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[FM15] The Hart Chronicles - Volume I: Paul Hart's Alphabet Career

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July/Transfers

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I was worried that someone would activate Vobler's release clause and AC Milan, who aren't even in the Champions League, did and he left for what tbf was a bigger wage, but I would've offered him more money to stay but he was adamant to leave. Sabanovic joined my old side Leicester after they met his release clause, but I wasn't too gutted to lose him. Melvin Bertrand left for £8.5M to join Sassuolo after he kicked up a stink, whilst Redouane Herkat left for rivals Valencia after they met his release clause. The other transfers were back-up or B players who were sold for some extra cash or to get them off the wage list.

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Arie Adriaanse joins from Denmark for £7.5M - he's a very promising young Dutch right winger who will replace Sabanovic. Hugo Garcia and Cees van Dijk are both strikers, signed with the money we got for Vobler, the two of them will compete for the starting spot. Bob Scholten is a 23 year old Dutchman who will be our new RB. Ludovico Mapelli will compete with Alvaro Gonzalez to be first choice LW, whilst Pavel Pospisil will replace Melvin Bertrand as a starting CB.

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August

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We got battered in our home leg against Real Madrid, so I really didn't hold that much hope for the away leg where we would need to get at least 4 goals to stand a chance. We actually took a 2-0 lead within half hour and I thought that we could actually do it maybe, but Madrid had it back to 2-1 before half-time, then 2-2 again early in the second half. We got a 3rd goal but we still needed 2 more to win it, which just wasn't happening. I'm not too fussed really though.

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A solid start to the Europa League as we beat opposition from Cyprus without any trouble at all. Rijeka of Croatia gave us more of a challenge but we were still in control for the majority of both matches.

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The title holders on the first day of the season is never a welcome sight, but unlike our Super Cup match we actually did alright at home, we even took the lead. I was happy with a point in the end - especially as we beat Athletic Bilbao 3-1 in our follow up match.

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September

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I'll admit that despite being a 1st seed we have still been given an incredibly generous draw for this group. We could theoretically win every game. We've won our first two at least, with convincing wins against Club Brugge and Atalanta. The later did give us a few problems, but we never looked like losing at any point in the game really.

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In an interesting observation, the main colour of every team we'll play so far, including those in the qualifiers, is blue. I'm not sure what this means. Perhaps it's a sign. But what kind of sign? I'm not sure. Blue is the colour of the sky - so perhaps the game is telling me that the sky is the limit this season. I hope so.

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We lost to Sevilla at their place which was a bit bum, but since then we've put 4 past and beat both Las Palmas and Cartagena. We also fought back from 2-0 down to get a point at Valencia, so there's always that.

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Not an amazing start to the season, but if we win our game in hand we're in a pretty decent spot.

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Brighton have done a Leicester.

If this makes Kabongo the equivalent of Nigel Pearson, I like to think that he actually left Brighton because they sacked his son for doing something naughty.

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Speaking of Kabongo, it's only early October but unfortunately he's already been sacked as manager of Peterborough :(

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They were flirting with the relegation zone and clearly that was enough for The Posh to sack him. Kabongo's managerial career started quite brightly with jobs at decent sized Premier League sides like Fulham and Brighton, but now he's getting sacked off by Championship clubs. Middlesbrough you could kind of understand as they have promotion ambitions, but Peterborough just want to survive. It could be a while before Kabongo is given another job, although perhaps his big name reputation as a player will help him out.

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October

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Another big win in the Europa League against a hapless Dnipro side.

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Looking like we should top the group barring any disaster now.

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A fantastic month in the league. On paper you'd like to win all of these games, but that's a lot easier said than done. I was delighted to take 15 from 15 though and it will do wonders for us in the table.

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We're now up to 3rd place, with Barcelona just 3 points ahead and Madrid 2 points ahead. There's a 7 point gap between us and 5th place too which is very promising.

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There's some good news for Kabongo as he's avoided being unemployed for too long.

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Rotherham narrowly avoided relegation last season by finishing 21st - and it is in that position that Kabongo takes over them. Meanwhile, his former club Peterborough are rock bottom.

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November

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Two away games in the Europa League and I'm pleased to say we got two wins.

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We'll now definitely top the group which is nice, hopefully we can get our 6th and final win in our last match.

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Not the best month in the league. We got a good away win at Elche, but dropped points at Recreativo and then lost a big game with top 4 rival Atletico at home.

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That win is a big let off for Atletico and puts them much closer to us than before.

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December

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Cordoba are a pretty poor side and we had no trouble putting 7 past them over two legs to progress.

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Atalanta gave us a difficult game but we won it to make it 6 wins from 6.

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:cool:

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A testing month with all 3 of our matches being away games. We got two 3-3 draws out of it against Betis and Sociedad, which were both frustrating games that if we'd defended better in we could have won. We did at least beat Granada.

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We're still only 8 points behind Real and 6 behind Barca. I expect that gap to get bigger though. I'm hoping the gap below us doesn't though, as Atletico and Valencia will fight for 3rd/4th.

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January

Transfers Out

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I didn't really plan to sell either of these guys but sides in the Champions League came in for them and they wanted to go, so we took the money/profit.

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We've almost done a swap of left backs with Bayern as we sign Schaefer to be our new first choice, although he was only a back-up at Bayern. Oscar Lopez replaces Yildirim as first choice CB, think that's the most amount of money I've paid for anyone at Villarreal, but he's a talented CB and obviously being Spanish helps us with HG stuff.

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We were quite unlucky and drew Real Madrid. I was a bit disappointed as we were hopeless beaten in both legs, but oh well. There's always next year :D

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Any month where you lose 3 of 6 league matches is never a good one, but it wasn't the end of the world considering two of those games were away to Barca and Real Madrid. The Athletic Bilbao loss was shocking though and a disgraceful performance, but we did very well against Eibar at least, and came from behind to steal a late win at home to Real Betis after a disappointing first half performance.

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We're obviously now miles away from Barca and Madrid, but we do at least have those two games out of the way now. Valencia are now just 1 point behind us though, whilst Espanyol, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid are all chasing hard for that 4th spot.

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February

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We absolutely smashed Lokomotiv in Moscow. The home leg didn't matter too much but I defended the lead as I know FM can sometimes throw you some mad OP come back on aggregate. It wasn't happening on my watch! We will face Atalanta in the next round, which judging by their performances against us in the group stage, shouldn't be too much of a concern.

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4 wins from 4 this month - I'm very pleased, not just because Sevilla and Valencia are both good sides, but we very nearly didn't beat Las Palmas, but van Dijk's late winner gave us all 3 points in the end.

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We're now 9 behind Real and just 5 behind Barca. It's hard to see Real dropping enough points for us to really launch a title challenge, but we're at least 11 points ahead of 5th place.

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March

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Well they certainly gave us something to think about in the home leg, especially when we were 2-1 down. But we came back to get a 3-2 win, although I was cautious going into the away leg as they'd got two away goals against us. We thumped them in Italy though to secure a big Quarter Final with Sevila.

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A pretty solid month, although absolutely gutting not to get the win against Espanyol considering we lead the match on 3 separate occasions - just couldn't get the win in the end though. We did at least snatch a late winner at Sporting.

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We've gained points on Madrid, they're still 8 points ahead though and I just don't see us catching them. We're only 2 behind Barcelona and our last game of the season is a home match against them, so we could have a massive last game to decide whether we come 2nd or 3rd. We're at least now 11 points ahead of 4th place so Champions League is more or less guaranteed at this point.

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April

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We destroyed Sevilla in the home leg. They didn't even get an away goal so there was no real chance of a miracle for them in the away leg, they got two goals, but so did we and we made the Semi Final for the 2nd consecutive year.

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Not the best month of form in La Liga. I'm not sure if it's because the players have nothing to play for and they can't be arsed anymore, but not great to see 3 poor performances in a row. I'm annoyed we lost to Atletico as well, although even with that win they'd still have to do very well to pip us for 3rd.

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I was quite surprised when we drew FC Utrecht just because I expected a better quality side. I think we perhaps under-estimated them in the away leg as they put in a strong performance in front of their home crowd, but we did manage an away goal through Niall Millar. The home leg was a lot more comfortable and we won 3-0.

The final will be a very special night as it will be played at one of my old grounds, the Ibrox. We've got one of my old rivals from Greece, AEK Athens, in the final - which again is a pretty reasonable draw on paper.

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It really has been a pretty weak year when you consider that the other final 3 teams last year were Toulouse, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. I was more worried about Krylja Sovetov as they knocked out Man United in the Quarter Final, but we can't write off AEK Athens of course.

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It's going to be your year in Villareal. However, the La Liga crown will be tougher than I thought. How's the youth intakes of Villareal this year?

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It's going to be your year in Villareal. However, the La Liga crown will be tougher than I thought. How's the youth intakes of Villareal this year?

Yeah it will probably take a few years to get to a level where we can fully compete with them. Although getting Champions League football will be a godsend for attracting higher quality players and potentially keeping some of our better ones.

The youth intake this year was pretty rubbish, but I had this guy come through last year who could be quiet good. He's already good enough to be starting regularly in LIGA adelante for Tenerife.

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So, who are the managers of Kabongo's former teams recently? Let's wait to see who will be the new manager of Roterham.

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May

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A pretty damp end to the season aside from a decent point at home to Barcelona, as well as a late 2-1 win at Eibar. I wasn't pleased to lose the two games we lost, we had nothing to play for but I wanted to go into the AEK Athens game in good form, which we didn't really.

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We did get 3rd though, still quite comfortably in the end due to Atletico massively bottling it.

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Despite our poor form going into the final we did in-fact manage to beat AEK Athens 3-2. We were 2-0 up at half-time and the Greek side, to their credit, pulled it back to 2-2 which had me very worried, but Jeser Ramirez headed in from a corner to give us the winner just after the hour mark. This is my 4th time winning the Europa League and with my 4th different club :cool:

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So, who are the managers of Kabongo's former teams recently? Let's wait to see who will be the new manager of Roterham.

Scott Sinclair left Brighton after winning the Premier League to join Aston Villa, he got replaced by Noor Husin. Fulham replaced him with Andy King, who got sacked, they're now managed by regen Greg Quirke. Middlesbrough replaced him with Scott Fraser. Peterborough replaced him with Max Power, whilst Rotherham have hired regen Gary Grundy.

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W-Watch

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Wolfsburg slipped down to 3rd, which somewhat worryingly was not enough for Manuel Neuer to lose his job. Not sure how he's still only stable considering they've won 3 of the last 5 titles and haven't finished lower than 2nd in 5 years. They did reach the Champions League Quarter Final though (before getting knocked out 8-2 on aggregate by PSG) so perhaps that was enough.

Meanwhile, Werder Bremen have showed no signs of gaining promotion to the Second Division yet.

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Kabongo-Watch

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Kabongo is still unemployed since being sacked by Rotherham. It seems these sackings and relegation has taken its toll on his reputation, as he's now only on 'Regional' when before he's been either 'National' or 'World Class'.

Meanwhile, his old side, Brighton, put in one of the first worst title defences of all time -

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Perhaps it had something to do with Scott Sinclair leaving to take over Aston Villa.

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Season 36 (V)illarreal

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A pretty succesful season for the most part. We could've done a bit better in the league, but overall I'm happy with a Europa League win and Champions League qualification. It would've been nice to do better in the Spanish and Super Cup, but ultimately when you get drawn with Real Madrid it's always going to be quite tough.

Squad pt 1, pt 2

GK - Emmanuel Herbaut had another decent season in goal. He's attracting some interest from French clubs but I don't really want to sell as I'm only gonna get £4/5M for him tops and there's no way I can replace him with someone on the same level for that price.

DR - Bob Scholten was signed for £5M and was a solid signing. He's a great player - the only negative was that he broke his ankle near the end of the season.

DL - Nils Zinke did well before being sold in January. Daniel Schaefer replaced him and to be honest he's not really come close to matching his predecessor. I'm hoping he improves next season.

DC - Pavel Pospisil and Oscar Lopez were my first choice pairing this season, Pavel is a great talent and did really well. Oscar Lopez didn't do as well as I'd have liked for how much he cost, but hopefully he can do better next year.

DM - Nial Millar was brought in for £7.5M and did a fantastic job. He was easily one of our best players. I'm really hoping we don't lose him, but he's got a fair amount of bigger clubs interested in him. Fingers crossed we can hold onto him or make a decent profit at least.

MC - Bradley Hewitt was first choice again this year. He had another pretty good year and was a real credit to the team's defensive and attacking performances at times.

AMR - Arie Adriaanse was signed to be our new RW but the promising Dutchman spent pretty much all season unfit or injured. This meant that Vladimir Riherts, backup from last season, got the chance to play all the time. This actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Riherts put in the season of his life, contributing 22 assists and an amazing 28 goals.

AML - Ludovico Mapelli had a pretty good season, with 14 assists and 16 goals. I'm hoping there's more to come from this talented Italian next season.

CAM - Pascual improved upon last season a bit, with overall better performances and 18 assists and 12 goals. He's still developing so I'm hoping we can hold onto him and reap the rewards in the future.

ST - Manuel Vobler got so many goals last season that it would always be difficult for new signing, Cees van Dijk, to live up to him. The 24 year old Dutchman had a pretty good season though, with 37 goals and 20 assists from 54 games. He's attracting a fair bit of interest though and seems to want to leave, if someone matches his release clause we might have to lose yet another striker. His back-up, Hugo Garcia, also did quite well with 16 goals and 7 assists from just 16 starts. - perhaps Garcia himself could replace van Dijk next year if we do lose him.

History

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Season     Club                Division          Position      Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2014/15    Arsenal             Premier League    2nd           League Cup winners 
2015/16    Arsenal             Premier League    1st           Premier League winners
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2016/17    Borussia Dortmund   Bundesliga        3rd           German Cup & Europa League winners
2017/18    Borussia Dortmund   Bundesliga        2nd           Euro Super Cup & German Super Cup winners
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2017       Cameroon            N/A               N/A           Confederations Cup runners up 
2018       Cameroon            N/A               N/A           N/A
2019       Cameroon            N/A               N/A           African Cup of Nations winners 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018/19    Dinamo Moscow       Russian PL        2nd           Russian Cup winners
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2019/20    Everton             Premier League    2nd           N/A
2020/21    Everton             Premier League    7th           League Cup winners & Champions League runners up
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020       France              N/A               N/A           N/A
2021       France              N/A               N/A           European Nations League winner
2022       France              N/A               N/A           World Cup winner
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2021/22    Getafe              La Liga           5th           Qualified for Europa League
2022/23    Getafe              La Liga           9th           Europa League semi finalists 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2022       Holland             N/A               N/A           N/A
2023       Holland             N/A               N/A           N/A
2024       Holland             N/A               N/A           European Championship runners up
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2023/24    Ipswich Town        Championship      1st           Promoted as Champions  
2024/25    Ipswich Town        Premier League    13th          N/A
2025/26    Ipswich Town        Premier League    4th           N/A
2026/27    Ipswich Town        Premier League    4th           N/A
2027/28    Ipswich Town        Premier League    1st           Premier League & FA Cup winners
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2028/29    Juventus            Serie A           1st           Serie A, Italian Cup & Super Cup winners 
2029/30    Juventus            Serie A           1st           Serie A, Champions League, Italian Cup & Super Cup winners
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2030/31    Kuban               Russian PL        6th           Qualified for Europa League
2031/32    Kuban               Russian PL        7th           Left in November
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2031/32    Liverpool           Premier League    6th           Joined in November. FA Cup winners.
2032/33    Liverpool           Premier League    2nd           Europa League & Community Shield winners
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2033/34    Man United          Premier League    1st           Premier League, League Cup & Community Shield winners
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2034/35    NAC Breda           Eredivisie        3rd           Qualified for Europa League
2035/36    NAC Breda           Eredivisie        7th           Left in December
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2035/36    Olympiakos          Greek SL          3rd           Joined in December. Greek Cup winners & Qualified for CL.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2036/37    Porto               Portuguese PL     1st           Portuguese PL & League Cup
2037/38    Porto               Portuguese PL     1st           Portuguese PL, FA Cup & Super Cup
2038/39    Porto               Portuguese PL     4th           Super Cup winners. Left in April. 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2038/39    Q.P.R.              Premier League    19th          Relegated
2039/40    Q.P.R.              Championship      2nd           Promoted 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2040/41    Rangers             Scottish PL       3rd           Scottish Cup & League Cup winners
2041/42    Rangers             Scottish PL       1st           Scottish PL winners 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2040       Spain               N/A               N/A           N/A 
2041       Spain               N/A               N/A           N/A
2042       Spain               N/A               N/A           World Cup quarter finalists. Sacked. 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2042/43    Toulouse            Ligue 1           4th           Qualified for Champions League
2043/44    Toulouse            Ligue 1           5th           Europa League semi finalists 
2044/45    Toulouse            Ligue 1           3rd           Europa League winners
2045/46    Toulouse            Ligue 1           3rd           Champions League & European Super Cup winners
2046/47    Toulouse            Ligue 1           3rd           World Club Cup, European Super Cup and Coupe de la Ligue winners
2047/48    Toulouse            Ligue 1           1st           Ligue 1 & Coupe de la Ligue winners
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2042       U.S.A.              N/A               N/A           N/A
2043       U.S.A.              N/A               N/A           Gold Cup runners up
2044       U.S.A.              N/A               N/A           N/A 
2045       U.S.A.              N/A               N/A           Gold Cup winners
2046       U.S.A.              N/A               N/A           World Cup Group Stage
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2043       U.S.A. Under 23s    N/A               N/A           Copa America Group Stage
2044       U.S.A. Under 23s    N/A               N/A           Olympic Games runners-up
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2048/49    Villarreal          La Liga           6th           Spanish Cup runners-up
2049/50    Villarreal          La Liga           3rd           Europa League winners
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trophy Cabinet

World Cup                  x1 - 2022 (France)
Olympic Games Silver Medal x1 - 2044 (U.S.A. Under 23's)
African Cup of Nations     x1 - 2019 (Cameroon)
North American Gold Cup    x1 - 2045 (U.S.A.)
European Nations League    x1 - 2021 (France)


Champions League    x2 - 2029/30 (Juventus), 2045/46 (Toulouse)
Europa League       x4 - 2016/17 (Borussia Dortmund), 2032/33 (Liverpool), 2044/45 (Toulouse), 2049/50 (Villarreal)
European Super Cup  x3 - 2017/18 (Borussia Dortmund), 2045/46, 2046/47 (Toulouse) 
World Club Cup      x1 - 2046/47 (Toulouse)

Premier League    x3 - 2015/16 (Arsenal), 2027/28 (Ipswich), 2033/34 (Man United)
FA Cup            x2 - 2027/28 (Ipswich), 2031/32 (Liverpool) 
League Cup        x3 - 2014/15 (Arsenal), 2020/21 (Everton), 2033/34 (Man United)
Community Shield  x2 - 2032/33 (Liverpool), 2033/34 (Man United)   
Championship      x1 - 2023/24 (Ipswich) 

Ligue 1           x1 - 2047/48 (Toulouse)
Coupe de la Ligue x2 - 2046/47, 2047/48 (Toulouse)

German Cup        x1 - 2016/17 (Borussia Dortmund)
German Super Cup  x1 - 2017/18 (Borussia Dortmund)

Greek Cup   x1 - 2035/36 (Olympiakos)

Serie A           x2 - 2028/29, 2029/30 (Juventus)
Italian Cup       x2 - 2028/29, 2029/30 (Juventus)
Italian Super Cup x2 - 2028/29, 2029/30 (Juventus) 

Portuguese PL          x2 - 2036/37, 2037/38 (Porto)
Portuguese Cup         x1 - 2037/38 (Porto)
Portuguese League Cup  x1 - 3036/37 (Porto)
Portuguese Super Cup   x2 - 2037/38 (Porto), 2038/39 (Porto)

Russian Cup x1 - 2018/19 (Dinamo Moscow)

Scottish PL         x1 - 2041/42 (Rangers)
Scottish Cup        x1 - 2040/41 (Rangers)
Scottish League Cup x1 - 2040/41 (Rangers)

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Summer Transfers

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Some big departures this summer. We lose striker Cees van Dijk to Montpellier after they hit his release clause of £20M, with a similar story for Bob Scholten - although tbf I'm not that annoyed to see him leave as £20M for a right back is crazy money. Nial Millar returns to Man United too for £18M - he will be a loss but not the end of the world and for a decent price. Pavel Pospisil is another loss but another one who can be replaced for that money. We also lost backup striker Hugo Gargia to Juventus, it will be hard to find a back-up striker that good for that price.

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Fabio Steidten is a versatile midfielder who can cover anywhere from DM to MC to CAM, he'll be a very useful addition to the squad. Ross Scott and Roman Klingler are our two new strikers, they were both signed for the same price and will battle it out among themselves to be first choice. Jonathan Marin is our new CB and he looks a promising player - the same applies to Bill Barnett who is our new RB. Jesse Reichert is a versatile defender who will offer competition for places, whilst Justin Nabab, who I'm very familiar with from my time at Toulouse, was signed as a rotational DM/CM to add depth to the squad.

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August

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We lost in the European Super Cup final unfortunately. PSG are a great side though and when they're on form they can be hard to stop, this was one of those days regrettably.

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A terrible start to the season as we lose on the first day away at Valencia. We at least managed to get back in the swing of things with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Sporting.

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September

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Despite my very impressive European exploits at the club so far we were unfortunately still only 3rd seeds, which meant we were given a real ******* of a draw with Roma, who are one of the best sides around in the game, as well as Aston Villa who regularly qualify for the Champions League and are a pretty decent side. We've actually started out pretty well though, with a good point away to Roma and a fantastic ding-dong battle at home to Villa which ultimately saw me beat Scott Sinclair's men 4-3.

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Rapid Wien are obvious whipping boys so as long as we beat them twice and avoid defeat against Villa away, we should qualify for the Knockout Stages.

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An okay month. I'm not happy to drop points at home to Murcia or Real Union away really, but we did at least get two victories against Recreativo and Granada.

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We're still in the mix but in danger of fading away from the top guys if we keep dropping points against lesser sides.

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October

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As predicted we got a win against the whipping boys. I was a bit annoyed at only beating them 1-0, we had several chances that we missed, but ultimately 3 points is all that matters really.

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Top of the table with 3 matches left. If we beat Rapid Wien away which we should then we may actually already qualify if Roma beat Aston Villa. Good times!

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A pretty pants month. I never expect to get much from Real Madrid away but losing 5-1 is a massive shambles. We also lost away to Bilbao and Sociedad which really isn't great - we did beat Las Palmas and Espanyol though.

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Not looking thaaat great really after those 3 losses.

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There's some good news though as Kabongo is finally back in a job!

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Kabongo will be hoping he can get Portsmouth back on track as he definitely won't want another relegation on his CV after failing to save Rotherham last season.

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November

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An absolutely massive loss away to Rapid Wien. A disgrace and an absolute shambles of epic proportions. We could've avoided suffering from that too much with a win against Roma but despite being 2-0 up at half-time we managed to blow it.

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We're now in a stupid position where if we lost to Aston Villa away than we're out.

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A disappointing draw at Cartagena and a pretty awful loss to Sevilla, although we did at least get 3 points at home to Betis and Eibar.

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We're only 3 points off top 4 but it's really not been the sort of start I was hoping for.

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December

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We didn't have too much trouble against Melilla, if anything we should've got way more goals than we did, but oh well.

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:rolleyes:

Terrible stuff. Just awful. We've somehow managed to **** up qualifying from this group despite being in such a good position after the first 3 games.

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We will of course get to take part in the Europa League again, but this not good for the prestige of the club or financially which would help attracting better players next season.

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A good month in the league though as we win two games that we should.

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In fairness despite some poor performances we're only 3 points off of 3rd and 7 off Real Madrid at the top of the table. I'm a bit worried that we're having to chase Barcelona for 4th at the moment though, as I'm not sure that's a chase we can win.

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January

Transfers Out

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A few transfers out as our left back and RW both leave for other clubs. Schaefer was desperate to leave for Bayern Munich so I said he could go for £10.5M, but they didn't cough up the cash, so he ended up going to Benfica instead. Arie Adriaanse was desperate to leave also so I let him go for a tidy profit.

Transfers In

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A like for like replacement at LB as we signed Ingmar Wormgoor from Liverpool. I replaced Adriaanse with one of my ex players, Francis Pierre, who was a back-up player for me for a season at Toulouse. He left to join PSG but didn't really succeed there and ended up at Man United, he couldn't get games there either but he should get games for us. I know he's a talented player going by his stats so hopefully with first team football he can live up to it.

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It wasn't easy to get past Cartagena but we managed it, with Alvaro Gonzalez making sure very late on. We've got Barcelona in the Semi Final which is a big ask, but tbf they've not looked that great in La Liga this season, so if there's ever a year we can beat them it will be this one.

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A very confident performance against Atletico Madrid got a tough looking January off to a good start. We managed a 3-3 draw at home to Barcelona which is a good result considering we're battling with them for 4th, if anything it's disappointing we couldn't win after going 2-0 up, but the main aim was to not lose this one. We did lose our next one which was against Valencia, a big loss to a side who are above us but still within reach, so it was annoying to lose. We did at least beat Sporting 2-0.

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We're just 1 point and goal difference behind Barcelona in 4th place. It's going to be an uphill struggle but hopefully we can do it as we've already gained some ground on them.

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February

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We lost at the Nou Camp but we did at least get 2 away goals from the game, which came in extremely handy as we beat them 2-1 at home to go through on away goals. Our new boy Francis Pierre put in two absolutely killer performances across two legs and was a huge part in why we went through. It will be a repeat of the final from two years ago as we will face Real Madrid yet again.

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I was obviously extremely pleased when we drew Sparta Prague as there are far better teams on offer, but I didn't forget that loss against Rapid Wien in the CL Group Stage so didn't get too excited. We had nothing to worry about really though as we won 5-1 on aggregate. We play Marseille in the next round.

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A solid month in the league. When you look at the fixture list you'd have liked us to have won all of these games but that is easier said than done.

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Our fine form sees us rise not just into the top 4, but into 3rd place! Sevilla are only a point behind us though, but Barcelona have fallen off and are now 4 points behind us - we've even nearly matched their goal difference now too.

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March

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A very difficult away tie in Marseille, but we came out of it with 3 away goals thanks largely to Francis Pierre who was right at home in his native land. We won 2-0 at home without too much trouble which sees us into the Quarter Final. We will play Chelsea, which is no easy task as they're a pretty good side despite rarely making the Champions League.

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The month started very well as we smashed through Murcia and Las Palmas, but we came to a halt as we could only scrape a draw against Barcelona's local rivals, who did them a bit of a favour here. We came so close to getting a point at home to Real Madrid too, but despite a late fight back we couldn't do enough to get anything from the game.

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We're down to 4th as Sevilla have gone 4 points ahead of us now. Those two big wins over smaller sides has boosted our goal difference so that we're level with Barca now, they're only 2 points behind us now though and the pressure is really on. Our penultimate game of the season will be at the Nou Camp - that could be one hell of an important game!

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April

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A disappointing set of performances, but we did have a few injuries and these games both game just 3 days after massively important league games. I always take the Europa League seriously but I wasn't in a position to rest some of my players to make sure they were 100 percent fit for either of these games, whilst the Europa League offers a chance at CL qualification, we have an easier one in making top 4. We ultimately won the games that I didn't rest the players for so whilst I'm still disappointed I couldn't have a chance at adding to my Europa League trophies, it was a decision that had to be made - at the time there were other strong sides like West Brom, Lazio, Valencia and Shakhtar in the tournament too, if it had been as weak a competition as last year I may have taken the risk.

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A massively important month where it was paramount to drop as few points as possible. We did fail to win away to Real Bit and got beat quite badly at home to Sevilla, but otherwise it was a perfect month of big performances, including very late goals to secure wins at Zaragoza and Cartagena.

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We're now in a good position going into the last set of games. We could possibly pip Valencia to 3rd, but the big issue is obviously Barcelona behind us. They are 6 points behind but our next game is against them, we basically make top 4 if we avoid defeat to them. Our final league game is at home to Rayo which we can also make top 4 by avoiding defeat in, that should in theory be an easy win but they're fighting for their life down in 17th so who knows what could happen.

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May

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We managed to get a draw at the Nou Camp which ensured top 4, then ended the season on a high as we beat Rayo at home.

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We actually managed to pip Valencia to 3rd which is pretty good as it means we can skip a Champions League playoff game.

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A pretty gutting final as we lose in the Spanish Cup final to Real Madrid for the 2nd time in 3 seasons. We gave it our all but in the end it wasn't good enough.

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Kabongo-Watch

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Kabongo's Portsmouth finished rock bottom of the Championship by some distance, which means he's been relegated for a second consecutive season. Portsmouth actually appear to have kept him on though, which gives Kabongo a chance to atone for this disappointment, as well as appear in League One for the first time.

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W-Watch

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Wolfsburg under-performed again this season which was the final straw for the board, as Manuel Neuer was unceremoniously sacked.

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This actually then led to me being offered the job...

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I turned it down as there is still much to be done with Villarreal, namely winning La Liga.

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Wolfsburg ended up hiring Dutchman Tim Mulder, who was actually my captain whilst I was Holland manager all those years ago. I hope Tim can keep the manager's seat on the dugout at the Dzeko Arena warm for me before I get the job...

It's worth noting though that Werder Bremen won promotion this season and are now in the German 2nd Division and a playable team again. This makes them an option if it doesn't look like the Wolfsburg job is going to become available any time soon. I think the only scenario I'd take the Bremen job would be if they got promoted to the Bundesliga then their manager got sacked for almost getting them relegated or something, as I don't think taking over a just about ready Bundesliga side would be thaaaat bad, but taking over a struggling Second Division side isn't that appealing really at this point.

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Season 37 (V)illarreal

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I'm not sure about this season really. I think we've got 3 or 4 points more than we did last season but it doesn't really feel like we've progressed much, in some ways maybe we've stagnated. Although if say Sevilla hadn't been as good this season and we'd come 2nd I'd maybe feel more positive. I think getting knocked out of the Champions League Group Stage was a big blow and will have hurt us financially and our ability to draw in players. I was pleased to get to the Spanish Cup final again, but obviously gutting to lose to Real again. I would've liked to have done more in the Europa League but at the time I had to focus on the league more so I did sacrifice the Europa League a bit. Overall an okay season - probably a 6.5 or a 7 out of 10. We can do better though and hopefully we will next season.

Squad pt 1,pt 2

GK - We kept hold of Emmanuel Herbaut who had another good year in goal. He's still quite keen on a move back to France but I can't make any profit on him so I'm reluctant to sell.

DR - Bill Barnett was signed for £8.5M to be our new RB. I'd say we got more or less what we paid for but he was not a bargain or anything too amazing.

DL - Jesse Reichert was signed in the summer to be our new LB and he did reasonably well - but you'd expect that for the £7.75M we paid for him.

DC - Oscar Lopez retained his position as first choice CB with new signing Jonathan Marin slotting in beside him. The two were alright this season without being too spectacular.

DM - Justin Nabab was signed originally as a back-up option but he soon became first choice. The Frenchman had an impressive season, with Willy Lebreton acting as his back-up.

MC - Bradley Hewitt again was first choice this season and again did pretty well in the heart of our midfield.

AMR - Arie Adriaanse our first choice RW with Vladimir Riherts regrettably unable to reach the purple patch he did last season. Arie left in January which saw the arrival of Francis Pierre, who did very well in the second half of the season.

AML - Ludovico Mapelli had a dreadful season and lost his place in the side to Alvaro Gonzalez who put in some good performances. We could probably do with a new guy for this position though as I don't feel comfortable relying on either of the two now.

CAM - Pascual shared first choice CAM this season with new signing Fabian Steidten, the German also played occasionally at CM and DM which saw Pascual at CAM. Steitden was a great signing but he has a lot of interest in him so if his release clause is met his Villarreal career could be over before it even got started. It would be good news for Pascual though.

ST - Ross Scott came in from Southampton for £11M and did well for that price, with 34 goals and 13 assists in 54 games. The most important stat though is that 27 of these goals came in La Liga, so whilst he hasn't scored the most goals out of anyone we've had, he is the first to win a La Liga Golden Boot.

History

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Season     Club                Division          Position      Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2014/15    Arsenal             Premier League    2nd           League Cup winners 
2015/16    Arsenal             Premier League    1st           Premier League winners
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2016/17    Borussia Dortmund   Bundesliga        3rd           German Cup & Europa League winners
2017/18    Borussia Dortmund   Bundesliga        2nd           Euro Super Cup & German Super Cup winners
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2017       Cameroon            N/A               N/A           Confederations Cup runners up 
2018       Cameroon            N/A               N/A           N/A
2019       Cameroon            N/A               N/A           African Cup of Nations winners 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018/19    Dinamo Moscow       Russian PL        2nd           Russian Cup winners
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2019/20    Everton             Premier League    2nd           N/A
2020/21    Everton             Premier League    7th           League Cup winners & Champions League runners up
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020       France              N/A               N/A           N/A
2021       France              N/A               N/A           European Nations League winner
2022       France              N/A               N/A           World Cup winner
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2021/22    Getafe              La Liga           5th           Qualified for Europa League
2022/23    Getafe              La Liga           9th           Europa League semi finalists 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2022       Holland             N/A               N/A           N/A
2023       Holland             N/A               N/A           N/A
2024       Holland             N/A               N/A           European Championship runners up
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2023/24    Ipswich Town        Championship      1st           Promoted as Champions  
2024/25    Ipswich Town        Premier League    13th          N/A
2025/26    Ipswich Town        Premier League    4th           N/A
2026/27    Ipswich Town        Premier League    4th           N/A
2027/28    Ipswich Town        Premier League    1st           Premier League & FA Cup winners
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2028/29    Juventus            Serie A           1st           Serie A, Italian Cup & Super Cup winners 
2029/30    Juventus            Serie A           1st           Serie A, Champions League, Italian Cup & Super Cup winners
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2030/31    Kuban               Russian PL        6th           Qualified for Europa League
2031/32    Kuban               Russian PL        7th           Left in November
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2031/32    Liverpool           Premier League    6th           Joined in November. FA Cup winners.
2032/33    Liverpool           Premier League    2nd           Europa League & Community Shield winners
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2033/34    Man United          Premier League    1st           Premier League, League Cup & Community Shield winners
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2034/35    NAC Breda           Eredivisie        3rd           Qualified for Europa League
2035/36    NAC Breda           Eredivisie        7th           Left in December
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2035/36    Olympiakos          Greek SL          3rd           Joined in December. Greek Cup winners & Qualified for CL.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2036/37    Porto               Portuguese PL     1st           Portuguese PL & League Cup
2037/38    Porto               Portuguese PL     1st           Portuguese PL, FA Cup & Super Cup
2038/39    Porto               Portuguese PL     4th           Super Cup winners. Left in April. 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2038/39    Q.P.R.              Premier League    19th          Relegated
2039/40    Q.P.R.              Championship      2nd           Promoted 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2040/41    Rangers             Scottish PL       3rd           Scottish Cup & League Cup winners
2041/42    Rangers             Scottish PL       1st           Scottish PL winners 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2040       Spain               N/A               N/A           N/A 
2041       Spain               N/A               N/A           N/A
2042       Spain               N/A               N/A           World Cup quarter finalists. Sacked. 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2042/43    Toulouse            Ligue 1           4th           Qualified for Champions League
2043/44    Toulouse            Ligue 1           5th           Europa League semi finalists 
2044/45    Toulouse            Ligue 1           3rd           Europa League winners
2045/46    Toulouse            Ligue 1           3rd           Champions League & European Super Cup winners
2046/47    Toulouse            Ligue 1           3rd           World Club Cup, European Super Cup and Coupe de la Ligue winners
2047/48    Toulouse            Ligue 1           1st           Ligue 1 & Coupe de la Ligue winners
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2042       U.S.A.              N/A               N/A           N/A
2043       U.S.A.              N/A               N/A           Gold Cup runners up
2044       U.S.A.              N/A               N/A           N/A 
2045       U.S.A.              N/A               N/A           Gold Cup winners
2046       U.S.A.              N/A               N/A           World Cup Group Stage
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2043       U.S.A. Under 23s    N/A               N/A           Copa America Group Stage
2044       U.S.A. Under 23s    N/A               N/A           Olympic Games runners-up
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2048/49    Villarreal          La Liga           6th           Spanish Cup runners-up
2049/50    Villarreal          La Liga           3rd           Europa League winners
2050/51    Villarreal          La Liga           3rd           Spanish Cup runners up
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trophy Cabinet

World Cup                  x1 - 2022 (France)
Olympic Games Silver Medal x1 - 2044 (U.S.A. Under 23's)
African Cup of Nations     x1 - 2019 (Cameroon)
North American Gold Cup    x1 - 2045 (U.S.A.)
European Nations League    x1 - 2021 (France)


Champions League    x2 - 2029/30 (Juventus), 2045/46 (Toulouse)
Europa League       x4 - 2016/17 (Borussia Dortmund), 2032/33 (Liverpool), 2044/45 (Toulouse), 2049/50 (Villarreal)
European Super Cup  x3 - 2017/18 (Borussia Dortmund), 2045/46, 2046/47 (Toulouse) 
World Club Cup      x1 - 2046/47 (Toulouse)

Premier League    x3 - 2015/16 (Arsenal), 2027/28 (Ipswich), 2033/34 (Man United)
FA Cup            x2 - 2027/28 (Ipswich), 2031/32 (Liverpool) 
League Cup        x3 - 2014/15 (Arsenal), 2020/21 (Everton), 2033/34 (Man United)
Community Shield  x2 - 2032/33 (Liverpool), 2033/34 (Man United)   
Championship      x1 - 2023/24 (Ipswich) 

Ligue 1           x1 - 2047/48 (Toulouse)
Coupe de la Ligue x2 - 2046/47, 2047/48 (Toulouse)

German Cup        x1 - 2016/17 (Borussia Dortmund)
German Super Cup  x1 - 2017/18 (Borussia Dortmund)

Greek Cup   x1 - 2035/36 (Olympiakos)

Serie A           x2 - 2028/29, 2029/30 (Juventus)
Italian Cup       x2 - 2028/29, 2029/30 (Juventus)
Italian Super Cup x2 - 2028/29, 2029/30 (Juventus) 

Portuguese PL          x2 - 2036/37, 2037/38 (Porto)
Portuguese Cup         x1 - 2037/38 (Porto)
Portuguese League Cup  x1 - 3036/37 (Porto)
Portuguese Super Cup   x2 - 2037/38 (Porto), 2038/39 (Porto)

Russian Cup x1 - 2018/19 (Dinamo Moscow)

Scottish PL         x1 - 2041/42 (Rangers)
Scottish Cup        x1 - 2040/41 (Rangers)
Scottish League Cup x1 - 2040/41 (Rangers)

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Summer Transfers

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Probably one of the quietest transfer windows I can remember having in absolutely years. We lost just two players this summer, with central defender Marin heading off to Montpellier, whilst midfielder Fabian Steidten left for Zenit.

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We're a club that ideally needs to sell to buy big, especially since we went out of the Champions League at the group stage last season. We did manage to get in Sam Lawrence who is a talented CB that will replace Marin. Antonis Pozapalidis comes in to add depth and competition to the LW position, whilst Leon Wolf is a versatile DM and CM who was signed on the absolute cheap from Hamburg and should prove a massive bargain at that price.

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August

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A great first game of the season with a 3-0 win against Real Union, but we then suffered a terrible loss away to Real Zaragoza.

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We did however put in two fabulous performances home and away against Real Madrid, with the tie eventually going to extra-time and penalties where we only went and beat them! What a result and a great way to pick up my first ever Spanish trophy. Hopefully this can be the start of something now that we know we're capable of besting Real Madrid!

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Just catching up here after a couple of months away. Great to see you nearing the end but surprised you didn't go for the Wolfsburg job - are you now aiming to keep this going until FM17? :)

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Just catching up here after a couple of months away. Great to see you nearing the end but surprised you didn't go for the Wolfsburg job - are you now aiming to keep this going until FM17? :)

I'm trying to win every playable league before I retire, which I think I can just about manage if I get the right clubs, but will probably take a little bit of time to get it sorted. There's no real rush though as I probably won't bother starting a new save game before FM17 comes out like you said - I have something good planned for that though.

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September

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A pretty promising month, with the only slip up being at home to Cartagena.

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This puts us in a reasonable position in the league after 10 games played.

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We destroyed Maccabi Tel-Aviv before just about beating Amkar.

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Bayern Munich top the group still but it looks like we're all but qualified at this point. Although I said that last year and we ****ed up :D

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November

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Not the best month. A good win against Granada but apart from that it was slim pickings for good performances. I could maybe not be too annoyed at drawing away at Atletico but under the circumstances of two home losses to Elche and Sevilla, it was very disappointing.

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We still sit 4th but it's disappointing to have dropped so many points this month as we could still be right up there.

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A good win against Amkar, but defeat against Bayern hands them the group.

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At least we have qualified for the next round though.

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December

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We didn't rally turn in the away leg in Jaen, but got a good 3-0 win to soar through in the home leg.

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A nice 3-1 win against the Israeli side.

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We're through to the next round, but it won't be easy having only finished 2nd in the group.

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We didn't have many league games this month, but we won both of the ones we did have.

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Not to pleased to be down in 5th, but we could jump to 4th if we win our game in hand on Bilbao.

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January

There were no transfers this January transfer window.

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A bit disappointing to drop out the Spanish Cup as early as we have, especially since we gave Barcelona a real go but ultimately they were better than us over the two legs.

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A decent month in the league apart from the poor loss at Madrid. I would've liked to have beaten Real Union too, but we did get a nice late winner at Recreativo.

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We're in 4th place, with Sevilla just ahead in 3rd, and Barcelona just 3 ahead in 2nd. Real are now 12 ahead though :(

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Kabongo has one again bitten the bullet...

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His Portsmouth side were down in 12th place and someway off the playoffs, this was enough for the board to pull the trigger on him.

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