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Thomas van den Leeuwen - Making De Godenzonen The Kings Of Europe Again

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Thomas van den Leeuwen - AFC Ajax - November & December 2019

Eredivisie

November

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A good points return considering all three fixtures were away from home.

The month began with a visit to AZ Alkmaar, and we weren't at our best but came away with all three points. Twice we fell behind in the first half, with an Anwar El Ghazi goal coming inbetween AZ's two strikes. It took until fourteen minutes from time for us to equalise through El Ghazi again, before Nikolai Laursen won it for us with six minutes remaining, tapping home Alexandre Pato's low cross. NAC Breda were our next away day, and we secured a comfortable enough 2-0 win. Alexandre Pato put us infront five minutes before the break, and with just eight minutes to go Ezra Walian tucked home a penalty to seal all three points. We finished off the month with a draw at Groningen. Alexandre Pato put us infront in the twenty-second minute firing home from twenty yards out. Groningen though levelled in the first minute of the second period, and ultimately a draw was a fair result.

December

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A pretty poor month truth be told, with just eight points from four games.

After the draw at the end of November, we got back to winning ways with a solid 2-0 win at home to ADO Den Haag. Ezra Walian headed home in the opening twenty minutes, and three minutes before halftime Nikolai Laursen squeezed home a Walian cutback to double our lead, and ultimately secure the win. PSV then came to Amsterdam for De Topper Derby, and we didn't disappoint. Afetr a cagey opening half-an-hour or so, Alexandre Pato slotted home in the 35th minute to give us the lead. However, PSV levelled before halftime. A little over twenty minutes into the second period, Queensy Menig was brought down in the penalty area and Pato put us back infront from the penalty spot. Late in the day we rounded off the win, catching PSV on the break as they sought an equaliser to allow Anwar El Ghazi to calmly finish. A trip to Go Ahead eagles followed, and we played out a real ding-diong draw. The game was end-to-end throughout, with both teams having chances. Defences and goalkeepers won out though, and 0-0 was the final score. De Klassieker rounded off the month and the year, and we battled from behind to take a point. Feyenoord were ahead before halftime, and on the hour they doubled their lead. Queensy Menig turned home Pato's cross with fifteen minutes to go, and then with four minutes to go Pato levelled things up, rocketing home a stunning volley with his left foot.

We may be top, but PSV aren't going anywhere without a fight just yet.

KNVB-Beker - 4th Round

December

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A poor performance, even if we got the win to take us into the next round.

Willem II went infront from the penalty spot after just four minutes. But we soon hit back, Ezra Walian sweeping home John van der Meer's pass. It was level at the break, but two goals in the opening eight minutes of the second period helped us on our way. Nicklas Røjkjær scored from close range after a lovely little exchange with Alper Ademoglu to make it 2-1, and it was Ademoglu who made it three just a few minutes later, with Røjkjær this time providing the assist. Willem got a second a few minutes from time, but we held on to the win despite some late pressure.

Not convincing, but good enough. In the quarter finals we face Utrecht at home.

Champions League - Group Stage

November

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One win and one defeat, and our place in the next round is secure.

We didn't play well away at Red Star Belgrade (Crvena Zvezda), but we got the win after coming from behind. In just the fourth minute we trailed, and it stayed that way until the 72nd minute when Alexandre Pato headed home from a corner. With just three minutes to go we grabbed the winner, with Alper Ademoglu crashing home from outside the area. Another away game followed at Internazionale, and we went down by one goal to nil. It was a fairly even game with few decent chances created, and in the end the winner came from the penalty spot nineteen minutes from time following a foul from Teun van Zweeden. 1-0 to Inter - not a good result, but an even worse game overall.

December

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Not a great performance as we snatched a draw deep into stoppage time, but we had already won the group so it didn't matter. Atletico went ahead just after halftime, but talisman Alexandre Pato levelled very late in the day, tapping home after a goalkeeping blunder.

In the first knockout round we face Chelsea, with the first leg away from home.

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Thomas van den Leeuwen - AFC Ajax - January 2020

Eredivisie

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Three good wins, but PSV just won't leave us alone!

We travelled Cambuur on New Years Day, a game in hand from earlier in the season, and we eventually saw them off comfortably. It took us just over an hour to breakthrough, Alexandre Pato tucking home Queensy Menig's low pass. Pato then secured all three points for us six minutes from time, heading home a cross from leftback Mitchell Dijks. Three weeks later the league resumed after the winter break, and Vitesse Arnhem came to town. After just fourteen minutes we were two goals to the good, Mitchell Dijks getting his first ever Eredivisie goal, and Queensy Menig curling home from the edge of the area. Vitesse got a goal back just after the hour, but Alexandre Pato calmed the nerves four minutes from time, slamming home Donny van de Beek's low pass. The month concluded with a trip to NEC Nijmegen. Ezra Walian, an early substitute for Alexandre Pato, struck both our goals in the opening twenty minutes of the second half to give a solid 2-0 win.

We kick February off with an away game at VVV-Venlo.

KNVB-Beker - Quarter Final

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Well, this was a rather awful display.

We didn't quite have a full strength side out, but it still should have been enough to see off Utrecht, and to fail to do so was infuriating. We fell behind in first half stoppage time, but in the opening minutes of the second period we equalised via Nicklas Røjkjær. However, Utrecht dug in and saw off a decent spell of domination from us, our only real spell of the game, and went back infront on the hour. Truth be told we didn't deserve anything more than we got here, and Utrecht comfortably saw the game out.

Transfers

There was a few transfer deals this January window, with three players joining the club and also three leaving. All of those joining were on permanent deals, and of the three leaving two were on permanent deals and one heading out on loan.

Players Out

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John van der Meer wanted, and needs, more football than we can give him right now. Hopefully NAC give him the game time he requires to aid his development - they have said he will be an important first team player, so here's hoping! A big transfer out was that of Nicolas Gutierrez. The screenshot shows we recieved just £4million from Napoli for his services, but another £14million will come our way after a few international appearances, so the deal will overall be worth £18million. Pity, as I wanted him here, but he was moaning about first team football. The other player to leave was Robert Muric. He had been with the club since he was 18, and although he did OK when called upon, he didn't quite develop as much as I had hoped. With his contract soon expiring we did remarkably well to recieve £3.4million for him.

Players In

Ahmed Samir - £150,000

A very modest fee for a raw talent from Egypt. He's only just turned eighteen and already looks decent. A few years of development and we could have a seriously good player on our hands.

Radim Müller - £4million

A fairly large fee for a good young goalkeeper from Viktoria Plzeň in the Czech Republic. He has plenty of developing to go yet, but already has all the raw materials in place to be an excellent goalkeeper in the future.

Ahmend Kamel - £825,000

Another young Egyptian, this time joining from Danish football. He has some great attribues, and with a little work could be a terrific player. A cracker really for the small fee we payed for him.

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Thomas van den Leeuwen - AFC Ajax - February 2020

Eredivisie

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Six wins of out six and no goals conceded. What a stonking month!

A comfortable win at VVV-Venlo kicked off the month, and in all honesty it was game over after just ninteen minutes as we raced into a two goal lead. Queensy Menig slotted us infront after just three minutes, and in the 19th minute Nikolai Laursen curled home a freekick to double our lead. We wrapped things up eighteen minutes from time thanks to Alexandre Pato thunderbolt. 3-0, easy. Another 3-0 win followed, this time at home to Utrecht. Pato put us ahead in first half stoppage time, and early in the second period Anwar El Ghazi doubled our advantage. Pato scored his second of the night fifteen minutes from time secure a sound win. Roda JC came to Amsterdam next, and again we triumphed by three goals to nil. Ezra Walian headed us infront after just six minutes, and a splendid long range effort from Queensy Menig in the 27th minute made it 2-0. Four minutes into the second half Nikolai Laursen crashed home from just inside the box the secured another comfortable 3-0 win. A third home game in a row followed when Twente came to town. A penalty on the stroke of halftime from Alexnadre Pato put us ahead, and early in the second half an own goal following a Daley Sinkgraven cross made it 2-0, and thereafter we saw out the game with little fuss. 2-0, and rarely troubled. A trip to face Den Bosch followed, and we destroyed them 4-0. Pato put us one up after just five minutes, and in the tenth minute he doubled our lead from the penalty spot. With twenty minutes to go he completed his hattrick, tapping home after the goalkeeper had fumbled a corner. Young Brazilian Gabriel Fernando rounded off the win fourteen minutes from time, heading home Anwar El Ghazi's cross. The month was rounded off with a trip to Heerenveen, and we defeated them comfortably by two goals to nil. Daley Sinkgraven scored his first goal for Ajax against his former club, firing home a freekick after just four minutes, and then just before the hour we ssecured all three points when captain Donny van de Beek converted from the spot after Sinkgraven had been fouled.

After PSV faultered a couple of times we now sit ten points clear with eight games to play. Feyenoord come to Amsterdam next.

Champions League - 1st Knockout Round, 1st Leg

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Well this was much better than it ought to have been - Chelsea gave us a right battering.

We held out, if you want to call it that, until just the 22nd minute when Diego Costa headed home from a corner. The same man doubled Chelsea's lead six minutes before the break. In the second half we had a couple of chances, but Chelsea controlled things really and held us at arms length, comfortably winning the game 2-0.

All to do in the second leg.

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Thomas van den Leeuwen - AFC Ajax - March 2020

Eredivisie

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Four wins from four and we'r now just one win away from clinching another title.

Feyenoord came to Amsterdam at the start of the month for De Klassieker and we gavem them a thumping. We ent ahead in just the thirteenth minute, Queensy Menig sweeping home Joost Hodselmans - making his first Eredivisie appearance - pass. A nice little passing move led to Ezra Walian doubling out advantage on the half-hour, Hodselmans again providing the assist. Before halftime it was three when Walian slid Anwar El Ghazi through on goal and he made no mistake. In the second half we sat back and controlled things, only adding a fourth with nine minutes to go when Timothy Fosu-Mensah headed in Donny van de Beek's cross. A resounding win. An away day at PEC Zwolle followed, and we scored a comfortable 3-1 win. Daley Sinkgraven fired us infront in just the fifth minute, and Queensy Menig soon made it two-nil, tapping in a low cross from Mitchell Dijks. Zwolle got one back soon after, but young Brazilian Gabriel Fernando rounded off the scoring soon before the break, going past two men before calmly finishing into the bottom corner. AZ Alkmaar travelled to Amsterdam next, and gave us a decent game, but we saw off their challenge well enough. An early goal from Ezra Walian of coure helped us along, but AZ put us under alot of pressure and were quite fortunate to lead at the break. Twelve minutes into the second period and our nerves were calmed thanks to Queensy Menig tapping in after a scramble from a corner. 2-0 the final score, and ultimately routine enough in the end. We finished the month off with a trip to The Hague to face ADO. It wasn;t our best performance of the season, but we came away with all three points. In just the second minute we fell behind, but we hit back int he 21st minute thanks to a header from defender Damon Mirani. Before halftime we got the goal that proved to be the winner, Anwar El Ghazi curling home a tremendous freekick.

Title number six in a row (for me personally, ten for the club), is almost upon us. A win at home to NAC in our next game and it's ours!

Champions League - 1st Knockout Round, 2nd Leg

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We somehow pulled it off!

Trailing 2-0 from the first leg I knew this would be an uphill struggle. We also had a few players out, so much so that youngster Tolga Duman, who realistically doesn't have a future at the club, made his debut. The decision to field the younster paid off, as he smashed home a volley in the 27th minute to nring us right back into the tie. Chelsea of course bossed most of the proceedings, but Duman again provided on his debut, whipping in a freekick that was struck home by defender Damon Mirani. To extra time it went, both sides having chances, but no goal was forthcoming, and to penalties it went. In the end we won the shootout 12-11, goalkeeper Stan van Bladeren making the crucial final save to take us through to the quarter finals.

A seemingly impossible 2-0 win on the night, and victory via penalties. Just thrilled.

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Great comeback in the Champions League. :thup:

Thanks. Bit fortunate really, as Chelsea are much stronger than us and had a hell of alot of chances over the two legs.

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Great win over Chelsea! They've been a pain in the arse for me on my save :)

Cheers. Always hate coming up against them.

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Ajax%20Save%20-%20Title%20Praise%20From%20Board%20-%20Apr%202020_zpsscjcjcab.png

Usual understated "priase" from the board. Why don't they love me more? :(

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Usual love from Marco van Basten. :)

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Thomas van den Leeuwen - AFC Ajax - April & May 2020

Eredivisie

April & May

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A solid end to the season, if not particularly spectacular.

We secured the title in our first game of April, just about, as January signing Ahmed Kamel scored his first goal for the club in the 93rd minute. We weren;t at our best, and indeed goalkeeper Mickey van der Hart was man of the match. Still, the 1-0 win was enough - job done. Groningen then came to Amsterdam, and we saw them off by two goals to one. Queensy Menig put us 1-0 up in the 25th minute, and soo after Timothy Fosu-Mensah put us 2-0 up. Groningen pulled a goal back early in the second half, but we did just enough to secure the win. We then travelled to PSV and we came away with a point. PSV took the lead early on, but two goals in three minutes from Ezra Walian and Queensy Menig put us ahead at halftime. PSV drew level twenty minutes into the second half, and both sides had chances to win there after, but a goal was not forthcoming. Late on Daley Sinkgraven was sent off late on for a second bookable offence, but it mattered not. For the final game of the season Go Ahead Eagles came to Amsterdam, and after a poor first half which saw us miss a penalty and trail at the break, we came out on top after some harsh words at halftime. Substitute Didier Traore made an immediate impact, drawing us level in the 48th minute and putting having the shot that led to a 50th minute own goal that put us infront. Fifteen minutes later Nikolai Laursen wrapped up the win, blasting home from close range.

Another title, and the second time we had gone the season unbeaten.

Champions League - Quarter Finals

April

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Disappointing, very disappointing.

Monaco dominated the first leg, but we created chances though we were eventually edged out. We fell behind in the 21st minute, but four minutes before halftime we equalised through Ezra Walian. Monaco though grabbed the winner though seventeen minutes from time. In the second leg Monaco dominated possession but we had the better chances. A goal was not forthcoming though and we went out 2-1 on aggregate.

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Bit of a bummer going out to Monaco, unless that have a particularly strong side.

They have some seriously good players, but after losing the first leg just 2-1 I really thought we'd get the job done.

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Thomas van den Leeuwen - AFC Ajax - Season Review 2019/20

Eredivisie

Results 1 - Results 2

Final table - Champions

Title won by thirteen points and a second unbeaten season. Can't at all complain!

We won eleven of our first twelve games, but PSV kept pace with us in those early stages, and indeed as late as twenty games into the season they were just three points behind us. Through February though PSV dropped points, winning just three out of six games and we pulled away, eventually winning the title on April the fourth. By the end of the season we'd scored as many goals as last season, conceding three less.

With the unbeaten season we're now 52 games unbeaten, needing to go thirteen unbeaten at the start of next season to break our record of 64.

KNVB-Beker

Eliminated in Quater Finals

Very poor, and in six seasons we've won just one domestic cup.

We didn't play particularly well against Capelle in the second round, but two goals in the space of seven half minutes were enough. In the third round we comfortably beat Montfoort, with youngster Marcus Bengtsson scoring twice. Willem II gave us problems in the fourth round but we saw them off, but Utrecht did for us in the quarters, and deservedly so.

Next season we have to win it - we haven't done so nearly enough.

Champions League

Eliminated in Quater Finals

Another quarter final elimination - our third in six seasons.

We navigatd a difficult group in sound style, topping it with thirteen points ahead of both Inter and Atletico who finished on ten. The highlight was definitely beating Atletico 3-2 away from home thanks to a Queensy Menig hattrick. In the first knockout round we faced Chelsea and managed to overcome them via a penalty shootout - it really was some feat after losing the first leg 2-0! Monaco did for us in the quarters saddly - we were utterly toothless in the second leg when all we needed was a 1-0 win.

This isn't going to get any easier - sides like Monaco have some great players, whereas all our best lads are lured to the bigger leagues so early.

Other Information

Squad Stats - Transfers - Finances

(A further ten players left for free upon the expiration of their contracts on July 1st 2019).

Just daft amounts of players used this season - the squad will be trimmed this summer one way or another. Saddly much of that will be down to players wanting to leave for bigger league where there is more money on offer.

As usual we made good profit in the transfer market, securing a profit of over £50million. Not quite as large as in previous seasons, but we didn't sell quite as many big players as we have done in previous seasons.

--------------

Three Season Transfer Income/Expenditure

Time for my little sub-section here before I mention the finances as we're at the end of our second three year transfer period. If you are unaware of what I am on about, then go back to the very first post of the thread and look at the "Rules" section; 5. Make profit on transfers over every three year period (2014-2017, 2017-2020, etc). So here we are...

Expenditure; £53.67million - Income; £327.4million

Difference; +£273.73million

A super period for the club in the market, making a staggering profit over the last three years. I can't imagine the next few seasons will bring such big profit as many of our massive players have left the club in these last three years.

--------------

Our balance sheet is around £30million better off than this time a year ago, but we had fewer big mone sales that in the summer prior to the 2018/19 season. Can't complain though, the club is in great shape.

Player & Young Player

Of The Year

Alexandre Pato

A great season for Pato, and god how we missed him later on in the season when we missed vital Champions League games against Chelsea and Monaco through injury. He turnes 31 early next season so will doubtless begin to slow down a bit. Maybe one more season or two from him.

Henrik Liereng

Not spectacular, but for his first season in the first team he did very well when called upon. Hopefully we can keep him for another couple of years or so yet before the inevitable offers from the Premier League in England come.

What Next

Players will be leaving. Clubs from bigger and better leagues seem to be looking at my players when they are now barely 21, whereas a couple of seasons back I was able to hang on to my star youngsters until they were 23/24. So maximise our sales income and bring in the next raft of youth.

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Ajax%20Save%20-%20Pato%20Top%20Scorer%20-%20May%202020_zpsbmpodzr5.png

A super season from The Duck. Pity he missed a fair few games through injury.

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A few years ago I never imagined he would be my first choice, but now he's firmly the clubs number one. Such a high accolade for him.

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Ajax%20Save%20-%20Planned%20Facility%20Work%20-%20May%202020_zpsnno754rr.png

Nice random message from the board - I didn't even ask for any work doing. The board knows. :cool:

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Thomas van den Leeuwen - AFC Ajax - Season Preview - 2020/21

Board Expectations

Eredivisie - Title Challenge

KNVB Beker - Win it

Champions League - Not expected to progress past group stage

Johan Cruijff Schaal - Not important

Personal Expectations

Eredivisie - Win it, obviously

KNVB Beker - Win it for a second time

Champions League - Get to the quarters

Johan Cruijff Schaal - It's against ADO, so not fussed

The boards expectations beggar belief. We've made it to the quarter finals or beyond of the Champions League four times in six seasons, and have won the title every season. Why such low expectations in both competitions now? Ludicrous. I on the other hand expect more. This season we may be losing a few players, but I still expect to win the league and make it to the Champions League last eight. The board can go sod themselves.

Budgets

Transfer: £445,471,648

Wages: £2,501,654 p/w (Currently spending £579,775)

Balance: £369,732,090 (+£46,309,866)

Well, these are fun amounts. Hopefully the balance can go towards a new stadium in the future as it's not doing much else!

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Thomas van den Leeuwen - New Job (July 2020) - The Netherlands

Name: The Netherlands (Holland in-game)

Nickname: Oranje

FA Founded: 1889

Stadium: Amsterdam ArenA (53,052 - 52,960 seated)

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Was always gong to take this job if offered it. It was the only other job I was prepared to take on during this save, with even other international jobs not interesting me. Indeed, even after this summers European Championships Italy offered me the job as their national manager, but I was never remotely tempted.

As of yet the draw hasn't been made for qualifying for the 2022 World Cup - that takes place in January 2021. However, I am unsure if we will have to participate in the qualification process as we are the current World Cup holders.

In the mean time, we have the UEFA Nations League to play in. In our mini group we have Spain and Greece, with the first game against Spain at home. Before that though we face South Africa in a friendly.

KNVB Expectations

UEFA Nations League Division A - Reach semi-finals

Personal Expectations

UEFA Nations League Division A - Be nice to win

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As of yet the draw hasn't been made for qualifying for the 2022 World Cup - that takes place in January 2021. However, I am unsure if we will have to participate in the qualification process as we are the current World Cup holders.

Only the hosts qualify automatically (same as with the EURO), so you will get plenty of not-completely-pointless games the next two years... ;)

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Only the hosts qualify automatically (same as with the EURO), so you will get plenty of not-completely-pointless games the next two years... ;)

Haha thanks for that. :)

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You didn't know that?

I knew it had happened recently in real life, but by 2020 it might have been changing and implemented in game!

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To be fair, there has been talk of expanding to 40 teams and giving one of the extra spots to the defending champions, but if those speculations had been coded into FM, it would have been quite the easter egg... :D

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To be fair, there has been talk of expanding to 40 teams and giving one of the extra spots to the defending champions, but if those speculations had been coded into FM, it would have been quite the easter egg... :D

Certainly be getting ahead of themselves a bit!!

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Ajax%20Save%20-%20Holland%20-%20SA%20Cancelled%20-%20Aug%202020_zps0t1pyxgt.png

Well this was annoying, but we were able to arrange another friendly for the same date - Iceland at home.

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Really enjoyed reading through this yesterday evening - you're doing an incredible job, especially with all the selling you're having to do. I'm not sure I could have made myself adhere to that so rigidly! Out of interest, have any of your ex-players gone on to become world-beaters?

Keep it up!

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Really enjoyed reading through this yesterday evening - you're doing an incredible job, especially with all the selling you're having to do. I'm not sure I could have made myself adhere to that so rigidly! Out of interest, have any of your ex-players gone on to become world-beaters?

Keep it up!

It has been hard at times to stick to it - especailly with so much money in the bank and knowing a three or four big signings could take us to European glory. But in all honesty that is part of the fun. (Need to be slightly sadistic to find that fun, mind!).

Hmm players that have turned into world beaters? Richairo Zivkovic was only with me for the first season and a half, and after a poor spell at Barcelona he is finding his feet at Chelsea. His record for the Netherlands is a staggering 37 goals in 42 caps.

Regen Niels van Zanten is great too. Since joning Milan in 2018 he has scored 39 goals in 80 apps. Not bad for a kid who is still only 21.

Apart from those two, no one has really excelled elsewhere, but there are quite a few who have played under me in my Dutch squad.

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Announcement

Saddly this save is no more.

After updating to Windows 10 neither the original save or the back-up will load. Very annoying as a couple of newer saves I have made load fine, but the Ajax ones do not. It's even more annoying as I was enjoying the constant rebuilding I was having to do in my quest to win the Champions League.

A bit dejected to be honest.

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Announcement

Saddly this save is no more.

After updating to Windows 10 neither the original save or the back-up will load. Very annoying as a couple of newer saves I have made load fine, but the Ajax ones do not. It's even more annoying as I was enjoying the constant rebuilding I was having to do in my quest to win the Champions League.

A bit dejected to be honest.

Balls :(

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