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Thread: “Some people think football is a matter of life and death"

  1. #301
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatTraveler View Post
    I would say either dealy to end of season or leave.
    Delaying my decision isn't an opportunity unfortunately, it was the first thing I looked for! Guangzhou are currently floundering in the relegation zone just over a third of the way through the season so they need somebody in quickly!

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    I would go to Guangzhou and bring them back to the top.

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    Thanks for your feedback all, look out for my decision tomorrow, after I've updated you all on the goings on around the footballing world!!

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    Default Footballing News

    World Footballing News

    • Fans of England were delighted that the bookmakers favourite, ex-England international, Alan Shearer was appointed as the new England manager after the resignation of Sam Allardyce, leaving Tottenham Hotspurs to find a new manager to fill the position at Perryman Park. England had met expectations by reaching the quarter finals of Euro 2016 where they had been knocked out by eventual champions France and it was the departing France manager, Laurent Blanc who moved into the top job at Spurs
    • Shearer was not afraid to look to the future in his early games in charge, handing an early debut to West Ham youngster Luke France. This was followed in subsequent friendly games against South Korea with debuts for Chelsea defenderNathanial Chalaboah and Sunderland's Conor Wickham.
    • Just 2 weeks prior to the start of the season Sunderland fans were devestated to see their hopes and plans for the upcoming season thrown into dissaray as Sinisa Mihailojvic was poached to become the new Valencia manager. Jose Luis Oltra the departing Valencia manager had been cast aside in sweeping changes in the club by new owners
    • Fernando Torres completed his UEFA coaching badge and was proud to tell the world media that he came top of his class, ahead of ex Liverpool team mate Steven Gerrard, resulting in speculation that he will shortly be heading straight into a top management job
    • Another ex Liverpool player Michael Owen was given his first shot at management in the top echelons of English football when he was handed the top job at Norwich - but once again the League Manager's Association were left shaking their collective heads in disbelief as he was sacked after only 11 games in charge.
    • Gareth Soutgate's Nottingham Forest side made a stunning start to the Premier League season with 6 wins from the first 6 games, and the team 4 points clear after 9 games. The Premier League is a long and tough season however and the team just couldn't maintain that early pace, slipping eventually to 9th place.
    • In the end it was another unexpected team who really made the running over the whole season, with newly promoted Southampton securing an impressive 5th place, earning their manager Anton Pierre the runners up in the Manager of the Year awards. Down in the Championship it was Wigan manager Danny Cadamarteri who picked up the manager of the year award as he steered the team to promotion
    • Chelsea sacked manager Carlo Ancelotti whilst the team were struggling down in 12th place after 11 games of the season, opting for a familiar face by poaching their old first team coach and assistant manager Steve Clarke from Aston Villa. Clarke struggled to turn the clubs fortunes around however and Chelsea struggled into 10th place by the end of the season. Another Chelse old boy, Michael Essien announced his retirement having ended his career with French Ligue 1 side Marseille
    • Arsenal splashed the cash on exciting 19 year old French striker Emmanuel Vidal in a £15.5 million deal from PSG. Vidal had no problem adapting to the pace in the Premier League and immediately started paying back that transfer fee with 18 goals in his first season. Despite that Vidal was not the outstanding young player this season, and instead it was Sheffield United's young Romanion striker Illie Barabancea who really took the Premier League by storm picking up 22 goals and an average rating of 7.27 - he won't be there to help Sheff Utd next season though, having left on a free transfer to join Roma at the end of the season - what an exciting bargain prospect for Roma fans!
    • Cameroon striker Roger Ebongue became the 4th most expensive transfer of all time as he moved from Rennes to PSG in a £34.5 million move and Bayern Munich were also splashing the cash as they signed Pavel Niakhaichyk in a £26m transfer from Dinamo Moscow
    Last edited by chile_paul; 22-06-2012 at 06:58.

  5. #305
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    Love the footballing news! Keep it up

  6. #306
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    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    Love the footballing news! Keep it up
    Thanks, really pleased everybody is liking this bit!

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    Roll of Honour

    Premier League

    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

    FA Cup

    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

    League Cup

    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

    Champions League

    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


    Europa League

    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



    European Championships

    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

    World Cup

    2014 - Winners
    Mexico Runners-Up France

  8. #308
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    Default Football Focus


    Football Focus Special Edition - The Chinese Dragon
    Gary Lineker: So, welcome to our second annual edition of Football Focus World Edition where we take the opportunity in the off season to have deep dive into some of the less well known leagues around the world to see how football is developing - and this year we're travelling half way across the globe to the most populated country in the world to uncover the sleeping Chinese dragon.

    Alan Hansen: That's right Gary, and of course it was only a few years ago when we really thought that the sleeping dragon was about to wake up and really make an impact on the global stage by splashing their cash on some pretty serious targets - both Nicholas Anelka and Didier Drogba had been due to move to Shanghai Shenua and that really was going to generate interest on a global scale, until it all fell through.

    Gary Lineker: Of course, it never quite happened for them, did it Alan

    Alan Hansen: No, the money fell through at the last minute, as the global recession bit and the investors in the club had to withdraw their funds and things turned out very differently for Anelka who went on to work as a pundit on French TV and Drogba who is learning his trade as Assistant Manager at FC Toronto in the MLS. But things haven't been all bad for Chinese football since then, they've been making rapid improvements with their national team haven't they and they're going to have a real opportunity to make some friends in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

    Gary Lineker: Absolutely Alan, they've shot up the world rankings in the past 5 years, from below 100 in 2012 to a healthy position of 38th in 2017 and it was no mean feat to claim an automatic qualification spot and force Australia into the final play-off against Qatar.

    Alan Hansen: But they haven't been able to produce in a final's competition before have they Gary

    Gary Lineker: No Alan, and lets face it, nobody is expecting them to progress far in the World Cup finals, but you're right to point out that their fans have been heavily critical of their failure to produce when it matters in either the East Asian Championship or the Asian Games. The South Koreans and the Japanese remain just too strong for them in these competitions and they're going to have to start holding their nerve and performing in these big games when it really matters - and the key to that has to be the development of decent young talent through the domestic league - let's face it they have plenty of young, passionate followers of the game in a country with a population of 1.3 billion, they just need to start developing it! Let's have a look at some of the highlights of the Chinese national teams qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup before we look at how their youth are developing through the domestic system

    .................................................. .....

    Alan Hansen: That was an absolute peach of a goal by Hao Junmin there against South Korea, and at such a critical point in the match.

    Gary Lineker: You're right Alan, 2-0 down after 25 minutes and China must have been fearing for the worst, but that goal really changed the course of the match and gave China the impetus to eventually win 3-2 - and it was that game that really turned the tide on the qualification race and gave them the extra points they needed to overtake Australia.

    Alan Hansen: Hao Junmin is one of China's greates footballing exports isn't he, and he's one of only a few players to have left the domestic league to play abroad?

    Gary Lineker: Yes, Hao joined Russian side Spartak Moscow in a £7.5m move 3 years ago, and he's been a hit since moving with some impressive performances. But overall, their are only a small proportion of Chinese players abroad, with over 70% of the Chinese national team playing in their domestic league.

    Alan Hansen: What about European players moving in the other direction. Has there been an influx of foreign players into China after the moves for Anelka and Drogba collapsed?

    Gary Lineker: Not really Alan, one thing the Chinese FA has done is to implement a rule restricting the number of foreigners into each squad to 6 players, with no more than 3 foreigners allowed in the starting 11 - this has been done deliberately to allow young Chinese players to develop and get game time. The financial crisis has also had an impact, making China a less attractive option for marquee European players forcing the Chinese clubs to focus more on the South American leagues, in particular Brazil, to source their foreign talent.

    Alan Hansen: So let's talk a bit about the domestic league Gary, who are the big time clubs? The assumption was a few years ago that Shanghai Shenhua were really going to dominate domestically, but that really didn't happen and they've slipped back into mid table obscurity - let's take a look at some clips of some of the major teams in action.

    ..................................

    Alan Hansen: So we covered 4 of the major clubs there Gary. Dalian are the most successful team in Chinese history with 8 super league titles to their name, but they've struggled in recent history and tend to find themselves in mid-table. We also took a look at Shanghai Shenua, but the other 2 dominant forces that we covered were Shandong and Guangzhou and between the 2 of them they've taken 1st and 2nd place in 4 of the last 5 seasons, with only Beijing managing to snatch 2nd place from Shandong in 2013.

    Gary Lineker: Things are going to change at the top this season though Alan. Guangzhou have really lost the plot and are currently struggling down in the relegation zone almost half way through the season - you can't see them challenging for the title this season.

    Alan Hansen: Absolutely not Gary, I guess that has to be good for the overall league, to introduce a bit more competition, but Guangzhou definitely need to sort themselves out - they're playing some awful football. It's not good for the continental competitions either Gary, China have really struggled to perform in the Asian Champions League and if some of their big clubs are struggling domestically it doesn't bode well for their chances travelling around Asia. I mean for a country with 1.3 billion potential players you would have thought they would compete well against their Asian neighbours - it's quite incredible to think that in the last 50 years they've only managed to lift the title twice, most recently when Shandong lifted the trophy in 2013. In fact in the last few years Chinese sides have failed to progress beyond the second round with Iranian teams appearing to be the only challengers to the South Koreans! So what do you think this means for the Chinese game Gary? Despite the improvements from the national side, it doesn't look great domestically does it and they really need to sort that out and start developing some good youth players in order to push on in the international arena?

    Gary Lineker: You're absolutely right Alan, they're going to need to do something a bit differently - it's going to be an interesting area to keep an eye on though over the next couple of seasons, because rumour has it that troubled Guangzhou are on the verge of appointing a young, talented English manager who's been learning his trade and building up quite a reputation in Cameroon over the last couple of years - we're just going to have to wait and see whether he manages to wake up the sleeping dragon, or whether he ends up getting his fingers burnt!!!



    Last edited by chile_paul; 22-06-2012 at 11:33.

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    Chile_Paul's Career - New Club Update - Guangzhou

    Name: Guangzhou Hengda
    Nickname: Southern China Tigers
    Stadium: Tianhe Stadium (58,500 all-seater)
    Status: Professional
    Reputation: Continental



    Well I couldn't really turn this down could I? An opportunity to move to a great club within China with huge potential. I do seem to be finding a habit of moving to clubs with a slightly dubious history however:
    "On 21 February 2010, Guangzhou was relegated to China League One in the fallout of a match fixing scandal despite having achieved the ninth place in the previous season of Chinese Super League.[1] The match in question dated back to 2006, when the club was still playing in the China League One. Guangzhou paid CNY 200,000 to its opponent to secure a win at home."
    At least this time nobody was stupid enough to hand over a bag full of cash on the pitch! Well, this is my opportunity to bring clean and attractive football to China and to take Asia by storm!

    Board Expectations:
    Pirelli Chinese Super League: Win the title (given our current position in the league I'm grateful that the board won't be judging my performances this season)
    CFA Cup: Not Important
    Champions League: Learn from the experience

    My Expectations:
    Liga BBVA: Recover our position and achieve mid table security, more importantly build the team for next season
    Copa Del Rey: We're already in the quarter finals, any further would be nice but not a priority
    Champions League: We're already out and our chances for qualifying next season are slim

    Finances:
    Transfer: £11.85m
    Wage Budget: £280,062 p/w
    Wage Total: £108,124 p/w
    Balance: £30,766,616
    Average Ticket Price: £10.50
    Season Ticket Price: £129
    Season Ticket Holders: 2,457
    Estimated Value: £34m

    Squad:
    According to my new assistant (promoted from the role of Coach after the last Asst Mgr packed his bags on my first day in the job) we have some decent players in the squad for this level of football - why have they not been producing when it matters then?

    Key Player(s):
    Muller - the first of my foreign players that I consider to be any good, this young centre back from Brazil looks solid as a rock, hopefully he will play a key part in shoring up my defence
    Liu Jian - at 32 years of age I'm concerned that he is my only decent midfielder. He should have a good few years in him yet, so plenty of time to build a team around him
    Cleo - the second of my foreign players to have any potential - again however Cleo is well into the second half of his career and at the age of 31 I'm worried that his pace and acceleration are already starting to decline

    Facilities:

    Stadium: Tianhe Stadium
    Location: Guangzhou
    Rent: £650k per year
    Stadium Condition: Very Good
    Pitch Condition: Very Good
    Under Soil Heating: Yes
    Roof: No
    Surface: Grass



    Corporate Facilities: Top
    Training Facilities: Average
    Youth Facilities: Adequate
    Junior Coaching: Average
    Youth Recruitment: Above average
    Last edited by chile_paul; 23-06-2012 at 18:28.

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    Great club badge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Great club badge.
    I was about to say the same thing ALso...Drogba is an assistant manager in Toronto?!?!

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    Good luck in China!

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Great club badge.
    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    I was about to say the same thing ALso...Drogba is an assistant manager in Toronto?!?!
    Thanks both, a good club badge always makes a move to a new club a bit more special!

    Regarding Drogba, he left Chelsea at the end of the 2013 season and started off his coaching life as a youth coach for Shakhtar Donetsk before moving to Toronto in November 2014 - he's clearly keen to travel the world as much as I am!

    Quote Originally Posted by AK22 View Post
    Good luck in China!
    Thanks AK22, I think I might need it!!
    Last edited by chile_paul; 23-06-2012 at 18:35.

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    Pleased to see the board are willing to support me from Day One!




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    A couple of familiar faces from my backroom team at Bamboutos join me in China to help me settle in as well.




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    Building up the backroom nicely. What's the capacity of the stadium?

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    Default July Update

    Four games in and we've not been beaten - that has to be a good place to start my time here in Guangzhou, but if I harboured any hopes of a rapid rise up the table and a push for the Champions League next season then I need to start re-thinking my plans.

    We improved game on game between the Tianjin fixture where we were really quite lucky to pick up a point with a late equalizer, to the Dalian game where we probably should have pushed on for a win after they went down to 10 men whilst we were 2-1 up, finally in the 2-0 win against Henan we completely outplayed them and fully deserved the victory and the 3 points.

    Fuli are a much tougher kettle of fish, second in the table prior to our match and again we acquitted ourselves well, taking the lead early from a headed corner before they equalised from a penalty (the second penalty we've conceeded in four matches!)


    So, all in all I can't complain too much, we're out of the relegation zone and we're unbeaten - I just hope that the board hold to their promise of not judging me on this campaign as I'm struggling to see a rapid rise up the table. I really can't see how this squad could possibly have finished runners up last season, in particular I'm concerned that we're weak up front and we're going to struggle to pose a goal threat - most of my goals so far have come from headed goals from set plays by my defenders............My scouts are all out looking for opportunities to strengthen the squad, but the transfer window is now closed until the end of the season, so we're not going to be able to bring anybody in to help this campaign.


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    Good luck moving clear of the drop zone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Good luck moving clear of the drop zone.
    Thanks deltablue!

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    Default August update

    Only 3 games this month and it became a month of two halves. Our first match at home to Shandong saw my first defeat in China - my Brazillian central defender Muller had picked up a 3 week injury in the previous fixture and we really missed his presence in the back 4 - despite creating the most chances we failed to hit the target with all but one of them and they managed to score just after half time to take the lead.

    The next fixture was a tough away match against league leaders Beijing. I didn't expect to pick up anything from the match, and I didn't; succumbing to a lucky goal, an intial shot rebounding off the keeper and straight back to their top goalscorer in the 50th minute. On the positive side we once again put up a good performance - on the downside my record of played 6, won 1, drawn 3, lost 2 is now starting to look positively poor.

    I needed to turn around our form soon, and I was able to with some good luck in the next fixture. Muller was back into the defence but I'd now lost my goalkeeper, and the back-up who came in to replace him pulled off some great saves in an even fixture - but his counterpart in the Huangzhou goal was awful, conceeding 4 goals from 6 shots on target with a brace from striker Duan Xin. So, we picked up a resounding and confidence boosting 4-0 win with 2 home games next against the 2 teams at the bottom of the league - time to notch up some wins!





    Last edited by chile_paul; 24-06-2012 at 18:35.

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    Hope that wins helps spur on the team.

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    Nice-ish start to life in China.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    Hope that wins helps spur on the team.
    Fingers crossed!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatTraveler View Post
    Nice-ish start to life in China.
    You are being very generous!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    Building up the backroom nicely. What's the capacity of the stadium?
    It's a 58,500 all seater - but we're only averaging about 32,000 at the minute. Definitely feeling that the backroom staff is more developed now, but there is more work still required!

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    Default October update

    A truly disastrous month which has really thrown us back into a relegation dog fight.

    We had 3 home games in the month, 2 of which were against the bottom 2 teams in the league so I was looking for a minimum of 6 points, but we came up short, conceeding penalties in each of the first 2 games at critical moments to conceded the points. In the 3rd game to Jiangsu we went behind to a really poor goal where they punted the ball over the top of my defence and then beat my defenders for pace before taking it round the goalie and tapping in before we equalised from a headed goal from my central defender after a free kick.



    It's been a long time since I've been in charge of a team that has been playing so badly and I need to work out the winning formula as soon as possible - I'm still out of the relgation zone at the minute and have a few points gap, but all it will take is a couple of wins for those bottom teams and we'll be in real trouble.

    Our defence are as leacky as a rusty bucket, our strikers can't score and I can't bring anybody in until January - great!

    Last edited by chile_paul; 29-06-2012 at 18:30.

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    Ouch!!! A horrible month for you. Hopefully you can pick up ASAP.

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    Looks much tighter now, but 2 points advantage is better than nothing.

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    I had forgotten to mention that my left Mirahmetjan Muzepper picked up the lowest rating that I've seen on one of my saves for a very, very long time in the 3-2 defeat to Hubei finishing a 3.3!!

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    Default Youth Intake Day

    A promising if unspectacular set of arrivals into the squad - there are several players of potential there, although I don't think there is anybody who could slot straight into the first team.

    Some promise for the next couple of years however. In the meantime I need to convince the board to continue increasing spending on junior coaching so that these players are more match ready by the time the join the squad.



    Liu Zhen - an impressive looking defensive midfielder; strong determination and work rate but as with most of my players (maybe this is a Chinese trait?) he really needs to work on his physical attributes in particular his strength if he wants to be able to own the centre of the park

    Pan Junyan - great technical attributes for a 16 year old and he looks like a great prospect for a winger, good acceleration, pace and crossing, but once again a Strength of 2 is not good enough - get down the gym my lad!!

    Ji Zhaoxu - starting life as a left wing back, I would normally immediately set him to work re-training as a left back, but having looked at his stats I think he will add more value on the left of midfield.

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    Default November Update

    A complete turn around of form this month as the players realised that if they didn't pull their fingers out, we'd be playing football in the Jia League next season.

    Transfer listing Cleo and telling him that he wasn't good enough for the team definitely had the desired effect as he put his goal scoring boots on - we were lucky in the first game with 3 goals going in within 10 minutes of the second half starting, we took the lead through Robinson with a headed goal from a free kick, they equalised immediately but we picked up a penalty almost straight away as Cleo was pulled down as he ran into the box - he got back up, dusted himself off and slotted the ball home.

    We struggled against a much better side in Shenhua and eventually left without any results for our efforts, but we were straight back onto the winning path in the next game against Chanba as my new partnership, forged by moving Zhang Chendong off the wing and up to partner Cleo really paid off. Two great results and perhaps as importantly two clean sheets to go with it.

    The 4-1 win against Tianjin was perhaps a bit flattering to us, we were 2-1 up in a very tight game until the 80th minute when we scored a 3rd courtesy of Vinicius and Duan Xin then put the icing on the cake with a 4th in injury time.



    Those results effectively guarantee our place in the league next season, but we need to maintain the run if we want to climb up the table to a more respectable position



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    Nice to see my efforts in turning round our form recognised - although I do now expect to lose the next game - my first ever Manager of the Month award!



    Great to see Cleo get some recognition for his improved form as well


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    Great turnaround.

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    Great turnaround! Something putting the hammer down is the best way to motivate

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    Much improved, and mathematically safe too

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    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    Great turnaround! Something putting the hammer down is the best way to motivate
    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Great turnaround.
    Quote Originally Posted by AK22 View Post
    Much improved, and mathematically safe too
    Thanks all, things definitely seem to be improving!

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    Drogba and Anelka might never have made it to China in this version of reality, but there are a few familiar names involved in the backroom teams of Chinese teams:

    Yakubu - can't say I can imagine Yakubu as a scout?

    Aruna Dindane - FA Cup runner up with Portsmouth and now manager of Tianjin

  38. #338
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    Default November update

    A worrying slip back into old habits this month as we dropped points which could have seen us rise up to mid table. Whilst we continued to score more goals, we were sloppy at the back which is something I'm going to have to tighten up for next season.

    We conceeded a hat-trick to the fantastic Mahama Awal away to A'erbin, but 2 of the goals should have been bread and butter for my central defenders - instead an up and over long ball caught them both out and Awal ran behind them to pinch the ball and take it round the keeper to score. The 3-0 win against Henan was another signal of progress as we played them off the park, but we then slipped up again in a tough away match to Dalian.


    So, the team have definitely made progress, but our final league position is still embarassingly poor for a team of this size - there needs to be a radical shake up over the Winter close season in order to allow us to compete next season




    Only 3 teams in the league managed to score more goals than us over the course of the season - that points to where I need to focus most of my time and investment before next season I think!
    Last edited by chile_paul; 29-06-2012 at 12:54.

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    Step one in the plan to improve the club - continued investment into youth and training facilities


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    Given how poorly the team performed this season, it seems bizarre that I should have 3 players in the Team of the Year? Even more surprising that they are all defensive players?


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    Looks like Yakubu made it to China IRL and in game, even though Drogba and Anelka didn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManUTactician247 View Post
    Looks like Yakubu made it to China IRL and in game, even though Drogba and Anelka didn't.
    Ah yes! I'd missed that piece of news - loos like in real life he has gone to play for Guangzhou Fuli - my bitter rivals who've just lifted the title in my game!

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    Quote Originally Posted by chile_paul View Post
    Ah yes! I'd missed that piece of news - loos like in real life he has gone to play for Guangzhou Fuli - my bitter rivals who've just lifted the title in my game!
    If only you told Yakubu that before he signed the contract .

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    Hope you can fire your way up the league next year.

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    Default Chinese CFA Cup


    The meaningful rounds in the CFA Cup take place after the conclusion of the league season, and I was already qualified for the Quarter finals, courtesy of the clubs performances in the cup and league in previous seasons. However I had a very tough quarter final draw in the shape of league runners up Beijing - they had beaten me in my one previous meeting with them in the league, the one thing I had going for me was their disastrous end to the season - they hadn't won a game since September and that awful form had cost them the league title.



    In the end we really battered them, taking a 4-1 lead by half time to effectively seal the tie with only 45 minutes on the clock. We took our foot off the pedal in the second half to allow them to close to 4-2 but there was never any real chance of them getting back into the game and we really put the game to bed when Liu Jian put away his second to make it 5-2.

    The semi-final was a much tighter affair against a weaker opponent. Changchun finished 2 places above me in the league so were never going to be a push over and we were probably a bit over confident after demolishing Beijing and in the end we had to rely on penalties to win through after it remained goalless during 90 minutes. They missed their first 2 penalties, which relieved the pressure on my spot kick takers and we won comfortably 3-1.

    In the other semi-final there was a major shock as recently relegated Hubei knocked out Dalian - Hubei had beaten me in our encounter earlier in the season and had also taken 3 points from my predecessor earlier in the season, but depite this I couldn't help but think that with our improved form we'd be going in as favourites..........

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    Default CFA Cup Final Day



    A really great performance by the team results in my first cup in China - a great surprise given how poor our league form has been. In reality Hubei were really poor and just didn't turn up to the races and we could and perhaps should have scored more. But, no complaining from me, we lift the trophy and that makes a very nice silver lining to end what was otherwise a poor season for the club.




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    It wasn't a major objective for the board but glad to see they're pleased with the win




    This piece of news however is far more significant to the future of the club in the next couple of seasons - a very nice and unexpected surprise!


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    Further investment into the club


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    Congrats on the cup win. Hope the league picks up too.

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    Default Season Review



    Chile_Paul's Career - Season Review - 2017 - Guangzhou Hengda

    Chinese Super League - 12th place

    Frankly, a disastrous season for a club of this stature, having either won or finished as runner up in the league for the last 5 seasons. I took over with the team in the relegation zone in 14th place and whilst our form recovered towards the end of the season, there is significant work required in order to get back into a position where we can challenge for the title.

    The one silver lining to an otherwise poor season was that we lifted the CFA Cup on the final day of the season - with the exception of Beijing in the quarter finals we were given a lucky draw and in the final recently relegated Hubei were no match for us. More importantly perhaps than the cup win was the fact that this allowed us to qualify for next seasons AFC Champions League competition allowing us to attract the best Chinese talent in the forthcoming transfer window.

    Transfers

    The transfer window had already closed when I arrived at the club, so nobody has arrived - expect that to change imminently however

    Finances


    Without a significant opportunity to either invest or spend the chairman's money, the bank balance remains at the same level as when I arrived, with circa £28m in the bank. Plenty to spend in the close season!

    Squad

    Player of the Season - 32 year old Liu Jian was the stand out performer in midfield towards the end of the season. Despite his advancing age he is one of the few players in the squad who will comfortably retain his place in the team next season

    Fan's Player of the Season - the fans agreed with my decision and handed the award to Liu Jian

    Team of the Year

    Season Summary - not nice to be picked out as the league's underperformers!

    Next Season?


    Rebuild the team from bottom up and try to challenge for the title
    Last edited by chile_paul; 30-06-2012 at 20:19.

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    Nice work winning a trophy. Hopefully better performances in the league are to follow.

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    Default Chinese Super Cup

    The Super Cup - normally the pre-cursor to the start of a season is actually scheduled in January in China, closer to the end of the season rather than the start (in April). As a result I'm updating on this competition prior to my normal season preview post which will follow closer to the start of the domestic season.

    As winners of the CFA Cup we qualified against Guangzhou Fuli, the league winners - whilst in reality it is only a hyped up friendly I was hoping it would give me a yardstick measure of how my team, strengthened by a few new signings might compete next season.......



    A truly great performance, inspired by an early game by last years player of the season - if this is a true measure of the strength of our squad then things are looking bright!


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    Not great in the league but at least you can get a proper crack at it next season. Good work to win the Super cup too.

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    Well at least you're in the ACL next season. Hopefully you can rebuild them back to where they should be. And maybe sign some aging European star to China for big money?

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    The ACL should be a new and interesting change. Hope the league play picks up as well.

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    Default Season Preview



    Chile_Paul's Career - Season 7 Preview - Guangzhou Hengda



    Board Expectations:

    Chinese Super League - Achieve a respectable position
    CFA Cup - Not considered important
    AFC Champions League - Enjoy the experience
    Super Cup - Not considered important

    Media Expectations:

    Media Prediction: 5th
    Title Odds: 16-1

    My Expectations:
    Chinese Super League - Mount a title challenge and ensure qualification to the Champions League by achieving an absolute minimum of 4th place
    CFA Cup - Retaining the trophy would be nice
    AFC Champions League - Qualify from the group stages and then enjoy the experience

    Squad:
    The squad has undergone some drastic changes in the off season, which really was necessary following the poor performances last season. Most noticeably the average age of the squad has dropped significantly to 24 years of age as I moved to bring in young, enthusiastic players who are keen to build a reputation for themselves, rather than sit back and relax on the back of performances from previous seasons. All areas of the squad have been improved, although I'm still most concerned regarding my defence which still feels leaky - I can't go abroad for any more foreign talent as I've reached my limit of foreign players in the squad - and there seems to be a shortage of decent Chinese defenders.

    Backroom Staff:
    Blaise Matoundo and Alioum Saido joined me from Bamboutos last season and added some rigour to the coaching staff who now have a fairly balanced portfolio of coaches. We're still in need of an improved physio and I'm on the look out for more decent scouts to start trawling the globe for superstars for me - I expect two of my overpaid and under-performing foreign players to get truly fed up of playing in the reserves this season and move on and I want to have the best possible replacements lined up for them. I also need a new youth coach to join to fill my quota of coaches that the board will allow me to have to start turning some of the young talent I've just bought in into world beaters!

    Transfers:
    £3.7m spent, much of it split over 48 months as a staggering 14 players arrived in the transfer window and only 2 departing. There are going to be a few unhappy players from the team I inherited cooling their feet in the Reserves until they realise that it really is best for them to move on to a club where they're likely to get first team football.

    Ma Qinqtao: At £1.3 million Ma is my most expensive arrival, to be honest I've probably overpaid for him as he is a player for the future who will get some exposure to certain matches and be a regular on the bench rather than somebody to slot straight into the first team. However as I mentioned before I'm very light in defence and really needed to bring in some depth, so it seemed the right thing to do.
    Joseph Njock (YP16): I couldn't resist bringing in this guy from my old club Bamboutos - not only do I think he can do a job for me this season, his strength will really differentiate him from the local Chinese players who tend to score very low on the strength and other physical aspects, but I also really want to see how he develops as he is one of the best youth prospects I've ever had come through a team. A snip at £400k!
    Wu Xinghan: Believe it or not, my scouts found this striker floundering in the U-19 team for Shandong having never played a match for them - he arrives on a £275k transfer which is an absolute bargain and within 2 weeks of arriving he got an immediate call up to the Chinese national team. I feel slightly bad for benefitting from what can only be a bug, but there loss is my gain
    Lu Nan: A right winger with huge potential who should develop into a star for the national team - I'm not popular with the fans for bringing somebody in from rivals Lianoning, but I'm sure he'll win them around once he starts playing
    Nicolas D'Assero - Another foreign player, this young striker from Argentina replaces Cleo as my primary foreign striker with Cleo dropping into the reserves. He'll have to be willing to sit on the bench on occassions however as I can only play 3 of my 6 foreign players in any one game
    Lu Jiang - A player for the future, Lu will get some game time this year but primarily his focus needs to be on developing so he becomes first choice in the next few years.

    Finances:
    Wage Budget: £228,484 p/w
    Wage Bill: £123,362 p/w
    Transfer Budget: £8.86m
    Bank Balance: +£21,690,581

    Average Ticket price: £8.70
    Season Ticket Holders: 2,447
    Season Ticket price: £106
    Estimated club value: £19.25M

    Reputation:
    Club Reputation: Continental
    Ranking within China: 5th
    Chinese world ranking: 65th
    CSL competition ranking within Asia: 9th
    Last edited by chile_paul; 02-07-2012 at 14:00.

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    For those of you who haven't had the opportunity of playing in the Asian confederation, I thought it might be worthwhile explaining how the slightly complicated structure of the AFC Champions League operates - it's still taking me a little while to get my head around it!!

    Champions League, AFC Cup or Presidents Cup?

    First of all, which competition are we playing in? Well unlike the European continental structure, there is very limited cross over between teams in the same league competing in the different continental cups. For example, in Europe 4 teams from England compete in the Champions League and 2 in the Europa League and 3rd placed teams in the Champions league groups drop into the Europa league - this isn't how it operates in Asia.

    Instead, in Asia qualification to the various continental competitions is based on league strength (with the exception of the preliminary rounds of the Champions League where teams from 4 of the developing nations compete to enter the premier Champions League competition at the group stages with the losers dropping into the AFC Cup.)

    For Guangzhou, the only important point to note is that all of the 4 qualifying Chinese teams qualify directly for the Champions league group stages.

    Qualifying Nations:

    Champions League - South Korea, China, Japan, Australia, Thailand, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Iran
    AFC Cup - Syria, India, Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Lebanon, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore
    Presidents Cup - Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, North Korea, Nepal, Cambodia, Myanmar etc etc.

    Group Stages

    32 teams enter the group stages and are split into a fairly standard 8 groups of 4; the one major differences is that the groups are segregates into 4 groups of West Asian and 4 groups of East Asian teams.

    As a result I'd argue that my task of qualifying to the knock out stages is going to be harder than if I'd had West Asian teams in my group - instead I have to compete against teams from Japan, Australia, South Korea and Thailand

    Knock Out stages

    The first knock out round is once again regionalised and is based on a single leg format only - so the pressure is really on in that game. After that as it moves into the quarter finals, it returns to a fairly standard 2 leg knock out competition - should I get that far.

    Progress Update

    I had received what I consider to be a tough draw, up against last years runners-up and clear Group favourites Seongnam, Japanese cup winners FC Tokyo and Australia's Sydney FC.

    With a home game up first against FC Tokyo I knew I had to take the initiative and aim for 3 points in what was going to be a very tough group and things were looking very bad as I fell behind in only the 2nd minute. The team re-grouped though and started to dominate the game and shortly after half time I equalised and went on to score the winner in the 65th minute, 3 absolutely imperative points.

    Next up, we were away to Seongnam in the hardest game in the group - they had drawn away to Sydney FC in the first game which gave me an outside hope that we might snatch a point, but it wasn't to be despite our best efforts. Although we matched them for possession and chances they had the greater cutting edge and scored in the dying seconds of the first half. Early in the second half we had a great chance to equalise as they dragged down one of players in the box, Joseph Njock stepped up to take the spot kick and dispatched a clinical effort into the top left corner - but somehow their keeper pulled off a world class save to tip it round the post with his finger tips!!



    So, no great surprises in the group - it's going to be a tussle between myself and FC Tokyo for 2nd place, with Sydney having a chance to get back in the running if they manage to pick up points at our home stadium in the next game.



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    The game against Sydney really was a game that we needed to be winning to maintain our chances of qualification, and win we did, in what was a strangely open match with goals flying in at either end with both goalkeepers struggling to keep the ball out of the back of the net. In reality we were lucky to pick up 3 points as they had more than their fair share of the game. It was perhaps our flying start that ultimately made the difference in the end, we were 2-0 up after 7 minutes and 3-o up by half time. They hit back immediately in the second half, but we scored a 4th to maintain the 3 goal lead and whilst they quickly scored a 2nd they couldn't get any closer.

    That meant that a draw or a win away to Tokyo would really put us in the drivers seat, but we were never really in the game. We conceeded an early penalty which they slotted away (meaning that Alex has now scored against us in the 2nd minute in the first game and the 4th minute in the second game!) and despite Zhang Chendong equalising in the 28th minute, they were having a field day down the left flank against my young right back and right winger, resulting in the left winger who was revelling in their unique wide 4-2-2-2 formation picking up a goal either side of half time to put the result out of reach.



    All still to play for, but Seongnam who I play next are starting to pull out of reach


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    Default April Update



    A stunning 100% start to the new league season immediately cast aside the memory of such a terrible season last year as my new signings gelled with their new team mates to deliver some impressive results.

    I still have some concerns about the strength of my defensive unit, but using the old adage of attack is the best form of defence, we pushed our way forward and ensured that in the few moments the opposition team had the ball, they were just clearing it up the field rather than worrying how to break us down.



    The result against Beijing was particularly pleasing and is reminiscent of the 5-2 defeat we inflicted upon them in the CFA cup quarter final last year - I had thought they might have fielded a weakened team against me in the cup though, so this really was the first measure I had of how strong this new team might be.

    The second performance of note was the win over Dalian - they had taken the lead early on and we had to respond, we fought back but again my defence was as leaky as a sieve and we conceeded weak goals. This was also the first time that my attack wasn't firing on all cylinders, with glorious chances just sneaking wide of the post or over the crossbar, but in the 70th minute we took the lead for the first time to go 3-2 up, scoring another shortly afterwards. They scored a 3rd but couldn't snatch the equaliser. In all we only had 3 shots on target all game and somehow ended up winning 4-3!!



    Nice to see us sitting pretty at the top of the table, but my main contendors for the title, Shandong and Fuli are only just behind.....



  60. #360
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    Very impressive in both the league and Champions League so far

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    Decent start in the CL and a great start in the league. Hope you can keep it up.

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    Great league start.

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    Thanks all, really appreciate the support!

    I just thought I'd share this result against one of my title rivals prior to my next update tomorrow - I have to say it's left me speechless - I'm not sure how a team that was so bereft of quality last year with the addition of just a few youngsters could pull off this result!



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    Great start to the new season!!

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    You have turned Guangzhou around in one season

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatTraveler View Post
    Great start to the new season!!
    Thanks Great Traveler - just need to maintain it now!


    Quote Originally Posted by buzz2k7 View Post
    You have turned Guangzhou around in one season
    Cheers buzz2k7 - I can't quite believe the scale of the turnaround either! Great to see somebody new posting on my career!

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    Back in the Champions League we had two very tough games - home to group favourites Seongnam before heading over to Australia for an away match against Sydney - that we need to prepare for.

    I had to be realistic and recognise that we didn't face much chance of a win against Seongnam, and with FC Tokyo level with me on points but ahead on goal difference I had to hope that they slipped up against Sydney.

    What actually happened was a huge shock, as I demolished Seongnam 5-1. We flew out of the starting blocks with 2 goals from Duan Xin in the first 20 minutes and in the 24th minute when Xin was fouled outside the box resulting in him being carried off the field on a stretcher our captain and free kick specialist Liu Jian stepped up and dispatched the free kick into the top left hand corner. At this point Seongnam started to wake up and smell the coffee - they pulled one goal back in the 33rd minute and started to look more competitive in the match, but we held them off until half time. In the second half the game became more stretched as they looked for a way back into the match and this presented more opportunities for us - which we duly took, taking our final score to 5-1 in one of the clubs most famous victories of all time!



    Elsewhere in the group Sydney had beaten Tokyo, which sealed my qualification bar a mathematical miracle in the final game - but importantly the win against Seongnam would allow me to top the group and face an easier home tie against a second placed team from one of the other groups in the single legged second round. We were nowhere near as good against Sydney, edging to a 2-1 victory, but Seongnam were poor once again, slipping up against Tokyo to give us the top spot and a home tie against bitter rivals Beijing in the second round!!







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    Two nice wins there .

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    Very dominant wins in the Champions League

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    Good work topping the group, compared to being near the bottom of the league not long ago.

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    Looking good for a great season. What a drastic improvement!

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    Terrific improvement mate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    Two nice wins there .
    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    Very dominant wins in the Champions League
    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Good work topping the group, compared to being near the bottom of the league not long ago.
    Cheers guys - still a very long way to go though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK22 View Post
    Looking good for a great season. What a drastic improvement!
    Quote Originally Posted by DazRTaylor View Post
    Terrific improvement mate.
    Everything is looking very rosy at the minute, but can it last?

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    Default May Update


    I don't think I can or would want to say any more than this.......WOW! What a run of results!




    Obviously I'm disappointed by the 2 goals conceeded at Rizhiquan, but otherwise I think that has to be my most dominant months results in Football Manager to date - I'm now averaging over 4 goals a game, so that fans should be getting good value for money.





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    Unsurprisingly, the team managed a clean sweep of the monthly awards:









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    Back in the Champions League we had a one legged home tie against rivals Beijing - based on recent form in the league this should have been one of the easier ties that I could have been drawn in, mainly as a result of the fantastic first placed that we'd managed in the group stages.

    We did have a couple of injuries to contend with, in particular up front, which gave a massive opportunity for youngter Lu Jiang to come into the starting eleven and really prove his credentials.




    A great result and a stunning performance from the youngster puts us into the Quarter Final - we now see a break in the continental competition until August and we will have to wait several months before we find out who we draw in the next round - but the draw will be dominated with Iranians and Saudi Arabian's - so we better get ready for some long trips for the away leg!

    Second round results

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    Default June update



    A short month in June as the CSL takes a break to make way for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia - for the 2 games that we do have however we'll be impacted by the call up of 5 of my star players to the China squad for the 2 pre-World cup friendlies.

    This therefore will be a real test for my squad depth - can we keep our run going..........




    So, our unbeaten run continued, but we've lost our 100% record with two results which really were quite disappointing in truth. In the 0-0 draw with Hangzhou we dominated the game in our normal form, but just lacked that cutting edge in front of goal and missed too many good opportunities.

    Against Chanba we were much better in front of goal and could have scored more with 6 clear cut chances on goal, but we were thwarted by a great performance from their keeper and were weak ourselves at the back - very disappointing to concede 3 goals in any game!



    As a result we drop down into second place, albeit with games in hand - first game back after the break for the World Cup is a key home fixture against league leaders Shenhua - so we need to get back up to full speed fairly sharpish!

  79. #379
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    Doing great in the league, unbeaten and 2 games in hand, keep it up!

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    Somebody is popular! Some tempting offers, but I'm in the middle of a project with Guanghzou and the offer would have to be staggerring to tempt me away this season.








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    Default World Footballing News

    World Footballing News

    Given that the Chinese season runs from February to November, the World Footballing News will now be a mid season update in China, but remain consisent with the end of the season in the majority of European leagues:
    • In the English Premier League it was Sunderland who made the early running at the start of the season, bankrolled by tycoon Mostafa Ettehad's millions which have allowed Sunderland to spend in excess of £30m per season for the past 4 seasons they made a flying start to the new campaign and sat pretty at the top of the table after 7 games. It wasn't to last however and after a slump to 7th place by March, manager Steve Eyre was sacked and replaced by Wolves' Keith Millen - the team showed little improvement after that and finished in 7th place
    • Once again, it was Southampton, led by manager Anton Pierre who upset the apple cart and secured European football for a second consecutive season by securing 5th place once again. Pierre has been hailed as a hero by the loyal Southampton fans, and they'll be hoping that he doesn't get poached by a bigger club over the close season and instead stays on to challenge for silverware next season
    • Following the sacking of Laurent Blanc at the end of last season, Tottenham turned to Paul Lambert to try and reverse the clubs fortunes. Lambert, who had previously been at Stoke fell into the same pattern as previous unsuccessful managers at Perryman Park however and could only turn in a mid table 8th place finish. The heady days of Harry Redknapp's push towards Champions League football seem a distant memory for Spurs fan's now, and funds appear tight for Lambert, given that the club has turned a net transfer profit in 4 of the last 5 seasons in an attempt to balance the books - even so, Lambert will know that the board and fans will be expecting an improved performance next season if he is still to be in a job in a years time
    • Bolton turned around a significant profit on the sale of Goran Vukcic to Scudetto champions Juventus in a £12.75m move. Bolton fans hoped that the sale of Vukcic who had only joined the club for £2.8m 2 seasons previously would allow the club to strengthen and secure Premier League survival for the 17th consecutive season. In the end it almost turned into disaster for all parties - Juventus fell to a disappointing 5th place with Vukcic unable to recreate the form he'd shown in the Premier League and Bolton had a very poor season, surviving but only just with a meagre 33 points to their name. Manager Erwin Koeman jumped from the sinking ship in March to join Real Betis in Spain leaving Eric Roy to join from Grenoble to mastermind the clubs survival in the remaining few months of the season.
    • The silver lining on Bolton's season would have been to lift the FA Cup against rival cup specialists Stoke - one of the two clubs has been the runner up in the FA Cup final in 4 of the past seasons - alas, it wasn't to be and it was the Bolton fans who had to once again make that long journey back North with nothing to show for their efforts as New Zealander Chris Wood scored the winning goal for the Potters
    • Back in the Premier League, Everton pulled of the Great Escape after sacking manager Mauricio Pochettino with the club in 20th place at the end of October - to replace him they poached young and talented English manager Gareth Southgate from fellow Premier League side Nottingham Forest. Everton ended up in the comfort of mid-table obscurity in 13th place, one place above Nottingham Forest themselves, who had hired Glenn Roeder to replace Southgate.
    • Roeder himself had been sacked by Sheffield Wednesday only a few days after Pochettino, for the same crime of leading the club into 20th place. Wednesday appointed Danny Cadamarteri who had impressed at Wigan by leading their charge back into the Premier League. Wigan chairman Dean Hewitt showed a cool head though, clearly as a result of many years of mentoring from previous chairman and Wigan hero Dave Whelan by enticing Slaven Bilic in as manager from Spartak Moscow and it was Wigan fans and Hewitt who had the last laugh as Cadamarteri's Sheffield Wednesday couldn't pull themselves out of their poor run of form and ended up relegated in 20th place, whilst Wigan secured a comfortable 15th place, 19 points clear of the drop
    • Man City's 3 year wait for a trophy since the appointment of Rafa Benitez was too long for their tycoon owners and he was sacked with the club floundering in 12th place. Club hero Roberto Mancini returned for a second spell to the club which he'd led to the Premier League title in 2013 and 2014 and to the Champions League final in 2014, before he was tempted away to Barcelona. Mancini quickly started to work his magic again and recovered the team to 4th place, but other teams we'll be looking on nervously for next season to see if Mancini can recreate his previous success
    • Benitez wasn't out of work for long however and when Arsenal's Quique Flores stepped down to return home to manage Atletico Madrid, Benitez stepped in to pick up the reigns - incredibly Benitz has now managed 3 of the biggest clubs in the English game now - only Man Utd and Chelsea to go - and he might not have long to wait before he's back on the job hunt as their was significant dissatisfation at the Emirates as Arsenal only managed to finish in 6th place, their lowest placing in 5 years.
    • Sheffield appears to be the hotbed of young talent in the English game at the minute with impressive performances from several youngsters - most notably Sheffield United's Kevin O'Donghue who picked up the PFA Young Player of the Year award and is tipped to have a big impact at this summer's World Cup. Young defender Tristan Holmes also had a great season in which he picked up his first 2 England caps - their performances pushed Sheffield United to an impressive 8th place. On the other side of the city it was Iranian Homayoun Heidari who was impressing all with his performances from left back; these however weren't good enough to secure the clubs future in the Premier League and Heidari's agent was quick to find him another club willing to stump up a £7.25m transfer fee - and Heidari will therefore be performing in front of the Anfield Kop next season
    • At the bottom of the Championship it was a very sad season for Fulham fans - after Al Fayed's millions had dried up in 2012 they had known that life was going to be tough, but financial mismanagement has led to a disaster with the club entering administration, being relegated from the Championship in last place and seeing a 10 point deduction (which made no overall difference on the standings). To top it all off the club had to reduce the capacity of the ground to just over 23,000 because they couldn't afford the cost of maintaining and securing all areas of the stands. Optimistic fans are hoping that a top to bottom cleansing of the club and an opportunity to start again is exactly what's needed, but memories of that wonderful run to the Europa League final will feel very distant as they travel to Away matches at Newport Counties stadium on dank, cold, Wednesday nights in December!

  82. #382
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    Nice being linked to the likes of Zenit.

  83. #383
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    Great job opportunities! Are you looking at moving? Loved the Footballing news again

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    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    Great job opportunities! Are you looking at moving? Loved the Footballing news again
    I'm staying for the time being - nice to be linked though

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    Poor Fulham

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatTraveler View Post
    Poor Fulham
    Seems to be a fairly common story in most long term saves - essentially they don't have the financial muscle to survive at the level of the Premier league over the long term. Newport Counties rise seems to be another common pattern over longer games as well - so far they're rise has been meteoric and I'd happily put money on them making it into the Premier League before Fulham get back there!!

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    The upgrade of our training and youth facilities is completed, and no sooner have the builders laid down their tools, they're told to pick them back up again and get back to work with the next stage of improvements - this time a significant £4.4m investment to make our facilities comparable with the best in the league.






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    FIFA World Cup 2018 - Russia

    Plenty of shocks in the World Cup group stages as Group G emerged as the famous Group of Death with South Korea and Ukraine progressing at the expense of giants Italy and Brazil. Iran were the other shock team to make it through to the second round, helped by a battling point against group winners England they progressed at the expense of Uruguay.

    Fans of both Finland and Northern Ireland were overjoyed to have made it to the World Cup finals, something that is certainly not a regular occurrence - however despite great performances in qualifying they struggled to perform when it really mattered, only picking up a point each in their 3 games.





    There were far fewer shocks in the knock out phase of the competition - although Iran went so, so close to knocking out Germany, eventually falling at the dreaded penalty shoot out - and South Africa had a great run to the semi-finals helped somewhat by a fortunate draw which avoided any of the traditionally big nations.

    In the end though it was two of those big nations who made it through to the final and in a goal fest, it was France who triumphed thanks to 2 extra time goals from substitute Gueida Fofana




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    Roll of Honour

    Premier League

    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

    FA Cup

    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

    League Cup

    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

    Champions League

    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


    Europa League

    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



    European Championships

    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

    World Cup

    2014 - Winners
    Mexico Runners-Up France
    2018 - Winners France Runners-Up Germany

  90. #390
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    Default Previous Clubs

    A disappointing first season for my replacement at Bamboutos, as most of our star players are sold off for a pittance and rivals Coton Sport manage the double

    Team Season League Position Notes
    Bamboutos 2017/18 Elite One 3rd -
    Last edited by chile_paul; 12-07-2012 at 13:30.

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    Default Mid season update

    With the break for the World Cup over and done with, and with the added benefit of my players returning early and having a well earned break after China failed to make it past the group stages, we returned to the league full of confidence that we could put our tiny blip behind us as we headed into the biggest game of the season against title rivals Shenhua.


    Unfortunately things didn't proceed as planned and we were quite frankly thrashed by a better side and in particular by their star Brazilian striker, Marcelo, who picked up a hatrick. We had been 4-1 down by half time and really looked out of form - despite making a recovery in the second half it wasn't until the 89th minute that we picked up a second goal as consolation.

    At the time, this didn't appear a complete disaster as we had bottom of the table Chongqing next up at home, but again we were really poor, conceeding an early goal from a free kick in the 90th minute - even this didn't spur us on though and it took some desperate measures in the final 15 minutes to get an equaliser thanks to one of my young midfielders who came on from the bench to score on his debut. That now makes it 4 games without a win and we're playing as poorly as we did last season!

    Things did improve in the next 3 games including 2 good wins against Fuli and bitter rivals Beijing but we're definitely not as slick as we have been and it is feeling much harder to pull off a result. Having been miles ahead of the field, we've really been pulled back into the pack fighting it out for the title.



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    The game in hand gives you the edge.

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    Default August Update

    I'd already included the first game of August against Beijing in the mid season update, so with only 2 more games in August this will only be a brief catch up


    2 more wins extends our new winning run to 5 and helps us keep pace with Shenhua who also won both games. Whilst I'm pleased to win I'm also conscious that we're still struggling to perform and are a long, long way from the style of performances that saw us score 4 goals a game and hammer Shandong 7-0. Notably all 4 goals in the last 2 games have come from midfield or from my central defender heading in from set pieces.




    Despite the poor nature of the performances, I was still awarded my 3rd manager of the month award



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    The Asian Games follows at the end of the domestic season and with no real issues with fixture congestion between domestic and international games (it does impact slightly on the CFA Cup semi and final, but I'm not overly bothered about our performances in this competition given we one it last year) I thought I'd jump back into international football. Just like the Olympic Games I'll be able to pick 3 over age players and given most of the U-23's will be coming from my squad I'm quite optimistic about our chances. If everything goes well I might stay on for the Olympic Games qualification competition.




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    Default September update


    The team is starting to re-find its rhythm now as we continue to extend our unbeaten run to 9 games in the league. The win at Dalian was another goal fest after the 4-3 reverse fixture earlier in the season - just before half time I really though we might end up with the same scoreline as they pulled the result back to 3-2 but following some harsh words with our defence at half time they tightened up at the back and our strikers continued on to have a field day.

    Wu Xinghan had a stunning game against Tianjin capping the performance off with a stunning curling shot to secure his hattrick!


    Elsewhere in the league Shenhua have dropped off the pace and it looks as though the title is going to come down to a battle between myself and Shandong - incredible given the way we wiped the floor with them in a 7-0 victory earlier in the season. They are also now on a 9 game winning streak, so whilst we remain in the lead the away game against them with only 3 games left in the season will be critical





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    Go on and clinch it!

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    Default Youth Intake day

    An average intake this year with 2 candidates worthy of a special mention



    Peng Zhihai - already rated as a 1 star for current performance he does look like a genuine candidate for success - I do have a lot of defensive midfielders in the team though so he's not going to get many early chances to show what he can do

    Guo Mengmeng - he's fast but he is desperately lacking in strength - this seems to be a common characteristic in Chinese regen's which is one of the reasons I almost always have a foreigner as one of my 2 front men to bully the opposition defenders.

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    So, after a long break the Champions Leagu returns and we have the home leg up first against Saudi Arabian league runners up Al-Ahli. Prior to playing in this competition I had assumed that the standard of football in West Asia would be significantly below that of China, Japan and South Korea - however looking at their performances in this competition in recent years I definitely think I've got something to worry about. I'll also be up against a familiar face in the opposition dug-out the form of ex-Australian legend and former West Ham, Blackburn and Everton player Lucas Neill.

    The first leg couldn't have gone much better as we continued our domestic form on the continental stage. Once again it was a tight affair, but we had that extra cutting edge in front of goal, taking a 2-0 lead into the second leg. We could have put the tie to bed in the final minutes, but youngster Joseph Njock put his penalty straight at the keeper, his second consecutive penalty miss - he may well drop down the pecking order for the next spot kick. Luckily this didn't come back to haunt us, although it did get tight at times in the second leg. In a tie that Al-Ahli dominated the second goal was absolutely key - they had taken an early lead and were dominating possession and chances, but on one of our few forays forward we were awarded a corner and whilst the initial header was won at the near post by their defender he wasn't able to clear it and Zhang Chendong dived in to poke the ball into the back of the net. That crucial away goal meant that they would need 3 to progress and with only 25 minutes left we comfortably rode out the remainig time to progress to the semi-finals.



    Next up we have Japanese side Sanga - they were the league runners up last season in Japan, but are currently having a shocker of a season as they prop up the rest of the table and look favourites for relegation - could this be the perfect opportunity to get through to the final?
    Last edited by chile_paul; 13-07-2012 at 12:08.

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    Peng looks like he could go very far in almost any league!

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    Default October update



    October was always going to be a really tough month that would test my squads strength and depth and really challenge our staying power. We faced 6 league matches as well as a 2 legged semi-final in the Champions League which would see us travelling to Japan. To top it all off at the end of the month we had one of our hardest league fixtures of the season, an away match against title challengers Shandong who were desperate for revenge after the 7-0 spanking we'd administered in the reverse fixture.



    The first of the month couldn't have gone any better than I'd hoped for - we picked up a really good win against Hangzhou and went on to pick up 9 points and not conceded a goal in the next 3 games. In the meantime Shandong were dropping points and it looked like a real possibility that we'd secure the title before we even had to play them! The next game against bottom of the table Chongqing would give us the title if we won and Shandong failed to win; however yet again we failed to break down the bottom of the table side after they took an early lead and once again we left it to the final desperate push to equalise. So, we hadn't done enough to secure the title, but Chongqing had needed the win to stay up and as a result of our late equaliser they were condemned to relegation.

    In the next game however our form returned and we picked up a comfortable 2-0 win against 5th placed Chanba to secure the club's first league title in 4 years!!

    The game against Shandong was a disappointment if I'm honest, although I did rest a few players I had hoped we'd be strong enough to win. Even so our aggregate score over the course of the season is 10-2 and we lifted the title so who cares!




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