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About waynethickett

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  1. January 2021 The month from hell sees us face Liverpool 3 times, twice in the Carabao Cup semi final and once away in the league. We unfortunately lose all three and add another 1-0 defeat away to Man City in the league but we do thump Man City at home as well as picking up some other convincing wins. Transfers in: We purchase Kai Havertz from Bayer 04 for £30M rising to £75 over the next three years. We also sign a player for the youth setup, Miguel Rodriguez from Sevilla. Players Out: Notable departures were David Luiz who we only managed to get £1.2M for, I never asked him to leave he requested the chance to talk to the clubs when the offers came in, but the board are delighted with the finances involved. Martinez requested the chance to leave and joins Galatasaray which is convenient with Donnarumma having joined the club. Rob Holding requested a transfer but rejected Watford's contract offer so remains with the club. Goals this month came from: Nketiah (2), Olmo (2), Gnabry, Edouard (3), Haaland (4), Bailey, Aubameyang, Willock.
  2. December 2020 5 home matches made for a nice December, we concede only three goals as our good run of form continues. 18 games unbeaten conceding only 6 times in that period. we win the Champions League group although a draw in the final match to Kobenhaven does take the shine off a little bit. We progress to the semi finals of the League Cup, one step further than last season but draw Liverpool in the next round. No plain sailing for us. The goals this month came from: Haaland (3), Telles (2), Nketiah, Aubameyang, Nelson (2), Ake, Gnabry and Onguene.
  3. November 2020 Haaland and Ozil boss the first November fixture away at Selhurst Park to Crystal Palace. A late Milivojevic goal means Leno doesn't get a clean sheet but always enjoy an away three points. Another away fixture this time in the Champions League Group Stage to SLB. Serge Gnabry who comes in for Aubameyang who had his worst appearance under the current regime in the match to Crystal Palace, manages to grab both goals to put us two up before again a late lapse in concentration costs Leno a clean sheet. We qualify for the knockout stages with two matches to spare before the tricky tie away to Zebre. A goal in first half stoppage time from new signing Haaland seals the three points. Man United also beat Man City this week who were the last unbeaten side remaining for this season. We then face Zebre away from home, arguably our most difficult fixture in the Champions League so far. Pepe again misses a penalty but we play solidly and limit Zebre to a handful of opportunities. Another goal for Haaland who cannot stop scoring and a second wonder goal of the season from young Dani Olmo grab three points and seal the group stage. We end the month with an away tie to Norwich. We run out winners by three goals with Haaland once again on the scoresheet but it is centre back Jerome Onguene who takes the man of the match and two goals. The league table looks as follows: Haaland wins Player and Young Player of the Month with Onguene finishing third in Young Player of the Month. I somehow only come second in the Manager of the Month to West Ham's Manuel Pellegrini, both having 100% records for the month but West Ham having played one match fewer!!
  4. October 2020 We face last season's league, fa cup and league cup winners Liverpool at home in the next Premier League match, fearing the worst after our last league outing. Goals from Mesut Ozil and Haaland grab us the win and the three points and earn us a surprise victory. We then travel to St Mary's for another away tie this time to Southampton. We secure a 1-0 victory with Hector Bellerin picking up the only goal and his second consecutive man of the match. 1 - 0 to the Arsenal.... the chants ring out round the stadium as we pick up points 7, 8 and 9 in the Champions League with another strike from one of our defenders. The big man Sokratis is making the most of Nathan Ake's injury. Another home tie sees us perform fantastically, we are helped by former Arsenal defender Isaac Hayden being sent off in the first half for two bookable offences but the team perform how we know they can and memories of the Wolves defeat are starting to fade. We drew man City again in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup and again we see them off. Another early red card helps us as new signing Dani Olmo and Eddie Nketiah pick up their first goals of the season to secure the win and progress to the next round where we will face...………… my arch rivals Wolves away from home, can we get revenge?
  5. September 2020 - Kieran Tierney came on as a sub and scored in our next match away to Brighton, Kieran's goal along with a Dunk own goal rescued the victory for us after a fairly mediocre showing by the team. Our next match saw us play one of our most difficult group stage matches in the Champions League at home to Zebre (Juventus). We played fantastically however I was really disappointed we conceded after we looked so solid in the first 76 minutes. Aubameyang played a blinder and picked up 2 goals and Edouard picked up the third goal. Alex tells picked up yet another knock. We then face our North London rivals at home in the Premier League, we play heroically and pick up the three points with a three goal victory. Haaland and Xhaka score either side of the fantastic Pepe who in the words of Owen Hargreaves was unplayable. After convincing wins against Zebre and Spurs I thought a home tie to League 1 Wigan would be a walkover. We fielded a vastly changed side and handed debuts to goalkeeper Karl Jakob Hein as Martinez was injured, Left back Zak Swanson and left winger Ben Cottrell. A rather boring affair exploded into life late on when substitute Erling Haaland had a goal ruled out due to offside and then with pretty much the last kick of the game Sokratis volleyed home a thunderous volley from the edge of the area to grab a 94th minute win. We then take the away trip to Wolves, a team we could not beat last season and unfortunately for the travelling fans three first half goals resign us to defeat and the unbeaten season is once more gone before the end of September. A woeful performance. We then play our first away match of the Champions League and face Kobenhaven. Goals from Aubameyang and Pepe seal the win and the three points. Some good results this month, we have also shared the goals a little among the team, but the 3-0 away defeat to Wolves has been really disheartening. We go in for two players who hand in transfer requests. The scouting reports rated these two highly and certainly one of them looks to strengthen an area previously highlighted: Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma will join us in January from Milan for £20M up front with the potential to raise to £68M. Winger Leon Bailey will join from Bayer 04 for a fee of £46.5M.
  6. August 2020: We face West Ham at the London Stadium in the opening fixture of the season. We continue the trend of missing penalties as Pepe has a tame effort saved. Fortunately it doesn't affect the outcome as goals from Aubameyang and Willock secure the win. We then face Aston Villa at home and new signing Nathan Ake accompanies Aubameyang. on the scoresheet and we pick up another 3 points. Our second away fixture of the month sees us take the trip to Turf Moor and we fail to pick up the three points. Idrissa Doumbia scored and was sent off inside the first 20 minutes. Our ten men hold on valiantly but a late goal sees us draw 2 -2. We entertain Man United at the Emirates for the final match of the month. A hat trick for new boy Haaland, with a third of the month added by Aubameyang and young Reiss Nelson putting the cherry on the cake to secure a 5 - 2 victory. United new boy Golovin scored and was sent off and former Gooner Lacazette didn't even make the matchday squad. Joe Willock earns himself the young player of the month award and Haaland places second. An unbeaten month, a good start.
  7. Pre-Season 20/21: We play 5 pre-season friendlies, in the latter three trialling a 5 at the back in an attempt to find a defensive formation to face Liverpool with in the Community Shield. We win all five of our matches with goals from Onguene (2), Nketiah (2), Bellerin (3), Pepe, Haaland (2), Luiz, Aubameyang and Ozil. Some good showing from the younger players there. Up front our main issue is going to be who to select. The matches we played with 5 at the back against Valencia, Porto and Genoa we face 1 shot in total and only concede a David Luiz own goal throughout the whole of pre-season. A positive warm up. We face the all conquering Liverpool in the Community Shield, our reward for being the league's second placed team last year. Liverpool have lost both Salah and Firmino to Real Madrid for £129M each, however they have also dipped into the transfer market with Harry Kane and Paulo Dybala the more than able replacements. New signings Dybala and Haaland get on the scoresheet and Mane seals the win for Liverpool. In all honesty we changed formation after Liverpool's second, perhaps prematurely as we panicked a little bit. Hopefully this is the last defeat of the season.
  8. Pre-season 20/21 Last season may have ended in disappointment but certainly where the league is concerned we were close, breaking the records point total for the club. We lost 5 matches in the league so for our target of going unbeaten we hopefully don't have too far to go. Looking at the squad there are some areas to improve: Goalkeepers: Leno finished second in the goalkeeper of the year with 18 clean sheets, however our second choice Martinez picked up 11 in only 14 matches. I see this goalkeeping duo as ok for the time being but we will keep our eyes open for a good deal going forward, I don't see Martinez as ever being our number 1. Defenders: Theophile Catherine was brought in at the start of last season due to injuries to Holding and Bellerin and was a short term fix, as one of the oldest in the squad he is sold for £10M which is more than double what we paid for him a year ago. Maitland-Niles moved to Wolves for £17M which left Chambers as our only back up to Bellerin at right back. Like Maitland-Niles I see him as a good backup to several roles but someone who is not going to put pressure on first team players to improve. Because of this we allow him to join Everton for a fee of £15.25M. Midfield: I have a significant number of midfielders and at the moment none of them are doing too much wrong. Dani Ceballos' loan deal is ended though and we will not be opting to purchase him outright. However I am wanting to look for some back up for Mesut Ozil, who has maybe a season left in him before I try to offload him. Attack: With Nketiah coming back from loan, Auba and Edouard performing so well I have decided to offload Lacazette much to his disappointment. We reject a few season loan offers and eventually accept a deal from Man United worth £60 million rising to £73 million after 30 appearances. Martinelli, Saka, Mavropanos and Saliba all go back out on loan for another season. Signings: With our three right back cover options leaving we scour the market for an option, I see Bellerin as first choice so end up walking away from several deals where the potential signing see themselves as first choice. We end up bringing in Achraf Hakimi on loan from Real Madrid much to the delight of the board. Although we have four centre backs with experience in I am looking a little to the future and am concerned about Sokratis' injury record and David Luiz's injury record and erratic form. We opt to bring in Nathan Ake for £39.5M, we try to offload Holding but he rejects several offers from those who come in for him. We sign the young Dani Olmo from Dinamo for £25.5 million as Ozil's back up and long term successor in a transfer which riles Joe Willock, rather than sell Willock I try to challenge him to force his way in, although I will probably play Joe alongside my defensive minded midfielder. I still have lots of money to spend and decide to be a little daft and buy two players who will occupy spaces I have ample options for. First in is Serge Gnabry from Bayern for a fee of £60M and then based on a 100% recommendation to sign and the fact a fellow challenger was bidding we buy Erling Haaland from RB Salzburg for £24.5M. We have made £125M and spent £150M. This has left us with in excess of £80M still in the bank that we opt not to spend.
  9. May 2020: We start the final month of the season with an outstanding performance against our derby rivals. Fantastic performances from Pepe and Edouard help secure the victory. Unfortunately Bellerin picked up an injury ruling him out of at least the next match, the second leg of the semi final. When the ref blew for a penalty inside of a minute the fans could dare to dream. Unfortunately after peppering the Lazio goal early on they score an equaliser in the 15th minute and from then on very little happened no matter how attacking we changed it up to. We drop out in the semi-finals, our exciting season ends with no silverware. Alex Telles picked up an injury in the first half and we maybe push for something to happen a little too soon giving United the chance to score on the counter, after this it was all uphill and the disappointing end to the season continues. A missed penalty and an injury to Pepe could not stop us from picking up a home win in the last match of the season. We end the season with 91 points a club record. Aubameyang picks up the fans player of the year, Pepe came second but picked up the young player of the year. The top three scorers of the Premier League were: The top goalkeepers in the Premier League were: The Premier League team of the season is made up of Liverpool and Arsenal players and is finished off by Luke Shaw of Man United. Lets hope next season is not so Liverpool heavy...... Edouard wins the Europa League player of the season and young Reiss Nelson comes second and Sokratis joins Edouard in the squad of the season. Whilst in the Championship Eddie Nketiah wins the Young Player of the Year.
  10. April 2020 Part 2: We draw in a disappointing 0-0 with Norwich City at the Emirates. We have a mountain to climb now if we have any chance at the league. We follow up the disappointing Norwich result with arguably one of the performances of the season. Nelson and Doumbia's first of the season seal a 2 - 0 victory at the Etihad. Pepe picked up a little injury which we could do without in the closing stages of the season. An early Sokratis red card reduced us to ten men and saw him pick up a three match ban so will miss the remainder of the domestic season. We could not do enough and lost more or less handing the lead to the ever impressive Liverpool. Lacazette was intended to be offloaded at the end of the season after an average season and a very bright season for Eddie Nketiah who will return at the end of the season, however in the dying moments he picked up a broken ankle which may have put paid to that. We perform very averagely and lose in Rome to Lazio, we have a mountain to climb in the second leg and 1 win in 4 matches does not make for a positive end to April. Disappointing is not the word after a season of such promise.
  11. Thanks, I have to say it certainly wasnt expected. I am relying on a lot of luck , with the run ins as they are Liverpool should win the domestic treble.
  12. April 2020 Part One: We win our first match of the month with ease, unfortunately so do Liverpool. Aubameyang picks up a hat trick and is aiming to be the golden boot for this season. I have one eye on Lacazette moving on in the summer as he has been rather disappointing this season, Aubameyang has moved into the striker role, with some of the younger players intended to pick up the role on the left. Another clean sheet and another 3 points. In truth Southampton were well in this match, had it not been for a solid Pepe performance we may have struggled to get anything as everyone else was average at best. The first leg of the Europa League Quarter final saw us face Roma at home. We played really well and three late goals in the match (2 for Aubameyang, 1 for Roma) made the scoreline look more impressive but it was an all round battling team performance which made the trip to Rome later in the month a little more relaxed. We score early to in the next match away to Sheff United. That was where the goals ended, Sheff United played well but have scored the least in the league. We are trying to play a consistent team recently and it appears to be paying off with 7 wins in the last 8 matches. We go to the Stadio Olimpico and not only manage to progress to the Semi Final but do so with a 2 - 0 victory, that man Pepe scores his 13th goal of the season. A tie with Eindhoven or Lazio awaits in the Semis. Three matches remain in the league this month including away trips to City and Wolves followed by the first leg of the semi-final. Currently the league table and the top scorers list look as follows: Liverpool's 15 goal advantage on the goal difference makes it difficult for us to do anything about it in 6 matches. Amazingly we can finish with 99 points and finish second due to goal difference. Although included in our remaining 6 fixtures we face: Norwich (H), Man City (A), Wolves (A), Tottenham (H), Man United (A), Palace (H). Liverpool have the easier run in and having been dumped out of the Champions League by Barca won't have the distraction of Europe. With achieving the clubs goals of qualifying for the Champions League and challenging for the Premier League three years ahead of schedule I was rewarded with a three year contract.
  13. March 2020: We play Villa for the second time in three matches, this time on the FA cup. Balogun made another appearance from the bench and quickly scored but this was ruled out by VAR. Lacazette finally managed to score what looked like the winner late into the match but unfortunately McGinn scored a screamer with the last kick of the game and we had to go to penalties (flashbacks of the Everton League Cup match all over again). We go through winning on penalties despite David Luiz missing the first penalty. We come back from behind twice away to Leicester but cannot grab the winner which means we hand the initiative back to Liverpool as we drop two important points, their superior goal difference is going to be difficult to catch. A potentially tricky tie away to Lokomotiv Moscow in the Europa League 2nd Knockout round was dispatched with ease. Goals from Sokratis, Ozil, Willock, Edouard and Aubameyang see us take an away 6 goal lead back to the Emirates. We come back to the Premier League with a bang, Sokratis, Aubameyang and Edouard again get on the scoresheet with Xhaka and Nelson picking up the rest of the haul. We put a small dent in the goal difference. Lokomotiv Moscow get off to a fantastic start scoring within the first 5 minutes but we patiently worked our way into the match and score 3 to run out 9 - 1 winners on aggregate. The next and final match of the month saw us play in the 6th Round of the FA cup. Unfortunately we are drawn against Liverpool who are currently top of the league on goal difference, have won the League Cup already. We take the lead through Aubameyang and play fantastically until Jordan Henderson scores a screamer midway through the second half. The match plods on and extra time is required, we again take the lead and are immediately pegged back. Trent-Alexander scores in stoppage time of the first half, we again drop out of cup competition to Liverpool based opposition. We also lose Alex Telles and Edouard to injury. We end the month 2nd in the league, we have been dumped out of the FA Cup and we progress to play Roma in the Quarter Finals of the Europa League.
  14. February 2020 Part 2: We face Aston Villa at home and scrape a 1 - 0 victory. Alex Telles is proving to be an inspired signing so far this season, he is putting in some very dominant displays. Transfers: We receive an offer for Sokratis from DL Yifang and with Saliba joining from his loan leave at the end of the season we almost opt to sell but during negotiations they come back with an offer below what was wanted and it is non-negotiable so the deal is off. Later that afternoon an offer comes in for Sead Kolasinac again from DL Yifang, Kolasinac has performed decently this season but he is third in the pecking order following Tierney's arrival so after some negotiating we sell him for a record fee received of £35.5M. We also choose to offload Maitland-Niles, I like Ainsley he is a jack of all trades but unfortunately master of none. He moves to Wolves at the end of the season for £17M. Elneny has agreed to join Guangzhou on a free at the end of his contract so like Mkhitaryan (Roma - £22.5M) will not return to the club at the end of the current loan deal. We win the second leg by the same scoreline as the first. Saka and Sokratis (evidently wanting to thank us for not moving him on) both get on the scoreline before young Balogun in his second substitute appearance scored his second goal of the season, this lad is a goal machine in the youth matches and looks to be transferring that to the senior team when called upon. Liverpool only manage a draw with Aston Villa and like us face defeat to the hands of Chelsea which puts us 5 clear at the end of February and Liverpool down to the one match in hand. We are performing above expectations and look well on course to meet the expectation of finishing top four. We are also still in the FA cup and Europa League.
  15. February 2020 Part 1 We start the month with a trip across London to face Chelsea. After a poor first half we get a goal back but fail to get the necessary second. The first red card of the season is handed to Xhaka. A 2-1 defeat to Chelsea puts the league back into Liverpools hands. Substitute Pepe put in an outstanding performance grabbing two goals deep into the second half to seal an away win at Turf Moor. Frustrating to concede with one of only two shots on target faced. An Edouard hat trick sees us run out winners in the first leg of the Europa League knockout stages against loanee Saliba's St Etienne. More notably David Luiz who was very dependable earlier in the season has now been highlighted as the worse player on the pitch in two of the last three matches. It may be time to start evaluating the players we need for next season and trying to identify who needs moving on.
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