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git2thachoppa

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About git2thachoppa

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    MU/B&HA/Iran...England(?)

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    Valenciennes - FM 2007 (see my story thread)

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  1. 2020/21 - Domestic Football Recap Selected Transfers Peter Volk (26, German, MR/AMR) - Real Betis to Inter Milan - £42m Georgi Ivanov (27, Bulgarian, DC/DM/MC) - Liverpool to Real Betis - £26.5m Alexandre García Munoz (27, Mexican/Colombian, MR/L/AMR/L) - Chivas to Barcelona - £25.5m Arben Gashi (26, Albanian, MC) - Chelsea to AC Milan - £24m Babis Papadopoulos (25, Greek, ML/AML) - Man City to Inter Milan - £20.5m Alexander Jansen (27, Dutch, DL) - Bayern Munich to Chelsea - £19.5m The transfer of Volk is the first to be over £40m since Zidane's record transfer fee, and the 5th to be over £30m (all 5 of which were paid by Inter Milan, as the world's richest club look to keep their grip on Europe). Awards New names made up the top 3 for World Player of the Year. Palermo's Czech striker Svozil was the winner, followed by American striker Rob Roberts of Borussia Dortmund, then England and Man City attacker Jones. Last year's World Player of the Year was this year's Ballon d'Or European Footballer of the Year: Arsenal and Mexico's Carlos Vela for the 3rd time. Real Madrid and Argentina's Gonzalo Higuaín and Man Utd's Colombian striker Lara were 2nd and 3rd. European Cups Arise Sir Steve McClaren. For 11 years, the best England manager since Bobby Robson did what Sir Bobby couldn't at club level too, after taking his country to a final. He has taken Newcastle United from a midtable side to the challengers to Arsenal's throne, winning 2 titles before this double of Champions League and Premier League. The final in Milan saw the Geordies brush aside 10-man Arsenal 2-1, who went down to 9 through injury in the last 10 minutes. A knighthood awaits. The semi-finals saw a surprise team in Hertha BSC, managed by Jurgen Kohler, who only reached the group stage over a decade ago and the UEFA Cup semis last season. After winning La Decima, Real Madrid lost in the first knockout round to Hamburg SV. Norwegian side Lyn had a dream run to the knockout rounds under Arne Erlandsen. After reaching the group stage by beating Benfica on away goals, they finished above PSV in the group stage before being knocked out by Atlético Madrid. David Moyes had taken Bayern Munich to a Champions League final before winning it the next year, but they've now been knocked out at the group stage twice in 3 seasons, losing out to Real Betis and Hearts. Mourinho's Chelsea didn't even make the group stage after being beaten by Hapoel Tel-Aviv. Rafa Benitez' Palermo won their first European trophy after being Napoli in an exciting Uefa Cup final. A 1-1 draw became 2-2 after extra time, before a 3-2 win on penalties. England Premier League As mentioned earlier, Newcastle won the Premier League. But Michael Laudrup's Arsenal finished outside the top 2 for the first time in 6 years, finishing 4th. Preston had another best finish. They had finished 7th and qualified for Europe a few years ago under Frank Lampard, before quickly sacking him. Two 14th place finishes under Sammy Lee was followed by a 5th place finish this year. Phil Brown's West Ham had their best finish since 1999, finishing 6th. 13 years at Manchester United ended after Roy Keane ran out of chances. After a bumpy start, the board kept faith and were rewarded with erratic finishes, but also 1 Premier League title, 4 F.A. Cups, 1 UEFA Cup, 1 League Cup, and a Champions League final and 3 more semis. But a group stage Champions League exit and a 7th placed finish (their 4th finish outside the top 4 since winning the title 6 years ago) meant it was time for change. His replacement is Gladbach manager and former Arsenal coach and Leicester manager Neil Banfield. Meanwhile at Liverpool, fans were ecstatic when Steven Gerrard finished his apprenticeship at the club to become manager. 20 years as a player was followed by 3 years as assistant manager... and only 8 months as manager, as he was unceremoniously sacked in January due to, can you believe it, losing player confidence. Frank Lampard was yet another 00s legend who got the sack, and once again quick and mind-boggling. After being sacked by Preston just months after taking them to Europe, he was sacked by Sheffield United months after steering them away from relegation due to the new chairman wanting his own man, Carlos Bracamontes. A last minute goal by Southampton at Hull meant Leeds United survived their first season finally back in the Premier League. Tottenham were relegated in 19th in only their second season back, and risk becoming a yo-yo club. Yo-yo club Bolton only got 19 points as they finished bottom, the worst finish since Sheffield Wednesday failed to get a win in 2012/13. The gap between Premier League and Championship continues to be wide. English players out-performed the foreigners this season, and there are hopes of more caps being given and a chance for trophies in the next 3 years for England. F.A. Cup Man City won their second F.A. Cup in 3 years, beating Preston 1-0. Cup specialists Coventry and Treble-chasing Newcastle were knocked out in the semis. Football League and Non-League Peter Beardsley took Everton into the Premier League at the first time of asking, winning the Championship title as well. After taking charge of Standard Liege and then Rangers, Zhou Chen took charge of Norwich to become the first Chinese and Asian manager in England (probably). He's probably the first Chinese and Asian manager everywhere he goes. Tony Mowbray was sacked in February, after taking Aldershot Town from League One to 2 Championship playoff finishes in a row, with the team now in the relegation zone. They didn't improve under John Carver and were relegated to League One few months later. Derby County were relegated to the third tier for the first time since the 80s. Sunderland sacked Chris Waddle after only a few months, with the relegated League One side flirting with another relegation. Bournemouth will be playing non-league football next season, for the first time since the 50s. Sutton United won the Conference title to make their Football League debut next season. Wycombe legend Keith 'Rhyno' Ryan oversaw his club getting relegated from the Conference. Jonathan Woodgate's first half-season in charge of Nuneaton saw the Conference North side win their first ever F.A. Trophy. His first full season in charge saw them win the title and promotion back to the Conference. Spain Perennial runner-ups (8 in 13 seasons) Atlético Madrid, still managed by Abel Resino since 2008, finally won their first title in 9 years. Stuart Pearce's Sevilla took 2nd. Defending champions Real Madrid faltered and dropped to 3rd. Italy José Manuel de la Torre's AC Milan won the city of Milan's 14 title in a row by 10 points, 22 points ahead of any non-Milanese club. Scotland Defending champions Hearts played at surprise challengers Motherwell to decide the title. Gary McAllister's Motherwell took the lead but Craig Levein's Hearts broke Motherwell's with 3 goals to win their 4th title in 6 seasons. Celtic did no better under Dan Petrescu, finishing 6th again. Belgium Brugge officially has a new #1 club. With the big 3 of Anderlecht, Club Brugge and Genk no more, FC Brussels threatened to be a Big 1. But after Royal Antwerp's win in 2018 briefly broke the monotony, Cercle Brugge won the title this year, their first in 90 years. Royal Antwerp were relegated. Switzerland The Swiss elite were completely blown apart. Basel's grip on the league was loosened after 9 titles in a row (and 17 in 20 years). St. Gallen won the title for the first time since 1999, 1 point ahead of 2nd-placed Basel. Luzern, runner-up for 5 seasons in a row, thus finished 3rd. Young Boys are repeating themselves, as the replacement of my replacement, Brazilian Croatian Eduardo, was sacked during the winter break with team flirting with relegation just like his 3 predecessors. They were steered to safety by his replacement, as usual, but new coach Yuriy Maxymov might want to turn his phone off next winter. The Liverpool of Switzerland, Grasshopper, shockingly finished bottom and were relegated. France After the shocking relevation of match fixing and corruption that lead to Valenciennes and nearly Marseille being relegated, it was almost the perfect story of karma as Valenciennes stormed to the Ligue 2 title. But on the final day, Claude Puel's Lyon got the win they needed to beat Marseille to the Ligue 1 title.
  2. Thank you sirs. 2020/21 - Domestic Football Recap Selected Transfers Peter Volk (26, German, MR/AMR) - Real Betis to Inter Milan - £42m Georgi Ivanov (27, Bulgarian, DC/DM/MC) - Liverpool to Real Betis - £26.5m Alexandre García Munoz (27, Mexican/Colombian, MR/L/AMR/L) - Chivas to Barcelona - £25.5m Arben Gashi (26, Albanian, MC) - Chelsea to AC Milan - £24m Babis Papadopoulos (25, Greek, ML/AML) - Man City to Inter Milan - £20.5m Alexander Jansen (27, Dutch, DL) - Bayern Munich to Chelsea - £19.5m The transfer of Volk is the first to be over £40m since Zidane's record transfer fee, and the 5th to be over £30m (all 5 of which were paid by Inter Milan, as the world's richest club look to keep their grip on Europe). Awards New names made up the top 3 for World Player of the Year. Palermo's Czech striker Svozil was the winner, followed by American striker Rob Roberts of Borussia Dortmund, then England and Man City attacker Jones. Last year's World Player of the Year was this year's Ballon d'Or European Footballer of the Year: Arsenal and Mexico's Carlos Vela for the 3rd time. Real Madrid and Argentina's Gonzalo Higuaín and Man Utd's Colombian striker Lara were 2nd and 3rd. European Cups Arise Sir Steve McClaren. For 11 years, the best England manager since Bobby Robson did what Sir Bobby couldn't at club level too, after taking his country to a final. He has taken Newcastle United from a midtable side to the challengers to Arsenal's throne, winning 2 titles before this double of Champions League and Premier League. The final in Milan saw the Geordies brush aside 10-man Arsenal 2-1, who went down to 9 through injury in the last 10 minutes. A knighthood awaits. The semi-finals saw a surprise team in Hertha BSC, managed by Jurgen Kohler, who only reached the group stage over a decade ago and the UEFA Cup semis last season. After winning La Decima, Real Madrid lost in the first knockout round to Hamburg SV. Norwegian side Lyn had a dream run to the knockout rounds under Arne Erlandsen. After reaching the group stage by beating Benfica on away goals, they finished above PSV in the group stage before being knocked out by Atlético Madrid. David Moyes had taken Bayern Munich to a Champions League final before winning it the next year, but they've now been knocked out at the group stage twice in 3 seasons, losing out to Real Betis and Hearts. Mourinho's Chelsea didn't even make the group stage after being beaten by Hapoel Tel-Aviv. Rafa Benitez' Palermo won their first European trophy after being Napoli in an exciting Uefa Cup final. A 1-1 draw became 2-2 after extra time, before a 3-2 win on penalties. England Premier League As mentioned earlier, Newcastle won the Premier League. But Michael Laudrup's Arsenal finished outside the top 2 for the first time in 6 years, finishing 4th. Preston had another best finish. They had finished 7th and qualified for Europe a few years ago under Frank Lampard, before quickly sacking him. Two 14th place finishes under Sammy Lee was followed by a 5th place finish this year. Phil Brown's West Ham had their best finish since 1999, finishing 6th. 13 years at Manchester United ended after Roy Keane ran out of chances. After a bumpy start, the board kept faith and were rewarded with erratic finishes, but also 1 Premier League title, 4 F.A. Cups, 1 UEFA Cup, 1 League Cup, and a Champions League final and 3 more semis. But a group stage Champions League exit and a 7th placed finish (their 4th finish outside the top 4 since winning the title 6 years ago) meant it was time for change. His replacement is Gladbach manager and former Arsenal coach and Leicester manager Neil Banfield. Meanwhile at Liverpool, fans were ecstatic when Steven Gerrard finished his apprenticeship at the club to become manager. 20 years as a player was followed by 3 years as assistant manager... and only 8 months as manager, as he was unceremoniously sacked in January due to, can you believe it, losing player confidence. Frank Lampard was yet another 00s legend who got the sack, and once again quick and mind-boggling. After being sacked by Preston just months after taking them to Europe, he was sacked by Sheffield United months after steering them away from relegation due to the new chairman wanting his own man, Carlos Bracamontes. A last minute goal by Southampton at Hull meant Leeds United survived their first season finally back in the Premier League. Tottenham were relegated in 19th in only their second season back, and risk becoming a yo-yo club. Yo-yo club Bolton only got 19 points as they finished bottom, the worst finish since Sheffield Wednesday failed to get a win in 2012/13. The gap between Premier League and Championship continues to be wide. English players out-performed the foreigners this season, and there are hopes of more caps being given and a chance for trophies in the next 3 years for England. F.A. Cup Man City won their second F.A. Cup in 3 years, beating Preston 1-0. Cup specialists Coventry and Treble-chasing Newcastle were knocked out in the semis. Football League and Non-League Peter Beardsley took Everton into the Premier League at the first time of asking, winning the Championship title as well. After taking charge of Standard Liege and then Rangers, Zhou Chen took charge of Norwich to become the first Chinese and Asian manager in England (probably). He's probably the first Chinese and Asian manager everywhere he goes. Tony Mowbray was sacked in February, after taking Aldershot Town from League One to 2 Championship playoff finishes in a row, with the team now in the relegation zone. They didn't improve under John Carver and were relegated to League One few months later. Derby County were relegated to the third tier for the first time since the 80s. Sunderland sacked Chris Waddle after only a few months, with the relegated League One side flirting with another relegation. Bournemouth will be playing non-league football next season, for the first time since the 50s. Sutton United won the Conference title to make their Football League debut next season. Wycombe legend Keith 'Rhyno' Ryan oversaw his club getting relegated from the Conference. Jonathan Woodgate's first half-season in charge of Nuneaton saw the Conference North side win their first ever F.A. Trophy. His first full season in charge saw them win the title and promotion back to the Conference. Spain Perennial runner-ups (8 in 13 seasons) Atlético Madrid, still managed by Abel Resino since 2008, finally won their first title in 9 years. Stuart Pearce's Sevilla took 2nd. Defending champions Real Madrid faltered and dropped to 3rd. Italy José Manuel de la Torre's AC Milan won the city of Milan's 14 title in a row by 10 points, 22 points ahead of any non-Milanese club. Scotland Defending champions Hearts played at surprise challengers Motherwell to decide the title. Gary McAllister's Motherwell took the lead but Craig Levein's Hearts broke Motherwell's with 3 goals to win their 4th title in 6 seasons. Celtic did no better under Dan Petrescu, finishing 6th again. Belgium Brugge officially has a new #1 club. With the big 3 of Anderlecht, Club Brugge and Genk no more, FC Brussels threatened to be a Big 1. But after Royal Antwerp's win in 2018 briefly broke the monotony, Cercle Brugge won the title this year, their first in 90 years. Royal Antwerp were relegated. Switzerland The Swiss elite were completely blown apart. Basel's grip on the league was loosened after 9 titles in a row (and 17 in 20 years). St. Gallen won the title for the first time since 1999, 1 point ahead of 2nd-placed Basel. Luzern, runner-up for 5 seasons in a row, thus finished 3rd. Young Boys are repeating themselves, as the replacement of my replacement, Brazilian Croatian Eduardo, was sacked during the winter break with team flirting with relegation just like his 3 predecessors. They were steered to safety by his replacement, as usual, but new coach Yuriy Maxymov might want to turn his phone off next winter. The Liverpool of Switzerland, Grasshopper, shockingly finished bottom and were relegated. France After the shocking relevation of match fixing and corruption that lead to Valenciennes and nearly Marseille being relegated, it was almost the perfect story of karma as Valenciennes stormed to the Ligue 2 title. But on the final day, Claude Puel's Lyon got the win they needed to beat Marseille to the Ligue 1 title.
  3. FMS Community Thread / Episode VII / Goalfinger

    I thought that was a song by The Prodigy.
  4. FM Careers Forum Discussion

    Club name of the day: Ben Hur from Argentina
  5. FMS Community Thread / Episode VII / Goalfinger

    Club name of the day: Ben Hur from Argentina
  6. Valenciennes 2020/21 - A Season Off July to August 2020 - Same Old **** Results League Record: P6 W3 D2 L1 F6 A4 GD+2 CS3 PTS11, Pos: 6/20 Our season started worryingly with a loss away to a small team, despite completely dominating, followed by a home draw and still 0 goals. Even our first win (which saw me pick Babovic for the first time, and him get 2 assists) saw a new signing getting injured after 30 minutes, the goals only coming from set pieces, no threat from us from open play and only winning because of Sedan's incredibly wasteful finishing. It was déja vu. With 2 more players getting injured in the next game, including another big new signing, I toned down training a little more. If the injuries continued, especially to last season's levels, I would've considered cancelling training completely. But it was never a problem again. 1 problem solved. A second XI was played in the toughest cup game possible, away to the team predicted 1st in Ligue 2. But the second XI played a perfect game. And no injuries! I was a victim of deadline day drama as our best player Mansour was sold. But with a tighter foreigner limit in the league, and with foreign attackers needed more in the team, he wouldn't have played a lot anyway. We tried to use the money to rush through the signing of a Serie A striker, but we were minutes too late. Though we didn't try to sign him again. Things were improving results-wise if nothing else. It looked like even if we continued the bad luck of last season, the much lower quality in Ligue 2 meant we could still come back and pick up points and finish in a good position, hopefully at least competing for automatic promotion... ====================================================================== September to December 2020 - Title Wrapped Up By November Results League Record: P16 W11 D5 L0 F29 A7 GD+22 CS9 PTS38 League Place: 1/20, P22 PTS49 Suddenly, the juggernaut was in full motion, going on a record undefeated streak from our opening day loss into the winter break, only failing to score in 2 games, a mean 7 goals conceded in 16 games, including 7 clean sheets during an 8-game streak, and scoring 3 or more goals in 7 games. With the teams below taking point off each other, we stretched to an incredible lead. By the end of the year, we were 10 points ahead of 2nd and 3rd for the title, and 16 ahead of 4th for promotion. With such dominance, I could concentrate on the cups, resting players in league games a few days before. Despite being in Ligue 2, we had a chance of European football by reaching a final or winning, which we could do on any day. We stayed in the Coupe de France, and were knocked out of the Coupe de la Ligue but only in the last minute away to a Ligue 1 side, and only thanks to a rare poor goalkeeping performance from Guimard. We would've won 2 - 0 otherwise. It's alright. In the next match he got a 10/10 rating. I got a couple of international job offers from Venezuela and Angola, but there was no chance I was going anywhere this season now. Alex achieved a Goal of the Month award for his late winner against Brest, a shot rifled into the side of the goal from the D, at the end of some one-touch passing. And I was named Ligue 2 Manager of the Year for 2020. My first award since Varese 12.5 years ago. Promotion and the title was near-certain, but bigger mid-season points gaps have disappeared in the past. I always told the players not to assume it's won already, and that it's better to do the work now, then we can have the last month or two off. The last step to the trophy was to continue January as we ended December. If our form isn't lost, the title is ours. ====================================================================== January 2021 to May 2021 - Easing Off Results League Record: P16 W8 D7 L1 F26 A12 GD+14 CS6 PTS31 Season League Record: P38 W22 D14 L2 F61 A23 CS18 PTS 80 The first match back was a bit of a disaster. We only beat a relegation-fighting Ligue 2 side after extra time. With an offside goal, despite 22 shots (most off target), 31 free kicks and 10 corners. The match also cost 4 players: the star right-winger Ljajic and centre-back Noto with suspension, and midfielder Scotto and defender Travers for a few weeks with injuries. I played even weaker sides in matches that came before cup games, no matter how many days rest there was. So the cameras watched us lose our first and only game since the opening day with a mostly second-string side, including an Under-18 player. Had we not lost on the opening day, I might've played a strong side to try and play a whole season unbeaten. It was clear the title was ours. Although our form had dropped a little and our defence lost its mean streak, it wasn't enough to stop us outscoring everyone, getting points, goals and clean sheets as another unbeaten run started. Meanwhile, our cup runs showed that we should be fine in Ligue 1, easily knocking out a Ligue 1 side despite being a goal behind and a man down for nearly the whole game, as well as scoring well in 3-2 losses away to two others. Being knocked out of our second cup at the end of January had a silver lining. I could now get rid of some players who weren't going to be in our Ligue 1 squad next season, rather than keep them for the cup. I sold the disappointing van der Heijden to Ajax as well as Antonio on deadline day, bringing in a couple of old strikers free as effectively trials. One, Marcelo Martins Moreno (who you may know as the Bolivian-Brazilian who took a team photo with the Brazilians) would stay for next season as a backup after 5 goals and 1 assist in 2 games. A busy transfer window saw 4 players leave for over £3.5m and 3 join for £35,000 (which was just a tribunal fee). I even tried to loan Messi. He said no, but if you don't ask you don't get. But another Barcelona legend did join us. An overhaul of the staff saw a new assistant manager as well as Andrés Iniesta taking his first coaching role after spending his whole playing career at Barcelona. Of course, he'll be the ball control/technique coach. The teams below dropping points every week meant, despite a spell of 5 draws in a row, promotion was officially confirmed with 5 games to spare and the title with 4. In the end we won the title by 19 points, with over double everyone else's goal difference. Final Ligue 2 Table 1 - Valenciennes - 80 (Champions) 2 - Bastia - 61 3 - Brest - 59 (Final promotion place) ------------------------------------------------------ 4 - Beauvais - 57 Every Record That Was Smashed And Crazy Stats 80 points - Club and Ligue 2 Record - Most points in a season (even if earlier seasons were 3 points for a win instead of 2, at least in the club's case) 22 games won - Club Record - Most games won in a season 2 losses - Club Record - Least amount of losses in a league season 14-game unbeaten streak in all competitions - Club Record - Longest unbeaten streak in all competitons 22-games unbeaten streak in Ligue 2 - Club and Ligue 2 Record - Longest unbeaten streak in Ligue 2 20 goals (Alex (ST)) - Club Record - Most goals in a season 21 assists (Babovic (AMC)) - Club Record - Most assists in a season 14 league assists (Babovic (AMC)) - Tied Ligue 2 Record - Most assists in a season (held also by Edgar Manucharyan from Ajaccio's 2007/08 season). Average rating of 7.48 (Bokoto (CM)) - Club Record - Highest average rating in a season £6.5m (Boudib (DL) to Visé (Belgium)) - Club Record - Biggest transfer fee received (also Visé's record fee) £16.5m - Club Record - Highest total received in transfer fees in a season £14.5m - Club Record - Highest net transfer profit in a season 17 of our goals were assisted by free kicks, 2nd place was 10 goals. Noto (DC) had the highest pass percentage in Ligue 2 - 83% Fekih (ML) had the most dribbles per game in Ligue 2 - 3.57 Bokoto's (CM) club-record average rating of 7.43 is the best average rating in Ligue 2 Our game away to 18th placed Niort was the lowest attendance of the season. The Niort fans didn't want to see their team destroyed, but would've seen their team win a point had they come. Also, Libourne St-Seurin dropped down the table while failing to win their last 21 games, with no wins since November. They finished 19th. Ligue 2 Awards Manager of the Season: Me Manager of the Year (2020): Me Players' Player of the Season: Ljajic (MR/L) Goalkeeper of the Season: Guimard Most Promising Player: Alex Team of the Season included Guimard (GK), Monti (D/WB/ML), Ljajic MR/L and Babovic (AMC) with Alex (ST) on the 'bench' Alex was named the Ligue 2 signing of the season in the season review as well as the Valenciennes Fans' Player of the Year. The £4.6m-rated 21-year-old was signed for £0 and provided 14 league goals in 24(3) games (plus 6 in 5 cup games). My Future The club offered me a new contract, perhaps more delighted financially than with the on-the-pitch success. I've signed players for little or nothing, as well as played previously out-of-favour players, and they've gone on to make millions for the club. The biggest examples being Mansour, who I bought for £550k and who was sold in the next window for £4.8. And Boudib, who when I arrived wasn't being played and was only rated at £4,000. Something I noted when I first arrived: He was sold after a great season-and-a-half for £6.5m. I wasn't sure if I would stay, but after reviewing the squad, I was surprised how many players were only 21/22 years old. That and our performances against Ligue 1 opposition, a ready-made squad of players who are mostly my own signings now, and a healthy budget, it's worth sticking around for another 2 years.
  7. Valenciennes 2020/21 - A Season Off July to August 2020 - Same Old **** Results League Record: P6 W3 D2 L1 F6 A4 GD+2 CS3 PTS11, Pos: 6/20 Our season started worryingly with a loss away to a small team, despite completely dominating, followed by a home draw and still 0 goals. Even our first win (which saw me pick Babovic for the first time, and him get 2 assists) saw a new signing getting injured after 30 minutes, the goals only coming from set pieces, no threat from us from open play and only winning because of Sedan's incredibly wasteful finishing. It was déja vu. With 2 more players getting injured in the next game, including another big new signing, I toned down training a little more. If the injuries continued, especially to last season's levels, I would've considered cancelling training completely. But it was never a problem again. 1 problem solved. A second XI was played in the toughest cup game possible, away to the team predicted 1st in Ligue 2. But the second XI played a perfect game. And no injuries! I was a victim of deadline day drama as our best player Mansour was sold. But with a tighter foreigner limit in the league, and with foreign attackers needed more in the team, he wouldn't have played a lot anyway. We tried to use the money to rush through the signing of a Serie A striker, but we were minutes too late. Though we didn't try to sign him again. Things were improving results-wise if nothing else. It looked like even if we continued the bad luck of last season, the much lower quality in Ligue 2 meant we could still come back and pick up points and finish in a good position, hopefully at least competing for automatic promotion... ====================================================================== September to December 2020 - Title Wrapped Up By November Results League Record: P16 W11 D5 L0 F29 A7 GD+22 CS9 PTS38 League Place: 1/20, P22 PTS49 Suddenly, the juggernaut was in full motion, going on a record undefeated streak from our opening day loss into the winter break, only failing to score in 2 games, a mean 7 goals conceded in 16 games, including 7 clean sheets during an 8-game streak, and scoring 3 or more goals in 7 games. With the teams below taking point off each other, we stretched to an incredible lead. By the end of the year, we were 10 points ahead of 2nd and 3rd for the title, and 16 ahead of 4th for promotion. With such dominance, I could concentrate on the cups, resting players in league games a few days before. Despite being in Ligue 2, we had a chance of European football by reaching a final or winning, which we could do on any day. We stayed in the Coupe de France, and were knocked out of the Coupe de la Ligue but only in the last minute away to a Ligue 1 side, and only thanks to a rare poor goalkeeping performance from Guimard. We would've won 2 - 0 otherwise. It's alright. In the next match he got a 10/10 rating. I got a couple of international job offers from Venezuela and Angola, but there was no chance I was going anywhere this season now. Alex achieved a Goal of the Month award for his late winner against Brest, a shot rifled into the side of the goal from the D, at the end of some one-touch passing. And I was named Ligue 2 Manager of the Year for 2020. My first award since Varese 12.5 years ago. Promotion and the title was near-certain, but bigger mid-season points gaps have disappeared in the past. I always told the players not to assume it's won already, and that it's better to do the work now, then we can have the last month or two off. The last step to the trophy was to continue January as we ended December. If our form isn't lost, the title is ours. ====================================================================== January 2021 to May 2021 - Easing Off Results League Record: P16 W8 D7 L1 F26 A12 GD+14 CS6 PTS31 Season League Record: P38 W22 D14 L2 F61 A23 CS18 PTS 80 The first match back was a bit of a disaster. We only beat a relegation-fighting Ligue 2 side after extra time. With an offside goal, despite 22 shots (most off target), 31 free kicks and 10 corners. The match also cost 4 players: the star right-winger Ljajic and centre-back Noto with suspension, and midfielder Scotto and defender Travers for a few weeks with injuries. I played even weaker sides in matches that came before cup games, no matter how many days rest there was. So the cameras watched us lose our first and only game since the opening day with a mostly second-string side, including an Under-18 player. Had we not lost on the opening day, I might've played a strong side to try and play a whole season unbeaten. It was clear the title was ours. Although our form had dropped a little and our defence lost its mean streak, it wasn't enough to stop us outscoring everyone, getting points, goals and clean sheets as another unbeaten run started. Meanwhile, our cup runs showed that we should be fine in Ligue 1, easily knocking out a Ligue 1 side despite being a goal behind and a man down for nearly the whole game, as well as scoring well in 3-2 losses away to two others. Being knocked out of our second cup at the end of January had a silver lining. I could now get rid of some players who weren't going to be in our Ligue 1 squad next season, rather than keep them for the cup. I sold the disappointing van der Heijden to Ajax as well as Antonio on deadline day, bringing in a couple of old strikers free as effectively trials. One, Marcelo Martins Moreno (who you may know as the Bolivian-Brazilian who took a team photo with the Brazilians) would stay for next season as a backup after 5 goals and 1 assist in 2 games. A busy transfer window saw 4 players leave for over £3.5m and 3 join for £35,000 (which was just a tribunal fee). I even tried to loan Messi. He said no, but if you don't ask you don't get. But another Barcelona legend did join us. An overhaul of the staff saw a new assistant manager as well as Andrés Iniesta taking his first coaching role after spending his whole playing career at Barcelona. Of course, he'll be the ball control/technique coach. The teams below dropping points every week meant, despite a spell of 5 draws in a row, promotion was officially confirmed with 5 games to spare and the title with 4. In the end we won the title by 19 points, with over double everyone else's goal difference. Final Ligue 2 Table 1 - Valenciennes - 80 (Champions) 2 - Bastia - 61 3 - Brest - 59 (Final promotion place) ------------------------------------------------------ 4 - Beauvais - 57 Every Record That Was Smashed And Crazy Stats 80 points - Club and Ligue 2 Record - Most points in a season (even if earlier seasons were 3 points for a win instead of 2, at least in the club's case) 22 games won - Club Record - Most games won in a season 2 losses - Club Record - Least amount of losses in a league season 14-game unbeaten streak in all competitions - Club Record - Longest unbeaten streak in all competitons 22-games unbeaten streak in Ligue 2 - Club and Ligue 2 Record - Longest unbeaten streak in Ligue 2 20 goals (Alex (ST)) - Club Record - Most goals in a season 21 assists (Babovic (AMC)) - Club Record - Most assists in a season 14 league assists (Babovic (AMC)) - Tied Ligue 2 Record - Most assists in a season (held also by Edgar Manucharyan from Ajaccio's 2007/08 season). Average rating of 7.48 (Bokoto (CM)) - Club Record - Highest average rating in a season £6.5m (Boudib (DL) to Visé (Belgium)) - Club Record - Biggest transfer fee received (also Visé's record fee) £16.5m - Club Record - Highest total received in transfer fees in a season £14.5m - Club Record - Highest net transfer profit in a season 17 of our goals were assisted by free kicks, 2nd place was 10 goals. Noto (DC) had the highest pass percentage in Ligue 2 - 83% Fekih (ML) had the most dribbles per game in Ligue 2 - 3.57 Bokoto's (CM) club-record average rating of 7.43 is the best average rating in Ligue 2 Our game away to 18th placed Niort was the lowest attendance of the season. The Niort fans didn't want to see their team destroyed, but would've seen their team win a point had they come. Also, Libourne St-Seurin dropped down the table while failing to win their last 21 games, with no wins since November. They finished 19th. Ligue 2 Awards Manager of the Season: Me Manager of the Year (2020): Me Players' Player of the Season: Ljajic (MR/L) Goalkeeper of the Season: Guimard Most Promising Player: Alex Team of the Season included Guimard (GK), Monti (D/WB/ML), Ljajic MR/L and Babovic (AMC) with Alex (ST) on the 'bench' Alex was named the Ligue 2 signing of the season in the season review as well as the Valenciennes Fans' Player of the Year. The £4.6m-rated 21-year-old was signed for £0 and provided 14 league goals in 24(3) games (plus 6 in 5 cup games). My Future The club offered me a new contract, perhaps more delighted financially than with the on-the-pitch success. I've signed players for little or nothing, as well as played previously out-of-favour players, and they've gone on to make millions for the club. The biggest examples being Mansour, who I bought for £550k and who was sold in the next window for £4.8. And Boudib, who when I arrived wasn't being played and was only rated at £4,000. Something I noted when I first arrived: He was sold after a great season-and-a-half for £6.5m. I wasn't sure if I would stay, but after reviewing the squad, I was surprised how many players were only 21/22 years old. That and our performances against Ligue 1 opposition, a ready-made squad of players who are mostly my own signings now, and a healthy budget, it's worth sticking around for another 2 years.
  8. FM Careers Forum Discussion

    Coincidence?
  9. FM Careers Forum Discussion

    Accidental pun of the year.
  10. FMS Community Thread / Episode VII / Goalfinger

    Accidental pun of the year.
  11. Valenciennes - 2020 Post/Pre-Season Squad Review I would've overhauled the team if the team had overcome the worst luck ever/rigged matches/karma/will of an angry god and survived relegation. But going into a lower level against much inferior opposition means that can be done over the year. No point getting rid of someone immediately when they can perform better in Ligue 2. GK 1. Eric Béranger - 30 years old - £1.5m - P 22, Conc 40, CS 3, MOM 3, AVR 7.00 13. Jean-Baptiste Guimard - 23 years old - £1.6m - P 20, Conc 21, CS 4, MOM 1, AVR 6.85 A combination of a good older non-eccentric (Béranger) and a great young eccentric (Guimard). Due to injury and changes in form, both played nearly exactly the same amount of games. Béranger is a capable keeper, but if he doesn't turn up on the day his laziness will cause a cricket score (as you can see by his 'conceded' stat), but Guimard is an outstanding prospect who's regularly watched by top division clubs across Europe. Who will be #1 for next season, in a less demanding division, remains to be seen. Attila Vass, a 21-year-old Romanian, is offered on loan for free by Czech top-division side Slovan Liberec, so I finally get a #3 this season. In Vass - Slovan Liberic (Czech top tier) - Loan DR 2. Somboon Saengsawad - DR/C, DM, MR/C - 33 years old - £1m - P 22(3), AVR 6.92 15. Michael Jezierski - 25 years old - £1.1m - P 11(3), AVR 6.64 34. Locó - DR/C, WBR - 35 years old - N/A - P9, AVR 6.44 Saengsawad, captain of Thailand, should find Ligue 2 a pushover. However Ligue 2 only allows 2 'foreigners' in a match day squad, and by the end of the window we'll have 3. As the other 2 are attackers, they'll likely be played a lot more and he'll have to wait. Jezierski is reliable though lacks the strength to be a top, top defender in Ligue 1. Should do well in Ligue 2, though before possibly being sold. Locó was incredible when I arrived and gave him a run, but nowhere near that last season and will retire, but not before a testimonial after 9 years and nearly 150 appearances for the club. He'll be a coach here in future if a space opens up. DL 23. Abdelhamid Boudib - 23 years old - £2.5m - P12, MOM 1, AVR 7.08 22. Adel Travers - 22 years old - £170,000 - P21(1), MOM 1, AVR 7.00 + Mangani Boudib went out on loan to Charleroi in Belgium and got 7.00 average rating before I recalled him due to injury, poor form and poor results. Even playing out of position on the left of a back 3, he was getting 8/10 ratings. Top talent. T'riffic player. But he was one of many players who wanted to move back up a level, and the record fee (for both clubs) of £6.5m couldn't be turned down. He only cost £4,000 a few years ago. Travers suffered 2 colds in the first half of the season, then got injured 3 times in 3 months in 2020, leaving him out for a total of 4 months. A free transfer in the summer was Daniele Monti, an Italian who plays defence and midfield. Valued at nearly £1m, the 20-year-old who has represented Italy at U19 level was solid in Serie B with an average rating of 7.00 and 4 assists in 14(7) games. He has high numbers in all the right places technically, mentally and physically. Looks a perfect replacement for Boudib. I signed Sven Vos, 22 this year, on a free in summer 2019 after he was released from another Dutch club, and he goes out on loan to the league above now that he's ready for first-team football. Peculiar, but I would've been prepared to loan either Travers or Vos, and he was the one who had interest. He can be recalled if need be. Out Boudib - Visé (Belgian top tier) - £6.5m Vos - Amiens (Ligue 1) - Loan In Monti - D/WB/ML - Reggina (Serie A) - Free DC 30. Ali Mansour - 24 years old - £1.5m - P 12(1), MOM 1, AVR 7.15 5. Bjorn Schmidt - 25 years old - £475,000 - P 38, MOM 2, AVR 7.00 4. Sébastien Noto - 23 years old - £550,000 - P 19(2). AVR 6.71 19. Andrea Masiello - 34 years old - £70,000 - P 5(3), AVR 6.75 3. Gerardo Alcoba - 35 years old - £5,000 - P 11(2), AVR 7.00 + Bokoto, Loco, Mangani, Saengsawad In January, I bought Iraqi international Mansour for £550,000 after an impressive half-season in Ligue 2 and he was the best player at the club. Unfortunately, he was sold on deadline day this summer, meaning a profit of over £4m in just half a season. Schmidt was relatively reliable, but his contract expires in a year and so far the club favourite doesn't want to renew, with Ligue 1 and La Liga sides watching him. Unfortunately his minimum fee release clause is only £2.1m. Noto will improve with age, and Ligue 2 may provide the opportunity for this. It was a huge coup getting Masiello on a free in the summer after a 7.31-rated season in Ligue 1, but the injury curse hit him worst. He was out for 3 months since September, then strained his calf getting off the physio table as soon as he got the all-clear. Alcoba is still good enough for Ligue 1 as a sweeper or with extra help, otherwise the 35-year-old is too slow and easily passed. Allowed his contract to expire due to the amount of DCs we have. In Mansour - Gladbach (Bundesliga) - £550,000 (January) Out Alcoba - Released Mansour - Toulouse (Ligue 1) - £4.8m DM/MC 22. Christophe Bokoto - DM, MC, DC - 26 years old - £2.3m - P 21(6), AVR 6.78 31. Thomas Mangani (vice-captain) - DLC, DM, MC - 33 years old - £1m - P 18(5), A 1, AVR 6.78 16. Pedro María Riera - MC - 27 years old - £1.3m - P 6(2), A 1, AVR 6.25 Loan - Paulo Machado - MC - 34 years old - £375,000 - P6, AVR 7.00 + Jensen, Saengsawad, Scotto Bokoto was very poor in defence, and did little in midfield. Underperformed greatly. Bad mistakes meant Mangani was impossible to play in defence, but in midfield he gained consistency closer to his usual performance level... before injury, of course. With a year left on his contract, growing older, and the highest wage in the squad, I tried to sell him, but there were no takers. Riera was another who played magnificently last half-season then had an awful season this year. He requested a transfer after playing himself out of the team. Machado was decent for the few games the loanee played, better than everyone else though. A summer free transfer came in. Fans were excited by Jaroslav Janousek, immediately a club favourite. The Czech U21 central midfielder could also play on the right, which is what I was desperate for, though how well remains to be seen. He's rated at £1.1m and played in La Liga last season. Auxerre offered Christian Floch for a free loan this season. The young Frenchman may or may not be any good, but he gives us an extra, more attacking, option for MC. In Janousek - MR/C - Udinese (Serie A/B) - Free Floch - Auxerre (Ligue 1) - Loan MR 14. Mike Jensen (captain) - AMR/C, AMR/C - 32 years old - £1.4m - P 36, G 3, A 3, MOM 2, AVR 6.69 + Saengsawad In some games Jensen's quiet, in others he's very involved. The club favourite and captain is going into the last year of this contract, and I'm not sure what decision I'll make at the end of it. In August I bought Miodrag Ljajic, who is a left winger but can also play right, so finally we have a second right-winger, hopefully one who'll make more of an impact on a game than Jensen. The scouts say he would be a leading star in Ligue 1, and the fans are excited about him. In Ljajic - ML/R - Spartak Moscow (Premier Division) - £1.9m ML 17. Hamid Scotto - ML/C, AML/C, ST - 29 years old - £900,000 - P 32(4), G 2, A 2, MOM 2, AVR 6.78 6. Mohamed Fekih - ML, AML - 27 years old - £2.5m - P 10(10), G 1, A 1, AVR 6.70 11. Fabrice Marty - ML, AML - 26 years old - £1.9m - P 5(6), A 1, AVR 6.36 Scotto is similar to Jensen - sometimes good, sometimes quiet, but generally not penetrating and better in the centre building rather than on the wing where you need to affect a game. Consistently ok. Fekih finally extended his contracted on the basis he would be put in the first team. He was ok in that run, but he only got 1 assist. Hopefully will do better at a lower level. Marty seems to have a bit more gumption. He's unfortunate to have one or two good players in his position. AMC 8. Stefan Babovic - AMC - 33 years old - £275,000 - P 29(3), G 1, A 7, AVR 6.81 + Bergougnoux, Jensen, Scotto Babovic does his job, nothing more, nothing less. When the attack is on form though, he plays a beautiful part in it. ST 18. Robert van der Heijden - 23 years old - £2.9m - P 21(4), G 5, A 4, AVR 6.76 27. Isaac Ros - 24 years old - £4.3m - P 16(6), G 3, A 1, MOM 2, AVR 6.77 10. Antonio - 29 years old - £2.9m - P 12 (15), G 7, A 1, MOM 1, AVR 6.63 7. Cédric Bergougnoux - AMC, ST - 21 years old - £3m - P 29(9), G 6, A 4, MOM 3, AVR 6.82 20. Giorgos Samaras - 35 years old - £28,000 - P 7(14), G 2, A 2, AVR 6.33 24. Benjamin Didot - 23 years old - £1.4m - P 4, G 1, A 1, AVR 6.75 29. Gérard Morin - 24 years old - £2m - P 5(5), G 2, AVR 6.30 + Scotto 4 months' worth of injuries made it hard for van der Heijden to settle. He can score more in Ligue 2, unless his head is turned by other clubs. Strained ankle and then knee injuries kept Ros out for large period, but I've lost patience with him. He spent the whole season, after supposedly being talked down, getting fidgety over a move still. I promised I'd sell him at the end of the season, but he's not been good enough and wouldn't have been a loss earlier. He was sold in the summer for £1.2m back to South America. 7 goals in 12 starts and 15 sub appearances sounds like a great record, but fellow South American and club favourite Antonio went large spells not only not scoring, but completely ineffective. Will hopefully score loads in Ligue 2 though. Bergougnoux can hit the target (34 on target out of 71 shots), but lacked that instinct or ability to get it past the keeper (1 goal every 6 on-target shots). Will he gain this with age and experience? Ligue 2 will provide a great proving ground. Samaras came with pedigree, but there were only flashes of brilliance. He requested a transfer immediately after providing an assist to save a cup tie, and was wanted by a large variety of clubs, moving to the Dutch Eredivisie. Didot came in with us desperate for goals in the last 4 matches, and he made an impact (then got injured for the last game, of course). Don't know what his place will be next season. A bid for Didot is rejected. 4 months' worth of injuries didn't help Morin. He'd probably do well in Ligue 2, but with his contract expiring and lacking the physical presence I'll be looking for in future players, I sold him down a level to third-tier Istres. In the summer comes Alex, who is a Brazilian/Italian who's strong in the air. The 20-year-old has represented Brazil at U20 level. Also Kevin Koffi. The Liberian (real life Ivorian, oops FM) international scored 26 in 24 games before retiring. Last season he got 3 in only 5 starts and 11 sub appearances in Ligue 1, then 3 in 17 in La Liga, as well as 7 in 4 African Cup and World Cup qualifiers. 20 Finishing, 17 Composure, 20 Technique, 19 First Touch, 19 Dribbling, 16 Jumping. And fairly strong on his left foot. Scouts say he would be a leading striker in Ligue 1, never mind Ligue 2. A loanee is 19-year-old French/Réunionese Jérémy Ramirez. He doesn't look anything special, but he's worth a shot as a freebie. That makes 7 strikers. After last season, I need 1 or 2 goalscorers. Surely there's someone in there that can do it. Out Ros - Vasco Da Gama (Brazilian Série A) - £1.2m Samaras - RBC (Dutch Eredivisie) - £100,000 Morin - Istres (French 3rd-tier) - £500,000 In Alex - Mantova (Serie A) - Free Koffi - Toulouse (Ligue 1) - Free Ramirez - Créteil (Ligue 1) - Free Pre-Season The board inform me the transfer budget this season will be... £12,000. If we had survived, this would probably be the point where I resigned. I would've needed money to buy players. However, as it stands, we're a Ligue 1 club in Ligue 2, so maybe in the very short-term I won't need anyone. I can use the current players, hopefully trounce the league, then bugger off as my contract ends. Plus £13m raised in player sales helped increase that budget a bit... Cédric Bergougnoux won the Fan's Player of the Season award for 2019/20, which isn't saying much. Should've been Mansour, despite only being at the club 5 months. Incredibly, it seems we'll be making a lot more TV money as a big Ligue 2 side than as a minor Ligue 1 side. The media expect a 2nd place finish, and the board and fans also expect promotion. The bookies say we're 4th-favourites for the title. Locó Testimonial Valenciennes 2 - 1 Primeiro De Agosto (Angola) Locó captained the side against his hometown club where his career started. It was won by a long range wonder goal from Marty in the final minutes. Friendlies (18th, Ligue 1) Valenciennes 0 - 1 Cercle Brugge (2nd, Belgian top tier) (17th, Ligue 2) Besancon 1 - 0 Valenciennes (18th, Ligue 1) (16th, Serie B) Ascoli 1 - 0 Valenciennes (18th, Ligue 1) BREAKING NEWS... FBI INVESTIGATING FIFA CORRUPTION - BLATTER AND PLATINI QUESTIONED AFTER VALENCIENNES CONTROVERSY SPARKS CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS Events seem to follow me everywhere. After making global news as a little-known Englishman/Iranian taking charge of Iran, one step (along with the rise of Israel) that eventually led to world peace, now I walk into a situation where the dodginess of last season makes sense. Allegations suddenly starts appearing that Blatter, Platini and co. arranged for Valenciennes and Marseille (who had been participants in the 1993 scandal) to be relegated to improve French football's image, which makes the craziness a bit more explainable. Marseille survived (the Champions League regulars having the quality to finish 14th a few points above relegation), but we didn't. However it seems the powers that be pushed a bit too far and left a trail that has allowed the FBI and others to prove culpability and finally strike and overthrow the dictatorship with a big dossier of ******** to lock them up for a very long time. Thank you sir. Jimmy Briand - Portsmouth legend (12 years and counting) who helped them win the F.A. Cup. The French captain is still going for club and country at 35.
  12. Valenciennes - 2020 Post/Pre-Season Squad Review I would've overhauled the team if the team had overcome the worst luck ever/rigged matches/karma/will of an angry god and survived relegation. But going into a lower level against much inferior opposition means that can be done over the year. No point getting rid of someone immediately when they can perform better in Ligue 2. GK 1. Eric Béranger - 30 years old - £1.5m - P 22, Conc 40, CS 3, MOM 3, AVR 7.00 13. Jean-Baptiste Guimard - 23 years old - £1.6m - P 20, Conc 21, CS 4, MOM 1, AVR 6.85 A combination of a good older non-eccentric (Béranger) and a great young eccentric (Guimard). Due to injury and changes in form, both played nearly exactly the same amount of games. Béranger is a capable keeper, but if he doesn't turn up on the day his laziness will cause a cricket score (as you can see by his 'conceded' stat), but Guimard is an outstanding prospect who's regularly watched by top division clubs across Europe. Who will be #1 for next season, in a less demanding division, remains to be seen. Attila Vass, a 21-year-old Romanian, is offered on loan for free by Czech top-division side Slovan Liberec, so I finally get a #3 this season. In Vass - Slovan Liberic (Czech top tier) - Loan DR 2. Somboon Saengsawad - DR/C, DM, MR/C - 33 years old - £1m - P 22(3), AVR 6.92 15. Michael Jezierski - 25 years old - £1.1m - P 11(3), AVR 6.64 34. Locó - DR/C, WBR - 35 years old - N/A - P9, AVR 6.44 Saengsawad, captain of Thailand, should find Ligue 2 a pushover. However Ligue 2 only allows 2 'foreigners' in a match day squad, and by the end of the window we'll have 3. As the other 2 are attackers, they'll likely be played a lot more and he'll have to wait. Jezierski is reliable though lacks the strength to be a top, top defender in Ligue 1. Should do well in Ligue 2, though before possibly being sold. Locó was incredible when I arrived and gave him a run, but nowhere near that last season and will retire, but not before a testimonial after 9 years and nearly 150 appearances for the club. He'll be a coach here in future if a space opens up. DL 23. Abdelhamid Boudib - 23 years old - £2.5m - P12, MOM 1, AVR 7.08 22. Adel Travers - 22 years old - £170,000 - P21(1), MOM 1, AVR 7.00 + Mangani Boudib went out on loan to Charleroi in Belgium and got 7.00 average rating before I recalled him due to injury, poor form and poor results. Even playing out of position on the left of a back 3, he was getting 8/10 ratings. Top talent. T'riffic player. But he was one of many players who wanted to move back up a level, and the record fee (for both clubs) of £6.5m couldn't be turned down. He only cost £4,000 a few years ago. Travers suffered 2 colds in the first half of the season, then got injured 3 times in 3 months in 2020, leaving him out for a total of 4 months. A free transfer in the summer was Daniele Monti, an Italian who plays defence and midfield. Valued at nearly £1m, the 20-year-old who has represented Italy at U19 level was solid in Serie B with an average rating of 7.00 and 4 assists in 14(7) games. He has high numbers in all the right places technically, mentally and physically. Looks a perfect replacement for Boudib. I signed Sven Vos, 22 this year, on a free in summer 2019 after he was released from another Dutch club, and he goes out on loan to the league above now that he's ready for first-team football. Peculiar, but I would've been prepared to loan either Travers or Vos, and he was the one who had interest. He can be recalled if need be. Out Boudib - Visé (Belgian top tier) - £6.5m Vos - Amiens (Ligue 1) - Loan In Monti - D/WB/ML - Reggina (Serie A) - Free DC 30. Ali Mansour - 24 years old - £1.5m - P 12(1), MOM 1, AVR 7.15 5. Bjorn Schmidt - 25 years old - £475,000 - P 38, MOM 2, AVR 7.00 4. Sébastien Noto - 23 years old - £550,000 - P 19(2). AVR 6.71 19. Andrea Masiello - 34 years old - £70,000 - P 5(3), AVR 6.75 3. Gerardo Alcoba - 35 years old - £5,000 - P 11(2), AVR 7.00 + Bokoto, Loco, Mangani, Saengsawad In January, I bought Iraqi international Mansour for £550,000 after an impressive half-season in Ligue 2 and he was the best player at the club. Unfortunately, he was sold on deadline day this summer, meaning a profit of over £4m in just half a season. Schmidt was relatively reliable, but his contract expires in a year and so far the club favourite doesn't want to renew, with Ligue 1 and La Liga sides watching him. Unfortunately his minimum fee release clause is only £2.1m. Noto will improve with age, and Ligue 2 may provide the opportunity for this. It was a huge coup getting Masiello on a free in the summer after a 7.31-rated season in Ligue 1, but the injury curse hit him worst. He was out for 3 months since September, then strained his calf getting off the physio table as soon as he got the all-clear. Alcoba is still good enough for Ligue 1 as a sweeper or with extra help, otherwise the 35-year-old is too slow and easily passed. Allowed his contract to expire due to the amount of DCs we have. In Mansour - Gladbach (Bundesliga) - £550,000 (January) Out Alcoba - Released Mansour - Toulouse (Ligue 1) - £4.8m DM/MC 22. Christophe Bokoto - DM, MC, DC - 26 years old - £2.3m - P 21(6), AVR 6.78 31. Thomas Mangani (vice-captain) - DLC, DM, MC - 33 years old - £1m - P 18(5), A 1, AVR 6.78 16. Pedro María Riera - MC - 27 years old - £1.3m - P 6(2), A 1, AVR 6.25 Loan - Paulo Machado - MC - 34 years old - £375,000 - P6, AVR 7.00 + Jensen, Saengsawad, Scotto Bokoto was very poor in defence, and did little in midfield. Underperformed greatly. Bad mistakes meant Mangani was impossible to play in defence, but in midfield he gained consistency closer to his usual performance level... before injury, of course. With a year left on his contract, growing older, and the highest wage in the squad, I tried to sell him, but there were no takers. Riera was another who played magnificently last half-season then had an awful season this year. He requested a transfer after playing himself out of the team. Machado was decent for the few games the loanee played, better than everyone else though. A summer free transfer came in. Fans were excited by Jaroslav Janousek, immediately a club favourite. The Czech U21 central midfielder could also play on the right, which is what I was desperate for, though how well remains to be seen. He's rated at £1.1m and played in La Liga last season. Auxerre offered Christian Floch for a free loan this season. The young Frenchman may or may not be any good, but he gives us an extra, more attacking, option for MC. In Janousek - MR/C - Udinese (Serie A/B) - Free Floch - Auxerre (Ligue 1) - Loan MR 14. Mike Jensen (captain) - AMR/C, AMR/C - 32 years old - £1.4m - P 36, G 3, A 3, MOM 2, AVR 6.69 + Saengsawad In some games Jensen's quiet, in others he's very involved. The club favourite and captain is going into the last year of this contract, and I'm not sure what decision I'll make at the end of it. In August I bought Miodrag Ljajic, who is a left winger but can also play right, so finally we have a second right-winger, hopefully one who'll make more of an impact on a game than Jensen. The scouts say he would be a leading star in Ligue 1, and the fans are excited about him. In Ljajic - ML/R - Spartak Moscow (Premier Division) - £1.9m ML 17. Hamid Scotto - ML/C, AML/C, ST - 29 years old - £900,000 - P 32(4), G 2, A 2, MOM 2, AVR 6.78 6. Mohamed Fekih - ML, AML - 27 years old - £2.5m - P 10(10), G 1, A 1, AVR 6.70 11. Fabrice Marty - ML, AML - 26 years old - £1.9m - P 5(6), A 1, AVR 6.36 Scotto is similar to Jensen - sometimes good, sometimes quiet, but generally not penetrating and better in the centre building rather than on the wing where you need to affect a game. Consistently ok. Fekih finally extended his contracted on the basis he would be put in the first team. He was ok in that run, but he only got 1 assist. Hopefully will do better at a lower level. Marty seems to have a bit more gumption. He's unfortunate to have one or two good players in his position. AMC 8. Stefan Babovic - AMC - 33 years old - £275,000 - P 29(3), G 1, A 7, AVR 6.81 + Bergougnoux, Jensen, Scotto Babovic does his job, nothing more, nothing less. When the attack is on form though, he plays a beautiful part in it. ST 18. Robert van der Heijden - 23 years old - £2.9m - P 21(4), G 5, A 4, AVR 6.76 27. Isaac Ros - 24 years old - £4.3m - P 16(6), G 3, A 1, MOM 2, AVR 6.77 10. Antonio - 29 years old - £2.9m - P 12 (15), G 7, A 1, MOM 1, AVR 6.63 7. Cédric Bergougnoux - AMC, ST - 21 years old - £3m - P 29(9), G 6, A 4, MOM 3, AVR 6.82 20. Giorgos Samaras - 35 years old - £28,000 - P 7(14), G 2, A 2, AVR 6.33 24. Benjamin Didot - 23 years old - £1.4m - P 4, G 1, A 1, AVR 6.75 29. Gérard Morin - 24 years old - £2m - P 5(5), G 2, AVR 6.30 + Scotto 4 months' worth of injuries made it hard for van der Heijden to settle. He can score more in Ligue 2, unless his head is turned by other clubs. Strained ankle and then knee injuries kept Ros out for large period, but I've lost patience with him. He spent the whole season, after supposedly being talked down, getting fidgety over a move still. I promised I'd sell him at the end of the season, but he's not been good enough and wouldn't have been a loss earlier. He was sold in the summer for £1.2m back to South America. 7 goals in 12 starts and 15 sub appearances sounds like a great record, but fellow South American and club favourite Antonio went large spells not only not scoring, but completely ineffective. Will hopefully score loads in Ligue 2 though. Bergougnoux can hit the target (34 on target out of 71 shots), but lacked that instinct or ability to get it past the keeper (1 goal every 6 on-target shots). Will he gain this with age and experience? Ligue 2 will provide a great proving ground. Samaras came with pedigree, but there were only flashes of brilliance. He requested a transfer immediately after providing an assist to save a cup tie, and was wanted by a large variety of clubs, moving to the Dutch Eredivisie. Didot came in with us desperate for goals in the last 4 matches, and he made an impact (then got injured for the last game, of course). Don't know what his place will be next season. A bid for Didot is rejected. 4 months' worth of injuries didn't help Morin. He'd probably do well in Ligue 2, but with his contract expiring and lacking the physical presence I'll be looking for in future players, I sold him down a level to third-tier Istres. In the summer comes Alex, who is a Brazilian/Italian who's strong in the air. The 20-year-old has represented Brazil at U20 level. Also Kevin Koffi. The Liberian (real life Ivorian, oops FM) international scored 26 in 24 games before retiring. Last season he got 3 in only 5 starts and 11 sub appearances in Ligue 1, then 3 in 17 in La Liga, as well as 7 in 4 African Cup and World Cup qualifiers. 20 Finishing, 17 Composure, 20 Technique, 19 First Touch, 19 Dribbling, 16 Jumping. And fairly strong on his left foot. Scouts say he would be a leading striker in Ligue 1, never mind Ligue 2. A loanee is 19-year-old French/Réunionese Jérémy Ramirez. He doesn't look anything special, but he's worth a shot as a freebie. That makes 7 strikers. After last season, I need 1 or 2 goalscorers. Surely there's someone in there that can do it. Out Ros - Vasco Da Gama (Brazilian Série A) - £1.2m Samaras - RBC (Dutch Eredivisie) - £100,000 Morin - Istres (French 3rd-tier) - £500,000 In Alex - Mantova (Serie A) - Free Koffi - Toulouse (Ligue 1) - Free Ramirez - Créteil (Ligue 1) - Free Pre-Season The board inform me the transfer budget this season will be... £12,000. If we had survived, this would probably be the point where I resigned. I would've needed money to buy players. However, as it stands, we're a Ligue 1 club in Ligue 2, so maybe in the very short-term I won't need anyone. I can use the current players, hopefully trounce the league, then bugger off as my contract ends. Plus £13m raised in player sales helped increase that budget a bit... Cédric Bergougnoux won the Fan's Player of the Season award for 2019/20, which isn't saying much. Should've been Mansour, despite only being at the club 5 months. Incredibly, it seems we'll be making a lot more TV money as a big Ligue 2 side than as a minor Ligue 1 side. The media expect a 2nd place finish, and the board and fans also expect promotion. The bookies say we're 4th-favourites for the title. Locó Testimonial Valenciennes 2 - 1 Primeiro De Agosto (Angola) Locó captained the side against his hometown club where his career started. It was won by a long range wonder goal from Marty in the final minutes. Friendlies (18th, Ligue 1) Valenciennes 0 - 1 Cercle Brugge (2nd, Belgian top tier) (17th, Ligue 2) Besancon 1 - 0 Valenciennes (18th, Ligue 1) (16th, Serie B) Ascoli 1 - 0 Valenciennes (18th, Ligue 1) BREAKING NEWS... FBI INVESTIGATING FIFA CORRUPTION - BLATTER AND PLATINI QUESTIONED AFTER VALENCIENNES CONTROVERSY SPARKS CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS Events seem to follow me everywhere. After making global news as a little-known Englishman/Iranian taking charge of Iran, one step (along with the rise of Israel) that eventually led to world peace, now I walk into a situation where the dodginess of last season makes sense. Allegations suddenly starts appearing that Blatter, Platini and co. arranged for Valenciennes and Marseille (who had been participants in the 1993 scandal) to be relegated to improve French football's image, which makes the craziness a bit more explainable. Marseille survived (the Champions League regulars having the quality to finish 14th a few points above relegation), but we didn't. However it seems the powers that be pushed a bit too far and left a trail that has allowed the FBI and others to prove culpability and finally strike and overthrow the dictatorship with a big dossier of ******** to lock them up for a very long time. No one's ever happy. Should've won by more!
  13. FM Careers Forum Discussion

    But can they do it on a cold, rainy night in Hamburg?
  14. FMS Community Thread / Episode VII / Goalfinger

    Wenger with the last throw of the dice. He's finally trying it another way and spending some money to get the best players. I wonder if Arsenal ever saved all that much financially in hindsight, given the TV deals and rise in transfer fees. Makes investing in young players and selling them for about £10m profit look a bit of a small dent compated to the potential success of spending a bit more.
  15. Scotland & Wales 2020 European Championships Co-hosts Scotland have a real chance of making the knockouts with a winnable group, if you ignore the fact they haven't won a tournament game since the last time one was held in Britain - 1996. That's 12 games without a win and only a few goals. Wales' group is far trickier, including 2018 World Cup runner-up Austria. England have a chance for some scalps against below-average French and German teams, but a banana skin in an underrated Israel. They must be favourites after reaching the World Cup semi-finals and not being too far from home. along with defending Euro 2016 champions Netherlands. Group A Match Days 1 & 2 Scotland 1 - 0 Romania A late penalty finally broke co-hosts Scotland's hoodoo. Now to score from open play... Serbia 0 - 1 Switzerland Switzerland 2 - 0 Romania Romania lost their heads, with two players getting sent off in the final minutes for shoving, as the 2016 semi-finalists were eliminated from the tournament. Scotland 2 - 1 Serbia Scotland dominated, but also showed mental strength. Though they suffered a late equaliser to 10-man Serbia, they immediately scored the winner to make it 2 wins now while eliminating Serbia. Both Scotland and Switzerland have reached the knockouts. Scotland top on goal-difference. Match Day 3 Scotland 1 - 1 Switzerland Both teams already through, Scotland immediately equalised after going behind early, but that was it and they couldn't get the win that would've seen them top instead of 2nd. Serbia 1 - 0 Romania Romania lost, so finish bottom with 0 points (and goals). Group B Match Days 1 & 2 Netherlands 1 - 1 Northern Ireland Northern Ireland get a huge result thanks to their one shot on target. Finland 0 - 0 Poland Poland had a player taken off injured after only 9 minutes, his replacement was off injured on 32 minutes, and his replacement came off injured just before half time. Netherlands 3 - 1 Finland Northern Ireland 1 - 0 Poland Poland were brushed aside by the debuting minnows. Match Day 3 Finland 0 - 1 Northern Ireland Nothern Ireland got more than the draw required, and top the table as a result while Finland are out. Poland 1 - 1 Netherlands Poland needed to win, Netherlands needed only a draw, but Poland were never really a threat. Group C Match Days 1 & 2 Wales 0 - 0 Austria Co-hosts Wales dominated the 2nd-best team in the world. Turkey 1 - 0 Italy Austria 0 - 1 Italy Italy had 1 shot, 1 on target, 1 goal. Wales 0 - 0 Turkey This match went further by having 0 shots on target, in what is being dubbed the worst match in football history. Match Day 3 Wales 2 - 1 Italy Wales took the lead though a Gareth Bale free kick, then doubled it on the hour. But they had to cling on after going down to 10 men through injury, with Italy immediately getting a goal back. Italy missed several clear chances, hit the post, and had a penalty claim denied, as they went out to the co-hosts. Turkey 1 - 1 Austria A stoppage-time equaliser broke Austrian hearts and knocked them out, while Turkey qualify and finish top. Group D Match Days 1 & 2 England 2 - 0 Israel France 1 - 1 Germany Germany 0 - 0 Israel France 1 - 0 England 2 English injuries was followed by substitute Scott Sinclair getting sent off, allowing France to score a late winner and England to be without 3 strikers for the final Germany match. Match Day 3 England 1 - 1 Germany Germany took the lead with their first shot, but Theo Walcott immediately equalised with theirs, and then it was all England as Germany failed to get the win they ultimately needed. Israel 1 - 1 France France dominated but Israel took the lead in the 86th minute thanks to an own goal. They still needed another, but France immediately equalised to qualify top of the group. Final Group Standings Every team in the UK have qualified for the knockout stages, for the first time ever. Home advantage! Group A Switzerland - 7 (+3 GD) Scotland - 7 (+2 GD) Serbia - 3 Romania - 0 Group B Northern Ireland - 7 Netherlands - 5 Poland - 2 Finland - 1 Group C Turkey - 5* Wales - 5* Italy - 3 Austria - 2 * Both Turkey and Wales have +1 GD, 2 goals scored, and drew head-to-head. Turkey finish higher due to a better UEFA national team coefficient ranking. Group D France - 5 England - 4 Germany - 3 Israel - 2 Quarter-Finals Switzerland 1 - 0 Netherlands Switzerland stole a win thanks to an own goal, and the defending champions limp out. Wales 0 - 1 France It was still a great debut for Wales. Scotland 0 - 1 Northern Ireland Northern Ireland win the battle of the underdogs, but this was still the first time Scotland ever got out of a group stage in any tournament. Both hosts are out, but went further than ever. Turkey 0 - 0 England AET (3-2 on penalties after 5 rounds) Glasgow rejoiced as England went out on penalties for the second tournament in a row, knocked out by Turkey for the second time in three Euros. Semi-Final Switzerland 1 - 1 France AET (1-1 FT) (3-2 on penalties after 5 rounds) Switzerland defended an early penalty all game, but conceded in stoppage time after going down to 10 men. They made it though! Northern Ireland 2 - 1 Turkey Turkey took the lead in just 3 minutes, but Northern Ireland scored in the 16th and 20th minutes to set up a surprise final. Scotland/Wales Euro 2020 Final Switzerland v Northern Ireland History A new champion will be crowned in a shock final between two teams who have never even experienced a single win at a European Championships final until this year. Switzerland had never even won a game at a European Championship, despite playing 12 matches in 4 finals. Euro 2016 marked the first time Switzerland had qualified for a tournament since hosting Euro 2008. Northern Ireland had never qualified for a tournament since the 1986 World Cup, and never experienced a European Championship, until now. Form Switzerland got 7 points in the group stage, only drawing with co-hosts Scotland, before knocking out defending champions Netherlands, and then new favourites France on penalties. Northern Ireland only get a few shots on target, but they nearly all go in. They got 7 points in their group as well, drawing with Netherlands, before knocking out co-hosts Wales and then Turkey. Is this like a home game for them in Glasgow? They have both scored 6 and conceded 2, with 3 clean sheets in their 5 games. Managers Switzerland's manager is Urs Fischer. He made 4 appearances for his national team in a career played only at Zurich and St. Gallen. After working through the youth system of Zurich and becoming assistant manager, he took charge for just a year before Switzerland came calling. He survived the sack despite finishing bottom of their 2018 World Cup qualifying group under Malta, and they were rewarded with qualification for the Euros behind Germany. Northern Ireland are managed by Colin Clarke. He scored 13 times in 38 games for his country before starting his coaching and management career in the USA in the late 90s, taking Virginia Beach Mariners (who aren't even in the MLS) to the U.S. Open Cup final in 2009. In 2015 he took over from the retiring Martin O'Neill. He finally nudged the team (who were always close but not close enough) to qualification for Euro 2020 behind Finland and ahead of Spain, Norway and Bulgaria. Team News Switzerland are without 3 players who have played every game, with 3 goals and 2 assists between them. Another is not 100% thanks to a bruised head, but starts. Northern Ireland are also without 3 players, though 2 make the bench, including the keeper. They play their deputy, who conceded 1 goal against Turkey and faced 4 shots on target. Both teams play 4-4-2. Switzerland: Yann Sommer (Messina); Juan Silva (Brescia), Johan Djourou (Udinese), Koch (Naval), Tissot (Lens); Damian Bellon (Bolton), Carole (Juventus), Garcia (Ajax), Neumann (c) (Newcastle); Marx (Sevilla), Alvaro Klusener (Basel) - 4 Serie A, 2 Premier League, 1 La Liga, 1 Ligue 1, 1 Eredivisie, 1 Primeira Liga, 1 Swiss Super League Northern Ireland: Sweeney (Southampton); Jonny Evans (c) (West Brom), Kelly (Arsenal), Donnelly (Bolton), Curlett (Linfield); Adam McGurk (Hartlepool), Corry Evans (Celtic), O'Kane (Millwall), Long (Q. P. R.); Peden (Swansea), Murphy (Hull) - 5 Premier League, 1 Championship, 2 League One, 1 League Two, 1 SPL, 1 Northern Irish Premiership First Half Northern Ireland dominated but only had a few chances. Then just before half time, a penalty was given away by Switzerland, and Corry Evans just got it in. Second Half Northern Ireland sat back a bit more, which allowed Switzerland more chances, but the Swiss were lucky not to concede. They didn't score either. Northern Ireland have done it! Unbelievable Jeff! Final score: Switzerland 0 - 1 Northern Ireland =============================================================== 2020 European Champions Northern Ireland =============================================================== Northern Ireland are the first team to win on their debut since the first 4 tournaments took place (1960 - 1972). Goalscorer Corry and captain Jonny Evans join the Laudrups as brothers who won the trophy as shock underdogs. Awards Golden Boot: Jonathan Peden (Northern Ireland) with 3 goals and 1 assist in 270 minutes (Ronnie Allan of Scotland had 3 goals and 1 assist in 360 minutes) Player of the Tournament: Niall Kelly (Northern Ireland) Young Player of the Tournament: Stewart Holmes (Wales) Team of the Tournament Ayhan (Turkey) Burge (England) - Niall Kelly (Northern Ireland) - Nihat (Turkey) - Hamann (Austria) Alex Melbourne (England) - Castro (France) - Morley (England) Jimmy Briand (France) - Peden (Northern Ireland) - Allan (Scotland) Selected Managerial News Colin Clarke stepped down after outdoing even Greece and Denmark with Northern Ireland's achievement (Fun fact: the game sacked him). His replacement is Nottingham Forest manager Iain Dowie. Chris Coleman is the new Wales manager after the previous manager also stepped down after an impressive quarter-final appearance. He's the former former Nottingham Forest manager. Dieter Eilts was sacked by Germany after draws against France, England and Israel and replaced with Basel's Uwe Rosler. Italy did something incredibly rare nowadays (in fact something I'd never seen in the game and thought was impossible): they went foreign, bringing in Xavi Juliá, who managed Spain for the 2014 World Cup which they hosted (and went out at the group stage). And Italy host the World Cup in 2 years. Andreas Heraf retired after taking Austria to the 2018 World Cup final and the Euro 2020 tournament. His replacement is left-field: Michael Fuchs, an amateur footballer who had been head coach of just one club, FC Gratkorn in Austria. He was there for 15 years before being sacked a few years ago. He hadn't taken a job since.
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