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Thread: CM 00/01 - Discussion

  1. #1751
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMC View Post
    Huzzah! Finally that elusive Champions League is landed, all hail King Zlatan

    What's the plan now then mate? Stay with FGR or try your hand elsewhere?
    It was about time we had some success on the continent! Veteran or not, he can bring the magic at will!

    I'm used to stay at clubs until the bitter end, when things go worse and worse. Unless I get sacked, I'll probably be at Forest Green for some more years. Hard to predict when the chemistry between me and the players will be gone...

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    AMC

  3. #1752
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    Once again the board were convinced (by me) to rebuild The Lawn, bringing the capacity up to 21,864 all-seated places. A steady growth from the year 2000, when I started my job there with a total of 3,132 and only 332 seats. However, the season got underway for us at Wembley, with the same fixture as last year. We were defeated 4-1 by Middlesbrough on that occasion and it hurted ever since. They weren't in the game this time and with two thirds of the playing time passed, it was Knight (SC) to score the only goal of the Charity Shield 2016/2017: 0-1!!!

    Early in the season we went to Monaco for a game against Porto (Por), the winners of the UEFA Cup. Two minutes of European Super Cup played and their goalkeeper received a red card. Henderson (DC) had no trouble converting the penalty, but within fifteen minutes later the ten men had equalised. In the second half some more Forest Green Rovers goals were scored by Ibrahimovic (SC), Compagno (AM/FRLC) and Beresford (MC), to make this trophy ours: 1-4!!!

    At the end of November we even had to play a match in Tokyo and the opponents were the winners of the Copa Libertadores. Near the end of the first half Gary Bates (SC) got us in front and before we went off the pitch to pause, Ponte Preta (Bra) levelled the scoreline. It wasn't easy to point out a possible winner of this World Club Cup after 45 minutes and the deciding goal came with only five more minutes to play: 2-1...

    A home tie first in the Third Round of the League Cup versus Notts County (D3). A doable game on paper and nothing much between both sides in reality, with a goal after five minutes by Willamson (DR): 1-0! Away at Leicester (PRM) then in the Fourth Round and obviously a completely different type of opposition. Their goalkeeper was kind of unassailable on that day, but with almost 25 minutes on the clock, Knight made it twenty for the season in all competitions. That was only to bring us back in the game and at the stroke of half time we were out of it again. No more goals were scored, mainly because their man between the sticks: 3-1...

    The Third Round of the FA Cup was scheduled at The Lawn as well and Crewe (PRM) came to visit. Fifteen minutes played and Henderson had another penalty to take. In the second half Ibrahimovic fired in number twenty of 2016/2017 and Quinn (AM/FLC) took all doubts away: 3-0! It was the same caliber of opposition when we hosted a Fourth Round game against Coventry (PRM). In both halfs, early goals were scored by Ibrahimovic and much closer to the final whistle, it was Tony Barnard (AM/FRC) to hit one home as well: 3-0! Our first travel of the tournament in the Fifth Round, when we headed to Darlington (D1). The game was five minutes underway, when Oliver (DMC) found the net and with ten minutes to play, Compagno (AM/FRLC) celebrated a goal for the fifth time that season. Conceding once during the stoppage time, didn't had any consequences for us: 1-2! Down to the last eight then and another trip for us, to Lincoln (D1) this time. The first thirty minutes saw two goals by John Craig (SC) and one from Chris Ward (DC) as well as two injured players for the home team. At the beginning of the second half, Craig was the centre of attention once more, but this time by losing his head and seeing a red card. Goals by both teams were ruled out in the remaining minutes and so this is how it all ended: 0-3! In Sunderland, Arsenal (PRM) were next and they dominated play from the beginning to the end. No wonder they took the lead within the first twenty minutes, where in the 25th minute, we had Knight to produce the equaliser with his 25th goal of the season. Before the break we were down once again and in the first minute of the second half, Green (AM/FRC) brought us back level. About five minutes from the end, Beresford was sent off and ten minutes prior to that, Knight had completed his brace: 3-2! For the fourth time in a row we were at Wembley to play this Final, victorious in the previous three. Nottingham Forest (PRM) needed just over twenty minutes to take the lead and ten minutes later their goalscorer had to leave the ground limping. At the stroke of half time, we had to end the game without Knight, who was forced to hit the showers due to a red card... Roughly ten minutes played in the second half and a goal by Green was enough to keep an equal score, even after thirty minutes of extra time: 1-1 (pens 2-4)!!!

    By adding three wins in the First Group of the Champions League to our tournament win last season, we broke the record for winning the most CL games in a row. Another three points in the fourth match had us already qualified, but it took away our motivation for the last two, which we lost both. In the Second Group we were through after five games and also lost the last one. For a place amongst the final four, we had to get rid off Roma (Ita), playing in England first. A lot of chances for them in the first half, but no goals were scored until ten minutes in the second half, when Craig opened the scoring for us. They were clearly angry about this run of events and switched to an even higher gear, giving us a real spanking in the end: 1-3... The chances were equally divided in Italy and at the end of the first half, they were ahead. Close to the ninetieth minute, we had Green to score an away goal, but we were unable to defend our title: 1-1 (agg 4-2).

    Spoiler!

    Ibrahimovic was turning 35 this season and rather soon he requested a move, because he wanted a new challenge. His contract was about to end, so when no club came in for him, he left us in the summer of 2017. Any chance for him to celebrate the club's seventh Premier Division title and the sixth in a row? Not the best of starts in the league when we drew away at Wycombe. However, that was one of the games that helped us eventually breaking the top-flight record of most consecutive games without losing. We made light work of taking over the highest position on the table and never looked back. As a result of that, the last four games were for the backup players and they managed to make it a league season of 100+ goals sored!

    Spoiler!

    About ten national jobs came available last season, when the Euro Qualifications had finished. I applied for all of them and was offered the job once. This season the World Cup Qualifications started and we hit the ground running with nine points from the first three games, without conceding a single goal. We gave away a double lead when our goalkeeper was beaten for the first time and in the very next game the Romania records for biggest win (7-0) and most goals in one match by the same player (five, scored by a debutant!) were broken!

    Spoiler!

  4. #1753
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    Oops...


  5. #1754
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    Ha ha, I was gonna ask if you're gonna play him again but with them average ratings you have to!

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  7. #1755
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    Finishing as runners-up in the Premier Division for the third season in a row, brought Middlesbrough as many times to Wembley at the beginning of a new season. The Charity Shield was won by both them and us in the previous two encounters. This time we had two first-half debut goals by Collins Babangida (FLC) and a regular one from Green (AM/FRC), only to still be behind after 45 minutes. By doubling his tally for the day in the 63th minute, Green forced both teams to start completely over in the remaining half an hour. And a winning goal was exactly what this game needed: 5-4...

    A trip to Millwall (D2) in the Third Round of the League Cup really got us going. The scoresheet eventually showed the names of Beresford (MC), Henderson (DC, penalty), Babangida, Brennan (D/MRLC), Compagno (AM/FRLC), again Babangida (15th of the season) and Knight (SC): 0-7! An away game against Nottingham Forest (PRM) in the Fourth Round and within ten minutes one of their defenders scored a brace of yellow cards. In the first half we had Babangida and Phil Callaghan (AMC) to do the damage and in the second half Babangida secured the win, before we had to concede: 1-3! Down to the last eight and still no home tie, Wolves (D2) the hosts this time around. Early in the game Beresford reached double figures and Compagno went halfway that amount. Before the break Babangida made it three for us, saw another one being disallowed and in the second half the home side clawed one back, only to go a man down a little later. Then was the time for Babangida to make it twenty for the season and Beresford grabbed a double as well: 1-5! Back to Premier Division opposition, twice, when Crewe (PRM) visited The Lawn first. Less than ten minutes played and Nathan Mason (DMC) found the net for the first time this season. In the first minute after the restart, we had to score again to win this match. Jun Li (D/DMLC) reacted fast and soon Beresford - as a midfielder - was on fifteen for the season. In the end, it was Green who extended our lead even further: 4-1! Cherno Samba (SC) put the home team in front after just five minutes of the return. We created more chances and were rewarded rather early in the second half, when Steve McCulloch (SC) equalised, but we were punished once more about five minutes later. The margin was big enough, so there was absolutely no need to panic: 2-1 (agg 3-5). The Final at Wembley was played between us, playing and winning this particular match three seasons ago, and Charlton (PRM), playing and losing here last season. Over fifteen minutes underway and we were down, only to strike back in the first half through Beresford, Knight with his twentieth of 2017/2018 and that same man again. Another ball that went passed our goalie Neill couldn't prevent us winning this trophy for the fourth time: 3-2!!!

    The Third Round of the FA Cup was comparable to that of the other domestic cup, so we travelled to Hereford, a team in the Second Division of England. Ten minutes on the clock and both teams lost a player due to an injury, Ivan Konynendyk (SC) the unlucky one on our behalf. Seven minutes later, Chris Ward (DC) was sent off and the following penalty had us on our knees. On the stroke of half time, Callaghan levelled the match and Hereford had a second player stretchered off. In the second half, Alexander Farnerud (AM/FRLC) handed us the lead, but now we had to allow an equaliser. With ten minutes to go, the hosts had to deal with a third injury and were down to ten men too. From that point on, Babangida thought it definitely was time to avoid a replay: 2-3! Away at Reading (D2) then in the Fourth Round and a goal on the edge of the first half by Craig (SC) was enough to proceed: 0-1! The opposition in the Fifth Round came from one tier up, but we were still away, at Southampton this time. We didn't quite know what hit us as we were on a double deficit after 25 minutes. An own goal in the first minute of the second half and a first of the season from Barnard (AM/FRC) finally meant a home game for us, albeit in the same round of the tournament: 2-2. We had to concede once now and that was in the 90th minute, when Quinn (AM/FLC) had already signed for his fifth of the season and Barnard, Knight and Quinn again had given us a comfortable margin: 4-1! The first attempt in the Quarter Finals against Manchester City (D1) was at home immediately and Babangida got himself a first-half brace. A red card for them in the second half, gave Stephen Young (D/MR) the chance to get off the mark for FGR: 3-0! Our Semi Final versus Aston Villa (PRM) was played in Sunderland, where within half an hour Knight, Babangida and Beresford were the scorers. In the second half only Knight managed to repeat this trick: 0-4! This Final featured us for the seventh time and we did win five of the six previous attempts, four of which were in a row until this one. Blackburn (D1) knew this as well and, it's absolutely no excuse, we were on a busy schedule at this stage of the season. Only two minutes underway at Wembley and we had something to repair for almost an entire game. Way too many chances were given away by us, but early in the second half one of the few we created ourselves was converted by Craig. We had much trouble holding out for the rest of the game and this continued in the extra time. One half of fifteen minutes was survived and in the second period finally a fully deserved goal was scored: 2-1...

    In the First Group of the Champions League with Lazio (Ita), Porto (Por) and Odd Grenland (Nor), we went through to the next stage after four matches. Eventually we topped this group by staying unbeaten and by almost keeping a perfect record. The Second Group had us facing KV Mechelen (Bel), Panathinaikos (Gre) and IS (Swe). We were defeated once and hence picked up three points less, didn't score as many goals and had a slightly better defensive record. Nevertheless, we won this group even more comfortably in terms of the difference in points towards the number two.

    Spoiler!

    We were eager to do better in the Quarter Finals than we did last season and Deportivo (Esp) played in England first. Before we were five minutes underway, Farnerud opened the scoring, only for us to be back equal about twenty minutes later. During the stoppage time of the first half, Michael Nicol (DRC) received his second yellow card of the game and playing with ten men in the second half, we were lucky not to concede more goals and it was a real bonus that Konynendyk found the net for us: 2-1! In Spain, we were the better team and shortly after the second-half kick-off, Knight broke the deadlock. Two minutes later they scored as well and twenty minutes after that, an injured player for each team - Green for us - had to leave the field. This type of confusion was used by them to make the aggregate score level. In the dying seconds of the game, someone scored his 25th of the season to keep everyone out of playing thirty minutes of extra time. Leon, Leon Knight! Leon Knight! Leon, Leon Knight!!! So: 2-2 (agg 3-4). To reach the Final once more, we had to defeat Anderlecht (Bel) over two matches. A pretty even game was played in Brussels and both goalkeepers were rated a nine out of ten: 0-0. At home, we were reduced to ten men within the first half an hour, when Li was shown a straight red. Five minute prior to that incident, we had taken the lead through Babangida. The Belgians were rather harmless during the remaining sixty minutes and that wasn't too bad for us: 1-0 (agg 1-0)! The Final was played in Brussels as well and the opponents weren't unknown too, given the fact that we had faced Lazio twice in the early stages of this tournament. We hit the locker rooms with a double lead thanks to Green and Compagno and before we had to concede in the second half, Babangida also had put his name on the scoresheet. The Romans scored another one, but not before Green made his fiftieth for the club count: 4-2!!!

    We added our own challenge to the league, by only picking up five points in the first four fixtures. Reaching all the finals of the other tournaments, weighted heavily on our squad. Eventually, without playing ourselves, the champions were known with eight matches to spare. The replacements that were mainly used to play those games, lost three and won five of them. Another great season and our seventh consecutive top-flight title of the eight in total now!

    Spoiler!

    I also had some business to do with Romania. We were leading our World Cup Qualification Group with three matches to go. The first of those, away at Georgia, saw us conceding and dropping some more points, but we remained unbeaten. At home against Luxemburg there weren't any doubts about the winners of this tie. In the final match, away at Czech Republic, a point was needed to keep us on top. We didn't score a goal ourselves for the first time in an official match and inevitably failed to win this one. To not lose it as well, was enough for us to qualify!

    Spoiler!

    The Romanian FA asked for a place in the quarter finals. I wasn't sure if that was realistic... Our tournament started versus a fellow European nation and Wales were completely dominated by us. In the second half that finally paid off, when Marius Tudor (SC) scored for the first time in his international career: 0-1! Against Mexico next and now we had to concede in the first-half stoppage time. By then, Dumitru Ilie (SC) had picked up his first for his country and Adrian Munteanu (AMRC) had doubled our lead. In the second half, Catalin Stan (SW/DC) was shown a red card and we didn't give anything away: 2-1! Australia were also on six points, so our mutual meeting was to decide about the group win. During the first 45 minutes, Gheorghe Rosu (ML) showed us the way and in the second act, their first shot on target went in. After that, they had a man sent off and one other attempt between the posts: 2-1...

    Spoiler!

    The Second Round saw us facing Denmark. In Dumitru Ilie and Marius Tudor we had the right players to score in the first half. An early goal against in the second half was answered by a late goal of Adrian Munteanu: 1-3! To do better than was expected, Turkey were in our way. Another team that succeeded in scoring against us at the end of the first half. And again we were 2-0 up by that time, Dumitru Ilie and Adrian Munteanu both scoring for the third time during this tournament. Just one more goal during the second half and it was Adrian Ivan (SC) who scored on his debut: 3-1! A place in the final was at stake when we met Guinea. After three minutes Marius Ilie (AM/FRC) opened the scoring and less than ten minutes later the Africans scored too. At the half hour mark, a red card significantly changed their chances of success. Despite this situation, we weren't able to score the winning goal or more in the following sixty minutes of the game. Fifteen minutes of extra time later and the scoreline was still level. In the 107th minute, Miha Matei (AMC) found the net to score the golden goal: 1-2 (aet)! The Final was played in Montevideo (Uru) and the award for Man of the Match went to the goalkeeper of the German national team. It was a good thing that Dumitru Ilie worked himself a way towards the scoresheet after all: 0-1!!! We are the champions... Of the world!!!

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