kipfizh

AI Experiment - The Bandits are back for FM09

2,155 posts in this topic

[quote name='Striker475']I think the whole CSE forum will go nuts if we see a Bandits v Sheriffs playoff final.
UP THE BANDITS[/QUOTE]

innit, kip would need live streaming on his pc so everyone could watch :D

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There's always a degree of sadness when one finally gets caught up after finding the new thread.

Alas, I'm now forced to join the ever growing group who cry out for updates.

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Links for the new page for those that are only after the updates:

Season 08/09
[url]http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php?p=2946303#post2946303[/url]

season 09/10
[url]http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php?p=3026965#post3026965[/url]


world cup
[url]http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php?p=3054612#post3054612[/url]


season 10/11
[url]http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php?p=3304904#post3304904[/url]

season 11/12
[url]http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php?p=3387772#post3387772[/url]

European Championship
[url]http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php?p=3399599#post3399599[/url]

season 12/13 part 1
[url]http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php?p=3513160#post3513160[/url]

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[quote name='civilservant']May as well have waited until the 2nd part of the update came along![/QUOTE]

that's ok its easily edited and updated once it does arrive.

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its more just having it at the top of each page, I'm a laziness enabler...

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I really hope the Bandits sign some offensive force in January since that's obviously where the team has the biggest margin of improvement. I'm also impressed by the Sheriffs's incredible home form but I don't think it'll last all season and even with their away form picking up I don't see them finishing higher than their current third place.

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[quote name='mordib']its more just having it at the top of each page, I'm a laziness enabler...[/QUOTE]

You should ask Kip to put them in the OP.

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Does anyone else think that Healys failure is just further evidence of the over-importance of physical stats within the game.

Now I know that some of you may argue that he didn;t set the World alight at Fulham or Leeds, and I can't remember where he was before that, but I don;t think that there is much doubt that is is an exceptional goal-scorer. It's just that he is not suited to the rogours of Premiership football, (and probably even less suited to Championship football). In real life I keep looking out for the lowly Italian/Spanish to flight team who sees Healy as their Messiah and offers him hiw weight in pacetas/lira/Euros/whatever.

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Healy will probs do one to the MLS.

On brighter news. i Sense an update today!

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I think Vintage is just being cruel! When i saw a 14th page, i got my hopes up too, but i think we've probably got a few days left yet. Hope I'm wrong!

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[quote name='Vintage']On brighter news. i Sense an update today![/QUOTE]

Doubt it, it's my daughter's birthday :)

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Many happy returns to your daughter kipfizh. Hopefully we can all celebrate soon with the Bandits reaching the Championship this season!

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Will send her a shirt of Striker 3 if you allow it Kip :p Happy b'day :)

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Sorry Vintage, best not do the lottery anytime soon. And Kipfizh, hope there are other things you can celebrate today and let us in on the hopefully good news soon.

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Haha sorry my bad. I'm actually really looking forward to a new update. I also need to do an update for my ai experiment. Has anyone read mine by the way?

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No. I haven't read yours...
I to look forward to an update, should be interesting.

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Do you know, I'm not so sure I like this 'write it when you get there' malarky, I need my fix! :D

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[size=+2][b][Warning: Gratuitous plug][/b][/size]

If you really can't stand the wait and need something else to read in the meantime, you could always check out my Maidstone Utd AI experiment...

[url=http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php?t=136022]Linkage[/url]

It's not a patch on the Bandits story, but it'll fill a few minutes.

3 Seasons in the bag already and a fourth on it's way soon...

[size=+2][b]End of plug :)[/b][/size]

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Advertising in others threads is a big no no

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[quote name='roberto922']Advertising in others threads is a big no no[/QUOTE]

in most circumstance i would agree but in this one it is perfectly possible to read both with equal enjoyment

i for one only read this thread in this subforum but his advertisement showed me something else interesting which can fill the gaps in the Bandits

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Yes - bandits is great but quick it aint! No-one will ever overcome Kip, so why not expand our horizons while these MAMMOTH updates are being prepared?!

EDIT - and its a good read! He's clearly learnt well...the force is strong in that one, Kip!

EDIT 2 - not to mention that whenever someone plugs from Kip's thread, he gets plenty of advertising on that thread - the homage paid to "the master" cant hurt this thread surely!!

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[B]Season 2012-13[/B]

[I][B]Club reports – Summer Transfers[/B][/I]

After promotion for the Sheriffs, they joined the Bandits, who had failed to go up for the first time in their history, in League One. Their rivalry would once more be renewed in the league, but first they had to try to strengthen their sides during a crucial summer. The Bandits were looking to take an extra step and seal promotion this time, the Sheriffs had to deal with a club takeover.

[I]Bandits[/I]

As usual, the Bandits started the summer with a clearout, with fourteen players leaving on free transfers, but it wasn't all good news this season. While most were players the club chose to let go, including the rapidly fading Marcus Bent, one was simply a case of a player walking away at the end of his contract. Tom Kilbey, the club's best player and at 21 a massive prospect, had been unhappy all season and decided to move on. He wanted a bigger club, but ended up with Bradford, and will be playing the Bandits later in the season in the league.

Coming in, the manager spent no money this summer, choosing instead to bring free transfers in. Two were pre-arranged, coming in on the Bosman rule, whereas the rest were simply without a club having been released at the end of the season.

David Pipe was the first, joining from Bristol Rovers, but the 28 year old right back is just cover, with a CA of 102 and a PA of 110. The other Bosman signing was veteran midfielder John Eustace, now 32, who arrived from Stirling with a falling CA of 100. Both were adequate, the Bandits ending the summer with thirteen 100 CA players, but they don't set the world alight, merely improve the squad depth.

One player who did raise the excitement levels was Nicky Maynard, a 25 year old left winger or striker whose CA of 124 instantly made him the best player at the club, at the same level Kilbey was when he left. His CA of 135 could also be reached.

The next two signings were less than inspired – Jack Cross, 20 year old central midfielder with a CA of 76 and a PA of 100, and Thomas Lyskov, a 21 year old left back whose 78 CA could rise to 139. The latter was by far the biggest talent, but isn't a signing for this season.

An improvement was made with the next signing, 24 year old central midfielder Wayne Brown signing up with a CA of 99 and a PA of 139, adding more squad depth, but it wasn't until the final signing of the summer that the fans really took much notice.

But a great signing it was, designed in the short term to earn another promotion. It was only six years since David Healy nearly single handedly took Northern Ireland to the European Championships, and despite his 33 years, he still has real talent, a CA of 111 putting him in the upper echelons of the league. Unlike Bent, he did not demand £90k a week, taking home a mere £29.5k.

And that was it – Healy was the new veteran striker brought in for the short term, while Maynard came in as the best player, replacing Kilbey. Elsewhere, it was just squad building.

[I]Sheriffs[/I]

The Sheriffs came into the league with only four players with 100 CA, and desperately needed a bunch of new signings if they were to compete. Fortunately for them, the impending board takeover did not stop the players coming in, so the manager was free to strengthen his squad.

First though, he let players go, thirteen in total, before turning his attention to getting the players needed to thrive at this level. First to arrive was James Bailey, instantly lifting the number of 100 CA players, the 23 year old defensive midfielder having exactly that ability, and a PA of 126 to boot. His price tag of £7k from Rochdale seemed reasonable.

Next in were two signings from Nottm Forest – Shaun Derry, a defensive midfielder who at 34 and with a CA of 83 was a strange and pointless signing, and Nathan Tyson, a 30 year old striker with a CA of 115, who was anything but. Tyson should go on to be a massive success this season. The combined fee was only £15k.

Rob Atkinson cost somewhat more, the 25 year old left or centre back arriving for £160k from Grimsby. His 96 CA is unlikely to improve much, so he seems a little overpriced, but adds good depth to the squad. The same could be said of Danny Mills (yes, that Danny Mills), who was snapped up for £7k from Southend. Now 35, his 94 CA makes him a squad player.

A player who would expect to feature more is Chris Sedgwick, who at 32 still has a CA of 106. The right winger cost £80k from Preston.

Next were three free transfers, Mark Hughes, a 25 year old centre back with a CA of 105 and a PA of 125, Stephen Gleeson, a 24 year old central midfielder with a CA of 93, and Marc Tierney, a 27 year old left back with a CA of 106. The manager knew what he was doing – simply bringing in as many players with 90+ CA as possible.

There were two more to come, and both were excellent signings. Sean McAllister cost £250k from Gillingham, but the 25 year old central midfielder instantly became the club's best player with a CA of 118 and a PA of 127. Finally, Etienne Esajas signed from Bournemouth for £40k, and the 27 year old left winger's CA of 110 put him right up there too.

And that ended the summer. Fans who had been worried about transfer embargos were delighted to see the names come in, and the squad looked much stronger than only a few months earlier. Having ended the season with four 100 CA players and nine with 90 CA, they now had eleven with 100 CA (only two less than the Bandits), and twenty with 90 CA. It looked good.

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[I][B]Club reports – August-December[/B][/I]

[B]Bandits[/B]

The Bandits opened away to Tranmere, a side they put nine past in two league games last season, but found it tougher going this time, a Mark Burton penalty giving them a 1-0 win. The cup season then got underway instantly with a 3-0 win over Cheltenham in the League Cup, the League Two side being dispatched by three early goals.

New star Nicky Maynard then delighted the fans with the winning goal in a 2-1 win at Swindon, before the first disappointment, a 2-0 reverse in a League Cup tie at Preston, although the Bandits did at least force extra time before their illustrious opponents showed their class.

A 1-1 draw with Brighton was then followed by four victories, the defence proving watertight by keeping four clean sheets as the Bandits pushed themselves to the top of the league. They finally conceded against Millwall, but still ran out 2-1 winners, before drawing 1-1 with Bournemouth, David Healy finally scoring his first for the club.

Bournemouth were again the opponents in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, and took the lead before Wayne Brown and Daniel Nardiello turned the match in the Bandits' favour, sending them through 2-1.

Back in the league, it was business as usual, Port Vale being beaten 2-0, before they lost for the first time, a surprise 2-1 home reverse to Shrewsbury, a lucky win for the visitors given that they only managed one shot on target in the entire match, Mark Hudson helping them out with an own goal. A draw at Southampton continued to slight wobble, before a win over Southend put them back on track.

At the end of October, they were sitting pretty at the top of League One, two points clear with a game in hand, having conceded only six goals in thirteen league games. Their scoring record of nineteen wasn't overly impressive, less than many in the top half, but one goal was often enough to win games.

As November began, the defence stayed watertight, and the goals began to flow, as three games in succession were won 3-0 – a league game at Rotherham, a Johnstone's Paint Trophy South Quarter Final against League Two Ebbsfleet, and then an FA Cup game at home to Crewe. But when they started to concede goals, they stopped winnings matches, as the month ended with three league draws, four goals conceded in the process.

December saw another draw, away at strugglers Swindon in the FA Cup, before two goals from Mulligan put them back on track with a 2-0 win over Bury in the league. But three days later a 1-0 defeat at Crewe sent them into the cup replay with shaky confidence, and it showed as they endured a stalemate at home to a Swindon side they would normally defeat with ease. Finally, three minutes into extra time, Nardiello put them ahead, but Swindon weren't done, levelling with two minutes of extra time remaining to send the tie to penalties. And after Healy missed the Bandits' opener, Swindon nailed all five to progress.

They didn't have much time to pick themselves up as the Christmas period had kicked in, and days later they lost 2-0 to Carlisle as goals remained elusive. And it was more of the same in the South semi final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, a scoreless draw at home to Millwall. Once again, it would take penalties to separate them, but this time the Bandits held their nerve, going through three rounds of sudden death kicks before winning 7-6, Ben Parker striking the winning blow.

Relief flowed through the club at finally getting a positive result, and they bounced back in style, going 3-0 up against Bradford, themselves in the playoffs, by half time in their next game. The sending off of Mark Hudson forced them to be careful in the second half, but they still ran out 4-2 winners.

Days later, they continued to score with ease, but their defence fell apart in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Oldham. It marked another low in the season of David Healy, who had struggled to find the net all season, and had missed the crucial penalty in the FA Cup shoot out. He missed another in this game, and with only four goals in nineteen appearances was not proving himself to be the signing everyone hoped he would be.

The final game of the year was a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Tranmere, and it was two points dropped that enabled Southend to leapfrog them and end the year top of the league. The Bandits remained second and in a good position, but a pack behind them was waiting for any more slip ups.

[B]Sheriffs[/B]

Joining the Bandits in League One, the Sheriffs had made a decent fist of improving their squad in the summer, leaving the fans confident that the club would at least be at the right end of the table.

The season began with a League Cup tie against Championship Fulham, and when Ellington gave the Sheriffs the lead, a shock looked to be on. But Treacy equalised for the home team, with eleven minutes remaining, and Ellington was then among two penalty misses in the resulting shoot out. Four cup ties have gone the distance in the last year for the Sheriffs, but they've now lost two penalty shoot outs in a row.

The league campaign got off to a great start, Nathan Tyson scoring his first goal for the club to earn a 1-0 win at Bury. Tyson and McAllister then struck the goals in a 2-0 win over Crewe, before Carlisle were destroyed 6-0, Tyson scoring a hattrick to take him to five league goals in three games.

A 2-0 reverse to Bradford was their first slip up in the league, and was quickly followed by a dreadful performance at League Two Northampton in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, another 2-0 defeat ending another cup campaign early on. A 3-1 win over Oldham pushed them back up the league, before defeat at Nottm Forest and a draw at Tranmere left them sixth.

It had been a start of Jekyll and Hyde proportions, three wins out of three at home, with eleven goals scored, but poor on the road, and that continued, a 3-0 win over MK Dons at home being quickly followed by defeats at Bristol Rovers and Swindon. Back at home again, and Tyson scored five in two games as the Sheriffs hammered Brighton 4-1 and Huddersfield 5-2, before yet again failing to win away, drawing 0-0 at Colchester, a side bottom of the table without a win to their name.

The final game in October was a 3-0 win over Millwall, which left them a very healthy third in the league, four points behind the Bandits. But the discrepancy between home and away form was incredible – at home they had won seven of seven, scoring 26 and conceding only four (their 26 home goals in more than anyone else had scored in home and away games combined), but in seven away games they had hit the net a paltry twice.

And it didn't change in November, the month beginning with a 1-0 away reverse to Stockport, before the Sheriffs emphasised their home power with a 4-0 win over Burton in the FA Cup and a 3-0 triumph over Port Vale in the league.

Nathan Tyson did manage an away goal in their next game, but it only earned them one point against Southampton, before they reverted to type with a 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth. Another 1-1 draw at Southampton, this time in the FA Cup, at least gave them the chance to progress on their own patch.

Back at home, the Sheriffs finally lost their 100% record with a 1-1 draw with Shrewsbury, but first made up for it by beating Southampton 3-2 in the replay, before scoring thirteen unanswered goals in three stunning league games. First up were Southend, who were dispatched 4-0, even more impressive when you consider that the defeated team would end the year top of the table. Next, and perhaps more surprisingly, the Sheriffs finally won away, and in considerable style, hammering Rotherham 4-0. They went one better on Boxing Day, putting five past Gillingham as their promotion push told hold.

Now with an away win under their belt, they managed another in the final game of the year, a 2-1 win at Crewe that left them third, three points from leaders Southend and just one point behind the Bandits, with a far superior goal difference. With goalscoring not a problem for them at all, and their away hoodoo seemingly over, it promised to be a very interesting second half of the season.

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[I][B]Club reports – January Transfers[/B][/I]

[I]Bandits[/I]

The Bandits were beginning to falter, slipping from top spot while the pack behind them closed in, and the fans saw January as a chance to make the one or two signings that would provide them with the strength to push on in the second half of the season.

But the manager didn't deem that necessary, and made no changes in the transfer window, preferring to show faith in those he still had, including the struggling David Healy, who he hoped would provide the ammunition to take them to glory in a few months time.

[url="http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/4835/thebanditstransfers.jpg"]Bandits Transfers[/url]

[I]Sheriffs[/I]

Unlike the Bandits, the Sheriffs were on song, firing on all cylinders and putting in a real charge for promotion after a shaky start. Fans still remembered their early woeful away form, however, and like those of their rivals, would not object to the manager bringing in a new face or two.

And unlike his counterpart, the manager decided that the club could do with reinforcements, bringing in three players. The first was a briliant signing – Havard Nordtveit had been the cause of great excitement when he signed for Arsenal as a teenager, but after a series of loan spells, they let him go. Now 22, the centre back only cost £650k, his CA of 118 briefly making him the join best player at the club, and his PA of 153 making his a potential star of the future. With the team scoring freely but conceding too many, he was an inspired purchase.

The next signing was another attempt at bringing in a player for the future, although at 22 Alexsander Prijovic may never reach his 140 potential given that his CA lags back at 92. Still, the Serbian striker cost nothing from Derby, so his squad status will not be a burden.

The final signing was the reason Nordtveit was only briefly the joint best player at the club – 30 year old right back Lloyd Doyley arrived from Birmingham for £70k, and his CA of 120 instantly put him to the top of the club list. A short term signing he might be, but a wise one nonetheless.

And that ended a highly successful transfer window for the Sheriffs, as they moved to shore up their defence in an attempt to mask their weakness and push on for promotion.

[url="http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/2989/thesheriffstransfers.jpg"]Sheriffs Transfers[/url]

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[I][B]Bandits report - squad[/B][/I]

[B]Top 20 in Squad (sorted by CA)[/B]

Name, Pos, Age, CA-PA

Maynard, 26, ST, 126-135 – new signing
Burton, 19, D RLC, 120-163 (+4)
Hudson, 31, DC, 119-124 (-1)
Small, 19, AM RL, 118-122 (-)
McAlister, 27, WB L/AM RL, 117-119 (+4)
Bates, 26, DC/DM, 115-135 (-)
Parker, 25, D/AM L, 112-125 (+3)
Nardiello, 30, ST, 112-115 (-1)
Mulligan, 26, D/MC, 107-135 (+3)
Pipe, 29, D/WB/M R, 104-110 – new signing
Healy, 33, ST, 103-145 – new signing
Osman, 26, MC, 102-110 (+1)
Brown, 24, M RC, 101-139 – new signing
Eustace, 33, MC, 101-128 – new signing
Howarth, 27, GK, 101-110 (+4)
Townsend, 27, DC, 98-105 (+2)
Bryant, 19, DC, 97-176 (+13) – re-entry in top 20
King, 19, AM R/ST, 96-154 (+9)
Dickinson, 27, ST, 96-97 (-)
Lyskov, 21, D/WB RL, AML, 82-139 – new signing

Players in last season’s top 20 who have left the club:
Kilbey, 21, AMC, 124-157
Bent, 34, ST, 109-145
Ward, 33, DC, 106-122
Hatch, 22, D/M R, 104-118
Green, 25, D RL/MR, 95-102
Russell, 29, GK, 92-115
Keltie, 28, DM, 88-105

Players in last season’s top 20 who have dropped out of the top 20:
None

Maynard comes in at the top of the list, replacing Kilbey who moved on in the summer. With fifteen players over 100 CA, the team looked in excellent shape.

Notable others:
None

[B]CA of X or above:[/B]

190 : 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
180 : 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
170 : 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
160 : 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
150 : 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
140 : 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
130 : 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
120 : 00, 00, 02, 03, [B]02[/B]
110 : 00, 01, 04, 07, [B]08[/B]
100 : 00, 02, 05, 13, [B]15[/B]
090 : 00, 03, 10, 18, [B]19[/B]
080 : 00, 05, 14, 23, [B]21[/B]
070 : 00, 13, 18, 24, [B]23[/B]
060 : 01, 18, 25, 27, [B]28[/B]
050 : 03, 23, 26, 30, [B]30[/B]

The squad is fractionally better than last season overall, but slip slightly at the top end.

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[I][B]Sheriffs report - squad[/B][/I]

[B]Top 20 in Squad (sorted by CA)[/B]

Name, Pos, Age, CA-PA

Philliskirk, 22, MC, 123-146 (+22)
Doyley, 30, D RC, 120-122 – new signing
Nordtveit, 22, DC/DM, 119-153 – new signing
McAllister, 25, MC, 118-127 – new signing
Tyson, 31, ST, 114-119 – new signing
Esajas, 28, AML, 112-120 – new signing
Hughes, 26, DC, 108-125 – new signing
Tierney, 27, D LC, 108-110 – new signing
Milner, 18, D RC, 103-142 (+1)
R Smith, 26, AM L, 103-132 (+1)
B Smith, 20, ST, 102-132 (+8)
Sedgwick, 33, AM RC, 102-117 – new signing
Godsmark, 23, AM RLC, FC, 101-127 (+8)
Afzal, 22, D RC, 101-122 (+8)
Ellington, 31, ST, 100-130 (-12)
Bailey, 24, DM, 100-126 – new signing
Underwood, 20, GK, 98-156 (+9)
Gleeson, 24, AM RLC, 98-133 – new signing
Atkinson, 26, D LC, 98-115 – new signing
Prijovic, 23, ST, 96-140 – new signing

Players in last season’s top 20 who have left the club:
Miller, 19, MR, 83-177
Elding, 30, ST, 82-105
Pead, 30, D/WB R, M RC, 79-107
Newey, 29, DL, 78-85
L Jones, 20, MC, 75-115

Players in last season’s top 20 who have dropped out of the top 20:
B Jones, 29, D/WB L, 96-105 (-)
Ifil, 26, D/WB R, 95-115 (+5)
Harris, 22, D/M C, 93-132 (+6)
R Taylor, 25, ST, 87-110 (+6)
Raven, 19, SW/D RLC, 84-119 (+9)
Stanley, 19, GK, 72-138 (+6)
Skelton, 20, D/M C, 71-104 (+6)

A great overhaul by the Sheriffs, who bring in twelve new faces in their top twenty, while Philliskirk puts in the hard yards to become the club's best player with a massive CA improvement.

Notable others:
None

[B]CA of X or above:[/B]

190 : 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
180 : 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
170 : 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
160 : 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
150 : 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
140 : 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
130 : 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
120 : 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]02[/B]
110 : 00, 00, 01, 01, [B]06[/B]
100 : 00, 00, 01, 04, [B]16[/B]
090 : 00, 00, 04, 09, [B]23[/B]
080 : 00, 06, 09, 14, [B]26[/B]
070 : 00, 09, 14, 18, [B]32[/B]
060 : 01, 14, 16, 22, [B]34[/B]
050 : 02, 17, 25, 28, [B]39[/B]

The squad continues to move in a superb direction, with sixteen 100 CA players where last year they only had four. That is also one more than the Bandits have, but their squads are pretty close in quality.

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[I][B]Club reports – January-May[/B][/I]

[B]Bandits[/B]

A crucial second half of the season started well, with a 1-0 win at MK Dons, before the home game against the Sheriffs pitted the two teams against each other in the league for the first time since their first season, back in the Blue Square South.

[B]Sheriffs[/B]

A 1-0 win over Bury in the opening match of 2013 was a great start to the year, and they followed it up in the FA Cup third round, making the most of a kind draw to thump Morecambe 3-0. Next up was a league trip to the Bandits, with the sides separated by only one point.

[B]The first meeting[/B]

Their last meeting had been a thrilling 3-3 draw in the cup, but this one wasn't to match up to that day, the Sheriffs content to sit back and soak up pressure, and the Bandits being wayward with their efforts on goal. Eventually, the Sheriffs' aim of a point was achieved, although the goalless draw disappointed the neutrals hoping for a fiery encounter.

[B]Back to the promotion chase[/B]

The Bandits got back to winning ways days later, with a 3-1 win over Swindon while the Sheriffs reverted to impotence on the road, drawing 0-0 again, this time at Carlisle to slip three points behind their rivals. The following week they thumped Bradford 6-0 to once again demonstrate how strong they are at home, Nathan Tyson scoring another hattrick to continue his superb season, but the Bandits kept ahead of them with an excellent 3-2 win at Brighton.

Before the month was up, both sides would suffer cup defeats, the Bandits losing the first leg of the South Final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy to League One leaders Southend, going down 2-1 to give themselves a headache ahead of the second leg, while the Sheriffs' excellent FA Cup run came to an end with a 1-0 defeat at home to Middlesbrough, in a televised tie.

The Sheriffs drew on the road yet again in their final match in January, 1-1 at relegation battlers Oldham, and the Bandits took full advantage, beating Bristol Rovers 3-0 to stretch ahead of their rivals. At the end of the month, Southend were still top by two points and on fine form, the Bandits were second, one point ahead of Southampton in third, with the Sheriffs four points further back in fourth, but with the best goal difference in the division.

[B]Spring[/B]

The Bandits started February in fine form, managing wins over Huddersfield and Colchester, before coming unstuck in a 2-1 reverse at Millwall. Days later, they faced Southend in the second leg of the Johnstone's Paint South Final, but despite Maynard's goal, they drew 1-1 and lost 3-2 on aggregate. Seven unanswered goals against Stockport and Port Vale made up for it, however, and they ended the month sitting proudly on top of the division.

The Sheriffs were also flying in February, opening with a 1-0 win over Nottm Forest before they exploded into life, putting six past Tranmere (Tyson scoring yet another hattrick), and four each past MK Dons away, and Swindon. They then travelled to Brighton and managed two more, but their defence couldn't keep the opposition out all month, and the match ended in a 2-2 draw. Nonetheless, the Sheriffs remained fourth, putting huge pressure on the sides above them in what was turning out to be a very close league.

Any signs of Bandit nerves were put to one side as they began March with a 2-0 win over Bournemouth, but a 3-2 loss at Shrewsbury saw Southampton leapfrog them at the top of the league, before pulling away with a shock 2-1 win at Ocean View Park, impregnable fortress of the Bandits until that point.

Those defeats shook the club up badly, and defeat to promotion rivals Southend immediately followed, pushing them down into the playoffs. A 2-0 win over Rotherham seemed to stabilise them, but it was a brief pause before they ended March with two more poor displays, losing 3-2 at Gillingham and 3-1 at Nottm Forest, both sides challenging for playoff positions. It was all going wrong, with five defeats in a single month threatening to completely derail their season.

The Sheriffs had no such worries – they also played seven times in March, but they won six of them, including two more away wins to put that particular problem to the back of their minds. It was, admittedly, an easy month of fixtures, but it left them in a wonderful position.

With six games to go, the Sheriffs sat top of the league with 83 points and a stunning goal difference of +66, Southampton were pushing them hard, one point back on 82, while the playoff places were headed by Bradford and Southend, both on 79. The Bandits were fifth with 75 points, with Nottm Forest in the last playoff place on 70. With seventh placed Gillingham way back on 62, the top six were relatively secure.

As for the run in, the Sheriffs had the worst by far, having to play four of the top seven – Southampton, Southend, Gillingham and on the final day, the Bandits, who themselves still had Bradford to come. Who would rise up?

[B]The final push[/B]

At the start of March, the Bandits closed the gap on Bradford and Southend, who drew 0-0 with each other to allow the Bandits to move within two points of both with a 2-0 victory over Crewe. But it also meant that the top two, the Sheriffs and Southampton, pulled six and five points clear of the playoff zone respectively, both recording victories of their own, the Sheriffs with an impressive 2-0 win at Shrewsbury.

The Bandits continued to apply pressure, picking up four points from their next two games, but the Sheriffs navigated their tricky games exceptionally well, beating promotion rivals Southampton 3-1, and then travelling to high flying Southend and picking up a valuable 1-1 draw which left them top on 90 points. Southampton won their other game to stay second on 88, with Bradford third on 83. The Bandits were fourth on 82 and Southend had dropped to fifth with 81.

Now seven points ahead of the playoffs, the Sheriffs knew that with three games remaining, promotion was only one win away.

That win was predicted to come in a home game against Rotherham, stuck in the bottom half, and when Godsmark put them ahead, the party began. But there was a twist in the tale – Rotherham grabbed an 89th minute equaliser, and then won the game in the fourth minute of added time, shocking the home side and putting the champagne back on ice. It was the only two shots on target Rotherham had managed all game.

There was good news elsewhere for the Sheriffs though, with Southampton losing to MK Dons, and in the battle of third and fourth, the Bandits blew their chance of automatic promotion with a 2-1 defeat, their only consolation being fifth placed Southend's 3-0 hammering at lowly Tranmere.

All this left the Sheriffs rooted on 90, Southampton on 88, Bradford on 86 and the Bandits on 82. It was two from three at the top, with two games left.

Rotherham may have put the champagne on ice, but it didn't stay there long – the very next game saw the Sheriffs travel to Gillingham and record an excellent 2-1 win that guaranteed them Championship football next season. It was a deserved win at a decent side, proving that their away nightmare was finally over. Southampton gained the second automatic spot with a win over Swindon, because Bradford could only draw at Crewe, while the Bandits closed back in on them with a 2-0 win over relegated Oldham. Fifth placed Southend's draw put them out of contention for a top four finish.

The curtain raiser was the bitter clash between rivals Bandits and Sheriffs, the match taking place at The River Styx with the Sheriffs two points ahead of Southampton. With a stunning goal difference to back them up, the Sheriffs knew a draw would suffice, while the Bandits could rise to third with a win, if Bury stopped Bradford from winning.

In the end, it was a one sided affair – the Bandits failed to get a shot on target, and goals from Tyson and Prijovic secured a 2-0 win for the Sheriffs, and the league title. As it turned out, the result was unnecessary as Southampton lost, but with 102 goals, the Sheriffs were clearly the best side in the division, a surprise given how new they are to it. The Bandits would play Southend in the playoffs, a format they have never done well in.

The away leg got off to a terrible start, Southend going two goals up inside seventeen minutes, but Mulligan and Dickinson scored second half goals to peg their opponents back, and Southend could not make home advantage count.

The second leg was also surprisingly close, the Bandits being pushed hard by Southend, and the game stayed 0-0 for a long time. The fans were fairly comfortable, relying on the strong defence, but there was shock around the ground when Southend took the lead with only fourteen minutes remaining. Despite pressing for the equaliser, time ebbed away, and the players sank to their knees at the final whistle, knowing they had thrown away a great chance to reach Wembley. Worst of all, the Sheriffs had gone up as champions, overtaking them in the process.

Bradford went on to beat Southend in the final on a penalty shoot out (in which former Bandit Kilbey scored Bradford's opening spot kick), but when it all came down to it, the Bandits were just short of firepower up front, the sort of clinical finishing that David Healy was supposed to provide. Down the road, Nathan Tyson had smashed in 41 goals for a Sheriffs side that destroyed teams in this division, but Healy managed just six in 41 appearances, a poor record by anyone's standards.

It was the Sheriffs doing the dance this year, after their fourth promotion in a row.

[B]Bandit Honours:[/B]
League Two (2011)
Blue Square Premier (2010)
Blue Square South (2009)
FA Trophy (2010)

[B]Sheriff Honours:[/B]
League One (2013)
Blue Square Premier (2011)
Blue Square South (2010)
FA Trophy (2011)
Setanta Shield (2011)

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[I][B]Bandits report - Season summary[/B][/I]

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)
FA Cup: Fourth Round
League Cup: First Round
Johnstone's Paint Trophy: South Final
[B]2012-13
League One: (Pos 4), P 46, W 25, D 10, L 11, F 75, A 39, GD +36, Pts 85
(Media Prediction: 5th)
[url="http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/5641/cocacolafootballleagueoz.jpg"]League[/url]
FA Cup: Second Round
League Cup: Second Round
Johnstone's Paint Trophy: South Semi Final[/B]

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[I][B]Sheriffs report - Season summary[/B][/I]

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)
FA Cup: First Round
League Cup: Second Round
Johnstone's Paint Trophy: South Semi Final
[B]2012-13
League One: (Pos 1), P 46, W 29, D 9, L 8, F 102, A 30, GD +72, Pts 96
(Media Prediction: 24th)
[url="http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/5641/cocacolafootballleagueoz.jpg"]League[/url]
FA Cup: Fourth Round
League Cup: First Round
Johnstone's Paint Trophy: South First Round[/B]

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[B][I]Bandits report - Best and Worst[/I][/B]

[url="http://img39.imageshack.us/img39/5793/thebanditsgeneral.jpg"]General[/url]
[url="http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/1049/thebanditsstats.jpg"]Stats[/url]

New records:
Highest Attendance: 139996 v Southend (League One Playoff Semi Final Second Leg)
Highest Gate Receipts: £3m v Crewe (FA Cup First Round)
Most Games Without Winning: 4

This season:

Best player – McAlister, 7.04
Top scorer – Maynard, 19
Worst player – Healy, 6.59

Despite reaching fourth in the league, the Bandits were held back by the lack of star performers – in their entire squad only McAlister (7.04) and Osman (7.00) averaged a seven for match ratings. Maynard and Nardiello were the only two players to reach double figures for goals, with 19 and 15 respectively, Nardiello's 12 assists being the best in the squad too. That lack of spark saw them just fail to push on for promotion. And David Healy was a disaster.

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[B][I]Sheriffs report - Best and Worst[/I][/B]

[url="http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/462/thesheriffsgeneral.jpg"]General[/url]
[url="http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/4764/thesheriffsstats.jpg"]Stats[/url]

New records:
Highest League Position: 1st in League One
Highest Gate Receipts: £2.9m v Middlebrough (FA Cup Fourth Round)
Top Goalscorer: Nathan Tyson – 41
Top League Goalscorer: Nathan Tyson – 39
Most Man of the Match: Nathan Tyson – 15
Oldest Player: Danny Mills – 35 years 113 days
Highest Transfer Fee Paid - £650k (for Havard Nordtveit from Arsenal)

This season:

Best player – Tyson, 7.60
Top scorer – Tyson, 41
Worst player – Hughes, 6.91

The Bandits had only two players that averaged 7.00 or over, and they only just made it. In contrast, the Sheriffs had fourteen, twelve of them being players that featured at least twenty times. Add to that the extraordinary season that Tyson had – 41 goals at an average of 7.60 – and you have a title winning campaign. He was even the top assister with 18, one of four to reach double figures, while McAllister and Ellington scored 11 and 12 goals respectively.

It was a stunning season all round.

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[B][I]Finance and Staff[/I][/B]

[I]Finance:[/I]

Read Madrid remain top, with the Bandits second and the Sheriffs third.
[url="http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/268/worldrichclubs.jpg"]Rich Clubs[/url]

Bandits Balance – £106.0 (+£13.9m), with a transfer budget of £41.9m (+£5.2m).
Sheriffs Balance - £58.6m (+£11.6m), with a transfer budget of £33.5m (+£7.1m).

[I]Staff Reputation[/I]

Dream Manager – 5838 (-38)
Idiot Manager – 6682 (+1417)

Both the initial assistants are still out of work.

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[I][B]Player reports - Superstars[/B][/I]

[I][url="http://img338.imageshack.us/img338/5625/13goalkeeper1.jpg"]Goalkeeper 1 (Argentina)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Sunderland, CA 192: Apps 42, Conc 54, Cln 12, MoM 1, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 6.95[/B]

Continues with Sunderland, helping them to ninth in the Premiership, while becoming the Argentine number one, with seventeen caps to his name already.

[I]Honours[/I]
None

[I][url="http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/9688/1goalkeeper2.jpg"]Goalkeeper 2 (England/Brazil)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Rangers, CA 189: Apps 51, Conc 37, Cln 25, MoM 3, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.08[/B]

Notes: Wins the SPL for the fourth successive year with Rangers, also winning the Co-operative Cup for the third time. But he still can't make a full international appearance, continuing to play youth internationals for Brazil. Retains young player of the year.

[I]Honours[/I]
Scottish Premier League (Rangers: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
Scottish Co-operative Cup (Rangers: 2010, 2012, 2013)

Scottish Young Player of the Year (2012, 2013)

[I][url="http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/2268/6leftback1.jpg"]Left Back 1 (England)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Arsenal, CA 197: Apps 53, Gls 4, Asts 4, MoM 4, YC 4, RC 0, Avg 7.18[/B]

Notes: Has another terrific season for Arsenal, although his club doesn't do so well on the trophy front, finishing third in the Premiership and narrowly missing out on retaining the Champions League, losing in the final. Now has seventeen caps, with one goal.

[I]Honours[/I]
English Premiership (Arsenal: 2012)
English FA Cup (Arsenal: 2010)
European Champions League (Arsenal: 2012)

[I][url="http://img38.imageshack.us/img38/2525/17leftback2.jpg"]Left Back 2 (England)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Chelsea, CA 199: Apps 41 (3), Gls 1, Asts 4, MoM 1, YC 7, RC 0, Avg 7.09[/B]

Notes: Continues to impress at Chelsea, who take advantage of having a host of former Bandits to lift the Premiership. Has seven caps, but is still looking for his first goal for England.

[I]Honours[/I]
English Premiership (Chelsea: 2013)
English Blue Square South (Bandits: 2009)

[I][url="http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/6699/4rightback1.jpg"]Right Back 1 (England)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Atletico Madrid, CA 198: Apps 55, Gls 1, Asts 8, MoM 0, YC 6, RC 0, Avg 7.04[/B]

Notes: Remains in Spain, and does not improve his CA to the final amount, but he helps his club to third, and Champions League football. Already has twenty caps to his name.

[I]Honours[/I]
None

[I][url="http://img338.imageshack.us/img338/8861/4rightback2.jpg"]Right Back 2 (France)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Man City, CA 198: Apps 40, Gls 2, Asts 6, MoM 1, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.06[/B]

Notes: Helps push Man City up to fifth in the Premiership, closing in on the big four. Plays well, and has now been recognised with twelve French caps.

[I]Honours[/I]
None

[I][url="http://img404.imageshack.us/img404/170/2centreback1.jpg"]Centre Back 1 (Germany)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Barcelona, CA 198: Apps 48, Gls 5, Asts 5, MoM 2, YC 8, RC 0, Avg 7.19[/B]

Notes: Has a fine season for Barcelona as he helps end Real Madrid's domination in Spain. He lifts La Liga and the Copa del Rey in an excellent year, and claims European Defender of the Year. Now has two goals in sixteen games for Germany.

[I]Honours[/I]
Spanish La Liga (Barcelona: 2013)
Spanish Copa del Rey (Barcelona: 2013)

European Defender of the Year (2013)

[I][url="http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/1168/4centreback2.jpg"]Centre Back 2 (Holland)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Barcelona, CA 198: Apps 51, Gls 5, Asts 3, MoM 1, YC 5, RC 0, Avg 7.03[/B]

Notes: Partners Centre Back 1 in the heart of Barcelona's defence, helping them to two trophies. Plays well, and is racking up the international appearances, with one goal in 25 games for Holland.

[I]Honours[/I]
French Ligue 1 (Lyon: 2010)
French Cup (Lyon: 2011)
French League Cup (Lyon: 2009, 2010)
Spanish La Liga (Barcelona: 2013)
Spanish Copa del Rey (Barcelona: 2013)

[I][url="http://img241.imageshack.us/img241/6181/3centreback3.jpg"]Centre Back 3 (Italy)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Sampdoria, CA 197: Apps 49, Gls 5, Asts 2, MoM 1, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.02[/B]

Notes: Impresses as Sampdoria rise to third in Serie A. Now has two goals in 25 caps for Italy, having won the European Championships last summer.

[I]Honours[/I]
European Championships (Italy: 2012)

[I][url="http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/6697/2centreback4.jpg"]Centre Back 4 (England)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Chelsea, CA 199: Apps 49 (1), Gls 3, Asts 1, MoM 2, YC 16, RC 0, Avg 7.05[/B]

Notes: Wins the first trophy of his career, lifting the Premiership with Chelsea, and has a decent enough season, although sixteen yellow cards hint at a disciplinary problem. Now has sixteen England caps.

[I]Honours[/I]
English Premiership (Chelsea: 2013)

[I][url="http://img243.imageshack.us/img243/6730/17leftmid1.jpg"]Left Mid 1 (England)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, AC Milan, CA 199: Apps 43 (3), Gls 14, Asts 2, MoM 3, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 6.92[/B]

Notes: His first full season with Milan is up and down – performances are adequate but he does score plenty of goals. Milan struggle to sixth, and he now has four goals in sixteen England appearances.

[I]Honours[/I]
None

[I][url="http://img50.imageshack.us/img50/5020/12leftmid2.jpg"]Left Mid 2 (England)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Chelsea, CA 198: Apps 44 (1), Gls 7, Asts 6, MoM 3, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 7.13[/B]

Notes: Continues to impress at Chelsea, and wins the Premiership in an excellent season. Has a decent record for England too, with eight goals in 27 games.

[I]Honours[/I]
English Premiership (Chelsea: 2010, 2013)

English Young Player of the Season (2012)

[I][url="http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/41/18rightmid1.jpg"]Right Mid 1 (England)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Chelsea, CA 198: Apps 39 (7), Gls 9, Asts 11, MoM 4, YC 4, RC 0, Avg 7.20[/B]

Notes: Another Chelsea player to lift the Premiership, he doesn't feature as much as some, but perhaps plays better than those who do, with impressive numbers of goals and assists. Has four caps for England now, but is not a regular there either.

[I]Honours[/I]
English Premiership (Chelsea: 2013)

[I][url="http://img129.imageshack.us/img129/1183/7rightmid2.jpg"]Right Mid 2 (England)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Liverpool, CA 199: Apps 42, Gls 11, Asts 15, MoM 7, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.31[/B]

Notes: Yet again has a terrific season for Liverpool, with plenty of goals and assists, finishing fourth in the league and winning the UEFA Cup and FA Cup. Moves on to eighteen caps, with ten goals in that time – a superb start to his international career.

[I]Honours[/I]
English Premiership (Liverpool: 2011)
English FA Cup (Liverpool: 2012, 2013)
Scottish Premier League (Rangers: 2009)
Scottish Co-operative Cup (Rangers: 2009)
UEFA Cup (Liverpool: 2013)

[I][url="http://img404.imageshack.us/img404/7643/6centremid1.jpg"]Centre Mid 1 (England)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Middlesbrough, CA 198: Apps 42, Gls 10, Asts 7, MoM 7, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.08[/B]

Notes: Is still comfortably Boro's best player and helps them to tenth, but he really needs to move on – wins Players' Player of the Year, but will not win club trophies where he is. Has seventeen caps, with six goals.

[I]Honours[/I]
English Blue Square South (Bandits: 2009)

European Midfielder of the Year (2010)
English Players' Player of the Year (2013)

[I][url="http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/6056/16centremid2.jpg"]Centre Mid 2 (Portugal)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Barcelona, CA 199: Apps 45 (4), Gls 14, Asts 3, MoM 4, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 7.26[/B]

Notes: Has another excellent season for Barcelona, winning La Liga and the Copa del Rey. Has ten goals in 25 caps for Portugal and is turning into a great player.

[I]Honours[/I]
Portuguese Cup (Sporting: 2011)
Spanish La Liga (Barcelona: 2013)
Spanish Copa del Rey (Barcelona: 2013)
World Club Cup (Barcelona: 2012)

Portuguese League Young Player of the Year (2011)
Portuguese Best Foreign Based Player of the Year (2012)

[I][url="http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/1421/21centremid3.jpg"]Centre Mid 3 (England)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Liverpool, CA 199: Apps 44 (6), Gls 16, Asts 10, MoM 3, YC 6, RC 1, Avg 7.21[/B]

Notes: Scores and gets involved in plenty of goals for Liverpool this season, who finish fourth and lift the UEFA Cup and FA Cup. Has scored plenty of goals for England too – 15 in only 24 caps, a great record.

[I]Honours[/I]
English Premiership (Liverpool: 2011)
English FA Cup (Liverpool: 2012, 2013)
English Carling Cup (Liverpool: 2010)
UEFA Cup (Liverpool: 2013)

[I][url="http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/1650/22centremid4.jpg"]Centre Mid 4 (England)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Liverpool, CA 198: Apps 51 (6), Gls 8, Asts 13, MoM 3, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 7.09[/B]

Notes: Another Liverpool midfielder helping make them a real force in the Premiership, he lifts the UEFA Cup in another decent season, but misses the FA Cup triumph through injury. Has just the one goal in fifteen caps for England.

[I]Honours[/I]
English Premiership (Liverpool: 2011)
English FA Cup (Liverpool: 2012)
UEFA Cup (Liverpool: 2013)

[I][url="http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/8949/9striker1.jpg"]Striker 1 (Spain)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Sevilla, CA 199: Apps 46, Gls 38, Asts 12, MoM 13, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.50[/B]

Notes: Another astonishing season for the Spaniard, who put behind him the disgrace of being sent off in the European Championship final to smash another 38 goals for Sevilla, in a side that struggled to seventh in La Liga. Where would they be without him? He wins Spanish Young Player of the Year, and is now largely recognised as one of the top names in world football. Seventeen goals in sixteen internationals help too.

[I]Honours[/I]
English Blue Square South (Bandits: 2009)
Spanish Copa del Rey (Sevilla: 2011)
UEFA Cup (Sevilla: 2012)

Spanish Young Player of the Year (2013)

[I][url="http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/6466/11striker2.jpg"]Striker 2 (England)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Newcastle, CA 197: Apps 47, Gls 36, Asts 15, MoM 11, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 7.51[/B]

Notes: Amazing. Remains at Newcastle, but the rest of the squad isn't good enough to give him the Champions League football he deserves, as Newcastle remain sixth. His ability has been globally recognised, however, as he wins the trio of European Striker of the Year, European Footballer of the Year, and World Player of the Year. Has ten goals in fifteen games for England.

[I]Honours[/I]
English Young Player of the Year (2011)
English Footballer of the Year (2012)
European Striker of the Year (2013)
European Footballer of the Year (2013)
World Player of the Year (2013)

[I][url="http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/9195/11striker3.jpg"]Striker 3 (England)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Rangers, CA 195: Apps 47, Gls 56, Asts 16, MoM 21, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.83[/B]

Notes: That is a frankly ridiculous record. 56 goals in 47 games – he needs to leave Scottish football now, as having him in Rangers colours gives no-one else a chance. They win the league by a massive 24 points, and complete the treble by winning both the Scottish Cup and Co-operative Cup. He has nothing left to prove north of the border, but with only five caps and two goals, need to join a bigger league.

[I]Honours[/I]
Scottish Premier League (Rangers: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
Scottish Cup (Rangers: 2013)
Scottish Co-operative Cup (Rangers: 2010, 2012, 2013)

Scottish Player of the Year (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
European Golden Boot (2010, 2011)

[I][url="http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/6984/28striker4.jpg"]Striker 4 (England)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Sampdoria, CA 196: Apps 20, Gls 17, Asts 8, MoM 9, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.64[/B]
[B]Transfers to Arsenal for £53m[/B]
[B]2012-13, Arsenal, CA 199: Apps 21, Gls 12, Asts 2, MoM 4, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.31[/B]

Notes: Starts the season by being awarded the European Golden Boot, and then after having a terrific first half of the season with Sampdoria, who end third in Serie A, joins Arsenal for an astonishing fee of £53m. His spell in England begins well, and he will look to push on next season. Wins World Footballer of the Year and has eight goals in nine games for England.

[I]Honours[/I]
World Footballer of the Year (2013)
European Golden Boot (2012)

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[I][B]Player reports - Idiots[/B][/I]

[I][url="http://img223.imageshack.us/img223/5522/1idiotgoalkeeper.jpg"]Idiot Goalkeeper (England)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, West Brom, CA 150: Apps 45, Conc 78, Cln 10, MoM 1, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 6.85[/B]

Notes: Concedes a lot more goals than normal this season, but West Brom survive in 16th largely due to their being four very poor teams in the division. Moves on to eight caps, but his CA is preventing him from becoming a bigger star. That, and the fact that he keeps complaining of personal problems, and then demanding a wage hike.

[I]Honours[/I]
None

[I][url="http://img123.imageshack.us/img123/9899/17idiotdefender.jpg"]Idiot Defender (England/Northern Mariana)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, West Ham, CA 143: Apps 18 (3), Gls 0, Asts 3, MoM 1, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 6.82[/B]

Notes: Loses his regular spot in the West Ham side, becoming nothing more than a squad player even though his CA recovers by a single point. West Ham finish 14th, and he remains uncapped.

[I]Honours[/I]
None

[I][url="http://img223.imageshack.us/img223/7343/34idiotmidfielder.jpg"]Idiot Midfielder (England/Yemen)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Aston Villa, CA 149: Apps 9 (7), Gls 1, Asts 0, MoM 0, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 6.58[/B]
[B]Transfers to Portsmouth for £3.5m[/B]
[B]2012-13, Portsmouth, CA 149: Apps 17, Gls 0, Asts 1, MoM 0, YC 8, RC 1, Avg 6.71[/B]

Notes: Unable to break his way into the Aston Villa side, he joins struggling Portsmouth in January but is unable to save them from relegation. His disciplinary problems come to the fore at his new club, carded in nine of his seventeen games, and he has now instructed his agent to find him a new club. He is uncapped, and likely to stay that way.

[I]Honours[/I]
Scottish Cup (Celtic: 2009)

[I][url="http://img123.imageshack.us/img123/9352/9idiotstriker.jpg"]Idiot Striker (England/Zambia)[/url][/I]
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
[B]2012-13, Hull, CA 144: Apps 14 (9), Gls 5, Asts 3, MoM 2, YC 1, RC 1, Avg 6.75[/B]

Notes: After an excellent season helping Hull get back into the Premiership, he is unceremoniously dropped, and spends all season whining, demanding more money, and generally causing strife. He was offered to numerous clubs for £6.25m, but no-one took the bait. Unlikely to ever get capped.

[I]Honours[/I]
None

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[I][B]Competitions - England[/B][/I]

[url="http://img385.imageshack.us/img385/6558/barclayspremierleague.jpg"]Premiership[/url]

Chelsea, complete with an array of former Bandits, return to the top of the English game, winning the Premiership on goal difference from Man Utd. The traditional big four were reunited, Arsenal and Liverpool finishing third and fourth respectively.

At the other end, the three promoted sides were completely outclassed, all relegated comfortably, Hull, Plymouth and Portsmouth ending the season with only 12, 17 and 25 points. Poor.

Liverpool retained the FA Cup in a thrilling repeat of last season's final. That match finished 3-3, this one was won by Liverpool 3-2 after extra time, in another season dominated by the Premiership – the quarter finalist were all from the top league.

Man United won the Carling Cup, thumping Everton 3-0, Burnley getting the furthest of sides outside the Premiership, reaching the quarter finals before losing to the eventual winners.

Arsenal trophyless season was complete when they lost another final, this time the Champions League against Lyon, and again in extra time, 1-0 in the final minute. Liverpool, meanwhile, completed an excellent season with a 2-0 win over Zaragoza in the UEFA Cup final.

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[B][I]Premiership Analysis - Reputation[/I][/B]

(league position in bold)
1 (2). Arsenal [B](3)[/B] – 9370 (+55)
2 (2). Chelsea [B](1)[/B] – 9194 (-8)
3 (3). Man Utd [B](2)[/B] – 8994 (-26)
4 (4). Liverpool [B](4)[/B] – 8711 (-217)
5 (5). Everton [B](7)[/B] – 7978 (+135)
6 (6). Tottenham [B](8)[/B] – 7733 (-38)
7 (7). Man City [B](5)[/B] – 7585 (+35)
8 (9). Newcastle [B](6)[/B] – 7474 (+223)
9 (8). Aston Villa [B](11)[/B] – 7227 (-36)
10 (10). Middlesbrough [B](10)[/B] – 7031 (-82)
11 (12). Bolton [B](13)[/B] – 7020 (+183)
12 (13). Sunderland [B](9)[/B] – 6968 (+188)
13 (11). Blackburn [B](12)[/B] – 6876 (-110)
14 (16). Reading [B](15)[/B] – 6769 (+220)
15 (15). West Brom [B](16)[/B] – 6678 (+9)
16 (14). West Ham [B](14)[/B] – 6666 (-37)
17 (17). Leeds [B](17)[/B] – 6251 (+187)
18 (-). Portsmouth [B](18)[/B] – 5806 (-684)
19 (-). Plymouth [B](19)[/B] – 5798 (+145)
20 (-). Hull [B](20)[/B] – 5796 (-575)

[I]Promoted sides[/I]
Preston – 6290 (+492)
Fulham – 6522 (+720)
Stoke - 6285

[I]Elsewhere[/I]

Bandits – 3370 (+261) (17/24 in League One, League Range: 4718-2857)
Sheriffs – 3715 (+993) (9/24 in League Two, League Range: 4718-2857)

Not a lot of change in the Premiership, with only Newcastle and Aston Villa swapping in the top ten. At the bottom, the three promoted sides were simply not good enough to compete, although Fulham, of the new trio, will consider themselves in with a chance.

The Bandits climb a little, but the Sheriffs have another terrific season, gaining nearly a thousand points to overtake their great rivals.

[B]Overachievers : None[/B]
[B]Underachievers : None[/B]
[B]Title Prediction : Arsenal to regain the league[/B]
[B]Relegation Prediction : Preston and Stoke to go back down, Leeds to join them[/B]

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[I][B]Competitions – League One[/B][/I]

Best players in League One:

1 (-). McGugan (Nottm Forest, 24, AM LC, 132-147)
2 (-). Wilson (Nottm Forest, 27, D RC, 132-135)
3 (-). Moussi (Nottm Forest, 28, DM, 131-138)
4 (6). Kilbey (Bradford, 22, AMC, 129-157)
5 (-). Etherington (Southend, 31, AML, 128-138)
6 (9). Apoula (Southend, 26, GK, 126-140)
[B]7 (-). Maynard (Bandits, 26, ST, 126-135)[/B]
8 (10). Skarz (Huddersfield, 23, D LC, 126-132)
9 (-). Gillett (Southampton, 27, DM, 126-130)
10 (-). James (Southampton, 25, DR/DM, 126-130)

A sixth placed finish for Nottm Forest is extremely poor given that they had the three best players in the division, while promotion for the Sheriffs is excellent given they had none. The Bandits have Maynard, but it must grate to see Kilbey still there, playing for Bradford now.

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[I][B]Competitions – Around the world[/B][/I]

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]

[B]World[/B]

World Club Cup – Arsenal

[B]Europe[/B]

Champions League – Lyon
UEFA Cup – Liverpool

[I]Belgium[/I]
Jupiler Pro League – Westerlo (Relegated – Mouscron, Promoted – Aalst)
Confidis Cup – Anderlecht (2)

[I]England[/I]
Premiership – Chelsea (Relegated – Portsmouth, Plymouth, Hull, Promoted – Preston, Fulham, Stoke)
FA Cup – Liverpool (2)
League Cup – Man United

[I]France[/I]
Ligue 1 – Lyon (Relegated – Ajaccio, Troyes, Bastia, Promoted – Nice, Strasbourg, Metz)
Coupe de France – Lyon (3)
Coupe de la Ligue – Lyon (2)

[I]Germany[/I]
Bundesliga – Leverkusen (2) (Relegated – Hertha Berlin, Bochum, Koln, Promoted – Furth, St Pauli, Mainz)
DFB-Pokal – Werder Bremen

[I]Italy[/I]
Serie A – Juventus (2) (Relegated – Siena, Mantova, Ascoli, Promoted – Bologna, Pisa, Brescia)
Italian Cup – Fiorentina

[I]Netherlands[/I]
Eredivisie – AZ (Relegated – Den Bosch, Promoted – Sparta)
Dutch Cup – PSV (2)

[I]Portugal[/I]
Liga Sagres – Sporting (Relegated – P. Ferreira, Gil Vincente, Promoted – Portimonense, Estoril)
Taca de Portugal – Sporting
Carlsberg Cup – Benfica

[I]Scotland[/I]
SPL – Rangers (5) (Relegated – Morton, Promoted – Falkirk)
Scottish Cup – Rangers
Co-operative Cup – Rangers (2)

[I]Spain[/I]
La Liga – Barcelona (Relegated – Levante, Celta, Castellon, Promoted – Real Sociedad, Mallorca, Las Palmas)
Copa del Rey – Barcelona

[B]South America[/B]

Copa Libertadores – Sao Paulo
Copa Sudamericana – Internacional

[I]Argentina[/I]
Primera A – Boca (2) (Relegated – Quilmes, San Martin (SJ), Promoted – Rafaela, Belgrano)

[I]Brazil[/I]
Brasileiro – Sao Paulo (Relegated – Atletico Mineiro, Santo Andre, Nautico, America (RN), Promoted – Bahia, Ponte Preta, Corinthians, Fortaleza)
Copa do Brasil – Flamengo

[B]International[/B]
World Cup – n/a
African Cup of Nations – n/a
Asian Cup – n/a
European Championships – Italy
Gold Cup – n/a
Oceania Nations Cup – n/a
Copa America – n/a
Confederations Cup – n/a
Olympics – Spain

Rangers' five SPL titles now leaves them as the only team to win the same competition every year, but really this season was the year of Lyon, who won the domestic treble and Champions League.

Other interesting note is that after a surprise relegation, Lazio failed to return to Serie A, losing in the Serie B playoffs.

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[B][I]Summary[/I][/B]

This was the season the momentum completely turned around – the Sheriffs managed their fourth successive promotion, winning League One, scoring freely, and leaving their great rivals in the shade. They may not have had any stars by CA, but Nathan Tyson had a staggeringly good debut season, and the Sheriffs find themselves up in the Championship.

The Bandits, meanwhile, failed in the playoffs for the second consecutive season, and will have to start over. Their squad is still improving, so they should get promoted sooner rather than later, but they need to claw their rivals back.

The Sheriffs, meanwhile, are still under threat of takeover, as they have been for over a year now.

The starlets are all doing exceptionally well, playing regularly for their countries, and helping their clubs to great things. Some are winning individual honours, and with a World Cup coming up next summer, they may all get a chance to shine.

Chelsea won the Premiership, but in world football it was really the season of Lyon, who won the domestic treble and the Champions League in a stunning season.

How will the Sheriffs do in the Championship? And will the Bandits catch them?

[url="http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/7268/testmanagerplayers.jpg"]Starlets and Idiots[/url]

[B][I]Bandit’s former manager watch[/I][/B]

No former managers

[B][I]Sheriffs’s former manager watch[/I][/B]

No former managers

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[B][I]World View – Club Reputation[/I][/B]

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

1 (1). Arsenal – 9370 (+55)
2 (2). Real Madrid – 9283 (-16)
3 (4). Chelsea – 9194 (-8)
4 (3). Barcelona – 9181 (-75)
5 (5). Man Utd – 8994 (-26)
6 (7). Juventus – 8865 (+29)
7 (15). Lyon – 8827 (+590)
8 (8). Inter Milan – 8715 (-116)
9 (6). Liverpool – 8711 (-217)
10 (9). Valencia – 8708 (-63)
11 (10). Bayern Munich – 8559 (-30)
12 (11). AC Milan – 8507 (-42)
13 (12). Sevilla – 8417 (+33)
14 (13). Fiorentina – 8333 (-43)
15 (14). Roma – 8197 (-61)
16 (16). Atletico Madrid – 8150 (-9)
17 (-). Leverkusen – 8124
18 (18). Zenit – 7998 (-2)
19 (17). Werder Bremen – 7992 (-24)
20 (-). Everton - 7978

Dropping out:
21 (19). Galatasaray – 7960 (-9)
24 (20). Fenerbahce – 7872 (-)

Only two major changes on this list – the fall of Liverpool because they failed to qualify for the Champions League (their blow was softened by winning the UEFA Cup), and the rise of Lyon, who won everything they could this season, domestically and in Europe.

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[B][I]World View - Ones to watch[/I][/B]

Your annual guide to the stars of tomorrow:

Zdenek Kuban (Sparta Prague/Czech Rep, 18, ST, 109-199) is a young but massively talented striker already at the books of a decent side in Sparta Prague. Even more impressively, he played sixteen times for them this season, scoring nine. He also has seven goals in six Under 21 internationals. A real star of the future.

[I]Previous tips[/I]

Loic Pelletier (Troyes/France, 20, MC, 129/197) gains nine more points but is still miles from his potential, and is now a regular in the Troyes team. However, he is still only playing adequately.

Steve Tucker (Rangers/England, 20, D RC, 123/197) gains another nine points, and makes the move to all conquering Rangers, signing for £625k. He isn't really making an impact on the first team there yet.

Tamer Ozdemir (Konyaspor/Turkey, 19, DC, 120-197) rises ten points, but continues to play awfully for his club, averaging a woeful 6.28 in a full season.

Vladimir (America (RN)/Brazil, 16, ST, 111-198) picks up thirteen CA points, but already wants to leave his relegated club, despite not really making it to the first team yet.

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[B][I]World View - World beaters[/I][/B]

Kaka (AC Milan/Brazil, 31, AM C, 194/195) must train exceptionally well, because at 31 most midfielders are losing their CA, but he maintains it, and also continues to play well, getting involved in 24 goals for Milan, who otherwise struggle to fifth in Serie A.
[url="http://img261.imageshack.us/img261/5732/22kak.jpg"]Kaka[/url]

Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina, 25, AM RLC, 194/195) can expect to be on this list for many years yet, and has an awesome season for a Barcelona side that finally topple Real Madrid in La Liga. His average of 7.40, twenty goals and fifteen assists have a lot to do with it.
[url="http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/4103/10lionelmessi.jpg"]Lionel Messi[/url]

Cristiano Ronaldo (Man United/Portugal, 28, AM RL, 194/195) also remains at 194, and has a fine season, scoring 25 goals from midfield. He is up to 93 caps now, and will soon his the century.
[url="http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/7052/7cristianoronaldo.jpg"]Cristiano Ronaldo[/url]

Iker Casillas (Real Madrid/Spain, 32, GK, 191/192) also maintains his CA, like the other three on this list, and continues to work hard, playing another sixty games for Real Madrid this season, while reaching 130 caps for Spain. A true great.
[url="http://img56.imageshack.us/img56/9696/1ikercasillas.jpg"]Iker Casillas[/url]

Number of 190+ CA players : 4 (-) (excluding starlets and idiots)
Number of 180+ CA players : 35 (-2) (excluding starlets and idiots)
Number of 170+ CA players : 151 (+6) (excluding starlets and idiots)

Number of 190+ PA players : 24 (-1) (excluding starlets and idiots)
Number of 180+ PA players : 172 (-5) (excluding starlets and idiots)
Number of 170+ PA players : 804 (+74) (excluding starlets and idiots)

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[B][I]World View - Distribution of 180+ CA players[/I][/B]

(excluding starlets and idiots)

[I]The clubs[/I]
[code]
Team Number of stars No. of Bandit stars
Real Madrid 6 (-) (191, 186, 183, 183, 183, 182)
Barcelona 5 (-) (194, 186, 183, 181, 180) 3 (-) (199, 198, 198)
Man Utd 3 (-) (194, 184, 184)
Arsenal 3 (-) (189, 185, 184) 2 (+1) (199, 197)
AC Milan 2 (-1) (194, 184) 1 (-) (199)
Chelsea 2 (-) (189, 186) 4 (-) (199, 199, 198, 198)
Juventus 2 (-) (188, 181)
Liverpool 2 (-1) (188, 181) 3 (-) (199, 199, 198)
Lyon 2 (-) (187, 184) 0 (-1)
Roma 2 (-) (185, 181)
Atletico Madrid 1 (-) (187) 1 (-) (198)
Bayer Leverkusen 1 (-) (186)
Bayern Munich 1 (-) (184)
CSKA Moscow 1 (-) (184)
Valencia 1 (-) (183)
Fiorentina 1 (-) (180)
Sevilla 1 (-) (199)
Middlesbrough 1 (-) (198)
Man City 1 (-) (198)
Sampdoria 1 (-1) (197)
Newcastle 1 (-) (197)
Rangers 2 (-) (195, 189)
Sunderland 1 (-) (192)
[B]Total 35 (-2) 22 (-)[/B]
[/code]

Not many changes this season, with AC Milan and Liverpool losing a star, and one former Bandit moving from Sampdoria to Arsenal.

[I]The leagues[/I]
[code]
Country Stars Bandit stars
Spain 13 (-) 5 (-)
England 10 (-1) 13 (+1)
Italy 7 (-1) 2 (-1)
France 2 (-)
Germany 2 (-)
Russia 1 (-)
Scotland 2 (-)
[B]Total 35 (-2) 22 (-)[/B]
[/code]
Again, not a lot of change, with Spain still having most of the world stars, but England having most of the former Bandits.

[I]The nationalities[/I]
[code]
Country Stars Bandit stars
Spain 7 (-1) 1 (-)
Italy 5 (-1) 1 (-)
France 5 (+1) 1 (-)
Argentina 4 (-) 1 (-)
Brazil 2 (-) 1 (-)
Germany 2 (-) 1 (-)
Holland 2 (-) 1 (-)
Portugal 1 (-) 1 (-)
Ghana 1 (-)
Czech Rep 1 (-)
Mexico 1 (-)
England 1 (-1) 14 (-)
Russia 1 (-)
Slovakia 1 (-)
Macedonia 1 (-)
[B]Total 35 (-2) 22 (-)[/B]
[/code]
Spain remain at the top, but no huge changes, and no new countries on the list.

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[B][I]World View – National Coefficients[/I][/B]

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

[I](Champions League: 4, UEFA Cup: 3)[/I]
1 (1). Spain – 96.884 (+2.857)
2 (2). England – 95.611 (+2.000)
3 (3). Italy – 88.393 (+10.197)

[I](Champions League: 3, UEFA Cup: 3)[/I]
4 (4). Germany – 80.774 (+8.500)
5 (5). France – 56.964 (+1.286)
6 (8). Holland – 48.167 (+5.370)

[I](Champions League: 2, UEFA Cup: 4)[/I]
7 (6). Portugal – 47.666 (+1.667)
8 (7). Russia – 47.417 (+1.459)
9 (10). Scotland – 40.658 (+3.833)

[I](Champions League: 2, UEFA Cup: 3)[/I]
10 (11). Greece – 35.600 (+2.234)
11 (10). Turkey – 34.600 (-1.400)
12 (13). Ukraine – 31.808 (+1.400)
13 (12). Denmark – 30.792 (-0.125)
14 (14). Belgium – 30.033 (-)
15 (17). Serbia – 29.000 (+4.625)

[I](Champions League: 1, UEFA Cup: 3)[/I]
16 (-). Austria – 22.700
17 (16). Israel – 22.125 (-3.000)
18 (15). Romania – 21.100 (-7.583)
19 (18). Switzerland – 19.300 (-2.850)
20 (19). Norway – 18.525 (+0.625)

Dropping out:
24 (20). Czech Rep – 15.825 (-1.875)

Spain and Italy continue to rise, but Germany would have taken Italy's fourth Champions League spot had the Italians not had such a massive rise themselves. There is now a big four in countries too, with Germany just missing out on the extra place.

Behind them, Holland take Portugal's third Champions League spot, while lower down, Serbia continue to improve.

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