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Jellico73

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About Jellico73

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    Gaming, reading, watching sports and Monday Morning QB'ing

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    USL-Dunkerque

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  1. I'll have the first season update tomorrow. Have to finish playing it out tonight. Thanks for reading and following! Jellico73
  2. "Über die Brücke Ruhm warte - Across the Bridge Glory waits" My first football games were English. Newmarket, Cambridge, and the television back in the early and mid 80's, which then meant a lot of Everton and Liverpool. When my dad was stationed in Germany, we lived in Volgelweh, which was part of the Kaiserslautern Military Community. At the time it was (and I think still is) the largest American enclave outside of the United States, with the various bases and personnel within a radius there were at least 100K of us, mostly wondering why we only had one channel on TV in English. I did go to a few Kaiserslautern games, they weren't a bad team then. I did see a couple of Saarbrücken games as well, and when I went looking for a new save to tide me over until FM18 comes out, I took a look at their history online. They started playing in 1903, and until the start of World War Two had won several regional lower league titles. After the Second World War, the Saarland region was administered by the French. Various efforts were made to see the Saarland become either independent, or a part of France. FC Saarbrucken was forced out of German football in 1948, and rather than participate in the Ehrenliga, a short lived league the other saarland teams participated in; the joined the French Football association as FC Sarrebruck, and won the Ligie 2 title in 1949. However, because of resistance from other clubs (primarily RC Strasbourg, who had been forced to play in Germany in the War), they were refused promotion to Ligue 1, and found themselves being shut out of Ligue 2. The team withdrew from the Ligue, and existed by playing friendlies for two years, and also organized the Internationaler Saarland Pokal (International Saarland Cup) that had them play fifteen home matches against teams from Austria, Chile, Denmark, France, Sweden, Switzerland, and Yugoslavia. The top three sides then joined hosts Saarbrücken in a playoff round, which the home team eventually won in a 4–0 victory over Stade Rennais. The next year fellow Saarlanders VfB Neunkirchen co-hosted the tournament which this time included more German sides. The tournament was abandoned in 1952 as an agreement was reached to allow teams from the Saarland re-admission to the German Football Association. This was an interesting time in Saarland sports, because of the regions political status, the team did not have an official association with either French or German football, and as a result the Saarland has a 1952 Olympic Team, and because of its membership in FIFA, a 1954 World Cup team. Yes, 10 of the starters were from FC Sarbrucken, but they finished well, second in the group behind West Germany. In 1953 the team wasagain part of the Oberliga Sudwest, and won the division and advanced to the national final. When the Bundesliga was officially created in 1963, 1 FC Sabrucken was one of the original 16 teams. It was a controversial choice, as the Bundesliga team selection relied on a criteria based upon performance, financial health, and geographic location. There were better teams in the area, Pirmasens and Worms among them, but the clubs longtime affiliation with Hermann Neuberger, who at the time was a very influential person ion German Football and a member of the selection committee, is most likely why they were chosen. There stay in the Bundesliga did not last long, they were the first team relegated out. They made their way back to the Bundesliga in 1976, after finishing in 1st place in the 2nd Bundesliga Sud, but were relagted again in 1978. Thus began several years of yo-yoing success, slipping all the way to the Amateru Oberliga Sudwest in 1981, returning to the Bundelsiga in 1986, being relegated again, returning to the Bundesliga in 1993, and being relegated again. The teams fionances were in ruins in 1995, and they were denied a license and sent back down to the Regionliga West/Sudwest. Since then they have moved back and forth between the second and fifth tiers of German Football. Their last bit of success came in 2009-2010, where after back to back promotions, they found themselves in the 3. Liga. They remained a midtable team there until a disastrous 2013-2014 season had them finish bottom of the table. 36 players and four head coaches could not keep them from being relegated. They qualified fro promotion back to the 3. Liga the next season, but lost in the promotion round. 1. FC Saarbrücken now play in the Regionalliga Südwest. They are a professional team with and owner that loves the club. Adequate youth facilities, Average training facilties, they are predicted to finish 4th. However, their finances are insecure, which is going to cause problems in the short term, and in the long term as well if they are not sorted out. My goal, as with my previous save, is to take this lower league team back up thru the ranks, to the top of the Bundesliga, and win a few other cups and trophy's along the way. New coach, new town, new team, same goals. Saarbrücken translates to 'Saar bridges', and there a dozen of them that cross the river in the this town. "Über die Brücke Ruhm warte - Across the Bridge Glory waits" Now, if I could only find which of the twelve bridges that is... Thanks for reading and following! Jellico73
  3. FC Bastia games cancelled?

    Thanks for the reply Medmex. I was aware of the relegation from League 1 but not the other details. Appreciate the replies, Jellico73
  4. [FM17] Against All Odds - USL Dunkerque

    So, I've simmed out the next ten years of the save, and here are the highlights and lowlights: 2036/2037 season: Long time Assistant Coach Pedro Santos took over for the team after Thierry retired. Transfer wise, they brought in €173M worth of players, including €77M for an M(C), Francisco Alonso; and 40M for Branko Kovac, a D(C) I had my on eye, but didn't want to pay the money for. Jan K retired, and they sent most of the players I had signed to boloset the reserves and U19 team out on loan. Season wise they did not get off to a good start, going 0-3, recovered and played some very good games. They did win the Club World Championship. Cup wise, they made it out of the Champions League Group but lost to Arsenal in the First Knockout Round. They lost in the Coupe de France Quarter FInal to Toulouse, but won the Coupe de la Ligue. Overall they finished 3rd, with 25 wins, 7 draws and 6 losses. 82 points, 1 behind Monaco. PSG had 99 points to win the Ligue. Bayern Munich beat Man City to win the Champions League. 2037/2038 Season: Transfer wise, they brought in €98M worth of players. 31M for an AM(R), 21M for a DM, and 26.5M for another AM(R). They let 30 players go out on Free's, but sold Bruno Mendes to Liverpool for 32.5M, and Christopher Fabian to Schalke for 29M. I wouldn't have let Fabian go. Schedule wise they had a very good season. If it weren't for PSG it would have been very good. They came in 2nd place, 29 wins, 5 draws, 4 losses, for 92 points, 8 behind PSG and 2 ahead of Monaco. They won their Champions League Group, but lost in the Quarter Finals to PSG. PSG also beat them in the Coupe de la Ligue final, but they won the Coupe de France. Schalke won the Champions League, beating Chelsea. 2038/2039 Season: Transfer wise, they brought in €38M, but sold €98M. The most recognizable name for followers would be Lior Tabib, who went to Napoli for 6M. Schedule was was good and bad. They finished 3rd, with 85 points on 25 wins, 10 draws and 3 losses. Monaco won the Ligue, PSG had the same number of points, but Monaco had the better goal difference. Les Bleus won their Champions League group, and advanced all the way to the Semi Finals, where they lost to eventual Champions Schalke on Penalty Kicks. They lost the Coupe de la Ligue Final, but a loss to CFA-B team Strasbourg Alsace in the Ninth Round of the Coupe de France was the first nail in the coffin for Santos. 3 wins, 1 loss, and 6 draws in his last ten games was enough for the board to fire him. A Caretaker manager took over for the last game, and then they hired Louis Souchad from L'OL. Mousa Al-Mousa also withdrew funding. 2039/2040 Season: Transfer wise, they brought in €19M worth of players, 15M of whgich was for a pretty good D(R). On the outs, they sold Team Captain Kevin Giraud to Bayen for 88M. Mlungisi Mshtali went out for 8.75M, and Shane Griffin went for 10.75M. Schedule wise, they again had a solid season, if you were to just look at the standings. Howeverm Monaco and PSG ran away with the Ligue. Monaco had 97 points, PSG had 93. Les Bleus were 3rd, 21 wins, 8 draws, 9 losses for 71 points. Competition wise, the made it to the Group stage of the Champions CUp and went 5-1 against Brugge, PAOK, and Juventus. Schalke, again the eventual winners, beat them on away goals in the First Knock out round. Monaco beat the in the Coupe de la Ligue Semi Finals, PSG beat them in the Coupe de France. Thierry obviously set a high bar expectation wise, because after losing to Schalke, the board fired Souchad and hired a caretaker for a game, then hired Luis Ibanez as Head Coch. Man City won the Champions League, beating Chelsea. 2040/2041 Season: The board obviously felt it could buy its way to success, spending €138M to bring players in, and selling €127M players out, including the aforementioned Alonso to PSG for €110M (after incentives). Eric Diallo went for 10M, and Marco Bukuru left for 20M Schedule wise they got off to a fast start, going 8-2-0 before losing to PSG. They won their Champions League Group (against Rangers, Anderlecht, and Benfica), before losing to Braga 3-2 on aggregate in the First Knockout round. PSG beat them in the Coupe de la Ligue Quarter FInals, and again beat them in the Coupe de France Semi Finals. They again finished 3rd in the Ligue with 78 points, behind Monaco (84 points) and PSG (97 points). They seem to have become the new version of L'OL. Good eneough to contend, but not good enough to win. James Carter retired at the end of the season. At the time the board hated me when I signed him, but I hung in there, he hung in there, and he becaome a world class AM(L). Although injuries did take away some games from him later in his career, the ENglish International (21 goals in 79 appearances), had 446 appearances for Les Bleus, scoring 150 goals. World Player of the year in 2034, many a Kolarek, Quartey, Tumminello and Jan K goal started with his right foot. The next 5 years were more of the same. In 2041/2042 they were 3rd with 83 points. Monaco and PSG each had 92 points, with Monaco winning on Goal differential. Champions League they made it out of the Group stages, beat Arsenal on Penalty kicks, then lost to Auxerre in the Quarter Finals. Monaco beat them in the Coupe de la Ligue Semi's, PSG beat them in the Coupede France final. Transfer wise they were not that active, only bringing in 4M while selling 27.5M, including Alexander Fritz to Liverpool for 19M. In 2042/2043 they finished in 2nd place with 29 wins, 5 draws and 4 losses, for 92 points. 6 points behind PSG. Transfer wise they did not bring anyone in. Geir Zetterlund Nilsen left on a free, and retired when no one signed him. Cup wise, they made itt out of the Group Stages, but lost to Schalke 2-1 aggregate in the First Knockout Round. PSG beat them in the Coupe de la Ligue Semi Finals, but they beat PSG in the Coupe de France final on penalty kicks. They finished the season 13-1-1 in Ligue 12 play. In 2043/2044 they finished 3rd. PSG won the Ligue with 92 points, while Les Bleus tied with Monaco at 82 points, they had a better goal differential. Each team had 25 wins, 7 draws and 6 losses. The owner pulling the plug on funding hurt them somehwat, as they were not all that active in the transfer market. They failed to get out of the group stages in the Champions League, only winning 1 game. They lost to Nantes in the 9th round of the Coupe de la Ligue (On PK's no less), and lost to Monaco in the Coupe de France final. The big news of the season: Petar Kolarek and Dirk Gobel left on Frees, as their contracts were not renewed. Gobel spent 15 years as a member of Les Bleus, and was a solid defender throughout, well worth the 45M I paid for him. Petar Kolarek played 17 years for Les Bleus. I am not sure why he's an Icon. Somewhere along the way he got a coaching License, maybe the game is waiting for him to retire for good? His last season for Les Bleus, he had 23 goals, 12 assists, 9 POM's for a 7.42 rating. His 2035/2036 season set records that still stand. In 534 appearances for Dunkerque, he had 355 goals, 117 assists, 100 POM's and a 7.51 rating. He then went to Liverpool on a free. In 2044/2045 Les Bleus finished 4th, with 18 wins, 14 draws, and 6 losses. As best as I can tell, at one point they has 9 players out for six or more weeks. They did win the Coupe de La Ligue, beating OM. They lost to L'OL in the Coupe de France Quarter Finals. They failed to get out of their Champions League Group, but beat Dynamo Kyiv in the Eurpa League Knockout, then beat Wolfsburg, Athletic Club and Celtic before facing Real Sociedad in the finals, which they won, 1-0. It's not Champions League, but its a very good win. I suspect its why Ibnaez is still the coach. Petar Kolarek played 1 season for Liverpool, in 29 appearances he had 15 goals, 6 assists, and 6 POM's, then was sold to Atletico Madrid for 4.1M. 2045/2046 Les Bleus finished 2nd with 76 points, 12 behind PSG (of Course). 23 wins, 7 draws, 8 losses. Transfer window wise the biggest move was at the end of the season, when Efrain Villa left on a Free (and then signed with Atlas). The Mexican International (21 goals in 85 caps) was a capable M(R), very good AM(R), and excellent AM(C). 385 appearances for Les Bleus, 98 goals, 100 assists, 35 POM's and a 7.12 rating. Not bad for a player I brought in on a Free. Cup wise they lost in the Coupe De la Ligue 4th Round to Monaco, and lost in the Semi FInals of the Coupe de France to Clermont Foot. They failed to advance out of the Champions League Group (although seeing as how the group was Athletico Madrid, Bayern and FC Kobenhaven, I don't blame them for that). They beat Chelsea in the Europa League First Knockout round, the LOSC in the Second Round. They beat Ingolstadt in the Quarters, hammered Villareal in the Semis, and the against Watford, won 2-1. Back to back Europa League Champions, a fine accomplishment. Kolarek had 16 goals, 7 assists, and 6 POM's in Madrid, then retired, one of the greatest of all time IMO. In the 10 years since Thierry has left, their finances have fallen precipitously. Whereas they used to be rich, now they are just merely OK, and from an Estimated Value of almost 1B euros they are now at 245M, with 164M in debt. I cant tell why they have all the debt, maybe a new stadium being built? Player wise, Didier N'Guesson, Mohamed Quartey, and Giannis Loukos are still at the team. N'Guesson is the team captain, the next season will be his 16th with the club. A World Class AM(C), the Ivorian has 420 appearances, 121 goals, 135 assists, 49 POM's and a 7.27 rating. Quartey split time with and then took over when Kolarek left. In the two season he's been the primary striker, he's had 67 appearences, 37 goals, and 4 POM's. He averaged 22 appearances and 6 goals while in relief of Kolarek. In 284 qppearences, he has 118 goals overall. He will probably be remembered for his success in International play. In 109 caps for the Ghana team, he has 74 goals (Along with 26 U20 caps and 18 U20 goals as well). Loukos is still in goal for Les Bleus, and is one of the better keeps in football. in 439 Appearences he has allowed 390 goals, had 168 shutouts, and a 6.9 rating. So, the story of USL Dunkerque since Thierry retired? Good, but maybe not good enough. Why? Believe it or not, I think it comes down to formation. I always played a 4-2-3-1 the majority of the time I coached. There were a couple of seasons I broke out an asymmetric or other formation, but my best seasons were the last 3 I played, 2-33/34 to 2035/36. And I played a 3-4-1-2, with 3 D(C)s, 2 M(C)'s, an M(R) and M(L), an AM(C), and 2 Strikers. One of my MC's could drop back to D(C), and I could split the D(C)'d out to D(R) and D(L) as well. I played this formation almost exclusively the last three seasons, because it let me get my best scorers and defenders on the field in positions they were very good in, if not natural at. In 2033/34 we had 96 goals for, and 30 against, and 100 points. In 2034/35 we had 99 goals for, 30 against, and 98 points. In 2035.2036 we had 121 goals for, 39 against, and 105 points. Kolarek had 47 goals, 13 assists. Quartey had 16 goals and 18 assists. Carter had 14 goals and 18 assists playong M(L). Villa had 10 goals and 11 assists playing mostly AM(C). Frist had 7 goals and 10 assist. The players knew the system and what to do. And then I retired. And Santos came in playing a bog standard 4-2-3-1, and playing people out of position, or in places they were weak. And by not starting two strikers, he left of a good attacker. And he spent something like €140M the next two years trying to find a replacement at AM(R) because he played N'Guesson at M(C) and Villa at AM(C), when N'Guesson was a very capable AM(C) and Villa a 4 star AM(R). I think because of the change, they went from great to good, but in all honestly, I thought they would have fallen a little bit further, and I am delighted that in ten years and three coaches, they've only finished below 3rd once, and have won back to back Europa League Championships. I wish players like Kolarek and Giraud had stayed on the team and retired as Les Bleus, but I am glad at the teams success. Against All Odds, they remain near the top. Thanks for reading, Jellico73
  5. FC Bastia games cancelled?

    I knew about the game with Lyon being cancelled because of fan interference....the rest of the stuff I didn't know about. As you say, finding nay info on it is not easy. Thanks for the help, Jellico73
  6. Anyone know why FC Bastia's first four games were cancelled? Thanks, Jellico73
  7. [FM17] Against All Odds - USL Dunkerque

    "Against All Odds - Les Bleus et Blancs" We weren't that active in the January transfer window, but I was able to bring in a few players who are going to help the team out, especially from a defensive point of view. I've never been quite happy with my D(R) and D(L) for awhile, and my D(C)'s are getting older, and I wanted to do something about that before it was too late. First in was Devante Estrella, from the MLS. He was injured when we signed him, which is why he was on a free probably, but he's a 20 year D(C) with 5 defensive traits I don't mind him having (Marks tightly, Knocks ball past opponent, stays back at all times, does not dive, Refrains from long shots). 2 star Current, 4 star Potential, he will definitely be part of the rotation. Marco Bukuru is a 21 year old Australian D(C) I've been following for awhile now. 2 1/2 star current, 4 1/2 star potential, he's tall, strong, very good physicals, he was transfer listed by request while at Utrecht, and I think I got him for a good price. He will also be part of the rotation this season. After I signed him I got a message from the finance guys saying his jersey sales were bringing in a lot of money yo the club, which is something I've never seen before. Serkan Gunduz is a depth signing, a 2 star CA/2 star PA Turkish international player who plays CF very well. Having finally found a 2 striker, 2 winger formation I like, I needed some depth to spell Kolarek and Qaurtey, and Serkan is one of those players. Last but not least is Aldin Vidovic. The 26 year old Bosnian International has 58 caps as a M(C), but he also plays a very capable M(R) as well. He's also going to be a very good tutor. I didn't sell any players off, although I had some listed. I did have a few players go out on loans: When the Ligue 1 schedule resumed, I wanted to hit the ground running. And I wanted to keep running. And boy, did we ever: 5-3 at Toulouse, 6-0 at Saint Etienne (Collins was not in goal), 5-0 at Troyes, 5-2 at Monaco, 4-0 at Girondins, and several other clean sheets. Our only stumbles were at Stade Reannais, who stopped almost all of our attacks cold, and PSG, which was a barnburner of a game. Combined there were 40 shots on goal, 15 on target, but Diabate and Loukos were solid between the sticks. I can live with a draw, as it kept PSG from moving up the standings. In the end, we set several new Ligue 1 records: 105 points is a new Ligue record, and the number of goals scored is second highest ever. I do believe our +82 Goal differential is the best in Ligue 1 as well. Competition wise things were a little bit tougher. We won the Coupe de la Ligue: The highlight of this was demolishing Monaco again. FOr whatever reason we seemed to have their number this year. The Coupe de France was a little bit easier. I didn't try and bottle it this year like I did last year: Which left Champions League play. Now, oddly enough, I did get some questions from the press about the quality of Ligue 1 soccer. To which I replied thusly: That's three Ligue 1 teams in the Quarter finals. And the only reason it's not four is because L'OL lost on away goals. Ligue 1 is doing very well, thanks. Shaktar played us very tough. We almost threw the first game away, after Shaktar went up 1-0 in the 18th minute, Alexander Fritz was double yellowed in the 39th and 40th minutes, and despite being a man down we clawed back two goals in the second half, back to back scorchers a minute apart. In the 62nd minute Shaktar was 1-0 and a man up, in the 64th minute they were a man up and on the wrong side of a 2-1 game. The home game was also tough. Shaktar went up early again, but Quartey and Kolarek goals in the second half gave us the victory, and a 4-1 aggregate win. Next up was Barcelona, and again we metaphorically shot ourselves in the foot. Kolarek put us up in the 25th minute, but Mouya equalized in the 39th minute. Mendes was booked in the 48th minute, and likeit so much he was booka agin in the 65th minute, leaving us a man down again. I looked like we were going to hold out for the draw, but Franco scored in the 83rd minute, a shot that beat Loukos near post. My sincerest hope was that our away goal would be the difference, but it was going to be tough. The defense that was missing out last few games suddenly made itself known in the second half of our Quarterfinal match. We held Barcelona to 9 shots, while Tabaib and Kolarek golas were more than enough to see us thru, we had several other opportunities that were turned away by a very good Marin performance for Barca. That win put us in the semi finals against a very good Arsenal squad. Mark Bijl plays for the gunners now, and they have one of the best defenses in Football. Petar Kolarek didn't care. The crowd at Emirates was shocked when he scored in the 3rd minute, stunned when he scored in the 23rd minute, and speechless when he had a 31 minute hat trick. Only a serious defensive laps on our part in the 91st minute allowed Arsenal to equalize, but with the team in top form and with three away goals, I wasn't to worried about the second game. My instincts were right, because we hammered them the seond match, 5-2. Quartey and Kolarek both had a brace, and Carter knocked one in as well, and while Arsenal did score, it wasn't enough. Which put us in the finals, against a very good Athletico Madrid team. Who beat (and I am not making this up), aqll of the other French team in the competition to face us. However, when facing Les Bleus, they ran into the one team they could not beat: I swear they had two player marking Kolarek, which was fine by me, as it left Quartey wide open to score twice. N'Guessan put the game out of reach in the 55th minute, and with a 3-0 win, in France no less, we won our third consecutive Champions League, and our 5th in eight years. The plaudits came rolling in: And a few others. Petar Kolarek was...well, "Otherworldy" this season. At 26 years old, he had 64 total caps for Croatia, and 35 goals. This season in Ligue 1, it was as if he was playing against 10 men team opponents at all times. In 62(0) starts across all competitions, he had 73 goals. 24 Assists, 3 PK's, 19POM's, and an 8.03 rating. In 35(0) Ligue 1 games, he had 47 goals (A Ligue 1 record), 13 assists, 12 POM's, and a 8.13 overall rating (also a new Ligue 1 record). In 250 appearances for Les Bleus, he has 218 goals As our second attacking option, Mohammed Quarety had a season that would put most other teams first options to shame. in 51(0) appearances across all competitions, he had 30 goals, 27 assists, 6 POM's and a 7.48 rating. With 16 goals and18 assists in 28 Ligue 1 games he was very good. Didier N'Guessan missed 3 months with hamstring issues, but still had a respectable season. In 31(2) appearances across all competitions, he had 9 goals, 5 assists, 1 POM and a 7.27 rating. He was the primary facilitator of our attacks. When he went down with injury, Efrain Villa moved from his (R) winger role back to AM(C). Villa had an excellent season as well, in 51(0) appearances across all competitions, he had 17 goals, 17 assists, 4 POM's and a 7.36 rating. At 29 years old, James Carter retired from International football. With 95 total caps, and 25 total goals for England, I am nit sure why he retired, especiall after a season that saw him score 21 goals, have 28 assists, 7 POM's and a 7.27 rating across 58(0) appearances across all competitions. He's still a great AM(L), and also plays a very good M(L) now as well. Kevin Giaraud stepped into the Captaincy, and only improved as the season went on. Playing M(C) and DM, the 23 year old Frenchman had 58(0) appearances across all competitions, with 7 goals, 9 assists, and 3 POM's. A very physical defender, he also had 20 yellows, which caused a couple of problems, but his 7.38 overall rating can't be argued with too much. I can train him out of the yellows I think. Geir Zetterlund Nilsen shifted between M(C), DM, and I'm training him to be a D(C) as well. The Norwegian international had 7 goals, 4 assists, 6 PK's and 2 POM's in 44(2) appearences, for a 7.25 rating. He likes to loft the long balls forward, many a Kolarek goal started off his right foot. Dirk Gobel was again our stalwart at D(C). The 26 year old German had 53(10 appearences, with 4 goals, 5 assists, and 4 POM's. When Alexander Fritz wasn't playing D(R), he was playing M(R) (because Villa had to take over AM(C) from N'Guessan). It's not his natural position, but a 16 First Touch, 16 Decision, 18 Acceleration, Pace and Stamina, and a 16 Agility, saw the Austrian to 8 goals, 15 assists, a POM and a 7.42 rating. He was so good at M(R) i was able to play three D(C)'d at the back and put another M(C) in my formation, which was crucial in a lot of games as it let me get my best players in their best positions. Bruno Mendes, Jonathan Engosso, and Lior Tabib also played a lot of D(C), and were solid (and occasionally spectacular). I was very impressed by Eric Diallo's performance at D(C). The 20 year old Ghanain had just 14 appearances for the first team, but was very solid. Giannis Loukos had a fine season in goal, in 63(0) appearances, he allowed 66 goals, had 24 shutouts, and a 7.01 rating. Jan K's last season for Les Bleus was not what I wanted it to be, but he did get some games in with the first team, and did score a goal and have 2 assists as well. In 412 Ligue games for Les Bleus, Jan had 106 goals, 122 assists, 33 POM's, and a 7.16 average. The one thing that does bother me is that he's not a Legend, or Club Icon, or even favored personnel, but we would not be where we are without him. He's a legend to me, and that's what matters. So, what is next for Thierry Davout and Les Bleus? Well, I think I've accomplished everything I wanted to. I wanted to take the team to the top of Ligue 1, and I have. When I started I wasn't to interested in Champions League or Europa League play, but having taken the team to the pinnacle of the football world, theres really only one place to go, and thats down. Thierry is 49 years old. He's played 1125 games, and won 750 of them, and lost 195. His teams have scored 2244 goals, and have let in 1149 goals. He's won 10 Ligue titles, and 31 cup competitions, and has won 20 awards. He has spent 7288 living, breathing, and coaching Les Bleus Soccer. And he thinks it's time for a break. Against All Odds, We leave at the top. My plan is to sim the next 20 years, and post 5, 10, 5 and 20 year updates. Thanks for reading and following! Jellico73
  8. [FM17] Against All Odds - USL Dunkerque

    Stade Orange Velodrome was mostly empty, inside that is. Outside there we already fans gathering, waiting for the gates to open. Only Eleven hours and forty three minutes left. Already the crowds were dominated by the jersey's of Les Bleus. Marseilles might be a ten hour drive away from the Channel coast, but Dunkerque had fans everywhere in the world these days. Pierre would have worn his own Kolarek jersey, but the senior groundskeeper had said no jerseys. Over half the world was going to be watching the game tonight, and he didn't want any trouble starting locally. He had just finished mowing the area the area behind the baseline, and was making sure the sprinkler covers were in place. With his headphones on and his focus on the ground in front of him, he almost ran into the man standing at the corner box. "Excuse me sir, can I help---" his voice died out as he realized who he was looking at. "No, I am just getting a feel for the pitch this morning." Thierry Davout, the most famous football coach in all of France, if not Europe, was standing before him. Already wearing a suit, shoes toeing the grass in the corner. "I'm sorry sir, but I'm not sure your supposed to be here?" Pierre looked, and did not see the security badge everyone who was supposed to display at all times. "I mean, yes your supposed to be here, but not on the pitch. I mean now." Pierre was on the verge of babbling, and he knew it. Coach Davout looked at him for a moment, then smiled a great big smile, and chuckled under his breath as well. "It's OK, I am reasonably sure they won't kick me out. Be that as it may, if I am with someone who is also supposed to be here. Walk with me." It wasn't a request, but Davout began walking across the pitch, towards the corner of the 21 yard box closest to them. Pierre stood still for just a second, then rushed to catch up. Coach Davout had stopped, and was toeing an area of the ground again. "Ah, I see Rene has finally fixed this." He said to himself. "Fixed what? Um, Monsiur, erm..Coach?" "Coach is fine. There used to be a sprinkler head here, but when the pitch was redone seven years ago, they redid the drainage system, and the irrigation system as well. And there are, or maybe were, depressions all over the pitch. Your running along at full speed and your foot goes an inch slower than you thought it would, or your mid dribble and the ball hits a contour that shouldn't be there. You have to be aware of these things. You have to be prepared for them. They could be the difference between a win and a loss." For the next twenty minutes they walked the length and breadth of the pitch, with Davout stopping every so often to pick at a piece of grass. Then they made their way to the center of the pitch, and Thierry stopped, turning around in place, just once. "Do you play?" he asked. Pierre was surprised at the question, but answered quickly. "In a Sunday Rec league Coach. A bunch of us on the grounds crew are on the team." "Any good?" It took a second to realize that Davout was asking him about his ability, not the teams. "I'm not as quick as some, or as strong as some, but I leave it all on the pitch." Pierre said with a point of pride. Many of the other teams felt the groundskeepers were somehow cheating, because of their proximity to the players and professional coaches, they were gleaning some extra tips and tricks of the game. All it really got them was some very nice equipment to practice with, and newer balls to boot around. "You know I played Semi-Pro. I loved it, ever since I was a kid, and Papa put that ball in my hands for the first time. I wanted to be the next Fontaine, or Copa. I tried out for a couple of teams, but there was always players faster than me, better than me..." Davout's voice trailed off, and there was a silence again. "Is that why you went into coaching?" Thierry paused, turning around in a circle again, looking up in the stands. "No, I went into coaching because I love the game. I got my license, took a couple of smaller team coaching jobs. I didn't get paid my first job. Or my second." He smiled again, at a memory. "I applied to Dunkerque on a whim. Asked a friend of a friend to just get my resume in the inbox. I am pretty sure the interview was supposed to be perfunctory at best. See this young man for three minutes, then kick him out the door with a smile and a wave. But I made an impression on them. I remember when the fans learned I was hired, this unknown from Afrique, taking over their team...twenty years ago." There was a silence, then Thierry sighed and turned around again one more time. "Do you like your job?" Pierre blinked, and stared at the coach. "You mean as a grounds keeper?" Davout nodded. "It's a job. It pays the bills as they say. I have had worse. I like it, the people I work with are for the most part good, as are the people I work for. Plus it keeps me involved in Football, although in a peripheral way. At one time I entertained the idea of becoming a Physio, but I am not so good at the science part of the job. My mother says I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up." He paused for a second, then said. "I've entertained the idea of getting my coaching license." Davout looked at him, blue eyes behind his iconic glasses. "Do you coach now?" "I help with a couple of the youth teams. And with our local squad. But I do like it." "More than groundskeeping?" "A lot more than groundskeeping. But it requires time and money I do not have at the moment. Another year, maybe eighteen months, and I'll sign up." Davout nodded. "Good. Keep at it. You never know where you could end up." He finished with a half smile, one corner of his mouth tugging up. "We all had to start from somewhere. We had best be off, or Rene is going to throw a snit when he sees us out here." He turned, and began walking towards the tunnels. "Do you think you can do it next year?" Pierre suddenly asked. "Do what?" "Go undefeated. You were so close this year." A lot of the fans had started calling the team "Les Invince-Bleus", but that went by the wayside after PSG had beaten them at the end of October. "That's not for me to decide. That's up to the men on the pitch. If they want it, they can achieve it I think. But, you have to remember, the other team gets a vote on how the game will go as well. We will have to wait and see, won't we." As they approached the tunnels, a harried looking young man came out, cellphone to his ear. "Yes, I found him, he's here. Merci." Davout sighed, and with an eyeroll Pierre thought was mostly theatrical, looked at the young man. "You forgot you phone again sir." "No I didn't. It's back in the hotel room, where I left it." "Actually, its right here sir." The young man reached into a coat pocket, and pulled out the slim device. He held it out, and looked to be on the verge of stamping a foot and shaking it before Thierry reached over and grabbed it. A couple of swiped later he was looking at something on the screen. "Ah, Marie called. One moment gentlemen." He dialed, and put the phone to his ear, walking down the tunnel. The other man sighed with exasperation, then followed at a respectful distance. "You lucky bastard!" A new voice jolted Pierre out of his stupor. Tien, a roomate, clapped him on the shoulder as he came up and watched the back of the coach turn a corner and disappear. "I watched the whole thing. What were you doing out there? Did you get an autograph" "He was showing me the soft spots on the pitch." "The what?" Pierre took a few seconds to explain what they had done, and Tien stared at him for a second or two before breaking into a laugh. "Pull my other leg Pierre, it plays La Marseille." Pierre shook his head, grabbed his friend by the arm, and marched him out to an area of the pitch where Davout had shown him one of the small depressions. Tien said he couldn't tell the difference, but then Tien also thought "Green side up!" was all you needed to know about groundskeeping. "Roche! Fleury!" A voice barked at them. From across the pitch Gaston, their team leader, was marching angrily towards them. "Get off the damned pitch." he bellowed. "Sorry Gaston." Pierre replied, "I was just showing-" "You were just showing him the depressions in the ground left over from when we redid the pitch that Coach Davout showed you. I saw the whole thing." "How did you know that's what we were doing?" asked Pierre, as they made their way over to a pile of growing equipment that other members of the team were bringing out. "Because he does that before every game. If he wasn't so damned nice about it Andre would have had a meltdown by now." Andre was the senior groundskeeper. "He does that before every game here at OM?" asked Tien, getting a slap upside the head in return. "No," replied Gaston. "I mean every game he's ever coached. Doesn't matter where, doesn't matter when, he's always inspecting the pitch before a match. Has a photographic memory for such things. You know he was a groundskeeper when he started? At Lorient? Then he got the Dunkirk job, and now here we are. Now lets get our heads in the game boys, half the world is going to be watching tonight, and Andre will kill anyone who misses something. This is going to be the best looking hundred year old stadium in the world tonight. Or Else...don't ask Tien, just pick up your equipment and go."
  9. FM17 - French Football Thread

    I'll be wrapping up my USL Dunkerque career shortly. Couple of more games left, then end of season writeup. I do plan on simming the next twenty or so years just to see if the computer can keep the team at the rarefied heights I've been able to take them. Jellico73
  10. Rulli was the keeper for PSG in my Dunkerque save for many years. I took to calling him the 'Great Wall of Rulli" because he stopped everything (well, nearly) that came his way. Jellico73
  11. [FM17] Against All Odds - USL Dunkerque

    "Against All Odds - Les Bleus et Blancs" It's our 20th season in Dunkirk, and we have been on a roll. We were busy in the transfer market again. I think I found some good deals, but time will tell how they turn out: Eric Diallo is a Ghanaian D(C) whose been capped for the U20 team. He also plays a respectable D(R) and M(C), 2 star current, 4 star potential, he went into the starting D-Line rotation almost immediately. Mlungisi Mtshali hails from South Africa, where he has international caps and goals for the U19 and senior squads. He's a pure M(C) that plays DLP, AP, and CM exceedingly well. WIth Giraud already on the team, and Zetterlund Nielsen behind him at DM, I am going to send Mtshali out for some first team playing time. 2 star CA, 4 star PA, I think he can become a capable second option. Andrea Larusso is a 28 year old AM(L)/M(L) I brought on for Reserve team depth. Oscar Hernandez in a Spanish AM(All) that I brought in for depth. 2 star current, 2 star potential, I would be OK starting him a few games if I had too. I need to try and get some players some rest. Caarlos Ferreria is a Portuguese D(L). After Bruno Mendes, my first team depth at D(L) was hideous. I have a couple of youngsters who could play, and Carlos could be loaned out, but he was a good price for a backup player at this level I think. Kristi Kaja is a Kosovan International M(L), 2 star current, 3 star potential. A Backup for James Carter on the Left side, I think he will primarily be a Reserve team player if he's not loaned out. Jonathon Engosso is a Congolese International who plays primarily DM, but also plays M(C), D(C) and D(R). A reserve player, he'll never see a lot of playing time in the first team, but I needed Reserve depth. Filip Nedeljkovic was a member of the Serbian U21 team, 2 star CA, 3 star PA who plays the middle D positions, but he's primarily going to be a DM. He will go out on loan this season. Igor Ferreira Júnior also plays all the Defensive Center positions, and plays a capable WB(R) and D(R) as well. 2 star current, 2 star potential, he will be in the first team rotation. Iñigo Martín is an 18 year old Spaniard, 1 1/2 star CA, 3 1/2 star PA who primarily plays D(R). If he doesn't go on loan he'll be on the U19 squad. Nolan Desson is a 26 year old French D(L) who's here for depth. Rui Goncalves is a 25 year old Portugeuse International that plays D(C). I suspect he'll go out on loan right away, if not the 2 star CA, 2 star PA player will be on the reserves. Sami Aarab is a Moroccan International who plays Goalkeeper. Although at 34 years of age how well he plays could be questionable. I wanted an older player for depth behind Loukos, and at 2 star CA, 2 star PA, he was the best available. Once again the FFA COE pipeline has a couple of new prospects for Les Bleus. Shane Griffin has already been capped for the U20 team, and the 18 year old should see some first team playing time in a few years. 1 1/2 star CA, 3 1/2 star PA, he's got some potential. Chris Dodd also has been capped for the Aussie U20 team, and while his potential is nowhere near as good as Griffins, I needed some Reserve Team depth at AM(C), and this 1 star current, 3 star potential 18 year old fits. Mohamed Ghodhbane is a 19 year old French DM.M(C) player. I had him, let him go by accident, and brought him back. I'll try and get him loaned out to develop some, but at 2 1/2 stars max PA, he may never see the field for the first team. On the outs, we were a lot more active than I thought. I had a lot more players leave on Free's, mostly U21 types who were never going to see first team playing time in Ligue 1. Traverso is probably the biggest name here, he wanted to go where he would get more playing time. Everyone else is mostly youngsters. We have a few players on loan again. With few exceptions, all of them have at least 50% of their salary paid for: Standard came in hard for Filip. I'm not sure why but I am not going to turn down stupid money like that. Heck I am only paying him 12.5K a week.... We did sell a few players, for a decent amount of money. Wells wanted first team playing time, as did Zeh. Pascoe never got better than the 1 1/2 star he was when he came in, and I took a loss on Canavan. I paid €30M for him two years ago, expecting a decent player at DM, and got a star pile of bleh who was never going to start for me. And I was in a bidding war for him. Lesson learned. Verdier and Kalonji were good but not good enough for Ligue 1 play, and while Kontos would have been a decent player, at the moment he would be 4th string, and his salary was huge for what and where he was. The biggest out was of course Vincent. Arsenal came hard for him, and kept upping their price. I should get the full 34 for him. The season started, and we were pretty healthy. Coming off winning the quintuple, I wanted to hit the ground running hard and fast. And boy did we: We got out of the preseason without any serious injuries. Nantes is a Ligue 1 Team that was relegated last season, but they were giant killers last season (despite their horrible record of 8 wins, 8 draws and 22 losses), they beat OM, Monaco, Tours and PSG to win the Coup de France. They played us tough as well, but a Carter goal in the 60th minute saw us thru. Next up was Europa Cup winner Aston Villa, who have a pretty good team. They beat AC Milan, Dinamo Kiev, FC Porto, L'OL and Internazionale to take home the Europa last season. Giraud got Les Beus off to a fast start with a goal in the 5th, and Kolarek scored his first of the season in the 82nd minute, putting the game out of reach. Then we were off to the races. 6-1 at Lorient, 5-1 at Nice, 4-1 at Toulouse, and so on. Our first 8 games of Ligue 1 play we had 34 goals, Kolarek and Quartey scoring almost at will sometimes. Kolarek has been a player possessed this season, with 28 Ligue 1 goals in in 22 Ligue 1, Super Cup and Club World Games. In the match against St Etienne, he did this: In the first 20 seconds of the match. Or first stumble, of course, came against PSG. They got off to a quick start, going up 3-1 at half, and I did something I rarely do, I put the counterattack on. And then I remebered why I rarely do that, because PSG had 12 more shots in the second half, and Loukos was brilliant in only allowing the thre in the first half in. We stumbled again a few weeks later against a Tours team that was a man down after the 40th minute and still managed to score after Kolarek put us up 1-0. This was a game we should have won. After that, we were back to our winning ways, and at the winter break, we are atop Ligue 1, with just 1 loss and draw. We also won the Club World Championship again, but it was a close run thing. Xolos Tijuana took us to extra time, and Corinthians, the Brazilian powerhouse, took us to penalty kicks. One of the downsides of being one of the top teams in European Football is the quality of competition you face in League play. Fenerbahçe A.Ş. has been fighting it out with Galatasary for the Turkish Super Lig for the past 15 years, and they were 4th in our group. Borussia DOrtmund was 3rd, and Man United was 2nd. It was a 3 team race for qualifying, but Dortmund drew with Fenerbahçe A.Ş., while Man United and ourselves advanced. We Face a very good Shaktar team in the First Knockout round: We also had a slew of end of year awards: The winter break is almost over, the January transfer window is opening, and I have some very nice acquisitions on the way. Is another Quintuple in the cards? Against all odds, can we Three-peat the Champions League? Thanks for reading and following! Jellico73
  12. [FM17] Against All Odds - USL Dunkerque

    I went back and checked, and found maybe 20 or so, I think FM is counting some players I wouldn't. Jellico73
  13. This. Or a broken wrist, arm, or collarbone. Longest I had a goalie out was three months with a sports hernia or somesuch. Jellico73
  14. FM17 - French Football Thread

    For those interested I just finished my 19th season as the head coach of USL Dunkerque. From the depths of the CFN, to the top of Ligue 1, back to back Champions League winners, it's been a fun time. You can check the story out so far here:
  15. [FM17] Against All Odds - USL Dunkerque

    "Against All Odds - Les Bleus et Blancs" Well, our 19th season ended as it began, with me grinding my teeth and giving myself a headache over some of the stuff I see happening on and off the field. I wasn't too active in the Transfer window. But I did make some moves: Getting any sort of money for Dinca was nice, Martigues is a French CFA-D team, and if they want him, they can have him. Arrieta had made some noise about leaving, and then Dortmund came and made an offer for him. WIth Loukos waiting in the wings I was happy to let him go. Zeh was having a solid season on the Reserve team, and had 8 appearences on the FIrst team as a spot starter. No goals, no assists, but he had some potential. Lierse came in with a loan offer, and I really wanted him to get some first team soccer, and the deal wasn't half bad either. Ali Gauthier is a product of our youth system, and while he's not bad, he's never going to be great. I'd be OK starting him in a few games, but if he were a full time starter for a Ligue 1 team, then they have some problems. I did loan him out to USBCO for a season, and he was sub par, but he was solid between the sticks as the Reserve team starter. FC Koln must have lost their goalies, becasue they came in for him on a loan, offering to pay all of his salary. Volodymyr Borysenko was lost in the crowd that is my defensive line. He was a great player for our Reserves Team, which plays in the CFA, but in Ligue 1 he was pedestrian at best. And I have younger players I want to get more playing time. Dynamo Kiev made a slightly undervalued offer for him, but I was able to tease it up to value. I wasn't too active on the In side of things: Fabian Dieselhorst is a 24 year old who primarily plays D(L), but can play the whole left side to varying degrees. A Depth signing, but decent. Chaine I found on the U19 South African team, where he has 24 caps and 8 goals playing M(C). 2 star current, 3 star potential, I think with some training and firat team playing time, he could be very good. Not Giraud good, but a more than capable backup. He'll officially join on the summer break. He'll be fighting for time with Wister Abdullah, an 18 year old COmopran international who plays M(C) as a BWM primarily. If I could somehow merge these two player into one, I'd be very happy, but I am pretty sure they can both be developed into very good players. I was checking to see who was available on a free when 16 year old Goncalves popped up. 2 star now, 4 star potential D(C), he's only 16. How he was available I am not sure, but I am not complaining either. And he's bigger at 16 than I was at 21...geez... After our pre-Christmas stumble, I want to say I put the fear of god into the team as they came back in after winter break. But, in all honesty, I quit fiddling around with things. Set my formations, set my shouts, set my first teamers and backups, then buckled in and held on. Ligue 1 has become a two horse race, between us and PSG. The last time neither of us finished Top 2 was in 2024, when Les Bleus came in 3rd. They seemed determined to spend their way to success, and it's working for them. The past five years this has been their bought/sold transfer totals: 2030/2031: €158M / €79M 2031/2032: €66M / €6.5M 2032/2033: €122M / €48M 2033/2034: €109M / €10.5M 2034/2035: €148M / €69M That will get you Champions League Qualifying, 2nd Place in Ligue 1, and some domestic trophy's. Anyhow, with Christmas over, I unleashed the hounds, and the boys responded: Kolarek with a Hat Trick against a very good Stade Rennais team. Shutting out PSG 3-0 put us in a tie, beating Monaco 4-1 put us ahead on points, then PSG lost to OM, while Slavan Bilic and L'OL held us to a 2-2 draw. Well, they didn't hold us so much as they scored two quick ones, and then gave up two goals in six minutes for us to salvage the draw. We were doing so well I was able to rest a lot of the starters against weaker teams, and we barely missed a beat. Quartey was a more than capable replacement for Kolarek, and some of the younger players got some nice playing time. I had my first teamers on the field against Tours though, but they played very solid defense, and we just could not get anything going against their 5-3-2 Sweeper formation, with just three shots. That we had four shutouts following that draw tells me what I needed to know about the teams mindset, and we were hammering teams. We wrapped up Ligue 1 with the 2-1 win at Parc de Prince, had we tied or lost PSG may have been able to tie us for first in the Ligue, then it would have gone to the tiebreak, which I think we would have won on goals. Anyhow, putting Montpellier down 4-0 gave us the title outright, and we have now won Ligue 1 four years in a row. I do want to highlight a piece of news I found outright bizarre: I was more than a bit stunned when I saw this. I didn't even know L'OL was being sold/bought, let alone the Bilic's job was on the line. Since he joined in 2027 2020 they have never finished higher than 3rd, and they've never finished lower than 6th. And in a Ligue that has us, Monaco, and PSG in it, that's pretty damned good. Champions League or Europa League games every year and getting to the knockout stages more often than not (with a semi final loss to eventual Europa winners Aston Villa last season), Coupe de France wins, solid Coupe de la Ligue runs every year. Bilic had a record of 242W, 87D, and 90L. Lyonnais was in 3rd place when the sale was finalized, and Bilic was sacked a week later. And was replaced by Rodrigo Defendi (?!), who had been fired from Sporting CPO after losing to Basel in the Europa League. Apparently they went hard after Meireles, but he stayed at Man United. Slavan was so upset he quit the game entirely, clicking on him now doesn't bring up anything. Coupe games, we were in some fights. In the Coupe de la Ligue: Monaco was looking more and more like it was heading towards penalty kicks, when Petar Kolarek remebered he was the best striker in the game and scored two goals in two minutes, setting us up against PSG in the final. Bulut put them ahead 1-0 in the 11th minute, but Diestelhorst scored in the 55th minute when Quartey's shot banged off the far post, landed at his feet, allowing him an easy tap over the PSG keeper. I thought we were doomed when my best PK taker missed his chance, but PSG missed two, and we didn't miss anymore, and Les Bleus lifted the Coupe de la Ligue again, this time for the third year in a row. In the Coupe de France, well, I knew things were going to be toguh when US Orleans, a CFN team, took us to penalty kicks after holding us to a 0-0 draw in regulation. I may not have taken them too seriously, and while my side was rotated, Gobel and Fritz were in the game the whole time on the D Line, Jan K, Mike and Roy were my attacking mids, and Rutten was my Striker, and he was averaging a goal a game as the Reserve teams primary striker. Orleans defense was in 'Bend but don't Break" mode all game, and they held. They fell apart in the PK phase though, as Loukos blocked two and they had a player sky another over, and we scraped by with a win. Barely. So, we took our frustrations out on AS Nancy Lorraine, clobbering them 4-0. We played L'OL two days after they fired Bilic, and then in the semi finals ran into a PSG team that would not be denied. They were up 3-0 at the half, and held us to 7 shots, 3 on target, and we lost, denying us another Coupe three-peat. However, in a shocker, PSG lost to Ligue 2 Nantes on PK's in the final. Champions League play, we won our group, and played Benfica in the first knockout round, and won that 4-2 on aggregate. And then we played PSG in the Quarter FInals. I couldn't make this up if I tried. We owe PSG defender Pedro Ziafra a great big bottle of Champagne, as without his OG in the second game, PSG would have won on away goals. And after PSG, we faced Arsenal in the Semi's. Yes, the same Arsenal who finished 2nd in our group. Hero of the series, Petar Kolarak. We tied the gunners 1-1 in our home game, and then in London Arsenal was up 3-0 at the half. Carter scored in the 59th minute, N'Guessan scored in the 83rd minute, and then, in the 92nd minute a 93 minute game, Giraud stole the ball from Cecelio, pinged it forward to Kolarek, who then ran by two defenders and kicked it by Robinson at the near post from about fifteen yard out. And Robinson is widely considered on of the top three keepers. In the game. giving us the 3-3 draw and a win on away goals. And the right to face Barcelona in the finals. Again. Live by the penalty kick. Win by the Penalty kick. Again. Champions League winners! Two years in a row. Petar Kolarek again had a season for the ages. In 56 appearances across all competitions, he had 50 goals, 16 assists, 12 POM's, and a 7.72 rating. James Carter was healthy for most of the season, and his numbers reflected that. In 44(1) appearances across all competition, he had 24 goals, 9 assists, 9 POM's and a 7.64 rating. He also won World Player of the Year. Didier N'Guesson, playing N'Ganche ( I swear this is how I remember it, because my assman things Villa should be the Enganche), was all I could ask for, and a little more. In 43 appearances across all competition, he had 9 goals, 15 assists, 2 POM's and a 7.17 rating. Efrain Villa has taken over the AM(R) role, and it will be awhile before he gives it up. In 49(1) appearances across all competition, he had 8 goals, 15 assists, 4 POM's and a 7.09 rating. Kevin Giraud was injured the first half of the season, but when he did play he was solid as usual. In 33(3) appearances across all competition, he had 3 goals, 3 assists, 3 POM's and a 7.17 rating. Defensively he was the first line stopper, and he was very good at it. Geir Zetterlund Nilsen plays DLP as a DM, but his stats don't reflect that. In 56(1) appearances across all competitions, he had 15 goals, 2 assists, 2 POM's, and a 7.29 rating. That's very Poacher like, and I will be the first to admit the goals were a very nice surprise this year, but it's his defensive prowess that keeps him on the field. I play a 4 D line formation, and a 3 Dline formation. Bruno Mendes is my starting D(L) when I play the 4 man line, and the youngster had a solid season there, with 4 assists, a POM, and a 7.10 rating in 29(20 appearances across all competition. Dirk Gobel was again the rock in the middle, with 2 goals, an assist, 2 POM's and a 7.19 rating in 51 appearances, it was a rare week when he was not named player of the week. Alexander Fritz plays D(R) in my 4 man formation, and M(R) in my 3 man formation, and he did very well in both roles. In 52(1) appearances across all competitions, he had 3 goals, 9 assists, 2 POM's, and a 7.38 rating. Pascal Vincent was the other D Line mainstay, and he played in every game for us in some capacity. In 60(1) appearances across all competitions, he had 1 goals, 1 assists, and a 7.37 rating. He was also named to numerous teams of the week and month. Mohammed Quartey is my 2nd striker in my 3 man dline formation, and I sued him to spell Kolarek in many games. He was almost as prolific as Kolarek as well, In 23(3) appearances across all competitions, he had 18 goals, 3 PK's, 11 assists, 6POM's, and a 7.72 rating. Jan K did not play in very many games, but still contributed when he did. In 19(6) appearances across all competitions, he had 6 goals, 10 assists, 1 POM's, and a 7.12 rating. Giannis Loukos made me forget Arrieta very quickly. In 42(1) appearances across all competitions, he had 39 goals allowed, 17 shutouts, and a 7.01 rating. Jan K also signed another two year deal. His next season will be his 17th at the club. I am sure I am forgetting some things, but winning the quintuple was very nice, and I am looking forward to doing at least as well again next season. Against All Odds, were still near the top of the mountain. Oh, and José Mourinho retired. Sure he's 72 in game, but I choose to believe he's tired of me beating him. Thanks for reading and following! Jellico73
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