Page 2 of 10 FirstFirst 123456 ... LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 232

Thread: The Sir Bobby Robson Story

  1. #26
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    Pre Season 2003-04


    After the unbelievable Champions League win, coupled with a 2nd place finish in the Premiership the previous season, the club's bank account was looking particularly healthy. We had a balance of 38m, with 24m available to spend on players. Compared to last season, we only had a very short pre season, after being entered in to the World Club Championship in Spain, thanks to our UEFA Cup victory in the first season. With this in mind I decided to do my business early.

    Unfortunately, I was unable to attract any major stars, failing with lucrative bids for Ribery (Bayern turned down 20m, despite the player wanting to come to us), and David Villa (agreed a fee and terms with the player but ran out of money), but I was happy with the few additions I made.

    Polish Goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak had already agreed to join us on a bosman, and he was joined by Phillipe Mexes (Roma - 12m), Cicinho (Milan - 8m) and Sergio Canales (Racing Santander - 1.1m), as the new arrivals at Craven Cottage. We have also agreed the bosman signing of 18 yr old Georgian midfielder Jano Ananidze from Spartak Moscow, with him arriving in mid November. Unfortunately, once again we had work permit heart break as the already agreed bosman signing of left back Nikola Gulan fell through. The Serbian full back has since joined Salernitana. Thanks to the World Club Championship and Season tickets, we still have 11.5m to spend and I'm desperate for a right winger.

    Leaving the club were a number of players deemed surplus to requirements. Aaron Huges (Man City - 2.8m), Dickson Etuhu (Aston Villa - 2.3m), John Pantsil (West Ham - 1.2m) brought in a bit of extra cash, with Danny Murphy, David Stockdale and Christopher Buchtmann all leaving the club after their contracts expired. Sol Campbell, Erik Nevland and Simon Davies have all been transfer listed, but as of yet no one has bid for them.

    Last edited by AMC; 05-03-12 at 11:32 PM.

  2. #27
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    So to the start of a new season, and after our exploits in our first season winning the UEFA Cup, we were invited to compete in the World Club Championship which would be held in Spain.

    We were drawn against Argentine giants River Plate, Club Deportivo Leon of Mexico and finally Al-Gharafa of Qatar. All 3 of our group games were to be played at the Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid. We faced River Plate in our first game and got off to a great start, going 3-0 up in the first half thanks to goals from Hangeland and a brace from Riise, and that's how the game finished, a good start. Leon up next, and it was a near carbon copy of the River game, with us 3-0 up at half time, but not adding to the score in the 2nd half, this time it was Samba and Diego (2) to get on the scoresheet. With that win we were basically through to the semi finals, but we put it beyond any doubt in our final group game, with a comprehensive 4-0 rout of Al-Gharafa, Canales, Diarra, Dempsey and Rosicky all finding the net.



    In the semi finals we would face rivals Chelsea, with Barcelona playing Veracruz of Mexico in the other semi, I knew who I would have rather played! It mattered little though, with Rosicky putting us 1-0 ahead inside 30 mins, and despite a scare when Alex missed a penaly at the start of the 2nd half, we made sure of the win with a further goal for Rosicky and Canales.



    It came as no surprise that we would face Barcelona in the final, after they crushed Veracruz 5-0. Messi had been in unbelievable in the tournament, with 10 goals in 5 games, including 5 against Brisbane Roar in a 7-0 win. I had faith in my team though, buoyed by the fact that we overcame them 2-1 on agg in the Champions League Semi Final last year. To the game itself and it was a close affair, with neither side creating much, and we couldn't be separated come half time. The deadlock was broke minutes into the 2nd half, with a bit of magic from that man Messi. We pushed forward in search of an equaliser but Valdes was in fine form, and we had to settle for 2nd best. The game also saw Diarra come off with an injury, ruling him out for the first 3 weeks of the Premiership season. Just what I needed!



    Just 6 days later we kick started our league campaign with a tricky looking tie at home to Man City. In my 2 seasons in charge of Fulham we haven't got off to the best of starts in the league, could we change that this season? As I expected it was a tight game, but moments before half time Jermaine Jones, in for the injured Diarra gave us the lead, and 20 mins into the 2nd half we found a killer 2nd through Diego, and we had the win we desired. Villa away next and another tough game, and that's how it proved. With the teams tied at 1-1 with 90 mins on the clock, and the final whistle imminent, the home side mounted one last attack, and were rewarded when Milner turned in a Warnock cross. Bugger!

    We had to pick ourselves up as just 3 days later we would face Roma in the European Super Cup. Roma had beat Man City in the UEFA Cup Final last season and were looking for another English scalp. I don't know if it was a hangover from losing the Villa game late on or somethin else, all I did know is we didn't turn up. Baptista gave Roma the lead on the stroke of half time, another body blow, and Cazorla added a 2nd on 59. Kronaveter pulled one back for us with mins to go, but it meant nothing when Menez went down the other end a minute later, and regain Roma's 2 goal cushion with seconds left. The big games kept coming with a trip to Anfield, but a bore draw ensued, which isn't even with writing about

    The Champions League started again and after winning it last season, I wanted to retain it (surprise, surprise). Despite being defending champions, we had a tough group. Inter, Rangers and Zenit St Petersburg our opponents. Our first game was a long trip to Petersburg, and I think our players were still asleep when we went behind on 32. However, it was the wake up call we needed, Rosicky, Jones, Canales and Petrov scoring in the space of 9 mins, to hand us a 4-1 lead at half time, which we saw out to the final whistle. A great start to our defence.



    Wolves have always been a bit of a bogey side for me so far, and they kept that up in a thrilling 3-2 defeat. We came back from 2-0 down to 2-2, but Darius Vassell scored 5 mins from time to send the home fans crazy. Skipper Hangeland was also injured to cap off a bad day. Rangers travelled down south to take us on next, and despite battering them pillar to post, we were met by a ridiculous good performance from Vladimir Stojkovic (MOM obviously and a 10 rating), and we had to settle for a 0-0 draw. Could it come back to haunt us?

    We'd been on the look out for a right winger for some time when I finally found my man. Barcelona and Spanish forward Pedro was unhappy with his limited appearances and jumped at the chance for regular football, and we signed him for 11m, and I was more than pleased.



    Wigan at home was a good chance of getting back to winnings ways, and that was the case, with Pedro scoring on his debut, and Rosicky finding the net. Unfortunately, Diego was stretchered off just 5 mins into the game, a torn groin muscle ruling him out for 2 months Inter at home was a real roller coaster of a game. We came back from 1-0 and 2-1 down thanks to strikes from Petrov and Canales, but Eto'o scored his 2nd late on to confine us to a 3-2 defeat, with yet another injury, this time to Jones. Middlesbrough completed September, and we ran out 2-0 winners, goals from Canales and Rosicky.



    A look at the Championship showed that Ipswich had made a terrible start to the season, and it looked like I would soon have that job I craved, although Keane's name was still not on the insecure list for the time being, AAAAAAAAHHHHH!


    Last edited by AMC; 24-08-16 at 06:57 PM.

  3. #28
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    We started October with two away games against 2 city rivals, first up was Spurs at White Hart Lane, and 10 days later we would travel to the Boleyn Ground to take on West Ham. We managed to secure a 1-0 win at Spurs thanks to a goal from Canales who had enforced himself as my 1st choice striker now, but it was a game we didn't deserve to win, with a draw a fair result, or even a Spurs win, but I didn't care we had the 3 pts. Karma's a bitch! Despite dominating West Ham we went down 3-1, some poor keeping from Joe Lewis (which saw him dropped for the next game), some woeful finishing from our players, and Diarra being sent off was our downfall. We needed to bounce back, and Inter away was not the ideal game to do it in. Eto'o opened the scoring after 22 mins, but just as I feared a hammering, Diarra levelled the scores 6 mins before the break. Onto the 2nd half, and the equaliser had lifted our spirits and we began to get on top of the Italians. We got our reward when Rosicky got on the end of a Diarra pass and fired the ball past Carlo Zotti. The instructions were to defend our lead, and despite Higuain and Ronaldinho going close late on, we escaped Milan with 3 massive points.



    The win over Inter was just what we needed, and we followed it up with an easy 2-0 win over Hull at Craven Cottage, the only negative being Cicinho getting sent off for a second bookable offence late on. Our last home game of the Champions League saw Zenit arrive at the Cottage, a win would put us through to the next stage. We took the game to Zenit right from the off, but once again ran into a brick wall in the visitors goal, and I feared a repeat of the Rangers game. The game turned on its ahead in the last 20 mins, when Diego made a foul on the edge of our box, giving a free kick in a dangerous position, but worse was it resulted in a 2nd yellow card for the Brazilian. Portuguese defender Fernando Meira stepped up and smashed the ball past Kuszczak in our goal, and with a man disadvantage we couldn't mount any sort of a comeback. A long trip to Sunderland was our next destination, and it wasn't a happy trip, with Kenwyne Jones putting the home side up after 9 mins and they were unlucky not to extend their lead, but they did get the win. The League Cup was up and running, and we faced Wolves at home in the 3rd round, and it was a morale boosting victory, as we crushed them 4-0, Canales bagging a hatrick in the process. The final group game of the Champions League was upon us, a trip to Ibrox, and a draw would see us through. The game didn't spark in to life until the hour mark, when Kris Boyd put the home side 1-0 up, and Rangers above us into 2nd. Just 8 mins later Canales equalised, and Rosicky added a 2nd moments later, and barring a miracle we were through. Unfortunately Rangers got a miracle. Substitute Kenny Miller, made it 2-2, and with a minute left scored a killer 3rd, and we were out.



    We returned to league business, but our morale was at rock bottom. We were away to Bolton, a tough place for anyone, and they smelled blood. We faced a barrage of attacks early on, but weathered the storm, and with our first attack took the lead through Diego, and our lead was doubled right on half time, when the returning Pedro (ineligible for Europe) headed in. Bolton continued to press but we held on. After 3rd and 2nd place finishes in my first two seasons with the club, I wanted the title, and Arsenal at home was a must win if we had any hopes of landing a first Premiership title for Fulham. What we got was probably our best performance of the season so far, Pedro, Diego (2) and Canales all scoring in a 4-1 demolition.



    With our 3rd placed finish in the Champions League group, we were put into the UEFA Cup a competition we had won 2 years ago. The draw for the 3rd round pitted us against Athletic Bilbao, with the 1st leg at home. We bossed the game from start to finish, and were richly rewarded with a 4-0 win, one foot into the next round I thought. Man Utd away was always going to be a tough game and that's how it played out, Rooney handing Utd a 2-0 half time lead, before Pedro gave us a late consolation. Championship side Preston were our opponents in the 4th round of the League Cup, and we sent them packing up the road after an easy 4-0 win from our 2nd string side. Another big game, with Chelsea making the short trip to Craven Cottage, and Drogba stunned the home crowd with a spectacular 35 yrd strike. Diego equalised on 77, but Chelsea weren't to be denied their win, and Lampard got the winner 5 mins from time.

    At the end of November the table looked like so, with us well behind the early pace setters Liverpool.



    Unfortunately for me, Ipswich had hit a bit of form and climbed up the table, and ease the pressure (if there was any) on Roy "The Bastard" Keane.


    Last edited by AMC; 05-03-12 at 11:33 PM.

  4. #29
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    We started December with our 3rd final of the season, but we were still looking for our first win, after losses to Barcelona and Roma earlier in the season. Our opponents were Copa Libertadores winners Boca Juniors, and we would face them in the National Stadium, Tokyo for the Intercontinental Cup. The game came just 2 days after our defeat to the Chelsea, so with players short on fitness, I had to name a weakened side. Straight from the whistle we went close, Zamora heading inches wide after good work from Dempsey on the right. It was a role reversal that gave us the lead, Zamora holding off the challlenge from Paletta, before putting the ball through to Dempsey, and the American made no mistake, slotting the ball past the Boca keeper, and at half time we were 1-0 to the good. We carried on were we left off, and we extended our lead after 20 mins through right back Stoor, and 4 mins later the game was put beyond doubt, with Petrov curling in a free kick. We finally had our first trophy of the season at our 3rd attempt, hopefully the start of many.



    We had no time to rest or celebrate, as 3 days later we were playing Athletic Bilbao in the 2nd leg, carrying a 4-0 win lead from the 1st leg. Things got even better when Spanish midfielder Antonio Longas put us 1-0 up on the night, scoring after 12 mins. We almost made it to half time with our lead intact, but Javi Martinez equalised a couple of mins before the break. Just after half time, Bilbao took the lead, Yeste converting a good chance inside 15 mins, but our agg lead was never in doubt, and we progressed 5-2 on agg. A difficult trip to high flying Everton was next, and we made light work of them, running out easy 4-1 winners, not the tough game I was expecting.



    We stayed on Merseyside for the League Cup Quarter Final against Liverpool, and we left Anfield with a 2-1 win, our team was too much for Liverpool's reserve side they fielded. We closed the month out with 5 league games against bottom 10 sides, with the highlight an action packed 6-3 win against Aston Villa to close the year.



    With 6 league wins from 6 games we moved upto 4th in the table.



    Ipswich's revival continued, and moved upto 11th at the end of december.


    Last edited by AMC; 05-03-12 at 11:34 PM.

  5. #30
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    January saw a few players leave the club, Simon Davies (Swansea - 1.5m), Erik Nevland (Coventry - 300k) and Andrea Ranocchia (Roma - 1.4m), all had failed to make an appearance so far this season. Our first game of the new year was a home game against Wolves, and after an early scare were we fell 2-1 behind after opening the scoring, we ran out easy 5-2 winners in the end, Dempsey and Longas both scoring doubles. After the game I received some good news.



    Hopefully my time with Fulham is coming to an end.

    We followed up the Wolves win, with 2 further wins over Swansea at home, and Wigan away, 3-0 and 4-0 respectively, which saw us move upto 3rd, 4 pts behind leaders Man Utd, and a pt behind Liverpool, but with a game in hand on both of them. The 1st Leg of the Semi Final of the League Cup closed out January, and we made the short trip to the Emirates to take on Arsenal. Van Persie and Denilson gave the Gunners a 2-0 lead, but with 2 quick goals in the last 20 mins I thought we'd escaped with a draw, but Arsenal weren't to be denied their win, as Jay Simpson scored 4 mins from time. We faced further heart break in our next game, when we lost 2-0 at home to Spurs, Luka Modric and Andros Townsend () scoring late on. We got back to winning ways with a 3-1 home win over Liverpool, although centre back Mexes was sent off seconds before half time, after pulling down Kaka from behind on the edge of the box.

    A brace from Diarra gave us a 2-0 win away against Middlesborough, before we faced a tough trip to the City of Manchester stadium. As it turned out, it wasn't a hard game after all, a brace from Diego, and a goal for Canales handing us a 3-0 win, all 3 goals coming in a 10 minute flurry before half time. With our exploits in the FIFA World Club Championship at the start of the season, we didn't enter the FA Cup until the 5th round, were we would to travel to Goodison Park, a place we had already won 4-1 this season, and that's exactly what we did this time, Rosicky, Dempsey and Canales (2) all scoring, although we did have Diego sent off 8 mins from full time. Our good run continued with a 3-0 win over West Ham at home, Canales getting yet another brace, and with that victory it saw us top the league.



    Arsenal came to the Cottage for the 2nd leg of our League Cup Semi Final, and we needed a win to progress to the final. Canales gave us an early lead after just 2 mins, and Cicinho made it 2-0 on 25, and come half time we were in a strong position. We couldn't lose our concentration though, as just one goal to Arsenal would put us even at 4-4 on agg. I needn't have worried, Diego scored 3 mins after the break, and Canales grabbed a 2nd from the spot, and former Arsenal player Rosicky completed the scoring for us on 81, although Fabregas did score a consolation for Arsenal late on, but it didn't matter we were through to the final!



    With his job on the line, it seemed to spur Keane and Ipswich on, and they were up to 9th come the start of March, just 3 pts off the Playoff places.


    Last edited by AMC; 05-03-12 at 11:35 PM.

  6. #31
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    March started with the UEFA Cup 4th Round, and we faced familiar opposition in Tottenham. We travelled to White Hart Lane for the 1st leg, but we had to make do without Jermaine Jones and Martin Petrov who both pulled up in training, with both ruled out for the rest of the season, Petrov for 7 months with a damaged spine, and Jones for 5 months after he was sent for surgery after a series of injuries. We made a bright start to the game, and were richly rewarded when Diego scored after good work from Rosicky. After the goal we seemed to drop our performance and Spurs came into the ascendency, and it was no surprise when Defoe levelled the scores with 10 mins to go. A long trip to Hull in the league was next, and despite taking an early lead through Mexes, Ghilas scored on the stroke of half time to level the scores. Diego restored the lead 6 mins into the 2nd half, and we doubled our lead through Kronaveter 13 mins later. Featherstone scored late on for Hull to set up a nervy finish, but we held on for a valuable 3 points.

    The UEFA Cup 4th Round 2nd leg followed, and just like in the 1st leg Diego put us ahead. Riise extended our lead mins before half time and we had some breathing space. Spurs had to go for it in the 2nd half, and with them pushing forward at every opportunity we decided to sit back and hit them on the break, and Kronaveter put the game beyond doubt in the last minute, and hand us a 4-1 agg win. With the injury to Jones I had to find a replacement, however money was scarce. In the end I settled on former England u21 midfielder Lee Cattermole who we signed from Sunderland for 850k.



    Cattermole made his debut in the next game, the FA Cup quarter final against Aston Villa at Villa Park. The match was a classic. We took a 2-0 lead inside half an hour, but Villa hit back through Agbonlahor, Ashley Young and Andy Johnson to lead 3-2. Bobby Zamora came on for the disappointing Canales just after Villa took the lead, and he repaid me almost immediately with a quick fire double, that handed us a 4-3 win, and a place in the Semi Final.



    We faced more English opposition in the UEFA Cup, with the draw pitting us against Man City. The 1st leg would be played at Eastlands, and it was a pretty even game, but neither side could make the break through and the game finished 0-0, with Rosicky picking up an injury ruling him out for 2 weeks. We finally got back to league business with a home game against Sunderland, and we fell behind to a Kenwyne Jones goal, but 4 mins later equalised through Pedro. The game changed midway through the 2nd half with Darren Bent scoring twice in 10 mins, to consign us to a disappointing defeat, that saw us slip to 3rd in the table.



    A place in the UEFA Cup Semi Final was up for grabs next, as Man City travlled to Craven Cottage for the 2nd Leg of the Quarter Final. The first leg had been a bore draw, how would the 2nd leg go? As it was we bossed the game from start to finish, and if not for an inspired performance from the City Keeper, we would have won by a greater margin. As it was, goals from Canales and Diego were enough to send us through to the semis, were we would face Real Madrid. Everton would play Roma in the other semi, so a chance of an all english final.

    Ipswich couldn't continue their good form, and slipped to 13th, heaping more pressure on Roy Keane's future.



  7. #32
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    April started with some transfer news. Benoit Assou-Ekotto had decided to leave on a bosman at the end of the season, and Man City had agreed to sign him, so I was on the look out for a left back. It didn't take long to find his replacement, Honduras and Wigan left back Maynor Figueroa was also leaving on a bosman, and we completed a deal very quickly.



    The first game of the month was the League Cup Final against Tottenham. The game would be the 5th time we had faced each other this season, with us winning 2, drawing once and losing once, so I felt we were the marginal favourites. We justified that assumption when Canales scored after 20 mins, a typical route one goal, but they all count. We continued to dominate but couldn't find a second, a combination of good work from the Spurs keeper and the woodwork putting paid to that. It mattered little as with 90 mins on the clock we still held a 1-0 lead, however, Lewis blundered a goal kick, skying it straight up, Crouch beat Hangeland to the header, and put in O'Hara who scored his 1st goal of the season (typical). I had to send the team out for extra time, but it was obvious our heads had gone, and 11 mins into the 1st period Aaron Lennon put Spurs ahead, with a magnificent solo goal. I thought the goal would bury us, but we responded well to my surprise, and Canales levelled just 4 mins later. With no further goals in extra time, we would head to penalties. Canales was up first but his spot kick was saved by Gomes, things got worse when Santa Cruz calmly slotted the ball into the net. Longas was up next but he blazed his shot wide of the post! Lennon converted to make it 2-0, and it was do or die. Zamora stepped up and he needed to score to raise our confidence, but he blazed it over the bar Kranjcar compounded our misery scoring the 3rd to ensure Spurs won 3-0 on pens. A bitter pill to swallow after leading 1-0 with 90 mins on the clock.

    We had to re group, put the final out of our heads and concentrate on the other big games coming up, everyone practically a cup final. First up was the UEFA Cup Semi Final 1st Leg at home to Spanish giants Real Madrid. On the night the team performed wonderfully, Diego scoring after 11 mins, and Longas doubling our lead on 32. We outclassed them in the match, 14 shots to 3, 10 on target to 1, and thoroughly deserved our 2-0 win, if not a bigger margin of victory. More Cup business up next with the FA Cup Semi Final against Bolton at the Ricoh Arena. 4 players came in for the team that played Real 3 days earlier. Duff took his chance to shine, curling in a free kick after 18 mins, and Longas scored his 2nd in his last 2 games 4 mins later. Kronaveter completed the scoring early in the 2nd half, and we were through to the final in a fairly one sided game. In the other Semi, Liverpool beat Arsenal 1-0 AET.

    The big games kept coming with Man Utd at home, a game that could have a huge bearing on were the Premiership title would go. Rosicky put us 1-0 up after 22 mins, but Utd equalised through Trezeguet moments later. The complexion of the game changed midway through the 2nd half, when Julio Cesar was sent off for bringing down Rosicky in the area, and we were rewarded a penalty. Foster came on for Rooney, and his first bit of business would be to face a penalty from Canales, fresh from his miss in the League Cup Final. He hit it hard and low, but Foster managed to get a hand to it and turn it round the post. Pedro had a shot saved by Foster 10 mins from time, and both sides had to settle for a 1-1 draw. Arsenal away followed, and we had a belter of a game. Vagner Love put the home side ahead inside 20 mins, but Kronaveter levelled the scores from the spot on the stroke of half time. With time running out in the 2nd half it looked like a 2nd consecutive 1-1 draw, but then Zamora turned in a Kronaveter cross, and Kronavter scored again from the spot to hand us an important 3-1 win.



    The 2nd leg against Real Madrid, and a place in the UEFA Cup Final awaited us next. With a 2-0 lead from the 1st leg, I knew if we didn't do anything stupid we would make it. That went out the window inside half hour, Raul and Defederico scoring for Real. Despite the scoreline, we were actually the better side, with more shots on and off target. It looked like extra time once again, but Defederico silenced the travelling support a minute from time with his 2nd. I don't know how, but my team rallied and got our reward when Canales scored on 90. Defederico had a chance to grab his hatrick and send Real through with the last kick of the game, but Kuszczak saved well and we were through! Roma beat Everton 3-2 on agg in the other Semi Final, and for the 2nd time this season we would meet Roma in a final. Chelsea away completed a massive month of games, and despite us being the poorer side, it was our time to ride our luck, and a goal from Pedro was all that could split the two sides. Even with the win we were 5th in the table, 8 pts behind leaders Man Utd but with 2 games in hand.



    Ipswich continued to slip down the table, and were now in 14th. Even better was that Roy Keane was now "Very Insecure" on the Job Information screen .


    Last edited by AMC; 06-03-12 at 01:46 PM.

  8. #33
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    So the final month of the season was upon us, and we were in the hunt for 3 trophies, the Premier League, FA Cup and the UEFA Cup, although the league would be a tough ask. The first game of the month saw Bolton visit Craven Cottage, and we made light work of them, winning 4-0, thanks to goals from Cicinho, Canales, Pedro and Diego. Results for the weekend weren't too favourable, with Liverpool and Tottenham both winning, but Chelsea and Man Utd both drew 2-2 away against Wigan and Middlesbrough respectively, Boro's equaliser coming in the 90th minute, and Chelsea letting slip a 2-0 lead A few days later we faced Everton at home, our game in hand on our rivals. We got off to a bad start when Ivanovic opened the scoring after 16 mins, but we hit back through Canales from the penalty spot. We took the lead midway through the 2nd half, Pedro scoring from outside the box, and we saw out the win. Unfortunately, Philippe Mexes picked up an injury in the game, ruling him out for the next 2 wks. Stoke away was next, and we always seemed to turn on the style against them, and today was no different, running out 5-0 winners, but even better was we had reached the summit once again, thanks to results elsewhere.




    We were really hitting top form when we travelled to Blackburn for our penultimate league game. Morten Gamst Pedersen put the homeside ahead after 11 mins, but 5 mins later we were level, Canales scoring once again. Within 15 mins we had took the lead, Rosicky scoring, and moments later we had a 2 goal cushion, Canales with his second. Rosicky scored again in the 2nd half to get a brace himself, and we left Ewood Park with a 4-1 win.

    The FA Cup Final provided a break from the nerve breaking league campaign. On the eve of the game we were rocked by the news that Canales had picked an injury up in training, and would miss the rest of the season, his 44 goals from 57 (1) apps had been invaluable this season and his absence would be a big blow for the massive run in we had, Rok Kronaveter would come in to replace him. The first chance of the game fell to Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard who headed over from Kaka's cross, just 5 mins into the game. Our response was immediate, Rosicky breaking through the Liverpool rearguard, but found an inspired Pepe Reina who saved well from the Czech's shot. Kronaveter hit a long range drive wide of the post, but the deadlock couldn't be broke and we went into half time at 0-0. It didn't take too long into the 2nd half for the scoring to open, for some unknown reason Torres took the free kick and Gerrard got above Samba (!) to send the ball crashing into the net, and Liverpool into the lead. Zamora came on for Diarra as I looked for an equaliser, but Liverpool stood firm, Reina saving twice from Zamora headers, and tipping a free kick from Rosicky around the post. In fact Gerrard almost got a second late on, with Kuszczak saving a 30 yrd piledriver from the midfielder, but it mattered little as the full time whistle was blown seconds later, and we had lost 1-0.


    Steven Gerrard and Rafa Benitez celebrate winning the FA Cup.


    After the final it finally happened....








    "Sky Sports News understand that Ipswich manager Roy Keane has been sacked from the club, after failing to get the Suffolk side promoted at the 3rd attempt."

    "After finishing the season in 13th place, and missing out on promotion, we met with Roy and informed him off our decision to relieve him of his position as manager" Ipswich Chairman Marcus Evans explained. "We are on the look out for a new manager who can bring fresh ideas to the club, and get us promoted to the Premier League."

    "Sky Sports News believe ex Leeds manager Simon Grayson to be the favourite for the job, although Roberto Martinez and Neil Warnock have also been linked with the job."

    Needless to say I applied immediately, and waited for my response. Obviously my season with Fulham weren't over yet, far from it, with a UEFA Cup and Premier League still to win. The UEFA Cup was next, and we needed to regroup after the disappointing FA Cup Final defeat. Things didn't start well when Diego was sent off a minute shy of the half hr mark, and John Arne Riise scored from the resulting free kick. It took till 55 mins till we could celebrate, Antonio Longas equalising after good work from Clint Dempsey. With our man disadvantage we held on till 90 mins with the score level. Extra time was a boring affair with no chances for either side, and when it went to pens, the goal from Longas was the only shot on target we could boast. Dempsey stepped up first and buried his penalty, but Julio Baptista dispatched his to make it 1-1. Zamora slotted his home to make it 2-1, and things got better when David Pizarro's pen was saved. Former Roma player Cicinho then put us 3-1 to the good, and I couldn't believe my luck when Kuszczak saved again. Kronaveter had the chance to win the trophy for us, and he did exactly that, crashing the ball high into the net, and for the 2nd time in 3 yrs we had won the UEFA Cup.




    With extra time and injuries severley damaging the squad, I had to play a number of fringe players, the likes of Baird, Duff and Stoor all being given the chance to impress. A win for us would guarantee the league title, and hopefully I would leave the club with a Premiership medal. We would play already relegated and bottom placed Sheff Utd at home, I couldn't ask for a better fixture. It took just 8 mins for us to take the lead, Duff scoring after a through ball from Diego, and another 8 mins later it was 2-0, Gera scoring his 1st goal of the season. After our fast paced start we took our foot of the gas, but we were never in any danger, and the game finished 2-0, WE WERE CHAMPIONS!



    Just one day after winning the title, I finally got the call I had been waiting for from Ipswich Chairman Marcus Evans, and I was offered the chance to manage Ipswich, an offer that didn't take too long to accept.
    Last edited by AMC; 24-08-16 at 07:02 PM.

  9. #34
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000


    Ipswich was the club were Sir Bobby Robson established himself as a successful manager. After 4 mediocre seasons, Robson led the Suffolk club to a 4th place finish in the 1st Division (the old top division). From there on he led them to a UEFA Cup win in 1981 as well as the FA Cup in 1978 after a 1-0 win over Arsenal in the final, as well as never finishing lower than 6th in his last 9 seasons, finishing runners up twice. In total Sir Bobby stayed at Portman Road for 13 seasons, and even more remarkable was the fact he only brought 14 players to the club, a challenge even I'm not going to take on.

    In order for me to progress to the England job from Ipswich I'll need to repeat Robson's FA Cup and UEFA Cup win, as well as land that elusive Premiership title. Wish me luck!

  10. #35
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000


    After meeting with the board I was told I had 6.75m to spend to strengthen the squad, quite a generous amount, and one that would certainly help go towards creating a promotion winning squad. On seeing the current squad, I was pleased to see a fair few good players, the pick being ex Man City midfielder Michael Johnson who looked too good for this league, and I instantly ear marked him as my captain and talisman. However, not every one was happy about my appointment.




    In a totally unrelated matter, Johan Wiland was the first to leave Ipswich, joining Rayo Vallecano for 500k. In total 15 players left for a combined 5.2m, mainly reserve players, although Damien Delaney and Alex Bruce both had pre arranged transfers I couldn't cancel, to Shrewsbury and Preston respectively.




    With them departures we had just over 10m to spend. A look at the pre arranged transfers saw a number of players joining the club, but I cancelled them all except one, the 1.3m siging of Ecuadoran and Man City striker Felipe Caicedo. The first signing I made was of former Ipswich midfielder Kieron Dyer on a free, after he was released by West Ham. With the departure of Wiland, and replacement keeper Brian Murphy also leaving, I needed a keeper, well 2. Vito Mannone and Ben Alnwick were both signed on bosmans, and it looked a good battle to see who would be my no. 1. Onto the defence and I had a good first choice back 4, but was a little light on replacements. First to arrive at the club was Julio Arca for 600k, who came in to play left back, although he could also push up into midfield if needed. Ibrahima Sonko was the towering centre back I wanted, arriving on a bosman from Stoke. Danish defender Jonas Troest was also signed for 600k to add depth to the centre back position, but he could also fill in at right back if need be. With only one recognised right back at the club in Neal Eardley, recently released Hull fullback Bernard Mendy was recruited. Defence was sorted until I released Delaney was leaving, so Carl Dickinson was signed from Stoke for 250k to give Arca competition at left back.





    Onto midfield, and probably the strongest part of the squad. As mentioned earlier, Michael Johnson was a gem, and we had some good options out wide, with Carlos Edwards on the right, and Devann Yao and Chris Cohen on the left. Once again the lack of depth was a worry, especially centrally. Coming in were Sean Davis, Kieron Dyer as said earlier, and Italian DMC Andrea Parola, who had played the last 5 seasons at Cagliari, all 3 arriving on a free. Damien Duff was signed from former club Fulham on a free, and would be 1st choice left winger, something I couldn't give him at Craven Cottage. I'm still on the look out for a right winger though to challenge Edwards.





    Up front is where I overhauled the most, with only Tamas Priskin surving my cull of strikers. To add to the siging of Caicedo, Stefan Maierhofer arrived from Wolves on a free, and then my best signing of the summer, 19 yr old Belgian Romelu Lukaku for 3.8m from Anderlecht, an unbelieveable coup but one I'm over the moon about.





    We played just the one pre season friendly, running easy 4-1 winners over Premiership side Wigan at home, which gave us great confidence going into the season.


  11. #36
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    We started the season with an away trip to Huddersfield. I decided to line up in a 4-4-2 with emphasis on Duff and Edwards to get forward to supply the front two of Maierhof and Lukaku.



    We scored the opening goal after just 15 mins, Edwards getting past his full back before turning the ball back to the edge of the area, where captain Michael Johnson smashed the ball high into the net. Huddersfield levelled the game on 40 mins, but our lead was restored 3 mins later, Mendy scoring from the spot after Lukaku was fouled in the area. At half time Caicedo came on for Maierhof who had picked up a knock, and his ball found Lukaku to put us 3-1 ahead. It was a role reversal for the 4th goal, Lukaku playing in Caicedo to give us a comprehensive lead. There was still time for Huddersfield to pull one back just before full time, but we started the season with a 4-2 win.




    It was a start of a good run, with a further 4 wins on the bounce, including the 1st Leg of the League Cup, which saw us overcome Chesterfield 3-1. This run of results saw me claim the Manager of the Month award for August. The start of September saw us finally capture the right winger I craved, with the signing of Wayne Routledge from Leeds for 1.5m, and he made his debut in our 4-0 demolition of Notts Forest at home. Niall McGinn also arrived on loan from Celtic to add to our right wing options.




    This was followed up by a further win, 3-1 away at Sheff Utd, and needless to say with 7 league wins out of 7 we were top of the league. But after this game we hit a bit of a sticky patch. We lost 2-1 at home to Burnley, and then went out of the League Cup away at Bradford, going down 3-2. A 0-0 draw away at Exeter saw us drop to 2nd in the table, but we regained our earlier form with a 1-0 away win at Plymouth and a 3-0 home victory against Shrewsbury that saw us back at the summit of the Championship.


    Last edited by AMC; 06-03-12 at 01:47 PM.

  12. #37
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    We managed to make it to Christmas still top of the table, but only just.




    Injuries, Red Cards and Minimum release clauses really tested us, and the squad was really stretched at times. After reclaiming top spot with the win against Shrewsbury, we followed it up with a 4-0 win over Barnet despite Troest being sent off early on and Lukaku leaving the field after half an hour with an injury, which would keep him out for a month. Despite being 1st in the table, I was concerned with the form of my keepers, neither being able to go 2-3 games without getting a 5, so I went in search of a more experienced keeper, sighting youth as their downfall. It didn't take me long to find my man, and after agreeing a 750k with West Ham I was pleased to announce the signing of England Goalkeeper Robert Green (this was before Eng v USA IRL!).




    Green made his debut in the next game, which was a tough trip to Cardiff. We took an early lead through Caicedo after 3 mins, but Cardiff equalised 20 mins later through Ross McCormack. Just after this, Priskin replaced Maierhofer who had picked up a knock. The Hungarian got the winner early in the 2nd half to give us a 2-1 win, and 3 vital points. Boro made the long trip to Portman Road for our next fixture, and we suffered yet another red card, Dyer being sent off this time. We had took a 1-0 lead before the dismissal, but Michael Owen equalised in the 2nd half, and we were lucky to hang on for a 1-1 draw in the end, much thanks to Robert Green's performance. 3 wins on the bounce followed as we opened up a bit of a gap at the top of the table, the pick being a 3-0 win away at Leeds, although a 1-0 defeat at Derby reduced the gap.




    Neil Eardley hadn't played much for me, but was a vital player in my squad. Sheff Wed came in with a 2.3m bid which I was about to reject, when I was informed it met his min. fee release clause and I had to accept it. Keen for 1st team action he jumped at the chance to move, which I couldn't blame him, but it left me short at right back. As it was, I moved quickly for a replacement, and ex Rangers and current Scotland defender Alan Hutton joined us for a bargin 800k.




    3 more wins on the bounce followed the disappointing loss at Derby, before MK Dons salvaged an undeserved draw against us. With injuries beginning to take their toll on the squad, I made 2 signings. Ivory Coast midfielder Romaric, and Celtic defender Glenn Loovens both joined the club on the same day, for 1.3m and 200k respectively, but no one told me Romaric was out for 2 months when I signed him!




    More drop points followed, with a 2-1 defeat away at Preston and a 0-0 draw at W.B.A, before we turned on the style at home against Newcastle in our last game before Christmas.



  13. #38
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    I've always found the period after Christmas to be the time that makes or breaks a teams season, where title challengers can either fall by the way side, or still be fighting for glory come the business end of the season, obviously I wanted the latter.

    Our first game after Christmas was Coventry at home, were we recorded a 5-2 win, but it was 3 goals in the last 20 mins for our side that finally gave us a deserved win. 3-0 and 2-1 wins followed, at home to Huddersfield and Notts Forest away respectively, before we would play our FA Cup 3rd Round tie against League Two side Morecambe at home. The draw had been kind to us, but I weren't going to under estimate them, especially after being knocked out of the League Cup by Bradford earlier in the season. Despite fighting relegation, Morecambe had overcome two League One sides in Peterborough and Wycombe to get this far, and had come to Portman Road hoping for one of them famous FA Cup miracles. To the game itself, and we took it to Morecambe straight from the off, peppering Goalkeeper Nicholl's goal but to no avail, with him pulling off some superb saves. We finally made the break through, a late run from midfield by Dyer converting a partially cleared cross with a smashing volley from the edge of the box. The goal had Morecambe on the ropes, and the returning Lukaku made it 2-0 just 4 mins later, and the game was practically put to bed a further 4 mins later when Lukaku got his 2nd. We took our foot off the gas in the 2nd half, but Morecambe had gone mentally, and the game finished with no more goals.




    A few days later we were hit again by a min. fee release clause, this time for backup centre back Matthew Mills for 1.2m from Rangers. Usually I wouldn't have mind him leaving, but at the time we were a bit light on numbers in defence, but I had no choice in the matter and he left for Glasgow. Once again I wasted little time in finding a replacement, but what was surprising was where I went to get it. For just half the price I received for Mills I bought what I reckoned to be a better defender, and for 600k I took Madjid Bougherra off the hands of Rangers.

    [


    His debut was a game to remember, when we absolutely battered Sheffield Utd 6-2 at Portman Road, with us leading 5-1 at half time.




    A tight 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium came next, with two late goals, first of all Bougherra scoring from the spot in the 80th minute for his first goal for the club which I thought had given us the win, but Abdoulaye Diagne-Faye equalised with 2 mins left on the clock.

    If the draw had been kind for us for the 3rd round of the FA Cup, it certainly weren't for the 4th round. Blackburn at home was who we would face, and the Ewood Park side had a great season so far, and at the time of the match were 6th in the Premiership and looking good for a European place. It was a former Blackburn player that gave us the lead just before half time, Damien Duff turning in a Wayne Routledge cross, and we had the lead. Quarter an hour into the 2nd half, and a defence mixup let in Kalinic to level for Blackburn and he made no mistake. Both sides looked for a winner, but our hopes were severley hampered when Alan Hutton was sent off for a second bookable offence 6 mins from time. However, we did have the last laugh, as Lukaku now playing up front on his own, got above Paul Robinson in the Blackburn goal and nodded in the winner deep into injury time, with Routledge getting yet another assist.




    Two nervy league wins in our next two games, 1-0 at home to Plymouth and 2-1 away at Burnley saw us open a very nice looking 13 pt advantage at the top of the table, with 15 games left to play, who knows maybe a league and FA Cup double in my first season and one of my aims already completed?


    Last edited by AMC; 06-03-12 at 01:48 PM.

  14. #39
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    The 5th round of the FA Cup saw us travel to the Britannia Stadium to take on Stoke for the second time in the month. Our last visit hear resulted in a 1-1 draw, with 2 late goals, and this game was no different. Both teams got off to a nervy start, neither being able to keep possession long, and the half time whistle couldn't come quick enough with the deadlock yet to be broke. The 2nd half was slightly better, Lukaku going close with a header from a Duff cross, as well as Stoke having a strong penalty claim turned down. The opening goal finally came in the 75th minute, when Bulgarian striker Valeri Bojinov fired past Robert Green, and as we went in search of an equaliser, Bojinov once again scored and gave Stoke a 2-0 win and a place in the quarter finals.




    We bounced back from our cup exit with 4 comfortable league wins on the bounce, with three 2-0 wins in a row against Shrewsbury, Exeter and Cardiff, as well as a 3-0 victory against Barnet. The next 2 games promised two difficult matches against Derby at home and Middlesbrough away, with both teams challenging for a playoff position. As it was we completely dominated Derby, rushing into a 4-0 lead within the first half hour, before Derby got a consolation goal 3 mins from time, however, the Middlesbrough game was a real rollercoaster. Twice we took the lead, only for the Teeside club to level the scores minutes later, and just as it looked like ending in a draw, substitute Devann Yao scored a decisive winner a few minutes before full time. The win over Boro confirmed we had achieved at least a playoff place.




    Around this time a flood of bids came in for Chris Cohen, who was playing 2nd fiddle to Damien Duff on the left wing, and was unhappy with his lack of appearances this season. Notts Forest started the auction off with an 850k bid, which I tried to negotiate to 1m + a 10% sell on clause. After this Birmingham, Leeds and Leicester submitted my desired price, but when Arsenal and Chelsea came calling I told them I wanted 2m + a 25% sell on clause Arsenal didn't bite, but Chelsea came back with what I wanted and he went to Stamford Bridge were I doubt he'd even get a sniff of a first team place, never mind being 2nd choice. His loss though, and we had a good replacement in Devann Yao. We also went shopping ourselves, picking up Porto midfielder Tengarrinha up for a bargin 28k!




    Tengarrinha made his debut in the next match, a home tie against Leicester who were battling for survival with them 20th in the table but on equal points with 22nd placed Shrewsbury who were in the relegation zone. It was a very tight game which looked like ending in a draw but the spirit in our camp was great, and once again we claimed a late winner, leaving us a massive 24 pts ahead of 2nd placed Stoke, and Leicester one place above the relegation zone. Our next game wasn't for another 18 days, but in the mean time we had gained promotion to the Premiership after Burnley's 2-0 away defeat at Cardiff.


    Last edited by AMC; 06-03-12 at 01:49 PM.

  15. #40
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    The title was wrapped up in the next game, a 2-1 win against Barnsley at Portman Road allowed us to celebrate in front of a packed home support. With the title in the bag, I warned the players about letting their performances drop as I had a points target to beat. We cruised to a 3-1 win away at Bristol City before our run of 11 straight league wins came to an end with our first league defeat since December when we lost to Preston 2-1 away. Our opponents were Birmingham, and despite leading 2-1 just before half time, they rallied to a 4-2 win, with special thanks to Cameron Jerome who scored all 4 Birmingham goals against a very out of sorts Ipswich defence.




    We bounced back with two home wins in the space of 2 days, first against Leeds 3-0 and followed by Crystal Palace 5-0 with a 2nd string side, obviously keen to impress.




    A 1-0 defeat away at Newcastle sandwiched between a 3-0 win against MK Dons and 3-1 win against West Brom, both at home, completed the season, and saw us finish a mammoth 29 pts ahead of 2nd placed Stoke.




    So far I haven't made any signings for next season, although a few reserve players are leaving, all on bosmans, with Carlos Edwards the only one to have seen any 1st team action, but at 34 yrs of age West Ham are welcome to him.

    Top Scorer, Top Assist Maker (Joint with Duff) and Most Important Player:




    Previous Teams

    Fulham



    Tottenham manager Louis van Gaal was my replacement at Craven Cottage, and despite bringing in a couple of decent players, Vincent Kompany - 3m from M. City and Kevin Doyle - 5.25m from Wolves as well as the team I assembled at the club, they could only finish 8th in the Premiership, 26 points behind the winners Liverpool. They did make it to the 2nd Group stage of the Champions League finishing 3rd, but could only accumulate 4 pts, as Roma and Valencia dominated the group. In the domestic cups they faired even worse, they went out of the FA Cup in the 3rd round after a replay with Spurs, and Man City dumped them out of the League Cup also in the 3rd round. Canales and Pedro are still happy at the club, but Samba, Longas and Kronaveter are all unhappy and I will try to sign all 3 if possible for next seasons campaign in the Premiership.
    Last edited by AMC; 06-03-12 at 01:50 PM.

  16. #41
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000



    Sky Sports News understand that today Ipswich and Belgian striker Roman Lukaku has slapped in a transfer request. The forward who scored 24 goals in 40 games in his debut season with the Portman Road club, has told manager Sir Bobby Robson that he wants to move to a bigger club to further his career. The news comes as a big blow to Robson, as when he signed the striker at just 19 from previous club Anderlecht for 3.8m, he earmarked the Belgian to make them a force both domestically and in Europe.

    At the moment no one from Ipswich were available to comment on the story.
    Last edited by AMC; 06-03-12 at 01:50 PM.

  17. #42
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    Lukaku going nowhere!





    Ipswich manager Sir Bobby Robson has turned down Belgian striker Roman Lukaku's transfer quest after a meeting with the player and his agent.

    In the meeting, Robson explained to the young forward his plans for the club, telling him that the Championship trophy was just the first in a long line of trophies the club would win in the future, and that Lukaku would have a big part to play in that. Lukaku apparently has reluctantly agreed to stay on for one more season at least, and see how Ipswich perform in their first season in the top flight under Robson's control.
    Last edited by AMC; 06-03-12 at 01:51 PM.

  18. #43
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    With Lukaku's future sorted, at least for the time being, I went about strengthening my squad for the Premiership campaign.

    First to arrive at the club, was former Arsenal and Chelsea defender William Gallas, who at 36 does not have many years left in him, but he still has a lot of ability at the moment and offers some much needed top flight experience. Two days later 2 midfielders arrived at the club, former player of mine Antonio Longas sealed a 2.2m deal from Fulham, and he was joined by unsettled Man City player Stephen Ireland who was eager for first team football, although he is sure to be on the end of many jokes, seeing his choice of car.




    There was no end to the spending as right midfielder Xabi Prieto - 2.5m from Barcelona, and left midfielder Gonzalo Castro - 1.2m from Mallorca arrived at the club the following week, and my spending was nearly complete. Versatile Italian defender Mattia Cassani joined for 700k from Palermo, before Danish midfielder Anders Due completed a 1 yr deal on a free to add to my midfield options. Perhaps one of my best signings of the summer came next, as recently released Atletico Madrid forward Diego Forlan joined the club, to form a very impressive looking partnership with Lukaku, and former Ipswich youth striker Connor Wickham rejoined the club for 500k after spending the last 2 seasons at Tranmere.




    A few reserve players left the club for nominal fees, as well as Tommy Doherty and Devann Yao who were both deemed surplus to requirements.

    In some strange twist of fate, my first game would be at home against former club Fulham, were I hope (expect!) a good reception given the success I brought them in the 3 years I was there.
    Last edited by AMC; 06-03-12 at 01:51 PM.

  19. #44
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    The day had finally arrived, our first Premiership game at home to my former club Fulham. In front of a packed Portman Road, including a travelling support who gave me a good reception, but unfortunately for them I wanted a good start to our campaign. Despite having the best of the game, the only goal of the game came courtesy of a Fulham counter attack, Rosicky turning in a cross from Pedro, and we would start the season with a 1-0 home defeat, but with plenty of good signs for the rest of the season. Blackburn away next, and Ewood Park is always a tough place to go. Again we were dominating proceedings but fell a goal behind, to Julio Santa Cruz, but a quick fire double from Gonzalo Castro gave us a 2-1 win.

    Games don't get much bigger than Man Utd at home, but before the game I had a go at the FA. The Man Utd game came 2 days after our long and hard trip to Blackburn, and many of my 1st team players were all short on fitness, although United had no such troubles, with their previous game at home to Stoke 7 days ago. As usual the FA were pandering to the big clubs, but my request for the match to be put back 24 hrs fell on deaf ears. We had to do our talking on the pitch. In total 7 changes were made, with only Green, Hutton, Ireland and Lukaku anywhere near 100% fitness, and I had to worry with 3 changes in defence, as well as Maierhofer who wasn't even 1st choice last season replacing 34 yr old Diego Forlan. I needn't have worried. Stephen Ireland had been inspirational since signing for us, and he got his 1st goal for the club after just 7 mins, and things got better 5 mins before half time when Maierhofer repaid my faith in him, with a towering header from a corner. I expected an onslaught from Utd in the 2nd half, but with Ferguson long gone (Rijkaard his replacement after the 1st season) obviously there was no hairdryer treatment in the Utd dressing room, and it was us who looked more likely to get another, with Lukaku going close late on, but we had our win, and a massive win it was too.




    I thought the win over Man Utd would push us on, but by half time in our next game, we were 2-0 down at home to Aston Villa, including an absolute howler from Green. Never one to lose my temper, I reminded the players of their jobs and where they had gone wrong, although I did make one change, Ben Alnwick coming on for the terrible Green. The 2nd half was a total different story, Castro got our first 8 mins after the break, before a brace from Ireland gave us the lead. There was still time for Forlan to open his account for the club, and he too managed a brace, and hand us a remarkable 5-2 win.




    A boring 0-0 at the Reebok Stadium followed, before our first game in the League Cup away at Luton. A full strength side was picked for the game (by accident), and it was just as well as we won a real topsy-turvy game 4-3, with us 4-1 at one point, after coming from a goal down, but it mattered little and we were through. 2 routine wins at home to Sunderland and away at Portsmouth, 3-0 and 1-0 respectively saw us briefly take top spot, but after a goalless draw at White Hart Lane we dropped down to 3rd. A 1-0 win at home to Liverpool, Lukaku finally getting his first of the season, saw us move up to 2nd, and a very entertaining 1-1 draw away at Man City could have been a win if not for an inspired Daniel Fernandes in the City goal, but it kept us in 2nd place, a great start to the season.




    Special mention must go to Stephen Ireland, signed for 2m from Man City, in 11 games he's scored 6 times with 3 assists and collected 4 MOM's. With Lukaku and Forlan both with 2 goals, his goals have been very important.
    Last edited by AMC; 24-08-16 at 07:14 PM.

  20. #45
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    Our next game would be away at Burnley, in the 3rd round of the League Cup and we abosultely demolished them, running out easy 5-1 winners, with Burnley keeper Manuel Almunia having a match he won't want to remember any time soon. Back to the league and we finally hit the summit of the Premiership. Our narrow 1-0 win over Arsenal thanks to a 2nd half Longas strike, coupled with Fulham losing 2-0 at home to Liverpool (both goals courtesy of former Fulham striker Andy Johnson) saw us leap above my former side. A boring 0-0 draw against Chelsea at home, and a Fulham victory (a 2-1 win away at Bolton after being 1-0 down with 20 mins to go), saw us stay at the top but only on goal difference.

    The 4th round of the League Cup saw us play Exeter at Portman Road, and with our exerts in the Premiership resulting in a few tired legs, I announced a 2nd team for the game, confident they had the quality to overcome a plucky Exeter side. As it was, I was correct, as we ran out easy winners, but even more so, the form of some of the players gave me a real headache when choosing my team for our next game.




    I decided to stick with my strongest XI for now, as we would entertain Burnley for the 2nd time in a fortnight, this time at home. The misfiring Lukaku and Forlan repaid my faith in sticking by them, with the Belgian striker scoring twice and Forlan setting up the 3rd goal for Ireland. Fulham weren't due to play for another week, so we had opened up a 3 pt lead at the top. 2 back-to-back wins against Swansea and Sheff Wed extended our lead to 7 pts as Fulham could only manage consecutive 0-0 draws, although they did have a game in hand over us. During my time with Fulham I never had any trouble with overcoming Stoke, but for some reason since joining Ipswich they seem to be a much more stubborn side, and it was no surprise when we could only salvage a 1-1 draw, our goal coming 5 mins before the final whistle. We got back to winning ways with a 3-0 win over Hull, although we only put the game to bed with 2 goals in the last 10 mins, after Bougherra had given us an early lead from the penalty spot.

    The quarter final draw for the League Cup handed us a tricky away trip to Anfield, not quite what I wanted with Championship sides Bristol City and Leicester both possible ties I could have been given. Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez decided it was a chance to blood some of the youngsters, which in turn gave me the chance to tell my team to make him pay for that decision. After a nervy 1st half, the game came to life inside quarter an hour after the break, with Forlan nodding home a cross from Longas. 20 mins later we had doubled our lead, Castro beating Gulacsi in the Liverpool goal with a magnificent dipping volley, and we were throught to the semi finals were we would face giant killers Bristol City who had knocked out Man Utd on penalties in there quarter final. The other semi final would see Spurs take on Everton. It weren't all good news however, as Longas had to come off with an injury which would rule him out for 10 days.




    An away trip to Molineux followed, and despite being the better side throughout, a combination of fine keeping from Wayne Hennessey and opportunistic finishing from Mounir El Hamdaoui, gave Wolves a 2-1 win. Our last game before Christmas was a terrible draw at Goodison Park, with the game only springing into life 5 mins from the end, first Adebayor giving Everton the lead on 85, before a last gap equaliser from Gonzalo Castro rescued a point for us.

    At the half way point we are a point behind league leaders Fulham, although the real danger are Man Utd back in 5th, who have 3 games in hand which if they win will see them go top by 2 points. Coincidentally, Our next game is against Man Utd at Old Trafford!


    Last edited by AMC; 06-03-12 at 01:53 PM.

  21. #46
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    We had made it to Christmas still right in the title picture, something that I couldn't believe in my wildest dreams come the start of the season. Unfortunately, injuries were starting to take their toll on my squad, and come our next game away at Man Utd, we had 8 players out, 5 of which were 1st team regulars. With a shortage of strikers, I also had to change formation, yet another unnecessary change, not what I wanted in such a big game. We lined up 4-4-1-1, with Lukaku playing the lone striker role, with Longas in behind, former Man Utd striker Diego Forlan would miss out through injury, as would player of the season so far Stephen Ireland. After a nervy start from both sides, we managed to take the lead just before the half hour mark, Lukaku latching on to a Michael Johnson through ball. I told the team to protect our lead into half time, but right on the whistle the goal came. But it was for us! Lukaku once again getting on the end of a Michael Johnson pass. At half time I warned the team about complacency, Man Utd weren't out of this yet, and we still had 45 mins to see it through. We didn't make the greatest of starts when Longas stupidly got sent off for pushing John O'Shea in an off the ball incident. With a man advantage Utd took the game to us, but our defence was in top form, especially Bougherra who handled Rooney with some ease. The game started to quieten down, but 4 mins from time a push from skipper Johnson and a headbutt from Brazilian Anderson saw them both take an early bath, and we managed to close out our 2-0 win, a magnificent achievement.




    The last thing I needed was 2 suspensions to major players, but a returning Forlan helped us overcome a stubborn Tottenham side 2-1 at home, with me keeping faith in the 4-4-1-1 system that had done so well against Man Utd. The big games kept on coming as we travelled to Craven Cottage to take on title rivals and my former club Fulham. It was my first trip back to my former side, and I was pleased to receive a warm reception from the Fulham faithful. To the game itself, and it was another tight affair, with both defences nullifying the other teams attack, but we finally made the breakthrough, Lukaku scoring once again. The 2nd half we dominated from start to finish, but Jan Mucha in the Fulham goal was equal to everything, and we couldn't add to our 1-0 lead, still it was a massive 3 pts over one of our biggest title rivals.

    The FA Cup 3rd round got underway with a trip to the Walkers Stadium to take on Leicester. With a few tired legs from the Fulham game, a number of squad players came in, with Felipe Caicedo scoring the only goal to send us through to the 4th round. A disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Blackburn followed, but we got back on track with a 2-0 win away at Aston Villa. The 1st Leg Semi Final against Bristol resulted in yet another close 1-0 win from a 2nd string side, Maierhofer with the solitary goal. Then we got goal crazy, or I should say Lukaku did! 1st up was Everton at home in the 4th round of the FA Cup, and despite Alan Hutton getting sent off after 10 mins, Lukaku scored all 4 in a 4-0 romp. Remarkably, he bagged himself yet another 4 goal haul in a 6-0 demolition of Portsmouth in the league.




    We were riding high, but received a massive reality check with our visit to Anfield. Not one single player performed, with Robert Green guilty of a couple of clangers, which gifted Liverpool a 4-0 win over us. Around this time, we had to say goodbye to Bougherra, Sonko and Romaric who all travelled to Tunisia for the African Cup of Nations, yet more strain on my squad. We got back to winning ways with a 4-1 win over Bolton, with a brace from Forlan, and with 11 league games to go we were 6 pts clear at the top.


    Last edited by AMC; 06-03-12 at 01:55 PM.

  22. #47
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    It didn't take long till the vultures came circling. First up a bid of 8.5m for Lukaku from Everton was swiftly rejected, however, upon hearing the news, the young Belgian striker became unhappy again, and has now outlined his anger at me. Luckily, his moaning has not caused any more unhappiness, and apart from Lukaku the rest of the squad were in high spirits. Next to be subjected to a bid was Goalkeeper Vito Mannone, signed 2 seasons ago on a bosman after the Italian left Arsenal. Wolves came calling with a bid of 1m which was rebuffed as he had become my number 1 this season. This didn't deter Wolvers manager Alex McLeish though, and a bid of 1.8m was also turned down. Unbelievably, the bids kept on coming, 2.2m, 2.7m and 3.2m before I finally excepted a bid of 4.3m, not a bad profit on the player, who would join his new club at the end of the season.


    Heading to Wolves


    1-0 up from the 1st game, we completed the job against Bristol City in the 2nd Leg of the League Cup with a 2-1 win, goals from Mendy and Maierhofer in the first 25 mins enough for an under strength side to progress to the final at Wembley, where we would face Tottenham, who had overcome Everton 2-1 on agg in the other semi final. Another cup game, this time the FA Cup 5th round away at Swindon, saw a full strength side labour to a 1-0 win, hopefully not a sign of tired legs with still 3 months of the season to go. A long trip to Sunderland in the league followed, and despite taking an early lead through Ireland, Sunderland defender Leon Cort equalised with 20 mins left. With a 1-1 draw looking the likely score, the game turned on it's head in the 89th minute. Longas put Ireland through on goal, and the former Man City man rouned the keeper, but as he went past Craig Gordon the Scottish goalkeeper took his legs from underneath him, there's only one choice for the referee, a penalty and a red card for Gordon. That's exactly what we got, and the first thing replacement goalkeeper Rob Stott had to do was pick the ball out of his net as Bougherra converted the penalty for an important 3 points.

    Despite boasting a magnificent squad with the likes of Tevez, Benzema and Berbatov a strike force anybody would relish to have, Man City somehow found themselves laying 12th in the table. Assistant Manager Gerry Anderson warned me about underestimating them, and I transmitted the message onto the players. It must have paid dividends as we ran out easy 3-0 winners, Longas, Lukaku and Bougherra finding themselves on the scoresheet, although Lukaku had picked up an injury and would miss the next 2 weeks. For a change the cup draw was kind to us, and we were given a home tie against Crystal Palace who were fighting relegation from the Championship. I don't know if it was a combination of a good performance from us, or Crystal Palace's minds on their battle for survival, but what I do know is the 5-1 win saw us through to yet another semi final, this time we would travel to Anfield to face my former side Fulham.




    A routine 3-1 win away at Burnley was our last game before a two week break were my players could get some much needed rest, but it also proceeded two soul destroying defeats. First up the League Cup Final against Tottenham, and we got off to a terrible start conceeding an own goal through Longas after just 12 mins. Lukaku got us back on level terms 10 mins later. The next goal arrived for us with 16 mins left of the game, but Spurs hit back instantley through Aaron Lennon, and 5 mins before the end John Bostock gave Tottenham an undeserved win.




    It was hard for the team to take as we had been much the better side, but that's football and we need to bounce back. The FA Cup Semi Final against Fulham was that chance, but despite leading twice through Forlan and Castro, once again bad defending was our downfall, with Anelka scoring the winner on 84, and consign us to a 2nd successive 3-2 defeat.




    We know only had the league to play for, were we held a 4 point advantage over 2nd placed Fulham, and also had a game in hand over my former side. We travelled to Sheff Wed determined to get a morale boosting win under our belts. Julio Arca gave us the lead early on, but Christian Benitez equalised for the home side, and just before half time Spanish midfielder Michel gave them the lead. Despite bossing the 2nd half we couldn't make the breakthrough and we had our 3rd defeat on the bounce, that 2 wk break wasn't much of a help after all! Fulham had won 2-0 away at Burnley, and my lead was down to 1 pt with a game in hand. We finally recorded a win in our next game though, but only just, 2-1 at home to 16th placed Swansea but we were holding on for dear life at the end. Fulham also won, so it is all still to play for.


    Last edited by AMC; 06-03-12 at 01:55 PM.

  23. #48
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    So the final 6 games of the season, make or break, would we triumph or face further heartbreak like in the domestic cups? Thing's didn't look good when on the eve of our next game away at Arsenal, inspirational midfielder Gonzalo Castro (35 apps 15 goals ave. rating of 7.47) slipped a disc in training and he would be out for 2 months, and thus his season was over. Andrers Due came in to the side to fill his place on the left hand side of midfield for the game at the Emirates. This was our game in hand, a chance to put a bit more of a gap between us and Fulham. We got off to a great start after just 6 mins, with Maierhofer putting us ahead with a well placed shot, however, disaster struck on the stoke of half time, Forlan picking up his 2nd yellow for squaring up to Fabianski, and we were down to 10 men. Still we had the lead, and if we could hold on it would be a massive result. We couldn't. 3 mins into the 2nd half Clichy equalised for the home side, and 4 mins later Eduardo gave them the lead. The game was put beyond doubt 10 mins from time when Eduardo got a brace and we went down 3-1.

    Our next game was at home to Wolves, with Fulham playing Chelsea at Craven Cottage at the same time. With our poor form recently I decided to change tactic once again, this time to an attacking 4-3-3, with a front 3 of Forlan-Lukaku-Maierhofer. It paid dividends almost immediately, Stephen Ireland scored for us after 4 mins, and Maierhofer doubled our lead on 11. Lukaku scored just before half time and we were 3-0 up and well on course for 3 pts. A quick look at the match at Craven Cottage told us it was honours even at 0-0, and we were 3 pts clear at the top. We continued to attack in the 2nd half, hitting the woodwork twice, but Wolves pulled a consolation goal back in the final 10 mins, when El Hamdaoui scored, but there was no chance of a come back and we had our win. The derby between Fulham and Chelsea finished 0-0 and we had a bit more breathing space at the top of the table.

    Our away trip to Hull was a difficult game, and it was only an 83rd minute winner from Longas that gave us the victory, in a tight 2-1 game. Even better though was that Fulham had lost 3-1 away at Arsenal, and we now had a 6 pt lead with 3 games to go! Chelsea at home were our opponents next, and if results went the right way we could be crowned Champions today. Unfortunately, it didn't work out like that. Despite Fulham losing 2-0 away at Anfield, we couldn't get the point that would gift us the league, as 2 second half goals from Nourdin Amrabat gave Chelsea a 2-0 win. Still with a GD of +35 to Fulham's +27, and a 6 pt lead with 2 games to go, surely we couldn't slip up now?




    Just one point from our remaining two games (both at home), would wrap up the title and we wouldn't wait long to do it. Sticking with the 4-3-3 formation, with Caicedo coming in for the suspended Diego Forlan, we would take on Steve McLaren's Stoke, Fulham would play the following day but it wouldn't come to that. Longas scored the opener after 19 mins, to give us a 1-0 lead at half time. We came out firing in the 2nd half, and within 16 mins we were 3-0 to the good, Longas with his 2nd on 56 before Caicedo's strike on 61. We took our foot off the gas in the last half hr, but Stoke weren't offering much off an attacking threat, and we eased to a 3-0 win that clinched the league title!


    Ipswich Premier League Champions 2005-06


    I was pleased to see a packed Portman Road for our last game of the season against Everton, which saw an all time attendance figure of 30,306, just 5 short of a sell out. You'd understand if the performance weren't the greatest with the league already won, and that's exactly how the game turned out. A solitary own goal from Phil Jagielka in the 4th minute gave us a 1-0 win, but the fans were here to see the trophy which we paraded to the crowd after the game, to much applause from the crowd.




    Previous Teams

    Fulham



    Pushed me all the way in the league, but ultimately failed with a terrible run in yielding just 1 win in their last 5 league games. They did gain some revenge on us though by knocking us out of the FA Cup at the Semi Final stage, but then lost in the final to Liverpool who claimed their 2nd FA Cup in 3 seasons. Tottenham knocked them out at the quarter final stage of the League Cup on their way to beating us in the Final. Only finished 8th in the league last season so only managed an inter-toto place, were they were knocked out at the semi finals on pens against Osijek. Fulham also contested the FIFA World Club Championships after I won the UEFA Cup in my last season in charge, and just like my run with them in the World Club Championship they made the final before losing 3-0 to Inter.
    Last edited by AMC; 06-03-12 at 01:56 PM.

  24. #49
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    The end of the season gave the players a well deserved break after a great season, and a chance for them to take it easy, however I had a busy schedule already lined up. My plans for the summer where to improve the squad, and lower the average of the squad, both of which would help with us now competing in Europe as well as domestically. With this in mind, the following players were released from their contract, Kieron Dyer, Sean Davis, Ibrahima Sonko, Jon Stead, Jonathan Walters, Pim Balkestein, Damien Duff, Andrea Parola and Tamas Priskin, at a cost of 3.5m. With the World Cup taking place in Germany, myself, Assistant Manager Gerry Harrison and Chief Scout Graeme Ferguson booked tickets to the tournament to take it in and identify some possible transfer targets. We came away from the finals with a shortlist of players we were interested in for the coming season. It was the hosts Germany who won the World Cup, defeating Spain 1-0 in the final thanks to a goal from Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker.

    In total a further 8 players left, with a couple of surprises that I'll come to. Defenders Jonas Troest - 1.3m to Ankaragugu, Glenn Loovens - 900k to Southampton, Bernard Mendy - 375k to Burnley, Carl Dickinson - 190k to Sunderland and Kevin Long - 65k to AFC Wimbeldon all moved on, with none of them 1st choice. Xabi Prieto started well at the club but started to under perform and lost his place towards the end of the season, and I didn't hesitate when Real Madrid offered 3.7m for him. Fellow midfielder Wayne Routledge was unhappy with his lack of opportunities at the club, and he joined Huddersfield for 525k. Now for the 2 big shocks. First of all William Gallas, who despite being a colossus in defence last season, was not offered a new deal due to his age, and has since retired. The biggest bombshell though was that of the 10m deal that took Romelu Lukaku to Derby County. His goals had been instrumental in our Premiership and Championship title wins, but he had begun to upset the squad and made no secret of his desire to leave. With all the sales, TV Revenue, Season ticket sales and prize money from last season, I had quite a war chest to spend!



    Lukaku leaves the club in a 10m deal


    With Vito Mannone leaving the club to join Wolves for 4.3m, I needed a new keeper. A series of bids for Akinfeev, Joe Hart, Steve Mandanda, Mauel Neuer and Rob Bergkamp (Van der Sar's regen) were all rebuffed, but we finally got our man when the deal for Joe Lewis to join Man City fell through, and we were acted quickly to bring another one of my former players to the club. Quite a few defenders left in the summer, which left me pretty light at the back. First to arrive at the club was Sevilla defender Federico Julian Fazio for 1.5m, and the following day, Czech and HSV full back Marek Suchy finalised a 6m deal. Congolese defender Christopher Samba had found limited opportunities at Man City since joining from Fulham for 1.9m, and I showed no hesitation in snapping him up for 3m. Another centre back in the shape of towering centre back Salvador Alonso joined from Getafe for 850k and was definitely one for the future. I'm still on the lookout for another centre back.





    Midfield saw 4 new faces arrive at the club, and most noticeably they were all under the age of 30. Jack Wilshere played 25 times for Arsenal the season before last, but didn't make a single appearance last season, and was eager for first team action. The tricky midfielder has decent pace, a good eye for a pass or cross, and is a magnificent dead ball specalist, and will be a good option either on the left or in the centre, and was a steal at just 2.2m. He was joined by fellow Arsenal player Theo Walcott, who was a little more pricier at 3.7m, but the England player offers fantastic pace and skill, and can also play a number of positions but will most likely start on the right wing. Backing up Walcott on the right wing is David Bentley who arrived from Spurs in a 1m deal, and also brings great trickery on the ball as well as a wealth of experience for the younger members of the squad, having made over 300 career appearances. The last midfielder to join was Spanish u21 central midfielder Alberto Vallejo, who is still only 19 but already has the making of a great box-to-box midfielder and arrives for a bargin 200k from W.B.A





    Finally up front, with Lukaku gone and an ageing Diego Forlan I had to bring in a couple new faces. Edison Cavani joined his fellow countryman Forlan at the club for 2m, and will fight it out with him for the second striker role. With Lukaku gone I needed someone in the same mould as the Belgian striker who could get us a number of goals. For a number of months I'd been watching Standard Liege striker Dieumerci Mbokani, who had scored 143 goals in 261 games in the Belgian league and he came in for a hefty looking 8m price tag, but one I think he can justify, as on the surface he looks a better player than Lukaku, and at 28 right at his peak.





    With all them changes the squad now had an average age of 25.86, a good few years younger than last season, as well as a much stronger squad that will hopefully see us do well this season.
    Last edited by AMC; 06-03-12 at 01:57 PM.

  25. #50
    Join Date
    02-03-12
    Posts
    3,916
    vCash
    4000
    The season kicked off with a trip to Wembley for the Community Shield against FA Cup Winners Liverpool. Just 4 of my starting 11 were at the club last season, so I was hoping the other 7 players could gel quickly. The team in full was as follows; Lewis, Suchy, Samba, Fazio, Cassani, Castro, Johnson, Ireland, Walcott, Cavani and Mbokani in my favoured 4-4-1-1 formation from last season. Both sides started brightly, Lewis doing well to turn a Gerrard strike around the post as early as the 2nd minute, and a header from debutant Mbokani crashing off the bar moments later. The opener came midway through the 1st half, a cross from Andy Johnson finding young Finnish striker Lauri Dalla Valle in the area, and he made no mistake with a low right footed shot into the back of the net. We needed to hit back quick, and thankfully we did, Castro curling in a beautiful free kick 10 mins later, and we went in at the break at 1-1. Onto the 2nd half, and the game was still going end to end with glorious chances for us and Liverpool, on the hour mark Liverpool won a free kick, Gerrard flighted the ball in, and somehow Mascherano stole in and scored with a header. We changed to a 4-3-3 formation and brought on Maierhofer and Wilshere as we chased for an equaliser, but Liverpool's defence was tight, and we had to accept defeat.

    The league fixtures had been kind to us, with our first 3 games all at home, with Swansea first up. I named the exact team that had played against Liverpool. It was a tough match with us having the bulk of the possesion but we were finding it difficult to make the breakthrough, but on 80 mins Samba got on the end of a Wilshere corner to give us a deserved win. On the day of the Aresnal game we announced the signing of Greek defender Christos Charalabidis (from now on known as Christos) for 1m plus striker Felipe Caicedo who wanted first team football.

    In fact Christos made his debut against the Gunners, replacing Samba who had picked up a knock in training. Despite us having more shots and possession we couldn't take our chances, and 2 late goals from Eduardo and Vagner Love consigned us to a 2-0 defeat. With Cavani and Mbokani both not playing to the best of their abilities I changed to a 4-4-2 formation, hoping that they would work better as a front two. It seemed to work a treat, with Mbokani getting his first goal for the club as we demolished Notts Forest 4-0, Walcott, Ireland and Cassani with the other goals, but Wilshere was the star with 3 assists. Next up was our Champions League game at home to Hoffenheim, with Milan and AEK Athens completing the group. Once again Wilshere ran the game, and we got a 2nd successive 4-0 win to send us top of the group table.



    Just as we were gaining momentum, we came crashing down - and in flames. A trip to Stamford Bridge is always a tough ask, but within 16 mins we were 3-0 down and by 26 mins down to 10 men also! Lewis was having a shocker in net, and I was trying to sub him when Kalou got Chelsea's 3rd, and Cassani was sent off for two bookable offences. In the end we lost 4-1, Walcott with our goal but we finished the game with 9 men, Fazio getting a straight red card 15 mins from time. I was furious with how my side had capitulated so easily, and I tore into my players at the final whistle. Another away trip this time to Athens was another big test of my characters, and with a number of tired players from the Chelsea game (just 2 days earlier!) I had to field a weakened side, with Mbokani and Cassani the only starters from the Chelsea game, with both leaving that game inside the first half hour for differing reasons. I'd like to say this was the game we turned the style on and hit back from our poor performance, but unfortunately it was a bore draw that had nothing of note to talk about - so I won't try.

    Blackburn made the trip to Portman Road, and this is where we showed our ability, but we ran into two rocks in Paul Robinson and.... Paul Robinson, with both the keeper and the defender putting in magnificent performances to allow Blackburn to escape with a valuable point in another 0-0 draw. With Mbokani and Cavani still not performing I changed formation once again to a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Cavani asked to push on more than usual with Michael Johnson and Stephen Ireland covering for the Uruguayan. Our next game couldn't be more tougher, with a trip to the San Siro to take on the might of AC Milan, who could boast the likes of Pato, Chamakh, Giovinco and Quaresma just to name a few. Ederson gave the Rossoneri the lead after 10 mins, but our attitudes didn't drop and Walcott gave us the equaliser just before half time. The 2nd half was a very drab affair but we were unlucky not to grab a late winner, although I was very happy with the point that we did gain, which left us in a good position in the table. We followed the draw with Milan with a 1-0 win away at Aston Villa, but it was anything but tight, with our 18 shots compared to there 2, and Mbokani's solitary strike was enough for a much needed 3 pts that left us 8th in the league, with Fulham the early league leaders.
    Last edited by AMC; 06-03-12 at 01:57 PM.

Page 2 of 10 FirstFirst 123456 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •