kipfizh

AI Experiment - The Bandits are back for FM09

2,156 posts in this topic

Wasn't expecting this so soon, fantastic.

- Some smart signings by the Bandits, expected more from the Sheriffs though.

- Glad that they were drawn together in the Johnstone's Trophy, very close game too. Being a neutral and supporting both teams equally I'm happy that the Bandits missed out on promotion while the Sheriffs achieved it, more grudge matches between them next year.

- Nice move by Barca, that's their central defence sorted for the next ten years. They must have been in a bit of state to spend that much in January though. And a huge amount of cash on CM 2 as well!

- About time ST 3 got his call-up, think it's time to move away from Scotland though.

- I wish the Idiots would get better so they could cause their chaos for bigger teams. At least Idiot ST helped Hull get back in the Prem. Will be interesting to see whether the Idiots swallow their pride later in their careers, when they're still on zero caps and their second nation tries to call them up.

As usual, great update. :thup:

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Great work Kip and even more riveting now there's some desperate rivalry involved!

ALthough it's already been commented on, it's interesting to see the distribution of the starlets, and the fact that the second nationality (for the some at least) has been a major influence on where they've plied their trade.

Particularly though, think the thing to take away from this is no matter how talented someone is, if their attitude blows, it's money wasted!

Whisper it quietly but I've slipped back to supporting the Bandits - seems I always stick up for the good guys!

Bandits to get promoted Sheriff's to be a major thorn in their side.

What are the odds promotion is achieved/failed away at the Bandits next year?

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Extremely happily surprised by such a fast update and I'm actually also glad that the Bandits didn't get promoted again as it was a bit too easy at first, we should now see some real promotion battles between the Bandits & Sheriffs to see who reaches the EPL first. I'm already looking forward to the next update :D

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Great update. Looking forward to the renewed rivalry next season.:thup:

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Woo, they caught up :D

Go Sheriffs :thup:

Great update Kip, nice and quick this time too. :)

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Wow 2 updates since last checked. great stuff all round :)

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I'd say Rangers' Champions' League run played a big part in Striker 3 finally getting noticed by Capello. Possibly a flaw within the AI being highlighted there, as the main factor that prevented him getting a call up before was almost certainly the lower reputation of the Scottish league, and the geographical proximity of the two nations probably doesn't play any part. Therefore the only way to get noticed was by performing in a higher rep competition, whereas in real life any player doing so well for either Old Firm club would be noticed a lot sooner in England.

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I'd say Rangers' Champions' League run played a big part in Striker 3 finally getting noticed by Capello. Possibly a flaw within the AI being highlighted there, as the main factor that prevented him getting a call up before was almost certainly the lower reputation of the Scottish league, and the geographical proximity of the two nations probably doesn't play any part. Therefore the only way to get noticed was by performing in a higher rep competition, whereas in real life any player doing so well for either Old Firm club would be noticed a lot sooner in England.

I dunno. Chris Sutton at Celtic did rather well, but got nothing from England.

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It's great to see the two sides renewing their rivalry, both in the JPT and now in League One.

The Chairman being disillusioned could be the best thing for the Sheriffs as IIRC, he's actually not that very good and they might get a good investor in or someone who will be better, long-term, for the club.

What I find really surprising is that both managers have remained at their respective clubs for four years now, I cannot say I was expecting that at all.

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Kipfizh.

You might remember that I was one of your ealy subscribers back in the early days of the first few pages of your last thread.

I think it was without doubt the most detailed and insightful experiment that I have ever seen on these forums, (and there have been some decent ones).

I lost track of it for a while and then when I returned with a 2nd wind was astonished to see the Bandits progress into management. I must admit that I sort of lost interest at that stage though and had stopped reading long before the end, (tough luck with the lap-top by the way).

After a period away from FM and these forums I have recently had my interest rekindled and have just found that this thread is a new thread and not just the old one which I had come so used to seeing close to the top of the page.

Some of the changes you have made sound brilliant.

I am still lonly half-way down the first page but already I am unable to resist the urge to comment.

4 anti-Bandits, (can't remember what they were called). lol

All at 1 club!

Each in a different role!

The Bandits with increased ambition and 2nd Nationalities.

Simply put.........:p:thup:

[Edit]

OMFBG!!!!!!!!!!!!! Playable leagues in loads of different Countries:eek:!

[Edit] Gulp:eek:! The Sheriffs have 16 y/o Miller with a PA of 170+!!!!

[Edit] One thing that I seem to disagree with most on is the suggestion that The Bandits were not succesfull because they only ever won Micky Mouse competitions, (I think they won a couple of league Cups) but never a European title, a Premiership or even an FA Cup. My personal opinion is that they were immensely succesful purely by getting to the Premiership and managing to become a regular participant there. I would have suggested before-hand, (and probably did as I know there were a few "what do you think" sections at the beginning of the old thread), that it would have been HIGHLY unlikely that they were ever able to topple the big boys either domestically or in Uerope purely because reputation plays such a large part of what makes FM tick, (and I'm not sure I have an issue with this actually). What it proved is that even if you have all the tools, (money and club structure), then without the correct leadership, (both at Manager and Chairman level), then the club will be held back from reaching it's potential. I think that's is realistic and I'm glad that The Bandits didn't become the dominant force in European football.

Apologies to loyal Bandit fans for that last comment.

[Edit] Predictions. Errrrrrrrrrmmmm......(Yes I know it has probably already happened but I haven't read it yet so.......)

1. Idiots to leave within first transfer window.

2. Bandits to stay longer due to loyalty but all still move before start of 3rd season.

3. Idiots to perform well and be in an about the Playoffs, (having Miller in there is such a cheat!) lol

4. Miller to leave in the close season at the end of the first season.

5. The Bandits will win a European & Premership title with an ex Bandit as Manager.

6. Their promotion up the structure however will be slower than the last experiment.

7. None of the Bandits will play for 2nd National teams, (haven't a clue actually but am eager to find out).

8. Min of 2 red cards and 8 yellow cards when Sheriffs meet Bandits.

9. Sheriffs will get to the Premierhip ahead of the Bandits but never set it alight.

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Fantastic. This is more like it, a quick and great updated. When I wasn't jumping with excitement I was rooted to the screen. I knew it would be close but could go either way in L1. Fair play to the sheriffs for having such an uninspired summer and start to the season but coming back so strongly to charge to a very assured promotion. Looking forward to next season so much more than any so far. Also interesting much difference having only 1 idiot makes at a low enough level. Still fantastic progress. Just checked the screenies from last time and the bandits had just missed out on the conference playoffs at this stage. Also with the possible departure of the sheriffs chairman, while in the long term it may be better I think the point of suggesting it might cause problems is the transfer embargo which will probably leave a relatively short amount of time to strengthen especially as after promotion it would be needed and its still similar to the previous season.

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Suggestion. Much of this thread is taken up by the posting of people like myself commenting on the actual reports.

I have just got to the first update and it's halfway down page 4.

How would Kipfizhfeel about his updates going in a closed thread that Dafuge, (or another Mod), could open and close when required, and we post our comments about the updates in a comments thread.

We know the detail that Kipfizh likes to go into and with all the comments the actual content of the thread becomes slightly lost.

Anyway, just an idea.

[Edit] While I expected quite a few of the Bandits to leave, I didnn't expect a higher percentage of Idiots to remain when compared to Bandits.

Interesting that the only red card shown during one of the rival matches was shown to a Bandit.

Looking at the transfers out, Fulham grab 2 players (CB1 & RB1) which might stand them in good stead for the future. Everton are the only other club to grab 2 Bandits, (LM2 & LB1). I wonder is it of any interest that the 2 clubs who have signed 2 Bandits each seemed to have signed "partnerships". Fulham signing 3 defenders and Everton signing 2 left sided players. Maybe there is nothing to it but.....

[Edit] Something that I don't like about the current FM is the way that players can be located from the darker reaches of foriegn Countries by clubs that will have no point of contact there. Shuvo Farid has joined the Bandits from Bunillidh. I have no idea even what Country Bunillidh are from never mind about how good any of their players are. How is Conference South scouting abroad at this stage?

[Edit] Interesting that Blackburn have nabbed 2 Idiots and a Bandit. Who is the manager there and what are his stats like that he is willing to gamble on 2 youngsters with such obvious flaws.

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Something I've just noticed is that the Bandits have the nucleus of a great team providing they can keep their talented youngsters together and at the club.

Kilbey 21, AMC, 124 - 157

Burton 18, DRLC, 120 - 163

King 18, AMR/ST, 87 - 154

Bryant 18, DC, 84 - 176

These youngsters, provided they get near their potential could really help the Bandits and become club legends as they could all be good enough to get them into the Premiership. They also play at key positions, two in defence, an attacking central midfielder, and one who could play on the wing or upfront.

Combining these youngsters with the talented verterans that the Bandits manager likes to sign could see the Bandits in the Championship very soon.

Kipfizh, of the four mentioned above, have the 18 year olds come through the Bandits youth academy or have they been purchased?

The last experiment didn't have anyone come through the Bandits youth system to become a long-time Bandits starter or good premiership level player from what I recall and I commented on that fact in the last thread.

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What I find strange with how this experiment is working out is that the clubs which have had a few of the starlets playing for them have not been winning many trophies or challenging. Liverpool, Chelsea, Hull and Fulham I think are a few that spring to mind. Then you have Arsenal with one star winning the league and Champions league and Real Madrid with none of these stars winning the Spanish League. To me its not how many stars you have it's how you use them.

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Ok. S I am now up to half way down page 5 and I can see the game about listing the best players listed 4-18.

Gerrard

Torres

Fat Frank

Cech

Essien

Fabregas

Henry

Rooney

Little Portugese MC with silly name. (Actualy is he Spanish).

Carvalho

Not gonna pick Buffon, but this is based on stats that are probably more than a year old now so yes I will.

Ramos

Struggling now to select 15...

The ugly French wide player playing in Germany.

That's only 13 but can't think of any more.:o

I don't think that JT or Rio will be on the list. Neither will Vidic.

[Edit] Missed Casillas, de Rossi, Benzema, (never rated him), Aguero, Rio wan on there:eek:, & Toulalan, (who?).:o

[Edit] Was obvious that the other 4 Bandits were going to leave in this window but bloomin hell it looks like the Boss has signed some quality.

Dickinson is going to be far too good for Conference National. It's fell yer boots time I think. lol

As for the Sheriffs, Elding may be the poorest of those players brought in but he is an absolute beast at that level.

[Edit] Oh look what the 2 idiots did to poor Hull. lol

Kip. There isn't a Best & Worst reort for the Sheriffs for May 2010. (Ah. I see that you didn't do one that season). Can yo tell me how many goals Anthony "The Beast" Elding scored please?

Darren Bent in "scoring for England at World Cup" shocker:eek:! lol

In hindsight it is not really a surprise that ML is the first England slot to be filled on a regular basis by a Bandit. We have been crying out for a ML since........ Waddle?

ffs. England even lose on pens in FM.

Freddy Adu, (that FM legend), is back!

To put that into perspective, Marcus Bent is now the 43rd best paid player in the world.

lol lol lol

Being serious for just a second, (I know it's hard), that's actually quite a big step forward from the last experiment. Never before have the Bandits splashed the cash with such carefree abandon, (and I think it is actually an improvement). I am seeing an increased number of clubs enetering administration in my game, (2016), and while it is still not as many as in real life, it is at least a couple of steps in the right direction. I like that the Chairman has the balls to back his manager and I also think it's realistic that Bent would have snapped up the offer.

I wouild be interested in seeing his physical ability though. If it's not up to scratch then it's irrelevant what level he used to play at.

And before anyone complains that it's completely unrealistic that nobody in the bracket of Ehiogu and Bent would drop down to play at that level, I would point you in the direction of this years Barnet squad which contains both Paul Furlong and Gary Breen.

Is Ryan Smith the ex Arsenal youngster or am I getting him mixed up with someone else?

2 quality youngsters promoted from the Sheriffs Academy. That's a big step forward from the last experiment.

The Bandits beating The Sheriffs on pens!!!!!!!!!! You couldn';t write this stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Matthew Bates & Billy Jones!!!!!!!!! Billy Jones is another FM God. lol

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Haha, love Jimbokav's edits :) That quart of the paint pot was special.

Worried about Kilbey being unhappy, though, given that he's such a key man. Any reason? Club underperforming or has someone annoyed the chap?

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CB1 & CB2 both moving to Barcelona.

What did I say about partnerships in FM09;)?

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Another top update Kip, well done the Sheriffs!! I'm excited about the potential new chairman :)

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I think Jimbo may need a lie down after reading through the updates :D

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One thing that I seem to disagree with most on is the suggestion that The Bandits were not succesfull because they only ever won Micky Mouse competitions, (I think they won a couple of league Cups) but never a European title, a Premiership or even an FA Cup. My personal opinion is that they were immensely succesful purely by getting to the Premiership and managing to become a regular participant there.

While it's true that overthrowing the stalwarts of a league is not an easy task, you have to remember that the Bandits spent decades as the richest club in the world. Just think of what Chelsea achieved in only a few short years as a club with a boatload of money... the Bandits didn't even come close to that in some 40-odd years. And that's why they were not successful, not because they didn't win anything.

But the point that it takes a good board and manager to actually be successful stands.

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The Bandits beating The Sheriffs on pens!!!!!!!!!! You couldn't write this stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Only Kip can write this stuff :D

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Awesome update Kip! I am a Bandits fan, but it is cool to see the Sheriffs coming up next year so that we get some rivalry matches! I hope that next season is going to be so good!

It's also going to be interesting to see what a new Sheriffs board will do for the Idiot Manager! What will the future hold...

KUTGW Kip!

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I’m actually quite surprised that being an "idiot manager" does not have that big effect on team performance for the Sheriffs. IRL there are a lot of managers (or chairmen for that matter) that can ruin a club from even being promotion contenders to relegation battlers. Anyway it is a great update!

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I think Jimbo may need a lie down after reading through the updates :D

Yeah reading his comments was almost as fun as reading Kipfizh's updates :D

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Extremely happily surprised by such a fast update and I'm actually also glad that the Bandits didn't get promoted again as it was a bit too easy at first, we should now see some real promotion battles between the Bandits & Sheriffs to see who reaches the EPL first. I'm already looking forward to the next update :D

Yeah, in a way I wanted it to get a little more difficult for them, and I'm glad to see the realistic difficulty curve as you go up the leagues is in place.

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The Chairman being disillusioned could be the best thing for the Sheriffs as IIRC, he's actually not that very good and they might get a good investor in or someone who will be better, long-term, for the club.

I've been surprised by this - he is impatient so getting restless is understandable, but he's a total control freak who love transfers. Perhaps the reason the Sheriffs have made so few signings (compared with the Bandits, at least) is because the chairman ties the manager's hands?

It'll be interesting to see how long the takeover process takes, and how much it impacts on them.

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Kipfizh.

You might remember that I was one of your ealy subscribers back in the early days of the first few pages of your last thread.

Wooo, the prediction champion is back!!!!!

I think it was without doubt the most detailed and insightful experiment that I have ever seen on these forums, (and there have been some decent ones).

*bows* Very kind of you :)

[Edit] One thing that I seem to disagree with most on is the suggestion that The Bandits were not succesfull because they only ever won Micky Mouse competitions, (I think they won a couple of league Cups) but never a European title, a Premiership or even an FA Cup. My personal opinion is that they were immensely succesful purely by getting to the Premiership and managing to become a regular participant there. I would have suggested before-hand, (and probably did as I know there were a few "what do you think" sections at the beginning of the old thread), that it would have been HIGHLY unlikely that they were ever able to topple the big boys either domestically or in Uerope purely because reputation plays such a large part of what makes FM tick, (and I'm not sure I have an issue with this actually). What it proved is that even if you have all the tools, (money and club structure), then without the correct leadership, (both at Manager and Chairman level), then the club will be held back from reaching it's potential. I think that's is realistic and I'm glad that The Bandits didn't become the dominant force in European football.

I agree, it is just a shame that they never got the final push that a top class manager would give them. But they were held back by their rubbish board, a bit like some Premiership (and ex-Premiership, Newcastle, heh) clubs.

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Suggestion. Much of this thread is taken up by the posting of people like myself commenting on the actual reports.

I have just got to the first update and it's halfway down page 4.

How would Kipfizhfeel about his updates going in a closed thread that Dafuge, (or another Mod), could open and close when required, and we post our comments about the updates in a comments thread.

It has been suggested, but in reality the first week was nuts (I still can't believe how many comments we had without even having an update!), and then I was a bit slow with updates. Now we're into it, there isn't so much between posts, and personally, I love reading them all together - otherwise it'd be a bit difficult to match comments to seasons.

[Edit] Something that I don't like about the current FM is the way that players can be located from the darker reaches of foriegn Countries by clubs that will have no point of contact there. Shuvo Farid has joined the Bandits from Bunillidh. I have no idea even what Country Bunillidh are from never mind about how good any of their players are. How is Conference South scouting abroad at this stage?

Agreed. I checked to see if they had any players in the area that may have recommended him, but they didn't.

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Something I've just noticed is that the Bandits have the nucleus of a great team providing they can keep their talented youngsters together and at the club.

Kilbey 21, AMC, 124 - 157

Burton 18, DRLC, 120 - 163

King 18, AMR/ST, 87 - 154

Bryant 18, DC, 84 - 176

These youngsters, provided they get near their potential could really help the Bandits and become club legends as they could all be good enough to get them into the Premiership. They also play at key positions, two in defence, an attacking central midfielder, and one who could play on the wing or upfront.

Combining these youngsters with the talented verterans that the Bandits manager likes to sign could see the Bandits in the Championship very soon.

Kipfizh, of the four mentioned above, have the 18 year olds come through the Bandits youth academy or have they been purchased?

The last experiment didn't have anyone come through the Bandits youth system to become a long-time Bandits starter or good premiership level player from what I recall and I commented on that fact in the last thread.

As it happens, all four were signed. The best youth product so far has been the Sheriffs' Miller, who was born with a PA of 177 and is still at the club after four years, but his CA has crawled to 83. He is still 19, though.

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Dickinson is going to be far too good for Conference National. It's fell yer boots time I think. lol

Prophetic indeed :)

Being serious for just a second, (I know it's hard), that's actually quite a big step forward from the last experiment. Never before have the Bandits splashed the cash with such carefree abandon, (and I think it is actually an improvement). I am seeing an increased number of clubs enetering administration in my game, (2016), and while it is still not as many as in real life, it is at least a couple of steps in the right direction. I like that the Chairman has the balls to back his manager and I also think it's realistic that Bent would have snapped up the offer

Absolutely - we complained that they didn't splash the cash last time, so I guess we can't have it both ways :)

Is Ryan Smith the ex Arsenal youngster or am I getting him mixed up with someone else?

Spot on.

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Worried about Kilbey being unhappy, though, given that he's such a key man. Any reason? Club underperforming or has someone annoyed the chap?

He's been unhappy for a year now, wanting to leave and join a bigger club. The Bandits could do with another promotion to keep him.

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CB1 & CB2 both moving to Barcelona.

What did I say about partnerships in FM09;)?

Yeah, I imagine Barcelona will finally break Real's stranglehold on La Liga next season. Loving your frantic updates, incidentally :)

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European Championship 2012 - Preview

Hosts: Poland/Ukraine

Holders: Spain

Group A: France, Romania, Poland, Croatia

Group B: Italy, Serbia, Czech Rep, Ukraine

Group C: Greece, Turkey, Portugal, England

Group D: Russia, Spain, Scotland, Germany

France look to have the easiest draw, Group B is nasty, and Scotland cannot be happy with their draw in Group D. Mind you, Scotland stopped Holland from qualifying, so will fancy their chances against anyone.

Notable absentees: Sweden (4th in their group), Holland (Russia and Scotland qualifed ahead of them)

Highest ranked absentee: Ireland (16th)

Starlets:

Left Back 1 (England)

Left Back 2 (England)

Right Back 1 (England)

Right Back 2 (France)

Centre Back 1 (Germany)

Centre Back 3 (Italy)

Centre Back 4 (England)

Left Mid 1 (England)

Left Mid 2 (England)

Right Mid 2 (England)

Centre Mid 1 (England)

Centre Mid 2 (Portugal)

Centre Mid 3 (England)

Centre Mid 4 (England)

Striker 1 (Spain)

Striker 2 (England)

Striker 4 (England)

Idiots

Idiot Goalkeeper (England)

World stars

Ronaldo (Portugal)

Casillas (Spain)

All but two of the available starlets are picked – Goalkeeper 1 and Goalkeeper 2 are South American and Centre Back 2's Holland failed to qualify, so it is only England's Right Mid 1 and Striker 3 that miss out. Idiot Goalkeeper's presence is an indication of England's weaknesses in goal, especially given their two starlets chose Argentina and Brazil.

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Notable absentees: Holland (Russia and Scotland qualifed ahead of them)

:eek:

Group A: France - 1st, Romania, Poland, Croatia - 2nd

Group B: Italy - 1st, Serbia, Czech Rep - 2nd, Ukraine

Group C: Greece - 2nd, Turkey, Portugal, England - 1st

Group D: Russia, Spain - 1st, Scotland, Germany - 2nd

Winners - England (Because of the Starlets :cool:)

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I predict with scotland knocking out holland to get there, they will be the shock troops of the competition

but then again i am biased XD

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:eek:

Group A: France - 1st, Romania, Poland, Croatia - 2nd

Group B: Italy - 1st, Serbia, Czech Rep - 2nd, Ukraine

Group C: Greece - 2nd, Turkey, Portugal, England - 1st

Group D: Russia, Spain - 1st, Scotland, Germany - 2nd

Winners - England (Because of the Starlets :cool:)

No way Greece will qualify ahead of Portugal. They have a certain C.Ronaldo in full form (presumbly) then.

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No way Greece will qualify ahead of Portugal. They have a certain C.Ronaldo in full form (presumbly) then.

I like Greece, I don't like Portugal (or Ronaldo). That was pretty much the basis of my prediction (and also we all remember Euro 2004 ;))

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I like Greece, I don't like Portugal (or Ronaldo). That was pretty much the basis of my prediction (and also we all remember Euro 2004 ;))

That was the biggest fluke of all time. :p

I don't like Ronaldo either. :D

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That was the biggest fluke of all time. :p

Fluke!!!!

They beat Portugal twice, they beat France, they beat the Czech's and they drew against Spain!!!!!!

Fluke my arse :p

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Great update, good to see the Sheriffs catching up with the Bandits.

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Predictions

Group A: France, Romania, Poland, Croatia - Croatia would have edged Poland out but I feel home advantage might just give Polan the edge. But wouldnt be surprised if it was Croatia instead.

Group B: Italy, Serbia, Czech Rep, Ukraine - Just have a feeling Serbia will spring a surprise here. This group is about as "eastern" as you can get!!

Group C: Greece, Turkey, Portugal, England - hard to see past Portugal in this group, and England should be fine with the starlets.

Group D: Russia, Spain, Scotland, Germany - just a gut feeling that Scotland might spring a surprise against one of these and manage another draw to see them through.

Winners to be Spain, beating England, France or Italy in the final depending on how the route works out. However, if Germany make it through group D, they'll probably win it.

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Agreed. I checked to see if they had any players in the area that may have recommended him, but they didn't.

Did he perhaps come over for one of those big trial games?

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Great update as usual. Looking forward to the Bandits/Sheriffs rivalry continuing in League One next year.

Oh, and my Euro 2012 prediction is Spain taking it down with Fabregas scoring the winner in the final.

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European Championship 2012 – Report

Group A:

France got off to an awful start in an easy looking group, losing 2-0 to Romania, Right Back 2 having a very poor game. In the other match, Croatia's Kulusic delighted the Polish home crowd by putting through his own net in injury time to give the joint hosts a 1-0 win in a violent match that saw three Polish injuries and one Croatian red card.

The second matches saw the reverse results, France edging out Poland 1-0 and Croatia hammering Romania 4-1 to top the group on goal difference. All four sides went into the final match on three points, knowing a win would take them through. Hosts Poland beat Romania 1-0 to ensure their progress, leaving France needing to beat Croatia to avoid an early exit. Two Henry goals put them in charge, but Croatia were level by half time, and held on for a 2-2 draw that took them through on goal difference. France and Right Back 2 were out, largely because they lost to the weakest side in the group, never recovering.

Group B:

Co-hosts Ukraine got off to a great start, beating Serbia 1-0 in their opening game, while Italy came from behind to beat Czech Republic 2-1. The Italians then cruised past Serbia 2-0 to guarantee their progress, and they were joined by Ukraine, who shocked the Czechs to go through with a game to spare.

The final matches were irrelevant to the qualification, and Italy confirmed their dominance by hammering Ukraine 4-1, with the two ousted sides playing out a dull scoreless draw.

Group C:

England and Portugal were the clear favourites in this group, and both started in impressive fashion – England cruising past Greece 3-0, Striker 2 and Centre Mid 3 scoring, while Portugal thumped Turkey 4-1, Centre Mid 2 scoring the fourth.

The two giants then clashed, and when Portugal's Centre Mid 2 cancelled out Gerrard's opener with ten minutes to go, it looked as if the points would be shared. But Striker 4 popped up with two minutes left to win the game for England. In the other game, both sides missed out on a chance to apply pressure, drawing 1-1.

So with England's progress assured already, they played Turkey, and led 3-0 at half time,a brace from Left Mid 1 adding to Centre Mid 3's opener. But they relaxed in the second half, and ended up hanging on to a 3-2 win. Portugal just needed to avoid defeat in the other game, and did so comfortably, Centre Mid 2's stunning hattrick leading them to a 3-0 win.

Group D:

In a tough group, both opening matches were drawn, Scotland earning a creditable 1-1 result against Germany, while Russia and champions Spain played out a scoreless draw. Two goals from Striker 1 then saw Spain see off Germany 3-1, and put their opponents in big trouble, while Scotland and Russia drew 1-1.

The group was incredibly tight, and Russia's 1-1 draw with Germany guaranteed the Germans would go home, and Spain would qualify. Russia finished on three points, so a 0-0 draw would see Scotland end with the same record – coefficients would have to seperate them. But Striker 1 scored twice again, putting Spain firmly in charge, until the sixth minute of injury time, when a dramatic John Fleck goal gave the Scots a 2-2 draw, three points in total, and qualification on goals scored.

Summary

So France and Germany are dumped out, while most of the starlets are having a wonderful tournament, especially two of the non-English ones, Centre Mid 2 of Portugal, who leads the performance charts and is top scorer with five, and Striker 1 of Spain, who has four goals. No-one else has managed more than two.

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Quarter Finals: (group winners on the left):

1. Poland v Ukraine

2. Italy v Croatia

3. England v Scotland

4. Spain v Portugal

Semi Finals:

5. Winner of 1 v Winner of 4

6. Winner of 2 v Winner of 3

Final:

7. Winner of 5 v Winner of 6

What a series of clashes – the two hosts face up, England play Scotland, and Spain meet Portugal.

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Looks like Poland v Spain and Italy v England semis then.

Spain to retain the trophy for me.

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1. Poland v Ukraine

2. Italy v Croatia

3. England v Scotland

4. Spain v Portugal

5. Ukraine v Spain

6. Italy v England

7. Spain v England

my predictions :)

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Poland v Ukraine

Italy v Croatia

England v Scotland

Spain v Portugal

Ukraine v Spain

Italy v Scotland

Spain v Scotland

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