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[FM21] The Wanderer


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I've been thinking about it overnight, and I've come to the conclusion that now we've moved stadium, my future should lie elsewhere. I don't want to go down the route of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, and move into a new stadium, only to find that suddenly there is a need to rebalance the books, and not be able to compete at the top of the league and in Europe. I'm not resigning, but I'm beginning the job hunt immediately.

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One match from perfect in October, and a deserved 0-0 against Milan, as neither side created anything at all

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and that leaves us top, 5 points clear, but our rivals have a game in hand

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A decent and deserved victory against Northern Ireland

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which leaves us second in the group, behind Italy. We're the team that doesn't play in the next round of matches, so we will need a win in our next game, when we face a trip to Serbia

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We made hard work of Serbia in Dublin in the first half, but put them to the sword in the end

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and that sees us top of the group, although Italy have a game in hand on us, but we have a game in hand on Northern Ireland and Serbia. Next up for us in September is a must win game at home to Latvia, followed by the away game against the Italians the same month.

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A fantastic performance and result in Belfast

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and that keps us second in the table. We're the ones who won't play in the next round of matches, as the other four teams play whilst we're in friendly action against Japan

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An early goal meant we were never in any danger against Latvia

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and that leaves us second in the group, with just the game at home to Italy to come. We can technically still finish top, but we will have to beat them by 1 goal, or 2 if they score, as we lost to them 2-1 away, and results between the teams is the first decider. If we win 2-1, Italy will qualify on goal difference

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What have we gone and done?

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Thanks to the lethal Troy Parrott, we've only gone and qualified for the Euros! As Group Winners. From a group containing Italy. I'm speechless

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1 minute ago, Rikulec said:

That's a great qualifying campaign. :applause:

I was definitely not expecting that ending, but Troy Parrott obviously hadn't read the script. I think he might have written his own. He's an absolute beast

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We haven't exactly been lucky with the draw for the Euros

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Portugal didn't win their qualifying group, finishing runners up to Switzerland, and we have them in our group. Despite winning our group, as you can see, we'll be the lowest ranked team in our group. Qualifying will be very difficult.

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A quite brilliant win in our opening game of the Euros

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and that leaves us top, as the other two teams are yet to meet. A Russia win or a draw would be ideal in that one

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Next up was the game that on paper at least is the toughest game, and I thought the scoreline was very harsh and flattered Portugal. We didn't deserve to win, but we were surely worthy of a narrower defeat than this

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and that means that our final game against the Russians is a straight shootout for the second guaranteed qualification spot. Draw or win, and we'll go through.

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We did it, winning a tight game against Russia, 2-1

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securing qualification as runners-up to Portugal, meaning the Russians will have to wait to find out if they're one of the four third placed teams to qualify

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We do indeed go out at the second round stage, but we gave a decent account of ourselves for a large portion of the match, Spain only ran away from us in the last 20 minutes or so. The result was definitely fair, but as we were only expected to make it this far, I don't think Ireland will sack me, I think I'll be able to leave if and when an appealing job comes up.

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This is the squad I've inherited. Definitely some talented players, but the Goalkeeping department needs a big upgrade, and the squad is horribly unbalanced

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The season is already underway, and I've been asked to qualify for the Champions League, which in Holland means top 3. We are already playing catch-up

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Having looked at the fixture list, I do feel slightly better about things, as that defeat was away at Ajax, probably the hardest fixture of the season, and it was a narrow defeat. Hopefully we can start climbing the table

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3 hours ago, Bitner said:

Psv is a nice challenge.

Cheers,
Bitner

Yeah, they're a good club, but a long way behind Ajax on my save, so winning the title won't be easy. I'm hoping to massively overhaul the squad over the next couple of seasons to enable them to play my 4-3-3 gegenpress more effectively. I've already made two signings, which I'll post tonight as I can't get on the computer while the kids are home schooling. 

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Time for the promised transfer update. The highlighted signings are the ones since my arrival

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Amsalem comes in as first choice keeper, with former 2nd choice Ansorge going to Ajax

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and Gasperin comes in as the first of hopefully several centre back reinforcements

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Which leaves the squad looking like this. It shows Gasperin as a right back, but he's equally good in both positions, and I'll be using him at centre back

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A perfect month in September, including a brilliant result against Juventus in Turin

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which leaves us top of the Eredivisie on goal difference

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and top of our Champions League group too, a double header with Atletico Madrid awaiting us in October and November

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We were one match from a second successive perfect month in October

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but a draw with NAC Breda means we drop to second in the Eredivisie, behind Feyenoord

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and with the Champions League group half way stage reached, we sit top ahead of the trip to Madrid, knowing that a win will see us qualify

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November wasn't as bad as it looks, although we were deservedly beaten by Atletico Madrid

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but we lost to Groningen after they took advantage of us going down to 10 men. We still ended with the better xG, so the defeat stings a lot

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but we do end the month top of the Eredivisie

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and our Champions League group, but we still need to win our final match, away to CSKA Moscow, to be certain of topping the group. A draw will be enough as long as Atletico Madrid don't beat Juventus. Atletico only need a draw to qualify themselves, and knock out Juventus

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One match from perfect in December to take us into the winter break, but we're out of the Dutch Cup

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Two points clear at the top of the Eredivisie

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and through as winners of our Champions League group. Atletico join us, with Juventus crashing into the Europa League

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Two signings in the January window, both midfielders

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as Ross Gray joins from Celtic

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and Radic joins from Partizan, initially on loan, but with a permanent transfer already agreed

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Injuries, suspensions, sending offs and general tiredness cost us in February

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but we end the month 1 point clear at the top of the Eredivisie, and on course for further Champions League progress. This is turning into a heck of a three-horse title race

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