ajcardall

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About ajcardall

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    Amateur

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    Engineering, FM, football, cricket

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  • Favourite Team
    Sheffield Wednesday

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  • Currently Managing
    Sheffield Wednesday
  1. Sheffield Wednesday October 2021 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Premier League Results ¦ Table An unbeaten month in October, and we strengthened our grip on the top spot, carving out a 4 point cushion over 2nd placed Tottenham. We were sluggish in our opening game, labouring to a 0-0 draw away to Watford, but things improved thereafter, with victories over Norwich, Bournemouth and Everton. West Ham have hit a bit of inconsistent form, unable to string results together like they did earlier in the season. Their tendency to drop points lately has seen them fall away to 4th place. Arsenal and Watford both had good months and have moved up the table during October. Elsewhere around the league, Man Utd have posted a few extra victories on the board and will now be hoping to kick on and make up on lost ground against the teams above them. Chelsea had a poor October and have lost their last 3 games, and they now find themselves down in 10th position. Man City have improved after a very poor start, and are now starting to climb in the right direction. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Champions League Sheff Weds 2 - 0 FC Kobenhavn¦ Table We played just one game in Europe this month, recording a comfortable 2-0 victory over Danish outfit FC Kobenhavn. The result leaves us in a very strong position at the top of our group, and barring a massive collapse, we will be progressing into the knockout stages of the competition. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- EFL Cup 4th Round Watford 0 - 2 Sheff Weds Once again, I rotated some of the players around for the EFL Cup match, and we had enough about us to come away with a 2-0 victory at Vicarage Road. Rhodes, whose playing time has fallen away as he now starts to decline in ability, proved their is still life in the ageing legs, bagging a brace. The victory in the 4th round has set up a quarter final tie against Fulham. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Other News Other notable events from the month include Matheus Peraria being recognised for this outstanding performances by picking up October Player of the Month award. It was richly deserved; he earned an average rating of 8.35 and scored 2 goals in his four games this month. Raf Van Roy picked up a minor injury in the opening game of the month, ruling himself out for a couple of weeks with a twisted ankle. He returned to action by the end of the month, along with Joel Veltman and Franck Kessie, brining us back to full strength.
  2. Sheffield Wednesday September 2021 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Premier League Results ¦ Table We had a good, solid month in September that culminated in us hitting top-spot at the end of the month. Defeats for our main rivals for the crown allowed us to finish in 1st, although West Ham are 2nd only by goal difference. Other things to note are that Man City are yet to win a game in the league, registering 6 draws and 1 defeat so far. They find themselves in 15th spot and, although early days, it looks like another disappointing season could be in store for them. Also to note, Man Utd have struggled somewhat, and the team I most expected to push us for the title are currently down in 11th. West Ham have made a great start to the season, beyond all expectations, and look good value for a title challenge so far. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Champions League Results ¦ Table Two victories in our opening two games leave us in top spot, and interestingly, the only team in the group with a positive goal difference. Definitely looking to strengthen our grip on the group and hoping to confirm our progression into the knockout phases as soon as possible. Prior to the start of the competiton, we were given odds of 10-1 to retain the Champions League crown, with Real Madrid and Barcelona ranked as the joint favourites for this years competition. Meanwhile, Paco Alcacer is the bookies' 2nd favourite for the golden boot, with odds of 6-1 to be the contest's top scorer. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- EFL Cup Sheff Weds 4 - 0 Arsenal I used the EFL Cup as a chance to give some younger players a start, with Oakes, Shaw and Hanks all starting the game against Arsenal. In the end we ran away 4-0 victors, with Pablo Sarabia scoring all four goals for us in the game. We have been drawn against Watford in the 4th Round of the cup, and once again I shall rotate some of the players to give them exposure and game time. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Injury Table Injuries Update The only major injury suffered this month was picked sustained by Franck Kessie while on international duty. He suffered shin splits and can expect to be out of action until around Christmas. It is another blow to our midfield, but there is a positive in that Matheus Peraria returned from injury this month, and looks no worse for wear. In the end he only ended up missing one game for us thanks to the international break.
  3. Sheffield Wednesday 2021/22 Season --- August 2021 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Premier League Results ¦ Table A decent start to our season, despite the 0-2 defeat to West Ham, but we had positive results against Fulham, Wigan and Man City. The August results place us 5th in the league table, but naturally it is still very early days in the season and a lot can and will change, so it is fruitless to attempt to dissect things as they stand. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- European Super Cup Sheff Wed 2 - 0 Barcelona We manged to overcome Barcelona in the Super Cup, running out 2-0 victors after goals from Paco Alcacer and Pablo Sarabia. We were able to contain and restrict the normally free-flowing Spaniards, and the performance was extremely pleasing. The Super Cup didn't rank highly in our seasonal targets, but it is nice to win the trophy regardless. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Champions League Champions League Group Stage Draw We have been drawn against Inter, Sevilla and Copenhagen in this years' Champions League. Many of you may remember the heroic clash with Inter in the Europa League Semi Final a few seasons ago. We also managed to overcome Sevilla in that memorable run, so my confidence of reaching the 1st Knockout Round is high, although the group remains a tricky one. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Injuries Injury Table We have suffered injuries to two of our key players - flamboyant winger Matheus Pereria is out for a couple of weeks with a pulled hamstring picked up against Fulham, whilst Joel Veltman will be out for around 3 months after suffering torn knee ligaments picked up during training. The loss of Pereria is a blow as he is a major part of the way we play. Fortunately we are now in the September international break, so he shouldn't miss too many fixtures for us.
  4. Sheffield Wednesday - 2021/22 Season Pre-Season 2021 Friendly Results A good, solid set of preseason results, including a 10-0 victory over Shanghai. No injury worries or concerns and things look solid for the upcoming seasons. Community Shield A good game and a marker laid down for the season. Mourinho was left eating his words after his pre-match press conferences that saw him trying his best to wind us up. Always a good feeling to get one up over him. Transfers More young players brought in over the summer, the major transfer being that of Oleg Tyurin from Russian side Spartak Moscow. Pre-Season Title Odds We have been made favourites for the title, with Man Utd, Chelsea and Tottenham close behind. Wigan are among the favourites to suffer relegation, despite their great escape last season. The pundits also predict Wolves and Leicester will drop out of the Premier League at the end of the season. Pre-Season Expectations Doubtless fuelled by our successes last year, the board have extremely high expectations this year. It will be interesting to see if we can live up to the expectations and repeat the successes of last season. Club Rich List The club is now valued at over £1bn, thanks to the Champions League and Premier League titles we secured.
  5. What a game and what a way to win it. Got to feel for the Saints. Score 4 and still end up losing by 3 goals. Insanity!
  6. 2020/21 Season Champions League Final Road to the Final This season's final will be played at the Amsterdam ArenA between Premier League and FA Cup victors Sheffield Wednesday, and Ligue 1 and French Cup winners PSG - both teams looking to secure a famous treble. Sheff Weds' road to the final included famous victories over the likes of Real Madrid, Arsenal and Atletico Madrid. PSG saw off challenges from Monaco, Liverpool and Juventus in their quest for glory. Sheff Weds fans will no doubt remember the heartbreak from two seasons ago, when they reached the Europa League final, only to falter in extra time to Leverkusen. The Final Compared to the late, late drama of the semi final, the final itself was somewhat more straightforward and mundane! PSG missed an early penalty, and we never looked back. Two goals from Denis Suarez and a goal from wonderkid Raf Van Roy were enough to secure victory, and a remarkable rise was completed. Just 10 years ago, we finished 15th in League One, and were staving off threats of administration and even extinction. Milan Mandaric saved the club off the pitch, and the fans had never looked back. When Thai multi-millionaire Chansiri purchased the club, he promised to get Wednesday back into the top flight within two years. We were close in the first season, missing out in the final against Hull. But the second season we did it. The fairytale continued as we grew in the league, winning the FA Cup in 2018, and reaching the Europa League final but cruelly falling short against German side Leverkusen. This year we won the league title, we regained the FA Cup, and now we were champions of Europe, rubbing shoulders with the likes of FC Bayern, Barcelona and Juventus. A long season had borne all the fruits it could. The challenge now is to maintain the success. Author's Note I am obviously delighted to have conquered Europe so soon - it was beyond all expectations. To prevent this save now going stale, I am going to set myself a few personal goals, as follows: Overcome Leeds' European trophy haul: right now Leeds have two European honours to their name - 2x Europa League wins. We have the recently won Champions League. My first goal is to better Leeds' tally, excluding the fluff Super Cup! Overcome Nottingham Forest's Champions League haul: Forest famously won two Champions Leagues. I am setting myself the goal of bettering that by going for three. Pass Chelsea's Modern-Day Premier League haul: Chelsea have won the Premier League 4 times under its modern inception. I will look to outshine them. Pass Liverpool's European Successes: Liverpool have 5x Champions Leagues and 5x Europa League victorys. Let's pass that. I shall keep track of progress via an Excel spreadsheet and post an updated version at the end of each season...
  7. 2020/21 Season End of Season Update Results P5, W4, D0, L1 Our final run-in saw us pick up 12 from 15, dropping points once more against Leicester, who are doing their best to supplant Tottenham as our bogey team. Going into the final stretch we need that 3 wins would secure the league, and perhaps it was the pressure that caused the shock Leicester defeat. It mattered little in the grand scheme of things because a few days later, in front of 55,000 fans, we were crowned champions of England with a 4-0 victory against Everton. For the first time since 1930, Sheffield Wednesday had won the top league in the land. Final League Table There is confirmation of our amazing season, top by 6 points over Man Utd. They gave us a cracking fight and didn't surrender their crown easily, and I look forward to sparring with them again next season. Tottenham and Chelsea completed the top 4, with Stoke, Liverpool and Arsenal all clinching Europa League places for next season. Man City enjoyed a come back and just about secured a top-half finish. It doesn't gloss over what has been a sudden fall from grace for the club, and all eyes shall on them next year to see what they can do. At the bottom, West Brom were relegated from the Premier League. Their second half of the season was abysmal and Wigan did just enough to secure their top flight status for another season. Middlesbrough and Sunderland were also relegated. FA Cup Final We earned a domestic double with a routine and expected 3-0 defeat of Man City. Goals from Alcacer and Sarabia were enough to earn us our 2nd FA Cup victory in 4 years, after we won the competition in 2018. All that remained for us was the small matter of the Champions League Final against French club PSG...
  8. Thanks! It definitely surpass the Inter Milan game as the most dramatic I've had so far. For a youngster only in as cover to smash one in at 90+3 to win it was insane! Plans afoot to build a golden statue outside of Sheffield City Hall What a guy!! He's not even one of signings. The Head of Youth Development signed him. I think we owe him a beer Thanks mate, glad you enjoyed it I've played every instalment of FM (and Championship Manager before) right back to Championship Manager 97/98, so almost 20 years experience. Its just a case of making sure all the players are suited to their roles and having a grasp of how team instructions/player instructions work together. I wouldn't even claim to be that good - there are people on the forum (and who chronicle their own careers through updates) who are much, much better than me! I'm about to throw up the rest of the season. Sadly the final isn't anywhere nearly as dramatic as the semi final, but we'll see in a few minutes!
  9. 2020/21 Season May 2021 Champions League Semi Final 2nd Leg After the disappointment and missed chances in our home leg, I knew it would now take a lot to overcome Madrid and make it through to the final. With the scores level at 1-1 - but Madrid having a crucial away goal, we needed to earn a scoring draw to at least take the game into extra time. I kept faith with the squad who performed excellently at Hillsborough as we faced a massive game in the club's history.... First Half We started well. We couldn't afford to just sit back - we needed to score. We got off to a very strong start and had Madrid on the back foot in the first ten minutes. While we failed to find the net during the early spells, we did give them pause as they knew we wouldn't be going down easily, or hoping for a lucky break. I thought our moment had come midway through the half when Paco Alcacer was brought down in the box, and the referee awarded us a penalty. Alcacer took a deep breath as he began his run up.... but Navas saved it!! I was about to sink, expecting another night of disappointment until Tin Jedvaj pounced on the loose ball after the save and tucked home to make it 1-0! We had the lead, and we had cancelled the away goal we conceded in the first leg. Could it be....? The rest of the first half saw Madrid come on strong - they knew they had to score. We found ourselves under serious pressure. I called for concentration from the lads, there was still a long way to go. Given the pressure Madrid were under, and the weight of the occasion leading to some questionable decisions, it was no surprise when in the 44th minute youngster Evan Henry picked up his second yellow card and was dismissed! Now we faced a 45 minute onslaught with just 10 men. Fortunately we managed to make it half-time with our slender advantage in tact... Half Time: Real Madrid 0 (1) - (2) 1 Sheffield Wednesday Second Half It was more of the same in second half, and Madrid were all over us. Down to ten, and facing a fierce onslaught, I ordered the boys to tighten up and concentrate. If we could keep them out for the next 45, we would be in the final. We were holding on by our finger nails, but holding on we were. We approached the last ten minutes with our 1-0 lead still in tact, and a famous, famous victory was within our grasp. But then, in the 78th minute, Sergio Aguero found the net and levelled the game at 1-1... We were looking at extra time, and with the effort of a valiant rearguard showing causing some tired legs, I began to fear for our chances. I once again pleaded for calm from the players - they couldn't let their heads drop. If we could get to full time, we could regroup and reassess... could we hold on?! 90 minutes: Real Madrid 1 (2) - (2) 1 Sheffield Wednesday See spoiler for the injury time and full time score
  10. Season 2020/21 May 2021 Champions League Semi Final First Leg Prior to kick off, I targeted a good performance in this game as being the key to us making it through to the final of Europe's premier club competition. If we could get a good result at home, then we know that if we can keep Madrid out - or at least restrict them - at the Bernabeu, we would have every chance. I was nervous and excited ahead of, arguably, the biggest game of my tenure at Hillsborough. In front of a sell out 55,000, I challenged the team to put down a marker and make a statement that would be heard around the world. Well. We snatched a late draw but given how well we restricted Madrid over the 90 minutes, it is a disappointing result. We had 4 clear chances, but Alcacer had an uncharacteristic off-day and failed to find the net. I throw Wednesday icon Rhodes on for the last 10 minutes, and he came up good, grabbing the equaliser deep into stoppage time. This didn't feel like a victory, though. We should have been out of sight by that point, and but for Alcacer having a nightmare, and us hitting the woodwork three times, we surely would have been. We now know we have to achieve at least a score draw in Madrid to have any chance of making a historic final.
  11. 2020/21 Season April 2021 Results P6, W4, L2 The month started badly as we choked against Man Utd in the league and allowed them to pull back to within two points of us. Thankfully Watford did us a big favour and wiped the smug grin off of Mourinho's face, beating them 2-1 at Vicarage Road and ensuring that if we win our game in hand, we will be back to 5 points clear at the top. The 3-5 defeat to Arsenal in the first leg of the Champions League Quarter Final was another blow, but it was a fantastic game full of attacking football... and dodgy defending! Luckily we gave a more rounded performance in the home leg, winning 3-1 and qualifying for the semi finals thanks to our away goals from the first leg. A late goal from Paco Alcacer against his former club proved to be the decisive goal in a very entertaining and hard fought two-legs of football. We also made it to the FA Cup Final after beating Tottenham 4-1 at Wembley. The score was perhaps harsh on Tottenham, who played a lot better than the score suggests. League Table As I said above, we can return to 5 points clear at the top if we win our game in hand against Everton. With just a handful of games left, the pressure is starting to mount and may even be beginning to affect a few of the younger players. I am still confident we will hold on and clinch a famous league title. Middlesbrough's long expected relegation has been confirmed, and Sunderland look set to follow them. Wigan have found a few priceless victories and have climbed out of the drop zone, with West Brom's continued poor form seeing them replaced them in the relegation zone. Watford are essentially safe thanks to their superior goal difference over the teams below them, but will surely be looking for that extra point that confirms their survival for another year. All told, it is essentially between Wigan and West Brom in the fight to avoid dropping into the Championship next season. Champions League Semi Final Draw We have been pitted against Real Madrid in the semi final. We absolutely need to keep a clean sheet in the first leg, as I don't see us containing the galacticos in their own back yard. Elsewhere, there is guaranteed French representation in the final as Monaco face PSG in the second semi final. FA Cup Final Man City have put their league form behind them and reached the final of the FA Cup. Given their poor season, we have to be considered the favourites at this point.
  12. 2020/21 Season March 2021 Results P5, W5, D0, L0 We managed to go unbeaten throughout March as we advanced on all fronts with some strong performances after last month's disappointment of losing in the EFL Cup final. In the Premier League, we maintained our place at the top of the table after picking up a maximum of nine points from the three league games we played in March. Our league fixtures - with respect to the teams - were a relatively easy run and had we dropped points it would have been seen as a disappointment. In the Champions League 1st Knockout Round we entertained Atletico Madrid, and after our 1-1 draw in Madrid, I had cause to be optimistic about our chances. I did not foresee us running away 4-0 winners in what was a magnificent display where all players rose to the occasion and demonstrated just how good they are. The result made it 5-1 on aggregate and we advance now to the Quarter Finals. Our FA Cup run continued as we dispatched Chelsea in the 6th Round, setting up a semi final clash with our old cup demons, Tottenham. League Table Man Utd kept pace with us and we remain 5 points clear with 8 games remaining to play. Stoke have hit a great patch of form and find themselves pushing for a top 4 finish as the season draws to a close. Chelsea have started to fade away somewhat, and Man City remain stuck in 15th position, although they have gained ground on 14th placed Southampton. West Brom have had a torrid time lately and find themselves right in the thick of the relegation battle. Middlesbrough are as good as relegated already, with 36 points being their maximum haul at this stage. Sunderland also look to be in serious trouble, and had a winless month this month. Champions League Quarter Final Draw We have been drawn against fellow Premier League team Arsenal in the quarter finals. Given how strong we have been this season, I have to fancy our chances of reaching the semi final. FA Cup Semi Final As I mentioned earlier, we will play Tottenham in the FA Cup Semi Final - the team who have a knack of eliminating us from cup competitions. At this stage I am targeting regaining the FA Cup after we won the competition back in 2018. Youth Intake Not the greatest of intakes this season, with only two players having any chance of making it for us Bill Gee is the one who promises the most, and has high determination so the foundations are there. Shaun Calcutt is far less determined and will have to really step up if he is to hit his potential.
  13. 2020/21 Season February 2021 Results P8, W5, D1, L2 February saw us return to European action as we faced Atletico Madrid in the first leg of our knockout round match. We travelled to the Spanish capital in good form and high spirits, although we were missing a few key players. I went with the opinion that coming away with the tie very much alive would be a positive result, and we achieved that with a 1-1 draw. With everything still to play for, we can look forward to the 2nd leg with cautious optimism and stand every chance of progressing at this stage. In the FA Cup we put in a professional performance to over Brentford, winning 3-0 and setting up a 6th Round match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. We also had the final of the EFL Cup to contend, and an appalling performance saw us on the receiving end of a 1-3 defeat to title rivals Man Utd. Mourinho took great joy in lauding it over us in the press at the end of the match, to which I responded by showing him the league table. Our league form was solid, despite suffering a shock 0-1 defeat at home to newly promoted Leicester. Despite the blip, our strong performances - notable a 4-0 win over Chelsea - have seen us pass Man Utd in the title race and we occupy the top spot as we enter the final quarter of the season. League Table Our good month in the league means we now enjoy a 5 point lead over Man Utd after 27 games. At this stage we are almost guaranteed a place in Europe, barring a monumental collapse that would make Keegan blush. Tottenham have had a relatively poor season after their strong showings in the past couple of years, but still have every chance of finishing inside the top 4. Man City's struggles continue and they are still at the wrong side of the table, sitting in 15th place. Their 12 point cushion above 18th placed Sunderland means they are unlikely to be under and serious threat of the relegation, but they still face the embarrassment of another bottom-half finish - a far cry from their days as title challengers. It is difficult to see Middlesbrough surviving this season, and one win from their 28 matches is never going to be enough.
  14. Good work with Leeds! Hope you can make that European push, would be a nice throwback to the days of Harry Kewell, Ian Harte and Mark Viduka!
  15. 2020/21 Season --- January 2021 Results P15, W13, D1, L1 We managed to re-find our top form, and in some style, winning thirteen from fifteen in all competitions over the festive period and into the New Year. Both games where we failed to win were against Newcastle - going 2-3 down in the league, and drawing 3-3 in the second leg of the EFL Cup Semi Final. Fortunately we had won the first leg 3-0, so we advance to the final, 6-3 on aggregate. In the FA Cup, we had a very convincing and comfortable victory over Northampton Town, running away 7-1 victors, followed up by a 4-0 victory over Cardiff City in the next round. With our form and ability to score several goals in matches bode very well and as we pass the half-way mark of the season, we find ourselves top of the league, level on points with Man Utd, but with two games in hand. Table Starting to look very comfortable in the top spot, and Man Utd and ourselves have opened up a 9-point lead over 3rd placed Chelsea, making the title fight looking like it shall be between us and Man Utd. Man City's struggles continue and are struggling to win games, and still linger in the bottom half of the table. They do have a decent point cushion, and the teams below them are, respectfully, lower quality, so City should be safe. EFL Cup Final My first EFL Cup final, and we shall play Man Utd next month. FA Cup 5th Round Newcastle or Brentford await us in the 5th Round, and once again we should be looking to make it through to the 6th Round from here. Champions League First Knockout Round We face Spanish giants Atletico Madrid in the first knockout round of the Champions League. It is a tough draw, but if we continue playing the way we have so far this season, I do fancy our chances over the two legs. Key Injuries We have lost first team goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith to a broken hand, and he shall be out for around a month. Franck Kessie was injured while playing for the Ivory Coast in the African Cup of Nations, suffering broken ribs in a game. With Hjobjerg out for the season, we have now lost two of our rocks in the midfield. Thankfully we have adequate cover, but Kessie had been in some really good form before he was injured, so to lose him is a great shame.