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FM16: The Frozen Throne

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It was a very good month for our right back indeed.

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Five games to go, nineteen points clear at the top. :cool:

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Fantastic thread this mate. How far are you away from challenging in Europe? Is this the team you intend to do it with?

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Fantastic thread this mate. How far are you away from challenging in Europe? Is this the team you intend to do it with?

Thanks. I'd say we've made significant progress this season in terms of improving the team and were really competitive in a tough, even group in the Europa League. With some more experience I believe we could become Champions League group stage regulars, and that's when I'll be looking to make another step. And yes, I will try to do this with Hobro, seeing as there's no team in Scandinavia that would be a step up for me. Hell, now that we're so dominant in the league, there's probably not even a possibility of a sidestep.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - April 2045 - Hobro Idræts Klub

Superliga

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Just one more left.

To put it diplomatically, the Fredericia game wasn't the most interesting one for the neutrals. It just passed by with neither team posing real threat for the other. It was a bit of a letdown for our fans surely, but it definitely wasn't a tragedy, especially given that Horsens won their game anyway, which took away the chance to clinch the title from us.

But when it came to actually battling it out for mathematically securing the top spot, we really did turn up. It wasn't like we did so right from the start though - the first half hour or so was all about the hosts really giving their best to prolong their extremely slip hope of taking it away from us. But then I made a slight tactical tweak, swapping our central midfielders' roles to provide more defensive cover from the CM (S) on the left wing. And it worked a charm - we completely shut them out and could finally focus on doing our job up front. In the 31st minute Paulo Rogério played a drilled cross in from the right wing and Steffen Astrup placed the ball in an empty net. Seven minutes later our striker dropped deep to create space from Mads Krogh making a run into the box, then set him up with a through pass and finally watched him make it 2:0 with a calm finish. And in the 56th minute we had it all wrapped up - it was Astrup with the goal again and Paulo Rogério with the assist, again. Nothing could stop us. We were officially crowned the champions of Denmark for the second time in a row.

Pule Shiba and Frederik Bjerregaard got their chance to shine, making their professional debuts against Brøndby. Fielding those youngsters against our bogey team might not have been the best idea though - trust me, the scoreline is really flattering for us. We got absolutely battered, and yet we came within touching distance of stealing a draw. Steinar Holberg put the hosts in front as soon as in the 6th minute, getting away from Bjerregaard before applying the finish to a drilled cross. We equalised just six minutes later, José Antônio with the assist from the left wing and Pedro Henrique with the finish. Our celebrations didn't last long - Holberg doubled his goal tally, finding the ball at his feet in chaos in the 18th minute. Taking Bjerregaard off at half time only helped the overall picture a little, but it could have been a key chance - the substitute, Milagres, made it 2:2 in the 77th minute with an overhit cross that lobbed the goalkeeper and landed in the net. It was a good 50 yards away, too. We got bitten in the arse though - in the 93rd minute a header from Kristian Juul sent the home fans jubilant. And rightfully so, their team had just beaten the champions!

Shiba would remain between the sticks for the remainder of the season to get experience, but Bjerregaard got dropped for the Lyngby game. He made a couple of decent saves, but all in all he didn't get too many chances to show off his skills - we were easily the better team on the pitch and won deservedly. We opened the scoreline in the 32nd minute. The goalkeeper dropped the ball following Pedro Henrique's shot and Mads Krogh was just waiting to pounce on the rebound. Our Danish wonderkid didn't wait long to double our lead - three minutes later he received a pass from Pedro Henrique in a quick counter attack and rounded it off with a finish that just screamed pure class, putting the goalkeeper on his arse in the wrong corner of the goal. Another satisfying victory under our belt.

The trip to Fredericia was very similar in terms of difficulty. Which is next to no difficulty at all. In the 13th minute Kenneth Nhlapo scored the first goal of the game, unleashing a very precise header after a nice cross from Zarko Zukic. We grabbed the second shortly before the break. A cross from Filipe Antunes got intercepted, but Radoslaw Bednarek managed to win the ball back and let off an absolutely unstoppable, extremely powerful effort from 15 yards out. Even the fact that it was aimed straight at the goalkeeper didn't prevent it from finding the net. Yes, it was that powerful. The only setback was José Antônio's second yellow card in the 89th minute of the game. It really was unnecessary, to say the least.

I don't often field a full strength team (alright, maybe barring the goalkeeper position) at this stage of the season after securing the title, but when you come across the chance to win all four games against København in a season, you just have to take your shot. And we did. The first half wasn't a particularly entertaining one though, with both teams struggling to break through each other's defence, and the visitors resorting to hopeful attempts from long range. The deadlock was finally broken in the 68th minute. Milagres flicked a wonderful cross at the far post for Dennis Merry - 171 centimetres tall, Jumping Reach of 3 - to head the ball into the net despite a defender's pressure. The visitors didn't push too hard for the equaliser, but they got it nevertheless through Igor Pekic in the 85th minute, a silly mistake in communication in our defensive lines. It was us who had the final say though - another perfect cross from Milagres just seconds after stoppage time had started was met with a great header from Kenneth Nhlapo. Four wins out of four. Should we fear København anymore?

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - May 2045 - Hobro Idræts Klub

Superliga

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And we've officially done it.

The Horsens game wasn't a big one. We had nothing to fight for, the visitors had a top three finish and European qualification at stake. In theory they should have battled it out for us right until the end, but instead they decided to make it a rather boring match of football. We grabbed the lead in the 19th minute. José Antônio put the ball into he box from the left wing and Paulo Rogério tapped it into the net with very little pressure from anyone around him. The visitors managed to equalise seconds before the break - a deep free kick arrived into our area and Bastian Petry jumped the highest to place his shot just out of reach for Pule Shiba. And then we simply sat through the second half, waiting patiently to finally lift the trophy.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - Season Review - 2044/45 - Hobro Idræts Klub

Superliga

Results (preliminary phase) - Results (championship group)

Competition Performance: Winners

I knew we were capable of retaining the title, but I didn't expect us to be so dominant. Twenty points more than any other team just scream domination. We might have outgrown the league already.

DBU Pokalen

Competition Performance: Fourth Round

Our second string made a very disappointing early exit. We should look to make up for it next season.

UEFA Champions League

Competition Performance: Playoff Round

We were doing well up until a point where we came up against a team much stronger than us. Club Brugge were just out of reach.

UEFA Europa League

Competition Performance: Group Stage

The only thing we were missing was experience and cool heads to convert the opportunities we had. In the end we finished third in a very competitive group.

Squad

We finally have two quality players from each position. From now on, it's all about slow and steady growth.

Transfers - Finances

We're back to our style. £5M of net profit and a huge improvement in terms of squad quality. Especially Mads Krogh was a wonderful pick, we pretty much bought a key player for peanuts.

The stadium expansions we've undergone have really hurt us financially. We have £11M of outstanding loans, which is, well, a lot. We need the Champions league.

Player of the Season

1st - Milagres - what a massive improvement this guy turned out to be. Eleven assists in the league alone and consistent performances shot him up all the way to the top spot in my personal Player of the Season classification. And we only paid £400K for him. I just love fiddling with the transfer market.

2nd - Mads Krogh - I've already said this a few times, but I will repeat myself once more. I strongly believe we're looking at a future football star. In his first season at the club he's already become a key player for us, and remember he's only 20. Bright future lies ahead of this lad.

3rd - Kenneth Nhlapo - maybe his attributes aren't growing very quickly, but he's actually becoming better and better with the experience he gains. This season he's emerged as a surprise goalscorer in a few situations where no one expected him to. If he continues developing this way, he could become a sensational player for us.

Next Season

We need Champions League. Period.

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Ugh...

Don't get me wrong, a new stadium is always exciting news, but I just don't believe it's the right thing to do just now. Above all, this will take us to £40M debt, which we will seriously struggle to manage. From now on we are simply obliged to make the Champions League groups every year and turn a good profit on the transfer market. Otherwise, we might not survive.

Oh, and obviously I will have to rename it as soon as it's built.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - Season Preview - 2045/46 - Hobro Idræts Klub

Board Expectations:

Superliga: Win it

DBU Pokalen: Final

UEFA Champions League: Play-off Round

My Expectations:

Superliga: Win it.

DBU Pokalen: Win it.

UEFA Champions League: Group Stage.

Budgets:

Transfer: £4,874,773

Wage: £171,317 (currently spending £175,413)

Balance: £10,208,161

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - Pre-Season - 2045/46 - Hobro Idræts Klub

Friendlies

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Not bad.

Transfers

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And I thought this would be a quiet window for us...

Roberto - a direct replacement for Milagres, he should become our first choice right back.

Marco Aurélio - we needed to strenghten the centre of our defensive block, so we brought this guy in. Likely to be a starter.

França - I like the look of this guy, he'll surely give Astrup a good fight for the place in the team.

Kasper Poulsen - I'm very, very happy to have snapped him up for free. Bright future could lie ahead of him.

Brian Hansen - nothing like poaching quality Danish players from København, eh? A direct replacement for Dennis Merry.

Emil Due - strenghtening the central defender spot, part two.

Vaclav Musil - for now, he will be providing cover for the right wing. I hope he can still develop a bit.

Jeferson - possibly the best player I've ever signed. Shame he's 28 already, but he should still have a few years in him.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - July 2045 - Hobro Idræts Klub

Superliga

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We were almost as good up front as we were at the back.

We started the Roskilde game in the best way possible. Jamilson nodded the ball on after a corner landed on his head and Marco Aurélio placed it in an empty net as soon as four minutes in. And not even sixty seconds later we doubled our lead - Steffen Astrup dropped deep to receive the ball and play it on for Mads Krogh overlapping him. Our midfielder had no trouble slotting the ball past the goalkeeper. And he was only getting started - in the 26th minute the two Danes almost replicated their previous move with exactly the same outcome. In the 40th minute they decided to swap roles, with Krogh setting up Astrup for a very classy finish with the outside of his foot. We made it 5:0 in the 53rd minute. José Antônio received a nice diagonal pass on the left wing and immediately drilled a cross towards the far post for Krogh to complete his fantastic hat-trick with a simple tap-in. What a victory to kick off the season.

If only we hadn't been so bad against Vendsyssel. Alright, maybe bad isn't the best word. Maybe wasteful would fit better. Out of sixteen shots, we didn't manage to get a single one past the goalkeeper and into the net. We weren't even helped by the fact that they played with 10 men for almost the whole second half after Victor Kassan's second yellow card. Oh well, you can't win every game you play, can you?

We probably need a good start to have a good game. Against OB we got in front in the 4th minute - Asaf Maluleke played a soft pass across the edge of the six yard box and Steffen Astrup headed it into the net, outjumping a defender. In fact, all our goals in this game were headers. In the 18th minute Brian Hansen managed to squeeze the ball into the net from a very tight angle from Paulo Rogério's cross and three minutes later Marco Aurélio scored his second league goal after a corner taken by Jeferson, aiming his shot perfectly. From then on we eased off a bit, focusing on keeping the ball and restricting them from coming anywhere near our goal. Which was more than enough.

Champions League

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Not as confident as I would like us to be.

For the second year in a row we got paired with the Swedish champions AIK. And the first game against them was the only European game this month that went really smoothly for us. We got in front in the 8th minute. Brian Hansen played a nice ball across the penalty area and Paulo Rogério applied the finish from a tight angle. In the 36th minute our new Danish winger grabbed a debut goal for himself, finding the ball at his feet after some chaos that followed José Antônio's shot saved by their goalkeeper. And four minutes later we had everything done and dusted - Hansen picked up his second assist of the evening, finding Marco Aurélio with a perfectly aimed corner. The Brazilian certainly has an eye for goal.

The return leg though... I'm not really sure what happened there. I guess I could say we just didn't turn up, but fielding a much changed team probably didn't help much either. Not that we were much weaker than the week before though. Christian Moro opened the scoreline in the 12th minute, scoring from a cross from the left wing, surprising Pule Shiba at the near post. Peter Nnamani made it 2:0 just before the break and suddenly things got really heated up. Bringing Mads Krogh on from the bench was quite helpful though - in the 47th minute he finished off a quick counter attacking move with a perfectly aimed left-footer. Nnamani doubled his goal tally in the 63rd minute, but luckily we managed to tighten up at the back after that and limit the damage we were taking. I'll admit it though, I was nervous for quite some time.

We could have done better against Qarabağ as well. And I thought we would - Torben Fischer put us in front in the very first minute after Pedro Henrique's free kick cross. I was surprised to find out this was his first ever goal for the club, and he's been here for four years now. But despite our best efforts, we simply couldn't find the net anymore. Twenty shots were not enough. I'm confident we will manage to win promotion in Azerbaijan, but I would prefer to take a more convincing lead on this trip.

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Ugh...

Don't get me wrong, a new stadium is always exciting news, but I just don't believe it's the right thing to do just now. Above all, this will take us to £40M debt, which we will seriously struggle to manage. From now on we are simply obliged to make the Champions League groups every year and turn a good profit on the transfer market. Otherwise, we might not survive.

Oh, and obviously I will have to rename it as soon as it's built.

Their planning needs work, since they just dumped that cash into expanding the old one. :D

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Their planning needs work, since they just dumped that cash into expanding the old one. :D

Yeah, not very bright from them. :D

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - August 2045 - Hobro Idræts Klub

Superliga

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Welcome back, inconsistency. It's been a while.

The Lyngby game was just a horror showing from both sides. Instead of scoring goals, we focused on collecting yellow cards. That simply couldn't go well. We did also create a couple of chances, but we were nowhere near as clinical as we used to be last season.

Fifth game of the season and a third 0:0. The Midtjylland one was at least remotely interesting though, with a total of 21 shots from both teams. We had the better chances, but we just couldn't seem to get anything on target, with Steffen Astrup being wasteful in particular. Well, at least we kept a clean sheet.

The Fredericia result can be really misleading. We were nowhere near as dominant as it would suggest, and the visitors got extremely unlucky in the dying minutes. We grabbed the lead in the 19th minute, França scoring on his league debut after an inch-perfect cross from Kasper Poulsen. Fifteen minutes later we doubled our lead. Mads Krogh played a deep free kick into the box and Torben Fischer managed to get to the ball just before their goalkeeper would and put it into the abandoned goal. In the 54th minute we grabbed the third and it was França for the second time, this time with a powerful, Brinquedo-esque finish to a short pass from Torbjørn Andersen Aase. Fredericia pulled one back through Oliveira in the 82nd minute, but then a curse struck them - their goalkeeper Mariusz Plotka was stretchered off with a shoulder injury after saving Vaclav Musil's shot, and having used all the subs before, they had to put an 18-year-old outfield player between the sticks. And he didn't do so well - first he let in a weak shot from Musil and then an own goal from Robertson Mashego. Not that I'm going to complain!

I took a risk of fielding a weakened team away at Randers, and, as you can see, it didn't pay off. We were absolutely battered from start to finish, and nothing went our way. In the 13th minute Mads Krogh made things really difficult for us by scything an opponent down with a silly two-footer. To make it even worse, we conceded straight away, with Adnan Curic rebounding the free kick saved by Stefan Dahl. The Bosnian doubled his goal tally in the 50th minute, being put under next to no pressure in our own penalty area. What an awful defensive display that was, trust me. And in the 66th minute we found ourselves 3:0 down, this time it was Marko Hajdin who took advantage of our horrible performance and beat Dahl at the near post. I don't remember seeing us playing so poorly.

To wipe our tears off, we wiped Silkeborg off the pitch in a very confident display. The deadlock was broken in the 14th minute, França finding the net from close range after a wonderful cross from Roberto. In the 41st minute we doubled our lead - Vaclav Musil played an absolute worldie of a pass to Brian Hansen. The Danish winger had his shot saved, but chased the ball and played it across the goal from the byline, finding Musil at the far post to allow him to tap the ball into an empty net. The final goal was scored in the 63rd minute. A sensational 60-yard cross from Poulsen landed at the feet of Musil, completely unmarked at the far post. Another easy goal for the Czech.

Champions League

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Europa League it is then... again.

Similarly to the first leg, we managed to grab an early lead against Qarabağ. In the 6th minute a shot from Andersen Aase got deflected by one of our players and eventually landed at the feet of Musil for a simple tap-in. In the 34th minute the Norwegian grabbed a goal for himself, Mads Krogh picking up the assist with a perfectly timed through ball. And finally in the 91st minute we made it 3:0. França put a drilled cross in, Pedro Henrique had his initial shot saved, but the rebound was one of the easiest goals of his career. And then we sat, waiting for the Playoff Round draw, hoping to avoid Club Brugge.

Steaua were certainly within our reach. They were beatable, and the first leg in Romania proved it. It was a fairly even game, but I would risk claiming that we had a slight advantage. Well, not so slight statistics-wise - we had twice as many shots as they did, 14 to their 7. But, as you might have guessed, we just didn't take our chances, and they did. In the 70th minute a header from João Lourenço put the hosts in front and just five minutes later Hrvoje Jukic smashed our hopes with a tap-in following a cross from the left wing. An away goal would have made our situation much, much better, and we created a couple of chances to get it, but our finishing was simply below standard. We needed a really good performance at home to recover from that.

And we just couldn't deliver it. It was a really dire game, with Steaua shutting up shop and calmly keeping our attempts at bay. A red card for Jonas in the 88th minute was far too late to extend our chances in any way. We're just lucky that we made huge profit in the transfer window, otherwise failing to qualify for the Champions League would have put us in a really bad situation.

Transfers

Val - I don't usually buy 18-year-olds for £3.7M, but when I do...

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We were actually in the third pot, but that didn't help much. I just can't see us qualifying from that.

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We can't allow ourselves to stagnate.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - September 2045 - Hobro Idræts Klub

Superliga

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We need to turn these draws into wins. Fast.

The København game had everything it needed to become a real turning point for us. It started in the most disastrous way - a free kick in the 4th minute allowed Franceso Stefanelli to put the visitors in front, Pule Shiba (replacing Dahl, who was out with cracked ribs) at fault for coming out of his line. Even worse off, José Antônio only needed less than half an hour to pick up two yellow cards and earn himself an early bath. And... from then on, we dominated. The signal to attack came unexpectedly - only seconds after we were reduced to ten men, Pedro Henrique picked the ball up on the left wing and proceeded to dribble inside. He got past two opponents before finally unleashing a powerful effort that went in off the near post. What an absolutely stunning goal. We kept pushing for another, but kept getting denied by København's goalkeeper. Finally the 81st minute arrived. A quick passing move ended with Paulo Rogério putting a cross in from the right wing and Roberto - yes, our right back, I have no idea what he was doing there - applying the finish from the edge of the six yard box. Amazing scenes, I literally jumped around my room after that goal. Could this be the moment?

No. We hosted SønderjyskE the week after and, to put things in the most simple way, we just didn't turn up. The first half was goalless and extremely, and I mean extremely boring. And after the break the deadlock was finally broken, but not in the way we were hoping for. In the 50th minute Dan Svarrer's header after a cross from the right wing put the visitors in front. And just eight minutes later they doubled their lead through Jean-Claude Chevalier. We came much closer than I feel comfortable to our first home defeat of the season, but luckily our Brazilian contingent came to the rescue. França pulled off a wonderful solo run to reduce SønderjyskE's lead in the 70th minute and just two minutes later Val equalised with a nice header from Kenneth Nhlapo's cross. A sigh of relief was let out, but this still wasn't a satisfying result.

I'm seriously starting to get fed up with these 0:0s. This time it was the case of us being dominant and barely letting AGF leave their own half with the ball, but we just couldn't put anything past them. Scruffing easy chances, blocked shots, goalkeeper saves - this game had them all. Two points dropped in a very frustrating manner.

DBU Pokalen

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We tried our best to mess this up.

The Tuse game was the ultimate case of wasting loads and loads of chances. I've seen us be wasteful in the past, but probably not that wasteful. It all started rather well though, with Emil Due giving us the lead in the 11th minute, Juha Kivimäki with the assist. We could have easily made that two, three, four... but we just refused to. I was joking to myself that the non-league side might actually punish us for that, and, to stop me laughing, they actually did, and they really waited for the perfect moment to do it. In the 90th minute a hoofball was launched, Pule Shiba came out of the box to head it away, but ended up missing it altogether and allowing Anders Laursen to slot the ball in an abandoned net. To be fair, I wasn't even mad. I guess I just saw that coming. Luckily we managed to get things done in extra time - Pedro Henrique made it 2:1 from a wonderful pass by Steffen Astrup in the 92nd minute and six minutes later he doubled his goal tally, Val with the assist from the left wing.

In the Fourth Round we'll play AGF at home. Please, don't be another 0:0.

Europa League

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Well, that was unexpected.

We started our European campaign with a tough trip to cold Russia. I had no idea what to expect from Arsenal Tula, but they gave me a pretty good one early on - in the 8th minute Jordan Nijholt opened the scoreline with a deflected shot after a cross from the right wing. Luckily we didn't wait long to respond. Just two minutes later Steffen Astrup had his shot denied by the post, and Val reacted quicker than his marker to pounce on the rebound and bring things back level. It was a very close game with both teams struggling to break through each other's midfield. In the 50th minute we sent the away lot ecstatic - a brilliant through ball from Astrup was converted into a goal by Mads Krogh. Unfortunately though, we didn't manage to hold onto that lead until the final whistle. In the 85th minute Nijholt doubled his goal tally after a floated cross from the left. Still, it was a rather respectable display from us, I actually expected it to go worse.

The Tottenham game was out of this world though. Not only was it a sensational result for us, but also a fantastic thriller for the neutrals. Once again we got off to a woeful start - in the 13th minute Marco Marchesi put the English side in front, taking advantage of the fact that Pule Shiba probably couldn't even see the ball in the chaos in front of him. To everyone's surprise - yes, myself included - we didn't back down though. Moreover, it was actually us and not the favourites who started to build an advantage and look more and more dangerous with every minute passing. Finally things got to a point where Tottenham set up their camp on their own half and resorted to counter attacking. Of course, they were still extremely dangerous. But then the 79th minute came. Asaf Maluleke played a brilliant through ball into the area and Paulo Rogério made it 1:1, beating the visitors' goalkeeper in a one on one situation. And boy, we didn't stop at that. Five minutes later Pedro Henrique drilled a cross in from the left, close range shot from Maluleke got miraculously saved by their keeper, but the rebound from França was unstoppable. And in the dying minutes it was us who were closer to getting the third rather than they to equalising. Incredible scenes at Spar Nord Arena. Can we actually build on that?

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I couldn't agree more. Ladies and gentlemen, Pedro Henrique.

[video=youtube;S5mMf_ryYP0]

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Brilliant win against Tottenham mate, well done!

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Even that Arsenal is doing better than Tottenham :D

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Brilliant win against Tottenham mate, well done!
Even that Arsenal is doing better than Tottenham :D

Cheers guys, we're certainly exceeding expectations in Europe. :D

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - October 2045 - Hobro Idræts Klub

Superliga

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This is getting out of hand.

The month started with an absolute six-pointer away at AC Horsens. And for quite some time everything looked like we would get smashed. The hosts entered the game very strongly and we struggled to hold their attacks off, Stefan Dahl doing his absolute best on the line. But it was us who scored against the run of play. França intercepted an underhit backpass and smashed the ball into the back of the net to give us the lead shortly before the break. And the second half started in the best possible manner - exactly sixteen seconds after the whistle Paulo Rogério made it 2:0 from Brian Hansen's cross. We didn't exactly dominate the game, but we managed to extend our lead even further in the 72nd minute. França waited until the very last moment to play a brilliant through ball to Mads Krogh for a one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Piotr Mikolajczak scored the consolation goal from the spot in the 80th minute, but that changed very little - we drove home with an extremely important win.

Obviously we failed to build on this. It seriously hurts me how indecisive we are this season, especially remembering our previous campaign where we simply ran away with the league, scraping wins all the way. Once again - four in a row now, isn't it? - we failed to beat Vendsyssel, and this time we came very, very close. After a goalless first half we finally managed to get in front in the 52nd minute. Asaf Maluleke put the ball into the box from a corner and Kasper Poulsen volleyed it home to score his first ever goal for Hobro. But then we gave it away, and we gave it away in the most painful way for the fans - in the 92nd minute we failed to deal with a cross from the left wing and Mads Dreyer stole the equaliser with one of the last kicks of the game. Why can't we just get away with a 1:0 for once?

Next up, OB. It was a relatively confident win, but once again our tendency to concede silly goal has surfaced. We grabbed the lead early on - in the 9th minute Mads Krogh played a clever pass to França, who went on to unleash a powerful strike that deflected off the goalkeeper on its way to the back of the net. Of course we had to give that away - Ömer Uzunoğlu brought things back level in the 22nd minute, finishing a passing move that started with a quickly taken free kick. Luckily we managed to convert our overall advantage into more goals. In the 57th minute Jeferson played a nice cross to Hansen and the Danish winger managed to score with his weaker foot. We finally put an end to any doubt in the 88th minute, França scoring from Zarko Zukic's cross.

Yay, two wins in a row! We absolutely dominated Lyngby, but of course we had to come uncomfortably close to dropping another two points. Everything started quite well for us and after a period of domination we finally broke the deadlock in the 30th minute. Hansen carried the ball with him for some 70 yards on the left wing before finally laying it out to França for a powerful close range finish. As you might have guessed, the hosts managed to equalise - in the 74th minute a corner came in and Stefan Hauge outjumped his marker on the edge of the six yard box to head the ball home. Luckily we still had enough time to get things back on track, with Jeferson scoring from a rather dodgy penalty in the 88th minute of the game. A sigh of relief was let out.

We had such a long break from playing against Brøndby that I almost forgot the joys of this rivalry. This time we were the better team on the pitch, but each time we managed to do something right, it backfired. In the 24th minute a soft cross from Zukic was finished off by a beautifully placed header from Steffen Astrup. And just three minutes later we threw it away, and it almost looked like we did it on purpose - Marco Aurélio played one of the dumbest backpasses I've ever seen on this game, and Silva took the opportunity in a very nice way, getting his shot in off the crossbar, way out of the goalkeeper's reach. Then in the 38th minute Jamilson got us back in front, Val with the assist from a corner kick. And guess what? Our Brazilian defender decided he should put his name on both sides of the scoresheet, allowing the ball to deflect off the back of his head and into the net in the 53rd minute. Something has gone terribly wrong with us this season.

To round the month off, we put an end to our run of games unbeaten at home. Similarly to the previous game, there were no early signs of trouble. We started the match quite well and finally in the 33rd minute managed to get in front through a wonderful driven shot from José Antônio. Roskilde allowed us to enjoy the lead for a massive four minutes before equalising with their first real attacking move of the evening, Zukic at fault for horrible marking and Veljko Muminovic with the goal. And in the 48th minute Riza Aydin picked up the winner for the visitors, of course it had to be a bloody set piece. What the hell am I doing wrong?

DBU Pokalen

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So we do have the ability to win games convincingly after all.

We took exactly twenty minutes to score the first goal against AGF. A classic passing move set up Kasper Poulsen on the left wing for a perfect opportunity to put a cross in, and Steffen Astrup knew exactly what to do once the ball landed at his feet. Our Danish striker doubled his goal tally eleven minutes later. Once again the assist came from the left, only this time it was Brian Hansen with a drilled cross. In the 70th minute we made it 3:0, Vaclav Musil rebounding Astrup's shot that was denied by the goalkeeper. Musil also grabbed the final goal of the game in the 83rd minute, pulling off a wonderful individual move, beating three men on his way to goal. That was easy.

A trip to Lyngby awaits us in the Quarter Final in March.

Europa League

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The dream lives on.

The fans that came to Luigi Ferraris a bit late must be fuming. Björn Lammers put Sampdoria in front as soon as three minutes in, finding the ball at his feet in massive chaos that erupted following a deep free kick. We didn't take long to respond either - in the 5th minute Asaf Maluleke surprised everyone by choosing to pass rather than shoot from a 20-yard free kick, and Jamilson pulled away from his marker on the far post to apply the finish. From then on the match became a very interesting two-way battle where every outcome was possible, but in the end it stopped at one goal each. Which probably did both teams justice.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - November 2045 - Hobro Idræts Klub

Superliga

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All set for a four-way battle.

For the second time this season our clash with Midtjylland ends with a very disappointing and boring 0:0. Apart from one missed sitter in the dying minutes, we created pretty much nothing. Another horrendous performance.

I thought the importance of the Randers game would make the players motivate themselves and play like we do in Europe, but that didn't work. We lost a six-point clash, and we did so in a really underwhelming fashion. The first goal was scored in the 26th minute. For the second time inside the space of just three weeks, Marco Aurélio gave away possession in an inexplicable manner and Marko Hajdin put the visitors in front, beating Stefan Dahl in a duel. In the 57th minute we found ourselves two goals down. A cross arrived from the left and Ünal Orhan scored with a nice header. Vaclav Musil pulled us one back from França's cross in the 69th minute, but that was all we could muster. Not good enough.

I've been longing for a 1:0 win for quite some time now, and we finally managed to grab one. I decided to change things around and drop our usual attacking tactic in favour of one more similar to what we use in the Europa League now. It didn't produce a particularly breathtaking performance, but we scraped a victory and that's everything that matters really. The goal was scored in the 22nd minute. Pedro Henrique flicked a corner at the far post and Brian Hansen jumped the highest to secure three points for us. I'll happily take that.

Silkeborg were still to win a league game when we hosted them. Remembering the history of this career, I knew they were not to be underestimated. These games really have a tendency to go balls up. On the other hand, any fears or concerns before this one really shows how troubled we are this season. The first half went really smoothly for us - in the 24th minute Hansen gave us the lead with a powerful strike from the edge of the penalty area and eighteen minutes later França doubled it, pouncing on the rebound after José Antônio was dispossessed with a sliding tackle. But then Maurice Diatta got one back for the visitors in the 49th minute and I sat on the edge of my chair right until the final whistle. Both teams had their chances, luckily we managed to escape with a satisfying result.

And finally the trip to Brøndby, where for once everything went our way. By the half hour mark we found ourselves 2:0 up, and both goals came from penalties scored by Asaf Maluleke after fouls on Roberto and Hansen respectively. The latter of these two grabbed a goal for himself as well, finding himself on the end of the former's cross in the 34th minute. From then on it was simply all about maintaining control over the events on the pitch and moving the ball around, patiently waiting for the final whistle. That was exactly the win we needed.

Europa League

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Our fate lies in our hands.

The home game against Sampdoria was probably our worst performance in the group stage so far. The Italians outplayed us and we were really lucky to snatch a point and maintain our unbeaten record. In the 42nd minute the deadlock was broken by Björn Lammers, Emil Due at fault for poor marking. The Danish defender managed to redeem himself in the best possible way though - in the 61st minute his tackle on one of Sampdoria's players after our corner ended up in the back of the net. We didn't really deserve that, but I'm very happy to have got this draw. It could turn out to be a key result for us.

We were quite a bipolar team in Europe this month - after playing so poorly against Sampdoria, we delivered a wonderful performance when Arsenal Tula came to our place. We dominated right from the start and in the 18th minute grabbed a well deserved lead through Steffen Astrup, Val with the assist from a deep free kick. We kept playing well, but then our demons struck - in the 42nd minute we let ourselves get caught on the break and Jordan Nijholt confirmed he's a class striker who doesn't even need a half chance to score. Luckily that didn't stop us from pushing on, and in the second half we wrapped the game up with a quickfire double. First Val ended his goal drought with a precise effort in the 65th minute and just three minutes later Mads Krogh reminded everyone of his special skills by scoring an absolute thunderbolt from just outside the box. Things are really straightforward for us now - a win or a draw at Tottenham will see us through, a defeat will see us having to rely on the Russians doing us a favour against Sampdoria.

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This came up almost as soon as December started, and, I have to say, their resources are quite tempting. If I actually end up getting the offer, both our and their European campaigns could have a huge impact on my decision.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - December 2045 - Hobro Idræts Klub

Superliga

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The league doesn't get much tighter than that!

We finally reached our usual level of play against København. The winter break came at a rather bad moment as we really seem to be gaining momentum. This game turned out to be a proper one man show. França gave us the lead in the 9th minute, applying the finish to an absolutely incredible passing move that started from Stefan Dahl and consisted of about twenty passes. The Brazilian doubled his goal tally shortly before the break, heading the ball home after a perfectly aimed cross from Roberto. And in the 61st minute the hat-trick was completed - Kenneth Nhlapo played a nice through ball between the hosts' defenders and França knew exactly where it should go. København did have their chances, but we were easily the better team and ended up cruising to victory and grabbing the top spot. Good times.

Europa League

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All hail Jordan Nijholt!

Similarly to the home game, we gave Tottenham a proper match at New White Hart Lane. Actually it was us who had more shots, more possession and generally started the game much better, seemingly grabbing advantage and controlling the events on the pitch. But in the 22nd minute we got undone by a set piece - a free kick came in from the left side, and Maurizio Lemma met the ball with a wonderful soft header that flew way out of reach for Stefan Dahl and went into the net off the crossbar. To make things worse, Sampdoria went in front in Russia, knocking us down to the third place in the group. And Spurs weren't going to let go - the goal really got them flying. Still, we had two open goal opportunities, unfortunately both were blocked by last ditch challenges. It seemed like going all out attack in the dying minutes would give us nothing... but then news arrived from Tula. Jordan Nijholt equalised in the 92nd minute of the game, putting us above Sampdoria on goal difference! We go through to the First Knockout Round!

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Could have been worse. Nantes are quite a decent side, and last season they reached the Champions League QFs, but if we give it our best, it's a winnable tie.

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Two in a row, four in the last five years. :cool:

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I'm lost for words for this guy. He's just too good.

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Oh yeah, other players received some awards as well.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - January 2046 - Hobro Idræts Klub

Friendlies

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No injuries, that's the most important thing.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - February 2046 - Hobro Idræts Klub

Friendlies

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Getting fit, part two.

Superliga

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Picking up where we left off.

SønderjyskE gave us a good match last year, as some of you may remember. This time though we managed to beat them with very little trouble. In the 21st minute França received a wonderfully timed through ball from Asaf Maluleke and took two shots to get it past the goalkeeper and into the net. We remained in full control over the events on the pitch, but needed assists from some fresh legs to make the scoreline more convincing. In the 84th minute Mads Krogh performed a nice individual run before delivering a pinpoint cross to Val unmarked on the far post, and in the stoppage time a very clever driven pass by Steffen Astrup was finished off by Jeferson making a late run into the box. It seemed like the winter break didn't stop us from continuing our wonderful league form.

The proper test awaited us three days later though. The first of the many battles at the top we are going to be involved in this season. Horsens can be quite a troublesome team for us more often than not, but this time we kept them at bay rather easily, only allowing one shot on target. We seem to have finally adopted our European form on the domestic field. The goal that decided this one was scored in the 54th minute. Astrup may not always be a starter for us, but he has this wonderful ability to make a step up every time we need him. This time he applied the finish to a nicely constructed passing move, Val with the assist. Two games, two wins, two points clear at the top. Things have clarified at the top a little bit, but there's still a long way to go.

Europa League

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Ooft. That was close.

The first Nantes game wasn't a very entertaining one. Both teams seemed to have set out rather cautiously, especially us given that we really didn't want to allow them to get that priceless away goal. There was only one really good opportunity in 90 minutes and it fell to the feet of the visitors' winger, but he scruffed it completely, shooting straight at Stefan Dahl despite having nearly a full open net. I'm not complaining though, 0:0 at home was decent enough for us.

Remembering how the first leg went, I knew a single away goal could have done the job for us, hence a slightly more attacking tactic was employed. And the effect was visible - we had twice as many shots as in the home leg, and the game itself was much more open and interesting for the fans. We fell victim to a horrible case of bad luck though. By the time the half time whistle was blown, I had already subbed off two players with slight knocks. And in the 48th minute one of the new guys on the pitch, Emil Due, commited a silly foul in the box, allowing Fabio Manganelli to bring Nantes in front with the spot kick. Still, we had a couple of good chances to grab that vital goal. Most notably Jamilson's header was denied by the crossbar in the 93rd minute, one of the last touches of the match. Balls.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - March 2046 - Hobro Idræts Klub

Superliga

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Still unbeaten.

Our defence has been incredible so far this year. Not only we don't concede, but we barely allow the opposition any shots on target. In fact, we've managed to keep most of our rivals from getting any. AGF were one of them as we delivered a very confident and dominant performance. We opened the scoreline in the 26th minute. França set up Val with a wonderful through ball and the youngster gave the goalkeeper no chance with a powerful near post strike. Steffen Astrup made it 2:0 in the 81st minute with a fantastic, extremely precise strike from a tight angle, Mads Krogh with the assist. Astrup seems to be finding himself really well on his new position as the right winger so far. I might have given him a second life.

Next up, Randers. It was an extremely important game so far, and we managed to get it wrapped up very fast. In the 3rd minute Val put us in front, applying the finish to a wonderful through ball by none other than Astrup. And it was also Astrup who provided Mads Krogh with the assist fifteen minutes later, although it was a rather lucky one - a shot attempt got deflected and landed straight at the feet of the midfielder making a late run into the box. From then on we did really well holding onto the ball and not allowing the hosts to find their rhythm, which could potentially threaten our lead. This could turn out to be an absolutely vital win for us.

As I've already mentioned, I celebrated my 300th game in charge of Hobro when we hosted OB at Spar Nord Arena. It was a sellout game - like pretty much every other one nowadays - and we didn't disappoint those who turned up. In the 21st minute Kenneth Nhlapo chose the perfect way to mark his return from injury, scoring his first goal of the season with an easy tap-in into an empty net following some mix-up between the visitors' defenders. We doubled our lead shortly before the half time whistle, and once again it was a goal that was gifted to us, Val on the scoresheet this time. And OB? We restricted them to desperate long range attempts that flew way off target. Two such attempts, to be exact.

A win against Horsens would have put us in a wonderful position in the title race. But we failed to grab it, despite easily being the better team on the pitch and creating more than enough chances to prove it. Our finishing was below the standard we've set this month though, and despite delivering yet another fantastic defensive display, we couldn't drive home with full points under our belt.

It's a shame to see that our winning streak against København has finally come to an end. But, to be fair, we have to be rather satisfied with the draw because we could have easily got beaten there. The visitors grabbed the lead early on through Cacau applying a powerful finish to a drilled cross from a corner kick in the 4th minute. We didn't keep our fans waiting for the equaliser too long - in the 15th minute Astrup delivered yet another show of surprisingly great shooting technique, somehow finding the top far corner from a very tight angle with a defender on his back. From then on the game was really even, but not very entertaining, and at one point it seemed we were going to get lucky - in the 69th minute København's goalkeeper Abdillah Abdou scored a ridiculous own goal, literally rolling the ball past his own line. But eleven minutes later Jeferson was sent off, and the visitors equalised right away, Mario Hamzic converting a cross that fell between Stefan Dahl and our back line. And they pushed really hard right until the final whistle, but with some help of luck we managed to hold onto our unbeaten record. Our lead at the top has been cut from seven to just three points inside the space of two games though.

DBU Pokalen

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Easy enough.

Lyngby were no real match for us in our current form, and that was visible almost right from the start - they were giving the ball away to us even in the simplest situations, something you often see when one team is simply outclassing the other. But we took far too long to finally make it count. We kept the fans waiting until the 73rd minute. It was Jeferson who gave us the lead, scoring from a penalty after Kasper Poulsen ran into the box with the ball and got hacked from behind. Ten minutes later we doubled our lead, and what a classy goal it was - wonderful off the ball movement from França allowed him to first receive a pass between Lyngby's lines, and then unleash a perfect through ball to Pedro Henrique, who applied a very nice finish in a one on one situation. What a fantastic display of class that was.

A double header against Randers is waiting for us in the Semi Final.

Youth Intake

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Why do we even bother?

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - April 2046 - Hobro Idræts Klub

Superliga

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That's the worst month we've had in a while. And it came in a rather inappropriate moment.

The old demons struck with fury when we hosted Randers in a game that was going to set the scene for the remaining five matches of the season. And everything went against us. We didn't really have trouble with controlling the game or creating chances, but the lack of the final product was bordering on criminal. And we fell victim to one of the most ridiculous goals I've seen in over 30 years. A drilled cross arrived into our box from the left, but no one attacked it and it was an easy clearance for Kasper Poulsen. But what did he do? In his attempt to hoof it out of touch, he ended up hitting Jamilson in the face and thus causing him to score an own goal. To be honest, that was probably the moment that cost us the season.

At this point our situation wasn't very bad yet. We were level on points and had a better goal difference. If we could carry on winning, we would have been fine. First up, Brøndby. It wasn't a nice game. More of a midfield struggle from both sides, with neither team really able to break through. What a perfect moment for Steffen Astrup to show his magic. In the 45th minute he received a pinpoint cross from Val on the left wing and brought some life back to our title hopes, heading the ball just under the crossbar. With some trouble we managed to hold onto what seemed to be a vital win at that point.

But six days later we threw it away. Everything got set early on - in the 10th minute a floated cross arrived from the left wing. I thought we would deal with that easily, but for whatever reason José Antônio was nowhere to be seen, and Pierre Lindell had a free shot from just a few yards out, with Stefan Dahl standing still in one of the corners. That's a chance no one really wastes. From then on the game became fairly open, with both teams having their chances, but the extremely unfavourable 1:0 stood until the final whistle. And Randers simply weren't going to stop winning.

København was never going to be an easy one. We knew we absolutely needed to win, and the opening minutes really were a signal of that - I've never seen us get into a game with such fury and desire to wipe the opponents off the surface of earth. In the 8th minute we got what we wanted - a superb through ball from Mads Krogh was met by a wonderful finish from Pedro Henrique - a softly lobbed effort that flew over the goalkeeper's head and went in off the crossbar. But that seemed to have satisfied us, and København sensed our weakness after a while. The second half was all about us attempting to hold their attacks off. And as you can see, we failed. In the 74th minute we failed to deal with a cross once again and Mario Hamzic equalised with an easy finish. There went our hopes. Flushed down the *******.

Theoretically we were still within a shot - albeit a very long one - before the Horsens game. There was one vital condition though, and that was us winning both our final games of the season. We fell on the first hurdle. Eight shots on target turned out not to be enough to get one of them in the back of the net. I guess our young squad could be too weak mentally for such clutch situations. We're coming back stronger next year, that's for sure.

DBU Pokalen

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Fuming.

There's no way we should have lost the away leg. There's no way either team should have won that dire and boring game, to be honest. But if the opposition have the referee on their side, there's not really much you can do. In the 41st minute a cross arrived into our box, but we dealt with it quite easily, clearing the ball away... not. The whistle was blown. Apparently Juha Kivimäki had lifted his foot too high. Even the commentary said it was utter ********. But the call was made, and Jakob Thomsen showed great composure, placing a soft effort down the middle with Dahl flying towards his left side. A one goal defeat away is not a disaster though, I knew we were capable of recovering at home.

Randers didn't turn up. We were all over them for 90 minutes, then for all the extra time. We brought things back level in the tie in the 39th minute. Val played a floated cross towards the far post and Pedro Henrique struck the ball home from close range. We had numerous opportunities to put an end to everything before the whistle, but once again we couldn't get our finishing to work. So, the shootout was inevitable. Stefan Dahl stepped up in the second round... and missed. Then in round four he made up for it with a wonderful save to a shot that was going in right by the post. It was all over in round six though when Val had his shot saved by the visitors' goalkeeper. No trophies this year then.

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It's not bad after losing the semifinals against Randers FC. After all, try to improve for next season. So, is any Scandinavian clubs went to the ECL Semifinals or EL Semifinals during your time back in 2015 until now?

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It's not bad after losing the semifinals against Randers FC. After all, try to improve for next season. So, is any Scandinavian clubs went to the ECL Semifinals or EL Semifinals during your time back in 2015 until now?

Nope, nowhere near. København used to be a CL group stage/round of 16 regular, but they never went any further.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - May 2046 - Hobro Idræts Klub

Superliga

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Surprise surprise, we remember how to shoot!

Brøndby, like us, were a team that went into meltdown in the championship group. What a fitting end to the season it was for us to play them. Even more fittingly, a howler from Pule Shiba cost us a goal as soon as in the 3rd minute, Matías Bottoni the happy scorer. The game became really dull for quite a long period after that, but we managed to recover. In the 34th minute a rather unlikely shot from Mads Krogh, who had like four defenders between him and the target, turned out to be extremely precise and well-hit, and went in off the near post, completely surprising the visitors' goalkeeper. Six minutes later we were already in front, Val with the assist and Brian Hansen with a nice finish. Our final goal of the season was scored in the 58th minute of the game. Roberto played a short pass into the box, Steffen Astrup received the ball, fooled two defenders with his body movement and unleashed an absolutely unstoppable strike that went in off the crossbar just inside the far post. What a goal, what a display from us. Shame it came so late.

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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - Season Review - 2045/46 - Hobro Idræts Klub

Superliga

Results (preliminary phase) - Results (championship group)

Competition Performance: 2nd

Horrendous. I knew all these draws throughout the season could be costly for us, and there we have it - we have the fewest defeats of all teams, but drawing one game in three is simply unacceptable for a title challenging side. We need to get firing again. Luckily, thanks to an improving coefficient, we'll still have a chance to qualify for the Champions League, but we will be facing very tough opposition in the qualifying rounds.

DBU Pokalen

Competition Performance: Semi Final

It was well within our reach, but ridiculous bad luck in the semis knocked us out.

UEFA Champions League

Competition Performance: Playoff Round

We should have done better. We looked shaky right from the AIK clash and couldn't get past a Steaua side that isn't really superior to ours in terms of quality.

UEFA Europa League

Competition Performance: First Knockout Round

We made progress in comparison to last season by qualifying from a really tough group, but then we lacked that simple element of luck to scrape past Nantes. It was a respectable season for us in Europe.

Squad

A couple of improvements are necessary, but all in all there should be more than enough quality in there to win the league next season.

Transfers - Finances

By far the biggest profit we've ever made on the transfer market, and some real quality players have been brought into the club. I expected a bit more from Hansen and Due, but otherwise this was a successful window.

Profit was made, but this will probably vanish as we're about to expand our training and youth facilities. We need more and more income to cover the loans we've taken.

Player of the Season

1st - Mads Krogh - he's developing exactly like I expect him to. He's already become a key player for us a while ago, but with the way his attributes are growing, I believe he could become very, very special in a couple of years. Hopefully he won't stray from the path he's on.

2nd - Stefan Dahl - there's really something true about the saying that goalkeepers are like wine - the older, the better. Dahl has been incredible for us this season, with 17 clean sheets in 29 league games and some wonderful performances in Europe that shot us all the way into the Europa League knockouts. He's not giving his place away anytime soon.

3rd - França - he was incredible in the league in the first half of the season, scoring for fun and becoming our top scorer. Unfortunately he couldn't carry on with this form after the winter break, otherwise I would have probably place him higher on this list.

Next Season

Get the title back, see what we can do in Europe.

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Finished 9th in the Bundesliga. Let's see what they have to offer.

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I'm enjoying this career. Appreciate the amount of effort you put into your posts and formatting. Excited to see how you get on if you go to Koln! :)

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I'm enjoying this career. Appreciate the amount of effort you put into your posts and formatting. Excited to see how you get on if you go to Koln! :)

Wow, great to receive a comment from an SI employee, thanks for that. As for the Köln move...

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So, here it is. They are offering me more than double what I'm currently earning at Hobro, and at 61, it could be one of the last chances for Elvar Björgvinsson to make a jump into one of the big leagues. On the other hand, I have set myself a challenge of claiming the Champions League crown with a Scandinavian club. Can it actually be achieved though? The last few seasons seem to prove otherwise, and our improvement is extremely slow and bumpy. This is a really tough choice to make, and I'm probably not going to make it today. Any opinions would be very welcome.

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Oh so close with the title mate, very unlucky. How many European spots do you get in Denmark currently?

Also i'm interested to see if you go to Germany, it's a good place to manage with a lot of competition.

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Oh so close with the title mate, very unlucky. How many European spots do you get in Denmark currently?

Two Champions League slots and three for Europa League.

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Two Champions League slots and three for Europa League.

That's more than I thought there would be actually, nice.

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Alright then. It's May 28th, and here we go.



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Elvar Björgvinsson's Management Career - New Club - 1. FC Köln

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I negotiated my wage all the way to £19K per week and signed a two year contract.

Club Name: 1. FC Köln

Nickname: Der FC

Year Founded: 1948

Status: Professional

Stadium: RheinEnergieStadion (50,000 capacity, 41,825 seated)

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With three Bundesliga wins under their belt and wonderful facilities, Köln seem to be a club with a lot of room to grow. Something I like a lot.

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To be honest, I don't really know what to expect from this. I just hope things don't go balls up.

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