kipfizh

AI Experiment - The Bandits are back for FM09

2,155 posts in this topic

In the original experiment weren't all the starlets English ? How many world cups and European cups did England win ? It wasnt that many maybe 1 or 2 at best and they had a lot more 200 PA players than anyone else, much more of advantage than on this experiment.

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First of I would like to say kipfizh you're a great writer!
Seriously, I love the way you make it so detailed but at the same time also easy to read through the reports.
It's pretty addictive and I had to force myself to bed the first evening I started to read it.

Secondly I must say I'm pretty impressed about how realistic both teams develop compared to the former experiment.
The only thing I didn't found realistic yet was the media prediction tbh.
Media prediction seems like it's based on the teams reputation only, while it should be more based on the players CA & PA together with the teams finances and reputation.
The fact that the Sheriffs played out their youth in the beginning seems to really give them a little edge over the bandits nowadays but I'm sure the Bandits can overcome that with a few good transfers.
The transfers that both teams did already are pretty amazing compared to the former experiment.
Both these teams had already some success in their past and I'm very curious to see what the future will bring for these teams.

Finally about the starlets, they pretty much evolve as expected, but it's great to see some ended up in less reputable teams this time.
I have to admit I was a little disappointed seeing them go again so soon, but they where just to good to stay in lower league football and who knows a few might come back as player this time if the Bandits can reach the EPL in a few years.

Keep it up Kipfizh!

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[quote name='Abs_UK']That’s fair enough, but I think from an international point of view, the game will end up as England domination for number of years.

I think it would of been slightly better to have some players from smaller nations already declared for that nation, and have England as their second nationality, this was we could of seen some surprise results on the international scene.

But this version of the experiment should be very interesting to see how everything unfolds in years to come.[/QUOTE]

First of all I don't see why you assume that England will dominate international football in this experiment considering that they didn't in the original experiment and had even more starlets.

Second of all 8 out of the 22 starlets chose another nation so what you think would have been slightly better, spreading the talent around a bit, is exactly what is happening in this experiment.

Finally, we will see some surprise results anyway so I'm not quite sure what you're suggesting would improve tbh.

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The last experiment had a very small database and detail, some starlets moved and were unable to be tracked, and maybe this played a part in their development in some way.

All i am saying is it would of been nice to see them evenly spread out. Having said that maybe this was also part of the Experiment to see what nations the stars will select?

My prediction is with the level of details and the number of leagues selected on this experiment we may see in few years time at England being a force in tournaments.

Only time will tell.

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[quote name='Meitheisman']First of all I don't see why you assume that England will dominate international football in this experiment considering that they didn't in the original experiment and had even more starlets.

Second of all 8 out of the 22 starlets chose another nation so what you think would have been slightly better, spreading the talent around a bit, is exactly what is happening in this experiment.

Finally, we will see some surprise results anyway so I'm not quite sure what you're suggesting would improve tbh.[/QUOTE]


England = 14 starlets
Rotw = 8 starlets

Thats not spread around m8.

Thats a Huge advantage to England, especialy because the 22 starlets already have the best CA in the game.

And yes we will see some surprise results but the emphasis must be put onto the word 'some'

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[quote name='Hairycull']England = 14 starlets
Rotw = 8 starlets

Thats not spread around m8.

Thats a Huge advantage to England, especialy because the 22 starlets already have the best CA in the game.

And yes we will see some surprise results but the emphasis must be put onto the word 'some'[/QUOTE]



To be honest... who cares? This experiment is about the Bandits and Sheriffs. If you want an international team experiment look elsewhere, Kip gave dual nationalities to the players to add another dimension to it.

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What will be main aspect of an experiment if you give every nation a CA 200 star? The main thing is to throw the balance out of the window so that we can see how AI reacts to it, let alone the fact that this was mentioned in the first thread & that is why the players all have 2nd nationalities in this incarnation. England didn't dominate in the first experiment for years to come and they surely won't in this one as well.

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[quote name='5ergio']England didn't dominate in the first experiment for years to come and they surely won't in this one as well.[/QUOTE]

The reason England didn't dominate was because the experiment wasn't in full detail, and that makes a huge difference. For example: I made a perfect striker from Poland (PA of 200, perfect personality, the best mix of attributes and ppms I could find) in the 2010 WC, while he wasn't quite at his peak yet he scored 14 goals, had a avg rating of over 9 and Poland just swept the whole WC, this was simulated in full detail.
Later I ran the Euro Cup 2012 in no detail and even though my starlet was even better then Poland came dead last in their group.

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Who cares if they dominate, up the Bandits, Championship on the way!

(down, down with the Sheriffs, get out of the playoffs... :p )

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[quote name='Striker475']Who cares if they dominate, up the Bandits, Championship on the way!

(down, down with the Sheriffs, get out of the playoffs... :p )[/QUOTE]

Ah! At last back on track... :D

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I think you're missing the point. Although this was -at first- an experiment, it's grown to be a labor of love for Kip, and certainly for us fans who follow his work so avidly. Frankly I don't care about the experiment, for me it's the story and the masterful way it's told.

'mon the sheriffs, a good second half could see up reach the shining lights of the Premiership ahead of the Bandits!

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[quote name='Hairycull']England = 14 starlets
Rotw = 8 starlets

Thats not spread around m8.

Thats a Huge advantage to England, especialy because the 22 starlets already have the best CA in the game.

And yes we will see some surprise results but the emphasis must be put onto the word 'some'[/QUOTE]

I was going to respond since you quoted me but I think that 5ergio's response below sums up quite well what I was going to type.

[quote name='5ergio']What will be main aspect of an experiment if you give every nation a CA 200 star? The main thing is to throw the balance out of the window so that we can see how AI reacts to it, let alone the fact that this was mentioned in the first thread & that is why the players all have 2nd nationalities in this incarnation. England didn't dominate in the first experiment for years to come and they surely won't in this one as well.[/QUOTE]

I'll add that I said 'spread the talent [B]a bit[/B]' which is what Abs_UK was asking for. I'll also add that seeing what nation the starlets chose was part of the experiment and that seeing how one nation copes with 14 stars and how others manage to integrate their one star will also bring more depth to the experiment.

[quote name='Netm']The reason England didn't dominate was because the experiment wasn't in full detail, and that makes a huge difference.[/QUOTE]

The full detail is a very good point and it'll no doubt add a twist to the experiment. All the more reasons to keep a bunch of English players actually because it'll allow us to see how the full details change the international game and how the AI improved between 07 and 09.

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[quote name='Unknown Hacker']And is Maynard the Bandits player bought from Bristol City?[/QUOTE]

He is, yes. And he's quite a player.

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[quote name='MSCCG']I realise that, but I would prefer a comment here and there about how what has happened corresponds to what we know, and how it matches up with the original hypothesis etc.[/QUOTE]

There is no hypothesis, very deliberately. I know this counters the notion of most scientific-style experiments, but in reality this isn't one - it isn't setting out to prove or disprove anything, it is research only, i.e. investigative rather than seeking a 'final goal'.

That isn't to say I don't welcome predictions - at various points it becomes 'sensible' to the special teams, players, or staff to do something in accordance with 'common sense', which is actually the hardest part of AI to simulate (it is easy to place rules on actions, but a lot harder to manage the standard 'well that's just common sense' actions. Try teaching a computer common sense).

As for variables, they are all set out at the start of the experiment. Mental attributes change very little, and the rest of the relevant attributes (reputation, CA, finance) I report on.

That said, if there is any more (specific) information you'd like to see, do say. The report in its current format has evolved massively based on what readers want to see.

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[quote name='RT--']* The reputation of the league you're playing in seems to make a huge amount of difference to CA development, rather than necessarily the reputation of the club you play for[/QUOTE]

I think that is because the reputation of the league affects the standard of coaches that want to go there (much like players). Therefore, training is better in the best leagues/clubs.

[quote name='RT--']* Being an either-footed striker with a lot of pace is quite clearly deadly, even if your finishing is below 15.[/QUOTE]

Pace is vital in FM09. Utterly vital.

[quote name='RT--']I'm really surprised that Rangers have managed to hang on to their two star players - is Rangers' rep quite high, or are the world reps of the two players pretty low? Are there major clubs interested in those two players?[/QUOTE]

Luck, I think - they signed the pair when their CAs weren't huge, and hung on to them purely because of their supreme loyalty. But one moves on this season - I don't imagine the second will be far behind.

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[quote name='RT--']* The reputation of the league you're playing in seems to make a huge amount of difference to CA development, rather than necessarily the reputation of the club you play for[/QUOTE]

I think that is because the reputation of the league affects the standard of coaches that want to go there (much like players). Therefore, training is better in the best leagues/clubs.

[quote name='RT--']* Being an either-footed striker with a lot of pace is quite clearly deadly, even if your finishing is below 15.[/QUOTE]

Pace is vital in FM09. Utterly vital.

[quote name='RT--']I'm really surprised that Rangers have managed to hang on to their two star players - is Rangers' rep quite high, or are the world reps of the two players pretty low? Are there major clubs interested in those two players?[/QUOTE]

Luck, I think - they signed the pair when their CAs weren't huge, and hung on to them purely because of their supreme loyalty. But one moves on this season - I don't imagine the second will be far behind.

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[quote name='Abs_UK']First of all i owe Kipfizh an apology as i disappeared without really completing Bandits club crest and kits. :( How did you manage to get them on? I don’t think i uploaded it before i left, also who designed the badge for the sheriffs?
[/QUOTE]

No apology needed - hope all is good!

I can't remember who it was, but someone packaged your images up into a pack, and made it available for download :)

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Re: the international debate.

In the FM07 experiment, all 22 starlets (and both idiots) were English only. England still made a habit of cruising through qualifiers and group stages, only to lose a shock match. The game was not played on full detail, which may have had a major impact on that, but the joy of a cup competition is that you only need to screw up one match.

I wanted to unbalance the game, quite deliberately - it wouldn't be much of a story if Spain's one star played better than England's one star, and knocked them out, but on the other hand, if Spain's awesome striker had such a good game against England's team of stars (remember England have no keeper - they took on Argentinian and Brazilian nationalities), it would be much more of a feat.

The other benefits I saw of the nationalities as they are:
*Giving all 26 players England + one other made it easy to spot why players choose nations. England were the 'control' nation if you like, but if everyone had two random nations, there would be no discernable pattern to their choice.
*In the original experiment, the idiots' disloyalty actually benefited them in the short term - they moved to the Premiership quicker and then played for England earlier, only to be usurped by the starlets. I wanted to see if that would happen again.
*As I've already said, international tournaments are cups, and it is a big story if England go out now.
*I did wonder whether an uncapped starlet, unable to get into the England side, would eventually choose his second nation.
*Does the England manager have higher expectations because of his talent pool? Will he get sacked for losing in the WC semi?

This experiment is designed to be unfair, but to test how much of an effect that unfairness has, and whether anyone else can overcome it. E.g. in FM07, the Bandits never won the Premiership despite their perfect infrastructure, because the lack of ability of their board, combined with the untold riches of other clubs, meant that their advantage was wiped out.

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But thanks for the debate - it is interesting to see both sides. I'm just saying this is the way I wanted to do it.

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[quote name='markymarky']it would probably be a worthwhile experiment to create a team with all of the resources and so on of the Bandits but with no starlets, and see how things are different in the long run, but I do think that's another experiment entirely. This experiment is so good because, well, primarily because kip does a great job of pulling a compelling narrative out of it all, but on a technical level also because there are a lot of quite distinct variables at play, and at the end we'll have an excellent insight into the roles that they play, separately and in relation to each other.[/QUOTE]

Given how quickly the starlets and idiots left the Bandits and Sheriffs, this is effectively the same thing. Especially now (spoiler alert) the Sheriffs have been bought out - only their manager stops them being the club you mention here.

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Can't wait for it... In-fact I shall go to sleep now so tomorrow comes so much quicker. :D

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Welcome back Kip :thup:

I thought I'd post up the links as to where we are so far -

[B]Season 08/09[/B]
[URL="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php?p=2946303#post2946303"]http://community.sigames.com/showthr...03#post2946303[/URL]

[B]Season 09/10[/B]
[URL="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php?p=3026965#post3026965"]http://community.sigames.com/showthr...65#post3026965[/URL]

[B]World Cup[/B]
[URL="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php?p=3054612#post3054612"]http://community.sigames.com/showthr...12#post3054612[/URL]

[B]Season 10/11 [/B]
[URL="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php?p=3304904#post3304904"]http://community.sigames.com/showthr...04#post3304904[/URL]

[B]Season 11/12[/B]
[URL="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php?p=3387772#post3387772"]http://community.sigames.com/showthr...72#post3387772[/URL]

[B]European Championship[/B]
[URL="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php?p=3399599#post3399599"]http://community.sigames.com/showthr...99#post3399599[/URL]

[B]Season 12/13[/B]
[URL="http://community.sigames.com/showpost.php?p=3569389&postcount=1329"]http://community.sigames.com/showpos...postcount=1329[/URL]

[B]Season 13/14[/B] ([I]1st half season report[/I])
[url]http://community.sigames.com/showpost.php?p=3824663&postcount=1512[/url]

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Awesome, this really is a soap opera for the Footy Manager obsessed. Corrie has nuffin on wor Kip. I only post once in a blue moon but i've followed both incarnations of this experiment more or less from the start and I've loved them both. Cant wait till tomorrow now =)

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Gutted the starlets are leaving the Gers, how has the presence of 2 starlets at rangers affected them european wise and is Rangers and the SPL as a whole a more respected league due to there presence

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Kip is back yaaay! The spoiler will be dreamed about in tonight's sleep surely :) Up the Bandits! :thup:

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[quote name='kipfizh']Full season report will arrive tomorrow. And that's a promise :)[/QUOTE]

Wow great news! And I just realised it already is tomorrow which makes it even better :-D

Instead of doing any work today I'm planning to press F5 on this page every 5 minutes until the update arrives ;-)

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This is the first time i have posted on these forums but i have been reading them for a while and i can honestly say this is by far the best experiment that i have seen. After finding this one i searched back and found the others and have spent hours reading through them all.

Keep up the good work Kip.
:thup:

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Welcome back Kip and I hope you enjoyed your holiday as well. These teasers you're throwing out really makes me want the rest of the season update, so I am really looking forward to it.

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[quote name='kipfizh']Full season report will arrive tomorrow. And that's a promise :)[/QUOTE]

Yay :)

Not many hours left :)

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[B]Season 2013-14[/B]

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

The Sheriffs had secured their fourth successive promotion, eclipsing the Bandits whose playoff failure left them to face up to their third season in League One. All this left both sides with rebuilding to do – the Sheriffs had to continue their rapid improvements to compete in the Championship, while the Bandits needed some strike power to get out of League One at the third time of asking.

[B]Bandits[/B]

The Bandits began with the traditional clearout, which included the disappointment that had been David Healy, after just one season with the club. Legendary Nardiello and Dickinson were also released, leaving the Bandits needing to completely restructure their forward line. It was necessary.

In truth, what they needed was stars – they had fifteen players with a CA of 100, but only two with a CA of 120, and that left them as a merely decent, not destructive, team.

The first two signings of the summer were free transfers, Maurice Ross arriving from Airdrie, and Tom Brooks available after being let go by Championship Plymouth. Neither were likely to make much of an impact, Ross is a right back, but at 32 his CA of 100 is only likely to fall, while Brooks is a 20 year old keeper, but his 86 PA means he should never play for the club. An uninspiring start.

But then it got much better. Striker Cameron Jerome was still scoring goals for Birmingham, but at 27 was persuaded to join the Bandits for a club record £2.2m. His CA of 136 is ten higher than the club's best player, Nicky Maynard, and his PA of 140 is attainable. The partnership of him and Maynard could be frightening for League One.

Inspired by that signing, the fans were hungry for more. Next to arrive was left wing back Chris Armstrong, a £120k capture from Bradford. The 31 year old adds to the 120 CA star list, his rating of 121 now falling from its peak of 125. Following him was 29 year old Lithuanian defensive midfielder Mindaugas Kalonas, his CA of 111 also falling but making him a decent squad player, and a reasonable capture at £130k from Huddersfield.

Next to arrive was Ben Williams, another keeper, this one a 31 year old with a CA of 107 and a PA of 119. Not special.

But then, all of a sudden, the division sat up and took notice, as the Bandits raided Hull with a spectacular triple swoop that made them instant favourites for the league. Three names with Premiership experience behind them – Chris Eagles, Craig Gardner and Roger Johnson were signed for a combined fee of £3.5m, Gardner costing the bulk at £2.9m alone.

27 year old Eagles is primarily a right winger, and the 27 year old's CA of 135 is awesome for this league. 26 year old central midfielder Gardner then trumped him with a CA of 137, and a PA of 145 that he is still young enough to get closer to. The final member of the trio, centre back Johnson, is the eldest at 30, but with a CA of 133 himself is also a star of the division.

The fans didn't know what had hit them, but just as they were recovering from the excitement, the manager signed another one – 25 year old centre back Bruno Ecuele Manga, a Gabonese star with amazing physical presence, was picked up for another club record £2.8m from Ajaccio, and becomes the club's first 140 CA player with an ability level of 141. And it gets better – his PA is 155.

Two more signings remained, the first a free transfer pick up of former Scotland international Michael Stewart, a 32 year old central midfielder with a CA of 112, very decent but low compared to some of the spectacular signings being made. And the last was another stunner – Matthew Etherington being convinced to move from Southend for £275k. At 32, his best days may be behind him, but the left winger has a CA of 126, the same as Maynard, who up until this summer was their best player.

Amidst all the excitement, the club also promoted a youth player with great potential – Mike Essam is a 16 year old centre back with a CA of 73 and a PA of 156.

Before the close season began, the Bandits had two 120 CA players, the best being Maynard at 126. Now they have eight, five of those over 130 CA and Ecuele Manga the star at 141. £9m has been spent in all, but what a summer.

Now, nothing less than promotion will do.

[B]Sheriffs[/B]

After four promotions in a row, the Sheriffs found themselves with a squad containing just two players with 120 CA. In the Championship, there are two 150 CA players, 13 140 CA players, and 118 with 130 CA. There is even an idiot presence. Their squad needed a massive overhaul.

It started with the usual clearout, with many of the former favourites released, including Nathan Ellington. But among the names was a surprising one – Nathan Tyson had scored 41 goals last season, but was considered not good enough for the level above, and left. At 31, that judgement might be harsh.

It left the Sheriffs with some major work to do, and they started by bringing in Gary Madine from Colchester for £250k. At 23, Madine was the new face of their strike force, his CA of 123 having ample time to get nearer to the PA of 142. Good start.

Next came another striker, the same age as Tyson at 31, but this one considered more likely to succeeed. Darius Henderson had struggled with Sheff Utd in this very league, but he was still signed for £70k, in the hope that he would find the net more regularly for the Sheriffs. With a CA of 114 and falling, it didn't seem likely. It seemed a strange choice combined with Tyson's release.

Confirmation that Henderson wouldn't play much came in the next signing, Tristan Plummer, who arrived on a free. The 23 year old striker has a CA of 135 and a PA of 140, making him the club's best player by a distance. Now Tyson's release begins to make more sense.

Next up was Marcel Seip, a £120k capture from Hull. The Dutch centre back is 31, but with a CA of 128 he is a very decent defender, certainly better than anyone already at the club. Another good signing.

Having picked up a few players for the season ahead, the manager then looked to the future, bringing into 19 year old central midfielder Mark Rogers from Burnley for £130k, a price that shows how little the Burnley manager recognises talent. His CA may be unspectacular at 118, although still high enough to get plenty of games, but his potential of 173 is superb. If he can be retained, he could be a star of the future.

Idiot Manager had one more signing to make, and it was to be his trump card. A £3.1m signing from Birmingham (comfortably a new club record), 25 year old Nathan Dyer could play on either flank. A CA of 136 had room to grow towards his PA of 155, but he is already the club's top player.

There were also youth prospects to speak of. Mark Hutchinson, a 16 year old keeper with a CA of 75 and a PA of 158, and Dave Underwood, a 17 year old centre back with a CA of 78 and a PA of 148. Nice.

And that was it. The signings were excellent, the only worry was whether there were enough of them. With 118 players in the league with 130 CA, the Sheriffs had only two of them, and other clubs had players even better than that. But they've been in this situation before, and come through. Could they possibly manage five promotions in a row?

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

[B]Bandits[/B]

The media predicted the Bandits to finish second behind Ipswich, a spot that would gain them automatic promotion, but after a spectacular summer of signings, the fans wanted more – they were expecting the league title.

And they started well, with a 3-0 win at Bury, Cameron Jerome and Craig Gardner scoring on debut, and Maynard adding the third. League Two Cheltenham were no match for them in the Carling Cup, leaving with their tails between their legs after a 4-0 defeat, and the Bandits made it ten unanswered goals in three games with a 3-0 win over Rotherham in their second league game.

The stunning start might have caused a little complacency, and they went down 1-0 to Aldershot the following week, but that was probably a timely reminder that they need to work hard, ahead of a Carling Cup tie with Burnley, the Championship side that knocked them out of the same competition three years earlier.

And it was a great display, the Bandits running out 2-1 winners to suggest that competing in the Championship is within their reach. Now they had to make sure they got there, and they got back to winning ways in the league with a 3-0 win over Shrewsbury. By the time the transfer window shut at the end of August, the fans were delighted with the signings, and the club had won five out of six games. Things looked up.

September began with a 2-1 win over Yeovil in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, before their league form slipped a little, a 1-0 defeat at Forest being followed by consecutive draws with Morecambe and Rochdale. After another 0-0 draw with Bradford in the third round of the Carling Cup, they lost on penalties as their early season form started to seem a distant memory.

The fans continued to hope that the team's struggles were just a case of players not yet gelling, and as September turned into October that belief seemed to be vindicated, as the Bandits went on a run of seven wins in eight, their only dropped points a 1-1 draw at Doncaster. The run began with 2-0 and 4-0 wins over Tranmere and Swindon respectively, before Bristol Rovers exited the Johnstone's Paint Trophy with a 3-1 defeat. Wins over Carlisle, Millwall and Huddersfield briefly put the Bandits top, before that draw with Doncaster dropped them back to second.

The two dropped points spurred them on, however, and they finished October with a 6-0 destruction of Southend. They remained second, but having scored more goals than anyone else in the league, conceding just five in the process, they remained favourites for the title. It helped that Cameron Jerome had already scored nine goals in fourteen games, a ratio David Healy could only dream of.

[url="http://img177.imageshack.us/img177/6486/cocacolafootballleagueo.jpg"]League One – End of October[/url]

November began as October had ended, with an impressive victory, 2-0 at Brighton, before a disappointing 2-0 home defeat to Gillingham put paid to their hopes in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. One cup still remainined – the FA Cup – and they started that campaign in style, winning 3-0 at AFC Wimbledon.

Draws with Crewe and Stockport followed, and as November slipped away the fans began to wonder if they could be consistent enough to take the title – too many soft points were being dropped, and Gillingham were looking good.

But for the rest of the year, the fortunes of both clubs switched. Gillingham faded badly and would end December in fourth, while the Bandits won every game from that draw with Stockport. Confidence came flooding back with a 6-2 destruction of Scunthorpe, before a 3-1 win away to Shrewsbury took them into the third round of the FA Cup. A 1-0 win over MK Dons was followed by a trio of games against promotion rivals, success ensured by a 4-0 win over Ipswich, a 3-0 triumph over Bournemouth, and a 1-0 win at Gillingham. Further victories over Wycombe and Burnley only strengthened their position at the top.

As the year ended, the Bandits were in a dominant position. Top of the league by ten points, they had only conceded ten goals in 24 games, scoring 57 and demonstrating that they are clearly the best side in the league. They are also still in the FA Cup, where they will face Championship Sheff Utd.

Promotion was surely assured.

[url="http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/6486/cocacolafootballleagueo.jpg"]League One – End of December[/url]

[B]Sheriffs[/B]

The fans were unsure whether the club had made enough signings in the summer to compete in the Championship, and they were certainly to be tested on the opening day, a trip to Wigan kicking things off. But in truth, they battered their hosts, Philliskirk and Plummer scoring in a comfortable 2-0 win.

Days later, a late Plummer goal was enough to see off MK Dons in the Carling Cup, before other new signings got in on the act against Bradford, Dyer and Henderson scoring in a 3-0 win.

It was all going a bit too well, and Portsmouth changed all that, the Championship favourites running out 2-1 winners despite another Plummer goal. Days later the new star scored in the first minute of the Carling Cup tie against Norwich, but the Canaries came back to win 2-1 and end that particular cup dream.

They needed to get back on track, and after pummelling Sheff Utd in their next league game, they finally got a 1-0 win through McAllister's goal. As the transfer window shut at the end of August, they were actually top, with nine points from four games, but it was already clear that this step up was going to be a big one.

September began with two draws, 1-1 at Norwich and 2-2 at home to Plymouth. But days later, they suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat at the hands of Watford as the realisation struck that the Championship was going to prove tricky. But they bounced back with a 3-1 win over Swansea, a draw at Bristol City, and a 6-0 demolition of Hull in which Plummer plundered a superb hattrick.

The result was all the more impressive given that Hull were in the Premiership last season, but ironically, the Bandits helped the Sheriffs to that huge win by signing three Hull players in the summer.

The mood was buoyant, but Leicester brought them crashing back to earth, rushing to a 3-0 lead inside 18 minutes of their next game. A decent fightback saw the match end 3-2, but the damage had been done. A good win over Sheff Wed put them back on track, before a 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace at the end of September dropped them back to sixth.

At the end of September, they sat on the edge of the playoffs, but as the top scorers in the league, largely thanks to Plummer's nine goals in fifteen games. But they were conceding freely against far superior attack forces, and it would take a great effort to stay in the promotion hunt.

[url="http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/600/cocacolafootballleaguec.jpg"]Championship – End of October[/url]

November was a mixed bag, as they alternated between victory and defeat – a 1-0 win over Cardiff was followed by a 1-0 defeat at Blackpool, and then a 1-0 win over Burnley preceded a 3-1 defeat at Wolves. An impressive 2-1 win against Southampton kept them in the playoffs, but they were having to fight very hard for it.

They were gifted a win in their next game, a 3-1 win over QPR, as opposing keeper Lee Camp scored two own goals in a calamitous display. And they came back from 2-0 and 3-2 in the next game against Derby to secure a valuable 3-3 draw with a late McAllister goal.

Their form continued to impress, a 2-0 win over Birmingham securing their place in the playoffs, but three defeats in the last four games of the year pushed them back down again.

At the end of December, the Sheriffs sat sixth, in the playoffs only by goal difference, in a very tight league. A couple of new faces would be hugely welcomed by the fans as they chase an unlikely fifth consecutive promotion into the big time.

[url="http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/600/cocacolafootballleaguec.jpg"]Championship – End of December[/url]

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

[B]Bandits[/B]

It had been a wonderful first half of the season for the Bandits, and promotion was looking more and more certain by the match. No-one would have been surprised to see the manager keep the squad exactly as it was, waiting for the summer to roll around before building a team for the Championship.

But the manager had spotted a weakness in the squad – Cameron Jerome and Nicky Maynard were an awesome front pair, both with CAs over 130, but every time they were rested or got injured the drop was massive – no other striker in the squad has a three figure ability.

So, as a stopgap, he signed Andy Little on a free transfer, a 24 year old forward with a CA of 102 and a PA of 112. He isn't expected to be in the club long, but for now he can do a job.

And that, unsurprisingly, was the only signing, the rest of the squad being trusted to carry on the great work they were already doing.

[url="http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/4835/thebanditstransfers.jpg"]Bandits Transfers[/url]

[B]Sheriffs[/B]

The Sheriffs, on the other hand, were clinging on to a playoff position for dear life, and with a squad not even on the radar of the rest of the league, could do with some serious strengthening.

The manager knew it, too, and made three signings in an attempt to secure their position. The first to arrive was Lee Collins, costing £30k from Hamilton. A natural all across defence, he has a CA of 114, and a PA of 118. At 25, he is a versatile squad player for the here and now.

Next in was Jason Puncheon, a £210k signing from Rangers. An exciting left winger, the 27 year old's CA is unlikely to go much beyond its current level of 122, even with a PA of 139. But he is in the top ten players in the squad.

The final signing was the best of the three – Bulgarian left or centre back Aleksandar Tunchev is an experienced campaigner – the 32 year old has 54 international caps to his name, and with a CA of 134 he is only one behind the best players in the club. They have plenty going forward, but he is ideal to shore up the defence. And at £475k from Birmingham, he might turn out to be a bargain.

The Sheriffs still have a weak squad for their position, but it is now stronger than it was, and the ability of the manager should not be underestimated. Promotion to the Premiership is not out of the question.

[url="http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/2989/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

Ecuele Manga, 25, DC, 136-155 – new signing
Jerome, 27, ST, 136-140 – new signing
Gardner, 27, DR/MC, 135-145 – new signing
Eagles, 28, AM RLC, 135-140 – new signing
Johnson, 31, DC, 133-140 – new signing
Maynard, 27, ST, 126-135 (-)
Etherington, 32, AML, 124-138 – new signing
Small, 30, AM RL, 118-122 (-)
Armstrong, 31, D/WB L, 117-125 – new signing
McAlister, 28, WB L/AM RL, 117-119 (-)
Bates, 27, DC/DM, 116-135 (+1)
Kalonas, 30, DM, 112-128 – new signing
Bryant, 20, DC, 107-176 (+10)
Stewart, 33, MC, 107-127 – new signing
Williams, 31, GK, 107-119 – new signing
Osman, 27, MC, 105-110 (+3)
Little, 25, DC/ST, 104-112 – new signing
Pipe, 30, D/WB/M R, 104-110 (-)
Brown, 25, M RC, 102-139 (+1)
King, 20, AM R/ST, 99-154 (+3)

Players in last season’s top 20 who have left the club:
Burton, 19, D RLC, 120-163
Hudson, 31, DC, 119-124
Parker, 25, D/AM L, 112-125
Nardiello, 30, ST, 112-115
Mulligan, 26, D/MC, 107-135
Healy, 33, ST, 103-145
Eustace, 33, MC, 101-128
Howarth, 27, GK, 101-110
Townsend, 27, DC, 98-105
Dickinson, 27, ST, 96-97
Lyskov, 21, D/WB RL, AML, 82-139

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

Enormous numbers of new signings enter the list, and the likes of Maynard, previously the club's stand out player, are forced down. Burton is a disappointing exit, but the squad is looking in great shape.

Notable others:
Essam, 17, DC, 79-156 – promoted from youth academy

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

190 : 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
180 : 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
170 : 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
160 : 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
150 : 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
140 : 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
130 : 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]05[/B]
120 : 00, 00, 02, 03, 02, [B]07[/B]
110 : 00, 01, 04, 07, 08, [B]12[/B]
100 : 00, 02, 05, 13, 15, [B]19[/B]
090 : 00, 03, 10, 18, 19, [B]21[/B]
080 : 00, 05, 14, 23, 21, [B]22[/B]
070 : 00, 13, 18, 24, 23, [B]26[/B]
060 : 01, 18, 25, 27, 28, [B]32[/B]
050 : 03, 23, 26, 30, 30, [B]34[/B]

The squad simply looks immense for League One – as it stands it should compete effectively in the Championship.

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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

Dyer, 26, AM RL, 137-155 – new signing
Plummer, 24, ST, 136-140 – new signing
Tunchev, 32, D LC, 134-143 – new signing
Philliskirk, 23, MC, 128-146 (+5)
Madine, 23, ST, 126-142 – new signing
Nordtveit, 23, DC/DM, 125-153 (+6)
Seip, 32, DC, 125-135 – new signing
Rogers, 20, DM/AMC, 124-173 – new signing
Puncheon, 27, AM RL, 124-139 – new signing
McAllister, 26, MC, 122-127 (+4)
Doyley, 31, D RC, 118-122 (-2)
B Smith, 21, ST, 117-132 (+15)
Collins, 25, D RLC, 116-118 – new signing
Esajas, 29, AML, 112-120 (-)
Milner, 19, D RC, 111-142 (+8)
R Smith, 27, AM L, 111-132 (+8)
Afzal, 23, D RC, 111-122 (+10)
Hughes, 27, DC, 110-125 (+2)
Henderson, 32, ST, 110-123 – new signing
Underwood, 21, GK, 109-156 (+11)

Players in last season’s top 20 who have left the club:
Tyson, 31, ST, 114-119
Ellington, 31, ST, 100-130
Bailey, 24, DM, 100-126
Gleeson, 24, AM RLC, 98-133
Atkinson, 26, D LC, 98-115

Players in last season’s top 20 who have dropped out of the top 20:
Tierney, 28, D LC, 108-110 (-)
Godsmark, 24, AM RLC, FC, 106-127 (+5)
Prijovic, 24, ST, 101-140 (+5)
Sedgwick, 34, AM RC, 97-117 (-5)

The Sheriffs continue to improve with every promotion, but still only have a similar level squad to the Bandits, despite being a league higher. Another promotion might be too much to ask at this point.

Notable others:
Hutchinson, 17, GK, 77-158 – promoted from youth academy

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

190 : 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
180 : 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
170 : 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
160 : 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
150 : 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
140 : 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]00[/B]
130 : 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, [B]03[/B]
120 : 00, 00, 00, 00, 02, [B]10[/B]
110 : 00, 00, 01, 01, 06, [B]19[/B]
100 : 00, 00, 01, 04, 16, [B]23[/B]
090 : 00, 00, 04, 09, 23, [B]26[/B]
080 : 00, 06, 09, 14, 26, [B]30[/B]
070 : 00, 09, 14, 18, 32, [B]35[/B]
060 : 01, 14, 16, 22, 34, [B]39[/B]
050 : 02, 17, 25, 28, 39, [B]41[/B]

The Sheriffs now have a massive squad, and after another promotion, they've improved the quality level once again. As a comparison to the Bandits though, they only have three 130CA players to the Bandits' five, although the depth is better from then on. They've got the squad, but have the got the stars to compete?

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

[B]Bandits[/B]

Having ended 2013 in fine form, the Bandits picked up exactly where they left off, beating relegation troubled Bury 3-0 in the opening match on January. With their league form going from strength to strength, focus began to turn to the FA Cup, and a home tie with Championship Sheff Utd, which provided a great chance of an upset and a real barometer of how ready they were for the league above.

Sheff Utd knew they were up against it, playing away to a form side in the division below, and it didn't help when their winger, Juanma, put through his own net after three minutes. But from there, the Bandits were relentless – Osman, Stewart and Maynard added further goals, and Sheff Utd went away 4-0 losers, the Bandits moving on to another home tie in round four, against Championship Watford. It had been a spectacular day, and a dominant one – Sheff Utd hadn't managed a shot on goal in the match.

And it didn't stop there – a 3-0 win over Rotherham extended their lead at the top, and a 2-0 win at home to Aldershot kept the run going. Next up was a stunning game at Shrewsbury – new signing Andy Little put the Bandits into a 2-0 lead at half time, but Shrewsbury came back to 2-2, before Stewart put the Bandits back in front. The home side equalised to make it 3-3, but Stewart kept his cool with a late penalty to give the Bandits a 4-3 win.

After that display, they had a week to prepare for the next round of the FA Cup, and another chance for an upset. Little continued his impact on the club, scoring in the second minute, and from there, the Bandits took over again. Stewart, Etherington and Jerome added second half goals, and like Sheff Utd, Watford didn't trouble the keeper at all, and disappeared after a 4-0 humbling. All of a sudden the higher divisions were beginning to take notice of this burgeoning team. The draw was made immediately after the game, and the Bandits were delighted with another home draw, against either Chelsea or Everton, who had drawn 2-2 at Stamford Bridge.

A 3-2 win at home to promotion rivals Nottm Forest ended the month, before February started with a 0-0 draw at Morecambe. League matches were almost becoming irrelevant with the lead at the top of the table so enormous.

That feeling was emphasised in the next two matches, a 2-0 win over Rochdale and a 1-0 win at Tranmere, great warm ups for the next round of the FA Cup. Chelsea had defeated Everton in the replay, and would arrive to play the Bandits in a match that saw five former players come home.

The crowd were up for it, the team were up for it, and with Chelsea destroying all that came before them in the Premiership, a comfortable away win was expected. But an inspired defensive performance from the Bandits ensured another clean sheet, and a remarkable 0-0 draw was completed.

To put that into perspective, Chelsea reached 29 games in the Premiership, having failed to win just three times. The Bandits had just managed what the entire top league had been struggling to do all season.

The league form continued in the following week, 2-0 and 3-0 wins over Swindon and Huddersfield respectively pulling them even further ahead, and making it six clean sheets in a row ahead of a trip to Stamford Bridge.

The Bandits were determined to put up a fight against their illustrious opponents, but after just four minutes Right Mid 1 put the hosts ahead. A second from Centre Back 4 sent the Bandits in 2-0 down at half time, but still they wouldn't give up, a King goal bringing them back into it in the second half. But Right Mid 1 scored again, the match finished 3-1, and it was eventually the starlets that knocked them out. Overall, however, this bodes exceptionally well for the future.

All that remained was to guarantee promotion, and the cup exit didn't dent their form at all – Jerome scored a hattrick as Millwall were hammered 5-0, Doncaster left having lost 4-0, and Southend were beaten 3-2 on their own patch. In mid-March, a 3-0 win over Brighton secured promotion to the Championship with nine games to spare.

[url="http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/6486/cocacolafootballleagueo.jpg"]League One – March[/url]

Their dominance of the league was incredible – 32 games without defeat meant that just one point was required to secure the league title in style.

That point came, and then some, in their very next game, a trip to Carlisle that ended in a thumping 5-1 victory, a tremendous way to seal the league title.

The title secured, they relaxed a little, drawing five of their remaining eight games, but still won the other three to protect their long unbeaten record, which stood at 41 games at the conclusion of the season, their only two defeats coming very early on.

In the end, League One was won by an enormous 28 points, Bournemouth again getting promoted with them, and the Bandits will feel extremely comfortable about competing in the Championship next season.

What a season.

[B]Sheriffs[/B]

The Sheriffs were trying desperately to cling on to a playoff place, but had ended 2013 in poor form. They didn't start 2014 any better, losing 2-1 at home to Barnsley, before a 2-0 win over Millwall in the FA Cup put them through to round four.

That seemed to give them confidence, and a superb 1-0 win over league's best side Portsmouth was earned by Philliskirk's goal and a great defensive display. Days later, a 1-0 win over Sheff Utd gave them breathing space in the playoffs.

The draw for the fourth round of the FA Cup took them away to Premiership Reading, who were comfortably in mid table. Two goals from Nicklas Bendtner killed their hopes, and the Sheriffs eventually went away with a 3-1 defeat. In truth, the cup was only going to be a distraction anyway, so the feeling amongst the fans was not one of dismay.

Back in the league, and a home game with Norwich was successfully navigated, Plummer, Madine and Dyer scoring in a 3-0 win, before a trip to Plymouth ended in a 1-1 draw. By this point, the Sheriffs were fourth, four points clear of the first team outside the playoffs, and boosted by their January signings, they were feeling confident.

But then their form derailed – 1-0 defeats against Watford and Swansea removed their comfort levels, and although they bounced back with a 1-0 win over Bristol City, they then lost three more in a row – 2-1 at Sheff Wed, 2-0 at Hull and 2-1 at home to Leicester. Suddenly they were out of the playoffs.

March saw an improvement – a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace was followed by a 2-0 win at Cardiff, Madine scoring a brace in an impressive victory. They should've managed three wins on the trot, but despite having 25 shots scored just the once against bottom club Blackpool and drew 1-1.

All of which left them a point outside the playoffs with eight games remaining – a good run of form would see them sneak back in, but the abysmal February had really hurt their hopes.

Things didn't get any better in their next game – a 2-1 defeat at playoff rivals Burnley, but a 1-0 win over Southampton was followed by impressive 2-0 away victories at Derby and QPR. Suddenly the playoffs were a realistic prospect again.

Wolves, who would go on to win the league, dented those hopes with a 1-0 win in the next game, but a thumping 4-1 win at Birmingham put them back in the playoffs with just two games to go, and two goals in the first ten minutes secured a 2-0 win over Coventry, and left them two points clear of Hull going into the final match.

With a far superior goal difference, all the Sheriffs had to do was secure a draw at Barnsley, and they would be in the playoffs. The first half was cagey, and ended 0-0, in contrast to Hull's game at home to Leicester, where they had come from 2-0 down and were level at 2-2.

Disaster struck early in the second half, with Barnsley taking the lead, but relief flooded round the Sheriffs when news came through that Leicester were back in front against Hull. But with twelve minutes to go, Hull levelled at 3-3 and needed one more goal to end the Sheriffs' promotion dream.

But it never came – the Sheriffs lost 1-0, but Hull couldn't find a winner, and the playoff spot was secured.

Having finished sixth, the Sheriffs had to play third placed Crystal Palace, favourites for promotion. Both sides had won the home games in the season proper.

The Sheriffs were at home first, and the match got off to a dream start, Marcel Seip scoring for the home side after fifteen minutes. By half time, they were two goals to the good, thanks to a Martin Woods own goal. It was harsh on Palace, who matched their opponents throughout, but the Sheriffs hung on to their clean sheet and ended the first leg with a comfortable 2-0 advantage.

But that lead was eradicated within half an hour of the second leg, Alan Gow scoring twice to put Palace 2-0 up and level the tie. But moments later, a Sheriffs side that had been under the cosh counter attacked and won a penalty. Madine converted, and it remained 2-1 at half time, the Sheriffs leading by a single goal on aggregate, and away goals irrelevant.

Palace pushed forward relentlessly in the second half, searching for another goal, but time and time again were denied, until finally, with four minutes left, Alan Gow smashed home from a set piece to level the tie at 3-3.

Extra time began, and controversy arrived when the Sheriffs were awarded another spot kick, this was seemingly very harsh. With Madine no longer on the pitch, the responsibility fell to Puncheon, and he made no mistake, bringing the match back to 3-2 and putting the Sheriffs ahead 4-3 on aggregate.

But just two minutes later, Palace scored again, James Comley registering his first goal to the club to level the tie again. As time ticked away, penalties loomed, and eventually the final whistle blew.

The first ten spot kicks were immaculate, and the two teams went into sudden death with a perfect record. Tunchev then scored for the Sheriffs, only for Darius Vassell to convert under pressure.

Disaster then struck, Lee Collins seeing his shot saved by the Palace keeper, so Josh Gowling had the chance to send the Sheriffs home. Tom Underwood came to the rescue, saving the kick.

Afzal then scored for the Sheriffs, leaving Mark McDonald under pressure, but again Palace responded, and the tie continued. But then Lawrence Milner missed the Sheriff's ninth kick, and Martin Woods redeemed himself for his first leg own goal by smashing home Palace's penalty and sending them to the final. They would eventually lose the final to Burnley.

It was a cruel finish to the season for the Sheriffs, who did exceptionally well even to make it into the playoffs, but now at least have a summer where they can build their squad further.

[B]Bandit Honours:[/B]
League One (2014)
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
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)
FA Cup: Second Round
League Cup: Second Round
Johnstone's Paint Trophy: South Semi Final
[B]2013-14
League One: (Pos 1), P 46, W 33, D 11, L 2, F 112, A 24, GD +88, Pts 110
(Media Prediction: 2nd)
[url="http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/4973/cocacolafootballleagueol.jpg"]League[/url]
FA Cup: Fifth Round
League Cup: Third Round
Johnstone's Paint Trophy: South Quarter 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
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)
FA Cup: Fourth Round
League Cup: First Round
Johnstone's Paint Trophy: South First Round
[B]2013-14
Championship: (Pos 6), P 46, W 23, D 6, L 17, F 67, A 44, GD +23, Pts 75
(Media Prediction: 24th)
[url="http://img121.imageshack.us/img121/600/cocacolafootballleaguec.jpg"]League[/url]
FA Cup: Fourth Round
League Cup: Second Round[/B]

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

[url="http://img200.imageshack.us/img200/5793/thebanditsgeneral.jpg"]General[/url]
[url="http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/2449/thebanditsstatst.jpg"]Stats[/url]

New records:
Highest League Position: 1st in League One
Highest Gate Receipts: £3.6m v Chelsea (FA Cup Fifth Round)
Most Assists: Chris Eagles – 26
Highest Transfer Fee Paid: £2.9m (for Craig Gardner from Hull)
Total Transfer Spending: £8.75m

This season:

Best player – Gardner, Jerome, 7.29
Top scorer – Jerome, 27
Worst player – Bates, 6.88.

After last season's best average rating of 7.04, no less than twelve players had a higher average rating than that this season, led by Gardner and Jerome on 7.29, with January signing Little on 7.28. Jerome managed 27 goals, with Maynard, Stewart, Gardner and Little all reaching double figures, while Chris Eagles led the way in the assists column, with a massive 26. Gardner, Jerome and McAlister reached double figures.

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

[url="http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/462/thesheriffsgeneral.jpg"]General[/url]
[url="http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/4764/thesheriffsstats.jpg"]Stats[/url]

New records:
Highest League Position: 6th in Championship
Highest Attendance: 139995 v Crystal Palace, Championship Playoff Semi Final
Highest Gate Receipts: £3.4m v Millwall (FA Cup Third Round)
Highest Transfer Fee Paid: £3.1m (for Nathan Dyer from Birmingham)
Total Transfer Spending: £2.7m

This season:

Best player – Plummer, 7.13
Top scorer – Plummer, 20
Worst player – Doyley, 6.85

Not such a good year for the Sheriffs, but Plummer had a great debut year after signing from Hearts last summer. Madine also scored 16 goals, while Plummer and Dyer led the assists with nine each.

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

[I]Finance:[/I]

Read Madrid are now well clear of the Bandits, who are keeping the Sheriffs in third.
[url="http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/268/worldrichclubs.jpg"]Rich Clubs[/url]

Bandits Balance – £119.3m (+£13.3m), with a transfer budget of £49.9m (+£8m).
Sheriffs Balance - £69.1m (+10.5m), with a transfer budget of £40.2m (+6.7m).

[I]Staff Reputation[/I]

Dream Manager – 7238 (+1400)
Idiot Manager – 6656 (-26)

Both the initial assistants have retired from the game having never found a suitable job.

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

[I][url="http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/9140/1goalkeeper1.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
2012-13, Sunderland, CA 192: Apps 42, Conc 54, Cln 12, MoM 1, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 6.95
[B]2013-14, Sunderland, CA 195: Apps 44, Conc 62, Cln 13, MoM 3, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 6.97[/B]

Plays well for Sunderland, although they aren't pushing for trophies, finishing eleventh in the Premiership, but he continues as first choice for Argentina, and now has 29 caps.

[I]Honours[/I]
None

[I][url="http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/9688/1goalkeeper2.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
2012-13, Rangers, CA 189: Apps 51, Conc 37, Cln 25, MoM 3, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.08
[B]2013-14, Rangers, CA 193: Apps 54, Conc 42, Cln 29, MoM 3, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.04[/B]

Notes: Wins his fifth consecutive SPL title, and third consecutive Co-operative Cup, but it isn't good enough to get capped by Brazil. Probably needs a new challenge now.

[I]Honours[/I]
Scottish Premier League (Rangers: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
Scottish Cup (Rangers: 2013)
Scottish Co-operative Cup (Rangers: 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014)

Scottish Young Player of the Year (2012, 2013)

[I][url="http://img28.imageshack.us/img28/8935/2leftback1.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
2012-13, Arsenal, CA 197: Apps 53, Gls 4, Asts 4, MoM 4, YC 4, RC 0, Avg 7.18
[B]2013-14, Arsenal, CA 198: Apps 55, Gls 4, Asts 9, MoM 5, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 7.21[/B]

Notes: Has a fantastic season, but fails to win a trophy, finishing second in the Premiership, and losing the both the FA Cup and Champions League final. He didn't play in the triumphant Carling Cup final. Now has 23 caps with one goal.

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

[I][url="http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/2525/17leftback2.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
2012-13, Chelsea, CA 199: Apps 41 (3), Gls 1, Asts 4, MoM 1, YC 7, RC 0, Avg 7.09
[B]2013-14, Chelsea, CA 199: Apps 49 (2), Gls 1, Asts 4, MoM 0, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 7.07[/B]

Notes: Has another good season for Chelsea, and retains the Premiership with them, but does not get another cap for England in the year, still stuck on seven with no goals.

[I]Honours[/I]
English Premiership (Chelsea: 2013, 2014)
English Blue Square South (Bandits: 2009)

[I][url="http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/7633/5rightback1.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
2012-13, Atletico Madrid, CA 198: Apps 55, Gls 1, Asts 8, MoM 0, YC 6, RC 0, Avg 7.04
[B]2013-14, Atletico Madrid, CA 199: Apps 41 (1), Gls 2, Asts 11, MoM 1, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 7.12[/B]

Notes: Continues to impress in Spain, improving his performance levels in helping Atletico to fourth in La Liga, but not seriously threatening for trophies. Moves on to 25 caps without a goal for England.

[I]Honours[/I]
None

[I][url="http://img200.imageshack.us/img200/2342/3rightback2.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
2012-13, Man City, CA 198: Apps 40, Gls 2, Asts 6, MoM 1, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.06
[B]2013-14, Man City, CA 199: Apps 51, Gls 1, Asts 5, MoM 1, YC 8, RC 0, Avg 7.02[/B]

Notes: Continues to play well for Man City, who finish fifth again, fourteen points behind the top four they chase. Now has 18 caps for France.

[I]Honours[/I]
None

[I][url="http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/170/2centreback1.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
2012-13, Barcelona, CA 198: Apps 48, Gls 5, Asts 5, MoM 2, YC 8, RC 0, Avg 7.19
[B]2013-14, Barcelona, CA 199: Apps 54, Gls 10, Asts 1, MoM 3, YC 7, RC 0, Avg 7.16[/B]

Notes: Has another terrific season for Barcelona, and is becoming a real goal threat from set pieces. Retains La Liga and the Copa del Rey, and is part of a spine of former Bandits making the Barcelona side superb. Has 21 caps and two goals for Germany.

[I]Honours[/I]
Spanish La Liga (Barcelona: 2013, 2014)
Spanish Copa del Rey (Barcelona: 2013, 2014)

European Defender of the Year (2013)

[I][url="http://img200.imageshack.us/img200/1168/4centreback2.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
2012-13, Barcelona, CA 198: Apps 51, Gls 5, Asts 3, MoM 1, YC 5, RC 0, Avg 7.03
[B]2013-14, Barcelona, CA 198: Apps 54, Gls 8, Asts 1, MoM 3, YC 6, RC 0, Avg 7.13[/B]

Notes: Part of a brick wall of a central defensive partnership with Centre Back 1, he has another fine season, retaining La Liga and the Copa del Rey. Now has 31 caps with two goals 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, 2014)
Spanish Copa del Rey (Barcelona: 2013, 2014)

[I][url="http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/2488/13centreback3.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
2012-13, Sampdoria, CA 197: Apps 49, Gls 5, Asts 2, MoM 1, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.02
[B]Transfers to Arsenal for £39m[/B]
[B]2013-14, Arsenal, CA 199: Apps 39, Gls 5, Asts 1, MoM 1, YC 9, RC 2, Avg 7.05[/B]

Notes: After a few seasons in Spain, he moves back to the Premiership for a massive £39m, joining Arsenal and helping them to second in the Premiership. He was also part of the Carling Cup winning side. Has two goals in 32 appearances for Italy.

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

English Carling Cup (Arsenal: 2014)

[I][url="http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/6697/2centreback4.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
2012-13, Chelsea, CA 199: Apps 49 (1), Gls 3, Asts 1, MoM 2, YC 16, RC 0, Avg 7.05
[B]2013-14, Chelsea, CA 199: Apps 51, Gls 5, Asts 3, MoM 1, YC 9, RC 0, Avg 7.06[/B]

Notes: Retains the Premiership with Chelsea, playing well again, and is a scoring revelation for England, managing five in six games – his first five goals of his 22 cap career.

[I]Honours[/I]
English Premiership (Chelsea: 2013, 2014)

[I][url="http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/483/14leftmid1.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
2012-13, AC Milan, CA 199: Apps 43 (3), Gls 14, Asts 2, MoM 3, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 6.92
[B]2013-14, AC Milan, CA 199: Apps 41, Gls 21, Asts 12, MoM 8, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.30[/B]

Notes: Simply stunning – a goal return of one every two games from midfield, in Serie A, is quite frankly astonishing. It isn't enough to win trophies though, as Milan finish third in the table, but he is the star of the piece. Has four goals in 22 caps.

[I]Honours[/I]
None

[I][url="http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/5020/12leftmid2.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
2012-13, Chelsea, CA 198: Apps 44 (1), Gls 7, Asts 6, MoM 3, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 7.13
[B]2013-14, Chelsea, CA 199: Apps 46, Gls 12, Asts 14, MoM 3, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 7.30[/B]

Notes: Has comfortably the best season of his career, helping Chelsea retain the Premiership, and moving on to 32 caps with nine goals. He has also been recognised with the English Players' Player of the Year award.

[I]Honours[/I]
English Premiership (Chelsea: 2010, 2013, 2014)

English Player of the Season (2014)
English Young Player of the Season (2012)

[I][url="http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/9458/15rightmid1.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
2012-13, Chelsea, CA 198: Apps 39 (7), Gls 9, Asts 11, MoM 4, YC 4, RC 0, Avg 7.20
[B]2013-14, Chelsea, CA 199: Apps 48 (7), Gls 13, Asts 12, MoM 9, YC 6, RC 0, Avg 7.33[/B]

Notes: Another one to impress in midfield, Chelsea certainly have plenty of wide options. Wins the Premiership again, and moves on to eight caps with four goals.

[I]Honours[/I]
English Premiership (Chelsea: 2013, 2014)

[I][url="http://img185.imageshack.us/img185/1183/7rightmid2.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
2012-13, Liverpool, CA 199: Apps 42, Gls 11, Asts 15, MoM 7, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.31
[B]2013-14, Liverpool, CA 199: Apps 49 (1), Gls 11, Asts 16, MoM 6, YC 7, RC 0, Avg 7.29[/B]

Notes: He manages to maintain his impressive form for Liverpool, who finish third in the Premiership, and lift the FA Cup for the third season in succession. He is also a regular goalscorer for England, with ten in 22 caps.

[I]Honours[/I]
English Premiership (Liverpool: 2011)
English FA Cup (Liverpool: 2012, 2013, 2014)
Scottish Premier League (Rangers: 2009)
Scottish Co-operative Cup (Rangers: 2009)
UEFA Cup (Liverpool: 2013)

English Young Player of the Season (2013)

[I][url="http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/7643/6centremid1.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
2012-13, Middlesbrough, CA 198: Apps 42, Gls 10, Asts 7, MoM 7, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.08
[B]2013-14, Middlesbrough, CA 199: Apps 44, Gls 7, Asts 7, MoM 2, YC 8, RC 0, Avg 7.28[/B]

Notes: Refuses to leave Boro, who rise to eighth in the league with his substantial help, but if he wants to win major club trophies he may have to move on. Has nine goals in 23 caps.

[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://img17.imageshack.us/img17/2016/13centremid2.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
2012-13, Barcelona, CA 199: Apps 45 (4), Gls 14, Asts 3, MoM 4, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 7.26
[B]2013-14, Barcelona, CA 199: Apps 54, Gls 31, Asts 11, MoM 12, YC 6, RC 0, Avg 7.55[/B]

Notes: Oh my. That is the record of a decent striker, not a central midfielder. With the two former Bandits in central defence, what chance does anyone else have? 31 goals is an amazing return, and he helps Barcelona retain La Liga and the Copa del Rey. Deservedly wins a couple of personal awards too – European Midfielder of the Year and Portuguese Best Foreign Based Player of the Year. Has thirteen goals in 31 caps.

[I]Honours[/I]
Portuguese Cup (Sporting: 2011)
Spanish La Liga (Barcelona: 2013, 2014)
Spanish Copa del Rey (Barcelona: 2013, 2014)
World Club Cup (Barcelona: 2012)

European Midfielder of the Year (2014)
Portuguese League Young Player of the Year (2011)
Portuguese Best Foreign Based Player of the Year (2012, 2014)

[I][url="http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/2990/13centremid3.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
2012-13, Liverpool, CA 199: Apps 44 (6), Gls 16, Asts 10, MoM 3, YC 6, RC 1, Avg 7.21
[B]2013-14, Liverpool, CA 199: Apps 55, Gls 15, Asts 14, MoM 7, YC 5, RC 0, Avg 7.29[/B]

Notes: Has another excellent season, helping Liverpool to third and lifting the FA Cup. He is also a dangerous scorer for England, with sixteen goals in 26 games.

[I]Honours[/I]
English Premiership (Liverpool: 2011)
English FA Cup (Liverpool: 2012, 2013, 2014)
English Carling Cup (Liverpool: 2010)
UEFA Cup (Liverpool: 2013)

[I][url="http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/3051/18centremid4.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
2012-13, Liverpool, CA 198: Apps 51 (6), Gls 8, Asts 13, MoM 3, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 7.09
[B]2013-14, Liverpool, CA 198: Apps 44 (5), Gls 10, Asts 10, MoM 5, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 7.08[/B]

Notes: Another central midfielder having a decent season for Liverpool, although his performances are put in the shade a little by his teammates. Nonetheless, he picks up an FA Cup medal, and moves on to 21 caps with two goals.

[I]Honours[/I]
English Premiership (Liverpool: 2011)
English FA Cup (Liverpool: 2012, 2014)
UEFA Cup (Liverpool: 2013)

[I][url="http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/8420/9striker1i.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
2012-13, Sevilla, CA 199: Apps 46, Gls 38, Asts 12, MoM 13, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.50
[B]2013-14, Sevilla, CA 199: Apps 38, Gls 38, Asts 13, MoM 12, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.67[/B]

Notes: He continues his astonishing form for Sevilla, scoring at a goal a game, and helping them finish third again. Picks up a deserved host of personal awards – European Golden Boot, World Player of the Year, World Footballer of the Year and Spanish Player of the Year. Outstanding. Takes his incredible international record to 31 goals in 25 games, and wins the Confederations Cup with Spain.

[I]Honours[/I]
Confederations Cup (Spain: 2013)

English Blue Square South (Bandits: 2009)
Spanish Copa del Rey (Sevilla: 2011)
UEFA Cup (Sevilla: 2012)

World Player of the Year (2014)
World Footballer of the Year (2014)
Spanish Player of the Year (2014)
Spanish Young Player of the Year (2013)

[I][url="http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/6099/10striker2.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
2012-13, Newcastle, CA 197: Apps 47, Gls 36, Asts 15, MoM 11, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 7.51
[B]2013-14, Newcastle, CA 199: Apps 53, Gls 41, Asts 16, MoM 14, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 7.54[/B]

Notes: Continues to improve, and manages forty goals in a season for the second time in three years. Almost single-handedly drags Newcastle to sixth in the Premiership, but may need to move for trophies. Even comes second to Striker 1 in all the personal awards, but is up to 18 goals in 21 caps.

[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://img136.imageshack.us/img136/9780/16striker3.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
2012-13, Rangers, CA 195: Apps 47, Gls 56, Asts 16, MoM 21, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.83
[B]Transfers to Chelsea for £41.5m[/B]
[B]2013-14, Chelsea, CA 199: Apps 45, Gls 33, Asts 16, MoM 8, YC 3, RC 1, Avg 7.46[/B]

Notes: After demolishing Scottish football year after year, he tries his hand south of the border after a big money move to Chelsea, and is an instant hit, scoring 33 times in his opening season, helping Chelsea win the Premiership. He also picks up a host of personal awards – European Footballer of the Year, European Striker of the Year, and English Footballer of the Year, but still doesn't appear much on the international stage, with four goals in seven caps.

[I]Honours[/I]
Scottish Premier League (Rangers: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
Scottish Cup (Rangers: 2013)
Scottish Co-operative Cup (Rangers: 2010, 2012, 2013)
English Premiership (Chelsea: 2014)

Scottish Player of the Year (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
English Footballer of the Year (2014)
European Footballer of the Year (2014)
European Striker of the Year (2014)
European Golden Boot (2010, 2011)

[I][url="http://img200.imageshack.us/img200/2118/11striker4.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
2012-13, Sampdoria, CA 196: Apps 20, Gls 17, Asts 8, MoM 9, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 7.64
Transfers to Arsenal for £53m
2012-13, Arsenal, CA 199: Apps 21, Gls 12, Asts 2, MoM 4, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 7.31
[B]2013-14, Arsenal, CA 199: Apps 46 (1), Gls 37, Asts 16, MoM 11, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 7.51[/B]

Notes: Nothing short of spectacular – 37 goals for Arsenal in an amazing season that sees them finish second in virtually everything, except the Carling Cup campaign he was not a part of. 12 goals in 14 caps for England too.

[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://img10.imageshack.us/img10/5522/1idiotgoalkeeper.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
2012-13, West Brom, CA 150: Apps 45, Conc 78, Cln 10, MoM 1, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 6.85
[B]2013-14, West Brom, CA 151: Apps 42, Conc 68, Cln 7, MoM 2, YC 1, RC 0, Avg 6.86[/B]

Notes: Finally breaks the 150 CA barrier, going up a single point, but he and West Brom have a poor season, finishing bottom of the Premiership and getting relegated. He moves on to 12 caps for England, but needs to move if he wants to be playing Premiership football next season.

[I]Honours[/I]
None

[I][url="http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/2237/20idiotdefender.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
2012-13, West Ham, CA 143: Apps 18 (3), Gls 0, Asts 3, MoM 1, YC 3, RC 0, Avg 6.82
[B]2013-14, West Ham, CA 144: Apps 11 (4), Gls 0, Asts 0, MoM 0, YC 1, RC 1, Avg 6.80[/B]

Notes: Can't get back in the West Ham side despite his CA making a small recovery. West Ham finish 15th, and he remains uncapped.

[I]Honours[/I]
None

[I][url="http://img223.imageshack.us/img223/2853/8idiotmidfielder.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
2012-13, Aston Villa, CA 149: Apps 9 (7), Gls 1, Asts 0, MoM 0, YC 0, RC 0, Avg 6.58
Transfers to Portsmouth for £3.5m
2012-13, Portsmouth, CA 149: Apps 17, Gls 0, Asts 1, MoM 0, YC 8, RC 1, Avg 6.71
[B]2013-14, Portsmouth, CA 149: Apps 44 (1), Gls 3, Asts 9, MoM 5, YC 2, RC 1, Avg 6.99[/B]

Notes: Despite instructing his agent to find him a more suitable club after Portsmouth's relegation from the Premiership last summer, he stayed on, won his place back, and did okay in the Championship, helping them to second place and an instant return. Still wants to leave, mind, and has no caps to his name.

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

[I][url="http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/5582/10idiotstriker.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
2012-13, Hull, CA 144: Apps 14 (9), Gls 5, Asts 3, MoM 2, YC 1, RC 1, Avg 6.75
[B]2013-14, Hull, CA 144: Apps 42 (3), Gls 10, Asts 10, MoM 2, YC 2, RC 0, Avg 6.89[/B]

Notes: Bearing in mind that this is the Championship, that is a fairly poor record, as Hull finish seventh, one place behind the Sheriffs. He is considering leaving, but where can he go? Still has no caps.

[I]Honours[/I]
None

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

England qualified from an easy World Cup group, winning all ten of their games, while Scotland also won their group. But Northern Ireland, Wales and Ireland failed to make it. England have a friendly looking group – Algeria, Australia and the Czech Rep, while Scotland are pitted against Spain, Cameroon and Iran.

[url="http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/4471/barclayspremierleagues.jpg"]Premiership[/url]

Chelsea retained the Premiership, with Arsenal second, and the rest of the Big Four close in behind. Man City are puffing away in fifth but can't make the step up.

At the bottom, West Brom, Fulham and Stoke were all woeful, allowing Leeds to survive with a pathetic tally of their own – just 26 points was enough to avoid the drop.

Liverpool won the FA Cup for the third season in a row, beating Arsenal 1-0 in the final, the third time in a row they have lost the final. Wigan were the only side from outside the Premiership to make the quarters, losing 3-0 to Chelsea, but Conference Kettering did make it to round five before losing to Boro.

Arsenal lifted the Carling Cup, beating Newcastle 1-0 in the final, again with the Premiership clubs dominating the latter stages.

That cup win was a blip, however, and like last season, Arsenal also fell at the last in the Champions League, losing on penalties after a 3-3 draw with Juventus, who were the only non-Premiership side in the last four. Schalke also condemned Newcastle to a second cup final defeat of the season, beating them 1-0 in the UEFA Cup.

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

(league position in bold)
1 (1). Arsenal [B](2)[/B] – 9414 (+44)
2 (2). Chelsea [B](1)[/B] – 9294 (+100)
3 (3). Man Utd [B](4)[/B] – 8941 (-53)
4 (4). Liverpool [B](3)[/B] – 8708 (-3)
5 (5). Everton [B](10)[/B] – 7941 (-37)
6 (7). Man City [B](6)[/B] – 7799 (+214)
7 (6). Tottenham [B](9)[/B] – 7721 (-12)
8 (8). Newcastle [B](7)[/B] – 7714 (+240)
9 (9). Aston Villa [B](13)[/B] – 7256 (+29)
10 (10). Middlesbrough [B](8)[/B] – 7216 (+185)
11 (12). Sunderland [B](11)[/B] – 7140 (+172)
12 (13). Blackburn [B](7)[/B] – 7077 (+201)
13 (11). Bolton [B](12)[/B] – 7050 (+30)
14 (14). Reading [B](14)[/B] – 6832 (+63)
15 (16). West Ham [B](15)[/B] – 6776 (+110)
16 (-). Preston [B](16)[/B] – 6407 (+117)
17 (17). Leeds [B](17)[/B] – 6366 (+115)
18 (-). Fulham [B](18)[/B] – 5810 (-712)
19 (-). Stoke [B](19)[/B] – 5798 (-487)
20 (15). West Brom [B](20)[/B] – 5796 (-882)

[I]Promoted sides[/I]
Wolves - 6112
Portsmouth – 6520 (+714)
Burnley - 5653

[I]Elsewhere[/I]

Bandits – 4561 (+1191) (1/24 in League One, League Range: 4561-2745)
Sheriffs – 4236 (+521) (21/24 in Championship, League Range: 6520-3622)

Very little change again in the Premiership, the only change in the top ten being Man City's rise about Spurs. At the bottom, West Brom's awful season sinks them to the foot of the table, while Preston enjoy a decent side having survived after promotion.

Portsmouth's reputation gives them a chance next season, but Burnley in particular will find it tough.

The Bandits have an awesome season and see their reputation exceed the Sheriffs, who are still rooted near the foot of the Championship. Next season should be very interesting.

[B]Overachievers : None[/B]
[B]Underachievers : None[/B]
[B]Title Prediction : Chelsea to retain[/B]
[B]Relegation Prediction : Preston, Leeds and Burnley to go down[/B]

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[I][B]Competitions – Championship[/B][/I]

Best players in Championship:

1 (-). di Santo (Portsmouth, 25, DT, 155-159)
2 (-). Pavone (Hull, 32, ST, 152-156)
3 (-). Idiot Midfielder (Portsmouth, 22, WB RL, DM, AM RLC, 149-200)
4 (-). Yakubu (Plymouth, 31, ST, 146-165)
5 (-). Idiot Striker (Hull, 22, FC, 144-200)
6 (-). Mattock (Leicester, 24, D/WB/M L, 144-162)
7 (-). Boyce (Wolves, 34, D RC, 143-147)
8 (-). McFadden (Birmingham, 31, AML, FC, 143-147)
9 (-). Soumah (Plymouth, 27, AM RL, 141-145)
10 (-). Crouch (Portsmouth, 33, ST, 140-155)

It certainly isn't a surprise to see Portsmouth promoted with a front pairing of Franco di Santo and Peter Crouch, especially with Idiot Midfielder in behind them, but Plymouth should have done better than eighth.

Plenty of recognisable names there, but no Sheriffs, whose best player, Nathan Dyer, comes in 23rd.

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

Best players in League One:

[B]1 (-). Ecuele Manga (Bandits, 25, DC, 136-155)[/B]
[B]2 (-). Jerome (Bandits, 27, ST, 136-140)[/B]
[B]3 (-). Gardner (Bandits, 27, DR/MC, 135-145)[/B]
[B]4 (-). Eagles (Bandits, 28, AM RLC, 135-140)[/B]
[B]5 (-). Johnson (Bandits, 31, DC, 133-140)[/B]
6 (-). McCann (Ipswich, 26, WBL/DM/M LC, 131-138)
7 (-). McMahon (Ipswich, 28, DR, 131-132)
8 (6). Apoula (Southend, 27, GK, 129-140)
9 (-). Ikeme (Doncaster, 27, GK, 129-130)
10 (-). Hird (Doncaster, 26, D RC, 128-130)

Anyone wonder why the Bandits were so dominant this season? Incredibly, they have the best five players in the division, and the top two are only four CA points away from appearing in the top ten list in the Championship. They already have players capable of the step up.

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