DazRTaylor

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

137 posts in this topic

After a much needed break from Football Manager, I am back, refreshed and raring to go!

[B]Game Type[/B] - Career. I intend to get to the top as soon as possible on merit alone. So if a bigger club offers me a deal, there will have to be a good reason not to take it.

[B]Editor's Used[/B] - Real Competition Names. Huge database added. No extra leagues being used.

[B]Leagues Loaded[/B] - [LIST]
[*]Austria
[*]Belgium
[*]England
[*]France
[*]Germany
[*]Holland
[*]Italy
[*]Portugal
[*]Russia
[*]Scotland
[*]Spain
[*]Switzerland
[*]Ukraine
[*]Mexico
[*]Argentina
[*]Brazil
[/LIST]
All have been loaded down to their lowest level.

[B]Database Size[/B] - Huge

[B]Objectives[/B] - [LIST]
[*]Win the league title in the five major European leagues (England, Spain, Italy, France & Germany)
[*]Win a domestic cup
[*]Win the Europa League
[*]Win the Champions League
[*]Win the Argentinian & Brazilian leagues
[*]Win the Copa Libertadores
[*]Win the CONCACAF Champions League
[*]Win the World Cup
[*]Win Manager of the Year award
[/LIST]


[B]Updates[/B] - [LIST]
[*]Full Update at the start of every season
[*]Full update in mid season
[*]Updates when anything interesting happens!
[/LIST]

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[CENTER][SIZE=4][U][B]OBJECTIVES TRACKER[/B][/U][/SIZE][/CENTER]

[CODE][U][B]Objective Date Achieved[/B][/U]
Win the league title in the five major European leagues (England, France, Germany, Italy & Spain) English Champions Season 2016-17
German Champions Season 2017-18
Win a domestic cup DFB-Pokal Winners Season 2017-18
Win the Europa League
Win the Champions League
Win the Argentinian & Brazilian leagues
Win the Copa Libertadores
Win the CONCACAF Champions League
Win the World Cup
Win Manager of the Year award Season 2016-17, 2017-18
[/CODE]

[CENTER][SIZE=4][U][B]RECORDS[/B][/U][/SIZE][/CENTER]

This section details the records I have achieved during this save. Each section is self explanitory and the records show the progression of each. All records are during competitive games only so friendlies do not count. Where I have equalled a record, only the first time I hit that record will be recorded.

[U][B]Biggest Win[/B][/U]

[CODE][U][B]Date Playing As Playing Against Score Competition Location[/B][/U]
5 October 2011 Metalurg Zaparizhzhya Stal Alchevsk 2-1 Ukrainian First League Slavutych-Arena
22 October 2011 Metalurg Zaparizhzhya Helios Kharkiv 4-0 Ukrainian First League Helios-Arena
7 December 2013 Watford Yeovil Town 6-1 F.A. Cup Vicarage Road
31 May 2014 Watford Brentford 7-0 League One Playoffs Wembley Stadium
24 September 2016 Chelsea Derby County 8-1 English Premier League Stamford Bridge
28 October 2017 Bayer Leverkusen Freiburg 8-0 Bundesliga Dreisamstadion[/CODE]

[U][B]Biggest Loss[/B][/U]

[CODE][U][B]Date Playing As Playing Against Score Competition Location[/B][/U]
21 March 2012 Metalurg Zaparizhzhya Olimpic Donetsk 0-1 Ukrainian First League Olimpic Donetsk
1 September 2012 Metalurg Zaparizhzhya Metalurg Donetsk 1-3 Ukrainian Premier League Metalurg Donetsk
4 May 2013 Metalurg Zaparizhzhya Shakhtar Donetsk 0-5 Ukrainian Cup Dombas-Arena[/CODE]

[U][B]Highest Scoring Game[/B][/U]

[CODE][U][B]Date Playing As Playing Against Score Competition Location[/B][/U]
5 October 2011 Metalurg Zaparizhzhya Stal Alchevsk 2-1 Ukrainian First League Slavutych-Arena
22 October 2011 Metalurg Zaparizhzhya Helios Kharkiv 4-0 Ukrainian First League Helios-Arena
4 August 2012 Metalurg Zaparizhzhya Vorskla 3-2 Ukrainian Premier League Butovskiy Stadium Vorskla
3 November 2012 Metalurg Zaparizhzhya Dynamo Kyiv 2-4 Ukrainian Premier League Valeriy Lobanovs'kyi Stadium Dynamo
7 December 2013 Watford Yeovil Town 6-1 F.A. Cup Vicarage Road
13 January 2015 Watford Arsenal 6-3 Carling Cup Vicarage Road[/CODE]

[U][B]Most Games Won in a Row[/B][/U]

[CODE][U][B]Date From and To Number of Games Playing As[/B][/U]
5 October 2011 to 24 November 2011 7 Metalurg Zaparizhzhya
24 October 2015 to 27 December 2015 12 Chelsea[/CODE]

[U][B]Most Games Without Losing[/B][/U]

[CODE][U][B]Date From and To Number of Games Playing As[/B][/U]
5 October 2011 to 24 November 2011 7 Metalurg Zaparizhzhya
9 October 2013 to 11 January 2014 12 Watford
17 May 2014 to 1 November 2014 21 Watford
30 September 2017 to 21 February 2018 27 Bayer Leverkusen[/CODE]

[U][B]Most Games Lost in a Row[/B][/U]

[CODE][U][B]Date From and To Number of Games Playing As[/B][/U]
4 May 2013 to 16 May 2013 2 Metalurg Zaparizhzhya[/CODE]

[U][B]Most Games Without Winning[/B][/U]

[CODE][U][B]Date From and To Number of Games Playing As[/B][/U]
15 May 2012 to 30 May 2012 3 Metalurg Zaparizhzhya
23 March 2013 17 April 2013 5 Metalurg Zaparizhzhya[/CODE]

[U][B]Most Goals Scored In A Game[/B][/U]

[CODE][U][B]Date Player Playing For Playing Against Goals Scored Game Score Competition Location[/B][/U]
5 October 2011 Artem Putivtsev Metalurg Zaparizhzhya Stal Alchevsk 1 2-1 Ukrainian First League Slavutych-Arena
12 May 2012 Adolphe Teikeu Metalurg Zaparizhzhya Naftovyk-Ukrnafta 2 4-0 Ukrainian First League Slavutych-Arena
7 December 2012 Ross McCormack Watford Yeovil Town 5 6-1 F.A. Cup Vicarage Road[/CODE]

[U][B]Most Goals Scored Over a Season (Minimum 20 Matches)[/B][/U]

[CODE][U][B]Season Player Playing For Games Played Goals Scored[/B][/U]
2013-14 Alex Nimely Watford 25 17
2014-15 Luke James Watford 54 28[/CODE]

[U][B]Most Assists Over A Season (Minimum 20 Matches)[/B][/U]

[CODE][U][B]Season Player Playing For Games Played Assists[/B][/U]
2013-14 Nick Powell Watford 20 10
2014-15 Luke James Watford 54 16
2015-16 Leighton Baines Chelsea 48 20
2016-17 Leighton Baines Chelsea 33 22
2017-18 Tranquillo Barnetta Bayer Leverkusen 40 31[/CODE]

[U][B]Highest Average Rating Over A Season (Minimum 20 Matches)[/B][/U]

[CODE][U][B]Season Player Playing For Games Played Average Rating[/B][/U]
2013-14 Alex Nimely Watford 25 7.59
2016-17 Leighton Baines Chelsea 33 7.78[/CODE]

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[CENTER][SIZE=4][U][B]CAREER HISTORY[/B][/U][/SIZE][/CENTER]

[CODE][U][B]Season Team League Final Position Notes[/B][/U]
2011-12 Metalurg Zaparizhzhya Ukrainian First Division 2nd Promoted to the Ukrainian Premier League.
2012-13 Metalurg Zaparizhzhya Ukrainian Premier League 5th Qualified for the Europa League. Ukrainian Cup semi finalists.
2013-14 Watford English League One 3rd 12th place when appointed on 9 November 2013. Promoted via Playoffs to the Championship.
2014-15 Watford English Championship 2nd Promoted to the Premier League. Carling Cup winners. F. A. Cup runners up.
2015-16 Watford English Premier League n/a Resigned on 1 October 2015. 4th place when I left.
2015-16 Chelsea English Premier League 3rd Appointed 1 October 2015. 7th on arrival. Qualified for the Champions League.
2016-17 Chelsea English Premier League 1st English champions. Semi final of the Champions League. Resigned at the end of the season.
2017-18 Bayer Leverkusen German Bundesliga 1st Appointed 27 June 2017. German champions. DFB-Pokal winners. Resigned at the end of the season.
2018-19 FC Sochaux-Montebeliard French Ligue One Appointed 12 October 2018. 20th on arrival.[/CODE]

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[CENTER][SIZE=4][U][B]HONOURS[/B][/U][/SIZE][/CENTER]

[CODE][U][B]Season Team Honour[/B][/U]
2014-15 Watford Carling Cup winners
2016-17 Chelsea Premier League champions
2017-18 Bayer Leverkusen Bundesliga champions
DFB-Pokal Winners[/CODE]

[CODE]1 x English Premier League title
1 x German Bundesliga title
1 x DFB-Pokal
1 x English Carling Cup[/Code]

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So, after holidaying for a while, I apply for all jobs going. I reject a few - mainly those I have managed before in previous saves - before I accept a challenge:

[CENTER][IMG]http://logotypes.designer.am/t/metalurg_zaporozhye.png[/IMG]

[IMG]http://www.weltfussballarchiv.com/images/stadiums/stadion-torpedosaporoschje2.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

[B]Club[/B] - Metalurg Zaparizhzhya

[B]Country[/B] - Ukraine

[B]Division[/B] - First Division (2nd tier)

[U][B]Current League Table[/B][/U]

[CENTER][IMG]http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/6065/ukrainianfirstleagueove.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

I am only three points off the promotion places so I have high hopes.

[U][B]Squad[/B][/U]

[CENTER][IMG]http://img844.imageshack.us/img844/5770/metalurgzaporizhzhyasqu.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

As you can see, I have plenty of talent but a lot of players need to develop.

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[U][B]Tactics[/B][/U]
[CENTER]
[IMG]http://img59.imageshack.us/img59/9550/metalurgzaporizhzhyatac.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/3175/tactics3.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/9074/tactics2g.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

The last one I developed in a previous save and had tremendous success with it. I plan to adopt it in time.

So, after relegation last season, Metalurg should go up again. We have the players fdor it and I fully expect promotion. Anything less and I feel my job will be on the line.

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Good to see you back! Good luck in the Ukraine!

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[quote name='deltablue']Looks a bit of a tough battle.[/QUOTE]

Yep, if/when I go up, I will be treading water in the top flight. Shakhtar and Kiev are so far ahead of everyone, it is ridiculous.

[quote name='AK22']Good to see you back! Good luck in the Ukraine![/QUOTE]

Thanks :)

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[CENTER][U][B]MID SEASON UPDATE[/B][/U][/CENTER]

I got a shock after my game on 19 November as my next game isn't scheduled until 24 March! A bit of a gap then. This update is after the mid season transfer window.

[U][B]League[/B][/U]

When I took over, I was only three points behind the league leaders and my predecessor had only had one defeat. League table below as I close the gap to being behind on the head to head record alone:

[CENTER][IMG]http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/33/jpgnm.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

[U][B]Ukrainian Cup[/B][/U]

I was eliminated before I joined the club. We had lost 1-0 away to non league Avangard Kramatorsk.

[SIZE=3][U][B]Transfers[/B][/U][/SIZE]

[U][B]Players In[/B][/U]

Just the one new signing. A new goalkeeper, signed from Metalurg Donetsk for £550,000:

[CENTER][IMG]http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/7959/keeperk.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

Constantin Gángioveanu, a young Romanian I signed on a free transfer in October, left for pastures new after failing to settle in the Ukraine. Still, I received £120,000 for him.

Finally, despite playing FM2012 for many hours, I have never seen this kind of message before. It made me laugh anyway:

[CENTER][IMG]http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/926/hilariousx.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

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One final piece of transfer business.

Apparently, the Ukraine have a longer transfer window and I was able to sign Alexey Tupchiy from Belarussian top flight outfit Belshina. He cost £85,000:

[CENTER][IMG]http://img716.imageshack.us/img716/8332/alexeytupchiyoverviewpr.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

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Interesting tactics. Like a wiggly spine :)

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[quote name='deltablue']Good reinforcements[/QUOTE]

Yes, they have both been solid though I lost Tupshiy for the last four weeks of the season with a injury.

[quote name='cerud']Interesting tactics. Like a wiggly spine :)[/QUOTE]

It does a bit, doesn't it :)

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[SIZE=4][CENTER][U][B]END OF SEASON REVIEW[/B][/U][/CENTER][/SIZE]

[B][U]League[/U][/B]

[CENTER][IMG]http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/5854/leaguea.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

I am delighted to go up to the top flight. A wobble just after the transfer window couldn't prevent me from automatic promotion. Olimpic Donetsk the deserving winners who had a storming second half of the season.

[U][B]Ukrainian Cup[/B][/U]

Knocked out in the first round by non league Avangard Kramatorsk.

[SIZE=3][U][B]Players[/B][/U][/SIZE]

[U][B]Player of the Season[/B][/U]

Has to be Artem Putivtsev. Young centre half on loan from top flight Illichivets Mariupol. Missed just two games, both through suspension and chipped in with four goals. An excellent season.

[CENTER][IMG]http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/4751/putivtsev.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

[U][B]Special Mention[/B][/U]

Eugene Opanasenko. Young right back who excelled. Was on course to be Player of the Season until a bad training ground injury put him out for three months.

[CENTER][IMG]http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/4872/opanasenko.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

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[SIZE=4][CENTER][B][U]SEASON 2012-2013 PREVIEW[/U][/B][/CENTER][/SIZE]

[SIZE=3][U][B]Transfers[/B][/U][/SIZE]

[U][B]Players In[/B][/U]

[B]Marquee Signing[/B] - [url=http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/4995/valeriyfedorchukovervie.jpg]Valeriy Fedorchuk[/url]. 23 year old central midfielder signed for £275,000 from Dnipro. Easdily our best midfielder and I have high hopes for him.

[B]First Team Signings[/B] - [LIST]
[*][url=http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/2417/sergiysymonenkooverview.jpg]Sergiy Symonenko[/url] Experienced defender signed on a free transfer. The left back I have craved since I joined the club.
[*][url=http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/5346/batistaoverviewprofile.jpg]Batista[/url] Another experienced head, this time a Brazilian forward signed on a free transfer.
[/LIST]

[B]Loan Signings[/B] - [LIST]
[*][url=http://img36.imageshack.us/img36/7255/sergeytkachev.jpg]Sergey Tkachev[/url] 23 year old Russian left winger, signed on a one year loan from Metalist.
[*][url=http://img513.imageshack.us/img513/3204/olexiyprylepov.jpg]Olexiy Prylepov[/url] Young Ukrainian defensive midfielder signed on a two year loan from Obolon.
[*][url=http://img252.imageshack.us/img252/3182/khorenbairamyan.jpg]Khoren Bairamyan[/url] Young Russian right winger signed on a one year loan from Rostov.
[*][url=http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/8836/lukasstetina.jpg]Lukas Stetina[/url] Young Slovakian Under 21 international centre back signed on a two year loan from Metalist.
[*][url=http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/2971/igorduljaj.jpg]Igor Duljaj[/url] Vastly experienced Serbian international defensive midfielder signed on a one year loan deal from Sevastopol.
[/LIST]

[U][B]Players Out[/B][/U]

Quite a few left, but on my terms and say so. I didn't lose anyone I didn't want to lose.

So my squad now looks like this:

[CENTER][IMG]http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/1341/metalurgzaporizhzhya.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

The squad should now be strong enough to survive and I hope for a mid table finish.

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[CENTER][SIZE=4][U][B]MID SEASON UPDATE[/B][/U][/SIZE][/CENTER]

[U][B]League[/B][/U]

An excellent first season in the top flight. I am miles behind top, of course, but 5th has far exceeded my expectations.

[CENTER][IMG]http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/9895/ukrainianpremierleagueob.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

[U][B]Ukrainian Cup[/B][/U]

I am through to the quarter final but have a very tough draw. Home to Metalist Kharkiv who have already beaten me at home this season.

[U][B]Transfers[/B][/U]

As before, no one has left without my say so. As for players coming in, despite having a transfer kitty of £1.9m to spend, I signed only free transfers as the club coffers continue to diminish. All four of these freebies signed after a trial and were offered by their respective agents:

[LIST]
[*][url=http://img838.imageshack.us/img838/7258/ferronoverviewprofile.jpg]Ferron[/url] Brazilian centre back, brought in due to an alarming number of defensive injuries this season.
[*][url=http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/3659/eduardoramosoverviewpro.jpg]Eduardo Ramos[/url] Another Brazilian, this central midfielder was wanted by a host of clubs but chose us.
[*][url=http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/494/vlatkogrozdanoskiovervi.jpg]Vlatko Grozdanoski[/url] Macedonian right winger. Will start from the off.
[*][url=http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/9908/naderkaraoverviewprofil.jpg]Nader Kara[/url] Libyan striker brought in as Batista, my existing front man, has had a shocking first half to the season.
[/LIST]

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[CENTER][SIZE=4][U][B]END OF SEASON REVIEW[/B][/U][/SIZE][/CENTER]

[U][B]League[/B][/U]

Far exceeded my expectations. A wobble of only one win in six in April scared me but a team meeting restored order. So a 5th place finish and Europa League qualification! I will add that the top four are so far ahead of everyone else, I doubt this club is capable of taking the next step.

[CENTER][IMG]http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/7956/ukrainianpremierleagueo.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

[U][B]Ukrainian Cup[/B][/U]

I said we had a tough quarter final draw at home to Metalist Kharkiv but we romped home 4-1. The semi final, however, was a different story as we got hammered away to eventual league champions Shakhtar Donetsk, losing 5-0.

[SIZE=3][U][B]Players[/B][/U][/SIZE]

[U][B]Player of the Season[/B][/U]

Alexey Tupchiy. Central midfielder whose injuries allowed only 17 games. But we rarely lost when he bossed the middle.

[CENTER][IMG]http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/8332/alexeytupchiyoverviewpr.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

[U][B]Special Mention[/B][/U]

Ferron. Brazilian centre back signed in January on a free transfer after a successful trial. A rock at the back and the wobble in April would of been even worse without him.

[CENTER][IMG]http://img841.imageshack.us/img841/7258/ferronoverviewprofile.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

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Solid season :thup:.

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After a lot of thought, I decided to resign my position as manager of Metalurg Zaparizhzhya and seek pastures new. My reasons were twofold: [LIST]
[*]No exposure to the world game. No matter how much I achieve in the Ukraine, my stock would never rise a lot
[*]I have taken the club as far as I can. Shakhtar, Dynamo Kiev et al are untouchable. I had average gates of circa 7,000. They were around the 40,000 mark for example
[/LIST]

So I applied for plenty of jobs, all rejected wehich proves my point about achivements going un-noticed. Eventually I landed a job I genuinely really fancy getting stuck into. They had been relegated to the English third tier the previous season and are currently mid table in League One. Ladies and gentlemen, Darren Taylor has been appointed as the new manager of:

[CENTER][IMG]https://encrypted-tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQoITlF7rg8Kf6GKy5iTpG9_bfro-hB5dtNvb6a1CfDT6S-hKzmmA[/IMG]
[IMG]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1d/Watford_v_Coventry,_Vicarage_Road,_2000.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

[B]Club[/B] - Watford FC

[B]Country[/B] - England

[B]Division[/B] - League One

[B]Media Prediction[/B] - 7th

[B]My Expectation[/B] - 1st

[U][B]Current League Table[/B][/U]

Currently 12th, I fully expect a promotion push. I also have a huge transfer budget of £1.6m to spend if the need arises (huge for these league that is). Only two points off the playoffs and ten off top spot.

[CENTER][IMG]http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/5435/npowerleague1overviewst.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

[U][B]Current Squad[/B][/U]

Plenty of talent to work with and some classy youngsters. To be honest, the setup here is perfect and I cannot wait to get stuck in.

[CENTER][IMG]http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/9747/watfordsquadplayers.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

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[CENTER][SIZE=4][U][B]MINI UPDATE[/B][/U][/SIZE][/CENTER]

Having started a new job with Watford, I have gone through the squad and it is still short in a few areas, some alarmingly so. With it being outrside the transfer window, I have read the scout reports to see if there are any unattached or loan players available for immediate signing. As a result, I offered a few contracts and made some loan offers, but could only get the following to join:

[CENTER][IMG]http://img829.imageshack.us/img829/2599/alexnimelyoverviewprofi.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

Surprised he was unattached and should do well.

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A decent squad you have there with Watford. Playoffs should be a reality.

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Agreed. There are some good players there. A few of what you could class as Championship clubs in League 1 as well I see.

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[quote name='cerud']A decent squad you have there with Watford. Playoffs should be a reality.[/QUOTE]

[quote name='SRL88']Agreed. There are some good players there. A few of what you could class as Championship clubs in League 1 as well I see.[/QUOTE]

Thanks guys, I have high hopes and have started well.

I have put a new feature (new for me that is) on my initial posts at the top of the threads. Game Records. Hope people enjoy it.

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[CENTER][SIZE=4][U][B]MID SEASON UPDATE[/B][/U][/SIZE][/CENTER]

[U][B]League[/B][/U]

Since I took over and introduced the new system, the players have been excellent and, as I expected, we have stormed up the league table. We are well in contention for an automatic promotion spot.

[CENTER][IMG]http://img854.imageshack.us/img854/5435/npowerleague1overviewst.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

[U][B]F. A. Cup[/B][/U]

We drew non league Alfreton Town at home in the first round and, despite resting some key players, we won comfortably, 3-1. Round two saw the Glovers, Yeovil Town from League Two, come to Vicarage Road and they were hammered 6-1. As a real life Yeovil fan, I had mixed emotions. Another League Two outfit, Lincoln City, arrived and were equally stuffed 6-1. We have another home draw in the fourth round, drawing Middlebrough from the league above, the Championship.

[U][B]Carling Cup[/B][/U]

We were already eliminated when I arrived, losing away to League Two Cheltenham Town, 2-1.

[U][B]Johnstone's Paint Trophy[/B][/U]

As with the Carling Cup, we were already out by the time of my arrival, going down 1-0 at home to League Two Exeter City.

[SIZE=3][U][B]Transfers[/B][/U][/Size]

As this was my first opportunity to rejig the squad, I shifted quite a few out and brought a fair few in. More than I was expecting but I was dictated by the high quality of players I could sign, courtesy of my scouts and some agents. With my player sales and savings on wages, I blew my entire budget.

[U][B]Players In[/B][/U]

All these signings have been spotted by either a scout or touted to me by their agents.

[B]Marquee Signings[/B] [LIST]
[*][url=http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/4921/petarjagicoverviewprofi.jpg]Petar Jagic[/url] - 18 year old Croatian right back signed for £600,000 from Varazdin. Potential to be a Watford legend.
[*][url=http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/301/jameswardprowseoverview.jpg]James Ward-Prowse[/url] - Cost a massive £1.3m but worth every penny. Signed from Luton Town, this central midfielder is aged just 19. Will play in the Premier League one day.
[*][url=http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/5238/nickpowelloverviewprofi.jpg]Nick Powell[/url] - 19 year old central midfielder signed from Crewe Alexandra for £700,000. Immediately got the fans on his back by declaring Watford is a mere stepping stone.
[*][url=http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/4229/grantgillespieoverviewp.jpg]Grant Gillespie[/url] - Another central midfielder, this 22 year old Scot was signed for his ability to also act as cover in defensive midfield should the need arise. Cost £325,000 from Hamilton Academical.
[*][url=http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/4162/lukejamesoverviewprofil.jpg]Luke James[/url] - 19 year old striker signed from Hartlepool for £650,000. Big things expected.
[*][url=http://img841.imageshack.us/img841/9599/jonathanschmidoverviewp.jpg]Jonathan Schmid[/url] - 23 year old Austrian, this right winger, who can also cover at right back, cost £275,000 from FC Twente.
[/LIST]
[B]First Team Signings[/B] [LIST]
[*][url=http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/2897/danielalfeioverviewprof.jpg]Daniel Alfei[/url] - 21 year old Welsh defender who can play anywhere across the back. Cost £210,000.
[*][url=http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/3215/anthonyloustallotovervi.jpg]Anthony Loustallot[/url] - 21 year old French goalkeeper, he will go straight into the side. Cost only £120,000 from Motherwell.
[*][url=http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/5857/kagishodikgacoioverview.jpg]Kagisho Dikgacoi[/url] - 29 year old South African international, he was languishing in League Two. Signed for £120,000 from free falling Crystal Palace. He will play in defensive midfield.
[*][url=http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/4158/joshuajohnoverviewprofi.jpg]Joshua John[/url] - Winger who can play on either flank, this 25 year old Dutchman moved from FC Twente for £150,000.
[*][url=http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/7284/garymackaystevenovervie.jpg]Gary Mackay-Steven[/url] - 23 year old Scottish left winger signed for £70,000 from Dundee United. Exciting addition.
[*][url=http://img853.imageshack.us/img853/3150/aljeschutoverviewprofil.jpg]Alje Schut[/url] - Vastly experienced central defender. Signed for £70,000, also from FC Twente.
[/LIST]
[B]Loan Signing[/B]

[LIST]
[*][url=http://img860.imageshack.us/img860/6792/pajtimkasamioverviewpro.jpg]Pajtim Kasami[/url] - Excellent 21 year old Swiss central midfielder who can cover on the right wing. Signed on loan from Fulham for the rest of the season with Fulham paying his wages in full.
[/LIST]
[B]Players for the Future[/B] [LIST]
[*][url=http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/5530/gregkingoverviewprofile.jpg]Greg King[/url] - 19 year old surprisingly released by Sligo Rovers in Ireland. Can play on either wing or up front. Squad player.
[*][url=http://img710.imageshack.us/img710/3771/simonsinnottoverviewpro.jpg]Simon Sinnott[/url] - 16 year old Irish lad signed for a bargain £40,000 from St Patrick's Athletic. Rated as a future Premier League player. Can play up front or on the right wing.
[/LIST]

[U][B]Players Out[/B][/U]

In total, I allowed 15 players to leave. A mixture of youngsters who will never play in the first team and some core players. A risk, yes, but essential. The main personnel who have left the club are detailed below:

[LIST]
[*][url=http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/7439/rossmccormackoverviewpr.jpg]Ross McCormack[/url] - Whilst undoubtedly one of my best players, he was just on far too much money. So I sold him to my promotion rivals, Bristol City, for £400,000.
[*][url=http://img826.imageshack.us/img826/8132/adamelliottoverviewprof.jpg]Adam Elliott[/url] - 17 year old youngster, in the first team squad and one for the future. Sold because he whinged a lot about lack of first team action. At 17. Sold to Aston Villa for £575,000. Plenty of first team action there then. Not.
[*][url=http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/9195/sanchezwattoverviewprof.jpg]Sanchez Watt[/url] - Winger sold to Middlesbrough for £170,000. He didn't do anything wrong, I merely replaced him with with a better player.
[*][url=http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/3885/martintayloroverviewpro.jpg]Martin Taylor[/url] - Also sold to promotion rivals Bristol City, this time for £190,000. Two reasons for the sale. 1) On too much money. 2) Injury prone. Missed as many game as he played.
[*][url=http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/8193/stephenmcginnoverviewpr.jpg]Stephen McGinn[/url] - Squad player, sold to Swansea for £160,000. Surprised he went up a division as League One is where his ability is.
[*][url=http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/9310/elhadjidioufoverviewpro.jpg]El-Hadji Diouf[/url] - Gave him a free transfer to Dutch outfit Telstar. Every single team talk he was coloured red and "seemed to lose interest". Well, I lost interest in him. Close the door on your way out, there's a good chap.
[*][url=http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/2650/garymcsheffreyoverviewp.jpg]Gary McSheffrey[/url] - Free transfer to Notts County. Decent squad player but on far too much money.
[/LIST]

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Going really well so far.

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[quote name='SRL88']Going really well so far.[/QUOTE]

[quote name='deltablue']Can go on and get a top 2 spot.[/QUOTE]

Thanks guys :)

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One game to go and it is tight...

[CENTER][IMG]http://img542.imageshack.us/img542/5435/npowerleague1overviewst.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

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I was at home to Wycombe, who needed to win to avoid relegation. Notts County were away to bottom of the table and already relegated Swindon. Notts County won 2-0 but we got hammered, at hom, 3-0. Gutted. Playoffs it is.

[CENTER][IMG]http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/5435/npowerleague1overviewst.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

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[CENTER][SIZE=4][U][B]END OF SEASON REVIEW[/B][/U][/SIZE][/CENTER]

[U][B]League[/B][/U]

As detailed above, I blew a glorious chance of automatic promotion on the last day of the season. Mid march saw us win only one win in seven and these dropped points cost us big time. So we went through to the playoffs and faced Coventry City in the semi finals. A comfortable 2-0 win at The Ricoh Arena, made the home leg at Vicarage Road a formality, which was proved as we won 1-0 for an aggregate win of 3-0. The playoff final, at Wembley, saw us play Brentford who beat Preston North End on pemalties after a 4-4 aggregate draw. The final was an extraordinary game as it was one way traffic all the way as we dismantled Brentford for an astonishing 7-0 win. The Championship awaits!

[CENTER][IMG]http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/5435/npowerleague1overviewst.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

[U][B]F. A. Cup[/B][/U]

As detailed in the mid season review, we had got to the fourth round and drew Middlesbrough at home and we drew 0-0. The replay saw us surprisingly win 4-2. In the fifth round we drew top flight SUnderland and I was shocked to see us win comfortably, 3-1 at Vicarage Road, setting up an interesting tie at home to another Premier League side, Norwich City, at home. Alas, it was a round to far and Norwich ran out 2-1 winners. The scoreline flattered us to be honest.

[U][B]Carling Cup[/B][/U]

We were already eliminated when I arrived, losing away to League Two Cheltenham Town, 2-1.

[U][B]Johnstone's Paint Trophy[/B][/U]

As with the Carling Cup, we were already out by the time of my arrival, going down 1-0 at home to League Two Exeter City.

[SIZE=3][U][B]Players[/B][/U][/SIZE]

[U][B]Player of the Season[/B][/U]

My very first signing for Watford, Alex Nimely was brought in on a free transfer and he settled straight away. 17 goals in 25 appearances, including a vital hat trick at Wembley in the playoff final, makes this chap my Player of the Season.

[CENTER][IMG]http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/2599/alexnimelyoverviewprofi.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

[U][B]Special Mention[/B][/U]

Signed as one for the future, Greg King saw more game time than I expected but he rose to the occasion, scoring 8 goals in just 12 appearances, including a goal at Wembley in the playoff final.

[CENTER][IMG]http://img542.imageshack.us/img542/5530/gregkingoverviewprofile.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

[SIZE=3][U][B]Former Club Watch[/B][/U][/SIZE]

[U][B]Metalurg Zaparizhzhya[/B][/U]

[CODE][U][B]Season Final League Position Ukrainian Cup Champions League Europa League[/B][/U]
2013-14 8th 2nd round n/a 4th qualifying Round[/CODE]

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Congrats on promotion! :thup:

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[CENTER][SIZE=4][U][B]SEASON 2014-15 PREVIEW[/B][/U][/SIZE][/CENTER]

[SIZE=3][U][B]Transfers[/B][/U][/SIZE]

[U][B]Players In[/B][/U]

[B]Marquee Signings[/B] [LIST]
[*][url=http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/8798/peterwhittinghamovervie.jpg]Peter Whittingham[/url] 29 year old former Cardiff City midfielder, signed on a free transfer from Fulham.
[*][url=http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/1125/pedrobotelhooverviewpro.jpg]Pedro Botelho[/url] Brazilian left back signed from Arsenal on a free transfer. This 24 year old also holds a Spanish passport.
[*][url=http://img831.imageshack.us/img831/4894/sachakljestanoverviewpr.jpg]Sacha Kljestan[/url] This 28 year old American international, who holds dual nationality with Belgium, was signed on a free transfer from Anderlecht.
[/LIST]

[B]First Team Signings[/B] [LIST]
[*][url=http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/8357/adambanasoverviewprofil.jpg]Adam Banas[/url] 31 year old Polish centre half signed on a free transfer afdter he was released by Zaglebie Lubin in his native Poland
[*][url=http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/4397/adamlefondreoverviewpro.jpg]Adam Le Fondre[/url] Signed as a makeweight in the sale of reserve goalkeeper Rene Gilmartin, this 27 year old striker will be rotated.
[/LIST]

[B]Loan Signings[/B] [LIST]
[*][url=http://img403.imageshack.us/img403/7093/galandonianoverviewprof.jpg]Gael Andonian[/url] 19 year old Frech centre half signed on a season long loan from Chelsea
[*][url=http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/2023/soualihomeitoverviewpro.jpg]Soualiho Meite[/url] 20 year old French midfielder, signed on a season long loan from Wolves.
[/LIST]

[B]Players for the Future[/B] [LIST]
[*][url=http://img809.imageshack.us/img809/2922/hughscottoverviewprofil.jpg]Hugh Scott[/url] 15 year old Northern Irish defensive midfielder signed for a bargain £20,000 from Linfield. Thank you scouts!
[*][url=http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/8098/scottsharpeoverviewprof.jpg]Scott Sharpe[/url] 18 year old midfielder, signed on a free transfer after he was released by Charlton Athletic.
[/LIST]

[U][B]Players Out[/B][/U]

Eight players left including two youngsters for good fees. [url=http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/2340/seanmurrayoverviewprofi.jpg]Sean Murray[/url] would not get much game time and he was itching to play more. He swelled the coffers by £400,000. [url=http://img201.imageshack.us/img201/7076/howardlambertoverviewpr.jpg]Howard Lambert[/url] was sold to Premier League Huddersfield Town for £1.1m. My personal opinion is that he won't make it hence I took the fee, but I may be proved wrong.

Finally, amongst the eight, I sold [url=http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/2599/alexnimelyoverviewprofi.jpg]Alex Nimely[/url], last season's Player of the Season. Why? Well, I have serious doubts that he cuts it at Championship level, so I let him leave for Bolton for £250,000. I will be astonished if he plays much as Bolton. I have developed a ruthless streak!

[U][B]Squad[/B][/U]

My squad now looks like this:

[CENTER][IMG]http://img502.imageshack.us/img502/9747/watfordsquadplayers.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

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[quote name='cerud']Congrats on promotion! :thup:[/QUOTE]

Thanks mate :)

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Great work getting promoted.

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[quote name='SRL88']Great work getting promoted.[/QUOTE]

Thank you :)

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[CENTER][SIZE=4][U][B]LAST MINUTE ADDITIONS[/B][/U][/SIZE][/CENTER]

I signed the following two players late on in the transfer window to bolster my squad:

[B]Kevin O'Reilly[/B], 16 year old English central midfielder my scouts tell me is a future "Leading Premier League defender". He cotst £120,000 from Carlisle.

[CENTER][IMG]http://img826.imageshack.us/img826/4811/reillyoverviewprofile.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

[B]Danijel Malec[/B], an 18 year old Croatian goalkeeper rated 5* potential. He cost £200,000 from Varazdin.

[CENTER][IMG]http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/5599/danijelmalecoverviewpro.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

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Congrats on promotion! Interesting decision with Nimely, hope it works out!

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[quote name='deltablue']Good squad there.[/QUOTE]

[quote name='Paolo Willenté']Congrats on promotion! Interesting decision with Nimely, hope it works out![/QUOTE]

Thanks guys. Yes, it is a definite risk re Nimely but so far, he hasn't played much at Bolton...

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You how you sometimes get a freak result? Semi finals here I come by the way...

[CENTER][IMG]http://img59.imageshack.us/img59/4039/watfordvmanutdinformati.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

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[CENTER][SIZE=4][U][B]MID SEASON UPDATE[/B][/U][/SIZE][/CENTER]

The indivisual competition breakdown is below but due to the results, especially my cup exploits, I really feel my side is ready for the Premier League. We are on course for back-to-back promotions.

[U][B]League[/B][/U]

A cracking first half of the season. Too many draws but I would obviously have bitten your hand off if offered the lead at this stage:

[CENTER][IMG]http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/1149/npowerchampionshipoverv.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

[U][B]F. A. Cup[/B][/U]

As I am back in the Championship, I get a bye until the third round, where I drew League Two AFC Wimbledon, beating them 3-0. I was drawn to play Huddersfield Town, now in the Premier League, in round four and we duly won 1-0 at the Galpharm. The draw has pitted us against West Ham, also back in the Premier League, at Upton Park.

[U][B]Carling Cup[/B][/U]

Bloody hell, what a competition this is for Watford! First round saw us luckily dispatch AFC Wimbledon 2-1 after extra time, away from home. The second round was a home tie against fellow Championship side Ipswich Town and we won again, this time 4-3. In the third round we were drawn away to League One Chesterfield and we won 2-0. Another 2-0 win occurred in the fourth round as Leeds were dispatched. Then we drew Man Utd in the quarter finals and as detailed above, we produced the greatest performance by a Watford side for decades, winning 5-0. Arsenal are my opponents, over two legs, in the semi final. The home leg was unbelieveable. Simply incredible:

[CENTER][IMG]http://img441.imageshack.us/img441/8185/watfordvarsenalinformat.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

The second leg at the Emirates saw us under the cosh for large amounts but a breakaway goal saw us to another unlikely win, this time 1-0 for an aggregate victory of 7-3. Watford are going to Wembley! Our final opponents will be Premier League leaders Manchester City, who beat Liverpool 2-1 on aggregate over the two legs.

[SIZE=3][U][B]Transfers[/B][/U][/SIZE]

[U][B]Players In[/B][/U]

I normally differentiate my signings into Marquee, First Team, Loan & Players for the Future. This time I only signed a handful and they are listed below:

[url=http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/4271/petrkovaroverviewprofil.jpg]Petr Kovar[/url] - A young central midfielder, aged just 20, signed for £1.2m from Slavia Prague.
[url=]Iván González Ferreira[/url] - This 27 year old Paraguayan who also holds Spanish nationality cost £1.5m from Blackburn but solves my left wing problem.
[url=]Jermaine Jones[/url] - A vastly experienced 33 year old American international midfielder with dual German nationality. Signed on a free transfer as was unattached.

[U][B]Players Out[/B][/U]

A few players were surplus to requirements and some were released from their contracts, other sold. The first team squad was trimmed by five players as a result.

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[quote name='Stuart_Drake']Looking good! Cracking win by the way![/QUOTE]

[quote name='deltablue']Some freak result![/QUOTE]

It got better in the semis!

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Did you beat Chelsea 6-0 or something?

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Very happy to see you beat Arsenal down ;)

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[quote name='deltablue']Did you beat Chelsea 6-0 or something?[/QUOTE]

No, we beat Arsenal 6-3 and 1-0.

[quote name='cerud']Very happy to see you beat Arsenal down ;)[/QUOTE]

So was I :)

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CARLING CUP WINNERS!!! My first trophy.

[CENTER][IMG]http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/1818/watfordvmancityinformat.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

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