SEASON REVIEW 2038/2039
This was a tough season – we took a step back again and ended up in 14th Place. That means we have gone from 9th to 14th in two years, and I really feel the talent on the team is starting to stagnant. The Kafra Youth Academy has not been feeding us the type of quality we need – the last player that can be considered top talent was Ricardo Marques, who was part of the ’30 Youth Class. Daniel Jackson made a huge impact this season, but it has yet to be seen if he will develop into the type of talent we need. That being said, our offense was awesome again, delivering all types of multiple goal games – our defense was porous again, delivering all types of multiple goals conceded games. Our defensive prospects have not turned out the way I had hoped, and I am now stuck with a very average defensive line. This season was actually tied for our worst finish ever in the PL – we also finished in 14th in our very first season.
The Premier League was won by Chelsea, who captured the title for the 2nd time in 4 years and ended Man City’s (2nd) streak at 2. Everton (3rd) were the second runners-up for the second straight year, with Southampton (4th) shockingly beating out Liverpool (5th) and Tottenham (6th) for the last Champions League spot. Man United (12th) continued to struggle, while Millwall (7th) surprised everyone almost won a European spot.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Daniel Jackson (2035), 20 Years Old, Striker: Jackson showed hints of his potential last season when he scored 20 Goals, but there was no way I could predicted he would blow up the way he did this year. In 36 Games, he led the league with 33 Goals and 67% Shots on Target, also registering 10 Assists, 6 PoMs, 46 Key Passes (4th in PL), 18 Chances Created (3rd in PL), and a career-high 7.53 AR (2nd in PL). His 33 Goals were the most scored by any player in the Premier League since Alan Shearer scored 34 during the 1994/95 season – 45 years ago! He was fantastic from start to finish, and even though the club struggled this year, Jackson gave us a brilliant individual season and totally made me look like a genius in replacing Slone with him in the starting line-up. Rating: 9.5/10
Aaron Taylor (2033), 22 Years Old, Goalkeeper: Our defense improved ever so slightly (up to 18th Place this year), and the slight improvement was probably due to Taylor giving us his best season yet. In 38 Appearances (only the 2nd time he has played a full season), he registered 2.11 Con/90, 6 Clean Sheets, and 6.96 AR, up from 6.90 AR last season. My coaching staff have dropped his 5/5 PA to a 4/5, so they think he is pretty much think he is playing close to his full potential. That would mean he did not quite develop as well as I would have hoped, although he is still a talented GK. Rating: 7/10
Terry Howell (2027), 27 Years Old, Left Defender: On this lift by default of being our captain as opposed to his actual form, because Howell delivered a stinker of a season this year. This was the worst season of his career (38 Appearances, 3.34 TpG, career-low 6.63 AR) by a large margin, even when compared to the bad season he gave us last year. I’m not quite sure what has happened – our strategy hasn’t changed, he is playing in exactly the same position with the same instructions, and he is (was, I’m not sure) England’s first choice left-back. I am really hoping he can turn this around and give us the form we were used to seeing from him, especially as he is now entering the prime of his career. Rating: 5/10
Ricardo Marques (2030), 25 Years Old, Left Winger: Marques is, without a shadow of a doubt, or most marquee and talented player – he is considered a “World-Class Talent” by my coaching staff and he is a key member of the England national which won the World 2034 and reached the Semi-Finals in Argentina 2038. That being said, this was not his finest season for us, although it was a good season overall – in 34 Appearances, he registered 14 Goals, 10 Assists, 2 PoMs, 1.18 TpG, 1.50 DpG, and 7.22 AR, which was down from 7.44 AR two seasons ago. He definitely plays better on the left-wing as an Inside Forward than he does as a striker, and he had a few outstanding games for us, but it was one of his less consistent seasons. It is not a coincidence that we had a down season in what is considered a down season for him, because he has the capability – and does – win games almost by himself for us. Rating: 7.5/10
Josh Vincent (2030), 25 Years Old, Central Midfield: Two years after dealing with a major injury, Vincent delivered the finest season of his career thus far. Impressively, he has not missed a single game in the last two seasons, which speaks volumes about his durability given how sever his injury was (hip). In 38 Appearances, he tied his career-highs with both 7 Goals and 6 Assists, while also registering 1.36 TpG, 0.95 DpG, 48 Key Passes (2nd in PL), and a career-high 7.14 AR. He also led the league in Total Distance Covered with 497.80 kms, which points to how hard he works. Reliable, durable, and consistent, he is the personification of a workhouse CM – he might never be the most talented player on the pitch, but you can be sure he will be amongst the hardest working. Rating: 7.5/10
Dennis Duncan (2031), 23 Years Old, Right Winger: A torn thigh muscle ruled him out for just under 3 months, and he ended up playing in 26 Games this season, registering 5 Goals, 9 Assists, 2 PoMs, and 7.15 AR, which was a career-high - he also registered 15 Chances Created (5th in PL), despite his limited appearances. We have a hot new prospect in Peacock who is immediately going to threaten Duncan’s place in the starting eleven, but like Curtis Slone, he will definitely remain part of the rotation. Even though he has done well for us, I cannot deny the talent of Peacock, who has a chance to make us better down the right wing. Rating: 7.5/10
Dan Demby (2027), 26 Years Old, Striker: With Daniel Jackson setting the Premier League on fire, Demby took a backseat for the first time in a few years, but still delivered one of his finest seasons in his career. He played in all 38 Games, registering 16 Goals and leading the PL with 17 Assists, to go along with his 58% Shot Target (10th in PL), 43 Key Passes (8th in PL), 17 Chances Created (5th in PL), and 7.19 AR, up from 7.12 AR last season. He was an integral part of the offense that was ranked one of the best in the PL, and has a real opportunity to be a 20+ Goals, 15+ Assists player in the coming few years as he enters his prime. Rating: 7.5/10
Giorgos Panagiotou (2035), 19 Years Old, Central Defender: He looked so good coming out of the Kafra Youth Academy, and I really had high expectations from him, but he has barely developed since. He has shown some growth, of course, but nowhere near what I had hoped – my coaching staff have now dropped him down to 4/5 PA. This was his 4th season as a starter for us, and played in all 38 Games, registering 1.32 TpG and 6.82 AR, a big improvement over last year when he had to deal with injuries and registered 6.70 AR. He is very good in the air, and his Defensive skills have gotten better, but I wish he had developed the way I had hoped. Still, he remains a solid starting option for us.
Keith Bamford (2036), 19 Years Old, Right Defender: Like Panagiotou, I am disappointed with Bamford’s development, as he has shown almost no progress in the past three years since coming up from the youth academy. He really had the look of a fantastic right-back, but at his current abilities, he is just an average one for this level of football. Still, there has been positives – he again played in all 38 Games (he has missed 1 Game the past 3 years), and his 6.72 AR was a career-high and a big improvement over the 6.67 AR from last season. Unless he shows some drastic improvement in the next year or two, however, he will remain at best an average prospect/player for us.
Tomas Rodrigues (2036), 18 Years Old, Central Defender: Joining the trend of disappointing defensive prospects is Rodrigues, and he might be the most disappointing yet. After showing zero signs of improvement, I actually benched him and started Steven Smith for a while to see if he would help the defensive line perform better. Rodrigues ended up playing in 25 Games, registering 1.18 TpG and 6.72 AR, which was actually a career-high. Like Bamford and Panagiotou, he looked excellent coming out of the youth academy, but his lack of progress means that he is now just an average player.
Mick Muller (2037), 18 Years Old, Central Midfielder: So far, so good for Muller, who has shown everything required thus far in his young career – he has progressed nicely in training with his attributes improving significantly, and he his form was better in his sophomore season as compared to his rookie year. In 37 Appearances, he registered 1 Goal, 3 Assists, 5.27 TpG, 79% Pass Ratio, and 6.83 AR (up from 6.76 AR) – he showed good defensive instincts, and that is definitely his strength at this time. We need his offensive game to develop more, but was solid for us.
Tom Craig (2037), 17 Years Old, Central Midfielder: Craig did not get much playing time in his rookie year, making only 4 Appearances, but my coaching staff still have him rated at 5/5 PA. He showed some improvements in his attributes, although it was nothing pronounced, so the judgement is out on how good he can be.
IMPORTANT PLAYERS LEAVING/RETIRING
Adam Laing – Career: The oldest player on the team at 30 years old this season, Laing was perhaps our most important defender during the late 2020s and early 2030s. His finest season came during our last season in the Championship when we got promoted, but through the first few years of our PL experience, Laing remained perhaps the best defender we had. Replaced in the mid-2030s by young prospects, Laing played a total of 330 League Games for Kafra, registering a 6.86 AR.
Josh Peacock – Nathan Johnson
Not a great Intake – I like Josh Peacock and he looks like a potential threat to Duncan down the right-wing, but we are still waiting for our Academy to give us another Yuill or Marques. Nathan Johnson has the look of a capable GK – he could be a fine No.2 behind Aaron Taylor if he develops well, but other than that, it was a relatively disappointing Intake.