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About PaulHartman71

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    Blue Pants City

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    St. Mirren

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  1. Valencia, Zenit and Liverpool await us in the Group Stage. Based on the coefficient rankings Valencia are favorites, regularly making the knockout stages since the 2064 season, with the 2063 season previously seeing them win the Europa League. Zenit are still a very dangerous side, making the Semi Final 2 seasons ago and the Quarter Final the year before that, although of course we did knock them out of the Europa League last season as I'm sure you may recall. Liverpool are a wildcard due to their regular financial woes and administration problems. They actually only went back into administration last summer briefly. They have not made it past the Champions League group stage in 34 years, so are the underdogs in the group. In recent years they have been knocked out by Desna and Genclerbirligi in the Europa League knockout stages, whilst we of course knocked them out in the qualifying stages of the Europa League all those years ago back in 2062. It should certainly be interesting. I would not be surprised to see us back in the Europa League again such as is the quality of the group even though we were first seeds. Elsewhere, Rangers face a group of PSG, Portimonense and Roma, whilst Celtic have Man United, Schalke and KRC Genk.
  2. A fairly eventful summer. A Saudi side were hell bent on signing our first choice keeper and he was hell bent on taking that sweet sweet money, so we eventually sold him a week after the Scottish Cup final, as the original date they would've signed him was the day before it and I wasn't losing him before it. A few back-up players went off to various sides, most notably Jonas Lauridsen who did well last season but was getting older and wanted to start every week which I couldn't offer him. Our right back Xabier Calderon was snapped up by Galatasaray for £10M. I didn't go out of my way to sell him but he was on higher wages than I would've liked and at 26 it wasn't a bad time to cash out on him with a £7M profit. Chancel joins us as our new first choice keeper, poached from Aberdeen he also has the benefit of counting as HG in Scotland due to them signing him so young. Kelvin Mensah is a good centre back, who we poached from Ayr and he actually has Scottish as a second nationality so I'm really pleased to have picked him up. Great mental stats and possible future captain material as well. Iain Hunter is a very good winger who we have poached from Rangers at a very good price, almost unbelievable really that they'd let us have him. It looks like for whatever reason he's never gotten a look in there and wanted to leave, so with 1 year left and no interest in re-signing they took the money rather than lose him for nothing. Not got the greatest goals/assist ratio but to be fair to him he rarely started more than 1 game a season anyway, with the rest all being sub appearances. He's certainly worth a punt and has no real track record of injuries. We now move onto the bosman signings, which is a market I've noticed can be quite good to tap into. There wasn't a lot going last year, but now we have CL football and can pay reasonable wages a lot of the squad players from the top sides that get released seem to find us an appealing prospect due to CL and being able to start every week. Sergio joins from Real Madrid after moving to them for £11M three seasons ago and not playing a single senior match for them. Mike Bauenerfield is probably the best of the bunch and joins from a very good Wolfsburg side after spending 7 years there with little to no chances in their first team. He has experience in Scotland as he was part of the Rangers title winning side a few years back where he seems to have done quite well. Jesus Maria Sanchez is our new right back who joins from Valencia after a total of 3 senior appearances in 4 seasons. He seems to have done well for Valencia B in that time, but never got the chance, which seems mad as he looks a good player and is a bargain for nothing. Only time will tell how our army of new recruits poached from smaller clubs or misfits and outcasts taken from the bigger sides will prevail.
  3. A poor show from Hibs and Aberdeen who go out to Lech Poznan and Red Star Belgrade respectively. We of course made the Semi Final of the Europa League, with Celtic winning the thing, as Rangers make the Last 16 of the Champions League. Incredible scenes as we actually overtake France to get 6th. It doesn't change too much for us this season, more just helps the sides in the Europa League, but look at that trajectory, if we keep it up we could overtake Portugal and take 4th position, which would guarantee us 4 spots in the Champions League each season, huge for us and The Old Firm, but also a massive opportunity for another club too. Also just look at Italy. They are absolutely finished If you look at the trajectory for them they could drop another 2 spots to 19th next year, which would give them just 1 team in the Champions League who would have to start in the 1st qualifying round This shows you how moving ahead of France has helped the other sides, as it means we get an extra side guaranteed Europa group stage.
  4. Galatasaray make it 6 titles from the last 8 seasons in Turkey and they're clearly a dominant force over there at the moment. KRC Genk finally get their hands back on the Belgian title after 38 years of near misses. Standard Liege managed to juggle the Europa League with the league to still finish 2nd and get Champions League football for next season, whilst Lokeren do very well to get 3rd. Eupen and Club Brugge grab the remaining spots in Europe, with the likes of Anderlecht, STVV and Oud-Huverlee Leuven all missing out. 12 in a row for Shakhtar, as surprise package Zorya Lugansk come the closest to stopping them and get a spot in the Champions League for their troubles. Another poor year for Dynamo Kyiv but they make it into Europa either way.
  5. PSG win their Champions League for 28 years, a long draught for them, as they take their CL haul up to 7 in total. Celtic become the first ever Scottish winners of the Europa League/UEFA Cup, as they beat Liege in the final. An interesting tournament that saw Partizan of Serbia in the Quarter Final, an all Belgian quarter final between Liege and Sint-Truidense VV who did very considering they're hardly a Belgian heavyweight. Malmo and Slavia Prague also interesting names in the last 16.
  6. Nations Remaining (based on nation coefficient ranking) Scotland Turkey Belgium Ukraine Switzerland Czech Republic Croatia (+6) Greece (+4) Denmark (-2) Austria Sweden (-3) Serbia (+2) Romania (-4) Norway (-3) Poland (+3) Iceland (+3) Israel Slovenia (-3) Bulgaria (-3) Slovakia (+1) Republic of Ireland (-1) Hungary Belarus Finland Wales Northern Ireland Croatia and Greece are big risers, with Romania the biggest losers.
  7. Paul Hart's Career History This covers the first 40 seasons of this save, from 2018-2058 Paul Hart's Trophy Cabinet Thierry's Career History --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Season Club League Position Achievements/Other --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2058/59 Genclerbirligi SK Turkish Super Lig 5th Turkish Super Cup runners-up. Sacked. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2059/60 St. Mirren Scottish Premiership 5th N/A 2060/61 St. Mirren Scottish Premiership 3rd N/A 2061/62 St. Mirren Scottish Premiership 3rd Scottish Cup winners 2062/63 St. Mirren Scottish Premiership 2nd N/A 2063/64 St. Mirren Scottish Premiership 3rd Scottish Cup runners-up 2064/65 St. Mirren Scottish Premiership 3rd Scottish League Cup runners-up 2065/66 St. Mirren Scottish Premiership 2nd Scottish League Cup runners-up 2066/67 St. Mirren Scottish Premiership 2nd N/A 2067/68 St. Mirren Scottish Premiership 1st Scottish Premiership, Cup & League Cup winners --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thierry's Trophy Cabinet Scottish Premiership x1 - 2067/68 (St. Mirren) Scottish Cup x2 - 2061/62, 2067/68 (St. Mirren) Scottish League Cup x1 - 2067/67 (St. Mirren) Nations Completed Nations completed as Paul Hart: 1. England - Arsenal 2. France - Paris SG 3. Italy - AS Roma 4. Spain - Atletico Madrid 5. Germany - VFL Wolfsburg 6. Russia - Zenit St Petersburg 7. Portugal - Portimonense SC 8. Holland - Vitesse Arnhem Nations completed by the AI: 1. England - Manchester City 2. Germany - RB Leipzig 3. Spain - Valencia CF 4. Portugal - Sporting Lisbon
  8. End of Season Update Scottish Cup A great performance at Hampden Park, with Matija Tufegdzic getting the only goal in game that secured a Cup double for us this season. Europa League A very tight match in Belgium against Standard Liege, which looked like it would go to a goal-less draw, but the home side snatched a late winner late on. Another tight game at home and unfortunately we just couldn't get the goal that would've taken it to extra-time and helped maybe put us into the final. A shame as it was a winnable game and theoretically we beat "easier" sides to get this far, but it was a long season and we just couldn't beat them over the two legs. A deserved final for the Belgian side. Premiership We beat Rangers at home after a close game to put us in the clear for the title and we won 3 of our remaining 4 matches after that to put it within any doubt. 6 points clear of Rangers in the end as St Mirren win their first ever Scottish title and do the domestic treble in the same season! Marcel Aerts has gone from strength to strength after winning the golden boot in the Champions League last season. He only managed 12 in 33 league games last season, but this season he managed 19 showing real improvement and the sort of goal-scoring form I questioned if he could ever achieve at the club after signing him 3 years ago. Good seasons from Markus Christensson in defence and Boris Stankovic in midfield also.
  9. Thanks guys. Definitely no plans to stop any time soon. I'm just taking each nation one season at a time, so far it stays refreshing as I manage in a different league each time. A lot of the leagues I either haven't managed in for a very long time or haven't managed in before, which helps it say mixed up a bit. 50 years or so into the save and whilst the landscape of things isn't as random as if I had the laptop capacity to have every league loaded the entire time, even now it does feel like the state of the Champions League Group Stages is very different now. At the start of the save at Arsenal or PSG if I got a side from Russia, Holland, Scotland, Turkey, Belgium etc in the group they'd usually be whipping boys or certainly not competing to go through, but now a lot of those sides are good enough to beat anyone on their night and go far. Portuguese sides were never that weak, but also never threatened to win the thing, whereas now a Portuguese side winning it is just standard really and not even a surprise. Italy on the other hand have interestingly dropped off massively (you'll see even further in the next update) so it will be interesting to see how things like that continue as the save goes on and each league gets elevated in turn. The big surprise things off the top of my head so far are probably Juventus getting made irrelevant in Europe as a result of dropping off in Italy, Ajax getting relegated in Holland and Liverpool going into administration and banned from Europe about 4 times due to FFP.
  10. Pre-Split Update Scottish Cup A solid run in the cup sees us reach the final, with Hibs awaiting us at Hampden Park. Europa League An incredible return to Arnhem for me. It was a capacity crowd at the Jean-Pierre Cathala Stadium which our old chairman named after himself all those years ago. It was an incredibly close game and it looked like we would have to settle for a draw and no away goal, but Jim McCart smashed home from 25 yards in the last minute of extra-time to give us an unbelievable late win. The return leg in Paisley saw Vitesse grab two big away goals early on and they went into half-time 2-1 up on the night, with us needing two goals to find a way back into the game. I thought we may well be out, but Marcel Aerts headed one home from a free-kick in the 80th minute, then Jonas Lauridsen the substitute scored a cracker 5 minutes later to put us level on the night and ahead on aggregate. Vitesse threw everything forward to try and get another goal, but we actually managed to break and get another one, with Marcel Aerts rounding out a tremendous second half-performance from the boys. It was another tough tie in the Round of 16 as I returned to another of Paul Hart's old stomping grounds. Zenit took the lead in the 65th minute, but a late away goal from Matija Tufegdzic meant that we came away the happier side on the night. Matija Tufgedzic was on hand to grab another goal in the return tie, with his goal just before half-time putting us ahead on the night and on aggregate. Alex Delgado got a second in the 72nd minute, which meant Zenit needed two goals to go through. They did get one of them, but we kept them out from getting the 2nd which would have knocked us out and into the Quarter Final we were. We got West Ham United in the Quarter Final and after a fairly drab first half they got a penalty on the stroke of half-time, to get an away goal and cut our spirit a bit. Marcel Aerts got us a goal just after the hour mark to make it 1-1 on the night ahead of our trip to the London stadium. I have fond memories of the London Stadium in this save as it was at that very stadium where Paul Hart won the Champions League with Vitesse 11 seasons ago. Paul Hart won that game at the London Stadium against Manchester United 4-0. This wasn't quite as cosy of a ride, as despite Marcel Aerts first half-strike putting us ahead, it got pegged back and the game eventually went to penalties. 19 year old Academy graduate Ryan Ross (not that good really, only playing due to a few injuries in central midfield) missed our first penalty and I thought that was it, but their lad blazed his penalty over the bar and then we scored every one of ours remaining. A Semi Final tie with Standard Liege of Belgium awaits, with Shakhtar and Celtic in the other Semi. Premiership An absolutely brilliant start to the new year as we stormed past five teams, with 5 wins from 5, 15 goals, 0 conceded with Marcel Aerts getting 7 of them. We lost away to Rangers in a big game for the title, but quite frankly we were utterly screwed over. The first leg of the Vitesse game kicked off at 8pm in Holland on Thursday 09/02/68, so would have finished about 10pm, then just 41 hours later we have to go and play Rangers at The Ibrox ffs, no wonder we didn't win We did manage to beat Ayr tough and got a decent draw at home to Celtic. We ended the pre-split in strong form, with 3 wins from 4, with a draw at home to St Johnstone the only game we dropped some points in, keeping clean-sheets in 3 of them. Despite that loss at Rangers partially through stupid fixture lists, we are remarkably 3 points clear of them going into the final 5 matches of the season. The first of those 5 matches sees us play Rangers at home in a 6 pointer for the title. If we can avoid defeat in that game we'd be in a solid position, but we of course still have to play both Celtic and Hibs who have looked good this season, with Aberdeen no mugs either as as they actually beat us at home in one of the four losses we've taken so far this season. A great position to be in going into the split though, with the League Cup in the bag already we're actually incredibly in a decent position to pick up a domestic treble if we play our cards right.
  11. Mid-Season Update League Cup It wasn't an easy run to the final, with a penalty-shootout and an extra-time penalty winner against Queen of the South, but we made it to another final. A fantastic day out at Hampden Park, helped along the way by Motherwell getting a man sent off early into the second half, but a triumphant win and Thierry's second ever trophy. Champions League We got the group off to a brilliant start with a 2-0 win against my old side Portimonense. I wasn't sure what to expect from them but it was a tough game, so to come away with a clean-sheet and reasonably solid win I was well pleased. Galatasaray are probably on the same kind of level as us, maybe even a bit stronger, so going to Turkey was always going to be tough but we came away with what felt like a good point on the night. We followed that up with a trip to Germany and again, since they won the Europa League last season I was pretty content to come away with a point from that one. It was another tough game with Schalke at home, with a draw again being a fair result. Portimonense took a really early lead, but we equalised very quickly after through Ryan Maguire standing in for the injured Marcel Aerts upfront. After that the home side dominated us a bit and were good value for their win. On paper this was the hardest game of the group so to come away with a defeat is no real shame for me. The home match with Galatasaray was a must win game for us to progress and unfortunately we couldn't quite do it. A tough group really as I think all 4 of us are very much at a similar level, with no real favorite or whipping boy. I'm not too gutted as we only lost to Portimonense and didn't really play badly in any of the games. A shame to go out but at least we have a crack at the Europa League. Although we've drawn the hardest possible side of the Last 32 by getting my old side Vitesse who are usually in the business end of the Champions League, but also went out in the group stage this time Thanks for that Rangers... Premiership A storming start to the season with 3 wins from our first 3, before two draws on the road to Motherwell and Rangers. We beat relegation battling Ayr, before drawing away to Aberdeen and then losing to a good Celtic side. We drew with St Johnstone before an absolute goal fest win in Kilmarnock. We scored a fair few more on the road against Queen of the South and then Ross County, with back to back hat-tricks for Marcel Aerts, before a draw at home to Motherwell, a win at Dundee and then a loss to Rangers. 4 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss in the festive period, which is pretty good, especially with a big 2-1 win at Celtic. Ryan Maguire getting a hat-trick of his own against Ayr. We've got a game in hand on Celtic and Rangers and it's safe to say at the half-way stage we're well in the title picture, even Hibs are too who are just 1 point behind us also with a game in hand. It's all to play for, especially with 3 CL spots up for grabs this year.
  12. Interestingly enough we were again drawn against KRC Genk of Belgium. They gave us a real scare in the home leg as they took an early lead, which we pegged back through Belgian striker Marcel Aerts, but then they got a penalty just minutes later to go in at half-time 2-1 up. We got the win on the night thanks to two goals from two Danes, but I was still quite worried about them having picked up 2 away goals. Luckily KRC Genk managed to give us a bit of an easy ride, as they had a midfielder sent off for a second yellow less than half hour into the game. It was still a bit nervy as they still only needed a 1-0 win on the night to get through, but Marcel Aerts made it 1-0 on the hour mark and they were never getting the two goals without reply that they needed with 10 men. A slight scare but we're through to the cash-cow of the Group Stage. This season we have my old side Portimonense, last season's Europa League winners Schalke and Turkish champions Galatasaray.
  13. A solid first leg against the Danish side, with Orlando Kwasie and the Danish born Jonas Lauridsen getting on the score-sheet as we keep them out. The score-line perhaps flattered the home side a bit, as once Charlie Ross got an away goal in the 32nd minute it pretty much killed the tie. Kobenhavn did still try to get back into it, but even after making it 1-1 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate, they never looked likely to score the 3 goals it would have taken them to make it through.
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