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Thread: From Somewhere to Somewhere... via Somewhere!

  1. #101
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    That's what I'm hoping, but the next month look really tough.

  2. #102
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    News on the player front this month.

    James Brown, if you remember, was banished to the youth team (functions like a reserve team in Australia) at the start of last season after missing training. I brought him back in this season after failing to sell him because he does look good. Anyway, he was poor on the opening day and has been on the fringes. He came to talk to me about his concerns and we had a big falling out. It's unlikely he'll play again.

    Meanwhile, Michael Thwaite, captain and marquee player, was offered a new contract, but we failed to agree terms. This is a blow because it looks like I'll lose him in the summer. If I stay for the final season of my contract, I'll be without a key player. On the plus side, it will offer an opportunity at right-back to Josh Brillante, and also open up the Marquee Player slot. For all his quality, I never really felt Thwaite was a marquee-level player anyway.

  3. #103
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    Not sure if I said but on an older FM James Brown was awesome for my Wellington side.

  4. #104
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    I'm finding him a bit like an Australian Mario Balotelli. I gave him his chance and he underperformed so I dropped him. Now he's kicking off. So he can do one.

    It won't matter much because it's not like I plan to manage Gold Coast well into the future.

  5. #105
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    Looking forward to seeing where you move to, I always find people moving the most interesting parts of the career threads.

  6. #106
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    Oh. Then you'll be disappointed with this one so far!

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike7077 View Post
    Oh. Then you'll be disappointed with this one so far!
    Far from it I love the A-League.

  8. #108
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    James Brown came back to me to tell me his been bitching to his teammates. We had another huge barney and he agreed to a mutual termination to his contract. Glad to see the back of him.

  9. #109
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    Did he terminate it for free?

  10. #110
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    No. £24K! But I don't care. I can't manage him.

  11. #111
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    Haha, I had Balotelli agree to terminated his 100k a week contract with 3 years left to run for free I annoyed him that much.

  12. #112
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    The delightful James Brown has now signed for Central Coast Mariners. So I guess I'll be seeing him again sometime soon. What's the betting he'll score a winner against me?

    -------------------------------------------


    Season 2012/2013
    DECEMBER



    This Month's Fixtures



    I really feel that the first three fixtures this month represents a tough run. Two away games against strong teams and a home fixture against a Brisbane Roar side on a magnificent unbeaten run. If we can take as much as five points from those first three games and then win both of the easier-looking games that follow, I think I could consider it a very good December.


    This Month's Results

    Saturday December 1st, 2012
    Hyundai A-League
    nib Stadium, Perth

    Perth Glory 1-4 Gold Coast Utd

    That's two big away wins in a row, and I couldn't be happier. Suddenly, we look full of goals. I looked upon this, despite Glory's indifferent start to the campaign, as a difficult fixture, but we were always in control and fully deserved the win. Even more so than last season, Ante Rozic is getting on the end of every corner or free-kick we deliver into the box. The new formation seems to have given us a new attacking dimension. We looked really good today.

    MOTM: Matt McKay - The 29-year old Australian international on loan from Rangers looks like he's played for us all his career. He's been phenomenal down the left and he was at his brilliant best today.


    Saturday December 8th, 2012
    Hyundai A-League
    Skilled Park, Gold Coast

    Gold Coast Utd 1-3 Brisbane Roar

    Today, we were simply outclassed in the first half by a side in scintillating form. In fact, we were the first team in seven games to score past Roar. We did make a better fist of the second half, but the game was over by half-time. I can't be too critical because, although we weren't at our best, Roar didn't allow us to be. I don't begrudge them their win. Most of the time, when we lose, I'm frustrated at things we did wrong which allowed the opposition to take the points. Not today. They were just too good for us.

    MOTM: Matt McKay - On a difficult day, McKay again led the way with his intelligent play and constant running. It's a shame we couldn't get on the end of some of his excellent crosses. Daniel Severino, last year's right-wing option, is a forgotten man.


    Saturday December 15th, 2012
    Hyundai A-League
    AAMI Park, Melbourne

    Melbourne Heart 0-4 Gold Coast Utd

    Back on the road, and back into our stride. We've scored four in each of our last three away games, and conceded just once across those three games. It's true that Melbourne Heart, despite my earlier prediction that they've have a good season, have been on a poor run, but I never expected us to brush them aside so easily. And two goals from Ante Rozic! He really does seem to get on the end of every dead ball we whip in. This was arguably our most complete display of the season so far.

    MOTM: Ante Rozic - Another two goals today, so I could hardly overlook him. It wasn't just his presence in the opposition penalty area that impressed me, though. He stood firm when Heart came forward.


    Saturday December 22nd, 2012
    Hyundai A-League
    Skilled Park, Gold Coast

    Gold Coast Utd 3-1 Newcastle United Jets

    The Jets are in a total mess and went into this without a win in ten games. So you can imagine the shock when they took the lead. They had a helping hand from a missed interception by Michael Thwaite, though. But we managed to turn it round quickly, which was a relief. David Healy struck twice and we probably deserved to win, but we did look unsteady defensively when Jets came forward. A few times, we were caught napping and they could have scored. But the three points went to the right team in the end. The only downside is that David Healy picked up an injury that rules him out for four weeks at least. That is a real blow.

    MOTM: David Healy - The Northern Irishman looks more and more comfortable and the gold and blue. He was deadly today, combining a brace with some all round top-quality movement and link-up play. We'll miss him now he's injured.


    Monday December 31st, 2012
    Hyundai A-League
    Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide

    Adelaide Utd 0-2 Gold Coast Utd

    Another comfortable away win and another vindication of my move to the new system. Adelaide are struggling and there was only going to be one winner. Ante Rozic continues his Steve Bruce-like scoring stream from central defence, and Matt McKay adds another to his tally. We've been excellent on the road lately and were again today.

    MOTM: Matt McKay - Bringing him in looks like a really good move. He was on fire again today. I really want to sign him permanently.


    League Table




    Player of the Month: - Matt McKay - McKay dominated the MOTM awards through December and was streets ahead of anyone else for this. He's got a touch of real quality, which you expect from an Australian international in the A-League. I couldn't ask for more than what he's giving us at the moment.


    Monthly Reflection: - After those three defeats in a row during November, I couldn't see us reaching second place by the end of December. But somehow, we have. It's helps that Melbourne Victory lost four in a row, but it also helps that we found our shooting boots and have been lethal in front of goal. Will we be able to hold on to second spot? At this stage, I'd be surprised. But so far, at least, we're once again exceeding my expectations.
    Last edited by Mike7077; 11-04-2012 at 15:58.

  13. #113
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    Good news about the awesome Matt McKay. With his Rangers contract six months from expiring, we've agreed a deal. So he signs permanently in the summer. He insisted in a Marquee Player contract, so that means Michael Thwaite will definitely be leaving.

    Of course, the big questions is whether I will be there next season at all. At the moment, I just don't know.

  14. #114
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    Season 2012/2013
    JANUARY



    This Month's Fixtures



    Last January, a 100% winning run helped us into second place, and we never relinquished it. This time round, with three home games in a row, I certainly expect plenty of points. It's especially important to do as well as possible in the home games, with a tough away fixture at Melbourne Victory to round out the month. That being said, our away form has been excellent.


    This Month's Results

    Saturday January 5th, 2013
    Hyundai A-League
    Skilled Park, Gold Coast

    Gold Coast Utd 1-1 Central Coast Mariners

    This was so incredibly one-sided. We had 27 shots, 11 of which were on target. But we wasted so many opportunities and, after Mariners went in front, I ended up relieved to take a point. We attacked with the verve we've been displaying of late, and found our way through on numerous occasions. But we couldn't manage more than a solitary goal. True, David Healy and Jhon Pirez were both missing through injury, but when you create as many chances as we did, you feel you should win. And we didn't.

    MOTM: Richard Garcia - When you're struggling, you look to your experienced players. Garcia was good throughout, but his screamer saved us from what would have been a very harsh defeat.


    Saturday January 12th, 2013
    Hyundai A-League
    Skilled Park, Gold Coast

    Gold Coast Utd 1-0 Sydney FC

    Sydney have been good this season and I anticipated a tough game. In truth, it was tough, but, rather like the previous game, we created tonnes of chances. I thought we'd end up dropping more points, but Rigters came off the bench to seal the win. It's rare for Rigters not to start, but he's not been on top form lately, so I thought I'd sit him out for a game or two. He certainly reacted!

    MOTM: Adama Traore - Once again, I'm left marvelling at what my left-back can do. He's good defensively, but his pace going forward and the quality of his deliveries are a key part of what makes us so good, and he was excellent today.


    Saturday January 19th, 2013
    Hyundai A-League
    Skilled Park, Gold Coast

    Gold Coast Utd 3-1 Perth Glory

    Perth Glory had just won 6-0 away from home going into this, so I certainly didn't expect it to be the cakewalk it was last time we played them. And it certainly wasn't. Despite being 2-0 up inside half an hour, Glory created plenty of chances in what was end to end game. David Healy and Mile Sterjovsky both scored brilliant goals and I was very much relieved to come away with the win. But that's not to say we didn't play well, because we did. It was a deserved win that leaves us closing in on top spot.

    MOTM: David Healy - Healy has now gone past Kezman's goal total from last season, and he's definitely been the better player for us. Every time he plays he looks like scoring and his movement always impresses me.


    Saturday January 26th, 2013
    Hyundai A-League
    AAMI Park, Melbourne

    Melbourne Victory 1-2 Gold Coast Utd

    Well, we rode our luck here, but we've come away with three fantastic points. Victory must be sick of the sight of us! There were negatives, though. Adama Traore will miss two weeks through injury, while Jonas Salley saw red in stoppage time for a foul on Nuno Gomes as he was about to pull the trigger. Gomes scored the penalty. But those are blotches on a really good day for us. I would have been thrilled with a point, but we hung in there and hit them on the break. You can't win them all by dominating and sometimes you need luck.

    MOTM: Maceo Rigters - We relied heavily on breaks to forge our attacks, and Rigters was responsible for the majority. He's quick and intelligent and his goal was crucial.


    League Table




    Player of the Month: Adama Traore - Nobody had more assists than Traore during January. He's still only 22 but he's first-name-on-the-teamsheet material. I can't speak highly enough of him.


    Monthly Reflection: We didn't match last January's 100% win record, but it was still a very fruitful month. To be level on points with top of the league is brilliant, and, rather like last season's success, totally unexpected. But there are nine games left and we need to keep going. It looks like we've done enough to achieve both the board's and my own minimum aims. But we're on the verge of something more special than that.

  15. #115
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    Right back in it now with a great couple of months, I think you will end your time here with a good season.

  16. #116
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    Haven't played for a little while now so no updates but I might play later on, I dunno.

    Been thinking about the save though and one thing I know is that I really feel like I want to move on. The problem is the Asian Champions League. It starts during February and, if we progress, could still be going at the start of next season. This means, if I was to resign at the end of this season, I'd miss out on most of the Champions League action. Do I want to do that? I don't know. If I stay, I may as well see my contract out, which runs till the end of next season.

    I'm really not sure what to do.

  17. #117
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    Personally I would play through the Champions League and then resign.

  18. #118
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    The problem is that if we go any kind of distance in the Champions League, I could end up walking out at the start of next season, a few games in. I don't want to walk out at that kind of point, so I may as well see the final season all the way through.

  19. #119
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    February's update is on its way, but prior to that, here's the news of our draw in the Asian Champions League.



    Truth be told, I can't reflect too much on that. I don't know much about those teams. Shandong are from China, Busan from South Korea and Vegalta from Japan. What they do have is experience in the competition, so I don't expect to cruise through the group, at any rate. What bothers me the most is the way the Champions League comes along just as we're trying to finish top. It makes it feel like a distraction and I'm not sure how seriously to take it.

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    Season 2012/2013
    FEBRUARY



    This Month's Fixtures



    The game away at Brisbane Roar looks massive in terms of the Regular Season title race. If we can somehow win there, it could set us up for a fantastic end of season run. It's true that it is a tough place to go, but they should fear us because we've been brilliant away from home. The rest of the month yields fixtures I really think we can win. February gives us a big chance to push Roar as hard as we can, and who knows? On the other hand, I've looked at months before and seen a lot of possible points and then we've come away with fewer than I expected. So let's see...

    Just the one Champions League game this month (the fixtures snip was taken before the draw) and it's a home game against Shandong of China. I'm looking for a win there, but it feels like a big distraction more than anything else.


    This Month's Results

    Saturday February 2nd, 2013
    Hyundai A-League
    Skilled Park, Gold Coast

    Gold Coast Utd 1-1 Wellington Phoenix

    The side from the New Zealand capital have improved tenfold on last season, and deserve credit for doing so. Here, they worked hard and were close to a very good win. But the team that made all the running was us. It was another one of those games where we miss a host of chances, so in that context, it feels like a point gained, especially after going behind in the second half. David Healy is becoming more and more reliable.

    MOTM: Ante Rozic - For all our dominance, our best player on the day was a defender. Phoenix broke on several occasions and he made crucial interventions, clearing one off the line.


    Saturday February 9th, 2013
    Hyundai A-League
    Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

    Brisbane Roar 0-1 Gold Coast Utd

    Our wonderful away form continues, and a what a big win this is. We go four points clear thanks to yet another Ante Rozic goal. It would be disingenuous to imply we were the better side here, because we weren't. Roar created a lot of chances and I was sure we'd concede eventually. It felt like a huge relief when the final whistle went. This was one of those games where you have to dig in and hope to hold out. Rozic and Mitchell were excellent at the back.

    MOTM: Ante Rozic - This was an immense performance. He was a rock in defence and scored our winner. Brilliant.


    Saturday February 16th, 2013
    Hyundai A-League
    Skilled Park, Gold Coast

    Gold Coast Utd 3-0 Melbourne Heart

    The win in Brisbane would have been wasted if we couldn't claim three points from this one. We were missing our inspiration left-back Adama Traore, but the victory was a straightforward one. We left it late to finish them off, but only one team deserved to win and that was us. Heart have been incredibly disappointing this season and offered little here. The only negative was losing Michael Thwaite to an injury that will keep him out for a while at a time when the fixtures are coming thick and fast. Even more of a problem is that my back-up right-back Josh Brillante is already out for the season. But I'm still pleased with the win, especially as Brisbane Roar dropped more points today.

    MOTM: Kaz Patafta - The midfielder is ever present so far this season and has quietly driven the team on alongside Jonas Salley. He ran the game today.


    Saturday February 23rd, 2013
    Hyundai A-League
    Ausgrid Stadium, Newcastle

    Newcastle United Jets 2-5 Gold Coast Utd

    I was nervous about this one. On paper, there should only be one winner. Jets are bottom and struggling both to score and to keep goals out. But we were missing Michael Thwaite and Josh Brillante, so Ryan Dingle was making his debut at right-back. I also decided to drop Healy and Rigters to the bench and leave Patafta out entirely. Rotation will be necessary over the coming weeks. In the end, we came away with another win on the road, although the final score doesn't tell the whole story. Jets, admirably, tried to take the game to us and were undone by poor defending. I can only be thrilled with the result, though, and even more thrilled with Brisbane Roar being held to a draw.

    MOTM: Jhon Pirez - Two goals and lively display from the young striker who filled Healy's shoes with aplomb.


    Wednesday February 27th, 2013
    Asian Champions League: Group F
    Skilled Park, Gold Coast

    Gold Coast Utd 2-3 Shandong Luneng

    The club's and my own first venture into continental competition, and it was a day to forget. We lost the battle in the midfield and couldn't handle Shandong's slick passing moves. We under pressure throughout and deserved nothing. Nevertheless, at one point, it looked like we might scrape a win, so it's disappointing to let them sneak it towards the end. I just hope this doesn't have an adverse effect on our league run-in. Even worse, we lost Josh Mitchell to injury. I may have to give him an injection.

    MOTM: Matt McKay - On a fairly bleak day, McKay did his best to get us something. He was his usual creative self out wide and deserved his goal.


    League Table



    Asian Champions League: Group F




    Player of the Month: Ante Rozic - The centre-back was imperious through much of the month and managed to avoid the yellow card that would have seen him suspended.


    Monthly Reflection: - We seem to just get better and better in the league, and have taken real advantage of Brisbane Roar's dip in form. Our away form, in particular, has been immense. Several players are on fire and we look confident and controlled. Just five games left to try and seal the Regular Season title, which would feel like a bigger achievement than last season's victory in the Finals Stage.

    The spanner in the works could be the Champions League. We slumped to a poor home defeat against Shandong, and fixtures are about to pile up. Fair play to Shandong, though. They were class.

  21. #121
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    Thought I'd post the below just to demonstrate the incredible form we've been in since the three-in-a-row we lost earlier in the season.



    As you can see, one defeat in 14 games. Eleven of those 14 games have been wins. We're undefeated in eleven games and have won seven away games on the trot. In those seven away games, we've scored 22 goals and conceded just four.

    Considering what was predicted when I first took this job, I never saw a run like this coming. It's been such good fun. Big month coming up, though. Five games to win the league.

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    Great to see such a roll.

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    Brilliant run in the league, Asian Champions League group doesn't look easy. Good luck dude.

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    Thanks guys. It's been a brilliant season so far. Can't believe that run we went on. I'm not used to this!

    --------------------------


    Season 2012/2013
    MARCH



    This Month's Fixtures



    It's something of a relief, I suppose, that there are only two Champions League fixtures getting in the way. I genuinely feel that something is wrong here. The Champions League should be something to excite. It should be wonderful new experience for the club. It would be if it started in, say, October. But because it starts just as the season draws to a close, it feels like a distraction. I look at the fixtures we have this month and I see the first two away games as very tricky. Sydney FC lie third and are scoring goals, while Central Coast Mariners have had the measure of us so far this season. This is a huge month. We're five matches from an incredible achievement.


    This Month's Results

    Saturday March 2nd, 2013
    Hyundai A-League
    Skilled Park, Gold Coast

    Gold Coast Utd 1-0 Adelaide Utd

    It was disjointed and frustrating, but we've taken a big step towards winning the title. Rather like I said after the win at Brisbane, we needed a result here or our previous excellent away result would be wasted. Adelaide have been desperately poor and certainly seemed to play for a draw here. But, as so often during my time at Gold Coast, when we need a goal, up pops Ante Rozic. Grinding out a win like this is all part of winning trophies. I have to admit, I really fancy us now. The injury to Howard Fondyke could be a problem in terms of squad rotation over the next few weeks, though.

    MOTM: Ante Rozic - We didn't have much defending to do, but given how disjointed our display was, nobody deserves the award more than my wonderful centre-back. Matchwinner again.


    Saturday March 9th, 2013
    Hyundai A-League
    Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney

    Sydney FC 5-3 Gold Coast Utd

    And so, the wonderful run is over. Although I knew this would be a tough game, I'm actually furious that we threw some really hard work away with stupidity. I couldn't begrudge Sydney FC their 3-0 half-time lead. We couldn't get the ball from them. They were brilliant. But, in a frenetic second-half spell, we clawed our way back to 3-3. Sadly, right after our third, Jonas Salley got himself sent-off and we were left exposed again. Sydney came back at us. With eleven men on the field, we'd have won. I'm sure of it. Instead, we suffer a defeat that looked certain at half-time but felt like a real kick in the teeth at full-time. I'm fuming with Salley. With the games coming thick and fast, we're losing key players.

    MOTM: David Healy - The Northern Irishman led our charge back from 3-0 down with two goals. Didn't deserve to be on the losing team.


    Wednesday March 13th, 2013
    Asian Champions League: Group F
    Busan Asiad Main Stadium, Busan

    Busan I'PARK 3-1 Gold Coast Utd

    I made a decision which will feel like it's backfired if we don't finish top of the A-League; we will be resting as many players as possible in the Champions League. The board simply want us to "enjoy the experience", and I don't feel the squad can handle fighting on the two fronts. So it was a weakened team that took the field in South Korea. And it showed. We were second-best throughout. Nevertheless, we contributed to our own downfall. Ante Rozic's red card didn't help, and it's another suspension, albeit only in the Champions League. It looks likely we will crash out in the Group Stage, which might just make my decision on my future a little easier.

    MOTM: Chris Harold - The young striker made his debut and came out of it with some credit, taking his goal well.


    Saturday March 16th, 2013
    Hyundai A-League
    Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford

    Central Coast Mariners 1-0 Gold Coast Utd

    Is our season disintegrating? Let's just say I'm now reminding myself how good a second-placed finish would be. Thankfully, Brisbane Roar could only draw today, so we are still top, but clear by just a point now. We don't look ourselves. No doubt missing key players and the demands of the extra fixtures are hurting us. We never looked like getting anything here, although it took a really special strike to beat us. If we're going to finish top, we need to turn this form around as quickly as possible.

    MOTM: Matt McKay - The players look burnt out, but McKay played well. We're finished if he gets injured or suspended.


    Wednesday March 20th, 2013
    Asian Champions League: Group F
    Skilled Park, Gold Coast

    Gold Coast Utd 1-2 Vegalta Sendai

    Another weakened/exhausted team took the field against the Japanese side, but I fancied us to win this. How wrong I was. We weren't on the same level and even though I'm trying to rotate and not taking the competition too seriously, it's been huge learning curve so far. The squad isn't big enough to handle all this football. That being said, young midfielder Ben Halloran, who I'm told is a bright prospect for the future, was directly responsible for both goals we conceded. With better concentration, perhaps we'd have scraped something.

    MOTM: Matt McKay - I desperately needed to rest Adama Traore, but with other options unavailable, the only choice at left-back was McKay. On a poor night, McKay did well enough, and scored a penalty.


    Saturday March 23rd, 2013
    Hyundai A-League
    Skilled Park, Gold Coast

    Gold Coast Utd 1-0 Melbourne Victory

    GOLD COAST UTD WIN THE A-LEAGUE REGULAR SEASON!!!

    Despite our poor form and the narrowness of our lead at the top, I felt that if we could win today, we'd probably see it through. I didn't expect Brisbane Roar to lose, however, which meant this results sees us guarantee top spot. We still weren't at our best, but Melbourne Victory have gone hugely backwards and couldn't muster a shot on target. Our old failsafe, the Ante Rozic header, saw us over the line. It wasn't a pretty way to claim our title, but we did enough. It also feels nice just to be back to winning ways. We had to play most of the second half without Kaz Patafta, who saw red, but Alioum Saidou came off the bench for only his third appearance of the season, and did a very solid job. (As with last season, a proper reflection on the achievement will follow in an end-of-season review.)

    MOTM: Richard Garcia - Garcia is a winger but, with injuries to Thwaite and Brillante, and Ryan Dingle proving himself not to be good enough, I've been playing Garcia at right-back. He's struggled, but found his feet in that position today. He got forward well and defended solidly when called upon.


    Sunday March 31st, 2013
    Hyundai A-League
    nib Stadium, Perth

    Perth Glory 2-3 Gold Coast Utd

    With the league sewn up, I suppose I could relax. I brought Ryan Dingle and Sebastian Usai back in as a result, but truth be told, I really wanted to win so we finished as many points ahead of Brisbane as possible. Things started brightly when we took the lead in the second minute, but we were immediately pegged back, and eventually, Glory went in front. But we looked more like our usual selves today and deservedly swung things back in our favour. This win means we win the league by four clear points. No mean feat, that.

    MOTM: Jonas Salley - Salley scored his first of the season and generally bossed the midfield.


    Regular Season Final League Table



    Asian Champions League: Group F




    Player of the Month: Ante Rozic - It's getting repetitive, but this guy is so crucial to everything we do. He's a fantastic defender, but he scores goals too. He more than any other player got us over the line in what was a difficult month.


    Monthly Reflection: Taken in isolation, it was a poor month. But in truth, we did what we needed to do. And my decision to rest players in the Champions League has been vindicated. Domestically, we still won more games than we lost. The injuries, suspensions and extra fixtures threatened to derail our efforts to finish first, but we managed to see it through, helped by the inconsistency of Brisbane Roar.

    In the Champions League, we're finished. I will continue to blood younger players and mix it up a bit in the remaining three games. It's been disappointing, but not completely surprising that we've struggled.


    So that's the Regular Season over. There are still three matches left in the Champions League Group Stage and the small matter of the Finals Series in the A-League, so it's not quite time for an end-of-season review just yet. But what a season it's been!

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    Congratulations to Matt McKay. Very much deserved!




    Congratulations to me, as well! Probably just as deserved, if I may say so. Two seasons in a row, I've won this.


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    Of the 50 goals we scored in the league, only 19 were scored at home. The remaining 31 were scored on the road. Potent travellers, us.

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    Pity you couldn't make much impact in the Champions League but will that make it easier for you to move on?

    Great regular season, good luck with the finals!

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    The Champions League was a royal pain. It came right when I didn't need it. I've played weakened teams and it's shown. We'll be out by the end of April.

    It creates a great opportunity to move on, but I honestly couldn't say if I'm going to. The one thing holding me back from leaving is that there are potentially six new players coming in and I don't really want to leave it to a dodgy AI manager to not even play them, or to screw things up in general when I have a year left on my contract.

    Watch this space.

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    If you stayed on for that year I would be interested to see what you did when the next Champions League comes round.

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    A bigger squad would be needed, certainly.

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    Season 2012/2013
    APRIL/MAY
    FINALS SERIES



    This Month's Fixtures



    This will alter slightly after the two-legged semi-final against Brisbane Roar. Whatever happens, we face at least one more match other than what's listed above. Roar are our bitter rivals and I can only assume it's getting more intense given how often we seem to play them in important matches. I do feel we can get past them, but it will be difficult. The Champions League games are an irrelevance and I expect to lose them all.


    This Month's Results

    Wednesday April 3rd, 2013
    Asian Champions League: Group F
    Shandong Provincial Sports Centre, Ji'nan

    Shandong Luneng 2-1 Gold Coast Utd

    Unsurprisingly, it's a losing start to the month. Shandong created far more chances and deserved to win, but I do feel that they wouldn't have won were it not for the red card. It was an all-round good effort from another weakened Gold Coast line-up, but it wasn't to be. What games like this have taught me is that some of the younger players in the squad are far from good enough. Chief among them is Ryan Dingle, who gets beaten constantly by his left-winger.

    MOTM: Kristian Rees - It's another one of those times when picking a MOTM is difficult. But Rees, who hasn't played much this season, at least gave us some hope with his goal.


    Sunday April 7th, 2013
    Hyundai A-League Finals Series: Major Semi-Final - 1st Leg
    Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

    Brisbane Roar 1-1 Gold Coast Utd

    When Richard Garcia and Jhon Pirez emerged from the bench to combine for our late goal, I thought we'd done enough to take a lead into the 2nd Leg. But no. To concede in the 94th minute like we did is thoroughly galling. Nevertheless, it's hardly a result to sniff at. This is a hard place to come and we can at least take the slender advantage offered by our away goal into the match at Skilled Park. It was an evenly matched affair and both sides squandered chances. In the end, my substitutes earned us a goal, although I take no glory in it as they were just straight swaps; it was no tactical stroke of genius. Roar probably did deserve their equaliser, but I just feel we've wasted a massive chance here.

    MOTM: Jonas Salley - Nobody stood out today, but Salley provided a solidity in central midfield. He does provide a sound base for what we do with his strong ballwinning approach and simple passes. A competent display.


    Saturday April 13th, 2013
    Hyundai A-League Finals Series: Major Semi-Final - 2nd Leg
    Skilled Park, Gold Coast

    Gold Coast Utd 1-0 Brisbane Roar - Gold Coast Utd win 2-1 on aggregate

    Why do these things have to be so tense?! This was such a tight game! Rather like the 1st Leg. It could have gone either way but, perhaps unsurprisingly, a centre-back rising to meet a corner with his head is what made the difference. We're into the Final for the second year in a row, which has to be considered some achievement really. I would have liked it if we looked more like the team we were before the Champions League came along, but a win is a win, and you'll take it however it comes in a semi-final.

    MOTM: Josh Mitchell - Immaculate at the back and a matchwinner up top, this was a perfect display from a very good defender.


    Wednesday April 17th, 2013
    Asian Champions League: Group F
    Skilled Park, Gold Coast

    Gold Coast Utd 0-3 Busan I-PARK

    The scoreline doesn't tell the whole story. Once again I weakened the team - understandably, given the match to follow this one. But for the first time, we actually looked competitive. We missed a number of really good chances before Busan took the lead late on. I then switched to a very attacking approach and they took advantage, scoring twice more. This was a real kick in the teeth because I felt we might get something. Instead, we again leave with nothing.

    MOTM: Howard Fondyke - There were no amazing performances, but Fondyke played 90 minutes despite lacking fitness, and did okay, so he deserves it more than anyone else today.


    Saturday April 27th, 2013
    Hyundai A-League Finals Series: Grand Final
    Skilled Park, Gold Coast

    Gold Coast Utd 2-3 Wellington Phoenix

    Heartbreaking. This couldn't feel any different to last year. In time, I'll probably reflect on an excellent season and a wonderful achievement over two seasons, but right now this hurts. It hurts so much because we turned in our best performance in a long time and missed a whole host of gilt-edged chances before Phoenix took the lead. At 1-1, we again dominated. But somehow, in the second half, we found ourselves 3-1 down out of nowhere. We chose the wrong day to forget how to defend. Ante Rozic was all at sea and Josh Mitchell little better. David Healy's late goal gave me hope and Maceo Rigters missed an easy chance in the 93rd minute, but we couldn't squeeze in an equaliser. Congratulations to Wellington Phoenix, though. They finished bottom on 15 points last season. To go from that to finishing 4th and winning the Finals Series is very impressive. Gutting for us, though.

    MOTM: Mile Sterjovsky - The veteran got our equaliser and was pretty creative until his withdrawal on 50 minutes. Would have played longer if I didn't want fresher legs on to chase the game.


    Wednesday May 1st, 2013
    Asian Champions League: Group F
    Sendai Stadium, Sendai

    Vegalta Sendai 3-1 Gold Coast Utd

    I decided, with this being the last match of the season, to send out a strong side, but it made no difference. We suddenly look so vulnerable at the back. It was width and pace that hurt us, two things we probably don't possess, and which we couldn't handle from the opposition today. Vegalta are almost certainly a stronger team so perhaps I shouldn't be too harsh, but I just think we could have lived with them better than we did. Oh well.

    MOTM: Mile Sterjovsky - Another good performance and another goal for the elder statesman. Overall, he's had a disappointing season, but he was good again today.


    Final League Table



    Asian Champions League: Group F




    Player of the Month: Mile Sterjovsky - This hardest month I've ever had to make this decision. Nobody even came close to standing out. Sterjovsky's late flurry of form and two goals probably just about win the day. I would have liked a bit more of this throughout the season from him.


    Monthly Reflection: Reflecting on the season as a whole can wait a little while longer. The month just gone was a very disappointing one. My young players offered next to nothing in the Champions League and, although we did well in edging out Brisbane Roar, we threw it all away by failing to defend against Wellington Phoenix in the Final. I've no doubt that continental competition through a spanner in the works. I won't miss this month at all.

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    Season 2011/2012
    SEASON REVIEW


    Having calmed down from the disappointment and not insignificant level of anger at our defeat in the final, I can reflect on what was a really big season for this still very young club. I can also be proud of becoming the first manager to win Manager of the Year two years in a row, of finishing top of the league, of finishing in the top two in two consecutive seasons and of reaching the final in two consecutive seasons. When I took this job, I never for a moment thought things would go as well as they have. I was setting my sights on trying to finish higher than 9th last season. Suddenly, we can make a case that we're the best team in the A-League. In the cold light of day, finishing top feels like a bigger achievement than finishing second and winning the Finals Series. Despite all this positivity, it is tinged with disappointment; disappointment at not being able to go all the way and win the Finals Series, and disappointment in not having it in us to properly compete in a touch Champions League group. Continental competition was an eye-opener and, ultimately, I'm left to ask if I've taken this club as far as I possibly can.


    Player of the Season

    I feel that the burden of pushing us on was spread more equally around the team and the squad than last season, where we relied quite heavily on a handful of individuals. Nevertheless, three players did stand out for me.

    3. David Healy

    The Northern Ireland international provided what I was looking for - a striker who can score goals on a regular basis. He ended the season with a respectable 13 goals in the A-League, and vindicated my decision to replace Mateja Kezman with him.

    2. Ante Rozic

    It was another wonderful season from this guy. He's monumental and recovered from a wobbly start to have another stunning season. He even outdid his previous season's goal tally, scoring a very impressive nine. That the Croatian national team haven't so much as looked at him doesn't seem right to me.

    1. Matt McKay

    Bringing McKay in on loan from Rangers proved to be a masterstroke and, thankfully, we've now agreed a contract for him to join us next season. The left-winger was a creative tour de force and might be the single biggest reason why we did as well as we did. The guy is arguably the best player in the A-League (at least he will be after Harry Kewell retires this summer) and, if I move on, I'd have to think about trying to sign him.


    Favourite Match



    In a season with some wonderful performances, especially away from home, one game stands out. We went into this match knowing a win would send us top for the first time. As with many of our matches with our bitter rivals, it was a tight game, but we won and the feeling of relief was palpable. We stayed top from here on in, and this game was our platform. Just a brilliant day for the club.


    So why so good... again?

    I was talking about making sure we qualified for the Finals Series again at the start of the season, and, as you can see, we certainly surpassed that! I didn't see us having such a good season again, but we did. This time, just like last season, I have to deduce that we have good players, a good tactical set-up, and I managed morale well. That seems to be the key. But also, I made good moves in the transfer market last summer. Matt McKay, David Healy and Josh Mitchell in particular proved very effective, while Richard Garcia did well coming off the bench.


    Thoughts on next season

    Some of what I saw in the last few weeks makes me wonder if our bubble has burst. So I'm a bit concerned about how the club will fare next season. I have five new players coming in and more may arrive after that. Will it make us competitive at the very top yet again? I don't know. But I suppose I have to be honest and admit that, despite the two previous seasons, qualifying for the Finals Series would still represent a success for this young and financially crippled club.

    Then again, who's to say I'll be here next season? I've made no decision about where I go from here. It does feel like a good time to leave, but does it feel like the right time? I need to have a little think. If I do stay, it will definitely, one hundred percent, be my final season with the club.

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    Code:
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | Season   |  Team                | League                 |  Country    | League Position   |  Notes                         |
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | 2011/12  |  Gold Coast Utd      | Hyundai A-League       |  Australia  | 2nd (R.S.)        |  Won Finals Series             |
    | 2012/13  |  Gold Coast Utd      | Hyundai A-League       |  Australia  | 1st (R.S.)        |  Lost in Grand Final           |
    |          |                      |                        |             |                   |  4th in Champions League Group |

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    When I started this save, I expected the decision to leave Gold Coast to be an easy one. I just needed somewhere to get my career started. I had no idea I'd do so well and that my reputation would therefore grow so quickly. In the end, it's been really hard to decide whether to leave or to stay for one more season. In the end, I've decided that there's not much more I can do with a club that's going down the toilet financially. Could I finish top again? I doubt it? Could I do any better in the Asian Champions League? It's very unlikely. So, while it's been wonderful, and while I was certainly seriously considering a third and final season in Queensland...




    Within moments of announcing my resignation, I was offered two jobs:





    Both these clubs have just been relegated from the Championship, which means I'd be starting in League One. They both look like very similar opportunities, and I'm not ready to decide on which job to take, or indeed whether to take either of them. More thinking needed. I shall have to delay.

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    One more job offer has come in:



    They finished 4th in League One last season but failed to win the Play-Offs. Look at that transfer budget! Only downside would be that the club is overspending on wages.

    I'm going to bed now. No decisions as yet.

    EDIT: After I posted this, Wednesday made me a second offer. £2m to spend and a wage budget of £110K a week! In League One! I'm very tempted. Still not deciding tonight, though.
    Last edited by Mike7077; 20-04-2012 at 01:13.

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    That Sheffield Wednesday offer is a very good one. What is the overall finances?

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    Maybe Sheff Wed depending on financial situation.

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    In the end, I rejected the offers from Doncaster Rovers and Charlton Athletic. Both good clubs and jobs I fancied, but I could resist this opportunity:





    With regard to the finances, they're in decent shape. Certainly nothing to be too worried about.




    I was offered a three-year contract, but asked for just the one year. There are two reasons. Firstly, if I'm in line for an even bigger job, I don't want compensation to be a constant barrier like it was at Gold Coast. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, if I fail in my first season, I don't want the club to have to pay me any compensation (although this is FM. They'd probably just sack me rather than wait a few weeks for my contract to expire).

    It's gonna be a tough job, I reckon. Full introduction to follow.

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    Nice move, the club looks like it is financially secure.

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    That's Mandaric for you!

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    Them finances look very good. Can understand the budget now.

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    Very decent money for League One! Good luck!

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    Thanks to those who have wished me luck. I suspect I may need it. I don't envisage this being as easy as my time at Gold Coast.

    --------------------------------------------------

    Welcome to Sheffield Wednesday





    Stadium
    Hillsborough (capacity: 39,812)
    Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England




    Introduction to the Club



    The contrast between where I began my managerial career and where I take my next step are huge. I leave Queensland's Gold Coast, with its beaches and year-round warm temperatures, for the Steel City of Sheffield. I leave a club struggling to develop a supporter base for a club still deeply-rooted in a working class community whose supporters bleed blue and white. I leave a club which dates back to only 2009 for one of the oldest football clubs in the world. I leave a club with few real demands for a club which has fallen on hard times, with a board and a supporter base hungry for the return of the good times. You could, if you didn't mind being a little unflattering to Gold Coast Utd, say that this is my first real job. Will I be up to its demands? Time will tell.

    Finances: I've already posted a screenshot of these, so you can see how healthy the club's financial position is. Please scroll up for all of three seconds if you're interested.

    Aims and Expectations: I feel it was a mistake with my Gold Coast introduction to go into detail about these, and also about the key players. This is better left for the Pre-Season update, as they change for each season. But overall, my aim is rather like it was at Gold Coast - to do enough to keep my job. Realistically, I will have failed if I don't return Championship football to Hillsborough. And if I do get us there, I really hope I could then, at the very least, stabilise the club in that division.


    One final thing; if anyone's wondering, there will be no Steel City Derby. United are in the Championship.
    Last edited by Mike7077; 22-04-2012 at 16:29.

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    Gold Coast United, meanwhile, have gone in a very different direction in appointing their new manager. Having given inexperience its chance in appointing me, this time they have gone for the very experienced Dutch manager Aad de Mos. He has managed widely throughout his native Netherlands, as well as taking charge of clubs in Japan, Spain, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Greece.

    I wish him well.

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    Season 2013/2014
    PRE-SEASON


    It seemed like the right time to leave Gold Coast. There was no way I could do much more with them than what I did. I was so pleased to walk straight into such a high-profile job. The mission to restore Sheffield Wednesday to their rightful place in English football begins here! Plenty of better men than me have failed in the past (Gary Megson also failed), so don't assume I'll be at Hillsborough forever! But anyway, pre-season was very busy. The nucleus of a good squad was there on my arrival, but I did feel it needed augmenting.


    Transfers



    The two signings that probably leap out the most are the two lads I've brought in from Gold Coast Utd. New Zealand international goalkeeper Glen Moss did such a good job for me that I decided he'd be worth bringing with me. It remains to be seen whether he establishes himself at my first-choice, but I do feel he's good enough for this level of football. The other signing is a loan move for David Healy. By kick-off, Healy will be 34, and Gold Coast's new manager was quick to transfer-list him. I have two good strikers in Gary Madine and Chris O'Grady, but I wanted another striker to add depth in that position. Getting Healy in on loan fits the bill.

    I also tried to bring in Michael Thwaite and Jhon Pirez, and we agreed contracts. But neither player could get a work permit, sadly.

    Chris Eagles has struggled to hold down a first team place at Bolton and was a key player on loan to Crystal Palace as they won League One last season. I really do feel getting this lad in on loan is a good piece of business, and we've agreed a fee of £240,000 if I want to buy him.

    George Boyd, rather like Eagles, is a wide player who can operate on either flank or through the middle if needed. An established player at Peterborough Utd in the Championship, for some reason they haven't offered him a new contract, which means I get a quality player for free. I'm excited to see what he can do.

    Inigo Calderon, 31, is an experienced right-back who signs on loan from Brighton and gives me a good option in that position. Should do well back in League One.

    A Manchester Utd academy graduate, Matt James, is a young midfielder with a good future ahead of him. Most recently playing Championship football for Reading, I fancy James to have a good season with us in League One. Played very well in pre-season before getting injured.

    During pre-season, nobody impressed me more than Ryan Tunnicliffe, who signs on loan from Man Utd. The youngster was a creative force in midfield and should do well during the season.

    Chris Weale will be a familiar name to Leicester City fans. The goalkeeper means I have three good options in that position (Weale, Moss and Nicky Weaver).

    I always like to find a decent youngster with an eye toward the future, and in that vain, I have brought in 19 year-old Czech centre-back Jakub Sokolik, who was released by Liverpool. Despite not making the grade at Anfield, he should still have a bright future.


    Pre-Season Results

    Aldershot Town 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday
    Hayes & Yeading Utd 0-2 Sheffield Wednesday
    Derry City 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday
    St. Patrick's Athletic 1-3 Sheffield Wednesday
    Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Bradford City
    Stockport County 0-3 Sheffield Wednesday
    Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Cercle Brugge
    Crusaders 0-3 Sheffield Wednesday

    We got better as the friendlies went on, but this is no surprise. I allowed much of the first-team squad varying amounts of extended leave, which means we weren't up to full strength until the Bradford game. You can ignore the defeat at Aldershot, as most of the first-team weren't available. I feel that we played opposition who, while not too taxing, were good enough to test the squad against and would have exposed any major problems. In the end, we came through comfortably and looked good. Naturally, the real tests are ahead.


    Aims and Expectations: The board have given me incredible budgets to work with - £2m to spend on transfers and £110K a week for wages. As you'd expect, they want results. They expect me to win the league. Not just to get promoted, but to actually win it. Personally, I'd be happy to finish in the top two and get promoted. They couldn't sack me for that, could they? Without the board's insistence on a title win, I'd be aiming for the play-offs. But something tells me, if we were on course just for a play-off place, I'd be sacked before we got there. This is going to be a tough, tough season.

    Key Players:

    Chris Eagles - Eagles has real pedigree, even at a higher level. It's hard to imagine any player being more important to our season than him. I'll be looking for plenty of assists, and hopefully he will chip in with a goal or two, as well.

    Jose Semedo - Semedo is vice-captain, and can play at centre-back or in central midfield. He is among the best players at the is level and a lot will be expected of him.

    Reda Johnson - The Benin international is our captain and leads from the back. He looks like a really solid, capable central defender and I'm hoping will lead us to promotion.

    George Boyd - On the opposite flank to Eagles, Boyd will be required to do a similar job. On paper, he's a great signing. I hope he lives up to it. If he does, we'll have one of League One's very best players.


    With pre-season out of the way, the serious stuff can begin. I'm a little nervous, I admit, but hopeful our pre-season form will carry into the early matches. Morale is up and all that's left to do is see if I've got what it takes to get this club going.
    Last edited by Mike7077; 23-04-2012 at 00:51.

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    Brought a couple of players with you there I see .

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    Wow! Interesting move! Good luck with this!

    Do Wednesday count as sleeping giants? Surely they do! You need to find the new Chris Waddle, right?

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    Boyd should be a great signing.

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    Will the Owls awake?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    Brought a couple of players with you there I see .
    Couldn't resist! Would have been four if it wasn't for stupid work permits.

    Quote Originally Posted by crouchaldinho View Post
    Wow! Interesting move! Good luck with this!

    Do Wednesday count as sleeping giants? Surely they do! You need to find the new Chris Waddle, right?
    I would say they do. Not sure where I'll find the new Waddle, though. I'd settle for the new Graham Hyde.

    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Boyd should be a great signing.
    I think so. Was a regular for Peterborough in the Championship. No idea why they didn't offer him a new contract.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobby_McDonald View Post
    Will the Owls awake?
    I couldn't give a hoot. Actually, I could. But that was the only pun I could think of. As for the Owls awakening, I doubt they have the right manager for that somehow.

    ---------------------


    Season 2013/2014
    AUGUST: PART 1



    This Month's Fixtures



    Of the sides we face in August, only Southend were challenging near the top of this division last season. For this reason, we should be able to get off to a decent start. It's obviously hard to make too many predictions, but we must consider ourselves superior to those sides. I think a 100% start is possible. The League Cup draw was reasonably favourable, an away trip to Morecambe of League Two could have been worse.


    This Month's Results

    Saturday August 10th, 2013
    npower League One
    Broadhall Way, Stevenage

    Stevenage 1-3 Sheffield Wednesday

    It was the perfect start, really. Well, except for Stevenage taking the lead. A few adjustments were required and, in the end, we came through. In truth, it wasn't a wholly convincing performance from ourselves, but we did okay. I suppose at least we did enough. Stevenage seemed to sink into themselves after scoring and we had little difficulty picking them off. Still, we'll need to up our game if we're to achieve promotion.

    MOTM: Gary Madine - The no.9 gets his season of to a good start with a brace. Madine was outscored by Chris O'Grady last season, but he looked sharp today.


    Tuesday August 13th, 2013
    Carling Cup 1st Round
    The Globe Arena, Morecambe

    Morecambe 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday - after extra time

    Two games in and I'm already counting the cost, in this instance because we've lost two defenders. Slovenian left-back Leon Panikvar saw red and will miss three games, while cente-back and captain Reda Johnson faces a short lay-off through injury. We really didn't need to extra time. This was a bit like the Stevenage game in that the better team won, but without being particularly convincing. A win is a win, but I hoped we'd produce a stronger all-round display.

    MOTM: Sammy Clingan - The Northern Irish midfielder scored a wonder goal, drilling home from 30 yards. He also ran the midfield and was the standout performer.


    Saturday August 17th, 2013
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 Tranmere Rovers

    During my time at Gold Coast, I had the odd disappointing result, but I was never left quite as angry as I was after this. We swarmed all over Tranmere, who flooded the midfield and defended in numbers. We controlled the game, but conceded a sloppy goal, while spending ninety minutes looking bereft of ideas to unlock the stubborn resistance. However, regardless of the amount of possession we had, I would still call our performance disgraceful. The likes of George Boyd and Chris Eagles looked as if they'd be out of depth in the Conference, let alone League One. Just terrible.

    MOTM: Jose Semedo - Broke up Tranmere's occasional forward forays. Had to do little to outshine anyone else today, though.

    ctd below

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    Season 2013/2014
    AUGUST: PART 2


    Tuesday August 20th, 2013
    npower League One
    Roots Hall, Southend-on-Sea

    Southend Utd 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday

    It was nice to get back to winning way, and the performance was a definite improvement on Saturday's. But I was still left feeling frustrated that we couldn't turn our dominance into a more comfortable win. The longer it went on, the more I felt that Southend might sneak it, and that would have felt like an almighty punch in the stomach. In the end, the best team won.

    MOTM: Lewis Buxton - The right-back is a bit of a Wednesday icon and he provided the assist for Madine's late goal. A solid display.


    Saturday August 24th, 2013
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 Bournemouth

    It's safe to say I'm spitting feathers. This was a carbon copy of the Tranmere game, except that Bournemouth got their goal much, much later. We spent the game building attacks and watching the break down as another side came to Hillsborough and defended their way to victory. I take the blame for the goal, though. I decided a point wasn't enough and pushed too many men forward. Another attack broke down, Bournemouth raced down the other end and scored. Awful. The likes of Boyd and Eagles should be a creative force in this league, but they're underperforming massively.

    MOTM: Inigo Calderon - Playing at right-back, Calderon got forward constantly and would have benefitted from the players around him being more on their game.


    Tuesday August 27th, 2013
    Carling Cup 2nd Round
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 0-3 Queen's Park Rangers

    QPR have just been relegated into the Championship, so I didn't expect an easy game. Still, we shouldn't be losing like this. After doing well up to half-time, we collapsed in the second half and deserved nothing from it. True, QPR have held onto much of their squad from the Premier League and have good players, but we never even tried to live with them in the second half. We still haven't scored at Hillsborough.

    MOTM: Chris Eagles - He wasn't great, but he was the only one who looked like he might produce something.


    Saturday August 31st, 2013
    npower League One
    Boundary Park, Oldham

    Oldham Athletic 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday

    Despite our woes at home, we have a 100% record on the road in August. However, this was another woeful, sloppy, turgid, unimaginative, borderline disgraceful showing. We couldn't string passes together. We couldn't get the ball off Oldham when they came forward and we rode our luck throughout. Oldham can feel very hard done by because we were terrible and they deserved a point at the very least. Another sending-off doesn't help, either.

    MOTM: Mark Beevers - The centre-back kept us in the game with two fantastic last-gasp blocks and also cleared a shot off the line. The only player who can feel any pride in his performance today.


    League Table





    Player of the Month: Glen Moss - Too many players were out of sorts this month, so the goalkeeper I brought with me from Gold Coast is the only choice. He was the only player to offer any sort of consistency. His handling was good, and it had to be at times.


    Monthly Reflection: With the high standards this club has to set itself in this league, August was a disappointing month. By winning all our away games, we've stayed in touch with the top, but that tells little of the story. We were disjointed throughout, with the exception of the Stevenage game. We look pretty toothless going forward. If things don't improve, I could be out of a job before Christmas. And I'd deserve it. A very worrying start. My biggest concern is watching players like George Boyd and Chris Eagles struggle for any kind of form. I thought they'd take the league by storm, but they were really poo

  52. #152
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    You were terribly unlucky on the Gold Coast and I feel you were right to move onto Sheffield Wednesday.

    Good luck!

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    I feel I had my share of good luck in Australia, too, to be fair. It's funny, I thought I'd pine a bit for Gold Coast after I resigned. It's hard not to get attached after what we achieved, and yet I'm actually not missing it at all. I'm already immersed in a much bigger challenge with Wednesday.

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    Season 2013/2014
    SEPTEMBER



    This Month's Fixtures



    Despite our poor home form, I'm looking at the three home games this months thinking this gives us a good chance to get in amongst the leaders. Surely we'll click at Hillsborough eventually? The away trip to Brentford will be tough. I fancy Brentford for a promotion push. Then there's the small matter of a derby with Rotherham at the end of the month. First up is a trip to Cambridge in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. That looks eminently winnable to me.


    This Month's Results

    Tuesday September 3rd, 2013
    Johnstone's Paint Trophy: North 1st Round
    Abbey Stadium, Cambridge

    Cambridge Utd 0-3 Sheffield Wednesday

    The U's have made an inauspicious start to their League Two campaign and probably didn't expect much from this. They certainly didn't test us. You could see that we were superior in every department and the only mystery is how the score stayed down at 3-0. I don't prioritise this competition, but a comfortable win is always satisfying. Hopefully it might spur the players on a little.

    NOTE: Will Keane, who scored our first goal, came in after I'd posted the pre-season update, on loan from Man Utd. He's a striker.

    MOTM: Matt James - This lad is growing into the team and this game was made for him. His passing was crisp and he deserved his goal.


    Saturday September 14th, 2013
    npower League One
    Griffin Park, London

    Brentford 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday

    We lost to the better team today. We still haven't found our rhythm and look awkward. Brentford were confident and their football flowed. Nevertheless, we did take the lead and I was hoping we might be able to see it out from there. Sadly, Brentford stepped it up and took the points. It's not that I don't think we should be winning at places like Brentford, because I do. But I can't begrudge the better team on the day their win.

    MOTM: Jeff Hughes - It was another uncomfortable day for many of our players, but the Northern Irish winger had a good game and scored our goal.


    Tuesday September 17th, 2013
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Coventry City

    Well, we have finally scored at home and finally won at home, but it was a frustrating evening. This was our best performance since the win at Stevenage, but we again looked incapable of breaking through the opposition's defensive setup. In the end, substitute David Healy notched his first goal for the club to grab us all three points, but we risk the kind of defeats we saw against Tranmere and Bournemouth when we miss chance after chance and struggle for ideas.

    MOTM: Chris Eagles - Eagles has really struggled since coming in on loan, but he was our best player today. He's all about running and flair and he showed what he can do today.


    Saturday September 21st, 2013
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 Gillingham

    We were going to thump someone eventually. Things really came together today. It wasn't scintillating, but we finally started winning second balls and finding feet with our passes. Basic stuff, really. And, crucially, we were sharp in front of goal. If I was being extremely critical, it perhaps should have been 7-0 or 8-0 instead of just the 4-0, but I suppose I shouldn't be greedy. One thing we have always done is put teams on the back foot and make them defend. Today, we found our way through.

    MOTM: Mark Beevers - I wonder if Beevers will be my new Ante Rozic. He scored his first of the season today, heading home from a corner. He gets on the end of lots of corners and free-kicks.


    Wednesday September 25th, 2013
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 Notts County

    Business as usual, then. Yes, County had more possession, but every meaningful attacking move (and there were lots of them) were made by us. We battered County's goal, but had reverted back to failing to put the damn thing away. To compound my frustration, the one time County got near our goal, Chris Eagles demonstrated why he's no defender, making a pointless and reckless challenge to concede a penalty. Nightmare stuff.

    MOTM: Sammy Clingan - Clingan is an effective midfielder both at winning the ball and pinging passes about. He wasn't at his best today, but he put a decent shift in.


    Saturday September 28th, 2013
    npower League One
    Rotherham Community Stadium, Rotherham

    Rotherham Utd 2-4 Sheffield Wednesday

    With Sheffield Utd in the Championship, the games against Rotherham are probably our biggest of the season. And this was also our most exciting game of the season so far. Rotherham contributed, but we'd brought our shooting boots today. We had to recover from the setback of conceding an early goal, but once in front, we never looked in too much danger. Nice to have George Boyd finding a bit of form. I had a chat with him and it seems to have paid off.

    MOTM: Gary Madine - The aforementioned Boyd played well, but Madine's second brace of the season, and some eyecatching interplay with others, stole the show.


    League Table





    Player of the Month: Mark Beevers - I'm still waiting for someone to step forward with a bit of consistency, but Beevers had a decent month. He's only 23 and has been a regular at the club since emerging through the youth ranks.


    Monthly Reflection: We're a bit one-step-forward-two-steps-back at the minute. But at least we've started scoring goals. And we're only four points off the automatic promotion slots, so there's no need to worry too much yet. At the back, we seem pretty sound, but I do think the team as a whole is going through a period of attempting to gel. I made a lot of signings and clearly people are learning to adapt to one another. On the whole, September is okay. A few wins in a row would be nice at some point soon, though.

  55. #155
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    More pain for Portsmouth I see.

  56. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    More pain for Portsmouth I see.
    In other people's games, I've seen them end up struggling in League Two because they start every season with a points deduction. Judging by how they're doing in my game, I think they'll stay up comfortably. Their squad is tiny, though. They have fewer than eleven players in their first team squad.

    In other, frankly bizarre, news, the new England manager is Terry Connor. Connor's route to the job involves finishing 9th with Wolves; replacing David Moyes at Everton who was sacked for finishing 14th (how realistic) and then replaced Connor at Wolves only to be sacked with Wolves in 15th; Connor then has Everton in midfield but leaves because England are obviously impressed with his CV.

    Sometimes this game is so stupid.

  57. #157
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    Hey Mike7077, just scanned the career. Very interesting so far. I took on Gold Coast in another career...support there is difficult. Completely understand the move to England
    Last edited by cerud; 26-04-2012 at 07:29.

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    Season 2013/2014
    OCTOBER



    This Month's Fixtures



    There are some tough-looking fixtures this month. The likes of Colchester, Preston and Barnsley are looking to challenge for promotion and won't go easy on us, while Leyton Orient have made an incredible start and sit top of the league. Given our struggle to put together strong, coherent and dominant displays, I can take nothing for granted. But I still think a squad as strong as ours should be coming through that month with plenty of points on the board. We have to try and push on towards the top two now.

    NOTE: The Barnsley game was pushed back after I took the screenshot due to international call-ups.


    This Month's Results

    Saturday October 5th, 2013
    npower League One
    Deepdale, Preston

    Preston North End 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday

    It's like the players are actively trying to get me sacked. They miss a host of really good chances, and then Reda Johnson decides to slide in on a Preston forward in the box, despite the fact he was running toward the corner flag and absolutely no danger. The problem we're having is that, when we don't do enough to win, we're not coming away with a draw. There's always a moment (or a few moments) where we gift something to the opposition. Today has me wondering if I different tactical approach is needed, because what I used with Gold Coast isn't working here.

    MOTM: Glen Moss - If in doubt, give it to the keeper! But to be fair, Moss was the only player who did his job properly today. It felt like a gamble to sign him, but it looks like money well spent.


    Tuesday October 8th, 2013
    Johnstone's Paint Trophy: North 2nd Round
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 Doncaster Rovers

    We either don't score or we score a hatful! This was a pleasure to watch and the first time I've felt like we actually clicked. I'd trade it for all three points in our previous match, though. Still, I'd like to win this competition and we certainly had no trouble seeing of Doncaster, who, having been relegated from the Championship, are really struggling to get to grips with League One and brought their form from the league into this match. The only blot on our copybook was Ryan Tunnicliffe's needless and silly red card for lunging in when already 3-0 up. We need to cut out the indiscipline.

    MOTM: Chris Eagles - The winger bagged two goals and ripped Donny apart. Hopefully he'll start to find some form from here.


    Saturday October 19th, 2013
    npower League One
    Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester

    Colchester Utd 0-3 Sheffield Wednesday

    Football is crazy sometimes. Colchester must have felt mugged. They dominated the match from start to finish, though without mustering a single shot on target. We managed three shots in the entire match, all of which resulted in goals. We're still not playing well, but at least we found a clinical edge today. The two late goals put a pretty undeserved gloss on things in the end, but I never sniff three points and a 3-0 win.

    MOTM: Chris Eagles - For the second match in a row, Eagles scores and also puts in a really good performance. We may not have deserved such a comfortable-looking win, but Eagles deserved to be on the winning side.


    Wednesday October 23rd, 2013
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 Barnsley

    With this match being rearranged, a win would allow us to claw back some of the teams above us. I switched to a 4-4-2, completely disregarding the 4-3-2-1 that brought so much success to me in Queensland, and it really seemed to work. We put Barnsley to the sword with a scintillating display of attacking football and, for the first time since the opening day, we were winning second balls and dominating midfield. Wonderful.

    MOTM: Inigo Calderon - Chris O'Grady grabs the headlines with his brace, but the Spanish right-back, on loan from Brighton, was the star of the show for me. I like full-backs who bomb forward and Calderon did that to great in fact, capping a great performance with a late screamer to put the seal on a fantastic result.


    Saturday October 26th, 2013
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Leyton Orient

    A top of the table clash against a side that have made a brilliant start. I was a bit worried about the fact that we'd played on Wednesday while they hadn't played since Saturday, but I needn't have worried. We look like I expect a Sheffield Wednesday side in League One to look - i.e. better than everyone else. This result brings us to within a point of top spot and our goal difference looks better and better. Will we ever draw, though?

    MOTM: Michael Tonge - At 30, Tonge is one of our more experienced players. He's also a bit of a Bramall Lane icon, but he did the business for Wednesday today. His goal was a long-range screamer, which seems to be all he ever scores. He ran the midfield and deserves the award.


    Tuesday October 29th, 2013
    npower League One
    Brunton Park, Carlisle

    Carlisle Utd 2-4 Sheffield Wednesday

    Cumbria on a damp Tuesday evening in late October anyone? Not ideal, but we coped. We continue to look sharp in front of goal, with winger Jeff Hughes (only playing due to injury to George Boyd) scoring a brace to add to his goal against Orient. Gary Madine also scored against his former club. Carlisle looked decent going forward and made me nervous a couple of times with their goals, but the result was the right one in the end. We're really moving now.

    MOTM: Jeff Hughes - Hughes has made a better start to the season than George Boyd and his two-goal haul and all-round strong showing earn him the award.


    League Table





    Player of the Month: Chris Eagles - For the first time, it could have gone to a number of players. Eagles came into his own this month, though. He was exciting, creative and scored some goals. About time!


    Monthly Reflection: After the defeat at Preston, I was despairing of our campaign. We looked unimaginative, impotent and with a penchant for self-distruction. But we came out of our shell after that and it turned into a bright month in which we moved into second. I now fancy a good tilt at promotion. It's going to be a fun ride!

  59. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    Hey Mike7077, just scanned the career. Very interesting so far. I took on Gold Coast in anyother career...support there is difficult. Completely understand the move to England
    Yeah, I don't think anything could get them through the door there. It was time to ship out.

    Nice to have you on board.

  60. #160
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    Enjoying your career!

  61. #161
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    The set up this career is extensive! Love the summaries of each match. Definitely a lot of work

  62. #162
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    Solid work there. Nice to see you climb the table.

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    I think you're hitting a good stride.

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    All or nothing so far, very good after the match against Preston.

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    Brilliant career so far mate!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ToffeeViola View Post
    Enjoying your career!
    Thanks! There's plenty more to come.

    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    The set up this career is extensive! Love the summaries of each match. Definitely a lot of work
    You'd be surprised. Most of the updates don't take more than about ten minutes to put together. I should point out that I do the little match write-ups immediately after each game rather than once the month is over. If, for example, I lost a match and then won all the others, the subsequent good run might influence what I say about the first match. I assume most people don't read them anyway, but I actually find it quite useful typing them out and thinking about the matches. It helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    Solid work there. Nice to see you climb the table.
    Thanks. This team is unpredictable, though. Could easily go back down again.

    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    I think you're hitting a good stride.
    Quote Originally Posted by AcidBurn View Post
    All or nothing so far, very good after the match against Preston.
    Finally look like we can score goals. But sometimes we struggle to break teams down and then end up losing. I wonder if we will ever draw.

    Quote Originally Posted by iHeadHunta x View Post
    Brilliant career so far mate!
    Thanks, man. I'm loving the kiss at the end of your username.

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    Haha thanks

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    If you go the entire season without drawing in the league I will consider that the greatest achievement I have ever seen on FM.

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    Season 2013/2014
    NOVEMBER



    This Month's Fixtures



    Plenty to look forward to this month. In the league, I'll be looking for maximum points to really push on in our promotion charge, although I look at the away fixture at Swindon at the end of the month as a tricky one. No doubt Paolo Di Canio (still in charge there) will have plenty to say about that one. Other than that, the other league fixtures are really quite winnable. We play Walsall of League Two in the Johnstone's Paint trophy and also travel to Eastwood Town of the Blue Square Bet North league in the FA Cup 1st Round. Should be a fun month.


    This Month's Results

    Saturday November 2nd, 2013
    npower League One
    Gigg Lane, Bury

    Bury 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday

    In the end, I was okay with taking a point from this. We were better than Bury in the first half but produced our usual trick of failing to take chances. Bury came flying out of the traps after half-time and took the lead. I was wondering how to try and salvage something and expecting not to, but thankfully the in-form Chris O'Grady came up with a late goal. Michael Tonge will be missing for a few weeks from the injury he picked up here.

    MOTM: Chris O'Grady - He's looked our liveliest forward of late and popped up with a much-needed goal here.


    Saturday November 9th, 2013
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Chesterfield

    Chesterfield were on a three-game unbeaten run, but lay in 22nd going into this. Nothing but a good win would have been acceptable to me. Truth be told, we allowed them too much of the ball and had to ride our look from time-to-time before finally taking control in the second half. We probably deserved the win, but credit to Chesterfield for the way they passed the ball and for their positive approach. We just had a little too much for them in the end.

    MOTM: George Boyd - The winger is slowly starting to adapt to the demands of a club of this size, and he was the star of the show today.


    Tuesday November 12th, 2013
    Johnstone's Paint Trophy: North Quarter-Final
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Walsall

    I wasn't going to take lightly a Walsall side flying high at the top of League Two and with nothing to lose here, but in the end they sat back and let us make all the play. Although we had to wait until the 83rd minute to seal it, I never felt like we weren't fully in control of this one. The board place no importance on this competition, but each win is bringing us a little closer to the final and I'd like to win it.

    MOTM: Sammy Clingan - With Tonge out injured, I'm looking for Clingan to step up. He ran the midfield today.


    Saturday November 16th, 2013
    FA Cup: 1st Round
    Coronation Park, Eastwood

    Eastwood Town 2-4 Sheffield Wednesday

    From 3-0 up and cruising, suddenly little Coronation Park was rocking as Eastwood threatened an incredible comeback. The Blue Square North side brought substitute Markel Bailey off the bench and, ten minutes later, he'd scored twice to give the Nottinghamshire side hope. They pressed for an equaliser in a game that should have been well over and I was left praying we'd hang on. We had absolutely strolled into a 3-0 lead, with Eastwood offering nothing. But they found something from somewhere and Gary Madine's late goal was a huge relief.

    MOTM: Sammy Clingan - The Northern Ireland international is clearly the man against lower league opposition. He was excellent again today.


    Saturday November 23rd, 2013
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Doncaster Rovers

    At half-time, I was fuming, and the players knew it. I wasn't necessarily fuming with them, though. We battered Donny for 45 minutes, having taken the lead inside 50 seconds, but missed a hatful of great chances to extend our lead. Why do we insist on doing that? Then, right on the stroke of half-time, up steps George Friend (free-kick taking attribute of 9, never takes free-kicks) to curl a beauty into the top corner. The second half was, if anything, more even, with Rovers having the odd chance here and there and us huffing and puffing. Mark Beevers eventually got the crucial goal, heading home from a Sammy Clingan corner. Frustratingly, Eagles's yellow card means he misses the upcoming trip to Swindon.

    MOTM: Chris Eagles - Eagles looks the part lately and was at his pacy, direct best in this game. His first minute goal was a wonderful strike.


    Saturday November 30th, 2013
    npower League One
    County Ground, Swindon

    Swindon Town 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday

    We're yet to lose a game where I didn't feel we gave the opposition all the help they needed, as opposed to just being beaten by the better side. It was never like this at Gold Coast. Today we got our noses in front, missed more good chances to score, and then played in Gary Twigg twice to score for Swindon. I was worried about this game and knew it would be tough, but we gifted the points to Swindon and that is maddening. I'm not a happy bunny today.

    MOTM: George Boyd - Another solid, lively and creative display from Boyd. I now feel that I have the player I thought I was getting.


    League Table





    Player of the Month: George Boyd - It was a toss-up between Boyd and Clingan, but the Scot produced better displays in the bigger games. If he carries on the way he's been playing, League One should watch out.


    Monthly Reflection: I'm feeling the pressure. You can tell because I'm reacting very differently to games, whether we win, lose or draw, than I did in Australia. I've gotten us to the top at last, which I'm pleased about, but if anything I now feel more tense. A slight dip in form could be enough to get me the sack. November delivered just about enough points in the league, and our cup progress was satisfying, but we're still having to work very hard for every point we get.

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    Season 2013/2014
    DECEMBER



    This Month's Fixtures



    December is always a busy month for teams in the npower Football League, and we certainly have plenty to play for. Important league fixtures, a chance to progress further in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy and an FA Cup 2nd Round tie all serve to make it a potentially great month, and also a potentially disappointing one. In the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, we face a trip to Crewe Alexandra's new stadium, once again facing League Two opposition. In the cup, we travel to League Two side Yeovil Town. Plenty of league fixtures mean it could be a hard month on the old legs.


    Wednesday December 4th, 2013
    Johnstone's Paint Trophy: North Semi-Final
    Alexandra Stadium, Crewe

    Crewe Alexandra 0-0 Sheffield Wednesday - Sheffield Wednesday win 4-3 on penalties

    This was hardly the response I was looking for after our defeat to Swindon. We laboured and we huffed and we puffed but we were nowhere near good enough and the better chances to win the game fell Crewe's way. They'll feel they've been hard done by in not winning this, while I feel we've had a lucky escape. I'm glad to be through, but I hope this performance isn't a harbinger of a more general malaise that could derail our promotion push.

    MOTM: Mark Beevers - The 23 year-old centre-back has been at Hillsborough all his career and is getting better and better. He singlehandedly kept the Railwaymen at bay at times.


    Saturday December 7th, 2013
    FA Cup: 2nd Round
    Huish Park, Yeovil

    Yeovil Town 1-4 Sheffield Wednesday

    It may have been my birthday, but I left Huish Park feeling little in the way of cheer. Somehow we won 4-1, but this was another ghastly display of football in which a team from the division below our own outplayed us for long periods. We don't string passes together, we shoot when we shouldn't, we allow the opposition time on the ball and we miss far too many chances. Today, somehow, we've come out with what looks like a convincing win. Anyone who watched it would be mystified as to how we won by three goals. In the end, the extra quality we have must have been the decisive factor. This is very harsh on a spirited Yeovil, though. Home to Fulham in the next round.

    MOTM: Chris O'Grady - He isn't consistent enough, but he scored today and otherwise linked up reasonably well with others.


    Saturday December 14th, 2013
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Wycombe Wanderers

    The Chairboys have made a fantastic fist of things so far and are challenging for a playoff spot, but they were never in this. Their striker Danny Ings is the top scorer in League One, but we did a good job of keeping him quiet. We look much better at home than we do away at the moment and this was a very comfortable win, but I'm again left cursing our inability to finish chances and feeling frustrated at us hitting the woodwork over and over. This could and should have been a rout.

    MOTM: Sammy Clingan - Clingan is growing in influence, to the point where Middlesbrough are being linked with a £1.1m move for him! He was very good in this game.


    Saturday December 21st, 2013
    npower League One
    Plainmoor, Torquay

    Torquay Utd 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday

    I'm now convinced we've got two problems; dodgy away form and strikers lacking confidence. They're just not scoring. We took an early lead in this against strugglers Torquay, and could have been out of sight by half-time. But we proceeded to pass up numerous chances and then the Gulls came back at us in the second-half. After their equaliser we looked clueless as to how to break them down and I'm left with much to ponder regarding our performances at the moment.

    MOTM: Chris Eagles - Eagles scored an absolute beauty and ran Torquay ragged. He's out-of-contract at the end of the season. I must sign him.


    Thursday December 26th, 2013
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Portsmouth

    Portsmouth are still in a mighty fine mess with a tiny squad and a ten-point deduction. One feels their slide is not yet complete. We made life difficult for ourselves roday thanks to Chris O'Grady's early red card and, yet again, our profligacy in front of goal. But with ten men, you take any kind of win. It concerns me that Madine and O'Grady are misfiring so badly at the moment and it concerns me that teams create chances too easily against us, but Pompey were well beaten here today.

    MOTM: Jose Semedo - In difficult circumstances such as being a man light, you look for others to step up. Semedo was calm and collected all match and earned his goal.


    Saturday December 28th, 2013
    npower League One
    The Valley, London

    Charlton Athletic 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday

    Yet again, I have the same complaint. Charlton are way off the pace and couldn't get a foothold early on as we dominated. But we failed to convert our chances and were punished by a much more clinical Charlton in the second half. It has to be said, Danny Haynes goal was a bit special to give them the lead, running mazily from his own half. But I felt we could have stopped him in his tracks at some point. Overall, it's just a really galling defeat and a really galling way to lose. A draw would have been a respectable result and was the least our play probably deserved, but we lack that killer instinct at the moment. The big question is, do I go shopping for a striker in January?

    MOTM: Sammy Clingan - Everyone had an off-day, but Clingan was solid enough. He never lets us down.


    Tuesday December 31st, 2013
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Stevenage

    Our home form is fine at the moment. Chris O'Grady scored which means a striker is finally back on the scoresheet (Gary Madine missed this one through injury), but if my appeal over his red card fails, he'll be suspended again. As with the Wycombe game earlier in the month, I really feel this should have been a pounding. Stevenage were on the back foot throughout and we had, would you believe, 14 shots on target out of 26 shots in total. Just the two goals, though, but at least we got a response after the disappointment of Charlton.

    MOTM: Leon Panikvar - The Slovak left-back is one of those players you doubt when you arrive at a club, but who quietly earns your respect. He's been good all season and made both goals today.


    League Table





    Player of the Month: Sammy Clingan - His performances have been a real highlight and it's no surprise to me that he's caught the eye of a Championship side. It'd be a blow to lose him, but a bid of over £1m would be very hard to resist.

    Monthly Reflection: We're past the halfway point now and sit top of the league, which means I'm on target. But you can see from the table how tight it is. A bad run could derail our promotion push very quickly indeed. And despite our decent home form and good league position, I'm concerned about our play, which hasn't been good enough at times. Still, with the title in our hands, promotion a real possibility, one match between ourselves and a cup final and an FA Cup tie with Fulham in the 3rd Round sorted, it was a productive enough month.

  71. #171
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    Sitting on top at the halfway point is a great achievement that, unfortunately...means nothing The fans only care for the standings at the end of the dance. Maybe hunting for that quality striker will give you what you need. Great so far!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    Sitting on top at the halfway point is a great achievement that, unfortunately...means nothing The fans only care for the standings at the end of the dance. Maybe hunting for that quality striker will give you what you need. Great so far!
    No way I can bring a decent striker in in January. I have targets, but they're only feasible in the summer really. Gonna look for a possible short-term loan.

    I'm a bit worried about the possibility of promotion in so much as I'm yet to taste any real difficulty. Things have gone well for me ever since I started this save.

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    Just before posting the update for January, it's worth a quick look at what business we did. Well, firstly, nobody left the club. A few players did arrive, though.

    I brought in three youngsters whose contracts had all expired with Bohemians in Ireland. They look to have modest potential. Simon White is a 22 year-old who can play anywhere across the back four. At 22, he needs to be involved with the first team and looks an okay player, though nothing special. He's very much a back-up option. 18 year-old Peirce O'Brien and 17 year-old Peter Lennon are very much nods to the future. They're unlikely to feature this season.

    Later in the month, having scoured unsuccessfully the market for a cheap striker who might score goals, I ended up bringing Nile Ranger in on a three-month loan from Newcastle. Looking at Ranger's history and attributes, I doubt he will bag many goals, but he at least gives us another option up top and perhaps his pace will come in useful.

  74. #174
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    Season 2013/2014
    JANUARY



    This Month's Fixtures



    There are three standout fixtures this month. Firstly, there's a tie in the FA Cup with Fulham. The Cottagers are in the top half of the Premier League and doing well, so we go into that with no real pressure on us. In the league, matches away at Bournemouth and Notts County will be crucial in our promotion effort. Both sides are chasing promotion themselves and would love to start reeling us in. Meanwhile, the first leg of our Johnstone's Paint North Final (effectively a semi-final) is at home to Coventry, a team I'm sure we can beat.


    This Month's Results

    Saturday January 4th, 2014
    FA Cup: Third Round
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Fulham

    Unbelievable! It would appear we need Premier League opposition in order to turn it on! With O'Grady missing through suspension and Madine out injured, I didn't see how we could trouble Fulham, but trouble them we certainly did. David Healy even scored! In fairness, the ball was sitting on the line for him as he tapped it in. I can take so much from this display. Fulham were hardly given a snip and we finally found some kind of clinical streak. In the long-term I want the visit of clubs like Fulham to be the norm at Hillsborough, but while we languish in League One, I can be very proud of this result and the performance that went with it.

    MOTM: Sammy Clingan - Another excellent midfield display from this guy, this time against top class opposition. His beautiful free-kick set us on our way.


    Wednesday January 8th, 2014
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Southend Utd

    It was back down to Earth with a bump after our FA Cup heroics. Southend clearly proving a tougher test than Fulham. We reverted to type here, having lots of possession but struggling to do much with it after Mark Beevers' early goal. It's still a big three points in our quest for promotion, though, and it at least marks a change from our earlier season form when we were losing games like this.

    MOTM: Mark Beevers - A towering defensive display capped off with a goal. Beevers is such a reliable player and a major reason why our defence is the division's meanest.


    Saturday January 11th, 2014
    npower League One
    Prenton Park, Birkenhead

    Tranmere Rovers 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday

    It probably seems disingenuous to complain when we're winning, but I want to win well and to win deservedly. Too often, we're scraping our wins. Never was that more true than today at Tranmere. We effectively did to them what they did to us at Hillsborough earlier in the season - coming away with a 1-0 win after being battered. Tranmere were all over us for much of the match but couldn't find a breakthrough. The early goal was enough and it was at least nice to have Gary Madine back among the goals. It was not so nice that we promptly lost him to injury again.

    MOTM: Inigo Calderon - The Spaniard on loan from Brighton is approaching the end of his time with us. I feel inclined to renew, especially after this sterling performance. He's been vying all season for the right-back slot with Lewis Buxton.


    Saturday January 18th, 2014
    npower League One
    Dean Court, Bournemouth

    Bournemouth 1-3 Sheffield Wednesday

    I viewed the trip to playoff chasing Bournemouth as a very tricky one indeed, and when they took their early lead, I wasn't sure we could turn it around. But, thankfully, we found a level we've not been at in recent weeks and proceeded to dominate, scoring three goals. Madine notched twice and O'Grady came off the bench to grab a goal. How nice it is to see my strikers scoring again. Nile Rangers made his debut today and although he didn't sparkle, his speed and liveliness worked Bournemouth's back line. We deserved this win and it's nice to put a bit of distance between ourselves and a potential promotion rival.

    MOTM: Gary Madine - Who else? Two goals and an all-round good display. I want to see more of this.


    Tuesday January 21st, 2014
    Johnstone's Paint Trophy: North Final - 1st Leg
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Coventry City

    Even with a place in the final at stake over two legs, there was no way I was naming a full-strength team tonight. There are too many games in the season to prioritise this competition. At the same time, I really want to win it, so it's pleasing that we have taken such a commanding lead. It would take a monumental effort in the 2nd Leg next month for Coventry to turn this around. The lads who came in did a cracking job, proving that we have strength in depth. Nile Ranger scored a beauty on his home debut.

    MOTM: Ryan Tunnicliffe - The youngster on loan from Man Utd has slipped down the pecking order of late, but he came in today and ran the show. Bagged a goal, as well.


    Saturday January 25th, 2014
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Oldham Athletic

    Why do my players insist on getting sent off so early on? Chris Eagles the culprit this time for a daft and unnecessary lunge. I was forced to withdraw Nile Ranger after just three minutes in order to get George Boyd on to get us back up to strength in the midfield. Thankfully, the red card didn't stop us from putting on a good performance and getting a straightforward three points against another playoff hopeful. With Madine and O'Grady both scoring, I'm also starting to think the goal drought might be over. O'Grady's strike was an astonishing lob worthy of Lionel Messi or even the great Karel Poborsky.

    MOTM: Matt James - A rare start for the former Man Utd and Reading midfielder, and he took his chance. He created all three goals, and you can't ask for much more than that.


    Wednesday January 29th, 2014
    npower League One
    Meadow Lane, Nottingham

    Notts County 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday

    A creditable point at Notts County is better than defeat, I guess. Looking at the table, it feels more like a point gained, until you consider how we lost it. Chris O'Grady chose to play a lovely through ball in the 91st minute for Leon Johnson to run onto and score. I wish we could come up with such passes for ourselves more often! It was a kick in the stomach, but one we can move on from. This looked like possibly the toughest fixture of the month, and so it proved, but at least we didn't lose. We played okay, but lost Mark Beevers to injury, which is a real blow.

    MOTM: Gary Madine - Got himself on the scoresheet again and played well. Glad to have him back.


    League Table





    Player of the Month: Gary Madine - The striker found his shooting boots again in January. I always want at least one striker scoring plenty of goals and, although I doubt I'll be happy with his overall tally come season's end, I'm certainly pleased with his January. He was dangerous, taking up good positions and putting chances away. A big part of our improved performances.


    Monthly Reflection: January always seems to be a good month for me. Two years ago, I won every match in the month with Gold Coast, and we came pretty close to repeating that feat last season. This time with Sheff Wed, I was two minutes away from doing it again. It wasn't to be, but we still picked up a lot of points which have us looking, I admit, very good for promotion now. I'm starting to get the butterfly feeling I had last season when it dawned on me I might win the A-League. As for the cups, two phenomenal performances against Fulham and Coventry mean we face Ipswich Town in the FA Cup 4th Round and need to do a professional job to reach the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final. It's shaping up to be a very good season indeed.

  75. #175
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    My first one of these at Hillsborough:


  76. #176
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    Pretty much running away with the league

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    Cracking month fella.

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    Really good career mate enjoyed reading it just wondering, where you play Matt James and in what role? Just signed him for my Plymouth team in league 1 and still havn't got the best out of him even though theoretically he should be one of the best players at the club. I'd be interested to hear your opinion on him. Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    Pretty much running away with the league
    I wouldn't go that far. The sides below have a game in hand, but we are definitely in a strong position. I get very paranoid in positions like this and start looking at every game like it could be the start of a slip up, so I'm not counting any chickens.

    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    Cracking month fella.
    It's easy, this Football Manager lark!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jojo manager View Post
    Really good career mate enjoyed reading it just wondering, where you play Matt James and in what role? Just signed him for my Plymouth team in league 1 and still havn't got the best out of him even though theoretically he should be one of the best players at the club. I'd be interested to hear your opinion on him. Cheers
    Glad you're enjoying. Plenty more to come.

    Aah, Matt James. He's a frustration. I'm convinced he's a good player, but he's struggling to get into the team now because I can't get the best out of him. I started the season playing a 4-2-3-1 formation with James playing either AMC or CM. He looked better in the AMC role where there's less pressure on him to win the ball. But we weren't playing well in that formation so I went to 4-4-2 which means James always plays CM when he gets in the team. He does okay, but he's been nowhere near as good there as Michael Tonge and Sammy Clingan. The same goes for Ryan Tunnicliffe.

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    Season 2013/14
    FEBRUARY



    This Month's Fixtures



    There are some really big games this month. First, we face Ipswich in the FA Cup 4th Round, although we obviously go into that under no real pressure. But after that, we take on fellow promotion hopefuls Brentford, who beat us earlier in the season, followed by a double header with Coventry at the Ricoh Arena. We also face a derby against Rotherham. By the end of the month, we could potentially be FA Cup quarterfinalists, Johnstone's Paint Trophy finalists and well on our way to promotion, or we could we be out of the cups (admittedly unlikely in the JP given our 3-0 lead) and back under pressure in the league. February could make or break our season.


    This Month's Results


    Saturday February 1st, 2014
    FA Cup: 4th Round
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 Ipswich Town

    We may have lost, but this is one of those occasions when a manager really can take positives in a match his team lost. We lived with a solid Championship team and hit the woodwork three times. We had our chances and probably didn't deserve to lose. If our promotion push remains on course, I can take heart from this and know that, with the right additions in the summer, we could compete in the Championship. In the end, it's clear that Gary Madine's second red card of the season was key to our defeat. What made it even worse was that Madine's second yellow was for a blatant dive in the box. You just don't do that when you're already on a yellow. It's always disappointing to lose, but I'm reasonably satisfied with our performance. Ipswich will have known they were in a game here.

    MOTM: Leon Panikvar - The left-back has gotten stronger as the season has gone on and made it his own. He was our best player today.


    After Gary Madine's senseless second yellow for diving, I issued him with a fine of one week's wages. Personally, I think he should consider himself lucky that's all I did. He didn't like it, though, and after a chat, we couldn't find common ground. He's now unhappy, as am I with him. Let's just say he's going to find it suddenly very hard to get in the team.


    Saturday February 8th, 2014
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Brentford

    Given the mediocrity of League One this season, this was our third top-two class of the season since taking control of top spot (we'd also faced top-two clashes against Notts County and Wycombe). The gulf in class looked even larger than gap in points between ourselves and the Bees as Brentford came to Hillsborough and rolled over, allowing us to extend our lead at the top. Deserving of a mention today is Nile Rangers, who looks very lively since his arrival on short-term loan from Newcastle. From Brentford's perspective, they made this far too easy for us and will be disappointed with their display. I can smell a promotion, I really can.

    MOTM: Michael Tonge - Here is a player resurrecting his career under me. After failing at Stoke and following a rash of loans, he had an okay first season at Wednesday last season. This season, he's been arguably my most important player and ran the game today. Brilliant.


    Tuesday February 11th, 2014
    Johnstone's Paint Trophy: North Final - 2nd Leg
    Ricoh Arena, Coventry

    Coventry City 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday - Sheffield Wednesday win 4-2 on aggregate

    I named a strong-ish team for this one. With a 3-0 lead, I wanted to rest some players but also to respect Coventry. Perhaps I shouldn't have gone with two up-front, but I felt it was important to give the wo strikers who started some game time. In the end, we did enough. Coventry pressed from time to time, but so did we. We saw more of the ball and created more clear-cut chances, but it was one of those away games we seem to have sometimes where our own misses come back to haunt us. We shouldn't feel too haunted, though. We're in the final. Whatever te board might think, I'm overjoyed to have gone this far.

    MOTM: Nile Ranger - The loanee scored again and I'm so pleased with the impact he's made. It was a shot in the dark, really, but it looks like it may pay off.


    Saturday February 15th, 2014
    npower League One
    Ricoh Arena, Coventry

    Coventry City 1-3 Sheffield Wednesday

    If we had to lose one of our double header with the Sky Blues, I'm glad things went the way they did. This was much more one-sided, although I wasn't very happy with the way we let them back into it so soon after going 2-0 up. What I like about this game is how, after they came back to 2-1, we turned the screw and ran out comfortable winners. I'm also glad to see a really strong away performance at last. It's hard to believe we won't be celebrating promotion now. Oh, and Nile Ranger scored again!

    MOTM: Jeff Hughes - The Northern Irishman was at the club when I arrived, but I expected George Boyd to oust him on the left-wing. Hughes has been far better and bossed the game today.


    Tuesday February 18th, 2014
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 Rotherham Utd

    I'll be sad to see the back of Rotherham! That's 8-2 to us over two games. Not bad. Our first and third goals today owed a lot to the Millers' 'keeper, Dominic Cervi. The American dropped a routine ball for Chris O'Grady to open the scoring with a straightforward stroke into an open net. After Michael Tonge's pearler to put us 2-0 up, our third came courtesy of another Cervi clanger, this time palming an easily catchable ball into Mark Beevers' path - he couldn't miss. Still, despite our fortune, 4-0 was not flattering and our final goal was a lovely long-range effort from loanee Will Keane. I rested a few players today and was more than satisfied with how the players who came in did.

    MOTM: Chris O'Grady - O'Grady was at the heart of all our attacking moves today and deserved his goal.


    Saturday February 22nd, 2014
    npower League One
    Priestfield, Gillingham

    Gillingham 2-2 Sheffield Wednesday

    From 2-0 up and cruising, we end up taking only a point. It was obvious the tide was turning from the moment Nile Ranger missed a penalty that would have sent us 3-0 up and given him a hat-trick, followed by a desperately unfortunate Jose Semedo own goal. The first and second halves could not have been more different from one another. We were on fire for the first 45, but Gillingham came roaring back with a dominant second period. I was left to reflect on whether my choice of half-time teamtalk could have been better. Still, at least Ranger bagged another couple of goals.

    MOTM: Chris O'Grady - He didn't score today, but O'Grady had another very good game, linking up with different players all around the pitch.


    League Table





    Player of the Month: Nile Ranger - It really was a shot in the dark with Ranger. He's struggled to establish himself at Newcastle and his loans haven't worked out either. He's with us for three months and it looks like something's clicked for the lad.


    Just for the record, I had no idea Ranger was on loan with Wednesday in real life right now.


    Monthly Reflection: Looking at the table, it's hard to see how we can't get promoted now. I'm surprised at the mediocrity below us. The league is so bunched up and although that might make it exciting, it's ultimately because there's nothing remarkable about anyone in the division, except possibly ourselves. I don't back anyone to put together the kind of run that could seriously challenge our position now. It's time to start thinking now about how I make us strong enough for the Championship, although I'm still awaiting the offer of a new contract. Our form in the league was superb throughout February, with the exception of the second half of the Gillingham game. The FA Cup defeat to Ipswich doesn't mask a decent campaign in that competition, and we played quite well. Meanwhile, in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, we've made it through to the final. The only downside was my falling out with Gary Madine. Can our relationship be repaired? Well, as far as I'm concerned, he's the one in the wrong, so it's up to him to change his attitude.

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    Great season so far. Another good month and you will definitely be fine.

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    Thanks for the reply about Matt James. Interesting because my formations are 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2 as well! Ironically after I posted Matt James went on a good run of form as my advanced playmaker in AMC. Strange because his attributes clearly point towards AMC yet he is listed as a MC/DMC so it may be because of my retraining . P.S Great month.

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    Season 2013/2014
    MARCH



    This Month's Fixtures



    This month contains some really tricky fixtures. Preston are in good form, Barnsley are strong, while Colchester and Leyton Orient are eyeing a playoff place. At this stage, given our comfortable lead at the top, the focus is on getting through these games with as many points as possible. Realistically, there's probably a defeat or two in there somewhere, but we can probably afford that if we can eke out a few wins too. It hasn't escaped my notice that there is also a final at the end of the month. Wycombe are flying high in League One so that shouldn't be easy either.


    This Month's Results


    Saturday March 1st, 2014
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 2-2 Preston North End

    Twice we fell behind to in-form Preston, and we really had to battle for this point. I can't help wondering if the team talk I gave at half-time in the Gillingham match is partly responsible for this slight dip in form. But to be fair, Preston played very well and I can't put everything down to our own flaws. Sometimes you have to take solace in your own team's determination and ability to fight for each other. We couldn't really get going and deserved nothing more than a point. Nile Ranger continues to impress.

    MOTM: Mark Beevers - The centre-back is attracting interest from Premier League side West Ham. He scored our second equaliser today and defended stoutly against a dangerous Preston frontline.


    Saturday March 8th, 2014
    npower League One
    Oakwell, Barnsley

    Barnsley 2-2 Sheffield Wednesday

    Our third 2-2 draw in a row means our lead at the top, which was once as wide as 12 points, is now down to eight. Still healthy, but this little slide needs addressing. Nevertheless, it feels like a huge result having been 2-0 down and staring a deserved defeat in the face. Once again, the players found an extra level, I shifted things round and we clawed our way to parity. The star was Nile Ranger, who tapped in our first and then won a penalty for us to equalise. I was nervous about this game. I saw it as a tough away trip to a side with some lethal forwards and Barnsley didn't disappoint. We had no answer to their attacking play and I was worried it would end up at four- or five-nil. In the end, Ranger's intervention allowed us a way back in.

    MOTM: Nile Ranger - It really couldn't be anyone else. He salvaged us a point almost singlehandedly today. He's a punt that really has paid off.


    Tuesday March 11th, 2014
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Colchester Utd

    Again, I'm left revelling in our determination to grind something out. We went 1-0 after 11 minutes, having started really well. However, it was as if that early goal was the cue to stop playing because Colchester dominated much of the game from then on and couldn't have deserved their equaliser any more than they did. I was left contemplating our fourth draw in a row, but, two minutes into injury time, that man Nile Ranger popped up with a vital goal that gets us back to winning ways. The players as a whole deserve credit for digging this out, but that's overshadowed by another superb contribution from Ranger. What a signing!

    MOTM: Jeff Hughes - Ranger may have scored the crucial goal, but Hughes provided both of our goals today and never gave his full-back a moment's peace.


    Saturday March 15th, 2014
    npower League One
    Brisbane Road, London

    Leyton Orient 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday

    Unbelievable! For the second match in a row, we go behind and end up winning through a 92nd-minute strike. It was Ryan Tunnicliffe's strike that did, although it was stupidly chalked up as an own goal by the Orient 'keeper despite the fact that it was on target. Still, despite that strange decision, I would've taken any kind of goal from yet another game in which we couldn't get going. Orient deserved their lead, but we did improve after their goal and worked incredibly hard to find our way back into the match. I couldn't believe my eyes when the winner went in. I suspect this is the form of champions - grinding out results when far from our best.

    MOTM: Jeff Hughes - Hughes has comfortably outplayed my other left-wing option, George Boyd, during the season. This was another stirring display.


    Saturday March 22nd, 2014
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Carlisle Utd

    With Carlisle struggling against relegation, our excellent home form and a final coming up, I decided to rest some key players. I even restored Gary Madine to the starting line-up. When Jose Semedo headed home our equaliser on 76 minutes, I thought it was "here we go again". After barely stringing two passes together and falling deservedly behind, Semedo's goal appeared to fit a recent pattern. But this time, we were to be thwarted by a side that took advantage of a really off-key display, even accounting for the rested players. Francois Zoko slide home their winner, having been a thorn in our side all day. Nile Ranger was rested from the matchday squad completely, and there was to be no other saviour this time, although Matt James missed a golden chance right at the end. I suppose things were going to catch up with us eventually. Hopefully this is just a slight blip.

    MOTM: Jose Semedo - Everyone had an off day today, but Semedo gave us some hope with his goal.


    Tuesday March 25th, 2014
    npower League One
    B2Net Stadium, Chesterfield

    Chesterfield 2-4 Sheffield Wednesday

    Where to start with this one? There were signs of improvement and we did deserve to win. But it didn't look good when the Spireites took the lead, and nor did it look great when they got back 2-2 after we'd clawed ourselves in front. Our defence has been more porous than usual of late, which allowed Chesterfield chances and made the scoreline look closer than it should have been. We were lively going forward, but had to wait until the last ten minutes to get the two goals that sealed it. Naturally, I was delighted that we again found a way through a sticky situation, but it's a real shame that Nile Ranger picked up an injury that means he's probably played his last game for us. A terrible shame, actually.

    MOTM: Chris O'Grady - With the furore over Gary Madine and the headline-grabbing displays of Nile Ranger, O'Grady has been quietly doing well up-front. Two goals today gave us a great platform.


    Sunday March 30th, 2014
    Johnstone's Paint Trophy: Final
    Wembley, London

    Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 Wycombe Wanderers

    SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY WIN THE JOHNSTONE'S PAINT TROPHY!!

    And so, my first visit to Wembley ends in triumph! I don't care that the competition isn't highly valued. It's a Wembley final and a piece of shiny silver to lift. It's a good habit to get into! Wycombe came up against us at our absolute best today and I almost feel sorry for them because they had no answer to us. Of particular note is the display from Will Keane, stepping into Nile Ranger's shoes and scoring twice. I don't know if our disjointed recent displays were down to distraction because of this final, but we played with much greater freedom today than of late, especially when I shortened our passing in the second half. To win the trophy is great. To win it so comfortably and so convincingly is even better. A fantastic day for the club. I want more days like this, and I want them with Sheffield Wednesday.

    MOTM: Lewis Buxton - An unsung hero all season, Buxton has been with the club for years and deserved his Wembley day out. That he defended so well and teed up three of our four goals is a huge bonus. The fans must have loved it.


    League Table





    Player of the Month: Jeff Hughes - The Northern Irishman was signed from Notts County by Dave Jones prior to my arrival. He'd done okay under Jones, but he's doing far better under my management. I'm so glad he's here and he really shone this month.


    Monthly Reflection: In some ways it was a frustrating month. I lost two key players to injury in Nile Ranger and Sammy Clingan, while our performance dropped a level. Indeed, it dropped a few levels. We were forced to grind things out and I'm pleased with the battling qualities we showed. Looking at the league table, it's clear that we did enough to maintain a healthy lead, although I feel somewhat fortunate that the rest of the league is so mediocre that nobody can string enough wins together to seriously challenge us. We're not far from crossing the line now.

    Winning the Johnstone's Paint Trophy feels amazing. It actually feels better than when my Gold Coast team won the A-League play-offs, though perhaps not quite as good as when that team finished top the following season. Cup wins really are a bonus and, even as one of the favourites, you only need one bum performance and you're out. We avoided that fate and I can add another competition win to my fledgling CV. I really want to use this as a platform to greater things, though.

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    Tuesday April 1st, 2014

    Striker feud looks terminal
    Wednesday manager's relationship with "disgraceful" top scorer hanging by a thread

    by Jane Hutton
    Chief Football Reporter



    With Sunday's success at Wembley in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final still fresh in Hillsborough minds and an eleven point lead at the top of League One going into tomorrow's clash with Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium, it's been a very good season so far for the blue half of Sheffield. But all is not well in the Owls' camp as the crisis over striker Gary Madine continues. Madine, the club's leading goalscorer this season with fifteen goals in all competitions, was sent off in the FA Cup Fourth Round clash with Ipswich Town at Hillsborough on 1st February for a second bookable offence. That second booking was for simulation six minutes from the end of a game that the Tractorboys won 1-0, scoring only moments after Madine's indescretion. He has featured only intermittently since. Hillsborough sources have revealed that Madine was fined for his actions by manager Michael Kobylko, and that a subsequent meeting between manager and striker broke down in acrimony.

    In a surprisingly frank interview last night with BBC Radio Sheffield, manager Michael Kobylko revealed his fury with Madine's actions, branding the former Carlisle United player's behaviour a "disgrace". When asked if Madine would still be at the club next season, Kobylko said "it's not about whether Madine will play for us this season or next. Clearly, I need all the players I can get and Madine is a proven goalscorer. It's about attitude and whether Gary wants to earn back my trust. He let us down badly in the cup and did so again by refusing to accept my discipline." Asked whether he regretted the severity of his punishment, Kobylko, who cut his managerial teeth at Gold Coast United in Australia's A-League before being appointed boss of the Owls last summer, said "I don't fine players lightly and I certainly take no pleasure in it. But the way I see it, Gary's actions against Ipswich cost us the game and also reflected badly on the club. The punishment was entirely in line with club policy." As to whether his relationship with Madine could ever be repaired, Kobylko simply stated: "He's welcome to come to me. His agent is welcome to come to me. But I need to see a sea change in attitude and I won't be holding my breath."

    Wednesday supporters appear divided on whether they support their manager's actions. Supporters' club spokesman Garry Hucknall told The Star last night: "We have a young manager here and I suspect he's seen a chance to stamp his authority on the squad. I just hope, like all supporters, that we don't come to regret this. Gary Madine has done well for us and we may well miss his goals." It's unlikely Kobylko will face any mass revolt over the Madine situation given the recent Trophy success and the strong likelihood of a promotion to the Championship in May. But fans will be hoping that the manager's iron fist doesn't alienate any other important members of what is said to be an otherwise tight-knit squad.

    The Owls are in action down the road at Doncaster tomorrow night in their game in hand over their promotion rivals in League One. Hotshot loanee Nile Ranger will definitely miss out, with young Will Keane, on loan from Manchester United, likely to keep his place following his excellent display at Wembley on Sunday. Midfielder Sammy Clingan is said to be 50/50 for a place on the bench. There are no other injury concerns going into this vital Yorkshire clash.
    Last edited by Mike7077; 10-05-2012 at 14:13.

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    Incase anyone wonders, Jane Hutton and Garry Hucknall are fictional creations. Michael Kobylko is fictional only in so much as I am not really a football manager. The Star is real.

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    Walking things in the league . Nice write-up in the newspaper artical to .

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    Well done on the JPT and probably heading up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    Walking things in the league . Nice write-up in the newspaper artical to .
    Thanks, man. Have to say it does look like we're crusing to promotion. If you look at our form, we don't look like a side that's running away with it. It's just that everyone else seems to be on a win-lose-draw pattern. They never put runs together. Every time I post a league table there's a different team in 2nd. At the moment it's Preston who've come from nowhere. Probably won't be by the end of the season!

    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Well done on the JPT and probably heading up.
    Gracias, mon frere. I love winning trophies.

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    Season 2013/2014
    APRIL/MAY



    This Month's Fixtures



    You're not supposed to use the term "formality". It sounds unprofessional. But with only seven games to go and an eleven point lead over 2nd place going into the home stretch, it's hard not to think that promotion and winning the title will be anything other than such. Throw into the mix that we have four home games and three away, and the fact that we're the only team capable of stringing a few wins together and it's hard to see anything other than promotion. As things stand, we need three wins from our final seven matches to guarantee promotion, and we may end up not even needing that. Here we go...


    This Month's Results


    Wednesday April 2nd, 2014
    npower League One
    Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster

    Doncaster Rovers 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday

    After our win in the Trophy, I hoped it would kick us on and we'd hit a bit of form. But we went to Doncaster looking tired from a season in which we've gone the distance in that competition as well as reaching the 4th Round of the FA Cup. The games caught up with us and we were brushed aside convincingly by struggling Donny. Frustratingly, though, it was our old achilles heel that did for us, as two Rovers goals were headers from free-kicks. We can't defend them. I would argue that half (if not even more) of the goals we've conceded have come from set-pieces, which seems crazy to me.

    MOTM: Matt James - In a leggy performance, I guess you could say James was the least-worst of them in this one.


    Saturday April 5th, 2014
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 Bury

    This was one of those crazy games you have sometimes. I recalled Gary Madine from his exile, with Nile Ranger still injured and about to return to Newcastle and Will Keane struggling for fitness. Madine repaid me by sticking the ball in the net after just two minutes. I never doubted his ability to score goals in this league. Incredibly, Chris O'Grady then got himself sent off on 6 minutes for exactly the same thing as Madine did in the Ipswich game! He picked up his second yellow for a dive in the box. I was naturally fuming, and would be faced with a decision to make on punishment after the game. To make matters even worse up-front, Madine then picked up an injury which means he may not feature again this season. Thankfully, we were still able to see off promotion-chasing Bury and even David Healy scored! Still, we've been given a bit of a selection crisis up-front. Ranger won't play for us again, Madine is a possibility for the final game of the season at best and O'Grady misses two games. Keane and Healy should be fit, but I'm not convinced by either player.

    MOTM: Jeff Hughes - The winger replaced the injured Madine just before half-time and turned in his usual superb display.


    After that win, other results went our way. A win in our next game will see us both promoted and crowned Champions! Home to Paolo Di Canio's fading Swindon Town...


    Saturday April 12th, 2014
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Swindon Town

    Sheffield Wednesday are promoted from npower League One!!
    Sheffield Wednesday have won npower League One!!

    We left it till the 93rd minute to seal it, but nobody was going to spoil our day! Swindon have been on a slump and are well down the table now with nothing left to play for. The tried hard today and created a few chances but we always looked in control. It wasn't vintage stuff but we did enough, which is something we've made a habit out of. This win means we've got four games left to enjoy and to relax in. I'm incredibly proud of a group of players that had far too much for the rest of the division, and, even without a host of forwards, we had too much for Swindon today.

    MOTM: Ryan Tunnicliffe - The young Man Utd loanee has had a hard season but he played well today and bagged his first league goal for us late on.


    Saturday April 19th, 2014
    npower League One
    Adams Park, High Wycombe

    Wycombe Wanderers 1-3 Sheffield Wednesday

    When Wycombe went in front, it looked like our first chance to celebrate promotion might be a bit of a damp squib. The Chairboys looked in the mood for revenge following their defeat at our hands in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final, and they played quite well throughout. But, as has often been the case, we had a touch of extra class and it told in the end. A fairly routine away win.

    MOTM: George Boyd - Boyd has had a low-key season, but this was his day. He was brilliant and even scored a brace.


    Monday April 21st, 2014
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Torquay Utd

    With this being our second game in three days and with promotion already sewn up, a few fringe players were given a run out against bottom-of-the-table Torquay. The Gulls needed three points to stand any chance of staying up, but we dominated from start to finish and Torquay will begin next season in League Two. They had nothing to offer and the only mystery is how it ended 2-0. It could have been so much more.

    MOTM: Chris O'Grady - O'Grady didn't respond well to his fine, but he returned to action today, scored a goal and generally played well.


    Saturday April 26th, 2014
    npower League One
    Fratton Park, Portsmouth

    Portsmouth 0-2 Sheffield Wednesday

    This was a bit like the Torquay game in that we've won 2-0 against a side that needed to win to stand a chance of survival. Again, it should have been far more than 2-0, with us hitting the woodwork four times! Pompey is a story that just gets sadder. Their squad is tiny and the players they do have will all leave in the summer. Non-League could beckon. They are still in administration. Without their ten point deduction, they would have just about stayed up, but as it is, they go down and I take no pleasure in that. I do take pleasure in a strong performance from ourselves today, though.

    MOTM: Chris Eagles - Rather like Boyd, Eagles has been more low-key than I'd hoped, but he was on his game today.


    Saturday May 10th, 2014
    npower League One
    Hillsborough, Sheffield

    Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 Charlton Athletic

    We've wrapped the season up with an absolutely superb display against a woeful Charlton who finish 18th. It's yet another game where we could have run up a cricket score but failed to do so. Meanwhile, the Addicks scored with their only shot on target. We had to wait till the second half for goals, but once they came, there was only going to be one winner. A brilliant way to sign off on a wonderful season.

    MOTM: Chris O'Grady - A brace for O'Grady means he finishes the season as our top scorer. He's been good since returning from suspension.


    League Table





    Player of the Month: Jeff Hughes - More class from the Northern Ireland international, although O'Grady might have won it had he not been so stupid against Bury.


    Monthly Reflection: As usual, my thoughts on the season as a whole will follow in a later update. But as for the final month (and a bit), I can hardly complain. The Doncaster game gave me a little cause for concern, but we responded with a host of comfortable wins to see the season out, sealing promotion with games to spare. We tightened up at the back after a more than generous period in that department, and also looked dangerous going forward, even with a mini striker crisis at one point. It was sad to have to relegate Torquay and even sadder to add to Portsmouth's unending misery, but my focus is on us and it was, the Donny game apart, a satisfying run of games.

    Well done to Oldham on their surprising promotion.

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    I was rightly offered a new contract after the Portsmouth game.



    I managed to wangle a higher wage than was being offered and also got them to agree to four years instead of three. I see this as a five-year position for me, with one year already down. Obviously, if an amazing job came along, I'd probably take it. But if not, and I avoid the sack, I'd like to do another four years and then take a short break before perhaps moving abroad.

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    Just read through this. Have to say well done and I'm glad I've read this all at once. Love careers like this and just hope you don't jump too soon. That contract should ensure you don't.

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    Good luck in the Championship.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nottingham Forest View Post
    Just read through this. Have to say well done and I'm glad I've read this all at once. Love careers like this and just hope you don't jump too soon. That contract should ensure you don't.
    So glad to know somebody is enjoying my work even half as much as I'm enjoying playing and updating! In terms of jumping "too soon", my full intention is to see the next four years out and then go abroad. It would take a special offer for me to jump ship before then. I've been linked with a few positions lately but none of them are worth walking out on Wednesday for. I never meant to end up at a club this big so quickly, but I guess I'm a victim of my own success in that sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by rancer890 View Post
    Good luck in the Championship.
    Thank you. I fancy us to do well.

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    Season 2013/2014
    SEASON REVIEW



    Final League Table





    The Sheffield Wednesday job was the right one at the right time for me. With my reputation set as "professional footballer" and my unexpected success with Gold Coast Utd, I was probably just what they needed after a succession of older managers failed to get them out of League One. Milan Mandaric gave me a sizeable wage budget and £2m to spend, which is a monstrous budget in League One. The nucleus of a good squad was already in place and I was free to augment it with some good signings. In the end, I feel the success I've had this season is less of a surprise than what happened in Australia. Gold Coast far exceeded my expectations. I always believed I could get Sheffield Wednesday up, which is why I only wanted a one-year contract last summer. If I failed, I didn't deserve to stay. The Johnstone's Paint Trophy success was a nice little bonus, but I can't pretend it exceeds any expectations I had. I would say that, overall, we've done very well, but it helps that the league was so mediocre. But to win the league by 19 points and bring home a cup is still worth celebrating. And let's not forget we made the FA Cup 4th Round, knocking out Premier League Fulham on the way.


    Player of the Season

    Despite how well we did, some players really disappointed me. On the other hand, several, most notably the three below, did really well and deserve recognition.

    3. Michael Tonge

    This was Tonge's second season with the club. He was a modest bit-part player last season and his career was in danger of fading out. But he found his best form under my management and was an immovable object in my midfield.

    2. Mark Beevers

    The centre-back is 24 and has been with the Owls for his whole career so far. He's easily Championship quality and had a fantastic season. Reminds me of what Ante Rozic did for my Gold Coast team.

    1. Jeff Hughes

    When I came into the club, I saw Hughes as little more than useful backup. I thought George Boyd would make the left midfield position his own. But Boyd blew hot and cold all season and, in the end, found himself on the bench more often than not, thanks to the brilliance of Jeff Hughes. The former Notts County man could be relied upon to produce when needed, scoring several really important goals. Despite a lack of pace, he seemed better than any of my other wide man at getting away from his man and reaching the byeline. Hughes was brilliant and fully deserves a shot at the Championship.


    Favourite Match



    I could have gone for any number of league games or the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final. But to ease past a team from two leagues above you in the FA Cup is really special and this has to be the match I enjoyed the most. We took Fulham apart and this game will live with me well into my future as a manager. Everything came together and things just went right for us.


    So why so good... yet again?

    Much easier to understand than it was with Gold Coast. I don't think I'm a managerial genius. I think I just got a number of things right at Gold Coast, and now I'm managing a big club with good players and beefy budgets. League One, which was really poor this season, wasn't really a challenge. We made an iffy start but pretty much steamrollered the division in the end. I would put it down to good foundations being in place and having good money to spend.

    Thoughts on next season

    We would be doing ourselves a disservice if we focused solely on survival. We're Sheffield Wednesday and we need to be competitive in the Championship. My preliminary thinking is that I need to aim for mid-table. Player turnover will be modest this summer. Some players have earned a shot at the tier above, while several are not having their contracts renewed. I'm also looking to sell Reda Johnson, who underperformed and isn't Championship quality, and Gary Madine, with whom I have completely fallen out. He probably isn't Championship quality either. It won't be easy, but the hard work starts right now and if I do the right things, we can enjoy our first season back in the second tier.

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    Code:
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | Season   |  Team                | League                 |  Country    | League Position   |  Notes                         |
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | 2011/12  |  Gold Coast Utd      | Hyundai A-League       |  Australia  | 2nd (R.S.)        |  Won Finals Series             |
    | 2012/13  |  Gold Coast Utd      | Hyundai A-League       |  Australia  | 1st (R.S.)        |  Lost in Grand Final           |
    |          |                      |                        |             |                   |  4th in Champions League Group |
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | 2013/14  |  Sheff Wed           | npower League One      |  England    | 1st (Promoted)    |  Won Johnstone's Paint Trophy  |

  96. #196
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    Former Clubs Watch


    Gold Coast Utd




    Code:
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | Season   |  Team                | League                 |  Country    | League Position   |  Notes                            |
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | 2013/14  |  Gold Coast Utd      | Hyundai A-League       |  Australia  | 8th               |  4th in Champions League Group    |

    Final League Table - 2013/14



    Asian Champions League: Group H - 2013/14




    A terribly disappointing season for Gold Coast, then. I can see where it wrong for them, though. Firstly, they lost me. Whilst I don't wish to sound arrogant, I knew exactly what I was doing there. The new manager took a scattergun approach to transfers and disrupting everything good about the squad. But they couldn't help the fact I chose to move on. Secondly, they lost Michael Thwaite. This would have happened even if I stayed. I rated Thwaite very highly (he would have signed for Wednesday if he could have gotten a work permit) but he was demanding a "Marquee Player" contract and I felt this would hold me back from bringing in a real quality player. Thwaite was very good but he's a right-back and it feels like a waste of a Marquee Player. Thirdly, they lost Matt McKay. I loaned McKay from Rangers last season. He was brilliant and I agreed to bring him in permanently on a Marquee contract before I left. But the new manager then brought in his own Marquee signing before McKay's scheduled arrival, which meant that when it was time for the deal to go ahead, it fell through. That was a massive loss to them. Finally, the new manager ripped a successful team apart for no reason. he immediately transfer listed David Healy despite his goals last season and then let him join me on a season-long loan. He sidelined others and replaced them with really poor signings.

    I'm gutted that Gold Coast have fallen back so suddenly and blame the new manager almost entirely. At least they picked up their first ever points in the Champions League, though.

    I also can't believe Melbourne Victory finished bottom!
    Last edited by Mike7077; 11-05-2012 at 18:12.

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    Brilliant in league one, not had my PC for a while so haven't been able to read this thread. At times the A-League seems very random once it is all AI controlled, Wellington Phoenix finished top one season then bottom the next on my FM11 save.

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    Congrats on the league title and promotion! Shame to see Gold Coast crumble...

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    Quote Originally Posted by AcidBurn View Post
    Brilliant in league one, not had my PC for a while so haven't been able to read this thread. At times the A-League seems very random once it is all AI controlled, Wellington Phoenix finished top one season then bottom the next on my FM11 save.
    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    Congrats on the league title and promotion! Shame to see Gold Coast crumble...
    Thanks guys.

    As for Gold Coast, it's the usual story really. You hand over to the AI manager and, regardless of how well you did, he changes everything. From big things like altering the squad to little things like randomly changing everyone's squad number, they go crazy. In this case, it wasn't all the new manager's fault, but still, he didn't impress me. I'm gutted that they've become uncompetitive so quickly.

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    Season 2014/2015
    PRE-SEASON


    The summer has required me to think quite hard about the squad and where we go, really. I have to prepare myself for how much harder things are going to be because I've become used to winning. We won't have it all our own way in the Championship. It was quite a busy summer in terms of the transfer market. The bulk of the squad is retained, but there was question of replacing loanees and also which players wouldn't have their contracts renewed. And then there was a decision to be made about Gary Madine. I've been busy!


    Transfers



    Players Out: As you can see, I've been able to send a good chunk of my young players out on loan. Most notable are what I like to call the "Bohemians Three", these being the three young players, Simon White, Peirce O'Brien and Peter Lennon, who arrived from the Irish club in January. They all go out on loan for the season. But more importantly, it looks as if Gary Madine has played his last game for the club. Our relationship can't be repaired and I'm not wholly convinced he is good enough for the Championship, anyway. But if he is good enough, he has the chance to prove it as he's joined Nottingham Forest on loan for the season. His no.9 has been allocated to one of my new signings and his contract expires next summer, so Madine is surely on his way out. The previous club captain, Reda Johnson, joins newly-promoted League One outfit Luton Town, who are rising back up the divisions. Leon Panikvar has joined Cardiff City, who have just dropped into League One. Fringe player Chris Lines is about to sign a contract with Doncaster Rovers, while Liam Palmer joins Hibernian. Neither player did enough to convince me last season.

    Players In: First and foremost, my strikeforce has been revamped. Chris O'Grady stays, but will have competition from Simon Church, who signs for free from Reading having scored 66 goals in 127 league games in the last three Championship seasons, and Sam Vokes who signs on loan for the season from Wolves. Both players are proven Championship goalscorers who should make us very dangerous at the sharp end of the pitch. I've also brought Nile Ranger back in on loan after his blistering cameo last season, although he may find starts hard to come by. Chris Eagles signs permanently, and for free. He did okay last season and I just feel we will need him this season. Ryan Tunnicliffe is back on loan from Man Utd, this time for six months instead of a season, just to provide an option in midfield if we need one. I've taken advantage of Portsmouth's dire straits by bringing in two of their players. Greg Halford is an experienced defender who can play at right-back or centre-back, as well as in midfield and will certainly be a better option than Reda Johnson in the Championship. Adam Webster is still only 19 but has played many games for Pompey due to the small size of the squad. He looks to have real potential. With the loss of Panikvar, I've brought in a new left-back in the shape of Graeme Shinnie from Inverness CT. Still only 22, he's been playing for a Caley side that competes in the SPL's top four and he looks very talented. More so than Panikvar. Finally, Andreas Laudrup is an unknown quantity. I felt I needed another wide option and his agent offered him to me following the expiry of his FC Nordsjaelland contract. He's a left-winger who can play on the right and, incase you're wondering, he is related to the more famous Laudrups, Michael and Brian.


    Pre-Season Results

    Scotland Tour
    Hamilton Academical 0-4 Sheffield Wednesday
    Partick Thistle 0-4 Sheffield Wednesday
    Dunfermline Athletic 0-2 Sheffield Wednesday
    Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0-2 Sheffield Wednesday

    Others
    Stockport County 0-3 Sheffield Wednesday
    Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Shamrock Rovers
    Newport County 0-3 Sheffield Wednesday
    Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

    Can't complain about the way pre-season went. We conceded just one goal, and that was to an established Championship side. We easily dispatched with a host of teams I fully expect us to be beating. The new signings all did reasonably well, with Vokes and Church both looking very dangerous up top. The intention is always to do enough to get morale as high as possible, and we've done that. We also managed to look nice and competitive against the kind of team in Brighton that we will be coming up against regularly this season.


    Aims and Expectations: Once more, I was given plenty of money to spend. My initial budget was £3m and, with a good chunk of that spent, I was then given another £1.5m to spend. Mandaric clearly happy to back me. The board have set me the aim of a safe, midtable finish. I look at the squad, especially the strike force, and I feel that this has to be achievable. My personal aim to finish somewhere between 7th and 12th. That would be a successful season and would give us something to build on for the following season. Anything lower than 15th would be failure, regardless of the fact we're newly-promoted. I'm not too worried about the League Cup, but I'd like to see us make at least the 4th Round of the FA Cup, though I'd have to revise this if our draw in the 3rd Round was especially tough.

    Key Players:

    Simon Church: The Welsh forward has been lethal for Reading over the past three seasons in this very division and I can't believe they let his contract expire. A terrible decision by the Royals. I'm looking to get something similar out of Church to what they've seen and, if we do, it should be a good season.

    Sam Vokes: Still only 24, Vokes hasn't been able to get a foothold in a Wolves side well and truly entrenched in the Premier League. But he knows the Championship and I'm looking for him to form a really strong partnership with Church.

    Mark Beevers: It's a big season for Beevers. He's proven himself a masterful defender in League One, but he needs to make the step up now. I'm glad his chance to do so will be with us. I rate him very highly and it's going to be key to our season that he repays that faith.

    Sammy Clingan: The experienced Clingan is a calming presence in midfield. He's played many games in the Championship so knows the division. Hopefully he will be the anchor in the middle of the park that I need him to be and expect him to be.


    So, I guess it's time to find out if I've done the right things this summer. A tough season lies ahead, but I see no reason not to look forward to it. I really want to be the manager that finally gets Sheffield Wednesday back on an even keel in English football's second tier.
    Last edited by Mike7077; 12-05-2012 at 17:36.

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