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Everything posted by PaulHartman71

  1. Mid-Season Update Spanish Cup We've not had the hardest of runs save for Real Sociedad in the Quarter Final, but we've made it to the Semi Finals. We've got our city rivals Real in the Semi Final which will be a tough ask. La Liga We kicked the campaign off with a win in Hispalis, before we could only draw against title rivals Valencia. We won two on the bounce against Espanyol and Sevilla, before a disappointing 0-0 bore draw in Gijon. We were more successful in Getafe where we picked up a 3-1 win. A decent win against Atletico Pamplona before a difficult task at the Nou Camp, which saw Luis Enrique's side get the better of us in a 3-2 goal fest. We then beat both Celta Vigo and Deportivo La Coruna, before we lost two on the bounce away from home against rivals Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao. We ended November with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Malaga with a Thomas Lemar hat-trick helping us on the way. We've had a favourable run of fixtures recently and been in brilliant form, with 6 wins and just 1 goal conceded from 6 games. We did get very fortunate against Sociedad though and that was very nearly a 0-0 if it wasn't for a late penalty. Thomas Lemar got his second hat-trick of the season against Levante. The title is still very much to play for, with Valencia 1 point ahead and Real 3 points and goal difference away. If we can beat one of them or maybe avoid defeat against both and win our other games we could mount a title challenge, although we will be relying on the others to drop points. Valencia unbeaten and still not 1st ffs Barca having an extremely disappointing season, but not quite as bad as Sevilla! Considering I wasn't a million miles away from being their manager this season it's mental to see them in the relegation zone, until they beat Real Hispalis in a recent game they were actually stuck rock bottom for weeks. Champions League I got drawn in yet another group with Simeone's Man United, kinda cool that this time I face him as manager of his old side. I wouldn't say we ever dominated Dinamo or Hoffenheim, but we never looked in too much danger of dropping points in either game. We were poor at Old Trafford and lost courtesy of goals from Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho and Richarlison. United had Eric Dier sent off in the 35th minute of the home game and after that we dismantled them, with Pedro Diaz bagging a brilliant hat-trick and Saul nabbing a brace. United lost in Hoffeinheim which opened the doors for us to grab 1st place in the group. We finished top of the group but even then looking at the sides in 2nd place there wasn't really an "easy tie". Lazio, Bayern, Bayer Leverkusen, AC Milan and Roma were who we would potentially face - and yep, you can guess what the game cooked up for us... It is pretty cool to test myself against my old sides. I know at PSG I faced Arsenal and then at Roma I faced both PSG and Arsenal. It would be pretty cool if throughout my time at Atletico I got to face off against all 3 of them, but in this case it's quite annoying as my Roma side are very strong having just made two back to back finals. We've got some decent players but I'm not sure I've moulded them into a good enough team/squad to get past my Roma side over two legs, but we'll do our best!
  2. Summer Transfer Window Nothing too major happening over the summer as I want to get to grips with the squad before a clear out, but I did sell off Tin Jedvaj and Rui Pires who were back-up and unlikely to feature much. Amar was sold before I got here. I didn't have a huge budget so much of it went on signing current players to new deals to keep them at the club, but I did sign a young back-up RB in Ali Taider and got in Federico Boscolo out of his small release clause from Boca. Boscolo was actually somebody that my South American scout at Roma spotted, but I held off on buying him in-case I did win the CL and move club this summer, seems an inspired decision now
  3. Pep's left me with a slightly ageing squad, although there are some very talented players in there. Griezmann obviously the most notable name, although he's retiring in the summer. Jan Oblak is still very good and probably has 1 or 2 seasons left in him at the top level. The extremely versatile Saul is still a quality player who can expect to start, although Koke at 35 is more or less finished. Gelson Martins is ageing but still looks reasonably decent, whilst Thomas Lemar at 31 is still very good and can expect to play a fair bit. Rodri can certainly still do a job in midfield too. The most noteworthy regens are Douglas Starnley, who sounds Scottish but is actually a very talented Brazilian attacking wide player/striker, Willian who is a world class left back and Dario Arena who looks a decent centre back. I'm actually also quite excited in two of the players Pep shipped out on loan this season. Jamie Orta and Pedro Diaz both look good enough to have at least been squad players this season, so other than not wanting to play youth I don't know why he loaned them out.
  4. I was all set to take over at Villarreal and looking forward to getting the Yellow Submarine back into the Champions league, when something unexpected happened. Atletico unexpectedly sacked Pep Guardiola after finishing 4th and going out in the CL Quarter Final. Seemed a bit harsh considering last season he won them their first title in 12 years, but his lost was my gain. I told Villarreal to give me a week to think things over, although of course I was actually frantically applying for the Atletico job. Thankfully my 3 Champions League victories made me a prime candidate... Just the extra £100K a week from what Villarreal were offering
  5. The Job Hunt There's weirdly no jobs going in Russia, although in fairness I'd definitely go for Germany or Spain first anyway. Nothing in Germany at the moment as Dortmund and Leipzig don't qualify, but tbf Spain is the stronger league and I basically have a choice of Sevilla or Villarreal. I'm going to apply for both and then see who gives me the bigger budget. I imagine it will probably be Sevilla, although I'm leaning towards Villarreal as I've always somewhat liked them mainly because Robert Pires was my favorite Arsenal player and he went off the play for them - and now they've also got one of my other favourite Arsenal players in Santi Cazorla. Of course Cazorla is long gone in the game, although Villarreal do have a 36 year old Georgi Wijnaldum kicking about. The only notable name people might recognise in the Sevilla side is 31 year old Munir who is still there since the start of the game.
  6. Real Madrid pip Barca to the title under Thomas Tuchel's tutelage, whilst Valencia put in a very strong showing, with Atletico who won the title with Guardiola last season slump to 4th. A good showing from Bilbao, Vigo and especially Getafe, which causes Real Sociedad and Villarreal to miss out on Europe. Bayern retain their title but only just as Leipzig push them to the edge. To put things into perspective despite coming a point off of 1st and the Quarter Final of the CL, Leipzig sacked their manager, which shows how far they've come along in expectation especially since that CL win a few years ago. A terrible year for Dortmund as they slump to 10th, which sees Wolfsburg get into the European places, with Hertha Berlin also staying in the European spots too. A 4th straight title for Spartak Moscow, with Krasnodar 2nd again. Zenit take the final CL spot, whilst Rubin, CSKA and Lokomotiv also get Europa. Decent from Lokomotiv who haven't finished in the European spots since Russia became playable.
  7. You can see how far Italian football has come now, with 5 Italian sides in the last 16 of the CL. Krasnodar probably the most notable side to reach the knockout stages especially since Spartak always win the Russian title, whilst Lazio did very well to get where they got imo. A Roma/Lazio final would've been mental
  8. Career History ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Season Club League Position Achievements/Other ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2018/19 Arsenal Premier League 4th Europa League winners 2019/20 Arsenal Premier League 2nd Champions League winners ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2020/21 Paris SG Ligue 1 1st Ligue 1 & Coupe de la Ligue winners 2021/22 Paris SG Ligue 1 1st Ligue 1, Champions League & Trophee Des Champions winners ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2022/23 AS Roma Serie A 3rd Italian Cup runners-up 2023/24 AS Roma Serie A 2nd Italian Cup winners 2024/25 AS Roma Serie A 1st Serie A winners 2025/26 AS Roma Serie A 2nd Italian Super Cup winners & Champions League runners-up 2026/27 AS Roma Serie A 1st Serie A, Italian Cup & Champions League winners ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Trophy Cabinet Champions League x3 - 2019/20 (Arsenal), 2021/22 (Paris SG), 2026/27 (AS Roma) Europa League x1 - 2018/19 (Arsenal) Serie A x2 - 2024/25, 2026/27 (AS Roma) Italian Cup x2 - 2023/24, 2026/27 (AS Roma) Italian Super Cup x1 - 2025/26 (AS Roma) Ligue 1 x2 - 2020/21, 2021/22 (Paris SG) Coupe de la Ligue x1 - 2020/21 (Paris SG) Trophee Des Champions x1 - 2021/22 (Paris SG) Nations Completed 1. England - Arsenal 2. France - Paris SG 3. Italy - AS Roma
  9. End of Season Update Italian Cup A real achievement to pull off an Italian Cup this season as it's been by far and away the hardest lot of ties we've had, with Juve, Inter and eventually Milan in the final. Serie A A good start to the year saw three straight wins against Fiorentina, Chievo and Salernitana, We then lost to Milan 1-0 and dropped points away to Sampdoria and Napoli, before beating Torino. We picked up another draw against Sassuolo, before going on a fantastic run which saw 7 straight wins, including big wins against Juventus and Inter, the latter of which saw a brace from Schnick in the last 10 minutes to ensure a huge 3 points in our bid for the title. We had a bore draw in Udinese, before a strong finish to the season with 3 wins from 3, including an impressive victory at rivals Lazio. Inter really didn't threaten as much as last season and it was a fairly poor attempt to retain their title, as they lost no less than 7 times. Look at Juventus though in 7th place Champions League Leverkusen defended well in the first leg, but they tired in the second half and we grabbed 2 goals without reply, so it was always going to be a struggle for them without an away goal. They went 1-0 up in the first half and threatened to get a second, but an own goal early in the second half killed the game and any momentum they had. Dortmund rolled over in the first leg and we were 2-0 up after 6 minutes, with it being 3-0 by half-time. They didn't get an away goal either so we looked in a great position going to Dortmund, but tbf they beat us quite well and and had a few chances to grab the 3rd which could've taken it to extra-time. I was reunited with Unai Emery and PSG in the Semi Final and Rashford was on hand to grab two massive away goals in the first leg, with Mbappe and Mo Salah grabbing goals for them. The rock in defence Virgin van Dijk picked up a red card 15 minutes into the return leg and it was curtains for PSG from then on. Rashford had already put us ahead and we had no problems tearing them apart with the man advantage. A second straight final beckoned. I was quite worried going into this game as whilst we finished quite far ahead of them in the league and beat them in the cup final, they did beat us home and away in the league. It was a very nervy game but Patrik Schnick popped up with the only goal of the game to seal a huge win for Roma. It shows how far Italian football has come back though to have an all Italian final, especially as Milan prevented us from playing Arsenal in the final. It would've been really fitting to have beaten PSG and Arsenal on the way to winning it, although I haven't fared well against Arsenal with Roma so maybe it was for the best! Rashford had another strong season, but I'd probably give POTY to Patrik Schnik, with Sterling, Juan Carlos Aguilar and Alessandro Canella also impressing. A pretty crazy end to my time at Roma to complete a treble, which I definitely wouldn't have expected at the start of the season. It does show the difference having a better defence can do for you as I thought last season we probably more dominant going forward, but much more leaky at the back which cost us in a lot of the big games. Very happy to have won it though and we move on to Spain, Germany or Russia! The next league I have loaded which will be in the game from next season is the Turkish league. I've gone for that over the Portuguese league as I can go with any Turkish side, whereas Porto and Benfica are off the cards in Portugal.
  10. I didn't actually notice at the time, but Unai Emery actually left Inter in the summer to rejoin PSG. Inter's manager is now Marcelino.
  11. Nothing really happened in January, although I did let long-time captain Kostas Manolas leave to join the Russian champions. He wanted a new challenge and had only made 3 substitute appearances all season and at 35 with his contract up in the summer, I thought the least I could do was let him go for nothing to wherever he wanted now. We wish him all the best.
  12. Mid-Season update Serie A A strong start to the season with 5 wins from our first 6 games, with our only defeat coming at the San Siro to Milan. We drew with Napoli at home, before winning 3on the bounce against Torino, Sassuolo and Empoli. A decent draw away to Juve was followed up with a hard game against the champions who beat us 3-2, although that scoreline flattered us slightly. We bounced back to beat Siena and SPAL comfortably. A 2-1 win against Cagliari came at a good time to start the December period, but then we barely escaped with a draw against Udinese before beating Bologna and then blowing a 2-0 lead against rivals Lazio. Rhian Brewster scored the only goal as we ended 2026 with a win against Genoa. Champions League I thought we gave a pretty decent account of ourselves in the two games against United, with a 0-0 draw at home and then a 4-2 loss away despite a brace from Rashford at his old stomping ground. Valencia were no trouble at home, but did give us problems in Spain as we could only get out with a 2-2 draw. We turned over Gent away and then absolutely destroyed them at home, with Schick grabbing four, which was still only half of our goals. Not ideal to be 2nd in the group, but we've actually drawn Leverkusen which I'll take considering some of the other options were Arsenal, PSG and Man City.
  13. The trouble with not winning the league is that you don't get top seeding in the Champions League. We've actually been drawn in the same group as the Man United team that beat us in last year's final, with Valencia and AA Gent joining us. We should get through, but Valencia are no mugs and seem a decent side in recent years.
  14. Transfer Window Update No notable departures, just back-up versatile youth product defender Thomas Minarini who joins Hamburger. If I didn't have so many youth products already in the side I'd have maybe kept him for HG purposes, but didn't need to and £10M for a player who is only gonna start 5 games max a season is too good to turn down really. Rhian Brewster, a now 26 year old winger and striker joins from Liverpool on a Bosman, whilst we consolidate our defence with Alberto Odi, a 26 year old CB from Argentina via Porto.
  15. Guardiola wins the title with Atletico, whilst it's an awful season for Real Madrid who drop out of the Top 4. Good seasons for Sociedad and Valencia who make Top 4, with Villarreal and Bilbao beating Sevilla and Vigo to Europa League. Bayern are back as Nagelssman's men win their first Bundesliga for 5 years. Leverkusen having another decent year, with Dortmund and Leipzig also remaining in the Top 4. Hertha Berlin doing quite well to get 6th. Spartak win their 3rd straight title but both Krasnodar and Zenit pushed them very hard, with just 2 points separating 1st and 3rd in the end. A great year for Arsenal Tula who finish 4th and get Europa League, whilst Ufa also did fairly well to get there too.
  16. Valencia doing well and almost make the Semi Finals if not for Real Madrid, whilst Monaco also doing quite well to make the Quarter Final. Inter a good side but also showing United's class as they got turned over by them in the Quarter Final. Porto, Spartak Moscow and Benfica also notable names in the knockout stage.
  17. Career History ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Season Club League Position Achievements/Other ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2018/19 Arsenal Premier League 4th Europa League winners 2019/20 Arsenal Premier League 2nd Champions League winners ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2020/21 Paris SG Ligue 1 1st Ligue 1 & Coupe de la Ligue winners 2021/22 Paris SG Ligue 1 1st Ligue 1, Champions League & Trophee Des Champions winners ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2022/23 AS Roma Serie A 3rd Italian Cup runners-up 2023/24 AS Roma Serie A 2nd Italian Cup winners 2024/25 AS Roma Serie A 1st Serie A winners 2025/26 AS Roma Serie A 2nd Italian Super Cup winners & Champions League runners-up ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Trophy Cabinet Champions League x2 - 2019/20 (Arsenal), 2021/22 (Paris SG) Europa League x1 - 2018/19 (Arsenal) Serie A x1 - 2024/25 (AS Roma) Italian Cup x1 - 2023/24 (AS Roma) Italian Super Cup x1 - 2025/26 (AS Roma) Ligue 1 x2 - 2020/21, 2021/22 (Paris SG) Coupe de la Ligue x1 - 2020/21 (Paris SG) Trophee Des Champions x1 - 2021/22 (Paris SG) Nations Completed 1. England - Arsenal 2. France - Paris SG
  18. End of Season Update Italian Super Cup Inter held their ground and took us to extra-time, but a Nestor Ruiz finish with one of the last kicks of the game gifted us the win. Italian Cup A good win against Parma in the Quarter Final, but we were quite poor against rivals Lazio in the Semi Final and slumped to a defeat over two legs. Serie A A dramatic start to the new year saw a 4-4 draw at home to Chievo, before we dropped points on the road twice to Sampdoria and SPAL, in both games we were pretty fortunate to avoid defeat. We then won 3 on the bounce against Sassuolo, Genoa and Palermo, before another draw away to Cagliari. A 6-0 thrashing of Bologna was followed up with a draw at home to Napoli, before we beat Fiorentina and then picked up two huge victories at home to Inter Milan and away to The Old Lady. We then beat Novara and Verona, before losing a 2-0 lead to Milan at home. We beat Atalanta 2-1, but then drew with rivals Lazio and Udinese, before a rampant 5-0 win on the last day of the season. We would've won the league last year with the total we got this year, but unfortunately Unai Emery's Inter Milan had a very strong season and won their first title since 2009/10. We scored a hell of a lot of goals but I think it's clear our defence wasn't as strong which ultimately cost us. Juventus out of the Top 4 again is pretty hilarious. Champions League Sterling and Rashford were on hand to get vital away goals in Portugal, before Patrik Schick put it out of sight in the first half at home. You never look forward to drawing Barcelona, but I had a look and took some hope from the fact they hadn't reached a Semi for 6 years. They brought their A game in the first leg and got two huge away goals, although we did put 3 past them which put us in a good position. They took the lead in the first half through Leroy Sane and with the tie held at 3-3 they were set to go through on away goals, but then Patrik Schick fired home after a corner which gave us a narrow 4-3 lead. It was a very nervy end to the game but we held out for a solid result. Raheem Sterling broke his wrist and so we were without the former City player for these games, but Schick was on hand to get two big away goals in the first leg, with Marco Asensio grabbing a goal for the hosts to keep them involved. We made the tie 3-1 in the first half of the second leg through Marcus Rashford, but City came back in the second half with goals from our former man Lorenzo Pellegrini and Ousmane Dembele, but Schick was the hero late on and his last minute goal prevented the tie from going to extra-time and put us in the final with City's arch rivals Man United. I could take some solace from the fact that United's manager Diego Simeone had never before won a Champions League, whilst I'd been in 2 finals and come out on top both times. I suppose that record was going to come to an end one day and unfortunately at the Johan Cruyff Arena it did, thanks to goals from Lukaku, Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho. Giampaolo Perin gave a fantastic account of himself filling in for the injured Sterling, as the youth academy product grabbed a 2nd half brace, but sadly we couldn't find a 3rd to equalise and take it to extra-time. Rashford had an incredible season with 39 goals and 10 assists from 47 games, whilst Sterling, Schick and new boy Juan Carlos Aguilar were also standout performers.
  19. Yeah I'm just gonna go for the Champions League, although I imagine once I reach the sides outside of England, Spain, France, Germany and Italy it will be almost impossible to have a CL winning quality side not win their domestic title as well.
  20. Nothing too exciting this January, although long-running central defender Rodrigo Becao moved to China. He was disappointed he wasn't playing that much with Aguilar coming in and he was on a lot of money for us to just be on the bench and barely playing. We've got Joao Lopes and Adilson who are both good CBs so when he asked to leave and a few Chinese sides were interested it was a no brainer really.
  21. Mid-Season Update Italian Cup A 5-0 win saw us past SPAL in the 1st Round. Serie A A very strong start to the season as we win 6 of our first 7 games, with SPAL actually being the only side we dropped points against. Rashford in tremendous form. 2 more wins including a good win against Napoli, before we barely escaped with a draw against Fiorentina and lost to Unai Emery's Inter Milan. We bounced back too pull off a huge 3-0 win against Juve though, then won at Novara and at home to Verona. 2 poor performances saw us lose to Milan and Atalanta, before an unbelievable trouncing of Udinese. We then picked up 2 more wins to end the year on a high. Emery's Inter in fantastic form and in pole position, with Milan potentially in a strong position if they win their game in hand. A long way to go yet though. Champions League I wouldn't say we had an easy draw, but it wasn't super hard especially when you consider how long it's been since Bayern have won the Bundesliga. Bayern proved to be the only side who could beat us as we got taken apart 3-0 away, but we won all of our other games including a 3-0 win at home to them with a Rashford hat-trick. Can't not be happy with that. We've got Porto in the next round, which considering we could've had Atletico or Man United we have to be happy with.
  22. Virtus Entella is the full name if that rings any bells, although looking at their history if you've not managed in Italy in the last 5 seasons you probably wouldn't have noticed them. I certainly hadn't before this save! From what I gather on Wikpedia they've been a traditional 3rd/4th tier side for much of their 100 year history, with the 2014/15 real life season marking their first ever venture as high as Serie B. Looks like they've done pretty well in game even so as they started the save in Serie C then won promotion in 2021/22 to Serie B again, before going up to Serie A in the playoffs last season.
  23. Summer Transfer Window It was certainly more eventful than last season. The main departures were goalkeeper Pau Lopez and Jesse Lingard. Lopez was in the last year of his contract and refused to renew, with Arsenal and Tottenham interested it was a no brainer to let them fight it out for him and we got a very fair price in £40M. Lingard was 32 and also in the last year of his deal. I could've renewed, but he wanted a 30K wage boost to £160K which I didn't feel was warranted and we have Umberto De Francesco who has come through the youth academy and is more than ready to replace him anyway. Valencia gave us a decent price and off he went. Khalid El-Morabet was a pretty decent DM prospect who cam through the youth academy but I don't use a DM so he was wasted as a squad player for us. The big buy was our new CB, Juan Carlos Aguilar who joins from Sevilla. It was big money and more than I wanted to spend on a CB but he is extremely good and well worth the price at that age too. He wasn't the best option we had but the 2 options that were better than him were quoted at over £100M, as were the 4 options that were "less good" than he was ffs The prices for elite younger players is mad and we only got this guy because he had a release clause in his contract, but I think we will see value for what we paid for sure. Albin Lafont is not a particularly elite goalkeeper, but we just couldn't afford to sign anyone that was proper elite. Again I was quoted at over £100M for all other targets, so for £16M comparatively we got a pretty decent deal in the end. Luigi Moro has the potential to be good enough to replace him, but he still has 2-3 years before he is at that level I think. Florenzi is 34 now and despite another decent season we really had to get someone in to potentially replace him. I'm not sure why AC Milan were willing to let this guy go for just £13.5M, but he was transfer listed and an absolute steal at that price. He's not an elite level full back by any means but he has some unbelievable mental stats especially for a 25 year old. Enough to give Florenzi some competition at least, as Luis Luz who I signed to do that still looks some way off doing that.
  24. Barcelona win La Liga with rivals Real Madrid in 2nd. A good showing from Valencia in 3rd and Atletico rounding it up in 4th. Celta Vigo perhaps distracted by the CL this season, whilst no Europe for Sevilla next season. Another title-less year for Bayern, as Dortmund win the title this time, Leipzig coming close to winning the Bundesliga as well as the Champions League. Leverkusen round up the Top 4, with a poor year for Schalke seeing them finish in 10th. Koln drop out of Europe altogether after perhaps over-achieving last season. Spartak Moscow retain their title in Russia, with Zenit and Rubin finishing 2nd and 3rd again. A fantastic season for Orenburg who finish in the European places having only been promoted this season.
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