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Air Miles Man - Back to Civilisation

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More deadline day drama as Kawasaki Frontale meet the mininum activation fee for Marcelo Enrique, our first choice defensive midfielder. I expect him to go.

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The DoF was working on deals until the final seconds of the deadline, but there was not enough time to get anyone in. I am not too worried, we have cover in most places.

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Another month is the books, and it was congested fixture schedule but we done some really good things this month. We have taken control of our Champions League group with two more win against Ulsan and Kitchee. The Nabisco Cup also went well as we got 7 points from our three games and things look good there. The league has gone great as well, with a routine win against Vissel, but the best performance was a great win away at Urawa Red Diamonds.

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We sit 8th, but we have started with some very hard games at the start of the season so I have to be pretty happy with our position considering the schedule.

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It's in our hands, another win and we should be through and with Kitchee still to play again we should be through to the next round.

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In the Nabisco Cup we are again looking good to qualify for the next round.

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Getting rid of another bad egg in Diogo Roberto, who was moaning about not playing, although he was getting plenty of sub appearances. Well be is packed off to Vitoria in Brazil.

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A super congested April comes to an end and I am very happy with the team. There was one very bad result in there with a loss to Omiya Ardija but elsewhere we performed well. The loss to Guangzhou was also pretty bad in terms of performance but we are already in the next round so it didn't matter too much. In the league and Nabisco Cup generally we have been good and picked up plenty of wins.

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We now sit in 4th and inside the Champions League spots. Kashima are having a hell of a season and really streching the league. It may be too soon for us to have a proper title challenge, but having played Kashima and Urawa away we could think to ourselves that some of the more difficult games are out of the way already.

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With a game to go we are through the the 2nd Round of the Champions League, we play Kitchee in the final game, so could still jump Guangzhou to win the group.

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In the Nabisco cup we are already through with Kashima with a game to play.

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The first leg of the Champions League 2nd Round was upon us and we managed a good 3-1 win. However that away goal may bite us in the ass come the return leg.

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We get the job done in South Korea for the second leg of the Champions League 2nd Round. When they got the equaliser it was a little bit nervy but we got the job done and scored in injury time to kill the affair off and book our place in the Quarter Finals.

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Posted (edited)

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Every month seems to be congested with fixtures and May was no different. Very happy with how it went. The only blip was the draw to Sanfreece, whom are currently propping up the table, but overall we are performing very well and it looks like we may challenge the big boys for the league this season, although clearly we would be the dark horses.

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The table is very tight the top with Kawasaki Frontale, ourselves and Kashima all on 29 points with Urawa and Yokohama also lurking just behind.

Edited by TerminalPortugal

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An unfortunate piece of business, although we get a premium for him. Arnor leaves to close to £4m to Al-Shabab. He was upset that we didn't accept the original bid from them and then we said we would look at any other bids that came in for him. So when they came back for him, I decided to get as much money as we could for him. He was a very good player for us, but this has happened to me at Central Coast and in Fiji, so I think we will cope.

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Another month is in the books, and we were good. We did lose a top of the table clash against Kashima in a hard fought game which was a downer but we reacted well.

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We top the table at the half way point of the season. It is crowded at the top, lose a couple of games and we could find ourselves out of the Champions League spots, so we need to keep up the form.

 

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We have the advantage after the first leg of the Nabisco Cup Quarter Final against Cerezo Osaka. A 2-0 win gives us plenty of hope that we can get through in Osaka.

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July is a month for us with plenty of win, but two costly losses that ultimately could cost us the title. The loss to Kawasaki is the worse one, since we should be beating them at home. We were outplayed by Urawa, so sometimes you just have to accept that we are not good enough to challenge them.

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We sit fourth in the league in the final Champions League spot, but it is only 3 points to leaders Kashima Antlers.

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Kimoto was unhappy at not playing so we struck out a deal with Melbourne City. We keep him until the end of the season as cover, and at the end of the season he will move to Australia.

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The chairman brings in Ishizuka, and I am very happy to have him. The DoF had failed at first, but now that he has gone, the chairman was able to get his man.

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Cho-Il Gwang comes in. The young North Korean is probably just a step behind the starting strikers, so will be capable cover, especially since we lost Arnor and Roberto earlier in the season, we probably needed cover.

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Okay another striker, we are probably okay there now Mr. Chairman, but he is a good player. We will need to organise the players and possibly send someone out on loan.

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August has continued our good form, but points were dropped away to Osaka and Kawasaki Frontale. If we want to win the league we can't really afford the off days that we occassionally have.

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There has been some serious consistency at the top of the table as everyone maintains the challenge. We are still in 4th and still 3 points from the top. Our better goal difference might play a factor in the coming run in to the end of the season. With 6 games to go we could still win it all, or end up outside of the Asian places.

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Our Champions League Quarter Final was going perfectly as we were 2-0 up and sailing before Guangzhou pulled 2 back to equalise. We did get the winner to give us a very slender advantage going into the return leg in China.

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We knew this would be a tough game and Guangzhou were going to do everything they could to get the goals they needed. However things didn't go their way when we pulled 2-0 in front. They missed a penalty on the 73rd minute and we looked like we were sailing throug. However they pulled back two goals in injury time to draw level, but they didn't have time to get the third that would force extra time. We had done it and through to the Champions League semi final.

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Well we did pretty well, we got through in the Champions League, but we did draw against Yokohama (really quite a decent draw since they are right up at business end of the league) and that is points dropped in the race for the title.

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We are still three points behind in the league and sit in third, there is still an outside chance we can do this, but we have to perfect in the league now.

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I have decided to show you the run in to the league and we beat JEF United by 6-2 to keep our title challenge alive.

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Kawasaki drop points

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Kashima beat bottom of the table Consadole.

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We are still third and still 3 points behind new leaders Kashima. Our goal difference now is well ahead of the others, we just need Kashima to lose and Kawasaki to drop some more points and stay perfect and we will be champions.

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Our Tennohai defence is over as we bow out 3-2 to Urawa Red Diamonds. We weren't helped by playing for a good portion of the game with 10 men.

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While we were playing in the Tennohai, the league was continuing and Kashima dropped points away to Fagiano, but Kawasaki Frontale were able to win. The table now looks like this with one game to play (2 for us).

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If we win against Sagan Tosu, we will be 1 point behind and still in the hunt. Lose and it's all over.

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We get a great draw in the Champions League semi final away to Urawa Red Diamonds, the game ending 2-2. You can never really judge these things but I feel like we should be favourites now, with the home game to come.

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Heartbreaking, as we face against Urawa Red Diamonds again in the Nabisco Cup Final. We had a 93rd minute penalty to win the game. We have missed a lot of penalties this season and doesn't seem to matter who takes them as we miss another one. Yamada then won it in extra time for Urawa Red Diamonds and we have very good reason to feel hard done by as we were the better team. Unfortunately another opportunity for silverware slips through our fingers.

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it's turning into a very bad week as we fail to win against Sagan Tosu thanks to a very late goal from Teshima. Now it is looking very difficult to win the league. Kawasaki play Sanfrecce at home and we would need them to lose and Kawasaki play Vissel away and again we would need them to lose the game for us to win the league and of course we would also need to win the league.

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The one positive is that Champions League football is secured for next season.

 

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Yeah we have gone to complete ****, as we blow everything within a week as we now bow out of the Champions League losing to Urawa Red Diamonds at home. So it's almost certainly going to be a trophyless season.

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