kipfizh

AI Experiment - The Bandits are back for FM09

2,156 posts in this topic

Fantastic update as always kip. Thanks for your continued hard work. Looking forward to next season. I predict promotion for the Sheriffs and i think the Bandits will spend big to make the playoffs of League one, but i have a funny feeling they wont make it up this term.

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Holy moses, striker 3 is really banging them in! 58 goals ffs :eek: Capello must be mad not to play him :D

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That would indeed be very interesting to know. Is there a way for you to check if he refused a call up from the US Kip?

I'll second that, the tease was really good even though it took me a while to come post after the updates... for once :D

I like this suggestion too.

Excellent work as usual Kip, I really enjoyed this update, seeing both clubs be so successful is kind of refreshing after so many years of frustration in the 07 experiment :p

And I'm sorry to bring this up but are you sure the "World View - Distribution of 180+ CA players" breakdown is correct? You listed 14 Bandits as playing for England but unless I'm mistaken only 10 have been called up for England (LB1, RB1, CB4, LM1, LM2, RM2, CM1, CM3, CM4 & ST2.)

Surely he means English players rather than necessarily people who have been called up?

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But until they get called up we don't know if they'll end up being English or their second nationality, striker 3 shouldn't count as English if he ends up getting called up by the US for instance.

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But until they get called up we don't know if they'll end up being English or their second nationality, striker 3 shouldn't count as English if he ends up getting called up by the US for instance.

I think for ones that haven't declared or haven't been called up yet, Kip would just be using their first nationality, so while in the future, Striker 3 may be classed as US but until they call him up he will be English due to that being his first nationaility.

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A little upset center back 4 went with England over Jamaica as his preference :(

loving the experiment though kip, keep up the good work!

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I think for ones that haven't declared or haven't been called up yet, Kip would just be using their first nationality, so while in the future, Striker 3 may be classed as US but until they call him up he will be English due to that being his first nationaility.

I guess that's how Kip thought about it, you're right and thanks.

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I think for ones that haven't declared or haven't been called up yet, Kip would just be using their first nationality, so while in the future, Striker 3 may be classed as US but until they call him up he will be English due to that being his first nationaility.

That's absolutely right - I have to give the stars a nationality, and it is theoretically possible that there may be (somewhere) a 180 CA striker with nationality of Spain/Argentina, in which case I'd use his first nationality if undeclared.

Of course, that is highly unlikely anywhere away from the Bandits, as no country has such a huge talent pool that 180 CA players would be uncapped.

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Wow. Did Striker 3 kill Capello's cat or something?
Maybe he has "the next Ashley Young" in his profile description?

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That's absolutely right - I have to give the stars a nationality, and it is theoretically possible that there may be (somewhere) a 180 CA striker with nationality of Spain/Argentina, in which case I'd use his first nationality if undeclared.

Of course, that is highly unlikely anywhere away from the Bandits, as no country has such a huge talent pool that 180 CA players would be uncapped.

Thanks for the confirmation and sorry for thinking you made a mistake, I shouldn't doubt your story telling skills. That'll teach me :)

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Fantastic updates Kip! I've been away for a bit, cause my internet died but i'm still reading this! Keep going dude cause it's awesome! I love all the different update segments and co-effiecent tracking is a great idea!#

KUTGW!

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Maybe he has "the next Ashley Young" in his profile description?

Maybe he has "The next Pele" in his profile description and Capello thought he was Brazilian?

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Personally I just think Capello is a nutjob...

FM or real life?!

Can't argue though, he does get results :)

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Seems its all quiet on the bandits front. No-ones posting as much etc.!

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give it a couple of weeks, most people are still drooling over the last update.

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Yeah, in a week or so people will get impatient again and start asking how long, how much Kip has done, etc...

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Season 2011-12

Club reports – Summer Transfers

Following two more league titles for the Bandits and the Sheriffs, both were now league clubs, with the opportunity for meeting trebling from a chance encounter in the FA Cup to three cup competitions. The Bandits, now in League One, would be wondering if another promotion would be out of the question after three in succession, while the Sheriffs were looking to build on their non-league treble from last season and emulate their rivals in sailing straight through League Two.

Bandits

Once again, having secured promotion, the Bandits had to take a long look at their squad and decide who wasn't likely to make it. In total, thirteen were released, but none were the top ten players in the club – the stars that earned them promotion would form the base of their new squad.

Then, the manager set about making the signings that would hopefully turn the Bandits into the sort of League One force they were used to being in other divisions. For perspective, the top 100 players in the division have 110 CA, so that level is needed from a group of your players if you are to compete near the top (on average clubs have four of them), while the top 16 players range from 120-128 CA. They are the cream of the crop – get them and you're looking good.

First to arrive was Mark Hudson, a £12k capture from Charlton. The 29 year old centre back looked an absolute steal, and there was a reason for that – Charlton have slipped into League Two and are bankrupt. With 120 CA, he instantly became one of the stars of the division, and at the peak of his career too. Excellent start.

Next, the manager paid Northampton £14k for Abdul Osman, and 24 year old central midfielder with a CA of 98 and a PA of 110. That may seem low, but he is better than all but five of their existing squad, and to cope with this division, the Bandits needed a reserve squad of players at his level.

The next signing was an exciting one, in former Man United youth player Daniel Nardiello, who had scored fifteen goals for Hartlepool in this division last season, but following their relegation had been sold to the Bandits for £275k. The striker is now 28, and with a CA of 113 should score plenty of goals once more.

Then, the big money started to come out, with Jim McAlister becoming the club's first million pound player, the Bandits spending exactly that fee to bring the 25 year old pacey left winger in from Morton, who had just fallen out of the SPL. With his CA of 109 potentially reaching 119, he was a very good player for this league.

Then came a bunch of free transfers. 21 year old right back Jamie Hatch (CA 102, PA 118), 28 year old keeper Sam Russell (CA 90, PA 115), 25 year old versatile midfielder Matty Young (CA 62, PA 85), and 20 year old leftof centre back Matthew Duffy (CA 77, PA 135). Of the group, Hatch looked ready for first team football, Russell was a good reserve, Duffy is one for the future and Young is pointless.

In time honoured fashion, the manager would leave one good signing for last, a £550k capture from Blackpool by the name of Wade Small. Able to play on both wings, the 27 year old has a very healthy CA of 116, with a PA of 122. He looked a great signing,

In addition, the youth system was proving fruitful, with 16 year old goalkeeper David Walsh (CA 63, PA 149) joining striker (and possibly horror writer) Stephen King, a 17 year old with 77 CA and 154 PA.

And that was that. A new dominating centre back had arrived, a striker proven at this level, and good winger for both flanks. Things were looking promising, and the fans were optimistic again. But with the steps up becoming greater with every promotion, how would they do?

Sheriffs

The Sheriffs had dominated non-league football last season, and rightfully taken their place in the league structure for the first time in their history. To follow the Bandits up the leagues, they could do with more players over 100 CA – fifty of them were in the league, with 13 over the 110 mark. Nathan Ellington was already in the top bracket with his CA of 114 (which put him fourth in the league), but with no other players in three figures, signings were expected.

But first, they released eight players that were not good enough for league football, a move expected by the fans who were more interested in who would come in.

They had to wait a while, with the first signing not arriving until mid August, when Michael Deland came in on a free transfer having been released by Hearts. And even then the left back was one for the future, the 20 year old only having a CA of 59, with a PA of 119.

And to the surprise of many, they signed no-one else. Ellington was the only player in the squad over 100 CA,and while stability is a bonus, that left them with only one of the top fifty players in the league.

The manager did have one secret though. The Sheriffs may have only made one signing, but a product of their youth team was quietly making waves throughout the summer – 16 year old right back Lawrence Milner had a remarkable CA of 101, incredibly high for such a youngster. And he could improve to, with a PA of 142.

But the question is, would it be enough? Ellington is still an outstanding player at this level, and at 30 is not past it yet. But with a 16 year old as their only other 100 CA player, and only three above 90 CA, the manager would be tested more than ever before. Would he cope?

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Club reports – August-December

Bandits

After a series of humblings in pre-season last year, the Bandits chose much easier opposition this time around, and won five out of six warm up games, before the season started. When it finally began, it started in style, Marcus Bent scoring twice, and Nardiello striking on his debut in a 3-1 win against Scunthorpe. Their first away game was even more impressive, a 4-0 thumping of Tranmere, Bent again getting a brace.

The flying start gave them great confidence going into their first round Carling Cup tie with Championship Birmingham. Bent and Nardiello put them 2-0 up at half time, but two McFadden goals took the game to extra time, where Birmingham's superiority finally told, as they edged the tie 3-2. It was a disappointing and early end to the campaign.

Having lost a two goal lead in the cup, they nearly went one better in the league, taking a commanding 3-0 lead against Doncaster, only to be hanging on to a 3-2 win at the end. With Bent and Nardiello now injured, Liam Dickinson (he of 53 goals in the Conference) returned to the fold, only to be injured himself as the side were humbled 3-0 by Blackpool.

Suddenly the league was looking trickier than it had at the start of the season, but a Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie with League Two Aldershot provided the perfect distraction, and a 3-1 win. But the regulation league matches were now beginning to look troublesome – a run of three games without a goal brought only one point, as the Bandits slipped from their early start back into mid table.

A 4-0 win over MK Dons certainly improved the mood around the club, before a draw with Peterborough preceded a Johnstone's Paint Trophy match with Bournemouth, promoted with them last season. As with the League Two campaign, the Bandits came out on top 2-1 to seal a quarter final place in the South section.

While their home form continued to be impressive in the league, a 3-0 win over Rochdale confirming their ground as a fortress, their away form was extremely poor. They hadn't scored away since the first match on the road against Tranmere, and that run became six games with successive 3-0 humblings by Stockport and Bournemouth, the latter gaining revenge on their local rivals. Now in 12th, hopes of another promotion seemed far fetched.

But to break the run, Leyton Orient were the perfect opponents – winless and rooted to the bottom of the league, the rolled over to give the Bandits a crucial 3-1 away victory, and that, coupled with two more solid wins on their own patch, pushed them back up the league to third, and a playoff spot, before a loss at Swindon brought them back down to earth. One point away from a promotion spot of second they were, but Doncaster had already opened a nine point gap at the top, and only three points seperated third from seventeenth in a ridiculously close league.

As the Jekyll and Hyde act continued, they moved on to cup football again, with a Johnstone's Paint Trophy quarter final with Bristol Rovers, and an FA Cup game against Blue Square North Stalybridge. Fortunately, both were at home, and the Bandits duly delivered for their large following, scoring seven unanswered goals in the two games to keep their knockout hopes alive.

Sheriffs

The Sheriffs were looking forward to their first foray into league football, but fans hoping for exciting football were disappointed with the opening day goalless draw with Cheltenham, a match that featured no shots on target from either team. Remarkably, the Sheriffs again failed to make the keeper make a save in their next match, a Carling Cup tie against League One Brighton, but stout defending took the game to penalties, which the Sheriffs comfortably won.

Goals finally arrived in a home game with bankrupt Charlton, who were freefalling down the divisions, selling players with any talent as they collapsed into oblivion. A Ben Smith hattrick helped the Sheriffs to a 4-0 win, but it was to prove a blip of entertainment as in their next match, they reverted to the goalless draw, this time at Mansfield.

Next up was a Carling Cup second round tie at home to Premiership Sunderland, who had Goalkeeper 1 in their ranks. He was barely tested as the top flight team laid siege to the Sheriffs' goal, eventually triumphing 2-0 in extra time after a valiant effort from the League Two defence.

The fans began to get genuinely worried about the side's toothlessness after yet another goalless draw, this time against Wrexham, in which they managed just one shot on target, and when, for the second time this season, they were forced to watch a match without a single shot on goal from either side, they began to get annoyed. Fortunately, the match was a Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie against Walsall, and again they went through on penalties in a flawless display of spot kicks.

But seven games in, they had only scored in one match, although equally they had only conceded to Premiership Sunderland. Ellington was struggling with a thigh strain, but no-one was giving them any cutting edge, a fact that left them firmly in mid table.

Their poor form continued with no wins in the next four games that preceded a Johnstone's Paint Trophy game with Yeovil, three draws and one defeat pushing them down to 17th, far away from where they expected to be. Remarkably, they were to win their third penalty shoot out of the season in the tie with Yeovil, this time after a 1-1 draw, to advance to the South quarter finals.

An Ellington brace finally helped them to a decent win in the league, a 4-1 triumph over Grimsby, before another win and two draws pushed them back into mid table. A 2-0 defeat to Accrington was another blip, but a 1-0 win at Notts County preceded a 7-0 hammering dished out to Chester, as the team found their form at last, Philliskirk cracking a hattrick.

Full on confidence, they took on Shrewsbury in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, coming out 3-0 winners against the side leading League Two – it was an excellent result. But good as that one was, the next was extremely disappointing, the FA Cup campaign coming to an end in the first round thanks to a 4-1 lesson by League One Carlisle. A draw with Aldershot days later left them eighth in the league, two points outside the playoffs but still dreaming of promotion.

November news

At this point, the draw for the semi finals of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy South section was made, and the tie that both clubs wanted came up- the Bandits would face the Sheriffs for a place in the South final. As the only League Two side left in the competition, the Sheriffs theoretically had nothing to lose, but the Bandits also saw it as the best draw they could've got. It promised to be a cracker.

The Bandits seemed to be distracted by the news, losing their next two league games, most disappointing to Millwall at home, where they had previously been so strong. But they bounced back with a win over Rotherham, before their cup adventures continued with a 2-0 FA Cup win over League Two Bradford, a result that took them into the third round. One point from their next two games meant they went into their mid-December clash with the Sheriffs in ninth place.

While the Bandits only managed four points from five games in the lead up to the big clash, the Sheriffs seemed to be inspired by it, winning three of their five to move up to fifth, and with a real chance of promotion to a league it appeared the Bandits might be staying in.

The rivals face up

The semi final had been drawn at the home of the Bandits, and it was they who got off to the perfect start, Osman putting them ahead after only five minutes. But an equaliser from Ellington meant that the tie was finely poised at half time. Past the hour mark, and Dickinson put the Bandits ahead again, only for Elding to equalise for the Sheriffs just four minutes later. But three minutes after that, the visitors made a potentially fatal mistake when Milner put through his own goal to give the Bandits the lead for the third time.

It seemed that would be it, but the Sheriffs had other ideas, and with seven minutes remaining eighteen year old Cetin, making one of only two appearances of his season, tied the game at 3-3 and took it to extra time. Both sides went for the jugular, but there were no goals in extra time, and the two had to be separated by penalties.

The Sheriffs were confident, having already won three shoot outs without missing a spot kick, but that went out the window when Ellington stepped up and saw his opening kick saved. From there, the kicks were faultless until Moxey stepped up to take the Bandits' fourth, Underwood making the save. They were level again.

Cetin scored for the Sheriffs, King for the Bandits, and it went to sudden death. Ryan Smith stepped up for the visitors, but smashed the ball against the post, giving the Bandits the chance to knock their great rivals out. Keltie needed no second invitation, and to the home crowd's delight, buried his kick to send the Bandits into the South final, and end the Sheriffs' cup season.

The year ends

Both sides finished the year strongly, taking seven points from the remaining three games. That left the Bandits sixth, hanging on to the last playoff place, while the Sheriffs rose to third, an automatic promotion spot. Both teams are a distance behind the sides ahead of them, but only just ahead of a pack, so both would be happy for the league season to end here.

With January approaching, thoughts turned to the transfer window, and a chance to build their sides again. Although neither tend to spend any money in mid-season, the Bandits were still fighting on three fronts, while the Sheriffs, having had a quiet summer, could do with a player or two more to help secure promotion.

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Club reports – January Transfers

Bandits

By this stage of the season, the Bandits are usually dominating the league scene, and therefore make no signings, preferring to wait for the summer, but with League One proving much more of a challenge, some strengthening would certainly be useful.

Reserve goalkeeper Inglis, who had never started a game for the club, was released, while two players were brought in on free transfers. The first was Matthew Bates, a 25 year old centre back with a CA of 115 and a PA of 135. His acquisition was inspired, and he instantly became the fifth best player at the club – remember than a CA of 110 is good for this level.

The second signing was less exciting, 24 year old right back Paul Green, whose CA of 95 put him firmly in the backup category within the squad. But with cup competitions building up, the Bandits would need all their players.

Overall, a small improvement – Bates adds a lot to the back line, and at 25 could slot straight in while having a future at the club. Good stuff.

Bandits Transfers

Sheriffs

Having ignored the January window for the past two seasons, the Sheriffs finally decided that, with League Two promotion far from assured, they would bring in a couple of players this year.

Like the Bandits, their first signing was a good one, left back Billy Jones becoming their fifth best player with a CA of 95. At 28, he is at the peak of his career, and is a short term signing. For £10k, bringing him in makes sense.

Their second signing was more long term – 23 year old striker Ryan Taylor arriving on a free transfer, with a CA of 80 and a PA of 110. He will be useful next season if they fail to secure promotion.

A very similar tale to the Bandits – both are fighting for promotion, hanging on to the positions they hold, and both have marginally strengthened.

Sheriffs Transfers

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Bandits report - squad

Top 20 in Squad (sorted by CA)

Name, Pos, Age, CA-PA

Kilbey, 21, AMC, 124-157 (+1)

Burton, 18, D RLC, 120-163 (+7)

Hudson, 30, DC, 120-124 – new signing

Small, 28, AM RL, 118-122 – new signing

Bates, 25, DC/DM, 115-135 – new signing

McAlister, 26, WB L/AM RL, 113-119 – new signing

Nardiello, 29, ST, 113-115 – new signing

Bent, 34, ST, 109-145 (-12)

Parker, 24, D/AM L, 109-125 (+3)

Ward, 33, DC, 106-122 (-4)

Mulligan, 25, D/MC, 104-135 (+8)

Hatch, 22, D/M R, 104-118 – new signing

Osman, 25, MC, 101-110 – new signing

Howarth, 26, GK, 97-110 (+3)

Townsend, 26, DC, 96-105 (+1)

Dickinson, 26, ST, 96-97 (-)

Green, 25, D RL/MR, 95-102 – new signing

Russell, 29, GK, 92-115 – new signing

Keltie, 28, DM, 88-105 (-)

King, 18, AM R/ST, 87-154 (+12)

Players in last season’s top 20 who have left the club:

Mark Phillips, 29, D RC, 90-120

Matt Phillips, 20, AM RL, 89-127

Bignot, 25, DR, 85-109

Riley, 18, MC, 76-137

Templeman, 31, ST, 71-90

Miller, 20, MC, 67-128

Spender, 25, D/WB R, 66-92

Players in last season’s top 20 who have dropped out of the top 20:

Bryant, 18, DC, 84-176 (+7)

Moxey, 28, D/WB/AM L, 84-91 (+4)

Kilbey remains top of the pile, but five of the top seven are new signings, testament to the continual improvement that the manager demands of his squad. The other member of the top ten is Burton, who must be retained. Marcus Bent is fading badly now, but he did his job last season and can still play a role this year. The top 20 is far stronger than last season.

Outside the top 20, Bryant is still a remarkable talent, and improving, but the strength of the squad means he is now outside the elite and needs to improve to play.

Notable others:

None

CA of X or above:

190 : 00, 00, 00, 00

180 : 00, 00, 00, 00

170 : 00, 00, 00, 00

160 : 00, 00, 00, 00

150 : 00, 00, 00, 00

140 : 00, 00, 00, 00

130 : 00, 00, 00, 00

120 : 00, 00, 02, 03

110 : 00, 01, 04, 07

100 : 00, 02, 05, 13

090 : 00, 03, 10, 18

080 : 00, 05, 14, 23

070 : 00, 13, 18, 24

060 : 01, 18, 25, 27

050 : 03, 23, 26, 30

A wonderful improvement once again, shown most impressively by the rise from five to thirteen 100 CA players. This bodes very well for the future.

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Sheriffs report - squad

Top 20 in Squad (sorted by CA)

Name, Pos, Age, CA-PA

Ellington, 30, ST, 112-130 (-2)

Milner, 17, D RC, 102-142 – new signing

Philliskirk, 21, MC, 101-146 (+7)

R Smith, 25, AM L, 100-132 (+1)

Jones, 28, D/WB L, 96-105 – new signing

B Smith, 19, ST, 94-132 (+8)

Godsmark, 22, AM RLC, FC, 93-127 (+2)

Afzal, 21, D RC, 93-122 (+5)

Ifil, 25, D/WB R, 90-115 (+4)

Underwood, 19, GK, 89-156 (+10)

Harris, 21, D/M C, 87-132 (+3)

Miller, 19, MR, 83-177 (+9)

Elding, 30, ST, 82-105 (-)

R Taylor, 24, ST, 81-110 – new signing

Pead, 30, D/WB R, M RC, 79-107 (-)

Newey, 29, DL, 78-85 (-)

Raven, 18, SW/D RLC, 75-119 (+17)

Jones, 20, MC, 75-115 (+18)

Stanley, 18, GK, 66-138 (+6)

Skelton, 19, D/M C, 65-104 (+7)

Players in last season’s top 20 who have left the club:

Rigley, 22, D/M L, 71-100

M Taylor, 19, ST, 68-89 (+1)

Brown, 32, AM/F C, 56-95

Players in last season’s top 20 who have dropped out of the top 20:

None

Not as many signings for the Sheriffs as the Bandits, but Milner is an excellent acquisition, and with four players over 100 CA they have a decent squad for this league. Will it be enough?

Notable others:

T Smith, 17, AM L, 61-134 – promoted from youth academy

CA of X or above:

190 : 00, 00, 00, 00

180 : 00, 00, 00, 00

170 : 00, 00, 00, 00

160 : 00, 00, 00, 00

150 : 00, 00, 00, 00

140 : 00, 00, 00, 00

130 : 00, 00, 00, 00

120 : 00, 00, 00, 00

110 : 00, 00, 01, 01

100 : 00, 00, 01, 04

090 : 00, 00, 04, 09

080 : 00, 06, 09, 14

070 : 00, 09, 14, 18

060 : 01, 14, 16, 22

050 : 02, 17, 25, 28

A much better squad than last season, although it isn't the dramatic improvement some were hoping for. But it is a big step in the right direction anyway, and if they can get promoted then it should be a busy summer.

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Club reports – January-May

Bandits

Starting the calendar year in sixth, just ahead of a pack, the Bandits were under pressure to keep their results good. But January got off to a bad start with defeat at home to Blackpool, before League Two Lincoln caused a surprise by coming to town in the FA Cup and leaving with a creditable 2-2 draw.

The Bandits needed a result, and there was no better way than to face Tranmere, the side they had thumped 4-0 at the start of the season. Now, in front of home crowds, they went one better, Nardiello scoring four in a 5-0 riot. Next came the replay at Lincoln, where a single Osman goal was enough to reach round four, unchartered territory.

The middle of January, however, was a disaster. A 3-1 loss away at Doncaster pushed them out of the playoffs, before Swindon beat them 2-0 in the first leg of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy South final. Three days later, the FA Cup dream was dashed, Championship Ipswich turning on the style in the second half to win 4-2.

Out of the playoffs, out of the FA Cup, and struggling in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, the Bandits were facing difficulties for the first time in their history, and appeared to react well, beating Scunthorpe to climb back to seventh. But one point from the remaining two games of a busy month left them ending January in 11th, five points away from the playoff positions that seemed there for the taking only a few games ago.

With their promotion hopes slipping away, the Bandits needed a response, and the mental strength in the side was evident as they picked up sixteen points from their six games in February, getting their season right back on track. By the end of the month, they were back in a playoff position of fifth, looking to consolidate. The month also saw the second leg of the Johnstone's Paint South final, but despite a goal by Matthew Duffy, the Bandits were unable to turn the deficit from the first leg around, losing 2-1 on aggregate.

With their focus now fully on the league, they continued their great form with two more wins at the start of March, pushing them up into fourth and only a couple of points away from the automatic promotion zone. But disappointing 1-0 defeats to Crewe to Swindon almost certainly made the playoffs all they could hope for, and put even that into jeopardy again, pushing them back into sixth, the final spot.

But with the fixture list easing after their manic start to the calendar year, they found their feet again, beating Rotherham, Carlisle and Port Vale without conceding. With four games to go, they were back in fourth, seven points off automatic promotion but with a four point cushion over seventh place.

Five points from their last four games ensured that fourth was the position they would finish in, eventually coming in eight points off automatic promotion, but seven points ahead of the first non-playoff position of seventh. It was the first time they had not won the title in their history, but with the playoffs still to come they had a great opportunity to get promoted.

The semi final began with the away leg to Blackpool, who had finished fifth. However, Blackpool had done the double over the Bandits in the league, so came into the tie with great confidence.

And that confidence seemed justified when they took an early lead, but when Osman equalised for the Bandits they put themselves in a strong position for the second leg. It was the Bandits who were applying more pressure for the rest of the game, but were sucker punched by two late goals, going down 3-1, undeservedly, and giving themselves a massive task for the second leg.

They needed a performance in the return leg, and they gave the fans hope when Hudson scored after 36 minutes, bringing the aggregate score back to 3-2. Just before half time, Small scored the second, putting the Bandits ahead of away goals and sending the crowd into delight. Half time came and went, but in the opening minute of the second half Blackpool scored, and then as the Bandits threw everything forward, Blackpool equalised with fourteen minutes to go. With the Bandits now needing three, the game was up, although Mulligan did at least score another to give them a 3-2 win on the night, but a 5-4 defeat on aggregate. Blackpool went on to get promoted after beating Huddersfield in the final.

So disappointment for the Bandits, who will remain in League One next season, but they have plenty to build on, and a decent summer of transfers should make them a real force in this division.

Sheriffs

The Bandits had begun 2012 with a busy January of cup fixtures, but the Sheriffs had only the league to focus on, and took full advantage, winning four, drawing two and losing only one in the opening month of the year. Their solid start pushed them up another place, from third to second, and with three automatic promotion slots, their chances were beginning to look good. Shrewsbury were streaking away with the league, nine points clear, and with the playoff positions only two points back, they had to be careful, but with the Bandits falling to mid table, they had real hopes of joining them in League One.

Those hopes were enhanced with a tremendous February, in which they won four and drew one of their five games, giving them breathing space over those behind them. Whereas earlier in the season a playoff place would have been welcome, the fans were now expecting automatic promotion.

And their form was relentless – three more wins at the start of March saw the bookies stop taking bets on their promotion, and even a couple of draws that followed did nothing to dampen their spirits. With four games to go, they were still firmly in second, nine points behind certain champions Shrewsbury, but ten points ahead of third placed Lincoln, and twelve ahead of fourth placed Bury. Just one more point was required to secure promotion, and it was a fifteen match unbeaten run since the middle of January that had put them there.

The promotion part began after the next game, a win over Wycombe, and they extended their unbeaten run to nineteen by the end of the season, even managing a draw at runaway champions Shrewsbury. The promotion was hugely comfortable in the end – Shrewsbury may have finished six points ahead of them, but the Sheriffs were eleven points ahead of third placed Bradford, and thirteen points clear of the promotion zone.

So the Sheriffs move onwards and upwards, and will be playing League One football next year. It has been a wonderful season for them yet again, and since bouncing back from their first season playoff disappointment, they have secured three consecutive promotions.

There is, however, one issue, The chairman seems to have fallen out of love with the club, and is trying to sell. It remains to be seen what effect that has on the club, in what should be a busy summer.

Bandit Honours:

League Two (2011)

Blue Square Premier (2010)

Blue Square South (2009)

FA Trophy (2010)

Sheriff Honours:

Blue Square Premier (2011)

Blue Square South (2010)

FA Trophy (2011)

Setanta Shield (2011)

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Bandits report - Season summary

2008-09

Blue Square South: (Pos 1), P 42, W 37, D 4, L 1, F 112, A 15, GD +97, Pts 115

(Media Prediction: 8th)

FA Cup: Third Round

FA Trophy: Fourth Round

Setanta Shield: Semi Final

2009-10

Blue Square Premier: (Pos 1), P 46, W 37, D 5, L 4, F 122, A 29, GD +93, Pts 116

(Media Prediction: 20th)

FA Cup: Third Round

FA Trophy: Winners

Setanta Shield: South Fourth Round

2010-11

League Two: (Pos 1), P 46, W 30, D 9, L 7, F 108, A 27, GD +81, Pts 99

(Media Prediction: 24th)

FA Cup: Second Round

League Cup: Third Round

Johnstone's Paint Trophy: South First Round

2011-12

League One: (Pos 4), P 46, W 24, D 8, L 14, F 75, A 45, GD +30, Pts 80

(Media Prediction: 22nd)

League

FA Cup: Fourth Round

League Cup: First Round

Johnstone's Paint Trophy: South Final

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Sheriffs report - Season summary

2008-09

Blue Square South: (Pos 2), P 42, W 26, D 4, L 12, F 72, A 37, GD +35, Pts 82

(Media Prediction: 22nd)

FA Cup: Fourth Qualifying Round

FA Trophy: Second Round

Setanta Shield: South Second Round

2009-10

Blue Square South: (Pos 1), P 42, W 35, D 5, L 2, F 105, A 22, GD +83, Pts 110

(Media Prediction: 10th)

FA Cup: First Round

FA Trophy: Fourth Round

Setanta Shield: South First Round

2010-11

Blue Square Premier: (Pos 1), P 46, W 31, D 9, L 6, F 97, A 36, GD +61, Pts 102

(Media Prediction: 23rd)

FA Cup: Third Round

FA Trophy: Winners

Setanta Shield: Winners

2011-12

League Two: (Pos 2), P 46, W 24, D 18, L 4, F 82, A 31, GD +51, Pts 90

(Media Prediction: 24th)

League

FA Cup: First Round

League Cup: Second Round

Johnstone's Paint Trophy: South Semi Final

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Bandits report - Best and Worst

General

Stats

New records:

Too many to mention

This season:

Best player – Bent, 7.12

Top scorer – Nardiello, 21

Worst player – Hudson, 6.80

Going forward, the Bandits were again strong, Bent managing 15 goals, Dickinson 17 and Nardiello 21, with Osman chipping in with 14 from midfield. Nardiello was particularly impressive as he added 15 assists to his goal tally, beaten only by left winger McAllister's 17.

Defensively, the back four were a little disappointing, and this is probably the area to strengthen in the summer.

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Sheriffs report - Best and Worst

General

Stats

New records:

Too many to mention

This season:

Best player – Taylor, 7.35

Top scorer – Ellington, 18

Worst player – Raven, 6.72

Ellington, Smith and midfielder Philliskirk all managed double figures in an excellent season, but the most potent was probably Ryan Taylor, only signed in January, but who managed nine goals in eleven starts, topping the average ratings.

Right winger Godsmark managed twelve assists, with the centre back pairing of Afzal and Harris was dominant all season.

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Finance and Staff

Finance:

Real Madrid still lead the way, with the Bandits and the Sheriffs behind them.

Rich Clubs

Bandits Balance – £92.1m (+£5.8m), with a transfer budget of £36.7m (-£1.3m).

Sheriffs Balance - £47.0m (+£7.0m), with a transfer budget of £26.4m (+2.9m).

Staff Reputation

Dream Manager – 5876 (+44)

Idiot Manager – 5265 (+564)

Both the initial assistants are still out of work.

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Player reports - Superstars

Goalkeeper 1 (Argentina)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 150: Apps 30, Conc 11, Cln 22, MoM 0, YC 5, RC 0, Avg 7.31

Transfers to Sunderland for £1.9m

2008-09, Sunderland, CA 158: Apps 12, Conc 14, Cln 5, MoM 1, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 6.78

2009-10, Sunderland, CA 170: Apps 46, Conc 53, Cln 16, MoM 3, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.03

2010-11, Sunderland, CA 176: Apps 45, Conc 53, Cln 15, MoM 5, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.13

2011-12, Sunderland, CA 185: Apps 37, Conc 43, Cln 13, MoM 3, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.01

Has a solid season for Sunderland, who finish tenth but are really not the level of club he should be playing for. Still, it isn't harming his international hopes – he now has nine caps.

Honours

None

Goalkeeper 2 (England/Brazil)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 153: Apps 22 (1), Conc 14, Cln 12, MoM 1, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 7.01

Transfers to Rangers for £525k

2009-10, Rangers, CA 166: Apps 54, Conc 33, Cln 30, MoM 0, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 6.95

2010-11, Rangers, CA 176: Apps 46, Conc 39, Cln 18, MoM 2, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 6.99

2011-12, Rangers, CA 182: Apps 55, Conc 41, Cln 26, MoM 3, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.14

Notes: Wins his third successive SPL with Rangers, and has an excellent season, also picking up the Co-operative Cup for the second time. But he is still only a youth international for Brazil. Wins SPL's young player of the year.

Honours

Scottish Premier League (Rangers: 2010, 2011, 2012)

Scottish Co-operative Cup (Rangers: 2010, 2012)

Scottish Young Player of the Year (2012)

Left Back 1 (England)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 150: Apps 22, Gls 1, Asts 7, MoM 0, YC 5, RC 0, Avg 7.21

Transfers to Everton for £625k

2008-09, Everton, CA 161: Apps 11, Gls 1, Asts 0, MoM 0, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 6.81

Transfers to Arsenal for £7.5m

2009-10, Arsenal, CA 181: Apps 42 (2), Gls 2, Asts 3, MoM 1, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.11

2010-11, Arsenal, CA 188: Apps 38 (3), Gls 3, Asts 5, MoM 2, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 7.10

2011-12, Arsenal, CA 194: Apps 55 (1), Gls 1, Asts 7, MoM 0, YC 6, RC 0, Avg 7.08

Notes: Closes in on his potential at Arsenal, who have an awesome season, winning both the Premiership and the Champions League. He plays well and moves on to eleven caps, with one goal.

Honours

English Premiership (Arsenal: 2012)

English FA Cup (Arsenal: 2010)

European Champions League (Arsenal: 2012)

Left Back 2 (England)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 156: Apps 41 (1), Gls 1, Asts 16, MoM 8, YC 7, RC 1, Avg 7.35

Transfers to West Ham for £650k

2009-10, West Ham, CA 181: Apps 40, Gls 1, Asts 1, MoM 2, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 7.05

2010-11, West Ham, CA 190: Apps 41, Gls 0, Asts 1, MoM 0, YC 4, RC 0, Avg 6.85

Transfers to Chelsea for £22.5m

2011-12, Chelsea, CA 199: Apps 48 (1), Gls 0, Asts 7, MoM 0, YC 4, RC 0, Avg 7.06

Notes: Makes a big money move to Chelsea, who are collecting former Bandits, but not trophies as they finish third in the Premiership. Makes his first two international appearances for England, and has the joint highest CA with 199.

Honours

English Blue Square South (Bandits: 2009)

Right Back 1 (England)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 150: Apps 36, Gls 1, Asts 16, MoM 3, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 7.48

Transfers to Fulham for £1.2m

2008-09, Fulham, CA 165: Apps 10, Gls 0, Asts 0, MoM 0, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 6.52

2009-10, Fulham, CA 182: Apps 42, Gls 4, Asts 6, MoM 3, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.03

2010-11, Fulham, CA 194: Apps 43, Gls 4, Asts 5, MoM 3, YC 5, RC 0, Avg 6.98

Transfers to Atletico Madrid for £27m

2011-12, Atletico Madrid, CA 198: Apps 43, Gls 2, Asts 11, MoM 0, YC 5, RC 0, Avg 6.99

Notes: Decides to move to Spain, and join the second Madrid side, where he is transformed into an attacking full back, reaching double figures for assists. Atletico finish sixth in La Liga, but he moves on to thirteen caps.

Honours

None

Right Back 2 (France)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 150: Apps 6, Gls 0, Asts 3, MoM 2, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.72

Transfers to Rennes for £220k

2008-09, Rennes, CA 155: Apps 9, Gls 0, Asts 2, MoM 0, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 6.84

2009-10, Rennes, CA 155: Apps 1, Gls 0, Asts 0, MoM 0, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.00

Transfers to Man City for £11m

2009-10, Man City, CA 175: Apps 35 (1), Gls 1, Asts 2, MoM 1, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 6.87

2010-11, Man City, CA 186: Apps 40, Gls 1, Asts 3, MoM 1, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 6.88

2011-12, Man City, CA 194: Apps 42, Gls 7, Asts 6, MoM 1, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 7.00

Notes: Improves his performance level, but Man City still only finish eleventh, and he has to be considering whether to move on. Has six caps for France now.

Honours

None

Centre Back 1 (Germany)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 150: Apps 35, Gls 1, Asts 6, MoM 0, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 7.08

Transfers to Fulham for £1.4m

2008-09, Fulham, CA 165: Apps 15, Gls 0, Asts 0, MoM 1, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 6.83

2009-10, Fulham, CA 179: Apps 42, Gls 5, Asts 1, MoM 2, YC 7, RC 0, Avg 6.84

2010-11, Fulham, CA 192: Apps 35, Gls 4, Asts 1, MoM 3, YC 11, RC 0, Avg 6.95

2011-12, Fulham, CA 192: Apps 14, Gls 0, Asts 1, MoM 0, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 6.87

Transfers to Barcelona for £23.5m

2011-12, Barcelona, CA 197: Apps 23, Gls 5, Asts 0, MoM 2, YC 6, RC 0, Avg 7.12

Notes: After a solid half a season with Fulham, makes his move, joining Barcelona and scoring well in the second half of the season. Has settled in quickly, but they are unable to catch Real Madrid and end trophyless. Has two goals in ten games for Germany.

Honours

None

Centre Back 2 (Holland)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 150: Apps 25, Gls 1, Asts 2, MoM 2, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 7.36

Transfers to Lyon for £775k

2008-09, Lyon, CA 157: Apps 2, Gls 0, Asts 0, MoM 0, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 6.35

2009-10, Lyon, CA 169: Apps 34 (4), Gls 0, Asts 1, MoM 0, YC 4, RC 0, Avg 6.84

2010-11, Lyon, CA 191: Apps 51, Gls 9, Asts 1, MoM 6, YC 7, RC 0, Avg 7.13

2011-12, Lyon, CA 191: Apps 28, Gls 3, Asts 2, MoM 1, YC 5, RC 0, Avg 7.08

Transfers to Barcelona for £35m

2011-12, Barcelona, CA 197: Apps 19, Gls 0, Asts 0, MoM 0, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 6.87

Notes: After a decent start to the season, he join Centre Back 1 in moving to Barcelona, who spend a combined £57.5m on a new centre back pairing. These two could be fearsome in the future, and Centre Back 2 especially could end up with record number of caps – he has already played twenty times for Holland, scoring once.

Honours

French Ligue 1 (Lyon: 2010)

French Cup (Lyon: 2011)

French League Cup (Lyon: 2009, 2010)

Centre Back 3 (Italy)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 150: Apps 9, Gls 0, Asts 0, MoM 1, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.28

Transfers to Chievo for £75k

2008-09, Chievo, CA 157: Apps 16, Gls 1, Asts 0, MoM 3, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 6.67

Transfers to Sampdoria for £3.5m

2009-10, Sampdoria, CA 174: Apps 50, Gls 3, Asts 3, MoM 1, YC 4, RC 0, Avg 6.93

2010-11, Sampdoria, CA 192: Apps 51, Gls 3, Asts 3, MoM 0, YC 4, RC 0, Avg 6.97

2011-12, Sampdoria, CA 195: Apps 55, Gls 5, Asts 5, MoM 3, YC 6, RC 0, Avg 7.04

Notes: Continues in Italy and helps Sampdoria to sixth, playing well. Scores his first two goals for Italy and has fourteen caps.

Honours

None

Centre Back 4 (England)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 150: Apps 9 (1), Gls 0, Asts 1, MoM 2, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 7.09

Transfers to Hibernian for £30k

2008-09, Hibernian, CA 154: Apps 14, Gls 1, Asts 1, MoM 0, YC 3, RC 1, Avg 6.68

2009-10, Hibernian, CA 154: Apps 2, Gls 1, Asts 1, MoM 1, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.90

Transfers to West Brom for £2.5m

2009-10, West Brom, CA 173: Apps 40, Gls 2, Asts 0, MoM 0, YC 5, RC 1, Avg 6.86

2010-11, West Brom, CA 184: Apps 41, Gls 2, Asts 0, MoM 1, YC 7, RC 0, Avg 6.85

Transfers to Chelsea for £23.5m

2011-12, Chelsea, CA 198: Apps 52, Gls 4, Asts 0, MoM 3, YC 9, RC 0, Avg 7.00

Notes: Makes his move in the summer, joining Chelsea, but it brings a trophyless season as they finish fourth in the Premiership. Moves on to eleven caps.

Honours

None

Left Mid 1 (England)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 150: Apps 23 (2), Gls 10, Asts 10, MoM 0, YC 5, RC 0, Avg 7.03

Transfers to Man City for £1.1m

2008-09, Man City, CA 165: Apps 6, Gls 0, Asts 0, MoM 0, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 6.45

Transfers to West Brom for £10.5m

2009-10, West Brom, CA 179: Apps 39, Gls 8, Asts 8, MoM 5, YC 6, RC 0, Avg 7.12

2010-11, West Brom, CA 190: Apps 35 (1), Gls 7, Asts 3, MoM 3, YC 6, RC 0, Avg 7.07

Transfers to AC Milan for £39m

2011-12, AC Milan, CA 194: Apps 12 (10), Gls 5, Asts 4, MoM 1, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.06

Notes: Moves to Italy for an enormous fee of £39m, and is learning his trade in a competitive side. Plays well when he gets the chance, impressive given Milan play a Christmas tree formation without true wingers. Reaches nine caps with one goal.

Honours

None

Left Mid 2 (England)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 150: Apps 16 (1), Gls 6, Asts 3, MoM 1, YC 3, RC 1, Avg 7.06

Transfers to Everton for £1m

2008-09, Everton, CA 167: Apps 17, Gls 2, Asts 1, MoM 0, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 6.60

Transfers to Chelsea for £8.75m

2009-10, Chelsea, CA 184: Apps 50 (2), Gls 11, Asts 19, MoM 6, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 7.19

2010-11, Chelsea, CA 194: Apps 45 (1), Gls 6, Asts 7, MoM 5, YC 0, RC 1, Avg 7.03

2011-12, Chelsea, CA 198: Apps 43, Gls 10, Asts 10, MoM 5, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.24

Notes: Is really finding his feet at Chelsea now, and at international level too, where he has eight goals in 21 caps. Win the English Young Player of the Year award.

Honours

English Premiership (Chelsea: 2010)

English Young Player of the Season (2012)

Right Mid 1 (England)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 150: Apps 30, Gls 11, Asts 11, MoM 1, YC 4, RC 0, Avg 7.11

Transfers to Blackburn for £1.3m

2008-09, Blackburn, CA 165: Apps 14, Gls 6, Asts 1, MoM 0, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 6.91

2009-10, Blackburn, CA 165: Apps 7, Gls 2, Asts 4, MoM 2, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.44

Transfers to AC Milan for £14.5m

2009-10, AC Milan, CA 177: Apps 2 (5), Gls 1, Asts 0, MoM 0, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 6.80

2010-11, AC Milan, CA 177: Apps 5 (5), Gls 2, Asts 3, MoM 0, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.13

Transfers to Chelsea for £22.5m

2010-11, Chelsea, CA 189: Apps 18 (1), Gls 4, Asts 6, MoM 2, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.14

2011-12, Chelsea, CA 197: Apps 46 (4), Gls 5, Asts 7, MoM 1, YC 7, RC 1, Avg 7.02

Notes: Another of the Chelsea brigade, he plays well but finishes with a trophy to show for it. He does, however, finally play his first two games for England.

Honours

None

Right Mid 2 (England)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 150: Apps 11 (1), Gls 4, Asts 8, MoM 0, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.26

Transfers to Rangers for £220k

2008-09, Rangers, CA 160: Apps 19, Gls 4, Asts 4, MoM 0, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 6.58

Transfers to Liverpool for £7.5m

2009-10, Liverpool, CA 178: Apps 34 (5), Gls 4, Asts 3, MoM 1, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.03

2010-11, Liverpool, CA 192: Apps 54 (3), Gls 18, Asts 14, MoM 10, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 7.29

2011-12, Liverpool, CA 198: Apps 48, Gls 12, Asts 11, MoM 4, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 7.32

Notes: Another superb season for Liverpool, but despite having three former Bandits in the midfield, they fall away from last season's title win to fifth, failing to even qualify for the Champions League. Reaches seven goals in eleven games for England, and gains the consolation of the FA Cup.

Honours

English Premiership (Liverpool: 2011)

English FA Cup (Liverpool: 2012)

Scottish Premier League (Rangers: 2009)

Scottish Co-operative Cup (Rangers: 2009)

Centre Mid 1 (England)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 155: Apps 52 (1), Gls 17, Asts 13, MoM 2, YC 9, RC 1, Avg 6.93

Transfers to Middlesbrough for £1.1m

2009-10, Middlesbrough, CA 176: Apps 40, Gls 10, Asts 3, MoM 7, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.16

2010-11, Middlesbrough, CA 192: Apps 44, Gls 19, Asts 4, MoM 7, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.35

2011-12, Middlesbrough, CA 198: Apps 44, Gls 12, Asts 6, MoM 5, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 7.36

Notes: Has another excellent season for Boro, and is once again their best player by a distance, probably keeping them up as they actually finished 16th in the Premiership. Despite this, he has just signed a five year contract, and now has four goals in eleven internationals.

Honours

English Blue Square South (Bandits: 2009)

European Midfielder of the Year (2010)

Centre Mid 2 (Portugal)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 150: Apps 31 (1), Gls 10, Asts 11, MoM 2, YC 7, RC 0, Avg 7.04

Transfers to Sporting for £1.1m

2008-09, Sporting, CA 163: Apps 17, Gls 3, Asts 2, MoM 1, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 6.86

2009-10, Sporting, CA 179: Apps 40 (3), Gls 12, Asts 3, MoM 3, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.22

2010-11, Sporting, CA 194: Apps 49, Gls 22, Asts 12, MoM 7, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.39

Transfers to Barcelona for £49m

2011-12, Barcelona, CA 199: Apps 45, Gls 13, Asts 7, MoM 4, YC 7, RC 0, Avg 7.15

Notes: After impressing in Portugal, Barcelona pay a remarkable £49m to take him to Spain, and help them challenge Real Madrid. Has five goals in seventeen games for Portugal and is turning into a very special player.

Honours

Portuguese Cup (Sporting: 2011)

World Club Cup (Barcelona: 2012)

Portuguese League Young Player of the Year (2011)

Portuguese Best Foreign Based Player of the Year (2012)

Centre Mid 3 (England)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 150: Apps 15 (4), Gls 9, Asts 4, MoM 0, YC 5, RC 1, Avg 7.21

Transfers to Bolton for £675k

2008-09, Bolton, CA 164: Apps 12, Gls 1, Asts 2, MoM 0, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 6.77

Transfers to Liverpool for £16.5m

2009-10, Liverpool, CA 188: Apps 38 (1), Gls 14, Asts 4, MoM 5, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 7.15

2010-11, Liverpool, CA 198: Apps 44 (9), Gls 5, Asts 10, MoM 3, YC 5, RC 0, Avg 7.05

2011-12, Liverpool, CA 198: Apps 48 (2), Gls 18, Asts 10, MoM 8, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 7.29

Notes: How do Liverpool fail to qualify for the Champions League with he and two other former Bandits in midfield? Has a tremendous season both for his club, where he wins the FA Cup, and for England, with ten goals in his fifteen caps to date. But despite having the highest CA of all former Bandits last season, it stagnates at 198 this year.

Honours

English Premiership (Liverpool: 2011)

English FA Cup (Liverpool: 2012)

English Carling Cup (Liverpool: 2010)

Centre Mid 4 (England)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 150: Apps 4 (3), Gls 2, Asts 1, MoM 0, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 6.93

Transfers to Reading for £75k

2008-09, Reading, CA 154: Apps 22, Gls 3, Asts 2, MoM 0, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 6.71

Transfers to Hull for £2.1m

2009-10, Hull, CA 165: Apps 29, Gls 6, Asts 3, MoM 1, YC 5, RC 0, Avg 7.14

Transfers to Liverpool for £12.75m

2010-11, Liverpool, CA 189: Apps 36 (21), Gls 10, Asts 11, MoM 5, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 7.07

2011-12, Liverpool, CA 192: Apps 46 (9), Gls 12, Asts 6, MoM 4, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.13

Notes: Another who has an excellent season for Liverpool, making their poor season all the more mystifying. He does lift the FA Cup, however, and scores his first goal for England – he has seven caps now.

Honours

English Premiership (Liverpool: 2011)

English FA Cup (Liverpool: 2012)

Striker 1 (Spain)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 165: Apps 46 (4), Gls 34, Asts 12, MoM 14, YC 8, RC 0, Avg 7.87

Transfers to Sevilla for £1.3m

2009-10, Sevilla, CA 178: Apps 51 (1), Gls 30, Asts 14, MoM 8, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.26

2010-11, Sevilla, CA 191: Apps 54, Gls 36, Asts 13, MoM 10, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 7.34

2011-12, Sevilla, CA 196: Apps 54, Gls 39, Asts 12, MoM 13, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 7.47

Notes: Just keeps getting better and better. Now has thirty goals in all four seasons of his career, with this being the best, 39 goals for Sevilla helping them to an impressive third place in La Liga and to UEFA Cup triumph. He also has nine goals in nine games for Spain, and could be lethal in this summer's European Championships.

Honours

English Blue Square South (Bandits: 2009)

Spanish Copa del Rey (Sevilla: 2011)

UEFA Cup (Sevilla: 2012)

Striker 2 (England)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 150: Apps 32 (3), Gls 22, Asts 5, MoM 8, YC 9, RC 1, Avg 7.96

Transfers to Newcastle for £1.5m

2008-09, Newcastle, CA 160: Apps 12, Gls 4, Asts 1, MoM 0, YC 4, RC 0, Avg 7.06

2009-10, Newcastle, CA 180: Apps 34, Gls 18, Asts 9, MoM 5, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.14

2010-11, Newcastle, CA 189: Apps 50, Gls 29, Asts 15, MoM 10, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.20

2011-12, Newcastle, CA 194: Apps 50, Gls 41, Asts 20, MoM 15, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 7.52

Notes: Amazing. Practically single handedly drags Newcastle up to sixth, scoring or setting up a ridiculous 61 goals, and claiming 15 man of the match awards. Has five goals in nine internationals, but surely needs a better club now. Is picking up individuals awards, and coming in the top three for everything, including World Footballer of the Year. He is special.

Honours

English Young Player of the Year (2011)

English Footballer of the Year (2012)

Striker 3 (England)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 150: Apps 5 (5), Gls 6, Asts 1, MoM 1, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 8.04

Transfers to Sheff Utd for £55k

2008-09, Sheff Utd, CA 161: Apps 23, Gls 10, Asts 5, MoM 4, YC 5, RC 0, Avg 7.14

Transfers to Rangers for £2.6m

2009-10, Rangers, CA 170: Apps 52 (1), Gls 51, Asts 18, MoM 22, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.66

2010-11, Rangers, CA 189: Apps 48, Gls 58, Asts 18, MoM 22, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 7.79

2011-12, Rangers, CA 190: Apps 49, Gls 48, Asts 12, MoM 16, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.64

Notes: Doesn't quite make it to fifty goals this season, but 48 is still an amazing record, and is enough for Rangers to win the SPL by 23 points and also the Co-operative Cup. Remarkably, it is even enough for Fabio Capello to finally pick him for England, and he responds by scoring twice in two games. Dominates the Scottish individual awards.

Honours

Scottish Premier League (Rangers: 2010, 2011, 2012)

Scottish Co-operative Cup (Rangers: 2010, 2012)

Scottish Player of the Year (2010, 2011, 2012)

European Golden Boot (2010, 2011)

Striker 4 (England)

2008-09, Bandits, CA 150: Apps 15 (4), Gls 14, Asts 4, MoM 3, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.85

Transfers to Dundee Utd for £85k

2008-09, Dundee Utd, CA 156: Apps 18, Gls 11, Asts 1, MoM 4, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 7.13

Transfers to Hull for £10m

2009-10, Hull, CA 175: Apps 49, Gls 24, Asts 9, MoM 8, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 7.09

2010-11, Hull, CA 175: Apps 22, Gls 20, Asts 2, MoM 8, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.46

Transfers to Sampdoria for £21.5m

2010-11, Sampdoria, CA 183: Apps 14 (1), Gls 2, Asts 4, MoM 2, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.10

2011-12, Sampdoria, CA 196: Apps 54 (2), Gls 35, Asts 12, MoM 14, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 7.35

Notes: His first full season in Italy was a superb one, scoring 35 goals and helping Sampdoria to sixth in Serie A. Makes his first appearance for England at last, and is turning into a very good player.

Honours

None

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Player reports - Idiots

Idiot Goalkeeper (England)

2008-09, Sheriffs, CA 150: Apps 51, Conc 46, Cln 22, MoM 5, YC 5, RC 0, Avg 6.99

Transfers to Falkirk for £80k

2009-10, Falkirk, CA 150: Apps 25, Conc 26, Cln 11, MoM 1, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 6.84

Transfers to West Brom for £2.7m

2009-10, West Brom, CA 150: Apps 16, Conc 15, Cln 6, MoM 0, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 6.94

2010-11, West Brom, CA 150: Apps 35, Conc 47, Cln 7, MoM 1, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 6.95

2011-12, West Brom, CA 150: Apps 40, Conc 45, Cln 13, MoM 2, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 6.93

Notes: Another average season for a man whose CA is not budging from the 150 mark, but his club still finish 13th so he does not face a relegation battle. Has now moved on to seven caps, presumably playing when Goalkeeper 1 or 2 is injured.

Honours

None

Idiot Defender (England/Northern Mariana)

2008-09, Sheriffs, CA 150: Apps 5, Gls 0, Asts 3, MoM 1, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.46

Transfers to Blackburn for £700k

2008-09, Blackburn, CA 145: Apps 18, Gls 0, Asts 1, MoM 1, YC 3, RC 3, Avg 6.64

Transfers to Hull for £5.25m

2009-10, Hull, CA 145: Apps 37, Gls 0, Asts 4, MoM 0, YC 9, RC 0, Avg 6.48

2010-11, Hull, CA 140: Apps 38 (4), Gls 1, Asts 2, MoM 1, YC 5, RC 0, Avg 6.77

Transfers to West Ham for £4m

2011-12, West Ham, CA 142: Apps 32 (1), Gls 0, Asts 1, MoM 0, YC 9, RC 1, Avg 6.50

Notes: After spending a season in the Championship, he decided against another one, joining West Ham for an expensive £4m, before playing poorly all season, his club struggling to 15th. Remains uncapped.

Honours

None

Idiot Midfielder (England/Yemen)

2008-09, Sheriffs, CA 150: Apps 23, Gls 9, Asts 9, MoM 0, YC 12, RC 3, Avg 6.80

Transfers to Celtic for £1m

2008-09, Celtic, CA 150: Apps 15 (3), Gls 2, Asts 2, MoM 0, YC 5, RC 1, Avg 6.46

2009-10, Celtic, CA 150: Apps 1, Gls 0, Asts 0, MoM 0, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.20

Transfers to Aston Villa for £8.25m

2009-10, Aston Villa, CA 149: Apps 31 (3), Gls 1, Asts 4, MoM 0, YC 4, RC 0, Avg 6.94

2010-11, Aston Villa, CA 149: Apps 13 (1), Gls 2, Asts 2, MoM 0, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 6.88

2011-12, Aston Villa, CA 149: Apps 10 (7), Gls 5, Asts 2, MoM 1, YC 3, RC 1, Avg 7.07

Notes: Continues at Aston Villa, who don't seem that interested in playing him on a regular basis, although in fairness he does play well when given the chance, scoring five times in limited appearances. Is uncapped.

Honours

Scottish Cup (Celtic: 2009)

Idiot Striker (England/Zambia)

2008-09, Sheriffs, CA 150: Apps 5, Gls 5, Asts 0, MoM 0, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.46

Transfers to Blackburn for £775k

2008-09, Blackburn, CA 149: Apps 2 (2), Gls 1, Asts 0, MoM 0, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 6.67

Transfers to Hull for £4m

2009-10, Hull, CA 149: Apps 39 (4), Gls 7, Asts 8, MoM 0, YC 7, RC 0, Avg 6.71

2010-11, Hull, CA 143: Apps 19 (19), Gls 8, Asts 3, MoM 1, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 6.74

2011-12, Hull, CA 143: Apps 41 (7), Gls 22, Asts 12, MoM 6, YC 5, RC 1, Avg 7.15

Notes: Perhaps idiots just can't play together. After being so poor for Hull in the past, he is liberated after Idiot Defender leaves in the summer, and goes on to score 22 goals, helping Hull to second in the Championship, and a return to the top flight. It isn't enough to get a cap, however.

Honours

None

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Competitions - England

Premiership

Arsenal moved back to the summit of English football, winning the Premiership by four points from United, with Everton having another fantastic season to come third. For the second time in three seasons, they knocked Liverpool out of the top four, last year's champions finishing fifth. Decent seasons by Newcastle and Bolton saw them qualify for Europe.

At the other end, Preston and Watford were outclassed and dropped down to the Championship, and they were joined by Fulham, promoted Leeds finishing a creditable14th.

Arsenal were denied a domestic double (and a quadruple in all), and their third consecutive FA Cup win when Liverpool beat them on penalties after a 3-3 draw in the final, a terrific match that produced 49 shots on goal. Birmingham were the last side from outside the Premiership to fall, losing in the quarter finals after avoiding top flight teams until then.

The League Cup was, however, won by Arsenal, a thumping 4-0 win over Newcastle in another competition devoid of shocks.

As if that wasn't enough, Arsenal also claimed the Champions League, beating Real Madrid 2-0 in the final to cap a remarkable season. Three English sides made the quarter finals, but the most impressive run was that of Rangers, helped by a former Bandits keeper and striker, going all the way to the semi finals. The UEFA Cup was won by Sevilla, their captain Striker 1 picking up the trophy after a 1-0 win over Fiorentina. Man City were the final English participants, losing in the quarter finals.

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Premiership Analysis - Reputation

(league position in bold)

1 (4). Arsenal (1) – 9315 (+401)

2 (1). Chelsea (4) – 9202 (-77)

3 (2). Man Utd (2) – 9020 (-107)

4 (3). Liverpool (5) – 8928 (-76)

5 (5). Everton (3) – 7843 (+81)

6 (6). Tottenham (9) – 7771 (+60)

7 (7). Man City (11) – 7550 (+73)

8 (8). Aston Villa (12) – 7263 (-105)

9 (9). Newcastle (6) – 7251 (+29)

10 (10). Middlesbrough (16) – 7113 (+98)

11 (11). Blackburn (17) – 6986 (+18)

12 (14). Bolton (7) – 6837 (+102)

13 (16). Sunderland (10) – 6780 (+217)

14 (12). West Ham (15) – 6703 (-96)

15 (13). West Brom (13) – 6669 (-97)

16 (17). Reading (8) – 6549 (+157)

17 (-). Leeds (14) – 6064 (+192)

18 (15). Fulham (18) – 5802 (-867)

19 (-). Preston (19) – 5798 (+490)

20 (-). Watford (20) – 5796 (+113)

Promoted sides

Portsmouth – 6490 (+689)

Hull - 6371

Plymouth - 5653

Elsewhere

Bandits – 3009 (+212) (22/24 in League One, League Range: 4322-2755)

Sheriffs – 2722 (+718) (12/24 in League Two, League Range: 3620-2146)

Arsenal leap to the top of the list in a season in which they win the Premiership, Champions League and Carling Cup, only failing on penalties in the FA Cup final. Other than their jump from fourth to first, there are no movements in the top half of a fairly static list. Bolton do well to advance, Sunderland rise, while Fulham suffer big losses with their relegation.

Portsmouth and Hull look stronger than most promoted sides usually do, and have a decent chance of survival, which is more than can be said of Plymouth.

As for the Bandits, their reputation rises well but they are still in the lower reaches of League One, and will need to keep pushing for promotion if they are to attract the better players. That, or pay them extortionate wages. The Sheriffs are only halfway up the league they've left behind, and have a reputation lower than any other in League One.

Overachievers : Bolton, Reading

Underachievers : Blackburn

Title Prediction : Arsenal to stay on top

Relegation Prediction : Leeds and West Brom to join Plymouth in relegation

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Competitions – League One

Best players in League One:

1 (-). Fontaine (Port Vale, 21, D/WB L, 133-152)

2 (-). Taylor (Doncaster, 31, GK, 126-140)

3 (-). Murphy (Scunthorpe, 30, GK, 125-140)

4 (-). Wright-Phillips (Peterborough, 27, AM R/FC, 125-127)

5 (-). Elphick (Brighton, 24, DC, 125-126)

6 (-). Kilbey (Bandits, 21, AMC, 124-157)

7 (-). Fuseini (MK Dons, 23, AMC, 124-149)

8 (-). Hird (Doncaster, 24, D RC, 124-130)

9 (-). Apoula (Peterborough, 25, GK, 123-140)

10 (-). Skarz (Huddersfield, 22, D LC, 123-132)

The Bandits are used to having plenty of players in the list but have to make do with just one this year, a mark of how far they've stepped up in their short history. Burton, their second best player, is only fifteenth.

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Competitions – League Two

Best players in League Two:

1 (8). Bennett (Bradford, 22, DC, 120-130)

2 (6). Forecast (Lincoln, 25, GK, 119-135)

3 (-). Fortune (Charlton, 31, DC, 117-126)

4 (5). Thornton (Bradford, 25, AMC, 115-130)

5 (-). Sproule (Shrewsbury, 31, AM R, 113-127)

6 (-). Adams (Northampton, 25, AM RLC, 113-128)

7 (-). Fraser (Bradford, 28, GK, 113-120)

8 (-). Andreoni (Northampton, 23, MC, 113-137)

9 (-). Ellington (Sheriffs, 30, ST, 112-130)

10 (-). Kohlmann (Shrewsbury, 29, DL, 112-125)

A few players stay around from last season, and Ellington jumps from top of the Blue Square Premier to ninth in this list despite his CA dropping slightly.

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Competitions – Around the world

Your annual guide to the major competition winners from across the globe:

[number in brackets after a win indicates how many consecutive wins that club has now had]

World

World Club Cup – Barcelona

Europe

Champions League – Arsenal

UEFA Cup – Sevilla

Belgium

Jupiler Pro League – Standard (Relegated – Roeselare, Promoted – KV Kortrijk)

Confidis Cup – Anderlecht

England

Premiership – Arsenal (Relegated – Fulham, Preston, Watford, Promoted – Portsmouth, Hull, Plymouth)

FA Cup – Liverpool

League Cup - Arsenal

France

Ligue 1 – Marseille (2) (Relegated – Nice, Brest, Cannes, Promoted – Sochaux, Bastia, Ajaccio)

Coupe de France – Lyon (2)

Coupe de la Ligue – Lyon

Germany

Bundesliga – Leverkusen (Relegated – Mainz, Beilefeld, Promoted – 1860 Munich, Koln)

DFB-Pokal – Stuttgart

Italy

Serie A – Juventus (Relegated – Lazio, Modena, Empoli, Promoted – Mantova, Ascoli, TBD)

Italian Cup – Roma

Netherlands

Eredivisie – PSV (Relegated – Sparta, Promoted – VVV)

Dutch Cup – PSV

Portugal

Liga Sagres – Benfica (4) (Relegated – E. Amadora, Leiria, Promoted – Gil Vicente, Chaves)

Taca de Portugal – Benfica

Carlsberg Cup – Sporting

Scotland

SPL – Rangers (4) (Relegated – Falkirk, Promoted – Morton)

Scottish Cup – Celtic (4)

Co-operative Cup – Rangers

Spain

La Liga – Real Madrid (4) (Relegated – Mallorca, Real Sociedad, Numancia, Promoted – Celta, Levante, Castellon)

Copa del Rey – Real Madrid

South America

Copa Libertadores – America

Copa Sudamericana – Santos

Argentina

Primera A – Boca (Relegated – Rafaela, San Martin, Promoted – Union, Quilmes)

Brazil

Brasileiro – Cruzeiro (Relegated – Corinthians, Bahia, Fortaleza, Ipatinga, Promoted – Nautico, America (RN), Santo Andre, Goias)

Copa do Brasil – Fortaleza

International

World Cup – n/a

African Cup of Nations – Nigeria

Asian Cup – South Korea

European Championships – n/a

Gold Cup – Mexico

Oceania Nations Cup – Soloman Islands

Copa America – Brazil (3)

Confederations Cup – n/a

Olympics – n/a

There are only a handful of teams that have won a competition in all four seasons – Rangers have won the SPL every year, but bizarrely Celtic have won the Scottish Cup every year – surely one must stop the other at some point. Benfica and Real Madrid are relentless in their leagues.

Notable relegations this season include Lazio in Italy, and Corinthians in Brazil.

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Summary

After three consecutive promotions, the Bandits finally came unstuck in the League One playoffs, losing in the semi finals. It wasn't a huge surprise – with a reputation below that of anyone else in the league, they were always up against it. Two seasons in one league is not a disaster as they can still push on.

As for the Sheriffs, they confirmed that their rivalry would be renewed next season by claiming automatic promotion from League One. They will start behind the Bandits in the sense that their squad is weaker and their reputation lower, but anything can happen in a summer.

Their main issue is that the chairman wants to sell, and that may restrict their spending power throughout the close season. With a League Two squad and plenty of money, it would be a wasted opportunity.

Some of the starlets have moved clubs for enormous figures this season, and most are now at the top clubs, although Goalkeeper 2 remains uncapped. The idiots, in the meantime, aren't causing too many problems, but their careers are badly stagnating.

Arsenal took hold of English and European football this season, one penalty shoot out away from a quadruple, but we already have some surprise relegations – Lazio in Italy and Corinthians in Brazil went down this season.

Next season, it will be the Bandits v Sheriffs in the league again. Watch out.

Starlets and Idiots

Bandit’s former manager watch

No former managers

Sheriffs’s former manager watch

No former managers

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World View – Club Reputation

The top twenty clubs in the world, based on their reputation:

1 (7). Arsenal – 9315 (+401)

2 (2). Real Madrid – 9299 (-26)

3 (1). Barcelona – 9256 (-72)

4 (3). Chelsea – 9202 (-77)

5 (4). Man Utd – 9020 (-107)

6 (5). Liverpool – 8928 (-76)

7 (11). Juventus – 8836 (+306)

8 (8). Inter Milan – 8831 (-75)

9 (6). Valencia – 8771 (-153)

10 (9). Bayern Munich – 8589 (-86)

11 (10). AC Milan – 8549 (-49)

12 (14). Sevilla – 8384 (+5)

13 (12). Fiorentina – 8376 (-75)

14 (13). Roma – 8258 (-123)

15 (15). Lyon – 8237 (-72)

16 (16). Atletico Madrid – 8159 (+40)

17 (17). Werder Bremen – 8016 (-96)

18 (18). Zenit – 8000 (-2)

19 (19). Galatasaray – 7969 (-)

20 (-). Fenerbahce - 7872

Dropping out:

24 (20). River Plate – 7838 (-83)

Arsenal jump to the top of this list too, with England and Spain dominating the higher levels. Argentina lose out, so only European clubs remain.

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World View - Ones to watch

Your annual guide to the stars of tomorrow:

Vladimir (America (RN)/Brazil, 15, ST, 98-198) is making waves in America's youth team, scoring freely, but is yet to make his debut for the first team. Already a great finisher, he could be massive.

Previous tips

Loic Pelletier (Troyes/France, 19, MC, 120/197) gains twelve more CA points, and is now playing more often for Troyes, where he is doing okay.

Steve Tucker (Motherwell/England, 19, D RC, 114/197) gains eight points of CA, and will have to speed up if he is to reach his potential. He has a poor season with Motherwell, not playing anything like that which he is capable.

Tamer Ozdemir (Konyaspor/Turkey, 18, DC, 110-197) picks up 12 CA points, and is a regular for Konyaspor, although his performances are pretty abysmal.

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World View - World beaters

Kaka (AC Milan/Brazil, 30, AM C, 194/195) continues to sit joint top of the list, but still can't quite get the one extra point of CA he needs to reach his potential. He has an excellent season for Milan again, but there can't be too many more before he fades, now that he has turned 30.

Kaka

Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina, 24, AM RLC, 194/195) sticks on 194, and stays part of the trio that sit joint top of the list, having another good season for Barcelona in their pursuit of Real Madrid at the top of the Spanish game. He'll be here for many years to come.

Lionel Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo (Man United/Portugal, 27, AM RL, 194/195), like the other two that came before him, sits on 194 again, and has yet another excellent season, although like the other two does not win his domestic league. Is approaching 100 caps already.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Iker Casillas (Real Madrid/Spain, 31, GK, 191/192) maintains his CA despite now being 31, and as a keeper may stick around for a while yet. Plays a remarkable 62 games for Madrid this season, conceding just 26 goals, a superb record. Now has 118 caps – awesome.

Iker Casillas

Number of 190+ CA players : 4 (-) (excluding starlets and idiots)

Number of 180+ CA players : 37 (+1) (excluding starlets and idiots)

Number of 170+ CA players : 145 (+12) (excluding starlets and idiots)

Number of 190+ PA players : 25 (+2) (excluding starlets and idiots)

Number of 180+ PA players : 167 (+9) (excluding starlets and idiots)

Number of 170+ PA players : 730 (+77) (excluding starlets and idiots)

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World View - Distribution of 180+ CA players

(excluding starlets and idiots)

The clubs

Team                Number of stars                         No. of Bandit stars
Real Madrid         6 (-) (191, 186, 183, 183, 183, 182)
Barcelona           5 (-) (194, 186, 183, 180, 180)         3 (+3) (199, 197, 197)
AC Milan            3 (-) (194, 184, 182)                   1 (+1) (194)
Man Utd             3 (-) (194, 184, 184)
Arsenal             3 (-) (189, 185, 184)                   1 (-) (194)
Liverpool           3 (-) (188, 181, 181)                   3 (-) (198, 198, 192)
Juventus            2 (-) (189, 180)
Chelsea             2 (-) (189, 185)                        4 (+2) (199, 198, 198, 197)
Lyon                2 (-) (187, 181)                        0 (-1)
Roma                2 (-) (185, 180)
Atletico Madrid     1 (-) (187)                             1 (+1) (198)
Bayer Leverkusen    1 (-) (185)
CSKA Moscow         1 (-) (183)
Bayern Munich       1 (+1) (182)
Valencia            1 (-) (181)
Fiorentina          1 (-) (180)
Sampdoria                                                   2 (-) (196, 195)
Rangers                                                     2 (+1) (190, 182)
Middlesbrough                                               1 (-) (198)
Sevilla                                                     1 (-) (196)
Man City                                                    1 (-) (194)
Newcastle                                                   1 (-) (194)
Sunderland                                                  1 (+1) (185)
Fulham                                                      0 (-2)
Sporting                                                    0 (-1)
West Ham                                                    0 (-1)
West Brom                                                   0 (-2)
[b]Total               37 (+1)                                 22 (+2)[/b]

Real Madrid and Barcelona remain on top of the list, while Bayern Munich muscle their way on. Sunderland appear with a former Bandit, but Fulham, Sporting, West Ham and West Brom are too poor to keep theirs.

The leagues

Country   Stars     Bandit stars
Spain     13 (-)    5 (+4)
England   11 (-)    12 (-2)
Italy     8 (-)     3 (+1)
France    2 (-)     0 (-1)
Germany   2 (+1)
Russia    1 (-)
Scotland            2 (+1)
Portugal            0 (-1)
[b]Total     37 (+1)   22 (+2)[/b]

Spain go from having one starlet to five, thanks to Barcelona attracting them away from English clubs, and England lose out slightly. Portugal slip off the list.

The nationalities

Country   Stars     Bandit stars
Spain     8 (-)     1 (-)
Italy     6 (-)     1 (-)
Argentina 4 (-)     1 (+1)
France    4 (-)     1 (-)
Brazil    2 (-)     1 (+1)
Germany   2 (+1)    1 (-)
England   2 (-)     14 (-)
Holland   2 (-)     1 (-)
Portugal  1 (-)     1 (-)
Ghana     1 (-)
Czech Rep 1 (-)
Mexico    1 (-)
Slovakia  1 (-)
Russia    1 (-)
Macedonia 1 (-)
[b]Total     37 (+2)   22 (+2)[/b]

All the nationalities of the Bandits have now been declared, and England have fourteen of them. But Spain still have a team of stars, and are able to field nine players with 180 CA. They will be dangerous in the European Championships.

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World View – National Coefficients

The top twenty European countries, by national coefficient, which affects European qualification:

(Champions League: 4, UEFA Cup: 3)

1 (1). Spain – 94.027 (+5.073)

2 (2). England – 93.611 (+9.715)

3 (3). Italy – 78.196 (+2.786)

(Champions League: 3, UEFA Cup: 3)

4 (4). Germany – 72.274 (+9.420)

5 (5). France – 55.678 (+2.105)

6 (8). Portugal – 45.999 (+5.750)

(Champions League: 2, UEFA Cup: 4)

7 (6). Russia – 45.958 (-0.417)

8 (9). Holland – 42.797 (+3.667)

9 (10). Scotland – 36.825 (+2.550)

(Champions League: 2, UEFA Cup: 3)

10 (12). Turkey – 36.000 (+5.700)

11 (15). Greece – 33.366 (+4.367)

12 (11). Denmark – 30.917 (+0.500)

13 (13). Ukraine – 30.408 (+0.833)

14 (14). Belgium – 30.033 (-0.666)

15 (7). Romania – 28.683 (-13.500)

(Champions League: 1, UEFA Cup: 3)

16 (18). Israel – 25.125 (+3.875)

17 (17). Serbia – 24.375 (+1.250)

18 (16). Switzerland – 22.150 (-6.075)

19 (20). Norway – 17.900 (-1.650)

20 (19). Czech Rep – 17.700 (-3.000)

Dropping out:

None

The gap between the top and the bottom grows wider, Spain and England screaming away from everyone else. Lower down, Portugal take a Champions League spot from Russia, and Scotland take a UEFA Cup spot from Romania, who lose a huge amount of points to drop to 15th.

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Another update, so quickly, awesome! :D

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Excellent news for next season, with the Bandits and the Sheriffs in the same division will mean a couple of excellent games. The idiots seem not to be causing any particular problems at their chosen clubs, but instead their idiocy impacting mostly on their own performances which seems to be a slight change to last time. They're also not moving between clubs as much as the original idiots.

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Fantastic update Kip :thup:

Good to see Swindon doing well in the 'cup' :D

I like the fact that the Bandits and Sheriffs will be in the same league again next season, although I predict the Bandits will go up, the Sheriffs won't.

KUTGW :thup:

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I was about to sleep. You just delayed my bedtime by an hour. :D

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wow. an update so quick! woo! great update. The strikers finally are all capped now :D

Strange that the bandits and sherriffs didn't spend or bring much talent in. I think the Bandits will go up this season. And it will be interesting how the Sheriffs cope with the chairman becoming disillusioned.

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Superb work. glad to see that Striker 3 bought Capello a new cat and got a couple of internationals.

KUTGW

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