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February 2031

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So monster month one was followed by monster month two and some of the results could line up a third of the same. My squad will be on their knees - the results are something I won't complain about though! We began by putting eight - eight - past Santa Clara (Fernandez 2, 5, 15, 83, Panariello 22, Colombo 50, 78, Perez 77). We then took on Braga (Fernandez 37, 60) and got ourselves a one goal lead to take into the second leg. Moreinense (Panariello 9, Fernandez 76, 90+3) faced us in the league and three goals took them to one side. We got three again in the return tie against Braga (Djalo 31, Colombo 36, Fernandez 51) and that was enought to take us into the cup final. I came here to win silverware and that's the way to do it! Against Leixoes (Mazinho 88) it looked like we would drop two points to the side rooted to the bottom. Almeida had other ideas though with a superb ball over the top that Mazinho finished. We played Aberdeen (Fernandez 3, Colombo 31) and our goal machines kept things rolling into that second leg. Then it was Benfica (Djalo 30, Rodrygo 70, Fernandez 87). We hadn't beaten them in the last five games but this time we did  - we were on our knees by the end but a Fernandez pen gave us a comfortable finish. We then wrapped the month up by beating Aberdeen (Torres 8) with a slightly-rotated side to keep us rolling in Europe.

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So there we  are - top of the table and still with a game in hand. It would be great if Benfica dropped a few points along the way but I've got a feeling they're not going to make it easy for us. After a perfect month, it feels like we still have very little room for error. I really want that title - can  we do it?!

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No players were brought in this month and most of those that left were loanees. The only painful departure was that of Torres who managed to squirm away before we could get him to sign a professional deal. I'll watch his career with interest - and a little bit of pain!

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So my former employers Braga start the month and then we have the Europa League games against Stade Rennais. The league games are a real spread across the division but we have to be doing well in those as I doubt Benfica will give us much wiggle room. Watch along for the next installment!

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March 2031

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The busy months have kept rolling but it's what we've needed to work through to help us get a medal. Game one was against fomer club Braga (Fernandez 40, 68). For  a while, I thought we'd only get a point but a trade-mark Fernandez penalty blasted home gave us all three. We took on Henry's Stade Rennais (Rodrygo 52, Torres 68) and Rodrygo's fine volley broke the deadlock in an otherwise close match. Back to league action and a game against Rio Ave (Rodrygo 40, Ferreria 69, Mazinho 77, Zainaghi 90+3). Now that Fernandez was just one league goal away from a record, it all seemed to dry up! Back to Europe now and off to France to play Stade Rennais (Rodrygo 26). We couldn't get a win in this one but we'd done enough across both ties to get us into the QF. Feirense (OG 22, Zainaghi 36, Fernandez 76) took us on in the league. The OG was a pretty impressive flick from their keeper who put Rodrygo's cross home. The goal machine opened up against Chaves (Fernandez 22, 42, 45+2, Gusto 29, Locatelli 49, Torres 77) and being 4-0 by HT was pretty good going! The final game was against Nacional (Rodryo 31, 43,70, Timms 77). Timms hasn't been much of a goal scorer but I'm sure he would have enjoyed this edge of the box bullet into the top corner!

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Squeaky-bum time as they say! There are six games to go; win four of those and we have the title. It should happen but it still seems a long, long way to go. I would love it, just love it if Benfica were drop some points and make the run-in a bit more comfortable. I'm not sure they're feeling that generous though!

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So our exciting AMC has a name - Amilcar Silva. Winger Joao Farinha seems to be coming up short of the mark. Perhaps I'll be wrong but it's the names above that I'm really looking at to light up Porto's future.

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So a month with six games in it seems positvely sedate! As I said above, win four of the league games and we win the league. Mixed in with those are my former club Spurs - again! Last time, they did us in the Europa League Final. Are they here to spoil the party again?

 

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April 2031

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What a month - just what a month. It's one of those where everything works and you can't quite believe that things can be this good! We started the month playing Chaves (Fernandez 36, Perez 42,67). A beauty of a ball over the top from Djalo sent Fernandez through to score and two set-piece headers from CB Perez wrapped up the game. I then took on fomer club Spurs (Fernandez 70) and to say that they battered us would be an understatment - GK Gama got his first MOTM. Fernandez proved to be the only goal scorer though when he volleyed home a cute Rodrygo header. Back to league action and a tough game against Portimonense (Carrasco 34). I've been resting players when the RST icon appears next to their name and Carrasco took his chance well Djalo pinged a ball over the top for him to finish. Back to Europe and back to Spurs (Colombo 12, Rodrygo 35). Colombo scored a neat volley from a Rodrygo cross and then Rodrygo got his own goal, finishing off a nice passing move. This result sent us on into the semi-finals! The league again and we played Estoril (Fernandez 26, Djalo 34, Panariello 54) and Djalo's beauty of a strike from just inside the D was the pick of the bunch. That result meant we'd effectively won the league but the formalities were wrapped up when Rodrygo was given a loose ball by Boavista (Rodrygo 17), ran past their defence and smashed it home - we are the champions!

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Top of the league with two games to go - I'm pretty pleased with what we've done. We've managed to wrestle the title back from Benfica who've won it for the last two seasons and it feels like we've come a long way. When we lost to them in the Superplacard and in the league early on, I wondered if we had what it took. It turns out that I should never have worried!

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Our work is not done yet though - we still have the Europa League semi-finals against Bayer and, in June, there is the cup final against Boavista for another shot at silverware. I could finish this season with a cabinet full. Who knows?!

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May 2031

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So here we go - the final run into the end of the season! We started off by taking on Leverkusen in the Europa League semi and were given a total lesson. We pulled the game back a little in the second half but, overall we were fortunate that the tie even remained competitive into the second leg. A side with four rotated players took on Sporting (Colombo 55, Torres 67, Gusto 88) and going in a goal down at half time, it looked like we were going to be punished for it. We had enough in the tank to turn it round and took the game 3-1. Back to Europe and back to Leverkusen. This game was closer than the first but we never really looked like scoring and, when they did, it was tie and game set and match. The final game of the league season saw us take on Vitoria (Ferreria 4, Rodrygo 18, Colombo 30) and we got a secure win going into the cup again against Boavista. They got two early goals but the rest of the game was all ours - we hit the wood work, missed open goals, were offside - you name it happened and they came away with the silverware.

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So the final table looks like this - we're a comfortable 12 points clear of Benfica and even further clear of Braga who get the UCL spots. After that, Sporting and Famalicao get the others - it looks like a job well done to me! Next on to the season review...

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Season Review

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Well my first choice XI are marked out as the team of the season - there was a fair bit of rotation going on this season so honourable mentions also have to Guilherme, Mazinho, Almeida and Pavez who clocked up a fair number of minutes and miles between them. The worry now is that almost all my team are wanted by someone or other so I think I'm going to have a summer of fighting on my hands in order to keep this group together.

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It's pretty clear who the major hitters here are. Djalo has just signed a new contract so I'm fairly hopeful that he won't be going anywhere soon but quite a lot of Europe's big clubs are taking a long, hard look at Fernandez so it could be quite a lot harder to pin him down for next season...

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This is what we've got to play with at the moment. The transfer budget looks pretty good but we haven't got much in the wage department so I might have to see who I can clear out before we really start bringing anyone in. There do seem to be about a thousand players here at the moment so a good clearout might help my head. I just hope it's not all my best players being picked off by the superclubs!

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The vision seems pretty clear - more of the same please! I'd really like to bring some youth players through. I've never been at a club long enough to tick that off as an achievement. On the other hand, I am rather keen to get a job at one of Europe's superclubs but nothing seems to be on offer at the moment...

 

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Posted (edited)

Pre-season

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I get the distinct impression that it's going to be a revolving door here at Porto - and it hasn't finished yet. I'll start with the outs. We were hugely over our wage bill when our loanees and new arrivals rocked up so I had to do something about that which largely explains the sale of the older Nehuen Perez; it was a bit of moneyball too. Then, the big clubs came in and, after much disagreement, they got away with Gama and Moroz. Mazinho was another that I chose to move on while I could get a fee for him - similar with Matt Timms and Michael Martinez. Leading striker Fernandez will soon join them as he's negotiating with Real Madrid.

I brought Pires in as soon as I saw he was available on a free as I thought it was just too good to be true. He was so reliable at Braga and Lazio that it seemed a no-brainer. Pavez's loan deal was made permament as he had proved to be so useful covering both the defence and midfield last season. Arthur Henirque is a leading Brazillian CB and only 21 so there seemed to be little to lose there. Finally, Carboni was brought in as an emergency back-up to cover the LB spot until I've found a long-term solution to that area. I know that, when Fernandez leaves, I'll need to bring someone in up front so I'm working on that too.

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So no movement here since the last time I checked. My wages are still pretty low so I'm not troubling the top ranks at the moment. I'm very much looking at the chance to move to a big club should it come up though so I'm keeping my eyes peeled!

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We remain favourites to win the league despite all the departures and fuss that have been going on at the club. I certainly hope that I've managed to keep a strong enough squad together to get us going and keep our title. I'm also hoping that our Champ's League group is a bit kinder to us this time around and allows us to get into the knockouts.

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There aren't many games here - yet. I know that the Allianz Cup games will need to be added yet. It's a big month though. We kick off with the Supertaca and I'll take any opportunity to win a medal. Then, there's the small matter of Benfica in the opening game of the season before seeing Braga later on. Let's go!

 

 

Edited by RaySunshine
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August 2031

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Despite all the off-field comings-and-goings in the transfer window, we've had  a pretty good month on the pitch! We kicked off the season in the Supertaca against Boavista (Rodrygo 28, Hernandez 106) and we were pleased to get the win when sub Hernandez smashed a super-strike home in the 106th minute! Game one of the league season saw us take on title-rivals Benfica (Pires 31, Djalo 42). It was our first game for our new-look side including post-Fernandez. It didn't phase us though as Pires got his debut goal and Djalo scored a superb free-kick. Next up were Cova (Carrasco 22, 43) and Carrasco set down his marker as starting striker for the club. The big news though was five-week injury to Arango so work began to get a GK in quick to cover. That GK, Pavaozinho (in on loan from Liverpool), took to the field and ended up conceding an awkward og after penalty-box pinball. We still got the win though as Pires scored two against former club Braga (Pires 8, 25).

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The outs continue - most are loans for younger players who need the playing time. The headline move is last season's top scorer, Fernandez, who made it clear that he wanted off to Real Madrid so off he went.

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Two players have come in - Cappiello will take the place as substitute striker after I worked with him at Lazio. He's primarily a RW but has the correct profile to play CF. I did look at some other options but they were hugely expensive so Cappiello allows me to spread my net wider across the course of the season and see who I can bring in. Pavaozinho is our back-up keeper taking Arango's place while he's injured and allowing Frommelt to get a Liga Nos season as a first-choice GK.

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I did ask for an easier Champ's League group - but I didn't get it! Despite being a first seed, I think we'll be lucky to get out of this group. I would assume Barca would ease out and then we've got to do better against Bayer. Can it be done? Let's see!

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It's early day but it's a nice way for the table to look at this stage. Benfica are presently 7th on four points so I'll take a five-point gap at this stage for sure. It's a long season but it's nice to start well.

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Four games in September after the international break. The two league games should be wins and I'd like to beat Martimo in the cup as well. The challenge is in the Champ's League where we start our campaign in the Camp Nou!

 

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September 2031

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Finally, a month has passed with no-one coming in or going out - no last minute replacements needed here! So the month began with a game against Pacos (Carrasco 19, Pires 29, Ferreira 68). We got the goals needed for the win and Pires kept his goal-run going! This was followed up by our game in the Nou Camp against Barcelona (Ferreira 22, og Demiral 59). When we went a goal down, I thought we'd struggle but a super-strike from Ferreira and a bundled home og meant we came away with an unlikely win! A heavily-rotated side played Maritimo (Colombo 7, 37, Zainaghi 85) and Colombo made his mark with a brace to push off any chance of Rodrygo replacing him. Finally, we played Tondela. We threw the kitchen sink at them but it didn't work and we came away with a 0-0 draw.

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We've made a good start in Europe but it's only a start - I'm fully aware of the fact that we've got a long way to go yet! In the league, we've dropped down to third but only because other teams have played more games. Our unbeaten run means the top of the table is still there for the taking.

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October is a funny month in Portugal with more cup games than anything else. We have two league games and they're both big ones with derbies against Sporting and Boavista. But, before that, we have a whole range of cup games to play. The two Champ's League games will put us half-way through the group stage so, by the end of the month, we should have a good idea as to where we are!

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October 2031

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We began our cup special month with a Champ's League game v Kobenhavn (Pires 3, 83, Cappiello 9, 28, 43) and it was amazing to have scored four out of five by HT! A heavily-rotated side took on Feirense (Rodrygo pen 14, Marulanda 63, Cappiello 84, Lopera 87) and it was nice to see two youngsters in Marulanda and Lopera get goals. Marulanda, bundling home a rebound, got his first goal. A similar side took on Braga B (Carrasco 17, 38, Zainaghi 26) and proved they were equal to the task as we won in a largely empty stadium. We followed this up by playing an epic against Leverkusen (Pires 6, Cappiello 90+2, Zainaghi 90+5). We started off a goal up but from pretty early on, Leverkusen got into the game and were good value for their 2-1 lead. I was in dreamland when we went 3-2 up at the death but, straight from our last goal, they raced inot our box, got a pen and we left honours even. We followed up that epic with a poor game against Sporting. They dominated the game, we produced very little and were probably lucky for our point. Thankfully, we were much better against Boavista (Colombo 19,83, Rodygo 90+2). It looked like this game was going to be a draw but Rodrygo, coming on as a sub, had other ideas and set up one before scoring the other to give us the win.

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The tables seem pretty happy with our peformances so far. In the Champ's League we're on track to qualify at the half-way stage but, having to face Leverkusen and Barcelona again means that I'm certainly not taking that place for granted. In the league, we have games in hand on first place Farense but, if we were to win them, we'd be five points clear.

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There are some pretty crucial games coming up in the next month. In the Champ's League, we have games against Leverkusen and Barca. We'll know after that whether we're likely to go through or not, that's for sure! In the league, we play Vitoria and Farense and I'm keen to keep our unbeaten run going. Finally, a cup tie against Cova rounds out the month.

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November 2031

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The month began with a defeat courtesy of our old nemisis Bayer Leverkusen (Pires 30). We got off to a bad start when one of their players carved open the centre of the midfield and defence and Pavez desperately brought him down for a penalty. We got back to level terms but Pires' goal wasn't enough. We returned to league action and a game against Vitoria (Carrasco 59, Pires 62). They were determined to give nothing away but we broke through via Pires whose slide rule pass set up the first goal and header scored the second. We were then into cup action taking on Cova (Carrasco 2, Rodrygo 45+1, 90+1). An early Carrasco goal got us on our way and we got a comfortable win. Then we were on to Barcelona (Colombo 31, Pires 57). This game was definitely one of the highlights of the season - we took charge and took the lead via Colombo who headed in a far post cross. Just on half time, Locatelli let a loose pass go and they equalised. He redeemed himself by catching Foden in possession to set up Pires' goal in a game we dominated. The month's final game saw us take on Farense (Carrasco 9, 71, 79, Pires 57). Carrasco must have known I had my eye on a promising Italian striker coming through at Rangers as he decided to get a hattrick for the day!

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In terms of the Champ's League, we've qualified with a game in hand. I'm really pleased with the double that we've done over Barca and that that's going to be enough to get us up and out the group. I pity any clubs bumping into Barca in the Europa League! As far as the league goes, the situation is pretty much as we were before - we're top of the league with games in hand so I feel like we're in a pretty strong postition there.

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We have another three winable games coming up in the league next month so I very much look forward to our unbeaten run of thirty-two games continuing there. Now that we've qualified from the group, I plan to put out a heavily-rotated side against Kobenhavn and then it's two cup games for us to win before the winter break.

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December 2031

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So December has been a pretty good month all told! The month began with the game against Vilafranquense (Pires 71, Carrasco 73, Henrique 90+3). They put everything into their back line and looked good for it but a couple of sendings off and a pen gave us what we needed for the result. Against Rio Ave (Pires 35, Rodrygo 84), we were behind for a while in the first half but goals from Pires and Rodrygo meant our unbeaten league run carried on. An entirely-rotated side took on Kobenhavn (Hernandez 17, 78, Cappiello 55, Pavez 62, Pinhao 81, Guilheme 89) but it didn't stop our flow at all as we put six past the Danish capital side before moving on. The month's last league game was against Feirense (Henrique 5, Ferreira 71) and a solid two-nil win gave us a good gap at the top of Liga Nos. In the cup we got wins against Tondela (Carrasco 31) and Famalicao (Pires 35, 79, Colombo 68) who were in a position to knock us out twick before Colombo's late goal got us level and Pires gave us the win.

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Just in time for Christmas, the FM Santa gives us some clues as to what's coming in our youth intake next year. It all sounds pretty good with a decent GK and DM coming through as well as promising AMCs and wingers. I will certainly take an excellent group of players please!

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The table looks pretty good. We are five points on Benfica and we have another game in hand on our title rivals so I'm feeling like we shouldn't have too much to worry about there. In the Champ's League, we've drawn Real Madrid so we'll have the chance to see Fernandez again soon. Incidently, he's just swept the board for almost every award going. Not much to worry about then...

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January is a packed month - eight games in total including the cup games. They're both important as we chase down silverware. I always look out games against Braga so I want to win that one. Overall, I want lots of wins, still some energy in the bank and good competition progress. Not much to ask is it?!

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January 2032

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It's been a while but Porto are back in business having completed the monster second-half months that this leage seems to be famous for! The month began with a super win Chaves (Ferreira 4, Pires 10 45+2, Djalo 13, Colombo 22, Carrasco 29, 90). At 6-0 up by half-time, it was fairly safe to say we blew them away. Ferreira's curling effort is a goal-of-the-season contender too! On the Wednesday, we played Portimonense (Carrasco 26, Rodrygo 82, 88) and it looked like we would have to settle for a draw but Rodrygo had other ideas scoring a cute header from a Pires cross and a smooth pass into the far corner from an ace Djalo through-ball (hands off PSG!). Against Moreinense (Pires pen 19, Henrique 63, Rodrygo 73) saw all three goals coming from set pieces. In the cup, we played Nacional (Rodrygo 46, Pires pen 50). We were losing at HT and I went ballistic. The team responded though as Pires put through Rodrgyo to score and then converted a penalty himself to see us into the semis. Back to the league and we played Cova da Piedade (Carrasco 29, Rodrygo 52). Carrasco now has competiton as we brought in Italian youngster Coroni from Rangers and it certainly seems to have fired him up here. We went on to the League Cup semi where we played Santa Clara (Pires pen 12, Carrasco 31, 57, 71) and Carrasco remained inspired scoring a hattrick that took us on into the final - played that very weekend!

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A game that we would go on to win against Braga (Carrasco 56, Colombo 83). They had the early chances and injured Pires just before HT. We took control though with Carrasco scoring a headed corner and Colombo beating two men before rolling the ball into the far corner to give us the trophy.

Back in the league, we played Nacional (Carrasco 66, Real 83). It took us until the second half to get the goals but two headed set-piece goals did the job nicely.

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As you were - we remain top of the table and although it appears that Benfica are reining us in, in fact we're now up to two games in hand so still have the potential to restore our seven point lead.

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Another monster month ensues - nine - I repeat nine - games are packed into the month's shortest year. Benfica away is a league highlight and we see them again in the two-legged cup semi-final. Finally, we have the small mattter of hosting Real Madrid in the Champ's League. All of this with a fair few injuries too mean it could be a touch and go month...

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On 23/08/2021 at 21:26, john1 said:

9 games in one month?! Insane! :eek: 

Its certainly more than my squad was ready to take by this stage of the season @john1! A combination of fatigue and injuries doesn't make for pretty viewing!

February 2032

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The monster month began with a game against Pacos De Ferreira (Carrasco 7). I thought we were doing well with an early lead but our formed dipped from there on in and they handed us our first defeat in a domestic game this season. This was followed up with the first leg of the cup semi v Benfica (Colombo pen 20). I was worried when they took an early lead but we levelled it up and it's not the worst place to be going into the second leg at home. We then played Famalicao (Djalo 37, OG 40, Carrasco 83, Zainaghi 90+3) and it was a pretty comfortable win! We did just as well in the second leg of the cup against Benfica (Carrasco 13, 24, 45+1, 68) where Carrasco went on the rampage. He's really stepped up as this season has gone on. From wanting to replace him with Corioni in January, I now see it as vital to get both playing. Corioni showed what he could do in getting two goals against Vilafranquense (Corioni 24, pen 90+2) to get his account up and running. No-one could produce the goods against Real Madrid though as we were firmly outplayed and have work to do in the away leg. We took out our frustrations on Tondela (Corioni pen 19, Carrasco 45+1) and looked good even when Locatelli got sent off for a horror-tackle in the 49th minute. Benfica gave us an end-to-end match but there was little quality on show and it finished 0-0. And it was pretty similar against Portimonense (Carrasco 69) where we struggled to a pretty uninsipiring draw.

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So we remain top of the league and have a healthy six point gap and a game in hand. I'm still pretty confident that we can win the league and if, as I expect, we crash out of Europe next month, that will save some tired legs going through the next months for sure! Benfica will be looking over their shoulder at Braga though and I'd love it if my former club could sneak a Champion's League spot!

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There was nothing too exciting with the in's and out's in the winter window. I was worried at one point about Carrasco's goal return (why now I've no idea!) and brought young Corioni in as a promising striker to compete for that starting place. But, with Carrasco's return to form and Corinoni having all the right stats, I'm seeing him more as an inside forward cutting in from the right so a bit of re-training is going on there! The outs are all young players needing loan minutes this season.

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We get to take much more of a breather this month with only four games to work through in March. The biggies come in early with Sporting being our first league game and then Real Madrid close on their heels. I'd love to see us overturn our deficit but I don't see that happening so think we won't have the extra work of European games between now and the end of the season which should really help us kick on and secure the league!

 

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March 2032

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Thankfully for my exhausted squad, March was a much lighter month in terms of game time. We started the month against Sporting (Ferreira 75) and it looked like it was going to be a draw until a sweet Pires pull-back to the edge of the area was swept into the bottom corner by Ferreira. We then went out to Real Madrid (Carrasco 90+1) and were pretty much blown away. At 2-0 down, we put up the barricades to prevent a rout and did at least leave with the goal of the game when Carrasco smashed the ball through the postage stamp after a nice knockdown by Garcia. We returned to league action and played Boavista (Ferreira 3, Corioni 81) and Ferreira scored a goal-of-the season contender curling the ball into the top corner from outside the box. We went down to ten men when Pires was sent off but it stop Corioni picking up the ball running it past his man, drawing the keeper out and smashing it home. All the goals came out against Vitoria (Henrique 17, Rodrygo 23, 57, Ferreira 25, Carrasco 45, 64) and we stormed our way to a convincing win to finish the month.

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What has been a great month for us hasn't been for Benfica - our title rivals. We finish the month eight points ahead of them but we also have two games in hand so potentially we could earn a fourteen point lead! This seems incredible but I'll be pleased to have that as we sail into the final stretch of the season.

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Back in December, there was a promise that our youth intake would be pretty exciting. Well it certainly proved to be true! Harbottle and Quimbamba steal the headlines but there are plenty of other good players in here to help the club's future.

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April has six league games with two double gameweeks in there too. Braga is the headline game but, even with that game in there, I'm expecting to smash through the month and secure our second league title as soon as we can.

 

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April 2032

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At last, the season approaches its business end. We knew that, assuming everything went well that we'd be able to wrap up the title this month which is never a bad thing! Game one saw us take on  Nacional (Corioni 14). They took a shock lead but, just a minute later, our wonderkid saw the game to parity and that's where it stayed. We then took on my old club Braga (Djalo 30, OG 67) and Djalo smashed an absolute beauty from outside the box which crossed the keeper low into the opposite corner. Farense (Pires 49, Corioni 90+3) gave us a really good game at led at HT. We got the win in the end though as Rodrygo played possibly the ball of the season up from his own half to see Corioni volley it home. Goals flowed against Rio Ave (Carrasco 8, 37, Pires 45, Rodrygo 90) and the day after the game, we got some good news...

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We'd done enough to win the league! Cheers all round I think. Our first celebration game saw us play Famalicao (Real 22, Carrasco 83). They took the league against us but Real scored well from a tight angle and Carrsco got the winner after a superb ball over the top from Ferreira. Finally, we played Feirense (Carrasco 3, Henrique 41). They went down to ten men in the second half and closed the game down but we'd already got the win by then.

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The table can now only confirm what we already knew. We're champions. It also looks like Benfica and Braga are set for their places so it's only Sporting and Boavista who could switch places between them.

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Three games now remain and it's the last of these that is the high-profile one. There we play the cup final against my old club Braga. We suffered a shock defeat in the final last year so I'm keen to see it out this year and get a clean sweep of domestic trophies this season.

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May 2032

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May brings the season to a close. We began by beating Chaves (Carrasco 39, Rodrygo 47, Pires 53, Corioni pen 88) in a regulation 4-1 win. We then repeated the feat in our last league game of season when we played Moreiense (Corioni 44, pen 66, Djalo 48, Carrasco 60). Across the two games, it was pretty pleasing to see Corioni in such good form but we did lose Rodrygo to injury in the first game of the month meaning we wouldn't have him for the cup final. Onto that and the game against Braga. We were hopeless - utterly awful. We simply didn't turn up and never looked like getting into it once Braga had scored. Perhaps I'm just not meant to win this trophy?!

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The table is as you were. We finish the seasons champions and an impressive twenty points above Benfica. It's a pretty pleasing picture for me and certainly shouldn't hurt my cv!

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Season Review

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The season's XI is exactly the line-up that I chose throughout most of the season. It reflects the fact Colombo dropped out of the starting XI as the season went on and the fact that Corioni hadn't quite secured his place yet.

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Well it's pretty easy to see who lead things for us this season. Carrasco was the main man and he sweeps most of the awards. Ferrieira defies his advancing years to secure most assists and we should be pretty pleased with what we're getting from him.

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Carrasco also broke a hatful of records this season. Just think that I was considering replacing him halfway through the season but perhaps bringing Corioni in as competition spurred him on.

Now, normally at this point, I'd discuss the vision and the budget for next season but I haven't because there is news to come...

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The dream job! The return! The reunion! My primary aim in this save has been to get back to Tottenham again and, at last, I've managed it. Both Spurs and Man City sacked their managers after the cup final and the club I wanted to manage were the first to offer me a job. Let's hope that my stay here is longer than it was last time around!

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The expectations are to qualify for the Europa League, reach the QF of the Champion's League and the final of the FA Cup. It doesn't sound like too bad a task as long as the league takes the primary focus. I certainly feel like I should be able to put a squad together to do that.

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I get the impression that I'll need to visit the vision screen quite a lot. There's a lot going on here and I'm going to need to make sure that I'm keeping a good eye on everything that the club wants me to be doing. Let's hope that I can keep abreast of it all.

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There's a bit of money here to play with so if I need to add to the squad, I can. I haven't had chance to look at what we've got yet so I'll soon let you know what I've bought the XI that will play the opening game of the season!

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Pre-season

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Well it's been a pretty good pre-season! I kept the fixtures that had been set up prior to me taking over and I have to say that I'm pretty pleased with the results. All wins and only two goals conceded doesn't sound like a bad place to be!

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The predictions say that we'll finish 5th. We seem to be a fair chunk ahead of both Arsenal and Leicester but also a little bit behind Man U so it will be interesting to see how we do. I think it's going to be a challenge to sneak that final Champion's League place.

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It's an interesting month to get us going. We've got two games that we really should win followed by two games against the clubs that will be competing for those European places so we should have a fair idea of how we're going to do by the end of the month!

 

Edited by RaySunshine
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Starting XI

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So a new season looms large and this is the team that I'm looking to put out for my first game back in charge of Spurs!

Walid Halamia: The 25yo Frenchman has spent all of his career excelling at Anderlecht and it was this stellar record that caught my eye and led me to bring him to the lane.

James Black: The 25yo Englishman has been Spurs' RB since 2026. He's caught the eye of Barcelona and was capped when I was England manager so I feel like it's a safe place.

Allesandro Bastoni At spurs since 2022, the 33yo Italian is someone I trust to help command the backline. He won't be there forever at this age though.

Jean-Clair Todibo: Todibo is in a similar postion having been a rock at the back since 2026. I'll look to make the most of this pairing before I need to move them on.

Enrique Gonzalez: The second of my three signings and a bargin at £28m. The former Dortmund man will be someone I expect to excel.

Ezequiel: The third and final signing I made is the 21yo Brazillian who is one of the great world prospects. Having pinched him for £13.5m, I expect him to do well.

Fabio Augusto: The 26yo Brazillian was brought in from Santos in 2024 and is the second part of my all-Brazillian CM axis.

Igor Philippov: The 21yo Ukranian joined the club from Shaktar three years ago. He's coming through the ranks and a great future prospect.

Riccardo Isaia: The Italian has spent two years at Spurs having come in from Torino. He got 8 goals and 7 assists last season and I look forward to more.

Jeronimo Espinoza: The 21yo Mexican has been at the club for the last few years but not really made it. He's got the nod ahead of 33yo Justin Kluivert at the moment but will that last?

Sebastian Mora: The Colombian spent half of last season at Man City having joined them from PSG. But then, in the winter, Spurs stepped in and Mora was on the move again! Let's see what he can do in his first full season.

 

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August 2032

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The opening month of the season contained four games. The first was the ideal start against Brighton (Isaia 9, Moran pen 17, Espinoza 23, Philippov 52). Isaia's goal was the pick of the bunch - curled into the top corner from just inside the D. We were on a wave going into the West Brom (Philippov 30) but came out with a shock. We took the lead through Philippov's curled effort but they took the lead through two long balls over the top. It was the small matter of the North London Derby next when we took on Arsenal (Espinoza 25, 38). Two crosses by Redondo and Ezqueial were both headed home at the far post by Espinoza to give us a famous win over my former employers. The final game of the month was against Liverpool (Redondo 4, Baxter 69). Superstar Redondo gave us the lead with a tidy finish and they pegged us back straight away when our keeper came flying out. A super finish from Baxter restored the lead after a neat throw-in and Halaimia went from villian to hero with a string of superb saves as Liverpool pushed forward at the end.

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It's very early days but we're where we want to be in the table - firmly in the competition at the right end of the table. There's a long way to go yet before it means anything though!

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Just before the Liverpool game, our group for the Champion's League was drawn. It looks hard! As fate would have it, I return to my former employers in the Portugal. We also have the challenge of Dortmund to overcome and that will be a challenge for sure. Club Brugge from Belgium round out the group.

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September looks like a busy month. Games against Leicester, Man City and Aston Villa provide us with leage action while we face Brugge and Dortmund in the Champ's League so we'll soon see how the group is going. Finally, the League cup starts with a game away at Norwich. Plenty of games and plenty of challenge await...

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September 2032

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Game one of September saw us take on Leicester (Mora pen 43, Espinoza 44, Redondo 62) in what turned out to be a crazy game. We go 1-0 down, we turn it round to 2-1 just before HT, they equalise just after HT and we take the lead again only for them to score two and steal the game - aaargh! We took all this frustation out on poor Club Brugge (Mora 2, 38, Isaia 13). Headers were the order of the day and got us 2 out of the three. We then took on Man City (Augusto 6, Mora 32, Espinoza 45+1, Kluivert 58) and were sent into dreamland! The pick of the goals was Augusto's daisycutter into the bottom corner from inside the D. The only problem now is that he's flirting with Barca! A second-string side took on Norwich (Bravo 21, Redondo 62, Mora 90+1) but at 3-1 down at HT, I had to bring on the big guns to save the day at the last minute and see us into the next round via penalties.  Villa (Espinoza 16, 23, 38, Mora 21, Redondo 55) were a place above us in the league but could do nothing to stand in our way. My personal highlight were some of the killer balls Augusto played to set things up and make chances. Finally, we played Dortmund (Mora 48, Augusto 83, Bastoni 90+5). I was really impressed with the result we got out of a tight game and I hope that that will really boost our chances of getting out the group.

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At the moment, it feels like we're sitting pretty in the league. We're in a Champ's League place and are three points ahead of Man City and five points ahead of Arsenal and Man U so I feel like the odds are certainly in our favour with that one at the moment. In the Champ's League, we're also doing well. We're presently six points ahead of Dortmund and, even if we suffer some knockbacks, I doubt they'd beat our head-to-head of a 3-0 win. All in all, I can't complain!

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Watford, Bournemouth and Wolves are all games I think we should be winning if we want to make good on our potential. Chelsea, on the other hand, provide a serious challenge as they have shot off up to top place - five points ahead of Southampton. It's Southampton that we take on in the League Cup and, although I'm rotation slightly in the competiton, it's a chance of silverware and I want to win it. Last, and by no means least, we take on my former employers. When I was in charge of Porto, we moved pretty smoothly past Spurs. I hope to offer a bit more a match this time around!

 

Edited by RaySunshine
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October 2032

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October was a pretty busy month for us and, on the whole, a positive one as you can see from the results above. The month began with a league game against strugglers Watford (Aime 27, 35, Redondo 55, 77, Mora 59, Kluivert 60) who had no answer for our attack. Kluivert got goal of the month for a superb dribbling run to edge of the box before curling it into the far corner. Bournemouth (Baxter 90+1) proved a much harder nut to crack but a corner from Aime saw Baxter head home to give us the win. We had little joy against former employers Porto (Mora 52). We were 4-0 down by HT and sent home with our tails between our legs. The game against Chelsea (Espinoza 8) began with a dream start and for the most of the game, I would have been happy with the point but a late penalty saw them snatch all three. The League Cup game against Southampton was a bit of a bore-fest in the 90 but a penalty win sees us on into the QF. Finally, we took on Wolves (Redondo 4, Mora 13, Aime 61) and brushed them aside. The goal of the game was Aime's superb effort smashed low into the corner from outside the box.

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Even though a lot of his work was off the bech, Aime did enough to secure young player of the month just ahead of Ezequiel. Two players in there is a good sign for us. Bring on the wonderkids says I!

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I have to be pleased with whre we are in the league table. We remain in the champ's league places and two points away from the Europa League places. It's even better to be up to second. We're four points behind Chelsea who really seem to be striking out for the title. In the Champ's League itself, Dortmund could only draw with Brugge which puts us five points ahead of them at the halfway stage. Get a win against them again and we've pretty much qualified I would have thought. They're not our next game though...

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Our next game is the home tie v Porto and I really want to give my former club a proper game this time around. I really hope that we can beat them and really strengthen our credentials but I'm still not too worried - yet. Derby and Sheffield are in the relegation places and Everton are tenth so those games have all got to be targeted for points. Man U are presently 8th so it would be great to beat them and keep them out the way too!

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November 2032

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November kicked off with the second game against my old club Porto (Mora 4, Kluivert 89). It's pleasing to say that the result was the one that we wanted this time around and it helped me to feel better about moving on. The following game saw us take on Derby County (Espinoza 5, 26, 42, 52, Baxter 24). A five-goal haul by Espinoza showed how we were on the up and what quality the winger had. We followed this up by going behind to Man United (Espinoza 18, Mora 39). We went behind early on but had turned it around by HT and then held on to secure the result. A heavily-rotated side took on Brugge (Mora 81). We were poor for the most of the game so rather than bringing on the youngsters, we had to bring on the big guns to get to the draw. We were even worse against Everton where we battled with them throughout but, having lost Espinoza through injury, we were worrying short of any creativity or finishing. The same story was true against Sheffield United and this brought our month to a pretty unsatisfactory conclusion.

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Two months in a row and two Young Players of the Month - that's certainly a record I look forward to keeping going as we seek to bring in the best young players from all around the world.

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The league table can't look any better at the moment! Despite the struggles at the end of the month, we come through as top of the table. It's a worry though that it's all so close and, with injuries, things could easily go any which way. In the Champ's League, we've squeaked above Porto but we have to match their result in order to secure top of the group. That's where I want to be but I'll still be resting key players through the game.

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This December doesn't look as packed as an English December can. In terms of the number of players I have needing a rest, that can only be a good thing! All the league games are winnable and, having slumped at the end of November, we need to pick up again. Dortmund is a game I want to win as is the QF against Man City although I know that won't be an easy task. I'll let you know how we get on...

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December 2032

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December was again a mixed month as you can see from the win-draw pattern displayed above. In the first game, we took on Leeds United (Fabio Augusto 53). Despite battering them in the first half, we went in level. I thought we'd get the points when Augusto slotted the ball under the keeper but their equaliser in the dying embers meant the points were shared. In the Champ's League, we took on Dortmund (Espinoza 10, Redondo 53, Bravo 70 90+2, Mora 85). The game was close to begin with but opened up in the second half to our advantage which led to us battering them in their own backyard. Back to the league and back to Norwich (Baxter 33). Once again, we took the league and again let the points slip just before the final whistle blew. In the League Cup, we took on Man City (Redondo 37) and another last-gasp goal pinned us back but we squeaked through on penalties. Southampton (Espinoza 69) and another infuriating last-gasp equaliser meant that we'd gone five games without a win. Grumblings are beginning to echo around the hallowed halls. Thankfully, we redeemed ourselves in the game against Middlesbrough (Philippov 7, Espinoza 14, 19) Philippov marked his return from injury with a goal and we got all our business done before twenty minutes.

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A month with far too many draws in it means that we've slipped out the Champ's League places at the half-way stage of the season. There's plenty of time to put things right though and squeak into that final spot. Man U haven't made it into view yet which is a bit surprise.

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Youth is something that the club are keen on but it doesn't look like this input is going to generate much of it. I'll tell you more about the English keeper from Paraparaumu when we get names to go on. I think I'll have to have a look at the quality of our facilities.

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January is a busy one in which we'll work our way through nine games! The FA Cup game against Portsmouth will be great as the FA Cup always is and there's the chance to get through to the League Cup final if we can find our way beyond Leicester over two legs. then the league throws us Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City. There's plenty here to get our teeth into!

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January 2033

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So our busy month has been played out but, overall, I'm pretty pleased with what we got out of it. We began the month in the cup against Portsmouth and, despite dominating the game, we just couldn't make the break-through and it was taken to a replay. We then took on Leicester (Mora pen 71) in the cup semi-final first-leg. We'd had two goals ruled out when they scored from a rebound. We went up the other end, got a pen and the game finished all-square. Next up were Brighton (Bastoni 21). We dominated the match and an Augusto free-kick smashed home by Bastoni at the far post was enough to see us through. In the second leg against Portsmouth (Redondo 4, Philippov 71), we took the lead through a tap-in before they equalised with a miracle scissor-kick. Philippov had the final say though heading home the winner. Back to the league and we took on West Brom (Black 3, Bastoni 5, Espinoza 12). Black smashed us into the lead in the third minute and the game was all wrapped up by fifteen minutes in. This was just the taster for the big game against Liverpool (Redondo 83). We bossed the game but they took a shock lead through a corner. Redondo gave us a point though when he smashed home a daisy-cutter from the edge of the area. This was followed up by a strong win against Derby (Baxter, 10, 12, 23 Redondo 70) despite Espinoza picking up a knock that would keep him out for three to six weeks. Back to the semi and we took on Leicester (Fedorov 31) and new-boy Federov took us to the final with a super strike after being put through but Gravenberch. We were without Isia who was injured in training and isn't expected to be back before the end of April! Finally, we played Leicester (Fedorov 40, Philippov 68, Combe 79) and Fedorov got the goals flowing again! It looks like he could be a pretty serious signing!

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The table sees us remain fifth but we now have a game in hand against Arsenal so I'd love to get above them by the end of the season. I think the squad can but we'll see what happens. I know what happens when a team fails to qualify for the Champion's League and I really don't want to be fending off a mass exodus.

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In the out's we've been pretty busy. Kluivert wanted to go and serious money for a 33yo was something I just couldn't turn down. Turati has been replaced as club number one and wanted playing time so he was out too. The rest are youngsters needing minutes or not up to scratch. Finally there was an in - I'd been tracking Fedorov for ages but when a couple of other clubs put in bids, I had to get on with it as I wasn't going to lose him to rivals. It seems like a sound investment so far. We also had a go for Ortigosa who's a promising cm and I thought would help cover for Isaia's injury. Porto offered a better wage than us though and he went off there instead.

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February is a month packed with some pretty serious games. We face Man City and Chelsea in the league and we play in the Nou Camp in the first round of the Champ's League knockout stage. It's going to be a really tough month but we'll have a good sense of where we'll be by the end of this. The month also rounds out with a cup final - it doesn't get much more exciting than that!

 

 

Edited by RaySunshine
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