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. Goth kids in the future are weirder than they are now....
  2. "Against All Odds - Les Bleus et Blancs" Toulouse FC used to be Remi Garde's stomping ground, but he's no longer in the game. They are now coached by Nicolas Douchez, a former keeper who started at HAC, moved to Toulouse, then STade Rennais, PSG, and Racing Club. He was a backup while at PSG, and he obviously took great notes. He's my new best friend, even if he doesn't know it yet. Why is he my new best friend? Because Toulouse has beaten PSG both time this season. As has Olympique Marseilles. And we've beaten them as well. Half way thru the season, PSG has already lost 4 games. The last time they have lost more than 4 games in a season was 2016/2017, when they lost 5. What does that mean? Opportunities. Oh yes. Top of Ligue baby! (My wife still does not understand this, but she tries, and I lover her even more for it.) So, how did we get here? Honestly? I have no idea. IF I knew what I was doing I'm sure I'd be fighting it out midtable or someplace worse, but man, this has been fun. First up, transfers. Most of these were easy choices to make, being younger players with no chance at a slot here, or older players who weren't going to get a ton of playing time. Bilal Assou can be a solid AM(L), but with Carter on the squad, he was unhappy being a backup. Le HAC came in hard for Bernini, and I have decent depth at D(C), so I let him go. Stephane Sparagna hit 31, and hit stats fell off the cliff, and he's now trying to be a coach. Part of me whats to be upset Zeca Gomes has left on a Free. I tried resigning him. He wanted 125K a year, and a ton of bonus's that, if he were say an attacking mid or striker, I would have considered paying him. But he's a D(L) with no heading ability. He may be the best D(L) with no heading ability in the game, and thats not worth 125K to me. So I let him go. He ended up at Sassuolo, where he signed for 75K a week, has played 14 games and is averaging a 6.44. He's also lost his spot on the French National team. The only other out of significance was Maksymilian Jaroszewski, Chelsea cam in and offered 250K out of the blue for him, and I said "sure, I'm good at Keeper." And why am I good at keeper? Here's why: Yes, you are seeing that right. Florian Ameskamp was in the last year of his contract when I got him on loan. I did not realize that. Last seasons January transfer window I enquired about getting him, and Klopp said he wanted a 102M for him. So I went and found Matthew Collins, who was going to join me in the summer after his contract at Cardiff was over. But I went back to Florian's page to see what his current contract and salary terms were. Maybe I could make an offer that would be, say, 50M aggregate, and that when I saw it. Contract expires: 6/30/2027. Holy....I signed him so fast I didn't even look at his salary demands. I clicked to make an offer, saw it and hit yes. Matthew Collins could be, with regular first team football, as good as Florian. Right now I have a pretty good rotation going, and if I can't keep Collins, I know I can make a decent amount of money off him when he leaves. Raimondo Belviso came in for depth and tutoring purposes. Thurams stats were starting to really fall off, and thats before he broke his ankle and was going to be out for four months, but I didn't want to let him go at the start of the season. Cesar Pellegrino came in to be part of the midfield rotation. Which, given his fitness of '6', is all he will ever be. I have solid depth at the AM(C) and AM(L) positions. Where I don't have depth is at AM(R). Jan K. is it, and he's getting older, and I need him for the entire season. First I went out and got Roman Eller on loan from Borussia Mönchengladbach. Most games I would play Jan K. 60 or so minutes, then have Eller come in, unless we were facing a lower table team, in which case Jan K would rest and Roman would get the start. Then Roman broke his ankle and was going to be out for two months. So I found Simon Boere on the Free list. A solid backup and start spotter I think. I really like Noam Salomon. He's a very complimentary player to Marco in the two forward formation I use, and he's also quite capable of spelling Marco for a game or two with no drop off. In 3 games this season he had 3 goals and 2 assists. Last season His left achilles tendon snapped, and he missed most of it. This season his right achilles got jealous the left one got so much attention last season, so it snapped as well, and he's out til February, at the earliest. If I keep him on the team. After Noam went down (again) I went and found Martin Petrov on the transfer list. Kaiserslautern didn't want the kings ransom for him, and since arriving, he's been every bit as good as Noam would have been, in 6 appearances he's had 6 goals, 3 assists, and 3 POM's while averaging a 7.31. And he's six years younger than Noam. Which is why Noam may be moving on. I wouldn't say I had a huge hole on the D(L) side of things when Zeca left. I have some okay 2 star players there, and Taskin can play D(L), but I need him to play D(C). Diakaridia Haïdara is perhaps my best homegrown player for that spot, but I am not sure a 2 star player in a team that likes its D(L) and D(R) to not only bomb forward, but get back on defense quickly, is going to be good enough. I wasn't comfortable starting him full time, so I went out and got Ken Woodward on loan from Chelsea. He's been OK, but not great, and he's really not that much better than Haidara, who actually plays a better winger than Woodward does. I suspect Woodward may go back to Chelsea when the January transfer window opens, and Haidara will be the full time starter. Or they will split games. Bruno Ferreira and Lior Tabib are players I brought in for the U19 team. I've been spending a lot of time scouring the youth teams for players, and have actually found a few on frees the past couple of seasons. If I can develop them properly, I will have some home grown talent waiting in the wings when some of the current team move on. And, I have to admit, for a French team, I have Two Frenchmen in my starting XI. Thats...well, it is what it is, but it does rankle a little bit. Anyhow, we're at the start of January, and here's how the regular season has gone this far. A lot of friendlies this year. I have my affiliate rotation worked out, the Brisbane game falls in very nicely when half of the team is gone on International duty, so the reserves and youngsters get a chanced to play and see Australia. the Friendly against Middlesbrough and Dinamo Zagreb came about because I had an open weekend and wanted to get players playing time. Plus Ronaldo is coaching at Middlesbrough, and who doesn't want to say "I've beaten Ronaldo?" PSG 'Dunkerqued' us in the Trophee des Champions. Carters 3rd minute goal gave us a lead until the 81st minute, when Mischenko scored, and then in the 91st minute of a 92 minute game, Pais hit a shot that Ameskamp got a glove on, but it wasn't enough, and we lost 2-1 in a meaningless game against PSG. But we played them well. The first five games of the season went really well. Almost all of the players have a year plus in the formations I run, and it shows. The game against Nantes is the one Noam was injured in, and they played us very tough. Shot, on Target, possession, all were very even. We had four shots go off the woodwork, which is just a sign it wasn't really our day. But it wasn't a loss, and I am OK with that. I was expecting a tough game against FCSM, they've always played us well, and they have a knack for knocking off bigger opponenets, but losing to lesser ones. A Couple of years ago they won the Coupe De Ligue, last year they were runners up. I wasn't expecting a Jan K. hat trick and Carter chipped a goal in as well. Montpellier was a tough match, we went ahead 2-0 but they kept attacking, and in the 90th minute Paulo rifled a pass off a one-two that almost ook Collins head off. Next up was Tours, my new bestest friend. I was sitting most of my key players (Marco, Jan K, Carter) because PSG was a couple of days away. Martin Petrov, my new Striker signee, had a brace of goals, and Mendes added in one of his own. Ameskamp made a save I am not sure is possible from a physics point of view, but it's FM..so there's only so much I can do. He kept the clean sheet as a result, so I'll take it. Next up was PSG, in their Stade. I was expecting a tough match. Instead I got a foul fest. Yes, PSG had 18 shots to our 12, 8 on target to our 6, but possession was even, and they had 16 fouls to our 9. MArco scored in the 42nd minute, then Petrov added a goal right after the half started, Saul scored in the 76th minute, but it was too little, too late, and we beat the Great Wall of Rulli, for the first time in a looooooong time. Troyes came in and tried to foul us into a draw, but a Petrov goal in the 23rd minute was all we needed to send the off. I played a pretty rotated side this game, a lot of people were tired after the PSG match, and Collins was very good in goal this match. The next few games were all very similar. Score a goal while on control, move back to standard, and let the defense do their thing. Marco hasn't found the goal all that often so far, but Marco Tulio, playing En Ganche, has really stepped up, with 7 goals, 3 assists, and 6 POM's up to the midpoint of the season. Our only stumble, if you can call it that, was against L'OL, who are fighting it out with Monaco and PSG for the 2-4 spots. They have a very good squad. Ha Hyun Ho had an unfortunate OG when an errant header off a corner kick went by Ameskamp, and while Tulio equaled in the 75th minute, L'OL Stopped our attack after that, and we left with the draw. We were going to lose eventually. If not to a lower table team like Havre, then one of the teams fighting it out up top was going to do us in, and Monaco obliged. Maximiliano Romero was a man on a mission, his first two goals would have been enough to ensure this win, even after Biakolo put one on the scoreboard for us, but his final shot in the 91st minute, an absolute cannonball of a shot off a nice touch pass, was his way of saying "We ain't going anywheres". And our 15 game unbeaten streak came to an end. We got back on track against Auxerre. Toulouse played us very well, it took a Foose PK in the 68th minute to secure us the win, I expect Toulouse will be challenging for a top spot in a couple of seasons, right now they are fighting for Europas Leage Qualification, but sooner rather than later I think a lot of those ties are going to be wins. The Nice match was a fun back and forth. Jan K had a brace, Carter and Mendes each had a goal, and Christian Restrepo of Nice did his best Romero impression, but his brace wasn't enough. I played a very rotated squad against low end of the table Angers, and was rewarded with fine play from Mendes, who had a brace. Franco Lopez put one past Collins for an Angers goal in the 79th minute, but the rest of the team did very well, and the 2-1 victory was gratifying. We got back to our clean sheet winning ways against Racing Club De Lens, as Carter and Taskin(!) goals, and a stellar performance by Ameskamp between the posts. Playing a rotated squad against FC Lorient, Petrovs brace and a fine performance by Collins was enough to see us secure the win. Champions League was going to be a bit rougher this year: My hope was that everybody would beat up on Wil, and then the two least bloody between us, Juve and Leverkeusen would advance. And that's pretty much what happened Bayer beat Wil twice and Juventus once, and lost to Juventus. We beat Wil Twice, and drew with everyone else, with no losses. Juve beat Bayer, lost to Bayer, and drew everyone else. Will drew both their games with Juve and lost to everyone else, and with a whopping 10 points, 1 behind Bayer. We moved into the Knock Out Round. Against Real Madrid. Again. Well, we beat them last year, we can do it again. And I won Manager of the year, again. But the season moves forward. 17 Ligue 1 games left, 9 points ahead of PSG. 11 Ahead of Monaco. It going to be a interesting last half of the season. Thanks for reading and following! Jellico73
  3. Hi, I am really liking this skin, but have one graphics related question for you. When the game is processing a date, the background in the calendar drop down is wonky: I suspect I have to go in and edit one of the Paper files, but I am not sure which one where. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks for the help, keep up the good work. Jellico73
  4. This guy went to Man United from Bayern Munich for 119M this year too. PSG were actually sellers this year, Michal Baranek went to Barcelona for 88M. Mbappe went to Man City for 117M in 2021. Jellico73
  5. So, I thought I would give a brief hitsory of some of the players that have worn "Les Bleus et Blancs", and also give a general overview of the Football world in this universe. Keep in mind, the first few seasons I played I didn't have the English or Scottish Leagues turned on. Don't know why, but it is what it is. The are just the French League stats, and do not include Cup, Coupe or other League games 2016 Notables: Malik Tchokounte, Striker. Until recently he held the record for most goals in a Les Bleus kit. In 220 appearences he had 81 goals for us, and then a further 40 apperences and 16 goals for the Reserve Team and our affiliates. I wanted him to retire as a USLD member, but his last season in the League, when he was out on loan, he tore a hamstring, and has since retired. He pops up every now and then to remind us of a threat on the other team. Thomas de Parmentier, AM(R). The first of our assist oriented wingers. While at USLD he had 48 goals and 43 assists/ Sold to FC Chambly Oise in the 2021/2022 season, he only played 20 games for them, then retired to become a coach. He was the FC Felury 91 Reserves Head Coach, then the Assistant coach, and is presently the Red Star FC Assistant Coach. Jean-Jacques Rocchi was our AM(L), and after a solid career retired in after the 2012/2022 season. Jean-Christophe Bouet, our Keeper, retired after 2018/2019 season. 2017 Notables: Gaetano Muraglia (DM) retired in 2019/2020, and was a coach at FCM aubervilles and Le Mans FC before retiring for good. Ahmed Al-Sadi played a few more years, then retired. His name no longer goes anywhere when you click on it. Alexis Araujo is still playing. He split time between LOSC and the LOSC Reserves team until the 2022.2023 season, when he moved to Varzim on a Free. After three years there, he spent a year in Vit. Seubal, and then moved to Gondomar, where he's the starting AM(C) Ibrahima Sy is also playing. After leaving USLD for Girondons, he spent three years there (two on the Reserves Team, then moved to Rizespor in the Turkish Super Lig, where he's been their starting keeper. Johnathon Isambart retired after the 2020/2021 season, a solid, if unspectacular player who had a few memorable moments for us. 2018 Season: Amilcar Silva. I wanted him to be my D(L) and Sweeper of the future. Instead of good he was merely average, and I let him go to Chamois Niortas FC for 1.3M in the 2022/.2023 season. A Year later they let him go to GFC Ajaccio for 1.1M, and he is still there, playing D(L). Kouadio Yves Dablia joined the same time as Silva, left the same time as Silva, and went to US Avranches. Avranches has bounced between the CN and Ligue 2, and he's been a starting D(C) for them until recently, when he moved to the rotation. Jason M'Bock was the first in a long line of "Next Tchokounte", but I screwed up his development, and he never turned into anything for us. After some solid performances on loan, I let him g. He ended up at Aigle Royal, in the Cameroon MTN Elite 1 League, where he's had a serviceable career. Coupe hero Lloyd Isgrove retired at some point, but I did not keep his history. Spain won the World Cup this year. Hosted in Russia, Uruguay came in 2nd, Argentina 3rd. Marinó Þór Guðmundsson was one of those players who looked good, performed OK, but never got better. Has had some success at Ipswich after leaving us after the 2023/2024 season, but never realized his full potential. 2019 Season: One of my Best seasons as far as bringing in players goes. Thibault Magry went on loan more than a few times, because I could not figure out where his fit in my DM/M rotation of players. By the time I got it figure out, I had better players on the sqaus, but he was a valuable rotation guy for the last three years he was at Dunkirk. After going to Stade Brestois 29 for 1M, they moved him to KRC Genk for 2.8M last season, but he only played 5 games for them. Antonio Vutov is one of a few Favored Personnel at the club. I am not sure why though. He was one of those players who was always good enough for a game or three, then would have a string of bad performances. He did have some clutch moments for us, maybe that's why he's on the list. After leaving us, he spent two years in Vincenza, a year in Messina, and a year in Sarnese, before Messina brought him back. Serie B football agrees with him, last year at the age of 30 he had 15 goals and 5 assists. Guevin Tormin helped take us from Ligue 2 and put us on the Ligue 1 map. After five very good seasons with us, Charlton made us an offer we couldn't refuse at the time, and for 9M he went to the Sky Bet Championship. In three seasons there he's been OK, he's played every game for them and averaged about 6 goals, 9 assists. Yacine Adli is still at TSV 1860 Munchen, where he has had a solid career as their starting M(C). Jan K. If I had my way, he will retire as a team legend after hanging them up. Came in as a AM(R), and 207 appearences, 48 goals, 49 assists later in now an AM(RCL) and a serviceable M(R). He's also been the team Captain for about the last seven years. Anything I've asked him to to, he's done as best he could, which is all any coach could ask for. Juventus came last season, offering 34M for him to go play Serie A, but he's stayed with us. I wasn't able to give Tchokounte a testimonial game, I am hoping Jan K gets one. Leonardo Capezzi came in on a Free about a third of the way thru this season. He only played this season and the next for us, before Viillarreal came in for him. After three mediocre seasons there, he moved to Real Betis, where he's the starting DM. Zeca Gomes was the best of my youth intake this year. I started him as soon as I could, first team playing time from almost the second season on. He's been a solid 4 star potential guy his whole career, and may reach that point, but it won't be with Dunkerque. Last season he came in and demanded a new contract, and when I said "No, but what will it take for you to stay?" he said he wanted some silverware. Apparently winning one Coupe, losing in the final of the other, and losing in the Campions League final wasn't good enough. When I offered him a new contract, he wanted 100K a year, and when I said no, Jan K only makes 70K, and theres no way Zeca is getting more than Jan. When I wouldn't meet his salary demands, I let him go. Currently he's a whole slew of teams interested in him, Milan, Fiorentina, Malaga, and some french teams. He's a Current member of Team France, after 15U21 caps he's probably the best young French D(L) out there, so he might get his 100K a week salary. Just won't be from us. I'm not as heartbroken about this as I thought I might be. Helgi Gudjonnson came in on a free, and was the first striker I thought could replace Tchokounte. He was good bordering on great for us, but also just left you wish that you had a more reliable striker at times. In 87 appearances he had 47 goals. but when Marco became available I loaned him out to Sivasspor for a season, then sold him to Almeria for 3.3M. He was underwhelming there, 11 goals in 36 appearences over 2 seasons, and he left on a free and ended up back in France, at AS Nancy Lorraine in Ligue 2, where he had 12 goals in 36 games. He also has 22 Caps for the Iceland team. 2020 Season: Souleymane Bah tons of unrealized potential. I loaned him out to Roeslare and they played him a grand total of 2 games, which probably stunted his growth as a player and was the final act that got me to pull our affiliation. His last season on loan for us he had 14 goals for US Orleans, next season he left on a free to USBCO where had had 13 goals, since then he's been a part time player. Milos Degenek was another Australian player, never more than 2 1/2 stars but could play anywhere behind the centerline for us, which made him very valuable. Not a lot of starts at tthe end, but a lot of releif appearences, and he was a capable tutor as well. Only 1 goal in 70 appearences for Les Bleus, but he spent 8 years with us before recently retiring. He also had 53 caps for the Australia national team. 2021 Season: Antonis Kravaritis. The third next Tchokounte, he was lost in the shuffle primarily because as a foreign player (He's an Aussie, if you couldn't tell by the name), he never got any playing time here. I let him go to Valenciennes FC for 275K, and he had 45 goals for them in 5 seasons, not to shabby. Valenciennes transfered him to FC Sochaux-Montbe last season for just under 1M, and he's been their backup Striker, a solid 3 1/2 player now, with 7U20 and 17 caps for the Aussie teams. John Austin Is the primary reason Karvaritis never got any playing time, he took up the foreign slot. A good keeper for us, he came up big when I needed him too more often than not. This past season he threw an absolute fit when i turned down an offer from Borussia Dortmund, and I was so fed up with him I put him out there and took the best offer, which ended up being to PAOK. He ended up having a pretty good season for them, splitting time in goal PAOK finished 1st in the Superleague. Thibault Delhaye was a solid DM for us. Good, but not great player. I let him go because I had younger players I wanted to try and develop there, and Reading offered 750K. He played a grand total of 18 games in two seasons there, before they let him go on a free to USBCO in the National. He had a good season for them last year, but a good National/Ligue 2 player is probably his ceiling. Ransford Amoako, Jacques oif all trades, master of none. Good, but not as good as someone else, I really struggled to find a spot for him on the squad. His best season was probably hius last one with the club, where at various time he player Striker, D(R), M, DM, and AM(C). He went to Stade Malherbe Caen for 775K, where he had a very solid seasons as their starting M(C). Leonardo Fontanesi came in on trial, and stayed for two seasons as a really good D9C). I let him go because Aston Villa offered a decent price for him, and I had a solid replacement. Villa has been bouncing back and forther between the Premier League and the Championship, Fontanesi has been part of the rotation at D(C) for them. Still a solid defender. 2022 Season: Domingos Quina one of my many AM's who could play all three positions, he never quite found a spot with us. He went to En Avant in the 2024/2025 season, and he's mostly their primary substitute on the line. Craig Evans was a Welsh Striker whose potential caught my eye before I relaized he was never going to see it. I knew things weren't going to work out when on loan as the starter for USBCO, he had 4 goals in 15 appearences. For some reason MTK in Hungary paid 1M to get him, and he's been OK as their primary backup, MTK has won or placed second in the OTP Bank Liga since he arrived. He's still the starting ST for the Welsh team, with 17 appearences (and 28 U21 apps as well). Johnathon Fernandez 4 1/2 star potential caught my eye, but he was part of the glut I had forward, and I let him gor for 225K to Frejus Saint-Raphael. He spent two seasons there and moved to Stade Brestois 29, where he's a bench player. Henrique Camara, one of my many Attacking mid's, I brought to play AM(C), and he was okay. But AM(C) is my teams primary passing outlet, play creator (as an example, about 80% of the assists Addo had for me started off Jan K's foot), and he just wasn't one of those types. In 59 games he had 8 goals and 8 assists, and was just underwhelming. He went to Hamburger SV for 3.3M, but after 16 games he was at Stade Rennais on a 1.1M tranfer. He's been back and forth between the RReserve TEam and the main team since, last season he was a loan to Saint Etienne and had a lone assist. China hosted the World Cup, with Spain beating Belgium in the final, and Argentina again placing third. 2023 Season: One of my better years, but I got lucky, and I will readily admit that. Ha Hyun-Ho came in for 375K, and since has become a stalwart at the D(C) position. He doesn't score, but his technical skills as a defender are fabulous. Last year he had 6 yellow cards, and 10POM's across all competitions. He''s a mainstay of the Korean team as well, with 73 caps for the senior team. Antonio Cabral came in with high hopes, I wanted him to replace Tomrin eventually, but other events took place, and he only spent a year in Les Bleus. He went to Trabzonspor for two seasons, and did well enough that Ajax paid 5.75M to get him. Last season he had 11 goals and 12 assists for De Godenzonen, and should finish his career out there. Marco Tumminello. In the future, instead of looking for the next Tchokounte, I'm going to be looking for the next Marco. Roma let him go, and I snapped him up as fast as I could. If there were a "Hall of Very Good", I'm not sure Marco would be in there, because he doesn't excel in anyone area, but he is above average in where they all count, and he gets the most out of his 3 1/2 star abilities. With the excellent wingers I have, playing him as a Complete Forward, in 124 appearences, he's scored 92 goals. And those are just League games. In Four years, across all non friendly contests (League, Coupe, Continental), he has had 190 appearances, 134 goals, and 36 assists. He will be one of the all time greats. Some famous player notes: Lionel Messi retired and is now the assistant coach at Levante. Christiano Ronaldo retired and became the Head Coach at Bolton, then Norwich, and then Middlesbrough (who are in the Premier) Wayne Rooney became head coach of Leyton Orient after retiring as a player, was fired after six months, hired on at Shrewbury and took them to 11th place, then fired after finishing 15th the next season. On a somewhat personal level, Remi Garde left OGC Nice in 202o for Toulouse, and was sacked after just 2 years on the job in 2021. He spent two years out of football, then was hired by Valenciennes FC in 2024, was sacked after 261 days, and is no longer in the database as searchable. Can't think of a better way to wrap this up, will do another one of these again. Thanks for reading, Jellico73
  6. 118 Million. My transfer budget, at best, has been 24M. There needs to be some sort of random event where Hydrogen becomes economically viable and the oil barons collapse...
  7. IIRC if you are the top of your CFA group, you get promoted to the Championnat National. Reserve Teams can get promoted, unless their parent club is also in the same division they are going to. If you do have a reserve club and it gets relegated out of the CFA, it will not come back. I think thats right.
  8. If I wasn't in the middle of the flu it would be even more exciting. :-) Thanks for reading! Jellico73
  9. It's funny, I never have gone into a season expecting to do well. Something tells me that if I were to load the game at the beginning of the group stages again, I could have easily gone 1-6. But in all these cup contests and the like, you reach a point where you've met your level of expectation, and then your surprised you keep winning, and then you think "I just may be able to pull this out." Unless I am playing PSG of course. Best team money can buy. They just bought this guy: They already have Langerbein and Pais at the AM(L) spot, having paid 131M for both of them. Any guesses as to how much they paid for this player? Jellico73
  10. I've had similar experiences over in my save. My first really good youth intake player had some of the midlevele bigger teams (if that makes sense) making offers for him in the low 100K's, then gradually up to the 1 and 2M range. I also had a young winger I brought in on a free who next season had teams offering the likes of 500K for, seven seasons and two positions later I was turning down 37M offers for him. Keep up the god work, and good luck this season! Jellico73
  11. "Against All Odds - Les Bleus et Blancs" Before we begin, a friendly word of hard earned advice: When you sick, everything hurts and your running a temp of 101, grinding your way thru a Ligue 1 season and the Champions League is not, as they say "A Good thing to do." I hurt more now than I did when I started today out. But I got through the season. I may have cost me a lung and some sanity, but we got thru. When I last posted we were 14 games into the season, fighting it out with Monaco for 2nd place and hoping PSG would stumble at least enough for us to make a real go at winning. And we had some...issues with the roster that I was hoping to overcome. So, how did we do? We fought. We scratched, we clawed, and at one point were within two points of PSG, but fell short. That however, is not the story of the 2026/2027 Les Bleus. We stumbled against HAC, but then put our heads down and really began to work. Against ESTAC Troyes, we had a solid game, but Noam Solomon, or young STriker who I signed to provide some depth for Marco, went down in the 17th minute. Marcu Thuram, who's capable but not who I would consider a long term starter, scored in this game. I was hoping for the best, but then got word: Noam was out for three months, with a torn calf muscle. PSG came to our Stade, and I was hoping to try and catch up to them. Two Marco goals in the 22nd minute gave us some hope, but PSG equalized before the half, and my defense shut them down the rest of the way. Not losing is a result I will take. Auxerre had a player sent off in the 4th minute for a two foot lunge, and we won with goals by Jan K and Zeca Gomes. He wants some silverware, and maybe it's me, but he's putting in some more effort these days. The game against Monaco was a heartbreaker in more ways than one. Marco scored in the 79th minute, but Romero equalized int he 86th minute. In the 91st minute, James Carter went down, and after the game I found out he was out, for three moths, with a broken ankle. Against Stade Rennais my two Strikers each had a goal, and a brilliant shot by Calvez in the 16th minute took away the clean sheet, but we won. Girondins played us tough, despite us having the advantage in shots and on target, they played a very patient waiting game. Our loan goal came when a Foose cross was blocked by the Girondin goalie, and he blasted the reboud into the back of the net in the 88th minute. A "Les Bleus" late victory if I ever saw one.... I thought for sure we were heading for a tie when Dembele equalized for OM in the 57th minute, but in the 80th minute, Jan K, whose played 4 positions this year, took a Tulio touch pass just inside the 22 yard box. The keep was going left, following the ball, and Jan blasted it to the upper right corner. FC Sochaux played a 4-1-4-1 that gave us fits, despite Thruams 5th minute goal they shut us down the rest of the first half, until Boris Kavcic hit a nice header off the corner kick right before the first half ended. FCSM came out all cylinders firing in the second half, but our defense held, and we again kept the clean sheet. I played a very rotated squad against OGC Nice, and Marko Jankovic rewarded my faith in him as a backup by hitting a fine shot in the 51st minute to give us the 1-0 victory. The January transfer window came and went. I tried getting Nigi, in fact I thought I had him with a deal that was 9.5M up front, and 2.5 in easily achievable bonus, he even went thru contract discussions with me, 35K a week, going to 45K after 10 International appearances, and just when I was expecting him to sign, I get a message he's signed for Southampton for 11M and 75K a week....but I have Ameskamp between the sticks, and he's been brilliant. Maybe not getting Nigi was a good thing. LOSC came in on the attack, but a Marco goal in the 7th minute, a Tarasenko goal in the 18th minute and a Tulio goal in the 30th minute had them on the backheel the rest of the game. The second half was them playing contain to try and limit the damage. The game against L'OL was a foul fest, 37 in total for both sides, but only three yellows given. Neither side seemed to want the victory, but Florian Ameskamp made several brilliant saves. What a find he has been. How good has he been for me? After the LOSC match I had a message, he broke USL Dunkerques record for shutouts with 20 in a season, breaking John Austins record of 19. And there's still three months left in the season... The match against Montpellier was harder than it should have been, even with a man sent off in the 34th minute they kept us on the back foot. A Zeca Gomes PK from just outside the box in the 59th was all we needed to secure the win. Toulouse played us hard the first half of the game, but I lit into the boys at half time and they responded. Tulio scored in the 51st, Marco in the 69th, and Jan K off a PK in the 77th, a very solid win for us. We stumbled against Angers. A Lopes shot in the 24th minute put them up 1-0, and they shut us down for most of the game. Most of the game is not all of the game, and Marco scored in the 88th minute when a TGulio pass found its way thru three defenders and in front of his right foot, six yards out. By this time we were in a 2nd place with with Monaco, and the tie brought us even in points. FC Lorient proved to be the tonic to cure our woes. A brace by Marco, and a goal by Marco Tulio gave us a solid 3-0 win. MArco also broke the club scoring record in this game, with 83 goals he broke Malik Tchokountes record of 81. Metz played us very tough, and only some brilliant saves by Ameskamp kept the clean sheet going. A Thuram goal in the 12th minute and a Biakolo goal in the 62nd minute gave us the win. A 27th minute goal by Micka gave En Avant a 1-0 going into the half, but in Les Bleus fashion we stomred back in the second half. James Carter, coming off injury, had a goal, and Marco had a brace, the final one coming in the 91st minute to shut to door. Havre, by this time, had charged their way up the Ligue and we challenging for a top 5 spot, and they playe us tough. Only a Roger OG in the 38th minute and some stellar defense saw us thru this game. I was hoping to keep the good times rolling... Because PSG was next, and this was a pivotal game. If we won, we would be 1 point behind them, and they still had L'OL and Auxerre left to play, while we had Auxerre and Monaco. 40 shots, 21 on target later, PSG left with a 4-2 victory. Florian had some great saves, but PSG spent most of the game in our half of the field. Marcos goal came on a counter attack, and Ho's came off a header from the Jan K COrner kick, but this was embarrassing. We left it late against Auxerre, Marcos goal in the 82nd minute securing us the win. Marco scored in the 82nd against Monaco as well, but it was too little, too late, and goals by Grimaldo and Silva in the 4th and 17th minute gave them a lead they would not give up. Last match if the regular season and we dominated Saint Etienne, who are being relegated. Marco had a brace, and Jan K had a goal and a missed PK. More importantly, Auxerre beat Monaco 4-0, and we jumped them to finish 2nd in the league. But that is not the entirety of our season. Oh no, there was quite a bit more. First, the Coupe De France results: I'll be honest, I lost track of these games, even when I realized I was playing Le Berrichonne in the Quarter Finals, I had to stop and make sure. And I was so invested in the regular season games against Monaco I was happy with the 1-1 draw, especially after they outshot us 2 to 1 and had the possession advantage all game. A Tulio goal in the 63rd minute equalized for us, and as I said, I was happy with the tie, but when we went into overtime I realized this was a Coupe game. We held out until the penalty kick phase, when Jankovic, Carter, and Biakolo hit for us. Fabhino scored for Monaco, butAmeskamp blocked Embolo, Hojberg and Marcus Tulios attempts, securing us the win. Where we faced PSG. After 90 minutes we had them held to a 1-1 draw, Marco goal in the 77th minute equalizing Mischenko's 68th minute goal, but it fell apart in extar time. Half my team was near 50%, and two quick goals in four minutes from Cruz and Martinez gave PSG the victory. But they earned this one. We had a chance to win it three times in a row too.... Our result against PSG here was frustrating for a couple of reasons, least of which they had beaten us just recently by the aforementioned 4-2 score in the regular season. But we had the Coupe de la Ligue matches as well, and we did pretty well there. Actually, we did very well: If we couldn't win one French Coupe, we would win the other. I was actually trying to win both this year, I think its been about 10 years since a team has won them both in the same season The story of this series of games was holding PSG scoreless for 90 minutes, then in the PK phase Ameskamp saved the Guedes and Pais attempts. FCSM were defending Coupe de la Ligue winners, and they again played us tough., I thought we would be off to a quick start after Marco scored in the 5th minute, but it took a solid effort to keep FCSM out of the net, especially after Foose was sent off in the 76th minute for his second yellow. This was a nice win for us, but I'll be honest, it was sort of lost in the shuffle. Because of the Champions League. We were in a tough Group, Group E: Man City USL Dunkerque Feyenoord Shaktar And we did very well. Our fIrst game against Shaktar all 4 goal were scored between the 62nd and 69th minute, this was also the game Taskin was injured for 2 months with a torn hamstring. Our first match against Man City was one of those where stats wise, they owned us, but almost every shot we had was on target and in the goal. It took and 83rd minute shot by Lukasik for Man City to secure the win, Feyenoord had a man sent off in the 10th minute, but we couldnt muster a lot of offense. A Salomon goal in the 56th minute was enough to see us thru, despite Gomes being sent off for a double yellow. They held us to a draw at home, despite having twice as many shots their keeper was able to block anything that came close, but a draw isn't as loss. Shaktar we ran into the ground, twice as many shots, a 55/45 possession advantage, goals by Tulio and Salomon. They had a player sent off in the 45th minute after a second yellow, and then played the second half about as defensive as a 4-2-3-1 can be, I think they had maybe one shot on goal the last half of the game. I'm OK with that, especially if I am on the right side of the score board. Or next match against Man City was a lot more even stat wise,m we had more shots on target, they had a slight possession advantage, but a Marco goal in the 15th minute was enough for us to secure the win. This was the only game City lost in the group stage, and with 3 wins, 2 draws, and a loss, we were into the First Knockout Round Against Real Madrid. Where we did this: After holding them to a hard fought draw at home, holding them to 6 shots, 2 on target, we went off in Madrid, scoring 4 goals in the first half. Zeca Gomes was sent off in the second half, which hurt his contract negotiating stance in more ways than one. For a guy who wants to win a trophy he's doing eff all to help. But Madrid didn't try all that hard even after Gomes was sent off. So we were into the Quarter Final Leg. Against Arsenal. And we did this: Thought I had the screenshot saved... I realized I wasn't going to score in a shootout with these teams. I'm just not as good as they are offensively. But I can hit off the counter pretty well, and if I play solid defense (which we are more than capable off), we can steal a goal here and there. An a goal may be all we need, as it was in this case. After frustrating Arsenal at Emirates, we held them close at Stade Dunkerque,, when in the 53rd minute Bilal Assou, subbing for Carter, took a Thuram cross and buried it far post. Giving us the 1-0 win on aggregate, and the opportunity to play...Man United, in the Semi Finals. And the them continues! After holding them to a 1-1 draw in Dunkerque, a Marco Tulio goal three minutes after Origi scored, we went to Old Trafford. Man U had 28 shots on goal, 14 on target to our 8 and 4, but Ameskamp blocked an Origi PK in the 64th minute, Marco scored a minute later, which was equalized by Negro in the 80th minute. Things were getting tense, when Taskin took a Jan K PK from just outside the right side of the box and headed it in past the Man U keeper, giving us the 3-2 aggregate victory. And the right to face...Man City in the final. Hey, we beat them once before. It's the end of the season, the boys are tired, it's the last match: And we ran out of gas. The defending champs were too much for us, 26 shots on goal, 13 on target, 57/43 possession advantage. Goals by Lukasik and Marchi gave them the 2-0 lead, but Marco scored off a Jan K assist in the 80th minute gave us a glimmer of hope, but there wasn't enough time to salvage anything. 2nd in the Coupe de France. 2nd in the Champions League. 2nd in Ligue 1. Winning the Coupe de la Ligue is a bit hollow now.... But there was some good news, losing in the final gave us €11M, and we also made another €22.14M in TV revenue. Over the current financial fiar play perios, we made €102M, which is huge. If you scroll back up to the League table, you'll notice Auxerre on LOSC have Europa League Spots, despite finishing 8th and 9th. That's because 4th place OM and 7th place Girondins both failed to get a license for the due to financial reasons. OM lost a Champions League spot, which went to Havre, who originally had as Europa League spot. Girondins lost a Europa League spot, which went to Auxerre. Winner in all of this was LOSC, finish 9th and get a Europa League spot? How many other 9th place teams can claim that? One of the nice benefits of all that TV money? The board decided to upgrade the training and youth facilities yet again. OK, I'll have more details tomorrow, as I am wiped out. Big question now is: Can I sign Florian Ameskanp away from Bayern? Klopp says he doesn't want to sell, and I don't want to overpay either.... Thanks for reading and following! Jellico73
  12. "Against All Odds - Les Bleus et Blancs" Were not quite yet halfway thru the season, and again, it's been a dogfight. One thing I forgot to mention previously, we have a new overseas affiliate, the Brisbane Roar. First, the Ligue 1 matches: I've actually got a nice routine set up for my friendlies I think. Get a local teamn out of the way first, then its westward to San Jose, then Shanggang (then next year Brisbane), and back to the continent. I wanted to give the guys a little more international expierence, beating up on lower ranked French teams is nice and all, but there is some money to be made as well. I had a nice tour of England all set up until Watford pulled out at the last minute, but I still got some very good games in against some quality opponents. First game of the season was PSG in the Trophee des Champions, and they just ran us into the ground. Even with a weeks worth of prep and the like they just bossed us. We got off to a quick start though. Against Les Verts James Carter had an assist and a goal, while Jan K banged one in as well. Our defense was really clicking, and we held Saint-Etienne to just 8 shots. The home opener against Stade Rennais was our attempt to put on a goal bonanza. I think the boiys decided that if you couldn't win by well placed shots, you could win by volume. 20 shots, only 5 pn target, no clear cut chances. A MArco goal in the 44th minute was all we needed, as the defense again was stout, allowing just 9 shots. Our draw against Girondins was annoying, to say the least. We could just not generate any chances, but in our defense neither could they, and the 0-0 draw is what both sides seemed to be fighting for. It wasn't a loss, but draws this early in the season don't help us. This was also the last game AUstin played Keeper for us, as he was off to PAOK. I'm still trying to figure out what happened in our game against OM. We had more shots, more on target, a possession advantage, and a 1-0 lead going into the second half, but two Dolberg goals withing 5 minutes of each other gave them a 2-1 lead, and then their defense remembered how to play and just shut us down. I think what happened was I played two DM's instead of two M(C)'s, and there was a disconnect between the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. and my attacks were slow to develop as a result. There was also a note that Marco was like twelve goals away from setting the club record. So of course he hasn't scored since. FCSM always plays us tough, and this time was no different. It took a Jan K goal in the 61st minute to equalize the score, and after that it was a defensive struggle. But again, a draw this early doesn't really help us... Marco was injured late in the game against OGN Nice, and was going to miss a few weeks as a reult. Luckily Noam Salomon stepped up and blasted the eventual winning goal home in the 28th minute. I'm not so worried about Marco missing time, as Salomon is more than capable of stepping in. Florian Ameskanp, out new loanee keeper, had some very nice saves. Austin would have made them too I think, but Ameskamp made them look routine. Ha Hyun Ho got his annual goal against LOSC, a nice header from the corner kickinute, and LOSC was charging until one of their players was sent off in the 76th minute, when they just turned to the Defend side of things. Solid game all around for everyone, defense in particular. As good as our defense was the last two games, it fell back to middle of the road inb out match against L'OL. Goals by Tarasenko and Salomon had us up, but a Junior goal in the 64th minute brought L'OL close, and a Pinto goal in the 89th minute saw the tie it up. Tulio was actually charging the keeper unopposed off a beautiful cross from Foose, but as he reached the edge of the box and cocked his leg back to shoot, the whistle blew and the match was over. Frustrating match all around. A 2nd minute goal by Salomon was all we needed against Montpellier. I'm reasonably sure the boys were mad after the L'OL game, and took it out on the next team up. FOr the first half of the first half it looked like we were getting ready for a goal bonanza, but the remembered how to play defense and shut us down for the rest of the match. Ameskop had a couple of brilliant saves in this one as well. Salomon has proven to be a more than capable replacement for Marco, creating as many shots as he is taking most games. This time it was his second goal of the day, in the 72nd minute, that gave us the win. Zeca Gomes also had a goal, off a PK from just outside the box. Toulouse didn't exactly give up when we went ahead 3-2, but they didn't put up much of a fight to try and equalize either. Against Angers SCO, its boils down to the fact that we didn't miss our shots, and they did. And again, Ameskamp had several good saves. Out match against FC Lorient was one of those games that, when it ended, you sat back and tried to figure out how you almost didn't win. We had 25 shots on goal, 10 on target, and a 54/46 possession advantage, FC Lorient had 2 shots. TWO. And it took a Gomes PK in the 87th minute to secure us the win. Winning ugly is still winning I suppose. FC Metz played us tough, and stats wise the game was pretty even. A James Carter goal in the 36th minute was all we needed to secure the win. Ameskamp has already had six clean sheets thus far...I'm not missing Austin as much as I thought I would. En Avant is having an off year, and find themselves in a relegation battle. We had a series of games on tap, so I played a very heavily rotated side for this one. Solis scored for Avant, breaking Ameskamp scorfeless streak, but a Kabungo OG tied it in the 32nd minute, and a Turam goal in the 81st minute gave us the lead and the win. So where does that put us so far? Tied for second, behind Monaco only on goal differential. I think if we can stay close we have a chance of knocking PSG off the top. Of course, PSG has already beaten Saint Etinne 4-0, and Stade Renaais 7-0, and nice 6-0, so maybe they won't be stumbling anytime soon. We play PSG on may 1 2027, with 4 weeks left in the season. Something tells me that's going to be a pivotal game. Champions League update tomorrow, after I finish the Group games. Thanks for reading and following! Jellico73
  13. In my USL Dunkerque save I played La Berri more than a few times, and now they are my best affiliate club. :-) Good luck going forward, will be following this to see how you do as a youth only project. Jellico73