A crucial 1-0 win in the away leg in Japan allowed us to move into the second leg with confidence, but a couple of suspensions to key players including central defender Muller really meant that this tie was still wide open. It turned out to be an incredibly wide open game, more resembling a basketball game at times with play flowing up and down the field at huge speed - we ended up with 22 shots on goal compared to their 19.
The opening 15 minutes was incredibly frenetic and whilst we had the most shots on goal we were struggling to find the target whilst they were stretching my goalkeeper to his limit - we made the first breakthrough though in the 21st minute and then hit again within the next 7 minutes with 2 sucker punches which really secured the tie for us in the absence of a 5 goal miracle fight back from Sanga. Straight after half time I was worried that was exactly what we were going to see as they scored twice in 5 minutes, but we managed to calm down, tighten the gaps in defence and secure the final result.
So - we're into the Asian Champions League final for the first time since we were runners up in 2012 (the one and only time Guangzhou have made it to the final) and will be facing up to Zob-Ahan of the Iranian league - they have also only once been in a Champions League final back in 2010 where they were also runners-up. They finished 3rd in the league last season, but currently are struggling almosty halfway through the Iranian season in 8th place.
One of us will be going home very happy on the 17th November.........
Well done on winning the league! Good luck for the ACL final
The title had been won, but we had two important fixtures still to come against teams at the very top of the league - there was always the worry of complacency setting in as the players minds started to drift forwards to the Champions League final, but we managed to keep our feet on the ground and pick up 2 very respectable if unspectacular wins to really enforce our dominance at the top of the league.
So we finished 14 points clear at the top of the league and picked up the record for the most points in a season and the most goals scored - I can't ask for much more than that, other than perhaps a Champions League trophy to top it all off!
I think there might be some bias to Chinese domestic managers in this award - can't believe I didn't win it . A good proportion of my team were recognised in the team of the year award however:
My second excursion into a Champions League final, this time on a different continent, and I was desperate to put the disappointment of my defeat in the African Champions League with Bamboutos behind me. On paper both teams looked fairly equal and it's fair to say would have been surprised to have made it to the final, having seen some of the tournament favourites knocked out along the way. I wasn't letting on, but I was quietly confident that this might be our best chance to pick up a Champions League win in years!
Route to the Final - Guangzhou
A few dodgy results in the group at one point put our qualification in doubt, but after the thrashing of Seongnam our confidence was on a high and the results since then look very impressive
Route to the Final - Zob-Ahan
A similarly impressive run, only marred by a couple of draws in the group stage and the impressive knocking out of Seongam in the Quarter Final's - based on this record they will be tough opponents in the final
Last edited by chile_paul; 20-07-2012 at 06:20.
I was delighted to see a comprehensive victory by my team which really could and should have been by more - we dominated throughout the game, and on the occassions when Zob-Ahan did make it into a shooting position they continually failed to test Ding Kun in our goal. Duan Xin was the real hero of the day, picking up the first goal and what was his 12th goal in the last 9 games of the season - what a player!
So we'd done it, we'd won the Champions League and I'm now proudly holding the first of the 5 Champions League trophies that I want to attain in my career!
This competition really wasn't a priority this year, especially given that we'd just lifted the Champions League trophy and because I was jetting of to manage the Chinese U-23's at the East Asian Games, as a result I was using it as an opportunity to give a few of my younger players a run out. Even so, claiming the treble would be a very nice way to end the domestic season........
It wasn't to be in the end though - we put up a very good performance against Dalian, again thanks to a stunning performance by Duan Xin - but Tianjin striker Joilson put us on the back foot when he scored in the first minute and then kicked us when were down by scoring a 2nd in the 29th minute. Despite fighting back and having the most chances we struggled to hit the target and in the end we were well beaten.
Excellent run to the Final and a great way to round it off.
Nice victory! By the way, in the screenshot of Zob-Ahans route to the final, the final result is on it .
Chinese Super League - 1st place
Chile_Paul's Career - Season Review - 2018 - Guangzhou Hengda
A complete turnaround compared to the disaster of last season as we ran away with the title, eventually winning with 14 points back to 2nd place. We now hold the all time record for the most goals scored in a season and the most points achieved. At times we really did look unbeatable and the highlight of the season had to be the 7-0 demolition of eventual runners-up Shandong. As the season progressed, other teams started to cotton on that we would destroy them with pace and started to sit back more and park the bus in front of the goal - this frustrated us and made the opposition much harder to break down which resulted in several points slipping away to draws.
Being crowned Champions League winners really was the icing on the cake, whilst we could have had a tougher draw in the knock-out rounds and were lucky to be facing a team of similar stature in the final rather than a previous winner, we were worthy winners and will be looking forward to representing Asia in the FIFA World Club Cup during the off-season.
The side really needed to be freshened up with some youn, enthusiastic faces and the players that I bought in really did make the difference, many of them becoming regulars in the first team far sooner than I'd expected:
Joseph Njock (YP16) - Joseph followed me from Bamboutos and had a solid, if unspectacular season. There are a number of other Chinese teams sniffing around with a view to bidding for him, but I think he has a solid role within the squad
Lu Nan - Star Signing An absolute star up the right wing, Nan made a large number of our goals and managed to stick a few away himself. I've slapped a £7m price tag on his head, but FC Twente are still supposedly interested in his services!
Wu Xinghan - Wu had been propping up the U-21 side for Shandong before I found him, now he's one of the top scorers in the league and a regular for the Chinese national side!
Nicholas D'Assero - A great young Argentinian striker, who's biggest weapon is his pace. He would have scored plenty more if not for his injury record - if he can't go for a prolonged period of time without picking up another injury he might find he's lost his place in the squad
Ma Qinqtao - I didn't expect Ma to break into the first team this season, but after a good few early sub performances he was thrown in at the deep end and thrived on the opportunity. He became one of my most regular and consistent performers during the season and has now picked up his first international cap
Zhou Xiaougang - A not dissimilar story to Ma, I had bought Zhou in as my 3rd choice central defender but he pushed his way up the rankings and became one of my regular starters - he too is now in the Chinese national side
A solid season helped massively by the Champions League run and improved attendances saw us break even - the forthcoming upgrade of the Training and Youth facilities is going to set us back a cool £7.25m however!
Player of the Season - 34 year old Liu Jian was once again the star performer this season. I'm not sure how long he's got left in his legs, but he'll definitely still hold a starting place in the team next season. Duan Xin came a very close second place with an impressive 20 goal tally, but I can't over-estimate the importance of Jian's playmaking performances in the middle of the park
Fan's Player of the Season - the fans agreed with my decision once again and handed the award to Liu Jian
Team of the Year
I've one more year left on my contract, aim has to be to retain both the league and Champions League crowns and have a respectable showing in the World Club Cup
Last edited by chile_paul; 20-07-2012 at 18:26.
Not bad! That is a dominant 1st place
With the domestic season over and done with it was time to focus on my responsibilities with the international U-23 team. To be honest I very nearly handed in my notice with the Chinese FA before a ball was kicked in anger after I found out that I wouldn't get to pick the squad - I'm not sure whether this is a bug or whether it represents reality in that the manager of the senior team picked the squad?
After a good deal of consideration I decided to stick it out at the job, it actually played into my hands nicely - I would have picked a few more of my Guangzhou players in the squad and given that they were all called up a few days before the Champions League final it might have resulted in a different outcome against Zob-Ahan.
In the groups we had been drawn against Uzbekistan, Oman and Bhutan - two teams qualified for the second round, so it as fair to say that I wasn't too worried and was looking forward to 9 points and a good few goals.
It wasn't quite that straightforward though, in the first game we found ourselves 2-0 down to Uzbekistan - facing an embarassing defeat in my first game in charge I really laid into the players at half time and they responded pulling 2 goals back and we were looking favourites to get the 3rd. It wasn't to be though, Uzbekistan got a third on the break and we were lucky to get a last minute equaliser. Whilst I as still looking favourite for qualification I couldn't leave anything to chance after that result so put my first team out against Oman, which resulted in an 8-0 spanking followed by another convincing 5-0 win over Bhutan to secure qualification in first place with a more impressive goal difference than Uzbekistan
The three other major threats in the tournament - Japan, South Korea and Iran had also safely negotiated the groups and I was keen to avoid them in the draw as long as possible.
First up in the second round we faced Vietnam - we dominated the game but struggled to break through their Vietnamese defence and had to wait until extra time before we broke through, eventually winning 2-0. Japan and Iran had the misfortune to be drawn together so early in the competition and it was the defending champions Iran who won through, winning convincingly in extra time. South Korea also dropped out in a huge shock as Malaysia knocked them out on penalties.
So that only really left Iran to worry me in the draw - in the QF's we comfortably beat Thailand and Iran again struggled and had to rely on extra time to know out neighbours Iraq. It would have made for a great final, but the draw forced us together in the semi-final; could we make the most of the tired Iranian legs to progress to the final?
Sadly it wasnt to be, and I was really disappointed because we threw the tie away - we were 2-0 up and looking comfortable at half time - it took Iran until the 75th minute to claw one back, and they then equalised in the 88th minute - both goals coming from poor defending at corners which we really should have prevented. In extra time we faded quickly and lacked options from the bench to make a difference as a result of injuries in previous games. It looked as though it as heading for penalties, but in the last minute the Iranians showed the cutting edge and stole the victory - gutting!
The final was there for Iran to take, but maybe the consecutive extra time performances had taken it out of them - it once again went to extra time in the final against my old foes, Uzbekistan, but this time Iran couldn't make the crucial breakthrough and in the penalty shoot out it was the Uzbek's who triumphed to lift the trophy!!
Despite barely being able to field a team because of injuries, we went on to a comfortable 3-0 win against Singapore in the 3rd place play-off to take the bronze medal
Last edited by chile_paul; 21-07-2012 at 08:03.
Realistically I knew that I didn't have a chance in hell of winning this competition, not with the likes of Juventus and Santos in the way - however it was going to be a good test for my players to assess how good they really were - there is some good money involved as well if you can progress to the later stages of the competition.
We entered the draw at the Quarter final stage, but were unlucky in the draw picking up Monterrey of Mexico, and missing the chance to face one of the undoubtedly easier African teams in the draw.
We put up a really decent performance against a much stronger side, taking the lead in the first half with a 10th minute goal from Duan Xin - but we were pegged back in the second half and then for the second time in only a few weeks one of my teams fell in the dying minutes of extra time to miss the opportunity to take the tie to penalties.
We went on to take 5th place in the competition with a comfortable 3-0 win in the 5th place play-off against HUS Agadir
Well done on a great season! Shame you couldn't get past Monterrey in the CWC though.
Hi all, just a quick apology for not updating in a while - been really busy with work and have been to see a couple of real life football games at the Olympics so no time for FM!!
Should be returning back to normal service next week!
Real life comes before FM .
First update in a while guys - sorry about that.
Anyway I've got a few updates to make over the weekend to catch up with where I am in the game, the first news though is that the Chinese FA were obviously not too upset in my failure to win the Asian games with the U-23's as following the retirement of the senior team coach they appointed me into the senior role!
With a significant proportion of the Chinese team playing for Guangzhou their shouldn't be too many club v country rows!
Congrats on the China appoitment! Should help with Guanghou
Always interesting managing the natioal team of the nation you're in.
Nice work getting the China job.
Chile_Paul's Career - Season 8 Preview - Guangzhou Hengda
Chinese Super League - Win the CSL
CFA Cup - Not considered important
AFC Champions League - Reach the Quarter-finals
Super Cup - Not considered important
Media Prediction: 1st
Chinese Super League - Dominate throughout and beat last season's points and goal tally
CFA Cup - Regaining my crown of the overall champions of China
AFC Champions League - Go for the treble and retain my Asian title
Given the strong performances last season, I didn't need any major surgery in the close season. I'd been looking for a while for a non-Chinese Asian player to maximise the potential of my foreign players quote (I'm limited to 3 foreigners in my starting 11, but can have one additional foreign player if they're Asian) and I've also brought in a number of young future Chinese stars who I can develop in the club side to replace some of my older stars and also develop to be future stars for the national team. At the back of my mind I know that some of my top players are going to start courting interest from Europe, so I need to establish a conveyor belt of talent.
£6m spent and £2.5m received from the sale of my first choice centre back Muller to Legia - he was getting restless and wanted European football and was refusing to enter contract negotiation talks - a trend that I expect to increase over the coming seasons if we continue to be successful.In return though I've bought in a couple of young Chinese centre backsto replace him who I'm sure will develop to be as good as he was.
Ri Ho-Jin: Arriving on a free transfer Ri is a young but experienced North Korean striker / inside forward. Whilst not an immediate first team player, the foreign player rule means that he will almost always be on the bench as it will give me more versatility in my selection.
Yu Qinglu: Yu has the tough job of replacing Muller in the defence - I've now got more choice and flexibility in this position though, should Yu not live up o his billing.
Zhang Lei: My undoubted weak spot last season was on the left hand side of midfield. Zhang looks to be a star of the future however and with him on the left and Lu Nan on the right I've got two frighteningly good wingers for this level of competition
Su Qichen: The young star of the Chinese set up Su scored 16 goals in 24 games for Dalian last season and has 12 U-21 goals from 14 appearances. He won't play that many games for me this season as I'll need to rotate my front line, but he looks to have the potential to be a regular goal scorer.
Karen Martisoryan: A real risk on this young Armenian striker - will he settle in China and will he get enough game time in an already flooded front line? However his stats for a 20 year old were too good not to bring in and he arrives as my most expensive acquisition of the close season
Wage Budget: £244,700 p/w (£228,484 p/w) +£16,216
Wage Bill: £137,818 (£123,362 p/w) +£14,456
Transfer Budget: £14.95m (£8.86m) +£6.09m
Bank Balance: £24,650,037 (£21,690,581) +£2.96m
Average Ticket price: £9.10 (£8.70) +£0.40p
Season Ticket Holders: 2,580 (2,477) +103
Season Ticket price: £112 (£102) +£10
Estimated club value: £25.5M (£19.25M) +£6.25m
Club Reputation: Continental
Ranking within China: 2nd (5th) +3
Chinese world ranking: 48th (65th) +17
CSL competition ranking within Asia: 9th (9th)
The draw for the Champions League offerred little to frighten me after our stunning run to lift the title last season - Antlers posed the biggest challenge, but Newcastle United Jets and Daejon provided little concern.
Indeed, the first 3 games offerred little to concern me - against Dajeon we dominated with our height, 3 goals coming from defenders including a debut goal from Yu Qinglu. The game against Antlers was tighter, but we scraped through to win thanks to a goal from new boy Ri Ho-Jin just before half time after which we shut up shop and controlled possession - and then against the Jets we tore them apart with an incredible 30 shots on goal, it was only down to their goalkeeper and our atrocious finishing (of the 30 shots only 11 were on target) that we didn't win by a cricket score.
So we're sitting comfortably in top spot with a bit of a surprise in the form of the Jets occupying second place.
I wasn't sure how the team would react to our Championship win last season and whether the competition would have adapted to our tactics, to make this a tougher run this season - but I got the answer on Match Day 1 against fierce rivals Beijing who we obliterated much to the delight of our fans. Lu Nan was a destroyer on the right wing picking up 2 goals in 14 minutes and by the end of the month had an astonishing 7 goals in 4 games from the right wing! CSKA Moscow and Seville are both stalking him, how long can I hold on to him for?
Just read through this mate, great start to the new season
The first half of the group stage had gone well, but I needed the team to stay focussed as we threw into the mix the additional complexity of playing in the League inbetween each group game.
Things couldn't have gone better in the Daejeon game as we took the lead thanks to a penalty in the 6th minute, but after taking that early lead, despite dominating throughout we struggled to find a way through to add to the score - the 6 yellow cards picked up by Daejeon perhaps bets sums up the tactics that they were using to try to battle a way into the game. That win, alongside other results in the group effectively saw us qualify for the second round, but we needed to secure top spot in the group in order to avoid a difficult away tie in the second round - this was achieved in the next match away to Antlers; we really should have won this game after going up 2-0, but Antlers pulled back to 2-2 after half time and despite us going back into the lead we couldn't prevent Antlers from rescuing a point. Away in Australia we didn't dominate anything like as much as we had done in the home tie, but ended up winning by a higher scoreline thanks to a fantastic hattrick from Argentian Nicolas D'Assero
Brilliant start to the season so far.
Great AFC CL group performance.
Congrats on CL win and good luck with national team!
Very nice work topping your group.
Going very well!
Thanks for all the great comments guys, the season is certainly going well and despite a slightly sticky couple of games we've still got our 100% record in the league!
Moving into May we continued to see some great individual performances in the first game with both my wingers scoring and picking up assists for Wu Xinghan's 2 goals. I had high hopes for these two coming into the season and boy are they living up to expectations. In the next 2 games we slipped off the boil though and really struggled to dominate in the way that we had been doing. In fact against A'erbin we were heading towards defeat and the fans were leaving the stadium already when Robinson soared up at the far post to head home a free kick from the captain, before Ri Ho-Jin bought on as a substitute cut in from the left wing and lashed the ball home across the face of the keeper. Business returned to normal against 4th placed Fuli and Ri Ho-Jin had clearly kept his lucky pants on as he scored another 2 sensational goals to give us a 100% record after the first 8 games.
The second round in the Champions League is always tricky, being the only round in the competition that is one legged, therefore introducing the risk of a real upset. Our dominance in the group had secured us a home advantage though and we made this pay in what was otherwise an unexpectedly tight match, eventually nicking the tie 1-0 thanks to a 40 yard screamer from captain Liu Jian - a real goal of the season contender!
That's a great beginning to the season
100% = perfect!
Sorry it's been a while since I last updated, I've had loads on and have also set up another career game that I'm now running alongside this one - however I can promise a few updates today and early next week to keep you up to date with the tales form China and to see how long my 100% record lasts for!
Thanks to everybody for the supportive comments!
Roll of Honour
2011/12 - 1st Liverpool 2nd Man City 3rd Man United
2012/13 - 1st Man City 2nd Man United 3rd Liverpool
2013/14 - 1st Man City 2nd Liverpool 3rd Man United
2014/15 - 1st Liverpool 2nd Arsenal 3rd Man City
2015/16 - 1st Liverpool 2nd Man Utd 3rd Chelsea
2016/17 - 1st Man Utd 2nd Liverpool 3rd Arsenal
2017/18 - 1st Liverpool 2nd Man Utd 3rd Man City
2018/19 - 1st Liverpool 2nd Arsenal 3rd Man Utd
2011/12 - Winners Aston Villa Runners-Up Brighton
2012/13 - Winners Man Utd Runners-Up Stoke
2013/14 - Winners Arsenal Runners-Up Bolton
2014/15 - Winners Sheff Utd Runners-Up Man Utd
2015/16 - Winners Chelsea Runners-Up Wolves
2016/17 - Winners Wolves Runners-Up Sunderland
2017/18 - Winners Stoke Runners-Up Bolton
2018/19 - Winners Man City Runners-Up Southampton
2011/12 - Winners Man Utd Runners-Up Watford
2012/13 - Winners Derby Runners-Up Arsenal
2013/14 - Winners Stoke Runners-Up Wolves
2014/15 - Winners Liverpool Runners-Up West Ham
2015/16 - Winners Man City Runners-Up Tottenham Hotspurs
2016/17 - Winners Aston Villa Runners-Up Man City
2017/18 - Winners Tottenham Runners-Up Everton
2018/19 - Winners Liverpool Runners-Up Aston Villa
2011/12 - Winners Real Madrid Runners-Up Lyon
2012/13 - Winners Real Madrid Runners-Up Liverpool
2013/14 - Winners Real Madrid Runners-Up Man City
2014/15 - Winners Man City Runners-Up Man Utd
2015/16 - Winners Barcelona Runners-Up Arsenal
2016/17 - Winners Barcelona Runners-Up PSG
2017/18 - Winners Juventus Runners-Up Real Madrid
2018/19 - Winners Man Utd Runners-Up PSG
2011/12 - Winners Sevilla Runners-Up Marseille
2012/13 - Winners PSG Runners-Up Arsenal
2013/14 - Winners Fiorentina Runners-Up Lyon
2014/15 - Winners Wolfsburg Runners-Up Arsenal
2015/16 - Winners Man Utd Runners-Up Basel
2016/17 - Winners Liverpool Runners-Up Napoli
2017/18 - Winners Dortmund Runners-Up Man City
2018/19 - Winners Leverkusen Runners-Up Chelsea
2012 - Winners Spain Runners-Up Italy
2016 - Winners France Runners-Up Germany
African Cup of Nations
2013 - Winners Mali Runners-Up Congo
2015 - Winners South Africa Runners-Up Cameroon
2017 - Winners Morocco Runners-Up Ghana
2019 - Winners South Africa Runners-Up Tunisia
2014 - Winners Mexico Runners-Up France
2018 - Winners France Runners-Up Germany
A great return to form, with the league being won on the last day of the season following a run of 5 straight wins
Team Season League Position Notes Bamboutos 2017/18 Elite One 3rd - Bamboutos 2018/19 Elite One 1st -
Continued progress in upgrading our facilities - the chairman seems to be quite content to keep bank rolling the club so hopefully further improvements still to come - I'm hoping that continued improvements will deliver more talent for the Chinese national team as well
Well our 100% winning run continues at ease, with Wu Xinghan and Ri Ho-Jin terrorising defences up and down the country. The only noticeable sticky spot was in front of our home crowd against Qingdao, who took the lead in the 1st minute before we'd even got out of the starting blocks after a poor pass from Robinson gifted them possession in our third. We got our act together and started to dominate proceedings but their goalkeeper was in fine form and was all set to deny us, but in the dying minutes of the first half Wu Xinghan launched a beast of a volley that the keeper got a hand to, but only palmed it on to the post and in. This relaxed the nerves and in the second half there was no denying us, it was our new hero Ri Ho-Jin who popped up in the 71st minute to secure all 3 points
Deserved awards I think, although Ri Ho-Jin has been hard done to having picked up 7 goals in June?
Last edited by chile_paul; 14-09-2012 at 13:23.
Really cross with myself for this, I totally missed the fact that Ri had negotiated in a contract release clause - and despite offerring to double his wages he took the opportunity to jump ship and move to Saudia Arabia.
It's not a bad profit on a player who only joined on a free transfer 6 months ago, but in his time with us he'd scored 12 goals in 11 appearances with 5 assists and an average rating of 7.91.
This was an unexpected surprise............
I obviously told Ally that he was mad to have travelled all the way out to China to see a player that I could have easily told him over the phone he didn't have a chance in hell of signing - then again maybe he's trying to get away from the Ranger's fans baying for blood after seeing their side throw away the title and allow Hearts to become the first non-old firm winners of the Scottish Premier League since 1985!
2 other transfer window moves worth telling you about. I made the decision to let Su Qichen go out on loan (before I knew that Ri Ho-JIn was being pinched from under my nose) and he has got the chance of a lifetime to move to Europe for 12 months to play for newly promoted French side Brest. Exciting 19 year old talent Yu Ou has joined the side as a squad player and to develop to become a long term replacement for Mirahmetjan Muzepper
Hope you can keep it up without Ri.
Tough to lose a player to contract clauses like that. Glad that it hasn't hindered you too much.
World Footballing News
- Big spending Sunderland finally started to see a return on their investment this season, as a 4th place will deliver them the opportunity of big money pay-outs from the Champions League. However for a side who've spent an incredible £99m on transfers in the last season, on top of several seasons of £30m+ investment, is this really enough. The side had been running away with the title for the first half of the season before being caught and only time will tell whether chairman Mostafa Ettehad will continue to give manager Keith Millen time to win the Premier League
- In fact Sunderland are immediately showing that they intend to continue to throw money at the transfer market - signing Gareth Bale from Tottenham for £22m. Much had been expected of Bale as a youngster, but having chosen loyalty to Tottenham over the prospects of a big money move to a major European force earlier in his career nobody can blame him at the age of 30 to have one last chance to compete in the Champions League with Sunderland
- English champions Liverpool also show a willingness to burn money on ageing players in the transfer market with a £21m deal to sign Gueida Fofana from Champions League runners up PSG
- After 450 appearances for Everton, 34 year old Leighton Baines moves to Tottenham for £2.9m as a direct replacement for recently departed Gareth Bale - not a popular move with the Tottenham faithful who had hoped to see the £22m from the sale of Bale immediately spent on good young talent to propel them to success over the coming years
- Newcastle pick up Alex Song on a free transfer. Song had joined Liverpool for £21.5m 3 years ago but had struggled to make the first team on a regular basis last season and opted to move to Newcastle for the promise of more regualr playing time. Johann Djourou also moves to St James' Park as the clubs strategy of picking up experienced older players on free transfers continues to take effect. Moving out of St James Park is fan's favourite Steven Taylor, who has retired from playing in order to take up the managers position at Tranmere Rovers!
- Gordon Strachan steps down as Birmingham manager and retires from football after a long and distinguished career. Ex-Dunfermline manager Jim McIntyre makes the short move down the M69 to pick up the managers position following a successful spell in charge at Leicester City
- Martin Olsson leaves Chelsea in a move to Vitesse - Olsson had only recently joined Chelsea in a £13.5m move and having only played 8 games for the Stamford Bridge outfit, this certainly looks to be an expensive mistake for manager Remi Garde - who only managed to secure 8th place for the club last season. Neither of these facts are likely to make the manager popular with Roman Abrahamovic
- Real Madrid's Mesut Ozil is reportedly unhappy at being frozen out of the first team at Real Madrid. Having had a long and successful career working with Mourinho at Real Madrid with 19 competition titles to his name, it appears the 2 have now fallen out. However with a £39m price tag on his head it's not yet clear whether Ozil will be going anywhere!
- 22 year old Uruguayan central defender Jonathan Bertoldi becomes the 3rd most expensive transfer of all time following his £40m move from Malaga to Man City. With 44 caps to his name already and having had several strong seasons at Malaga he certainly looks like a potential superstar.
A shock result from South America, see's the minnows of Ecuador lifting the Copa America for the first time in their history after a thrilling penalty win after a 2-2 draw with Brazil in which Brazil only managed to put away one of their five spot kicks.
Copa America 2019
This is yet a further shock outcome for both Brazil (who've slipped down to 14th in the FIFA rankings) and Argentina who between them have failed to win a competition since before 2011 - with Urugay, Peru and now Ecuador lifting the South American trophy in the previous 3 incarnations of this tournament.
Led by three exciting young talents in the form of Corinthians Carlos Cortez, Atletico Madrdid's Ivan Intriago and Malaga's Raul Zambrano Ecuador certainly look to have a bright future ahead of them.
Interesting news about Ecuador.
Loving the Footballing News
Only 4 league games this month, but it's been a disruptive few weeks with players leaving, unexpected friendly games against some of my European parent clubs and an international double header.
Given the loss of our star player, performances certainly could have been worse and we pass the half way point in season with our 100% record intact. The 1-0 win at home to Beijing was tigher than it should have been and that 100% record could easily have slipped away, relying on a goal in the last 10 minutes from Wu Xinghan to secure the 3 points, otherwise it was business as normal, albeit slightly more disjointed than normal.
Is it too soon to start talking about a full season winning every game????? Shenhua are slipping further and further behind........
Unsurprisingly we continue to dominate the monthly awards:
.......and we also perform admirably against our European partners.....
I just hope that the players aren't getting over tired. I certainly wouldn't have chosen these friendly fixtures at this point in the season
The 2nd qualifying round for the Asian World Cup spaces drew us in a 2 legged knock out tie against Thailand - this certainly wasn't the easiest draw available, but nevertheless we should progress into the group stages easily.......
Well we made it through, but it was significantly harder than it should have been, and in reality if Thailand hadn't seen a man sent off in the 4th minute of the second leg we might have been faced with the embarassment of being knocked out before the group stages. I've clearly been getting over confident about the strength of this side and its clear that I've still got a heck of a lot of work to do with this side.
August has been a tough month so far, with some tired legs in the team and a lack of passion and invention with some tired heads as well. Nevertheless those doubters in the Chinese media who were starting to suggest that Shenhua might have a chance of catching us.............
This team are a fearsome unit when pissed off!
Amazing unbeaten record!
Just read all the way through, its a really good read, nice to see you plying your trade in interesting places and you're doing amazingly well in China. It did somewhat spoil what I had hoped would be a productive morning though, but I guess thats more my fault than yours.
A short month on the footballing front, and it started badly with the end of our 100% record away to Dalian - we took the lead but never really shut Dalian out of the game and they came back to score an equaliser later in the second half. Really poor performance against a team way down at the bottom of the league. The next game was equally poor and for the first time in a very long time we failed to net a goal - we're really missing Ri Ho-Jin now and I'm wondering if I made a mistake letting Su Qichen head off to France. Once again though it wasn't just a failure to score, we failed to dominate the play all over the pitch. A complete contrast then when Shenhua came to visit at our place - maybe they though we were ripe for the taking and therefore had a more attacking philosophy - regardless we tore them to pieces with 3 goals in the first 10 minutes and were 7-0 up at half time.
Despite dropping 4 points we're still miles ahead of the field and still hold an unbeaten record
The draw for the World Cup qualifiers 3rd round groups has been made and we have a tough group, albeit one that I'd expect to qualify from.
South Korea is definitely our biggest challenge, our recent record is played 8, won 1 and lost 7 (including a painful 7-0 loss back in 2011). UAE will be a tough fixture, but one we should win and Tajikistan should be the whipping boys of the group.
Top 2 teams from each group qualify and then go into a final group stage with 2 groups of 5. The top 2 from these groups then qualify for the World Cup with the 3rd placed teams going into the World Cup play-off phases with South American teams.
Qualification should be alright out of the groups stages, either as 1st or 2nd. Hope you teach South Korea a lesson!
We get off to a perfect start to our qualification campaign with 6 points out of 6; including a win in our toughest match up in the group away to South Korea.
We were helped massively by a South Korean midfielder being sent off in the first minute, we'd literally made one pass from the kick off and he dived in 2 footed and was immediately shown a red. We didn't have things all our own way though - they changed from a 3-4-3 formation to 3-3-3 and for the first 10 minutes completely dominated play and took an early lead despite having only 10 men on the pitch. I made some changes to our own formation though, pulling one of my strikers into a deeper role and setting one of my wingers to a support role rather than attack to flood and control midfield and it started to pay off - Lu Nan was left in an attacking role on the right wing and began to control the play against their left back putting 2 great crosses across both of which Wu Xingnan converted to give us the lead. We then picked up a 3rd before having one of our own midfielders sent off for a lunging 2 footed tackle.
Tajikistan was a much easier tie and we put out a weakened side which ran to a comfortable 4-0 win
Time for the U-23 side to hit the field of battle now to fight for qualification into the Olympic Games - one of the problems I have with such a yound national side is that I'm effectively fielding a B side in the U-23's as most of my first choices have just played for the seniors. Nevertheless Malaysia shouldn't be a challenge in this 2 legged knock out ahead of the group qualifying stage.
Indeed they were a push over - we stormed to a very comfortable 3-0 win in Malaysia and then strolled to a comfortable 1-0 win in China. So we're through to the qualifying round proper and it's time for the draw:
An incredibly tough draw, I've already learnt at my peril not to underestimate Uzbekistan and S Korea will be favourites - the Olympics Games looks a long way away now! Group C is definitely the group I wanted to be in!
Storming the League there!
The international side of things looks like it's going according to plan
Very easy goings in the league.
September was another short month, with international fixtures and the re-commencement of the Champions League getting in the way of the domestic league. But, no excuses, it was also a terrible month for our form, with our first defeat in this campaign swiftly followed by a second - taking us to a position of only having one win in the last 5 games. We recovered back at home with a confident 5-0 win against Changchun thanks to a fantastic hatrick from Nicolas D-Assero - but it is our away form that continues to be a worry.
Despite our drop in form, we're still looking confident at the top of the table and it would take a miracle for anybody else to catch us
Tough month. Nice way to bounce back though.
We had a realtively easy match up in the Quarter Finals with Ardija from Japan who were struggling down in 14th place in their domestic league. They'd qualified for the Champions League thanks to a shock 4th place last season, having previously been fighting off relegation each year. Despite making it through to the quarter-finals they were back on normal form domestically and didn't look capable of resisting our strength.
Indeed, two relatively comfortable victories to distract us from our domestic poor form, see us through to the semi-finals where we'll play another Japanese side - FC Tokyo. A shame we couldn't keep a clean sheet in either of these ties though.
Much better than my youth intakes
We were almost over the line in September and with just a couple of fixtures we would be lifting the title. Things didn't go all our own way and in fact we had some disappointing and positively poor results; however our class shone through and we secured the title with 5 games remaining after the 1-1 draw with Shandong. I obviously decided to rest some players after this and give my youngsters a run out in the team, but despite that I was gutted to throw away our 100% home record in the defeat to bottom of the table Hubei!
Not as good a points total as last season, after the disappointing second half to the season, but still a convincing gap between 1st and 2nd
So with the domestic campaign wrapped up and the title secured, it was time to concentrate on the continental trophy and focus on becoming only the third club in history to have retained the title. Ahead of us we had a tricky tie against FC Tokyo of Japan who were performing well in their domestic league.
Earlier in the season I would have been comfortable going into this game, but our shaky domestic form had me nervous heading to Tokyo - and indeed it was a far from convincing performance - from the start it looked like we had the edge, taking an early 8th minute lead from an own goal, but they quickly pushed back and started to outplay us for the majority of the game. They equalised and looked like they could easily pick up more but Nicolas D'Assero snuck us back ahead, but only for 3 minutes as they clawed us back again. Ma Qinqtao was sent off just before half time for a stupid and unnecessary challenge and this looked like domming us to defeat, but we managed to stay strong to secure an incredibly valuable 2-2 draw to give us the advantage heading into the second leg.
The return leg was similarly tight and nervy with both teams giving it their all, and heading into the final 15 minutes it looked like it might all be decided on the away goals that I'd scored in Japan.........they understandably started to push forward knowing that they were heading out of the competition, but this left room at the back allowing Karen Martirosyan to score that all important goal for us and Lu Nan then popped up in the 3rd minute of injury time to make the result look far more convincing than it felt!
Persepolis' convincing away win at Seongnam has secured a 2nd China v Iran final in 2 years!!
Good stuff mate
With my place in the Champions League final secured, I was now really aiming for the treble - which would require me to win the CFA Cup as well - last year my preparations for this competition had been severely hampered by the international call ups for the Pan Asian Games, but without this distraction and with a full squad to choose from I was gunning for revenge.
The first round was an away tie to Dalian, who normally would have been a touch match up, but they've had a disastrous season and ended up being relegated and unsurprisingly sacking their manager. Even so, I wasn't going to under-estimate them, especially as most of my defeats this season had come from teams propping up the bottom of the table.
Further to follow
An epic story shame it's ended
It only took you five months to catch up.
Yep just looking though all the old posts
Sorry guys, FM13 was calling me!!