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A Bright Dawn- Kings Langley


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22.4.28 Manchester City Televised Match

Kings Langley fought back to a 2-2 score in the second half, but Manchester City's superior qualityy showed through as they scored twice more to take a 4-2 win at Etihad. Raheem Sterling struck for the opener at 33 minutes. Archie Mair played well in Kings goal and had done some wonderful work, but Sterling chipped over him after Jude Bellingham put him away free. Sterling then did the same as he put Erling Haaland away free in first half injury time and he also chipped past Mair. Kings Langley started their comeback when Leyton Stewart headed past Ederson on a cross from Tomislav Duvnjak at 50 minutes. Kings equalized when Armstrong Oko-Felix snaped a shot past Ederson on a curling pass from Hugo Bueno. Manchester City regained the lead at 76 minutes as Rolland Sallai found Ansu Fati shaking loose of Elkan Baggott's marking. Agustin Lopez was yellow carded for dumping Declan Rice in the area on a free kick and Gabriel Jesus calmly converted the penalty kick to close out the scoring.

Manchester City (4) Kings Langley (2) POM- Raheem Sterling, Manchester City

"We gave it a good go," offered Stewart.

"It wasn't a bad effort, but our backline didn't help Archie much. It was costly in terms of injury though."

"How bad were they?"

"Both Joel (Bagan) and Vladimir (Bocanegra) are out for the rest of this year. Vlad's is the lesser of the two, he just pulled a thigh muscle. Joel tore a back muscle and will be out though some of the summer."

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29.4.28 Chelsea

A wealth of experience on the Chelsea side showed as they easily handled Kings Langley 4-2 at Craven Cottage. Chelsea struck for the lead when Leonardo picked out Thomas Lemur breaking past Neco Williams and Lemar whipped a low shot past Aaron Maguire. Kings restored parity just before halftime  when Tyrese Omotoye found Julio Cesar Garcia ghosting past Wesley Fofana and Garcia was able to round an onrushing Edoard Mendy to make it 1-1. Chelsea took control of the match with two quick goals early as Lemar made it a brace when arriving late and unmarked and then turned provider with a sizzling cross that Leonardo turned into the open left side of the goal. Kings Langley gave their fans some late hope when Garcia scored his brace off a deft pass from Tomislav Duvnjak. Chelsea ended that as Angelo volleyed past Maguire on a cross from Algerian wonderkid Hocine Zouani.

Kings Langley (2) Chelsea (4) POM- Thomas Lemar, Chelsea

"Another one?" asked a weary Havel.

"Just back from the training room. Bob Bell's twisted ankle is major and he will be out until sometime in the summer."

"Bob's going to be a good EPL player, but his injury woes are something I have to see if I can address with more depth this summer."

"Everton won against West Brom today and clinched the EPL Title."

"Good for them. It has been a long time since their last Crown."

"I looked it up - 42 years."

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6.5.28 Crystal Palace

Crytal Palace, fighting desperately to avoid relegation, needed a win hosting Kings Langley and after one half they looked good value. Kings Langley fought back in the second half and disappointed a sold out Selhurst Park crowd as they eaned a 2-2 draw. Palace took the early lead when Jake Cooper outleapt Zach Awe and headed a Daniel James corner past Aaron Maguire in the 18th minute. Kings handed Palace a late opportunity when Weverton strayed from his position and James took advantage as he moved on to a chipped pass from Stanislav Lobotka before slotting past Maguire. Kings Langley received a boost when Armstrong Oko-Felix and Nile John subbed on. They clawed a goal back when Callum Williams headed an Neco Williams cross down for Tyrese Omotoye to whisk past Luis Malagon. The equalizer came when John slipped a pass through that put Oko-Felix in free and he fired a shot inside the near right post at 85 minutes. Maguire was called on to make a fine save in the dying moments as he parried Sekou Mara's header to preserve the draw.

Crystal Palace (2) Kings Langley (2) POM- Daniel James, Crystal Palace

"Bad first half, but a pretty pleasing second half," stated Havel.

"Our backline did not play well in the first half."

"We just didn't have good midfield support until Nile John came on."

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14.5.28 Aston Villa

Aston Villa was seeking European League Qualification and fought hard as they edged Kings Langley 1-0 at Craven Cottage. The lone goal came early on when Helinho appeared offside but was able to cross for an unmarked Jovane Cabral to bundle into the open goal past Archie Mair in the 6th minute.  Kings Langley fought back with Julio Cesar Garcia and Callum Williams both stopped in one-on-one chances by Alex Meret. Kings appeared to equalize on a free kick from Agustin Lopez that was headed home by Leyton Stewart, only to be disallowed by a very curious decision by VAR to rule the goal off. The woodwork proved the deciding factor for Villa as Tyrese Omotoye was denied by the post and Keith Ballard's rocket bounced straight down off the crossbar to be cleared away to preserve the clean sheet and Villa's Euro Qualification.

Kings Langley (0) Aston Villa (1) POM- Helinho, Aston Villa

"I am not going to use the Referee or VAR as an excuse, but to have both VAR decisions go against us, when they certainly appear they should have been decided differently is painful," grumbled Havel. 

"We had plenty of chances to change the course of this match outside of those decisions, but your frustration is valid," commented Stewart. 

"At least it didn't end up affecting the table for us. Southampton's draw left us in 9th place on the table, which I consider a good spot to end our first season in EPL play."
 

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2028-29 Kings Langley

30.6.28

"You turned it down?" asked Stewart incredulously.

"I am committed to the club. I couldn't do justice to that managing Wales as well," replied Havel.

"Well, it would have been nice to be on your staff there as well, but I understand your thoughts."

***

5.8.28

"The Press and our fans are wondering what is going on," observed Stewart.

"There is a plan. My plan. I don't imagine it would play well in the press," answered Havel.

"Welllll, that's true..."

"Look, we are fine at keeper. A rotation of Aaron Maguire, Will Jaaskelainen and Archie Mair is good and I am comfortable with it."

"Are you going to loan out Gaston Foglia again?"

"Yes, but I will be asking on a recall option this time."

"Everyone expected us to add to the midfield this summer."

"We did add Emerson. Though he is 29, he does give us good cover on both wings and his transfer fee was only 1.7 Million, so easily affordable. I know everyone was looking for us to get another center midfielder, but truthfully I am more worried about Vladimir Bocanegra. I wanted to get a contract with a higher min fee relase- but he and his agent basically said they want a move to a bigger club. We are pretty likely to lose him this season."

"At least Callum Williams has looked good in our friendlies."

"With Bocanegra away on International duty, he has had a good run. I have been pleased with Hugo Bueno's work too on wing- so my worries about Bocanegra aren't as dire as when I first heard he wants away."

"The biggest question is the sale of Leyton Stewart to West Ham."

"We couldn't avoid it- it is my fault too. I forgot he had a release clause. Still, it might turn out well."

"Huh?? The press is all over us because we haven't added a replacement."

Havel sighed, "Well, I believe Julio Cesar Garcia is on the verge of being a break-out star this season and Stewart for sure would have been unhappy he wasn't the one playing the most. The two other reasons we haven't added- so far- is that Hari Gould has shown me he can be a better striker than winger and I want him to get some time. I also want Jorge Miranda to get more time, as he is close to really blossoming as well. There will be times we will miss Leyton's touch around the goal, but I am hoping we will be fine."

"It would be better if we had gotten a work permit for Zvezan Dakovic."

"That would have eased things a lot. I am sure we will eventually get one for him. He was so inexpensive at 750K that we just had to get him- work permit or not. He is already rated a minimum of 45 Million."

"Whew. Quite a change."

"It was because of his release clause. I think he will be an impact player for us, I just don't know for sure when that will be."

"I can see why you wanted to move Hugo Bueno to wing. Junior Bah is the real deal at leftback."

"Now that he has his work permit, I expect him to turn into a star. He is already pushing Joel Bagan for who I want to start at leftback."

"You also managed to get Neco Williams off of his minimum fee release with that new contract, that is helpful."

"I didn't want to lose him. He is terrific at rightback for us."

"How do you see our central defense?"

"I hate to say it, but I think Zach Awe is going to have to yield the top role to Max Normann Williamsen. I see Willaimsen and Weverton as the main pairing. Awe, Elkan Baggott and Franck Diallo- now that he has a work permit- will fill as needed, with Awe as the primary rotation replacement."

"Who do you see as the best youngsters?"

"Cesar Garcia, Bah, Miranda and Diallo are all bloody talented for 18-19 year olds. Dakovic is only 20 and will help soon. Bob Bell is 21 and he should be good for a long stretch as long as we keep him healthy. Bocanegra will be a star, I just wish it was here."

"How about the youngsters coming on future transfers?"

"The only one we are assured has a work permit is 17 year old Brazilian MC Bruno Trautwein. He won't join us until next summer, but he is looking really good and his arrival is one reason I am bit hesistant to overstock the central midfield. The others that won't have work permits are 16 year old Paraguayan Leftback Omar Esgaib Sanchez, 16 year old Turkish Leftwinger Fevzi Ovacikli and 17 year old Syrian SC Mahmoud Sankari. Scouts love all of them and are convinced they eventually could be impact players for us."

"It will be easier now that the Board has upgraded our training facilities to be Great Training Facilities."

***

In:
Max Normann Williamsen (3.1 Million from Napoli)
Emerson (1.7 Million from Sao Paulo)
Zvezdan Dakovic (750k from Spartak Subotica)
Tim Thevis (3.5 Million from Brondby)
Flavio (4.9 Million from Flamenco)

Out:
Duje Cavalina (175K to Angers)
Martin Alderton (47K to Crewe)
Dilan Markanday (60K to Coventry)
Quintin Rebeca (100K to Charlton)
Layton Stewart (10.75 Million to West Ham)

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13.8.28 West Brom Televised Match

West Brom Manager Sergio Conceicao conducted a vocal war of the words with Kings Langley's Mike Havel. Kings Langley demonstrated their support for their Manager as they dominated West Brom in a 4-1 televised rout to open their EPL campaign. Kings pressured the visitors throughout the first half, but were stymied as Luiz Junior provided several dazzling saves. Vladimir Bocanegra, celebrating his 1st match with the club after being away on International duty, headed home a precision cross from Neco Williams at 41 minutes for the halftime lead. Bocanegra made it a brace of headers when he flicked a Julio Cesar Garcia cross past Luiz Junior in the 55th minute. West Brom pegged Kings back immediately after a heavy touch by Bob Bell triggered a counter-attack that finished with Liam Delap firing past Aaron Maguire. Kings took back the two-goal lead as Tyrese Omotoye headed an Agustin Lopez corner inside the far post. Kings Langley closed out the scoring when Cesar Garcia rifled a low shot inside the left post after Joel Bagan picked him out with a good pass. West Brom finished out with 9 men after a late injury to Morgan Gibbs-White and a redcard to Delap for elbowing Zach Awe. 

Kings Langley (4) West Brom (1) POM- Vladimir Bocanegra, Kings Langley

"The boys really responded to Conceicao's comments," stated Stewart.

"I was happy they did. I didn't have to tell them anything."

"Let's hope we can build on this match."

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19.8.28 Everton

Everton showed Kings Langley the gap between last season's Champions and Kings Langley as they stormed to a 5-2 win at Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium. Everton got off to quick start as Jack Harrison scored in the 4th minute as Brendan Aaronson laid the ball for any easy finish into the open right side of the goal. Harrison made it a brace with a 30 yard screamer past Aaron Maguire at 15 minutes. Tiago Tomas headed a corner home for the 3-0 lead at 29 minutes. Kings finally showed life in first half injury time when Julio Cesar Garcia snapped a shot past Jordan Pickford. Everton finally put the match out of reach when Bruno Mendez blasted a 25 yard shot in the 72nd minute. Mendez hammered a loose ball past Maguire in the 90th minute for his brace. Kings closed out the scoring as Jorge Miranda whipped a shot off the inside of the left post for his 1st goal of the season. 

Everton (5) Kings Langley (2) POM- Jack Harrison, Everton

"Not a great showing," sighed Havel.

"Junior (Bah) showed his youth on that 2nd yellow card. It was an inexperienced decision."

"Maguire was off today. I thought he should have had two of those goals."
 

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22.8.28 Colchester Carabao Cup 2nd Round

Kings Langley rebounded from their loss to Everton with a dominant effort in defeating Colchester 3-0 at JobServe Community Stadium. Shamal George offered a spirited effort in goal for Colchester as he kept surging Kings Langley off the scoreboard until late in the first half despite heavy pressure. Tyrese Omotoye finally broke through to score at 41 minutes when Ola Okeowo made a terrible pass in his area diretly to Omotoye. Omotoye quickly snapped his shot home before George could react. James Taylor added a second goal when he half-volleyed a cross from Jack Scott in the 50th minute. Kings put the match on ice at 85 minutes as Callum Williams provided a pinpoint pass to Hari Gould and Gould rounded George to make the final 3-0.

Colchester (0) Kings Langley (3) POM- Jack Scott, Kings Langley

"Nice to see us keep after it the entire match," said a pleased Havel.

"Good to see all our forwards get goals tonight."

"Will Jaaskelainen may be pissed at me for not letting him go to Brentford, but he still gave us a professional effort today."

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26.8.28 Manchester United

Kings Langley battled hard and forced Manchester United to score a late equalizer as they split the points in a 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage. Kings grabbed the lead when Jorge Miranda headed a scorching Neco Williams cross past Dean Henderson. The equalizer came when Joel Bagan knocked over Kylian Mbappe in the area and Bruno Fernandes converted the penalty. Kings moved back into the lead when Bob Bell drilled a rising shot past Henderson from 20 yards in the 65th minute. Manchester United finally found an equalizer late in the second half when Mbappe laid the ball to unmarked Mason Greenwood and Greenwood swept his shot past Aaron Maguire.

Kings Langley (2) Manchester United (2) POM- Kylian Mbappe, Manchester United

"I would have loved the win, but the draw was ok and a fair result for us," offered Havel.

"Jorge Miranda is demonstrating you were right- he is ready for EPL play."

"Tim (Thevis) showed well in his debut. I think he will be worth all of the 3.5 Million we paid Brondby for him."

"Do you see him as central defender or midfielder? He is comfortable at both."

"I plan on using him at both."

"With Neco Williams out for 3 weeks with his calf, is our other new addition Flavio going to make his debut?"

"Likely. I didn't mind the 4.9 Million price to Flamengo- this 21 year old Brazilian is blazing fast anywhere on the right side of the pitch. With Neco out, we will use him at WB against Chelsea."

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31.8.28 Deadline Day

"Let me get this straight. We bought two players and won't be seeing either of them?" asked Stewart.

"True." chuckled Havel. "We paid Arsenal 18.5 Million for 18 year old MC Hayden Walker-Marshall. I don't see him helping us just yet this season, so I loaned him to Werder Bremen for the rest of the season so he could play regularly- they have excellent training facilities so I hope they live up to their promises."

"He has promise to be sure."

"I wasn't really thinking about making a move for him, but when his agent came to us with interest in moving here, it was worthwhile exploring. He could well be one of the better young English midfielders and since we weren't planning on using the large amount of transfer funds we had after the Stewart sale, it made good sense."

"And the other"

"18 year old Syrian DRC Jalal Sneed. He only cost 1.2 Million, but we couldn't get a work permit for him, so we loaned him to FC Utrecht so he could play regularly and hopefully we can get a work permit for him next summer."

"We sold Will?"

"Not inside the Premier, which was why I turned him down going to Brentford. Cardiff paid us 1 Million for him."

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10.9.28 Chelsea Televised Match

Expeienced Chelsea brushed aside Kings Langley in a 4-1 win at Stamford Bridge. Romelo Lukako dominated the early going as he bulled past Weverton to score off a good pass from Christian Pulusic at 38 minutes. Lukaku made it a quick brace when he escaped marking to blast past Aaron Maguire at 41 minutes. Angelo was left unmarked and made it three quick goals and a 3-0 halftime with a 42nd minute goal. Kings Langley scored a consolation goal in the 82nd minute when Tyrese Omotoye laid a pass off for Julio Cesar Garcia to whip a 20 yard shot in the upper right corner past Jan Schalk. Chelsea then capped the match as Thomas Lemar slipped past Flavio and fired a rising shot past Maguire.

Chelsea (4) Kings Langley (1) POM- Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea

"We got manhandled," stated Havel.

"Weverton and Max Normann Williamsen didn't offer much, but Flavio and Junior Bah looked like hesistant newer players- which they are."

"Nobody played well, but this is the learning season for us."

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16.9.28 West Ham

Kings Langley had the match in hand until Weverton received his 2nd yellow card early in the second half and that allowed the home side to fight back for a 3-3 draw. Weverton handed the Hammers the early lead as he fouled Nikola Vlasic in the area and Tomas Soucek converted the penalty in the 5th minute. West Ham returned the favor as Glen Kamara tripped Neco Williams in the area and Vladimir Bocanegra slotted home a calm penalty past Albin Lafont to even the match. Kings took the lead at 32 minutes when Bob Bell slid a pass though to Julio Cesar Garcia to fire past Lafont. Kings Langley moved ahead 3-1 as Agustin Lopez blistered a rising 25 yard blast past Lafont. Weverton earned his 2nd yellow card moments later and it was all Hammers after that. The Hammers drew a goal back as Vlasic bundled home a simple finish after Ed Carlos found him unmarked. Vlasic then evened the match in the 85th minute as Jose Maria Herrera sent a looping cross and the Croatian International volleyed past Maguire. 

West Ham (3) Kings Langley (3) POM- Nikola Vlasic, West Ham

"I am beginning to get frustrated by Weverton. He continues to get beat in the air, takes silly fouls, and generally isn't showing good judgement," muttered an unhappy Havel. 

"I hate to say it, but Aaron Maguire isn't showing the solid play he did last season," offered Stewart. 

"I agree with you there. We still need some time to gel, but there are going to be some decisions made that some players won't like."

 

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20.9.28 Arsenal Carabao Cup 3rd Round

Emirates Stadium was rocking as Arsenal edged Kings Langley 4-3 in a thrilling Carabao Cup match. Benjamin Sesko bedeviled the Kings Langley backline and started the scoring in the 9th minute when he headed past Archie Mair off a hard cross from Talles Magno. Magno then scored in the 17th minute as he escaped marking to tuck a precision pass from Christophe Nkunku home. Kings showed signs of life to open the second half when Nile John slipped through tackles and flighted a shot past Dominik Grief at 48 minutes. Sesko made it a brace at 62 minutes with another strong header again provided by Magno. Sesko completed the hat-trick as he bulled past Zach Awe and slipped a shot beneath Mair at 68 minutes. Kings refused to quit and drew a goal back at 70 minutes when Emerson rifled a sharp angled shot past Grief off the inside of the far left post. A simple cross from Bob Ball allowed Tyrese Omotoye to score in injury time, but that proved Kings' last gasp as time expired.

Arsenal (4) Kings Langley (3) POM- Benjamin Sesko, Arsenal

"I was really hoping Sesko would get sold out of the league," sighed Havel.

"We put our bid in for him, but he surely didn't want to come here."

Havel nodded, "I would have spent our entire fund, but that was only 45 Million. Arsenal paid 67 Million for him in the end."

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24.9.28 Arsenal Televised Match

Four days later and the scoreline remained the same as Arsenal edged a battling Kings Langley 4-3 at Craven Cottage before a national Telly audience. Kings Langley stunned favored Arsenal in the early going, taking a lead in the 5th minute as Tyrese Omotoye headed an Agustin Lopez corner past Aaron Ramsdale. It quickly became 2-0 when Julio Cesar Garcia intercepted a poor pass from Nuno Maio and rounded Ramsdale to score his 5th goal of the season. The Gunners started their comeback when Benjamin Sesko was picked out by Mateus unmarked and he snapped a shot past Aaron Maguire. The pair traded roles in the 23rd minute as Sesko crossed and Mateus headed past Maguire. Arsenal took the halftime lead as Mateus scored in first half injury time after Samir found him with space. Kings fought back early in the second half when Neco Williams delivered a perfect pass and Garcia made it a brace with a shot tucked inside the near right post. The winning goal came at 62 minutes as Bukayo Saka nutmegged Joel Bagan and fired a shot into the upper left portion of the goal. Ramsdale came up with the key save as he stopped Garcia in free to keep him from a hat-trick and keep the closely played win. 

Kings Langley (3) Arsenal (4) POM- Mateus, Arsenal

"I am happy with the effort. We just have to play better defense and we will be winning these games," commented Havel.

"Garcia and Omotoye were threats all match, but we also have to quit giving away poor passes in their area. We failed to make some simple passes that cost us chances."

"The schedule has not been kind to us so far. We just have to keep an even keel and take advantage now that we have gone through a stretch of Everton-Manchester United- West Ham- Chelsea- Arsenal."

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29.9.28 Brentford Televised Match

Kings Langley gained a much needed win against fellow strugglers Brentford in a 3-0 televised result. Kings made a quick start to the match as Bob Bell crossed and Julio Cesar Garcia rapped it past David Raya in the 5th minute. At 19 minutes Brentford's Fabian Martinez bundled over Nile John in the area and Vladimir Bocanegra calmly slotted home the penalty kick. Surprise starter in goal, Archie Mair, earned his clean sheet with a pair of brilliant saves late in the first half as he stopped Conor Gallagher and Halil Dervisoglu in close-in chances. Kings increased their lead in the second half when Neco Williams sent a sizzling cross that Jorge Miranda was able to toe poke past Raya. Brentford pressed hard but found the Kings backline difficult to break down as Mair completed the clean sheet.

Kings Langley (3) Brentford (0) POM- Neco Williams, Kings Langley

"Finally! A good effort where we put together good offense and good defense," stated a pleased Havel. 

"Cesar Garcia is turning into a beast up front. Other clubs are having difficulty dealing with him."

"We had really good service from the right as both Bell and Williams played their best matches of the season."

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8.10.28 Transfer News

In a surprise move, Kings Langley sold midfielder Nile John to Al-Jazira for a 17.75 Million price tag. Kings Langley Manager Mike Havel commented, "Nile wanted to go and we didn't feel we could stand in his way." 

"You know we are going to get lots of questions why we waited til after the transfer window to do this?" asked Stewart.

"I know. It was still the right decision. I like Nile and he has played well for us, but that was a good price and he wasn't that far from demanding a new contract. He would have been asking for a big wage increase and I hadn't seen enough to warrant that."

***

15.10.28 Watford Televised Match

A late equalizer allowed Watford to escape with a 2-2 draw at Vicarage Road in a televised match. Watford struck quickly in the 6th minute when Jason Knight laid a pass off for Carlos Alcaraz to drive past Aaron Maguire. Kings Langley fought back for the halftime lead as Julio Cesar Garcia volleyed past Freddie Woodman off a pass from Tyrese Omotoye at 25 minutes. Cesar Garcia made it  a brace at 42 minutes when he flicked a header past Woodman off a headed ball from Vladimir Bocanegra. Kings maintained that lead until the final moments. Jon Goode surged past Junior Bah and crossed for Stipe Buik to head past Maguire in the 89th minute. 

Watford (2) Kings Langley (2) MOM- Julio Cesar Garcia, Kings Langley

"Ugh, I thought we had the three points today," sighed Stewart.

"I did too. We played well except for the opening minutes and the closing minutes. We just have to keep our concentration better."

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22.10.28 Newcastle

It was Kings Langley's turn for late match dramatics as they scored a match-winner in the dying moments of second half injury time to see off Newcastle 2-1 at Craven Cottage. Neither side was particularly sharp in the first half and many chances were wasted on poor shooting. Kings took the lead to halftime at 40 minutes as Max Normann Williamsen headed an Agustin Lopez corner past Caoimhin Kelleher. Newcastle evened the match at 61 minutes as Emile Smith-Rowe picked out Raul Moro  and Moro rifled a low shot past Aaron Maguire. With the match looking like another draw for the Kings, Skipper Zach Awe rose above everyone to power a Junior Bah corner past Kelleher at 90+5 for a a dramatic match-winner.

Kings Langley (2) Newcastle (1) MOM- Agustin Lopez, Kings Langley

"Our turn," smiled Stewart.

"All those training lectures on concentrating for the entire match paid off today," agreed Havel.

"I get what you were doing by letting Nile John go now. I don't think anyone expected you to use Tim Thevis as a midfielder."

"That was a big part of it. I did really see him as a midfielder and not central defender, despite most of his experience being on the backline. I think Tim is going to blossom as a box to box midfielder and I really like having him there with his tackling."

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28.10.28 Norwich

Kings Langley played a strong match against Norwich, but failed to take advantage of numerous opportunities in barely defeating the home side 1-0. The lone goal came midway through the first half as Abdulkarim Orum made a hash of a challenge on Julio Cesar Garcia in the area and Vladimir Bocanegra blasted the penalty off the inside of the right post past Philipp Kohn. Numerous chances were squandered by Kings in the late portion of the first half as Garcia and Jorge Miranda both missed sitters. Norwich rallied in the second half and it took a strong effort by the Kings backline and steady work from Aaron Maguire to keep a clean sheet for the close 1-0 win.

Norwich (0) Kings Langley (1) POM- Weverton, Kings Langley

"That was the best defensive effort of the season," said a pleased Havel.

"Little woeful from our strikers- this could have been a comfortable win instead of a nail-biter."

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5.11.28 Aston Villa 

Villa stormed the Kings Langley area in the first half, but failed to score. Kings Langley took advantage of 2nd half penalty to edge Aston Villa 1-0 at Craven Cottage. Aaron Maguire perfomed superbly in the first half as he stopped Ollie Watkins, Otavio and Jovane Cabral on good opportunities. The Kings backline also played well in support of Maguire. Kings showed more offensively in the second half and were rewarded at 78 minutes when Micheal Sulieman tripped Vladimir Bocanegra in the area. Tyrese Omotoye converted the penalty kick for his 5th goal of the season. Maguire made one more key save in the late moments as he snared a strong header from Ezri Konsa on a corner to preserve the clean sheet.

Kings Langley (1) Aston Villa (0) POM- Max Normann Williamsen, Kings Langley

"Two matches in a row where we have performed well in defense. I am hopeful we can continue to play that way," stated Havel.

"True, but it was another match where we wasted some other good chances and just scraped by," countered Stewart.

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18.11.28 Liverpool

Anfield was rocking and celebrating the home side as an easy win appeared on the books with Liverpool holding a 4-0 halftime lead. Instead that turned into a lot of apprehension as Kings Langley fought back, aided by a redcard to Mathias De Ligt, and were only down 4-3 at 83 minutes before the Reds put it out of reach as Tammy Abraham burst past Zach Awe and Franck Diallo to make the final score 5-3. Liverpool dominated the early going as Oumar Solet was left unmarked on a corner and had an easy header for the lead in the 3rd minute. Flavio showed his inexperience as he took down Jamal Musiala in the area and Karim Adeyemni converted the penalty kick in the 11th minute. Ljubomir Milosavljevic scored his 1st goal for the Reds as he arrived late and blasted a 30 yard rising shot past Aaron Maguire at 22 minutes. Musiala scored as he headed home a wonderful cross from Gabriel Menino at 43 minutes. Kings started their fightback when Julio Cesar Garcia deflected a pass from Tyrese Omotoye past Allison at 63 minutes. Moments later, De Ligt earned his redcard when he took down Omotoye as the last man. Garcia laid the ball off and Hari Gould scored his 1st of the season at 80 minutes. Trent Alexander-Arnold pulled down Gould in the area and Omotoye converted the penalty kick to make it 4-3. Pressing forward, the two Kings center defenders were caught out when Menino sent Abraham scampering to close out the scoring.

Liverpool (5) Kings Langley (3) POM- Gabriel Menino, Liverpool

"Such a poor first half! I was happy with the rebound, but if we don't play that badly, then we have a good chance for a result."

"Maguire was off his game today and we really suffer when he has a poor match."

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25.11.28 Manchester City

As is often the case with Manchester City, the match turned into the Erling Halland show as Manchester City easily saw off Kings Langley 3-1 at Craven Cottage. ManCity were off on a flying start as Jude Bellingham blasted a 30 yard rocket past Archie Mair in the 3rd minute. Halland then re-directed a pass from Raheem Sterling into the goal in the 25th minute. Kings showed little life in the first half and had difficulty completing simple passes the entire match. A good through ball from Ansu Fati found Halland bulling past Zach Awe and Awe took him down in the area. Halland coverted the penalty kick for his brace at 58 minutes. Kings fans took a little solace from the match as Jorge Miranda provided a highlight reel individual goal in the 88th minute to make the final score 3-1.

Kings Langley (1) Manchester City (3) POM- Erling Halland, Manchester City

"That could have been a much worse scoreline," observed Stewart.

"We were terrible through much of the match. Couldn't pass to save our lives as we kept handing the ball right back to ManCity," agreed Havel.

"Still, Miranda's goal was a one of a kind. It was a terrific effort."

"You could see how upset Ederson was that Jorge ruined his clean sheet."
 

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29.11.28 Wolves

Kings Langley fought back from two early deficits to provide a comprehensive 6-2 win over struggling Wolves. Wolves grabbed the early lead when Joe Gelhardt scampered into the Kings area and then laid off a pass for unmarked Juanma to calmly slot past Aaron Maguire. Kings Langley evened the match at 31 minutes when Oliver Brierly tripped Tyrese Omotoye in the area and Omotoye converted the penalty kick past Etienne Green at 31 minutes. Kings were embarassed as Wolves took the ensuing kick-off and Gelhardt again drove the area before laying off for Juanma to make it a brace. Kings evened things again as Elkan Baggott powered an Agustin Lopez corner past Green at 36 minutes. Kings then celebrated a halftime 3-2 lead as Hugo Bueno, making a rare start, smashed a shot from the top of the area for his 1st goal in 63 appearances. The second half belonged to Kings Langley as Baggott made it a brace on another corner at 64 minutes. Julio Cesar Garcia added to the scoreline with a simple finish at 78 minutes and Baggott celebrated the unlikeliest of hat-tricks with another winning header at 86 minutes.

Kings Langley (6) Wolves (2) POM- Elkan Baggott, Kings Langley

"What a match from Elkan! He definately earned himself more playing time with that," gushed Stewart.

"On the other side, I felt bad for Franck Diallo, but I had to get him out of there for Max (Normann Williamsen) after Juanma's 2nd goal. He showed absolutely no positional awareness on either of those he needed to step up and challenge and didn't," commented Havel.

"Overall a fun game for us. I assume the guys will get a day off for this one?"

"Certainly."

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2.12.28 Tottenham

Struggling Tottenham, under Interim Manager Samuel Sawyer, desperately wanted to get a result against Kings Langley at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Instead they found more trouble as they continue to wallow in the relegation zone after a stinging 3-0 defeat. Kings struck quickly on a counter-attack as Julio Cesar Garcia and Jorge Miranda played a neat 1-2 that allowed Garcia to round keeper Oscar Navone and calmly fire a very sharp angled shot into the open goal at 7 minutes. Tottenham surged to the attack as they dominated the remainder of the first half. Aaron Maguire was brilliant in goal for the Kings as he stopped Harry Kane, Gilberto Erick Silva and Emerson Royal in one-on-one situations. Zach Awe was imperious in the air as he continually headed away dangerous crosses. Kings Langley struck again at 53 minutes as Garcia slipped a pass through and Miranda was able to chip over an onrushing Navone. Spurs death knell came when Kings broke another counter-attack and Vladimir Bocanegra zipped a pass for Bob Bell to round Navone and score. The goal seemed to take the heart out of the home side as they mustered only a couple chances in the final portion of the second half. 

Tottenham (0) Kings Langley (3) POM- Julio Cesar Garcia, Kings Langley

"I am so proud of Aaron (Maguire) and our backline. They stood up to a intense pressure and wound up  with a clean sheet to show for it," smiled Havel.

"It was special to see how well Garcia and Miranda worked up front as they both set each other up for goals."

"That first goal was a great one. I thought Julio had run out of room after rounding Navone."

"You know the funniest part? All the Spurs fans chanting at you before the match "We don't need you!" after news came out that you had turned down an interview for the job. They may have another feeling after the match," laughed Stewart.

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10.12.28 Blackburn

Blackburn battled hard keeping the match scoreless at halftiime, but Kings Langley finally found the finishing needed to defeat the visitors 3-0 at Craven Cottage. Kings Langley kept most of the first half possession, but thanks to brilliant keeping from Luis Malagon it remained scorless. Malagon denied Julio Cesar Garcia twice on great chances. The Kings breakthrough came when Emerson lofted a well-timed pass that Garcia took in stride past the defense. Garcia slotted to unmarked Tyrese Omotoye for a simple finish into the open side of the net. Kings made it 2-0 when Elkan Baggott contiuned to be a goal scoring threat as Zach Awe headed a corner to the far post for Bagott to head home. Kings Langley closed out the win with sub Hugo Bueno hitting a swerving free kick off the underside of the cross bar.

Kings Langley (3) Blackburn (0) POM- Zach Awe, Kings Langley

"Great effort by Zach. He really dominated in the defensive end and he made a great header for Elkan to score," said a pleased Havel.

"Aaron (Maguire) made the save of the match after Neco and Hugo missed the header that allowed Cristian Gravina to scoot in free- but Aaron stoned him to keep it 1-0."

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13.12.28 Southampton

Kings Langley didn't show up in their midweek home match against Southampton and were easily beaten 3-0. Alexander Isak was kryptonite to the Kings backline and Largie Ramazani found him unmarked for an easy score past Aaron Maguire in the 15th minute. The same combo worked at 33 minutes as Ramazani laid off a pass and Isak was again unmarked to fire off the inside of the right post. Kings Langley finally generated some chances late in the half, but Islan Meslier was equal to the task. Isak turne provider as he picked out late arriving Gustavo Assuncao to close out the win and the clean sheet. 

"That was bloody disappointing," said a tired Stewart.

"I will take the blame. That lineup didn't work at all. I thought Hari (Gould) might blossom with a chance up front, but he was completely lost. Hugo Bueno did not play well in the center midfield and the lack of familiarity screwed up our defensive coverage," flatly stated Havel.

"We did need to rest some players, but I agree that didn't work very well."
 

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16.12.28 Brighton Televised Match

Kings Langley rebounded from their poor effort against Southampton with a convincing 4-0 win over Brighton at American Express Stadium in a Telly match. The first half featured little strong play from either side, though Kings looked likeliest to score. Nathan Baxter did well in the air to snuff out several promising crosses and corners from Kings Langley. The second half opened with a devastating Kings counter-attack and Agustin Lopez sent Vladimir Bocanegra in free to chip over Baxter. Julio Cesar Garcia made it 2-0 when he slammed home the loose ball after Zach Awe headed off the crossbar on a corner at 51 minutes. Garcia made it a brace ten minutes later when Bob Bell laid off a pass in the area. Bell completed the scoring in the 81st minute as broke clear of his marker to slot home a cross from Bocanegra. 

Brighton (0) Kings Langley (4) POM- Agustin Lopez, Kings Langley

"They responded well to your halftime talk," chuckled Stewart.

Havel smiled, "Well we *did* deserve to win the match and I am happy our execution improved in the second half."

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23.12.28 Leicester

Leicester was much the better side at King Power Ground as they dumped Kings Langley 3-1. The Foxes struck for the lead at 11 minutes as Goncalo Ramos and Gabriel Barbosa played a neat 1-2 and Ramos scored past a stranded Aaron Maguire. The pair worked more magic as Ramos took a header away from Weverton and then drove the area before laying the ball off and Barbosa fired inside the left post at 15 minutes. Maguire limited the damage with solid work the remainder of the half. Kings seemed to finally rally when Jorge Miranda found a late arriving Tim Thevis and Thevis swept a low shot Bartlomiej Dragowski for his 1st Kings goal. Leicester stamped out those hopes just two minutes later as Barbosa picked out Ramon coming in unmarked and he whistled a shot past Maguire. Kings suffered a body blow as Julio Cesar Garcia left injured. 

Leicester (3) Kings Langley (1) POM- Gabriel Barbosa, Leicester

"I am beginning to regret giving Weverton a new contract. He was dreadful on both of the first two goals and we couldn't dig ourselves out of the hole that he helped dig," muttered Havel.

"He was unhappy about being subbed after that 2nd goal."

"I don't give a rip about his feelings- not when he didn't even make a challenge on Ramos on that 2nd goal. He either has to improve his play or I will see if we can move him, because if he continues to play like that, he will not be a regular for us."

"How bad is it for Julio (Cesar Garcia)?"

"Torn calf muscle. Probably out for the rest of the season, though he may make it back in April."

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24.12.28

Havel looked up from his notes, "Just heard that we finally found a loan for Zvezdan Dakovic. He will move to Ligue 1 Sochaux-Montbeliard on the 30th and will play regularly. Hopefully we can get the work permit for him this summer."

Stewart leaned forward in his chair, "Too bad we didn't have that now, we could use his ability and help."

"If wishes were fishes..."

"I know, I know. We need him to play to get the work permit, so he needs to go."

"For now, here is the plan. Starters will be Tyrese Omotoye and Jorge Miranda. We will use James Taylor and Hari Gould as the rotation players. If needed Harry Case off the Under-23s will be the other option."

"I take it we aren't loaning any of them now?"

"They may want to move on loan, but I can't do it with Julio out."

"Are the rumors on the training facility true"

Havel beamed, "Yes! Even though we now have great training facilities, the Board approved another 5 Million investment to boost us to the top level. It won't be done until summer, but it was great news given how young our boys are."

***

26.12.28 West Brom Televised Match

A battling effort saw visiting Kings Langley edge West Brom 1-0 at The Hawthorns in a televised match. Neither side generated much offense in the first half, but the Kings backline played spendidly in supporting Aaron Maguire in goal as they constantly broke up West Brom attacks and frustrated the Hawthorn fans. The only clear cut chance in the first half was Luiz Junior making a diving stop on a hard, low shot from Tomislav Duvnjak. Kings Langley broke through in the driving rain at 56 minutes. Elkan Baggott won a key header triggering the counter-attack and Hugo Bueno made a searching pass that found Tyrese Omotoye breaking past the West Brom backline. Omotoye chipped past Luiz Junior as he tried to make himself big for the lone goal of the match. Kings Langley then closed out the clean sheet with good closing down on their side of the pitch. 

West Brom (0) Kings Langley (1) POM- Elkan Baggott, Kings Langley

"Close one," stated Stewart.

"Just happy to get to the final whistle with the lead."

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26.12.28 Manager News

"Really?" asked Stewart.

"Really, Manchester City came inquuiring. I turned them down."

"Impressive. I know the Kings Board will be ecstatic about your choice."

"Considering they were happy when I turned down Brentford earlier this month, I expect so. Still, they have made every investment I have asked of them and I really like this young side that we have."

***

2.1.29 Transfer News

"I heard you got at least one player for us," asked Stewart.

Havel nodded, "Fabian Pacheco. He is a 19 year old Colombian Winger/Forward from Envigado. He had a 1.7 Million transfer fee, which is a pittance considering his ability."

"Winger? What about Vladimir (Bocanegra)?"

"I still believe someone is going to come in for Vlad's release fee. 67 Million isn't a large amount for one of the bigger clubs for a player of his caliber. I tried to get a new contract, but Vlad and his agent want to move to a bigger club. Fabian, along with Callum (Williams) is my hedge against losing Vlad. With the loss of Julio though, I think I am going to try him up front with Tyrese and Jorge. He is not a quality finisher, but every other aspect is solid."

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6.1.29 Burton Albion FA Cup 3rd Round

Burton Albion was heavy underdogs, but they showed themselves very well at Pirelli Stadium as it took much of the match for Kings Langley to close out an expected 3-0 win. The first half saw both clubs with decent chances. Archie Mair pushed two dangerous shots over the crossbar and smothered a shot off Ryan Edmondson. Jack Walton was very sharp in Burton Albion goal as he denied James Taylor twice and also Callum Williams from close-in. The only blemish for Walton was at 12 minutes when Taylor threaded a pass through traffic that Tyrese Omotoye dumped past Walton before he could react. Kings Langley had much the better of play in the second half as they asserted their pressure. That pressure finally paid dividends at 86 minutes when Hari Gould crossed for Williams to head past Walton. Elkan Baggott made it a quickfire double to close out the scoring as he headed an Agustin Lopez corner home for his 5th goal of the season. 

Burton Albion (0) Kings Langley (3) POM- Agustin Lopez, Kings Langley

"You really threw off all the analysts when you started Neco Williams as a center midfielder," chuckled Stewart.

"Neco is dam versatile, we were short of center mids, it made sense to me," offered Havel.

"He played well there, it worked fine."

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17.1.29 Manchester United 

Kings Langley stung Man United with an early goal, but then their defense fell apart as ManU dismantled them 6-1 with the help of some suspect calls from the officials. David Perez showed the Kings faithful why he was a top transfer target as he opportunistically poked a ball past Dean Henderson after Keith Ballard's shot was blocked by Kylian Mbappe. Reds answered quickly as Lorenzo Pellegrini hit a curving 30 yard screamer into the upper right portion of the goal. VAR failed to make its presence known as Salih Dagistan appeared offside when he took a long pass from Franie de Jong and scored past Aaron Maguire. Kylian Mbappe then had an easy finish after Neco Williams missed intercepting a pass to him for three goals in five minutes. de Jong made it four goals in 11 minutes when he smashed a free kick home at 35 minutes. Dagistan appeared offside a 2nd time and this time VAR was involved but failed to change the verdict as Kings Langley Manager Mike Havel fumed. Havel's temper didn't improve after a questionable call on Flavio in the area gave ManU a penalty and Bruno Fernandes converted to close out the scoring.

Manchester United (6) Kings Langley (1) POM- Salih Dagistan, Manchester United

"I don't think we would have gotten a result anyway-given our terrible backline play and a poor match from Aaron Maguire, but those calls were infuriating," fumed Havel.

"You held your temper better than I thought you were going to. We really are going to need to settle on a backline and go with it- because today there was zero communication and zero coverage for each other in our area."

"It didn't help that both Pellegrini and de Jong score highlight reel goals."
 

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Posted (edited)

21.1.29 Chelsea Televised Match

The telly audience surely had little to enjoy as Kings Langley struggled again defensively and Chelsea made it two consecutive 6-1 defeats. Backline woes and a very poor match by keeper Archie Mair were the main issues for the home side in the shellacking. Xavier Schlager got Chelsea off to a quick start with a 30 yard rocket past Mair in the 7th minute. Kings were trying to keep the match close to halftime and seemingly were succeeding until Angleo scored at 42 minutes and again in first half injury time as both goals were the result of mistakes by Archie Mair. David Perez continued the fine start to his Kings career as he drew a goal back at 50 minutes off a fine pass from Bob Bell. Angelo completed his hat-trick as Weverton was called for pushing Phil Foden in the area and a penalty was given. Foden added a goal himself in the late going before Wesley Fofana headed home a free kick to complete the rout.

Kings Langley (1) Chelsea (6) POM- Angelo, Chelsea

"Sorry to say it, but I don't think Archie gets any more chances to play unless Aaron is injured. That was as bad a keeping performance as I have seen in awhile."

Stewart nodded, "Our backline didn't do him any favors either."

"Nor our midfield as we continually gave away passes in the middle of the pitch."

Edited by Faramir
wrong match
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27.1.29 Arsenal Televised Match

A brilliant effort from Keeper Aaron Maguire and a late goal from newcomer David Perez allowed Kings Langley to escape from Emirates Stadium with a 1-1 draw against Arsenal. Kings personal nemesis struck again to give Arsenal the lead at 19 minutes as Benjamin Sesko scored again against Kings Langley on a cross from Mateus. The Gunners pounded away at Kings the remainder of the match, but despite the pressure couldn't solve Maguire. They would regret not finding a second goal as Callum Williams lofted a pass that Perez ran on to and then slotted inside the right post past Aaron Ramsdale for the dramatic equalizer.

Arsenal (1) Kings Langley (1) POM- Aaron Maguire, Kings Langley

"We certainly didn't deserve to get a result from the match, but thanks to Aaron's best match for the club, we stole a point," commented Havel.

"It was much needed after those last two losses," replied Stewart.

"Can't agree enough with you on that. That point will give us something to build on for the rest of the season."

"Your pickup of David Perez has been inspired. Scoring in three straight matches is a terrific start."

"Press called him Wonderkid after the match, so I am happy we got him."
 

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31.1.29 Deadline Day

"I have been reviewing the pre-game prep work with the side, did I miss anything?" asked Stewart.

"Callum Williams is on loan to Birmingham for the rest of the season. They offered to pay all his wages and considering my promise to loan him if that happened, I couldn't turn them down."

"We will likely miss him. I know he hadn't performed terrificly this season, but he was good for solid leftwing play."

"As long as they keep their promise to play him regularly, he should come back a better player. Besides, we will have Fabian Pacheco soon. As soon as Colombian Under-20s are done with their competition."

"Anything else?"

"Well, we won't be in the side until he heals up from his twisted knee, but we purchased 24 year old Austrian MC Tolgahan Sahin from Southampton for 10.5 Million."

"Record purchase for us. I remember him now, big- really big- mid with good level of skills."

"He is pretty close to the exact player I was looking for to fill the Box to Box role for us. He is big, fast and a good tackler and passer. He isn't perfect, but we can't afford perfect, so he is fine."

"How long before he is back in training"

"Four to seven weeks. Not ideal, but we weren't the only one bidding on him, so I am happy to get him."

"We will make do until then, like we have all season."

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31.1.29 Brentford 

Brentford keeper David Raya made his 450th career league appearance. He wasn't celebrating at the end of the match as Kings Langley striker David Perez continued his assault on the Premier with a hat-trick to lead the Kings to a 3-0 win at Brentford Community Stadium. Perez got the visitors off to a quick start as Bob Bell lofted a pass that Perez took in stride and blistered his low shot past Raya at the 8 minute mark. Perez made it a brace at 22 minutes as Tyrese Omotoye slotted a pass across and he snapped it past Raya. Aaron Maguire blunted Brentford's chances to get a goal back when he stopped Ivan Toney in a one-on-one chance late in the half. Maguire was sharp early in the second half as he parried away a strong volley from Cam Gallagher. Perez completed the hat-trick with an opportunistic half-volley after Elkan Baggott headed a corner to the far post at 88 minutes.

Brentford (0) Kings Langley (3) POM- David Perez, Kings Langley

"Man is David a talent," said an admiring Stewart.

Havel nodded, "He could easily have had five goals today. He is a terrific find for us, but who knows when one of the big clubs will come in for his min fee clause. I guess we enjoy him for now though."

"Nice to see a better effort from the defense today."

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3.2.29 Reading FA Cup 4th Round

Reading handed Kings Langley a stinging 1-0 loss to broom the Kings from FA Cup competition. The lone goal came on a mistake by Zach Awe as he missed a header that allowed Morgan Rogers in free at 18 minutes and Rogers fired a precision shot off the inside of the far left post past Archie Mair. Kings tried to even things up quickly, only to find Andrew Fisher equal to their shots. Rogers had  golden chance to add to the lead, but fired just wide in the opening moments of the second half. Kings struggled to provide service to their forwards and they failed to equalize in the closing moments as Reading closed the clean sheet.

"That was a disappointing, disjointed effort," sighed Havel.

"We just couldn't make good passes in the final third. We also lost the ball under any kind of pressure which pretty much stalled our offense.

***

12.2.29 Player News    

Havel looked up from the report and smiled, "Good news."

Stewart looked over his cup of coffee, "What?"

"Two of our future players were named to the South American Under 20 Dream Team."

"Who?"

"Fabian Pacheco- who is finally on a flight to England now- and Bruno Trautwein."

"When is Trautwein joining us?"

"Won't be until this summer, but he will really add to our midfield when he arrives."

"When we can get Sahin healthy, we will be in better shape now. We don't have much depth in center mids at present."

"Especially with Agustin Lopez down for a couple weeks with blisters."

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12.2.29 West Ham Televised Match

The telly audience saw lots of action as West Ham faced off against Kings Langley at Craven Cottage, but the finishing was lacking for both sides as they battled to a scoreless draw. Vladimir Bocanegra came closest for Kings as he put in two strong headers on crosses, but Alban Lefont was able to push away both chances. West Ham appeared to take the lead at 28 minutes when Jude Spoonsup-Bell saw his close-in shot parried by Aaron Maguire and Nikola Vlasci tapped home the rebound, but Spoonsup-Bell was revealed to be well offside by VAR and the goal was disallowed. Kings Langley pushed hard in the second half, but their shooting was abysmal as they failed to put any of their 10 shots on target.

Kings Langley (0) West Ham (0) POM- Max Normann Williamsen, Kings Langley

"Frustrating to see us create quality chances and then see us blasting over the bar every time," grumbled Havel.

"Didn't help that you had to sub off both Tomislav Duvnjak and Tim Thevis during the match, that really affected our offensive flow without any true center mids in the match."

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17.2.29 Watford

A disjointed match, featuring many fouls by both sides, went in favor of Kings Langley as they saw off Watford 2-1 in a closely played match at Craven Cottage. The first half saw good work by both keepers- Aaron Maguire and Freddie Woodman- as the match went scoreless to break. Kings fans were lamenting a penalty miss by Tyrese Omotoye after Vladimir Bocanegra was bundled in the area.  Kings Langley finally struck for the lead in the opening moments of the second half as Omotoye laid off a pass for David Perez to dump into the open goal with Woodman committed on the other side of the goal. Watford fought back for the equalizer as Jon Goode slotted a pass through to breaking Dairo Tarifa and he chipped past Maguire at 56 minutes. The match winner came as Emerson completed a pretty one-two passing sequence with himself and Jorge Miranda and crossed for Omotoye to smash into the goal. Kings kept Watford quiet the remainder of the match to close out the win.

Kings Langley (2) Watford (1) POM- Tyrese Omotoye, Kings Langley

"Easy to forgive the penalty miss when he comes up with the match winner, eh?" asked Stewart with a smirk on his face.

"Very Easy. Still a little unhappy with the goal we gave up, Weverton didn't challenge again."

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25.2.29 Norwich Televised Match

Last place Norwich clearly wanted to prove to themselves and the telly audience that they were better than the 20th place they currently occupy in the table. They made a strong effort at Craven Cottage, only to find Kings Langley executing and finishing better as Kings dumped them 3-0. A quick counter-attack saw Junior Bah slip a pass through to David Perez for Perez to whisk past Philipp Kohn in the 11th minute. Norwich stormed desparately to the attack the remainder of the first half, but were stymied by excellent work from the Kings backline and keeper Aaron Maguire. Kings Langley brought more possession to the second half and made it pay off in the 78th minute on a throw-in as Weverton crossed for an unmarked Vladimir Bocanegra to snap into the open left side of the goal. Kings Langley closed out the match when Bob Bell's pass found Hugo Bueno unattended and Bueno ripped a 25 yard shot past Kohn.

Kings Langley (3) Norwich (0) POM- Bob Bell, Kings Langley

"That was a solid defensive effort in the first half. It made all the difference in getting the three points today," offered a pleased Havel.

"Nice to see some scoring besides David Perez."

"Overall, a good team effort."

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27.2.29 Player News    

"Well, it wasn't good," commented Stewart.

"What happened?"

"Just a typical training ground tackle. Only Weverton tried to get up and couldn't."

"How bad?"

"Andrew (Balderston) says bad abdominal strain. Out at least a month, but more likely closer to two by the time by the time he gets back to match fitness from it."

Havel sighed, "At least that is the one position we have the depth to cover."

***

3.3.29 Newcastle
 
Kings Langley started quickly, but wound up dominated in a 3-1 defeat at St.James Park. Tyrese Omotoye took a searching pass from Agustin Lopez and scored in the 11th minute. Newcastle hit back quickly as Rafael Leao headed a corner to unmarked Selim Tatli to ram home into the open goal. Newcastle maintained their pressure, but couldn't find the go-ahead goal until the 75th minute as Leao slipped past Tim Thevis and Max Normann Williamsen to rifle a rising shot past Maguire. The home side clinched the win at 82 minutes when Martin Satriano's precision pass allowed Raul Moro to fly a chip over Maguire.

Newcastle (3) Kings Langley (1) POM- Martin Satriano, Newcastle

"I was hoping we were past games where our backline didn't show up," stated an unhappy Havel.

"Mistake after mistake. It could have been 6-1."

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11.3.29 Aston Villa Televised Match

Diogo Jota showed Kings Langley why he remains a Premier talent as he keyed Aston Villa to a 2-0 win at Villa Park. Villa had the better of the early play as Kings struggled to get out of their end. Michael Murray hoisted a pass over the Kings backline and Jota whipped a shot over Aaron Maguire at 38 minutes. Four minutes later he turned provider after an unfortuante bounce for Kings Langley saw the ball go diretly to him and he fashioned a pass that Yuri Ablerto tucked inside the far right post. Kings Langley suffered an injury blow as Vladimir Bocanegra fractured his wrist and may miss the remainder of the season.

Aston Villa (2) Kings Langley (0) POM- Diogo Jota, Aston Villa

"We didn't get anything going today. Our passing was poor all match," sighed a frustrated Havel.

"Add a couple breaks for them that they converted and that was all she wrote for us."

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17.3.29 Liverpool

Liverpool moved top of the table after they handed Kings Langley a 3-0 defeat at Craven Cottage. Liverpool took the lead midway through the first half as James Ward-Prowse hammered home a 30 yard free kick past Aaron Maguire. Kerim Adeyemi made it a quickfire double as he blistered a low shot off the inside of the left post off a sizzling cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold. Alisson made good saves on the only good chances had as he stopped David Perez and Tolgahan Sahin. Adeyemi turned in his brace when he escaped marking and Juan Pablo Gagliardi lofted a pass that found him in stride as he rounded Maguire. 

Kings Langley (0) Liverpool (3) POM- Karim Adeyemi, Liverpool

"Nowhere good enough against a top side," sighed Havel.

"We didn't really generate much offense."

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31.3.29 Player News

NxGn 2029: Top 50 wonderkids in Soccer

Kings Langley celebrated the news that four of the Top 50 wonderkids are Kings players. Mahmoud Sankari is #17 and is currently on loan at AZ. Jalaal Saeed #20 is on loan at FC Utrecht. #29 Fabian Pacheco and #30 Junior Bah are both at the club. Manager Mike Havel gave the credit to his hard working scouting department that has 'Wired the World' (Thanks Zealand!) Havel commented, "These players are part of the bright future for the club." Havel didn't comment on contract considerations  when asked about the possibilities of losing these players to bigger clubs.

***

31.3.29 Wolves

Kings Langley showed doubters that they still have fight as they battled hard and edged Wolves 2-1 at Molineux. Neither side was particularly sharp in the early going as fouls and inaccurate shooting kept the match at a stuttering pace. Kings broke through on a quick counter that saw David Perez thread a pass through and Bob Bell rounded Etienne Green to score at 34 minutes. Both sides continued to struggle with possession and it appeared that the match would play out a 1-0 final. Instead the second half injury time turned frenetic as Hugo Bueno laid off a pass for Perez to score and Wolves came right back as Juanma's pass allowed Joe Englehardt to score past Aaron Maguire. Maguire was able to snare the final moment corner to close out the win.

Wolves (1) Kings Langley (2) POM- David Perez, Kings Langley

"We weren't any better than them, but we did take our chances today," stated Stewart. 

"A couple good moments were all we needed. I am thankful for the win, given we have Man City and Tottenham up next."

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7.4.29 Manchester City Televised Match

Kings Langley made a game effort, but yielded four goals in a 13 minute stretch of the first half in falling 4-2 at Etihad to Manchester City. Kings scored first as Fabien Pacheco celebrated his 1st goal for the club when he drilled a shot past Ederson off a pass from Flavio. The Manchester City deluge began at 23 minutes when Nicolas Garcia found Callum Hudson-Odoi slicing the Kings backline to score past Maguire. Garcia then repeated that effort as he ran on to a pass from Declan Rice and chipped past Maguire. Garcia then turned that into a quickfire brace as he volleyed a cross from Ruben Dias home at 30 minutes. Erling Halland completed the goal scoring stretch as he converte a penalty after Tim Thevis bundled him in the area. Kings scored a consolation goal in the second half when Tolgahan Sahin rifled a rising shot past Ederson. 

Manchester City (4) Kings Langley (2) POM- Nicolas Garcia, Manchester City

"It is wierd Michael. We had some players on the backline- namely Flavio- play really well, and then some like Thevis played horrid."

"I know you want to stick with this backline to get the chemistry going, but if we have another match like this..."

Havel rubbed his chin, "I agree. If we don't see some improvement against Tottenham, it is time to try something else. It isn't helping that after we lost Agustin Lopez to injury a month ago, our midfield isnt doing nearly as well in either transitioning to their area or in supporting the backline."

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16.4.29 Tottenham Televised Match

Neither the Kings Langley backline nor there normally outstanding keeper Aaron Maguire came to play in this televised match as Tottenham thrashed them 4-0. The Kings defensive problems were evident from the onset as Harry Kane's precision pass put Isaac Tshibangu in free to score in the 4th minute. Nicola Rovella repeated that in the 9th minute as Tshibangu rounded a floundering Maguire to score his brace. That theme continued in the 31st minute as Kane's slicing pass put Rovello in to score. Kings Langley showed offense during the match, but the Tottenham backline dealt effectively with their pressure in the area and keeper Oscar Navone was equal to good chances by David Perez and Tyrese Omotoye. Tottenham capped the scoring in the second half by duplicating their other goals with a breaking pass to Faitout Maouassa to score at 62 minutes. The Craven Cottage cleared out early as fans had seen enough.

Kings Langley (0) Tottenham (4) POM- Isaac Tshibangu, Tottenham

Havel fumed, pacing in his office, "What do I have to do? We laid it out before the match, we walked them through it in match practice and then we get in the match and they don't apply any of it?"

"I think for Aaron he just needs to sit a match or two. Our backline play has been letting us down for the last month and half and he has done his best, but he seemed to quit on this match a bit."

"You're right on that. Our central defense has got to get better, so if Tim (Thevis) and Max (Normann Williamsen) can't provide it- they are on the bench."
 

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22.4.29 Blackburn Televised Match

Kings Langley didn't make it easy on themselves, but fought hard to end their poor run as they defeated a desperate last place Blackburn side 1-0 at Ewood Park in front of national telly audicence. The match was entertaining as both sides attacked up and down the pitch. Aaron Maguire shook off his last couple poor performances as he made brilliant saves on Fabien Hoyos and Facundo Perez in the early going. The Kings backline also provided a much steadier showing in helping Maguire. Kings Langley missed a golden chance for an early lead as Luis Malagon stopped Julio Cesar Garcia on his doorstep. The breakthrough for Kings came when Agustin Lopez, returning from injury, sent a swerving, in-swinging corner that Elkan Baggott headed home for his 5th goal of the season at 38 minutes. Kings Langley took control of the second half as Malagon kept the home side in for a chance with dazzling saves on David Perez and Vladimir Bocanegra. The final whistle found a very relieved Kings side heading home with a much needed 1-0 win.

Blackburn (0) Kings Langley (1) POM- Elkan Baggott, Kings Langley

"Very happy when that final whistle came," commented Stewart.

"Me too. Especially after Joel Bagan allowed Dan Ndoye to slice past him in second half injury time. That was Aaron's best save of the match and it kept us on for the win."

"It helps when you give your keeper more support. Aaron responded well today."

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29.4.29 Brighton Televised Match

Brighton needed a win to escpape the relegation zone, but were forced to settle for a scoreless draw at Craven Cottage as they survived a late redcard. Kings Langley were much the better side going forward throughout the match, but failed to make good choices in the Brighton area and squandered several good opportunities in the first half. David Perez and Bob Bell both had good looks at goal and were denied by Nathan Baxter. Aaron Maguire was terrific again for Kings as Brighton staged effective counter-attacks late in the first half and early in the second half and Maguire stoned Luke D'Alton and Said Benrahma to keep a tidy sheet. Japhet Tangana earned his 2nd yellow card at 82 minutes and Kings Langley stormed the Brighton area in search of a match-winner. None was found as Baxter made another good save on Perez to earn the visitors a much needed point. 

Kings Langley (0) Brighton (0) POM- Aaron Maguire, Kings Langley

"It's unfortunate that David Perez and Julio Cesar Garcia are just not gelling yet. That moment of hesitation was the difference today," offered Havel.

"The whole attack is a bit off, trying to figure out the best ways for us to service both goal scorers."

"At least we got another fine effort from Aaron to earn a point. I got the word back from Andrew on Vladimir (Bocanegra)."

"And?"

"Pulled knee ligaments. He thinks it would be best if we shut him down for the rest of the season."
 

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5.5.29 Southampton

Kings Langley didn't play well and deserved their fate in a 1-0 defeat at St.Mary's Stadium but a questionable penalty call was the deciding factor in the match. Southampton possessed the ball better in the match as Kings failed to assert themselves and failed to generate chances in the Southampton area. The first half remained scoreless thanks to a staunch effort by the Kings backline and good work by keeper Aaron Maguire. The only goal came after a disputed call that saw Agustin Lopez carded for bumping into Imran Louza in the area. Alexander Isak converted the penalty kick at 52 minutes. Kings forwards Tyrese Omotoye and Julio Cesar Garcia were particularly ineffective in their movement during the match, which left the Kings Langley midfielders grasping at straws with their passes.

Southampton (1) Kings Langley (0) POM- Henri Huyghe, Southampton

Havel sighed, "Everyone forgets how young our side is- particularly the forwards. Today was not goo, but it was a learning lesson for them and that is what we have to communicate to them."

"They weren't the only ones who need to take some learning from the match, but you are right this match is more a teaching moment."

"Despite all that, our defense stayed solid and we had a chance at a result. That gives me thoughts for the summer, given who has performed on the backline and who hasn't."

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13.5.29 Leicester 

Leicester fought back in the second half to edge Kings Langley 3-2 and capture 4th place and Champions League qualification. Kings played a terrific first half and took the lead when Fabien Pacheco slotted a pass for Bob Bell to score in the 23rd minute. Leicester keeper Ibrhaim Eren was spotless the rest of the half as he denied David Perez twice. Perez also blasted one off the right post. Leicester started their fightback when Max Normann Williamsen was whistled for pushing Gabriel Barbosa in the area and Youri Tielemans converted the penalty kick to even the match at 1-1. The lead came early in the second half for the visitors when Marc Cucurella laid off a pass that went past three King defenders for Darwin Nunez to flick into the goal. The Kings backline then lost Tielemans as Barbosa lofted a pass and in space Tielemans flicked a shot over Aaron Maguire for his brace. Kings Langley tried to fight back and got within a goal as Vladimir Bocanegra headed a cross from Junior Bah past Eren. The closing moments saw Eren make a crucial save on Tolgahan Sahin to preserve the win.

Kings Langley (2) Leicester (3) POM- Marc Cucurella, Leicester

"I thought we were in control until Max gave away the penalty," stated Havel.

"It certainly gave them life at halftime. That second goal was a killer- three of our players could have made a play on it and none did."

"I was happy we didn't quit then, they kept fighting til the final whistle."

 

 

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14.5.29 Player News

"I just got the news," stated Havel.

"What's the decision?"

"All three, Jalal Saeed-Mahmoud Sankari- Zvezdan Dakovic, were awarded Work Permits."

"That's a relief."

***

13.6.29 Transfer News

Kings Langley announced they had purchased 20 year old Colombian Rightwinger Kevin Gutierrez from Reading for 25 Million. The transfer amount was the release clause activated in the wonderkids contract after Reading failed to earn promotion. Manager Mike Havel indicated that Gutierrez was expected to be a Star player for the club and that he, "had a brilliant future." Havel did not comment on what effect this might have for Bob Bell who has been the starter at rightwing, but did assert the club had no intentions of selling the Irish International.

"Ok, I understand you didn't want to comment on Bob for the presser, but what do you have in mind?" asked Stewart.

"I am remaking the center midfield. Much as I love Agustin's abilities on set pieces, he just is not a creative player and we need more out of our deep lying playmaker role. So, the idea I had been kicking around is to move Bob inside at that DLP slot. He has shown he can play well in the center mid when we needed him to- and I think this will improve us."

"There is no doubting Kevin's talent on the rightwing. Blistering pace, excellent balance and agility, and the ability to dribble and cross."

"I am going to more winger oriented play, instead of inverted winger. We were making it a bit too easy to crowd the center on defense. To that end, we are changing Flavio's training to become a winger. He doesn't tackle well enough to help us filling in at rightback for Neco (Williams)."

"Are we bringing in another rightback? We do need some cover for Neco."

Havel chuckled, "Welllll. Actually the cover is already here. We are re-training Tim Thevis for the role."

"I thought Tim fit better in the center? We had been working more on midfield."

"With Bob moving to the center and Bruno Trautwein here too, we have enough in the middle. I believe Tim is versatile enough to handle the rightback and his abilities do suit the role."

"I take it we won't be using Jalaal Saeed there? That is where he played on loan and also for the Syrian National side."

"Jalaal will start for us. But he is a central defender in my book. I want our fullbacks to provide width up the pitch and he doesn't have the wheels for that. At 6'6" 200 lbs. He is the definition of a towering center back in my book. I haven't figured out his partner yet, but once I am set- they are going to get the majority of the playing time. Even if that means we have to move others, because I am really tired of the poor play we got in the middle most of last season."

"Did you hear our nickname in the press?"

"Nickname?"

"They are calling Kings Langley the 'Colombian Mafia' because of all the good young Colombians we have now- including Gutierrez."

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