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  1. The Long Journey to the Top

    2050/51 - Red Star Belgrade - Serbia - Super Liga Srbije Squad Domestic League Super Liga Srbije Preliminary Phase Super Liga Srbije Final Phase - Champions Well after 2 full seasons of absolutely no jobs coming up at all in Serbia finally the Red Star manager left to manage Serbia after they finished last in their group in the World Cup! They had already played 4 games in the league and found themselves 7 points from top spot and considering they won the last 8 titles it was for the best that the manager left! My first match brought a huge win against title rivals Vojvodina however after that we never really got going until the end of October when our form seriously picked up and by the start of the winter break we managed to get into 1st spot. We went unbeaten for the rest of the season and a huge 1-0 win over Partizan, which is definitely the biggest derby I've managed in so far, was crucial. In the end it came down to the last match of the season and we found ourselves 3 points and 4 goals ahead of Partizan but we had the easier match. We beat Cukaricki 2-0 to secure the title but Partizan lost 1-0 to Rad anyway. Next season might be a bit tougher due to big European teams coming in for most of our first team players! Positions Graph Preliminary Phase Positions Graph Final Phase Domestic Cups Kup Srbije - Quarter Final The First and Second Round brought easy wins but the Quarter Final was a different story, we faced Rad at home and were expected to win except Rad turned up and played like the 1970 Brazil team! They played us off the park and didn't give us a chance and we were knocked out losing 2-0! Continental Cups UEFA Europa League - First Knockout Round After Red Star lost to IFK Göteborg in the Champions League a tough match against Feyenoord in the playoff was first and we were seemingly cruising to a 2-0 win in the first leg but gifted Feyenoord 2 away goals but in the second leg they must of felt bad for us and scored us 2 own goals before Stefan Stevanovic added a third to finish the tie. We were drawn with Villarreal, AA Gent and Brondby in the group stages. The first 2 matches were handy enough wins over Gent and Brondby but it was no surprise that we lost twice against Villarreal. It was a huge blow that we lost agaisnt Brondby with them scoring a last minute winner! We faced Gent in the final match knowing we needed a win and it was a truly mental match! We took the lead after 1 minute before Gent missed a penalty in the 4th minute. We then doubled our lead in the 28th minute before Gent pulled one back 6 minutes later and then drew the game level in the 75th minute and we gave away another penalty for them to win it in the 84th minute but thankfully they missed! We were then given a penalty to win it in the 88th minute but we missed aswell but Nenad Damnjanovic managed to pop up in the last minute and score to qualify us from the group stage! In the knockout phase we faced Zenit St Petersburg and we were looking good in the first leg until 2 quick fire goals gave them the advantage. We took the lead in the second leg but again they got 2 quick goals and the tie was already over by the time they got a third. Key Player Djordje Mitic - Even if 14 goals and 16 assists in 49 games isn't exactly earth shattering he was by far the best player.
  2. The Long Journey to the Top

    2047/48 - NK Maribor - Slovenia - PrvaLiga Telekom Slovenije Squad Transfers Domestic League PrvaLiga Telekom Slovenije - Champions Luckily for me almost half the jobs in Slovenia became available and I jumped at the chance to join Maribor. It was a whole 3 years since their last title. I was given 5,000,000 to spend and I spent 1,200,000 getting the team stronger and it completely paid off straight away. We were the best team in the league by far and we were only outclassed once and that was by Olimpija Ljubljana when they beat us 5-3. When we got to the winter break we were 13 points clear at the top and this eventually grew to 20 points and we won the league with 6 games to do. The match where we secured the title we actually lost 4-3 to Krsko, who got relegated. We had 2 players sent off in the last minute and gave away a penalty but in the end it didn't matter and we secured the league. On a little of a downsite we lost to Radomlje and drew with Domzale and ended up missing out on the points record by 1! Positions Graph Fixtures 1, Fixtures 2 Domestic Cups Pokal Nogometne zveze Slovenije - Winners We started with a straight forward win over Dob to set up a Quarter Final agaisnt Olimpija Ljubljana. We handed them 2 away goals in the first leg but we quickly wiped them out in the second leg and then we faced Rudar Velenje in the Semi Final. The first leg was very bizarre as Rudar Velenje missed a penalty and then scored 2 own goals! The 2 away goals pretty much handed us the tie and we won the second leg 1-0 scoring in the 10th minute to put the tie to bed. The final saw us face Domzale and they gave us a very tough match until our 18 year old Moroccan striker Hamadi Ouakrim broke the deadlock on 70 minutes and then added 2 more before the end to make it look overly comfortable! Continental Cups UEFA Europa League - Playoff Maribor had already knocked out CS Fola Esch-Alzette from Luxembourg before I arrived. My first match was a 5-1 win at home to Siroki Brijeg. We cancelled their away goal in 7 minutes of the second leg all though we lost but we done enough in the first leg. Next up was Krasnodar from Russia and we made a mess of the first leg, after taking the lead one of our players got booked in the 75th minute and then got booked again in the 77th minute and gave away a penalty! Krasnodar scored and had an away goal but we went to Russia and won 2-0! We were then given a nearly impossible task of playing Olympiakos, we lost the first leg at home 5-3 but I still don't know how we managed to score 3. Olympiakos scored in the 2nd minute of the second leg which pretty much ended the tie. Key Player Stipe Medved - The Croatian on loan from Slaven Belupo was brilliant for us picking up 29 goals. The Future I didn't think that I would of won the league and the cup in Slovenia in 1 season! This is the first time ever I have won back to back titles and cups in different countries. I actually forgot to add in the Serbian league so it is only becoming active at the end of this season so I'm not sure what kind of jobs there will be or what kind of jobs I'll be looking for but I will step down as manager of Maribor and go from here!
  3. The Long Journey to the Top

    2046/47 - MSK Zilina - Slovakia - Fortuna Liga Squad Transfers Domestic League Fortuna Liga - Champions A great season! We were strong all season but somehow managed to still surprisingly lose 6 times, including 2 defeats against Michalovce! It was always going to be a 2 horse race between us and Slovan Bratislava. Thankfully they picked up 12 draws over the season and then we beat them 3-0 to pretty much secure the title, even though we lost the next match it was all over when we beat Trencin 2-1 at home with Tomas Horny scoring the winning goal....lovely! Positions Graph Fixtures 1, Fixtures 2 Domestic Cups Slovnaft Cup - Winners We faced 1 top division team in the first 3 rounds and easily won all them matches. Next up was a tougher test in Slovan Bratislava and it was quite a boring match but very evenly matched. It ended up going to penalties were we came away 3-2 winners. In the Semi Final we gave away 2 away goals in the first leg so it was all to play for in the second leg. We were much the better team and managed to get a 1-0 win and make it to the final. We faced Trencin there for the second season in a row and we again beat them, this time 3-1! Slovenský Superpohár - Runner Up We went into this match full of hope that we could topple Slovan Bratislava but to be honest they made a bit of a show of us and easily won 3-0. Not the ideal start to the season. Continental Cups UEFA Europa League - First Knockout Round We had a handy tie against Shakhter Soligorsk against Belarus which we won 7-1. Malmo from Sweden were up next and the first leg was close with us giving away an away goal but we improved a lot for the 2nd leg and won 4-1 to win 6-2 overall. Next up were Hajduk Split and the first leg we were being dominated by them but somehow managed to get 2 away goals! We won the second leg 1-0 and qualified for the Group Stage! We were drawn against Man City, Braga and AA Gent. The first 2 matches against Braga and Gent were frustrating as we couldn't find a winner in either. The 2 back to back matches against Man City went as expected as we lost both. A brilliant 4-0 win at home to Braga was followed up by a 1-0 win away in Gent and we qualified for the First Knockout Round! We faced Napoli who had won 1 Serie A title in 2018 and 1 Europa League in 2042 and are regulars in 2nd and 3rd place. Napoli were clearly the better team and easily beat us at home 3-1. We improved slightly for the second leg but we were never going to win the tie. Key Player Adam Jacko - Hard to pick a winner between him and Alexandru Ivan but his 20 assists just shaded it. The Future I have won all there is in Slovakia which means I'm moving onto the next country and it is Slovenia. Maribor and Olimpija Ljubljana have a strangle hold over the league. I will be aiming to take over one of the top clubs as I am looking forward to managing in the next country after Slovenia which is Serbia. Also this season marks 30 years since I started the game so I thought I would look back at all the past teams and put together the best XI and I was quite surprised to see that the whole outfield team was players from Connah's Quay in 2023! I don't really expect the team to change much bar the goal keeping position due to that team absolutely dominating the league, any of my other title winning teams have not even came close to as good as that team.
  4. The Long Journey to the Top

    2047 - South Korea - National Team - AFC Asian Cup Group A Far too easy for us scoring 15 and conceding only 1 which was a bit of a fluke. I didn't expect us to beat Malaysia 7-0. Group B I thought it would be close between Iraq and Qatar and only 1 win separated them and that was a 3-2 win for Iraq over Qatar with 2 late goals. Group C A very easy group for Thailand and Australia but I would of expected Australia to pick up 3 points against Lebanon. Group D Iran easily ran away with this group which was no shock. Group E China topped the group with not much effort but its a brilliant performance by India to finish 2nd. Group F Quite a brutal group but good to see North Korea qualify. Second Round The biggest shock of the round was North Korea knocking out Thailand on penalties. All the other results were expected including our 4-0 beating of Syria. Quarter Final North Korea put in another strong display before going down to 10 men in extra time and then China got 2 goals. We were 3-0 up before Iraq got 1 back in the 21st minute and we were 6-1 up before Iraq added another in the 78th minute. Iran and Japan both won their Quarter Final. Semi Final We faced rivals and hosts Japan and they had a lot more possession than us but we had more shots on target and managed to get 2 goals in 6 minutes to reach the final were we face Iran who beat China with a 89th minute goal! Final I was offered the Iran job but turned it down for the South Korea one which made this a bit juicer! This was the 2 top teams in Asia but as the match went by it was clear there was only going to be one winner and we grabbed the first goal of the game in the 35th minute and added another in the 53rd minute and that was it! Iran never really threatened us and we many should of scored again but 2-0 win will do! The Future I've decided to step down as manager of South Korea as I have no interest in leading them to the World Cup or the EAFF East Asian Cup. I'm quite pleased that I have picked up 3 international trophies at different levels which should do my reputation wonders especially after the whole Italy job carry on. I'll be keeping an eye out for African or American national teams coming up after the next World Cup.
  5. The Long Journey to the Top

    2046 - South Korea - Under 23's - Asian Games Group A No surprise at all to see Chine and Japan easily qualify from this group. Group B I don't know a whole lot about the teams in this one but Malaysia could of finished top if they took their chances again Qatar. Group C Our northern rivals scored 2 late goals against Afghanistan in their final match to secure a second place finish. Group D We got no challenge in this group as we smashed every team but it was disappointing to concede against Turkmenistan. Group E A close win for Oman over the Philippines in their first match set them up for a second place finish but they were never going to finish above Kuwait. Group F This is another group I don't know a whole lot about and it was pretty dull. Group G Handy enough group for Thailand and Syria who canceled each other out during their match. Group H It was a shame to see the hosts India knocked out in the group stage but a narrow loss to UAE in the second match pretty much eliminated them. Second Round We easily beat Qatar 2-0. All the other fixtures went as expected except for Irans 2-1 loss to Kuwait. Quarter Final A tricky match against Kuwait but we wern't challenged and won 3-0. China and Japan also won as expected and the UAE won on penalties against Hong Kong in what was probably the game of the round. Semi Final I thought China were going to finally give us a good challenge but China didn't turn up and we beat them 3-0 with ease. Japan managed to just about overcome UAE in the other Semi Final. Final This time I really thought that we would get a hard match but it was the same story as the Semi Final against China, Japan just didn't turn up and they were lucky that it wasn't more than 4-0 to wrap up a pretty easy tournament win. 2046 - South Korea - Under 19's - AFC Under-19 Championship Group A We pushed aside China and North Korea but we were held to a draw by Kuwait in the final match but still finished top of the group. Group B A poor showing from Australia and strange to see Saudi Arabia being randomly chosen over Iran. Group C I would of expected Qatar and Thailand to qualify from this group. Group D A very tight group with the top 3 finishing on 6 points. I'm not sure how Japan finished ahead of Iraq since the first sorting rule is matches between teams and Iraq beat Japan 1-0 and also scored more goals overall. Quarter Final Our reward for finishing top was a tough match against Iran and despite us being the better team the match went to extra time but we found 2 goals in the second half. That win also qualified us for the U-20 World Cup. There was a big win for Kuwait over Saudi Arabia, a close call for Japan only winning on penalties against Uzbekistan and Indonesia overcame Jordan. Semi Final We got a rematch against the only team we haven't beat yet, Kuwait and this match was close enough to the same match earlier and finished 1-1 at full time. We managed to get 3 goals in 10 minutes and secure a place in the final were we would meet Japan who struggled against Indonesia. Final Japan had a lot more possession but we managed to get a penalty in the 14th minute and score it and then after that it was a pretty close match but Japan couldn't find a way through and we lifted the cup at home!
  6. The Long Journey to the Top

    2046 - South Korea After the World Cup many African and Asian nations sacked their managers and I applied for some of the top jobs and was offered them all so I decided to go with the dominant force in Asia, South Korea. The AFC Asian Cup kicks off in January 2047 for the senior team but I decided to take control of the Under 23's for the Asian Games in September 2046 and I might also take control of the Under 19's in the AFC Under-19 Championship. I will probably step down after the end of the AFC Asian Cup and hopefully it goes a lot better than the Italy job.
  7. The Long Journey to the Top

    2044/45 - MSK Zilina - Slovakia - Fortuna Liga Squad Transfers Domestic League Fortuna Liga - 2nd We started with 2 wins but our form dipped over August and September due to low morale in the squad because of Ion Mande forcing a transfer to Leiga Warsaw through. With the morale low our form in October, November and December was absolutely awful with 3 draws and 4 losses. After the 2-1 loss to Presov I was called in by the board and told to get 9 points in the next 5 games or be sacked. We drew 1 and lost the next before the winter break meaning I would need to win all 3 matches after the break was over and thankfully they were against lower opposition however I decided to bring in 5 new players during the transfer window but sadly Leiga Warsaw were not finished picking our players and I was forced to sell Jonathan Doyle before he upset the squad! The second half of the season was completely different for us and we won the first 3 matches so I got to keep my job. In the next 10 games we only lost twice and drew twice and climbed up to 2nd spot. Slovan Bratislava ran away with the league but there is a bit of hope in the fact they lost 7 matches. Positions Graph Fixtures 1, Fixtures 2 Domestic Cups Slovnaft Cup - Winners Thankfully we came up against non league teams while our form was brutal but even though our league form improved we struggled to overcome First Division Kosice and probably should of lost but we managed to pick up a 1-0 win. We faced Nitra in the Semi Final and easily beat them thanks to them scoring 2 own goals in a minute in the first leg and we ended up with 4 away goals and then we scored 2 goals in the first 30 minutes to put the tie to bed. We faced Trencin in the final who have picked up about 20 trophies since I started the game. Trencin probably edged the game a small bit overall but we were more clinical scoring 2 goals before the 25th minute and holding on to win the trophy. Key Player Massimiliano Gesmundo - A decent season by the young Italian winger picking up 9 goals and 6 assists in 24 games including the 2nd goal in the final.
  8. The Long Journey to the Top

    2044/45 - MSK Zilina - Slovakia - Fortuna Liga Squad Transfers Domestic League Fortuna Liga - 5th We started off by losing 4 matches in a row but our results improved a very small small bit in September but we were still brutal. And then all of a sudden our form got even worse than before, the final 8 games going into the season break brought 6 losses. We looked slightly better after the break and the final 7 matches of the season we managed to pick up 5 wins and finish up 5th somehow only 1 place behind a European spot....but also 12 points behind! Not a great start to my Slovakian career but a 5th place finish is brilliant compared to the crap we played all year! Positions Graph Fixtures 1, Fixtures 2 Domestic Cups Slovnaft Cup - Third Round Handy enough wins over non league teams in the first 2 rounds but once we came up against decent opposition we were easily knocked out. Key Player Peter Lojdl - No one stood out so I went for him for his highest average rating but I suppose 5 goals and 7 assists in 23 games is OKish.
  9. The Long Journey to the Top

    2044 - Íþróttabandalag Vestmannaeyja - Iceland - Pepsi-deild karla Squad Transfers Domestic League Pepsi-deild karla - 5th We started the season brilliantly by beating FH 3-0 but an unfortunate losses against Breiðablik and Haukar had us slide down the table before we beat HK 2-0 in my final game as IBV manager. IBV went on to win their second title in a row by 2 points ahead of Valur. Positions Graph Fixtures Domestic Cups Borgunarbikar - Fifth Round We faced a Second Division side and easily brushed them aside. IBV were then drawn against Breiðablik and lost 2-1 conceding 2 goals in the last 15 minutes. Deildabikar - Winners The group stage went handily enough for us except for a surprising 2-0 loss to KR and we finished 1st. Stjarnan were our opponents in the Quarter Final and we won 1-0 but we really should of won by 4 or 5. The Semi Final was against the only team to beat us, KR. We were 1-0 down and Ívar Theódórsson was sent off in the 40th minute but we eventually found a way to score in the 77th minute and the match went to extra time and surprisingly we took the lead! But it only lasted 4 minutes before KR equalized and the game went to penalties. We missed one and KR missed 2 and Nökkvi Karlsson stepped up and scored his peno and won us the cup finally! Íslenska Frábær Bikar - Runner Up We were playing in this for the third season in a row but this time we faced rivals Breiðablik and we didn't make it easy on ourselves by going 1 down after 6 minutes and then we sent on Guðmundur Aðalgeirsson at half time.....and then he got sent off in the 46th minute! And then Breiðablik got the winning goal a few minutes later and after that we never looked like getting back into the match. Key Player Nökkvi Karlsson - Once again he kept a cool head to score a goal to secure us a trophy! He had 15 assists and 4 goals in the 19 matches played. His form took a drastic turn after I left and he only added 4 more assists and 2 more goals to his tally. 2044 - Italy - National Team - UEFA European Championships Group A - 4th We managed to score just before and after half time against Russia but then 2 quick goals in a minute by Russia had them back in it and despite us being all over them they managed to score with 8 minutes left to give us the worst of starts. We then faced Serbia in a must win match and again despite us being all over them we could't find a winning goal leaving us with a pretty much impossible task of qualifying as we faced the Netherlands in our last match and we found ourselves 2-0 down after 52 minutes but we managed to battle back to 2-2 with 30 minute left however we couldn't find a winning goal that would of sent us through over Serbia on goals scored so we finished the group dead last which was very embarrassing. Group B France won the group despite their only victory being over Ireland. Ireland won the game of the tournament 5-4 against Hungary and came second, Poland managed to qualify for the next round by drawing all 3 games and scoring only 2! Group C Pretty standard enough performance by Germany and not very surprised to see Czech Republic qualify behind them. Group D Probably the group of death with Spain, Sweden, Turkey and Ukraine facing each other. Sweden surprisingly lost all 3 games only scoring once. The other 3 teams managed to qualify. Group E An incredibly close group that I had expecting England to dominate but Austria managed to wind up on top by goal difference. Group F Scotland continued to surprise me by finishing second holding Belgium to a draw and beating Portugal, but Portugal still managed to qualify from 3rd place. Second Round There wasn't any major upsets in this round all though I would of expected Belgium to put up a better fight against England. Ireland and Scotland got the easiest match for each other by facing one another with Ireland running out winners in extra time after being 2-0 up earlier in the match. Quarter Final There was almost an upset for the Netherlands against Ireland as the match went to extra time but the Netherlands just got over the line. England and Germany comfortably beat France and Spain 2-0 and Serbia beat Ukraine on penalties, Ukraine even missed a late penalty in normal time! Semi Final England struggled a bit against Serbia but managed to come out 1-0 winners. Germany scored 2 early goals against the Netherlands and they never recovered, it was a close game but the Germans were more clinical. Final A very close game as expected and it went to extra time were England scored in the 109th and 111th minute to win....boooooo! The Future After winning the Icelandic League Cup I was keeping an eye on jobs in Slovakia and then I seen that the manager for Zilina had resigned at the end of their season so I applied and during the interview I was asked how would I split my time between club and country so I said if they wanted me to step down I would. I had already planned to resign at the end of the European Championships but in the end Zilina offered me the job and I accepted and I quit the Italy job automatically! So my next stop is Zilina in Slovakia, they have won a few titles since I started the game alongside Slovan Bratislava and Trencin. As for the international management I think I will take a break from it for a while unless a country on another continent comes up.
  10. The Long Journey to the Top

    2043 - Italy - National Team - Euro Qualifiers Group A A farcically dreadful group but the Netherlands will never have an easier group, no surprise to see them win all 10 games and conceding only 5 goals. Only 2 points separated 2nd and 5th but due to the poorness of this group none of them were going to do good enough to qualify through second place. Group B An outstanding performance by Ireland to top the group over Spain! Their only loss was to 3-2 to Slovakia, a 2-1 in Belfast and another 2-1 win in Dublin against Spain in the first 2 games set them up nicely and then two 0-0 draws against Spain and Northern Ireland pretty much sent them to the Euros. And even for a brief 4 minute period Northern Ireland were beating Spain in their last game and both Irelands were going to the Euros, maybe they could of united for the tournament, but in the end Spain won 4-1 to put an end to that thought. Group C Good to see Iceland qualifying and being unbeaten. Group D France comfortably won this group but only scored 10 goals and had draws with Albania and Norway. Group E A very close group, a little harsh on Romania missing out. Group F England were way too good, winning all 8 and scoring 21 and conceding only 1. Even if Austria and Hungary rolled it back 125 years and reformed their empire they still would of struggled to over come England but Austria wont mind since they qualified too. Group G - 1st Fixtures Well I was right when I said that Sweden would be our biggest rivals. We were sailing through our group with handy wins over Montenegro and Liechtenstein and then a close call against Turkey until Sweden surprised us with a 5-3 win in Stockholm. Then came routine wins over Montenegro and Liechtenstein again then we were off to Konya to face Turkey. I had expected a close game after the last match but this was too easy for us and we won 4-0. In our final match we faced Sweden in Bologna with us sitting 2 points ahead of them. A draw would of sent us through but we were far to good for Sweden and won 2-0 and Turkey beat Montenegro 3-0 to finish second and qualify. Group H It was a bit of a surprise to see Serbia perform so badly however they did only lose to Greece and Belgium twice and they lost quite heavily. Group I Quite a tough group and very surprised to see Scotland come out on top! Group J This was handy enough for Germany but Armenia had a good tournament beating Denmark and drawing with the Germans, they did lose against Kosovo and Bulgaria but if they had of won 1 of them they could of qualified.
  11. The Long Journey to the Top

    2043 - Íþróttabandalag Vestmannaeyja - Iceland - Pepsi-deild karla Squad Transfers Domestic League Pepsi-deild karla - Champions We were in flying form the first half of the season except for a 3-1 loss to Breiðablik who themselves were flying too and were right behind us. When we fell 1-0 to Grindavík we also lost top spot to Breiðablik but then we beat them in the next match to regain top spot and thats how it was for the rest of the season, up and down between 2nd and 1st. It all came down to the final game of the season and we were in the driving seat to win the title by just 1 goal and we faced 7th placed Haukar while Breiðablik were against Keflavík. Breiðablik got off to a flyer scoring in 3 minutes but 2 goals in the 16th and 17th minutes for Keflavík had us sitting clear at the top by a point but it wasn't to last long Breiðablik equalized in the 24th minute. As the clock ticked towards half time we finally got a goal in the 43rd minute through Nökkvi Karlsson. As both games entered the last 10 minutes we were still top by 2 points and 2 goals which meant Breiðablik needed 3 goals to over take us due to our superior goals scored. They managed to get 1 but so did we in the 87th minute and win IBV their first title since 1998, 45 years ago! Also I will be playing in the Champions League next season due to us still not winning the league cup. Positions Graph Fixtures Domestic Cups Borgunarbikar - Quarter Final The third and fourth round matches were against teams from the Second Division and we weren't troubled but a hard game against Breiðablik followed at home. We didn't have our best match but still managed to take the game to extra time were they got the winner in the 98th minute. A tough loss to take considering we won this 2 years in a row. Deildabikar - Quarter Final In the Group Stage wefinished 1st in a hard group containing Breiðablik, Valur and Víkingur. We then faced Valur who had finished 3rd in our group in the Quarter Final and we didn't even show up on the day unless it was to fly into tackles as the game finished 1-0 to Valur and 6 yellow cards and no shots on target for us. Íslenska Frábær Bikar - Winners For the second year in a row we faced Fylkir in this match and it was a pretty boring game except for the last 20 minutes of the first half when Fylkir took the lead on 27 minutes but we came straight back and an own goal in the 30th minute put it at 1-1 and then a 33rd minute goal from Davíð Arnaldsson put us in front and Jóhann Ingason got a goal just on half time to make it 3-1. Not much happened in the second half and we lifted this cup for the second time in a row. Continental Cup UEFA Europa League - Third Qualifying Round Got a lot easier draw this year facing HSK Zrinjski Mostar from Bosnia and we got 3 away goals in the first leg which pretty much sent us through to the next round. Next up were Greek team AGS Asteras Tripolis and once again we got 3 away goals in the first leg and we were 2-0 up in the second leg before they managed to get a goal. We then faced Swiss giants FC Basel and after 28 minutes of the first leg we were 3-0 down and afraid of being on the end of a hammering but we got our act together and managed to get an away goal. Basel were the much better team in the second leg and we never really came close to getting a goal never mind 2. Key Player Emil Schram - This must be the first time I've picked a defender during a title winning season but he was a rock at the back and even managed to grab 7 goals for himself!
  12. The Long Journey to the Top

    2042/43 - Italy - National Team - UEFA Nations League Group Stage We were drawn along side our rivals France and Greece so we should definitely not face any chance of being relegated. In the first round of matches France drew with Greece and we faced Greece 4 days later in my first competitive match as Italy manager. It seemed to be going to plan when, the brilliantly named, Matteo Bambi gave us the lead with 9 minutes gone but Greece got an equalizer on 23 minutes and for the rest of the game we threw everything at them but we couldn't find a winner! The next round of matches was our double fixture with France visiting Rome and Greece visiting Palermo. The match against France was a bit of a surprise as we dominated them and Thomas Lodi and Tomaso Piu scored for us and France only managed 1 shot on target. We faced Greece and we were all over them but we weren't able to find a goal! The Greek keeper ending up picking up man of the match! After this round of matches we were top with 5, Greece were 2nd with 3 and France bottom with 1, however France had a game in hand. The final round of fixtures saw France win an annoyingly comfortable game against Greece which meant France were 1 point behind us and we were off to Paris to face them. It was a very close match but France were slightly the better team but we managed to string together a few one touch passes and Sami Afkir, born in Morocco, popped up to stab the ball home in the 76th minute and give us a 1-0 win and qualify for the Semi Final. Semi Final We faced England who had won all 4 of their group games against Portugal and Croatia, scoring 9 and conceding 0. The match was to be played in Wembley and we went there thinking it would be a tough match however England didn't seem to show up and we easily beat them off the park and won 4-0. The other Semi Final had Germany and Belgium. Germany had dominated their group like England had and Belgium had won 2 and drew 2. Germany carried on their form and held off Belgium and eventually won 5-3. Final The 4-0 win over England had our hopes high heading into the final against Germany even if they had been completely dominant so far. Unfortunately for us Germany continued on their dominating run and absolutely took us apart and before halftime came it was 3-0 and Germany added another 2 before the end to leave us embarrassed. We were so embarrassed that the players offered to refund the fans that traveled to Berlin! The Future The Euro Qualifiers have been drawn and kicked off. We have been drawn against Sweden, Turkey, Montenegro and Liechtenstein. Sweden are our toughest opponent but Turkey could cause us some problems however I'd still expect us to qualify by finishing 1st.
  13. The Long Journey to the Top

    2042 - Íþróttabandalag Vestmannaeyja - Iceland - Pepsi-deild karla Squad Transfers Domestic League Pepsi-deild karla - 7th We didn't start the season off too badly, we fought our way up to 3rd and had a match in hand over the 2 teams above us but we drew that match in hand with Stjarnan and then lost the next 4 matches which sent us crashing down the table. We had a slight recovery against Víkingur and Fram but another annoying draw with Stjarnan followed and again we fell apart in the next 4 games. We won the last 3 games of the season but it didn't improve our position. A huge fall considering we had a chance to win the title on the last day the season before but we did bring in a good few younger players so hopefully they will start to come good. Positions Graph Fixtures Domestic Cups Borgunarbikar - Winners We faced and beat 2 non league teams and then a First Division team in the Quarter Final but we faced FH in the Semi Final which I thought would be a hard match but we absolutely battered them but somehow we only put the ball in the net twice...one goal for us and an own goal for them and they held out to take the game to penos! All our takers kept their cool and scored and 2 players missed for them so we were into the final which was strangely held just 3 days later agaisnt Valur. We scored in the 4th minute and then got 2 more in the 32nd and 33rd and it looked like we were going to easily win this but Valur got a goal in the 41st minute and then another goal soon after half time which make it a very nervous game for us for most the second half but we held out and secured our second cup win in a row and also a European spot for next season. Deildabikar - Group Stage (5th) We struggled to overcome Mangi, who were playing in the First Division for the first time ever, which as it turns out had a lot to say about our season. A loss and 3 draws later and we were knocked out with 2 games still to play. Quite a disappointing start to the new season. Íslenska Frábær Bikar - Winners After the disappointment of the league cup we faced league champions Flykir and smashed them 5-2 with Ívar Theódórsson grabbing himself a hat trick from midfield! This win set us into the league season full of hope after the disappointment of the league cup. Continental Cup UEFA Europa League - First Qualifying Round A really hard tie against Brøndby of Denmark. We gave it a good go in the first leg but Brøndby held us scoreless but we did get a penalty to give us an away goal but Filip Milanovic missed it and it would of changed the tie but instead we came into the home leg 2-0 down and no real chance of progressing and sure enough the match ended 0-0 and we were out. Key Player Tómas Friðriksson - I really didn't have much to choose from, his 9 assists pretty much separated him from the rest.
  14. The Long Journey to the Top

    2041 - Italy - National Team I declared interest in the El Salvador job earlier and was laughed off by their fans which I thought was harsh and now Italy have approached me! They have missed out on qualification for the 2042 World Cup in Germany by finishing 6 points behind a dominant Portugal. They are 29th in the world rankings which is a long way from the team that won back to back World Cups in 2022 and 2026, a European Championships in 2024 and a UEFA Nations League in 2025. I of course jumped at this chance but our first match wont be until next September in the UEFA Nations League but I can't wait!
  15. The Long Journey to the Top

    2041 - Íþróttabandalag Vestmannaeyja - Iceland - Pepsi-deild karla Squad Transfers Domestic League Pepsi-deild karla - 3rd I settled for IBV since there was no sign of KA getting promoted to the first division. Its pretty cool that IBV are located on the island of Vestmannaeyjar which is off the south coast of Iceland and they have a decent enough history with 3 league titles in 1979, 1997 and 1998. They have won 1 cup and 1 league cup since my game began so it would be nice to bring more success. We started off the season decently enough but bad losses against Þróttur and Breiðablik were surprising and turned out to be very costly! After losing to Valur we went on an unbeaten run for the rest of the season and going into the last game we were 3rd and 2 points off the top but we were playing Fylkir who were 2nd and also 2 points off the top. FH were top and playing 10th place Keflavík and surprisingly they ended up losing 2-1 but unfortunatly for us we lost 2-1 aswell and Fylkir were champions! Positions Graph Fixtures Domestic Cups Borgunarbikar - Winners I was very nervy heading into the match against Fylkir but we just about came out winning on penalties! In the Quarter Final and Semi Final we faced First Division opposition and were giving a bit of a fright against KF Ægir with us scoring a equalizing goal with 5 minutes left and with 10 men! They then dominated us during extra time but we held out and brought it to penalties for the second time in this competition and again we came out on top and got into the Final. We faced Breiðablik and we defended brilliantly, they dominated us in possession but never broke down our defense and we finally scoring in the 52nd minute and held out and won my first Icelandic trophy! Deildabikar - Semi Final Finally a return of a league cup after 13 seasons! The whole thing is played before the start of the season which is odd but kind of nice since it would be good to start the league season with a trophy! We struggled a bit in the group stage and ended up finishing 3rd but it turns out we qualified for the quarter final due to us being 1 of the 2 best 3rd place teams in 3 groups, which was a welcome surprise. We faced Leiknir from the First Division in the quarter final and they gave us a really good game, we were losing 3-2 with 8 minutes left and ended up scoring a last minute winner! Valur came next in the semi final and we thought we had won it by scoring with 4 minutes left in extra time but Valur poped up and got a last minute goal to bring the match to penalties where only 1 of our players missed but it was enough for Valur to win. Key Player Nökkvi Karlsson - He was our main attacking threat all season and was our second top goalscorer but also got 17 assists. He also scored the winning goal in the final which always helps these decisions.