Offspring8

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About Offspring8

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    Chelsea
  1. I don't think it's because of the constant changing of manager, I don't think the constant changing of manager has harmed it. For that reason, I would say that I disagree with the statement that the constant changing of manager doesn't work. I don't think that matters as much if you have a good back room team running the club and a core of good players, which are both things that I think Chelsea have been very lucky to have (Marina Granovskaia is just about the most vital cog in the Chelsea machine and has rightly earned a reputation as the most powerful woman in the sport). Although we qualified for the Champions League before Abramovich bought us, I wouldn't be narrow-minded enough to say that things would have been the same even if he hadn't bought the club or even anywhere close. He's as big a legend as anybody to the fans and I still take my hat off to him and think he's done an incredible job with the club. Loads of teams have been bought by rich owners over the past 15 years - Malaga, Monaco, Anzhi, PSG, City - but I would say none of them have done as well as he has, although PSG and City both also have a good set of owners and have obviously also done very well. City's owners stand out for me as particularly brilliant, but hey I'm getting sidetracked. I agree with your points on stability and also on the Mata/Mou reuniting saga. I think he knew that Oscar was not as good a creator as Mata, however Juan does the worst impression of a defensively aware footballer I've ever seen at the top level and if you don't have the ball, I find he offers little to nothing in terms of spacial awareness, pressing, team shape and turning over possession. Oscar on the other hand has this very odd mix of being an extremely good...defensive...attacking midfielder, if that makes any sense whatsoever. Haha thanks pal, I still lurk just so that I can spit my dummy out every once in a while - I'd like to think I've known you (in a strange online-forum-sense) long enough to know that your opinion wasn't any kind of personal attack and I didn't see it as such. Hopefully I haven't come across as too much of a baby, I actually quite enjoy a conversation with someone who's opinion is quite different from mine because it makes it so much more interesting - even if it is a little risky because you risk offending someone! I still remember the time I said to Terk that I didn't quite appreciate the skill required by Formula 1 drivers. The scalding I received that day from Mr. Terk still burns just as hot today.
  2. Sorry Salks but that was enough to bring me back from the proverbial FMS graveyard!! That statement could not possibly be further from the truth; you're right about Chelsea constantly changing managers, however Chelsea are the most successful English team of the last decade and have won more major trophies than any other English club. That's not my opinion as a fan of the club and I'm not saying it in an arrogant way, I'm pointing it out because it's a fact (call me Rafa). Managerial stability is only craved for much the same reason that Chelsea are disliked across the country - because the media say so. Mourinho will be fantastic for United. If I were a United fan, I wouldn't care about that fact that it could go wrong after 3 or 4 years. He will put them back on the map in terms of realistically challenging for honours and football is primarily about winning games and trophies. As much as I love the guy, he certainly has his flaws and United fans will begin to see the drawbacks to his style after 2 years or so. That being said, I find it funny that United's rivals' fans are somehow trying to paint this as a bad move for the club. They've made a good decision and he will prove that over time. On a personal note I now have a begrudging like for Manchester United, which is not something I ever thought would be possible. Having Juan Mata and now Jose Mourinho means that I hope they do well and if I could hand pick a team to finish second behind Chelsea every year, they would probably get the nod!
  3. Hey guys! So I have been playing FM for many years and I am generally pretty successful within my games, however this year is different. I am glad the game seems to have gotten harder, however I'm going to post a few examples of something I just can't get my head around - why do I have SO many shots and SO few goals while the other team manages 2 shots on target and scores both to win the game? All of the below are from a relatively short space of time apart and you can see what I mean by looking at the match stats. Below are my tactics and instructions. If anybody can spot an obvious problem, I'm all ears!
  4. So guys I'm going to make a few predictions with regards to the transfer window: - Pogba will sign for Chelsea - De Gea to Real will be announced in January!
  5. Well done everybody and Mark in particular - you've definitely earned it mate!
  6. Perfect, thank you for the feedback guys, I'll take it on board and we'll sort that out for the next episode. With regards to the length I was a little worried that it was too long (I know the golden rule for YouTube videos is 5 minutes max) so I'm more than happy to make it longer as I did have to cut out a fair bit to hit the 20 minute mark! Overall I'm relatively happy with the podcast debut, thanks again for the feedback guys. WLKRAS I'll keep your availability in mind for later this month and Ben I'll contact you shortly and see if we can pencil in some time to do a recording.
  7. Episode 1: Lonely Beginnings So after gauging the interest, I recorded the first 20 minute episode and uploaded it. In the episode, you will find: - An intro to myself and a short explanation of the podcasts - A bit of personal background info on myself - A light touch on a few pieces of football news - My main subject (Mourinho vs Wenger/Arsenal's performance in the Community Shield) - A few comments on my personal favourite FMSers and my favourite story of all time - Some notes on other people getting involved in the podcasts moving forward Hopefully it doesn't bore you to sleep, but even if it does maybe I'll throw it on iTunes and try and make some money from it as something that aids sleep!
  8. After a two (or three) year absence, I'm making a return as Fab's Magic Hat!
  9. Found this very interesting to watch. Regardless of what people thought of him as a player (I actually liked him a lot to be fair!), Gary Neville is without a doubt the best pundit on TV right now in my opinion! Also the news about Rio Ferdinand's wife was terrible - has anybody seen some of the stuff that people put on social media about it? There were some truly sickening posts from some people. I'm not a fan of the way the Daily Mail presents the news piece though with a headline reading 'Sick John Terry fans troll Rio Ferdinand on Twitter', I think that's unfair of them to try and make that association, however faint it may be. I picked up a few newspapers for the first time in years today though (I steer clear of them normally because I struggle to find any decent ones) and I was shocked to see how far downhill things have gone on that front. I'll highlight the worst of the lot; The Sun - their front page was dedicated to something along the lines of them pleading with their readers to not vote Labour in the election for fear of what 'Red Ed' would do to the country... aren't newspapers supposed to be fairly balanced and informative pieces? I mean I know some lean slightly to the left or right but that was a bit of a surprise!
  10. I believe that CFuller and myself were on a slightly different wavelength to you, Balth! In terms of giving young players a chance, Arsenal have always been very good at that and Chelsea have improved recently; putting Courtois in goal ahead of the legendary Petr Cech, Zouma has been trusted in some of our biggest games at 19/20, Mo Salah got plenty of opportunities at 21, De Bruyne had opportunities before he was sold in the January window - I believe we were focussing more on players that had been a fixture of the clubs youth teams for years and then coming through to take a spot in the first team as Bellerin has done. That speaks volumes to me that even a club such as Arsenal who traditionally blood their youngsters have only been able to bring through one or two prospects in recent years (Bellerin and Coquelin) - it just shows how tremendously difficult it is to do. Also, with all due respect to Arsenal of course, I couldn't see Coquelin beating Matic, Fabregas, Oscar or Ramires out of the side and Mikel would probably still stay as well because he's a fantastic foil and a reliable backup. I also don't think Bellerin would unseat Dave (who I think is the best full back I've ever seen in a Chelsea shirt, including Cashley) or Ivanovic who is probably Mourinho's most important player in the current system we play. I'll repeat, I don't say that to be a troll, they're still players I'd have at Chelsea - definitely Bellerin, at least - and there are players in your team that would break into our first-team, I just think the fact that those two only got in due to injuries says everything about how hard it is for youngsters to come through at a top club, especially if those players just aren't getting injured or there is tremendous depth in their positions.
  11. Ha, what a plank, my excuse is I was typing on my phone whilst at work, hence the term 'youngayers'! I've heard that Maitland-Niles has a decent future, while I've also been hearing good things about Daniel Crowley and Chuba Akpom (I love his name) as well, have you seen anything of those guys? Yeah the reason I asked was just because I'm trying to think of a Champions League team that regularly brings through youngsters and I'm genuinely struggling. I just think the demand at the top level is so high that it's almost impossible for bigger teams to expect any more than one or two players every five years or so! Which turned out to be a good piece of business in my opinion. Signed for £1.5M, used in an exchange for David Luiz who was eventually sold for more than double the price we'd bought him. Benfica effectively developed Matic for us and were compensated well for their work, while we also made a decent profit - why not send youngsters out to develop and carve out a career for themselves without the club paying the price for using a young player who's still developing and doesn't have a well rounded game? All parties won in the Matic situation! Chelsea's method isn't the traditional one, but the proof is in the pudding, it definitely works and helps us with FFP! I can definitely see why certain fans might not like it, but if we're winning and in line with the rules, I'm happy!
  12. It was ironic because Bertrand was part of the first team - he displaced Ashley Cole in his final season and I aways forget that he started in the Champions League Final that we won! I would say he could replace Luis but the only reason we have Luis is because Bertrand wasn't happy as a backup - Luis has simply taken up the role that Bertrand was doing in supporting Dave at left back. It's pretty much guaranteed that once we tuck the title away, there will be starts for the likes of Luis, Cuadrado, Cech (who still has a chance at equalling the leagues clean sheets record!), Zouma, RLC and hopefully others like Ake, Colcutt and maybe even Solanke can get some meaningful minutes. Which club would you say has the best recent record with regards to integrating their youngayers into their first team? A few years ago Arsenal would be the go to team for that but it seems from the outside that they've slowed down recently!
  13. Many of you know that I follow Chelsea's youth teams as closely as I follow the first team (remember my love affair with Josh McEachran a few years back?!) and at Chelsea we probably have the best youth system in England, if not Europe (we also just won the Champions League for U19's with relative ease), however to appreciate the clubs system, you have to forget about the traditional, purist thoughts of producing your own home grown talent. Chelsea's strategy when it comes to young players has been groundbreaking and is why we're one of the most comfortable teams with regards to FFP. We buy at low prices, develop and loan players out and then either integrate them if they are good enough(Courtois) or sell them for a tidy profit (Lukaku, De Bruyne, Bertrand) and that is our way of generating income so that we can still afford to spend big on players like Costa or Fabregas. Again, the purists will hate it but hey, we have a tiny stadium so we need to find a way to level the playing field and this is our answer - it works brilliantly. Also CFuller it all depends on what you deem a successful academy. If the kids aren't good enough for the first team, they shouldn't be there. Can you name me a single player that Chelsea have lost or let go due to not giving them an opportunity that has gone on to be good enough to break into the first team? Michael mancienne in Germany? Jeffrey Bruma in Holland? Even Lukaku at Everton? Only the best stay on and it's extremey difficult to develop that at a club, there are so many invariables that could go wrong and all it takes is for one to go wrong. This year has been the first year those kids have been integrated into the first team and Mourinho has made a commitment to promoting 3 academy players to the first team every year. He stuck to it this year and promoted Rubén Loftus-Cheek, Dominic Solanke (both English and part of Chelsea's academy from a young age) and Nathan Ake (Dutch, home grown due to time with club). All of them have seen first-team minutes with the club (small minutes, but how can you argue with the team selection in a year when you've won the double) and Mourinho has made a public pledge that RLC will be staying with the first team next year and will be earning significant minutes due to his progression this year. Marry that up with the fact that Bamford (on loan at Middlesbrough, Championship player of the year) and players like him are performing so well out on loan, I find it hard to say that Chelsea's academy isn't working. At the end of the day, even if we haven't churned out players at Chelsea's level recently, these guys still are good enough to earn a professional living as a footballer and that is the important thing. I don't want to make any claims like I did previously about Josh McEachran because I'll probably get bitten on the ass again, but I've never been so excited about the kids coming through the academy and I'm sure it's not long before that all starts to pay off at first team level.
  14. There's good stuff here, HC! I also really like that you're open to learning and improving your own writing skills - you'll find they improve naturally over time the more you read other people's stories and write your own. The only thing I will say is that tenthree has highlighted the most common reason for burnouts and that is going too heavy too early on; I was a particular pro in this field in my early days! Only you really know what pace you're capable of writing at though so that's down to your judgement! Keep doing what you're doing mate, it's obviously working for you at the moment!
  15. Chapter 7: Winning At Home That summer, having guided the club back to the summit of the Premier League and to the second consecutive final of the Champions Cup, I was rewarded with a new four-year contract. That was a huge moment for me – that was when I knew that the club were with me in my vision for sure. I sat down with Roman and the directors and made it clear to them that domestic domination was the next order and they were on board from the start. When Chelsea won the Champions Cup against Bayern in their own back yard in 2012, it was a very, very special moment for all connected to the club. It was unique – alas, that is also its downfall. It was a one-off. A freak streak. Chelsea were champions of Europe, but they weren't the undisputed champions. They'd defied the odds, but they hadn't dominated and destroyed. It was wonderful. But for Roman, that wasn't enough. I remember explaining my vision to the directors for that upcoming season. I wanted to secure back-to-back Premier League titles and I wanted to sweep the domestic cups. I wanted the English treble and, armed with my new £54M Neymar purchase, I was ready to go hell for leather and wipe out all domestic competitions. It was then that they sprung the new stadium on me; a 58,500 seater based just a stones throw from Stamford Bridge and equipped with the best facilities that money could buy. They'd decided to call it Zola Park, and they wouldn't be hearing any complaints from me after honouring the best player in the clubs history with that. Away from all of that excitement, I knew things were nearing an end with some of the most decorated players at the club. Ashley Cole had been talking about retirement for a while and I knew that Frank Lampard, despite what he was saying in the press about wanting to play on for as long as possible, also had one eye on life after playing. They still had a big job to do though – particularly Ash. Ryan Bertrand had been with the club for years and was always seen as the heir to Ash's throne, and this season would be his breakthrough season. We started the year off by winning the Community Shield against a familiar foe in Manchester City. As I've already mentioned, I take the Community Shield more seriously than most. It is your first chance to get on top of your rivals – in simple terms, it's a chance to win a football match! Why would you be okay with losing? I've never understood that mentality. So we won 2-1. To give you an idea of the kind of run those wins can set you on, over the course of the next 23 games, we won 18 games (including at Arsenal, home and away to PSG, Tottenham, Zenit and then also a memorable 4-1 demolition of Liverpool at Anfield), drew 4 and lost just one at Old Trafford to United under a 2-3 scoreline. A win is a win is a win, as they say, and the Community Shield is no different. In the January of the 2013/14 season though, we were brought thundering back down to earth. 3 consecutive losses (2 of which were to Arsenal) had us reeling and behind in the Capital One Cup Semi Final on aggregate. A 2-1 loss at the Emirates meant we were coming back to the bridge in poor form and a goal behind and my aim of sweeping the domestic competitions was in trouble. We followed that up with a 1-1 draw to Premier League Huddersfield in the FA Cup 4th Round and all of a sudden we looked a very shaky team. Having lost to Arsenal in the Capital One Cup Semi Final 1st leg 2-1 and then followed that up with a 3-1 loss to Arsenal in the league, rounded off with a 1-1 draw to Huddersfield in the FA Cup, our upcoming fixture list did not look very welcoming at all: With Fellaini out at the time until March, I feared the worst for our domestic domination aims. **********