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oriole01

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About oriole01

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    Part-Timer

About Me

  • About Me
    18 years old. American. Not good at Football Manager.

Favourite Team

  • Favourite Team
    Wolves and NK Maribor

Currently Managing

  • Currently Managing
    Slavia Praha

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  1. Slavia Praha August 2018 All green in the league. We opened the month with a convincing victory over Baník Ostrava away from home. It was a dream day for both of our wingers, as Jaromir Zmrhal and Alexandru Baluta each bagged a brace and recorded an assist. Zmrhal started us off early on 10′, drilling a free kick into the top-left corner. Baluta would get our second just two minutes later, heading in from close range off of Zmrhal’s corner. Baluta was fortunate to get another on 26′, as Petr Sevcik’s deflected effort fell right to his feet to knock in at the back post. Baník had few chances in the match, but they did take one of them late in the game, hitting us on a counter that ended with an unmarked Martin Fillo blasting one past a helpless Premysl Kovar on the run. They wouldn’t have the last word, however, as Zmrhal got his second from Baluta’s brilliant low cross in stoppage time, capping an emphatic victory in Moravia-Silesia. In between the two legs of the Basel tie, we took care of business against newly-promoted Opava at home. Things actually started quite poorly when Ibrahim Traoré missed a penalty on 4′, hitting it straight at Vilem Fendrich in Opava’s net. We wouldn’t let that rattle us, however, as we would get on the scoresheet later in the first half, Milan Skoda expertly thrashing home Jan Boril’s cross on the volley on 37′. We got our insurance goal on 56′ through a wonderful goal from Sevcik, who used his first touch from Ondrej Kudela’s ball to wrong-foot the closest defender, then his second to fire the ball into the bottom-right corner from just outside the area. The rest of the match was rather uneventful, as we were happy to protect a two-goal lead and Opava struggled to create much after missing their only clear chance of the game in the first half. An easy win to continue our 100% record domestically. Our last league fixture of the month came between the legs of the Dynamo tie, and I’m happy to say we countered our elimination from the Champions League with a 5-0 smashing of Slovácko at Eden. Our center backs took center stage in the first half, as youngster Alex Kral opened the scoring on 31′, taking an inadequately-cleared corner off his chest and ripping the ball into the back of the net on a half volley from 12 yards out, then his partner Simon Deli scored in the exact same manner and position on 45′. We got our third on 52′, as Miroslav Stoch cut inside from the left and blasted one past Michal Danek in the Slovácko net. The best goal of the day would come seven minutes later, as Stoch found Traoré in plenty of space outside the area, who then proceeded to laser one into the top-right corner from 20 yards out. We still weren’t satisfied, as we added our fifth on 79′, Stoch’s free kick finding Kral at the back post to head in from close range, capping a magnificent day for both players. Complete domination over a team who I thought might have given us a close game before the match. I was rewarded with a manager of the month award for the three wins in August, an award I also won for our two wins in July. Still no league table yet, as I forgot to take a screenshot before playing ahead. That'll have to wait another month. A busy September sees us face four fixtures in the league, the most intriguing of which being our first meeting against Dukla Praha, our first Europa League game against Leipzig at home, and our first challenge in the Czech Cup. A lot to look forward to. Jít! Jít! Jít!
  2. Slavia Praha UEFA Europa League- Group Stage Draw We end up as the last team out of the hat, as the fourth seed in Group L. We’ll be facing Belgian giants RSC Anderlecht, Danish giants FC København, and German upstarts RB Leipzig, which is definitely a more difficult slate than I would have hoped for, but it’s not the worst of the groups we could have been drawn in either (I’m looking at you, Group F). The board expects us to progress from the group stage this season, which means I’ll need to be targeting positive results against Anderlecht and København, as I think Leipzig are too strong an opponent for us to be expecting wins off of at this early stage of the journey. I think we can just about get through, but it certainly won’t be easy, and I won’t be too disappointed with failing to progress, provided that we at least give a decent account of ourselves in all six fixtures. We’ll see what happens in due time. Jít! Jít! Jít!
  3. Slavia Praha UEFA Champions League- Playoff First Leg An eventful first leg in Kiev, as we take the slimmest of advantages home to Prague by way of an away goal in a testy 1-1 draw. Dynamo took control of proceedings early in the match, but relinquished that control when Brazilian midfielder Tche Tche was sent off for two yellow cards in rapid succession on 29′ and 36′, allowing us to push forward by switching from our counter tactic to our press tactic. We reaped the rewards of this switch not long into the second half, as marauding wing back Jan Boril smashed home an absolute beauty from outside the box into the top-left corner on 50′ to give us a vital lead and away goal. We might have been too aggressive in pushing for a second goal, however, as holding midfielder Ondrej Kudela was also sent off for two yellow cards on 46′ and 66′, eliminating our man advantage… and eventually our goal advantage. The restoration of parity allowed Dynamo an avenue back into the game, and they got their equalizer on 81′ through Polish right back Tomasz Kedziora, who latched onto a deep cross from his opposite full back Vitaliy Mykolenko and beat Ondrej Kolar at his near post. It was disappointing to have let our opponents back into the game after having them on the back foot for so long, but we would have gladly taken the away draw before the match, and we have reason to be confident for the home leg at Eden. Second Leg Unfortunately, we slipped up at home, and missed a good opportunity to reach the Champions League proper at the first time of asking in what became our first loss of the season. Our defense started off poorly, conceding to Dynamo’s opening two efforts of the game. On just 8′, Slovenian winger Benjamin Verbic found dangerous Spanish striker Fran Sol unmarked with his cross, and Sol made no mistake from ten yards out. On 22′, Sol would flip the script, sending in a wicked deep cross for Verbic to smash home at the back post. Now needing three goals to progress, we got one of them back immediately through Ibrahim Traoré’s 20-yard drive, but the same player would effectively end our chances just nine minutes later, earning himself a straight red for a botched two-footed tackle. Though we didn’t completely wither after going a man down- we didn’t concede again and still managed to outshoot and outpossess Dynamo- it was simply too much to ask to get a further two goals, and the final whistle blew to confirm our participation in the Europa League rather than the Champions League in this first season.
  4. With Thanos on our side, European glory is inevitable... and if not, that means Nikolaj, Zlatan, and company get to correct the error . Absolute win-win!
  5. Slavia Praha UEFA Champions League- Third Qualifying Round First Leg We took control of our Third Qualifying Round tie against Swiss runners-up Basel in the home leg, albeit needing some sort of a positive result in the second leg to avoid being overturned on away goals. We had a heart-in-mouth moment early on, as Jan Boril gave away the ball to Aldo Kalulu just a few yards away from goal, who somehow contrived to shoot the ball straight at Ondrej Kolar in the ensuing one-on-one, which diverted onto the post and away. We would hit the woodwork twice ourselves through Stoch and Masopust in a first half that finished at 0-0. We had to wait until deep in the second half to find our chance, but we took it when it arrived on 79′. A perfect counterattack started from the back, as Boril took Kolar’s long throw in stride, driving forward 15 yards before playing a beautiful seam-ripping ball to Olayinka, who blasted the ball past Martin Hansen and into the right side of the net. We wasted little time in doubling our advantage on 85′, as Jaromir Zmrhal rose above his marker and powered in a header from Husbauer’s corner. Luca Zuffi would ensure Basel had the last word four minutes into stoppage time, however, as he found himself unmarked 20 yards away from goal and used that space to fire in Fabian Frei’s pass from the wing. A small lapse in concentration at the end of an otherwise good performance, that hopefully won’t hurt us too much in Switzerland. Second Leg I’m happy to say we took care of business in the away leg, putting three past Basel to advance as clear winners. We got the all-important first goal on 14′, as another Husbauer corner was thumped home at the back post by Milan Skoda, taking full advantage of some dreadful marking by Basel’s back line. Things were brought back into question on 22′, when Kalulu brought Basel level on the night, a brilliant volleyed finish making up for his big miss in the first leg. Still a goal to the good on aggregate, we refused to panic and continued to sit back and look for opportunities on the counter, which we were rewarded for on 51′. A gorgeous through ball from Husbauer was latched onto by Zmrhal, who played a gorgeous cross onto the head of Olayinka, who provided the- dare I say it -gorgeous finish to restore our two-goal aggregate advantage. Is this the Czech version of ‘Jogo Bonito’? We weren’t done quite yet, as Olayinka would tee up Masopust for a crazy volleyed finish from outside the area on 75′ to make it 5-2 on aggregate and effectively secure safe passage to the Playoff. A wonderful night in Basel, one that showed any future opponents that Masuc’s Slavia are not to be taken lightly. Playoff Draw We’ve drawn Ukrainian runners-up Dynamo Kyiv in the Playoff, in what should be a hard-fought and evenly-matched tie. We will go away first this time to the Olympiyskyi, before returning to Prague for a second leg which will hopefully see us secure a place in the Champions League proper for just the second time in this club’s history. Jít! Jít! Jít!
  6. Slavia Praha July 2018 A perfect start to life in the Synot Liga. Lukas Masopust got our scoring for the season off the mark after just five minutes against newly-promoted Pribram, flicking in a header from Josef Husbauer’s corner delivery. We waited until later in the second half to pad our lead, when a push on Peter Olayinka in the box prompted a VAR review and penalty decision by the referee, which Husbauer lifted into the top-left corner for 2-0. We added a third and iced the three points in stoppage time in style, as Tomas Soucek speared Masopust’s cutback into the top-left from the edge of the area. Couldn’t ask for a better first game. We faced our first Prague opposition in Bohemians at home, and despite a dire game, we came away with another three points. Our goal came with pretty much our first clear opportunity of the game, as a push on Miroslav Stoch in the box gave us our second penalty in as many games, to which Husbauer again stepped up and slotted home. We had a couple of chances to put Bohemians to the sword in the second half, and a potential second penalty was denied by VAR, but this ended up a comfortable 1-0 victory, as our opponents offered nothing in attack. Too early for a league table, that'll come at the end of next month. August sees us face three league fixtures and a Champions League Third Qualifying Round tie against Basel, with a Playoff tie in either the Champions League or Europa League to follow. Jít! Jít! Jít!
  7. Slavia Praha 2018/19 Pre-Season We're predicted to finish 2nd in the league, just behind defending champions Viktoria Plzen and just ahead of rivals Sparta Praha. Fellow Prague clubs Dukla and Bohemians are predicted to stay up, while both newly-promoted clubs (ignore the markers on Sigma and Baník) are projected to be in relegation danger. A rip-roaring set of friendlies... our U19s really didn't stand a chance, and neither did any of the other teams we faced. In the highest-profile fixture, we beat our Croatian affiliates Hajduk Split 3-1, which is a decent sign for our Champions League qualifying campaign later this summer. Zmrhal, Olayinka, and Traoré all impressed. I'm more than ready to crack on with the season, and am truly excited for what lies in store. Jít! Jít! Jít! (Cross-posted on From the Cheap Seats)
  8. Ahoj! I hope we get to play some Polish teams in Europe, should be a good matchup. That... just about makes sense. Cheers BWG!
  9. Slavia Praha- The Manager Ladislav Masuc- Day 1 Here I am, sitting at a giant table in the nicest room in the stadium, surrounded by smiling faces. I'm their coveted signing, the one they want. That's a good feeling, but with it comes pressure to perform, to meet expectations of all kinds. Sure, I might have been well-known as a player, but this is still my first job in management. There will be a lot to get used to, but I'm not one to back down from a challenge. I put the pen to paper, my hand moving seemingly autonomously across the dotted line. They start clapping, all 20 or so of them, most of them part of the cohort of the Chinese owner, who I still know only as "Mr. Chen", and before I know it, I'm up and shaking all of their hands for a second time within the hour. Then they all exit the room, single-file, one at a time. Except for one. Jaroslav Tvrdík, the widow's-peaked club president with thin glasses and what might be described as a suspicious-looking mustache. He's stayed seated near the head of the table... he must have something he'd like to say to me, in private. Confirming my senses, he closes the door behind the last of the other brass, then beckons me to join him at the head of the table. Once I've sat next to him, he leans in and says, "Let me tell you something, Ladi. Something no one else at that meeting would have told you." "Go on." "There is... another side to this job." With that, he clicks a button in his hand, and suddenly the entire room starts to transform into something else. The rectangular, wooden table opens up in the middle, folds in on itself, and becomes a circular, steel one, surrounded by dozens of futuristic-looking metal chairs. The walls retract, revealing dozens of television screens. An enormous circular light fixture descends from a newly-opened space in the ceiling. When before this had simply looked like an oversized conference room, it now looks like the war room from "Dr. Strangelove". Naturally, I'm a bit confused. "What... what's going on here, sir?" "It's best that I show you it all now. This is the 'War Room', something that I've taken on pretty much on my own, with the help of a few friends. The owner and his team know about it, but they just think it's for decoration. The real purpose, however, is for something they just wouldn't understand. But I know you will." "What am I supposed to understand?" "Well, listen. You know what's been going on in this city. Something's changing. Those erm... Eastern gentlemen, bless their hearts, might not be able to pick up on it. But locals like us, Prague born and Prague bred, we certainly can. And we've got to adapt to it." Indeed, I know what he's talking about. I was out for my nightly jog when the crown-shaped lightning formed and the blood rain started to fall. But to be honest, that's the first sign I've received that something might be wrong. I hadn't sensed anything amiss beforehand. And I certainly don't understand why it requires the formation of a war room. "Well, yes, I'm aware of what's been going on, but what does it have to do with us? This is a football club. We're not supposed to be involved in such things. Whatever they might be." "That, my friend, is an opinion you might soon have to change. You know how important sport is to people here. Don't underestimate the power we have." "Okay... what's your point, sir?" "My point is, we have to be extra careful now. This club has rivals, enemies even, within our own city. You know how fierce the derbies with Sparta, Dukla, and Bohemians can be. And from what I've been hearing from my sources in the Ultras groups, we potentially have a lot to be worried about from them. So in addition to your managerial duties on the pitch, I need you to be at the helm of something much more important off the pitch. This club must protect itself, by any means necessary. We must remain a step ahead of our enemies, by any means necessary. And we must win games, by any means necessary. I've set up a meeting with Lukas and Jan, the leaders of the two Ultras factions, who will be your most trusted associates when it comes to this side of things. You'll soon come to know them by different names. In the meantime, I think you'll find this room quite handy for planning your tactics. All you need to do is push the button." With that, he tosses me a small red push-button, like something out of an arcade. I have so many questions for Tvrdík, but before I can come up with the words to voice any of them, he's gone. I'm in disbelief. How could they not have told me any of this before I took the job? This has come out of nowhere. I already have enough on my plate, this being my first managerial job and all. Now I have to become some sort of military general too? It defies explanation. But I've never been one to quit, never one to turn down a big challenge, as I said before. If this is what I have to do to succeed, then this is what I'll have to do. I have no idea how to do it, and I have no idea what I may or may not be up against, but I'll have to give it a go. I've waited years for my first crack at management, and I'm not going to pass it up. Coach, manager, commander, whatever I might be called, I'll give it my best shot. And if I weren't already convinced of the trouble this city was in, suddenly the bank of TV screens turn on, seemingly unprovoked. They all show the same news broadcast, announcing that Štěpán Černý, the mayor of Prague, has gone missing under "mysterious circumstances". This is too much for me to process right now. I press the red button, and everything goes back to normal. Oh, how we all wish that button could work on Prague itself. I've given myself the highest playing experience possible, but one step off the best coaching badge possible. I'll look to pick up the Continental Pro license as soon as I can. Jít! Jít! Jít! (Cross-posted on From the Cheap Seats)
  10. Slavia Praha- The Squad and Tactics As you can see, we have quite a big squad at the moment, with many more players out on loan down in the U21s that I'll have to assess next season. We have depth in most places, except for left back and defensive mid, so I might look to strengthen there in January. We don't have many old players in the senior side, but also not many young ones as well. Most of our players are currently in their prime, which is great for right now, but we need to make sure we are continually building for the next generation, likely the one that will take us further on the continental stage. You might also notice that we have a lot of injuries, which is annoying, but the squad is large enough to cope with it for now. I'd be looking out for the following players to make a big impact this season and beyond: Simon Deli| Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui| Tomáš Souček| Josef Hušbauer| Jaromír Zmrhal| Miroslav Stoch| Peter Olayinka I've always liked the idea of using two different starting XIs for when a team has European and domestic commitments to deal with, as used to great success in @ManUtd1's Nearly Men threads, so that's something I'll try to be doing here, using the first XI in all European and two thirds of league games, with the second XI tasked with the remaining third of the league games and all cup matches. I don't think I have the depth in all the right places to use a completely unique second XI yet, so that's something I'll be working towards creating over the next couple of transfer windows. Overall, I think we have a strong unit ready to compete on all fronts this season. Tactics I'm planning to use an aggressive press in games in which we're favored, and a flat 4-4-2 to counter with when we're not favored. Husbauer should be the most important player on the pitch in both systems, driving forward to attack himself as a Mezzala in the press tactic, and sitting back as a supporting playmaker to find the wingers and strikers in the counter tactic. Two other important roles in the press will be Kudela at DLP, as he'll need to balance supporting quick attacking moves with providing cover for the two center halves, as well as Bořil/Zelený at WB, who will push high up the pitch and overlap Zmrhal to ping crosses into the box. We're set up to succeed this season, the question will be whether we can perform with enough consistency and prevent our injury problem from getting the better of us. I'm looking forward to finding out the answer. Jít! Jít! Jít!
  11. I sure hope so. If it's not, rest assured that I'll be the first to phone up SI about it. Thanks! I think this is the first time you've ever commented on one of my threads, so I'm quite honored!
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