summer, it is time to get to work. Before we get into the Group Stages of the Champions League, we have to get through Frankfurt, which is easier said than done. At least the board has continued to invest in our training and youth facilities, and they also decided to expand the stadium to around 32,000 attendance.
The team continues to improve in a fantastic fashion – we are still the youngest team in the Premier League on average age, but they are no longer mostly in their teens. Now that we have broken the Big Six’s hold on the Premier League, I have no plans on finishing below 4th Place this season. I want to see us see the Knockout Rounds of the Champions League, if our Group Stages draw permits us.
I am very pleased with the players I’ve brought in this summer, but letting go of Porvaldur Magnusson was difficult. At the end, though, he continued to make noise about wanting to move clubs, and I don’t think I can offer him another season as a starter. I have too much talent in the center of the midfield that will be held back – players more talented than Magnusson – if he continued to stay at the club.
There are two big signings this season – Tidiane Samb and Nicolas Olarticoechea. Both will be immediate starters, and hopefully they will be worth the money paid for them. I took the risk and signed Manuel Loisel for £5,500,000 – I think he could be great, but obviously it could be me just being hopeful. The others that I bought in were Killian Lafarge, Jon Mason, and Halit Tiryaki.
It was another summer of letting go of youth players for profit, except for Mario Ortega – I bought the defender for £6,500,000, but ended up selling him for a £3,000,000 loss. The biggest sale, obviously, was club Icon Porvaldur Magnusson – I let him go for less than what he worth, probably, but I felt it was time for him to move on. Hopefully, he will have a great time in France!
Tricio: Last season, Tricio conceded only 34 goals and had a career-high 18 clean sheets, once again playing in all 38 games. His 7.01 AR was also a career-high, and he added another cap for his country of Brazil, bringing his total up to 4 caps. Although his aerial ability will probably never reach a world class level, there can be no denying his communication skills and his shot-stopping ability. Still only 23 years old, he has a while yet before he stops improving.
Development: 2018 - 2019 – 2020 – 2021.
DL : Manuel Roubaund: The 19 year old Frenchman exceeded all expectations last year, recording 7 assists and 7.25 AR. When Nicolas Mancini was sold to Arsenal, I was half expected to overspend in January for a left back because the talent the club had at the position would be not be cutting it, but just a couple of months into the season, it had become obvious that Roubaund was going to be just fine. His defensive skills leave a lot to be desired, but his pace and technical ability are superb.
Development: 2019 – 2020 – 2021
DC : Alexandre: Although his overall ability is fantastic, he should be doing better. His AR dropped to 6.93 last season, although he did bring up his TpG to 4.52 and improved his Pass Ratio to 78%. He needs to be more consistent, however, and at the age of 22, he needs to start producing up to his ability. At least a 7.20 AR should be expected from him this season.
Development: 2017 – 2018 – 2019 – 2020 – 2021.
DC : Tete: The 22 year old Brazilian improved across the board last season, recording a career-high 7.09 AR. His 2.32 TpG, however, was actually lower than the previous season, and something that has to improve this coming season. His aerial ability and defensive skills are fantastic – now, he just needs to live up to his potential and ability.
Development: 2018 – 2019 – 2020 – 2021
DR : Kieran Holland: The English right back is now 20 years old, and while he may never develop into the world class right back we had hoped for when he came through the youth academy, he is still more than a serviceable one. He has the ability to be an England international, as long as he keeps improving the way he has over the past few years. His 6.99 AR and 2.89 TpG were both a career-high, but both numbers should see further improvement this year.
Development: 2017 – 2018 – 2019 – 2020 – 2021.
ML : Lukas Kubik: Last season was perhaps the 23 year old Czech’s finest in his young career, scoring 6 goals and recording 9 assists. His 7.23 AR was a career-high, and his 79% Pass Ratio was great considering he plays down the left wing. His transition from striker to left winger is complete, and he is one of the better options at his position in the league. He will not blow anyone away with his pace, but he is a smart player with good feet and technique. More of the same is expected this season.
Development: 2017 – 2018 – 2019 – 2020 – 2021.
MC : Tidiane Samb: The club’s decision to strengthen the central midfield positions led to the signing of £10,000,000 Samb from Galatasaray, where he had scored 6 goals and recorded 7 assists last season. The most impressive thing about him is his ability on the ball and his technique, of which he has oodles of. Whether the 22 year old can use that to his advantage and make the starting position his own remains to be seen, but he will get his chance.
MC : Gaston Ponce: Having just turned 19 at the end of last season, the Argentine was impressive since joining the club from Paris Saint-Germain for £5,500,000 in January. He appeared in 11 games and recorded 2 assists, and this season, he will get the chance to prove he is worthy of a starting place. Like Samb, he has superb technical ability and great dribbling ability, although he is somewhat lacking in strength.
MR : Gilmar: There is no denying that the 22 year old Brazilian has become a world class right winger, recording career-highs of 7 goals, 13 assists, and 7.20 AR last season. Not only that, he displayed a fantastic all-around game, recording 2.69 TpG and 3.48 DpG – there simply is no other winger like him in the country. His call-up to the Brazilian national team is inevitable, as his continuous evolvement into one of the finest in the world at his position.
Development: 2017 – 2018 – 2019 – 2020 – 2021.
F : Zoran Sedlarevic: He came in the January transfer window for £10,000,000 from Manchester City, who took Eduardo Fernandez for £15,000,000, and there is no denying that Bromley got the better end of that trade. He won the Premier League Young Player of the Year, as the 23 year old Serbian scored 9 goals (14 total) and recorded 2 assists (7 total) and a 7.29 AR. The only slight weakness in his game is perhaps his pace – although acceptable, it could be better. Otherwise, he has the potential to be a 20+ scorer for many seasons to come.
F : Emmanuel Musa: The club’s Player of the Year for the fourth consecutive time, and also its captain, he has now become an Icon at Bromley. The injury bug nagged at him all of last season, and he ended up playing in only 27 games, scoring 14 goals. He did record a career-high 7.20 AR and continued to earn cap for Germany. Subject to a £20,000,000+ bid from Bayern Munich in the summer, the offer was quickly rejected. He maintains his role as the club’s most important player.
Development: 2016 – 2017 – 2018 – 2019 – 2020 – 2021.
DC : Ranier Rummenigge: Starting his third season with the club, it is hard to believe the German, who has already earned 2 caps for his country, cost Bromley just £1,000,000. Obviously, he still has a lot of work to do, but there is already a lot to like about him. He will be expected to improve his 2.54 TpG, and his 6.96 AR actually went down from his first season, but he remains perhaps the squad’s brightest talent under 20 years old.
Development: 2019 – 2020 – 2021
MC : Stefan Rahn: In hindsight, he was not quite worth the £7,500,000 that was paid for him last year, and the club certainly would not have bought in Ponce and Samb had they been convinced of his abilities. Still, the 24 year old has been a useful player, especially his 4.69 TpG, and his all-around game cannot be questioned. Hopefully, he will be able to deliver a better season than his first, where he recorded a 6.86 AR.
FC : Nicolas Olarticoechea: After a fantastic season with Velez, the 23 year old Argentine international has made his way over to England for £8,250,000. He’s good at everything, but not really great at anything – good pace, good aerial ability, and good ability on the ground. He will be in the rotation with Sedlarevic and Musah, and will be counted on to produce a good number of goals.
Last edited by abulezz; 06-03-2012 at 05:25.
Bromley September Update 2021/2022
There is no way, in my wildest dreams, could I have imagined the start we have had to the season. Just look at those results – 7-1 against Newcastle, 6-0 against Bayern Munich, 5-0 against Brighton, 4-1 against Stoke. Those are magical results, especially the second one. In our first ever Champions League game, we destroyed one of the giants of the competition with complete ease, handing them their largest defeat in a long, long time. How has it been possible? One name: Nicolas Olarticoechea.
The Argentine came in the summer for £8,250,000 from Argentinean club Velez, and before he picked up an injury the ruled him out of the last few games of September. Still, looking at his scoring record – 10 league goals in 5 games! Our most impressive feats, however, have come in the Champions League, defeating Bayern Munich 6-0 at home and then Marseille 2-0 away from home. The boys are playing on another level at the start of this season, and if this keeps up, no one is stopping us!
Well done lad
Wow, what a start Olarticoechea is having to his Bromley career. Hope he can keep going. Must have been difficult to let Magnusson go but probably the right decision.
For a minute then I thought I read you'd played Brighton in the Champions League Qualifiers
Bromley October Update 2021/2022
October started out with a match against 8th Place Tottenham at home. The reigning Premier League Footballer of the Year, Gareth Bale, was having another spectacular season, but the most dangerous striker in the league over the past ten years, Edinson Cavani, was starting to slow at the age of 34. We won the match 1-0, with Emmanuel Musah claming the MotM and Zoran Sedlarevic scoring the only goal of the game. The win sent us back into the top position in the English Premier League.
We kept our streak without a loss alive with a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United, almost beating the former champions. Sedlarevic scored in his 3rd game in a row, and that left tied on points with Arsenal at the top of table, one point ahead of the Manchester United. Tete scored our second goal and was crowned the MotM – this was his 3rd goal in 4 games! He had a 7.43 AR after this game, playing some fantastic football to start the season off.
In our third match of Champions League Group C in Zurich, we made 3 wins in 3 games, defeating the hosts 3-0. Musah and Sedlarevic both scored, but it was Stefan Rahn who won the MotM, registering 2 assists and a 9.0 AR. Marseille defeated Bayern Munich in the other match, placing them in 2nd Place behind us with 6 points. Our start to our Champions League campaign had gone better than I could have ever imagined, with 3 big victories. Coming up, we had Bayern Munich away from home, but then we hosted both Marseille and Zurich. Realistically, we needed just one draw from our next three matches to ensure qualification.
Aston Villa was next at the Bromley Stadium, and I let the team know I expected them to keep up their form and win tonight. Unfortunately, the players did not respond, and we ended up losing 2-1, conceding 2 first half goals. I was very disappointed – after defeating some of the strongest teams in the world, we fell to mid-table Villa at home.
Just a day before our 3rd Round matchup against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, both our youth and training facilities completed their upgrades, and as a celebration, the team went out and destroyed our London rivals on their ground 3-0. Olarticoechea, Sedlarevic, and Manuel Roubaud, who was also the MotM, were our goalscorers – this was a very impressive victory despite Arsenal putting forth their second team, pretty much.
It was Sunderland away from home next, and they had just recently appointed Sinisa Mihajlovic as their new manager after Phil Jagielka left them for West Bromwich. It was another outstanding match for us, and once again, our MotM was Olarticoechea, who hit an incredible 4 goals. His tally was now 14 league goals in 8 games – absolutely incredible. We did lose Sedlarevic, though, as he strained his ankle ligaments and was ruled out for 5 weeks. We won the match 6-2, with both Gilmar and Alexandre converted penalty kicks, and Lukas Kubik had 2 assists.
Despite our one-off loss at home to Aston Villa, this was another very good month for us. We were still top of the Premier League, and all the boys were playing fantastic. We were basically through to the Second Round of the Champions League with 3 games to go in the Group Stages, and Olarticoechea had not lost a step after coming back from his minor injury. Our captain, Emmanuel Musah, was also doing fantastic, with 6 goals and 5 assists in the Premier League.
Phil Jagielka ended his reign as manager of Sunderland after just under two years, moving on to West Bromwich. The former England defender left Sunderland, which was his first managerial job, in 14th Place, and the club hired experienced manager Sinisa Mihajlovic to replace him….Sampdoria sacked Dario Marcolin, causing further strife in what was once the best team not called Inter Milan in the Serie A. Marcolin lasted just 10 months before getting the boot, and Sampdoria was in 9th Place when they hired his replacement, Gertjan Verbeek, who was with Stuttgart before moving…..John Terry was sacked from his first managerial job after failing to impress at Brighton. The club was in 20th Place when they decided to part ways with the former England captain, who had been with them since July of 2020. They replaced him with another former Chelsea defender in Gary Cahill, who had been a Youth Coach under Terry at Brighton after retiring…..
Only 28 games to go
Great start to the season.
Fantastic start! Let's hope you can keep it up and Olarticoechea doesn't get injured!
Bromley November Update 2021/2022
The month started off with our home match against FC Zurich, and this was a match I was expecting to win and confirm our qualification to the Second Round. We took a 3-0 lead, but some lackluster defending and lack of concentration allowed the Swiss team to score two late goals. We finished with the win we wanted, but I was definitely not impressed with our second half performance. Emmanuel Musah, Lukas Kubik, and Manuel Roubaud scored our goals, but it was Nicolas Olarticoechea who won the MotM despite not scoring, instead providing an assist.
Up next we had Everton at the Bromley Stadium, although we were going through a mini-injury crisis, with Zoran Sedlarevic, Olarticoechea, and Manuel Loisel all unavailable up front. Kieran Holland, was also given a rest due to being jaded. It proved of little consequence, as we ran out 4-0 winners in a fantastic performance. Lukas Kubik, who was the MotM, and Musah both scored braces as we held our spot at the top of the Premier League.
During the international break, Musah, Tricio, and Kubik all played both games for their respective national teams, and they were just by Alexandre, who earned his first call-up for Brazil in their 2-1 defeat against Russia. Although his usual position for the club is as a central defender, he featured as a central midfielder for Brazil.
After nearly two weeks off from Premier League action, we returned to the playing field against surprising West Ham United, who were in 6th Place. The main reason for their success was Kenyan striker Gabriel Odhiambo, who had netted 7 goals for them in 11 appearances. The match at the Boleyn Ground ended in a 4-2 victory for us, and Matteo Benetti scored an outstanding brace to give us the win and himself the MotM. Unfortunately, however, Gilmar broke his ribs, and was ruled out for the next 5 weeks. Another notable for the match was Killian Lafarge making his debut, coming on a substitute – at the age of 15 years and 261 days, he became the youngest player in both club and league history to ever make an appearance!
Having already qualified to the Second Round of the Champions League, I did not put too much stress on the boys in terms of winning our away match to Bayern Munich, and we ended up losing 3-1. The German giants were not having a successful season in the Bundesliga, as they were currently in 4th Place, and they needed Marseille to lose their match against FC Zurich to have any chance of qualifying. The French team beat their Swiss opponents 3-1, and they officially joined us in the Second Round. The final Matchday game between us and the French would decide who will top the group, with us only needing a draw at the Bromley Stadium to ensure that would happen.
It was back to the Bromley Stadium against Cardiff next, who were exceeding all expectations under Alan Shearer and were in 13th Place in the Premier League. It was pretty straightforward stuff for us, however, as we ran out 3-0 winners, with young striker Manuel Loisel scoring a goal and winning the MotM. It was his first ever league goal for us, and this was his third league appearance since joining the club in the summer.
We would end the month still top of the league, and although we were not doing great defensively – having shipped 14 goals in 13 games – our 40 goals were 14 more than Liverpool’s 29 goals, who were the second best offensive team thus far in the season. We had some meaningful contributions from a number of young players this month, as well, and afforded some of our regular starts some rest as we go into a hectic month of December.
In a huge shock, Spain were eliminated by Georgia in the World Cup Qualifiers Play-offs, meaning the 2010 Winners and 2014 Finalists would be forced to watch the world’s biggest sporting event from their homes……Adam Tann lasted almost exactly one year with Manchester City before getting the sack. The club was in 7th Place when he got the boot, and the former Aston Villa and Sunderland manager was deemed unfit to carry the job of bringing the club back to glory. His sacking came immediately after a 1-0 loss to rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford. Manchester City hired Malky Mackay to replace him, nabbing him from Tottenham and paying them £2,000,000 in compensation. Just a few days later, Tann was shockingly hired as Tottenham’s manager – Man City and the London club had effectively swapped managers, something which Man City seemed especially fond of, having done so with Arsenal twice a few years ago.
And here's the Champions League group:
Bromley ahead of Bayern and Marseille? Who'd have thought it.
Bromley December Update 2021/2022
A very embarrassing start to the month saw us lose 1-0 at home against Bristol City in the League Cup Fourth Round – the board did not place any importance on the competition, but I did not feel the same way. Any trophy we could capture was one I wanted, but unfortunately for us, our performances in the competition the last couple of years have not been so great.
Up next we travelled to Ewood Park to face relegation candidates Blackburn. They were not a club in the best of form, and I wanted to take full advantage of that – they were in 19th Place for a reason, and I expected a win. The boys did not fail me, and we came out 5-1 winners, with Sedlarevic scoring a hat-trick and new signing Tidiane Samb bossing the midfield. The former was the MotM, but I was very impressed with the latter’s performance, and after this game, he had a 7.14 AR in the Premier League, with 2 goals and 4 assists. Sedlarevic had brought his goal tally up to 6 in 9 appearances.
We did not do the job needed to in Southampton, however, losing momentum as we drew 1-1 with our hosts. I would even go as far as to say for large stretches of the match, we were second best, and that was simply unacceptable. Arsenal won their match 6-0, so that dropped us to 2nd Place. The good news followed just a few days later, however, as we avoided all the giants and drew Rubin of the Russian Premier League in the Champions League Second Round.
As it would have it, we would face Arsenal and my personal friend, Paul Lambert, who’s always saying nice things about me to the media! Lambert made club history in 2020, winning the Premier League and the Champions League, and had assembled a very strong team. They were two points in front of us going into the match, having conceded only 7 goals so far in their 15 matches. A magical effort from Tidiane Samb, who was also the MotM, was the only goal of the match, and we came away with a huge 1-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium, pushing us past Arsenal – Chelsea, however, were still two points ahead of us thanks to their 3-1 home victory over Southampton. Samb was really starting to shine in the center of the midfield, and the 22 year old Senegalese was becoming one of my most indispensible players. His goal was the third of the season in the Premier League for him.
What the FA were quite thinking for our next three matches, I do not – Chelsea on the 27th, Manchester City on the 28th, and then West Bromwich on the 29th. Yes, three games in three days! We lost the first 1-0 at home against Chelsea, defeated Manchester City 3-1 at the Bromley Stadium thanks to a Sedlarevic brace, and then finished off with a loss to West Bromwich , 2-0, away from home. It was quite unbelievable having to send the team through all that, and after it was all said and done, we were in 3rd Place, four points behind Chelsea and just one point behind Arsenal going into 2022.
World Awards 2021
Fernando Llorente – Player Profile
National Team Achievements: World Cup (2010) – World Cup Finalist (2014), European Championship (2012, 2016), Confederations Cup (2017)
Club Achievements: N/A
Personal Achievements: European Championship Top Goalscorer (2016), 2 x Spanish La Liga Top Goalscorer (2014, 2019), 7 x Spanish La Liga Top Spanish Goalscorer (2012, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021), 8 x Spanish La Liga Team of the Year (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021)
Fernando Llorente is one of those rare players whose individual talents were not devalued due to playing at an unsuccessful club, and his accolades certainly show why. He his entire career with Athletic Bilbao, breaking into the first team in 2004. By 2007, Llorente was their man up front, and he would go on to have a brilliant career, becoming proclaimed the finest Spanish striker since David Villa and the best during the 2010s.
His first taste of success came at the largest stage of them all – the World Cup. He was part of the Spanish team that lifted the trophy in 2010, and were beaten Finalists in 2014. By that point, Llorente was indisputably one of the finest strikers in the world, and despite the number of talent up front available in the La Liga, he would go on to be chosen for 8 La Liga Team of the Years during his career. He was crowned the European Championship Top Goalscorer when Spain won it in 2016 with 7 goals, second most only to Michele Platini’s 8 goals in 1984.
Even in his final season, Llorente was still magnificent, scoring 20 goals. His goalscoring during the 2010s was unrivalled in the La Liga, having failed to score at least 20 goals in only two seasons since 2011. He retired as an Athletic Bilbao legend, holding their record for most appearances (562) and most goals scored (280).
I hate when the schedules do that! It totally can ruin your whole season.
Nice career there, abulezz! I'd been away for a bit, so had lots to catch up on. You have definitely been busy!
Bromley January Update 2021/2022
We started the year off with a standard 2-0 victory over Championship outfit Huddersfield in the FA Cup 3rd Round – we absolutely dominated that match and were unlucky to only score 2 goals. We had Newcastle next, and I was a little bit worried about this game. My fears were proved wrong, however, as the boys ran out 4-1 winners in an outstanding match, with Nicolas Olarticoechea finally putting himself back on the score sheet with his 15th Premier League goal of the season. New signing Jaguare opened up the scoring for us, marking a great debut, and the captain Emmanuel Musah scored his 10th Premier League goal, as well.
Liverpool were always going to be a tough match, but thankfully, we managed to pull through a 2-1 home victory over them. In terms of football, it was as even a match as one could get, but a goal from Gilmar and one from Zoran Sedlarevic were enough to see us through. For Liverpool, the outstanding Mohamed Khelifi scored their only goal – in terms of ability, the 26 year old Algerian had to be one of the finest strikers in the world.
Up next it was Brighton away from home, and the southern club were really struggling. They were in the midst of a relegation battle, and had some horrible offense and defense. It was the latter that made the difference for us against them, however, as we wound up defeating them 7-0! It was our largest ever victory, and it was thanks to Sedlarevic’s fantastic four goals that we were able to dominate the match like that. He had now scored 13 goals in his 17 appearances, second in the Premier League only to his teammate, Nicolas Oratichoechea, who also had two goals in the match. The Argentinean’s tally stood at 17 goals in 15 appearances, and he also led the league with a 7.77 AR. More importantly, however, was that the win sent us back to the top spot, as Chelsea faltered away from home at Newcastle, managing only a 2-2 draw.
The fun kept on rolling against Swansea at the Bromley Stadium as we defeated them 4-1. Olarticoechea hit a brace, winning the MotM in the process, as he maintained his status as top goalscorer in the Premier League and we maintained ours as the top team. Unfortunately, he suffered a gash leg that ruled him out of the next two weeks. Sedlarevic also added to his tally, while defensively, Rainer Rummenigge continued his outstanding form with a goal, averaging a 7.38 AR in the Premier League. Swansea manager Michael Laudrup accepted his defeat gracefully, saying some nice things about me to the media afterwards!
We ended the month off with a 5-0 victory over West Bromwich – the same team which we had lost to 2-0 at the end of December. Overall, we had a spectacular start to 2022, winning all seven of our matches, most by significantly large margins. Our offense is unstoppable, with our three-headed beast of Olartichoechea, Musah, and Sedlarevic scoring 65 goals between them this season.
wooo back on top get in there lad!
It might be tough going for now though.
An excellent January; right back on track now