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About trman73

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  • Interests
    FM, OOTP, actual outdoor sports

Favourite Team

  • Favourite Team
    West Ham United

Currently Managing

  • Currently Managing
    Leicester City
  1. September 21, 2031 - Premier League: Southampton (1-2-2, 5 pts., 15th) vs. Leicester (3-1-1, 10 pts., 4th) We've got Southampton and Bolton in our next two league matches before taking on Man City and Arsenal, so if we can get wins in these next two matches we'll put ourselves in good position heading into those tough ones. We haven't dropped a league game since the opener, and we're playing well right now. So let's take care of business against these guys and see if we can move further up the table. It's an exciting first half as Southampton scores in the 20th on a goal that Smyth should have saved. But we pull back even on a goal from Burton four minutes later. Southampton retakes the lead in the 34th, but Burton ties it again before halftime and it's 2-2 at the break. In the second half, we get our first lead as Platt threads the needle between two defenders to find Wilding, who scores to put us up 3-2, but Southampton ties it two minutes later, in the 58th. We've given up more goals in this match than in our five previous league games. In the 69th Southampton takes the lead back on another mistake by us, and this one is getting crazy. This time, though, we don't pull back even... they score again just 90 seconds later to make it 5-3, and we're staring at a bad loss now. Our humiliation is completed in the 78th, as Meneses is called for a penalty that's converted. Normally after a win streak is stopped I tell the team they were unlucky. This time, I rip their effort.
  2. September 18, 2031 - Euro Cup, Group I: Dnipro vs. Leicester Dnipro is the weakest team in the group, but it's still a road match and we need it to establish ourselves in Group I. We lose Jean-Paul Meert for a couple weeks with a training injury, so my former man Mark O'Shea will see some starts. Other than that we're healthy in terms of the first team. We establish control early as Michael Platt scores in the 4th and Wilding adds another in the 17th. Dnipro tallies one on a free kick in the 22nd and we're up 2-1 at the half. Burton scores just a minute into the second half to give us the two-goal cushion back, Platt adds his second goal late, and that's plenty, as we win, 4-1. Great start to group stage, and our second match against BMG will be a big one.
  3. I actually make one small move at the transfer deadline, bringing in a 23-year-old keeper from Man City, Croatian Damir Komar. I'm just not sure I'm comfortable with a 19-year-old backup, and this guy has good potential. It's a small transfer fee, $425,000, and his signs for $1.5 million. We lose on player to injury during international duty, as third-string attacking midfielder Gary Smyth is out 5-7 weeks. I panic for a moment when I see the note "Smyth injured," thinking it's our keeper Christy Smyth. Sorry Gary, but I'm glad it's you. September 13, 2031 - Premier League: Leicester (2-1-1, 7 pts., 6th) vs. Liverpool (4-0-0, 12 pts., 2nd) Liverpool has started 4-0-0, but they haven't played anyone of quality. This will easily be their toughest match to date. But it will be ours as well. Collectively our two teams have allowed just three goals in our eight total matches, so we may be looking at another 0-0 draw here. But I have a feeling, just a feeling, that we're going to win this game. For a good long while it looks like we will see another scoreless draw. But in the 69th, we get a corner that bounces off a defender and right to Michael Platt, who scores from 30 yards out to give us the 1-0 lead! In the 84th, Meert leads Claudio Navarro with a great pass and the sub scores to put this one away. It's a 2-0 win and our best overall performance of the young season.
  4. August 31, 2031 - Premier League: Leicester (2-0-1, 6 pts., 8th) vs. West Bromwich Albion (0-1-2, 1 pt., 15th) Somehow West Brom's one point in three matches doesn't have them in the bottom three. That's because Bournemouth, Bolton, and shockingly, Everton, each have yet to secure a point. I thought Everton would be competition for us in our quest to finish top six. Maybe not. Either way, we should pick up our third straight win here, then we get to stay home for our next match against a Liverpool team off to a great start. This is the last time in a while that we'll get a full week off after a match, as both the EFL Cup and Euro Cup group stage kick off here in the next couple weeks. This is a frustrating one. West Brom gets no shots on goal, but we only manage four, and we don't put any of them past their keeper. We leave two points out there today by drawing, 0-0.
  5. August 29, 2031 - Euro Cup Group Stage Draw I've won the last three European club competitions I've been in: the 2022 Euro Cup with Roma, and the 2029 and 2030 Champions Cups with Juventus. We're going to have to play a lot better than we did in the qualifying rounds to lift another trophy this year, and I'd say right now that it's a long shot, but our next step is finding out who we'll face in the group stage. We're a third seed, so we're going to face at least one high-quality team, and possibly two. Let's see. I'll go in reverse order this time. We're drawn into Group I, and the first team we'll see is... Dnipro, the third-best team in the Ukrainian League. We also get... SK Rapid Wien, the second-best team in Austria. Finally, the top group in the draw is... BMG, the Bundesliga side that won this competition two years ago. Looking at some of the other groups, this is actually a pretty tough draw. We'll visit Ukraine first, then home for BMG, at Rapid Wien, then back home against them, home against Dnipro, then we close out group stage in Germany.
  6. Five of our players are named in the Team of the Week - Andric, Christy Smyth, van Eijden, Wilding, and Burton. Not a bad week. Also prior to the Euro Cup match, the draw for the EFL Cup Third Round is held. It's not a kind one, as we wind up with a home match against Arsenal, who beat us handily twice last season. August 28, 2031 - Euro Cup Playoff, Second Leg: Leicester vs. Omonoia (Omonoia leads, 1-0) Hopefully tomorrow we'll be involved in another draw - for the Euro Cup Group Stage. I'm still pretty confident this will work out for us, although I can't say I'm too happy to have to play the full first team. We pull even in the 11th minute, as a long pass from Walter Morales finds Wilding, and he waltzes in and scores. It remains 1-0 at the half. In the second half, we have chance after chance, but we either don't take advantage or their keeper makes a quality save. As we hit the final 10 minutes, it certainly looks like extra time or PKs will resolve this. But finally, in the 84th, a cross from van Eijden finds Wilding, who puts it past an out-of-position keeper, and we grab our first lead at 2-1. We're not out of the woods yet, and Omonoia gets one last chance on a free kick from just outside the box in stoppage time, but it sails over the net, and that's it. It's a lot tougher than we thought, but we're on to the group stage!
  7. August 24, 2031 - Premier League: Fulham (0-1-1, 1 pt., 12th) vs. Leicester (1-0-1, 3 pts., 10th) Well, we can't afford another road loss here. Fulham fell to Liverpool in its opener then drew with a West Brom team predicted to fall back to the Championship next year, so they're hardly a team that should threaten us. But we're not playing well, and we've also got the second leg of the Euro Cup in just four days. So these guys get the starting 11, and then we'll see who's fit for the midweek match. It doesn't take long to grab the lead in this one, as Nikola Andric gets the first of what I hope are many assists by setting up Lee Wilding for a nice goal in the third minute. We take the 1-0 lead into the second half, and then Les Burton explodes with three goals - one two minutes into the half, another in the 57th, and a final in the 80th to make it 4-0. Fulham gets one late to ruin the shutout, but this one is our from beginning to end. The win moves us up to 8th, and we need to continue to score goals in the second leg against Omonoia in four days.
  8. August 21, 2031 - Euro Cup Playoff, First Leg: Omonoia vs. Leicester It's my first trip to Cypress, and despite playing a little-known team we certainly can't take them lightly. Still, I feel comfortable playing some backups here, and we will also get Les Burton his first start of the year. I anticipate some away goals and for us to put ourselves in a position where we can coast in the home leg next week. Maybe I didn't take this seriously enough. We actually play to a scoreless first half despite dominating possession. Things turn from distressing to catastrophic in the 63rd, when they get a breakaway and score to take the lead. We lose the match, 1-0, and far from having a walkthrough in the second leg, we'll now have to give these guys our absolute best effort. It has not been the start to this season that I anticipated, or hoped for.
  9. August 16, 2031 - Premier League: Leicester (0-0-1, 0 pts., 16th) vs. Newcastle (1-0-0, 3 pts., 8th) Newcastle beat newly-promoted West Brom, 1-0, in its opener. This team finished just three points back of us last year, and we need a far better performance in our home opener than we had at Middlesbrough. Obviously starting with two losses would cause some real concern. We rebound nicely in this one. We get goals from Meneses and Wilding within a minute in the 16th and 17th, and are up 2-0 at the half. That's all we get, and that's all we need, as we collect a tidy 2-0 victory for our first win of the year. Now it's on to the Euro Cup playoff first leg.
  10. August 10, 2031 - Premier League: Middlesbrough vs. Leicester Middlesbrough finished 12th last year with just 46 points, but they had our number. We drew twice with them in the EPL, and they knocked us out of the FA Cup, so we went 0-1-2 against them. This is the perfect example of a team that we should get more points from this year to push us toward my goal of bumping from 62 to 66 points. I'm targeting three teams to make up those points. We went 0-3-3 against Middlesbrough (two draws), Bournemouth (two losses - grrrrr) and Wolves (draw and loss) last year. If we simply go 3-0-3 against them instead, and just do everything we did last year with the other 16 teams, we're there. Obviously counting wins and losses before the season even starts is a fool's errand, but I can't help it. Anyway, Burton is technically back for this one, but I'm going to wait until our first leg against Omonoia to give him a start and get his legs back. I want three points from this match, so a match-fit Navarro teams with Wilding in the front. Everyone else is healthy and ready to go. We're a Sunday match this week so we get an extra day of rest. I think we've got a quality campaign ahead of us, so let's start Year 2 of my Premier League career! Things get off to a rocky start for us as Middlesbrough scores just seven minutes in. We are completely frustrated for the next 83 minutes, and the game remains 1-0. But in the 92nd, we catch a break as Lee Wilding is fouled for a penalty kick. Michael Platt steps up... and it's saved. Oh man. We lose, 1-0. That... was not a good first performance.
  11. Hey Justin, yeah he looks like he may contribute. I should have added a purchase clause like we had with Meneses last year, but I forgot. This guy has seen literally no action with Everton, which is why I didn't post his stats page. But it's also nice that I don't have to register him. Our own home-grown young talent is really thin, so getting an Under 21 this late in the summer was nice.
  12. August 7, 2031 - Euro Cup Third Qualifying Round, Second Leg: Jablonec vs. Leicester (Leicester leads, 3-0) I feel comfortable starting a number of reserves in this one to build up their fitness for the start of the EPL season. So O'Shea, Pazzaglia, Antonio, Tommy Hickman, and Sabatini all get starts in this second leg. We kick off the league season in just three days against Middlesbrough. We get a goal from Claudio Navarro in the 24th and then call off the dogs, treating this one as a glorified training session. We win 1-0, and we're on the the Euro Cup Playoff, and are just two games from the main draw. The day after the match we learn our next opponent: Cypress club Omonoia. Needless to say, I feel good about advancing to Group Stage. We also get the final piece of our squad for the coming year, as we secure a loan for 20-year-old Everton striker Steve McGreal.
  13. July 31, 2031 - Euro Cup Third Qualifying Round, First Leg: Leicester vs. Jablonec Again, I know nothing about these guys and I expect to put this one away in the first 90 minutes. They got here by beating a team just called B36 from the Faroe Islands in the first round, and St. Johnstone in the second round (1-0 on aggregate). They lost to a Serie B team, Chievo, in a friendly a couple weeks ago. I want a 3-0 win in this home leg. Well, that's the exact score. It takes us a while to break through, but Wilding does so in the 44th right before halftime. Navarro gets one in the 63rd, and Wilding caps it off with his second in the 77th, and we'll head to the Czech Republic with this one firmly in hand.
  14. Leicester City 2031-2032 Season Preview We head into the season hoping to build on our 7th-place finish from a year ago. I think we're a better team than we were three months ago, and certainly a better team than we were 12 months ago. Here's the roster: Goalkeeper - Christy Smyth returns coming off easily the best season of his career. We rate him as a 4.5-star keeper after a ratings boost late last year. He's going to be backed up by a 19-year-old, Daniel Doyle, who's a fantastic prospect. He'll see Under 23s action and sit on the bench for the main squad, only used if Smyth goes down. Defense - No new faces here. van Eijden on the left side, Sam Austin and Mohamed Alaoui in the middle, and Walter Morales on the right. Good, strong backups all around, including Enrico Pazzaglia and the American, Damon Delgado. Center Midfield - I'm starting newcomer and former Juve man Nikola Andric on the left side, with Meert on the right and Cesar Meneses in the middle. I'm far more comfortable with my reserves this year, as O'Shea will see a lot of time, Sabatini is just fine, and the youngster Samir Dali is an emergency option, though one I trust. Attacking Midfielder - Michael Platt returns here, but Jose Antonio will see time as well. Solid here. Forwards - My plan is to pair Burton and Wilding, which was our best duo last season. Navarro will see time, Jones is fourth on the depth chart, and I have a bid in for a loaner as additional backup. I really like this team, particularly its depth. There are two spots - keeper and right back - where I would not be confident if the starter went down. Other than that, I've got two quality options everywhere. Season Expectations Premier League - Board Expectation: Mid-Table; Media Prediction: 14th Euro Cup - Board Expectation: Second Knockout Round FA Cup - Board Expectation: Fifth Round EFL Cup - Board Expectation: Fourth Round So for the domestic cups, I'd like to make the quarterfinals of each, and advance to the final of one of them. But those are so hard to predict. For the Euro Cup, I think the expectation is fair. West Ham made the final of the competition last year, and we're about on par with what they brought. So I'll say yes, second knockout round, and then one round beyond that to the quarters. As for the EPL, I think an improvement over last year is very realistic. So I'm going to say we improve by four points and finish 19-9-10. That will be good enough for fifth, and we get back to Euro Cup without having to go through the qualifying stages. I think we can score a dozen more goals than a year ago, and I'll say we concede five more than last year. That would give us a +16 differential, which is about right for a fifth-place team. I'm excited to get going.
  15. Leicester City Pre-Season Report In the midst of our pre-season in China, we learn who our opponent will be for the Third Qualifying Round of the Euro Cup. We'll get either Scottish side St. Johnstone, or Czech side Jablonec. I will admit to knowing literally nothing about either of these clubs except that we should beat them. We wind up with Jablonec. We play four friendlies in advance of the Euro Cup opener, and we're less than inspiring despite going 2-2-0: Beijing 0, Leicester 2 - An early goal from Meert and a late one from newcomer O'Shea. Shanggang 2, Leicester 2 - We give up a late one for the draw. Yongchang 0, Leicester 1 - We get a late goal from Meert to salvage a dull game. Leicester 1, Celtic 1 - We give up another late one to draw our only home friendly. We've got a bit of a problem heading into the Cup matches next week, as we're without two forwards, Les Burton and John Jones. We have only two forwards on the squad - Lee Wilding and Claudio Navarro. I make a couple loan offers as the season approaches.