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AK22

If You Count Your Chickens Before They've Hatched, They Won't Lay An Egg

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I sat looking at the Table for about 30 seconds and was wondering what I was doing. Saw you at the top and thought, jeez, hang on, back to real life, wait no, back into virtual life. ;)

Great read, especially the final game of the season at home, against City who were top! :D

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Great finish to the league season with a proper league final. Lovely when things work out like that, particularly when you win it! :)

Unlucky in the CL as Real barely seemed to sniff the ball, never mind touch it. But well done getting that far to begin with. The start of some dominating years?

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Great season and good pickup in the January transfer window of that striker!

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Fantastic season, thats the best to win the title I reckon, a last day decider and Marquina paid you back with those two goals alone.

Got unlucky in the CL final aswell but looks like good times are ahead for Liverpool again.

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Great start to the season, long may it continue.

Thanks, Pangaea. Hopefully this is the start of a dominant period for the club.

I sat looking at the Table for about 30 seconds and was wondering what I was doing. Saw you at the top and thought, jeez, hang on, back to real life, wait no, back into virtual life. ;)

Great read, especially the final game of the season at home, against City who were top! :D

Hahaha :D We'll be back there in real life, one day (I hope!)

Congratulations on a cracking season. Champions League the next target?

Tbh, I'm not overly bothered about the Champions League. Of course, if we win it, I'd be delighted, but it certainly isn't the be all and end all of my objectives next season.

When I first took the job at Anfield, the objective was to make the club capable of challenging for trophies again, and based on last season's success, I can happily say I've achieved this now. I've got two years left on my contract, which I won't be extending, and would like to add another Premier League trophy in this time; anything else we win along the way will just be a bonus :)

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Well done on winning the League!
Fantastic achieving the league title with Liverpool
Excellent season :thup: bad luck in the Champions League final, them's the breaks.

Cheers. That's 20 league trophies now, five behind Man Utd. Still a bit of catching up to do though!

Great finish to the league season with a proper league final. Lovely when things work out like that, particularly when you win it!

Unlucky in the CL as Real barely seemed to sniff the ball, never mind touch it. But well done getting that far to begin with. The start of some dominating years?

Hopefully so. I'm really happy with the squad now, and am unlikely to make any big signings over the summer. There's a couple of youngsters ready to make the step up to the first team, who will get some bench time, and maybe the last 15 minutes of a few games, which will aid their development. The foundations have now been built to make this club great for several years to come, although when I hand the reigns over, I just hope the next manager doesn't balls it up!

Awesome stuff AK!!!! If only it was like that irl.... :(

Keep the faith, jaycar, it will happen again! Well, it better do, I was six the last time we won the league IRL, and would like to properly celebrate it next time! (By that, I mean get ridiculously drunk! :))

Great season and good pickup in the January transfer window of that striker!

Cheers cerud, Marquina really took me by surprise. When I first signed him, I envisaged him just starting a couple of games while Diallo was in Africa, but due to his scintillating start, I now have a difficult decision to make with every starting line-up I choose. At least it means I'm not totally dependant on one striker now.

Fantastic season, thats the best to win the title I reckon, a last day decider and Marquina paid you back with those two goals alone.

Got unlucky in the CL final aswell but looks like good times are ahead for Liverpool again.

I could barely watch that final league game. I had a horrible feeling that it would turn out similarly to the ending of the 1988/89 season when Liverpool lost the title to Arsenal, courtesy of a injury time goal! Thankfully, Man City didn't have a 'Michael Thomas' in their side!

Great title win, unlucky on the CL. Loving the mean defence you have. To only concede 14 in the league all season is brilliant

Usually, a mean defence has been a hallmark of my teams, as I tend to favour a 1-0 scoreline to a 5-4 thriller. However, I've struggled a bit more in this save to build a solid defensive unit with my teams, and at times, focused more on an attacking formation. Finally, it looks like I've got the balance right, but then again, I would expect us to be water-tight, considering we have arguably the best 'keeper and one of the best centre-backs in the world.

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I'm sure you can go for the CL.

Oh yeah, I'm still going to try and win it; I try to win every game! :)

It's just that you need a fair amount of good fortune if you're going to win the Champions League, and if we don't get it over the next two seasons, I won't be disheartened by it. I'd much rather put another league trophy in the cabinet, and tighten that gap on Man Utd :)

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Oh yeah, I'm still going to try and win it; I try to win every game! :)

It's just that you need a fair amount of good fortune if you're going to win the Champions League, and if we don't get it over the next two seasons, I won't be disheartened by it. I'd much rather put another league trophy in the cabinet, and tighten that gap on Man Utd :)

Interesting, I'm sort of feeling the opposite with Dortmund (lack of CL participation this season aside)

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Been a while since I've been in here but good to see a league title win :thup:. Are you the new King of the Kop now then?

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Congrats on the title win but unlucky in Europe.There is always next season to conquer Europe :D

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Well done on winning the title and reaching the Champions League final. The gap between Liverpool and United is starting to close :(

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If it happens again I'll buy you that first drink: D

KUTGW sir, YNWA.

I'm going to assume this doesn't mean "You're Not Worth Anything"?

:D

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I could barely watch that final league game. I had a horrible feeling that it would turn out similarly to the ending of the 1988/89 season when Liverpool lost the title to Arsenal, courtesy of a injury time goal! Thankfully, Man City didn't have a 'Michael Thomas' in their side!

Remember that well, "it's up for grabs now!" :D

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Been a while since I've been in here but good to see a league title win . Are you the new King of the Kop now then?

Definitely, of course :D Although, I'll never be able to dislodge the 'Real King of Anfield'; King Kenny that is.

Congrats on the title win but unlucky in Europe.There is always next season to conquer Europe
Well done on winning the title and reaching the Champions League final. The gap between Liverpool and United is starting to close
Well done on winning the title.
Back to where we belong :cool:.

Get catching the Mancs up!!!

If it happens again I'll buy you that first drink: D

KUTGW sir, YNWA.

Cheers! I'm just hoping it wasn't a flash in the pan, and we have another strong year in the season ahead.

I'm going to assume this doesn't mean "You're Not Worth Anything"?

:D

Pah, I'm starting to think it stands for You'll Never Win Anything at the moment!

Remember that well, "it's up for grabs now!" :D

That year was arguably the most exciting season finale in English football ever. From my personal perspective, it wasn't the best outcome possible, but from a football lover's view, it's these kind of moments that will live long in the memory. Mind you, the year Blackburn won the Premier League at Anfield was also a pretty special day.

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Liverpool F.C.

676.png

Pre-Season Summary 2023/24

Wage: £30.5k per week | Contract Length Remaining: 2 years

Into the penultimate year of my contract with Liverpool now, and my aim is to win at least one Premier League title in this period. I've already decided that I won't be renewing my contract when it expires, so I will be looking to leave a legacy that ensures the club can continue to be dominant for several seasons after my departure.

Board Expectations

Barclays Premier League: Qualify for Champions League

UEFA Champions League: Quarter Final | FA Cup: Semi Final | Carling Cup: Not Important

Transfer Budget: £54.34m

Wage Budget: £2.1m per week | Current Player Wage Total: £1.4m per week

Media Prediction: 2nd | Title Odds: 5/1

All pretty achievable, although I'll be definitely looking to improve on the league expectations, as being defending champions, I expect us to be in the title race for much of the season. Man City are the favourites, but I would think that big spenders, Chelsea (£53m) and Man Utd (£40m), will give us a good fight too; should be compulsive viewing.

Transfer Activity

Transfer Summary

Club Signing of the Window: Giacomo Verdiani

Total Amount Spent: £9m | Total Amount Received: £0

At an average age of 24.46, we've now got the youngest squad in the league. In fact, there's only two players over 30 at the club, Sébastien Corchia and Aaron Ramsey, who are the captain and vice-captain respectively. Despite the relatively inexperienced nature of the squad, I've decided against spending big this summer, instead relying on the players that brought us success last season, and have only signed players under the age of 20. Of the five new signings, only Saeid Kheiri will be likely to get any regular first team minutes, having being brought in to provide cover on the left wing. All the rest will have to make do with under-18 and reserve fixtures this season, which will be fine for now, allowing them time to adapt to the club and life on Merseyside without too much pressure. The most exciting prospect signed is Giacomo Verdiani, who potentially could form a future all-Italian centre-back partnership with his compatriot, Giuliano Borghetti, in the years to come. I've also signed a young Italian 'keeper, Gianandrea Melis, and Bulgaria striker, Venelin Nikolov, who both could turn out to be solid Premier League players.

Tactical Outlook

This is my initial formation and team instructions:

LiverpoolTactics_TeamInstructions-2.png

LiverpoolTactics_TeamInstructions-1.png

No change from last year, why bother changing a winning formula?! I do have a solid Plan B (4-2-3-1 with 2 DMs) though, which I switch to in games where we struggle to retain possession, or when looking to close out games where we could be exposed to a fast counter-attack.

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Some fantastic prospects there. Verdiani looks ready to step right into the first team already :thup:

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Some nice signings there mate. Good luck with the new season :thup:.

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So I guess the 4-1-2-2-1 (or 4-3-3 which ever you chose to call it) i working wel, although I'm still not a fan of zonal marking. But I suppose you're carrying on the Benitez philosophy ;). Some decent pre-season signings :thup: and Verdiani certainly does look like the business.

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Some nice signings but Verdiani looks like he will be a big hit in the future.Good luck for the new season and hope you give Utd a good thumping :D

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Try and make yourself a hero in these 2 years.

Well, that's the plan anyway. I'd also like to try and convince the board that we need a bigger stadium too, before I leave. They're not having it at all at the moment though.

Some nice signings there mate. Good luck with the new season .
Some nice signings but Verdiani looks like he will be a big hit in the future.Good luck for the new season and hope you give Utd a good thumping
Some fantastic prospects there. Verdiani looks ready to step right into the first team already

Totally agree with you about Verdiani. He does look a class act, and would already be a first team player for several teams, despite his young age. However, he will need to wait his turn at Anfield, as there's four other centre-backs ahead of him in the queue currently, and all of them expect first team football.

So I guess the 4-1-2-2-1 (or 4-3-3 which ever you chose to call it) i working wel, although I'm still not a fan of zonal marking. But I suppose you're carrying on the Benitez philosophy ;). Some decent pre-season signings :thup: and Verdiani certainly does look like the business.

I don't always use zonal marking, but now that I've got one of the best teams in the league, I figured that they should all have the intelligence to pull it off successfully. Well, better than Rafa did anyway! I certainly wouldn't even entertain the idea of using it in the lower leagues though, as it has a habit of going horribly wrong if you're not matching man-to-man, at this level.

Nice additions there, should pay off in the future.

Good luck for the season!

Thanks, City. Should have another decent season on the cards :)

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Into the penultimate year of my contract with Liverpool now, and my aim is to win at least one Premier League title in this period. I've already decided that I won't be renewing my contract when it expires, so I will be looking to leave a legacy that ensures the club can continue to be dominant for several seasons after my departure.

I can start saying 'Good luck' to you again in 2 seasons! :D

Have fun in the last 2 seasons with the club in this save. :thup:

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Liverpool F.C.

676.png

Mid-Season Update 2023/24

Barclays Premier League: 1st

UEFA Champions League Group G: 1st

Fixtures

BarclaysPremierLeagueOverview_Stages-1.png

UEFAChampionsLeagueOverview_Stages-1.png

So far, most definitely, so good. I'm absolutely delighted at how we've started the season, leading the way in the Premier League, and with the luxury of a five point cushion over the chasing pack. We've also already played, potentially, the two biggest away fixtures of our season, against Man City and Arsenal, so being in such a promising position already, gives me great encouragement that another successful season is on the cards for Liverpool if we can match our points tally in the post-Xmas fixtures. That being said, I'm still somewhat irked that we managed to lose to Blackburn, dropping three points in a game that we should have comfortably won, against a team right in the thick of a relegation battle.

In what was a difficult Champions League Group Stage draw, I'm thrilled that we've qualified for the next stage as group winners. Not that we've been handed a straightforward tie in the 1st Knockout Round though, as we will have to play the Italian Champions, AC Milan, who have won Serie A five seasons in a row, after they finished second to Barcelona. We will certainly need to improve our European away form if we are going to make any further progress in the competition, as in our trips away to Madrid and Florence, we started slowly and found ourselves 2-0 down before plucky second half performances salvaged us a point in both games; I doubt that Milan will be generous enough to allow us back into the tie if we gift them a two goal advantage.

Just don't think you're going to get anything from a visit to 'Fortress Anfield' this season though, as out of the twelve League and Champions League games we've played at home, we've won all twelve and haven't conceded a goal yet. I may have just jinxed us now though ;)

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I can start saying 'Good luck' to you again in 2 seasons! :D

Have fun in the last 2 seasons with the club in this save. :thup:[/left]

Cheers rancer, I look forward to your support in the 2025/26 season :D

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Just don't think you're going to get anything from a visit to 'Fortress Anfield' this season though, as out of the twelve League and Champions League games we've played at home, we've won all twelve and haven't conceded a goal yet. I may have just jinxed us now though

That's your home record in ruins then, like you said :thup:

Great stuff btw. Where do you fancy going when your contract expires? Your career so far has been England only. What country do you fancy?

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Turkey

799.png

World Ranking: 14th

2022/23 UEFA European Championship Qualifiers

Fixtures 1 | Fixtures 2

UEFAEuropeanFootballChampionshipQualifiersOverview_Stages-1.png

Well, that was proper close! We nearly threw qualification away after sloppy draws against Finland and Bosnia and Herzegovina, so had to rely on Scotland dropping points in their final game of the campaign. Thankfully, they could only muster a draw, which allowed us in the back door to secure qualification as group winners. We've got Netherlands, Sweden and Norway in our group at the finals, which will be tough, but I think we should have enough to secure our passage into the knockout rounds.

In tactics news, the three at the back formation has worked relatively well so far. Having conceded only three goals in the qualifiers, it certainly proves it's relatively sound defensively, but I've struggled to find the sweet-spot going forward, which has meant that we haven't scored as often as I would have like. I've found that the midfield got overcrowded at times, restricting the space that my creative players get to fashion out any chances. To try and counter this, and make us a bit more free-scoring, I've experimented with a 4-5-1 in the last two friendlies we've played, and having scored nine goals in those games, I'm inclined to change to this new set-up on a more permanent basis.

Team of the Year 2022 | Team of the Year 2023 | Overall Best XI

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That's your home record in ruins then, like you said :thup:

Great stuff btw. Where do you fancy going when your contract expires? Your career so far has been England only. What country do you fancy?

Yep, that's us screwed now, probably :D

I've got no definite plans yet, but it certainly won't be another English side or a European powerhouse like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter/AC Milan etc. As you've said, I haven't move out of England yet, so it would be good to take this career overseas and into Europe, if not another continent even. However, I don't want another big club where success comes quite easily, as I tend to get bored after a couple of seasons when it becomes routine that you're going to win. There's very little challenge in that, in my opinion.

There's a couple of things in the back of my mind that I'm already thinking about. These include going to the MLS or the A-League, and trying to get to grips with a completely different footballing mindset and domestic calendar. Another thing taking my interest is the thought of taking over a Ukrainian club and trying to stop Shakhtar. They have won the Premyer Liga for the past 14 seasons, and are surely in need of being brought down a peg or two.

I also got a handful of 'favoured clubs' dotted around the world, who I would like a bash at managing if given the option. The shortlist of these include Nantes, Bologna, Hertha Berlin, IFK Göteborg, Boca Juniors and Honved, just to name a few.

That being said, I haven't made my mind up yet, so it's just as likely that I won't do any of the above; I've still got 18 months at Liverpool first to concentrate on, anyway.

Fantastic start to the season. Hopefully you can keep it up and claim the title.

Thanks Pangaea, I certainly hope so. I can't see any reason why we can't, as we've arguably got the best squad in the league now, but still, bad luck with injuries and suspensions always has the potential to derail any title challenge.

Poor Moldova, they weren't invited to the party.

Well, let's look at the positives; they did score two goals (both against Finland) :D

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Good start to the season with Liverpool and an excellent qualification campaign with Turkey. Beating Milan in the Champions League should be a very tough task, good luck :thup:

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Looking strong at the halfway point on all fronts :thup:

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Cheers for the comments. I really hope we can keep it all going to the end of the season :thup:

Had a really busy week so not had much opportunity to play. I keep loading the game up, then get distracted by other commitments! :mad:

Hoping to get some FM time this weekend, but there's the small matter of the FA Cup match tomorrow lunchtime, which is very high on my list of priorities ;)

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But there's the small matter of the FA Cup match tomorrow lunchtime, which is very high on my list of priorities ;)

As someone who dislikes both sides, I hope for a very entertaining 4-4 draw, a mass brawl involving all 22 players, both benches, Sir Alex and Kenny Dalglish, resulting in four red cards apiece.

I can but wish. ;)

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But there's the small matter of the FA Cup match tomorrow lunchtime, which is very high on my list of priorities ;)

Nah, one FA Cup match ongoing right now is much more important than whatever match that is. ;)

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