AK22

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

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Great start with Estudiantes, and excellent performance with Turkey. You must be racking up the airmiles!

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Excellent start in Argentina. Only 6 points off Boca so it won't take too much improvement to win the closing stage. Also great stuff with Turkey. Hope you get a decent group in the finals to give you chance at the knockout stages

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Congrats on qualifying from the group with Turkey.Made a nice start to life in Argentina.I think qualification is done on the calender year table,4 teams will qualify for the group stages of the Copa Lib,one team will qualify for the Copa Lib Preliminaries and six teams qualify for the Copa Sudamericana (Dependant on Copa Argentina winner.)

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Great win in a great battle in the group.
Excellent work with Turkey in such a tough group :thup:.
Great start with Estudiantes, and excellent performance with Turkey. You must be racking up the airmiles!
Excellent start in Argentina. Only 6 points off Boca so it won't take too much improvement to win the closing stage. Also great stuff with Turkey. Hope you get a decent group in the finals to give you chance at the knockout stages
Easy group. ;)

Great work with the Turks! :thup:

Thanks! It was a great qualifying campaign for us, but we do need to make sure we take our good form forward to the World Cup itself. Getting out of the group is a must, but we should do better than that.

Congrats on qualifying from the group with Turkey.Made a nice start to life in Argentina.I think qualification is done on the calender year table,4 teams will qualify for the group stages of the Copa Lib,one team will qualify for the Copa Lib Preliminaries and six teams qualify for the Copa Sudamericana (Dependant on Copa Argentina winner.)

That's what I thought too. However, we finished 5th in the calendar year table, and haven't been entered for this season's Copa Libertadores. I'm a little confused, but will wait and see what happens after the closing stage has finished.

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Talking of the World Cup Group Stages:

FIFAWorldCupOverview_Stages-1.pngFIFAWorldCupOverview_Stages-2-1.png

Not a bad draw for us. We were seeded in pot two, so I think we did well to get Russia as the top seeds, as well as avoiding Argentina from pot four; definitely three matches we're capable of winning. The group stage will also include a grudge match against my former national side, Australia, so I'll be able to see if they've made any improvements in the four years since I left the role there.

Unfortunately, if we do get through to the knockout rounds, it's likely that we'll face either Germany or France from Group E, so we'll need a big performance then if we're going to get any further in the competition.

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That is a really solid draw. Should definitely be looking for 2nd spot and with a bit of luck maybe top spot.

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Excellent work with Turkey in such a tough group :thup:.

I echo SRL. Good luck in the finals.

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A great Apertura in your debut season :thup:. As you say, who couldn't like Argentinian football? It's full of drama :D. I really enjoyed a save in Argentina a few FM's ago and it looks like you are too.

Looks like things are going nicely with Turkey too :thup:. Not the most difficult of draws with Russia being the top seeds in your group so I'm pretty sure you'll be able to reach the knockout stages and then, well...good luck against the Germans or French ;)

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Thanks for the comments :) I'm hoping for a personal best at this World Cup, having never made it past the group stages on my previous attempt with the Aussies.

The whole World Cup experience is a lot better on this version of FM in my opinion; by selecting a provisional 30 man squad, followed by a handful of friendlies, you really start to get a sense of the build up that a manager would experience in real life. Not that international management is perfect, there's still loads of room for improvement, but at least it's a step in the right direction.

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Looks like a great World Cup!

*double checks it's the World Cup* :D

It's the Euros. They've invited some extra teams. :D

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It's the Euros. They've invited some extra teams. :D

From all over the world?

It might as well be the World Cup :D

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Estudiantes: Finding Our Feet

Things are starting to come together nicely at the club, but it's quite apparent we're nowhere near the big boys in term of club stature. Thankfully, the board have agreed to increase the junior coaching budget, as well improving the youth facilities too. This is a huge step in the right direction, and will ensure that we can develop our youth team to reach their potential. Unfortunately, the best young Argentine prospects do, generally, get sold off to bigger and better teams, mainly in Europe, and we're certainly in no position to refuse any big money moves at this point. However, on a more positive note, nine of the 23 man World Cup squad announced by Argentina are sill based in their homeland (mainly at Independiente, Vélez and Boca), so it looks like players are happy to stay if the ambition of their club team matches their own.

I'm still trying to get to grips with continental competition qualification, but I think I've now worked out why we didn't qualify for the Copa Libertadores. Even though we finished 5th in the calendar year table, which, normally, would guarantee entry to the Preliminary Round, our place was taken by Tigre, who won the 2025 Clausura competition but had a shocking following six months, and finished way down the calendar year table.

Finances | Transfer Summary

Argentina Primera División - 2026 Clausura (Closing Stage)

PrimeraDivisindeArgentinaOverview_Stages-2-1.png

Position Graph | Fixtures | Season Summary

Independiente are obviously the team to beat at the moment; they have by far the best squad, containing several internationals, and are very heavily tycoon-backed too. However, asides from them, and Boca Juniors, the rest of the league is pretty tight, with very narrow margins separating the rest of the top half. By the fact we finished 3rd, I'm claiming the title of 'best of the rest', which I would like to consolidate over the next season or two, continually improving the squad over time. It also ensures we qualify for the Copa Sudamericana, and increases our chances of getting into the Copa Libertadores at the end of the calendar year.

Our squad is pretty decent, and always seem to have a goal threat about it; our front two of Gerardo Pérez and Matías Guiñazú found the net 36 times between them over the course of the season. In fact, even defensively, we don't look too shabby at all, having kept eight clean sheets in the Clausura, but it is the lack of draws that are costing us the most. We just simply don't do them! If we did, we may have won the title, as four of the seven games lost were by just a single goal. To be fair, we've been soundly beaten a couple of times along the way too, but need to start closing close games out, eradicating late goals, if we're going to be taken seriously as potential title challengers. Maybe a change in tactics next season, even though I've been pleasantly surprised by how effective a basic 4-4-2 has served us this year.

Key Players: Gerardo Pérez (21 goals, 12 assists), Mathías Guiñazú (15 goals, 13 assists), Gerardo Suárez (10 assists), Gabriel Pastoriza (Best Defender)

Fans Player of the Year: Mathías Guiñazú

Team of the Year | Overall Best XI

Career Summary

Season     Team              League                     Finish    Cups
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2011/12    Unemployed
2012/13    Kingstonian       Blue Square Bet South      3rd       FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round, FA Trophy 2nd Round
2013/14    Kingstonian       Blue Square Bet Premier    3rd       FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 1st Round
2014/15    Kingstonian       npower League Two          16th      FA Cup 1st Round, Carling Cup 1st Round, JPT 1st Round
2015/16    Kingstonian       npower League Two          17th**    **Resigned 19/12/2015
          Hull City         npower League One          6th       FA Cup 4th Round
2016/17    Hull City         npower League One          1st       FA Cup 1st Round, Carling Cup 1st Round, JPT Winner
2017/18    Hull City         npower Championship        2nd       FA Cup 5th Round, Carling Cup 2nd Round
2018/19    Fulham            Barclays Premier League    5th       FA Cup Semi-Final, Carling Cup Semi-Final
2019/20    Fulham            Barclays Premier League    7th       Europa League 2nd KO Rd, FA Cup 6th Rd, Carling Cup 3rd Rd
2020/21    Fulham            Barclays Premier League    8th**     **Resigned 13/11/2020
          Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    6th       Europa League 1st KO Rd, FA Cup 5th Rd
2021/22    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    3rd       Europa League Winners, FA Cup 4th Rd, Carling Cup QF
2022/23    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    1st       Champions League Runner-Up, FA Cup 3rd Rd, Carling Cup QF
2023/24    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    1st       Champions League SF, FA Cup SF, Carling Cup QF
2024/25    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    2nd       Champions League Runner-Up, FA Cup SF, Carling Cup Winners
2025/26    Estudiantes       Primera División Apertura  4th       N/A
                            Primera División Clausura  3rd       Copa Argentina QF

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Turkey - World Cup 2026

Squad - No injuries concerns, so I could pick the best 23 possible.

Group Stages (Group F)

Turkey 3-2 Chile - A very eventful opening game, which saw us 2-0 down after only 17 minutes. However, due to our dominance, we were always likely to score. And that we did, ten minutes later, from the penalty spot, setting up an exciting second half. Hayati Cimen was the hero of the night, banging in a brace which included the winning goal, three minutes from the final whistle. We were up and running!

Russia 3-1 Turkey - I knew this game would effectively decide who would top the group, and I was eager not to be beaten. It what was a fairly even game, the Russians found themselves with a two goal advantage. Unfortunately, we could not match our comeback from the opening match, albeit pulling a goal back before conceding a late injury-time goal whilst chasing the game.

Turkey 3-0 Australia - That last minute goal conceded against Russia saw slip down to third, behind Australia, in the group standings. What this meant, is that we had to win our final game, as if it finished as a draw, Australia would go through on goal difference. From kick-off, the Aussies were set up to defend and stifle our attack, obviously playing for the draw that would send them through. It was stalemate at half time, but following a feisty teamtalk, we made the breakthrough straight after the restart, going on to win comfortably.

FIFAWorldCupOverview_Stages-2-1.png

FIFAWorldCupOverview_Stages-3-1.png

A bizarre group stage which saw England scrape through behind Iran in their group, and Brazil, Argentina and Germany, all being knocked without losing a match! With these three big names missing, it certainly opened up the knockout rounds for some of the 'lesser' nations to shine.

2nd Round

Turkey 1-4 Cameroon - What a total embarrassment! Statistically, we should have won, but that doesn't tell the whole story; Cameroon played terrific counter-attack football, breaking up our attacks before using their pace to exploit the gaps in our defence. Any team that finishes above France and Germany must be more than decent, so it's no real surprise that we succumbed to them too. However, by missing the two big guns, it's unlikely that we would have got a better opportunity to make it to the latter stages of the competition, so it's very disappointing that we couldn't capitalise on this.

FIFAWorldCupOverview_Stages-1.png

The surprises continued to happen in the knockout rounds too, with Iran making the quarter-final, USA getting to the semis, and Ukraine going all the way to the final!

Final

France 1-0 Ukraine - It's no shock that France ended up winning the trophy, as after knocking England out, they were the only 'major' footballing nation to reach the final four. They dominated the final, with the winning goal being scored by my ex-Fulham striker, John Itubu.

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Poor result against Cameroon but you performed well in the group stages.

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A shame you couldn't get past Cameroon as it looks like the draw really opened up.

Are you planning on sticking with Turkey?

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Poor result against Cameroon but you performed well in the group stages.
A shame you couldn't get past Cameroon as it looks like the draw really opened up.

Are you planning on sticking with Turkey?

Yeah, it was really disappointing to out to a team of Cameroon's calibre, a team that we were favourites to beat. I don't seem to have a lot of luck in international management!

I've decided to call time on my spell as Turkey boss. Even though the FA were satisfied with our World Cup performance, and my job security was listed as 'secure', I feel four years in charge of a nation is long enough. The team will also need a overhaul very soon, as the main players will all be over 30 by the time the EUROs come around in two years time, and I really don't have the appetite for this.

AndyKingHistory_Overview-1.png

My record with Turkey is more than decent, so I'm pretty certain a new international job will be on the horizon, especially once you factor in all the usual post-World Cup sackings.

Post World Cup 2026 Rankings

WorldNations_WorldRankings-1.png

I've left Turkey in 14th place, one lower than their position four years ago, when I took the job. So we've hardly come on leaps and bounds!

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Estudiantes: Pre-Season 2026/27

The main aim for this season is to secure Copa Libertadores qualification. By having such a strong Clausura last term, I reckon another top three finish will be enough to ensure we make it into the group stages, and that will be the first step along the path to restoring this club as one of South America's finest. On the domestic front, I'll be looking to consolidate our position as the third best team in Argentina, behind Boca Juniors and Independiente, as well as having a decent showing in the Copa Argentina.

Board Expectations

Copa Sudamericana: Reach the First Round

Primera División Apertura: Compete alongside the top teams

Primera División Clausura: Compete alongside the top teams

Copa Argentina: Reach the Quarter Final

Media Prediction: 4th

Transfer Budget: £3.6m

Wage Budget: £119k per week (currently spending £96k per week)

Transfer Summary

Key Signings: Oscar Parra (AMC) £3.2m, Carlos Medina (DRL) £70k, Victor Sosa (DMC) £550k, Guillermo Figueroa (ST) Free, Hugo Malavolta (GK) Free

A very busy off-season for me, making no fewer than eight new signings. Of these eight, three are defensive midfielders; I may have got slightly carried away here! Having spent a net £3.9m on new players, I've put the club's finances into the red, so we can ill afford to have a mediocre season. I may even need to balance the books later on in the season, as Argentine football is hardly awash with money, but I'm hoping that will not be the case.

I'm really happy with the squad now, with a strong back-up for every position, so it will only be a case of improving in small measures, if and when a good deal comes our way. Having signed Parra, a natural in the AMC position, I'll be switching to a diamond formation this season, with a DMC, an AMC and two wide men in our midfield. I'm hoping that this will still keep our goal threat alive, but make us slightly more secure at the back.

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Lol at Ivory Coast at the top!
Spain have fallen far as well.
Three African nations in the top six. That's some going.

The World Rankings are all a bit nuts at the moment. I'm surprised by how well the African nations are doing; there's ten in the top 30, including Zimbabwe, a nation hardly known for it's footballing pedigree. I know FM does have a tendency of generating amazing new-gens from the African nations, but I think it my have gone a bit too far now, and unbalanced the game somewhat.

Great snatch of Medina.
Medina looks a great buy :thup:.

Cheers, Medina should be a great signing. My scouts rate his potential as 4.5 stars, so he should turn out to be one of the best full-backs in the division. Also, £70k is an absolute bargain, so even if he doesn't fully reach his potential, I can sell him on for at ten times as much and make a tidy profit.

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Estudiantes: On The Rise

I've said it before, and I'll say it again; I'm properly enjoying my football in Argentina. There's something very refreshing about competing in games where both sides are going for the win, and quite often, the matches can get pretty heated too. In fact, in the eighteen months I've spent in Argentina, I've only contested one 0-0 draw, which I find quite an exceptional statistic considering I've sat through 72 games now. Compare this to European football, especially Serie A and Ligue 1, where matches are more of a strategic chess-match, and are often decided by a single goal, and it's quite a staggering contrast.

Argentina Primera División - 2026 Apertura (Opening Stage)

PrimeraDivisindeArgentinaOverview_Stages-1.png

Position Graph | Fixtures | Equipo del año

Unbelievably, we only went and won the club's first Primera División title since 2010, with four of our players making it into the Primera División Team of the Year. Oh, and we still don't do draws!

We started the campaign well, winning all five of our opening matches, which included a feisty derby match against Gimnasia. After setting the early pace, we lost a couple of matches on the bounce, failing to score in both, which resulted in us slipping down below Independiente, Boca and Vélez. From this point onwards, it was a four horse race for the title, with Independiente leading the way with a minimal advantage over the chasing pack. We went on to win our next eight fixtures on the spin, including a vital six-pointer away to Independiente, which swung the pendulum momentarily back in our favour, putting us top with a handful of games to go.

Unfortunately, we lost a crucial match against our main challengers, Boca, and with three games left to play, we needed Boca to slip up in their final matches if we were going to win the Apertura. We held up our end of the bargain, winning all of our remaining games, but due to Boca's Copa Sudamericana progress, they had a game in hand, that would be played two days after our closing fixture. This game, away to Argentinos, was pushed back by two days due to Boca's very heavy fixture list, which meant that they had to play four times in a week. Being two points behind us, Boca also knew that they had to win the match if they were going to gazump us at the top of the table. Whether nerves got to them, or due to a fixture pile-up, they were running on empty, I don't really care; they lost 1-0, and handed us the trophy!

Copa Sudamericana - 2026

EstudiantesdeLaPlataFixtures_Fixtures-2-1.png

We had a fine run in the Copa Sudamericana, reaching the semi-finals before being knocked out by rivals, Boca Juniors. This was a lot better than I had expected to do, and shows that we are becoming a force to be reckoned with in South America again. That being said, we did play Argentine opposition in three out of the four ties, so have yet to been tested against major opposition from Brazil, Chile or Uruguay, all of who have clubs that have the potential to cause us a lot of problems. However, it is a reasonable indication of how we can perform in the continental competitions, and is a nice way to warm-up for our Copa Libertadores campaign, which starts in February.

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Cracking work in the league mate. Sounds like a very exciting league to play in!

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A fantastic Apertura there AK! :thup: Doesn't look like much has changed really in Argentina with the usual dominant teams around the top. Probably only Atletico Rafaela the only surprise. Was it an off first half of the season for River or are they still struggling to regain their status as one of the top clubs after their relegation?

Also tough luck in the Sudamereicana.

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It's interesting that nations are referred to The Ivory Coast, The United States of America etc.

Do you know where that came from?

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With so many good threads around I was way way behind in reading this one, still on the Fulham days, woops. Quality turnaround job at Liverpool and now starting to have some proper success with Estudiantes too. I'm just a bit surprised you decided the job was done in Europe despite not having won a Champions League (altho you came close!), I would be eager to try to win more big trophies around the continent before moving to South America? I suppose whatever makes the game fun for you is the most important!

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Cracking work in the league mate. Sounds like a very exciting league to play in!

It really is! If I had to equate the Primera División to a European league, then the Dutch Eredivisie would come pretty close, in my opinion, due to it's entertaining football and abundance of flair players.

Does that mean you've won half a league title? Argentina confuses me.

There's two league champions every season; one for the Opening Stage (Apertura), one for the Closing Stage (Clausura). Theoretically, you could win the league title twice in the same season/calendar year.

It counts as a title in Argentina I think.

Spot on, deltablue.

A fantastic Apertura there AK! :thup: Doesn't look like much has changed really in Argentina with the usual dominant teams around the top. Probably only Atletico Rafaela the only surprise. Was it an off first half of the season for River or are they still struggling to regain their status as one of the top clubs after their relegation?

Also tough luck in the Sudamereicana.

Cheers! River are really only a midtable makeweight team now. They never really recovered from their 2011 relegation, having dropped down a league again since, but they still have the potential and infrastructure to be a huge club again; they just need to find the right coach. The thing is, where each stage is played over 19 games, the middle of the table can be pretty close, with movement of teams quite dramatic at times. I'd say behind the top four, River are still in the next bracket of teams, alongside Godoy Cruz, Newell's and Rosario Central.

It's interesting that nations are referred to The Ivory Coast, The United States of America etc.

Do you know where that came from?

Think it's from the Real Competition Names fix I use. It changes the names of the clubs and nations, as well as the competition names.

http://sortitoutsi.net/forum/topic/53651-fm12-susie-real-names-for-clubs-competitions-and-awards-fix-plus-real-life-media-new-release-now-out/

With so many good threads around I was way way behind in reading this one, still on the Fulham days, woops. Quality turnaround job at Liverpool and now starting to have some proper success with Estudiantes too. I'm just a bit surprised you decided the job was done in Europe despite not having won a Champions League (altho you came close!), I would be eager to try to win more big trophies around the continent before moving to South America? I suppose whatever makes the game fun for you is the most important!

I'll definitely be looking to return back to Europe at some stage, as you say, I still have the Champions League to win, as well as the fact that I've only managed in England. However, after managing Liverpool, a big job on the scale of things, I felt I wanted something with less pressure, in an environment that I was less familiar with. So, the Estudiantes job kind of ticked all my boxes; it's definitely a lot of fun too, which is helping to keep my interest in the save.

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A great opening stage and it does look a fun league to manage in for sure. I often think of managing in Brazil or Argentina but not sure I can get my head around the league structures.

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A great opening stage and it does look a fun league to manage in for sure. I often think of managing in Brazil or Argentina but not sure I can get my head around the league structures.

Thanks City. I think Brazil is slightly more confusing than Argentina due to the State Championship and lower tier structures, and it's a really long season there too, so you need plenty of perseverance to get through all the games.

Asides from the slightly bizarre average point system that determines relegation, Argentina is pretty straightforward; 38 games in the league (split into two tournaments), and a knockout cup competition, very similar to the FA Cup format. Win all your games, and win all the trophies ;)

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Mexico: The Tequila Nation

Having left my role with Turkey after the last World Cup, it wasn't long before I was approached to take the reigns of another national team. Several tempting offers came my way, including those from Brazil, Argentina and Russia, but it was the one from the Mexican FA that caught my attention the most.

After hosting the 2026 World Cup, where they failed (once again!) to get past the second round, having being knocked out by England, Mexico found themselves down at 32nd in the FIFA World Rankings. Serial under-achievers for several years now, the only tournament they seem capable of winning is the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which they have won seven times out of the last nine competitions contested. Asides from this, there has been very little for the residents of Mexican to shout about in recent years, having never made it out the group stages of the Copa America or past the second round in the World Cup. With plenty of potential in their squad, it will be my job to harness this talent, and transform the side into one capable of competing at major tournaments.

2026 Fixtures (Post World Cup)

2027 Fixtures (Pre Gold Cup)

The Russians aside, the friendly opposition organised by my assistant should have caused us very little trouble at all, so imagine my cause for concern when I lost my second match in charge, away to Bolivia. Factor in the scrappy 1-0 win over Barbados, and I've quickly realised that this is a side not as good as it thinks it is.

2027 CONCACAF Gold Cup

Simply put, the FA wanted us to win the competition. And indeed we should, with only the USA likely to cause us too many headaches... or so I thought.

Squad- I'd pretty much already established my best 23 well in advance of the competition, nearly all of which made it to the tournament unscathed. I had been experimenting on formations in the build up friendlies, and decided that a 5-3-2 formation was the way to go in the opening games.

Drawn in a group containing Costa Rica, Bermuda and Trinidad & Tobago, we were comfortable favourites to stroll into the quarter-finals, where we were likely to face the sterner tests of Canada, USA and Honduras.

Gold Cup Group A

Mexico 2-0 Costa Rica - So far, so good. My first competitive match in charge went without a hitch, controlling the game and securing a routine 2-0 victory.

Bermuda 1-0 Mexico - Bugger! Of course, we had the obligatory 24 attempts at goal, and couldn't hit a cows arse with a banjo. Utter humiliation? Possibly. Shock defeat of the tournament? Most definitely.

Mexico 1-1 Trinidad & Tobago - After defeat to Bermuda, we really had to win our final group game if to go through as group winners. Once again, another turgid performance followed, where we had to come from behind to salvage a point, which was just about enough to scrape through into the knockout rounds.

CONCACAFGoldCupOverview_Stages-1.png

It wasn't just us that had a shocker in the group stages; the USA managed to bum out early, with Nicaragua taking their place in the next round. And Canada only just scraped through too, after securing one of the two best third placed team slots.

Gold Cup Quarter Final

Mexico 3-1 Canada - Due to our streaky group stage performances, I decided to ditch the 5-3-2 formation, turning to a 4-3-1-2 set-up for the knockout rounds. This had the desired effect, as we put in our finest performance so far, and had the game sewn up before going in for the half time break. Very comfortable, very commanding. Better late than never, I suppose.

Gold Cup Semi Final

Mexico 1-0 Costa Rica - A repeat fixture from the group stage, and once again, the jitters returned. We only managed two shots on target, but thankfully, managed to convert one of these, and hang on for the remaining of the game to secure our spot in the final. Costa Rica barely threatened, but it was hardly the performance I was expecting.

Gold Cup Final

El Salvador 0-3 Mexico - The performance of champions, and about time too! Hardly a match for the neutral, as we found ourselves 3-0 up after 23 minutes, which effectively killed the game stone-dead. Not that this mattered to me, as I'd just secured my first trophy at international level.

CONCACAFGoldCupOverview_Stages-2-1.png

CONCACAF Gold Cup Dream Team - containing eight Mexicans, the stand-outs being Enrique García, Naoyas Barrón, Carlos Fierro and César Hurtado.

At times, we've been abysmal, and kind of only won the tournament by default. No doubt about it, there's still a lot of work to be done with this side, and in a tournament with stronger opposition, it's unlikely that we'll shake off the 'also-ran' tag that is currently around our neck. We really need to be a lot more creative going forward, as we struggle to fashion any clear-cut goal opportunities in open play, and are having to rely heavily on set-pieces and 20-yard wonder goals to break the deadlock. I suppose, going into most games as favourites is the main reason for our impotency, as teams tend to set up defensively, and park the bus. Maybe another change in formation is required, and I'm tempted to go to a 4-5-1, which I've used to great affect with previous teams. Unfortunately, I'm not blessed with fantastic wingers, so it may be case of playing a striker out of position in a inside-forward role, who can cut in off the flanks. I'm still undecided at the moment, but with the Copa America coming up in a fortnight, I'll need to make my mind up pretty swiftly.

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Just catching up,fantastic start to life in Argentina.Congrats on winning the Apertura as well as winning the Gold Cup with the tequila nation :D

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Just catching up,fantastic start to life in Argentina.Congrats on winning the Apertura as well as winning the Gold Cup with the tequila nation :D
Cheers, B.W.G. :thup: Been a good adventure so far, and I'm still really enjoying it; just a shame my game playing time has been cut short over the last week or so. Hopefully, normal service will resume shortly!
Just about makes up for Bermuda.
Only just. It was a total shambles, and definitely the lowest point of my career so far. Thankfully, we partially redeemed ourselves by lifting the trophy at the end of the competition!

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Great work in the Gold Cup (although a few of the Canadians here in FMCU won't be happy after their quarter final exit to you ;)). Next up...the Copa America. Should be a few more teams challenging you there as opposed to the likes of Nicaragua and El Salvador ;):D

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Epic fail in Group C.

Totally! I never expected Nicaragua and El Salvador to triumph over USA and Jamaica!

Great work in the Gold Cup (although a few of the Canadians here in FMCU won't be happy after their quarter final exit to you ;)). Next up...the Copa America. Should be a few more teams challenging you there as opposed to the likes of Nicaragua and El Salvador ;):D

That did cross my mind when we beat Canada, actually!

You're right, the Copa America will be a lot tougher. Although if we can avoid Brazil or Argentina, I'd have thought we'll have a fair chance of reaching the semi-finals, which is the FA expectations. Mind you, if we can lose to Bermuda, we can lose to anyone!! :D

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Estudiantes: On The Edge of Glory

As good as the performances on the pitch have been, I'm starting to get concerned by the alarming rate we our losing money at the football club. This season we made a loss of nearly £6m, which is extremely worrying as we only spent a net £1.25m of that on transfers; factor in the extra Copa Libertadores revenue that we received this season, and my concerns are entirely justified about the loss we're running at. Hopefully, the chairman can pull a rabbit out of his hat, otherwise it may be time to say bye-bye to some of the stars in the squad.

Finances | Transfer Summary

Argentina Primera División - 2027 Clausura (Closing Stage)

PrimeraDivisindeArgentinaOverview_Stages-2-1.png

Position Graph | Fixtures | Season Summary

Our Clausura performances have been scintillating at times, including a couple of special wins over Boca and Independiente, as well as a commanding win over Gimnasia in the La Plata derby. We're also averaging three goals a game, so it's apparent we've certainly found our shooting boots! However, it was the points dropped against the likes of Huracán, Godoy Cruz and Argentinos that cost us dear in the race to the title. That said, Independiente have been very special this time around, so even if we had taken a few more points, it's still unlikely that we would have caught them at the top of the table. I'm satisfied with a haul of 40 points, though, as this consolidates us nicely in the top three, comfortable ahead of the chasing pack of River, Vélez and Newell's.

Estudiantes 8-1 Racing Club - A terrific game early on in our Clausura campaign, which included a hat-trick from centre back Mathías Correa.

Estudiantes 5-0 Gimnasia - The fans loved the annihilation of our city rivals. A hat-trick from Oscar Parra helped to earn us the La Plata bragging rights.

Lanús 1-6 Estudiantes - Another great performance by us, where Carlos González stole the headlines with a great hat-trick.

Estudiantes 4-0 Independiente - They may have dominated the league, but we were the only side to beat the Clausura champions. We didn't even allow them a shot on target!

Estudiantes 5-3 Boca - Our penultimate league fixture, and my match of the season; this game had everything! We took a two goal advantage into the half time break, having dominated the first 45 minutes. Boca then scored three times in 7 minutes to completely turn the game on it's head, before we equalised a further two minutes later. They were then reduced to ten men with eight minutes left to play, which was just enough time for us to score twice, including Gerardo Pérez's fourth goal of the game.

Copa Libertadores

Group Stages (A-D) | Group Stages (E-H) | Fixtures

CopaSantanderLibertadoresOverview_Stages-2-1.png

We had a fantastic run in this competition this season, and very nearly ended it by celebrating an unlikely victory! Unfortunately for us, Corinthians didn't read the script, and completely owned us in both legs of the final, denying us the opportunity to lift the trophy for the first time since 2009.

This was the first time in 11 seasons that the club had qualified for the Copa Libertadores, so I wasn't expecting us to pull up any trees. I still wanted to see a good display in the groups, though, and some spirited performances against larger opposition in the knockout rounds. In the end, the group stage went without a hitch, finishing as group winners, and only dropping points away to Colo Colo. You could also argue that the draw in the knockout round was favourable to us, as we managed to avoid Boca, Independiente and Cruzeiro, playing instead, smaller opposition such as Liga de Quito and Pumas. That said, we still had to do a thorough job, and had to dig very deep to get past Flamengo in the quarter-final.

Copa Argentina

Fixtures - Unfortunately, we had to sacrifice this competition to allow me to keep the squad fresh for our league and continental commitments. Nacional B side, Instituto, were the team to knock us out, eventually by the means of a penalty shoot-out.

Squad Overview

Key Players: Gerardo Pérez (38 goals, 9 assists), Oscar Parra (25 goals, 28 assists), Gerardo Suárez (10 goals, 26 assists), Gabriel Pastoriza (Best Defender), Victor Sosa (Defensive Midfielder)

Fans Player of the Year: Gerardo Pérez

Team of the Year | Overall Best XI

Some of the players have played out of their skin this season, none more so than the trinity of Pérez, Parra and Suárez, who contributed with 73 goals and 63 assists between them. The squad is definitely good enough to contend for honours again next season, that's as long as I don't have to sell off my stars to appease the bank manager. I did, however, find at times that some players would struggle with consistently playing two games a week, something that is a regular occurrence once you've reached the latter stages of the Copa Libertadores and the Argentine domestic calendar. I'd like to try and counter this by bringing in a handful of new recruits in the summer, but due to the current financial constraints, I'd say that it's likely that I may have to settle for one or two free transfers, or chance my arm with some of the promising youngster currently in the ranks.

Career Summary

Season     Team              League                     Finish    Cups
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2011/12    Unemployed
2012/13    Kingstonian       Blue Square Bet South      3rd       FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round, FA Trophy 2nd Round
2013/14    Kingstonian       Blue Square Bet Premier    3rd       FA Cup 1st Round, FA Trophy 1st Round
2014/15    Kingstonian       npower League Two          16th      FA Cup 1st Round, Carling Cup 1st Round, JPT 1st Round
2015/16    Kingstonian       npower League Two          17th**    **Resigned 19/12/2015
          Hull City         npower League One          6th       FA Cup 4th Round
2016/17    Hull City         npower League One          1st       FA Cup 1st Round, Carling Cup 1st Round, JPT Winner
2017/18    Hull City         npower Championship        2nd       FA Cup 5th Round, Carling Cup 2nd Round
2018/19    Fulham            Barclays Premier League    5th       FA Cup Semi-Final, Carling Cup Semi-Final
2019/20    Fulham            Barclays Premier League    7th       Europa League 2nd KO Rd, FA Cup 6th Rd, Carling Cup 3rd Rd
2020/21    Fulham            Barclays Premier League    8th**     **Resigned 13/11/2020
          Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    6th       Europa League 1st KO Rd, FA Cup 5th Rd
2021/22    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    3rd       Europa League Winners, FA Cup 4th Rd, Carling Cup QF
2022/23    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    1st       Champions League Runner-Up, FA Cup 3rd Rd, Carling Cup QF
2023/24    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    1st       Champions League SF, FA Cup SF, Carling Cup QF
2024/25    Liverpool         Barclays Premier League    2nd       Champions League Runner-Up, FA Cup SF, Carling Cup Winners
2025/26    Estudiantes       Primera División Apertura  4th       N/A
                            Primera División Clausura  3rd       Copa Argentina QF
2026/27    Estudiantes       Primera División Apertura  1st       Copa Sudamericana SF
                            Primera División Clausura  3rd       Copa Libertadores RU, Copa Argentina 7th Rd

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Was a good year overall,impressive victory over the Clausura Champs.Unlucky in the Copa Libertadores,better luck next year.

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Mexico: The Tournament After

Having won the Gold Cup two weeks earlier, it was expected that we put on another good show at the Copa América. The FA wanted us to reach the semi-final, but given our previously flaky performances, I wasn't overly confident that we would even get out of our group.

I chose exactly the same 23 man squad that I used in the Gold Cup, deciding against experimenting with new personnel. The tactics and formation were also kept the same, even though I'm not convinced that 4-3-1-2 is the way to go, as we're not fashioning enough clear cut chances. I will be doing some tinkering in the future though, but it will need to wait until the post-Copa América friendlies.

2027 Copa América

Group C

Venezuela 2-3 Mexico - We started our opening game well, finding ourselves 3-0 up after 40 minutes. However, we then did our best to throw the three points away, letting Venezuela back into the game, just about clinging on for the victory in the second half.

Mexico 2-0 Chile - A much better performance, controlling the game from start to finish. We could have, and should have, scored more than two.

Argentina 2-0 Mexico - We totally bossed the game against one of the pre-tournament favourites; how they won 2-0, I'll never know. We still qualified for the knockout rounds as group runners-up, though.

CopaAmricaOverview_Stages-1.png

Quarter Final - Mexico 0-1 Uruguay - Another game we should have won, but just couldn't get enough telling shots on target. Our inability to score really cost us dear, and sent us packing against the nation that went on to win the tournament.

CopaAmricaOverview_Stages-2-1.png

Final - Uruguay 2-1 Brazil - A shock result in the final, but in the end, Uruguay were good value for their win.

World Ranking (Post Copa América)

WorldNations_WorldRankings-1.png

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Estudiantes: Pre-Season 2027/28

Going into my third season in charge at Estudiantes, I'll be looking to build on the success from the previous two years. I'd say we've got a good chance of lifting at least one trophy from the five we will be competing in, with the Copa Libertadores being the one that I really want to win the most.

This is the last year of my current contract, having refused the previously offered extensions. Whether I stay longer or not is hardly set in stone at the moment, but certainly, I wouldn't rule out a return to Europe if the right opportunity presented itself. That being said, I think I'd still be happy to stay in Argentina for another season or two, as I'm enjoying the style of football we play, and the job at Estudiantes is still challenging enough (for now).

Board Expectations

Copa Libertadores: Reach the Second Round

Copa Sudamericana: Reach the Quarter Final

Primera División Apertura: Compete alongside the top teams

Primera División Clausura: Compete alongside the top teams

Copa Argentina: Reach the Semi Final

Media Prediction: 4th

Transfer Budget: £713k

Wage Budget: £118k per week (currently spending £117k per week)

Transfer Summary

Key Signings: Juan Carlos Rivera (DC) £1m, Gustavo Meneghin (MR) Free, Alexandr Makarov (DC) Free, Juan Martín Alassia (AMC) £600k

With minuscule scope to play with in the budgets this season, it was certainly more a case of wheeling/dealing in the transfer market this summer. By offloading seven players, including two long term loans, this was enough to finance the deals for four new signings, who are all likely to add to the depth of the first team squad, despite lacking any outstanding star quality.

I still feel we are a couple of players light from being able to consistently compete in all the competitions we are entered into, but we should be in a better position than last season, so I'm hopeful that we will avoid the burnout we suffered in the previous April/May/June period. Whether that's good enough, I'll find out soon enough!

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