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

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CHAMPIONS CUP 2016/2017

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Tottenham vs. Real Madrid

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Stade Roi Baudouin – Brussels, Belgium (Att: 50,000): Coming into this Finals matchup, Real Madrid had just sealed its second La Liga title under manager Jose Mourinho, and now were attempting to capture also their second Champions League title under him. Mourinho himself was attempting to win his fourth title, while the club was looking at locking up their eleventh Champions League title in their history. Their star player had been Cristiano Ronaldo (12 Aps, 5 Gls, 4 Asts, 7.44), who seemed to get better as he aged. Gonzalo Higuan (11 Aps, 6 Gls, 7.11) was their leading goalscorer, while GK Iker Casillas (7.37) had been the best GK in the competition this season. Starting central defender Nicolas Nkoulou (11 Aps, 3.35 TpG, 7.11) was the only omission, as he was serving a suspension.

For Tottenham, they had just finished 2nd to Manchester United in the Premier League, and were in the Finals of the Champions Cup for the second straight season. In 2015/16, they lost to Barcelona, the third time manager Martin Jol had been to the Finals and lost (the first time was with Manchester United in 2013, also losing to Barcelona.) Striker Edison Cavani (11 Aps, 8 Gls, 7.40) was again performing very well – he was Runner-Up to the Champions League Golden Boot and was named its Best Player in 2016. Gareth Bale (8 Aps, 3 Gls, 4 Asts, 7.67) was back from injury – prior to that, he was perhaps the best performer in the Champions League this season. Cavani’s partner up front, Salomon Rondon (11 Aps, 5 Gls, 3 Asts, 7.22), Europe’s Golden Boot winner in for 2015/16, was back from his suspension, and in good form. Sandro (12 Aps, 2 Asts, 7.15) was completing his finest season in his career, and was, on current form, perhaps the best anchor midfielder in the world.

The first half started out a bit slow as both teams were hesitant and defensive, but Tottenham took the initiative and started applying pressure on Real Madrid’s defense and Casillas. It continued throughout the half, but they could not beat him. In the 20th minute, Gareth Bale was stretchered off with an injury, and the game immediately changed. Real Madrid started working the counter-attack, and doing so successfully. It was through a counter-attack that Ronaldo found Fabio Coentrao in the 42nd minute, giving Madrid the lead going into the second half. In the second half, Rondon was also taken out of the match with an injury, and Tottenham were left reeling as two of their best players were no longer participants in the most important game of the season. They were the ones who dominated the first fifteen minutes of the half, but it was to no avail. In a heart-wrenching moment, substitute Tim Matavz’s shot beat Casillas in the 94th minute, only to hit the bar and turn into a goal kick. That was the last chance of the game, and Real Madrid held on to seal their eleventh title, and the goalscorer was gifted the MotM award. Tottenham’s loss made in eight times out of the last ten Finals that an English team had lost, and the fourth time in a row that had happened.

Real Madrid: 1 (Coentrao)

Tottenham: 0

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Darn Madrid!

Madrid won in 2014, and now have done it again. Cristiano Ronaldo has really stepped up the past couple of years - they ended Barcelona's title run this year also.

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Excellent stuff, well done on the promotion :thup:

Let's hope you're not going to be the whipping boys in the Premier League!

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Excellent stuff, well done on the promotion :thup:

Let's hope you're not going to be the whipping boys in the Premier League!

Lol, that would be bad! Obviously, my main priority will be just to survive, but there is ALOT of work to be done from now till August!

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Bromley 2016/2017 Review

npower Championship: Champions (Automatic Promotion)

FA Cup: Third Round, lost to Manchester City 1-0

League Cup: Second Round, lost to Derby 1-0

Season Review

Our second season in the Championship cannot be classified as anything but a resounding success – considering we were in the Blue Square South just six years ago, to win the Championship title is nothing short of spectacular. Premier League football beckons for us in a few short months thanks to our performances this season.

Whereas in 2015/2016, when we finished in 12th Place, our offense was torrid, this season, with the signing of Emmanuel Musah and Lovro Scrbec, coupled with the vast improvement of captain Elliot Law, we scored 73 goals, good enough for third best in the Championship. Our defense, led by Jesper Alberts, was again the best in the league, conceding only 44 goals. Our foundation, and the reason we were able to avoid any relegation battles last season, was our defense, but if you do not score goals, you do not win games, and that was our main problem. This season, as you can tell by the numbers above, we did not have that issue, and we leaped right up to the table, managing a spectacular title winning campaign that has culminated in promotion to the Premier League, and I was named Championship Manager of the Year.

Our cup performances, again, were nothing to write home about, but there was never any real focus on that, and the board did not seem to mind our early exits too much. Speaking of the board, they finally started work on Bromley Stadium – it was due for completion in 2018, but work started a year late, so now we’re looking at 2019 for completion. That means two years in the Premier League with 5,000 attendance! Nevertheless, there is a lot of aspects of our facilities that need work and investment if we are to survive in the world’s toughest and highest rated league, and this off-season should prove eventful in that regard. Congratulations again to the town of Bromley and its incredible football club!

Key Players:

Porvaldur Magnusson: What a season this young midfielder had! To start things off, he signed a new contract with the club (that was later readjusted at the end of the season), and went on to lead Bromley to the Championship title. He grabbed the Championship Player of the Year along the way, and led the league with 18 assists. The 21 year old was also my choice for the Bromley Player of the Year.

Emmanuel Musah: After a prolonged transfer saga in the summer of 2016, the German/Ghanaian striker finally joined the club for £700,000. What a bargain that turned out to be. The 19 year old, despite battling nagging injuries throughout the season, was the change the club needed up front that propelled it to the title – without him, Bromley almost certainly would not have lifted the trophy. He won the Championship Young Player of the Year, which Magnusson won last season.

Jesper Alberts: Our record signing came for £1,000,000 last season, and he showed that he was worth so much more this year, leading our backline as they conceded the fewest goals in the league. Still only 19 years old, the Belgian central defender has had interest from the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea, such is his potential. He also scored 8 goals for us, mostly from corners, proving himself extremely dangerous in the air.

Elliot Law: At this time last year, there were some heavy doubts that the club’s 22 year old captain could compete at this level, after scoring only 5 goals all season. This year, however, after 16 goals in the league, the question is no longer valid – he came into training camp obsessed with proving his doubters wrong, and showed remarkable improvement in his ability throughout the season. Bromley’s record holder for both appearances and goals, he is the club’s finest player of all-time, and despite renewed calls that he is not good enough, he will get the chance to prove himself in the Premier League. The club owes him that much.

Lovro Scrbec: A Free Transfer signing, Lovro Scrbec was an essential part of the team that lifted the trophy. The 27 year old Croatian filled holes in both our striking and midfield units, playing wherever needed and doing so extremely well. His versatility allowed us to keep our momentum when injuries struck, and despite facing injuries of his own, he gave us consistent performance after consistent performance, scoring some of our most important goals of the season, as well.

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Notable Youths:

Ebby Harwood: One of only three Bromley youth academy products in the first team (Andy Dixon and Elliot Law are the others), there were doubts about the 18 year old left winger’s abilities prior to the season. He was given the starting role, and thrived, improving immensely throughout and giving the club and extremely solid season.

Alexandre: The club had worked out a deal with the player a year ago, and in the January transfer window, the 18 year old central defender came on a free transfer. The Brazilian was a perfect partner to Alberts, and the scouting report on him was not wrong – a great all-around player, Alexandre proved himself capable of starting in the back four.

Kieran Holland: Easily the most gifted player from this year’s youth intake, the 16 year old English right back has the potential to be the brightest talent to ever come out of the Bromley youth academy. Already having earned his debut, Holland will continue to get playing time behind Kevin Long in order to aid his development. Has already got a great set of defensive skills, but like most youngsters, he needs to get stronger physically.

Peter Skocibusic: The 17 year old Croatian midfielder signed on free transfer from Bjelovar, and had significant playing time this season. Although his performances were inconsistent, his development was not – he has the look of a useful squad player for years to come if he continues to improve at this rate.

Transfers

Due to some financial problems, we sold almost £4,000,000 of players this year, with £2,000,000 coming from the sale of Ben Amos alone. Nikolay Nakov was sold for £775,000 by the board, and we had a few offers come in for a few youngsters that the club quickly accepted. Coming in, we again relied mostly on free transfers, but we did pay £700,000 for Emmanuel Musah, which ended up being a huge bargain. Paul Black came for £250,000 and rotated with Matthew Morgan at left back.

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Alberto Gilardino – Player Profile

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Born on July 5th, 1982, Alberto Gilardino was first plucked up by Cossatese in 1995, before moving to Piacenza for an undisclosed amount in 1997. It was there that he got his debut in professional football, turning out for the club 17 times in 1999/2000 in the Serie A. However, the club got relegated the same year, and Gilardino was sold to Verona for £2,400,000 in the summer of 2000.

He spent two unremarkable years at Verona, who also got relegated from the Serie A, this time in 2002. Around his 20th birthday, Gilardino forced a move out of the relegated club, and for £7,500,000, joined Parma. It was in his three years with Parma that Gilardino started to become an international star.

Although his first season with Parma was unimpressive, in 2003/2004 and 2004/2005, he would score 23 goals in each season, both times being Runner-Up in the Serie A Top Goalscorer award. He won the Serie A Young Player of the Year in 2004, and in 2005 he won the Serie A Player of the Year and Italian Player of the Year. It was his most successful stretch, in terms of individual achievement, he would have in his career. During his time at Parma, he would also be part of the Italy’s European U21 title winning squad in 2004.

After becoming one Italy’s most wanted talents, AC Milan bought him from Parma in 2005 for £16,250,000. He was not able to recapture the form he had for his new club, however, but he did win titles for the first time in his career. In 2006, he was part of Italy’s World Cup winning squad, marking the fourth time Italy had won the tournament, and in 2007, he won the first of his two Champions League title with the club. After it became evident that each year was turning to be unhappier than the last in Milan, Fiorentina bought him for £9,500,000 in 2008.

Before moving to Fiorentina, Gilardino had never spent more than three years at a club, but he finally found a home in Florence, as well as his form. He spent nine years with the club, and won the Champions League with them in 2015, playing an important part in their surprising run to the Finals, finishing as Runner-Up in the Top Goalscorer award. The club also finished 2nd Place in the Serie A on two occasions (2014, 2016). Alberto Gilardino retired from football in 2017 and is now looking into a managerial career.

Once touted as the next big thing to come out of Italy, although he has had a very successful career, that dream never quite materialized. Still, Gilardino appeared 51 times for his country, scoring 19 goals in the process, and at one point in his career in the mid-2000s, he was viewed as one of most dangerous strikers in the world. Although he never returned to that form, he did contribute significantly to Fiorentina’s Champions League winning campaign as well as their impressive form in the Serie A during the mid-2010s.

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John Terry – Player Profile

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Born on December 7th, 1980 in Barking, England, John Terry spent his entire playing career with Chelsea, with most of it as the clubs captain. He also appeared 106 times for England, scoring 8 eight goals, and almost captained them to the 2012 European Championship, where they lost to Spain in the Finals.

His debut came during the 1998/1999 season, after taking the step up from the Chelsea youth academy into the first squad. His first prominent role with the club would come in 2000/2001, after a loan spell with Nottingham Forest, and he became the squad’s heart and soul in the back since then. He won be part of the team that won the FA Cup in 2000, marking the first of four times Terry would win the competition over the course of his career (2000, 2007, 2009, 2010).

After finishing Runners-Up in 2004, John Terry and Chelsea would finally lift the English Premier League trophy in 2005, and Terry was crowned the English Players’ Player of the Year. By this point, Terry was captain of the squad that had recently been bought by Roman Abrahamovich. They repeated the feat in 2006, making them back to back Premier League champions.

In total, Terry would win the English Premier League four times (2005, 2006, 2010, 2014), and was also named to the Premier League Select in 2014. He captained Chelsea to two Champions League Finals (2008, 2015), losing both times to Manchester United and Fiorentina, respectively. As England captain, Terry advanced to the Euro 2012 Finals against Spain, only to lose out on lifting an international trophy with his nation.

Terry has always been criticized for his lack of pace, from the mid-2000s to the early 2010s, he was one of the finest defenders on the planet. A leader in every sense of the word, he will go down in England’s history as one of its best defenders and captains, and is a legend at Chelsea.

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Great season but now the real work begins. How many of the squad do you think are good enough for the top flight? May need to bring in a few new faces, £40m in the bank should help though :D

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Great season but now the real work begins. How many of the squad do you think are good enough for the top flight? May need to bring in a few new faces, £40m in the bank should help though :D
Well done on promotion, good luck in the Premier League
Sad to see more legends go, and Terry.

Thanks for the comments! £40m is a ridiculous amount for us - the board have given me £24m of it to spend :)

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SOUTH AMERICAN U20 CHAMPIONSHIP 2017 – URUGUAY

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Brazil got back to their winning ways, recapturing the SAM U20 title in Uruguay after losing it to Ecuador in 2015. 20 year old right back Filipi was named the Best Player of the tournament, followed by his teammate Cabral and Argentine Leandro Nunez. In 9 games, Filipi had 8 assists and 5 MotM, setting a new record for both categories in the history of the tournament. His 8.48 AR was just 0.01 off of Xaropinho’s 8.49 AR, set in 2015, for a new record. His teammate Gilmar won the Top Goalscorer, hitting 11 goals in 9 appearances.

Other notable performers were Jose Armijos of Ecuador, Walter Cardozo of Uruguay, Gaucho of Brazil, and Rodrigo Reinoso of Argentina.

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Carles Puyol – Player Profile

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Born on April 13th, 1978 in Pobla de Segur, Spain, and went on to play for only one club over the course of his career, Barcelona. He captained his club squad and, on occasion, the Spanish national side, which we won 106 caps with, scoring 3 goals in the process.

Carles Puyol made his debut for Barcelona in 1999, after a few years of playing for their “B” and “C” sides, and almost immediately became a start in their back four. After finishing Runners-Up in 2004, Puyol won the first of his nine Spanish La Liga titles (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016) in 2005, and a year later, in the midst of their successful domestic campaign, Barcelona were crowned Champions League champions, which Puyol would go on to win an incredible six times (2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016). He was named to the 2012 World Team of the Year.

Puyol was an essential part of the what has been called the greatest club squad to ever be assembled, coached by Pep Guardiola and later Roberto Mancini, playing alongside Xavi, Villa, Iniesta, Messi, Sanchez, and Pique, just to name of a few. The “Barcelona Era”, as it has been called, lasted from the late 2000s to the mid 2010s, and Puyol was very much involved in it. On top of that, he was part of the Spanish team that won the Euro 2008 and the Euro 2012, as well as the World Cup 2010 in South Africa. He was also part of the team that made the Finals of the World Cup 2014 before succumbing to Brazil.

The defender has known success on every level, and was an integral part of two of the most successful teams in the history of football – the Barcelona side from the early 2000s to the mid 2010s, and the Spain national side the conquered all from the late 2000s to the mid 2010s. At his peak, Puyol was considered to be one of the finest defenders in the world, and was equally adept at playing right back as he was in the heart of the defense.

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Interesting Man U offer, good job turning it down :thup:

Whats Magnusson's adjusted new deal like, manage to get rid of that small release fee?

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Interesting Man U offer, good job turning it down :thup:

Whats Magnusson's adjusted new deal like, manage to get rid of that small release fee?

They can dream on.

Magnusson has two clauses in his new contract - £9,000,000 higher division release clause (and since we're in the Premier League, its not happening), and the Match Highest Wage Earner. Currently, due to new signings (covered in the upcoming Preview), Magnusson is earning a cool £17,250.

And yes, Man Utd can keep dreaming in their theatre :)

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ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE REVIEW 2016/2017

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Overview

Footballer of the Year: Sergio Aguero, Chelsea (36 Aps, 16 Goals, 12 Assists, 10 MotM, 7.90)

Player’s Player of the Year: Eden Hazard, Manchester United (36 Aps, 9 Goals, 12 Assists, 7.74)

Young Player of the Year: Ross Barkley (Career Stats), Everton (35 Aps, 8 Goals, 9 Assists, 4 MotM, 7.49)

Best Goalkeeper of the Year: Jose Manuel Reina, Liverpool (38 Aps, 34 Conceded, 18 Clean Sheets, 7.14)

Manager of the Year: Manuel Pellegrini, Manchester United (Champions)

Manchester United (2017: Champions – 2016: 4th)

Manuel Pellegrini surprised the world with his shock retirement at the end of the season, but it was a fitting end for a world-class manager. He took over in June of 2015, spending two years at the club, and while his first season was considered a failure, his second certainly was not. He ended the season, and his career, as the 2017 Premier League Manager of the Year, and for good reason. Manchester United were written off as a team of the past before the season began, a team that had experienced its best days and was about to begin the process of rebuilding. That may be so, but it did not happen this year, as the club captured the Premier League title and gave Pellegrini the perfect farewell to his storied career.

For the second season in a row, Eden Hazard captured Manchester United’s Player of the Year – yet again, he proved he was one of the best players on the planet with his performances. He was crowned the 2017 Premier League Players’ Player of the Year, and was named to the Premier League Select for the second time in his career (2015, 2017). It was also the first time he captured the Premier League title in the four years he had been at Manchester United, perhaps his most valuable achievement of all. He has become the squad’s most important player, and his 7.95 AR in the Premier League this season led the league.

After selling Anderson for £15,250,000, the club spent £18,000,000 on Gaston Ramirez (Career Stats), buying him from Palermo one year after they had paid Bologna £11,500,000 for him. The Uruguayan left winger was Pellegrini’s only major signing of the season, and he performed well, pitching in 11 goals from the left wing position. Playing alongside him in the center of the midfield was South African Andile Jali (Career Stats), who set a career high with 12 assists, despite only having 23 appearances. Darren Fletcher won his sixth Premier League title with the club, also setting a career high with 12 assist. In fact, at the age of 33, Fletcher gave perhaps his finest season to date, also setting career highs in appearances (35) and Average Rating (7.61 AR). Also delivering his finest season of his career was right midfielder Antonio Valencia – the Ecuadorian was ever present, contributing both goals and assists to the cause, while central midfielder Milan Badelj scored a career high of 11 goals. Overall, the midfield was the strength of a team that seemed to have no weaknesses, and although none of the players were superstars, they played extremely well as unit.

Up front, Manchester United remained as it had been for years, with Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney forming one of the best striking partnerships in the world. A torn hamstring limited the latter to just 24 appearances this season, ruling him out for three months, but Rooney showed why he was a legend, scoring 17 goals in 27 appearances to lead the club. Now 31 years old, the English striker remains one of the most dangerous forwards on the planet, contributing across the board – he continues to be the prime example of a complete forward.

At the back, Manchester United have in their possession of the most exciting English prospects of the decade in Steve Hughes (Career Stats). The 21 year old defender is actually a product of the Southampton youth academy, but was acquired by Man United in 2012 for £1,300,000. This season was his first as a starter, and although he did display signs of inconsistency, he also showed vast potential. Alongside him was Rafael – the Brazilian has quietly become one of the best right backs on the planet, and at the age of 27, he has just entered his prime. He had another good season for his club, helping the squad become the second best defensive team in the league this season. Behind him was David De Gea, as consistent as ever and easily one of the best GKs on the planet. He has been Man United’s starter for six years, but yet is still only 26 years old. Considering his has not even entered his prime yet, it is safe to say the club is set at the position for years to come.

It was the perfect storm for Man United this season – Pellegrini’s final season was highlighted by career years from several of his players. Next season, it will be Ricardo Moniz at the helm, but his job will be easier than most. This squad does not need any major work, with most of its main players still in their prime. There was a little inconsistency at the back as Chris Smalling and Phil Jones delivered average seasons, but to retain the title in the most competitive and highest rated league in the world, average will not do.

Liverpool (2017: 2nd – 2016: 5th)

When Malky Mackay was appointed to replace the sacked Mauricio Pochettino, there was a resounding amount of criticism from analysts and fans alike who were demanding a manager with a higher reputation take over the club, desperate to get back to challenging for the title as they did in 2015. Twelve months on, the same people are praising the board’s vision anointing Mackay, who brought the club back to prominence and finished just three points behind eventual champions Manchester United. This was a successful season by all means for the club, especially as they reclaimed an automatic qualification to the Champions League’s Group Stages.

Malkay’s success came down to tactics – his only major signing of the summer, £8,000,000 Simon Vukcevic from Shalke, failed to appear in a single game for his new club. In fact, Liverpool sold its starting right back, English international Martin Kelly, for an obscene £22,500,000 to Manchester City, losing an important but failing to buy a replacement. However, their 2016 and 2017 Player of the Year, Jack Robinson (Career Stats), more than made up for the loss, turning in his best season yet. Simply put, the 23 year old left back has become one of England’s most important players, and perhaps one of the finest at his position in the world. Such was his performance this season that he was named to the 2017 Premier League Select for the first time in his career. Liverpool were the best defensive team in the league, conceding only 34 goals, and most of the credit has to go to Robinson. He did have help, though, in the form of central defender Stefan Reinartz and GK Jose Manuel Reina. The former completed his second season with the club after coming from Leverkusen in 2015, and was a fantastic partner to Robinson. Reina maintained his position as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, getting named to his second straight World Team of the Year. He was also named to his first Premier League Select as a starter (he was named twice as a substitute), and captured the Premier League Golden Glove for the fourth time in his career (2006, 2007, 2008, 2017), setting a new record and building on his case of being the best Premier League GK of all time.

Perhaps the weakest part of this Liverpool team was its midfield, although that’s like calling a lemon not sour enough – it was good, just not in line with the rest of the team. Their best midfielder was David Alaba, bought from Bayern Munich for £8,000,000 in 2014 and delivered his finest season in a Liverpool uniform to date. He was named as English Young Player of the Year runner-up this season and last, only turning 25 after the season ended. Their other strong performer in the midfield was Yohan Cabaye – the French central midfielder set career highs with 7 assists and 7.34 AR.

Liverpool were the third best offensive team in the Premier League this season due to its three-headed attack. The most important component, and possibly Liverpool’s most important play the past few years, was Luis Suarez. The 30 year old Uruguayan striker equaled his high as Liverpool player, scoring 19 goals. The joint top scorer on the team was Andy Carroll, also with 19 goals – the 28 year old English striker may never live up to his £35,000,000 price tag, but it was a good sign that, for the first time, he managed to score over 10 goals in a season. Their third wheel was Moussa Sow – the 31 year old Senegalese striker scored 14 goals in 28 appearances.

There is no longer any question about Malkay’s pedigree, and the squad surpassed expectations this year, by all means. Still, they did have some holes, especially in the midfield, that could be improved on, and a young striker to help the aging frontline would not be a bad thing. Are they the second best team in the league? No, not on talent, but there is no doubting the heart of the players and the tactics of the manager. They also overcame every other team in England and were crowned FA Cup winners in 2017.

Arsenal (2017: 3rd – 2016: 2nd)

It is a strange season when a club achieves 3rd Place, but the manager leaves due to another club due to immense pressure to do better, and the other club’s manager takes over after his departure. That is exactly what happened at Arsenal this year – their outgoing manager, Andre Villas-Boas (who the club won the title under in 2015), left the club amidst drama concerning the board for Manchester City, who had sacked Alan Shearer, the man that led them to the title in 2016, just a few days previously. Arsenal then turned around and hired Shearer to replace him, with each manager replacing the other at his former club. This was in March, so the team that ended up finishing in 3rd Place was strictly Villas-Boas’ team.

As was the case in 2015, Villas-Boas signings were both hits and misses. He bought Vegar Edden Hedenstad, the 2016 Premier League Young Player of the Year, from Aston Villa for £17,250,000 – at the time, many figured him to have overpaid, but at the end of the season, those voices were quieted. His other two big signings, however, Ayman Ben Slimane (bought for £11,000,000 from FC Twente) and Adam Hlousek (bought for £9,250,000 from Malaga) were busts. The former is still young and can turn things around, but the latter has no room in Shearer’s team.

Aaron Ramsey won Arsenal’s Best Player of the Year award for the third time in a row, leading the club in assists for the second time in his career and equaling Marek Hamsik’s record of 15 assists in a season, set last year. He was fifth in the Premier League in assists with 11, and scored 9 goals from the midfield. This season, however, Hamsik was arguably in better form than his Welsh partner in the midfield – he was first on the team and fourth in the Premier League with 7.85 AR, getting named to the 2017 Premier League Select for the second time and the 2017 World Team of the Year for the first time. With Jack Wilshere back in form and Marouane Fellaini playing his usual best, Arsenal arguably had the best midfield in the Premier League, with two of the world’s best at their position featured in it. Infront of them, Abel Hernandez was the only credible threat Arsenal had – their strike force is something Shearer will need to address, as well as their back line, which remains the weakest part of their team. There was not a single stand out performer in their defense other than Hadenstad – Leighton Baines only played in 14 games, and the rest of them were wildly inconsistent.

Now that Alan Shearer has taken the helm, it remains to be seen what the former Premier League Manager of the Year will be able to do with this squad. If they are to compete for the title, they will need to do a lot of upgrading and replacing, especially in the back.

Tottenham (2017: 4th – 2016: 3rd)

In May 2016, Thomas Jones bought the club from Daniel Levy, so this was the team’s first season under new ownership. Manager Martin Jol was kept on, and although their Premier League finish of 4th Place was slightly disappointing, reaching the Champions League Finals for the second time (and losing for the second time) was not. Since Jol took over in 2015, the team has shown marked improvements, both domestically and on the continent, and a lot of the credit has to go to their manager. He did have help, investing £59,000,000 of Jones’ money in new signings during the 2016/17 season. His two largest signings were £15,500,000 for Jetro Willems (Career Stats) and £15,250,000 for Fabian Delph. The former turned out to be a good signing – the latter, not so much. He also spent £11,000,000 on Youssef Msakni (17 Aps, 2 Gls, 8 Asts) and another £10,000,000 on Daley Blind from Stoke – both players were serviceable, but probably not worth the amount paid for them.

The team’s Player of the Year, for the second time in a row and third time overall, was Edison Cavani. He has become an Icon at Tottenham, and his fifth season with the club was his most eventful yet. He broke the team’s goalscoring record in a season, hitting 30 league goals and 38 overall goals – his league total was good enough to crown him the Premier League’s Top Goalscorer, as well as the 2017 Europe Golden Boot winner. He was named in the Premier League Select for the fourth time in his career (2013, 2014, 2015, 2017), and the World Team of the Year for the second year in a row. Easily one of the best strikers on the planet, the 30 year old Uruguayan reached new heights this season, leading his squad the Champions League Finals for the second year a row. His partner, Salomon Rondon, delivered another good season, although not as good as last season’s spectacular one. The 2016 Europe Golden Boot winner scored 18 goals in 29 appearances, down from his 25 goals in 2016.

Luka Modric , a legend at the club, again had another amazing season. The 31 year Croat was named to his fifth Premier League Select (2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017), and set a Tottenham record for most assists in the Premier League in a season with 18. His partner on the left wing, Gareth Bale (also a club legend), was again in fantastic form, and remained one of the best left wingers on the planet. Anchoring the midfield was Brazilian star Sandro – the defensive midfielder was not only one of the club’s most important players, but also for his home nation, as well. In the back, Willems was the best out of a mediocre bunch that could not put together a consistent season, with even GK Fernando Muslera falling to lapses of bad form. The club conceded 43 goals as a result, decent but not good enough. Martin Jol has been given another year to get the club back to the Premier League title, which they last won in 2012 under Harry Redknapp – with some new signings, especially in the back, they should at least be contenders.

Chelsea (2017: 5th – 2016: 6th)

It tends to be forgotten that Chelsea won the Premier League title as recently as 2014, but the club’s fall from champions to outside the top four as been swift and dramatic. Their manager, Sansa Mihajlovic, took over from Huub Stevens in March 2016, but led the club to little improvement in his first full season, finishing in 5th as opposed to 6th Place.

In their ranks they have possibly the best footballer on the planet in Sergio Aguero – there is not an award the 29 year old Argentine has not captured. For the fourth year in a row, he was named Chelsea’s Player of the Year, and claimed the Premier League Footballer of the Year for third time (2014, 2016, 2017). He was named in the Premier League Select for the fourth time (2013, 2014, 2016, 2017), and captured the Best Player in Europe of the second season in a row, as well as getting named to his third World Team of the Year (2014, 2016, 2017). He had little help, though, as Fernando Torres only appeared in 19 games, and Romelo Lukaku just did not play consistently enough. They had some strong play in the midfield from their experienced central midfielders Etienne Capoue and Ramires, but the problem was, the team could not gel together as a team. As their star players get older, the club has to reinvest in young talent to keep the squad fresh.

Manchester City (2017: 6th – 2016: Champions)

After capturing the title for the first time in forty-eight years, Alan Shearer was hailed a genius and Manchester City were called the club of the future. Fast forward one year, and Shearer is no longer with the club, which finished in a lowly 6th Place. What happened!? For one, Martin Kelly for £22,500,000 from Liverpool was a horrible deal (he only appeared 12 times for the club the entire season), while selling the club’s 2016 Player of the Year Mauricio Isla for £23,500,000 in the middle of the season made absolutely no sense. Hulk was the best player on the squad, and rightfully won the club’s Player of the Year, but where were the rest of the stars that powered their way to the Premier League title just one year ago? Edin Dzeko scored 16 goals but did not have the drive he did last season, while Samir Nasri only appeared in 21 games. The 33 year old Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder had a revival of sorts, but only James Milner could lay claim that he played to his ability in the club’s star studded midfield this season. One of the only bright spots was Erick Torres (Career Stats) = the 24 year old Mexican came for £10,250,000 and showed enough ability to have optimism for the future.

It is clear that the team needs to be re-evaluated, and perhaps under the helm of new manager Anre Villas-Boas, that can happen. Obviously, the talent on the squad is second to none, considering how much the club has spent over the past few years. And they will continue to spend, as long as their owners from Abu Dhabi remain interested in recapturing the Premier League title.

The Rest of the League

Aston Villa finished in 7th Place, thanks to Darren Bent, James McCarthy, and Tom Cleverley, who their Player of the Year…Everton finished in 8th Place thanks in part to Jack Rodwell…West Bromwich Albion, who finished in 11th Place, had a good seasons from Jonas Olsson and James McArthur…Out of the newly promoted teams, only Bristol City remained, with Birmingham and Leeds heading back down.

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Overall Team of the Year

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SPANISH LA LIGA REVIEW 2016/2017

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Overview

Footballer of the Year: Alan Dzagoev, Barcelona (32 Aps, 15 Goals, 9 Assists, 4 MotM, 7.77)

Goalkeeper of the Year: Diego Alves, Valencia (31 Aps, 30 Conceded, 11 Clean Sheets, 7.12)

Manager of the Year: Jose Mourinho, Real Madrid (Champions)

Real Madrid (2017: Champions – 2016: 3rd)

For the second time in Jose Mourinho’s tenure as Real Madrid manager, which started in 2010, the club captured the Spanish La Liga title, ending Barcelona’s bid to win it four times in a row. They won the league by ten points, a significant margin, and one that would surely have pleased the Madrid faithful as there was no doubt who the better team in Spain, or in Europe, was – they won their second Champions League title of the decade, defeating Tottenham in the Finals. The Portuguese spent £67,000,000 upgrading his team this season, the most expensive of which was Mauricio Isla, who cost the club £23,500,000 to acquire from Manchester City. The Chilean left back was certainly worth the price, and was a big part of the team in the half season he was with Real Madrid. Nicolas Nkoulou also came in the January window for £17,000,000 from Marseille, and also played a big part in their title winning campaign. For £15,250,000, Anderson came from Manchester United, and contributing 10 assists in the league, although he was inconsistent in form.

The heart and sould of the team, of course, remains Cristiano Ronaldo – at worst, he can be considered the second best player in the world, and won both the 2016 World Fooballer of the Year and the 2016 World Golden Ball awards – that was the third time he won both awards (2008, 2014, 2016), and was named in the World Team of the Year for the fifth time (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017). He was the La Liga’s Top Goalscorer with 25 goals, his highest tally since 2011, and was named to the La Liga Team of the Year for the third time (2014, 2015, 2017). It goes without saying that he was also Real Madrid’s Player of the Year for the fifth time in six years – indisputably, as he turns 33 next season and he has entered the last few years of career, he can be called one of the all-time greats. There simply was no equal in the world to him during 2016/17, bouncing back from an injury ravaged season last year to reclaim his title as one of the world’s best.

In the midfield, Real Madrid had talent to spare. Angel Di Maria had another strong season, scoring 7 league goals down the left wing. In the middle, one would be hard pressed to find a stronger pairing than Kwadwo Asamoah and Mesut Ozil. The former had his best season in his career, while Ozil continued to be one of the team’s most impressive players. Both are 28 years old, and entering the prime of their career, and for the first time in what seems like forever, Madrid have a midfield that can compare to that of rivals Barcelona.

In the back, Fabio Coentrao (who was sold to Manchester United after the season was over) and Sergio Ramos had extremely solid seasons, leading the Real Madrid defense that conceded a league low 39 goals, but a lot of credit also has to go to club captain, and legend, GK Iker Casillas. Still at the top of his game despite being 36 years old, Casillas once again showed why he could be called the greatest GK of all-time. It was a terrific season overall for Real Madrid, as they snatched both the La Liga and the Champions League titles from their bitter rivals Barcelona, which added to the luster of the already prestigious championships.

Barcelona (2017: 2nd – 2016: Champions)

Such was Roberto Mancini’s confidence in his team coming into this season that he did not acquire a single player, and why would he? Barcelona had just captured the La Liga title for the third straight time and the Champions League title for the fourth time in seven years, and seemed destined to keep the “Barcelona Era” alive. Somehow, it all unraveled very quickly – by February, Barcelona were out of the Champions League, having been knocked out by Tottenham, embarrassingly losing 4-0 in London, and were fifth in the La Liga. At the end, they managed to claw their way back into second, but they remained a full ten points behind rivals Real Madrid. All of this brought forward talk about the “Barcelona Era” being over, but that is a bit premature. The club, after all, still has Lionel Messi. Injury free for the first time in years, Messi quite noticeably had lost a step of pace, but his genius remained all the same. He was selected to the World Team of the Year for the fourth time (2012, 2013, 2014, 2017), and to the La Liga Team of the Year for the fourth time (2012, 2014, 2015, 2017) – most importantly, he played in 33 games for the club. There has never been a winner on the club level like Messi in the history of the sport, and at the age of 30, he is still in the prime of his career and ready to win more titles and awards.

The La Liga Player of the Year for the second time in a row, Alan Dzagoev could do no wrong on the pitch this season. Simply put, he was absolutely outstanding – he was also named to the La Liga Team of the Year for the second time in a row and named the Russian Player of the Year for the second year in a row, as well. Playing alongside Messi freed him up, and he netted a career high 15 league goals. The 27 year old was arguably Barcelona’s second most important player this campaign. Alongside him was Alexis Sanchez, who displayed his usual brilliance and ability. It was another typical season from the Chilean, which means he was among the best players in the world. The rest of the midfield read like an all-star list: club legend Andreas Iniesta, Gylfi Sigurdsson, and Spanish Player of the Year Cesc Fabregas. There is no midfield in the world as deep and as talented as Barcelona’s, bar none, and they all gave the club good seasons.

The club’s defense was wear the problem this season was – other than club legends Gerard Pique and Dani Alves, there wasn’t anyone who had a good season. For the first time in six years, Victor Valdes conceded more goals than he had appearances, which highlighted what needed work in this squad. Roberto Mancini will need to address this issue if the “Barcelona Era” is to continue – for the offensive talent it has, the club needs to be able to stop goals from being conceded.

Malaga (2017: 3rd – 2016: 4th)

Roberto Donadoni’s reputation continues to improve dramatically after the club did what no one thought they would – improve on last season. That is exactly what happened, however, as Malaga beat out the rest of league for the right to finish behind the two biggest clubs in Spain. Donadoni’s team were actually tied on points with Barcelona, and were the third best offensive and defensive team in the La Liga, leaving no doubt that they were worthy of finishing 3rd Place.

The reason they were so potent on offense was Facundo Ferreyra – in his first full season with the club, he scored 22 league goals. The 26 year old Argentine showed his ability last year, and continued his great form this season, winning the Malaga Player of the Year for 2017. His partner up front was Park Chu Young, who also scored 22 league goals – both for Ferreyra and Young, they were career highs. In the middle of the pitch, Malaga were led by Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Pedro Leon – the latter led the team in assists with 13, the second best tally in his career (in 2014/15, he delivered 17 assists). In the back, the best defender was Ezequiel Munoz.

The glue that holds the team together is the manager – he continues to lead the squad into Champions League football, and the team continues to overachieve despite much bigger teams in the league. The manager spent £33,500,000 on new players during the season, and hopefully, they will show in terms of contributions during next season.

Villareal (2017: 4th – 2016: 2nd)

Even though Villareal fell two places from 2nd to 4th, the season was still a success as they qualified for the Champions League again. Juan Carlos Garrido again was the mastermind in leading the club to this achievement, no small feat considering the size of the club. Giuseppe Rossi was back to his goalscoring ways, leading the club in the category and winning its Player of the Year. Unfortunately, however, last year’s Player of the Year, Andrea Poli was struck with knee tendonitis, ruling him out for four months and allowing him to play in only 14 games. Taking his place in the midfield was free transfer signing Javier Mascherano – the 33 year old showed he still had a lot of football to offer, becoming one of the teams most important players during the season. Club captain Bruno, also 33 years old, again anchored the midfield, and remained one of the best at his position in the entire league.

Given their success under Garrido, it will be no surprise anymore if the club maintain their top four position next season, although it is a task proving to be more difficult with time. However, as long as the manager keeps making smart signings and bringing in the right players, Villareal should continue to thrive, and certainly the Champions League money will continue to flow.

The Rest of the League

Despite fine individual seasons from Alvaro Negredo and Armin Bacinovic, Sevilla once again failed to break into the top four, finishing in 5th Place….Falcao and Adam Ljajic, who was named in the La Liga Team of the Year, led Atletico Madrid to 6th Place….Valencia, who finished in 7th Place, were the second best defensive team in the league due to La Liga Team of the Year members, GK Diego Alves and Adil Rami….

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Overall Team of the Year

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SERIE A REVIEW 2016/2017

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Footballer of the Year: Mauro Formica, Inter Milan

Foreign Player of the Year: Mauro Formica, Inter Milan

Italian Player of the Year: Alessio Cerci, Fiorentina

Fans’ Player of the Year: Mauro Formica, Inter Milan

Goalkeeper of the Year: Emiliano Viviano, Inter Milan

Defender of the Year: Ivan Fatic, Chievo

Young Player of the Year: Nuno Guerreiro, Calgiari

Manager of the Year: Sersi Cosmi, Napoli

Sampdoria (2017: Champions – 2016: 4th)

Much like Udinese did in 2012, Sampdoria took Italy by complete surprise when it won the Serie A title this season. The signs were there, however – after finishing 3rd in 2015 and 4th in 2016, the club had proven itself as one of the best teams in Italy currently, and it all came together this season as they captured the title, dethroning two-time defending champions Inter Milan in the process. Since Tonino Manni bought the club in 2015 from Riccardo Garrone, he has poured in millions into the club, investing in the infrastructure by developing both youth and training facilities. The wisest thing he did, however, was retaining the services of manager Gianluca Atzori, the man that led Sampdoria out of the Serie B in 2012 and into top tier football. The strategy has been slow and steady since then, but Atzori put together a title winning squad this season without a single superstar – the entire team is made up of hardworking players that bought into the manager’s system and as a result, churned out a seemingly improbable title. This is only the second time in the club’s history they have won the Serie A, with the first being in 1991.

Atzori’s largest signing of the season came during the January window, paying Lille £10,250,000 for striker Magaye Gueye. The 27 year old French left winger did extremely well, scoring 8 goals in 16 appearances. His acquisition freed the Sampdoria Player of the Year, Giacomo Bonaventura, to play in the center of the field, getting named in the 2017 Serie A Team of the Year. The Italian international was acquired for £8,500,000 in 2015 from Lecce, and since then has become a central part of this team. Alongside him is club legend, and their former Player of the Year for the five years, Angelo Palombo – the 35 year old defensive midfielder, despite his age, appeared in 35 games for the club, distributing 7 assists. He has spent 16 years at Sampdoria, and holds the club record for league appearances with 498. On the right wing was Romanian Alexandru Chipciu – the 28 year old was not spectacular, but did his job solidly, much like the rest of the team.

Up front, Sampdoria’s leading scorer was Ji Dong-Won, who scored 12 league goals, a very average number by normal standards. However, the club led the league in goals scored with 71 goals, thanks to contributions of Julian Schieber and Andrija Kaludjerovic – none of them scored more than the South Korean, but together, they were the main reason the squad scored the way it did. In the back, £7,500,000 signing Floriant Lejuene and last year’s £10,250,000 signing Jordi Amat played well in front of GK Segio Romero, and together, they conceded the least goals in the Serie A. The best offensive and the best defensive team in the league was its champions. While very little people expect Sampdoria to defend its title successfully, especially with the way Inter Milan upgraded its team over the season, this was a big victory for the underdogs, and a feel good story that sent a very clear message – even if you don’t have amazing talent on your squad, you can still win through hard work, heart, and teamwork.

AC Milan (2017: 2nd – 2016: 8th)

In 2015, the most famous club in Italy finished the season in 12th place, the lowest it had finished since 1982 – while things improved a little bit in 2016, they still only managed to finish in 8th place, which was completely unacceptable by AC Milan standards. Then, in the summer of 2016, Silvio Berlusconi headed the reigns of the club over to new chairman Franco Baresi in an internal takeover, heralding a new era for the club. Carlo Ancelotti, hired in December of 2015 to replace Francesco Guidolin, remained as manager of the club, and together, Baresi and his manager brought the club back into prominence this season, finishing in 2nd Place to Sampdoria. A change in administration was all the club needed, it seemed, because the team that Carlo Ancelotti had at the end of the 2015/16 season remained largely unchanged through the 2016/17 season – the big difference, however, was the emergence of Xaropinho (Career Stats). The giant Brazilian striker, who is only 20 years old, lit the Serie A on fire once Ancelotti decided to throw him into the starting lineup, and failed to win AC Milan’s Player of the Year only because he did not appear in enough games. That honor went to central defender Matias Silvestre – the Paris Saint-Germain bound Italian international played the finest season of his career, highlighted by his 7.42 AR. Alongside Silvestre was Thiago Silva, one of Milan’s most consistent performers the past few years.

The weakest part of this AC Milan team was its midfield – other than Antonio Nocerino, there was not a single other player that lived up to expectations this season. Nocerino was Milan’s Player of the Year in 2016, and remained one of their most important players in 2016/17. Up front, however, is where Milan’s most talented players can be found – namely, the two Brazilians, Xaropinho and Pato. After three underwhelming seasons, Pato finally found his form alongside his Brazilian teammate, scoring 13 goals. The main story, though, was Xaropinho. He is Milan’s future, and has the potential to be perhaps the best striker in the world. As he goes next season, so will Ancelotti’s Milan team.

Juventus (2017: 3rd – 2016: 9th)

Once Italy’s best team in the 1990s and early 2000s, Juventus has since faded from the spotlight, dealing with bribery scandals in the mid 2000s that resulted in its relegation to the Serie B. The club never recovered since then, and sank to new lows in the mid 2010s, but under manager Ricardo Moniz, who was hired in 2016, the team found its way back to the top three of the league, despite featuring no stars to speak of. Moniz spent £34,000,000 on players during the season, with £10,000,000 going to Corinthians for Ruan and £6,250,000 to Barcelona for Thiago – both signings lived up to their price tags, especially the latter. On the other hand, however, £8,500,000 was spent on Airton from Shalke, but the defensive midfielder only appeared four times for the club and was a complete bust.

Their Player of the Year was Serbian Milos Krasic – the right winger won Juventus’ top award for the third time (2013, 2016, 2017), and has been perhaps their most important player the past few years, along with Giorgio Chiellini. Both players have stuck with the team through its rough patches, becoming club Icons in the process. Alongside Chiellini was Brazilian central defender Douglas, the former Serie A Player of the Year. He was voted to the Serie A Team of the Year in 2017, the third time he had been named in the team. With the presence of those two, Juventus was the second best team defensively in the Serie A, conceding only 38 goals.

With Krasic and Thiago playing well in the midfield, Mirko Vucinic contributed the goals up front, scoring 20 leagues goals, good enough to be the Serie A Top Goalscorer in 2017. He was also named to his first Serie A Team of the Year, having the best season of his career to date. The team did well with the talent it had, relying on its solid defense and Vucinic’s goals to push it to 3rd Place. The man who made it happen, Ricardo Moniz, left the club for Manchester United at the end of the season, and Juventus will start 2017/18 with Massimo Feccadenti as its manager.

Inter Milan (2017: 4th – 2016: Champions)

Widely considered the most talented team in Italy, they went into the season as heavy favorites to win their third straight Serie A title. They were already two time defending champions, and Nicolo Frustalupi, one of the most talented managers in the world, spent a staggering £86,000,000 over the course of the season. Somehow, the team ended in 4th Place, barely grabbing on to a Champions League spot. It is unclear what exactly happening, especially as their four big signings all did well. Felipe Anderson (£17,000,000), Ahmed Khalil (£18,000,000), Ruben Yttegard Jenssen (£21,500,000), and Stefan Bell (Career Stats) (£17,250,000) each became a big part of the team, and the latter was in especially solid form.

Mauro Formica, who has possibly been the best player in the league the past couple of seasons, again won Inter Milan’s Player of the Year, and although he did have a good season, it was not up to par with his previous ones. Jack Collison and Coutinho also had a good seasons, while Seydou Doumbia led the team in goals with 14 in the league. Critics are already chalking up the season as a blip, with most putting Inter Milan as favorites to reclaim the title in 2016/17. On paper, no other team in Italy compares to the talent they possess, and they have already proven themselves capable of being winners.

The Rest of the League

Another strong performance from Napoli, who finished in 5th Place, up from 7th in 2016….Cagliari continued to surprise, finishing in 6th Place thanks to reigning Serie A Young Player of the Year Nuno Guerreiro (Career Stats) and Alberto Paloschi….Roma disappointed, finishing in 8th Place, despite Andrea Bertolacci and Miralem Pjanic manning their midfield….The most disappointing team in the Serie A, however, was Fiorentina, who finished 8th despite Stevan Jovetic again being one of the best players in Italy. He has left for Arsenal in a £42,000,000 move….Lazio were relegated again, another big blow for what is historically one of the biggest clubs in Italy.

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Overall Team of the Year

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FRENCH LIGUE 1 2016/2017 REVIEW

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Player of the Year: Jimmy Briand, Lyonnais (30 Aps, 10 Goals, 9 Assists, 4 MotM, 7.33)

GK of the Year: Stephane Ruffier, Saint Ettiene (34 Aps, 51 Conceded, 4 Clean Sheets, 6.97)

Foreign Player of the Year: Jordan Ayew, Marseille (35 Aps, 20 Goals, 2 Assists, 5 MotM, 7.47)

Most Promising Player: Mattia Maffi, Bordeaux (On loan from Inter Milan) (33 Aps, 6 Goals, 2 Assists, 1 MotM, 6.77)

Manager of the Year: Francis Gillot, Saint Ettiene (7th Place)

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Ligue 1 Best Team of All-Time

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GERMAN BUNDESLIGA 2016/2017 REVIEW

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Player of the Year: Vladimir Weiss, Wolfsburg (31 Aps, 6 Goals, 12 Assists, 6 MotM, 7.76)

GK of the Year: Roman Weidenfeller, Dortmund (28 Aps, 26 Conceded, 11 Clean Sheets, 7.11)

Defender of the Year: Mats Hummels, Dortmund (26 Aps, 1 Goals,3 Assists, 4 MotM, 7.28)

Midfielder of the Year: Mario Gotze, Dortmund (31 Aps, 1 Goals, 8 Assists, 8 MotM, 7.71)

Striker of the Year: Brown Ideye, Bayern Munich (24 Aps, 10 Goals, 0 Assists, 2 MotM, 7.06)

Manager of the Year: Marco Pezzaiuoli, FC Koln (3rd Place)

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Bundesliga Team of All-Time

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There definitely seems to be something up with the name Xarophino, it's just destined for stardom.

Great progression in your career so far. Good luck in the prem! :)

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There definitely seems to be something up with the name Xarophino, it's just destined for stardom.

Great progression in your career so far. Good luck in the prem! :)

Thanks! The Xaropinho is my save looks set to be one of the best players on the planet very soon :)

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Bromley 2017/2018 Preview

Overview

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Media Expectation: 20th Place, Relegation

Board Expectation: Avoid Relegation

Transfer Budget: £25,000,000 (Remaining: £0)

Wage Budget: £137,448 (Current: £128,318)

Estimated Value: £39,500,000 (Loan Debt: £17,000,000)

Season Ticket Holders: 1,828

Bank Balance: (£21,316,282)

Six years after taking over the club, Bromley is now in the Premier League, and I am one of the most sought after managers in the world, even got offered the Manchester United job before they gave it to Ricardo Moniz. We got promoted in style, winning the npower Championship league in just our second season, and now we find ourselves in familiar territory yet again, as supposedly the worst team in the league we’re in.

For once, the board really supported me and gave me a very generous transfer budget and a more than acceptable wage budget to work with, and I made full use of it. The team needs a lot of work in every aspect, and I did just that, bringing in some very talented youths that joined Musah and Magnusson in shaping the future of the squad. They started working on the Bromley Stadium a year later than they planned to, so the club will have to wait till 2019 before we move in.

Obviously, the goal will be just to survive the season without getting relegated, so anything over 18th Place will be viewed as a success. I am optimistic we can at least meet that goal, given that we were the best team in the npower Championship last year and we did a lot of upgrading this season in terms of transfer acquisitions. The board allowed me to put the club nearly £22,000,000 in the red, but I assume we’re going to make that back from the TV money and what not. We should at least be able to finish higher than the other two newly promoted sides, but nothing is a guarantee. The Premier League is eons ahead of the Championship in terms of talent, so it will be a fight. One, however, we are ready for!

Again, my focus was primarily on youth. We broke our transfer fee record by signing Gaucho for £9,500,000, and he was joined by Gilmar from Santos for £6,750,000 as our signings from Brazil. Igor Chuvalskiy and Lukas Kubik came from Russia and the Czech Republic fomr £3,700,000 and £5,000,000, respectively. Earlier in the offseason, I brought in Howard Thornton and Stelian Simu, both 16 year old midfielders, because I believe they could be useful squad players in a few years. I also added a couple of veteran signings in David Bentley and Sergio Sanchez – both will get good playing time as we lack depth at right back and right wing.

As for players that left the club, it was mostly a wage clearing project, with the likes of Patrick Twardzik, Nadir Bendahmane, Steven Saunders, and Aaron Mooy leaving the club on free. The latter was perhaps the most useful player of the four – the other three showed little during last season that suggested they could compete in the Premier League. Mooy gave us three good years as the starting right winger, but with the signings of Gilmar and Bentley, his wages were no longer justified.

Players

GOALKEEPERS

Raffaele Di Gennaro: Signed in mid-September last season, he proved himself a capable GK, conceding 28 goals in 27 appearances. Whether he is good enough for the Premier League remains to be seen, but the 23 year GK will get his chance.

Andy Dixon: A Bromley youth academy graduate, he appeared in 11 games last season, conceded an impressive 9 goals and winning 2 MotM. The 21 year old has been with the club since 2011, and has continued to develop well. Development: 201520162017.

DEFENDERS

DL : Matthew Morgan: The 20 year old came to the club in 2015 as a free transfer signing, with the intent of adding depth to the position. He quickly became the starter at left back, and it speaks of the faith the club has in him that there was not any signings to compete for his playing time during the window. His 37 appearances last year were marked by consistency and solid defensive play. Development: 201520162017.

DC : Gaucho: The club’s record signing comes from Internacional from Brazil, costing £9,500,000. The 18 year old defender/midfielder has bundles of talent, however, and there is optimism that come the end of the season, he would have already justified his large price tag. A great overall player, he has fantastic technical ability as well as defensive prowess.

DC : Jesper Alberts: It is hard to believe that the Belgian central defender is still not 20 years old yet. Mature beyond his years, he also turned out to be quite a threat from set pieces last season, scoring 8 goals in the process. His talent, however, lays in his defense – he was the club’s finest defender in 2016/17 hands down. Still, he needs to improve his tackles – 1.88 Tackles per Game as a central defender was quite poor. Development: January 20162017.

DR : Kevin Long: He is the vice-captain of the squad and one of the most influential members of the team. The Irishman has been switched between the center of the defense and the right back position, but now that there is good depth in the middle, he will start full-time on the right. The 27 year old has the ability to become a good Premier League player.

S : Alexandre: Came to the club on free last season in January, and immediately started alongside Alberts in the middle of the defense. This year, he will give up his starting to position to fellow Brazilian Gaucho, but will see loads of playing time as the third choice central defender.

S : Kieran Holland: The 16 year old has been called the brightest prospect to come out of the Bromley youth academy ever, but only time will prove whether that is true or not. He will be the second choice right back behind Kevin Long in a position the sorely lacks depth, so his chances should be plenty.

S : Paul Black: Came on in January for £250,000 from Oldham, the 27 year old English left back spent a lot of the time injured. Will cover Morgan and rotate with him throughout the season.

MIDFIELDERS

ML : Lukas Kubik: The 19 year cost the club £5,000,000 to acquire him from Czech club Jablonec – he has been a target for the past two years, and a deal was finally worked out to bring him over to London. Although left midfield is not a natural position of his, that is where he will start the season, with hopes that his technical ability and pace will bring out the best in him. He certainly can score, hitting 12 goals in 14 appearances for Czech club Mlada Boleslav last season on loan.

MC : Porvaldur Magnusson: While he is not the most prolific player in Bromley’s history (that honor goes to Law), Magnusson has certainly been the most talented to ever play at Hayes Lane. Again he was crowned the team’s Player of the Year, and he was also named the npower Championship Player of the Year, as well. His 18 assists certainly went a long way in helping the club win the league title, and now has been rewarded with the largest contract in club history. Development: 201520162017.

MC : Igor Chuvalskiy: He cost Bromley £3,700,000 from Spartak Moscow, but the central midfielder certainly looks the worth the price. He is a good all-around player, with fine defensive ability as well as good attacking ability, and the 19 year old will start alongside Magnusson in the center of the midfield.

MR : Gilmar: The second largest signing in Bromley history, he was bought this summer for £6,750,000 from Santos. This right winger has the potential to be one of the best in the Premier League, and will immediately start. He appeared 22 times for his former club last season, scoring 3 goals and delivering 3 assists.

S : Ebby Harwood: The 18 year old Bromley youth academy product has shown more ability than anyone expected of him, and his growth continues to impress. While he will not be the automatic starter at left wing anymore, he can be assured of lots of playing time – he played in 43 games for the club last season, scoring 4 goals and delivering 9 assists. Development: 201520162017.

S : Petar Skocibusic: The 17 year old Croat appeared in 29 games for the club last year, but for the most part, proved that he was not quite ready to start. Still very young, he showed signs of good improvement in his ability, and will be the third choice central midfielder this season. Development: 20162017.

S : David Bentley: The 32 year old former England international will rotate with young Gilmar at the right wing this season, adding much needed depth to the position. Signed on free after he was let go by Aston Villa, he has lost much of his pace but his technical skills remain.

FORWARDS

F : Elliot Law: The captain of the squad, 23 year old Elliot Law has proven time and time again that he should not be underestimated. Although critics suggest, yet again, that he simply does not have talent to survive at this stage, I have learned not to bet against him. For that reason, I have held off on signing any forward this season, and after all he has done for us, he deserves his chance to fight in the Premier League. Development: 201520162017.

F : Emmanuel Musa: Although he spent large parts of his first season with the club on the injured list, the German/Ghanaian still was joint top scorer with 16 league goals for the club. He might know it yet, but I fully believe he will become one of the best players in the Premier League – the fact that he is only 19 years old but shows such fantastic ability has led me to believe, if he stays with us, that he will be the best player the club has seen put on its shirt. Development: 20162017.

S : Lovro Scrbec: His contributions last year cannot be oversold – simply put, when we were facing injury crisis after injury crisis, whether in the midfield or up front, it was Scrbec who covered us and did not allow our momentum to die. This season, he will be the third choice striker, but the 27 year Croatian should see plenty of action.

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Bromley September Update 2017/2018

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Overview

Our Premier League debut was a rough one as we took a 4-1 hammering from Tottenham at White Hart Lane. Emmanuel Musah got our only goal, but GK Raffaele Di Gennaro’s performance was especially worrying. Shortly after the match, I made an offer for free agent Papa Coulibaly, Senegal’s first choice GK. A £9,000 weekly base salary was enough to persuade him to join, rejecting Italian champions Sampdoria in the process. It was a move I felt I had to make – after the Tottenham game, I had heavy doubts that Di Gennaro could hold his own against Premier League teams.

My move was justified, and we pulled off an impressive 1-1 draw away to West Brom, who did well last season, finishing 8th Place. Musah hit his second goal, and our team played well overall. Most importantly, Coulibaly was fantastic in his opening, and made some important saves for us. He did the same in our third match and our home debut against champions Manchester United, and we pulled off a fantastic 1-1 draw. Our captain Elliot Law scored his first Premier League goal, and I was extremely proud of my boys – we earned a point by being the Premier League champion’s equal through most of the match.

Against Manchester City, however, we got dominated – a 4-0 loss that was highlighted by our complete lack of control, giving away possession after possession in the midfield. Our defense was equally awful, but I had to take some part of the blame. I failed to see the threat Sabino Cavallari, and he ran circles around us as we focused on other, bigger name targets. He won the MotM, and was a big reason why we lost the way we did. The defeat left us in 17th Place with 2 points from our first 4 matches.

Our final match of the month was at home against Liverpool, and it was more of the same from the squad. We lost 2-0, but again, we were underwhelming in our performance. We barely put two passes together, and we had to face counter-attack after counter-attack from a clearly superior team. We ended our first full month of in the Premier League without winning a single match – our two points had us in 19th Place, in the relegation zone.

On the bright side, we won both our League Cup matches, so we were now in the Fourth Round. They were against weaker competition in Rochdale and Norwich, so they were games I expected us to win. We had to get better in the Premier League, however – it was a rough schedule to start the season off and we’ve had some bad results, but we had to find a way to turn things around.

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Bromley October Update 2017/2018

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Overview

Our month started at Goodison Park against Everton, and we lost 3-1. Emmanuel Musah scored our only goal, and Lukas Kubik got injured for two months with a sprained ankle. I didn’t know sprained ankle took two months to get over! Anyway, another terrible performance, another torrid defensive effort – it is becoming more obvious to me that something is not right with our back four. I am going to have sit down and restructure my tactics.

At home to Chelsea, we at least showed more initiative, although we still lost 1-0. It was getting very frustrating, but I was thankful that our opponents from here on in were of a much lesser caliber than we had been playing. We had fellow newcomers Reading next, and this was a match I fully expected us to gain our first win from.

Reading were doing well, much better than us, sitting in 14th Place with 5 points. Eight yellow cards (which came with a £25,000 fine), a red card for Matthew Morgan, and injuries to Ebby Harwood and Gilmar, both who were to be out for up to five weeks, were the cost of a 1-0 win at home, pushing up to 16th Place with 5 points. It was, perhaps, the ugliest football game I have played thus far in my career, and it did little to inspire confidence that we had broken our winless streak and were set to play better football as a team.

We would end the month with the Fourth Round League Cup match against Tottenham at home. Despite being heavy underdogs, we gave the same team that defeated us 4-1 at the beginning of the season quite a match, eventually losing 3-2. It was an entertaining affair, but I did not really care too much about our progress in this competition – I neither had the youth to give them a run in the tournament nor did I have enough players to compete on three levels, so I was not too disappointed with our loss.

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Having someone who can score 20 goals is a huge bonus for a team battling relegation.

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Having someone who can score 20 goals is a huge bonus for a team battling relegation.

You're telling me! Right now, our hopes lay with Musah - he's been our only consistent goalscorer. Captain Elliot Law just does not look cut out for the Premier League - then again, thats what I said about him in the Championship too :)

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Bromley November Update 2017/2018

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Overview

We faced off against a strong Fulham team at the beginning of November at Craven Cottage – led by manager Stale Solbakken, they finished last year in 10th Place, but easily looked like they could be a top seven team this year. They had gotten a total steal in Obinna Okoronkwo, acquiring him from Young Boys in Switzerland for £4,300,000, and possessed one of the best midfielders in the Premier League in Rasmus Elm. Needless to say, we lost 3-1, and we were lucky they only scored just three goals, because they had enough chances to make it five or six.

Next we were away to Swansea, who had survived in the Premier League the past six years despite being one of the favorites to go down in each season. Abdelzaher El Saka, the first ever Egyptian manager to do so in the Premier League, had been at the helm for just over a year now, and had the club in 15th Place, just about where they were predicted to be. They had Dejan Juric, whom they acquired from Dinamo Bucharest last season for £5,250,000 – the 21 year old Croatian striker was the present and future of the squad. Just two days before our match, I was hit with the news that our vice-captain Kevin Long suffered a double hernia during training, and was ruled out for three months. This meant that whether he was ready or not, young Bromley youth product Kieran Holland was going to get thrown into the starting lineup. In the second minute of the match, David Bentley got himself sent off with a straight red card, leaving us down one man for nearly the entire match. It ended 1-1, with Musah again scoring our goal. As for Holland, he proved himself quite capable, and was actually our second best player on the night after Musah, who won the MotM.

We finally went back to Hayes Lane against Bristol City, and this was a game I had high hopes for, even though they were in 12th Place and had recently thrashed Reading 5-0. I switched my line-up quite a bit, resting Law and Holland amongst others, starting Sanchez and throwing Scrbec up front to partner up Musah. It worked well, and we pulled off a 1-0 victory with Porvaldur Magnusson scoring our only goal and winning the MotM. Our star midfielder was not having an easy time adjusting to the Premier League, but the last couple of games, he had done much better.

After an international football break, we were up against Wolves at the Molineux – they had won promotion from the Championship in 2015 after being relegated in 2014 under manager Dave Jones, and finished 16th place last season. This year, they were sitting in 11th place with 16 points, so they were not going to be easy opponents to face. We lost the game 1-0, and it was an absolutely disgusting game. Alexandre got himself sent off in the dying minutes of the match thanks to a pointless tackle, seeing a straight red card. Earlier, Jesper Alberts suffered a twisted knee, and that ruled him out of the next five weeks.

Our final match of the month was at Hayes Lane against Aston Villa, a club in turmoil. Despite finishing in 7th place in 2016/17, the first full season under the ownership of Brendan Flood, all hell had broken loose this season – simply put, the team was not in a good place. Just one spot above relegation when they should be competing for a European spot, Flood sacked Mick McCarthy in early November and hired Alan Shearer, himself recently let go by Arsenal, to lead them back up the table. We continued to add to their misery, winning 3-1 in a fantastic win. Elliot Law finally found the back of the net after thirteen hours of going goalless – more importantly, though, was new signing Lukas Kubik scoring his first goal for the club. He has not had the best of starts, but hopefully this goal will have him pick up some momentum and start giving us better performances.

David Bentley made the announcement on the final day of the month that he was set to retire at the end of the season – in all honesty, he has not contributed the way I thought he would, and his attributes have declined drastically in the past few months. I’ll be glad to be rid of his £7,500 weekly salary!

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Hadn't really been following this thread, but at a quick glance, you've had a great journey and it's great to see you moving away from the relegation zone :thup:

Musah looks to be doing a good job so far, a goal every other game - is he your main striker? Or is it still Law as Musah looks absolutely quality!

Good news about Bentley then as well if he isn't producing the goods :p

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Hadn't really been following this thread, but at a quick glance, you've had a great journey and it's great to see you moving away from the relegation zone :thup:

Musah looks to be doing a good job so far, a goal every other game - is he your main striker? Or is it still Law as Musah looks absolutely quality!

Good news about Bentley then as well if he isn't producing the goods :p

After a few results in the upcoming months, we've done really well. Musah is definitely my main striker, but I play with some pretty basic tactics upfront, utilisizing two complete forward positions.

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Bromley December Update 2017/2018

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Overview

We started the month off against Southampton, who were in an impressive 7th place. This was the club’s fourth straight year in the Premier League after being promoted in 2014. They outclassed, outhustled, and simply outplayed us in front of our home fans – they won 2-0, but honestly, our team deserved by a much larger margin.

Our next match was away to struggling Stoke – they had just changed ownership, and now had a new manager, Alan McDermott, at the helm. It was an evenly played game, but we took the lead through Igor Chuvalskiy in the second half – it was the Russian’s first league goal for the club. However, it was Chuvalskiy who rewarded Stoke a penalty late in the game, and it ended 1-1. Papa Coulibaly, our starting GK, was awarded the MotM after some fantastic saves kept our opponents at bay.

Against Sheffield Wednesday, we were surprisingly resilient, finishing with a 0-0 draw away from home – we could have even won if Gaucho had converted our penalty shot. Matthew Morgan took home the MotM after a fantastic performance down the left wing. This left us in 16th place, six points safe from Aston Villa in 18th place.

Up next we had Newcastle at home – they were led by Fitz Hall, and were in 13th place. This match, however, we made them look like they were world beaters, especially central defender Lewis Dunk, who scored a hat-trick against in the 3-1 loss. Leave it to our defense to concede 3 goals to a player who HAS NEVER SCORED IN HIS ENTIRE CAREER. Ridiculous stuff. We were so bad we did not have single player with a rating over 6.8. Our upcoming match against West Ham was postponed because of heavy snow at Hayes Lane.

The last game of the year was at home against Arsenal – a huge match for us as they were our London neighbors. They had spent £69,000,000 on new players this year, paying Fiorentina £42,000,000 for their superstar and club legend Stevan Jovetic. The 2015 Premier League champions were struggling this year, however, having fired Alan Shearer and hired Frank De Boer in late November. Now they found themselves in 6th place, ten points off of the top. We took a 2-0 lead in the first half and never looked back, winning the match 3-2 to secure our most famous victory of all-time. This is the same team that just lost 3-1 against Newcastle at home – it felt like the boys were coming of age in front of my eyes. Time will tell if that was the case, but for now, I am basking the full glory of this win, which left us in 15th place.

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Football News

November 11th, 2017: Keith Humphreys successfully acquired Stoke City today, finalizing the deal that saw him buy the club from former owner Peter Coates. Humphreys was previously a minority shareholder at the club, so the acquisition was viewed as an internal takeover. Stoke have finished either 8th or 9th place in four of the past five seasons, with the exception of last season, when they finished 14th place. The club is currently managed by Nigel Pearson and estimated to be worth £35,500,000, although it does have a loan debt of £49,000,000. Note: Pearson was sacked on November 25th by the new owner, and was replaced by Alan McDermott.

November 11th, 2011: Following their 3-2 away loss to West Bromwich, Arsenal have sacked maanger Alan Shearer, having fallen to 7th place in the Premier League. The Premier League Manager of the Year in 2016 when he led Manchester City to the title, Shearer had been at Arsenal for just over eight months before getting the sack. Arsenal have hired Bayern Munich manager Frank De Boer to replace him – the Dutch legend took over the German club in July of 2016, and led them back to the German Bundesliga title in his first year in charge of the club. In turn, Bayern Munich hired former Mons Iver Mjelde, signing him from Frankfurt.

November 23rd, 2011: Almeria were bought by Mariusz Olszewski today, who acquired the club from Arkadiusz Onyszko in an internal takeover. The club won promotion back to the La Liga after spending one year in the Liga adelante, and are currently in an impressive 7th place. The club is estimated to be worth £32,000,000, and has a loan debt of £15,000,000.

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A 5000 seat stadium for the Premiership ;) Glad you've got a new one coming soon!

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A 5000 seat stadium for the Premiership ;) Glad you've got a new one coming soon!

LOL - I am, too! The new one has a capacity of just over 16,000 - I dont see why we shouldnt fill that one too

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Hope you can expand it as well.

I hope so - 16,000 is still too small! Its a start though :)

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You threw me out by craftily naming the December update as 'October'.

Lol - oops! Fixed now :)

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Although near the bottom I'm sure you knew it was going to be tough. You're a few points off the drop zone though and appear to be getting good results against the teams around you. Overall I'd be happy with the start. Musah not scored for a while though, needs to buck his ideas up.

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Although near the bottom I'm sure you knew it was going to be tough. You're a few points off the drop zone though and appear to be getting good results against the teams around you. Overall I'd be happy with the start. Musah not scored for a while though, needs to buck his ideas up.

Definitely knew it was going to be tough, and its lived up to that billing - however, we're still safe from the drop, which was the goal. Musah really does need to find the net, though!

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Just about holding your own, but what a great result against Arsenal :thup:

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U20 WORLD CUP 2017 – SWITZERLAND

GROUP STAGES

There were no major surprises in the Group Stages of the U20 World 2017, and things went off without a hitch for the world’s major footballing nations. Saudi Arabia managing to qualify first in Group F, ahead of Italy, was perhaps the biggest shock – otherwise, it was business as usual. Three time defending champions Brazil, who naturally were the favorites to retain the trophy, won all three of their games, scoring nine goals and conceding none. Once again, they looked like they were going to obliterate all competition in front of them. 2015 Runner-Up Chile also made it to the Second Round, albeit just barely, qualifying third in Group B behind Argentina and Nigeria.

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SECOND ROUND

This is where the upsets started – the Brazilians were knocked out by Holland on penalties, while Chile were thrown out in extra-time by Iran. Uruguay defeated their southern neighbors Argentina, and Saudi Arabia qualified to the Quarter-Finals by defeating the hosts, Switzerland, on penalties. The two players who would end being the second and third leading goalscorers in the tournament, Brazilian striker Cabral (5 goals), and French striker Luc Granier (4 goals), both exited in the Second Round, with the former winning the Best Player award.

QUARTER-FINALS

The Quarter-Finals was the end of the road for the Middle Eastern teams, with Iran and Saudi Arabia exiting at the hands of Uruguay and Holland, respectively. Italy would defeat the Americans 3-1, and England defeated Tunisia 2-1. The English were led by striker Carl Marshall, who ended up leading the tournament in scoring with 6 goals and should have been given its Best Player award.

SEMI-FINALS & FINALS

In a much anticipated match, Italy defeated England 3-0 in the Semi-Finals, setting up a matchup with Holland in the Finals, who had defeated Uruguay. The Italians had Carlo Tulli in their ranks, and he would go on to be the Runner-Up in the Best Player award. As for the Dutch, their finest player was their GK, Bas De Boer, who won the Golden Glove award. Holland would defeat Italy in the Finals 2-0, capturing the U20 World Cup for the first time in their history, and stopping Brazil’s title winning streak at three.

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AWARDS

BEST PLAYER: Cabral (4 Appearances, 5 Goals, 2 Assists, 8.13) – Lyonnais’ 19 year old striker was outstanding when he played, but the trouble was that Brazil were knocked out in the Second Round, with calls going out that England’s Carl Marshall should have won it. Still, through the first two rounds, there was no better player, displaying power and speed that overmatched every defense he came up against.

BEST GOALKEEPER: Bas De Boer (6 Aps, 3 Conceded, 4 Clean Sheets, 7.25) – The 20 year old goalkeeper was the main reason a Dutch side that were widely considered to be Second Round fodder at best ended up winning the U20 World Cup. There have been arguments made that he also deserved the Best Player award, but there was no doubting who the best GK in the tournament was.

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EUROPEAN U21 CHAMPIONSHIP 2017 – ENGLAND

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Holland were perhaps the best team in the Group Stages, qualifying out of Group A with relative ease, while Greece took 2nd Place, ahead of Hungary and Austria. In Group B, it was England who topped the group, although Croatia were also impressive. Turkey and Denmark were knocked out in the process. The Semi-Finals were an exciting affair, with Holland coming out 4-0 winners against Croatia, while the hosts played out an epic match against the Greeks, finally advancing to the Finals after a 5-3 extra-time victory. The Finals were equally as exciting, and it was Holland who would win against England 4-3, with a brace from the tournament’s leading goalscorer (4 goals) and best player, Sander Kooiman. Holland’s other goalscorers in the Finals, Nick Lammers and Kevin Hofman (who made an £18,250,000 move to Manchester City from Chelsea after the tournament), were also its finest players along with the striker. For England, Barry Olayinka was their finest player, and nearly led them to the title.

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Got this guy off of the Free Transfer list - I think he could be a great contributor!

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Got this guy off of the Free Transfer list - I think he could be a great contributor!

2018jandiego.jpg

Haha! looks great....no teamwork or work rate but get him the ball enough im sure he will give the Hayes Lane faithful some magic moments!! :)

Also is there any chance of seeing a update on David Corrigan? Has his career taken off at milan yet or as he been shipped off somewhere else?

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