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About lblanc

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  1. Diogo Bras has never let me down when I've brought him into the first team though he still has work to do and has at least 4 wingers still ahead of him (A loan move may be on the cards for him in January). Thierry Correia too has been brilliant, I've actually promoted him to the first team squad and plan to use him from the bench and even start him in the games against the lower opposition, I hope he'll be able to kick on from his early promise with interest in both Risto and Gaspar he may become the number 2 right back. Jovane has gone from strength to strength, I know he was already a member of the first team picture at the start of the first season but he is now up my most highly rated right winger Gonzalo Plata is also pushing Phellype hard for that number 2 striker role.
  2. A bad start to the month of November but I recovered to finish strongly in the cup competitions The loss to Tondela was ridiculous though They had one shot in the game which they scored from, while I had 37 in which 17 were on target I then drew with Maritimo meaning I'm no longer top of the league Though I do have a game in hand(s) over the teams above me. I will still need to dig deep to get back on top. In the cup a 2-0 win over Benfica sees me through to the next round, and the 4 points picked up in Europe see me through top of the group with a game to spare. As for the player of the month, this is a tough one as it was a tough month. Though I think i'll give it to the player who has put personal issues behind him and worked for the team. Raphinha I had a few injury issues on the wings so despite him being unhappy he stepped in and done a great job 2 assists and 1 goal during the month, as well as his all round play. With some more game time under his belt he dropped his wage demands too and I'm please to say. He signed a new 4 year contract, I feel 28k is a testament of his worth to me,and i'm glad he has agreed. As for December Well it's a long one, a total of 5 League games and the visit of Inter to Jose Alvadade, as well as domestic cup games make it 8 games in the month.
  3. Another great month Two wins in the Champions League put me in charge of the group, Two great performances especially away to Shakthar where I had been 2-1 down But two pieces of Raphinha magic turned it round and then Phellype gave me a cushion. In the two domestic cups I gave some younger players a goal and they didn't disappoint Echedey Carpintier scored two fantastic goals and almost completed his hat trick late only for him to be called offside. That Chaves result was a little too close too, Costinha had put them ahead early on only for Bruno to equalise, Dost put me ahead then Battaglia was sent off for a two foot lunge and they scored directly from that set piece. A little reworking of the team into a midfield diamond I dropped Bruno from attacking mid to a deep lying mid role where he could pick it up and start counters but he went one better when he cracked in the winner. A nervy last 30 minutes but I survived. And it is all change at the top after Braga drew at home to Feirense. Player of the month is a tough one I could give it Bruno Fernandes for his match winning performances against Chaves and his 4 assists during the month or it could go to Raphinha for his performances against Shakhtar and Inter but i'm going to for Matheus Pereira Pereira has been fantastic since he came back from Nurnberg this season. I really have a nice headache on the wings now. November sees my first clash with Benfica this season after we drew each other in the Taca.
  4. End of September in the 2nd season, unbeaten still Though I will say a little bit unconvincing bar that Rio Ave result. A narrow win against Slavia and I'm not going to lie a lucky win against Arouca with my youngsters set me on the way, Rio Ave were brushed aside. The Porto game you would think I say good result but Porto were down to 10 men since the 25th minute and I failed to make my chances pay. Braga currently sit top and have been scoring for fun, it will interesting to see if they can continue their form and challenge the Três Grandes. Player of the month Captain fantastic Bruno Fernandes. Produced numerous pieces of magic in the 3 games he played in September (rested for the LC). October sees tough away games in the Champions League and two home league games as well as two domestic cup games in the Taca and League Cup.
  5. Second Season So I've gone through the first two months of the 2nd season A relatively short pre-season of 3 friendlies in the Netherlands was followed by the Super Taca A 2-1 win meant I won my 3rd piece of silverware with Sporting, before the league begun another friendly versus Girona followed, my defence then got off to the perfect start with two wins from two, a draw with Guimaraes followed but a commanding 7-1 win over Belenenenses followed. It is still early days but top of the table and ahead of Porto and Benfica is a good place to be. Transfers out first of all A lot of youngsters go out on loan again to gain experience, also a good few of the deadwood leave too IN As I stated above there was still two transfers into the club First up after sending Pedro Silva and Luis Maximiano out on loan I only had Renan and Woodman as my two main keepers. I wanted to bring in someone who could learn alongside Renan and compete with Woodman and who was Portuguese Andre Moreira For the relatively small fee of 950K (Potentially rising to 2m) from Atlético Madrid The next in was a record fee for Sporting CP at €15.5m from Sport Club Internacional Iago Now onto to the contract rebel I mentioned above, after Bruno Fernandes agreed to stay at the club and sign a new contract worth 55k a week, last season's Young Player of the Year Raphinha decided he wanted similar which no way was I going to give him, he is good but not 55k good..yet I've said no to him and of course he moaned and requested a transfer which I of course did not grant him as I do see him as an important part of the future (just not 55k worth a week) he has a buyout clause in his current deal of €60M which if met then I'd be happy to sell him for, but for the moment with the window closed until January he will remain I will be hoping a bit of time on the bench will make him see the error of his ways. Of course with winning the league last season I qualified for the Champions League. I was 3rd seeds in the draw which meant I was looking for some luck in the draw A group of Inter Milan, Shakhtar and Slavia Prague is both a challenging yet favorable group, One I feel I could well compete in. In the League Cup An extremely favorable group should pose me little trouble if I play to my best And it is those two competitions I start September Two home games against Slavia and Arouca before a home game against Rio Ave and my first big league test. One last update for August The top 3 in the player of the month were all Sporting players. Another point I will add is how Benfica's wonderkids were plucked away Their 31M purchase of Chris Wood raised my eyebrow though. As for Porto The lack of Champions League football seen them sell Aboubakar and Marega, to try and balance the books. Showing how important and necessary it is to finish in the top 2 in Portugal.
  6. I've bought all 3 of the above in my Sporting save referenced above , Though the finances are a challenge you really need to get CL football or do well in the EL to help with the funds. There was a point in December before I got the EL Knockout stage money I was struggling with being in the RED but once I got that EL money it was nice, I subsequently got to the Semi's and qualified for the Champions League. Only the Top 2 in Portugal actually qualify so it was a challenge and I'd imagine if I didn't qualify I would have been in trouble as Porto who finished 3rd appear to be judging that they sold a few players off. I would highly recommend Sporting to anyone. In terms of Spain, perhaps Sevilla , Real Sociedad or Betis would be probably be a nice save to do the following not sure of their finances though But in terms of the above 3 you referenced I paid 4.5M (this may rise to 7/8 I believe) for Vargas 3.5m (Again may rise to 6) for Almendra 1.5m (rising to 5m) for Almada So you can get in all 3 for under 10M, note that Almada is only 17 so can't move over until the second season, unless rules are different for Spain.
  7. Bruno has been brilliant for me, not sure off hand how many he actually scored and assisted during last season but I remember he came up with the goods when I needed something. His long shots and vision and passing ability did account to a lot of chances created, where he wasn't necessarily the assister but had a big part in the goals I scored. i.e. he made the pass the second last pass before the goal or his shots hit the woodwork or are saved and rebounds are capitalised on. I have him in my PSG save and he hit close to 20 goals in one season, that was playing him as a Deep Lying Playmaker, with Sporting I've been playing him as an Advanced Playmaker so he getting the ball higher up, in the last few games I switched to a 4-2-3-1 with him in the centre of the 3 and as stated above he was usually the one threading the ball out to the wingers/ overlapping fullbacks to cross into the centre. I've plans to try out a type of WM formation this season so I'm thinking of having a roaming playmaker at the W base. IRL he has hit 20 goals and 13 assists. Yeah Trincao is one who is on my watch list, I was tempted but I have some many great wingers in my squad with Acuna, Raphinha, Vargas, Jovane, Bras, Matheus Pereira all available for me, I've also got a very nice regen who joined my academy this year. I also brought in Xadas who while better suited as a central attacking mid, is more the capable on either wing in fact I've had the most success using him as an inside forward on the right where he can cut in onto his left foot.
  8. Thanks. Really enjoying my time with Sporting it has to be said and the results have surprised me a lot . I'll post an update probably later this evening, just passed the summer transfer window, so I'll give an update on a a busy window having to deal with players coming back on loan, contract rebellion from a star player and breaking Sporting's transfer record. Either way my plans for this season are based around the phrase (Apologies if the Portuguese is incorrect) BUSCA PELO VIGÉSIMO If my limited Portuguese is correct that means QUEST FOR THE TWENTIETH Last season triumph makes it 19 league titles for Sporting, this season we shall aim for number 20!! and our first back to back since the great 1950's team .
  9. Portuguese League Awards 2018/19 An amazing 8 players were named in the the team of the year Unfortunately none of the 8 would win the Player of the Year as that went to Porto's Jesus Corona But Raphinha and Renan won the Young player and Goalkeeper of the season awards I also won Manager of the season. For next season some transfer news already IN First in as an already confirmed signing Luis Neto- Free The Portuguese centre back returns to Portugal after his time in Russia with Zenit, he also had a season on loan at Fenerbahce. Thiago Almada-€4m from Velez One which I have already posted about he officially signed at the start of last season but couldn't join until this summer. Alejandro Marques - Free from Barcelona At 18 this is one for the future the young Venezuelan will most likely spend his time in the U19 and U23 teams Freddie Woodman-325k from Newcastle After Newcastle were relegated :-( I seen that Woodman was transfer listed for a nice fee of only 325k at 22 years old he does have time on his side. I managed to sign him over Roma after I promised to help develop him with Cup games which I try to fulfill. OUT Jefferson- €2m to Crystal Palace -After 6 years at Sporting Jefferson the left back wanted a new challenge at 30 I was more the obliged to let him go, his departure leaves a space in my squad for some of the younger players to challenge for the left back spot with Borja Romain Salin 700k to Millwall- at 35 he was coming close to retirement age, an experienced head I would have liked to keep but he didn't want to extend his contract which would have finished in 2020 so I offered him out 700k was the best I got so off he went. Andre Geraldes- free to Braga- This is one I'm most annoyed with, I had a €2m fee agreed with Sporting Gijon were he spent last season on loan only for him to reject their offer and then agree a free transfer to Braga. Best of luck to him all the same, Abdoulay Diaby- €5m Gent- The Malian forward returns to Belgium, he was a bit part player for me but with Dost being so lethal I never really could give him the time he wanted. I decided to sell after he moaned and started to miss training sessions and when he did turn up was terrible. There will be a lot more outs before the window closes with 39 players coming back from loan, some I will sell others will go out on loan again.
  10. League and cup double in my first season, something I wasn't fully expecting to do but i'm thrilled to do. An unfortunate heavy defeat at Old Trafford seen me knocked out of the Europa League but getting to the Semi Finals was a superb achievement. Season Stats and Awards as follows Marcos Acuna with 40% of the vote was player of the season, Dost finished the season with 28 goals Battaglia's tough tackling earned him 10 yellows in the season, I didn't receive 1 red card all year which was a surprise.
  11. So where i left off I had a packed month of April with a chance of 3 trophies to win, well after the month I delighted to say I still have a chance of 3 trophies. Tondela game finished 0-0 and the other league games were decided by 1 goal each, in Europe a 2-1 home win followed by a 1-1 draw in Estadio da Luz seen me through, in the cup my 1-0 win in the previous month was enough to see me through to the Taca de Portugal final. Player of the month has to go to the big man again Vital goals against Benfica put me through to the Europa League Semi Final and his general workrate has being amazing. In massive news, despite me dropping points in the league. Benfica have choked when they needed to be strong They only picked up one win in April. What does that means for league Simple I win my next match I win the league... Before I have that league game I have the Europa League Semi Final where I drew Man Utd. May fixtures are as follows So Braga at home, a win will guarantee it but depending on the result of Porto vs Benfica which will be played on the Saturday 4th I may only need a point. I will state though I will have to do something really stupid to not win the league from here.
  12. March And the march towards the league title continues, dropped points to Santa Clara which was disappointing, thankfully Benfica also dropped points too. My win against Porto effectively makes it a two horse race given they are 10 points back, but who knows. In the cups a narrow first leg win against Benfica see me hold the advantage there, a match played during the international break which was odd meaning both teams were short of certain first team players. In Europe the 3-0 win at home was enough to see off Schalke though the second leg was too close for comfort. You'll never guess who I then drew for the Quarter Finals Yup that's right Benfica So in April we'll play each 3 times. The league table looks like this 5 points the gap though I have the better head to head having won both ties and a far superior goal difference. with Benfica still to play Porto I think I may have one hand on the League title. The player of the month for March goes to Raphinha 4 goals including 2 against Porto in the derby set him on his way, as I proclaimed in the Feb update himself and Cabral are really playing to their top form to try outdo each other
  13. February What a month, I had to dig deep the highlight of course being the Lisbon Derby Two goals in the 90th minute win the derby, big tip for anyone playing as Sporting if coming close to the end of games tell the team to shoot on sight and work it through the centre so it gets to Bruno Fernandes. The Vitoria game could have seen me go 7 points clear as Benfica followed up their loss to me by drawing with Braga. I thought to be honest I'd blown my big chance and was losing by 2-0 going into the last 10 minutes. Two quick fire goals brought me back level, I then had two great chances to win it but couldn't take them, but still 5 points clear With Benfica still to play Porto, I'm hoping they both drop points. Of course who do I have next up in March? Yup, Porto, followed by Schalke in the Europa League, a tough but tbh not a bad draw considering who I could have got The Player of the month for February is a tough one, no one really stood out it was as I said a month were everyone had to dig deep but I have to choose one so I'm going to go for Jovane Cabral. He'd been amazing in training for the last few weeks so I decided to give him a chance and he really held his own and gives me a right headache for that right hand wing. In other news, after Battaglia and Doumbia have made the defensive mid role their own Nemanja Gudelj has returned to Guangzhou
  14. The next two months are vital in that i'll be playing both Benfica and Porto, as long as I can take points off them even draws then I think i could win the title. though I have to wary of the likes of Braga for example. As i said I'm really enjoying this save and glad others are too.
  15. January Unfortunately the league cup* won't be coming back to Lisbon as Porto knocked me out in the Semi Final, though another month of going through the League campaign unbeaten and without conceding as such the Player of the month goes to Renan Riberio, the Brazilian has an impressive 14 clean sheets in 18 games. Of course all the defense does their part but he deserves to called out for the season he is having so far. With January finished it also means the transfer window has been closed. I thankfully kept hold of my major stars, in fact despite interest no bids came in. The only outgoings Mathieu went to China 1.9m for 35 year old is a decent enough deal so I let him go, it gives me a chance to give younger players a chance Joao Querios has returned from Mallorca to fill the gap left. The other two permanent departures seen Bruno Paulista and Alan Ruiz leave, two players I can't find a place in my team. The other two Plata and Bernando Sousa go out on loan to gain some first team football. The only in during the January has seen me add some youth Magnus Kaastrup signs for 500k (rising to 1m with appearances) from AGF In terms of the league table Another loss for Porto during the month has seen them playing catch up to ourselves and Benfica, Benfica drew one their games during the month giving me a 2 point advantage. I will say though bar that result they have been relentless they haven't conceded in 11 straight games so I'm thinking my next meeting with them may decide where in Lisbon the title goes. And of course There they are straight bang in the middle of the month in between my Europa League ties, I have also drawn them in the Semi Final of the cup meaning I will play them twice more during the season. * The League Cup Final was held on the 27th January Congrats to Braga
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