AK22

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

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The World Cup went as well as I expected. The FA were happy, and my job status jumped back up to 'very secure'; a huge improvement considering I was nearly sacked after the previous summer's performances!

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However, I feel four years is long enough in charge of any one nation, so I decided to throw in the Sombrero...

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My record with Mexico isn't really worth shouting about, but it certainly wasn't a disaster, by any means either.

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Africa finally gets the World Cup.

At least Guatemala getting knocked out means they didn't knock you out in the knockout rounds.

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Not had much time to be around these parts recently but it seems you're still where I left you...winning :thup::D. Some good stuff with Leverkusen.

Looks like Pele was right in his prediction about an African team.

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A very early exit for you but a great tournament for the African nations.

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Africa finally gets the World Cup.

At least Guatemala getting knocked out means they didn't knock you out in the knockout rounds.

Very true. Now that I've quit Central America, I hope that I never have to play them again :D

Not had much time to be around these parts recently but it seems you're still where I left you...winning :thup::D. Some good stuff with Leverkusen.

Looks like Pele was right in his prediction about an African team.

Cheers Raware, although I wish I could replicate my club success with a national side! Egypt, Australia, Turkey, Mexico, it's all been very mediocre to say the least.

A very early exit for you but a great tournament for the African nations.

The African nations are certainly in the ascendancy on my game. Although, I don't think I'll live to see the day that Mali win the World Cup in real life!!

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Leverkusen: Pre-Season 2030/31

After last years success, it's quite unlikely that we'll be able to match it again, this time around. The Bundesliga is our bread and butter, so this will be my main focus when it comes to team selection. Although I'd love another run in the Champions League, I can't quite see it happening again unless we get another bucket full of good luck. We'll also have the pleasure of representing Europe in this year's Club World Cup, so I'll be looking forward to squaring up against South America's and Asia's finest later in the year.

With new training and youth facilities on the horizon, and the impending expansion of the stadium, we've been able to reinvest our prize money to ensure the infrastructure of the club is improved, which will help to improve our standing in the European club pecking order. We may still be a mile off of the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid, but are certainly now starting to close the gap on Bayern and Dortmund.

Board Expectations

Bundesliga: Challenge for the title

UEFA Champions League: Reach the Quarter Final

UEFA Super Cup: Win the Super Cup

DFB-Pokal: Not important

DFL-Supercup: Not important

Media Prediction: 1st

Transfer Budget: £6.74m

Wage Budget: £1.1m per week (currently spending £942k per week)

Transfer Summary

Key Signings: Alejandro Enciso (ST) Free, Luiz (ST) £5.5m, Jack Srivastava (DC) Free, Du Shipeng (DM) £4.5m, Víctor Guiffaro (MR) £4.1m, Marcelo Donoso (DR) £3m, Roger Delgado (DC) £2.7m, Siaka Dao (GK) £425k, Ayouba Noumonvi (DC) £2.7m

Controversially, I sold star defender, Iván Hernandez, a week before the transfer window closed in a big money move to Man City. Arguably the best defender in the squad, I couldn't really turn down a £25m bid for a player that only cost me £3m the previous summer; a £22m profit is certainly good business in my eyes. However, this did leave me slightly light in the centre-back ranks, having sold 1st and 2nd back-ups earlier on in the summer too, so I had to make the emergency signing of Noumonvi to ensure we were well enough covered in this position. I'm hoping I don't come to regret this decision!

I was also able to strengthen the strike-force, bringing in two more solid central forwards, which will hopefully reduce the goalscoring burden on Hugo's shoulders. Whether they'll cut it at this level is yet to be seen, but I'm pretty confident they'll be able to contribute about 20 goals between them over the course of the season.

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Italy: Bringing The Azzurri To Life

After Egypt, Australia, Turkey and Mexico, Italy will the fifth national side I have taken charge of in my career so far. And given my previous International experience, I'm not expecting fireworks; more likely, mediocrity, despair and disappointment.

Actually, I had a fair few options open to me after the World Cup, including opportunities with Brazil, England, Argentina and Netherlands. But after analysing their respective squads, I decided to plump for The Azzurri.

The nation's currently ranked 5th in the world, but found themselves manager-less when the previous incumbent stepped down after their World Cup campaign. Italy were the hosts for that competition, so probably should have done better than the quarter-final finish they achieved. After winning the 2018 tournament, they've now won the World Cup five times, equalling Brazil's record, so I'll be looking to break that when Australia 2034 comes around.

First up, though, will be the qualifying campaign for the 2032 European Championship (which will be held in Belgium). Our group looks fairly routine on paper, with the likes of Azerbaijan and Luxembourg unlikely to pose us too many problems, however, I'm sure Turkey will be keen to get one up on their former manager.

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Key Players: Giacomo Verdiani (DC), Manolo Zonca (ST), Leandro (DC), Ricardinho (AM), Cornelio Senoner (MC), Silvio Innocenti (GK)

Going on my initial impression of the squad, it appears that I'm blessed to inherit a team full of world class individuals. In particular, Zonca and Ricardinho should prove to a potent attacking force, so I would imagine there to be plenty of goals in our forthcoming qualifying campaign. I'm also delighted to be reunited with Giacomo Verdiani, a defender I signed for Liverpool when he was 17 years old. Back then, I paid a £1m for him; he's now worth £31.5m, and plying his trade at Real Madrid. Forza Italia!

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Easy group to start off with at Italy.

Hopefully so! It would be pretty embarrassing if we dropped any points against the four minnows in the group. Stranger things have happened, though!!

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Mali winning the World Cup is madness! Your group for Italy should be a walk in the park, especially with players like Zonca.

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What's the betting somebody like Macedonia become his European version of Guatemala?

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Not sure if Mali would win right now with all their troublues... Congrats on the Italian job :)

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Leverkusen: Third Season-itis

With last season being such a success, it was always going to be difficult to match it this time around. However, as a bare minimum, I still expected to be competitive in the league, and capable of putting in a title challenge...

Bundesliga 2030/31 Winter Break

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Fixtures

What's going on here then?! Out of nowhere, Bayern have announced themselves as genuine title contenders, and find themselves with a comfortable lead at the Christmas break. We're eight points off, and will need an excellent second half of the season if we are to close the gap and retain our league trophy. Actually, we've not been as bad as it seems, and, in fact, are only three points worse off than this point last year. However, realistically, it's unlikely that we will win the Bundesliga this season, so will just need to ensure a top three finish, and Champions League qualification.

Leverkusen 2-1 Stuttgart - A good early season win over one of last year's top three.

Schalke 3-0 Leverkusen - Dominated from start to finish; a dismal day out in Gelsenkirchen.

Leverkusen 1-2 FC Bayern - We really needed to win this to get back in the title race. You could argue that we were robbed too!

St. Pauli 0-6 Leverkusen - This was more like it, and shows we can still easily polish off relegation fodder.

Leverkusen 3-0 Dortmund - Our best performance so far, meaning that we jumped ahead of our opposition in the league table.

UEFA Champions League 2030/31 Group Stages (Group F)

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Fixtures

Our Champions League defence has been nothing short of shambolic. It was hardly the group of death either, and as top seeds, we should have easily qualified for the Knockout Rounds. We started the campaign off on completely the wrong foot, losing a tricky game in Spain to Villarreal, however, the pivotal result was the home defeat to Rubin. This result, in the end, proved crucial in determining our fate, which, ultimately, will see us drop into the Europa League. Thursday nights, here we come!

Villarreal 2-0 Leverkusen - A tough opening fixture where I would have happily taken a draw. Ironically, it was my Italian striker, Manolo Zonca, who scored both the goals.

Leverkusen 0-1 Rubin - Total rubbish. We weren't at the races, all game.

Rubin 3-3 Leverkusen - After being 3-0 down, I was pleased with the spirited comeback. But really, we needed to win to have any chance of qualification.

M. Haifa 1-3 Leverkusen - We did our job on matchday six, but needed Rubin to beat Villarreal if we were to progress.

Other Competitions 2030/31

FIFA Club World Cup

Dalian 0-4 Leverkusen - A very easy win in the semi-final against Asia's finest.

Leverkusen 2-0 Atlético Mineiro - Quite a tasty final, but we still had more than enough in the tank to lift the trophy for the first time in our history.

UEFA Super Cup

Sevilla 1-3 Leverkusen - 3-0 up at half time, meaning that we strolled to victory in the second. Job done, and trophy lifted.

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Mali winning the World Cup is madness! Your group for Italy should be a walk in the park, especially with players like Zonca.
Not sure if Mali would win right now with all their troublues... Congrats on the Italian job :)

Yep, Malian madness!! It's definitely one of those FM quirks you get every now and again. However, I'm hoping to put Italy's name on the trophy in four years time; I reckon we've got a reasonably good chance too.

What's the betting somebody like Macedonia become his European version of Guatemala?

That sounds like the kiss of death to me :D I haven't played Macedonia yet, so you might be right!!

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Good luck with Italy and hope you can find an improvement in form with Leverkusen in the second half of the season.

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Good luck with Italy and hope you can find an improvement in form with Leverkusen in the second half of the season.
Shoddy Champions League effort AK. :(
That was a bad shock.
Not going as hoped so far.

Yeah, it's been a bit **** poor at times; not overly sure what's caused the downturn in form either. If we don't finish in the top three in the Bundesliga, it will be a disaster, so we'll really need to focus on this. Ain't too fussed about the Europa League, though, more of a distraction than anything.

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Leverkusen: Making The Best Of A Bad Situation

The club's stock is still continuing to rise, so it was imperative that we recovered well from our sloppy start to the season. Failure to finish outside the top three, and not qualify for the Champions League, would be a huge blip on the upward curve that the club is travelling along, and stall the amount of investment available to me on and off the field.

Finances | Transfer Summary

Bundesliga 2030/31 End of Season

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Position Graph | Fixtures 1 | Fixtures 2 | Season Summary | Elf des Jahres

Overall, the quality of the top four has been pretty poor all season long, so it's mainly by default that Schalke ended the season as champions. The inadequacies are highlighted further by the fact that the trophy was lifted by a side that lost nine times; that just over 25% of all their league games! Bayern were another calamity, who had the collapse of all collapses, only adding 21 points to their total at the half way stage, and scraping into the last Champions League spot.

Mind you, we're in no position to throw stones at the glass houses around us, as by our high standards, we were more than dismal too. After closing the gap at the top down to two points with a game in hand, the title was completely in our hands to win. However, we've seemed to have lost our killer instinct, putting in too many abject performances on a regular basis, and virtually gift-wrapped the title to our rivals in Gelsenkirchen. There's now a bit of recovery work to do over the summer if we are going to get our hands back on the Bundesliga trophy, although I'm still pleased that we had the best defensive record in the league again. We just need to be more clinical again!

Stuttgart 3-1 Leverkusen - We were 1-0 up and cruising, before being reduced to ten men. Three Stuttgart goals quickly followed, as we fell to pieces.

Leverkusen 0-1 Schalke - A terrible performance against the eventual winners. If the scoreline had been reversed, we probably would have won the league.

FC Bayern 2-4 Leverkusen - Totally against the run of play, Luiz banged in a first half hat-trick to take the game away from our opposition.

Leverkusen 4-1 Hannover - Hugo at his best, scoring all four goals.

Dortmund 2-0 Leverkusen - This defeat saw us say goodbye to any slim hope left of lifting the league trophy this season.

UEFA Europa League 2030/31

Fixtures

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This competition turned out to be the silver lining of our season, and meant that we ended up lifting three trophies after all!

Even though it wasn't my main focus of attention, we breezed through to the latter stages with quite a few of the squad players putting in decent shifts agains PSV and Besiktas. PSG were tougher opposition, and we had to come from behind to secure aggregate victory, and a semi-final place against Celtic.

We had played Celtic last season, in the quarter-final of the Champions League, so knew it would be a trickier tie than it looked on paper. That said, we still had enough about us to win both legs comfortably, and book our spot in the final. The final was to be held at Inter Milan's home stadium (Giuseppe Meazza/San Siro), so with clear home advantage, they were odds-on favourites to lift the trophy. What happened next was totally unexpected; arguably, we put in the performance of the season, dominating the proceedings on the way to a shock 4-0 victory. Even though it's not the one I would have wanted at the start of the season, it's still another trophy for the cabinet!

Leverkusen 3-0 PSV - Luiz scored a hat-trick to overturn the deficit from the first leg.

Leverkusen 5-0 Besiktas - A terrific first leg put the tie to bed before we had to travel to Turkey.

Leverkusen 2-0 PSG - Having lost in France, it was important that we recovered strongly in the second leg.

Leverkusen 2-1 Celtic - We did our job well, booking our final place.

Inter 0-4 Leverkusen - An unbelievable game! We were the underdogs, but beat Inter easily, in their own back yard.

Squad Overview

Key Players: Hugo (34 goals), Alejandro Enciso (22 goals), Santos (20 assists), Chorão (Av R 7.21), Ayouba Noumonvi (Av R 7.25)

Fans Player of the Year: Hugo

Team of the Year | Overall Best XI

In hindsight, I think I've made too many transfers this season, which has unsettled the squad somewhat, and led to the disjointed performances that have become a regularity this yet. 13 new players joined the club over the course of the season, so it's not really a huge surprise that the harmony has been disrupted, and the tactical understanding lost. Learning from my mistakes, I'll be looking to keep the squad a lot more stable over the coming summer, only looking to add three or four new faces to the first team, which I hope will improve things next year.

Of course, the Brazilian trio of Hugo, Santos and Chorão all had the usual barnstorming seasons, although, naturally, we did miss Hugo for the nine league games he was injured for. Thankfully, new signing Alejandro Enciso really stepped up and filled the void, finding the net 22 times before he broke his leg in March. Hopefully, he'll make a full recovery, keeping his eye for goal, meaning that next season I'll have a deadly strike-force capable of finding the net 60 times between them.

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
2027/28    Estudiantes       Primera División Apertura  2nd       Copa Sudamericana Winner
                            Primera División Clausura  1st       Copa Libertadores SF, Copa Argentina RU
2028/29    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 1st       Champions League 1st KO Rd, DFB-Pokal QF
2029/30    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 1st       Champions League Winners, DFB-Pokal Winners
2030/31    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 2nd       Europa League Winners

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Good job winning the Europa League - the Champions League qualification was a bit tight there at the end!

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Congrats on winning the Europa League and you made it into the CL which is a bonus.

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Good job winning the Europa League - the Champions League qualification was a bit tight there at the end!
Congrats on winning the Europa League and you made it into the CL which is a bonus.

Cheers! It was a bit tight at the end, too much for my liking. We only just about scraped into second after losing our final match, but thankfully, Bayern and Dortmund failed to capitalise on our misfortunes.

Hoffenheim relegated :(.

They've yo-yo'ed a bit recently, but I'd imagine they'll bounce straight back up next season.

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Leverkusen: Pre-Season 2031/32

With us slightly under performing last season, it was important to improve upon things this time around. In fact, the board turned the heat up a bit, stating that a title challenge would be no longer good enough; they expected us to lift the trophy! No pressure then! As usual, Dortmund and Bayern will be our main rivals, as I doubt Schalke have the team capable of defending their title, but then again, I wouldn't rule them out completely either.

Including this coming season, I've got two years left to run on my existing contract. It's unlikely that I'll extend that either, simply as there's very little left for me to achieve with the club. I may even go a year earlier, but will wait until the end of this season before reviewing the options available to me; I'm quite interested in the challenge that Portugal or The Netherlands have to offer at the moment. Alternatively, I'm looking towards finding a fallen-giant to restore back to the peak of their respective league.

Board Expectations

Bundesliga: Win the Bundesliga

UEFA Champions League: Reach the Quarter Final

UEFA Super Cup: Win the Super Cup

DFB-Pokal: Not important

Media Prediction: 1st

Transfer Budget: £10.83m

Wage Budget: £1.1m per week (currently spending £963k per week)

Transfer Summary

Key Signings: Ifeanyi Gabriel (ST) Free, Oladipo Obi (DC) £3.6m, Moussa Bakir (AMC) £9m, Mladen Kek (ST) Free, Adis Ibrahimovic (AML) £1.2m

In contrast to last summer, transfer activity was kept to a minimum, as I looked to keep the squad united as much as possible. Of course, it wouldn't be a summer transfer window without a little bit of controversy, and this was no different, as I let club legend Marcelo Pérez leave the club on a free transfer, after his contract expired. He's the club's leading all-time goalscorer, with 263 goals in 427 appearances, and the fans are more than miffed about it. As far as I'm concerned, he's now 34, and way over the hill, so had no place in the first team squad. Really, I think they should be more excited by the signings of Gabriel (not bad for a free transfer, if I say so myself!) and Bakir, who both look the real deal when it comes to attacking prowess, and forget about this has been!

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Proper thumping of Inter in the final.
Properly well done.

Thanks fellas :thup:

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Jesus! What a route to the final for Mali - if you beat Spain, Italy and Germany along the way you deserve to lift the title!

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Leverkusen: Back At The Races

With us not quite hitting the mark last season, I really wanted to see an improvement this time around. Ideally, we'd be right in the title race from the off, as well as improving on last years shambles in the Champions League. Off the field, requests to improve both the training and youth facilities have been granted, so once completed, our back field operation will be up there with the very best.

Bundesliga 2031/32 Winter Break

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Fixtures

Although we're only one point better off at the mid-season break compared to last year, we're looking good at the top of the table. Factor in that we've now already played the tricky away matches against FC Bayern, Schalke and Dortmund, and on the paper, the second half of the season should be slightly easier too. Obviously, it's nowhere near being done and dusted, but baring a spectacular collapse, I more than expect us to be challenging for our third title in four years, come the end of the season.

The highlight so far has undoubtedly been the win in Munich, which set us up nicely as the pace setters, and allowed us the luxury of being able to drop a few points in the subsequent matches. That said, we haven't been playing impeccably, with the scrappy home draws against Aachen and 1860 München being more than testament to this. But all in all, I'm in no position to complain too loudly about the first six months of our season.

Schalke 1-0 Leverkusen - The early season fixture against the champions didn't quite go to plan; we were played off the park.

Leverkusen 3-0 Stuttgart - A full house saw another great win over Stuttgart.

FC Bayern 0-1 Leverkusen - We nicked all three points in an incredibly tight affair against our nearest challengers. Focusing on attacking set-pieces really proved beneficial, as the winner eventually came from a corner.

Dortmund 2-0 Leverkusen - Not our finest hour on the road.

Leverkusen 4-0 HSV - Lothar Sternisko bagged a great hat-trick in our biggest league win of the season so far.

UEFA Champions League 2031/32 Group Stages (Group C)

UEFAChampionsLeagueOverview_Stages-1.png

Fixtures

A tricky group, which saw us paired with Villarreal for the second season in a row. Once again, we lost in Spain, and although we suffered defeat in France too, we just about scraped into the knockout rounds courtesy of a victory on match day six. If we had topped the group, AC Milan would have been our opposition in the next round, but as we finished second, it will be the mighty Barcelona up next for us. If you remember last time we met, we dramatically beat them home and away in the semi-final of our Champions League winning season, two years ago. We'll still be the underdogs this time too, but will we be lucky enough for lightning to strike twice?!

Villarreal 3-0 Leverkusen - Soundly beaten in Villarreal, even though we had most of the possession.

Leverkusen 4-0 Shakhtar - A solid victory which really helped the goal difference.

Shakhtar 1-4 Leverkusen - This was a tougher game than the scoreline suggests, although we did deserve to win.

Leverkusen 2-1 Villarreal - We had to win our final game to ensure we qualified for the next round. After being reduced to ten men, we resisted the barrage of Villarreal attacks to cling on to three vital points.

Other Competitions 2031/32

UEFA Super Cup

Leverkusen 1-4 Man Utd - Such an open game, but we didn't covert ourselves in glory after having a man sent off in the first half. There was always only going to be one winner after this.

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A better season overall, but still some strong competition. Congrats on qualifying out of the group stages of the Champions League!

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Italy: It All Started So Well!

Seven wins out of the first eight games ensured we booked our place at Belgium 2032, although I've got some serious concerns about the quick way complacency took hold of the squad after our qualification was guaranteed. For some reason, the players completely switched off after the Luxembourg win, and even hollering aggressively at them was not enough to prevent them putting in some pretty half-arsed performances. This will certainly need to be eradicated before the tournament itself, otherwise we'll find ourselves on a plane out of Brussels quicker than you can say Moules Frites!

UEFAEuropeanFootballChampionshipQualifiersOverview_Stages-1.png

Fixtures 1 | Fixtures 2 | Team of the Year 2031 | Overall Best XI

Italy 8-0 Azerbaijan - It's always enjoyable putting eight past any team.

Turkey 0-0 Italy - A trip to Istanbul was always going to be difficult. We probably edged it, but I was still happy enough with a point.

Azerbaijan 0-8 Italy - Another thumping of the minnows.

Italy 2-2 Turkey - We had already qualified by this point, but really should have comfortably won this game to seal top spot in the group.

Macedonia 1-0 Italy - A dismal display, which meant we slipped down to second place.

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Jesus! What a route to the final for Mali - if you beat Spain, Italy and Germany along the way you deserve to lift the title!

Yeah, it was pretty special! I'd love to see it happen in real life!

A better season overall, but still some strong competition. Congrats on qualifying out of the group stages of the Champions League!

Thanks cerud! It's definitely going better than last season, anyway :)

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At least you got through the Group Stages this time. Nothing new in the league...Stuttgart could do better...

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At least you got through the Group Stages this time. Nothing new in the league...Stuttgart could do better...

Yep, very little has changed in the top four from last season.

Although the emergence of 1860 München and Ingolstadt has certainly shaken up the chasing pack somewhat, hence Stuttgart slipping down a bit. The race for European qualification should be pretty interesting come the end of the season, with a good handful of clubs all capable of sneaking into fifth place!

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Brilliant first half of the season,hope you it can carry on in the 2nd half of the season.Congrats on qualifying with Italy as well.

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looks like things are going pretty well for you at Leverkusen, good luck in Belgium with Italy as well.

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This has been a fantastic read. Truly quite inspiring.

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Very good so far.
Brilliant first half of the season,hope you it can carry on in the 2nd half of the season.Congrats on qualifying with Italy as well.
looks like things are going pretty well for you at Leverkusen, good luck in Belgium with Italy as well.
This has been a fantastic read. Truly quite inspiring.

Thanks chaps! It's been a pretty decent start to the season, and bodes well for the rest of the year. Ideally, we would have won our CL group, but that's only if I'm being picky! :)

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Leverkusen: Nearly As Good As It Gets

Nothing too major occurred off the field this season, although I think it's about time the stadium was expanded, as we are selling out virtually every single home match now. Whether that's possible or not, I'm not sure; there's money in the bank, and the current loan will be paid off by 2034, but I am starting to wonder if the Leverkusen Stadium has reached it's capacity limit. There's certainly no option to enter discussion with the board about it, anyway.

Finances | Transfer Summary

Bundesliga 2031/32 End of Season

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Position Graph | Fixtures 1 | Fixtures 2 | Season Summary | Elf des Jahres

This has certainly been our best league performance since I've taken charge at the club, with us lifting the title with a twelve point advantage over our nearest rivals. In fact, we added 42 points to our total in the second half of the season, winning all but four matches, breezing our way to my third Bundesliga title.

The level of consistency shown after the winter break was key, as we continued to chalk up victories when our rivals were dropping points. We also had the advantage of home games against the other title challengers, and comfortably took nine points out of nine in the big games against Dortmund, Schalke and Bayern. All-in-all, this led to us having the title sewn-up by early-April, although it was not mathematically confirmed until we had played our 31st league game.

We've been so much better than last season too; the defence was the tightest in the league, and our strikers the most prolific, as well as a more clinical edge to our general play. Hopefully, this proves that last season was just a small blip, and the complacency that crept in, has been eradicated from the squad now.

Leverkusen 3-1 Schalke - Quite an even game, but a great victory over the defending champions.

Leverkusen 4-0 FC Bayern - A crucial, and well deserved, three points. This was a huge six-pointer, and Bayern totally bottled it!

1860 München 2-1 Leverkusen - Our only defeat post-Christmas, to a side that eventually finished fourth. We actually played quite well too.

Leverkusen 2-0 Dortmund - Dortmund haven't been that great this season, and we took full advantage in this game.

HSV 1-2 Leverkusen - This victory officially crowned us as champions!

UEFA Champions League 2031/32

Fixtures

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Could we make it two Champions League wins in three season? Well, nearly! Unfortunately, we fell at the last hurdle, losing to Marseille at Ibrox, in the final.

Although I'm naturally disappointed not to add another trophy to the cabinet, but, all-in-all, it's been a cracking campaign all round, with the highlights being the results over Barcelona. Not only did we pull a rabbit out of the hat once, stuffing them 6-1 in the first leg, we managed a second piece of trickery to make it a double in the Nou Camp, too. I certainly never envisaged us scoring ten goals over the course of the two legs!

Unfortunately, the further we made it into the competition, the more our performances dropped and our form suffered; perhaps, our bums squeaked a bit too much this year! Ultimately, this caused us to lose our way somewhat, barely scrapping past Fenerbahçe in the semis, and only managing a lacklustre showing in the final. If we had been in form, I'm sure we would have easily beaten Marseille. Ho hum!

Leverkusen 6-1 Barcelona - What a game! The best result of my career, bar none! Truly fantastic!!

Barcelona 3-4 Leverkusen - I'm still shocked that we managed to put ten goals past one of the all-time great footballing clubs over the course of the two legs!

Leverkusen 4-0 Benfica - This comfortable victory set us up nicely for the second leg.

Leverkusen 0-0 Fenerbahçe - A nervy game, which saw scrape through into the final on away goals. We weren't helped by the 11th minute sending off either!

Leverkusen 1-2 OM - Even after taking an early lead, we couldn't raise our game to a high enough level to take a second Champions League crown. Unfortunately, on balance, Marseille deserved their win.

Squad Overview

Key Players: Hugo (26 goals, 15 assists), Ifeanyi Gabriel (14 goals), Alejandro Enciso (13 goals), Adis Ibrahimovic (14 assists), Moussa Bakir (14 assists), Daniel Dladla (Avr R: 7.43), Kevin Scholz (Avr R: 7.41), Lamara Mazari (18 clean sheets)

Fans Player of the Year: Daniel Dladla

Team of the Year | Overall Best XI

The squad is excellent, and emergence of Kevin Scholz in the second half of the season proves that we've also got some quality coming through the ranks capable of challenging the first team. In fact, I'd go as far as saying that the partnership that Scholz formed with Dladla in the heart of our defence was the main reason we've so successful this year; it certainly cut down the workload for our 'keepers anyway, with Mazari keeping 18 clean sheets.

I've got a couple of big decisions to make over the summer, with both Hugo and Santos now the wrong side of 30. Do I give them one more season at their peak, or try to sell them off before their market value drops too much? Santos wasn't a regular this season, with Moussa Bakir overtaking him to become our first choice attacking-midfielder. But he still has plenty of skill and talent, as well as the crucial ability to be a game-changer when things aren't going our way. With Hugo, his goalscoring record speaks for it's self, and I probably owe it to him to give him at least one more season at the club. At times, he's single-handedly won us games (maybe trophies!), popping up to find the net when a breakthrough is looking unlikely. However, his contract is due up next season, and his demands are pretty steep. If I want to keep him, I'll have to agree to a £20k per week payrise, which for someone who will turn 31 at his next birthday, is probably a bit too much than I would like to pay. My heart says keep him, but my business-head says get rid now!

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
2027/28    Estudiantes       Primera División Apertura  2nd       Copa Sudamericana Winner
                            Primera División Clausura  1st       Copa Libertadores SF, Copa Argentina RU
2028/29    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 1st       Champions League 1st KO Rd, DFB-Pokal QF
2029/30    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 1st       Champions League Winners, DFB-Pokal Winners
2030/31    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 2nd       Europa League Winners, Club World Cup Winners
2031/32    Leverkusen        Bundesliga                 1st       Champions League Runner-Up

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Italy: The Road Trip To Belgium!

European Championship 2032

Going into the tournament, expectations were high. The FA expected a final appearance, with the betting fraternity establishing us as 2-1 joint favourites, alongside Spain and Germany. Due to this, I knew my normal underachievement at major competitions would not be suffered lightly if I failed to deliver the goods once again.

Group Stages

Group B - Italy 3-3 Northern Ireland - Not quite the stroll in the park I expected our opening fixture to be! I was furious that we conceded deep in injury time, having looked like securing all three points with a goal in the dying minutes of the second half.

Group B - Iceland 3-4 Italy - More goals! We were 3-1 down at one point, so did well to recover a victory from the jaws of defeat.

Group B - Norway 0-1 Italy - Surprisingly, Norway were the top seeds of the group. We did the business, earning us top spot, and our place in the second round, in the process.

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Knockout Rounds

2nd Round - Italy 5-0 Iceland - Strangely, we faced Iceland again in the 2nd Round. They didn't have their shooting boots on this time, even though it was a very even game statistically.

Quarter-Final - Italy 2-1 Greece - It needed extra-time to get us past the Greeks and into the semi-final. We had plenty of chances to clinch victory throughout, so I was pretty annoyed we were made to play another 30 minutes.

Semi-Final - Italy 1-3 Portugal - Daylight robbery or clinical finishing? You decide! Once we had gone 2-0 down, the odds were stacked firmly against us, so as we went to chase the game, the Portuguese hit us with a third goal on the break. Game over!

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From my perspective, getting to the semi-final wasn't a terrible result, however, I do feel if we had made it to the final, we would have gone on to lift the trophy. In hindsight, those 30 minutes of extra-time against Greece cost us dear, as the squad's fitness levels were not as high as the Portuguese's were going into the semi-final, and this was probably the main reason for our elimination.

Croatia went on to win the tournament, beating Portugal 2-1 in the final. Funny to see Belarus and Montenegro in the quarter-finals too!

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Congrats on another title win although commiserations on missing out in the CL final.

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Leverkusen...not sure why, but the name always reminds me of soap. Like it`s a brand name or something. Tough beat in the Champions League.

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Congrats on another title win although commiserations on missing out in the CL final.
Another great season though.
Tough way to end.

Cheers- yeah, it was still a great season, although tinged with a small amount of last minute disappointment. That's still three consecutive European finals, though, so we're really dramatically improving the club's stature now.

Leverkusen...not sure why, but the name always reminds me of soap. Like it`s a brand name or something. Tough beat in the Champions League.

:D I suppose it does have the ring of a generic European detergent based product!

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Leverkusen: Pre-Season 2032/33

To be honest, I've got very little left to prove at Leverkusen, so if an exciting opportunity had presented itself over the summer, it's quite likely I would have terminated my contract a year early. However, that never materialised, asides from a monumental offer from Real Madrid (which doesn't really interest me, at the moment), so, for now, I'll be staying on for a fifth year in Germany. I will be keeping a very close eye on the job market throughout the season, though, so I wouldn't rule a mid-season switch, if the right job became available.

Board Expectations

Bundesliga: Win the Bundesliga

UEFA Champions League: Reach the Quarter Final

DFB-Pokal: Not important

Media Prediction: 1st

Transfer Budget: £12.89m

Wage Budget: £1.1m per week (currently spending £982k per week)

Transfer Summary

Key Signings: Richard Frimpong (DL) £7.5m, Franck Traoré (DM) £3.1m, Juan Ignacio Castro (ST) £1.4m

Previously, I had stated that I needed to make my mind up on the future of both Santos and Hugo over the course of this summer. Both of which have had great careers at the club, really contributing to our success, and earning each of them a Champions League winners medal in the process. Unfortunately, I do feel that both their careers have peaked, and are never likely to be the influence on the team that they have been before, let alone being guaranteed a starting eleven place any more.

After some serious deliberation, I decided to sell Santos to Auxerre for £10m; the main reason for this being his £100k per week wage, which I didn't want to pay for a rotation player. It's sad to see him go, but it's probably the right decision for both us (the club) and the player, who should get a weekly starting spot for the tycoon-backed French club. Meanwhile, for now, Hugo has earned himself a reprieve, due to the simple reason that he's always got a goal in him. His contract's still due up next summer, though, but I reckon 10 goals this season will be enough for me to offer an extension.

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Leverkusen: Auf Wiedersehen, Pet!

It's incredibly close in the Bundesliga this season, with the top six all being separated by two points. However, unfortunately for Leverkusen, I won't be the man the steer them to another league title, as I've been offered a job that has really whetted my appetite.

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So after four and a half great season, it's time to say to goodbye to Leverkusen, as I embark on a new adventure. I'm positive that I leave the club well set up for future success, and it really wouldn't surprise me to see them lift another Champions League trophy in the near future. I've had a enjoyable stay in Germany, having added three Bundesliga and two European winners medals to my expanding collection, but feel it's time to try my hand with a different team in a different league.

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Must have been quite a club, as it seems an odd time to leave otherwise.

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