Duroliponte

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About Duroliponte

  • Rank
    Part-Timer

Biography

  • Biography
    Playing CM/FM for 21 years and counting...

About Me

  • About Me
    Ignoring the haters

Interests

  • Interests
    Ummmm...

Currently Managing

  • Currently Managing
    Hertha Berlin

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  1. November/December 2020 update Absolutely ridiculous for several reasons, but most obviously, we couldn’t stop drawing at home. Although of course these were vital points lost, in all but one of these games we were in losing positions, so it could have been yet worse. My tactic was working brilliantly well on the road however, with a masterclass at Augsburg. At the middle of it all was Moussa Dembélé. He’d always ran things at Hertha but he now seemed to have reached a higher plane, which would not go unnoticed by the big boys. 21 points off the top, but as we went into the winter break the Champions League places were not too far from our grasp.
  2. Start of 2020/21 season update After the disappointment of 2019/20 I was desperate to sign some more Dembélé-level players, but unsurprisingly none of our eventual acquisitions were of such quality… not yet at least. Our big summer signing was young dutch winger Joost de Haan, a player I had scouted playing for ADO Den Haag on several occasions. They were really inflexible in negotiating and I had to spend a little more in the short-term for a long-term investment, the wonderkid joining once we met his £14.5m minimum release clause. Aside from former Chelsea midfielder Marko Marin, who would prove a complete flop, the remainder of our summer signings continued to see us invest in youth. Niclas Merkens would prove to be an excellent signing from RB Leipzig, a fearless teenager in central defence. He was joined by the Arsenal prospect Donyell Malen on loan, Turkish left-back Bariş Altiparmak for £550k from Galatasaray, and the talented Pedro Neto from Braga for a mere £600k. Offset by the departure of 14 players, my squad profile was younger but with considerable potential. After a run of tough opening fixtures including another defeat at the Allianz we finally put on a show against a fairly strong Stuttgart side, crushing them 5-0 with Dembélé on top form. We would dump them out of the Pokal a few weeks later also. The league game against Mainz was a disaster, 4-2 up with 2 minutes to go, we lost a valuable 3 points as goalkeeper Kraft scored an own goal in the 93rd minute. From that point on I tended to place my faith in his younger understudies. We saw out in October in patchy form, taking some notable scalps but not showing the consistency needed to mount any sort of title challenge, all the less so with Bayern and Dortmund flying. There were at least some positives. De Haan was off the mark, important as the media were questioning his high fee. Malen and Dembélé complemented each other really well, and Merkens at the back looked like a real star of the future.
  3. It might surprise you to hear that I'm still playing this, two seasons ahead of where I am here. I'm going to try and get things up to speed this month, most likely with season updates rather than monthly ones.
  4. I like each of my own threads to have their own look, but the whole thing was a b***ache anyway. Copying and pasting from Google docs, but yeah, not worth the hassle when it only seems to work every other attempt!
  5. Episode IV: Oh, They’re Still Decent We’re used to seeing Bayern raids on Dortmund assets, but this season saw Mitchell Wieser, Ousmane Dembélé and youth prospect Herbert Eggen all head southeast towards Bavaria, for a staggering combined fee of more than £70 million! Factor in Emre Can’s arrival from Liverpool (£42 million) and it was clear that the club were looking for another title post-haste. Don’t worry though, they still made close to £150m on player departures, notably Renato Sanches and Kingsley Coman. The team got off to a great start in the Bundesliga, winning their first 8 games. It was then a huge shock to see them dumped out of the Pokal by Mainz in round two, albeit on penalties. The team remained rock-solid in the league throughout winter and then surprisingly knocked Real out of the first knockout round of the Champions League with a win at the Bernabéu. They progressed to the semi finals in similar fashion after triumphing at the Parc des Princes. Although Dortmund did the league double over Bayern, as you can see from the earlier posts it was not enough to stop Ancellotti’s men from winning the title by a three point margin. That’s Bundesliga number 27, might start needing to win one of those soon. A draw at Old Trafford and a 2-0 win at the Allianz saw Bayern knock Manchester United on their way to yet another Champions League final. Their opponents would be Tottenham, playing for the big one for the first time. They started brilliantly, taking the lead via a Berahino penalty on the half-hour mark, and nearly held out only for Mats Hummels to equalise with five minutes left in normal time. Bayern had the wind in their sales, and European Cup seemed to be in the bag when Lewandowski struck just three minutes into extra time. This time it was time for Bayern to feel the pain of a late equaliser, with Alli hitting back with four minutes to go. The match went to penalties. History favoured the Germans, but that was not how things played out on this balmy Bernabéu evening. Tottenham’s nerve held out in the shootout and the trophy went to North London!
  6. Of interest to no-one: Had to switch to default font for updates, non-standard fonts are really unwieldy on these forums.
  7. 2019-20 Season Hertha Berlin Bundesliga Season Review - Player Stats League: 14th (16th when took over) A quick path to the Bundesliga for Duro but not the most inspiring season after an initial bounce upon his arrival in Berlin. There are some good youth prospects here and some long-in-the-tooth veterans absolutely stealing a living so there is an opportunity to modify this squad into a more exciting one over the summer. The board expect comfortable mid-table next time round so we want to be more like Dortmund away and less like Darmstadt at home in 2020. Top players: Moussa Dembélé: The easiest pick in history. 22 league goals, second highest scorer in the league, the club’s biggest asset, a new contract, 4 years, £53 million release clause, top result. Valentin Stocker: Influential in midfield and helped the cause with 6 goals. His powers are waning slightly but Stocker can more than hold his own at a struggling Bundesliga side. Sinan Kurt: Slotted in well on the left wing and contributed to several goals without ever doing anything particularly spectacular. Marko Kvasina: Limited opportunities as I tended to play Moussa upfront on his own but Kvasina impressed when called upon. Fabian Lustenburger: Another ageing star, he was solid ahead of the defence. And will be a rotation option at anchor man next season with the less experienced Okechukwu. Aims for next season: Improve the squad, aim for the top 10. We’ll keep Dembélé unless a silly bid comes in so improving the supply to him will prove crucial.
  8. May update A really disappointing end to the season. We took the lead away at Hamburg but collapsed in the second half. We also draw a blank at relegated Darmstadt and put in another weak defensive display at Wolfsburg in my 100th game in management. Things have certainly fizzled out since my arrival and I’m really keen to address the squad’s shortcomings over the summer.
  9. April update Just stumbling to the finish line here, and yet again thanking the lord for my predecessor for signing Dembélé.
  10. March update AKA "When you realise that your defence is utterly terrible and you decide to go all out in your home fixtures"… A thrilling win over Schalke makes this a good month, with Stocker putting in a performance for the ages. The table is rather static so I’m using this as an opportunity to suss out some players in anticipation of a summer clear-out. We have established stars like Ondrej Duda who look effective on paper but have offered very little when actually given playing time.
  11. Hi everyone, Still plugging away at this (well into the 2020/21 season), I've struggled to find time for even small updates! I'll try to post a few over the next few days, thanks for the comments.
  12. They have as many trophies in the modern era as Hertha do to be fair. Is three too many!? I think we escaped a thrashing there really.
  13. Bayern: The first encounter So then, Bayern. I wasn’t anticipating on playing them so early in the save, two-and-a-half seasons in. There is absolutely nothing of note on the line here, but I thought it was worth celebrating. How I’d love to turn them over here! Do I think we can, hmm...not so sure. I’ve reverted to our more conservative tactic, because I don’t (yet) have the confidence to go all out in such an intimidating away fixture. The match 27 mins: Hertha have done a fairly good job of keeping Bayern quiet here, but Lewandowski has found space...Lewandowski! No! You would put your house on him scoring from that distance! 33 mins: Silva...good run down the flank, puts it across the box and finds Lewandowski! Wide! Is lady luck shining on Hertha today? 37 mins: Oh, Kraft has not cleared that properly...it’s Boateng bearing down….Boateng! 1-0 Bayern! A disaster for the Hertha keeper, who has come under scrutiny of late. 54 mins: Foul by Kimmich...first booking of the game. Can Hertha work something here...short ball to Edis...his ball evades Alaba...Dembele in acres of space! Onside! 1-1! 64 mins: Hertha will be happy with how this second half has gone...Bayern free kick. Silva... Süle from distance! It’s there! 2-1 Bayern! A rabbit from the hat by the centre-back! Hertha will need to raise their game here...oh, careless from the kickoff. And Müller is free ..It’s three! They’ve scored twice in a minute! How did Müller find the space there? What a player! 90+1 mins: Hopeful ball in... Dembele... no. Covered by Neuer. That will more or less be it for Bayern, who did well to rally and raise their game after being pegged back. For Hertha, questions will need to be asked about their goalkeeper once more. Bayern consolidate top spot, Hertha have shown enough to suggest that they should be fine for the rest of the season.
  14. January-February update Up to the dizzy heights of 11th, and relegation fears definitely allayed for now. Dortmund were excellent, a supremely strong test with Coutinho on top form. We go 2-0 up early doors but they turn things around only for us to equalise late on. The unbeaten run came to an end at Klopp’s Leverkusen but two wins against relegation candidates, including a last minute screamer from Marko Kvasina against Hannover, consolidates Hertha’s rise. The fixture list has been fairly kind but it ends now, as we now have to play you-know-who…
  15. December update A great start to life at Hertha. The game against Darmstadt was exactly as you might imagine: two low-on-confidence sides making schoolboy errors and both feeling equally annoyed and relieved not to have scored or conceded three by half-time. Early in the second half, Stocker threads a ball through to Dembélé who outpaces the Darmstadt defensive line and fires home! I could sense the relief among the whole team and minutes later Dembélé converted a penalty. After that, it’s plain sailing, which is as it should be: we are a much better team with one standout player. We fall behind to top-half Wolfsburg in our final game before the winter break but show good tenacity in coming back to salvage a draw. Even at this early stage I’ve decided to blood in a couple of youngsters and they have not been overawed. We are in the relegation playoff zone still but morale has changed rapidly. This is needed, because once we come back we’re facing the champions of Germany, Borussia Dortmund. Transfer budget for the upcoming window is £3.5 million. I can’t really buy established quality with that, and I’m not entirely sure of who I want to get rid of yet, so I try and search out a few young talents. First up we sign Roger Kouakou in central defence from Galatasaray for £1.7m. I also capture two Nigerian internationals, Anthony Okechukwu and Dele Izuchukwu (signed from Enyimba and Nasawara for £170K and £375K respectively). All three will start to feature during the second half of the season but I’m not expecting fireworks at this stage. In time however I think that they could all be first teamers.