abulezz

Bromley FC (...And the Rest of the World)

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Pity, he looks excellent.
Looks like he could be world class.Hope he sacks his agent!

I have no doubt he's going to be a great player in a few years - unfortunately for me, it doesnt look likely it will be for Bromley. That agent.

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ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE REVIEW 2019/2020

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Overview:

Player Stats - Team Salary per Annum - Transfers - Past Winners

Footballer of the Year: Vladimir Weiss, Liverpool

Player’s Player of the Year: Edinson Cavani, Tottenham

Young Player of the Year: Dejan Juric, Swansea

Best Goalkeeper of the Year: Fernando Muslera, Tottenham

Manager of the Year: Paul Lambert, Arsenal (Champions)

Arsenal (2020: Champions – 2019: 3rd)

MANAGER: Paul Lambert

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Luis Ramirez

OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Stevan Jovetic, Marek Hamsik, Ciaran Clark, Aaron Ramsey, Marouane Fellaini, Yaroslav Rakitskyi,

PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Ayman Ben Slimane

RETIRING PLAYERS: Thomas Vermaelen

OVERVIEW: Under the leadership of manager Paul Lambert, who took over in March 2019, Arsenal experienced its most successful season in its history, winning the Premier League and the Champions League, the latter for the first time in its history. It was definitely unexpected success – preseason predictions had Arsenal battling for 4th Place and no one, not even their most optimistic supporters, imagined they would lift the Champions League trophy at the end of the season.

The man that made it all possible was Luis Ramirez – simply put, the 25 year old Venezuelan was amazing. He first came into prominence during World Cup 2014 in Brazil, where he and Salomon Rondon led their nation to a Second Round spot before getting knocked out by then-champions Spain. He was 19 years old at the time (Luis Ramirez in 2014), but his ability was already evident. Now, he has made full use of that potential and ability, and there was no better player in the world this season. His 23 goals tally from the midfield position was amongst the highest in Europe, and he was named Champions League Player of the Year for his exploits in the competition. Although he cost the club £38,500,000 to sign, in his second year with Arsenal, he made it all worth it. He has become a true global superstar.

Arsenal’s midfield again produced some fantastic football, whether it was Marouane Fellaini, Marek Hamsik, or Aaron Ramsey. By his high standard, the latter had one the worst seasons in his career individually, but obviously he will not be complaining too much after the success his club had. Hamsik, who turned 32 years old during the summer, was noticeably less mobile, and his goal tally dropped from 12 to only 4 this season. Still, he remained a central figure for the club and was still amongst the finest midfielders in the league. Stevan Jovetic was the club’s second leading scorer with 9 goals, but niggling minor injuries hampered him all season long, and his second year with the club was significantly worse than his first. Yaroslav Rakitskyi had an outstanding season at left back, handing out 10 assists to go with his 4.29 TpG.

The club conceded a Premier League leading 30 goals, and their defense was perhaps the main cornerstone to their success. Irishman Ciaran Clark delivered the finest season of his career, and justified the club paying £11,250,000 for him at the beginning of last season. Norwegian right back Vegar Edden Hedenstad had 5.85 TpG, good enough for third best in the Premier League, and was one of the best right backs in the country, while Colombian captain and Copa America 2019 star David Ospina was a rock between the posts for his club. Tunisian central defender Ayman Ben Slimane, who turned 24 years old during the season, continued his development and became one of top central defenders in the league, ranking fourth with 5.68 TpG.

Obviously, the main ingredient to their success was Luis Ramirez, and credit has to go to Paul Lambert for getting the absolute best out of him and turning him into such an offensive monster. He also got the defense, which lacked a big name or star, to become the best in the nation. Arsenal’s season was historic, and with the weapons they have, especially if Jovetic can find his Fiorentinda days form, they have to be favorites to retain the trophy next year.

Tottenham (2020: 2nd – 2018: 5th)

MANAGER: Malky Mackay

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Edinson Cavani

OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Andriy Yarmolenko, Fabien Delph, Gareth Bale, Ryan Shawcross, Fernando Muslera, Sandro, Steve Hughes

PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Taofeek Moneke

OVERVIEW: Tottenham certainly found its form this season under first year manager Malky Mackay, almost capturing the English Premier League title for the first time since 2011 but eventually settling for Runners-Up, behind bitter rivals Arsenal. Still, Mackay brought Champions League football back to the club, who had been beaten in the competition’s Finals in 2017 and 2018, and that was a big improvement over the previous season.

Despite selling Salomon Rondon to Lyonnais in the summer, Tottenham’s offense did not miss a beat, thanks Player’s Player of the Year Edinson Cavani and his new partner up front, Andriy Yarmolenko. The Ukrainian was bought for £12,000,000 last season, but did not shine until he was asked to replace Rondon in the starting lineup, repaying the club with 22 league goals. Cavani was, again, fantastic, scoring 21 goals in 28 appearances. He has been the most prolific scorer in the world the past decade, and the 33 year old Uruguayan legend added 9 assists, as well. This was his fourth straight year of scoring 20+ goals a game, including his record breaking 40 goals in 2017/18. Out of the eight years he has spent with Tottenham, the club legend failed to hit 20 goals only twice, and his lowest tally was in 2013/14, when he scored 17 goals.

Cavani was not the only golden oldie in Tottenham’s ranks this season, as Croatian midfielder Luka Modric gave out 10 assists to record his seventh straight season where he has hit that number of assists or more. Although his 7.08 AR is a far cry from the days of his prime (from 2011 to 2017, Modric never recorded below 7.65 AR, including a three year stretch between 2014 to 2017 where it never dropped below 7.81 AR), the 34 year old still was a great creative spark in the midfield. The 31 year old Welshman Gareth Bale, whose injuries the last few years seems to have taken its toll on his body, was again a significant presence down the left wing, but his 3 assists were a career low. Although he peaked much earlier in his career, notably being Tottenham’s and the Premier League’s best player in 2012 when they lifted the title, he still remains one of the best left wingers in the country. The club has already lined up his long term replacement in 21 year old Nigerian Taofeek Moneke – although he is still a couple of years from being a meaningful contributor, he has all the skills necessary to be a leading Premier League left winger in the future. Fabien Delph manned the right wing, and he was again fantastic, recording career highs with 8 goals, 13 assists, and a 7.33 AR. The midfield was anchored by Brazilian star Sandro, who not only contributed 8 assists and 4.24 TpG, but also delivered an outstanding 86% Pass Ratio, amongst the highest in the league.

Tottenham conceded 45 goals last season but brought that number down to 35 goals this year, thanks in part to the brilliance of Premier League GK of the Year, Fernando Muslera. The 34 year old Uruguayan recorded 19 clean sheets, and conceded only 28 goals in his 33 appearances. In front of him, Englishmen Ryan Shawcross and Steve Hughes delivered fine seasons, with the 32 year old Shawcross recording a career-high of 7.39 AR. The 24 year old Hughes, England’s future in the back, continued to show solidity in the back, although one would expect his 2.85 TpG to be higher.

Tottenham’s strength has always been in its teamplay and its offensive firepower, and Mackay took advantage of that very well in his first season in charge of the club. They jumped from 5th Place to 2nd Place, and with the talent they have, they should remain in the top three next season, as well.

Manchester Unitd (2020: 3rd – 2019: Champions)

MANAGER: Ricardo Moniz

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jack Wilshere

OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Wayne Rooney, Eden Hazard, Javier Hernandez, Jonny Evans, Milan Badelj, Andile Jali, David De Gea, Mohamed Ateya, Phil Jones, Rafael

PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Daniel Garnier

OVERVIEW: This was the first year since Ricardo Moniz took over in July of 2017 that Manchester United did end the season as Premier League champions, losing both the Premier League title and in the Champions League Finals to Arsenal. It was a good season, regardless, considering the injuries to their two main players, Javier Hernandez and Eden Hazard, and Moniz did a great job with a squad that was hit with a high number of injuries.

A broken foot kept leading scorer Javier Hernandez out for four months, allowing him only 19 appearances, in which he scored 17 goals. Prior to this season, he had scored 36 and 38 goals, and had he not gotten injured, the 32 year old Mexican striker was on course to him 30+ goals for an unprecedented third consecutive season. In his sixteenth season with the club, Wayne Rooney recorded below 7.35 AR for the first time in his career, recording 6.92 AR. His 9 goals were tied for the lowest he has scored since joining Manchester United, although he did play in all 38 games. The 34 year old has seen much of his pace disappear the last couple of seasons, but England’s all-time record appearance holder with 167 caps still has the ability to continue to contribute across the board. It seems the club have lined up their eventual replacements Dejan Kovacevic and Belgian Daniel Garnier – the latter scored 13 goals in only 20 appearances, recording a 7.30 AR, despite being only 20 years old.

One of the finest players of his generation, Eden Hazard went through perhaps his worst season in his career – his 7.11 AR was by far the lowest he has ever registered, and he only scored 1 goal and gave out 6 assists, compared to the 6 goals and 16 assists of last season. Things went from bad to worse for the 29 year old Belgian left winger, as he damaged his cruciate ligaments in March and was ruled out for five months, forcing him to miss the Euro 2020 in his home nation. Whether he can bounce back and retain his old form remains to be seen, but his talent is undeniable. The club’s Player of the Year was his partner in the midfield, 28 year old Jack Wilshere, who handed out a career high 12 assists. He has also named the 2020 Best Player in Europe for his exploits in the Champions League, where he nearly led Manchester United to their first title since 2008. Milan Badelj and Andile Jali both had good seasons, as well – the former recorded 2.90 TpG and 2.00 DpG to with a fantastic 87% Pass Ratio, while the latter equaled the Pass Ratio but delivered an outstanding 5.31 TpG.

Defensively, Manchester United were third only to Arsenal and Bromley in the league, with a backline led by Jonny Evans and Phil Jones. Evans missed only one game this season, and although his 2.87 TpG was low, he recorded an 84% Pass Ratio to make up for it. Jones, still only 28 years old, had an outstanding overall season, recording 4.79 TpG, 85% Pass Ratio, and 7 assists. He also scored a career-high 4 goals to go with all of that. At the right back position, it was more of the same from Rafael – his 7.35 AR was a career high, and he had a great 4.83 TpG average. Unfortunately, he made noise throughout the season about wanting a new challenge and wanting to join a new club, so his status remains up in the air. Manchester United also possessed one of the most talented young central defenders in the league in Mohamed Ateya, as the 22 year old Egyptian recorded a 7.21 AR. Behind that wall was David De Gea, one of the finest GKs of the decade – the 29 year old Spanish international remained fantastic, recording 19 clean sheets.

With Eden Hazard and Javier Hernandez hopefully healthy, there is no reason to believe that Manchester United cannot compete for the title once again. They had enough talent in their ranks to win the Premier League three times in a row, and this is the same team that accomplished that feat, albeit with some new blood. Manchester United have to be considered favorites to take back Arsenal’s title next season.

Liverpool (2020: 4th – 2019: 6th)

MANAGER: Brian McDermott

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jack Robinson

OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Luis Suarez, Kyle Walker, Peniel Mlapa, Vladimir Weiss, David Alaba, Douglas Costa, Lucas Leiva, Nevan Subotic

PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Matthias Buosson

RETIRING PLAYERS: Aiden McGeady

OVERVIEW: Widely expected to finish in the lowest position of the Big Six, Liverpool surprised the masses by beating out both Manchester City and Chelsea for the final Champions League spot this season. First year manager Brian McDermott was able to get the best out of Premier League Footballer of the Year Vladimir Weiss, and despite the club having the least amount of talent of the top clubs on paper, they managed to exceed expectations and will look forward to Champions League football next season.

Vladimir Weiss had his best season in a Liverpool season to date, leading the Premier League with 14 assists and averaging a fantastic 2.98 DpG. Although he only featured in 26 games thank to injuries, he also contributed 8 goals enroute to winning the Premier League Footballer of the Year. Although he only featured in 26 games thank to injuries, he also contributed 8 goals enroute to winning the Premier League Footballer of the Year. He played behind the two strikers, Luis Suarez and Peniel Mlapa, with most of his assists going to those two. Suarez has been the focal point of the Liverpool attack since joining the club in 2010, but in his tenth year with Liverpool, his offensive ability dwindled significantly. It was tough to imagine that this was the same player who had scored 24 and 23 goals in his last two seasons, contributing only 7 goals and some very inconsistent form this year. Thankfully for the 33 year old, German World Cup 2018 hero, Peniel Mlapa, picked up the slack and scored 17 goals. In fact, Liverpool were the top offensive team in the country with 82 goals, but the goals were spread through a bunch of players, mostly in the midfield.

In addition to Weiss’ 8 goals, Brazilian left winger Douglas Costa contributed 9 goals and Austrian central midfielder David Alaba 7 goals, with Costa delivering 10 assists and Alaba 6 assists, as well. It was a formidable midfield lineup, with Lucas Leiva playing enforcer behind his more creative partners – however, even Leiva was an offensive force, dishing 12 assists to go with his 3.55 TpG.

Defensively, they could have been better, although they did have some pretty good players in the back. Jack Robinson is obviously the first name that comes to mind – the 26 year old English left back is one of the best in the world at his position, and he delivered another great season, led by his 5.33 TpG. Alongside him were Nevan Subotic and Kyle Walker, both of whom also delivered solid seasons that helped guide the club to a 4th Place finish. Perhaps Liverpool’s best young prospect is also a defender – Mathias Buisson did not feature a lot, but he is widely regarded as a central defender with great potential. Behind the back four was the ever present Jose Manuel Reina, Liverpool’s starting GK for the past fifteen seasons. The 37 year old continues to be at the top of his game, and has already earned his mark as a legend for the club.

On paper, Liverpool still look like the weakest of the top six clubs, and after just one year, Brian McDermott has left to take over Nigel Adkins former job with the English national team. They have shown an incredible ability to achieve a lot more of what is expected of them, however, and they have an owner that is willing to spend. Vladimir Weiss has become a world superstar, and Jack Robinson is one of the best defenders on the planet, and behind them, it is not impossible that Liverpool continue to maintain their top four position next season.

Manchester City (2020: 5th – 2019: 4th)

MANAGER: Simon Grayson

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Hulk

OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Kevin Hofman, Erick Torres, Connor Wickham, Obinna Okoronkwo, Vincent Kompany, Abdelkader Sassi, Sabino Cavallari

PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Daniel Cook

OVERVIEW: This was another season of disappointment for Manchester City, whose salary payroll of a mind-boggling £140,000,000 was not enough to earn them a Champions League spot for next season. The club started the season with Frank de Boer as their manager, but he was fired in January, and they ended the season with Simon Grayson in charge of the club. Grayson is their fourth manager in three years, as the club continues to struggle to find the form that won it the English Premier League under Alan Shearer in 2016.

In Hulk, the club has one of the most complete and talented footballers on the planet despite his 33 years of age, and it was another fine season from the Brazilian this year. He scored 12 goals and delivered 12 assists, as well, averaging 2.86 TpG and 2.59 DpG as a striker. The World Cup 2014 Best Player did all he could for the club, but he had little help up front, which is why the club brought in Obinna Okoronkwo and Connor Wickham to help him as he enters the final phase of his career. The 26 year old Nigerian, Okoronkwo, set the Premier League on fire with Fulham in 2017/18, scoring 22 goals, but failed to impress in Ukraine after he moved to Shakhtar in 2018. Manchester City acquired him for £19,500,000, but his return of only 9 league goals were lower than expected. Their acquisition of Wickham in the January window, however, was a success – the former Sunderland player cost them £17,250,000, and although he only scored 3 goals in 15 appearances, he handed out 10 assists and was very solid for them in the second half of the season.

Manchester City’s midfield has perhaps the most young, raw talent of any midfield in the Premier League. Led by 26 year old Dutchman Kevin Hofman, who scored 8 goals and had 11 assists, they are the backbone of the squad. Their 27 year old Mexican attacking midfielder Erick Torres had his finest season in a Man City shirt, scoring 14 goals to go with 8 assists. Their brightest prospect, 23 year old Italian Sabino Cavallari, also had a good season, recording 8 goals, 7 assists, and a fantastic 4.13 TpG. An Italian international already, Cavallari has displayed great all around ability, and has provided great defensive cover in addition to his offensive game. Combined with the rest of his midfield colleagues, they are as good as any on their best day, and showcased that talent this season.

Captain Vincent Kompany was one of the finest central defenders in the Premier League in recent years, but he turned 34 years old this season and there was a noticeable dip in his skills. His TpG dipped to 2.56, and he only recorded a 7.07 AR. There was reason for optimism, however, as both young full backs had the best seasons of their career. Abdelkader Sassi had 5.66 TpG to go with his 7.23 AR – considering he is only 24 years old, the Tunisian looks set to be one of Man City’s back four for many years to come. At right back, there was 22 year old Englishman Daniel Cook, who averaged 4.29 TpG to go with his 7.07 AR. Not much was known about the youngster before this season, but he came up big for the club and made the right back position his own.

With the obvious decline in skills of some of their biggest names, Manchester City can no longer avoid the inevitable – their inflated salary payroll coupled with their aging stars means that this team has to take a long, hard look at its squad and begin to reshuffle. There is enough talent in the midfield, and the back has some promising players, but who will score the goals? Okoronkwo needs to start delivering the goods, and Wickham has to perform if they are to find their way back to Champions League contention.

Chelsea (2020: 6th – 2019: 2nd)

MANAGER: Frank de Boer

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Sergio Aguero

OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Elber Escobar, Diego Benitez, Romelu Lukaku, Soudi Muba, Sime Vrsaljko, Abdel El Kaoutari, Etienne Capoue

PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Abdou Kierna

RETIRING PLAYERS: Gary Cahill

OVERVIEW: Finishing in 6th Place after capturing 2nd Place in 2018/19 was certainly a hug disappointment for the club and its supporters this season, but a lot of the blame can be placed on the Chelsea owner and board themselves. After leading them to 2nd Place last season in his first year in charge of the club, Hristo Stoichkov was promptly let go in November 2019 after a relatively rough start to the season, replaced by Qatari manager Ibrahim Abdullah Al-Ghanim. That was not the end of it, however – Frank de Boer replaced the former Chelsea coach just three months later, despite having a 61% winning percentage and getting Chelsea to play some pleasant attacking football. The chaos that surrounded the club throughout the season was certainly the main reason they underachieved, and Frank de Boer will have to right the ship next season.

In the midst of all the chaos was another outstanding season from the legendary Sergio Aguero. The former World Footballer of the Year is one of the greats, and althogugh at the age of 32, he no longer dominates the game the way he used to, he still produced several moments of magic enroute to scoring 17 goals for his club. He also finally has someone to play alongside him of considerable talent, as Romelu Lukaku has done for the past two seasons. He scored 16 goals and delivered 5 assists, and the 27 year old Belgian striker has finally begun to live up to the potential he showed as a youngster.

Ettien Capoue and the fantastic Soudi Muba led the midfield, with Capoue equaling his career high of 9 assists while playing 37 games. He had an outstanding 86% Pass Ratio and 3.90 TpG. The 24 year old Congolese Muba, playing in his second season for the club, had a good season, averaging 4.15 TpG along with 5 assists. He easily is one of the most talented at the club, and Chelsea have themselves a real gem. Diego Benitez, whom the club signed for £19,000,000 during the January transfer window, also has bags of ability. The 23 year old Argentinean will be expected to replace Capoue as the Frenchman ages.

Defensively, Chelsea have some fantastic players. Elbor Escobar, the 26 year old Colombian, had another great season for the club, and has easily become one of the best at his position in the league. He scored 6 goals and recorded 4 MotM as a central defender, and his 7.27 AR was his finest in the three years he has been with the club. Since coming to the club in 2016, Abdel el Katouri has provided stability and solid play at the left back position, and this season was no different. He had 3.97 TpG and 7.11 AR, the same AR he has recorded in three of his four seasons at the club. At right back sat Sime Vrsaljko, one of the most important players on the team. The 28 year old Croatian completed his seventh season with the club, giving out 4 assists along with his great 5.21 TpG. Backing both him and Escobar was new signing, and possibly the most gifted youngster on the team, Abdou Kierna. The 22 year old Burkinabe is equally comfortable as right back or central defender, and he will look to play a prominent role next season.

Frank de Boer certainly has a lot of pedigree – he led Holland to the World Cup 2010 Finals, and won the Dutch Eridivisie three times with Ajax. In his one full season with Bayern Munich, he also restored glory to the club and led them to the Bundesliga title in 2017. However, this is his third job in England in the past three years, and with Arsenal and Manchester City, he did not manage to find the success he had been used to previously in his career. Perhaps third time is the charm, because there is too much talent on this team not to be competing not only for a Champions League spot, but also for the Premier League title.

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Overall Team of the Year

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Making great progress with Bromely :thup:

I'm amazed that a 33 year old Hulk was Manchester Citys key player though.

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Making great progress with Bromely :thup:

I'm amazed that a 33 year old Hulk was Manchester Citys key player though.

Thanks! The Big Six are going to be real hard to breakup though, especially on my wage budget. As for Hulk, he didnt have as great a season as his last two, but he certainly was Man City's finest!

Your doing awesome

Thanks! I should have the La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, and Ligue 1 updates up by the end of the day, followed by the Bromley Season Preview!

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SPANISH LA LIGA REVIEW 2019/2020

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Overview

Player StatsTeam Salary per AnnumTransfers - Past Winners

Footballer of the Year: Alexis Sanchez, Barcelona

Goalkeeper of the Year: Sergio Asenjo, Atletico Madrid

Manager of the Year: Roberto Mancini, Barcelona (Champions)

Barcelona (2020: Champions – 2019: 2nd)

MANAGER: Roberto Mancini

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Gylfi Sigurdsson

OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Alan Dzagoev, Alexis Sanchez, Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique, Alfred Kalu,

PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Romuald Mballa

OVERVIEW: After giving up the Spanish La Liga title to Real Madrid in 2019, Roberto Mancini and Barcelona recaptured it this season, signing the decade off as the most dominant force club football had ever seen. Although there is no denying that they simply are not as good as they once were, they are still amongst the best in the world, and this season, they were the best in Spain. Mancini has done a fantastic job of replacing legend Pep Guardiola, and although critic will point to the fact that he has only won a single Champions League trophy since taking over, there is no denying he has become one of the most decorated managers in history, and he won the La Liga Manager of the Year for the fourth time this season.

For the second season in a row, Gylfi Sigurdsson was voted as the club’s Player of the Year. The 30 year old Icelandic midfielder scored 11 goals to go with his 8 assists and remarkable 7.87 AR. In truth, it could have gone to anyone of their midfield maestros, but Sigurdsson’s effort and sheer work rate on the pitch has endeared to him to the Barcelona faithful. Alongside him was one of the legends of the game, Chilean Alexis Sanchez – the 31 year old was having a career season until strained knee ligaments ruled him out of the last two months of the season. He ended up scoring 17 goals in 27 appearances, and his 8.09 AR was a career high, as well. Alan Dzagoev was his usual best, and the 30 year old Russian set a new career high with 14 assists to along with his 12 goals and 7.88 AR. Cesc Fabregas might have turned 33 years old during the season, and his assists numbers dipped from 11 to 3, but he was still a meaningful contributor, as his 7.48 AR suggests. Rounding up what has been possibly the best midfield in the world for the past few years was, of course, the undeniable Lionel Messi. Despite being one of the top five footballers of all-time, possibly top three, one can only imagine what he would have been had he not had so many injuries to deal with. What is known is that he is possibly the most decorated player of all-time on the club level – simply no one has won the number of individual and team awards this man has been awarded. While his pace has pretty much been robbed from him, at the age of 33, he continues to be one of the focal points of this incredible Barcelona team.

Barcelona does not only have legends in its midfield – Gerard Pique can certainly stake his claim to being one of the finest central defenders of all-time. The 33 year old Spanish international was sublime this season, recording a 7.93 AR, 5.57 TpG, and an incredible 91% Pass Ratio. Even as he ages, one would be hard pressed to find a better player at his position in the world. Alongside him at right back was £21,00,000 signing Alfred Kalu – the 25 year old Nigerian lived up to his large price tag, and delivered a very solid season for his new club. He averaged 4.45 TpG and 7.66 AR, performing better than any other right back in the league and earning himself a spot on the 2020 La Liga Team of the Year.

Perhaps the one concerning issue for Barcelona is there seemingly lack of superstar talent coming through their youth ranks. Their hottest prospect remains 22 year old French striker Romuald Mballa, but other than that, there is no one that really grabs the attention. Their main players are still in their prime, and Barcelona will remain one of the strongest teams in the world with its core intact for the next few years, but what about after that?

Malaga (2020: 3rd – 2019: 3rd)

MANAGER: Roberto Donadoni

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Thiago

OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Facundo Ferreyra, Anthony Mounier, Zdravko Kuzmanovic, Hector Mpile

PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Eduardo

RETIRING PLAYERS: Pedro Leon

OVERVIEW: Hard as it is to imagine, but Roberto Donadoni continued to shock and impress critics around the country, leading Malaga past the former champions Real Madrid into 2nd Place this season. It was a remarkable achievement, and Malaga joined Villareal and Atletico Madrid as the only three teams to finish second to either Barcelona or real Madrid since 2005. The 57 year old has become one of the most respected managers in the game because of the job he has done at the club.

It is no coincidence that Malaga’s fortunes changed for the better since 29 year old striker Facundo Ferreyra joined the club in January of 2016. Since then, he has gone to lead the club in goals scored for four seasons in a row, scoring 18 league goals last year after scoring 20+ the previous three seasons. A torn groin muscle ruled him out for five weeks in October, and broken cheekbone for four weeks in February, effectively slashing out two months of his season, leaving him with 29 appearances. His partner up front, the 22 year old Brazilian Eduardo, had somewhat of an offseason, scoring only 8 goals after hitting 13 in 2018/19. Still, his talent is undeniable, and is Malaga’s brightest young star.

The midfield is where the heart of this team is, and this season, it was former Barcelona youth product Thiago who really stepped up his game. The 29 year was voted Malaga’s Player of the Year after equaling his career high of 6 goals and recording a new career high of 13 assists, earning his first La Liga Team of the Season selection. Alongside him was the ever present captain of the club, Zdravko Kuzmanovic – the 32 year old Serbian completed his ninth season with the club recording a career high with 9 assists. Since joining the club in 2011, he has never appeared in less than 33 games, and has been one of the most durable and consistent players in the La Liga throughout the decade. For the third straight season, Anthony Mounier recorded double digits in assists, dishing out 11 of them along with 7 goals despite turning 33 years old. The Frenchman also set a career-high with a 7.37 AR, and although his future at the club was very much in doubt at the end of the season, he was one of their best players during it.

In the back, Malaga brought in Equatorial Guinea defender Hector Mpile for £5,750,000 from Lyonnais at the beginning of the season, and he proved to be a bargain buy. He contributed 7 assists while averaging 4.30 TpG and 7.25 AR. While Malaga were not especially astute defensively, having conceding 45 goals, Mpile did play well for them down the stretch and looks to be their star defender for years to come.

Donadoni’s achievements with the club cannot be denied – the club has done wonderfully to finish in the top four in the La Liga table for the past five seasons, and with their manager remaining at its helm, it is a bad bet to go against them. Their wage budget was the sixth highest in the La Liga, but it was still below £40,000,000. Another top four place is very likely with the core of the team intact, but if Donadoni can bring in some talented new blood, perhaps they can also make some noise in the Champions League as they did in 2018/19 when they reached the Quarter-Finals of the competition.

Real Madrid (2020: 2nd – 2019: Champions)

MANAGER: Jose Mourinho

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Gonzalo Higuan

OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Mattia Maffi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, Kwadwo Asamoah, Nicolas Nkoulou, Marcelo, Moussa Sissoko

PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Alex

OVERVIEW: Jose Mourinho completed his eleventh year with the club this season, but disappointingly, failed to defend their La Liga title. Only in Real Madrid could three La Liga titles and two Champions League titles in a decade be viewed as a disappointment, but somehow, that’s how the fickle Real Madrid faithful have begun to view Mourinho’s tenure. The fact that they not only finished behind Barcelona but also behind Malaga this season only added to the frustration, which was surprising because of almost all the season, and statistically as well, Madrid were the second best team in Spain.

The aging Cristiano Ronaldo has been called the fifth best player of all-time, and his career has been nothing short of remarkable. He has earned 155 caps for his nation of Portugal, scoring a phenomenal 99 goals, and has seen both fantastic club and individual success. Now 35 years old, this was the first season since 2006/07 with Manchester United that he did not record double digits in goals scored, having scored 9 goals only. He did record a career high 8 assists, but there was no denying that he had entered the twilight of his career. He still holds the record of most expensive footballer of all-time, which was set in 2009 when Real Madrid acquired him from Manchester United for a staggering £80,000,000. His partner up front, Argentinean Gonzalo Higuan, won Real Madrid’s Player of the Year award this season, a prize that was synonymous with the Portuguese previously. The 32 year old scored 16 goals and recorded 9 assists, a career-high. He has been at the club for fourteen years now, and has been one of its most reliable players, so much so that he has become a legend of the club.

A stable of Mourinho’s Real Madrid team has always been a strong midfield, and he continued to strengthen the backbone of his team with the £21,500,000 acquisition of Mattia Maffi from Sampdoria. The 24 year old Italian international left winger has got speed out of this world, and although his first season with Real Madrid was inconsistent, his potential and talent equal his pace. Simply put, he could be the best player the club has in a few years.

Valencia (2019: 4th – 2019: 8th)

MANAGER: Stefano Pioli

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Giuliano

OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Diego Alves, Juanpe, Miguel Sanchez, Jawad Afkir

PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Samir Saifi

OVERVIEW: After coming in 3rd Place in 2010/11, Valencia failed to crack the top four for the remainder of the decade. Didier Deschamps was the sixth manager in eight years to be sacked by the club when he was let go in January of 2019, and he was replaced by current manager, Stefano Pioli. Under the Italian, the club finished in 4th Place for the first time in ten years, and will finally see the Champions League football that new owner (he bought the club in 2016) Olga Matalobos Diaz is so badly seeking.

There really is no doubt about who was the club’s most important player this year, or indeed, the past few years. Brazilian midfielder Giuliano has been the heartbeat of the squad since joining in 2013, and the 30 year old posted a career high of 7.53 AR this season. A terrific all-around player, he contributed 5 goals, 7 assists, and was awarded 6 MotMs this season. He has become a legend of the club, and rightfully so. Playing ahead of him on the frontline were youngsters Jawad Afkir and Miguel Sanchez. The 24 year old Afkir scored 11 goals, and his performances this season also earned him his first call-ups to the Moroccan national team. As for Sanchez, the 25 year old Venezuelan led the team in scoring with 17 goals, and formed a potent strike force with his partner up front. Samir Saifi turned 24 at the end of the season, and if the club decide to keep hold of the Algerian, they will have a meaningful season from him next year.

A big part of their success was the performances of 29 year old defender Juanpe – bought for £7,250,000 from Real Sociedad, he averaged 4.23 TpG in his first season for Valencia. Behind him was the ever present Diego Alves between the sticks, who had 9 clean sheets. He was the 2017 La Liga GK of the Year, and was Valencia’s Player of the Year the following season, and he remains one of their best. The manager has turned around the fortunes of the club, it seems, and although they might not have as much talent as the top three on paper, they do have very capable players. Now that they have cracked the top four, they will do everything to ensure they stay there.

Other Notables

Atletico Madrid, which came in 5th Place, also had a few outstanding players in its ranks this season. The most notable was Adem Ljajic, who has been one of the best players in the La Liga the past few seasons. There was also the La Liga’s Top Goalscorer, Chinese striker Hu Yang, playing for the club, who hit an outstanding 25 goals in only 28 appearances this season. Sergio Asenjo was crowned the GK of the Year – the 30 year old had his best season to date and won the award for the first time in his career…..The other notable was Manchester United’s loanee Antonio Vazquez Martinez – the 21 year old hit 23 goals for Osusana, who finished in 11th Place.

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Overall Team of the Year

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Any chance of seeing what Santarcangelo are up to?

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Any chance of seeing what Santarcangelo are up to?

Not much to report! They were in the Serie C2/A - finishing 12th in 2011/12, and getting relegated after finishing 18th in 2012/13! Unfortunately, thats the lowest Italian league I have loaded - Giuseppe Angelini is still the manager, although they received a new chairman (Promotion from Within), with Nicolas Nettis replacing Alessandro di Marco in July of 2018. Other than that, not a whole lot going on! Let me know if you want any screenies :)

Good european qualification.

Yes, the FA Cup was a great win, and we made it to Europe thanks to it!

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SERIE A REVIEW 2019/2020

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Overview

Player StatsTeam Salary per AnnumTransfers - Past Winners

Footballer of the Year: Felipe Anderson, Inter Milan

Foreign Player of the Year: Felipe Anderson, Inter Milan

Italian Player of the Year: Dario Mazzoleni, Inter Milan

Fans’ Player of the Year: Felipe Anderson, Inter Milan

Goalkeeper of the Year: Emiliano Viviano, Inter Milan

Defender of the Year: Stefan Bell, Inter Milan

Young Player of the Year: Xaropinho, AC Milan

Manager of the Year: Daniel Fortunato, Genoa

Inter Milan (2020: Champions – 2019: Champions)

MANAGER: Nicolas Frustalupi

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Felipe Gutierrez

OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Emiliano Viviano , Felipe Anderson, Stefan Bell, Dario Mazzoleni, Daniel Correa, Suso

PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Giacomo Machetti

OVERVIEW: In the six full seasons that Frustalupi has been in charge of Inter Milan, the club has won the Serie A title five times, including this season. Their success this year marked their third consecutive title win, and credit must go to Nicolas Frustalupi for keeping their success going for so long. Easily the best Italian team of the decade, they have also become arguably the most complete team in the world, molded in the image of their manager, with a team first, personal glory second attitude.

Their strike force has always been about rotation since Frustalupi took over, and this season was no different. There was no standout star, as usual, but it was easy to see who had the most talent. Daniel Correa, the 24 year old Uruguayan, led the team with 13 goals in only 21 appearances, and in typical fashion, he scored some of the most important goals for the club. His 7.37 AR was his highest since joining the club in 2017.

While it is very difficult to spot a weakness in this team, its strongest part is very easy to find. Inter Milan’s midfield rivals that of any team, led by 27 year old Brazilian superstar, Felipe Anderson. He was named the Serie A Player of the Year for the first time in his career, setting career-highs with 13 goals and a 7.58 AR. He added 13 assists, as well, and there was no better player in the league this season. Inter Milan’s Player of the Year was Felipe Gutierrez – the 29 year Chilean was absolutely fantastic, tying his career-high with 8 goals and setting new ones with 20 assists, 11 MotMs, and a 7.68 AR. Anderson and Gutierrez where third and second, respectively, in the Serie A in AR, and Gutierrez’s 20 assists were second only to Sampdoria’s Giacomo Bonaventura’s 24 assists. The leader in AR in the league was their teammate, 23 year old rising Italian star Dario Mazzoleni, with 7.65 – he also contributed 14 assists. The young right winger won the Serie A Italian Player of the Year, and he is arguably Italy’s brightest young talent. Rounding off the midfield was Suso, the 26 year old scored 9 goals and dished out 8 assists from the left wing position, averaging 3.11 DpG.

Inter Milan paid Strum Graz £4,700,000 for 21 year old central defender Giacomo Machetti, and after one season with the club, he has become one of their finest young players. It does not hurt playing alongside one of the finest defenders on the planet in Stefan Bell, who the Serie A Defender of the Year award for the third consecutive year, tying Chiellini and Nesta for winning the award the most times in a row. Along with Serie A GK of the Year, Emiliano Viviano, they formed the Serie A’s best defense, conceding only 31 goals.

The team’s stars are in their prime, and their manager might be the finest in the world. Inter Milan have been one of the best teams in the world, and their midfield is arguably better than any team’s counterparts. It would be a complete shocker if they don’t retain the Serie A title for the fourth time in a row next season.

Sampdoria (2020: 2nd – 2019: 2nd)

MANAGER: Gianluca Atzori

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Giacomo Bonaventura

OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Sebastian, Prince Bediako, Julian Schieber, Iuri Medeiros, Sergio Busquests

PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Miroslav Just,

OVERVIEW: There was no surprises as to who finished 2nd Place behind Inter Milan this season – Sampdoria has clearly become the second best team in Italy, led by its second best manager, Gianluca Atzori. For the third year in a row, Sampdoria finished 2nd Place and made the Champions League, and for the third year in a row, they continued to add to their roster of talented young players.

It all starts with 21 year old Spanish forward Sebastian, who broke Sampdoria’s scoring record with 27 league goals this season, finishing as the Serie A Top Goalscorer and Runner-Up behind Jordan Ayew in the European Golden Boot award. He is so quick and powerful that he has become impossible to play for defenders, which is why this was his third straight 20+ goals season. It was his second year with Sampdoria, who had acquired him from Racing for £8,500,000 – in hindsight, the deal was an absolute bargain for the Italian club, as he is now possibly the highest rated young striker in the world. He has a great teacher to learn from in German striker Julian Schieber, who won the World Cup 2018 Best Player and Top Goalscorer awards, playing better than anyone else at the world’s greatest stage. Although his numbers have been more pedestrian at his club, the 31 year old German contribured 14 goals this season, his highest since joining Sampdoria five years ago.

It makes it a lot easier to score goals when you have Giacomo Bonaventura delivering the ball to you. The 31 year old right winger broke his own Serie A assists record, which he had set just last season, by recording a mind-boggling 24 assists this season. He was fantastic, as usual, and he was crowned Sampdoria’s Player of the Year for the second consecutive season – there is no doubt that without him, there is no way the strikers would have scored the way they did. That is not to take anything away from the other midfielders, who also had great seasons – namely, Prince Bediako. The 23 year old Ghanaian recorded a career-high 10 assists and 7.50 AR as he turned into one of the best central midfielders in the league. He was partnered by former Barcelona man Sergio Busquets – the 31 year old Spaniard had a career-high 8 assists and averaged 4.27 TpG, as well. Out on the left wing, Portuguese Iuri Medeiros handed out 4 assists and recorded a 7.17 AR, playing consistently throughout the season.

The back is perhaps where Sampdoria needed the most help, although they did concede only 37 goals, good enough for second best in the Serie A behind Inter Milan. The problem was, they just did not have any standout performers or someone they could truly rely on to hold the back line together. However, the emergence of 22 year old Miroslav Just could change all that. Although he still is not a finished product, he showed enough ability to give the Sampdoria faithful hope that he could turn into their version of Stefan Bell. The Czech averaged 4.73 TpG in his limited appearances, and given a full time starting role, he could do a lot better.

Sampdoria have more talent than any other team in the league, including Inter Milan, up front, but they are not their rivals’ equal in the middle of the pitch and especially not so in the back. If Atzori can find a way to beef up his backline, then they have a chance of repeating the heroics of 2017, when they captured the Serie A title.

AC Milan (2020: 3rd – 2019: 4th)

MANAGER: Carlo Ancelotti

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Xaropinho

OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Pato, Miralem Pjanic, Maicon, Mattia Casagrande

PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Adebayo Temile

RETIRING PLAYERS: Ignazio Abate

OVERVIEW: Before Carlo Ancelotti took over as manager of AC Milan in December of 2015, the club was on a free-fall, having finished 12th Place the season before. Ancelotti led them to 8th Place in 2015/16 after being in charge for half a season, but since then, the club has not finished below 4th Place. They were third this year behind two superior teams, but given the status of the Italian giants just a few years ago, their final position was satisfactory.

AC Milan’s Player of the Year was undoubtedly towering Brazilian striker Xaropinho. The 23 year old, and former Serie A Player of the Year, was again crowned the Serie A Young Player of the Year, leading AC Milan with 20 goals. He is one of the brightest stars in the world, and one of the most talented footballers on the planet. Simply put, there is no other footballer like him – he is second to none in the air, being 6’7 and all, but his technical prowess on the ground is as good as any other player, too. His partner up front, fellow Brazilian and former wonderkid Pato, had a decent season, scoring 11 goals and recording a 7.14 AR. Both were his highest since 2016/17, and although he never lived up to his potential, he remains a meaningful contributor to the team. His eventual replacement will be 22 year old Adebayo Temile – the Nigerian was bought for £6,000,000 this season, and scored 8 goals.

Behind them, in the attacking midfield position, was Miralem Pjanic. The 30 year old Bosnian completed his second season with AC Milan (he came for £12,750,000 from Roma) recording 6 goals, 9 assists, and 732 AR. Perhaps the club’s second most important player, we was the creative force on the squad. Anchoring the midfield was 23 year old Brazilian Maicon – he did not score any goals all season, but his contributions were great, nonetheless. He recorded 9 assists and averaged 4.97 TpG, had an 85% Pass Ratio, and recorded a 7.45 AR. He has earned the reputation as one of the best anchor midfielders in the world, and it was completely deserved.

Defensively, the squad could have done better, conceding 42 goals – although that was good enough to be the fourth best defense in the Serie A, it is not good enough to compete with the top two teams. Their hope in the back lays with 24 year old Italian Mattia Casagrande – he was bought from Torino for £14,500,000 at the beginning of the season, and did well, averaging 4.25 TpG. He was inconsistent at times, highlighted by his 6.92 AR, but he has shown the ability the AC Milan paid that big sum for.

If Ancelotti can address his issues at the back, then AC Milan has a real shot of at least pushing Sampdoria for second place. As it stand, AC Milan are clearly the third best team in Italy, but still lack the talent to be considered in the same tier as the two teams that finished above it.

Catania (2020: 4th – 2019: 5th)

MANAGER: Gaetano Auteri

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Marco Veratti

OTHER IMPORTANT PLAYERS: Mariano Andujar, Claudiu Bumba, Essam Ragab

PROMISING YOUNG PLAYERS: Anass Hadir

OVERVIEW: Manager Gaetano Auteri has been in charge of the club for two seasons now, and both seasons Catania has shown remarkable improvement. They finished in 5th Place in 2018/19 after finishing in 8th Place the previous season, and they just missed out on Champions League spot this season, finishing in 4th Place. Still, what Auteri has done with the players at his disposal has been nothing short of extraordinary, and credit has to go to the 58 year old Italian for his work with the club.

Essam Ragab was their main threat up front, scoring 11 goals in 24 appearances for Catania. The 25 year old Egyptian, a central part of a new generation of extremely talented Egyptian players, completed his second season with the club amongst much hype of becoming one of the most dangerous players in the Serie A.

The club’s Player of the Year for the third consecutive season was 27 year old Italian midfielder, Marco Verratti. His 7.38 AR was a career-high in the Serie A for the player, contributing 6 goals and 8 assists, while winning 6 MotMs. Alongside him was 26 year old Romanian left winger Claudiu Bumba, who contributed 3 goals of his own.

Perhaps Catania’s strongest position was all the way in the back, between the posts – their starting GK this season was 36 year old Mariano Andujar, who conceded 20 goals in 19 appearances and had a fantastic 7.31 AR. He shared his time with the club’s GK of the future, 23 year old Moroccan international, Anass Hadir. Bought at the beginning of the season for £625,000, he has proven to be an absolute bargain, and will be Andujar’s replacement sooner rather than later.

Catania overachieved this season in breaking into the top four, but now that they have reached this level, they will be keen to stay there. It is unclear if they have enough talent to repeat their feat, but they do have fantastic manager leading them.

Other Notables

Roma, who were bought by an Israeli tycoon this season, finished in 5th thanks to their defensive duo of Hugo and Tchamdja Houessou. Both players are 23 year old and are amongst the finest defenders in the Serie A already…..Napoli, who finished in 11th, got a fantastic season from Marko Petkovic. The Serbian international recorded 8 assists and 8 MotMs, averaging a 7.30 AR…..Mamadou Kone was bought by Bari for £2,300,000 at the beginning of the season, and rewarded them by giving them a Team of the Year season. The 22 year old Ivory Coast central defender averaged 4.19 TpG and had an 82% Pass Ratio, recording a 7.29 AR.

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Overall Team of the Year

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GERMAN BUNDESLIGA 2019/2020 REVIEW

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Player StatsTeam Salary per AnnumTransfers - Past Winners

Player of the Year: Amoroso, Bayern Munich

GK of the Year: Ron-Robert Zieler, Hannover

Defender of the Year: Alex Sandro, Wolfsburg

Midfielder of the Year: Matthieu Dossevi, Hoffenheim

Striker of the Year: Kruno Ivancic, Bayern Munich

Manager of the Year: Marco Pezzaiouli, Bayern Munich (Champions)

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Bundesliga Team of All-Time

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Bromley 2020/2021 Preview

Overview

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General InformationFacilitiesDomestic League History

Board Expectation: Top Half Finish - Transfer Budget: £28,730,000 - Wage Budget: £523,893 (Current: £343,048) - Bank Balance: £50,036,636

Last season was relatively successful for the club, as we finished in 7th Place and won the FA Cup for the second time in three years. That ensured us of Europa League action, and I was looking forward to trying to best our Second Knockout Round exit in 2018/19. The squad was the youngest out of any in the big leagues around Europe, and I was keen to make sure our youths continued to get the best training they could, and the board agreed with me. They accepted my proposal to enhance our Youth Facilities, and come September, they will be ready.

There was a lot of movement on the transfer market, and for the first time, it was mostly players exiting the club. I cashed in on a bunch of youngsters I had bought cheaply, as I felt they were not going to be able to become good enough to compete for a place at the club. The scouts were all given new assignments, and hopefully they will be able to produce some quality this coming year. Otherwise, it was business as usual, with a very exciting season ahead of us.

Transfer

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IN

For the first time in four seasons, we did not break our transfer record! Although, honestly, it was not from a lack of effort, either. Anyway, I was happy with the players we bought in this summer, the most expensive of which was Steve Rahn. Other than that, we managed to acquire some very exciting prospects, the best of which, I believe, were Drazen Sovina, Matteo Benetti, and Alexandre Silva. The other acquisitions were Leonardo, Angelo Mendez, and Janusz Matuszek.

OUT

There was lots of activity here, the most prominent of which was the departure of starting midfielder Gaucho. I sold him with a heavy heart, but Chelsea’s £15,000,000 + future incentives was tough to reject. Left back Nicolas Mancini was another I was not especially keen on selling, but considering I had bought him in on Free Transfer just a few months back and the fact that I had some talented young men coming up at the left back position, £8,000,000 from Arsenal was good deal. Jan Hendrik Ihm was not a popular sale, although I did not see him getting the playing time he would want this season with the emergence of Fernandez and the signings of the talented Sovina and Benetti, so £5,000,000 for a player I paid £1,000,000 for was a great deal. Stilian Simu left to Chelsea for £3,500,000 – I had originally bought the Romanian for £450,000, and he wanted first team football I could not provide, so off he went. Elsewhere, all my sales were of youngsters who I had bought for less than what I sold them for. The board should be happy, as I raked him £45,000,000 in sales this summer, and only spent £17,000,000!

Players

GOALKEEPERS

Tricio: His second year with the club was a vast improvement over the first – he conceded only 32 goals after conceding 52 previously, and he recorded 16 clean sheets to go with his 6.96 AR. He earned his first cap for Brazil, no easy feat, and the 22 year old is truly on his way to become one of the finest GKs in the world. One of the club’s most important players.

Development: 2018 - 20192020.

DEFENDERS

DL : Manuel Roubaund: Although his talents are better suited for the left wing position, and it is where he is likely to end up playing, there is no denying that he is equally as good playing left back. Once Mancini came on in January, Roubaund was relegated to backup for those two positions, but he continued to have a very strong season. The 18 year old ended up with 22 appearances and 5 assists, recording a 7.04 AR. Now that Mancini has been sold to Arsenal, the Frenchman will retain his place as starting left back, and considering the success he had last year, he should do well this season, as well.

Development: 20192020

DC : Alexandre: Four years into his Bromley career, the 22 year old Brazilian produced his finest season, and was a key reason why the club was the second best defensive team in the Premier League last year. His 7.07 AR was a career-high, as were his 4 goals and 4 MotMs. Although his 2.94 TpG remains lower than what is expected, his improvement through the past three seasons has been very notable, and he has proven to be a very capable central defender.

Development: 2017201820192020.

DC : Tete: The 21 year old Brazilian bounced back from a horrific injury that ruled him out of action for eight months in good fashion, putting it behind him and playing 30 games for the club in the league this season. He recorded 6.96 AR, and although his 2.42 TpG was underwhelming, the fact that he was able to play at the highest level was encouragement enough. This year, however, he is expected to build on last season and show noticeable improvement if he is to maintain his position as a starter.

Development: 201820192020

DR : Kieran Holland: Bromley Youth Academy’s golden boy, and no locally bred player means more to the club other than Elliot Law. The 19 year old right back is the club’s pride and joy, and the finest the youth academy has ever produced. He appeared in 36 games last season, recording a 6.94 AR and 2.77 TpG, both reasonable but unspectacular numbers that he is expected to improve upon. Holland has the potential to be an English international, and his development continues to be encouraging. What he lacks in pace he makes up for in mental toughness and intelligence.

Development: 2017201820192020.

MIDFIELDERS

ML : Lukas Kubik: In his third season with the club, Kubik responded to accusations that he had regressed as a footballer to provide his best year in his career. His 12 assists, 5 MotMs, and 7.15 AR were all career-highs as he became comfortable with his position at left wing. He was easily one of the club’s most important players, and the 22 year old Czech international will again be relied upon to be one of the team’s leaders in assists.

Development: 2017201820192020.

MC : Porvaldur Magnusson: After two seasons of underachievement, the 24 year old Icelandic midfielder finally provided a respectable season for the club in the Premier League. His 6.92 AR was easily his highest since the club started competing in world’s best domestic league, and he provided 5 assists as well. Although he made some noise about wanting to move to what he said to be “bigger clubs”, that died down when the squad won the FA Cup and qualified for Europe.

Development: 20152016201720182020.

MC : Celso: The sale of Gaucho has thrown 19 year old Brazilian Celso right into the starting lineup – there is no guarantee that he is ready for such a step, but the £1,000,000 signing is going to get his chance this season. He showed small hints of potential in his limited appearances last year, but he will not be replacing Gaucho’s defensive ability any time soon. Instead, the hope is that he will be able to provide more of an attacking threat than his Brazilian counterpart gave.

Development: 20192020.

MR : Gilmar: His third season with the club was also his best, as he recorded 7.00 AR to go along with his career-high 8 assists. Still, with his kind of raw ability and potential, those respectable numbers should be considered an underachievement. The good news is the Brazilian is still only 21 years old and still getting better. Expect him to produce more spectacularly in this upcoming season. Easily the squad’s most gifted player technically, and is amongst the fastest players in the world.

Development: 2017201820192020.

FORWARDS

F : Eduardo Fernandez: The 21 year old Uruguayan had a rough first year in the Premier League, but the club did not pay a record £15,000,000 to watch it go to waste. The talent is clearly there, it just a matter of putting it to use on the pitch. His return of 6 goals in only 19 appearances was low, and obviously, a lot more is expected of him. He has the full faith of the manager, however, who has sold Ihm and given him full starting privileges.

Development: 20192020

F : Emmanuel Musa: The club captain and Bromley’s Player of the Year for the third consecutive season, and it was by far his finest of his career. In 31 appearances, the 22 year old German scored 16 goals and his 7.09 AR was the highest he had recorded in the Premier League. He earned his first cap for Germany, as well – the striker had developed into one of the better at his position in the league throughout the year. He is the club’s most important player, and will be relied upon even more heavily this upcoming season.

Development: ]20162017201820192020.

SUBSTITUTES

GK : Brian Barrett: The talk about the 20 year old potentially being the next David Seaman has died down, but he still remains the club’s No.2, and a decent one at that. He’s never going to replace Tricio as the starting GK, but he is capable when called up.

Development: 20192020

DC : Mario Ortega: He has not quite panned out the way he was expected when he was bought for £6,250,000 two seasons ago – he only appeared in 9 games last season, and will be hoping for a more meaningful contribution this year. The 20 year old Mexican does well when he is called upon, and recorded 3.61 TpG last season.

Development: 201820192020

DC : Ranier Rummenigge: The club’s hottest prospect, this 18 year old central defender featured in 24 games last season, and was possibly Bromley’s best at the position. Although his 2.38 TpG was low, he had the highest AR at 7.18 of all the defenders. He might fight his way to a starting position before long, and it could be as early as this season.

Development: 20192020

MC : Stefan Rahn: Bought for £7,500,000 from HSV, the 24 year old German midfielder might replace Celso in the starting position if the Brazilian cannot handle the pressure. He’s very good on the defensive end, and might contribute the way Gaucho did the past few seasons.

FC : Elliot Law: The former club captain, it has been said every year, but there is no way the club would have gotten to the Premier League without his contributions – he led the team from the Blue Square South into England’s top division in six years while breaking the club’s goalscoring and appearances records. He now a role model for the younger players, and the club continues to retain his services despite his limited appearances.

Development: 20152016201720182020.

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Your squad is starting to come together nicely. Good luck for the new season!

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I have some questions about Þorvaldur Magnússon. Obviously he's Icelandic but does he have England as a second nation or did he just live in England for long enough? Strange as he's the best Icelandic newgen i've seen so don't get why he wasn't picked in the Icelandic team. What academy did he come out of? Sorry for the dreadful questions just interested :p. Anyway look forward to reading more!

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Been very busy in the transfer window. I see you cashed in on Gallardo in the end. Suprised he has gone to Dortmund though. Out of interest, how is Kourouma doing after you sold him last year? Probably didn't get too many games but wondered if his attributes showed any sign of improving. I'm impressed with how Holland has been progressing over the years. Hopefully he can get a full international call up soon.

GL for the coming year :thup:

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Your squad is starting to come together nicely. Good luck for the new season!

I am relatively pleased with the players I have, although I do feel we need to get better in the center of the midfield. Although he has been performing reasonably well, I also cant see Lukas Kubik being my long term starter at left wing.

I have some questions about Þorvaldur Magnússon. Obviously he's Icelandic but does he have England as a second nation or did he just live in England for long enough? Strange as he's the best Icelandic newgen i've seen so don't get why he wasn't picked in the Icelandic team. What academy did he come out of? Sorry for the dreadful questions just interested :p. Anyway look forward to reading more!

Its strange what has happened with Porvaldur Magnusson - to answer your question first, he was a newgen with an English second nationality, who was a 2012 Youth Intake for Crewe. He actually had 3 caps for England going into this season, but he was called to the Iceland national team, and has now switched his allegiance! Currently, he now has 4 caps for Iceland - isn't there a FIFA rule against this type of thing?! Anyway, your questions were by no means dreadful, and it was a pleasure answering questions of interest in my save :)

Been very busy in the transfer window. I see you cashed in on Gallardo in the end. Suprised he has gone to Dortmund though. Out of interest, how is Kourouma doing after you sold him last year? Probably didn't get too many games but wondered if his attributes showed any sign of improving. I'm impressed with how Holland has been progressing over the years. Hopefully he can get a full international call up soon.

GL for the coming year :thup:

Well, Gallardo had magnificent technical ability, but I didnt think he would ever develop into a "complete" midfielder, which are my preference. Dortmund came in with a bid, and I figured might as well make some money off of him :)

Kieran Holland has become one of my favorite players because he is, afterall, a Bromley product, and I am really looking forward to his continued development. It has been rapid, and I really hope he gets himself some caps!

As for Cheick Kourouma, Chelsea came in with a bid, and like Gallardo, I just didnt see him developing into a player I would use. Here are a couple of links as to how his development has been:

Kourouma in 2019, just after his promotion from the Youth Academy

Kourouma at the beginning of 2021

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Andreas Iniesta – Player Profile

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NATIONAL TEAM ACHIEVEMENTS:

World Cup Winner (2010) - Runner-Up (2014)

European Championship Winner (2008, 2012, 2016)

Confederations Cup Winner (2017)

European U19 Championship (2002)

CLUB ACHIEVEMENTS:

Champions League Winner (2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016) - Runner-Up (2018, 2019)

Spanish La Liga (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018) - Runner-Up (2004, 2007, 2013, 2017, 2019)

Club World Championship (2012, 2013, 2016)

PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENTS:

Spanish La Liga Player of the Year (2009)

Spanish Player of the Year (2009, 2012) - Runner-Up (2015, 2016)

Born in Spain on May 11th, 1984, Andreas Iniesta went on to become one of the finest midfielders of his generation and possibly the best midfielder in the history of Spain. Part of the ‘Barcelona Era’ from start to finish, along with Lionel Messi, he was the only player to see it through and be part of what was the greatest club team ever assembled. The titles he won with his club and national team were second to none. He represented Spain 113 times in his career, scoring 14 goals. He spent the entirety of his club career at Barcelona, and became a legend of the club as well as Spain.

His career started began in 2002, at the age of 18, and that summer he was part of the U19 team that won the Euro U19 Championship. In 2004/05, he became a full-fledged starter at the club, never relinquishing that title until he retired in 2019. It was also the season he won his first La Liga title with Barcelona, defending it in 2006 and winning the first of his incredible six Champions League titles alongside the likes of Brazilian star Ronaldinho.

The likes of manger Pep Guardiola and stars such as Messi and Xavi were alongside Iniesta when they captured the La Liga title four times in a row between 2009 and 2014, winning the Champions League four times, as well. His performances in 2009 won him the La Liga Player of the Year, and he was also voted Spanish Player of the Year for the first time that year. He has the best season of his career in 2011/12, scoring 8 goals and recording 14 assists, 7.72 AR, and 8 MotMs. He also won the La Liga and the Champions League that year, as well, culminating his career year at the age of 28 in fantastic fashion.

He stayed at his peak for three more seasons, and in 2014/15, he recorded a career-high 10 league goals, capturing his eighth career La Liga title that season, and winning it for the third consecutive season a year later, along with his sixth and final Champions League title. He had been under Roberto Mancini since 2013, but had not missed a step since the Italian took over from Pep Guardiola. The last title he won was his tenth La Liga championship in 2017/18, retiring the year after that.

Iniesta scored 62 league goals in his career, appearing 452 for Barcelona. He was very big part of the Barcelona team that conquered all in front of it from the late 2000s to the mid-2010s, and his creativity was the sparkplug of that team. It was the same for the Spanish national team that captured the European Championship an unprecedented three times in a row between 2008 and 2016, and also was one of their best players in their World Cup 2010 campaign that ended in them winning their first title in their history. He was also part of the team that fell to Brazil in the Finals of the World Cup 2014, but his contributions were limited in that campaign. He ended his career as one of the best midfielders in the history of the sport, and as stated above, possibly the best Spain had ever produced. Although he did not win many individual awards, the titles and championships he won more than made up for it. He was a winner in every respect of the word, and won every major title football had to offer in his eighteen years with Barcelona.

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Making great strides with Bromley mate. Good luck in Europe :thup:.

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The graph on your overview screen sums up the job you've done here, really a great effort so far.

The club is also in a great position financially aswell, the future looks bright!

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Making great strides with Bromley mate. Good luck in Europe :thup:.

Thanks! Im already through to the First Knockout Round, although just barely!

The graph on your overview screen sums up the job you've done here, really a great effort so far.

The club is also in a great position financially aswell, the future looks bright!

The club's finances are very good - in fact, we've been listed as rich :) Unless I screw up the last few months, it is going to be another season we finish higher than the last!

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Hows guacho doing at Chelsea?

He's been doing well, actually! He's definitely been worth the £15,000,000 they paid for him, and they are top of the league! Here's the link to his season thus far: Gaucho

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Bromley Mid-Season Update 2020/2021

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This season has been going better than I expected, and we entered February 2021 in fourth place, in front of the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, and Liverpool. We were only one point off of Arsenal in 2nd Place, but Chelsea had built a significant lead at the top and I don’t think there is any chance of catching them, realistically. However, given the way the team has played this season, if we can finish off the year in a Champions League spot, I would be ecstatic.

Our offense has been firing on all cylinders, and I risked disturbing that balance when I sold Eduardo Fernandez to Manchester City for £15,000,000 + clauses, but I felt the player that I was going to bring in, also from Manchester City, would improve the squad. For the amount that was paid for Fernandez, I bought it Serbian striker Zoran Sedlarevic from Manchester City and Gaston Ponce from Paris Saint-Germain – Sedlarevic cost me £10,000,000 and Ponce £5,500,000. Sedlarevic became an immediate sensation, hitting Rochdale with a hat-trick in the FA Cup and scoring 3 league goals in 3 appearances in January. Needless to say, I don’t regret selling Fernandez and bringing him in, although Fernandez was having a good season for us, too – 21 Aps, 9 Goals, 7 Assists, 3 MotM, and 7.26 AR. Ponce came in at the end of the month, and has not had the chance to play yet, but he definitely shores up the talent in the midfield, something that was lacking.

Overall, I feel we are having a great season - as the youngsters continue to come of age, their talent is really beginning to show. A prime example of that has to be Manuel Roubaund, Emmanuel Musah, and Gilmar. The latter especially has been impressive, recording 6 goals, 11 assists , and 7.30 AR in 22 games. If we can keep this up, we should definitely be competing for a Champions League spot at the end of the season.

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Good to see progress after a slow first few years in the PL.

Definitely doing alot better this year - I think its the maturation of the young players as they slowly start to realize their potential thats got me in the top four so far!

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Yes, it has been! As I said before, Im very pleased with our performances this season, and the boys have really started to impress :)

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Apart from Chelsea who are running away with it, the rest of the Champions League spots look very tight.

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AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS 2021 – GHANA

Group Stages

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Quarter-Finals

Ivory Coast vs. Egypt

Len Clay Stadium, Obuasi (Att: 9,267): In a rematch of the Quarter-Finals matchup in the ANC 2019 where Egypt defeated the Ivory Coast 2-1, the West African nation was looking to exact revenge for their loss. The 2017 winners had qualified top of Group B, ahead of South Africa, conceding only 1 goal while scoring 6 goals of their own. Thierry Sanogo was not only the best performing GK in the tournament thus far, but had the highest AR of any player in the tournament with 8.10 AR, along with teammate and midfieder Jean Gouamene. Egypt struggled through their Group Stages matchups, winning only one game and qualifying in second place in Group A behind Cameroon.

It was an even match, with all three of the goals scored coming in the first half. Ivory Coast struck first through Moumouni Kone in the 14th minute, but Egypt responded with two goals – the first came from Mahmoud Ahmed in the 28th minute, and just seven minutes later, Essam Ragab hit their second. The result would stay as it is throughout the second half, and Ahmed would take him the MotM award. Although Ivory Coast were favorites in this match, it was the Egyptians who advanced to the Semi-Finals for the second straight time.

Egypt: 2 (Ahmed, Ragab)

Ivory Coast: 1 (Kone)

Cameroon vs. Ghana

Kaneshie Sports Complex, Accra (Att: 15,000): This was the most anticipated matchup of the Quarter-Finals, with defending champions Ghana facing the 2015 winners Cameroon. They faced each other in the Semi-Finals of the 2019 ANC, where Ghana defeated the Indomitable Lions 3-1 on their way to winning the entire tournament. They struggled in the Group Stages, however, winning only one game and qualifying second to Senegal in Group C. Cameroon, on the other hand, were possibly the most impressive team in the Group Stages, winning all three of their Group A matches. Vinent Aboubakar was second in the tournament with 3 goals.

Playing in front of their home crowd, Ghana managed to pull off a 2-1 victory against their rivals. Ghana had a good amount of the possession at 55%, but in reality, it was a very even and entertaining game, with both teams having a fair amount of chances. Ghanaian superstar Jordan Ayew struck first in the 20th minute, but Cameroon’s Tony Tchani equalized in the 59th minute. It took Ghana just nine minutes to retake through Prince Asante, and this time it was for good. Tchani would capture the MotM, but it was little consolation as the hosts, and the defending champions, advanced to the Semi-Finals.

Ghana: 2 (J. Ayew, Asante)

Cameroon: 1 (Tchani)

Nigeria vs. Algeria

Essipong Sports Stadium, Takoradi (Att: 11,401): These two teams faced each other in the Group Stages, and it was Algeria who came out victorious 3-1 in that Group D matchup. Algeria ended up winning all three of their matches, scoring 10 goals and conceding only 2, while Nigeria were not as impressive, scoring 6 and conceding 5 goals. Algeria has been a participant in every ANC tournament since 2012, but had never gotten past the Quarter-Finals. Nigeria, who have always been known as one of the giants of African football, have passed through one of their worst decades, getting past the Group Stages of the tournament just once, in 2017, where they lost to Burkina Faso in the Quarter-Finals.

This ended up being the most entertaining match of the Quarter-Finals, with extra-time needed to separate these two competitive teams. Things started off intensely as Algeria were gifted a penalty in the 5th minute, which Mohamd Khelifi converted. Just twelve minutes later, however, Habib Ogbonna equalized after some nice passing from the Nigerian side. The first half would end with Algeria in front, however, as Khelifi scored his second goal of the match in the 28th minute, giving him 3 total in the tournament. In the second half, Nigeria’s own star player, Julius Mohammed equalized the match in the 67th minute, making the game 2-2 as both teams tried to out-do the other. Plenty of chances were created, but it was not until the very end of the first extra time that Ogbonna found the goal for the second time, and finally gave Nigeria the 3-2 lead and victory. It was an epic battle, and for the first time in ten years, Nigeria advanced past the Quarter-Finals, meeting Egypt in the next round. Ogbonna’s performance earned him the MotM, and it was fully deserved.

Nigeria: 3 (H. Ogbonna 2, J. Mohammed)

Algeria: 2 (Khelifi 2)

Senegal vs. South Africa

Tamale Stadium, Tamale (Att: 7,609): Senegal qualified out of the tournament’s ‘Group of Death’ with an unblemished record, winning all three of their games, including one against hosts and defending champions, Ghana. Although they only scored 4 goals, they were beastly on the defensive end, conceding only 1 goal. South Africa qualified in 2nd Place in Group B, highlighted by their 5-0 destruction of Comoros in their last match, which was also their only victory in the Group Stages.

Although it was not the most entertaining of matches, it certainly was a dramatic one. How South Africa only scored one goal after 25 shots (5 were on target) were hit is surprising, but they did strike first through Tshepo Tshabalala just a couple of minutes before the end of the first half. Just four minutes after the second half started, however, Tidiane Samb, only 21 years old, scored the equalizer and would go on to win the match’s MotM award. Things would stay 1-1 all the way past the end of the second extra-time, and Senegal would finally win on penalties. South Africa, two time winners of the tournament and Finalists in 2019, failed to qualify to the Semi-Finals of the competition for the first time since 2012, while Senegal advanced to the Semi-Finals for the first time in over twelve years.

Senegal: 1 (Samb) – Senegal Won on Penalties 2-1.

South Africa: 1 (Tshabalala)

Semi-Finals

Nigeria vs. Egypt

Essipong Sports Stadium, Takoradi (Att: 20,008): The tournament’s record holders with seven title wins, Egypt, faced off against Africa’s most rejuvenated side in Nigeria, and it was Egypt who came out on top. Essam Ragab was all business, hitting a fantastic brace , but the MotM went to Hashem Mohamed, thanks to his three assists. The Nigerians were second best throughout the match, and Egypt returned to the Finals the competition for the first time since 2010.

Egypt: 3 (Ragab 2, Kamel)

Nigeria: 1 (Temile)

Ghana vs. Senegal

Kaneshie Sports Complex, Accra (Att: 15,000): The defending champions were looking to gain revenge of Senegal for their defeat of them in the Group Stages, and they were successful, although just barely. Jordan Ayew scored another goal for the hosts, equalizing in the 89th minute after Lamine N’Diaye scored just two minutes before and thought to have given Senegal the victory. The match went to penalties, and Ghana finally advanced to their second straight Finals after defeating their West African rivals.

Ghana: 2 (Yeboah, Ayew) – Ghana Won on Penalties 4-3

Senegal: 2 (Babacar, N’Diaye)

Finals

Ghana vs. Egypt

Essipong Sports Stadium, Takoradi (Att: 20,008): The hosts fell short in their quest to win a second consecutive title as Egypt won the competition for a record eighth time. Their star was Mahmoud Osman, who won the MotM and hit a fantastic brace to give Egypt the victory. Ghana looked surprisingly uninspired in front of their home crowd, making the Egypt’s job easier than usual. They overcame Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Ghana to win the title, defeating the top teams on the continent on their way to winning the tournament.

Egypt: 2 (Osman 2)

Ghana: 0

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Awards

Best Player

Hashem Mohamed (6 Appearances, 5 Assists, 7.72): Although this award could have went to a few other Egyptian players, Mohamed was chosen because without his contributions, it would have been a lot tougher for Egypt to win the title. His performance in the Semi-Finals against the Nigerians was of the highest quality, controlling the middle of the park as good as anyone could dream of doing.

Best Goalkeeper

Itumeleng Khune (4 Appearances, 3 Goals Conceded, 1 Clean Sheets, 7.05): For the second straight tournament, South African’s GK was chosen as the Best GK in the tournament. Although the South Africans were knocked out in the Quarter-Finals, he still showed enough to prove that he is, indeed, the best GK on the continent.

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Fantastic effort so far, hopefully you can finish strongly although it does look very tight.

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Apart from Chelsea who are running away with it, the rest of the Champions League spots look very tight.
Fantastic effort so far, hopefully you can finish strongly although it does look very tight.

Thanks! Its been very close at the top of the table, and Im still hanging on! Its really been a credit to the development of the players and my training staff, because their improvements has been drastic :)

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The Youth Intake is here! Shannon Carpenter is ridiculous - Im going to retrain him to defender. He looks very, very good!

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He looks very good. Be an excellent anchor man if you could get his passing improved. Retraining as CB is probably best at this stage as you say.

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CHAMPIONS CUP 2020/2021

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Second Round

Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich (4 - 5)

First Leg – Emirates Stadium, London (Att: 60,361): This was a mouth-watering tie that pitted the German Bundesliga champions against the English Premier League and Champions League defending champions, Arsenal. For the most part, German teams had underachieved in the competition for the past ten years, and Bayern Munich itself had advanced to the Quarter-Finals only twice during that time, in 2012 and 2016. They were eliminated at this stage last year by Paris Saint-Germain. By contrast, Arsenal had failed to advance to the Quarter-Finals only twice in that time span – in 2012, where they lost Bayern Munich in the Second Round, and in 2015. In his first full season in charge of the club, Paul Lambert led Arsenal to both the Premier League and their first Champions League title.

The first leg in London was exciting from start to finish. Luis Ramirez started things off, scoring in the 6th minute, but the response was quick. Brazilian striker Amoroso equalized just three minutes later, and he went on to score a brace for his club. For Arsenal, it was Gerardo Ullet who scored a brace for them, as the match ended in an even 3-3 draw that Bayern Munich would be happy with. With three away goals scored, Bayern made their job just a little bit easier as they took the second leg back to Germany against the champions. Ramirez captured the MotM award.

Arsenal: 3 (Ulett 2, Ramirez)

Bayern Munich: 3 (Amoroso 2, Ivancic)

Second Leg – Allianz Arena, Munich (Att: 66,000): After pulling off a superb result against the Premier League champions in London, Bayern Munich finished the job, defeating them 2-1 on home soil. They did so despite a red card in the 43rd minute and only 41% of the possession being theirs, with Ivancic scoring his second goal of the tie on his way to winning the MotM. Arsenal got one back early in the second half through £16,250,000 signing James Rodriguez, but that was the only goal they could get. Arsenal were knocked out, and Europe were going to crown a new champion this season.

Bayern Munich: 2 (Ivancic, Markovic)

Arsenal: 1 (Rodriguez)

Inter Milan vs. Tottenham (4 - 3)

First Leg – Giuseppe Meazza, Milan (Att: 79,975): The three time defending Serie A champions lost their Champions League title to Arsenal last season, and now had to face another London club in their quest to reclaiming the title. After beating Barcelona in the 2019 Finals, they lost to Arsenal last season in the Quarter-Finals. As for Tottenham, they had been one of the best performing teams in the tournament over the past ten years, advancing to the Finals on two occasions in 2016 and 2017, losing both times.

Inter Milan utterly dominated their opponents in the first leg at home, winning the match 2-0. Truthfully, it should have been a lot more, but Inter were especially wasteful around the goal. Their Shots/On Target ratio was 18/5, compared to Tottenhams 4/0, but the surprising part was, Tottenham had 60% of the possession. They did not do anything at all with it, though, and two quick goals by Daniel Correa and Milan Djuric in the 14th and 15th minutes, respectively, sank the London club. Inter Milan’s star right winger, Dario Mazzoleni, won the MotM, recording an 8.0 AR.

Inter Milan: 2 (Correa, Djuric)

Tottenham: 0

Second Leg – White Hart Lane, London (Att: 36,310): After a somewhat timid and uninspired display of football in Milan, Tottenham turned up the heat at home, and came away with a 3-2 victory against the Serie A champions. Unfortunately, it was not enough to overturn their 2-0 loss in Italy, and they were knocked out despite a fantastic game of football in London. Mazzoleni again captured the MotM thanks to his 2 assists, which gave him an 8.9 AR. Correa scored his 3rd goal in the tournament in the 5th minute, and Jack Collison added one more for extra measure in the 90th minute. Inter Milan, who were Champions League winners in 2019, advanced to the Quarter-Finals in their quest to recapturing the title.

Tottenham: 3 (Vernaza, Yarmolenko, Cavani)

Inter Milan: 2 (Correa, Collison)

AA Gent vs. Real Madrid (2 - 7)

First Leg – Arteveldestadion, Ghent (Att: 20,000): The Champions League has been won by Real Madrid a record eleven times, with the most recent being in 2014 and 2017. Since then, the club has failed to advance past the Quarter-Finals, falling at that stage last season to Manchester City. AA Gent, who have been Belgian Pro League champions for the past three seasons, were knocked out in the Group Stages the two previous years, but this time, they surprised everyone by beating out AC Milan and FC Porto and gaining 2nd Place in Group D.

The surprises continued, as the Belgian side defeated their much larger and famous opponents 2-1 in Belgium, causing a huge shock. The result was certainly one of the most famous ones in the history of the club. Although Real Madrid had 60% of the possession, Gent were clearly the more dangerous team, and Carlos Rodriguez struck early in the first half to give them the lead. They held Real Madrid to just 4 shots, 2 of which were on target, compared to their own Shots/On Target ratio of 12/8. They won the match 2-1 after Eudes Dagoulou scored in the 64th minute to give them the lead. Real Madrid midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah was the MotM in their disappointing defeat.

AA Gent: 2 (Rodriguez, Dagoulou)

Real Madrid: 1 (Sissoko)

Second Leg – Santiago Bernabau, Madrid (Att: 86,914): The loss in Belgium was quickly put behind Real Madrid as they completely obliterated Gent in Spain, defeating them 6-0 in one of the most lopsided victories in the competition in recent memory. Real Madrid had a ridiculous Shots/On Target ratio of 17/12, and had 60% of the position. Their hero of the day was 24 year old Australian midfielder Paul McCann, who did great and hit a hat-trick. Needless to say, Real Madrid showed the difference in class between the two teams, and advanced to the Quarter-Finals at the expense of the Belgian champions.

Real Madrid: 6

AA Gent: 0

Malaga vs. Marseille (1 - 0)

First Leg – La Rosaleda, Malaga (Att: 28,963): Malaga had quietly become one of the best teams in Spain over the past few years, finishing in the top four five seasons in a row. Their success on the domestic level was not emulated on the continent, however – in the four previous seasons, they had only gotten past the Group Stages once, losing to Barcelona in the Quarter-Finals in 2018/19. Marseille won the French Ligue 1 title for the second time in ten years last season, but were still trying to add to their single Champions League title win, which happened in 1993. They failed to participate last season in the competition, but were Semi-Finalists in 2018/19, losing to Barcelona in heartbreaking circumstances.

Malaga’s young Brazilian striker Eduardo was the only goalscorer in an otherwise dull affair, with the Spanish side taking a 1-0 victory at home. Marseille were strangely tame, considering the offensive firepower at their disposal. Antoine Griezmann, who came to Malaga from Arsenal for £5,750,000 this season, won the MotM in an uneventful match.

Malaga: 1 (Eduardo)

Marseille: 0

Second Leg – Stade Velodrome, Marseille (Att: 66,904): Days before the second leg, Malaga inexplicably sacked the manager that had made it all happen for them, Roberto Donadoni. It was a shock the sent waves throughout the footballing world – yes, they had struggled in the La Liga this season, finding themselves in 7th Place, but after Donadoni had done so much for the club, surely more loyalty would have been shown to him despite going through a mediocre season. Juan Carlos Garrido, the former Villareal manager, took his place, and his first match in charge was this all-important game against Marseille. Thankfully for Malaga, the French squad looked just as uninspired in the second leg as it did in the first, and Malaga were able to keep the score 0-0 despite 62% possession for Marseille, with 28 year old Spanish central defender Derik winning the MotM. Malaga did not play well, but Marseille’s timidness while they were on the attack meant that for the second time in their history, Malaga were through to the Quarter-Finals.

Marseille: 0

Malaga: 0

FC Twente vs. Spartak Moscow (5 - 3)

First Leg – Grolsch Veste, Enschede (Att: 32,000): The newly crowned Dutch champions were also in the Second Round of the Champions League for the first time in at least twelve years, after having been knocked out in the Group Stages their two previous tries. Their draw was kind to them, as Spartak Moscow were also new to the Second Round, and were actually even less experienced than their Dutch counterparts.

It was a highly entertaining match which saw Norwegian striker Mushaga Bakenga score a brace to lift his club to a victory, but not before conceding two important away goals that could come back to haunt them. Spartak Moscow were second best through the match, and never did look like they deserved to win it, so they should consider themselves lucky that they were to return to Russia with those two away goals. The MotM was Bakenga, who now had 7 goals in the competition.

FC Twente: 3 (Bakenga 2, Mango)

Spartak Moscow: 2 (Himcinschi, Kirsanov)

Second Leg – Luzhniki, Moscow (Att: 40,844): An exciting game in the first leg was followed by another entertaining affair in Russia, and like in Holland, FC Twente came out victorious. The Dutch side took the lead in the 13th minute through Miguel Cuadros, and when Bakenga scored in the 40th minute to give them the 2-0 lead, the tie was effectively over. Spartak Moscow striker Gleisson got one back for the Russians, but that was all they could muster up. FC Twente advanced to the Quarter-Finals in impressive fashion.

Spartak Moscow: 1 (Gleisson)

FC Twente: 2 (Cuadros, Bakenga)

Manchester United vs. Toulouse (2 - 0)

First Leg – Old Trafford, Manchester (Att: 87,511): This was Toulouse’s first foray in Champions League football since 2007, and they did well to reach the Second Round on their first try. They were unfortunate, however, to draw Manchester United, one of the most accomplished and decorated teams in the competition. The former Premier League champions were beaten Finalists last season, falling to Arsenal, and have not been knocked out before the Quarter-Finals in twelve years, at least. They were again one of the favorites to lift the trophy, despite their inconsistent form domestically.

It was not a terribly exciting game, and although Man United dominated the match, they could only find one goal. Dejan Kovacevic found the net at the very beginning of the second half, and the result was maintained up till the final whistle. Midfielder Andile Jali played a spectacular game, recording an 8.4 AR, but otherwise, it was a very ordinary match which bordered on dull at times.

Manchester United: 1 (Kovacevic)

Toulouse: 0

Second Leg – Stadium Municipal, Toulouse (Att: 36,420): Just like the first leg, this was a dull affair that Manchester United won 1-0, again with a goal from Kovacevic. The English team had 63% of the possession throughout the match, maintaining complete superiority over the ball and giving Toulouse a very hard time in winning the ball back. That being said, the French side had their chances, as witnessed by their 12/6 Shots Ratio, with most coming off of counter-attacks. In the end, however, the favorites were able to get through to the Quarter-Finals.

Toulouse: 0

Manchester United: 1 (Kovacevic)

PAOK vs. Barcelona (3 - 2)

First Leg – Toumba, Salonika (Att: 28,701): This was the third time PAOK advanced to the Second Round of the competition in the past ten years, and the Greek champions were unlucky with their draws each time. Previously, they had lost to Tottenham and Manchester United in 2017 and 2018, respectively, and this time around, they drew Barcelona. The Catalan giants won back the La Liga title from Real Madrid last season, but they had also lost to Paris Saint-Germain in the Quarter-Finals of the competition after advancing to the Finals (and losing both times) the two previous seasons. Barcelona last won a Champions League title in 2016, so this would be the fifth year without recapturing it if they lost.

PAOK surprised with their tenacity in this match, and they came out attacking straight out of the gates. It took them just seven minutes to score, but Barcelona recuperated and equalized through Rafinha. Diego Villavicencio gave them the lead in the 64th minute, but again Barcelona equalized, this time through Alexis Sanchez, just five minutes after. It would end 2-2, but PAOK were by far the happier team with the result. Although it still remained highly unlikely that PAOK would be able to get a result at the Nou Camp, they were, on this day, Barcelona’s equal.

PAOK: 2 (Villavicencio, Fetfatzidis)

Barcelona: 2 (Rafinha, Sanchez)

Second Leg – Nou Camp, Barcelona (Att: 88,619): When people look back at football history in the future, they could very well pinpoint this game as the one that officially brought the ‘Barcelona Era’ to a close. In one of the most shocking upsets in the history of the competition, Greek side PAOK managed to defeat Barcelona 1-0 at the Nou Camp and go one to win the tie. Villavicencio, PAOK’s goalscorer from the first tie, hit the only goal of the game in the 59th minute, and despite Barcelona having 60% of the possession, they could not make it count, failing to score a single goal. PAOK’s advanced to the Quarter-Finals for the first time in recent memory at the expense of the most decorated team in club football this century.

Barcelona: 0

PAOK: 1 (Villavicencio)

Shakhtar vs. Lyonnais (1 - 5)

First Leg – Donbas-Arena, Donetsk (Att: 51,504): After dominating the Ukrainian league for much of the decade, Shakhtar has finished in 2nd Place behind Metalist the past two seasons. The days of seeing the Ukrainian club in the Knockout Stages of the Champions League have been over for a few years now, with their last qualification to that stage being in 2015, where they lost to Barcelona in the Quarter-Finals. In 2012, they came within one game reaching the Champions League Finals, finally losing out to eventual champions Barcelona, as well. Lyonnais, on the other hand, were successful in defeating Barcelona in 2018 in Stockholm to claim their first ever Champions League title. For the past two seasons, however, they have been knocked out in the Second Round, despite this being possibly their most talented team ever.

That talent certainly showed as they smashed Shakhtar in Ukraine 4-0, with Salomon Rondon scoring a brace. Both his goals came by the 16th minute mark, and the match was effectively over by then. For extra measure, Lyonnais added two more goals, one through Giuseppe D’Agostino and the last through Gueida Fofana, putting one foot into the Quarter-Finals. Not surprisingly, Rondon was crowned MotM for this affair.

Shakhtar: 0

Lyonnais: 4 (Rondon 2, D’Agostino, Fofana)

Second Leg – Stade des Lumieres, Lyon (Att: 61,556): After the whipping Lyonnais gave Shakhtar in the Ukraine, one could forgive the French side for being complacent in the second leg, and indeed, they barely looked like they were trying throughout much of the second leg in Lyon. This was especially true after Rondon gave them in the lead in the 21st minute, and it was not until the 75th minute that Shakhtar managed to equalize the match. In the end, this was not much of a competition over the two legs, as Lyonnais were barely troubled, advancing to the Quarter-Finals with ease.

Lyonnais: 1 (Rondon)

Shakhtar: 1 (Vukusic)

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PAOK!! :lol:.
PAOK are a bit of a surprise.
Seems to be an echo in here...

PAOK!?

Nothing against Barcelona....but I cant tell you guys how happy I was to see that result! Tought draw against Bayern Munich, though - the Germans look like a team that could win it all this year!

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CHAMPIONS CUP 2020/2021

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QUARTER-FINALS

Manchester United vs. Real Madrid (8 - 2)

First Leg – Old Trafford, Manchester (Att: 94,746): While Real Madrid destroyed AA Gent 7-2 over two legs in the Second Round, including a 6-0 victory at home in the second leg, Manchester United strutted along against Toulouse and squeaked by with two 1-0 victories. Their performances in the Second Round served to give no warning to what was to happen in this match, however. In one of the most dominant displays every witnessed in the competition’s history, Manchester United obliterated their Spanish rivals 7-1 that left the footballing world completely shocked. Never had such a result between two massive teams been seen, and least of all to Real Madrid, the record holder in the Champions League with 11 titles, most recenty won in 2014 and 2017. Two goals were scored in the first give minutes, with Javier Hernandez scoring the first of three goals in the 2nd minute, and Dejan Kovacevic scoring in the 5th minute. The same thing repeated itself at the beginning of the first half, with Kovacevic scoring just one minute and Hernandez three minutes after the second half began. Hernandez was given the MotM for his hat-trick, with his final goal coming in the dying seconds of the match, as he was the catalyst behind Real Madrid’s most embarrassing defeat in recent memory.

Manchester United: 7 (Hernandez 3, Kovacevic 2, Hazard, Alex O.G.)

Real Madrid: 1 (Higuan)

Second Leg – Santiago Bernabau, Madrid (Att: 94,267): After the destruction of Real Madrid in England, there was little hope for the Spanish club to come back into this tie, and Kovacevic made sure their job was made harder when he scored in the 11th minute. Real Madrid tried, as witnessed by their 22/9 Shots Ratio, but could only muster up one goal, scored by Cesar Martin, as Manchester United advanced to the Semi-Finals with the tag of being overwhelming favorites to go on to win the entire competition. David De Gea made sure that Real Madrid did not score more than one goal, and he was given the MotM for his performance in which he recorded a 9.2 AR.

Real Madrid: 1 (Martin)

Manchester United: 1 (Kovacevic)

Lyonnais vs. Inter Milan (3 - 1)

First Leg – Stade des Lumieres, Lyon (Att: 61,556): Lyonnais looked especially dangerous in their Second Round demolition of Shakhtar, defeating them 4-0 in Ukraine in the first leg. Solomon Rondon scored 3 goals in the tie itself, and the 2018 Champions League winners were looking to stay sharp against the 2019 winners, Inter Milan. The Italian side had a tough Second Round matchup against English side Tottenham, but came out victorious thanks to a strong showing in the first leg at home. They got off to a terrible start in Lyon, however, as Rondon scored in the 2nd minute, and they never recovered from it. Although they spent most of the match being the French team’s equal, they conceded a second goal, this time to Giuseppe D’Agostino, in the 33rd minute. The score remaind 2-0 for Lyonnais up till the final whistle, and Inter Milan never looked dangerous enough to equalize or even get a single goal back. D’Agostino was rewarded for his fantastic play with the MotM, as Lyonnais’ strong showing in the year’s edition of the tournament continued.

Lyonnais: 2 (D’Agostino, Rondon)

Inter Milan: 0

Second Leg – Giuseppe Meazza, Milan (Att: 80,018): Surprising timid and uninspired in Lyon, Inter Milan were definitely the better team in the second leg in Italy. Unfortunately for them, however, Lyonnais’ Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan scored in the first minute of the game, which meant that Inter Milan would have to find four goals to defeat the French. Ultimately, they could only get one, and the match finished with a 1-1 draw. Inter Milan could not break through the Lyonnais’ defensive wall, and the 2018 winners ended up defeating the 2019 winners to earn a spot in the Semi-Finals.

Inter Milan: 1 (Correa)

Lyonnais: 1 (Nainggolan)

Bayern Munich vs. PAOK (3 - 2)

First Leg – Allianz-Arena, Munich (Att: 64,867): After shocking the world and knocking out Barcelona in the Second Round, the morale at PAOK could not have been higher as they visited Bayern Munich for the first leg of this matchup. The Germans had just defeated the defending champions Arsenal, and were looking like one of the favorites to lift the trophy. PAOK, however, were not done with their surprises – just as they did in the first leg of the their draw against Barcelona, they held their opponents to a 2-2 draw. Bayern Munich’s central defender Graveto[/b] gave them the very early lead in the 4th minute, and when Kruno Ivancic scored in the 55th minute, many considered the match to be all but over. The Germans were dominating the match and PAOK looked to have little chance at threatening the goal. However, in line with their season so far, PAOK struck twice, in the 75th and 84th minutes, to shock the Germans and send the tie back to Greece all drawn up, with two important away goals. Once again, Diego Villavicencio scored and played the hero, and won the MotM for it.

Bayern Munich: 2 (Graveto, Ivancic)

PAOK: 2 (Villavicencio, Belfodil)

Second Leg – Toumba, Salonika (Att: 28,701): The Cinderella story of PAOK came to an end in Greece, as Bayern Munich pulled off a tough 1-0 victory to advance to the Semi-Finals. It cannot be said, however, that they were the better team over this tie, and this as especially true in the second leg, with PAOK creating more chances than their German opponents. Unfortunately, the experience of Bayern Munich shown through at the end, and they held off the Greek champions well through ninety minutes to earn the victory.

PAOK: 0

Bayern Munich: 1 (Markovic)

Malaga vs. FC Twente (1 - 2)

First Leg – La Rosaleda, Malaga (Att: 28,963): Both of these teams had done well to get to the Quarter-Finals, with FC Twente especially impressive against Spartak Moscow in the Second Round. Malaga had previously been to the Quarter-Finals just once before, in 2019, and they had knocked out a much larger opponent in Marseille in the earlier round. This match, however, was a far cry from the ones FC Twente delivered in the previous round – it was a bore 0-0 draw with not much chances created from either side. In fact, FC Twente had just 6/1 Shots Ratio, while Malaga had 9/4. Romanian central defender Deian Boldor won the MotM with FC Twente, and the matchup in Holland became of even greater important after this result. Both teams were attempting to qualify to the Semi-Finals for the first time in their history.

Malaga: 0

FC Twente: 0

Second Leg – Grolsch Veste, Enschede (Att: 32,000): After a bore draw in Spain, the Eridisivie champions and current leaders, FC Twente, looked to gain the victory against Malaga and advance to the Semi-Finals of the competition for the first time in their history. The first half ended goalless, but Malaga’s Brazilian, Eduardo striker struck first in the second half, bringing his total in the competition to 4 goals. It was FC Twente, however, who go on to win the match, with goals from Mushaga Bakenga and Ivo Pekalski giving them a 2-1 victory. Bakenga again won the MotM, and brought his goal tally in the competition leading 9 goals, solidifying his place as one of the top performers in the Champions League this season. FC Twente were through to the Semi-Finals for the first time in their history, and with the way they were playing, they woud not look out of place in the Finals itself.

FC Twente: 2 (Bakenga, Pekalski)

Malaga: 1 (Eduardo)

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The Season Review will come soon, but just wanted to share my achievement!

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I was rewarded with:

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Great season :thup:. What will the extension make your total capacity?

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