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Hello! It's been around four years since I lasted posted in these parts and on this forum in general really but reading some of these great threads has re-kindled my love for FM and encouraged me to dip into my pocket and purchase FM for the first time since the 2017 edition. To say alot has changed would be an understatement :D  but I'm enjoying it and, for the first time ever, I'm enjoying matches in 3D as well.

 

In FM17, I had a wonderful career where I went from Aberdeen > Liverpool > St Mirren > Man Utd > Bayern > Leeds and managed to turn them all into really good sides. Leeds especially were my favourite side to manage, as I drove them from League One to EPL champions before the AI took them to European glory once my manager retired. I wanted to replicate this in FM21, but then a thread by @PaulHartman71caught my eye (The Hart Chronicles Volume IV - a thoroughly entertaining read if you have the time.) Following this challenge allowed me to continue the journeyman theme I had in mind whilst working towards a difficult challenge.

 

The concept of his thread was simple - he aimed to win the Champions League with a team from every nation who had never won it before. I'll be following his path in this thread and try to accomplish same goals, though I'll be starting unemployed and seeing which club takes my fancy.

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This is my Bolivian alter-ego Max Bruz who will hopefully guide us to some form of glory. To start with, I've loaded the top four nations leagues - England, France, Spain and Germany. Hopefully we get a good job to start us off quickly on our quest to Champions League glory.

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Posted (edited)

Rejected a few interviews at clubs that would normally tempt me, Bolton and Birmingham are a good challenge but I wanted to aim for a top end team, possibly in the Premier League but I'd accept upper ends of the Championship. Then along came a club who have caught my eye in real life and were simply too good an opportunity to turn down..

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I've really liked the way Brentford operate in real life and would love to see them in the Premier League so it's great to be able to manage them on FM. The Bees are struggling in 14th place in the Championship having been predicted fourth and the squad is definitely underachieving. Hopefully, Max will be able to turn them around. The board have requested we play attacking, possession based football, that we don't sign players over the age of 29 and prefer us to sign lower league domestic players and play entertaining football. These are pretty good goals to cover for any clubs really.

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Our best eleven. A relatively young side up front with the exception of Ghoddos (27) and an experienced back line. It should be a good challenge to try make the top half, maybe even the playoffs if we're good enough. Guess it depends how I take to managing at this level.

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Mbuemo is quite clearly a star in the making, solid attributes all round for him.

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Pinnock is a really good centre half for this level.

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Toney is quite a prolific signing from Brentford but he's definitely been underachieving so far - getting him into some sort of form will be key.

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Janelt is excellent for just 22. 

Tricky opening couple of games away to Cardiff (4th) and home to Bournemouth (1st) so we'll have to hit the ground running. Looking to update every couple of months with results but will just see what suits.

Edited by Cardiovascular
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End of January

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We started off with a quite frankly ludicrous 5-4 loss to fourth place Cardiff which had me wondering if I'd misplaced my positivity about the club. But we bounced back by defeating leaders Bournemouth 3-1. However our form, as you can see, has been super patchy and we're scraping by against lesser teams at home but being narrowly beaten away from home. Hopefully it's just us bedding in the new 4-2-3-1 tactic.

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We battered QPR at home before falling away to Leeds.

Transfers

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We didn't have much of a budget to play around so there wasn't much happening. We loaned in Lundstram from Sheffield United to cover our midfield positions as we let Tachtsidis (who was only here for three months) and Baptiste from the first team go out on loan. Centre back Charlie Goode left and youngster Zamburek went on loan too, while 19 year old Max Haygarth was the only permanent outgoing.

Other News

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Not really sure how this will affect us, all our foreign players need a new contact and work permit by 2024. Hopefully we don't see too much trouble from this.

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Posted (edited)

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End of Season

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A lot of fixtures crammed into this timeframe which cost us in fitness levels. But as you can see, our form continued to be good at home but very bad away from home in March aside from a pretty shocking home loss to strugglers Rotherham. But into April. we drew our opening game then won all five remaining games (including impressive wins against top side Cardiff and eventual runners up Bournemouth) to really give us a chance at the playoffs before two disappointing losses to Watford and Bristol City to round off our season. But the question was - was our run of wins in April enough to see us into the playoffs?

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The answer was no, sadly, as the 4-1 loss to Bristol City ensured we'd finish a disappointing tenth. If we'd only won that game, we would've made it into sixth and given ourselves a real shot at promotion. Cardiff won the playoffs to ascend to the Premier League meanwhile Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley and Middlesbrough went down.

Key Players

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Pinnock was solid at the back, whilst his partner Jansson suffered from a bit of a discipline problem and missed a host of games due to accumulation of yellow cards.

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Janelt is a solid player and chipped in with a few goals from the centre of the park. I think he's likely going to be first choice going into next year. Also very handy he can fill in at left back when Rico Henry is tired.441864907_IvanToney_Profile.png.df0eda92bcbb925df24d21a138e3d318.png

I wanted a better average rating from Toney and in the beginning of my reign, he was struggling for goals but he came round towards the end of the season thankfully. 21 goals is a pretty good return as well.

Edited by Cardiovascular
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European Update

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Pretty unsurprising teams in the knockout rounds, maybe Lazio are a bit of a surprise?  They knocked out Marseille and Zenit to reach this stage. Good run for Man Utd under Ole but they came up short as Real Madrid took home their 14th European Cup

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Terrific run from Arsenal right to the very end of the competition when they defeated PSG in the final to win their second Europa League trophy.

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Liverpool just beat Man City to the title, beating relegated Brighton 4-0 at home on the final day to bring it home. Chelsea struggle to tenth place, replaced by Leicester in the top 6 who do very well to finish best of the rest.

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No huge shocks in Germany, Bayern comfortably the best team and Dortmund comfortably second best.

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Much and such the same in France as PSG run out comfortable winners - pretty good showing by Angers I think to finish fourth above Monaco, though admittedly my French football knowledge is pretty limited.

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Atletico take the title from their rivals by four points, Valencia miss out on Europe though.

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Pre-Season - Transfers

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We lost a few of of our core members - Raya, Jansson and Jensen - for really good fees and a few players who were out on loan during the first season. Youngsters Jack Leahy and Ben Winterbottom moved on as I didn't really see them developing that well, time will tell if that was a bad choice or not. A whole host of young players left on loan for development, including a somewhat bizarre transfer for Shandon Baptiste who will spend the year with Marseille. Of those who left, I have high hopes for Gilbert, Racic and Gunnarsson (who I almost kept as first choice this year.)

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Some bodies added after a lot of people left during my first summer transfer window.

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Ryan Wintle joined from Crewe for compensation, he's a tidy central midfielder and fulfils the board criteria for signing players from lower leagues of domestic football. Backup option for us.

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Christian Walton will be a solid enough second choice. He was very nearly first until the loan signing of Darlow.

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John Lundstram joined on a free following a successful enough second half of the season last year. Looking forward to seeing what he brings to the team, he's on big wages so I hope he repays them.

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Dembele is another plucked from the lower leagues as he joins for just shy of a million from Peterborough - he's okay and will be reasonable backup at this level. Plus I like using an inverted winger on the left so he suits that role well.

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Darlow is 30 so doesn't match the boards criteria over not signing players over 29 but he's a good goalkeeper for this level with experience and he'll do for a season on loan while Gunnarsson develops in America hopefully.

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We needed at least two centre backs this summer to cover for the departing Jansson and Winston Reid, who returned to West Ham following his loan spell ending. Taylor Moore was the second to arrive.

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Tom Holmes was the first centre back to arrive although he arrived so early, he was listed as a transfer from last season for some reason. Which is cosmetically annoying :D Holmes is a tidy young player with bags of potential and he cost just £3.7M from Reading.

The media have predicted us to finish fifth this year. Achieveable for sure, playoffs are my aim at the very least.

 

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End of October

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Just the one loss in these set of fixtures but too many draws for my liking. Four nil-nils is a poor return from our strikers but at least the attacking midfielders are providing. Ivan Toney has been a real disappointment - so far, he scored on the opening day, got himself a three match ban for elbowing an opponent, scored an own goal versus Preston then injured himself for a month in the same match. Bryan Mbuemo has scored more in his place so might be cementing the lone striker spot. Siriki Dembélé has been an absolute joy to watch though, top scorer so far and is fun to play with. Loves running with the ball at the opposition defence.

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We're in the playoffs still but seven points off top spot. Plenty left to play for, we just need to convert more of our draws into wins.

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End of January

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This was definitely a better three month period for us as we managed to convert more of our draws into wins as was outlined as a priority in the last update. A couple of disappointing losses to Birmingham and Reading but the seasons are full of ups and downs I suppose. We also had a bizarre and disappointing 4-4 draw with Bristol City where we were 2-0 down inside five minutes. But we clawed it back with a last minute equaliser to salvage a point. On the flip side of disappointing defeats and draws, we also had good wins against Forest and Derby early on, it's a fair point to recognise those.

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Still in with a big shout of making the playoffs but Sheffield United and West Brom are running away with the league, perhaps as you would expect. Hopefully they drop points and we can regain ground on them before the end of the season.

Carabao Cup

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I forgot to update on this competition in the first update of the season, probably deliberately because we had a dreadful exit to a side that are a league below.

FA Cup

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A last minute equaliser away to Derby set us up with a glamour fourth round tie at the Emirates. It wasn't pretty, but it wasn't terribly ugly either.

Transfers - Out

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Just a whole bunch of loans exiting the team. Henrik Dalsgaard and Miiko Albornoz both have mandatory future fees in their loan deals, so will be leaving at the end of their loans.

Transfers - In

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Sean Longstaff arrived for a big fee (for us). A talented midfielder who brings Premier League experience to our side. Also allows Vitaly Janelt to cover left back after the departure of Albornoz.

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Austrian man mountain Sasa Kalajdzic arrived from Germany to provide competition for Ivan Toney and wantaway striker Bryan Mbuemo. He doesn't hold the greatest scoring record, but hopefully he'll hit the ground running with us.

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4 games remain in the season and the title race is wide open. We've a tough away game against Swansea up next, but then three very winnable games vs Lincoln (H, 22nd), Millwall (A, 19th) and Luton (H, 24th). Sadly, none of the top five face off against each other to possibly share points/take points off each other so we're hoping for some results to go our way over the next four games. Main focus will be taking at least ten points (ideally 12) from the last four games.

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Matchday 43

Swansea 1-1 Brentford

Swansea took the lead just after halftime despite us having the majority of the first half possession. We equalised a short time later through a Siriki Dembele header from a corner (he's 5'8!) but we failed to capitalise when Swansea were reduced to ten men through injury.

Other Results

Luton 0-2 Sheffield Utd

Millwall 1-0 Bristol City

Derby 3-1 West Brom

Reading 0-0 Brighton

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A huge opportunity to make it a three way tie at the top missed by us. Bristol City lose but they're by no means out of it, but the loss to Millwall proves that the London side are no mugs and we still have to visit them.

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Matchday 44

Brentford 3-0 Lincoln

Pretty straightforward for us as we put a dent in Lincoln's survival hopes with a comfortable win. Mbuemo had a first half brace playing off the right wing before Rico Henry fired home in the last minute. Lincoln now three points from safety.

Other Results

Brighton 1-1 Swansea

Bristol City 1-2 Luton

Sheffield Utd 3-1 Birmingham

West Brom 3-0 Nottingham Forest

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A huge slip up from Brighton sends them out the automatic promotion spots and allows us to sneak in on goal difference. Sheffield United two points clear and with the best difference so it's in their hands at this point. Bristol City with a horror loss against already relegated Luton sees them requiring a minor miracle at this stage. 

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Matchday 45

Millwall 0-1 Brentford

Ivan Toney comes up with a critical goal early on to seal us a victory that was much more comfortable than the scoreline suggests. Millwall never really threatened us at all.

Other Results

Birmingham 0-1 Bristol City

Blackburn 2-0 Sheffield Utd

Lincoln 1-0 Brighton

Reading 0-1 West Brom

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It goes without saying that this was a massive matchday for us as Blackburn take all three points from Sheffield United to send us top by a point. West Brom take all three points in a tough game against Reading to keep their chances alive, meanwhile Brighton lose out to relegation battlers Lincoln in a huge result for them. Bristol City finally snap out of their bad form but it's too late for them.

Some tasty fixtures on the Championships final day in the battle for the title, the battle for the final playoff spot and the relegation battle. 

We've got Luton at home who are bottom, we have to win for the title. Huge match. Sheffield United are at home to mid-table side Portsmouth and West Brom host Swansea. Preston are currently 6th on goal difference ahead of Stoke while Watford are three points behind. Lincoln are in the final relegation spot on goal difference below Coventry.

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Matchday 46

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:hammer:

Brentford 2-0 Luton

Goal and an assist from Bryan Mbuemo saw us to the title. He scored just after the 20 minute mark then set up Saman Ghoddos for just his second goal of the season just before half time. Comfortable victory and we will be in the big time next year!!

Other Results

Brighton 0-1 Millwall

Sheffield Utd 1-0 Portsmouth

West Brom 2-0 Swansea

Brighton continue their horrific end to the season and slide to a home defeat against bottom half side Millwall. West Brom win 2-0 and were relying on Portsmouth or Luton to do them a favour, but as you can see, no favours here as Sheffield Utd eased by Pompey to claim second.

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Congrats!I still believe championship is one of the hardest leagues in the world to win.:applause:

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5 hours ago, Sheriff7 said:

Congrats!I still believe championship is one of the hardest leagues in the world to win.:applause:

 

It was a tough season right enough! But I think in the end, our consistency has been key in winning the league. That, balls of steel and a nice fixture run have done us wonders.

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End of Season

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As you can see, our form leading up to the final month wasn't incredible but we turned it on when it mattered - unbeaten in April with five wins out of six. That's a really impressive ending and obviously got us promoted as champions.

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We know how this looks already.. but any excuse to see it again. What a sight!

Key Players

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Pinnock was again our top average rating even though he didn't score or assist the entire season, which shows just how important he was to our success. 97% pass completion rate is astounding.

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Bryan Mbuemo finished our top scorer with 14 which is not bad for someone who spent half his time coming off the bench. A few important goals as well.

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Great player, solid at left back. Wanted to leave until I promised promotion and we've duly delivered to keep him happy. Bagged himself a new contract too.

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European Update

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Atletico come close to being unavailable for this challenge but, thankfully for Max, they come up short. Liverpool - the only side in the semi finals who were ineligible for the challenge - thumped them as they'd thumped the entire knockout competition. 10-3 win against Porto sums it up. Good run for Arsenal.

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Spurs go on a terrific run and defeat Bayern in the final to win their third Euro Cup trophy, and the first in almost 40 years. Some big names in these knockout stages.

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Man City take home the Premier League by three points from Liverpool. Pretty much business as usual for the rest of the league. Spurs will probably be disappointed with 7th but probably won't care after their Europa League win. Good showings from Leeds and Fulham.

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Dortmund run Bayern pretty close but come up short. Leipzig will be extremely disappointed with their final position.

france.PNG.8e214eb09b8018f300f04c18361f3b9e.PNGEasy win for PSG. Terrific showing from Reims to shift from 15th last season to fourth this year. Our central midfielder Shandon Baptiste can only help Marseille to fifth.

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A good season for Real to take back the title from their noisy neighbours. Great work from Levante and Vigo to make Europe but Sevilla will be extremely frustrated to miss out.

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Career Overview

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Season      Club        League             Position            Achievements/Other
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21   Brentford    Championship          10th                      -
2021/22   Brentford    Championship          1st                   Champions
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trophy Cabinet

SkyBet Championship - 2021/22 (Brentford)

 

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Posted (edited)

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Pre-Season - Transfers

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We didn't lose any first team players and got good fees for the squad players, like Racic, Norgaard and Fosu, that I deemed surplus to requirements this year. We also lost our backup goalie Christian Walton who had his head turned by a move to Los Angeles (can we blame him?)

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Things were looking pretty tame until we broke the bank on deadline day with a bit of a marquee signing to shore up our defence.

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Kamil Grabara was the first arrival of the summer as I earmarked him late on in the season as the replacement for Darlow once his loan expired. In hindsight, he might not be up to the Premier League standard just yet but we'll just have to see how it goes until January before making any further decisions.

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Wahid Faghir has been on my radar since I arrived at Brentford, he looks an unbelievable talent and for us to snap up a wonderkid for £2.7m looks a bit of a steal. I've struggled with strikers scoring though so hopefully he doesn't suffer from this too.

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I tried to sign Carter-Vickers last year on a free but he opted to move to Germany and cost us £6.5m to take him back across the water. He arrives to compete with Holmes, Moore and Pinnock.

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Xavier Simons was a bit of a punt, he's got high potential and some good attributes for his age. Nothing to lose with this signing.

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Like with Xavier, van den Berg here is another punt but he's also got high potential so fingers crossed he lives up to it

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The big one for the summer as we smash our record signing to bring Lamptey from Championship side Brighton. He's clearly a very talented right back and will be first choice for a problem position for us. Also on massive wages so really need this to work out.

We're predicted 18th so best of the promoted sides but still relegation material. I think we can stay up.

I've also pondered over the summer that I'll be moving on from Brentford if I get any opportunities to manage Arsenal, Spurs or maybe Leicester as these are my best shots of winning the Champions League. I'll also keep an eye on job openings abroad as well and maybe sidestep England for the moment. Depends on the right job offer coming up of course.

 

Edited by Cardiovascular
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End of October

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An awful start to Premier League life as we lost 2-1 to Fulham in a match I really expected us to get something from if we were to be serious about staying up this year. Then we travelled to the Etihad and the less said about that, the better. Tom Holmes got a red card in the 41st minute at 4-0 down which didn't help. I was expecting the worse when Spurs came to visit us but lo and behold, we remembered we could actually play football and came away with our first three points of the season. Defeats to Leicester and Everton were expected, but September would bring an unbeaten month and late October would bring two of the biggest shocks surely of the entire season as we saw off Man Utd at home and then travelled to the Emirates and came away with maximum points. An unbelievable end to a really good month and a really tricky run of fixtures!

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The table looks good, doesn't it? 12 points clear of relegation already and past some of our toughest fixtures. Kudos to Aston Villa as well who are in nosebleed territory up in second place!

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End of January

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I'd forgotten about the winter break because of the World Cup in truth or I would've added the Liverpool game into the last update. But a late, late Toney goal gained us a point against Liverpool. Then the World Cup happen, and upon our return, a hat-trick from our wonderkid striker earned us all three points against West Ham. We continued our fine form with a win over bottom side Sheffield United (just) and then quite a surprising win away to then league leaders Villa. A poor run of defeats - we shouldn't be losing to Bournemouth really, and shipping three goals to Fulham was disappointing - was followed by a surprise 2-1 win at Spurs ensuring we completed a league double over them. We finished the month with another fine win, this time at home to Everton. Some really good form here!

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Pretty easy victory over League One side Bristol Rovers in truth, then we lost a penalty shootout to Arsenal. It was a frustrating loss but in truth they probably deserved the win - they had 12 shot on target and only a magnificent performance from Grabara kept them out.

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I forgot about the Carabao Cup again, but once more we've let ourselves down with a loss against lower league opposition.

Transfers

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Dalsgaard and Albornoz were mandatory sales after their loan spells, meanwhile we got a huge sum of £11m for Ryan Wintle which is unbelievable really given we only signed him for £115k. Couple of loans out for our younger players and Roerslev left for Watford because he was surplus to requirements.

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Pabon is a young player signed for the future, not sure he'll ever amount to anything but it's worth a shot.

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Valgeirsson arrived on the cheap - I liked the look of him when he was on loan for us during my first season but couldn't get a work permit for him. Our wingers have struggled this year so he migth see some game time.

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Sima was our big money signing this window, as I mentioned I've been pretty underwhelmed with some of our attacking options so he arrives already as one of our best players and with even more potential on top of that. Looking forward to seeing how he turns out.

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Again, to combat the underwhelming attack, we moved to sign Devine on loan from Spurs and he rewarded us with a debut winner against Everton.

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Top work to win the Championship in your first full season at Brentford. Looking like you'll be in no danger of going down at the first time of asking in the Prem, which is great, Lamptey a brilliant pick-up for a promoted Championship side even with Brighton getting relegated. 

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1 hour ago, PaulHartman71 said:

Top work to win the Championship in your first full season at Brentford. Looking like you'll be in no danger of going down at the first time of asking in the Prem, which is great, Lamptey a brilliant pick-up for a promoted Championship side even with Brighton getting relegated. 

 

Been really impressed with the players who won the Championship, I kept the faith with a few of them and they've repaid me handsomely with some good performances in the Prem! Lamptey has been fairly solid for us, nothing amazing (some minor injuries perhaps affecting this) but he does motor up and down the right wing and never seems to tire.

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End of Season

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February was a disaster month for us as we couldn't find any sort of decent form and struggled against bottom half sides like Southampton and Crystal Palace. Things looked to be turning around as we slapped West Brom around a bit but we followed that with a disappointing loss against another side in danger in Norwich. With the set of fixtures that followed, things look potentially bleak but Chelsea could only take a point from us thanks to their former youth player Xavier Simons. Then we went to Old Trafford and came away with a point thanks to a man of the match performance from Kamil Grabara. A loss to Arsenal sent us onwards to Anfield probably not expecting much from the side challenging for the title, but we came away with a huge three points which kickstarted an unbeaten end to the season.

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Right in the middle of the Premier League in our first season is sensational for us. I put faith in alot of the guys that got us up - such as Pinnock, Henry, Dasilva, Ghoddos amongst others - and they rewarded me handsomely. If you take that terrible February form and imagined us capitalising on losses to teams like Palace, Southampton and Norwich, we could easily have grabbed a Euro spot. Still, can't complain too much.

Key Players

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I mentioned when we signed him that I wasn't sure if Grabara would be able to cut the mustard in the Premier League and he absolutely proved me wrong. Some superb performances from him saw us take points from some top sides and he thoroughly deserved his three man of the match awards, something I feel a goalkeeper really struggles to get in this game. Which goes to show how good he was.

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Sima arrived in January and hit the ground running fairly quickly and he had a good return for us from his performances. He did have a few injury concerns which might be a worry for us in the long term.

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Faghir had a really good first season in the Premier League, I think 16 goals is a great return from him in his debut season. He's really good, definitely going to go to bigger and better places than us.

Other News - Max on the move?

I had interviews with Arsenal and Leipzig over the course of the season.. unsuccessful but it shows you all Max feels ready to move on from Brentford and start challenging with sides in the Champions League.

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European Update

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The AI take the lead in the competition against me as Manchester City bring home their first ever Champions League trophy. Fair run for Inter, that's a really good run from them and they knock out some big names including the eventual Spanish and German champions! Spurs also had a decent run to make the semi-finals.

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A win for Dortmund against Porto brings home their first ever Euro Cup trophy and their first European trophy since they won the Champions League in 1997. Ajax have a really strong run to make it to the semi finals, and there are some interesting names popping up like Wolves and Levante.

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A 14 point lead over second place for PSG who take home yet another title ahead of Monaco. Marseille maybe could finish higher, but other than that, France doesn't through up any surprises.

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A slender win for Bayern over Europa League winners Dortmund who maybe suffer from the cup run in the end. No other real surprises, though Leipzig surprisingly far down the table. Though they are only predicted fourth to be fair, I'm maybe just overestimating them.

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Barcelona make it three different Spanish league winners so far in this save, and just by the skin of their teeth as they beat Madrid by a single point. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Career Overview

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Season      Club        League             Position            Achievements/Other
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21   Brentford    Championship          10th                      -
2021/22   Brentford    Championship          1st                   Champions
2022/23   Brentford    Premier League        10th                      -
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trophy Cabinet

SkyBet Championship - 2021/22 (Brentford)

Max Bruz Champions League Wins - 0

Tumbleweed...

AI Champions League Wins - 1

Manchester City - 2022/23

The AI takes an early lead!

Edited by Cardiovascular
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Pre-Season - Transfers

Prior to the season starting, I identified areas of the squad I would've liked to strengthen. These were centre back (Carter-Vickers and Pinnock were both good but the rest were Championship players), centre midfield (again, Championship backups to Dasilva and Longstaff) and essentially a new attacking trio. Obviously, five new players for these areas meant we'd allow some others to leave.

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Was sad to see Dembélé go but last season showed me he wasn't good enough for the top flight. We made a great profit on him. Same with Lundstram, signed on a free and flipped for £7.5m. Bit of wheeling and dealing for Max. Canos, again, not good enough for the top flight. Marcus Forss never really got much of a chance with us but impressed enough on loan to be sold for a tidy fee. The final big money sale was Vitaly Janelt - I think he's a great player but he was only ever a backup option and I don't think he was happy with this.

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Some big signings for us this summer as we made some first team signings and fleshed out our youth squad a bit. I'll show the first team signings first and then follow them up with the youth team signings.

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Joaquin Rios was the first player signed who I felt can do a job for us right now. He's a winger by trade but I think I prefer him as a DLP in central midfield.

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We went onto sign Ronaldo... not that one. But Ronaldo Camara arrived from Hannover for £17.75m and almost immediately became a wonderkid. Not surprising because he's a terrific player and gives us options in AMC or MC.

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Louie Sibley was a big money signing from the Championship and I really like the look of him as an AMC. However, one of his big selling points to us was his versatility and the fact he can cover left back allowed us to move Janelt on without worrying about a replacement.

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Balerdi was maybe my third or fourth choice pick for centre back but we missed out on Yerry Mina on a free and there was someone else I fancied as well but we were priced out. The cheapness of Balerdi was a bonus as it freed up funds elsewhere to allow us to make the big money signing from Chelsea...

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Hudson-Odoi was transfer listed and I was keen to bring him in as soon as possible. It took a month of on and off negotiations but we finally got our man on relatively cheap wages with the promise that he would eventually be allowed to move on. I think this is a brilliant signing! Hopefully we can keep him fit.

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Spasojevic arrived for a compensation fee at the start of the window (hence pictured on last years transfers) and he's got bags of potential. He'll be in and around the squad following the departures of Dembélé and Canos.

Players signed for the future

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Smith joined upon the opening of the transfer window so like Spasojevic above, he's pictured on last years transfers. He's a solid player already and has potential to grow alot, not bad for a free transfer.

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Rui Cabecinhas is another exciting player, particularly like his teamwork and work rate. Another fairly cheap signing.

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Mauricio is n

ot as developed as the others so far but hopefully he'll kick on now. Joined after a trial period with the club.

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Martin Sebak joined us for compensation, again following a trial. He needs work but he'll maybe make a good inverted winger.

Also have a few younger players joined the squad in January so looking forward to their arrival! The media have predicted us to be 15th this year but with these signings, I'm hoping we can do better than last year. And possibly a cup run.

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2 hours ago, deltablue said:

You're turning Brentford into a deadly bee weapon! Bees, my god!

I had to google this reference but what an amazing line that is. :D 

17 hours ago, abulezz said:

I like the look of Rui - he's gonna contribute sooner rather than later. 

Yeah agreed, as soon as we scouted Rui enough to see those key attributes I was set on signing him. His potential ability is only 3 stars surprisingly, though not sure how much weight they really hold in this game. Still getting to grips with it all really.

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End of October

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A rock hard start to the season for us there as the fixture generator showed us absolutely no mercy! But we've done really well to come away with four points from the opening four games, and it was delicious to see CHO scoring the eventual winner against the club that dumped him. We'd go on to be put in our place by Norwich who looked really solid against us but we followed that up with 4 wins out of 5 including two games won with stoppage time goals. A loss at home against Leicester was disappointing but overall we can't complain too much with these results.

Carabao Cup

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We eased by Portsmouth in the first round then faced Middlesbrough who were down to ten men after just ten minutes. A little disappointing we conceded two goals to them but we'll take whatever comes our way for a cup run. Everton at home next up for us.

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5th place is decent but the league is definitely still taking shape, 4th to 17th are seperated by just seven points. Arsenal languishing a bit which serves them right for choosing Thierry Henry over Max when he applied for the job last season.

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On 07/04/2021 at 15:51, Cardiovascular said:

Also have a few younger players joined the squad in January so looking forward to their arrival! 

 

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Did not know this was a thing, but there goes my excitement. :( 

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End of January

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We lost a few players who were deemed surplus to requirements or had deals expiring, we were really lucky to get fees for Halil and Gunnarsson as both were running down contracts.

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A nice amount of greens here as we pick up wins mostly where we expected too. Started off November by holding City to a stalemate then defeating Spurs - who would reject Max for the job - at home before losing to Fulham who are quickly turning into our enemies on this save as we just cannot defeat them. An away win to Everton was followed by a poor loss at home to a struggling West Ham side before we dispatched all the relegation-fighting sides easily enough. Another stalemate against Chelsea then we pretty simply put two past United with no return in a terrific performance which included yet another man of the match award for our goalkeeper Grabara. Liverpool were a step too much for us though as they pretty easily swept us aside before we thrashed Norwich at home to end the update period.

Carabao Cup

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We went on a little cup run and came really close to the final! Man Utd were just too strong for us in the second leg, they were 5-4 on aggregate and as we pushed for a late equaliser they punished us with two late goals. 

FA Cup

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This was seriously disappointing and inexplicable as Leeds dumped us out of the cup at their place. 

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We sit 7th but have games in hand that could move us as high as fifth if we won them. Tottenham are in turmoil though, they've hired Michael Laudrup and he's doing very little to steer the ship to safety..

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That's a solid Goal Difference - there is a clear gap in form developing this season as the Top 7 seem to be doing things a bit differently than the rest of the league, lol. 

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4 hours ago, abulezz said:

That's a solid Goal Difference - there is a clear gap in form developing this season as the Top 7 seem to be doing things a bit differently than the rest of the league, lol. 

Yeah, we've had some good wins to pump it up a fair bit. Spare a thought for Norwich below us though...

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4 hours ago, deltablue said:

Good progress this season.

Thanks! We're doing well.

3 hours ago, bigmattb28 said:

Good thread mate. Following with interest.

Thanks man! Glad to have you on board.

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3 hours ago, abulezz said:

That's a mean looking attack Liverpool has - Salah, Mane, and now Haaland. 

Yep - they also added Jack Grealish and Kaio Jorge, as if that wasn't already enough.

2 hours ago, PaulHartman71 said:

Hudson Odoi should be a very solid pickup. 

CHO was a fine addition and he never suffered any major injuries which was brilliant. Sometimes struggles to see out games particularly if we've a heavy schedule but he was an excellent acquisition.

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End of Season

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We got most of our tricky fixtures done in January and my word, did we hit some incredible form from then on. Our only loss was an away trip to Wolves where they pretty much deserved it, a rare off day for our players. But we took all three points from City at the Etihad as they were a major disappointment this year. Our only truely disappointing moment was the 0-0 draw to already relegated Sheffield United, you'll see why below...

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Had we won versus Sheffield United, that would've been us in the Champions League which would've been an incredible result. With that said, qualifying for Europe in 5th for the first time ever is nothing to cry about, we can be proud of our performances this year and maybe even build on them next year.

Key Players

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Faghir really came into form when we switched to 2 up front. He had a great second half of the season, scoring two hattricks and one of them was perfect which is a great achievement. Superb season.

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Kamil Grabara was quite rightly given our player of the season award as he had another wonderful season between the sticks. Leipzig came sniffing in January and met his release clause but he put pen to paper with us to continue his legacy here.

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This man was terrific for us in central midfield, loves a wonder goal. Can't be long before he gets a Portugal call up.

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European Update

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The Champions League returns to Merseyside as Liverpool scrape by City in the final.

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Inter just beat Lille in extra time to win the Europa League. Good performance by Spurs who maybe suffer in the league as a result of this European run.

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Euro Cup II results for the first time! The inaugural event was won by Wolves, Gladbach won it last year and now Arsenal have won it after thrashing Milan in the final.

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No surprises here, besides Marseille failing to qualify for Europe. Monaco do come close though.

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Again, no shocks here. Stuttgart making a bit of a comeback having been a second tier side in 2019/20.

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Real Madrid take back their title from their Catalonian rivals. Granada being relegated seems quite surprising given their European exploits in real life this season.

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Career Overview

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Season      Club        League             Position            Achievements/Other
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21   Brentford    Championship          10th                      -
2021/22   Brentford    Championship          1st                   Champions
2022/23   Brentford    Premier League        10th                      -
2023/24   Brentford    Premier League        5th                       -
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trophy Cabinet

SkyBet Championship - 2021/22 (Brentford)

Max Bruz Champions League Wins - 0

Tumbleweed...

AI Champions League Wins - 1

Manchester City - 2022/23

 

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17 hours ago, PaulHartman71 said:

So close to the CL. 

At least you can have a crack at Europa. 

Looking forward to having a go! I actually think we have a pretty good team at this stage. 

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Posted (edited)

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Pre-Season - Transfers

The squad we have is pretty good at the moment, I'm happy with where we are. Tariq Lamptey wanted to leave but all bids we received were below expectations so he stays until January at least. With that said, I thought we could do with a solid backup for him and at centre back, especially with the selling for Taylor Moore. Finally, I thought we could use an extra man up top.

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Kalajdzic leaves on a free, it never really worked out for him here. Taylor Moore also leaves, a solid backup option. Loans for Valgeirsson, Simons and van den Berg will hopefully give them some decent gametime,

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Ocampo was a transfer cancelled last year for us and he's a terrific young player, he'll be an excellent addition to our squad I feel.

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Guehi arrives on a free from Chelsea, he's 24 so probably maxed out his development but he offers a solid backup option for us in a wide variety of positions.

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Harrison arrives on loan to bolster our options on the wings. He's on loan because I didn't fancy paying £15m for a 27 year old in the last year of his contract. We'll see if he's available on a free by the end of the season and if he impresses.

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Russell Thomson arrives for a hefty fee from Rangers and heads back on loan for the season as well. He's a great looking player and already a Scotland international - I have high hopes for him.

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Our final purchase of the window was Barberini who looks like he'll be a long term replacement on the right for Lamptey if he ever decides to leave.

The media have us 10th so solid mid-table, but if we put together runs like we did last season, I see absolutely no reason why we can't finish in the European spots, if not attempt to break into the top four again. 

 

 

Edited by Cardiovascular
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