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[FM19] The Hart Chronicles - Volume IV: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be!

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32nd minute: 

St. Mirren have had a decent spell of possession since they went ahead. Marseille look a bit shell-shocked by that opening goal. They couldn't beat Thierry's side in the group and mentally you have to wonder if that is in their side's thoughts tonight. 

Flavio the Brazilian central midfielder with the ball for Marseille in the St. Mirren half. He hits a diagonal ball to the right to try and find Fuente on the left wing, he does find him and Fuente will get a cross into the middle... 

AND VAN HELMOND IS THERE!!! BUT NO!!! 

It's parried out by Meziu in goal and Kelvin Mensah the man mountain himself smashes it up the field and out of danger. 

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47th minute: 

It's half-time in Austria and Thierry will be very happy with what he has seen so far tonight. His side took the lead early on and they've defended very well since. They've been known in Europe and certainly in Scotland in the last few years for having a sturdy defence. They do have two full backs missing tonight, but that doesn't seem to have troubled them yet. 

It's half time and it's...

St. Mirren 1-0 Marseille

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60th minute: 

St. Mirren putting the pressure on Marseille now. They've got the lead but would like another. Charlie Ross the substitute has it in midfield. He plays it forward to Sergio on the left who dances and ducks away from a defender, he cuts inside and has a shot, but the keeper saves it and clears it to just outside the box, but it falls to a St. Mirren man... IT'S HAUKUR HAUKSSON!!! 

But his shot dashes just wide of the post! 

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85th minute: 

Marseille on the attack. They're throwing everything forward. They've brought on a second striker and are going all out to get a goal back. St. Mirren's resilient defence are keeping them at bay though. 

Falcao on the move. He's got Bruno Rodriguez and Eric van Helmond ahead of him...

He plays it to Rodriguez who hits a nice pass to VAN HELMOND!!! 

But Meziu holds onto it! 

St. Mirren may well have done enough to hold on for the win here tonight.

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91st minute: 

Marseille with one last push forward here. 

Eddie Petit the substitute launches the ball into the box from this free-kick. Everyone forward for the French side. 

IT'S PACHOLA!!! 

SAVED BY MEZIU!!! 

His save only goes as far as MAXIM BELOV!!!! 

OHHHH AND IT'S THE MAN MOUNTAIN KELVIN MENSAH WHO CLEARS IT OFF THE LINE... BUT NO!!! 

IT HAS FOUND THE NET NOW! 

BRUNO RODRIGUEZ WITH A LATE LATE SUCKER PUNCH TO ST. MIRREN!

THEY'VE DEFENDED FOR THEIR LIVES BUT HAVEN'T QUITE HELD OUT IN THE END. 

ST. MIRREN 1-1 MARSEILLE

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93rd minute: 

The Uber drone referee buzzes for full-time and the end of normal is upon us here in Austria!

St. Mirren have been ahead for the vast majority of this match, but a late scramble in the box has given Marseille the goal that might well help them on their way to winning the Europa and Champions League in back to back seasons. 

We're taking a break now before we bring you the final 30 minutes of football tonight... and possibly penalties later!  

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100th minute: 

St. Mirren with a corner in the first half of extra-time. 

It's substitute Duncan Clarkson to whip it in... and GORECKI MEETS IT!!! 

BUT IT'S JUST WIDE! A HUGE CHANCE THERE FOR THE SCOTTISH SIDE!

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105th minute: 

The drone blows for half-time in extra-time and it's still...

ST. MIRREN 1-1 MARSEILLE

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110th minute: 

Eric van Helmond standing over a free-kick. He's 25 yards away from Yll Meziu in the St. Mirren goal, who is screaming at the wall. 

van Helmond lines it up... looks like he's going to have to bend this into the TOP RIGHT HAND CORNER OHHHHHHHHHH MY WORD HE'S DONE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Marseille lead in extra-time after smashing free-kick from the Dutch striker! 

And with just 10 minutes on the clock the score is...

ST. MIRREN 1-2 MARSEILLE

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121st minute: 

Yll Meziu smashes the ball forward into the Marseille half. 

Will St. Mirren have one last chance for an equaliser to drag this game to penalties?! 

They won't! 

The drone has blown for full-time and it's jubilation for Marseille, but heart-break for Thierry and his St. Mirren side! 

He's not got the greatest record in big finals. They lost one just 7 days ago at Hampden Park and they've lost here again tonight in Austria! 

Full-time score here tonight is...

ST. MIRREN 1-2 MARSEILLE

 

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A good team effort this season. 

Our defence did well again, with Kelvin Mensah and Pacheco the stand-outs. Make Bauernfiend good again in midfield, with Marcel Aerts finding some decent form again this season, with 27 goals in 54 starts. 

 

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Paul Hart's Career History

This covers the first 40 seasons of the save, from 2018-2058

Spoiler

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Season      Club                  League             Position            Achievements/Other
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018/19     Arsenal               Premier League       4th               Europa League winners
2019/20     Arsenal               Premier League       2nd               Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21     Paris SG              Ligue 1              1st               Ligue 1 & Coupe de la Ligue winners
2021/22     Paris SG              Ligue 1              1st               Ligue 1, Champions League & Trophee Des Champions winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2022/23     AS Roma               Serie A              3rd               Italian Cup runners-up
2023/24     AS Roma               Serie A              2nd               Italian Cup winners
2024/25     AS Roma               Serie A              1st               Serie A winners
2025/26     AS Roma               Serie A              2nd               Italian Super Cup winners & Champions League runners-up
2026/27     AS Roma               Serie A              1st               Serie A, Italian Cup & Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2027/28     Atletico Madrid       La Liga              3rd               N/A
2028/29     Atletico Madrid       La Liga              2nd               N/A
2029/30     Altetico Madrid       La Liga              2nd               Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2030/31     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           6th               N/A
2031/32     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           5th               Europa League winners
2032/33     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           3rd               European Super Cup winners
2033/34     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           2nd               N/A
2034/35     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           1st               Bundesliga winners
2035/36     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           2nd               German Super Cup & Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2036/37     Zenit St Petersburg   Russian PL           1st               Russian Premier League, Russian Cup & Super Cup winners
2037/38     Zenit St Petersburg   Russian PL           1st               Russian Premier League, Russian Cup & Super Cup winners
2038/39     Zenit St Petersburg   Russian PL           1st               Russian Premier League & Super Cup winners
2039/40     Zenit St Petersburg   Russian PL           1st               Russian Premier League, Russian Cup & Super Cup winners
2040/41     Zenit St Petersburg   Russian PL           1st               Champions League & Domestic Treble winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2041/42     Portimonense SC       Primeira Liga        3rd               N/A
2042/43     Portimonense SC       Primeira Liga        4th               Taca de Portugal runners-up
2043/44     Portimonense SC       Primeira Liga        6th               N/A
2044/45     Portimonense SC       Primeira Liga        6th               Europa League winners
2045/46     Portimonense SC       Primeira Liga        3rd               European Super Cup winners
2046/47     Portimonense SC       Primeira Liga        4th               N/A
2047/48     Portimonense SC       Primeira Liga        4th               Portuguese League Cup winners
2048/49     Portimonense SC       Primeira Liga        1st               Primiera Liga & Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2049/50     Vitesse Arnhem        Eredivisie           2nd               N/A
2050/51     Vitesse Arnhem        Eredivisie           2nd               N/A
2051/52     Vitesse Arnhem        Eredivisie           2nd               Dutch Cup winners
2052/53     Vitesse Arnhem        Eredivisie           2nd               Dutch Cup & Super Cup winners
2053/54     Vitesse Arnhem        Eredivisie           2nd               Dutch Cup winners
2054/55     Vitesse Arnhem        Eredivisie           2nd               Dutch Cup winners
2055/56     Vitesse Arnhem        Eredivisie           1st               Eredivisie, Dutch Cup & Super Cup winners
2056/57     Vitesse Arnhem        Eredivisie           1st               Eredivisie, Champions League & Super Cup winners
2057/58     Vitesse Arnhem        Eredivisie           1st               Eredivisie, Club World Cup, Euro Super Cup & Super Cup winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

Paul Hart's Trophy Cabinet

 

Spoiler

Champions League        x8 - 2019/20 (Arsenal), 2021/22 (Paris SG), 2026/27 (AS Roma), 2029/30 (Atletico Madrid), 
                             2035/36 (VFL Wolfsburg), 2040/41 (Zenit St Petersburg), 2048/49 (Portimonense SC), 
                             2056/57 (Vitesse Arnhem) 
                             
Europa League           x3 - 2018/19 (Arsenal), 2031/32 (VFL Wolfsburg), 2044/45 (Portimonense SC) 

Club World Cup          x1 - 2057/58 (Vitesse Arnhem) 

European Super Cup      x3 - 2032/33 (VFL Wolfsburg), 2045/46 (Portimonense SC), 2057/58 (Vitesse Arnhem) 

Bundesliga              x1 - 2034/35 (VFL Wolfsburg)
German Super Cup        x1 - 2035/36 (VFL Wolfsburg)

Serie A                 x2 - 2024/25, 2026/27 (AS Roma)
Italian Cup             x2 - 2023/24, 2026/27 (AS Roma)
Italian Super Cup       x1 - 2025/26 (AS Roma)

Ligue 1                 x2 - 2020/21, 2021/22 (Paris SG) 
Coupe de la Ligue       x1 - 2020/21 (Paris SG)
Trophee Des Champions   x1 - 2021/22 (Paris SG)

Primeira Liga           x1 - 2048/49 (Portimonense SC)
Portuguese League Cup   x1 - 2047/48 (Portimonense SC)

Russian Premier League  x5 - 2036/37, 2037/38, 2038/39, 2039/40, 2040/41 (Zenit St Petersburg) 
Russian Cup             x4 - 2036/37, 2037/38, 2039/40, 2040/41 (Zenit St Petersburg)
Russian Super Cup       x5 - 2036/37, 2037/38, 2038/39, 2039/40, 2040/41 (Zenit St Petersburg)

Eredivisie              x3 - 2055/56, 2056/57, 2057/58 (Vitesse Arnhem)
Dutch Cup               x5 - 2051/52, 2052/53, 2053/54, 2054/55, 2055/56 (Vitesse Arnhem)
Dutch Super Cup         x4 - 2052/53, 2055/56, 2056/57, 2057/58 (Vitesse Arnhem) 

 

 

Thierry's Career History

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Season      Club                  League                Position           Achievements/Other
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2058/59     Genclerbirligi SK     Turkish Super Lig       5th              Turkish Super Cup runners-up. Sacked. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2059/60     St. Mirren            Scottish Premiership    5th              N/A
2060/61     St. Mirren            Scottish Premiership    3rd              N/A
2061/62     St. Mirren            Scottish Premiership    3rd              Scottish Cup winners
2062/63     St. Mirren            Scottish Premiership    2nd              N/A
2063/64     St. Mirren            Scottish Premiership    3rd              Scottish Cup runners-up
2064/65     St. Mirren            Scottish Premiership    3rd              Scottish League Cup runners-up
2065/66     St. Mirren            Scottish Premiership    2nd              Scottish League Cup runners-up
2066/67     St. Mirren            Scottish Premiership    2nd              N/A
2067/68     St. Mirren            Scottish Premiership    1st              Scottish Premiership, Cup & League Cup winners
2068/69     St. Mirren            Scottish Premiership    2nd              N/A
2069/70     St. Mirren            Scottish Premiership    3rd              Champions League runners-up & League Cup winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Thierry's Trophy Cabinet

 

Scottish Premiership  x1 - 2067/68 (St. Mirren) 
Scottish Cup          x2 - 2061/62, 2067/68 (St. Mirren) 
Scottish League Cup   x2 - 2067/67, 2069/70 (St. Mirren) 

 

Nations Completed

 

Nations completed as Paul Hart: 

1. England  - Arsenal 
2. France   - Paris SG
3. Italy    - AS Roma 
4. Spain    - Atletico Madrid
5. Germany  - VFL Wolfsburg
6. Russia   - Zenit St Petersburg
7. Portugal - Portimonense SC 
8. Holland  - Vitesse Arnhem

Nations completed by the AI: 

1. England  - Manchester City
2. Germany  - RB Leipzig 
3. Spain    - Valencia CF 
4. Portugal - Sporting Lisbon

 

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Nations Remaining

(based on nation coefficient ranking) 

  1. Scotland 
  2. Turkey  
  3. Belgium
  4. Ukraine 
  5. Croatia    
  6. Austria (+1) 
  7. Switzerland (-1) 
  8. Serbia 
  9. Poland (+4) 
  10. Denmark (-1) 
  11. Czech Republic (-3) 
  12. Sweden (-2) 
  13. Romania (+2) 
  14. Greece (-2) 
  15. Norway (-1) 
  16. Iceland 
  17.  Republic of Ireland (+4) 
  18. Israel (-1) 
  19. Slovenia (-1) 
  20. Bulgaria 
  21. Slovakia (-1) 
  22. Hungary 
  23. Belarus  
  24. Finland  
  25. Wales  
  26. Northern Ireland 

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No real surprises outside of us making the final 

 

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A French win in the Europa League means good news for the French coefficient, who if you remember are behind us and could well overtake us to get the 4 spots back if they keep this up. 

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Galatasaray make it 4 in a row and 8 from the last 10. 

They reign supreme in Turkey, whilst Genclerbirligi get their best finish for 9 years, meaning they will be in the Champions League next season...

 

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I'm pretty sure that makes Standard Liege the first Belgian side to retain the title since it became active in the save, so fair play to them. 

KRC Genk take the other CL spot, whilst an absolutely horrific season for Oud-Huverlee in 11th place. They really have fallen off the wagon after looking like the next big thing in Belgian football at the start of the 2060's. 

 

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14 in a row for the immovable object of Shakhtar. Zorya get 2nd place for the 2nd time in 3 seasons, meaning Champions League beckons for them next year. 

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Queen of the South finished bottom of a group with Nurnberg, Inter Milan and CSKA Moscow, so you can't moan at them too much, but really poor from Rangers who crashed out in 3rd behind Arsenal and Kobenhavn. Arsenal you can understand but to go out to a Danish side is poor for a good Rangers side. 

Hibs did very well and reached the Last 16 before bowing out to a decent Fenerbache side, whilst Aberdeen were dumped out of a Champions League group with Wolfsburg, Valencia and Shakhtar as you may recall. 

Celtic doing reasonably well and go out to a decent Benfica team. 

 

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Worrying times with that 9.6 set to drop off for France and the 20 for us on the left and their recent scores have been very strong with Marseille and Lyon doing very well this season. We need to out do them by about 6 coefficient points this season which is not impossible but is still a very big ask. 

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89f51a798ca282c58561dd183dde43db.png

 

So this happened too which is pretty cool. 

Just shy of an extra 9,000 which will take a year. 

 

I actually thought when I first saw it we'd maybe share with Partick Thistle or maybe Kilmarnock or Hamilton, but they've only gone and put us at Hampden Park :D 

Aside from Celtic we will have the biggest ground in the entire country for next season. 

We could double or even triple our gate receipts records for a lot of our games :D 

Edited by PaulHartman71

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nice writeup for the cup final, shame about the result obvs

that stadium news is a double win

 

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A fairly active summer. 

The biggest departure saw the man mountain Kelvin Mensah leave for Vitesse after they put in a good bid for him and took him away to Arnhem. Longelo got displaced as first choice keeper, so with a decent youth prospect back-up coming through it made sense to sell when some offers came in. A few other back-up/youngsters were sold, most notably Ryan Maguire who has scored a few important goals over the last few years but wanted first team football which he was never getting here. 

 

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The main signings saw two French defenders join from Ligue 1, with Lefevre coming in at CB and Richard at LB. Pablo Medina is a very talented central midfielder who had a release clause at Oud-Huverlee who of course had an awful year in Belgian last season. We also signed David Buchan who was too good a HG talent at that price to turn down as back-up on the RW. Chisholm is nowhere near good enough but I didn't have a 3rd choice striker in case of emergencies so in he came. 

 

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We have Sporting Lisbon, Vitesse again and Athletic Bilbao in the Champions League Group Stage. Should be a tough one. 

Also: 

 

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The move to Hampden Park not working out too badly :D 

 

We won't get that every week as not every team is Celtic, but still what a belter! 

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Mid-Season Update

 

League Cup

 

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Premiership

 

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We started the season in an angry mood, baying for blood after coming so close to the Champions League. We scored 12 in 5 games, not letting a single one in and even smashing Celtic 4-0 at our opening match at Hampden Park. Not bad going. 

 

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We then lost to plucky Dundee United at Hampden Park, before smashing Motherwell and drawing at Rangers. We then destroyed Hamilton and could only draw at Queen of the South. 

 

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We took down Dundee and Aberdeen before drawing away to Celtic, then beating Hibs and Killie on the bounce. 

 

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Our good form continued with 1-0 wins against St Johnstone and Motherwell, before an awful spell to end the calendar year as we lost again to Dundee United, then to Rangers, before dropping more points against Queen of the South. We at least beat Hamilton to end the year with a much needed win. 

 

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It's all to play for still. We've actually led the table for much of the season and only our recent hiccup in form sees us drop to 3rd. 

 

Champions League

 

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An eventful first game in Bilbao saw us draw 2-2 with the Basque-based side. 

 

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We took the lead early on against Sporting Lisbon, but they came back into the game as it went on and ultimately stole a win at Hampden Park which put a dampener on our first European game there. 

 

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A strong performance in our next match saw us beat Vitesse 3-1. 

 

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We could only draw in the return leg and yet another trip back to Jean-Pierre Cathala Stadium for me. 

 

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A scrappy match with Bilbao. They got a man sent off early in the second half and we scored a jammy own goal to get the win. 

 

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A crazy last game of the group. We went ahead early through a penalty, then they made it 1-1 going into half-time. Callum McGregor picked up a silly second yellow early in the second half and we were on the back-foot for much of the second half. Thankfully the Romanian striker Alexe Bosinceanu popped up with a massive goal late on to give us the win. 

 

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A tough group, but in the end we topped it. Bilbao a very good side who were unlucky not to make it through. 

Standard Liege await us in the next round. 

 

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Rangers and Celtic both make it through. 

 

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Hibs unlucky to have such a good group. 

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A world where 3 Scottish teams are qualifying for the Last 16 of the Champions League. Sign me up!

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1 hour ago, andychar said:

A world where 3 Scottish teams are qualifying for the Last 16 of the Champions League. Sign me up!

 

Image result for scottish gif

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January transfers

 

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A few players left the club who weren't happy with their lack of game time. Long-time left back David Johnson leaving for Wolves, whilst Boris Stankovic a long-time central midfield player joins Inter. Invancevic was another midfielder who never really cracked on that much for us. 

 

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Just one replacement, as a Norwegian central midfielder comes in. 

 

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Pre-Split Update

 

Scottish Cup

 

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A relatively kind run to the final which of course saw us play on relative home turf at Hampden Park in the Semi Final, as we reach the final to eventually play Celtic, again at Hampden Park. 

 

Premiership

 

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A fairly drab start to the new year, with 2 wins and 3 draws from our 5 games. The draw at home to Celtic was decent, but we should have beat Killie or Hibs as drawing with both meant we dropped quite a few points. 

 

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2 wins on the bounce against Dundee United and Motherwell, but another draw and 2 more points dropped in Dundee. 

 

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We ended the season fairly strongly with 3 wins from 4, including a good win at Ibrox. 

 

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The title isn't quite gone, but Celtic do have a 3, potentially 6 point lead on us going into the final stage of the season. We do still have to play them and they'll be playing in matches where they could drop points, but it's definitely an uphill battle from here. 

 

Champions League

 

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A tight first leg in Liege saw us come away with a decent 0-0 draw to take back to Hampden Park in the return home tie. 

 

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We didn't have the best of games really. Standard Liege got an early goal thanks to a lucky deflection off our keeper following a free-kick that hit the post and for much of the match we were 1-0 down, needing two goals to have any chance of going through. Haukur Hauksson hammered one in from 20 yards out with 15 minutes to go and this launched a real fight-back, with Charlie Ross tapping home in the box just over 5 minutes later which would eventually put us through. 

We will face Lyon in the Quarter Final. 

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The home leg at Hampden Park was a close one where we defended well and the aim of the game was to prevent Lyon from scoring, which we did as it ended in a 0-0 draw. 

 

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A nervy night in Lyon, but a 1-1 draw was enough to see us reach the Semi Final thanks to away goals, with David Buchan's solo strike being the difference in the end. 

We'll be back in France for the Semi Final, as we face my old side PSG. 

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14 hours ago, PaulHartman71 said:

We'll be back in France for the Semi Final, as we face my old side PSG. 

I didn't know Thierry managed PSG:brock:

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End of Season Update

 

Premiership

 

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A strong end of season run in saw us win 3 games and draw 2, most importantly the final game of the season, at Hampden Park, was a 2-2 draw with Celtic. 

 

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The final game of the season was very much like a cup final, as if we had won the game by 2 clear goals we would have won the title on goal difference. Alas, we couldn't quite do it, but what a story it would have been. 

 

Scottish Cup

 

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I'm pleased to report that we did win the actual Scottish Cup final, again at Hampden Park, as we beat Celtic 1-0 thanks to a goal from midfield maestro Pablo Medina. 

 

Champions League

 

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The final score of the first leg at Hampden Park actually flattered us quite considerably, as it was a very even game for the first hour or so, but once Marcel Aerts struck in the first goal the PSG side sort of capitulated, which meant we incredibly came away with a huge 3-0 win. 

 

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We can't even blame this loss on fixture congestion as I put out a 2nd string side against Dundee United in preparation, but I've never been happier to lose 2-0 as we went through on aggregate anyway :D 

A 2nd final in consecutive seasons awaits!

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Champions League Final, 2070/71. 

Johan Cruyff Arena. 

St. Mirren vs Manchester City. 

Live text-updates in this thread on Sunday 23/02/20 from 6PM. 

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"My boy Thierry is a winner. What he's done at St. Mirren is incredible. I'm delighted to be a guest of honour for UEFA at the final tonight here in Amsterdam. I know they don't love me here like they do down the road in Arnhem, but it's great to see Champions League football finally back in Amsterdam... even if it is only because their ground is hosting the final! Are Ajax even in the Eredivisie next season? They are? Oh, well only just, they're a finished club thanks to me. No I haven't been on the drink. I'm an 85 year old man I can do what I like. I've won 8 Champions League trophies. How many of you won?" 

Paul Hart, extract from an interview pre-match with Amazon Prime Sports-Socials before his agent rushed him away. 

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The team sheets are out for tonight's clash at the Johan Cruyff Arena and it's Thierry's St. Mirren side who are in their second consecutive final, of course last year they came up short against Marseille, tonight they have the unenviable task of facing Manchester City in all British final. 

Full strength side from St. Mirren, of course last season they had their two full backs missing for the final, that's not the case tonight. 

Meziu the Scottish #1 is St. Mirren's #1 tonight, with a fair few Kosovan flags flying around the stadium tonight supporting that man. 

Callum McGregor, another Scottish international starts at right back, the 21 year old has been in good form this season and the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool have been very public about their interest in the wonderkid. On the opposite side of defence is the Frenchman Lionel Richard, who was signed in the summer from Sochaux and you have to say he's been very good this season. Not deemed good enough yet for the French national team, if he puts in a performance tonight you'd think they'd have to start taking notice of the 22 year old sooner rather than later. 

Another Frenchman is in the middle of the defence, Patrick Lefevre, another summer signing for St. Mirren, he joined from Metz and he's been a fine replacement for Kelvin Mensah, who of course put in a good performance in last year's final then left for Vitesse and actually, quite ironically, was knocked out of this competition by Thierry's side at the Group Stage. The Polish international, Adrian Gorecki, who started the final last season for St. Mirren to, rounds of their defence. 

Jim McCart, 23 year old Scottish international midfielder is another of those who started for St. Mirren in last year's final and he lines up in the middle alongside summer signing Pablo Medina, who you have to say has been one of their best players this season, he of course scored the winner in the Scottish Cup final last weekend and they'll be hoping on the score sheet again tonight. The only thing you could possibly about these two lads in the middle of the park is that neither are particularly at home with the defensive side of things, although Thierry has always had a good defence with this St. Mirren side so perhaps that won't be an issue tonight. 

On the right wing they've got David Buchan, another Scottish international who they signed for about £7M this summer from Kilmarnock. Quite the change in scenery for him to have gone from a relegation fight to a Champions League final, but he's slotted into the team very nicely this season. There's been hot competition between Spanish left winger Sergio and the Frenchman Francois Naud as to who will start on the left. Naud scored against the French side PSG in the Semi, so perhaps that's why he's been preferred tonight over the slightly more experienced Sergio. 

Haukur Hauksson, the 25 year old Icelandic attacking midfielder starts in the #10 role and amid much interest from the likes of Portimonense and Valencia last summer he stayed at St. Mirren, somewhat against his will if the rumours last summer were to be true, if that's the case then you'd have to imagine he was quite pleased that Thierry didn't let him leave as he's got another crack at the Champions League trophy for his troubles. 

Up-front of course is none other than the 29 year old Belgian striker Marcel Aerts. He was one of the player's of the tournament last season, with 7 goals in 12 games, 27 in all competitions for St. Mirren. He's had a few injuries this season, but still started 37 games, and in those games he's only scored 10 goals, just 1 coming in the Champions League, it's been a poor year for him really, he has got a fair few assists so he's developed his game to a certain extent, but not really the sort of form that wins you a title or the Champions League, but he does turn up in big games, of course he scored in the final last year, Thierry will be hoping he repays the faith in him and gets one tonight. 
 

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We've not got long until kick off now and the drone cameras have spotted a face I'm sure you'll all recognize, gotta love that facial recognition software. Paul Hart, legendary manager, 85 years old, considered one of the greatest of all time, some would even say he is the greatest of all time, 8 Champions League trophies, all with sides who had never won one before, nobody had seen the likes of it before and we've not since either. 

He of course managed Thierry at Zenit St Petersburg, where the Brazilian born Russian keeper lifted this very trophy himself and it's fair to say that the two of them helped changed the shape of Russian football for ever and it's also fair to say too that Hart revitalised football here in Holland, much like the man who this very ground is named after. Johan Cryuff of course an Ajax man, well thanks to Hart at Vitesse the locals here in Amsterdam are lucky enough to see Eredivisie football these days, with the Champions League a distant dream and memory, but about 60 miles down the road in Arnhem he's of course gone down in folk lore - and that's what Thierry is hoping to do here tonight and if he can bring a Champions League home to Scotland I think it's fair to say that he'll go down in folk-lore not just in Paisley, but in all of Scotland itself too. 

Not since Jock Stein and Celtic over 100 years ago has a Scottish side won this trophy, of course St Mirren reached the final last year and Rangers managed it a few years back too and St Mirren will have no better opportunity than to right that wrong tonight here in the Netherlands capital. 

Paul Hart is actually among the UEFA delegation and I'm told he's actually part of the presentation ceremony tonight, so that would be quite the picture for him to hand over the trophy to one of his former player's to lift it once again as a manager.

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The drone referee is about to kick-off tonight's game. 

St. Mirren starting with 5 of the same players who just came up short in last season's final, a bench full of talented players as well though. Jesus Maria Sanchez, Mike Bauernfeind, Iain Hunter, Sergio, Charlie Ross and Duncan Clarkson all played some part in the match-day team last year and they're all on the bench, with only Boris Stankovic, Kelvin Mensah and David Johnson having left the club since that final in Austria. 

Manchester City, a dangerous side, haven't won this trophy in 10 years, but always a fixture in the latter stages and are looking for Russian manager Igor Klyagin to make it 8 Champions Leagues for them tonight. 

Klyagin one of Russia's greatest ever players, ended up with 128 goals in 171 caps for them, he was part of that famous Russian side who won the European Championship in 2036, of course he never actually played alongside Thierry for Russia, as he retired about 4 years before the Brazilian born keeper came on the scene. Many in Russia debate about which Russian side was better, the one in the 2030's that won the Euros or the one in the 2040's that got to a World Cup and Euros final and won the Confederations Cup, in terms of finals reached you've have to say the 2040's one, but it was Klyagin's side, captained by him no less who actually won the biggest trophy. 

Klyagin is no stranger to the Champions League trophy either, he's an absolute legend in Leipzig for that very reason. He was part of the famous RB Leipzig side back in 2025 who won their first ever Champions League and incredibly enough just 5 seasons ago he won them just their second ever Chapions League just over 40 years later as their manager. 

A fairlytale story for Leipzig if you can get past their super-villain, of course many in Germany still can't and many in England still feel that way about his Manchester City side's rise to fame. 

There are many across England who still maintain that the only good thing to come of Man City's rise was the City of Manchester Stadium grand Oasis reunion in the summer of 2048.

Oasis, of course had been on a hiatus for the best part of 4 decades and with Noel and Liam in their late 70's nobody really imagined they'd ever put their feud to bed and do another gig again, but it was that summer where Manchester City overtook Manchester United in both Premier League and Champions League trophy haul's following a sensational treble that was completed by, of all people, Steven Gerrard and such was the jubilation that it managed to patch up even the Gallagher brothers' long held feud and they ended up playing 4 consecutive nights at the City of Manchester Stadium. 

What a summer that was, for all but Manchester United supporting Blur fans. 

The drone referee is ready to go now though and what a game we've got tonight!
 

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5th minute: 

We're underway in Amsterdam and early on you have to say St. Mirren have been the better side so far. They've kept possession quite well and City not really had much of a sniff of it so far. 

Pablo Medina stands over a free-kick. He can look to knock this into the box, they've got Marcel Aerts, Gorecki and Lefevre all in their and most likely to get a good header on goal. 

Medina lumps it in... and IT'S MARCEL AERTS!!!! 

He's headed it high and wide this time. McBride not worried about that in the City goal. Marcel Aerts of course not in the best of form this year, you've seen him score from that sort of range before...Thierry will hope that's not a sign of things to come tonight... 

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17th minute:

Manchester City getting some kind of grip on the game now. 

Marty the right back running down that flank, he's got quite a few ahead of him, City actually playing with a 4-3-3 tonight with 3 strikers, which is their manager's favoured choice of formation, much different to the 4-2-3-1 that Thierry favoured, perhaps a bit out-dated in the modern game but he played under Paul Hart who cemented that formation for decades as a manager. 

Marty to Herbert in the middle, ohhh but he's dispossessed by Lefevre the centre back who passes it to Pablo Medina and St. Mirren could launch a counter-attack here... 

Medina picks out a lovely ball for David Buchan on that far right hand side, he's gonna keep going and he plays a lovely through ball into the middle... AND MARCEL AERTS IS THERE AND HE MAKES NO MISTAKE THIS TIME!!!

HE SCORED THE OPENING GOAL IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL THIS TIME LAST YEAR FOR ST. MIRREN AND HE'S DONE IT AGAIN TONIGHT!!! 

Manchester City 0-1 St. Mirren

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38th minute: 

City on the attack again now. 

Anthony Marty the full-back is McFlying down that wing and he's got a lot of support with him. He finds Jeremie Miath-Malpon in some space ahead of him, with Francois Naud the French left winger for St Mirren desperately trying to get back. He's got to be careful here as Miath-Malpon is very  close to the box, if he puts a wrong foul in here the Frenchman could give a penalty away to his compatriot... Naud with the tackle and it's not a great one... but the drone referee says no foul! 

A few of the City players unhappy with that one, but the drone waves them away and they better keep quiet unless they want the digitial yellow card and the electic shock that comes with it. For all our younger viewers watching at home you may wonder why it's called a yellow card when it's just a bright yellow screen that flashes on the drone, but of course back in our day they had a human referee who would give them a card from their pocket, but with the advance of technology the days of human error are long behind us.

I have to say I'm not too sure the drone has got that one right, but I don't want to say too much as it knows where I live or if it doesn't it will damn well find out.
 

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45th minute: 

The almightly drone referee blows for half-time and so far so good for Thierry's St. Mirren side. Paul Hart pictured looking very happy in the stands, that could well be as a result of the free bar in the director's lounge rather than the result, but he looks conscious enough to know that his former Champions League winning captain at Zenit is half-way to getting his first Champions League title as a manager.

Manchester City 0-1 St. Mirren

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46th minute: 

We're back underway in Amsterdam and I think the Russian man Klyagin has had a right go at his player's at half-time. In my day they'd call that the hairdryer treatment, of course these days we have hair-drying drones that do all that for us, praise be the Drones. 

City starting bright and St. Mirren struggling to get the ball from kick off. 

It's Kiyoshi Arai the Japanese #10 who has it in the middle of St Mirren's half, oh and that's a lovely ball to the attacking wing back Anthony Marty who has caused all kinds of problems down that right hand side and he's cut in AND HAD A GO......

OHHHHHH AND HE'S DONE IT!!! WHAT A FINISH FROM THE FRENCH WING BACK!!! 

ANTHONY MARTY WITH JUST 30 SECONDS ON THE CLOCK IN THE SECOND HALF HAS PUT CITY RIGHT BACK IN IT!!! 

Could it be a repeat of last season's final where St. Mirren take the lead but ultimately blow it?! 

Manchester City 1-1 St. Mirren

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65th minute: 

St. Mirren have had plenty more possession and shots in the last 20 minutes since that City goal, but they've not really done a great deal with that. 

City on the counter attack at the moment with that man Anthony Marty still going down that right flank, it looks like Thierry has tried to make a change to his formation to counter-balance that dominance but it's not quite coming together yet as Marty darts past Francois Naud who really hasn't given a great deal of support to his left back Lionel Richard tonight, although not really for a want of trying. 

Naud may catch Marty here as he gets towards the box... he's put in a tackle OHHH AND HAS HE FOULED HIM?! 

He had a similar one on Miath-Malpon in the first-half, what's the drone thinking about this one.... 

IT'S A PENALTY!!!! 

OHHHH WHAT SCENES HERE IN AMSTERDAM!!! 

St. Mirren have been the better side overall tonight, but City have looked dangerous in spells and it's that man Anthony Marty who got a goal to get them back in it and now he's won a penalty... 

A HUGE CHANCE FOR CITY HERE! 

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66th minute: 

It's Guido Infante the Argentine who will take this penalty for City. He's had a few injuries this season but has been brilliant in the games he has played. 23 goals in 35 games for them this year. 

It's the 24 year old Scottish keeper Yll Meziu who stands in his way. 31 clean-sheets in 57 games for him this season, of course he hasn't kept one tonight but what a season he's had. 

We said earlier in the show there's a fair few Kosovan flags in the stadium supporting Meziu, who has a Kosovan Mother and Father, he'll need all that support from the fans in the stadium tonight as Infante is quite the clinical penalty taker. 

Thierry his manager, of course one of the greatest goalkeeper's of his own generation, another man who went on to represent a different country to the one he was born in, he made a fair few penalty saves in his day and he'll be willing his player to make one now...

IT'S GUIDO INFANTE TO STRIKE IT.....

OHHHHH AND MEZIU SAVES IT!!!!!! 

HE'S PARRIED THAT ONE WIDE AND PAST THE POST AND WHAT A TURNING POINT THAT COULD BE FOR ST.MIRREN TONIGHT!!! 

Manchester City 1-1 St. Mirren. 
 

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74th minute: 

St. Mirren with a corner here. 

Pablo Medina to whip this one in. 

Gorecki and Lefevre the centre backs coming forward, Marcel Aerts at the near post... 

Medina's ball in...

MARCEL AERTS CAN ONLY GLANCE THE BALL ACROSS THE GOAL....OHHHH AND PATRICK LEFEVRE THROWS HIMSELF AT IT AND IT'S FLOWN PAST THE CITY KEEPER!!! 

JUBILANT SCENES FOR ST. MIRREN HERE AS THEY MAKE IT 2-1 AND THIERRY IS GOING ABSOLUTELY BONKERS DOWN THERE ON THE TOUCHLINE!!! 

Manchester City 1-2 St. Mirren

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Lot of players deserve credit for the success of this season. 

Meziu a great keeper who made a huge save in the final, with Lefevre also very good in defence and of course also popped up with a goal in the final. McGregor at right back is a great talent, Medina came into the midfield and did brilliantly, whilst Hauksson and McCart also good performers throughout the season. A poor year for Marcel Aerts on the whole really, but a few huge goals when it mattered. 

 

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