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End of January

Transfers

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Only three permanent outgoings as a couple of young lads left for fees and Cameron Carter-Vickers, who has been backup the past couple of seasons, left for £5m to Burnley. A good fee for a player who had six months left of his contract. Most of the loans were young players, including Ocampo and Meyers who were on the fringes of the first team. Strangely, Arsenal came in for our third choice goalkeeper on loan with an optional future fee :D 

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Just the one incoming for us as Jorge Riquetto signs from Brazil. He came up on our scouting network not long after the summer window closed and we moved quickly to ensure he was our player as soon as possible. Very promising looking player.

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Onto our fixtures and we've had a fantastic three months really as we only lose twice. Disappointing losses as well, wasn't even top teams we lost too although Everton, as has been a theme of this save, took all three points against us again. As did West Ham for the second time this season. Other than that, we had a terrific victory in the 93rd minute to take home the victory at Old Trafford which was an incredible result really, especially having just beaten Arsenal as well. We ended the three months with a crazy 7-1 win over Leicester at their place, we were just unplayable.
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The FA Cup brought us two fixtures against lower league opposition and we didn't face any real difficulty sweeping them aside.

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Clinging onto Liverpool's tail here. We need some luck to get by them and make it stick,

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On 21/05/2021 at 10:14, deltablue said:

Good chance getting through in the Champions League with that draw I reckon.

 

Pretty good draw all things considered, though Hertha seem to make big strides in alot of the saves I've read.

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Champion's League First Knockout Round - First Leg

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A visit to Germany for the first leg but it was a tame affair, neither of us ever seemed to threaten. Disappointing not to come away with an away goal but we've given ourselves a good opportunity for the second leg.

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Champion's League First Knockout Round - Second Leg

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For the first time in our second season here, we advance past the first knockout round! Goals from Spasojevic and Sima sending us through to face Bayern, a tough draw but they are not the best side remaining so I guess there's an opportunity there.

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1 hour ago, Cardiovascular said:

Champion's League First Knockout Round - Second Leg

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For the first time in our second season here, we advance past the first knockout round! Goals from Spasojevic and Sima sending us through to face Bayern, a tough draw but they are not the best side remaining so I guess there's an opportunity there.

Quarter-Finals of Champions League come on Brentford,so is Brentford are the new Man city right

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1 hour ago, HugoLazgo12 said:

Quarter-Finals of Champions League come on Brentford,so is Brentford are the new Man city right

 

I don't think I'd go that far, City are still regularly dropping over £200m a season on players, whereas we've yet to break £100m. They dipped in form last year but City are most certainly back this year challenging for the title.

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Champion's League Quarter Final First Leg

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Bit of a chaotic fixture as we fell behind twice before holding onto a 3-2 lead for most of the second half but losing focus right at the end. We've given ourselves a really tough task for the second leg in Germany. 

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End of Season

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We hit a really rough end of the season here as you can see and it really put any hopes of a title or second place to bed. In fact, I'm absolutely shocked it never sent us tumbling from the top four. Normally, we're good for a few draws/wins against the top sides around us but we got just one point from the traditional top six which saw us struggle. Our defenced fumbled as well - one clean sheet is simply not good enough for a team with expectations and ambitions like ours.

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The FA Cup saw us struggle with an equally tough tie away to Man Utd. We'd already won at Old Trafford this season but it was not to be in the cup.

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The torrid run of form left us third in the table, which is still incredible tbf and is our highest finish ever. But I think we've definitely gotten away with that terrible run of results.

Key Players

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Rovella had a terrific season in the centre of midfield, running the show and pulling the strings most games. We missed him when he didn't play, which was rarely.

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Faghir finished our top scorer but it was some way short of the totals we've had strikers hitting the past few seasons. With that said, our three main strikers had 25, 23 and 22 so the goals were split between them.

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Serdar had a good start to his Brentford career and was scoring for fun pre-January but an injury hit and his goals dried up, taken over by Faghir above. Hopefully we can get a full season of goals from him next year.

 

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European Update

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No shocks here, Liverpool running out winners after a storming season all round.

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The Europa League has a somewhat surprising finalist with Real Sociedad (I think... not having real names is a struggle :D) Chelsea run out eventual winners.

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Europa Conference League had a few big names in it, would've been nice to have a 'lesser known' in terms of European competition win with Torino but it wasn't to be as Marseille took home the trophy for the first time.

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Monaco ran closer this season but still PSG reign. Brest make Europe for the first time in their history I believe.

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In Germany, Bayern win again by a considerable distance. Leipzig disappoint in 6th place while Dusseldorf make the Conference League.

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After missing out on Europe last year, Valencia scrape themselves into the top four and Champions League football again. Sociedad showed no signs of fatigue from their European run to finish strongly in fifth.

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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                       -
2024/25   Brentford    Premier League        4th                       -
2025/26   Brentford    Premier League        4th                       -
2026/27   Brentford    Premier League        3rd                       -
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trophy Cabinet

SkyBet Championship - 2021/22 (Brentford)

Max Bruz Champions League Wins - 0

AI Champions League Wins - 2

Manchester City - 2022/23
Atletico Madrid - 2024/25

 

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Pre-Season

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A whole host of loans left us, Sean Longstaff also left after being a pretty admirable backup in the last few seasons. Balcombe also left to Newcastle after his Arsenal loan last year, and a 16 year old left as he didn't really look like he had much of a future.

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I identified our defence and possibly goalkeeper as points of weakness and moved to make signings to strengthen these, unfortunately there weren't any good goalkeepers on the market this summer. The first signing went through early on in the window and thus isn't shown above.

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Laudenisio Morgado is a tremendous acquisition for us and will help shore up the defence surely. Cost just £15m from Brazil.

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Palcic joined on loan as an emergency backup follow a broken leg for Grabara.

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Vanheusden is a signing I'm very excited about, another player to strengthen our back line. On a free as well and not breaking the bank with wages.

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Edison Cardona is a terrific, exciting young player who I'm sure will be a star eventually.

European News

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Tough group. We've beaten Atletico before but Inter beat us in pre-season. Rangers should be easily navigated.

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6 hours ago, deltablue said:

I think you might still be in with a chance of goihg through.

If you had seen the start of our season, I don't think you'd be saying this :D it's been horrendous.

5 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Just caught up, great work so far!

How is that young defender doing who came through your academy?

Meyers is doing okay, he broke his leg in pre-season of last season and then went on loan to the MLS until this December coming. He's making slow and steady progress though.

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End of October

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Well this is an absolute shocker to say the very least. In fact, the less said about it, the better really. We've been awful, but a strong win in the Carabao Cup and a win away to West Ham (granted, 19th place...) will hopefully kickstart a change in our fortunes. We are awful. And we're suffering for not having a top tier goalkeeper.

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Go from the form we've shown in the Premier League to defeating current league leaders Everton and current league champions Liverpool. Won't be popular in Merseyside this season.

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The table is not good, as you'd expect. We have some major clawing back to do.

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Champions League Group Stage

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We started off - surprisingly, given our league form - with a thumping of Rangers at home. It was nice to finally get a resounding victory this season.

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We then travelled to Madrid where business resumed as usual for the season - perhaps expectedly against such a top tier side.

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Inter came to town and left with a point, probably a fair result given the stats of the game.

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but they came from behind to beat us in their own stadium and put our chances of qualification at an all time low.

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We simply had to win here, but unsurprisingly, we never. A 95th minute goal snatched a point from our grasp and it meant we had to beat Atletico to stand any chance of making the Europa League.

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Amazingly, we came away with the win we needed! And sneak into the Europa League knockout stages - winning this competition is going to be our only route into next years Champions League, I think,

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Skin of the teeth stuff to make it through. Harsh on Rangers who got a sensational home win against Atletico too.

We face AEK in the next round, though the sack looms over Max Bruz so we'll see if we make it that far.

 

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End of January

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The season has continued to be absolutely brutal for us, and if I'm honest, Max is lucky to still be in a job. Think it's time we write this season off and just pray we make it until next year. Maybe a good European run will keep us in it.

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We had a decent run in the Carabao and had a real chance of beating Chelsea at home but given the form we've been in, it was no surprise when we were knocked out.

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Again, no surprise that we lost another game, this time against Championship side Swansea to sum up an utterly miserable update. :D 

Transfers

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Grabara wanted to leave and at 29, I didn't mind letting him head to Bournemouth. We were absolutely rocked by a monster transfer fee for Gorka Vera - his release clause, which I made because it seemed a ridiculous price. He hasn't really impressed me since he arrived to be honest so I'm happy to let him for such a big fee and use the money finding a replacement.

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There was much work for us to be done in the transfer department for us to try and claw back some dignity this season. I wanted experienced heads to help steady the ship but couldn't find any to suit. Instead, we turned to South America to add some flair to our squad.

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Luiz Fernando was the first, he is Vera's replacement and a very good looking one too.

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With Grabara gone and Castilla absolutely hopeless this year, I moved to bring in Riquelmo as our new number one. Looked at 35 year old Thibault Courtois too, but high wages and age went against him. We'll see how he gets on here.

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Rogerio isn't as good as Luiz Fernando IMO but he's got good potential and we've been experimenting with wingers so will be nice to see if he fits our mould.

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Europa League First Knockout Round - First Leg

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Our form was still terrible heading into this, but we dominated AEK from start to finish, restricting them to absolutely nothing in terms of shots and possession. 2-0 win is good but it would've been nice to put the tie to bed before the second leg.

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Posted (edited)

Europa League First Knockout Round - Second Leg

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Another great performance from us - we gave them a little more possession but they did nothing with it. 0 shots over 180 minutes of football is really good. When you couple these two performances in Europe with the fact we lost 1-0 to bottom of the league QPR, you can safely say our form is absolutely baffling. Been given a month to turn things around by the board.

We've drawn Lille in the next round.

Edited by Cardiovascular
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On 01/06/2021 at 11:36, deltablue said:

Nice Brazilians.

Agreed. I think they definitely helped us improve in the later stages.

On 01/06/2021 at 15:50, TelcontarTargaryen said:

What caused such a dramatic dip in from from the previous season?

I wish I could tell you - we were simply awful, tactics from the previous season failed, tweaks failed, nothing seemed to work. I'm shocked we weren't sacked but it came very close at points and a bad start to next season could spell the end.

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End of Season

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The period of the season was much better, save for February. The loss to QPR was almost the final straw for the board and it was an emergency meeting with some convincing from Max Bruz that kept him in the job. March brought some reasonable form, three clean sheets but unconvincing wins. Hudson-Odoi found some form which saved some blushes. Man Utd and Arsenal brought expected drop points but we followed that up by just about beating Derby and Everton. May saw us finish with a bit of a flourish as we thumped Burnley 7-1 - hopefully we can carry that form into the next season.

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13th place, which was rubbish. I suspect Max will be keeping an eye out for any jobs that will bring him closer to the Champions League. West Ham relegated which is quite surprising.

Key Players

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I could've went for no one here but I've picked the top three, Rovella was excellent as always.

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Riquelmo arrived and immediately shored up our defence, conceding less than one goal per game.

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Tsvetanov was solid for the tail end of the season, first half of it not so much. He's looking to move on though.

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European Update

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Man City lift the trophy for the second time in their history.

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And their city rivals take the Europa League back to Manchester as they defeat Sevilla in the final. The second time they've won this competition.

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Great run and eventual win from Celtic here. Decent from Dusseldorf too!

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PSG were runaway winners here, no surprises.

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The Bayern dominance is broken as Hertha win the title by a single point. Their first win of the German top flight in 97 years!

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Barcelona win the Spanish title, pretty comfortably in the end. Shame on Real - 97 points wins them the title most years.

 

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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                       -
2024/25   Brentford    Premier League        4th                       -
2025/26   Brentford    Premier League        4th                       -
2026/27   Brentford    Premier League        3rd                       -
2027/28   Brentford    Premier League       13th                       -
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trophy Cabinet

SkyBet Championship - 2021/22 (Brentford)

Max Bruz Champions League Wins - 0

AI Champions League Wins - 2

Manchester City - 2022/23
Atletico Madrid - 2024/25

 

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Pre-Season

Transfers Out

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It was looking like a relatively quiet window with only notable leavings being Russell Thomson, who never really kicked off after his big money move as a youngster, Castilla, who made too many mistakes for my liking, and Ocampo, who also never really made a mark on the club. Made good profits on the latter two. Also sold Guehi to Young Boys for a fee just shy of £7m, good profit on a man we signed for free. 

Then deadline day came, and all hell broke loose on people leaving the club.

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Kyle Beaton returned to Scotland, Xavier Simons made a permanent switch to Austria, Dexter Sneddon moved across London and Louie Sibley swapped one capital city for another. It was pretty hectic, but overall I thought all four were pretty surplus to requirements. Sneddon in particular had dropped to the bench following the arrivals of Vanheusden and Morgado the season before.

Transfers In

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Not alot of incomings, and two of them are totally different to the way I've been operating in this save, but the board demanded high profile signings so I had to move to make them and keep them happy, especially after the way last season went.

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Lemar is an excellent player, fits the high profile player checklist and arrives on a free transfer. Really pleased to bring a player of his experience in.

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Collins arrived from Dortmund, he's a fast, versatile defender and provides competition for places at the back.

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Blohm was an interesting acquisition, I wanted him last year but Schalke wanted £100m+ for the German number one. But with him coming into the last year of his deal and refusing to sign another, they only wanted £39m for him and I jumped at the chance to sign him and give us two very good goalkeepers competing for the number one spot.

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Fernandes was available for cheap(ish) and ticked the box of a high profile player, so I signed him. He's also still very good, hopefully he brings his experience to help us back into Europe.

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11 minutes ago, deltablue said:

Great signings there.

Yeah, I think I agree. I wonder if our problem has been going forward with players who were good but maybe lacked experience. Hopefully, with these experienced faces & those youngsters coming of age, we can make some better progress this year.

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End of October

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Tough fixture to start us off at the Etihad but in a shocking reverse of last season, we were extremely good and easily defeated them. Fulham were quickly swept aside, then we lit up the first twenty minutes against Southampton before conceding three and keeping the game much closer than it needed to be. Shades of last season there and in the following game where we threw away a 2-0 lead to lose to Bournemouth. September saw us go unbeaten, navigating tricky ties away to Leicester and Liverpool before October brought more tricky fixtures - we were unlucky not to draw with United but maybe could've snatch something from Spurs or Chelsea

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Showing good progress but it was to be expected against lower league opposition. Youth product Eric Ekuban showing fine form here - he'll get another chance in the next round too as we face League One side MK Dons.

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Looking much better than last year so far.

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On 06/06/2021 at 14:27, abulezz said:

Good start to the season - can we have a look at what Ekuban looks like now?

 

Ekuban has never been seen before! He's not as good as Meyers (who I've shown before) but he's solid backup. 

 

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End of January

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A couple of good months in November and December (which could have been outstanding if we'd beaten strugglers Leeds and Newcastle) with a terrific comeback against Man City. Then, as has been standard, everything fell apart in January and we were humiliated by Southampton and Fulham before losing to Villa and throwing away a two goal lead late on against Cardiff. Sigh.

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Could be forgiven for this though as we've finally made a cup final!

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But it will be just one final this season - yet again, we've thrown away a two goal lead and lost.

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Still in and around the Europe spots, though Champions League looks far away.

Transfers

Been no incomings but we have had one major sale.

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Riquetto moves to Liverpool for silly money,

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10 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Just caught up, KUTGW and good luck in the Cup final!

That deal for Riquetto :eek: was he your best player?

 

Thank you! Here's hoping we can finally take home a trophy!

As for Riquetto, he's clearly a talented player but he never quite lit up the Premier League for us. He's very clearly going to be, or maybe already is, world class though.

 

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Carabao Cup Final - The Build Up

Brentford - RTTF

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A somewhat easy run up to the semi finals before eeking past Spurs for us. Big task to overcome Chelsea, who currently sit 10th but are heavy favourites for the game.

Chelsea - RTTF

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Chelsea snuck past Southampton on penalties, then Brighton before a solid 2-0 win away to Manchester City. They went on to defeat Bournemouth 6-2 on aggregate to reach the final.

Team News - Brentford

Max Bruz has a full selection available to him, though it's unlikely Callum Hudson-Odoi will see a full 90, if any, against his former side after his return to training following a hamstring injury.

Team News - Chelsea

Chelsea have Tammy Abraham definitely ruled out through a fractured arm, while left back Luca Pellegrini (foot) and Christian Pulisic (heel) are almost certain to miss out.

 

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Brentford Starting XI

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Hudson-Odoi gets a bit of a shock start on the left hand side, and there's also a big decision in the centre of midfield where Hernan Valdez makes a start in place of Luiz Fernando.

Chelsea Starting XI

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Chelsea start with £80m striker Ariel Melo up front and their own youth product Nortei Sinclair on the right. A strong line up from them.

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It took Chelsea and the afore mentioned dangerman Ariel Melo just 23 seconds to open the scoring through some sloppy Brentford defending and some clever play by the Blues. They continued to dominate possession in the opening twenty and had two more chances but neither shot found the target.

Brentford, meanwhile, were having none of the ball and it spurred Bruz into a tactical change from the pre-match 4-5-1 to a more conventional 4-4-2, with Lemar on the right, Valdez (who really showed his versatility here and perhaps the reason he was selected) on the left and CHO up front alongside Faghir. This brought them more into the game, and just 5 minutes later Lemar slid the ball through for striker Wahid Faghir to slip home his 17th goal of the season.

Chelsea had a couple more chances before the half ended, but the teams went in all square at the break!

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The second half began much and such the same, Chelsea enjoying slightly more possession but Brentford not afraid to hunt them down. Eric Ekuban was stripped and ready to replace the returning-from-injury Hudson-Odoi after ten minutes of the second half, but not before the former Chelsea man had his say on the game. From a Brentford goal kick, the ball was passed around the back four before being spray out wide to Thomas Lemar, who stepped inside from the right and chipped a glorious ball over to CHO who showed all the composure in the world to make it 2-1 Brentford, forcing Ekuban to take a seat momentarily.

Ekuban would make his appearance on the hour mark, and Chelsea finally kicked into gear and began their hunt for the equaliser. Brentford and Germany number one Jan Blohm produced a world class save in the 65th minute at point blank range from Diogo Jota, leaving the Portugal hitman unsure just how it wasn't all square again. Chelsea pressed and pressed, but left themselves susceptible to the counter and Faghir and Ekuban both missed chances to wrap up the tie. The Blues huffed and they puffed but despite conceding after 23 seconds, Blohm was not to be beaten again and Brentford were the Carabao Cup champions!!!!

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Edited by Cardiovascular
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End of Season

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We had an absolutely magnificent end to our season on top of the Carabao Cup win, only losing once at home to Norwich in a rare off day. February was unbeaten, as was March with some good draws against Spurs and United. April's fixtures were slightly easier on paper, but we couldn't beat Newcastle or Norwich and just about beat Leeds at Elland Road. We had to have a big May to make the Champions League, and we absolutely did turn up as we defeated Chelsea and Arsenal at their grounds before beating Everton on the final day. Not only did that last victory secure Champions League football for us, it also relegated Everton to the Championship.

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Arsenal's first title win in 15 years, they were terrific under Ole Gunner Solskjaer of all people. Aston Villa also had a really good season under Dean Smith and came third to make the CL too. Bad seasons for City, Spurs and Everton in particular.

Key Players

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Zinho Vanheusden was our best player by average rating and he deserved all the plaudits he got. Really good, he was in rotation early on in the season but as he came into good form, he cemented the centre back spot as his own.

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Thomas Lemar was an outstanding signing, delivering nine goals and fourteen assists. Hopefully we can eek another season out of him before the inevitable decline through age.

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Faghir was our top scorer with 20 goals which seems like a good return, but given about ten of them were in the opening 2/3 months of the season, he could have done better.

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Bruno Fernandes also proved to be a useful acquisition, repaying the fee we spent with a good return of important goals. Probably his last season as a full time starter though.

 

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European Update

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A rare appearance in the Champions League final for Juventus but they come up short against Real Madrid who win again. Good run from French sides Lyon and Monaco, with the former making the semi-finals in a great display.

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Again, good showing from Marseille representing France, but they're defeated by Chelsea in the final. Second time in three years for the Blues.

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And continuing the theme of French sides impressing in Europe, Lille win the Europa Conference League! 

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Despite their good showing, Lille only finish 8th and only qualify for Europe off the back of their Europa Conference win. PSG easily take home the title here though.

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Hertha retain their title, Dortmund finish second ahead of Bayern on goal difference. Surprising to see Bayern finish third.

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Real Madrid win here and complete a double with the Champions League win. Good showings from Betis and Levante, while Valencia toil down in 10th.

 

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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                       -
2024/25   Brentford    Premier League        4th                       -
2025/26   Brentford    Premier League        4th                       -
2026/27   Brentford    Premier League        3rd                       -
2027/28   Brentford    Premier League       13th                       -
2028/29   Brentford    Premier League        4th               Carabao Cup Winners
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trophy Cabinet

SkyBet Championship - 2021/22 (Brentford)
Carabao Cup - 2028/29 (Brentford)

Max Bruz Champions League Wins - 0

AI Champions League Wins - 2

Manchester City - 2022/23
Atletico Madrid - 2024/25

 

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Pre-Season

Transfers Out

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We had a fair bit of deadwood bloating the squad, Sebek (£80k) and Smith (free) were players I signed on the cheap and loaned out for seasons so to make such a good profit on them is great to see. Youth products who I thought wouldn't make the cut left, such as Erkan Duran, Cody De Cruz and Krasniqi. The big sale saw Hernan Valdez - I decided it was either him or Pajovic - leaving for Ajax for a hefty fee, another big profit.

Incomings saw us sign only one player but it was an absolute monster fee for us...

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French international and reigning European Golden Boy Hadji Hadji joined us for the small fee of £99m. He's obviously an outstanding player and I think we need to start spending big on top players if we want to be up there with the best of them. 

Europe

We make our return to the Champions League and we've got a bit of a tough ask again to make the knockouts.

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Rennes should be easy to navigate by (touch wood) but Inter and Real will be difficult. Not impossible though - we've beaten them both before.

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End of October

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We started off with another away game against Man City and couldn't repeat the opening day of last season as they swept us aside pretty easily. Then Spurs came to our stadium and did the same, and we struggled against Leeds and suddenly we were having flashes of the season before last where we finished 13th. Thankfully, September brought some 'easier' fixtures and we beat sides we were expected too, except Norwich where we could only salvage a late draw, October brought a late victory over Southampton and then a pretty surprising 4-2 win at Old Trafford before following that up with an equally surprising loss at home to Fulham. This team baffles me sometimes.

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The Carabao Cup, of which we are the defending champions, brought us a close call against Wolves where we had to fightback from two goals down to advance. The tie brought us a match against lower league Luton where we comfortably moved past them and drew Man Utd. Tough.

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Some good results see us up in the top four, though as is always the case the table is still taking a bit of shape at the moment. 

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European Update - Champions League Group Stages

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We opened, rather thankfully, with what was on paper the easiest tie of our group stage. And we eased past Rennes with a dominant win.

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A visit to the Santiago Bernabeu was next and we were pretty much dominated from start to finish, think we were lucky to keep it down to two goals. Makes the games against Inter very important.

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Inter came to our place and we were in control but unable to convert any chances before we gave them a chance to equalise from the spot. A draw wouldn't have been the worst result but we pushed on and scored twice to take home the win.

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The away match was more difficult, and I won't lie, we were playing for the draw but an own goal gave us the points and all but secured our qualification to the knockouts.

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I think a draw here would've been enough but three goals later on in the second half secured our place in the next round.

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We faced Real Madrid in the final group game with a win for us sealing top spot. It was a hell of an exciting game as we twice came from behind then eventually scored a winner later on to take top spot!

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Real Madrid's 0-0 with Inter on the first matchday ensures we take top spot.

In the first knockout round, we've drawn a Battle of Britain tie against Rangers!

 

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