"Zero to Hero" - **Part 2 (Rossoneri Resurgence)**
"From Zero to Hero – Los Borquerones (Malaga C.F)"
A club whose greatest achievement in it’s history, lays with 2 Liga Adelante titles. No major trophies, and a predicted finish of 6th, it could be argued this is to be football’s latest deathwish of a job. But backed by new owners of Qatar origin, things are looking up for The Anchovies.
With players such as Toulalan to steady the ship, and Van Nistelrooy for offensive potency, a push for a European spot perhaps isn’t out of the question.
Yes this is the short term goal, but the ultimate aim has to be bringing both domestic and European success. This however will be no easy task, with money bags Real Madrid and Barcelona forever likely to dominate the Spanish division. And so the story begins...
Club: Malaga C.F
Year Founded: 1948
Chairman: Abdullah Al-Thani
Fierce Rivals: Sevilla, Betis
Stadium: La Rosaleda
Stadium Capacity: 28,963 all-seater
Nickname: The Anchovies (Los Borquerones)
La Liga Titles: 0
Copa Del Reys: 0
Spanish Super Cups: 0
Champions Leagues: 0
EURO Cups: 0
Football Manager: 2012
Leagues Loaded: England, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland
Database Size: Large
Malaga C.F (2011 - 2016)
- Manager of the Year Award x2 (2014/2015), (2016/2017)
- EURO Cup Winners x1 (2012/2013) - Copa Del Rey Winners x3 (2013/2014), (2015/2016), (2016/2017) - La Liga Titles x2 (2014/2015), (2016/2017) - UEFA Champions League Winners x1 (2016/2017)
AC Milan (2017 - 2020)
- Coppa Italia Winners x3 (2017,2018), (2018,2019), (2019,2020) - Super Coppa Italia Winners x2 (2018,2019), (2019,2020) - Serie A Titles x2 (2018,2019), (2019,2020) - UEFA Champions League Winners x1 (2019,2020)
Arsenal (2022 - present)
- FA Cup Winner x1 (2022,2023)
- Premier League Titles x1 (2022,2023)
- EURO Cup x1 (2022,2023)
Na, no changes - just got rid of some players, and purchased over 48 monthly instalments. Might cost a bit more overall, but at least I could strengthen sufficiently to hopefully have a decent first season and not get the sack! Cheers
Lol. There's no harm in looking for a cheap alternative Besides, it's always nice to have a bit of British grit in a squad. Certainly help to get my troops motivated for our trips for the Nou Camp and The Bernabau
That's why I got him Think he'll do a decent job when he's needed to come in. Although Spain is a little more technical than the English game. I'm actually trying to design my parking the bus tactic specifically for just them two games as it is!
A very mixed first half of the season for our team. A 3-1 at home to Real Madrid with 10 men definitely our highlight. The score being tied at 0-0 by the time we lost our right back and captain Gamez. However, with Van Nistelrooy missing, and Rondon being very inconsistent we've struggled to score goals at times. Against teams we should be beating, we are struggling to break teams down.
Our tactic has only just finally gelled after Xmas, but we've recently stuttered to a tight 3-2 cup win over Zaragoza. It has put us in the 1/4 finals of the Spanish cup though, and this was a board objective successfully achieved.
We really do need to find some league form though. We are currently achieving a respectable league position, but I was hoping we would be closer to European football than we currently are. There is still alot of playing time left this season though.
A long term injury to Baptista also hasn't helped matters, with him missing nearly all of our games so far. Cazorla has been extremely disappointing on the right flank, and it maybe time to review whether he's good enough for this club.
There won't be any squad changes over in the January window, but is more a period to decide what changes will be needed to improve next year. Clearly a replacement for the ageing Van Nistelrooy, and someone better on the right flank will be needed to improve our offensive potency.
Cheers Quite fortunate to say the least though with that one. Typical football - some games I outplay teams and lose, then get completely outplayed but win. Almost come to the end of my first year. Been a very interesting second half to the season. Unfortunately that included a 0-5 home battering to them second time around in the cup lol. I've sweated the most of it... if you get my drift!
One word to describe my second half of the season..."Bizarre". Although in good shape in the cup, eventually making the semi-finals before losing to Real Madrid, the pressure was immense staying in the job for a good part of the second year. Baptista again got injured, and a further tweak in tactics caused further instability to a side who had struggled to find a consistency during the first half of the season.
The tweak prompted in the aim of picking up more 3 points, eventually paid off. Laying in 16th position after 24 rounds of La Liga, it was clear to see why the board were getting impatient. This caused a meeting to be held with the directors, with me asking for more time to turn things around due to unfortunate injury circumstances this year. They agreed. With the job very insecure, an immediate positive came from the lads, trouncing Sevilla 5-0.
This eventually led to winning 14 of the last 16 games, only losing to Real from this form. Malaga had shot up from 2 places above safety, to a European spot in 7th. Victories included impressive wins against Valencia, Athletico Madrid, Villarreal, and two 5-1 thumpings of Betis and 6th placed Sporting. Goals no longer a problem, and the defensive still solid, with 8 clean sheets coming from the last 16.
Van Nistelrooy was on form, Cazorla had found his feet, and Baptista finally was getting some regular action at the backend of the year. With the new signings also settling and finding a greater consistency, and the style of football now being played being portrayed, it ended up being a very successful first season in charge, especially sneaking in a EURO cup spot in at the end.
The only downside is being able to tie Van Nistelrooy for another year - wages demanded are too great. So I'll definitely be in the market for a replacement striker this Summer.
Depends on transfer money there are usually a few decent players around for the second season at very good prices like Vlad Weiss for example who is a legend.
I am surprised you managed it I was expecting a midtable finish when I came to check the thread. Surely after that run Champions League should be your aim for next season, with the right signings you can get 3rd or 4th.
Budget is really sucking at the moment. Had to sell Cazorla to Inter...and potentially selling Rondon on. Van the Man has gone. It's gona be a year of trying to maintain but generate some money I think.
The main headline this window, apart from strengthening in the areas after getting rid of the dead wood, was the sale of Cazorla to Inter. Receiving 14.25mil all in cash, meant I had some funds to play with, and getting his replacement from Benfica Nicolas Gaitan.
Hopefully I won't have lost too much bringing him in. Possible mistake I made was after January last year I had snapped up 18 yr old Leandro Oliveria Moura from Real Madrid for 10mil. That probably took a fair bit of my budget, with only around a 2mil given for the start of this year for accepting the challenge of a EURO cup spot in the league again. But he's fairly durable, so should be a decent squad player for the duration of my time here.
So the First XI won't have really changed much. I was close to getting rid of Rondon as there was a good striker available in the market. But then he scored a hatrick in the 1st leg of the EURO qualifiers. So that put that idea to bed. He'll be Van's replacement for this year.
A pleasing first half of the season - probably an understatement Certainly didn't expect to have such a good first half of the season. Carrying on from where we left off, we've shown great consistency, along with some fantastic performances on the way. Unfortunately our worst game was a 2-2 home draw against 10 man Villarreal. A game where Barca dropped points that weekend, but we squandered the lead twice gifting them top spot before the Xmas break.
Neverthless I can't complain. A top 4 finish is now a serious possibility. However, financially we are strained. Bids have come in for both Samba and Demichelis in January. The offers have been accepted, after negotiating the deals to go through end of the year. To rid of them both, would be a fatal mistake.
So the reality of managing Malaga is setting in. Although a great budget for the first year, the owners don't seem to be willing to pump in funds continously to develop the club. After being linked with both the Chelsea and Barcelona jobs, I'll seriously have to consider my options at some point in the future. Perhaps a challenge of landing numerous domestic titles, and winning the Champions League with different clubs will become a personal career objective. But for now, Malaga still need to win a trophy to finally fill their cabinet.
Still in the Spanish Cup, the EURO cup, and somehow challenging for the league....can this be a year we achieve this?
So far!...but my plan to rebuild next year is screwed - both Demichelis for 5mil and Samba for 25mil don't want to leave for Porto and Real respectively lol. I wanted to get a keeper in January but no money... and Kameni is on International Duty for a bit it seems so I'm a bit buggered now. Had this problem with him last year aswell. I'll have to try just and make the CL group stages and hopefully make some money that way over the longer term.
After Joaquin offered to terminate his contract for 2.3mil, the Malaga boss has taken a huge gamble accepting the request. Since Kameni has been missing from the first team, Malaga have conceded 13 goals in 5 games. An unmotivated keeper, means a bad one. (I know that having played in goal myself!)
So in comes Mariano Andujar from at the time transfer listed Catania. For a fee of 1.1mil, it's not a bad deal. A very good backup keeper, whom some may consider to even challenge for a regular place, his debut for the club saw an immediate change of fortunes for The Anchovies.
Barcelona now look clear title winners, taking a 7 point advantage. The 11 point gap from 2nd to 5th spot at Xmas had come down to just a mere 4 points - though the latest result see's this rise back up to 7. Time will tell whether this was a worthwhile investment. Although Leandro has recently submitted in a transfer request, Joaquin's departure may provide him with some more playing time for the rest of the season. Can Malaga hold on for a top 4 finish?
A very tense final against a strong well organised Lyon outfit. They finished 2nd in their domestic league, and are definitely Champions League standard with the quality they have in their side. We played a good controlled game for the most. But feared the worst when Buonanette went a bit ape just before the 90 minute mark. My players already tired, and having a limited bench short of numbers I thought we'd lose it late on.
Fortunately we had enough stamina in the tank to hold on for penalties. With luck on our side, and Kameni proving to be the size of a double-decker bus in the shootout...we came with a deserved victory in my opinion to bring Malaga's first ever major trophy home!
A second season gone - and another season fulfilling our objectives set. After the first half of the season, I thought we might find it more comfortable making the top 4. The table looks convincing, but we had alot of big games at the end of the season to play. The gap minimised to 4 points between us and Villarreal for 4th spot, but we held our nerve well. A pivotal 2-1 home win against Real Madrid helped aid in that. A 93rd minute winner from Rondon gave us the spoils who grabbed a brace for us in that game.
This game was followed up against Villarreal away. Down 1-0 at HT, things were looking tricky. But 3 late goals after the 75th minute gave us 3 vital points. From this point onwards top 4 was a banker.
To finish 4th ended up a great achievment. We had a fair share of injury problems, and had to rely on 19 year old Leandro to play first team for long term injuries to Krancjar and Afellay. The purchase of Andujar proved to be a great bit of business. Although only playing a handful of games, he was critical to getting our form back on track. He also played in the 2-1 home win vs Real.
The Spanish cup ended a bit sour against Sevilla. We took a thumping there, but were without 8 first teamers and a goalkeeper who was more interested in eating a bit of Kentucky Fried Chicken than making a cup Final for his club.
What for next season? We'll need to ensure we make the CL group stages. Not able to get rid of Samba for 25mil, and the directors at the stage of funding the club to keep us running will make it tough to improve our squad. But hopefully our successes will have interested some greater quality players to join us. I'm sure there will be some wheeling and dealing in a few places this off-season coming. That is providing no greater appealing job offer comes along...
Really good season mate, looks like it was backs against the walls stuff with injuries but you have finished in a good position in the league and got yourself a European trophy which is great. It's good you are setting realistic goals like just wanting to qualify for the CL group stages before wanting/expecting to get to the knockout stages etc. Keep up the good work.
Cheers guys. This transfer window so far isn't going too well though so far. Paloschi went on his release clause to Udinese - he was doing a really good job as a backup striker to Rondon. Going to be hard to get a replacement of decent value. Little cash to play with though from that, and a few other sales.
Getting to the knockouts would be nice with a bit of luck this year, and trying to get top 4 is what I'll be aiming for. Baptista is getting on a bit now, same with Demichelis so could do with a good year to get some funds in for replacements.
Missed out on a gem it seems then...I have to admit I've never been one for a youth policy lol. Ship them in, and ship em out if they aren't doing the bizz lol
A bit of a messy transfer window here. With the unfortunate departure of Paloschi who was a superb backup for Rondon up front last year, it was tricky to get a decent replacement. He went for only 5.75mil due to his release clause, activated by EURO Cup Semi Finalists of last year Udinese. At least I have the knowledge we knocked those chumps out last year After a bit of searching, Diego Costa from Athletico seemed available at around the same price. Perhaps not as good a teamplayer, but of Spanish nationality he may prove handy to have for European purposes.
Another cash sale of our Greek defender Papadopolous (gotta love those Greek names), enabled us to increase our budget further. So we've been able to spend quite a fair amount this year.
We drew Beskitas in our CL 3rd round qualifier - drew 0-0 at home, which made the 2nd leg very tricky indeed. With new players starting, and a league game tiring our some of my squad we were lucky making it into the group stages. We went a goal down to Almedia, but a set piece goal from Demichelis saw us level just before the half time whistle. With Besiktas pushing on for the winner, we caught them on the counter and took a 2-1 victory.
The opposite of this happened in our Euro Super Cup final against the Red Devils of Manchester United. Taking the lead early on, it worked against us as they produced a brilliant performance to blow us away after that. The score ended 2-1, but in all honesty it flattered us. We hung in there well for the most though, but shows the gulf in class when you play against an outfit with a few world class players in their ranks. Clearly we'll need a few of these players if we are going to progress to compete for the major trophies....
Whether this is viable long-term is another question. And for a club with not even a 30k Capacity stadium, we probably have other priorities first before we can make that attempt to the next stage.
Quite hard to evaluate this first half of the season. To try and look at the club, and how we are doing realistically I have to be quite content. There was a great disappointment going out in a very tough ECL group though. Pitched with last year's winners Man Utd, and Benfica this was hard enough. And for the last 2 games, we had 6-8 first teamers missing. Unfortunately the later being against Benfica away... in a game if we won, we would have qualified. We lost 3-0 with a weak side out.
In the league, we haven't done aswell as last year. We are still competing at a high standard though. Part of the problem was we seem a bit leakier at the back this year. This prompted Demichelis moving out the club, as he just doesn't have the pace anymore to play the game we play. In addition, funds have gotten tight, and with players ageing a decision had to be made. Interest has always been high with Chris Samba. Real Madrid still wanted him, and offered 20mil as cash. Couldn't refuse the offer for our captain, so off he's gone.
With funds to spare, we have an opportunity to strengthen the size and quality of the squad. Players such as Shawcross, tranfer listed Benzema have come in...with potentially more activity happening before the transfer deadline ends.
After our success in the EURO cup, I'm actually prioritising the Spanish Cup and a top 4 finish again this year. It would be nice to win a domestic trophy. Just have to hope we avoid Real and Barca. We need to get through Real Sociedad first though to make the semi's.
Alot of activity has occurred in La Liga this Winter surprisingly, with a great deal involving Malaga. Prompting the transfer of cash came from the huge sale of their captain Chris Samba to Real Madrid for a fee believed to be around 20mil. In addition, outgoings included Demichelis, Andujar, Kranjcar, and Kameni for 10.25mil. All sales came in as cash in hand. With the successes of last year and current league position, the owners have placed their faith in the Malaga boss giving a huge budget potential to splash over this window.
Into Malaga arrive Shawcross, Benzema, Victor Ruiz, Axel Witsel, and Sirigu, being Kameni's replacement. The overhaul came about from the Champions League disappointment, in which 3 key players were missing. 2 again due to African internationals, and Rondon as like last year, suffering a 3 game ban for some stupidity on the pitch.
So 4 shipped out, and 5 coming in, a decent balance has remained. Leandro has also been sent out on loan for the remainder of the year. It's a bit of a gamble, as the side had been quite settled and achieving good continued success. But for the club to progress, these obstacles faced couldn't remain much longer. And with Samba reaching 30, many see this year being the last year some good money could have been made from his sale.
Concerned for the rest of the year? Most definitely, as there won't be alot of time for the players A) to Gel together, and B) get used to our system. History at the club suggests it often takes a good half a season before the new transfers start to find their form. Also without a real natural leader in the squad, will this have a detrimental affect on the side? Time will tell, if Malaga can again take 4th spot.
Europe will be sacrificed, but after a dramatic 93rd minute penalty awarded at The Bernabau in the 2nd leg of the Spanish cup Semi...converted by Kuzmanovic, Malaga have reached another cup Final. Athletic Bilbao will be the opponents, looking for revenge after The Anchovies knocked them out of Europe last season.
After going out the EURO cup to Inter, it was nice to be back in a cup with all my squad players available. Putting out consecutive strong teams out since the 5th round, this clearly was a priority to do well this year. Following the dramatic last minute winner against Real Madrid, gave Malaga the opportunity to win their second major trophy for the 2nd year running.
With the departure of Javi Martinez, Athletic certainly didn't look like the same outfit as in the previous two years. Currently in mid table obscurity, if Malaga played anything to what they were capable of, there was only going to be one winner.
New signing Benzema scored straight from a corner set piece, giving us the lead. We never looked back from this point. They hit the woodwork once, but that was the only point of note mentioning from Athletic's end. Going for broke in the last 10 minutes, saw us score an extra 2 goals, with eventual MOTM Benzema getting his brace.
So another great cup campaign for us this year. We are currently 4th in the table, and looking strong to making this spot secure. We've been 5th for a fair bit trailing behind Sevilla, but going out early in the EURO cup rounds has certainly helped keep our squad a bit fitter. This has definitely aided in our stronger finish. We just need to hang on for the last few games, and Champions League football beckons yet again.
This was a season in trying to consolidate our league position, and have a good run in the champions league. It was a tough season at times, with the ECL disappointment of finishing 3rd, and not consistently staying in the top 4, meant in comparisson to last year's league performance, it was hard work maintaining our league position.
Athletico Madrid seem to be another side showing great potential. My scouts seem to keep recommending all their players, and we were on the end of a roasting when we played them 2nd time around. They'll certainly be a team pushing Real and Barca for the title next season .
We did however endure some cup success, and I'm delighted to help the club reach their second trophy in the space of 2 years. Didn't do as well in the EURO cup, but we've been there and done that. And for next season, there are more important priorities for development. This being making a close challenge for the title, and making the Champions League Knockouts this time around. That won't be easy though, as I'm sure we'll be put in the group of 3rd seeds, and we still have to qualify first. This wasn't easy against Besiktas this seas just passed.
I was very close to moving. And in due course, I probably will do. But I still have some unfinished business here. The two offers that came in were from the two FCB's. Bayern Munich, and the mighty Barcelona. Funnily enough my favourite club is listed as Real Madrid. So that was quite tempting to say the least! But with the progress we've been making, I'm happy to stick it out here for another year or two, and see how our finances pan out.
I do think though our stadium capacity will halt us, in being able to attract and afford the real top players. But I can only hope the board will be willing to help us that bit extra, for that extra 2% which will make all the difference in competing with the big sides domestically and in Europe.
**Malaga C.F - "Tempted, but loyalty to remain at Los Boquerones prevails"**
The Malaga boss had to think things through this Summer. Jobs offers came in from FC Bayern, FC Barcelona, and even his national side England all approached, but all failed. Still with unfinished business, the loyalty shown must please the Malaga board. But as expected, the wage budget has severely restricted the progress he was hoping the club to make for the forthcoming season.
This could be the hardest season yet, with not a great deal happening in the transfer market, and other larger domestic clubs being able to progress with their financial structure, top 4 seems to again be the best Malaga will be able to hope for this season.
Will a frustrating year prompt this year to be the last? Feeling coming out appears this will be the case, but time will tell...
This ended up being a very big spending summer for Malaga. Finances didn't seem great early on, but after some cash sales and more importantly qualification for the European Champions League for a 2nd successive year, the wage restraints and budget shot up drastically.
The main improvements to the first XI have come down the left flank, and centre of defense. The previous year saw us leak alot of goals, so improvements were definitely needed if we are going to bring back the consistency we showed when Samba and Demichelis were rocks at the back in my 2nd year here. I'm hopefuly Shawcross and Papadopolous can create a good solid partnership to mimick this.
For our attacking potency, to aid with the big signing of Benzema last year, in comes Eden Hazard. Not apparently interested, we placed a bid anyway to see whether our new financial clout would tempt him. Indeed it did, paying wages at 90k per week it could be another huge signing for The Anchovies in their quest to play with the big boys.
We have a pretty decent squad now. But Barcelona, Athletico, and Real Madrid have also made big purchases. But with a bit of luck (which we haven't had yet with injuries so far), we could make a surprise challenge for the title now this year - that's what I'm hoping for at least.
So far so good this year. Although knocked out of the Spanish cup to Real Madrid, performance wise things aren't too bad. We've been able to bring in Spanish right back Azplicueta, who should suit our backline quite well. Santon seems to be quite injury prone, so definitely seemed to be a wise move.
Our ECL performance this year has been very good. Although suffering a disappointing home loss to bottom of the table Zenit, we recovered well beating them away from home in the return match. Taking a win at the Emirates in our last game, saw us top the group. Making the knockouts probably helped our ability to fund our right back purchase, along with the departures of Baptista and Victor Ruiz. Kuzmanavoic will also be leaving at the end of the season too.
League form has been pretty consistent so far. We've had a few disappointing results, but again the performances in those games didn't warrant defeat. So things are coming together quite nicely. I do stil think though we are missing a couple of players from being real close contenders for the league. We could do with one more real quality forward, to replace Gaitan on the right. More importantly, we need a match winning goalkeeper.
Sirigu seems to struggle in the way we like to play from the back, and he has yet to show he can be a match winner for the side. He has however shown the odd inconsistent game, gifting away points to the opposition. So that's definitely something I'll need to look at for investing in next year. But unfortunately no quality goalkeepers seem to be interested in joining us. Hopefully a good showing in this year's knockouts, and perhaps finishing in the top 2 without ECL qualification may aid in attracting what I believe to be the real missing piece of our puzzle.
We need to get this year out the way first though. And finishing 2nd with Real and Barca still having a better first XI and squad depth will be no easy task.
Could be a tough ask against that sort of transfer muscle.
Cheers. Yeah definitely. Although I'm making one step forwards, Real / Barca / Athletico seem to be making 2 steps foward. They just seem to be able to invest in that extra quality. Barca got Moura and Neymar. Athletico got Vrsajiko, Valero, Di Maria, Adebayor, and all their youth talents now shining through. And Real still have their young talent, and match winners in their side with Casillas, Ozil, Higuain and Ronaldo. I've got the weakest goalie of the 3 sides - that's what I really need to invest in. But won't be able to this year at least.
So here was the end of my 4th season. We still continue to improve, and bag trophies. And it's fair to say we definitely had the best season of all the big Spanish side this year. After an early season victory against a weak backline of Barcelona, late drama unfolded in the last round of La Liga.
After being thumped by Olmpique Marseille in the semi final 2nd leg 3-0, Malaga's confidence could well have been shot. This came after a league defeat to Sevilla away from home aswell, which gave Barca a sniff of stealing the title from Malaga's grasp.
The drama? A 3 point advantage to Malaga, with the last game - a trip to the Nou Camp! Barcelona had a monstrous goal difference advantage. But fortunately for us, this doesn't mean jack 5h17 With head's to head's making the difference, and a 3-1 win in the home tie, losing by a goal would have seen the title come to La Rosaleda.
...going in at HT at 0-0, things seemed to be going okay. But soon after the break, the alarm bells started ringing. Lionel Messi breaking the deadlock with a 20 yard free kick bent into the top right hand corner. The Malaga fans were now fearing the worst, with Barcelona fully well knowing they could really get us under the cosh.
Further chances fell the way of Barca, but Sirigu in the Malaga goal was having an inspired game, making some critical saves to keep the score down to 1-0. Then on the hour mark, a free kick bent to the far post saw Papadopolous' head make clean contact with the ball, firing in the equaliser. A bullet header passed the helpless Victor Valdes looked to have given Malaga the impetus to hold on for the last 30 minutes.
Substitute Rondon coming on for the ineffective Gaitan then profited from more woeful set piece marking at the back. An inswinger from Witsel was pounced on after Pique fell asleep, giving Malaga a shock 2-1 lead with only 5 minutes left to play.
Barca did make a last gasp attempt, but it was all too late by this time. Messi breaking the high-line of the Malaga defense, tucking the ball passed Sirigu to end the game 2 a piece.
La Liga now Malaga's, and also the Spanish side to get furthest in the European Champions League this year, they have certainly set a high benchmark to try and further improve. With players ineligible for the ECL this year being the cause for two weak teams put out against Marseille, it may not be such a problem for next season....
But the Malaga boss has been well documented for saying his aim was to win all the Spanish Major trophies. He's now done that in 4 years at the club. But his side are currently at a reported 60mil debt. Although prize money and next season's funds are due in, it maybe time to jump ship to a larger club with a greater fan base and a greater foundation. No one can argue this is now a situation more deserving after the progression made, and the success endured.
On a side note, the Malaga boss got well deserved recognition, being awarded the Manager of the Year Award.
The ECL loss hurt though! I ended up being wrong about my keeper. Seems like he's now got a worldwide reputation. Maybe he's come of age duno I might carry on with this lot and try make them a bit more profitable lol. Really could do with a new stadium. Still stuck under 29k
Onto the 5th season. Rejecting job offers from both Liverpool and Man Utd. Not sure if I'll regret it. I do think it's time to move on, especially as we haven't been able to invest at all this year. So I highly doubt we'll reach the same heights as last year. I believe most squads irl always need to bring new faces in to keep the form up. We just haven't had the funds to spend this year.
On this basis, I'd be very happy gaining top 4. There's no way we'll be able to retain our crown. But I think we do have the potential to have some good cup runs both domestically and in Europe. Cups always bring the best out of players on the match day.
So I guess for this year, a top 4 finish, 1/4 of the ECL, and 1/2 of the Spanish Cup will do me.
Well unfortunately (though it's always nice to be proved right), it appears my prediction has come true so far. We had an awful league start. Didn't have the easiest of games, but our defence so solid last year was starting to leak in alot of goals. Probably a combination of the lack of transfers this season, along with teams playing differently against us. Inconsistency definitely holds true for this year so far.
We are still doing okay in both cups though. Still in the Spanish cup, and getting through to the ECL knockouts with our group comprising of Man City and PSG. Coming second will make reaching my aim of the 1/4's tricky this year. We've drawn Serie A league leaders AC Milan. But if our team can raise their game and perform as I know they can, I'm confident we can get through this round okay.
Change of objectives for us this year? Still the same. We've actually not done too bad, as we had some awful injuries at the start of the year. That falls consistent with our dreadful start we had. Long term injuries suffered included Toulalan, Witzel, Rodwell, Benzema, Affelay, Gaitan, and Rondon have all meant we were bound to struggle at times. A change of fortunes for the backend of the year would be nice!
Perhaps the only bright spot for us this season. It took a bit of luck to bring this trophy home though against the mighty Real Madrid! Without two recognised strikers we had to utilise Diego Costa. He hasn't been happy all year though, expecting to be in the first team. Clearly he's a little disilliusioned. But he did have some game time in this final The penalties from Real were quite shocking, along with their discipline in game. Ours wasn't too rosey either. Winning this was a great boost though. After going out in the ECL quarters to Arsenal, a bit of success is always nice. Recapturing the trophy from Real Madrid themselves is even better.
We have more important issues to be concerned with though. Currently struggling in the league, we are in a real battle to secure 4th spot from Sevilla. Miles off the pace for the title, we currently stand tied on points with Sevilla. They've just beat Real Madrid 3-1, and we've just drawn at home to Mallorca. Only head to head sees us above them at the moment with 2 games left of the year....
I'm actually quite delighted how this season has ended in the end. We've had alot of injury problems, along with a really bad start. Relating this to our board objectives, we've accomplished every single one, and still been able to bag a major trophy.
The real accomplishment though was getting 4th. Sevilla had a really good season in behind us. We had to win our last game. Took a big gamble, as Rondon had been out 4 months and not 100% fit. But bringing him off the bench with the match only 1-0 to us, he bagged a quick brace giving us a 3-0 home win to send us to the ECL qualifiers once again.
That's only half the story - we had the best form in the league without losing games. This game had made it the 18th league game in a row since we last suffered a loss. Oh boy we needed a great bit of form this second half of the season, otherwise we would have no way made top 4. With the club's finances still not in great shape, this was a much needed boost to the club. At this point, we've gone from 60mil in the red to just under 20mil. Things are slowly improving!
Doesn't appear to be any interesting jobs available. I will aim to try get this club financially stable, in the hope of one day being able to improve our stadium and our fan base. There's alot of work still involved for that to happen though
A little bit more activity this pre-season. Financially we are looking a bit better, not in the red anymore! And so the board offered quite a substantial budget which could be invested. Apart from the Mikel signing, all the players that have come in are no more than 20 years old. Vinicius and Barasoain the players that look like they can become very good players for this club.
We've made the ECL knockouts again - but had a very stiff test against PSG. Still having quality players like Sakho, Pastore, and my old keeper Kameni in their ranks we scraped a 1-0 victory over the 2 legs. The reward is quite a nice group, with Chelsea, Rosenborg, and Fenerbache. I'd be disappointed not to qualify from this group.
In comparisson to last year, I'm happy with my 3 major transfers over the Summer. So I'm alot more confident we can challenge again for the title this year, providing we have a better start and don't suffer any serious injuries early on. Hopefully we can continue the form we had over in the 2nd half of the season, defending our current 18 match unbeaten run.
Things aren't going too bad so far this year. 2nd in the league behind Real, in the ECL knockouts, and just made the 1/4's of the Spanish cup. I get the feeling though Real are just going to have too much for us this year. We lost to them in the Super Cup earlier, and they just seem to have an edge over us with consistency. We also only came 2nd to Chelsea in our ECL group, so getting further in this competition won't be easy either.
My 2 young signings seem to be doing well so far. Vinicius on the right flank is looking very promising, and has already bagged his first hatrick against Real Madrid. In addition, our young Spanish 20 yr old striker Barosoain has been grabbing us some goals. Also netting a hatrick in the last game against Valencia in the cup. Although not a regular yet, he'll be Benzema's long term replacement...providing I can keep him happy. He has already showed some discontent though at a lack of playing time.
What can we achieve this season? With a bit of luck, we may be able to bag a trophy. But a long-term injury to Rodwell in the middle could see us lack some experienced cover in the centre of midfield. He's already missed around 6 weeks so far, and that did lead to a blip in our league form. Hopefully we can stay injury free and have a strong end to the year.
Part 1 of 2 cup finals Malaga were competing in this season, saw us face the working-class side of Madrid, vs Athletico. We had played well against them this year so far in the league, and although with the Champions League Final due only a few days from now, our squad were fully motivated by the time this game came around. Have to find out why that is later Unfortunately our left back was suspended for this final, Mr Schennikov. But with David Santon filling in, I don't think we would have lost too much from his absense.
This match happened to actually be quite a dull affair. I can only guess our players had their focus on the ECL final fast approaching. I was very tempted to play a weaker side, but then being a fan of Jose - this was a year I felt we were capable of taking all 3 major's. So I went with the strongest side I could put out.
We took a very early lead. Sometimes that can work against teams. Admittedly we failed to perform from this point. But we were pretty solid and Athletico although had a good 50% of the game, only had 1 shot on target. There were no clear cut chances made from either team. I guess we grinded this one out well. Cesar Azpiculueta getting MOTM for us - a defender getting the prize summed up the game perfectly.
So we've managed to retain a title It was no mean easy ride though. We had to face Barca in the quarters of this cup. And I think the potential of our side showed in those games. Playing a strong side at home we trounced them 5-0. We lost 2-0 away, although the team had a handful of first teamers being rested for that one....but could we repeat this feat in the ECL final? Two guesses on who we had to face in that one - Real Madrid.
Not only a Madrid motivated to win an ECL final - but they had other reasons to give us a spanking!
Okay, well if you saw our Copa Del Rey Final earlier, you'll notice Mr Benzema took an injury. And unfortunately he missed the final because of this. Brilliant start Rondon's had little playing time this year, as our young Spaniard has shown glimpses of brilliance putting him ahead in the pecking order. But he's had a long term injury aswell. So Rondon was leading our line for this one.
Another big blow was MOTM Cesar Azpilcuelata. You'll see Mr Santon took his spot at right back. Fortunately our Russian bloke wasn't suspended, so he took his natural position at left back. Even better match preparations for us here.
But I didn't get these players in for no reason - they've been brought in to do a job and suit the tactical system I've worked on the last couple of years. My concern was our potency going forward. A bit of luck was what was needed - and we had just that.
I checked the Real team sheet - and to my disbelief, Iker Casillas who was fully fit, wasn't picked in the First XI! I'm thinking....we've got a chance here now. Their keeper chosen didn't seem to be as good. Who could be compared to him anyway? And not as experienced either. I smelt we could possibly do it, despite our problems.
So the game kicked off, we started off very brightly looking threatening. Hazard on the left, being quite a Hazard. Looked like he was really up for this one. But even better circumstances occurred. Rondon was carried off injured early on in the game! Without a recognised striker, we had to resort to bringing Gaitan on. He isn't a bad player though on his day, and has helped bring the club up the ranks to the glory days. So I knew he'd put his fair share of graft in to try help us grind out a result.
Things didn't go great though soon after. Ronaldo (the better looking not overweight one), gave Real the lead. A counter attack with Higuain storming down the left, making a fool of Davide Santon, then pitched a perfect cross for him to convert home at close range. 1 down - gotta admit, I thought that was it for us.
Then Raul Albiol did some stupid shirt pulling in the box. I can see why Jose doesn't play him irl! A penalty chance for Witzel - bang, 1-1 it was. A bit of luck we needed. And it came in very soon after we went behind. Four minutes later infact. That gave us the impetus and belief we could pull off a result here.
On the half hour mark - our wonderkid signing from the Barca B team Vinicius (who has had a superb season may I add), ran at the heart of the Real backline before playing a perfectly weighted pass into the fired up Hazard who stroked the ball into the bottom left hand corner. 2-1 Malaga! Normally I come up shouting "WTF" when we go a goal down. Don't think I've ever done that going a goal up. But there's a first time for everything!
We then had a real control over the game. We made sure we weren't gona frack this winning position up. Our defending at times was superlative, with captain courageous Ryan Shawcross holding things tight at the back. He's been chased by both Man City and Chelsea, but I've rid of Samba before - couldn't do it to this guy aswell.
Our ball retention was excellent in this game too. The midfield trio of Rodwell, Witzel, and Obi Mikel 3 real work horses battled well all game. We had 59% possession in this game, which is pretty good against a top class Real Madrid side. Our lacklasture performance in the Copa Del Rey certainly wasn't to see here, as we just outplayed our opponents for the rest of the game. Also having double the shots on target, and triple the clear cut chances, our injury battered side had produced a heroic performance that will go in the history of the Malaga archives for many years to come!
And the icing of the cake came when Erikson, coming on for the tired Witzel grabbed the 3rd and decisive goal giving us some breathing space for the last 5 minutes or so. Created by Hazard, a composed finish by the Dane. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant!
So that's 2 cups from 2 cup finals. Did Malaga do enough for the treble this season? The first XI good enough - but was the consistency there?...
The short answer - yes! As with any treble, your gonna need some luck. The game that really came to light from our league campaign, had to of course be our home match vs Real Madrid. 3 points down in the race, and our goal difference pretty much obliterated by them as you'd pretty much expect. We had to win this game, just had to win.
Drama as like in last year's game against them in the cup. This time, Sergio Ramos whose well known for his hothead got sent off in this one. We were 1-0 up at the time. And I thought, this could be quite comfortable now O dear was I wrong. Coming into the last quarter of the game, we had only just equalised to make it 2-2. But 2-2 really wasn't going to be enough. The deficit would remain 3 points, and their goal difference would count if we were to make the gap up.
A triple substitution to give us some energy in the last 10. Hoping Real had tired enough to make a mistake - and popped up Real reject Granero off the bench, 3 minutes into added injury time giving us the most priceless 3 points of the year!
This ultimately was the difference maker. We had big problems against Villarreal and Sevilla following on from this game at home. Later winners in both games gave us 3 valueable points. Heroic efforts for the 90 minutes gave us these wins. But it was always demoralising seeing Real's scorelines each week just battering teams for fun.
But I just gotta love the head to heads. Had them in the league, and in the ECL. I can finally say Malaga can now consistently compete with the Spanish big boys. Not financially But on the pitch is what counts!
Definitely time now to jump ship now. If a job offer does come along I'll have to consider moving onto another nation. I'll be looking to work on another system other than the 4-3-3 here. That'll be a challenge in itself So I'm hoping a fairly big club will jump in! And in the hope of bringing some other national league title success to my current count. Hopefully no sackings lol.
Brilliant season so far, hope you completed the treble.
Yeeh, cheers sure did. With Spanish rules at least! I'm not going to try and score more goals than them though lol. I had tried going really offensive last year and that probably caused my inconsistencies in the league. Got the balance right this year. The way of AVB does not work!
Good question - yeah he is. Well he's never liked Iker Casillas much irl, don't rate him that high. So it makes sense for him to be dropped in the ECL final i suppose! Funny how he brought him on at HT haha
"From Zero to Hero" **Part 2 The Rossoneri Resurgence? (A.C.Milan)**
"From Zero to Hero" **Part 2 Rossoneri Resurgence (A.C.Milan)**
After the successes achieved at Malaga in his 6 year reign, McN7 has decided it's time for a new challenge. After conquering both Spain and Europe, he now moves onto the Serie A in Italy. A.C Milan, considered one of Europe's most successful and prestigious clubs, now appears to be in great decline. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, and Alessandro Nesta now aged, the club have not been able to find suitable replacements to continue the success which once was.
Last season, The Rossoneri came in a miserable 6th place. No European football this year, and a lack of talent in the squad the challenge to bring former glories back will not be easy. However one man remains to symbolise hope for this great side. Brazilian superstar Alexandre Pato still remains loyal to the red part of Milan, along with compatriot Thiago Silva. Two key players in two key positions remain. Can the spine of the team be further enhanced, and will European football be brought back again after the year is over? The pressure will be immense - there is no room for error at a club like A.C
Club: A.C Milan
Year Founded: 1899
Chairman: Franco Baresi
Fierce Rivals: Inter, Juventus
Stadium: San Siro
Stadium Capacity: 80,018 all-seater
Nickname: The Rossoneri (The Red & Blacks)
A very eventful transfer window here. We've only spent a nett amount of 6mil GBP. Not alot of real quality players were interested and available, but more players of experience who should be able to do a job and help us get back into Europe. The board want us to make the European Champions League - I can't expect anything less for a club like AC Milan.
Going with a different system, rather than my trusted 4-3-3. Hopefully Coutinho will excel for my side - it'll be nice to give a kick in the teeth to my rivals Inter Nani's 30 years old now, but I'm hoping he'll still produce enough quality despite him ageing. The Italian league though is the league for the golden oldies, hence I haven't been as hesitant to bring some oldskoolers in.
With no European football, we can fully concentrate on domestic success. The Coppa Italia may not be seen as important - but a trophy is a trophy, and with less fixtures than the bigger sides this year, I'm hoping we can put in a strong performance in both competitions.
The season started off really well for us, taking the league by storm. But things of late have gone a bit downhill. We've had alot of unluck with injuries, even though we have quite a light schedule in comparisson to the other top sides. Long term injuries to Thiago Silva, Pato, Ljajic and Neuton are threatening to ruin our year. Although still in a good position, we've only just recently encountered these setbacks. I'll be forced to play some unhappy players in the side which won't help matters.
In addition, some games we've struggled to score goals. Perhaps we need a bit more potency down the flanks, or a tweak in the way we are playing. At times we aren't the most convincing. Pato's form has been very eratic, so I believe something tactically may need to change. He's a class player, and shouldn't be struggling.
I'll have to await to see how the second half of the season unfolds, and re-evaluate the situation. Hopefully we can keep a good gap between ourselves and 4th, to at least give us Champions League football next season. It looks okay for now, but things can quickly change in football - especially without your top players for 4-5 months.
Perhaps not the best time for us to play this final. We are in a real dogfight at the moment to make Champions League football - our main rivals though being our opponents this cup final in Torino. We currently lay in third place, with Torino only a point behind in fourth. But perhaps a cup final victory for one of these sides, will give that extra boost going into the last two games of the season.
I wasn't the most optimistic going into this game. We've been really struggling to score goals since Pato's been out for god knows how long. We are currently the league's draw specialists, drawing 14 games so far.
We had a great start though, taking an early lead from our backup winger Kagawa. From this point, we seemed to be in good control and were unlucky not to further our lead before half time. An own goal from their centreback on the hour mark gave us a 2-0 cushion - I couldn't see us faltering from this position. But Torino did battle hard getting a late consolation goal. That it was all to be for them though.
Brilliant to come away from this season with a trophy - it certainly will give the players confidence they can win things. But now we need to make sure we make the ECL's to attract some better players. We are still lacking in some departments to make a challenge for the title next year.
A hard season to evaluate here. We reached our board objectives, however fortunate we were in our league position of 3rd. 3 teams tied on the same points - quite lucky to come out on top of that tree to secure ECL football. But a very good domestic cup run did see us win a trophy.
With many players missing this season aswell, it was quite tricky to stay in good form. But either way, drawing the number of games we did through the course of the season is a little concerning. I had gone more offensive in the later part of the year, but not with much success. I'll need to invest in better offensive talent, whilst reviewing our style of football. Consistency is the key for winning Championships, but we clearly lacked that this year.
Either way, my job position is in a very secure state with the board. And we should now be able to attract better players next season. Hopefully we'll have the funds to do that, and look to progress to real title contendors next year. Inter take the spoils still for this year though.
A bit of a blow to lose Thiago Silva to Man Utd on a free transfer this Summer. But he is 33, and not exactly the fastest centreback around. Although his experience will be sorely missed, with the board's objectives still to just achieve Champions League football - it's a great opportunity to rebuild the squad.
I've brought in a very promising young Turkish centreback from Genk. He's pretty tiny for a centreback, but he's quick and has very good defensive attributes. Also bringing in a quality right winger Shariqi from Betis, with a worldclass reputation he's bound to be an important signing for us this year.
We've also brought in a 19 yr old Spaniard, who looks to be a promising centre midfielder. He'll be inline to replace the ageing Matuidi, whom I brought in previously at Malaga. And our most expensive signing, Santos. An offensive Brazilian right back from Granada, has great potential. At only 21 years old, he could be a big signing for the club both present and future.
So I'm pretty happy with the investments made over the Summer. I don't think we quite have the right balance to bring instant success this year. But I think if we can have some good performances, and make a good run in the ECL and gain some experience, it will leave us in good sted for next season. I think that will be the year we can finally bring back the Scudetto back to the San Siro.
First trophy in the bag this year, although only a pre-season cup. Any game against Inter is always a fiery encounter, meaning so much to the fans. Although it took us extra-time to bring this one home, what was most pleasing is the manner in which we achieved this.
After tinkering with tactics in the offseason, I'm hoping I've finally got the balance right with both the squad and style of play at hand. Inter were quite fortunate with their goal, but all ours were well worked. In addition, we outplayed our opponents for the duration of the game.
It's very early to tell how well we will do in all competitions. But we won't be trophyless, and I'm certainly alot more optimistic for this year despite the loss of Silva at the back. We drew way too many games last year - but I'm hoping we'll turn more of those draws into victories, whilst remaining tough to beat. That'll mean we should put in a good challenge this year.
It's been an okay first half of the season. But Inter are still the dominant side domestically it seems. We also threw away top spot in the ECL group letting in 2 goals in 3 minutes at the end of the game against PSG. Still playing around with our style of football, there is still a bit of inconsistency whether it's going forward, or defending. I think part of our problem is the lack of height we have at the back. Both our centrebacks are no taller than 6ft, along with our goalkeeper. We've conceded quite a few goals from corner kicks.
Already quite offensive, I'll be telling the lads to go gung-ho the rest of the year. Clearly we can't defend, so we maywell try and outscore our opposition. We are still in all 3 competitions though at this point in time. Inter appear to still have too much in the tank. But if they suffer half of the injuries we encountered last season, then we've got a chance of stealing top spot if we can get enough 3 pointers second half of the season.
Well, after the disappointment of a 4-1 thumping in France against French side Lyon in the ECL, I was hoping we could at least get some domestic success this year. We trounced Inter in the first leg of the quarters in the Coppa Italia 4-1.
Our league form at times was quite random. Maybe it's just the Serie A, but defensively at times we were highly frustrating. I eventually found a good balance of attack and defense. 2 hard away key games we had in this part of the year was away at Inter, and away to Napoli. The fight for top 3 was immense this year. Juventus eventually falling short, but Fiorentina really put in a strong challenge this season in all competitions. They are to be our cup final opponents after this league season had finished.
Inter seemed in control of the league, always having a 3point buffer to us. But we took the spoils at home, and with an away draw there was always the chance we could pinch things if they slipped up. So in typical Serie A fashion, there was great drama on the last day. Inter had a tricky away game to Novara, whilst AC had Cesena. Fiorentina were also only 3 points off aswell. So one of three teams could win the league.
Despite missing Pato for the rest of the year, we were able to comfortably take a home win vs 18th placed Cesena 2-0. Not an easy game, because a win would see them avoid relegation. But we did a good professional job here. Fiorentina in the mean time cruised to a 3-0 home win against Lazio. They had nothing left to play for, as they had avoided relegation. And then Inter. Novara safely midplaced, but never an easy team to play at their place. In a game with few chances, their 19 yr old kid from the Czech Republic made a name for himself. His goal being the only one of the game, placing Inter to the sword.
So we had a 3 way tie for 3rd place. Perhaps we won by alphabetical order It certainly wasn't goal difference! Fortunately just like in Spain, placings are the result of head to heads. We beat Fiorentina twice, and Inter once at home with a draw away. How vital those games turned out to be, as it enabled us to pinch the title away from Inter
The irony being our best player throughout the campaign, happened to be Coutinho. An Inter reject - clearly gave him great motivation to succeed here at Milan, and he really thrived in our 4231 system this year. So we've stole the title from our enemies grasp, and now we look forward to a Coppa Italia final. A domestic treble could be on the cards...
2 goals in extra time for Babacar, a deadline day buy for A.C gave Milan their domestic treble for this year. These happened to be the only goals he's scored for his new club, as the Milan boss had him 3rd in the striker pecking order.
Sounded like a close fought game. The scoreline I suppose, with the need for two extra time goals would say it was. But this was a highly polished performance from McN7's Milan outfit. The team now knowing exactly what they are doing on the pitch, and now well organised at the back saw the game well controlled, and quite frankly never looked like losing this game.
Fiorentina's main highlight was that they had a 100% success rate of shots on target. Quite an achievment indeed. But it wasn't enough to grab them a goal to give them some hope in this final. Although without Pato, we created enough to gain a well deserved victory here. A really pleasing performance.
A few weeks earlier, the Milan boss rejected an offer to take over at the helm of his favourite club Real Madrid back over in Spain. The 350mil budget offerred was quite tempting, and the success already brought back to the Rossoneri in such a short space of time gave a good reason to offer the job.
But the time isn't quite right yet. There are still other European adventures to look at. Perhaps a better ECL challenge is the next stage at A.C, or being able to retain a league crown. But if a good job offer did come in over the Summer, that would also need to be evaluated. For now, the Milan job is at an untouchable state.
Quite a busy Summer again with transfers. A few players ageing has led to some further investment and a few offloads. Generally quite happy with my purchases, although I found it hard getting a good left sided player to replace the sold Nani. Brought in a Brazilian called Junior. Although some good attributes, he's apparently quite selfish and he might not suit the system we are playing. There wasn't alot else in the market for that position though. It probably didn't help with Milan clubs got KO'd out the CL in the 1st knockout round last year. Not easy to attract the better players at the moment to the Italian leagues.
I have quite a promising young striker though Salami, who may eventually replace Pato whose now hit 30. Perhaps feeding him some Pepperoni might turn him into a world class striker. I certainly hope so. I've also gone back to one of my old signings, and also another Inter reject Davide Santon. I doubt he'll be first team this year, but he'll be a decent backup. Silvio was getting on and losing a bit of pace, so here's his replacement.
The board expect us to win the title this year. We were quite lucky really last season, and I'm not convinced we are actually stronger. We may have a bit more experience in general, but we've lost a bit going forward I think. I may need to have a real rummage through the market in January if things aren't going our way. But we'll see how we get on first half of the season. Hopefully Junior may shine, and we'lll be up there challenging again this year.
In comparisson to other years, so far this has been our best 1st half of the season, albeit we lost twice in our ECL group to last year's runners up Man City. We were behind in the league to Inter for a while, but a lucky win at the Meazza saw us close the gap. Since that game they've dropped a few points, but our league form has been perfect. We currently have a 3 point gap advantage with a win under our belt against them, which is always nice to have just incase the league gets tight at the end of the season.
Junior's been doing okay. It's been our new sub striker Salami, who at times has shined. He certainly knows how to put the ball in the back of the net, and is a very adequate replacement for when Pato isn't available. Also really performing, infact surpassing Coutinho's performances last year is 20 year old Frenchman Durin. Although primarily an attacking midfielder who likes to get forward, he's playing the trequartista role very nicely in behind Pato. Also great attributes both from delivering free kicks and corners, it's another weapon we've added to our armoury this year. This being the difference between alot of draws in previous years, to more 3 pointers this year.
There won't be any need to invest in the January market. We were quite unlucky against City, especially in the first game which we completely outplayed them. Just a wonder strike separated us there. Our new guys would have probably settled in by now, so I'm eager to see how we finish the year off. Hopefully we can get further than the first round like last year. It won't be easy though, as coming 2nd in the group again will mean a tricky tie.
Yeah, been a bit of progression each year generally. At the same time changing things here n there slightly with my system. Finances our secure - but u know how it is in Italy at the big clubs, always willing to make money available. Tends to be around the 30-40mil budget mark each year. But I can't really attract any top players, the clubs haven't been doing so well in Europe it seems. Having to look for some more expensive younger talent. Struggling in the Champions League though. But in the league, currently on a 31 match unbeaten run.
Coppa Italia Final (2019/2020 - 9) // ECL Final (2019/2020 - 9) // Serie A Review
Coppa Italia Review
ECL Final Review
Two cup finals this year. A third successive win in the Coppa Italia saw Milan stamp their dominance of late on the competition. However it was a very fortunate victory over a very well drilled and motivated Napoli team. With Cavani at the helm and captaining their side, they made it very difficult this year. It required an equaliser, and some woeful penalties from Napoli to give us the win. Coutinho our goalscorer, played quite an important part for the last 4 or so months of the year, as an unfortunate injury to our wonderkid who had been performing superbly till his injury, left us short in the AMC role.
Then after some huge fortune against Man Utd in the 1/4 finals of the ECL, we made it to the final. We had quite a nice draw in the first round playing Leverkussen. The tie was decided in the first leg after a 4-0 thumping in our favour. But against Man U, we got completely outplayed. Jose Mourinho now the boss there, must have felt quite unlucky to see his side go out after creating 3 times as many chances in the game. We rode our luck, but clearly our team spirit that had been building since the start of the year came to the fore.
We had the German league leaders in the semi's. Both playing the 4231 system, it was an extremely tight affair. A 0-0 draw at home made things tricky. But we knew getting an away goal in Germany would give us a good chance of making it through - which is what we did fortunately. An early goal from Pato did the damage, and we held on taking a 1-0 in the second leg.
Inter had Marseille in the mean time, but the French Champions knocked out our arch rivals. Shame, as that would have been a nice final! Again, as against Man Utd and Dortmund all sides were playing the 4231. This led to a very close final. We took the lead, but at no time were we safe. They looked very threatening, and the longer the game went on, the more likely it seemed they would get the equalising breakthrough. But going gungho at the end, left us with a counter attacking opportunity. With a perfectly weighted ball from Kagawa after a good run to the edge of the 18 yard box, Pato's timing was perfectly made, finishing with great composure in the 90th minute to give us a 2-0 win. Scoreline flattered us, as this was definitely a 50/50 game. We had a good 61% of the possesion, but we only created a few more chances. Fortunately having the quality of Pato up front told, to see us complete a treble of cups this season.
.....And there was of course the league - tight till around 24 games. But then we started to pull away. Inter made a fight of it a bit later on, as we dropped a few points when the ECL had recommenced. A few nasty injuries here and there halted our progress slightly. But they also had a good run in the competition, so both sides needed to utilise their squad to the max. Browsing through their squad this year, they certainly missed a couple of world class players which they had last year. Noticeably at the back, which had brought them so much success previously.
Our long unbeaten run came to an end against a stubborn Lazio side. But our consistency this year was very pleasing, with quite a few of the younger players getting some game time. They'll have gained some much needed experience this year, and they'll know what is needed if further title's are to be brought to The Rossonerri's way.
"Zero to Hero" - Part 3 **(The Gunners - A Change of Policy)**
"A Change of Policy" - Arsenal F.C
Still underachieving in the English game, McN7 has decided to return to his homeland of England after being out of management for over 2 years. With Arsenal languishing in 7th in the premiership, the owners have decided to give the x2 Champions League Winner a crack at managing the Emirates outfit. Money generally hasn't been a huge problem so far in this career, although Malaga did face it's challenges from time to time. But whether the owners here at Arsenal will be willing to go with the "spend to succeed" policy will be the question everyone will be asking.
The squad looks pretty decent, but is lacking in the two key areas as from the Wenger days....and the year is now December 2022!!! I'll be looking to invest in a top class goalkeeper, and a solid defensive midfielder. The offensive talent looks pretty impressive, so I'll be going for an adventurous gung-ho 4-2-4 formation. It's a bit of an outdated formation, but if it's going to work in any league - it'll be the naive English league.
Club: Arsenal F.C
Year Founded: 1886
Chairman: Michael Hardy
Fierce Rivals: Spurs, Man Utd, Chelsea
Stadium: Emirates Stadium
Stadium Capacity: 60,361 all-seater
Nickname: The Gunners
Cheers. Definitely going to be hardest in England to win things. Alot of competition, bound to be more injuries. I'm sure the game will jinx Arsenal's ability to win things aswell. It's in the club's nature to lose lol
The new Arsenal boss is already facing problems at his new club. Thirty year old and previous club captain Jack Wiltshere, was reported to be dismayed when the captaincy was handed over to worldclass centreback Nahul Avila. Looking to build for the future, Wiltshere felt this was a sign he isn't in the boss' current plans.
"I'm quite shocked by the professionalism shown by Mr Jack Wiltshere. Just because he's had over 100 England caps, doesn't give him the right to believe his is bigger than the club. Yes he's had a good career so far, and he was in my plans to bring this club back into the European Champions League where it should be. But his attitude and unwillingness to play his role for the team, quite frankly means he isn't needed here. Until he sorts his act out, he won't be starting in the first XI. Gael Kakuta is fully capable of playing the role wide on the right, and from the game's we've played so far the squad is capable in performing without him. If he doesn't wish to be apart of this club, then as far as I'm concerned he has no place here any longer"
This is bound to be a shock to some of the Arsenal fans. Initially upbeat over the new managerial appointment, some doubts have already begin to rise as to whether this appointment was the right one.
A first trophy for us here at my new club. After purchasing some key players in January, the new players have gelled together very nicely, without disrupting too much of the current squad I had inherited when I took over just before Xmas. We came up against a Leeds United outfit, that didn't have premiership status. And the non premiership side were unlucky not to have taken the lead, having a goal disallowed early on in this encounter.
That was probably just what the side needed. We've got quite a few players missing, but I knew when I took over we had alot of worldwide repped players in our squad. This quality told, and we never really looked back after netting the first goal. A convincing 5-0 thumping over the Elland Road outfit has brought me my first English trophy. Kakuta had a great game coming in for the injured Wiltshere - who is now happy at the club after being given some harsh treatment when I first came in.
We have also been on an excellent EURO cup run, and even the league title is in our grasp despite the 10 point deficit inherited from when taking over from the previous boss.
My 2nd time competing in this final, and a second time lifting the trophy. Funnily this happened to be against my previous employer A.C Milan. After being out of management for quite a while, the team had changed quite substantially from my Champions League winning side. Also spending huge money to bring in my old keeper Xaripinho, this has happened to be a great buy as he's fitted in really well with my really solid backline.
This was a much tighter game than against Leeds in the FA Cup, and it required a 20 yard free kick winner from my Ghanian international striker Agyemang to give us the victory. They did pile on quite a bit of pressure on at the end, but for the most part out side played a good controlling game for this final and I think it was a well deserved victory. We had a good 55% of the ball for this match, and it was two fine strikes that was the difference maker for us.
Still with some key guys out, our strong squad is still grinding out the results and in the big games. We've got one league game left at the time of this final, in which a victory against already relegated Everton will give us the title. Even a draw, our goal difference from our gungho 424 style this year will likely see us do the treble. We just need to avoid defeat, to complete quite an outstanding season given I've only managed the side for 6 months.
And here came the game against Everton. After taking a shock lead against us at the Emirates, we battered them for the remaining 90 minutes. Having 70% possession, against there only shot all game, it would have been a footballing injustice if we weren't able to win this one and win the league...
Fortunately the constant pressure and desire shown by the lads told in the end. The important Kakuta scored a belter after 25 minutes to ensure we weren't going in down at the break. Super sub purchased in January, another Ghanian international striker full of pace and enthusiasm gave us a late lead, which we held until the end. The only team who could catch us if they won, being Liverpool drew at home 2-2 to Spurs. So after being 10 points down from when taking over, we've ended up with a 4 point gap over 2nd placed pool.
I knew making a few good signings in January would get us a top 4 spot with the quality we had, but I never envisioned we would overturn that kind of deficit. Fortunately there wasn't any other English side that showed any dominance throughout the year. If there was, we wouldn't have made up the gap. Man City looked like they were going to win the league, but they ended up drawing too many games. We have ended up being the form side in the league, without a defeat in 16 premiership games. From within those 16, we've only drawn 2. So that's a good 44 points from 48 points available.
We don't have the player of the season though - that title goes to my old youngster I bought at Malaga, Vinicius. The Brazilan winger who I signed at 19 years old, is now at Man City. Considered a world-class winger now, I'm a bit jealous he's at my rivals! But glad my side still beat them to the punch this year